One Lens for Portrait Photography: How to Make the Most of a Single Lens

The goal of every photographer is to pair down their kit. For years, we’ve recommended prime lenses. And for simplicity, we often stick to primes. But zoom lenses like those made by Tamron have been stellar in the past few years. And if you only wanted one lens for portrait photography, you’d need to think carefully about what you’d pick. Recently, we tested two that are truly stellar. And one of them is genuinely bound to amaze portrait photographers that want one lens for portrait photography.

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Chart: The Look of Film Photography Explained in Terms of White Balance

How many of you can tell the difference between daylight white balance and shade or Tungsten?

When you think of daylight white balance, we’re positive that many of you have a tough time figuring it out. You’re probably shooting in auto white balance. And if you had to take an educated guess, you’d think that it would be a warm-toned balance. Daylight is indeed warmer than Tungsten, at least in terms of white balance. And the way that it works is that the two try to cancel each other out. Tungsten lights are pretty warm, so the white balance has to be very cool. Daylight is very cool, so the white balance needs to be warm. However, folks like their images to be even warmer. If this is all sounding confusing to you, then please check out our infographic below.

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The Big Reason Why You Should Just Get an F2.8 Zoom Instead of the F4

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There are loads of articles helping you figure out whether or not you should get an f2.8 or an f4 zoom lens. We’ve written articles about it too! The articles all say that it really depends on what you need. And that’s not a wrong answer at all. Some of us may need one thing over another. But in 2021, I feel like modern lenses and cameras have become very advanced. In fact, they’re so good now that the answer to this question has really changed. More importantly, we think that the answer is pretty obvious.

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Quick Tips on Establishing a Connection with a Portrait Subject

We’re streaming daily on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherPocket Casts, and Spotify! You can also listen to it right here on The Phoblographer.

The biggest problem for many photographers getting into portrait photography is establishing a connection. Lots of folks just don’t know how to do it. One of the best lessons my mentor taught me was to actually talk to folks. Photographers will traditionally just move someone around, turning them almost into a prop. Don’t do that. Show some dignity. Establish a connection of some sort. This is a guide for everyone who’s wanted to do that. If you’re a street photographer who captures people candidly but wants to take formal portraits, this is for you. If you’re just getting into portrait photography, then this is also for you. Here’s how you establish a connection with a portrait subject.

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How Fujifilm Classic Negative and Classic Chrome Look

Classic Chrome and Classic Negative have some big differences.

We took a look at what you folks were typing into our search engines. Apparently, many of you are curious about the differences between Classic Chrome and Classic Negative with Fujifilm cameras. So we headed into our archives of Fujifilm GFX 50R photos. These images were rendered in Classic Chrome and Classic Negative. Let’s talk about some of the differences.

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Self Care for Photographers: Why You Need to Do More Core Work

For years, I had a lot of significant back pain. It was only in my 30s that I realized how crucial exercise is. Couple that with the fact that we’ve reviewed the most camera bags of any publication on the web, and you genuinely need exercise. Thankfully, the back pain has gone away with exercise. But more importantly, what we found is that it’s all about exercising your core. If you’ve been curious about self-care for photographers, we invite you to dive in with us.

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Three Great Features of Your Camera You’re Not Using

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Ask yourself: have you ever felt so good about an image that it didn’t need post-production? Trust me, there’s no better feeling. In the past few years, I’ve given in. I’ve become so sick of staring at a camera screen to then stare at a computer screen. It’s superfluous. We should be able to get great photos in camera without post-production. It’s surely possible. Think about the way you edit. You most likely add contrast, adjust exposure, white balance, clarity, etc. You’re most likely making basic adjustments. But, you also may be messing around, not knowing what you want, and being happy when you find something. That’s fine.

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What Is Rembrandt Lighting? All Portrait Photographers Need to Know

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Rembrandt lighting refers to a very specific lighting style. More or less, if you think of a little triangle of light, think of Rembrandt. It comes from a painterly look, and in photography it can flatter your subject. Tons of tutorials out there tell you all about the history of it. So in this one, we’re diving into our archives to give you a practical idea of how to use Rembrandt lighting. We’re also going to give you some tips from experience. 

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How to Keep Your Camera Lenses Working Like the Day You Bought Them

Fact: your lenses are often more important than your camera. What’s more, the condition of your lenses will really matter when it comes to image results. With today’s high-resolution cameras, the slightest imperfections can be picked up easily. Spotting lens and sensor dust is pretty simple. But all that dust can affect how your camera and lens perform. We’re going to teach you how to care for your lens, like the ones from Tamron, to keep them operating just like the day you got them.

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3 Tips to Make Vintage Lenses Look Wonderful on Digital Cameras

Vintage lenses on digital cameras render a beautiful look.

Fact: Vintage lenses are superior to modern lenses in most ways. Modern post-production is so good that it can remove any flaws in a photo. However, if you want to engineer them back in, it becomes more expensive and annoying. Indeed, vintage lenses give you a look you can’t get with modern lenses anymore. And because of that, we’re giving you tips on how to make the most of them.

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How to Shoot Fashion Photography with the Leica SL2-S

Conformity is boring. I embrace leaning into what makes you tick, especially if that means living outside of that proverbial box. This was a mantra that I believed wholeheartedly to the point that I almost flunked out of art school for refusing to conform. I think that’s why I love fashion photography so much. It’s all about finding your own voice, embracing the unconventional, and reaching for the stars. Combining beautiful clothing with the capabilities of the Leica SL2-S makes breaking the rules all the more fun.

