If you decide to really get involved in photography, and you just bought your first “Kit”, you now have just a taste of some of the gadgets you can have of what is available for your new camera.  Perhaps you got the 1 lens kit, or the 2 lens kit.  As you can see above there is a huge amount of gadgets that are available for your that you can choose from.  I want you to be aware that you don’t need them all.  Whew!  That’s a relief, right?   Well, the manufactures make a lot of different things for different types of photographers. 

This week, I want to go over something I have not done before, and that is to go over some of the “gadgets” that you can get for your camera that are specific to what type of photography that you want to do.  This gets a bit techy, and I have worked out with a website for you to view the many different ideas and prices that are available for you to look at so that you can see the many different things that you can choose from while learning about these products at the same time. 

So, lets start first with what I think are the necessities that I think you should buy to make your new camera purchase more complete:


If you bought from a store, and if the salesman did their job, he may have sold you a protective filter, either a skylight or UV filter.  If not, you need one.  Why?  If you are wandering around the bushes of your neighborhood, or through the forest, or just if something flips up and hits your lens, how much does it cost to replace that lens?  How much would it cost to replace that filter?  The protective filter is there to protect your lens.  And it does not (unless you buy a cheap one) change your photo.   Are they expensive?  No.  Here is your first list of those:

Product Details

Click on this link, and see the variety of filters available.  Feel free to purchase if you haven’t already.

UV Filters:

<a target=”_blank” href=” filter&index=aps&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=ur2&linkId=b3a971a48c74c77185d3c54782236295″>UV filter</a><img src=”//″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

Skyllight Filters:

Here is the link for an incredible variety.  If you feel like you would like to purchase, go ahead:

<a target=”_blank” href=” Filter&index=aps&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=ur2&linkId=d0c12d5a3a387d1489e0dd417e5ab55a”>Skylight Filter</a><img src=”//″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

Now that you have seen the need for these, and now I have a link to the market for the best variety and the best prices, I think I have become your one stop shopping place too.  I am way excited to have my new website be the one place to come to for your shopping place for your camera accessories.


At some point you will need a tripod very early in your photographic career or hobby.  I don’t know how you can take some photos without the use of a tripod.  Here are some examples that you will absolutely need a tripod, because you just can’t hold your camera still enough.  You will get a blurry photo if you don’t use a tripod in these types of situations:
  • Very low light photography
  • taking pictures of water streams and waterfalls
  • Portraits of people ( not that you need a tripod for this but you want to be away from your camera as you shoot portraits at times)
  • macro or micro photography.  When doing extreme close-ups, either you will jiggle your camera or the product will jiggle.
  • Scenery photography.  Mostly because you will want to use a high f-stop, which will cause a slower shutter speed.  And you will want your scenery photos to look sharp.
  • A weapon if bear attack you (just kidding
Tripods come in a variety of qualities.  I always say:  don’t risk your camera by buying some cheap one that will blow over in the wind.  Get a good heavy duty one, but, get one that you can hike with if you are an avid hiker.  So, from the vast variety of inventory available to all of you, and the many brands that are available, take a look at these, and if you want to purchase one, feel free to do so.  I just can’t find a place to go that is less expensive:

One last thing to consider for your basic introduction of equipment to get into your bag:  The cleaning kit.  If you did not get something to clean your camera with, make sure you don’t just throw in just any cleaning cloth, please.  You are now dealing with the most sensitive optics you have ever had.  It kills me when I see someone cleaning their lenses with their shirt tail.  I want to just tell them:  “So, did you enjoy scratching your lens”?  You really have to be so careful how you treat those lenses.   I would recommend a specific lens tissue, or lens cleaning cloth, and a good camera brush.  And here are some good, and maybe not so good items from the catalog to choose from, but PLEASE, get one that is right:


So, that is it for today’s basics.  Those of  you who are professionals and need replacements of the stuff you see here, take a look through the links above.  One thing I found out that is nice, for example, is a thin polarizing ring for my wide angle lens.  Have you ever had the edges of your polarizing filter showing up in your photos?   Here is a link for some good ones:  (P.S.  I will talk about Polarizing filters in a future blog).

Thanks for checking this article out here today.  I hope you will enjoy this one.  And I am going to provide some more articles about CAMERA ACCESSORIES in the next few days.  This should be fun, informative and a good way to check things out.

