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

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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

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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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How to Get the Best Color in Your Final Images

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In today’s world of photography it’s very easy to get caught up about camera sensors, sharpness, lenses, etc. But one of the most important things that I’ve always stressed is the significance of color. If you study photographer who use color very effectively like the work of Steve McCurry, you learn that many of his portraits have one key or main color and two other complementary colors. The latitude of those specific colors is also quite important to the perception of the final photo.

But so is the delivery–and ensuring that everyone has the same viewing experience. That’s where the importance of color calibration comes in. Everyone has a different monitor calibration for their own purposes (brightness, contrast, etc). Additionally, everyone also uses products from different manufacturers. That’s why effective color calibration can help ensure that your images make more of an impact from monitor to monitor–this is where the Datacolor Spyder5PRO comes in.

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Nick Saglimbeni: Getting it Right in the Camera

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All images by Nick Saglimbeni and Slickforce. Used with permission.

Photographer Nick Saglimbeni moved to Los Angeles to pursue cinematography at the top-ranked USC School of Cinema. Shortly after graduation, Nick opened SlickforceStudio in downtown LA. In December of 2009, after less than 5 years in as a magazine photographer, Nick photographed his 100th magazine cover. That same year, he won the Blackberry Small Business Award for the development of his Mastering Retouching series, which sold out of its initial run in 2010.

Currently, Nick photographs commercial campaigns for companies such as Sears, Skechers, Wacom, Kardashian Kollection, Nuvo and more. His work has been featured on The View, Larry King Live, The Huffington Post, Keeping Up with Kardashians,E! News, The Soup, and countless others. He is heavily involved in the photography of several charity campaigns, including Breast Cancer Charities of America (BCCA), The Epilepsy Foundation, The Humane Society, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

He’s also won numerous awards including Grand Prize at the Sony World Photography Awards, 3 NAPP Grand Prizes, and the Champion Award from NVidia.

And today, he’s giving you some insight into how his mind works when it comes to creating awesome photos like the one above.

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Three Photographers Tell You About Their Creative Processes

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Image by Ben Von Wong

All images in this blog post were used with permission.

Every single photographer has a special creative process that makes them who they are. Think about it: there’s a reason why folks are captivated by the work of Benjamin Von Wong, enthralled by the landscape photography of Varina Patel, and go to Colby Brown to learn how to create photos in the way that he does. What these photographers have in common is that they create images that make them gainfully employed from their photography, and they’re all part of a special workshop taking place in Fiji at the end of October 2015.

We asked these photographers about their creative processes and for tips on how to get the most out of your workflow.

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PhotoKeeper Can Automatically Save All Years of Photos

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There’s this idea that as digital photography progresses, we as photographers won’t have a foolproof way to save and store our images the way that albums and contact sheets saved film. This is why Uconomix Technologies created PhotoKeeper–an online storage platform that is designed to automatically backup your photos without your needing to worry about it all. Its automatic backup feature works with Windows, iOS, Mac and Android devices. And in one convenient spot you can have access to all the backed up photos via a web browser, thumbnail view of all uploaded photos including RAW files. Using their platform, you’ll be able to search through your entire library by EXIF data, date, name, rating, tags and geolocation.

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Photographer Central: The Ultimate Directory for Growing Your Online Presence

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Recently, the folks over at Zenfolio launched a new project called Photographer Central. Aimed at changing the way people search for photographers, this new service has greatly streamlined the search process for clients looking for photographers who specialize in weddings, portraiture, pets, commercial work, and more. You name it, they include it. Since launching in July of this year, Photographer Central already reports 500% growth in daily searches and views of photographer profiles by potential clients.

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored blog post from Photographer Central.

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The New Datacolor SpyderCHECKR® 24: Camera Color Correction for Photo and Video

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Color management in photography and videography extends well beyond display calibration – it includes color control from beginning to end, from capture to final output. In this article, we’ll explore a new tool that helps you ensure that your image capture is well controlled and that your capture device delivers vibrant accurate color – whether you’re using, for example, one camera on set, different cameras in different lighting conditions, or multiple cameras on set at the same time.

Editor’s Note: This is sponsored guest post on behalf of David Saffir for Datacolor.

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5 Tips for Shooting Unforgettable Family Photos

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Find out how to capture spontaneous moments for personality-filled family photos with these five pro tips. Plus, learn essential techniques for blur-free action shots, flattering bounce flash portraits and much more when you enroll in professional photographer Kirk Tuck’s online Craftsy class Family Photography: Candid Moments & Storytelling for just $39.99 now— that’s 50% off for Phoblographer readers!

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post by Craftsy.

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7 Days Left to Submit Your Shots to The 2014 EyeEm Awards

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Photographers have just 7 days left to submit their photos to The 2014 EyeEm Awards. As the world’s biggest mobile photography award & exhibition, the EyeEm Awards give you the chance to win a trip to Berlin, get discovered by industry heavyweights and get published and exhibited. Submissions are free of charge.

The vision behind the 2014 EyeEm Awards is to give up-and-coming talents the chance to showcase their work and get discovered by some of photography’s most influential people. Jury members such as fashion photographer Rankin, former VII photo agency lead Stephen Mayes, Huffington Post’s photo director Anna Dickson, TIME Lightbox editor Olivier Laurent or The Phoblographer’s Editor in Chief, Chris Gampat, will judge entries and select the shortlist and winners.

The Awards consist of 10 categories that cover subjects as diverse as portrait, fashion, landscape, architecture or street photography, as well as more experimental styles such as visual storytelling and mobile post-processing. Submissions can be taken with any camera, but shots must be uploaded through the EyeEm app.

You can contribute your photos until August 1st. Head over to awards.eyeem.com for the details and get started by downloading EyeEm on your iPhone or Android phone.

About EyeEm: EyeEm is a thriving global photography community and marketplace designed for the photographer in all of us.

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post by EyeEm.

8 Secrets to Standout Family Wedding Photography + Craftsy Photo Class Giveaway

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Shoot spectacular wedding day photos with eight strategies for working with a large group. Then, learn everything you need to know to take charge of a hectic wedding shoot and capture the polished family photos of your client’s dreams. Enter now for your chance to win expert photographer Neil van Niekerk’s online Craftsy class Wedding Photography: Posing the Family (a $59.99 value!) — a special offer for The Phoblographer readers!

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post by Craftsy

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7 Tips for Better Photos Fast: FREE Guide to Depth of Field & Aperture from Craftsy

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 50mm f2.8 touit extra photos (13 of 14)ISO 4001-320 sec at f - 2.8

Shoot compelling photos with dramatic effect using these seven tips for conquering depth of field and aperture. Plus, instantly download Craftsy’s FREE Guide to Depth of Field & Aperture here for helpful tips on aperture, and a visual view of each f-setting on your camera and how it impacts depth of field.

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post by Craftsy.

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6 Tips for Shooting Professional-Quality Portraits & A Special Offer

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Instantly improve your portraits with six tips for using an on-camera speedlight. Then, learn everything you need to know to harness light for stunning portraits both indoors and outside from award-winning photographer Neil Van Niekerk. Sign up for the online Craftsy class Portraits with an On-Camera Speedlight for 50% off now — a special limited-time offer for ThePhoblographer readers!

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post from Craftsy

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