September 19, 2020

Photography

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Gear Doesn’t Matter? Actually, It Does
Photography

There is a phrase that I see regularly pop up on photography forums that I think is horrible advice for emerging photographers or anyone getting started in the image-making business. It is repeated over and over again and while the intent might be good, I think it does a disservice to beginners who don’t know any better. That phrase of course is “gear doesn’t matter.”I think the intent of this phrase is to point out that without a solid understanding of composition and lighting, it doesn’t matter what you shoot with, and I agree with that to a point. I see photographers who shoot with insanely expensive gear who’s work I consider mediocre because of the lighting and composition. But I believe that telling a beginner that gear doesn’t matter is not setting them up for success.
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Canon and Fujifilm Release Updated Webcam Utilities
Photography

Canon and Fujifilm have both released updates to their respective webcam utilities, which allow their customers to use their still photography cameras as webcams for online video conference calls. Canon Out of BetaCanon’s EOS Webcam Utility was first released for Windows back in April, but now Canon has brought that version of the software out of beta. Along with the official launch comes an increased range of supported programs and cameras.Here is a list of programs now supported on Windows:Here are the over 40 Canon cameras now supported by the software (the ones marked with * are the recently added ones):Here’s a video tutorial on how to get started with using your Canon camera as a webcam on your favorite app:
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Inside the Mind of a Self-Doubting Photographer
Photography

Photographer Taylor Jackson made this 7-minute short film titled “Bad Photographer” that may resonate with you if you find yourself often struggling with self-doubt and negative thoughts about your work. The film was shot over 3 days in Iceland and is a look into the mind of a photographer who struggles with putting work out there and fearful of the negative criticism that may result.After quickly receiving a couple of negative comments after posting a photo online, the protagonist (Jackson) spirals into “a waterfall of negative energy”:“I am a fraud. I should not be a photographer. Everyone sees that, but only few are brave enough to say it. This is so embarrassing. Should I take the photo down, or am I just reading the words wrong? Am I really a bad photographer, so bad that I don’t even see it?”
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How to Bake an Ultra-Realistic Camera Cake
Photography

YouTube star and food scientist Ann Reardon of How to Cook That films videos for her 4.4+ million subscribers with a Panasonic GH5. At Panasonic’s request, Reardon baked a 3D cake version of the camera, and this 16-minute tutorial shows how you can do it too. To follow along and create exactly what Reardon did, you’ll need to buy the template for the design, which costs $6 over on Reardon’s website.The rich chocolate cake has vanilla buttercream and features black, white, and red fondant for the camera’s body and details. Isomalt is used for the “glass” front element of the lens.The finished cake is impressive in its attention to detail:The cake was baked for a Panasonic event in Sydney, so after completing it, Reardon took it onto a plane and flew an hour and twenty minutes with it in the overhead compartment. Thankfully it survived in one piece and was a hit among attendees.
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TikTok Will Be Banned in the US on Sunday
Photography

The United States government just announced that the video-sharing social app TikTok and the social app WeChat will be banned in the US starting on Sunday “to protect the national security of the United States.” President Donald Trump had signed an executive order in August to force a sale of TikTok to a US-based company. This month, TikTok began working with Oracle to spin TikTok off as an independent company in the US with a minority stake held by Oracle. The Trump administration has now decided that an arrangement in which ByteDance (the Chinese owner of TikTok) retains a majority share doesn’t resolve security concerns.“In response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) today announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications (apps) WeChat and TikTok to safeguard the national security of the United States,” reads an announcement posted to the Department of Commerce’s website. “The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S.”
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These 6 Cheap Lenses Have Great Quality, and Are Under $300
Photography

