Recently in Photography

  Page 41 of 301 in Photography  

There's a difference between documenting key moments in our lives and selfies. I'm thinking about the distinction because I just finished helping one of my boys move in to his dorm room at Santa Clara University.

move-in-scu.jpg Move In Day, SCU - With the help of a SCU student volunteer, we emptied the car into these large roller bins and went up to the 5th floor of Max's new home, a residence hall on campus.

Not once during the day did I pull out my iPhone, grab my boy, and force a self portrait of the two of us. This event wasn't about me. It was Max's moment. Along with hundreds of other great kids, he was leaving home for the first time and starting the next chapter of his life. My job was to help him do that.

Along the way, I did quietly take pictures. I documented the event as a story. I have him packing the car, standing in the middle of a disheveled dorm room, and wandering the aisles of Target getting a few last minute items we forgot.

I didn't make a big thing about the images. I captured them as I would a reporter on assignment, trying not to interfere with the event itself.

These photos are important to me. And I hope that some day Max will find them interesting too. Maybe after he's well along his career path and raising a family, he'll want to see images from his first day away from home.

I have nothing against selfies. We shoot them all the time. We have a family selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower that is one of my favorite shots on the fireplace mantle.

But there's a time and a place for everything, and this applies to photography too. And yesterday, the story was about Max, not his dad. And I hope that my pictures reflect that.

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Gear Up for High School Senior Portraits

Zach-RR-Square.jpg

It's that time of year when 17-year-olds all across the country need to schedule a photo shoot for their senior portraits.

You may already have a few appointments on the books. Or maybe you're thinking about adding these shoots to your freelance repertoire. Either way, I have some helpful information to help you prepare.

5 Tips for Shooting High-School Senior Portraits

I just published this post on the lynda Article Center that covers location, wardrobe, lighting, and posing. There are a few things you need to understand about working with teens, and this piece will help.

I Have Movies Too!

Take a look at this video titled, "Shooting a portrait, starting with natural light" from my lynda.com training, Photographing High School Senior Portraits with Derrick Story.

The senior portraits title is one of my favorite all-time lynda productions, and I think you'll learn as much from watching the teenagers as you will listening to me. There are a handful of free movies you can view right now.

I enjoy capturing portraits of teens. I hope this information will help facilitate a great time and beautiful images for your shoots too.

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I"ll post this story for discussion.

This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Sony Alpha a7S II, Custom White Balance, Mitakon 25mm f/0.95 for M4/3, Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Hands On - all of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - "The Mitakon Speedmaster 25mm f/0.95 Lens: "An ultra-fast prime lens that provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 50mm for the MFT system. A maximum aperture of f/0.95 makes it perfect for low light conditions without flash. The lens weighs 0.51 pounds and is 2.5 inches long. Despite the light weight, the optic incorporates 11 elements in 9 groups, including 1 Extra-low dispersion element, 4 Extra-high Refractive Index elements, and 2 High Refractive index elements. Also, 11 aperture blades."

Note however, that the manufacturer warns that this optic is not compatible with the Olympus E-PL6, E-PL5, E-PM2, and OM-D E-M5 Mark I (Mark II is compatible). Set price is $395 from the manufacturer's site with free shipping, which should start in late October.

sony-a7s-2-front.jpg

In other news, "Sony Alpha a7S II records 4K internally, shoots up to ISO 409,600." DP Review reports: "Sony has introduced the Alpha 7S II, a second iteration of its video-centric Alpha 7S. The a7S II adds a wealth of videography features, including the ability to record 4K footage internally with full pixel read-out. Its full-frame 12MP sensor features an expanded ISO range of 50 up to 409,600 (100-102,400 native). Sony's in-body 5-axis image stabilization has also been added, introduced with the Sony a7 II." Other features include:

  • 2.36m-Dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF
  • 3.0" 1,228,800-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor
  • Up to 5 fps Shooting and ISO 409600
  • Fast Intelligent AF, 169 AF Points
  • Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC

The price has gone up $500 from the previous model to $2,999 for body only. It's scheduled for release on Sept. 17, 2015.

