We are deeply saddened and moved by the suffering of those around us and around the globe caused by the current Corona virus outbreak. It’s a story that must be told and still photographs can tell that story in a way most mediums cannot. To that end, in this issue we highlight three pieces of photojournalism that report on the new-normal caused by social distancing and lockdowns. We also bring you two stories that explore that heart and soul of being human, one that goes deep into Margaret Bourke White’s famous Migrant Mother and another that documents one photographer’s act of saying Good Bye. There’s more including side light in nature photography and a stunning look at large format film vs. digital output. Before we get started let’s take a moment to reflect on all our fellow humans dealing directly with pandemic especially those who may have lost a loved one.
Video footage of empty streets is saturating the nightly news these days. But, nothing tells a story like a collection of thoughtful still photographs. We found the following collections to be compelling.
This collection we discovered on Flipboard emphasizes loneliness in normally vibrant places. It’s a juxtaposition that leaves you feeling like a visitor on another planet.
Find the images HERE.
Probably the most severely affected country by the COVID-19 is Italy. It’s normally swamped with tourists and their selfie sticks every day. These images help you see Italy’s ancient cities in a way you never could in normal times. If you’ve ever experienced the plague of tourists that descends on Venice each day you’ll realize that these images may be a one-in-a lifetime phenomenon.
See the results of the virus in Italy HERE.
The absence of people in pandemic images provides us with the ability to see into the distance with endless visual perspective. We feel as through we are alone in the landscape; heroic adventurers.
Investigate the empty places HERE.
Seen by most Americans, Dorothea Lange’s famous photo of Florence Owens Thompson, known as The Migrant, tells a story. It has become the defining image of Depression Era photography; “… an iconic representation of true American
grit in the face of adversity.” But there is a lot more to how this image came about. Years after encountering Thompson and her children Lange described the image as the spontaneous result of detached photojournalism. Our tendency is to believe that narrative until we realize that she was using a large format, single image Graflex Series D camera. It’s not the kind of camera you would use for spontaneous photojournalism. Yet, Lange shot six images in the session. So, how did that image really come to be? What ever became of Florence Owens Thompson? And, why was one of Thompson’s children later
quoted as saying; “Mama loved to have fun… “They were tough, tough times, but they were the best times we ever had.” You, as a dedicated photographer, need to know the real story!
Learn more about the iconic image HERE.
Heartwarming for sure. Heartbreaking possibly. The natural arc of life can send our parents to a smaller, more manageable home in a seniors community. We visit them as often as possible to check up on their well being but frequently just to get a dose of the love when knew so well growing up. There is always the “good-bye” wave at the end of the visit. Deanna Dikeman’s series started almost by accident while documenting the rest of her family but after nearly three decades both parents are gone. Two of the most notable images are the ones where first, her dad is not in the photo and the final photo, with no one in front of the house.
See 27 years of Goodbyes HERE.
If you’re a regular reader of this newsletter you may not be a paid, working pro but we bet you could easily be one. If only you had the time and cash to pursue photography full time you would… well, we know. Having the camera knowledge that you do possess, we thought you’d find it entertaining to see what Digital Camera World says are the best cameras for a pro. You know what works for you. Let’s see if the publication feels the same. We trust that -you- know better.
See how your evaluation of the camera landscape compares HERE.
Imagine if you had to individually, one by one, load film into your camera to make a shot. Each sheet of film would have to be completely protected from light contamination by using a dark bag. In that closed bag you would have to place a sheet of film onto a film holder that would later be loaded into the camera. Once loaded we couldn’t forget to remove the door from the holder so the light through the lens could hit the film. We won’t go into the gory details of actually focusing the camera. But, but, but…. the image quality produced by an 8” x 10” large format camera is so good it can seem surreal; unbelievable.
Don’t believe us? Give this article a read HERE.
Watch this video to see what it takes to set up and use a large format camera in the field HERE.
Simple advice is quite often stellar advice. For example, take that landscape you traveled far to take. The sun is settling low behind you. Your foreground and rear elements are lining up exactly right. And, darn! The scene is lit too flat to create any drama, sending your image to the average pile. Why? because the sun was behind you thus eliminating the shadows that create depth and texture in a landscape. This article will go deeper into why you need to pay attention to the direction of your light.