Entertainment & Learning for the photographer




Taking pictures in the winter aren’t as easy as it seems.  Maybe your photos are coming out like everyone else’s?  Kind of grey or blue in color?  Look at them.  Isn’t winter photos supposed to be white?  Why are they coming out grey or blue?  I just thought that was normal.  NO !  NO!  That is not normal.  Well, your camera is acting normal, you just have to tell it not to be normal during winter pictures.   Let’s give you some tips on how to fix this:

In this article we’ll cover photography tips for overcoming the winter photo doldrums with water as icy streams, freezing rain, icicles and snowflakes:


A quietly running stream won’t make “tenacious grace” but after it thinly freezes over, it may sculpt the underside of the ice with the gently running water and any air bubbles that get trapped there. The resulting patterns can be very photogenic.

“Ice Flow” captured by PictureSocial member Daniel P. Woods


A special instance of ice is freezing rain. Look for interesting things—grasses, leaves, branches, and twigs, etc., encased in it. Exposure can be tricky with the reflected light, so bracket your exposures!

“The Beauty of Mother Nature” captured by Imtiaz Ahmed

3. Icicles

Spikes of ice formed when ice or snow is melted by sunlight or some other heat source, and the resulting melted water runs or drips into an area where the temperature is below the freezing point, causing the water to refreeze. Over time continued water runoff/dripping causes the icicle to grow. Icicles can be found under roof edges of buildings and on branches and twigs, etc. Whether solitary or in groups, they can be very photogenic when back or side lit or hanging against a dark background.

4. Snowflakes

You take these pictures outside by catching the flakes on a towel, then transferring the flakes with a short plastic stick to a microscope slide, then placing the slide on a somewhat larger piece of glass which is suspended about 6 inches above a sheet of colored poster board, then shoot straight down with a macro-focusing lens. For more sophisticated tools and techniques, just do an online search using “snowflake photos.”

“Catching a Snowflake” captured by PictureSocial member Deb Buchanan


Choose the projects that interest you most. Follow the photography tips conscientiously. Re-shoot when you aren’t satisfied. Do it til you are satisfied. It’ll take all your patience and passion. Your skills and eye will improve with the practice. Shoot especially in early and late light. Use a tripod as much as possible. Edit your results relentlessly. Pin small samples on the wall for a few days to study before making final prints for wall art.

Icy Streams: Locate a quietly running stream in freezing weather and it will probably form smooth ice on top. The underside of the ice will be etched by the running water and any air bubbles in it, creating lines and patterns. Shoot straight down on it for an overall sharp picture.

Freezing Rain: When a heavy freezing rain falls, the problem becomes one of too many interesting things to shoot! Take your time and look around to find something really outstanding, more or less by itself, with a dark or strongly colored background and shoot it.

Icicles: In freezing weather check out the eaves troughs around rooftops of houses and heated garages, looking for icicles. Try, if possible, to find them around eye level or slightly lower so you can keep the entire icicle(s) sharp top to bottom when you take your pictures.

“Icicles” captured by PictureSocial member Nathaniel


Set up your snowflake “studio” and proceed to get a couple of flakes together on your microscope slide. Place the slide above a piece of medium-dark blue poster board, and then shoot straight down on the flakes.

About the Author:
John Maxymuik authored this article which is 1 of a set of 6 on “Photography Tips For the Photo Doldrums” providing tips to break the grip of the photo doldrums using the “ideal photo subject”. To see examples of photography that made use of the “ideal photo subject” go to his fine art photography website at ambienceimages dot net.

Entertainment & Learning for the Photographer


The Consumer Electronics Show is just ending here in the United States.  I was plowing through the magazines, the news stories to see what new trends are happening in the photo industry, and really didn’t find too much.  As I looked back at 2016, I think there was a lot of changes in 2016, more than I have seen in a long time.  Take a look at what the camera industry has done in 2016:

