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Updated: 12 hours 33 min ago

How to Use a Pinhole Body Cap for Awesome, Creative Photography

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 06:00

The post How to Use a Pinhole Body Cap for Awesome, Creative Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Charlie Moss.

Making a pinhole body cap is a rite of passage on any digital photographer’s journey. It’s a great way to get some of the unpredictability of analog photography without spending loads money on film or having to wait for the results to come back from a lab.

But how do you make a pinhole body cap? And what do you shoot once you’ve made your pinhole body cap?

That’s what you’ll discover in this article.

What is a pinhole body cap and how do you make one?

First things first:

Let’s talk about pinhole body caps and how you make one. For that, you need to know what a pinhole camera is.

A pinhole camera is essentially a light-proof box with a small hole in one side. Light passes through the hole and projects an image on the opposite side of the box. It’s a tiny camera obscura – an optical phenomenon that has been known and used for hundreds of years. If you put photographic film or paper inside the box, you can record the image that the camera obscura produces!

So by modifying a camera body cap, you’re essentially creating a digital version of the camera obscura.

It’s very easy to do! You just need to buy a cheap body cap for your camera (don’t worry about it being on-brand and don’t destroy the one that came with your camera) and put a hole in the middle of it.

I use a tiny drill bit (and a holder meant for model-making) to put the smallest hole I can create in the center of the body cap. Then I take a small piece of black construction paper and put a hole in it with just the very tip of a skinny sewing needle.

Next, tape the construction paper into place on top of the hole you’ve just drilled, lining up the two holes as carefully as possible.

Finally, place the body cap directly onto the camera body and you should be ready to go!

(Note: On some digital cameras, you may need to use a setting that allows you to shoot without a lens attached. If you’re struggling to find this, check your camera manual.)

What’s so special about pinhole shooting?

There are a few great features of pinhole camera photography that you might want to think about as you plan what to shoot. Using a pinhole body cap is completely different than shooting with a traditional lens.

Concentrating on shape and texture can create striking pinhole body cap images.

Almost infinite focus

The first thing to note is that pinhole cameras have an incredibly large depth of field. You can’t focus a pinhole body cap, but that’s okay. You don’t need to. You’ll get images that are sharp throughout.

(However, this means you’ll lose any shallow depth of field or bokeh effects.)

Instead of blurring out any inconvenient backgrounds, you need to work with your surroundings in mind when you compose images.

No distortion

If you’re using a wide-angle pinhole body cap (the focal length of your pinhole body cap is the distance from the pinhole to the sensor), then there will be no lens distortion. When you are shooting architecture, the walls of the building will appear completely straight rather than curved as they would with many wide-angle lenses.

Using hard light to create contrast can be a way to make images appear sharper.

It is possible to increase the focal length of your pinhole body cap by using extension tubes and the like (or a cardboard toilet roll with the inside painted black).

Test out different focal lengths and see what you can achieve!

Long exposure times

The downside of all that depth of field is that you’ll generally need a pretty long exposure time for most shots. This does mean that you can work with interesting blur effects. If you’re shooting urban spaces you can also blur out most of the people in the image, too.

On the other hand, you generally need to take a tripod with you when you go out shooting with your pinhole body cap. The exposures will probably be too long to handhold your camera.

Asking your subject to move while photographing them can produce interesting effects.

It can be interesting to explore either intentional camera movement effects or long exposures on moving subjects with a pinhole body cap. I particularly enjoy using a pinhole body cap to shoot portraits of people.

Try looking at the portrait work of Victorian photographers who used wet plates, or the more modern long exposure portraits (with a large format camera) by Sally Mann. These can provide some inspiration for your pinhole photography of people.

Help! All my images are soft!

The sharpness of a pinhole image depends largely on the size and accuracy of the pinhole you create when building your pinhole body cap. Unsurprisingly, putting a hole in a piece of construction paper is a pretty inaccurate way to build photographic equipment.

The smaller the pinhole, the more accurate the image will be. And the neater the edges of the pinhole, the more perfect the circle around your image will be.

These two images are a direct comparison of a 35mm lens on a Fujifilm body (about a 50mm equivalent) and a pinhole body cap on the same body. The camera wasn’t moved between shots, and both images were cropped the same.

Ultimately, you’re going to need to embrace the heavy imperfections of this style when you plan what you’re going to shoot. Images will be in focus, but they will be very soft – and that’s not something you can correct afterward! If you really enjoy digital pinhole photography then you may want to explore some of the laser cut pinholes that are available on the market. They are very tiny, accurate circles and will create a more technically perfect image.

Of course, the smaller the pinhole, the longer the exposure you’ll need. This is because less light is hitting the sensor, so everything is a trade-off. With extremely tiny pinholes you can be looking at exposures of many minutes rather than a few seconds.

Seeing the world differently

I find that using a pinhole body cap forces me to approach photography differently. Because of the soft quality of the images and the large depth of field, I tend to focus on things like color and shape rather than the subject matter itself. It’s a great way to think about different kinds of composition rules.

If you end up with a pinhole that isn’t quite circular (like most of mine), that can also be a good thing to experiment with. Finding objects that fit inside the pinhole shape you’ve made can create some really unusual images.

What are you waiting for?

Time to get out and shoot! One of the best ways to improve your pinhole body cap photography is simply to head out and start capturing a ton of images. You need to learn how the things around you will translate into pinhole images. It’s only then that you’ll start to see the possibilities for pinhole photography.

Don’t be discouraged at first. It takes time to hit your stride with this style of photography. You may need to let go of some ingrained inhibitions and embrace the imperfections and flaws instead of aiming for technical excellence.

But eventually, you’ll be capturing some stunning photos!

We’d love to see your pinhole images! Share with us in the comments section.

The post How to Use a Pinhole Body Cap for Awesome, Creative Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Charlie Moss.

How to Use Pinterest to Grow Your Photo Business (Step-By-Step Guide)

Mon, 09/02/2019 - 08:30

The post How to Use Pinterest to Grow Your Photo Business (Step-By-Step Guide) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

Do you use Pinterest to market your photography services?

You should.

Because here’s the thing: Millions of potential clients use Pinterest. In fact, 250 million people around the world use Pinterest every month, and this number continues to grow. 

Most people think of Pinterest as a social media platform, but it’s actually a search engine that’s driven by search and discovery. Statistics show that nearly half of online users search in Pinterest before turning to Google. It has an incredible power to drive traffic to your site and grow brand awareness. Visitors from Pinterest convert into leads or sales faster than those from social media networks.

Why?

One reason is that Pinterest has a much longer shelf life than social media. Once an image is uploaded to an Instagram or Facebook feed, it gets buried quickly. With Pinterest, your pins will have staying power and benefit you more the longer they’re around. 

Now that you know why Pinterest is so great…

…let me tell you how you can gain traction on Pinterest, fast.



Step 1: Get a business account 

In order to use Pinterest effectively for your photography business, you’ll need to sign up for a free Business account. A Business account will allow you to monitor your analytics from within Pinterest. This will give you important information about the boards and pins that are most popular with your audience.

These insights can help you increase your engagement and pin more effectively.

Step 2: Create a succinct Pinterest profile

Your Pinterest profile needs to be short and to the point. It needs to let people know what you do. Are you a wedding shooter? Do you specialize in personal branding portraits? Include it in your profile.

For example, my main income comes from commercial and still-life photography, but I’m also a photography mentor. This third aspect of my business is the focus of my Pinterest account. Therefore, it’s the focus of my profile biography.

Step 3: Organize your board for your viewers

If you want to promote yourself as a photographer, you must always keep your target audience in mind. Your boards are not for you; they’re for your viewers, and so you need to speak to what they might be looking for when they log onto Pinterest.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have boards on crafting and cooking. It just means that you need to hide these non-business boards from public view.

Just remember, all of your visible boards must be relevant to potential clients.

Since I’m a food photographer, most of my boards feature beautiful images of food, organized into topical boards such as Salads, Desserts, Main Dishes, etc., as well as themes such as food photography lighting and styling.

And since I mentor food bloggers and emerging photographers, I also have boards such as Learn Food Photography as well as Blogging Tips. Use basic names for your boards that will be searchable and easy to find. 

Your boards should be organized from most relevant to least relevant, not by alphabetical order. Have your first board feature your own photography only; you want to show potential clients what you can do. Clean up your own boards and create new ones.

You’ll quickly see a big difference in your Pinterest traffic.

Step 4: Use keywords in your descriptions

Pinterest works similarly to Google – users search for specific content they’re interested in by using keywords.

In fact, keywords are the number-one tool for content discovery.

That’s why each of your boards should have a description using keywords or using hashtags created from keywords. Also, use as many keywords as possible in your pin descriptions. General keywords make your content easier to discover.

You can also use keywords to attract potential clients in your region. If you live in Portland and want to attract brides in your area, use keywords like “Portland Bride” or “Portland Weddings.” Add them to all of your descriptions and alt tags. Local keywords are underused and undervalued, especially in small markets, so they can make a big difference.


Step 5: Brand your pins

When creating pins, you may want to add text (depending on your niche and your reason for pinning posts).

If you’re just trying to share your stunning images, then this may not be relevant. But if you can think of a way to add text that will advertise your services, it’ll work in your favor. Surprisingly, pins with text get more attention than those without text.

For example, the purpose of my Pinterest account is to attract people to my photography coaching services and products. I do this by driving traffic from Pinterest to my blog.

How?

I create pins for each blog post I write. The pins are simply designed, but they’re consistent. I use the same font and style for each pin, which creates a “brand” for my pin that is consistent and that viewers will easily recognize.

Consider creating some pins with text in Photoshop or using an easy app like Canva. Canva offers a variety of free templates already sized for use on Pinterest. Test a few different styles and fonts and see how they perform. You may see that one style of pin gets repinned more than another. If so, then stick with that style.

Examples of branded pins created on Canva.

The bottom line is that you should try to keep a strong brand identity, one that highlights specific services and remains visually consistent. It might be a bit of extra work at first, but it’ll pay off in the end.

Step 6: Join group boards selectively

Group boards are like regular boards, except that the board owner can invite collaborators to add pins of their own.

Group boards used to be a great way to generate traffic. Until Pinterest introduced the “Smart Feed,” which prioritizes and ranks pins based on their quality and engagement.

This led to a big decline in the value of group boards. You see, group board collaborators often rarely look at the board, and therefore rarely repin other members’ content. Because no one interacts with the boards, Pinterest assumes the pins are not popular. So they don’t show up in the Smart Feed.

How do you avoid this problem and use group boards to your advantage?

Choose active, niche boards that focus on one topic and have less than 100 contributors. Too many contributors can mean low-quality content.

The important thing to remember is that quality is much more important than quantity.

A board that encourages mutual sharing is also crucial. For example, a policy stating that you need to repin two pins for every post you make can make a big difference.

If you choose to join group boards, then keep these points in mind.

Step 7: Use boards to collaborate with clients

Visuals are a part of the communication that should take place between you and your clients before you start a job, especially if you’re in the commercial world. Pinterest can help you share images that serve as inspiration or a guideline for an upcoming shoot. If you work with commercial or editorial clients, you can collaborate on a mood board using Pinterest. This ensures that everyone involved in the shoot understands what the final results should be.

If you work in a retail niche like weddings or portraiture, you can use Pinterest to get a sense of the mood and color your client is drawn to. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Light green might mean one thing to you and another to your customer, so images that demonstrate the feel and color treatment that is sought can go a long way in helping you get the right look.

You can also use Pinterest boards to educate clients. If you do glamour or boudoir portraits, you can send your client a What to Wear board. This will provide inspiration and examples for choosing outfits for their shoot.

Step 8: Schedule pins with the Tailwind app

Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduling tool. It’s a fantastic app to help you grow your audience like crazy.

You see, pinning consistently is important growth strategy, but most people don’t have time to be pinning throughout the day. With Tailwind, you can sit down once a week to schedule your pins. They’ll automatically upload throughout the week at optimal times. Or, if you prefer, you can customize your pin schedule.

Tailwind also offers powerful tools that analyze your pins and boards, as well as your Pinterest profile. You can see which pins are getting the most engagement and reschedule them right from the interface.

Conclusion

Pinterest is a great tool for generating visitors and leads.

And if you follow the steps I’ve given above, your Pinterest account will start expanding, fast.

So go set up your Pinterest account and start pinning!