Learn about sidelight HERE.
Welcome again to HDR News. It’s new product time with lots of interesting stuff hitting the market right now. Apple’s long awaited Pro Display XDR, the Fujifilm X100V camera and Nikon’s replacement for the venerable D5 are all covered in this issue. There’s also an interesting development in the world of drones and it’s not consumer friendly. And, we had so much feedback to our landscape issue last month that we’ve included a great video to help you reduce the equipment you lug around with you out there in the field. Let’s go!
You may never get to shoot with Canon’s flagship cameras or their $12K 600mm f4 lens. The next best thing is to follow along with some professional bird photographers and watch them in action close up. That’s just what you’ll do by viewing this video. You’ll also see the kind of images that equipment puts out: amazing!
See how birding with high-end equipment is done HERE.
It’s been highly anticipated and evaluation units have finally reached reviewers like C/NET. The initial reaction to the product as been, “Wow”. This publication is touting the monitor’s best-ever blacks: “… some of the best blacks…in a desktop or laptop monitor…”. Just as impressive appear to be the skin tones. At $5,000, though, shouldn’t the monitor include the stand? And, let’s not mention the stand’s serious limitations like lack of swivel. Nevertheless, this is a “pro” product where performance is the primary measure with price merely a data point.
Learn more about the display HERE.
We tend to focus on interchangeable DSLR and mirrorless cameras in HDR News. Bad on us because there are any number of all-in-one, point and shoot cameras that deliver super results and are so compact that they almost become part of you. The real story with the X100V is the image quality. When we saw the sample images that populated this article, we were suitably impressed. But, judge for yourself. Could this be a Leica M10 killer?
Read about the camera experience HERE.
See the great image quality of the Fujifilm X100V HERE.
There are pro cameras and there are “pro” cameras. At the top of Nikon’s line sit the D5 and the D850. If you looked at the sensor size for each camera you’d expect the behemoth D5 to be the sensor size winner but, the D5 comes in at only 21 megapixels while the D850 sports 46 megapixels. That’s probably because the D5 is all about speed and ruggedness. It’s the camera relied upon at the sidelines of major sporting venues and political event scrums. And, 21 megapixels is very much enough when the image destination is a printed newspaper, magazine or the Internet. Recently Nikon announced the specs of the D5’s replacement, the D6. How do you improve on your top-of-the-line camera? Read on and take a guess at its sensor size before you read.
Get a top line view of the D6 specs HERE.
Have you thought about getting into drone photography? The image results from a drone can be spectacular. The problem with drones is they often share the same airspace as commercial and military aircraft. The last thing a commercial or military pilot needs is for a drone piloted by a nouveau civilian operator to get sucked up in their jet intake. Remember what happened when birds were vacuumed into both of the engines on Capitain Sullenberger’s Airbus A320? It didn’t take long for defense manufacturers to see the economic potential in developing drone killing systems. You need to see how well they work and perhaps think about where you fly your drone.
Watch drones get melted HERE.
In our January issue we explored landscape photography from the perspectives of composition and technical settings. But, many of our readers wanted to know what the bare complement of lenses is needed to cover all situations. We recently ran across this video by accomplished landscape pro Mads Peter Iversen that cuts through the clutter and shows you exactly what you’ll need to be fully prepared out in the field.
Watch the recommendation video HERE.
Welcome again to HDR News! In this issue we’re all about winter landscape photography. Why shoot landscapes in winter? The sun is lower in the sky producing a unique quality of light, spectacular weather events turn a typical scene into a memorable one and famous places to shoot, like National Parks, are devoid of humans! To help you in your quest for great winter landscapes we show you very useful composition strategies that go way beyond the Rule Of Thirds but are actually useful. We bring you a very cerebral interview with an award winning photographer that will have you thinking a lot deeper about the images you’re trying to make. And, there are tons of great landscape photos all through these articles. Enjoy, stay warm and keep dry!
The tried and true Rule Of Thirds provides an initial compositional guideline in most genres of photography, including landscape photography. But you can dive deeply into nature and discover that there are lines and patterns that can be compositionally more intricate and valuable than the standard rules. This article by esteemed landscape photographer Erin Babnik describes the five dominant patters she looks for in a scene to help make order of nature’s seeming randomness. With names like The Plunge and The Echo they become memorable and useful. The article uses her fantastic landscapes to illustrate each of her patterns. The images alone are worth spending some time ingesting this info.
