I’ve just posted our annual family newsletter. You can read all about what we’ve been up to in 2015 here.
MotoGP 2014 at Circuit of the Americas, Austin was a great event and MotoGP is fast becoming my favourite weekend at the now two-year-old track. Although the attendance and general atmosphere at Formula 1 in November is very significantly higher, the motorcycle events during Red Bull MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas can’t be beaten from a photographic point-of-view. The dramatic way the riders lean their bikes into each corner and the fact that, in some cases, their faces are visible through the visors, makes for some really great picture opportunities.
This year, I was fortunate to be shooting from trackside but, due to the last minute nature of the access, I hadn’t rented a long lens. I shot everything you see here with one of my own cameras and lenses. The longest combination I own is a 70-200mm with 2x teleconverter on the crop-sensor Nikon D90 giving me a 600mm equivalent. Even trackside, this is about as short as you will want to go to get full frame shots of the bikes in most of the corners but, using the 2x teleconverter, the results I got were nothing like as sharp as the combination of rented 200-400mm and 1.4x teleconverter that I used during last year’s Formula 1 Grand Prix. For side-view, the 70-200mm on its own was fine from many locations because you are so much closer to the action.
Anyway, without further ado, here are a few of my favourite shots from the weekend. This represents a more-or-less random collection of images from the paddock, Moto2, Moto3 and MotoGP racing.
Yes, I know Christmas is long gone but it’s taken me a bit longer than usual to pull together this year’s annual family newsletter. You can find the scoop on most of the things that clan Wilson/Loftin got up to in 2013 if you click this link.
The time has come to let the cat out of the bag on the secret “5 Day Deal” I mentioned last week. “5 Day Deal” is a huge bundle of photography books, educational material, software, presets and discounts that is being offered for 5 days only, starting today. For the price of $89, you receive a bundle of products valued at over $1200 and a discount package worth an additional $400.
When I was first told about this, it felt too good to be true and I figured that it would be a bunch of material of very little interest but that’s not the case. The contributor list is fantastic and the books and videos are definitely top notch. The list includes the following which were highlights for me:
13 eBooks including
- “Photographing the 4th Dimension” by Jim Goldstein.
- “A Practical Guide to HDR Vertorama Photography” by Klaus Herrman.
- “Essential Light: Photography’s Life Blood” by Richard Bernabe.
- “I | We – Scenes From The Big Picture” by Karen Hutton.
12 Videos, courses and software packages including
- “HDR Photography Essentials pack” by Alex Koloskov.
- “Color Grading Tutorial” by Jaime Ibarra.
- “The Photographers’ Guide to Creating HD Video” by Rick Sammon and Juan Pons.
- “Edgy Photoshop Post Processing Techniques” by Joel Grimes.
- “Snapseed – The Definitive Guide” by my mate, Justin Balog.
12 preset, action and texture packages including
- “Creative Control Preset Pack” by Nicole S. Young.
- “MBP Fine Art Print Border Scripts” by Martin Bailey.
- “James B Lightroom Presets Bundle” by James Brandon.
Discounts on 11 products including
- $25 off Topaz Adjust from Topaz Labs.
- $30 off Perfect Photo Suite 8 from onOne Software.
- $10 off a Blurb book.
- $112 off Lindsay Adler’s “Designing an Image” class.
- $35 off “Mastering Star Trail Photography” by Jim Goldstein.
On top of this, 10% of the purchase price is being donated to charity. You can choose to split your charitable portion evenly between the 6 charities involved or specify a single one of them as the recipient.
The deal lasts until noon on January 10th and, once you have bought the bundle, you have a further two weeks to download the files. Head on over and check it out.
