What are your favorite 5D Mark III and 600EX-RT features?

The Canon 5D Mark III is now available. Click here to read about this awesome digital SLR. (Mine just arrived this week and I am working on a post.)

Canon also announced the Speedlite 600EX-RT (above) and the Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT (below).

Click here to read an article by Canon's Rudy Winston about the new radio – yes friends, radio – wireless flash system. Thanks for the great article Rudy!

Click here for more 600EX-RT info.

I am gathering "My favorite features" comments – for both the camera and flash system – here on my blog. Please leave your in the Comments section - so I can easily track. Juan Pons and I will share your comments on the DPE Podcast. Please leave your real name.

Explore the light,

Quick Speedlite Tip: Put the Flash In the Picture

I'm writing a post on the new Canon 600-EX Speedlite - and came across this older post that I though you might enjoy in the meantime.

My friend Peter Calo, a super talented musician and composer, called yesterday and said that he could use a nice portrait of himself for the Tippin Guitar web site. If you don't know Tippin guitars, click here. The guitars are amazing - sound, look, feel and design.

Peter wanted a shot of him playing guitar - like a live-on-stage shot. He told me that the guitar had to look good - the hero of the picture (as we use to say when I worked in advertising). I said sure.

So, not having a studio, I set up one Westcott Apollo soft box in my office. Inside was a Canon 580EX II Speedlite.

On the opposite side of the softbox was a reflector, which I used to bounce the light of the softbox onto the shadow side of Peter's face. Without the reflector, the shadow was too harsh.

As you can see, the softbox is not pointed directly at Peter. Rather, it is pointed in front of him. This "feathers" the light for a soft and pleasing effect.

Tip: The larger the light, the softer the the light; the closer the light, the softer the light.

In the opening shot for this post, Peter's wife, Marianne, held another Canon Speedlite for a hair light. For a cool effect, I directed Mary Ann to hold the flash so that I could see it in the very corner of the frame. For the second shot, no hair light was used.

Both speedlites, on E-TLL, where fired with my Canon ST-E2 Wireless transmitter.

Of course, if you have Photoshop, you can simulate the flash being in the scene by using the Lens Flare filter. See below

I shot all the pictures with my Canon 7D and 24-105mm IS lens - my favorite lens for portraits.

Before Peter and Mary Ann arrived, I shot a few tests. Above is a shot in which I placed another Canon Speedlite behind me for a background/separation light. I used an orange gel on the flash to warm up the background. Peter liked the shot, but he chose the "cooler" look of the black background. 

So my friends, most of the time, it's a good idea to keep the flash out of the frame, but there are exceptions. 

I run Master Your Flash workshops here in Croton on Hudson, NY. I hope you can join the Speedlite fun.

Explore the light,

P.S. I have been playing guitar since Woodstock. Not fun getting old. But the good news is that I am still that kid at heart. Plus, now I can play 13th chords! Me: on hood with afro.

Don Juan's Waterfalls of Western NC Photo Workshop

Photograph © Juan Pons

My friend, Juan "Don Juan" Pons, who co-hosts the Digital Photo Experience podcast with me, is getting ready for his waterfall workshop. Here's the info!

Spring has sprung, and for me that means that waterfall season is here. We all love making images of waterfalls, and to me spring is the best time of year for waterfall photography because waterflows are high, and there are abundant wildflowers to compliment the beauty of that beautiful flowing water.

If you are headed out to make some images of waterfalls. make sure to watch this quick video I made a few years ago during one of my "Waterfalls of Western NC" photo workshops. where I present a few tips on making great waterfall images.

I still have some room in my upcoming workshop this May 23 thru the 27th. If you would like more information about the workshop, visit http://wildnaturetours.com/waterfalls/. And if you mention you learned about the workshop here on Rick's blog, I'll give you a $50 discount.

I hope to see you in North Carolina.


Discovery Channel's "Frozen Planet" is a "Must See"

You can purchase this print through my SmugMug Gallery.
If you are not watching "Frozen Planet" on the Discovery Channel, you are missing out on some stunning photography. Tune in each week to see the changing of the seasons.

I was fortunate to be the resident photo pro on two trips to Antarctica, one of the locations the show explores. I took one of my favorite photographs -  Family Meeting In Antarctica - at the "bottom of the world."

I used my Canon 100-400mm IS lens on my Canon 5D for this image.

Click here to see a slide show of some of my Antarctica images.

Click here for more photo info for Antarctica photographers.

I hope to see you on one of my photo tours or workshops.

Explore the light,

iStuff Sunday #1 - Brushing Away Lens Flare

iStuff Sunday is a new feature that I'll link to here on my blog. It's written by my friend David Leveen, who shot all the videos for our Light It! iPad and iPhone apps - as well as for the videos for our Wiley Publishing DVDs.

Each week David will cover some cool techniques and fun stuff for your iPad and iPhone - and maybe even for iLife and iWork users.

If you want to suggest a topic, let us know in the Comments section here.

Thank you David, pictured below after his brain surgery, for the cool info and stuff. Yes, the picture was taken with an iPhone. And yes, David is doing great!

Click here to see all my apps.

Explore the light, 

P.S. David is also a certified Mac Consultant. If you live in Westchester, NY and have a Mac Attack problem, shoot David an email. David has saved the day for me on many, many occasions.