How Modern Day Documentary Photographers Use Medium Format Cameras

Digital medium format photography has experienced quite a change in the past few years.

How many of you photographers out there have sat there, looked at the work of some of the greats and were in awe of the medium format look? If you’re reading this article, I’m positive that a number of you have. When it comes to documentary photography though, smaller formats have always dominated the scene. Why? Well, it’s easier to capture more critical moments with smaller formats due to how the laws of physics and depth of field world. But when that doesn’t mean that medium format doesn’t work. Lots of fantastic projects were done on medium format; and I’m positive that in the hands of the right photographers, digital medium format can do the same.

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5 Lenses Every Aspiring Documentary Photographer Should Have in Their Bag

Documentarians and photojournalists are a unique breed of photographer; they can be found scurrying around in the dead of night, and they can be seen in the harshest of conditions during the day.

The lenses that photojournalists use need to be equally adept to ever changing conditions, and they need to able to withstand the hardest of jolts, and the hottest, coldest, and rainiest of days. To be successful in this field, a wide range of focal lengths needs to be covered. The challenge comes in finding lenses that are up to the task of being used and abused over and over again without the photographer having to ever worry about their glass. Here is a list of the five lenses every documentary photographer should have in their bag.

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Getting My Portrait Taken: The Story of a Portrait Photographer Getting the Camera Turned on Him

I am of the genuine belief that every photographer needs to have the camera turned on them every now and again in order for them to understand their subjects more.

One of the things that many photographers speak of is empathy for your subjects; while I hate that romanticized idea due to my belief that it should be common sense, I agree that you should always do unto others as you’d have others do unto you. Blame Catholic schooling for that. If you want to turn the camera onto other people, you shouldn’t be that person that says “Oh I don’t like having the camera turned on me.” If that’s the case, then why do it to others? Why not instead work to make yourself feel better in front of the camera or find a way to work with a photographer to do that? This has been my philosophy for years and in my eyes, there’s no exception to this rule. In order to have true empathy for your subjects, you need to step into their shoes and live a day in their lives. When you combine this with a few recent life changes that I’ve made, it adds up and becomes something that it worth putting forward in photos that are representative of who you are.

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Opinion: Every Photographer Should Spend a Year Shooting Film and Not Editing Their Photos

This may really sound crazy, but hear me out.

I completely agree with you that in the age of digital photography and mobile phones, the idea of spending a year on just film is really insane. But on the other side of things, I believe spending a year working with film is one of the best things many photographers can do for themselves and their work. After a year, you return to digital and you’ll realize you’re a completely different type of shooter and that you as a photographer have changed greatly.

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Sony FE Portrait Lenses Compared: Which Lens is the Best One?

Which Sony FE Portrait Lenses are the best? We scoured our reviews to see.

If you’re into the Sony FE camera system and you’re looking for the best portrait lenses, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve reviewed all of them, and a larger summary can be found in our Sony FE Lens Guide. The company that was once known for not having a lot of lenses has been making others eat their words for a few years now. But with this many lenses out there, it can become confusing to figure out which one is right for you. Say no more.

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Some of the Best Lenses for Concert Photography for 2018

Using the right lens can take your concert photography from so-so to so awesome!

Concert photography is a fun way to get cool shots but it’s not as easy as you might think. Yes, the lighting is done for you and the performers are doing the performing for you, and yes, you do need to capture a lot of frames, but with concert photography the lens will make the biggest difference for any photographer.

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5 of the Best Image Stabilized Lenses for Photographers with Shaky Hands

Trying to hold a camera steady can be challenging at any age. We’re taking a look at some of the best stabilized lenses for shaky hands.

Too much coffee or too many years behind us and our hands can sometimes fail us. Shaky hands can take what should be a sharp photo and make it slightly soft or worse. Below, we cover some of the best lenses with IS built in which also happen to be some of the better lenses available for DSLR or mirrorless systems.

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Photo Gear for the Landscape Photographer Who Wants to Carry Less

With fresh air and beautiful nature surrounding you, landscape photography can be quite rewarding. If you are a landscape photographer who desires to carry less, read on. 

Think of landscape photography as street photography in nature. The animals are not giving permission but we photograph them anyway, and the walk is good for you. If you’re like most street photographers, you don’t like to carry a ton of gear to make the photo. Check out our recommendation from smartphones to medium format digital.

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This Is Why Your Photos Are Boring (But It’s Not Really Your Fault)

The photography that you’re shooting and putting out into the world is boring.

The lead image of this piece is, to me, one of the most boring images that I’ve created in the past few months. It’s true. But to many of us, photography is self serving. It’s very much just about you all the time. In order for photography to be less boring, it needs to be about others. That statement is significantly more complex than it sounds.

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Opinion: Instagram’s Algorithm Is the Absolute Best Reason Why Photographers Need Their Own Website

If you don’t have a photography website for your portfolio, you’re doing something really stupid for your work.

This is a very, very strong opinion; one that I actually feel is a fact. It’s taken me a really long time to sit and ruminate over this idea, but I’ve come to the ultimate conclusion that if you’re one of those photographers who only showcases their Instagram, then you’re doing yourself an injustice. Why? How? Well, some of this comes from just what many photographers complain about when it comes to Instagram.

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How to Take the Worst Portraits You’ve Taken in Your Life

Everyone talks about how to take the best portraits ever, but here’s how you can take your worst portraits.

Every photographers takes portraits they don’t like, and these are often your worst portraits. Let’s be honest here: you’re not always going to take your best photos each and every time, but you can always find a way to make your images better just as long as you practice and take notes on how to improve. This is just like any other skill and it doesn’t necessarily just come to you unless you’ve got some weird gift that you don’t understand. But then you won’t always get consistency. So here’s what I’m talking about.

