Amiens Cathedral

Zoom lenses are convenient, as everyone knows. I’d imagine that the vast majority of us started our photography with a simple 18-55 kit lens – […]

Horse Head

Astrophotography is a hobby rapidly gaining popularity thanks to the fast advancing CMOS sensor technology. Over a decade ago, the light recording material employed in […]

Verm-arches-moab-3806

If there was a 100 MP DSLR announced tomorrow, I would pre-order it, then spend many sleepless nights waiting for it to arrive. I’d suffer […]

Image Resolution Comparison

Although the megapixel race has been going on since digital cameras had been invented, the last few years in particular have seen a huge increase […]

Recommended Canon 7D Mark II Settings

Canon 7D Mark II

Being a specialized tool for sports and wildlife photography, the recently announced Canon 7D Mark II is a popular choice among many Canon shooters, thanks to its impressive 10 fps continuous shooting speed, a sizable buffer, high-end 65-point AF system and a solid weather-proof build. Along with these pro-level features, the 7D Mark II comes with numerous buttons and a sophisticated menu system that can be pretty overwhelming for even intermediate-level photographers. To help guide our readers through these features and menus, we decided to share the settings our team has been using on the camera during the past 3 months while testing the camera. Please keep in mind that the below information is provided as a guide for those that struggle with the camera. While this particular configuration has been working great for our needs (mostly based on wildlife and landscape photography), it does not mean that it is the only way to properly setup and configure the camera.

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Photographing Birds on the Niagara River with Nikon 1 70-300mm Lens

PL Niagara birds image 2

As a brief follow up to my Photographing Tundra Swans with Tamron 150-600 article, this piece features a small selection of bird-in-flight images taken along the Niagara River with a Nikon 1 V2 with the Nikon 1 CX 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 lens.

It is important that I state up front that I really struggled deciding to even write this article as the image quality is not up to the standard that I prefer to show to readers. Unfortunately trying to shoot white birds on greyish backgrounds accentuated the Nikon 1 system weaknesses and the lack of dynamic range is very apparent. I finally decided that since the images represent what can be expected under these particular shooting conditions that the images (hopefully) would still be of value to readers. As I stated in my review of the Nikon 1 CX 70-300 lens shooting birds in flight can be a challenge with the Nikon 1 system. People buying a super telephoto lens with the express intent of shooting primarily birds-in-flight are likely to be better served by using a DSLR combination. [Read more…]

Recommended Nikon D7100 Settings

Nikon D7100 Front Buttons

I am in the process of reviewing the Canon 7D Mark II for which I had to borrow the Nikon D7100 to compare image quality and other camera features, so I thought doing an article on the recommended settings for the D7100 would be useful to our readers. Although the Nikon D7100 is not a direct competitor to the 7D Mark II (many are still waiting for a D300S replacement), it is still a solid camera that is used for a variety of different needs by many photographers. And despite its crippled buffer capacity, the D7100 is often used for both wildlife and sports photography needs. Since the camera is rather sophisticated in terms of its capabilities and features, having many different menu and settings, it can look rather overwhelming for a beginner. In this article, I want to provide some information on what I personally use and shortly explain what some of the important settings do. Please do keep in mind that while these work for me, it does not mean that everyone else should be shooting with exactly the same settings. The below information is provided as a guide for those who just want to get started with a basic understanding of the camera and its many features.

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Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 VC Lens Released

Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 VC Lens

Back in September last year, Tamron announced the development of a rather interesting wide-angle lens. Not only does it feature a very useful focal length range for landscapes, architecture and documentary style photography, but also allows a fairly wide aperture of f/2.8 and image stabilization. The lens has now been officially released in three mounts – Nikon, Canon and Sony (Vibration Correction is omitted for Sony variant). At a fairly reasonable price of $1200, it ever so slightly undercuts the Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 VR lens (which also happens to be slower), significantly undercuts Canon’s 16-35mm f/2.8L II lens and matches the cost of the 16-35mm f/4L IS.

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Colorado Fall Colors 2015 Workshop Registration Now Open!

