A DETAILED LOOK AT 3RD PARTY LENSES: TODAY: SIGMA LENSES

Photo courtesy of blog.sigmaphoto.com – shot with the 85mm 1.4 ART lens

In the world of 3rd party lenses, I think everyone has heard of SIGMA LENSES. This is a company that has been around for a long time, making incredible lenses for all kinds of cameras.

HISTORY OF SIGMA (as per Wikipedia):

SIGMA CORPORATION

is a Japanese company, manufacturing cameras, lenses and flashes and other photographic accessories. All Sigma products are produced in the company’s own Aizu factory in Bandai, Fukushima, Japan. Although Sigma produces several camera models, the company is best known for producing high-quality lenses and other accessories that are compatible with the cameras produced by other companies.

The company was founded in 1961 by Michihiro Yamaki, who was Sigma’s CEO until his death at age 78 in 2012.

Sigma products work with cameras from Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, and Panasonic as well as their own cameras.

Sigma has also made lenses under the Quantaray name, which have been sold exclusively by Ritz Camera. Similarly, Sigma lenses were sold exclusively by the former Wolf Camera, but following the merger of Wolf and Ritz, both brands can be purchased.

LENSES MADE TODAY (2022):

When I went to their website, I wanted to see their list or catalogue of lenses available. And I was really shocked. To me, it seems that the lenses they made covered every type of lens you would ever need, including “standard” lenses. I was most surprised that they made “standard” lenses for the different camera manufactures.

aurora borealis and sun visible in sky of northern norway
Photo by Tobias Bjørkli on Pexels.com

Take a look at the amount of different lenses they make for your camera:

WIDE ANGLE LENSES

silhouettes of cowboy and herd of horses galloping in dust at sunset
Photo by yavuz pancareken on Pexels.com

(18 Lenses)

Wide-angle camera lenses capture the larger side of life with a broader angle of view. Photographers rely on these essential lenses, including the 14mm, 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 12-24mm and 14-24mm.

STANDARD LENSES:

photo of woman looking through camera
Photo by Artem Podrez on Pexels.com

(12 Lenses)

Explore the Sigma lineup of standard camera lenses with a field of view similar to the human eye. This popular category includes lenses such as the 50mm 1.4, 35mm 1.4, and 24-70mm 2.8. Standard by definition, exceptional by performance.

TELEPHOTO LENSES:

brown owl on tree branch
Photo by Erik Karits on Pexels.com

(19 Lenses)

Bring the world closer with a telephoto camera lens. A tool countless photographers rely on for added reach, this category includes such lenses as the 70-200mm 2.8, 100-400mm and 150-600mm.

MULTI-PURPOSE LENSES:

action athletes base baseball
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

(5 Lenses)

Wide-angle to telephoto zoom and everything in between, multi-purpose lenses are designed to be light, versatile and highly efficient. Sigma manufacturers several multi-puirpose lenses, including the 18-300mm, 18-250mm and 18-200mm.

MACRO LENSES:

close up photo of ladybug on leaf during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

(6 Lenses)

Macro camera lenses allow a photographer to bring to life the small but lively world around them. Explore every detail with such lenses as the 70mm and 105mm.

FISHEYE LENSES:

people in brown traditional wear under blue sky
Photo by Denniz Futalan on Pexels.com

(2 Lenses)

Fisheye lenses bring a whole new perspective to your vision. From Diagonal to Circular, Sigma offers a variety of premium lenses for APS-C and Full Frame cameras.

OS LENSES:

person riding bike making trek on thin air
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

(16 Lenses)

Sigma Optical Stabilization (OS) helps compensate for camera shake by reducing vibration in the DSLR camera system while taking a photograph. Some lenses with Sigma image stabilization include the 24-105mm F4,150-600mm and 70-200mm 2.8.

SIGMA “ART” LENSES

One thing that has always intrigued me with Sigma, is they make a line of lenses they call “Art Lenses”! Without even checking the details of this lens, I assumed that this series of lenses was made sharper, more colorful (yes, lenses can enhance the color with their special coatings), more detailed than their regular lenses. Their lenses in their standard lineup are nothing short of AMAZING, so how do the ART lenses compare, and are they worth that extra money?

JUST WHAT ARE SIGMA ART LENSES?

So many names and words are thrown at you in the photography world- L lenses, Prime lenses, and… ART? ART as a term in photography equipment has become so big that most don’t even know the brand that produced the legendary ART: Sigma. Sigma’s ART lens line is a high-end, exquisite quality optic product that is very sought after by professional photographers. 

So what makes the ART lens have such a life of its own in the industry? Well, a mix between brilliant performance, excellent engineering, and an attractive price tag all lend a hand at the lens line’s brilliant reputation. 

Characteristics of the ART Lens Line

For starters, every lens company has a high-end line and more consumer-friendly line. The ART series is the high end, luxury line for camera and lens brand Sigma Corporation of America. Originally started in Japan, Sigma has gained exceptional notoriety for the quality of their ART line. 

Sigma’s ART line is divided into the following expected categories: Wide-angle lenses, large-aperture fixed lenses, telephoto lenses, standard lenses, macro lenses, ultra-wide angle lenses, and fish-eye lenses. Something for everyone. 

