Welcome again to HDR News. Labor Day weekend is here and the beautiful foliage of autumn is soon to follow. This is when you can make your most awesome photographs. In this issue we focus on the photographic fundamentals; focus, depth of field and composition. We also alert you to a great photo collection that is updated daily and will inspire you to push your creativity. In the area of new gear we must check out the EISA awards where you’ll be surprised at some of the winners. Let’s get going!
Listen all landscape photographers. Do you know where in the frame to focus for best results? For a great landscape image this is arguably the most critical decision you have to make after you compose the shot. If you don’t know where to focus or even if your’e just not quite 100% sure, you’re going into the field unprepared. Here is a great explanation on where to focus to make sure your landscapes are as sharp as they can be throughout the image. There is one mention of “hyperlocal focusing” but it’s easily and cleanly explained.
Learn where to focus HERE.
Viewing and analyzing great photos is probably the best way to improve your own photo skills. In the quest for finding great photos to study theInternet is our best friend. There are daily compilations of current photos everywhere. There’s so many to choose from that you have to decide which ones are best for you based on the type of photography you do. We have one for you to inspect at the PhotoDesk of the Flipboard website titled “Photos Of The Week”. Each weekly collection is by journalists from around the world and if you devote a little extra attention to the images you’ll see how good photographers make beautiful compositions out of daily occurrences. You’ll see great examples of The Rule Of Thirds, leading lines, interesting backgrounds and just about every composition technique out there.
Dial in to Photos Of The Week HERE.
The European Imaging And Sound Association has been bestowing “best of” awards yearly since 1982. The association is a group of 55 special interest magazines from 29 different countries. They bestow awards in 22 categories and winning one of their awards is a big deal in the industry. We photographers are always looking at new gear we can add to our bags. Knowing about the winning EISA products can greatly inform our choices. Before you check out the article take a guess at the winner in the first category “Advanced Camera” before you read the article. You may be surprised.
See which products won an EISA award HERE.
Your camera most likely has M, A, S and P modes: Manual, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and Program. Aperture priority is most valuable when you want to control your aperture setting to ensure the depth of field for the scene you’re shooting. A low aperture like f2.8 is great for people shots because it will blur out your background. A high aperture like f11 is great for landscapes because it helps ensure the foreground and background will be in focus (see the Exactly Where Do You Focus For That Landscape Shot? article above). However, Aperture priority can really ruin your photos because of related camera settings like ISO. This article will explain those settings.
Get up to speed on aperture mode HERE.
There are so many composition rules out there that this little cheat sheet in Photography Life resonated with us. One look at this handy item and you’ll tap your forehead and say “Oh yeah, I forgot about that rule”. Trying to implement a rule you may have forgotten can light a spark while you’re in the field and help you come back with a few more good images than you planned.
See the composition cheat sheet HERE.
You can more deeply explore each rule in the tutorial HERE.
The Labor Day weekend is upon us, marking the end of the summer beach season. If you’ve been shooting away at the beach on the weekends this year you may be looking for some new perspectives to spice up your images. We found this piece on the Light Stalking website which goes beyond just telling you about photo ideas; it has great image samples.
Get beach photography info HERE.
The Woodstock event marked its 50th anniversary this August. It’s a nostalgic marking for aging hippies and a shining example of peace for those that follow. Only one photographer had an All-Access pass at the generation-defining music event: Henry Diltz. He arrived at the festival two weeks before the event and started shooting. He rarely put his camera down and captured sweeping and individual moments of the entertainers and the attendees. Here is a recent video interview of Diltz where he recalls the experience. It’s a piece of history.
See the interview with Henry Diltz HERE.
July 2019 – Welcome again to HDR News. If you haven’t already, make sure you you get your free v3.5 upgrade of HDR Expose, HDR Express and 32 Float. The upgrade has increased OS and camera RAW compatibility, native support for Apple Retina displays and more. Best of all it’s a FREE upgrade. You can download them here by clicking on the Trial/SW Update button. In HDR News this month we have nice image collections featuring wildlife and man’s/woman’s best friend. There’s a look at camera intros, memory cards, a feature on a new and affordable landscape lens and some inside rumors on the future of DSLRs. Let’s dive in!
The Audubon Society received over 8,000 entries for the 10th Annual Audubon Photography Awards. So many photo competitions these days can be merely a business that runs on competitor’s entry fees. The Audubon Photography contest is all about nature and fine photographs. The winning images are presented large and are nicely described by the photographer. Best of all, these images are really good.
