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George Grant toiled in obscurity for nearly three decades as the first official photographer of the National Park Service. Ren and Helen Davis want to make sure his story isn’t lost to history.
Be A Wildlife Biographer
My discovery of wildlife photography felt like a fulfillment of that lifelong affinity and fascination for animals.
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In Focus: August 2013
The Canon EOS Rebel T5i has powerful features in a small size, making it perfect when you’re packing light. It has an APS-C 18-megapixel CMOS image sensor, Canon’s DIGIC 5 Image Processor and an ISO range of 100-12,800 (expandable to 25,600), performing well in low-light situations. The 5 fps continuous shooting capabilities combine with a 9-point (all cross-type) AF system to help capture quick action shots. There’s also an improved Hybrid CMOS AF system for Live View and Movie Servo AF. The Rebel T5i has 1080/30p full HD Movie Mode with a stereo microphone and manual audio level capability. The smudge-resistant, 3-inch Clear View LCD touch screen has flexible positioning for tough angles and clear viewing even in bright outdoor conditions. Estimated Street Price: $749. Contact: Canon, www.usa.canon.com.
Carl Zeiss has been listening to the desires of landscape photographers and has created light, compact autofocus lenses fully compatible with the Sony NEX- and Fujifilm X-series cameras. Currently the world’s widest wide-angle lens for an APS-C-format camera, the Touit 2.8/12 and the standard-focal-length Touit 1.8/32 lenses are built from robust metals to withstand heavy usage. A grippy focus ring aids in precise manual focus. Both lenses have 9-blade circular apertures and the Carl Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating to reduce ghosting and flare. Estimated Street Price: $900 (Touit 1.8/32); $1,250 (Touit 2.8/12). Contact: Zeiss, zeiss.com.
Organizing your workflow across devices and collaborating within a team become easier as Adobe unveils the Creative Cloud system. With desktop applications, cross-device collaborations and publication capabilities, the workflow process moves quickly. The centralized Creative Cloud hub stores files, settings and notifications that can be synced and shared via the Creative Cloud on Mac OS, Windows, iOS and Android devices. You can edit a file from your smartphone while on the go, and the edits are automatically synced between devices with the version history. Team members stay connected to each other through the Cloud with update notifications. Creative Cloud is fully integrated with the portfolio creative community Behance, allowing quick publication for feedback and global exposure. Creative Cloud is also integrated with Digital Publishing Suite and PhoneGap for publishing digital magazines and mobile apps. Tools that have previously been known as the Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Premiere Pro) are now part of the CC family and have been updated in rich technology and the ability to share with the CC workflow. Adobe Creative Cloud membership is based on an individual or a team basis. Individuals will pay $49.99/month for annual membership, with existing members receiving a discount of $29.99/month. The Team membership receives 100 GB of additional storage, centralized deployment and administration capabilities for $69.99/month per seat. Current members will receive the team membership for $39.99/month per seat if you sign up before the end of August. Estimated Street Price: $29-$69. Contact: Adobe, www.adobe.com.
When you’re hiking, climbing and shooting at the same time, your neck and shoulders will ache after a long day under an awkward camera strap. The Camera Vest by Cotton Carrier aims to eliminate your back pain by stopping your camera from swinging and attaching it safely to your body while it’s not in use. A camera hub connects to the tripod hole at the base of the camera and locks into the vest system. Simply turn the camera 45 degrees to release when you’re ready to shoot. A second version of the vest has a detachable side holster for an additional camera. The vest itself is one size fits all, made out of 1680 Denier Polypropylene for comfort and durability. A fiberglass-reinforced camera tether, hand strap and universal tripod adapter plate are included. Estimated Street Price: $149. Contact: Cotton Carrier, www.cottoncarrier.com.
From sandy beaches to grassy fields, every time you take out your camera, you’re exposing it to the inevitable dust, dirt and fingerprints. Lenspen has now bundled three of their cleaners together—the Original Lenspen for lenses, the FilterKlear for filters and the MicroPro for eyepieces—for the ultimate on-the-go Lenspen DSLR Pro Kit. Each pen has one end with a retractable natural brush for removing loose dust and the opposite cleaning pad end for removing fingerprints. The kit also includes a microfiber pouch that serves dual purpose for cleaning as well as toting the three pens. Estimated Street Price: $34. Contact: Lenspen, www.lenspen.com.
Handholding a big lens is tiring and not very stable, but conventional tripod heads don’t let you move the camera to track moving subjects. Serious bird photographers love gimbal heads, as they provide the big lens with steady support while letting you photograph flighty subjects easily. You also can quickly lock down the lens at any angle for shots of nonmoving subjects. The Gepe Pro SK-GH01 Gimbal Head features an Arca-compatible mount that’s adjustable for height and a 150ml-long scale to assure repeatable positioning. One large knob quickly locks the camera-mounting arm, while another locks panning. Estimated Street Price: $255. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
Sony has released a new and improved 70-400mm ƒ/4-5.6G SSM II supertelephoto zoom lens. The optics have been enhanced from the previous model and the lens features an LSI drive circuit. The improved autofocus responsiveness will appeal to both photographers looking for crisp images and filmmakers wanting to capture sharp HD video of quick-moving wildlife. A Nano AR Coating covers the optical surface, five times as efficient as the conventional anti-reflection coating at reducing flare and ghosting. Estimated Street Price: $2,200. Contact: Sony, www.sony.com.