The ART line is engineered specifically for sharpness and optic performance. They are lenses created for images that give the sharpest details a photographer can possibly aim for. Even with the widest openings, Sigma ART lenses exhibit exceptional focal plane sharpness. This is because the focusing mechanism is quite unique to the brand itself, and cannot be found in other models. 

The ART line also tends to have wider apertures, from f/1.2 to f/2.8. The bokeh blades create a more natural and creamy shallow depth of field than most lenses, and are nicely designed to avoid chromatic aberration at wide apertures. For those unfamiliar, chromatic aberration is a common optical problem that causes a purple or green outline to appear around your subject.

ART lenses also characteristically produce more vibrant and poppy colors. Although a lot of color has to do with the camera body itself, the lens does play a role nowadays (especially in mirrorless systems). 

Finally, ART lenses are created in all notable mounts, such as Canon, Nikon, Sony, and even Leica. Sigma ART lenses are even able to have their mounts converted through the conversion service offered by the company. 

To get this kind of “extra” quality in a lens, you can plan on spending more than the standard lens in the same style. They are also a bit bigger lenses, but, to get that kind of quality, who cares?

A new blog site to check out:

What I thought was also really cool, is that Sigma has their own blogs right on their own website. You want to check out some pretty cool blogs, go to: SIGMA BLOG

Ready to try Sigma Lenses? They are one of several worth checking out. I am going to give you some more options to choose from, because this Wednesday, in 2 days, I will be reviewing

TAMRON LENSES!

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AMAZING PHOTO RECOVERY SOFTWARE SAVES THE DAY!

While doing blogs about certain products, I try to be careful to not endorse certain brands of products. For example: What camera is the best? Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Canon, Panasonic, etc. If you have read my blogs, you will find it hard to find that I have ever endorsed a brand, and I often will review every brand and say that I love this one, or that one.

But I was recently approached about this amazing product from Stellar. A photo recovery system. When the company said that even DPS (Digital Photography School) endorsed this, then I had to check them out and see what they said. They have been a source for a lot of ideas in photography, let’s see what they said about this product.

I liked this scenario that DPS put forth, and it makes sense that this product is a must for all serious photographers. Check this out:

pexels-photo-2005337.jpeg
Photo by Bogdan Glisik on Pexels.com

Have you ever accidentally deleted photos or videos from your memory cards? Or, even worse, have you ever formatted your card, and only then realize it contained valuable photos or videos? 

It happens to the best of us. 

In fact, if you’ve never experienced either of the above situations, consider yourself lucky. Because while digital files are convenient, they’re all too easy to lose – and if you don’t have the right recovery software, those files will be gone forever. 

That’s where Stellar Photo Recovery comes in.

You see, Stellar Photo Recovery offers an impressive set of DIY recovery tools for photographers and videographers; according to the website, you can recover almost any file on almost any device. And you can purchase a package that lets you repair corrupted files, which is tremendously useful for situations where your photos or videos have been damaged. 

But how does Stellar Photo Recovery perform? Does it work as well as advertised? And how do you use it for file recovery? 

RECOVER EVERYTHING

Stellar Photo Recovery previously known as Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery recovers deleted photos, videos, and audio files from all types of storage media.

  • Supports popular camera brands — Nikon®, Canon®, Sony®, Kodak®, Olympus® Samsung®, Pentax®, Minolta®, Sigma®, Fuji®, Olympus®, Epson®, Mamiya®, Panasonic® & all latest camera models.
  • Supports Mirrorless, Action & Drone cameras — GoPro®, Garmin®, Phantom®
  • Supports all 4K, 8K, 360 and VR Cameras- Insta360, Red Weapon DSMC2 Brain, Rylo 360, etc.
laptop with usb multiplier and memory card
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

MEMORY CARD RECOVERY:

Undelete your seemingly lost photos and media files from damaged / corrupted / inaccessible memory card, SD Card (Mini, Micro, SDHC and SDXC), memory stick, compact flash, CF card, CFast, smartmedia, multimediacard, XQD memory card, eXtreme (xD)-picture card, Eye-Fi WiFi SD card, P2 card & all other flash cards. The software supports all SD card models of Samsung, SanDisk, ,Transcend, Lexar, Toshiba, Patriot, Kingston, Polaroid, Panasonic, Duracell, Verbatim etc Read more on SD card recovery.

RETRIEVES DELETED PHOTOS:

Stellar Photo Recovery tool recovers photos lost from all types of storage media. The supported photo file formats are Canon (CR2 /CR3/CRW), EPSON (ERF), Fujifilm (RAF), Kodak (K25 /KDC /DCR), Konica Minolta (MRW), Mamiya (MOS), Mamiya (MEF), Nikon (NEF, NRW), Olympus (ORF), Panasonic (Raw), Pentax (PEF), Sony (SR2, ARW, SRF), Sigma (X3F), DNG, DJVU, PGM, Adobe EPS (Mac), Adobe EPS (Windows), TGA, JPEG, TIFF (Motorola and Intel), BMP, GIF, PNG, PSD, INDD, PSP, PCT, JP2 and many more.

