Leigh MILLER: Blog http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog en-us (C) Leigh MILLER leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) Mon, 21 May 2018 23:53:00 GMT Mon, 21 May 2018 23:53:00 GMT http://www.leighmiller.ca/img/s/v-5/u544495160-o555293696-50.jpg Leigh MILLER: Blog http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog 120 80 RAW vs JPEG | WORKFLOW http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/raw-vs-jpeg-workflow Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Fujifilm X-Pro2 W/XF100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR | 400mm F5.6 1/2000 ISO200

The debate rages on...

As cameras get better with each iteration the need to worry about shooting RAW or JPEG still remains for one simple reason: The camera can only do so much and only you can tell it exactly how you want an image to be captured. If we are talking about casual photography then who really cares...if you miss a shot or your exposure/focus is off, big deal. Professionals have different concerns as poorly captured images can have serious consequences.

I shot the image above nearly two (2) years ago to the day. (RAW capture on the left)

The assignment was simple enough..."evaluate the X-Pro2 and XF100-400mm lens and give us your honest feedback". Although there was no implicit request for sample images I'm always conscious of the possibility that the manufacturer may want them. Also I may be able to license the image out for use in editorials etc. As such I typically shoot RAW in order to give myself maximum flexibility.

The scene itself was extremely high contrast with the sun high above in the early afternoon. Then we have a subject which is much darker than the background/foreground, and partially in shadow. This is a nightmare in most cases. Expose for the shadows and blow the highlights, do that in reverse and your shadow detail is lost. In the case of the X-Pro2, the shadows may appear black but it retains a lot of detail which can be pushed several stops in editing. If I had taken the shot with my camera set to JPEG I might have gotten something that works well enough but limited in editing ability as the results are mostly baked-in. Shooting RAW allowed me to make maximum use of the X-Pro2's dynamic range so that I could push/pull the exposure during editing. While I'm at it, the white balance and color of selected areas were tweaked. Unless the aim to is to capture accurate color, I'll usually settle for something pleasing.

Finally, sharpening is critical here and if this is a serious assignment I won't trust that to the camera. With this example I sharpened the surfer and selective areas of the water independently.

For me shooting RAW vs JPEG is a matter of "WHY & HOW"...as in why would I give myself a ton of after-work (Conversion and Editing) if I'm shooting RAW and how the image is intended to be used. It's a personal choice I think...I've seen plenty of professionals/enthusiast work shot in JPEG. If you are good enough to capture the intended result without the cushion RAW files provide, go for it. I'm not so good...I like the cushion :-)

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) adobe editing fuji fujifilm gear jpeg photographer raw travel workflow http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/raw-vs-jpeg-workflow Mon, 21 May 2018 23:53:24 GMT
X-T2 & XF100-400mm | Presqu'ile Provincial Park http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/x-t2-xf100-400mm-presquile-provincial-park Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Cedar Waxwing | 400mm F/5.6 ISO800 1/2000 sec

Interesting and completely useless piece of information about the Cedar Waxwing, besides being absolutely gorgeous...this bird can thrive on a diet of fruit alone, all year long. I didn't even need a blind or camo...just wait a few minutes near a tree sporting berries and they come right along in large numbers.

Cedar WaxwingCedar WaxwingLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Another pretty good day of birding out at Presqu'ile Provincial Park...

The weather was near perfect with plenty of light and low winds coming off the lake. I was able to get away with ISO's between 400-800 and shutter speeds up around 1/1600's to freeze action.I wanted a day or two in the park ahead of the long weekend which is sure to see a crush of visitors for the Festival Of Birds.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca A word of advice if you are headed that way: Wear good hiking boots at the very least, but really you should throw a set of Wellies' in the trunk of your car. The eastern side of the point is flooded ankle deep. I destroyed a perfectly good set of sneakers...probably time to move on from them anyway.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Second, if you are at all scared of snakes just know that they are coming out now to soak up the warm sun and hunt for small rodents. As you walk along the trails or thru the bush you can hear a chorus of leaves rustling under these critters. While your at it, apply a thin spray of bug repellant. The air is thick as smoke with swarms of them...a good thing since the fly catcher birds are among the prettiest.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca On the beach side, shores birds are out in force...mostly Caspian Terns, Gulls, and Sandpipers of various breeds. There are four (4) look out stations...again you will want something in the order of 300mm or longer.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty. The best shots are from a shore level perspective. The beach was absolutely crawling with ladybugs and small spiders.. not sure if the birds were eating those as they seemed more interested in small bits washing up to shore from the water.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca I came home with a handful of them stowed away in my gear bag...trust me, from experience you don't want these multiplying in your house. They survive all year round' and get into everything.

Yellow WarblerYellow WarblerLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Warblers are among my favs and they are out in force as well making nests and chasing flies and other small insects. These little guys rarely stay still to have portraits taken and dart in and out of heavy brush. I tend to focus on where I think they will make a pass and wait. I watched this Yellow Warbler collect material to build a nest for the better part of an hour.

Eastern KingbirdEastern KingbirdLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca As I was leaving this Eastern Kingbird landed on a branch about 40 yards from the road. Again...nothing less than 300mm is going to make you happy and you want to head north of 400mm to make things comfortable.


Images for this article were taken with the Fujifilm X-T2, paired with the XF100-400mm telephoto zoom lens. The landscape shots are courtesy of the Fujifilm X70 (which isn't manufactured anymore).

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) animals bird birding fuji fujifilm gear mirrorless nature photographer photography travel wildlife http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/x-t2-xf100-400mm-presquile-provincial-park Fri, 18 May 2018 01:12:07 GMT
Getting The Shot! http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/getting-the-shot XF100-400 F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WRXF100-400 F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR | 400mm F5.6 ISO640 !/30 sec


Two part email (question) on how I get the shots..

