HDR News You Can Use- October 2021

Welcome again to HDR News. This month we’re highlighting new equipment from Sony and Nikon. We’re also sharing some excellent technique tips as well. For equipment we point you to excellent reviews of the recently announced Sony a7 IV and a new Sony 70-200 lens. For landscape and travel photographers we also look at the new Nikon Z 14-24 f2.8 lens. For technique we have a deep video on the necessary steps for creating super sharp images. We also have a beginners article on how to get your first great waterfall image. And, we steer you toward a lighting technique article that gets you mixing ambient and flash light. Let’s get going!


How To Shoot Razor Sharp Images

Thinking that getting consistently sharp photos depends on the quality of your camera’s auto focus is a formula for utter failure. Shutter speed, aperture, ISO, camera holding technique are all factors that will affect the sharpness of your images. And, all those factors are inter related. This video by nature photographer Jan Wegener is a gem. After watching the video one phrase will stick in your mind: “If you’re not using the right shutter….”

Get sharp HERE.


Sony a7 IV Initial Review

The folks at dpReview have just provided a first look at the a7 IV. The biggest news is the heart of the a7 IV is a new 33MP BSI-CMOS sensor. It’s a step up from the 24 megapixel CMOS chip in the a7 III. The a7 IV incorporates eye recognition auto focus which was left off the a7 III. There are a lot more feature changes to learn about and it’s all here in this article. Pricing is in the $2,500 range for the body only.


Read the camera review HERE.


A closer look at Sony’s FE 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS II

The first Sony 70-200 f2.8 G Master lens was a lens that adequately filled one of the most important slots in a photographers lens kit. But, there were issues with the optics in some instances that experienced shooters definitely noticed. Sony’s just announced FE 70-200 f2.8 GM OSS II lens attempts to rectify those issues. Again, the folks at dpReview do a complete drill down on the lens. See if the info convinces you to upgrade your 70-200.


See if the new lens is a real upgrade HERE.


Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 Field Review

The Nikon Z 14-24 f2.8 fills the last hole in zoom coverage for its full-frame mirrorless lineup. This newest zoom joins Nikon’s Z 24-70 f2.8 and Z 70-200 f2.8 to cover a zoom range of 14mm to 200mm at a max aperture with excellent image quality. The new lens is comparatively light which is important when carrying a kit consisting of two bodies and three zooms and, let’s not forget flash. So, does it perform at the same level as the highly respected Z 24-70 f2.8? Well, maybe you should read this piece.


Find out if this lens is for you HERE.


Five Great Waterfall Photography Tips For Beginners

Creating your first waterfall image with the appropriate amount of creamy blurriness in the water stream is almost a right of passage for the budding photographer. Shooting such an image is not difficult but it requires manipulating ISO, aperture and, most important shutter speed. Working through all these settings successfully is one of the best ways to become the master of your camera rather than the other way around. This video takes you right to a waterfall and the photographer goes through each setting in detail. Even better, he doesn’t use an ND filter to get great results.

Learn how to do your first great waterfall image HERE.


A Lighting Technique Every Photographer Should Know

We’re sorry about that headline. Every photographer does not need to know this technique but, if you can do it, you’re way ahead of your competition in being able to deliver creative images to your clients. While on the surface the technique appears limited in it’s use but, but, but the underlying technique of mixing flash with natural light will open a whole new way of shooting for you.

Learn the technique HERE.

HDR News You Can Use – September 2021

Welcome again to HDR News. We’ve got two hot new cameras to tell you about: the new flagship mirrorless camera from Canon and a medium format camera from Fujifilm that won’t drain you coffers, too much. It’s now officially fall and that means foliage photos. To help you in your foliage photography we provide a tool that will help you arrive at your foliage destination at the right time to get max color. In addition we have an article that will direct you to great fall shooting locations, many of which are unexpected. We finish off with super-helpful tips that will improve your portrait retouching in a big way. Let’s get going!


It’s Here: Canon EOS R3

Shooting every day is the norm if you’re a news, sports or fashion photographer. When you have a camera in your hands that much you become demanding about performance. You want lightning autofocus, eye-popping image quality and a robust file size that that’s not so big it will slow you down in post processing. Let’s not forget WiFi and USB connectivity so your images can be on their way in a flash. And for sure, great ergonomics is essential. Canon’s new EOS R3 promises to be the camera that does it all. With a street price of $6K it’s a professional’s camera but we can all dream can’t we? Start your dreaming by watching this overview video.


Take a deep dive into the Canon EOS R3 HERE.


