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DAILY SEARCHES

  • DJI is at it again!

     

     

    DJI has announced the new Osmo Pocket, the world’s smallest 3-axis stabilized camera designed for the masses.
    • Small enough to fit in your pocket while still shooting high-quality photos and videos.
    • Roughly 4 inches tall
    • 1/2.3-inch sensor
    • 12-megapixel photos
    • 4K videos at up to 60fps and 100Mbps.
    • State-of-the-art three-axis mechanical gimbal

  • Fujifilm Releases New Medium Format Camera

    After may rumors and speculation circulated around the virtual photography water coolers, FujiFilm announced at 9:00 a.m. that they have released a new medium format camera.

    Already on the market is their GFXS, and released today is the GFXR.  Both are a staggering 51.4 million pixels.

    We wanted to look at the notable differences and the biggest thing we noted was the price.  Coming in at $4,499.95, she is less expensive than her sister the

    GFXS who is priced currently at B&H for $5,849.00

    Additionally, the GFXR also has Bluetooth compatibility, so that the photographer can pair with their smartphone or tablet to transfer images.  This is different from the wifi capabilities of the other FujiFilm models.

    Other notable differences is a lighter and thinner body.

    If you’re in the market for a medium format camera, this just might be the option for you!

  • Deconstructing Success: How Ansel Adams became Ansel Adams

    While culture praises and promotes quick success, 4 hour work weeks, and instant gratification, most of us are keenly aware from life lessons that success rarely comes without hard work, persistence and laser sharp focus.

    Looking at the ‘Father Of Photography’, it’s interesting to step back and join him in the 1920’s long before he became Ansel Adams, and simply was young Ansel. Born in 1902 with a grandfather who was  a wealthy timber baron, Ansel grew up in a life of privilege for the first 5 years of his life.  In 1907 the entire family fortune would collapse. In his early days as a young adult, we would have found him studying and intent on the piano being his primary occupation.

    Young Ansel had trouble fitting in at school.  He was naturally shy, and could possibly suffered from dyslexia.  As a result, he was then tutored at home by his father and his aunt.   Early on Ansel took solace in his love for nature and long walks alone.

    It was only when he first experienced the beauty of Yosemite Sierra that he picked up a camera that his parents had given him and began to photograph.    Something important shifted during those long days of exploration and they shy boy that could never quite fit in, started to become a man who found himself comfortably at home in the wilderness.

    At 17 years old he joined the Sierra Club and became a “keeper” of one of the lodges. Unknowingly to him, we can see that those years of networking within the Sierra club would be his first steps into his destiny as a world renowned photographer.  3 years after joining, he would have his photographs and writings published in the Sierra’s 1922 Bulletin.  6 years later he would have his first solo exhibition at the club’s headquarters.  At 25 years old and 5 years after his first  published achievement, he would meet a patron who would pave the way and financially support him in his becoming Ansel Adams.

    There’s a few important lessons that we can learn from his beginning and apply to our own lives:

    1. His love for nature came before his love of photography.

    I’ve had the opportunity to interview many big names in the nature photography community and I have noticed one key trait amount all of them:  Their love of nature.  Quite simply without passion it’s hard to sustain a desire to get out of bed while it’s still dark, or to sacrifice your mattress for the forest floor.  Passion for nature places you on trails and your curiosity keeps one foot moving in front of the other when the incline becomes steep.

    Ansel wouldn’t be Ansel Adams had not his love of nature been birthed.

     

    2. He placed himself in a situation to be and do what he loved. 

    His love for nature caused him to step out of his comfort zone by surrounding himself with like-minded people who shared a common passion for wilderness.

    There’s nothing more valuable and harder to fake than authenticity.  His commitment to be present, to help where help was needed, as long as he was able to be present in nature is what led to his natural promotion within the Sierra Club and ultimately a seat on the board of directors.

    Ansel wouldn’t be Ansel Adams had he not put himself in an uncomfortable position by putting himself out there.   Had he hid his photographs from his adventures in the mountains, or neglected to share them, he would have never been published.

     

    3. Passion is easy to promote.

    In 1927 Ansel would make his first “fully visualized photograph” (meaning he took a thoughtful approach to make an image based on knowledge of the gear and filters he had, combined with patiently waiting for the right light).  In addition that same year he would challenge himself physically by making his first High Trip. Pushing himself further both physically and creatively would cause him to become noticed by a patron who would be a significant figure in his artistic life and helping him to become who he was supposed to become.

    Ansel wouldn’t be Ansel Adams had he not pushed himself further both with his creativity and physically.  Fostering his intrinsic need for creativity and expression through prints caused him to push further, wonder and contemplate different ways of doing things.  Passion is easy to promote, but more importantly it’s contagious and something everyone wants to be around.

     

    Although there will never be another Ansel Adams, we can reflect back on his life and his early beginnings as a photographer to take away valuable lessons to inspire and challenge us to love and preserve nature, to capture the beauty of what we experience from our travels, and share our passion with others.

     

    I know I shall be castigated by a large group of people today, but I was trained to assume that art related to the elusive quality of beauty and that the purpose of art was concerned with the elevation of the spirit – Ansel Adams

     

     

     

  • The World’s Largest Camera Show Starts In 5 Days!

    In just 5 days the photographic world will flock to Cologne, Germany for Photokina 2018. Having attended Photokina in the past, we can tell you that it is an overwhelming experience of photographic fuel to fill your mind.

    This has been a huge year in the industry where the “traditional” camera brands, Nikon and Canon entered into the mirrorless market. In addition, mirrorless veteran, FujiFilm just announced their new flagship piece the X-T3.

    We are anticipating and watching to see if Fujifilm will release a speculated new GFX camera that is more compact and less expensive than the GFX50S.

    Rumor also has it that Panasonic could break away from their Micro Four Thirds systems and enter into the full frame market with a brand new camera.  Exciting news for Panasonic lovers!

    The most surprising rumor that we heard was that Zeiss may announce a mirrorless system.  We would be shocked to see them enter the camera body market, but with their name, why not.  Anything could happen…  They may be releasing a 100mm 1.4 lens and a 40mm f/2 CF FE lens.

    We are however anxious to see the surprises that come from the show and are released to the public.

    Historically the show has been held in the fall every other year, but starting in May of 2019 the show will be held annually for four days.

    Until the show starts we will all sit and anticipate the fun new gear that’s coming our way!

  • Wildlife Photography That Will Make You Smile

    With the east coast being pelted right now, Hawaii needing to evade hurricanes and all the storms, I think we could all use a little light-hearted humor today.

    In walks the Born Free Foundations photography contest called “Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards”.

    Thousands of photos had been submitted, but there are currently only 41 finalists.  The top prize of Overall Winner will be announced in November and will receive a trophy and a one week photographic safari for them and a friend in Kenya’s Maasi Mara game reserve.

    Two tongue – twisting moose

     

    ‘Stop me if I’m boring you’ – an owl yawns

     

    ‘Not tonight darling, I’ve got a headache’

     

     

    A ninja squirrel rehearses some moves.

     

    Two deer argue over who’s the tallest

     

    It takes two komodo dragons to tango

     

     

  • Fujifilm Releases the X-T3!

    New X-T3 introduces all-new back-illuminated 26MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 processor; World’s first APS-C mirrorless camera capable of 4K/60P 10bit recording

     

    Valhalla, N.Y., September 6, 2018 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today unveiled the new FUJIFILM X-T3, launching the X Series mirrorless digital cameras into its fourth generation. Introducing an all-new back-illuminated 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 processor, the X-T3 delivers superb image quality, dramatically improved AF performance, exceptional tracking performance of fast-moving subjects and blackout-free burst shooting. The X-T3 is also the first APS-C mirrorless camera capable of 4K/60P 10bit recording to meet the needs of professional videographers.

    “We are proud to introduce the new X-T3 to market as not only the latest addition to our X Series mirrorless lineup of digital cameras, but as an introduction to fourth generation technologies that feature substantial performance enhancements over previous models, delivering high AF performance, superb color reproduction and outstanding image quality to  photographers and videographers alike,“ said Yuji Igarashi, General Manager of the Electronic Imaging Division and Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM North America Corporation.

    Fourth Generation X-Trans CMOS 4 and X-Processor 4 for Improved Resolving Performance, Color Reproducibility, and Faster Processing

    Featuring the latest, fourth generation 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 APS-C sensor with no optical low-pass filter, the FUJIFILM X-T3 boasts the highest performance in the history of X Series. Utilizing the unique color filter array of X-Trans CMOS sensors to control moiré and false colors, it is the first APS-C back-illuminated structure sensor with phase detection pixels distributed across the surface to improve image resolution without compromising signal to noise ratio. With the X-T3, ISO160 is now part of the standard ISO range, previously this was only available as extended ISO, perfect for use in bright scenes or when trying to shoot wide open with a fast, large-aperture lens.

    The new X-T3 debuts the X-Processor 4 processor which features a Quad Core CPU to achieve a processing speed 3 times faster than current X Series models. Providing incredible AF accuracy and speed, the processor is also the first to deliver 4K/60P 10bit output, fulfilling the performance needs of professional videographers. It is also capable of implementing complex image processing tasks in an instant, such as the unique FUJIFILM Color Chrome Effect or Monochrome Adjustment function.

    The new FUJIFILM X-T3 features the Color Chrome Effect, previously limited to the FUJIFILM GFX 50S medium format mirrorless digital camera, which produces enhanced color gradation in highly saturated colors such as vivid-colored flowers with shadows, a notoriously difficult subject to reproduce. With the high-speed processing power of the X-Processor 4, this effect can be applied not only to a single shot but also during continuous shooting.

    Exceptional Autofocus and Viewfinder Performance

    With the X-T3, AF performance receives a dramatic improvement from previous X Series products, increasing the phase detection AF area to the entire frame with 2.16M phase detection pixels providing fast and accurate phase detection AF. The low-light phase detection AF limit has been increased over the X-T2 by 2 stops, from -1EV to -3EV, making it possible for photographers to accurately focus in low light conditions, perfect for night photography.

    Furthermore, the X-Processor 4’s high processing speed and excellent phase detection algorithm means the camera refocuses (AF) and meters (AE) 1.5 times more frequently than the X-T2, enabling accurate autofocus even when photographing subjects that change speed and move erratically across the frame, such as sports photography. The performance of Face Detection AF has also been improved. Eye Detection AF now supports the AF-C mode to maintain accurate focus tracking. Face and Eye Detection AF is also available during video recording to achieve smooth filming of subjects.

    The X-T3 offers photographers incredible viewfinder performance, with the ability to now track a moving subject in the 3.69-million-dot high resolution EVF with a magnification ratio of 0.75x. Further the X-T3, allows continuous shooting of 11fps with the mechanical shutter without the optional vertical battery grip, enabling fast continuous shooting while maintaining a low weight.

    Additional enhancements to the X-T3 include a display time lag of just 0.005 seconds and a EVF refresh rate of 100fps for smooth display of moving subject or when panning the camera. A new sports finder mode for enhanced capture of moving subjects is especially useful for sports and wildlife photography, and a new pre-shoot function, which allows photographers to start shooting as soon as the shutter button is half-pressed to ensure the moment is never missed.

     

    Enhanced Video Performance to Meet the Needs of Professionals

    The X-T3 is the first mirrorless digital camera capable of internal SD card 4K/60P 4:2:0 10bit recording and the first mirrorless digital camera with APS-C or larger sensor that is capable of 4K/60P 4:2:2 10bit HDMI output. Supported video formats include the widely-used H.264/MPEG-4 AVC as well as H.265/HEVC for greater data compression, which enables internal recording of 4K/60P 4:2:0 10bit at200Mbps bitrate as well as simultaneous HDMI output. The X-T3 sensor’s read speed has been increased from that of the X-T2, enabling17msec reading in 4K/60P video, reducing rolling shutter distortion for smooth recording of fast-moving subjects. 10bit color depth for video boosts the amount of color information 64 times compared to 8bit, and is combined with approximately. 12 stops dynamic range to enable capture of subjects with rich gradation of color.

    Also introduced in the X-T3 is a new noise reduction algorithm and 4K inter-frame noise reduction, the minimum sensitivity for shooting F-Log footage has been lowered from ISO800 to ISO640, further enhancing the camera’s performance to meet the needs of videographers.

    Designed for Ultimate Operability

    Inheriting the popular design of the X-T2, dials are positioned on the top panel, and the camera features a central viewfinder and excellent grip design for stability and comfort. The X-T3 also incorporates enhancements to its design, including a lockable EVF diopter adjustment to prevent unintended adjustments while carrying the camera, and a touchscreen panel with higher contrast, wider viewing angles and better functionality for more intuitive operation. In addition, the X-T3 offers larger top-panel dials than the X-T2, and larger rear-panel buttons and a more pronounced press function of the front and rear command dials, as found on the X-H1.

