My Ballhead

Posted: February 10, 2016 in Uncategorized
The ultimate macro ballhead is actually called the “Ultimate Ballhead” from Acratech. This is the best head on the market for the macro photographer. it’s unique design makes the macro photographers life a lot easier when shooting.
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Here is a typical ballhead with the ball fully encased in the housing and it has a little U shaped slot which is how you move the camera downward to shoot, and then you have to pan the head side to side to get the camera in the correct position. So you have to use both controls to get the camera in position.

 

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Here is the Acratech Ultimate Ballhead, and as you can see the front of the ball housing has been cut away, which allows you total freedom of movement in any direction as you move your camera into position. So just one control which is the large knob you see in the foreground to release the camera and then lock it down when you are in position.

 

Here is the side view of the Ultimate Ballhead. You can see the ball is riding in this circular housing and is open on both sides. If you need to shoot upwards, just pan the camera 180 degrees tilt the camera backwards and you have total freedom of movement in all direction with one control knob. It has an oilless and greaseless ball that will not attract or hold dirt and debris.

 

Acratech Ultimate Ballhead Features

  • Weighs less than 1 lb (.45kg) with quick release clamp.
  • Easily holds over 25 lbs (11.4kg) at any angle.
  • Full movements allow any camera position.
  • Precision C.N.C. machined.
  • Compatible with Kirk, Arca, R.R.S., and many other QR plates.
  • Beautiful satin black anodized finish.
  • Fits all standard tripods (1/4-20 and 3/8-16 threads).
  • Engraved degree markings.
  • Solid precision feel.
  • Made in U.S.A.
  • Ball will not shift when tightened.
  • All knobs are secured so they cannot vibrate loose and fall off.

Provides total camera movements without moving your tripod

My only compliant on this head is when you first start to use this head and you go to tighten the knob to hold the camera in position, you tend not to tighten the knob hard enough. You do have to tighten the knob with good amount of pressure, but once you have the right amount of tightening the camera holds steady. You will get use to using the right amount of tightening as you work with it, I did.
Cost with leveling bubble, $319.00  Plus if you don’t have an arcaswiss style mounting plate on your camera, you will need to purchase a plate as well.
Purchase one here.https://www.huntsphotoandvideo.com/detail_page.cfm?productid=1126ACRA&mfg=Acratech&show=yes

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Website click here
Macro Workshops click here
”Macro Online Course click here
”Creating Art With Macro E-Book click here
Macro Photo Conference click here
You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com
To save 15% on Topaz products click here
Macro Blog Links, Tips, Tricks, and Techniques http://www.macrostoreonline.com
Like my Facebook Page
Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.

Learn Macro from the Pros

Posted: February 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

Macro Photo Conference 2016

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Sponsored by Tamron and Hunt’s Photo

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This is a unique annual photo conference dedicated to macro photography. I’ve always wanted to design a program where professional photographers could come together and teach their skills in macro photography and post processing techniques to those who want to learn, and advance their macro photography to the next level.
This Macro Photo Conference will have plenty of how-to lectures and five hours of photographing with varying subject matter. The speakers will be available to help participants with composing subjects and technical aspects. So you need to bring your camera, macro lens, and tripod.
Speakers will have their books available, and will be happy to sign them for you.
We will also have a discussion on getting your images published, and selling through stock agencies with former Outdoor Photographer Magazine editor Rob Sheppard, and KAC Stock Agency owner Kathy Adams Clark.
The Crazy Frog Lady, Lisa Cuchara will have her exotic frogs back again for you to photograph.
Leading New England photo retailer Hunt’s Photo will be there selling lots of photo products. Tamron will have a tech rep on hand with lenses available for you to try out.
There will be a limit of 100 participants, and it should sell out quick. Last year we had participants from 16 different states.
Location:
Ramada Hotel
213 Taunton Ave, Seekonk, MA 02771
(508) 336-8700
Dates: October 29th and 30th 2016
Times: Saturday 8:00am to 6pm – Sunday 8:00am – 3pm
Cost: $199

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For those flying in, use the T.F. Green Airport (PVD) in Warwick, Rhode Island which is about 20 minutes from the hotel.
The hotel has an airport shuttle service if you don’t want to rent a car.
Rooms at the hotel range from $99, $109, and $119. To register for a room at these rates ask the Macro Photo Conference rates. (508) 336-8700.

