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Posted 10/19/21
Matt Zefi shares his 10 fall landscape photography tips. As we head into autumn, it’s time to take advantage of the beautiful fall foliage! From photographing autumn leaves to waterfalls, from camera gear to settings, consider this your fall photography guide. Do you have any tips of your own for photographing the changing leaves and colors of autumn? Share them if you feel so moved, in the Comments section!
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Posted 10/20/21
Maria Perez goes behind the scenes to garner tips on how to plan a fall photoshoot! You’ll learn how to come up with photo ideas, what to pack, tips for what to keep in mind, and more! Please post suggestions, questions, or observations of your own in the Comments section!
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Posted 10/15/21
Peter Hurley divulges his technique for lighting headshots, discussing everything from which types of light to use to his signature lighting setup. What are your takeaways from this tutorial? Share them with us in the Comments section, below, along with your own secrets for lighting headshots.
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Posted 10/21/21
Sony’s latest full-frame mirrorless camera, the Alpha a7 IV, seeks to redefine what it means to be an all-around full-frame mirrorless camera. Inheriting a BIONZ XR image processor and AI-based AF from Sony’s Alpha 1 flagship camera while unveiling an all-new 33MP Exmor R image sensor, the a7 IV promises to be an attractive mid-tier entry into Sony’s full-frame mirrorless system. With special attention paid to advancing photo and video functionality, the a7 should appeal to hybrid creators looking for a camera capable of bridging the still-video divide with ease. Alongside the new camera, Sony has announced two new flashes: the HVL-F46RM and HVL-F60RM II wireless radio flashes.    Alpha a7 IV The a7 IV is built around a 33MP Exmor R back-illuminated CMOS sensor, which provides an instant boost in resolution over Sony’s existing entry-level full-frame cameras. Pushing the a7 IV further into new territory for what Sony describes as a “basic” camera is the inclusion of a BIONZ XR image processing engine, Sony’s most advanced to date and the same used by the Alpha 1 and a7S III cameras. Together, they provide 15 stops of dynamic range for accurate color rendering for still and video capture. Ready for nearly any lighting environment, the a7 IV has a native ISO range of 100-51200 which can be expanded to 50-204800 when shooting stills or 100-102400 when shooting video. The benefits of the a7 IV’s top-tier processor become especially impressive when considering the AF capabilities of this camera. Real-time Tracking locks on and keeps pace with fast-moving subjects, thanks to Sony’s latest subject recognition algorithm, which uses color, pattern, and subject distance to process spatial information at lightning-fast speeds. Sticking true to the all-around appeal of this camera, Real-time Eye-AF for humans, animals, and birds are all included to help lock focus across subject types. The a7 IV even quickly re-detects a subject’s eye after it has left and returned to the camera’s frame. Matching the Alpha 1’s 759 phase-detection AF points, the a7 IV boasts 94% image-area coverage to keep subjects in focus regardless of where they are in the scene. In low-light environments, autofocusing remains reliable down to EV-4 when using AF-S mode. Equally helpful when working in low light or shooting handheld is its 5-axis in-body image stabilization, which provides 5.5 steps of correction to keep image capture sharp. For scenarios that require absolute precision, AF Assist allows autofocusing to get you in range before letting you tweak focus manually to nail the exact plane of focus your image requires. Complementing the a7 IV’s advanced autofocusing is the Focus Map function, which allows you to pre-visualize depth of field and select the correct aperture to keep subjects in the focal plane of your lens. In-focus areas are displayed normally, while objects behind the plane of focus are displayed with a blue tint and objects in front of the plane of focus are displayed with a red tint. Another unique focusing function is Focus Breathing Compensation, which smoothes focus transitions to maintain a consistent field of view and composition when racking focus during recording. The a7 IV is capable of shooting bursts of images at up to 10 fps while using AF/AE tracking in either manual or electronic shutter modes. Two memory card slots provide expanded capture and backup options. Both slots accept UHS-II SDXC/SDHC cards; one slot also accepts