Saturday, July 30, 2022

Want to join me in Vietnam and Cambodia?

In a little over two months, I will be heading off to Vietnam and Cambodia with M&M Photo Tours, and we have room for 4 more people. We will be photographing the people and places in these unique countries. 

Copyright - Mike Gulbraa (M&M Photo Tours)

You can join us to capture the following:

* Mekong river cruise - photographing the fisherman, villages, old boats, and more.

* The terraced rice fields of Sapa - high of my list of things to photograph in the world!

* Ha Long Bay Cruise - amazing scenic photos of the islands and landscape.

* Cao Dai Temple - not as old as other temples in the area, but colorful and photogenic.

* Angor Wat - the largest religious monument in the world. Spectacular photos everywhere!

* Angor Thom - established in the 12th century, this ancient city has a ton of history,

* Floating villages of Tonle Sap - see and capture this floating village with floating homes, restaurants and a market. 

And don't forget that Canon has been nice enough to offer free loans of almost any camera or lens for this trip! You just let me know what you want to borrow and I will arrange with Canon to have it shipped to you in advance of our departure. How cool is that?!

If you want more information, you can contact me through the Jeff Cable Photography photo tour page.


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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Cuba, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours. 

__________________________________________________________________________  

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Shooting for USA Water Polo: New environment - new challenges - new rewards!

On Friday evening I photographed an exciting match for USA Water Polo at Stanford University. It was the second of three meetings between the American men and the Italian team.  I thought I would take you through my photographic thought process, since this was different from the Olympics.


The game was televised on ESPNU, and my good friend Greg Mescall (@GregMescall) was doing the broadcast along with Chris Dorst (Two-time Olympian and Silver Medalist). Since most water polo games are not televised, I wanted to get images of them doing their national broadcast, since I knew they would want them. 


In the days leading up to the game, Greg told me that it was a sellout crowd. I knew that this was a big deal, so I made sure to go up into the stands to get images of the fans. I took my Canon R6 with the Canon RF 24-70mm lens for these shots.


I waited for the stands to fill before taking images of the packed house. I shot to my right since the stands to the left were half in light and half in shadow. Not great for photos.


As I always do, I looked for fans with good signs and emotion.


After getting images to support the "full house" story, I went back down onto the pool deck to switch cameras and lenses, preparing for the action shots. I even ran into some clients of mine down on the pool deck. 

I switched to my Canon R3 (because of the fast focusing and faster frame rate) and chose the Canon 200-400mm lens, which is my go-to lens for water polo at the Olympics. I looked at the light conditions and determined that the west side of the pool was less reflective, so I moved there to shoot.


I set the Canon R3 for the fastest burst mode shooting, IO Servo focus, and then determined the best ISO to get a shutter speed of at least 1/1000 sec. That ISO started at 1200 and went as high as 2000 as the light dropped. The one thing I forget to switch before the game started, was the focus point. For water polo, because the athletes come so high out of the pool, I need to lower the focus point so I can focus on their faces but still have the "head room" for their arms and the ball.


Then it was time to capture the action...


I have all my cameras set for double back-button focus. This means that one button on the back of the camera is set for face and eye detection (AF-On) and another button (*) is set for IO Servo single point focus. I would change modes depending on how much of the athlete's face I could see at each moment.  There are times when the face detection won't lock on, like this moment where the water was in front of his face. In situations like this, I find that I have a better chance of getting focus with the single point.


As you all know, the job of a photographer is to tell a story with our images. When photographing sports, the fan reaction is as important as capturing the athletics. When Team USA would score a big goal, I would quickly point the camera up and try to grab the peak of energy at that moment.


I tend to follow the player with the ball, since it yields great shots...



When photographing the teams at the Olympics, there are no mascots on the pool deck. So I saw this as a unique moment for the team and me. Unique for the team since they had a huge crowd at the event, and unique for me since the Olympics would definitely not allow a mascot from any particular country on their deck. I asked "Shieldy" to pose for me and got this.


Another difference from shooting an event like this, is that I could move around pretty freely. Not at the Olympics! This allowed me to capture images from different angles.


At one point, as I was walking around looking for unique photos, I realized that I could stand right behind the goal and get a wide angle shot from there. I used the Canon R6 with a Canon RF 15-35mm lens, prefocused on the goal tender, and then raised the camera over my head to get this shot. I kept my eyes on the ball, since it is not uncommon for the ball to come over the net and straight at me and the camera! I love this shot because it shows the action in the pool and the crowds in the stands. 


I also went across to the other side of the pool and saw a diving platform that was roped off. I asked for permission to climb that for a shot. and took this one facing the Stanford scoreboard.


Then it was back to the action...


For those of you who want to photograph water polo, I have a great tip for you. Keep an eye on the shot clock! I watch the shot clock and when it gets down below 6 seconds, I assume that the opposing team is going to shoot. I prefocus on the goaltender and wait for the action to unfold.


This allows me to get a nice sharp image of the goalie even with all the water splashing in front of them. 




The sun had dropped from the sky but the lights at the Avery Stadium at Stanford were quite good for capturing the action. 

