Some things can’t be bought. Some things only come with time. Some things have to be earned. Some things take a lifetime to achieve. The latest camera or lens won’t get you the success you seek. The best workshop or photo conference won’t make you an overnight rock star. Following all the cool kids on […]

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Guest Post by Rich Harrington - Follow Rich on Twitter Rich offers a tutorial on a new feature in Adobe CS6 Called Adaptive Wide Angle DISCLAIMER: This post isn’t intended to be definitive – we’re not claiming this is the ONLY way or even the BEST way to accomplish this task in Photoshop, Aperture, iPhoto or any other post-prodcessing program. We’re […]

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(NOTE: This photo was already licensed under an exclusive arrangement so therefore could not be included in my Creative Commons Non Com experiment. Sorry.) Good writers know that you can say too much in a story. Rather than spend page after page in a book to describe a character, good writers will pick something simple […]

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NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE: The Photofocus Podcast Feed HAS CHANGED! Here is the new feed: feed://feeds.feedburner.com/photofocuspodcast PLEASE BE PATIENT – OUR SERVERS SEE LARGE LOADS ON PUBLISHING DAYS. THE DOWNLOADS MAY GO SLOWLY BUT THEY WILL FINISH. Download episode here… Sorry we’re no longer providing show notes. Hosted by Rich Harrington & Scott Bourne _______ […]

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This post is an updated compilation of several shorter posts I wrote in the past trying to answer the question, “What camera should I buy?”

It’s still the most popular question I am asked. “What camera should I buy?” Lately there’s a new twist to the question…”Is this brand camera better than that brand camera?”

No matter how hard I try to tell people that there’s no perfect answer, they keep asking. So since I can’t convince anyone otherwise, at least know the answers to THESE questions before you ask me YOUR question.

1 ) What subject(s) will you photograph most often? Weddings, portraits, wildlife, sports, landscapes, still lifes, food, fashion, etc.
2 ) What gear (if any) do you now own?
3 ) If you had to choose between ease of use and power, which would you select?
4 ) Do you want a compact pocket-sized camera (point and shoot) or a DSLR?
5 ) On a scale of 1-10 (10 being a working pro and 1 being someone who usually shoots with a disposable camera) how would you rate your skill?
6 ) What is the MOST money you’d be willing to spend on a camera?
7 ) How long do you think you might keep the camera?
8 ) What do your friends use?
9 ) Do you have a local camera store that can offer you support?

If you have thought carefully about these questions and have the answers – you should then be closer to knowing what the perfect camera for you might be.

Hopefully, your interest in photography is strong enough that you’ll read this entire article. That will give you the best chance of making the right decision. If you’re just not that interested, scroll all the way to the bottom to see some of the popular cameras that I recommend.

For those who stuck with me:

I know that beginners especially want this question answered. They are more likely to think that it’s the camera that takes the picture, not the photographer. Unfortunately for them, that’s not the case. And there’s no secret, magic or special camera that will make you into Ansel Adams.

Let’s start with goals. What goals do you have with your photography? Photographing the kids is much easier and less expensive than photographing wildlife. Making studio portraits will require a different kind of camera than that used by sports photographers. Do you want to turn pro or just make pictures you’ll share with your immediate family? Understand this simple truth: There is no perfect camera. And not all cameras are designed for all types of photography. Many photographers have more than one camera, depending on how many photographic pursuits they are engaged in at one time.

You’ll need to take into account a wide variety of factors when selecting a camera, and the first is budget.

This post continues below….

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Guest post by My Robert O’Toole – Follow Robert on Twitter Thanks to Scott Bourne for giving me the chance to share my latest macro set up images with you. I hope this post inspires you to get out and try some macro photography. I am a professional nature photographer based in Los Angeles. Over […]

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This is the fifth in my series of “Photographers You Should Know About.” The first four appear below in no particular order – Bresson, Edward Weston, Lange and Strand. http://photofocus.com/2012/04/01/photographers-that-you-should-know-henri-cartier-bresson/ http://photofocus.com/2012/03/12/photographers-you-should-know-about-edward-weston/ http://photofocus.com/2012/02/13/photographers-that-you-should-know-about-dorothea-lange/ http://photofocus.com/2012/02/26/photographers-that-you-should-know-about-paul-strand/ Yousuf Karsh lived from 1908 until 2002. He was the Ansel Adams of portrait photography. It’s pretty easy to spot a Karsh. […]

