Lens hoods are probably one of the most overlooked and important pieces of gear that we have for our lenses. They help with a number of things — with everything from reducing lens flares to getting rid of haze caused by the sun. What Does a Lens Hood Do? "Shade" Your Photographs Lens hoods are made to redirect the sunlight that reaches your lens, and in turn, help to "shade" your photographs. When shooting with a lens hood on, you protect your photographs and end up getting a more realistic contrast than you would without a lens … [Read more...] about Want Better Photographs? Use Your Lens Hood
Some of the most-utilized items that photographers have are lens filters. These give photographers ways to control color, reflections, highlights and more. But what filters should you get, and when should you use them? UV Filters As a beginning photographer, I used UV filters on all my camera lenses. They gave me a way to protect my valuable lens glass from scratches, dust, dirt and pesky fingerprint smudges. It also meant that I wouldn't have to worry quite as much should I drop my lens while shooting, as it would protect the … [Read more...] about What Are Lens Filters & Why Should You Use Them?
Hi. My name is Bryan. and I'm recovering GAS — Gear Acquisition Syndrome — abuser. I'm not alone. Actually, practically, all of us either have or will have been there. We see the newest camera bodies and sleek lenses that are coming out, and we begin to drool. Then we buy. Everything is alright again. Then... And then we buy some more. Rest assured, there's a way to treat GAS and be happy with the current gear you have. It's Not About the Gear I alluded to this in my article about switching to Olympus, but it's not about the gear — it's … [Read more...] about How to Diagnose and Treat GAS: Gear Acquisition Syndrome
When I made my switch to a micro four-thirds camera system, all of my lens filter threads were significantly smaller than what I was used to. None of my filters fit any of my new lenses. But instead of buying up new lenses, I simply bought step-up adapter rings for them. It allowed me to keep the 82mm circular filters I had and use them on my new camera equipment, which had 52mm and 72mm filter thread sizes. … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Don’t Toss Those Old Filters; Get Adapters!
I was looking at the picture from the cover of my previous article How to Step Up Your CrossFit Photography Game and I realized something really cool. This was actually one of my debut portraits in sports photography. It has been taken with my first camera: an old Nikon D5000. Even if I've taken thousands of cool pictures with better gear since then, I still really like this image two years later. That leads to something really important we should remember starting out photography: the gear doesn't make the photographer. Buy what you can … [Read more...] about Why Your “Lightweight” Gear Works for Heavy Weight Pictures
For a while now, I’ve been on the lookout for a backpack that will provide me both comfort and ample room for my gear, while looking professional. I do have a few different backpacks that check off some of these boxes. I had yet to find one that met all my requirements. The Peak Design Everyday Backpack (30L) is the closest (so far) in terms of finding a perfect backpack for my situation. Design I was lucky enough to receive an Everyday Backpack. I was impressed by the super clean and minimalist design. If you’re familiar with Peak … [Read more...] about Peak Design Everyday Backpack Provides Minimalist and Clean Design with Function
When I switched to Olympus, I ran into a slight problem. When photographing a corporate event, I realized that the back lens caps on my lenses were all the same. What's more, two of my lenses — the 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO and the 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO — were about the same size. I couldn't tell them apart when glancing into my bag. I thought there had to be a solution for this, and sure enough, I stumbled upon LenzBuddy. LenzBuddy lets you order custom rear and front lens caps, body caps and lens cloths to your liking. You can choose rear and front … [Read more...] about LenzBuddy Solves a Common Camera Gear Problem
Last week I was assigned to photograph President Trump during his visit to Manchester, NH. I try to bring all gear I might need on the first trip to the site. Quite often it is a very long walk from the parking lot to the press entrance. Once you are inside you don't want to go back out, or you may not be allowed to go back out through security. After you go through the press entrance, you proceed to press check-in, where you are issued your press pass for the day. Often there are long lines to wait in as credentials are … [Read more...] about What’s In the Bag: Gear I Use to Photograph President Trump
