Balancing Ambient and Strobe Lighting for Maximum Impact

While shooting in natural (ambient) light alone is perfectly adequate under certain circumstances, choosing to enhance the ambient light in a given scene by adding balanced off-camera flash or strobe can really set your portrait apart with a bright, upscale look.

If you’re just starting out with off-camera flash, you’ll likely find yourself (as we all have) working through the ‘spray and pray’ approach, desperately trying all kinds of flash and camera settings in the hope of dialing in a decent look before throwing it all on the shelf in a disappointed heap. Read more

Mini-Review: Fotodiox Pro Canon EF to Sony E-Mount Smart AF Lens Adapter

After making the jump earlier this year from Canon EF to the Sony Alpha full-frame mirrorless system, I found myself (along with many others in the same position) immediately in the market for a suitable adapter to accommodate existing Canon glass.

Having a good deal of experience using the $400 Metabones III and IV adapter systems, I decided to do a little research and set out to price a few alternatives. Within a few keystrokes I had located the Fotodiox EF-Sny(E) Fusion Smart AF Lens Mount Adapter which, in light of its considerably less expensive $99 price tag, quickly piqued my interest as to whether it could be the right tool for the job. Read more

Next Level Video – DJI OSMO Accessory Review

If you’re interested in adding smooth motion, cinematic video production to your skill set, the newly-released DJI Osmo is a must-have piece for the gear bag. As excellent as this tool is for FPV and interview work, adding a few key accessories can help take your creative vision to the next level.

In this tutorial, we’ll jump in and take a hands-on look at a couple of game-changing add-ons.

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Camera Bag Metering

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More often than not, when shooting in the mixed light of partially-shaded areas – such as under canopy or near water where available light can be a spotty mixture of shadow and highlight – it can be difficult at times to locate a neutral tone on which to meter an accurate exposure.  For this reason, seasoned shooters will typically carry a gray card in their bag to combat this common issue.

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Bringing Still Images to Life with Stop-Motion

Over the winter break this year, the kids and I were looking for a fun creative project that we could work on indoors together through the colder months. After a little thought, we decided to enlist a few Lego figures and start working on a small stop-motion video project.

Several days, hundreds of frames and zillions of tedious movements later, we found ourselves with a few minutes of final footage..

Personal projects are an excellent way to stretch and develop useful skills we might never acquire in the normal shooting routine. Read more

Going Wide – Exploring the Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar M Wide-Angle Prime

This article was originally posted on Photofocus.com.

One of the biggest challenges for those who enjoy making landscape and architectural photographs is to locate and acquire the ideal wide-angle lens for the job. While no amount of gear is a replacement for experience and skill, we invariably learn as we go that certain projects will call for a solution beyond our existing means. Fortunately for photo-kind, powerful in-roads for testing and using specialized gear have surfaced to level the playing field, allowing photographers of all stripes full-access to the best tools and equipment available.

Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar M

Courtesy of LensRentals.com
Courtesy of LensRentals.com

If the idea of shedding pounds from your bag in exchange for a ton of quality resolution is appealing, the Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar M aspherical wide-angle prime is in a league of it’s own, especially when attached to the Sony Alpha A7R full-frame mirrorless body.

Here’s a quick look at the overview from the experts at LensRentals.com:

“The Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M is a relatively compact lens that features one aspherical element, offering high resolving power with wonderful image quality. While the f/3.8 aperture doesn’t allow for extreme low-light shooting, it does provide simple focusing due to its large depth of field. Despite being an 18mm, it has very little optical distortion, making it a great option for architectural and landscape photography. The retrofocus design allows for great corner sharpness at all apertures, as well as a limited amount of color shift. It does have Leica’s 6-bit coding that allows the M9 to correct for vignetting.

Please Note: To best make use of this lens, we suggest the use of an external viewfinder to aid in composing.”

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