The Secret Weapon for Night Photography Is This Filter

Photography at night can bring mystery, viewer curiosity, and (when done right) rich color to your work.

It’s common knowledge that at night you should have a tripod and cable release at a minimum, but there’s one tool that’s considered a secret weapon among successful night photographers and that’s an intensifier filter. An intensifier filter (AKA red intensifier, light pollution killer and the technical name “didymium”) is a tool every photographer needs to have in their kit. Basically, the intensifier works by targeting the light emitted by common street lamps and dramatically reduces the muddy yellow glow as the light passes through the filter. What you end up with is a clean RAW file with rich color, and increased contrast and sharpness.

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The Neutral Density Filter That You Probably Don’t Know About, But Should

Photography is an art and craft revolving around controlling light.

The more we know about controlling light the better off we are as creators. But in addition to that, we need the proper tools to control light. Without the right tools, we limit our potential to create work based on our vision, which is a frustrating thing. It’s also important to have quality tools that are reliable and produce predictable results. One of the most straightforward ways to control light is with a neutral density filter but there are some very important things to look out for when finding the right filter.

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How Photographer Steven Magner Uses a Lens Filter to Get a Special Effect in the Night Sky

Steven Magner gets his nightscape photos with a little help from the Hoya intensifier filter

Photographer Steven Magner’s interest in photography started at a young age when his grandmother bought him a Fujifilm MX-1200 for Christmas in 1999. He’s always been a landscape and wildlife photographer in Connecticut until he moved to Los Angeles to work as a graphic designer. It was there that he got into architectural photography and the effects of the photo bug’s bite grew infectious. Today, his wife refers to his camera as “his mistress.” Upon looking at his work, we were in awe of some of the stuff he made at night. His secret – a little filter from Hoya.

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Three Photographers Give You Tips on How to Sell Prints

Lots of photographers know nothing about selling their prints. So we asked for some tips.

How do you convince someone to buy a print from you? For most photographers, it can be pretty tough to figure this one out. But with an industry as visual as ours, you’re often best trying to convince someone by showing them the image and not just talking to them about it. I mean, who wouldn’t want a really nice big print of one of your best images in their living room or their office? A part of it is psychology and finding a way to appeal to certain segments. But another part is about putting your best foot forward.

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Unraveling the FUJIFILM GFX: Creating with a Purpose

Medium format has always been a Creator’s tool; so too is the FUJIFILM GFX 50S.

While medium format can surely be used well for capturing a scene, it’s often best used in a more traditional fashion. The FUJFILM GFX is a larger than full frame option that lends itself and its qualities best to the idea of creating vs capturing. The idea of capturing a photo means there is very little or no outside interference by you at all. You’re essentially capturing life as it goes on and you have little to no influence on how events unfold–and that’s why you’re often called a “fly on the wall.” But creating means that you’re creating a universe or a scene when you shoot photos. Images like this are either carefully put together by adjusting element after element in the scene or with things like photo manipulation in post-production.

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Unraveling the FUJIFILM GFX: Bigger Sensors and Editing

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S, with its larger than full frame sensor, provides photographers with a whole lot of editing power

We know what a medium format imaging sensor can do for depth of field, but photographers who are considering moving up to the FUJIFILM GFX system should know about the power of RAW files. Every photographer could always use more versatility from their digital negatives, and medium format sensors can provide that due to their larger pixels and overall larger imaging area. When you combine this with the GFX lens system, Fujifilm’s film simulations, and a solid editing program, you’re going to get images that stand out from the rest.

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Unraveling the FUJIFILM GFX: How a Medium Format Sensor Affects Depth of Field

Photographers who love bokeh in their photos will love to understand its relationship with depth of field

If you listen to the ramblings of so many photographers out there, they’ll tell you about how and why full frame is the way to go; and they’ll rarely talk about depth of field. but we all know that somewhere deep down inside, they’re thinking about it. Indeed, when you go from an APS-C sensor to a full frame 35mm sensor, your depth of field at a given aperture or focal length changes. The general consensus is that bigger is always better. If you’re a street photographer, photojournalist, or a portrait photographer then you probably really care about some sort of shallow depth of field in your images. This doesn’t only have to do with how the sensor on the camera you’re using works, but also deals with your lenses.

