I had been using a Mac since I first started photography and retouching. Over the years, I upgraded my Macs and used them without a problem, and all software that I have been using worked flawlessly. The Mac has several advantages such as ease of use, a perfect interface (OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is still my favorite by the way), advanced file and folder tagging, and security, but there was a problem that led me to change my mind and switch to Windows: very high price tags and limited customization options.
As a photographer who shoots primarily on location, I have a lot of stuff to haul. I shoot both film and digital and frequently I'm bringing a small lighting kit as well. I also tend to go it alone, especially when I'm shooting personal work. Up until recently, I've been doing it the hard way, taking multiple trips back and forth to my car, in order to get the shot set up at my chosen spot. And of course, the best spots are nowhere near the car. My deodorant is doing overtime before I've even squeezed off the first shot. Being a sweaty mess while shooting is no fun, especially when you're shooting people. I'd rather not be known as "Hans, you know, that one photographer with the pit stains."
What if you could change the focal length of your lens in post-processing? Princeton has figured out how to take a regular selfie and warp it to look like it was shot with a portrait lens. Their research allows for all sorts of possibilities, but above all, it’s fun as hell to play around with.
Sometimes photography can be difficult, but what keeps us going is our passion for creating images that satisfy something inside us. However, if your passion happens to be wildlife photography, then you have a whole other level of difficulty coming your way. Come to think of it, there are so many valid reasons to abandon this passion and yet, this group of photographers persevere and do it anyway. Here are 10 reasons why wildlife photographers are crazy and why we can’t help but respect their pursuit of happiness.
The world's fastest zoom lens for 35mm full frame cameras is the Sigma 24-35mm f/2, and it's one way to follow up from making the world's fastest zoom for APS-C. Sigma has been making hit after hit for a few years now, leaving their "budget" lens brand stigma in the dust behind them. Having a 24-35mm may seem like an odd focal-length range that wouldn't be too useful, but I have found it to be an excellent range for a lot of the work I do in editorial and family portraiture. Let's start with just how it fits in my camera bag.
In the world of newspaper photographers, you'd be hard to find someone consistently making more exciting and interesting portraits than Jay L. Clendenin. You might have seen his Land Camera Polaroid images from the Toronto International Film Festival, or his 4x5 black and white/digital color diptychs of California Olympians. For this year's Olympics, he decided to go even bigger and bring out his 8x10 Tachihara view camera to capture some amazing photos of American athletes.
As artists, we have all been there. The creative rut. The most fatiguing part of being an artist and perhaps the downfall of many talented individuals who could not climb out of it. Creativity comes from many places within us all. However when a photographer's passion is absorbed by the repetition of what we specialize in, the outcome of the work becomes all too grueling to look at. So how do we get back to the love of what we do? How do we fuel once more the passion that showcases our work as new and creative?
One of the best ways to achieve a nice soft light on your subjects is to use a scrim. These scrims can range from large reflectors to giant sheets, but they all perform the same task, and that’s diffusing hard light. The problem with scrims is that while diffusing the light, they also lower the power of that light. This loss in power is dependent on the specific scrim you are using and can range from a quarter stop of light all the way to one and a quarter stop of light. The problem with this is that as you lower the light on your subject, while still getting a proper exposure on them, you are in turn raising the exposure of your background. In this video you can see how Joel Grimes uses a scrim net to help control this added brightness to his background.
CheeringTech, the China-based company behind the original CASE Remote and CASE Remote Plus, are back again with another CASE Remote update and this time they're hoping to drastically improve performance while reducing the physical size of the unit. All this while offering the same features as the industry leader CamRanger. To achieve this, they're launching the CASE Remote Air.
A couple of years ago, I came across a portrait of a sad owl under the rain on 500px. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I never knew there existed such a deep photograph of a non-human creature. I was not the only one thinking so. That picture had won an award and I discovered Shamma Esoof (Sham Jolimie), a person who advocates for animal welfare, social justice, and is passionate about nature conservation. The cherry on top was when I discovered that the author of that unforgettable owl portrait was a mutual friend on social media and was from Mauritius, a country I call my second home after Armenia.
The Nikon Coolpix P900 has one monster zoom lens. With a 24-2000mm 35mm equivalence, this hybrid point-and-shoot camera really opens up the possibilities of what we are capable of capturing. In a new video from Sci-Tech Universe, we are able to see just how astonishing the results can be when they record video of the moon at full zoom.
Last week, the team over at RocketJump Film School released this awesome video about sound production in film. Sound production is probably the most overlooked aspect of filmmaking, mainly because you don't notice great sound design; it seamlessly helps you submit to the willing suspension of disbelief. Check out RJFS's experiment to see how much sound actually does affect the audience.
Earlier this year, Pentax released the K-1, its first foray into the digital full-frame market and a camera surrounded by a healthy dose of excitement and intrigue. I've had the chance to use it and some of the new system lenses for the past month. It's a fun and highly capable system that could be just the ticket for many photographers.