Flow Chart: Do You Need an F2.8 or an F4 Zoom Lens?

Do you need an f2.8 or an f4 zoom lens? We’re answering this in today’s Cheat Sheet.

We’re sure many of you are trying to figure out whether you should go with f2.8 or f4 zoom lenses. Folks type this into our search engine reasonably often, and it’s clear that people aren’t sure what they need. Of course, there are pros and cons to each. Do you need the extra stop of light? Do you prefer a lightweight body? What subject matter are you photographing? There are a host of essential questions one should answer when they are considering the purchase. And today’s flow chat, otherwise known as our photography cheat sheet, is designed to help you figure that out.

Editor’s Note: We’ve written about this before, but people want more!

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Put a Ring on It: A Quick Intro to Ring Flash Photography

Although they have a pretty bad rap amongst purists, ring flashes can be very versatile light sources for photography when used properly.

When it comes to photographic lighting, ring light flashes rank pretty high on the list of contentious topics between photographers. The mere mention of them can be enough to trigger some strobists to the point that they end up breaking into tirades. Years ago, ring lights were en vogue amongst beauty, fashion, and editorial photographers, but fell out of favor as more directional lighting became de rigueur. Thanks to widespread use by beauty bloggers, YouTubers, and reality television confessionals (many are lit using ring lights), ring lights are having a bit of a renaissance at the moment. They’ve become so ubiquitous that even most non-photographers will recognize the telltale halo-like catchlights they produce. Regardless of your opinion on ring lights, it’s important to remember that all light behaves identically because they obey the same laws of physics. As long as you’re utilizing them properly, ring lights can actually be very useful for a variety of different genres of photography. Let’s dive deeper.

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Make Your Own Golden Hour By Mastering This One Setting

Photographing during golden hour can produce stunning results, but Mother Nature isn’t always kind to us. Give this trick a go if she’s being temperamental.

Many photographers love shooting during golden hour because the ambient light imparts a soft, gorgeous warmth onto our subject matter. Those fleeting moments during golden hour often produce some of the most stunning images regardless if you’re photographing landscapes or portraits. Aside from the short window of opportunity, we’re also very much at Mother Nature’s mercy when photographing during golden hour. Weather conditions, cloud coverage, time of year, and a slew of other factors determine whether the ambient light is actually golden during its eponymous hour. All hope is not lost, however, if Mother Nature happens to be a cruel mistress while you’re out photographing. By mastering your camera’s white balance settings, you will gain the ability to control how intense golden hour’s effects appear in your image. You can even simulate the appearance of golden hour if Mother Nature is giving you the cold shoulder. Let’s dive right in.

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We Asked Photographers Why They Bring Their Cameras Everywhere

We wondered why some photographers bring their cameras with them everywhere, so we asked them.

There’s the old idea that photographers should bring their cameras everywhere with them. But of course, not every photographer does that. For the ones that do, we wondered exactly why. For years, I always thought it was just photojournalists who did this. But it’s a lot more than them. We asked a few photographers to tell us why they bring their cameras with them. In some cases, they feel like it’s part of them being their best selves. But it’s also a part of their identity.

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These Tips Will Level Up Your Backlit Portrait Photography Game

© 2020 Pauleth Ip / PI Creative

Are you a fan of the backlit portrait look but not sure how to achieve it? Let us show you how with our latest original infographic!

Backlighting subjects is a popular technique used in portrait photography, popular amongst portrait photographers who prefer to work with natural light. When properly executed, backlit portraits take on a natural and aesthetically pleasing quality. If you’ve wanted to give this style a try, but weren’t quite sure how to pull it off, we’ve got you covered!

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Showdown of the Portrait Photography Focal Lengths: 85mm vs 135mm

Both 85mm and 135mm lenses are highly sought after options for portrait photography, but which focal length reigns supreme?

When it comes to portrait photography, many photographers will naturally reach for an 85mm or 135mm prime lens. Both lenses are equally capable of delivering stunning results in the right hands. However, there are fundamental differences between the two focal lengths that give each lens unique advantages. Understanding them will allow you to pick the most appropriate option at your next portrait session.

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These Are The Best Focal Lengths For Capturing Candid Moments

Different focal lengths lend unique perspectives to your images. Give these a try the next time you’re photographing candid moments.

