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 […]

Looking For Freedom

Let me first be clear. Anyone who knows me well would tell you I’m not a materialist and money is not my primary aspiration. I […]

5 Notting Hil Carnival

Just as the market is once again graced with higher resolution cameras, so too is the Internet awash with salivating consumers desperate to lap them […]

Modular Camera Concept

Having spent quite a bit of time talking to many other photographers, one of the discussions that comes up every once in a while has […]

Canon 7D Mark II

A comprehensive review of the Canon 7D Mark II DSLR with image samples, detailed analysis and comparisons to other cameras by Nasim Mansurov

Gitzo Traveler vs Systematic

When dealing with slow shutter speeds, a solid tripod is a must-have tool for eliminating camera shake and capturing sharp photographs. Although setting up a […]

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…

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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!

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

Professional Development: A Different “Rule of Thirds”

different rule image 8

As photographers who regularly visit photography web sites and blogs, we all seem to be driven by very personal commitments to learn new things and to improve. Over the years I’ve been using my own ‘rule of thirds’ – not as a composition technique – but as an approach to help me direct my own development efforts when it comes to photography. As is often said, “So much to learn, and so little time!” Basically my “rule of thirds” focuses on three factors that are always involved when creating images and can also help guide our development as photographers:

[Read more…]

Night Photography in San Francisco Tonight

Bay Bridge at Night

I know it is a last minute announcement, but if anyone in San Francisco area is interested in joining me for night photography tonight, we will be meeting in the parking area of the Treasure Island at 7 PM. We will start at Bay Bridge, then head over to other places to photograph the city. I was hoping to meet for a photo walk this coming weekend, but my wife will be arriving on Friday and we already have plans for the weekend…

So if anyone is up for it, leave a comment below. If you want to exchange contact info, use the Contact Us form please. Looking forward for some fun tonight! And some have already asked me, but there is no fee/cost to come! Don’t forget to bring your photos for some critique, if you are open for that of course :)

I will be heading out to Yosemite tomorrow and will be back on Friday evening. If anyone wants to join me, I will drive – have space for 3 in my car. Planning to do some landscape photography and will do my best to help you out with your photography (for free of course!). Let me know if you are interested – hotel rates are very reasonable right now (got my room for $69 per night). I apologize for posting this so late and I hope to see you guys tonight!

DxO ClearView Anti-Haze Adjustment First Impressions

DxO ClearView PL Image 3

The purpose of this article is to share my initial impressions of the DxO ClearView anti-haze function which is contained in the Elite Version of DxO OpticsPro 10 software. As many Photography Life readers know, I’ve been using DxO OpticsPro as my main RAW processor for some time. I started out using DxO OpticsPro 8, then upgraded to 9 in order to get the PRIME noise reduction function, then upgraded again to OpticsPro 10 in order to get speed improvements with PRIME, some enhanced Smart Lighting presets, and the new ClearView anti-haze function. With each upgrade I felt my money was well spent.

[Read more…]

Sony A7 II First Impressions

Bay Bridge at Night

Although I am planning to fully review the Sony A7 II, I decided to share some quick thoughts on this new mirrorless camera which I have been shooting with for the past few weeks and share a photo of the Bay Bridge that I captured at night. I am currently in San Francisco, testing the Sony A7 II with a few Sony / Zeiss lenses, along with the Canon 7D Mark II, which I am also planning to review when I get back (I know, I have been a bit late on that one).

[Read more…]

Under and Overexposure – A Beginner’s Guide

Under- and Overexposure_Correct Exposure Sample

In our continuous effort to cover all the photography basics, we’ve found ourselves looking for the simplest topics to write about. We already have articles on such subjects as the exposure triangle, what is a DSLR and how is it different to mirrorless cameras. Most recently we covered the ever-popular topic of crop-factors (in an easily comprehensible manner, no less) and a useful guide on using tripods. In this article, I will discuss the topic of under- and overexposure. Now, on one hand, there’s not much to actually discuss – a simple explanation of the terms is what interests most beginner photographers. But here is my slightly-absurd-at-first-glance introduction to the article – there is no such thing as under- and overexposure. Dead serious.

[Read more…]