Monday, April 30, 2012

"Lovers In Fantasyland"


"Lovers In Fantasyland"
©David A. Ziser

In honor of being at Texas School I thought I would revisit one of my favorite images from last year’s class. This image was called the “outstanding image of the week” at Texas School 2011.  I captured this image on the last day of shooting.  I was scheduled to be one of the instructors at Thursday' Night’s Shootout.  Although we were to meet in a nearby park to begin the photographs, as the evening progressed I knew I wanted to capture a few shots around the “Blueprints” sculpture at Addison Circle just a block away from the park.

I had been “eyeballing” this unusual sculpture as a photographic background throughout the week as some of the Texas School festivities were held nearby.  Thursday night proved to be the night.  We wrapped shooting in the small park and then began to walk back to the hotel toward the location of the sculpture.  It was well past sunset, but the sky still held that twilight glow that I love.  I always say, “We keep shooting till we can no longer see the camera bag.”  That was exactly the time I was capturing this image.

I positioned the bride and groom at the base of the imposing sculpture after selecting the best composition for my photograph. I didn’t want to see the many buildings around the site so I took a camera position that gave me as many trees as possible in the background behind the sculpture. I also liked how the sky’s brightness and “blueness” transitioned from dark to light across the top of the image.

The rest was simple – just get a flash behind the couple and fire away.  That flash was my remotely fired Canon 580 EX II flash in “manual” mode at 1/4 power.  The spray of light highlighted the green grass nicely but, most importantly, gave me that dramatic rim lighting around the couple.

The contrasting colors, gentle tones in the sky, dramatic lighting, and very unusual location made for an impacting wedding image.

Camera specs:  Canon 7D fitted with Sigma 8-16mm lens at 8mm, F5.6 @ 1/80 second, ISO 1600. Enjoy!  -David

Quick Hit Monday: My Shootout In Central Park; Lots Of Photoshop CS6; Loads Of Lightroom 4; and More!

Good Morning Everybody,

Texas School2We arrived safe and sound in Dallas, TX around noon on Saturday and are looking forward to a great week at Texas School.  Last year we really enjoyed our experience.  This is like the largest week long photography school in the world with nearly 40 instructors and just slightly less than 1,000 students!  It IS the happening place to be for the next 5 days. 

We just wrapped the opening sessions last night at 10:00p.m. – you’re right, if you’ve never been here you soon find out that nobody gets much sleep around here ;~)  Still we’ve got a great class and LaDawn and I are looking forward to our visit and the week.   I'll plan to keep you filled in day-by-day with images and commentary.

Extreme Digital Design Webcast a Hit!

LumaPix logoFirst off, I want to thank Michael Sheasby, Co-founder and CEO of LumaPix software for being my guest last Thursday on our DigitalProTalk - Extreme Digital Design webcast.  Once again we had attendees from around the country and around the world on hand for our lively discussion and Michael's impressive demonstrations. From the audience comments, the crowd was “blown away” by Michael’s demo of LumaPix V5’s new feature set.  If you missed it, no problem.  I'm going to post it tomorrow for Technique Tuesday.  Be sure to check it out – it is not to be missed!

My Shoot-Out at Central Park – Thursday, May 17, 2012. 

Central parkThat's right gang, I’ll be in Central Park, New York City,  on Thursday, May 17 for a shoot out in the nations most famous park.  My thanks for B&H for getting all the permits and  making all the arrangements - its going to be a great time. 

I'll be there along with 5 other photographers and several models working the park for a good part of the day.  This is a terrific way to get some great images for your portfolio, learn my  lighting techniques, make new friends, and enjoy the fresh air. 

You can get all the info and register right here or by clicking on the Central Park image above.  B&H expects this event to fill up fast - so don't delay.  I hope to see everyone there!

Sarah Petty's New Book; Worth Every Penny – and It Is!

Worth Every PennyAllow me to tell you about my friend Sarah Petty's new book “Worth Every Penny”.  Here's a quick overview of the book from Sarah.  “Worth Every Penny” contends that here’s a radically different way to run a small business, one in which the owners focus on offering specialized products and over-the-top customer service—not on matching the prices of their competition. Worth Every Penny encourages business owners to use a different business model, one that is designed to maximize their advantages over the big-box stores and other discounting competitors. Here is the link for all the book info right here.

Sarah was one of our speakers at PhotoProExpo earlier this year and rocked the house!  Sarah comes from a marketing background with Coca-Cola but decided, instead to venture into the field of photography a number of years ago and never looked back.

She runs a very successful photography studio in Springfield, Illinois.  She has been helping photographers get their business in high gear.  Her Joy of Marketing website offers some tremendous content, lots of it free, for the new and aspiring pro photographer.

