A Journalist Spends One Year as a Film Photographer

03 - Wet plate photography class

All images by Jack Baldwin. Used with permission

Jack Baldwin is a journalist by day, and uses digital cameras for his work. But he began his journey into film photography when he moved from Australia to California and purchased a medium format film camera. When he moved back to Australia, he started his journalism career, which was about getting the shot and filing as soon as possible. But with film, Jack found something more.

“I shoot film because it’s the antithesis of that. I can take my time, I don’t have to stress, it doesn’t have to be something that sits nicely next to a headline.” states Jack. “It’s just the photo I want to take.”

It eventually turned into him going to workshops and experimenting with many, many more formats. Jack tells us that it makes you think that much more about composition and framing.

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Five Low-Cost Wide Primes Great for Architectural Photography

fall landscape photography

Wide and fast, these affordable wide primes capture building exteriors and interiors easily.

Wide primes are generally associated with things like landscapes and astrophotography. However, they can be used for far more than that. One more genre where wide primes excel is in architectural photography. Photographers who need to capture building exteriors, interiors, bridges and more, need lenses that can take it all in. After the break, we round up five wide primes that are affordable and capable of capturing sharp images with great colors. If you’re ready to try your hand at architectural photography without breaking the bank, read on.

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Under $1,000 for Cameras with IBIS and More? You Bet!

All the bells and whistles of modern cameras can be yours in these cameras that cost much less than you’d imagine.

Technology has come a long way. What used to be high-end features are now present in entry-level camera models. However, don’t let the term entry-level fool you. For under $1,000 these days, you can get Mirrorless cameras with IBIS, eye autofocus, excellent motion tracking, tilty flippy touchscreens, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, fast burst rates, and so much more. If you’re in the market for a camera that you can step up to from your smartphone, you have options. We’ve listed three cameras bursting at the seams with tech that used to be reserved for cameras costing much more. After the break, check out three cameras that will wow you for under a grand.

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5 Quality Ultra-Wide Zooms That’ll Make You Capture the World Differently

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I’m not going to lie; I have a major soft spot for ultra-wide zooms. Ultra-wide zooms force you to look at your surroundings in a completely new way, and you’ll have untold amounts of fun doing it. Trust me when we say you need one in your arsenal. There are many ultra-wide zooms on the market that are cheaper than the lenses we have selected here. I have used them all, and they’re great. However, if you want to capture images that absolutely sing with every click of your shutter, these are the five premium ultra-wide zooms you need to take a closer look at. Whether you want to capture landscapes, cityscapes, architecture, astrophotography, or more, you will not be disappointed.

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Ultra-Wide Zooms: 5 Affordable Options You’ll Want To Use All the Time

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Ultra-wide zooms are spectacular lenses. Honestly, they’re one zoom that we recommend all photographers have in their lens bag. Ultra-wide zooms are perfect for landscapes, cityscapes, astrophotography, environmental portraits, architectural photography, and so much more. We recently took a look at 5 premium ultra-wide zooms that all landed around the $2,000 and up mark. However, there are plenty of fantastic options that have much lower costs of entry. In this roundup, we’re going to take a look at five ultra-wide zooms that are relatively affordable, and that will deliver images that will make you grin from ear to ear.

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The Phoblographer’s List of Great Women Photographers in 2020

As each year goes by, we’re happy to see more and more women photographers get the recognition they deserve. The Phoblographer has long been committed to highlighting female photographers’ skills, and in 2020 we’ve been lucky to feature some inspirational work. It’s hard to put a list together of the best, especially when the standard is so high! But we spent our time separating the very best from the rest to show you the great women photographers of 2020.

Also be sure to enter our contest on Women Who Inspire You with Leica. You can win a Leica Q2.

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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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Under $800: 5 Amazing 35mm Primes That You’ll Love Instantly

street photography

35mm primes are so incredibly versatile, you simply cannot afford to not own one.

