We have a lot to be thankful of as photographers. We make our livings doing the things we love. Clients hire us to create images because they love what we do. They entrust their most precious moments to us, and believe that we will deliver. Personally, I have photography to thank for the fact that I am able to live in another country, travel the world, and meet everyone from farmers in remote villages to presidents of entire countries. The diverse work that I do gives me experiences that not too many people have. So why is it that every winter I dig deep into the recesses of my soul and question who I am and why I do what I do? Why do I always want to quit?
Articles written by Dylan Goldby
As a newcomer to drones and drone photography, it can be a little overwhelming in the beginning. Learning all there is to know about maneuvering your new toy through the air is enough to give you a few grey hairs before you even get it off the ground. Once you’re up there, you better believe there’s some extra tension in your muscles the first few times you fly. Once you finally get the hang of this element, it’s about time to start learning how to make great images or videos from this new perspective you’ve gained. That’s a whole new set of complications for you to deal with. It might seem cool just to have that new viewpoint for a while, but you’ll soon be wanting more. Thomas Heaton addresses that in this video about composing from the sky.
Import and culling have always been two of the most time consuming and, frankly, annoying parts of Adobe Lightroom. Despite all of its improvements over the years, the process of getting files into Lightroom has remained a huge bottleneck in an otherwise swift workflow application. With Lightroom Classic CC, Adobe finally made a full attempt to address this by allowing us to use the embedded previews from our raw files as previews for culling within the app and improved the overall speed of adding files to the catalog. So, what’s changed, and just how useful are those changes?
I’ve written before about the elements of a good image for the sake of the image, and just recently about how pouring yourself into your own development will result in stronger photography. There’s one element that both of these fail to touch on. There is one element that strongly separates those who produce lasting images that their clients love and those who produce a one-off hit that gets forgotten days hence. That element is a deeper connection to the subject, a knowledge of it, an ability to express it that nobody else has. This is a connection between yourself and that subject, a mutual understanding that results in unique and beautiful images.
Reproducible photography started with forms that would produce a monochromatic image. For a large portion of the history of the medium, this was all we had. Color photography brought about a choice as to which you would like to use, and over time it became the dominant choice of consumers and professionals alike. Even so, in the art world it persisted for much longer as the choice of the artist and right up to the overwhelming force of digital, dozens of different black and white films were still in production. As digital photographers, we have the choice, most of us after the fact, to make a black and white conversion of our files. Today, I’d like to talk about my thought process when it comes to making the decision to go black and white.
A near-ubiquitous access to digital photography and a connection to the rest of the world has given this generation of humans unprecedented ability to share a heavily curated lifestyle with the world and vicariously live the lives of others. Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms offer a way to share only what you want with the world. Nobody needs to see anything outside the frame you present. The image and the story you tell are all that matters in a world where people cannot see outside your post. But just what is happening outside that post? What impact does it have on the world at large?
Photography, as with any creative pursuit, requires the creator to have their hand in the process for the results to shine. Countless Facebook ads, online workshops, and even our camera companies would have you believe that they if you just buy that next magic bullet, everything will change for you. If they are to be believed, swiping your credit card just one more time is the key to making great images. Rubbish. It’s time to break away from that thought.
The concept of a portrait lens has always baffled me. When I first started out in photography, reading the Internet and listening to other photographers would have led me to believe that I needed something around the 85mm or 135mm focal lengths if I wanted to photograph a person. Anything else wouldn’t work. Well, that simply isn’t true, is it? Any lens can be used as a portrait lens. In fact, the moment you photograph the likeness of a person with it, it becomes a portrait lens. So why not experiment using different lenses in your portraiture?
Two weeks ago, I wrote about using the Fujifilm GFX 50S as a travel camera. As part of that article, I touched briefly on using it for portraiture. I also touched briefly on using the GF 110mm f/2 lens and a few autofocus issues that I had. Today, I would like to dive a little deeper into using this camera for portraiture and my experience with it. We’ll take a look at focusing, sharpness, skin tones, working with flash, and handholding the camera. Finally, I’ll wrap up by giving you my personal feelings about the camera and whether or not it could be an effective portrait camera.
