Sunday, 30 December 2012

Christmas in Athens

Would I spend Christmas in Athens?  Well…yes and no.  You see, I am a countryside person; I don’t like crowds and stupid events that cost a lot of money.  I would prefer buying some food for the poor man next door and maybe a stroll in a high mountain from time to time.  

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Mikrolimano, Piraeus December 2012

It is mid-December and it had been a while since my last photo shooting.  You might not get it, but for us photographers (and by the term I don’t mean the business-oriented fellows with no fantasy that only raise their camera just for money) this is far too long.  I was in the mood for a good photo and I would do almost anything to get one.  I did my research and had a couple of locations in my mind.  Being mostly a landscape photographer I had some difficulty in finding something “nice” in the city.  I know that it was almost Christmas and the city was decorated with all the lights the economic crisis allowed to glow, but I found it ordinary and overused.  At last I decided to head for Mikrolimano in Piraeus, a little marina full of light and opportunities.  

Friday, 28 December 2012

Bokeh Christmas Images Ideas

Christmas time has come and now it's the time to create great images using your creativity.  All type of lenses can be used for these shots, your imagination is the only barrier. There are many ways and tutorials out there and I have selected my favorite ones and when done right the results will amaze you.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Neohori Ithomis blog

It was asked and here it is: The link for my other blog for Neohori Ithomis (near Meligala). It will be a permanent link under About me section.

The blog is scheduled to feature photographs and articles about the area and people there.  I am responsible for the photographic part and also writing some words when it is needed.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Exposing to the Right

Exposing to the right (often referred to as ETTR) is a technique that seems to polarize opinions across the internet so you can find plenty of examples of people supporting its use and an equal number of people claiming it adds no value.  The principles of the technique however do hold value and are valid to consider when out taking images.  As it is a technique that I regularly employ when photographing landscapes I wanted to share the reasoning behind it, and show an example of the benefit it can bring.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Adobe Announces HiDPI Support in Lightroom 4.3 and Camera Raw 7.3 Release Candidates

Press Release:

Adobe Announces HiDPI Support in Lightroom 4.3 and Camera Raw 7.3 Release Candidates

Adobe today announced the availability of Lightroom 4.3 and Camera Raw 7.3 release candidates on Adobe Labs. The Lightroom 4.3 Release Candidate includes support for HiDPI displays within the Develop Module, and both updates add raw file support for the following cameras:

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

06-08-2012 August 2012 continued part 2

 I got up early that day. Summer had begun for me since these were the first days of my summer vacation. I had an urge to go out and see the environment, the sea, the white fishing boats, island things although I was in Kalamata. I knew the place for the photos I had in my mind so I drove my car some 20 kilometers out of the city in small village called Kitries. 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

An amazing sunset and lots of luck!!!

06-11-2012: It was early November and I had watched only one wonderful sunrise so far.  I did not have my camera with me as a matter of fact, so it is like it never happened! I know that the most anticipated skies show up between 20 of October and 20 of November (give or take a few days), so every now and then I had my mind on the sky when the sun went down in the afternoon or up in the morning.  I don’t know if this kind of sunset had eluded me those days, but this sunset in particular, seen with my own eyes, was something I will never forget. Such red and yellow tones in the sky I had rarely seen in my life! Well maybe once before many years from the same spot, but that’s another archived story…

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

August wonders continued...

Ok I admit it! I got lost! I was searching for a country road that would lead me to a lonely beach, a secret beach. But as I found out, it was so secret that even with my GPS I could not find it, even though I was viewing the area map! The excursion started when I saw a beach on Google earth maps that seemed like a good opportunity for photographs. You see, I like scouting roads when I have nothing to do and want to shoot (with my camera) someplace that has rarely been shot before. I drew the road with my hand on the digital map and made sure I copied the coordinates in my GPS. But the result was a dead end road and I had to return. I took some photos of the route because of the stunning colors that my polarized filter made impressive, though.