See the fantastic images HERE.
Depth of field? Bokeh? Well, when talking about fast lenses shallow depth of field and bokeh (quality of out of focus areas) are the topics that are thrown about. Usually those pontificating about fast lenses would be hard pressed to identify an image produced by an f1.8 lens or an f1.4 lens. Here at Pinnacle we think that observation extends to f2 lenses as well but that’s just our issue. The price differential for jumping to a faster lens can be astronomical. For example, a Nikon 85mm f1.8, an excellent lens, is priced at about $425. The Nikon 85mm f1.4 is priced at about $1,445: over a thousand dollars more! If you want to dive deeper into the controversy check out this article.
Make your own decision HERE.
When we were all shooting film our choice of film stock was a serious artistic matter. Our decision points were the film’s grain structure, color bias, saturation and contrast. For memory cards in today’s digital world you could narrow down the criteria to just two non-artistic criteria, reliability and speed. Some would argue that reliability is the only factor that matters. Photographers equate brand with reliability. If you’ve been using a SanDisk, Lexar or other card for years without a lost image, you’ll be buying that brand continually until… you lose an image. Check out this article to see what Popular Photography thinks are the “best” memory cards.
Get up to speed on memory cards HERE.
It’s tough to turn a profit in the camera business. Margins are thin and new products must constantly be introduced to meet the competition’s relentless pursuit of your customer base. Now that mirrorless cameras are the bright lights of the industry the choices in DSLRs will be reduced. This rumor article may not be completely correct but it surely will pique you if you’re a DSLR advocate.
Catch up on the rumors HERE.
74 percent of people like dogs according to a 2010 Associated Press poll. Today’s political environment probably has you second guessing any poll. But, let’s just say a lot of people like dogs. So, you may be interested in the photos created for the Kennel Club’s Dog Photographer Of The Year competition. This year’s competition drew over 7,000 images from over 70 different countries to compete in ten categories. You may be asking yourself “why would I be interested in dog photos?” The answer is; the photos are good! They’re good enough that you may want to see if you can recreating one or two of the winners. You probably have a dog lying around to give you a hand!
Check out the winning photos HERE.
For all, but especially landscape photographers the Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4 lens is a big, BIG deal. It’s got everything a pro photographer requires in a lens. It’s very sharp, well built and affordable. Plus, distortion is nicely controlled. The Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4 sells for around $600 while the equivalent Nikon 17-35 f2.8D IF ED sells for over $1,300 more. dpReview has posted a gallery update for the Tamron lens which you should check out if you’re in the market for a great landscape lens.
See the samples HERE.
Sony’s flagship mirrorless camera, The a7R IV, was recently announced in Japan. It’s specs will get your attention. It sports a 61mp sensor and produces near-flawless images at very high ISOs; like in the ISO 12,800 range. Really? A 61 megapixel sensor? That’s a lot of pixels. And, let’s not forget Sony’s incredible autofocus with real time tracking and near flawless eye tracking. I could go into the video specs here but it’s best you jump right into the video with dpReview’s Jordan of Chris and Jordan (Chris was fishing while Jordan went to the NYC intro).
Get a first look HERE.
Shooting a wedding may be your dream job or most avoidable chore but the idea of shooting your own grandparent’s wedding has to be compelling. Pro photographer Abigail Lydick revived the wedding day of her grandparents to celebrate their 60th anniversary. George and Ginger Brown were married in June 1959 a year after a chance meeting in a restaurant. This story is about the captured emotions, not the photographic technique. Seeing the heart-generated smiles on the couple captured by Lydick will lift you. There is one particular image that is bursting with happiness.
Read the heart-warming account of the shoot HERE.
We’ve been working hard on keeping our HDR applications compatible with current OSs and camera files. The result is the v3.5 update to HDR Expose, HDR Express and 32Float which are available now. See below for details.
In this issue of HDR News we highlight a new take on tripods and then we argue against tripods in a great landscape photography tips article. We take a look at an impressive new 100MP medium format camera and Apple’s new Retina display. And, we try to help you develop some criteria for updating your equipment. Let’s get going!
Your favorite HDR applications have just been updated for increased compatibility with the latest operating systems and camera RAW files.</p>
To update your applications just go to our product page and click on the “Trial/SW Update” button to download your copy. You can install the updates on your system with just a few familiar clicks. This update is available to licensed users of HDR Expose 3.x, HDR Express 3.x and 32 Float v3.
