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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Why the Mamiya 6 Is So Perfect and Can Make You a Better Photographer

Very few cameras capture my heart like the Mamiya 6.

I was going to start this post by saying that if you’re bored and looking for a new camera, go grab a Mamiya 6. But the truth is that there’s no good reason not to grab a Mamiya 6. Is it pricey? Yeah, but it will be a fantastic learning tool for you. If you’ve never shot film, you’ll learn to get it right in-camera. If you’ve never composed using the square format, you’re in for a treat. It can change the way you look at all your scenes. Eventually, you’ll learn to appreciate the work of Wes Anderson so much more. And better yet, you’ll learn to shoot with a rangefinder. Rangefinder shooting forces you to either predict what’s going to happen or approach the world in a more creative way. Best of all, you’re manually focusing. And by doing that, you’re creating photos with intent. So here are other reasons why the Mamiya 6 is so great.

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The Passionate Street Photographer: How to Zone Focus a Lens

The pandemic gave way to loads of new passionate photographers, and we’re here to share how to document the world’s reopening.

Surely, modern autofocus is fantastic. But there’s nothing like the pride of getting a shot because you zone-focused the lens beforehand. Have you ever shot a photo you were happy with just the way it was? It probably didn’t need any post-production. It was an authentic moment that you captured. And most importantly, you did it, not the camera or the lens. You can achieve these Jedi-like powers with zone focusing. 

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A Helpful Guide to Using a Graduated ND Filter with Mirrorless Cameras

The graduated ND filter is one of the best things for landscape photographers to use.

A graduate ND filter is one of the most challenging types of filters to use. Slotting it into just the right spot can mean a big difference to the landscape photographs you make. Keeping them clean is also crucial to better final images. Landscape and seascape photographers often find these filters very useful. And with the transition from DSLRs to Mirrorless cameras in recent years, there have been significant changes. The addition of the exposure preview feature has changed the way we shoot, and having a graduated ND filter in front of the lens also affects things.

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What Photographers Need to Know About Their Beauty Dish

A beauty dish is an excellent tool for photographers who want a soft but punchy look.

We’re pretty sure that the work of most photographers these days is done with a beauty dish of some variant. They are now some of the most popular light modifiers out there. Because of their design, they deliver the best of many worlds. Photographers adore umbrellas for their inefficient light spill. Meanwhile, softboxes are loved for their efficient and soft approach to lighting. But beauty dishes make the best of both worlds. Just like all light modifiers, the bigger they are, the better they can be. So let’s understand a bit more about why they’re so awesome.

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The Anatomy of a Portrait with a Lensbaby Edge 35

If you’re a portrait photographer looking for something new, consider a Lensbaby Edge 35.

I often preach about how sterile every lens is on the market. But Lensbaby optics have a character that should be appreciated. Their standard lenses and their Omni kits are fun, but the most tantalizing product they have is their Edge optics. These are tougher to use as they integrate with the Composer Pro system, but if you slow down and have a patient model, you’ll have a lot of fun. More importantly, you’ll create an image that you wouldn’t get otherwise.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: The Perfect Exposure Settings for Food Photos

Whether you’re an aspiring food photographer or simply want to take better photos of your culinary masterpieces, this photography cheat sheet will get you started.

The ultimate goal of food photography is easy to point out; the way to making that happen may be a bit challenging to figure out for beginners. A lot of factors go into it like styling, lighting, backdrops, and of course, camera settings. Your Instagram-worthy snaps may seem good enough to many, but if you really want to go beyond that, you’ll have to make some magic with an actual camera. This is why we’re always on the lookout for learning resources and tips to help make it happen. For today, let’s tackle the basic camera settings that you can use to get started.

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This Cheat Sheet Will Help Make Printing Your Photos Easier

Printing your photos doesn’t need to be incredibly complicated; let us help!

