Essentials: VNTG8 SD Card Holder (Rebirth in Recycling)

Essentials is a revamped series featuring products we’re currently lusting over in quick, bite-sized posts.

A few years ago, we reported on the VNTG8 SD Card Holders, and thankfully they’re much better in person. In fact, DPReview’s Chris Niccolls acknowledged how wonderful they are when we last saw each other in person. The big story behind the VNTG8 SD Card Holders has to do with an issue in the world overall: recycling. Created by Jordan Kirkham, these SD card holders represent the new American entrepreneurial spirit while giving a nod to understanding a big part of visual imagery’s past. In this particular story, the retro aesthetic hails from an affinity for cinematic film. Lots of old film cases simply went to the wayside after being used. But with the VNTG8 SD Card Holder, they are repurposed in a really nice way. Through this process they’re given a sort of rebirth.

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Essentials: TACS AVL II Rustic Brown Edition Timepiece

Essentials is a revamped series featuring products we’re lusting over in quick, bite-sized posts.

I’ve been a watch guy for as long as I can remember, probably even longer than I’ve had an interest in photography. This is thanks mainly to the hours I’ve spent assisting my aunt who worked in the horology industry during my youth and admiring countless timepieces, changing watch straps, and tinkering with watch movements. To this day, I seldom leave home without first fitting a timepiece around my wrist. Call it a habit or old fashioned behavior, but despite having a smartphone with me at all times that not only tells time along with being able to perform a myriad of other functions, being able to tell time at the flick of a wrist will always be faster than having to pull my phone out of my pocket. When Tokyo based boutique watchmaker TACS reached out to us to see if we’d be interested in checking out the new Rustic Brown Edition of their AVL II timepieces, the watch nerd and the photographer in me were more than happy to oblige. TACS is an acronym for Taste, Attractive, Creative, and Sense, and the AVL II Rustic Brown Edition surely checks all of those boxes.

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Essentials: Cecilia Gallery SD Card Wallet

Essentials is a revamped series featuring products that we’re currently lusting over in quick, bite sized posts.

I was introduced to the Cecilia Gallery SD Card wallet during Photo Plus Expo of 2018. It was thrown in with the camera bag we reviewed and for me personally, it’s been a big upgrade over my old think Tank SD card wallet. The Cecilia Gallery SD Card wallet is probably not for everyone, but it should be as it’s made pretty much better in every single way. Not only can it attach to any loop on your camera bag, but it has a secure clasp to keep your cards safe, is made of leather, and keeps everything nice and compact.

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Just Remember: Sony, Canon, and Nikon are Nothing Without Their Lenses

I felt it purposeful to write this post because a lot of the complaining going back and forth between one fanboy and another.

There have been posts and videos online debating whether or not a user should go out and get a Sony a7 III, a Canon EOS R, or a Nikon z6. My honest answer: don’t get any of them. Sony has better products on the higher end (much better)! Canon has yet to create a higher end camera. Nikon just needs to fix a whole lot of stuff; they are consistently giving the oddest colors we’ve ever seen. You’re all obviously entitled to your opinions, but I’d like to start stating facts.

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The Killer Family Portrait Kit for Canon Photographers

It’s time to get more serious about your family portraits, Canon photographers!

Shooting family portraits, either for yourself or for paid clients, is a common task for photographers to be enlisted into doing.  But if you are new to family portraits, or to photography in general, maybe you are finding yourself wondering about what sort of kit you should have if you want to be doing more family portraits. Maybe you usually specialize in sports photography or landscape photography and your cousin Jane asked you to take care of the family reunion portraits this year.

Whatever your reason for being curious, we have you covered. In this post we will be sharing our thoughts on the ideal family portrait kit setup for you Canon photographers. Now if you’re ready, let’s get into it. Continue reading…

The Killer Family Portrait Kit for Micro Four Thirds Photographers

concert photography

It’s time to get more serious about your family portraits, Panasonic & Olympus Micro Four Thirds photographers!

Shooting family portraits, either for yourself or for paid clients, is a common task for photographers to be enlisted into doing.  But if you are new to family portraits, or to photography in general, maybe you are finding yourself wondering about what sort of kit you should have if you want to be doing more family portraits. Maybe you usually specialize in sports photography or landscape photography and your cousin Jane asked you to take care of the family reunion portraits this year.

Whatever your reason for being curious, we have you covered. In this post we will be sharing our thoughts on the ideal family portrait kit setup for you Micro Four Thirds photographers. Now if you’re ready, let’s get into it. Continue reading…

The Killer Family Portrait Kit for Nikon Photographers

It’s time to get more serious about your family portraits, Nikon photographers!

Shooting family portraits, either for yourself or for paid clients, is a common task for photographers to be enlisted into doing. But if you are new to family portraits, or to photography in general, maybe you are finding yourself wondering about what sort of kit you should have. Maybe you usually specialize in sports photography or landscape photography and your cousin Jane asked you to take care of the family reunion portraits this year.

Whatever your reason for being curious, we have you covered. In this post we will be sharing our thoughts on the ideal family portrait kit setup for Nikon photographers. Now if you’re ready, let’s get into it. Continue reading…

Essentials: Recommendations for the Mirrorless Camera Portrait Photographer

Curious about what we recommend for portrait photographers these days? Have a look!  

Portrait photography is often the reason many people initially get into photography; taking portraits of their children or family, or simply just having an interest in capturing images of people. But regardless of the reason behind it, this has led to some serious information overload with all things related to portrait photography. You can find gear recommendations down to the brand and the portrait style niche. This is a blessing and a curse.

