Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Most of the groups require a membership, but offer quite a bit in return. Some of the large ones host annual conventions and trade shows, competitions and awards, and even have certified pro photographer programs. Pretty much all of the groups offer meetings, newsletters, and great networking opportunities.
Here's some you may want to check out (listed US or Non US. International groups are listed by where the headquarters are located)...
* AIAP- Association of Independent Architectural Photographers
* AIPAD- Association of International Photography Art Dealers
* APA- Advertising Photographers of America
* ASMP- American Society of Media Photographers
* ASPP- American Society of Picture Professionals
* NANPA- North American Nature Photography Association
* NPPA- National Press Photographers Association
* PACA- Picture Agency Council of America
* PFPO- Professional Fashion Photography Organization
* PMAI- Photo Marketing Association International
* PPA- Professional Photographers of America
* SAA- Stock Artists Alliance
* WHNPA- White House News Photographers Association
* WPJA- Wedding Photojournalist Association
* WPPI- Wedding and Portrait Photographers International
* WIPI- Women in Photography International
* ACMP- Advertising, Commercial, and Magazine Photographers of Australia
* AIPA- Advertising and Industrial Photographers Association, New Zealand
* BAPLA- British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies
* BPPA- British Press Photographers Association
* CAPIC- Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communications
* CEPIC- Coordination of Picture Agencies and Libraries
* PIAG- Presse Informations Agentur Gmbh
* PPofI- Professional Photographers of Israel
* PRA- Picture Research Association
* TV- Associazione Nazionale Fotografi Professionisti
Again, there's WAY too many to list here, but if you're looking for a specific format, equipment, or local group, your best bet is to do a web search. There's also a few other websites that list some different groups here, here, and here. And if I've left out one of your favorites, feel free to share it in the comments!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
* Photography Getaways- starting 2011
* DIY paper frames
* Instant photos turned playing cards
* A Father Creatively Captures His Kids
* 25 Nostalgic Photos Comparing Past to the Present
* A Brief History of Stop Motion Presented in Stop Motion
* How Efficient is Your Workflow? and 5 Ways to Speed it up
* Photographer Action Figures
* Ansel Adams or Not? More Twists + Ansel A. currently on display at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA
PS- A reminder that there will be no posts Thursday and Friday of this week. We will return to normal posting on Monday. Hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Now, if you still need further help picking out a lens, you have a few more options... Ask another photographer who is shooting in the same genre as you (and that you like their work) what they are using. Talk to a sales associate; they can guide you. Purchase a few cheaper used lenses, try them out, and then resell or trade them in for a better version of your favorite one. Rent some lenses and test them out before buying.
Following article by: Arthur Z.
Basic overview of topics covered: lens designs, focal lengths, apertures, and types of lenses (film, digital, fixed or constant aperture, variable aperture, reflex or cat, leaf shutter, macro, micro or close focus, PC, etc).
For most of you that weren't into photography when it was first introduced (about 10,000 AD), the first cameras didn't have lenses attached. The camera lens came about in the early 1600s. But that's another story, so let's jump forward to modern times...
There are two variables that a lens has to control in order help you create great photos. The first factor is the focus. This is done by moving the lens elements (or groups of elements) further or closer to the film plane (the area in the back of your camera that the film lays flat against). I realize that some of you have digital cameras, so for you, this would be where the chip (light gathering sensor) is located. The second factor is how much light goes through the lens. This is controlled by an iris or aperture located inside the lens.
So, what is a normal lens? That depends on which camera that you're using. If you are using a 35mm film camera, this would typically be considered a 50mm. If you are using a medium format camera (2 ¼) roll film camera, this would be somewhere between a 75-80mm lens. If you are using a 4x5 or large format camera that uses sheet film, you might choose a lens somewhere around 200mm as your normal lens. Just as a guide, if you close one eye and look around, that would be close to the magnification and angle of view that a "normal lens" would give you.