After nearly a year in preparation and writing, her book has just been released!  Here is the link for all the information. Sarah really packs one giant marketing wallop with her Joy of Marketing concept.

Getting Up To Speed With Adobe CS6

adobe-cs6-logoIf you haven't downloaded and tried Adobe's new CS6, you've got to do it right away.  I've been playing with it for a short while and I’m loving it.  First of, it just feels snappier than any previous version.  The interface is more stylized with a mid to dark gray color scheme that’s really nice to work in.  But most importantly are all the new features that come with this latest release.

I'm particularly amazed at the Content Aware Move Tool, the new cropping tool, the Field Blur Tool, and the fact that Photoshop can now do a basic video edit - pretty cool.  I spent several hours last week checking out many of the new features.  I also spent probably too much time on the new video features.  In fact tomorrow's Technique Tuesday video was put together completely within Photoshop CS6!

DPS logoAs with any new software version, how do you get up to speed quickly?  The Internet, of course.  Already cyberspace is filling up with lots of tutorials on CS 6's new features.  My favorite link is right here at showcasing 23 new cool CS6 features. 

The folks at DPS pulled together several links from the top Photoshop gurus around the world.  Each of the five gurus put together 5-6 videos spotlighting their favorite features.  There is some overlap, but that's OK.  Where there was some overlap, each presenter put a new spin on that same feature - adding even more in- depth information, each hi-lighting tips and techniques of that special feature.  I spent nearly an hour watching the numerous short videos and then headed over to CS6 to give them a try - way cool.

All The Latest On Lightroom 4 – The Mother Load!

lightroom4boxshot-295x400Adobe just kicked out their latest release candidate - Lightroom 4.1 RC2.  They tweaked many of the features and added a few more.  Fixing Chromatic Aberration is now much easier and more thorough than before, plus LR4 now supports even more cameras. But wait….there’s lots more than just that!

We arrived at Texas School on Saturday just in time to catch Julieanne Kost’s – Adobe resident LR4 guru – showcase the latest greatest features of this great piece of software.  Her blog is chocked full of tutorials showcasing all these new features.  She has a video on how to do just about everything in Lightroom 4 and10 pages of LR keyboard shortcuts! 

Let’s not just stop there.  Let me point you towards my other favorite resources for all things Lightroom:

1. Matt Kloskowski's Lightroom's Killer Tips right here.  Matt has always been my go to guy when ever I need to know anything about Lightroom.

2. Another favorite is Victoria Brampton, the Lightroom Queen - here's her link.  Her blogs and her books are all at the top of my reference list when it comes to Lightroom.

3. And lastly, check out Laura Shoe - she is a wonderful resource for all the latest, greatest features of Lightroom and even does FREE webcasts.  Check out her resources right here.


Hey gang, that's it for me today.  Class starts in about an hour so I've got to run.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for our re-broadcast of Extreme Digital Design. On that note, I'm out of here.

See ya' tomorrow everybody,


Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Hot Red”

Hot Red

"Hot Red”
©David A. Ziser

I've been playing around with Adobe's latest version of CS6 and have to say I'm mightily impressed. Yesterday, while cruising my files for an image to bring in the CS6 and I came across the image you see in today's post. It was made a few years ago during the convention where I was demonstrating my easy lighting techniques at the Westcott booth. I still remember that experience as being one of the most memorable convention shoots I've been involved in.

Our model was quite lovely but, but it was the headpiece/hat that she was wearing that caught everyone's eye. Her bright red lipstick together with the bright red flowers in the headpiece make for some very exciting portrait compositions.

In this image, I simply brought in a large soft box and from camera right. I controlled the shadows with a reflector and a shot away – a pretty simple lighting setup. I love both the subject’s expression and the colors in this portrait image.  But, I have to admit I didn't like this photograph until after I had tweaked it just a bit and CS6. 

The first thing I did was soften the skin tones and then retouched her skin to a somewhat like porcelain like quality. I had several distractions in the background and this decided to try CS6’s new Field Blur option under Filters. Basically, what this did was allow me to blur everything that I thought was distracting to the portrait and keep sharp the subject’s face. All in all, this image is a combination of both lighting and retouching but I love the result.

Camera specs Canon 7D with 18 to 200mm IS lens at 140 mm, F6.3 @ 1/250 second, ISO 1600. Enjoy! – David

FREE Extreme Digital Design Webcast Today & Door Prizes!

Good Late Morning Everybody,

First of all, just a quick reminder – we've got our Extreme Digital Design webcast at four o'clock this afternoon EST and I sure hope everyone can be there.

REGISTER for FREE Right Here!

Register Now LR[5]

Another quick note, I want to thank everybody for other comments on my Tuesdays post – the best lens for wedding photography in my review of Tamron's 28 – 300 mm VC lens. I'm going to keep testing the lens in the next couple of weeks and keep you posted of any newer findings. So far, it's my favorite lens on my 5D Mark III for everyday shooting and I'm having the best time ever shooting this camera/lens combo.