Fujifilm GFX 50S II Review

There’s something different, something better in the image quality produced by a medium format sensor. Images coming out of Fujifilm’s GFX 50S II have a pleasingly open yet detailed look that conjures up thoughts of 4 by 5 bellows cameras.The GFX 50S II is Fujifilm’s third iteration of a 50 megapixel camera that’s priced to be considered by non-professional enthusiasts looking for that great medium format look. As dpReview state’s in this article “(The GFX 50S II produces) a level of detail that’s not matched by many other cameras.”



Read the camera review HERE.>

Check out this Travelogue Sample Gallery that is a step above the usual dpReview image collection HERE.


Fall Foliage Prediction Map

As you read this you are about to enter that visually exciting time of year: foliage season. We’ve heard from our contacts in the Adirondack mountains of New York that the colors are in full bloom in many spots. But it’s not to late to get out there and produce some outrageous images because foliage changes at different times in different areas and the change is never uniform across a region. You just have to get out there and start looking. To increase the likelihood of finding peak colors you need to use this Fall foliage prediction map.


Use the map HERE.


Best Small Towns To Experience Fall

Now that you have your Fall Foliage Map you need to decide where to concentrate your search. So many articles on “leaf peeping” (foliage chasing) focus on New England and that leaves you not realizing that great foliage happens across the country. That’s why you need to check out this article that features towns like Macinack Island MI, Bayfield WI, Berlin MD and Fredericksburgh TX.

Discover the towns HERE.


Six Tips To Capture Autumn Colors

We search everywhere to find “tips” articles that help you improve your photography. This how-to is a good one as it doesn’t restate the obvious techniques that most intermediate and advanced photographers should already know. This article suggests manipulating your scene, focusing on details and working on contrasting elements. And, the photos used to demonstrate each point are very nice. It’s a quick read but really useful.

View the tips HERE.


Five Worst Retouching Mistakes

Many HDR News readers are landscape shooters but we know they have an inner desire to make portraits of people. So, we’re on a mini-mission to provide articles that take you gently through the techniques of creating pleasing people photos. This video demonstrates mistakes even the best retouchers have made at one time or another like over-sharpening, over-saturation and bright eyes. What’s nice is the video shows corrective examples of these ills which, could be helpful in your photography.

Learn how to avoid retouching mistakes HERE.



HDR News You Can Use – August 2021

Welcome again to HDR News. We hope your summer has been filled with great photo opportunities while staying healthy in these difficult times. We have a varied set of information for you this month. We look at awards for this year’s best new equipment as well as showing you the best used equipment to consider if you want to save. Since summer is about over we look at shooting fall foliage scenes. And, we can’t always be shooting landscapes so we include primers on shooting portraits and music concerts. We top it all with a great interview with National Geographic’s legendary Steve McCurry. Let’s get going!


The EISA Awards: The Best Cameras And Lenses Of 2021

EISA, The Expert Imaging And Sound Association is the community of 60 technology magazines, websites and social media commentators from 29 countries, specializing in hi-fi, home theater, photo and video, in-car and mobile electronics which gives awards to the best equipment in each category. Each year when we point out the awards in this newsletter, it’s one of the most clicked on and viewed stories. And, for good reason. You, our readers, find the information provided extremely helpful in purchase decisions and keeping track of the equipment that enables your photography. Since we know you’re going to view the EISA winners you should make a guess as to the Camera Of The Year award.

See which equipment stood above the rest HERE


The Best Used DSLRs To Take You To The Next Level

Here’s a little secret about your HDR Newsletter editor (me). Most all of the equipment I use in my professional and personal photography has been purchased used on eBay. That includes my cameras and all my lenses. The reason is simple, you can find tons of equipment on eBay that has been minimally used and protected like a baby by its first owner. The result is saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars without ever sacrificing performance or image quality. Besides, if you can tell the difference between an image shot on a Canon 5D Mark II, Canon’s newest mirrorless, Sony’s A7 II or Nikon’s Z7 just by looking at the image, you have special eyes. This article gives you a great overview of the cameras you should be looking at that are for sale used.


See the best deals HERE.


Fall Foliage Is Just Around The Corner – Great Photo Tips

Fall is going to fall in your lap in a couple of weeks and you know that means wonderful fall foliage scenes, farm scenes, farmer’s market scenes and way more. It’s a lovely time to shoot and a lovely time to enjoy nature working its way through its cycles. Nevertheless, it’s been a year since we took advantage of those scenes and this article is the perfect way to get you thinking about and preparing for the photography ahead.

