Archive for April, 2021

Sigma Announces the “Reborn” 35mm f/1.4 Art for E-Mount and L-Mount

30 Apr

The post Sigma Announces the “Reborn” 35mm f/1.4 Art for E-Mount and L-Mount appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Sigma announces the "reborn" 35mm f/1.4 for E-mount and L-mount

Earlier this week, Sigma announced its latest lens, the 35mm f/1.4 DG DN Art for L-mount and Sony E-mount cameras. 

It’s a redesign of Sigma’s popular 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens, but “reborn for mirrorless and empowered through Sigma’s [latest] technology.” Specifically, you can expect superior optical performance compared to the original 35mm f/1.4, especially in terms of bokeh quality and aberration reduction; Sigma also promises “fast and quiet AF,” plus “a professional feature-set” packed into “a compact body.”

I’m a fan of the Sigma Art line, but I’ve been frequently frustrated by the size and heft of the lenses. Fortunately, the 35mm f/1.4 addresses these problems. Sigma rates it as “significantly smaller and lighter than the existing 35mm f/1.4,” and while I wouldn’t go that far (it’s about 0.6 in/15 mm shorter and 0.7 oz/20 g lighter), the lens should balance better on Sony mirrorless cameras – especially Sony APS-C models – than its predecessor. 

Above, I mentioned the improved optical performance on the new 35mm f/1.4. Sigma’s anti-flare and anti-ghosting technology, as well as low dispersion elements designed to combat aberrations, guarantees superb clarity even in tricky shooting conditions. And you can expect improvement to the (already impressive) bokeh, thanks to the 11 aperture blades, compared to 9 on the previous version.

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens announcement

Interestingly, Sigma has added an aperture ring to the redesigned 35mm. You have the option to adjust the aperture via the camera dials, but for those who prefer a more tactile shooting experience, manual aperture selection is always an option. The lens is also dustproof and splashproof, so the 35mm f/1.4 can be used successfully for outdoor event photography, street photography, and even landscape work. And while I haven’t had the opportunity to hold the 35mm f/1.4 in my hands, I’m confident that it, like all of Sigma’s Art lenses, can take a significant beating.

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG DN Art should appeal to plenty of photographers, especially portrait shooters in need of stunning background bokeh in a portable (and inexpensive) package, street photographers after a wider focal length, and event photographers looking for stunning optics and a fast maximum aperture. But I can also see the 35mm f/1.4 working as a travel lens, an architectural lens, and even a landscape lens.

The brand-new Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG DN Art is currently available for preorder, and you can grab it for just $ 899 USD. Expect the lens to start shipping in May.

Now over to you:

Are you impressed by the Sigma 35mm f/1.4? What do you think of it? Have you used the older version, and how do you think the new version will measure up? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Sigma Announces the “Reborn” 35mm f/1.4 Art for E-Mount and L-Mount appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

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8 Tips for Perfect Moon Photography Settings

29 Apr

The post 8 Tips for Perfect Moon Photography Settings appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Ringsmuth.

8 tips for perfect moon photography settings

Many people have attempted to capture a picture of the bright ball of light that governs the night sky, but getting your moon photography settings just right can be quite tricky. It’s easy to get frustrated when taking photos of the moon, especially when so many moon shots online look crisp and clear.

Fortunately, capturing great moon shots isn’t too difficult once you wrap your head around a few basic elements. With a little patience and practice, you’ll be taking excellent photos of the moon in no time at all!

Moon photography settings: the basics

The first thing to know about shooting the moon is that it’s deceptively bright. You might not think of this giant ball of rock as particularly luminous when compared to the sun, but it puts out way more light than you might think. This makes it tricky to calculate exposure and get your other moon photography settings just right.

The other important item to keep in mind is that the moon is not a slow celestial body. In Greek mythology, Selene, the goddess of the moon, speeds across the night sky in a glowing chariot. Our ancient ancestors knew what they were talking about! If you take a picture of the moon, you have to keep its constant movement in mind; otherwise, you’ll never get a great shot.

Moon Photography Settings Moon Behind Trees
Nikon D7100 | Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II | 200mm | f/8 | 1/180s | ISO 640

The final part of the equation to remember is that the moon, while relatively close in a galactic sense, is pretty far away when you look at it from the perspective of a photographer. If you want a good picture of the moon, you need at least a 200mm lens – and even then, it’s best to use a crop-sensor camera for a bit more reach. So a focal length of 300mm or greater is recommended, and photographing the moon is one time when megapixels really do matter. Unless you have a very long zoom lens, you’ll be cropping your images quite a bit.

If you want a simple answer to the question of what moon photography settings to use, here’s my advice:

  • Shoot with a fast shutter speed of at least 1/180s.
  • Use a small aperture like f/8.
  • Keep your ISO low – so that when you crop, your picture will remain clean and not noisy.
  • Use a telephoto lens.
  • Always shoot in RAW; that way, you have plenty of room to edit the colors, sharpness, and other elements of your photo afterward.
Moon Photography Settings Clouds and Foreground Trees
Nikon D500 | Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II | 200mm | f/4.8 | 1/200s | ISO 640

While the above advice is a good starting point, you will need to experiment and figure out which settings are right for you. It’s a good idea to dive a little deeper into aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to find out what effect they have on your moon photos so you can get the shots you’re aiming for.

Now let’s take a closer look at the best moon photography settings:

1. Use Manual mode

This might be intimidating if you’re used to letting your camera make exposure decisions for you, but moon photography is a great way to learn Manual mode.

Your camera knows what to do in most well-lit situations, but shooting the moon isn’t one of them. You have to take control, and Manual mode lets you choose the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO – all of which are critical to getting good pictures of the moon. You must be very specific about your exposure settings, and Manual mode lets you dial in the precise values you need.

Crescent Moon with Trees in Foreground
Dim morning light meant I had a bit more freedom to adjust my exposure settings, which was very easy to do in Manual mode.

Nikon D500 | Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II | 200mm | f/4 | 1/180s | ISO 200

2. Shoot in RAW

You have enough to worry about when taking pictures of the moon: exposure settings, weather concerns, cloud cover, foreground obstructions…and that’s just the beginning.