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How I Went About Making a Zine With a Collective

All images of the zine creation process by James Moreton

Back in May I responded to an interview with Chris at the Phoblographer about making zines, why photographers should make them, the drive behind creating zines and some of my experiences of the creative process. The premise of the article was centred on a zine I created last year (Figments), but I hinted at what was coming from the Collective I am a member of – that project is now complete; AllFormat Issue 2. For this issue we wanted to create more of a collaborative photo book, so we thought what better way to do that than to take the reader on a journey through our collective psyche.

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Tutorial Video: How Photographers Can Calibrate Their Computer Display

Photographers need to be able to not only shoot great photos, but also export great images. And there are lots of tutorials on how to edit your photos to look a given way but not a whole lot on how to do something fundamental to the process: screen calibration. Let’s think about this: my office setup and the lighting there is most likely far different from what you have in your office, where you’re probably reading this from, or on your mobile device. So it isn’t the same viewing experience. If you’ve ever used photographic reflectors, your viewing experience of a screen is very much like using different sides of a reflector–soft gold does one thing, white does another, etc. Photographers need to be able to give their viewers the same viewing experience they have.

In order to do that, please check out this video below on just how you calibrate your display from our recent Facebook Live session.

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Shooting and Editing A Portrait Photo That Simply Pops

Creating a portrait photo that pops surely starts within the camera, but with some of the tools available in ACDSee Ultimate 10, you can create a photo that has even more pizazz. For a number of years, photographers have been looking for something a bit more powerful than Adobe Lightroom but not quite as complicated as Photoshop: and one of the options on the market is ACDSee Ultimate 10. The PC based software is designed for the photographers who want a bit more power and versatility but don’t need the entire Adobe Creative Suite. With one piece of software you get features of Lightroom, Bridge and Photoshop all in one place.

In this tutorial we’ll show you how to make a portrait pop in ACDSee Ultimate 10.

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What Photographers Need to Make The Website Building Process Amazingly Simple

“Just images, right?” No! You see, one of the reasons why so many people don’t want to make a website for their photography is because they don’t want to get all the necessary information together to do it. Crazy, right? Despite the fact that making a website is incredibly simple these days some photographers just haven’t taken that next step.

If you’re still looking to take that next step though, here are the things that every photographer should have ready and in place before they create a proper, dedicated home base for their portfolio.

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What a Photo Editor Looks For in a Photographer’s Website

Lead image is the website of Samm Blake.

Social media is easy–and perhaps this is one of the biggest reasons why so many photographers don’t to go ahead and make the jump into creating a website of their own, despite how simple it is with services like Squarespace. In fact, for the photographer who wants to take the next step with displaying their work, they sometimes don’t understand how incredibly simple it can be with tremendous payoffs when it comes to getting your name out there. In fact, when pitching yourself and a project you’ve done to a publication, it’s one of the most important things any photo editor will ask for.

Believe me: considering the volume of pitches this website receives each day, I see great websites every day and I see websites I believe should never have been built. So here’s what Photo Editors want to see in your website.

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Inside the Mind of a Working Headshot Photographer

Blog post by Vanessa Joy.

When you look at headshots, you’ll know that everyone is very aware of the various looks that so many photographers market. But creating your own and putting a stamp of genuine unique creative vision on it is also important to making people see your photos and know that you took them. That’s what Moshe Zusman and Vanessa Joy are trying to teach the next generation of photographers. To do this, Vanessa shared a number of her tips to every headshot photographer to be aware of.

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Tutorial: Zone Focusing With Super Wide Angle Lenses

One of the biggest strengths of manual focus lenses and the reason why so many photographers love using them has to do with a process called zone focusing–and Zeiss Milvus lenses like the 18mm f2.8 and 15mm f2.8 lens themselves well to this. For years the methods around zone focusing are what has allowed many photographers to outdo the fastest focusing autofocus cameras and lenses. Street photographers, landscape photographers, and many others have used the technique to ensure that they get sharp photos. When film photography was king, lots of photographers did this to ensure they got “the shot.” Digital photography and its inherent nature requires photographers to get even sharper photos.

When you’re shooting landscapes and architecture, you really want the best you can get. With manual focus lenses, sometimes the best thing to do is to use zone focusing.

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How To: Creating Sharper Portrait Photos In-Camera

Anyone can take a portrait photo, but making your image stand out from all the rest of the #instafamous photographers requires a bit more effort on your part that will eventually become common and a part of your routine portrait efforts. Most experienced portrait photographers know this already and chances are that if you are one of those people, you already have the necessary people skills to do this. But whether you’re a new photographer or one that’s been shooting for a while, none of us can ignore how important lenses are for us. Take for example the Zeiss Milvus 135mm f2 lens–arguably the best portrait lens on the market right now. It’s difficult to take a bad photo with it, but if you’re going to make the long term investment into the incredible Zeiss glass, we recommend knowing how to make the most of it.

