advanced, art, film, film making, landscape, nature, photography, travel, wildlife

rocky mountain np // motion

For fun, I decided to make a short video of some of my time-lapses and motion captures from the trip.

And yes, I just had to sneak some marmots in for a cameo or two….

I hope you enjoy!  For best results, watch in HD.

All motion clips are available for commercial and editorial licensing through Tandem Stills + Motion.

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

Standard
advanced, art, beginner, city, equipment review, film, film making, intermediate, landscape, photography, travel, workshop

canon 17-40 f/4L // review

Okay, so I’m going to embark on a journey through territory that is quite new to this blog… reviewing gear.

I’ve been asked by a few folks to give my thoughts on new and old equipment I’m currently working with, so what better opportunity than the recent purchase of a new lens?

I was giddy as a schoolgirl when UPS knocked on my door last week. ¬†It has been a while since I’ve needed to order a new lens. ¬†And I really toiled over this purchse. ¬†Nowadays more than ever before, I wanted to make sure I was really getting the most “bang for my buck”. ¬†I did my research, and I pulled the trigger. ¬†And so the moment of truth; a knock on the door and a shiny new black, white, and red Canon box.

ef17-40

 

Photo courtesy Canon

The toil I went through was over whether I should purchase the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L (US $1699) or the 17-40mm f/4L (US $839). ¬†Both are “L series”, Canon’s best glass, and as a professional I generally don’t buy anything less. ¬†As the saying goes, “you’re only as good as the glass you use.”

So I really had a decision to make.

For me, this lens will fill a big gap in my repertoire of focal lengths.  And as more and more of my business is landscape/ cityscape/ architecture, I am in desperate need of a quality super-wide zoom.

Now, just by the nature of super-wides (and zooms for that matter), some sharpness is sacrificed on the edges for the sake of versatility. ¬†If you need tack-sharp, you need a standard prime. ¬†Wide focal lengths will also cause some distortion on the edges… nothing that can’t be easily corrected in post. ¬†Already knowing these drawbacks, I began to research.

Aside from the obvious difference in focal length, the 16-35 is a full stop faster. ¬†But do I need that full stop? ¬†I decided no for the majority of its use. ¬†I would primarily use it as a landscape lens… so shooting outdoors, it’s nearly inconceivable I would need (or want) f/2.8. ¬†And the second most useful application for me is interior architecture. ¬†But again, I typically light the spaces and rarely shoot wider than f/8. ¬†Okay, so is there a sharpness difference between the two? ¬†Well, without having both lenses in front of me to do my own tests, I had to rely on the careful data of others. ¬†I found a fantastic technical analysis of this very comparison on Luminous Landscape.

The information provided by the good people over there really helped me solidify my choice to go with the 17-40. ¬†With no major differences in sharpness, the fact that the filter ring is the popular 77mm (and I have three other 77mm L series lenses, so I was relieved to know that I wouldn’t have to buy all new filters for the newer 82mm on the 16-35), and not to mention the fact that the 17 is half the cost of the 16, I felt good about the choice I made.

Now the moment of truth… would I find a new, helpful tool in the 17, or would I be disappointed with its results?

Well, here’s the very first project I shot with it here in Dallas at White Rock Lake. ¬†And I was VERY happy with the versatility and clarity from my new Canon 17-40mm…

_MG_9445F

White Rock Lake Wildflowers, Canon 17-40mm f/4L, Canon 5D MKII, 1/60 sec. @ f/22, ISO 400, Singh-Ray 4×6″ Galen Rowell 2 stop Soft-Step Neutral Density filter with Cokin Z-Pro filter holder

_MG_9475F

White Rock Lake Landscape, Canon 17-40mm f/4L, Canon 5D MKII, 1/400 sec. @ f/10, ISO 400, Singh-Ray 4×6″ Galen Rowell 2 stop Soft-Step Neutral Density filter with Cokin Z-Pro filter holder

_MG_9478F

White Rock Lake Lone Tree, Canon 17-40mm f/4L, Canon 5D MKII, 1/640 sec. @ f/10, ISO 400

_MG_1383F

White Rock Lake, Canon 17-40mm f/4L, Canon 5D MKII, 1.6 sec. @ f/22, ISO 50, Circular Polarizer with¬†Singh-Ray 4×6″ Galen Rowell 3 stop Soft-Step Neutral Density filter handheld

_MG_1413F

White Rock Lake Dusk, Canon 17-40mm f/4L, Canon 5D MKII, 1.6 sec. @ f/22, ISO 50, Singh-Ray 4×6″ Galen Rowell 2 & 3 stop Soft-Step Neutral Density filters with Cokin Z-Pro filter holder

_MG_1452F

White Rock Lake Sunset, Canon 17-40mm f/4L, Canon 5D MKII, 0.3 sec. @ f/22, ISO 50, Singh-Ray 4×6″ Galen Rowell 2 stop Soft-Step Neutral Density filter with Cokin Z-Pro filter holder

