Early this morning, Olympus announced availability and additional details of its MC-20 teleconverter. The company also released a new 3.0 firmware for its OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera, as well as a 1.1 firmware for the recently-released E-M1X camera. MC-20 Teleconverter Originally announced earlier this year, the MC-20 is Olympus' latest entry into the teleconverter space, providing a 2x conversion for some of its PRO level of lenses. The MC-20 joins the MC-14 (1.4x) as teleconverters crafted for the Olympus system. The MC-20 will work with … [Read more...] about Olympus releases 2x teleconverter, firmware and software updates
Some of you may be familiar with using a circular polarizer (also known as CPL) when it comes to landscape photos. They're great for shooting through water or glass without the annoying reflections. Well, have you ever thought about reflections in a still life scenario? When working with shiny objects it is easy to cast yourself and camera gear in reflections, glass vases and jars, silverware all has its problems, so why not use a CPL filter to combat these issues in still life as well? Feather your light One of the first things you should … [Read more...] about Removing reflections in still life photography
A successful 3-2-1 Backup Plan (Three copies of your data: Two stored locally, one stored offsite) includes one copy of your data stored offsite preferably in the cloud. This has led to confusion between cloud storage and cloud backup. Here’s the difference between the two and why you should consider using cloud backup as part of your 3-2-1 Backup solution. Cloud storage and cloud backup are not the same Don’t let the word cloud fool you. Cloud storage is not the same as cloud backup. Dropbox, Google Drive, or MediaFire are great inexpensive … [Read more...] about The difference between cloud storage and cloud backup
I recently got back from a trip down to North Carolina and had the chance to go back and visit Duke University, a place I first visited in 2017. While it rained most of my first trip there, I was lucky this time around to finally capture the campus in its glory. I wanted to go back and look at some of my photos from 2017 and approach them with a different view during this trip. Specifically, I wanted to photograph the same scenes, but this time with a fisheye lens. I was lucky enough to have Olympus loan me out its 8 mm f/1.8 PRO fisheye … [Read more...] about Creative photography with a fisheye lens
There's a lot to keep in mind when it comes to printing. Whether you order from a print lab or have an at-home printer like the Epson SureColor P800, selecting the right type of paper is important depending on the look you want to achieve. In this video from LinkedIn Learning, Ben Long walks us through the different types of paper you should consider, and the differences you'll see. Paper choice for prints from The Practicing Photographer by Ben Long Transcript Photo printing is a complex subject. Fortunately, I have an entire course on … [Read more...] about Understanding different paper types for printing
Creating photographs is a lot of exciting fun. Making sure all of those images are stored safely is another matter altogether. Photographers, myself included, love making images both behind the camera and in front of the computer. We want all of them in a place that sends them to the computer at high speed while still offering protection against hard drive failure. Oh. It has to have enough room for years, even decades of photos and, yes, we want that for our video too. Let's get the disclosures out of the way up front. I received one of the … [Read more...] about Big, fast, protected storage is here! The Drobo 8D
A recent social media post prompted me to write this. Back in March, I purchased a new lens, the Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3. Why? Well, I got a great deal on it at WPPI and my Canon 70-300mm, while still working perfectly, is 10 years old and I thought the little extra reach would be nice. Also, I rarely buy new gear so I was a bit impulsive. A moment of weakness if you will. Yesterday I went to a couple of local forest preserves just to get out for a bit. The first stop as I pulled into the parking lot I saw two Sandhill Cranes in the grass. … [Read more...] about Why did you buy that lens?
Throughout my photographic career, I've tried several backup solutions both on-site and in the cloud. Having lost some photographs in the past, it was important for me to get a system I could count on to not only back up my files but do so in an efficient way that wouldn't bog down my machine. While I used on-site solutions like multiple external hard drives, I ended up with a Drobo 5D3. But on the cloud side, I had a little more experimentation, going from the now-defunct Mosaic service to Amazon Cloud, to CrashPlan and finally to Backblaze. … [Read more...] about Securing your photos with cloud backup
In our last looks at hiking gear part one and part two, we got our gear paired down pretty well for weight but still having lots of options to make interesting images. One piece of gear we haven’t talked about yet is the macro lens and extension tubes. Get close with macro It’s often a photography truism that if you want to make a better photograph get closer. In the case of making different nature images that means filling the frame. That can be problematic with optics limiting the focusing distance. The highest quality option is to get … [Read more...] about Hiking gear for wildflower photography, part three
On Thursday, Wacom introduced its latest product offering — the Intuos Pro Small. Following the lead of its medium and large sized cousins, the Intuos Pro Small comes with feature sets ideal for photographers and other creative professionals. The Intuos Pro Small comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2, which has 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt response for precision and accuracy. But what will appeal to many creatives is the Intuos Pro Small's portability. Because of its smaller footprint, wireless connectivity and battery-free pen, … [Read more...] about Wacom introduces Intuos Pro Small
Most photographers reach for an 85mm or a 70-200mm lens when shooting portraits. These lens are great for compressing the image to help make a heavier subject look slimmer. Since this is the norm, why not try something different? Here's how to get creative and change it up with a 35mm lens to capture a unique portrait. Get close, I mean really close While on break at a workshop, I collaborated on a portrait idea with my buddy Ray Nason. Ray — who was at the workshop representing the MAC Group — is the photographer we rely on for creative and … [Read more...] about Get creative, change it up with a 35mm lens
Yes, I said it!!! I sold my DSLRs and bought a brand new, out of the box, mirrorless camera body. Here is the last of my "DSLR to mirrorless" journey articles with (of course!) the big announcement of who between the Olympus OM-D E-M1X or the Sony a9 stole my heart! A Tinder-like adventure I like to compare my mirrorless quest to a Tinder match. First step: You look at the picture. Yeah, nice lookin'! Step two: Let's learn a little more about you. Then, you transform yourself into a detective that even the CIA couldn't match by first stalking … [Read more...] about I did it … I switched to mirrorless!