How about a portrait lens? For a 35mm film camera, this would be a lens that ranged anywhere from 85mm to 105mm. For a 2 ¼ roll film camera, this might be a 150mm lens. If you have a large format 4x5 sheet film camera, your portrait lens might be somewhere between 350mm and 400mm.
Now, to complete your lens kit, you'll probably want a wide angle lens. For a 35mm film camera, this might be somewhere between a 20mm and a 35mm. For a medium format 2 ¼ film camera, this might be a lens between 85mm and 135mm. For a large format camera, a wide angle may be a 90mm lens (this would roughly be like a 28mm lens on 35mm camera). No, I didn't forget about the fisheye lens, but I would consider that a specialty lens. If you like round images that cover 180 degrees, they give fun results.
Zoom lenses are probably the most popular sold today. If you asked someone 30 years ago if there was a difference in quality between a zoom lens and a fixed focal length lens, they wouldn't hesitate to say yes. They were larger, heavier, more expensive, and not as sharp as fixed focal length lenses. Fixed focal length lenses also had the advantage of being less expensive, smaller, lighter, and having larger apertures. Today, with computer technology, any quality difference between the two types of lenses is minimal, and most people feel that the versatility of having a zoom lens far outweighs the difference there may be in image quality. But of course, some people still swear that prime lenses (or non-zoom) are better.
Constant or fixed aperture compared to variable aperture... Many of you own zoom lenses that have a variable aperture. So what does this mean? Let's take a 70-210 zoom lens that might be an F4.0-5.6. This means that if you set the aperture manually on 4.0 and you zoomed the lens from 70-200mm, even though the lens aperture scale said that the lens was set on 4.0, when you zoomed to 210mm, the actual aperture setting would be 5.6. A constant aperture lens keeps the same aperture setting no matter what focal length that you have zoomed to. Does this make a difference? Yes and no. If the camera was on automatic, the camera would compensate by adjusting your shutter speed to make up for the light loss, and you'd probably never notice the difference. If you are shooting manually, with studio lighting, and/or externally metering, your exposure will be off. If you've determined that 4.0 gives you a perfect exposure, you have the camera set on manual, you take some photos at 70mm, then zoom in and take some at 210mm, the images that were zoomed closer than 70mm will be under exposed. Keep in mind, the aperture change is gradual through the zoom range. With that being said, negative film has a fairly large exposure latitude. Slide film is not as forgiving, and as for digital, yes, you can fix it with editing software. Words of wisdom... the more you can do in your camera, the less you'll have to do in the darkroom, or on the computer later. Variable aperture lenses are generally smaller, lighter, and less expensive than constant aperture lenses.
Reflex, mirror or cat (catadioptric) lenses use mirrors instead of large glass lenses to create high magnification of images. The advantage of these is their smaller size, lighter weight, and lower price. The possible disadvantage is that they are generally made in longer focal lengths (300mm to 1200mm), but have smaller apertures than the conventional refractor designed lenses. They are also “fixed” aperture lenses which means that they don't have an aperture ring. If you buy a 500mm f8 lens, it's a 500mm f8 lens. If you want to change your exposure, it has to be done by inserting neutral density filters in the lens, or by changing the shutter speed of your camera. Although you may find these with lens mounts that will fit on auto focus cameras, they are manual focus lenses. Are the photos any different when taken with these lenses? Yes, if you look close, the blurred background will show small “doughnut rings” of light. Is there a difference in image quality? It depends how critical you are. Most people like the ability to hand hold a 500mm mirror lens. Although you can now do that with Nikon's VR lenses and Canon's IS lenses, you won't believe the size and weight difference.
So what's a leaf shutter lens? You can find leaf shutter lenses made for large format, medium format, and 35mm (size) camera lenses. I used to just say 35mm, but today, with digital cameras, I need to be a bit more specific. Many film cameras used focal plane shutters in them. The limitation of this type of shutter was that it would only synchronize with a flash at slower shutter speeds (1/250th or slower). Lets say you want to take photos outside on a sunny day. You're taking photos of hummingbirds hovering around your bird feeder, and need to use a flash, but you want to shoot at 1/1000th of a second. Go ahead, you've got a leaf shutter built into your lens, and it will synchronize with your flash at any shutter speed.