CFexpress Type A cards. When paired with a CFexpress Type A card, the a7 IV’s buffer sits at a near-unbelievable 828 uncompressed raw files or the entire memory card capacity for all other file formats. Keeping with the theme of elevated performance, the a7 IV features a 3.68m-dot QVGA OLED viewfinder (1.6x the resolution of the a7 III’s EVF) for crisp and clear pre-imaging. Its refresh rate can be boosted from 60 fps to 120 fps when recording fast-moving subjects. Also, its 3.0" 1.03m-dot touchscreen LCD features a side-opening vari-angle design that’s great when working from high, low, or front-facing angles. In terms of video, internal 4K 60p recording is possible at 10-bit 4:2:2. To combat overheating, a graphite material has been incorporated into the image-stabilization unit, allowing continuous recording for more than an hour. S-Cinetone, adopted from Sony’s professional cine cameras allows you to achieve colors akin to the Sony FX9 or FX6 cameras quickly. Creative Looks are also available for quick application, cutting down on time in post. Embracing its identity as a hybrid photo-video camera, the a7 has incorporated a Still/Movie/S&Q dial to change quickly between shooting modes, and a total of 169 functions are assignable over 18 custom keys to further streamline use.    HVL-F60RM II (left) and the HVL-F46RM (right) Accompanying Sony’s latest mirrorless camera are two new wireless radio flashes: the HVL-F60RM II and the HVL-F46RM. The output of each flash can be linked to the face detection and WB settings of compatible cameras to simplify operation and speed up workflow. Full on-camera control is also possible when using select cameras so you can set up your light wherever you need it and control it from your camera. For capturing motion, the HVL-F46RM can produce up to 60 consecutive flashes at 10 fps or 320 flashes with a 2 second recycle time while the HVL-F60RM II can produce up to 200 consecutive flashes at 10 fps or 240 flashes with a 1.7-second recycle time.   What do you make of Sony’s latest mirrorless camera and flashes? Do you plan to add any or all of them to your collection? Share your thoughts in the Comments section, below!
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Posted 10/13/21
Sony has announced the FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens, an extensive overhaul of one of the most popular lenses in the G Master lineup. The upgrade boasts completely reconfigured optics, faster and more accurate autofocus, and a laundry list of practical improvements for still and video shooters. A favorite zoom of professional portrait, event, sports, and wildlife photographers, this bright, constant max-aperture lens works well for a wide variety of subjects. Inheriting lens tech from Sony’s super-telephoto G Master primes, the new lens boosts performance while simultaneously cutting back on weight. At 2.3 lb, it is 30% lighter than the previous model and claims the title of lightest large-aperture 70-200mm on the market. Collectively, it comprises 17 elements in 14 groups and includes an extreme aspherical (XA) element that eliminates distance-related aberrations, like onion-ring bokeh. Two ED and two Super ED elements have also been added to combat chromatic aberration for accurate image rendering. On the exposed elements, a Nano AR Coating II provides anti-reflection protection to temper flare and ghosting so you can use it in challenging lighting environments with minimal distortion. Corner-to-corner sharpness has been improved, providing the kind of resolution photographers have come to expect from Sony’s G Master line. With a minimum focusing distance a hair under 16" and maximum magnification of 0.3x, the new lens will get you closer to your subjects than its predecessor could. It’s also compatible with Sony’s 1.4x and 2x teleconverters to achieve the reach of up to a 400mm f/5.6 while retaining all communication and functionality. An 11-blade circular aperture produces smooth, natural-looking bokeh when separating subjects from their environments. Sony FE 1.4x and Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverters Not content to simply tweak optics, the latest G Master also features evolved autofocusing capabilities, making it four times faster and 30% more accurate than its past version. In order to achieve this feat, four extreme dynamic linear motors are used—two for each focusing group—making this the first large-aperture tele-zoom to feature such a design. Internal focusing permits fast, smooth, and quiet capture with less distraction when shooting, and floating elements are featured, too, for consistent sharpness throughout the focusing range. Previous Pause