HDR News You Can Use

May 2019 – It’s time to plan your summer photo travel and we’re here to help. Where to shoot is the logical first decision and there are probably no better photo locations in the U.S. than one of our national parks. We start off with an overview of the most scenic national parks which, includes fantastic images from each location. If you’re headed toward Europe this summer we point you to a Scottish isle that couldn’t be more picturesque. We help expand your photo knowledge and capabilities with a collection of long exposure tutorials and there’s much more. Let’s get going!

 

The Best National Parks For Photographers

The snow is off the roads and the weather is forecast to be fine. It’s time! It’s time to visit one of our national treasures, a national park. All the national parks are photogenic but some truly stand out as majestic marvels. It’s at these special parks that you’ll be able to replicate that landscape image that you’ve come across before and stuck in your mind. This article ran in 2018 but remains one of the best overviews of the parks. And, it includes an iconic image from each park.

Start your national park photo trip planning HERE.

 

World’s Oldest Trees By Starlight – The Photo Controversy

National Geographic’s image standards mimic the standards in used in photojournalism. In photojournalism you don’t create objects or perspectives that were never in the image when the shutter was clicked. You can adjust brightness and contrast. You can burn down or dodge areas. You can even crop. But, you can’t add content that wasn’t originally in the image. If you do add content and run the image you must label the image a photo illustration or alert the viewer in some way. So, what was a wonderful collection of some of the world’s oldest trees lit by starlight may have been reduced to a fraud by some very observant readers.

Read the details of the controversy HERE.

See National Geographic’s response to the accusations HERE.

 

3 Long Exposure Tutorials

Leaving your camera’s shutter open for seconds or even minutes will put you into an area of photography that delivers impressive and unique images. Of course you’ll capture ubiquitous blurry waterfalls but you’ll also see colors and glows created by the light of the moon and stars. You’ll see moody swirls on water surfaces and city scapes will surprise you. But, there’s more to long exposure photography than just placing your camera atop a tripod and tripping the shutter. These wonderful tutorials will give you the information you need to try long exposures with confidence.

Get the tutorials HERE.

 

Capturing Moonbows In Yosemite

Yes, a moonbow is what you would expect: a rainbow-like band of colors that is created by moonlight reflecting off misty water. This type of photography is beyond “long exposure” photography in that it requires ISO settings that produce images that border on un-useable. Nevertheless, astro-photographer Shreenivasan Manievannan created incredible moonbow photos in Yosemite National Park at the famous Yosemite Falls. Pretty cool.

See the moonbows HERE.

 

Bald Eagle – A Very Cool Photo

This is a story about Steve and Bruce. Steve is an amateur photographer based in Ontario Canada. Bruce is a bald eagle that was brought out for a fly by the Canadian Raptor Conservancy while Steve happened to be shooting. The story culminates with a rarer than rare image of the eagle soaring straight at the camera with its eye fixed on the shooter. That alone is a story but the symmetrical reflection created by the low-flying bird puts this one over the top.

Experience this cool photo HERE.

 

Life On A Scottish Island Owned By It’s Residents

“Getting away from it all” takes on a whole new meaning on the Isle of Eigg. It’s a tiny island sitting off the west coast of Scotland that is owned by its 107 residents. Like much of the Scottish coasts and islands the archipelago is a visual masterpiece. This collection of photos will really put you in the shooting mood.</p>

Visit the island HERE.

 

Dynamic Range: Film vs. Digital

Here at Pinnacle we’re all about high dynamic range. That’s why this video caught our attention. While our products handle the entire dynamic range of human sight, are there any imaging devices that can produce anywhere near that range. This test of film vs. digital may not put the question to rest.

Get the test results HERE.

 

Eye AF Coming To Nikon z6 and z7: It’s Already In The Sony a 6400

Photographers who tend to shoot people need to focus on their subject’s eyes. There’s no way around it. To that end Sony’s A0, A7R III and A7 III have had the feature for a while now. So, what about Nikon’s new Z7 and Z6? Nikon has hinted that eye focusing was coming for those cameras and last week Nikon announced a new firmware update that will add the functionality to those cameras. We’ll wait and see how the new feature performs.

Learn about the firmware update HERE.

April 2019 – There’s a lot of “2019 best-of” info in this month’s HDR News. We’ll be showing you the highest rated photo gear of 2019. We’ll also feature the winners of the Pulitzer Prize in photography and the World Press Photo Contest. We hope to inspire you natural light photographers to gain a little knowledge about using a single flash unit. We also give a nod to some insightful photography of a planet on the edge and, more!

 

Best Photo Gear Of 2019

TIPA, the Technical Image Press Association, has released its 2019 World Awards for new equipment. If you’re in the market for new gear you need to take some time exploring TIPA’s choices and, hopefully, be guided to a great purchase. If you’re a camera gear-head (we all are to some degree) then this will be very entertaining viewing and reading.

