Far and away my favorite subject to photograph for relaxation and practice is in the Landscape venue. Having grown up in the Blue Ridge mountain region of Southwest Virginia, learning to make better landscape photographs has been a staple in my own learning curve over the years and an ever-present means of practice to this day in terms of shooting and processing. The Normal Approach In days gone by, when presented with a scenic landscape of any kind, being overwhelmed with the newness of the sight itself, I would likely frame the best overall … [Read more...] about 3 Keys to Adding Interest to Landscape Images
She got me thinking I saw this beautiful girl walk by for a second time. I loved her outfit and her carefree attitude. I asked myself, if she were a celebrity and I only had 5 minutes to photograph her, where would I start? Then I thought what the heck, let's see. I smiled at her, lifted my camera and said hey do you want to do a quick photo shoot? We both laughed knowing it was a weird request but it sounded like fun. Remember, we were strangers in an airport. Self talk while breaking the ice I told her I'm a professional photographer and an … [Read more...] about Quick: You Have 5 Minutes to Get the Shot. Where Do You Start?
Your memory card can be the most important piece of gear on a shoot. It stores the one thing that can get you paidbut what do you do if it becomes corrupt? Ive had a bunch of memory devices become corrupt; a brand-new CF card while shooting HDR and portraits on Zuma Beach in California, a trusty SD card in my main camera while shooting video interviews for Under Armour, and even an AJA hard drive while recording my multi-camera sports production for ESPN. I was on set with Under Armour, shooting video for interviews and event coverage of the … [Read more...] about What Causes a Memory Card to Corrupt?
Back in October of 2014 I wrote, "Click Away Digital is Free, or is it?". I wrote the article when my trusty Nikon D700 reached the end of its life. I arrived at the cost per click by dividing the initial price of my camera by the number of shots I took. The result, it cost me about 2 cents per click, not bad but I missed my camera. A Tough Decision; Replace or Repair my Camera? I replaced my the D700 with a new Nikon D810. I love the D810 for portraits but not for sports. I thought about getting a used Nikon D4 but after using a refurbished … [Read more...] about Replace or Repair Your Camera?
I started photography by shooting film in high school just before the turn of the century, and I don't miss film one bit. Its so wonderful to see a photograph on the back of the camera and see how the composition and the highlights are working, and then make changes. I don't know what I learned in school, but I learned it all again the first day I shot with a DSLR by looking at the LCD and making a change and trying again. Its powerful, but if you shoot RAW it may be frustrating, too. The camera shows a JPEG preview, and that just doesn't often … [Read more...] about Professional Color with Lightroom’s Camera Calibration
You have a camera now what? I came across this meme on Facebook recently and it made me laugh yet reminded me of questions Ive recently been asked. Being the resident photographer among friends, Ive been asked the following questions several times over the past couple weeks. I picking out a new camera, whats the best camera to get? My husband/partner/wife/girlfriend got me a camera, whats the best way to learn how to use it? Let me address the first question: I picking out a new camera, whats the best camera to get? To many this question … [Read more...] about New Camera, Now What?
(This is the second in a series of posts Im writing about shooting with Fuji cameras.) While most of us might not think of a compact camera with a fixed lens as a first choice for landscape photography, the Fuji X100T is a very capable landscape shooter none the less. To those who think a mere 16 megapixels pales compared to the new 50MP behemoth from Canon - well we can agree to disagree. 50MP crammed onto a full frame sensor isn't something that interests me at all. I happen to think that 16 megapixels is the new sweet spot. I remember way … [Read more...] about Fuji X100T – Yep It Can Be A Landscape Photographer’s Camera
I attended a workshop tour put on by David Ziser a few days before my first DSLR arrived, and he got me hooked on hybrid slideshows. I used to use Animoto to make these, and more recently I prefer ProShow Web, but I also like to make my own productions using Photoshop (Richard Harrington has a good introduction for video in Photoshop right here). These hybrid slideshows are always a win for weddings and family and senior portrait clients, but I also make them for some non-profit clients. The thing is, nothing is more moving than powerful … [Read more...] about Bad Music = Bad Video & How To Beat the Shakes
NOTE: I made every photo for this post using a Fuji X100T and shot in JPEG mode. The images you see here are 100% right out of the camera without any modification of any kind (except some cropping here and there.) They never touched Lightroom or Photoshop. I made no tonal changes, no corrections - nothing. I used no sharpening, no software and nothing has been added to any of these images. Bupkis. Nothing. Nada. This is what you see when you shoot jpeg mode! I shot these images at between ISO 200 and 500 - most at 250 and … [Read more...] about Fuji X100T – First Look
Camera shake means that during the exposure the camera moved. This movement can be very small and still create blurry images especially if shooting at a very slow shutter speed. You can reduce the risk of camera shake by simply learning how to hold your camera. In the event you find an image you really love but is blurry, Photoshop can help to a certain degree. Shake reduction is a special filter to sharpen an image. This filter should only be used as a last resort. Use automatic camera shake reduction Open an image. Right mouse click on the … [Read more...] about Fixing Camera Shake with Photoshop
Yep you read that title right. I am going to be using the new Canon 7D MK II as my primary camera. For most of the last three years, Ive mainly relied on Micro Four Thirds cameras from Olympus and Panasonic. They are inexpensive, super easy to carry and offer amazing image quality. In the case of the Panasonic, these cameras offer some of the best and most affordable ways to capture professional video. DSLR or MFT? I have occasionally used DSLRs for big shoots like Coastal Brown Bears or American Bald Eagles. While I often use DSLRs for birds … [Read more...] about Why I’m Shooting With A Canon 7D MK II