Refresh your fall foliage shooting skills HERE.


Steve McCurry Discusses Photography, Shyness And Fatherhood

Steve McCurry is one of National Geographic’s most revered and followed photographers. As a young man he followed his passion to travel and headed off to India to cover its people and culture. When the Russians invaded Afghanistan his images were suddenly in demand by news agencies around the world. That was the springboard he used to propel himself into a life of photography on the road. This article features a robust interview made in his favorite hangout in Manhattan whose ambience perfectly reflects McCurry’s essence.

Check it out HERE.


Portrait Composition Tips For The Beginner

Yes, yes, we know you love to photograph landscapes but we bet you would like to shoot portraits too. But, shooting portraits involves approaching people and asking them if you can take their photo. Despite all your best intentions your shyness takes over and, you’re back to landscapes. You should watch the Steve McCurry interview and realize that he is just as shy as you but forces himself to approach strangers anyway. You can do it too and once you get a stranger to agree to be photographed (you’ll be surprised how many folks say ‘yes’) you’ll need a base skill set to make good images. This article can get you started in developing that skill set. The instruction is delivered using only natural light.

Learn portrait composition basics HERE.


Concert Photography: It’s All About The Exposure

Concert photography can be truly exciting. Quality live music is happening right in front of you, the performance is visually exciting and you’re dealing with colorful lighting. What could go wrong? Exposure. Your performers will be bathed in bright light from overhead flood lights and likely, multiple spotlights. If you have your camera set to average metering it will get fooled because the bright lights will be averaged with the black from non-lit areas resulting in an underexposed main subject. This article by concert photography pro David Bergman who’s shot over 1,000 concerts and is Bon Jovi’s primary shooter, will show you how to expose your images in difficult concert lighting situations.

Get the concert shooting tips HERE.



HDR News You Can Use – July 2021

Welcome again to HDR News. Now that the weather is working in our favor in most places we can think about shooting landscapes using the full range of light that the environment is providing. In this issue we take a deep look at the nature of changing light just before and after sunset also known as Golden Hour and Blue Hour. In addition we look at landscape focusing with a fine video that takes us through all the variables. There is a new 7.5mm fisheye lens on the market that you need to know about and you won’t believe the prices. Also, we ask the question, “is this new camera the perfect personal, take everywhere camera?”. Let’s get going!


Magic Hour Lighting Variations

For sure you know about Golden Hour or you’ve at least heard about it. It’s a time when the sun is low in sky and the sun’s light must travel through much more atmosphere to reach your location. The long journey through the atmosphere strips away much of the blue spectrum from the sun’s rays giving you that warm afternoon glow. Shooting late in the day also produces dramatically enhanced looking shadows. But, there’s more to the story. As the sun moves down to and past the horizon you reach the cool blue tones and, the transition period from warm to blue, while fleeting, can be very appealing. This nice article takes you through the continually changing nuances of late afternoon, early evening and morning light.

Learn about natural lighting variations HERE.






Focusing Tips: Front To Back Sharpness In Your Travel And Nature Photos

Summer travel means we’re going to be making a lot of landscape photographs. It’s a good idea to make sure we remember how to set our focus so both our near compositional components and our far compositional components are sharp. Trust us. It’s a bit more complicated than setting your aperture at f16 or f22 and shooting away. Those apertures give you that nasty chromatic aberration that often can’t be eliminated in post processing. Besides your sharpest aperture settings are at f8 and f11. So, how do you handle the focusing dilemma? Start by watching this informative video with seasoned pro Nigel Danson shot on location in Iceland.

See how to get front to back sharpness HERE.


$150 7.5mm F2 fisheye APS-C lens for 7 camera mounts

If you’ve read the Focusing Tips article you remember that a super wide angle lens can help you achieve great foreground to infinity sharpness in your photos. That’s why the introduction of a 7.5mm lens for just $150 caught our eye. The lens just started shipping on July 21st or thereabouts and it appears to be available today from B&H Photo and other retailers.





Check out the new fisheye lens HERE.


Using Natural Framing In Your Landscapes

The best photographers know how to lead your eye to the most important element of their compositions. Good use of the rule of thirds or golden ratio can help lead your viewers eye to that boulder, waterfall or other interesting element. Another powerful technique is to use various luminosity levels that lead your viewer’s eye from dark to light. A technique not often discussed is using natural framing to move your viewer through a composition. This is where the use of natural elements that are already in your frame work to guide the viewer where you want them to go. This article is a nice look at the framing technique.

Check it out HERE.


