(Vanelli's note: Michèle Grenier, a talented sports photographer based out of Quebec City, Canada, needed 75 hours of mentoring before she could complete her degree in photography. After meeting her at Photoshop World a year earlier, she called to ask me if I could be her mentor—I’m based out of the East Coast of Florida. Honored, I said yes and, when she arrived, we dove into a 13-hour day of learning and shooting. Her first shoot was at a high school track-and-field event. To help reinforce her learning, I asked her to gather her thoughts and … [Read more...] about How I Got the Shot: The High Jump
Why it can be less expensive to fly First Class I recently returned back home to Boston from a three-week trip to the Bahamas and Florida. It was great to get out of the Boston winter! I was teaching workshops and shooting videos with Vanelli, photographing models and scenics and taking a few days off. Most of my time off was spent shooting. As always, I packed too much equipment with me. But, I need to make sure I have all of the gear I need for the shoots and the workshop! A big problem for traveling photographers is the fifty-pound … [Read more...] about A Better Way to Fly
Our friends at MPB.com keep track of which cameras and lenses are the most purchased over the course of the year. This is pretty interesting to see. Perhaps you've got one or more of these collecting dust in your closet. If so, it's a good time to call MPB and see about trading them in. By buying and selling or trading different gear, you can experience a variety of equipment and refine your kit to what works best for you. I've owned over 30 changeable lens cameras in the last several years, and I don't know how many lenses, from multiple … [Read more...] about What Are The Most Popular Used Cameras and Lenses?
Fujifilm have announced a new camera which should be the flagship of the line. The X-H1 seems to build on the incredibly popular X-T2 by adding more pro-level features, most notably, In-Body-Image-Stabilization (IBIS). Here's a short list of features: 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III Sensor X-Processor Pro Engine 5-Axis In-Body Image Stabilization Internal DCI 4K Video and F-Log Gamma 0.75x 3.69m-Dot Electronic Viewfinder 3" 1.04m-Dot 3-Way Tilt LCD Touchscreen 325-Point Intelligent Hybrid AF System 1080p at 120 fps; … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Fuji’s New X-H1
(Editor's Note: Our friends at MPB.com have some really great deals on select used camera bodies and lenses. MPB is a great place to sell your used gear that's lying around taking up space.) Save on cameras, lenses and other photographic equipment by buying used. Sell cameras and lenses you are no longer using at MPB.com. … [Read more...] about Great Savings on Used Gear Week of 02/12/2018
Route 66 cut through the heartland of the US, from Chicago to Los Angeles. Known as the "Main Street of America" or the "Mother Road," it was established in 1926 and became popularized by the Route 66 television show which aired in the 1960s and the song “Get your Kicks on Route 66" by American songwriter Bobby Troup. Although the original Route 66 was removed from the highway system in 1985, stretches of the route remain accessible off of the interstate. Along these stretches are bits and pieces of Americana, weathered buildings … [Read more...] about The Traveling Photographer: Driving Route 66
(Editor's Note: This is a guest post from our partner mpb.com a great place to use your old gear to acquire newer gear.) For many, the thought of revisiting an old location may seem like a step back rather than the potential for a step forward in terms of honing your skills. However, as you grow as a photographer and as your personal perceptions change, a location can develop a new meaning or open new opportunities. Locations don’t wait for you to photograph them, nor do they give you a heads up when conditions are ideal for you to realize … [Read more...] about Do You Revisit Old Locations?
(Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Cathy Seaver, a commercial photographer in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She works primarily for Cull Group shooting product, corporate headshots, and other client needs. In her off time, Cathy enjoys getting out into nature to shoot what she sees around her. She is also an avid horseback rider, enjoying her time in the saddle on trails and playing around with a bit of dressage. Check out her work on Instagram.) “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” - John … [Read more...] about There Is No Photography Season — Shooting in Frigid Temps
Editor's note: This is a guest post from MBP.com. General Specs: 42MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI399-Point AF System & 10 fps Shooting UHD 4K30p Video with HLG & S-Log3 Gammas 3.69m-Dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF 3.0" 1.44m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization ISO 102400 & Pixel Shift Multi Shooting Built-In Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, Dual SD Slots USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C Port & PC Sync Port Recap of a7R II Sony released their Sony A7RII in 2015 and it … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Maniac: Sony a7R III First Impressions
From the course: Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers on LinkedIn Learning What is a lighting modifier? from Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers by Robert Vanelli Course transcript A modifier makes partial or minor changes to something. As photographers, we want to add modifiers to our light source to alter and shape the output of light. Light modifiers don't have to be store-bought. Remember, a modifier is anything that alters light. There are many do-it-yourself alternatives. … [Read more...] about What is a Lighting Modifier?