Ask around your photography communities about prime lenses, and we’re sure that conversations about 35mm primes will pop up a lot. There’s aren’t many lenses available as versatile as 35mm primes. They may not be masters of any one genre, but my goodness, they’re incredibly good at many. If you only have space for one prime lens in your camera bag, grab a 35mm. After the break, we’ll explain why 35mm prime lenses are so good, and we’ll share five, incredibly affordable 35mm primes for Mirrorless cameras.

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The 5 Most Popular Cameras with Our Readers During October

Some of the most popular cameras during the month of October might surprise you.

Ten months down, two to go! We’ve almost made it through 2020. Hallelujah! Still, even with everything going on, our readers have been giving plenty of cameras new homes. At the end of every month, we take a quick look at the most popular cameras. How do we decide which cameras are the most popular? We look at our sales data to see which cameras you have been snapping up. This month, there are a couple on the list that may surprise you.

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Some of the Most Annoying Things about Cameras and Lenses

We’re sure you can relate to some of the most annoying things about cameras and lenses that we’ve found over the years.

Short product cycles have given us progress and innovations that camera and lens manufacturers sometimes screw up. Every so often, these misses make us wonder what the engineers were thinking. At best, they’re annoying quirks that leave us scratching our heads. At worst, these quirks are so egregious the camera or lens becomes too infuriating to use. Photographers pick up a specific piece of gear because they want to shoot with it, not chuck it across the room. Here are some of the most annoying things about cameras and lens that really grinds our gears.

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Exposure Preview: The Worst Thing for Your Camera’s Autofocus?

We talked to a couple of photographers and tech reps, and it seems like Exposure Preview could be hurting your camera’s autofocus.

Most people shooting with mirrorless cameras shoot with the Exposure Preview on. I’ve never been a fan of it, and I’ve always turned it off. In my mind, you should just learn to read the damn light meter to begin with, and not rely on what the screen says. One could think this is an old school way of thinking, but there are lots of performance benefits. If you’re shooting with a strobe, for example, there’s a great reason to turn exposure preview off. You’re usually shooting at a low ISO setting and faster shutter speeds. Plus, the camera won’t render what the scene will look like with your strobe output anyway. And for years, folks have used exposure preview as a crutch. That isn’t a bad thing, it’s just how people evolved to use cameras. I still recommend that everyone learns to shoot film and learns the art of Sunny 16: it will make you a better photographer. But all this is the long way of my saying that exposure preview is also messing with your autofocus.

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Why Live Composite is One of the Best Things to Happen To Cameras

The Live Composite feature is so incredibly fun to play with.

Unless you’re shooting with Olympus and Panasonic, you’ve probably never heard of Live Composite. In our constant search to move away from editing, this is a feature we adore. It means that a photographer needs to think about something beforehand. They need to be very careful. And best of all, they need to not rely on Photoshop. When someone says, “Photoshop it later,” a part of me dies inside. It’s awful. But with Live Composite, a photographer can stay out in the field creating. If you’re a hobbyist or a professional who really just wants to shoot, we encourage you to try it.

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Understanding the Science That Makes Photography Possible

As photographers, we often focus on the art of photography. But how well do you know about the science that makes photography possible?

As the old adage goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” To say that photography has been one of the most influential forms of communication in the history of humanity is an understatement. Today, photography is one of the most prevalent art forms found around the world. Throughout modern history, it’s played an important role in our ability to communicate and connect with one another. Photography is arguably one of the most effective means of conveying ideas. It has the ability to distill lots of information into a single frame. A single image can also transport us to far-flung corners of the globe. More images are created today than ever before. Despite the transition from analog to digital, however, the principles that make photography possible remain fundamentally unchanged. If you’re not familiar with the science of photography, this infographic by the Huffington Post has you covered.

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7 Underappreciated and Overlooked Digital Cameras Worth Your Time

These seven digital cameras were never given the mainstream attention they deserved, and that’s shocking because they are fantastic!

