Astrophotography Basics That Will Serve Newcomers Well This Season

Astrophotography is incredibly fun, and capturing subjects like the Milky Way is easier than you think.

Have you ever wanted to capture stunning pictures of the night sky but weren’t really sure what you need to do? If so, this beginner’s guide to astrophotography is for you. This quick guide will look at astrophotography basics and cover things such as camera settings and the 500 rule. We’ll also take a quick look at how to plan your shoot and how to stack images. So, if you’re ready to try your hand at astrophotography, head on past the break.

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A Simple Camera Trick Can Get You the Blade Runner Look You Love

If you’re looking for the Blade Runner look, it’s all about tweaking a simple camera setting.

Of course, it depends on what generation you belong to, but the Blade Runner look is still something often copied. Folks love it! And we too admit it’s entertaining. There are two variations of the look. Arguably, the older and more classic look has defined lots of fantasy. You can surely do it all in post-production, but you’ll spend a lot less time at a computer editing if you just understand how it works in the first place.

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3 Helpful Tips on Using a 50mm Lens on an APS-C Camera

The nifty 50 lens is wonderful for so many photographers out there.

The 50mm lens is a place where so many photographers start. They get one and figure out if they want to go wider, longer, or use a zoom. Most folks opt for APS-C cameras for a cost savings benefit. And if you’re going for one of those, then you’ll probably reach for a 50mm lens. So we’ve come up with a few tips to remember when shooting with a 50mm lens on an APS-C camera.

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How to Get Better High ISO Images from Your Camera and Smartphone

If you’re having trouble shooting photos in low light and getting bad high ISO images, then consider the following.

Since the inception of digital photography, manufacturers have turned high ISO capabilities into a war. It’s typically those weird specks, grain, or discolored images that you see. Getting rid of it arguably started many years ago when Canon introduced the Canon 40D and the Canon 5D. Nikon took it further with the Nikon D300, D3, and the D700. Then everyone else jumped into the game. And as megapixel counts have gone up, the problem with high ISO noise has continued. We’ve compiled our expertise from shooting for over a decade into this one blog post to tell you folks really clearly how you can get better high ISO images.

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How to Shoot Photography While Quarantined with the Gear You Have

We’re not going anywhere for a long time, so try these.

We know you’re quarantined for the foreseeable future. But that doesn’t mean you need to put the camera down. Instead, this is a great time to shoot and embrace all the fun you can have with it. Trying something new helps us grow. So we came up with a few photography project ideas on what to do while quarantined. Check this out!

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The Big Mistake Portrait Photographers Make That Could Cost Them

Light stands are essential for photographers, but so too are the support items.

Years ago, I had a roommate that asked me to shoot portraits for him. Typically, this is just fine. He’s a friend. He’s not a bad guy. It’s fine. “Hey Chris, I need a new photo right now,” he said. After I questioned why he explained that a ton of women was on the dating apps at the time. Mind you, it was a few days after Hurricane Sandy ended. It was very windy too. So my roommate and I walked across the street to take a specific photo of him. We chose a wardrobe beforehand, planned it out, and set to work. I didn’t think it would end up costing me a trip to the hospital. Photographers, don’t make the same mistake.

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Three Methods You Can Use to Create Photos Instead of Capture Them

Stop simply capturing images and start creating them; this is how you’ll put your unique stamp on your photos.

Everyone always talks about capturing images, but not about creating them. We can create in Photoshop, but so too can anyone else. It’s my firm belief that creating in camera is the best way as it means the photographer took all the methods and steps to create a photo organically rather than by compositing, layering, etc. in post-production which makes a photographer a better photo editor than a photographer. Though this idea could be controversial, these methods aren’t in use much because everyone is afraid of them. So, why not try them?

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What to Do With Your 85mm Lens. A Guide for New Photographers

The 85mm lens is more a lot more than just portraits.

Lots of folks think that 85mm lenses can only do one thing. But that’s wrong. It’s not as wide as a 50mm or a 35mm, but they can do a whole lot. However, most people buy 85mm lenses just for portrait photography. Indeed, it’s great for this. It flattens a person’s profile very well and makes them look flattering. The truth is, though, that the 85mm lens is very versatile. And you can do a whole lot with it. We’re going to break those down in our roundup.

