The Perfect Prime Lenses For Your Party and Event Photography

As we continue our look into party and event photography kits our next stop will be talking about lightweight prime lenses. Now, prime lenses are generally not as popular in a part/event atmosphere due to many photographers in this arena preferring the versatility of zoom lenses to be able to quickly react to the party environment. We will, of course, be looking at zoom lenses later, but for now, we wanted to hit on prime lenses.

One reason you may choose a prime lens over a zoom is that you will have access to faster apertures, allowing you to take advantage of shorter shutter speeds – reducing the chance of motion blur and other undesirable side effects of shooting movement in a low light situation. Another reason is that they are generally much smaller and light-weight, meaning less stress on your body over the course of a long event.

Regardless of the reasons, if you are looking into adding a prime lens or prime lenses into your party or event photography kit we recommend checking out the following options.   Continue reading…

Making the Most of a 24mm Lens for Photography

The 24mm lens: it’s a classic focal length that for a very long time has been close to the hearts of many photographers. When I say many photographers, I’m really not kidding. There are great reasons why it’s the wide angle of a 24-70mm lens and there are great 24mm lenses on the market that are fairly compact and high quality. So if you’re getting into using a lens like this or considering it, check out these tips.

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Using Instagram to Curate the Events Before the Paris Terrorist Attacks

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 11.41.37 AM

Curation done by Hugo Passarello Luna. Used with permission.

The recent Paris Terrorist attacks were extremely tragic–and as a journalist, Hugo Passarello Luna has tried to make sense of the events that happened previously by piecing them together via Instagram.

“I have looked for the last images posted on Instagram of the places that were attacked before the tragedy took place.” says Hugo in an email to the Phoblographer. He’s essentially trying to “stop time” using the Instagram timeline and see what those places meant to people, before they became a place of mourning.

Hugo’s analysis explores different ways and angles to tell the story of the events that happened in the area before tragedy struck.

“One week after the Paris attacks of November 13th, I posted a photo on Instagram of Le Carillon, one of the places targeted by the terrorists.” says Hugo. “In the posted image I added the location and using that option I clicked to see what others photos had been posted of the same place. Unsurprisingly, there were already many images and mostly similar: flowers on the sidewalk, candles and people lighting candles, people mourning, some French flags, letters, portraits of the victims. You scroll down and the photos repeat themselves hundreds of times. Until they do not.”

Hugo’s project is after the jump.

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The Essential Sense of Self Awareness as a Photographer

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm XT10 first impressions (14 of 15)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 4.0

You, yes you, have a specialty as a photographer. Maybe you’re an incredible landscape photographer that can make someone’s jaws drop wide open. On the other hand, you could be a great portrait photographer who not only creates beautiful portraits but also makes people feel great about themselves afterwards. But no matter what you do, you have a specialization.

You, yes you, as a photographer can’t do everything. Maybe you’re good at shooting portraits, candids, weddings and other photojournalistic stuff, but you’ve got an inherent weakness unless you’ve been doing this for well over 35 years. Even then, you probably can’t do everything.

So when someone asks you to shoot their wedding but you’re really a specialist in landscapes, why would you say yes?

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The Three Best Focal Lengths For Shooting Candid Photos

Pro Tip: Manual focus lenses make you require the way that your brain tells you to shoot. Instead of just putting a viewfinder to your eye, focusing, and shooting, sometimes you pre-focus, put the viewfinder to your eye and either shoot immediately or touch up just a bit. You can do this using the depth of field scale.

Pro Tip: Manual focus lenses make you require the way that your brain tells you to shoot. Instead of just putting a viewfinder to your eye, focusing, and shooting, sometimes you pre-focus, put the viewfinder to your eye and either shoot immediately or touch up just a bit. You can do this using the depth of field scale.

Modern autofocus is quite good–don’t get us wrong. But when push comes to shove and you need to capture a moment in a split-second, some focal lengths are easier to work with than others. Part of this has to do with depth of field at a specific distance and the other has to do with the specific focal length. For what it’s worth, a telephoto lens and a wide angle lens focused out to 7 feet away and shooting from the same distance will have a varying amount of the scene in focus. The telephoto will have less in focus while more of the scene will be in focus with the wider angle lens.

But at the same time, you may not want to be so close to the scene that you’re within arm’s length of the person or scene being photographed. So to do that, we’re recommending three focal lengths that are best for candid photos.

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Why Bokeh is a Critical Element to Telling a Story Through Photos

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic 42.5mm f1.2 review product images (4 of 7)ISO 2001-400 sec at f - 1.7

It’s very easy to become obsessed with bokeh–look at the cinema and television industry. Watch famous movies of Tarantino, Nolan, or television shows like Arrow or American Horror Story and you’ll see that the world’s best cinematographers use lots and lots of bokeh. In the same way that cinematographers use bokeh to tell a story, photographers should use bokeh to tell a story and transmit a presence and feeling into the viewer that grabs them and forces them to pay attention.

We’re not at all saying that photographers need to be more cinematic–but instead we’re saying that many photographers need to start thinking about bokeh in a different way.

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Review: Metz 64 AF-1 Flash (Sony Alpha E)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Metz flash product photos (1 of 10)ISO 6401-50 sec at f - 4.0

Editor’s Correction: In an earlier version of this article, we called the flash the 54 AF-1. It is indeed the 64 AF-1. We apologize for this mistake.

Metz believes that the future of the flash is very…touchy. To be specific, we’re talking about a touch screen. So when the 64 AF-1 was shown to us around Photokina 2014, we were quite intrigued. The flashes are available for Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Sony and the Micro Four Thirds world. It tries to be futuristic with its massive touch LCD screen. Metz has been long known in the industry for having a more affordable alternative to the camera manufacturers, but in recent years they’ve stepped back to Phottix, Lumopro and Yongnuo.

The Metz 64 AF-1 otherwise is like many flashes on the market: it can rotate around and tilt its head. Unlike Sony’s flashes, the 64 AF-1 isn’t a cobra head design. But like many of Sony’s flashes, some of the settings can be controlled via the camera thanks to its interactions from the multi-interface shoe. This means that it will work with the NEX 6, A7, A7s, A7r, A7 Mk II, A99, A77, A77 Mk II and a couple of others.

The flash is also one of the first designed for the new Sony shoe since the company introduced it a couple of years ago. While it’s a good first attempt, it fails in certain aspects.

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Kindly Refrain From Taking Photos With Your Tablet

Taking a photo with a tablet

The phone camera generation and technology shift created the rise of yet another device: the tablet. And as people took image after image with their phone, so too did those with their tablets. Before we knew it, tablets were with people everywhere they went. So the photos they shot during vacations, concerts, at restaurants, events, the kid’s first recital, and even more were shot on tablets.


For the love of everything that Steve Jobs created you’re blocking my line of vision of whatever we’re all here to see. And sometimes you don’t even want to just shoot a photo. You want to shoot the same photo over and over again. Further, you sometimes want to record a video–you know how long you’re holding your tablet up to record a video? That entire time, I probably can’t see what’s in front of me. Or even if we’re in a sea of darkness, your super bright tablet in total darkness is a complete distraction.

That and you just look absolutely ridiculous when doing it. A tablet is not ergonomically designed for you to hold it outstretched from your body to take a photo and if anything, you’re completely overcompensating with the screen size.

Please. Please. Just stop it.