Retrieves Deleted Videos & Audio Files:

The supported video file formats by Stellar Photo Recovery are MP4, 3GP, AVI, MPEG, Matroska Video File (MKV), AVCHD Video File (MTS), Divx Encoded Movie File (DIVX), MOI Video File, Video Object File (VOB), OGG,OGM, 3G2, ASX, MTS, AJP, F4V, VID, TOD, HDMOV, MOV, MQV, M4B, M4V, WMV, MXF movies and SVI. Supported Audio file formats are RPS, MP3, AU, WAV, MIDI, OGG, AIFF, RM, WMA, RA, M4P, M4A, ACD, AMR, AT3, CAFF, DSS, IFF, M4R, NRA, and SND files. Watch video .

Recovers Photos & Videos from Encrypted Drives

Stellar Photo Recovery retrieve your lost videos, photos and audio files from BitLocker encrypted drives, volumes, or partitions. Select the encrypted storage drive in the software, click ‘Scan’ and enter the BitLocker password. The software begins the scan and recovery process from the encrypted HDD, SSD, flash drive, or SD card etc.

The software has emerged as the most loved tool among Photographers and Videographers, as it supports recovery of RAW files from any make/model of digital cameras. It is also popular among users of Adobe®, Lightroom®, Photoshop® and other photo editing tools as it supports recovery of graphics, logos, drawings and illustrations, during post processing photo or video loss.

two women looking at the code at laptop
Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

IS THIS SOFTWARE SAFE? IS THIS COMPANY A VIABLE COMPANY?

Most tested. Most awarded. For over 25 years, we’ve been recognized as experts

It is obvious to me that this is an important piece of software that all photographers should have. If you want to personally check this out, go to their website:https://www.stellarinfo.com/

THIS IS WHY YOU NEED THIS:

Stellar Photo Recovery is a DIY recovery package, designed to help you find and recover lost photos, videos, and audio files.

But why, specifically, might you need Stellar Photo Recovery? 

Imagine you’re out taking pictures and fill up several cards. You go home, download all the photos to your storage drives, and then – as many photographers do – format every card in-camera. 

Moments later, you feel a dawning sense of horror, as you realize that you failed to transfer the photos from one of the now formatted cards.

At this point, your hard-earned photos are deleted, the card has been wiped, and your only real option is recovery software. 

That’s just one of the many ways you could accidentally delete photos and videos. You could also format a hard drive and realize it had photos you needed. Or you could stick a full memory card into your camera while out shooting, format it, then suddenly realize that you hadn’t transferred the previous photos over to your storage drives. Or you could clear a flash drive, then realize it had valuable media that you needed for a client. 

WHY WOULD I BUY A PHOTO FROM A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER?

brown landscape under grey sky
Photo by Andy Vu on Pexels.com


Have you ever gone to a website of a photographer who sells their photos?  If you have, and you noticed their price, did you wonder:  “why would anyone pay that much for one of their photos”?  
Ask yourself this:  At what point does a photographer become good enough to become an artist?  
And then, if they are truly an artist, don’t they deserve to sell their photos?

Photo by: Lanny Cottrell Photography

If you take an artist who uses a paintbrush, and they are really good, it seems that most people don’t hesitate to pay the money it takes to buy one of their paintings.  How long did it take for that artist to become that good, that they can sell their paintings for money?
SO, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN A PHOTOGRAPHER DOING THE SAME THING?  BEFORE A PHOTOGRAPHER SELLS HIS OR HER PHOTOS, THEY MOST LIKELY WON’T DO IT UNTIL THEY HAVE BECOME PERFECTED IN THEIR ART.  I HAVE NEVER KNOWN A PHOTOGRAPHER, A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER, WHO SELLS THEIR PHOTOS AFTER DOING PHOTOGRAPHY FOR JUST A FEW MONTHS.  SO, HOW MUCH SHOULD A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER CHARGE?MY RESPONSE IS:  IT IS DETERMINED BY THE AMOUNT OF “BLOOD AND GUTS, AND TRAINING” THAT HAS GONE IN TO CREATING THOSE PHOTOS.  I HAVE SEEN SOME PHOTOS IN 8×10 SELL AS MUCH AS $599, AND AS LOW AS $10 FOR THE SAME SIZE.  I WOULD SAY IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE EXPERTISE OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER.  I AM GOING TO SAY THAT ON MY OWN WEBSITE, I HAVE SOME 8×10 PHOTOS THAT SELL AT A VARIETY OF PRICES, DEPENDING ON THE UNIQUENESS OF THE PHOTO, AND THE PAIN AND SKILL IT TOOK TO CREATE THAT PHOTO.

