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
I've been making pictures for ten years, and I've tried most of the camera carrying systems on the market. However, the one system I've chosen to invest in is the Spider Holster. It's certainly not the least costly option, but it is the most secure and most comfortable. Spider Holsters take all the weight of your camera and put it on your hips, not your shoulders. When I use neck straps with a camera, I get a kink in my neck immediately — cameras are heavy! I last a few minutes longer if I use a sliding shoulder strap, but I can go for days … [Read more...] about Gear review: Spider Holster’s camera carry system
Why are there so many lens choices for your camera? The simple answer is that every photographer sees the world differently requiring the use of different focal length lenses. Different photographers, different lens choice For example, landscape photographers typically use wide-angle lenses, in the 10mm to 24mm range. This allows the photographer to create expansive images that are sharp from the foreground to the background. Wildlife photographers typically shoot with super telephoto lenses, 400mm and longer, as they are unable to get … [Read more...] about Why are there so many lens choices?
To keep this series about architectural photography going, let's talk a little about gear :-) Having the right gear can help you best more productive, faster and overall give a better service to your clients. However, don't forget that it doesn't replace skill and it won't make you a better photographer. This is a pretty extensive gear guide for commercial architecture. Don't worry if you're starting out or if you don't have a lot of gear. You don't need all of this at all. And you can rent a lot of it for specific photoshoots. I started … [Read more...] about Gear Guide: Architectural photography kit
My new Fuji X-T3 just arrived. I am so excited. The camera was only just released last week. I have barely used it and I am already "in love." Of course I am a tried and true Fuji fan, having walked away from my Nikon D800 a few years back. So I am probably biased. Time will tell if the camera truly lives up to its hype. 1. A newly developed fourth generation sensor — the X-Trans CMOS 4 I am clueless what the upgrade to the sensor actually means in technical terms. The sensor is now back-illuminated — I read that a back-illuminated sensor … [Read more...] about Ten reasons why I love my Fuji X-T3
While I use a tripod as often as possible, there are times that I have to handhold my camera. Here are some tips to be as steady as possible. Holding the camera This one makes all the difference. Cameras are designed to have the right hand on the grip with the index finger resting lightly on the shutter release. The left hand wants to cradle the lens. While most get the first part of this right, the left hand position is usually really awkward looking, not to mention a side or overhand grip offers no support. Elbow position This is … [Read more...] about Steady, steady — How to handhold your camera
Many cameras have a button or menu item called Custom Settings (or something similar), but on the first 24 DSLRs I owned, I never used it. When I did try using it, I used it poorly and I’d bet most of you are like me. Let me show you how I use it now; maybe it’ll help you refine your technique, too. How’s it work? Custom Settings work by saving all the settings you currently have on your camera into a button or dial or menu selection. And I do mean all the settings. White balance, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focus mode, focus area, color … [Read more...] about Are you ready to use your custom settings?
I was recently on a family trip to San Miguel de Allende (SMA) in central Mexico. This colonial town is known for a seemingly endless succession of festivals throughout the year. Even the hot pinks, oranges and ochers favored for the architecture make it seem as if the town is perpetually decorated for a party. Our only prior trip to SMA was during a multi-day annual celebration for which it is rightfully famous: Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. If you’ve never experienced this, it may seem odd to hear it referred to as a … [Read more...] about Summertime photography: ¡Fiesta!
When we talk about photographing behaviors and events as they unfold, we think about being “reactive,” or shooting on the fly. In a studio setting, we are “proactive,” we make decisions about pretty much every characteristic of the photo before it is taken. My goal with wildlife photography is to be more “proactive” and make as many choices before the action begins as possible, so I am not fumbling with settings when the good stuff goes down! Be a “ready” photographer Being a “ready” photographer means you are prepared for the things that … [Read more...] about On Nature: What settings should I use for wildlife photography?
I recently had the chance to try out the Google Clips camera. To be honest, I hadn't heard anything about it. However, I am not all that techie and don't stay up on all of the latest gadgets. I quickly jumped online to do some research and read some reviews to see what it was all about. It turned out to be a little camera that is supposed to take pictures of people it recognizes. Which sounds super, super creepy now that I am saying it out loud...in my head. :) It works by linking to your Google photos and a technology called "machine … [Read more...] about Google Clips: I don’t hate it, but I’m not sure I love it — yet!
