In honor of our US military veterans, all Beach Blast Gymnastics Tournament print orders placed Friday, November 7, 2015 through Tuesday Veteran’s Day November 11, 2015 will be doubled two for the price of one! Order one print(s) and receive two of the same image, same size—for the price of one. Photographs make great gifts for family and friends. Order early to beat the holiday rush! See, www.kendoophotography.instaproofs.com Your invoice will show one print, but will be doubled automatically by Ken Doo Photography on delivery. Offer available for print orders only, same image, same size ordered. Contact the studio for any questions or to order direct. (831) 626-1844. Ken
Beach Blast Gymnastics Tournament Comes to Monterey; Monterey Bay Academy of Gymnastics Team PortraiturePosted in Events with tags Event Photography, medium format digital, monterey, Sports Photography on October 29, 2014 by kendoophotography
The Monterey Bay Academy of Gymnastics hosted their annual Beach Blast Gymnastics Tournament last weekend. The tournament was well-attended with hundreds of competitors representing several teams from California. Ken Doo Photography was the event photographer at this tournament, covering seven sessions over the two day competition. We focused primarily on the Beam and Floor exercise events. Photographing the event was challenging with capturing moving gymnasts, low light and no flash (to avoid distracting competitors).
Nearly seven thousand images were taken during the course of the event! Event images from Beach Blast 2014 may be viewed and purchased online, or see www.kendoophotography.instaproofs.com Each session (1 through 7) will have several galleries (A, B, C, etc.) to aid in viewing the events. All sessions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 are now complete with both Floor and Beam events online and available for viewing and purchase. Each gallery is considered a separate “event” and purchases made using the online shopping cart will need to be completed before moving onto the next gallery or event. Images online have not been edited or retouched. Selected images for purchase will be edited and/or cropped as needed prior to printing.
All purchased prints are quality guaranteed. Both print and low resolution downloads are available for purchase online. Call the studio at (831) 626-1844 for different size options or special requests. A high resolution print CD/download option of all images taken of a single gymnast is available for purchase. Call the studio for details. ken.
Just a month earlier, I photographed the Monterey Bay Academy of Gymnastics Team. Aside from the normal team and individual photos, the gym wanted a large group photo of the competition team to put on display. The team was photographed with a Phase One 645DF and IQ180 medium format digital back, including the individual images with gymnasts flying through the air! The short flash duration capabilities of the Phase One IQ180 and leaf shutter lenses actually made it easier.
The final image was printed in studio and measures 30″ x 60″ . It was mounted and framed in a solid wood, matte black frame, and is currently on display at the Monterey Bay Academy of Gymnastics in Sand City, CA. What a great way to build team spirit! For more information about event photography or medium format digital portraiture, contact me at my boutique portrait photography studio in Carmel, CA or call (831) 626-1844. Ken
Coach Bob Walthour passed away last weekend, marking the loss of a much loved and respected local icon in Carmel, California. I had gotten to know Bob through US Masters Swimming on the Monterey Peninsula. On occasion I would join Bob in the early morning hours at the old excuse of a pool at Carmel High School, where we would swim in the incredibly shallow water. On some mornings my eldest son Kenny would sit next to Bob. Kenny was probably barely four years old; he’s now nearing twenty years and swimming competitively. That old excuse of a pool is now a world class facility at Carmel High School, named after none other than Coach Bob Walthour. Long since retired, Bob would still swim with Masters at 5:00 A.M. well into his eighties. He was often seen observing swim meets at Carmel High School.
I had the opportunity to photograph Bob a few times both in my boutique portrait studio in Carmel and also at his home in Carmel, just a few blocks away. The last time I photographed Bob was just in March of this year (2014). It was a special portrait session for me because I chose to use a Cambo technical camera with an IQ180 medium format digital back, along with a Rodenstock HR90mm lens. Not exactly a fast moving portrait outfit, normally intended for landscapes! Bob sat patiently for me while I used a Microsoft Surface Pro tethered to my IQ180 to assist with framing and focusing of the portrait. I used a single studio strobe. I converted the huge 80 megapixel RAW files using Capture One Pro 7. I then opted to convert the selected portrait into B&W and printed the portrait on the studio’s specially converted K7 B&W piezography fine art printer. I love Bob’s personality in this portrait. We’re going to miss you, Bob.