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Travel Centric Instant Film Cameras You’ll Want on Your Next Trip

Instant cameras will bring a new dimension to your travel work through a deeper connection to the craft of photography.

At first glance, looking at a print from an instant camera will stir judgements about the crummy colors, lack of sharpness, and the fact that the print is a one-off. But that would be far off base when thinking about instant photography. Creating with instant cameras is far deeper when you look below the surface. When creating with instant cameras you’ll experience a closer human connection, a genuine photographic print and way to connect with another human being that’s not social media. Creating with an instant camera is less an ego play and more an act of pure photography. Free yourself from the distractions of social media, the desire to spend hours in post, and practice your craft. You’ll become a better photographer by shooting with an instant. Here’s some solid choices when looking for instant cameras.

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Five Budget Flashes for the Frugal Strobist Photographer in Need

If you’re looking to up your photography game, know that better light does not have to cost a small fortune.

If you want to separate your work from the hordes of people wearing their cameras, you’ll need to control light. There’s no better way to control light than with a flash and a good flash doesn’t need to send your accountant into shock either. Here are five budget flashes you need to know about. Just to let you know, we’ve tested all of these flashes and we’re recommending everything from our personal experience.

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The Best DSLR Lenses Under $800 That Will Make Your Photography Pop

The best lenses for DSLR’s can also be some of the most affordable.

When it comes to budgeting money for a camera kit, the majority of your money should go into high quality lenses. Camera technology changes often but a good lens can last a lifetime. In this roundup, we look at high performing lenses for DSLR’s that won’t break the bank. We’ve gone through our reviews index to find some of the best.

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How I Learned to Hate and Fall Back in Love with the 50mm Lens

The nifty 50mm lens is the one everyone tells you to start out with.

Depending on who you ask, the 50mm lens is either well loved or seriously hated. There is no in between; photographers tend to be on one side of the battle or the other. When you start out, everyone tells you to go ahead and try a nifty 50. Why? Well, 50mm f1.4 lenses tend to be pretty affordable and you don’t want to spend a whole lot of money when you’re getting started. It’s a fantastic learning tool to figure out how to do more with less. With that said, it’s often the route to other prime lenses as well: some go on to a 35mm, some a 85mm, and yet others for a higher end 50mm lens.

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5 Pretty Great 50mm Lenses for APS-C Portrait Photographers (And Some Tips!)

A 50mm lens should be the first lens you get for your full frame camera, but we’re talking about APS-C sized sensors here.

We often refer to 50mm lens on a full frame as a “standard” lens because 50mm is fairly close to the perspective of the human eye. Using a 50mm lens on a camera with an APS-C sized sensor changes that perspective by about 1.5x, making your effective focal length closer to what you get with a 75mm lens on a full frame. Now, that’s not a bad thing at all, and if you love shooting portraits it’s a very good thing! A 50mm lens on a camera with an APS-C sized sensor is a killer portrait lens. Also, because longer focal lengths compress perspective you’ll get more of a three-dimensional look when making full body portraits if you shoot at your brightest aperture.

Find out why the 50mm should be your second lens choice for APS-C cameras, which lenses you should consider, and some pro tips to get the most out of your purchase.

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The Essential Gear Guide for Minimalist Street Photographers (2018)

Street photography gear for the minimalist; sound like something you’re interested in?

What makes street photography special to me is that it’s by the people, for the people. Therefore, by its very nature, street photography is for minimalists. When working the street you need to be of a present mind and know your gear inside and out. Photos come and go in fractions of a second, so if you’re messing with gear physically or mentally it’s over. If you are digging in your bag it’s over. You’re either getting the shot or not. There’s zero forgiveness with street photography, so if you’re serious, embrace minimalism and focus on the craft.

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The Essential Professional f2.8 Zoom Lenses for Every Camera System

For professional photographers, a zoom lens is crucial to our kit. Here’s a selection of professional zoom lenses that rated high in our reviews.

We need to keep our overhead in check while being able to have a decent range of focal lengths in our kit and so professional f2.8 zoom lenses are an essential for working photographers. In addition to that, we want lenses that gather a lot of light and are sharp. Professional photographers are dealing with so many moving parts on a shoot: the last thing we need to be thinking about is if our gear is going to crap out. Build quality is a top priority.

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Dear Fujifilm: Please Give Us a Digital Fujifilm Natura Black Point and Shoot

One of the most perfect film point and shoot cameras should find new life in the digital world: The Fujifilm Natura Black.

While I’m still a big lover of the Hexar AF, I have to admit that the Fujifilm Natura Black has always been a camera I’ve lusted over for fantastic reasons. With much talk about Fujifilm and their point and shoot lineup, I decided that I’d look back in their history. Obviously the T-X2 is on the list of cameras that folks think about, but circles of photographers in the know perhaps have kept the Fujifilm Natura Black a secret for years. If you find them on eBay, they’re often in good condition or heavily discounted due to the slightest ding. But those slight dings aren’t to worry over, especially when you consider just how great this camera is.

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Opinion: Going Back to Canon and Nikon Feels Like a Toxic Relationship

Canon and Nikon are really trying to change things up in the photo world right now; but should we go back to them?

Canon and Nikon are absolutely doing what they can to win back customers after slowly losing ground to both Sony and Fujifilm over the years. While the latter two have been doing all that they can to gain market share and continue to push forward, we can say with absolute certainty that Canon and Nikon have done little to nothing to either give customers what they want or to adapt with the times. It’s taken too long. While I’m sure that Canon and Nikon are going to do what they can to try to get customers back, I genuinely wonder if we really should go back.

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