Here’s what’s improved:
– Now supports RAW files from the latest cameras
– Features updated User Interface with native support to Apple Retina Displays
– Now supports Mac OS 10.14 Mojave
– Now supports Windows OS 7/8/10 x64>
– Various bug fixes
We take a lot of landscape photos here at Pinnacle. A tripod is an essential piece of equipment that needs to be in our pack to take advantage of the beautiful scenes and light we seek. In low-light and time exposure situations the most important piece of equipment beyond our camera is a tripod. The word “tripod” conjures up different feelings, not the least of which is, “I hate lugging this thing around”. Camera manufacturers are shedding the bulk and weight of their cameras buy going mirrorless but what about the tripod? Well there may be a superior solution to the bulky tripod arriving later this year.
Read about the innovative product HERE.
No Rule Of Thirds or Leading LIne recommendations are found in this concise set of tips for the landscape photographer. Read this one and you’ll be inspired to break compositional rules, return to your favorite locations frequently and, dare we say, ditch your tripod. (yes, that’s contrary to the previous article but we’re open to different shooting strategies)
Get the tips HERE.
Most of us use a half-frame APS or a full-frame, 35mm format camera for our photography. These cameras make great images and displaying those images on social media and other Internet venues results in work that will do you proud. But, do you get the same feeling of quality when you print those images large? If you frequent photo galleries or flip though well produced glossy magazines you will come across photographs that just look better, look sharper, look more “open”. It’s a higher level of quality that jumps out at you. Those images are very often the product of a medium format camera. Medium format cameras with their larger image sensors and big pixels really do take you up a full notch in image quality. Fujifilm’s new one hundred megapixel GFX-100 joins it’s relatively affordable GFX-50 in it’s medium format lineup. It’s PhaseOne quality without the $40K price tag. You need to take a look.
Read the preliminary revew HERE.
It’s billed as the ultimate editing display by Apple. It sports “6016×3384 Retina 6K resolution (that) contains over 20 million pixels, providing nearly 40% more screen real estate than a Retina 5K display.” We want it! Or, do we? If we’re using the most brilliant, high definition display available to edit our photos will the 99% of the people who view our work on a less capable display be cheated? Even worse, will we be cheated by thinking that others see what we’re seeing on our screens. At five thousand dollars you need to read about the display and come to your own conclusion.
Get more info on the display HERE.
Do you really need that 14-24mm f2.8 super wide angle zoom selling for $1,900 or will the 20mm fixed lens in your bag handle 90% of your super wide angle situations? You can travel a lot for $1900 but, there does come a time when you -do- need to upgrade your gear. This article gives you a nice set of criteria to use as a benchmark when making the decision to go for new gear.
Start thinking about your equipment upgrades HERE.
May 2019 – It’s time to plan your summer photo travel and we’re here to help. Where to shoot is the logical first decision and there are probably no better photo locations in the U.S. than one of our national parks. We start off with an overview of the most scenic national parks which, includes fantastic images from each location. If you’re headed toward Europe this summer we point you to a Scottish isle that couldn’t be more picturesque. We help expand your photo knowledge and capabilities with a collection of long exposure tutorials and there’s much more. Let’s get going!
The snow is off the roads and the weather is forecast to be fine. It’s time! It’s time to visit one of our national treasures, a national park. All the national parks are photogenic but some truly stand out as majestic marvels. It’s at these special parks that you’ll be able to replicate that landscape image that you’ve come across before and stuck in your mind. This article ran in 2018 but remains one of the best overviews of the parks. And, it includes an iconic image from each park.
Start your national park photo trip planning HERE.
National Geographic’s image standards mimic the standards in used in photojournalism. In photojournalism you don’t create objects or perspectives that were never in the image when the shutter was clicked. You can adjust brightness and contrast. You can burn down or dodge areas. You can even crop. But, you can’t add content that wasn’t originally in the image. If you do add content and run the image you must label the image a photo illustration or alert the viewer in some way. So, what was a wonderful collection of some of the world’s oldest trees lit by starlight may have been reduced to a fraud by some very observant readers.
Read the details of the controversy HERE.
See National Geographic’s response to the accusations HERE.
Leaving your camera’s shutter open for seconds or even minutes will put you into an area of photography that delivers impressive and unique images. Of course you’ll capture ubiquitous blurry waterfalls but you’ll also see colors and glows created by the light of the moon and stars. You’ll see moody swirls on water surfaces and city scapes will surprise you. But, there’s more to long exposure photography than just placing your camera atop a tripod and tripping the shutter. These wonderful tutorials will give you the information you need to try long exposures with confidence.