ONE OTHER ARGUMENT YOU SHOULD THROW AWAY:  BUT I CAN TAKE JUST AS GOOD OF PHOTOS AS THEY CAN.  WHY SHOULD I PAY THAT MUCH FOR THAT ONE AS ONE THAT I CAN TAKE?  OH REALLY?  DON’T YOU SEE THAT MOST PHOTOS ARE CREATED BY,  A-  BEING THERE AT THE RIGHT TIME AND THE RIGHT PLACE, AND B- THE EXPERTISE OF KNOWING HOW TO SET THE CAMERA RIGHT AND GETTING IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME. THAT MIGHT BE MORE VALUABLE THAN YOU TRYING TO GET IT ON YOUR OWN?  I AM NOT TRYING TO BE HARSH WITH THIS, PLEASE, I AM JUST TRYING TO PLEAD THE CASE FOR ALL PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS OUT THERE, TRYING TO SELL THEIR ART WORK.  IT IS ART, AND THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE BUYING.  AND THAT IS WHY YOU BUY ART FROM A PHOTOGRAPHER.  THERE COMES A TIME WHEN THE PHOTOGRAPHER HAS COME TO THAT POINT, WHEN THEIR WORK BECOMES THAT GOOD.  AND YOU NOW HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BUY SOMETHING REALLY UNIQUE.  
I WANT TO INTRODUCE YOU TO A FEW OF MY PHOTOGRAPHER FRIENDS WHO DO SELL THEIR PHOTOS.  I AM PROUD TO HAVE THEM AS MY FRIENDS, AND I WANT YOU TO GO TO THEIR WEBSITES AND SEE WHAT TRUE ART IS, IN PHOTOGRAPHY.  TAKE A LOOK AT THESE:
LAURIE EXCELL PHOTOGRAPHY:   


Laurie Excell has been doing photography since a kid in school in 1966.  And then when she could went on to work in several photo retail shops for over 25 years.  In retail, you teach people how to take pictures.  Along the way, you, yourself, become really good at that as well.  And then she went on to do her own thing.  Went on to teach photography, conduct photo tours around the world, and conduct photo classes for people, then won many photographic awards as well.  Why wouldn’t she share her talents to the world.  She is now living the dream, taking pictures all over the world, and you can buy her photos off her website.One of the things Laurie enjoys the most now, is to help people get that “ah” moment when they first “get it” in learning photography themselves.  She has grown that passion for helping people to learn photography.  If you find Laurie in your journeys around the world, you will probably find her helping a photographer with their camera, getting the composition or their camera skills honed in for the great photo themselves.  She has been all over the world, and should share her work with the world too.  Check out her website at:  http://laurieexcell.com/ROB DAUGHERTY


Born in Hood River, Oregon, Rob Daugherty has always been very involved with animals and nature making photography a priority in his life. His employment in Law Enforcement with the Federal Fisheries Agency on the Columbia River gave him the opportunity to view wildlife from land, sea and air further inspiring him to capture the landscapes and wildlife that he encountered on a daily basis in the two states of his jurisdiction. From photographing Bald Eagles in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge to the landscapes of the Oregon coastline and capturing the wildlife of the breathtaking Mt Hood National Forest, Rob laid the foundation for what would become his life’s passion.After moving to Northern Utah in 2005, Rob was inspired by the large number of wildlife photography opportunities available within short distances of his North Salt Lake home. With several state and National parks in close proximity to his home, Rob has honed his skills to include the capturing of his subjects in their most vulnerable moments. From the delivery of a Bison calf which must be able to stand and join the herd within less than an hour of birth so as not to be left behind to witnessing a mother bear teaching her cubs to forage for means of survival. He has developed a great sense of patience in waiting for that “One Shot” that will leave you with a deep appreciation for nature and all of its wonders. His greatest inspiration is driven by his love for both Yellowstone and Teton National Parks which he travels to more than 15 times each year in addition to dozens of other State and National Parks.
As an international photographer, Rob has experienced places and cultures that have humbled him and instilled in him an even greater appreciation for the world in which we live. His international travels include: Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China.
His frequent trips to our nation’s most picturesque National Parks include Yellowstone, the Tetons, Arches, Zion, Canyonlands, Bryce, and Capitol Reef, as well as numerous state parks, wildlife refuges and bird sanctuaries.
Imagine the photos that he would have for his collection to share with the world.  And you can have some of his collection on your wall as well.  By going to his website.  Go to:http://www.robswildlifephotos.com/index
Lanny Cottrell Photography

Lanny Cottrell has been involved in photography since 1976, as he started working in a photo retail store.  Quickly learning photography and learning to love the art of photography.  He worked in retail photography for almost 20 years, and then went on to other adventures.  But, during those 20 years, did get the opportunity to teach photography classes almost regularly to his clients that came into his store.  It was fun to do, and he found that he should practice what he preached.  In one year during the annual managers meeting, he entered one of his photos in the annual portrait of the year contest, and took first place.  That was a new feeling for him, and so he tried to see if he had a feel in the local county fair, and entered some photos in the county fair, and took first, second and an honorable mention in the fair.  So, then tried to go big time, saw a contest in a photo magazine for Vivitar, and tried entering one of his photos there.  This was a national contest and he took second place in a national contest.  The photo was of for overlaying the city of where he lived.  After that he was asked by the county fair and other photographic contests to be the judges of contests.  That was a brutal shock, because after you taught photography for a long time, it became obvious who should win.  And then when the so called “professionals” didn’t win they thought you were not a reputable photographer.  Good thing there was more than one judge to back him up. So, after years of teaching and then trying, he now has his own website to market some of his photos as well. 