Learn about the best gear HERE

 

Fire Ravages Notre Dame de Paris – The Photos

The United States has been a formalized country for 243 years. The Spanish first arrived on North America’s shores 527 years ago. Construction on the church of Notre Dame (Nortre Dame de Paris) began 856 years ago in 1163 AD. It’s construction, all done without modern machines that could lift massive stones a couple of hundred feet into the air, was awe inspiring. Over the centuries the building became the soul of Paris and, indeed, the soul of France. The conflagration that consumed its wood constructed roof and many historic artifacts left the French and the rest of the world in a silent stupor. These stunning images capture the scene and those feelings.

Experience the photos HERE

 

Pulitzer Prize Photography 2019

The Pulitzers have been awarded since 1917 with the first Pulitzer for photography being awarded in 1942.The Pulitzer Prize in photography bestows huge honor on the winning photographers. It also places huge responsibility on the images’ viewers to understand the issues behind the photographs and judge for themselves whether the image before them tells the story in an exemplary way. The Pulitzer Prize celebrates the recording of history. Arthur Schlesinger said upon winning his second Pulitzer in 1966, “A nation informed by a vivid understanding of the ironies of history is, I believe, best equipped to live with the temptations and tragedy of power…” It’s ironic how this point applies today.

Take in the Pulitzer photographs HERE

 

An Image You Can’t Ignore

The non-profit World Press Photo Foundation has been awarding prizes for the best photojournalism and story telling since 1955. Based in Amsterdam the foundation’s yearly contest draws images by the world’s best working photojournalists: over 78,000 images this year. The top prize for 2019 was won by Getty Images’ John Moore for his photograph, “Crying Girl On The Border” of a two year old Honduran toddler Yanela Sanchez in tears as her mother is arrested by U.S. border patrol. It’s an image that forces you to take notice of what you have and what you could lose.

See the winning photo HERE

 

50 Photos Of Life On Earth

It’s clear thatour environment is changing. Mother Nature is on the run regardless of your beliefs on the reasons why. This collectionby National Geographic to highlight last Monday’s Earth Day shows abundant life forms and life forms that are in danger. Bonus: the photography is fabulously beautiful. </p>

 

Get into the earth HERE

 

It’s Time To Learn How To Create Great Images With Your Single Flash

At some point in your photographic development you need to get familiar with strobes (flash). Even as a dedicated landscape photographeryou will be asked to create a great portrait or product shot from time to time becuase you are, ideed, a photographer!This video shows you exactly what you can do with a single strobe and, it’s a lot! Beauty lighting, mood lighting andeven mixed daylight outdoor images are all possible. Use the video as inspiration. For detailed single strobe instructionthe best place to get started is by taking The Strobist’s Lighting 101 course for free online.

Get inspired to use flash HERE

Visit the Strobist’s 101 class HERE

 

New Sony a7R III and a7 II firmware improves AF and adds Interval Exposures

Sony’s latest update to its a7R and a7II mirrorless cameras firmware adds a new eye detection system that is based on AI and machine learning technologies. It can track an eye even if the eye closes or the subject turns around. This feature works on animals as well. Also, added to the firmware is interval shooting allowing for the creation of time-lapse videos.

Learn about the firmware update HERE

 

These Photos Were Taken With A 10mm Full-Frame Lens

What lens makes foreground objects enormous and points things like clouds toward your image’s center? A 10mm full frame lens is the answer. Using such an ultra-wide lens takes a while to master and it’s resulting look is not for everyone. Photographer Albert Dros took a 10mm lens out for a spin and came up with some memorable images.

See the super wide-angle images HERE

Welcome again to HDR News. Mother Earth is rubbing her eyes and looking for a cup of coffee. It just officially turned spring on the 20th which means there’s going to be lots of color and beautiful light for us to capture out there. In this issue we help you in your spring shooting preparations with location shooting tips for waterfalls and wildflowers. We have a nice primer on how to read your camera’s histogram and we end with software and camera new product information on some world class products. Let’s get going.

Have You Read Your Histogram Lately? – Here’s How

 

Have you ever needed to check your LCD screen but the light around you kept you from getting a good look? While your LCD screen may have a tenuous relationship with the truth when it comes to evaluating exposure, your image’s histogram does not. This piece is the perfect primer for getting a handle on histograms so you’ll never have to wonder about your exposure again. You’ll be equipped with a foolproof way to make sure your spring shooting is as productive as possible.

Learn to read your histogram HERE.

 

Most Beautiful Day Hikes In America

You can make beautiful nature photos in your neighborhood. You can make spectacular images if you research your locations and have the stamina to handle them. This is an article about locations that are less traveled and provide the zen-like visuals and solitude many of us savor. These hikes are not for couch potatoes but you can work up to them, especially if you’re motivated to shed those winter lbs. Once you’re there the images will almost make themselves.

 

 

 

Discover where to hike for photos HERE.