Do you have any other tips for using Pinterest? Share with us in the comments section!

 

The post How to Use Pinterest to Grow Your Photo Business (Step-By-Step Guide) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

An In-Depth Look at Kenko DG Auto Extension Tubes

Mon, 09/02/2019 - 06:00

The post An In-Depth Look at Kenko DG Auto Extension Tubes appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

Extension tubes are neat little photographic accessories that allow you to create macro-like images without a macro lens. Are you considering getting into macro photography but don’t have the funds for a dedicated macro? Extension tubes could be the way to go.

There are plenty of different makes and models of extension tubes. The variety we’ll be looking at here are by a Japanese company called Kenko, which produces some of the most popular extension accessories available, the DG Auto series.

What are extension tubes?

An extension tube is essentially a hollow spacer that locks between a lens and camera body. An extension tube adjusts the minimum focusing distance (the closest point a subject can be from the camera’s sensor while still being able to focus) by moving the lens further from the camera sensor.

You can stack extension tubes for greater magnification. The thicker the stack of tubes, the closer you’re able to get to a subject and still achieve focus.

A comparison reveals the different capabilities of the Kenko DG Auto extension tubes. Taken with a Canon 50mm f/1.8 II.

Why use extension tubes?

There are numerous benefits that extension tubes have over a conventional macro lens.

Generally, extension tubes are much cheaper than a dedicated macro lens, making macro photography a lot more accessible.

Another benefit is the lack of additional glass between the lens and the sensor. You won’t have to sweat about the quality of extra glass degrading your image. The lack of glass also means extension tubes are quite durable.

Finally, extension tubes are light and easy to carry. So if you don’t want to lug around heavy lenses, extension tubes can be a great option.

What are the drawbacks of extension tubes?

Extension tubes are suited to lenses with small or medium focal lengths and generally work best with prime lenses.

Extending the amount of space between the sensor and the front lens element results in a reduction of light reaching the sensor. This requires an adjustment in shutter speed, ISO, or aperture to compensate. But when aperture controls the fine depth of field balance in a macro image, your only real options are a longer exposure, more noise, or a combination of both.

Also, because extension tubes increase the magnification of the lens, they magnify any flaws in a lens’s design.

In addition, extension tubes require you to remove your lens from the camera body each time you want to adjust the lens extension. This increases the chance of dust settling on the camera sensor.

While some extension tubes (like the Kenko DG Autos) offer autofocus compatibility, the results are generally mixed. Switching to manual focus is your best bet, and this isn’t entirely a bad thing, but it can slow you down in the field.

Not all macro photography has to be razor-sharp. For a softer effect, try adjusting your focus to just in front of your subject.

How do the Kenko DG Auto extension tubes perform? Construction

Available for Canon, Sony, and Nikon makes, Kenko DG Auto extension tubes usually come in a set of three: one 12mm tube, one 20mm tube, and one 36mm tube. These can be used individually or in a stack.

Each tube has a diameter of approximately 62mm with clear alignment markings to show where you should connect the tube to the camera body and lens. Unlike some cheaper plastic varieties of extension tubes, the Kenko DG Autos all have metal mounting mechanisms.

The 36mm Kenko DG Auto extension tube has a grip running around the outside of the tube.

Out in the field

For my close-up photography, I’ve been pairing my Kenko DG Auto extension tubes with my trusty Canon 50mm f/1.8 II. Without the added complications and weight of a zoom lens, the setup is simple and easy to assemble. The wide maximum aperture of the 50mm also helps compensate for the reduction in light that reaches the sensor as a consequence of the extension tubes.

One thing I look out for with the Kenko DG Autos: I ensure each tube has clicked firmly into place. While I haven’t had any accidents (thankfully), the mounts can be a bit soft sometimes. The potential amount of switching between extension tubes during a single shoot makes the chance of a misalignment higher, so make sure you fully lock each component.

A beautiful and rather patient bottle fly. This image required my 12mm, 20mm, and 36mm extension tubes attached.

Kenko DG Autos are designed with all the circuitry and mechanical coupling to maintain autofocus and TTL auto-exposure (provided there is enough light). However, as I mentioned before, the autofocus can still be a bit iffy. Plus, when taking an extreme close-up, there is such a small area of sharpness that any extra control over the focus of your composition is crucial. I still switch to manual focus 90% of the time for that degree of control.

As with all close-up photography, I use a tripod in a lot of cases to reduce camera shake. In addition, because of the reduction in light reaching the sensor, I often have to compensate with a longer exposure – which makes the tripod a valuable piece of equipment to have on hand.

Price

The Kenko DG Auto set is markedly cheaper than offerings from Canon. While a Canon EF 25 II extension tube is about $150 USD on Amazon, the Kenko DG Auto set (the 12mm, 20mm, and 36mm) is priced at just over $100 USD. Given that the tubes contain no glass, they have no optical difference and are very similar in construction. The largest difference between the two brands online is the release levers. The Canon tube release lever is reportedly smoother to that of the levers on the Kenko tubes.

A flower head photographed with a 36mm Kenko DG Auto extension tube

Conclusion

Extension tubes have made macro photography much more accessible. If you’re interested in macro photography, it may well be worth investing in the set offered by Kenko. For their price and utility, the Kenko DG Auto extension tubes are a definite staple in my photography kit.

The post An In-Depth Look at Kenko DG Auto Extension Tubes appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

3 Tips for Becoming a Unique and Successful Photographer

Sun, 09/01/2019 - 08:30

The post 3 Tips for Becoming a Unique and Successful Photographer appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

If you want to become a successful photographer, then there are a few things you absolutely must know.

That’s what you’re going to learn in this article:

Three key tips for becoming a truly masterful photographer.

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Will it be a fast journey? Probably not.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult, either. If you enjoy photography, then you’ll have a ton of fun!

So if you’re ready to become a unique and successful photographer…

…then let’s get started.

Tip 1: Don’t get hung up on what you ‘should’ do

Many photographers read tutorials and watch videos. Then they try to mimic exactly what is being taught. They try to create the same photos the instructor is telling them to.

But if you learn photography this way, you’ll end up having photos that look like everyone else’s. You won’t discover a unique style of your own.

Sure, it’s good to study and learn from those who have more skill and understanding. But there is no formula for perfect photography. There is no absolutely correct way to make a picture.

Whether you’re taking a senior portrait or photographing products for a catalog, there are no hard and fast rules. There are guidelines. If you follow some of them you’ll make sharp, well-exposed photos that are well-composed. But if you try to rigidly stick to a method, you will not make creative photos.

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Every scene you photograph is different. Even if you photograph the same garden or building every day, things will change. The light will be different. It may be sunny one day and raining the next. Your subject may change over time.

So you must take what you’ve learned and adapt it to the situation. Apply photography techniques that best suit your subject and the current circumstances.

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Obtain the skills and learn the rules. Know these things well, so your thoughts aren’t consumed by them each time you want to take a photograph.

But don’t apply a set of rules to your photography. Doing this may bring technically correct results. But often photography which is only technically correct is rather dull and boring.

You can find examples of very similar sets of images posted on social media and photo-sharing sites, and in all manner of ‘how to’ photography books. They all look repetitively similar because the photographer has only followed the rules.

Instead, apply your own creative thinking. Consider the rules, but don’t apply them unless they enhance your photo the way you want them to.

Tip 2: Put feeling into your photography for masterful images

If you want to be a truly great photographer, learn how to infuse your photography with feeling. Put something of yourself into your pictures.

This is what will make your photos unique. Nobody else has the same worldview you do.

This is not an easy concept for many photographers to grasp, but all you need to do is look at some of the best photos. The ones which attract you the most.

Ask yourself why you like them so much. Look at the greats. Admire the work of Irving Penn, Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and the like. What is it about the way they have seen the world and photographed it that makes their photographs special?

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Look at favorite photos you have taken. What’s special about them? Are they only technically correct, or is there more to them? Do they capture a unique moment? Do they include feeling?

Photos which embody emotion are more powerful. Capturing the moment that conveys emotion, regardless of technical considerations, often results in the most compelling photographs.

Technical imperfection can even enhance the feeling in a photograph. A moment of laughter mistakenly overexposed can add to the spirited feeling. An underexposed photo of someone feeling sad will add to the expression of their despair.

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Here’s the bottom line:

If you can include feeling in your photos, if you can communicate something to viewers about your perspective, then you’ll be well on your way to being a truly successful photographer.

Tip 3: Study your craft and photograph often

Here’s the great thing about photography:

The more you pick up your camera, the faster you will develop as a photographer.

Your technical skills will improve, and your ability to see what makes a great photo will improve, too.

I suggest you commit yourself to learning a new photography technique every month, or even every week. Get the new technique ingrained into your subconscious mind so you don’t have to concentrate on what camera settings to use. Then the settings will come to you automatically, even when you do choose to use Manual mode.

Reaching a high level of ability takes time. Like any artist, you have to start by mastering the essentials. Once you have, you will be free to express yourself.

Learning to play the piano or to dance well involves hours and hours of patient, determined practice. Photography is the same! The more you study and practice with your camera, the more expressive you will become with it. The less you have to think about the adjustments you need to make, the more focus you can give to being creative.

So engross yourself in your favorite genres of photography. Photograph often and with the desire to make improvements each time you do.

Over time your photographic skills will advance.

And, pretty soon, you’ll be a successful photographer.

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Conclusion

I believe we are all inherently creative. We are created to be creative.

This means that every one of us has the potential to be a great photographer.

You just have to work hard at your photography.

Eventually, you’ll be creating stunning, unique photos.

The post 3 Tips for Becoming a Unique and Successful Photographer appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

5 Basic Post-Processing Tips to Instantly Improve Your Photos

Sun, 09/01/2019 - 06:30

The post 5 Basic Post-Processing Tips to Instantly Improve Your Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Nisha Ramroop.

Are you a beginner looking to improve your post-processing skills?

That’s what this article is all about. In it, you’ll discover five post-processing tips that will immediately take your photos to the next level. Best of all, these tips aren’t even difficult to follow, and they require nothing more than the most basic image-editing program.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Straighten your horizon for professional-looking photos

When the horizon isn’t straight, even the untrained eye picks up that something is off. They might not know exactly what’s wrong, but they’ll be aware that the scene seems out of order.

Which is why you absolutely must make sure your horizon is straight.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to correct the horizon; you can do it in any post-processing program.

Here are the instructions for straightening the horizon in Photoshop:

Step 1: Select the Crop tool

Step 2: Click the Straighten option at the top

Step 3: Click one side of your horizon and drag across the horizon line before you release

Your horizon will instantly straighten!

2. Adjust the white balance for natural-looking images

White balance is a setting used to balance the color of the light you shoot, in order to get it close to a neutral white.

You see, when the color of your subject is distorted by the existing lighting conditions, you need to use the white balance setting to save the day.

Now, one way to set the white balance correctly is to get it right in-camera. However, some photographers prefer to shoot in RAW with an auto white balance setting, and then adjust the white balance afterward.

If that’s your preference, then you’ll need to choose your white balance in a post-processing program. It’s generally easy to select a white balance option that adjusts for the lighting of your shot. You’re also free to experiment with different white balance options so you can choose the one that most reflects your creative vision.

For instance, the scene below has a Fluorescent white balance applied to it using Adobe Camera Raw.

And here’s the same scene but with a Shade white balance applied:

3. Boost your contrast to create images that pop

Do your images look a little flat?

One of the simplest ways to make your photos pop is to adjust the contrast. A contrast adjustment further separates the darkest and brightest areas of your image. In other words, it makes the dark tones darker and the light tones lighter.

Increased contrast, therefore, makes tones stand out and gives your photos a more three-dimensional feel. Compare the image above to the image below; I added contrast to the second image, which gives it a subtle pop.

Pretty much every image editor has a contrast slider. And boosting the contrast is often as simple as pushing the slider to the right.

So just remember:

If you’re struggling to make your photos more lively, try increasing the contrast. It’s a simple post-processing tip, but one that really works!

4. Boost the saturation or vibrance sliders for better colors

The saturation and vibrance adjustment sliders usually sit next to each other and can be confusing. Both of these add an extra color punch to your image, but they do so in different ways.

You see, saturation adjusts the intensity of all the colors in your image at once. If you push the saturation slider, you’re going to see color saturation increase across the board. Therefore, it’s an adjustment you want to use sparingly.