I recently bought a new camera and will be using my older version for a backup. This means I have another old, older version sitting around unused. I decided to sell it and in the process of doing so, I wanted to check to see how many actuations (shutter clicks) it has so I could pass along that information. How do I check? There are a few ways to do this. You can take it to a camera shop or if you’re within driving distance of a dealer or manufacturer repair facility you can have them check for you. I’m guessing that this isn’t always an … [Read more...] about How many actuations does my camera have?
This is a continuation from "Hiking gear for wildflower photography, part one." In part two, I want to show some of the other images made with the kit I shared with you. Tool thoughts Just because you carry a tool does not mean you need to use it. In the previous wildflower photography post I talked about controlling light using the Westcott 20-inch 5-in-1 reflector held by a Wimberley Plamp. For the most part I use the interior diffuser to tame the light most of the time blocking the direct sun and turning it into a relatively large light … [Read more...] about Hiking gear for wildflower photography, part two
I've now been playing around with the Sony a9 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1X for a few weeks and gotten to know them quite a bit better. I shot sports photographs in all kinds of lighting conditions (the good, the bad and the really crappy ones). This article sums up my experience with both cameras and my opinion on their performance. All men are not created equal. Neither are cameras. Each and every individual has something unique to bring to the table. There's no "one-size-fits-all" magic recipe. I am not looking for THE ultimate perfect … [Read more...] about Will I switch from DSLR to Mirrorless? The final round
Spring is in the air and depending upon where you are the bloom has begun or will be coming your way soon with the April showers. (or snow in some cases!!) I’m going to share my kit for getting out and capturing the botanical blooms. And show you a couple of results. Camera and lens choices My camera of choice is the Lumix G9, a micro four-thirds camera. The quality, feature set and very important to me, lightweight, make it a great tool for hiking photography. Just for kicks I also carry a Lumix GX85 with an f/3.5 8mm fisheye lens. It’s … [Read more...] about Hiking gear for wildflower photography, part one
My iMac (Retina 5K 27”) completely crashed after installing DJI Pro Assistant software. Here’s how I recovered from the crash along with three important lessons everyone should take away from my experience. The cause I own a DJI Ronin S gimbal and use it with a variety of cameras for video work. One of my favorite DSLR video bodies is the Nikon D850. As many of you know, when you are shooting video with DSLR cameras, you generally focus manually by rotating the focus ring on the lens barrel. Trying to manually pull focus while on a gimbal … [Read more...] about New software bricked my iMac — how my data backup system allowed me to recover
Samsung had released the 860 QVO SSD line in the end of 2018 as their entry level and most affordable SSD. Samsung has been a leader of solid state storage for almost a decade and has brought much of that technology down to a price range that everyone should jump on. I've got my hands on the 1TB model, the lowest capacity that Samsung makes alongside a 2TB and 4TB model. The QVO is currently only available with the SATA III interface, and I haven't heard of any plans to make it available in other interfaces, but I'd imagine that there would be … [Read more...] about Getting Samsung’s 860 QVO solid state hard drive is a no brainer
As I already mentioned in my very first article, that I am looking at upgrading my photography gear (my two Nikon D750 cameras). As this is a pretty expensive move, I am currently trying both the Sony a9 and Olympus OM-D E-M1X to see which one would best fit my sports photography needs. Now's the time to experiment with the new top-of-the-line micro four-thirds camera — the E-M1X. What I am looking for in my new partner I have specific needs regarding my sports photography. Above all, I need high ISO capabilities and great autofocus. Good … [Read more...] about Will I switch from DSLR to Mirrorless? My first photoshoot experience with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X
When it comes to monitor resolutions, there are really two monikers that are being thrown around today — 1080p and 4K. While 1080p screens look good for monitors that are smaller than 27", 4K tends to be what is recommended by the local Best Buy salesperson if you want a high resolution screen that is 27" or larger. I can't explain exactly why, but if I were to take a guess, I'd say it's because the marketing hype is all about 4K or they don't know any better. Dang marketing schemes. If you're looking to buy a monitor, I'd throw another option … [Read more...] about What resolution monitor should you buy as a photographer — 1080p or 4K?