28 Inspiring Waterfall Photos

Spring is the season when the winter snow in the high elevations transforms to water and streams down the hills to create dramatic waterfalls. We see waterfall images everywhere but we seldom tire of looking at moving water. Now is the season for you to get out there and make some of your own. This collection of waterfall images will have you thinking creatively and appreciating your purchase of a variable neutral density filter.

 

 

See the images HERE.

Tips For Creatively Shooting Waterfalls

It takes more than a tripod and a slow shutter speed to creatively capture a waterfall image. The key word here is creatively beacause there are other factors that enter the picture like light levels, surroundings, skys, multiple exposures and more. This article will send your thinking down a slightly different path.

 

 

 

Get the tips HERE.

 

Best Places To See Wildflowers Around the U.S.

Spring brings more than waterfalls to photographers. Spring also brings flowers. Our gardens and landscaping come alive in spring and with it: color. Lots of color. Not much compares with seeing fields and rolling hills carpeted with color in every shade possible. This article reveals the best locations for seeing spring come alive so, bring your camera bag.

 

Discover the wildflower locations HERE.

 

A New Version Of Photo Mechanic Is On The Way

Photo Mechanic has been the gold-standard image browser for high volume shooters for over a decade. Why? It’s -blazing- fast. News and wedding shooters can do a first pass edit of a 1,000 image take literally in minutes. And, Photo Mechanic sits on top of your computer’s file system so all annotations, ratings and more reside in the image’s file. That means your images are not held hostage in a browser application’s guts never to return. Now Photo Mechanic 6 software will be even faster and features an improved UI.

 

Learn about the new version of Photo Mechanic HERE

Visit the Camera Bits website HERE.

 

Leica Q2 – First Look

There’s always lot’s of hype whenever Leica delivers a new product. But, unless you’re doing quite well financially you probably need to gather lots of product information before shelling out somewhere in the range of $5K for a camera with a fixed 28mm lens. DpReview’s crazy Chris and Jordan do a nice job taking the Q2 through its paces out in Canada’s frozen landscape. Even if you’re not thinking of buying the Q2 you should at least marvel at the image samples.

Check out Chris and Jordan’s review HERE.

Greetings. We’ve got a wide ranging set of information for you this issue. We point you toward a great set of images that has taken NASA’s primary photographer over thirty years to compile. We alert you to the warning signs of when; exactly you’re over processing your landscapes. That’s followed by some inspiration from landscape luminary photographer Marc Muench and an inside look at 14 Instagram influencer’s most popular images.

Best Photos From NASA’s Official Photographer

Just think back to all the explosive images that resulted from the last decades of NASA space shots. Now imagine you were NASA’s “guy”. The guy who had unfettered access to the source of one of photography’s most visually powerful environments. That guy is the talented yet humble Bill Ingalls. Ingalls fell into good fortune with a college internship and he’s still working for NASA and loving the photographic life.

See the images HERE.

Discover The Magic Of Long Exposure Photography

Magic is the perfect word to describe the look in photographer Sharon Tennenbaum’s serene yet surreal images. She shoots classic landscape and cityscape compositions and employs long shutter times that create smooth, syrupy surfaces. She alternates between black and white and color but, either way, the resulting images put you in a calm, relaxed state of mind.

Experience Tennebaum’s images HERE

5 Signs You’re Over Processing Your Landscape Photos

If you over-saturate your landscape photos you may be brought before the House Oversight Committee On Ugly Photographs. Of course, we’re joking here but sometimes you see photographs so egregiously unnatural that even a non-photographer would call out of bounds. If you think you’re not guilty of any of the over-processing sins in this article you’re probably fooling yourself. That’s a long way of saying, you need to be aware of these indicators of relying too much on your post-processing skills.

Check out the video HERE

The Approach To Better Landscape Photos – Marc Muench

There’s no Rule Of Thirds in his article. There’s no Golden Rectangle or Leading Lines. Now it’s time to approach landscape composition from a different perspective. Celebrated photographer Marc Muench, son of legendary photographer David Muench suggests two ways to approach landscape photography that don’t rely on diagrams. Muench will have you embracing “pre-visualization” and “discovery” approaches both of which revolve around new and revisited locations.

Let Marc Muench advise you HERE

A Person And Photographs You Can’t Ignore

Some people resemble forces of nature. One such person is psychoanalyst Dr. Anni Bergman. Bergman escaped the Holocaust and made her way to America, earned a PhD and went on to perform seminal research in autism and child/adult relationships. She has a wide ranging set of relationships herself which contributes to her longevity. Bergman turned 100 years old this year and she can’t stop moving. At age 97 she hopped on a jet by herself, met a friend in Switzerland and spent the trip hiking through the Alps. Photographer Ann Steiner, a PhD herself had taken a post doctoral class with Bergman and they became friends. In 2014 Steiner was taking a photography course and needed a subject. What subject could be better than Dr. Anni Bergman.

Read about this remarkable woman and Steiner’s photographs HERE

14 Influencers Talk About Their Popular Instagram Image

What defines “popular” when referring to an image on Instagram? Is there any way to predict that what you believe is a game changing image will be lauded by the online community? The answers are, there are no answers. Reading this article where really good photographers are baffled by their own image’s popularity we discover that our perceptions of our own work may be completely out of sync with reality and scream ideas that are surprises to ourselves.

See what the influencers are thinking HERE

New Color Calibration Tool For Monitors Hits The Market

If you’re serious about photography it’s time for you to calibrate and profile your monitor. If there isn’t a monitor profile sitting in your computer’s operating system there is no way you will accurately be able to predict what your photos will look like on another person’s monitor (as in client!) nor will you be able to accurately predict what a print produced by your printer will look like. Here’s a new tool on the market that will reduce creating a monitor calibration and profile to minutes. And, it costs less than $200. You don’t have any more excuses!

Read about the new product HERE

Hello again. We hope you’re taking advantage of the sketchy winter weather. The best time to get mood into your images is when the weather is challenging. Snow showers, clearing storms and even rain can add that little extra that makes your photographs stand out. This month we start with a great article on shooting wildlife in the snow that is full of good technique advice. We follow with a look at a new Olympus camera and a whole bunch more. Let’s get going.

Shooting Birds In Flight In Snow (Great technique info)

This article is a step up from your normal how-to photo article. In addition to being adorned with fabulous photos the article gets into the nitty gritty of shooting fast-moving wildlife. The lessons that nature photographer Denise Ippolito deliver get specific and immediately applicable to shooting wildlife and can be extended to shooting sports as well. She reveals exact shutter speeds, apertures and ISOs and she discusses EV compensation for those rare times when she’s not shooting manual. As a bonus, Ippolito discusses the various renderings of snowflakes as a function of your camera settings.

Get the techniques HERE.

Visit Denise Ippolito’s website HERE.

Olympus E-M1X Review

Subject specific focusing has finally made its way into high-end digital cameras. The Olympus E-M1X ships with algorithms created via machine learning to instantly recognize and fast focus on faces, cars, trains, snowmobiles and more. While the actual machine learning happens in the Olympus development labs, updated algorithms created during the development process can constantly be updated to the camera through firmware updates. This just may turn out to be the best technology to arrive for sports and wildlife shooters ever.

By the way, the image quality of this camera appears to be incredible as this image by Olympus Visionary Jay Dickman shows. Even in this Internet resolution example the nuances in the dark areas are amazing.

Read about the newest camera HERE

Check out Jay Dickman’s awesome website HERE

9 YouTube Landscape Photographers You Should Follow

If you’ve ever screeched to a stop, and parked your car by the side of the road because you caught a fleeting view of a potentially great landscape shot, you’re not alone. As you pull your gear out of the trunk and start the march into the wilderness you say to yourself, “I’ve got to be crazy”. Well, you’re not crazy and here is a collection of videos by accomplished landscape photographers that will prove you’re just like them. You can just watch the videos embedded into this article or you can click through to each photographer’s YouTube site. You’ll come away knowing you’re actually a sane artist.

See the videos HERE

Shooting The Same Red Cabin Over The Years

Good fortune will eventually come to the persistent or, so believes, Ole Henrik Skjelstad. He is a landscape photographer living and working in Norway and he’s a perfect spokesman for tenacity in photography. In 2013 he discovered a classic red cabin adjacent to a watershed. It was a scene that spoke to him and inspired him to return again and again. His photographs capture a wide range of weather conditions and show us all that returning to a location can produce wonderful images.

Discover how the seasons change your images HERE

Trekking The World With A 500mm Lens

Just quit your job, bail out of your apartment and hit the road for a couple of years. It’s a scenario a lot of young folks entertain and this couple actually did it. But, why would they add a 7 lb. piece of glass to their bag and schlep it through airports, train stations and backcountry treks? For this couple it was all about wildlife photography. Check out this article to learn about dealing with overweight carry-on equipment bags, possible theft and gear durability on a two-year adventure.

Check it out HERE

10 Innovations From CES You Need To Know

There’s no better way to determine the prevailing winds of electronic device development than checking out the Consumer Electronics Show held each January in Las Vegas. Since cameras are now electronic devices themselves and must interact with a universe of screen, storage and peripheral devices it’s in our interest to keep up with what’s new. Here’s a list of devices from the 2019 show that impact photographers.

Get the news HERE

Looking For A Great Wide Angle Zoom On A Budget?

If you’re an aspiring landscape photographer, street shooter, photojournalist or commercial photographer you need a fast, wide-angle lens. Such a lens from the major camera makers will set you back more than just a few bucks. Tamaron has been making some fantastic lenses that can go head-to-head with major brands at much friendlier price points. For a wide angle zoom consider the Tamron 17-35 f2.8 reviewed in this article.

