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Category Archives: Camera Lenses

Technology Threatens Camera Manufacturers

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Joe Murphy Lens Adapters

Joe Murphy’s 3D printed lens adapters

I found an interesting article today. Photographer Joe Murphy has manufactured his own tilt-shift lens adapter using a 3D printer. I paid over $2,000 for my Canon 24mm tilt-shift lens. I doubt I would have done that if I were able to do what Joe Murphy did. Add to that, the designs are available for anyone to download and use for free.

This brings up issues I was discussing with a friend a few weeks back. 3D printing is very expensive now. When home printers first came into being, they were expensive too. It didn’t take long before the prices dropped to an affordable level. This will happen with 3D printers as well.

What does this mean? Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the average person will be able to manufacture equipment at home for a fraction of the cost of buying it from a large company. I can see this happening with all sorts of things: table ware such as plates and utensils, car parts, belts, and even camera equipment. Imagine you have the misfortune of breaking a piece of your expensive camera lens. No worries, just print a replacement part. Need to add a bottle holder for your gear bag? Whip one out in a flash and add it on. The possibilities are endless.

What’s the bad news?  Camera companies may lose sales because anyone will be able to copy their designs and print them out. Manufacturing jobs may shrink due to lost sales. Granted, the size of printing is limited to the size of the 3D printer, and the material may not be a good as that used by say, Canon, but technology will catch up in that regard too. The future looks quite intriguing.

A Walk On Salt Creek Beach

A Walk On Salt Creek Beach by Gina Genis

This is a photo I took in 2009. I was exploring a Lensbaby to do a series of work called June Gloom about the beaches I grew up on. I took thousands of images. Only 172 made it into the final project which was shown in a solo exhibit at the Porter Butts Gallery at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. This photo is an outtake. I was running through my image library, and the couple walking together caught my eye. Feeling romantic, I guess. I decided to work on it a little in onOne software, adding a graduated lavender filter to the top part of the image. I hope you enjoy this walk on the beach.

If you are interested in purchasing a Lensbaby, contact me first for a discount code.

New Mirrorless Camera From Canon, The EOS-M

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The New Canon EOS-M mirrorless camera.

Big news. Canon has announced its answer to the competition from other manufacturers of mirrorless cameras. It’s called the EOS-M. It boasts 18 MP, a 22 mm f/2 STM lens, a 3″ clear view LCD screen, Canon’s DIGIC 5 Image Processor, ultra-fast focusing is delivered via the Hybrid CMOS AF system. ISO’s from 100-12800 and expands to 25600. State of the art video, and much more are packed into this interchangeable lens camera.

Two M series lenses are available. The 22mm f/2 STM lens is included in this kit. The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 can be purchased for USD $299.  The new EF-M mount on the this camera is able to use any Canon EF and EF-S lenses with the optional EF-EOS Mount Adapter.

18-55mm lens

Canon has a new Speedlight flash made for the EOS-M. This compact and lightweight flash has enough coverage for use with a 24mm lens.  It can act as a master for other flashes.

The EOS-M is available for pre-order now. Expected deliver date is October 15, 2012, and estimated price is $799 USD.

If you are looking for a compact interchangeable lens camera, Canon is your answer.


How To Photograph A Flower Close Up

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Enhancing the beauty of a wildflower

The joyful beauty of spring is upon us. That means we are treated to the presents of nature, one of them being wildflowers. I don’t care how old you are. You never get tired of seeing the kaleidoscope of colorful petals and inhaling the scent of fresh blossoms. Photographers, naturally, want to capture their beauty. I like to get in close to explore the tiny world inside and let the camera lens document their secrets. Here’s how I got this shot.

This wildflower was one of hundreds on a back road in the Grand Tetons, Wyoming. The light was pouring on the bed of yellow smiles at just the right angle. I stopped my car with my workshop students and we proceeded to photograph the flowers.

First, I put my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens on my 5D. Then a sturdy tripod was set up for a steady shot. Even the slightest hand movement will result in a blurry photo, so I always use my tripod. My camera and lens were only about 2 inches away from the flower. I knew I wanted a soft and emotional look for this image, so I used an aperture of 2.8 for the narrowest depth of field possible. This kept only the stamens in focus, and let the petals pleasingly blur. When working this closely to a subject, manual focus is essential. Auto focus may not pick the same spot in the shot as you would, so you need to take control and focus yourself.  A shutter release was used to watch the flower without having to squint through the viewfinder and still be able to fire when the right moment presented itself. My ISO was set to 50 for the clearest shot with no noise. Then it was a matter of patience. I released the shutter between windy breezes. My students and I went home with a sunny smile on our data cards.

