25 March 2022

Vernon Chalmers Photography now using WhatsApp Business

Vernon Chalmers Photography Support / Communications now also available via WhatsApp
Important Update: Vernon Chalmers Photography Support / Communications now also available via WhatsApp.

From this week I will be using WhatsApp Business for complimenting my current client support, pre-training and booking information.

The WhatsApp Business number for messaging / phone calls - direct link: wa.me/27608878087 or 060 887 8087

Due to training commitments I may not always respond immediately, but there will be an auto-responder message if this is the case.

Please note: This number is for photography training / support purposes only. Please do not add / invite Vernon Chalmers Photography to any WhatsApp group functionalities et al.

I trust this new communication channel will be of substantial assistance to current clients with Canon EOS / photography support requests and possible new clients with pre-training / specific learning information requests.

More Information: Vernon Chalmers Photography Training

Canon Photography Training Milnerton Woodbridge Island | Kirstenbosch Cape Town

21 March 2022

Vernon Chalmers Strategic Update

Vernon Chalmers Strategic Changes

Over the next few weeks I will be making some changes to my business, personal and research Websites / Social Media profiles.

Updating of new information and images on the Vernon Chalmers Photography website / Facebook Page will start as soon as possible.

Photography one-on-one training and in-studio / practical training sessions (at Woodbridge Island / Kirstenbosch) should resume later in 2022.

Changes will involve the following Vernon Chalmers websites:

Canon Camera News 2022 (new products / media releases / resources)
www.canoncameranews-capetown.info

Vernon Chalmers Photography Training (skills development / resources)
www.vernonchalmers.photography

Mental Health and Motivation (cognitive research / resources)
www.mylifereflections.net

Contact Vernon Chalmers for more information

Image: Copyright Free from Pixabay

Canon Photography Training Milnerton Woodbridge Island | Kirstenbosch Cape Town

20 March 2022

Updated: Canon Camera News 2022 Website

Updated: Canon Camera News 2022 Website
The Canon Camera News 2022 website (Domain Owner: Vernon Chalmers) is updated with a wide range of Canon Camera / Printer (and other accessories / resources) information.

There are more than 1260 articles / official Canon Press Releases / official Canon Videos / product pages with relevant and official Canon professional / enthusiast / consumer product information currently on the Canon Camera News website.

 All current Canon EOS DSLR / Mirrorless / Film body manuals should also be available now.

One of my main 2022 objectives with the Canon Camera News website is the regular update of all official Canon information on the Canon EOS Virtual Reality (VR) System. More Information

Listing of most of Canon's upcoming (to be released) EOS R bodies / RF lenses and related products (as rumours / speculation). As non-official Canon information / confirmations.
Listing of a wide variety of professional and consumer reviews / sample images of most of Canon's EOS / EOS R bodies and EF / RF lenses et al.

Listing of official Canon Global News, Media and Resources published since 2012 featuring a variety of professional, enthusiast and consumer Canon Camera et al gear:
  • Canon Official Press Releases
  • Canon Corporate News
  • Canon Corporate Events
  • Canon Sponsorships
  • Canon Humanitarian Relief Efforts
  • Canon Research / White Papers
  • Canon EOS R Mirrorless Press Releases
  • Canon EOS DSLR / EOS M Press Releases
  • Canon Speedlight Flash Press Releases
  • Canon PowerShot Press Releases
  • Canon Photography Competitions
  • Canon EF / RF / EF-S / EF-M lens Press Releases
  • Canon DPP Digital Desktop Professional Updates
  • Canon PIXMA and other printers
  • Canon EOS Firmware Updates
  • Canon EOS Virtual Reality
  • Canon Software Apps
  • Canon Projectors
  • Canon Binoculars


Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens Image Credit: Canon
Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens   Image Credit: Canon More

01 March 2022

The History of Photography

Links to Various Online History of Photography Resources and Information
History of Photography - Free PDF Downloads
Photo Credit:  Wikipedia

The History of Photography:  Free PDF Downloads & Links 
Taken literally, the Greek words photos and graphos together mean “light drawing”. Even today the term photography is being manipulated to fit digital imaging, but in its most elegant form, a photograph may best be described as a reasonably stable image made by the effect of light on a chemical substance. Light is energy in the form of the visible spectrum. If light or some other invisible wavelength of energy is not used to make the final picture by chemical means, it cannot, by this definition, be a photograph. (Source: History and Evolution of Photography)

