Category Archives: photography

Dear Men: Allies Call for More Men to Step Up in the Photo Industry | PDN Online

Dear Men and Women

Even if you are not a photo journalist you can still be a part of the solution when it comes to the mistreatment of women in any part of the photography industry.  No matter what the venue, or where it is, it does not matter. 

It goes far beyond just women. It speaks to racism, all prejudices, all  who have been abused, mistreated, man or woman.  Sign the petition and work towards a better world for everyone.

 

Daniel Sircar and Justin Cook argue that men in the photo industry can (and should) do more to ally themselves with women fighting for a safer, more equitable industry culture.

Source: Dear Men: Allies Call for More Men to Step Up in the Photo Industry | PDN Online

HYPER CLAIMS ARE NOTHING NEW -just don’t get sucked in

HYPER CLAIMS ARE NOTHING NEW –

HYPER CAN BE DEFINED AS –  prefix appearing in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “over,” usually implying excess or exaggeration ( hyperbole);

We have all, at some time or another been exposed to hyper claims. 

They may have been made by politicians, advertising agencies, corporations, blog sites, social media sites, manufacturer sites and so many more.

 Camera and Lens manufacturers say you can use their gear in inclement conditions such as rain, snow, waterfalls, dust storms, etc.they mean it.  However, the advertising hype for those of that use regular DSLR, Compact System Cameras, Mirrorless Cameras and most other cameras really goes beyond the water-resistant hype that is being taunted.  In some cases, one would be asked to believe you can jump into a swimming pool with your gear and continue to work as if you were on dry land.

No matter what they say, your gear is not waterproof.

There are fixed lens cameras that are designed to be totally waterproof and can actually be submerged, but these are not the cameras referred to in this article.

The hyper advertising has led users to actually believe that the gear they have purchased is “virtually immortal” and incapable of being damaged.  That has led some not so very bright people on the web who have nothing to do but test their gear as opposed to shooting with it to perform some pretty outrageous tests.  Some of these tests have been users putting their camera gear in their home showers and running the water at full force over the equipment and then providing pictures of the soaked cameras and lenses to hopefully prove the hyper claims or for that matter disprove the hyper claims.  In any case a stupid and ignorant thing to do.  Obviously experimenting with thousands of dollars of gear in this fashion does not speak well to their mental capabilities.

Your cameras and lenses are safe from dust, rain, snow, and the like only up to a point.  To believe otherwise will only lead to some very expensive repairs if the gear can be repaired at all.

I have been in conditions that tested the limits of my own personal gear and it was pretty disconcerting.  But because I acted quickly to clean and dry off my effected camera and lens it all worked out.  I was crossing a stream in Shenandoah National park with some fellow photographers with my Pentax K20 camera body and zoom lens.  I slipped on a rock in the water and fell into the muddy bank on the edge of the stream and the camera and lens were covered in thick mud.  I was able to use the water from the stream and a towel to clean off the camera, dry off the water I used to get rid of the mud.  It worked.  It worked because I reacted in time and was able to put water on the water resistant camera and lens and then dry it off.  I was lucky.

But for all of us it is important to remember that this gear whether it was my previous system, Pentax or my current system Fuji or your current system whatever it is, is not so resistant that it will keep out all of the nasty elements.

For this reason I implore you to read a little further understanding that your camera gear is not WATERPROOF and that the level of water resistance will vary from brand to brand and model to model.

This is why there are companies that make protective covers for your gear.  These covers come in all sizes and are designed to be used either on a tripod or handheld.  One of these companies are Len Coat

http://www.lenscoat.com/lenscoat%C2%AE-raincoat-small-p-1731.html?\=01a0e2a5e230784a4053c0157201c527

 

 

 

 

Another company is Storm Jacket.  They are one of the longest running protection companies around.

https://www.vortexmediastore.com/pages/storm-jacket-sizing-and-product-information

There is a reason these products are out there for you.  It is to give you the assurance that if you are caught in adverse elements that can damage your gear, the gear will be safe. I have used both of these products in some pretty severe conditions and they truly protect the gear better than anything else.

There are other covers on the market that look like clear plastic. They are okay in a drizzle but not a storm.  Be smart and prepare for the worst.

Your Photography – You need to keep it simple and down to earth

We are pretty close to the end of 2017 and as it is every year’s end we hope that there is no unfinished business and are already planning our goals for 2018.

I have to admit that over the years a lot of the goals I set for myself I did not quite accomplish but there was one that I made about 4 years ago that I did get done and because of that I am a happier and less stressed photographer.

That goal was to become a photography gear minimalist.  Like many people I know who are passionately involved with creating images, I owned a lot of expensive cameras and lenses as well as tonnage in accessories.  The sad part is that most of it was acquired because of a mental disorder called “gear acquisition syndrome.”  It is better known simply by the abbreviation “GAS.”