Get the tutorials HERE.
Yes, a moonbow is what you would expect: a rainbow-like band of colors that is created by moonlight reflecting off misty water. This type of photography is beyond “long exposure” photography in that it requires ISO settings that produce images that border on un-useable. Nevertheless, astro-photographer Shreenivasan Manievannan created incredible moonbow photos in Yosemite National Park at the famous Yosemite Falls. Pretty cool.
See the moonbows HERE.
This is a story about Steve and Bruce. Steve is an amateur photographer based in Ontario Canada. Bruce is a bald eagle that was brought out for a fly by the Canadian Raptor Conservancy while Steve happened to be shooting. The story culminates with a rarer than rare image of the eagle soaring straight at the camera with its eye fixed on the shooter. That alone is a story but the symmetrical reflection created by the low-flying bird puts this one over the top.
Experience this cool photo HERE.
“Getting away from it all” takes on a whole new meaning on the Isle of Eigg. It’s a tiny island sitting off the west coast of Scotland that is owned by its 107 residents. Like much of the Scottish coasts and islands the archipelago is a visual masterpiece. This collection of photos will really put you in the shooting mood.</p>
Visit the island HERE.
Here at Pinnacle we’re all about high dynamic range. That’s why this video caught our attention. While our products handle the entire dynamic range of human sight, are there any imaging devices that can produce anywhere near that range. This test of film vs. digital may not put the question to rest.
Get the test results HERE.
Photographers who tend to shoot people need to focus on their subject’s eyes. There’s no way around it. To that end Sony’s A0, A7R III and A7 III have had the feature for a while now. So, what about Nikon’s new Z7 and Z6? Nikon has hinted that eye focusing was coming for those cameras and last week Nikon announced a new firmware update that will add the functionality to those cameras. We’ll wait and see how the new feature performs.
Learn about the firmware update HERE.
April 2019 – There’s a lot of “2019 best-of” info in this month’s HDR News. We’ll be showing you the highest rated photo gear of 2019. We’ll also feature the winners of the Pulitzer Prize in photography and the World Press Photo Contest. We hope to inspire you natural light photographers to gain a little knowledge about using a single flash unit. We also give a nod to some insightful photography of a planet on the edge and, more!
TIPA, the Technical Image Press Association, has released its 2019 World Awards for new equipment. If you’re in the market for new gear you need to take some time exploring TIPA’s choices and, hopefully, be guided to a great purchase. If you’re a camera gear-head (we all are to some degree) then this will be very entertaining viewing and reading.
Learn about the best gear HERE
The United States has been a formalized country for 243 years. The Spanish first arrived on North America’s shores 527 years ago. Construction on the church of Notre Dame (Nortre Dame de Paris) began 856 years ago in 1163 AD. It’s construction, all done without modern machines that could lift massive stones a couple of hundred feet into the air, was awe inspiring. Over the centuries the building became the soul of Paris and, indeed, the soul of France. The conflagration that consumed its wood constructed roof and many historic artifacts left the French and the rest of the world in a silent stupor. These stunning images capture the scene and those feelings.
Experience the photos HERE
The Pulitzers have been awarded since 1917 with the first Pulitzer for photography being awarded in 1942.The Pulitzer Prize in photography bestows huge honor on the winning photographers. It also places huge responsibility on the images’ viewers to understand the issues behind the photographs and judge for themselves whether the image before them tells the story in an exemplary way. The Pulitzer Prize celebrates the recording of history. Arthur Schlesinger said upon winning his second Pulitzer in 1966, “A nation informed by a vivid understanding of the ironies of history is, I believe, best equipped to live with the temptations and tragedy of power…” It’s ironic how this point applies today.
Take in the Pulitzer photographs HERE
The non-profit World Press Photo Foundation has been awarding prizes for the best photojournalism and story telling since 1955. Based in Amsterdam the foundation’s yearly contest draws images by the world’s best working photojournalists: over 78,000 images this year. The top prize for 2019 was won by Getty Images’ John Moore for his photograph, “Crying Girl On The Border” of a two year old Honduran toddler Yanela Sanchez in tears as her mother is arrested by U.S. border patrol. It’s an image that forces you to take notice of what you have and what you could lose.