A History of Photography
From the beginnings until the 1920's
Author: Dr Robert Leggat
Download >>

Making Sense of Document Photography
Author: James Curtis
Download >>

History and Evolution of Photography
Authors: Mark Osterman / Grant B. Romer
George Eastman House International Museum
of Photography and Film
Download >>

Portrait Photography
From the Victorians to the present day
Author: National Portrait Gallery
Download >>

Photography
A new art or yet another scientific achievement
Author: Alex Sirota
Download >>

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History of The Camera / Photography Links

Canon Camera Story
History of Canon Cameras
View >>


History of the Camera
Wikipedia
View >>

History of Photography Timeline
Photo.net
View >>


History of Photography Part 1: The Beginning
Photography Tutsplus
View >>


History of Photography and the Camera
Inventors About
View >>


History of Photography Podcasts
Photo History Jeff Curto
View >>

History of Canon Cameras
History of Canon Cameras>>



Illuminating photography: From camera obscura to camera phone - Eva Timothy

History of Canon Cameras / General Photography

Canon Cameras / General Photography History Information

History of Canon Cameras / Photography: Online Listings
The 'Kwanon' - Prototype Image Credit: Canon Museum

Listing of online links to Canon Cameras and related photography history

Canon Camera Museum
Canon Camera Museum

20 Years of Canon EOS - The Digital Picture

20 Years of Canon EOS - The Digital Picture

Canon History Timeline - Canon Europe

Canon History Timeline - Canon Europe

The History of Canon - Canon Global

The History of Canon - Canon Global

Canon EOS - Wikipedia
Canon EOS - Wikipedia

Canon Inc. - Wikipedia
Canon Inc. - Wikipedia

The History of Photography - Free PDF Downloads & Links
The History of Photography - Free PDF Downloads & Links

Fast Shutter Speeds for Slow and Faster Flying Birds

Shutter Speeds for Slow and Faster Flying Birds

Fast shutter speeds for slow and faster flying birds
Fast Shutter Speeds for Slow and Faster Flying Birds

Fast shutter speeds for slow and faster flying birds - and one experimental slow shutter speed capture

Yesterday I briefly discussed the effect of slow shutter speeds on relatively fast movement subjects for creating motion blur in some of the moving parts (the areaoplane and the motorcycle) - capturing them with shutter speeds of between 1/60s - 1/125s if the objective of the photographer is to show motion blur (in i.e. the propellers and wheels).

With birds in flight photography it is generally quite the opposite: the objective is to freeze the motion of the bird in flight (main areas are the wings, heads and sometimes a few water drops as well).

The shutter speeds used for the 3 birds: the first two fast and the third bird is an application of a slow shutter speed of a medium-fast bird.

Image 1: for the little egret (a relatively slow flying bird) I used a shutter speed of 1/3200s with an aperture of f/5.6 (using Manual Mode). The shutter speed is responsible for stopping the motion and the aperture at f/5.6 is to provide sufficient background blur - the out of focus area between the bird and the background.

Image 2: for the pied kingfisher (a very fast and at time erratic flyer and diver) I used a fast shutter speed of 1/5000s to ensure stopping any motion of the bird and the water. I used an aperture of f/5.6 (using Manual Mode). The background in this image was slightly less blurred than image one as the subject here is very close to the water and the blurring effect with the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens at f/5.6 is less effective at a shorter background range).

Image 3: this is an experimental / abstract capture for showing a slow shutter speed on a relatively fast flying bird (white-breasted cormorant). Shutter speed was pre-set in Tv Mode at 1/60s.

To be safe, for most bird speeds, I use an average shutter speed of 1/3200s - 1/4000s. Lower in lower light and higher in good light / fast flying birds.

Note on ISO and Shutter Speed: I use Auto-ISO in Manual mode for all my birds in flight photography and with higher shutter speed comes higher ISO''s for my ideal exposures - i.e. if you are achieving an ISO of 400 with a shutter speed of say 1/3200s and you move to 1/4000s the ISO will move one stop more to ISO 640 or 800 (depending on your camera's ISO settings). In low light the ISO (when using Auto ISO) could go even higher.

