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Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Breakthrough Photography X-Series Filters Product Images-09

With the many advances in technology that have happened over the years, lenses have become better and better at reducing flare from sun and light overall. This has to do with how glass has become better and how the chemistry involved in the coatings has improved.

Many, many years ago back in the film days, photographers needed to use UV filters with their lenses. One of the biggest reasons for this had to do with glare from the sun and extraneous light that caused flaring that didn’t look so great. Indeed though, lens flare can sometimes look great but it is very situational.

Then the digital photography revolution happened, and the UV filters started to degrade the image quality that you’d see. The reason for this had to do with the glass involved.

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zeiss touit 32mm sony nex 6

Interviewing a number of photographers this year has made me realize that one of the best ways to actually become a better photographer isn’t to necessarily shoot more like many photographers will tell you to, but to instead shoot less and think more critically and carefully about every single photo that you take. Indeed, a photographer who thinks carefully about each photo that they shoot (in terms of exposure, composition, elements, and overall look) will overall shoot less than someone simply just spraying and praying machine gun style, hoping that each image will yield something better than the last one.

A model that we often shoot for the site recently told me that I’m unlike many other photographers. I know exactly what I want, I shoot it, and I’m done. Others tend to just shoot and shoot and shoot. Folks that have joined me me during my photo walks also say the same thing.

The photographer that sprays and prays will overall come away with more work, but chances are highly against them that they will want to display every single image in their portfolio. To be specific, I’m talking about a photographer presenting their portfolio in an attempt to actually gain better photography work–not someone simply just uploading to their Flickr or 500px.

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All images by Sasha O. Used with permission

Sasha O is one of the winners of our Phottix Portrait contest, and her work inspired and captivated us due to her sense of the surreal, creativity and her self expression. What made this even tougher is the fact that Sasha pushed herself to shoot a single portrait each day in a 365 project.

Like many other surreal photographers, Sasha tries to express a feeling or emotion in images and is fueled by the world around her and the feelings she has inside.

We talked to her about the commitment to a 365 project and her inspiration.

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julius motal the phoblographer justin benzel image 05

All images by Justin Benzel. Used with permission.

Tumblr’s Year in Review made the rounds here, and it was Justin Benzel’s work that first caught my eye. There was something so fantastically cool about his work that I felt I had to talk to him about how and why he does it. Benzel is a Chicago-based photo-illustrator and photographer who’s currently working on a project that finds itself somewhere between 1950s noir and science-fiction. Here we talk to Benzel about his inspiration, approach and technique.

For more of Benzel’s work, check out his website and tumblr.

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Model: Bec Fordyce

Model: Bec Fordyce

When you’re first getting started in lighting, you’ll probably have the very basics, which could be a single speedlight or single monolight with no umbrella, softbox, or anything else like that. There are many, many ways to make the best of a very minimal situation as long as you’re in the right environment or you’re in the right shooting situation. And even then, you can always make things work for you if you can just think a bit differently and creatively.

This is how you make the best of a single speedlight–and this guide is designed for beginners.

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Aska - potato with juniper & whey

Pro tip: When shooting food, using natural light involves shutting any overhead or ambient light off.- Daniel Krieger

All images by Daniel Krieger. Used with permission

Photographer Daniel Krieger is a New York based photographer that creates many of the beautiful dishes that you see on Eater, the NYTimes and many more. Mr. Krieger is one of the new breed of photographers that has learned how to utilize social media to his advantage and to gain clients. His schedule is always very tight–understandably so, considering the work that he is capable of producing.

However, we had a few moments to chat with Daniel about his photography and his train of thought when photographing food.

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