Is the Nikon Z fc The Perfect Personal Camera?

Somehow the existence of the Nikon Z fc camera took us by surprise. It’s a retro, DX camera targeted directly at photographers who want (or need) a compact, street-style camera. To fit the criteria for these photographers it has to be light, compact and unobtrusive. It needs to be so easy to cart around that you’ll want to grab it every time you leave home. The pro who reviewed this camera found little to dislike about the pre-production camera Nikon let him use. Current editing apps like Capture One could not open his RAW files but he was suitably impressed with the quality of the jpegs. And, he was even more impressed by its auto-focus. Leica and Fuji will certainly be taking notice of this one.

Learn about the new Nikon Z fc HERE.


65 Quotes For Nature Photographers

Embedded in your brain and often recalled are little things someone said to you that stuck. You may not know why it stuck but it did. Here are some quotes that could improve your photography or just your concept of photography. Even if they don’t stick, they’re entertaining to read like this one from Ansel Adams, “There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.” Or, how about this one from Henri Cartier Bresson, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” You gotta read the rest.

Read the rest of the quotes HERE.

HDR News You Can Use – June 2021

Welcome again to HDR News. It’s summer and time to travel. Of course we’re bringing our photo gear along and in this issue we cover gear as well as provide some creative direction. We show you that going with a crop sensor mirrorless camera can give you superior quality at a reasonable price. dpReview gives us the low down on a critical piece of equipment, the ball head and reviews a tele zoom that you might find irresistible. For photo inspiration we point you to a tips video from one of National Geographic’s best shooters and we alert you to the Portrait Photographer Of The Year winners. Let’s get going!

Six Reasons To Choose The New Canon EOS M50 Mark II

You want to go mirrorless but the $3100 price tag on the Nikon Z7, the $4000 price tag on the Canon EOS R5 and the $6500 price tag on the flagship Sony mirrorless may make you hesitate. Then, why not consider a mirrorless with a crop sensor. The current crop sensor mirrorless cameras out there use much of the advanced technology of their flagship cousins. And, when looking at an image on your computer we dare you to tell us whether it came from a crop sensor or not. If you’re a Canon shooter check out this article which takes you through the crop sensor decision. We were also amused at the author’s explanation video at the end in which he spoke (presumably) Dutch.

Read the review HERE.

Tripod Head Round Up

There’s no argument about a photographic fact; you need a tripod. You may not need it all that often but when you do it needs to perform smoothly and quickly. With changing light in your landscape or a fussy model in your studio having a tripod and head that gets your camera in position with the least amount of hassle is essential. We believe that the tripod head may be more important than the tripod legs themselves. Check out dpReview’s look at this important piece of equipment.


See which tripod head is best for you HERE.


International Portrait Photographer Of The Year Award Winners

Photo competitions are many. The winning images can be the result of the judges’ learned experience and good taste or the results can be pure serendipity. So for us at HDR News when we spend time viewing the winners of a competition we tend to look at the totality of the winning images, not only for the enjoyment of the images themselves but as review of the judge’s capabilities. In this competition the judges appear to be right on the mark. Hey, David Burnett is one of the judges. It’s a collection you should see.

See the winning portraits HERE.

DPReview TV: Tamron 150-500mm f5-6.7 Di III VC VXD Review

If you’re a birder, sports shooter or wildlife photographer your lens sweet spot is between 300mm and 600mm. Going even longer is even nicer. And, if you’ve ever shot with a Canon or Nikon 600mm f4 or one of their wonderful 100mm to 400mm zooms you know first-hand the joy of creating razor-sharp tele images. But these lenses can go for over $12K; ouch! However there are alternatives that give you excellent image quality with zippy autofocus at an obtainable price point for the regular guy. Read on.


Check out this great value of a lens HERE.

Using Shallow Depth Of Field For Landscapes

Sometimes sharpness through the depth-of-field of your scene won’t provide you with a memorable images. If you’re a landscape photographer you are most likely up to speed on techniques that will give you front to back sharpness like hyper focal focusing and focus stacking. Well folks, it’s time to tap into your creativity and leave all that sharpness behind. Picking out the right element in your scene and letting the remainder go soft may be just the technique you need to shake up your images.

Learn about shallow depth of field HERE.


Travel Photography Tips From National Geo’s Jim Richardson

Yes, after laying low close to home we’re all itching to get out and shoot. It’s time to get some inspirational tips from one of the world’s best travel and nature photographers, National Geographic’s Jim Richardson. This seven minute video is all about Richardson laying key shooting truths on you accompanied by examples of his work. The tips are super useful and the images will illuminate the fact that Richardson is a really, really good photographer. Want more of Richardson? Check out his website at jimrichardsonphotography.com

Get Richardson’s insights HERE.