Most entry-level DSLRs can only achieve a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000s. Higher-end models are capable of achieving shutter speeds of 1/8000s. For most birds in flight / fast action a shutter speed of up to 1/4000s should be fast enough for stopping the motion.

All three images captured with Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens at Woodbridge Island.

Fast Shutter Speed Action: Little egret in flight Woodbridge Island
Fast Shutter Speed Action: Little egret in flight Woodbridge Island

Fast Shutter Speed Action: Pied kingfisher in flight Woodbridge Island
Fast Shutter Speed Action: Pied kingfisher in flight Woodbridge Island

Slow Shutter Speed Action: White-breasted cormorant in flight Woodbridge Island
Slow Shutter Speed Action: White-breasted cormorant in flight Woodbridge Island

Birds in flight Photography View

Canon Photography Training Milnerton Woodbridge Island | Kirstenbosch Cape Town

Using the Canon Extender EF 1.4x III for Bird Photography

Evaluating the Canon Extender EF 1.4x III for Bird / Birds in Flight Photography

Using the Canon Extender EF 1.4x III for Bird Photography
Canon Extender EF 1.4x III for Bird Photography

Using a Canon Extender for Birds / Birds in Flight Photography (Canon EOS 7D Mark II)
Over the years I have had numerous requests of photographers wanting to know the Autofocus capability and image quality in using a 1.4x extender / teleconverter with the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

Many birds in flight / general birding photographers purchase the  1.4x extender for the various f/5.6 Canon EF lenses (400mm / 100-400mm) just to never really be satisfied with the results.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
I recently took some time out for testing the Canon Extender EF 1.4x III paired with my Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

I've never used this pairing before (for birds in flight) due to the following criteria:
  • The 400mm f/5.6 lens will default to f/8 as the largest aperture 
  • Possible slowing down of the AF capability of camera / lens paired with the extender
  • Possible image quality loss at 560mm focal length (400mm x 1.4x)

Canon's listed Advantages on the EF1.4x III Extender (Source)
  • Extends the master lens focal length by 1.4x
  • Outstanding image quality
  • Highly resistant to dust and water
  • Improved communication between lens and camera
  • Optimised lens coatings
  • Compatible with L-Series telephoto and telephoto zoom lenses

Personal findings
(Birds in Flight / General Birding)
  • 400mm extends to 560mm (400mm x 1.4x)
  • Could only use 1 point AF and 4 Point Expansion (Canon EOS 7D Mark II)
  • AF is slowed down just a fraction
  • Image quality deteriorates at 560mm for birds in flight
  • Image quality is still reasonably sharp for perched / relatively still birds

Conclusion for Birds in Flight / Birding Photography
I've never been keen on using the Canon EF 1.4x III extender / teleconverter for birds in flight (paired with below gear) and after using the Canon 1.4x Extender am still of the same opinion that my own images at 400mm are of much higher quality (at 400mm at f/5.6) without the Extender.

The Canon EF 1.4x III Extender will perform more effective on 300mm and 400mm f/2.8 and f/4 lenses - also when paired with bodies provided with more |AF Points (compared to the EOS 7D Mark II with a maximum AF Points array of 4 points).

Equipment (Birds In Flight Photography)
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR camera body
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6l USM Lens
  • Canon EF 1.4x II Extender (Teleconverter)
  • Sandisk Extreme Plus SDHC™ UHS-I Card 120MB/s 64 GB

Exposure / Focus Settings
  • Manual Mode Settings / Lens AF On
  • Shutter speed: 1/3200s
  • Aperture: f/8
  • Focal length 560mm
  • Auto ISO (ISO 640-1250)
  • Continuous shooting mode (10 fps) / AI Servo
  • AI Servo / AF Mode Option (4 Point AF / Case 1)
  • Lens AF On / No IS / Handheld

Post-Processing
Adobe Lightroom 9: Cropping. Colour correction / Lens profile correction. RAW to JPEG conversion.

