Dorota Gorecka Fell In Love With Photography Using An Empty Studio

“My intention is to get the viewer interested in what the model is thinking,” says Dorota Gorecka of Poland when I ask her what gets people so engrossed in her portraits of women. She began playing with photography equipment in the unused studio at the advertising agency she worked at. Spending more and more time here led to her getting hooked on photography. She specializes in working under natural light conditions and working with models to produce moody photographs.

Continue reading…

Getting the Best Results When Shooting with Natural Light at Home

Most of us are homebound at the moment due to the pandemic, but you can still create great images at home using these natural light photography tips.

One of the tenets behind being a photographer is the mastery of light. Cameras and lenses aside, light is the most important element in image-making. Many professionals prefer to shoot with artificial lighting thanks to how it helps to deliver consistent and repeatable results. However, artificial lighting can be intimating. The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges as well. Even for photographers comfortable shooting with artificial light, not all of them own artificial lighting or have access to it while sheltering in place. The good news is that natural light is still available (provided that the weather cooperates). And as long as there’s light, we as photographers can create. Right now, the simple act of creating can be an important therapeutic exercise for many. Check out these natural light photography tips to help you create great images even when you’re stuck at home.

Continue reading…

This Photography Meme May Trigger a Certain Type of Photographer

If you’re a photographer, get read to either laugh or feel very triggered.

There’s a funny meme going around on Facebook and now Instagram that is essentially harmless, but is so close to the hearts of many different photographers. It’s a play off of an old Batman comic where Robin is being slapped by Batman. It has been used for a number of different subjects, but the most recent is with regards to natural light photographers. Now, we’ve spoken about this subject many times in the past, and have been met with opposing criticisms as well as praise. The majority of us are very pro team “make your own lighting and use all available lights.” And many times, the term “Natural Light Photographer” is often just seen as a crutch.

Continue reading…

Michael Muller Shows How Lighting Will Change Your Portrait Photography

This quick video, featuring entertainment and fashion photographer Michael Muller, will show you how to work with lighting to make outstanding portraits.

Still in the dark when it comes to working with different kinds of lighting for portrait photography? Then, we’ve got just the right stuff to inspire and enlighten you. In his quick video, Sawyer Hartman brings us to his shoot with leading entertainment and fashion photographer Michael Muller, who gives us an idea on how he works with lighting to get stunning portraits.

Continue reading…

Five Tips and Tricks to Shooting Portraits Indoors with Available Lighting

Available lighting for indoor portraits doesn’t have to be scary, it really doesn’t.

If you are shooting portraits, then you are probably doing at least a portion of your images indoors, especially during the winter months. You may be wondering how you can take advantage of available light indoors for portraits; maybe for stylistic reasons (you like the look of it better) or for other reasons (like not having to cart around a crap ton of lighting gear). Whatever your reason, it is totally possible to make the most out of available lighting for portraits indoors.

Today we are going to be talking about some tips and tricks you can employ to get a better handle on available light portraiture indoors. It’s not as complicated as you are making it out to be in your head. It really just comes down to being able to see the light and knowing what you want to do with it in relation to your subject.

Ready? Great! Let’s get into it. Continue reading…

Review: Zeiss 75mm f1.5 Biotar – the LEGENDARY Original Version

When a door closes, a window opens. I was expecting to be loaned an M-mount lens, or at the very least, a lens with an M-mount adapter. Instead, what I received from the UPS delivery man was an Exakta-mount lens with a Sony E-mount adapter.

Exakta? I haven’t seen one of those since high school? I guess I won’t be shooting with a Leica M10.

The specific lens I was loaned was a Zeiss 75mm f1.5 Biotar (circa 1939 to 1960), which just happened to also be the same lens Oprema used to base the design of their new 75 Biotar. In case you haven’t heard, Oprema is the company that’s bringing back the 75 Biotar. They asked me if I was interested in writing about it. I accepted the opportunity, because I was curious. When I first heard the announcement, I was going to invest in an M-mount version of this legendary lens. But then, I discovered on eBay how much of a premium legendary demanded, and thus quickly came back to my senses.

Oddly in this case, legendary also meant the lens I was loaned came attached with a Sony E-mount adapter? That was completely unexpected. But then, it didn’t matter. In the end, it worked out all the same… opening doors with a full frame Sony.

Continue reading…

 Getting the Most Out of Golden Hour Using Only Natural Light

Anthony Thurston Natural Light Golden Hour

Screenshot taken from the video

Right up there with buying a 50mm lens and the rule of thirds, probably one of the most thrown around recommendations in photography is photographing your subjects during golden hour. It is one of the most common times of day to see photographers out looking for images but it also comes with some interesting challenges that newer photographers may struggle with. Continue reading…

Mathew Guido’s Eye Candy Plays With Neon Lights And Stylish Sunglasses

All images by Mathew Guido. Used under a Creative Commons License. 

When it comes to conceptual portraits in a fashion shoot, breaking the norm and daring to do something radically different can often result in an unexpected yet unique images. In Mathew Guido’s latest photo series titled “Eye Candy”, instead of shooting in a controlled studio environment with professional lights, he decided to shoot his model wearing sunglasses in dark environments, lit only by the neon and street lights.

