In outdoor portraits, we love shallow depth of field. We love to see the background nicely out of focus so that our subjects stand out better. In fact, we are easily convinced that we need to pay a lot of money for very bright lenses with big apertures so that we can get that beautiful shallow depth of field. The truth is that you can do with an inexpensive zoom lens — even the second lens that came with your camera kit can get it done well. Many kits come with a 55-200mm zoom, and you can also buy a 70-300mm lens for a couple of hundred … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Save money, use a long lens for shallow depth
The Weekly Wrap-up compiles interesting articles published during the week on Photofocus. This week we posted articles on making photographs in falling snow and from a moving train, a technical look at external graphics cards, thoughts on why landscape photographers want to carry telephoto lenses, what is a normal lens and the value of spending time with our fellow creatives. Enjoy. … [Read more...] about Weekly Wrap-Up: February 24-March 2, 2019
While corporate events and commercial advertising photography are my bread and butter, landscapes are what I love to photograph on the weekends. As much as I love and rely on my wide angle, 7-14mm f/2.8 lens, sometimes I want something… different. I recently started taking my telephoto lenses with me. Doing so certainly adds to my pack size and weight, but the results are, well, rather unique. Why photograph with a telephoto? While a lot of landscapes focus on wide scenes, making a wide-angle lens perfect, I sometimes like to show the … [Read more...] about Why landscape photographers should always carry a telephoto
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?
Sigma first unveiled their new series of lenses series at Photokina in Cologne, Germany last September. This new collection includes five new lenses to their three Global Vision product lines: Art, Sports and Contemporary. As a sports photographer, I was really intrigued by the announcement of their highly anticipated 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens. I made sure to stop by their booth at PhotoPlus Expo to get more information about this new high-performance telephoto lens. 10 exclusive low-dispersion glass elements What in the world is a … [Read more...] about Could this lens possibly become the best 70-200mm f/2.8 on the market?
When I first started photography, I didn’t take my buddy’s advice — invest in a better quality lens before upgrading your camera. It was a mistake I never made again. So when it came time to decide if I need a prime lens in my bag, I called on his advice again. Instead of telling me what to do, he explained the difference between a prime and zoom lens plus the benefits of each for me to make my own decision. Here’s how I used his advice many years ago when deciding which portrait lens was best for me. Understanding prime and zoom lenses A … [Read more...] about Should I get a prime or zoom lens?
As a part of last night's mirrorless system announcement by Nikon, the company also announced a new F-mount lens — the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6 PF ED VR, a fixed focal length super-telephoto lens for Nikon's DSLRs. Geared towards wildlife and sports shooters, the 500mm f/5.6 has a Phase Fresnel (PF) lens element that results in a significantly reduced size and weight of the lens, making handheld photography much easier. With a maximum diameter of 106mm and length of 237mm, the lens weighs 1460 grams, roughly the same size as Nikon's … [Read more...] about Nikon announces 500mm, dot sight for wildlife and sports photographers
Our friends at B&H Photo sent me Tamron’s SP70-200mm F/2.8 G2 (Model A025) telephoto lens to see how it performs at a major league sporting event. I kept my Nikon 70-200mm on hand, just in case. At the end of the first quarter, my trusty Nikon lens stayed in my bag! What I liked about it Focus speed The autofocus is fast. I mean really fast. I had no problem keeping up with the fastest sport on two feet, major league lacrosse. Tamron uses an Ultrasonic Silent Drive (USD) ring-type motor, along with two high-performance microcomputers to … [Read more...] about Tamron’s 70-200mm lens — is it ready for major league sports?
You just got a fancy new camera, with a shiny kit lens that, for the most part, has served you well in your beginning everyday adventures. Now you want to take your photography to the next level, whether it's getting a farther reach and being able to capture that dream-like bokeh that you hear everyone talking about or obtaining a more encompassing view. So, what's the next lens you should buy? There are a few different ways to go about answering the question, but the answer comes back to one question that you have to answer yourself — … [Read more...] about Photography 101: Which lens should you buy first?
