Archive for May, 2020

Fujifilm X-T4 vs X-H1: should you upgrade or hunt for a bargain?

31 May


Fujifilm seems to be hinting that the X-H1 wasn’t a one-off. But in a reality that’s still waiting for an X-H2, and given the X-T4 isn’t conceptually very distant from the original X-H1, it’s reasonable that some X-H1 owners might consider upgrading to Fujifilm’s newest image stabilized stills and video camera.

Alternatively, there do seem to be a few unsold X-H1s still available if you dig around.

So what does two years (and nine days) of progress look like, for Fujifilm’s most video-centric models? Is it worth the upgrade or is now the time to bag yourself a bargain?


Image stabilization is pretty much the defining feature of both cameras. The X-H1 was Fujifilm’s first attempt at in-body stabilization and is built on a larger system than the fully electromagnetic design used in the X-T4.

Initially Fujifilm used the optical stabilization systems to provide pitch and yaw correction when an OIS lens was attached to the X-H1, leaving the in-body system handling translational movements and roll. However, with firmware 2.00, this was changed to use optical and in-body stabilization simultaneously to correct pitch and yaw, which saw a huge increase in the rated correction with some OIS lenses.

The X-T4 builds on this, with the new system typically a roughly 1EV higher rating than the X-H1 can, with either a prime or zoom lens attached. Unless you regularly shoot at extreme shutter speeds, this is most likely to mean that more shots are steady, which is a benefit that’s sometimes difficult to appreciate, since it’s difficult to notice an increased absence of shaken shots.

Prime lenses* OIS zooms
X-H1 5.5 EV 5.0-5.5EV
X-T4 6.5 EV 5.5-6.5EV**

* Excluding the 80mm F2.8 Macro, 90mm F2 and 200mm F2, which are rated around 0.5EV lower
** Zooms rated as 5.0EV on the X-H1 are rated at 5.5 or 6.0EV on the X-T4. Zooms rated 5.5 on the X-H1 are all measured at 6.5EV on the X-T4.

Video stabilization

In video, both cameras are somewhat prone to slightly ‘grabby’ motion if you try to pan slowly, as they aren’t always good at distinguishing between shake and intentional movement. This issue was partially addressed on the X-H1’s with firmware 2.00 and is now very similar to that of the X-T4 in this regard.

The difference that is likely to be noticeable is that the X-T4’s IS system is quieter than that of the X-H1, which can sometimes make its presence felt if you capture audio internally.

The X-T4 also has a ‘Boost IS’ mode, which attempts to correct all movement, helping to give more steady results for hand-holding what are supposed to be ‘locked-off’ shots.

Headline video specs

The X-H1 boasted a strong video spec relative to the time it was released, but the X-T4 significantly exceeds it.

The biggest change is that the X-T4 can capture 10-bit footage internally, whereas all the X-H1’s modes are 8-bit. This difference is most noticeable when shooting Log footage. Log gamma distributes the available data values relatively evenly between the brightness levels you’ve captured, to retain as much flexibility as possible when you color grade the footage. Having 1024 values (that’s the ’10-bit’ part) to encode your capture, rather than 256, gives you scope for more adjustment before posterization starts to appear.

The other obvious spec change is that the X-T4 can shoot 60p 4K footage, whereas the X-H1 tops-out at 30p. 60p can convey fast motion more effectively than slower frame rates, and can be slowed-down to give a 1/2 or 2/5ths speed slow-motion effect.

The X-T4 also gains an All-I compression option, which saves full data about each frame, rather than just the differences, maintaining better quality, especially in scenes with lots of movement. This includes a 400 Mbps H.265 option that’s just one of the higher bitrate modes offered by the X-T4, above and beyond the 200 Mbps H.264 capture of the X-H1.

Finally, the X-T4 has a means of monitoring audio, which the X-H1 body lacks. The newer camera comes supplied with a USB adaptor dongle for attaching headphones, whereas X-H1 owners need to buy a battery grip to gain this function.

Uncropped video

One of the biggest changes in video capability might not be obvious from the spec sheet. The X-H1 uses a 1.17x cropped region to shoot its 4K footage, while the X-T4 uses the full width (there’s a similar crop to the X-T4’s 60p mode, but the X-H1 can’t shoot 60p).

This may not sound like a big deal, but it means that a 16mm lens on an X-H1 ends up behaving more like a 29mm equivalent lens than a 24mm equivalent. It makes it more difficult to find genuinely wide-angle options.

By contrast, the X-T4’s 4K uses an angle of view that’s much closer to the one in stills mode (the shift from 3:2 to video aspect ratio narrows things a little), meaning that the lenses designed to be wide for stills remain wide for video. In turn, this means less lens swapping and less need to buy wider lenses just for video shooting.

Better video interface

Fujifilm has been progressively improving its video interface since the introduction of the X-H1. Both cameras have an onscreen interface that can be controlled with the touchscreen, joystick or rear command dial, but the X-T4’s variant is larger, to make touchscreen operation easier. The X-T4 also lets use use the camera’s command dials to set exposure while in Movie Optimized Control mode. That may not sound like a big change, but it makes everything that bit quicker to use.

The X-T4 also lets you resize the AF point in video, allowing you to be more precise about which object you’re tapping to pull focus to.