Nikon unveils 24.1MP D5200 DSLR with optional Wi-Fi

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 6 November 2012: Nikon introduces the latest D-SLR to its mid-range DX-format line-up, the 24.1 megapixel Nikon D5200, designed to bring out your creative side. From beautiful still photos to smooth Full HD movies, this camera empowers your freedom of expression, letting you capture your own unique view of the world.
Marina Gurevich, Product Manager for Nikon Europe, says: “The inspiring Nikon D5200 is ideal for those who are passionate about photography and want to experiment with the camera’s superior features. The impressive image and movie quality alongside a versatile vari-angle LCD monitor lets users unlock their creative potential.” 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Canon EOS 300D What a piece of equipment!!!

We could argue for days for the reasons why I started with Canon and not with Nikon system, but I’ll just say it was by chance and not by selection. It started like this: I browsed e-bay for a while, searching for a camera update from my OLYMPUS 2-mpixel gadget at an affordable price. You see, cameras in Greece were a bit overpriced for my almost empty pockets. I had recently got hold of a Canon EOS 300D at some store in Greece priced around 1400 euros. I browsed the menus, but nothing more. I knew the power of interchangeable lenses, but didn’t have the money or the need to buy such an expensive present to myself for Christmas. 

2005-2007 Post Processing couldn't be simpler

With the coming of PaintShopPro, Photoshop, ACDSEE and other programs in that time, post processing couldn’t get much simpler. In PaintShopPro there were many variations of the same photo to choose from and if you could neglect the fact that it only worked with 8-bit photos at that time, the results were impressive. 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Adobe releases Camera Raw 7.2 and Lightroom 4.2

Adobe has released the final versions of Adobe Camera Raw 7.2 and Lightroom 4.2. The latest updates bring finalized support for 21 additional cameras, including the Sony A99 and RX100, the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Canon EOS M. Lightroom gains tethering support for 11 cameras, including the Nikon D800 and Canon EOS 5D Mark III. It also adds support for 'Albums' in its uploader to the Revel service. Updates are available through the in-software update systems.
Both updates also provides preliminary support for the Nikon D600. A footnote on Adobe's Lightroom blog explains: "The support for Nikon D600 is preliminary and there is a minor risk that the appearance of your images may change when the final support for Nikon D600 is available in an upcoming release."

Saturday, 6 October 2012

29/7/2012 Street festival at Kalamata

29/7/2012 Kalamata
There was a street festival with music and happenings in the Railway Park of Kalamata. Actually it was not only that day, but it started some days before. I was reluctant to go there when invited because I was dead tired, but I still wanted to go for shooting.  Some of my friends would be in the park where the festival was taking place, so I decided to go anyway since you never know when a good photo opportunity is going to pop-up. And it paid being ready! I only shot 20 shots, as I just wasn't in the mood for "festivities", it is simply not my style and the hard metal sounds of the bands did not help at all as it is not my kind of music.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Busy, busy, busy...

It was a very busy summer...and a busy September...and it looks like October will be a busy one, too. I had more than 6000 shots taken on various occasions, breathtaking landscapes, portraits, stock photos etc. I wish the day had 25 hours instead of 24 sometimes... And there are many photos that I had not the chance of even viewing a second time and they are just lying on my virtual floor.  I'll have to leave you with a small taste (a quick PP set of 3 photos) until I find some time to write some stories and post process some photos...Sorry for that..