As soon as some digital cameras are released, they send shockwaves through the industry and forever go down as instant classics. And then there are some that slip through the cracks. It’s not until a good few years down the line that we start to appreciate just what these overlooked and underappreciated cameras were about and just how fantastic they were for their time. After the break, we will take a quick look at seven seemingly forgotten digital cameras that deserve your loving gaze today.

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Under $600: 18 of the Best Photography Gifts for Dad This Father’s Day

These photography gifts will make Dad snap happy this Father’s Day.

If your dad is the photographer (or wants to be the photographer) of the family, and you’re struggling to come up with ideas on what to get for him this Father’s Day, look no further than this post. Whether your dad is a newcomer to the craft, or he has been around the shutter a few times, these items will make this Father’s Day even more special for him. Head on past the break to see all the incredible deals we found on photography gifts.

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Lens Filter Guide

Whether you’re new to photography, or you’ve been tinkering with cameras for a while, you have probably heard about lens filters, and if you haven’t, then our lens filter guide is exactly what you need. These small, yet incredibly powerful accessories can help you get better images in tricky lighting conditions in-camera, and that means that you will not have to spend countless hours in post trying to achieve the same effects. Filters even help protect the front element of your expensive lenses too. There are a few different types of filters that we can use to enhance our shots, and it can pay off in a big way if you know the difference between a graduated filter and a polarizer, and this is where our lens filter guide comes into play. In this lens filter guide, we will take a quick look at why you might want to use filters, the different types of lens filters, and what they will be able to do for you and your images.

There’s a lot to learn about filters, so make sure you bookmark our lens filter guide for easy access in the future. Let’s start at the beginning. What is a lens filter? A filter is a piece of glass that sits in front of your lens, and you attach it either screwing it into the threads (a circular filter) or by placing it in a holder that covers the front element (a square filter). A filter’s sole purpose is to filter out specific types and wavelengths of light or just light in general from hitting your camera’s sensor.

The Haida Red Diamond 3-stop graduated ND filter sits flush against the front of the lens. This is an example of a square filter. It requires a bracket that the filter slides into.

As mentioned above, there are many different types of filters on the market. They range from those that block UV light, to filters that can cut out sodium light that comes from street lights. There are also ND filters that act like a pair of sunglasses for your lenses, and graduated filters that help balance high contrast lighting situations. There are even more specialized filters, too, which can create a myriad of effects and that can distort light. All of this may sound complicated, but trust us, it’s really nothing to get worked up over. In this article, we will break down each specific type of filter and will link back to lots of articles that we have produced over the years that will explain exactly how each filter works. We will also share reviews with you that we have completed. Pull up a chair, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and get ready to be educated about all things filter related.

UV Filters

UV filters are perhaps the best-known type of filter. When film was still king, UV filters actually played a crucial role in photography. Some film was incredibly sensitive to UV light, and without one of these filters, it would not be uncommon for your images to be affected by a blue color cast. We all know that’s not good, what a waste of film and images.

In the digital age, this, of course, is no longer a problem, so why are UV filters still relevant? UV filters still play a role if you plan on taking photos at high altitudes (think mountain climbing), or by large bodies of water where UV rays are more prevalent. You’ll find that in these scenarios, your images may gain some clarity when you have a UV filter in place. UV filters are also a great way to protect the front element on your expensive lens. It doesn’t take a scientist to realize that it would be much better to scratch a filter instead of a lens. We have written about UV filters and their importance, and if you need to worry about UV filter image degradation, so be sure to check out both of these articles.

Polarizing Filters

Lens Filter Guide

Polarizing filters are firm favorites with landscape photographers and those who shoot a lot near water or around metallic or other reflective surfaces. In recent times, they have also become very popular with portrait photographers, too, as they can make wrinkles and pores less visible. A polarizing filter will stop polarized light from hitting your sensor (or film). This will remove reflections and glare, while also making blues and greens in your scene much more saturated.

Butterfly Race start at the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. Take a look at the beautiful deep blues and the clear water. A polarizer helped cut the reflections off of the surface of the water and make it crystal clear.