What is the moral of this blog:  Remember that photographers are artists.  When they get to the point of selling their photos, it is because they have become skilled enough to sell their art work to the world.  Perhaps some day, you can say:  I actually own, a photo by:  “_______________”



DAY 6 OF 10 – DEVELOPING YOUR EYE – LANDSCAPES :

brown mountains
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Pexels.com

Day Six: “Landscape” — Crop Your Image

Today, let’s walk in the footsteps of masters like Ansel Adams and focus on landscape photography.

Landscapes generally focus on wide, vast depictions of nature and all of its elements, from formations to weather. In this genre of photography, you won’t find much of a human presence: nature itself is the subject. A focus on nature isn’t mandatory, however — you can also capture a sweeping panorama of a city.

Today, take a picture of a landscape. Focus on the gestalt — the entire setting as a whole, like the shot above of the English countryside in Kent — rather than a specific subject or focal point within the scene. The setting itself is the star.

Today’s Tip: You may have trained your eye to crop your photo while viewing it “in camera.” But if not, crop your landscape photo once it’s uploaded onto your computer, using a free image editor like PicMonkey or Pixlr.

We hope you’re having fun scouting and taking your landscape photos! If you’re looking for inspiration, take a peek at the landscapes of nature photographer Kerry Mark Leibowitz. Her shots of national parks in North America are stunning.

Ready to crop your photo? Sift through your images from today’s shoot and find a candidate that needs cropping. Or, if you come up empty, look back to previous shots from the course or pick an image from your Media Library.

Things to look for:

  • Stray objects in the background, near the frame’s edges and corners.
  • People around the perimeter that have “photo-bombed” your picture.
  • A foreground or background that is too prominent or “heavy.”
  • A composition that is too-centered (with your subject in the middle), that might benefit from cropping along two sides (in other words, cropping to the Rule of Thirds).
Cropping the right side of today's landscape image in PicMonkey.
Cropping the right side of today’s landscape image in PicMonkey.

There are many tools available for free on your computer or even on your phone. If you have something in the photo that you really don’t want, use these tools to crop off what you don’t want. It will make a better photograph.

Your city might make a beautiful landscape picture. Look for the best angle to get the best part of your city.

All this week, the series continues: Developing your eye. Read these articles carefully to learn what you need to “see” better photos.

Many times professional photographers prefer to use Wide Angle lenses (click on that link to see what is available for your camera) to get the best landscape photos.

DEVELOPING YOUR EYE ! PART 1 OF A 10 PART SERIES:

Photo by alex bracken on Unsplash

Today starts a whole 10 part series titled: “SEEING A PHOTO”. This is a series that WordPress had developed for photographers, to learn about the art of learning to see. It takes a lot to really see a photo when you don’t know what to look for. I love to see a real good photographer go into a remote place and see something that we just don’t see at all. And they take the photo and it’s amazing. This 10 part series will help us to see the different types of lighting, composition, and so forth. And it is set up so that you can practice with each one of these series. I would love for everyone to participate if you want to take the assignments in here. If you want to submit a photo as you practice these techniques, please submit your photo to: question.123photogo@gmail.com

And here is our first of a series of 10:

Day One: “Warmth” — The Quality of Light

Photography means “drawing with light.” When you take a picture with your camera, you use and record light to create an image. When we’re out and about, we often use the sun — our most abundant light source — to capture our scenes.

The Hagia Sophia is an impressive mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. If you ever find yourself wandering inside, here’s what you’ll see when you look up:

The spotlights on the chandeliers — combined with lots of ambient and natural light filtering in from outside — create a warm scene of yellows and golds.

For your first shooting challenge, capture an image of warmth, using the sun as your source. If the sun is nowhere to be found today, not to worry — interpret warmth in your own way.

Today’s Tip: Consider the direction and quality of light. Front light is great for outdoor landscapes and group portraits; a front-lit subject faces the light source, making it even-lit. Side light is fun to experiment with: the mix of light and shadow shows more depth and can create unexpected results.

Visit the resource page for details. Remember to tag your post with #developingyoureye and check the Reader to see posts from fellow course participants!

Here’s just another idea: While taking a walk at night time you will find that street lighting produces a warm light to the scene. Here is one I took, while walking the street one night:

What’s new for 2021 in Photography?

I know everyone is glad to get rid of 2020. So, with great optimism the photography market is growing and exciting new products are coming all the time. Would you like to plan on something for your camera or maybe even plan on a new camera? Let’s take a look at what is available.

Fujifilm in 2020

Fuji Film, in the year 2020 produced 4 new cameras. We expect that with that huge of new product announcements, you will see a lot from Fuji Film. They are most likely going to produce some incredible lenses for their whole line-up. There are some new lenses that have come out recently that, I think, will make the camera and lens manufactures step up their game.

Fujifilm X-T200

Ignoring the giant elephant in the room, Nikon fans will remember 2020 as a bumper year for full-frame cameras and Z-mount lenses. Despite challenges posed by the global pandemic, the Big N launched no fewer than five full-frame cameras across its DSLR and mirrorless systems, along with six Z-mount lenses, bringing Nikon’s total lineup of mirrorless glass to 16.

It was a comparatively quiet year for F-mount, but the release of the Nikon D6, Nikon D780 and Nikon AF-S 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR was proof that the manufacturer is still delivering the goods for DSLR stalwarts. Alas, a positive year for releases was marred slightly by the recent news that Nikon will no longer manufacture cameras from its Sendai Nikon facility in Japan, with production set to shift to its satellite plant in Thailand. 

