Articles written by JT Blenker
Being a landscape photographer means that the most meticulous or sometimes frivolous thing we do is pre-plan. Sometimes, these plans are our way to take the chance of making a mistake or they're so we walk away with what our mind has already created but our camera hasn’t captured. What happens when our planning doesn't work?
You’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on a fantastic camera body that outputs 5K or 8K imagery, but the film you’re working on requires some time-lapse b-roll for transitions. Instead of breaking out that DSLR, you can set up your RED camera to shoot that time-lapse and use the near same post-processing as you would for the filmed imagery you are currently capturing.
Long exposure photography has a special place in my heart and arguably has been where I spend most of my time when creating landscapes as it allows a greater amount of control over a sometimes chaotic scene. Adam Karnacz from First Man Photography expresses similar sentiments and explains some great tips for photographers interested in expanding their creative options by adding long exposure photography to their landscape arsenal.
It’s time to get involved in protecting your copyrights if you’re a photographer based in the USA. The H.R. 3945 CASE Act is a piece of legislation that has been winding its way through Congress since October 2017, and it would allow photographers to better protect and defend their copyrights, but it needs your help!
Last month when Samyang announced the AF 14mm f/2.8 lens, it came as a delightful surprise to see one of the affordable third-party lens manufacturers finally adding autofocus to their Canon offerings at a much lower cost than the Canon 14mm f/2.8L II lens. So how does the new Samyang 14mm lens stack up?
Two weeks ago I wrote an article concerning Zion National Park's even stricter guidelines for their commercial use authorization permits for photography workshops operating within the park and this spurred a great deal of debate in the photographic community as well as among other professional photographers operating out of the park. Many photographers were upset at the changes to not allow tripods on trails while others were confused as Zion had explicitly stated photography on a tripod was allowed in these areas. Zion National Park has finally officially responded to the concerns in the new CUA.
One of the toughest personal self-searching processes a photographer will go through is defining their style. Many of us will latch on to a composition or a color palette, sometimes by accident, that isn't really defining but is a part of our learning process as photographers. Eventually we learn what we like or value in a photograph and as we create, this becomes our style. But, can you define your style and explain it to someone else or even yourself?
For landscape photographers, a tripod is essential tool for creating those amazing photos showing the movement of rivers and streams. When the dynamic range of a composition is in the double digits, a sturdy tripod will help to blend bracketed images in post. Also, for those who want to create incredibly large panoramas or nighttime imagery, the tool kit begins with an excellent tripod. Zion National Park has become even more restrictive for 2018 and removed the ability for photographers in workshops from using any tripods on any trails within the park.
Rokinon is adding to their line up once again with a new lens design that may delight many photographers.The Rokinon AF 14mm f/2.8 lens looks to be designed in the new style the lens family has adopted the past year. This new lens added to the lineup will hopefully impress not only the daytime shooters, but also the nighttime astrophotographers that have leaned on Rokinon lenses for Milky Way and wide-angle night sky imagery over the past few years.
Today Panasonic announced at CES 2018 the new Lumix GH5S, a video focused camera that should be a boon for the prosumer hobbyists and professionals alike. Panasonic has changed several aspects of the camera to give an edge to the photographer and filmmaker that will enable them to step above the current Panasonic Lumix GH5 in usability and creativity. If you’ve been wanting even more out of your Lumix line of cameras, this may be the tool for you.
Thomas Heaton has released his final YouTube video of his trip to Namibia, and it ended on a fantastic note. It shows what landscape photography can be, that for many it's not just creating imagery, but a personal way of learning who they are. The tidbits in the video really are just that extra sprinkle of education on top of some life lessons for those who take their cameras to far off destinations. It’s one reason why I and many others enjoy Heaton’s videos so much.
As photographers, our friends, relatives, and significant others sometimes despair at trying to find what may appeal to us and be within their holiday budgets. We may casually let them know that we are super excited about this new gadget that will "really" improve our photography if we only had that one newfangled gizmo. Whether it’s a brand new piece of kit or something that’s been in our bags sitting from a few years ago, we still need to learn what that "new" tool can do.
This week will have one of the most amazing astronomical events of the year (besides that continent-crossing solar eclipse this past August). The Geminid meteor shower is streaking across the sky this week on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. If you didn't know or maybe just forgot, it's time to make plans to get to a dark sky area for a once a year celestial show that many astronomers call the best meteor shower of the year.
When shooting the Milky Way and nightscapes, there are several ways to get cleaner images with less perceivable noise and other techniques to increase dynamic range. Ian Norman from Lonely Speck has been putting out tutorials for shooting at night for a few years now, and his newest video goes into addressing ISO noise by mixing two different techniques to create a better resolving and cleaner final composition.