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Lance Nicoll
New Orleans, LA

Articles written by Lance Nicoll

Art versus Art: Sigma Art 50 1.4 vs Nikon 58 1.4

The Nikon 58mm 1.4 and The now famed Sigma Art 50mm 1.4 are two lenses that arguably have a lot in common and at the same time polar opposites. The fact of the matter is the Sigma series which is marketed under the “art” moniker has received its praise because of technical proficiency while the release of the Nikon 58mm fell flat due to misguided expectations.

Why Vanity Is an Important Part of Your Branding

When we think what defines our brand as photographers, we think of our logo, website, and even the style of imagery we create. But, everything that is related and connected to us and our company is a representation of our brand — from the way we answer our emails, interact with our clients, down to the pants we wear, the bag we carry our gear in, and the overall way we present ourselves to the world. Every detail reflects back on our company and in the end reflects back on our bottom line.

Fstoppers Reviews the Xcellon HDD RAID Docking Station

Storage is cheap, or so we've heard. But, for many professional photographers, storing and backing up large volumes of images while also keeping up the transfer and read speeds we are accustomed to can wind up being very expensive. RAID docks are a great alternative to purchasing dedicated RAID drives, and the new Xcellon dock provides a cost-effective alternative. However, does it stack up in the long run?

New Sigma EF-630 Flash Coming Soon

Sigma has announced their follow up to the EF-610 Flash, the EF-630 and It will be available on B&H very soon. Yesterday Sigma announced the new flash with models available for Nikon, Canon, and of course Sigma. The new flash will pack a little more fire power than its predecessor, and will automatically adjust for focal lengths from 24mm through 200mm.

Understanding RAID - When and How to Use It

PRO EDU recently released a five-part video series on their YouTube Channel dedicated to RAID. RAID, for those of you new to the term, refers to a system of file storage that can write a copy of everything you save to a separate hard drive so that you have two copies of everything you save. The benefit here is that if your hard drive fails, you don't lose all of your data and you have an identical copy ready to roll. In this video series, Gary Martin of PRO EDU explains everything you need to know about RAID systems to get started on your first RAID setup.

The Top Five Most Influential Wedding Blogs

For wedding photographers and stylists alike, getting published is one of the biggest keys to growing your brand and bringing business to your market. Over the past five years, the emphasis on wedding inspiration blogs from not just the vendor standpoint, but also from the client standpoint has given way to an overwhelming number of wedding blogs. In this post, we will look at the top five most influential wedding blogs over the past year.

18-Year-Old Photographer Creates Inspiring New Year's Photo Series

Parker Gibbons is an 18-year-old photographer and freshman student at the University of Utah. He recently shot and released a series entitled "Resolve" which shares New Year's resolutions from the subjects depicted. These simply shot images allow the subjects to be honest and silently share thoughts they may otherwise not share. The results from the series range from the more comical "Be Rad" to the more introspective and honest "Authenticity to self and others."

Check Out Your Best Nine Instagram Posts of 2015

You have probably seen these already swirling around Facebook and Instagram. The "Best Nine of 2015" has gone viral and like me, if you were a little bit late to the party, you can head over to 2015 best nine to have your best nine Instagram posts of 2015 curated for you. The site will then let you share directly to your Facebook profile, business page, or directly to Twitter.

The Canon USA Gray Market War Continues

Yesterday, Eric Reagan of Photography Bay provided us with an update on the ongoing saga of Canon's attack on the Gray Market. To recap, "Gray Market" refers to the sale or exchange of goods legally, but through unintended means. In many of these instances, products manufactured for Asian markets are channeled through to US markets. This means that these companies sell the products legally, but not via the intention or desire of the manufacturer. The main setback of purchasing Gray Market is the product will be insured through the Asian market (or whatever market it originated from) and not through the US market.

Lightroom Film Presets: Full Totally Rad Replichrome I, II, and III Review

Totally Rad are the producers of the film emulation presets titled Replichrome. Currently there are three sets of presets, Replichrome I: Icon, Replichrome II: Slide, and Replichrome III: Archive. The initial inception of the Lightroom presets, now known as the Icon Series, came with the intent to get it right. Not to create stylized versions of film but to create accurate depictions so that the digital images with the film presets would appear as close to actual film as possible.