Next Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II Lens Sample Photos Videographers will appreciate reduced focus breathing, focus shift while zooming, and axis shift while zooming for consistent capture. Like other recent G Master lenses, the 70-200 includes a de-clickable aperture ring for smooth depth of field adjustments. A full-time DMF switch allows you to activate manual focusing when the focusing ring is used, even in AF-C mode so you can easily fine-tune capture. Linear response manual focusing enables intuitive and accurate focus adjustment, too. Optical image stabilization is available with the addition of Mode 3, which benefits framing stability for moving subjects. Physically, the lens incorporates a blend of new and old features. Focus, zoom, and aperture are all independently controllable for streamlined, on-lens adjustments. Three customizable focus hold buttons further expand on-lens functionality. Additionally, a focus limiter switch offers full range or infinity-to-3m for more efficient capture. An iris-lock switch is also incorporated into the lens barrel to revert adjustments to the camera body, preventing accidental on-lens changes. Dust and moisture resistance have been boosted around seams, buttons, and the lens mount so you can take this lens on assignment virtually anywhere with confidence. A fluorine coating on the front element protects against fingerprints, dust, and oil. Last, but not least, the new lens incorporates a refashioned lens hood that has an opening so you can adjust circular polarizer and ND filters, a flocked interior to prevent reflections, and silicone rubber on the front edge for added protection. Are you a fan of Sony’s G Master lenses? What would you photograph with its latest zoom? Share your thoughts in the Comments section, below.
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Posted 10/08/21
Canon Explorer of Light and wedding photographer Susan Stripling shares her tips on how to work a wedding photo shoot using the sun as your main light source. What are your tips for natural light photography? Share them with us in the Comments section, below.
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Posted 10/01/21
Go behind the scenes and in studio with Peter Hurley as he shares five headshot photography tips, from camera placement to directing your subjects. Are you a photographer who specializes in creating beautiful headshots? Share some of your tips with us in the Comments section!
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Posted 09/17/21
Want to capture a foggy forest, a soft sunset, or dreamy landscapes in general? Nature photographer Sapna Reddy teaches you how, sharing post processing techniques, such as perspective blend, the Orton Effect, and more. Are dreamy landscapes your specialty? Tell us about your own techniques in the Comments section, below. Click here to see our other articles on Landscape Photography.
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Posted 09/14/21
The day is finally here! Canon has, at last, unveiled its topflight mirrorless camera, the EOS R3. Combining assets from the EOS R5 and the flagship EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR, the R3 is a high-performance body built for speedy shooting, featuring fast and precise focusing, and sporting a robust, professional-grade body. It's the first 3-Series camera since the film era and introduces a wealth of new tech to Canon's mirrorless system, including an all-new stacked sensor, Eye Control AF, and a built-in vertical grip. Announced alongside the new EOS R3 camera body, Canon is also expanding its lens lineup with the introduction of the RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM and RF 16mm f/2.8 STM lenses. Relatively sleek and lightweight, these two lenses open up the RF lineup with more accessible choices at the wide and telephoto ends of the spectrum. EOS R3 The EOS R3 is Canon's top-tier mirrorless body and currently is positioned between the high-resolution EOS R5 mirrorless body and the professional-grade EOS-1D X Mark III. The R3 combines the best of these two models, taking the speed, reliability, and physical characteristics of the flagship 1D X Mark III along with the technological advancements, mirrorless design, and multimedia prowess of the R5. Canon EOS R3 Mirrorless Digital Camera Sensor and Processor While looking like a mixture of these two cameras, the EOS R3 does stand on its own with a variety of unique technologies, including a brand-new 24.1MP back-illuminated stacked CMOS sensor and an updated DIGIC X image processor. The stacked configuration of the sensor promotes faster readout speeds and reduces rolling shutter distortion to cater better to working with