Nikon D750 Sample Image (33)

We are once again happy to announce the Colorado Fall Colors Workshop, which will be taking place in one of the most picturesque locations in the world, in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. A number of our readers have been inquiring about this workshop already, so after working out the schedule, I decided to open up the registration and provide some details about the workshop. This photography workshop will take place from September 24-27, so we are adding an extra day to the workshop to see and photograph more beautiful locations in the area. Get ready to learn a lot, shoot a lot and enjoy quality time with like-minded people that share your passion. And best of all, we will be doing it in a vacation-style environment, not in a typical hotel!

UPDATE: WORKSHOP IS FULL

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Travel Diary Part One: First Flight

Ataturk Airport_Istanbul (8)

What little I saw of New York was as overwhelming as I thought it would be. And then some. But that is not where it all started for me, oh no. See, my dear readers, I have an embarrassing secret to tell you. For some of you, it will not be in any way special, whilst others will find it mildly amusing. Certainly, when one of the friendliest and most fun people I met in New York, a brilliant guy named Mark, heard me say it, his immediate response was – “I don’t know how to talk to you.” I laughed and for a while, he just stared at me in surprise. Wholeheartedly hoping the same fate will not strike you, here is the ever so slightly shocking truth – this trip was not only my first trip to New York. Or the US. Or somewhere to the West of Lithuania. It was also, among all these things, my first ever flight. In other words, my first ever big trip just happened to be to New York City, by plane, over eight thousand kilometers away from home – that’s five thousand miles – and every single bit of it, every moment, was new and special to me.

Oh my, the things I am about to write now…

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Why Bother Shooting RAW If You Are Culling JPEGs?

1866_UE

What do you think is the possibility, when you are choosing and sorting images based on the JPEG previews, that you are going to discard the better-quality image, and keep the lesser-quality one? Let’s take a look at a typical “training” shot for a holiday – noon of a sunny day, blue Ionian sea, bright white limestone pebbles, bushes with dark-green, high-detail leaves (which lose all detail if the shot is underexposed), deep shadows under the bushes. These types of scenes typically have a very wide dynamic range. We will see later, however, that the real range of the shot we are examining is pretty much only 8 EV, if the exposure is technically correct.

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Photographing Tundra Swans with Tamron 150-600mm

tundra swan in flight image 4

It always amazes me how I can live in an area for so long and be completely unaware of some fascinating image subjects. Thanks to Ray Miller, a local Photography Life reader, I had the chance to photograph a small group of Tundra Swans in their winter migration home on the Niagara River in Ontario.

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Going to Antarctica – Part One

Weddell Sea

After having some experience with seabirds in Scotland, Norway, Canada and Alaska we wanted to watch and photograph penguins in Antarctica and the sub Antarctic islands: But how to get there? There is no possibility of individual travel in and around this huge continent. So after some research we decided to use a cruise ship as a base for our travel plans. Fortunately in 1993 we were asked to share a book project on Antarctica by a German (Munich based) publisher. They had already sent a photographer to Antarctica and needed text material on nature, ecology and species accounts. Both of our studies we cramped with scientific stuff on exactly these topics. So we did half of the books text. The other half – a text essay – was done by a well known travel author. This book appeared during spring 1994 sold very well. So we used it to appeal for jobs as bilingual biology and geography lecturers on the German- an US-managed ship “World Discoverer.” We were invited to come to the agency in Hamburg and… we got our favourite trips!

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Exposure Stops in Photography – A Beginner’s Guide

Exposure Stops_Sample 2

There is so much duality in photography. On one hand, it’s the light and the subject, it’s the story we tell and the story the viewer sees, it’s a feeling, an emotion, a state, a symbol, a metaphor. Sounds poetic, doesn’t it? On the other hand, it’s pure science, every single bit of it – from the said light traveling through a complex lens design, all the way to the scene being imprinted whether on a piece of light-sensitive film or, temporarily, on a digital sensor. And that scientific part of photography brings all sorts of terms with it, terms that may not be necessary for the creative process, but as far as skillful execution goes, you can’t do without understanding them for very long. A painter needs to know his brushes at some point, right?

And so we are back to covering basics, something you surely must have noticed. In this article, I will talk about yet another, confusing-at-first-encounter term used in photography, more specifically – exposure stops. I will try to explain what they are and how stops of different exposure parameters – shutter speed, aperture and ISO sensitivity – correlate, as well as give you examples of what are considered to be regular stop values of each parameter, and what are full, half and third-stops.

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