The syndrome comes about when photographers cannot help but always buy the latest and greatest cameras and lenses and of course accessories.  The ability to have self control in these purchasing matters is non-existent and ultimately each and every time once the unnecessary purchase has been made the words forming on our lips which represent justification for buying what was not needed are followed by physical actions of hiding the purchase in a car trunk until it can be brought into to abode and closeted.

There was a time when I had 4 bodies, 12 lenses, 4 wireless flash units, and accessories beyond what a smart camera store would ever keep in stock for long.  And camera bags. Oh those camera bags.  At one time I had close to 50.

Today I own 1 camera body, 3 prime lenses, 2 wireless flashes, a small amount of accessories and 5 bags. When I go out for the day I have the majority of my gear in a Cosyspeeded Outdoor Camslinger waist pack which fits of course around my waist.  It can also be worn as a small sling bag as well.  It holds my Fuji X pro 2 with a lens mounted along with 2 other small primes, 2 extra memory cards, 3 extra batteries, cables release and some cleaning stuff.  If I think I am going to need flash, which is not often I attach a small bag with a small flash to the bag.  That is it.

I have written blogs, shared my feelings, attempted to influence others to go minimal with mirrorless cameras and small lenses but in my heart I know that many of my readers are still backpacking with a full load weighing in at about 20 pounds or worse and even though they have not mastered the gear they own, are going to stand in line to purchase the next great thing.  It is hard to change.  And people won’t change because they have the fear that if they do not have everything they own with them they will miss the shot of a lifetime.  If they do not make that purchase they know that the person standing next to them probably did make that purchase and their images are going to be better than your images.  Of course that is a bunch of BS.😉

Therefore, if you are reading this blog and you are going to make some resolutions then here are a few to think about:

  • 1-Master the gear you have now
  • 2-Determine what kind of pictures you like to create and adjust your camera gear to be ready to take those kinds of images.  As an example, I have a friend who own a zoom with long focal lengths, a 600mm 4.0 both for shooting wildlife and he has not shot wildlife in about 6 years.  Not only should he not pack these lenses with his go to gear, but probably should sell or trade them.
  • 3-Lighten your loads so that you will enjoy a day of shooting a lot more.  Carrying excess gear which translates to too much weight can make for a miserable day out.
  • 4-Leave the backpack or large camera bag in the car and head out with a small bag with a minimal amount of gear.
  • 5-Come to an understanding that your modern camera bodies are capable of making near perfect images in JPEG format, and easily processed images in raw format.  That all translates to you not parking your butt  in front of a computer screen and spending hours that will more than likely cause you to over process and make ugly the really good images that came out of the camera.  If you want to do weird stuff then use your cell phone camera combined with some way out apps to really make ugly state of the art.

Finally I am sure you already have software that you love.  After more than a year of testing about a dozen software packages either having subscription options, or buying to own packages ranging from $20.00 to about $250.00.  Most are okay and if you do not have a software package you like, or if you have not mastered a software package then there is a lot to consider.  They are all pretty darn good.  If you want to check in with me at IPADPRO.ELLIOT@GMAIL.COM perhaps I can answer questions about what software I think will do great things with your great images.

 

 

 

FAA wants airlines to ban cameras and other electronics from checked bags: Digital Photography Review

I can understand the problem with Lithium Industrial batteries (big ones) and I only once in my 74 years witnessed lithium batteries in a camera bag heat up and smoke in a wedding photographers camera bag while he stood at the counter in a camera store.  His batteries heated up and did some bag damage.

However, this was caused by the fact that he was an idiot.  There is a reason why camera companies in the past had plastic caps on all of their batteries so that contact of the battery terminals would not hit against the terminals of other batteries in the same spot in the camera bag.  Safety was the issue but if the batteries were stored right then the problem would not have happened.  I’ll say it again.  The photographer was an idiot.

I have seen double A (AA) batteries in a camera bag heat up as well because they were stored loss and contacting the terminals of other batteries in the bag.

This is why companies like Thinktank as well as others make battery holders that keep the terminals away from each other.

 

Would it not be simpler for the FAA to issue instructions on how people should store these batteries? Of course, it would.  Would there be less in air mishaps if the FAA enforced the number of hours a pilot can fly before they have to sleep in order to fly again?  Of course, it would.

After conducting a series of safety tests, the FAA is recommending that all airlines ban cameras and other electronics with Lithium Ion batteries from checked baggage. The agency believe the risk of a catastrophic fire and explosion is too great.

