Here at Pinnacle we love to enjoy great photographs. This month we look at two surprising collections, each at opposite ends of the professional spectrum. We have a collection of impressive images from the iPhone Photo Awards and a collection of other-worldly weather images from a master. We also cover the technical with an interesting entry-level, full frame mirrorless camera as well as a look at the specs of the top ultra-wide zooms. Good stuff. Let’s get going!
The new Nikon Z5 mirrorless camera will catch the eye of photographers who want to switch to mirrorless but were dragging their feet due to budget. The Z5 is priced about $450 less than the Z6 and about $1,400 less than the flagship Z7. The sensor in the Z5 is a 24mp CMOS design but it’s not the same as the sensor in the Z6. The Z5 interface has a more consumer layout than its bigger brothers. So, is the Z5 the way to go? A good place to start getting info is this nice dpReview review.
See if the Z5 meets your needs HERE.
The 13th annual iPhone Photography Awards received thousands of entries from over 140 countries. The shocker is, the images are fantastic. They range in subject from pure art to street photography and you certainly can’t tell they were shot with an iPhone. More shocking is the fact that they were not necessarily shot with the latest iPhone 11 Pro. Photographer Of The Year was awarded to an artist using an iPhone 6. It goes to show you great photography ain’t about the equipment.
See the winners HERE.
Eric Meola has innovated with color since graduating from the Syracuse University Newhouse School and his subsequent managing the studio for legend Pete Turner. He has won awards and accolades like Advertising Photographer Of The Year. His “Coca Kid” photograph of a young Hatian boy was included in Time Magazine Special Edition, 100 Magnificent Images. Meola started chasing storms for their surreal beauty in 1977 while shooting Bruce Springsteen for the cover of his The Promise album. Today those trips to capture raw nature have resulted in a magnificent body of work. Take a look.
See the amazing images HERE.
Must you rely on an interesting setting to make a good portrait? Actually, it’s how you connect with your subject that will determine the quality of your portraits. It doesn’t hurt to have a great lighting sense and the ability to shoot tight or loose. This article gets you into the nitty gritty of three photographers who know how to connect with their subjects and summon their skills to create memorable portraits.
See how these photographers get the job done HERE.
“Fill the frame” is what you’ll hear from a good photo composition instructor. That’s not so hard to do with a medium to long zoom lens but try filling your frame with an ultra wide zoom like Canon’s RF 15-35 f2.8. If you succeed you’ll be very close to at least a part of your subject. Nevertheless, ultra-wide zooms are fun to shoot and can give you some very compelling images. This article gives you a close look at eleven of them from the top photo manufacturers.
See how the ultra-wide zooms spec out HERE.
We’ve all heard that we shouldn’t over expose our highlights to avoid loss of detail. Did you know that over exposing is a fundamental skill of fashion and portrait photographers? This video will give you a solid understanding of how and when to overexpose to eliminate unwanted details, create mood and direct the viewers eye. Check it out.
Learn about good overexposure HERE.
Welcome again to HDR News. We’re taking a wide look at photography this month by covering equipment, imaging technology, famous photographers and even vintage images. First up is a look at Canon’s new, long awaited mirrorless camera. Then we take you to Rijksmuseum museum in the Netherlands where they’ve posted online an amazing super, super high-res image of Rembrandt’s most famous painting. Then, we see the tables turned on one of the world’s most famous photographers. We end with a non-pandemic look at New York City in images from as long as 140 years ago. Let’s go!
Canon may have just created mirrorless parity amongst the big three camera makers with its announcement of the specs for the new EOS R5. In its “First Look Review” CameraJabber states, “ First impressions of the Canon EOS R5 are impressive. This is a refined version of the EOS R with souped-up specifications and a possible price tag to match” And what will that price be? Right now the Nikon Z7 is priced at $2,800 at B&H Photos. The Sony a7R IV is going for $3,500 (ouch!). We think the initial price will be set in between, somewhere around $3,100. But, you never know because competition is a wonderful thing.
See the video HERE.
You’ve been dragging your feet. You love new camera gear and you know the camera industry is heading down the mirrorless highway at breakneck speed. And, what better time to make a full jump from one brand to another? But, you know. If you wait just a little bit, the next, more fully realized mirrorless model will be introduced and you won’t feel a bit foolish for having jumped in too soon. Eventually though, you’re going to make the plunge so you might as well have all the information you can gather. To that end here is an entertaining and in-depth of the pluses and minuses of the mirrorless offerings of the big three manufacturers.
See which brand rises to the top, in this article HERE.
