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Model: Erica Lourde

Model: Erica Lourde

Portrait lenses are an interesting topic due to the balance that’s needed with them. They need to be sharp, but if they’re too sharp, they can make skin look too detailed and not soft. Sure, this can be fixed in post-production but it’s often long and arduous work, and needs to be very exacting so that the images don’t look overdone or unnatural.

For that reason, we aren’t at all saying that sharp lenses aren’t good. In fact, they’re great! Many of them have won our Editor’s Choice awards. Instead, we’re saying that these lenses find a good balance between being very detailed with great image quality but not so detailed to the point where you’ll see way too much of the pores. When used in conjunction with modern image sensors, these lenses will make portrait shooting much easier.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer DSLR Maintenance (5 of 5)ISO 2001-160 sec at f - 5.6

Lots of sites and folks have talked about the death of DSLRs, and to be honest it probably isn’t too far away until we as photographers experience a whole new revolution. First there was the advent of 35mm film, then color, then digital, and now it’s been proven that mirrorless cameras are quite capable of doing pretty much the same things that DSLRs can.

Tracking focus for sports? Check out the Olympus OMD EM5 MK II. Film-like look? Go to Fujifilm. All the connectivity you could want? Check out Samsung. Full frame? Sony has got it made here. Something more consumer oriented? Nikon’s 1 series pretty much has the market cornered.

Yes, folks like the “pro look” of a DSLR. But the initial complaints about mirrorless cameras are mostly gone. Shutter lag in the viewfinder? Not anymore. Lens selection that’s lacking? Nope. Systems have caught up, and what you can’t get first party, you can get from a third party.

We’d love to read your comments below and we’d also love it if you voted in the poll below.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Film–the mention of it either makes photographers gawk at it due to antiquation or makes them become stirred with butterflies in the stomach. The use of film has declined steadily as the digital age has progressed, and with that many films have been discontinued due to a decrease in sales. Instead, many tend to look to Instagram and other programs for filters that give digital images the look of film.

With the world moving deeper and deeper into the digital realm, we asked film manufacturers how the industry has changed in the past five years.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 7D Mk II review images portraits Bec (1 of 1)ISO 2501-250 sec at f - 4.0

Instant Film Formats are in some ways more plentiful than negative film. Though they’re much more specialized, Instant film is used by both professional and enthusiast alike when they want a specific look. For years now there have been many different formats for many different needs. In fact, Instant Film was made in large format for a while before being discontinued. What’s leftover is mostly tailored for the person looking for a specific look to their images.

Here’s a rundown of all the modern Instant Film formats.

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julius motal the phoblographer iso 400 rinzi ruiz 07

In this episode of ISO 400, we hear from Rinzi Ruiz, a street and wedding photographer based in Los Angeles. Towards the of 2011, Ruiz was laid off a job he had for 10 years, and this gave him time to focus on his photography. He found his zen in street photography on the streets of Los Angeles. His high contrast monochrome images are deeply meditative, and they have excellent lighting.

He became known for a blog called Street Zen, in which he posts images he makes on the street. More of his work can be found on his website and his Instagram.

A selection of his work and the episode can be seen after the break.

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Xpert Advice Overpowering the Sun with a Leaf Shutter (1 of 1)ISO 8001-15 sec at f - 4.0

One way to naturally add extra punch to an image is to increase the contrast. When you do this, you make the viewer concentrate more on specific areas of the scene–and what better way to do this than to overpower the sun or natural light around you. So how do you do that with your Fujifilm camera? You’ll need to remember some basic parameters first.

To overpower the sun, you’ll need a flash of some sort like a Fujifilm EF-42 (or maybe two of them.) Then keep in mind your exposure parameters:

Shutter speeds: control the ambient lighting, in this case that’s the sun and the natural light around you.

Aperture: Controls depth of field and how much of the flash’s output affects your scene.

ISO: Controls the overall sensitivity of the scene.

When this flash is mounted to a camera like the Fujifilm X100T or the X30, it becomes so much simpler to overpower the sun because of the leaf shutter inside. This means that the shutter unit is in the lens as opposed to the camera body and allows you to shoot at faster shutter speeds with a flash firing than a DSLR or other mirrorless cameras can normally.

By using this setup, you can easily make the natural light appear darker by underexposing it while evenly illuminating your subject by adding output from a flash. This is even simpler to do because the two different types of lighting are linked to different camera settings.

Use this for portraits during the Golden Hour, at weddings, when trying to make a product that you’re about to sell on eBay more appealing, and for many more types of photos like macro shooting. Here’s more on overpowering the sun and more results.

Xpert Advice is a monthly collaboration between the Phoblographer and Fujifilm designed to teach you photography tips and tricks in a bite-sized package.