Story #1 - "Custom White Balance"

Because I've started streaming images from the camera to my iPad for immediate review and posting, color accuracy has become even more important than before. I review some of my tips for capturing the best color possible in-camera.

Story #2 - Hands On with the OM-D E-M10 Mark II

I've had the camera in hand for a week now, and it is a different experience compared to the original E-M10. Aside from the enhanced feature set that I discussed earlier, the physical interaction has changed considerably. Here's what jumped out at me.

  • Right side grip makes it easier to shoot with one hand.
  • Mode dial is now on the right side. I don't see an advantage to that.
  • Fn3 function button added to the left side.
  • Power on switch now on top deck, left side.
  • Raised shutter release button is more comfortable, but it's also easier to accidentally change the exposure compensation.
  • Playback button moved to the lower right of the back panel.
  • Battery remains the same size and with good life.
  • Overall looks a bit more stylish.
  • Frame rate refresh needs to be set to High in the Mark II for an equivalent experience.
  • Flash popup lever is now part of the power switch.
  • The OM-D E-M10 Mark II is available now for $649.

    Story #3 - From the Screening Room - Lightroom CC Essential Training (2015) with Chris Orwig.

    You can watch Chris in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at lynda.com. While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch all of Chris' movies, plus every other title in the library.

    Story #4 - Rocky Nook Evangelist Program

    You can read all about the new program on the Evangelist landing page. Highlights include: early access to eBooks and 5 free print books per year. Plus other goodies such as T-Shirts and coupons. What you need to bring to the table is an online community to share your reviews with. If you have that, then take a look at this cool new program.

    Virtual Camera Club News

    A Word from SizzlPix

    The 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix is the upgrade now in general release on all orders, so you can display your best photography in sizes from 18-inches to 6-feet with resolution and realism one expects only from the small screens on handheld phones and pads. SizzlPix clients say, contrary to expectation, resolution seems to increase as their photos grow larger!

    SizzlPix invites photographers to order a print from the assembly-line plants, and a 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix from the same image. Compare them side by side. They've never ONCE had a client declare they liked the mass-produced print better. If yours is the first, you may return your SizzlPix for a full refund!

    Idea from Red River Paper - Do you know a Scrapbooker? Red River Paper has a page dedicated to those who love making scrapbooks, including a link to their Scrapbooker's sampler for only $14.99.

    Fall Color with Safari West: October 23-25, 2015 - Sonoma County has rolling hills covered in vineyards, beautiful trees, and gorgeous blue skies. What a prefect place to shoot Fall color and bolster your landscape library. But there's more. We include environmental portraiture with a professional model, and an exclusive African wildlife photo adventure at Safari West, led by a professional photographer, plus a few surprises. This is our longest running workshop of the season, and for good reason. Two full days plus pre-workshop reception, breakfast and lunch, excellent swag, professional model, private Safari West adventure with a pro photographer guide - all included for just $599.

    Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS Podcast in iTunes!

    BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

    Download the Show

    In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (35 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

    More Ways to Participate

    Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

    Podcast Sponsors

    lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

    Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

    SizzlPix! - New 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com.

    Want to Comment on this Post?

    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    Olympus announced firmware updates for the OM-D E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II. This is a big update for the E-M1 in particular, bringing many of the latest technologies to their flagship camera. In my meeting with them, they stated their commitment to protecting your hardware investment. This firmware update does just that.

    omd-em5-ad.jpg

    A few of the new features include:

    • Focus stacking with in-camera compositing (E-M1 only)
    • Focus bracketing (E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II)
    • Silent mode (already in the E-M5 Mark II)
    • 4K Time Lapse movie (E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II)
    • MF clutch disable (E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II)
    • Simulated optical viewfinder (E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II)
    • Live composite on O.I. Share, which is also being updated (E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II)
    • Audio slate tone for syncing audio/video (E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II)