The Bob Walthour Aquatic Center remains unfinished and is still seeking donations to complete the facility. Contact www.carmelpool.org for donation information. For more information on medium format digital portraiture or fine art K7 B&W Piezography printing, contact me at the studio at (831) 626-1844. Ken
The 2014 Carmel High School Boys Water Polo season opened this last weekend with a friendly scrimmage against Valley Christian High School. The Frosh boys led off with a good effort against a very experienced Valley Christian Freshman team, which included players that had been involved with club water polo teams since the age of seven! Exciting play was seen with the junior varsity and varsity teams.
You can view more images from the games and purchase prints at www.kendoophotography.instaproofs.com And, of course, I’ll try and include a few images from Hell week! The Valley Christian Scrimmage photos have now been updated to include images from the Frosh team. Special thanks to fellow photographer Steve Anderson who will be assisting me on occasion and to Frosh parent Dan Hopkins who will be photographing the Frosh games this season. For more information, you can contact me at my boutique photography studio in Carmel or call (831) 626-1844.
Congratulations to Lee & Sian! Lee and Sian recently became engaged to be married. We completed their engagement session recently with portraits taken both in studio and on location at the beach in Carmel. What a great fun couple!
I just wanted to share a few portraits of Sian and Lee. Each portrait was hand-retouched in preparation for printing in studio and mounting. We also used the studio’s specially converted K7 B&W printer which produces really stunning B&W portraits of unsurpassed quality. For more information on fine portraiture or scheduling a portrait session, contact me at my boutique portrait photography studio in Carmel, California. Ken (831) 626-1844
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2: A Game Changer for Phase One IQ Series and Leaf Credo Medium Format Digital BacksPosted in General, Landscapes, Nature & Wildlife with tags Big Sur, Capture Integration, carmel, carmel photographer, Fine Portraiture, Landscape photography, medium format digital, Microsoft Surface Pro 2, Panoramic Landscapes, Phase One IQ180, Tethered photography on February 18, 2014 by kendoophotography
Background in a Nutshell. When Phase One released its IQ180 digital back, its full frame medium format sensor boasting a staggering 80 megapixel resolution was not so surprising. What took the high-end medium format photography community by storm was its large high resolution retina touch screen. Prior digital back screens were postage stamps by comparison. The IQ180 and her sisters the IQ160 and IQ140 were indeed groundbreaking, easily surpassing the viewing screens of its competitors and even those of the smaller format DSLRs such as those offered by Canon and Nikon. Phase One’s sister company, Leaf, released similar high resolution retina touch screens on its Credo line of digital backs.
Phase One now offered “live-view” on its IQ series and Leaf Credo digital backs, but live-view on a CCD sensor is quite limited in comparison to live-view on a CMOS based DSLR. Furthermore, the size of MFDB CCD sensors with its high sensitivity often meant that the sensor was overexposed in live-view mode. Consequently, stopping down the aperture and/or using neutral density filters are often necessary to enable this rather limited live-view function. The Phase One IQ series offered focus-mask, which in my opinion was a sleeper surprise feature on the IQ series digital backs, one that quickly overshadowed the claimed benefits of having live-view. But in a fast moving tech world, the clamor still continued for true live-view, something DSLR CMOS sensors could accomplish well whereas the much larger CCD sensors of MFDBs could not. And again, the voices clamoring for live-view continued, and Phase One answered with its recently released IQ250 MFDB, the world’s first CMOS sensor digital back—with true live-view.
But regardless of live-view capabilities, the most significant limitation on the effectiveness of live view on location is the physical size of the screen. No matter whether DSLR or MFDB, the screen size on the back of a camera or digital back is still limited to about three-inches in width, or about the size of a credit card. Regardless of technology, this is a physical limitation that can not be overcome absent an external monitor. When combined with tired aging eyes, the difficulty of the challenge becomes more pronounced and the proponents of true live view on a diminutive three-inch screen suddenly discover that it is not the panacea that they had been clamoring for.
Tethering in studio is not a problem where powerful computer workstations can run fully featured versions of Capture One Pro software, viewing full resolution digital raw files on large monitors. In prime conditions it is relatively easy to check composition, exposure, and focus. The difficulty or challenge is viewing images while on location with a larger portable screen option. Tethering on location generally requires using a laptop solution mated with tethering options such as those offered by Nine-volt.com. For architectural and interior photographers where size, weight, or carrying equipment long distances is not as much of a concern, tethering with a laptop with a larger 15″ or 17″ screen may not be a problem. Nine-volt offers flexible solutions and I have been able to successfully mount a laptop with a 17″ screen on the DigiPlate Lite, although a 15″ laptop is the largest recommended configuration.