    X-T3 Vertical Battery Grip

    The Vertical Battery Grip VG-XT3 is designed to be dust-resistant, weather-resistant and capable of operating at temperatures as low as -10°C/14° F, and holds two additional batteries to increase the maximum number of shots to 1,100 (in normal mode). The grip features a shutter release button, focus lever, AE-L button, AF-L button, front and rear command dials, Q button and Fn button to provide the same level of excellent operability with vertical shooting as with horizontal.

     

    X-T3 Metal Hand Grip

    The MHG-XT3 Metal Hand Grip makes it substantially more comfortable to hold the camera when it is mounted with a large-aperture lens, in order to reduce camera shake. The battery or SD cards can be replaced without having to remove the hand grip, and the base can be used as a quick release shoe when using a dovetail mount on a tripod.

     

    FUJIFILM X-T3 Key Features:

    • 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 Sensor with primary color filter
    • X-Processor 4 Image Processing Engine

    o   Capable of 4K/60P and 10bit output

    o   Features 4 CPU units

    o   Startup time of 0.3 seconds

    o   Shutter time lag of 0.045 seconds

    • High-precision, 0.5-inch, 3.69 million dot OLED color viewfinder

    o   Viewfinder magnification of 0.75x

    o   Wide viewing angle (diagonal 38º and horizontal 30º)

    o   Display time lag of just 0.005 seconds, refresh rate of approx. 100fps

    • Robust magnesium alloy body
    • Continuous Shooting

    o   Approx. 30fps [Only electronic shutter, 1.25 x Crop ] (JPEG: 60 frames Lossless compression RAW: 35 frames Uncompressed RAW: 33 frames)

    o   Approx. 11fps (JPEG: 145 frames Lossless compression RAW: 42 frames Uncompressed RAW: 36 frames)

    o   Approx. 5.7fps (JPEG: endless Lossless Compression RAW: 62 frames Uncompressed RAW: 43 frames)

    o   Pre-shot: Approx. 30fps [Only electronic shutter, 1.25 x Crop ] (max. 20 frames while half press, max. 20 frames after full press, total max. 40 frames)

    • Movie Recording (using a card with the UHS Speed Class 3 or higher)

    o   File format

    • MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, HEVC/H.265, Audio: Linear PCM / Stereo sound 24bit / 48KHz sampling)

    o   Movie compression

    • All Intra/Long-GOP, can be used with the following settings:
    • DCI4K/4K 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 400Mbps
    • Full HD(2048×1080)/Full HD(1920×1080) 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 200Mbps

    o   File size/ Frame Rate/ Recording Time

    • [DCI 4K(4096×2160)] 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p  400Mbps/200Mbps/100Mbps 59.94p/50p: up to approx. 20min. 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p: up to approx. 30min
    • [4K(3840×2160)]59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p
    • 400Mbps/200Mbps/100Mbps 59.94p/50p: up to approx. 20min. 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p: up to approx. 30min
    • [Full HD(2048 ×1080)] 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p  200Mbps/100Mbps/50Mbps up to approx. 30min.
    • [Full HD(1920×1080)] 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 200Mbps/100Mbps/50Mbps up to approx. 30min.
    • [Full HD(1920×1080) High speed rec.] 120p/100p 200Mbps (recording) up to approx. 6min.
    • Recording movies in 400Mbps can be done with DCI4K/4K 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p.
    • DCI4K 59.94p/50p is not available when H.264 is selected.
    • For recording movies, use a SD memory card with UHS Speed Class 3 or higher. For recording movies in 400Mbps, use a SD memory card with   Video Speed Class 60 or higher
    • LCD Monitor

    o   3.0 inch, aspect ratio 3:2, approx. 1.04 million dots touch screen color LCD monitor (approx. 100% coverage)

    • 16 Film Simulation Modes

    o   PROVIA/Standard, Velvia/Vivid, ASTIA/Soft, Classic Chrome, PRO Neg. Hi, PRO Neg. Std, Black & White, Black & White +Ye Filter, Black & White +R Filter, Black & White +G Filter, Sepia, ACROS, ACROS +Ye Filter, ACROS+R Filter, ACROS+G Filter, ETERNA/Cinema), B & W Adjustment: -9~+9

    • Bluetooth® Ver. 4.2 low energy technology
    • 16 Film Simulation Modes
    • Accessories included:

    o   Li-ion battery NP-W126S

    o   Battery charger BC-W126S

    o   Shoe-mount flash unit EF-X8

    o   Shoulder strap

    o   Body cap

    o   Strap clip

    o   Protective cover

    o   Clip attaching tool

    o   Hot shoe cover

    o   Vertical battery grip connector cover

    o   Connector cover (detachable)

    o   Sync terminal cover

    o   Cable protector

    o   Owner’s manual

     

    FUJIFILM X-T3 Accessories:

    • X-T3 Vertical Power Booster Grip VG-XT3

    o   Weather-resistant design fits two additional batteries

    • X-T3 Metal Hand Grip MHG-XT3

    o   Enhanced ergonomic design for horizontal shooting

    • X-T3 Bottom Leather Case BLC-XT3

    o   Genuine premium leather

    • X-T3 Cover Kit CVR-XT3 includes:

    o   Sync terminal cover

    o   Hot shoe cover

    o   Connector cover

    o   Vertical battery grip connector cover, black

    o   Vertical battery grip connector cover, silver

    • FUJIFILM Remote Release RR-100
    • Battery Charger BC-W126S

    Availability and Pricing

    The X-T3 will be available on September 20, 2018 in the U.S. and Canada. The X-T3 Body will be available in black and silver for USD $1,499.95 and CAD $1,899.99. The X-T3 Body with XF18-55mm Lens Kit will be available in black and silver for USD $1,899.95 and CAD $2,399.99.

     

  • Arsenal: An AI-powered camera hardware

    Intelligent camera assistant wirelessly controls DSLR and Mirrorless cameras from a smartphone, uses machine learning to find optimal settings in any conditions.

    BOZEMAN, MT—May 23, 2017— Arsenal, a camera technology startup, today announced the world’s first intelligent camera assistant powered by machine learning. The new hardware and software product, launched on Kickstarter, enables photographers to wirelessly control their cameras and quickly perform advanced techniques.

    Arsenal’s artificial intelligence (AI) is powered by a series of machine learning algorithms trained on a database of millions of photographs and their metadata. By comparing new scenes with its database and adjusting based on environmental variables, Arsenal enables photographers to get the perfect shot every time.

    “Today’s cameras have amazing optics, but they do very little to actually help you take a good photo,” said Ryan Stout, Arsenal’s founder and CEO. “You can go spend a thousand dollars and out-of-the-box it will take worse photos than your smartphone. Arsenal changes that by making your existing camera smarter.”

    Arsenal will serve the growing market for Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) and Mirrorless cameras. Its initial product will be compatible with dozens of popular models made by Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fuji.

    In addition to its AI capabilities, Arsenal gives photographers control over their camera from up to 100 feet away. Users can adjust settings, watch a live preview, and trigger the shutter remotely from their smartphone.

    Arsenal also simplifies several advanced photographic techniques. Arsenal will perform photo stacking (the process of combining multiple photos for more dynamic range or sharper focus), long exposures, and timelapses. In each case, the resulting RAW files are saved directly on the camera.

    The Arsenal app also includes powerful photo review capabilities. Users can wirelessly browse the photos on their camera’s card and view individual RAW files in full resolution. Photos can then be shared directly to Instagram, Snap, and Facebook.

    The Arsenal system, which is currently being tested in the field, consists of two parts: an ultralight hardware device that sits on top of a user’s camera, and an iOS/Android mobile app. The app wirelessly communicates with the device via wifi or Bluetooth, which in turn controls the camera via a micro-USB connection.

  • Photographers: Those Who Draw With Light

    The word photography was first used in the 1830’s. It is derived from two Greek words, photos (“light”) and graphein (“to draw”).

    To draw with light.

    It’s a beautiful summary of what we do.  When I discovered the original meaning, something deep within stirred.

    Today we live in an oversaturated photographic space.  As I write this, kids are heading back to school and my social media is filled with cute children equipped with backpacks and books.

    I then looked at my Instagram account and saw saturated image, after saturated image.  I had to ask myself: Have I become desensitized to photography?  Do I require florescent sunsets and vibrant flowers in the foreground to stimulate and inspire me?

    I was then led to this personal reflection:  What if photography didn’t exist?

    Social media would be boring.  If photography didn’t exist, we could rule out video.  A larger dependency and reliance would be given to the written word.

    It’s hard to imagine a world where something so entrenched in our culture doesn’t exist.

    Somewhere between the space of oversaturated stimuli and baulking at the thought of it not existing, is a place where I am reconciling why photography matters.

    Recently I began blogging.  I write personal reflections about life, faith and family.  My photography is used to support my written words.  I’ve noticed that I can be granted a few moments of someone attention when I intertwine my words with an image I’ve created.

    Keith photographed the approach of Hurricane Irma in 2017.  His image, Irma’s Approach went viral and sold numerous prints.   People’s relatability and emotional connection to the storm they personally experienced caused them to bond with his piece.

    As people who “draw with light”, we are more than documenters of moments (although that is exactly what each mother did before they sent their children off to school).   The time invested to learn the art, the financial requirements for gear, travel and education are all proof that there is a deeper need for self expression and enjoyment in the art of creating, drawing with light.

    There’s no single piece of art that has touched each eye that has viewed it.  The beauty of art is that it’s subjective.  Created first from something deep within the artist, and then appreciated by those who it speaks to.

    Your photography will speak to those it is meant for.  At it’s source though it’s a personal expression of your experience, a journal of your travels, and your interpretation of a moment.

    And at the end of the day, when the contest winners have been chosen, the gallery has selected their artists they want to feature, the prints have been packed up from the art festival, or you take account of the numbers of like on social media, the question that should be last on your lips are these:

    1. Did I enjoy the process of creating this piece
    2. Am I happy with what I have created and is it my best.
    3. What does this piece say to me and how can I share it with others?

    Of course not every image you capture will be able to have these questions answered in the affirmative, but every once in a while, everything will line up in the field, your processing will flow, you’ll create magic, and you’ll know that the piece will become a benchmark of your life.

    Dear artist, don’t stop drawing with light.

  • Astro Photographer of the Year – 2018 Shortlist

    Celebrating 10 years of Astro Photography, the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year the Royal Observatory Greenwich in London seeks out and awards who they consider are the best astro photographers who capture the wonders of the night sky.

    The competition announced their shortlisted contestants for this year’s competition and we are amazed!

    As photographers we understand how expensive the art of photography can be.  When you enter into Astro Photography and Deep Space, the budget can quickly be broken, leaving our spouses with concerned, partially agitated looks on their faces.

    Interestingly enough, one of the shortlisted images was captured by a photographer named Casper Kentish who made the list with his photo of the moon that shockingly was captured with an iPad.

    Here are a few of the short listed winners…

     

    Photogrpaher:  Peter Ward

    “The brightness of the solar corona hides details of the Moon to human eyes during a total solar eclipse. But, by layering multiple digital exposures, in this case from two seconds to 1/2000th of a second, much more can be revealed. In doing so, eXtreme High Dynamic Range photography (XHDR) shows not only the brilliant solar corona, but the newest possible of new moons, seen here illuminated by sunlight reflecting off the Earth”.

     

    Image Credits:  Mark Hanson, Warren Keller, Steve Mazlin, Rex Parker, Tommy Tse, David Plesko, Pete Proulx

    “These spectacular reflection nebulae in Corona Australis exhibit the characteristic blue colour produced by the light of hot stars reflected by silica-based, cosmic dust. The data was acquired by Star Shadows Remote Observatory at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory’s PROMPT2, using LRGB (luminance, red, green, blue) filters. The data was prepared in CCDStack and post-processed in Photoshop and PixInsight by Mark Hanson. While the whole of Corona Australis is a gorgeous region, the cores of NGC 6726 and NGC 6727 are rarely seen at this amazing resolution. We feel that this is one of the most stunning regions of the southern sky, which leaves us with mouths agape!”