Check it out HERE

We hope you’ve had a wonderful Holiday Season. To celebrate the year, this issue points you to two 2018 photo compilations that are moving and thought provoking. Then there’s a story of one jaw-dropping celestial photograph, a 2018 best gear of the year review and some photo tricksyou suspected but didn’t know for sure. And, let us be the first to wish you a Happy New Year. Let’s get going!

This Is The World’s Year In Photography

What a year 2018 was and what a collection of photos this is. Photojournalism is the area of photography that is the most immediate. It’s immediately created, immediately distributed and immediately consumed. Beautiful images and heart ripping images appear and then disappear with the rapidly accelerating news cycle. As the introduction to this New York Times extensive group of images tells us, a second, slower look at the important images of the year gives us the time to reflect how they impact our sensibilities and our soul. This is a must-see image collection. Some images will break your heart. Some images will make you smile. The sum total of experiencing these images is a better understanding of our world and photography’s ability to shape it.

Experience this must-see collection HERE

Beyond Amazing – Greatest Photo Ever Taken From A Commercial Airline

This is a story of a photographer, a commercial airline and a once-in-a-lifetime event. The photo is so strong and the tale behind it so wonderful we’re just going to send you to the story.

See it HERE

Landscape Photography Apps You Can’t Live Without

Great sunsets, star-dense night skies, high and low tides are components that go into a memorable landscape photo. And, let’s not forget about making that classic Milky Way shot. Getting these elements into your landscapes requires preparation like consulting Google Maps, National Park and state tourism websites and word of mouth. But, what if you could exactly predict the sky, tides, sunrise, sunset and more before you ever leave your home? You can do all that and more with these apps.

Check out the apps HERE

Shooting the Full Moon Behind an 800 year-old Church

This piece shows you landscape photography preparation in action. It’s a great look at Swedish photographer Göran Strand who had the idea and did the research to photograph the full moon rising behind an 800 year-old church on Frösön island in a lake-dense area in central Sweden. All of Strand’s preparation yielded a stunning shot and a compelling video segment.

See Strand make the image HERE

Tricks Of The Trade – Food Photographers Are Magicians

You always sort of knew that the food photographs you see hanging in McDonalds or jumping off the page in a glossy magazine weren’t quite truthful. You look at that shot of a cheeseburger bursting out a fluffy bun with beautifully melted cheese and the perfect dollop of ketchup dripping from its edge and say to yourself 1) boy am I hungry and 2) that can’t be real. You’re right! It’s not real and the tricks used to make it look real will amaze you.

See how your eyes are fooled HERE

Best Camera Gear Of 2018

Getting a great overview of the year’s gear from a source you respect is an end-of-year requirement for the rabid photo head. Therefore, we send you to a full round up by dpReview’s Chris and Jordan. In addition to being entertaining their reviews are quite valuable if you’re thinking of making a gear brand change or just contemplating adding to your existing kit.

See the reviews HERE

National Geographic 100 Best Pictures Of The Year

As a photographer you have to love the end of the year with it’s “best-of” collections and lists. When thinking about the National Geographic’s end of year selections you would expect an inspiring and feel-good collection of images reflecting the best of 2018. And, that’s what you get with National Geographic Director of of Photography Sarah Leen’s selection of photos for this year.

See the images that will be in your mind this year HERE

We often learn the most by watching others. In this issue we watch pro Reed Hoffmann handle the workflow and editing of a nice HDR image using HDR Express 3, Pinnacle’s streamlined yet powerful HDR application. Then we see how difficult it is to photograph the news when climate change has all the components of disaster dialed up to eleven. For our landscape photographers we get the inside story of Ansel’s most famous image. We then get some help determining the best lenses for our needs and we end with a hands-on with the world’s largest format camera. Let’s go!

 

Deep Into HDR Express 3

We sometimes forget about the incredible power under the hood of HDR Express 3. Yes, it’s our streamlined HDR editing application but did you know that when you create a merged HDR image in HDR Express you’re working on a full 32-bit image with fully functioning 32-bit editing tools? Try 32 bit mode in most all other editing applications and you’ll see the majority of its editing tools disabled.

There’s so much you can do with HDR Express 3 and wouldn’t it be nice to see a professional talk you through using it? Take the time to watch Spontaneous HDR with HDR Express 3 Parts I, II and III where our VP of Marketing John Omvik and award winning photographer and teacher Reed Hoffmann get deep with the product.

Hoffmann relentlessly crosses the globe shooting for high-end clients and major news publications. He is also an instructor for the Nikon School of Photography and his teaching experience is well demonstrated in the videos.

See the videos on the Pinnacle website HERE. Look for the three videos titled “Reed Hoffmann – Spontaneous HDR with Express 3, Parts I, II and III

Check out Hoffmann’s wonderful website HERE

 

Wildfire Photographer Laments Politics of Climate Change, Learns Something About the Nikon Z7

Stuart Palley lives on the blazing hot edge of sanity. He’s a wildfire photographer. Being a wildfire photographer involves a whole ton more than bolting out of your pickup truck and pointing your camera toward the blazes, if you want to live to tell the story. In this article Palley shares with you his training and preparations for getting the images and getting out. He also shares his literally hands-on experience with climate change and he shares his experience with the new Nikon Z7. If you’re considering the Z7 for fast-moving professional work you need to read his experience with the camera.