See the winning photo HERE
It’s clear thatour environment is changing. Mother Nature is on the run regardless of your beliefs on the reasons why. This collectionby National Geographic to highlight last Monday’s Earth Day shows abundant life forms and life forms that are in danger. Bonus: the photography is fabulously beautiful. </p>
Get into the earth HERE
At some point in your photographic development you need to get familiar with strobes (flash). Even as a dedicated landscape photographeryou will be asked to create a great portrait or product shot from time to time becuase you are, ideed, a photographer!This video shows you exactly what you can do with a single strobe and, it’s a lot! Beauty lighting, mood lighting andeven mixed daylight outdoor images are all possible. Use the video as inspiration. For detailed single strobe instructionthe best place to get started is by taking The Strobist’s Lighting 101 course for free online.
Get inspired to use flash HERE
Visit the Strobist’s 101 class HERE
Sony’s latest update to its a7R and a7II mirrorless cameras firmware adds a new eye detection system that is based on AI and machine learning technologies. It can track an eye even if the eye closes or the subject turns around. This feature works on animals as well. Also, added to the firmware is interval shooting allowing for the creation of time-lapse videos.
Learn about the firmware update HERE
What lens makes foreground objects enormous and points things like clouds toward your image’s center? A 10mm full frame lens is the answer. Using such an ultra-wide lens takes a while to master and it’s resulting look is not for everyone. Photographer Albert Dros took a 10mm lens out for a spin and came up with some memorable images.
See the super wide-angle images HERE
Welcome again to HDR News. Mother Earth is rubbing her eyes and looking for a cup of coffee. It just officially turned spring on the 20th which means there’s going to be lots of color and beautiful light for us to capture out there. In this issue we help you in your spring shooting preparations with location shooting tips for waterfalls and wildflowers. We have a nice primer on how to read your camera’s histogram and we end with software and camera new product information on some world class products. Let’s get going.
Have you ever needed to check your LCD screen but the light around you kept you from getting a good look? While your LCD screen may have a tenuous relationship with the truth when it comes to evaluating exposure, your image’s histogram does not. This piece is the perfect primer for getting a handle on histograms so you’ll never have to wonder about your exposure again. You’ll be equipped with a foolproof way to make sure your spring shooting is as productive as possible.
Learn to read your histogram HERE.
You can make beautiful nature photos in your neighborhood. You can make spectacular images if you research your locations and have the stamina to handle them. This is an article about locations that are less traveled and provide the zen-like visuals and solitude many of us savor. These hikes are not for couch potatoes but you can work up to them, especially if you’re motivated to shed those winter lbs. Once you’re there the images will almost make themselves.
Discover where to hike for photos HERE.
Spring is the season when the winter snow in the high elevations transforms to water and streams down the hills to create dramatic waterfalls. We see waterfall images everywhere but we seldom tire of looking at moving water. Now is the season for you to get out there and make some of your own. This collection of waterfall images will have you thinking creatively and appreciating your purchase of a variable neutral density filter.
See the images HERE.
It takes more than a tripod and a slow shutter speed to creatively capture a waterfall image. The key word here is creatively beacause there are other factors that enter the picture like light levels, surroundings, skys, multiple exposures and more. This article will send your thinking down a slightly different path.
Get the tips HERE.
Spring brings more than waterfalls to photographers. Spring also brings flowers. Our gardens and landscaping come alive in spring and with it: color. Lots of color. Not much compares with seeing fields and rolling hills carpeted with color in every shade possible. This article reveals the best locations for seeing spring come alive so, bring your camera bag.
Discover the wildflower locations HERE.
Photo Mechanic has been the gold-standard image browser for high volume shooters for over a decade. Why? It’s -blazing- fast. News and wedding shooters can do a first pass edit of a 1,000 image take literally in minutes. And, Photo Mechanic sits on top of your computer’s file system so all annotations, ratings and more reside in the image’s file. That means your images are not held hostage in a browser application’s guts never to return. Now Photo Mechanic 6 software will be even faster and features an improved UI.
Learn about the new version of Photo Mechanic HERE
Visit the Camera Bits website HERE.
There’s always lot’s of hype whenever Leica delivers a new product. But, unless you’re doing quite well financially you probably need to gather lots of product information before shelling out somewhere in the range of $5K for a camera with a fixed 28mm lens. DpReview’s crazy Chris and Jordan do a nice job taking the Q2 through its paces out in Canada’s frozen landscape. Even if you’re not thinking of buying the Q2 you should at least marvel at the image samples.
Check out Chris and Jordan’s review HERE.
Greetings. We’ve got a wide ranging set of information for you this issue. We point you toward a great set of images that has taken NASA’s primary photographer over thirty years to compile. We alert you to the warning signs of when; exactly you’re over processing your landscapes. That’s followed by some inspiration from landscape luminary photographer Marc Muench and an inside look at 14 Instagram influencer’s most popular images.
