Dec 29, 2009

Interview with Hans Zimmer: photography parallels

I came across this interview with the brilliant and well respected, Hans Zimmer -- you know, the guy who's composed just about every famous movie score you can think of (Rain Man, Gladiator, Lion King, Pearl Harbor, Black Hawk down, Power of One, The Dark Knight -- just to name a few).  His most recent work is for the new "Sherlock Holmes" movie, which I have yet to see, but plan on it soon.  As I listened, I found myself drawing several parallels to the life of a photographer.  I'm inspired by leaders in their respected fields and Hans is no different....It's worth a listen!

Click on the link below and scroll down a bit for the Audio interview

I put a few of Mr. Zimmer's thoughts below and then in italics some of my own as it relates to photography:

Opening minute: 
Coming off of one success (The Dark Knight) to making another success (Sherlock Holmes)

[If we've had a recent success in photography, how do we push through to the next project to make it as good (or better) than the last.  How does the pressure affect us, etc.]

Minute 2:10 (how he concepts his ideas)
-Writes based on a concept, Watches the movie, Sits down with director (in this case Guy Ritchie) to hash out some ideas - irish music, gypsy music in the beginning of this one.
-How to make sequels (Pirates of the Carribeans was his first sequel).  Use all of the original tunes, but quickly got boring...

For Dark Knight - pretended he didn't have anything to start with and didn't reference Batman Begins when sitting down to write the music for The Dark Knight.

[I was thinking in terms of getting re-hired by a client or getting hired to shoot the same shot you've done before for another client.  It can at times, feel boring or without life.  How do we shoot with new life each time even if it's a project, concept or shot that we've done a million times?  Any thoughts here?]

Minute 5:45:
What it's like to watch the movie all the way through with an audience for the first time and what their reaction is like. "2 seconds before they raised their hand, felt like ten years..."

[This sets up to be a perfect visual in my mind as I see Hans Zimmer, Guy Ritchie and producers anticipating the reaction of their first audience to scenes, reveals and music they've spent hour upon hour rehearsing shooting and editing.  As photographers, we spend this excessive time ourselves, especially when shooting commissioned work where satisfying the clients demands is top priority.  However, whether being paid or not, whenever we put our best work out there, watching our own "audience" react can be extremely nerve racking.  Each time I press the [send] button on an email to a client with work from a project, a little prayer is offered in hopes that I've hit the proverbial ball out-of-the-park.  I've had my fair share of balls that didn't quite make it to the pitching mound as well as the occasional home run.  When the audience (client) doesn't provide a standing ovation, there is a little engine that fires up within and works to understand where things may have gone wrong and practices over and over to improve upon it for the next round (I'll be the first to admit this can get out of hand sometimes if you overanalyze like myself).  Going back to the "fail video", I recently posted.  there is absolutely nothing wrong with missing the mark as all people fail and great people fail often.  The caveat is that you've absolutely given everything you had to the intended shoot/project.  If I've put everything into a project, as alluded to by Mr. Zimmer next, at the end of the day, I can go to sleep feeling satisfied without needed the applause of the audience.  I am the first and most important audience to please independent of the critics and voices out there.  Being true to ourselves as artists in this regard brings those projects (both personal and paid) that we most enjoy anyway]

Really interesting from minute 6:45 on..."We put everything into these movies.  We put all of our heart and soul."

[The great artists, entrepreneurs, and people find a way to put their whole "heart and soul" into something.  They completely immerse themselves into their chosen field.  Even within photography, it's easy to start shooting a particular subject or type of work because it's, quote, paying the bills.  This is a good reminder to A) put everything we have into a project and B) go after those shoots and subjects we are most passionate about shooting]

Minute 27:59:
"At the end of the day you write (shoot) for yourself"
"Be bold about it. Don't be shy."
Minute 30:
"The job is to get better.  The job is to learn something.  The job is to have new ideas."
Minute 30:30:
"If you stop running, it must be really hard to get the muscles back up....the idea muscle"

[This is my favorite block of quotes from the interview.  Here you have an extremely successful composer/artist that is talking about getting better at his craft and learning something new every day.  If there's a list of people that have "made it" in their respective fields, he would probably be on that list and yet it sounds like his mentality is likely the same as it was on his first major motion picture.  We are always growing as photographers; finding new ways to express ourselves and challenge ourselves.  Exercise the muscle as often as possible!] 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the interview.  Any new insights or parallels you can draw personally or professionally?  I look forward to a good discussion!