Candid moments are happening all around us, and photography affords us the unique ability to distill and immortalize them into a single frame. Situational awareness is key. Most candid moments tend to reveal themselves as long as you’re paying attention to your surroundings. While there are no hard and fast rules that you must adhere to when it comes to capturing these “Kodak Moments,” some focal lengths certainly work better than others. Be sure to give these different focal lengths a go the next time you’re planning on capturing candid moments.

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Portrait Photography: How to Shoot Stunning Portraits with 35mm Primes

Do-it-all 35mm primes are as great for portraits as they are for anything else when you know how to make the most of them.

We have waxed lyrical about 35mm primes for years here at The Phoblographer, but just know that it’s for good reasons. These seemingly simple lenses can do so much that we truly believe everyone should own one, and while you might think they might not be great for portrait photography, we have to tell you you would be wrong. 35mm primes are fantastic for portraits. After the break, we will talk you through how you can create gorgeous environmental portraits and more with your humble 35mm primes.

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These Useful Tips Will Help You Master Fireworks Photography

Fireworks photography can produce some truly stunning results. If you’re trying it for the first time, be sure to have this infographic handy.

Fireworks are synonymous with celebrations throughout much of the world. Here in the United States, fireworks are quintessential spectacles during the Independence Day celebrations each year. Larger than life and adored by many, fireworks can add an extra layer of dynamism to your images if photographed properly. If you’ve never attempted fireworks photography before, it can seem like a daunting endeavor. Fear not; in our latest original infographic, we’ll show you everything you need to know to get started with fireworks photography. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with these handy tips, you’ll be ready to create some truly stunning fireworks images.

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Why It’s Important to Learn the Focus and Recompose Method

While modern cameras have highly sophisticated autofocusing systems, the Focus and Recompose method is still a useful tool in every photographer’s toolbox.

The autofocusing systems in modern cameras are nothing short of technological marvels. Some of the latest cameras have hundreds of autofocusing points, making it incredibly easy to nail focus consistently. But things weren’t always this simple. Back in the nascent days of digital, when much of the industry was still shooting film, autofocus systems were significantly less sophisticated. Cameras with autofocusing capability had only a handful of AF points at most. The Focus and Recompose method was a technique that actually predates autofocusing and was used widely across the industry when autofocusing was first introduced.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Aperture Settings for Different Applications

If you’re unsure which aperture setting to use for photos you want to shoot, let today’s photography cheat sheet serve as your quick reference.

We’ve been sharing a lot of tips about camera settings as of late, especially aperture. As one of the components of the Exposure Triangle, the aperture is responsible for letting light into the camera. The lower the f-stop (also known as f-number), the larger the opening of lens, and the more light hits the camera sensor or film. However, that is just one of the things your aperture setting will do for your photos. Today’s featured photography cheat sheet provides yet another way for beginners to look at aperture: which one should you use to get the creative effects you need for your shot?

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Comparing Different Color Filters for Black and White Film Photography

If you’re new to using different color filters for black and white film photography, here’s a quick comparison.

Before the digital days, photographers made use of various filters to produce a big portion of their desired looks in-camera for black and white photography. As we learned in a previous video tutorial, filters allowed them to darken the skies, increase the contrast, or give flowers a more dramatic look against the rest of the foliage. Some may argue that we can simply use our go-to editing software to produce the same effects, since we’re in the digital age. But, if you’re shooting black and white film, filters will still be your best friends and produce the look you want straight from the negatives, potentially minimizing the work you’ll have to do in post. If you’ve yet to use filters for shooting black and white, we have just the video to show what to expect.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: A Super Easy Guide to Rembrandt Lighting

Rembrandt Lighting is a popular technique for portrait photography.

Chances are that if you’re really into portraiture, that you’ve studied work that includes Rembrandt lighting. This method is popular partially because it’s such a flattering lighting option. It’s known for the signature triangle that you see on the face because of the angle. And like all photography these days, it’s pretty much just about the angles. Luckily for you, it can be done with both natural light and off-camera lighting. We always prefer to control the lighting that we put in the scene. Today, we’ve got our own original cheat sheet for you, along with supplementary info.

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Going Old School: Introduction to Pinhole Photography

Always wanted to give pinhole photography a try? Our latest original infographic will help you get started with this time-tested alternative process.