    Image Credit:  Łukasz Sujka

    “These spectacular reflection nebulae in Corona Australis exhibit the characteristic blue colour produced by the light of hot stars reflected by silica-based, cosmic dust. The data was acquired by Star Shadows Remote Observatory at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory’s PROMPT2, using LRGB (luminance, red, green, blue) filters. The data was prepared in CCDStack and post-processed in Photoshop and PixInsight by Mark Hanson. While the whole of Corona Australis is a gorgeous region, the cores of NGC 6726 and NGC 6727 are rarely seen at this amazing resolution. We feel that this is one of the most stunning regions of the southern sky, which leaves us with mouths agape!”

     

    Image Credit:  Carlos F. Turienzo

    “We had been travelling for 24 hours without sleeping to reach our destination before the one night where clear skies were forecasted ended. After reaching the hut and having a nice dinner, we climbed up to the cliff and waited for night-time to come. Unfortunately it came with a cloudy sky. We stood there being optimistic, knowing that all our efforts would be rewarded, and eventually the clouds disappeared and the magic happened: a beautiful Milky Way emerged over the mountains! It was amazing being there together enjoying the magnificent spectacle, truly a dream come true.”

    And our personal favorite and the one we are hoping wins…..

    Image Credit: © Miguel Angel García Borrella and Lluis Romero Ventura

    Image Title: Mosaic of the Great Orion & Running Man Nebula

    “The Orion Nebula, also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976, is a diffuse nebula situated in the Milky Way, south of Orion’s Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebulae and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,270 light years and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across and has a mass of about 2,000 times that of the Sun. This image is the result of the efforts of two astrophotographers, Miguel Angel García Borrella and Lluis Romero Ventura, who chose a common target of the Orion Sword area (one of the most beautiful areas of our night sky) using different equipment from their observatories, which are located hundreds of kilometres from each other”.

     

    You can see the complete list of shortlisted images along with signing up to hear more about next year’s contest and the 2018 winners when they are announced by visiting the Royal Museums Greenwich website.   Winners from the 2018 competition will be announced on 23 October.

  • Nikon Announces Development of Next Generation Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera and NIKKOR Lenses

    Melville, NY – Nikon Inc. is pleased to announce the development of a next-generation full-frame (Nikon FX-format) mirrorless camera and NIKKOR lenses featuring a new mount.

    Check out the promo video 👆🏻

    The new mirrorless camera and NIKKOR lenses that are in development will enable a new dimension in optical performance with the adoption of a new mount. The system is the result of Nikon’s unsurpassed optical and manufacturing capabilities gained through more than a century of imaging expertise. Proven reliability and trusted performance are core traits of Nikon Digital-SLRs, and decades of feedback from professional creators around the world has further contributed to the development of this system.

    Through the development of this new mirrorless camera, Nikon reaffirms our commitment to providing photographers with the ability to capture images that are richer and more vivid than ever before.

    Additionally, an F-Mount adapter is being developed that will enable the use of a wide variety of F-Mount NIKKOR lenses with the new camera.

    Nikon will continue to lead imaging innovation with the launch of the new mirrorless camera and the continued development of Nikon Digital-SLR cameras as well as the impressive NIKKOR lens lineup. Soon, Nikon users will have two industry-leading camera systems to choose from, giving consumers the choice to enjoy the unique values that each system offers.

    Content relating to this product is available for viewing at the following URL: http://www.nikonusa.com/mirrorlessiscoming. Please stay tuned for more information.

    Details, including the release date and suggested retail prices, will be shared at a later date.

     

  • 2018 IPPAwards – Landscape

    If you’re unfamiliar with the IPPAwards, don’t be surprised.  So were we.  Surprisingly, the IPPAwards have been around for over 10 years.  So what is it?

    The iPhone Photography Awards

    Recently the 2018 winners for the Landscape division were released and we were eager to see what the judges found to be the best.

    Below is a recap with full credit to the iPPAwards and the photographers who entered the contest.

    Charles Thomas

    United States

    1st Place – Landscape

    Human vs. Nature
    “I’ve always been fascinated with the view out of an airplane window. On this afternoon, I was lucky enough to get a window seat on a return trip from Las Vegas. I watched the landscape slowly transform from cityscape to rows of identical suburban houses, to surreal desert- scape.”

    Location: Between Nevada and Arizona
    Shot on iPhone 8 Plus

     

    Asuman Robson

    Turkey

    2nd Place – Landscape

    At Sycamore Gap
    “Taken on a hike along Hadrian’s Wall in the North East of England. It was a typical moody day and I liked how the tree and hikers looked in front of the clouds in this dramatic dip of the Roman wall.”

    Location: Northumberland, UK
    Shot on iPhone 7

     

    Naian Feng

    China

    3rd Place – Landscape

    The Kerid
    “This is a photo of Kerid mount in southern Iceland. Kerid is a dead volcano and in the middle there is a blue volcanic lake. I took this photo during winter when the lake was frozen. The black spots on the surface of the lake are tourists.”

    Location: Kerid, Iceland
    Shot on iPhone X

     

    If you’d like to enter the 12th Annual iPhone Photography Awards, you have until the deadline, March 31, 2019 to enter.

    To enter go here: 2019 iPPAwards

  • Just a girl with an iPhone…

    Have we officially arrived in the future?  Are we now at a place where we can disregard our expensive, heavy DSLR’s for something as compact as a smart phone?

    From the millennial to the baby boomer, folks are trading in the weight of heavy “traditional” DSLR’s for mirrorless cameras and have been for a number of years.  Are we now in a place where smart phones are becoming a standard in photography?

    Last September Time Magazine published an image on their cover that had been captured with an iPhone.

    In her post titled “How we created Time Magazine’s First iPhone Portfolio“, Kira Pollack states this:

    “Last summer, I came across the work of a young Brazilian photographer named Luisa Dörr while I was browsing Instagram. I had never heard of her, but with all great photographs, it’s the image that captivates me, not the name of the photographer.” 

    Pollack goes on to state that she became captivated with the Instagram feed and the consistency of the images the feed contained.

    As a result, Pollack hired the Instagrammer to photograph women such as Oprah, Hillary Clinton, Aretha Franklin, Serena WIlliams and many others.  All of these names have been photographed by the best in the industry, and yet they chose a young girl with an iphone for this large task.

    Luisa Dorr, left, shoots Oprah Winfrey on her iPhone in Los Angeles, Oct. 2016.

    Luisa Dorr, left, shoots Oprah Winfrey on her iPhone in Los Angeles, Oct. 2016.

     

    “As Luisa told me in our interview, which you can read here, many of them were disarmed by her stripped-down, bare-bones process. The iPhone has become so ubiquitous in our culture, so essential to the way we are communicating, that our subjects, I think, were at first surprised that something so basic was being used for something as singular as a portrait for TIME. But such a universal tool in fact became a refreshing and equalizing force for each session. It enabled the shoots to be much more about the “act” of portrait-making—the gestures, the eyes, what even the most subtle body language can reveal about a person.”  – Kira Pollack 

    Although most of us won’t be willing to set down our DSLR’s for strictly an iphone, it’s a challenge to all of us.  For many of us, each piece of gear we carry in our bags is beloved.  We know the lenses intimately.  We have spent time with them and we know their limitations and the places where they can come to life.

    Ms. Pollack, her position with Time Magazine and her willingness to identify a young girl with an iPhone and to engage her to create 12 cover photos for her magazine, should encourage all of us to use the tools we have.   Rather than chasing, striving for new gear, let’s instead focus on our artistic abilities, dig deep into our passion of the art itself and see what can be created.

    As with all artists, it’s easy for us to get distracted.  I’m sure Luisa Dorr never imagined that she would get a call from Time Magazine. She was staying in her lane, consistently making work that stemmed from her heart, and was committed to doing what she loved.  When that diligence and passion is done consistently over a period of time, creation does evolve and with the creation, growth that you could never imagine.

  • 3 Tips For Staying Active With Your Photography When You Can’t Travel

    Inspiration is life to any artist.  It can also be your worst enemy.  If we full rely on only creating our art when we are inspired, we’ll find that one thing happens:  We don’t create.  In fact, the same is true with romantic relationships.  Contrary to popular Hollywood opinion, you are never in the rapture of euphoria 100% of the time.  For those of you who have been married for a few years, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

    There’s a place where practicing the discipline of your art must come to be a priority in your creative practices.  

    This has never been more true of staying inspired while staying close to home.  Although Keith and I are fortunate enough to live in one of the higher rated locations for vacationers, it’s easy to take Charleston and her surrounding lowcountry for granted.  Do not be fooled:  Even Charleston can become commonplace to someone who lives here.

    Below are three tips that we find helpful to keep things fresh, staying inspired, and maintaining consistency in your photography:

    1)  Create Margin to Create

    This is true of both your post processing, and your field work.  As mentioned above, if we only act when we’re inspired we will not only create less, but we will stunt the natural growth that occurs when we are routinely creating.  Make time to get out and explore, or learn a new technique in your post processing.

    Your photography is like a lake, 

    to be healthy, it must always have a source fresh water flowing in

    and an outlet where it can flow out. 

     

    2) Cultivate Curiosity

    I can personally attest to this truth:  Being intentional about curiosity is key to feeding your creativity.  A sure threat to your art is finding yourself in a place where you think you know everything, or worse yet, being unwilling to enter into a place of discovery.  This is true with your post processing.  It can be very easy to get into a rut doing the same “recipe” or using the same tools over and over, without asking “what does this image need”.

    The same is true with getting out and photographing where you live.

    Just this past spring, Keith and I entered into the dangerous place of thinking we knew all of Charleston and her surrounding areas.  Smugly we thought: “We’ve seen it all”.   It was only then that we found what we consider one of the most beautiful locations in Charleston for azaleas.   The truth that came from this:  Never underestimate where you live.

    Just because you don’t haven’t seen it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist

    3) Be Present

    When I was working in the Mortgage Industry, it was during the 2009 Refinance Boom.  The hours were long, the stress was high, and the only thing that allowed me to maintain some semblance of sanity was regularly scheduled explorations into nature.  I’d come home from the office, grab my dog, grab some food, and set out to hike, walk, or drive down old back roads.  It may be that I’d drive for 3 or 4 hours TRYING to get lost.   There I discovered fallen logs, dilapidated  tobacco barns, rusty trucks, and hidden rivers just waiting to be photographed in the light.

    When your desire to be surrounded by nature becomes your priority, amazing photography will always follow’

     

     

    *My deepest thanks to Mandy in our community for inspiring this post.  Although it may not have answered her questions, it provoked a lot of thought.  For that and the inspiration you gave me today Mandy, you have my deepest thanks.

  • Nik Is Back!!!

    Y’all! Nik is back!!   DxO, the company that purchased Nik from Google in 2017 announced just a couple of days ago that they have re-released the beloved software.

    The best news of all, is that the entire suite is now fully compatible with Lightroom and Photoshop.

    The Nik Collection 2018 by DxO is now fully functional and compatible with all 64-bit Windows and Mac platforms, as well as with Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, Photoshop CC 2018, and Photoshop Elements 2017/2018. In addition, DxO now provides support in four languages on its website (http://nikcollection.dxo.com/), which will soon include exclusive tutorials. The software suite update, including the seven plugins, is now available in 13 languages, and includes a free 30-day trial period.

    The Nik Collection 2018 by DxO is available for download on the DxO website (http://shop.dxo.com/us/photo-software/dxo-nikcollection) for $49.99 /

     

     

  • AI Is Already Changing The Way We Think About Photography

    AI is rapidly changing the way we think about photography. Just a couple of years from now, most advances in the photo space will be AI-centric, and not optics or sensor-centric as before. The advancement in photography technology will, for the first time ever, be untethered from physics, and will create a whole new way of thinking about photography. This is how it’s going to happen.

    Processing power

    Just six months ago we saw the first glimpse of AI entering our consumer world when Apple introduced A11 Bionic neural engine chip, which powers current generation of iPhones. The A11 is important because the chip is specifically designed for tasks such as image–and face–recognition, AR applications, etc. In applications like this, it’s way more effective.

    I then wrote that the Google Pixel line would introduce it’s own hardware chips, designed for specific tasks, and that indeed happened sooner than anyone—including me—expected, as the Pixel 2 featured dedicated image enhancement chip to help with image processing on the fly. What made it intriguing is that when Pixels were announced and shipped, there was no mention of the feature, and only sometime later did Google admit that the Pixels had a dedicated chip which would be “enabled” sometime in the future (if you own Pixel 2 today, this hardware feature is already enabled).

    Then came Chinese smartphone maker Huawei with the P20 Pro, featuring 4 cameras — 1 in front and 3 in the back. In addition to achieving the highest DxO Mark score to date, the Huawei P20 Pro is packed with AI features, such as real-time image scene recognition, meaning it can discern 500 scenarios in 19 categories, such as animals, landscapes, as well as an advanced night mode, where the AI assists in processing noisy photos, making them almost perfect. The Verge has great coverage with image samples to provide a good overview of this photo powerhouse.