Macro, micro, close focus, what's the difference? Macro and micro are the same. Close focus or tele macro isn't. Let's compare. First, lets look at the early zoom lenses. If you had an early 80-200mm, 28-200, or other wide range zoom lens, they were great from about 4 or 5 feet on out, but most of the lenses in this range really didn't do a good job of focusing much closer than that. Along came newer designs that are smaller, lighter, and now have close focus. They can actually focus down to 2 or 3 feet. They're amazing. You could shoot flowers and small objects without changing lenses. If you want a true macro lens, you probably won't be buying a zoom lens, you'll be buying a fixed focal length lens (like a Nikon 60mm Macro). So what makes this lens so special? It's a “flat field” lens. If you take a photo of a page of newspaper with a flat field lens, it will be sharp from edge to edge. If you took the same photo with a zoom lens with “macro” or “close focus”, you would probably see that the center of the image is sharp and the top, bottom, and sides would be soft. This is because you most likely took your photos with a “curved field” lens. There are a few exceptions to this, but they're very expensive.
What's a PC (perspective control) or tilt-shift lens? It's a lens that can change the perspective to your photos. Have you ever taken photos of a large building that appears to curve at the top or sides when you're using a wide angle lens? How about taking that photo and having all of the sides being straight? These lenses have a very complex design that allows it to almost break in half and have the front half shift up, down, right or left. For those of you that have used a 4x5 large format camera, one of the key features (besides the larger negative) is its ability to have swings, tilts and shifts which allowed you to correct the distortion (or plane of focus). Many photographers are using tilt-shift lenses to get artsy with, in addition to using it for correcting purposes.
Yes, tele converters, 1.4X converters, 1.7X converters, and 2X converters are lenses, but I would consider them specialty lenses. In other words, they modify the performance of other lenses that they are attached to. The good news is that most converters are usually less expensive than most lenses. The bad news is that there are quite a few converters out there that will reduce the quality of the lenses that you use them with. A good rule of thumb is to stay with a name brand converter. Another consideration would be the light loss. A 2X converter will reduce the amount of light that enters the camera by ½. This means that some camera/lens combinations will not work with a converter. When in doubt, call your friends at KEH to confirm.
One of the most important factors in your lenses should be quality. If your main concern is getting sharp, colorful, crisp (good contrast) images, you'll need to invest in quality glass. Remember that as with many things in life, including lenses, you get what you pay for. Most manufacturers make several different grades of glass. There's glass for consumer use, and glass for professional use. Canon's premium optics will be made of “L” (low dispersion) glass, while Nikon calls their premium glass “ED” (extra-low dispersion). One other thing to look for would be lenses that have the “APO” designation. So what's an APO lens? It stands for apochromatic, and what it does is pretty interesting. Remember when you were in science class and the teacher put a prism in sunlight? In one side comes white light, out the other comes a rainbow of colors. Pretty amazing stuff. If you had a good science teacher, they told you about light having different wave lengths and focusing in different planes. Long story short, an APO lens makes sure that all of the colors in the spectrum focus with the same intensity on your piece of film (or sensor) so that your finished image has true colors (not too warm or cold).
Another very important factor to consider is lens compatibility. We covered this topic in depth back in September. Broken down into 4 parts: Part 1-Digital camera sensor sizes (full frame vs. APS-C), Part 2- Manufacturer lens vs. non-mfg. lenses, + more compatibility considerations, Part 3- Finding a lens on our website, and Part 4- crop factor.
