Central Composition Image Sample-5

After my previous, slightly unorthodox article on improving your photography, here comes another one. And, as you may have guessed from the title, I am […]

Why do you enjoy photography-5

I have a simple question for you. Why do you enjoy photography? When I first asked myself this question, I thought, “Well, it’s obvious, isn’t […]

Improve Your Photography-1

As with every skill, be it conscious or instinctive, your ability to choose composition for any given moment you wish to capture improves with time, […]

leading lines image 5

One of the most important considerations any photographer makes is determining compositional lines in images they create. In this short article, I will be discussing […]

Portrait Sample #2

One of the most common mistakes I see when reviewing images submitted by our readers, or when reviewing portfolio images during our workshops, is a […]

using foreground elements image 9

Often when we are creating images, especially landscapes, we can get so focused on the main subject that we forget to think about incorporating a […]

Rule of Thirds Applied-4

Considering the rule of thirds is perhaps the most popular (certainly the best known) way of composing an image, but only a short while ago […]

JPEGmini Pro Review

JPEGmini Pro Total Space Saved

When providing high resolution images to our clients, or uploading images to this website, I often extract JPEG images between 70%-85% quality. Although some photographers often do extract their images at 100% quality, I rarely felt the need to do it, since file sizes get outrageously big, while the differences in quality are too small (and often impossible) to notice. I recently came across an interesting product by JPEGmini called “JPEGmini Pro“, which is specifically targeted at photographers like me that are looking for a good way to save space without losing image quality. By design, JPEG is a pretty compressed image format that was designed for the web in mind. It applies compression algorithms to reduce massive images in other formats like TIFF and offers the ability to use different compression levels. So when I first looked at JPEGmini Pro, I wondered how different it was compared to the JPEG engine used in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, the two programs I use the most to extract images. In this review, I will be exploring the Lightroom version of the JPEGmini Pro, which seamlessly integrates into my workflow without adding any complexity or unnecessary overhead.

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Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 APO Planar T* Announcement

Zeiss Otus 85mm f1.4 APO Planar T

Do you remember the bonkers Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 lens? If you’ve forgotten, here’s a quick reminder. With Otus lenses, Zeiss is basically trying to show the legendary brand’s worth. You might find that somewhat bewildering since most current Zeiss lenses for DSLRs are very, very good and worthy of the name. But with Otus, the German manufacturer wants to release simply the best lenses available for DSLRs from an optical standpoint. And so the first lens of the series was extremely big, heavy, complex and expensive, but also rather beautiful and astonishing optically. As anyone could guess, a 55mm lens with a price tag of $4000 is bound to spawn differing opinions, not least because Otus line-up is manual focus only. Suffice to say the new 85mm family member with the same impressive size, performance and a price tag of, as near as makes no difference, $4500 is going to be no different.

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Choice is a Beautiful Thing…

Nikon D610 vs D800E vs Df vs D4 vs D4s

Every once in a while, an article we post here at PL creates huge debates due to disagreements between readers and the poster, or between readers themselves on a photography-related subject. Sometimes such discussions lead to very productive results, with all parties learning something from each other. Other times, all we see is provocative and sometimes even insulting comments. One such article that contained a little bit of both was Tom Stirr’s recent post on post-processing difficult images. Before hitting the “Publish” button (and yes, I do personally publish every single article here at PL for different reasons), I already knew that it would spark up some discussions.

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What is a Decentered Lens?

Decentered Lens

A decentered lens contains one or more optical lens elements that are either moved or tilted from the principal axis of the lens. Such shifting or tilting of lens elements can potentially lead to blurring / softness of parts of the image due to divergence of light rays. While very slight decentering of optical elements can be observed in many lenses, especially on superzooms, severe decentering and tilting can render the whole image blurry, with the lens unable to achieve good sharpness across the frame.

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Post-processing Difficult Images

Working with difficult files Image 1

I recently spent a lot of time working with some quite challenging files to prepare my recent article “Photographing aircraft in flight with the Tamron 150-600mm”, and a Photography Life reader asked if I could share some of the details of the processing that I do with difficult files.

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Photographing Aircraft in Flight with the Tamron 150-600mm Lens

Photographing aircraft with Tamron 150-600mm (2)

On Labour Day weekend, I had the opportunity to go to the International Air Show at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto and photograph various aircraft in flight. I arranged for use of a new Tamron 150-600mm VC lens (see our detailed review) and used it with my Nikon D800. This article provides some thoughts on how that combination performed, as well as sharing some of the techniques I used to capture the images in this article.

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How to Make Autofocus Work in Extremely Low Light

Autofocus in Low Light

Have you ever been in a situation where light conditions were so poor that your camera would completely refuse to autofocus, with the lens constantly going back and forth “hunting” for focus? I am sure you have, since it is a very common problem. Sometimes you want to photograph your loved one in candle light, or snap a shot of your child blowing out candles on a birthday cake. Or perhaps, you are dealing with a DJ that decides to turn off all lights on the wedding dance floor, killing your chances of getting any shots in focus, even when you are fully prepared with flashes to light up your subjects. That’s exactly what happened to me and Lola last weekend when we were shooting a wedding. Lola came up to me and asked if there was anything she could do to make autofocus work again and I thought of an old trick that really does work when dealing with such situations.

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Zeiss Loxia Lenses Introduced

Zeiss Loxia 35mm f2 and 50mm f2

In a recent announcement, Zeiss introduced its new line of full-frame compatible lenses for mirrorless cameras. So far, with only one full-frame system available (not counting Leica M), the Loxia line is best suited to the Sony A7 and A7r, and consists of two prime lenses – the Loxia 35mm f/2 and 50mm f/2. It is interesting to note this line of lenses holds far more in common with ZM (that Zeiss for Leica M) than it does with the other recent lineup for mirrorless cameras, Touit.

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Photographing American High School Football

American High School Football (5)

Almost every American High School has a football team, and it is perhaps the major sport for all such schools. Homecoming is almost invariably scheduled for a week when the team has a home game. As such, this sport, perhaps more than any other, serves as a great opportunity for taking pictures. I normally shoot Football with two cameras: one with a zoom lens for the action shots, and one with a shorter fixed lens for the sideline shots. For cameras I used to use a D3S (action shots) and a D800E (candid shots), however I have replaced the D3S with a D810.

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Photographing High School Volleyball

Volleyball (1)

After the heat of summer, when students return to school in the United States, Volleyball is one of the sports played in the Fall season. It moves from being an outside sport, to an inside one. This is unfortunate, at least from a photographic point of view, since most High School gyms are poorly lit. However, even in these conditions, with some practice and the right equipment, you can still get good pictures.

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