    Firmware update E-M1 version 4 and E-M5 Mark II version 2 will be available for download in November 2015. You can read about them both on the Olympus Love Your Camera Longer page.

    twitter.jpg Follow me on Twitter

    When You Can't Shoot RAW: Super Fine

    There are many instances when RAW doesn't work. One of the most common for me is when a new camera comes out, and it isn't supported by Adobe, Apple, DxO or practically anyone else. If I'm in an iPad workflow, I also prefer Jpegs. And sometimes I just need to manage storage space.

    route-66-sign.jpg Route 66, Southern California. Super Fine Jpeg captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and 14-42mm EZ zoom lens. I edited this shot the same way I would RAW - opened up shadows a bit in the Palm trees, recovered a few highlights. Photo by Derrick Story.

    I don't lose much sleep over shooting in Jpeg mode these days. In part, because a while back I discovered Super Fine mode on my Olympus digital cameras. In this format, I capture 16 MP images that are up to 9 megabytes. RAW files from the same camera tend to be in the 13 MB range.

    The Super Fine Jpegs are quite editable, with good highlight and shadow recovery. And the preprocessing of the photos that Olympus does in camera is quite beautiful. Many of my images are ready to go right off the card.

    If you shoot Olympus, you can enable Super Fine by going to gear menu item G, then click on the top item "Set." This allows you to change your Jpeg parameters. I use Super Fine for large, medium, and small Jpegs. I use the Medium/Super Fine combo when I'm streaming photos to my iPad for quick-turnaround publishing. Otherwise, I like Large/Super Fine.

    If you're shooting another brand, check and see what the highest quality Jpeg mode is, then test it.

    RAW is important when you need it. But it's not a must for every shot. Especially not that I've discovered this setting.

    Want to Comment on this Post?

    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    I Don't Need Live Photos, but I Want it

    As we sift through all of the announcements from Apple's Sept. 9, 2015 event in San Francisco, a minor feature is actually one of the most interesting to me: Live Photos.

    live-photos-control.jpg

    If you have it enabled, via the "Live" icon in the center of the top toolbar on the iPhone 6S camera app, every time you take a picture, the app will capture a second and a half of content on either side of the image. Then, when you view the snapshot, you can press and hold on it (thanks to the new 3D Touch feature), and the picture comes to life for a couple seconds.

    It's a small thing, until you think about the type of pictures many of us are capturing with our smart phones. They're family moments, outings with friends, interactions with pets... in other words, the things that matter dearly to us. Imagine missing your wife while on a business trip and being able to see her come to life just for a few seconds. I can see the value in that.

    live-picture-iphone.jpg

    It gets to the point where I sometimes wonder what else I need from my mobile devices. I don't need Live Photos. But I do want it. It's one of those little things that can help me stay connected to those I love. And in this busy, multitasking, world of ours, I can use as much of that connection as I can get.

    Want to Comment on this Post?

    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    The Nimble Photographer Wedding Kit

    ipad-in-pro-messenger-Full.jpg

    It's nimble photographer meets wedding photographer.

    If I've learned nothing else about shooting weddings over the years, it's the importance of keeping track of your stuff. This was more difficult in the DSLR days because it wasn't practical to have all of your equipment on you. So I ended up locking a roller bag to a table near the DJ and worrying all night. But those days are over.

    I now can carry my entire photo kit, including an iPad mini, in a Lowepro Pro Messenger 200 AW and have my equipment with me at all times. In large part, mirrorless cameras have made this possible. Here are the main ingredients for this recipe:

    arca-swiss-grip-em10.jpg

    flash-bracket-on-camera.jpg

    One of the reasons why I like the Pro Messenger is that it can accommodate my flash bracket in the front pocket. So when I'm not using it, I have it neatly stashed away. I keep the iPad in the zippered back pocket. I use it to review images during the event, share them with others, and post online if the client wishes me to do so.

    During the shoot, I leave the bag open so I can access all of my gear quickly. It's like a portable workbench that rests on my hip. I use solid, non-bending dividers inside the Pro Messenger to keep the bag from collapsing (as messengers will do). This makes it much easier to remove and replace the cameras.