fast-moving subjects, and the BSI design is more efficient when gathering light, leading to cleaner image quality with reduced noise at higher sensitivities. Another key element of this new sensor is its optimization for use with an electronic shutter function; top shooting speeds of 30 fps are possible with a 150-frame buffer, a top shutter speed of 1/64,000 second is available, and flash sync at 1/180 second is even possible. If working with a mechanical shutter, continuous shooting at 12 fps is available with a buffer of more than 1,000 frames, and flash sync is possible up to 1/250 second. In most cases, the electronic shutter will be the go-to function, and can remain a silent shooting option, or you can program an audible noise to accompany each shutter click to make it easier for subjects to recognize when a photo has been taken. Complementing the updated sensor is a revised DIGIC X image processor, which helps to orchestrate many of the performance-oriented processes of the sensor, ranging from the fast continuous shooting to the AF, image stabilization, and video-recording capabilities. The sensor's capabilities also go on to boost the sensitivity range to ISO 100-102400 for working in a wide variety of lighting conditions. In terms of video, the EOS R3 holds its own in the mirrorless realm with 6K 60p raw 12-bit recording and uncropped 4K 120p recording. The 6K and 5.6K recording areas can also be used for oversampled DCI and UHD 4K shooting with improved sharpness, reduced moiré, and lower noise. All 4K recording modes can be used with 60p, 30p, and 24p frame rates, and there is also a choice of HDR PQ and Canon Log 3 settings, depending on post-production workflow needs. Unlimited recording times are possible, too, and the R3 features mic and headphone ports, as well as a micro-HDMI Type-D port for clean output to an external recorder. Autofocus In addition to continuous shooting and readout speed improvements, the new sensor also lends itself to an improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF II system, which now features 1,053 selectable phase-detection points along with automatic AF zones and enhanced subject detection and tracking. The AF system can now intelligently recognize eyes, faces, heads (including helmets), animals, and vehicles, and tracking will automatically lock onto these subjects and maintain sharp focus throughout burst captures. Something new to EOS digital cameras in general, Canon is also reintroducing Eye Control AF with the R3. This feature was a popular one dating back to the EOS-3 film camera days and has now been refined and tuned to work in conjunction with modern-day AF systems. This feature essentially allows you to use your eye to control where the initial focus point is, and then the camera will take control using subject tracking to keep the subject in focus. This feature will require you to "register" your eyes, and is activated simply by looking through the EVF, but will give shooters an even more intuitive means than a joystick for finding the perfect focus point prior to burst shooting. One final point of the AF system worth noting is that it is sensitive down to-7.5 EV, meaning accurate and responsive AF performance is possible even in nighttime conditions. Coupled with a silent electronic shutter, quick burst shooting, and IBIS, this makes this camera stand out in terms of photographing live music performances and other low-light activities. In-Body Image Stabilization Not a new feature to Canon, but still one worth pointing out, is the In-Body Image Stabilizer (IBIS) that helps correct camera shake when shooting handheld in difficult lighting conditions or with longer lenses. This 5-axis system in the R3 is the same one used in the EOS R5 and R6 and can be used in conjunction with lenses featuring optical image stabilization to compensate for up to 8 stops of camera shake, depending on the specific lens in use. Body Design The new sensor and improved AF are great, of course, but among the most dramatic changes the R3 brings is a wholly new body to Canon's mirrorless lineup. It's the first Canon mirrorless body to sport an integrated vertical grip, which means it has duplicate physical controls for easier shooting in vertical orientation, greater handling comfort all around, and it takes the same large-capacity LP-E19 battery as the EOS-1D X Mark III. Some other similarities to the 1D X Mark III: The R3 has the same dust and drip resistance, with fully sealed buttons, dials, and terminals; it features wired LAN connectivity via an Ethernet port along with standard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity; and there is an integrated GPS module for seamless location tagging. The