The first question is pretty easy and slightly embarrassing. So thank you (Colin) for the compliment, I do take pride in my work but I'm far from perfect. The small village of people who are closest to me will tell you all the ways in which I'm very much imperfect. A handful of those can even teach a master class on my many deficiencies (they know who they are). The slowest shutter speed I've ever taken a wildlife image at is with the XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens at 1/30th of a second (above). I was on the island of Bonaire enjoying a nice glass of rum when that Heron flew in and pitched on the edge of the pool. It had just finished raining and the light levels were fairly low when I grabbed the camera (X-Pro2) and took this shot. Fortunately a couple of things worked in my favour..

A) Optical Image Stabilizer..I can't stress enough how important this feature is on a telephoto lens over 200mm. If you don't have a stabilised model then get a good tripod or something else that will steady your shaky hands. The only time I break this rule is when the light levels are so high that my shutter speed is more than double the focal length. Fujifilm has really worked on this over the past few years and that shot is a testament to how well they have done. I actually didn't even take notice of how low the shutter speed was at the time. I was focused on lighting the bird and taking the shot before she flew away. The light bouncing off the pool water raised the shadow levels under her. You can see from the blue tinge of her feathers.

If I had paid attention to the details I might have increased the ISO to around 3200 to ensure a sharp capture. When I reviewed this on my computer and saw the shutter speed I was in amazement that it was pulled off at all. I'm pretty sure that I was a few glasses in on the Rum and it was a hot, sticky day. I'm not a fan of hot, sticky days.

B) This is where things get interesting.

You can get everything right and still not get a single shot worth keeping. I've come home with a full memory card only to delete every single image because they plain out sucked.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca The birds don't care how much you spent on your camera, lenses and all of that jazz. You go thru the motions to set exposure, get your composition right...line up the focusing and only to have the bird say "nah buddy...not today. I'm out of here". Sometimes they even mock you a little. They know you are there, sweating it out, second guessing yourself in agony...they just do their own thing. Who cares if they aren't pitched up against the perfect background...on  a natural looking branch.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca At best wildlife photography is really just serendipity.

Just like a broken clock is right twice a day...you just have to be in the right place at the right time and ready to take advantage of the situation. That's the interesting part. If missing a shot hurts you to the core and makes you physically ill. Wakes you up in the middle of the night filled with regret...then photography isn't a hobby. You are an enthusiast...if your income depends on it then you are a professional and that's an entirely different bag of worries.

But...the interesting part.

I've stated this before but here goes: Buy, Borrow or Rent the best equipment you can afford. For birds especially, nothing under 300mm will make you happy. Even then it's likely that adding a teleconverter will jussssst get you into the ball park. Birds will run, fly, waddle or swim away from you if you get beyond their comfort zone and you absolutely do not want to stress them out. 300, 400, 500, 600mm gives you enough room for you both to be safe and happy. To that end a good camera with fast autofocus and resolution for comfortable cropping is a good partner. Flash and tripod/monopods are optional and I never go out into the field without one or the other.

The most important investment you make though will be in yourself. I spend a lot of time just shooting...and watching others shoot and all that goes into my "learning" basket. The goal is to create an environment that gives you the best opportunity for success. I'm all about progress, not perfection and no matter how well I do there will always be that missed opportunity that wakes me up in a cold sweat....because I messed it up. After having my work featured in nearly 100 different publications I still worry about doing better each time I press the shutter.

Interesting Thing number two: It's not about the pictures...just being ensconced in nature. That experience of soaking it all in, no smartphone, no TV, no distractions. That's the prize and I don't know of a single wildlife photographer who cares about anything else.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) bird birding fuji fujifilm gear mirrorless nature photographer photography post processing retouching travel wildlife http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/getting-the-shot Wed, 16 May 2018 21:31:45 GMT
May Long Weekend Birding Road-Trip! http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/may-long-weekend-birding-road-trip Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

I've just come off a draining back to back assignment for travel & weddings and have just enough to time to do laundry and hit the gym before getting right back on the road for the May long weekend. I'm headed out to Point Pelee National Park for a few days of bird watching/photography. I love the Red Winged Blackbirds, Sparrows and Robins around here but I'm in the mood for change... I think they call it "The Festival of Birds' or something.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

I'm actually going to do something I typically shy away from...I booked myself on one of the tours for the first day. I figure with the crush of people heading out there this weekend it may help my chances of attaching to smaller groups who are a little more concerned with not disturbing the animals too much. I'll go it alone  the second day once I know my way around.

Stay tuned for images!


These images were shot with the X-T2 paired with an XF100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens with 1.4X TC at times.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) animal bird birding birds fuji fujifilm gear mirrorless nature photographer photography portrait post processing travel wildlife http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/may-long-weekend-birding-road-trip Tue, 15 May 2018 16:01:43 GMT
Snappers! | Wildlife Photography http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/snappers-wildlife-photography Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca In Legend.... The Turtle carries the world on it's back. It teaches patience & endurance, and the aptitude to be strong during difficult times. Just the other day I witnessed something truly amazing, a pair of mating Snapping Turtles. I was camped out in a remote section of woods backed unto to a large pond when suddenly there was a bunch of splashing off in the distance. My first thought was that it was an otter or a bunch of ducks so I went back to setting up my camera which was recently updated to FIRMWARE 4.0. I was planning on testing it out with a combination of video and still images.

It's rare enough to see a Snapper let alone a mating pair so when I hiked down to the water and saw the two of them I was in total shock. I ran back up to the camp site and grabbed my X-T2 and rattled off some choice shots and video before they finished up and swam off to opposite ends of the pond.

These creatures are amazing...they only become sexually active in their 20's and while they aren't endangered yet, there is considerable pressure from habitat bi-section and of course...human interference. The females can store sperm for anywhere from 1 to 3 years. She chooses WHEN to reproduce all by herself.


The images and video for this article were taken with the Fujifilm X-T2 and XF100-400mm telephoto lens. The video was shot at 1080p (60 frames per second) and conformed to a 24p timeline. The footage itself was converted from F-LOG and graded in Final Cut Pro X.


Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) adobe animals fuji fujifilm gear nature photographer turtles wildlife http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/snappers-wildlife-photography Sat, 12 May 2018 04:33:48 GMT
Presqu'ile Provincial Park Birding http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/presquile-provincial-park-birding Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

I took a detour on the way home (about 2 1/2 hours) to stop off at Presqu'ile Provincial Park and spent a few hours chasing birds around. I've passed Brighton, Ontario a few times but didn't know the park existed until recently. It's on a must visit list for bird spring migrations (specifically Presqu'ile Point). The official festival doesn't kick off until the long weekend of this month but there are already lot's of interesting arrivals.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca This guy soaked up a good hour as I tracked him through the heavy branches and twigs. In the process I found out something about the XF100-400mm that took me by complete surprise.  First, I've always shot it at 400mm wide open at F/5.6, which works great because it blurs backgrounds nicely and renders a very sharp image. On this occasion I stoped down between F/6.4-7.1 which results in images that barely need to be sharpened in editing.

Second, the size of the AF squares matter. I had mine set to the largest size and I could barely lock unto the bird as it darted in and out of the branches. I could see it moving around inside a big blurry blob of bokeh but the lens refused to find focus.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Once I reduced the square to the smallest size the focusing barely missed. I was able to pick up the bird with sniper-like precision with minimal hunting. My experience has been the opposite...larger sizes for AF speed and smaller for precision.

Unfortunately I couldn't stay longer, Midway through the hike I got a text advising me that this little beauty had arrived!

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca It had to be retrieved from my concierge and wrapped for it's new owner who is headed to Europe to thank her mother in person.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) birding birds fuji fujifilm gear nature photographer wildlife http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/presquile-provincial-park-birding Tue, 08 May 2018 01:02:08 GMT
Spring Migration | Day I http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/spring-migration-day-i Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

[In My Area] Those critical three (3) weeks of bird migration are underway and I've rearranged my usual schedule so I can catch as much of it as possible. I've got four (4) major hotspots to hit; Point Pelee, Macgregor Point, Long Point and Presqu'ile for the Warblers and Whimbrels weekend festival.

I dragged myself out of bed this morning...hard thing to do in cottage country. Not a soul is looking for you, the weather is great and your dead tired. I did it anyway and was out the door and on the road by 5AM. I arrived just before the sun turned on and got set up in a decent blind to grab some shots before the light turned harsh.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca As usual I shot these with my daily driver, the Fujifilm X-T2 paired with the XF100-400mm telephoto zoom lens. Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop are used for editing.


Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Canadian Goose are pretty common but I love watching them take off and land. The power in those wings to haul it's massive body into the air... This one got chased off by a pair he was trying to intrude upon.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

A pair of Harlequin or Common Merganser (I think) gliding through the water as they feed, occasionally harassed by an otter that popped up at random.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Some type of Warbler but it was way too far off in the distance to make a distinction. This area is "Bird Managed" and venturing into the thickets and under-brush is prohibited off the established trails. Good for the birds...extra dose of patience for birders. NO 1.4X TC for me today...a casualty of getting up earlier than I used to these days. Lazy wretch.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) bird birding birds nature nature photography nuthatch outdoors warbler wildlife wildlife photography http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/spring-migration-day-i Sun, 06 May 2018 23:22:49 GMT
The Five Things of Bird Photography http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/the-five-things-of-bird-photography Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Stare Down | X-T2 W/XF100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR


Birding season is here....FINALLY!

I haven't given it any serious effort since 2012...which coincided with my changeover from Canon to Fujifilm. Back then Fuji didn't have a prime or telephoto zoom that was equivalent. That changed with the introduction of the XF100-400mm lens. The 5 things I'll touch on here can be applied to any camera system though.

Just a foreword: If you are an amateur or hobby birder, please don't waste too much time with the fine details of the information in this post. Get yourself a decent camera and long lens, wait for good weather with lot's of light and go outside for a few hours of fun. If however, this is a serious pursuit then you will want to pay close attention. Skimping on any one of these five things will seriously hold you back.

1) Megapixels, Auto-Focus and great Dynamic Range

Buy a very good camera...resolution should be at least 16 Megapixels because you will be cropping. Some bird species are so small that you can palm 3 or 4 of them in one hand and still have plenty of room to hold a set of car keys. Annoyingly those small ones...are among the most interesting and beautiful. Even with a long focal length of say...600mm [See No. 2] you will have to crop for composition and have enough leftover for a decent sized print.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca You won't always have time to fine-tune your composition. The bird lands...and you aim, adjust exposure as best you can and take the shot(s). Later on you can make it conform to the rule of thirds to keep the technical people happy. I've very rarely viewed an image with the animal dead-center that appeals to me. I shot that particular image this way to give myself framing options.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Fujifilm X-T2 | 1/300 sec F6.4 at ISO400

Occasionally I mess up big time...focus is off etc. The very worst is when I completely blow the exposure and end up with this. If your camera has a nice wide dynamic range you can significantly edit the image to save an otherwise decent capture. The image of a crane above is a classic example and good reminder that neither me or the camera are perfect. I was exposed for the bright background which rendered the bird dark but I could tell that it was a sharp capture. I boosted it about 2 1/2 stops with a few other little tricks for the final printable shot.

Essential to bird photography is a camera/ens combo that focuses very fast. Birds tend to move around quickly the smaller they are. Larger birds such as cranes, egrets, ducks etc. tend to be more predictable. Even they are typically on the move. Your gear must be able to acquire a focus lock without too much hesitation. Each camera platform is slightly different but your going to want one with enough focus points to cover the entire viewfinder which aids in getting your composition very close to finished right in camera. I myself alternate between a small focus group or single point focus. Whether you opt for continuous focus or not is a personal choice. 

2) A very long lens

I'm not kidding...get something on the order of 300mm or longer. These lenses are not cheap. A 300mm prime lens in the F4-F5.6 category will set you back at least $2,000 and if you get brave enough to look at an F2.8 model your going up significantly into the $3-8K range depending on which camera platform you use....Canon makes an 800mm monster at nearly $20K. I actually have friends who have sold valuable assets including cars in order to fund these things.