Source: FAA wants airlines to ban cameras and other electronics from checked bags: Digital Photography Review

Spekular is the light that does it all for photographers – DIY Photography

If you are doing any kind of studio work you will want to look all of this information over.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg8y4LSpgFw Spekular is spectacular! Hmmm – a little over the top? Not really. I recently had the opportunity to put this new LED lighting system from Spiffy Gear to the test. Spiffy Gear are the folks that brought us the Light Blaster (buy link). Spekular is a modular lighting system that can take on all kinds of shapes depending on your needs and this can save you money and the time needed to pack and set-up light modifiers especially when you are working on location. Spekular comes as a kit of 4 LED sections. Each section is built with aluminum and

Source: Spekular is the light that does it all for photographers – DIY Photography

I LIKE HER WORK – JANE LURIE

I have spent so much time teaching and judging photography over my many years and I have been privileged to meet and admire a great many photographer’s images.  There have been times that a photographer has crossed my path and there was just something that made his or her work stand out above all the others.

I have never met Ms. Lurie but recently had the good fortune to view her personal website and her Smugmug websites and I was truly taken by the quality and the diversity of her images.

In way too many cases, even though a photographer may have incredible images it is important to note that all of the images are of the same type subjects.  It may be landscape  It may be wildlife or street photography, macro photography and so on but it all of the same genres.

What impressed me with  Ms. Lurie is how diverse her work is, spanning the full spectrum of subject matter.  Beyond that, her compositions and the ability to tell a story with her images only adds to the experience of viewing her work.

JANE LURIE PHOTOGRAPHY – JANE’S LENS

JANE’S SMUGMUG

The Last Portrait: A moving tribute to a friend and neighbor: Digital Photography Review

 

 

When photographer Jared Polin’s friend Arty was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Jared asked if he could tell his story in pictures. This is Arty’s photo story.

 

This is quite incredible. The photography, the video and the narration make for a true to life out standing story that many, too many have gone through. The photography skill and story telling talent shine throughout this video and I appreciate that Jared Polin shared.

I know how important it is to have as many photos as possible that speak to your life and the lives of those around you.  If anything Jared’s story in pictures and words should serve as an example of just how important the images of life are not only in a digital form but in a printed form to be viewed for many years and remind us of things that have gone by.  Memories should be preserved forever.

Source: The Last Portrait: A moving tribute to a friend and neighbor: Digital Photography Review

It’s All About Tones: Black and White Landscapes | Nature Visions Photo Expo

The one thing but not the only thing I learned about attending Northern Virginia Nature Vision show is that it is smart to sign up for lectures EARLY.  Early means today, not tomorrow.

This particular lecture is being given by my old partner in photography education, Brian Zwit and I can tell you one thing for sure.  It will be the best $30.00 you will put towards learning the ins and outs of black and white image processing.

Sign up today for Brian’s lecture It’s All About Tones: Black and White Landscapes | Nature Visions Photo Expo

And sign up for the one and only major photo show in Northern Va. – Nature Visions

 

Regardless of genre, black and white photography is about the basic building blocks of any photograph: tones, lines, textures, shapes, and forms. Join Brian to learn how you can advance your black and white landscape photography.

Source: It’s All About Tones: Black and White Landscapes | Nature Visions Photo Expo

Why Have You Stopped Taking Pictures

Lately I have been speaking with people from all walks of life who used to love photography and making pictures but for reasons that are not really clear, just stopped doing it. 

What started the conversation was my little Cosyspeed Streetomatic Plus camera bag with a Manfrotto Pixi Evo table top tripod sticking up out of a side pocket.  When I explained my passion  for going minimalist they wanted to see what that meant.  Then they began to talk about the photography they used to do.

Men, women, young, older than young told me that at one time they owned a camera and lenses, still owned a camera, film or digital and some even had spent time in darkroom or at desk top computers with their photography.  Most said they had their phones, but really did not feel that a phone camera provided what a system camera like Olympus, Fuji, Sony, Nikon or Canon did.  The one common denominator was that at one time they loved, loved their photography.

When I questioned why they had stopped most really weren’t sure but felt perhaps that other priorities in life such as career building became a dominant factor and certain things had to be side lined in order to grow in other areas.

On a personal note and I told them that I felt that it was sad that they had stopped recording the important moments of their lives, abandoned something they loved to do instead of trying to incorporate it not only in their lives but the lives of their friends, their families.

Not only was all of that left behind but too was a chance to expand, to grow their artistic capabilities and to share those capabilities with others.

I have spent a lifetime involved in many aspects of photography having started in my dad’s darkroom right up to today. My love for photography as a hobby and a profession spans a lot of years and I consider myself fortunate that my personal love of photography was enhanced and expanded by working in world of photography which fortunately did not diminish my personal photography endeavors.

As I told the folks who I have met, if you have side lined photography, for whatever the reason and have interest in coming back at any level, I am here to help or guide you along that path.  So if I can be of any help please be sure to contact me. 

(45) Photography Composition :: Simplification and Negative Space – YouTube

Sometimes we create our own styles, but more often than not we start off by looking at other great photographers and teachers have done, apply their teaching to our vast warehouse of learning and hopefully have our own style or styles evolve from all of this.

