How to Make the Most of One Light Source

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Replichrome Astia on Fujifilm rendering (1 of 1)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.4

Lots of photographers try to make things simple when it comes to lighting by working with a single source of illumination. And to be honest, we don’t blame them. When you work with lots of lights, you’ll need to learn ratios and have a better idea of how you want the illumination from the lights to work. So working with one artificial light is usually one of the simplest and most portable way to create images.

Here are some of the best ways to do just that.

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Advice For The Local Street Photographer

There is a simple truth: not everyone gets to travel as photographers. We have to make do with where we live and there is nothing wrong with that. With summer here you may find yourself asking, “How do I not get bored on my home turf?” You are either taking a staycation and doing things around home or you’re the type of person who keeps a camera with you everyday. It’s not about the amount of gear you have, it’s about how you use it. Your backyard can hold a lot to photograph.

Supercharge Your Photography Website

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The Basics of Photography: O for Optics


Today, we continue our educational series on the Basics of Photography with the letter O for Optics. We already covered a number of topics pertaining to lenses in previous articles, but there is a lot more to optics than meets the eye (pun intended). In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the most important aspects of optics, and explain some of the most common terms and concepts.

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Six of the Most Common and Annoying Types of Lens Aberration


In a perfect world, our camera lenses would recreate what we see with perfect accuracy. We’re close, but physics isn’t always that easy to work around. What we often end up dealing with are optical aberrations, which manifest as a number of different imperfections in our photos. Some of them are easy fixes, and others are just part of being a photographer. Here’s an overview of the six main lens aberrations you might encounter.

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How Fast Does Your SD Card Need to Be?

SD Card Port

The site puts a ton of cameras and lenses through tests every month. And as these devices come and go in our hands, we often experience differences in performance based on the SD cards that we use. So we had the idea to show off the differences between a 100x speed SD card and a 400X speed SD card. Both cards were 32GB cards and were tested in a camera that was notorious for its write speeds: the Fujifilm X Pro 1.

The differences will shock you. Hit the jump for more.

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Advice for the Globetrotting Street Photographer


With summer around the corner, you may find yourself preparing for a trip abroad. After booking your flight, you’ll find that packing is almost always your primary concern, and your gear factors into that. The amount of gear you bring will be determined by, among other things, the length of your trip and how much time you’ll have to photograph. Once you get there, what will you photograph?

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The Phoblographer’s Basic Introduction to Getting Started in Long Exposures

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Long Exposures are images that often make many viewers sit there in total awe. They tend to really emphasize photography’s greatest strength: capturing a single moment and slowing it down to one frame for all to look at. However, they do this by capturing a long space of time in a single photo. Many photographers that do long exposures also shoot pinhole images or do things like light paintings. But before you get up to that level, here’s a quick intro to the medium.


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What I Learned About Making Cars Look Cool


A couple of weeks back, Hyundai flew me to the Arizona desert to go test out their new Genesis. Why? I asked the same thing when I was on a phone call with them. We don’t review cars: but they wanted the photo industry’s take on the car. As a native New Yorker, I barely drive unless I need to and it’s often never here in my own state. But upon exploring lots of the areas in beautiful Arizona, I ended up finding ways to make a car look cool.

Granted, I’m still a total novice when it comes to this.

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The Difference Between Dynamic Range And Latitude


An image of trees in Olympic National Park which requires a lot of dynamic range.

This post originally appeared on photographer Bill Wadman’s blog on April 22, 2014, and is being syndicated at The Phoblographer with his permission. Photo taken by and used with permission from Bill Wadman.

I’ve been meaning to write this one for a while. In fact it’s been sitting as an empty draft for months, so it’s about time we get on with it. One of my pet peeves is people who act like they know everything when they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. A few years ago I wrote one of my favorite blog posts ever called Image Properties (Or how most people talk out of their ass), to tackle one of the common areas of confusion.

Today, in an attempt to help out some more of you we’re going to talk about the difference between ‘dynamic range’ and ‘latitude’. Two terms that many people use interchangeably which are actually two different things.