Setting the right white balance and making sure your highlights and shadows are perfectly captured is almost impossible to do in the moment. Thankfully, RAW can save the day.

Crescent moon Unprocessed RAW
This is the unprocessed RAW file straight out of my camera.

Nikon D500 | Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II | 200mm | f/4 | 1/180s | ISO 200

Shooting in RAW gives you ultimate flexibility when editing your moon photos in a program such as Lightroom. You can adjust the exposure, tweak the sharpening, bring out details you might have missed, and of course, adjust the white balance to your heart’s content.

The JPEG format is fine for many photographic situations, but not moon photography. For best results, use RAW.

Crescent moon processed RAW
The exact same image as above, but after the RAW file was processed in Lightroom. Adjustments include white balance, boosted exposure, and tweaks to the highlights/shadows.

3. Use a fast shutter speed

Shutter speed is a good place to start when thinking about moon photography settings because of how fast the moon moves across the sky. Similar to sports photography, you’ll need a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion.

1/180s is a good starting point, but if you can go higher without increasing your ISO, I recommend doing so. 1/250s is good and so is 1/300s (go beyond that, and you start to get diminishing returns).

full moon
My 1/10s shutter speed was much too slow, and the picture is blurry as a result. 1/10s lets in a lot of light, but the moon moves too much to get a crisp, sharp picture at that shutter speed. Compare this to the image at the end of the article, and you will notice a huge difference!

Nikon D200 | Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 | 300mm | f/11 | 1/10s | ISO 200

4. Keep your ISO low

Cameras have come a long way, and what used to be considered a crazy high ISO – like 3200 or 6400 – is now easily achieved without a huge loss in image quality. Things are a bit different when taking photos of the moon, though. Lower ISOs are always preferable, and that holds doubly true for photos of our nearest celestial neighbor.

ISO 100 or 200 is best, but that might not be realistic given the lens you’re using. Generally speaking, you should be fine with ISO 800 or lower, partly because you will get a cleaner image, but also because you will have more leeway when editing your RAW files afterward.

5. Use a small aperture, but not too small

Most lenses have what’s known as a sweet spot, where the image isn’t too soft and chromatic aberration is well-controlled. This sweet spot isn’t usually at the widest or smallest aperture, but somewhere in the middle.

For that reason, I like to take pictures of the full moon at an aperture between f/4 and f/8. However, the optimal aperture will depend on your particular lens and the type of photos you’re taking.

Moon Photography Settings Crescent and Venus
A crescent moon is very dim! Normally, I recommend a smaller aperture, but for this shot, I needed all the light I could get. I used a large aperture of f/2.8 and an unusually slow shutter speed to capture this celestial dance between the moon and Venus.

Nikon D7100 | Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II | 180mm | f/2.8 | 1/90s | ISO 100

Honestly, of all the moon photography settings to worry about, I would put aperture at the bottom of my list. Before you consider the aperture, make sure you have a fast shutter speed and the lowest possible ISO. Finally, adjust your aperture until you get a picture you like.

Even if your photos are not tack-sharp because you had to shoot wide open, it’s a trade-off I recommend making. I would rather have a slightly blurry result than a higher ISO setting that will result in noise, especially in the deep blacks of the night sky.

6. Underexpose slightly

It might seem counterintuitive, but when taking pictures of the moon, you don’t want your images to be as bright as possible. I get my best results when underexposing by one stop or more, depending on the situation.

The easiest way to do this is to set your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO so your light meter indicates a properly exposed picture. Then drop the exposure by one or two stops. The result is a picture without any blown highlights and plenty of room for editing (as long as you make sure to shoot in RAW).

Full Moon with Power Lines in Foreground
My light meter told me this photo was properly exposed – but in the end, the moon was too bright. I should have dropped the exposure to darken the image.

Nikon D500 | Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II | 200mm | f/4 | 1/200s | ISO 360

I also recommend using spot or center-weighted metering when doing moon photography. The moon is extraordinarily bright compared to the dark sky around it, which causes all sorts of confusion for your camera’s light meter. Telling your camera to meter based on one small portion of the scene (i.e. the moon) will help you get a better initial exposure value, one that you can then fine-tune.

7. Get creative

Taking pictures of the moon is enthralling, especially if you have never done it before. But after a few shots of that big bright ball of light in the sky, start thinking of a new approach. Try putting trees, buildings, or other objects between you and the moon. Experiment with taking pictures during the waxing or waning crescent phase.

Moon Photography Settings Lunar Eclipse
Instead of taking one single picture of the moon during a lunar eclipse, I took 20 and combined them in Photoshop. The end result was much more visually interesting than a single shot would’ve been.

Also, try getting shots at dawn or dusk when you can catch the sky in a rich blue or purple. These are simple, fun ways of taking pictures of the moon that can produce some unexpected results.

8. Manually focus to infinity

Your camera’s autofocus might struggle when it comes to getting pictures of the moon, but you can take care of this by adjusting your lens’s focus point manually.

Make sure your lens is focused as far out as it will go (this is often indicated by an infinity symbol on the lens barrel).

Moon photography settings: conclusion

Moon Photography Settings Full Moon
Nikon D200 | Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 | 300mm | f/2.8 | 1/250s | ISO 200

There’s no magic or secret sauce when it comes to getting great shots of the moon. The only real trick is to get the right moon photography settings and to keep practicing until you’re happy with the results.

Try some of these tips as a starting point, and then branch out and see what you can come up with. You might be surprised at the pictures you’re able to take!

Moon photography settings FAQ

Can I take a picture of the moon with my phone?

It’s possible, but this is an area where a DSLR or mirrorless camera with full manual controls really has the edge. A mobile phone can’t zoom in very far, and even those that do have optical zoom lack the light-gathering ability required for good moon shots. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but you’ll likely get significantly better results with a dedicated camera.

Do I need an expensive zoom lens to get a picture of the moon?

A zoom lens helps, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Even a basic 55-250mm kit lens, like the one that might have come with your camera when you bought it, is fine. Just make sure to follow some of the tips in this article, and you can get some good moon pictures.

