Review: Sigma 24mm f1.8 EX DG Macro

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Sigma has been on an impressive tear with its recent releases of lenses. Not satisfied with accepting a second tier reputation, they have been delivering lenses that compete favorably against the major camera manufacturer’s line of lenses in terms of image and build quality, while edging them out on price. So, Sigma has packed in a lot effort into this wide-angle lens.

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Talking with Red Bull Illume Select Dimitrios Kontizas

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Dimitrios’s Entry into the Red Bull Illume Contest

Dimitrios Kontizas is one of 250 lucky photographers in a pool to be awarded the Red Bull Illume. He hails from Greece and is an action sports photographer that takes things to new heights–quite literally. Mr. Kontizas photographs skydivers, gliders, and a heck of a lot more. And he emphasizes the fact that you don’t need the latest and greatest gear to do this. While many other photographers may use something like a Nikon D4 to capture photos, Dimitrios uses a Nikon D5100 and puts more concentration into finding the best locations and athletes.

We chatted with the excellent photographer recently, and here is what he had to say.


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Review: MeFOTO Daytrip Tripod

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MeFOTO’s Daytrip Tripod wasn’t announced too long ago, but we have known about them for a little while. The tripods are meant to be small, but not alarmingly small. They are specifically designed to be toted around and with that in mind, they are conveniently stored in many camera bags. Also in keeping true to MeFOTO’s brand philosophy, the Daytrip comes in a slew of cool colors.

In our testing, we used the tripod for birding, food photography, and time lapse work. And if your shooting style falls into one of those categories, we recommend that you stop reading this review and go purchase one right now.

Or you can help us out with pageviews, and keep reading…

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Weekend Humor: EXCLUSIVE!!!! Instagram Comes to the iPad

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Weekend Humor isn’t meant to be taken seriously. So don’t. We’re srs.

Today, Instagram just became a whole lot better. Got an iPad? Great! Instagram has officially launched for the platform, letting you share all those moments instantly from your big ass tablet.

Following the announcement of their video rollout to compete with Twitter’s Vine, Facebook (who owns Instagram) decided that they needed to step it up a notch even more after they saw just how popular video on Instagram became. Every day, people take images with their iPads and upload them to the web. It happens at concerts, during meals, and at baseball games. It was really only a matter of time until this happened.

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Analysis: How to Create Better Images for Pinterest

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Lots of us love Pinterest! Though it has been stated many a time that it is a social network for women, I really do that men that love the finer things in life (such as bacon, alcohol, the latest in our fashion, portrait inspiration, bacon, more bacon, and more geeky stuff) can also find a soft spot in their heart of the social network. Recently a company named Curalate has been doing some hardcore research into the platform and discovered something shocking in regards to what people love to pin and repin.

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Creating the Photograph: Joe Giacomet’s, “Ronald’s Dirty Secret”

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Editor’s Note: Creating the Photograph is an original series where we interview photographers all about a photo that they shot how it was achieved. The results are some knowledge passed onto you. Want to be featured? Email chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com

Joe Giacomet was recently featured on this site for his Kickstarter for a one image project that he’s aiming to create called, “Cash for Gold.” After going through Joe’s portfolio, we were extremely impressed by his creativity, set design, and ability to really play with his imagination and bring it into the real world. The imagination translated over to his photographs, and one in particular really stood out at us. Growing up, I knew Ronald McDonald to be something that always reminded me to bug my parents that I wanted a Crispy Chicken Deluxe and that I also wanted some sort of happy meal toy. Like many things from my childhood though, they get tainted–and Giacomet imagined the most friendly clown in the world violating his own ethics.

Here’s his story. And if you’re interested check out more in our Creating the Photograph series.


