Friday, May 25, 2018

Giving back...


Before and After, in front of Mr. Roark's house.
For over 100 years, there has been a "Big Brother / Big Sister" organization in the US, which pairs volunteers with at-risk kids in single parent homes to provide a caring adult role model.  For over 20 years, starting in college and continuing well into my working life, I was just such a "Big Brother" to two fatherless boys.  

[Yes, this relates to photography.  Keep reading, as I segway into a way you can assist me in my continuing quest to give back... ]

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Upping my Game...


Also in this issue:
  • Other ways to get a blurry background
  • A-Mount to E-mount Adapter Nuances
  • Portrait Lighting Workshop (and other events)
  • And more...

Upping My Game

For over 20 years I've prided myself on making "Wow!" images using pretty modest equipment.  I was one of the earliest proponents of wireless flash when Minolta introduced it to the world in the 1990's.  I used it extensively in my travels to add better light with the greatest of ease.  

But over the years I slowly started to hit its limitations.  It wouldn't reliably trigger outdoors (or in a large gym, as I discovered on an important shoot); and the intensity of the flash would be severely reduced when trying to "overpower the sun" using High-Speed Sync (HSS).

Recently I wanted to "up my game" and start taking outdoor portraits using fast glass wide open.  That almost always means using a fast shutter speed, necessitating either a camera with a leaf shutter in the lens (like the Sony RX-10 or Fujifilm X100 series) or using a powerful strobe capable of High-Speed Sync (HSS).  Essentially, what I wanted was the benefits of modern technology so I could do portraits that would wow my customers (and possibly other photographers).  And it meant triggering via radio instead of using the wide and narrow pulses coming from the on-camera flash.

Friday, March 9, 2018

#NaturePorn



There is intense competition for eyeballs on the internet.  This has led to an almost Darwinian-level pressure on photographers to up their game and produce ├╝ber-processed images that never, ever have actually occurred in nature.  It may draw the desired attention, but at what point does it go too far?

Monday, February 12, 2018

Neutral Density Filters vs. ...


During my first trip to Iceland, I was frustrated because I didn't own any Neutral Density Filters.  A Neutral Density filter is a fancy name for "dark grey glass", whose sole purpose is to let in less light.  If you let in less light, you can then use longer exposures, which can allow you to take dream-like wispier waterfalls or clouds.  The densest of neutral density filters can also be used to empty a building via a 4-hour exposure.  In situations like these, anything that stays still during those 4 hours will be rendered in the image, but anything that moves will be "averaged away" and become invisible.  Architectural photographers use this technique a lot.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Value of Immediacy


Also in This Edition

  • A New Photoshop Trick
  • Seminars!
  • In the Pipeline
  • The Value of Immediacy
A New Photoshop Trick

I'm intentionally not the most knowledgeable at Photoshop.  (I prefer to control my light instead.)  And so when I learn something really obscure I like to share it.  

It started out with this modest portrait of downtown Los Angeles which I posted on Facebook:

Sunday, November 26, 2017

One Amazing Incredible Camera! (Except...)

The first time I picked up the original RX-10 was in a Sony store (that should give you an idea of just how long ago that was).  I knew that it was just an RX-100 (the world's best point-and-shoot) with a bigger 24-200mm f/2.8 lens, but after 10 seconds I dismissed it.  "Takes too long to turn on.  Takes too long to zoom", I said.  I put it down.

Time passed. When it came time to write a book on the RX-100 IV, the RX-10 II was available also, and I decided to write the book about both cameras since the two were basically the same: Same sensor, same CPU and compute engine, extremely similar menu structure… it would only be 20% more work.  I took both cameras with me on a family vacation to Hawaii, which stressed me out a little.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Air Shows in RBL (Really Bad Light)


Also in this issue:
  • The best Sony cameras So Far (video)
  • I'll speak to your camera club - for FREE!
  • New Facebook Group for Portrait Photographers of all levels
  • RX-10 IV ebook coming 
  • And more...
Let's start with the announcements first.

Friday, September 29, 2017

I Know What I Did Last Summer

Also these quick subjects:

  • New Titles
  • Skype with me!
  • Next Cameracraft 
  • Next Seminars
  • Myanmar Photo Workshop
  • Update to Last Month's Post
  • Need your Help

Let's do the quick things first.

Friday, August 11, 2017

My Personal Workflow (and why I don't use Lightroom Mobile)

In This Issue

  • My personal workflow 
  • Why I don’t use Lightroom Mobile
  • Acid Test for Autofocus
  • Better High ISO .jpgs


My personal workflow

I get a lot of emails asking what my personal workflow is when it comes to processing hundreds of images from an event.  So here it is.

Standard Disclaimer: Just because I do it this way doesn't mean it's the best way or that it's the right way for you.  Just as there's no "best" way to configure your camera, there's no "best" way to process a ton of images.

Despite Adobe doing everything in their power to annoy me off their platform (slow software, can't do anything else while it starts, constantly changing UI behavior, subscription model, still not knowing how to handle rendering the workspace in Windows 10's high-resolution screen), I still use Lightroom for processing large batches of images, and Photoshop for tweaking images and doing special things that Lightroom can't do.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

5 Lessons from the UK


We just returned from a month of travel, first giving 2 seminars in the UK (England and Scotland), and then vacationing in Southern Ireland (EU, not UK).  The light was poor to average; it rained a lot, and I did the best I could with the six total minutes of good light I had. :-)  

Lots of pictures to share and lessons regarding those pictures.  I'll be as brief as I can.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Mirrorless means Accurate AF, right?


This month features guest blogger Brian Ramage, whose dance photography was so impressive I wrote an article about him in an earlier issue of f2 Cameracraft (which you can read here for free - the article begins on page 25).  Brian wanted to know which of four different 85mm lenses for the Sony FE mount would give him the best real-world results for his portraiture work, and so he got his hands on them, examined the results, and was just a little annoyed at what he found.  His full article appears below after a few announcements.

Monday, April 17, 2017

5 Types of Outdoor Portrait Lighting

Also in this issue:
  • What's wrong with the Industry
  • 3 new ebooks out!
  • Seminar Schedule
  • Product lighting
5 Types of Outdoor Portrait Lighting

Today I'm taking pictures of a 1-year-old.  And just to add to the unpredictability, I'm going to light him 5 different ways.