We completely understand that photographers don’t have much money right now. Even if you’re a hobbyist, we encourage everyone to try something new. Best of all, you don’t need to spend a ton of cash. You can try a few things to open up your creativity a bit more. So give these cheap lenses a shot.Almost everyone can use one of these cheap lenses. Have an adapter? That can work pretty effortlessly.Just In case you’re interested, here are more savings we linked to previously!Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera $448 (Save $100)Sony Alpha A6100 Mirrorless Camera with 16-50mm and 55-210mm Zoom Lenses $898 (Save $200)Sony Alpha A6600 Mirrorless Camera with 18-135mm Zoom Lens $1,598 (Save $200)
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Samyang’s New Lens Simulator Shows How Settings Affect Photos
Photography

Samyang has just launched a new Lens Simulator that lets you play with sensor sizes and lens settings to see how they affect the look of resulting photos. The interactive web app features a dynamic photo on the left and controls on the right for adjusting the image. You can choose the background image, sensor crop factor, focal length (from 10mm to 300mm), aperture (from f/1.2 to f/36), and subject distance. As you make changes to the settings, the dynamic photo changes to reflect the new look, and app tells you your depth of field as well. Here’s a 3-minute video that introduces the simulator and shows how it works:While the app is intelligent in some ways (e.g. it will automatically zoom in on the subject’s face as you increase the focal length) it’s less intelligent in others — you can make the subject look like she’s the size of Tinker Bell by placing her farther away, for example.
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Stopping Your Lens Down: What Photographers Always Forget About
Photography

“LOOK AT THE BOKEH!!!!” Does that sound like you when you were starting out? Well, unfortunately, many photographers never leave that phase. With so many new people getting into photography, we find it essential to do our part. Just remember that your lens often has more than one aperture. You can even stop it down in half stops and 1/3 stops. In general, it’s great to leave it wide open when shooting in low light. But turn off that electronic shutter setting and learn to focus on the exposure of the scene. More than that, use the storytelling elements a lens affords you.Let’s start with lens sharpness. There are two ways to really boost it. The first is to use a flash. We’ve used a flash with a lens shooting wide open at f1.2. You get the combination of gorgeous bokeh and sharp photos this way. The second method is to just stop your lens down. No lens, not even your 50mm f1.8, is perfectly sharp wide open. But if you stop it down to f5.6 or 8, you’ll usually reach maximum sharpness. Combine that with a flash, and you’ll get the sharper images than you knew were possible. In fact, you can do also do that with older lenses. The output from a flash can really boost things: it can breathe new life into an old lens.
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Sony Says Goodbye to Brazil
Photography

Sony’s 48 years of doing business in Brazil will come to an end in 2021 per an announcement from the company. Photo by Johnny McKane from Pexels. This includes the cessation of sales of televisions, cameras, and other equipment as well as the transference of manufacturing facilities out of the country. In other words, Sony is completely quitting Brazil and, alongside Tamron’s extended work stoppage announced yesterday, is yet another piece of the global economic situation facing the optical industry in the midst of the pandemic. Here’s the press release translated from Portuguese via PetaPixel, “We inform that the SonySony’s 48 years of doing business in Brazil will come to an end in 2021 per an announcement from the company. Photo by Johnny McKane from Pexels. This .
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The Analogue Wonderbox Is a Film Photographers Big Dream Come True
Photography

Have you decided to start shooting with film but are overwhelmed with all the choices? Do you already shoot film but want to learn about more varieties? If either of these sounds like you, you’re going to love this. A British based company, Analogue Wonderland, has just announced a new subscription-based service for film lovers worldwide. Find out more about the new Analogue Wonderbox and why we think this is such a great idea after the break.One of the hardest things with film photography is choosing exactly what type of film to shoot with. Another problem is that we can get stuck in our ways: we just end up shooting the same film all the time. Where’s the fun in that? The Analogue Wonderbox has been created to help solve both of these problems. Each month, you’ll receive three new films that will push your creative boundaries. You’ll probably be exposed to film types you haven’t considered before.
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Mitakon Speedmaster 85mm f/1.2 for Canon RF and Nikon Z Costs $680
Photography

