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All images by Dylan and Sara. Used with permission

Photography duo Dylan and Sara are part of the most recent trend of wedding photographers embracing the DIY alternative art style to weddings rather than the more traditional approach that many have come to know for years. They are wedding photographers based in Portland, Oregon and are most widely known for their double exposures and landscape portraits. On top of this, they were recently named “Rising Stars of Wedding Photography” by Rangefinder Magazine.

Besides having the right creative vision, having the means and know-how to market it is another key skill to becoming a professional photographer. Luckily, Sara was a marketing major in college. But the duo has worked on a brand that is holistic and very much has a mind of its own.

We talked to Sara Byrne not only about their images but also about how they became successful.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung 85mm f1.4 portrait review images (1 of 3)ISO 1001-800 sec at f - 2.5

The Rule of Thirds: it’s the rule that every single photographer is told to follow from the beginning. It’s always about not centering your subjects and instead putting them around the intersecting inner corners of the image divided into nine sections. And you’re taught from the beginning to just follow this rule.

This rule has to do with technique, more than anything else. The technique is what also limits many other photographers from creating better images. What do we mean by that? When you first start out as a photographer, you’re bound to get stuck in trying to compose a scene along the rule of thirds lines. But that can either make you a better photographer or one that gets so wrapped up in the technique that they end up giving up. A similar thing happens in the video world with the 180 degree rule.

So here’s a message for beginners–telling you to compose in a brand new way.

Ready for the secret?

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Metabones Nikon G Mount Lens to Sony E-mount GServo-3643-20140727

Usually when we hear about the brand wars, it’s about Canon vs Nikon. And to that end, we usually hear about why a photographer goes from one brand to the other. But it’s rare that we will hear about a photographer that left one of those two brands for Sony. However, photographer Jason Lanier decided to spent 24 minutes on the subject.

Over and over again, he says that DSLRs are going the way of the dinosaurs and that there are features that Sony does that DSLRs should be doing. Amongst the reasons why he left Nikon are the Sony A7s and the A6000. He cites the speed and high ISO abilities of the cameras amongst just how good the files are as other reasons. Plus he talks about the advantages of an EVF over an OVF and WiFi connectivity with the cameras.

Though we’re big lovers of mirrorless cameras ourselves, we have to admit that the EVF is the reason why mirroless camera battery life sucks. But we’ve got ways to fix that.

Jason’s video on why he switched from Nikon to Sony is after the jump.

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DIY Light Tent

If you want to shoot photos of objects and products with little to no shadows, then one of the simplest ways to do it is with a light box or light tent. This is a white box with an opening in the front and with translucent white panels on each side that allows bright diffused light to bathe the subject in what can be a shadowless lighting effect.

The guys over at DIY Tryin created a tutorial video on hacking together your own light box/tent on the cheap. What they try to emphasize is diffusion. In order for a light tent to really work, you need to diffuse the light coming in from all sides. But as they were able to demonstrate, the light is so diffused that they can shoot an image with their phone and get something very diffused.

For what it’s worth, we would rather recommend having a three light setup than a two light setup. We would place two lights on each side and one on the back with the back lighting being cranked up to turn the background into pure white. An alternative is to have a very high powered strobe firing in from the top of the lightbox with a translucent reflector diffusing the light.

Their tutorial on making your own DIY light tent is after the jump.

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Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Ricoh Theta m15 Product Image 2

Ricoh has updated its Theta 360-degree camera with video recording. The latest Ricoh Theta m15 is a little handheld shooter can take up to three minutes of omnidirectional video.

This is all thanks to the Theta’s super wide-angle lenses placed on the front and back of the device. Each of the lenses and cameras capture 180-degree images and put together they create a seamless 360-degree view of the world. Additionally the Theta comes with Wi-Fi built in and Ricoh promises the wireless transfer speeds are nearly two times faster than the outgoing model.

Exposure control with the Theta is entirely automatic, so just point in the general direction of your subject (it’s a super wide-angle camera after all) and press the button. The Theta has a tripod mount hidden under its base, letting you set it up for timelapses on something as simple as a Joby Gorillapod.

Between the new Ricoh Theta m15, HTC’s new RE camera, and Sony’s ever expanding line of QX cameras we wonder how many more of these handheld, smartphone-connected cameras will come out in the future.

The Ricoh Theta m15 will be out out this November for $299.99 in your choice of blue, pink, white, and yellow. Check out more images of the Theta after the break and you can see some sample images on Ricoh’s website.

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julius motal the phoblographer understanding awareness street photography

A friend asked me recently, “How do you get photos of people without creeping them out?” The short answer is that it lies in awareness. The photo she inquired about was one I shot in a bookstore, and while that doesn’t fall in the loose tenets of street photography (candid photos in public spaces), the principles in making that image are the same. Ask any street photographer about their craft, and you’re bound to hear about how essential awareness is.

In street photography, there is little control. The polar opposite is studio photography, in which you can control every element of the image making process: from your subject’s pose to the direction and intensity of light. In street photography, you have to be able to let go and give yourself up to the ever-shifting dynamic outside. What you can control, however, is your awareness, and that comes in several forms.

On the street, you need to have spatial awareness. That is to say, you need to be aware of everything and everyone around you, and that changes with every step you take, as well as the steps everyone else takes. Everything is a part of the frame, and where those elements are determines the type of image you make. When everything falls into place, then you click the shutter.

An extension of spatial awareness is situational awareness. It’s not just about the physical position of elements in a three-dimensional space, it’s about what’s happening. Of course, not all street photographs have people in them, but for those that do, the person (or people) in them are in the midst of doing something.

The street photographs that leave a lasting impression capture emotion. If you can properly gauge emotions in your subjects, your photos will be better for it. Emotional awareness comes with constant practice in observing people, with and without your camera. The visual cues are there in body language.

Awareness and anticipation exist symbiotically in street photography, and you can hone those skills by getting out there and photographing as much as you can.