_MG_1755F

White Rock Lake at Dusk, Canon 17-40mm f/4L, Canon 5D MKII, 3.2 sec. @ f/22, ISO 50,¬†Circular Polarizer with¬†Singh-Ray 4×6″ Galen Rowell 2 stop Soft-Step Neutral Density filter handheld

White Rock Lake Sunset Time Lapse, Canon 17-40mm f/4L, Canon 5D MKII, 0.3 sec. @ f/22, ISO 50, Singh-Ray 4×6″ Galen Rowell 2 stop Soft-Step Neutral Density filter with Cokin Z-Pro filter holder

White Rock Lake Time Lapse, Canon 17-40mm f/4L, Canon 5D MKII, 1/25 sec. @ f/22, ISO 50, Singh-Ray 4×6″ Galen Rowell 2 stop Soft-Step Neutral Density filter with Cokin Z-Pro filter holder

Note: ¬†If using the Cokin Z-Pro filter holder, you can expect the edges of the filter to creep into your shot at focal lengths below 20mm. ¬†It’s kind of frustrating. ¬†But it’s not the lens’s fault…

Overall, the Canon 17-40mm f/4L is fantastic. ¬†Like I said, it’s versatile, sharp, fast (enough), light weight, and durable. ¬†I can already see it being an incredibly useful lens in my arsenal.

Please stay tuned… I’ll be reviewing more equipment soon! ¬†And please feel free to share your comments/ questions below!

all content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

Standard
art, film making, landscape, nature, photography, travel, wildlife, workshop, writing

brazos bend | where the wild things are

If you’ve visited this blog more than once, you probably know that I love Brazos Bend State Park. ¬†And I LOVE alligators. ¬†Strange, I know.

But an interesting new development from this last trip to the park uncovered a love for birds that I never knew I had.

Thanks to my amazing wife, this interest has been unlocked and given new life to the park I’ve been visiting for a decade.

I actually spent more time on this trip looking for different species of birds than with my alligator friends.  Go figure!

Don’t get me wrong though, I still love my gators. ¬†But my appreciation and knowledge for the feathered fauna is growing.

I can’t wait to share this park with students and teach them the amazing nuances of nature/ wildlife photography at such a phenomenally bountiful and biologically diverse place.

We will also spend some time on time lapse and video… If you’re interested in learning more, visit my Brazos Bend workshops page.

Also, all images and video will be available for purchase as stock via Tandem Stills + Motion.

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

white ibis, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis

white ibis, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis

white ibis, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis

white ibis, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis

white ibis, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis

white ibis, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis

tree lined trail with spanich moss, brazos bend state park, texas

tree lined trail with spanish moss

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

male red cardinal, brazos bend state park, texas

male cardinal

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

black-bellied whistling-duck, brazos bend state park, texas

black-bellied whistling-duck

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

great egret, brazos bend state park, texas

great egret

juvenile yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

juvenile yellow-crowned night heron

live oak landscape, brazos bend state park, texas

live oak landscape

butterfly in showy primrose, brazos bend state park, texas

butterfly in showy primrose

eastern bluebird, brazos bend state park, texas

eastern bluebird

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

wild blackberries, brazos bend state park, texas

wild blackberries

Herbertia, brazos bend state park, texas

herbertia

texas dandelion, brazos bend state park, texas

texas dandelion

anhinga sunning, brazos bend state park, texas

anhinga

white ibis, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis

cattle egret, brazos bend state park, texas

cattle egret

ARS_BBSP_0413_0085

ellie and hunter bird watching

ARS_BBSP_0413_0087

white-marked tussock moth (orgyia leucostigma) caterpillar

red tailed hawk flying, brazos bend state park, texas

red tailed hawk flying

red-tailed hawk, brazos bend state park, texas

red-tailed hawk

male red cardinal, brazos bend state park, texas

male cardinal

male red cardinal, brazos bend state park, texas

male cardinal

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

alligator time-lapse… watch in HD!

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

elm lake time-lapse… watch in HD!

elm lake, brazos bend state park, texas

elm lake

elm lake time-lapse… watch in HD!

elm lake, brazos bend state park, texas

elm lake

elm lake time-lapse… watch in HD!

elm lake, brazos bend state park, texas

elm lake

40 acre lake, brazos bend state park, texas

40 acre lake

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

white ibis during it's first spring, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis during it’s first spring

white ibis during it's first spring, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis during it’s first spring

