lumix pro services

lumix pro services

Lumix Professional Services

Panasonic is working toward serving the professional photography market in an exceptional way. As you probably know they have come out with two full frame mirrorless cameras (shipping in April) adding to their micro 4/3rds line. If you pre-order a full frame camera from Hunt’s Photo Video before April 4th you’ll get an extra battery and battery grip at no extra charge. (tell ’em I sent you if you would be so kind)

Just received my Lumix Pro Services welcome packet. It includes all the deals, contact information and membership card. They started this program last year and I used it for the first time myself just this week.

Service was as advertised. I received a Fed-Ex label for overnight shipping. Contact immediately when they received the camera and verified the problem. (the rubber from the SD card door was coming up) They again contacted me right away to let me know it was a warranty repair. The door was replaced and the camera was returned via Fed-Ex overnight.


lumix pro-servicesLumix Pro Services Welcome Packet * Note does not come with GH5 camera!

Here’s most of the skinny on what’s included:

• 2 day turn-around on repairs

• Free next day shipping both ways

• Twenty percent discount on Out-of-Warranty Repairs

• Online order tracking

• Loaner gear

• Free clean and check for two bodies and lenses per year

• As a bonus in the welcome packet, here’s my favorite, a Lumix pro camera strap. One of the reasons the camera strap is my favorite is because Panasonic has partnered with Peak Design. Peak Design makes straps that have a quick release that is extremely handy. I’ll do another post on my Peak Design straps as I could be considered a fan-boy for their product. The post will show you why

There’s more but I’ll let you go dig that out from the Lumix Pro Services site.

Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob

PS – Remember to pre-order to get the extra battery and battery grip from Hunt’s Photo Video before April fourth

bosque del apache part 2

bosque del apache part 2

Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
Snow Geese Part Two

With twenty-thousand plus snow geese winging their way around the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge it was a fantastic couple of days of sights and sounds. Sometimes it was quite overwhelming. On several occasions I had to put the cameras down to just experience nature in its pure form.

I’ve found there is a layer of distance that appears much larger than the six to eight physical inches when I put my face behind a camera — a certain detachment. This distance enables other photographers and me to do things like cover disasters, wars or record infant demises through organizations such as **Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. This is an important feature, but it can occasionally interfere with the enjoyment of the moment that is unfolding in front of us.

More Snow Geese photos to share…

sandhill crane over snow geese photoA solitary Sandhill Crane glides in over a pond of snow geese

snow geese in flightSnow geese in flight

snow geese take flight imageTake off!

Kinda reminds me of that famous movie from Alfred Hitchcock!

To make successful wildlife photographs, I would suggest that you spend a fair amount of time studying their behavior long before you pick up your camera to try and capture images. I’m a big fan of bird behavior vs. a straight portrait, although portraits have their place. Being able to predict when a bird will fly, open its wings or display for another will make your photographs come to life. Having a lens with a long reach works to help you fill the frame without disturbing the natural behavior. See my gear below which gives me an 800mm equivalent which is handholdable for capture.

Images were made with Panasonic cameras. Most often the LUMIX G Leica DG Vario-Elmar Professional Lens, 100-400MM, F4.0-6.3 ASPH mounted on the Lumix G9 and the Lumix GH5 for a second body. I had the chance to try out the Leica DG Vario-Elamarit 50-200mm 2.8-40 lens I am working toward getting this lens.

Next up the Sandhill Cranes!!

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob

** If you want to give back to your community think about photographing for NILMDTS. It is a very rewarding, if difficult mission.




bosque del apache national wildlife refuge

bosque del apache national wildlife refuge

Festival of the Cranes
Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

White Snow Geese must have gotten the invitation too.

I was in Socorro, New Mexico at the Festival of the Cranes hanging with the massive flocks of birds and a mass of photographers. Gotta tell you I felt like the Snow Goose whisperer during my workshop. The 10,000-plus Snow geese seemed to be following me around the refuge. Seeing them move as a group and fly mass ascensions from place to place was magical! Here are a few photos to help visually tell the story.

snow goose in flightIf you look closely, you can see the water droplets on the goose’s body

sandhill crane landing over snow geeseA sandhill crane works to land over a pile of snow geese. The guides at the Festival of the Cranes consider the geese interlopers. (And there were about 20,000 plus!)

snow geese in flightA pair of snow geese in flight

This trip is my second time at the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Preserve, and I certainly hope it won’t be my last. It is a well-managed area with wildlife throughout the year. Each year the cranes and geese return on their annual migration just before Thanksgiving. It is a sight to behold when 20,000 geese take to the air. I’ll share some photos of that spectacle in a day or so. To tell the truth, I stopped making images for a  while to experience the display of so many birds in flight, or as my friend, Skip Cohen says, “Take ‘Neurochromes’ and burn the images into your brain.”

Images were made with Panasonic cameras. Most often the LUMIX G Leica DG Vario-Elmar Professional Lens, 100-400MM, F4.0-6.3 ASPH mounted on the Lumix G9 and the Lumix GH5 for a second body. I had the chance to try out the Leica DG Vario-Elamarit 50-200mm 2.8-40 lens I am now lusting after this… A sweet piece of glass!

