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Midway through last year, I shut down my flickr account. While some may balk at the thought of having one, I found it to be a swell community, despite the fact that it was still clunky after Yahoo! updated the veneer. As I was figuring out the photographer I wanted to be, I realized that I needed to clean up what I had online, and my flickr account was the primary culprit because it had everything I put up since 2009. It was rife with awful photographs of flowers, lifeless scenes, and scenes where bokeh was the main focus because my 50mm f1.7 lens was a godsend. My photographs had no soul and no voice, and anyone who came across it would have no idea what to make of me as a photographer. It was this realization and slight existential crisis that instilled in me the importance of cleaning house.

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SEL35F14Z_B

Just in case you wanted another reason to spend your hard earned money, Sony is announcing today a load of new lenses for the full frame E mount system: the 35mm f1.4, 28mm f2, 90mm f2.8, a 24-240mm f3.5-6.3 lens and converters for their APS-C lenses.

For anyone that has ever said that Sony doesn’t have enough lenses in their lineup, it looks like they’re pretty much ready to shut you up. The system now includes a handful of zooms and even more premium prime lenses.

Lots of the lenses have the Zeiss branding, but what we’re incredibly amazed by is the fact that the 35mm f1.4 has a working aperture ring that they’re starting is best for cinema shooting although it isn’t being branded as a cinema lens.

Techs specs and more images are after the jump. The Sony 24-240mm f3.5-6.3 will $999.99, the Sony 90mm f2.8 will cost $1099.99, the 35mm f1.4 will cost $1,599.99, and the 28mm f2 will cost $449.99.

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Canon EOS 6D

Canon, Nikon and so many more are offering discounts right now on lenses, cameras and more.

In the edition of Cheap Photo, we show you some of our favorite deals and those that are about to expire. All the best camera deals, lens deals, and discounts are right here.

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Screenshot taken from the video

Screenshot taken from the video

Photographer Peter Hurley needs no introduction as a headshot and portrait photographer; and it’s always interesting to listen to his stories. For example, why does he say SHABANG during portrait sessions? Peter talks about it in the video after the jump and explains that it’s in reaction to a feeling that you get when you capture the perfect headshot from someone.

On a deeper level, he talks about not settling for mediocre images and instead getting the ones that elicit an emotion out of someone and creating images that move people. That’s what we should aspire to create.

“My inner artist wants to look at my screen and see a killer picture.” says Hurley.

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Screenshot taken from the video

Screenshot taken from the video

Effective compositions can overcome pretty much any technique that you use to make your image beautiful, with the exception of content. Photographer Tony Northrup tries to explain this and also includes things depth, planes, etc. In fact, he tries to talk about a balance of content in the image and the composition itself. And while he doesn’t spend much time doing so, we get an idea that composition and content need to be balanced in some way or another to create more effective and interesting images.

Tony’s video on more effective composition is after the jump.

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Pro Tip: The larger the light modifier is, the softer the light will be on your subject in relation to distance from them.

Pro Tip: The larger the light modifier is, the softer the light will be on your subject in relation to distance from them.

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click here.

Your camera is at the lowest ISO setting it could possibly organically be at, your shutter speed has hit the maximum setting, and you still want to shoot an image with the lens wide open. The challenge: the sun is way too bright and giving off too much light to let you get anything near a correct exposure.

So how do you shoot the photo? There are three different ways.

The first one is the simplest and least expensive. Try to backlight the subject. Of course, this is tougher if your subject is a flower or your children running around because it means you need to get very low to the ground. But otherwise it’s a solid option.

The second option: use a shoot through umbrella or a translucent reflector to diffuse the sunlight. This will usually kill enough of it to let you get a more balanced exposure. In the case of the umbrella, it can also be used as a fun prop.

The final option: try a variable ND filter–which is what film photographers used to use. These filters let you cut out a specific amount of like that you set them to just by turning them. The quality of these filters has improved so much that it’s bound to not ruin the quality of your image.