revised body also houses the impressive 5.76m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder and vari-angle touchscreen LCD. The EVF is the same high-res model found in the R5 and is a bright, clear means for eye-level viewing. This viewfinder is aided by the fast readout speeds of the stacked sensor, too, offers blackout-free viewing when shooting with an electronic shutter, and supports a 120-fps refresh rate for realistic motion portrayal. Conversely, the 3.2" 4.15m-dot vari-angle LCD is perfect for working from high, low, and front-facing angles and sports a touchscreen interface for intuitive settings control. As you'd expect from a professional-grade camera, the R3 has dual memory card slots—one CFexpress Type B slot and one SD UHS-II slot—for file-saving flexibility. The CFexpress slot should be prioritized for 6K recordings and fast continuous shooting, but the SD slot is a convenient alternative for backups or less speed-critical shooting. Dual memory card slots—one CFexpress Type B slot and one SD UHS-II slot Finally, one final new bit of the tech the R3 is bringing to light is the Multi-Function Shoe. This next-gen take on a hot shoe essentially adds a row of pins at the front of the shoe for more intelligent accessory performance and functionality. To go along with the Multi-Function Shoe, Canon is also launching four additional accessories that take advantage of this new design. The ST-E10 Speedlite Transmitter is a compact, lightweight transmitter that controls all five independent groups across up to 15 Speedlites simply by pressing the menu button on the transmitter and then adjusting settings on the camera's LCD. This transmitter is 30% smaller and 50% lighter than the ST-E3-RT II and, since it is digital and is compatible with the Multi-Function Shoe, it is battery-free and uses the camera's own power.   The DM-E1D Stereo Microphone is a shoe-mounted external mic that uses the Multi-Function interface for power and for digitally connecting to the camera, requiring no cabling for sync. It has three directional modes depending on recording needs, including a Shotgun mode for focused recording and 90° and 120° Stereo modes for wide-area recording.   The AD-E1 Multi-Function Shoe Adapter helps you transition from existing hot shoe accessories to the new Multi-Function Shoe; this adapter maintains the weather-sealed features of the camera when using accessories like the Speedlite EL1, Speedlite 600EX II-RT, OC-E3, or other shoe-mounted accessories.   The AD-P1 Smartphone Link Adapter is compatible with Android smartphones and uses the mobile device's data connection and a Mobile File transfer app for seamless and wireless photo, video, and voice memo transferring to FTP/FTPS/SFTP servers directly from the camera. Takeaways That's a lot of information to take in, but let's distill this into some major takeaway points and see how the EOS R3 fits in Canon's growing mirrorless system. New 24.1MP stacked BSI CMOS sensor. The main point here is the stacked sensor configuration, which will greatly impact readout speeds for faster, more reliable continuous shooting and reduced rolling shutter for video and high-speed shooting. The 24.1MP resolution shows you that this camera is built for "working shooters," for lack of a better term; it's not high-res by any means, but a solid choice for those who are publishing their photographs, sharing their work, and need to move their images quickly. If you want high-resolution files, the R5 will still be your ideal choice, but if you want speed, the R3 is where it's at.   Enhanced Dual Pixel CMOS AF II and Eye Control AF. These are two of the most exciting updates to the system since they have a direct impact on the shooting experience. Canon is really going in on intelligent subject detection and tracking, and the Eye Control AF is simply a useful, intuitive tool for quickly acquiring that first focus point.   The video performance is pretty much what one would expect from a camera spec'd out like this; it's very strong but not necessarily groundbreaking. The R3 can handle video tasks in a professional manner and is obviously inspired by Canon's cine line of cameras. This is like the 24MP resolution in a way; not awe inspiring but very solid and exactly what is needed for reliable performance.   In-Body image stabilization is often overlooked and sometimes taken for granted, but it's hard to overstate how cool it is to get 8 stops of shake correction and be able to shoot handheld in truly low-light conditions.   Same EVF as the R5 and a higher-res vari-angle touchscreen LCD. These viewing mechanisms are at the cutting edge of what we're seeing in mirrorless cameras and should impress pretty much anybody, even optical finder diehards.   