And finally, we still haven't covered every single thing in this post, but we have talked about other lens topics before. If you'd like to read more about lenses, here's where to go next:
- For info. on shooting macro and close up
- For info. on IS (image stabilization) and VR (vibration reduction)
- For lens problems: Lens sep, messy lenses and picture quality, the bottom shadow
Monday, November 22, 2010
Most companies that print photo greeting cards offer the use of different templates. This allows someone with little editing and graphic design skills to be able to create their own. If you have your own photo editing software, then you also have the option to do your layout yourself without the help of a template. Keep in mind that the photo might be formatted to print as a 4x6 or 5x7, but it will be printed and cut on a machine. You may want to leave a little more room on the edges than expected to allow for trimming. I suggest always having one test image printed at the lab before you order a large quantity.
Prices vary from company to company, and changes depending on size, style, and paper options.
Another option is the Photo Holder Card. This is where you insert an image into a frame or sleeve. Companies like Target and Hallmark typically carry these. Keep in mind that with this option, you will have two costs: printing the images and the cost of the cards themselves. This typically tends to be more expensive, but is made from better quality materials.
A few online sources:
- Lisa Schwendeman
Friday, November 19, 2010
The Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm F6.3 Nippon Kogaku, an extremely rare Nikon lens introduced in 1959. Originally designed for Nikon S series rangefinder cameras (mounted with required reflex housing), the 1000mm F6.3 lens was the first mirror lens made for the Nikon rangefinder cameras.
There were a few versions of this lens made (all versions of this lens are rare, with production numbers under 100 units). The final version was produced with a direct Nikon F mount (such as this one pictured). The lens takes 52mm filters that are located in a turret in the rear of the lens. On top of the lens barrel there are two handles as the lens weighs approximately 30 pounds itself and its carrying case adds another 10. This lens is no lightweight, literally or metaphorically speaking, 180 degrees from the handles rests a solid tripod mount which enables the user to turn the lens barrel 90 degrees. The lens focuses by way of bellows and its range is 98 ft. to infinity.
Nikon (F mount) 1000mm F6.3 Reflex Nippon Kogaku gray- with filters, hood, caps, case.
EX, $31,500. Find it on KEH.com here.
- Michael Reese
Thursday, November 18, 2010
For the invites and thank yous: Retro Camera 3D Greeting Card
Tea and Ceremony, $5.50
For cupcakes and cheese: Vintage Camera Cupcake Picks
Flapper Girl, set of 8, $10
Flapper Girl, $24
Girlie Pains, $4
Cb Sew, $13.50
Moon Faces, $ 2.25
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
- Photographer sues Texas Department of Public Safety for use of image on vehicle inspection stickers
- 50 Must-read photography books
- 10 Questions to Ask Before You Bid on an Ad Assignment
- The Funeral Photographer
- Magnum Foundation: Emergency Fund
- Cocky aspects of photography
- Hack Your Background Stand
- Photoshoot mishaps
- Echolilia: A Father's Photographic Conversation with His Autistic Son
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The photo to donation ratio translates like this:
* 1 light photo = 175 hours of solar power
* 1 wind photo = 4.5 kw hours of wind powered energy
* 1 water photo = 480 gallons of drinking water
"Our Ecomagination photo gallery spotlights the creativity required to nurture a growing economy powered by cleaner, more efficient energy sources."
Find the Flickr group here
For more information on the project: http://photoproject.ecomagination.com/
Monday, November 15, 2010
* Don't wait until the last minute before an important shoot to buy (or rent) a new camera, or other piece of equipment. Always allow time to test and get familiar with it before a job.
* Make sure to have insurance when you are getting paid to deliver a product and if you own a lot of expensive camera gear.
* Always carry a couple of extra batteries. If they are rechargeable, make sure they are charged and ready to go the night before a shoot.
* Always take more memory than you think you will need, and more than one memory card.
* Keep a small tabletop tripod in the car, just in case. You may have to use it in a pinch.
* If your camera uses a tripod bushing - I advise having a spare. A $1.00 item can ruin your shoot if you don't have one.
* A good lens shade can save a front element, and also helps with contrast.
* If you are going to shoot professionally, always have at least 1 spare camera.