    The 12-35mm zoom stays mounted on the E-M5 Mark II and the 75mm f/1.8 is on the E-M10. I don't like changing lenses unless I have to, so I just grab the body I need at the moment. If I do employ the flash bracket, it goes on the E-M5. I'll depend on existing light for the 75mm f/1.8 on the E-M10. I do keep the Neewer L-Plate Bracket Grip on the E-M10 to help protect the body and to give me a better hold. Plus I can change batteries without removing the grip.

    I feel much better these days having all my gear with me at all times. And thanks to the nimbleosity of the mirrorless kits, I can do so without wearing myself down over the course of the event.

    If you want to learn more about my wedding photography, visit www.ReinventTheWedding.com. I have a gallery there plus more details about my approach to wedding photography.

    Want to Comment on this Post?

    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Canon's 250-million-pixel imaging sensor, C-Clamps 'n Things, The Reciprocal Rule of Shutter Speeds - all of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

    Weekly Update - "Canon Develops 250-Megapixel Sensor" Photography Blog reports: "Canon is developing an APS-H-size CMOS sensor incorporating approximately 250 million pixels. With CMOS imagers, increases in pixel counts result in increased signal volume, which can cause such problems as signal delays and slight discrepancies in timing. The new Canon-developed CMOS sensor, however, despite its exceptionally high pixel count, achieves an ultra-high signal readout speed of 1.25 billion pixels per second, made possible through such advancements as circuit miniaturization and enhanced signal-processing technology."

    And then Amateur Photographer adds on: "Canon Europe is developing a 250-million-pixel imaging sensor designed to be capable of distinguishing the lettering on the side of a plane around 11 miles (18km) away."

    In other news, Amateur Photographer posts: "Olympus Japan suspends sales of OM-D E-M10 Mark II" - Olympus Japan has suspended sales of its new OM-D E-M10 Mark II owing to an apparent glitch with the lens mount when using plastic-mount lenses. Olympus Europe has yet to respond to a request for comment and Amateur Photographer will publish an official statement when one becomes available.

    Story #1 - The Reciprocal Rule of Shutter Speeds

    I read an article about the reciprocal rule on The Photoblographer, and I thought it would be a good idea to cover that ground here too. Because image stabilization has become so effective, we don't cover the reciprocal rule as much as we used to. But I still find myself in many situations without IS, such as shooting with the Olympus Air. Plus, applying this rule with image stabilization helps ensure sharp images. The basics go like this (as posted on The Photoblographer):

    • In order to achieve a stable image that is devoid of camera shake, you must shoot at a shutter speed that is the reciprocal of the minimum of the field of view.
    • What does that mean? If you're using a 100mm lens on a full frame 35mm sensor/film body, then you need to shoot at at least 1/100th to produce an image that contains no camera shake when shooting handheld.
    • If you're shooting with a 100mm lens on an APS-C sensor that has a 1.5x crop factor, then you need to shoot at 1/150th at a minimum. Here, the crop factor is taking into consideration.
    • If you're shooting with a 100mm lens on an APS-C sensor that has a 1.6x crop factor, then you need to shoot at 1/160th at a minimum. Here the crop factor is also taken into consideration.
    • Micro Four Thirds shooters need to shoot with a 100mm lens at a minimum of 1/200th because of the crop factor.

    I talk about this in today's first feature story.

    c-clamps-in-things.jpg

    Story #2 - "C-Clamps and Things"

    Since I've been shooting with the Olympus Air A01, I've been digging around in my box of c-clamps that I typically use for my various flash rigs. Doing so has had me thinking how much fun it is to rig up shooting and lighting contraptions. I talk a bit about this in today's second feature.

    Story #3 - From the Screening Room - Exploring Photography: Exposure and Dynamic Range with Ben Long.

    You can watch Ben in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at lynda.com. While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch all of Ben's movies, plus every other title in the library.