Check out this revealing article HERE

 

The Full Story Behind Ansel Adam’s Moonrise Over Hernandez

If you’re a landscape photographer you no-doubt are very familiar with one of Ansel Adams’ most famous images, Moonrise Over Hernandez, New Mexico. You may have come across tales of how Adams fell upon the scene driving back from a long shooting trip. You may have not known that when the light in the scene was at its optimum he couldn’t find his light meter. And, what will really surprise you is the way Adams printed the photograph evolved over the years and the version you remember in your head looks nothing like the early prints. Which print versions are superior? All this is explained in a wonderful little video produced by the Ansel Adams Gallery as promotion for the sale of one of the rare 21.5” x 29.5” prints

See how the iconic image was created HERE

 

DPReview Picks Best Lenses For Canon, NIkon and Sony

Take a short online trip to the website of the camera manufacturer of your choice and you’ll see a wide array of lenses for your camera ranging from super-wide fish eye lenses to enormous fixed focal length lenses weighing tens of pounds. We soon realize that we can’t own every lens shown without winning the weekly lottery so, we start examining how we shoot and which lenses will actually get the job done for us in the most artful and least expensive way. Then, we start the research into the lenses we’ve chosen. Some manufacturer’s lenses are fantastic values and others are disappointments. Why not let the experts do the work for you.

See the recommendations HERE

 

How To Use The World’s Largest Polaroid Camera

The romantic vision of a great photographer working with a vintage large format film camera is one many of us have. Wood frame, bellows, ground glass focusing and focal plane adroitness are experiences we can’t get with our DSLRs or even medium format cameras. Now imagine making an image in very large format. Large as in 20” x 24” with one of only six existing Polaroid instant cameras. That’s cool. Live vicariously by watching this video of one of the 235 lb. monster cameras in action.

See this enormous camera in action HERE

The best photography time of the year is upon us and we hope you’re grabbing some of the best photos you’ve ever taken. In this issue we highlight landscape shooting technique and we point you to a great, landscape-filled download. If you missed Photokina and Photo Plus we share a nice overview of the new equipment recently introduced. We also challenge you with an opposing article that will have you questioning your need for a new camera at all. Have you experienced card failure? We point you to the lessons learned from a really bad failure. We end with a valuable resource that may make one of the least used items in your bag your go-to tool.

 

Best Cameras And Gear From Photo Plus 2018

OK gear heads, let’s take a look at photo manufacturer’s new offerings displayed at Photo Plus show in New York City this month. There’s a lot to digest. Canon revealed it’s pro-level mirrorless camera, Fuji displayed a 100mp version of it’s killer medium format camera the GFX 50R named the GFX 100, Zeiss showed its first digital camera and a whole lot more. This article will get you up to speed on what’s new. New toys may not improve your photography but they are fun to dream about.

Check out the new gear HERE.

 

7 Most Important Lessons Learned By A Landscape Photographer

Andy Mumford is an accomplished landscape photographer and photo workshop leader based in Portugal. He’s been at the craft for a long time and you can see in this video that his sage advice isn’t all about f-stops and the rule of thirds. It’s about sustaining yourself on the long journey toward making great images: embracing failure, releasing equipment envy and simply asking yourself the question “why”.

You can wrap your mind around this experienced pro’s views HERE.

 

Excellent Landscape Photography Free Download

There’s really nothing like a nicely curated set of landscape images if you’re looking for motivation. This month Landscape Photography magazine is offering a free issue and with that, a well crafted pdf download of images sponsored by Fujifilm (We’re seeing the Fuji name a lot lately). The informative aspect of this particular collection is the technical information displayed with each image including camera type, lens, ISO, aperture and shutter speed. It’s certainly worth downloading.

Grab the download HERE.

 

Sooner Or Later It’s You – Lessons From Memory Card Failure

Most likely you’ve never lost a photo to a dead memory card. You’ve seen your cards malfunction but recovery software probably retrieved your photos for you. But, what happens when you have a failure so severe that recovery software won’t even see your card in the reader? Then, you’re looking at using a data recovery company and an outlay of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Read this cautionary tale of a professional photographer who experienced the worst and pay attention to his recommendations.

Learn by other’s experience HERE.

 

Why You May Not Need A New Camera

Honestly now, can you tell which photos are shot on a 10mp camera, which was shot on a 32mp camera and which was shot on film. Our experience says you may make a correct guess but you won’t be sure. As the new products revealed at Photo Plus prove, there’s lot’s of cool stuff to try out there. But, do you really, really need the latest camera or lens to create meaningful photographs? Perhaps you do and perhaps you don’t. Give this thought provoking article a read and see if your perceptions are changed, or not.