    As the next generation of smartphone products are developed, many manufacturers are focused on image capture and real-time processing, partially because it’s a great marketing differentiator, but also because advances in this area are clearly visible to the consumer.

    Catering to the pros

    But in professional and semi-pro setting, there are several other developments that are key to image quality. First of all, is the processing part, that has to happen right after the photo has been taken. Advances in RAW processing have been steady and predictable (but yet, very welcome by everyone), but AI is ready to supercharge this process. Recently PetaPixel featured a research paper named “Learning to See in the Dark” by Chen Chen, Qifeng Chen, Jia Xu, and Vladlen Koltun, that covers techniques of recovery of extremely underexposed RAW files.

    For the consumer it means that AI-assisted software can create high-quality images way beyond the current physical limit — allowing smaller sensors (such as found in drones or mirrorless cameras) to leapfrog current top-end DSLR’s.

    In other applications, it might allow tiny security cameras to yield high-quality imagery, increasing overall surveillance.

    Photo optimization

    One intriguing technology I had a chance to see recently is AI-powered upscaling, far beyond in quality than what is currently available to the public. A team of AI developers at Skylum is putting finishing touches on technology that will allow smartphone images to be upscaled and printed at an incredibly high resolution and sharpness. As I’ve previously pointed out, not everyone has an iPhone X in their pocket — hundreds of millions of people today are buying brand new phones that use 4-year-old technology, so having sharper, crispier photos from outdated smartphone sensors will allow millions of people future-proof their precious moments.

    Thousands of kilometers from Skylum AI research lab is another startup, that stealthily applying quantum mechanics research to RAW files, is promising to compress your photos up to 10x without loss of data.

    A year ago Apple introduced HEIF, High Efficiency Image Format. If you use iPhone with iOS11 you are likely using HEIF without even knowing it. HEIF allows for higher quality images (compared to JPEG) at about half the size, allowing to keep twice as many photos as before. Dotphoton, a small startup from Switzerland, is aiming to up HEIF format and is focusing on the professional applications, from aerial footage to professional photographers.

    After a long technological hiatus in image tech, we are yet again seeing an explosion of interest in the space. Photography plays an important role in every tech company, but nowhere it is more important than in the smartphone race. And as September edges closer, Google and Apple will both be aiming to announce cutting-edge photography advances. Yet, an influx of smaller players are innovating at a rapid rate and raising the stakes for everyone.

     

     

    Via: Forbes, Writer: Evgeny Tchebotarev

  • Sony’s new mirrorless camera EVF is 60 percent sharper

    Sony has unveiled an OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) display with a resolution of 5.6 million dots and a record 6.3 micrometer dot pitch. That’s a significant boost over the 3.69 million dot EVF on its flagship A9 and A7R III mirrorless cameras. It also boasts a refresh rate of 240 fps, double that of the previous model. Once it starts shipping later this year, you can expect to see mirrorless cameras with much sharper and more responsive displays, further closing the gap on DSLRs with optical viewfinders.

    The displays, which have 1.6 times the resolution of the last model, will be used on “high-end cameras that demand extremely high image quality,” Sony said. You can also expect to see them on augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) headsets. The high refresh rate should be particularly helpful when shooting 4K video on mirrorless cameras, and will also reduce motion sickness and image artifacts in VR.

    Sony-manufactured EVFs are used on most other mirrorless cameras, including models from Fujifilm, Panasonic and others. So, the arrival of a crucial new component clearly designed for flagship cameras will no doubt set off speculation as to which models will get it and when.

    Sony’s A7S III video-centric camera is due to arrive soon, and given the ship date, reinforces rumors that it will first be shown at Photokina in Cologne, Germany this September. Nikon has also said that it’s making a full-frame mirrorless camera that could use the EVF, and it could also be unveiled at the same show. Other models from Fujifilm and Leica might come out around the same time, so it could be one of the most interesting Photokina shows in years.

    Via: Engadget and Steve Dent 

  • The best iPhone photography app just got a complete makeover

    One of the best original iPhone photography apps is about to make a comeback.

    Camera+ was one of our favorite camera apps in the early days of the iPhone thanks to its streamlined UI and unique features. Now the developers behind have given it a complete overhaul in time for the summer.

    Camera+2 is a complete rewrite of the original, making it better, faster and stronger than ever to take advantage of the iPhone X’s new camera features. Best of all, the developers are doing away with in-app purchases. Now you get everything you need to make your photos look amazing for just $1.99.

    So, what’s changed from the original? Pretty much everything. All of the camera features like Slow Shutter and manual shooting controls are still there. You get support for Portrait Mode now and can choose between using the wide or tele lens if your iPhone has a dual-lens camera.

    On the editing side everything has been streamlined. Camera+2 integrates your Photo Library with the Lightbox now so that you don’t have to import and export photos you want to edit. They’ve also added RAW photo capture and editing so you can push each pixel to the limit.

    Camera+2 is a universal app too so you get all the same features on your iPad too. It is set to launch on May 29th at $2.99, but you can pre-order it now for just $1.99 on the App Store.

     

    Via:  Cult of Mac

  • Fujifilm’s entry-level X-T100 brings classic style for $600

    Fujifilm has unveiled the X-T100, an interesting mirrorless camera that’s quite similar, spec-wise, to the entry-level X-A5, but looks more like the X-T20. It’s one of the few inexpensive mirrorless cameras out there with an electronic viewfinder, great for serious photographers on a budget. Unfortunately, it’s not as great for video, as Fujifilm crippled the 4K by limiting it to 15 fps.

    While X-T100 looks much like the X-T20, it lacks the front dial and a few other features from that model. Still, you get four dials for tactile control, along with the classic good looks and compact body you’d expect from Fujifilm (it comes in dark silver, black and a surprisingly nice-looking champagne gold, above). Unlike the X-A5, it has a 3-way articulating screen that you can flip around for selfies or vlogging.

    Other specs, which Fujifilm accidentally leaked all over the internet last week, look pretty nice. It’s got a 24.2-megapixel CMOS (not X-Trans) APS-C sensor that provides a wide field of view and works with Fujifilm’s lovely X mount Fujinon lenses. You also get 6 fps shooting for up to 26 frames, double the capacity of the X-A5. Most importantly, it comes with a 2.36-million dot resolution OLED EVF, a very nice feature to have on a relatively inexpensive camera.

    While you do get 1080p video at 60 fps, 4K (3,840 x 2,160) is limited to 15 fps, making me wonder why Fujifilm even bothered. You could use it to capture video at high speed to use for photos (à la Panasonic’s 4K Photofeature), or speed up the video to get an old-timey early-1900s look, I suppose.

    If you’re okay without 4K video, the X-T100 is a solid mirrorless camera for the price, slotting in between the X-A5 and X-trans sensor-equipped X-T20. It will arrive in the US and Europe on June 18th for $600, or $700 with a Fujinon XC15-45 F/3.5-5.6 kit lens. If you decide to order one, just don’t confuse it with Fujifilm’s very similarly-named X-100T compact APS-C model.

    Via: Steve Dent @ Engadget 

  • Really Right Stuff Tripods Has “THE BIG MOVE SALE”

    Y’all.  I’m not kidding.  This never happens.  The coveted, and very pricy American owned tripod company is hosting a huge moving sale.  They are relocating from California to Utah and as a result consumers are the winners in this case!  They are offering 30% off some products.  Apparently because they want less to move!  For the Rolls Royce of tripods to go on sale is a big deal.  If you were on the fence about any of the products that they have listed for sale, now is the time!

     

    FROM RRS:

    We are excited to announce the start of The Big Move Sale. From now until June 20, 2018 11:59PM PST, select gear is available at 30% off with promo code BIGMOVESALE30. Visit The Big Move Salesection for a complete list of sale items. 

    Note: As of June 11, 2018 – Please send all returns and repairs to the new RRS office at 720 S 850 East Lehi, Utah 84043, USA.

     

    Check out the sales page here:  RRS BIG MOVE SALE

  • DJI Unveils Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 Drone

    Los Angeles, CA—Fans of the iconic DJI Phantom drone can look forward to the release of its latest variation—the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 (P4P V2.0).

    Packed with the features of the P4P, the P4P V2.0 uses DJI’s OcuSync transmission technology, which was developed for high-resolution, low-latency digital video transmission. Moreover, the technology improves the flight experience by reducing propeller noise by up to 60%.

    DJI-Phantom-4-Pro-V20

    In addition, drone pilots who utilize the first-person-view experience for work or for play can now directly connect the P4P V2.0 with their DJI Goggles for a more immersive FPV flying experience.

    Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 Features

    Specs state the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 drone provides 30 minutes of flight time with a nearly 4.5-mile transmission range. In addition, the drone features a five-directional obstacle sensing system. The drone also retains the line’s iconic white airframe. Moreover, its 1-inch CMOS image sensor provides 4K 60p video recording capabilities.

    As a result, the P4P V2.0 is being marketed for “prosumers and professionals who need a reliable and powerful imaging solution that can cater to diverse filming needs and mapping operations.”

    In addition, DJI is also offering the P4P V2.0 drone as a Phantom 4 Pro+ V2.0 version. The Pro+ is bundled with a 5.5-inch, 1080p resolution screen built into the remote controller. The screen is targeted at operators who fly outdoors under direct sunlight.

    DJI-Phantom-4-Pro-Plus-v2.0

    The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is now available for purchase. It has suggested retail price of  $1,499. Bundled with the aircraft is a battery, a remote controller, four pairs of propellers, a battery charger, a power cable, a gimbal clamp, a Micro USB cable, a microSD memory card and also a carrying case.

    The Phantom 4 Pro+ V2.0 has a retail price of $1,799. It includes all the P4P V2.0 drone accessories, along with a 5.5-inch monitor built into the remote controller.

     

    VIA:  Digital Imaging Reporter

     

  • New Canon 70-200mm Lenses Coming in Early June [CR3]

    We’re told that Canon will finally unveil their new 70-200mm lenses with an early June announcement. Yes, that’s plural.

    We can 100% confirm that one of the new lenses will be an EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II.

    We can also 95% confirm that the second lens will be a EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III. All of the tips we’ve seen point to this lens coming, but we haven’t actually seen the “f/2.8L IS III” in writing.

    We do not know pricing or when these new 70-200mm lenses will begin shipping.

    Please keep in mind that lens announcement dates can change, even at the last minute.

    VIA:  Canon Rumors

  • Eyes Beyond The Ordinary

    We are knee deep into May and June will arrive faster than we can count the days on the calendar.  With that, Keith and I will start shifting our focus to our annual pilgrimage to the Canadian Rockies to lead this year’s workshop.

    This image was captured at Lake Louise.  Lake Louise is a special spot for me.  My grandmother had one life-long dream and that was to experience and see the turquoise waters of Lake Louise with her own eyes.  In fact, she kept a postcard on her refrigerator of the beautiful lake for as long as I can remember.  She never made it there.   Whenever I step to the shore, I think of her.  It’s a special place that’s iconic to many people.

    Sentiments aside, and photographically speaking, Lake Louise is a hard place to photograph.  The majority of times I’ve been there, the clouds lingering over the glaciers stick close to the ridge, and don’t allow the color and light to creep in.  Also, there is a boardwalk that stretches in front of the Chateau Lake Louise that most tourists capture images from.   While you can make the trek to Lake Agnes and the teahouse, few photographers venture there.  It’s a bit of a lung burner.

    On this particular trip (last year), we had an exceptional sunrise for which I was abundantly thankful for.   However, I very much wanted a different composition from what you usually see coming from there.  I decided that I might be able to unleash some creativity if I released the glacier from needing to be in my point of view, and I embraced what everything else around me was saying.    That’s how this image was created.

    Photography teaches me many life lessons.  Sometimes we have to let go of something we are expecting, or familiar to us to receive something fresh, new, and unexpected.   This is true as well of your creativity.

    I’d love to hear from you.   Do you have an image you can share or a story that reflects this lesson in your own life?

     

  • Nikon D750 Deal

    The Nikon D750 is one of our favorite cameras at Fstoppers for good reason: it’s an excellent all-around full frame camera that will excel in almost any situation you put it in. Here are its specs:

    • 24.3-megapixel sensor
    • EXPEED 4 Image Processor
    • 3.2″ tilting LCD
    • Video: 1080p at 60 fps
    • 51 AF points
    • ISO: 12,800 (expandable to 51,200)
    • Continuous shooting: 6.5 fps
    • Built-in Wi-Fi
    • Time-lapse mode with exposure smoothing
    • Dual SD slots
    • 100 percent coverage viewfinder

    Right now, B&H is offering the D750 for $500 off, and you’ll also get a battery grip, extra battery, memory card, and shoulder bag for free. If you’re looking to get into full frame without breaking the bank, this is a great way to do it and get some extra accessories in the process.