One of my favorite ways of shooting for as long as I can remember was using negative space and using simplification to make a photograph with more impact by having less in it.

This excellent video talk directly to that I thought I would share it through my blog.

I hope you find this useful in your creative endeavors.

The site that this came from is here  where there are short articles and superb examples covering composition.

 

My Friend Bill – Last Year He Left The Room And Broke My Heart – But He Is In My Thoughts A Lot And I Miss Him

My Friend Bill – Last Year He Left The Room And Broke My Heart – But He Is In My Thoughts A Lot And I Miss Him – I am not totally sure why I am writing this blog now but I am sure there is some great emotional need for me to talk about him once again.

Bill, like myself had a passion for everything photography and his love for Nikon Camera gear was surpassed even by people like me who worked for Nikon for so many years.

He loved to join me on Nikon in store demonstrations and Nikon schools as he just loved to talk to others who either shot Nikon or who he wanted desperately to convert to Nikon shooters.  He was unrelenting in his passion for the brand and at times to his detriment. (I say that smiling)-

He would find no greater pleasure than sitting down with folks who he either knew or would come to know him forever and tell his tales of his life and his experiences and share is knowledge and wisdom about video and still photography  with old friends and new ones as well as those who would be friends. He considered himself Nikon representative.  And yes, that sometimes created confusion because I was the Nikon rep and after me there were a couple of other Nikon reps and to their benefit he was determined to help with his knowledge and enthusiasm.  It made him happy and after all he was more of a loyalist to Nikon than most people I had ever known.

When I say he lived and breathed Nikon it’s not even close to an exaggeration.  It is a truth beyond all truths and because he was that way I have to say that on the day his family and friends and co workers came together to celebrate his life, in a last good-bye, something was missing.

What was missing were all of the Nikon corporate people who knew Bill so extremely well and who Bill had helped in oh so many ways were sadly absent.  Not only were they absent but not one acknowledged that Bill had left the room.  Not a sigh, not a whimper, not a high-five as a thank you.  NOTHING.

That saddens me and I just felt that I had to say something.  Giving name, rank and social security number would not make a difference and after all the mindless, uncaring, self-absorbed son of bitches more than likely know who they are.

It is not that Bill and I always agreed and there were ups and downs but we were really true friends and cared for each other and in the end I only choose to remember the ups and what a dear friend and wonderful human being Bill was and is as he lives in my heart and mind.

I love you Bill.

What Happens When Your Camera Is The Same As Every Other Camera? An opinion piece!

 

What Happens When Your Camera Is The Same As Every Other Camera?  An opinion piece

I have used a lot of different camera brands and overall they all produced very nice images.  But the system that I finally wound up with after all my years of shooting with different cameras is the Fuji X system.  If I was to look at images from my current Fuji X camera, the X pro 2, and other camera systems all intermixed in the same folder and dumped into the same software I would have a very hard time knowing what camera produced what images in that folder.

So what does that leave me with?  It leaves me with a mirrorless camera system called “X” which is aesthetically very pleasing to look at and very comfortable to use having all kinds of dials and buttons for doing creative photographic stuff.  But it also leaves me with the feeling that the images that came from the first X cameras like the X100, X10 and X Pro 1 were much more AESTHETICALLY (film like) (smooth) (sort of pastel) pleasing which was why I bought into newer generations of the X brand.  It was not only the Jpeg files which are processed in camera but it was also the raw files.

This does not mean that the images out of the X’s today are not excellent because they are.  It means that a certain quality that Fuji seemed to have master with their first X bodies has been replaced by something that any dSLR can produce.

So that leaves me with the aesthetic look and feel of the body and the prime lenses I use.  And that will have to be enough I guess because at this stage of the game I have to admit that I am not disappointed in the image quality when it comes to resolution and dynamic range which is on a par with other cameras.  But I am disappointed with the overall look of the images from an emotional point of view.

I have to ask how and why this has happened?  I was led to believe that it was the different design of the Fuji sensor that made the difference in color and texture in the images but I guess that turns out not to be the case.

It’s not a deal breaker only because I no longer have the desire to break in a new system that for all practical purposes will give me the same image quality I am currently getting.  But I do miss that aesthetic look of the images from the first early X cameras.

Discipline – Can you have more than one?

You will or maybe you already have reached a point when you settle on exactly what body or bodies you own and what lenses have risen above all others to be come your “kit.”  Maybe they are zooms.  Maybe they are primes. Maybe they are a combination of zooms and primes.

Let me take an educated guess that you either own three prime lenses.  Or perhaps three zoom lenses.  Or maybe a combination totaling three lenses of both primes and zooms.

While you have two bodies you more than likely will only carry one on you at any given moment and how you carry that one camera will be a personal favorite way.  Maybe it is on a neck/shoulder strap.  Maybe it is a sling across your chest strap. Perhaps it is a device like a Peak Design clip device that either fits on your belt or bag strap.  Or it could be something as simple as a wrist strap.

