Sometimes it is quite amusing to observe the impact of the social media world on our youth. With the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and Tumblr dominating the daily lives of people today, it seems like the younger generation is only concerned about getting more likes on their next “duck-face” photo, their thigh gaps, or a selfie in front of a major landmark. They know more about what the Kardashians wore for the Met Gala event than what the Pythagorean Theorem represents. We see them every day, everywhere; visit any popular hot spot and you will surely be surrounded by a herd of selfographers. And each time you revisit, it seems like their numbers multiply in geometric progression, spreading faster than plague. It is the generation of the self-obsessed. What’s worse, the selfie culture has become such a norm in our society, that it has already begun to spread to the older generation as well.
We had quite a few of our readers engage in our last “How Was This Picture Made #9” article for the image of the Sokullu Mehmet Pasa Mosque that I posted from my trip to Istanbul, Turkey. While some of the readers did a great job at giving a description of my shooting environment and even correctly guessed the location, the camera and the lens I used for the shot, none of the readers correctly identified the specific challenges I faced when photographing the scene. And to be honest, it would have been nearly impossible to identify those challenges by just looking at the photo, since it is the final, processed version. Let’s go through all the steps that will reveal everything I did to capture and process this image.
B&H Photo Video is hosting a huge sale on the Nikon D610, D750 and D810 full-frame DSLRs. In addition to the current instant savings ($500 off D610 / D810 and $300 off D750), you will get a free battery grip with each camera (retail Nikon version, not a third party grip!), along with a third party battery (Watson EN-EL15), a SanDisk memory card and a Ruggard Commando 36 DSLR Shoulder bag (all worth up to $460 in savings). And lastly, you will also receive a 4% reward from B&H in a form of a gift card, which you will be able to apply towards future purchases.
During the past few weeks our friends at KeepSnap have been going through the many entries submitted by PL’s readers and finally chose a winner of the PL + KeepSnap lens giveaway. I have just received information regarding the #1 prize winner and I am happy to announce that Karl Kiili will be taking home an 85mm f/1.8 lens and a Spyder5 Express calibration tool!
Istanbul is one of the most magical cities of the world. Divided between Europe and Asia, Istanbul straddles the Bosphorus strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. With its rich history and diversity, it is without a doubt one of the most popular cities of the world to visit. Although I had previously been to Turkey once in my teenage years (which included a sightseeing tour of Istanbul), coming here feels like home. Perhaps because I used to be fluent in Turkish and hearing the language reminds me of my childhood, or perhaps it has to do with my memories of attending a Turkish high school in Uzbekistan. Whatever the case, I love the beautiful country of Turkey and I absolutely adore the magnificent Istanbul. Last night Lola and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary at one of the rooftops close to the Sultanahmet Mosque, also known as the “Blue Mosque” and as we were dining, I noticed the moon rise from the left side. I grabbed the Fuji X-Pro2 with the 56mm f/1.2 lens and took the below photo of the mosque.
Iliah Borg and his team at LibRAW have been working hard on a major update to my favorite image culling software FastRawViewer (FRV). Today, the team released the final 1.3 version of the software and this time the updates are truly exciting! Now FRV sports an awesome grid mode, so that you can quickly go over your images just like you can in Lightroom. In grid mode, you can perform all kinds of file management functions such as copy/move (including move to “Rejected” folder) and image functions such as changing file orientation, setting labels and ratings (you can even set ratings and labels on multiple images at once!). Once you pick an image for viewing, you can double click on it to switch to image view and perform all the functions like zoom in to 1:1 view. There are many new features such as focus peaking, highlights inspection mode and sharpening for display, along with performance improvements and other changes to the core software. Overall, this is a huge update for everyone who has purchased FRV and if you have not tried it already, it is about time for you to take a closer look at FRV!
One of the biggest privileges I have of running Photography Life, is meeting wonderful people all over the world. Some of them I get to meet through photo walks, some through workshops and others I meet online, with the hope of meeting them face-to-face one day. Except for my friend John Bosley (who I met locally at a photo event), I met the rest of our team online – through this very website. Most of them started out as readers, but as we got to know each other via comments, emails and other phone conversations, they eventually joined the team of talented writers because they had the urge to do something amazing, which is to share their knowledge with the rest of the world. As of today, we have over 1600 articles, close to 300 reviews and we will soon reach 100,000 reader comments (yes, we are planning to celebrate the 100K commenter!). I have recently posted my 1000th article and Tom Stirr will soon be publishing his 100th article. And today, we have another gifted individual who will be joining our team – Vaibhav Tripathi. Or should we call him Dr Tripathi? After-all, he did get his PhD from Stanford University!
I might be visiting Portugal at the end of May this year, so I wanted to reach out to our readers in Europe to see if anyone would be interested in joining me for a photo walk. It will be a free event and it is not only a great opportunity to meet and get to know each other, but also an opportunity to take and share some pictures. I love Photo Walks, because I get to meet so many amazing people all over the world. Being able to connect with people who share the same passion is truly a wonderful experience. And if I can help someone out along the way, that’s even better! Please join us for another photo walk in the beautiful country of Portugal! As with any other photo walks we have hosted in the past, please bring all the photo questions you have, along with your portfolio of images. It will be my honor and pleasure to go through your images and help you become a better photographer. And if you don’t feel like doing it, or you are amazing already, please do come still – perhaps we can all learn from you! Having hosted a number of photo walks in the past, I have learned so much myself, that sometimes I wish I organized such events more often.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, due to planning and other unforeseen issues, the trip to Portugal has been cancelled.
Our 2016 Colorado Fall Colors Workshop just got a few extra spots available due to cancellations, so if anyone is interested in joining, please register as soon as possible. While there is still plenty of time before the workshops kick off, I am trying to help out with all the reservations ahead of time, so that we don’t have to worry about them later. This year I am doing something different – instead of conducting two identical workshops like last year, I will introduce two different levels. The first workshop (September 23-26) will be tailored towards beginner to intermediate-level photographers, so it will be ideal for those who are just starting out, or have been shooting for a few years and need help with gear, post-processing and composition. The second workshop on the other hand (September 28-October 1), will be targeted towards more advanced photographers, who are very comfortable with their gear, know their way around in post-processing and want to enhance their knowledge further.
UPDATE: Only 1 spot left for the September 23-26th workshop!