Question yourself HERE.

 

Ethereal Photos from the Shores of the Dead Sea

When you come across a collection of photos with a look you’ve never seen before your mind may ask how did he/she do that? It’s a question we pose every time we see a Dan Winters photograph. In this article Israeli-based photographer Alexander Bronfer’s beach photographs made on the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek beach evoke your curiosity. Is it the subject matter in the photos or the technique or a little of both that delivers the “ethereal” look? See ifyou can figure it out.

 

Experience a different use of color HERE.

 

Do Pros Use Common Speedlights For Real Work?

They sure do and most often you won’t be able to tell that the pro didn’t use a standard power pack and light heads. That little speedlight you carry in your bag and use to blast the face of your subject into white ghost territory has tons of capability you may not be tapping into. The key is getting the speedlight off your camera. How do you do that? You find out by visiting the most informative website on shooting with speedlights: The Strobist. Visit the site and click on through to his free Lighting 101 course. You can thank us later.

Learn to use your speedlight HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn is the time of the year for capturing great color in your landscape panoramas but you also need to be thinking about composition and consistency in your stitched images when processing your pano. So we start with a great video on panorama composition and an even better, two-part video in our Pinnacle video education library that will improve your processing consistency. And, there are a lot more information treats that follow. Let’s get going!

 

Panorama Landscapes – Lead Your Viewer’s Eye Through The Image

When you get right down to it great landscapes rely on two elements, special light and thoughtful composition. You really can’t have one without the other though many photographers have tried relying on interesting light alone to grab the viewer. But, if you want to keep a viewer’s eye on your photograph you need to reveal different elements to them as their eyes move around the frame. This can be especially difficult when creating panoramas. This video and article will get you thinking about good composition that keeps your viewer engaged.

See the panorama composition video HERE

 

Mastering the HDR Panorama Process

This is a great two-part panorama instruction series with commercial panorama shooter Richard Sisk and our own VP of Marketing and accomplished photographer John Omvik. These two videos will take you through the HDR Expose panorama batch process to achieve consistent panels that will stitch beautifully for a compelling final image. Click on the HERE button that follows and you’ll be taken to the Pinnacle Video Tutorial page. Scroll down to the fourth row of videos where you’ll find “Mastering The HDR Panorama Process Parts 1 & 2”.

Watch the pano processing videos HERE

Check out Richard Sisk’s website HERE

 

You’re Going To Do It Eventually – Manual Exposure!

You shoot in A, S or P mode. It’s not a bad thing. In fact, in fast moving situations like navigating the changing light at a wedding or sporting event those automatic settings can save your entire shoot. But those same job-saving settings can backfire on you when you’re in backlit situations, high contrast situations, situations where you need max depth of field and a whole sack of others. Before too long you’ll reach a point where you crave maximum control of your photo outcome. You won’t want to hope your image was well exposed, you’ll know it.

Many say Manual Exposure is too difficult to master yet alone understand. Well, it’s not. And, if you start using it on a
regular basis you won’t believe how fast it becomes second nature and how your photo consistency improves.

We’ve tracked down a great video that breaks down why and how to use manual exposure. It’s created by photographer Sean Tucker and he’s got a gift for teaching. We’re sure you’ll take the next step toward going manual by watching the video.

Watch the video and go manual HERE

 

Color and Luminance Range Masking in Adobe Camera Raw

Many of the pro photograhers we work with, they do their first edits in HDR Expose to get a great master file. Then,
they make additional tweaks in other apps in order to use some tools they’ve become rely on. If you shoot RAW and you use Adobe Camera Raw after you may be puzzled about a tool that’s been added. It’s called Color and Luminance Range Masking tool. That’s a mouthful to say but it’s easy to use once you know how and it can give you graduated luminance and color results you once had to accomplish using multiple tools. Here’s a YouTube video by veteran Adobe Evangelist Julianne Kost that will take you through using the tool.

See the video HERE

 

Just how do you pronounce Bokeh Anyway?

Have you been in a camera store and start talking with the salesperson about a new lens’ product characteristics? If so, the Japanese word “bokeh” most likely came up and neither you nor the sales person was really sure how to pronounce it. Now, you’ll have one up on the sales rep the next time that happens.

It’s pronounced correctly HERE

 

Bad HDR

It’s been a long, long time since we visited one of our guilty pleasure websites which is one of the most amusing sites on the web for HDR photographers. It’s actually called S$#%%y HDR and it does not disappoint. Indeed, you can find some of the absolute worst implementations of HDR processing available anywhere on its pages. The creators of these maserpieces have no hesitation to push the processing bar far to the right when it comes to garish color, horendous halos, ultra-patterned clouds and bad composition. A visit to this site will straighten you right out if you’re an HDR abuser.

