HDR News You Can Use – November 2020

Welcome again to HDR News. The holidays have begun and photography is on our minds. In this issue we get insights into one of the most famous National Geographic photographers Steve McCurry and celebrated conflict
brand new 150-400 zoom that sports a built-in teleconverter. And, most interestingly, we serve up solid advice from seven photographers who made the jump from hobbyist to professional because, we know you want to do that yourself. Let’s get going!


Icon Steve McCurry On The Perfect Portrait

Steve McCurry’s photos of life and culture in the remotest pockets of the globe have graced the pages of National Geographic for decades. He is the artist behind Afghan Girl one of the most celebrated and haunting images ever to grace the cover of the magazine. There are volumes of experience
that McCurry can provide us that would help us integrate into a new culture or just get us to the point where we could ask a complete stranger to take their portrait. Read this valuable interview with McCurry in Conde Nast Traveler’s How I Got This Shot feature to grab
some of this experience.




Get McCurry’s wisdom HERE.


Battle Of The 70-200 f2.8 Zooms

If you talk to a working photojournalist, sports photographer or even a portrait photographer and ask them which lens they can’t live without, most will tell you it’s their 70-200 f2.8. That’s not an exaggeration. In fact, many working pros rely on a two camera setup with a sturdy 24-70 f2.8 on one camera and a 70-200 f2.8 on the other. The top manufacturers know this and it’s the reason these two lenses are their sharpest, most clear and fastest lenses they make. Right now let’s focus on the 70-200 f2.8 and see how the Canon, Nikon, Sony and Panasonic mirrorless lenses stack up in this dpReview article.

See which zoom was the winner HERE.


Olympus 150-400 f4.5 With Built In 1.25 Teleconverter

If you’re a nature or sports shooter you’re probably tired of lugging a 8.5lb monster lens into the wild. Wouldn’t it be a dream to have a lens that has pro quality sharpness from 150mm to 400mm in a package that’s just 12.4 inches in length and weighs just 4.1lbs? On top of that throw in an 8 shutter speed image stabilization system and you’ve got Olympus’ new M.Zukio Digital ED 150-400mm lens with a built In 1.25 converter. This may be the lens that helps you get farther into the back country for those special wildlife images.

Learn more about this possibly amazing lens HERE.


Lindsay Addario – Photographer In War

“It’s a man’s world” they say of war photojournalism but no one told Lindsay Addario. She shoots in the thick of the action in locations we wouldn’t consider going to like Afghanistan and Syria. She’s been one of the few, if not only, women photographing in the midst of the Taliban. The list of dangerous situations is long. She claims that she knew little of operating her camera in her early years but this may be modesty as most would be proud of the photographs she’s made. This Vanity Fair interview with Addario takes you inside her thinking about danger and photography.

Get inside the world of Lindsay HERE.


How To Become A Professional Photographer

You love photography and you’d like to do it full time. That is, you want to take photography beyond the hobby status it plays in your life to where it is the point of your work life. It’s being done all the time and if you’re considering the leap you’re probably scouring the Internet for advice from photographers like yourself who’ve done it. This article is special because it features advice from seven different photographers working in different corners of the market. It’s solid, useful advice.

Learn more about going pro HERE.


Christmas Shopping Decision – Sony a7C or Nikon Z5

You may be shopping for the budding photographer in your life or friends may be coming to you for advice on their purchases. The question at Christmas time is “what’s the entry level DSLR that will grow with the budding hobbyist photographer in your life?” The answer to that one is not so easy. The camera should have excellent photo quality and pro-level controls. It must sport more than 20 megapixels and the autofocus should be super quick. The guys at The Slanted Lens did a deep review video of the Sony a7C and the Nikon Z5. It turns out both cameras are great choices but you may want one or the the other depending on how the camera will be used.

Inform your Christmas purchase decisions HERE.

HDR News You Can Use – September 2020

Welcome back to HDR News. There’s nothing like diving deep into your photography to get your mind off the craziness that surrounds us these days. We start off with photo tips every photographer should know but may have not thought about (it’s not a Rule Of Thirds article). If you’re considering a camera brand change you’ll need to know which lenses are offered by the big manufacturers. We’ve got the article for you. We also look at creating depth in your landscapes, early entries in the Sony Awards and suggestions for a post-Covid road trip. Let’s get going!