     

    Credit: Alex Cooke for Fstoppers

  • How Photography Defined The Great Depression

    During the 1930s, America went through one of its greatest challenges: the Great Depression. President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to relieve the dire economic situation with his New Deal programs. To justify the need for those projects, the government employed photographers to document the suffering of those affected and publish the pictures. Their efforts produced some of the most iconic photographs of the Great Depression – and all of American history.

    Photos showed ‘the city people what it’s like to live on the farm.’

    The Resettlement Administration, later replaced by the Farm Security Administration (FSA), was created as part of the New Deal to build relief camps and offer loans and relocation assistance to farmers impacted by the Depression and the Dust Bowl, which wreaked havoc on the Great Plains. But the programs weren’t cheap and required significant government funding to maintain.

    Roy Stryker was hired as the agency’s Photographic Unit. Stryker was tasked with documenting the need for government assistance by taking photographs of rural farmers at work and at home in their small-town communities, of migrants looking for work and of the effects of the Great Depression on everyday life in rural America. “Show the city people what it’s like to live on the farm,” Tugwell reportedly told Stryker.

    ‘Fleeing a Dust Storm,’ photographed by Arthur Rothstein. (Credit: Farm Security Administration/The Library of Congress)

     

    The FSA photographs galvanized Americans into action.

    Stryker created a team of “documentary photographers.” They didn’t want to just churn out propaganda photos of bread lines, vacant farmhouses and barefoot children caked with dust. They also wanted to capture the raw emotion behind the drudgery and bring empathy to the suffering of ordinary Americans.

    The first photographer Stryker chose for his team was Arthur Rothstein. During his five years with the FSA, his most noteworthy contribution may have been, “Fleeing a Dust Storm,” a (supposedly posed) photo of an Oklahoma homesteader and his two young sons trudging through swirling layers of dust towards a dilapidated shack.

    ‘Migrant Mother,’ photographed by Dorothea Lange. (Credit: Farm Security Administration/The Library of Congress)

     

    Depression-era photo subjects showed as much strength as suffering.

    Although the government used FSA photographs to prove its New Deal programs helped impoverished Americans, FSA photographers also sought to portray their subjects as strong, courageous people determined to survive tough times.

    The people they photographed were often resilient, prideful and fiercely independent. Ironically, many refused to accept the very government assistance they’d inadvertently become the faces for.

    Instead, they used ingenuity and whatever resources they had to remain self-supporting, and considered government welfare a last resort. Some people were reportedly angry and embarrassed when they realized their photographs had been published.

     

    Via: History.com

  • Will Canon Embrace Mirrorless?

    Nikon representative confirmed that their new mirrorless system will be coming by spring of 2019 (video here). We’ll assume this new mirrorless system is going to be full frame, and perhaps an APS-C little brother as well.

    So what about Canon?

    We know there are various bodies in testing and at various stages of development, though we’re pretty confident that a hard date for an announcement has not been determined as of yet. It’s speculated around the web that both Nikon and Canon will make some kind of announcement for a full frame mirrorless camera at Photokina in September.

    If Nikon is saying their new system will be coming some time in early 2019, I don’t think they’ll be doing an official product announcement at Photokina, and it’s more likely we’ll get some kind of  a “development” announcement. I think there’s a high probability Canon does a similar thing at Photokina. I will say however, we’e never been told about a “development announcement” before they happen. People don’t like announcements and then having to wait 6 months to buy the product, we’ve seen that in the past with Canon and it’s not good for anyone.

    I don’t think it matters to Canon or Nikon who is first out of the gate with a full frame mirrorless camera. Both companies obviously have a very loyal customer base and both will be going right at Sony. If both companies make comparable products to Sony feature-set wise, they’ll both easily take a large chunk full frame mirrorless marketshare rather quickly. The one caveat to that will be how F and EF mount lenses fit into the picture.

    Lots more to come…

     

    Originally Posted: Canon Rumors

  • Photo – A – Day Projects Improve Well-Being, Study Finds

    Shooting a photo every day and then sharing it online improves your well-being. That’s what scientists found after studying a group of people who have committed themselves to photo-a-day projects (often referred to as “Project365“).

    The findings were just published in a paper titled “The daily digital practice as a form of self-care: Using photography for everyday well-being” in the journal Health. UK scientists Liz Brewster of Lancaster University and Andrew M Cox of the University of Sheffield were behind the study.

    The duo selected a sample of subjects with approximate ages ranging from 20 to 60. The participants post a photo every day to services such as Instagram, Flickr, and Blipfoto. Each photographer was monitored for two months, with researchers recording the photos taken, captions written, and interactions had with other photographers in the online communities. After two months, the photographers also gave a phone interview.

     

    What the scientists found was that the act of shooting and sharing daily photos improves a person’s well-being through self-care (it’s therapeutic, renewing, and refreshing), community interaction (it provides regular interaction with people who share the same interests), and reminiscence (it provides the ability to look back on one’s life).

    Here are some quotes from the study’s participants:

    It’s really good to be able to take that five minutes every day to do something slightly creative, which I enjoy doing and I think is good for well-being. It’s positive in that it gives me something to look for.

    [My job] was a very highly stressful role … Oh, God. There were some days when I’d almost not stopped to breathe, you know what I mean … And just the thought: oh wait a moment, no, I’ll stop and take a photograph of this insect sitting on my computer or something. Just taking a moment is very salutary I think.

    Connections with other people and sharing things, and so being able to put things out there and then get a response back. And it can be some surprising people, as well, it’s almost like having a personal conversation but with a lot of people at once, that sounds a bit odd. I’ve found you can be saying these things and then different people will react back to them. And yeah, it gives a sense of connection, which helps well-being.

    If I’m ever feeling down or something it’s nice to be able to scroll back and see good memories. You know, the photos I’ve taken will have a positive memory attached to it even if it’s something as simple as I had a really lovely half an hour for lunch sitting outside the [location] and was feeling really relaxed.

     

    The scientists conclude that committing yourself to photo-a-day projects can provide a number of health benefits.

    “Photo-a-day is not a simple and uncomplicated practice; rather it is the complex affordances and variance within the practice that relate it to well-being,” the scientists write in the paper. “We conclude that this practice has multifaceted benefits for improving well-being.”

     

     

    (via PetapixelHealth via ScienceDaily)

  • Days Inn Hires “Sun-tern” for $10,000

    Your camera roll is probably already full of hundreds of sunset photos you’ve snapped while looking for the perfect pic, so why not get paid for it?

    This summer, Days Inn is looking for an aspiring photographer to travel across the United States for one month to take sun-themed photos of the great outdoors — photos that will eventually be featured as art in their hotels.

     

    As the new Days Inn “sun-tern,” not only will you get an all-expenses paid trip across the United States for one month this summer, but you’ll also get paid $10,000 after completing the assignment.

    Here’s everything you need to know about landing this dream job.

     

    The Responsibilities:

    Yes, if you love to travel to new places and take hundreds of photos along the way, this “job” is for you. Pretty much all you’ll need to do as the Days Inn sun-tern is travel to cities across the U.S. for one month and capture as many photos of sunsets and sunrises as you possibly can.

    To help you find those moments, Days Inn will provide prepaid experiences along the way, including a sunset sail in Miami and sunrise yoga in San Diego, plus opportunities to go zip lining and on hot air balloon rides in between.

    Since you’ll be staying at Days Inn hotels throughout the month-long gig, your trip will be determined by where they have hotels, but beyond that, the brand is open to working with the sun-tern to build the ideal itinerary together.

    The Perks:

    In addition to being paid $10,000 upon completing the assignment, your travel expenses for the one-month trip will be completely covered by Days Inn. Plus, your original photos will be featured on the walls of Days Inn hotel rooms throughout the U.S., as well as on the hotel’s website and social accounts.

     

    Who Qualifies:

    To qualify for this job, you must be a U.S. resident who is at least 21 years old and has one month free to travel this summer. Other than that, the requirements are pretty flexible. While the ability to take a decent photograph is necessary, you don’t need to have a photography degree to qualify. What’s more important for this position is that you’re open to new experiences and are passionate about travel and enjoy spending time outdoors.

     

    Where To Apply: 

    To apply for the sun-ternship, visit daysinn.com/suntern between now and May 20 to submit your best original outdoor photograph, along with 100 words on why you’re the best person for the job.

    Original Post:  Koko News 5

     

  • Purchaser of NIK Software Files For Bankruptcy

    You read that headline right!  The company, DXO that originally introduced itself to the industry with an alternative camera, and then brought the industry a processing software, DxO PhotoLab, has recently filed bankruptcy.

    Although this news might alarm NIK enthusiasts, the company assures that this should have no impact on consumers or their experience.  In fact, they also announced at the same time that in June of 2018 they will release the new version of the Nik Collection with the long awaited bug fixes that have been plaguing us.  In addition, they will be performing updates to ensure compatibility with the most current operating systems.

  • Nikon Enters The World Of Mirrorless

    Well folks, what many of us assumed would eventually happen is now taking place it seems, Nikon is entering the world of mirrorless cameras and none to soon.  With the Sony systems increasing in technology and capabilities, not to mention the Fujifilm announcing it’s industry rocking GFX medium format mirrorless system under $8k, we all knew that Nikon and Canon would have to follow suite.

    While many of us are tired of lugging around 60 pounds of gear up hill both ways, the mirrorless systems are becoming more and more popular.

    Walking into Keith’s office, informing him about this rumor that is circulating, he pointed out that Nikon does indeed have a mirrorless camera, but frankly it’s not impressive.  Perhaps this blog post should be titled:  Nikon Seriously Enters The World Of Mirrorless.

    Rumor has it that this new camera is being developed “at a rapid pace” and will be released in the spring of 2019.  Very likely, media will be able to touch and experience this at the Photokina show in Germany later this year.

    Additionally, expectations are that they will announce an entry level full frame mirrorless first, complete with new mount.  There is also speculation that it will have a 30+ megapixel sensor with PDAF.

     

    Sources:  Nikon Rumors & Nikon Eye

  • 2018 Epson Pano Awards Now Open

    The Epson Pano Awards just opened for entries for this years competition.  Starting in 2009 this competition has grown to be one of the industries most sought after awards.

    The total prize pool is worth over $50,000 USD, including $20,000 cash.

    Currently at the date of this post (April 30th), early bird entries are being accepted, allowing you to submit 5 images at once and receiving a  20% discount off the total.

    Speaking of cost to enter, the fee is $22 USD per image.

    There are two categories:  Nature/Landscape and Built Environment/Architecture.  Also, in addition to the two categories are two sets of awards:  Open and Amateur.   Also this year they are hosting the Virtual Reality/360 Awards with a cost of $16. per image.

    To enter, click here:  Epson Pano Awards

    Last year’s winner for Open Photographer Of The Year was Jesus M. Garcia of Spain.

     

  • Adobe Raw and Camera Profiles in ACR & Lightroom

    In photography and digital imaging, the term “profile” can mean many different things. There are color profiles, display profiles, lens profiles, printer profiles, working profiles, and so on. Within ACR and Lightroom, a camera profile is used to render a photograph, converting it from raw camera information into the colors and tones that we see.

    In order to process raw photos, Adobe builds DCP camera profiles (DCP stands for DNG Camera Profiles) for nearly every camera make and model they support. The cameras that they don’t build profiles for but are still supported capture in DNG, which allows for the camera’s manufacturer to build their own DCP which is embedded within the DNG.

    DCPs take into consideration the color primaries (based off of the color filter array that is positioned in front of the sensor), the specific sensitivity of the sensor used, and the sensor’s characteristics in different lighting conditions and at different ISO values.

    To create a DCP profile, we capture a number of standardized test targets, including a variety of color checkers, under a variety of different lighting conditions and light sources. The goal of this process is to create a standardized, neutral profile of how a particular camera captures the world.

    Adobe Standard and Adobe Color

    The improvements in Adobe Color helps make the red and orange leaves look both more natural as well as more pleasing.

     

    With the DCP profiles, Adobe is able to normalize the results from a wide array of cameras, resulting in a standardized look and representation of images captured by each camera. Adobe Standard adds some subtle tonal and color adjustments to represent the common expected look and feeling of a photograph. The goal of these subtle adjustments is to ensure a good starting point from which one can edit their photos.