 

All that is left now is what are you going to do when you go out for the day to walk through the woods, hang out on the streets, climb a nearby mountain, or simply interact with people you may know or for that matter who you may not know at all.  Are you going to take your three lenses and one camera and two batteries, and two extra cards, and some lens cleaning stuff and pop all of that in one bag which could total  in weight between 5.5 to 10.5 American pounds or 2.49476 to 4.76272 kilograms. Gee whiz I think I am going to carry kilograms because they numerically appear lighter than pounds.

 

This is where the word discipline comes in.  I have spent a life time trying to discipline myself when it comes to what camera gear goes with me and what stays either at home, in the hotel or in the car trunk as I head out for a wonderful day of photography.  I have grossly failed at disciplining myself and because of that I know what I must do.  So here is a perfect case of “DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO.”

i have spent enough money on camera bags and straps to feed a small nation of light eaters.  Most of those bags are now gone and if I check real quick I am sure I can take ownership of the five bags I still own and can honestly say that I use only two of them.  The bags I no longer use are the Billingham (Big Dollar Bags) which I simply do not have the where with all to sell because they are just simply beautiful bags as well as functional in a camera bag way.

What I do use NOW, are two very nicely designed bags.  One is the STREETOMATIC PLUS (+) from a company called Cosyspeed.  The other is a bag I swore up and down I would no own and it is the Peak Design Every Day Sling.

i am not going to go into a real review about the bags, only because this is more about lightning your load and really taking with you what you will use. Whether it be just a stroll down some city street or a trail through a beautiful park, or more intense, a several mile hike through some rough forest or perhaps a full day traveling the city via local transportation to a variety of locations for image making.

Depending on what you do will determine the kind of gear you need and how to carry it.  For my extended day out I am using the Peak Design Every Day Sling and for a simple excursion I use the Streetomatic plus.

The sling is great to work with.  I keep the following in the sling bag, which by the way can go across my back, on my shoulder or right in front of my chest.  In the bag is:

One Fuji X pro 2, a 50mm 2.0, 35mm 2.0 and 23mm 2.0.  2 batteries, 2 extra memory cards, a camera strap, two extension rings, cable release, a leatherman Juice knife. There is a Peak Design Clamp attached to outside of the bag to carry my camera at the ready and there is a balloon type pocket on the front that opens to store something has big as a large zoom (which I do not carry with this bag) or a water bottle, etc.  The cinch straps for this expanding pocket also are long enough to attach a small tripod if needed to the bottom of the bag.  With all of this, once it is on my body the weight is so well-distributed that I hardly know it is there.

For my mini excursions I use the Streetomatic plus.  It fits nicely around my waist or across my chest and is virtually invisible.  It is very comfortable and was designed with mirrorless cameras in mind.  In this bag is the following. Fuji X pro 2, 18-55 zoom lens, 35mm 2.0, 2 batteries, two extra cards, Iphone 6 plus.  It is a very small kit and a pleasure to carry.

Here are some videos.

PEAK DESIGN EVERY DAY SLING

 

COSYSPEED STREETOMATIC PLUS

What My Camera Saw as My Parents Died of Cancer from Nancy Borowick

Please do not turn the page, click through to another story because the word Cancer is in the title of this article because this is about a dignity that rarely ever gets recorded.  I do not know anyone, any more who has lived their lives without either themselves or someone they know who has fought this battle.

I am not saying that I could every muster the mental or physical strength to do what this incredible photographer did, but my heart felt feelings go out to her and her family as a 74 year old man who has always treated photography as an art and even more so a documented history of my life and the lives of others.

I would not assume that this was easy.  But it seems that she took the tools of her profession and mustered all her skills  to tell a story that not only was about her family, her life, but so many others as well.

 

There is a whole range of feelings that happen with the delivery of bad news. In my case, like many others, knees lock, the heart speeds up and the hairs o

Source: What My Camera Saw as My Parents Died of Cancer

AND IN NANCY’S OWN WORDS ON NPR.

Airline Passengers and batteries FAA_airline_passengers_and_batteries

In light of Nikon’s announcements of a recall once again for lithium batteries that go back as far as 2012 it does not hurt to keep up to date with FAA regulations.  Info on DPREVIEW

Batteries – These are FAA  rules governing batteries on USA airlines from 2015.  I do not believe too much has changed but it does not hurt to be reminded.

Source: Airline Passengers and batteries December 1 2015 – FAA_airline_passengers_and_batteries.pdf

When to Use a Higher ISO for Landscape Photography – Spencer Cox

 

GOOD READ! by

A question was texted to me today.  While I have my own opinion on how and when to use high iso for landscape photography, the author of this article really nails it in my opinion.