However, size and weight is often a significant concern for landscape photographers and other photographers working on location. A tablet provides a much better form function over a laptop, especially where size and weight are primary considerations. Despite a large selection of tablets on the mainstream market none have had the power or memory necessary to tether a medium format digital back. None, that is, until the introduction of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2. And I’m not talking about the use of Capture Pilot and viewing scaled down JPEG files on an Apple iPad. I’m talking about viewing full resolution RAW digital files from an 80 megapixel digital back using a fully featured version of Capture One Pro 7 —all in a small tablet format. That’s a game changer.
The Game Changer. A tablet has a better physical form factor for both traveling and viewing in the field than the clam shell configuration of a notebook or laptop computer, a popular selection being the Macbook Pro or MacBook Air. When tethering, additional accessories are helpful to secure the laptop to a tripod for ease of viewing. There is no doubt in my mind that Nine Volt’s DigiPlate is the finest solution for a laptop tethering. For those with a Macbook Pro or Air, look no further than Nine-volt. The DigiPlate and DigiPlate Lite are both well-crafted and CNC machined from aircraft grade aluminum and allow for infinite configurations and tethering options. Both are designed with laptops in mind and although I could attach the Surface Pro 2 tablet to the DigiPlate Lite, I found myself wanting a smaller and lighter on location solution yet—as even the DigiPlate Lite weighs almost as much as the Surface Pro 2 tablet itself. I have instead decided to use the Nine Volt tethering solution in studio only.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 tablet weighs two pounds. It is smaller and lighter than a laptop, but heavier and much more powerful than a typical small tablet, casting itself as a red-headed step-child among a large, rather uniform, and ordinary field of tablets, notebooks, and laptops. There really isn’t an equivalent piece of hardware readily available in the mainstream market. The Surface Pro 2 measures 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53 in, with a 10.6 inch HD touch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. It sports a fourth generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM for those selecting the 256/512 hard drive option, blue tooth, a micro SD card slot (adding up to another 128GB of storage), and a full-sized USB 3 port essential for tethering the Phase One IQ series or Leaf Credo series MFDBs. Battery life is excellent. It is essentially a laptop in tablet form that can run a full version of Capture One Pro 7. This changes everything.
Tethering on Location. Size and weight are major considerations when working on location, especially when you have to hike any considerable distance to your destination. The Surface Pro 2 tethering solution adds no more than 3 pounds total to my pack, including the Arkon heavy duty c-clamp universal tablet mount, which attaches to my Really Right Stuff TVC-24 carbon fiber tripod. Set up is quick, taking no more than a minute. The tablet mount features two ball joints allowing me to maneuver the Surface Pro 2 in any position quickly and easily. Some care needs to be taken to avoid over tightening the c-clamp and damaging the tripod leg. I placed thin adhesive rubber strips inside the c-clamp which adds grip while also protecting the tripod leg from potential scuffing. I have placed strips of gaffers tape around the tripod legs to quickly mark where to attach the Arkon c-clamp and also provide further protection to the tripod legs. I chose the Manvex case for protection, and leave the Surface Pro 2 in the case even when using the tablet mount. The Manvex case provides a secure holder for the stylus pen. In the above photo, I have chosen to position the Surface Pro 2 directly below the digital back on the camera. The Surface Pro 2 boots up quickly to a nice clean desktop, having opted to bypass the messy desktop of Windows 8 using a neat free program called Classic Shell. Seconds later, Capture One Pro 7 DB is ready. The program recognizes the IQ180 automatically after plugging in a short three-foot USB3 cord connecting the digital back to the Surface Pro 2. This is just too easy.
Although Capture One Pro 7 can be used to tether a DSLR or Phase DF with digital back, the real advantages become apparent when using a technical camera. The larger screen of the Surface Pro 2 makes it easier to compose images, check settings, and check focus using Phase One’s Focus Mask feature. Since the Surface Pro 2 is running a full version of the Capture One 7 raw processing software, all the features of the program remain accessible, though my intent is to use the Surface Pro 2 more as a tool on location and process the image files later on the studio’s workstation. The convenient tablet form factor and the capability of the Surface Pro 2 to run a full version of Capture One Pro 7 is ideal for landscape photographer and is also an attractive tethering solution for architectural and interior photographers as well.