FREE Extreme Digital Design Webcast Today! Here Are The Details

Extreme Digital Design 200pxMy special guest is Cofounders and CEO of LumaPix, Mr. Mike Sheasby – and also a good friend for many years. Mike and I will be discussing the latest, greatest features of the newest release of LumaPix 5.0 – the absolute best design/collaging software on the planet earth.

We've been using LumaPix V5 here at the studio since it was released a few weeks ago and I have to tell you – it is one powerful update. Mike and I will spend some time discussing some of the most important new features and just how those features can help wedding and portrait photographers advance their business, client communications, and client excitement to a brand new level.

Banners Hope & Yesenia GREEN[6]After that, Michael promises to give you an eye-popping, jaw-dropping demo of all those new features and even a few not yet released – I can’t wait! Once again, I promise that you will be amazed! We’ll wrap the webcast taking questions from the audience and discussing more ways LumaPix can help make you money. We’re both looking forward to a very lively discussion.

I watched the development of LumaPix over the last eight years and this is, by far, the most exciting release yet. Remember, registration for the webcast is FREE!!! We have plenty of seats left so you can join all the fun right here. Remember, 4 PM EST – you won't want to miss this program!

LaDawn will be riding “shotgun” monitoring questions from our web audience. I’ll be following questions on Twitter. Just tweet your questions to @digitalprotalk and include #lumapixdesign. Michael and I will answer as many questions as best we can during the webcast time period. Once again, here is the link to register right here. FREE Webcast: Thursday April 26, 2012 at 4:00pm. EST.

YES, Door Prizes Too!

Wait, there’s more!!! ;~) We’ll also be giving away nearly $600 in door prizes during the webcast and winners must be present to win. Prizes will include a full version of LumaPix:FotoFusion Extreme ($299 value) [link], my Captured By The Light 5-DVD seminar ($89 value), Divine Design Collection ($149 value) [link], and a copy of my Captured By The Light book ($54 value) [link].

See You There!  David

Business Day Thursday: Don't Give Your Business Cards Out At Weddings!

Hey Everybody,

Its Business day Thursday so let's get right to it.

Business Day Thursday: Don't Give Your Business Cards Out At Weddings!

Okay, you must think I'm crazy making a statement like that. But, it's been my philosophy for as many years as I've been in the wedding business.  You might be asking yourself, "Then how in the world am I going to be able to pass my name on the potential new clients?"   Folks, I'd like you to consider something. When I started my business I was happy and thrilled to pass my business cards to prospective brides and grooms that I met at the weddings and events I was photographing. 

arrowThe funny thing is I seldom heard back from any of the people I gave the cards to. Here's why. Historically I found overall my years in business that when you pass a card to a prospective client, that card will be lost in the purse, still be in the jacket pocket as a coat heads to the dry cleaners, are just simply be misplaced really killing any chance of you hearing back from the person you gave the card to. Historically I found that about 15% of the people that I gave to cards to at wedding receptions made the effort to try to contact me again.

I think that a 15% return on your marketing efforts – passing out a business card – is a pretty darn poor return on your efforts. How about if I could guarantee you he 100% return on your efforts?  That's exactly the topic of this post. Now don't get me wrong here.  I don't think business cards are a bad thing. In fact I'll give my business card away at conventions and programs all the time. But in that case I'm not looking for the recipient to necessarily be making contact back with me. I'm passing out my card to them for  a reference should they need to contact me in the future.

Just Don’t Do It!

No Business cardBut when it comes to passing out business cards at a wedding, it's a completely different matter. You want that potential client to contact you and hopefully do business with you. But as I said the possibility of that happening settles in at a very dismal 15% rate of return.

My strategy, for many many years, has always been to ask the person requesting my business card, while never offering mine, but always ask for theirs instead. If they didn't have a business card I'd ask them to write their contact information on a cocktail napkin. In either instance, I had their contact information and I knew I would be a lot more pro-active in re-contacting them. That would guarantee me a 100% rate of return on my efforts.  As you can see, this practice dramatically improves my chances of booking a potential client.

The Power Of The iPad

iPad1In today's digital age it is so easy to follow-up with clients that request your business card at a wedding. I blogged about this before here DigitalProTalk.  One of the most effective ways to counter the business card request is to have your trusty iPad with you everywhere you go. Then, if you encounter potential client, asking for business card, just shown your portfolio on your iPad.

IpAD2If they see an image that they really like, offer to send it to them. Now you’ve captured their email and have it for reference for future wedding planning or whenever. The potential client will be amazed with your responsiveness and I that same moment you've got their e-mail address for further follow-up.