* Never carry an empty camera (film, memory cards, batteries)- that is when you will see Bigfoot or the Yeti. Likewise, never set your camera to shoot with out a card in it.
* Always keep a lens or body cap on your digital SLR to cut down on dust. Likewise, turn off your digital camera before changing lenses to help avoid dust (this is when the sensor acts like a magnet!).
* Turn off your digital camera before inserting or removing your memory card
to avoid data corruption that could cause a loss of your images.
* Always use a camera strap- it could save your camera from damage, loss, or theft.
* Don't take your equipment apart unless you are professionally trained.
* Don't leave batteries in equipment for an extended amount of time- they will most likely leak, corrode, or explode.
* Don't move from extreme temperature to extreme temp. quickly with gear (this can cause lens fogging, which can cause fungus growth).
* Learn your manual functions. You never know when your auto-focus, auto-shooting, metering, etc. may give you a problem.
* Always take more than one lens on a shoot with you.
* If shooting film, it's a good idea to take a black changing bag with you in case of rewind failures.
* Always have your contact information either attached to your camera bag or on the inside. It's also a good idea to always have business cards with you.
* Learn how to use your equipment from point A to Z and read your manuals!
* If using flash cords, take a few extra (but not too many to cause confusion).
* Clean your lenses appropriately- Avoid scratches and water spots by using proper cleaning tools and chemicals. Finger prints, fungus, and other oily or liquid substances left on a lens will etch into the coating if left untreated.
* Format memory cards instead of just deleting the images off of them.
* Always keep a protective filter on your lens, and keep caps on lenses when not in use.
* Turn off your VR/IS functions when not in use or on a tripod.
* Don't leave your camera gear unattended.
* Test your camera equipment before leaving for a shoot. If something is wrong, you can plan ahead accordingly.
Do you have any more camera wisdom or advice? Please leave a comment for our other readers!
Friday, November 12, 2010
(Listed with brands first, then camera models, + formats.)
1: Canon, 5D (full frame digital)
2: Argus, C3 (vintage, 35mm)
3: Canon, AE1 Program (35mm film)
4: Hasselblad, 500cm (medium format)
5: Holga, 120s (medium format)
6: Contax, G1 (35mm)
7: Kodak, DCS Pro (digital)
8: Leica, M2 (35mm)
9: Nikon, D90 (digital)
10: Mamiya, RB67 Pro S (medium format)
11: Minox, B (subminiature)
12: Nikon, F Photomic FTN (35mm)
13: Olympus, EP1 (Micro 4/3 digital)
14: Nikonos, V (underwater, 35mm)
15: Olympus, XA (35mm)
16: Pentax, K1000 (35mm)
17: Rollei, Rolleiflex 3.5 E3 (medium format)
18: Sony, A500 (digital)
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Help-Portrait is "a global movement of photographers using their time, gear, and expertise to give back to those in need". It's about volunteers coming together to give, not to take pictures of those who are less fortunate.
The plan is for photographers on (or around) December 4th to find someone in need, take their picture, make a print, and deliver it. The community also states, "And by the way, we don’t want to see your photos. This is about GIVING the pictures, not taking them. These portraits are not for your portfolio, website, or for sale. Money isn’t involved here. This holiday season, you have the chance to give a family something they may have never had before—a portrait together."
So, who needs pictures? The homeless, orphans, single parents and their kids, sick children or parents, the elderly, army vets, underprivileged families, or anyone that normally wouldn't have access to or be able to afford professional photography.
Participants are located world-wide, and there's plenty of volunteer opportunities for people other than photographers as well.
