Nikon D800 / Canon 5D Mark III Giveaway

Our team at Photography Life is happy to announce our new Nikon D800 / Canon 5D Mark III Facebook giveaway! We are giving away a brand new Nikon D800 or a Canon 5D Mark III DSLR (your choice). This giveaway is open to anyone, not just US residents.

Photography Life Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III Giveaway

To enter the giveaway, click the above banner or follow the following link to our giveaway page:

Photography Life Nikon D800 / Canon 5D Mark III Giveaway

If you have a mobile device, please use the following link instead:
Photography Life Nikon D800 / Canon 5D Mark III Giveaway (mobile)

Here is how to enter this contest:

  1. Visit the giveaway Facebook page
  2. Click “Like” to reveal the entry form. If you are already our fan, the form will automatically appear.
  3. Type your email address in the form – we only need it to contact you so that you can claim your prize.
  4. Once you click “Enter”, you will be entered for the giveaway. Only 1 entry per person.

Some restrictions apply to non-US participants:
Some countries have tax and other regulations for camera equipment, while others are extremely expensive to ship to. While we will do our best to ship the package internationally, if the cost of sending the package is extremely high or if there are other complications, we will have to give a choice to the winner – either to pay for all the extra expenses, or accept a $3000 gift card from our trusted partner B&H Photo Video.

We will announce a random winner on October 1, 2013. Good luck!

We Need Your Support!

If you have been reading some of the articles during the last couple of days, you might have noticed that we now have a text box under each post that is asking you, our dear readers, to support Photography Life. I am not going to repeat the same message since it is on the bottom of this post, but in summary, we need your support to continue operating the website ad-free. We also want to grow bigger by adding more contributors, which means more unique content, and running routine contests / giveaways that will add more readers and expand our reach.

Support Photography Life Large

There are multiple ways you can contribute. The simplest way to help us out, is by buying your gear from our trusted affiliates B&H Photo Video and Adorama. Both B&H and Adorama ship internationally, however, if you have tough tax laws for packages coming from the USA, then please use the links below for specific countries:

  1. Amazon Canada
  2. Amazon UK
  3. Amazon Germany
  4. Amazon France

Buying from our links costs you nothing, does not change the price in any way, but it does help us a little by giving us a small percentage of the sale. Whenever you need to purchase any sort of camera gear, please use our links!

If you feel that we deserve more for our efforts, you can also donate money. You can do it as a one-time payment, or you can pledge on a monthly basis with options from $5 per month to $100 (monthly support would be ideal, since it would give us a monthly budget to work with for various projects). If you would rather use PayPal for donations, please use our PayPal one-time donation or PayPal subscription forms instead.

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Photography Life 2013 Workshop Schedule

We have been receiving a lot of requests from our readers regarding our workshop schedule for 2013. I apologize for not being able to publish any of the dates earlier. Aside from being incredibly busy, my biggest issue was planning around the summer season and making sure that I do not over-commit for the upcoming weddings and other photo shoots that Lola and I have been planning. As usual, the goal is to do the workshops after the summer season in September and October, so that the workshops do not conflict with the working schedule of our readers, some of whom are working pros.

Workshops and Dates

This year we will be offering great educational sessions for a number of different topics. Here are the dates for the upcoming workshops:

  1. The Fundamentals of Photography (Beginner) – September 14, 2013 ($100 – FULL)
  2. The Fundamentals of Photography (Intermediate) – September 15, 2013 ($100 – FULL)
  3. Post Processing – September 21, 2013 ($150 – FULL)
  4. Landscape Photography – September 28-29, 2013 ($600 – FULL)
  5. Flash Photography – October 5-6, 2013 ($300 – Canceled due to conflicts)

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Lightroom Q&A Session Updated

A week ago, I started a Lightroom Q&A Session where I offered to help you solve any problems you may have with Lightroom and answer other questions. I was delighted to see some many inquiries and hope that I managed to help out at least some of you. I’ve just finished updating the article with more answers. I did my best to contact some of you in the comments section in earlier updates. Those who still haven’t heard from me personally, please see the updated article.

Lightroom Q&A Session

I haven’t had the chance to answer all the inquiries – there is still about a dozen questions waiting for my attention. I will try to comment on the remaining issues as soon as I can, it has been a tough week in terms of workload. Any additional questions are still welcome. Thank you to all those who helped!