Just think back to all the explosive images that resulted from the last decades of NASA space shots. Now imagine you were NASA’s “guy”. The guy who had unfettered access to the source of one of photography’s most visually powerful environments. That guy is the talented yet humble Bill Ingalls. Ingalls fell into good fortune with a college internship and he’s still working for NASA and loving the photographic life.
See the images HERE.
Magic is the perfect word to describe the look in photographer Sharon Tennenbaum’s serene yet surreal images. She shoots classic landscape and cityscape compositions and employs long shutter times that create smooth, syrupy surfaces. She alternates between black and white and color but, either way, the resulting images put you in a calm, relaxed state of mind.
Experience Tennebaum’s images HERE
If you over-saturate your landscape photos you may be brought before the House Oversight Committee On Ugly Photographs. Of course, we’re joking here but sometimes you see photographs so egregiously unnatural that even a non-photographer would call out of bounds. If you think you’re not guilty of any of the over-processing sins in this article you’re probably fooling yourself. That’s a long way of saying, you need to be aware of these indicators of relying too much on your post-processing skills.
Check out the video HERE
There’s no Rule Of Thirds in his article. There’s no Golden Rectangle or Leading Lines. Now it’s time to approach landscape composition from a different perspective. Celebrated photographer Marc Muench, son of legendary photographer David Muench suggests two ways to approach landscape photography that don’t rely on diagrams. Muench will have you embracing “pre-visualization” and “discovery” approaches both of which revolve around new and revisited locations.
Let Marc Muench advise you HERE
Some people resemble forces of nature. One such person is psychoanalyst Dr. Anni Bergman. Bergman escaped the Holocaust and made her way to America, earned a PhD and went on to perform seminal research in autism and child/adult relationships. She has a wide ranging set of relationships herself which contributes to her longevity. Bergman turned 100 years old this year and she can’t stop moving. At age 97 she hopped on a jet by herself, met a friend in Switzerland and spent the trip hiking through the Alps. Photographer Ann Steiner, a PhD herself had taken a post doctoral class with Bergman and they became friends. In 2014 Steiner was taking a photography course and needed a subject. What subject could be better than Dr. Anni Bergman.
Read about this remarkable woman and Steiner’s photographs HERE
What defines “popular” when referring to an image on Instagram? Is there any way to predict that what you believe is a game changing image will be lauded by the online community? The answers are, there are no answers. Reading this article where really good photographers are baffled by their own image’s popularity we discover that our perceptions of our own work may be completely out of sync with reality and scream ideas that are surprises to ourselves.
See what the influencers are thinking HERE
If you’re serious about photography it’s time for you to calibrate and profile your monitor. If there isn’t a monitor profile sitting in your computer’s operating system there is no way you will accurately be able to predict what your photos will look like on another person’s monitor (as in client!) nor will you be able to accurately predict what a print produced by your printer will look like. Here’s a new tool on the market that will reduce creating a monitor calibration and profile to minutes. And, it costs less than $200. You don’t have any more excuses!
Read about the new product HERE
Hello again. We hope you’re taking advantage of the sketchy winter weather. The best time to get mood into your images is when the weather is challenging. Snow showers, clearing storms and even rain can add that little extra that makes your photographs stand out. This month we start with a great article on shooting wildlife in the snow that is full of good technique advice. We follow with a look at a new Olympus camera and a whole bunch more. Let’s get going.
Shooting Birds In Flight In Snow (Great technique info)
This article is a step up from your normal how-to photo article. In addition to being adorned with fabulous photos the article gets into the nitty gritty of shooting fast-moving wildlife. The lessons that nature photographer Denise Ippolito deliver get specific and immediately applicable to shooting wildlife and can be extended to shooting sports as well. She reveals exact shutter speeds, apertures and ISOs and she discusses EV compensation for those rare times when she’s not shooting manual. As a bonus, Ippolito discusses the various renderings of snowflakes as a function of your camera settings.
Get the techniques HERE.
Visit Denise Ippolito’s website HERE.
Olympus E-M1X Review
Subject specific focusing has finally made its way into high-end digital cameras. The Olympus E-M1X ships with algorithms created via machine learning to instantly recognize and fast focus on faces, cars, trains, snowmobiles and more. While the actual machine learning happens in the Olympus development labs, updated algorithms created during the development process can constantly be updated to the camera through firmware updates. This just may turn out to be the best technology to arrive for sports and wildlife shooters ever.
