Canon's new EOS 77D - very connected
Canon isn't the only manufacturer to offer an app to connect its camera to the world, but interestingly, it says only around 10 percent of its users currently take up the free app and use it.
Now, with the greatest respect to Canon, the first iteration of its app was not the most svelte piece of software every written, but the new version looks much more user friendly and Canon claims to have ironed out all the interconnectivity issues by using a combination of Bluetooth and wireless. Again, Canon isn’t the only manufacturer to follow this path, so it's a sign of the future.
So where does that leave readers. If you purchase Canon's latest EOS 77D, you can use the Canon Camera Connect App to transfer your photos via wi-fi to your favourite social media platform. Set the camera to capture both raw and small JPEG files and just the JPEGs will be transferred, along with any picture styles and other settings. The results have to be a step up from what you're capturing now on your smart phone - even if it's just access to the shallow depth-of-field offered by a larger size sensor.
Canon realizes that not everyone buying its EOS cameras is an expert, so the EOS 77D includes built in visual guides that will show you what the different shooting modes do as you become more familiar with different settings.
There's a 24-megapixel sensor, a 45-point autofocus system and you can shoot at six frames per second. The EOS 77D has a top ISO setting of 25,600 and uses a Dual Pixel CMOS Auto Focus system to track subjects while shooting Full HD video.
For more information, visit www.canon.com.au/cameras/eos-77d
And if you're interested in a photography workshop in the next 12 months, I have places left on trips going to Arnhemland, Iran, Canada and Mexico. Full details on the Better Photography website!
Kath Salier was our 2015 Better Photography Photo of the Year winner and she is once again in the winner circle, this time with a highly creative image of an Icelandic lighthouse. The subject matter itself is popular and emotive, but it is the details and the treatment that take it out of the ordinary. It's not 'just a lighthouse'.
"The original image is of Reykjanes Lighthouse in Iceland. I was on a photography tour and this was one of our first stops. It was so windy here, it was hard to stay upright. In fact, I remember using one of the other photographers as a wind break! The sea was enormous and the ocean by the cliffs was just like a washing machine."
Kath used a Sony ILCE A7r with a Canon 70-300mm f4 lens (one of her favourites). "I had been shooting the waves using a fast shutter speed (1/1600 second @ f8.0), when I turned around and the lighthouse caught my eye. With the long lens. I was able to fill the frame."
After capture, Kath imports, catalogs and adds keywords in Lightroom, plus she makes some global adjustments to her selected raw files. Then it's into Photoshop.
Barry Shaw's title for his portrait entry is “Time Lines” and it is an image of a local character Shane.
"He's a guy with a very interesting life and personality. He has done many jobs and lived in many places; and his face is etched with many experiences. As a photographer, you can’t walk past him without not wanting to photograph him.
"Shane is one my subjects for a developing collection of portraits of locals and subjects of photographic interest. I am slowly building the collection with the aim of holding an exhibition to show people my style of work; to generate work and fulfil my goal of doing photography fulltime.
"You could say that I am a late bloomer with my photography. At 56, I am a more recent convert to digital photography, having worked in film for many years, with a love of black and white developing and printing. It is these skills that I now bring to my digital work and I really enjoy the creative freedom and possibilities that digital photography now presents. For my portrait work, I enjoy adding textures and building painterly effects that match the individual and give the image extra visual power and appeal."
Tidal stream, Arnhemland.
It's interesting what 'the judges' pick as being successful photographs. At the recent WPPI Awards held in Las Vegas, this print was lucky enough to earn a Gold Award, while three others from the same shoot and area earned Silvers or a Silver with Distinction. What makes this image better than the others?
You can see the other images by clicking through to the website, but I am going to suggest that I really don't know! I can't know, because I'm the author. I have so much baggage attached to these images that it is hard to be objective - and I don't want to be objective.
Unlike the other images, this photograph has very distinct lines breaking up the frame. Looking like a dirt road, they are tidal watercourses in Arnhemland photographed from a helicopter while on my photo workshop last year. The other images are more random in their design and not as compositionally obvious, and sometimes I think that the photographs that are elevated to Gold status are helped by being a little more straightforward.
Soberanes Point, California.
Phase One XF 100MP, 240mm Schneider lens, 1/1000 second @ f9, ISO 50.
For photographic historians, the name Point Lobos will be closely associated with photographers Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. On my recent Southwest USA expedition with Tony Hewitt, accompanied by Barbara, Katherine, Marie and Grant, we planned to visit the famous headland only to be met by closed roads. Huge swells pounded the coast and the rangers appeared worried that tourists like us would be swept off the rocks.
And just maybe they were right. The challenge for photographers when travelling is to adapt to the circumstances presented to them and fortunately, Tony and I remembered another couple of locations further south. Just before Soberanes Point, we pulled off the road for a smorgasbord of opportunities: back lighting, plumes of sea spray, breaking waves, jagged rocks.
Interpretation of a raw file (or of a negative, as Ansel Adams would say), is incredibly important. The raw file is merely the collection of pixels in a format that can be adjusted during post-production. You can see my unadjusted raw file here...