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Canon EOS 6D Hands-on Preview

One of the key themes of Photokina 2012 is shaping up be the resurgence of the full frame format, with the launch of a raft of cameras featuring 24x36mm sensors. First up was Sony, with its SLR-like Alpha SLT-A99 and Cyber-Shot RX1 fixed-lens compact. Now, just four days after arch-rival Nikon announced what it billed as the 'smallest and lightest full frame DSLR' in the shape of the D600, Canon has revealed its own contender - the EOS 6D. 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Nikon announces D600 24MP enthusiast full-frame DSLR

Photokina 2012: Nikon has announced the D600, the smallest, least expensive full frame DSLR on the market, aimed directly at enthusiast photographers. The D600 is built around a 24MP, 36x24mm, CMOS sensor and crams many of the features of the more expensive D800 into a distinctly D7000-esque body. It features a 100% coverage viewfinder and 39-point autofocus system, nine of which are cross-type points. It can capture 1080p HD video at 30, 25 or 24 frames per second and can stream uncompressed footage out over its HDMI port. There's also an optional Wi-Fi unit allowing the camera to be controlled remotely from an Android or iOS device. The D600 will have a list price of $2,099 body only, or $2,699 with the 24-85mm F3.5-5.6 lens and will be available from September 18th.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Canon extends allergy recall on EOS Rebel T4i / 650D

Canon has announced a wider recall for its EOS Rebel T4i/650D, in response to the discovery that a faulty batch of grips can turn white and produce an allergenic substance. The company has updated its web tool for identifying whether your camera might be affected and asks customers to check their camera's serial number if the sixth digit is a '1.' This applies even if you checked when the problem was first announced, back in July. It your camera is indicated to be affected, you should contact customer support in your territory.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

One of the last nice people

When we went for a whole-day photo-shooting with Maria, nothing had prepared me for the person I would meet.  We had our time with the previous photo-shooting at Polilimnio lakes, but meeting a person in depth for the whole day is another story.  Maria seems to be the happiest person alive and she makes everyone around her feel the same.  Despite her being reluctant at first and that we started very early in the morning in order to shoot with soft light and flash in shadow, the day went very well.  She was a delight to watch and photograph, very co-operative and full with ideas and suggestions, something very valuable when the photographer runs out of ideas.  I had planned the morning well, but had no idea about the afternoon or night.  The thing is that when you plan something it never goes the way you want, so you have to improvise and we improvised quite well! 

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Canon releases promised Firmware v2.0.0 for EOS 7D

Canon has released firmware version 2.0.0 for the EOS 7D. The update, originally announced in June, is the most comprehensive we can think of - significantly expanding the capabilities of the 7D. Changes include improved continuous-shooting buffer depth (to 25 Raws, up from the original 15), customizable Auto ISO, control of audio recording level for video and the ability to re-process Raws and rate images in-camera. The update also enables the use of the GP-E2 GPS module.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

2004 – The year I made true contact with my inner self

Ok, this year had a lot of action.  I got married, my honey moon, Olympic Games in Athens, EUROVISION 2004, EURO 2004 champion was Greece. What a year!!!  Photographically speaking, this was a colorful year.  I was drawn to colors, sunsets and simple frames, but I was always seeking for advice.  Internet had many resources to look  things up, but not so many nobble users. I kept things to myself as I was afraid of criticism. Not many chances to learn what others saw through my photos and I didn’t seem to care because I was afraid of not being liked.  I tried to learn everything by myself, so it took longer, I even lost opportunities to learn things others wanted to say and I needed to learn.   

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Canon issues allergy warning for EOS 650D/Rebel T4i

The front rubber grips of some units of the Canon EOS REBEL T4i Digital SLR camera (EOS 650D/EOS Kiss X6i overseas models) may change color (turn white) after a short period of time. Customer support for this phenomenon is described below.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Canon updates EOS 60D and EOS 60Da firmware to v1.1.1

Canon has issues a firmware update for the EOS 60D mid-level DSLR and 60Da astrophotography camera. On the 60D, firmware v1.1.1 corrects a bug that placed the wrong serial number in image EXIF. On both cameras it also fixes language errors in some menus. The company will announce updated versions of its software at a later date to correct existing images with the incorrect serial number. The firmware is available for download from your local Canon support site now.

