The Ultimate Film Simulation Mode We’ll Never Get

You couldn’t pay me to shoot film.

I don’t miss buying film and paying for processing. I don’t miss fixing crappy, dirty scans. And I certainly don’t miss manually focusing my old Mamiya 645. I love embracing all the advantages of digital photography which give me the freedom to blast 1,000+ frames an hour. But I do miss one thing about film, and it’s not those beautiful medium format negatives. What I miss is the anticipation of getting back my contact sheets or prints, and the surprise of seeing my actual results. I have a plan to bring that thrill to digital photography. In fact, I’ll give this idea for FREE to any camera manufacturer that wants it (not that anyone will be courageous enough to take me up on it). I call it ‘Ultimate Film Simulation Mode.”

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Powerful Photography Remains Our Greatest Weapon in 2020

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Powerful photography continues to hold its worth in 2020. Even with the rise of video, photography has maintained its grip on showing society the world’s most meaningful moments. We’ve certainly needed the still frame this calendar year. Whether it’s the global pandemic, the protests that began after the murder of George Floyd, the explosion in Beirut, or the recent US Election, photography has come into its own as it helps keep a document of the most memorable year of our generation. All those circumstances are painfully sad, but they are further evidence that powerful photography still has a place in our world.

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An Ode to the Cutest Digital Cameras Ever Made: The Pentax Q Series

The Pentax Q series of cameras were in some ways a horrible idea that didn’t embrace their toy-like nature enough.

If you’ve been in the photo industry for around a decade, you probably remember this cutie: the Pentax Q series. These cameras were all about being tiny and fun, but they didn’t embrace it fully. This was a toy camera that tried to do all the things bigger cameras could at a time when the technology wasn’t available yet. And that’s sad. If it were around today and it embraced its flaws, the Pentax Q could be an incredibly fun camera system.

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The Camera in the Washing Machine Has No Photoshop

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“In this series, as in all my photographs, there is no Photoshop at all: I publish photos directly from the camera,” says photographer Elena Vachugova. She continues to tell us that this project was about cleaning the idea of photography and photoshop being the same thing. The surreal series is fascinating. Done during quarantine this year, it shows that creativity also doesn’t need the most advanced camera gear. In fact, you’ll be amazed that she used a little Nikon point and shoot. Otherwise, it was all about her creative freedom!

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Opinion: The Canon 6D Mk III Should Be the Last DSLR They Make

The Canon 6D Mk III would satisfy the hobbyist photographers that the series was designed for.

Canon has proven that they’re capable of creating great mirrorless cameras. They’ve also said there will be no more EF lenses made unless there was a specific and high enough demand for them. But that obviously hasn’t stopped third party lens manufacturers. I also think the Canon DSLR deserves one last hurrah. This would be perfectly immortalized in the Canon 6D Mk III. And just think: Canon would basically take existing technologies that they’ve had for years and recycle them enough to not cannibalize their other products. If it ever came to be, the Canon 6D Mk III would possibly be a final hit for all DSLR lovers.

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The Cameras of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award 2020 Shortlist

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With the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards 2020 happening, we got a look at the wonderful photos that have been shortlisted. The photographers are of course, of the famous kind. What’s more, they use a variety of different gear. And we were just as surprised as many of you will be at what’s being used. Let’s take a look!

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Goodbye and Good Riddance: Why I Won’t Miss Photokina

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Many of you have seen the news that Photokina is no longer going to happen for the time being. I’ll admit that I always enjoyed my time at Photokina. As an accredited member of the press, I’m not going to miss the abysmal wifi (despite the staff’s incredibly kind and helpful efforts). Nor will I miss the insanity of the show and running from one booth to another through crowds of people walking no better than toddlers teetering about. Large shows are incredibly impractical. For business, they’re nice to get everyone in one spot for face-to-face meetings. But we don’t need those anymore. In fact, we haven’t needed them for a long time. And to me, Photokina’s possible death means we can actually instead spend resources on the photo industry’s sustainability.