Dec 21, 2009

Live Portrait

I find something completely fascinating by this "living" portrait, shot by David Stewart.  Great work david!  I can imagine a lot of great frames if you were shooting a still portrait here as well.  The first thing I'm drawn to, as in any great portrait (moving or still), are those amazing eyes. The power of the eyes in a portrait are central to telling the story.  Furthermore, I wonder where this young lady just came from, what she is thinking, what she is watching or listening to as this video is taking place.  The great portrait photographers seem to be able to establish a quick connection with the person they are photographing.  It's as if for a time, the camera doesn't really exist and it's simply two people sharing a connection that makes a great picture (or in this case video).  What really strikes me about this piece, is that the connection is really there.  I think there's something to learn for still photographers here as we all too often have that awkward time right before we start snapping pictures where the subject isn't quite sure what to do, where to stand or how to look.  Is there something to learn from thinking about a portrait in terms of motion?  Maybe so...
Give us your thoughts.
Kevin Winzeler Photography
Utah Photographer

Dec 12, 2009

Follow your dreams! (Joe McNally: Letter to a Young Photographer)

Advice from Joe McNally to a young photographer (age 19) looking for direction... just in case you missed it.  It's well worth the read!

Here's a piece that really stuck out to me...

"One thing my dad did tell me, and it has echoed in my ears for a long time. He was the quintessential corporate man, a salesman, and in his later years, he became disgusted with the ways of his world, and told me on numerous occasions, “hang out your own shingle.” Which is what I have done, and been happy to have done. The jalopy called McNally Photography has transmission trouble, a couple of flat tires, and not all the cylinders fire, but it still moves, and I drive it where I want to go. There is a great deal of value and satisfaction in that, as I look back. I’m still standing, and lots of others fell away or played it safe or never tried."



Kevin Winzeler Photography
Utah Photographers
Advertising Photographers

Dec 3, 2009

What Camera, Lights and Software should I buy? ($1,000 to spend)

I get asked at least once a day from people getting into photography, what I would "recommend" when  buying a camera, lighting equipment and software.  I had the opportunity to speak to a group of creatives this past week on "Photography: Tools of the Trade" and put together this little hand-out to serve as a quick introduction to newcomers and hope you'll find some useful info yourself.  I've made all of the following information available as a free resource to download here: Photography: Tools of the Trade.  Feel free to print it and share it!


Think of camera shopping like marriage.  You are selecting a companion for the long haul, so make a good choice.  When you buy a camera you are buying into a system that will grow with time and become a substantial investment if you pursue photography long-term. 

#1 Tip - Go spend as much time prior to buying into the system as possible. Visit local stores, borrow your friends camera and decide what you like and dislike about certain systems first.

TWO MYTHS Dispelled:
#1 I need more Megapixels  --  
Did you know? 

-A Four (4) Megapixel picture will completely fill a 30” monitor? (2560 pixels X 1600 pixels)
-10 Megapixel camera makes beautiful 20”x30” prints!

#2 Camera body determines image quality. Not completely. 
factors in order of importance:
1) Light
2) Lenses
3) Post-production
4) Camera body 


"You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn't waste either." - Galen Rowell

Understanding light is more important than anything else in this post.  Study it and learn how to use it.