And yet with a maturing Z system and Z8 / Z9 rumors galore, there’s plenty to be excited about Nikon in 2021 and beyond.

Obviously 2020 was rough for everybody. And for Olympus it marked the end of 84 years as one of the most iconic brands in the camera business, as the corporation sold off its imaging division in one of the industry’s biggest bombshells. 

Olympus, as a camera company, is no more – though its cameras and lenses live on under new ownership. And as rough as 2020 was, it still saw the erstwhile brand release some of the best Olympus cameras and lenses – including the single most expensive product it has ever brought to market.

The year kicked off with a bang, as the manufacturer brought out the latest version of its professional flagship camera: the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

While many sceptics scoff at the idea of a camera with a Micro Four Thirds sensor being used for professional work, this is a true powerhouse – and is one of the best all-around cameras for general practice professional photography. 

The aging 20.4MP image sensor is most certainly overdue an upgrade, but it’s hard to argue with the core specs: industry leading IBIS good for up to 7.5 stops, maximum 80MP imaging resolution, 60fps continuous burst speeds, handheld astrophotography, in-camera Live ND filters, Pro Capture that buffers 14 shots before you press the shutter so that you don’t miss a moment… there’s really nothing that it can’t do. 

Canon to replace shutter button with touchpad?

Canon to replace shutter button with touchpad?

New for 2021: And just announced from Canon:

Goodbye, shutter button! Canon designs touch shutter that could revolutionize camera design.

Canon has designed a new, touchpad replacement for the traditional shutter button – something that could be the biggest revolution for cameras since the advent of the LCD screen or removal of the reflex mirror. 

In a new design patent, filed last week, Canon describes a “front touch operation member” (panel) located where the shutter button traditionally sits. This panel is able to detect both the duration and the pressure applied to it – meaning it would be able, for example, to detect a prolonged half-press to find focus, and then a firm full-press for taking a shot. 

Because a touch panel can be completely enclosed within the camera shell, it does not need the moving parts or perforations in the camera body required by a shutter button. In turn, this means that both the weather sealing and ergonomics of a camera body can be improved. 

“The present invention relates to an electronic apparatus and a method of controlling the same, and more particularly, to a technique for performing control according to a pressing force of a touch operation,” reads the Japanese patent (JP-020-201756), as spotted by Canon News. 

Canon Patent Application: Replacing the shutter button
Where’s the shutter release button?

The sensor area acts as a strain gauge which would detect a “press” versus a “swipe”.  I would assume then it could detect different force levels to determine a half press – but that would be nearly impossible to do in practice without a physical switch.

We’re all VERY particular about how our shutter button feels, this would have zero feeling, and just be an area you press on.  It would take a long time to get used of after decades with a physical shutter button. 

Nikon to stop making cameras in Japan in cost-cutting measure

After 70 years, Nikon will cease camera production in Japan and shift manufacturing to Thailand.

Nikon to stop making cameras in Japan in cost-cutting measure

Nikon will no longer manufacture cameras domestically, and will shift production from its “mother factory” in Japan to its satellite plant in Thailand, in an effort to reduce costs.

Preparations to transfer production of both the Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7 to Thailand began in October, and by 2021 the flagship Nikon D6 will also be manufactured in the Thai facility.

“The Thai production factory, to which camera production is transferred, was established in 1990 and has been producing cameras and interchangeable lenses for about 30 years, achieving Nikon quality for many years as Nikon’s main factory. We will continue to provide high-quality products that satisfy everyone.”

While cameras produced in Thailand should, in principal, be no different those produced at Sendai, an interesting consideration is the potential effect on used resale value. As anyone involved in the used camera market knows, buyers can be very picky about which country certain cameras and lenses were made in…

DSLR CAMERAS ARE NOW SERIOUS VIDEO CAMERAS:

If you look at those who do a big business on YouTube, you can be sure that those videographers are using DSLR cameras. Canon, Nikon, Sony, and others are the prime cameras being used in video production now. The camera manufactures have really started making their cameras to be the way to get it done right. I follow a blogger on YouTube, and she uses Nikon and a Ring-light, and she swears that this is the best equipment out there. If you are planning on doing video work, even professionally, you should be considering the DSLR.

“THE ART OF BLACK AND WHITE” Issue #7

This is my annual series of “THE ART OF BLACK AND WHITE”, and now it is issue #7. This is a collection of some of the best black and white photos found on the internet in the last few months, from some of the most talented photographers in the world. I said last year that the interest in black and white has been developing for some time now, and this year the photos collected are the most amazing photos I’ve had to date. Congratulations to the photographers who’s photo was chosen for this presentation.

As far as how I pick these photos, here is some of the criteria I look for:

  • The photo must have good contrast, and have excellent blacks and whites.
  • Would this photo look better in black and white, than in color.
  • For facial pictures or portraits, the exposure must be perfect. No washed out tones and the greys are very nice.
  • Some black and white photos tell a story, and it can be best told in black and white.