I look at a lot of portraits and I can confidently offer a general critique of 99% of them. I see work from photographers who make very good portraits with great lighting and terrific wardrobe and beautiful people, but they lack this one thing that would turn an otherwise well-made portrait into an intriguing piece of art. The problem with most portraits is that they lack engagement. What the Heck Is Engagement? By this, I mean that the subject of the photo looks a little blank. Looks like they don't care, or like they don't have any opinion … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: You Gotta Make ‘Em Engage!
Every lens manufacturer wants their potential customers and users to know how wonderfully sharp their lenses are. Great pains are taken to tweak all aspects of things technical to correct any that need be tamed to make wonderfully crisp images; spherical and color aberrations, coma, astigmatism, etc. So, if we crave the ultra sharp, why wouldn’t we simply want every image to be really “sharp”? To be or not to be--sharp Some subjects are sharpness dependent, for without detail the image is lost. Macro photos of things like insects, big … [Read more...] about Tech Corner: Soft Effect Lenses and Filters-Still Relevant After All These Years…
(Editor's note: Photographer and author Andrew Darlow returns with this guest post where he shares tips, techniques and gear suggestions for photo reflectors and accessories. In a 2011 Photofocus post, Andrew showed a collection of do-it-yourself unconventional reflector/fill card options, a topic that never goes out of style!) Photo reflectors can have a dramatic effect on your images and videos. They are generally very inexpensive. Choosing and using them effectively can be confusing, so I’ve organized this article by reflector type, with … [Read more...] about How to Choose & Use Reflectors
(Editor's note: This is a guest post from our friends at MPB.com a great place for photographers and videographers to buy quality used gear as well as to see thier old equipment.) Canon's 5D series Canon's 5D series of cameras has been revolutionary its inception. The original 5D was the one of the first full-frame digital cameras--one of the first to have a sensor the same size as 35mm film--and it was a relatively affordable price. Each iteration on from the Mark I, with the exception of maybe the Mark IV, there has been some aspect of the … [Read more...] about Canon 5D: 12 Years & 5 Cameras
Love that blurred background look, but don't have a lens with a wide open aperture? Even if you're limited to something like a kit lens, you can still achieve the same effect. Both of the above photos were shot with my Olympus 40-150 f/2.8 lens at the same 40mm focal length, with an aperture of f/4. The only difference was that I physically moved closer for the photo on the right, which helped to shrink the area of focus. This in turn helped to blur the background more than it was. The same trick can work for any type of shot — try it at your … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Get Close to Achieve a Shallow Depth of Field
Svalbard is a beautiful landscape destination, with jagged mountains, fjords, glaciers, and icebergs. At the same time, it is a terrific wildlife destination, one of the few in the world where you can see and photograph walruses, Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, and of course, the marquee species, the polar bear. It will be up to your boat’s captain and your trip’s expedition leader to determine your shooting situation. With polar bears, this will often be from the mother ship, or occasionally from a zodiac for a bear on the … [Read more...] about Shooting in Svalbard: Part 3 (What camera gear to bring?)
Photographers love symmetry. We like things neat and we like horizons straight. That's great for landscapes and products, but when you photograph groups of people you need to rein in your symmetry bug and set things a little off-kilter. If you line up faces side by side with eyes and mouths at the same level it looks static and the people don't look cozy or comfortable. Sometimes you can solve this simply by tilting the camera a little bit, which will misalign their eyes and mouths and it gives the image more energy. A rule of thumb is that … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Avoid Symmetry In Groups
Learn how to make money with your videography and still photography by watching this live New Year's Resolution Webinar Today, Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Photofocus hosts Rich Harrington and Kevin Ames are joined by Adobe Stock experts Dennis Radeke (video) and Mat Hayward (still) to share ways of making money with your library of videos and photos. We welcome questions from those watching live at 3:30 pm EST/12:30 pm PST. https://youtu.be/LTMUIvqUx5E … [Read more...] about How to Make Money with Videography & Photography Webinar Today!
I've got three good reasons why using f/22 won't get you a sharp picture. However, even though I've proven these reasons in my own work, you should go try it yourself. The other day, I wrote a brief introduction to focus stacking (check it out here) and it has spurred a lot of questions and discussion on my Facebook page (including some guest pictures below). The major question posed there is "Why not simply use a small aperture to create a photo with great depth of field and get everything in focus instead of a process like focus stacking … [Read more...] about Why Focus Stack When I Can Just Use f/22?