Bow Hunting Image:
Canon 5D with Canon 24-105 Lens
Canon 580EX II x 2 with Pocket Wizards Triggers
Post-production Composite: Lightning, Cloud layer and Partial Rain (via Photoshop CS3)

1) Sun (Always light #1 to consider)
2) Reflectors (light #2 - portable, cheap)
3) Strobes (don’t be afraid)
*What I use:
a) Small Lights
-Speedlights (Canon 580 EX IIs)
b) Big Lights:
-Elinchrom RX600 & Ranger
c) Wireless triggering:

Pocketwizards Plus II’s


What is RAW and why use them?
1) Highest quality, most flexible file type
Ability to change the White Balance (temperature) on the fly (in post-production)
Dynamic range is greater
Recover blown out highlights

When do I shoot in Jpeg format?
Family gatherings or events (quick to share)
Need more buffer than RAW allows (Sports)

Software I use:
Picasa - Free
iPhoto - Mac Only (free)
Lightroom- $199 (my recommendation for workflow and 90% of editing)
Photoshop CS4 - $650

iMovie & Final Cut (video)

*BACK YOUR UP IMAGES TODAY! It’s Cheap!  500GB for less than $100. 

Quick Tips for Great Pictures:

1) Compose your subject anywhere except the center of the image.  Try cutting out a small, square sticky note and paste it right in the center of your LCD as a reminder
2) Stop shooting at Noon.  Go out at sunrise or sunset for some beautiful “golden hour” light.
3) Shoot at different heights. Experiment taking pictures laying on the ground or standing on a ladder.
4) Force yourself to go manual; understand how shutter speed, aperture and ISO work together for exposure and effects.

Trail Running Image:
Canon 5D Mark II with Canon 16-35 II f/2.8 Lens
Elinchrom Ranger Pack w/ Single Light and Small Square softbox, triggered via Pocket Wizards Plus II”s
Post-production: Lightroom 2 + Photoshop CS3.  Minor contrast, dodge and burning


FIRST, go to a store, borrow from a friend and find out:
1- How does the camera feel in your hand
2- Play with menus, settings and functions
3- Remember this is a marriage, spend time courting

A) Two Camera Options

$850 - Nikon 5000 + 2 lens kit (Amazon) OR
$899 - Canon T1i + 2 Lens kit + 4gb (Costco)

B) Accessories
$89 - Lowepro Slingshot 200 bag
$100 - Tripod

$Free - Picasa or iPhoto

Kevin Winzeler Photography
Contact us for photography, workshops and speaking engagements: 801.319.8023,

Nov 27, 2009

Black Friday Special - 2010 Calendars For Sale

The 2010 Calendars are done and ready to ship!  I am extremely happy with the results this year and the price is killer.  Choose from the adventure calendar featuring photography of sports like Skiing, Kayaking, Surfing, Rock Climbing, mountain and road biking, Snowboarding and more.  The landscape calendar features photography from all over the United states including the National Parks of southern Utah to beautiful tropics of Hawaii. Pick up one calendar for $13.99 or three for just $10.99 a piece.


Nov 24, 2009

Bird. Photography.

If you haven't seen Andrew Zuckerman's photography before, you are in for a treat.  Over the weekend, I had a chance to browse, study and appreciate his latest offering to the world in the form of a project he calls  "Bird".  The personality and detail he's draws out of his subjects is mindblowing.  This got me thinking of a white seamless project I need to start!

Also, check out his last project called "Wisdom" where he traveled the globe photographing and interviewing some of the most promiment people of the 20th century in search of "pearls of Wisdom".  I don't buy many fine art photography books, but this one is on the Christmas list.


Utah Photographer
Advertising Photographer
Sports Photographer
Salt Lake City Photographers

Nov 17, 2009

A few days of peace: Landscapes in Zion National Park

I'm a sucker for landscape photography, especially during Autumn.  I'm also the first to admit, that it's kind of crazy to take a so-called break from commercial photography by continuing to pick up the camera and shoot more pictures.  However, there's something completely different when you are in a National Park at sunrise, without the thought of a shot list, strobes, assistants, art and creative directors and all the other intricacies that makes up the world of advertising photography, that is simply refreshing.  You, the camera, and some of God's magnificent creations all come together as the perfect escape from the 9-5 job.  Shooting in Zion National Park was this much needed break and since it's a relatively short jaunt from where I live (3.5 hours or so from Salt Lake City, Utah), it was a no brainer.