Think Tank Photo has created the Mirrorless Mover camera bag collection specifically for your lighter mirrorless system. The four bags—Mirrorless Mover 5, Mirrorless Mover 10, Mirrorless Mover 20 and Mirrorless Mover 30i—vary in size to match your particular system needs. Each bag has a DWR coated fabric exterior for weather resistance, as well as antique nickel-plated metal hardware, 3-ply bonded nylon thread and YKK RC zippers for durability, with a seam-sealed rain cover in the front pocket. The interior features removable foam dividers, a smartphone slot, two SD card slots and a mesh pocket on the lid for batteries and accessories. The Mirrorless Mover 30i also has a dedicated iPad pocket. Estimated Street Price: $34-$69. Contact: Think Tank Photo, www.thinktankphoto.com.
Capturing sharp detail of individual insect hairs in macro work or the smooth dramatic blur of separation in larger landscapes, the 1 Nikkor 32mm ƒ/1.2 lens is the newest addition to the 1 Nikkor lens system. The fixed 32mm lens is the first in the 1 Nikkor series to integrate core Nikkor technology into the incredibly light lens such as the Silent Wave Motor (SWM), manual focus ring and Nano Crystal Coat that reduces ghosting and flare. The M/A autofocus mode with manual override allows you to fine-tune using manual focus while still primarily utilizing autofocus. The Close-Range Correction System ensures high resolution, realistic textures and minimal aberration while shooting close to your subject. Estimated Street Price: $899. Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com.
For wildlife and sports photographers looking for a unique alternative to getting even closer to the action, Canon designed the EF 200-400mm ƒ/4L USM extender 1.4x supertelephoto zoom. When you’re in the field and can’t change lenses because of timing or harsh weather, or you want to save space due to travel constraints, the built-in 1.4x extender increases the maximum focal length of the 200-400mm lens to 560mm with a simple switch. The lens includes high-performance Image Stabilizer technology with standard and panning modes, and a mode that applies stabilization only at the instant of exposure. The high-speed CPU and optimized AF algorithms ensure fast and accurate autofocusing throughout the focal-length range. Featuring fluorite crystal and UD glass, the lens has a high level of resolution, aberration correction and color fidelity while the housing itself is constructed for dust and water resistance. Estimated Street Price: $11,799. Contact: Canon, www.usa.canon.com.
Quickly and easily update firmware and customize the focus parameters of your Sigma lens with the Sigma USB Dock. The dock attaches to the lens just like a rear lens cap and connects to the USB drive of the computer. Firmware updates are made via an Internet download. For more customizable adjustments using Sigma Optimization Pro software, four focus settings can be changed for fixed-length lenses and 16 focus settings are manageable for zoom lenses. The AF speed, focus limiter and optical stabilizer function are adjustable for sports lenses. Estimated Street Price: $59. Contact: Sigma, www.sigmaphoto.com.
Grainy images from low-light situations can be improved upon with ArcSoft Low Light NR application software. Based on Multiple Frame NR technology, the software combines three to six frames shot in Burst mode to reduce noise and create one high-resolution image. The Auto Group feature helps you determine which images taken in Burst mode will be most suitable for noise reduction. While adjusting noise, also adjust white balance, saturation, contrast, and make cropping adjustments and other fine-tuning on the image and share directly to Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. Estimated Street Price: $79. Contact: ArcSoft, www.arcsoft.com.
For wildlife photographers who often have two cameras strapped to their bodies, the Xit Group has created the Quick Release Dual Shoulder Camera Neck Strap to make toting around two cameras more comfortable and convenient. The strap is ergonomically designed to distribute weight evenly through the widening shoulder pads. The strap uses Velcro® and metal lock fasteners, allowing quick adjustment of strap length while standing up to rigorous usage. Included are two quick-release plates with ¼” threads for connecting the camera to a device with a ¼” screw. The Dual Shoulder Strap can be divided into two separate camera straps for use individually. Estimated Street Price: $29. Contact: Xit Group, www.xit-group.com.
Capturing smooth, fluid motion shots is difficult when you’re moving quickly on a rough hiking trail. The ZeroGrav Camera Stabilizer by Flashpoint uses a dynamic spring-powered arm supporting a gimbaled carbon-fiber monopod to create an “anti-gravity” effect, making steady motion shots effortless. Levers, springs, counterbalance weights and concentric rings allow you to control the movement that you want, while avoiding unwanted bumps from jagged terrain. A DSLR is connected directly to the stabilizer platform or with a quick-release adapter. Set the true balance for the rig by sliding the socket port into the handle on a standard-dimension light stand. Make quick calibration adjustments with scale and north-south, east-west knobs. Estimated Street Price: $300. Contact: Adorama, www.adorama.com.
The Evolution 6 Photo Sling Backpack by Tamrac is a versatile pack giving you quick access to your gear at all times. Using a harness system, the bag can be worn as a backpack or as a sling pack over the right or left shoulder, and gear can be accessed through zippered doors from the front, left or rightsides.The Evolution 6 fits a DSLR with a 51⁄2-inch lens attached and an additional lens or two as well as a flash. The foam-padded upper compartment can store accessories, a backup camera or snacks. The mesh back pocket and windowpane-mesh pocket inside the door are perfect for memory and smaller accessories. The right pocket holds a rain cover to protect the entire bag during rough weather. Estimated Street Price: $129. Contact: Tamrac, www.tamrac.com.