Vibrance, by comparison, is a “smarter” saturation tool, one that adjusts only the duller colors in your image. Increasing the vibrance will boost the less-saturated colors, but won’t affect colors that are already saturated.

Look at these two photos:

I boosted the saturation of the photo on the left, and I boosted the vibrance of the photo on the right.

Note that when you lower the saturation of your colors, your image takes on a more muted effect, like this:

In general, boosting the vibrance or the saturation will instantly improve your images.

5. Sharpen your photos for the best display on the web

Your images are most likely going to be displayed on the internet.

However, when you export your photos from most image-editing programs, you’re going to end up with blurry photos. Unless you sharpen for the web, that is.

There are a few ways to sharpen in Photoshop. Here is one you can try:

Step 1: Resize your image to the size you want it displayed. (If you sharpen your high resolution/original image and then resize it, the image will appear to lose its sharpness. Sharpening an image at your display resolution works better.)

Step 2: Duplicate your layer.

Step 3: Desaturate your new layer (from Menu, Image > Adjustments > Desaturate).

Step 4: Change your blend mode to Overlay. (Alternatively, you can use the Soft Light blend mode for a more subtle effect.)

Step 5: Now apply a High-Pass filter (from Menu, Filter > Other > High Pass) and choose a radius around 2.0 for an image of 730 pixels (on the long side). The Overlay option you chose above allows you to see how the radius affects the image so you can play around with it.

Note: The bigger your image, the larger your radius will be.

If the sharpness doesn’t look good on the entire image, you can use a layer mask and paint black over the areas where you want to hide the effect.

Step 6: Save for the web (from Menu, File > Save for Web). Check the Convert to sRGB box if unchecked.

Conclusion

If you’ve just begun your photography journey or if you’re looking to improve your basic editing skills, then these post-processing tips are a great place to start.

In fact, basic editing is often all you need to dramatically improve your photos.

So follow these tips, and watch as your images improve!

The post 5 Basic Post-Processing Tips to Instantly Improve Your Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Nisha Ramroop.

Weekly Photography Challenge – Dappled Light

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 15:00

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Dappled Light appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

This week’s photography challenge topic is DAPPLED LIGHT!

Bruno van der Kraan

Dappled light creates some wonderful looks in an image. Go out and take images with dappled light – think light reflecting through the curtains onto the wall on a sunny afternoon, speckles of light hitting leaves in a forest, a street scene where light plays on footpaths, walls, and people.

They can be color, black and white, moody or bright. Just so long as they include dappled light! You get the picture!

Have fun, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Annie Spratt

Nick West

the beatboy.

Check out some of the articles below that give you tips on this week’s challenge.

Tips for Shooting DAPPLED LIGHT

An Easy Hack for Shooting into the Sun and Processing the Images

There is No Bad Light for Street Photography

How to Photograph Against the Sun for Stunning Images

How to See and Photograph Light – 6 Tips to Help you Take Better Photos

Tips for Better Forest Photography

8 Quick Tips to Produce Better Forest Photography

 

Weekly Photography Challenge – DAPPLED LIGHT

Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge.

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

You can also share your images in the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

If you tag your photos on Flickr, Instagram, Twitter or other sites – tag them as #DPSdappledlight to help others find them. Linking back to this page might also help others know what you’re doing so that they can share in the fun.

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Dappled Light appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

How to Shoot a Self Portrait to Support your Brand Identity

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 08:30

The post How to Shoot a Self Portrait to Support your Brand Identity appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Charlie Moss.

Personal branding has become more and more important over the last few years. As photographers, we often carefully curate the image that we present to the world, even as amateurs. Our brand and image are usually closely linked to the kind of photographs we shoot.

Photographers will often carefully curate the look of their website. They’ll spend hours contemplating the images and text that they use to express their photographic hopes and dreams. They want their websites and online portfolios to give people an insight into their creative working process and the kind of photos that they intend to take.

I often start with natural light when shooting self-portraits. It’s how I prefer to shoot most of the time!

And yet, I often look at the ‘about me’ page on a photographers website, portfolio page, or social media, and front and center is a photograph of them taken by someone else. The image on your “about me” page, or your portfolio profile picture, is a great piece of marketing real estate. You can use this space to express yourself and tell a story. So why let someone else take that photo?

So what’s the solution? Shoot a self portrait! Put your own work in that valuable space, and express yourself and your photographic style clearly and coherently – even on your “about me” page.

What is a brand identity?

Now more than ever, photographers are the face of their brand. Almost everywhere you go on the internet, you’ll have the option to upload an ‘avatar’ image that represents you in digital format. This avatar image is a space to tell the world something about you and your photography.

A brand identity is the way you present your work to the world. It’s the visual and textual elements that differentiate you from other people in the minds of your audience. Since photographers are usually the main (and often only) person in the creative process when it comes to image-making, they are often the embodiment of their brand.

A single large beauty dish for this portrait reflects one of my usual lighting styles.

Generally, for a photographer, their brand identity will be heavily tied up with their style in which they usually work. A photographer who creates beautiful fine art portraits inspired by the Old Masters may have a brand identity that embodies timelessness, heritage, and classical values. On the other hand, someone creating cutting edge contemporary portraits may embody qualities such as innovation, diversity, and courage.

The key is to get your values into the images you’re shooting. You’ll probably find it happens naturally once you’ve been shooting a while and have developed a style. However, creating a self-portrait for your “about me” page and avatars is a good time to brainstorm what your work is about. The challenge is to see if you can capture these ideas in a single shot.

Got a fear of shooting self-portraits?

Self-portraits are hard. They’re hard technically, creatively, and emotionally. It’s no surprise really that photographers often shy away from self-portraiture. Portraits can be hard enough to get right when you’re shooting other people, let alone when you’re photographing yourself!

Experimental tricks like this shallow depth of field combined with fairy lights can add an artistic side to a self-portrait while covering up any perceived flaws in the way we look.

That aside, a self-portrait or two is also a great way to improve your skills, try new things, and make sure that the entirety of your personal branding works together coherently. You are likely to be your most patient subject, and if you set aside a day to create your self-portrait then you have time to get it exactly right – even if you’re trying something new.

Go light on the retouching. When you’re working on a self-portrait in post-processing, it’s easy to be super-critical of everything you don’t like about yourself. Stick to your usual workflow and only retouch as much as you normally would.

Start simple

If all else fails, start like you would any other portrait. If you’d usually start with a simple two-light headshot in your studio, then give that a go first. Review your images and then make adjustments. Once you’ve found a shot that works then try something a bit different. You might find a completely new direction for your work!

This self-portrait was shot with natural light against a grey paper background. Often simple pictures can be really effective!

It’s easy to think about self-portraits in the context of a studio, but don’t limit yourself! Take your camera outside into natural light if that’s a place you enjoy taking portraits usually. You can even buy stands to hold reflectors so that you can take advantage of all the usual light modifiers that you’d use.

But if you’re going out on location to shoot self-portraits, consider taking someone with you. It’s easy to get distracted while shooting self-portraits out and about. Having an extra pair of eyes can help protect you and your equipment. You can also get your assistant to hold the reflector or a flashgun too!

And if you want to really show off what you do, consider an environmental portrait in your own studio and surrounded by your tools of the photographic trade.

Think about the context

Where is your self-portrait going to be placed? Will it be on your own website or will it be on social media?

In traditional media, you usually want to have the subject facing the viewer or looking towards the center of the book or magazine. There’s a reason for this. It helps direct the readers focus back to the content rather than off the edge of the page into the wider world. It’s a simple trick to help keep the readers’ attention where you want it.

The “about me” page on my portfolio website showing my self-portrait in relation to the text block.

You can apply this to your website too. Think about the placement of your self-portrait on the page of your website. Does it fit better on the left or the right of the “about me” text? When you’re working out your poses, keep this in mind and make sure you’re either looking straight ahead or towards the text block.

It’s possible to break the rules, of course, but make sure you shoot both options if you’re going to be adventurous!

What about the practicalities of self-portraits?

If your camera connects to a phone app that can assist with exposure and focusing, then make sure you take full advantage of that. Self-portraits used to be a lengthy process that involved sitting my mannequin on a chair in my studio to get the focus and lighting right.

Now I can see everything in real-time, including exposure and focus adjustments, using the Fujifilm Cam Remote app that connects to my camera.

Using the Fujifilm Cam Remote app to set up the lighting and exposure, and the resulting self-portrait a few minutes later. (Lighting was a single large beauty dish).

If you don’t have a camera that connects to your phone, get yourself a remote trigger and consider shooting tethered to a laptop so that you can see the images as you trigger the camera. You can look at software such as Lightroom or Capture One Pro for tethering. That way you can make small adjustments to your pose and settings as you go along to make sure that you really nail everything and create your best work.

Using a good tripod will also save you some frustration when you’re shooting portraits. Balancing the camera on a stack of books can work (believe me, I’ve done it before), but a tripod will help you compose a shot more effectively. Don’t forget to try unusual compositions too. Raising the camera up above your eye level can be very flattering while shooting from down low can create a powerful pose.

A profile self-portrait recalls the kinds of images that you often see historically on coins and medals. Don’t be afraid to experiment with unconventional poses when photographing yourself.

Keep your standards high

And lastly, be as thorough and rigorous with your standards as you would when shooting a portrait of anyone else.

Make the effort to do your hair, press your clothes, and get a great expression. Just because it’s a self-portrait it doesn’t mean it’s an excuse to be lazy and “fix it in post.”

I’d love to see how you get on with shooting your self-portrait to support your brand and expressing your values through them. Drop a comment below with the results, and don’t forget to update your avatar with your new portrait!

 

The post How to Shoot a Self Portrait to Support your Brand Identity appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Charlie Moss.

6 Reasons Your Photos Might Be Lacking Sharpness

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 06:00

The post 6 Reasons Your Photos Might Be Lacking Sharpness appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kav Dadfar.

Capturing sharp photos needn’t be difficult. Most amateur photographers who struggle to capture sharp photos make one of the common mistakes listed below. The good news is that with a little bit of practice and knowhow, you will be able to take sharp photos most of the time. At the very least, you should accept that you will make mistakes and have blurred photos from time to time when starting out. Instead of getting frustrated, try to analyze each blurred photo to understand why it might be lacking in sharpness. In the meantime here are 6 reasons your photos might be lacking sharpness.

Reasons your photos might be lacking sharpness 1. Shutter speed too slow

Often this is the number one culprit for photos lacking sharpness. There are three potential mistakes when it comes to shutter speed. The first is simply the question of are you using a fast enough shutter speed for what you are photographing? For example, a cheetah running will need a much faster shutter speed to freeze the action. Whereas, a statue doesn’t. So the first thing you should do is understand what shutter speed you need for the subject you are shooting. As an example, you might be able to get away with something like 1/60th sec when taking a portrait. But for someone running, you will need a shutter speed of something like 1/200th sec.

The second issue is around the lens you are using. As a general rule, your shutter speed should at the least be the same as your lens focal length. So for example, if you are shooting with a 200mm lens, your shutter speed should be at least 1/200th sec. However, there is a slight caveat to this rule. Image stabilization in modern lenses is very good. It can allow you to shoot below the minimum required. But, to be safe, stick to this rule.

Lastly, how fast you need for your shutter speed also comes down to you. If you have steady hands, then you may be able to shoot sharp photos at a slower shutter speed than someone else. Test this out by photographing a scene at different shutter speeds to determine how slow you can go.

Closer inspection of this photo reveals that there is a lack of sharpness.

2. Not using the correct aperture

Your aperture determines your depth of field. This also has a major impact on the sharpness of your photo. For example, if you are photographing a landscape scene with a shallow depth of field like f/2.8, then only a small part of your scene will be sharp. Depending on where you focused, only things along that distance will be sharp. So in this scenario, where you want more of your image to be sharp, you need to use a smaller aperture (i.e., higher f/number).

For something like landscape photography, you need to use an aperture of f/8 or smaller.

3. ISO is too high

Even though modern-day DSLRs have hugely improved in the amount of noise that appears in photos at high ISOs, unfortunately, it still does affect sharpness. If you set your ISO too high, your image will begin to look soft and as a result lack sharpness. Always remember only to raise your ISO as high as you need to.

Better still, if you can, use a tripod and keep your ISO low.