Vanguard's Alta Sky 66 is designed to carry super-telephoto lenses, like 400mm or 600mm lenses, spotting scopes and other long stuff. It is well-made, comfortable, and has a lifetime warranty. There are few bags that feel as comfortable carrying heavy stuff as this bag does. It manages sweat very well and is made of durable materials to protect your tools. Highly recommended. More details and specs right here. Photos follow the video. https://youtu.be/UU3x79OYlgY … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Vanguard’s Alta Sky 66 Super-Telephoto Pack
Zooming in, using a longer focal length to make a picture, makes your subject look bigger and closer. But you should remember that when you zoom in on your subject, you zoom in on the whole world. That means that the background becomes closer, too. Your whole field of view becomes smaller. So what does that mean for your portraits? Just yesterday I was making portraits in the park. The trouble was that just as I was about to make the portraits, a couple of kids wandered into the frame in the background. I had only a few minutes to make these … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Zoom To Remove Background Problems
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
Guest post by Erin Holmstead. Shooting sports changed my whole photography business! At the end of 2015, I met a gentleman, Rick Parker, who shoots sports photography for a local online news center. We were in the same photo club and he was presenting some of his work and during this time he mentioned that anyone could tag along and learn at one of the games coming up. I, of course, jumped right on that thinking, why not? The first game I attended with him was a local high school game and I left feeling like I should probably put my camera … [Read more...] about How Photographing Sports Changed My Life
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
Whether it’s of a bird or a person, eye contact in a photo engages and draws the viewer into the photo, creating a connection between them and the subject. As easy as it sounds to just shoot when the critter is looking at you, rarely in the great outdoors are we lucky enough to just walk up to our subject and grab an instant masterpiece image of it. Getting eye level and capturing the right type of eye contact for your composition requires thought, a careful approach, and attention not just to the subject, but everything going on around … [Read more...] about Get Eye Level to Make More Powerful Animal Photos
You've got to try this technique for your portraits and you'll find a great impact on your compositions. Zooming-in makes stuff appear closer, and so we usually use it for things that are far away that we can't get closer to, like football players playing a game, or far-off wildlife. But in this case, you should put your subjects far away on purpose and then zoom in. Zooming-In Makes the Background Smaller and Closer Not only does zooming-in make your subject appear closer, it also makes the background appear larger. That means that a small … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Run Away & Zoom-In
There are many lenses emerging for our mirrorless cameras, including macro lenses. The thing is about macro lenses that they are often a very good portrait length, and they often offer incredible edge-to-edge sharpness and contrast, but they are usually not as fast and bright as similar lenses intended for portraiture. I used to use Nikon's 105mm f/2.8 Micro for everything, and it's a terrific lens, but now I'm used to the shutter speeds I get with the Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 Nocticron, and shooting at f/2.8 just seems so slow. Which is the main … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Maniac: Shoot TeleFlorals
One of the ultimate compliments for a photo is when it makes someone just blurt out a one syllable word or sound. "Wow", "ooh", "awww", "damn", "whoa", "spoon"... you get the idea. The measure of a photo's success isn't if it followed all the "rules", it's whether it makes the viewer feel something. If you get a spontaneous exclamation out of your viewer, they have felt something! If you aren't getting these "blurts" about your work, using these concepts and techniques will make an instant impact on your creative process for … [Read more...] about Are Your Photos Getting the “Blurts”?
Usually, my articles have a lighthearted note, full of photography wit and wisdom (bite your tongue, let me cling to my illusion.) But, I’m going to get a little serious in this one. I am a firm believer that to be a better nature photographer, you have to be a better naturalist - a continuous student and passionate observer of the natural world and all its creatures. To do so requires a core code of ethics; there are lines that you just do not cross in pursuit of your nature pictures. With wildlife, it is very tempting to try to get closer … [Read more...] about Photographing Wildlife Up Close… the Right Way
Tamron redefines the fast telephoto zoom category with the introduction of the next generation 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom and introduces a compact, high-performance 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 di ii vc hld ultra-wide angle zoom with vibration compensation. February 6, 2017, Commack, NY- Tamron, a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the launch of two new lenses--SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A025) and 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD (Model B023). The SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 The SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 is a … [Read more...] about Tamron Announces Two New Promising Lenses