    The look of Adobe Standard was designed to be a great starting point for photos that enables photographers to get the most of out them while editing, however it was also created nearly ten years ago. Over that time, we’ve learned a lot about what photographers want and have gotten great feedback on how we can make an even better starting point. From all of this feedback, a new default was born: Adobe Color.

    Adobe Color was designed to greatly improve the look and rendering of warm tones, improving the transitions between certain color ranges, and slightly increasing the starting contrast of photos. In order to ensure the viability of Adobe Color on the widest range of images, the impact on some images can be very subtle.

    One major improvement to Adobe Color, as compared to Adobe Standard, is that the hue of reds has been adjusted slightly to result in more natural looking reds and warm tones. This ensures that photographers don’t need to adjust the hue of red tones (either through the HSL or the Camera Calibration tools) to get a natural looking image–Adobe Color looks more natural right out of the box.

    Another major improvement to Adobe Color is the transition from near neutral warm tones to more saturated warm tones. We adjusted how those transitions happen to ensure that the transition, or gradient, is more linear and doesn’t result in transition errors. This means those transitions appear more natural and there are no visible shifts along a warm gradient range.

    A third important improvement to Adobe Color is a slight boost to global contrast. We added this slight contrast bump based off of feedback we’ve received from photographers over the course of many years, with the goal again of images looking more natural, more photographic, and requiring fewer adjustments to get to a good starting point when compared to Adobe Standard.

    As photography is quite a nuanced art form, and since there are so many photographers that rely on Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom, we not only retained access to Adobe Standard but we also introduced a number of additional Adobe Raw profiles providing choice and control over the initial rendering of images. The first two, Adobe Vivid and Adobe Neutral provide variations on Adobe Color to ensure that photographers can pick their personal preference or adapt the initial rendering to suit the subject.

    Adobe Vivid and Adobe Neutral

     

    Adobe Vivid increases the amount of contrast and saturation applied across the entire image, while still applying some skin tone color and tonality protections.

     

     

    Both Adobe Vivid and Adobe Neutral start with Adobe Standard and add the improvements found in Adobe Color, and provide options that let photographers adapt the initial rendering to their personal taste and/or subject and create a personalized starting point by selecting a increased or decreased level of contrast and saturation in their photographs.

    Adobe Neutral provides a starting point with a very low amount of contrast, useful for photos where photographers want the most control over their edits with the least amount of shifts from the neutral rendition created by their camera, or for photographs that have very difficult tonal and color ranges.

    On the opposite side of the spectrum, Adobe Vivid increases both the contrast and saturation to provide a more punchy starting point.

    Adobe Landscape

    Adobe Landscape removes skin-tone based color protections and increases the pop of skies and foliage tones.

     

     

    Adobe Landscape was created for photographers to apply based off of the subject matter of the photograph, in this case landscapes. As with all Adobe Raw profiles, Adobe Landscape starts with Adobe Standard and includes many of the improvements found in Adobe Color. In addition to those improvements, Adobe Landscape increases the saturation in foliage hues (greens) and sky hues (blues), removes the skin hue and tonality protections (ensuring that objects in a landscape that may happen to share similar hues and tonalities with skin tones actually get the contrast boost found throughout the rest of the hue and tonality ranges), and also slightly boosts the dynamic range of the image processing, enabling a wider range of tonality to be included in the image (increasing the amount of tonal compression applied by the raw processing engine) so that images with a very wide dynamic range can be rendered completely through the Highlight and Shadow sliders.

     

    Reposted from Adobe.com.

     

     

  • 16th Annual IPA Photography Awards Competition

    Hey gang!  If you’re looking for another photo competition to enter, this might be it.  The International Photography Awards (IPA) has just opened for submissions.  Both professional and amateur photographers are able to submit images and the competition will be divided between professional and amateur levels.

    The early bird deadline for submissions is May 31st, 2018 and will receive a 10% discount on fees.  Regular submission deadline is July 31st, 2018.

    The prizes will include more than $22,000 in cash and the winners will be published in the IPA Annual Book of Photography. The winners will be awarded a Lucie Trophy, which is presented at the Annual Lucie Awards Gala each year in New York City.

    The winning photographers will also be featured in the IPA Best of Show Exhibition. The exhibit will go on tour in New York City, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, Budapest, Barcelona, Tokyo, Taipei, Shanghai, Manila and Bangkok.

    IPA’s international jury will evaluate entries competing for this year’s awards. It is comprised of gallerists, photo editors, art collectors and other photography luminaries. The jury members will judge the images based on originality, technical excellence and artistic merit.

    The entry fees are as follows:

    PROFESSIONALS:

    Single Image: $35.00 USD
    Series (2 to 9 images): $60.00 USD
    Each Additional Category: 20% off

    NON-PROFESSIONALS:

    Single Image: $25.00 USD
    Series (2 to 9 images): $50.00 USD
    Each Additional Category: 20% off

    STUDENTS:

    Single Image: $15.00 USD
    Series (2 to 9 images): $30.00 USD
    Each Additional Category: 20% off

    You can enter here:  https://www.photoawards.com/how-to-enter/

  • What Photographers Can Learn From Walt Disney

    It was the 1940’s as the world was in chaos with the first world war.  One father took his daughters to amusement parks to escape the realities of life and have some fun.  While there, he sat on a bench and watched other parents sitting clearly bored while their children played.  He asked himself “What If I created a place where both parents and children can have fun”.  In that one thought, Disneyland and what would become Disney World was born.  So what can photographers learn from Walt Disney that can be applied to our art? A lot.

         1) He looked at something that was, and asked how he could do it better

    At the time when Walt took his daughters to amusement parks, they were known for being dirty and unsafe.  In fact, when he approached his wife Lillian about his idea she questioned him.

    “When I started on Disneyland, my wife used to say,  ‘But why do you want to build an amusement park?  They’re so dirty.’ I told her that was just the point — mine wouldn’t be.”  –Walt Disney

     

    How does this apply to photography? 

    Look at what others are doing, identify what you like, what you don’t like, and ask yourself how you can do it better.  Use the work of others, new locations, and new techniques as a platform to jump from to create something that excels from where you began.

     

         2) He ignored what was expected of him.

    Walt was in the business of animation, not in the business of amusement parks.  Of course as a result he had people who thought he was crazy for taking on such a huge task that was not only unexpected of him, but clearly out of his comfort zone.

    “Almost everyone warned us that Disneyland would be a Hollywood spectacular—a spectacular failure. But they were thinking about an amusement park, and we believed in our idea—a family park where parents and children could have fun—together.” –Walt Disney

     

    How does this apply to photography? 

    Doing what is expected, and what has always been only leads to more of the same.  Ask yourself what would happen if you incorporated elements outside of your genre into your artwork.  Perhaps you can include mixed media, portrait lighting into nature photography, a new post processing technique that captured your interest.  Ignore and push past what people have come to expect of your art, and ask yourself what could happen if you worked from a curious heart.

     

         3) He was confident in his vision

    Walt knew in his heart that he was on to something.  He identified a way he could make the world a little brighter, and because he acted on that seedling of a thought, millions of parents and children enjoy “The Most Magical Place On Earth”.   Had he listened to those who doubted, who couldn’t see past what was already being done, we wouldn’t have this magical kingdom.

    “There are whole new concepts of things, and we now have the tools to change these concepts into realities. We’re moving forward.” –Walt Disney

     

    How does this apply to photography? 

    There’s one thing you can be certain of.  You’ll never have the desire to try something different if you don’t allow your imagination to wander, and you’ll never create something different if you don’t allow yourself to explore and play.  If you have a seedling in your imagination of what could be if you tried, take it, hold it close, nurture it, invest in it, and see what happens.  Wander and wonder produces vision.

     

    *Inspired by Disney Institute’s blog post:  Leadership Lessons From Walt Disney: Disrupting Industry Stereotypes \

    All images used are property of Disney.  

  • LL Bean’s Lifetime Return Policy Is No More

    L.L. Bean’s outdoor gear — including its signature Bean Boots prized by campers is no longer guaranteed for life.

    In a letter to customers Friday morning, the company said it has updated its return policy to give customers one year to return purchases, with a receipt. The previous lifetime guarantee, which enabled customers to return products years — or even decades — after purchase, has long been a selling point for the company.

    “Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent. Some view it as a lifetime product replacement program, expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years. Others seek refunds for products that have been purchased through third parties, such as at yard sales.”‘

    L.L. Bean says the policy update will affect only a “small percentage” of returns and pledged to keep its mission of selling “high quality products that inspire and enable people to enjoy the outdoors.” The company says if a product is defective, it will “work with our customers to reach a fair solution” even after a year.

    The return policy on the site now reads:

    “If you are not 100% satisfied with one of our products, you may return it within one year of purchase for a refund. After one year, we will consider any items for return that are defective due to materials or craftsmanship.”

    A Business Insider reporter put the policy to the test last year by returning four-year-old shoes with broken stitching. He recounts that the cashier immediately accepted the return and asked for no proof about when he purchased the shoes. “Two days later, the brand-new shoes were waiting on my doorstep,” Business Insider writes.

    At the time, an L.L. Bean spokesperson told the site that the return policy was taken advantage of less than might be expected.

    “Our guarantee is not a liability, but rather a customer service asset — an unacknowledged agreement between us and the customer, that always puts the customer first and relies on the goodwill of our customers to honor the original intent of the guarantee,” spokesperson Mac McKeever told Business Insider.

    The company traces its origins to 1911, when a Maine outdoorsman developed a hunting shoe with leather uppers and rubber bottoms. Its rugged products were designed with hunting and fishing in mind.

    In recent years the company has taken steps to appeal to a hipper, less outdoorsy clientele. As Maine Public Radio reported, L.L. Bean has been “looking to really create a new updated fit and style.”

     

    Post Credit:  NPR: L.L. Bean Scraps Legendary Lifetime Return Policy

  • Finding Inspiration For Your Art Through Science

    If you’re in need of a fresh breath of inspiration and you love science, we think this short 13 minute video will breathe some fresh air into your heart and cause you to ask “What If”.

  • Augmented Realty & Nature Photography: The next really big thing

    A couple years ago I attended Photo Plus Expo in New York City and had the chance to meet Jim Malcolm from Human Eyes, a company that is in the business of augmented reality.  At that time in 2016 our conversation was casual as we discussed the technology and the potential future of AR in the photography industry.

    Vuze+ VR Camera and Kit by Human Eyes

    In 2017 at the same trade show, I saw him again and his excitement was visible. He said “this is going to be the year”.   A few months later, he emailed me again asking if I would be at the Consumer Electronic Show, because AR is starting to take off.

    Since that email, the industry blogs I follow have been blowing up with news and chatter about Augmented Realty and Virtual Reality.

    Overall spending on AR/VR is forecasted by the IDC to reach $17.8 billion globally in 2018.  This is an increase of nearly 95% over the 2017 numbers.  The International Data Corporation is predicting that spending in America alone,  will reach $6.4 billion.

    So how does this affect us as nature photographers and what do we need to be looking for?  At the heart of what we do, we are storytellers.  AR/VR will become a new tool that we’ll be able to utilize to tell the story of our adventures, our photographs and our journey.  As the industry is looking more towards influencer marketing and grassroots to tell their own story, AR/VR will be the next big wave for those who want to build their platform and have brand sponsorship.

    Be prepared for a hefty price tag.  The Vuze + (created and distributed by Human Eyes) runs at $1,1,95 for the bundle. Before you run out and grab your 360 degree camera and VR/AR headset, it’s going to become important to learn about the production of this new technology.  As Mr. Malcolm advised me, there’s a right way to record VR and a wrong way.  However, the possibilities are endless for those who take the first steps into this exciting new territory.

  • Nikon Is Number #1?

    Nikon D850

    It is perhaps no surprise to any of us that the top spot for sales with full frame cameras went to Nikon and their newly released D850.  When they rolled out the D810 in July of 2014 the industry was filled with talk about the impressive ability to capture a dynamic range that had previously been unattainable, with the only hope of achieving such range with the medium format cameras.

    With the newly released D850, sales were backlogged and still being filled.  At the time of this blog post, Amazon is just now shipping orders placed before Christmas.

