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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Why You Should Embrace the Fujifilm X Pro 3’s “Image Flaws”

Some folks may say that because the Fujifilm X Pro 3 isn’t a full-frame camera that has flaws, here’s how to embrace them.

Personally speaking, the Fujifilm X Pro 3 is currently my favorite camera. I gave it a glowing review not long ago, and there is so much about this camera that forces you to focus on what’s happening in front of you. It tests you to be sure of the shot that you’re about to take. And if you embrace the features that the camera gives you, it will deliver incredibly unique images. For example, use the Classic Negative rendition with the Clarity setting, and you’ll get stunning photos that Canon, Nikon, and Sony can’t give you. But there’s more than that. You should also embrace the quality of post-production.

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How to Shoot Photos in the Rain: The Guide from the Camera Testers

If you’re wondering about how to shoot photos in the rain, you’d be amazed at how simple it is.

Lots of folks are scared, but if you’re wondering how to shoot photos in the rain, it’s more simple than you may think. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be cautious, but with modern cameras, you should know you can relax a little bit. We tend to bring nearly every camera into the rain that claims any sort of weather sealing. To that end, we have years of experience in how to shoot photos in the rain.

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Can You Use the Constant Light Built Into a Strobe for Photography?

Some photographers want to use a constant light while they learn how to light their photos, so does a strobe’s LED really work?

Admit it; if you’re reading this then you probably don’t know a lot about lighting. That’s okay. We can supplement the fact that you suck at lighting with a strobe’s constant light, right? This light is called the modeling light and it’s designed to give a preview of what your flash’s output will look like. Lots of photographers want to know if it’s really worth it. The truth is it’s a very complicated answer. There are lots of times when it’s just easier to use an LED constant light. But more often than not, that’s because photographers don’t know how to light. I have to admit, considering what I know about using a strobe, it was actually harder for me to use a constant light than it was a strobe. Here’s what happened.

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How to Get the Most from a 50mm F1.8 Lens for Portraits

The 50mm f1.8 lens is an affordable option that photographers use to get images that really “wow” them.

Photographers who get into the artform because of their interest in portraits will often reach for a lens like a nifty 50 — the 50mm f1.8. Though it isn’t the most ideal option overall, these lenses are highly capable. For their affordable price points, these lenses can remain in a photographer’s camera bag for years as a staple option to shoot portraits with. Over the years they have become better, incorporating better optical formulas, nicer bokeh, arguably better build quality, and most of all the ability to keep up with the demands of higher resolution cameras. So if you want to shoot portraits with a nifty 50 lens, then consider the fact that the tool ultimately doesn’t matter: it’s all about how you use it.

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How to Shoot Your Photos Like You Would Chrome Film

Chrome film is what some of the world’s most famous photographers used to use.

Though one can argue that they can get the look of chrome film by applying a chrome-like preset to their images, I’d state you’d be very wrong. Shooting chrome films is arguably the truest form of photography: you shoot an image and then develop it. Whatever you get is what you get. It’s stupid to try to push or pull a chrome; you have to work with what you get from the camera. Some of the best photographers today shoot the same way they did years ago: like they were shooting chromes.

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The Phoblographer’s Guide to Zone Focusing Your Camera’s Lens

To understand zone focusing, a photographer needs to understand how cameras and lenses work.

If you look at a number of tutorials on zone focusing, you’ll see lots of the same things about how to do it. Understanding the reasoning behind it all is much different. Zone focusing was used for many years, before autofocus was invented, to help a number of photographers capture iconic images that still influence photographers today. It also aided with the creation of some very famous portraits. And with autofocus being the primary use case for many current lenses and cameras, the practice of zone focusing now belongs to a niche culture of photographers. Arguably, it can be much faster than autofocus in the hands of a skilled photographer. Best of all, it’s usually very reliable.

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Quick Tips for Getting Started with Flash Photography

Want to get into flash photography but don’t know how? Here’s a video tutorial with some quick tips, particularly for shooting with a Profoto A1X.

Working with flash can open your photography to many creative options, as you’ve probably seen from most studio setups and even some outdoor photography projects. If you’re thinking of finally adding a flash to your tools of the trade, this tutorial has everything you need to know to get started. As a bonus, this will especially be of great use if you’re eyeing the Profoto A1X flash.

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Tutorial: How to Shoot Great Portraits with a 135mm Lens

If you’re shooting portraits and using a 135mm lens, here’s what you need to know.

The 135mm lens is a favorite of many portrait photographers for great reason. They compress your subject quite a bit, make everyone look fantastic, can be used for headshots and wider portraits, and blur the background into oblivion. While many photographers often reach for an 85mm due to its versatility, those who want even more compression go for 135mm lenses. This can be solved with a 70-200mm lens option of some sort, but what a 135mm prime lens does is so much better. Luckily, there are a number of great 135mm prime lens options on the market, and if you want one here’s what you should know.

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Blending Flash with Natural Light (And Getting it Right in Camera!)

Blending flash and natural light is all about listening to the light meter in the camera.

“Why can’t I just do this in post-production?” is what I heard in a recent event I attended on mixed lighting and flash. Many times the answer is that a photographer can’t get an organic look and effect in the scene. Further, why work a long time in post-production when you can just get the image right in-camera? Why can’t you achieve your creative vision without the use of a computer or an app? And why do you need to live by that preset life? In this tutorial, we’re going to walk through the ideas behind blending natural light and flash.

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How to Make Your Photo Look Like a Painting In-Camera

Making your photograph look like a painting in-camera is all about embracing camera shake.

One of the best things about photography is that it can combine with a variety of other mediums and  deliver really unique images. Even better, lots of those images can be done in-camera without the need for Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. Sure, you can shoot and fix it in post-production–but why bother? Why not get it right in the first place and worry less later on? If you’re a photographer with an excellent grasp of the technical side and also in touch with your artistic side, then this tutorial on how to make images of landscapes look like paintings is for you.

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