How To Save Your Camera’s Battery Life

In the “Good Ole Days” camera batteries rarely lasted for your day of shooting. While batteries have improved measurably over the years, they are being challenged again by mirrorless cameras. Unlike with an optical viewfinder it takes juice to power the viewfinder in a mirrorless camera. So, in many cases we’re back to finding ways to conserve our batteries. This article has some great tips.

Get the battery saving tips HERE.

HDR News You Can Use – April 2021

Welcome again to HDR News. It takes a lot to raise our eyebrows here at HDR News but, they are raised this month. We’re talking about the finalists in the Bird Photographer Of The Year competition. If you’re thinking“birds?” right now check out the article and you’ll be amazed. We also looked at the images coming out of a new Lumix camera from Panasonic which caught our attention with unexpected quality. Turning to photo editing issues we realized that Mac users looking to upgrade their computer system are now presented with some serious new choices which we help you navigate. Also in this issue some technical shooting advice and a heart-pumping look at the Via Feratta, or Iron Paths, that course though the mountains of Europe: talk about breathtaking photos. Let’s get going!


Insane Image Quality With Just 32MP – Panasonic Lumix DC-S5

Panasonic has been making great full frame digital cameras under the Lumix brand for years. These cameras tend to garner favorable reviews in the photography press yet, they seem to fly under the radar when it comes to photo community buzz. This new Lumix DC-S5 may just change that. Take a look at the video that that supplements this article where you’ll be impressed by the camera’s color rendition, sharpness and auto-focus.


Learn about the Lumix DC-S5 HERE.


Bird Photographer Of The Year Finalists – Amazing Photography

The U.K. based Bird Photographer Of The Year (BPOTY) competition draws entries from all over the world. The 2021 entries totaled over 22,000 and they are spectacular. The competition’s website says the contest “…is a celebration of avian beauty and diversity, and a tribute to the flexibility and quality of today’s modern digital imaging systems.” The finalists in the 2021 competition have just been revealed and, for pure visual enjoyment and high quality imaging you should check them out.

See the birds are right HERE.


Camera Settings You Need To Change Now For Landscape Photography

You were in positionand set up before dawn laying in wait for when the sun rises above the horizon behind you to bathe the mountain range in front of you in asoft orange light. When the moment approaches you focus with a half press on your tripod mounted camera and, when the moment is perfect, youput a full press on the shutter. All that time, effort and preparation resulted in your dream shot. But, when you go through your take on
your computer back home you can’t understand why your images are softly focused. What happened? You used a tripod. Well you could haveavoided the disappointment by using your camera’s self timer and avoided re-setting your focus when you pressed the shutter. Learn moreabout camera settings that could sink your efforts.

Get the settings HERE.


What’s The Better Choice: A Macro Lens Or Extension Tubes?

As you’ve probably figured out by now, we can tend to be on the frugal side here at HDR News. If we see a way to get great photographic results without spending a fortune on a new piece of equipment we’ll do it. One of the most effective close-up photography solutions is to not buy that expensive macro lens you’ve been coveting and instead go with extension tubes. Extension tubes can allow you to get super close to your subject with just about any lens in your bag. Its’ a great solution that you should read about in this article.


Get help deciding HERE.


If You’re A Mac Person You Have Some Tough Choices For An Upgrade

Is it that time for you? Is it the time when your applications are running so slowly that you think you have a virus in your computer system? Yes, it may be time to pull the curtain on your current systems. If you’re a Mac user, the introduction of Apple’s M1 processor made your upgrade choices even more difficult. The M1 has been in the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini since the fall. They are so speedy that one trade pub stated that the M1 Mac Mini was Apple’s best value in a computer. Last week Apple announced the new M1 iMacs in a 24-inch screen size. The 27-inch iMac was not upgraded. So, what do you do? Go for a MacBook, a Mac Mini, a new (smaller than you want) iMac or wait for the 30-inch M1 iMac to be introduced. So many variables! This article will help you sort things out.

Get help deciding which Mac you need HERE.