Landscape and Nature Photo Workshops, Grand Tetons and more

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Hello Photographers,

Schawbacher Landing, Grand Tetons, by Gina Genis

Thought I’d let you know about some upcoming landscape and nature workshops.
First, is the spectacular Grand Tetons. I have a few spots open, and would love to fill them with one of you. The dates are from June 25 – 29. Every year we have a great time, and go home with images worth printing and framing. I have a lot of new info to share, discount coupon codes for equipment, and new software techniques that really make your images sing. Click on the “Grand Tetons” link above for details.

Next, enjoy the beautiful mountains of Southern California in Idyllwild, for a 2 day workshop on June 2 & 3. This workshop takes you into the forest to photograph a waterfall, spectacular panorama sunsets, flowers, lakes, and more. Idyllwild is a mini Yosemite, but also has the advantage of a charming town for movies, great food and shopping too. This workshop is only $400. Click on the “Idyllwild” link above for details.

Want to go to the beach? Like old architecture? My Beach & Mission weekend workshop is perfect for you. Take advantage of the Laguna Beach area in April, and we might get lucky and see some migrating whales. Last year, my group witnessed a mother and baby whale close to shore, and a wedding on the beach right in front of them. It doesn’t get better than that. We will also visit a mission with great architecture and blooming gardens. This workshop is only $400. Click on the “Beach & Mission” link above for details.

Little time, but still want to learn? How about a 4 hour Creative Photography workshop? This is a fun way to make unusual images right inside your camera. I designed this workshop for people who want to see in a new way, need inspiration, and want to play around with their cameras. It’s a blast. Join us on April 7th in the Laguna Beach area. This workshop is only $100. Click on the “Creative Photography” link above for details.

Maybe a workshop is not right for you. Contact me for Private Lessons. I love to help you on a personal basis so you can take your photography to the next level.

Keep your eye on my website: I will be adding more 1/2 day and 1 day workshops for portraits, camera basics, macro photography, and more.

Also, I am affiliated with Lensbaby, onOne Software, Think Tank, and B & H Photo/Video. That means I can give you a coupon code for discounts. If you are going to buy new equipment, contact me first for a coupon code.

If you have questions, feel free to email me.

Keep that shutter clicking.

Revolutionary Light Field Cameras – Will They Make Digital Obsolete?

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Lytro Cameras

There’s a new camera in town and it may challenge the whole digital market to a duel. It is a “light field camera” that uses a new technology to capture photographs that can have their focus changed after capture. What does this mean? No focus worries while shooting, no shutter delay, and images that can be refocused on a computer, tablet, or phone display by any viewer. ISO concerns? Over. Megapixels, aperture settings? History. No more out of focus shots or missing a shot in low light. Flashes and expensive lighting equipment will be a thing of the past.

Light field cameras capture images by collecting millions of individual megarays, (rays of light) in each photograph. The megarays include light strength, direction, and color.

Here’s an article from the New York Times showing how it works.

The technology is here, and already available for purchase. Two companies are selling light ray cameras.  Raytrix, that sells it’s camera for about $3,500,  and Lytro, where you can pick one up for about $400. I don’t know why there is a huge difference in price. Maybe there are quality issues I don’t know about between the two.

Raytrix Camera

This type of photography is just getting cooking. Like digital did way back when. Time will tell where this technology goes. There are even rumblings about being able to capture 3D images in the light ray cameras. Can someone please design an app to make us look a little skinnier in 3D?


Ghosts of the Marines – Photographs Of The Abandoned El Toro Marine Base

The DcCA SE Region building photographed in 2010 © Gina Genis

I shot these photographs at the former El Toro Marine Base in Irvine, California. The base was abandoned in 1999. There was a long fight about what should happen to the land. Talk of an international airport was abundant, but the people living around the base voted it down. Noise, traffic, and pollution were concerns. Now, the Great Park is taking form here instead. Once finished, the Great Park will be much larger than Central Park in New York City. The Great Park already has artist studios, an art gallery, outdoor meeting court for concerts and events, hot air balloon rides, a farmer’s market and gardens, and much more.

Deteriorating chairs at the former El Toro Marine Base © 2012 Gina Genis

Mark Chamberlain and Poe the dog on a lunch break at the former El Toro Marine Base © 2012 Gina Genis

The above photo was captured in June of 2010. Mark Chamberlain is part of the Legacy Project, a group of men who turned an airplane hangar into the largest camera obscura in the world.  The resulting photograph, titled The Great Picture is 3 stories high by 11 stories long. See my blog about washing The Great Picture. The Legacy Project continues to document the transformation of  El Toro Marine Base into the Great Park.

Outside an abandoned building at the former El Toro Marine Base © 2012 Gina Genis

Remnants of a medical office at the former El Toro Marine Base © 2012 Gina Genis

A view of a section of the former El Toro Marine Base from up in the hot air balloon © 2012 Gina Genis

The picture above was taken from a height of 400 feet in the hot air balloon. You can see the entire panorama of the city of Irvine from the top of the balloon. View more of this series on my website. Do you have any photos of abandoned buildings? Please share them.

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