What white balance setting should I use to get a picture of the moon?

That really depends, and there’s not always a good answer. Some people like to use the Daylight setting because the moon is reflecting the sunlight and has no actual light of its own. Just make sure you shoot in RAW so you can adjust your white balance after you take the picture.

How do I keep both the moon and the foreground in focus?

First, make sure you are using a small aperture like f/8 or f/11, which will give a much wider depth of field. In addition, you need to put a lot of space between you and your foreground objects. If you’re shooting through tree branches in your own backyard, they will always end up far too blurry. Position yourself so the trees, buildings, or other foreground objects are farther away; this will help make sure they are more in focus.

How do I get the moon to look so big? My moon pictures never look like the professional shots I see online.

Many people have asked me this, and it all comes down to your lens. A longer focal length will make the moon appear larger. If you don’t have a long lens, you can rent one for the few days that a bright full moon is visible. Many professional moon pictures are also cropped, and if you use a very high megapixel camera, you have a great deal of freedom to crop without a huge drop in quality.

The post 8 Tips for Perfect Moon Photography Settings appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Ringsmuth.

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11 Photo Manipulation Ideas (for Beautiful Results)

28 Apr

The post 11 Photo Manipulation Ideas (for Beautiful Results) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

11 photo manipulation ideas for beautiful results

If you’re looking for some fun photo manipulation ideas to create stunning art, you’ve come to the right place.

Today, manipulating digital photography is a quick and easy process. Want to generate a double-exposure look? Create a tilt-shift effect? Simulate a fisheye lens? All these options and more are accessible thanks to image manipulation programs like Photoshop.

So here are 11 photo manipulation ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

1. Make a tilt-shift effect

tilt-shift effect
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/8 | 1/320s | ISO 100

When viewing a landscape from a distance, the scene looks uniformly focused to our eyes. However, when we look at a fake or model landscape, our physical proximity to the miniature scene creates some interesting optical effects.

But you don’t need a fake landscape to create this “tilt-shift” effect. With the right lenses, you can achieve it in-camera – or you can replicate the phenomenon in post-processing!

Here is a great tutorial on simulating a tilt-shift effect in Photoshop.

2. Generate an anaglyph 3D effect

anaglyph 3D effect photo manipulation ideas
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/4 | 1/100s | ISO 160

Anaglyph 3D renderings are made up of two differently filtered and slightly offset colored images. When viewed through special glasses, the two different colors are seen by different eyes, creating a 3D effect.

Creating an anaglyph 3D image in Photoshop is easy. First, open a photo and duplicate the Background layer twice. Select one of the duplicated layers and click on the FX icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Select Blending Options – this will open the Layer Style window. Uncheck the G and B checkboxes next to Channels in the central panel. Then click OK.

layer styles window

Next, select the other duplicated layer. Click on the FX icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and select Blending Options again. This time, when the Layer Style window opens, uncheck the R checkbox. Click OK.

Finally, select one of the duplicated layers and nudge it slightly to the left or right using the mouse or the directional keys on the keyboard. The colors in the layers will separate, generating an anaglyph effect.

3. Imitate a circular fisheye lens

circular fisheye effect photo manipulation ideas
Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | f/5 | 1/160s | ISO 320

Photo manipulation ideas inspired by camera equipment can achieve engaging results. A fisheye lens is an ultra-wide-angle that produces a large amount of distortion, creating distinctive panoramic or hemispherical images.

To create a circular fisheye effect, open an image and select the Elliptical Marquee tool. Set the Style dropdown on the top menu to Fixed Ratio and drag the Marquee tool over the center of the image. Click Filter > Distort > Spherize. Adjust the amount of distortion you’d like in the pop-up panel (I usually leave the slider at 100%). Click OK.

To isolate the Spherized section from the rest of the image, keep the Spherized layer selected. Right-click inside the perimeter of the Spherized layer, then hit Select Inverse.

Next, right-click on the outside of the circle and select Fill. In the Fill pop-up box, make sure the Contents dropdown menu is set to Black, the Mode is set to Normal, and the Opacity is set to 100%. Click OK.

The area outside the Spherized subject will fill with black, isolating the fisheye effect.

4. Combine two images for a double exposure effect

double exposure effect
Water photo: Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/10 | 1/500s | ISO 100
Fern photo: Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II with extension tubes | f/2.8 | 1/80s | ISO 100

From the days of early photography, shooters have gone to considerable lengths to avoid ghosting and double exposures. However, some photographers generate multiple exposures deliberately for creative purposes.

Double exposures can be made in-camera (both digitally and on film), but they can also be imitated in Photoshop.

This article demonstrates a simple way to make a double exposure effect in post-production.

5. Simulate an infrared effect

infrared forest scene photo manipulation ideas

Infrared photography captures wavelengths of light that operate outside the visible spectrum.

While there are several in-camera ways to create infrared imagery, the effect can be simulated in Photoshop, too. Take a look at our article on creating beautiful infrared effects.

6. Create a lens flare

adding a flare effect to an image

When bright light reaches your camera, it can reflect off different parts of the lens to create an interesting flare effect.

While lens flare is sometimes unwanted, it can have interesting creative applications. In this article, we show you how to add a lens flare to an image with Photoshop.

7. Create a sepia look with Photoshop

beautiful sepia leaves
Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | f/8 | 1/200 | ISO 400

Sepia is a warm brown tone named after the pigment derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish genus Sepia. In photography, the term sepia refers to a form of print toning. The use of sepia in photography began in the 1880s, and today the beautiful warmth of sepia toning is associated with age and history.

To apply a sepia tone to a photograph in Photoshop, first open an image. Create a Curves adjustment layer and adjust the curve to introduce a faded aesthetic:

S-curve in Photoshop

The next step is to set the Photoshop foreground color to around the #35322e mark and the background color to around #cebbab. Click on the Create New Fill Or Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and select the Gradient Map option. This will apply a gradient sourced from the foreground and background color selections.

Select the Gradient Map layer in the Layers panel and open the Properties panel. In the Properties tab, click on the strip of graduated color to open the Gradient Editor.