AND SAFETY

A less expensive option is to get yourself a telephoto zoom.

A zoom is infinitely more versatile and can potentially lighten your gear bag for a long day out in the field. If you are going this way then get one with image stabilisation or make room in your budget for a sturdy tripod.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

These lenses will be large just to accommodate the massive amounts of glass they employ. Which reminds me..if the lens does not come with a tripod collar, make sure to add that to the purchase price as well. It's essential for two reasons...it takes the weight/pressure off the lens mount and allows for portrait and landscape orientation without messing with your setup.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca By the way, going with a crop sensor multiplies your focal length making that 300mm lens an effective 450mm (**). On a micro four thirds body it becomes a 600mm setup. On top of that you can very likely add a 1.5X or 2.0X telephoto converter for even more reach.

3) Fast Memory Cards

Whether SD or CF cards, get a set with large capacity (32GB+) and fast enough to keep up with your camera. You only have to learn this lesson once when you let off a burst of frames and the camera locks up while the image buffer empties. 16MB files probably won't cause too much of a headache but once your dealing with a 24MB+ RAW file that all changes.  Action/performance oriented cameras can rattle off frames like a machine gun. Skimp here and you will be watching the birds come and go instead of making images. I personally would not use a card with a Read/Write speed of less than 200MB per/sec. Understand though that these R/W numbers from card manufacturers are theoretical (IMHO). My advice...try several different brands and go from there.

http://leighmiller.zenfolio.com 4) Get Used to high ISO

ISO 400 is just a starting point and more likely than not you will be between 1600 and 3200. [SEE #1].

Unless you like blurry or out of focus images you need a very high shutter speed on the range of 1/500 to 1/2000 which can be a big challenge in heavy cover or overcast days. The idea is to overcome your shaky hand movements and freeze the subject's motion. You just have to trust that your camera has good performance in this area...Full-Frame, APSc and Micro Four Thirds sensors in that order. There is just no way around the science but depending on the camera model and your post-processing skills that may not be a big issue.

5) Get Some Camouflage Outfits

When it comes to camouflage I'm of two minds...on the one hand this is an area of photography where blending into the environment actually increases your chances of getting closer to the subject animals. When they are comfortable your images will be much less forced and nothing beats a natural look. On the other hand...can you go too far? 

I've heard all the jokes...mostly from friends and family but it's a practical matter so suck it up and get suited. My girl was particularly cruel. Since my threshold is low, I keep things simple. Hat, Top/Bottoms, gloves and dark colored boots. On occasion I will break out the lens coat to complete the kit when using a lens that is any color but black.

 

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) bird birding fuji fujifilm gear mirrorless nature photographer wildlife http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/5/the-five-things-of-bird-photography Fri, 04 May 2018 16:31:09 GMT
Gone Birding... http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/4/gone-birding


I'm no lover of warm weather...

Spring however brings the one event that I look forward to almost as much as the next Winter...migrating birds. It's still early but I'm out of practice so I've been heading outside as much as my schedule allows hoping to catch anything that flies. April started off pretty desperate...cold snaps and frequent snow then four days ago the clouds parted and it's been blue skies. Perfect lighting in the mornings and early evenings for birding. So far I've managed to spend time in the field from Algonquin Provincial Park all the way down to Point Pelee National Park...though the latter is still restricted.

Central to that has been the XF100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR + The 1.4X TC attached to the Fujifilm X-T2, my daily driver. Pegging a target smaller than your hand at 20 yards or more...not easily done without the right gear.

I've written follow up reviews [HERE] and [HERE] and I can definitely tell you that nothing replaces quality time with your gear. I rarely bother with reviews where the writer basically picks up the camera/lens and churns out photos of cats and action figures. This lens needs a good investment in time even for seasoned long-lens users. My hit rate has gone way up over the past few months even in challenging light. It's lived at 400mm (600mm *35mm) the majority of the time and renders images with lot's of energy and presence.

Sadly I have to pack it away fro the next week or two as I'm off on an assignment to a location where it would really be fun in my off-time. It's a space issue..I like my gear to fit in the overhead compartment of planes. I'm taking along just enough equipment to get my job done and fly out as soon as possible. Also a lens this big catches a lot of attention. I don't need the hassle of watching for potential trouble the entire trip.

A small note..my nature photography workflow is due for an update but I'll do that by way of a video in the very near future. For the time being the heavy lifting is still getting done in Adobe Lightroom, while noise reduction, local area adjustment and sharpening are finished off in Photoshop. I've started using Defin2 in the Nik Software collection for more targeted noise management but who knows for how long...the company that bought the application from Google just filed for bankruptcy protection...sigh.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO400 400mm (600mm *35mm) 1/500 F5.6

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO800 560mm (840mm *35mm) 1/1250 F8

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO400 400mm (600mm *35mm) 1/500 F5.6

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO400 400mm (600mm *35mm) 1/500 F5.6

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO400 400mm (600mm *35mm) 1/400 F5.6

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO400 400mm (600mm *35mm) 1/500 F5.6

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO400 400mm (600mm *35mm) 1/640 F5.6

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO400 400mm (600mm *35mm) 1/2000 F5.6

 

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) animals bird bird watching birding birds canada fuji fujifilm nature ontario outdoors photographer photography southern ontario wildlife http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/4/gone-birding Sat, 28 Apr 2018 00:52:04 GMT
Copyright Foolishness | We did it to ourselves.. http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/4/copyright-foolishness-we-did-it-to-ourselves


I've been tracking a story for a few years now...waiting to see how it would play out.

A photographer and PETA (on behalf of a Crested Black Macaque) fight over who has copyrights to a set of images which the Monkey shot with said photographer's camera. Yup. You read that right. Here is the story...and get yourself a glass of [INSERT BEVERAGE HERE]:

One Mr. David J Slater was undertaking a photoshoot of a Crested Black Macaque troup when they got the better of him enough to lay distractions so they could play with his camera. Before he got the camera back one of the monkeys had taken a bunch of photos including a "Selfie". Most reasonable people would agree that the human who owns the camera and was directly responsible for the images being created in the first place is in fact the copyright holder. PETA disagreed and argued that the monkey who snapped the images was entitled to claim ownership...sigh. Foolishness.