One of the most important and famous paintings in the world is by Rembrandt and is titled Night Watch. It has hung in the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands since 1808 and is the country’s most prized work of art. Rembrandt received the commission for the work in 1640 and it was finished in 1642. The painting is in the middle of a major restoration and part of that project resulting in one of the most amazing photographs you will ever see. It’s a “hyper resolution” image of the painted that when zoomed in on will present a single brush stroke as large as your computer screen. This is a must-see.
Follow Operation Night Watch HERE.
See the amazing hyper resolution image HERE.
Joe McNally is one of the most well known and prolific photographers working today. His experience and talents span photojournalism, advertising, fashion, portraiture and more. His photos have graced the covers of magazines large and small most notably LIFE, Sports Illustrated and National Geographic. His list of clients is too long to list here. So, when Nikon turned the tables on McNally and secured L.A. portrait and wedding photographer Jerry Ghionis to make a portrait of McNally it grabbed our attention. The assignment was
for both photographers shoot each other using only Nikon’s Z 85mm f1.8 S lens. Ghionis’ described the feeling of shooting a legend as “..that’s like being asked to cook for Gordon Ramsey!
Read about the shoot in dpReview HERE.
Check out Joe McNally’s website HERE.
And, take a look at Jerry Ghionis’s website HERE.
If you shoota lot and post your images on the Internet you’ve probably had some images stolen. If your images haven’t been stolen yet they probablywill be in time. Copyrighting your images is the way to protect your creative property? Sort of. Copyrighting involvesapplications with the federal government and if you find your copyrighted work has been stolen, lawyers get involved. The word “lawyer”translates to many thousands of dollars. Check out this short but informative article to learn more about what’s required to protectyour work and pursue a possible thief.
Learn more about what it takes to protect yourself HERE.
New York City has taken one or two on the chin in recent months. The densely populated region was the perfect environment for spreading the Covid-19 virus. In following the news coverage of recent events you’ve seen the airwaves and the Internet have been full of images of tightly packed skyscrapers and streets devoid of traffic. But, did New York always look like this? This collection of photos, starting in the 1890s, is a reminder of the explosive growth and constantly changing culture that is New York City.
Step into the past HERE.
The days are getting longer in more ways than one. Spring has brought us more hours of sunlight. The shutdown has made each hour inside seem even longer. Our brothers and sisters in the pandemic’s hot spots have it way worse and this is why we start this month’s issue with a truly moving piece of work by world renown photojournalist Peter Turnley. Also in this issue we see how non-normal equipment can give your photography the creative boost it may need. We take a look at in-the-moment shooting by pointing you to a camera update that may have you feeling like Bresson. We also reveal some hidden National Parks and link you to the Big Kahuna photo contest of the year. Let’s get going!
The bulk of Covid-19 coverage is about the disease itself. The morbid statistics delivered on the news are numbing, eventually leaving you to somehow distance yourself from feeling the tragedy of the situation. It takes one of the world’s finest photojournalists to break through the cloud of distasteful information and create a connection with the people living in the epicenter of the outbreak. Peter Turnley connects you to the story of living life in New York City right now with empathetic compassion and sophisticated artistry in his video The Human Face Of Covid-19-New York City. You just have to see it. It lifts you.
Turnley is the right photographer for the times. His photography lives inside the human condition. His work made the cover of Newsweek 43 times. For gear Turnley used his Leica M10 camera with a Summilux 35 F1.4 lens to get you close to his subjects while simultaneously capturing their environment. There is so much going on in these images that, in total, they constitute a master class in composition. It’s the way the Leica was meant to be used. Take in this video on YouTube and visit his website to learn more about this remarkable talent.
See the video HERE.
Visit Turnley’s website HERE.
Will a zoom lens make you lazy? Will a zoom stunt your photographic development? It just might. Try ditching your zoom, pick out a prime lens you think will do the job in most cases and live with it for a while. You may find yourself moving around a lot more to frame your image the way your mind’s eye sees it and, that’s a good thing. But, which prime lens do you pick? Did you know that Henri Cartier Bresson (HCB) most frequently used a 50mm, even though his compositions looked like they were shot with a 35mm. The photographer in this article went with a 35mm.
See how a 35mm prime lens worked out HERE.
If you’re getting that HCB feeling right now. That’s a good thing, especially if you’re pining for a Leica with a prime lens but can’t afford one. Flirting with icon status is the Fuji X100V. Its form factor is small and concise. The images it produces are fantastic. Learn more about it in this excellent DPReview piece.
Find the article HERE.
