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This post originally appeared on the Kern-Photo.com and is being syndicated at The Phoblographer with wedding photographer R.J. Kern’s permission. To see more of his work, visit his website or follow his updates on Twitter. All photos taken by R.J. Kern. Used with permission.

Award-winning wedding photographer and owner of Kern-Photo R.J. Kern reacquaints us shutterbugs about leaf shutter lenses and why they are important in his very informative blog post, “Why Leaf Shutter Lenses Matter,” which not only talks about what makes them so useful to photographers, pros and hobbyists, but also covers how we can use its features to our advantage.

From how leaf shutters work to how they work with strobes to why they’re so expensive in the first place, R.J. explains in detail how these powerful lenses can help you improve your photography. So listen up and listen well.

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Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Sigma vs Rokinon 35mm f1.4 comparison lead image (1 of 1)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

Rokinon recently announced their AF chipped version of their 35mm f1.4 lens for Canon EF mount cameras. For this segment of the market, it’s about time. The new lens doesn’t sport an aperture ring and instead works perfectly with Canon’s DSLRs in a way very much like Zeiss does.

With the new chipped version of the lens, we decided to see how it holds up against the Sigma 35mm f1.4–the current king of the 35mm lenses in our book.

Editor’s Note: we’re not sanctioning this test to be the end all be all of all tests. It’s informal as per the way that the site’s philosophy works with our in the field real world reviews do.

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All photographs by Diana Dihaze. Used with permission.

In a dazzling display of imagery that only our hidden dreams  and darkest imagination could conjure, Ukraine-based photographer and image manipulation artist Diana Dihaze brings into existence a world of the bizarre.

A self-taught artist, Diana has created a world that’s somewhat like our own, except darker and at times more frightening, using and combining the familiar elements of our world and turning them into implements of terror or the surreal. And in her world, goddesses walk around adorned with faces other than their own, perhaps of their victims and human sacrifices, and mortal women surrender, as if willingly and with pleasure, to the natural world – whether it be to butterflies, snakes, or ivies – to become one with the earth.

At times haunting, at times downright terrifying, Diana’s images are powerful enough to dwell in our subconcious and appear in our nightmares. And yet, strange at it may seem, they possess a certain kind of beautiful magic that hypnotizes and draws spectators in, as disturbed as they are, for a much closer look before they even realize what they’re about to walk into.

Delve into Diana’s disturbing world, if only for a few minutes, after the jump.

Via Beautiful Bizarre

 

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All images by Bellamy Hunt, the Japan Camera Hunter. Used with permission.

If anyone in the world runs across rare and unique camera items, it’s Bellamy Hunt. Recently, he shared an image of a rare Leica IIIc Red Curtain Rangefinder with Nazi Navy/Marine markings on it. It’s worth it to note though that none of these cameras came out of Leica’s factory with the engravings. In fact, they were all added later on.

This particular rangefinder has the Nazi symbol with M underneath it–signifying that it was a camera for someone in the Navy. Bellamy tells us that the engraving was most likely done by a jeweler for the owner. But he also thinks that the symbol was added after the specific trend of engraving a Nazi symbol onto the camera was booming–which could potentially make it a fake. In fact, many fake copies came out of Russia.

While this is a real Leica camera, he still believes that the engraving was added after the trend (though still manufactured during war time) because the font isn’t just like the one used on many other cameras out there.

You can check this and other items out that Bellamy has for sale at this specific page.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon D810 high ISO samples Speakeasy Dollhouse NYC black and whites (2 of 2)ISO 128001-60 sec at f - 1.8

There are two major ways that many photographers know to convert their images to black and white. The first is a method used by many people new to photo editing: desaturation. When you desaturate the colors you literally take away any sort of vividness to them. The other method is converting to greyscale–and many more experienced shooters do this method instead.

So what’s the difference between desaturation vs grayscale? We asked Sharad Mangalick, the Senior Product Manager of Digital Imaging at Adobe about what each does particularly when working with the images in Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. According to him “When you desaturate the image, you are toning down the color. The color information is still there though. Clicking on the black & white button (or using the B&W portion of the HSL panel) converts the image to grayscale. Converting to grayscale allows you to tweak the B&W mix, which is not something that can do when you desaturate the image.”

So more or less, it has to do with how much editing you want to do after you make the image into a black and white. If you just want to change it and not do any sort of extra editing, then desaturation could be okay. But otherwise, you may want to edit particular color regions to see what the results will turn into. For example, the image above was mostly in a blue cast, and choosing to boost the luminance in the blue levels made specific parts of the image brighter indeed.

Keep this in mind when you’re thinking about turning your images into black and whites.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Shooting Coffee Steam tutorial (1 of 1)ISO 8001-80 sec at f - 1.4

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Check them out right here.

Every single photographer and artist faces some sort of terrible creative slump. It’s an incredibly scary moment for all of us but an essential one as it helps us to grow and evolve into better shooters. And as we grow, we need new ideas. When recently faced with both writer’s block and photographer’s block, I decided to find a way to still stay absolutely productive instead of stepping away from being creative.

And so it began with something that I learned years ago in poetry class in high school. But when applying it to the photography world, the advice is so super simple: shoot anything. Shoot anything and figure out a way to just keep shooting. Then build on the idea of what you shot and do a free-word association challenge. Let’s say you photographed a picture of your morning coffee. In this case (and every case) apply the thought process of who, what, when, where, how and why. When you do this, you can think about questions that can apply to this. Eventually, it turned into my own little miniature photo project into how to make the perfect cup of coffee. That lead to story boarding and figuring out the right angles and lighting. Then the post-production. And before you knew it I had my own little photo project done in under an hour.

So when a creative slump hits, think random and think free. Don’t get confined by burnout.

We’re not saying that this will work for everyone, but why not give it a try?