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Leica, Voigtlander or Zeiss: Answering the Questions You Should Know

Leica, Zeiss, and Voigtlander have long been three companies that really compete with one another.

I’ve been considering writing this article for a long time: I know it’s information that someone will want. In the battle between Zeiss, Leica, and Voigtlander, it can be tough to figure out which is the best option. There are many different parameters, and you can always consider which one is best for you and your needs. Each lens manufacturer makes a variety of options for the market, and each one also makes excellent optics overall. In many circles, they’re seen as overpriced in comparison to the Asian made optics. But after years of testing and owning lenses from all of these brands, I’ll tell you that each of them has something unique to them. The right one for you just depends on your needs.

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Photo Question: Why Would You Use a Flash During the Daytime?

What’s the point of using a flash during the daytime if you can just edit the photo later on?

Though the more experienced photographers may already know the answer, there are lots of folks who don’t understand why you’re supposed to use a flash during the day. I mean, why not just overexpose the image or go into the shadows to shoot the photo? Well, life isn’t always that plain and simple. And if you’re really hellbent on fixing it in post-production, please believe me when I say that using a flash during the day will make it much more manageable. You can probably do this with your on-camera flash, but in most other cases, an off-camera flash will do this the best.

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How Many of You Know the Blue Cellophane Rangefinder Trick?

Blue cellophane comes standard as a protective cover on your rangefinder’s viewfinder, but the blue cellophane rangefinder trick can also help you!

I’ve known about this trick for many years and thought everyone else did too. But the truth is most people do not, especially those new to photography. If you shoot with a Leica, Voigtlander, Canon, Zeiss, Zorki, Yashica, or Olympus rangefinder, then you’re in luck! Besides doing a CLA (Clean Lube Adjustment), there are better ways to make your rangefinder more visible. Older rangefinders didn’t have bright patches, or the ones they had deteriorated over time. To make them appear even brighter, there is a little trick involving blue cellophane and the viewfinder, not the rangefinder. Let’s dive into the blue cellophane rangefinder trick!

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Getting the Best Results When Shooting with Natural Light at Home

Most of us are homebound at the moment due to the pandemic, but you can still create great images at home using these natural light photography tips.

One of the tenets behind being a photographer is the mastery of light. Cameras and lenses aside, light is the most important element in image-making. Many professionals prefer to shoot with artificial lighting thanks to how it helps to deliver consistent and repeatable results. However, artificial lighting can be intimating. The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges as well. Even for photographers comfortable shooting with artificial light, not all of them own artificial lighting or have access to it while sheltering in place. The good news is that natural light is still available (provided that the weather cooperates). And as long as there’s light, we as photographers can create. Right now, the simple act of creating can be an important therapeutic exercise for many. Check out these natural light photography tips to help you create great images even when you’re stuck at home.

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Watch and Learn: How Jerry Ghionis Communicates When Posing Models

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of being instructed by Jerry Ghionis on a shoot. And he’s incredible.

One of the biggest things I think every photographer needs to keep in mind is that they always need consent to touch a model or move a subject. Jerry Ghionis is the master of showing how to do this. No photographer should assume there is consent while shooting, no matter how long you and a subject have been working together. There should be a steady flow of communication at all times. When you touch and move someone, you should aim to always be cautious and respectful of another person’s body. This all sounds like old hat, but it isn’t. And I think there isn’t enough being said on consent and shooting with a model.

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How to Get That Beautiful Pastel Look from Your Fujifilm Camera

Every photographer loves the Pastel look: here’s how to get it.

We get it–you’re one of those photographers who love the film look, but you don’t want to shoot film. First off, I’ll be the first to tell you that shooting film is about much more than just the final image. But, if you’re looking to get only that same quality, it’s a bit tricky. A part of it is done to taste, but we know how to get you there pretty much 90% of the way. This method works no matter what Fujifilm camera you’re using. However, you’re going to get better results with the later sensor offerings. But if you’re looking to have that beautiful pastel look in your photos, then read on.