Canon recently published a press release about gray market Canon products being sold in the USA. For those of our readers who live in the U.S., it is important to know what gray market stands for and what it means to you. Keep in mind, this affects all camera brand and manufacturers. I know many people who buy gray market products to save a few dollars. I am not giving you advice either way. I do want you to know some of the potential pitfalls. Then the rest is up to you. What is the Gray Market? When you buy a camera or camera gear from a … [Read more...] about About Gray Market Camera Gear
Filters of all sorts, flashes, cards, readers, light-meters, remote triggers, straps, battery chargers, batteries, business cards, business card holders, lens bags, cases, cords, levels, tripods, lens cloths, blah, blah, blah. Do you need it all and does it have to be the best of the best? YES, GO BUY IT ALL RIGHT NOW-- but only if you've got a limitless income! Well, most of us can't go out and buy a car full of photography equipment, so I'd recommend that you start off slow and figure out what you need and want to use first. I always felt … [Read more...] about Building Your Bag: Accessories | Part 2 – Functionality
A few months back I wrote an article, "Click Away Digital is Free, or is it?" after my trusty Nikon D700 died. It was replaced with the latest and great D810. The D810 received great reviews and the camera specs are very impressive. So if the D810 is a better camera why were my photos looking dull and flat when I imported them into Lightroom? Creating a new camera profile when importing my RAW images fixed the problem. The Problem My photography career has taken me down the path of a generalist. I photography portraits, sports, events, … [Read more...] about Custom Camera Calibration in Lightroom
When I was a kid in Sister Tonis 4th grade class, she gave us a handy way to remember Daylight Savings Time. Spring forward; turn the clock ahead lose an hour. Fall back, turn the clock back gain an hour. For years this little saying has helped me remember which way to turn the clock at 2 a.m. But what does it really mean for Photographers? For starters, make sure your camera has daylight savings enabled and check to make sure it automatically adjusted the cameras time. If not. change it manually. Set Your Cameras Clock Your cameras internal … [Read more...] about What Does Daylight Savings Time Mean for Photographers?
When I was just a kid - and gasoline was only 52 cents a gallon, my first camera bag was a Domke bag. Every working photo journalist I know has owned or still uses a Domke bag. They have always been very sturdy for the money and very easy to work out of. I used my old Domke bag for 30 years. It was time for a new one so enter the Domke J-LEDGE-RM Ledger Rugged Wear (Military/Black). Its part of the Next Generation Journalist series of bags that Domke offers and as usual, its a keeper. The old F-6 (one of the models I used to use along with … [Read more...] about Domke’s Next Generation Camera Bag
There I was shooting a Lacrosse game in the bright Florida sun. Before the game started, I snapped a shot to make sure I had my settings dialed in. Looked good so I fired off a burst at 9 frames per second during the opening face off. I looked at the images and noticed the exposure was all over the place. Some images were dead on, others were either under or over exposed. Raise your hand if this has ever happen to you, laugh if it has happen more than once! I stopped for a second, took a deep breath then realized earlier in the week I had … [Read more...] about Zeroing Out Your Camera
While we were at the Las Vegas Photoshop World, Photofocus hosted a focus group breakfast. Our mission, ask our loyal subscribers what topics they want us to write about and give us honest feedback on how we are doing. Several people commented, "We want more controversial articles that make us think, don't be afraid to hold back." So, here is an article that I'm sure is going to offend a few people, well only those that are not holding their camera correctly! Last week I photographed a swim meet for Aran, talented 13 year old multi-sport … [Read more...] about For God’s Sake, Hold Your Camera Correctly!
By adding the word model to the title, I knew that would get your attention. I really meant to say, how to find someone willing to allow me to photograph them so I can work on a new style or learn about lighting. But that title was way too long and really, most photographers like the term model. It conjures up images of drop dead, beautiful runway women. So, how do we find subjects to work with? Experimenting Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, you can use family, friends, co-workers or people you meet everyday. Approach them and be … [Read more...] about How to Find a Model
A few years back, I made the switch to micro four-thirds and mirrorless cameras. I am more convinced than ever that these cameras perform as well as ANY camera in 95% of the situations where it counts. While I used to be an advocate for full frame cameras, I changed my mind when I saw the advantages of going small. So to counter all the posts that are out there advocating why you need a full frame camera, here's why I think you may not. 1. The Need for Low Light Performance One of the arguments for full-frame cameras is that they offer better … [Read more...] about Seven Myths About The Need for Full Frame Camera Bodies (Updated)
I gotta say, I loved using this lens. Sigma has really out done themselves. I know some people say they've owned Sigma lenses and the photos were poorthose lenses were the low end stuff; I could say the same about cheap Nikon and Canon lenses I've used. Sigma's newest professional lenses, however, are the amongst the best glass I've ever used. I'm talking here about the latest version, not the older one with the gold trim. I borrowed this one from LensRentals.com to photograph a golf tournament, and it was the best thing I could have done. I … [Read more...] about Simply Stunning: Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8
If you're like us... you're staying up at night and worried. It's time to make some hard decisions... ones that will have long lasting consequences. It's time to decide which iPhone to buy (we know... first world problems). The Dilemma On Friday morning (at approximately 12:01 am PST) Apple will start taking online orders for the phone. If you'd like to be the first to have the phone, you'll either order online or fight the crowds. You'd think by now they'd learn to have enough in stock (perhaps they manipulate the frenzy a bit). … [Read more...] about Which iPhone 6 Should a Photographer Buy?