For landscape photography, most of the time, you’ll end up using your camera’s base ISO. That’s the power of a tripod; it lets you set long enough shutter speeds to capture a bright photo, even in dark environments at low ISO values. However, settings like this do not work for all images. Sometimes, depending upon the landscape, you’ll need to raise your ISO in order to capture a successful photograph. This article dives into the most common of those situations.

Source: When to Use a Higher ISO for Landscape Photography

every so often everyone needs to move away from the norms of their lives and take a break – here is a break you should not miss

every so often everyone needs to move away from the norms of their lives and take a break – here is a break you should not miss

Every once in a while I use my computer for things that are not photography related and this video below happens to be one that my wife directed me to. I watched this very young and talented young lady and she absolutely mesmerized me.

In the end I not only watched this video but quite a few of her in other videos performing very diverse acts with very diverse characters and voices.  I just could not stop watching and I have to say, she made my evening.

So stop looking at images for a while.  Shut off the TV set and spend some time with this young lady.  Not only should you watch this video but the others of her that get streamed on Youtube.

CAMERA SMASHING – It’s not a sport – it’s down right stupid – and why I use a Camslinger

I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have smashed my camera and lens against something.  I have had zoom lenses stop zooming, prime lenses get stuck on my camera, and even worse I have seen lens mounts bend and / or go out of alignment.  All of this because I wanted to always have my camera and lens at the ready so I would not miss the shot.

Of course like most other people I had a camera bag or backpack and when the day started out the camera gear I wanted to shoot with for the day was safely tucked away until I got to where I wanted to go.  It could have been the streets of Washington DC or a local forest like Prince William Park or Shenandoah National Park or sometimes even at a studio shoot.  When I got to where I was going I would pull the camera and lens choice, sling the combination across my chest so I could easily grab them to get the shot.  And there is where it stayed for the duration.

It was always without fail that as I hiked through the woods that my camera would slam against a tree. It was always without fail that while getting into my car the camera would be slammed on when I closed the car door.  It was always without fail that as I walked the city street and decided to go into a store for a coffee that I would slam the camera into the door jamb.  I knew better so why did I not do better.  Having worked for Nikon I used to hear the stories told my pro photographers (photo journalists) who were running through the halls of congress or in the white house getting their great gear slammed into door jams and some even described the shock and awe of seeing their lenses in pieces lying on the floor next to them because the lens separated from the mount.  These are real facts.  Too often I got to see the end and expensive results.  Impossible to repair lenses and expensive lens mount replacements.  And let’s fave facts. Nikon cameras were built like tanks but most cameras today are not.

Over the years I have tried way too many camera bags and carry solutions.  I have invested tons of cash on bags and straps of all types from a great many manufacturers but virtually none of them really provided me with the safety my expensive camera gear deserves while still giving me the ability to quickly get to my camera, get the shot and put the camera back in a place of relative safety.  That is until I came across a not very well known company called Cosyspeed that was founded by a German entrepreneur named Thomas Ludwig.

Camslinger bags come in several shapes and forms but the overall concept is the same no matter which  version of the bag you decide to purchase.  I have the Streetomatic Pus which was designed with the street photographer in mind or for that matter the urban dwellers.  The video is about a new bag that is coming to market in July.

The CAMSLINGER Outdoor is a camera bag designed for quick, one-handed access just like the Streetomatic. “You need just 1 hand & 1 second to open the bag and grab your cam. It’s almost as quick as a sling strap, but provides the safety of a bag against bumps and rain. This 1 hand/1 second concept makes the CAMSLINGER the fastest camera bag in the world. You can wear the CAMSLINGER Outdoor super comfy at the hip or as a sling bag over your shoulder. It fits all kinds of Mirrorless Cameras, mid-sized DSLRs and Superzooms.”

If you like to go hiking, climbing, cycling, motor biking, horseback riding or simply traveling. And you want to have your cam at the ready within a second, but safe against rain and bumps at the same time? Then the COSYSPEED CAMSLINGER Outdoor is without any doubt in my mind the perfect camera bag for you!

Put in your Mirrorless, mid-sized DSLR or Superzoom and hit the trail. The CAMSLINGER Outdoor is incredibly fast when it comes to getting out your camera and lens for the perfect shot you should never have to miss.  Quick accessible, super comfy and super safe.

If you want all the details about this great carry method then click on this link.   Link

 

 

What Happened To Turn Your Really Great Camera Into A Piece Of Crap – in your mind?

What Happened To Turn Your Really Great Camera Into A Piece Of Crap – in your mind?

Actually more than likely not a darn thing

Before I even get started I shall admit to everyone that I too am a part of the problem and that there truly is a problem.  Guilty.  Myself and many others always want the shiniest and most advanced products being offered and can easily justify why they have to drop big bucks in order to be “ahead of the curve” what ever that curve may be,

I certainly understand why we all tend to think that newer is better.  I understand that technological advances in camera sensors and computer technology in the cameras can make differences in performance, but I have to question just how much of a difference makes a difference in the overall photography that the majority of us do.