In addition, the X-T4 gains a view assist mode that gives a Rec709-like preview when you’re shooting Log footage, making it much easier to visualize what the final result will look like.

But perhaps the biggest productivity benefit of the X-T4 over the X-H1 for anyone shooting both stills and video is the provision of a dedicated switch for jumping between the two modes. In part because it’s easier to operate quickly, without accidentally selecting the wrong drive mode, but also because it allows the complete separation of the stills and video menus, so that you only encounter stills-related settings in stills mode, and vice versa. This frees up space in both, allowing separate tabs for timecode and mic setup, rather than everything being bundled into a solitary video tab.

Battery life

Another big difference that will be pertinent to both stills and video shooters is battery life. The X-H1 uses the older NP-W126S battery, which has a capacity of 8.7Wh. The X-T4 has a larger NP-W235 battery which offers 15.8Wh.

As those numbers imply, this makes a big difference. The X-H1 is rated for 310 shots per charge if shot using its rear LCD and 300 through its viewfinder. The X-T3, meanwhile, is rated at 500 shots per charge, despite having a higher-resolution rear screen. And, while it’s common to get many, many more shots than this, depending on your usage, we’d generally expect this roughly 5:3 ratio to indicate better endurance from the X-T4 for most people’s usage.

Another notable difference is that, while the X-H1 can be charged over its (Micro B Superspeed) USB port, the X-T4 can be charged or operated using power to its Type C USB socket.

Battery grip

The other power-related difference between the two cameras is the role played by the accessory battery grip.

On the X-T4, the grip provides room for two additional batteries, adds some portrait orientation controls and beefs-up the front grip of the camera. This extends battery life and provides a more solid foundation for portrait-orientation shooting, but isn’t needed to expand the camera’s core capability.

It’s a different story with the X-H1. In addition to those other benefits an add-on grip usually provides, the VPB-XH1 adds a headphone socket as the only way of gaining audio monitoring on the X-H1, and boosts the shooting rate of the camera from 8 fps to 11 fps when using its mechanical shutter.

Stills shooting

On the stills shooting side of things, the X-T4 gains two generations of improvement in AF speed, eye-AF and focus tracking performance. This may not sound like a lot, in the light of our recent X-T4 review, but much of what counted against the X-T4 was that some of its peers have got so good. Side-by-side with its forebear, the X-T4 is significantly improved.

Beyond the improved algorithms, the X-T4 also benefits from having phase detection AF elements spread across its entire sensor, allowing depth-aware focus almost anywhere in the scene. By contrast (hah!) the X-H1’s phase detection is restricted to a central square covering just over a third of the width of the sensor.

The X-T4 also shoots faster than the X-H1: 15 fps with its mechanical shutter and 20 in e-shutter mode, as opposed to 8 fps and 14 fps for the older model. The X-H1 could up its game to 11 fps, mechanical, if used with the battery grip, but it won’t match the hit rate of the X-T4.


The one area in which the X-H1 isn’t outdone is in terms of handling, mostly because there are distinct differences in their outward design.

The older X-H1 has a more pronounced grip, making it more comfortable to hold with larger lenses. It also has a top-plate settings LCD, which some photographers really love. This comes at the expense of the X-T4’s dedicated exposure compensation dial, instead demanding you press a button or assign the feature to a command dial.

The X-H1 has an extremely sensitive shutter button that, again, some users love (and which can be adjusted, for a fee, if you don’t), mounted on a downward sloping platform, whereas the X-T4 has a vertically-facing shutter button with threading for a cable release.

Both cameras have AF-On buttons on the back, for those that like to ‘back-button focus’ but the X-T4’s is more prominent, whereas the X-H1’s sits next to a raised AEL button (the functions of these two buttons can be swapped, though, so it’s mainly the risk of accidentally pressing the wrong button that differentiates the two approaches).

Rear screens

One of the most divisive differences between the two cameras is the arrangement of their rear screens. The X-H1 (right, in the picture above) has a 1.04M dot (720 x 640) display mounted on a two-axis cradle, while the X-T4 has a 1.62M dot (900 x 600) panel on a fully articulating hinge.

The X-H1’s arrangement is excellent for photography, and can be tilted up towards the user both in the landscape and portrait orientation, while remaining on-axis with the lens. This is great for composing oddly-angled images with the camera positioned above or below your usual shooting position.

The X-T4’s fully articulated screen tends to be the preferred option for videographers or vloggers. Its position away from the axis of the lens demands better spatial awareness when aligning off-angle shots, but it also has the benefit that the screen can be folded in towards the camera for protection.


It’s impressive is how far Fujifilm has progressed in two years. And I don’t, personally, think that’s because of any shortcoming on the part of the X-H1.

There’s a sense in some quarters that the X-H1 was prematurely abandoned by Fujifilm when, as the last model of its generation, it didn’t get all the features introduced with the X-T3. But comparing its v2.00 IS behavior and performance to its original state, you could almost argue it got a taste of X-T4 tech, over a year early.

Overall, the X-T4 pushes things forwards in almost every respect, even if it’s not necessarily meant as a like-for-like replacement. And it does so with a list price $ 200 lower than the X-H1 at launch.

If you can find an X-H1, it’s still a fine camera, especially if it’s at an appropriately good price. But the X-T4 is more capable in almost every respect and to a degree that will be an appreciable improvement across a wide range of photographic and videographic situations.

