Ja Wang: The Town Under the Coronavirus on the Fujifilm XT3

All images by Ja Wang. Used with permission.

“I think it’s a way of healing the city,” explains Ja Wang about his street photography. Specifically, Ja Wang did what many of us have recently done: documented their local city during the COVID-19 scare. We’re all stuck inside right now and this is all very surreal. But as Ja states, this is a pretty important time in history. Though China has shown signs of recovery from the virus, this series shows a part of China we’re not used to seeing here in the West.

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Coronavirus: What Photographers are Doing to Cope

With events and gatherings across the globe being canceled due to Coronavirus, even creative activities like photography are put on hold.

All over the world, events and gatherings, including photography events and workshops, are being canceled as part of measures to keep the COVID-19 from spreading further. Social distancing is also in effect to prevent the spread of the virus, so that means no shooting portraits with models and even strangers out in the streets. Client work and paid projects are also affected, making this dreaded disease such an ordeal for professional photographers. The biggest question, therefore, is how are photographers holding up? What are they doing to deal with the onslaught of COVID-19?

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CP+ Cancelled Due to Fears of Coronavirus, But There’s Still WPPI

CP+, one of the Photo Industry’s most important trade shows, is canceled due to fears of Coronavirus.

Journalists, attendees, and manufacturers won’t be heading to Japan later this month due to fears of Coronavirus. The global epidemic is causing fear of travel and slowed down economic growth. Earlier this month, Mobile World Congress was cancelled due to fears of Coronavirus as well. And while CP+ is cancelled, this may not be as gloomy as we think. WPPI 2020 still seems to be on even amid PDN shutting down.

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Look at History: Why I Think the Sony a7s IV Is Coming Next Year

Today, we’re getting the Sony a7s III, but I seriously think that the Sony a7s IV is coming next year.

I think it’s incredibly fair to say that Sony has made some significant changes to the entire Sony a7 lineup of cameras with the Sony a7s III. You’ve got touch menus, a new menu system, the new CFExpress A card type, the lowest base ISO they’ve ever had, etc. crammed into it. There’s a lot of technology, and Sony voted to still hold back in some ways. It still has a 12MP full frame CMOS sensor, and it shoots 4k video. Sony is working to really create just the best 4K video that one can get, and that’s very fair. But it’s also the opposite of what they used to do with releasing cutting edge and bleeding edge options to let the market adapt. Instead, Canon and Panasonic are doing that. The roles have reversed! But it may mean that Sony has another trick up its sleeve.

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Tony Gale Finds Creative Outlet With Social Distancing Self Portraits

Creating the Photograph is an original series where photographers teach how they created an image with their lighting and minimal use of post-production. The series has a heavy emphasis on teaching how to light. Want to be featured? Here’s how you can submit.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has been a huge blow to the photography industry. With most photographers being homebound and in socially distanced self-isolation, the normally simple act of creating has evolved into a new and unique challenge. This presented a unique opportunity for self-discovery for portrait photographer Tony Gale. Based in New York City, Tony Gale shoots regularly for a variety of editorial, corporate, and advertising clients. He is also a Sony Artisan of Imagery, a Manfrotto Ambassador, an X-Rite Coloratti, and the National President for American Photographic Artists. Turning the lens towards himself allowed Tony to continue creating despite the restrictions brought on by the pandemic. His daily creative exercise would eventually turn into an entire series of Social Distancing Self Portraits. The lead image accompanying this article is Tony’s 56th self-portrait in the series. We spoke with Tony recently about his project and what went into creating this particular self-portrait.

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COVID-19 Sent Photographer Michel Leroy Down AC/DC’s Highway to Hell

Creating the Photograph is an original series where photographers teach how they created an image with their lighting and minimal use of post-production. The series has a heavy emphasis on teaching how to light. Want to be featured? Here’s how you can submit.

Michel Leroy is an entertainment and advertising photographer based out of New York. As most of you are undoubtedly aware, New York is one of the cities hardest hit by the novel coronavirus outbreak. As a result, much of the photography industry in New York is in a holding pattern at the moment. To say that we’re living in interesting times right now would be quite an understatement. Creativity is what drives us as photographers. But how do you create when we’re all confined within our homes? When the whole world is essentially on pause? Looking to social media for inspiration, Michel stumbled upon his friend Phil Adams’ recreation of Blondie’s Parallel Lines album cover using found objects from around the house. This project led Michel to do a similar project with his family. For his take on the concept, Michel decided on AC/DC’s classic Highway to Hell cover. With celebrity chefs and Olympic athletes amongst his subjects, Michel’s produced style lends an authentic connection to these personalities. His images reveal a level of comfort and vitality shared amongst friends, and you can clearly see this on display here.