Stairways To Heaven: Europe’s Most Adrenal-Pumping Via Ferata

The via ferata are mountain passage routes developed during WWI to facilitate troop movements. Now they serve up unmatched mountain views. We often marvel at landscape images of the Swiss Alps but the Swiss don’t have a monopoly on outrageous mountain vistas. You’ll find staggering mountain scenes in France, Austria, Italy, Germany and even Slovenia. This article lays the scenes out for you but with a twist. They are taken from a via ferata climber’s point of view. Dangling over a deadly expanse with just a few pieces of hardware jammed into the mountains’ rock faces to hold them in place, these daredevil photographers make your jaw drop.


See the amazing views from the via ferata HERE.

HDR News You Can Use – March 2021

Welcome again to HDR News. Artificial Intelligence is all around us but often unseen. It is affecting photography in ways we could only hope for in the past like sharpening previously un-usable images. In this issue we look at two more photographic areas where it’s employed that will get your attention. We also look at the making of a truly amazing photograph of a black panther shot at night with the stars twinkling. And, for the gear head in us we look at Sony’s flagship a1 camera and a complete review of Nikon’s replacement for the Z7, the Z7 II. Let’s get going!


Adobe’s Amazing Upscale Technology – Revive Your Lower Res Images

Those of us who went digital in the early days of digital cameras have a ton of 12MP and even lower resolution images archived away. We haven’t done much with them lately because upsizing them is almost always a disappointing exercise. The same goes for those interesting but low-res images that come out of mobile phones. There’s just not enough data to work with, until now. The engineers at Adobe have harnessed A.I. learning to create technology that analyzes each of an image file’s pixels and their surrounding pixels to create new data that can take a 12MP file and pump it up to 40MP, without a substantial loss of sharpness. The future is here now.</p>

Learn about upscaling your images HERE.


Black Panther Under The Stars

A black on black subject is one of the toughest images to expose correctly and, that’s in a controlled environment. So, how do you capture a black leopard (called a panther here) hunting at night and still expose correctly for the stars? Photographer Will Burard-Lucas did it and did it spectacularly. These are amazing, amazing images.

See the black panther HERE.


Sony a1 Review – Best Camera Ever?

It had to happen some day. That’s when the price of a flagship digital camera might be too much for even the most avid camera gear enthusiast. Nevertheless, Sony’s new flagship a1 appears to have it all: head turning 30fps capture, 50MP sensor and blazing auto focus. But, at $6500 msrp you have to ask yourself if this combo of envelope pushing features can even be appreciated by most photo enthusiasts yet alone used to their potential. For sure, the working, shoot every day photojournalists and sports shooters will make full use of the a1. The rest of us have to do a little research to see if buying one of these remarkable cameras will have a meaningful impact on our photography. Read on.

Get inside the Sony a1 HERE.


Nikon Z7 II Full Review

Nikon made some mis-steps in defining the features of the original Z7. It’s auto focus was not quite up to it’s competition and it only had one memory card slot. Yet, the image quality was Nikon good. As when the D810 was introduced to clean up the shortcomings of the D800, the Z7 II attempts to address the shortcomings of the original Z7. The Z7 II does have a second slot for an SD card. But, can it’s autofocus compete with the best of its peers?

Find out HERE.


Breaking The Landscape Photo Rules Or, Not

What are the landscape photography “rules” anyway. We believe that when you’re talking about creating art there are no rules. It’s all about your vision and your execution. But that doesn’t stop the flow of “rules” based photography articles that give you “advice” on how to employ those non-existent rules. Here are two articles from either end of the landscape photography advice spectrum. One is a break the rules article and the other is a back to basics article. There’s great information in both pieces so take the info that speaks to you and make your own rules.</p>

Break The Rules HERE.

All You Need is a 50mm Lens (basics) by Jay P. Morgan: HERE.


Animation Of The Past – Good Use Of Deep Fakes

As you can see in this article on Adobe’s Upscale technology, Artificial Intelligence is changing the very foundations of our world that we never could have imagined. In HDR News last month we presented how A.I learning is being used to sharpen previously un-usable images by sampling surrounding pixels and drawing on a huge data base of similar images to provide sharp, substitute pixel groups. In this article you’ll learn how still images can be turned into video. In other words, you can view grandma in motion using an image shot back in the 50s. This is just the beginning. A.I. can no longer be ignored.

Learn about deep fakes HERE.

HDR News You Can Use – February 2021

Welcome back to HDR News! This issue is all about technique and workflow with some intriguing travel photography added in for good measure. If you’ve ever struggled with getting your landscapes truly sharp from front to back we bring you the best explanation of focus stacking we’ve seen yet. We also look at software for batch archiving your scans and the best photo monitors for your unique needs. Finishing up we bring you a hands on look at Apple RAW, the new raw file format that’s been added to iOS 14.3. Let’s get going!