Elizabeth Kite posted in Photoshop and Photography — looking for recommendations. She asked. "Can someone recommend a good digital camera that is reasonably priced??? Under $500." My reply. Wait.. has anyone asked Elizabeth what she needs the camera for (other than automatic exposure and the like?) Imagine if she said she needs a reasonably priced car under $1500.00. If it's a second car for her child, that's reasonable. But if she said she wants it to be a daily drive or– let’s take this to an extreme--she wants to enter it into a race, now … [Read more...] about How to Give Advice on Buying a Camera
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 shot this photograph at WPPI in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. I was at the ClickProps Studio Backdrops booth. This company makes over 500 backdrops in various designs and sizes, and we got to test out a number of them. This photograph was shot against the "Brick Natural" backdrop. Our shooting space that was only about 5 feet by 10 feet. A Collaboration Between Two Photographers The photograph was a collaboration between 2 photographers: the model, Kat Armendariz of Hush Hush Shoot Studio in Las Vegas and me. Kat is one of Las Vegas's … [Read more...] about Lights, Colors, Fractals
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
(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
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/the-infocus-interview-podcast-photofocus-podcast-december-22nd-2017 Remember to check out our great sponsors including TruLife acrylic face mounted prints. Levi sits down with Kevin Dooley How long has he been shooting professionally? How has he maintained his business? How did he get into wildlife photography Africa talk How to understand animals? What trips are coming up? Where can we find out more information? Gear talk What to consider when going on a … [Read more...] about The Infocus Interview Podcast | Photofocus Podcast December 22nd 2017
Levi Sim sits down with Julio Cortez who is an Associated Press photographer How does Associated Press photos work? Getting paid? What is the Dollar Rule? What is Julio's speciality? What's Julio's gear set up? Workflow when out in the feild Where to find Julio? Next Levi sits down with Mike Goldner from Astisan HD Who is Mike Goldner? Difference between labs Lighting and how it's affecting your prints Why your prints look different from your screen? Printer differences Color Space talk … [Read more...] about The Interview Podcast | Photofocus Podcast December 1st 2017
I recently noticed my camera had a lot of dirt on it, so I took it to the nearest creek and threw it in for a good scrubbing. OK, maybe not, what actually happened was every photographer's nightmare. Setting up on the side of a creek to photograph a series of rapids, I tripped, with the result of my camera getting a solid dunking. Now, speaking from experience, this is what we call an "Oh [email protected]#t!!!..." moment. A 10 on the "Brown Pants" scale. In other words, an unpleasant experience. However, quick action and a proper drying out process can, … [Read more...] about What to Do When Your Camera Gets Dropped in Water
It’s pretty easy to make your own natural light “studio” for just a little money and a little time for set up. “Portraits Unplugged” is what I call shooting with ambient light and it’s important to understand the direction, quality and depth of light in order to make a portrait that is effective. Learning to see the light is a process that requires practice. Controlling the light to create your mood is imperative. My favorite natural lighting is what we call Porch Light or Garage Door Light, which means there is no light coming from above … [Read more...] about Natural Light Studio in Your Backyard
Many DSLR's have a Quiet Mode. One way this is done is by separating the sound of the shutter from the slap of the mirror. When you press the shutter button the mirror flips up and the shutter is fired, exposing the image. But then the mirror doesn't flip down until you remove your finger from the shutter button. This works surprisingly well to make your camera not sound like a camera and it's far less distracting in quiet situations--I've even photographed live ballet performances this way without ruining the show. Silent Mode Trumps Quiet … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Take Advantage Of Silent Shutter
Editor's Note: A special thanks to our partner Datacolor for helping us to bring more information about color calibration to you. Special Deals on Datacolor Spyder Elite Getting accurate color all starts with getting it right in the camera. In Part 1 of this series we covered the concepts of color management, and some of the speed bumps you will contend with. Fortunately, there are loads of things we can do, and tools we can use, to make it easier to display and print consistent colors. In this second part of the series, I'll cover … [Read more...] about The Color Calibrated Workflow, Part 2: Getting it Right in the Camera
Happy Summer! It’s time to get away from the computer or out of the darkroom and enjoy the beautiful weather and shoot! Here are 3 tips on making great beach photographs. I shot these photographs at the end of the day, catching the very last bit of light, at the same location, yet achieving very different visual impacts. All of these photographs are shot without a tripod even though they are fairly long exposures. Exposing for the last light of the day. Start by using the in camera meter to read the light on the horizon. Make sure you are … [Read more...] about Shooting on a Beach!