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Chinelle Ro’s Self-Portraits Are Some of the Best We’ve Ever Seen

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“I find self portrait work to be both healing and inspiring,” says Chinelle Ro. She continues, “it helps to channel thoughts and feelings, positive and negative, into creating reflective art.” We’ve been around a while here at The Phoblographer. Throughout the time we’ve featured many self-portrait photographers, and Ro’s are some of the best we’ve ever seen. A self taught photographer, business owner, mother, and wife, Ro has plenty going in her life. In love with her work, and curious about her story, we caught up with her to find out more.

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Bill Wadman’s Conceptual Photography Will Make Your Jaw Drop

All images by Bill Wadman. Used with permission.

“People, people, and people,” says Bill Wadman when asked why photography means so much to him. In fairness, it’s a question we could have answered ourselves just by looking at his portfolio. Although it’s varied, offering anything from straight-shooting to creative conceptual ideas, one thing remains at the center of it all: people. With a career spanning over 14 years, we were interested to know how the journey has been, and what his feelings are about photography in the current climate.

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KENSHO Is a Beautiful, Abstract Series by Photographer Nicole Struppert

All images by Nicole Struppert. Used with permission. Be sure to see more about this series on her website.

“It’s two years now when I got diagnosed that I have a little brain tumor,” says photographer Nicole Struppert, who specified that it’s small but energy draining. “To get back in balance, I stayed a few weeks at the lake Chiemsee. Waking up every morning with beautiful sunrises and seeing nature in different seasons like sun, rain, the fog started to inspire me a lot.” That’s how she got started with the KENSHO project. The area revitalized her creativity in a way. She did abstract work and made the images look more and more like a painting.

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Spencer Pablo Made the Most Hilarious Sky Replacement We’ve Seen

All images by Spencer Pablo. Used with permission.

“I found I earned my sleep if I got to exercise both hemispheres of my brain—the analytical side and the creative side,” explains photographer Spencer Pablo to us in an interview. The former Sony Artisan has taken to stretching his creative muscles recently. With Photoshop’s new Sky Replacement tool, Spencer decided to have some harmless fun. He got these images done this past weekend, and decided to get them out there on the web while they were still relevant. The photos involve switching the skies out using a scene with a Baby Trump balloon. Arguably, they’re a perfect fit.

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Kacper Zapałowski Documents the Real People of Poland’s Protests

All images by Kacper Zapałowski. Used with permission.

“For me, it symbolizes something powerful, firm, and sudden…” says Kacper Zapalowski about his work during the current Polish protests around heavily restricting abortion laws. “Currently, they are one of the biggest protests in Poland to date. Over 100,000 people went to the capital city of Warsaw just yesterday, with many more in the rest of Poland.” There is something about Kacper’s images that really resonate with me. Maybe it’s the intensity in the peoples’ eyes. Though it could also be the way he framed them in a large protest. Shooting portraits the way Kacper did is pretty difficult. But Kacper finds a way to make us pay attention to the chaos. Singling out individuals is incredibly important. And seeing the faces of the people that protests affect can really impact our minds.

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Opinion: We Need to Bring Back the Fisheye Look from the 90s

I really, really miss the fisheye lens look.

In the past decade, lens and camera manufacturers have been engineering the fun out of cameras and lenses. They’ve found ways to shoot themselves in the foot. People adore the look and character of specific lenses. They don’t need to put it in the post-production process. And while people have asked for that look, the engineers have done the complete opposite. Instead, they’re striving for their own type of perfection with sterility. Take Sony, for example. When was the last time that you really, truly heard someone complain about onion bokeh? Or when was the last time you wish you couldn’t have lens flare in a beautiful portrait? That’s why I love reaching for Zeiss and Leica lenses. The character in those lenses is jaw-dropping. More importantly, we’ve gotten rid of distortion. The fisheye look was fun. But now, every manufacturer is trying to create a perfectly rectilinear wide-angle lens instead of embracing the flaws. It’s making photos dull.

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Our Favorites: 8 of the Best Portrait Photographers in 2020

We’re taking a moment to share our love for awesome portrait photographers.

We love portrait photography. So do millions of our readers. Over the past decade, we’ve had the opportunity to showcase some of the best portrait photographers in the business. Some of the pieces we’ve published include awesome self-portraits, imaginative conceptual portraits, and professional-class headshots. 2020 has been no different from the previous 10 years. We’ve had some amazing portrait photographers share their work with us. And as we bring this unforgettable year to a close, allow us to share The Phoblographer’s favorite portrait photographers in 2020.