Lens Database Updates

We have been working hard on building the lens database during the last few weeks, so I would like to apologize for not being able to provide updates, reviews and new articles on the site. We want to make the lens database as comprehensive and as useful as possible for our readers, which is why we have been putting a lot of our effort into it. Thanks to your valuable feedback from our announcement, we have made significant changes to the database and added a few great features:

Photography Life Lens Database
  1. We added close to 100 new lenses to the database (Leica, Samyang, Kenko, Voigtlander, Zeiss)
  2. We now have a separate rating for infrared performance of many brand and third party lenses (Nikon, Canon, Sigma, Olympus, Panasonic, Tamron, Tokina and Zeiss). When looking at most of these lenses, you will now see a separate line that says “Infrared Rating”. For now, we only have three rating categories: Good, Mixed and Poor. We might expand on this in the future, if we start testing for IR performance of lenses. Big thanks to Bob Vishneski for this idea. Many of the lens ratings are based on Bob’s feedback and research.
  3. The main “Lens Database” page now has some filtering options. You can filter lenses by Brand, Mount, Lens Type, Format, Price, Title, Focal Length and Release Date. We do not have advanced search capabilities yet, but that will be coming soon.
  4. Lenses are now listed by focal length instead of title.
  5. We created a comprehensive “Lens Index” that shows a listing of all lenses in the database.
  6. Our lens reviews have not been fully integrated into the database yet, but a number of lenses have been changed with sample images and our rating. Once we complete this, we will enable the feature to sort by lens rating.
  7. We had some issues with data on a number of lenses. Thanks to your feedback, we were able to fix them all.

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Please welcome Laura Murray!

I am excited about presenting a new addition to our Photography Life family – please welcome Laura Murray! Laura is a very talented wedding photographer from right here in Denver, Colorado and she will be joining our team to share her beautiful work along with some useful tips and techniques on how to photograph portraits and weddings.

Laura Murray

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Announcing the Lens Database

We have been incredibly busy during the last few months, working on building our very own Lens Database. As of today, the database contains 400 lenses and we are continuously working on adding more lenses from different manufacturers. You might be wondering about why there is a need to have our own database at Photography Life, when there are plenty of them on the Internet. After I went through a dozen different sites about a year ago, I realized that most sites contain very little information about lenses. While manufacturer specifications are mostly there, such important data as lens construction and MTF charts is typically missing. On top of that, very few sites provide image samples from lenses – images are often too small to look at even on a mobile device.

Photography Life Lens Database

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Nikon D7100 Giveaway Winner

Today we are announcing the lucky winner of the Nikon D7100 Giveaway that we hosted until April 5, 2013. We had about 7500 candidates, but unfortunately, only one of them gets to win the camera. Rafflecopter, the platform we used for this contest generated a random number for us from the final list of candidates and the winner happens to be entrant #3818.

Nikon D7100 Giveaway

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Nikon D7100 Giveaway Reminder

Well, the month of wait is nearly over. The winner of Nikon D7100 will soon be announced, with only 8 hours left to submit entries. If you haven’t yet taken part, hurry, not much time is left! You can enter the contest by clicking this link – the rest of the rules are also listed there. We want to remind you that leaving a comment under this article is necessary, but leave only one – multiple comments will result in disqualification. Make sure to type your real name and email address and write what you are planning to do with the D7100 once you win it.

Nikon D7100 Giveaway

An important notice: It looks like many of the participants of our giveaway are not following the instructions correctly. A number of participants are clicking the “I’m a Fan!” button in the giveaway without first “Liking” our Facebook page. Please keep in mind that you must be a fan of our site and B&H on Facebook in order to qualify for this giveaway. If you have already done all three steps to enter the giveaway, please click the “edit” link where it says “Easy entry for all photographylifeblog fans” and click the small “Like” button.

Some of our readers also reported that their comments were not accepted and the system marked the comments as spam. Please make sure not to include any links when you leave the actual comment and make sure that the comment has a couple of sentences. Leaving a single word might mark the comment as spam.

Instagram More Popular than Ever

I’ve never been much of a fan when it came to Instagram and the currently popular “artistic filter” trend many photo-editing software developers as well as camera manufacturers tend to include with their products. Perhaps because I saw such one-click manipulations contradictory to the word “artistic” – they’re too accessible, too wide-spread. To such an extent, in fact, that there’s often no input from the actual person behind the image left. You could go as far as say most of the images enhanced with the mentioned filters look as if they were made by one person, and not thousands and millions who took those photographs. I find such filters, when used by masses of inexperienced photographers, rob their work of anything other than basic, technical look, character of the filter used. There’s no artist left, no person, no photographer, just the simple, instant effect of the filter. “Artistic”, in my dictionary, stands somewhere close to “unique”. It’s hard to call something unique when it’s used about a million times every day. Or more. Possibly much more. As if that isn’t enough, most of the time these filters are used to turn mediocre photographs into something that’s “deeper”, with a concept, with an idea behind it, even if it’s yet another “duck face” (a rather funny terminology) portrait. In the same way as some people use B&W conversion just because it looks more “artistic”. The look – whether it’s a grainy, high-contrast B&W or one that distorts color in an attempt to mimic cross-processing from film days – covers up all imperfections (often with different, aesthetically pleasing imperfections). You look at the image and you see effects, not the content. The filter fools you if you allow it to. It’s sometimes rather hard not to be fooled, frankly, given the fact that there are indeed some awesome images on Instagram.

Instagram (4)Instagram (2)

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