What if you are just interested in general portraiture and you want to get started with a decent kit that will be able to do various styles and forms of portraiture well? Look no further! Today we are sharing some of our favorite gear for general portraiture. We’ve got you covered with two lenses, two cameras, two bags, two lights, and two modifiers to get your kit started off right! Continue reading…

The Killer Family Portrait Kit for Fujifilm X-Series Photographers

It’s time to get more serious about your Family Portraits!

Shooting family portraits, either for yourself or for paid clients, is a common task for photographers to be enlisted into doing.  But if you are new to family portraits, or to photography in general, maybe you are finding yourself wondering about what sort of kit you should have if you want to be doing more family portraits. Maybe you usually specialize in sports photography or landscape photography and your cousin Jane asked you to take care of the family reunion portraits this year.

Whatever your reason for being curious is, we have you covered. In this post today we will be sharing with you our thoughts on the ideal family portrait kit setup for the Fujifilm X-Series photographer. Now if you’re ready, let’s get into it. Continue reading…

The Killer Family Portrait Photography Kit for Sony Mirrorless Photographers

portrait lenses

It’s time to get more serious about your family portraits!

Shooting family portraits, either for yourself or for paid clients, is a common task for photographers to be enlisted into doing.  But if you are new to family portraits, or to photography in general, maybe you are finding yourself wondering about what sort of kit you should have if you want to be doing more family portraits. Maybe you usually specialize in sports photography or landscape photography and your cousin Jane asked you to take care of the family reunion portraits this year.

Whatever your reason for being curious, we have you covered. In this post we will be sharing our thoughts on the ideal family portrait kit setup for the Sony mirrorless photographer. Now if you’re ready, let’s get into it. Continue reading…

The Essential Budget Lenses for Every Canon Photographer

The basic, essential lenses every Canon photographer could use in their kit

Photography is a wonderful thing; pick up any camera and any lens and with them you can capture the world, for just a moment, to be preserved as long as the medium which holds it survives. It is a timeless, though under-appreciated, a gift to the future. But if you are new to photography, or maybe just new to having a dedicated camera (upgraded from your smartphone, for example) you may be wondering what lenses you need for your new Canon camera.

Well, it’s just your luck that this post is all about that; the essential lenses for your Canon camera system. So, if you are ready, let’s jump on into it… Continue reading…

Photographer’s Toolbox: Landscape Photography Gear Essentials (Besides Cameras and Lenses)

Let’s be real here, if we are honest the only truly essential gear for a landscape photographer with passion and commitment is simply a camera. These days great results can come from utilizing just about any camera. That said, there are definitely some highly recommended items that all – if not most – landscape photographers will agree make landscape photography that much easier and fun to enjoy. Continue reading…

Essentials: The Analog Street Photographer

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend.

Lots of street photographers tend to reach for film these days simply for the aesthetic look and the overall experience of working with it. Plus when you ask a lot of street photographers why they choose to go analog, they tell you that digital just doesn’t do it for them. In some ways you can’t blame them: they’ll play the gear game but they won’t sit there going super crazy over it the way digital photographers do.

If you’re looking to give it a shot, analog street photography is very much a road worth going down. Here’s a kit that we highly recommend.

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Essentials: The Compact Medium Format Film Photographer

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend.

When you think about most medium format cameras out there, it’s often possible for people to consider the fact that they’re all really large. Granted, the newer digital cameras are changing that, but most of the medium format film cameras have always been very large. The exceptions were the rangefinders. Indeed, some of these are very expensive, but others are pretty affordable overall. And if you’re looking to keep your kit compact overall, then know that it’s pretty simple to do.

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Essentials: The Semi Serious Fujifilm Instax Film Photographer

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend.

While it’s still not totally there yet, the Fujifilm Instax format is starting to offer support for the more serious minded photographer out there. The imaging area is around the size of true 645 format, and for that reason it would be absolutely incredible as a serious image capturing format. The film is more than capable of delivering great details but the problems for many years has been the cameras. However, two cameras in particular are fantastic choices for a photographer looking to get more seriously into the Instax format.

As always, the Essentials series isn’t sponsored but instead designed to give a photographer various kit options.

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Essentials: The Traveling Outdoor Landscape Photographer

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend at the moment. These aren’t sponsored at all; if they were we wouldn’t have any trouble saying it.

Now is as great a time as any for us to bring back this long dormant series on the Phoblographer. In our Essentials series, we put together special kits for photographers to use in specific situations. You’ll find that lots of these are appealing for one reason to another.

If you’re a traveling landscape photographer always in the great outdoors, you typically need something lightweight with solid image quality that is very reliable. Sure, some folks may love their DSLRs, but once you go mirrorless it’s just so tough to go back. With that said, here are some items that we really digg right now.

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A Reverse Guide to Instagram

Photo by Gareth Pon.

Photo by Gareth Pon.

All photographers are copyrighted and used with permission from the photographers.

Instagram is the place to be for many photographers. Many tens of millions of photographs are uploaded there everyday. The potential is huge, but not everyone gets to bask in the social accolades that come with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers, millions in some cases. Big breaks aren’t a standard thing on Instagram, and unless you count on third party websites, there is no way to gauge metrics. All you really have are the little orange notifications. You might occasionally encounter social spikes, but it takes time to build an audience. So, how do you get that big following? We spoke to several powerhouses on Instagram to get their insights on what you should definitely not do.

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