By the way, the image quality of this camera appears to be incredible as this image by Olympus Visionary Jay Dickman shows. Even in this Internet resolution example the nuances in the dark areas are amazing.
Read about the newest camera HERE
Check out Jay Dickman’s awesome website HERE
9 YouTube Landscape Photographers You Should Follow
If you’ve ever screeched to a stop, and parked your car by the side of the road because you caught a fleeting view of a potentially great landscape shot, you’re not alone. As you pull your gear out of the trunk and start the march into the wilderness you say to yourself, “I’ve got to be crazy”. Well, you’re not crazy and here is a collection of videos by accomplished landscape photographers that will prove you’re just like them. You can just watch the videos embedded into this article or you can click through to each photographer’s YouTube site. You’ll come away knowing you’re actually a sane artist.
See the videos HERE
Shooting The Same Red Cabin Over The Years
Good fortune will eventually come to the persistent or, so believes, Ole Henrik Skjelstad. He is a landscape photographer living and working in Norway and he’s a perfect spokesman for tenacity in photography. In 2013 he discovered a classic red cabin adjacent to a watershed. It was a scene that spoke to him and inspired him to return again and again. His photographs capture a wide range of weather conditions and show us all that returning to a location can produce wonderful images.
Discover how the seasons change your images HERE
Trekking The World With A 500mm Lens
Just quit your job, bail out of your apartment and hit the road for a couple of years. It’s a scenario a lot of young folks entertain and this couple actually did it. But, why would they add a 7 lb. piece of glass to their bag and schlep it through airports, train stations and backcountry treks? For this couple it was all about wildlife photography. Check out this article to learn about dealing with overweight carry-on equipment bags, possible theft and gear durability on a two-year adventure.
Check it out HERE
10 Innovations From CES You Need To Know
There’s no better way to determine the prevailing winds of electronic device development than checking out the Consumer Electronics Show held each January in Las Vegas. Since cameras are now electronic devices themselves and must interact with a universe of screen, storage and peripheral devices it’s in our interest to keep up with what’s new. Here’s a list of devices from the 2019 show that impact photographers.
Get the news HERE
Looking For A Great Wide Angle Zoom On A Budget?
If you’re an aspiring landscape photographer, street shooter, photojournalist or commercial photographer you need a fast, wide-angle lens. Such a lens from the major camera makers will set you back more than just a few bucks. Tamaron has been making some fantastic lenses that can go head-to-head with major brands at much friendlier price points. For a wide angle zoom consider the Tamron 17-35 f2.8 reviewed in this article.
Check it out HERE
We hope you’ve had a wonderful Holiday Season. To celebrate the year, this issue points you to two 2018 photo compilations that are moving and thought provoking. Then there’s a story of one jaw-dropping celestial photograph, a 2018 best gear of the year review and some photo tricksyou suspected but didn’t know for sure. And, let us be the first to wish you a Happy New Year. Let’s get going!
What a year 2018 was and what a collection of photos this is. Photojournalism is the area of photography that is the most immediate. It’s immediately created, immediately distributed and immediately consumed. Beautiful images and heart ripping images appear and then disappear with the rapidly accelerating news cycle. As the introduction to this New York Times extensive group of images tells us, a second, slower look at the important images of the year gives us the time to reflect how they impact our sensibilities and our soul. This is a must-see image collection. Some images will break your heart. Some images will make you smile. The sum total of experiencing these images is a better understanding of our world and photography’s ability to shape it.
Experience this must-see collection HERE
This is a story of a photographer, a commercial airline and a once-in-a-lifetime event. The photo is so strong and the tale behind it so wonderful we’re just going to send you to the story.
See it HERE
Great sunsets, star-dense night skies, high and low tides are components that go into a memorable landscape photo. And, let’s not forget about making that classic Milky Way shot. Getting these elements into your landscapes requires preparation like consulting Google Maps, National Park and state tourism websites and word of mouth. But, what if you could exactly predict the sky, tides, sunrise, sunset and more before you ever leave your home? You can do all that and more with these apps.
Check out the apps HERE
This piece shows you landscape photography preparation in action. It’s a great look at Swedish photographer Göran Strand who had the idea and did the research to photograph the full moon rising behind an 800 year-old church on Frösön island in a lake-dense area in central Sweden. All of Strand’s preparation yielded a stunning shot and a compelling video segment.
