An Introduction to ND Filters for the Budding Landscape Photographer

ND filters are powerful tools that allow us to capture landscape scenes that would otherwise escape us.

If you’re thinking about starting up landscape photography, you need to familiarize yourself with some tools that can help take your images from good to great. You’ve splashed the cash on a camera, you’ve picked up a sturdy tripod, an excellent lens, and even a bag to haul your gear around, but you may have overlooked ND filters. These ‘sunglasses’ for your lens are a must-have for landscape photographers, but they are often overlooked because they seem complicated. In this introduction to ND filters, we cover what these filters are, what they do, and how you can get the most out of them.

Continue reading…

Video: How to Post Process Your Scanned Slide Film (Kodachrome Too!)

Alaistair Bird shows you how to process the scans of your slide film.

Recently, Mr. Bird showed us how he goes about scanning his slide film at home. Today, we’ve got a video from him showing how he edits the images. If you remember, he did it using a DSLR. It’s a fun project to keep yourself busy and to stay tuned into your hobby while quarantined. But in addition to that, it’s also just something to do. Some folks will like scanning their film using a conventional scanner. But no scanner is anywhere as robust as a full-frame sensor in a camera. So after you’ve got the right lighting, here’s what you do.

Continue reading…

Can You Really Produce Professional Results With Crop Sensor Cameras?

The debate between Full Frame vs Crop Sensor cameras and their ability to produce professional results have been around as long as digital cameras have.

Let’s face it, Crop Sensor cameras have been getting a pretty bad rep for some time. By and large, you have the Full Frame or bust crowd to thank for this stigma. Full Frame cameras were the de facto standard for a long time thanks to their performance advantage over their Crop Sensor brethren. This was certainly true during the nascent days when the industry was just beginning to adopt digital. Fast forward to today, however, the performance differential between Crop Sensor and Full Frame bodies is borderline negligible.

In fact, Crop Sensor cameras are amongst the best bang for the buck available on the market. As a professional photographer who also reviews photography equipment for a living, I’ve had the privilege of shooting with just about every camera commercially available. The fact is, professional results are absolutely achievable regardless of your camera’s sensor size. The key lies in mastering the fundamentals of how to properly utilize a camera and understanding the relationship between sensor size and its real-world applications.

Continue reading…

Explaining to a Hobbyist Photographer How ROI Works for a Professional

I want to take a few minutes to talk to all of you about why I’ve been editing photos a whole lot less these days.

I’m not saying that photo editing is bad. But instead, indeed it’s honestly essential. I’m saying that true masters of photography work at least 80% in camera and the rest is all done in post-production of some sort. Heck, I’d even sometimes argue even less is done is post. I want you to think about this almost like swimming as hard as you can to keep your head above water.

Continue reading…

Video: How to Do the Film Grain Look Right and Embrace the Noise

Film grain: are you doing it right, or does it just look like noise?

For photographers, the idea of film grain is pretty new if you’ve only been shooting for a couple of years. Digital noise is one thing, but film grain can look pretty beautiful. It’s an organic look and with the right exposure, can add character to your scene. In today’s video tutorial, we’re taking a look at the different types of film grain and how to use it to your image’s advantage. Certain camera systems have it built in such as with Olympus, Leica, and Fujifilm. But other camera systems don’t. In fact, camera makers have been working for years on trying to beat it. In fact, we’re that many of you didn’t even know that there are different types of grain.

Continue reading…

How to Scan Slide Film with a Camera and What You’ve Got at Home

“Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise.” – William Shakespeare, King Lear, (I.iv)

“I think it would be best if we delay the shoot.” That was part of an email I received in early March, right about the time I was thinking that my year wasn’t looking too bad, business-wise. I work as a commercial photographer in Vancouver, Canada, and I had enjoyed a fairly prosperous couple of months. Early 2020 was looking better than 2019, that’s for sure. Then everything ground to a halt: I don’t have to go into much more detail than that, as I’m not alone at all in this situation. The entire planet feels at a standstill.

Continue reading…

Video Tutorial: A Guide to Creating Beautiful Black and White Photos

When I mention notable photographers like Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and Michael Kenna, what pops into your mind’s eye? If you thought “masterfully orchestrated fine art black and white photography,” you’d be correct.