The first thing a new camera prompts you to do is to set the date and time, and this is one default that I heartily agree with. I recently borrowed a camera that had the date set incorrectly and it has really screwed up my system. Here are three reasons to take 22.5 seconds and make sure the date and time are correct. Lightroom Some people use dates as names for the folders on their hard drives. I think that's a mistake because Lightroom allows you to search pictures by date at any timethat info is part of the metadata saved inside every … [Read more...] about Wanna Save Your Sanity? Set Your Camera’s Date
I'm a woman, and I like purses and bags. I am also a photographer, and so with that I tend to collect lots of cool bags. Yay, bags! I have more than I will use, some come and go with my photography style or locations I travel to, and some have stuck around and have been used for a very long time. Yet I am always on the hunt for a bag that fits my needs in many different ways. The are so many different types of camera bags: backpacks, purses, messenger bags, sling bags, and more. For the purposes of this article, I am lumping all bags into one … [Read more...] about Camera Bags: A Rant of Frustration from a Woman’s Perspective
I love my GoPro cameras. One is a constant companion in my backpack. A few years ago, I had an idea to shoot a behind-the-scenes time lapse of my near constant travel (e.g. coming/going to the airport, planes taking off/landing). I put fifteen or so videos in the can but soon gave up on the project. The reason was simple. They sucked. Why? The camera was always attached to a moving, unstable object like my backpack or roll-aboard. As a result, the image jerked around too much and, at the time, the GoPro frame was too small to give me … [Read more...] about Hyperlapse delivers smooth POV time lapse
Build your own Raspberry Pi powered touchscreen digital camera with interchangeable lenses! SnapPiCam As you look at the photo above, I am sure some of you are thinking ... "I have no use for such an odd beast." Think again. A while back, I wrote about what I hope to see when GoPro releases the Hero4 camera later this year. Of the five items listed, the first three are all software solutions which should be relatively simple for GoPro to execute. Sadly, as consumers, all we can do is hope that GoPro listens to such requests or a … [Read more...] about The Emerging Open Source Camera
News of FujiFilm's excellent mirror-less camera, the X-T1, made it down the vine and really peaked my interest in researching the X-series cameras that they've released. I've had other photographer friends that have picked up the very popular X100s and the X-Pro1 and loved it. Im thinking of buying one from the X-Series and of course, had to do some research. What I found was the X-T1's little brother, the X-E2. At an average of almost $400 cheaper than the X-T1, I felt that it was also worth taking a look at. What better way to look at … [Read more...] about FujiFilm’s Mirror-less Madness: Hands on with FujiFilm’s X-T1 and X-E2 (Firmware 2.0)
One of our friends here at Photofocus, ThinkTank Photo, recently sent me a bag to review: the CityWalker 10 in blue. Because I had recently purchased the Fuji X-T1 camera, I am on the prowl for the "perfect" bag to carry around on a daily basis. I thought that the CityWalker 10 would be a worthy competitor, and I was right! After using the bag regularly for a few solid weeks, I decided to write up a review to share my findings. Pros I will definitely start off by saying that I have many good things to say about this bag. To make it easier to … [Read more...] about ThinkTank’s Photo CityWalker 10
Memory Card Healthcare Lets talk memory cards. We all have them, need them and use them. But what does it all mean? Lets discuss taking care of our cards and preventing potential problems that can and will happen to all of us. Here's ten practical tips. 1. Keep your camera up to date. From time to time your camera manufacturer will send out firmware updates to your camera. Sometimes this can affect the way your camera talks to your memory card. 2. Make sure you replace batteries before your camera dies. If your camera dies while writing a … [Read more...] about 10 Tips for Healthy Camera Memory Cards
In a recent conversation with Chase Reynolds over at LensRentals, we couldn't wait to talk about all the new "hot gear". They see quite a bit of inventory come and go from their warehouse so it's always interesting to hear about the different products that are being moved on a daily basis. The two products he chose? The Sigma 50mm 1.4 and the Panasonic GH4. Listen to the conversation here. (Starting around 17:15) [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/147968128" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true" … [Read more...] about Hot Gear: Sigma 50mm 1.4 and Panasonic GH4