     

    Read the press release from Nikon below:

    MELVILLE, NY – Imaging leader Nikon attained the #1 position for both market share and revenue for December 2017, in the full frame digital camera with interchangeable lens (DCIL) category in the U.S.1The overwhelming success of the powerful new Nikon D850 DSLR as well as the acclaimed D750 DSLR helped contribute to the brand’s strong growth within the full frame camera segment for December 2017. According to The NPD Group, Nikon achieved double-digit unit and dollar sales growth within the full frame camera segment in December 2017 vs. December 2016.2This market category comprises all full frame digital cameras with interchangeable lenses (DCIL), including DSLR and mirrorless cameras. December is a significant month for sales because of the large volume of units sold during the holidays; industry-wide, DCIL full frame unit sales for the month of December 2017 were almost equal to unit sales from January through March of 2017, according to The NPD Group.3

    “Nikon has returned to an emphasis on high-end products for advanced and professional users. These users appreciate Nikon’s full frame offerings because of their amazing image quality, reliability, low-light capability and high-speed performance,” said Bo Kajiwara, President and CEO, Nikon Inc. “Nikon is an innovative, diversified company with a clear, long-term strategy to thrive into 2018 and beyond.”

    Since the beginning of 2017, the camera industry has seen strong growth in the full frame segment, with consumers gravitating toward Nikon’s innovative offerings for advanced and professional photographers. The month of December alone saw an overall increase of 69% in units and 59% in dollars compared to the same period in 2016.2 Nikon specifically experienced an 81% increase in units, and 88% growth in dollars for this segment.2

    For the month of December, the top two selling DSLR cameras in this segment were the Nikon D750 and the Nikon D850.There has been exceptional demand for the extremely versatile, highly acclaimed D850, which is the ultimate combination of speed and resolution. This 45.7-megapixel full frame DSLR is a tool for serious photographers with robust construction, unparalleled imaged quality and proven reliability. Both the D850 and the D750 have won a myriad of industry and consumer accolades, and both are perfectly complemented by the vast NIKKOR lens system, which offers the best in optical excellence.

    “Premium segments are leading the imaging market, as consumer demand for features like full frame are on the rise,” said Ben Arnold, executive director, industry analyst for The NPD Group.

    Kajiwara also added, “We want to sincerely thank our customers and our fans for making this achievement possible.”

  • Photoshop Update: Select Subject

    Select Subject is powered by Adobe Sensei and lets you get started with your selections faster than ever before. Select Subject automatically selects the prominent subjects in the image with one click. You can then refine the selection using other selection tools.

    It’s available in all the places you start selections:

    • Select > Subject.
    • Select the Subject button in the Quick Selection tool and Magic Wand options bar.
    • Select the Subject button in the Select & Mask workspace options bar while using the Quick Selection tool.

    The Select Subject command lets you select the most prominent subject in an image in a single click. Powered by advanced machine learning technology, Select Subject is trained to identify a variety of objects in an image—people, animals, vehicles, toys, and more.

    Access Select Subject in one of the following ways in Photoshop:

    • While editing an image, choose Select > Subject.
    • While using the Quick Selection or Magic Wand tools, click Select Subject in the options bar.
    • While using the Quick Selection tool in the Select & Mask workspace, click Select Subject in the options bar.

    Select Subject automatically selects the prominent subjects in the image. You can then refine the selection using other selection tools. For example, in the illustration above, use the Subtract From Selection option with another selection tool to remove the part of the sidewalk included in the automatic selection.

    For more information on refining selections, see Adjust pixel selections.

     

     

     

    *Article Credit:  Jerry Harris & Adobe Blog

  • Think Printing Photos Is Declining? Think Again…

    The Pew Research Center reports that roughly three-quarters of Americans own a smartphone. In addition, 92% of young people 18 to 29 carry a cameraphone. A report by F/22 Consulting and Photo Imaging News, Expanding the U.S. Photo Printing Market,* estimates that Americans captured 1.2 trillion images in 2016.

    In total, 85% were taken with smartphones. These captures translated to 176 million print orders as well as 8.2 billion printed units, including prints, wall art, photo books and personalized gifts. PrintingRise-PullQuote“The number and quality of photos captured today (especially on smartphones) is nothing short of staggering. And it’s a global phenomenon,” says the recently published analysis by Don Franz and Frank Baillargeon. “Mobile adoption, equally staggering advances in intelligent and automated photo management, and new mobile photo printing business models represent an unprecedented foundation for substantial and sustained growth of demand.”

    What does this surge in digital capture mean for the photo printing industry? For companies on the front line of digital print fulfillment, the numbers are good.

    Fujifilm North America Corporation

    Fujifilm has been on the pioneering end of digital delivery since the late 1990s. “We were the first company to develop and implement a distribution fulfillment system that allowed consumers to order their prints online and pick them up in the store,” says Manny Almeida, president, Imaging Division, Fujifilm North America Corporation.

    Fujifilm-output-2
    © Fujifilm North America Corporation

    “The U.S. market saw its peak in photo printing in 2003,” he says. “There were 860 million rolls of film sold that year, with an average of 27 prints per roll. That’s almost 19 billion prints. Today, the print market is certainly not that big. But the print category is still $1.5 billion, and the decline is beginning to plateau. At one time, prints were declining at a rate of 30% per year. Over the last year or two, it’s been declining at 3.5%. So it’s really starting to flatten out.

    “Printing is different today,” adds Almeida. “There’s a myriad of personalized photo products; over 400 different products available from Fujifilm alone. So while orders for 4×6-inch prints are down, overall printing is up. We have higher value orders. An average order 15 years ago would be in the $8 to $9 range, today it’s around $2

    “The important part for us at Fujifilm is that there is opportunity in photo printing. It’s not like it was 15 or 20 years ago. It’s a different opportunity but still a tremendous opportunity. People don’t necessarily want to print a whole bunch of 4×6 prints, but they want to create photo products such as wall décor and products they can give as gifts. The printing industry is about figuring out what consumers want and how they want it.”

    *Article by Kim Brady from direporter.com and Expanding the U.S. Photo Printing Market, by F/22 Consulting and Photo Imaging News

  • Lensbaby Launch: 46mm Macro Filter Kit

    Portland, OR – Lensbaby—makers of award-winning creative effects lenses, optics and accessories—announces the launch of their 46mm Macro Filter Kit. 

    Capture minute details with creative flare while making unique close-up shots of botanicals, tiny life forms, delicious dishes and more with this set of +1, +2 and +4 close-up filters. 

    This offering comes on the heels of the 46mm Filter Kit (which includes an 8-point Star Filter, 3-stop Neutral Density Filter and Circular Polarizer) that debuted in October 2017.

    Lensbaby is broadening their product line to ensure photographers have the tools they need to keep pushing the limits of their creative freedom.

    “Photographers see the world differently through Lensbaby lenses, in ways that open up a big world of creative possibilities,” said Lensbaby Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder Craig Strong. “Our macro filter kit lets you experience this freedom in a new, up close and personal way.”   

    The 46mm Macro Filter Kit is multi-coated to deliver the highest possible contrast and is compatible with the Sweet 35, Sweet 50, Sweet 80, Edge 50, Edge 80, Twist 60 and Creative Bokeh Optics. Simply screw the filter onto the front of your favorite Lensbaby for creativity on a tiny scale. To get even closer to your subject, stack two or three macro filters or combine with Lensbaby Macro Converters.  

    Users can purchase the 46mm Macro Filter Kit for $49.95 at lensbaby.com or select Lensbaby-authorized retailers. 

     

    About Lensbaby 

    For over a decade Portland, Oregon-based Lensbaby has inspired and challenged photographers on their journey to finding their unique, visual voice. 

     Lensbaby makes award-winning, one-of-a-kind lenses, optics and accessories for risk-taking photographers who believe that photography is an expression of their soul. 

     Lensbaby provides instructional content through their educational hub, Lensbaby University and sells its products worldwide. For more information, visit www.lensbaby.com

     

    *All wording & images are provided by Lensbaby

  • Crash Course: Blending Modes in Photoshop

    Do you want to learn more about blending modes in Photoshop and be better able to edit your images with more control and precision? Jesús Ramirez of the Photoshop Training Channel is here to help with the crash course below. The video below is less than 10 minutes long, so it cannot cover all the blending modes in great detail. However, if you want additional information and have more free time, Ramirez also made a 41-minute video about blend modes.

    What exactly is a blending mode? A blend mode basically takes the pixels of one layer and blends them with pixels from another layer. This results in different effects, sometimes ones dramatically different in appearance. How can you utilize blend modes to improve the look of your photos? Find out in the video below.

    (Via Photoshop Training Channel

  • Superior Wide Angle (Nikon mount) Lens for under $300?

    A number of months ago, Keith became frustrate with carrying a filter holder, numerous filters and the extra weight in his pack as a result of all the gear.  In an effort to pair down any unnecessary weight, he traded in his very expensive and heavy Nikon 14-24 for the Tokina 17 – 35.

    You can read more about it in his post, Halo Effect.

    We have just been made aware that as of the date of this post, Tokina had 4 refurbished 17-35’s with a Nikon mount.  We love this lens and consider it one of the sharpest we’ve ever used.  Don’t wait long and if you find that they are out of stock, check back at the Tokina site often.

    Check it out here:  Tokina 17-35mm

  • Get Out In It!

     

    Author:  Keith Briley

    When Snowmageddon (that’s what we from the Charleston area call a few inches of snow when it hits the ground in our area) arrived, uncommon images within a very familiar scene started showing up in the ole’ social media feed. Upon viewing these stunning captures, we were reminded of the photographic opportunities that can be captured when Mother Nature decides to mix things up a little.

    You’ve seen them; the massive, charcoal colored clouds forming rings high in the sky, producing the ominous but beautiful tornado below. The thunderstorm in the distance creating enough lightning to continually ignite the dark, night sky. Or, the crashing of the enormous ocean waves along the coast because an epic hurricane is on its way. All of these were obtained because the photographer chose to “get out in it”! They did their research and placed themselves in a safe position to acquire a capture that will wow the viewer.

    It’s not every day that we have these opportunities, but when they do come along, the research, timing and effort can pay huge dividends. Everyone loves a good story. And, everyone loves a beautiful photograph. To combine the two can be rewarding on many levels. Not only do you now have the story to tell friends and family, but you very well may have created an image that can never be duplicated. In addition, the circumstances that existed while shooting the perfectly timed capture can be a once in a lifetime experience. Tell the story! Bring the viewer in! Express yourself as if the photograph didn’t exist, giving as much detail as possible in an attempt to place the viewer right beside you as you grabbed the shot. Before you know it, your photograph will come alive to the viewer allowing for an unexpected, emotional attachment.

    “How does an emotional attachment from the viewer benefit my photograph?”, you might ask. It allows us the opportunity to share the experience. Not every living person will have the opportunity to personally feel and hear when a tornado forms over the plains. Nor, will everyone have the chance to watch the seas grow and churn with such anger and force. While having the urge to escape to a beautiful destination seen in many photographs but never had the chance to visit can be enticing, an anomaly by Mother Nature, never experienced in person, can be just as alluring.

    Let’s not forget about you. Think about why you wanted to be there. There must have been something that created the desire to plan and execute the attempt to capture Mother Nature in rare form. Something that created a spark that eventually grew into a roaring flame of inspiration. Those sparks, as tiny as they may be in the beginning, can grow into a never ending appetite to fill the cup of creativity. The desire to capture something unique and jaw-dropping is in all of us. But, it’s not going to happen until you’ve experienced it. Until you get out in it.

     

  • Nikon Announces 180 – 400mm F/4E TC 1.4

    Hey folks!

    Nikon just announced this new telephoto lens and if you have a cool $12,399.95 laying around this might just be the lens for you!  Check out the press release below!

    Nikon Announces New AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm F/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR Super Telephoto Zoom

    LAS VEGAS – Today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Nikon Inc. announced the new AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR super-telephoto zoom lens, which is ideally suited for photographing sports and wildlife with astounding speed and clarity. This professional level FX-format lens is more versatile than ever, and has been updated with the newest NIKKOR lens technologies including Nikon’s first ever built-in teleconverter and an advanced optical formula to enhance performance and minimize weight.“This lens is a great example of how Nikon continues to push the boundaries of innovation and what’s possible with pro-level optics and high-end imaging equipment,” said Kosuke Kawaura, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc.

     

    Popular Pro-Level Lens Gets Even More Versatile

    This new NIKKOR lens is a professional super-telephoto zoom lens, which is even more versatile with an extended wide range of 180-400mm, and a constant f/4 aperture to easily isolate a subject from the sidelines, even in challenging light. This is also the first NIKKOR lens to include a built-in 1.4X teleconverter, allowing photographers to seamlessly swap to a 252-560mm1 (FX-format) focal range. The teleconverter is engaged at the flick of a switch, and is easily operated with a single finger while looking through the viewfinder. When used on the Nikon D500 and other DX-format DSLRs, the focal length is the equivalent of 270-600mm (378-840mm with teleconverter engaged).