The whole point is this – to be able to follow-up with a prospective client proactively knowing that you will make the return call 100% of the time.  Waiting for your potential client to call you after passing your business card to them for slim pickin’s when hoping to pick up new clients.

So, In Conclusion:

100 PERCENTWhenever you encounter a potential client, whether it be at a bridal show, a wedding reception, a special event of wedding planners, or any special event; be sure that you get their contact information 100% of the time.  That will guarantee you, if you’re not the lazy sort, a 100% guarantee of reconnecting with them.  When we take it upon ourselves to proactively contact our leads we will see a dramatically higher rate of return of booking is prospective clients.


Hey gang, that's it for me today. We've got our webcast later on this afternoon and I've got a few things I still need to do to prep for it. I sure hope to see you online in a few hours. Everybody have a great rest of the day and I'll see you soon.

Adios, David

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Architectural Beauty”

Architectural Beauty

"Architectural Beauty”
©David A. Ziser

Here is one of the last images I captured while at the church last week for my Master Class.  It is also one of my favorites. Look how the architecture swirls around the bride framing up her beautiful face.  I’ve positioned her in the bottom right quadrant of the frame which balances the image nicely with the rest of the space in the frame.

Not only are the colors pleasing, but the lighting on her face is really beautiful too. The lighting  was created with my Quantum strobe shooting through my Zumbrella giving the perfect and most flattering loop lighting on her face.

Two things surprise me about this image.  The first is the lack of severe distortion in my bride.  I thought I would have seen more, especially at the edges.  I’ll experiment more with the lens next week and see what happens.

The other even more amazing thing about this image was the quality of the the 24x36 inch print I printed.  I inadvertently selected the JPG file instead of the RAW file to print but the finished image was out of this world – sharp and clear. Now for the real question; “Does everything need to be photographed at full resolution?”  More later on that remark.

Camera specs: Canon 5D Mark III fitted with Canon 8-15mm Fisheye at 15mm, F5.6 @ 1/30 second, ISO 800.  Enjoy!  -David

Technique Tuesday: Understanding The Right Gear To Use For Weddings & Tamron 28-300 VC Lens Review

Good Afternoon Everybody,

CS6It’s a two-for-one post today but before I begin I hope everybody's off to a great start for the week. We just had Adobe CS6 announced and it is looking like one hot upgrade – I can't wait. Want to check out 10 of CS6’s coolest features – you can find the 10 videos right here at photographer, Colby Brown’s site. 

Things are getting busy for us, as usual, as we get ready for our trip to Dallas, Texas.  After just coming off of my Digital Master Class we’ve got to re-organize all the gear for our week long class at Texas School. So prepping for that trip,  getting ready for our free Extreme Digital Design Webcast on Thursday (REGISTER HERE), and our regular studio production items are certainly keeping us busy once again.

I spent most of yesterday organizing the content and images for today's post. I know today is supposed to be our normal Technique Tuesday complete with video  but, I'm changing it up because I have some more important news that I want to discuss with you. ImagesToday's post is a combination of gear discussion and equipment discussion for today's wedding photographers.

I think it's always interesting to read the latest, greatest equipment reviews online and to check out the latest new lenses for our cameras. Little is said in the overall scheme of things about what gear combinations might be the best  for certain shooting situations. That's my topic for today.

Understanding The Best Gear To Use For Weddings

I've been a wedding photographer for a long time and a digital wedding shooter for over 12 years. Over those years I've worked with many different combinations of cameras and lenses. Now, here we are 2012 and I’m finding myself once again reconsidering the best camera/lens combinations for shooting a wedding. Let me be clear – every photographer has their own style and technique when photographing a wedding, myself included. Some photographers prefer the fast glass and medium to long telephotos for capturing the essence of the wedding day. Others newer to the field, unfortunately, may prefer the Canon rebel with the kit lens.

I myself have gone through many equipment combinations and transitions since switching to digital so many years ago. Heck, back in the film days, you bought one camera and used it for 20+ years – not so today.

Canon 7D with 18-200mmFor the last two years my favorite camera/lens combination has been the Canon 7D fitted with the Canon 18-200mm IS lens.  Now before anyone has a conniption fit because I'm not using fast, L-series glass – please hear me out. When I’m shooting the majority of the candid, spontaneous images I’ve always found this camera/lens combo to be a very efficient combination. I found it to be particularly efficient when photographing a wedding reception. If I spotted grandma dancing with one of the groomsmen across the dance floor I can easily zoom out and capture that special moment. No need to run back to my gear bag to grab a longer telephoto lens. The entire shooting process was quick and efficient.

I think a common misconception many photographers have about gear is that they need a whole slew of lenses to get the job done.  Again, don't get me wrong. I do own a whole slew of lenses and use just about all of them on a typical wedding event.  But typically, over these last two years, it's been my Canon 7D/18-200mm IS lens combo that has been my work-horse, been the combo I’ve used most often and has provided for me some really outstanding results.