For working on location, I have chosen to set up my Capture One Pro 7 work space to maximize the viewing area of the main image. Once the cable release is triggered, the image captured by the IQ180 MFDB appears within seconds on the Surface Pro 2′s high resolution screen. Too bright outside? Simply tap in the bottom right corner and adjust the brightness of the screen to match. Double-tap on the screen and the program automatically zooms in 100% to check focus. Tap the Focus Mask tool to assist and the sharper areas of focus appear painted in green. The Focus Loupe tool or any other tool in C1 Pro 7 is also available to use on the full 80 megapixel raw file.
Once on screen, the image can be moved around to inspect other elements of the image simply by dragging a finger on the screen to the area of the image desired. Viewing the preview image on the larger screen of the Surface Pro 2 makes it much easier to check composition, focus, and even the desired amount of lens movement afforded by technical cameras. Changes can be now be quickly and confidently made on the camera or digital back before again triggering the shutter for the final image capture. Once satisfied with the final image, an LCC image is taken to assist later in post-processing with Capture One Pro 7. The IQ180′s 80 megapixel image files are stored on the Surface Pro 2′s hard drive and later transferred to the studio’s workstation for processing. I’ve never been much of a fan of tethering, however, the Surface Pro 2 changes everything at least for when I’m working on location with my Cambo WRS technical camera. For my typical workflow, I do not see myself using the Surface Pro 2 to photograph tethered in studio, although its Windows 8 Miracast WiFi capability to send images to other Miracast enabled monitors, such as high resolution viewing tablets and high definition widescreen televisions, has potential worth investigating.
Live-view still remains an option on IQ series and Leaf Credo series medium format digital backs, and except for the CMOS-based IQ250, are still limited by the constraints of its CCD sensor. Live-view via USB3 may still be an option on the Surface Pro 2 and C1 Pro 7 enabled later via Phase One firmware update, however, in my opinion, I do not expect any further improvements in live view capability to be implemented with CCD sensor-based digital backs, although I surmise that live view on the ten-inch screen of the Surface Pro 2 will be better than on a three-inch MFDB screen . My understanding is that live-view via USB3 firmware update is now in beta testing. In the meantime, I find that using focus mask and other tools within C1 Pro 7 on the Surface Pro 2 on full resolution raw files to be faster and more effective than working with a limited version of live-view and neutral density filters. Even the IQ250 and DSLRs, with their true live-view capabilities are still limited by the physical size of their viewing screens. Indeed, the IQ250′s true live-view via USB3 (if enabled by firmware) on the larger screen of the Surface Pro 2 may be something to really silence the live-view pundits. *update* Live View via USB3 on the Surface Pro 2 is now possible with the latest firmware 5.11.36 update for IQ backs and C1 Pro version 7.2; all CCD sensor limitations on live view remain, but is more usable on the larger screen of the Surface Pro 2 as expected. Life is indeed good with options!
The Verdict. For Phase/Leaf/Mamiya medium format digital backs that are USB3 capable, the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is an ideal tethering companion on location. The tablet format does take some getting used to but its form factor and power is exactly what makes the Surface Pro 2 unique as a tethering tool, especially in the world of medium format digital photography. The tablet is lighter than a laptop and consequently does not require as strong of a mounting clamp to attach to a stand or tripod. This means less bulk and less weight. When traveling the Surface Pro 2 can serve double duty replacing a laptop while also providing a small but capable tethering solution. The Sony Vaio Tap 11 or the less expensive first generation Surface Pro are alternative tablets that could be considered, but their performance does not appear to be as good as the Surface Pro 2 running programs under Windows 8.1. Further, battery life for both of these tablets in the field is substantially shorter than that offered by the Surface Pro 2. While tethered to the Surface Pro 2, images from my 80 megapixel Phase One IQ180 appeared on screen in Capture 1 Pro 7 DB in a scant three to five seconds. Battery life in the field for the Surface Pro 2 is rated up to ten hours but I would rate it conservatively in the field at about seven hours. At least one review points out that the Surface Pro 2 has better color performance than the first generation Surface Pro. The Cintiq Companion was not considered as the larger 13″ tablet is almost twice the weight of the Surface Pro 2, which would necessitate a heavier clamping option and further limiting tethering portability in the field.
The Surface Pro 2 has a faster fourth generation Core i5-4300U processor at 1.9GHz base and 2.9GHz Turbo, an increase of 19% at the lower end and over 11% in turbo compared to the first generation Surface Pro. The Surface Pro 2 also offers 8GB of RAM over the first generation’s paltry 4GB of RAM. Consequently, the Surface Pro 2 is capable of much faster image viewing, taking only three to six seconds for a full image preview to appear on its screen via C1 Pro 7. Processing time to tethered viewing varies according to the resolution (40, 60 or 80 megapixels) and type of digital back being used. The Surface Pro 2 also has substantially longer battery life. The tethered view in the field from either Surface Pro generation is still magic.