I'm wrapping up my 2010 Landscape and Adventure Photography calendars this week and after last year's extensive "artists statement" found on the opening page, I've decided to keep it short and sweet this year...

"There's a lot of noise in the world.  Find some place to ponder each day, preferably outside."

Gear Used:
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 24-105 Lens
B+W Circ Polarizer
Clik Packs

Utah Landscape Photography
Utah Photographer
Advertising Photographer

Nov 9, 2009

2009 "SHOT OF THE YEAR" - Skiing Magazine

Sweet photo eh? Any takers on the lighting set-up (hint: lot's of bounce fill, via snow), equipment used or what sweet, vintage Lightroom preset was applied?  I'm sure the shot was taken with some sweet Kodak Gold Max 800 film and whatever camera they used back in the day (me at age 4).  I doubt my parents ever proclaimed themselves sports photographers, but I can't thank them enough for putting me on skis at such an early age!

If you'll indulge me, I'd like to take a quick trip down memory lane. For starters, I'm pretty sure I jumped on my first pair of skis at the ripe age of 3. My dad would haul the munchkins (me, bro & sis) up to Breckenridge Ski resort, a good four hours from our home in Fort Collins, Colorado. We would make this trip at least twice during the winter months and since my birthday was in February I'd usually talk him into taking me on a third trip, "weekender birthday bash", to get a few more days on the slopes. Fast forward a few years and we landed in Utah, home to the best ski conditions anywhere. When my 10th birthday rolled around I hauled my mom to the local sporting good store to pick out a brand new pair of Rossignol skis, after having saved $60 the entire year (parents threw down the rest). I wish I still had those bad boys! The fun continued in Park City, Utah, where I attended high school and somehow talked that same mother into letting me end classes most Thursdays and Fridays by noon. 100+ days a year was always the goal and we usually hit at least that number. That 'bout brings us to the present day... (plus 10 or so more years...shhhhh).

So, when the Art Director of Photography for Skiing Magazine called recently to inform me that one of my images had been chosen as one of two "2009 Shots of the Year", you can imagine my excitement. Skiing is in my blood and photography is an extension of that. When I go out to shoot, I go with a passion to convey an emotion with help those who have never touched snow to know what it feels like to peer out your bedroom window before sunrise and see huge flakes floating to the earth; to be the first person in the lift line on a waist deep powder day and after an anxious ride up the mountain, float effortlessly through the white stuff, screaming at the top of your lungs 'cause your having so much fun. That's part of the motivation behind much of my imagery and the reason I love to shoot what I shoot.

Thanks mom and dad! Thanks Skiing Magazine! And thanks to athlete Jared Allen!

A great ski image is only as good as the Athlete involved and huge props go to Athlete, Jared Allen for his pristine form and huge air. Jared is not only a phenomenal skier, but a fantastic designer and one of the coolest guys on the mountain. Check out more of his skiing at

Tech stuff:
Canon 5D Mark II - 1/640th, f/10, ISO 500
Lens: Fisheye 15mm
Lighting: Natural (diffused ambient)

Location: Snowbasin, Utah

Nov 2, 2009


Hey mom and dad - look, I'm not a failure! :)

Okay, this video clip should not be used as an excuse if you are lazy and need a something to justify your actions. However, for the majority of us out there who work hard to improve our photography skills, whether professional or not, sometimes life just calls us a "failure". This little clip will inspire you to keep moving, despite what other people are saying.