The Sony World Photography Awards 2020 are the big kahuna in the year’s photo competitions. At once, a look at the finalists will inspire you, intimidate you and make you wonder “how did they do that?” The nice thing about the Sonys is they don’t just dump the winners on you. They spend weeks displaying the images that are in contention all the way up to the winner’s announcement on June 9.
Dive into some great images HERE.
Landscape photography excited Hristo Svinarov for a long time. He shot a lot. He got good. Then, the excitement slowly dissipated bit by bit. It’s not an uncommon story for advanced amateurs and even pros. This is especially so in landscape photography where it’s been argued that virtually every shot has been taken. The reality is, it’s incredibly difficult to devise a new and unique landscape composition. When they hit the wall, some photographers switch genres. Some stop shooting. Read this article to see how a Hristo became revived.
Read this article to see how a Hristo became revived HERE.
It’s rare to find a photographer who attacks an almost cliche subject from an entirely new perspective as did Hungarian freelancer Gabor Nagy. Traditional images of “Tuscany” are typically shot in a small section of the region known as Val D’Orca where the farming compounds are surrounded by sculpture like fields and dotted with Romano cypress trees. To get an idea of Nagy’s work imagine making one of those images but looking down like you’re a bird. Better yet check the images out for yourself.
See what what a drone can add to your imaging making HERE.
If you’ve been working under the assumption that ISO settings in your camera simply reflect increased amplification of the signal coming from your sensor’s pixels then, you’re wrong; sort of. ISO refers to the responsiveness of the entire image pipeline. ISO in a digital camera ties together the light hitting your sensor, the responsiveness of the sensor and the lightening effect on your image. We’ll stop there. If you want to dive into the details of ISO and how it affects your images we’ve got the right article for you.
Check it out HERE.
We’re going nuts staying close to home and foregoing new shooting possibilities. We’re starting to see some public parks start to loosen up. Some great, low traffic National Parks are highlighted in this article and may be some of the first to open. Most of them we didn’t know existed. Some parks appear to be partially open like Haleakala on Maui and Canyonlands in Utah. The article provides hot links to the official websites of the parks where you’ll find all the up-to-date opens and closures.
We bet you’ve never heard of most of these National Parks HERE.
We are deeply saddened and moved by the suffering of those around us and around the globe caused by the current Corona virus outbreak. It’s a story that must be told and still photographs can tell that story in a way most mediums cannot. To that end, in this issue we highlight three pieces of photojournalism that report on the new-normal caused by social distancing and lockdowns. We also bring you two stories that explore that heart and soul of being human, one that goes deep into Margaret Bourke White’s famous Migrant Mother and another that documents one photographer’s act of saying Good Bye. There’s more including side light in nature photography and a stunning look at large format film vs. digital output. Before we get started let’s take a moment to reflect on all our fellow humans dealing directly with pandemic especially those who may have lost a loved one.
Video footage of empty streets is saturating the nightly news these days. But, nothing tells a story like a collection of thoughtful still photographs. We found the following collections to be compelling.
This collection we discovered on Flipboard emphasizes loneliness in normally vibrant places. It’s a juxtaposition that leaves you feeling like a visitor on another planet.
Find the images HERE.
Probably the most severely affected country by the COVID-19 is Italy. It’s normally swamped with tourists and their selfie sticks every day. These images help you see Italy’s ancient cities in a way you never could in normal times. If you’ve ever experienced the plague of tourists that descends on Venice each day you’ll realize that these images may be a one-in-a lifetime phenomenon.
See the results of the virus in Italy HERE.
The absence of people in pandemic images provides us with the ability to see into the distance with endless visual perspective. We feel as through we are alone in the landscape; heroic adventurers.
Investigate the empty places HERE.
Seen by most Americans, Dorothea Lange’s famous photo of Florence Owens Thompson, known as The Migrant, tells a story. It has become the defining image of Depression Era photography; “… an iconic representation of true American
grit in the face of adversity.” But there is a lot more to how this image came about. Years after encountering Thompson and her children Lange described the image as the spontaneous result of detached photojournalism. Our tendency is to believe that narrative until we realize that she was using a large format, single image Graflex Series D camera. It’s not the kind of camera you would use for spontaneous photojournalism. Yet, Lange shot six images in the session. So, how did that image really come to be? What ever became of Florence Owens Thompson? And, why was one of Thompson’s children later
quoted as saying; “Mama loved to have fun… “They were tough, tough times, but they were the best times we ever had.” You, as a dedicated photographer, need to know the real story!
Learn more about the iconic image HERE.