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Speakers

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Mike Moats

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Mike is an international award winning professional macro photographer. His images and articles have been published in Outdoor Photographer Magazine, Natures Best Magazine, Shutterbug, PC Photo Magazine, Nature Photographer Magazine, Photolife, Whisper In The Woods, Michigan Game Finder, NANPA’s Expressions Books, Pure Michigan Book, Tamron’s blog,and Fujifilm’s Newsletters. Mike has won numerous local and international awards, and is a member of Tamron’s “Image Masters”. Mike offers many options to learn about macro photography. http://www.tinylandscapes.com
The Properly Equipped Macro Photographer
As a pro macro photographer I am asked many times what is the equipment that I use. In this video I will cover the camera, lenses, tripod/head and all the accessories that I use to make my living. Hunt’s photo will have all the products that Mike talks about for sale at the conference.

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Tony Sweet

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Tony is a Nikon Legend Behind the Lens and a GuraGear Pro.
Tony has authored five books on the art of photography: Fine Art Nature Photography (’02), Fine Art Flower Photography (’05) Fine Art Nature Photography: Water, Ice, Fog (’07), Fine Art Digital Photography (’09) and HDR Photography (2011). He and Masterphoto Workshops have co-produced four photography DVDs: Visual Artistry, HDR Made Easy, Visual Literacy and Flower Photography Artistry, as well as an iPhone instructional video series. His Creativity Seminar Video is available and “On Location-Cape Cod” will be released for digital download, April 2016.
After successful careers as a jazz musician/ educator, and professional magician, Tony settled on photography as his chosen means for personal expression. Tony has become an in-demand speaker throughout the United States and Canada on creativity in the digital age.
Tony and Susan Milestone conduct Visual Artistry photography location workshops in the United States, Canada, and Iceland. Tony maintains an active speaking schedule to photography organizations, industry trade shows and PPA schools across the continental United States and Canada. He also conducts an annual Visual Artistry Creativity Seminar series.
Tony’s photography is published worldwide in every medium and is represented by Getty Images. His iPhone photography is represented by Aurora Photos. Tony’s images are also used by Nikon, MacPhun, Singh Ray, Alien Skin, Topaz, Lensbaby and others for national ad campaigns.
An interview with Tony on macro photography was published in The New York Times.
Tony and Susan live in Eldersburg, MD with cat-child, Akira.
Macro and Post Processing
Tony will discuss macro subject selection, composition, macro gear, and will illustrate processing a variety of macro images amply illustrating the creative use of plugins such as Nik, Topaz, and more. Processing using ACR and Luminosity masks will be illustrated, also. Questions are encouraged throughout the presentation.

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Rob Sheppard

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Rob Sheppard is a photographer, author, naturalist and nature photographer, editor and videographer. Rob is a Fellow with the North American Nature Photography Association, and many people also know him as the long-time, previous editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine. He has written many books and magazine articles but what is most important to him about them is knowing that he has helped people become better photographers and gain a better connection to nature. Some of the books he has done: Landscape Photography: From Snapshot to Great Shot, Macro Photography: From Snapshot to Great Shot, The Magic of Digital Nature Photography, National Geographic Field Guide to Digital Photography, and 6 Steps to Better Nature Photography (available from website). His website is at
http://www.joyofnatureandphotography.com,
blog at http://www.natureandphotography.com.
The Spectacular View of the Wide-Angle Close-Up
Most people put on a macro lens for close-up and macro work but go no further than that. Yet, there is a whole new world of close-up shooting that will open up to you when you shoot with a wide-angle focal length up close, including macro distances. It changes everything! And will give you images that few other photographers will have. That doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges to doing this, though. Rob will ofter ideas, equipment thoughts and tips on how you can change your approach to macro and master this amazing approach to nature.

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Don Komarechka

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Don Komarechka is a nature, macro and landscape photographer located in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. From auroras to pollen, insects to infrared, much of Don’s photographic adventures reveal a deeper understanding of how the universe works. Don uses photography as a way to explore and understand the world around him. Photographing something unusual or unknown is the perfect excuse to learn something new. Don’s work often pushes up against the technical limitations of modern camera equipment and the physical limitations of light itself.
“Pushing the limits of light while still producing visually stunning images is my passion. If someone is captivated enough to re-evaluate the world around them, I’ve done my job.”
The Beauty of Physics:
Magical Macro from Geometry and Bending Light
Macro photographers play by a different rulebook. The challenges faced from the subject matter, the equipment and even the laws of physics make this a challenging genre of photography. It can be abstract, it can tell stories, and it can spark your imagination. It’s a study of lines, shapes and colours in a very technical way.
Step into a world of photography that most artists consider magical. Photographing refracted images within water droplets reveals not only the beauty of simple physics, but it opens the creative doors to unlimited possibilities in macro photography. The same admiration of simple physics can be seen in every snowflake; the admiration can quickly shift to frustration, but with the right tools and techniques, winter becomes a much more tolerable season for those with an eye for details. In the end, the hardest part is simply finding or creating the most beautiful subject.
Specific discussion of the challenges of depth of field and focus stacking will be discussed, as well as many reasons why extreme macro photography can be accomplished entirely handheld – and why this can be an advantage.

