Review: Rokinon 85mm f1.2 SP (Canon EF Mount)

Relatively speaking, I’m sort of over the idea of super fast aperture lenses simply because most folks won’t be able to tell the difference with the photos–and that’s the case with the Rokinon 85mm f1.2 SP lens. But at the same time, I can’t argue with the fact that it’s quite a mystical marketing technique combined with the fact that so many lenses are really fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re shooting with an APS-C sensor camera then having super fast glass makes sense. But for full frame cameras, it doesn’t really matter. Most people can’t tell the difference between f1.2 and f1.4. Plus high ISO output these days is so crazy good that you arguably don’t need the extra stop. 

Continue reading…

The Professional Photographer’s Introduction to Wireless Flash for Amateurs

Like many photographers, I worked for a time as an assistant in a studio, where one of my most important tasks was to follow behind (or in front of, or beside) the photographer and make sure they didn’t trip over their PC cable, thereby unplugging the lights while simultaneously falling unceremoniously on their face.

A remnant of the same era where telephone operators manually plugged cables into long rows of connectors to complete a call, the PC connector is a long cord that attaches between the camera and a flash or strobe setup. The PC has always been a problematic solution. On one side is usually found a connector that’s the same as a 3.5mm headphone mini-connector, while on the other side is a coaxial cable comprised of an inner cable wrapped in a thin circular metal housing. The circular coaxial end of the cable plugs into a camera’s PC port, and the 3.5mm cable plugs into a lighting pack. Multiple packs could be strung together by a series of cables, and photographers needing a lot of space between themselves and their packs would often combine multiple extenders and drag the cables behind them.

Continue reading…

These Custom Hand Painted Backdrops are Great Additions to Your Studio

All images by Kate Woodman via CustomCanvasBackdrop on Etsy

If you’re setting up your dream studio, I’m sure you’ll need a variety of backdrops for product and portrait work. While you’re most likely planning to head to a nearby photo supply store to check some swatches, you might also want to have at least one of the custom hand painted backdrops made by Kate Woodman in your collection.

Continue reading…

This Beautiful Minimalist Space in Japan is a Photographer’s Dream Home Studio

All images by Yoshihiro Asada and Norihito Yamauchi via Arch Daily

It’s been said all the time that there’s always something for everyone, and we believe we’ve found the perfect house for photographers. It’s designed to maximize natural light, has plenty of space for a home studio, and has a lot of picture-perfect corners. There’s just one catch: You’d have to fly to Japan to book a viewing at least. Which doesn’t sound so bad, actually, as Japan is known for being a paradise for photographers.

Continue reading…

Andrei Duman: Travel Photography and Forming Connections With Your Subjects

All images by Andrei Duman. Used with permission.

Photographer Andrei Duman has been shooting photos since he was very young. He started out with travel and was always fascinated by the fact that one could go from place to place within a few hours. Along the way, he studied the works of different photographers and the ways they went about getting their photos. Perhaps this has helped influence the way Andrei approaches his subjects and the way he gets his images. For Andrei, it's always been about human connection and ensuring it's there even before he picks up the camera to his eye.

Continue reading…

Learn the Difference Between Hard Light and Diffused Light

 

If you’re new to photography, one of the most important lessons you have to learn is the difference of light quality from a hard light source as compared to a diffused light source. Knowing this will be useful for a lot of studio applications, from product shots, to fashion editorials, to creative portraits. If any of that is what you intend to do, here’s a LearnMyShot tutorial that should be of help to you.

Continue reading…

Film Emulsion Review: Kodak Portra 160 (35mm and 120 Formats)

When you work with a film like Kodak Portra 160, you get a pretty fine detailed film designed to be used more or less with controlled lighting. Though interestingly enough, I’ve personally had much better results working with many other films using controlled lighting and instead found that this film is one of the best to be used with natural light. Designed for skin tones in portraiture, Kodak Portra 160 has a very muted color palette but not as pastel as Fujifilm’s Pro 160 NS–its closest competitor which is now discontinued. Like many other films, it is available in both 120 and 35mm. But if you’re reading this website, then you’re probably only using it in 120.

I’ve been using Kodak Portra 160 for years; and even though I prefer to work with 400, 160 is surely a nice film in the right settings.

Continue reading…

Four Super Sharp Black and White Film Emulsions Worthy of a Good Lens

Film photography is highly valued for the certain sense of softness it can deliver vs digital. But under the right circumstances, black and white film can be used to create and capture photos that are incredibly sharp. In fact, they can easily rival what digital is capable of. Believe it or not, lots of the methods that one uses for digital photography to make a sharp photo can easily be applied to film. So if you’re looking to get some of the sharpest photos you’ve ever shot, check out these four fantastic film emulsions.

Continue reading…