I've long been a user of Vanguard tripods, and am always curious what their new offerings will bring to the table. The Veo 2 204AB tripod is a perfect lightweight, portable option when you're traveling or on-the-go. I previously tested out the Veo 2 235AB tripod, and it's since become a staple in my bag. But the Veo 2 204AB is even more lightweight, making it ideal for smaller camera bodies. Portable and Secure In terms of portability, the Veo 2 204AB is by far my favorite to use. It's quick to setup and I felt secure with it holding my … [Read more...] about Veo 2 204AB Tripod a Perfect Lightweight Option
When I won an Olympus E-M1 Mark II during WPPI, I was confronted with a conflict that all of us, as photographers, will ultimately have to deal with. What should I do with my existing gear? Do I sell it? Or do I keep it, and sell my winnings? Ultimately, after some in-depth testing, I made the tough decision that the Olympus was right for me. This left me with the question — how do I sell the existing camera gear that I no longer need? First, Decide What and How Much In my case, I knew I could sell my two camera bodies, a lens, battery … [Read more...] about Best Practices When Selling Your Camera Gear
When packing for trips, I find myself seesawing between my Fuji X system and Nikon DSLRs. We do underwater, street, nature and landscape photography. Do I pack the Fuji X-Pro2, the crop sensor Nikon D500 and my old D800 or complicate things and buy the new Nikon D850? Earlier this winter, we were packing for street and winter nature and landscape photography in Japan. My wife and partner in Aperture Photo Arts is a die-hard Fuji shooter and between us, we have most of the Fuji X lenses and spare camera bodies. This was the logical … [Read more...] about Rediscovering a lens that I already owned
While browsing the WPPI expo floor, I stumbled upon SKB Cases — a company that makes hard cases for photo and video professionals. It can best be described as an alternative to the popular Pelican case lineup, and it does so with some pretty impressive specs. Some SKB cases offer the typical foam cutout look, but others feature an interior designed by ThinkTank. Being an owner of a few of ThinkTank's bags, this particularly piqued my interest. The customizability ranges from offering several different sizes and separators, to zippered … [Read more...] about From the WPPI Floor: SKB Cases Offer Military-Grade Cases to Keep Your Gear Safe
Photography conferences like WPPI are a great place to check out some of the latest and greatest in the photography world — including with the tech you use to evolve your business. Several newer companies showcased their products at this year's expo, and there were three that really drew me in: Joy: Photo Albums for the Modern Age Imagine combining a tablet with a photo album, and you have Joy. Instead of printing albums, Joy offers a well-designed custom photo album solution for your clients. Perfect for wedding photography clients, I was … [Read more...] about From the WPPI Floor: Fresh Tech Ideas for Photographers
At weddings, you shoot portraits as quickly as possible so that your couples can spend as much time with their families as possible. I was an assistant shooter at this wedding with Lisa Robinson a while ago, and she set this portrait up and shot from one angle while I shot from another. It was a pleasure to work with her and see her processes. When I shot this, I was wishing I was in her position so I could crop out the bright spot at the bottom right corner. However, I also knew my tools well enough that I was confident I could salvage this … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: If You Know Your Tools You Can Relax
Camera carrying systems seem to be evolving by the second. There's camera straps and slings, belts, wrist straps and more. And while I always carry with my Peak Design Slide sling strap, a new workhorse has entered as a standard piece of gear that I carry. The Peak Design Capture Camera Clip enables me to keep my camera on my backpack strap, or on my belt, with ease. The Capture was recently redesigned, and I was lucky enough to be sent one to see the improvements made over the previous version. Improving Your Carrying System While I had … [Read more...] about Peak Design Capture Clip Offers Low-Profile, Secure Camera Hold
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?
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?)