 

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Review: Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L AW

Felix Esser The Phoblographer Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L AW Review

The Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L AW backpack was announced a while ago, and I’ve been using it for outdoor activities since. It is a mid-sized backpack that doubles as a photo backback and a multi-purpose backpack, thanks to its highly customizable interior. Going on a photo walk? Split the main compartment in two parts to safely store your gear between velcro pads and additional accessories in a secondary compartment. Commuting to and from work? Open up the main compartment to take a 15″ laptop, your lunch box and accessories.

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Review: Carl Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 (Sony)


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As compact camera systems constantly improve, third-party lens manufacturers are finally taking the leap and expanding their lens offerings. After a “wait and see” approach, Zeiss has finally entered the fray with its unveiling of the Touit lens system. I was recently handed the Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 and can say I thoroughtly enjoyed my time shooting with it. But with so many options available (and more on the horizon) for compact system cameras, is it worth it? And more importantly, does it live up to the Zeiss name?

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Creating the Photograph: Michiel Tersteege’s, “Strawberry Splash”

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Editor’s Note: Creating the Photograph is a new series that we’re starting where we interview photographers all about the photo that they shot and talk to them about how it was achieved. The results are some knowledge passed onto you. Want to be featured? Email chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com

Splash images are always fun to do and when combined with food, an already delectable morsel can become even more mouth watering. When we found the work of Michiel Tersteege, we were quite taken by how much his “Strawberry Splash” image reminded us of a cool bowl of cereal or strawberries and cream. Tersteege used some strobism to create the image above and also does a lot of it for much of his personal work. He has been an amateur photographer for about six years now and lives in The Netherlands with his wife and two children. Michiel is fixated on always getting the perfect shot that gives him satisfaction. He can spend hours a day to setup a nice lighting to create it–and that’s what he did for this one.

Here’s his story. And if you’re interested check out more in our Creating the Photograph series.

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Weekend Humor: Flickr’s 1 TB Per User Ends After Three Days

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Weekend Humor isn’t meant to be taken seriously. So don’t–you cry baby!

In a move that stunned nearly everyone, Flickr became the Oprah of the online photography space when it gave everyone a free terabyte of space. The expansion did, however, cause some restructuring. Namely, the pro option is no more because professional photographers aren’t a thing. If you want no ads, you can pay $49.99, and if you want an extra terabyte and no ads, you can pay $499.99. What fun. There was blowback, however, in the form of kittens, food, and selfies to the point where Flickr said, “No mas.”

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Photographing Big, Fluffy, Ominous Clouds with Camille Seaman

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Camille Seaman is a professional photographer who also chases storms. Her work has been featured in many galleries and most recently she took to Kickstarter to fund her latest project. Camille will be doing what she loves: chasing storms and capturing them on camera in a series that she is calling, “The Big Cloud Project.”

We talked to Camille about storm chasing and the dangers of the job.

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Life in Focus: Tim Kemple on Shooting in the Wildest Locations

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Tim Kemple is an adventure photographer who recently partnered with F-Stop gear to create a series called, “Life in Focus.” He has shot campaigns for North Face, Black Diamond, and loads of others. Tim’s work has also been featured many times by Phase One as he takes his gear out to capture vast landscapes and death-defying scenes.

In between hikes, we had some time to chat with Tim about his work and the spirit of adventure.



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The New York Dog Project: A Portrait Project to Show off The City’s Prized Pups

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All images shot by Rachel McKenna. Used with permission

Rachael McKenna has been a photographer for over a decade and has always had a fascination with people, animals and travel. She is also currently sponsored by Hasselblad. But her latest project will have you smitten. The New York Dog Project is still a work in progress, as she is spending up to 6 months in the city this year to develop a collection of images that will showcase New York Dogs and their owners in her own personal style.

We had the chance to speak with Rachael about the project after meeting her recently in NYC.



