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Video Tutorial – Tips for Making Dramatic Black and White Landscape Photos

21 Oct

Shooting for black and white requires you to see a scene and think a little differently. You’re looking for a contrast of tones, not color, and it can be hard to “see” in black and white if you’re new to shooting in monochrome.

Here is a short video with some practical tips you can apply to create more dramatic black and white landscape photos.

If you want more help with your black and white here are a few more dPS articles on the topic:

  • How to Enhance your Black and White images with Infrared Photography
  • 3 Simple Steps to Craft Better Black and White Photos
  • 6 Tips to Help You Make Better Black and White Landscape Photos
  • Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes in Black and White Photography
  • A Guide to Black and White Conversion in Photoshop

The post Video Tutorial – Tips for Making Dramatic Black and White Landscape Photos by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Photographer sues New York Times over age discrimination and ‘full-time freelancer’ status

21 Oct
Photo by Haxorjoe

The New York Times and its photography director Michele McNally have been hit with a lawsuit by former Times’ photographer Robert Stolarik. The lawsuit claims that Stolarik, age 48, was discriminated against due to his age, and was also misclassified as a ‘full-time freelancer’ for nearly a decade.

According to the complaint—which was filed on July 6th in New York and covered at that time by Bloomberg BNA—Stolarik began working for the Times as a photographer in Colombia in 2000, followed by additional work in Venezuela until 2002. Stolarik then resumed working for the Times in 2004, the legal document explains, ultimately resulting in nearly a decade of full-time work.

However, despite working full-time, the lawsuit claims that Stolarik was paid under a 1099-MISC form as a freelancer—a classification that deprived Stolarik of the benefits that would have come with full-time employment, including health insurance.

The complaint alleges that editors managed Stolarik in the same manner as employees, including giving specific start times for his assignments which regularly comprised 8-hour shifts. Stolarik claims that he was denied overtime pay for extended shifts and that he was not compensated for the time he was required to spend editing photos outside of his assignment hours.

The allegations continue from there, claiming that Stolarik ‘regularly sought’ a staff photographer position with the NYT, making his desires known both in writing and orally. Age discrimination allegedly prevented him from getting a full-time role with the company, though. The complaint states that “Stolarik was told on numerous occasions by various editors that he was too old” to get the staff position he sought.

One Times editor is accused of having asked Stolarik if he was under 30 years old, abandoning an effort to get him a staff position after learning that he was, at the time, 37. Another editor reportedly told Stolarik that he should be ‘concerned about’ his age in regards to his desire for a staff position, telling him on multiple occasions that he was too old to be an employee.

During his years spent freelancing for the Times, the lawsuit states that Stolarik’s requests for a staff role were ignored in favor of hiring photographers who were under the age of 30. The lawsuit also claims that the Times regularly gave assignments to its freelancers under the age of 30 versus its freelancers over the age of 30.

Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that the Times denied Stolarik assignments due to a wrongful arrest he suffered in the Bronx while on assignment for the company. Per the complaint, an NYPD officer had ordered Stolarik to stop taking photographs. The altercation resulted in Stolarik’s ‘violent arrest,’ which snowballed into the Times’ alleged decision to decrease the photographer’s assignments with the company.

Finally, the lawsuit also states that Stolarik’s lawyer sent a letter to the Times’ general counsel claiming that he had been discriminated against due to the arrest he suffered while on assignment, as well as his age. This complaint allegedly resulted in McNally ordering Times editors to stop giving Stolarik assignments altogether.

Among other things, the lawsuit seeks back pay, unpaid wages, overtime pay, and unpaid benefits in actual damages totaling at least $ 500,000, as well as compensatory damages, interest, costs and disbursements.

As Ramin Talaie points out on Medium, this lawsuit serves to highlight growing issues with the so-called ‘gig economy,’ which classifies workers as independent contractors despite work arrangements that may mirror that of employees. The classification gives companies a way to save money, but saddles the worker with self-employment tax while eliminating the protections and benefits that come from employee classification.

The full complaint can be read here.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Weekly Photography Challenge – Black and White Landscape

21 Oct

Landscape photography is a popular genre, but it can be hard to do it really well.

If you want to take your landscape images to the next level – try shooting some in black and white! There is some help here if you need it: Video Tutorial – Tips for Making Dramatic Black and White Landscape Photos. 

Photo by Yuriy Garnaev on Unsplash

Weekly Photography Challenge – Black and White Landscape

Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge. Sometimes it takes a while for an image to appear so be patient and try not to post the same image twice.

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

You can also share your images on the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Black and White Landscape by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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LEE’s new Reverse ND filters help you tame that bright horizon

21 Oct

LEE Filters has launched three new Reverse ND filters that are designed to reduce horizon exposure by up to 4 stops, helping you get ‘perfectly balanced’ sunrise and sunset photos.

What distinguishes a Reverse ND from a regular graduated ND filter is that the center of these filters are most opaque, becoming clearer and clearer as you ‘fade’ to the top of the filter. This makes them ideal for scenes where the sun sits close to the horizon. And unlike competing Reverse ND filters, LEE claims that its versions have an “extremely smooth and gradual” transition so that the resulting images don’t appear to have a strong dark stripe in the middle.