It's about time we see a mirrorless camera with an integrated vertical grip, and this looks like a strong example of how to blend strong ergonomics, fresh tech, and solid battery life into what's a surprisingly lightweight body. The EOS R3 seems to be just what Canon needed to reinforce its mirrorless system and feels like the right camera body for some of the more recent lens releases, like the RF 400mm f/2.8L and RF 600mm f/4L, which should feel right at home mounted on a camera like this. The R3 technically isn't Canon's "flagship" camera because that title still belongs to the EOS-1D X Mark III, but in the mirrorless world, the R3 is the current king. It's exciting to see Canon weaving the remaining distinctions from its SLR cameras into the up-and-coming mirrorless line, and it's also impressive to see how far mirrorless has come in just a few short years. New RF Lenses Today's announcement isn't all about the professional crowd because Canon is also releasing a pair of more accessible lenses aimed at current EOS R-series shooters. The RF 16mm f/2.8 STM and RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM are both relatively small and lightweight for their respective focal lengths and serve as perfect choices for adding a second or third lens to a growing kit. RF 16mm f/2.8 STM Beginning with the wide lens first, the RF 16mm f/2.8 STM is a special wide-angle prime simply because of its mixture of an ultra-wide focal length, reasonably fast optics, and a super compact form factor. It's important to call out that this lens is not a fisheye, and its rectilinear design will come in handy when photographing architecture, interiors, or broad landscape views. The f/2.8 aperture diaphragm makes it a solid choice for astrophotography applications, too, and it also features a 5.1" minimum focusing distance that is perfect for unique close-up shots with great depth of field. A stepping motor (STM) ensures smooth and quiet focusing performance, which is good for stills and video, and the control ring can be assigned to adjust focus manually or set to control a variety of other shooting settings. Previous Pause Next RF 16mm f/2.8 STM sample photos RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM The second lens being announced is the RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM, a telephoto zoom that seems to be almost diametrically opposed to the 16mm f/2.8, but in actuality is similar in intent. This long-ranging zoom features a modest maximum aperture range that helps to keep the overall size and weight relatively low, making it an ideal partner for day-long shoots or hikes in the wilderness. Similar in stature to the popular EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM for SLRs, this 100-400mm is a fresh take on a versatile everyday zoom. It has longer reach and an updated Nano USM focusing motor for more responsive focusing performance. Also, its Image Stabilizer works with Coordinated IS with EOS R-series bodies for up to 6 stops of shake correction for low-light handheld shooting. Previous Pause Next RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM sample photos Optically, this zoom features an Ultra-Low Dispersion element that reduces color fringing and chromatic aberrations and an aspherical element helps to boost sharpness and minimize distortion. Unique among tele-zooms, this lens also has a 2.9' minimum focusing distance at the 200mm position and 0.4x maximum magnification at the 400mm position, making it a surprisingly solid choice for close-up shooting. Additionally, for even more versatility, this lens is also compatible with the Extender RF 1.4x and RF 2x teleconverters for even greater reach. It's a big day for Canon with the release of a new professional-grade mirrorless body, four new system accessories, new sensor tech, new Multi-Function Shoe, and even the release of two new accessible lenses for the RF system. What items pique your interest most from Canon's huge unveiling? Are you excited about the top-end camera development? Excited to see new features and system tech? Or do these two highly usable lenses have your attention? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section, below.
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Posted 09/10/21
Documentary photographer Alison Wright shares five tips for photographing people. In this video, she discusses how she tries to capture the essence of who and where they are, and what they do, in an effort to tell their story. What are your tips for creating successful environmental portraits? Share them with us in the Comments section, below.
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