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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X30 first image samples (1 of 28)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8

The title of this piece can almost make you say, “Duh” depending on what school of thought you’re coming from. Whether we choose to believe it or not, the iPhone is one of the most popular street photography cameras not only due to its small size and reliability, but for the fact that it has such a small sensor that it’s tough to not get a subject in focus. The sensor is indeed so small that it is tough to get something not in focus–so the photographer is forced to have compelling subject matter without relying on tricks like bokeh.

And by going on a similar train of thought, one can argue that smaller sensors indeed make street photography easier.

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I have a confession to make: ever since getting involved in the whole strobist world, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect light modifier. It has lead me down paths to experiment with beauty dishes, softboxes, ring flashes, umbrellas and octabanks. While every light modifier is very capable of doing their own thing very well, I’ve found that umbrellas are the most versatile. And because of this fact, I own four of them.

Umbrellas are great! They give beautiful catchlights in the eyes, can bring out lots of detail in a subject, have a beautiful and inefficient light spread that isn’t really directional but can be made so, and they’re super portable.

And more so than any other light modifier, I believe umbrellas rule them all.

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Pro Tip: Sometimes a very wide angle lens can help with photojournalistic work. Use caution though and don't get too close up to a subject.

Pro Tip: Sometimes a very wide angle lens can help with photojournalistic work. Use caution though and don’t get too close up to a subject.

Novice photographers worry all the time about whether or not their images will get stolen. Whenever I talk to people about building a photo website, one of the most commonly asked questions after mobile design is how to protect your images from being stolen. The truth is: you can’t. In the age of screenshotting and going into a page’s source code to get the images, getting someone’s images from their website is incredibly simple if you have moderate HTML knowledge.

The absolute best way is to keep them offline. But if you want exposure, then you have to take the risk. In the chance that your images are stolen, hopefully you’ve taken the right step to tracking them. The best practices are to name your images with your name, duplicate that into the meta keywords, add that into the artist and copyright sections, and to do a bunch of other methods that we list here.

But above all of this, we want to tell beginners to do one thing: don’t worry. The absolute total truth is going to hurt, but you need to hear it.

Ready? Okay.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 VC image samples (22 of 36)ISO 2001-100 sec at f - 2.8

There are many, many photographers that wish they were simply an observer and that no one would pay them any attention. And as many often try to be those photographers, unfortunately they get noticed. The main reason for this: combine the fact that the photographer is super nervous, the subject being photographed doesn’t know the photographer, and that the photographer is trying so hard to just get a photo and get out.

If you put all of these together, the photographer instead is more like the mosquito that you’re trying to swat because you don’t want the West Nile virus.

Instead, being this type of mythical photographer requires patience and mastery of your body language.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Stephs first edits (17 of 18)ISO 160

When it comes to working with a flash during the daytime, one of the best ways to do this and ensure that your entire exposure isn’t blown out is to use an ND filter. To begin with, you’re supposed to use flash during the daytime to prevent shadows. You’ll start by positioning the sun behind your subject–but if you’re just working with ambient lighting then you’ll have blown out skies. And that method of backlighting is totally fine if you want that look.

But if you want to balance the background with your subject in the foreground, the best bet is to use a flash. One option is high speed sync or a fast flash duration, but one method that photographers have been using for years is the ND filter. We’ve used it too, but photographer Craig Beckta demonstrated this very well in the video below that shows the difference that an ND filter can make.

One big warning though: an ND filter can also affect your camera’s autofocusing abilities because it cuts down the amount of light in the scene that the sensor sees until the flash goes off.

Try it this weekend, and check out Craig’s video on using an ND filter to balance ambient light and strobe after the jump.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 8-15mm product photos (2 of 4)

It’s been a while since we saw something extremely unconventional from Canon, but both Photo Rumors and Canon Rumors are saying that we should be hearing about new L series lenses. According to both sites, we should be hearing about both an 11-24mm f4 L and a 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS USM II lens. The former is an interesting addition seeing as the company already has a very good 8-15m f4 L lens and a 16-35mm f2.8 L offering. An 11-24mm f4 L lens will most likely be targeted at landscape, architecture, and cityscape photographers that need something that wide. To boot, f4 is more than wide enough of an aperture for work like that.

What lots of photographers will be talking about though will be the 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS USM II–which many agencies, news wires and sports shooters will most likely be interested in. We heard about the patent for this lens being submitted before, but the patents filed are in addition to some other very interesting patents. The photo world should be hearing about a new 17-5mm lens along with a 70-400mm lens.

Still though, we’re just going to have to wait and see what Canon comes out with.