I want to share a simple way to apply a “texture” to a plain or seamless background. A texture is an image of almost anything that can be appropriately ghosted back adding a “texture” to the background. I use images of side walks, freeway underpasses, brick walls, sheets of paper, rusted steel, graffiti, roads, cracked […]

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jennIMG_5406a

I spend a lot of time working with strobes.  As a commercial advertising photographer I find myself in many situations requiring some pretty complex lighting solutions.  Don’t get me wrong, strobes are super groovy and lighting challenges are always relished but there is something really magical about shedding the hardware. Every once in a while I enjoy shooting with […]

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LITU

I love the mindset that Ansel Adams lived by in his professional career.  He was a true pioneer of photography as art.  Being a forward thinking innovator, he endlessly explored the world of the unknown, seeking to predict and understand the outcome of his experimentation.  Then taking that information and creating a set of guidelines […]

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intruder

This is a short and sweet post about composition. It’s very basic and intended for those who are just starting out in photography, but could be a good reminder to old hands as well. Beware the intruder! What’s wrong with the photo above? Do you see it? Do you recognize the ugly intruder sneaking into […]

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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 includes some new cameras in the recommendation section. But please note: The newest camera is NOT always the best camera. It’s still the most popular question I […]

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Before Topaz Denoise After Topaz Denoise These are low-light, high-ISO image samples from the Fuji X100s. While the images from the Fuji X100s at ISO 3200 are great (considering the ISO) when you shoot with this or any other camera in a low-key situation, you will get the worst of it in the noise department. […]

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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 includes some new cameras in the recommendation section. But please note: The newest camera is NOT always the best camera.

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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If you have a photographer in your family, or if your significant other is a photographer then in many ways, you have it made when it comes to holiday gifts. There are so many cool products out there that photographers will love. Everything on this list is something I myself have used or owned at […]

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Time for a NEW contest – to check all of our open contests – visit the OPEN CONTESTS page at Photofocus.com (PLEASE READ THIS PAGE CAREFULLY – IT ANSWERS ALL YOUR LEGITIMATE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CONTEST!) Enter To Win Your Choice of  a New Nikon D800 or Canon 5D MK III *Body only This contest starts today […]

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Guest Post & Photo by Stephan Bollinger – Circle Stephan on Google+ We all have seen those magical photographs with “god rays”, the late afternoon image with clouds and streaks of sunlight painting the sky, or images of churches and large buildings with light beaming through the glass windows. The combination that allows to capture such images is […]

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I wish Canon followed in Nikon’s footsteps and included an intervalometer right in the camera. Unfortunately, Canon doesn’t care about my opinion on such things so they sell it as an accessory. I’ve never been a big fan of the Canon TC80N3 Timer. It’s expensive and hard to program for some people. I’ve been looking […]

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UPDATED July 2012 – there have been several cool new lenses released since I first published this list and those changes are reflected herein. I’ve also added a few more of the older lenses I’ve had time to test and fall in love with as well as another zoom. I’ve also added a section briefly […]

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On April 27, 2012, I wrote a post about the Google+ Photo Conference and why I am going. If you didn’t read it, stop now and give it a quick glance. You probably realize now that I am a big believer in anything Scott Kelby and his team are involved in. I am also a […]

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It’s been a while since we did a poll – especially on this issue. Many people seem to be content to keep their images on their computers. How about you? Please answer this question based on what you DO – not what you plan to do, wish you did or haven’t gotten around to doing […]

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Make sure you don’t miss a single Photofocus post – point your feed reader to the free Photofocus RSS Feed here and subscribe. CROSS POSTED AT 3EXPOSURE.COM Guest Post by Richard Harrington – Follow Rich on Twitter The Photomerge command lets you take several photographs and combine them into a seamless panoramic image. You can use the […]

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Make sure you don’t miss a single Photofocus post – point your feed reader to the free Photofocus RSS Feed here and subscribe. I was invited to  attend a press conference at the SEMA show in Las Vegas this week. Apolo Anton Ohno, the most highly-decorated Winter Olympian in history was attending the public unveiling of […]

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Make sure you don’t miss a single Photofocus post – point your feed reader to the free Photofocus RSS Feed here and subscribe. Just like the meme that you should change your oil every 3,000 miles or have your teeth cleaned every six months, the photographic retailers have their own meme going – you should […]

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Copyright Scott Bourne 2011 - All Rights Reserved - Using A Slow Shutter Speed & Panning Gets A Better Sense Of Motion In The Final Image

Make sure you don’t miss a single Photofocus post – point your feed reader to the free Photofocus RSS Feed here and subscribe.

NOTE: This piece was cross-posted at my car-related site CarLoves.com. It appeared there as a three-part diary but I’ve condensed it into one long post here.

 This post is dedicated to Dan Wheldon who lost his life during the Indycar race at Las Vegas

One of the reasons I moved to Las Vegas just more than a year ago was the access it affords to great race tracks. One of those tracks is the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. If you are a car person or are interested in racing, then this place is about as close to Disney Land as you’ll get without going to California or Florida. It’s one of the most fan-friendly, accessible, professionally run race tracks in the world. And I’m lucky enough to shoot there.

Recently, the LVMS was busy. The IZOD IndyCar Championship had it’s last race of the season and the season point winner was crowned. The Indy Lights teams also ran as did the folks who race trucks in NASCAR in the Smith’s 350.

Copyright Scott Bourne 2011 - All Rights Reserved - Danica Patrick prepares for her last IndyCar race. This image was made with a fisheye lens. An "over-the-wall" photo pass is required to make an image like this. Note some photographers in orange vests on the right side of the image standing behind the wall. I like the string of light stands in this image top right.

With all those races, the practice and qualifying that goes with, and the surrounding events including tech inspections, fan events, etc. there are tons of photo opportunities.

Lucky for me, I got to cover the races and had an all-access photo pass to help me accomplish that goal. Continue reading

halloween1

Post by Joe Farace – Follow Joe on Twitter This time of year, one of my favorite portraiture tips is to ask subjects to bring their Halloween costumes to the shoot. Sure they can bring their regular clothes too, but this is a fun set to shoot in addition to what they already had placed […]

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NOTE: This was cross-posted from CarLoves.com Make sure you don’t miss a single Photofocus post – point your feed reader to the free Photofocus RSS Feed here and subscribe. Assuming that you have access to the car you want to photograph is the first step to making a great car photograph, the background is the […]

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Make sure you don’t miss a single Photofocus post – point your feed reader to the free Photofocus RSS Feed here and subscribe. Post & Photo by Joe Farace – Follow Joe on Twitter People love to take pictures of their kids and their pets. When it comes to dogs dressed up for Halloween, everybody […]

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