The emphasis of the series is on the different sunglasses worn by the model in every image, bathed in vibrant neon lights from signboards on the streets at night. Consequently the images are strongly biased to the color tones of the specific neon lights near the model, creating interesting low key results with incredibly strong color saturation.

Continue reading…

Franck Bohbot Tells Stories Of The New Orleans Night Scenes

All images by Franck Bohbot. Used under a Creative Commons License. 

While many photographers choose to shoot beautiful images bathed in an abundance of light in the day or chasing the golden hour, Franck Bohbot chooses to be different in his latest photography project titled “Inside the Night”, as he explores and shoots the night life of New Orleans.

Franck Bohbot emphasizes the difference of life and people during night time, hence he takes the role of a keen observer of the real and unposed scenes inside bars, restaurants, and clubs in New Orleans. Being the photographer, he is the witness of what happens in those places and he has stories to tell in each image captured. Franck uses a Leica and a 28mm lens and he shoots everything in available light.  Continue reading…

Can Dagarslani Shows Elderly Couple Living In Calmness And Serenity

All images by Can Dagarslani. Used under a Creative Commons License. 

Conceptual portraiture often challenges the way we look at things and can be the perfect medium to present an interesting idea. Can Dagarslani’s latest photo series of an elderly couple titled “Serenity” takes on the idea that as we age we shall live in a state of calmness and serenity–which for many, is the dream.

According to the photo project description, Can Dagarslani questioned the existence of serenity as a concept lost in the norms of the modern world, but also the possibility of it to be attained while we are getting older. His photo series portrayed an old couple dressed in summer shorts and striking striped socks engaging in fun activities together. The shooting location was Bauhaus school in Dessau (Germany), which featured dominating white and minimalist backdrop. Can strategically dressed the old couple in the bold primary colors of Bauhaus which were red, blue, and yellow. To instill the symbolic fun in the imagery, the couple was playing with inflatable tubes or big rubber gloves.  Continue reading…

Manny Ortiz Demonstrates Off Camera Flash Vs Available Light In A Photoshoot Video

Screenshot taken from the video.

Whether you are a die-hard available light champion that preserves the images in their original state  or a photographer who has discovered the whole new world of possibilities with creative off camera flash use, we at The phoblographer believe that there is a place and time for both available light and flash uses. Understanding the strengths and advantages of each approach in photography as well as knowing in what situation to use the natural light only versus when to employ camera flash will surely benefit your photography game. Photographer Manny Ortiz recently did an excellent video which effectively demonstrates the difference between the results he can get from shooting a portrait using only available light in comparison to s simple setup of a wireless flash. You can view the video below.

Continue reading…

Shea Evans and Exploring the World of Food


All images used with the permission of Shea Evans.

Shea Evans is a food culture photographer who captures not only the beauty of food and its ingredients, but also how people’s lives revolve around the delicious things they find on their plate. His eye for shape, color and light helps him to produce arresting photographs that are a treat for the eye as well for the palette. We recently had the opportunity to ask him some questions about how he is able to combine his passion for photography and food.

Continue reading…

Are Sensors Made With Graphene the Future of Photography?

Asst. Prof. Wang Qijie of NTU Graphene Sensor

Via LiveScience

We’ve known that Graphene is the 21st century super material since research on it won two physicists the Nobel Prize in 2010. Now, it seems the nano structure consisting of a layer of carbon atoms may find its way into photographic products. Researchers at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have found a way to employ Graphene as the light sensitive layer in digital camera sensors. Thanks to the material’s special properties, it allows for the creation of sensors up to 1,000 times more light sensitive than current CMOS or CCD sensors.

The research led by Assistant Professor Wang Qijie could be implemented into sensor production with small adaptions to current manufacturing processes, making this a very likely candidate for future sensor designs. In essence, this would allow for a whole new world of low-light photography, as the Graphene sensor wouldn’t show any of the high-ISO noise that current sensors exhibit. This is very exciting news, and we’d love to see this implemented in actual consumer cameras in the near future.

What do you think about this? Let us know in your comments below!

Review: SLR Magic 35mm T1.4 (Micro Four Thirds)

Felix Esser The Phoblographer SLR Magic 35mm f/1.4 Aperture

The SLR Magic 35mm T1.4 cine lens has been out for a while now, and indeed we posted our first impressions of it a while back. Since then, I’ve spent considerably more time with it and used it in a number of different scenarios. Besides the Panasonic G1, I’ve also tested it on a Sony NEX-3 (via adapter), on which it really shined. So how does this lens, which offers quite a lot of speed for the money, fare in daily use? Does it keep up with expectations? Read the full review to find out.

Continue reading…

Review: MS-Optical Sonnetar 50mm f1.1 for Leica M

The MS-Optical Sonnetar 50/1.1 on the Leica M8. The lens is surprisingly small for its focal length and speed.

The Sonnetar 50mm f1.1 for Leica M is the latest lens design by Mr. Miyazaki from Japan, the man who brought us the 35mm f3.5 and 28mm f4 “Perar” pancake lenses before. The Sonnetar is not a pancake, but still not large either considering its speed. Based on the classic Sonnar design by Zeiss, the Sonnetar manages to be fast and compact at the same time. As with all MS-Optical lenses, it is designed and assembled by only one person, which is why it comes in limited numbers only. I had the opportunity to take a closer look at a pre-production unit of this unique lens.


Continue reading…