Lens Meta DataTo give you an example I checked a recent wedding exposing nearly  3800 images over the two day event. Look at the metadata from that event.  Clearly two thirds of those images were taken with the 7D fitted with the 18-200mm IS lens. 800 more of those images were photographed with the Canon 24-105mm IS lens.  I’ve always felt this is one of the sharpest lenses in my gear bag and always reserve it for portraits of the bride and the groom, family groups, and the larger wedding party groups. For many of my wide-angle images I liked using the Sigma 8-16mm lens, and as you can see from the above chart, for about 200 of the images.  So, as you can see, the big favorite was the extremely versatile 18-200mm IS zoom lens.

Again, I know several of you are probably rolling your eyes at my remarks in today's post. But, let me say, for me it's about getting the image, capturing the moment, not taking a chance missing something important as I juggle with my lenses - that's not my style. For me it's ALWAYS about getting the shot!

Another thing I think a lot of photographers fail to realize is that the largest print that's going into a wedding album, particularly with candid images, is typically no larger than a 5x7 or maybe a 8x10 image – and, on the rare occasion, an 10x10. The 18-200mm lens is just fine for many of those images.  Don’t get me wrong – I’ve still made prints up to 24x36 inches from that lens –and they look GREAT!

Wedding Page2

Several times during LaDawn’s design process she will include images that are 10x15 and occasionally even larger in the album. But in most cases those images would've been taken with the much sharper 24-105mm IS L-series lens that I like using for just such photographs.

Wedding Page

The sharper glass is going to be reserved for the top, #1 priority images. The more versatile and faster piece of glass, the 18-200mm IS lens I'll use for the second and third tier images. As I mentioned before, this allows for extreme versatility and fast speed for me with my style of photographing a wedding.

Now please continue reading the following post [link] for the complete low-down on Tamron’s new 28-300mm VC lens.

Updated: Test Driving the New Tamron 28-300mm VC Lens; Is It the Best Wedding Lens Available?