There are two items that I don’t like about the Surface Pro 2. First, the Windows 8 operating system to me is like Vista was to XP. It’s like Microsoft just couldn’t help themselves and leave well enough alone with Windows 7. The Windows 8 desktop is a messy social enabled interface. I am sure it’s fine for many, but I’m here to work. Some may recall why the term “desktop” was even developed: software engineers likened the “computer desktop” screen as replacing a real office desktop, as in papers, folders, and projects on your desk. I want a clean office desktop, and the Windows 8 interface is busy, messy, and trendy. Thankfully there are a host of free programs such as Classic Shell that address this minor shortcoming, allowing you to boot directly to a nice clean desktop similar to Windows 7, with a C1 Pro 7 shortcut icon now plainly visible. No more useless clutter. Finally, the magnetic holder which doubles as both the battery charger port and pen stylus holder on the side of the Surface Pro 2 is gimmicky. I find myself spending more time making sure that the magnetic connection is secure enough to enable charging without inadvertently being bumped off. Using the magnetic holder to store the digitized stylus pen is almost insuring its eventual loss and replacement. The charger works well enough, but storing the stylus pen is much better in the pen holder provided by the Manvex case.
There are a host of accessories available for the Surface Pro 2, including the Touch/Type 2 back lit keyboards which attach magnetically (which does work very well) or by wireless blue tooth, and wireless blue tooth mice. All of these accessories are best left in your bag (except for the digitized stylus pen) when tethering on location. Unless Apple releases an iPad Pro, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 currently stands alone as the ideal tablet tethering solution on location. Lighter than a laptop or notebook, yet heavier than a tablet, the Surface Pro 2 has not been as widely embraced as a powerful hybrid computer tablet that maybe it should. But for photographers seeking to shoot high-end medium format digital backs tethered on location, the Surface Pro 2 is indeed a game changer. It is a worthwhile investment for Phase One IQ series and Leaf Credo medium format digital back users.
Special thanks to Zac Henderson, technical support at Capture Integration in Atlanta. For more information on tethering with Capture One Pro or medium format digital photography, contact Capture Integration at (877) 217-9870. I will be doing further testing tethering with the Surface Pro 2 during this weekend’s medium format digital workshop, the 5th annual Capture Integration in Carmel. You may contact me at my boutique portrait photography studio in Carmel or view my landscape work at www.houseoflandscapes.com. Ken (831) 626-1844
The Equipment List.
- Microsoft Surface Pro 2, with 4th gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 512GB storage
- Sandisk 128GB micro SDXC memory card with adapter
- Superspeed 1.5 foot USB3 Type A to B cord; optional 3 foot USB3 cord
- Manvex case for Surface Pro 2 with Type 2 cover
- Microsoft Type 2 keyboard
- Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse
- Am Film screen protectors for Surface Pro 2
- Arkon Heavy Duty Aluminum c-clamp Universal Tablet Mount (10 inch) Tab 804
- Classic Shell
- Phase One – Capture One Pro 7 DB
It’s back—again! Capture Integration is returning to Carmel, CA for its fifth medium format digital workshop. Capture Integration from Atlanta, Georgia is a leading dealer of exclusive photography equipment, specializing in medium format digital cameras and backs. This definitely isn’t your normal photography workshop. Don Libby of Iron Creek Photography in Tucson, AZ and I have been co-hosting this event for five years now. CI in Carmel is an informal workshop that has grown in popularity, selling out in less than two weeks last year.
This year’s event will include a tour of the Really Right Stuff facilities, a Capture One Pro 7/8 class, B&W K7 Piezography printing, and of course, world-class barbequed (famous in my own mind) babyback ribs smoked on a Traeger. The workshop focuses on landscape photography along the central coast. Although the event is weighted towards technical cameras including Alpa, Arca, Cambo and high resolution medium format digital backs, you can expect appearances from the Phase DF, Leica S2, and Hasselbald cameras as well. I expect to see the new Alpa FPS, Phase One IQ260 Achromatic, and new lens offerings as well. CI in Carmel is scheduled for February 21-23, 2014. Registration is online through Capture Integration in Atlanta, and the current itinerary. Capture One Pro 7/8 class, barbeque lunch, and B&W K7 print included. For more information, please contact me at my boutique portrait photography studio in Carmel, CA. Ken (831) 626-1844.