I love animals...more than people even if I'm honest and I prefer them in the wild, unimpeded by humans. To suggest however that they are legally entitled to copyrights of images is ridiculous. Don't get me wrong...I believe that our closest non-human relative is incredibly interesting but by my definition they are not PEOPLE. Only people can file claims to assert rights. The 9th circuit court agreed.

Prior to this ruling the photographer and PETA actually reached a settlement which saw Slater agreeing to share profits from the Selfie picture in question, an agreement I thought was sheer lunacy (I used stronger language at the time). As a photographer who shoots weddings among other services, I employ other talented people to work as my second or assistant. Both job roles require image making regardless of whether or not it's done with my camera. All of the images fall under my copyright with those contractors being subject to restrictions on how they may use my images (portfolio) etc. The fact that they made some of the images is irrelevant unless we made some arrangement to the contrary.

I am over the moon happy that the courts rejected that rubbish settlement and elected to play out the case. Now we have a precedent which all photographers should take note of because it's been our inattention to this major detail of our work that got us here. I'm guilty as well...but I learned to be more serious about it after having a fair bit of images stolen over the years. For instance, any images of importance are shared only after my full name (Leigh Miller), Copyright and contact information is inserted into the EXIF. In the past I used my initials (Jr. Miller) but that was far too common and several photo thieves with matching initials have misappropriated my work. Now when I catch someone using one of my images without permission or attribution I have more than an empty threat of a lawsuit to work with.

Every professional photographer should make it a weekend assignment to learn more about Copyright laws in (your) jurisdiction. Never accept organizations like PETA pushing their interpretations on you. Also stop working for FREE. If you don't value your own time and talent nobody else will. You can't pay bills with "exposure" or "shout-outs". Just try it...go down to your bank and ask to pay the mortgage with exposure, see what they tell you. Of course this doesn't extend to personal projects or favours for family and friends. I will typically refer those people to other photographers anyway.

Times are hard and when you are chasing every dollar it might seem like a good idea but trust me on this...customers you raise on free work, rarely grow up to be paying clients. 

And just so we are clear, you can do all the right things and still have images stolen. In just the past two years alone some very major corporations (including two camera manufacturers) have been caught using images they didn't license or attribute to the copyright holders. Knowing how to handle that will ensure that you don't lose your cool and behave unprofessionally while increasing your chances of a favourable resolution.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) business copyright photographer photography http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/4/copyright-foolishness-we-did-it-to-ourselves Tue, 24 Apr 2018 22:42:06 GMT
Fur Monster http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/4/fur Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca


Juvenile Bobcat | Fujifilm X-T2 W/XF100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR | Acros Black & White Film Simulation


I've always loved the vibe of black and white pictures.

In my storage locker are a ton of old look books filled with portraiture and landscapes from the days of film. All the old Hollywood imagery were black and white. It covered up all kinds of flaws and rendered all the talent glamorous, mysterious...what we think of as sexy today. On occasion I can talk a client into letting me shoot one or two extra shots strictly for my exploration.

Unsuccessfully I've tried copying Tri-X, Ilford and a few others but modern digital cameras are so hyper-realistic that it's almost impossible to pull off. The Fujifilm Acros with the Red filter comes close in this shot of a young Bobcat resting on day-old snow covered ground.

Shot Details: ISO200 at 400mm wide open on the long end a F/5.6. Amazingly sharp and expressive at 1/250 seconds on the shutter. Technology gives and takes...all at the same time.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) black and white bobcat film fujifilm nature outdoors photography spring wildlife http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/4/fur Tue, 24 Apr 2018 01:57:59 GMT
Adobe Lightroom ver 7.3 | WORKFLOW http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/4/adobe-lightroom-ver-7-3-workflow Screenshot


Adobe's ears must be burning....

All the talk about Capture One being a better RAW file processor must be messing with their creative minds. It makes me wonder just who they have working on the Lightroom development...and who those people are talking to (end users). They sure aren't taking any advice from the likes of me, and I've been with them since day one, version 1.

Sadly I have to save you time if you're not into reading further.

Very little has changed. In fact I'll go one better...very little that we (professionals) have asked for has been changed and it's frustrating. An Adobe software update announcement is like listening to Donald Trump speak. You never quite know where he's going because of the word salad..at the end you have no idea if he actually answered the question but your safe in thinking...no. The truth is somewhere between Hyperbole and Fact..even that is subject to interpretation.

I've followed the usual suspects for about a week now as they crow about the major improvements made in version 7.3...

Screenshot Don't blink...you will miss them. The message you see when starting up version 7.3 is really the extent of the "improvements". Basically nothing my many peers have been asking for. It's mostly tidying up "the house" so you won't focus on how ratty it really is. I'm all for neatness. Compared to version 1.0 Adobe has really/slowly organized the interface and while it's still not to my liking, anything is better than nothing.

Frankly though what we asked for was not a clean house but a real improvement to A) Operational Speed and B) RAW Processor Improvement

Operational Speed

It's still a slug. That slug has been given a turbocharger but it's still a slug. I see very little difference in terms of speed and we are still not getting the full benefits that modern computers offer. If you have a high-end GPU or Multi-Core CPU it's still for show...this software will not leverage them. To be fair I do see minor improvement in Import/Export but who cares...it's not enough to make an appreciable impact. The flow on the development panel is at least a little more logical...start with the color science and work your way down...would have been good for them to move the Lens and Transform panels up as well. Users who "know" always fix "issues" first before begin the real editing work. Better yet...make the panel configurable so users can arrange the tools in modules according to their liking.

Going back to the color science...Adobe has revamped the color profiles and now "Adobe Standard" is now "Adobe Color"...and so forth. The color interpretation is still off...too saturated in most cases. I give the win to Capture One here as well.

RAW Processor

I'm still disappointed as a Fujifilm X-Trans based user. Sharpening is still bad. Continue to undertake your RAW file sharpening in Photoshop using the UNSHARP tool. This was the first thing I tried...and exported a file with the PRINT SHARPENING feature...terrible. The artifacts rendered the file unusable in my opinion. The software does better with Canon, Sony and Nikon files but is still inferior to Capture One straight out of the box. While we are on that...the default sharpening used to be set at 25 (AMOUNT)...now it defaults to 40 without a single bit of explanation as to why this was done.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

My Take

I'm sure it sounds like I've given the software a big fat F...and I just wish it were that simple.

My relationship with Adobe Lightroom has been mostly complicated. It got even more strained when I began shooting with Fujifilm and Olympus cameras. I've continued to use it because I like it's Swiss Army Knife usefulness. The software is inferior to Capture One as a RAW Processor but is easier to master and for most people, all they will ever need. Those who aren't terribly discerning will likely never notice the shortcomings and for the average mobile device display it won't matter.

For more particular users like myself the key is to develop a set of work-arounds (sharpening) and/or (color-profiling) to please your eyes. Also don't kill yourself upgrading your computer, the software is still many revisions away from leveraging high-end systems significantly. The ideal configuration is still less cores, higher clock speed. The storage subsystem should at least be able to keep up and I recommend a Solid State Drive or a 7200 RPM standard hard disk. If you aren't also working with video forget about RAID...waste of money.

I'm disappointed but not surprised.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) adobe fuji fujifilm gear lightroom mirrorless olympus photographer photography post processing retouching workflow http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/4/adobe-lightroom-ver-7-3-workflow Tue, 10 Apr 2018 00:46:24 GMT
Social Media in 2018 http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/4/social-media-in-2018

It's been awhile since I've done one of these "answers to emails blog posts"...now seems like a really good time to get into that. One of my regular readers who emails me every now and then recently asked why my social media presence isn't bigger and would I like her assistance in building engagement on my instagram profile. So...my answer was "no, I'm good" to the last question. No reflection on her, based on what I've seen of the work she's done for others it seems to me that at the very least the social media thing is something she mastered very early on. Read On to find out how and why I answered the first question.


I follow the work of fellow photographer who's more of a fine artist in my opinion. I love his outlook on photography and the way in which he views it as a craft. Check out his on-line home ROBERT RODRIGUEZ JR.

He writes in a recent BLOG post "I’ve grown to see social media as a potential black hole of distraction for me, one that I want to avoid". My sentiments exactly, though once upon a time I was convinced otherwise. In fact I'm gonna show my age right now...I started on the internet before there was anything close to social media. When the "idea" of social media came around I started using ICQ as my chat application on my computer and then MySpace...oooh sh*t, remember that??

I'm not easily distracted. When I'm doing something my entire focus is on that task and you would have to drop a hammer on my toes to take me away from it until I'm ready. I've never had trouble tuning out social media but it came with years of practice and I know it's something I want to avoid spending too much time on each day.

Right around the time I was setting up my personal MySpace page something happened that soured me on sharing too much personal information. My identity was stolen and it happened because I allowed it. I filled out a long form once and placed it in a cardboard box like all the other young people in line ahead of me did. Somewhere along the line that cardboard box was intercepted or shared with others who promptly opened up credit cards, bank accounts etc. I didn't know a thing until years afterwards when collection companies started sending me letters. Quite a shock to me since I'd never even bought anything from Danier Leather let alone applied for one of their store credit cards. Long story short...it took years to clean that up. To this day I sill have one telecom company asking for repayment for internet services at an address I never even lived at. I was lucky.

That experience taught me a hard lesson about trusting people you don't really know with your personal information. In the best of circumstances it takes a lot for me to trust anyone. The people that have it, earned it over many years of showing me true friendship. Nothing, not even disagreement breaks that trust once earned. How then would I square sharing with people I've never even met.

Lately I've noticed a real shift where social media is concerned.

In the not too distant past everyone and their cousin were writing articles about increasing social media engagement. "It will help your business" blah blah blah. Guess what... some person in Hungary liking one of my images on instagram will not increase my earnings a single bit. They will never likely be a client. Frankly, if it's strictly about the images it will be stolen and used without my permission anyway. I've had that happen more times than I care to count. That's why I've stopped placing copyright info on my images...what's the point. Thanks for the "Like" though.

Then came the big revelation recently  that Facebook "SELLS" it's user data and makes no distinction to whom. You have money? They will sell it to you. So all the personal information you feed into the platforms over the years is in the hands of people you likely wouldn't approve of. Had a difficult point in your life and poured your heart out on-line? Guess what...You may have moved on but it's still there ready for someone to exploit. I've curtailed my use of Facebook years ago and that was the main reason. I wouldn't give someone I know fairly well a whole lot of sensitive information about myself let alone a person I've recently met.

Interestingly I logged into my bank account to pay a few bills and greeting me on the main account page was a breakdown of how I spent "MY" money over the past month. That chilled me to the bone. Why does my bank need to know how much I spend on wine and rum, taxi services and entertainment. I don't even recall giving them permission to collate my personal business in that manner. Some may not mind all that...maybe it helps them keep track of their spending but I resent it. 

The Risk

I'm an increasingly private person but I like sharing images and video on-line. The only goal is for someone to enjoy them, maybe even learn something and while they may generate income or interest in my work, that's just icing on the cake.  I balance that with keeping too much personal information from seeping into that process. The world is filled with people who don't have your best interest at heart and they will use anything you provide them to harm you...often for no other reason than "They Can". That harm can be financial or maybe your information used to influence others...as we saw in the last U.S.A elections.

The real risk as I see it: Social Media robs the unaware of living in the moment. I would rather go outside and take a walk, camera in hand than swipe through someone's instagram checking out every image and seeing who their followers are etc. To me, those poor souls who's life only exists in the latest smartphone are missing the point...it's just aspirational, meant to inspire them to live the fullest life they can. 

