Monthly Archives: July 2010

Canon Releases EOS 7D Firmware Update V1.1.2

Canon has released another firmware update for their popular EOS 7D Digital SLR.   This update, version 1.1.2, corrects a phenomenon where the set aperture moves when shooting movies in manual exposure mode using select Canon lenses (such as macro lenses).    The update also corrects the behavior of the AF point-selection of the C.Fn III-7 (Manual AF point selection pattern) custom function when set to [1] and corrects the AF point display for the viewfinder electronic level when shooting in the vertical position. It also corrects misspellings in the Spanish and Thai menus for applicable products.

The Version 1.2.2 firmware is for cameras with firmware up to Version 1.2.1. If the camera’s firmware is already Version 1.2.2, it is not necessary to update the firmware. Note that cameras with the Version 1.2.2 firmware (and also Versions 1.2.0, 1.2.1) cannot be downgraded to a previous firmware version (such as Version 1.1.0).

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How to Take Beach Photos

Are your holiday snaps by-the-sea often disappointing? Beach images can seem repetitive, with little more than the water’s edge and shore, or people on the beach. With a change of focus, your beach photos can be turned into unique and original images. This article highlights the most important steps to follow when taking seaside photographs.

1. Take a look at your surroundings and look for a focal point. While the seaside as a whole is beautiful to the naked eye when you’re actually on the beach, it is less interesting as a photograph because the viewer sees only a wide, open space featuring blue sky, blue sea, and yellow sand – a fairly predictable scene. To provide something on which the eye immediately comes to rest within a photograph, find a “focal point” – this is the art of focusing on something out of the ordinary to bring the beach shot to life:

  • Find the focal point of interest – a shoe, a beach umbrella, a fish and chip wrapper, your child’s toes, prints across the sand, a sandcastle, etc. Good focal points are often brightly coloured, or vary in hue from the other colours in the picture.
  • Find natural features of interest – some pebbles, rippling sand, the wave breaking at the water’s edge, palm trees, shells, seaweed, etc.
  • Find something out at sea of interest – perhaps a boat with bright sails, seals playing, or a jumping dolphin.
  • Note that anything moving across water can create interesting ripples (a bird, sea creature, boat, or wind, can all create this effect), and movement in the water will distort anything reflecting in the sea water, which can heighten interest of the photograph in good light.
2. Avoid putting the horizon in the centre. Centering the horizon can give the viewer a sensation that the photo has been sliced in half, which can be disorienting, as long, unbroken horizons contain little of interest in a photo. Instead, break down the image into thirds (the “rule of thirds”), both horizontally and vertically, to create nine equal parts to your image. Keep the horizon square to the framing of your shot, in order to avoid a sloping effect.
When imagining the division of the image, focus on where the lines intersect – according to this classical rule of composition, these intersections create the optimum positions for the main subjects of your image.
3. Frame your picture. Look around you. Ask yourself what points of interest you can include in the photo. For example, are there any rocks, trees, beach houses, piers, etc., that you can use to add a natural frame to the picture? If so, use them. For example, framing a sea shot through trees can be particularly effective if you have a focal point out at sea, such as a boat.
4. Use differing levels and angles. Don’t just shoot straight on, mix the angles up a bit. Aim for something kooky, funky and interesting. Get down low to photograph children and their beach activities, stand up high to take a tree, or lie down under a pier.
5. Use colour to break up the blues and yellows of a beach scene. Blue, more blue, perhaps some yellow: beaches aren’t the most imaginative places colour-wise. This makes it important to capitalise on any splashes of colour. Vibrant colours will really stand out, and make your photo look doubly attractive.

  • For a DSLR, consider using a UV filter. This will reduce the atmospheric haze that is increased by the blueness of the sea.
  • Again for a DSLR lens, use a polarizing filter to reduce reflections and boost the contrasting shades. This can help to improve skies and ocean water by making them a darker blue.
6. Choose the best times of day to take beach photos. When the sun’s riding high it might be a nice time for sunbathing, but it’s the worst time of day for decent photos as the light is too strong and bright. The best times of day for beach photos are at the beginning and end of the day, especially around sunrise and sunset. The sun resting on the horizon looks brilliant, and it’s hard not to take a decent snap at these times. As an added bonus, you will have less people on the beach at these times of day.

  • Morning air is usually still and the light is quiet, delicate and diffuse until the sun rises. Early morning light changes rapidly with the sun rising, so expect your exposure times to change rapidly and to move quickly to capture the special moments.
  • Evening light often has a warm glow that provides intense gold and rose colours. Haze and shadows are common features that you can draw on as the day draws to an end.
  • Take care not to include your own shadow when taking photographs early and late in the day when the sun’s shadows are at their longest; check around the whole frame to make sure you’re not forming a part of the picture! You can easily rectify this by moving to a different position.
7. Make the most of non-sunny days. Windswept, threatening weather can create incredible, mood-infused photos at the beach. With nobody about, you can take uninterrupted views and dramatic views of dark clouds and stormy seas.
  • Mist, fogs, and haze can all work to your advantage in creating interesting features.

  • Try shooting in black and white, or flip it to black and white using a photo program such as Photoshop when you get home to cover the overcast, cloudy, sky and make things look a whole lot more atmospheric.
  • Just after a storm moves through can produce dramatic light contrasts.

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Happy 4th of July!

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July in the United States, is one of the main statutory holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

This national wide holiday is marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations often take place outdoors, associated with fireworks, parades, carnivals, fairs, concerts, baseball games, political speeches and ceremonies People often take advantage of the day off to gather with families and friends and celebrate Independence Day by attending parade, hosting a picnics or barbecues. 

Now, the annual national holiday is coming soon. Are you going to have the celebration with your families and friends? Do you want to record and share the precious memories you spend with them? According to the instructions below, you can make a colorful PowerPoint slideshow with great photos for your special holiday readily.

– Gather Pictures 
Take plenty of photos on the holiday and pick up some of them that you are fond of.

– Use PowerPoint to Make a Dynamic Photo Slideshow with Music
You can download a Free PowerPoint template related to the theme of Independence Day, and add pictures into the presentation. Also, you can write down some words near to the 
pictures to explain what funny or moving things happened. Audio and video files can also be inserted to the slideshow if you like. Don’t forget the varied animations that Power Point program bring for you, which can decorate your presentation effectively. Besides, history story of Independence Day can be included in the slideshow which can help your families recall the past and make them feel proud of the country. 

– Share the PowerPoint Slideshow with your families in two ways
1. Burn your PowerPoint onto DVD
DVD can preserve your slideshow permanently and its bulk memory makes it possible to store plenty of PPT files. After burning the PowerPoint slideshow to DVD, it can be played on DVD player. DVD player is easy to use, even the aged people or children can play DVD themselves, thus your family members can enjoy this slideshow on TV at anytime easily.

2.Transfer your PowerPoint slideshow to Video
By doing this, you can view the PowerPoint album in your mobile device like iPhone or iPod so that more friends and workmates can enjoy your holiday life. What”??s more, you can also upload it on the website like YouTube, or embed the slideshow in your personal blog if you like to share the happy memories with thousands of people.

Making a slideshow about Independence Day can be a very interesting and meaningful thing, not only can it witness the valuable family time, but also it can be a way to show patriotism of Americans. So prepare your camera and make the forthcoming Independence Day unforgettable!

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