You've probably heard or seen a few of these stories before, but I'll bet you'll find a new takeaway at the end of the 76 seconds and decide to do something you may very well fail at. I'm sure you can make your own list of things you would do "if you knew you could not fail", but for the record, here are a few things that I need to do:
  1. Call the executive at xyz company and schedule an appointment to present my work
  2. Approach 5 strangers on the street for a portrait session
  3. Enter the Leadville 100 mountain bike race (as a rider :)
  4. Work on my public speaking
We've all heard the "failing speech" before. I'll be the first to admit that sometimes failing at one thing will push us to an area we are better to pursue anyway (read the book Strengthfinder 2.0). However, the greatest accomplishments in my lifetime have come after repeated failures. This happens all of the time in photography, especially location work, where things can be somewhat unpredictable. Take this sports photography image of a water skier. This image was created as a personal project, but with completely different intentions than the outcome here. My original concept was to capture an action shot of a water skier at the peak of a cut from within the water. We hit some horrible weather about half-way out to our location and had to turn the boat around. To avoid total failure, we decided to shoot a lifestyle shot that would still capture the essence of water skiing. We sped back to the harbor, to avoid the approaching lightning storm. With waterproof camera case in hand, I jumped into the water (not advised during lightning storm) and within about 5 minutes, I knew I had a nice image with quite a bit more drama than I had originally anticipated to work with. For those interested, the lighting set-up was a single light, camera left without any diffusion and held by brave assistant (light stands are not advised during a lightning storm). Plan A had failed, miserably. We didn't even Ski! Because we were open to other possibilities, the failure turned into one of my favorite images. Now, it doesn't always happen like this; and if this had been an advertising photography campaign shoot, with a high paying client, creative director on set and the whole enchilada, then the concept would have been executed the next day or whenever the weather decided to let up. Even then though, there's still an opportunity during some of those shoots to trust your instinct as a photographer, what you see, convince those around you and create something anyway, sometimes better than what had been storyboarded. Failing is good. Okay! seriously. Fail quickly and frequently and most importantly learn from those failures. Persistence pays off.

*Preferably, don't fail on high profile, once in a lifetime jobs (dream commercial clients & weddings come to mind).

Kevin Winzeler Photography

Oct 22, 2009

the STROBIST rocks! - Waterproof Case Q&A

I was extremely stoked to be featured on the blog of all blogs in the photography world this week, Strobist. I've followed David Hobby's blog now for several years, so when I opened up my email early Monday morning and read the subject line "Incominggggggg!" (I guess he crashed Platon's site not too long ago) from David Hobby, I was pumped to say the least [link here Kevin Winzeler on Strobist]. It's great to be able to contribute a little bit to the Strobist community and I've appreciated all the positive comments, emails and people checking out my photography and blog thus far.

I've had several requests to break down some of the lighting techinques in the Real Salt Lake video and Triathlon Video which I plan to do in upcoming posts as well as overviewing the post-production techniques involved. Comment within this thread with any specific requests you have and I'll do my best to answer questions and explain how I've done things.

First off, for those long-time followers, I've introduced a new section on my website with behind the scenes videos and photographs. Check it out here: Behind the Scenes Photography I'll do my best to keep this section updated with the latest videos, sketches, still shots and anything else that might help out. Again, feel free to send requests via the blog comments section here.

Since posting the behind the scenes Triathlon photography video, I also received quite a few questions about the "oversized ziplock" bag I was using. So here's a quick run down of the AXP100 Ewa-marine case here, and what I like and dislike about using this particular piece of equipment. It's one of those items in your arsenal that is absolutely essential for some shoots, like this Water Ski photograph or wakeboarding portrait, but can be a serious pain to use!

What I like:
  1. Lightweight & Packable - It folds almost flat, so I often carry it "just in case"
  2. Fits several sizes of camera bodies and lenses (Pro bodies or Consumer bodies alike)
  3. Pocket Wizard, Skyport, or Flash can be attached to body inside the case
  4. Completely waterproof (supposedly to 155 ft) :)
The pain factor:
  1. #1 Complaint: it's really, really hard to adjust camera settings. Once the camera is sealed in the bag, you can forget about turning the wheel on the back of a Canon camera to adjust exposure compensations or drive settings. Adjust your settings before the camera enters the case, period! This is particularly challenging when going under water. If I'm above the water as in the Triathlon shot, I set the camera up in manual mode and dial everything in. If I'm going under water, then Aperture priority gets the call.
  2. No zoom lenses....kinda. It's got somewhat of a telescoping port that would allow a little bit of zoom, but because of issue #1, it's difficult to actually zoom. Zoom lenses that actually telescope out are especially difficult. I use the following lenses in priority (all Canon): 16-35, 24-105 @ 24mm, 35 f/1.4, 100mm Macro.
  3. Focusing can be hit and miss. Forget about manual focusing unless your subject is stationary
  4. Take the strap off. It's a pain to get the camera in and out and make adjustments if your camera strap is attached.
  5. No way to attach it to a tripod. Some hard cases allow this.
I've heard a few mention that you really have put your DSLR into a ziplock bag for a in-water shoot. All I can say is that your insurance deductible must be a lot less than mine. The EWA bag is about the bare minimum I'm confident in using with my gear. A shot of me with the bag in action here