Here’s how.

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How to Use an 85mm Lens for Natural Light Portraits

Natural light is the choice of many photographers looking to render a specific look in a scene. It’s beautiful when use correctly–and it often is by many portrait photographers. When used by a photographer that acts very carefully about the images that they’re creating, it can inspire others and enthrall viewers with its captivation. But it isn’t always as simple as just going out in the golden hour and telling a portrait subject to stand there and look nice.

Instead, it’s a collaborative effort. And if you’re looking to get serious about portraiture, we recommend starting with an 85mm lens.

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Canvas Prints: The Badge of Honor for Photographers

Every time I print something with the intent on hanging it in my own apartment as a decoration, I always choose canvas for great reasons. Providing that they have a matte finish, they absorb light very well–and if you don’t have gallery style lighting (and I doubt you do) then it offers you the most versatility overall. The tradeoff: the can be much more expensive than a print…usually.

Then there’s CanvasDiscount.com; a service that wants to offer you the best option possible at the lowest price possible.

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The Essential Elements of Better Food Photography

Food–it’s the thing to tugs at the hearts of everything that lives and breathes; especially when it’s presented in a beautiful way. Food photography is mostly done these days in a lifestyle format and with a normal human perspective to appeal to our senses. It’s all about the familiar; and for that reason a 50mm lens can do just the job that you need. Combine this with the colors and contrast that a Zeiss lens can give you right out of the camera, and you’ve got yourself an image making combination that is bound to make someone very hungry.

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Vivienne Gucwa: The Heart of a Travel Photographer

Sony a7R II

Sony a7R II

All images by Vivienne Gucwa. Used with permission.

Photographer Vivienne Gucwa is a social media master: she shoots, she uploads, she synergizes, and above all she networks with people. She understands that this industry is all about creating a solid body of work that will wow people, having large followings that help make your business more attractive, and about making sure that the work is in front of the right folks.

Vivienne first got into photography when she would take long walks to de-stress her mind. With commitment and perseverance, she’s become a Sony Artisan and a very well known photographer. She also has great advice.

For more on Vivienne Gucwa, visit AlphaUniverse.com/Artisans.

 

 

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Brian Smith: Forget About Technology

Aaron Paul photographed in Los Angeles for the ART & SOUL book to promote arts funding in partnership with The Creative Coalition and Sony.

Aaron Paul photographed in Los Angeles for the ART & SOUL book to promote arts funding in partnership with The Creative Coalition and Sony. Shot with a Sony a900

All images by Brian Smith. Used with permission.

Photographer Brian Smith has been shooting for many years and has produced work that you’re bound to have seen if you pay attention to pop culture at all. Brian’s unique creative vision is whimsical, playful, fun, elegant, and somehow or another manages to squeeze reality into that balance. He has a gift, and I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Based in Miami, Brian Smith “is the luckiest guy on the planet.” according to a bio he sent for this interview. He won a Pulitzer Prize at 25, he’s told Bill Gates exactly what to do for an entire hour, appeared on The X Factor, exhibited at the Library of Congress, dined with the President, hung with Richard Branson on Necker Island, gotten drunk with George Clooney, and shared cupcakes with Anne Hathaway.

Pretty cool, huh?

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Jason Lanier: Photographers Should Be Inspired by Light

Raquel

Sony a7R ii, 35mm FE Zeiss f/1.4

All images by Sony Artisan Jason Lanier. Used with permission.

Jason Lanier is an award winning photographer who has traveled the world pursuing his passion for photography. He left Nikon for Sony and uses the system to create beautiful photos that clients love. His love of photography grew out of his appreciation for landscape photography and he now incorporates the tenets of landscape imagery into all of his work. Jason also now teaches workshops about photography and believes that all photographers should be inspired by light.

Not wanting to be pigeonholed to one form of photography, Jason started shooting weddings while simultaneously building his portfolio in landscapes, wildlife, fashion, and model photography.

Today, Jason is a member of the Sony Artisan of Imagery Program, the Worldwide Ambassador for Rotolight, Sponsored Pro for Interfit, and an Affiliate with ThinkTank Camera Bags, Adorama, and Spiderholster.

But most of all, he’s an inspiration for every photographer that wants to go from hobbyist to full time pro.

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