A Camera Reviewer’s Indecision And An Ambiguous Set Of Testing Parameters

A Camera Reviewer's Indecision And An Ambiguous Set Of Testing Parameters

We talk about cameras and stuff like they really matter. As though our choices will dictate some plane of reality that will change our lives. And we give far too much credence to camera reviewers. Anyone who’s read my blog over the years knows that I’m as clueless about what constitutes the perfect camera as everyone else in the whole industry. We’ve chased after megapixels, high ISO performance, build quality, nostalgic design cues, low noise and high speed and not a single parameter makes much sense in its own little vacuum. [Read more…]

15 of My Favorite Photography Products Under $50.00

Fall is in the air again, which means– among other things– that I’m back in the classroom, teaching my digital photography class for kids. I have some great students this year, ranging in age from 10-14, who have already impressed me with their curiosity, talent, and desire to learn. One of the things that separates my class from other photography classes is that I don’t require my students to have a particular level of camera. As a result, I have students with DSLRs working side-by-side with students who photograph with the most basic of point-and-shoot models. By making it less about the equipment and more about how they see the world around them, some pretty cool stuff happens.

ThinkTank PPR

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DIY Builds That Go Sideways – Wile E. Coyote Style

Before photography became my hobby of choice and eventually a career, I spent a lot of time building remote control boats, planes and cars.  It turns out that the skills you learn as a kid to build a nitro powered model boat out of beer cans and styrofoam are very transferable to building homemade photography gear.

Disclaimer: the following article doesn’t have much to do with photography.  If that is a problem for you, please don’t read it and then leave a disgruntled comment about how you wasted your time reading it.

Underwater Fashion Portrait Underwater Photographer JP Danko

This photo was shot using some pretty cool DIY photography gear – but that’s another story.

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Faking an ND Filter for Long Exposure Photography

So, I’ve had this idea bouncing around in my head for a bit, and figured it might help me to get off my ass and actually try it out if I described my thought process.

Long Exposure - Shanklin
Long Exposure – Shanklin by Richard ‘Tenspeed’ Heaven, (cc-by), 5 sec  f/32 ISO 100

I’ve been wanting to get some ND filters to experiment with daytime long exposures for a while now. The problem is that I’m lazy. So when I say “for a while now”, I really mean that it’s been like 3 years.

I had previously written about using median stacks to remove noise from an image, as an easy way to remove non-static objects from a scene, and to create interesting artwork. It’s those last two things that got me thinking… [Read more…]

What Are Hyperlapses And How Can You Make One With Nothing But A Camera And A Tripod

The next hype after good timelapses seems to be Hyperlapses. A hyper lapse is a similar concept to a timelapse, with the main difference being that the camera movements are significantly greater, and can span dozens of meters. This would be really expensive (and I mean REALLY) to do with dedicated rails and sliders.

What Are Hyperlapses And How Can You Make One With Nothing But A Camera And A Tripod

Norwegian photographer Morten Rustad shares some great tips on how to make a hyperlapse in with only a tripod, a camera and a timer. [Read more…]

How to Pass the Time When Business is Slow

Is your calendar looking a little empty? Pull up a chair. It’s time you and I had a chat about the facts of life. No, not those facts of life. I’m talking about a stark reality that every professional photographer has to deal with from time to time– The Phone That Won’t Ring. If you’ve ever picked up your phone for no reason other than to check for a dial tone, you know what I’m talking about. Hitting the refresh button on your email a little (or a lot) more often? Ever called a friend on your cell phone, not because you really wanted to talk to them, but because you wanted to make sure your phone was working? I don’t care how good a photographer you are or how impressive your client list is– the simple, basic, unvarnished truth is that into every professional’s life some down time will fall. It’s not fun. It can be downright depressing. It can also lead to some pretty bad habits– the kind that can be extremely hard to break after things pick up again.

You may not have caused the slump, but you can certainly take an active role in making it as short as possible. Sitting on your ass isn’t going to fix anything, so what do you do? Here are a few suggestions (in no particular order).

empty calendar

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HDSRL Recording Primer – Which Microphone To Use?

If you made the switch from stills to video and are now using your DSLR as a video camera, you probably already know that aside the change in the way you capture visuals, you now also have to deal with audio.

HDSRL Recording Primer - Which Mic To Use?

Audio, as photography, is complete world on its own and it demands the same level of training and expertise. Starting with what gear to buy – microphones, recorders, cables (yes! more gear! yes!) through what gear to use for each scenario. Sounds familiar?

Fenchel & Janisch have a great tutorial that goes through the basic microphones and how each one effects the noise, ambiance and directionality of voice. Hit the jump for the full video. [Read more…]