Once in the Gradient Editor, make sure the Gradient Type is set to Solid and the Smoothness to 100%. Here’s what the window should look like:

Gradient Editor window in Photoshop

Finally, feel free to make adjustments to the Gradient Map (this will change the sepia effect). Once you have finished preparing the Gradient Editor, click OK. And you’re done!

8. Apply an Instagram-like filter in Photoshop

Instagram filter effect
Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/4 | 1/250s | ISO 100

Instagram gives users the option to easily customize images or videos before uploading them to the social media platform. And with varied and eye-catching results, many users have looked to emulate Instagram filters in Photoshop!

If you are interested in applying Instagram-inspired effects to your photography work outside of the social media platform, this tutorial might come in handy.

9. Create a Lomography-inspired effect

Lomography effect photo manipulation ideas
Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/8 | 1/320s | ISO 200

Named after the optics manufacturer Lomo, Lomography makes use of the unpredictable and unique optical traits of plastic cameras and alternative processing techniques. And with the rise of digital photography, the Lomo aesthetic has spread to digital manipulation techniques.

While there is no single Lomography look, different Photoshop techniques have been developed to recreate Lomography-type effects.

To produce a Lomo-inspired digital photograph, first open an image in Photoshop. For a more traditional look, you can crop the photo into a square using the Crop tool.

Next, create a Curves adjustment layer. In the Curves histogram, click on the RGB dropdown menu and select Red. Make a shallow S curve within the histogram.

Next, select Green from the RGB dropdown menu and make a slightly more pronounced S curve. Lastly, select the Blue channel from the RGB dropdown menu and make an S curve similar to the green S curve.

Keep in mind that the curves don’t have to mirror each other exactly – what we are aiming for is a well-saturated image with considerable contrast and a distinctive hue. For the best results, I recommend experimenting! You can also add some grain via Filter > Noise > Add Noise.

Lomographic images also tend to have pronounced vignettes. To emulate this effect, duplicate the original image layer. Then, with the Lasso tool selected, draw a loose oval or circle around the center of the image area. Click Select > Modify > Feather. Set the Feather Radius to 250 pixels (the maximum) and click OK.

Next, click on Select > Inverse. With the inverse selection active, create a Levels adjustment layer. In the Levels panel, adjust the sliders to introduce a dark vignette around the edges of the image (the effect will vary from photo to photo, so some experimentation may be required!).

10. Apply a Sabattier effect in Photoshop

Sabattier effect examples

The Sabattier effect is one of many photo manipulation ideas that originated in the darkroom. The process involves rendering a negative or print either partially or completely tonally reversed. In other words, dark areas in the image become light and light areas become dark – for an effect known as solarization.

In the darkroom, this Sabattier effect can occur when a semi-developed print or negative is re-exposed to light for a brief moment; the result is a surreal, eye-catching version of the photo.

Of course, you can also recreate the Sabattier effect in Photoshop with two simple methods:

Sabattier method 1

The first technique applies a solarizing filter directly to your photo.

First, open an image and duplicate it. With the duplicate layer selected, click Filter > Stylize > Solarize. That’s it! The image will instantly take on a solarized aesthetic.

For a more classic solarization effect, convert the image to black and white with a Black and White adjustment layer. Different black and white settings will alter the appearance of the solarization, so try a few different presets or make your own custom adjustments.

Sabattier method 2

While the Solarize filter method works well, it doesn’t offer a lot of creative control – it’s just a straight conversion. To make a less destructive and more customizable solarization effect, open your image in Photoshop and add a Black and White adjustment layer (if desired). Create a Curves adjustment layer.

In the adjustment layer, create this curve:

Sabattier curves adjustment

From there, you can adjust the curve for a dramatic look. Depending on the image, you can also reverse the Curves adjustment layer for a more pronounced or subtle effect. Since you’re working non-destructively with an adjustment layer, this process can easily be undone at any point.

11. Simulate a glitch effect

glitch effect Photoshop photo manipulation ideas
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/4 | 1/250s | ISO 100

Last (but not least!) on our list of photo manipulation ideas is a glitch effect simulation.

Glitches are flaws in a digital medium. Inherent in our modern technological landscape, true glitch art is made by capturing organic glitches, manually corrupting digital media, or by physically manipulating electronic devices to cultivate glitched imagery. The process can be quite tricky, however – so simulating a glitch effect can be an easier way to convey the fragility of digital media.

To discover how to create a glitch effect in Photoshop, check out our step-by-step tutorial.

Photo manipulation ideas: conclusion

From Lomography-inspired effects to simulated glitch art, the creative possibilities of photography are just about limitless. So if you find yourself in a creative rut, give one of the photo manipulation ideas from this list a try – you never know what new perspectives your manipulations might inspire!

Now over to you:

What are your favorite types of photo manipulation? Share your thoughts (and examples!) in the comments below.

The post 11 Photo Manipulation Ideas (for Beautiful Results) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

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Video: How to improve your compositions, from a photographer who worked with Ansel Adams

27 Apr

Born in 1949, award-winning photographer Huntington Witherill has been a fine art photographer since 1970. Witherill was fortunate enough to have worked with the famous Ansel Adams, among other notable photographers like Wynn Bullock, Steve Crouch, and Al Weber. Over the past 50 years, Witherill has learned a lot about photography. He recently chatted with Marc Silber of Advancing Your Photography to discuss composition.

In the video below, Silber asks Witherill the core areas he considers in terms of composition. Witherill replies, ‘Well, I think as an overriding sort of mantra for composition, I always like to refer to the way Edward Weston described composition, as being the strongest way of seeing.’ Witherill pays attention to everything in a scene, rather than what attracted him to the scene in the first place. When out shooting, it’s common to be drawn to a specific element of a scene. However, when making a composition, you don’t want to ignore everything in the scene. ‘Finding the strongest way of seeing is really, to my way of thinking, intellectualizing within myself what it is that attracted me to the scene in the first place. And then, doing my best to include all of that within the photograph itself and eliminate everything else out of the photograph,’ Witherill says.