Just to be clear, I am not against purchasing the latest and greatest and I have friends who do just that.   Perhaps if was still making 16×20 or larger prints like they do, which I used to do often, I would be overjoyed at owning a very high megapixel camera that would allow pulling details from a file for such larger prints much less painful.  Perhaps if my personal images were very poorly shot (and they are not) and I needed to do major cropping and tonal corrections I would find higher megapixel a benefit.  Or maybe I would need an incredibly high frame rate if I was a sports photographer or wildlife photographer or a photo journalist desiring to capture the most decisive moment of the action in the scene.  This all speaks to very specific needs and to fulfill those important needs in many cases the technology advances in cameras for some are a must.

But for the majority of people involved in photography either as a profession or a hobby or for simply recording everyday moments of their lives it is my personal opinion that most technology is of no benefit to the final image and will not make a significant difference.  That goes for all kinds of imaging devices whether they be a dSlr, mirrorless, compact, or phone.  Perhaps one point of clarity is that the better the glass in front of the sensor the better the imaging sensor will be able to produce a more refined image.

I wrote above that I was guilty.  In the past, but not anymore I was one of the great many people that had to have the newest and the greatest.  It cost me and others a lot of money to keep up with the technology and perhaps when digital cameras first appeared as a consumer item there was a reason for that.  I think the same was also true when it came to owning the latest and greatest computers.  The more power the better. 🙂

So how did I get to the point of writing this blog article?  I have reached a nice stage of life where what I own I consider sufficient to do the things photographically that i want to accomplish whether that be printing large, enhancing an image, or stopping action as it happens. Today I went for neighborhood walk.  I strapped on my Cosyspeed Streetwalker plus + camera bag which hold my small Fuji Xt1 with an 18-55 zoom attached and a prime lens next to it, a couple of cards and a couple of batteries and my iPhone 6 plus.  After walking a couple miles with one of my best friends, my Jack Russel named Ginger, and having shot about twenty images I uploaded the SD card to my computer and processed some of those images.  I can honestly say that I am not able to see where these images are any better or worse than what I could shoot with my 24mp sensor camera (Fuji X pro 2).

I have three cameras that I work with.  A Fuji X100s fixed lens camera (actually given to me recently), a 2014 Fuji Xt1 (16mp) and a Fuji X pro 2 (24mp)  If there is a question in your mind as to why I kept the 16mp Xt-1 after buying the more advanced Fuji X pro 2 it was to have a back up body available should something go wrong with the Fuji X pro 2.  Having a back up camera has been one of my “things” for as long as i can remember, and in this case also led me writing this article.  There are megapixel as well as structural differences between the X Pro 2 and the Xt1 and the one that is most important to me is the articulating monitor on the Xt1 which was a feature left off of the X pro 2.

Had the X pro 2 never been introduced with the 24mp sensor I would not have missed it.  Knowing what I know today, for my shooting and processing purposes i would have not traded up to the X Pro 2.  I love the X pro 2 and hindsight is just that.  The X Pro 2 remains my primary camera because I own it and the XT1 has actually resurfaced as a primary camera as well because it is terrific.

But what you have to think about before putting down big bucks for an updated camera body is whether or not it is necessary for your photography pursuits.  If it just to make you feel all warm inside of having the latest and greatest then take a deep breath before performing the act.  Maybe you would be better off with a better optic, a more advanced electronic flash unit, or maybe putting the cash towards a terrific photography workshop.  If it not going to truly enhance your photography because it is more technically advanced then you probably can do without it.

 

 

 

 

Opinion: Thinking about buying medium format? Read this first: Digital Photography Review

Like many others who love photography, when something new, different, but not that different comes along the excitement level elevates and the must have  buttons get pushed and only intense self control saves your relationships.    In the case of medium format that I shot years ago when film was everywhere, the larger size negatives were pretty desirable.

But with Medium format digital, a photographer really has to think a lot more than just twice about the many thousands of dollars that a system would cost.  I mean some folks could by a nice Harley, or small car for the same amount of money.

This opinion article from a pretty respected author really breaks down the why and why not of making a medium format decision.  As much as I love my Fuji X system gear, and as much as all my buttons got pushed heavily with the introduction of the Fuji GFX medium format gear, common sense prevailed as well my budget and now I am even happier about that after reading this article.

But it is not just about Fuji medium format. It is also about all the others that are out there as well.

I hope you find the author’s article as enlightening as I did.

 

Recent medium format digital announcement has turned a lot of heads, and for good reason. However, some of us are less excited than others. Technical Editor Rishi Sanyal explains why he’s not quite convinced. Read more

Source: Opinion: Thinking about buying medium format? Read this first: Digital Photography Review

Great photographers: An Excellent Slideshow! | Chris Kapetanios photographer

If you love photography you will fall in love with this slide show of past photography masters.  I hope you find it as inspiring as I did.

