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Ryan Mense
Saint Paul, MN

Articles written by Ryan Mense

Fstoppers Reviews the Groundbreaking Sony Alpha a7II Full-Frame Camera

One year after the announcement of the original Sony Alpha a7, the new Sony a7II takes calculated steps towards improving function and ergonomics in their full-frame compact system camera series. With its revised exterior design now fashioning a pronounced grip with a DSLR-like forward-angled shutter button as well as the internal introduction of five-axis sensor-shift image stabilization, Sony turns their base model a7 into a not-so-basic specialist of its own. In this Fstoppers review, I examine the good and bad of how the Sony a7II performs with real-world use.

Sony Introduces Four New FE Lenses to Their Lineup, Software Updates for Current Offerings

Four new full-frame E-mount lenses have been announced by Sony which include a 35mm f/1.4, 90mm f/2.8 Macro, 24–240mm f/3.5–6.3, and 28mm f/2. In addition to these lenses, two lens converters were also unveiled for the newly announced FE 28mm, turning it into either a 21mm f/2.8 ultra-wide or a 16mm f/3.5 fisheye. Along with the announcement comes software updates for many of the current FE lenses on the market which will shorten start-up time on E-mount cameras.

Lens Diffraction and Its Practical Application to Photography

Nature photographer Steve Perry has released a new 14-minute video educating his audience all about lens diffraction. Beginning with a somewhat technical explanation of how diffraction occurs with your lenses, the video quickly moves into giving practical answers and examples for questions that you may have wondered when it comes to choosing f-stops and how to get the sharpest possible image.

New iPad App Kredo Presents and Shares Your Digital Portfolio

Branching off from their web-based portfolio service, Format has launched a free iPad app named Kredo. The app allows users to add and organize their images into portfolios, exhibit portfolios to clients in a sleek-looking presentation, publish their work to the Kredo Discover network, or share their portfolios with anyone else on any device with optional password protection. While up against the trusty tactile printed portfolio and other digital portfolio services, the unique features and dark, minimalist layout may be something worth testing out.

Jay Maisel Speaks on Importance of Gesture and How to Be a Better Photographer

When legendary photographer Jay Maisel speaks, people listen. For half a century now, Maisel has been creating breathtakingly extraordinary images, and so it is no wonder why PDNOnline recently filmed some wise words coming from the man himself. In these two bite-sized videos, listen as he offers satisfying advice on becoming a better photographer and how the use of gesture in your photographs can make all the difference.

This Uplifting Video Resonates With All Landscape Photographers

Filmed and edited by Nejc Miljak, “Before You Wake Up” is a short production that casts a strong motivating monologue aimed at landscape photographers around the world. Alongside its message, the video portrays an awe-inspiring adventure into nature as photographer Janez Tolar captures images sunrise to sunset. The combination of these makes this semi-ethereal video too good to pass up sharing.

Beyond the Textbook: How to Find World-Class Compositions

If you are no stranger to photography or other visual arts, then it is likely that you are no stranger to the “rules” of composition. There have been some excellent writings familiarizing one to the different forms of good composition, such as “The Ultimate Guide to Composition” by Chris Knight, but it’s much harder to find anything about its in-the-moment application. We all strive to find strong compositions that can drive the narratives in our photography. The next time you’re looking for the hidden story of your surroundings, recall the following simple tips.

A Better Way to Fix Snow’s Blue Color Cast in Photoshop

Snowy region shooters rejoice, there exists a way to completely get rid of all blue snow in your photographs! I know what you’re thinking: just adjust the white balance in any ol' image processor. Unfortunately, you will find that using this method is only winning half the battle for many images. In a few easy steps, you’ll learn how to make any winter photo much more pleasing to the eye.

SOLD OUT: Huge Discounts on Pelican Cases from Amazon

Today only, Amazon is listing select Pelican cases for up to 64 percent off as their Gold Box Deal of the Day. For example, the Pelican 1620 (sold out) is down to $149.99 from $392.95 and the Pelican 1610 (sold out) is now only $139.99 instead of its original $392.95. As essential pieces to any traveling photographer’s kit, this is definitely the time to purchase.

Then and Now Photo Series Showcases Tornado Devastation and a Community's Endurance

On Nov. 17, 2013, an EF-4 rated tornado ripped through central Illinois relentlessly damaging and destroying over 1,200 homes, and ultimately killing three people. The Journal Star’s photojournalist team sprung to action after the tornado subsided, taking to the streets and skies of the affected towns to document the ravaged community. One year later, they traced their steps of that tragic day to create this astonishing Then and Now photo series.

George Eastman House Releases Insightful Series on Photographic Processes

For many of us who have been photographers for a decade plus, we learned about the history of photography either through tattered books from the library, in school while earning a fine art degree, or just by picking up small tidbits here and there as we met other photographers. Thankfully, that has all changed now. With much appreciation to the George Eastman House, we can now find a wealth of fascinating information about the traveled photographic process online.

Gain Fame, Fortune, and Glory: Nikon Photo Contest Ending Soon

The 2014–2015 Nikon Photo Contest is quickly coming to a close, with only a few days left to enter. This annual contest, which has been held since 1969, welcomes a wide variety of submissions shot with any brand of camera. Entry categories range from single photo entries following this year’s theme of “Home,” to photo stories following a theme of your choosing, to video works that are 6 to 180 seconds in length. Ten free photo entries are allowed, so why not submit a few of your favorite images and see what happens?

Documentary Takes a Look behind the Film Restoration Of "Jaws"

As part of Universal’s 100th anniversary, a team of restoration experts took on the task of digitally remastering the classic film “Jaws.” The fully restored feature required intense labor from colorists, digital artists, audio engineers, preservation experts, and everyone in between. In this fascinating documentary, we get a look at all the various complex efforts taken in order to bring the ‘70s blockbuster in to the digital age.

Fstoppers Is on Instagram: Photo of the Day, Writers' Images, and BTS

Some of our readers have been sharp to figure it out, but until now we haven’t formally announced that Fstoppers can now be found on Instagram (@officialfstoppers). Follow us for Photo of the Day selections from our impressive community, images from the talented photographers who write for Fstoppers, and some behind-the-scenes shots of what we’re working on. Leave a link to your favorite portfolio image within our community and we’ll pick some to ‘gram over the next few days.

The Right Way to Ship Framed Photographs

The holiday season is right around the corner, and for many photographers it’s one of the most lucrative times for print sales. If you’re selling framed prints of your work, it’s imperative that you package your products correctly in order save yourself a lot of money from damages, and to avoid having disappointed customers. Let’s take a look at how to do packaging the right way and earn yourself repeat customers that will come back year after year.