Dive into composition HERE.
Babnik’s landscapes are so strong we’re investing a second mention of her work. Babnik won Capture Landscape’s Photographer Of The Year award and this article is an in-depth interview with the photographer where she reveals the cerebral way in which she approaches her craft. One of our favorite quotes in the interview: “A famous art historian described Greek sculpture as having ’noble simplicity and quiet grandeur’ and I think those are the qualities I gravitate toward in my photography.” For Babnik, photography goes way beyond just clicking the shutter.
Experience the interview and some more great images HERE.
If you are dedicated to landscape photography you will reach the point where snapping a mountain or seaside scene at dusk just doesn’t do it for you any more. At that point, the weather becomes your friend and inspiration. As Ansel Adams knew, a clearing storm is all about photographic opportunity. In this article pro landscape shooter and educator Mark Metterich delivers hard-earned advice on how to predict and photograph landscapes where weather is the unique element.
Learn to deal with the weather HERE.
Being alone and communing with nature can be difficult to do in one of our National Parks. If you’ve ever visited a National Park during the summer, on a non-summer weekend or school holiday you’ll surely have the memory of long lines of cars and more people than you ever wanted to experience. That’s not very conducive to thoughtful landscape photography. There is a solution however: visit your favorite park in winter. The snowy scenes and breathtaking weather events make for exceptional photo opportunities. Some parks particularly stand out in winter and this article will identify them for you.
See which National Parks shine in winter HERE.
The gear-head in us is never far from surfacing and, we often steer you toward a dpReview article on the newest camera. This time we wanted to hear from a new voice and have the gear info delivered in a clean, concise way. In our search we found Zarina, the creator of the Digital World Beauty website. She provides a robust look at not only Sony, Canon and Nikon cameras but also Pentax. In the article she links to a few dpReview videos to deliver a nice overview. This article is about equipment that gets the job done. Check it out.
Read about the best cameras for landscape photography HERE.
In doing the research for this edition of HDR News we ran across the website of Sarah Marino and Ron Coscorrosa. They are a nomadic couple based in southwestern Colorado who travel to locations in their “silvery” Airstream trailer. They create wonderful landscape and nature photographs and produce valuable photo tutorials. A visit to their site is like visiting the home of your favorite shooting partner. Nice people and nice photography await you.
See the photos and the instructional guides HERE.
Welcome back to HDR News! It was a great year in photography. We’ve seen mirrorless cameras take off, new lenses impress us, big ticket items amaze us and more. But, it’s the images that you and your bretheren have made that make the year stand out. From news, to sports to portraiture to fine art, the great images just kept coming. That’s why this issue of HDR News is dedicated to the many competitions that attempt to celebrate best images of the year. We look at a single, serendipitous image, major news images, sports images and, of course, travel images. We hope this issue kicks off your 2020 shooting with inspiration. Let’s get started.
We’ve covered a starling murmuration in HDR News in the past. For those who don’t know what a murmuration is (we didn’t know either) its the,”phenomenon where hundreds, sometimes thousands or more birds moving and twisting in what appears to be a coordinated, single organism that can quickly morph into some startling shapes”. So, something really cool must have happened for us to revisit this subject again.
Check out the photo and the story behind it HERE.
To see and photograph the world is the great aspiration of photographers. But in the age of phone cameras making images on our trip almost seems trivial if we get into the mental state of “if I don’t take a photo, I wasn’t there”. And, let’s not mention immediately putting that photo on Instagram. This article is found in Conde Nast’s Traveller and is not a technical guide to travel photos themselves. Rather, it covers areas of consideration void from most travel photo articles by presenting “Dispatches From Around The World”, “Beauty Around The World”, behind the scenes of specific images and way more. It’s a fresh look at what you aspire to do.
Dive into the guide HERE.