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Yours in Creative Photography,    Bob



desert cactus

desert cactus

Desert Cactus – Working Files to Completion

As I wasn’t having a ton of luck getting images from the driveway due to mobility issues I decided to go back into my archives and see if there were any images which I hadn’t processed. I found this desert cactus on a side road in Phoenix. A saguaro cactus is an iconic object screaming “DESERT!” in my mind. Last January as I was heading out of town for a speaking engagement I was watching this scene develop and pulled to the side of the road to explore possibilities.

cactus bracket image of five imagesHere is the original five stop bracket. It was a bit overcast, so I probably could have made three exposures and been OK, but I like to err on the side of caution to have more information rather than coming up short.

These five images were fed into Aurora HDR 2018 **. I’ve found Aurora to be a solid performer in creating natural looking HDR images without much ghosting or obvious ‘HDR LOOK’ for images that become overcooked.

aurora HDR 2018 imageWithout too much fiddling in the Aurora program the image has a full range of tones with just the slightest halo around the main cactus in the foreground in the sky.

cactus photo dodge and burnWith a small amount of dodging and burning and a Curves ayer cleaned the image up nicely. I often use a Photoshop Layer in Soft Light Mode to Dodge and Burn. Painting with black will darken and painting with white will lighten. I use my brushes at a very low opacity and build up or knock down density to avoid seeing the brush strokes.

Luminar 2018 finishing touches imageHere’s the final image after a stop in Luminar 2018** for some finishing touches and enhancements.

I hope some of these steps will give you some ideas for processing your images. If you have any questions or would like me to address a particular type of image processing, let me know.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

** Use Coupon Code – COATES – to receive $10 off on the software programs

go pet friendly part two

go pet friendly part two

Go Pet Friendly – Part Two

Here’s a follow-up to the post from the other day about shooting an author’s photo and some support images for a book project. Amy Burkert and her husband Rod are on the road searching and researching pet friendly travel venues and a book is being written about traveling with pets as an addition to the Go Pet Friendly website

One of the images was the whole crew and the thirty-seven foot Winnebago with which they travel the country. Lighting conditions were a bit on the contrastly side with high sun and shade under the awning.

go pet friendly winnebagoGo Pet Friendly home on the road and the family that lives there.

I used two Paul C Buff White Lightning X-3200 lights to control the contrast of the scene. The main light was fitted with a thirty-six-inch Octabox and the other was used for fill with a thirty by sixty inch foldable softbox camera right. A couple of braketed exposuers were made to get a lighter exposure on the tree that was in shadow to bring back some detail that would have blocked up otherwise.

The lights were powered with Paul C Buff Vagabond Mini battery packs. Portable power comes in very handy on location as it keeps from dealing with cords. It makes it easier to position lights exactly where you would like them to be.

Amy also wanted to show off her ‘children’ Ty and Buster.

amy and her dog tyAmy and her dog Ty pose for a portrait

amy ty and busterAmy, Ty and Buster pose in front of the RV

Images captured with the Lumix GH5 and the Leica 12-60mm G LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT PROFESSIONAL f2.8-4.0 lens

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob

go pet friendly

go pet friendly

Go Pet Friendly – Book Session

I don’t often share my commercial work on Successful-Photographer. I probably should.

So I will.

I received a call from a pleasant voice asking about a photography session for a book cover. Images needed would include an RV, two people, and two dogs. The owner of the friendly voice is named Amy Burkert. She and her husband Rod have been on the road for about six years traveling the country in an RV, looking for pet-friendly places and sharing their findings via their blog 

The main photo Amy for which Amy was looking was her back cover author’s image. Especially for the book, she has written, the image should make her appear open, friendly, and inviting while telling a bit of her story. I always ask plenty of questions before coming up with a plan for the capture.

What is the layout of the book? Do you need a horizontal or vertical photo/ Have you considered your wardrobe? What background would you like to have, studio or environmental? What story do you wish to convey?

amy at the wheel of the winnabagoAmy at the wheel of the thirty-seven foot Winnebago

After all the questions were answered, we ended up with Amy behind the wheel as she does most of the driving while they are on the road. There wasn’t a lot of room for supplemental lighting which made me reach into my bag for LED lighting bricks from Fiilex. With three of the bricks, I was able to add some fill light and get some background separation. These battery operated lights are color and brightness tunable and can be tucked into tiny spaces.

I choose a high angle from which to shoot to enhance Amy’s friendly and open feel. When the subject is looking up in an image it makes the viewer feel they are looking down on the person. It didn’t hurt that the camera likes Amy and she was entirely comfortable in front of the camera.

I supplied a horizontal and a square version of Amy’s portrait. Additional support images were made of the RV with Rod and the rest of the crew including the two dogs Ty and buster which I’ll share in a future post.

Images were made with the Lumix GH5 and the Leica 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 Lens

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob