The Power and Importance of Mentorship in the Photographic Community

We’ve all found our way into the photographic community at different times, in different ways, with enormous hurdles to surpass, no matter which way we found ourselves falling into this passion and career path.

Whether college-educated, self-taught, or anywhere in between, it’s undeniable that the barriers of entry to our community can at times seem insurmountable. Regardless of how spectacular your undergraduate program, the dedication of your instructors, or your determination to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible, inevitably we’ve all discovered roadblocks, gotten stuck, or were at a loss of where to turn to for help. This is where I believe the most powerful, positive tool available to us can be found when provided ethically, responsibly, and synergistically – mentorship. Continue reading…

Dear Fujifilm: Your Next Camera Will Need Much Better Battery Life

While Fujifilm does a whole lot right, they need to improve on the battery life of their cameras.

The battery life on a Fujifilm camera is pretty bad, and it’s only now that I’ve realized it. Admittedly, it has been a while since I’ve picked up my Fujifilm cameras. The reason for this is because I’ve been exploring who I am as a creative. The other reason is that I’ve needed to test all this additional gear that’s come out. So when pairing the company’s 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS with my X-H1 and X-T2, I was reminded of a problem. The battery life on Fujifilm cameras is pretty awful. It was great for a long time, and then the firmware and tech demanded more juice. Unless you’ve got a vertical grip on your X series camera, I don’t think the battery life is sufficient at all. In one night, I went through two batteries; that’s unacceptable.

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Is Arousal Okay in Fine Art Nude Photography? (NSFW)

The photography world tends to split nude photography into two categories- erotica and fine art. Can arousal exist within them both?

In our sensitive times, I feel like arousal has become somewhat of a misconstrued feeling. It’s understandable as to why. Decades of the objectification and over-sexualization of women has led to a cultural revolution. Women – and men – demand a change, and rightly so. But as a consequence of the wrongdoing of men, I feel the honest ones are hesitant to explore and discuss the feeling of arousal. For the most part, this is because they worry people will judge or label them as perverted. Photography is a great playing field to explore this.

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Talking About Cameras and Your GAS in Person Is Pedantic and Boring

Gear talk online is fun sometimes but even that gets boring; what’s worse is listening to talk about it in person.

“So it doesn’t bring you joy?” is what Marie Kando would say to me if she were listening to me express my feelings on talking about camera gear in person. The situation typically happens when I’m out and about on a photo walk either testing gear or for the personal joy of it. A person will come up to me to start a discussion that will be about my camera. Then the person will find a way to spew their feelings and some sort of negativity about gear. If this isn’t the case, it will be a conversation that’s not new, or interesting. More often than not, it will be the same conversation happening over and over again. I think this is the problem with the current photography community–conversation centered on the gear you’ve got and nothing about photography as an art form. If anything, those conversations are null.

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9 50mm Prime Lenses with Performance That’s Bigger Than Their Prices

The performance of these 50mm prime lenses is higher than their low price tags would suggest.

From the very start of many journeys in our lives, we’re told, ” you get what you pay for.” Yes, this does ring true with some things: there is no denying that. But it doesn’t apply to absolutely everything. These 50mm prime lenses are (excuse the pun) a prime example of this. The budget (under $400) 50mm prime lenses we have listed in this roundup punch well above their weight. Honestly, they are good enough to not only be used by first-time prime buyers, but also by those who have been around the shutter a few times. Check out our favorite budget 50mm prime lenses after the break. Continue reading…

How to Spot a Fake Photographer and Their Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and mirrors is the concept of misleading people to believing something untrue; lots of photographers use it.

This post isn’t just dedicated to the many photographers on YouTube or Instagram who are trying to become influencers or gain fame: it’s for generally everyone. It has a lot to do with photographers and the type of games they often play. Misleading audiences and telling lies about how an image was created, or how something was done is positively wrong. If anything, you’re simply teaching folks what not to do–and that’s to not be like you. When the truth comes out, everyone is going to remember the lies you told if you’re held to them. It’s a much better idea to burn out your own toxicity and play the long game.

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Bang for Your Buck: 7 Cheap Mirrorless Cameras for First Time Buyers

These feature-packed yet affordable Mirrorless cameras are perfect for the first time buyer, hobbyist, or those who need a solid second body.

Buying your first camera can be a daunting experience. The camera market is filled with a whole host of option these days. Honestly, it can be a real pain figuring out what Mirrorless cameras are worth taking a look at; that’s where this roundup comes into play. If you’re looking for your first camera, or need a second body to compliment your existing setup, check out these seven feature-packed Mirrorless cameras that are under $1,000 each. Continue reading…

8 Lights Perfect for Off-Camera Flash Use by Beginners and Pros

Whether you’re new to lighting and off-camera flash, or you’re an old hat looking for new gear, this roundup is for you.

If you’re ready to take the next steps in your photography journey by adding off-camera flash to your workflow, congratulations! We applaud you for wanting to take this on. A lot of people think mastering flash is hard, but we’re here to tell you that’s a bunch of hogwash. Off-camera flash is an easy way to add drama and extra dimension to your images. The best part is you don’t have to spend a fortune to get started with it. We have rounded up some of our favorite lights that we have reviewed over the years and have put them in one place for you. These lights are great for beginners and even for pros looking for some new gear. Continue reading…

8 Premium 50mm Prime Lenses for Photographers Who Demand More

If you’re on the hunt for 50mm prime lenses that will wow you, look no further than the ones we have listed here.

When it comes to prime lenses, none are celebrated or talked about more than the trusty nifty fifty. 50mm prime lenses are loved by photographers thanks to their exceptional ability to be able to comfortably shoot just about any genre you can think of. We have picked eight premium 50mm prime lenses that impressed us during our time with them. These lenses will help you see why this focal length is adored by photographers around the globe. Whether you’re new to photography, or you’ve been around the focus ring a few times, you should have a 50mm prime in your collection. These versatile lenses are great for street photography, landscapes, portrait photography, event photography, wedding photography, and documentary work. The field of view in 50mm prime lenses is to close to what most (but not all) people see with their own eyes. This is just one of the reasons that make images shot with these lenses so pleasing.

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The September 11 Photo Project: A Reminder of Photography’s Importance

The September 11th attacks will live in the hearts and minds of people for a lifetime. Photography ensures that, when everyone alive that day is gone, the world will never forget.

It was around three in the afternoon in the UK, and I’d just got home from school. As I always did, I put on the television to watch my favorite shows before heading to soccer practice, only this time none of them were on. Instead, news reporters stood in front of a blazing New York skyline as the city went into a state of emergency. “Mum, New York is on fire,” I shouted as she frantically made my pre-soccer snack. I knew the magnitude of what had happened but was too young for it to sink in. When the clock struck half-past four, I switched off the TV, picked up my ball, and headed to practice.

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Nat Geo Photographer Ira Block on Processing His Home City After 9/11

National Geographic Photographer Ira Block has worked to ensure that we truly never forget 9/11.

“They weren’t panicking,” related photographer Ira Block as we sat in his NYC loft and examined images from 9/11. “They were instead trying to figure out what was going on.” The image Ira is referring to is one very typical of New York. We were all in plenty of shock on 9/11. Everyone was in a state of confusion throughout the day. Said photo, which is the lead image of this story, was shot by Ira while walking down 7th Ave. The photos Ira took were for himself. Though a National Geographic photographer, Ira isn’t a news photojournalist–but he started out as one. To that end, he wasn’t on an assignment that day and the images he shot were just for him.

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Exploring Why Photographers Did or Didn’t Pick Up a Camera on 9/11

What made some of our community members pick up a camera, while others chose to leave the gear at home and take in the traumatic experience of 9/11?

We all face the dilemma of photographing the moment vs. being ‘in’ the moment. Inarguably, our view behind the lens can be completely different than the view absent of one. We encounter it regularly when it’s a beautiful sunset, moments with friends, cute episodes with my cats, etc. These moments are superfluous and trivial in comparison to the gravity that is the traumatic experience of experiencing 9/11 firsthand. With that said, the question remains – do I want to document what I’m seeing, or experience what I’m seeing? To explore this concept, while also giving appropriate reverence to the anniversary we’re coming upon, we interviewed two wonderful photographers who lived in the city and were present the day of the attacks. Ron Jautz chose to leave his camera at home, while Thomas Donley grabbed his gear and ran out the door. While one chose to make photographs and the other chose to experience the moment, their answers reflect many similar sentiments. Continue reading…

A $35,600 Kodak Camera and Others That Tell the Story of 9/11

cameras of 9/11

In the grand scheme of things, the cameras of 9/11 aren’t important. But without them, photographers would not have been able to document this horrific moment in world history.

The terrible events that unfolded in New York City on September 11th, 2001 sent shock waves around the globe. The unthinkable had happened, and terror was brought to our doorstep. New York City streets were filled with citizens fleeing the chaos unfolding around them. There were a few photographers who were in the area that made it their mission to document the scenes. The photographers and the cameras of 9/11 captured the terror, chaos, and heroism of New York City on that fateful morning. Without them, the pictorial history of 9/11 would not be as complete as it is today. The events in New York City on Septemeber 11th will never be forgotten thanks in part to the cameras of 9/11 and the scenes they recorded. The world became a much darker place that day and life as we knew it changed forever. The photographers, along with millions of other NYC residents, started out their day just like any other. Little did they know that their day would become one they would never forget.