You can get polarizers in both circular and square formats, and as you would imagine, both are pretty easy to use. Circular filters screw them into the threads on your lens, and then, when you rotate the filter, you will be able to see the different effects it can have on your image. Square polarizers do the same job as circular polarizers with the only difference being that the square filters are fixed and cannot be rotated. Be sure to read our post on how to use these filters for portraits here.

ND Filters

Lens Filter Guide

The best way to think of ND filters is to imagine that they are sunglasses for your lenses. ND filters are available with differing levels of strength that can range from stopping only a little bit of light to producing full-on blackouts. These types of lens filters are used mainly by landscape photographers who wish to create long exposures when shooting out in broad daylight.

With an ND filter attached to your lens, you’ll be able to slow your shutter speed so that you can create gorgeous images of waterfalls with fluffy, white water, and you’ll be able to catch clouds streaking across the sky. Portrait photographers use them sometimes when they wish to create dynamic portraits of their subjects too. As with all filters, be sure you get one that’s made with quality glass; otherwise, you may experience color shifts in your images.

We recently reviewed the Haida Red Diamond 10-Stop 100x100mm ND filter and were blown away with the images we were able to create. Best of all, there was no color cast in any of the images. Like many other filters, you can get both screw-in type and square type ND filters. Just be sure you get quality filters like the ones from Haida, or you’ll be dealing with poor images. Be sure to check out our articles on How ND Filters Work, and How to Get Perfect Exposures with Solid ND Filters.

Graduated Filters

Lens Filter Guide

Graduated filters can be lifesavers when it comes to working with scenes where there is a considerable contrast situation. Have you ever wanted to take the perfect landscape shot but either had to expose for the sky and lost foreground details, or exposed for the foreground and blew out the sky? We all have, but that’s where graduated filters come in to play.

Graduated filters will allow you to darken bright skies in your images so that the exposure is balanced between the sky and the foreground. Sure, you can achieve this to some degree during post with Lightroom, Capture One, or Photoshop, but there is nothing like getting it right in camera. For landscape photographers, graduated filters are an absolute must-have. You can even get them in different colors for some pretty cool effects. The only limit is your imagination.

Lens Filter Guide

As with all filters, you want to make sure you get filters that use the highest quality glass and coatings, or they will harm your images. We’re talking everything from color casts, to images that lose their sharpness. We recently reviewed the Haida Red-Diamond 3 Stop Soft-Edge Graduated ND Filter in conjunction with the Haida M10 Filter System Holder, and we can honestly say that it is one of the best filters we’ve used to date. Be sure to check our lens filter guide article about The Differences Between Graduated and ND filters so that you can get a better understanding of what each system can do, and then make a decision on which type of filters are best for your needs.

Specialty Filters

Lens Filter Guide
The EDGE Light Pollution Filter from IRIX

There are quite a few different types of specialty filters on the market, but the three listed below are perhaps the most common. If you plan on shooting at night, if you want to do everything you can to make sure that the colors your camera captures are perfect before you ever get to post, or if you want to have fun distorting light, check out the filters below.

Light Pollution Filters

Light pollution filters are a little more specialized than others on this list. These lens filters are popular with photographers who practice astrophotography and other types of night time photography. They can cut out the damaging color cast seen in the night skies of cities around the world by stopping the wavelength of Sodium based lamps from reaching your camera’s sensor.

Oklahoma City. Image taken with the Irix light pollution filter.
The same image without the light pollution filter.

With a light pollution filter in place, the yellow color cast associated with Sodium lamps will be removed from your images. We absolutely loved how effective the IRIX Light Pollution filter was when we got to test it. We found that whether you’re shooting in the city, or are out in the country shooting the Milky Way, the lens filter had a favorable effect on our images. Check them out here

Warming and Color Correcting Filters

Lens Filter Guide

Color shift/correction and warming lens filters are used to enhance the overall color punch in images, or even correct the colors before the pictures make their way to post-processing. Warming filters are capable of adding a gorgeous, soft sun-like glow to your photographs.

warming lens filter

As with all filters, the whole point of these lens filters is to get colors correct in the camera. Having to play with colors during post is a pain, so if you can be one step ahead, then you’re on your way. There is a fantastic video that shows the effects of using a warming filter that you can check out here.