How To Use Focus Stacking For Sharper Photos

Here’s the truth you didn’t want to hear. You can’t get those deep depth of field images sharp, in camera, unless you’re using a tilt-shift lens or a larger format camera with adjustable front and back planes. Sorry but it just can’t be done, even if you’re shooting at f22. And, you don’t want the chromatic aberration that happens at f22 anyway. Your solution is focus stacking. It’s a very straight forward technique where you shoot multiple images of your scene, focusing on successively different areas and stitching the resulting images in your imaging application.

Learn focus stacking HERE.


The Ultimate Long Exposure Guide

Most likely your camera has a slow shutter setting of 30 seconds or more. And, you most likely have a bulb setting as well. They’re there for a reason and learning how to use them can bring you some serious delight when you open up your long exposure images on your monitor. Long exposures have always been used to capture images of the stars but, even more interesting are the landscape images with wonderfully blurry streams, lakes and shorelines. This guide will give you the info you need to get out there and capture those images yourself.

Get the long exposure guide HERE.


Travel Photographer Of The Year

There are so many Photographer-Of-The-Year competitions out there that it’s hard to distinguish between those created as marketing tools by manufacturers and those created by photographers for the love of photography. The international Travel Photographer of the Year awards were founded in 2003 by professional photographer Chris Coe and his wife.. You’ll see from the quality of the winner’s images that they know and love photography and, you are the beneficiary.

See the great travel images HERE.


Best Monitors For Photography And Photo Editing

After you’ve made your image, photography is all about the monitor on which you do your editing. In fact, you’ll spend way more time in front of your monitor than behind the viewfinder of your camera. To do your best work your monitor needs to be high resolution and color accurate. But, how do you make sense of all the monitor options out there? Which ones perform the best and which ones represent the best value? Read this valuable article to find out.


Find your new monitor HERE.


Archiving Your Negs And Slides – Best Software

Most of us dedicated photographers are not traveling freely during the pandemic. This is giving us a lot of extra time and many are using that time to attack an issue we’ve been putting off and putting off. That’s digitizing our priceless slides, negatives and prints from our film days. As you know, that’s a lot of work to look forward to but, wouldn’t it be great if you could batch process your archives? You can and there are a number of software applications you can use instead of the app that came with your scanner. Here’s a great review of some of the best packages out there.

Evaluate batch scanning apps HERE.


Apple Raw Can Transform Your iPhone Photography

If you’re serious about photography you shoot your images in RAW format so that you can work with the actual data that hit your camera’s sensor; free from the artifacts and data loss caused by an in-camera jpeg conversion. Apple’s new RAW format gives you much of the power and flexibility you’ve come to expect from your DSLR on your iPhone. Remember, the best camera you have is the one you have with you.

Read about Apple RAW on the iPhone HERE.


HDR News You Can Use – January 2021

Welcome again to HDR News. Winter and early spring present great photography conditions in terms of clear air, long shadows and wildlife that isn’t hidden by foliage. That’s why we’re concentrating on outdoor photography in this issue. We dive into the advantages of traveling light and then reverse the table by looking into the best landscape cameras. There’s a fairly new 100-400mm lens out there that can get you into wildlife shooting if you’re on a budget. And, we end with an in-depth interview with a photographer of an awesome and rare bird photo. Let’s get going.


Leica CL and Panasonic GX8 Travelogue – A Smaller Camera Means A Lot

We often talk of camera specs in HDR News but specs are specs. The end of the photographic journey is getting the picture itself. If you’re traveling to a remote location and expect to be out there for a while, weight turns out to be one of the most important camera specs. The lighter your camera kit the more mobile you’ll be and for a longer time. This article, takes that idea to a five week trek through the back country of Africa with the use of a Leica CL and a Panasonic GX8 with a modest collection of lenses. Traveling light has its advantages.


See how low weight can boost your photography HERE.

Best Cameras For Landscape Photography

You’ve we’ve come to know the most knowledgable, hands-on reviewers out there. We’ve come to respect Nasim Mansurov at Photography Life because he actually uses the equipment he reviews in the field. And, every time we’ve made a purchase based on one of his reviews we’ve been throughly pleased. We know many, if not most HDR News readers are landscape photographers which makes this particular article by Mansurov valuable. Before you give it a read, guess what he picked as the top landscape camera in production.

See which cameras Photography Life thinks are the best for landscapes HERE.