Oct 14, 2009

Latest stroke of inspiration: CCTV Ink Commercial

Typical day at the home office (non-photography day)...

Roll down to the office after hitting snooze on iPhone alarm and sleeping longer than I should have.

Plop down in chair and move mighty mouse around to wake sleepy mac pro from slumber...check
Quick glance at Calendar items for the day...check.
Bite of mini wheats...check.
Get out of chair. look out office window. Any cool cloud formations or light on local Timpanogos mountain?...check.
Look for inspiration...check.

This is the point, way too early in my day where I end up landing on who knows what photography, video, music, or other artistic website, thinking in my head how many amazingly creative and cool people there are in the world and how I hope someday I can be like them. It's a bit of a mix of pure inspirational euphoria and part depression when realization hits at how large the gap really is. I've found the trick is to draw energy off of the positive thoughts that come into my mind and ignore the ones that downplay my skills, ambition and goals in any way. It's also a chance to recognize other people in the world doing fantastic work and pause for a moment of appreciation. So on Tuesday, I had just a minute to browse for something inspirational in the midst of a few deadlines and ended up spending a good hour+ watching a sixty second commercial over and over, searching for the music, behind the scenes clips, info about the director Niko Tziopanos, analyzing ink frames, and saying in my mind, 'how'd they do that'. I love those moments, but man can they be distracting.

This weeks inspiring clip is an "ink" commercial for CCTV. 6 Weeks of production. 14-16 hour days with both day and night shifts for all the post-production work. And 60 seconds of genius. Check it out (btw - one favorite part is the sync of music and motion when the fish turn into birds and they take their first flap with instrumental picking up in the background; bravo)

Funny side note on the background music. I was really digging the instrumental blend in the background and pulled out Shazam on my iPhone trying to tag it, but was so stumped when it just wouldn't come up. Finally found, of course, at this level of production (hundreds of thousands if not more I'm sure), they budget in for composing artists and a sound design team....duh.
Will shortly be launching a video section in my advertising photography portfolio and video portfolios on soon.

Oct 12, 2009

Behind the Scenes | Trail Running in Kauai Hawaii

5 Reasons to take your next commercial photography assignment to Kauai, Hawaii (as if you really needed one!)

1- The best climate in the world to shoot in. You can actually get by with just the clothes on your back (or board shorts) when your airline (United in this case) loses your luggage for two and a half days!
2- An Island that's small enough to find super remote, virtually private locations, but large enough to host a Costco (hotdogs to feed the crew are essential).
3- Shooting in board shorts and flip flops (errr..."slippah's" as I was routinely corrected by the locals).
4- Locations, Locations, Locations: 1) Na Pali Coast 2) Waimea Canyon 3) Hanalei Bay 4) Pretty much anywhere you set foot after stepping off of the plane.
5- Aloha spirit! People were sooo cool! Models, Condo rental, etc. Everyone except the FedEx shipping people in Princeville who wanted to charge me like $15 per package to 'process' an FedEx order.

Okay, so we had a four days worth of commercial work to get done as well as a few on-going personal projects to continue while in Kauai, so I must admit I was pretty much in panic mode when my bags didn't arrive for over two days after landing. Fortunately, I always carry my camera, back-up camera and lenses on the plane with me. Lighting and other equipment was checked, but worst case scenario, I can find a rental house in most locations if the airline loses my checked gear. Monday around noon, I finally got the call I was praying for and the 3rd party courier was on his way to deliver my baggage...thanks you! (btw- do you tip this guy??)