    Virtual Camera Club News

    A Word from SizzlPix

    The 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix is the upgrade now in general release on all orders, so you can display your best photography in sizes from 18-inches to 6-feet with resolution and realism one expects only from the small screens on handheld phones and pads. SizzlPix clients say, contrary to expectation, resolution seems to increase as their photos grow larger!

    SizzlPix invites photographers to order a print from the assembly-line plants, and a 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix from the same image. Compare them side by side. They've never ONCE had a client declare they liked the mass-produced print better. If yours is the first, you may return their SizzlPix for a full refund!

    Idea from Red River Paper

    Do you know a Scrapbooker? Red River Paper has a page dedicated to those who love making scrapbooks, including a link to their Scrapbooker's sampler for only $14.99.

    Mastering the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II - A new 528-page guide by Darrell Young and James Johnson cover every feature of this superb mirrorless camera by Olympus. You can get 40 percent off the eBook price by using discount code: omdm540 at www.rockynook.com.

    Fall Color with Safari West: October 23-25, 2015 - Sonoma County has rolling hills covered in vineyards, beautiful trees, and gorgeous blue skies. What a prefect place to shoot Fall color and bolster your landscape library. But there's more. We include environmental portraiture with a professional model, and an exclusive African wildlife photo adventure at Safari West, led by a professional photographer, plus a few surprises. This is our longest running workshop of the season, and for good reason. Two full days plus pre-workshop reception, breakfast and lunch, excellent swag, professional model, private Safari West adventure with a pro photographer guide - all included for just $599.

    Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS Podcast in iTunes!

    BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

    Download the Show

    In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (37 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

    More Ways to Participate

    Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

    Podcast Sponsors

    lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

    Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

    SizzlPix! - New 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com.

    Want to Comment on this Post?

    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    Cycling with the Olympus Air

    The toughest part when mixing photography and cycling is fumbling with the gear. Thanks to the new Olympus Air with 14-42mm EZ lens, that problem is solved. Let me show you how it works.

    P9040725.jpg Photos by Derrick Story

    What I've done is combined a quick-release mount with a photographer's c-clamp and attached them to the handle bars of my bike. Everything is quite secure. I then attach the QR plate to the Olympus Air so I can easily remove the camera from the handle bars as necessary. I need this for both photography composition, and for bike security when I dash into a convenience store.

    P9040752.jpg Manfrotto quick release combined with a c-clamp allow me to mount the camera to the handle bars.

    The idea isn't to shoot while riding, although I could if something interesting was going on. This setup is more about access. When I see an interesting picture, I can stop and capture it quickly. I can trip the shutter button on the top of the Air immediately, or use my iPhone as a viewfinder and control center.

    P9040722.jpg I don't leave the iPhone mounted to the Olympus Air while riding, even though it's pretty secure there. But when I've stopped and am composing shots, I do use the tandem together.

    If I need to take a long exposure, I can use the bike as a makeshift tripod and control the camera with the iPhone detached from its back. And if I want to get off the bicycle all together and wander off, then the Air quickly dismounts from the handle bars to do so.

    And unlike many compact cameras, I have a high quality Four Thirds, 16 MP sensor with a variety of different lenses to choose from. So image quality is top notch.

    I keep the Olympus Air in my bike bag, and have been mounting it on the handlebars before I head out for any ride, even if it's just to run errands. You never know when a great shot will present itself. And now I'm ready for it.


    Nimble Photographer Logo

    The Olympus Air has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

    Want to Comment on this Post?

    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    Oh, And Look Down Too

    Regardless of the subject you're shooting when working in the field, keep your eyes open for other interesting opportunities.

    railroad-web-d-story.jpg Photo by Derrick Story. Click to enlarge and enjoy the details.

    For example, I discovered this image during a model shoot. I was waiting for a wardrobe adjustment, so I started examining my surroundings for a creative photo during the interlude. I looked all around me, and then finally, down at my feet.

    You just never know...

    Want to Comment on this Post?

    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.