Another year is over and it is that time of the new year when many of us go back and assess our personal successes and failures of the past year. While 2016 was surely an eventful year, we should be grateful to be alive and well, as many were not as fortunate. We have seen a number of both positive and negative changes that affected the world we live in today and how we will be living it in the future. But let’s not focus on the bad – after-all, keeping positive attitude and encouraging healthy, proactive thinking always leads to more fruitful results, especially in the long run. 2016 was a very busy year in the world of photography as well – a lot of new cameras, lenses and gadgets were announced. Nikon finally revealed the long-awaited Nikon D500 and D5 DSLRs, while Canon updated two of its high-end DSLRs with the Canon 5D Mark IV and the 1 DX Mark II. Pentax finally brought us the amazing full-frame K-1. Fuji, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Sigma have all been keeping busy as well, but the two that definitely stole the show last year were Fuji and Hasselblad, releasing “budget” interchangeable lens medium format mirrorless cameras – the Hasselblad X1D-50c and the Fujifilm GFX 50S, both under the $10K price tag. And when it comes to lenses, we have seen a slew of different lenses for all kinds of needs from all manufacturers, with so many great third party options. I have been barely able to keep up with all these announcements and although I have done my best to produce as many reviews as I possibly can, all the travel and projects I have been involved with ate up the bulk of my time, shifting my priorities significantly. I am grateful for all these opportunities, but above all, I am incredibly thankful for the amazing and patient community of readers and followers of this very site, which has been steadily growing year after year. But enough of this mumbo jumbo, let’s take a look at some of my most favorite photos from 2016!
Nighttime photography is something that a lot of photographers enjoy; I certainly do, along with countless others. Modern cameras can capture more detail at night than we can see with our naked eyes, revealing entire worlds that couldn’t exist otherwise. However, more than almost any other genre, night photography also challenges your camera equipment to its most extreme. In this article, I will go through some of the top lenses for Nikon cameras if you want to take pictures at night, including information about their low-light performance and depth of field. I cover 20 lenses in this article, so it’s pretty extensive — hopefully, you’ll learn something new about the equipment you need in order to capture good star and nighttime landscape photos.
If you’re like me the ending of one year and the beginning of another is a special time of transition. We have the opportunity to leave the past behind and move forward in new directions to discover what the future holds for us. Every life – like every road – tells a story.
Everywhere in the world, across the course of a year, the sun will be below the horizon just about 50% of the time. Although it can take a while for sunset to fade away completely, it’s safe to say that we spend a huge portion of our lives under dark skies. Normally, nighttime isn’t something that people equate with being awake, of course, but landscape photographers are strange people. In fact, moonlight and the Milky Way can lead to some of the best photos you’ll take, and they are well worth exploring with your camera. In this article, I’ll go through the characteristics that make some lenses better than others for star and nighttime landscape photography.
One of the biggest frustrations with Lightroom’s built-in watermarking tool, is the fact that it often ends up making watermarks appear too soft / blurry, especially when extracting smaller JPEG images. This happens due to Lightroom’s rather poor implementation of watermarking on images. Not only does Lightroom seem to apply sharpening to images before adding a watermark, but also, the resizing algorithm used by the software appears to be pretty bad. No matter what image dimensions one chooses, Adobe has not provided a way to turn off scaling in Watermark Editor, even if one provides transparent PNG / GIF images with the correct dimensions. For this reason, many photographers end up using Photoshop for adding watermarks to images, which certainly does take more time and effort, but certainly delivers much sharper results in comparison. After seeing poor watermarking results, I decided to look into alternative methods to see if there is a way to make watermarks sharper using the same tools. After some experimentation, I came up with two methods that ended up working well and that’s what I am going to share with our readers in this article.
While it seems that adding watermarks to images does little nowadays to deter image theft, watermarks can still be very useful for photographers and business owners for promoting their work and their brands across websites and social media. Unfortunately, for those who are just starting out, adding a simple watermark to images can be a rather painful experience, especially if they are not already familiar with the process using such software tools as Photoshop. Thankfully, Adobe has made it easy to add watermarks to images in Lightroom, allowing one to not only add a watermark to a single image, but also to apply it to all images during the export process, which can save a lot of time and frustration when dealing with batches of images. In this article, I will show how to use the built-in watermark tool that is readily available in Lightroom in order to quickly add watermarks to images.
Although we have already published a detailed review of the JPEGmini Pro software a while ago, a number of readers have reached out to me, asking how to effectively use the software, specifically when extracting images for clients from Lightroom. I have now been using JPEGmini for over a year and both Lola and I have been extracting images from Lightroom in a specific way to get the highest quality JPEG images to our clients, while retaining the smallest file size possible. Previously, we would extract everything at particular resolutions (typically 2048 for smaller JPEGs and full size for print) using 100% JPEG compression for the full sized images for the best possible quality, but extracting hundreds and sometimes even thousands of images turned out to be a headache when it came to storage and file transmission. With JPEGmini, we were able to continue delivering the best images to our clients, with a much smaller footprint. This resulted in both time and cost savings in the long run for us, as we did not have to deal with time-consuming uploads and large USB drives. In this article, I will show how both Lola and I we have been utilizing JPEGmini as part of our Lightroom workflow.
As a photographer and a photography business owner, I go through a number of activities at the end of each year to close it out, just like many businesses do when performing year-end activities. These activities have become an essential part of my photography workflow, allowing me to continue using a very consistent and reliable method to not only store and archive my images, but also to be ready for future data growth and potential hardware changes. If you have not yet considered year-end activities for your photography, I would recommend to give the below article a read and see if it would suit your workflow. Basically, I have developed a set of procedures that I run on either December 31st, or the first few days of each new year to ensure that my data stays consistent, secure and fully backed up. Most of these procedures highlighted below are related to my current post-processing software of choice, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, but if you run any other software, you should be able to run through similar steps to make sure that you are set for another year of successful shooting.
The title of this article closely resembles a Tarantino movie (and I originally wrote this close to Halloween weekend), but this is another story. It is a story that speaks of lenses, filters and the people behind them. And it describes the difficulties of doing a review when time and the weather aren’t cooperating with you. What you will read is not like a classic review of the new IRIX 15mm f/2.4, but something slightly different. It may deviate from a “normal” technical review, but I think you’ll still get a really good idea of what I think about the lens.
Depth of field (DoF) is one of the most important concepts in photography. Understanding what DoF is, and knowing what factors affect it, are things all photographers should master. Many photographers know that you can control DoF by adjusting aperture. But did you know that DoF is influenced by other factors too? In this article, I want to explain in simple terms what depth of field is and talk about the ways you can control it.