With that in mind, here is this years winning photos:

Here is an exceptional black and white photo, but, it’s color, but, it’s story is something you can’t pass up. I have never really had a photo, that is technically color, but, represents black and white so well. The meaning and thought to this photo is powerul. The photographer: Matheus Viana, who regularly posts his photos on Pexels.com, has some talent in his photography, and should be recognized.
Photographer Attila Hangyasi has come up with a wonderful portrait of this fine man. This black and white of this fine man struck me as one portrait that nailed it on exposure. The exposure is so right on. Plus, the pose is just so nice. I don’t usually pick a lot of portraits for this presentation, but, there is some real good ones this year. To see more of Atilla’s great photos, go to his FACEBOOK web page: https://www.facebook.com/attila.hangyasi.121
This photograph of this beautiful girl was also taken by Attila Hangyasi. I was curious if he was just lucky with one good photo of the older man, but, it appears he has black and white portraiture down to an art. Good exposure, nice grey tones. Certainly worth seeing two great photos from him. Go to: https://www.facebook.com/attila.hangyasi.121 to see more of his work.
Photo by PAUL ANTHONY WILSON (c). Now I know elephants are grey in color, but, to get this photo of the two elephants together was a job in itself. I really like how detailed the elephants skin is. It just makes you want to reach out and pet them. The black background was what really set this photo off. It just made this a winning photo. Paul Anthony Wilson has mastered his photography skill and has his own website. You should see some more of his photos. Please go to: http://www.paulanthonywilson.co.uk Great job Anthony!
Photo by Jim Miller (c). This photo is just amazing. Look at the rain in this photo. That is something that takes skill to create this type of photo. But, the composition is so good. Jim is a great photographer, and this is his second appearance in this series. He had another amazing photo in last years presentation. You can see his and other photos from other photographer by going to: https://123photogo.com/gallery/. Thanks Jim for always coming through.
Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels Photos. This black and white photo was chosen because of the guitar being vintage, and then the photographer had the mindset to put it up against an old door and a very old looking floor. It just takes a current photo, and made it look old. Congratulations Jessica, this was well done.
Photo taken by Lanny Cottrell photography. This black and white photo, compared to the color version is about the same. That is what makes some winter photos do so well in black and white. Other than a slight tint to the wood, they are almost identical. The contrast between black and white is amazing for sure, and makes this winter photo look delightful.
Photo by Herman Van Bon (c). An animal done as a perfect portrait, I love the face on this sheep, and how it makes you just want to maybe keep your distance. The detail of the face, and then to vignette the photo, I think, makes it a real class photo. He lives in Napier, Western Cape, South Africa, and has developed an amazing talent in photography. He has his own website, and if you want to see more great photos, you really need to go to his website and check them out: http://hermanvanbon.com
Photo by Steve Brown (c). This long exposure of the mountain stream is really nice in black and white. Normally, I wouldn’t pick this type of photo in black and white, but, this one was just nice. The blur of water in the stream, the leaves in the stream and along the banks of the stream, just seemed beautiful in black and white. Thanks Steve for sharing your talent.
Photo by Javant Kalkarni and was displayed on Pexels website. There is such a popularity of this type of photography. The simple photo with lots of background is really nice. This is the type of photography that is going on the walls now. This photo is way awesome because you can see the story behind a couple of men on a boat, whether they are fishing or not, it just seems to grab you, and draw your eyes to the main subject. It is done very well.
Photo by Jaoa Cabral from the Pexels web site. Fog and misty photos are really good in black and white. This just is one great example. The color seems to be taken away because the light is so subdued. And the subject in the photo is placed to tell as story. I have a feeling that wherever this is, it’s very typical of this weather.
This is another photo from Joao Cabral. Pexels is a great site to capture good, new young aspiring photographers. This photo is of fog again. I think maybe Joao is fascinated with these types of photos, because he is very good at them.
Photo by Kayln Kostov. The reason this photo was chosen, is because the exposure is real good with this, plus, the freckles on this person, in black and white are amazing. I think a portrait of a person with freckles is just amazing, and the person doesn’t need to be shy about having them either. Is there anyone who doesn’t like freckles? This is just a wonderful portrait.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels. This is a photo that works really good on black and white. The good contrast, the subject material, the expression on the person’s face all contribute to this wonderful photo. I don’t think I want to be kicked by him.
Photo by David Pearce (c). From looking over David’s Facebook website, it appears that this is a walk he takes often. And I can see why. This natural foggy scene, with those beautiful trees, are just spectacular in this kind of weather. The fog on this one photo is nice because it’s just thick enough to create a wonderful fade to white. A great capture of this weather. Thanks David.
Photo by Todd Trapani. I have seen photos of this site many times, but most people don’t take the time to get different angles of this monument. And I really just liked to see that a photographer was willing to beyond the norm, and get a photo of this monument from an angle that we don’t normally see. Now you can get an idea of just how rugged this area is, and besides it being a famous tourist site, makes this interesting photo.
Photo by Nika Akin from Pexels. We have all seen photos like this before from older photography. The exposure is spot on, because you have perfect blacks, and perfect highlights. This was done on purpose to lighten the image on the half of the face. Hardly any grey tones to this photo, but, this one works. It just makes the model more mysterious this way. This is a technique that only works when done this way. Very well done. And it’s good to see the talent put forward on this.

