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Ryan Mense
Saint Paul, MN

Articles written by Ryan Mense

‘Treasures of Zakynthos’ BTS Videos Showcase the Joys and Challenges of Time-Lapse Production

Polish cinematographer Maciej Tomków’s “Treasures of Zakynthos” is a beautiful, award-winning time-lapse that highlights the titled Greek island. Going far beyond only filming for the final project, Tomków also took the time and care to create incredibly well-done behind-the-scenes videos that give a true sense of what production is like shooting epic time-lapses. If you’re passionate about photography or videography, you’re going to love these "Behind the Time-lapse" creations.

The Incredible VFX Work Behind the 'Game of Thrones' Season 4 Wight Ambush Scene

If you’re a fan of both the “Game of Thrones” series and filmmaking, then today’s your lucky day as HBO has uploaded to the Internet behind-the-scenes footage from the Season 4 finale, “The Children.” This featurette from the Blu-ray boxset shows how the visual effects team came up with the wight’s design for the ambush scene and how they implemented a blend of CGI and live-action to get everything looking right for showtime.

Fstoppers Reviews Rocky Nook's 'The Art, Science, and Craft of Great Landscape Photography' Plus Free Book Giveaway

As mentioned in my previous article reviewing “Street Photography: The Art of Capturing the Candid Moment” by Gordon Lewis, the digital photography book publisher Rocky Nook has recently released some new titles that I was eager to check out. In this article, I take a look at “The Art, Science, and Craft of Great Landscape Photography” by Glenn Randall which offers an interesting take on the classic genre. In addition to the review, we are giving away two copies of this book to two lucky Fstoppers readers.

Fstoppers Reviews Rocky Nook’s ‘Street Photography’ Plus Free Book Giveaway

Photography book publisher Rocky Nook recently released several new titles which join their now expansive library of topics. I checked out two of these new books, and in this article I review “Street Photography: The Art of Capturing the Candid Moment” by Gordon Lewis. In addition to the review, we are giving away two free copies of “Street Photography” to two lucky readers.

Fstoppers Reviews the Beautifully Crafted Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Lens

In September 2014, Zeiss announced their new Loxia line of manual-focus lenses for Sony’s full-frame E-mount cameras. Ever since covering the announcement, I’ve wanted to try out these stylish lenses, namely the Zeiss Loxia 2/35 because of its extended usefulness in landscape photography. I was very much interested in seeing how a modern Zeiss manual-focus lens designed for a technologically-advanced mirrorless camera would fare, and in the end I was left blown away by the results.

Capture One Pro 8.2 Update Released, Adds Improvements to Color Grading and Workflow

Phase One today released an update to their popular raw conversion and image editing software in the form of Capture One Pro 8.2. Version 8.2 seeks to improve the color grading experience for users of all skill levels with the new 3-way color balance tool. The update also adds support for more cameras and lenses, higher resolution image previews, and workflow improvements via “dynamic locations.”

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.