This photo was taken at 6400 ISO. When zoomed in, as you can see the noise is making it feel soft.

4. Haven’t locked up mirror

A lot of amateur photographers may not be aware of this potential issue when using a tripod. Every time that you click the shutter button, the mirror inside the camera flips over to allow light to hit the sensor.

When you are using a fast shutter speed, this process doesn’t cause any problems. But when you are photographing using a long exposure where your shutter speed is very slow, when the mirror flips over, the vibrations can cause a lack of sharpness in your image. You can either use the function in your DSLR menu to “lock mirror” or shoot in live view mode for the same effect.

An example of the lack of sharpness even when using a tripod when the mirror hasn’t been locked.

5. Poor quality tripod

Just like anything else, there are good quality tripods and poor quality tripods. Of course, buying a better and more sturdy tripod might be expensive, but isn’t that a price worth paying for sharper photos?

A poor quality tripod will put your expensive equipment at risk because it may not be sturdy enough even to withstand a gust of wind. However, cheap material can also be prone to vibrations, which, in turn, can mean a lack of sharpness in your photos.

So don’t take the risk. Ideally, invest in a good quality carbon fiber tripod.

6. Not using a remote or self-timer

Even the faintest of touches can cause camera shake when photographing at long exposures. This means that even when you press the shutter button to take a photo, you are causing movement. The only way to be sure that your photos will not suffer from camera shake is to use a remote release or the self-timer on the camera. This will ensure you will not have to touch the camera when you take the photo.

By far the best way to ensure that your photos are sharp is to use a tripod. But whilst that is not always possible or convenient, by following the advice above you can still ensure that your photos will be sharp.

We hope these tips help you achieve sharper photos! Do you have any other tips to add to the reasons your photos might be lacking sharpness? Share with us in the comments!

 

The post 6 Reasons Your Photos Might Be Lacking Sharpness appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kav Dadfar.

Street Photography with $10 Ilford HP5 Film Camera

Thu, 08/29/2019 - 08:30

The post Street Photography with $10 Ilford HP5 Film Camera appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kunal Malhotra.

Recently, I came across a very interesting and unique film camera, the Ilford HP5 Plus Single Use Film Camera. As the name says, this is a single-use disposable film camera that comes pre-loaded with Ilford ISO 400 HP5 film.

This is a medium-contrast black and white film which instantly made me purchase this $10 camera and give it a try. That’s not all; it also features a built-in flash and a large enough viewfinder.

Being a film camera, it offers a total of 27 exposures, after which the camera becomes disposable. As you would expect at this price, it is a solid plastic body. However, the coolest thing about this Ilford camera is its ‘white & green’ design, which looks quite trendy and classy. Not sure about you, but I did not dispose of the camera and have kept it with me for its design.

While I was clicking photos with this camera on the streets, at least 10 people approached me to know more about this camera.

Ease of use

The ergonomics of this camera is just like any 35mm film camera back in the days, but a lot lighter. At the top, it displays the number of remaining exposures, and next to it is the shutter release button. Interestingly, in order to trigger the flash, you have to press the button placed below the flash. Is the flash powerful enough? Well, it is decent enough for the price that we pay for this film camera.

The viewfinder is actually good in terms of visibility. Also, if you are a DSLR camera user, do keep in mind that there is a slight difference in what you see through the viewfinder and what the film captures. So you must compose your frame accordingly as the viewfinder sits above the film/lens. In case you plan to purchase this camera, kindly be cautious with the lens, as it can easily attract fingerprints or dust.

Image quality

Before I share my views about the image quality out of this $10 single-use camera, I must admit my expectations were very low. But surprisingly the images came out pretty well while doing street photography, with high contrast and good exposure control. The moment I saw the first print, I was excited to see the film-like monochrome look. For me, the grains were just what I would expect out of Ilford ISO 400 film. Nothing more, nothing less.

Obviously, we cannot compare the results out of this disposal camera with an SLR camera, but for me, it can get the job done when the situation demands. Just for fun, I might buy this single-use camera again instead of using film in my SLR camera.

I am not much aware about how to develop the film, so I had a hard time finding a good color lab in my locality. But I guess it depends on the region. If you do have multiple lab options nearby, that’s awesome.

Conclusion

If you are enthusiastic about testing cool camera gadgets, you must give this camera a try. There might be times when you do not want to carry your SLR, or are not technically sound with camera settings. This is when the Ilford HP5 single use camera can help you capture decent images. I would love to know what you guys feel about this cool camera? How did you like the image quality?

 

The post Street Photography with $10 Ilford HP5 Film Camera appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kunal Malhotra.

6 Film Photography Challenges that can Improve your Digital Photography

Thu, 08/29/2019 - 06:00

The post 6 Film Photography Challenges that can Improve your Digital Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Tim Gilbreath.

Film photography, as an art form, is having a huge renaissance at the moment. This resurgence in popularity has been going on for a few years now, and the reasons for its existence is many fold.

Primarily, shooting film taps into our sense of nostalgia. Those are powerful feelings, and that power can push us on to do better and ignite our desire to learn more. At first, the general consensus of the photography community was that the return of film was a hipster’s game and almost became a cliche.

Older, more experienced photographers reminded us there was a reason film had gone by the wayside when digital photography became widely used. What about all of the advancements in technology that made it easier, faster, and cheaper to take the same photos we took before?

In the end, the truth shows the mediums of film and digital sensors can, and do, coexist. An even happier truth is that not only is film photography still valid in this day and age, but its greatest purpose is also to bolster our knowledge of the craft and infinitely improve our digital picture-taking techniques and resulting images.

Let’s explore a few film photography challenges and their benefits a little further.

1. There’s no chimping after shooting a photo

“Chimping” refers to the practice of checking your display or viewfinder after every capture to see the resulting image. It seems nowadays everyone is speaking out against it. Film cameras, of course, having no digital display, didn’t have this ability. You didn’t know what the shot would look like until you developed the film.

While there are certainly advantages to this practice, such as quickly identifying an incorrect exposure or setting, it is easy to fall into a habit of methodically looking at your display and missing other opportunities to shoot. Most camera LCDs are very small. They don’t do a great job of representing details of how capture really looks.

Try adjusting the review settings in your camera and setting them to one second, or no review if that’s an option. This will simulate just shooting without spending time looking over the resulting image.

2. You are limited to 24 or 36 shots

Another limitation of shooting with a film camera is the number of exposures available to you. Depending on the film type, you could only have a couple of dozen exposures to use on a single roll. Once they were gone, they were gone – no deleting in-camera.

Shooting with a limited set of exposures compels you to slow down a bit and take your time when shooting. If you know you only have a small number of shots, you’ll definitely take more care with composition, settings, and lighting before clicking the shutter button.

Of course, this exercise can be practiced by mentally allowing yourself only 24 or 36 shots in a session, and then going back to review them after pulling them off of the camera. Did you notice an improvement in the technical aspects of the image after you had to stop “spraying and praying”?

3. You are stuck with a single ISO for a whole roll of film

In the film days, ISO wasn’t used in the same context as it is today. Now, we think of ISO as an adjustable setting on our cameras (which of course, it is). We know that raising the ISO on our DSLR or mirrorless cameras lets in more light to the sensor, at the expense of adding digital noise.

Film cameras didn’t have these adjustments, because the film you loaded dictated the ISO. To shoot indoors in a lower light situation, you’d buy and load an ISO 400 or ISO 800 film. Then, to shoot outside in the sun, you’d more likely go with ISO 100.

The caveat, of course, was once you loaded a roll of film, you were stuck with that ISO until you finished the roll.

Nowadays, we can change ISO for every shot, drastically improving the efficiency of our series of images captured in one sitting.

Try shooting with the same ISO through an entire set of images with your digital camera. Many of us will leave the ISO the same for extended periods. However, not changing it at all strengthens your knowledge and usage of the exposure triangle. You’re going to have to adjust aperture and shutter speed instead to get a properly exposed image.

4. You need to know how to use manual exposure controls

As stated above, today ISO is a setting or a dial, not a roll of film you can’t change until it’s finished. Film cameras are the perfect tool to learn the exposure triangle since most controls are manual on these devices. Some later SLR models had automatic aperture controls, but even these require a little more input than what is available on current DSLRs.

To simulate this, set your camera’s mode to “Manual,” and play around with the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to see what happens when one or more of these are changed. What does it do to the needle in the light meter? How does that final effect change the image recorded?

Proper exposure is a game. Changing one part of the exposure triangle changes the final output. You have to find out what other settings you must alter to balance that change and produce a correctly exposed image.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on when you set your camera to Av (aperture priority) or Tv (shutter priority).

5. There is no autofocus, so you’ll need to focus manually

One of the greatest technological improvements available in DSLR cameras today involves how the user focuses on a particular point in the frame. In older SLR cameras, a manually rotating ring on the lens controlled lens focusing. It changed the distance between the lens and sensor, thereby increasing or decreasing the sharpness of the focus.

On the DSLR cameras of today, electronic autofocus systems allow the photographer to manually or automatically select focus points within the frame. Then the camera adjusts a motorized focusing mechanism within the lens to focus. This can all happen very quickly – in seconds – and greatly improved picture taking over the last couple of decades.

As wonderfully innovative as autofocus is, not using it can help us reconnect with the mechanisms of film cameras. It helps us better understand the act of focusing a lens on increasing or decreasing sharpness in an image. Thankfully, most modern lenses give you the option of disabling the autofocus system altogether and focus manually.

To do this, simply look for the autofocus switch on your lens barrel (usually a two-position switch marked AF at one end, and MF at the other), and switch it to MF (manual focus). Doing this disables your autofocus system. You’ll be required to rotate the thin ring near the end of the lens to adjust focus.

6. There are no LCD screens, menus or advanced features to help you along

As camera systems entered the digital age and became more advanced, cameras themselves started to rely less on analog controls and more on menus available on bigger LCD screens. These menus allow you to control the finer aspects of the camera. They let you dig deeper into the options available.

Of course, film cameras had no menus. They didn’t even have LCD screens. Any options that you had control of you adjusted through analog knobs and switches on the camera body. With an old Canon AE-1 Program, you couldn’t change the file format (there isn’t one) or which autofocus mode to use (of course, no autofocus). To use “Program” mode, you simply turned the aperture ring on the lens to “A,” and the camera would then set the shutter speed and aperture automatically.

Naturally, you can simulate this by ignoring your LCD screen entirely. That means no chimping images after you push the shutter button, and not adjusting any settings in the camera. Using the analog dials (if available) on your camera will, again, help strengthen your understanding of the basics of taking photos. In the long run, this can only improve your photography.

In closing

So as we’ve seen, these film photography challenges can provide many benefits to modern-day shooters, whether you have an interest in analog photography or not. So take an afternoon out with your camera, and pretend it’s an old SLR, with none of the benefits of your newer model.

Get back to the basics. Concentrate on the bare essentials needed to capture a photograph. You will come out with a better understanding of how to capture light, and a more fulfilling enjoyment of the hobby. Also, you’ll produce better pictures, and more importantly, know exactly how you captured them.

Do you shoot with film cameras? Have you tried treating your dSLR like a film camera? Share with us your thoughts on these film photography challenges in the comments below!

 

The post 6 Film Photography Challenges that can Improve your Digital Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Tim Gilbreath.

Canon and Sony Announce New DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 23:27

The post Canon and Sony Announce New DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Last week, we reported Canon 90D specs based on a leaked promo video.

And this week, we can talk about the Canon 90D with complete certainty, because it has now been announced alongside the (mirrorless) Canon M6 Mark II.

The original Canon M6, to which the Canon EOS M6 Mark II is the successor.

Canon EOS 90D

The new Canon 90D will start shipping in September, so you still have a few weeks to decide whether it’s the right piece of kit for your needs. But the specs are looking pretty enticing. They include (but are not limited to):

  • A 32-megapixel APS-C sensor for large, high-quality photos
  • 11 frames per second continuous shooting for action and wildlife photography
  • 45 cross-type AF points and Dual Pixel autofocus
  • 100% viewfinder
  • Articulating touchscreen LCD

The continuous shooting speed capabilities are impressive. At 11 frames per second, you should be able to capture action scenes with ease, especially when paired with the 45 cross-type autofocus points.

The price isn’t bad, either, coming in at $1199 USD.