As photographers, we have but one raw material to work with: light. You will hear this time and time again, you need to learn to see that light and learn how your camera sees it. Knowing what to look for is just the beginning. Figuring out how to use light, or more importantly how you will use it, is the larger part of your photographic journey. Today, I’d like to run you through five types of light I love and use often.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen digital medium-format photography go from something of a hulking utilitarian beast into something a little more elegant in terms of usability. The Phase One and Hasselblad flagships, although coveted by many, were only attainable by a select few and really only intended for methodical work. The latest additions to the medium format realm have flipped this market on its head and put digital medium format into the hands of the masses. The Hasselblad X1D-50c and the Fujifilm GFX 50S are more in line with the everyday consumer's needs in terms of both price and features. I have had the chance to spend the last six weeks shooting with the Fujifilm while traveling through northeast India and today I’ll share my thoughts on it as a travel camera.
Today, I’d like to talk about three key elements that I feel make up each and every photograph we take. Of course they are not the only elements, but I feel that they are the most important. Specific shoots, like fashion or automotive commercials, require all sorts of preparation and specific skills. However, at the photographic level, three key elements still apply. If you consider your composition, light, and moment, you will be well on your way to making a successful photograph.
David DuChemin has become very well known for his so called “sermons” on vision. He has written books about it, including the beautifully crafted "VisionMongers." He is a champion of exploring art over exploring gear, and even his YouTube show uses his motto in its title, “Vision is Better.” In Episode 61, he goes into a common misconception about vision and style. Then he offers us a few tips on how we can get over our difficulties and find our own work.
Packing for a shoot in your town can be a pain, but packing for an extended shoot in another country brings a whole new set of complications into consideration. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of extended trips for my personal project “Tattoos of Asia.” Over the few trips that I’ve done, I’ve managed to pare down my kit to what I absolutely need. It has been a long process, but I’ve learned quite a bit, and I’d like to share that with you as I prepare my kit for my upcoming India trip.
For all the stranded Mac users out there who’ve bought into the future that’s not quite here yet, there has been no shortage of products hitting the shelves to take you right back to the port-filled glory you once lived with. With all those ports taken from you, there is now an extra box on your desk just so you can reconnect the devices you use on a daily basis. USB-C and USB 3.1 promise so much in terms of potential that just isn’t realized yet. In the interim, connectors, hubs, and dongles are filling the void. At the high end, one such device is the CalDigit Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station.
One of the big concerns for many moving over to the Fujifilm X and GFX systems has been options for flash support. In all honesty, most of these issues were non-issues for the majority of users. Fujifilm has had their own set of speedlights for the systems, and all single-pin “dummy” triggers like the PocketWizard Plus X or many of the others offered by other manufacturers have always worked to trigger off camera flashes. Fujifilm also introduced both TTL and HSS to the system some time ago. However, Godox is the first flash brand to offer a fully Fujifilm compatible option. Let’s look at what they have on offer.
One of the most commonly heard pieces of advice within creative circles certainly seems to be the need to find your “style” and market that. What is your style? How to find it? These questions we’ve been told should plague us and drive us get inside our heads if we let them and begin to dictate what we do and how we do it. However, if you take a look at the popular sharing platforms, you will see a few patterns emerging. Instagram, Facebook, and even Fstoppers have a certain style of imagery that rises above the rest as you look at a volume. It can be tempting to emulate a popular style and fit in with the crowd, but it may not be ultimately satisfying to the inner artist. So how exactly do we find our own style?
With every new lens release we get bombarded with wild claims of “sharpest lens ever” and “bokeh so soft you’ll want to lie down in it.” A barrage of MTF charts and comparisons flood the web and debates rage in forums about which lens is better than which. Opinions fly and the knowledgeable and no so knowledgeable lock horns. But what if there were something other than sharpness that we could be looking at to discover a lens’ optical quality. Just what does a high element count with a few ED elements do to the resulting images?
For quite some time now, there have been plenty of flash options available for the Fujifilm X system. Fuji themselves have released several flashes, Nissin and Metz have also had some good offerings. However, many have been waiting for the big names like Profoto and Elinchrom to offer full Fujifilm X support and bring some serious power to the system. Over the past couple of weeks, Godox has announced and released two new products to bring their entire system to Fujifilm X users. The first of which we will meet today, the TT350F Thinklite Flash.
For anyone who has been to India, you will know that it is the very definition of chaos. The streets dazzle your senses. The smells, sights, and sounds are unforgettable. You cannot move too quickly or you will miss things, but cannot stop too long for the same reason. Life is raw, and comes in all shapes and sizes.