The Surprising and Puzzling Paradox with Modern Cameras and Lenses

I’ve spent a lot of time pondering a critical issue with cameras. In many ways, it still feels like we’re caught in a traditional problem that hasn’t disappeared. It starts with modern cameras. Lots of things about them are rooted in tradition. And that’s wonderful. Photography needs to be loyal to where it began. But embracing digital still hasn’t truly happened. One of the most perplexing things about modern cameras has to do with lenses. My hope is that it doesn’t take long for a lot of rapid change to occur.

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Opinion: Your Photography Sucks Because of Lazy Shooting Methods

Take your camera off of Aperture priority and become a more active part of the picture-taking process.

You’re lazy. Sometimes I’m lazy. Sometimes this staff is lazy. Sometimes even the best professional photographers are lazy. There is a part of me that wishes autofocus were never developed (but the flip side to that is that my legal blindness would sort of hinder my shooting abilities). And I think that we, as photographers, have come to rely too heavily on technology as a crutch. The best of us have used it to create and capture moments no one else has. But we’ve used access, anticipation, and understanding of moments to help immortalize those scenes in photographs. Know that I’m not saying there is something wrong with the way you shoot: it’s to hammer in the fact that if you make things harder for yourself and give yourselves challenges, you can create better images. And what better way to do that than to simply set things back to the bare essentials.

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My Camera Takes Great Pictures and Your Mouth Says Nice Things

Your camera takes great pictures: and your hands take the trash out very well.

Every photographer and every person has heard this before. Perhaps it’s changed these days to “Your phone shoots better photos than mine does,” but the truth is that it’s a 50/50 split. I’m not at all saying gear doesn’t matter. It does. But your phone or your camera is simply an extension of yourself in the same way that yarn and needles are an extension of your friend’s ability to knit a nice scarf. Now, this statement is something most commonly said by folks who just don’t think of photography as anything more important than taking photos. It’s never said with bad intent, but out of purely not knowing any better.

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Opinion: Trying to Create Photos Everyday Isn’t Always the Best Thing for Your Mind

Hear me out about this one before you grab your pitchforks.

The creative photographer and the creative mind need a break and time to sit back and massage a photo or project before they release it to the public. While that sounds obvious, to that end I think that creating photos everyday isn’t always the best thing. While 365 photo projects are great, they don’t assure that you get keeper images each and every day. But a project where you do a photo once a week could have a higher chance of this.

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Troll Post: Aperture Priority Should Also Be Known as Amateur Priority

Aperture priority is basically just Automatic mode for photographers who don’t want to shoot in Automatic mode. 

For a number of years, I’ve shot a whole lot in aperture priority on my cameras. It’s simple; it means I can sit there and shoot while just controlling the depth of field and let the camera figure everything else out on its own. This translates to my love of glorious bokeh and the algorithms are so good that every camera can do it and take identical images so folks can then say their’s is better or someone else’s is worse. It’s essential for those days that you want to dress up a bit nicer and pretend you’re a modern Bresson because, of course, that’s all Bresson would use today. He’d just say, “F8 and be there!” which would mean less bokeh and more of the scene itself.

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How to Create Light That Isn’t There When Editing a Black and White Photo (Premium)

One of the toughest things to do for many photographers is learning how to light; some people never learn how to understand it while others simply just have no interest in it. But the good news is that at least when it comes to black and white photography, you can get away with it a bit more. Further, you can also create light that will look good in the scene and worry about it just a tad less. You just need to be a bit observant.

For starters, let’s look at this image. What I need first is some sort of intention. I look at the photo and what I want is to have a sort of spotlight effect on Anna. Let’s begin by using the Free La Noir Image Lightroom Presets (which subscribers can download here). After choosing the one I want, I see that it gives the a look that’s really close, but not totally there. What I want is even more of an emphasized spotlight effect. So I’m using the Sharp Spotlight effect Preset.

This preset really emphasizes whatever is being illuminated heavily. So now we can see that there is a bit of spotlight on Anna. But I want more.

To do this I’m going to use a gradient in Lightroom. I’ve colorized the gradient here so that you can see where I’m putting it and what it will effect. I don’t want it to effect that much of the scene, instead I want to to really just hone in on the key parts. All that requires doing is moving it just a bit.

Now, to give off more of that spotlight look, I need to think about all the times that I’ve seen theatre. It’s a very high contrast light, and so I raise the contrast and exposure of this area just a bit.

When I’ve got the image to be perfect where I want it to be, I just need to crop it. I really like square crops. So I’ll do that.

And just like that, we’re done!

Unraveling the FUJIFILM GFX: Creating with a Purpose

Medium format has always been a Creator’s tool; so too is the FUJIFILM GFX 50S.