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8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos

31 May

The post 8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.


Adobe Lightroom is the preferred RAW editor for many photographers. It’s user friendly, yet has many powerful features to help you get the most out of your photos. Here are the core Lightroom retouching techniques to get more out of your photographs.

Lightroom Retouching Techniques

1. Start with your histogram

The histogram is the first step in retouching using Lightroom. It mathematically represents the tonal range of a given photograph. The tonal range considers all the tones between the darkest part and the lightest part of your image.

Lightroom Retouching Techniques

The histogram maps out the brightness area in the photo in grayscale. Black is situated on the left side of the histogram, while white is on the right. You can find all the shades of grey in between. Every shade has a scale of brightness values. For a standard JPG image, there are 256 different recorded values of brightness, “0” being pure black and “255” pure white.

Learning how to read your histogram is important because it will tell you whether your photo is properly exposed or not. If you have pixels touching the very ends of your histogram, your photo is either underexposed or overexposed

Unfortunately, you can’t recover these missing details with Lightroom retouching techniques.

2. Choose the correct Color Profile

Lightroom Retouching Techniques

Before you start the retouching process, you should decide on a color profile, as it will make a significant difference in the color and contrast in your photo.

You can find the Color Profiles in the Basic panel. You can choose from Adobe profiles or from color profiles from your camera.

Lightroom Retouching Techniques

3. Get a base with the Tone Curve

Before making exposure adjustments in the Basic panel, it’s a good idea to get a base with the Tone Curve.

The Tone Curve is a graphical representation of the tones found throughout your image. By making tweaks to the curve, you can influence the look of the shadows and highlights.

I recommend starting by lifting the curve at the midpoint when in the Point Curve. This will boost the midtones and contrast, which looks attractive in most images.

Pull the curve down in the bottom quarter of the curve to deepen the shadows. These simple tweaks can make your image immediately look more dynamic.

Lightroom Retouching Techniques
Mid-tone lift in Tone Curve.

If you’re new to the Tone Curve, you might be more comfortable starting with the sliders in the Region Curve. This won’t give you as much control as the Point Curve but will help you make significant changes to the aesthetic of your image.

Once you’ve made other edits to your image, you can come back to the Tone Curve for further tweaks.

Retouching is a process of building and assessing, so you’ll most likely have to jump around from one panel in Lightroom to another until you get a look that you’re satisfied with.

Lightroom Retouching Techniques
Tone Curve for apricots image.

4. Tweak the Basic Panel

Lightroom Retouching Techniques
the Basic panel

The next step is to correct your White Balance.

Keep in mind that White Balance can be set in-camera to be 100% accurate, or can be used creatively if you’re not striving for a correct white. For example, if your style is warmer in tone, you can push your white balance above 6000+ to give it a golden look.

I kept my image on the cooler side because I wanted to bring out the blue and emphasize the complementary color choice to make my apricots pop.

Once you’ve made the best white balance, make any necessary edits to the Highlights, Shadows, and Whites and Blacks in the Basic Panel.

If your image doesn’t look correctly exposed in these areas, you can then adjust the exposure. However, I don’t recommend starting there. It’ll boost the exposure in all those areas, which may not be what the image needs.

5. Layer Contrast and add Vibrance in the Presence Panel

When retouching in Lightroom, I recommend using the Vibrance slider instead of Saturation.

Vibrance lifts the mid-tones. Saturation boosts all the color in the image, which can make it look unnatural and clownish. If you do choose to use the Saturation slider, watch how it affects your picture as you move the slider. A maximum of +10 is usually more than enough.

Be sure to add a bit of Clarity, which will boost the contrast in the image. The best retouching is often the result of layering various effects at low numbers, rather than adding a high amount of any one tool, such as Contrast.

To create contrast, you can use a combination of Contrast, Clarity, Texture, and the Tone Curve. Even a touch of Dehaze works great for a lot of images.

6. Adjust color in the HSL Panel

Lightroom Retouching Techniques

Color has a huge impact on your image. Color is an aspect of composition and crucial to the aesthetic of your photography. The HSL panel in Lightroom is where you will do the most color treatment.

Unless your aesthetic is quite warm, you might want to bring the orange saturation down a bit in your photos. It tends to look too strong. Also, pay attention to the Luminance sliders and use them instead of Saturation to control brightness, as they control the brightness of individual colors.

Lightroom Retouching Techniques
Before and After Lightroom Retouching – Shot at F9 on 50mm at 1/200 1SO 100

7. Try Split Toning in the highlights and shadows

Split Toning is a Lightroom tool that you can use to great effect when it comes to Lightroom retouching techniques. Split Toning adds color toning to the highlights and shadows individually, based on luminance.

However, note that a little goes a long way.

To add split toning, hold down the Alt/Option key while you move the sliders for Highlights and Shadows. This will allow you to see the variations for each color and pre-visualize how it will look applied to the image.

Dial-in as much saturation as you feel appropriate for the image. This is usually a low number. A small amount is often all you need to make your images more dynamic.

Split-toning is sometimes overlooked or used with too heavy of a hand, but with a subtle approach, it’s a very effective Lightroom retouching technique.