Canon issues EOS 5D Mark III firmware v1.1.3, adding 40mm F2.8 support

Canon has announced updated firmware for the EOS 5D Mark III. Firmware v1.1.3 makes an unspecified change to accommodate the EF40mm F2.8 STM pancake prime lens announced earlier this month. Beyond this, the update fixes a series of bugs and corrects a series of linguistic errors in menu screens. The firmware is available for download from your local Canon support site now.

Enhanced with you in mind - new features of the EOS 7D

Enhanced with you in mind – Canon adds a range of new features to the EOS 7D

London, UK, 28 June 2012 – Canon today enhances the EOS 7D with firmware v2, adding a range of new features for enthusiasts looking to push the limits of their photography. Building on the camera's high speed, advanced handling and creative versatility, the new firmware provides photographers with a host of new benefits including higher maximum RAW burst rate, in-camera editing functions, user-definable Auto ISO and support for Canon's latest GPS Receiver, GP-E2.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Kalamata, June 2012

I've just finished the vast amount of photos I had to select and post process and I have mixed feelings about Canon's accuracy in focusing successfully.  I cannot understand if the unsuccessful focus is because the camera can't focus accurately or because subject or photographer moves.  I have used long and short lenses, high and low shutter speeds in day and night and what I have found is that when focusing from camera's live view in day I have many successful shots, but when point and shooting, things become difficult. 

Monday, 25 June 2012

(2012-06-16) Wedding of Kiriaki Zambara

Early afternoon in Meligala, the bride drives around the church three times as the custom commands.  The groom is waiting patiently in front of the church with a bunch of flowers in his hands.  The bride arrives, the car stops and through the open window the smiling face of the bride appears. The wedding ceremony will start in a few moments.  Photographers and guests are waiting for the meeting out of the church and they applause for the couple.  They enter the church and the mystery begins.  The couple is happy and it is showing as they keep smiling and whispering.  Their smile makes everyone else smile too. 

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Time of your life

There are times in your life and then, they are THOSE times in your life that makes your hobby enjoyable.  Such a day was the 14th of June, when our company of four planned a trip to Polilimnio falls near Charavgi village.  I had been there before, but two trips are never the same and the time I now spent was the most enjoyable one.  I personally made a childhood dream come true by swimming in the turquoise waters of a dream lake and I had good company with me.

Photoshooting Maria, Polilimnio

I am always asking for permission to publish details of every photo shooting I do from my models and I was granted one from Maria for our photo shooting at Polilimnio area, at lake Kadoula (which resembles the shape of a heart – I could not see that anyway!).

Technical Data
Camera: Canon EOS 60D
Lens used: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 IS, Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 Macro APO Super II + Culmann 4500-C flash (24-85mm)
Aperture: Min f4, Max f8
Shutter Speed: Min 1/200, Max 1/80
ISO: Min 200, Max 800
Weather: Similar to an overcast day due to the sun not reaching the bottom of the canyon

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Vacation sample

Summer arrived and I spent my first days on vacation trying to find new challenges for my camera.  Fortunately, these were very busy days with promises for future endeavors for photo shootings and excursions.  The past few days I made a dream of mine come true and it was nothing more than swimming in a dream-lake.  We found this lake at Polilimnio area near Charavgi village.  This is by no means a summary of the day, but rather a promise for a future photo story as I am still processing the photos from these few days.  

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Canon announces EOS 650D / Rebel T4i 18MP touch-screen DSLR with Hybrid AF

Canon has announced the EOS 650D (known as the Rebel T4i in North America), and 18MP touch-screen DSLR with a sensor-based hybrid AF system for improved focus in movie and live view modes. The camera gains the all-cross-type 9-point AF sensor from the EOS 60D and can now shoot at 5fps. It also adds stereo mics for its Full HD video recording, which is available at 30, 25 and 24fps. The camera will be available from the end of June at a price of $849, body only, $949 will the 18-55mm IS lens or $1199 with the co-announced 18-135mm STM IS lens.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

2002-2003 Olympus C220 zoom, a step ahead

It was an exciting moment when I bought my first digital compact camera. It would mean that I could make mistakes and learn from them, since I could select what photos to print and what settings to test. Unfortunately, it would also mean that I was about to lose all customization of shutter speed and aperture value, but I guessed that the “automatic little miracle” would know what I wanted to expose and where to focus. Of course nothing was like that.

