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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Shooting landscapes can be tougher than you really think. Shoot at f22, and everything will be in focus but you’ll also have lots of diffraction. Shoot at a spot more wide open and not everything will be in focus at all. So what’s the best way to do it?

According to Professional Photography Tips on YouTube, a great starting point is to use Live View on your tripod mounted camera, then focus out to around 1/3rd of the way through the frame. At this point, you should use the digital zoom feature to see if you are in focus and sharp or not. They also recommend shooting at f8. But if that isn’t working then you need to make adjustments. If you’re using certain cameras and you switch to manual focus mode, your camera will give you focus peaking to help you discern whether you’re in focus or not to begin with.

For what it’s worth, the tips are mostly geared towards users with wide angle lenses (our recommendations are here and here). But indeed, there are many photographers that use telephoto lenses to get subjects further away.

But beyond getting sharper focus is the fact that you can also have a sharper image. Then you need to ensure that you have better color–which is linked to your exposure to begin with. Believe it or not, that starts with working with the black levels and contrast. A more contrasty image will appear sharper when not viewed at 100% (and your subjects really shouldn’t be viewing your images at 100% to begin with.)

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The Affordable 4x5 camera

The larger the format is that you’re working with, the more time it will surely take you to get a single image due to all the work that goes into it. And while large format cameras can be expensive, a duo from Europe are Kickstarting a more affordable camera. It’s called the Intrepid 4×5 camera, and it promises to be a light weight camera made from birch ply wood.

The Intrepid will take 75-300mm lens boards, has ground glass for focusing, comes with a choice of bellows colors, and folds down into a very compact size. With it being made from plywood though, I’d personally want it to be finished with a sealant of some sort to prevent moisture from affecting it too much in the long run. For the 125 Euro that they’re apparently charging for the camera though, we can’t really expect much.

It will take standard film cases for the image loading: which means that you can enjoy many of the offerings from Fujifilm, Kodak and Ilford still available for the format.

The intro video is after the jump, but be sure to head over to their Kickstarter page too to see the different rewards offered.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After Sony introduces 4K video recording in the A7s (with external recorder), Sony Alpha Rumors claims that the company is working on an 8K camera. Sony purportedly brought an 8K camera prototype to the BBC headquarters. A source at the event claimed the unit looked similar to the Sony A99 full frame DSLR with a vertical grip. Sony also supposedly said this 8K camera could come to market as soon as 2016.

Despite the both the Sony A6000 and Sony A7s featuring great video options along with Sony’s AVCHD format, the Japanese company still isn’t as popular in the video world as Panasonic or Canon.

Sony might be interested in starting a resolution war with Panasonic, as the electronics firm already has two cameras that record  in 4K including the GH4 and LX100. There are also other mirrorless cameras that can be hacked to take quad-HD footage. However if Sony is in talks with the BBC, and potentially NHK, it could be one of the first big providers of 8K equipment for the television world.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials for th Strobist Street Photographer (2 of 9)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 3.5

“I want to be a pro.”

Don’t pretend like that thought hasn’t come across your mind at all. Many of us as photographers have always wanted to go pro. It’s in gear marketing, it’s part of the aspirations of many in the photo community, and it’s ingrained in so many tutorials that are all across the web. So what does being a pro mean? Being a professional photographer means that the large majority of your income is from photography. This means that you shoot for a living and if you’re not shooting then you probably can’t pay rent, put food on the table, etc. Is this you? Probably not.

But then let’s start to break that down a bit more: you could aspire to be a semi-professional photographer. This means that anywhere from around 40-50% of your income is from photography. The rest of the money may come from your full time job. Being the semi-professional photographer is a much more attainable ideal to strive for than relying entirely on photography for all of your income. No matter how good you are, you need to consider a couple of very big factors at play here.

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julius motal the phoblographer photographers friends

Depending on your approach, photography can be a communal experience or a loner’s art. When you’re in the early days of your practice, there’s a chance you might show your work to close friends, and they’ll most likely encourage you in your pursuit. If they’re not photographers, their encouragement will in many ways be superficial, and while the good remarks may feel good, they’re not substantively helpful. Thoughtful critique is key to any photographer’s development, regardless of genre. One of the best ways to get that critique, beyond workshops and portfolio reviews, is to develop and maintain relationships with other photographers. [click to continue…]

Video thumbnail for youtube video How to Use Macro Close Up Filters - The Phoblographer

If you don’t own a Macro lens, one option that is often more affordable and can do somewhat of the same job are Macro Close Up Filters. What these filters do is act like a magnifying glass while working in conjunction with your lens and sensor. Years ago, they weren’t such great quality but over the years they’ve become better and better. To use them, you simply take the filters and screw them onto the front of your lens. The cool part is that they come in different magnifications and can be stacked one on top of the other for an even closer zooming effect. It will take a whole lot of them to get into a 1:1 ratio with many lenses, but the filters are also meant to be a more affordable alternative to a macro lens.

Photographer Mike Brown demonstrates this and how they’re used in his video after the jump. Mike shows us just how close in one can get when trying to focus on a very small and detailed subject. When he stacks of the filters on top of one another, he finds that he can’t even see the subject that he purposely placed in back of his main subject.

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