There is a lot of buzz about the “laptop ban,” a general term used to describe a requirement that electronic devices larger than a smartphone be placed in checked bags for flights into the US and UK from certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The ban includes laptops, iPads, and camera equipment. Travel Plan It appears the current ban will not be expanded to include all international flights flying into the US, as had been previously contemplated, if airlines implement stricter security measures. However, it is still important … [Read more...] about The Traveling Photographer: Planning for a Laptop Ban
(Editor's note: Guest contributor Steve Inglima continues his discussion of the view camera and how its aesthetic informs digital photography. This installment explains the circle of coverage in relations to the shift movement in the view camera and the DSLR equivalent, the tilt / shift lens. Here are links to part 1 and part 2.) Shift & rise movements Shift and rise are the other movement opportunities. Shift is varying the relative position left/right of the lens from the sensitize material, while rise is the up/down movement. Both are … [Read more...] about The View Camera Aesthetic in the Digital Realm part 3
This bag is simply called Udee, and the simplicity carries through the entire design and delivers a fine bag that will be very good for many photographers. It Looks Good The outer appearance of the Udee is pretty good. It's minimal and the fabric is very nice. Everyone who sees it asks me if it's a Peak Design bag: it has a similar kind of fabric and the slim design is reminiscent. The bottom of the bag is a little blunt, but overall it's a good looking bag. The gray fabric is highlighted with the orange grab handle and one orange … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Udee Backpack–Surprisingly Good
Let’s face it, many photographers believe that "bigger is better." I know I initially did years ago. Large is in charge, and it's easy to assume that success is a reflection of how impressive or expensive our camera body or lens is. However, I personally believe that this is less and less true these days. In many cases, advancements in current technology have made high quality equipment very affordable at a relatively low price point. Manufacturing companies have found ways to make smaller and more compact cameras, and these cameras are … [Read more...] about Does Size Matter? Upgrading Your Gear For The Wrong Reasons
Daylight savings time is over. We are back on standard time. While all of us go through home and office changing the hands and digits so they read one hour earlier, most photographers forget to change the time on their camera. Fall back time for cameras too Twice a year it's time to check the date and time settings on our cameras. This is super simple on most cameras. Go the the Date/Time tab on the camera's menu, choose it and turn Daylight Savings to read "Off." While you are in the menu, check to see the date and time are actually … [Read more...] about Fall Back! Update Your Camera’s Time Today
October 24 marks my second anniversary. It is the day I put away all of my Nikon gear and became a Fuji “shooter”. No one was more surprised than me. I had initially bought the Fuji X-T1 with a standard kit lens as a backup for my Nikon D800. I wanted a camera I could easily carry around when I needed something lighter and smaller, and that I could fit in my purse. Then something mind-changing happened nearly four months later. I went on a photography trip to the Oregon coast with my Nikon and my Fuji cameras. I preferred using the Fuji … [Read more...] about Are You Using the Right Camera?
I am star-struck. My Fuji X-T2 just arrived, it was released September 8. I am reading through the manual and looking at the camera’s features. It is definitely an exciting upgrade from the Fuji X-T1 and in some regards even the Fuji X-Pro2. Here are my ten favorite Fuji X-T2 camera features, in no particular order: A focus stick on the back of the camera. I can move the focus stick with my right thumb, in a tilting or pressing motion, and change my focus point. So if I am focusing on the eyes of the person to the far left of my … [Read more...] about Ten Reasons Why I Love My New Fuji X-T2
Exploring photography with your kids? This is my second in a series of posts offering ideas you can use to help your young photographer get comfortable with fundamental concepts. Last time we walked through the very basics of photographic composition: reduce and simplify. With just those two words in mind, you and your child will both be taking better pictures. Today’s activity expands the concept of composition a bit further. The goal is to play with the idea that there’s more than one way to see an object. Equipment Keep it … [Read more...] about Photography Activities for Kids — Point of View