Tamron lens2
It’s a long read but I think worth every word. I gave you the rundown of why I been using the gear I’ve been using  over these last two years in the previous post [link].  But things changed when Canon began delivering the 5D Mark III camera just a few weeks ago.
I photographed my first wedding with the 5D Mk3 and loved it, particularly the high ISO aspects of the camera.  The problem was that I didn’t have a comparable lens to my 18-200mm IS lens I loved on my 7D to shoot with on the new 5D. I set about finding a replacement lens.  I wasn’t interested in Canon’s $2700 six lb. lens in that same focal length so I opted to hit the NET and see what I could find.  The Tamron 28-300mm VC looked to fill the bill and my good buddies at Tamron were gracious to loan me the lens for a month. My report below is based on my experience from my first week shooting hundreds of images with that lens.
Test Driving the New Tamron 28-300mm VC Lens; Is It the Best Wedding Lens Available?
After working with the Tamron 28-300mm VC lens on my Canon 5D Mark 3 for the last week,  I’m finding this gear combo is going to be my favorite wedding gear, camera/lens combination from this point forward. Let me explain why. First, the superior image quality, quiet shooting, and super high ISO's have made the Canon 5D Mark III the most exciting camera I have ever photographed with.
5D w-Tamron lensNow add to that the Tamron 28-300mm VC lens and I’m thinking I may just have the ultimate gear combination for photographing weddings. Having said that - let's discuss the different features of the Tamron 28-300mm VC lens  Since the 5D Mark III is a full frame sensor camera versus the APS sized sensor on the Canon 7D, the Tamron 28-300mm VC lens is the equivalent focal length lens on the full frame 5D Mk3 considering the 7D’s 1.6x magnification factor which is exactly what I was looking for at a non-wallet busting price of only ($600) for my 5D Mk3.
Okay, your wanting to know, “Just how good is this new Tamron lens?” My first impressions signaled me that it is significant step up in image quality when compared to the images I was getting off of my 7D/18-200mm lens combination. What I’d like to do in today's post is walk you through several images taken with the Tamron lens at the various focal lengths from 300mm all the way down to 28mm and at pretty wide apertures to boot and then let you draw your own conclusions.
Focal Lengths Compared
300mm:  Look at the first image. It was taken with the Tamron lens racked out to 300mm and shot at F8. Looking at it in full frame mode it looks just fine. But now let's zoom in and look at it at a 2:1 magnification. You can see, upon very close inspection of this image, that we have plenty of detail in this image.
0001 - Tamron-1867
0002 - Tamron-1867
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 300mm, F8.0 @ 1/250 second, ISO 800
Now let's look at the next wedding image along with their 2:1 magnification view. The important thing to notice on these next two images is that they were made at the lens’s widest aperture and at its longest focal length. It's with this focal length/f-stop combination that we would expect the worst performance from the lens. From my subjective observation I find the results to be amazingly good.
0003 - Tamron-
0004 - Tamron-
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 300mm, F6.3 @ 1/200 second, ISO 200
During my Master Class last week, I actually printed a 24 x 36" print  from this image series and it looked fabulous. So even using the Tamron lens and what many would consider the worst-case F-stop scenario, I am getting beautiful portraits of my bride.
DAZ with Print
I have to admit I found the results surprising. You can see that were holding plenty of detail in the bodice of the wedding gown.  Surprisingly I had  the lens fully extended to the full 300mm focal length.
250mm:  Now look at the next image. It was made it at F5.6 handheld a 1/13th of the second and even in the close-up of this image you can see that we have plenty of detail in her facial features and in her pearl necklace.
0009 - Tamron-
0010 - Tamron-
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 249m, F5.6 @ 1/13 second handheld, ISO 800
200mm:  The next image at 200 mm could be argued to look even better. You can clearly see the texture of the skin and, see plenty of detail in the pearl necklace even under the extreme 2:1 magnification.
0011 - Tamron-1641
0012 - Tamron-1641
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 200m, F5.6 @ 1/80 second handheld, ISO 200
150mm:   The next image, the bride leaning against the piano, still continues to exude a high level of image quality zoomed to 154mm. Notice once again that the aperture was nearly wide open at 5.6 handheld at 1/50 of the second.
0013 - Tamron-
0014 - Tamron-
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 154mm, F5.6 @ 1/50 second handheld, ISO 800
100mm:  As I continue to shorten the focal length of the lens – look at this next image at 100 mm at F5 .0. You can see that the quality is still just as strong as in the previous images. I think the key point that I’m trying to make is that these images are made at the lens’ very wide apertures.  That's telling me that we have excellent optics attached to the camera.
0015 - Tamron-
0016 - Tamron-
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 100mm, F5.0 @ 1/60 second handheld, ISO 200
Sure, stopping down the lens even further could give us even greater sharpness but what I'm seeing is that is not necessary. And, the larger aperture allows us to separate the subject from the background very effectively.
Take a look at this next image. Once again it was made at the 100mm setting at F5 .6 handheld at 1/60th of a second. It’s a very exciting image to view capturing the beauty of our subject against the dramatic Cincinnati skyline.
0017 - Tamron-2103
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 100mm, F5.6 @ 1/60 second handheld, ISO 1600
But now check it out at the one zoom magnification. You can see that even at this  magnification we are looking at an extremely sharp image. And, once again it was made at nearly the full aperture of the Tamron lens.
0018 - Tamron-2103
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 100mm, F5.6 @ 1/60 second handheld, ISO 1600
This next image of our bride leaning against the piano was made at a slightly wider 92 mm setting of the lens. I did absolutely no retouching on this image and even under close inspection you can see that it is tack sharp throughout.
