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
What is a snoot? A snoot is just a funny name for a piece of equipment, generally a tube or similar objects such as a conical, cylindrical, or rectangular shape, that fits over a studio light or portable flash. It allows you to control the direction or area of coverage of the light. Basically, it makes the light more focused and concentrated by directing your light and focusing it. This makes the coverage very narrow and the light falls-off very sharply giving you a harsher or harder light. Adding a Grid Personally, I like the snoot and grid … [Read more...] about How to D.I.Y. a Snoot & Grid
For the past four years, I've photographed an event for Gilda's Club Grand Rapids — the Laughfest Signature Event. It features a highly sought-after comedian with the ultimate goal to raise money for cancer support. This year, Comedy Central's Trevor Noah (from The Daily Show) graced Grand Rapids with his presence for the event. While photographing comedians is a blast, being in the back of the room means you have to be creative in terms of how you're going to capture it. The first year, I was completely unprepared and had to rely on a much … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Panasonic Leica 200mm f/2.8 Offers Superb Build Quality & Reach
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
Last December, while in the middle of a shoot and half way thru the models, I tripped on my tether cord and shattered my Nikon body and the lens attached to it. Needless to say, it wasn’t my happiest moment in 2017 but it was my most valued. What Is Tethering? Tethered shooting is connecting a computer to your camera when you are shooting so the pictures you take are downloaded to your computer in addition to the camera's memory card. The camera and computer are connected by a cable, hence "tethering". Benefits of Tethering In this … [Read more...] about What Is Tethered Shooting & Why Do I Love It So Much?
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: 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
(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
The Basics Okay, so awhile back I was asked to test and review the Angler Silverbox 18" Softbox and at first, given I have the Profoto version of this as well as the Beauty Dish, I was wondering just how useful or good this guy could be. Given it was 1/2 the price, (or less), of the Profoto version I was used too, I was pretty sure the quality would be less than great and i'd try it once, and throw into a corner never to be seen again. Well...lets just say I was pleasantly surprised! Check this out; Above is a shot I took using JUST … [Read more...] about Angler Silverbox 18″ Softbox Review
Think of the monopod as one leg of a tripod, and your legs as the other two. Your hands and arms provide additional support, keeping the monopod steady. Using the monopod sounds easy, right? But it does take some practice. Here are a few tips to help you get good results: Positioning The Monopod 1.) Stand with legs about shoulder width apart, placing the monopod centered in front of your legs. Lean the top of the monopod towards you. This position works well on grass or other soft surfaces, however, the monopod might slip on smooth … [Read more...] about Tips For Using A Monopod
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 don’t use a monopod often, but when I do I want it to feel good in my hands. It should provide stability no matter what size lens is attached to my camera, and be convenient to use—easy to open and close. I have tried several monopods through the years. Some unscrewed from a leg of a tripod, some were free standing. I never felt terribly satisfied. A couple of the monopods seemed flimsy. One did not twist open easily. Another was too heavy to carry around for a full day. I sold them all. Finally, I recently found a monopod that works for me, … [Read more...] about The Oben CTM-2500 Carbon Fiber Monopod
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: Canon 5DSr body Nikon D4s body Fuji XT-1 Graphite Edition body DJI Phantom 4 … [Read more...] about MPB.COM Used Gear Specials ~ Week of November 13, 2017
I like to travel light. I have a mirrorless camera, the Fuji X-T2, and very small prime lenses. My preference is to keep the camera strap around my shoulder and to put an extra lens and some batteries in my purse or fanny-pack as I leave my hotel for a day of sightseeing. When the need arises, depending on what I plan to photograph, I will carry a tripod and possibly a backpack filled with camera gear. When I carry a backpack I think about ways to lessen the load. On The Road Like many of you, I have read the Platypod Reviews on Photofocus. … [Read more...] about The Traveling Photographer: Platypod, An Essential Tool
Most photographers will tell you that a good tripod is one of the most important equipment investments you can make for your photography. But, just owning one isn't enough to give you better pictures. You have to have the right one to fit your photography, as well as know how to use it properly. For as much time as we spend discussing and dissecting our settings, we often don't think about the physical mechanics of how we take pictures. Over the years of running photo workshops and pursuing my own photos, I have seen many mistakes and … [Read more...] about Avoid These Tripod Trip Ups!