Daniel (local trail runner and pretty much the nicest guy I've ever met), showed us around the island including helping find great trail running locations for our shoot. The day of shooting with him, he probably put in at least 10 solid miles of running up and down the Na Pali coast trail, the Power Line trail and a few others in order to capture multiple locations and a ton of unique angles, lighting styles, and looks.

Included in the bunch, was this shot and this shot. We were fortunate enough to have some really nice rolling clouds come over the mountains in the background, creating a nice sense of drama as well as a beautiful diffused light (backlight). As you can see in the video, we drove as far as we could in our rental Ford Explorer and then took the gear up a little bit further on the trail to a section that opened up over-looking Hanalei bay and the whole North Shore coast line. It was absolutely gorgeous. I decided to shoot just wide enough to capture the stunning location, but tight enough to be drawn into the runner his experience.

We used a combination of tools for the shoot all of which were essential in making the shots featured:

1) Location
2) Awesome Talent: Daniel
3) Main Camera: Canon 5D Mark II and 16-35 II lens
4) Lighting Equipment: Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed AS Battery Pack with A - Lite Head
5) Lighting Modifiers: Clouds, 27x27 Rotalux soft box minus the diffusion panel (Key)

Oct 8, 2009

New Canon 7D has arrived at my front door.

I'm not one to jump up and down about the newest, coolest, latest gear...but...why not once in a while...

Things I love about the new Canon 7D

1- Feels great in hand. New design feels much more natural in my hand than 50d, 40d, or even 5D Mark II
2- Wireless flash control. From the on-board pop-up flash, you can now control (wirelessly) speedlights. A first for Canon, but it's about time.
3- Ful 1080p HD video with dedicated switch - 60FPS in 720HD mode. 24p option in 1080 HD. Awesome!
4- Potential weather proofing resistance resistance (my major complaint with the 5D Mark II!)
5- Auto Focus Rocks! AI servo is on the money for horizontal and vertical shots
6- 8FPS
7- Price $1699. less than 2 years ago these features were $4-5,000 on a 1D body
8- High ISO looks pretty clean so far for stuffing 18megapixels into a cropped sensor
9- Same battery as 5D Mark II

Wish List:

a) Non-crop body or option for crop or no crop version. Although will be nice for some sports and wildlife, turning a 400mm lens effectively into a 640mm lens @ 18mp
b) Please bring these exact same features to a FULL FRAME version (5D Mark III or 3D).

2- Better WIRELESS control
a) Longer range than 10-12 feet
b) Wireless flash control with a 580 EX II sitting in the hotshoe. Okay, so let's say I want to control three speedlights (580 EX II's) for something similar to a shot like this bow hunting image. I two lights on each side of the subject and a little bit of fill flash on or near the camera. Right now, you can use the pop-up flash on the 7D to control external speedlights, but if I mount another 580EX II in the hotshoe, I lose control of adjusting the settings from the camera. You can still make all three flashes fire, but have no control of the power settings on the external flashes. This would be beautiful for jobs without multiple assistants.

How will I use the camera?

1) Sports photography, Wildlife Photography when long distance, fps, and AF tracking are important.
2) Moon photography. Throwing a 400 or 600mm lens with 1.4 and 2x Teleconverters will make for some really nice Moon images especially with the LiveView 10x focusing and 18MP to work with for cropping.
3) Slow Motion, 60FPS video. The 7D will function as a primary back-up camera for my commercial photography work and also another source of video shooting for both behind the scenes shoots as well as utilizing the 60FPS when I need to slow down the video - sports photography and video related work comes to mind first.

I'm extremely excited about this camera, especially at this price point. Canon's put out a pretty sweet set of features in this body. I may have more on the wish list once I've had the camera for more than a day. Will update soon.

Some more links:
Difference between true 60FPS on 7D and slowing down 5D Mark II to imitate 60fps

Oct 5, 2009

Magazines are changing! Video integrated in Outside Magazine article

This little clip from Alexx Henry featuring the motion shoot for an Outside magazine article and cover is pretty fascinating. What will the magazine racks of the future look like?

move still and video at