And then yesterday I shot the same two teams at Santa Clara University. This was the third of three exhibition games and each team had one win. This was the deciding game. This time I decided to travel lighter and use the Canon R3 with the Canon RF 100-500mm lens


My friend, Larry, insisted that I get a photo of me with Shieldy, so...


The game at Santa Clara started a little earlier (7pm) than the Stanford game (7:30pm) and was in a much small venue. This meant that we had more direct sunlight on the pool for a period of time.


As the sun got lower in the sky, I started getting a combination of sun and shadows on the athletes. not ideal, but...


For the 2nd and 3rd periods I took most of my photos at the far end of the pool, where the sunlight remained.


I love capturing the "peak of action", that exact moment which tells a story. This shot shows the goalie clearly blocking the ball away from the net.


Half of this team were returning members from the Tokyo Olympic team, but that meant that half were not. I did my best to isolate shots of each athlete for the team. 


In the 4th quarter, ESPN went to commercial. They came back to the broadcast showing my images from the Tokyo Olympics and Greg Mescall was kind enough to give me a shout out on this nationally televised event. Thanks Greg!


This was a key moment towards the end of the game, when the US seemingly locked it up with a great goal. I got that key moment even though it was in really mixed light. We all thought the game was over at that point, but the Italians got two quick goals to send the game into overtime.

Since the sun had dropped and the lights at the pool were barely visible, I had pretty much stopped shooting. There was a break while each team decided which men would take their chance at the shoot out. During that time, I decided to bring the camera back out to shoot this. I pointed the camera towards the men in the pool and laughed. I would have to shoot at ISO 10,000 and even then I would only get them at 1/320 sec. I typically want at least 1/1000 sec to freeze the action, but I thought that this was give me a new challenge. 


I got lucky on this shot and caught the face of the American goaltender really sharp with motion of the oncoming ball (which he did stop by the way). I also love this frame since it shows all the guys on the bench watching intently to see how it would turn out.


This next sequence shows what happens when shooting at a slower shutter speed. There is more motion in the arms, the ball and the water. but I really like it. 



The key is to try and get the face sharp while having motion everywhere else. This means that the photographer has to focus correctly, hold steady and the athlete can not move his head too much.


One last shooter and it was a winning shot, for the team and me.


As soon as both games were over, it was crunch time for me. I delivered 60 retouched images to the team from the first game within 30 minutes of the end of the game. I should mention that this was the first time using the new 165GB CFexpress card from ProGrade Digital. This card is less expensive than their previous CFexpress cards. It is designed for photographers like me who do not shoot video, just stills. It is still wicked fast and more affordable. 

This card is combination with the ProGrade Digital card reader, the new MacBook Pro with M1 Max chip, Photo Mechanic, and Photoshop software really help to get that done in record time. 

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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Cuba, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours. 

__________________________________________________________________________  

Thursday, July 7, 2022

CANON LENSES AND MACBOOK PRO 16" FOR SALE!

It has been a long time since I have sold any equipment here on the blog. but as I complete the final transition to all mirrorless cameras and lenses, this is an opportunity for all of you to purchase my EF gear. And I also just purchased the new Mac Studio for my main editing machine and I am selling my MacBook Pro 16" laptop, which has never even been used as a laptop.

For all of you who know me or have been on photo tours with me, you know that I am really picky about keeping my equipment in the best shape. All of this equipment is in perfect condition. All the details are listed at the end of the blog post.

Here is everything that I am selling. It is first come, first serve. 

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MacBook Pro 16" with 64GB RAM and 2TB SSD

This is a 2019 Apple MacBook Pro 16" (Model A2141) with the following specs: 2.4GHz, Radeon Pro 5500M, 64GB RAM, 2TB SSD. I used this MacBook connected to my external Apple monitor, basically as a desktop machine. The laptop screen has basically never even been used. And the laptop has not moved since I got it. It is like new! This comes with the power supply and box.

Price: $2100 plus $75 shipping SOLD!

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Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 version III L Series  lens


This is the L series Canon 16-35mm f/2,8 EF version III lens. This includes the pouch (never been used) and warranty card. I will also include the Tiffen HT UV filter which is on the lens. 

Price: $1450 plus $35 shipping - SOLD!

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Canon 24-70mm f2.8 II L Series  lens


This is the L series Canon 24-70mm f/2,8 EF version II lens. This includes the pouch (never been used) and warranty card. I will also include the Tiffen HT UV filter which is on the lens. 

Price: $1150 plus $35 shipping SOLD!

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Canon 100mm L Series Macro lens


This is the L series Canon 100mm f/2,8 EF Macro lens. This includes the pouch (never been used) and warranty card. I will also include the Tiffen HT UV filter which is on the lens. 

Price: $679 plus $35 shipping - SOLD!

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Canon EF 1.4x II Extender


This is the version II of the Canon 1.4x extender. This includes the box and warranty card. This was barely ever used.

Price: $140 plus $20 shipping SOLD!

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Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG ART lens


This is a Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART lens. This includes the pouch (never been used) and warranty card. I will also include the Tiffen HT UV filter which is on the lens. 