Monday, 4 June 2012

OAKA - "fighting with light and space"

Athens Olympic Aquatic Center at Athens Olympic Sports Complex or “fighting with light and space”

Later this May I came across a difficult challenge which I feel I have failed although I managed to salvage all the shots up to a satisfactory (for others) degree.  I took some shots during an event in the Athens Olympic Aquatic Center at Athens Olympic Sports Complex that stretched my knowledge and steadiness more that I felt I could handle. 

Friday, 1 June 2012

Nikon issues firmware updates for D4 and D800/D800E

Nikon has updated the firmware of both the D4 and D800 professional DSLRs. The D4 receives updates to v1.01 for both firmware A and B, while the D800 and D800E only have B firmware v1.01. In both cases the firmware corrects minor operational glitches, including one that could cause the cameras to occasionally lock up. The updates can be downloaded from Nikon's websites.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Brightness and Contrast

Brightness and Contrast are two of the most determining aspects of photography. They are both related to exposure and light difference from dark to bright.
Brightness is an attribute of visual perception in which a source appears to be radiating or reflecting light while Contrast is the difference in visual properties that makes an object (or its representation in an image) distinguishable from other objects or/and the background. In visual perception of the real world, contrast is determined by the difference in the color and brightness of the object and other objects within the same field of view.

tips and tricks while shooting...

This section is full with some dirty tricks mostly discovered through experience. I am open to suggestions, your name will also tag the tip, so e-mail them!

Adobe launches ACR v7.1 and Lightroom v4.1 with X-Pro1 support

Lightroom 4.1 Now Available

Lightroom 4.1 is now available as a final release on Adobe.com and through the update mechanism in Lightroom 4.  The goal of this release is to provide additional camera raw support, lens profile support and address bugs that were introduced in previous releases of Lightroom. 

Canon acknowledges 'light leak' in the EOS 5D Mark III

Canon has published a product advisory notice acknowledging the existence of a 'light leak' issue on the EOS 5D Mark III. Users of the camera have reported that in dark conditions, switching on the top-LCD's back-illumination or shining a light on it alters the camera's metering, suggesting light is leaking into the body and reaching the metering sensor.

Wedding of Ntina Panousi

27th of May 2012 - A Wedding And A Christening

It was one of those times when you have two church mysteries one after the other and you have to be prepared for both situations.  This time I had learned the camera's settings, but somehow I found out that I had to study the camera body some more!  Again, I had not scouted the church before, no test shots, the main photographer had lights with frequency sync, so no worries this time!
He was polite and friendly when he asked me if I was going to be a second-shooter because nobody had informed him.  I replied that I was not going to be his second shooter and he would be the prime photographer of the mysteries, I could understand he was worried about me being an obstacle, but I reassured him that I would be careful not to stand in his way.  He replied that he would try to do the same and he asked me to leave some space before his bag so he could have quick access.  The rest of the day went fine and he did as he promised, I hope I hadn't been an obstacle, too.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

30 minute limit on video capture could end if WTO group gets its way

The restriction that limits video recording in digitial cameras to 30 minutes could be abolished if the World Trade Organization's Information Technology Agreement (ITA) is expanded. Several countries, including the USA, have begun informal talks to extend the scope of the ITA to include products that are currently subject to tariffs and duty. At present, digital cameras' video cuts off after 30 minutes to avoid them being classified as video cameras (which attract 5.4% duty into markets including Europe). If the video cameras are added to the ITA, this distinction would no longer matter. (via Nikkei)

Thursday, 17 May 2012

exposure - why raw, histogram...