Here’s the bottom line:

You should keep your eye on the Canon 90D if you’re looking for a faster action camera but don’t want to pay for an ultra-high-end model.

Canon EOS M6 Mark II

Around the same time that the 60D was announced, Canon also unveiled the Canon EOS M6 Mark II, which is a mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor, designed as a followup to the original EOS M6.

The EOS M6 Mark II is aimed at an enthusiast audience, costing just $850 USD and including no electronic viewfinder.

The rest of the specs are a nice list, as the EOS M6 Mark II features a 32.5-megapixel sensor, a tilting touchscreen, and 14 frames per second continuous shooting.

You’ll like the EOS M6 Mark II if you need a nice portable, walkaround camera.

Sony a6600 and a6100

Finally, Sony also made a big announcement:

Two new mirrorless cameras, the a6600 and the a6100.

Both cameras feature APS-C sensors, though the a6600 is marketed at more serious audiences. It packs 24 megapixels and in-body image stabilization, along with 11 fps continuous shooting and a high-quality electronic viewfinder.

The Sony a6100 is also a 24-megapixel camera that shoots at 11 fps, but it lacks in-body image stabilization.

For all you photographers out there looking to upgrade, you’ve got some tough choices ahead of you!

The post Canon and Sony Announce New DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

The Highline Ballhead Review: The Best Bargain Ballhead in 2019?

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 08:30

The post The Highline Ballhead Review: The Best Bargain Ballhead in 2019? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Rick Ohnsman.

The Highline ballhead is billed by its creators, Colorado Tripod Company, as “ultralight,” with an “increased range of motion.”

But does the ballhead live up to the hype?

That’s what this Highline ballhead review is all about. I recently received a ballhead of my own, and I’ve been putting it through its paces.

In the next few sections, I’m going to take you through my experiences with the Highline ballhead. And I’ll let you know if it’s something you should consider purchasing.

(Spoiler alert: It’s a bargain worth checking out.)

Two views of the Highline ballhead.

The Highline ballhead overview

First things first:

Where does this new ballhead come from?

The Highline ballhead is produced by the Colorado Tripod Company (CTC). The CTC caught the attention of photographers when they announced on Kickstarter they would be producing the “world’s first titanium tripod system.”

For the purposes of this article, I will focus on the aluminum version of the Highline Ballhead, as that is the product I received for review. However, a titanium version is available from CTC.

As for the specs:

The Highline ballhead is has a 70 lb (32 kg) load capacity, though the ballhead itself weighs just 16 oz (0.45 kg). The head is cut out of aluminum. The ball itself is 1.89 in (4.8 cm) in diameter.

My first impressions of the Highline ballhead

The Highline ballhead makes a great impression from the get-go.

Opening the box, I found a quality neoprene drawstring bag with the Colorado Tripod Company logo printed on it. Inside the bag was the ballhead, as well as a plastic zip bag containing two Allen wrenches for working with the hex-head screws on the head. The bag also contained an adapter so the head can be mounted on tripods with 1/4-20 screws (without the adapter, the head mounts on the larger 3/8-16 screw used by most tripods).

I was impressed with the quality right out of the box.

I was immediately struck by the appearance of the ballhead, both in the quality of the parts and the beautiful gunmetal-gray finish. The design is clean and uncluttered, the knobs well-placed and sized for easy operation. All the components are metal; you won’t find a plastic piece on the entire ballhead.

My first thought?

This is a well-designed and well-built piece of photo equipment.

The CTC describes the Highline as a traditional ballhead but with some special features. Striking is the large 48mm hollow ball and the ability of the locking mechanism to provide a 54-pound load capacity, much greater than most tripod heads of this size.

The CTC indicates the Highline head is made for photographers with large camera equipment. I mounted my Canon 6D and my Canon 70-200 lens, but the head had no problem at all holding it right where I wanted.

With a DSLR (the Canon 6D here) and a large lens (the Canon 70-200), the Highline was more than up for the job.

Photographers want a tripod head that can lock in place with little droop or movement. The Highline satisfies this requirement, even with a full-sized DSLR and large lens.

This is how things look when the camera is mounted from the photographers POV:

Note the clamp-lock knob at the top left, main ball adjustment knob on the left side, and the pan-lock knob at the rear. The drag adjustment knob is at the front and is not seen in this shot.

Camera mounting, knob placement, and performance

CTC engineers designed the Highline so the camera can be held and controlled with your right hand and the tripod head knobs worked with your left hand.

The largest knob is used to release and tighten the ball. Its large size and knurled grip makes it easy to use, even with gloves.

On the rear of the head is the smaller pan-lock knob. This knob releases the head to be rotated around its vertical axis, such as when doing panorama shots. The base of the head is also marked out in degrees, which is helpful for pano shots.

On the opposite side of the head is the drag control. Adjusting this knob changes how freely the ball can be moved. This is a great aid in setting up the feel and control of motion while compensating for the size of the camera and lens used.

Once the camera is mounted and the drag knob is adjusted, you’re free to use the large knob for moving/locking the ball position.

At the top of the head is the clamp and camera mount plate. I was very pleased to see an Arca-Swiss type mount being used. This has become a standard mount in the photo world, so you don’t need to worry about mounting incompatibilities.

The mounting screw has a D-ring on it for tightening without tools. Open the clamp knob fully and tip the plate into the clamp, then tighten the knob most of the way. The camera can be moved forward and back, but will not fall out of the clamp. Balance the camera and then fully tighten the clamp knob.

The monogramming was a nice touch. And note the D-ring for tightening the mounting screw when you don’t have tools.

What to like about the Highline ballhead

The Highline ballhead is a great piece of photo equipment, so there’s a lot to like.

As I’ve mentioned above, the Highline ballhead features excellent build quality, fit, and finish.

The control knobs perform smoothly, are easy to grasp and operate, and the mechanism allows the ball to move smoothly and lock exactly where you want it without any droop.

Using the large drop slot, shooting straight up or straight down is very easy.

For a head its size, the Highline is also quite light. Even the aluminum version comes in at 18 oz (510 g). And the titanium version of the ballhead shaves 40% off that weight, coming in at just under 12 oz (340 g).

The Highline had no problem locking and holding the camera just where I wanted in portrait orientation.

The head also performs beautifully even with a good-sized DSLR and big lens. My current tripod is an aluminum MeFoto Globetrotter Classic, but while the MeFoto stock head isn’t bad for the money, it feels a little wimpy. Switching out the MeFoto head for the Highline made a world of difference: The Highline head worked great with the same camera/lens combo and fit very well on the Globetrotter tripod.

In fact, I will be using this combination as my new everyday camera support system. (Or at least until I consider the CTC Centennial tripod!)

Finally, the price is the best part of the Highline ballhead.

Though I can’t say I’ve tried every comparable ballhead out there, I’ve never found a better ballhead at this price point. The aluminum version of the Highline sells for just $129.00 USD. I consider that a screaming deal for a product of this quality.

Note that the titanium version of the Highline ballhead is $499.00 USD. If shaving six ounces off the weight is important to you and the cost is no object, go for it.

As for me?

I’m gonna be quite happy with my aluminum Highline!

What’s not to like about the Highline ballhead?

The Highline ballhead is nearly perfect, but falls short in a couple of areas.

What don’t I like about it?

First, I prefer a lever lock to the Highline’s twist-knob lock. However, the twist-knob lock should be fairly easy to switch out. And I spoke with Eric Ellwanger of CTC; Eric said CTC is already working on their own lever-lock clamps and should offer them as an option for new ballhead buyers before long. If CTC makes one with the same quality shown in the Highline head and at a decent price, sign me up!

(For those who have already purchased a head, CTC will allow those users to send in their clamps for a rebate if they’d like to switch to the lever-lock style.)

Another small nit: CTC touts the large elongated slot on the right side of the Highline head as a great feature, because it allows the camera to be flipped over into portrait configuration and gives extended motion. But I, like many other photographers, have mounted an L-bracket to my camera to allow easy switching from landscape to portrait orientation. I like that the L-bracket allows me to keep the center mass of the camera over the center of the tripod regardless of orientation. It also better supports panorama work, keeping the nodal point of the camera more centered over the rotation axis.

I still prefer using an L-bracket, which keeps my camera centered over the center axis of the tripod. Because the Highline clamp is an Arca-Swiss type, my L-bracket mounts with no problem.

In other words, for photographers like myself, the elongated slot is a bit redundant. It’s not a big issue, but I thought I’d bring it up.

What is the availability of the Highline tripod head?

The Highline was originally a Kickstarter product. This means that the first orders go to Kickstarter backers, which potentially limits availability for consumers. However, CTC says they are about caught up with Kickstarter orders and are now taking orders on their website as well as Adorama Camera.

If you check the CTC website, you may see that the Highline heads are available to purchase. Alternatively, the heads may be on backorder. Regardless, CTC says their machines are running 24/7 now. So if you want a Highline ballhead, place your order on Adorama or on the company website, and you will be billed when it ships.

Highline ballhead review: conclusion

There’s nothing I like better than a quality product at a great price, and the Highline tripod ballhead absolutely delivers.

Also, note that CTC is working on two other versions of the Highline: a smaller version and a larger version. I can see a smaller version being more practical for smaller mirrorless or bridge cameras. As for a larger version, I have trouble imagining a camera that needs more stability than what the current Highline ballhead can provide!

So if you’re in the market for an excellent ballhead at a bargain price, go have a look at the Highline tripod head.

It may be the right product for your needs.

The post The Highline Ballhead Review: The Best Bargain Ballhead in 2019? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Rick Ohnsman.

5 Tips for Shooting Waterfront Cityscapes at Blue Hour

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 06:00

The post 5 Tips for Shooting Waterfront Cityscapes at Blue Hour appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Joey J.

When you hear the term “cityscape photography,” what kind of image comes to your mind? It could be those photographed from elevated viewpoints or light trail of city traffic. To me, nothing beats the beauty of waterfront cityscapes – especially those photographed at blue hour.

Hong Kong skyline (18mm, f/10, 199 seconds, ISO100)

Gyeongbokgung Palace (Korea) (24mm, f/8, 30 seconds, ISO100);

Shanghai skyline (18mm, f/11, 164 seconds, ISO100).

 

In order to capture stunning waterfront cityscape photography, there are a few key points to get right.

Shooting Waterfront Cityscapes at Blue Hour 1. Good sky and light

Michael Freeman, the author of Capturing Light: The Heart of Photography, has this to say.

“In almost all photography it’s the quality of light that makes or breaks the shot.”

This is very true with waterfront cityscape photography as well. If you want your photo to look good, only shoot on a (mostly) clear evening (dark clouds are our nemesis!). The quality of light on sunny evenings is much nicer than that of cloudy evenings, which can be easily noticeable in the resulting photos.

2. Sunset direction

Over the years of shooting cityscapes at blue hour, I’ve come to realize one thing affects the results rather significantly – where the sun has set. If the sun has set towards the direction you’re shooting, you typically see beautiful twilight hues leftover from the fading sun, which makes your blue hour photos extra special.

Singapore skyline (18mm, f/5.6, 409 seconds, ISO100). The sun went down on the right edge of the frame, adding a beautiful gradient of colors ranging from reddish-orange to deep blue.

On the contrary, your cityscape photos at blue hour will look dull and monotonous if the sun sets behind you (i.e., you’re shooting towards the sky that is 180-degrees opposite of where the sun has set).

In such a scenario, the quality of light is inevitably affected. The sky lacks the beautiful hues you typically see in the sun-setting side of the sky. With the sky like that, your photos won’t get much better no matter how hard you try editing in post-production.

Shanghai (China) skyline (18mm, f/13, 163 seconds, ISO100). Despite shooting on a clear evening, the sky looks noticeably dull, as this is the sky that is 180-degrees opposite of where the sun went down (the sunset occurred behind me shooting).

3. Long exposure

What I particularly like about waterfront cityscapes is it lets me create silky smooth water effects by doing a long exposure. As seen in the photo below, such smoothed-out water adds a dreamy feel that is very distinctive to long exposure photography. It’s the very reason I fell in love with waterfront cityscapes.

Marina Bay (Singapore) (35mm, f/11, 194 seconds, ISO100).

By default, the limited available light at blue hour allows your shutter speed to naturally get longer, especially with the use of a small aperture like f/13. That said, without using a neutral density (ND) filter, the shutter speed probably won’t go beyond several seconds. This isn’t long enough to achieve a silky smooth water effect that you see in the photos above.