One of our blog contributors who is involved with Help-Portrait had this to say:
"We worked with Help-Portrait last year by providing a service to a few families who were out of work. This year, we are planning a much bigger day and are narrowing down the organization we want to photograph. The reason we use Help-Portrait and other charitable organizations like it is for the opportunity to serve and give back to the community. I like Help-Portrait because the concept allows the photographer to find the cause big or small he/she wants to get involved with and provide services. Service in any capacity helps both the giver and receiver and lifts our spirits giving each of us hope and an extended capacity of love. Sharing your time, talents and expertise will benefit the receiver in ways you may never see. Don't forget to get others involved too like your children, friends and neighbors. Many people have a hard time initiating or asking others if they can help, but would love to be a part of something if they were asked. By involving your friends and family, you can teach them the importance of service to others which is an invaluable lesson. Think of friends in the community that have a complimentary business that can serve with you like hairstylist, make-up artist, lab tech, etc. and don't be shy in asking them to donate their time and expertise too!" -Patrick Douglas
For more information, visit their website at: http://help-portrait.com/
PS- If you missed our post on photography charities back in April, be sure to check it out here.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
- What is Creativity?
- A real life Photoshop desktop
- Awards: Critical Mass 2010 winners and The Lucie Awards 2010 winners
- 15 Phenomenal Forced-perspective Photos
- 82 Striking Photos of Smoke
- Tilt-shift Photography Photoshop Tutorial
- Camera made from a 150-year-old skull
- Submit Your Photos to VH1's Salute The Troops Mosaic
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
- Wescott Green Screen Digital Photography Kit- great for events and for those upcoming holiday parties!
- Canon Scanners and Printers
- 6 slot multi-card reader- a card reader is a must (read more about them here)
- Thumb Drives
- Gary Fong Lightspheres and diffusers- (read more about them here)
Monday, November 8, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
To capture a single moment with a faster shutter speed, you will need to: bump up your ISO, and open up your aperture. In fairly dark settings, you may need to take your ISO as high as it will go, and your aperture as low as it will go (for example, ISO 1600, aperture of F1.8).
To capture a longer period of time with a slow shutter speed, you will need to: use a tripod and a shutter release. This will ensure that your camera is held steady for your longer exposure. Also be sure not to bump the tripod!
Since both long exposures and high ISOs typically add noise, you may also want to think about shooting in RAW, and then post processing your images with a noise or grain reduction action.
PS- This coming Sunday 11/7 is when Daylight Savings Time ends (US). Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour!
images © Jenn Fletcher
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Not only do you benefit by having your lost items returned, but the system also rewards the honesty of the finder by supplying them with their own set of labels. On top of everything else, ImHONEST also donates 20% of online label sales to charity.
Some of the items suggested to mark with ImHONEST include: camera equipment, laptops, MP3 players, memory sticks, cell phones, keys, video cameras, access cards, PDAs, passports, portable gaming devices, luggage, wallets, and more.
Labels are durable, scratch and heat resistant, and adheres to most surfaces. A six pack of labels (with five different label sizes) includes a one-year renewable subscription and is usually $14.99. KEH.com is currently running a special for 20% off, for a price of $11.99!
To find these labels on KEH.com, click here.
To read more about the ImHONEST system, visit their website at http://www.imhonest.com/
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
- Top 10 Uses for Wi-fi (That aren't just connecting to the internet)- See something familiar in this one?
- When the media steals your photos
- Camera Obscura in San Fransisco
- Make glow-in-the-dark photograms
- Light-painted city by over 50 photographers (and 3,000) flashes- In Spanish
- 10 Of The Best Photo Apps for iPhone
- Spring to Autumn Photoshop Tutorial
- How Annie got shot- (Annie Leibovitz + the photo industry now and then)
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
This camera is a compact, folding, plate camera which utilizes a Focal Plane shutter made from cloth. The focal plane shutter allows for a broad range of shutter speeds.
Features of the ICA Minimum Palmos:
-Lens shift and rotation
-Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 80mm or f2.7 lens
-Folding camera body
-Helicoid focusing front element
-Vertical cloth focal plane shutter 1/50-1/1000
-4.5x6cm- This size was not introduced until 1925 which was ICA’s smallest FP camera
* Available in EX+ condition, $599. Also comes with pack film back. Find it here.
- Patrick Douglas