Here they are demonstrated by photographer Mark Bauer, who worked with LEE to develop this range of Reverse ND filters that he says, “do the job properly” without the harsh transitions he’s noticed when using other brands:

The new filters are offered in 0.6, 0.9, and 1.2 strengths representing 2, 3, and 4 stops of exposure reduction, respectively. As well, all three filters are hand-manufactured for 100mm, Seven5, and SW150 systems. LEE says its Reverse ND filters work best when used with lenses that are at least 24mm wide.

The filters are currently available for preorder at the following prices:

Seven5: $ 125 / £81.80
100mm: $ 175 / £114.34
SW150: $ 200 / £125.56

To learn more, head over to the LEE Filters website by clicking here.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Flickr switches photo book printing to Blurb, shuts down wall art

20 Oct

The photo sharing platform Flickr was officially acquired by Verizon in June and it appears we are now seeing the first changes after the takeover. On its blog Flickr has announced that it will cease to offer its existing photo book and wall art printing services.

However, printing for Flickr users won’t be completely shut down. Instead photo books using Flickr images can now be printed in numerous ways via the third-party service Blurb. To make this work your Flickr account needs to be connected to Blurb which then allows you to browse your Flickr stream in Blurb’s online book-making tool.

Book size, paper quality and image layout can be chosen and it is of course possible to add image captions and text. The final product can be distributed via Amazon, Ingram and the Blurb Bookstore. That said, there is no replacement for the wall art printing service.

Current Flickr Pro account holders get a $ 35 credit for their first Blurb order, and $ 35 when you renew your subscription (with a minimum purchase $ 70). Book or wall art orders that are currently in progress with the old system should be finished and sent before December 1, 2017. Afterwards your project will be lost.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Gallery: Fujifilm X-E3 sample photos

20 Oct

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The looks of a classic beauty in the body of a modern camera, the X-E3 is Fujifilm’s latest rangefinder ILC and also a lot of fun to shoot with. Sporting the brand’s latest 24MP sensor and offering the latest JPEG ‘Film Simulations,’ we took the X-E3 along on a tour of the town. Take a peek through our sample gallery to get a sense of what it is capable of, in terms of image quality.

See our Fujifilm X-E3 samples gallery

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Throwback Thursday: the Samsung NX1 is still impressive three years later

20 Oct

We usually dig a bit further into the past for Throwback Thursday, but decided to make an exception for the Samsung NX1. Announced just three years ago, the NX1 is the camera that still leaves us wondering what might have been had Samsung decided to remain in the camera market. Alas, we’ll never know.

On paper, the NX1 had impressive specifications; the camera that landed in our laps still felt rough around the edges and a bit, well… unfinished when it arrived. Samsung diligently improved the camera through a series of firmware updates over the following months, and the NX1 ultimately became a much more refined, responsive machine.

On paper, the NX1 had impressive specifications; the camera that landed in our laps still felt rough around the edges and a bit, well… unfinished when it arrived.

The ‘post-multiple-firmware-updates’ version of the camera delivered technical innovation, pro-level performance, and a fantastic user experience all in a single package, earning it one of the highest scores we had ever awarded to a camera at the time, and winning the 2015 DPReview Innovation Award.

In addition to impressive performance, the NX1 held up well in extreme conditions. When shooting in 0ºF (-18ºC) conditions the camera kept going as long as I did.

We highlighted this innovation in our review of the NX1, writing “One can almost imagine a group of Samsung engineers sitting in a conference room and having the spec sheets of every leading APS-C and four thirds camera dropped in front of them, along with a directive to outperform the whole lot. And here’s the crazy thing – to a certain extent they seem to have pulled it off.”

The NX1 was a mirrorless camera that looked and performed like a high-end DSLR. It included a hybrid AF system with 205 phase detect autofocus points covering 90% of the frame, and in burst mode could shoot up to 15fps. Impressively, in our testing the AF system was able to keep up.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

The AF system on the NX1 was very quick to keep up, even when shooting fast moving subjects at close range at 15fps in burst mode. In this example, the camera tracked Richard with a cloud of AF points that covered his body and the bike and kept him in focus, though there are minor differences in terms of where the camera focused on him between frames. Manually selecting an single AF point would have given us more precision. (Samsung 50-150mm F2.8 S at F2.8)

It also delivered the goods when it came to image quality. Built around a 28MP BSI sensor, it held its own against the best APS-C cameras of its day. The ISO-invariant sensor also made it possible to push shadows 5EV in post without paying any additional noise cost (when shooting at base ISO).

Even the ergonomics and shooting experience were excellent. It was comfortable in the hand, with most dials and buttons in easy to reach places. The bright and crisp OLED EVF had no perceptible lag (a common challenge back then), and was the first electronic viewfinder I really fell in love with. In our review I commented, “Once I started shooting with NX1 it was easy to forget that I was using an EVF and I just got on with taking photos.”