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How to Get More Out of Your Beautiful Leica M Lenses

For generations, Leica lenses documented many of the world’s most iconic moments. They were the perfect tool for this. They are compact and have a great tactile feel. Also, they give the photographer all the information necessary to know what will be in focus. The lenses told you how far away to focus. The depth of field scale told you how much to stop the lens down. And today, they’re used for both professional work and by passionate photographers who adore the craft. The Leica M lens can take the next evolutionary path, though: being adapted.

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The Phoblographer’s Guide on How to Use a Softbox for Newbies

Think about a softbox. And then think about a hose and the water spraying out. If the hose doesn’t have much of a nozzle on it, then the water is just going to spray. But consider one of those nozzles with lots of different shapes. Twist it one way, and the water will come out very tight and concentrated. Twist it another way and the water will come out almost like a showerhead. Twist it again, the water may come out more wide–perfect for getting lots of your friends wet during the summer. Think about all this when we explain how a softbox works.

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How to Buy Used and Refurbished Cameras and Lenses

Sometimes buying renewed or refurbished cameras and lenses is better than buying them new.

“But it’s so expensive,” is what everyone says when a new camera or lens goes on sale. And so I’d like to welcome you to the world of photography that Leica users have known for years. There is a massive benefit to the used and refurbished market for this reason. Don’t want to pay $3,000 for that new Sony lens? Do you think the Canon R5 is way too much money? Well, focusing on the original price point, I think, is sometimes excessive. It gets in the way of having that new camera or lens. The truth is that people are switching systems all the time, so you can always get a camera or lens at a lower price on the second-hand market. And in the case of refurbished cameras and lenses, sometimes they’re in fantastic condition.

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Why Is the Leica M6 so Popular? Is It Overhyped?

Speaking as an owner, you’ll take my Leica M6 from my cold, dead hands. And even then, you’ll need to have a boss fight with my ghost for it. The Leica M6 is a fantastic camera that lots of photographers love. It’s incredibly popular among film shooters. A few years ago, photographers would’ve said that the Leica M4-P would’ve been Leica’s most popular camera ever. But arguably speaking, the Leica M6 is better. I’ve owned one for years now. Is it the perfect Leica M camera? Not at all. But in the film world, it’s pretty darned close.

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How to Stop Being Bored with a Standard 50mm Lens

The 50mm lens puts photographers into one of two camps. Some subscribe to it like they’re going to church. They listen to its every word and receive joy similar to being part of a passionate community. Other photographers think the 50mm lens is also like church, but they’re the folks who sleep during the sermon until someone lets them know they’re snoring. Those people will keep a 50mm lens around just because they might need one. But in the past few years, I’ve found ways to make the 50mm lens less boring.

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How To Clean Camera Lenses. Over 15 Experts Give Feedback

Recently, I saw a heartbreaking post on a Facebook group about cleaning a vintage camera lens with Hydrogen Peroxide. The photographer wanted to get rid of fungus on the lens. But instead, they ended up destroying the optics. They cited photographers on YouTube who say this is the thing to do. And unfortunately, that’s the problem. Lots of photographers on YouTube aren’t experts. If you wanted official information on something more pressing, it’s often best to check out .edu, .org. or .gov websites. Don’t get me wrong, we’re a .com website. But we’re also an accredited source of information. And besides, over the past decade, we’ve asked some of the best and brightest minds how to do this.

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Do You Still Hate Cameras with Electronic Viewfinders? Try This

We’re streaming daily on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherPocket Casts, and Spotify! You can also listen to it right here on The Phoblographer.

There are still photographers who hate electronic viewfinders (EVFs). They just can’t get used to them. But sometimes, I think that it’s part of just not adapting and embracing what’s possible. I myself love electronic viewfinders. They’ve revolutionized how much easier it’s become for someone legally blind (me) to use a camera. But at the same time, I keep them functioning like optical viewfinders. Technologically, they’re superior to optical viewfinders. They’re also better if you understand them. So I’m going to help some folks understand electronic viewfinders better.

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Do Clear Filters Affect Image Quality? You’d Be Shocked at the Truth

We’re streaming daily on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherPocket Casts, and Spotify! You can also listen to it right here on The Phoblographer.

Years ago, photographers stopped using UV filters on their lenses. It affected image quality way too much, and we often didn’t need them. UV filters originally protected the image quality from UV rays. But lens technology became so good that they were no longer needed. So, they evolved to become protective filters. Essentially, if the front of your lens took a ding, the UV filter would protect it. In the past few years, photographers stopped using them. Indeed, when I started my career 14 years ago, I swore by UV filters. I remember them protecting my camera as it took a major tumble. But these days? Not so much. And believe it or not, clear filters can affect your image quality.

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The Reasons Why LEDs Won’t Beat Flash Photography, Yet

If I had a nickel for every marketing rep who told me the industry is moving away from strobes and towards LEDs, I’d be rich. LEDs are great. They are easier to work with if you’re indoors as they offer tons of control over the light. They’re also great if you’re shooting outdoors at night. But the truth is that not everything happens at that time. You can sit there and spend hours in Photoshop editing an image to fix the exposure and introduce lighting that wasn’t there, but then it looks fake. Most of all, you’re turning a three-hour photography session into an even longer process. Why do we have to work excessively for the shot?

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How to Use the Leica SL2-S for Photojournalism: A Guide

We’re streaming daily on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherPocket Casts, and Spotify! You can also listen to it right here on The Phoblographer.

The Leica SL2-S has quickly become one of my favorite cameras. It’s got character, it feels great, and more importantly, it’s far different than all other cameras on the market. If a lot of cameras on the market are boring you, then the Leica SL2-S is probably what you want. It’s one of the reasons I picked it up. I’ve been using it for almost a year for various tests and shoots. I really like it.

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