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November, 2011, Hokitika, New Zealand 1/50th sec, f/22, ISO 100 (Post and photo by Tamara Lackey - follow Tamara on Twitter) I have been fortunate enough to shoot a great number of portraits in a variety of beach locations, in a variety of countries, over the last decade – and, along the way, I have learned […]

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Sorry – none of these tips involve buying a magic camera. But if you try them, based on my own experience, they will help you become much better at producing images that matter. 1. Stop comparing your gear against anyone else’s gear. It doesn’t matter that Ernie in your local camera club has a better […]

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If you want to help your photos get noticed – arrange your composition so that the viewer needs to work just a little bit to find the treasure. Here, there is one bright stand of orange poppies sticking out amongst an entire field of purple flowers. The eye is naturally drawn to the thing that […]

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NAB is history. The show was well-attended and even though most of you are still photographers, there was plenty to look at for the average stills person. That said, video on DSLRs is here to stay and just as there were photographers who predicted film would beat digital, there are those with their heads still […]

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While in Alaska I was after eagles. I made thousands of eagle photographs. But I’m always keeping one eye open for something unique or special or just abstract. I love abstract photography. I play little games with myself wondering if people can guess what the object I’m shooting really is. In this case, I came […]

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This post is an updated compilation of several shorter posts I wrote in the past trying to answer the question, “What camera should I buy?”

It’s still the most popular question I am asked. “What camera should I buy?” Lately there’s a new twist to the question…”Is this brand camera better than that brand camera?”

No matter how hard I try to tell people that there’s no perfect answer, they keep asking. So since I can’t convince anyone otherwise, at least know the answers to THESE questions before you ask me YOUR question.

1 ) What subject(s) will you photograph most often? Weddings, portraits, wildlife, sports, landscapes, still lifes, food, fashion, etc.
2 ) What gear (if any) do you now own?
3 ) If you had to choose between ease of use and power, which would you select?
4 ) Do you want a compact pocket-sized camera (point and shoot) or a DSLR?
5 ) On a scale of 1-10 (10 being a working pro and 1 being someone who usually shoots with a disposable camera) how would you rate your skill?
6 ) What is the MOST money you’d be willing to spend on a camera?
7 ) How long do you think you might keep the camera?
8 ) What do your friends use?
9 ) Do you have a local camera store that can offer you support?

If you have thought carefully about these questions and have the answers – you should then be closer to knowing what the perfect camera for you might be.

Hopefully, your interest in photography is strong enough that you’ll read this entire article. That will give you the best chance of making the right decision. If you’re just not that interested, scroll all the way to the bottom to see some of the popular cameras that I recommend.

For those who stuck with me:

I know that beginners especially want this question answered. They are more likely to think that it’s the camera that takes the picture, not the photographer. Unfortunately for them, that’s not the case. And there’s no secret, magic or special camera that will make you into Ansel Adams.

Let’s start with goals. What goals do you have with your photography? Photographing the kids is much easier and less expensive than photographing wildlife. Making studio portraits will require a different kind of camera than that used by sports photographers. Do you want to turn pro or just make pictures you’ll share with your immediate family? Understand this simple truth: There is no perfect camera. And not all cameras are designed for all types of photography. Many photographers have more than one camera, depending on how many photographic pursuits they are engaged in at one time.

You’ll need to take into account a wide variety of factors when selecting a camera, and the first is budget.

This post continues below….

Continue reading

This is the fourth in my “Photographers That You Should Know About” series – you can see the last one here  - which links to the first two. Henri Cartier-Bresson lived from 1908 until 2004. He was considered by many to be the father of street photography. He specialized in a photo journalistic style using […]

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NOTE: All images captured in RAW – Adobe RGB color space. Colors, clarity and apparent exposure may vary depending on your monitor – All images converted using Aperture with minimal adjustments such as cropping, basic edge sharpening, exposure correction. On average less than 30 seconds was spent on each image in post. If you’ve been […]

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As a photographer, I struggle with being creative. All my life I’ve been good at the technical side of the transaction, but never felt like I was truly creative. I realized that most creative people fall into one of two camps. 1. Those who are natively, organically wired as creatives. I’m not in that bunch […]

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Most of the people opining about the Lytro have never seen one, never held one, never used one – but these days, I guess authority doesn’t count for much in a culture where everyone’s entitled to their opinion even if it’s not based on a single fact, completely wrong and slung with bad intent. Now […]

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