Heartwarming for sure. Heartbreaking possibly. The natural arc of life can send our parents to a smaller, more manageable home in a seniors community. We visit them as often as possible to check up on their well being but frequently just to get a dose of the love when knew so well growing up. There is always the “good-bye” wave at the end of the visit. Deanna Dikeman’s series started almost by accident while documenting the rest of her family but after nearly three decades both parents are gone. Two of the most notable images are the ones where first, her dad is not in the photo and the final photo, with no one in front of the house.
See 27 years of Goodbyes HERE.
If you’re a regular reader of this newsletter you may not be a paid, working pro but we bet you could easily be one. If only you had the time and cash to pursue photography full time you would… well, we know. Having the camera knowledge that you do possess, we thought you’d find it entertaining to see what Digital Camera World says are the best cameras for a pro. You know what works for you. Let’s see if the publication feels the same. We trust that -you- know better.
See how your evaluation of the camera landscape compares HERE.
Imagine if you had to individually, one by one, load film into your camera to make a shot. Each sheet of film would have to be completely protected from light contamination by using a dark bag. In that closed bag you would have to place a sheet of film onto a film holder that would later be loaded into the camera. Once loaded we couldn’t forget to remove the door from the holder so the light through the lens could hit the film. We won’t go into the gory details of actually focusing the camera. But, but, but…. the image quality produced by an 8” x 10” large format camera is so good it can seem surreal; unbelievable.
Don’t believe us? Give this article a read HERE.
Watch this video to see what it takes to set up and use a large format camera in the field HERE.
Simple advice is quite often stellar advice. For example, take that landscape you traveled far to take. The sun is settling low behind you. Your foreground and rear elements are lining up exactly right. And, darn! The scene is lit too flat to create any drama, sending your image to the average pile. Why? because the sun was behind you thus eliminating the shadows that create depth and texture in a landscape. This article will go deeper into why you need to pay attention to the direction of your light.
Learn about sidelight HERE.
Welcome again to HDR News. It’s new product time with lots of interesting stuff hitting the market right now. Apple’s long awaited Pro Display XDR, the Fujifilm X100V camera and Nikon’s replacement for the venerable D5 are all covered in this issue. There’s also an interesting development in the world of drones and it’s not consumer friendly. And, we had so much feedback to our landscape issue last month that we’ve included a great video to help you reduce the equipment you lug around with you out there in the field. Let’s go!
You may never get to shoot with Canon’s flagship cameras or their $12K 600mm f4 lens. The next best thing is to follow along with some professional bird photographers and watch them in action close up. That’s just what you’ll do by viewing this video. You’ll also see the kind of images that equipment puts out: amazing!
See how birding with high-end equipment is done HERE.
It’s been highly anticipated and evaluation units have finally reached reviewers like C/NET. The initial reaction to the product as been, “Wow”. This publication is touting the monitor’s best-ever blacks: “… some of the best blacks…in a desktop or laptop monitor…”. Just as impressive appear to be the skin tones. At $5,000, though, shouldn’t the monitor include the stand? And, let’s not mention the stand’s serious limitations like lack of swivel. Nevertheless, this is a “pro” product where performance is the primary measure with price merely a data point.
Learn more about the display HERE.
We tend to focus on interchangeable DSLR and mirrorless cameras in HDR News. Bad on us because there are any number of all-in-one, point and shoot cameras that deliver super results and are so compact that they almost become part of you. The real story with the X100V is the image quality. When we saw the sample images that populated this article, we were suitably impressed. But, judge for yourself. Could this be a Leica M10 killer?
Read about the camera experience HERE.
See the great image quality of the Fujifilm X100V HERE.
There are pro cameras and there are “pro” cameras. At the top of Nikon’s line sit the D5 and the D850. If you looked at the sensor size for each camera you’d expect the behemoth D5 to be the sensor size winner but, the D5 comes in at only 21 megapixels while the D850 sports 46 megapixels. That’s probably because the D5 is all about speed and ruggedness. It’s the camera relied upon at the sidelines of major sporting venues and political event scrums. And, 21 megapixels is very much enough when the image destination is a printed newspaper, magazine or the Internet. Recently Nikon announced the specs of the D5’s replacement, the D6. How do you improve on your top-of-the-line camera? Read on and take a guess at its sensor size before you read.
Get a top line view of the D6 specs HERE.
Have you thought about getting into drone photography? The image results from a drone can be spectacular. The problem with drones is they often share the same airspace as commercial and military aircraft. The last thing a commercial or military pilot needs is for a drone piloted by a nouveau civilian operator to get sucked up in their jet intake. Remember what happened when birds were vacuumed into both of the engines on Capitain Sullenberger’s Airbus A320? It didn’t take long for defense manufacturers to see the economic potential in developing drone killing systems. You need to see how well they work and perhaps think about where you fly your drone.
