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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today, Profoto is announcing their brand new B2 monolights–a compact set that in some ways bridges the gap between speedlights and monolights. Incorporating full TTL control if the photographer wishes, the lights are very traditional heads with all battery power and control coming from the battery pack. This pack can easily mount onto your shoulder, over your chest, or even on the ground as the heads can go a fair distance away onto a light stand or even by using a flash bracket that can mount onto your camera–if you’re that type of photographer.

At 280 watt seconds of power, the B2 lights offer more output than your standard hot shoe flash but less than most monolights. In fact, we’re partial to calling them the perfect in-between solution.

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Hark! Nikon has two new cameras: the D7200 and Coolpix P900. The former is the next iteration of the Nikon D7100 with 0.1 more megapixels, no optical low-pass filter, increased buffer capacity and built-in wi-fi. It also sports an ISO range of 100-25600. The D7100 tapped out at 6400, though it could reach 25600 in extended mode. The D7200 sports HD video, and Nikon’s created a wireless lavalier microphone for all Nikon users: the ME-W1.

Speaking of sports, one of the biggest problems with the camera when shooting sports was the buffer. It’s been increased quite a bit over its predecessor.

Specs alone, we imagine the D7200 would be a fine choice for students, beginners and enthusiasts.

The Nikon D7200 will be available in April 2015 for $1,199.95 body only or $1,699.95 with the 18-140mm f3.5-5.6.

The P900 is a camera of the Coolpix variety with a long 83x zoom range. It has a 16MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with HD video capabilities and a burst capacity of 7 fps. The lens has a 35mm-equivalent focal range of 24-2000mm, and the aperture is f2.8 at its widest and f6.7 at its longest. At the widest end, there’s a shutter lag time of 0.12 seconds and 0.75 seconds at its longest.

Specs alone, we imagine this’d be great for travelers who don’t want to change lenses.

The Nikon Coolpix P900 will be available in black in April 2015 for $599.95.

Head one for image samples and full spec lists.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer GM5 Panasonic hand (1 of 1)ISO 4001-320 sec at f - 2.8

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While many street photographers tend to shoot with their cameras in shutter or aperture priority, lots of street photographers shoot in manual mode. If you’re looking to give this a shot, then we recommend a very handy trick (literally) to make metering a scene and people in the scene even easier.

When you point your camera at someone, it’s bound to try to meter for skin or for the person. In that case, a good place to start is to point the camera and lens at your hand, take a meter reading and adjust the shutter speed, ISO and aperture based on this. Then depending on if your scene is more dominated by shadows or highlights, you fine tune the exposure from there before even putting the camera up to your eye to shoot.

By metering off your hand, you’re exposing for a similar subject in most likely similar lighting and you’re that much more likely to get the exposure correct the first time around. Plus, folks don’t think that you’re posing a threat to them.

Go ahead, try it out the next time you go to shoot street photography.

ISO 400

With WPPI 2015 on the brink of starting up very soon, we’ve been busy scouring the web for the best in the business when it comes to wedding and portrait photography. We’ve also worked on curating and creating lots of tips and tutorials to help you get your start or help you get even further along in the photo world.

But we’re not only talking about gear: part of being a photographer is also having people skills. And as many of the photographers that we’ve interviewed will tell you, it’s pretty much everything. Here’s our giant roundup of Portrait and Wedding Tips.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Artisan Obscura is another one of the companies jumping into the pool of elegant and beautifully designed accessories for cameras. The company was started in 2013 after being an idea in 2012;, but they had more than just manufacturing pieces of art for cameras in mind. They’ve partnered with a non-profit company in their local Denver area to find a way to give back to the community.

“We utilize responsibly sourced wood and keep our footprint small, which isn’t that difficult as our products are small enough that we can get about 30+ soft shutter buttons out of a 1″x8″ block of wood!” is what the company states on their website. Yes, all of their soft shutter releases and hot shoe covers have a bit of swag, but they also carry with them a fine sense of elegance and craftsmanship.

Think about it: how many of you could easily take a piece of wood and turn it into a beautiful button with smooth texture, a nice feel overall, and how many of them could you make by hand each day?

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Chris Gampat Lauren Englebert portraits Early winter 2015 first batch (3 of 8)ISO 1001-160 sec at f - 2.8

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“Smile.”

“Come on, smile.”

The problem with this is that your portrait subject can end up giving you some sort of really awkward expression that isn’t genuine and that clearly translates into that when you take their photo.

Meet Lauren: a fantastic woman I know here in NYC that wanted her portrait taken and that gave me the very same situation. So with this, I, as a photographer, faced the problem of not only making her deliver a genuine smile but also delivering an image that looked great in the end. So here’s how I did it and how you can, too:

– Pre-focus on an area of their face (in this case I chose her right eye that is camera left, closest to the light source and also closest to the camera.

– Politely ask for a slight sliver of a smile

– When the subject states that they hate their smile, try to figure out a way to make them genuinely elicit a feeling that will render a facial expression in the direction of what you’re going for.

– When Lauren gave me an awkward smile, I very seriously yet jokingly said, “A little less awkward and terrible please.” Because she knows me, it got a genuine giggle out of her. Because I had been pre-focused, I snapped the photo at that exact same time.

Yes, Lauren knows me, but even with other people that I’ve done this method with I’ve gotten it to work. The way that you get to this to work has to do with sitting down with the person first, getting comfortable with them, understanding where they’re coming from, having an actual conversation, and most importantly getting them comfortable with you.

So what’s the overall secret? Do something on the spot that makes them elicit a facial expression or body language that you want to capture. But first, have a personable conversation and relaxation time. Have a cup of coffee with the person first and chat a bit, it makes them realize that you’re a human and not just someone with a camera.