Why Your Kit Lens Isn’t as Bad as You Think It Is

One of the things that I try getting across to my students is that despite all of its amazing capabilities, the camera is just a box. Yes, it is programmed with a seemingly limitless number of exposure combinations, but when all is said and done it’s just a box. It has no artistic intent. We have to speak its language, telling it what we see, in hopes that the image in our head matches the image in the box. It is a box with a cylindrical window on the world. It’s the quality of that window that is often the subject of raging debate. Nikon or Canon? OEM or third party? Everyone has an opinion. Interestingly enough, the one thing that many– if not most– agree upon is that kit lenses should be avoided like the plague.

I completely disagree. I say go dig that kit lens out of wherever you’ve hidden it and put it to work. For those of you who’ve somehow been convinced that your photography can’t possibly be of adequate quality until you drop money you don’t have on a lens you can’t afford, I say that nothing could be farther from the truth.


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Duplicating And Scanning Slides – A Refined Tutorial

So, the holidays have rolled around once again, and sometimes we like to look at your old, but memorable, pictures from years gone by. But, having converted my photographic efforts to a digital, I continue to postpone (again) the inevitable, and disagreeable job of converting the old negative or slide collection into an acceptable digital format. This universal reluctance to bring your photos into the 21st Century is usually the caused after finding out the apparent complexity of the project or, more oft than not, the cost of the equipment.

For the past 12 years, I’ve been happily using digital photo equipment, forever clinging to the distant hope that someday I would be able to view my photographs and slides on the TV or the computer screen. I well remember how it used to be fun to drag out the slide projector and display the slides. It has, unfortunately, become less and less convenient that without clear wall space to project on, it’s just not worth the effort as the old 6ft. “pull down” projection screens just don’t cut it any more. Besides the set up of projection equipment, darkening the room and the other rigmarole one has to go through to look at slides, has driven the ‘fun’ right out of the effort so that I almost never look at them anymore. I took thousands of pictures during my travels and a lot of them were quite good.

Duplicating And Scanning Slides - A Refined Tutorial

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Tips For Syncing A Lightroom Editing Laptop With A Work Station

When I bought a laptop a few weeks ago, it was for a specific purpose: being able to work on my photos while traveling. But my primary concern was to keep in sync my Lightroom catalogs between my laptop and my desktop computer at home. I’ve read about solutions that would require you to merge catalogues by importing and exporting catalogs from one computer to the other. I wasn’t quite happy with that process, so here’s the solution I came up with.

Tips For Syncing A Lightroom Editing Laptop With A Work Station

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How To Capture Long Smooth Running-In-The-Meadow Scenes

Every movie that happens in a valley or a meadow has this shot – a bunch of small kids running in the grass with a small cute dog running along with epic piano music in the background. You know what I’m talking about…

One way to capture this kind of shot is to use a camera drone, but if you are shooting on a budget, a cable cam and a GoPro are  your best bet.

How To Capture Long Smooth Running-In-The-Meadow Scenes

Matt Hardy shared this great tips with us, on how to build and setup a DIY Cable Cam. It is just this kind of small fast rigs that you can set to run over a hundred meter shot.

The rig is made from a trapezoid Aluminum with 2 grooved scooter wheels, and it smoothly slides across 100 meters of 3mm Dyneema rope. (The rope has to have some downwards angle to pull on the rig, so you better know your nuts – Matt used a Double Bowline Knot and an Alpine Butterfly knot).

The nice thing is that the aluminum trapezoid folds flat when not in use.

Epic piano and running kids and dogs in 3,2,1… [Read more…]

GoPro – I’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’

My GoPro and I have hit a bit of a rocky stretch in our relationship.  I’m not sure yet if we’re heading for divorce, but we’re defiantly not newlyweds anymore.

The last straw was when my GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition decided to fry its 64 GB SanDisk Ultra micro SDXC memory card in the middle of a shoot.

But it’s not just the technical problems I’ve been having with my GoPro that have been bothering me – we’ve kind of drifted apart artistically as well.

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6 Reasons to Go Through Your Old Photos

The sound was a combination of high-pitched whine and intermittent clicking, with just a hint of angels and puppies crying in the background. My external hard drive was singing its swan song. Still in what should have been the prime of its life, my trusted backup drive was being taken from me– a victim of an insidious digital disease that attacks without warning or reason.

A little over the top?

In any event, as I was backing everything up to the new replacement, I found myself going through and taking the time to look at photos I’d not seen in a long time. Before I knew it, I was going through virtually every image in almost every folder, realizing that I should have done this a long time ago.

review-old-photos-diyphotography [Read more…]

Repurposing A Jump Rope As A Camera Pistol Grip

Our favorite maker, Chad Bredahl (previously featured here and here), just released a quickie on how to build a camera Pistol Grip.

A pistol grip is not an expensive item per-se (the great handle from P&C, for example, is about $19), but I love the idea behind it and I think a similar mechanism can definitely be used for other builds as well. And besides, who can resist the chance to dissect a lil girl jump rope.

If you ever tried to shoot video with a DSLR, you’ve probably noticed how quickly your wrist starts to heart. This happen because camera grips were not designed for video. A camera pistol grip changes your hand orientation while holding the camera to a more natural position do it does not get soar after a while. (Kinda similar to how you hold a pistol, hence the name). [Read more…]

What’s Your Stand On Photography Schools? John Free Offers Some Hard To Digest Advice

Have you ever went to photography school? Are you considering one? Photographer John Free shares his stand on photography school in this in-your-face video.

John shares that the schools that we went to had pompous instructors with no real body of work other than the time they spent in the photography school system. He also accuses them of having no interest other than to suck money of students. John also shares the one thing that he loved about his photo school. Lastly, John suggests some hard truth: that in the end, getting good at photography is all about hard work and practice, no matter how big your certificate is.

What’s your stand on photography schools? [Read more…]