In photography, exposure is the total amount of light allowed to fall on the photographic medium (photographic film or image sensor) during the process of taking a photograph. Exposure is measured in lux seconds, and can be computed from exposure value (EV) and scene luminance over a specified area.

Understanding White Balance

White balance (WB) is the process of removing unrealistic color casts, so that objects which appear white in person are rendered white in your photo. Proper camera white balance has to take into account the "color temperature" of a light source, which refers to the relative warmth or coolness of white light. Our eyes are very good at judging what is white under different light sources, but digital cameras often have great difficulty with auto white balance (AWB) — and can create unsightly blue, orange, or even green color casts. Understanding digital white balance can help you avoid these color casts, thereby improving your photos under a wider range of lighting conditions.

Adobe will fix security bug in CS5.x, having originally said CS6 was the fix

Adobe has confirmed that it will fix the security problems with Photoshop and other CS5.x packages, having originally suggested that a paid upgrade to CS6 was the only solution. The security concerns, raised by the company on May 8th, were rated as 'critical,' meaning it could 'allow malicious native-code to execute, potentially without a user being aware.' Despite this, the original solution raised in the company security bulletin was to upgrade to CS6, leaving CS5.x users vulnerable. The bulletin has now been updated.

Nikon D800 wins Camera Grand Prix 2012 award and public 'best camera' vote

Nikon's D800 has been awarded the prestigious Camera Grand Prix 2012 title and also won the public vote for best camera. 

Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw 7.1 Release Candidate

New camera and lens profile support for Camera Raw plug-in users

Welcome to the Adobe® Photoshop® Camera Raw 7.1 plug-in release candidate on Adobe Labs. A "release candidate" label indicates that this update is well tested but would benefit from additional community testing before it is distributed automatically to all of our customers. The Camera Raw 7.1 update includes support for many new cameras and lens profiles. A release candidate build of DNG Convertor 7.1 is also provided.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb in visual arts such as painting, photography and design. The rule states that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would.

photo basics

First of all, artistic skills cannot be taught, so do not get disappointed too fast. You have to learn how to "see" things rather than just watch or copy. If you take a photo and then give it to 10 people you will get 10 different interpretations and approaches meaning 10 pictures!
If you ask a photographer how to photograph things, he will certainly describe you the technical details, but he will fail to make you feel the same he felt when he released the shutter. These things are rather felt than taught. 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Full Moon has passed

09 May 2012

It’s been a while since I bought my Canon EOS 60D and I have been striving to use it effectively from the time it arrived.  I feel I must not waste it though on average shots (something that I am sure can not be avoided in the future) so I somehow want to prepare my shots in advance.  I previously owned a different class camera (a 12 Mpixel Canon EOS 450D) and whenever I felt pressure from daily issues of life and work, I took it with me and disappeared for a few hours.  This is what I plan to do in a few days, time and work permitted, since I also want to discover the new limits of my 18 Mpixel camera in combination with the high ISO value I can use (apparently up to 1600).

Sunday, 6 May 2012

2002 The last shots of my analog camera

Sometime after 1993 I stopped shooting as I was very worried about what to do with my life, what job to follow and what to learn in achieving what I wanted to do. Job prospects were not good, but were much better than today. Unemployment was an a good 17,5% rate although the true rate was around 20% since most of the jobs were part-time or for specific time frame. In addition to this the time came for me to join the army for my duty, so almost two years were “lost” for my life and everything I learned before joining were not so fresh after becoming a citizen again.

1993 Getting interested

The year is 1993 and I was still getting to know the dials and buttons of my camera, I learned that the little needle inside had to be within the circle in order to achieve best exposure and I had certain limits when "strecthing it".  In order to achieve this I had to consider 3 things:
  •          The aperture dial
  •          The shutter speed
  •          Film sensitivity
If all of the above reached the lowest allowed limit, my best chance was a flash. But one by one all of these ways had some limitations to consider.