Marina Bay (Singapore) shot with 2 seconds of exposure (at f/13) without using any neutral density filter. This is way too short to a create silky smooth water effect.

If you don’t own an ND filter yet, get yourself one! There are different densities available (2, 3, 6 and 10-stops are popular), but I’ll recommend a 6-stop ND filter (especially if you’re only getting one), as it hits a sweet spot for photographers shooting waterfront cityscapes.

Let’s say that you get a base shutter speed (when no filter is attached) of 2 seconds, which is quite a typical scenario around 10 minutes before the end of dusk (check your local dusk time at gaisma.com).

As seen in the photo above, 2 seconds of exposure hardly smooths out the water, but by attaching 6-stop ND filter, the exposure gets extended to 128 seconds (2 minutes 8 seconds). Each “stop” of ND filter approximately doubles the exposure time (2 seconds > 4 seconds [1-stop] > 8 seconds [2-stops] > 15 seconds [3-stops] > 30 seconds [4-stops] > 64 seconds [5-stops] > 128 seconds [6-stops]), which is long enough to create silky smooth water effect.

Neutral density (ND) filters help extend shutter speed lengths by reducing light entering the camera lens.

I own 3 and 10-stop ND filters as well, but the 3-stop is too mild (2-second exposure can be extended to 15 seconds only) while 10-stops is way too strong (2-second exposure can be extended to a whopping 34 minutes, 8 seconds).

I have found 2 to 3 minutes of exposure is enough to create a silky smooth water effect. You could go longer like 5 to 6 minutes (I won’t go beyond 7 minutes, as long exposure noise starts to creep in), but it won’t change much beyond 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Reflections on water

Colorful reflections of city lights reflected on the water are one thing that gives your blue hour photos a “WOW” feeling. That said, this doesn’t always happen. Even when you shoot the same city view from the same spot for two evenings in a row, you may get completely different results when it comes to the clarity of reflections on the water.

To achieve good photographic results, like in the first photo below, the water has to be relatively still. If the water surface is rough, you hardly get any reflections (the second photo below). Unfortunately, this isn’t something we can control, so we need a bit of luck here.

Marina Bay (Singapore) (TOP: 18mm, f/13, 142 seconds, ISO100;

19mm, f/13, 162 seconds, ISO100).

5. Having thin clouds

While long exposure works best with water, it also works well with clouds, too. This might not be as important as other points above, but if the sky has some clouds, long exposure helps get them rushing across the sky. It adds interesting movement to your photos, as seen below.

Singapore skyline (18mm, f/10, 257 seconds, ISO100).

Alternatively, if you want a greater effect, try evenings with more clouds. That said, if too cloudy, your photos will look just flat and ugly (as the quality of light is severely affected) or might come out crazy like the photo below. I prefer a clear sky with no clouds or just a little bit of thin clouds.

Singapore skyline (20mm, f/5.6, 412 seconds, ISO100).

Conclusion

I hope these tips help you capture epic waterfront cityscape photos at blue hour! Looking back, my love for waterfront cityscapes comes from earlier days shooting sunny beachscapes, which was the primary reason I got into photography a decade ago.

Over the years, my interest has shifted from sunny daytime beachscapes to cityscapes at blue hour, but I’m still in love with water! I frequent cityscape photography spots located at the waterfront locally as well as on trips abroad.

Lastly, if you have any questions or info to share about shooting waterfront cityscapes at blue hour, feel free to do so in the comments below.

 

The post 5 Tips for Shooting Waterfront Cityscapes at Blue Hour appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Joey J.

How to take Great Flower Photos without a Macro Lens

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 08:30

The post How to take Great Flower Photos without a Macro Lens appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ana Mireles.

Are you interested to try some flower photography but you get discouraged by guides telling you to get a macro lens? I was too at first, but macro is not the only way to get some amazing pictures. Keep reading for some tips on how to take great flower photos without a macro lens or buying any new equipment or accessory.

Flower Photography Detail Close Up

Detail and depth of field

One of the reasons photographers recommend a macro lens is to capture small details with shallow depth of field. Some offer alternatives like extension tubes or reverse rings that allow you to focus while being very close to your subject. This is, in fact, a nice look for flower photography, but if you’re not ready to invest in new gear, there are other ways to get it.

Focal Distance: 55mm, f/13, 1/400th, ISO 640

I shot this image using a 55mm lens with f/13, 1/400th shutter speed and 640 ISO. As you can see, I managed to get reasonably close, so never let the lack of equipment prevent you from practicing.

You can start by using a wide aperture and the longest focal distance you have to experiment from there. In order to make the best out of the equipment you have, check out the article How to Control Depth of Field in Your Photography.

Draw inspiration from nature

Now that we’ve covered the macro effect, let’s broaden the horizon and think big. There’s much more to flower photography than just the details. Flowers come in all shapes and colors, so include all those natural elements and use them to your advantage.

Composition

There are many rules that you can use as guidelines to create interesting images. To learn more about them I recommend the article How to Apply Compositional Theory to Still Life Photography.

In this photo below, I lowered my point of view so I could create three different segments following the rule of thirds: flowers, trees, and the sky.

The Rule of Thirds and point of view help your composition.

Color contrast

Using color as a compositional element is very easy to do when photographing flowers. Because they are so vibrant, you’ll always find one that stands out. You can put contrasting colors next to each other to make elements stand out while still being in harmony. You can start by isolating a subject against the background and work your way up to include more elements.

Tones or patterns

Another way to use color in your images is to use only one to dominate the image. It may sound easy and perhaps dull, but in reality, if you incorporate different tones of the same color or a pattern, it can become a subject in itself. Megan Kennedy wrote a number of articles here on DPS called Master Colors Series covering the psychology and evolution of each color. Check them all out for inspiration!

The cultural aspect

Now that we’ve passed aesthetics and are into content let’s say that flowers are much more than just pretty subjects. They speak their own language as we have given them all sorts of cultural meanings. The color, the season, and even the presentation change our perception. We use them in joyous celebrations and on the occasion of grief, passing through all other kinds of events. When you incorporate this matter on top of the visual aspect, things can become really interesting.

Still life

Defining the line between photography genres is always a tricky subject. Are all flower photography images a still life? No. Are all still life images flower photography? Also, no. But the two genres often intersect, so play within that field to stage your images. You can use different elements, adjust the lighting and even some post-production. To get you started here are some Simple Methods for Creating Better Still Life Images.

Still life is great for flower photography

Conclusion

I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t buy a macro lens or any other gear and accessories, especially if you are planning on becoming a professional. However, there’s much versatility in flower photography so you can do without them. Of course, you can also look into many creative techniques like double exposure, light painting, or dynamic zoom.

Do you have other ideas to take flower photos without a macro lens? Share in the comment section!

 

The post How to take Great Flower Photos without a Macro Lens appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ana Mireles.

How to Choose the Perfect Photography Background

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 06:00

The post How to Choose the Perfect Photography Background appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

Choosing the perfect photography background is as important as choosing your subject. A background is usually best if it helps enhance your main subject and complements it.

First, you need to consider your subject and your intent for taking photos of it. Then, consider how your subject works with the background. Are your subject and background conflicting? If they are, you must then use some method of controlling the background.

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Some subjects will look great in a photograph against their natural backdrop. A pink flower against foliage, for example. Others you’ll have to work with to make them stand out or to better relate to their surroundings. This depends on your intent.

What’s your intent for the subject?

Do you want your main subject to be the focus of the viewer’s attention? If so, you must manage your technique in making the photograph so that your subject is most obvious.

Isolating your subject can be achieved in many ways. Some of the main ways to accomplish this are:

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

In this example, the coffee cups are on a plain black background. Lack of detail and high contrast ensures the main subject stands out.

Alternatively, you may decide to incorporate your background into the meaning of your photographs. Placing your main subject in context with its surroundings can often add depth of meaning.

A typical example of this is an environmental portrait. This style of photography uses the background and surroundings to add narrative to the image.

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

In this portrait of a copper craftsman working on his art, the environment helps build a story. His father looking on, the tools and other items on the shelves behind, are all an essential part of the portrait.

My intent was to tell a story illustrating his occupation. If I’d photographed him against a plain background, the photograph would contain very little narrative.

How point of view determines background

Naturally, where you choose to stand will determine what is behind your main subject.

When you find an interesting subject, don’t only photograph it from one perspective. Move around it. See how it looks if you stand on the other side. The background may be completely different.

Even a slight change in your position can alter what will be visible in the background. Move to your left or right. Shift your view up or down a little. How does this change the relationship between your subject and background?

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Coming at a low angle to make this landscape, I’ve included the ice boulders, mountains, and glacier in the background. The composition gives context to the ice in the foreground. If I had stood in the same place, looking down at the ice boulders, there would have only been rocks in the background.

Moving closer or further away from your subject also determines what’s in view behind your subject. Changing your lens focal length does too but in different ways. Moving closer with a wide-angle lens has a very different result than standing in the same spot and zooming in.

Always experiment to see what will be included and excluded.

How contrast determines background

If your main subject is darker or lighter than the background, this can determine the significance of the composition.

A dark subject against a light background looks very different than a lighter subject against a dark background. Generally, a dark background helps isolate a subject. It can also allow for more detail to be visible in the subject.

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Choice of exposure can affect this, as in the photos above of the tree. Both were taken a few minutes apart. All I did was to expose for the tree in the first image and let the sky become overexposed.

In the second photo, I exposed for the sky to show the detail in the clouds. In both images, the tree is isolated, but the feel of the photos is very different.

Controlling depth of field to determine background

Depth of field control is a good way to manage your background. Choosing how much or how little is in focus allows you to manage your intention.

By completely blurring a background, you effectively isolate your subject. Partially blurring the background leaves some idea of what’s in the background. But it doesn’t have to be distracting.

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

In this close up of the detail on an old bicycle, I waited until the person on the other bike rode past. My settings were such that it’s obvious it’s a bike in the background.

If I’d chosen to take the photo with a shallower depth of field, the passing bike might have blurred completely. Then it would not have added anything to the photo. If I’d had everything in sharp focus, the passing bike would have been distracting.

Learn to control how much or how little of your composition is in focus. This is an essential tool in determining your background.

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Conclusion

Making intentional choices about the background is essential to making strong photographs. I am often surprised when I’m teaching photography workshops how little attention people pay to the background.

It’s easy to become transfixed on a wonderful subject. Focusing on other aspects of photography like exposure, you must remember to look at the background as well.

Be intentional. Include only what you want to see. Limit or exaggerate the amount of background detail depending on what you want. The amount of control you have over the background will determine the strength of your photographs.

Do you have any other tips for choosing the perfect photography background? Share with us in the comments!

 

The post How to Choose the Perfect Photography Background appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

4 Necessary Reasons to Look Through Your Old Photos

Mon, 08/26/2019 - 08:30

The post 4 Necessary Reasons to Look Through Your Old Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Ringsmuth.

As photographers, we mustn’t live with our heads stuck in the past. If we’re not trying new ideas, exploring new techniques, or finding ways to push ourselves to be better, we might quickly find ourselves drowning in a sea of irrelevance and mediocrity. However, there is a time and a place to look in the rear-view mirror. Looking back at some of your old photos can have incredible benefits, aside from just happy feelings of nostalgia. Sometimes the best way forward is to look at the path we have taken. Even though to look through your old photos can be embarrassing, there are some clear benefits to doing so.

1. It helps you realize you weren’t that bad

I’m a pretty self-conscious guy, and as such, I don’t like looking at pictures of myself. I always find something to criticize, even if they are things that no one else would ever notice! Looking back at some of the earlier pictures in my photography portfolio is the same way. Sometimes seeing the pictures I shot is enough to make me cringe. So I want to throw my old albums out the window!

This is precisely why it’s good to dust off your old photo albums or look through the image folders on your computer you’ve been neglecting for years. Looking through the images you shot when you were new to photography, can more often than not, let you see how you really weren’t as bad and probably much more talented than you realize.

I shot this in 2013. While I had a lot to learn about lighting and editing, it’s actually a pretty decent image.

If the thought of looking at your old pictures makes your skin crawl, there’s a good chance you might have been a lot better than you thought. While your early images were probably not perfect, they can be a source of encouragement. You see that you clearly did have some skills – even if they had a little way to go before maturing.