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The Flying Darkroom: A Traveling Container for Children in Need

Serbest Salih has been helping Syrian refugee children creatively express themselves with the Sirkhane DARKROOM.

“Seeing children learn photography and getting the chance to express themselves motivates me to continue this workshop and make it bigger,” says 26-year-old Serbest Salih. Currently based in Turkey, he is the Director of Sirkhane DARKROOM, a photography school in an impoverished neighborhood in the city of Nusaybin. “It gives young people the opportunity to develop life skills such as group dynamics, adopting universal values, improving coordination and concentration, therefore developing a healthy personality and healthy social communication skills.” Now, he’s trying to turn this into a bigger project with the Darkroom. Sometimes called the Flying Darkroom, it’s a giant shipping container that has been converted for educational and Darkroom usage. The vessel will travel every three months to serve underprivileged communities–or at least that’s the goal. For Serbest, this project is all about helping children express themselves.

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Charlie Lieberman: From Filming “Heroes” to Loving His Leica

All images by Charlies Lieberman. Used with permission.

“A while ago, I found myself getting restless about my career choice,” says Charlie Lieberman to us in an interview. “Since my youth, I had admired good photographs and was envious of those who made them. So, I decided to change everything and see if I could teach myself how to make good photographs and prints.” The photographer who became a cinematographer then came back to photography earned a big break after teaching himself how to make what he calls “good photographs and prints.” His work leads him to photograph indigenous cultures for Anthropology books. Crazy, right? It’s not the first thing you think of when you talk about being a successful photographer, but it’s undoubtedly a dream for many, whether they realize it or not. After being discovered by a documentary filmmaker and tasked with shooting production stills, Charlie moved entirely into cinematography and worked on the show Heroes. With that past him, he returned to the world of the still photo.

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How You Can Win $3,000 of Fujifilm Gear and More Free Events

The Classifieds are quick announcements sandwiched into a long blog post for photographers during the Coronavirus scare.

We’re rounding up some important news that we haven’t seen anywhere else into a single long blog post. It’s your briefing on a bunch of stuff you may find interesting. All of these are from photography companies. You can see the entire list below. Want to be featured? Send your event/offering with a description and links to chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com. We will only feature free things right now.

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Flash Photography: Learn a New Skill and Master It with Affordable Gear

If you want to up your flash photography game consider adding some of these fantastic products to your collection.

Utter the words flash photography to any new (or even some quite seasoned photographers), and the look of fear will wash over their faces before they run and hide. Many photographers think flash photography is either far to difficult to master, or much too expensive to break into. We are here to tell you that those statements are fake news. Modern flashes and monolights are incredibly affordable, and with just a little practice and learning, you will find there is nothing to fear about flash photography. After the break, we will share some excellent learning guides and some of our favorite lights and modifiers.

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Will We Ever Get the Sony a7s III? These Features Are a Must-Have Now

The Sony a7s III has likely been further delayed because of Coronavirus, which means it needs to be that much better.

A solid argument can be made to say that the Sony a7s III is the red-headed stepchild of the family. I mean, Sony has been saying that it’s coming for over two years now. With the delays caused by COVID-19, and the rest of the industry catching up or superseding what Sony can do with most video options, the Sony a7s III will need to be just that much better. Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic all have camera options that output some of the highest quality videos in the market segment. While Sony has always been ahead of the curve, this delay has made it seem like they’re very behind. It makes us wonder what Sony has up their sleeve.

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Help Relieve Some Stress by Taking a Mental Vacation with Travel Images

landscape photography

While you’re stuck inside going stir crazy, take some time out of your for a mental vacation by looking at travel images.

Everywhere you turn right now, you cannot escape news about the Coronavirus and how devastating it is. While it’s important to keep up with what’s happening in regard to this, at some point we must switch off the news and back away from sources that cause stress in our daily lives. Normally, we would do this by heading outside to a park to be surrounded by flowers, birds, cute little puppies, and more, but the reality is we can’t do that right now. So, how can we help relieve some stress from our lives? According to some research, just looking at travel images, and images that include fractals can help you shed a ton of stress in just a few minutes. Let’s talk about this after the break.

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Classifieds: Free Things, Webinars Photographers Should Know About

The Classifieds are quick announcements sandwiched into a long blog post for photographers during the Coronavirus scare.

We’re rounding up some important news that we haven’t necessarily seen anywhere else into a single long blog post. It’s your briefing on a bunch of stuff you may find interesting. All of these are from photography companies. You can see the entire list below. Want to be featured? Send your event/offering with a description and links to chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com. We will only feature free things right now.