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How to Comfortably Go Backpacking with a DSLR


This post originally appeared on the B&E Photographs journal on May 1, 2014, and is being syndicated at The Phoblographer with Brandon Wehman’s permission. All photos taken by and used with permission from Brandon Wehman.

While an amazing experience, backpacking is no easy task. It’s even trickier if you have your precious gear in tow. Not that it’s an impossible undertaking… Monterey, Calif-based  photographer Brandon Wehman shows us just how to do it right.

Whether you’re about to embark on a multi-day backpacking trip, or just a day hike down your favorite trail, bringing a good camera along is a great way to capture and share your adventure with family and friends. A camera that fits in your pocket, like an iPhone or a point-and-shoot, is easy enough to carry along, but what if you want to bring your big DSLR? What’s the best way to keep it safe while at the same time having it easily accessible to snap a quick shot? That’s the question I ran into while prepping for my recent backpacking trip to Patagonia. The solution I share below works perfectly for my particular backpacking setup, but the overall idea can be adapted to whatever setup you’re using.
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Five Tips on Adding New Styles Of Photography To Your Portfolio

Lately there’s been a bad trend in photography: photographers stealing or buying images, to make their portfolios look better. As photographers we must keep growing and learning. If we do not incorporate different styles of photography in to our workflow, our portfolios become stagnant and people will lose interest. To grow  you have to make some sacrifices. You have to prove to clients and yourself that you can create the images they need.

If your are going to add a new style of photography to your portfolio here are some tips to do it on your own.

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The Phoblographer’s Introduction to the Rule of Thirds (And Breaking It)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 VC image samples (22 of 36)ISO 2001-100 sec at f - 2.8

Many folks have heard of them. A long time ago, we wrote an introduction to the rule of thirds, but it’s been in serious need to a revamp. The Rule of Thirds is one of the biggest rules in the photography world that every instructor and other photographers tell you to follow. But it is very easy to get too caught up in that and not focusing on subject matter.

And in the end, subject matter and content are king. To that end, the rule of thirds can sometimes be thrown right out the window.

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The Basics of Photography: N for Noise

Cats' ears are very sensitive to noise(s) of all kinds.

Cats’ ears are very sensitive to noise(s) of all kinds.

In this episode of our series on the Basics of Photography, we’re going to talk about a topic that isn’t very popular, but that almost every photographer has to deal with from time to time: noise. Or, more specifically, image noise of the kind that appears in digital photographs under certain circumstances. In this article, we’re going to look at the different kinds of digital image noise, the specific circumstances under which it appears, and how to get rid of it without compromising the overall quality of the final image.

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5 Ways To Critique Your Own Photos

Critique gservo-1382140326

Often our photography has a lot going for it. Sometimes it lacks a clear identity. Before we display our images, we get them critiqued. The first person who critiques your work should be you yourself. As photographers, we spend a lot of time and money wondering if our images are good. We spend time creating and editing the images. We spend money making sure we store the images correctly. We are all susceptible to flattery and we accept when people tell us our images are nice. With our own image though, we must be brutal and unforgiving.

The question is, just how do you do this? Here some tips to help.

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The Basics of Photography: M for Shooting Modes

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus EPM2 product photos (5 of 5)ISO 16001-60 sec at f - 4.0

When stepping up from a smartphone camera or a simple point-and-shoot, one of the first things any novice photographer will notice on their advanced camera is the mode dial that comes with all sorts of confusing settings. While many will simply leave it set to the automatic mode and have it do all the thinking, the fun really begins when you switch to one of the more advanced modes and start making use of the full capabilities of your camera. In this part of our Basics of Photography series, we explore the various shooting modes many cameras come with.

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5 Things to Do and Not to Do as a Spouse and Photographer


Photographers all start out at different periods in their lives. Some like me start out after they’re married with children. Some get married then have children. Other don’t get married yet have life partners. What makes this important is that our spouses can be our biggest supporters as photographers. Handled wrongly, they can also be our worst enemies. We all take different paths when it comes to mixing our photography life with our families. I have made some mistakes and learned from them. I have also managed to get some things right along the way.

Here are some dos and don’ts when dealing with spouses from my personal experience. Continue reading…