The greatest service news photographs can give us is making events visceral. We can read the report of a family crossing the Rio Grande to America for the opportunity they could never find at home but seeing the image of a father with his arms around his young child lying face down, dead in the water, is another experience all together. That is what great news photographs do. They shake you, wake you and make you deal with the events at hand. The New York Times’ photographers are tireless and fearless. They go where we would not. This is an image collection that will bring perspective into your New Year and ensure you give thanks for all you have.
Get into the best photojournalism around HERE.
Red Bull’s annual sports photo competition winners were announced this month. When we think of epic sports photos we may be conjuring mental images of pro football wide receivers stretching for a catch or a shortstop suspended over second base while throwing to first. This set of images doesn’t go there. Instead you’ll see athletes suspended in air on bikes and rock climbers taking a break on a tiny platform of rock on the side of a treacherous cliff. It’s good stuff!
See the great action images HERE.
Tuscany calls to photographers with its serene landscape. Think of the movie Gladiator and the lush scene when Maximus returns to his Tuscan home in his dream. There you see classic farms, lines of cypress trees and country roads winding through a gently hilly countryside. Everything is draped in an indescribable golden light. But, just traveling to Tuscany won’t get you those images because these scenes are located in a region of Tuscany which you can easily miss. On a normal trip to Tuscany tourists visit the famous cities of Florence and Siena and the land in between. The famous landscapes you’re looking to photograph are found south of Siena in the area called Val d’Orcia. Check out this bit of info in Visual Wilderness by a local pro.
Discover the most photogenic part of Tuscany HERE.
PDN – Photo District News has been one of the leading magazines for professional and aspiring professional photographers for decades. Gaining an image in the their Photo Annual each year is one of the most positive things you can do to advance your career. Why? Because it’s judges are the most knowledgeable in the business and for the respect held for the publications where they work. Spending some time analyzing the winning images in this year’s contest can only move you forward in the right direction.
See the great images HERE.
Sony is taking over the camera market. No, Canon sells more cameras than Sony. Nikon still makes the most formidable lenses. Fujifilm is coming on like gangbusters and, on and on and on and on. Would you like some real data to support whichever claim you want to make in your next gear discussion? Then take a look at this article and see what photographers are actually renting. Its great info because if you’re going to supplement your kit for an important shoot you’ll most likely rent the brand you already use. Check it out.
Learn what your colleagues are renting HERE.
There’s lots to cover in this issue of HDR News. In the area of new equipment there are two new lenses by a leading manufacturer that appear to push digital photography beyond expectations. There’s a color monitor that accommodates the most popular color space at a price we haven’t seen before. The ongoing discussion about the quality of phone cameras takes a turn when it goes up against a $20K camera. And, there is some great instruction on long exposures. Let’s get going.
What’s the fastest lens you have in your bag? It’s probably your 50mm f1.4. It’s a go-to lens for getting the wonderful out-of-focus background that’s so much in style these days. The downside of your 50mm used at f1.4 is there is probably a fall off in sharpness. Nikon’s new 58mm f0.95 “Noct” lens appears to solve that sharpness problem in an incredibly powerful way. So much so that Nikon has stopped taking orders for the lens because of off-the-charts demand and a difficult manufacturing process. You need to see this video promoting the lens.
See why there’s no hesitation to dropping eight grand on a lens HERE.
You love photography but you’re not a pro. You want to create high-quality images but you don’t want to spend a fortune. You want a camera that’s light enough to have with you most of the time but you need it to be rugged. Sony appears to have broken the code for creating such a camera: the a6100. It’s got a great 24MP APS sensor, powerful auto-focus, an electronic viewfinder, Wi-FI image transfer and USB charging which comes in a take-anywhere form factor. You can read the full review and see sample images at dpReview. We love their reviews!.
Get a good look at the a6100 HERE.
The portal into experiencing your work is your monitor and the more you work at your photography the more sensitive you become to color, sharpness and image size. Eventually, you’ll come to crave a nice big monitor with a super-wide color gamut and a crisp image. Up until now a 27 inch monitor has been a bit of a budget stretch for many of us. Now with Dell’s new Ultra Sharp monitor it appears you’ll get the Adobe RGB color space managed by an on-board colorimeter at that wonderful 27” size at a doable price. And, if you already have a colorimeter you can get the same monitor without he but-in colorimeter for $700 less.
Learn about the Dell 27 inch photo monitor HERE.
Sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone. While most of us use a tripod for stabilization most of us probably haven’t made an image using a five minute exposure. The results of really long exposures are unique and very much worth trying. This is a deep, instructive article where photographer/author Elizabeth Gray covers all the bases in long exposure photography from scene selection to composition to filters to light contamination.
Get the valuable long exposure info by Elizabeth Gray HERE.
We don’t like to highlight more than one article about a single manufacturer’s products in an issue of HDR News. This month, however, we have the eye-opening high demand for the Nikon 58mm f0.95 and now this article in Photography Life claiming that Nikon’s Z 24-70 f2.8 is reason enough to switch to the mirrorless Z system. In fact, they called it “simply remarkable”.
You can learn about the lens HERE.
Discussions about the quality of phone cameras are all over the Internet where folks claim it won’t be long before phone cameras equal or outperform a “normal” camera. Well, we might be there already. Sawyer Hartman, who has more than 1.8 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, brings in four photographer friends for side-by-side comparisons to guess which photos came from the iPhone and the $20,000 Leica M10-P. The video is at the bottom of the page.
Make your own image choices HERE.
This is an obscure photo competition but it serves the purpose of promoting conservation while giving you a good laugh at the same time. The website espouses “Conservation Though Competition” but little about the folks running it. Nevertheless, this year’s contest received over 4,000 entries from 68 different countries, which were whittled down to 40 finalists, and finally, one grand prize winner. These photos are funny. Enjoy.
Learn the drone gear basics HERE.
Welcome again to HDR News You Can Use! We hope you’re out there taking advantage of this fall foliage season. It’s the best time of year for getting luxurious color into your images. Being constantly in the outdoors you should go easy on yourself. That’s why in this issue we look at going with a light weight camera kit. Then we take a look at three new cameras on the market. For those of you dragging your feet on learning about drone photography we point you to a great dpReview series on the subject. And, there’s much more.
This photograph is just too amazing. We’re sure Yongqing Bao knew he possibly had a rare image when he clicked the shutter but, you never know for sure until you download your images. Is it in focus? Did I capture what I think I saw in the viewfinder? Bao certainly did. We did a first look of the Wildlife Photographer Of The Year competition run by London’s Natural History Museum in last month’s HDR News. Since then the winning photos were announced and they are impressive. We just had to highlight this photo where an animal demonstrates a human reaction to an existential situation.
See the winning photographs HERE.
Hiking out to a favorite location for some good images is a joy for landscape photographers. We load up the backpack and strap the tripod on it and off we go. The smartest and most experienced photographers take a more critical view of the gear they’re going to be taking with them on their treks. Each additional pound you add to your pack is going to slow you down, reduce your stamina and possibly prevent you from reaching your shooting location when the light is optimal. Do you really need heavy zooms, a third camera battery or a 300mm lens for a particular shoot? Those are all items that many experienced shooters leave behind. This article will help you take a critical look at your landscape gear setup.
Learn how to reduce your load HERE.
There could be cash sitting on your hard drive in the form of sellable photography. While few photographers get rich selling stock photography many enjoy a monthly stream of income from their photos and, why not. Those photos are just sitting there on your drive doing much of nothing right now. There are quite a few stock agencies out there ready to sell your photographs. This article is a concise list of the terms of the top agencies out there.
See which agencies you should approach HERE.
It hurts to lose a cherished piece of equipment. There’s the loss of a component of your shooting capabilities which is annoying. There’s a bit of an emotional loss if you’ve lost a piece of equipment for a long time which has helped you make some of your proudest images. This is the story of photographer Steve Boykin who lost his 23mm f2 Fuji lens only to find it four months later. Read the article to see if the lens continued to work.
Read the story of the lost lens HERE.
The Reddit page Sh$##y HDR rarely disappoints. It’s the place on the Internet where bad taste and zero creativity synergistically combine with HDR technology to create some of the most horrible examples of “art” you could possibly imagine. We return there from time to time for a look. Here we recently found one of the most universe bending examples os Sh$##y HDR we’ve encountered: enjoy!
See our pick HERE.
For more artistic excitement see the main bad HDR page HERE.
