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Today is the day that Sigma fills out its Art-series lens lineup to offer what could easily be considered everything you'd really need since its most recent release of the 85mm f/1.4 Art. Four new full-frame lenses cover the gamut from an ultra-wide, ultra-fast 14mm f/1.8 Art, a similarly fast 135mm f/1.8 Art portrait lens, to the wedding photographer's favorite 24-70mm f/2.8 Art and sports shooter's 100-400mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary "compact" super-zoom. If you've been waiting for that next Sigma lens, odds are it's one of these.
If photography is an art, so is retouching. While there are school teaching photography classes, fewer offer retouching programs. Many photographers starting out seem to be looking at the same tutorials over and over again, without ever actually getting anything out of it. Frequency separation, dodging and burning, or curves will only get you so far before you hit a wall. In past the two years, I’ve been looking at other crafts to step up my retouching work. Here are five things I have spent time on that you should look into and why.
How did technology make "Planet Earth" so much more cinematic? If we go back to how it was done back in the day and compare it to the technology we have today, it's quite a leap. Back in the day 35mm was the broadcast standard. The 35mm cameras were bulky and heavy, they were perfect for studio and not for the shots that they needed. In the filming circles and the BBC insiders saw 16mm film as being for amateurs. But, thanks to David Attenborough first taking his 16mm camera out to shoot abroad and coming back with footage of animals never filmed before, it changed opinions. This made the program that later became one of the best wildlife documentaries of all time.
Keeping your gadgets charged on the go is essential if you travel a lot and expect to get any work done on the road. Thanks to the millions of battery packs that are out there, charging your phone is easy enough. But what if you need to keep your laptop charged while off the grid for a day’s shoot or while on a long flight without an outlet? Omni 20 is one of the only, and most recent, solutions that will charge anything you throw at it, including that ultra-powerful new MacBook Pro.
Buying the right gear for you is not only a question of money. Sometimes the wisest decisions are made within a tight budget, while the stupidest choices may be made when finances are abundant. In this article I'd like to share with you my process of buying new gear for my photography and video projects.
Audio is arguably the most important facet of any film or video production. There is a saying that goes: “Audio is 70% of what you see,” which means that sound makes up more of the experience than the visuals do. So while we may spend a lot of time planning for what our shot looks like, it’s even more important that we mic it properly for the best audio recording possible.
In 2012, Leica created a stir in the photographic industry with the release of its Leica M Monochrom. Half of the Internet was up in arms about the ridiculousness of the concept (and, of course, the price tag), while the other half praised Leica for its bold move in the modern market of high-contrast, over-saturated camera phone images. With names like "poor man's Leica" and "the new Leica" being thrown around Fuji forums all over the Internet, the question was put to Fuji asking if they would consider a monochrome-only version of one of their cameras.
As many of you I'm sure, I have boxes full of various grip gear: magic arms, C-clamps, A-clamps, ball heads, Studs, and more. I love grip gear. I absolutely love the versatility and functionality each piece has both in its dedicated uses or how you can always come up with new and imaginative ways to solve any problem. There are a ton of items out there made specifically for photography and cinematography but some of my favorite lesser-known grip supports are Ram Mounts. Cheesycam.com seems to feel the same way in one of their newest videos.
Everyone and their Auntie seem to sell Photoshop action sets these days, as if they're the answer to something. I'm primarily referring to action sets which create entire "looks" for your image, but there are uses for actions which are less comprehensive and arguably more useful. For example, I use an action for sharpening my images which creates a layer I can lower the opacity of or mask until it is satisfactory. Actions like these are easy to create and can result in accrued time saved. This guide will ensure even people whom have just picked up Photoshop for the first time can create actions.
We live in times of turmoil. The old fixed orders of the post-World-War-II globe have lately been called into question in new and unexpected ways. People are more engaged in politics than ever before during most of our lifetimes. Photography has always been a very political art form, and not simply in the obvious ways. You may not think that your images are political because they do not showcase political issues. But even if they don't do that, they still say something in the political sphere. As we all struggle to be the best photographers we can be, none of us should forget that, when taking and making images, we always also make statements.
Last month, I wrote an article called Hacking Instagram to Grow a Huge Following and Build Better Engagement with "Instagram Pods" that was received far better than I ever thought possible. I received hundreds of direct messages within the app of people asking about Instagram pods as well as wanting to join one. I apologize to those I have not yet gotten back with but rest assured, the hack seems to work and has sparked new life into my social media experience on the platform. Not only has it doubled my engagement, likes, and blown comments through the roof in comparison to a few months ago but its become a new found way to connect with new creatives from around the world.
As creative professionals, hobbyists, and tech nerds (myself included), we often find ourselves wearing many different hats in our day-to-day activities. The crafts of photography and cinematography, among others, remain heavily dependent on technology that needs to be reliable and largely up to date. Often, that means the technician hat comes out to perform RAM upgrades on computers, to replace internal batteries and hard drives, and, admittedly, to repair screens on mobile devices. Here are some tools and tips to make that process a bit easier for you.