Watch drones get melted HERE.
In our January issue we explored landscape photography from the perspectives of composition and technical settings. But, many of our readers wanted to know what the bare complement of lenses is needed to cover all situations. We recently ran across this video by accomplished landscape pro Mads Peter Iversen that cuts through the clutter and shows you exactly what you’ll need to be fully prepared out in the field.
Watch the recommendation video HERE.
Welcome again to HDR News! In this issue we’re all about winter landscape photography. Why shoot landscapes in winter? The sun is lower in the sky producing a unique quality of light, spectacular weather events turn a typical scene into a memorable one and famous places to shoot, like National Parks, are devoid of humans! To help you in your quest for great winter landscapes we show you very useful composition strategies that go way beyond the Rule Of Thirds but are actually useful. We bring you a very cerebral interview with an award winning photographer that will have you thinking a lot deeper about the images you’re trying to make. And, there are tons of great landscape photos all through these articles. Enjoy, stay warm and keep dry!
The tried and true Rule Of Thirds provides an initial compositional guideline in most genres of photography, including landscape photography. But you can dive deeply into nature and discover that there are lines and patterns that can be compositionally more intricate and valuable than the standard rules. This article by esteemed landscape photographer Erin Babnik describes the five dominant patters she looks for in a scene to help make order of nature’s seeming randomness. With names like The Plunge and The Echo they become memorable and useful. The article uses her fantastic landscapes to illustrate each of her patterns. The images alone are worth spending some time ingesting this info.
Dive into composition HERE.
Babnik’s landscapes are so strong we’re investing a second mention of her work. Babnik won Capture Landscape’s Photographer Of The Year award and this article is an in-depth interview with the photographer where she reveals the cerebral way in which she approaches her craft. One of our favorite quotes in the interview: “A famous art historian described Greek sculpture as having ’noble simplicity and quiet grandeur’ and I think those are the qualities I gravitate toward in my photography.” For Babnik, photography goes way beyond just clicking the shutter.
Experience the interview and some more great images HERE.
If you are dedicated to landscape photography you will reach the point where snapping a mountain or seaside scene at dusk just doesn’t do it for you any more. At that point, the weather becomes your friend and inspiration. As Ansel Adams knew, a clearing storm is all about photographic opportunity. In this article pro landscape shooter and educator Mark Metterich delivers hard-earned advice on how to predict and photograph landscapes where weather is the unique element.
Learn to deal with the weather HERE.
Being alone and communing with nature can be difficult to do in one of our National Parks. If you’ve ever visited a National Park during the summer, on a non-summer weekend or school holiday you’ll surely have the memory of long lines of cars and more people than you ever wanted to experience. That’s not very conducive to thoughtful landscape photography. There is a solution however: visit your favorite park in winter. The snowy scenes and breathtaking weather events make for exceptional photo opportunities. Some parks particularly stand out in winter and this article will identify them for you.
See which National Parks shine in winter HERE.
The gear-head in us is never far from surfacing and, we often steer you toward a dpReview article on the newest camera. This time we wanted to hear from a new voice and have the gear info delivered in a clean, concise way. In our search we found Zarina, the creator of the Digital World Beauty website. She provides a robust look at not only Sony, Canon and Nikon cameras but also Pentax. In the article she links to a few dpReview videos to deliver a nice overview. This article is about equipment that gets the job done. Check it out.
Read about the best cameras for landscape photography HERE.
In doing the research for this edition of HDR News we ran across the website of Sarah Marino and Ron Coscorrosa. They are a nomadic couple based in southwestern Colorado who travel to locations in their “silvery” Airstream trailer. They create wonderful landscape and nature photographs and produce valuable photo tutorials. A visit to their site is like visiting the home of your favorite shooting partner. Nice people and nice photography await you.
See the photos and the instructional guides HERE.
Welcome back to HDR News! It was a great year in photography. We’ve seen mirrorless cameras take off, new lenses impress us, big ticket items amaze us and more. But, it’s the images that you and your bretheren have made that make the year stand out. From news, to sports to portraiture to fine art, the great images just kept coming. That’s why this issue of HDR News is dedicated to the many competitions that attempt to celebrate best images of the year. We look at a single, serendipitous image, major news images, sports images and, of course, travel images. We hope this issue kicks off your 2020 shooting with inspiration. Let’s get started.