Birds in Flight Location
Woodbridge Island Milnerton, Cape Town

Grey Heron in Flight with Canon Extender 1.4x III (Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm f/5.6L Lens)
Grey Heron in Flight with Canon Extender 1.4x III (Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm f/5.6L Lens)

White-Breasted Cormorant in Flight with Canon Extender 1.4x III (Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm f/5.6L Lens)

Mandarin Duck with Canon Extender 1.4x III (Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm f/5.6L Lens)

Weaver with Canon Extender 1.4x III (Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm f/5.6L Lens)

Yellow-Billed Duck with Canon Extender 1.4x III (Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm f/5.6L Lens)

Birds in Flight Photography Training Milnerton View

Shooting Birds in Flight at higher ISO’s / moodiness of poor light

Little egre in flight - Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Little egret in flight - Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Woodbridge Island @ ISO 1600

My students know that I’m an great believer of Auto-ISO on all DSLR's in my bag (for Birds in Flight photography.) On this occasion (a while before Covid) I looked out the window and observed ISO weather of between ISO 1200 – 3200. A bitterly cold and horrible day for anything outside let alone Birds in Flight Photography. Normally on a day like this, I will evaluate my opportunity cost options and rather do something else.

But, I had a new client, super keen on testing out his brand new kit (body and lens) and I had little choice but to assist him in his quest for mastering application / practice. I did however, offered him coffee (instead) on Woodbridge Island before this shoot, but the lad wanted to shoot – so off we went.

Herewith one of the images I managed to capture with my traditional Birds in Flight settings on that day - remember I deliberately selected Auto-ISO to see the results. EXIF Data: ISO 1600 / f/5.6 / 1/2500s.

Little egret in flight over the Diep River Woodbridge Island with Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

Grey reflections behind the bird: Icy cold water of the Diep River, reflecting the state of the sky above...

Canon EOS 7D Mark II For Birds in Flight Photography

Canon EOS 7D Mark II AF System Application For Birds in Flight Photography
Thoughts on Ownership / Autofocus Application
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II was launched on 15 September 2014 with an extraordinary sense of anticipation on many levels. None more so than for the advanced 65-Point Autofocus (AF) System (very similar to that of the 61-Point AF System that was implemented in the EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III).

Soon after the release I started reading about a number of new 7D Mark II owners experiencing soft focus and various other related problems - some were very serious, to such an extend that in certain isolated cases Canon exchanged the bodies. I was naturally concerned, but did not have a body for any of my own testing.

I was fortunate enough to receive a demonstration Canon EOS 7D Mark II body paired with the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM prime lens (which was launched more / less at the same time) from Canon South Africa.  I collected the kit from one of our local retailers for a couple of days of testing - mainly for Birds in Flight photography. During the testing period the combination performed flawlessly with no AF or other issues. The winter weather was absolutely appalling around Woodbridge Island, Cape Town, but I managed a few outings and compiled an article - Canon EOS 7D Mark II - First Impressions and Test Shoots.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II AF System Application For Birds in Flight Photography
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens
A few weeks later I ordered my own Canon EOS 7D Mark II and paired it with my Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens that I've been using with an EOS 70D with very good results. I was concerned about the earlier AF issue reports, but after the first outing my concerns where put to rest - Canon EOS 7D Mark II : AI Servo Autofocus / FPS Test.

I use the Canon EOS 7D Mark II in many of my Birds in Flight Photography workshops as an advanced AF System reference, also assisting new owners of Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and Canon EOS-1D X Mark II bodies. I have never felt that the Canon EOS 7D Mark II was inadequate or not up to standard against any other advanced Canon EOS AF System - neither in the classroom nor in the field.

Two cost-effective Canon lens options for Birds in Flight Photography

In my opinion the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is an exceptional camera when paired with a fast lens and used in good light conditions - the rest is really up to the skill levels of the photographer. In 2018 I did an article on my long-time experience with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.5L USM lens - Long-Term Use and Experience.

NEW: Canon Camera System Change - From DSLR to Mirrorless

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Birds in Flight Gallery

Canon EOS 7D Mark II AF System Application For Birds in Flight Photography
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f//5.6L USM Lens
AF System Configurations - Keep It Simple
New owners coming from i.e. the Canon EOS 7D or Canon EOS 70D were generally overwhelmed by the advanced 65-Point AF system with its various configurations, AF Modes and AF Cases.

 I often see in my workshops and private training how users have completely over-configured the AF System with practically no advantage - just more confusion and frustration.

My suggestion to new owners is to use the default settings and only do configurations with the AF Mode (i/e. Zone or Extended Zone for Birds in Flight Photography). This works much better - over time we look at specif areas for improvement.