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Donna Eaton

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Donna Eaton has been a full time professional photographer since 2008. A native of North Carolina she now lives on 6 acres in upstate of South Carolina with her husband, dog, and cats. She spent eleven years as the staff photographer for a raptor rehabilitation and education center before venturing out on her own as a pro photographer. Donna is known for her creative vision and artistic images, and seeing with her heart through her camera. Donna loves teaching and sharing her knowledge with her students, and enjoys watching them grow as photographers. She conducts workshops and is a featured speaker. She has been a leader for NANPA Regional Events, and she is an instructor at John C Campbell Folk School and Bryan Peterson’s School of Photography. Her work is represented by Fogstock and Getty Images.
The Creative Garden, Adventures in Flower Photography
Donna will share information about the creative techniques, thought process, equipment, and effects that she uses to capture creative images of flowers.

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Kathy Adams Clark

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Kathy Adams Clark has been a professional nature photographer since 1995. She runs the stock agency KAC Productions that represents the work of 15 photographers. Kathy’s photos have been published in hundreds of places including AAA Journey,Nature’s Best, New York Times, Birder’s World, and Ranger Rick. Texas Parks & Wildlife and Texas Highways magazines have used Kathy’s photos on their cover. Her photos have also appeared in a numerous books and calendars including the Barnes & Noble Ireland Countryside Calendar, the cover of the Arbor Foundation Rainforest Calendar, and the Sierra Engagement Calendar. Her photos appear every week in the “Nature” column in the Houston Chronicle written by her husband, Gary Clark. Kathy and Gary have published six books and have one more in the works that combine their photography and writing skills.
Kathy’s photography is featured in Portrait of Houston published in 2012 by FarcountryPress. Photographing Big Bend National Park, published in 2013 by Texas A&M Press, is written by Kathy and uses her photography throughout.
Kathy is Past-president of the North American Nature Photography Association. She teaches photography and is a popular speaker at local and national events. She leads photo workshops to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Africa, Italy, Peru and Morocco through Strabo Tours.
Photographing Butterflies
Butterflies can be found almost everywhere. They live on high alpine tundras, low arid deserts, moist tropical jungles, and temperate backyard gardens. Butterflies shimmer with iridescent scales and blend into the leaf litter with muted brown tones. These lovely insects can be a challenge to photograph because they are constantly moving from place to place. Join Kathy Adams Clark to learn how to capture stunning photos of butterflies. Learn how to stalk butterflies, what’s going on in the mind of a butterfly, how to anticipate behavior, and how to find butterflies. This educational session will also include equipment needed for butterfly photography such as macro lenses, extension tubes, close-up lenses, flashes, and focus stacking. Kathy will also illustrate how butterflies can be photographed with basic equipment and a camera with any lens.

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Lisa and Tom Cuchara

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Lisa, PhD, HonNEC, and Tom, MNEC, are passionate about photography, both behind the lens and in the digital darkroom. They love to photograph nature. From birds and flowers to babies and HDR, they appreciate the world around them and embrace the challenge of interpreting what their eyes see and their hearts feel via their photography. Tom and Lisa are both very active in many local and national photography organizations. They have had many successful gallery exhibitions and their photographs have appeared in Adirondack Life, Wild Bird, Birder’s World, in calendars, on the cover of the Wolf Conservation Calendar and on the cover of paperback novel. Their images have won awards at the local, state, national, and international levels. They have presented a variety of instructional programs and workshops (Photoshop, Digital Workflow, HDR, RAW processing, Macro photography, Travel photography, plus fun and interesting travelogue slideshows) at NECCC, PPA, PSA, plus many other camera clubs and other organizations. Check out their photo and editing classes, their photo tours and workshops, and view their photographs at http://www.photographybylisaandtom.com/
“It’s all in the Details”
Slow Down, Stop, and Explore the “everyday details” that are all around us. We will talk about our approach to capturing the intimate details of historic and abandoned buildings, urban decay, gears, old cars, rust, etc. We lust for rust. We will discuss technical, aesthetic, and creative aspects of closeup photography. The program will introduce some equipment and techniques used to bring out the beauty and drama of these subjects. The use of a light tent as a controlled lighting setup for a variety of subjects will also be presented.