A truly wonderful slideshow in Ilias Kapa’s YT Channel This is a slideshow, with great photographs of the greatest photographers in history. Sample work from Bill Brandt, Ansel Adams, Julia M…

Source: Great photographers: An Excellent Slideshow! | Chris Kapetanios photographer

Electronic shutter, rolling shutter and flash: what you need to know: Digital Photography Review

This article from DPREVIEW helps to break down the complex nature of electronic shutters and their interaction with sensors.  For those who care this reference material can be very educational and explain some of the issues that affect your images both still and video.

Whether you’re syncing a flash, wondering why banding is appearing in your image or getting strange images from your camera’s silent shutter mode, the way your shutter works has a role to play. Here’s what happens when you press the shutter button. Read more

Source: Electronic shutter, rolling shutter and flash: what you need to know: Digital Photography Review

(15) Lighting Tips: How to Capture that ‘National Geographic Style’ – YouTube

I have been practicing photography on both a personal and professional level for over 50 years.  Notice I said practicing.  Each time I log into an educational piece presented by  knowledgeable photo I learn something new, or get reminded of something I worked at a bunch of years ago.  But one should never stop practicing, exploring and learning from others.  I always can learn something pretty much every day and I worry about those who cannot. To often people carry an attitude that they know it all but you and I know that it is never the case.

So I hope you enjoy this video and learn perhaps just one thing that will make your life in photography more creative.

Always remember that your film camera or digital camera does not see the way you do and those great photographic instruments can always use your help.

Sean Tucker Photography-One Camera and one focal length – A thoughtful short video about life made easy

Sean Tucker Photography-One Camera and one focal length – A thoughtful short video about life made easy

 

I have been a very strong advocate of traveling light, being a minimalist and finding out just how much better your photography might be without a 20 pounds of heavy zooms on your back.

One of the most successful workshops my company gave was in Annapolis Maryland, usually on a Saturday or Sunday morning before sunrise and the students had the option of either using only one prime of their choice or a zoom lens of their choice which would have the zoom taped down at a focal length they preferred.  So several hours of shooting a large variety of subjects with only one focal length was the challenge.  The students came back with some incredible images but only after first grumbling about how they were to work.

Mr. Tucker talks about his experience of doing just this to shoot both video and stills with what he calls an older Canon 5dMarkII and one prime (50mm) lens.

I enjoyed his experience and I hope you do as well.

 

Sean Tucker Photography provides product photography, portrait photography, headshot photography, food photography, event photography, wedding photography, photo retouching and promotional videography to London and the UK.

Source: Tutorials — Sean Tucker Photography

In Defense of Post-Processing author Mitch Green for Petapixel

This article is of course one persons opinion, take on post processing but I think it is well thought out and beneficial to those who do post process and take the heat for doing what they need to do to enhance an image within the range of reality.

I have to admit that quite a few years ago I held the opinion that making ANY changes to an image was not the right and ethical thing to do.  My belief was based on people who alter an image to such a point that it leaves no real reference to what was originally captured.  I still feel that way but there is nothing wrong with removing dust and perhaps a tree limb here and there.  There is nothing wrong with boosting the color of a sunset, or the change the focal point of a scene  by adding a vignette as long as the base capture remains pretty much the same.

The linked article below pretty much sums up how I feel about processing an image.

There will more than likely be those who continue to frown on your artistic choices but in the end if you are doing it right then you will not have changed the whole concept of the image you first recorded in your camera.  That being the case I would tell your critics to move on.

Think about it.  Why add spices to a good piece of meat before or after cooking. After all the meat did come spiced.  Why add butter to a baked potato which did not grow with butter in it.  Why add accessories to your computer or car instead of using them as they came to you?  I am just saying.   Enhancement is quite often a good thing.

 

Post-processing has become part of the trade for photographers. Whether it’s something as seemingly innocuous as tweaking the white-balance, or something m

Source: In Defense of Post-Processing

Women in Photography: Street Photographer Michelle Groskopf of Los Angeles

Great Article – Read it and be inspired

Way to often the world looks at photo journalism as a mans way of recording the world forgetting that there have been so many women photographers, historians, guardians of life who have made incredible contributions to the art and to the world.

 

I grew up in Toronto Canada but moved to NYC to go to College. I spent most of my youth studying and working in Film and Television production, including teaching in a graduate department. As I got older NY changed and I changed. After 15 years I made the difficult decision to jump ship and move to LA. That’s when I shifted from moving images to still. Best decision I’ve ever made. LA is my muse. When I’m not photographing stories for magazines I’m in the street shooting. I always have to be shooting. It’s my outlet and main form of communicating with the world. I’m also a member of the Full Frontal Collective.

Source: Women in Photography: Street Photographer Michelle Groskopf of Los Angeles

Diane-Arbus

mary-ellen-mark