IP Roundtable (EP-233)

Article of the Week:  5 Habits to get you to the next level of landscape photography

  • Shoot one single lens
    • Jim – After talking to Michael Frye a year ago on this show, I had in my mind to shoot long-lens landscapes.  I then went to Zion and got some of my favorite landscapes of all time with a long lens.  Planning to use this technique helped me shake up my norm.
  • Track the weather every day for a month
    • Jim – I’ve actually been doing this.  Testing my apps against what is actually happening and sharpening my ability to plan for being in the right spot.
      • RadarScope, Photo Pills
  • Visit one spot repeatedly
    • Jim – This is something I really need to work on.  I’m too excited to go to the next spot and don’t re-visit old locations enough.
  • Find opportunities to immerse yourself in photography
    • Plan a roadtrip
    • IP Meetup
      • Been holding off a little.  I’m traveled-out right now 🙂
    • 2018 Reatreat
  • Learn a new TECHNIQUE
    • Focus stacking
    • Timelapse
    • Luminosity masking
    • Day-to-Night pano
    • Crazy long exposure of stars


  • Shutterstock


  • HE De Zeine – 5D mark III or a 6D mark II ?
    • 5DIII
      • $2,200 new BUT $1,500 used
        • Jim – I ALWAYS buy used if it’s available.  Rarely an exception.
      • Dual SD Slots
      • 1/8000 max shutter
        • Jim – I’ve taken 767 photos in the last 5 years at 1/8000.  But I like them.  It mattered on half of them.
    • 6DII
      • $1,999 – Not gonna find it cheaper for at least 6 months
      • Fully articulating LCD
    • What’s the same?
      • Frames per second (6 on 5DIII vs 6.5 on 6DII
      • Low light – VERY similar most likely, but 6DII will likely have a SLIGHT advantage.
  • Brian Horne – Wanting to go pro.  What do I do about marketing, insurance for liability and health?
    • Health insurance
      • Jim – I pay $420/month for decent health insurance for a family of 5.  I’m grandfathered in to a pre-Obama care plan.  If I change my plan, the cheapest similar plan I could find is over $1k/month
      • Consider catastrophic-only insurance, and then put $3k in a money market account
      • Get multiple quotes!  Don’t just walk in to an insurance salesman’s office and expect to get a good deal
      • GET INSURANCE!  Just a single normal pregnancy and delivery will cost $20k+
    • Liability
      • Get multiple quotes from different insurance people
      • Jim – Nobody would sell it to me for general liability 🙁
  • Ed Nisbet – Best hobbyist starter cam under $1k
    • Canon 6D – $900 used
    • Sony a6500 – $1,100 used
    • Sony a6300 – $850 used
    • Nikon D7200 – $800 used (D7500 a little too pricey)
    • I’d skip the Fuji XT1, Oly, and Panny – fine for experienced shooters, but AF on older models not good enough for beginners.
  • Upgrade from the 6D to the 6D2 or get the 70-200f2.8 ?
    • Jim – I wouldn’t hesitate for a SECOND on buying the 70-200 over the camera upgrade.  6DII is barely any different.
  • Gilbert Gatchalian – Mavic or Spark?
    • Mavic
      • Small, but twice the size of the spark.
      • $999
      • Significantly better camera, but still BARELY publishable as a still.  Great video.
      • Better obstacle avoidance with 2 cameras
    • Spark
      • Incredibly tiny.  Smaller than an iPad
      • $699 with controller
      • Simulated shallow DoF
  • Gilbert Gatchalian – “do I bring my gear” or just go “point and shoot” for summer vacations?
    • Jim – If I will be able to do any SERIOUS shoot and there’s a good spot nearby, I’m bringing the gear.  I almost never take family photos with the big camera.  I’d rather just enjoy it and have snapshots.  Video is best for family memories in my opinion.

News Desk:

  • IBIS coming to Fuji cameras
    • REALLY weird the first time you clean an image stabilized sensor
  • Stock Photography Update
    • Jim: Uploaded my first images.  Spent 10 hours to prepare 300 images, which I’ll upload this week.  Best guess is 15 hours total of work to cull, prepare, and upload the 300 on 8 different stock sites.  Fewer than I’d thought were suitable for stock.
  • Drone photography of fireworks
    • Really cool, but hard to do without getting too close since the lens is so wide
  • 2 Photographers arrested for drone photography near wildfires
    • DO NOT DO IT!


  • Podcasts all in one feed
  • Submitting to Apple.  Could be days or weeks depending on how fickle they are.

Doodads of the Week!

  • Jim: CamelCamelCamel.com – How to avoid getting taken on Amazon Prime Day.
  • Sirui K-40x 54mm ball head $160
  • Connor: New 2017 Wacom Tablet

2 thoughts on “IP Roundtable (EP-233)”

  1. Hi Jim,

    I’m a longtime listener to the podcast. In fact, I’ve been listening consistently since the first episode!

    As much as I enjoy the podcast, I’m sorry to say that I think that your advice in this episode about health insurance was awful. Under no circumstances should people think about just trying to get catastrophic health insurance and then self-insure with savings for the massive deductible such a policy would have. Those policies, to the extent they are even currently legal. are largely worthless.

    The fact that health insurance for a family of five with your income might cost $1,000 per month in no way reflects upon what other people might pay. At this time, federal subsidies can make very good insurance totally affordable — depending on where people live, and other factors.

    The only way to tell is to go onto the health insurance exchange for your state and do the research. Asking an insurance agent is probably the wrong way to go. In many states, those folks are not allowed to sell the policies which are offered on the exchanges. They also may not be allowed to offer the subsidies. So the policies and prices they quote may not at all reflect what you can actually buy through the exchange. Different states have very different pricing.

    The person who asked the question about health insurance was asking because he is thinking about starting a new photography business. We can infer from that information that his income will probably not be that high for the following year. As such, he, and his family, might qualify for entirely free health insurance through Medicaid.

    Just go onto the exchange and find out what the cost for a policy actually will be.

    1. Thank you for your comment and for supporting the show over many years.

      I don’t think castastrophic policies are “largely worthless.” I think they have a place in the market for those who are prepared to handle the high deductibles and don’t otherwise qualify for subsidies. In many situations, if it weren’t for the availability of these plans, I believe many would simply not get insurance–which is absolutely disastrous.

      I didn’t say that the price I pay for health insurance or what I was quoted was indicative of what others should expect. It was just a single data point. I was sharing my personal experience. I think any listener would clearly understand that the price I pay is not going to be the price they will pay. That’s common sense.

      Some people will qualify for subsidies, which is why I recommended shopping around and trying different options. However, just because someone is going full-time doesn’t mean they have low income, as you assumed. They could have already built up their business to the point it will support them, or they could have a working spouse.

      You’re certainly welcome to disagree. We can still be friends 🙂 There really is no right or wrong here–it’s just a personal decision based on each person’s circumstance. I’d love to have you call in your feedback to the hotline to share your experience and opinion with the listeners as well. That’s what makes this community great–sharing what we know and learning from each other. https://improvephotography.com/hotline



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