Read what's been happening on Salvatore's Horizon

Read what's been happening on Salvatore's Horizon
Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine Workshops

Thursday, December 1, 2016

EF-S Lens and Metabone Lens Adapter

Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens without APS-C auto selection
Fonts Point
Anza Borrego State Park

The combination of using an EF-S lens and Metabones Lens Adapter together results in a very unique image as this view from Fonts Point in Anza Borrego State Park, California. The almost 360 degree image circle it produces allows the photographer the versatility of choosing three final image orientations of square, vertical or horizontal. Though I have not experimented with this combination on other camera’s other then my Sony A7r MII body. I do believe the result should be the same on any other mirrorless camera’s and not one with a mirror as it might result in damage to your camera’s mirror. So please do not try it.

Square Crop

The original image circle seems almost a complete one and would look so except in this image you can see the sides of the inner lens and also my Lee Filter holder at the end of the lens. The wide angle lens is over emphasized and nearly within the Depth of Field as I maxed out the f-stop. As you can see there is some Distortion, Vignette and Chromatic Aberrations beyond what the typical lens profile can handle. Only additional manual corrections can help improve those to the extent of which your crop will include or exclude and how much manipulation you which to further exceed.

This particular composition transforms easily into all orientations of square, vertical or horizontal as I intended it to do. Yes, It is true that the cropped image is smaller file wise than if I had not used the EF-S and used a standard full frame but I wish to utilize the wider than normal 10mm angle of the 10-22mm canon lens. If I set the camera setting to auto APS-C Sensor size instead of full frame size it would lose up to 43mb’s of image size. I would also lose the ability of selecting orientation format! Now remember this is using the Sony a7rII body. It’s image size is 42mp. A half image crop is 21mp. That’s a lot of room to play with and still have a decent final images size that can be enlarged without much loss of image quality. Also, the Sony has no Optical Low-Pass filter so it’s images are sharper and sharper is better when interpolating smaller to larger images. Please see the last image below.

Here is an image explaining files size as to cropping compared to auto APS-C sensor that the EF-S lens specifically the 10-22mm canon lens. Size is in inches!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Being Acadian Inspired

 As many of you know I was recently in Maine teaching my workshop. Here is a short gallery of images from that event.

The seasons do change in Acadia National Park but now even the season themselves have changed. In the many 36 years of photographing here, I have seen a drastic change in the fall. It is getting warmer and dryer. It was not uncommon for snow and wet cool rains.  Long pants and sweaters and rain jackets were general day wear. It is not a good thing but it is an enjoyable one even wearing Shorts- I even shot next to a photographer in shorts and Gators at predawn Otter Cliffs on morning. By midday and the next day, I too was attired in summer garb. We did get a few frosty mornings which is always good. But, the first rain-less trip ever, produced more grand sunset and sunrise landscapes than in the past. Still autumn was in full swing by weeks end. All in all,  we spent the full trip awe-inspired!

Here's a short gallery of images taken this year. Please enjoy!

Trees shift locations as water rises from a beaver dam

Reflection of Champlain Mountain

Glacial boulder view of Cadillac Mountain 

The rocky cliff shoreline of Acadia

The relative calm of a reflection on a tidal flat

Awed, kayakers take it all in.

A ravine displays all primary and secondary colors
Or the drama of waves tumbling down rocks

Atypical Boulder Beach yields not so typical surprises
The background of aquamarine more than complements, it enhances!

Warm wet southeasterly air forms fog on cold slopes

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The dark forest background help to punch those colors along with low contrast fog light and no wind.  
Glow of red reflects Bass Harbor Head Light

Hope you were inspired by these few samples of Acadia Life.
If interested in joining next year's workshop please inquire by calling me at (973) 464-3354

Thanks For Looking,
Salvatore Vasapolli

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Sony A7RII Camera Photo Journey

Sony A7rII Camera Body

More Of What I Want

In a camera it’s not just more bells and whistles that I look for but substance which is why I have put off upgrading from by Canon 7D for several years waiting for new technology. I was not just looking for more pixels as camera’s such as the Canon EOS 5DS Series has a much larger 50mp and that was only what you got. It lacked a wider dynamic range and sharper low light image capability required when shooting places like the dark forests of Redwood National Park or the slot canyon's of the Colorado Plateau. The Sony’s A7R was much better rated but it too lacked other important features after I field tested one. The Sony A7r Mark II received many positive reviews on its dynamic range, sharpness and other important developments such as faster autofocus, a feature lacking in the A7R, that I took the $3,200 plunge then I headed out on for my winter photo road trip. The results did not disappoint me!
Dusk on the "Trillium Trail" Redwoods National Park, California

The Sony Model A7RII, also known as the ILCE-7RM2, is a full feature full frame mirrorless camera. It features a new breakthrough technology design known as “Back-Illuminated” sensor. Instead of just making a larger sensor like that of the 5DS series, Sony redesigned the sensor to hold more pixels in the same space and moved the light collecting photodiode layer closer to the surface of each lens. It now mimicks the same principle as that of a wide angle lens design collects more light. Conversely, a standard sensor photodiode is positioned at the back of the sensor acts much like a long telephoto lens. Light now travels a longer distance which inherently causes it to lose more light. In order to combat this, the outer lens element must be made much wider to collect more light which makes for a beast of a lens. Sony’s compact light collecting design makes even the darkest section of the image lacks noise when compared to the noise found in the standard sensor. You can now shoot at higher speeds or smaller apertures and black shadows are just that- Black! The compacted design of the Sony sensor allows for a more enhanced copper electrical back that increases faster data transfer rates by 3.5. This becomes a noticeable difference when shooting extremely large sized images at 5 frames per second.
Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park, Washington
 I could get into other features that make this camera a better choice, like how the world’s highest viewfinder magnification at 0.78x is over an optical viewfinder, or how much better a digital viewfinder is in a low light situation, or that it has 399 autofocus points, or how a mirrorless shutter improves camera shake but why repeat those when there are many good reviews that cover them. I would rather post the results. I would like to point out one last thing, since it is a metal cast mirrorless digital camera, its compact size is a joy to hold and operate compared to its bulkier professional cousins on the market.
Remember, it’s the image quality that counts. The bells or whistles are just the frosting on this camera body- so on to the images!
No more HDR!
Upper Saint Marys Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
The above image is HDR and Grad Filter free. It took a while to get used to the digital viewfinder image as a properly exposed for most situation of extreme contrast. The image in the viewfinder can look ugly as both the highlight and shadow clip warnings blink- I guess the software has not kept up the sensor’s capabilities. This Sony, the A7RII, has the widest dynamic range of all camera’s available at the time that I bought it. As I slide both the Highlight and Shadows Adjusters I was floored! It was like I opened a door to a new world. I could even equalize some high contrast scenes. That was something I never expected. Now I can shoot those high contrast images I always dreamt of. In the above scene, the images holds sharp detail especially within dark areas. In it, the darkest shadows are black with no noise and its color is the closest to the natural scene than any other sensor now on the market I’ve read in reviews.
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
The first images I shot were under exposed as the sky’s highlights were being clipped and of course if it was my canon, the clipping meant the sky would be washed out. Not on the Sony. This I did not know it until they were imported into Bridge. So to properly expose the above badlands scene, I had to open up the f-stop so just some warnings of Highlight appeared on in the brightest sections of the scene in the viewfinder. If I had adjusted them to remove the clip warning my image will appear too dark. This scene also had no shadowed area so concern for clipping was not a factor but if this was one that had dark shadows a properly exposed image would show both clipping in both the highlights and shadows. As I said earlier, it does look ugly in the viewfinder.
The image below was shot without grads produced nice details and color retention throughout the dynamic range.
Volcanic Plateau, Fishtrap Lake Recreation Area, BLM, Eastern Washington
I now look forward to print cropped details of an image or supply stock that need to be cropped as the large image file gives you more than enough information that little or no interpolation is needed for editorial or to create sharp enlargement prints!
The Sony gives you a large enough image size to work with as most images run about 241.3mb @ 16bit uncompressed so now you can crop out details with little to no interpolation for most editorial work!

Vernal Pool, Volcanic Plateau, Eastern Washington
 One of my signature trademarks is shooting into the sunrise or sunset as with the image below. With a 3 stop grad, I can now record the whole dynamic light range of shadow to highlight to create truly amazing work. Whereas before and even with my 4X5 field view camera, I had to compromise the shadows to properly expose the highlights. Now there’s room to open up the shadows and stop down on the highlights. If I shoot moving subjects such as the flowers waving with the wind, I can make use of the higher ISO settings like ISO800 in the below image.
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
As you can expect, I am very pleased with the landscape aspects of this camera from the results of this western trip. It is a pleasure I have not felt since discovering the large view camera format many years ago. Now I have something that can truly complement it in a compact dSLR camera!