Why You Should Use More Manual Focus Lenses in 2021

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I like the fact that more people have begun using manual focus lenses over the years. I remember a time when people would refuse to use them. I still know people who hate them today, but I also know folks who shoot often and sincerely appreciate them. That’s because manual focus lenses promote art to photography that folks think is antiquated. At the same time, there’s a lot that’s considered antiquated that people love about photography. But truly, a manual focus lens can do much more for your photography than autofocus lenses can. And they can make you a better photographer.

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The Lazy Way Around the Rule of Thirds in Photography

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Technically speaking, the photo above could be awful according to the rule of thirds. When you first start out in photography, you probably center your subject. It’s inevitable. And it’s also just aesthetically the most pleasing until we start to learn more. In truth, ignorance is bliss. But you’ve probably never realized something really fascinating about the rule of thirds. However, I think that all the great photographers who came before us and shot film surely did. You’d probably even know this if you worked with early digital. The truth is that most photographers end up using the focusing points closer to the center anyway. Why? According to the rule of thirds, your subjects should more or less be just off-center. In the most basic sense, that’s the lazy way around the rule.

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How to Escape Your Bubble in Street Photography

In street photography, paying close attention is fundamental.

An old tutor once told me, “Street Photography is not about just one good element in the frame. It is about bringing several elements together, and creating stories that are not necessarily obvious to the everyday eye.” Simply put, he was telling me my work was bland and boring, and that I needed to dig deeper if I was ever going to produce anything of any worth.

On the surface, street photography seems easy. You need a camera, a comfortable pair of shoes and somewhere of interest – then like magic you will make these wonderfully composed images to share with the world. However, the reality is that to produce top quality street work, you will have to go much further than shooting a homeless guy or capturing that humorous billboard advertisement. You must refrain from just point and shooting anything and everything (aka spraying and praying) in the hope you get at least and average photograph to post to your Instagram.

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Xpert Advice: Composing Photos by Color in Autumn

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Xpert Advice Autumn Composing by color (1 of 1)ISO 4001-105 sec at f - 2.0

The very last bits of the Autumn are among us–have you gone out and photographed it in all it’s gorgeous beauty? If you haven’t that’s quite sad; it gives you the opportunity to try a new method of focusing.

To start, this requires looking at the world and the way that colors play out and contrast from one another. Indeed, contrast is one of the biggest parts of composing by color–the method we’re focusing on in this edition of Xpert Advice. Using the Fujifilm Velvia Film color profile may help out the most here.

Everyone knows about using the rule of thirds– and your Fujifilm camera not only has a rule of thirds composition display but also a 24 grid display option that can help even further. These compositional aides can help when composing a scene by color. This is a different method and often involves:

  • Positioning specific colors on an intersecting line of the rule of thirds to grab the viewer’s attention. You can also just move it along the grid until the scene looks artistically pleasing. It’s best to think abstract here.
  • Putting a color that really stands out in the scene as something prominent in the photo overall so that folks pay attention to it
  • Balancing the use of positive and negative space to actually make this color stand out and draw someone’s attention to the scene.

The simplest way to do this is by using the rule of thirds but by specifically putting a super punchy color on that intersecting line. Composing by color also involves things like the use of depth of field to get the most out of it. In general, it’s best to go on either extreme with super shallow depth of field or everything totally in focus. Also, try choosing a certain color and simply moving your camera around in all sorts of angles and directions.

Go get out and shoot before all the leaves are gone!

Xpert Advice is a monthly collaboration between the Phoblographer and Fujifilm designed to teach you photography tips and tricks in a bite-sized package.

Composing Better Cityscapes and Building Photos

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7r review photos brooklyn bridge reddit walk (8 of 14)ISO 1001-60 sec at f - 4.5

Photographing buildings can be tough sometimes when it comes to working with big and crowded cities. Getting to the right spot, composition, and even exposures can vary greatly and what should be a very careful and slow process can sometimes be rushed. But it doesn’t have to feel that way if you just make it a habit to follow a couple of key practices.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Travel Photography: Capturing the Spirit

So you’ve finally landed in (insert destination of your choice here) and you’re ready to give your camera a workout (in my case, a Canon Rebel XSi). Shooting in far-flung locations can be an inspiring and invigorating experience – but it also comes with some unique challenges. You have to keep the photographic in mind all the while attempting to get your bearings in check, which can range from which direction to go to converting currency to staying safe as both a foreigner and a photographer. This challenge is compounded when you want to get shots of people. This is, however, arguably the most compelling and telling way to capture the spirit of a place.
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