Learn how to make money with your videography and still photography by watching this live New Year's Resolution Webinar Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Photofocus host Kevin Ames is joined by Director/Producer Abba Shapiro and Adobe Stock experts Dennis Radeke (video) and Mat Hayward (still) to share ways of making money with your library of videos and photos. We welcome questions from those watching live at 3:30 pm EST/12:30 pm PST. https://youtu.be/LTMUIvqUx5E … [Read more...] about Free Webinar: Make Money with Video & Stills Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018
Every weekday, Monday through Friday, Photofocus curators present a great photograph in the categories of Travel, Beauty, Outdoor, Sports, and Street, respectively. The selected photograph earns its creator the title "Photographer of the Day." Their work has touched us and we hope, it touches, inspires & invigorates you as well. Each curator shares what they love about the photograph they feature. These mini-reviews help each of us become more aware of what's in an image and why it works. Every Sunday, the Photofocus Photographer of the … [Read more...] about Photographer of the Week: January 22 ~ 26, 2018
(Editor's Note: This is a guest post from our friends at MPB.com. MPB is a great place to sell gear that's no longer in use as well as where to buy quality used photo and video equipment at much lower cost than that of new.) Photography is completely centered around light: it not affects your photo's mood, but it also dictates what your settings must be in the camera to record a picture and represent that mood in the picture. Let's talk about how shutter speed, aperture, and ISO setting affect your image, and then we'll dive into the … [Read more...] about Looking For Light from MPB.com
I remember perfectly when I first fell in love with icy landscapes. It was in Antarctica. I went for the wildlife (who doesn’t love penguins?!), but it was the austere and luminous landscape and light that made me want to return. This was years ago, in 2003. My fellow passengers, on a Lindblad vessel, were a well-traveled bunch. The name Svalbard came up often there in conversation, as in “If you like this, you should also go to Svalbard.” It took some years, but we finally made it to the Arctic a few months ago, in September 2017, … [Read more...] about Svalbard (Walruses, polar bears and glaciers, oh my!): Part 1 (Choosing an expedition)
I've been a user of Peak Design products for the last few years, mostly with their Peak Design Slide camera strap. It's been the most comfortable strap I use, offering me the ability to use it as a sling and hold my heavy camera gear at my side, rather than in front of me. Now, they've introduced version 3 of the strap. The newest Slide strap debuted in December, and I immediately ordered one! While the adjustments are small, the difference is mighty. Increase in Comfort and Adjustability If you've never seen or used the Slide strap, think … [Read more...] about New, Revamped Peak Design Slide Offers Comfort and Gear Security
When I switched from Nikon to the Panasonic Lumix system last spring, I was nervous. I had used Nikon for more than three years. It was my bread and butter — I knew it inside and out. And it worked great. But one thing it wasn't was innovating. I started to feel like it was holding me back — specifically with its video capabilities. As the demand for video from my clients started to grow, I knew that I needed to think about making a change. Fast forward nine months later, and I couldn't be happier. With my new Lumix G9 in tow, along with … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Mirrorless Cameras Lead the Way in Innovation
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Cathy Seaver, a commercial photographer in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She works primarily for Cull Group shooting product, corporate headshots, and other client needs. In her off time, Cathy enjoys getting out into nature to shoot what she sees around her. She is also an avid horseback rider, enjoying her time in the saddle on trails and playing around with a bit of dressage. Check out her work on Instagram. Shooting commercially, a photographer doesn’t necessarily get to choose what they are shooting, … [Read more...] about Turning a Boring Shoot Into an Inspired Photo Session
When you make a picture--any kind of picture--you should think, "What word would I use to describe this picture?" From what I've seen on the interwebs, lately, the word most people seem to choose for their portraits is simply "sexy." If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then surely we should expand our vocabularies to include more words and elicit more expressions and moods. Even if sexy is the word you're going for, look it up in a thesaurus and use other words to get there. If you talk with your subject about this and discuss various words … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Expand Your Vocabulary
If you are using an external hard drive and it gets disconnected from your computer while it is actively transferring information, you may lose those or damage those files. And since you're a photographer, that means losing pictures you probably can't replace. Your hard drive can fall off the table when you move your laptop, it can fall when people walk by and bump the cord, and it's impossible to find a safe place for it when traveling. The best way to keep it connected is to use double-stick velcro to attach it to your computer. Stick one … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Use Velcro To Keep Your Files Safe
Recently, my friend and fellow Photofocus author, Levi Sim, called me up and asked me about how I print my photos for my clients. We discussed the options I have and where I like to have them printed and he asked me if I had ever used acrylics. I shared with him that truthfully, I didn't really enjoy acrylic prints. I find them to be a bit too much "in your face" with their super reflective nature. I always found that the acrylic got in the way of the viewing experience. He proceeded to tell me about what ArtisanHD is doing with a new product … [Read more...] about A New Kind of Acrylic: TruLife
Traveling to a polar region, whether the Arctic or the Antarctic, instantly brings to mind glaciers, icebergs, and very possibly snow, sleet or rain. These regions also can have rapidly changing conditions, all in the same day. It takes specialized clothing and gear to comfortably shoot in extreme weather, but you can’t get the shot if you are too cold to venture out on deck when the action is happening. Shore landings may be for several hours, so one needs to be well prepared for staying out in the elements for an extended … [Read more...] about Svalbard (Part 2-thermal preparation)