Price: $749 plus $35 shipping

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Sigma 15mm Fisheye lens


This is a Sigma 15mm fisheye lens. It is in very good shape but shows some signs of use. It still works perfectly on Canon EF cameras.

Price: $279 plus $25 shipping SOLD!

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Sigma 1.4x tele converter


This Sigma 1.4x tele converter was only used one time and has been sitting in my drawer for way too long. It is basically in new condition. This comes with the pouch as well.

Price: $119 plus $15 shipping

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And just for the fun of it, I will also throw in a Jeff Cable Photography hat with each sale.

If you are interested in purchasing any of this equipment, please email me at jeff@jeffcable.com and I will get back to you and let you know if it is still available. Again, this is first come, first serve. Last time I did this, everything sold within 2 days, so please let me know sooner than later.

All payments can be made using Venmo or PayPal. If you are the first to contact me for that particular item I will send you the details at that time.

All sales in the US ONLY!!! 

__________________________________________________________________________

Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Cuba, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours. 

__________________________________________________________________________  


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Trying to capture photos of Puffin in a storm. Some of the most challenging photos I have ever taken!

Two weeks I was in Scotland teaching on another photo tour, and on our third day in the country we were scheduled to take a boat ride out to the Isle of Staffa. On this tiny island there is a large group of puffins. If you have not seen a puffin, you are missing out. These are awesome looking birds, which I have been wanting to photograph for years.

So...the good news was that the boat ride was booked and we were ready to go. The bad news was that the weather had turned from beautiful blue skies to high winds and rain. But that was not going to stop us. We were determined to get out to the island to see these little beauties. 

Little did I know what was ahead of us. This turned out to be one of the most challenging photo shoots of my life, all in the span of 15 minutes.


We took a 30 minute boat ride out to Staffa fighting the swells, and they pulled up against a small cement dock. The captain informed us that we should carefully climb up the steps and head to the far side of the island where there was a pink flag flying.  We had one hour on the island before they picked us up. I put a small red "x" in the photo above to show you where we had to walk to.  During a dry day this would be a 10 minute walk, but with the rain and high winds, this took at least 15 minutes.


We walked as fast as we could towards the flag, while also being careful not to slip on the wet rocks ground. By the time we got to the puffins, I lifted my camera to start shooting and realized that the camera and lens were soaked. This is not a problem for the weather sealed Canon R5 and Canon RF100-500mm lens, but the problem was that the front of my lens was so full of rain drops that my images looked terrible. See above.

I tried to dry off the front of the lens, but there was nothing dry on me, so I was out of luck there. Also, the winds were so high, that the rain was blowing sideways. I knew that I could not turn my lens too far to face the birds without a new layer of water being blown onto the lens. 

What to do now? We had made the trip out there. There had to be something I could do.

Then I realized that I had my Tiffen HT UV filter on the front of the lens and that I could just remove it to have a totally dry and clean lens, at least for a couple of minutes. This is something I never do, but felt that it was the only option I had. I yelled over the high winds to the others to tell them to try this as well (for those who had filters on their lenses).


I removed the UV filter and started shooting, trying my hardest not to point the camera in the direction of the wind. And voila - I was able to get some shots. I scooted down towards the edge of the cliff to get tight shots of the puffin. They were not fazed by us at all.


It was amazing to watch the puffin navigate the high winds as they came in for landing.


This was one of the first times that I have ever shot in this type of weather. I could barely see through my eyepiece, so I just pointed the Canon R5 at the birds and fired, hoping to get good images.


The muted light from the clouds did help to get nice images without any harsh light and shadows. 


I was amazed at how close we could get to the puffins. 


You can really see the direction of the rain in this shot. Totally sideways!


When I zoomed into the previous image, I saw that a drop of rain had landed on the head of this puffin and bounced off again. Because of the high resolution of the Canon R5, I was able to crop the image like this and still have a 5MB file. 


I think this puffin was checking out my camera gear. Or he was thinking "Why would you be out here in this weather?"


Once I had shot images of the birds on the island for a minute or two, I decided that it was time to risk getting the lens wet by trying to get photos of the birds in flight. 


I looked for birds that were flying in front of me, to avoid turning left and having the rain splash onto the front element of my lens.


That worked well for about one minute...



I was happy to get some shots of the puffin in flight. Well...I really didn't know if I got anything because it was too wet to see anything through the eyepiece, but I felt that I had something. This was my favorite shot, and one of the last photos I took before the lens was once again drenched.


I headed back to the other side of the island with the rest of the group to get picked up by the boat. I was able to dry the lens off enough to get this shot.  We were soaked, freezing, but also really happy. Well...most of us. :)

Once back on the boat, I whipped out my laptop and downloaded the images to see if I got anything useable. I was happy to see that myself and our guests got decent images from this highly challenging adventure. 

The rest of the afternoon, we toured around in soaked clothes. My only pair of shoes were so wet that I was not sure if they would ever dry. Thankfully, the hair dryer in the room worked really well for drying them out. Hey - I finally had a use for hair dryer!!!


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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Cuba, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours. 

__________________________________________________________________________