How To Create a Movie- Summer Stories (Part 1)

Lights, camera, action! Being a photographer and a writer by trade has always made me a natural fit to get lost in day dreams about making profound films that garner critical acclaim and capture the hearts and minds of an awestruck audience. Back to reality: Ten years into a career and two kids later, building a Hollywood career isn’t much of an option anymore. And self-funding a project that, in all likelihood, could cost almost half a million dollars (from expensive film cameras, even more expensive processing procedures, and editing room rental) my dreams of creating a film of any type or length seemed about as likely as meeting my maker and coming back to blog about it. 

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Canon Announces New 7D Studio Version

Today, Canon announced the release of the new Canon 7D Studio Version, which they coin as, “Ideal for professional school and event photographers which features four levels of ‘locking’ camera controls for studio environments.” On top of this is a new barcode system that links up with the image files put out by the camera by embedding the information into the EXIF data. Be sure to check out our review of the Canon 7Dand some work we did with wireless flash control. Additionally, check out how it did against the Nikon D300sin our head on review. According to the release, “The new EOS 7DSV (Studio Version) Barcode Kit (EOS 7DSV and WFT-E5A with firmware change) will carry an estimated selling price of $ $2599. The EOS 7DSV (Studio Version) Body Only will carry an estimated selling price of $1829.”

Editor’s note: Apparently the camera has been shipping for a while, but only now announced.

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The Essential Guide To Dog Portrait Photography

The Badass Pooches

Woof woof! Dogs are our constant companions and have been since the Stone Age. We love them, care for them, walk them, play with them, and in return, they give us great affection and protection. They are our best friends and though their lifespans are typically short, we always remember them. Here’s how to capture the looks and personality of your dog.

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Reader Question: How to Improve My iPhone 4 Images

My review of the iPhone 4’s camera made quite the stir; and some users are even wondering how they can make their photos better. Take the recent case of Kyle, who found the posting through Google. He’s got some problems with his images and he wants to make them better, but he’s not a photographer. As I’ve learned in the commercial world, great editors can also create great images. I’m going to show you how to create better iPhone images by converting them to RAWs.

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Field Review: Canon 1D Mk IV (Day 8)

So remember how previously I stated that the autofocus points on the Canon 1D Mk IV do not track the subject in your frame? I was wrong. After shooting a soccer game on the Lower East Side the other day, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Canon 1D Mk IV will only track subjects with a USM lens of some sort. Obviously, the camera needs to be switched into AI Servo mode and the focusing points need to be selected. More on the performance after the jump.

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LaCie 2TB Grand Hard Disk and Nikon 70-300mm Deals at B&H

B&H has some good deals going on right now.

LaCie 2 TB Grand Hard Disk ($138.99): It seems like hard drive space like this has become dirt cheap now. I remember two years ago or so something like this would cost lots more. As a wedding, event and portrait photographer, I’ve got a similar product in my office. Its exterior is forged from sturdy aluminum, which is both durable and efficient in dissipating heat.

Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 70-300mm F4-5.6G Lens (@119.95): This is perhaps the lens that many Nikon users upgrade to when they want more zoom range. I’ve tried it before on a friends D90 and it was spectacular for what he paid. It will make a great gift at such a low price-point. For anyone seeking a high quality telephoto zoom lens for portraits and action photography at a very affordable price, the Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G Lens is a great solution.

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Hands On: Pentax 645D

The other night, I got to play with the Pentax 645D—the one medium format camera that I had personally been waiting to try out for a while. Pentax was fairly popular back in the film days for medium format. Their lenses are well known as well as their bodies. Now that Pentax has entered the digital medium format stage, they have created what I would call quite the competitor and perhaps what may be the best medium format experience I have ever had of all the systems I’ve tried.

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Mermaid Parade: A Test of A Tweaked 5D Mk II Autofocus System

I’ve encountered and read emails from many photographers who really dislike the focusing system on their 5D Mk II’s. My answer: you need to learn how to understand how it works. Further, there are tweaks that a photographer can do in the custom menu to improve it. Sadly, many reviewers didn’t touch upon it during their review sessions. After tweaking mine, I decided that I’d test it out on some street portrait photography using the recent Mermaid Day parade in Brooklyn. (Some images NSFW)

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Field Review: Nikon D3s (Day 2)

The other day I took the Nikon D3s and 24-70mm F2.8 ED on the streets with me around Rockefeller Center. I tested out the high speed abilities on two famous street sports: ice skating and hackey sack. The results surprised me not only because of the fast shutter speed but also because of the tracking autofocus system. They worked wonderfully together with the lens to the point where I’m almost considering purchasing a D3s. More after the jump.

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Field Review: Nikon D3s (Day 1)

The Nikon D3s is a camera that I’ve been looking forward to testing out for quite some time and I’m glad to say that I finally have one in my hands. I’ve played with it before at Photo Plus and thought that it seemed like something full of promise. As a studio, event, wedding, concert and photojournalism photographer, this camera can suite most of my needs. Beyond all this, it is great for low-light because of the 12MP sensor and the fast frame rate makes it excellent for sports. My first impressions are after the jump.

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Quick Tips for Studio/Location Headshot Photography

I’ve covered social networking and headshot photography before and even covered some of the best equipment for the job. Now it’s time to actually work with the client. Depending on what they want, it could be in studio or even on location. There are some elements of photojournalism, or at least there can be, in on location shoots. I’ll be covering some extra tips for you here. If you’d like though, have a look through my portfolio as well.

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Photography Accessories I've Learned to Ditch

In my time as a photographer and tech journalist, I’ve tried out loads and loads of items. All reviews have been very fair: pointing out the good and offering recommendations on improvement rather than full out blaring criticisms. After going through my accessories recently and clearing out my photography bag to carry only what is essential, I’ve found that there are items that I really don’t use anymore. Check them out along with my explanations after the jump.

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What's in the Bag: John Conrad Williams

Long time readers of my work will know that I talk often about my mentor. Today, I’m proud to present to you a bio on just that man: John Conrad Williams. As a photographer that has shot for New York Newsday for quite some time now and has been around the world on assignments in addition to covering lots of hard to shoot stories, John is a man of lots of knowledge and is always willing to share it. I got meet up with him recently at my favorite restaurant to talk and catch up.

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Quick Tips For Shooting Events

Shooting events and parties has always been a good source of income for photographers. Getting them right and making your photos stand out from the rest though is a whole different story. There are ways to make sure that your photos don’t look like they came out of a point and shoot or from an amateur. Some of this was covered on how to shoot a memorable New Year’s Eve. For a couple of basics, hit the jump.

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Hands On: Hasselblad H4D-40

Today, Fotocare in NYC allowed us to have some personal fondling time with the newly announced Hasselblad H4D-40. It’s quite the camera and in some ways even rivals the Phase One cameras that I’ve handled before. As a guy more familiar with Hasselblad and with the True Focus feature, I can tell you that I am truly stunned by the potential. With an 80mm lens, the camera is $19,955.

Edit: As time went on, this posting received many hits. Because of that, B&H offers the camera with the 35-90mm F4.5 lens, body only, and as a complete kit.

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