Many agree that one of the most vexing things about photography is getting your exposure and white balance correct in camera. Sure, you can fix it in the post-processing phase if you shoot in RAW (and I generally recommend that you shoot in RAW. It makes all the difference in the world). Still, if you could make your life easier, cut down on your workload, and make sure your photos look consistently great, then wouldn’t you go that route? Seems like a no-brainer to me. That’s why I’m going to review the Impact Quikbalance 12" Gray Panel. … [Read more...] about Review: The Impact Quikbalance 12″ Gray Panel for Correct White Balance in Camera
If you have followed my posts then you probably know I am not a product photographer, nor do I typically photograph still life images, art objects or food. There are times, however, I have wanted to have some fun shooting flowers or other objects on a solid white background. That is how I came upon the Impact Desktop Shooting Table. Affordable Convenience The aluminum table with a plexiglass top provides a convenient and affordable solution for photographing smaller objects on a white background. It folds up relatively small and thin, with … [Read more...] about Impact Desktop Shooting Table
Over the past couple of years, there has been a wave of super wide-angle telephoto lenses released on the market. Ideal for huge landscapes, vast night skies, or anything your wide-angle imagination conjures up. They offer big views, exceptional sharpness, and a whole realm of creative possibilities. My personal favorite is the Tamron 15-30mm, but, regardless of the brand, with super wides, their big beautiful front element projects out a distance from the lens body. This means that you can't use traditional threaded filters that screw on the … [Read more...] about Product Review: Haida 150 Series Insert Filter and Holder System
Atlas Packs is a new company and they have created a good product. They've created backpacks that are extremely comfortable to wear and that carry a lot of weight without leaving you feeling fatigued. What's more, they truly don't look like technology backpacks that are full of expensive tools--they just look like a regular hiking backpack. Who's This Camera Bag For? Atlas Packs would be perfect for anyone who needs to carry their camera equipment as well as other stuff because they are well designed and have plenty of room for coats and … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Atlas Packs ‘Athlete’
Shooting tethered means that your camera is connected to a computer and the pictures are saved to the computer while you shoot. You can do this by using a long USB cable or sometimes an ethernet cable from the camera to the computer. If you're using a Lumix camera, though, you've got to buy Promote Systems software to tether with a cable. Or, you can just connect to your computer wirelessly anywhere in the world with camera's built-in wifi. Here's how to do it on a Mac--I'd love some help from you writing this up for a Windows … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: How To Tether Wirelessly With Lumix
What's in a bag? It's possible to say that your bag, (when pertaining to photo and video), can make or break your shoot. Like most photographers and videographers out there, I tend to choose a bag based on the task I have ahead of me, (meaning, I have WAY too many haha). Whenever I need something larger than a messenger bag, most of the time I'm left choosing either a roller case or a backpack. Both of which are great on their own, but getting gear in and out of the bag while "in the heat of a moment" can be a tad cumbersome. This is why … [Read more...] about Review: Ruggard Navigator 75 DSLR Shoulder Bag
Those who know me, know i've been a Timelapse fanatic since the first time I got to hang out with Michael Shainblum in San Diego about 4 years ago. I've been even more addicted to the gear and gadgets that have come out since then to help artists create visually stunning and dynamic time-lapse films. There are a LOT of options out there from the higher end and expensive motion controllers and rails, to the super low budget and simple egg timer with small camera mounted to the top. So how do you know what's right for you and at what price point? … [Read more...] about Cinetics Lynx Motion Control System Review
Padded and protective wraps have been on the market for more than 10 years now and they're a fantastic and affordable way to add some protection to your gear, especially when you don't have a dedicated, protective camera bag. I definitely welcome Ruggard's padded equipment wraps as a slightly more affordable option to Tenba and Domke's offerings of protective wraps. If you're like me, a person on the road a lot that keeps gear light and carries a camera handy 80% of the time but without the rest of the kit, then you'll enjoy the added peace … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Ruggard Padded Equipment Wraps!
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
There some times when even a travel tripod is just too much to lug around, and sometimes you need to get really low, or switch quickly between tripod steady, and hand held without leaving a valuable full-size tripod unattended. Thats where a good table top tripod can come in handy—a table top tripod can also be easily stuffed into a camera bag for emergencies without jeopardizing the carry-on status of your gear. I submit for your approval, the Oben TT-100 Table Top Tripod: This little gem is a great addition to any photographers kit—it … [Read more...] about Oben TT-100 Table Top Tripod
No matter what you're filming, you always need to light your set for your video production. Regardless if it's outdoors in the sun, or indoors in a dark small space...you're going to need some light to fill in your subject matter somehow. One way to do this without overheating your talent or subject matter, is by using a CFL or Continuous Fluorescent Light! Traditionally and historically, we've used Tungsten based Hot lights for production work, but as you might have guessed from their name, they do give off a lot of heat, causing some … [Read more...] about Tutorial: Using CFL’s to Keep Cool on your Video Set
When it comes to shooting video or still images with constant lights, compact fluorescent lights, (CFLs), give you one of the best lighting options when your project is on a budget! Why Compact Fluorescent Lights? No matter the project, when shooting video, you always have to light your set and usually we use "hot-lights" that have been tungsten based and generate, (as their name suggests), a LOT of heat. While you can always count on those lights, the problem was how to keep your set cool and your talent from sweating under the glare … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Impact Compact Fluorescent Kit 2
The Vello Universal White Balance Handheld Disc is a hand-held disc placed in front of a camera lens to manually set white balance. It is very simple to use. Just hold the disc up to the lens, pointing your camera to the light source, and take a custom white balance measurement per the instructions in your camera's user manual. Why Use It Light can be tricky. It can be made of light from different sources, such as the sun, a light bulb, or your camera flash. Skin tones can also be very tricky. The skin reflects colors around it. If the … [Read more...] about Vello White Balance Disc
Light has color. The low angle of the sun at sunset creates warm tones. A cloudy day, with the lack of sun, creates cool tones. The color of light is also affected by objects reflecting the light. So, if you are photographing a little girl standing under a tree in the forest the girl’s skin tone may have a green cast due to the light filtering through the leaves of the tree. When you adjust your camera for white balance you are compensating for the color of light that is affecting your photograph. White Balance Options If your camera has a … [Read more...] about Custom White Balance