Lightroom Retouching Techniques

8. Enhance with local adjustments

Local adjustments are applied to a localized area in an image rather than globally. They only affect the part of the image selected. This allows you to fine tune your photo and have more control over your final result. You can use them to correct problem areas or to create a certain effect.

The local adjustment tools are:

  • the Graduated Filter
8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos

The Graduated Filter is for filtered effects and creating evenness throughout the image.

  • the Radial Filter
8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos

The Radial Filter helps you easily isolate subjects for retouching.

  • the Adjustment Brush
8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos
8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos
Layer your local adjustments to create targeted and powerful results.

The Adjustment Brush helps you create masks for localized retouching by brushing them on.

  • the Spot Removal tool
8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos

The Spot Removal tool gets rid of blemishes or small objects in the image. The Adjustment Brush is for creating free-form masks, while the Radial Filter is used to isolate subjects.

Range masks have been added to three of the local adjustment tools to allow you to target color and luminance.

The key to enhancing your images with local adjustments is to use a combination of the tools for subtle adjustments, as well as adjusting the opacity or feathering of the tool to create subtle transitions.

Using local adjustments is one of the most powerful Lightroom retouching techniques.


You’ll get the best result in Lightroom by layering the different tools. For example, don’t just use the Contrast slider to add contrast and call it a day. Layer the contrast with small adjustments to the Tone Curve, Dehaze, and Clarity for a subtle and effective look.

Every photographer develops a workflow that works effectively for them. Hopefully, these core Lightroom retouching techniques will help you fine-tune your editing process.

If you have any other Lightroom retouching techniques you’d like to share, please do so in the comments section.

The post 8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

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Adobe’s new video series offers helpful Lightroom CC, Mobile tips in 60 seconds

31 May

Adobe has started up a new video series on its Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube channel called In a Lightroom Minute that condenses helpful Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile tips into tutorials that are roughly 60 seconds in length.

Similar to its previous Lightroom Coffee Break and Photoshop Magic Minute series, In a Lightroom Minute covers a variety of small tips and tricks, from How to Save Edits as Presets in Lightroom to How to Leverage Interactive Edits in Lightroom.

Currently, there are ten videos in the series, but it’s likely we’ll see more added in the near future. Below are just three you can start with:

How to Create a Preset in Lightroom

How to Get Contextual Help While Using Lightroom

How to Discover Guided Tutorials in Lightroom

You can view the full playlist and subscribe to the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom channel on YouTube.

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How to Publish a Photography Zine to Promote Your Photography

30 May

The post How to Publish a Photography Zine to Promote Your Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Matt Murray.


Until a couple of years ago, I’d never considered publishing a photography book or zine. Years ago, the self-publishing options weren’t very attractive to me: they were either expensive and complicated or offered templated cookie-cutter style books that didn’t appeal.

In recent times, new publishers specialising in short-run zines have sprung into the marketplace, making it much easier for photographers to get their work into print. Inspired by other photographers producing zines, I have just published my own. Here is my guide on how to publish a photography zine to promote your photography.

What’s a zine?

A zine is a self-published booklet of images and text, often produced in limited edition print runs. The word zine (pronounced zeen) is derived from both the word magazine and also the word fanzine – unofficial publications produced by fans of a particular movement in popular culture. Zines were usually put together by hand, then photocopied and stapled.

Every Summer photography zine
Copies of my first film photography zine Every Summer. I also had limited edition art print postcards created to celebrate the launch.

These days the term zine is commonly used to refer to any short-run booklet of photography and/or images. There are so many creative choices that you can make when you publish a photography zine. The look and feel of the final product are up to you, and the lines between a zine and a book are often blurred.

For example, my first photography zine Every Summer is perfect bound, meaning the pages are glued together into the spine without a staple. It’s full-color, printed on uncoated paper, and the cover has a smooth laminate finish. It falls somewhere between the extremes of a do-it-yourself stapled zine and a high-end coffee table book.

So now you know what a zine is, your next question might be, why publish a photography zine? I’ve outlined a few reasons below.

Seeing your images in print is magical

One of the most frequently said things about photography in the digital age is that we’ve ended up with tens of thousands of images on devices and hard drives that are hard to access and view. There’s nothing quite like having an image in your hands – whether it’s an instant photo, a print, or your own book or zine.

Every Summer photography zine
Close-up of my first photography zine Every Summer. Holding it in my hands for the first time was magical.

Seeing my first photography zine in print was so much more satisfying than seeing images on a computer screen. Creating a zine also ties together the set of images as a collection, with a single narrative throughout. A zine is a perfect way to showcase your images to others.

Use a zine to promote your photography

Publishing a photography zine is a fantastic way to promote your photography. A zine could be used as an alternative to (or in addition to) your digital offerings.

I recently showed my first zine to a professional photographer friend and he said it was a really interesting concept he’d consider for promoting his wedding photography business.

In this digital age, a zine could be a way of standing out from the crowd by providing something tangible people can hold in their hands that promotes your photography.

Creating a zine as a tool for personal growth

Publishing a zine is such a rewarding project. As a photographer, there are many other skills you’ll potentially need to learn or improve to get your zine into production. Design, editing, writing, printing and marketing: these are just some of the skill sets you’ll use.

Once you create your zine, you can send it to your favorite clients, give it away to leads at events and shows, and, of course, send it as a gift to family and friends. You never know who might end up seeing it.