2. You can learn from your mistakes

Even though your older pictures might not be as bad as you think, you can learn a lot from going through your earlier work. Over the years, you have almost certainly improved your techniques in terms of lighting, composition, framing, or even just posing your clients.

I shot this in 2014 when I didn’t know how to use a reflector but brought one with me to the session anyway. The colors on his face just don’t look right.

I know how it can be painful or embarrassing to scroll through your photos from five or ten years ago. It’s almost like looking through your high school yearbook and cringing at the silly hairstyles and weird fashion choices from days gone by. If you do this with your images, instead of turning away from your mistakes, learn from them. Realize what not to do now and in the future.

The image below is a good example of this. While my clients were happy, and so was I at the time, when I look at this picture now all I see are errors to fix. I shot it with a 50mm lens at f/2.8 and focused on the man in the back, which meant everyone else is out of focus. I didn’t have a sense of how to pose, nor was I really paying attention to lighting. The list goes on.

However, rather than pretend this session didn’t exist, I use it as a learning opportunity.

One of my first portrait sessions, shot in early 2013.

Here’s another illustration of how much I have learned since my early days, especially when it comes to formal sessions. Why is there an orange shoe in the middle of the picture? Also, why is there a giant tree growing out of the head of the child on the left? Why did I use a 1/80th shutter speed?

The world may never know the answers, and I certainly don’t. However, when I see this old picture, it helps me also see what I can do differently today.

Another family portrait session from 2013. Don’t judge me…I was new and didn’t know what I was doing. My clients liked it though!

3. It helps you refine your editing style

In addition to photography style and techniques, searching through your old pictures can give you a great deal of insight into your editing process.

It’s not easy to see slow, incremental changes over time. However, when you compare your current editing style to that of when you first started, you might be surprised. You may even be shocked at the difference. This can be a learning opportunity and help give you insight into how you might continue to refine and hone your edits.

I took the following picture in the summer of 2013, and I clearly remember spending a long time working with it in Photoshop. The result is what you see here: over-saturated sky, poor dynamic range, and a weird color balance that seems unnatural and icky.

When I edited this RAW file, I was way, way over-thinking the process and ended up with kind of a mess. I can still see myself hunched over an old iMac, refining my selections, creating new layers, and fiddling with color edits ad nauseam. Now I’d just pull this into Lightroom, tweak a few sliders, and end up with a much cleaner and more pleasing image.

Here’s another picture that, upon first look, makes me want to chuck my computer out the window and never look at my cameras again.

Shot in the fall of 2014, when I still had an awful lot to learn.

This picture is practically a textbook example of what not to do when shooting or editing a picture. Aside from all the issues in the image itself (soles of shoes, people sitting on an old canvas, awkward posing and hand placements, an disregard for background objects), the editing was atrocious.

My subjects are underexposed. The white balance is all wrong, and there’s no sense of contrast. Moreover, I didn’t bother using any noise reduction, so their faces are kind of patchy if you zoom in to 100%.

I’m a much better editor now than I was back when I shot this seven years ago. When I look at this picture and others like it, I can immediately see how I have changed my editing process over the years. It gives me a few ideas of what I should continue refining in the future.

When I edited this picture in 2013, I didn’t know what I was doing. But looking back at it helps me remember what to do, what not to do, and what I can change in my current style.

4. Early photos can inspire you!

There’s a lot I wish I could take back about my early photography. However, I feel some of my work now lacks something: a spark of life and a sense of abandon. When I first picked up a camera, I would see photo opportunities everywhere; inside my home, walking around the neighborhood, even my office at work.

With clients, I had a much more carefree attitude, shooting whatever I wanted, whether I thought it would look good or not. It was a carefree time when I didn’t worry about (or even know about) proper technique, good lighting, high ISO values, rolling shutter, or any of that. Like a kid in a candy store, I remember latching on to anything and everything around me.

I even set my alarm early so I could take pictures of my kids’ toys in the living room before the sun came up.

I took my camera to a sporting event back in 2014 and shot everything I could see, even if I didn’t know what I was doing. Including these bocce balls sitting on astroturf. I kind of miss that approach, and looking at photos like this helps rekindle it.

When I started taking pictures more seriously, I saw the world differently. Every tree, building, or animal was a fun and exciting photographic opportunity. I’ve lost that over the years. Now I think I over-analyze situations – trying to find the perfect moment, subject, or lighting condition.

Going back through old photos takes me back to a time when I didn’t care about any of that. I just took pictures of what I thought was fun and interesting. It has inspired me to be a little more creative and a little less analytical with my photography now.

I spent half an hour trying to capture this image with my brother in the summer of 2014. We had such a fun time doing it! I need to do more shots like this…

Looking at your old pictures can bring up some strange emotions, and it can certainly be awkward or feel silly. But buried in your images from days gone by is a treasure trove of education just waiting to be unlocked.

This image of a tree borer I took in 2013 remains one of my favorite insect pictures I have ever taken.

Conclusion

The next time you pull up your photo library on your computer or scroll through images in your photo app, go back to your earliest pictures and see what you can learn from them. You might be surprised at how enjoyable and educational your trip down memory lane can be!

Do you ever look through your old photos? What have you learned from them? Share with us in the comments!

 

The post 4 Necessary Reasons to Look Through Your Old Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Ringsmuth.

Firecrest 77mm 16-Stop Stackable Neutral Density Filter Review

Mon, 08/26/2019 - 06:00

The post Firecrest 77mm 16-Stop Stackable Neutral Density Filter Review appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by John McIntire.

There is something about long exposure photography that is just, for lack of a better word, appealing. Blurring moving elements (like water, clouds, tourists and moving cars) in your images can create an ethereal or even surreal aesthetic that many photographers, myself included, are drawn to. Formatt-Hitech’s Firecrest 16-stop neutral density filters take long exposure photography to the extreme. By allowing ten-minute exposures in the middle of the day, these filters open up long exposure techniques to normally impossible times. And it does it with fantastic results. In this article, I’ll review the Firecrest 77mm 16-stop Stackable Neutral Density Filter.

What is it?

A neutral density filter is a piece of material (glass or resin in most cases) that you affix to the front of your lens. What they do is cut down the amount of light hitting your sensor, increasing the amount of time you need to expose for. Doing this allows you to get longer exposures than you would normally be able to, making it easy to blur water and clouds in a satisfying way.

Most ND filters come in a range of one to three stops. However, five and ten-stop filters are also very popular amongst landscape photographers. During golden hour and blue hour, when light levels are generally quite low, these strengths of filter make it easy to achieve exposures that last for several seconds.

An exposure time of 408 seconds in the middle of the day is impossible without a specialist filter such as this one.

What a 16-stop filter allows is extremely long exposures even in the brightest of lighting conditions; including midday sun. For example, with a 16-stop filter, an exposure of 1/2000th of a second becomes 30 seconds. In comparison, with a 10-stop filter, that 1/2000th of second exposure becomes 1/2 of a second. You can probably already see the advantage that the denser 16-stop filter provides.

To drive it home, look at the sunny 16 rule, which says that on a bright sunny day, an exposure of f/16 at 1/125th of a second should give you close to a correct exposure (it usually does). With a 10-stop filter, that becomes 8 seconds.

That might be good enough in many cases, but it also won’t completely blur anything other than the fastest moving elements. With 16 stops, that 1/125th of a second becomes 8 minutes and 44 seconds, ensuring anything moving in your frame is either blurred or disappeared.

What is this good for?

A 16-stop ND filter allows you to blur moving objects in your frame, which can lead to more pleasing images.

Being able to blur details out of clouds and water allows you to remove details that might detract from your subject. This lends itself well to minimalist styles of photography. If that fits your taste, the results can be stunning.

Exposures of this length not only blur moving elements within your frame but can also completely remove other moving things. Boats in rivers, tourists in front of landmarks, and anything else that might move through your frame during the exposure time disappears.

A filter of this strength is also good for things like star trails at night.

Before you consider

You may need some extra specialist equipment before you get started, such as the trigger that allows the control of your camera with a phone.

The one thing that you need to know before you consider purchasing a filter like this is that you will need some extra equipment you may not already have. A high-quality tripod is an absolute must as you will need to keep your camera absolutely still during the long exposures.

The other thing you need to take into account is some way of controlling your camera. Because many cameras are limited to exposures of 30 seconds, you will need a way to keep the shutter open in bulb mode for the duration of the exposure without touching the camera. There are many options out there, including remotes and cable releases. I used the Pulse time-lapse trigger from Alpine Labs, which lets you control your camera with your phone. There are others available too, like the MIOPS trigger.

An exposure calculator is also an absolute must as you will need to be able to calculate how long your exposures need to be. There are plenty of free options available for both Android and iOS.

The Filter

After shopping around for a bit, I decided on Formatt-Hitech’s circular screw-in Firecrest 77mm 16-Stop stackable neutral density filter. This filter has a few features that make it stand out.

Since I knew that I would not be using any other filters in conjunction with this one, I wanted a circular screw-in variety. That’s because I thought that the length of the exposures might create the opportunity for light leaks with my normal filter system. I might be wrong on this, but it’s not a chance I wanted to take.

Formatt-Hitech claims their filter is truly neutral (including in the UV and infrared spectrums) and that there are no color casts. This is important to me as my Lee Big Stopper (10-stops) always adds a strong blue cast that is painful to deal with. I won’t go into details about the coatings as you can find them on the product listings.

Does it do the job?

The Formatt-Hitech Firecrest 77mm 16-Stop stackable neutral density filter is certainly a capable piece of kit.

That’s an emphatic “yes” from me. While there are some downsides to the filter, it provides all of the quality you could expect. The few places it does fall short are all easy to overcome and well worth the little effort to do so.

Pros Exposure times

The exposure difference between a 10-stop and 16-stop filter can be a bit staggering at first.

Just as the exposure calculator said, the 16-stops of ND filter provides really long exposures even in daylight. 1/125th of a second becomes nearly nine minutes, while 1/15th of a second becomes nearly one hour and thirteen minutes.

Attaches well

It still takes care, but the filter attaches easily enough.

It’s easy enough to attach the filter to the filter thread of your lens. It does require care as it is easy to slip (I’m sure that’s more me than the filter), but with this technique, there’s no reason to go fast anyway.

Color casts

The color represented without the 16-stop filter.

Color represented with the 16-stop filter.

I won’t say there is no color cast, but they are very minimal if they appear. Comparing shots with and without the filter side by side, it does seem that there is a slight, slight shift towards blue and green. However, I am not sure if that’s an optical illusion. Either way, it’s easy to deal with.

Cons

There are some downsides of both the filter and the technique. However, their effects are minimal and easy to overcome.

Extra equipment

As mentioned, to get started with this technique, it’s not just the cost of the filter you need to take into account. If you don’t have a good enough tripod or some variety of release to trigger your camera, you will have to shell out for those.

Light leaks

Circled is a pair of light leaks that appear at either edge of the frame.

Despite opting for the circular filter to avoid light leaks, they did appear in my images at the left and right of the bottom third of the frame. They were minimal and easy to deal with in post-production, but they are there.

I have done some research, and it seems there’s a chance these leaks are coming from where the lens attaches to the camera body. If that’s the case, you can fix it by covering the join with black material. Formatt-Hitech also sells an accessory that fits around the front of the lens and filter to help prevent light leaks.

Exposure times in low light

When it comes to shooting later in the day when the exposure times get longer, and the light changes rapidly, it’s likely your required exposure time will change partway through your exposure. For example, if your metered exposure when you start is 1/125th (8 minutes and 44 seconds), and the light levels drop to 1/30th (if the sun moves behind a cloud for example) during that exposure, the new time is 36 minutes and 24 seconds. This means that your image will be quite underexposed.

Because of this, I’ve found this technique works better in the middle of the day when light levels are consistent.

Noise and hot pixels

Here, you can see a combination of noise and hot pixels after an 8-minute and 44-second exposure.

Noise and hot pixels have little to do with the filter itself. Extremely long exposures with digital cameras open you up to problems with noise. The longer your shutter is open, the more noise appears in your frame.

Software is very good at dealing with this, but you do need to be aware of it.

This is especially true if you opt to up your ISO in lower light levels to keep the exposure time in the minutes rather than in the hours.

Direct light

Taken in overcast conditions, the technique has emphasized the flatness of the light.

