So, gazing into my crystal ball for this year, here are my predictions for 2015, based on nothing but what I read and understand from the photographic world and in no way based on any insider knowledge. Let’s start by taking a little look back at my predictions for 2014. At the beginning of the year, I suggested that apart from the D4 upgrade and a new Canon 7D MkII, there would not be much in the way of DSLR innovation. This was pretty much true, apart from the above cameras most of the new DSLRs this year were minor upgrades. The Nikon D750 was an exception to that and was quite a surprise.
A photography workshop will bring many fun and possibly even surprising benefits to photographers at all levels. In the last few months, I participated in two completely different workshops from a geographic perspective. Across both workshops, the audience included photographers with many years of film and digital experience, photographers who serve as judges in regional competitions, global photographers and those new to the craft.
One of the more common questions that new photographers ask is, how many pictures can I fit on my memory card? There are two answers to this, the easy one, which is to quote a specific number or the accurate one. The accurate answer is, there is no way of telling. The reason this answer is not often used is because explaining it can be complicated. Its complication stems from the fact that the most popular image file format used by photographers today, is of course, the JPEG, and JPEG files rarely have a fixed file size. Today we are going to attempt to explain the mysteries of the JPEG and why it is important to understand them.
It doesn’t matter whether you are shooting with a Canon, Nikon or Hasselblad, your camera should be a part of you. You need to know your camera perfectly for several reasons, but mostly for speed in order to shoot more effectively. Being quick in setting up your camera is important on so many levels, but eventually it comes down to whether you will miss your shot or not. Many photographers will jump to the new Canon 7D Mark 2 because it has less shutter lag, 10 frames per second and huge buffer. But what good will that do to you if you need 5 minutes to figure out the right settings to use it, right? Every photographer must know their camera perfectly.
Happy 2015 Light Stalking readers! As we’ve said goodbye to the good, the best and the not so good of 2014, it’s once again that time to resolve to do something. That ‘something’ could be a simple task. That ‘something’ could be a lifestyle change. Or, it could be to make no resolution at all. For those of you who are game, let’s take a look at some potential photographer’s resolutions. We can pick one or two New Years Resolutions from the examples below, or even add one to the list. Resolutions are successful when it is something we enjoy. And besides, there is an inner satisfaction when we can truly say, “Resolution Accomplished!”
The Golden Ratio is also known as the Divine Proportion. This is because it occurs virtually everywhere in nature. When we are shooting, our eyes are naturally accustomed to seeing this proportion wherever we look. If in our compositions we break this natural ratio, the image will look uncomfortable, jarring our eyes. The rule of thirds is one of the most fundamental composition techniques in photography. It works because it is very close to the Divine Proportion and our eyes accept it as natural. However, if you want to take your compositions to the next level you can apply Fibonacci’s rules to two more advanced techniques, the Golden Rectangle and the Golden Spiral.
There has been a bit of a fuss recently over Flickr’s decision to start selling prints of it’s members photographs. There is a potential 50 million images that Flickr can sell but the uproar has come from the fact that the photographers will not see a single cent of any picture sold. The reason for this? The Creative Commons license. Flickr is exploiting this license to monetize the images it hosts and despite the protestations of the photographers who will lose out in this, they are legally within their right to do so. Whether they are morally right is an entirely different question and one that is not for this article. What they are in fact exploiting is the fact that a significant number of photographers do not understand Creative Commons. With that in mind, today we intend to give you a brief overview of that license and how to avoid being exploited by it.
We love to believe that we are reasonable. We love the thought that we are rational, and that we weigh evidence, and make decisions. But from our brain’s perspective, that’s not really quite how it works. In the human mind, we feel first. The feeling is then interpreted into rational thought. Just like our eye receives light milliseconds before our brain knows what to call it, we feel before we think. In photography, it’s easy to spend a lot of time on the thinking part, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If we want to be amazing photographers, we’re going to have to put that time in eventually. But that doesn’t make us better artists, just perhaps more technically proficient ones.
A while ago, I wrote an article on vintage lenses. I personally adore vintage lenses. But the reality is that they aren’t that easy to use. In fact, they aren’t easy to use at all. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t ease it up a notch. Vintage lenses are being used out of nostalgia and (mostly) due to the fact that they are cheap (well most of them). Added bonus is that some of them are really sharp and others produce unique effects.
When starting out, photography looks like a fun thing to do. In the beginning, you have the mindset that after a little practice, you will be able to make excellent photos all the time. Well I’m sorry to be the one to ruin the fairy tale, but that is just not true. Yes, photography is fun, motivating, inspiring and fulfilling most of the time, but often can be frustrating. This is due to the fact that no matter how good you are, there are many things that are out of your control. For one, you can’t control the weather, nor you can do much about it if it goes bad. But this is just an example. Here are 4 things to watch out for.