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Here’s the Best Way to Deal With an Abusive Internet Troll

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Sadly, dealing with internet trolls is part and parcel of being a photographer in the digital age. People don’t care about the impact of their words. The internet has given everyone an outlet to air their grievances with the world, without taking a second to think about how they will impact other people. In an example on Reddit, one photographer had to deal with an online attack, just for deciding to photograph children during recent protests. Some of the language used by the internet troll was aggressive and abusive, but that didn’t stop the photographer from handling it in the best way possible.

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The Instagram Hashtag War: Who’s Right in This Situation?

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Instagram hashtags are a big deal. For photographers and influencers, they’re the portal to their creative world. Some Instagram hashtags are very popular, and the consequence of that is that there are millions of images all fighting to be seen. Most people online use generic tags, but some creators like to think outside the box. Creating their own, personalized tag, they really try to zone in on specific niche and audience. People become very protective of their hashtag, and when other people use it, they don’t like it – as we will see in the example below.

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College Vs. Online: Where’s the Best Place to Learn Photography?

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20 years ago, those interested in learning photography would read textbooks and attend classes. Today, accessing educational content is much easier. Log in to your laptop, visit YouTube, and you can find thousands of videos that will help you learn. Both in-class and online learning have value in 2020. They both have their pros and cons. But let’s answer the question; which method of learning will give you the best education in photography?

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The Weird World of a Photographer Hunting for Gigs on Craigslist (NSFW)

Craigslist has always been an odd place for photographers to find gigs.

It’s not pretty, but Craigslist has always been a source for photographers who need a quick paying gig or for someone looking to build their portfolio without pay. And 9/10 times it’s pretty shady. Nearly a decade ago, it was much maligned by most of the creative community. With its archaic yet straightforward structure, folks have been able to connect and collaborate. It was only a few years ago that Craigslist finally made an app. But indeed, the world has changed. Folks have moved onto Instagram, Facebook pages, Behance, etc. Craigslist, much like Model Meyhem, has become something that gainfully employed photographers don’t really pay attention to. In fact, I haven’t even heard it mentioned in the circles I’m in for quite some time. So I decided to take a curiosity peak and see what’s there.

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Why the New Approach to Photo Exhibitions Is Heartbreaking

COVID-19 is changing how we approach photo exhibitions; in many ways it’s heartbreaking.

Like the rest of the world, the photo industry is working hard to find new ways to stay productive during 2020. COVID-19 and lockdowns have made it impossible for photographers to be as productive as they once were. And while I’m enjoying seeing new creative ways in which photographers are staying active, most of it is extremely sad. One of the biggest changes is the way we attend photo exhibitions. Once reserved for beautiful galleries, most of them are now online. It’s heartbreaking.

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Should This Portrait Photographer Offer Their Client a Free Reshoot?

If you’re a portrait photographer, what should you do when you when you’re unhappy with the photos you made for your client?

A portrait photographer that earns money from their work has likely encountered a client that isn’t pleased with the images they paid for. Maybe they don’t like the edits, or sometimes they’re unhappy with the final selection. A client not being happy is part and parcel of being a photographer that charges their skills. But as photographers, we tend to be our own worst critics. And if the occasion arises where we’re not pleased with images we shot for a client, what should we do about it?

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Opinion: Photographers Have Too Many Card Format Types

History is repeating itself, and we have too many card format types again.

It was bad enough that Apple took out support for the SD card in their MacBook Pros. It’s still in the iMacs thankfully, but the trust SD card has been the mainstay of photographers for well over a decade. There was a time where we all loved and used CF cards. And Sony dried to push Memory Stick Duo on us. But it failed. Some camera manufacturers now use SD cards and XQD card formats. Some also use SD and CFExpress. CFExpress and XQD aren’t necessarily backward compatible with each other. And then there’s CFExpress Card A. Technically, we have four different card types. Why? In some ways, I understand the technical reasons. But in other ways, I think it’s pretty stupid.

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