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Take your best photos with these five essential tips for using off-camera flash. Plus, advance your photography with off-camera flash techniques when you enroll in award-winning photographer Neil van Niekerk’s online Craftsy class Off-Camera Flash Photography for just $39.99 today— that’s 50% off for Phoblographer readers!

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post from Craftsy.

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DxO FilmPack 3

Lovers of the film look will want to act fast and grab this free copy of DxO FilmPack 3, a piece of film simulation software that also plugs in seamlessly with Lightroom. The offer is good from now until August 15th and all users need to submit is their email address.

DxO FilmPack 3 isn’t quite as swanky as the latest mark 4 version, but from our time reviewing the application does an excellent job of emulating the look of film. It offers an excellent set of color and black-and-white film presets including Fuji Provia 100. Kodachrome 64, and Kodak Tri-X 400. The software also gave us plenty of controls to fine-tune various film presets and further enhancing the look of our processed image.

For those we want to create the best looking images and even more film styles we recommend users pick up the Nik Collection of plugins from Google. But those just starting out DxO FilmPack 3 is a great way to get your feet wet in the film simulation world and its free! Also for our German readers here’s a free subscription to Digital Photo Magazine you can nab until September 30th.

Via Reddit

Grand-Place, Brussels

Grand-Place, Brussels, Belgium

Before, during and after you go on a trip, there are a few things to consider to improve your pictures as a photographer, no matter where the place is. Why do some people seem to get crappy shots, others seem to have loads of postcard shots while some people take off to the beaten path with creative shots? How can I get those iconic shots while still maintaining creative control on what you shoot? Without saying more, here are some ways to improve your travel photography.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II product images first impressions (4 of 5)ISO 4001-500 sec at f - 3.5

Panasonic’s 20mm f1.7 was a lens that created legends and made jaws drop everywhere. Released around the initial start of the Micro Four Thirds launches, the lens was a sharp pancake offering that also had a wide aperture and image quality overall to boot. Fast forward a couple of years and the lens is on its second iteration. DxOMark has stated that this lens isn’t as sharp as its predecessor, but we all know that a little bit of post-production work can fix that.

We’ve been spending some quality time getting to know the lens, and so far we’re pretty impressed by what we see. But of course, it isn’t all sugar and sweets. And at $427.99, it may be a bit too much to stomach.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Product photos Canon 5D Mk III (2 of 10)ISO 200

Today is the last day for many deals currently going on in July. Take a look.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 10.27.19 AM

Sometimes, in order to save money on a film set it’s best to improvise in the creation of lighting modifiers to get a particular look. Many photographers have been doing it for years, and we even did it. But director David F Sandberg put an interesting twist on lighting when shooting his recent short film entitled, “Not So Fast.

Essentially, David needed to create some very faint lighting on the subject in the film–which turned out to look like very faint moonlight in the end. And to do this he took a light bulb and put it in an IKEA trashcan that was modified at home to give off the right amount of spread and diffuse the light’s output. After that, he used in-camera exposure settings to nerf out all the ambient light otherwise and combined the scene with a black curtain.

It’s incredibly simple, yet really cool. Check out the video after the jump.

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