As you might already know, I am seriously thinking about changing my DSLR gear in favor of mirrorless. Because it would require a very important investment — perhaps one of the biggest I could make as a photographer — I want to feel 100% confident about my decision. For review purposes, I've been loaned two camera bodies: The new micro four-thirds Olympus OM-D E-M1X and the full-frame Sony a9. This article reviews my first photoshoot experience with the latter. Our first date Cloudy sky, soft light coming through the window, this was the … [Read more...] about Will I switch from DSLR to Mirrorless? My first photoshoot experience with the Sony a9
My fellow Photofocus author Michèle Grenier has been writing about her experience of deciding to switch to mirrorless. During this time my trusty old Canon 6D decided it needed a break so the LCD screen stopped working. I thought I’d offer another take on the mirrorless vs. DSLR debate. Let me preface this by saying I am not a tech head/gear hound. I do not get all excited about the newest, latest and greatest cameras and/or gear. Not to say I don’t watch and pay attention to what’s out there, but I’ve never been one to go out and upgrade gear … [Read more...] about Sticking with old tech
I've been looking for some great, yet inexpensive gift ideas for my photography-loving friends. But buying them equipment or gear is a little over my spending allowance. So if your camera lover has a fun sense of humor or loves all things photography, I've found some fun things that are bound to make any image capturer happy without breaking your budget. Floating Hand Grip for GoPro HERO cameras Fellow Photofocus writer Doug Dalton let me borrow one of these babies when I took an adventure to the island of Tonga. Your adventure junkie … [Read more...] about Any occasion unique gift ideas for photographers
This article follows "Are you considering switching your DSLR to mirrorless? I am." I just got two mirrorless bodies a couple of days ago. One from Sony and the other from Olympus. It's my first true mirrorless experience — I've been a Nikon user since the day I started doing photography. All the equipment that has been sent is loaned and I am not being paid for this review — it's important for me to mention that. My goal is to share my thoughts on my personal experience and highlight the strengths of both systems. I know conversations can get … [Read more...] about Will I switch from DSLR to Mirrorless? First hands-on with the Sony a9 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1X
The mirrorless bug finally bit me. As a long time Nikon shooter, I was patiently waiting for the Z series. With a D4S and D850, I was interested to see how the Nikon Z6 could fit into my professional (and personal) workflow. As a corporate headshot photographer, I’m typically on location, in a conference room for the day or in my studio for individual sessions. Headshots on location For the volume corporate headshot jobs, the D4S is still my favorite tool. It will sit there all day, ready for action in a fraction of a second. I love that it … [Read more...] about The Nikon Z6 for headshot photography
Update: The Alter Rapid Filter System is now on Kickstarter! As someone who really enjoys photographing landscapes, I often use Neutral Density (ND) filters. And as much as I love using those filters, it's a pain to have to screw them on and off, over and over again. Enter the Alter Rapid Filter System, an upcoming product that I was able to check out during WPPI. While the company didn't exhibit at the expo, co-founder Joshua Kasumovic and content creator & marketing specialist Kyle Broxterman met with me and fellow Photofocus author … [Read more...] about First Look: Alter Rapid Filter System
Beaches and coastal waters provide some of the best opportunities for nature photography, from wildlife to scenery, but sand and salt are probably two of the worst substances for your photography gear. Sand can scratch lenses, jam up tripods and focusing rings, and find its way into every nook and cranny in your gear. Saltwater can be death for electronics. While the extreme way to handle sand and salt is to avoid shooting in areas where they occur, doing this limits you from shooting in some great locations. Carry a paint brush In sandy … [Read more...] about Keeping your photography equipment safe around sand and salt water
There I was, in a ghost town in the desert in Arizona, or Nevada — it was so remote it's hard to be sure — with a super-telephoto zoom lens, a model in a flowy dress and an empty highway. I just got so excited to lay down in the middle of the road that I forgot that the sky was totally bland. Now, a bland sky doesn't ruin a portrait, but it would have been nice if there were some huge monsoon thunderheads up there. I could use Luminar to combine this with another photo of puffy clouds and combine the two images (and maybe I will later), but I … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Utilize graduated filters to finish your portraits
One of the main issues with photographing toys is that everything gets magnified in scale. The smaller the toy, the bigger the world around the toy look. Small things become huge, and microscopic things become large. As you can imagine this makes small things like dust a big problem. A LEGO minifigure is 1:48 scale. This means that if you fill your frame with a minifig, everything else in that frame becomes 48 times bigger in comparison. A small spec of dust that would likely not even be noticed on a human model becomes massive at LEGO … [Read more...] about Toy photography: Dealing with dust
My very first purchase of Peak Design gear was in 2011 when I came across its Capture Clip system on Kickstarter. I actually contacted the president of the company, Peter Dering, and asked him if I could take a prototype of the new product up a mountain I was climbing that same week. He said yes and overnighted me a prototype so I could test it out in the field. That started my long affiliation with their products. Since then, I’ve purchased quite a bit of their equipment including the Leash, Cuff, Slide, Pro Pad and newer versions of the … [Read more...] about Talking the Travel Backpack 45L and Tech Pouch with Peak Design