Walk on the bad side HERE

 

Julianne Kost’s Blog

There are some luminaries in the photography world who you want to hear speak time and time again. One of those greats is Julianne Kost. Kost is Adobe’s Principle Evangelist who has been named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People In Business. She contantly and tirelessly makes the rounds of photography shows, software conventions and club meetings demonstrating the processes, tips, and tricks of image processing. When you hear her present you learn and; you learn really useful stuff that sticks in your brain. She’s also a great photograher. If you’ve never had the pleasure to attend one of her presentations you should at least visit her blog.

Visit Julianne’s blog HERE

Choosing a lead story this month was a toss up between beautiful landscape submissions to National Geographic and the early introduction of the new Nikon mirrorless pro camera. We just had to choose the images. We also share with you three separate pieces on composition which includes looks at Sally Mann,Henri-Cartier Bresson and Monet and how their work is filled with classic lessons. Let’sget going!

 

Your Shot – The Best Landscape Photos Of 2018 (so far)

National Geographic’s Your Shot is a vibrant online community of photographers like you and me. The service allows you to post
up to 15 images per week for sharing with the community and the quality of submissions is superior, especially when you realize most of the images are primarily by amateurs and advanced hobbyists. This collection of landscape photos are presented as the best landscape images of 2018 so far. The images exhibit exceptional composition, color and thought. It’s worth the time.

See the collection HERE

 

Just In Case You Missed It – The Nikon Z Series Is Here

Nikon’s introduction of the Z7 and Z6 cameras last week was a bit of a shocker. The announcement follows recent history by getting in front of other manufacturer’s announcements tied to the Photokina show in Germany at the end of September. The cameras are Nikon’s first foray into the full frame, pro-level mirrorless market. They draw heavily on the technology in the stellar D850: 45.7MP BSI-CMOS sensor, ISO 64-25,600 (expandable to 102,400) and up to 9 fps shooting (JPEG and 12-bit Raw). “But I can get those specs out of my D850”, you say. Yes, but not at this reduced weight and size. What’s the financial hurdle to get into a Z7 with the all-new Z-mount
24-70 f4 lens? B&H is taking orders at a price of $4,147.

But wait, there’s the issue of the new Z (pronounced “zee”) lens mount that is larger and shallower than the F mount. Nikon got ahead of a firestorm from their community by creating an F-mount adaptor allowing you to use most of your existing lenes. But this raises the question of the future of development of the F lens line. There’s a lot to think about with this product introduction. We refer you to the Nikon website for the formal introduction and on to our friends at dpReview for the closer look they had at the Tokyo intro event which includes image samples.

See the Nikon announcement HERE
Get DpReview’s Z7 first impressions HERE
Get DpReview’s Z6 First Impressions HERE

 

New 151 MP XF IQ4 Camera System from Phase One Making Waves

Phase One has introduced the new XF IQ4 camera system, which can capture photos at <i>resolutions of up to 151 MP in a full-frame medium format camera</i>. If you’ve ever seen a large print of an image out of this camera or worked with a file from the camera then you know that you’re in very rare air. It’s virtually impossible to describe the sharpness and tonal complexity. It’s breathtaking. After you’re done reading the Petapixel article take a field trip to your closest pro camera outlet and get you’re hands on one. Be warned, the back alone is $48,000.</p>

Check it out HERE

 

Take A Walk Outside Of Yourself – Sally Mann Will Improve Your Photography

A major exhibition of Sally Mann’s work, titled A Thousand Crossings, is currently on view at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, fresh off a run at the National Gallery of Art in the nation’s capital. Calling Mann a “fine art photographer” over simplifies. She conceptualizes her message, often orchestrates her scene and then executes her prints, darkly. She appears to be able to emote into her photographs of family and friends the melencholy of the inevitability of their demise though, decades in the future. She doesn’t “take” photographs. She creates concepts. We’re sharing this article with you because of the number and cohesivness of the images. We hope the experience will help you dig deep for feelings that will appear in your images. An even better idea is to visit the Peabody and take in the exhibition in person.

See the images and article HERE

 

20 Simple And Elegant Henri-Cartier Bresson Composition Lessons

You’re an experienced photographer and you know you need to take your composition beyond the Rule Of Thirds. In this piece and the next, photographer Eric Kim helps us apply lessons from the greats in to our own images. Henri-Carier Bresson, besides being known for capturing “The Moment”, bended and reshaped the rules of composition; reordering ordinary subjects into displays of art that seem to be in motion. If you want to push your composition skills, check out this article.

See the lessons HERE

 

13 Lessons About Art From Claude Monet

Photographer Eric Kim’s blog is a great destination for getting yourself beyond just looking at photographs. Kim serves you well by reminding you that the pursuit of artful photography can always start by appreciating the artists that came before. In this article he’s all over Monet. He provides tons of composition examples and analysis as well as verbal quotes that illuminate his work such as: “For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life – the air and the light which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.” Kim adds, “Don’t just capture your subjects, capture the mood and the air around it! Create an atmosphere in your pictures, to transport the viewer into your images.”

Learn from Claude HERE

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