Camera manufacturers simply do not sleep. It seems like every major camera company has a new model out now. Olympus and Canon appear to be targeting the advanced hobbyist while Sony gave birth to the motherlode a7R IV, 61mp camera for (just) $3500. Here are three review articles to help you sort through it all.
Learn about the Olympus E-M5 Mark III HERE.
Read about the Sony a7R IV HERE.
Get into the Canon EOS 90D HERE.
If you’re looking for a new perspective in your photography, getting up over the trees and buildings is a sure-fire way to get there. Shooting high with a drone brings in shapes, colors and perspectives that formerly were only possible by hanging out of helicopter. Drones change the game but there’s a bunch of information you need to digest in advance of purchasing one. From the number of propeller blades to the megapixels of the on-board camera, making the right choices is a daunting task. This set of articles in dpReview lays it all out for you from an overview of drones to the parameters for takeoff and landing.
Learn the drone gear basics HERE.
Learn how a drone can affect your photography HERE.
Learn more about the advantages of a drone and see some great photo examples HERE.
Welcome again to HDR News. Autumn is upon us with its colorful photo opportunities. Trees will be blazing red, orange and yellow. The skies will usually be a deep blue and the air will be crisp but, not always. That’s why we lead off with a set of tips on how to make great landscape images in not so perfect light. When it comes to processing your images for optimal color we point you a video showing you how to use the fantastic color tools in HDR Expose, HDR Express and 32Float. Also included in this issue is a look at the iPhone 11, advice on setting pricing for your images and shooting environmental portraits with minimal lighting gear. Let’s get going!
If you confine your shooting to Golden and Blue Hours you’re shooting for just about three hours a day. What if it’s overcast and you decide not to shoot at all? Well, you’ve wasted the use of God’s soft box: the clouds. What if the sun is strong and high in the sky? Do you give up and wait until Golden Hour? Not at all. You’re a talented photographer who can make wonderful photos anywhere. This article will help you get the most out of your valuable day of photography. The article includes a nice video that takes you into a harshly lit red rocks area and talks you through using shadows and shapes to make fine images.
Learn to shoot in bad light HERE.
If you were following Apple’s iPhone 11 introduction you had to notice the three cameras lenses on the back of the phone. This was the telltale sign that Apple had made significant upgrades to the iPhone’s camera system which include a 13mm 35mm equivalent field-of-view (13mm!!!), powerful image processing, a new night mode, upgraded portrait mode, a wider color gamut and more.
Read about the iPhone 11 HERE.
Have you ever thought about going professional as a photographer? If so, pricing is the trickiest aspect of the business side of photography. So many “how-to” articles on starting your own photo business advise that you should price your product and services at “what they’re worth” thus tying your personal worth to a number that may have no relevance to the quality of your work or the market you’re working in. This is a tough love article you need to check out if you’ve considered going pro.
Learn about pricing HERE.
If you’re a newspaper photographer you have access to most subjects you want to photograph. Not so for the rest of us. But, there is a way. Shoot for Google 360. This article takes you through the idea of getting access by shooting for Google and walks you through a nicely lit environmental image made in a dark shop in Hanoi Vietnam with the most minimal of lighting kits.
Learn why you don’t need a ton of equipment HERE.
The Natural History Museum of London is an incredible institution. Famous for its dinosaur collections the Natural History Museum covers virtually everything in the natural world like birds, mammals, marine invertebrates, fishes, amphibians and even humans. What better institution than to run the Wildlife Photographer Of The Year competition. Here you can check out this year’s Exhibition Images with each image
fully explained. It’s a really nice group of photographs.
See the wildlife images HERE.
In autumn photography you want to have optimal control over your post processing. Did you know that Pinnacle’s powerful color editing tools work independently of luminance. That means if you change the exposure level (luminance) of your image you will not change your colors as would happen in most other editing apps. Also, editing your color will not affect your luminance.
Want to learn more? Check out the instructional video Adjusting The Color Settings In HDR Expose 3 and 32 Float 3 on page two of our video tutorials HERE.
For an even deeper dive into the art of color, Nigel Danson is back with an excellent discussion and video on the affects of color in your landscape images. In the article’s text is a discussion on the use of both analogous (similar) colors and complimentary (opposite) colors to add subtlety or punch to your images.
Take an artistic dive into color HERE.
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.