This concludes this year’s ART OF BLACK AND WHITE, VOLUME 7. Thanks to those who let me use their photos. You have amazing talent and perhaps we may use your photos again.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: PHOTOGRAPHY BY LANNY COTTRELL

Photos of the week can be of a particular subject, or It can be photos of the season, And it can be photos from a photographer. In this case, I, personally have had a request to display my photos. I have been involved in photography for many years, and taught photography classes, been a judge of winning photos at a County Fair, and recently have created this wonderful website you are reading now. Many people don’t know the name behind 123PhotoGo, but, it’s me: Lanny Cottrell. And after all these years, it’s time for me to put up my own photography. I hope you like them.

I am not one who likes winter, but, I love the beauty of a winter day. Especially like this one with the fog in the background.
I really appreciate a good seagull to come and pose for this photo. Taken on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake.
This is the beautiful cloud formations right after this valley seemed destroyed by East Canyon Winds. The wind roared through this valley at over 70 miles an hour. When things started to calm down, we got these beautiful cloud formations.
I always appreciate a good artist, whether they paint it themselves or take the photos. This wonderful Gentleman was painting a picture of Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone Park. It was a good likeness of the place.
I have been experimenting with night photography with my Samsung Note 20Plus. It seems as this camera takes a picture at night time, the camera automatically brings up the exposure of the dark areas. This photo was taken at night time, and the only light on this photo is from the street lights.
About 20 years ago, when film was at it’s best, I took this photo with Kodachrome film. Found this beautiful rose outside, sprayed a little water on it to give it some texture, and the reproduction to digital was amazing. Film was a good thing in it’s day.
This photo, to me, is one of my best photos of the twilight colors mixed with sunset colors were available at the same time. The Great Salt Lake was a bit full this year, covering even some trees along the shoreline.
Another amazing winter photo of a big tree on a hill. Even a little fog adds to this photo.
I feed the birds around my house. One of the most colorful and unique birds is the “Blue Scrub Jay”. I can put peanuts in a shell, and they can come and even hang upside down to get these peanuts. They do not eat these peanuts immediately. They go and bury these peanuts for availability later on. The magpie birds don’t like to hang upside down on this, so, they don’t bother it much. It’s a feeder meant just for these birds.
A very recent photo of the docked sail ships that make their home at Bear Lake, Utah and Idaho. I had never seen this line-up of boats like this before, and it certainly was the perfect day to capture this unique photo.
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“Old Ironsides”. One of the most famous of the steam trains still in existence. This close-up of this train, gives you a feeling of its massiveness.
One of my favorite photos! Why? Not only is it an amazing sunset photo, but, because one of my sons is in the picture.
Everyone has a fall photo that you love. I love this one. Captured in Parley’s Canyon, just east of Salt Lake City. I love it when the clouds add to the photo.
The beautiful Maddison River in Yellowstone National Park.
This sepia toned photo is perfect for this type of photo. An old Pioneer home, still standing, now used probably to store feed for cattle.
Night photography, with fog! The ultimate way to make it happen.
Winter is a tough season, but, it is a beautiful time of the year. The snowstorms can produce such beauty. It’s the only thing I look forward to in the winter.
Another winter scene, with a field in snow, leading into a foggy morning area.
At the top of Logan Canyon coming down onto Bear Lake, Utah. There is a big lake under those clouds, and we are above the clouds. This is when the water is warmer than the air. Temperature at this site was about 16 degrees F. Temperature under the fog: 36 degrees. Water temperature: 39 degrees. That is why the clouds like to hang out where it’s warm.
Waiting for a concert at the famous Tabernacle at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. All of a sudden, “golden Hour” made this beautiful building turn from it’s granite grey color to this golden yellow.
I don’t know if this is fair, but, who cares. These two beautiful bald eagles were posing for me at an zoo for injured animals. So, they couldn’t fly away, but, they sure posed good for me that day.
Everybody loves a good sunset. This photo taken right off my deck. But, the cloud formations was the key to take this photo.
Another photo in the Bear Lake area. The clouds on the mountains and the mix of blue sky was wonderful.
I have had a fascination with the “crooked” quakie aspen trees. I am no tree person, but, it would be interesting to know how it grew this way.
This was taken with slide film about 25 years ago. With the sky and the clouds the way they were, I just had to try a red filter to get this effect.
Now you can see Bear Lake out in the distance. The old range here in front of it, is highlighted by the dormant trees, leading lines take your eyes back to the lake.
Once in a while, during sunset, the clouds are lit up by the sun in a golden color, making the whole valley golden. You can see the mountains are golden, and of course, the clouds are just beautiful. A natural phenomenon here in this valley.
An old broken down shed in the foggy, snowy day.
It’s scary to get so close to a bee while it’s busy. But, in studying up the different macro lenses available, I found out that the telephoto macro lenses will produce the same magnification as the normal macro lens, only you don’t have to be so close to the subject.
Another photo taken at night, at the city park. I love what light and fog do together.

Thank you so much for viewing my photos. If you have any ideas, have any questions about my blog, or this website, feel free to comment below, or send your questions to me at: question.123photogo@gmail.com