Publish a photography zine
Blurring the lines between a zine and a book, my first self-published work “Every Summer” is perfect bound.

Creating a zine is also addictive – once you create your first, you’ll no doubt be thinking of your second. So, if you’d like to publish a photography zine, where do you start?

Zine ideas

The concept of most zines or books revolves around an idea. Your zine could be made up of images from a road trip, a wedding, your favorite city, or your neighborhood.

A zine could also show off a photographic style, a personal project, tell a story through images, or be a showcase of your best work. It can also be a combination of all of those things or none of them – it’s up to you.

My first zine is a collection of images that I took on the Isle of Wight in England. When I reviewed the images in the weeks after my holiday, I felt there was a certain magic to them, so I decided to put together a zine.

It’s also becoming increasingly common for photographers to collaborate on zines together, typically with the same subject or style in mind.

Choose your images

Choosing and editing your images is a process in itself.

It’s not necessarily about choosing all the best images but choosing images that work well together and continue a narrative throughout your publication. For example, there were some images that I loved from the Isle of Wight, but there didn’t seem to be a point in the zine where it made sense to include them, so I left them out in favor of other images.

Publish a photography zine
The first 20 pages of my zine Every Summer in a contact sheet view. Choose images that work well together and continue a narrative. Also, note the double-page spread on pages 6-7.

Some people find it beneficial to print out small copies of their images and arrange them on the floor to work out an image order. I tried this approach, but I found that it just left me with a stack of paper to put in the recycling bin. I found it easier to rate images in Lightroom and then drag them onto pages in InDesign, where I could play around with the layout.

To add text or not to add text?

There are two schools of thought around adding words to a photo zine or book. The first is that the photos should do the talking and everything else is a distraction. The second is that well-thought-out text adds context to the images and makes it a more rewarding experience for the reader.

Generally, I fall into the latter school of thought.

I decided to add passages of text to my zine for one simple reason – I wanted to introduce locations by recounting anecdotes from when I visited these places on the Isle of Wight. These passages detailed what attracted me to photograph those locations.

Every Summer film photography zine by Matt Murray
Adding text throughout my zine gave me the opportunity to provide context to the locations I photographed on the Isle of Wight.

Either way, it’s commonplace to write an introduction at the start of your zine or book. This should introduce yourself to the reader and explain your motivation behind producing the zine and your relationship to the images.

For example, in my photography zine Every Summer, I reflected on my relationship with England, my home for over a decade, and how travel photography has influenced the style of images I take. In my introduction, I also added my contact details so readers could send me feedback about the zine.

Zine design

The design of your zine can be as simple or as complex as you like. Some online publishing companies have their own software that makes it as easy as possible for you to choose a layout, drag and drop photos, and add some text.

With other zine publishers, you can create your own design in software programs like Adobe InDesign and then upload them as a PDF for printing. Always make sure you read and understand the instructions your printer gives you about document set-up and exporting your publication – especially with regards to the quality of your images, color space, page bleed, and margins.

Of course, you can also work with the book module in Lightroom too.

Publish a photography zine
Many pages in my zine follow a standard layout. This is broken up by double-page spreads and full-page photos throughout the zine.

Creating your zine in InDesign also gives you the flexibility to produce an electronic PDF version of your zine to distribute to people. You can also do that with the first option, but some online publishing companies charge an extra fee to download a PDF copy of your work. You can also create a PDF version in the Lightroom Book Module too.

Whichever road you go down, remember that simplicity is often at the heart of good design. Try and stick to a standard way of displaying your photos throughout the book, with the occasional breakout from that design for a double-page spread or full-page photograph.

Simplicity should also be front of mind when working out your choice of font. Don’t choose too many fonts to work with and always make sure they’re easy to read. For my photography zine Every Summer, I chose two fonts.

Publish a photography zine
Part of the introduction to my first photography zine. I explained who I was, my motivations for putting the zine together, and my relationship to the subject matter.

For headings, I chose a retro font that captured the spirit of the 1970s. This matched the subject matter of some of my images such as the retro ice-cream van and the seaside pier at Sandown. For body text, I used a typewriter-style font that is easy to read, and also conveys some of that retro charm.

Print vs screen

Looking at images on a screen is not the same as looking at images in print. Digital images are usually in the RGB color space, which has a wider color gamut than the CMYK color space used for printing. Our screens are also back-lit, so often digital images look brighter and more saturated than images exported for print.

At some stage, your publication will be converted to the CMYK format. Some online publishers do this process automatically for you, but if you are uploading a PDF to a printer, they will typically ask you to supply a PDF in the CMYK color space. Always check with your printer on the exact settings to use.

Seeing your images in the CMYK color space for the first time can be a bit of a shock: it has a narrower gamut than RGB, which means that not all colors from the RGB color space can be displayed when printed. This means some colors may look slightly different in the printed version. For example, the vivid blues, yellows, and oranges of the ice-cream van on the front of my zine are not quite that vivid in the print version, but they’re close.

Publish a photography zine
Laying out images and text for my zine in Adobe InDesign. A lot of people shy away from InDesign, but it really isn’t difficult to pick up, especially if you’re familiar with Adobe Photoshop.