0019 - Tamron-2527
0020 - Tamron-2527
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 92mm, F5.6 @ 1/30 second handheld, ISO 800
50mm:  The next three images were captured at the zoom range between 55 – 39mm. These images corroborate the results we saw in the longer zoomed photographs. In the tight 2:1 close-ups we are maintaining superior detail at this wider zoom range.
0021 - Tamron-1447
0022 - Tamron-1447
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 55mm, F6.3 @ 1/160 second, ISO 200
0023 - Tamron-
0024 - Tamron-
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 50mm, F11 @ 1/200 second, ISO 200
0025 - Tamron-1986
0026 - Tamron-1986
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 39mm, F8.0 @ 1/200 second, ISO 100
28mm:  At the Tamron's widest setting, 28 mm, we can easily identify that the lens is exceedingly sharp. I guess the main point I'm trying to make  is I would have no hesitation at all in using this lens throughout its full focal length at my next wedding.
0029 - Tamron-2160
0030 - Tamron-2160
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 28mm, F5.6 @ 1/80 second, ISO 6400
0031 - Tamron-
0032 - Tamron-
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 28mm, F5.6 @ 1/80 second, ISO 6400
Chromatic Aberration:  Many times, at the extreme range of super zoom lenses you will see some chromatic aberration in the brightest parts of the scene.  Take a look at this next image.
0033 - Tamron-2347
Yes, it's Barry Manilow. I'm smiling as I'm writing this because you're all probably wondering what am I doing at a Barry Manilow concert. Well, I happen to like Barry Manilow and I've sadly never been to any of his concerts.
After we wrapped the Master Class last Friday LaDawn and I wanted a little R&R so we checked to see what was showing around town. Low and behold there it was - a Barry Manilow concert just 10 minutes away from our home. On top of that, some decent tickets were available for only $10 each!  We decided, heck, let's give it a try and enjoy a $10 concert. We actually spent more money on refreshments and parking than we did on our two tickets. It was certainly a was a nice diversion, an excellent concert and most importantly we had a good time;~)
But I digress. The topic here is chromatic aberration. When we look at this image under extreme 2:1 magnification you can see the chromatic aberration quite clearly around Mr. Manilow’s jacket. Notice the red and green halos on the left and right of the jacket.
0034 - Tamron-2347
Is this a big problem? For me, it's not. Why? Because I'm using Lightroom 4 as my image processor. And, in the Lens Correction Module, by simply profiling the lens and telling Lightroom 4 to remove the chromatic aberration we really make this issue disappear easily and quickly so it's really a non-issue.
0035 - Tamron-2347
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 300mm, F8.0 @ 1/160 second, ISO 6400
VC - Vibration Compensation:   Okay, I know what you're thinking next, “The lens sure looks good throughout it’s complete zoom range from 28 to 300 mm but how good is the built-in image stabilization of the lens?”   I have to tell you, I never carry a tripod with me to a wedding. That means I am essentially relying on the lens’ built in image stabilization to save the day for me.
Tamron calls their image stabilization VC for Vibration Control. They claim their VC to give you three f-stop safe range when shooting at the slower shutter speeds. That means that you can shoot at a 3 stop slower shutter speed than what  would normally be needed to capture a  sharp photograph with their lens at a certain focal length.
After Mass on Sunday, LaDawn and I headed to the Cincinnati Art Museum. In the dim surrounds of the Art Museum I decided to check out the vibration control characteristics of the new Tamron lens. Take a look at the Gainsborough painting below. It was shot at the 160mm setting at 7.1 at 1/10 of a second handheld. In my quick test it looks like Tamron vibration and roll is working just fine.
0036 - Tamron-2617
0037 - Tamron-2617
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 60mm, F7.1 @ 1/10 second handheld, ISO 6400
Take a look at the zoomed in image. I don't see any motion blur whatsoever even under very close inspection.
Later in the evening, after we returned, LaDawn grabbed the camera with the Tamron lens attached and started shooting a few photographs of me standing in our living room. I did hear that the shutter speed was quite slow so I asked her to take her time and just click off a few images and let's see what we could capture.
In the following image - you can see that I look quite sharp – easily sharp enough for a 4 x 6 print. Now prepare to be amazed! Look at the shooting specs on this image.
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Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 109mm, F7.1 @ 0.6 second handheld, ISO 6400
About 2/3’s second at 7.1 –  that's over half of a second handheld, by LaDawn who is truly not a professional photographer, and I think the image captured looks pretty darn good. I have to admit I was really amazed when I saw this image. I'm not suggesting that you routinely go out and shoot at exposures longer than a half a second counting on them the be tack sharp. But, that there are times when, in a pinch, you could get away with it using Tamron's new lens.
Shooting Macro Shots:  Another really nice feature of the Tamron lens that really surprised me was just how close it could focus. I racked out the lens to 300mm and proceeded to take some close-up photographs of some flowers in our garden. The lens was only about 10 inches away from the subject but, as you can see both in the full view and the super close view, there is plenty of detail in the image. That's an indication to me that we could also use this lens to do a great series of scene setters as part of our wedding coverage.
0039 - Tamron-2680
0040 - Tamron-2680
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 300mm, F8.0 @ 1/320 second handheld, ISO 1600
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Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 300mm, F9.0 @ 1/500 second handheld, ISO 1600
I even clicked off a quick photograph of LaDawn and my wedding and engagement bands. I had no idea my wedding ring was so beat up – a wedding photographer’s hands take such a beating you know ;~)
0044 - Tamron-2690
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 300mm, F16 @ 1/50 second handheld, ISO 1600