We’ve covered a starling murmuration in HDR News in the past. For those who don’t know what a murmuration is (we didn’t know either) its the,”phenomenon where hundreds, sometimes thousands or more birds moving and twisting in what appears to be a coordinated, single organism that can quickly morph into some startling shapes”. So, something really cool must have happened for us to revisit this subject again.
Check out the photo and the story behind it HERE.
To see and photograph the world is the great aspiration of photographers. But in the age of phone cameras making images on our trip almost seems trivial if we get into the mental state of “if I don’t take a photo, I wasn’t there”. And, let’s not mention immediately putting that photo on Instagram. This article is found in Conde Nast’s Traveller and is not a technical guide to travel photos themselves. Rather, it covers areas of consideration void from most travel photo articles by presenting “Dispatches From Around The World”, “Beauty Around The World”, behind the scenes of specific images and way more. It’s a fresh look at what you aspire to do.
Dive into the guide HERE.
The greatest service news photographs can give us is making events visceral. We can read the report of a family crossing the Rio Grande to America for the opportunity they could never find at home but seeing the image of a father with his arms around his young child lying face down, dead in the water, is another experience all together. That is what great news photographs do. They shake you, wake you and make you deal with the events at hand. The New York Times’ photographers are tireless and fearless. They go where we would not. This is an image collection that will bring perspective into your New Year and ensure you give thanks for all you have.
Get into the best photojournalism around HERE.
Red Bull’s annual sports photo competition winners were announced this month. When we think of epic sports photos we may be conjuring mental images of pro football wide receivers stretching for a catch or a shortstop suspended over second base while throwing to first. This set of images doesn’t go there. Instead you’ll see athletes suspended in air on bikes and rock climbers taking a break on a tiny platform of rock on the side of a treacherous cliff. It’s good stuff!
See the great action images HERE.
Tuscany calls to photographers with its serene landscape. Think of the movie Gladiator and the lush scene when Maximus returns to his Tuscan home in his dream. There you see classic farms, lines of cypress trees and country roads winding through a gently hilly countryside. Everything is draped in an indescribable golden light. But, just traveling to Tuscany won’t get you those images because these scenes are located in a region of Tuscany which you can easily miss. On a normal trip to Tuscany tourists visit the famous cities of Florence and Siena and the land in between. The famous landscapes you’re looking to photograph are found south of Siena in the area called Val d’Orcia. Check out this bit of info in Visual Wilderness by a local pro.
Discover the most photogenic part of Tuscany HERE.
PDN – Photo District News has been one of the leading magazines for professional and aspiring professional photographers for decades. Gaining an image in the their Photo Annual each year is one of the most positive things you can do to advance your career. Why? Because it’s judges are the most knowledgeable in the business and for the respect held for the publications where they work. Spending some time analyzing the winning images in this year’s contest can only move you forward in the right direction.
See the great images HERE.
Sony is taking over the camera market. No, Canon sells more cameras than Sony. Nikon still makes the most formidable lenses. Fujifilm is coming on like gangbusters and, on and on and on and on. Would you like some real data to support whichever claim you want to make in your next gear discussion? Then take a look at this article and see what photographers are actually renting. Its great info because if you’re going to supplement your kit for an important shoot you’ll most likely rent the brand you already use. Check it out.
Learn what your colleagues are renting HERE.
There’s lots to cover in this issue of HDR News. In the area of new equipment there are two new lenses by a leading manufacturer that appear to push digital photography beyond expectations. There’s a color monitor that accommodates the most popular color space at a price we haven’t seen before. The ongoing discussion about the quality of phone cameras takes a turn when it goes up against a $20K camera. And, there is some great instruction on long exposures. Let’s get going.
What’s the fastest lens you have in your bag? It’s probably your 50mm f1.4. It’s a go-to lens for getting the wonderful out-of-focus background that’s so much in style these days. The downside of your 50mm used at f1.4 is there is probably a fall off in sharpness. Nikon’s new 58mm f0.95 “Noct” lens appears to solve that sharpness problem in an incredibly powerful way. So much so that Nikon has stopped taking orders for the lens because of off-the-charts demand and a difficult manufacturing process. You need to see this video promoting the lens.
See why there’s no hesitation to dropping eight grand on a lens HERE.
You love photography but you’re not a pro. You want to create high-quality images but you don’t want to spend a fortune. You want a camera that’s light enough to have with you most of the time but you need it to be rugged. Sony appears to have broken the code for creating such a camera: the a6100. It’s got a great 24MP APS sensor, powerful auto-focus, an electronic viewfinder, Wi-FI image transfer and USB charging which comes in a take-anywhere form factor. You can read the full review and see sample images at dpReview. We love their reviews!.