While medium format can surely be used well for capturing a scene, it’s often best used in a more traditional fashion. The FUJFILM GFX is a larger than full frame option that lends itself and its qualities best to the idea of creating vs capturing. The idea of capturing a photo means there is very little or no outside interference by you at all. You’re essentially capturing life as it goes on and you have little to no influence on how events unfold–and that’s why you’re often called a “fly on the wall.” But creating means that you’re creating a universe or a scene when you shoot photos. Images like this are either carefully put together by adjusting element after element in the scene or with things like photo manipulation in post-production.

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This Photographer is Looking For Others to Do Their Jobs for Free

How many of you do your jobs as photographers for free?

If you’ve ever been told you should be doing a job for free, then this is an absolutely special ad just for you. When you’re starting out, or even later on in your career, it’s not uncommon that someone may ask you to do a photography job for free. It’s also fairly common that folks will do it for free and will most of the time do nowhere near as good of a job as you would. And so this special ad recently shared on Writing on Writing’s Facebook wall will relate to photographers oh so much.

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Opinion: P is for Professional Mode. A is for Amateur Mode

I don’t want to sit here and incite some sort of extreme anger over the fact that I may have called you an amateur for shooting in aperture priority, but I’d like you to at least hear me out and realize that this post is more of a call to action on your behalf than to put you down. So let me just dive right into it.

For years and years we have been conditioned as photographers to simply capture the moment. You point, shoot, and you get a photo. That’s it. It’s super simple. There’s nothing more to it and as years went on technology has found a way to cater more and more towards what we want. So when photographers start out shooting these days, they may just shoot in auto mode or the scene modes and let the camera do all the work except for framing. With the right intentions that can be a fabulous tool for a photographer to learn the more artistic part of it all. It removes you from the technical parts of aperture and all that. So to that end, shooting in aperture priority or program made could work well too.

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Why Photography Is a Fantastic Way to Maintain Mental Health

For many years, people have done photography as a hobby–a way to preserve their mental health so to speak in a way that keeps them sane due to its almost rhythmic movements and thought process involved. In today’s world, there are more photographers than ever who have decided to pick up a camera or their phone due to how many free educational websites (like this one) and more there are online. So for many people photography is a way to find an escape from everyday stresses, the caustic nature of social media, and a way to creatively express oneself in order to purge negativities from our mind and body. Indeed, photography is fantastic for your mental health.

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Jett Inong’s ANXIETY Combines Street Photography with Creative Color Usage

All images by Jett Inong. Used with permission. Editor’s Note: In a previous version of this article, we misspelled Jett’s last name. We apologize for this mistake. 

“Photography to me is a very complex form that consists of vast amount of visual language,” explains Jett Inong. “It is more eloquent than verbal language itself. When we look into a manual to build or fix something, we are most likely reliant to the photographs rather than the typed words for instructions.” In fact, Jett has a great point. No one likes to read a manual; and so it indeed is a type of language–one that’s easily conveyed in his series, ANXIETY.

Jett explains how that’s why he got into photography in the first place–the infinite capability to articulate one’s most visceral thoughts with just a click of a button, as he describes it.

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The Phoblographer Answers: What Metering Mode Should You Generally Use?

One of the most common questions that many photographers ask is what metering mode they should be in. It can be confusing to many people and generally, a lot of photographers tend to get their camera in evaluative mode and shoot it in that without batting an eye and adjusting it according to what the camera’s light meter states.

But here’s a little bit of information that can help you out even more.

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Fleeting Moment; An Argument Against the Camera Phone

FOMO: Fear of missing out. Yes, it’s a thing. And there are studies that say that in the future, we’re all just going to try to record everything and be so busy trying to record it all vs actually experiencing it. Part of this comes from use of a camera phone. Camera phones have enabled this whole instinct to capture the moment, pulling it out and documenting everything around you. In contrast, people generally don’t do this with dedicated cameras because there is a much different experience involved with it. It’s much more careful with significantly more thought put into the intent of taking photos vs shooting something with a phone and hoping that you don’t fill up the storage.

The problem: We miss moments.

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Your Camera Isn’t as Important As You Think it Is

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 90mm f2.8 OSS product photos (8 of 10)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 5.0

In the past month, I’ve been answering questions from photographers looking to make a small upgrade in one way or another. In every conversation the names that constantly seem to be coming up are Sony, Fujifilm and Canon–with every single photographer suffering from some sort of Gear Acquisition Syndrome symptom. After carefully talking about things with each photographer, it eventually gets to the point where I make them realize something very big that at one point or another they tend to forget.

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