In the video above, Witherill refers to an article he wrote in 2019, ‘The Strongest Way of Seeing.’ In this article, Witherill writes, ‘When it comes to the art of creating successful photographs, formulating an effective composition must surely be at (or near) the top of the list in terms of relative importance.’ He goes on to say when discussing whether or not there are prescribed rules of composition which could always prove successful, ‘As it also turns out, knowing where best to point your camera requires a skill set whose precepts appear to be instinctively derived, rather than intellectually prescribed. What might work in one situation can often prove disastrous in another. As such, employing a formulaic approach to composition will, more often than not, prove ineffectual.’

However, that is not to say that trying to improve your composition or that learning more about composition is a fool’s errand. While Witherill doesn’t believe that composition is a skill that can be taught in a rote fashion, he believes there are steps you can take to make it easier to ‘see’ composition in the field. Witherill likes to squint at a scene, which makes it easier to see the overall shapes and arrange a composition, as you are no longer able to focus on the finer details.

To learn more of Huntington Witherill’s tips for composition, watch the full video above. To view more of Witherill’s work, visit his website. For more videos from Marc Silber, visit the Advancing Your Photography YouTube channel.

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15 Rule of Thirds Examples (to Improve Your Compositions)

27 Apr

The post 15 Rule of Thirds Examples (to Improve Your Compositions) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

15 rule of thirds examples to improve your compositions

In this article, we share 15 rule of thirds examples – so you can see this helpful compositional rule in action.

If you’ve been struggling to understand the rule of thirds, or if you’re simply looking for rule of thirds inspiration, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s get started!

1. Focus

The rule of thirds was designed to simplify artistic composition. The rule suggests that you break down scenes into nine equal parts separated by two evenly spaced horizontal and vertical lines, like this:

Rule of thirds examples - a macro photograph of a fern in black and white
The grid overlay allows you to easily visualize the rule of thirds.
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II with extension tubes | f/2.5 | 1/80s | ISO 100

Important compositional elements can then be positioned along the lines of the grid, in the off-center rectangles, or at the grid’s intersections.

In this photograph of a native fern (above), the sharpest point aligns with the top-left intersection of the rule of thirds grid. This composition generates more interest and depth than a centered subject, engaging the viewer and guiding the eye.

2. Lines

people with rope rule of thirds example
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/4 | 1/160s | ISO 125

In this street scene, the majority of the subjects are positioned in off-center rectangles. Additionally, the two white road lines roughly align with the two horizontal gridlines. This distribution of subjects activates the edges of the photograph, adding a sense of expansion and narrative.

3. Pattern

rule of thirds example pattern in window
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/4 | 1/100 | ISO 250

The pattern in this decorative window suggests an overall uniformity. However, the clearest pattern elements are only visible in the upper-left corner of the rule of thirds grid.

This invites the viewer’s eye to explore the various intricate perspectives that make up the scene.

4. Insects

Rule of thirds example - a bee on a flower
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II with extension tubes | f/4.5 | 1/1000s | ISO 400

Here’s a fun rule of thirds example with an insect!

Insects can be tricky to photograph, but applying the rule of thirds can help create a more dynamic composition. If you compose with an insect off-center, you’ll capture a more natural image that alludes to the movement and life of a living creature.

5. Motion

Rule of thirds examples - a Boeing 737 on approach to land at Sydney International Airport
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | f/16 | 1/400s | ISO 200

One of the main reasons for observing the rule of thirds is to discourage photographers from placing a subject at the center of a photograph. With the help of the rule of thirds, you can create more engaging interactions between the image and the viewer.

We know the standard trajectory of an aircraft. But in the example above, by framing the subject off-center, I was able to generate a clear sense of motion.

6. Depth

Rule of thirds example - flowers in black and white
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/4 | 1/250s | ISO 100

There are many ways to increase the sense of depth in a photograph. By offsetting the sharply focused main subject (i.e., by following the rule of thirds!), you can achieve a sense of spaciousness and three-dimensionality throughout your image.

7. Narrative

car wash window rule of thirds
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/7.1 | 1/100s | ISO 100

A lot is happening in the center of this image. However, the driving figure behind the central feature is positioned off to the left, creating a shadowy clue to the story behind the photograph.

8. It doesn’t have to be perfect

Rule of thirds example - ducks fly ahead of a large storm cloud
Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | f/11 | 1/500s | ISO 100

Despite its name, the rule of thirds is more like a guide than an unbreakable law. In the image above, three ducks make their way across a thunderous cloudscape. However, while one of the ducks is precisely aligned with the right vertical of the grid, the other two ducks are positioned independently on either side.

Nevertheless, the offset position of the ducks counterbalances the weight of the storm clouds, creating a dramatic juxtaposition. It just goes to show that the rule of thirds can be a flexible guide rather than a rigid rule.

9. Directing the eye

rule of thirds flowers
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II with extension tubes | f/2.2 | 1/800s | ISO 200

In this image, the emphasis is placed squarely on select areas of the flower. By positioning the subject away from the image center, you can draw the viewer’s eye toward the frame’s corners.

10. Weight

grassy landscape
Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/7.1 | 1/100s | ISO 100

Every element in a composition has a weight, one that’s based on perceptions and real-life experience.

Darker, denser subject matter feels heavier than lighter, airier subject matter. Using the rule of thirds to group darker or lighter subject matter together in one area of an image can emphasize this weight. In the image above, lighter areas toward the bottom contrast with a dense area of shadow in the top third of the frame.

11. Balance

Rule of thirds examples - a canopy of tree branches and leaves
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/6.3 | 1/125s | ISO 100

The canopy of leaves creates an engaging pattern, punctuated by the dark branches of trees – the heaviest of which are positioned toward the edges of the image.

With the help of the rule of thirds, this balance of lightness and heaviness creates an interesting and harmonious composition.

12. Less can be more

Rule of thirds examples - a black an white photograph of an empty carpark
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/6.3 | 1/250s | ISO 100

These rule of thirds examples can be a handy reminder that less is often more. By organizing subjects in accordance with the rule of thirds grid, you can give an image room to generate its own visual momentum.

13. Adding detail

a black and white macro photograph of a white lily.
Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II with extension tubes | f/1.8 | 1/640s | ISO 100

This macro image of a lily contains plenty of information around the central area of the composition. However, additional off-center details make the most of the image space, adding a sense of expansive detail to the photograph.