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Ken Hubbard

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Ken Hubbard works for Tamron as the Field Services manager. In addition to taking photographs for the company-for national and international use, he acts as a trainer for new products and technology, sets up and works on all aspects of Tamron field workshops, and as the title suggests- is a supervisor for all aspects of the industry trade shows. Both on the job and off, you can always find him looking for another unique image to fill his camera’s viewfinder.
Ken will be speaking about the Tamron lens options for the macro photographer and answer any tech questions you have.

 

Don’t wait – Sign up now click here

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My Vanguard Tripod

Posted: February 9, 2016 in Uncategorized
As a macro photographer I need a tripod that has the ability to maneuver my camera into all kinds of angles, and also be able to get my camera right down on the ground if I need.  The Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT is the perfect tripod for accomplishing this task.
This tripod has great stability and flexibility, enabling more angle possibilities than ever before. Its innovative Multi-Angle Central Column (MACC) System allows users to move the central column from zero to 180-degree angles in variable vertical and horizontal positions making macro-photography and special wide-angle shots a breeze.
The Instant Swivel Stop-n-Lock (ISSL) System securely repositions the central column in one simple movement, in just a few seconds, while maintaining the tripod’s stability. Other features include advanced camera vibration and shock control, legs that adjust to 25, 50 and 80-degree angles. Non-slip, spiked rubber feet for changing terrains and a removable hook for hanging camera accessories. Alta Pro 263AT is aluminum alloy and has quick-flip leg locks.
The next best thing about this tripod is it’s price, it’s very affordable at only $149. Tripod only, heads are sold separately.
Check it out here. https://www.huntsphotoandvideo.com/detail_page.cfm?productid=263AT&mfg=Vanguard&show=yes

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Website click here
Macro Workshops click here
”Macro Online Course click here
”Creating Art With Macro E-Book click here
Macro Photo Conference click here
You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com
To save 15% on Topaz products click here
Macro Blog Links, Tips, Tricks, and Techniques http://www.macrostoreonline.com
Like my Facebook Page
Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.

 

 

 

15% Discount on Topaz Software

Posted: February 8, 2016 in Uncategorized
Save yourself 15% when purchasing any processing software programs from Topaz.
Click HERE and use my name “Moats” in the discount code to save 15% on your purchase.

Giant Trees

Posted: February 8, 2016 in Uncategorized
Last year when I was in California teaching workshops I got a chance to visit the Sequoia National Park and was amazed at the size of these trees. They grow close to the top of a mountain which is a crazy twisting, turning, slow16 mile long road to get up to the top. If you get motion sickness take Dramamine before you drive up.  I first hiked to see the largest of the Sequoia’s called General Sherman. Very impressive but I couldn’t get near it to take a picture of me standing next to it so you can see the enormous size, plus the sun was blasting on the trunk making it useless to shoot. I did find one large tree that was right next to the trail that I could pose by to give you some scale of these trees.

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Here is a shot of a hiker in red pants, black top on the right side of the tree, look how tiny he is.

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Not much in the way of macro here to shoot, as the understory is just dirt covered in needles, and leaves and very little plant life anywhere. I did take a few macro shots that I’ll post another day. Here are some images of the tree.

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Website click here
Macro Workshops click here
”Macro Online Course click here
”Creating Art With Macro E-Book click here
Macro Photo Conference click here
You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com
To save 15% on Topaz products click here
Macro Blog Links, Tips, Tricks, and Techniques http://www.macrostoreonline.com
Like my Facebook Page
Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.
I’m really looking forward to Don Komarechka’s presentation this year at the Macro Photo Conference 2016, sponsored by Tamron and Hunt’s Photo. I have heard nothing but awesome things about Don and his macro photography work, and that is why I asked him to come in this year to speak.  Don lives in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.
His program is called:
“The Beauty of Physics: Magical Macro from Geometry and Bending Light”
To find out more info and about the other great speakers at this years Macro Photo Conference, click here
Check out Don’s images.

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Don’s website, http://www.donkom.ca/

 

 

Places to Shoot

Posted: February 5, 2016 in Uncategorized
If you are ever in the Santa Cruz area check out the University of California Santa Cruz Botanical Garden. Lots of great stuff to shoot.

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Website click here
Macro Workshops click here
”Macro Online Course click here
”Creating Art With Macro E-Book click here
Macro Photo Conference click here
You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com
To save 15% on Topaz products click here
Macro Blog Links, Tips, Tricks, and Techniques http://www.macrostoreonline.com
Like my Facebook Page
Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.