The work of Ansel Adams and Michael Kenna, along with that of Herb Ritts, influenced my approach to black and white imaging when I took photography in high school. Nearly failing every class in high school, I was not the best student. I found school dull and uninspiring, excelling only in the photography courses available. We learned exposure basics while using cameras like the Canon AE1 and Pentax K1000. I loved every minute of learning how to process film and prints in the darkroom, secretly wishing that I could quit school and focus my time and energy on pursuing photography.

Continue reading…

How Versatile Are Raw Files From the Sony a7r IV? We Tested Them

We tested the raw files from the Sony a7r IV. Take a look at the results.

The Sony a7r IV ($3,498 usually) is a fantastic camera: no doubt about that. Our gripes with it weren’t about the image quality, and we’re proving that with our in-depth look at the RAW File versatility. The camera has a sensor with over 60MP: it’s the highest of any full-frame camera currently on the market. So we wanted to take a closer look at just how versatile the RAW files are. In summary, we still found that good exposures are needed, but this sensor is really pushing the limits of what’s capable with full-frame sensors.

Continue reading…

How Capture One 20’s Process Will Make You a Better Photo Editor

Got nothing to do right now? Consider teaching yourself Capture One 20.

The editing process in Capture One 20 is far different than Lightroom’s, and it results in many of the images that really make jaws drop. The science behind the editing engine in both Capture One 20 and Lightroom is far different. And while Lightroom is the more popular and more convenient option, Capture One 20 lets you do most of what both Photoshop and Lightroom can if you’re a photographer. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the editing process and the idea of focusing on one thing at a time.

Continue reading…

Portrait Photography Tips: How to Pose the Arms (And What Not to Do)

Avoid awkwardly placed hands and arms in your shots with these quick portrait photography tips.

Among the things both portrait photographers and models commonly overlook when they’re starting out is the placement of the arms in poses. Can you just place them on the sides? Should the model place a hand behind their head? Or both hands? How about one hand touching their hair or twirling it in their fingers a bit? Should the arms be bent? There are actually many ways you can work with the hands and arms to avoid awkwardly posed portraits. We’ve put together a bunch of tips if this is something you’re yet to master.

Continue reading…

Video Tutorial: You’re Adding Too Much Clarity. Try This for Sharper Photos

The secret to sharper photos is deeper blacks which make the rest of the scene pop.

When you’re editing a photo, you’ll most likely boost the clarity or the sharpness of the image to make it more appealing. But there’s another trick you may not be aware of. When you edit the black levels of a photo the rest of the scene pops out more. It’s a simple psychology trick that can make someone think the image they’re looking at is much sharper than it really is. Best of all, no one needs to pixel peep your photo. If you’ve got a few minutes, check out our latest tutorial from our YouTube Channel embedded below.

Continue reading…

We Removed the Fear of Moving from Lightroom to Capture One 20

You don’t have to be scared of a better editing software now: here’s how you can move from Lightroom to Capture One 20.

Moving away from Lightroom and coming to Capture One 20 was one of the best mental health decisions I’ve made for my career. I know Lightroom has improved, and I’ll acknowledge that Adobe is paying closer attention to photographers, but still I think Capture One 20 is the better software choice for several reasons. We’ve had photographers ask us about how to move over from Lightroom to Capture One 20, and we’ve got a tutorial below.

Continue reading…

Why the 24mm Lens Is Great for Creative Self Portraits

Just because you’re used to shooting landscapes and architecture with your 24mm lens doesn’t mean you can’t use it for shooting at home!

So, you’re stuck at home and you have limited options when it comes to taking photos. If you’re thinking about joining the myriad of photographers who decided to do self portraits in the meantime, you might want to pay special attention to your 24mm lens. We’ve been recommending the 24mm lens for portrait photography, so we see no reason why you can’t whip it out for creative self portraits as well!

Continue reading…

Great Examples of Negative Space in Black and White Photography

In itself, black and white photography is already minimalist, but you can make it even more effective with great use of negative space.

When we speak of minimalist photography, shooting in black and white is often one of the first techniques that come to mind. Without the distraction of colors, a scene is reduced to the interaction between light and shadows and how they make eye-catching contrast, often useful for both creative photography and visual storytelling. But, to make your black and white photography even more effective as minimalist images, simplifying your composition with a good grasp of negative space is necessary. This is where today’s featured video tutorial comes in handy.

Continue reading…

Did You Know That You Can Adjust Tamron’s Lens Image Stabilization?