14. Abstraction

Rule of thirds examples - an abstracted image of a leaf
Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II with extension tubes | f/1.8 | 1/40s | ISO 320

Even abstract photography can benefit from the rule of thirds. Here, I’ve positioned an out-of-focus leaf so it intersects with the rule of thirds gridline.

15. Space

Rule of thirds examples a grassy field in black and white.
Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/8 | 1/160s | ISO 100

When a scene is full of information, incorporating an area of reduced activity can add more depth.

So rather than aligning a subject with the rule of thirds grid, try aligning the grid with an emptier portion of the scene. This allows the viewer to visually digest the image and better grasp the scene’s context and behavior.

Rule of thirds examples: final words

As these 15 rule of thirds examples have demonstrated, having a good grounding in compositional theory can be highly useful!

So while the rule of thirds is more like a guide than a strict rule, use it to help you arrange the various elements of your photos.

Now over to you:

Do you use the rule of thirds in your photography? Share some of your own rule of thirds examples in the comments below!

The post 15 Rule of Thirds Examples (to Improve Your Compositions) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

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Google shares a deep dive into its new HDR+ with Bracketing technology found in its latest Pixel devices

26 Apr

Google has shared an article on its AI Blog that dives into the intricacies of the HDR capabilities of its most recent Pixel devices. In it, Google explains how its HDR+ with Bracketing technology works to capture the best image quality possible through clever capture and computational editing techniques.

To kick off the article, Google explains how its new ‘under the hood’ HDR+ with Bracketing technology — first launched on the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 back in October — ‘works by merging images taken with different exposure times to improve image quality (especially in shadows), resulting in more natural colors, improved details and texture, and reduced noise.’

Using bursts to improve image quality. HDR+ starts from a burst of full-resolution raw images (left). Depending on conditions, between 2 and 15 images are aligned and merged into a computational raw image (middle). The merged image has reduced noise and increased dynamic range, leading to a higher quality final result (right). Caption and image via Google.

Before diving into how the behind-the-scenes work is done to capture the HDR+ with Bracketing images, Google explains why high dynamic range (HDR) scenes are difficult to capture, particularly on mobile devices. ‘Because of the physical constraints of image sensors combined with limited signal in the shadows […] We can correctly expose either the shadows or the highlights, but not both at the same time.’

Left: The result of merging 12 short-exposure frames in Night Sight mode. Right: A single frame whose exposure time is 12 times longer than an individual short exposure. The longer exposure has significantly less noise in the shadows but sacrifices the highlights. Caption and image via Google.

Google says one way to combat this is to capture two different exposures and combine them — something ‘Photographers sometimes [do to] work around these limitations.’ While this works fairly well with cameras with larger sensors and more capable processors inside tablets and laptops to merge the images, Google says it’s a challenge to do on mobile devices because it requires ‘Capturing additional long exposure frames while maintaining the fast, predictable capture experience of the Pixel camera’ and ‘Taking advantage of long exposure frames while avoiding ghosting artifacts caused by motion between frames.’

Google was able to mitigate these issues with its original HDR+ technology through prioritizing the highlights in an image and using burst photography to reduce noise in the shadows. Google explains the HDR+ method ‘works well for scenes with moderate dynamic range, but breaks down for HDR scenes.’ As for why, Google breaks down the two different types of noise that get into an image when capturing bursts of photos: shot noise and read noise.

Google explains the differences in detail:

One important type of noise is called shot noise, which depends only on the total amount of light captured — the sum of N frames, each with E seconds of exposure time has the same amount of shot noise as a single frame exposed for N × E seconds. If this were the only type of noise present in captured images, burst photography would be as efficient as taking longer exposures. Unfortunately, a second type of noise, read noise, is introduced by the sensor every time a frame is captured. Read noise doesn’t depend on the amount of light captured but instead depends on the number of frames taken — that is, with each frame taken, an additional fixed amount of read noise is added.’

Left: The result of merging 12 short-exposure frames in Night Sight mode. Right: A single frame whose exposure time is 12 times longer than an individual short exposure. The longer exposure has significantly less noise in the shadows but sacrifices the highlights. Caption and image via Google.

As visible in the above image, Google highlights ‘why using burst photography to reduce total noise isn’t as efficient as simply taking longer exposures: taking multiple frames can reduce the effect of shot noise, but will also increase read noise.’

To address this shortcoming, Google explains how it’s managed to use a ‘concentrated effort’ to make the most of recent ‘incremental improvements’ in exposure bracketing to combined the burst photography component of HDR+ with the more traditional HDR method of exposure bracketing to get the best result possible in extreme high dynamic range scenes:

‘To start, adding bracketing to HDR+ required redesigning the capture strategy. Capturing is complicated by zero shutter lag (ZSL), which underpins the fast capture experience on Pixel. With ZSL, the frames displayed in the viewfinder before the shutter press are the frames we use for HDR+ burst merging. For bracketing, we capture an additional long exposure frame after the shutter press, which is not shown in the viewfinder. Note that holding the camera still for half a second after the shutter press to accommodate the long exposure can help improve image quality, even with a typical amount of handshake.’

Google explains how its Night Sight technology has also been improved through the use of its advanced bracketing technology. As visible in the illustration below, the original Night Sight mode captured 15 short exposure frames, which it merged to create the final image. Now, Night Sight with bracketing will capture 12 short and 3 long exposures before merging them, resulting in greater detail in the shadows.

Capture strategy for Night Sight. Top: The original Night Sight captured 15 short exposure frames. Bottom: Night Sight with bracketing captures 12 short and 3 long exposures. Caption and image via Google.

As for the merging process, Google says its technology chooses ‘one of the short frames as the reference frame to avoid potentially clipped highlights and motion blur.’ The remaining frames are then aligned with the reference frame before being merged.

To reduce ghosting artifacts caused by motion, Google says it’s designed a new spatial merge algorithm, similar to that used in its Super Res Zoom technology, ‘that decides per pixel whether image content should be merged or not.’ Unlike Super Res Zoom though, this new algorithm faces additional challenges due to the long exposure shots, which are more difficult to align with the reference frame due to blown out highlights, motion blur and different noise characteristics.