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
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
As a corporate event photographer, I have a pretty standard setup that I take to each event I photograph. I typically use two lenses — my Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 (equal to a 24-70) and Olympus 40-150 f/2.8 (equal to an 80-300). Then I have my flash, my MagMod MagBounce diffuser, and spare batteries. I take other lenses too, but 90% of the time, they sit in my bag and are maybe pulled out for just a few moments. With all this gear, it's important to not let it weigh you down and to stay mobile. Using a combination of gear items helps me to … [Read more...] about Being Mobile for Event Photography
Over the years I've been adding to my lighting equipment. I started out with a standard on-camera flash and then progressed into my AlienBee B800 strobes. And now, with the Angler Circo LED Ring Light (19"), I'm adding a bit of flair into my setup. I was initially intrigued to get a ring light in order to get a crisp look in eyes when photographing portraits. Instead of using umbrellas on my AlienBees, I wanted a more-focused light that would help to better show off a person's eyes. The Angler Circo LED Ring Light (19") is a great starter … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Angler Circo LED Ring Light (19″)
From the course: Portrait Photography: Business Portraits on LinkedIn Learning When to use studio strobe lighting from Portrait Photography: Business Portraits by Robert Vanelli Lighting is extremely unpredictable—especially going into a corporate environment. So that's why we decided to shoot with studio strobes. Studio strobes give us the extra power that we could use to light our set. I'd rather go into the environment with too much light and then dialing it down, than going in and not having enough light to get the shot. There are … [Read more...] about When to Use Studio Strobe Lighting
Guest post by Larry Tiefenbrunn, Inventor and CEO of Platypod. See more at the Platypod Blog. December 6, 2017 is a day I will never forget. I had just flown down to Tampa on my way to appear on Scott Kelby’s “The Grid” together with portrait photographer and Photofocus editor, Levi Sim. Before I even landed, Levi messaged me that he and his buddy Jason Hahn, professional wildlife and nature photographer, would pick me up from the airport and take me out to an alligator park. As it turns out, our schedule did not allow us to go that far … [Read more...] about Capturing Wildlife Photos At Tampa Bay Beach
Testing the Ultimate Technical Camera - part 2 This 2nd part of my examination of the Cambo Actus GFX system focuses (literally) on the lens tilting functionality. The tilting lens stage allows the photographer to alter the plane of focus, usually to match the plane of focus with the subject, to achieve better depth of focus with near-to-far subjects, or with macro focus situations. This lens tilt takes advantage of the Scheimpflug principle, a geometric rule that describes the orientation of the plane of focus of an optical system … [Read more...] about Cambo Actus + FUJIFILM GFX-part-2
Testing the Ultimate Technical Camera – part 1 Cambo USA recently contacted me with an opportunity to test the Cambo Actus technical camera with the FUJIFILM GFX—this was very exciting for me because I could renew my experience with view cameras in a new digital configuration! The folks at Cambo USA provided a fully configured demo unit, so I could put the system through its paces! The Cambo Actus is essentially a view camera front end for just about any digital camera that gives the serious photographer the ability to use full lens tilt & … [Read more...] about Cambo Actus & FUJIFILM GFX – part-1
Pixelstick meet Fujifilm... now lets create! While we were on our photo tour of Venice Carnival, Bobbi Lane and I had a great opportunity to test out a prototype of Fujifilm's new medium format camera, the GFX. I had been planing to create some images using the amazing Pixelstick, a very cool, programable light painting device, and Venice Carnival was the perfect setting for creative play! You can see more about the Fujifilm GFX in my previous blog post here. For now, I'd like to introduce you to the Pixelstick! The Pixelstick is a linear … [Read more...] about Fujifilm Meets Pixelstick
Photofocus partner MPB.com is a great place to sell and buy used photographic equipment. Check out their clearance specials this week! Deals Here are links to the gear shown above: Nikkor AF-S 500mm f/4.0 G ED VR Canon EF 500mm f/4.0 L IS USM Canon Cinema EOS C500 4K EF … [Read more...] about MPB Clearance Specials ~ Week of December 11, 2017
While it might not officially be the winter season yet, it's still a great time to start preparing for when the sub-zero degree temperatures hit. As photographers, it's of the utmost importance to keep our gear safe and secure in the colder temperatures, not to mention ourselves. Having grown up in Northern Michigan, I know what the frozen tundra feels like. And despite having moved a few hours south, I still know how winter can take its toll on my love of photography. A few years ago I invested in a few pieces of gear that I know consider … [Read more...] about Cold Weather Photography Essentials
Nature is extraordinarily complex and beautiful. It is easy to forget in our modern world just how powerful its forces are. Being a nature photographer presents constant, humbling reminders of this fact! A large part of what drives me is wanting to experience every facet of nature, then create and share images of these forces at work. In doing so, I am often going into potentially dangerous situations for me and my gear. In my part of the world, wildfires are a necessity to the health of our ecosystems. But, they are, to put it bluntly, … [Read more...] about Photographing a Dangerous and Extreme Force of Nature, Wildfires!