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

swampy landscape, brazos bend state park, texas

swampy landscape

white ibis first spring, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis during it’s first spring

white ibis first spring, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis during it’s first spring

white ibis first spring, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis during it’s first spring

northern rough-winged swallow, brazos bend state park, texas

northern rough-winged swallows

northern rough-winged swallow, brazos bend state park, texas

northern rough-winged swallows

northern rough-winged swallow, brazos bend state park, texas

northern rough-winged swallows

snowy egret, brazos bend state park, texas

snowy egret

white ibis flying, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis flying

pilant lake, swamp, brazos bend state park, texas

pilant lake, swamp

pilant lake, swamp, brazos bend state park, texas

pilant lake, swamp

pilant lake, swamp, brazos bend state park, texas

pilant lake, swamp

swampy forest, brazos bend state park, texas

swampy forest

black-bellied whistling-duck, brazos bend state park, texas

black-bellied whistling-duck

black-bellied whistling-duck, brazos bend state park, texas

black-bellied whistling-duck

40 acre lake, brazos bend state park, texas

40 acre lake

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

white tailed deer fawn, brazos bend state park, texas

white tailed deer fawn

red-tailed hawk, brazos bend state park, texas

red shouldered hawk

live oak and spanish moss time lapse… watch in HD!

live oak and spanish moss, brazos bend state park, texas

live oak and spanish moss

live oak and spanish moss time lapse… watch in HD!

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

barred owl footage… watch in HD!

barred owl, brazos bend state park, texas

barred owl

barred owl, brazos bend state park, texas

barred owl

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

pilant slough, brazos bend state park, texas

pilant slough

woman stoking fire at dusk, brazos bend state park, texas

ellie stoking fire at dusk

woman stoking fire at dusk, brazos bend state park, texas

ellie stoking fire at dusk

full moon, brazos bend state park, texas

full moon

full moon time lapse… watch in HD!

full moon, brazos bend state park, texas

full moon

full moon, brazos bend state park, texas

full moon

horseshoe lake time lapse… watch in HD!

horseshoe lake, brazos bend state park, texas

horseshoe lake

large black wild pig, brazos bend state park, texas

large black wild pig

live oak with spanish moss time lapse… watch in HD!

male red cardinal, brazos bend state park, texas

male cardinal

great blue heron flying, brazos bend state park, texas

tri color heron flying

juvenile yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

juvenile yellow-crowned night heron

juvenile yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

juvenile yellow-crowned night heron

black-bellied whistling-duck, brazos bend state park, texas

black-bellied whistling-ducks

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

black-crowned night heron stalking, brazos bend state park, texas

black-crowned night heron stalking it’s prey

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

common moorhen, brazos bend state park, texas

common moorhen

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

Water Hyacinth, brazos bend state park, texas

water hyacinth

male alligator during breeding season, brazos bend state park, texas

male alligator during breeding season

anhinga swimming, brazos bend state park, texas

anhinga swimming

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

red-bellied woodpecker, brazos bend state park, texas

red-bellied woodpecker

red-bellied woodpecker, brazos bend state park, texas

red-bellied woodpecker

anhinga sunning, brazos bend state park, texas

anhinga sunning

red-tailed hawk, brazos bend state park, texas

red tailed hawk

snowy egret, brazos bend state park, texas

snowy egret

snowy egret, brazos bend state park, texas

snowy egret

red slider turtle crossing a road, brazos bend state park, texas

red slider turtle crossing the road

violet wood sorrel, brazos bend state park, texas

violet wood sorrel

red-bellied woodpecker, brazos bend state park, texas

red-bellied woodpecker

great blue heron, brazos bend state park, texas

great blue heron

great blue heron, brazos bend state park, texas

great blue heron

alligators, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligators

ARS_BBSP_0413_0263

american alligator

snowy egret, brazos bend state park, texas

snowy egret

red slider turtle on a log in the water, brazos bend state park, texas

red slider turtle on a log

snowy egret, brazos bend state park, texas

snowy egret

texas rat snake, brazos bend state park, texas

texas rat snake

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

Standard
art, film making, landscape, nature, photography, travel

lake hudson | time lapse

A few weeks ago we went to my cousin’s cabin on Lake Hudson in Oklahoma.

It was a wonderful time to relive warm childhood memories, and help create new impressions with our little nephews.

It also happens to be a beautiful place.  So I took the opportunity to shoot a few time lapse videos to share.

I’m excited to be offering time lapse classes soon… Be on the lookout at Slaton // Workshops. ¬†Enjoy!

all content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

Standard
art, family, film making, music, photography, random thought, travel, writing

a real vacation

i travel a lot. ¬†but it would be a bit of a stretch to say that my traveling is “vacation”.

it’s not that i don’t enjoy the destinations, or have real moments of relaxation, it’s just that when i travel, it’s usually with a purpose. ¬†and that purpose does not involve sitting still or vegging out.

so this year, now that i have a travel companion… we took a real vacation.

anna maria island, florida. ¬†it’s a small island south west of tampa, with caribbean clear water and white sand beaches. ¬†they say that it not very well known to outsiders, but it’s where floridians go to get away.

the beaches were uncrowded and beautiful.  it was truly relaxing.

yea for real vacations! ¬†i think i’ll have to take one of these more often.

but don’t get the wrong impression….. ¬†i still had to “work” a little to keep my sanity….

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2010

Standard