Left: Ghosting artifacts are visible around the silhouette of a moving person, when deghosting is disabled. Right: Robust merging produces a clean image. Caption and image via Google.

Google is confident it’s been able to overcome those challenges though, all while merging images even faster than before:

Despite those challenges, our algorithm is as robust to these issues as the original HDR+ and Super Res Zoom and doesn’t produce ghosting artifacts. At the same time, it merges images 40% faster than its predecessors. Because it merges RAW images early in the photographic pipeline, we were able to achieve all of those benefits while keeping the rest of processing and the signature HDR+ look unchanged. Furthermore, users who prefer to use computational RAW images can take advantage of those image quality and performance improvements.’

All of this is done behind the scenes without any need for the user to change settings. Google notes ‘depending on the dynamic range of the scene, and the presence of motion, HDR+ with bracketing chooses the best exposures to maximize image quality.’

Google’s HDR+ with Bracketing technology is found on its Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 devices with the default camera app, Night Sight and Portrait modes. Pixel 4 and 4a devices also have it, but it’s limited to Night Sight mode. It’s also safe to assume this and further improvements will be available on Pixel devices going forward.

You can read Google’s entire blog post in detail on its AI blog at the link below:

HDR+ with Bracketing on Pixel Phones

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The 3 Must-Have Camera Lenses Every Photographer Should Own

26 Apr

The post The 3 Must-Have Camera Lenses Every Photographer Should Own appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Guest Contributor.

3 must-have lenses every photographer should own

What are the essential camera lenses every photographer must have?

In this article, I’m going to share the three key lenses that no photographer should be without. These recommendations come from personal experience; I rely heavily on these three lenses in my own photography.

They offer enough versatility to shoot in almost any situation, and they’re available for just about every camera system and lens mount on the market, from DSLR to mirrorless, from Nikon to Sony.

So if you’re ready to discover the must-have camera lenses for every photographer, let’s dive right in, starting with…

1. The general-purpose zoom

must-have camera lens standard zoom

A general-purpose (standard) zoom goes from around 18mm to 70mm. At the wide end, you get an expansive field of view for environmental shots. And at the long end, you get a field of view close to that of the human eye.

These zooms are hugely popular and come in many shapes and sizes. For instance, you can grab an 18-55mm kit lens or a (more expensive) 24-70mm lens.

Out of all my lenses, a standard zoom sits on my camera the most. It lets me shoot fairly wide while also offering decent zoom for objects off in the distance. You can shoot landscapes at 18mm, environmental portraits at 24mm, street shots at 50mm, and tighter portraits in the 60mm+ range.

Ideally, your general-purpose zoom packs a wide maximum aperture for low-light shooting and precise depth of field control (f/2.8 is best, but f/4 also works). Of course, if you can’t yet afford a wide-aperture zoom, that’s okay; a standard kit lens will work fine in most situations.

Consider these general-purpose zooms from Canon:

  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS
  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
  • Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM

These general-purpose zooms from Nikon:

  • Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G II
  • Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G
  • Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S
  • Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S

And these general-purpose zooms from Sony:

  • Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS
  • Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM
  • Sony 24-70mm f/4 Vario-Tessar OSS

2. The macro lens

must-have camera lens 85mm macro

A macro lens lets you get up close and personal to your subject so you can capture stunning details of insects and flowers – as well as close-ups of clothing, jewelry, and more.

Note that the length of your macro lens isn’t as important as its magnification capabilities (a 1:1 magnification ratio or higher is best; it’ll let you get insanely close to your subjects).

I currently keep a 50mm f/2.8 macro in my bag because it’s small and light. I carry it around with me all the time, and when I need it, I whip it out for a detail shot or two. My macro lens also doubles as a decent portrait lens (it’s very sharp and the f/2.8 maximum aperture provides a shallow depth of field). And the level of detail you can get when shooting objects up close is fantastic.

Having a macro lens opens up a whole new world of tiny objects to photograph. Also, if you do any type of product photography (jewelry, food, etc.), this lens will allow you to capture a much greater level of detail than is possible with non-macro lenses.

Consider these macro lenses from Canon:

  • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
  • Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM
  • Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM

These macro lenses from Nikon:

  • Nikon AF-S Micro 60mm f/2.8G
  • Nikon AF-S Micro 105mm f/2.8G VR

And these macro lenses from Sony:

  • Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS
  • Sony 30mm f/3.5 Macro

3. The telephoto zoom

telephoto zoom essential camera lens

The most useful telephoto zooms span from around 70mm to 200mm – so you can capture standard field of view shots on the wide end and tight shots on the long end.

For instance, you might shoot full-body portraits at 70mm, tighter landscapes at 150mm, and headshots at 200mm. You can also use a 70-200mm lens to photograph sports, architecture, weddings, and more.

Regarding the maximum aperture: f/4 is acceptable and will get you decent low-light capabilities plus a shallow depth of field (especially when shooting at 200mm). But an f/2.8 maximum aperture is the holy grail of 70-200mm lenses; the depth of field is gorgeous at f/2.8, plus you can shoot indoors for basketball games, wedding ceremonies, graduations, etc.

The wider aperture will also let you shoot at faster shutter speeds so you can capture moving subjects such as birds and other wildlife. And a 70-200mm lens is a handy portrait lens; the focal length minimizes distortion and narrows the field of view to fill the frame with your subject.

So check out these telephoto zooms from Canon:

  • Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS
  • Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II

These telephoto zooms from Nikon:

  • Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S
  • Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8E VR
  • Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR

And these telephoto zooms from Sony:

  • Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS
  • Sony 70-200mm f/4 G OSS

Wait, what about…?

super-telephoto zoom must-have camera lens

I am sure that many of you reading this have other lenses you would consider essential.

For instance, a fast 50mm prime is great for portraits and street shots. A wide-angle zoom is perfect for landscape, architecture, and environmental portraits. A longer zoom lets you capture ultra-tight landscapes, birds, wildlife, and sports.

And it’s true:

All of those lenses are great to own.

