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News & Stuff
Studio News – February 2007
As I get ready to go back out on assignment I thought I’d do some housekeeping on the blog and throw a bunch of things together into one post.
Back on assignment:
South America- I head out this Friday, Feb. 23rd, to Ecuador for World Vision Canada. I will be gone a total of 9 days.
Africa – I am in Ethiopia, Uganda and Rwanda from March 15 to the 31st. Very excited about this assignment as it involves orphans and vulnerable children in some very out of the way places like Lalibela – an astonishing but remote town in northern Ethiopia, a place I visited a year ago and am keen to get back to – and Gulu, in northern Uganda.
New Stuff: Reviews
Canon 50/1.4 USM – I recently upgraded one of my favourite lenses – Canon’s 50/1.8 and traded it for the faster 50/1.4. The 50/1.8 is a great little lens whose image quality is surprising given it’s cheap build and low price, but the 50/1.4 is faster, sharper, has better build and arguably better glass as well. I spent 10 minutes playing with the new 50/1.2L but for its extra $1000 it didn’t seem worth the layout. Yet.
Canon 200/2.8L – A year and a half ago I bought one of these on eBay and loved it. But thinking that I wanted the versatility of a zoom I sold it and bought the Sigma 70-200/2.8 EX. While i have nothing bad to say about the Sigma it was large and heavy and I rarely used it. When I did it was at the long end and the images were still not as sharp and saturated as those I got from the 200/2.8L. So I’ve come full-circle. The 200/2.8L is bright, VERY fast focussing, and sharp as a tack. It’s much lighter and smaller and there’s greater chance I will throw this in the bag. I’m a sucker for L glass and glad to have this lens back.
Kata Rain Cover – I know I’ve championed everything from plastic bags to hotel shower caps in the past, but eventually you get to a point that you want to carry something a little less ad hoc and a little beefier – the Kata Rain Cover is relatively easy to fit the camera into and gives me a measure of confidence shooting in the rain than previous measures.
Book: Welcome To Oz, Vincent Versace
This is a great book that is greatly frustrating me. The content is excellent and the theory gleaned in bits and pieces is priceless, but the tutorials seem riddled with little errors which make following along more like a scavenger hunt or logic puzzle than a well-written tutorial. I think I also expected this to be more about photography than about photoshop, being a fan of getting an image right in-camera before resorting to Photoshop. But it isn’t and it’s still a goldmine of a book – but it’s tough slogging to get tthrough. The book comes with a cd with low res, 8 bit, and 16 bit versions of all files required to walk through the tutorials, and there are some freeby filter downloads that add to the value of this.
I think this will become a must-read classic, but then so is C.S.Lewis’ Mere Christianity and that doesn’t make it any easier to read.
Submissions: Applied Arts and Communication Arts Deadlines approaching
Communication Arts and its Canadian cousin, Applied Arts, each have a Photography/Illustration annual and the deadlines to submit for either are approaching. Applied Arts’ deadline is Feb.28, 2007 and their website is HERE. Communication Arts’ deadlines is March 13, 2007 and their website is HERE