Up to today I still use the default AF Case (Case 1) - with the only adjustments I will make from time to time (depending on the bird) is the AF mode. For the majority of the time I use the Large Zone AF - all images on this page was captured with Large Zone AF Mode.

AF Recommendations
I have written extensively on this website about my settings, configurations and approach with the EOS 7D Mark II, especially with regard to Birds in Flight Photography. Follow the various links to read more about my application, setup and tips. With Manual Mode, AI Servo and default AF System settings the images on this page should be more than achievable - Testimony of the Modern AF System: Canon EOS 7D Mark II.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II AF System Application For Birds in Flight Photography
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
Start by shooting with the default settings to check camera and lens behaviour. For me, more important than the configurations and settings of the AF System are the various Tracking Variables. In this article I have made no reference to camera / AF settings - mostly just behavioural and environmental considerations for improving application and skills.

Spend a lot of time on one set of settings before changing over to any other setting or configuration. I tell students / delegates not to change anything for weeks at ta time - first master exposure settings and the tracking variables and learn why certain things happen the way they do.

Learn about aperture and the impact of depth of field on the background when shooting fast moving subjects. Learn about the importance and effect of various shutter speeds on the wingtips and then also the impact of ISO / Auto-ISO in changing light / weather conditions. With the EOS 7D Mark II it is possible to use Auto-ISO in Manual Mode (as with Av or Tv Mode) - just be aware that with a fast shutter speed of i.e. 1/4000s the ISO could potentially go up to more than ISO 1000. In good light, with a 1/3200s or 1/4000s shutter speed, my Auto-ISO is generally between ISO 500 - 800. All birds in flight images on this page are within these ISO parameters.

Post- Processing
Canon EOS 7D Mark II AF System Application For Birds in Flight Photography
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
We all have our own approach to post-processing our images. I try and spend as little as possible time with Lightroom post-processing and therefore believe that a well planned shoot (in good light if possible) will minimize the time I spend the time in fine-tuning my RAW files.

Body / Lens AF Micro-Adjustment
Most advanced EOS bodies are equip with an AF Micro-Adjustment function that could be used to configure and micro adjust various body and lens pairings. I have spent quite a bit of time learning and understanding the workings of Reikan FoCal - the automatic focus calibration software, but up to date use my EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens without any micro adjustments.

In my opinion it is not required on my pairing and therefore just shoot with the default settings. AF Micro Adjustment may be required in some cases, but before doing so spend enough time mastering the many other challenges of Birds in Flight photography and then pin-point the reason(s) for Body / Lens Micro-Adjustment.

Canon EOS 7D Mark III?
There is quite an anticipation for the possible release of the Canon EOS 7D Mark III. Like everybody else, I'm keeping an eye on the developments and have written about my thoughts on a possible future release- Canon EOS 7D Mark III Wish List for birds in Flight Photography.

All images on this page Copyright Vernon Chalmers (with Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens)

Canon EOS 7D Mark II AF System Application For Birds in Flight Photography
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens

Birds in Flight Photography Learning Considerations

Birds in Flight Photography Learning Considerations and Training - Pied Kingfisher in Flight
Birds in Flight Photography Training Update

During my more than 8 years of photographing birds in flight / and the training of new photographers in birds in flight photography I continuously worked on fine-tuning the curriculum for the successful capturing of various birds with different cameras / speeds and lighting conditions.

I believe that once a fair understanding of exposure / autofocus settings are achieved and the basic personal behaviour skills (anticipation and responsiveness) are mastered the photographer should primarily focus on subject and environmental conditions.

On an updated article here on my website I discuss various capturing and tracking variables without specific reference to exposure and Autofocus settings.

Tracking Variables for Improved Birds in Flight Photography Article>>

Birds in Flight Photography Training Milnerton, Cape Town Training>>

Canon Photography Private Training Courses Milnerton, Cape Town
  • Introduction to Photography / Canon Cameras More
  • Canon EOS Autofocus / AI Servo Master Class More
  • Birds in Flight Photography Workshop More
  • Canon Speedlite / Ring Lite Flash Photography Workshop More
  • Macro / Close-Up Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Workshop More
  • Digital Workflow / Lightroom Post-Processing Workshop More

Birds in Flight Photography Learning Considerations and Training - Egyptian Goose in Flight
Egyptian goose flying in low light  at Woodbridge Island - with Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Vernon Chalmers Photography Popular Posts