But I’m trying to give you the three lenses that are most useful for every photographer, including folks who are new to photography or who have just bought their first camera.

And if you’re new to photography, these three lenses will give you the versatility to shoot in almost any situation.

You can use them for:

  • Family gatherings
  • Sports
  • Wildlife
  • Insects
  • Flowers
  • Landscapes
  • Events
  • Street scenes
  • Portraits

Then, once you hone in on the type of photography that most interests you, you might find that other lenses are essential for that specific subject – but until then, these are the lenses you should be carrying.

3 must-have camera lenses: conclusion

Well, there you have it:

The three camera lenses that every photographer should have, especially when starting out.

If you already own these lenses, great! And if not, consider adding them to your wish list.

Now over to you:

What lenses would you include on your own must-have lens list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

About the author: Chris Folsom is a hobbyist photographer who spends much of his time photographing abandoned buildings. His photos have been published in newspapers and on numerous websites.

The post The 3 Must-Have Camera Lenses Every Photographer Should Own appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Guest Contributor.

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‘A Year in Photos’ documentary covers winning imagery from Sony World Photography Awards

24 Apr

The annual Sony World Photography Awards is one of the world’s most reputable competitions for creatives. DPReview makes it a point to cover every announcement. Over the course of the past year, over 330,000 images were submitted to its myriad of contests covering contemporary events and issues. A documentary, produced by Chocolate Films, showcasing the winning images, as well as the stories behind them, was recently released.

Hosted by British stand-up comedian and art historian Jacky Klein, who curiously stated that submissions came in from over 200 countries (she possibly meant territories as well), A Year in Photos from Sony World Photography Awards 2021 features imagery, behind-the-scenes takes, and interviews from some of the award-winning photographers. Some of the jurors also share what they love about a particular photographer’s style the most.

Winning imagery addresses how some people believe the novel Coronavirus was a conspiracy.

Naturally, a good deal of imagery discussed in the hour-long film cover the impact of climate change and the pandemic. As winning photographer Coenraad Heinz Torlage stated early on in the film, ‘I think photography is a powerful medium to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.’ A Year in Photos from Sony World Photography Awards 2021 can be viewed in its entirety above or here.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Phones Only

24 Apr

The post Weekly Photo Challenge – Phones Only appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Sime.

Controversial, Simon! But you have to admit that, at some point, you’ve made a photograph with a phone – or you haven’t and that’s OK, too.

Weekly Photo Challenge - Phones Only

Use the hashtag #dPSPhonesOnly when you post on social media to help us see your photos! You can post here in the comments, (instructions down the bottom) or you can join and post over in our Facebook group if you like!

For this challenge, we’d like to see the BEST photo you’ve ever taken on your phone! It can be one you’ve taken at any time in the last year, or it can be a new one you make specifically for this challenge!

Remember, photography doesn’t need to be only ever with the highest resolution camera or the most expensive lens, learning comes in all shapes and sizes!

Weekly Photo Challenge - Phones Only
Point Lonsdale – Australia

Sometimes we use them for documentation, sometimes just because we don’t have a camera-camera with us, whatever the reason, as opposed to what a few muttered when phones started seeing better resolution cameras, I think they’re here to stay!

Weekly Photo Challenge - Phones Only
Swan Bay – Queenscliff

Right then! Some admin, first things first! If you’ve missed any of our previous challenges, you’re welcome to go back and do them all, brush up on your skills or just find some inspiration in the comments that others have posted with their photographs – find them here

And here is a mini-tutorial on how to post your images in the comments below.

How do I upload my photo to the comments?

Simply upload your shot into the comments 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.

Weekly Photography Challenge – Looking Up

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Tamron Announces the 150-500mm, a Portable Zoom for Sony Mirrorless

23 Apr

The post Tamron Announces the 150-500mm, a Portable Zoom for Sony Mirrorless appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Tamron announces the 150-500mm, a portable zoom for Sony

Earlier this week, Tamron unveiled the 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD for Sony E-mount cameras, a lens that will offer significant power, versatility, and affordability to Sony users.

The 150-500mm f/5-6.7 is Tamron’s “first ultra-telephoto zoom lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras that reaches the 500mm focal length.” But despite the super-telephoto range, the 150-500mm is surprisingly compact. At 500mm, the lens reaches 11.1 in (28 cm), and when retracted to 150mm, it clocks in at a portable 8.3 in (21 cm) for a travel-ready package.

While the f/6.7 maximum aperture may frustrate professionals, enthusiast sports, wildlife, and bird photographers will love the opportunity to get up close and personal without splurging on Sony’s $ 2000 USD 200-600mm lens. At 150mm to 300mm, you can capture wider photos of your subject; zoomed in to 400mm and 500mm, you can grab crisp detail shots and wildlife portraits. 

And though the Tamron 150-500mm will work just fine on Sony full-frame cameras, when mounted on an APS-C camera – such as the Sony a6600 – the lens delivers a whopping 225-750mm range, perfect for photographers seeking to shoot small, skittish subjects such as birds.

Of course, image quality remains to be seen, but Tamron confidently claims that the 150-500mm packs “amazing high image quality,” boasting “exceptionally high resolving power across the entire image.” 

As for autofocus, the 150-500mm “provides high speed, high precision, and excellent quietness,” thanks to Tamron’s VXD focusing technology. 

Sure, a wider maximum aperture would be useful, especially for low-light wildlife and sports photography. But wider apertures come with eye-watering costs, plus Tamron has added Vibration Compensation (VC), which ensures sharp images even when shooting handheld in limited light.

While the Tamron 150-500mm doesn’t come cheap, it’s not pricey, either (relatively speaking). You can preorder the lens for just $ 1399 USD, though expect to receive your copy after June 10th (also, Tamron notes that “the release date or product supply schedule could change” due to COVID-related problems).

So if you’re an enthusiast photographer in need of a super-telephoto zoom, I highly recommend you check out the Tamron 150-500mm.

Now over to you:

What do you think of this new lens from Tamron? Will you be interested in purchasing it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Tamron Announces the 150-500mm, a Portable Zoom for Sony Mirrorless appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

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