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How to Lose Weight and Stay in Shape While Photowalking

Photowalking is a fantastic way to lose weight, so here’s how I did it and how I’ve been keeping the weight off.

One of the best things about being a photographer is photowalking. Folks combine it with street photography and make it into something that’s much more active. But the more passive approach to photo walking and randomly discovering photogenic things is holistically healthy for you. Better yet, it’s a great way to lose weight. I used to be slightly obese at 197lbs. Now I am down to 165 lbs, and part of how I’ve kept it off is photowalking. During the summer days, there’s little better than the short period of time where I can go outside. It’s chilly outside in the early morning, and I can Photowalk with relatively little disturbances. Best of all, you can make this work around your schedule. But like anything else in life, you have to really want it.

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How to Shoot Street Photography at Night and Be Creative

Just because the sun goes down and the sky turns dark, it doesn’t mean you can’t go out and shoot street photography.

Shooting street photography at night is great fun. Sadly, many shooters (especially newbies) are put off by the fact that they won’t have natural light to illuminate their scenes. Although shooting conditions are different at night, you can still create quality street photographs. Actually, shooting in the dark of the night encourages you to be more creative. As a result, you can get more compelling images. Of course, there are some techniques and approaches to be familiar with to execute street photography at night well. In this piece, we’re going to go over them, getting you ready to shoot when the sun goes down.

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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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Video: Try This to Improve the Autofocus of Your Camera and Lens

We bet you’ve never tried this trick to tune up the autofocus of your camera.

You’ve all heard about cleaning your sensor. But how many of you clean your lenses? And we’re not just talking about the front element, but what about the contacts? And what about the autofocus contacts of your camera? How many of you are too scared to do it in the same way that you’re too afraid to clean your sensor? In one of our recent episodes of Pro Camera Reviews, I decided to show how I keep my cameras working each and every time correctly. The idea behind this is one that folks rarely do. If you asked photographers to answer honestly, I’m positive that most would say that they never do it. But in this case, it’s necessary. You can watch the video below and read along for our explanation of how we do this and why.

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Video: Please Stop Excessively Retouching a Portrait Subject’s Eyes

We’ve seen too many people retouch the eyes in portraits too much, so please stop.

You know exactly what we’re talking about: portrait photographs where the eyes are super heavily retouched. The whites in the eyes are super white. The iris color is very light. And it makes no sense based on the lighting in the scene. Nothing about it looks natural. We see this a lot online, and it’s excessive. The best step, of course, is to not retouch and to instead just light correctly in the first place. But that’s not always possible. So before you go trying to make someone’s eyes look like a cartoon character’s, check out our video below and please subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Video: How Zone Focusing Differs for Manual and Auto Focus Lenses

Zone focusing isn’t the same for every lens, and it can actually be challenging to do.

Street Photographers love to talk about zone focusing as their primary way of shooting. While some still go for autofocus, zone focusing is by far one of the best ways to shoot. Arguably, it’s faster than autofocus methods. And what lots of folks realize is that it’s different depending on the lens. Zone focusing is best at wide to standard focal lengths. But that performance also differs based on how the lens was designed. Arguably, zone focusing is more difficult with lenses designed for autofocus first. In today’s video tutorial, we explore this a bit.

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Isaac Alvarez Shot These Flower Photos by Overpowering the Sun

Quarantine Projects like Isaac Alvarez’s are a fun way for photographers to still be creative while stuck indoors.

Photographer Isaac Alvarez found himself bored with not much to do during quarantine. So, he decided to find a way to stay creative. Isaac went outside carefully while social distancing to photograph flowers. It’s a smart idea: he’s got flowers around him, he found a way to make them look awesome as they’re great subjects, and he did this safely. And if you’re really into off-camera flash, you’ll really love how he did it. Even more impressive is the fact that he used no post-production for the photos. As he tells us, “…there’s really no editing involved here. I opened it up in Photoshop and saved it as a Jpeg.” And so Isaac did it by overpowering the Sun: a method you don’t hear about too often any more.

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