The Chinese brand ZY Optics has just released its Mitakon Speedmaster 85mm f/1.2 lens for Canon RF and Nikon Z. It’s a fast manual portrait lens for $680. The lens, previously available for other mounts, features 9 elements in 6 groups, an 11-bladed aperture, a minimum focusing distance of 3.28 feet (1m), and a filter diameter of 77mm.You can find sample photos captured with the lens here.The Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L costs a hefty $2,599. If you don’t need autofocus for your portraiture, this new Mitakon Speedmaster 85mm could be a nice f/1.2 alternative that costs roughly 1/4 as much.If you’re interested in buying one right now, you can find the Canon RF and Nikon Z versions on eBay already. We’re guessing they may also show up at your favorite online retailer soon.
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Sony Exiting Brazil: All Camera Sales and Manufacturing to End in 2021
Photography

Sony has announced that it is planning to cease all manufacturing and sales of cameras (and other electronics) in Brazil by mid-2021. The change applies to all of the company’s consumer electronics divisions, although technical support will reportedly continue.The official announcement, which was sent to retailers on Monday, contains two dismaying pieces of news. First, the company will be shutting down its electronics factory in Manaus by March of 2021, putting approximately 220 people out of work; and second, sales of consumer electronics such as TVs, audio and cameras, all of which are produced domestically at this factory, will be shut down in the middle of the same year.“The Sony Group has decided to close its factory in Manaus at the end of March 2021 and interrupt, in mid-2021, sales of consumer products by Sony Brasil Ltda—such as TV, audio and cameras—considering the recent market environment and the expected business trends,” reads the translated statement. “The decision aims to strengthen the structure and sustainability of our businesses, in order to respond to rapid changes in the external environment.”
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Photo Of The Day By Garry Everett
Photography

Today’s Photo Of The Day is “Enjoying the View” by Garry Everett. Location: Lake Tahoe, California.“A lone paddleboarder takes the time to admire the sunset on Lake Tahoe,” describes Everett.See more of Garry Everett’s photography at www.gelandscapephoto.com.Photo of the Day is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments, Galleries and the OP Contests. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To get your photos in the running, all you have to do is submit them.
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How to Photograph Dogs like Elliott Erwitt
Photography

The relationship between man and dog is unlike man’s relationship with any other animal on the planet. When it comes to animal photography, you can find many books, online lessons, or YouTube videos showing you and teaching you how to photograph animals… so that they look like animals. This article is not going to be the typical wildlife photography manual where you sneak up on a dog in a nature documentary style or take a shot with an 800mm lens hidden in the mud. Today I would like to talk about one of my favorite photographers, Elliott Erwitt, and his approach to dog photography.If you are familiar with the photographs of Elliott Erwitt, you know they usually share some aesthetic qualities as well as superb composition. After seeing so many of his photographs I can usually recognize his style even if I find one of his photos that I’ve never seen before.
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MasterClass is Giving College Students a 1-Year Pass Worth $180 for Just $1
Photography

Heads up! If you’re a college student, MasterClass is offering to give you a full year of access to its high-quality courses (including in photography) for just $1. The subscription is ordinarily valued at $180 and this deal is only being offered today (Thursday, September 17th). MasterClass features online courses on a wide range of subjects by over 85 teachers who are at the top of their fields. For photography, there are currently masterclasses taught by portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz and adventure photographer Jimmy Chin.Leibovitz’s masterclass has 15 video lessons over 3 hours and 4 minutes of instruction.Chin’s masterclass has 20 video lessons over 4 hours and 10 minutes of instruction.
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KONO!RAMA: The Most Exciting Thing in Instant Photography Right Now
Photography