HDR:  And finally, during last week's Master Class I did decided to give the HDR feature on my Canon 5D Mark III a try. I framed up the city and clicked off the image you see below of the city skyline. The camera captures three sequential shots and then matches up the pixels of each of those photographs, works it’s HDR magic, and gave me this final result. Even handheld at 1/80 second and once again at F5 .6 - a fairly high ISO 6400 we have one of my favorite images I've taken so far this year.
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Tamron 28-300mm VC lens at 42mm, F5.6 @ 1/80 second handheld, ISO 6400
How About On A Canon 7D or Any Other APS-C Sized Sensor?
Good question – let’s think it through.  Take a look at the diagram below I put together showing the actual field of view of the camera lens and then compared the field of view of a full frame vs. APS-C size sensored camera.   If you're shooting a full frame camera you need to be using a lens that will cover the full 24 x 36 area of frame. That's what the Tamron 28-300mm VC lens was designed to do.
Full Frame vs APS-C
We’ve discussed the sharpness of the Tamron lens throughout its full zoom range of 28 to 300mm. Many times, in lens reviews, the reviewer will discuss light fall off and less-than-perfect sharpness at the corners of the lens particularly at the longer focal lengths of these all-in-one zoom lenses. 
As a wedding photographer, this is not so an important consideration for me.  We’re not shooting scenics or architectural objects.  I don’t necessarily need perfect sharpness in the corner of my lens.  Please, no nasty emails here – when I do need that perfect sharpness, I choose a lens that gives me just that. 
But, as a wedding photographer I’m pointing my camera at people. Corner sharpness and vignetting are less of a consideration for me. Hence, the reason I put less than heavy emphasis on this aspect of lens reviews when considering a lens for my wedding photography. Nevertheless, the Tamron lens ranges from excellent at the center to good at the edges throughout its range in the tests I've seen online. This makes it a good all-in-one lens and a good choice for a full frame sensor camera like the Canon 5D Mark III when shooting weddings and events.
So what about the smaller sized sensors? If what I indicated above is true then the only conclusion you can draw is that the Tamron 28-300mm VC lens will do even better on a smaller size sensor like the one on the Canon 7D camera.  Look at the diagram above one more time – we’re using the sharper, center part of the lens’ field of view so the easy conclusion is that you will get very good image quality and a great result.
One thing to remember though is that your effective focal length changes when shooting with the smaller sensor cameras. The Tamron 28-300mm VC lens will give you an effective range of 43-465mm on the 7D – quite a long throw on the long end but not so wide on the short end.  Hey, there are always trade-offs, but you do pick up that added center sharpness when using the lens on a Canon 7D and wow, what a focal length on the long end!
In Conclusion:  The conclusion for me is that this is a great lens to be married to the Canon 5D Mark III especially for the wedding photographer. It gives me a superior shooting range I like along with good to great sharpness throughout it’s entire range.  That along with good VC - vibration control this lens will allow me to continue to shoot handheld at all my future events.
Would I marry it to my Canon 7D – I sure would when I wanted the added center sharpness and the longer much focal length. But remember, I give up the wide angle versatility I get with the Tamron lens on the Canon 5D Mark III.  It’s all about choices. I’ll keep this post updated as I continue to work with the camera.
This camera/lens combo is been on my shoulder every day for the last week and as I continue to shoot with it, I'm continually amazed by the results I'm getting.
Tamron specsThe results I'm seeing with the new camera-lens combination – Canon 5D Mark III /Tamron 28-300mm VC lens is giving me results that I find at least two notches above the quality that I was obtaining previously with my older shooting combination. I'm sold on this lens. I plan to use it throughout our shooting sessions at Texas School next week.  Plan to stop by my blog to see some more images.
Over the next few weeks and throughout June we have several weddings on the books. I can't wait to shoot with this camera-lens combo.   I'll continue giving you feedback on how the camera and lens combo works for me.
Candid shooting at a wedding reception is a different beast. I'm generally shooting at F6.3 ranging the focal length from 28mm to the full 300mm range of the lens. I suspect, based on my results so far,  I’ll be extremely pleased with the images.  .
Once again, let me say that I'm not discouraging people from buying the fast glass, and expensive lenses. It comes down to what floats your boat. Those lenses just aren't my style.  I’m most interested in maximum versatility and an image stabilization kind of a guy. When shooting one image every nine seconds for 9 hours,  you have to be quick on your feet and quick on your trigger finger to bring home the best images for your clients.
Sure, I'll also be using my Sigma 12-24 ultra wide-angle lens, my 8-15mm zoomable Canon fisheye lens, my Canon 24-105mm image stabilized lens for most of my bridal portraits and group photographs, and my 85mm F1.8 Sigma telephoto when I really want to isolate on the subject or work in extremely low light conditions. These optics are a few of my favorite optics in my gear bag.. With this gear combination I think we’re able to capture more moments most efficiently and creatively than ever before.  I’m more excited than ever before to be photographing weddings and Mitzvah events in this extremely exciting digital age.

Links to this post: 
Tamron 28-300mm VC lens
Canon 5D Mark III
Sigma 12-24 ultra wide-angle
Canon 18-200mm IS lens
Canon 8-15 Fisheye
Canon 24-105mm IS lens
Hey gang, that's it for me today. I knew it was going to be a long post and if you've read this far, congratulations for hanging in there. I’d certainly like to hear your remarks about the conclusions I'm drawing about my favorite gear combination fo event shooting. If you've got your own thoughts on the matter, why not share with our DigitalProTalk readers below in the Comment section following this post. I would love to hear from you.
On that note gang, I'm out here. Enjoy the rest of the day and I'll see you soon.
– David