Looking back at the history of photography, pinhole photography is among one of the oldest techniques. The earliest mention of pinhole photography dates back to the mid-1800s, and it continues to be an accessible alternative photographic process today. It is particularly popular amongst film photographers. Getting started with pinhole photography requires very minimal equipment; all you really need is a pinhole camera and a tripod. But, what qualifies as a pinhole camera can genuinely run the gamut. You can turn a conventional camera body into a pinhole camera by replacing its lens with a body cap that has a pinhole drilled into its center. Handmade box cameras are another popular option. You can even make pinhole cameras out of a beer can or a roast duck! Interested in giving pinhole photography a go? Check out our latest infographic where we break down some pinhole photography basics:

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Which Lens: How to Pick Between the Fujifilm 23mm F2 and the 35mm F2

fujifilm lenses

These two great Fujifilm prime lenses may seem similar, but their applications are much different.

Fujifilm shooters are spoiled for choice when it comes to great prime lenses, even more so when it comes to affordable Fujifilm primes lenses. Perhaps the question we get asked the most, though, is ‘which lens should I buy between the Fujifilm 23mm f2 and the Fujifilm 35mm f?’ These lenses may seem quite similar, but they are each suited to slightly different genres of photography. After the break, we will take a quick look at the similarities and the differences between the two lenses so that you can make a better decision about which one is right for you.

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These Film Photography Tips Are Super Helpful for Beginners

The reports of film photography’s death are greatly exaggerated. Check out these helpful tips to get started with film photography!

While much of the photography industry is dominated by work created with digital cameras, film photography has been making a steady resurgence into the zeitgeist. We’re regularly seeing new film emulsions being introduced, and instant films have never been more popular. There’s never been a more exciting time to get started with film photography. In our latest original infographic, we explore some useful tips and information that will help get you started with shooting film.

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The Phoblographer’s Guide to Buying a Used Leica

Most vintage Leicas retain their value very well over time. Be sure to brush up on these tips before you invest in a used Leica of your own.

Vintage Leica cameras are prized by many photographers for their robust build quality, reliability, and tactile feedback. While much of the photography industry today is predominately digital, used analog Leicas of yesteryear remain highly sought after camera. The nostalgia factor is undeniable, but their overall pleasing shooting experience undoubtedly plays a huge part as well. If you’ve been wanting to get your hands on a used Leica, here are some important tips to be aware of:

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Photography Cheat Sheet: How to Figure Out What Aperture You Need

The aperture does more than let adequate light in your shot: it also helps you control how much of the scene appears sharply focused.

Whether you’re shooting in manual or aperture priority mode, setting the right aperture to put depth of field to work is one of the decisions you’ll have to make with confidence. Whatever the kind of photography you do, your choice of aperture will determine not only how bright your results look, but also how much of the scene appears sharply focused. It’s one of the topics we cover a lot in our tutorials and cheat sheets, but in case you need a less technical visual guide, today’s featured photography cheat sheet will serve as another quick reference to help you better understand how aperture works.

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Portrait Photography: The Differences Between 85mm and 135mm Primes

lightroom presets

Both 85mm and 135mm lenses are great for portrait photography, but each has particular uses.

Ask any photographer about the lenses they use for portraits, and more than likely, they will come back to you with the same answer. The 85mm and 135mm focal lengths have been go-to options for portrait photography for many years, and for good reasons, but how do you decide between the two, and what are the most significant differences between them? After the break, we will take a quick look at both prime lenses and list the pros and cons of each so that you can make a more informed purchasing decision.

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Infographic: Tips on Shooting Portraits with an 85mm Lens

When it comes to portrait photography, the 85mm focal length is the go to choice for most photographers with good reason.

For many photographers, the 85mm focal length is synonymous with portraiture. Whenever the topic of portrait photography comes up, the discussion inevitably involves the use of 85mm lenses. But, why is the 85mm focal length so closely associated with portrait photography, and how can you best utilize it in your portraiture work? That’s precisely what we’re covering today with our latest original Phoblographer infographic.

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Street Photography: 35mm Vs 50mm, Which One Is Right for You?

A 35mm and a 50mm lens are great options for street photography, but both deliver different outcomes.

I’d always encourage a photographer to opt for a prime lens when shooting street photography. They’re often sharper, smaller, and more fun to use. A 35mm and a 50mm are popular choices for both new and seasoned street photographers. Personally speaking, I veer more towards a nifty fifty, but I’ve also enjoyed shooting with a 35mm. But it’s not just a case of choosing one or the other; the decision is based on what I’m trying to achieve with my work. Let’s take a closer look.

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