    Whether capturing fast-moving winter sports on the slopes or elusive wildlife at a distance, photographers can shoot with confidence from this high performance NIKKOR lens.  The new 180-400mm f/4 is optimized for high-speed capture, and features an electromagnetic diaphragm, helping to create smooth and consistent exposures while shooting high-speed bursts of images. What’s more, the AF tracking algorithm controlling the motor drive has been enhanced to increase tracking performance of fast moving subjects. When using cameras equipped with Nikon’s advanced 153-point AF system (D5, D500, D850), the outer row of AF points are activated as cross-type sensors to significantly enhance the AF coverage throughout the frame.2

     

    Enhanced Performance with the Addition of New Technology

    The lens now uses a fluorite element, which contributes to improved balance while minimizing weight. To further enhance handling and agility, the lens has adopted a new ball-bearing tripod collar ring to create a seamless transition from shooting horizontal to vertical composition.  The VR mechanism offers a normal and sports mode, with up to four stops3 of compensation to help create sharp images, even when handheld.

    The lens construction includes the use of durable magnesium alloy for weight reduction, while the lens is also sealed against dust and moisture. A fluorine coating is also used to help repel water droplets and dirt.

    The optical formula of the lens uses eight Extra Low Dispersion (ED) elements, doubling the amount of ED elements used by its predecessor, the NIKKOR 200-400mm. These help to provide extremely sharp and detailed images and 4K UHD / 1080p video, and is ideally mated to high resolution Nikon DSLR cameras.  Nikon’s exclusive Nano Crystal Coat is used to effectively suppress instances of ghosting and flare.

     

    Price and Availability

    The AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR lens will be available in March 2018 for a suggested retail price of $12,399.954. For more information on this NIKKOR lens and other Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

  • Fresh Eyes & A Familiar Place

    Are you itching for your next adventure or trip?  We are as well.  On a daily basis Keith is talking about us running away and photographing the mountains covered in snow.  This last month has been a very busy one for us.  We welcomed the editor of Landscape Photography Magazine, Dimitri Vasileiou to our home and hosted him for 4 days over Tiff’s birthday.

    During his visit we had the opportunity to catch up, chat and talk shop about photography.  We also took him on a mini tour of the area which included the Angel Oak tree.

    For those of you who have been to Charleston, the Angel Oak may have been on your list of places to see, or perhaps we took you there on a tour (although that’s not a common stop for us).  When we went there with Dimitri, we weren’t exactly excited about going there (just to be honest).  We’ve seen it a thousand times, and even more than that, we’ve seen it photographed from what seems like every angle.

    That trip to the Angel Oak though was inspiring for one reason.  Tiff captured this image with this new perspective and it caused us to reassess the joy that can be had in the very familiar.

    Recently Keith was chatting with a guest over how often he’s at the boneyard beach.  Watching Keith photography is inspiring because he never accepts the same old compositions and he’s always approaching the familiar with a new set of eyes.  He created Blush Of Dawn (shown here) out of a desire to challenge himself to see something new at this familiar location.

    With the holidays surrounding us, you’ll likely be traveling to familiar places to be with friends and family during the season.   We want to challenge you to find your familiar places, step out and look at it with fresh eyes.  You never know, a piece of art might just be waiting for you to create it.

  • Inspiration: The Freedom To Create

    Yesterday found us in downtown Charleston visiting our favorite art gallery.  While there, we were so inspired by a new artist who is using acrylic, oil, and car paint along with gold dusting to paint an acrylic sheet.  The depth, color, shifting of the story when the light transitions across it was absolutely inspiring.  So inspiring that Tiff wanted to come home, grab her paints and order an acrylic sheet.

    The inspiration that comes from seeing the unique work of another painter or artist is a beautiful thing.  The possibilities of what you yourself could create, knowing that although you might use the same materials, your personal fingerprint will cause a created piece to be uniquely your own in its own right.   Therefore, inspiration is an empowering emotion in creative arts.

    Does this also apply to photography?  It’s a question I asked myself when I woke up this morning.  Our cameras are virtually the same, with the only difference being the range of light and amount of information that can be recorded for a single image.  That being said, if we stood side by side, with the same camera, same focal length we would in fact create the same image.   Where is the artist fingerprint in this process?

    We’ll find our fingerprint in what I believe are two areas:  location and post processing.  Both take patience, exploration and time.

    Finding a new composition or location requires a commitment to travel (either 30 minutes from your house or 30 hours), study maps and then it all comes down strapping on your hiking boots.  With your gear on your back and struggling past any pre-visualization, approaching a scene with fresh eyes and looking for that which captures your attention is an important part to the process of finding your fingerprint.

    Post processing.  We believe that post processing is the brush (literally) and the paint of the photographer.  Similar to painting and other artistic mediums there are rules to be aware of so that you can create more powerful imagery.  Processing on the computer can be a deeply rewarding process that can genuinely place your own unique fingerprint on a piece.  Similar to paint, if you invest the time into knowing the possibilities, techniques and add in a dash of your own “what if’s” magic can happen.   This is great art.

    The trap that we can often fall into as photographers is imitation that robs our creativity.  If you’ve picked up any photography magazine in the last 2 years you’ll notice the holy grail of images is the wide angle shot, mountains in the far background and a clumping of flowers in your foreground.  When one well named photographer created this shot, it seemed a large number of photographers started chasing a similar composition.   While beautiful, there’s something left wanting.  There’s no originality, and if we are left without a unique fingerprint, are we merely imitation artists who excel in producing replicas?

    These are tough questions, and to be quite honest they are topics we constantly toss around in our conversations as we quest for inspiration that leads to great work.   Our desire is to bring powerful imagery that evokes emotion, similar to the artwork that we saw yesterday in the gallery.  It caused us stand before the work, exclaim with excitement about a new element found in the piece, and share that appreciation together.  This is our ultimate goal for our photography.  That a single image, created well, birthed from our inspiration would uniquely touch someone in a powerful way.   We firmly believe that level of photography can only be created when your heart is poured out and “what if’s” have been answered.

  • Nature: The Source Of Our Passion

    With a deep breath I breathed in the scent of the azaleas in Charleston, and breathed out these words “nature is good for the soul”.

    That same day we watched the forecast and saw snow was predicted for the southern parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Needing a short break, Keith escaped in his truck to chase snow.  While there, everything that could go wrong seemed to happen until that one moment he stood with his feet at the edge of a river, a waterfall before him, and snow blanketed the tress.  The effort and obstacles were worth it.  Being in nature gave him room to breathe.

    Nature opens the doors to your soul and breaths life into your lungs.

    In the end, isn’t that why we do what we do and why we get up in the wee hours of the morning to brave the cold and elements?  Whether you are a full time professional photographer, retired, or have an office that feels more like home than your own house, the one thing we have in common is our love of being outdoors.

    If we assessed all the great landscape photographers of the past and those currently still making images today, the commonality is their passion for nature.  We know that staying in bed will result in missing 100% of the shots.  More importantly, the sacrifice of sleep will reward us with more than just a few pictures to show on Facebook or hang in our offices.  We’ll find that time spent getting lost near rushing waterfalls or on the side of the mountain speaks to something our soul longs for:  Adventure.  Combine crisp morning air, the earth offering up the fog to the still light of dawn and you’ll find the demands of your schedule and responsibilities dissipate.  That’s something the most luxurious of spas can’t offer.

    Explore for your heart, and the photographs will follow.

  • Gear Trends: Necessary or Distraction?

    It’s Thanksgiving week, and Black Friday ads, commercials, newspaper inserts and popups on our internet browser are all blaring the hottest gift ideas, discounts and deals.

    This morning while in the office and fielding through emails we came across something that grabbed our attention.

    Do ya’ll remember the Lytro that was introduced last fall as the first camera that records the light?  The technology that they have created allows you change the focus point and perspective of the pictures after the point of capture.  What this means is that if you’ve taken an image of a flower in the foreground and there’s a barn in the background, you can decide at a later time which you would like to be in focus.

    Here’s the question we ask ourselves: “Is this cutting edge technology that will change the game, or is it simply a passing trend?”

    Although the jury is still out on that question for the Lytro specifically, our eyebrows raised when we were directed to this website this morning to find that the regularly high priced item in question was reduced from $1,299.99 to $349.99 on this website.

    In our opinion, at $349.00 this could be a really fun Christmas gift for yourself or your photographer.   What’s Christmas without gifting unnecessary techy toys?

  • Introducing: The Photography Workshop Company

    Today we are very proud to announce the launch of our new company.

    It’s all because of you, that we’re writing this blog post.  To every single person that has come out on tour with us since we started, who has written a review, and to those of you who told us you want to keep coming back and go other places, we’re personally directing this post to you.

    You’ve asked us the question, “where else can we go” and we’re really excited to share our new adventure that was created with you in mind.

    As ya’ll know we passionately love Alberta, Canada.  Not only did Tiff grow up there, but it’s one of the most breathtaking places on the planet.  We’re heading back in June, and we want to take you with us.  You’ll find this trip much reduced in price from the previous trips that we did in years past.  This is our game now, and we’re changing the rules.

    Some things you’ll find that set us apart is that we’re doing away with financial penalties to those who travel alone and wish to room alone.    If you want to save a few dollars, we’ll see if we can pair you up with another guest and we’ll reduce your rate even further.

    In addition you’ll also find fall foliage trips to the Blue Ridge, Charleston In Bloom, Spring Time In The Smokys and a Waterfall Chasing trip is in the works.

    As always, spaces are limited so make your deposit to hold your place soon.  Also, stay tuned and make sure you sign up for the mailing list so you’ll be notified when new trips become available.

    Again, we couldn’t have done this without you, so we want to hear your feedback.

     

    Until Our Next Adventure,

    Keith & Tiff

  • How Do I Make My Pictures Sharper?

    Oh the frustration!  You just returned from an amazing adventure where you invested time, money and sleep to land the perfect shot, only to come home and realize your picture isn’t as sharp as what it could be.  Although it won’t make you feel better, this has happened to all of us.

    Going back to the basics, we are going to cover some things Keith and I do in the field to get the sharpest images possible.

     

    Sturdy Tripod

    This can’t be stated enough.  A flimsy tripod that is difficult to set up is the perfect recipe for field frustration.  I (Tiffany) started my photographic journey with a Manfrotto tripod and a pistol grip ball head.   When I moved to Fujifilm and a mirrorless system, I didn’t have the heavy weight of a Nikon and so I was able to move down in the weight of my tripod and still achieve a strong stabilization.  Currently I now use the Slik Lite Series.

    Keith on the other hand is shooting with a Nikon D810 and with the weight of that system he needs a tripod that can really stand strong.  He has an RRS tripod.

    Over our time photographing, and much of that time being spent in harsh conditions with ocean water tearing up our tripod, we can’t stress this enough:  spend a little more money and buy once.   A tripod isn’t the place I would try to cut corners.  You’ll only be frustrated when it breaks down on you and you have to buy another one.

     

    Cable Release

     We have a joke in our family about Keith’s ability to kill a cable release.  We almost need to just have them regularly delievered to our home.  He thinks it’s the manufactuor, and I think it’s his passion in the field that puts the durability to the test.  Regardless,  having a cable release will allow you to not touch your camera at the point of capture so that you can get the sharpest image possible.

    As a Fujifilm user, I’ll either use my 2 second timer, or I’ve downloaded their app and I can control the shutter with that.

     

    Remove The Strap

     At least one point or another of nearly all of our tours, you’ll find Keith and I wrapping the camera strap of a guest around the tripod.  We do this so that the wind can’t capture the material and cause shake.

     

    Check Your Settings

    Having a system in the field is paramount to being sure you’re not missing anything.  Checking your ISO, aperture, exposure and focus should be a system you mentally walk through before you start your shoot.  When an extraordinary scene takes your breath away and the light is leaving, you may be inclined to just start shooting, but this could be a mistake that can cost you the experience.

     

    Choosing The Right Aperture

     While in the field with beginners who are just starting to learn about aperture I tell them this: “Big scene, bigger number.  Small scene, smaller number”.  This is a deeply oversimplified statement, but it helps beginners to remember that a smaller aperture (larger number) will give them maximum sharpness.  All circumstances vary, but Keith and I tend to float somewhere between f/8 and f/11 for our landscapes.  When in doubt, go to F/11.

    Today we’ve taken a high pass over some of the things we do in the field to get the sharpest images possible.  For more info, stay tuned to upcoming blog posts or come out and go on an adventure with us!  We’d love to have you!

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