Build Relationships

My tried and true method has worked for me for many years...pick up the phone and call someone who I think needs my services. Every now and then one of these contacts will connect me with other entities outside of my base area...that's always cool when it pans out. I like seeing new places and cultures. I maintain a high level of engagement with past clients because of the established relationship. Even if they aren't hiring me on a project for whatever reason, they ask my opinion or even recommendations for third parties.

One or two people recently have referred to it as me..turning on the charm. Ok, I'll take that, it's better than being sour and going about my job wearing an "I'm not happy face". What some people do on their instagram page to win followers is a thing I employ in my daily life. Call it charming but I expect to get in front of clients because they like my attitude, my work and the relationship with me.

To be frank...I haven't seen a social media platform that can replace that. Not for me anyway.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) internet on-line social media world wide web http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/4/social-media-in-2018 Tue, 03 Apr 2018 15:59:43 GMT
Got Nut's? http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/3/got-nuts Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Fujifilm X-T2 W/XF100-400mm | F5.6 - 400mm - 1/125 -ISO200

 

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) animal fujifilm nature outdoors spring telephoto wildlife http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/3/got-nuts Tue, 27 Mar 2018 13:36:46 GMT
Blue Hour http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/3/blue-hour

X-T1 W/XF27mm F2.8 | F2.8-1/420-ISO200

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) barcelona blue hour cityscape clouds fujifilm fujinon landscape sky spain sunset travel http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/3/blue-hour Mon, 26 Mar 2018 11:21:56 GMT
That Wakandan Vibe http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/3/that-wakandan-vibe XF80MM MacroXF80MM MacroLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Fujifilm XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR | F10, 1/60 secs at ISO200

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) african beauty close-up female fuji fujifilm fujinon macro portrait http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/3/that-wakandan-vibe Thu, 08 Mar 2018 18:59:27 GMT
Unplugged | Vancouver Island http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/3/unplugged-vancouver-island Vancouver IslandVancouver Island

Ucluelet

Once in awhile you just have to hit the off-ramp. Call it whatever you like...R&R, Vacation, Escape it's an essential component of a busy life and that's precisely what I did to celebrate my birthday. The kicker...I didn't even take a camera with me this time. In fact all of this blogs images are from my previous trip to the western coast of Canada. I knew there was a reason I hung unto these b-roll images. I make images and video content pretty much everyday. I'm learning (slowly) that even if you love what you do it's a good idea to switch gears once in awhile.

It seems like the people who live on the island year-round got that memo.

There is a slow but deliberate way of life that I haven't experienced anywhere else. Despite clearly looking like a tourist, everyone had a smile and always asked where I was from. One guy spent 15 minutes telling me where all the great spots were to take pictures. Only at the end of his list did I mention leaving my camera(s) at home. If there was a single moment where I wished for a camera it was right then. His expression was priceless...all the way from Toronto without a camera...

Vancouver IslandVancouver Island

Tofino

I've written a fair bit about Western Canada. The rugged mountains and wild coastline just does it for me. For the most part you don't even need to give up your comfort to get into some adventure. I can't think of another spot on the planet that I would be willing to leave my camera at home for. Technically I had my SmartPhone but thankfully I forgot the charging cable. I rationed my usage each day to check emails and CNN.

Vancouver IslandVancouver Island

Meares Island

Vancouver IslandVancouver Island

Tofino

Vancouver IslandVancouver Island

Victoria - Oak Bay

 

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) adventure british columbia fujifilm landscape lifestyle pacific photography sea travel vancouver island western canada x-photographer http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/3/unplugged-vancouver-island Mon, 05 Mar 2018 03:19:48 GMT
Free | The Race To The Bottom http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/2/free-the-race-to-the-bottom Deep Breath...

I have to tackle a tough...tough issue today. It's had me twisting in my sleep for weeks now. Frankly it's been bothering me for quite awhile and I took my time coming to the blog with it because I want to get it right.

Lately there has been heated discussions around a relatively new photo service named UNSPLASH. Check it out... www.unsplash.com Basically it's a site where photographers or even "non-photographers" can submit images which they in turn allow ANYONE to download for use in anyway they please. The idea behind that is the photographer...or "non-photographer" will get "EXPOSURE" or "RECOGNITION" in return.

Now, this isn't a new thing as I've stated before. I've heard from fellow photographers for at least 6 years now that they provide free photo/video work in return for the promise of a paid gig later on. Others who are even more dishonest..or delusional will even say that they are "giving back". I'm going to linger on that one for a moment. The concept of giving back..to "me" is when you have achieved a certain amount of success and you can't use another dime of income. You have too much already. How do you "give back" when you are still paying a mortgage/rent, your children's education fund isn't filled or your retirement account isn't fully funded? 

My network of like-minded professional content creators/photographers is substantial. Very few, if any of them are in a position to turn down paid work. I'm certainly not there, every single cent counts. Free, giving back, exposure/recognition doesn't get me an inch closer to my financial obligations.

 

Back to Unsplash.

They bill themselves as "Beautiful FREE photos for Everyone". That means anyone, including businesses can go to their website and download unlimited amounts of photography (and some of it is very good) work without attribution or payment to the individual(s) who created them. Furthermore there is no requirement for Model or Property Releases which guarantees that the photographer and end user are likely to get sued. Don't believe me? Do a search on that website of any popular brand you can think of...sportswear, etc. You will not see a single RELEASE for those images in sight. Large companies like Apple will sue the pants off you should they get wind of their products/logos etc. being used commercially. That "EXPOSURE" you got in return for the image of a Nike sneaker you posted (and was subsequently downloaded and used commercially) won't be worth an ounce of mercy when that first lawyer letter hits your mailbox.

 

And Here We Are...

