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Video thumbnail for youtube video Photographer Joel Grimes Shows You How Effective Reflectors Are - The Phoblographer

They have to be the most underused and overlooked light modifiers out there, but reflectors are also some of the most useful that every photographer should include in their kit. They come in many different shapes, sizes and colors to help you accomplish exactly what you need to do. Adding reflectors are also often a much better alternative to filling in shadows than slowing down your shutter speed is.

Photographer Joel Grimes recently did a video with Westcott featuring their Rapid Box (which we weren’t the biggest fans of) and showing us how a single light positioned above and in front of a model can illuminate them very well but can leave shadows under their chin–which can sometimes make the model look not as flattering depending on the situation. In the one presented in the video, it isn’t that terrible at all.

However, Joel also adds a reflector to the show and shows us a comparison between the two–and effectively demonstrates how the shadows are mostly eliminated.

What’s also important though is the model’s stance and pose. If you look at her during one of the side shots, you can see a bit of Peter Hurley’s influence in the way she sticks the chin out.

Joel’s video with Westcott on how reflectors kill shadows is after the jump.

Via ISO 1200

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony NEX 7 product images (2 of 6)ISO 400

After a relatively quiet appearance at Photokina, Sony might have an exciting new Sony A7000 mirrorless camera complete with a new 24MP sensor coming down the pipeline. The camera will more than likely be a successor to the Sony NEX 7 and Sony Alpha Rumors claims it will arrive in 2015.

An anonymous source suggests the camera will be weather-sealed, retain its rangefinder style, and feature full tethering capabilities. On top of this the Sony A7000 will purportedly have a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000th of a second, which will be great for shooting wide open in daylight. It will also supposedly be the second Alpha camera able to capture 4K footage after the Sony A7s, but it’s not clear whether the Sony A7000 will also need an external recorder to do so. This makes complete sense as the company doesn’t have an APS-C mirrorless camera with weather-sealing. Granted, the A7 series isn’t weather-sealed but is splash and moisture resistant.

Supposedly the Sony A7000 will come kitted with a new mark II version of the 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 power-zoom lens with much improved shooting quality. As it stands the current kit lens that comes with all Sony cameras is pretty terrible with poor corner sharpness and rampant color fringing.

Lastly, Sony is also purportedly working on a new Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f4 lens that will also be weather-sealed. It seems like the company is starting to take the higher end production scale even more seriously if any of this is at all true.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Elinchrom Pro HD 1000 Watt second light product images (11 of 11)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 3.5

Elinchrom doesn’t have a name as strong Paul C Buff, Profoto, or Broncolor–but their products are in the hands of many pros who do some incredible work with their lights. When we first saw the ELC Pro HD 1000 watt second light at a meeting with the company, we saw some very rudimentary features. And for the most part, Elinchrom isn’t reinventing the wheel. But the big selling points of this light are the 1000 watt second output, 1.4 second recycle time, and the promise of being able to shoot 20fps at the lowest power setting.

But is that enough to make you want to upgrade?

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pentax-645z-review-dylandsara-0021

Editor’s Note: this review was syndicated from photographer duo Dylan and Sara with permission. All images and text are theirs.

The last week was spent shooting a few thousand frames through the Pentax 645z. This is Pentax’s new somewhat-affordable medium format system. We wanted to take a real world approach to how we would shoot the camera, so this review will be less technical and more about how it performed on the job.  We took it to a full wedding, a weeks worth of portrait sessions and a night shoot.

Medium format digital cameras have been on our mind lately and this did not let us down. This is one of the many current medium format offerings to use the 51mp CMOS sensor produced by Sony. This new CMOS sensor is a huge deal for the way we shoot, mainly because it allows useable high-iso and live view, this wasn’t possible with the previous generation of medium format digitals.

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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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