Non-Camera Gear Every Outdoor Photographer Should Carry

When we choose an article for HDR News we like to make sure that they contain useful information rather than the obvious. Those articles are difficult to find as so much photo info is rehashed. This article contains some useful information that we haven’t considered before. You’ll especially like the suggestion about the red shirt.


See what you need to carry HERE.


Sigma 100-400 f5-6.3 Review

If you want to get started with wildlife or sports photography you need a sharp long lens. Better yet, a long 100-400 zoom will give you flexibility and reach. Canon, Nikon and Sony versions of these lens can easily top $2500. Bottom line, you’ll need reach, sharpness and reliability but, it’s got to be affordable. Enter the Sigma 100-400 which can be had for around $800. Let’s find out if price indicates quality or if we’re looking at a tremendous deal.

Get the details on this great lens HERE.


16 Questions For The Photographer Of This Amazing Photo

As Larry King said “I never learned a thing when I was talking”. Indeed. Asking questions puts us in learning mode and, that’s just what you have in this article. The image is amazing. How does one capture the flight of a hummingbird and the flight of a honey bee: in the same frame. Let’s ask the photographer. When you question your peers on what and how they’re accomplishing their great works, you just make your own photography better.

Read the interview HERE.

HDR News You Can Use – December 2020

Welcome again to HDR News. It’s year’s end and time for photo publications to deliver their best of the year articles. There are two important reads for photographers. They are Time’s Top 100 Photos Of The Year and dpReview’s 2020 Awards. One will display thought provoking photos and the other will suggest the equipment to make those photos happen. In the area of photo technique, think back to that great photo trip you took and you just knew you came back with killer images only to find some were just not sharp. We show you why. We also point you to an article that explains what few photographers know about; focus breathing. In addition there is an astonishing encounter between photographer and bird of prey that will make you smile. Let’s get going!


Time’s Top 100 Photos Of The Year

In our lifetimes we won’t often hear folks welcome the end of a year. This year is way different. The constant barrage of discord and strife across the globe has determined the direction photojournalism has taken in 2020 and that direction is on full display in Time’s 100 photos of the year. The collection is a conflict between composition and subject. Great photographers skillfully filled their frames with the chaos in front of them, forcing us to feel events that just could not be ignored. Art and news came together this year to inform us in a way that went straight to the heart.

See the top 100 photos HERE.


dpReview Awards 2020

Many issues of HDR News will feature a product analysis by dpReview. We marvel at their expertise and the hard work they put into their equipment reviews. They put products through tough analyses and write reviews which carry the respect gained from having reviewed hundreds, if not thousands of products before. And, they appear to truly love what they do which is a bonus for us. So, when dpReview bestows its end-of-year awards in various photo product categories we should be paying attention if for no other reason than to make good buying decisions for ourselves.

Check out the top equipment of the year HERE.


Who Says You Can’t Make A Blurry Photo Sharp!

If you’ve been working with photo editing software for a while you probably know that applications sporting a “Sharpen” function don’t actually sharpen your image. When employed, the Sharpen function looks for edges in your photo and increases the contrast along those edges thus giving the illusion of a sharper image. Now AI appears to have changed the playing field in the area of sharpening. What if an application could actually sharpen your image. Watch this incredible video and decide for yourself.

See AI deliver the sharpness goods HERE.


The One Camera Setting You Need To Change For Perfectly Sharp Photos

Have you ever gone out and captured what you think are perfectly executed images only to find they are slightly out of focus when you blow them up large on your computer screen? We all have. There’s a reason it’s happening and there’s a fix for it with a simple adjustment to your DSLR camera’s settings. We’ve been using this fix for years now and the technique is a game changer. Pro photographer Mark Denney takes you through the setting in this video. Be patient because the details start around six minutes into the video.

Discover the setting HERE.


What Is Focus Breathing?

If you’re into the technical aspects of photography you’ve probably heard the term “focus breathing”. But, what the heck is it and why should you care? This video discusses exactly what focus breathing is and who needs to worry about it. It is, in fact, more of an issue for videographers and it’s likely more important for videographers who use DSLRs for their video work.

Learn about focus breathing HERE.


Owl Lands On Photographer’s Lens

This is really cool. Check out this article and watch an adolescent owl land on a nature photographer’s head and then perch on his camouflaged 600mm f4 lens. You’ll be amazed at two things in particular: how perfectly the owl blends in with the camouflaged lens and how huge the bird is in relation to the humans. We expect great environmental landscape blending in dominant bird and animal species but sometimes the sheer size of a wild being can throw our senses off kilter.

See the bold bird make a photographer visit HERE.