Five Tips EVERY Beginning Photographer Should Know

If you’re going to be great in any skill area you have to have a humble streak. Admitting to yourself that you don’t know everything about your area of expertise allows you to gather in more new information that will certainly up your game. This video takes you back to the basics in a clear, visual way and is worth the time spent viewing. And, while we’re calling this basic, the topics in the video are a step beyond basic like, frame-within-a-frame, color theory and negative space. You’ll also love the creative framing used in the sample photos. Watch it!

Get the tips HERE.


Eight Great Mirrorless Cameras Hit The Street – Street Photography

The intro to this article says it best. Street photography is not about close portraits using a 35mm lens in an urban setting. Street photography is capturing humanity in all its forms from a family departing a church after a first communion to an aged soul walking their beloved dog through a leafless park. It’s a soulful form of photography. To accomplish your street photography goals you need a camera that is effortless to wield and focuses quickly. Here’s a great rundown on what’s available.

Learn about great street photography cameras HERE.


Seven Tips For Creating Depth In Your Landscape Photos

Mads Peter Iversen is a dedicated landscape photographer. He’s also an articulate communicator. He’s produced a video that cuts right to the chase in creating interest in a landscape photograph; depth. He drives home the value of the wide angle lens which, is not about packing
everything you can into a camera frame. It’s about knowing how to use a wide angle lens to make foreground objects appear large and distant objects appear small, also known as “depth”. The added bonus in this video is the musically accompanied walks Iversen takes through the woods. One view of the video will alleviate more stress than an hour with your therapist.

Find out how depth can help your landscapes HERE.


Canon, Nikon, Sony Mirrorless Lens Comparisons

Which platform should you choose? Often the availability of different lenses on a particular camera platform will help make the choice for us. It would be nice if we could go out and buy or even rent various lenses from the big camera makers to see which one best suits our needs. But, even renting bunches of gear to test can get expensive and cumbersome. That’s why before we plop down thousands of dollars on a new camera platform we rely on the publications that have great relationships with the big camera companies to do the testing for us. This dpReview article sums up the offerings of the big three manufacturers and is a good source for getting started on the daunting task of choosing which brand is best for you.

See the lens comparisons between the three systems HERE.


Impressive Early Entries In The Sony World Photography Awards

If you’re in need of some photographic inspiration a great place to start is checking out this article in the U.K.’s Daily Mail that reveals early entries in the annual Sony Awards. The Sony Awards has been drawing some of the world’s best photography for 14 years now with the quality of entries seeming to eclipse previous entries each year. Judging from this collection of images this year is no different.

See the early entries HERE.


The One Essential Filter For Landscape Photography

If you’re out there shooting landscapes on a regular basis you’ve probably figured out that there’s one filter that you reach into your bag for on a regular basis. It’s the filter that will remove the glare on the surface of the pool of water below a waterfall. It’s the filter that will deepen the color of the sky to provide contrast with mountains below. It’s the filter that takes the sheen off of wet surfaces to make colors pop. You know what it is!</p>

See which filter we’re talking about HERE.


France’s Most Stunning Road Trips

Europe has been off-limits for Americans since last March. But, eventually, the European Union will let Americans back onto their continent. The world will return to normal so, why not do the research to plan a fantastic photo trip. We recommend you start your research by checking out these fantastic drives through France. From the Loire Valley, to the French Alps, to the Cote d’Azur and more, France serves up more photographic beauty than most anywhere in the world. Read this article, pick a trip that interests you and start driving; when they let us back in of course.

Learn about road trips HERE.



HDR News You Can Use – August 2020

Welcome again to HDR News. It’s been a challenging summer because of all the health and social issues we’ve had to process. Your photography can really come to the rescue when you need to get into a positive mind set. We have some great articles that will help you get deeper into your images. We have a solid guide to making that great Milky Way photo you’ve always wanted to shoot. We have images from the high altitude city of Kathmandu. There’s an info dense piece where six pros give you their lighting basics. And, there’s a look at some neat cameras you may have not have known about. Let’s get going!


Five Tips To Get “Stellar” Images Of The Night Sky

Making a wonderful photo of the Milky Way is something most budding landscape photographers strive to do. In reality, shooting the night sky is not as easy as grabbing a tripod, pointing your camera towards the sky and making a time exposure. There are nuances you must master not the least of which is avoiding the inevitable light streaks caused by the earth’s rotation. This article will help you solve the streak issue and a lot more.






Shoot the stars HERE.