Get a good look at the a6100 HERE.
The portal into experiencing your work is your monitor and the more you work at your photography the more sensitive you become to color, sharpness and image size. Eventually, you’ll come to crave a nice big monitor with a super-wide color gamut and a crisp image. Up until now a 27 inch monitor has been a bit of a budget stretch for many of us. Now with Dell’s new Ultra Sharp monitor it appears you’ll get the Adobe RGB color space managed by an on-board colorimeter at that wonderful 27” size at a doable price. And, if you already have a colorimeter you can get the same monitor without he but-in colorimeter for $700 less.
Learn about the Dell 27 inch photo monitor HERE.
Sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone. While most of us use a tripod for stabilization most of us probably haven’t made an image using a five minute exposure. The results of really long exposures are unique and very much worth trying. This is a deep, instructive article where photographer/author Elizabeth Gray covers all the bases in long exposure photography from scene selection to composition to filters to light contamination.
Get the valuable long exposure info by Elizabeth Gray HERE.
We don’t like to highlight more than one article about a single manufacturer’s products in an issue of HDR News. This month, however, we have the eye-opening high demand for the Nikon 58mm f0.95 and now this article in Photography Life claiming that Nikon’s Z 24-70 f2.8 is reason enough to switch to the mirrorless Z system. In fact, they called it “simply remarkable”.
You can learn about the lens HERE.
Discussions about the quality of phone cameras are all over the Internet where folks claim it won’t be long before phone cameras equal or outperform a “normal” camera. Well, we might be there already. Sawyer Hartman, who has more than 1.8 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, brings in four photographer friends for side-by-side comparisons to guess which photos came from the iPhone and the $20,000 Leica M10-P. The video is at the bottom of the page.
Make your own image choices HERE.
This is an obscure photo competition but it serves the purpose of promoting conservation while giving you a good laugh at the same time. The website espouses “Conservation Though Competition” but little about the folks running it. Nevertheless, this year’s contest received over 4,000 entries from 68 different countries, which were whittled down to 40 finalists, and finally, one grand prize winner. These photos are funny. Enjoy.
Learn the drone gear basics HERE.
Welcome again to HDR News You Can Use! We hope you’re out there taking advantage of this fall foliage season. It’s the best time of year for getting luxurious color into your images. Being constantly in the outdoors you should go easy on yourself. That’s why in this issue we look at going with a light weight camera kit. Then we take a look at three new cameras on the market. For those of you dragging your feet on learning about drone photography we point you to a great dpReview series on the subject. And, there’s much more.
This photograph is just too amazing. We’re sure Yongqing Bao knew he possibly had a rare image when he clicked the shutter but, you never know for sure until you download your images. Is it in focus? Did I capture what I think I saw in the viewfinder? Bao certainly did. We did a first look of the Wildlife Photographer Of The Year competition run by London’s Natural History Museum in last month’s HDR News. Since then the winning photos were announced and they are impressive. We just had to highlight this photo where an animal demonstrates a human reaction to an existential situation.
See the winning photographs HERE.
Hiking out to a favorite location for some good images is a joy for landscape photographers. We load up the backpack and strap the tripod on it and off we go. The smartest and most experienced photographers take a more critical view of the gear they’re going to be taking with them on their treks. Each additional pound you add to your pack is going to slow you down, reduce your stamina and possibly prevent you from reaching your shooting location when the light is optimal. Do you really need heavy zooms, a third camera battery or a 300mm lens for a particular shoot? Those are all items that many experienced shooters leave behind. This article will help you take a critical look at your landscape gear setup.
Learn how to reduce your load HERE.
There could be cash sitting on your hard drive in the form of sellable photography. While few photographers get rich selling stock photography many enjoy a monthly stream of income from their photos and, why not. Those photos are just sitting there on your drive doing much of nothing right now. There are quite a few stock agencies out there ready to sell your photographs. This article is a concise list of the terms of the top agencies out there.
See which agencies you should approach HERE.
It hurts to lose a cherished piece of equipment. There’s the loss of a component of your shooting capabilities which is annoying. There’s a bit of an emotional loss if you’ve lost a piece of equipment for a long time which has helped you make some of your proudest images. This is the story of photographer Steve Boykin who lost his 23mm f2 Fuji lens only to find it four months later. Read the article to see if the lens continued to work.
Read the story of the lost lens HERE.