Zine format and size

When you publish a photography zine, you will also need to decide on the dimensions of your zine and how many pages it will have. Remember, the more pages your zine has, the more expensive it will be to produce and potentially ship to customers.

For my first zine, I chose a square 210mm by 210mm format (just over 8 inches). I’d seen a friend’s zine using the same dimensions and it felt like a good size to me. Square pages also have an advantage: they suit portrait-orientation images, landscape-orientation images, and square images.

Another consideration is the type and weight of paper you want your zine printed on. There is usually a range of types including satin, gloss, uncoated, and even recycled. Many publishers will send you a sample of their papers for free. This sample pack will also help you decide on the weight (thickness) of different paper stocks.

Publish a photography zine
Many online printers offer a wide range of choices for your publication.

Final review

When you’ve finished your layout and have a zine ready to publish, check everything as many times as you can. After you’ve completed your checks, ask a trusted friend to do the same. I made one small error with my zine and it still annoys me. As it turns out, a couple of people I sold my zine to didn’t even notice it.

If you’ve never printed anything before, you can also get in contact with your printer to ask for their advice on your publication. For example, you could ask them if the images are good enough quality to print, if the layout will work, if you’ve done the page bleed and margins correctly, and if you exported your PDF in the correct color space.

When you’re satisfied that everything is correct, it’s time to print.

If you’re a little nervous about the final product, order the smallest quantity that is financially practical. This will give you the opportunity to check you’re happy with everything before another print run.

After that, it’s time to show your zine to the world! I’ve sold my zine via my website to friends, family, listeners of my podcast, and others in the photography community. For the launch, I even had some art print postcards created featuring three images from the zine as a bonus for my customers.

Every Summer film photography zine by Matt Murray
Exporting my zine from Adobe InDesign. Find out what settings you should be using from your printer for the best results.


I hope this article has been helpful for those wishing to publish a photography zine. Self-publishing can be a lot of work, but ultimately, it’s a very rewarding process. There are so many skills related to photography that you can learn and improve, adding to the creative challenge.

Seeing your images in print for the first time in a publication that you’ve created is very special. I’ve learned so much creating my first photography zine and plan to create another in the coming months.

Whether it’s just for fun, a creative challenge, or to promote your business, learning how to publish a photography zine is a fantastic way to get your images in front of other people and reach a wider audience.

If you have any questions about the zine-making process, please let me know in the comments below.

The post How to Publish a Photography Zine to Promote Your Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Matt Murray.

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Heaps of Fun Creative Photography Ideas to Keep Your Photography-Juices Flowing

30 May

The post Heaps of Fun Creative Photography Ideas to Keep Your Photography-Juices Flowing appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

This week, I thought I would compile a few videos of creative photography ideas that will get your photography juices flowing.

These videos are from Jordi Koalitic, who shares some of his unique, fun ideas.

Some of these you can do in your own home or out and about. Check them out, try them out, and share some of your photos with us in the comments section!

Still looking for more creative ideas?

Then you may also like:

  • 10 Great At-Home Creative Photography Ideas
  • Creative Photography Exercises to do at Home (video)
  • 10 Creative DIY Photo IDEAS when Stuck at Home (video)
  • Creative Abstract Photography with Food Coloring and Milk
  • Creative Water Photography – A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Water Monsters
  • Creative Photography Exercises: Setting Limitations to Achieve Better Photography
  • How to Use a Pinhole Body Cap for Awesome, Creative Photography

The post Heaps of Fun Creative Photography Ideas to Keep Your Photography-Juices Flowing appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

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Black and White are Rarely Black or White

30 May

The post Black and White are Rarely Black or White appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Herb Paynter.


There are very few absolutes in this life. Most issues we face fall into more “gray areas” than the purely polar dictionary definitions of actual black and white. We use these terms rather cavalierly when expressing personal opinions even when real-life situations are anything but! This is also true in a number of photography-related issues. Since photography is the topic de jour, I’ll turn the conversation in that direction. I’ll explain to you how black and white are rarely black or white.

Black and White are Rarely Black or White
Total black and white can lose important detail. Occasionally this is appropriate for drama, but in general, even the darkest areas of an image should contain contrasting tones. f/9, 1/250, ISO 200, 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8.

The hard facts

Black is the total absence of light, as in a cave at midnight with your eyes closed. Nada, nothing, total emptiness. Nothing is quite as disorienting or scary as total blackness. Blackness is un-relational and unforgiving. Even our sense of balance is affected by our inability to orient ourselves to our environment. What we can’t see, we can’t relate to.

Black and White are Rarely Black or White – waves crashing on rocks
Opening up the darkest channel (unfortunately labeled “Black” in most software) can reveal a depth that otherwise gets buried in the D-max of the photographic medium.

White is at the other end of the light measurement scale, defined as a direct unobstructed blast of light from the Sun at noon. Blinding, blazing, searing, scorching light.

True white light would actually blow the rods out of our eyes and leave us (at least temporarily) blinded. Perhaps it is good that we don’t try to function either physically or psychologically in either of these two extremes.

Dark and light vs black and white

In the photographic film and darkroom world, “D-max” and “D-min” determined the total light range of photographic prints and transparencies. Actual black and white light measurements simply cannot (by definition) be replicated in photographic materials.

D-max refers to the maximum light blocking capacity (density) of a particular film or print. D-max is the point of maximum development for either film or prints in a traditional (chemistry-emulsion) darkroom environment.