Many years ago, photographers put color filters in front of their lenses. It delivered a fun effect if it wasn’t correcting for the lighting. And that’s what the KONO!RAMA is doing in a far more innovative way. The front lens elements of many cameras are various sizes. To get around that problem, you just place the KONO!RAMA right in front of the film pack before loading it up. As you shoot, the effect is applied to the entire pack of film. It breathes new life into your old camera, just in case it’s been in the corner gathering dust. We’ve got more on the KONO!RAMA after the jump.The KONO!RAMA comes available for Instax Mini, Square, and Wide. Each pack has 1 tutorial, 6 adhesive strips, and 3 layer effects. Just in case you were wondering, they’re reusable. And they also only work for Instax. (Sorry Polaroid users, some of us prefer real film!) There are various color and imaging effects. Of note is the really excellent raindrops effect. Another effect emulates the Northern Lights on Instax film. And yet another makes it appear as if your image is a bunch of puzzle pieces. There are three different packs, and each is available for Instax Mini, Wide, and Square variants. You can pack them into your Fujifilm, Lomography, or MiNT film cameras with ease. That’s one of the most exciting things about this.
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Venus Optics Unveils the Laowa 14mm f/4 ‘Zero Distortion’ Lens for Full-Frame Mirrorless
Photography

Venus Optics has announced the new Laowa 14mm f/4 FF RL ZERO-D, a new “zero distortion” ultra-wide-angle lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras. The Laowa 14mm f/4 is an RL (rectilinear) ZERO-D lens, meaning it’s marketed as being able to capture straight features in the scene as straight lines with virtually zero distortion from corner to corner in its 114° angle of view. Venus Optics says the Zero-D aspect is thanks to two aspherical elements and 3 extra-low dispersion elements that help suppress the distortion.It’s an extremely small and light lens, measuring 2.28×2.32in (58x59mm) and weighing just 8.04 ounces (228g).On the front of the lens is a 52mm filter thread for conveniently using compact filters while out and about. If you’d like to use 100mm filters for zero vignetting, there’s also a special magnetic filter holder (sold separately) that can be attached to the lens.
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Why Live Composite is One of the Best Things to Happen To Cameras
Photography

Unless you’re shooting with Olympus and Panasonic, you’ve probably never heard of Live Composite. In our constant search to move away from editing, this is a feature we adore. It means that a photographer needs to think about something beforehand. They need to be very careful. And best of all, they need to not rely on Photoshop. When someone says, “Photoshop it later,” a part of me dies inside. It’s awful. But with Live Composite, a photographer can stay out in the field creating. If you’re a hobbyist or a professional who really just wants to shoot, we encourage you to try it.Here are several things you should know about Live Composite:As technology improves, it will be much more capable. But the Live composite feature does things that phones really can’t do as well. Plus, a phone can’t match a dedicated camera’s image quality. Sometimes, it’s honestly fun just to sit there and mess around. The lead image of this piece could only have been done with Live Composite. If I had shot it in a single long exposure, then the buildings on the ground would be so blown out. But they’re perfectly exposed thanks to Live Composite. The clouds up top are swirling. And they make a very cool and fun effect.
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No Photographer Needs to Spend Over $650 to Make Great Photos
Photography

We get it; lots of you probably don’t need new lenses or cameras. Instead, you should look at lighting: it allows you to play with photography in a different way. So, we found a bunch of great deals for you. Some of these we’ve reviewed before too!In our review we state:Buy Now: Pick one up for around $89.Buy Now: Price varies.As far as affordable speedlights go, the Godox Thinklite TT685 is hard to beat. We found this powerful flash very reliable when we reviewed it. We were impressed with its ability to automatically switch to HSS (High-Speed Sync), its overall build quality, and its consistent output. Pair this flash with an optional X1 wireless trigger and you can use it as an off-camera flash too.
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Here’s How Many DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras Top Brands Shipped in 2019
Photography

There are some new numbers out that give us an idea of how the top brands in the camera industry did in 2019 in terms of DSLR and mirrorless camera shipments. Canon was still the market leader by far, Sony dominated mirrorless cameras, and Nikon was still trying to find traction with its Z series. The Japanese newspaper Nikkei, the world’s largest financial newspaper by circulation, published an article this week about Sony’s first decade in the mirrorless market and current trends in the camera industry.Found within the report is a breakdown of camera shipments by the big Japanese brands in 2019, which offers an interesting look at where things currently stand.Of the 8.66 million interchangeable lens cameras shipped last year, here’s the number shipped out by each company:
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Capturing the Loire Valley’s Fairy Tale Castles with an Infrared Drop-In Filter
Photography