The Reddit page Sh$##y HDR rarely disappoints. It’s the place on the Internet where bad taste and zero creativity synergistically combine with HDR technology to create some of the most horrible examples of “art” you could possibly imagine. We return there from time to time for a look. Here we recently found one of the most universe bending examples os Sh$##y HDR we’ve encountered: enjoy!
See our pick HERE.
For more artistic excitement see the main bad HDR page HERE.
Camera manufacturers simply do not sleep. It seems like every major camera company has a new model out now. Olympus and Canon appear to be targeting the advanced hobbyist while Sony gave birth to the motherlode a7R IV, 61mp camera for (just) $3500. Here are three review articles to help you sort through it all.
Learn about the Olympus E-M5 Mark III HERE.
Read about the Sony a7R IV HERE.
Get into the Canon EOS 90D HERE.
If you’re looking for a new perspective in your photography, getting up over the trees and buildings is a sure-fire way to get there. Shooting high with a drone brings in shapes, colors and perspectives that formerly were only possible by hanging out of helicopter. Drones change the game but there’s a bunch of information you need to digest in advance of purchasing one. From the number of propeller blades to the megapixels of the on-board camera, making the right choices is a daunting task. This set of articles in dpReview lays it all out for you from an overview of drones to the parameters for takeoff and landing.
Learn the drone gear basics HERE.
Learn how a drone can affect your photography HERE.
Learn more about the advantages of a drone and see some great photo examples HERE.
Welcome again to HDR News. Autumn is upon us with its colorful photo opportunities. Trees will be blazing red, orange and yellow. The skies will usually be a deep blue and the air will be crisp but, not always. That’s why we lead off with a set of tips on how to make great landscape images in not so perfect light. When it comes to processing your images for optimal color we point you a video showing you how to use the fantastic color tools in HDR Expose, HDR Express and 32Float. Also included in this issue is a look at the iPhone 11, advice on setting pricing for your images and shooting environmental portraits with minimal lighting gear. Let’s get going!
If you confine your shooting to Golden and Blue Hours you’re shooting for just about three hours a day. What if it’s overcast and you decide not to shoot at all? Well, you’ve wasted the use of God’s soft box: the clouds. What if the sun is strong and high in the sky? Do you give up and wait until Golden Hour? Not at all. You’re a talented photographer who can make wonderful photos anywhere. This article will help you get the most out of your valuable day of photography. The article includes a nice video that takes you into a harshly lit red rocks area and talks you through using shadows and shapes to make fine images.
Learn to shoot in bad light HERE.
If you were following Apple’s iPhone 11 introduction you had to notice the three cameras lenses on the back of the phone. This was the telltale sign that Apple had made significant upgrades to the iPhone’s camera system which include a 13mm 35mm equivalent field-of-view (13mm!!!), powerful image processing, a new night mode, upgraded portrait mode, a wider color gamut and more.
Read about the iPhone 11 HERE.
Have you ever thought about going professional as a photographer? If so, pricing is the trickiest aspect of the business side of photography. So many “how-to” articles on starting your own photo business advise that you should price your product and services at “what they’re worth” thus tying your personal worth to a number that may have no relevance to the quality of your work or the market you’re working in. This is a tough love article you need to check out if you’ve considered going pro.
Learn about pricing HERE.
If you’re a newspaper photographer you have access to most subjects you want to photograph. Not so for the rest of us. But, there is a way. Shoot for Google 360. This article takes you through the idea of getting access by shooting for Google and walks you through a nicely lit environmental image made in a dark shop in Hanoi Vietnam with the most minimal of lighting kits.
Learn why you don’t need a ton of equipment HERE.
The Natural History Museum of London is an incredible institution. Famous for its dinosaur collections the Natural History Museum covers virtually everything in the natural world like birds, mammals, marine invertebrates, fishes, amphibians and even humans. What better institution than to run the Wildlife Photographer Of The Year competition. Here you can check out this year’s Exhibition Images with each image
fully explained. It’s a really nice group of photographs.
See the wildlife images HERE.
In autumn photography you want to have optimal control over your post processing. Did you know that Pinnacle’s powerful color editing tools work independently of luminance. That means if you change the exposure level (luminance) of your image you will not change your colors as would happen in most other editing apps. Also, editing your color will not affect your luminance.
Want to learn more? Check out the instructional video Adjusting The Color Settings In HDR Expose 3 and 32 Float 3 on page two of our video tutorials HERE.
For an even deeper dive into the art of color, Nigel Danson is back with an excellent discussion and video on the affects of color in your landscape images. In the article’s text is a discussion on the use of both analogous (similar) colors and complimentary (opposite) colors to add subtlety or punch to your images.
Take an artistic dive into color HERE.