Hasselblad has made some of the finest cameras since the 1950's, and their newest camera looks like it fits with their reputation for quality and simplicity. The recently announced X1D stands out from all other medium format cameras because it is mirrorless and includes all the latest technology treats I've come to rely upon. Today I got my hands on it at Pro Photo Supply in Portland, OR, and I'm ready to share my initial impressions. You can check out all the specs here, so I'll tell you about the stuff you don't get reading the brochures. To … [Read more...] about First Impressions: Hasselblad’s Mirrorless X1D
Anytime there is good light, I try to make a portrait. It keeps me sharp, and it’s fun. I often approach strangers when there’s good light and say, “Hi, I’m practicing my photography, and there’s some great light right here, would you help me make a portrait?” I’ve met hundreds of wonderful people this way, and made some fun pictures, too. Great light with a great subject makes it easy to make a great picture. But getting a great background can make all the difference in the world. Let me show you how to get a good background almost anywhere … [Read more...] about Simplest Way to Get a Great Background Anywhere
Birding is one of the most popular hobbies in the world (almost as popular as photography), and when I was a park ranger I learned two tips from birders which help me be more efficient using my telephoto lenses. I use these tips every time I use a long lens, whether I’m photographing birds, sports, or flowers. Look then Lift Birders use this technique to help them find a subject with binoculars. The trouble is, it's easy to lose the bird's position when switching from the wide view of your eyes to the much tighter view in binoculars--which … [Read more...] about Tips for Using Telephoto Lenses
Melissa Niu of Photofocus and Chase Reynolds of LensRentals.com talk with commercial photographer Joe McNally about what he would consider an overkill camera, even if it's the right camera for the job. https://youtu.be/HXqh0IjHSLg Brought to you by LensRentals - http://bit.ly/pflensrentals SongFreedom - http://bit.ly/songfreedom Photofocus - https://photofocus.com About Joe McNally Joe McNally is an internationally acclaimed photographer whose career has spanned 30 years and included assignments in over 50 countries. He has shot … [Read more...] about Overkill Cameras and the Right Camera for the Job | Joe McNally – What’s in Your Bag
Melissa Niu of Photofocus and Chase Reynolds of LensRentals.com talk with commercial photographer Joe McNally about his essential camera kit built out with Nikon gear. https://youtu.be/XzV1NFmBAT8 Brought to you by LensRentals - http://bit.ly/pflensrentals SongFreedom - http://bit.ly/songfreedom Photofocus - https://photofocus.com About Joe McNally Joe McNally is an internationally acclaimed photographer whose career has spanned 30 years and included assignments in over 50 countries. He has shot cover stories for TIME, Newsweek, … [Read more...] about The Essential Kit | Joe McNally – What’s in Your Bag
Join Melissa Niu of Photofocus, Chase Reynolds from LensRentals.com and commercial photographer Glyn Dewis as they talk about Glyns search for the perfect camera system. Glyn made the switch from Nikon to Canon in search of a camera thats fit for purpose. https://youtu.be/F1TQ-g7wzng Gear Discussed Canon 70-200mm f2.8 - http://bit.ly/1ugV8n2 Canon 5D Mark III - http://bit.ly/1ugVWs8 Fuji X-T1 - http://bit.ly/1ugVYAh Brought to you by LensRentals - http://bit.ly/pflensrentals SongFreedom - http://bit.ly/songfreedom Photofocus - … [Read more...] about Choosing a Camera that’s Fit for Purpose | Glyn Dewis – What’s in Your Bag
Join Melissa Niu of Photofocus, Chase Reynolds from LensRentals.com and commercial photographer Glyn Dewis as they talk about using different cameras for different reasons. Glyn also talks about how important his cell phone is to his photography. https://youtu.be/pk8ADInjYb8 Gear Discussed Canon 70-200mm f2.8 - http://bit.ly/1ugV8n2 Canon 5D Mark III - http://bit.ly/1ugVWs8 Canon 24-70mm f2.8 - http://bit.ly/1ugVRVk Brought to you by LensRentals - http://bit.ly/pflensrentals SongFreedom - http://bit.ly/songfreedom Photofocus - … [Read more...] about Cameras Aren’t One-Size-Fits-All | Glyn Dewis – What’s in Your Bag
I've starting taking on more assignments for inside Lacrosse magazine and for the Florida Launch Lacrosse team. After shooting two games with a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens, I wanted to see if a new lens would make a difference. The go to lens for sports photographers is a fixed 400mm f/2.8 lens. The cost...a commitment of $12,000.00. Pretty steep. Before I decide between the lens or a full year of college for my son, I called our good friend Chase from Lens Rentals. As luck would have it, one was available on our two day short notice. The cost, … [Read more...] about Try before you buy saved me $12,000.00
The Olympus M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens with its 1.4x teleconverter has helped me make a bunch of good pictures and allowed me to do a good job for my clients. Over the last few months, I've used it to shoot a variety of subjects from wild horses to aerial photos to portraits to college graduation. I'd like to show you how it performed for me, and make an argument for why you will never need to buy a $12,000 lens. Let's start with the horses. This Lens Will Tame Wild Horses The thing about these horses is they are fairly tame (people … [Read more...] about Super-Telephoto Killer: Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro Hands-on Review
The trouble with photographing eyeglasses is that they're made of glass, which is generally pretty reflective and reflections of my flashes may obscure the eyes behind the glass, and if we can't see a person's eyes we might as well not make a picture. I was pretty intimidated by this when I was a new photographer. Tips I'd read for beating the problem included tipping the glasses on the face, removing the lenses, and taking a shot without the glasses and blending it with the glasses in Photoshop. As a guy who wore glasses, the idea of removing … [Read more...] about There’s Just 1 Trick to Photographing Glasses