Our friends over at Red River Paper helped us out with a colossal printer problem. As experienced as we are, we still don’t know all the sizes and information about papers. They’re kind of confusing even for experienced people. I mean, what’s another term for 8×10? Or a legal-sized paper? And do you know what the name for 17×22 inch paper is? Honestly, printing your photos is sometimes very confusing. If you’re in front of software, that can aid you quite a bit. But if you’re not, then it gets so complicated. So we hope this infographic will help. We hope it will make printing that much easier.

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Here Are the Advantages a Messenger Bag Has for Photographers

Most photographers swear by their messenger bags.

How does the saying go? You can pry it from my cold, dead hands, right? Well, that’s how some photographers feel about their messenger bags. Messenger bags have a unique appeal to those who want to be more fashionable or old school. They’re very functional and have lots of uses. The wider ones can act as a platform for doing other things. They also can hold all the gear you really need. We’ve reviewed a ton of them over the past decade. So in this infographic, you’ll learn what we’ve come to know.

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The Reasons You Need a Backpack as Your Next Camera Bag

Getting and choosing the right camera bag is crucial for so many reasons.

Of any standing photo publication, we’ve done the most reviews of camera bags. If you’re looking for one, you come to us. So today, we’re presenting an infographic on choosing the right camera bag. This is specifically for choosing a backpack. I used to love messengers bags, and still think they’re superior to camera bags in some cases. But overwhelmingly, backpacks are the better choice. If I had a week, I wouldn’t have enough time to explain why. But I’m going to try in this blog post.

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Buying a Medium Format Camera? This Is What You’re Diving Into

Those getting a Medium format camera will want to know precisely what they’re dealing with.

Photographers, as we know, are very used to what full-frame cameras can do. But they’re not so used to medium format because it’s not as common. A medium format camera is fundamentally a whole different ball game. For starters, you’re going up in pricing and quality. And a photographer will expect the absolute ultimate performance, but they also probably don’t know how to make the most of it. Medium format cameras traditionally were only used for weddings, documentary journalism, landscapes, and portraiture. In some ways today, that’s still the case, but it’s evolved.

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The Phoblographer’s Guide to Rembrandt Lighting

Named after the 17th-century Dutch master painter, Rembrandt lighting is a popular portrait lighting technique that can create very pleasing results.

When it comes to portrait lighting techniques, there are a ton of variations to choose from. For many portrait photographers, Rembrandt lighting is among one of the most popular. The technique is named after Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, the prodigious 17th-century Dutch master painter whose portraiture subjects frequently showcased this telltale lighting pattern. In our latest original infographic, we will be exploring what Rembrandt lightning is and how you can utilize it in your next portrait shoot.

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Why Flash Duration Is the Photographer’s Secret Weapon!

Things changed so much for me when I learned about flash duration!

If there’s one thing that I adore about flash photography, it’s flash duration. This is a secret weapon so many new photographers don’t know about. But once you understand it and tame it, you’ll see how much better your photos will be. It’s is the subtle difference between that extra pop and a flat image! The 3D look that it can deliver is surreal. You’ll be able to see and experience it even when not looking at 100%.

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The Truth About Constant Light vs Flash for Photographers

Which side are you on with Constant Light vs Flash?

If you are struggling to use more than just natural light, we’ve got just the thing. Many people these days reach for constant light. Tons of YouTube videos show you how to use it. But proper photography needs more than that. Does this mean you can’t shoot great photos with Constant light? You totally can! I don’t know about you, but I can’t name any lifelong photographers who’ve only used constant lighting. I’ve even seen the great Peter Hurley use strobes. But I can name a ton who’ve used flash! And in this cheat sheet, we’ll break constant light vs flash down further for you.

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How to Get Sharper Images with Manual Focus Lenses

Getting sharper images from manual focus lenses is incredibly rewarding.