I’m usually rather opposed to promoting things before I’ve actually used them but I’m making an exception here after being clued-in on something rather exciting that’s going to be happening next week. I would offer a lot more information but I’m afraid it’s secret for a few more days so you’ll just have to take my word for it that you need to be on your toes on January 5th and remember to head on over to the 5 Day Deal site for the full details then. Suffice it to say that the event is definitely going to be interesting to any camera user out there. Take a look at the list of people involved in this secret endeavour and that should be enough to convince you it’s going to be something worth following up on.
As I said, the actual content of the event is still under wraps but I can tell you that it will definitely appeal to you if you are
- Interested in HDR photography,
- Interested in travel or fashion photography,
- Want to get better at food photography,
- Looking to start or grow a photography business, or
- Wanting to sell photography or photography related products on the internet
For a few more details and a list of the people involved, click the link below.
I’ve just realised that there’s no official announcement of my ongoing “Altered Perspectives” exhibition here on the blog! The show has been hanging in the Nancy Wilson Scanlan Gallery at the Helm Fine Arts Center in St. Stephen’s School since mid-November and will be there until December 20th. We’re having a reception at 2pm next Sunday (December 15th) so, if you are in the area, please drop by and have a look at the pictures.
For people who are unable to make it to Austin, here are the pictures that are hanging. The mix is about 2/3 canvas prints and 1/3 framed paper prints. The largest image is 44″x40″ and the smallest is 5″x7″ though the majority are 16″x20″ or larger.
Thursday night is baseball night for my youngest so I’ve been having some fun recently playing with my new Fuji X20 at the games. Here are a few of my favourites from the last couple of Thursdays. I shot in black and white then did final processing in Lightroom. I’m absolutely loving this camera so far – it focuses quickly, has controls positioned very nicely indeed and takes very clean pictures even at high ISO settings.
I’m recently back from the second annual NXNW photoblogger get-together. The name stems from the Twitter hashtag we started using last August during the first annual NXNW photoblogger get-together in Portland, Oregon and, despite the fact that Moab, Utah is definitely not in the north west, it stuck. The idea of the trip came up when quite a few of us who are active on social media photography circles decided it would be great if we could get a chance to meet in “real life” too. Mixing this meeting with a serious dose of image-making in an famously photographic location seemed a good idea so here we are.
This year’s extravaganza was attended by 7 of us – in no particular order, Bob Lussier, Justin Balog, Rick Louie, Chris Nitz, Mark Garbowski and Mike Criswell (aka Theaterwiz) and myself. We spent 4 days in and around Moab and it’s local national parks, Arches and Canyonlands, as well as the amazing Dead Horse Point State Park, the ghost town of Cisco, Utah and the Colorado National Monument outside Grand Junction. Given the incredible scenery, we used an inordinate amount of time for taking pictures (eating and drinking definitely took second place to photography on this trip) including a Saturday that started at 4:15am and ended at 12:30 am on Sunday. Our Sunday morning alarm was set for 4:20am, by the way – I’m still recovering from the accrued sleep deficit.
I’ve been posting selected images from the trip over on my photoblog but thought it would be nice to show the faces behind the trip so here are a few of the pictures I took that included the rest of the guys. This is as good a group of folks as you will meet anywhere and I’m thoroughly looking forward to our next get-together, tentatively arranged for Acadia National Park some time in the second half of 2014.
For a while now, I’ve thought of setting up a new blog which I can use to feature iPhone pictures. Some of these make their way into my main photoblog but most end up in Camera+ or on Facebook where I don’t have any control over they way they are presented.
While fiddling with blogging platforms today in preparation for a PhotoNetCast recording, however, I set up a new site on Tumblr as an exercise and rather liked how easy it was to get things going and to create posts via their iPhone app so, moving forward, I’ll be using this as my iPhone photoblog. I’ll still post to Facebook but you can find the new site at http://davesphonepix.tumblr.com. There are only a couple of posts there so far and I’ve done no customisation of the layout yet but please let me know what you think.
In the past, I’ve put my year-end photography summary post here but as of last year, I moved it over to my photoblog instead. If you would like to see my favourite images of 2012, you can find them here.