In direct sunshine, contrasty conditions get emphasized.

What I’ve found with this technique is that it works best with direct light on your subject. If the conditions are overcast, or the light is otherwise dull, the long exposure tends to emphasize the flatness of the scene.

Of course, that won’t always be the case and please don’t take that as a rule of any sort, it’s just an observation. If you live somewhere that is sunny and bright most of the time, this won’t pose you much of a problem. However, I live in Yorkshire and overcast days are the rule rather than the exception.

Price

I do not include the price of the Firecrest 77mm 16-Stop Stackable Neutral Density Filter as either a pro or a con. At $125, it’s probably not going to be an impulse buy for most photographers. However, for what it is, what it does, and how well-made it is, it is well worth that price. It’s also roughly the same price as filter offerings from companies like Lee Filters.

Overall experience

Overall, the Formatt-Hitech Firecrest 77mm 16-Stop Stackable Neutral Density Filter does exactly the job I bought it for.

In the end, the Firecrest 77mm 16-stop Stackable Neutral Density Filter does exactly what I wanted it to when I bought it, and it does it well. The complications aren’t hard to overcome, and it is well worth the extra effort. At $125, it is well within reach of anyone who wants to have a serious attempt with the techniques it offers.

I also found that I really appreciate the side effects of the technique. Because the exposure times are incredibly long, you can spend a couple of hours on location and come away with only a handful of images. This slow-treacle approach to photography is enjoyable and turns the whole experience into a mindful one.

If you like the effect of streaky clouds and flat water, or you are into minimalist photography, this type of filter may be indispensable for you.

Do you do long exposure photography? Do you use a 16-stop filter? What are your experiences? Share with us in the comments!

The post Firecrest 77mm 16-Stop Stackable Neutral Density Filter Review appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by John McIntire.

How to Plan and Pull-Off a Toddler Photo Session

Sun, 08/25/2019 - 08:30

The post How to Plan and Pull-Off a Toddler Photo Session appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Mat Coker.

Toddlers are filled with volatile emotions. They can be shy, moody, defiant, chaotic, unpredictable, and in need of bribes. So a toddler photo session can be a challenge.

But when you build a photo session just for toddlers, it’s far less challenging and lots of fun. It is also the perfect opportunity to get creative.

Here’s how to let your inner child create a toddler photo session that’s fun for you and toddlers.

1. The big idea

The first step is to plan out the photo session. I think that a themed lifestyle or documentary session is perfect for toddlers.

The big question is, how do you come up with an idea or theme for the session?

Many photographers choose a theme themselves, such as princesses or pirates. The benefit of choosing your own theme is that you get to exercise your creative vision (designing the set, costumes, etc.) and let people choose to be part of it or not.

Of course, one downside is that it’s a cookie-cutter approach that gives every child similar portraits.

If you want to choose something unique to the child, keep in mind that every toddler has something they love to do. Go with that as the theme for the session.

If they love dinosaurs, then find a way to make dinosaurs part of the session. If they love to play with big-rigs and diggers, then make those part of the session. Whatever it is they love, try to make it larger than life for the session.

When I found out that this little guy loved watching football with his Mom and Dad, I knew we had to visit an actual football field for his photo session.

Start with a small everyday experience and take it to the next level (I’d love to hear some of your ideas in the comments).

2. The toddler photo session

When it comes to pulling off the session, start by being prepared. This seems obvious, but many photographers come unprepared, and it can ruin a session.

If you are prepared, then you won’t have to think about it during the shoot. The less you have on your mind, the more room you have to be creative.

Gear

Pack the right gear and check twice that you’ve got it all.

  • Spare camera
  • Charged batteries
  • Lights (if needed)
  • Props (provided by you or the family)
  • A checklist of other things you need

Part of being prepared is being familiar with your camera and knowing what settings to use. I keep things as simple as possible with aperture mode and exposure compensation. I only use manual mode when I need it.

Even though props for the session should be prepared in advance, you should still allow room for spontaneity. Dressing up as a firefighter was not part of the plan, but it was the best part of the session.

Chaos

Generally, you’ll need to embrace chaos as part of the toddler photo session. Toddlers are emotionally volatile, and the session may take many twists and turns. This is one of the reasons that I love lifestyle sessions. It easily allows for pauses, breaks, and spontaneity.

Go with the flow and don’t try to force anything. If you design the session for the toddler, then it should be fun. They should be happy, and it should be the perfect environment for them. Even a studio can be fun.

Keep the parents informed, but don’t feel the need to explain things to the toddler. You don’t even need to tell the toddler it’s a photo session. If it’s a lifestyle or documentary session, just let them be themselves.

Creativity

Use many creative elements with your photography. Go for a variety of angles, close-ups, storytelling, wide angles, and beautiful light.

Part of your creativity is in choosing the environment and backgrounds for your session. I used a combination of background, composition, and moment for these two photos. The moment began with him confronting his opponent’s mascot and ended with him making a run for it.

Beware of yourself

You’ve got to be able to handle any problems that arise and still get great photos.

Before a toddler photo session, I do some reflection. What could go wrong with this session? Has anything gone wrong in the past? What is the worst that could go wrong? But most importantly, how will I respond? I make this decision in advance so that I don’t have to think in the moment. Do the thinking while things are calm, and you’ll make better decisions.

Consider answering these questions in advance:

  • What if the toddle is grumpy?
  • Suppose the parents are overbearing?
  • What if the kid throws mud at my camera or turns the firehose in my direction?
  • What if the toddler gets hurt?

As much as we all love nature, there are many harmful elements out there for toddlers. Keep parents close by and make sure they are comfortable with where their toddler is exploring.

3. The edit

When it comes to the edit, be ruthless in narrowing down your photos. Most photographers are happy if they keep 10% of their photos from a session. Some are satisfied with less. Don’t be afraid to cut, cut, cut!

Your final selection of photos should have lots of variety to it.

  • Close-ups
  • Full scene
  • Details

When it comes to touching up your photos, I recommend a simple edit with Lightroom or a similar program.

How do you know what to do with a photo? Keep these two principals in mind. When it comes to editing you’re either:

  1. Putting the finishing touches on your photo (crop, exposure adjustments, etc.)
  2. Or you’re trying to fix a photo that didn’t turn out

The main things I did with this RAW photo is I cropped it and warmed it up with the temperature slider.

Generally, I would say if you need to do a heavy amount of fixing or editing of a photo, you should just leave it out of the final collection. If you constantly have to fix certain elements of your photos in editing, this is a good clue as to what you need to learn to improve your photography. Editing should be about finishing touches, with fixing as a last resort.

A perfect session for you and toddlers

Follow your nature as a creative person and the nature of the toddler you are photographing. Design everything for the toddler, and you’ll have an amazingly creative toddler photo session that will leave everyone wanting more.

Do you have any other tips for a successful toddler photo session? Share with us in the comments below!

 

The post How to Plan and Pull-Off a Toddler Photo Session appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Mat Coker.

How to Make an Awesome Pop-Up Card with your Photos

Sun, 08/25/2019 - 06:00

The post How to Make an Awesome Pop-Up Card with your Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ana Mireles.

If you can cut and fold a piece of paper to make a pop-up, why can’t you make it to an image? A photograph translates our three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional representation. With a pop-up card, you can present it with tridimensionality. Here are some ideas to bring your photos to life by turning them into an awesome pop-up card!

From paper crafting to paper engineering, this creative practice can be as complex as you want. I will show you two basic techniques that you can apply to your own images. Keep in mind that each image will need specific measures and some testing before you get it right, so be patient!

What you need to make your awesome pop-up card

I recommend you print some copies of the photo in black and white on a cheap paper so you can do your testing without spending much. Then get scissors, a precision cutter, ruler or measuring tape, double-sided tape, and a cutting board.

1.Single image pop-up card Choose the right image

Because you want to give it a third dimension, images that have a clear separation of elements will work best. For some guidelines on this check out the article How to Use Figure to Ground Art Theory in Photography. Print your image at least two times, and one for each layer you want to add.

Layers and more layers

The more elements you separate into layers, the more interesting and elaborate your card will look. I promised to keep it simple so I’ll just add one layer to show you the process, then just repeat it as many times as you want. Cut out the element of the layer that will pop up. In this case, I’ll cut the house in the front.

Cut also a stripe of paper, either from the photo or any other thick paper that will hold the layer up. The longer you make it, the bigger the separation to the background.

Fold and paste

Now paste the background to the card which can be store-bought or just a piece of colored paper folded in two that you can later write your message on. Place the base of the photo on the crease where the card folds.

Fold the paper stripe into a square. Then paste one side to the background and one to the bottom side of the card. This will serve as support to the pop-up cutout.

Paste the other side of the square to the background, and the bottom part to the card. Making sure the cutout matches the original image when you position it. That’s it. Do the same for any elements you want popping out.

2. Multiple image pop-up card

This technique is great when you want to showcase many images. For example, an anniversary or a birthday where you want to sum up the highlights of the year. It’s also useful when you want to make a themed card to communicate a concept.

Create the layout

The first thing you want to do is choose your images. Then arrange your images in a grid. To automatize this process you can use Lightroom. If you need some direction just follow the instructions of How to Create Contact Sheets in Lightroom. Set it to the size of the card you’re going to use: for me is an A3 so 4 columns and 3 rows should look nice, but this is entirely up to you.

Note that the outer images of the middle row will get folded in half, so use images that fit this crease, or leave it black.

Fold

Fold the paper vertically in half, and then each side again in half towards the opposite direction. As a result, you will have an accordion where the folds separate the columns.

Cut

Unfold the accordion and just leave it in half. If you do it in a way that the images are towards the outside, you won’t have to measure and just guide yourself by the images. Cut horizontally between rows reaching the middle of the outer image. Then fold inwards the piece you just cut.

Paste

Now put some double-sided tape into the side edges and fix it to the card. Make sure the fold in the middle of the accordion coincides with the fold of the card.

I hope you enjoyed reading How to Make an Awesome Pop-Up Card with your Photos and that you enjoy making pop-up cards yourself! For future occasions, if you want to go deeper into this craft side of photography I’ll leave you some links to check out.

Additional reading

If you’re feeling creative and want to do other types of cards, check out these amazing tutorials:

 

The post How to Make an Awesome Pop-Up Card with your Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ana Mireles.

The Canon 90D Unveiled Through Leaked Promo Video

Sat, 08/24/2019 - 06:00

The post The Canon 90D Unveiled Through Leaked Promo Video appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

After months of rumors and speculation surrounding Canon’s new DSLR offerings, we finally have something certain to report:

The specs of the Canon 90D, as indicated by a promotional video leaked from Canon.

If you’re a Canon user, you’re going to want to pay attention. Because the Canon 90D is a seriously impressive piece of kit, one that seems to be a combination of the Canon 80D line and the Canon 7D line, and one that will carry on many of the best features from both camera lineups.

Here’s the promotional video in full:

?

 

Now, what’s so special about the Canon 90D?

First, the resolution is bound to impress: The 90D is slated to have a 32.5-megapixel sensor, which is a huge step up from both the Canon 80D (at 24.2 MP) and the Canon 7D Mark II (at 20.2 MP). The increased megapixel count means increased crop capabilities and an increased potential for large prints.

High megapixel counts usually result in slower continuous shooting. But not for the 90D, which fires off 10 frames per second. This is enough for any type of action photography: sports, wildlife, bird, and more. Plus, the Canon 90D features 45 autofocus points, all of which are cross-type. Together, these features should be a potent combination in the hands of a dedicated photographer.

Add to this 100% viewfinder coverage, impressive battery life of 1300 photos, and an articulating screen, and you’ve got yourself a winner. You should also remember that the Canon 90D will offer dual pixel autofocus, which practically guarantees fast and efficient focus while using Live View.

Who should get the Canon 90D?

I’d recommend grabbing the Canon 90D if you’re a hobbyist or semi-professional photographer. Better yet, you should be interested in action photography of any kind. The strong autofocus and 10-fps continuous shooting is too impressive not to pass up.

Plus, if you’re looking for a bit of a megapixel boost compared to an older Canon, the 90D is the way to go.

Now I’d like to ask you:

What do you think of the Canon 90D? Will you be looking to purchase it? And what are your favorite Canon 90D features?

Let me know in the comments!

The post The Canon 90D Unveiled Through Leaked Promo Video appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

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