Retouched Magazine Now Available in PDF Format

Retouched Magazine, the interactive magazine from retoucher and beauty photographer Julia Kuzmenko McKim, has recently announced that they are also now available in PDF format. The magazine brings some of the most talented and experienced photographers and retouchers together to teach and share their insight into the field of retouching. Topics from the pro tools and methods for retouching, building your portfolio, and being successful in the field of retouching. Articles come from the top photographers and retouchers in the world including Pratik Naik, Benjamin Von Wong, and Joel Grimes.

How to Create Instagram Ads Through Your Facebook Account

Facebook has recently made it easy for users to create Instagram ads through their platform. For some time, Instagram has been one of the best avenues for photographers to reach potential clients and vendors that they would like to work with. With the ability for anyone - small and large businesses alike - to create sponsored Instagram posts directly through Facebook, it is now easier to reach a wider scope of potential clients.

How to Revive and Give New Life to Old Film Cameras

Film photography has made a comeback! Some would argue that just like Dre, its been here the whole time. But over the past few years, the aesthetic and cache of film photography has made a strong presence in the zeitgeist of contemporary digital photography. In this entertaining short film by Maison Carnot called "Disassembly," we see how to take an old non-functioning film camera and bring it back to life through a complete disassembly and repurposing of the old gear.

The Bare-Bones Minimum Gear Needed to Photograph a Wedding

Having the right gear for the job is essential in being able to handle the barrage of lighting scenarios that a wedding photographer will encounter on each outing. I, like many others, am constantly thinking about the next piece of gear. What lens, what camera, or what lighting system will allow me to take higher quality images and provide a better experience to my client? This led me to think, what do I really need to shoot a wedding? I mean in reality, to walk out my door and provide my bride with the images she expects, what are the bare essentials I really need?

More Than Taking Pictures: What You Should Be Doing Before Every Wedding Shoot

You have your gear, you have your shot list, so you're ready to go out and shoot the perfect eight-hour wedding, right? Wrong! Being prepared for a wedding day is about more than just having your camera ready to go. Before leaving for your wedding shoot, you need to be prepared to perform at your best. A big part of that is developing a routine, similar to an athlete, that places you in peak performance and the best position to succeed. When I walk out the door for a wedding I have two main things on my mind other than the images that my client needs. One is that I am now a living breathing ambassador for my brand and the other is that the content for this shoot, and every shoot, is future marketing material.

Can Photojournalism No Longer Be Trusted?

Recently the New York Times revealed a staggering truth about modern photojournalism that has the field's ethics under scrutiny. It appears the acts of staging and manipulating images have become prevalent, which puts the field as a whole in question. Photojournalism is about capturing the truth and journalist often work under a strict code that incudes observation only. But the nature of competition has brought a staggering number of photojournalist to bend if not break this code by presenting images that they themselves setup under the guise journalism.

Why You Should Keep Your Wedding Photography Brand Separate From Your Other Work

A few months ago I wrote a two part article on branding for photographers. In this article I will continue with branding for photographers, and why you should keep your brands separated. The most common thing I see are wedding photographers combining their wedding work with their family, baby, senior, and even commercial work. While I completely understand the tendency to not only simplify your marketing, but also the concept that by showing your multiple talents you will increase your value to clients, combining genre's is one of the biggest things hurting the growth of your business.

What Wedding Photographers Can Do When Everything Goes Wrong on the Big Day

October in New Orleans means wedding season. This weekend was a double wedding weekend just like most of the next few weeks will be and I just finished what would be considered a timeline disaster, but the marquee images were not missed in large due to experience and meticulous planning. In this article I will go over methods to prepare for the unexpected and how to make sure you get everything you need despite the inevitable busted timeline.

Reviewing the Dynamic Range and 4K Video Quality of the New iPhone 6s

Recently, PRO EDU posted video reviews of the new iPhone 6s, which is getting major attention for its new video capabilities, namely its ability to record 4K video. In these two video reviews, PRO EDU takes a look at the dynamic range and stabilization ability of the new phone, as well as its overall video quality. PRO EDU, known for their video tutorials on photography topics, uses the iPhone on productions regularly, as I experienced firsthand, during the filming of the Dani Diamond Portrait Tutorial in my hometown of New Orleans.

Understanding Depth of Field - It's Not All About Aperture

Understanding your fundamentals is, well, fundamental to photography just like it is in anything else. In a previous article, I discussed the basics of aperture and exposure. Now, moving forward I want to address one of the key elements of aperture which is depth of field. All variables in photography have a give and take, and with your aperture as we gain light we also lose depth of field. But aperture is not the only variable the affects depth of field, and in this article we will take a look at those other variables.