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You Really Should Stop Over-Photoshopping Your Landscape Images

landscape images

What if we told you that you can make beautiful landscape images without Photoshopping them to death.

Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One, and any photo editing software out there (including Instagram) can help make our images look great. As good as these programs are though, they can easily be abused. Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing trend where photographers are taking things too far during post, especially when it comes to landscape images. The world is a beautiful place, but there are many hell-bent on making their landscape images look like something from an alien planet. When you over-process your pictures, you’re doing the scene zero justice. You’re just destroying what would otherwise have been a gorgeous image. Let’s talk about this after the break. Continue reading…

Capture Stunning Fall Landscapes with These 9 Exceptional Wide Lenses

Your fall landscapes will truly sing if you use any of these lenses to capture the scene.

The magic of Fall is right around the corner, and photographers are gearing up to get out into nature to enjoy the crisp air, and the gorgeous colors that this time of the year brings to the world around us. If you’re serious about capturing beautiful fall landscapes, you’re going to need lenses that are up to the task of capturing the splendor you see. In this roundup, we will take a quick look at nine lenses on various platforms that will make your fall landscapes come to life in your camera. Continue reading…

The Importance of Finding Your Photo Family and Genuine Relationships

“When I say I found my photo family, I’m not trying to be cheesy or overzealous.”

I think the way each of us finds our way into photography is as special and unique as the background from which we each come. It’s a bit of our individual combinations of personality traits or the work we make behind the lens. Ultimately, we each reached a point where we realized there was nothing else we wanted to do with our lives. And somewhere along the way of that passionate pursuit, you hit a bump in the road and didn’t know where to turn, or perhaps you find yourself in that space right now.

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6 Sony E Mount Lenses Best for Photowalks

e mount lenses

These Sony E Mount lenses might never leave your camera after you put them on.

If you have been looking for the perfect lenses to take on photo walks, or want a lens that can be left on your camera for everyday use, you need to check out this roundup. Here we take a quick look at six of the best Sony E Mount lenses so versatile in what they allow you to shoot that they may never leave your camera. If you like to keep things to a minimum when it comes to photography, or if you just like being able to take one lens with you when you go on photo walks, these are the Sony E Mount lenses to consider adding to your kit. We have chosen a couple of 35mm primes that are perfect for those who like to keep things light, and who wish to have more of a documentary type of feel to their images. And we have selected a few zoom lenses that will enable you to shoot wide, standard, and telephoto lengths. All of these lenses are well built, optically superb, and can produce images that are sharp and vibrant. These lenses are so good you may find that you never take them off of your camera. Check out the six Sony E Mount lenses that are great for everyday shooting and photo walks below.

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6 Great Cameras for Fantastic Football and Sports Photography

You’ll have no problem mastering sports photography with these ridiculously fast cameras.

The season is beginning to change, and soon the leaves will fall. This can mean only one thing – Football season is upon us once more. If you’ve been wanting to try sports photography, or need to upgrade the camera you currently use, you’re going to want to check out this roundup. Here you’ll find some of the best performing cameras (outside of the professional Canon and Nikon models) that can easily handle the demands on game day and beyond. Join us after the break to see which cameras will be right at home along the sidelines this season. Continue reading…

The Phoblographer’s Favorite Cities for Street Photography

The world is full of amazing places to shoot street photography. Here are some of my favorite cities from around the globe to practice the candid artform.

Diversity is a beautiful thing. Different cultures, attitudes, and values make the world go round. It’s because of our varied approaches to life that street photography can flourish. So much compelling content can be created because of the fact there’s an abundance of things to learn about the world. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting many nations, and almost all of them have provided me with their own unique experience. Some incredibly inspiring, and some, not so much. But while there’s a conversation to be had about the uneventful cities, I want to share with you some of the best!

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We Answer: What Is the Future of Film Scanning?

Tom B Asks:

In May of this year, Hasselblad silently discontinued their leading Hasselblad Flextight scanners as future Mac updates will be incompatible with their color software.

I’m not sure they really had competitors for quality (other than ancient, cumbersome and fiddly drum scanners), and it makes me wonder where this leaves the high end scanning market in the next couple of years?

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8 Travel Photographers Who Exemplify the Quality You Need to Aim For

If you fancy getting into travel photography, these photographers set the bar.

Take a quick look at Instagram hashtags and you’ll see everyone imagines themselves as travel photographers in 2019. It’s the dream. Going from one destination to another, visiting all the cool sites, and capturing everything with your camera in the process. But spend some time in those hashtags, and you’ll find that most of them are mediocre snapshots. The reality is, travel photographers are some of the hardest working people in the industry. Their spectacular frames come from years of effort, sacrifice, and failure. So, if you’re serious about being an epic travel photographer, then these eight photographers are an excellent reference for quality.

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