This quick video will show you how you can get more out of your Tamron lenses’ image stabilization.

Like a lot of modern lenses these days, Tamron lenses are no strangers to built-in image stabilization (or Vibration Compensation, as Tamron calls it). Thanks to modern technology, we can now alter how our lenses work thanks to customizable firmware that the lenses are programmed with. If you have always wished you could change the way the image stabilization works on your Tamron lens, you’re in luck. The short video after the break will show how to set up your lens to suit your type of shooting.

Continue reading…

Using Curves on Lightroom to Get the Vintage Film Look

Add the popular vintage film look to your arsenal of Lightroom editing skills with this quick Curves tutorial.

The so-called film look or vintage aesthetic remains a popular visual style among photographers, whether they get it through shooting film or experiment with digital filters and presets. Nothing does it better than shooting with actual film cameras, but if you’re a digital shooter it’s still a look you can achieve. If you’re using Adobe Lightroom to edit your photos and want to know how you can use it to get the film look, here’s a quick tutorial that will cover working with Curves.

Continue reading…

10 Photography Activities for Staying Productive in Quarantine

You shouldn’t stop being productive as a photographer despite being in quarantine due to COVID-19.

While we’re certainly living in unsettling times: forced to cancel events, and observe quarantine measures and social distancing due to COVID-19, there are many things we can do to stay creative and productive. Our fellow photographers are coming up with tips and suggestions on how to keep our skills sharp even with the limitations that come with being stuck at home. JT of Run N Gun, who suggests we think of this situation as a gift of free time, recently shared his quick video and blog post about 10 things you can do to keep boredom at bay while holding out.

Continue reading…

Using Telephoto Zoom Lenses for Better Landscape Photography

Telephoto Zooms can completely change the way you look at landscapes and they can create much more intimate images.

When we think of landscape photography and the gear we need to use, we almost always feel that we need to use wide-angle lenses so that we can capture sweeping hills, huge mountain ranges, and stunning vistas. But sometimes there can be so much going on in an image that it can be hard to take in. What if I told you that you can break away from the norms and that you can create much more intimate landscape images by using telephoto zooms? Sounds crazy, right? Trust me; it’s not. Join us after the break and see why you should bring along that 70-200mm (or longer) lens of yours when you go out on your next landscape photography trip.

Continue reading…

Learn How to Edit Portraits Like a Pro in Capture One 20 with This Guide

If you have wondered how the pros edit their portrait images in Capture One 20, you’ll want to see this video guide from Michael Comeau.

Capture One 20 is a seriously powerful, yet sometimes overwhelming piece of photo editing software. Once you come to grips with it, you will never go back to using anything else. If you’re a portrait photographer, have switched to Capture One 20, and are in the process of figuring this piece of software out, you may want to check out Michael Comeau’s latest video where he edits five of his portrait images right before your eyes. Jump past the break for the video and more.

Continue reading…

7 Reasons Why Photographers Still Need a Speedlight Today

If you’re still missing a speedlight in your camera bag, this quick video gives a rundown of reasons why you should go ahead and grab one soonest.

Adequate lighting is crucial to achieving properly exposed shots, and sometimes, you’ll need the help of additional light sources if the scene isn’t bright enough. The speedlight or “flash gun” makes a portable and useful option for this. It can be fired either on the hotshoe of your camera or wirelessly on a cold shoe. If you’re wondering why a speedlight deserves a space in your camera bag given the increasingly improving low-light capabilities of cameras today, this quick video has seven reasons for you.

Continue reading…

Camera Manufacturers Disagree on How to Disinfect Your Cameras

With Coronavirus fears and photographers needing to possibly handoff cameras on shoots to assistants, we asked Camera manufacturers about how to keep your camera clean. 

“(I’d) imagine that other manufacturers haven’t considered use of disinfectants on photographic equipment,” says Mark Weir, Senior Manager of Technology at Sony. When I emailed the camera manufacturers about this story, I wasn’t expecting conflicting answers. Yet, as I wrote this article, it became a bit confusing. In some ways, manufacturers are saying the same things. But in other ways, one has to remember that camera manufacturers use different materials and finishes on their cameras. To that end, we got different dialogues. Amidst Coronavirus fears, we talked to manufacturers, a former Doctor, and an Insurance provider for freelancers about what to do.

Continue reading…