Creative Filters

Photography is all about having fun, and honestly, there is nothing that’s more fun than playing with light. Filter systems like the one pictured above from Lensbaby will allow you to distort light in many different ways. Their unique system allows you to attach different types of filters to the front of your lens so that you can create all kinds of special effects.

As you can see, the Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System allows you to create in-camera light leaks and tons of other effects. If you want to use filters to give you a creative edge when it comes to portraits, this is a system you should take a closer look at.

We hope that this lens filter guide has helped answer many of the questions that you have about the most common types of lens filters. We would also like to show you that we have many more articles and guides in regards to filters. Be sure to check out How to Avoid Common Lens Filter Issues, this Quick Neutral Density Filter Chart, a guide on Color Filters For Break and White Photography, and this Quick Lens Filter Guide Cheat Sheet. Don’t be afraid of filters. Grab some, embrace them, use them, and soon you’ll be creating works of art with them.

7 Cameras That Will Help You Have Fun With Photography Again

There nothing better than having fun with photography, and these cameras make that easy.

There is nothing more fulfilling than being able to just pick up a camera for the fun of it. It can be so easy to get bogged down with tons of complicated gear, or gear that’s a burden to carry around, and those two things can easily take the fun out of photography. Fortunately, there are some cameras on the market that make it easy to have fun with photography! After the break, we will take a quick look at some of these cameras.

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Tonight: Macro Lenses and Battling Depression on Pro Camera Reviews

Join us for Pro Camera Reviews Episode 2 airs Live tonight on March 29th at 7pm EST; register here.

Hey folks!

Pro Camera Reviews is a new web show by the Reviews Team of the Phoblographer. Join Gear Editor Brett Day, Reviews Editor Paul Ip, and Editor in Chief Chris Gampat as they candidly discuss the products they’re actively reviewing and the gear they’ve just reviewed. Open Q and A from the audience towards the end of the show. Every Sunday at 7pm EST.

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Tune In for Episode 2 of Pro Camera Reviews; We’re Talking Macro Lenses!

Pro Camera Reviews Episode 2 airs Live on March 29th at 7pm EST; register here.

Hey folks!

Pro Camera Reviews is a new web show by the Reviews Team of the Phoblographer. Join Gear Editor Brett Day, Reviews Editor Paul Ip, and Editor in Chief Chris Gampat as they candidly discuss the products they’re actively reviewing and the gear they’ve just reviewed. Open Q and A from the audience towards the end of the show. Every Sunday at 7pm EST.

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Check Out Our 1st Episode of Pro Camera Reviews! Sign Up for Sunday!

On our first episode of Pro Camera Reviews, we talked about Canon, Sigma, Tamron, Sony gear and much more.

On Sunday, we had our first episode of Pro Camera Reviews; our new interactive show on Zoom! Pro Camera Reviews is a new web show featuring discussion of the products the Reviews Team at the Phoblographer are actively reviewing and the gear they’ve just reviewed. It includes open Q&A from the audience towards the end of the show, and will air every Sunday at 7pm EST. You can register for the next episode right here.

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What Would Make You Ditch Your Camera for Just Your Smartphone?

LG V60 ThinQ

Smartphones like the LG V60 ThinQ 5G with its 64 Megapixel camera and Sony’s Xperia 1 lineup are putting pressure on dedicated cameras, and camera manufacturers.

There’s simply no denying that smartphones and the cameras which they house are altering the photography landscape. Many camera manufacturers have changed their business strategies to deal with the rise of mobile photography, and honestly, it’s needed because of new phones like the LG V60 ThinQ. This new smartphone is another example of how huge mobile photography is becoming, but what would it take for you to ditch your camera for a smartphone?

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