Archive for The Camera Store

The Weekly Photo – June 6 – Tilt Shift Magic

Posted in Art of Photography, Articles about Photography, eBooks, Good News, Image Processing and Software, Instruction, Photography Gear, TCBlog, Techniques, VWBlog, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2011 by Darwin

©Darwin Wiggett

The photo above was taken on the Spring Photo Tour in the Canadian Rockies. I shot this image at sunset at the Kootenay Plains Reflecting Pools (my unofficial name for the place – click on the photo to see it larger). I used a Canon 24mm Tilt-Shift lens for three distinct advantages:


First, I used the shift feature to correct the perspective in the scene. With a normal 24mm lens the camera would be pointed down to take in the foreground deer skeleton and the trees in the background would distort and look like they are falling into the frame – yech! With the shift feature on the 24 TS-E lens, I simply leveled the camera back so that it was parallel to the trees and then shifted the lens down to take in the deer skeleton. The result are straight trees in the background with no distortion.

Second,  I  also used the shift feature to give me a wider field of view than a 24mm lens can give. In a single frame I could just get the skeleton and the tops of the mountain in the scene, nothing more. I wanted more sky than the 24mm lens could take in, so I shifted the lens up and took a second photo which was easily merged into a wider rectangle using Photo Merge in Photoshop CS5.

Finally, I used the tilt feature for enhanced depth-of-field. With tilt I got everything sharply focused from near to far by tilting into the plane of focus (see scheimpflug rule). Tilt can give you depth-of-filed from inches from the lens to infinity – very cool!

If you don’t know the advantages and creative power of Tilt Shift lenses for landscape photography and if you want to try out and learn how to use Tilt Shift lenses (Canon or Nikon) then be sure to come out to a seminar and field workshop by Samantha and I entitled: The Tilt-Shift Lens Advantage for Outdoor and Nature Photographers where we will demystify these powerful tools and show how they can be used in an easy to understand way. This hands on session is limited to 15 spots and we’ll have lenses on hand or bring your own lenses. The session is held in Calgary, June 11 1-4PM – see this link or email or call 403-234-9935 for more information.

Speaking of Samantha, she has just published an article for those unsure of using Social Media in photography – To Tweet or not to Tweet – check it out to see if you are a tweeter or not. So far I haven’t taken the plunge into the the twittery world….

And those of you who are fans of eBooks and like to promote the ones you find useful to friends and colleagues we are happy to announce that both Visual Wilderness (VW) and How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies (HTPTCR) websites now offer affiliate programs so that you get a percentage of any referrals you make. Help us spread the word and get paid and buy new camera goodies!

VW Affliate Program

HTPTCR Affliate Program

Finally, Here is one more sample of how to use the shift feature on Tilt Shift lenses to create megapixel wide scenes:

I took these three photos below with the lens shifted up, in the center position and then shifted down. In Photoshop all three images overlapped perfectly and Photo Merge in Photoshop CS5 aligned them perfectly into the final image (the fourth one below – from the Kootenay Plains Reflecting Pool – click to see the photo larger).

Lens shifted up

Center image - no shift

Lens shifted down

Final Image


More on Serious Photography

Posted in Good News, Humor, Photography Gear, Videos with tags , , , , on May 19, 2011 by Darwin

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I think photography is a ‘serious’ endeavor. I mean really, what is more important than taking pictures??? (Well, maybe playing with gear, but that’s another post).

My friends over at The Camera Store have made a great new video called Battle at F-Stop Ridge – check it out! Serious stuff!

Upcoming Camera Store Seminars

Posted in Art of Photography, Image Processing and Software, Instruction, Photography Gear, Techniques, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2011 by Darwin

Samantha and I are doing three seminars for The Camera Store in Calgary, Alberta. Below are the dates and the topics we are covering – click on the titles for more information:

The Complete Photo – Sat April 16, 1-3 PM

In this 2-hour seminar, Darwin and Samantha will show you how they approach a scene, distill the scene to the essence of the subject matter, and finally edit and process the resulting images. Darwin and Samantha will explain how to develop your personal style and creativity and will explain how to determine what images are worth keeping. Learn how personal vision affects how they choose their subject and how they portray and present that subject to their viewers.

Basic & Advanced Filters for Creative Digital Nature Photography – May 28, 2011, 1:30-3:30 PM

Think there’s no place for filters with digital nature photography? Think again! Discover which four filters are an essential component of every nature shooter’s photographic arsenal.