I'm not coming down on UNSPLASH in particular. Misguided as they are in that business model, they aren't doing anything unique. Over the years many of these companies have come and gone. Actually my issue is with this whole concept of free work or service in return for exposure or the promise of paid assignments later. This is one of the reasons the photography industry is going down the drain. If we present no value to potential clients/customers for the work we create, how can we expect them to respect us as valuable professionals. I've seen images obtained  for "FREE" being used in major magazine publications without a single dime or recognition to the person who created it in the first place.

To put this who thing into perspective consider this: Magazines charge you for advertising space in their publication. Some of these magazines have a very wide and active distribution stream. Advertising in their pages will cost you thousands of dollars. Would it then be fair if said magazine obtained your image for "FREE" and used it on the front page without any consideration for you...and made millions each year?

Of course not...but that's exactly what's happening. Art departments that used to pay photographers to create images for their publications are now downloading "FREE" images from sites like UNSPLASH and using it to make money for themselves. They are doing it because WE ALLOW IT!!

In fact when you go unto UNSPLASH' site you don't need to log in and provide your credentials. Simply click on the image you want and go. No capturing of emails or company names, no notification to the photographer that his/her image(s) has been downloaded for commercial use...not a damn thing. I've heard tall-tales from the odd photographer about how providing free work got them so much exposure that it turned into a financial windfall. First off, those stories are mostly baloney. The one or two photographers that actually derived some benefit from that arrangement are few and far between. Most of the time they are never aware of who obtained their images and how they were used. I read a story just this morning about a photographer who claims to have "come across her work by accident" being used by a major company. She actually wrote to 'THANK" them for using her image...are you kidding me??!!

Listen, I've done plenty of free work and never under the guise of expecting exposure or future paid work. I've provided services to charities, non-profit organizations and even individuals. Years back a few friends and I offered free portrait services to groups of young single mothers living in halfway homes. These women and I should really say girls..are anywhere from 15 to 19 years of age. Kicked out of their homes by family members who disapproved of the pregnancies, abandoned by boyfriends who didn't want any part of a baby...no money and no prospects with a new mouth to feed. The charity provided only the basics for a limited time..food, shelter and clothing. My friends and I provided the very first portraits of mom and babies. That made me feel good and it was worth the price of FREE.

I'll continue to provide free work for causes I believe in, for projects I like and to people I choose. I will be in complete control of how those free images will be used and by whom. Any other work for which the recipient is deriving a financial benefit for themselves will be paid. I would rather get another job or sit on my camera gear smoking a cigar than work for free.

If this article sounds "pissed"...well that's because I am.

I'll be damned if I spend hours on end, dollars to bare wallet just to give away my best work for free or without some tangible benefit. It infuriates me when fellow photographers and even the "part-timers" who don't depend on the craft for their living, complain about how the industry is dying and how hard it is to convince clients to pay what the work is worth. When I have a legal issue I can call up my lawyer and get basic advice for FREE. When it comes time for work to be done he leads off with how much it's going to cost me. No apologies, no excuses. Why should photography be any different?

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) photographer photography http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/2/free-the-race-to-the-bottom Mon, 05 Feb 2018 14:40:18 GMT
Small Camera, Big Picture PT.8 | Chaos http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/1/small-camera-big-picture-pt-8-chaos ReflectionsReflectionsLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Fujifilm X-T1 W/XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS | F4 48mm 1.280 ss ISO200


CHA·OS...complete disorder and confusion.
 

I had this art teacher in high school...she fit all the stereotypes people think of when the word "artist" is used. Long wild hair, every variety of floral dresses I've ever seen...including to date and of course sandals. Yet, she was extremely organized, logical in her presentation and from my constant observation, very sharp in the intellectual department. She used to say something that stuck with me in the background of my logic: We tend to picture the orderly, the familiar..the normative when imagining a beautiful scene. However there is also beauty in chaos. Reorder your mind every now and then so that you can appreciate it.

The image above was actually shot years ago and Ive wanted to delete it for some time now. Each year end I go through my working storage drives in order to cull images I can't see myself using going forward. It gives me back some hard disk space and lightens my image catalogue. This one keeps making the cut and I could never figure out why...until now.

It's a local river in the middle of my city and at various points it's little more than a trickle. I wouldn't drink from, let alone touch it but the reflections of the trees along with the texture of the bed combined with the smooth water really caught my eyes. The perfect image of chaos.

Now I'm making a large print for my bathroom wall.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) abstract chaos fuji fujifilm photography river water http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/1/small-camera-big-picture-pt-8-chaos Mon, 08 Jan 2018 15:40:58 GMT
New Year, New Adventures! http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/1/new-year-new-adventures Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca


Happy New Year!

Last year was pretty good on the professional front and I'm definitely planning to move the goal post further out for 2018. In a month or two readers will see some big changes in a few key areas:

First the BLOG...I think it's high time I developed it to reflect the modern times. I enjoy writing but let's face it, there are entire generations of photographers who have grown up with social media. They prefer to consume information by watching, not reading. I won't become one of those walking zombies with a selfie stick or video camera pointed at my face but for my gear reviews there will be more in the field footage to go along with my writing. I've pushed most of my clients to do that so I may as well practice what I preach too. I'm pushing the writing offline into a series of photography related books that I've been working on for quite awhile.

The second change is a work/work/life balance thing. I'm bringing back more variety to the kind of work I do on a daily basis. For instance my bread and butter is portraiture but over the years I've gotten away from shooting beauty, fashion and lifestyle. It was a business decision based on my geographic location. If you want to shoot fashion and beauty buy a plane ticket to New York or LA. 2017 was even a banner year for my travel and landscape photos. A significant number of my images were published in magazines and online campaigns. Beauty/Fashion/Lifestyle is a fun variation on portraiture and they share a lot of synergy. As for life...well I've never been able to balance that with work. In this business it's easy to develop tunnel vision when your chasing the dollars. Most of the time we don't even realize it until forced to take some time off. So this year I'm going to play a little more, reconnect with friends and try some new things.

Hopefully you have some equally lofty goals for the new year!

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh MILLER) photographer photography http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2018/1/new-year-new-adventures Wed, 03 Jan 2018 14:17:01 GMT