My name is Pierre-Louis Ferrer, and I am a professional French photographer specialized in infrared and ultraviolet photography for ten years now. I spend a large part of my free time experiencing and testing new filters and equipment to see behind the visible. My work is mostly divided between artistic photography, dermatologic photography for cosmetic brands, and infrared photography workshops in Paris. Using a modified Canon RP for some months now, I discovered the potential of the Canon EF-to-RF Drop-In Filter Lens Mount Adapter for infrared photography: this system allows you to use a single filter for all the lenses, including specific ones like 17mm TS-E, and helps reduce the impact of halos, which is specific to the use of wide-angle lenses for infrared photography.
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Deal Alert: The Excellent Fujifilm XT200 With Lens is Just $499.95! WOW!
Photography

The Fujifilm XT200 is perhaps one of the least talked about cameras in the Fujifilm line up. This is a real shame because the Fujifilm XT200 is a brilliant camera that’s incredibly fun to use. It’s small, it has gorgeous retro styling, it has one of the best LCDs and touchscreens (3.5-inch) in the business, and right now, it’s just $499.95! That price also includes the quite excellent XC15-45mm kit lens too!. If you’re in the market for a camera that can produce fantastic images and some of the best JPEGS around, you need to check out this deal. Jump past the break for more info.I was honestly very impressed with the Fujifilm X-T200 when I reviewed it earlier this year. While the XT200 doesn’t have an X-Trans sensor, it does have an incredible 24 Megapixel CMOS sensor that can produce its own kind of magic. At the time of the review, I said the camera was excellent for the price. Now, at just $499.95, it should be considered a steal.
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Get the Cinematic Look in Your Photos Quickly with This $39 LUT Bundle
Photography

We talk a lot about presets and how they can help create incredibly unique images in Lightroom and Capture One. However, we rarely mention Photoshop when it comes to presets. Now, though, we have a reason to. We have found a LUT bundle that features over 7,000 options to help give your images the much desired cinematic look. The best part, this bundle of LUTs costs just $39 (regularly $499). Find out more, and look at samples after the break.Here’s the thing with presets and LUTs. They aren’t meant to replace your editing. However, they are there to give you a great starting point with your images. A preset or a LUT will put you in the ballpark of where you want your pictures to be, and then you tweak them until they are just right. LUTs can honestly save you hours. Especially when they make a lot of sophisticated changes to multiple image settings. That’s precisely what these 7,000 LUTs do. You can spend hours trying to create the cinematic look in your images, but these LUTs will get you there in seconds.
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These May Soon Be the Standard Fees for Commercial Photos on Federal Land
Photography

In years past, major agencies that managed federal land weren’t consistent in charging fees for commercial photography and filming on those lands. In 2000, a new law directed the government to develop a consistent fee structure for all federal lands, and the government is still working to iron out what those fees will be. The Congressional Research Service has published a new report (IF10340) titled “Commercial Filming and Photography on Federal Lands” that shares the proposed fee schedule to be shared across agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in the Department of the Interior (DOI), and U.S. Forest Service (FS) in the Department of Agriculture (USDA).
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Analogue WonderBox is a Subscription Service for Trying 35mm Films
Photography

Analogue Wonderland has just announced Analogue WonderBox, a new subscription service that sends a curated set of 35mm films to analog photographers every month. “Every week we get questions from folk getting into film photography – either for the first time or returning after a couple of decades in the digital world – asking for film recommendations and expressing amazement with the range available,” the online film shop says. “We want to capture this enthusiasm and join together as a community to help people learn and enjoy new films, while shining a light on some of the lesser-known jewels of the analog world.”Photographers who sign up for Analogue WonderBox will have three rolls of 35mm film delivered to their door every month. For example, the September box gives subscribers a roll each of Dubblefilm Bubblegum, Ilford Pan F, and Rollei 400S (with extra goodies comprising a cyanotype kit, a free development for a roll, and an exclusive piece of AW merchandise).
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