Capitalize on the benefits of filters and learn how to create evocative imagery while saving time in post-production. You will also find out which filters deliver effects that can’t be replicated in software no matter how talented you are behind the computer. Learn advanced techniques using multiple filters and add polish to your in-camera captures. And finally, learn how to build a filter system that will grow with you, no matter what gear you use.

There will be filters and filter systems on hand for you test out for yourself. Come and see why filters are critical tools even in the age of HDR and complex software processing.

The Tilt-Shift Lens Advantage for Outdoor and Nature Photographers – June 11, 1-4 PM

Discover why Tilt-Shift Lenses are the hottest lenses in nature and landscape photography. With Tilt-Shift lenses, dSLR photographers gain all the advantages of lens movements so important in large format landscape photography. Learn the benefits of tilting for precise control over depth-of-field and shifting for awesome perspective correction. See how Tilt-Shift lenses can open up the world of panoramic and stitched image photography without need for specialized accessories. Darwin and Samantha explore how Tilt-Shift lenses can be used creatively in the quest for the perfect nature photograph. Spend one hour in the classroom learning the theory and practical applications and two hours in the streets of Calgary exploring the use of Tilt-Shift lenses in real word scenarios. A limited number of Canon and Nikon Tilt-Shift lenses will be on hand to try out. Sign up early; space is limited.


©Darwin Wiggett

SNAP! Photography Seminars Weekend Workshop – 2011

Posted in Inspirations, Instruction, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2010 by Darwin

Samantha Chrysanthou, John Marriott and yours truly are happy to announce another SNAP! Photography Seminars event for 2011. We are returning to Baker Creek Chalets, October 27-30, 2011 to present an in-depth workshop style program with 7 hours of instruction and critique and over 20 hours of practice in the field. Imagine learning  photography surrounded by some of the finest scenery in western Canada under the watchful guidance of three of Canada’s best photo instructors. You’re sure to come away with new skills to ramp your photography up a notch. We will cover how to objectively evaluate your work, strengthen your compositions, use filters in the field to make better in-camera captures, master Live View, and get creative with lens choice and camera controls. Meals and accommodations included and we have a killer low spousal rate, so you can treat your loved one to a relaxing holiday while you learn and practice photography. Only 24 participants, so don’t wait.

Check out the photos below that were made by past participants in this workshop at Baker Creek. And cruise over to John’s blog to see more photos from our assignment “opposites attract’ (December 4th entry). As a wee incentive to get you to sign up early, we have a $250 gift certificate from The Camera Store in Calgary for the first person to book a spot, and a private 20 image portfolio critique by Samantha, John and me for the 7th person to sign up. For more information and to book your spot check out our pdf on the SNAP! Photography Seminars website.

©Dan Wotton

©Eric Bartlett

©Karen Ho Fatt

©Lee Sacrey

©Nicole Norris

©Richard Fenster

©Robert Skoye

©Sandy Pokorny

The Daily Snap – July 27

Posted in Photography Gear, Techniques, The Daily Snap with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2010 by Darwin

©Darwin Wiggett - Canon G11

I have been experimenting a bit with flash lately and I have been trying some set-ups that I learned in Ed Verosky’s wonderful  e-Book on flash photography (Click here to order Ed’s Flash e-Book)

One of the things I learned from Ed was that I needed a larger soft box to get more flattering light on my subjects so I bought a Cameron Octobox StobeEZ Kit (which I got yesterday from the Camera Store in Calgary). The kit comes with a stand, an octagon softbox and a clamp to attach a dSLR flash.  I mounted my Canon 580EZ onto a Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 Radio Slave which I mounted onto to the light stand. I put another Pocket Wizard onto the hot shoe of my Canon G11. One wizard sends a signal from the camera to the flash so that the flash fires when the shutter is open. I used the flip screen on the G11 pointed towards me as I took this self-portrait with the 10 second camera delay. I am planning to do some fill flash work with bright backgrounds and a  shaded subject. this is my first test of this set-up in my living room and the lighting looked pretty good (even if the model left much to be desired!). Here is what the shot looked like without the flash… the model looks better but the lighting is not great.The great thing about the G11 point-n-shoot is you can use complex flash set-ups with the camera if you want.

©Darwin Wiggett - Canon G11, no flash