“Patience is a virtue,” is a quote that I’m convinced was first said by someone who used manual focus lenses. I’m kidding, but the proverb rings true for photographers. Many of us are impatient. And if you enjoy your photography hobby, you should relish the time. If you’re a professional photographer, then you most likely know how to make the most of manual focus lenses. Most importantly, the passionate photographers among us genuinely care about the artistic methods involved in shooting photos. Everything else around us is so automated and electronic. Sometimes, it’s nice to go back to the analog ways and do things ourselves. That’s why creating photos with manual focus lenses can be so rewarding.

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Why Live Composite is One of the Best Things to Happen To Cameras

The Live Composite feature is so incredibly fun to play with.

Unless you’re shooting with Olympus and Panasonic, you’ve probably never heard of Live Composite. In our constant search to move away from editing, this is a feature we adore. It means that a photographer needs to think about something beforehand. They need to be very careful. And best of all, they need to not rely on Photoshop. When someone says, “Photoshop it later,” a part of me dies inside. It’s awful. But with Live Composite, a photographer can stay out in the field creating. If you’re a hobbyist or a professional who really just wants to shoot, we encourage you to try it.

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Stopping Your Lens Down: What Photographers Always Forget About

Many photographers never stop their lenses down, but they should.

“LOOK AT THE BOKEH!!!!” Does that sound like you when you were starting out? Well, unfortunately, many photographers never leave that phase. With so many new people getting into photography, we find it essential to do our part. Just remember that your lens often has more than one aperture. You can even stop it down in half stops and 1/3 stops. In general, it’s great to leave it wide open when shooting in low light. But turn off that electronic shutter setting and learn to focus on the exposure of the scene. More than that, use the storytelling elements a lens affords you.

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The Three Color Portrait Method Will Drastically Improve Your Photos

The three-color portrait method has been used by so many professional photographers.

We’re big fans of keeping it simple when you can. This is critical for portrait photography. The objective is to put the emphasis on a single person. So you need to find a way to make them stand out. Naturally, the human eye goes to them. You can also use the depth of field and bokeh to single them out. Then there’s also composition rules. But what about composing by color? There are lots of ways to do this. And with portrait photography, it can be a game-changer. The truth is that not every excellent piece of wardrobe works with every scene, so keeping it simple is the best approach. Focusing on using it, three colors can do a lot for your portrait photography. Let’s take a closer look!

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Every Aspiring Photojournalist Needs This Cheat Sheet for Better Stories

A photojournalist who wants to grow should check out the shot list that your story needs.

You’re a documentary photographer, or a photojournalist, or someone looking to tell a story. This doesn’t include street photography (that’s not photojournalism). But you want to create a narrative in a photo story. Think about the who, what, when, where, how, and why of the story. You need to answer questions. And most importantly, you need to rely on a tried and true method that’s been in use for decades. It’s time for you, the photojournalist, to think like a film-maker.

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Want Better Bokeh from Your Lens? You Should Try This

How to get the best bokeh from your lens isn’t rocket science, but it isn’t apparent either.

We all love fast aperture lenses. In the past decade, they’ve gotten so much better too. The Japanese, Korean and German manufacturers have an obsession with achieving gorgeous bokeh. So does the company that makes your phone, but they do it in a far different way. We’d all like better bokeh from our lenses. And the key to it is to do a bit of trickery. Today’s Cheat Sheet focuses on how to get better bokeh from your lens. One of these steps is obvious, but we’re sure you haven’t tried the others.

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Want a Kodak Black and White Film Guide? Check This Out!

Kodak black and white film is beautiful in the right situations; let our guide help you pick which film to shoot.

Some photographers have shot their entire portfolio with one film. It’s helped them get a very signature look. But others like to experiment. We’re sure many of you sometimes wonder which Kodak film to choose. The company has three black and white emulsions that are incredibly popular. T-Max 400, T-Max P3200, and Tri-X 400 are what’s available in America. That’s not to say that you can’t do one genre with only one film. But instead, this is a best practice guide. Not many people can shoot great portraits with T-Max P3200. Similarly, Tri-X 400 is the choice for many photojournalists for legitimate reasons. T-Max 400 is best for the photographer who wants the sharpest ISO 400 film photos.

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