See Strand make the image HERE
You always sort of knew that the food photographs you see hanging in McDonalds or jumping off the page in a glossy magazine weren’t quite truthful. You look at that shot of a cheeseburger bursting out a fluffy bun with beautifully melted cheese and the perfect dollop of ketchup dripping from its edge and say to yourself 1) boy am I hungry and 2) that can’t be real. You’re right! It’s not real and the tricks used to make it look real will amaze you.
See how your eyes are fooled HERE
Getting a great overview of the year’s gear from a source you respect is an end-of-year requirement for the rabid photo head. Therefore, we send you to a full round up by dpReview’s Chris and Jordan. In addition to being entertaining their reviews are quite valuable if you’re thinking of making a gear brand change or just contemplating adding to your existing kit.
See the reviews HERE
As a photographer you have to love the end of the year with it’s “best-of” collections and lists. When thinking about the National Geographic’s end of year selections you would expect an inspiring and feel-good collection of images reflecting the best of 2018. And, that’s what you get with National Geographic Director of of Photography Sarah Leen’s selection of photos for this year.
See the images that will be in your mind this year HERE
We often learn the most by watching others. In this issue we watch pro Reed Hoffmann handle the workflow and editing of a nice HDR image using HDR Express 3, Pinnacle’s streamlined yet powerful HDR application. Then we see how difficult it is to photograph the news when climate change has all the components of disaster dialed up to eleven. For our landscape photographers we get the inside story of Ansel’s most famous image. We then get some help determining the best lenses for our needs and we end with a hands-on with the world’s largest format camera. Let’s go!
We sometimes forget about the incredible power under the hood of HDR Express 3. Yes, it’s our streamlined HDR editing application but did you know that when you create a merged HDR image in HDR Express you’re working on a full 32-bit image with fully functioning 32-bit editing tools? Try 32 bit mode in most all other editing applications and you’ll see the majority of its editing tools disabled.
There’s so much you can do with HDR Express 3 and wouldn’t it be nice to see a professional talk you through using it? Take the time to watch Spontaneous HDR with HDR Express 3 Parts I, II and III where our VP of Marketing John Omvik and award winning photographer and teacher Reed Hoffmann get deep with the product.
Hoffmann relentlessly crosses the globe shooting for high-end clients and major news publications. He is also an instructor for the Nikon School of Photography and his teaching experience is well demonstrated in the videos.
See the videos on the Pinnacle website HERE. Look for the three videos titled “Reed Hoffmann – Spontaneous HDR with Express 3, Parts I, II and III
Check out Hoffmann’s wonderful website HERE
Stuart Palley lives on the blazing hot edge of sanity. He’s a wildfire photographer. Being a wildfire photographer involves a whole ton more than bolting out of your pickup truck and pointing your camera toward the blazes, if you want to live to tell the story. In this article Palley shares with you his training and preparations for getting the images and getting out. He also shares his literally hands-on experience with climate change and he shares his experience with the new Nikon Z7. If you’re considering the Z7 for fast-moving professional work you need to read his experience with the camera.
Check out this revealing article HERE
If you’re a landscape photographer you no-doubt are very familiar with one of Ansel Adams’ most famous images, Moonrise Over Hernandez, New Mexico. You may have come across tales of how Adams fell upon the scene driving back from a long shooting trip. You may have not known that when the light in the scene was at its optimum he couldn’t find his light meter. And, what will really surprise you is the way Adams printed the photograph evolved over the years and the version you remember in your head looks nothing like the early prints. Which print versions are superior? All this is explained in a wonderful little video produced by the Ansel Adams Gallery as promotion for the sale of one of the rare 21.5” x 29.5” prints
See how the iconic image was created HERE
Take a short online trip to the website of the camera manufacturer of your choice and you’ll see a wide array of lenses for your camera ranging from super-wide fish eye lenses to enormous fixed focal length lenses weighing tens of pounds. We soon realize that we can’t own every lens shown without winning the weekly lottery so, we start examining how we shoot and which lenses will actually get the job done for us in the most artful and least expensive way. Then, we start the research into the lenses we’ve chosen. Some manufacturer’s lenses are fantastic values and others are disappointments. Why not let the experts do the work for you.
See the recommendations HERE
The romantic vision of a great photographer working with a vintage large format film camera is one many of us have. Wood frame, bellows, ground glass focusing and focal plane adroitness are experiences we can’t get with our DSLRs or even medium format cameras. Now imagine making an image in very large format. Large as in 20” x 24” with one of only six existing Polaroid instant cameras. That’s cool. Live vicariously by watching this video of one of the 235 lb. monster cameras in action.
See this enormous camera in action HERE