D-max for an inkjet printer would be the darkest black that can be achieved by a particular ink on a particular paper (yes, some different inks and papers achieve different results).

D-min would be the highest light-reflective measurement possible from a particular paper with no ink.

In either case, neither “actual” black nor total white is possible. In truth, black and white cannot be expressed in the medium of photography, though we still employ the terms.

Black and White are Rarely Black or White - an example of black tones
Actual original image (left) and adjusted image (right). No kidding. RAW files deliver! f/2.8, 1/250, ISO 1600, 35-100mm, f/2.8.

Real-life vision vs digital interpretation

By contrast, we live our everyday lives in the natural world where we can experience this “actual” extreme range of natural light. We occasionally witness these extreme lighting conditions, and this reference to reality keeps our lives in clear focus.

There exists a broad range of contrast in nature’s lighting that keeps our visual cortex amused and intrigued. We experience the extremes of light and dark almost every day, and our eyes adjust to these dynamics quite naturally. But in the subdued visual expression called photography, we are restricted to using a much more muted palette, which presents our minds with a different challenge.

Our brains insist on detail to help us navigate this world, both visually and rationally. We are a relational species, and we rely on the existence of distinct details in our surroundings in order to relate and negotiate our way through those surroundings. The very same issue determines how we relate to things photographic, which brings me to my point – finally.

Black and White are Rarely Black or White
Every physical item that we describe as “black” must be distinguished from actual dictionary-definition “black” if it is to be seen as a dimensional object.

Detail is all about contrast

Contrast is the determining factor in detail. Without contrasting tones, there can be no detail.

Our eyes get to experience the full dynamic range of light in real life. However, in photos, our perception is very limited by the whole visual D-max/D-min thing. We must learn to use what range we have to mimic the range that we don’t… get it? Pushing the internal tones around within an image will simulate the full range of tones that we normally see (and often take for granted) in real life.

Black and White are Rarely Black or White
Another example of extremes. The lighting was good on the female, but the male model was underlit. Some serious internal adjustments were made in one copy of the RAW file, and a masked copy of the correction was placed into the scene. Once again, tonal reproduction is key. f/3.2, 1/250, ISO 1600, 35-100mm, f/2.8.

In a practical sense, the detail is created when a visual relationship is established. The greater the contrast between tones, the sharper the detail becomes.

In order to express detail in a dark area, there must be a distinction between black and “almost black.” Without that distinct separation, there can be no detail.

There is a cardinal rule when printing a photo on a printing press… “there are no absolute blacks and only specular (reflections) pure whites in print.” Even pure white must contain a tonal element to maintain dimension and texture – neither black nor white express detail.

Black must be implied more than stated. Even a black hat or garment must contain tones of dark gray to carry the illusion of detail.

black or white
Black is a relative term. Total black loses important detail and dimension. f/4.5, 1/50, ISO 1600, 35-100mm, f/2.8.

Delivering the impression

When a photo lacks internal contrast, it lacks detail. The tension of contrast creates both detail and definition. Of course, even detail is a relative thing. Not all images require the same dynamic appearance. If all pictures contained the same degree of (internal or overall) contrast, the monotony of sameness would probably drive us to boredom.

The point I want to make here is that in order to keep the human mind amused, engaged, and involved, we must learn to use all the tone dynamics at our disposal.

Fortunately, the human mind (and it’s willing accomplice, the visual cortex) provide us with a very forgiving and creative instrument that interprets (and believes) the limited dynamics of printed photos. When this tonal orchestration is successfully accomplished, the result can be breathtaking.

We were designed to be very creative. Start believing that and watch the magic happen.

The post Black and White are Rarely Black or White appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Herb Paynter.

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DPReview TV: Sony ZV-1 review

30 May

The Sony ZV-1 is a modified version of Sony’s RX100 series aimed at vloggers and video enthusiasts. Does Sony have a winner? Chris and Jordan vlog their way through an episode to find out.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new episodes of DPReview TV every week.

  • Introduction
  • Design and handling
  • Internal microphone
  • How it's different from the Sony RX100 VA
  • 'Face Priority' exposure
  • Intermission: Goslings!
  • Improved standard color profile
  • 'Background Defocus' mode
  • The lens
  • 'Product Showcase' mode
  • Image stabilization
  • Video quality
  • Who's it for?

Sample gallery from this episode

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Weekly Photography Challenge – Trees

30 May

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Trees appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

This week’s weekly photography challenge – TREES!

Weekly Photography Challenge – Trees
These images of trees I shot while out on walks, and they were just taken with my smartphone. I gave them a warmer tone when editing. © Caz Nowaczyk

If you are still stuck indoors, photograph from your windows, or step out into the garden (if you are lucky enough to have one). Alternatively, go back through your archives and do some brand new edits on your photos, like false-color infrared or black and white.

Use backlight, sunsets, sunrises, intentional camera movement or close-ups of foliage.

The choice is yours! I look forward to seeing what you share ?

Check out some of the articles below that give you tips on this week’s challenge.