7 Overlooked Digital Cameras Worth Your Time

Many photographers savor discovering the differences between different models of digital cameras. There are many, many cameras that hit the market that never thrived but possessed features and image quality that were surprising. They arrived with names like the Leica TL2 or Samsung NX1 or Olympus Pen F. If you don’t have the opportunity to get some hands-on time with these cameras this article does a nice job describing them for you.


Learn about these neat cameras HERE.


From The Streets Of Kathmandu

Kathmandu? You’ve likely heard of this mysterious city that lies in central Nepal. The name Nepal itself conjures visions of Himalayan mountain peaks and religious monks. It’s a country that is sandwiched between India to the south and Tibet to the north. To westerners it’s exotic. To the intrepid photographer it’s all about golden light and interesting people. Bangladeshi fine art photographer Ashraful Arefin produced this cinematic collection of street images that will catch your imagination.







Experience the light and people of Kathmandu HERE.


Do You Really Know The Rule Of Thirds?

The Rule of Thirds has given many a photographer a great starting point in developing composition skills. But, too many photographers take the short route and don’t use the rule beyond placing interesting scene elements right on the intersection points of the one-third lines. There’s more to the rule and knowing it in depth could really help your compositions.





Dive into the Rule of Thirds HERE.


Perfect Your Lighting Skills With These Portrait Basics

Many pro photographers will tell you that photography is really not about the camera or the lens. It’s about light and how you manage light to create an image that tells the story you want to tell. Most of us start our photographic journeys shooting landscapes and depend on the light that nature is giving us at the time. Eventually though, your skills will improve and you’ll be asked to create portraits and headshots. At that point you will be compelled to become more knowledgeable about managing light. That’s where this article comes in. It is packed with the secrets of six working pros and it’s very easy to understand.

Learn about good lighting HERE.

HDR News You Can Use – July 2020

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!


Nikon Z5 – What You Need To Know

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.


Stunning Winners – iPhone 2020 Photo Awards

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.


Some Of The Most Dramatic Photographs Of Weather You’ll Ever See – Eric Meola

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.


How Good Photographers Make Good Portraits In Lousy Settings

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.


Ultra Wide Angle Zooms That Will Have You Looking At The World Different

“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.


When You SHOULD Overexpose

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.


HDR News You Can Use – May 2020

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 EOS R5 – First Look Review

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.


Mirrorless Shootout: Canon vs. Nikon vs. Sony

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.


Operation Night Watch

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.


Turning The Camera On Joe McNally

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.


Keep Your Photos From Getting Stolen On The Internet

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 Then – 36 Vintage Images

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.

HDR News You Can Use – April 2020

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 Human Side Of A Pandemic By Peter Turnley

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.


Gear That Can Change Your Photographic Life

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.


The Most Capable Prime Lens Carry-Everywhere Camera?

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.


Six Weeks Of Award Winning Images – Sony World Photography Awards

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.


How A Weird Lens Revived This Photographer

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.


A New View Of An Iconic Landscape – Drone Photos Of Tuscany

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.


So, What Is ISO?

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.


8 National Parks To Visit In Spring That May Not Be On Your Radar

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.

March 2020

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.


The New Reality In Photographs

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.

Adjusting To The New Normal

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.

Italy’s Deserted Streets – In Pictures

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 Eerie Sensation Of Seeing Images Of Empty Places

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.


Migrant Mother: Considering The Iconic Photograph And Truth

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.


27 Years Of Waving Goodbye To Mom And Dad – Heartwarming

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.


Best Digital Camera For Pros And, For You

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.


Have Digital Cameras Caught Up To Large Format Film Cameras?

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.


Scenics Love Sidelight

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.

February 2020

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!


Live Vicariously – Birding With $20K Of Pro Equipment

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.


Apple Pro Display XDR

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.


Fujifilm X100V

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.


Nikon Announces Specs On D6

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.


How To Melt Your Drone

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.


The Only Three Lenses You Need For Landscape Photography

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.

January 2020

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!


Five Compositional Patterns Worth Finding In Nature

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.


Erin Babnik

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.


Capturing Light In Landscape Photography

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.


Top Ten National Parks To Photograph In Winter

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.


Five Best Cameras For Landscape Photography Right Now

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.


A Nice Little Landscape Website

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.


HDR News You Can Use – December 2019

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.


One In A Million Photo

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.


The Complete Guide To Travel Photography

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 Year In Pictures – Beyond The Landscape

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.


Best Action Photos Of The Year

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.


Photographing Tuscany – Val d’Orcia

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 Annual

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.


The Equipment Your Colleagues And Competitors Are Renting

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.