The NX1’s OLED electronic viewfinder impressed us with its bright, crisp image and fast performance. Its layout was also well-designed and easy to use.

The NX1 also excelled at video. Unlike many cameras – even some the ones we encounter today – there was no sense that video was wedged in to fulfill a spec sheet requirement. On the contrary, the NX1 was clearly designed with video in mind. The interface was excellent, included tools such as peaking and zebras, and the oversampled footage exceeded the quality of the Panasonic GH4, our reference camera for video at the time.

Ironically, the only major complaint we had about the NX1’s video was that it was a bit too forward looking.

Ironically, the only major complaint we had about the NX1’s video was that it was a bit too forward looking: it relied on the advanced H.265 codec, something that many computers and editing systems are just now beginning to handle well.

Samsung also gets a nod for having the first (and still one of the best) Wi-Fi + Bluetooth implementations we’ve seen.

Video on the NX1 was outstanding, exceeding the quality of the Panasonic GH4, our reference camera for video at the time. The user interface for shooting video was also good, taking advantage of touchscreen controls for many functions.

There seemed to be a lot of commitment from Samsung to getting the NX1 right, including numerous firmware updates that improved performance and added functionality over time. (A bit ironic when you consider the fate of the camera.) Let me share one behind-the-scenes anecdote about how all those updates impacted our review of the camera.

I actually wrote two entire reviews of the NX1. The first review was less than a week from publication when Samsung released a big firmware update; it included so many performance improvements and feature updates that I had to scrap the entire review, go back and re-test the camera, then write another one. The review you read on the site was actually the second one I wrote.

Despite its age, the NX1 is still remarkably competitive with today’s top APS-C cameras, and Samsung seemed to be investing a lot to develop a strong line of pro quality lenses as well. It’s interesting to think of what the camera market might look like today had Samsung not exited the business.

Samsung NX1 Sample Gallery

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Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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The Samsung 360 Round camera can capture 360° 4K 3D video at 30fps

20 Oct

Samsung has just unveiled an interesting new gadget at their annual Samsung Developer Conference. Meet the Samsung 360 Round: a 3D VR camera.

The new device uses 17 total lenses—eight horizontally positioned stereo pairs and one upwards pointing single lens—to capture and livestream 4K 3D panoramic video at 30 frames per second. Each camera module features a 1/2.8’’ 2MP sensor and F1.8 aperture. All of this is housed in a compact and rugged (IP65 water and dust resistance) uni-body that Samsung claims can handle all weather conditions.

PC software for controlling the camera and stitching is included, and the camera features a range of interfaces for connecting external microphones, storage devices and more.

“The Samsung 360 Round is a testament to our leadership in the VR market. We have developed a product that contains innovative VR features, allowing video producers and broadcast professionals to easily produce high quality 3D content,” said Suk-Jea Hahn, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics’ Global Mobile B2B Team. “The combination of livestreaming capabilities, IP65 water and dust resistance and 17 lenses makes this camera ideal for a broad range of use cases our customers want—from livestreaming major events to filming at training facilities across various industries.”

The Samsung 360 Round will be available in October in the United States, and should be introduced to other markets over time. Samsung says the camera is aimed at VR professionals and enthusiasts, and will be ‘reasonably priced’… although the company hasn’t yet specified exactly what that ‘reasonable’ price will be. For more information, visit the Samsung website.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Macphun responds to Lightroom CC release, teases its own photo manager

20 Oct
Macphun’s own Digital Asset Manager (DAM) is coming to Luminar in 2018… and it’ll be a free upgrade. Photo: Macphun

It’s no surprise that not everyone is exactly thrilled by Adobe’s Lightroom announcement. The end of standalone Lightroom, and the birth of Lightroom in the cloud, has a lot of legacy users looking for a new way to organize their photos into a perpetual library they don’t have to ‘subscribe’ to. There are already tons of options out there, but if you’re a fan of Macphun’s editing applications, take heart: the software company has their own solution in the works.

Earlier today, we heard from Macphun that they’re working on their own Digital Asset Manager (DAM), which will work with both hard drives and cloud storage platforms.

The Luminar photo manager’s single image view. Photo: Macphun

“It’s going to be a perfect tool for organizing and managing images,” says Macphun. “Moreover, users will be able to run it along with LR library to compare both DAMs side by side and choose which fits them better.”

Here’s a quick video ‘preview’ (read: teaser):

The DAM will be added to Luminar in 2018, and the best part of it all is that it will be completely and totally free for current Luminar users.

For now, those are all of the details we have, but if you’re unhappy with the latest update to Lightroom and you’re looking for an alternative DAM and photo editor combo, check out the preview above and keep an eye on Macphun in 2018.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Great Gifts for Filmmakers

20 Oct

Since DSLRs are used today for both photography and videography, the lines are becoming  more and more blurred.  Filmmakers may not be the easiest to shop for, especially if you are not a techie and cant tell 1080i from 1080p.  Here we try to make your choice easier by giving you a wide range of gift ideas for your favorite Continue Reading

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