Every year, without fail, I’ll get a handful of emails and Facebook messages from friends and family asking me how to use the new camera they got for Christmas. While I’m always happy to help, I have to assume there are other people out there that may not have a photographer friend to reach out to. So with that, here is a quick list of things you should do with that new camera.
Articles written by Jason Vinson
After shooting flash for a handful of years, I have acquired a small arsenal of lights that are suited for different needs. I have the large studio lights that are great for overpowering the sun, small hot shoe flashes that have the ability to use features like TTL and high-speed sync, and then video lights that allow me to see exactly what my light is doing before I take an image. So when I saw that the Phottix Indra500 TTL could do all three, I was instantly intrigued.
More and more photographers are starting to adopt a minimalist approach to their photography gear. What this means is that users want and need smaller bags that accommodate their gear. Having a small camera body and a couple lenses is almost useless if you have to let them rattle around in larger traditional camera bags. Fashioned after WWII army backpacks, the Wotancraft Scout shoulder bag has the looks and size to fill this need, but does it have the functionality to stand out in the growing market?
Hanging a photograph from your wall will always have its appeal. Make that photograph the work of a famous and respected artist, and the appeal starts to rise. This is why well-established artists can demand such a high price tag for their work. But this entire process relies heavily on the person purchasing the piece to actually enjoy the art. If the photograph does not resonate with you, then it loses a lot of its value. With that in mind, would you buy a photograph without actually seeing it first?
The X-Pro2 and X-T2 are the most recent flagship models from Fujifilm and on paper, they seem very similar. They both have the same sensor, processor, auto focus frame, etc. So it makes sense that a lot of people want to know which one to get. While each camera has its obvious differences, there are also some little things that could have you lean one way or the other.
With my recent jump into shooting more and more with my mirrorless system, I have been looking for a camera bag that better fit the smaller kit. So when I got the chance to test out the Everyday Sling from Peak Design, I jumped at the opportunity. With how popular their Everyday Messenger was, in addition to completely destroying their Kickstarter goal for the new set of bags (going over their goal by more than $6 million), I knew it had to be a good bag. But once I got the bag and used it for a couple days, I was surprised by just how much I liked it.
In the world of mirrorless cameras, Fujifilm is among the elite. Their cameras have that vintage look and feel along with the performance that shooters require in a professional realm. So, when they announced the new Fujifilm X-T2, a lot of people took notice. It has the latest in sensor and processing tech and boasts a new autofocus system that claims to keep up with high-end DSLR cameras. But just how well does it perform in the real world?
When getting into flash photography, it’s easy to look at camera manufacturers' flagship flashes and assume they are the best you can get. When I first started out, I made this exact assumption. But I always wondered how some of the cheaper hotshoe flashes would hold up against these higher priced competitors. So I ordered a few Phottix Mitros+ flashes and put them to work.
Image processing has always had very specific tools for very specific jobs. You have your raw processor for the basic editing of images, but for things such as layers and cloning, you had to jump to Photoshop. Then we have software such as Nik, On1, and Alien Skin that can be used for creative effects, film simulations, etc. But the new On1 raw processor is looking to combine all these elements into a single platform with no need to jump from program to program.
As photographers in a digital era, we all spend a lot more time in front of a computer than we would like to admit to. When a single one-hour photoshoot can lead to multiple hours in front of a computer, we start looking for ways to minimize that time. There are tons of options out there that can help you out too, from Bluetooth controllers to pens and tablets, but what you really need may just be a simple mouse upgrade.
Photoshop is an amazing tool that most photographers find themselves using on a daily basis. It has countless features, and with the new Photoshop CC, more are added with each update. As a beginner to the program, it can get a little overwhelming on where to start learning all of the complex elements. In this, video you will see 10 of the features you need to know.
One of the biggest hits at a wedding reception (or any event) is the photobooth. It’s an area where guests can gather around and make ridiculous faces, dress in silly props, and have an overall great time. When running a photography business that shoots events, we are always asked if we offer photobooth services, so I think it's a natural evolution to want to incorporate one into your packages. When I first found the booth from Photobooth Supply Co, it instantly stood out from all the other options.
MagMod has quickly become the go to flash modifier for a ton of photographers. Being able to quickly and easily attach grids, gels, and diffusers to your flash via small magnets makes shaping your light super simple. So when MagMod announced the new MagBeam, a lot of people got really excited. So excited that they demolished their $25,000 goal by raising just over $300,000 via their Kickstarter campaign. But does this new modifier live up to the hype?
A good camera strap is something that a lot of people don't find important until they actually try a good camera strap. I have found that getting the camera off of my neck and onto my shoulders to make a world of difference while shooting and especially the day after shooting. This becomes even more important when you are dealing with the added weight of carrying dual cameras. Enter the Clydesdale Pro-DLX from RL Handcrafts.
If you are in the wedding industry, then I'm sure you have heard of Fearless Photographers. But in case you haven't heard, Fearless Photographers is a wedding directory that specializes in photographers that are not afraid to push their limits. Like most directories, they have awards for the best submitted photos as well as top photographers of the year, but they also do so much more. The founder Huy Nguyen puts a very large emphasis on helping other photographers get better as well as raising money for charities and organizations that help those in need.
One of the best things a portrait photographer can do is learn how to master a single off-camera light. Most photo shoots don’t allow enough time to set up multiple lights, and when shooting on location, carrying more than one light can be too cumbersome to manage. In this video, we see a very useful way to use one off-camera flash with some simple modifiers to create a dramatic portrait.
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.
We have all seen the amazing and dramatic images that have shafts of light streaming through a window. The look seems really easy to reproduce. You buy a fog machine, fill a room with smoke and create amazing images. But like most thing in life, it’s not that simple. In this video we see some key points in how to really make this look work.
A while back, Instagram announced they were going to release a new feature called "Insights.” This new addition is designed to give users a look at how their followers interact with their content. It seems that this is slowly rolling, but as of today, I have access to this new feature, so I thought it would be helpful for everyone to see exactly what they can expect to learn.