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Freelancers Can Claim Unemployment Benefits if Affected by COVID-19

Thanks to the efforts of the Freelancers Union, the self-employed will now be eligible for the same benefits as everyone else.

The Coronavirus has had a significant impact on workers across the United States, with many unfortunately losing their jobs. However, the government recently passed a stimulus bill that would guarantee protection to many workers across the country. All seemed well until the Freelancers Union noticed that freelancers and the self-employed were not included in the deal that would provide insurance, unemployment, and access to the one-time income payments. The Freelancers Union group took matters into their own hands, and thanks to their work, freelance photographers, journalists, content creators, and more will now be able to apply for the same benefits as everyone else if they have lost work due to the Coronavirus. Join us after the break for the details.

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10 Photography Activities for Staying Productive in Quarantine

You shouldn’t stop being productive as a photographer despite being in quarantine due to COVID-19.

While we’re certainly living in unsettling times: forced to cancel events, and observe quarantine measures and social distancing due to COVID-19, there are many things we can do to stay creative and productive. Our fellow photographers are coming up with tips and suggestions on how to keep our skills sharp even with the limitations that come with being stuck at home. JT of Run N Gun, who suggests we think of this situation as a gift of free time, recently shared his quick video and blog post about 10 things you can do to keep boredom at bay while holding out.

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Camera Manufacturers Disagree on How to Disinfect Your Cameras

With Coronavirus fears and photographers needing to possibly handoff cameras on shoots to assistants, we asked Camera manufacturers about how to keep your camera clean. 

“(I’d) imagine that other manufacturers haven’t considered use of disinfectants on photographic equipment,” says Mark Weir, Senior Manager of Technology at Sony. When I emailed the camera manufacturers about this story, I wasn’t expecting conflicting answers. Yet, as I wrote this article, it became a bit confusing. In some ways, manufacturers are saying the same things. But in other ways, one has to remember that camera manufacturers use different materials and finishes on their cameras. To that end, we got different dialogues. Amidst Coronavirus fears, we talked to manufacturers, a former Doctor, and an Insurance provider for freelancers about what to do.

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A List of Photography Events Postponed or Canceled Due to COVID-19

In light of the COVID-19, take note if you’ve been planning to attend any or all these photography events and gatherings.

Given the precautionary measures necessary to minimize the spread of COVID-19, events, shows, and gatherings of all kinds across the globe are being postponed or cancelled — some well-known photography events included. The CP+ (Camera and Photo Imaging Show) 2020 was among the first that got cancelled last month. If you’ve marked your calendars months in advance and have been looking forward to attending, chances are they’re already canceled or postponed; others most likely will soon follow. In case you’re looking for updates, here are just some of the events we got wind of that were originally scheduled but will no longer push through or have been moved to later dates.

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OP ED: Will Sony’s Focus on Cameras Change Over the Next 5 Years?

The next Canon EOS R needs to crush the Sony A7R IV

Sony cameras are fantastic, but let’s not forget that Sony is a consumer electronics company, not a camera company, and that will hurt its Mirrorless cameras.

Sony has shaken things up in the photography industry over the last six years or so, and honestly, this has been wonderful for photographers: they have forced the likes of Canon and Nikon to wake up and produce more great cameras of their own. Still, some recent news about DRAM and the upcoming Playstation 5 brings us back down to earth and shows that, unlike Canon and Nikon, Sony is not a dedicated camera manufacturer. Sony is an electronics giant that will cut off support to a particular section of their business to focus on another. For photographers who have spent thousands on cameras and lenses from them, this is a little worrying. Let’s talk about it more after the break.

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First Impressions: Fujifilm X-T4 (A Ton of Updates You’ll Want to See!)

Fujifilm X-T4

The rumored Fujifilm X-T4 is real folks, and it’s packing quite a number of improvements over its well-regarded predecessor.

In what is perhaps one of the worst-kept industry secrets in recent memory, we can finally confirm that the Fujifilm X-T4 is indeed real. While the XT4 sports the same 26 Megapixel X-Trans BSI CMOS 4 Sensor and X-Processor 4 Quad-Core Imaging Engine as its roughly year and a half old predecessor, there are plenty of upgrades that make it a worthwhile upgrade. Chief amongst these are the 5-Axis In-Body Image Stabilization, the inclusion of a fully articulating touchscreen, and a brand new, higher capacity battery. We got to spend some time with the Fujifilm X-T4 recently during a private media briefing. You can read all about our first impressions after the jump.

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