Weekly Photography Challenge – Trees
You may decide to look closer at trees like I did with these two shots of these Gum Trees. Again, these were shot with a smartphone. Sometimes the best camera is the one you have with you! © Caz Nowaczyk
Weekly Photography Challenge – Trees
Sunset at Merimbula by Caz Nowaczyk. The tree is only a part of this composition, but it helps to frame the sunset.
Weekly Photography Challenge – Trees
Sunset over Pambula River Mouth, NSW, Australia by Caz Nowaczyk. Again, simply taken with my smartphone, with no editing at all, but I still like the feel of this image.

Tips for photographing TREES

8 Creative Ways to Photograph Trees

4 Tips for Taking Better Photographs of Trees

Using Backlight in Nature Photography

5 Tips for Gorgeous Nature Photography Lighting

5 Tips for Capturing Nature Across Different Seasons

5 Tips for Taking Beautiful Photos of Nature

How to Take Creative Landscape Shots using Intentional Camera Movement

Simulating False-Color Infrared Photography in Photoshop

Create Powerful Black and White Photos with the Photoshop Gradient Map

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.

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

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

If you tag your photos on Flickr, Instagram, Twitter or other sites – tag them as #DPStrees2020 to help others find them. Linking back to this page might also help others know what you’re doing so that they can share in the fun.

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Trees appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

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DJI’s Mavic Air 2 shoots 8K Hyperlapse – but will you be able to view it?

30 May
Want to use the DJI Mavic Air 2’s new 8K hyperlapse feature? This how it will look on most computers right now unless you download a specific video player.

Earlier this month, we reviewed DJI’s latest consumer-grade drone: the Mavic Air 2. The compact machine boasts an array of features normally reserved for higher-end, professional-grade drones. Notably, DJI touted the fact that the Mavic Air 2 now offers users the ability to capture 8K hyperlapse video.

When conducting our initial review, we were only able to test out 1080p hyperlapse, which is also available on the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom models. The day the Mavic Air 2 was officially made available to the public, DJI released a firmware update that included the ability to capture 8K footage. When trying it out this past week, the process was straightforward enough. However, I found it impossible to view the recorded hyperlapse clips on a computer.

This is what the 8K hyperlapse clip pictured above should look like (screenshot captured using sPlayer software). DJI is currently working on a firmware update to improve compatibility, expected in early June.

At first I thought the files, taken on different memory cards and uploaded to both my MacBook Pro and iMac, outfitted with recent OS updates, were corrupted. As it turns out, the problem wasn’t computer-related.

The Mavic Air 2’s 48MP camera is what makes 8K footage possible. In hyperlapse mode, the drone takes a series of photos and automatically stitches them together to produce a short time-lapse video. 48MP photos consist of four 12MP images stitched together. At this time, half of these photos aren’t showing up. This creates the checkerboard effect seen in the first image when the footage is played back.

It appears that YouTube does handle the Mavic Air 2’s 8K hyperlapse videos correctly. Want to try playing the original video file on your own computer? You can download it here.

8K hyperlapse video clips will successfully playback using sPlayer software, which is free to download and available for both Windows and Mac. DJI tells us that it’s aiming for an early June firmware update that will allow 8K hyperlapse footage to be more widely compatible with other software. Additionally, a 4K hyperlapse update is expected to arrive in ‘late June or early July’, and 2.7K hyperlapse at a later date.

If you’re new to creating hyperlapse videos, keep in mind that recording 1 or 2 clips can take up most of your battery life – depending on the length of your shooting interval and the overall video clip time selected. The Mavic Air 2 battery boasts a maximum of 34 minutes flight time. The minimum interval between shots for 8K hyperlapse is 6 seconds, versus 2 seconds for 1080p. As a result, a 5 second clip at a 6 second intervals will take 12 minutes, 30 seconds to record.

If you’re eager to shoot 8K hyperlapse footage with your Mavic Air 2, you may want to hold off a bit. As of now, you’ll either need to download sPlayer to view it or wait a bit for the next firmware update from DJI.

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Photographers Unite educational conference hosts 60 top photographers from around the world

30 May

The Image Salon, a Montreal-based photography and post-production service, recently produced a global educational conference called Photographers Unite that hosted 60 photographers from around the world. The live event is over, but photographers who missed it the first time around can register and watch the full replay until June 6.

Photographers Unite was a free event that asked attendees to make a charitable donation, though it wasn’t and still isn’t required to view the conference. Each speaker donated their time to participate in the conference, lending their expertise over the duration of 20 minutes, as well as an additional five minutes spent answering questions from the audience.

The live event took place on May 26 and May 27 from 11am to 7pm EST. The replay is available on the Photographers Unite website starting today, May 29, and will remain available until June 6. Interested viewers must register for access, which simply requires a name and email address, as well as the viewer’s photography specialty.

The conference had speakers who specialized in a wide variety of photography, including Two Mann Studios, 37 Frames, Sam Hurd, Susan Stripling, Lindsey Adler, Brandon Wong, Sara Monika, Tyler Wirken, Jide Alakija, Chris Knight and others. A schedule of the speakers with timestamps for each of their sessions is available on the Photographers Unite website. The Image Salon has also published examples of each speaker’s photography on its Instagram account.

Access to the replay is delivered in the form of a link and password that is sent to the email address provided during registration. The educational opportunity is unique in that it is completely free and includes some of the top photographers in the field. Donations from viewers go to Global Giving’s Coronavirus Global Relief Fund, as well as select regional charitable funds.

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