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American Citizen Possibly Faces Death Penalty in North Korea For Taking Photos

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A99 review images (1 of 32)ISO 100

If you took a photo of a homeless person in America, do you think for a second that you’d be somehow or another linked to the overthrowing of our government because you’re working on a project documenting economic disparity? That’s what’s happening to American citizen Kenneth Bae according to the Guardian. Kenneth is being charged with a plot to overthrow the government through what seems to be taking photos–though the government is not making his charges totally clear. And the evidence: he was taking photos of homeless people.

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Getty & Google Struck a Deal, People are Not Happy

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Hot on the heels of Instagram’s ToS debacle, Getty Images has decided to start one of their own, and it’s a doozy. According to the Google Drive Blog they have announced that “5,000 new photos of nature, weather, animals, sports, food, education, technology, music and 8 other categories are now available for your use in Docs, Sheets, and Slides.” What does this mean for the photographers who own these images? Read on to find out what we know so far.

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Review: Sigma 18-50mm F2.8-4.5 (Nikon F Mount)

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A long time ago when I reviewed the Nikon D3100 and used the kit lens that came with it, I came to the conclusion that I wanted a wide angle lens. I did not, however, want a kit lens. I had a small budget and when I did the research to find something that fit all of my criteria, the Sigma 18-50mm F2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM came up. Some have criticized me for not getting the fixed f2.8, but I really did not care. This lens, with its low cost and great quality, was well worth it. There is plenty to like about it.

 

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Prepping an 8×20 Camera for a Documentary Project

All images by Eliot Dudik. Used with permission.

Eliot Dudik is a recipient of the PDN 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch award. He received the highly coveted award for a photography project he did called, “The Road Ends in Water” that documented the lifestyle and culture of people who live by the water in the United States. But like any artist, he isn’t stopping there. Eliot is beginning a new project centered around the Civil War and how some of its influence still lingers around the south.

To accomplish the project, Eliot has been researching what to use to document his findings and eventually settled on an 8×20 camera; and he’s loading it up with two sheets of Kodak Portra 8×10 for each exposure. I recently had the chance to chat with Eliot despite his busy schedule. Here’s what he had to tell us about the camera, the project, and the documentary process.

 

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Field Instructional: Disaster Aftermath Photography

Very close to where I live

Hurricane Sandy Passed through. It left a trail of devastation. This is the second year in a row we have had freak weather after Photo Plus expo. Yesterday, I went out on a walk just to see how my neighborhood was doing before the worst part of the storm hit. Our Editor and Chief went out and tested the Canon 5D Mk II and the 24-70mm f2.8. These things were easy to do. In the storms’ aftermath this is where things get hard, especially for  photographers. Some of us want to get and shoot but it can be dangerous for us in many ways.

Here I offer you practical tips to help you get through the aftermaths of events like this.

Editor’s Note: If you’re going to do this, please exercise a ton of caution and please think about your safety first. Please, please, please; if you are going to try to attempt shooting in hazardous situations, please think any movement you do through and always plan ahead before you head into the maelstrom. We wish all the victims and those who had unfortunate circumstances happen to them during Hurricane Sandy a speedy recovery and only the very best. May the upcoming holidays bring you miracles.

 

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Review: F-Stop Gear Loka Adventure Camera Pack

Camera backpacks come in many flavors for many purposes, pretty much every manufacturer has some sort of backpack as it is a popular choice for many photographers. I’ve often steered away from most as they have lacked in three specific areas for me: comfort, storage and durability. F-Stop Gear has their Mountain Series of camera backpacks, and I’ve spent the last year and a half with one. Have my needs finally been met?

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Review: ONA Camps Bay

 

This bag is by far the nicest looking bag I have ever seen or owned. A bag that looks this good is bound to have its trade offs and I assure you it does. The Camps Bay backpack is the beautiful book smart person who just lacks most street smarts. I know that analogy is a complete failure but what I mean is that this bag is the epic battle of form over function.

Editor’s Note: You can purchase the ONA Camps Bay bag in Smoke or Tan at Amazon. Or you can click the according links to the smoke or tan bags at B&H Photo.

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