  • The first huge megapixel medium format camera war started between Hasselblad and Fuji.  Camera prices were not the issue on this either.  Cameras came out at incredible prices just to meet that ultimate goal of huge megapixels:  100Megapixel camera at around $33,000 American dollars.  And the new Fuji, body only at $10K.
  • I think almost every camera manufacture has jumped into the new mirror-less  cameras now.  Just a year or two ago,  hardly anyone had them, and now everyone has them.  The new silent quicker shutter drive cameras add a whole new dimension to photgraphy
  • New lens designs from all the leading lens companies.  New patents were issued from Nikon, Canon, Tamron, Sigma, Tokina, etc.  Reading about what all these lenses do, just makes you want to go buy some of these lenses.  Who ever heard of an “Art” lens.
  • The largest selling photo item on Amazon was the “instant film camera” and associated products.  What?  Who buys those things?  Are we missing out?  Who even makes that anymore?  Kodak?  No, Fuji is now making a killing on selling instant cameras and film for many consumers.  Imagine taking a photo and giving someone a print instantly?  A blast from the past, but, improved and working well.
  • Photoshop and Lightroom and other apps are all over and Instagram, making it so that you take a photo, and you change it almost instantly so that you can send it on and it looks fantastic with enhancements, and nobody knows that you did enhancements so quickly.  That is the new norm now in photography.  When did natural photography change?
  • Cell phone photography is now the new quick way to take photos.  Everyone has their cell phone with them, so, why not just use their cell phone?  So, the cell phone companies have changed the cameras in their phones to improve photography.  16 Megapixel and more are in the cell phones now.  Zeiss lenses, multi-coated optics, and color enhancements, and backlight controls, and portrait modes, all make the photos from cell phones look incredible now.  (I just wouldn’t do a 16X20 still).

So, with that much changes that happened in 2016,  what could happen in 2017?

There was an article in the recent SHUTTERBUG MAGAZINE, about the trends of the photo industry for 2017, that I wanted to share with you.  The article is written by:  Joe Farace.   He seems to have a grasp on what is going on in the industry so check this out:

9 Trends That Will Change Photography in 

“People who follow all the rules and chase every trend tend to get forgotten—they look great, but they’re not as memorable.”—Dita Von Teese

Some trends just won’t go away: Billboard magazine notes that U.S. vinyl album sales are up 53 percent, generating $416 million in sales. Stereophile, our sister publication, reviews new analog audio equipment and you can purchase new Nikon F6 or Leica M-A film cameras from Shutterbug advertisers. Ferrania is back making film and the Japan Camera Hunter website is making their own film, a discontinued Agfa emulsion they’re calling JCH StreetPan 400. Amazon’s top-selling photo item is Fuji’s Instax Mini Instant Film. There’s even a new twin-lens instant camera, Mint’s InstantFlex TL70, and yes, I gotta get me one of those.

The industry expects the action camera market to grow through 2019 but not everyone is feeling the love. Competition from products like the Olympus TG-Tracker has split the market and GoPro’s sales have dropped, causing them to cut 7 percent of its workforce in January.

The Department of Transportation launched a process requiring drone owners to register them. In August, the FAA implemented rules for commercial use, which requires a “remote pilot certificate,” a blanket ban on night flights, and a requirement that all flights remain below 400 feet. (For more on drone/quadcopters, see August 2016’s Geared Up column.) In July, Utah lawmakers approved a bill allowing firefighters or law enforcement to disable drones flying over wildfires. That same month, a California man was arrested for “interfering with firefighting operations” while flying a drone over a wildfire. Reports of drones being fired upon are increasing and the Daily Mail reported that a Utah manufacturer has rolled out a range of ammunition designed to shoot drones down. The July 2016 issue of Wired has an article entitled “Defend Your Airspace, Keep Pesky Drones at Bay,” offering five ways to shoot down drones. Be careful flying out there.

So what trends or micro trends do I expect to continue or grow next year? Here are nine imaging trends I’m looking forward and maybe not so forward to in 2017.



1. Several Linked Trends: Compact Cameras C’est La Mort
Other than shooting Instagram images of weather here on Daisy Hill and construction of my model train layout, I don’t make many photographs with my smartphone. But there’s no doubt cellphone photography has affected the once ubiquitous point-and-shoot market. According to CIPA, fixed-lens compact camera sales are down 28 percent while system camera sales were down only 4 percent. Why? Much as it was Batman v Superman, here’s the answer in a photograph from the Camera Size Comparison website of Canon’s G16 compact camera vs. Panasonic’s Lumix GM1 that offers a family of interchangeable lenses. The reason why manufacturers don’t see the writing on the wall reminds me of a story noted photographer Charles Lewis once told: A shooter says to Lewis, “I’m losing money on every wedding I shoot.” So Lewis tells him, “You know what you’ve got to do, don’t you?” The guy answers, “Yes, I’ve got to shoot more of them.”



2. Desktop Printers as an Endangered Species
There’s a strange dichotomy going on in the world of photo printers. On one hand Epson offers printers like the 44-inch SureColor P10000 ($6,495) that produces output quality only dreamed of in 1994 when they launched the Stylus Color printer. The SureColor P10000 has a 10-channel PrecisionCore Micro print head capable of output up to 2400x1200dpi with a new UltraChrome Pro nine-color pigment ink system that produces impressive color and black density. Not to be outdone, Canon offers a 44-inch imagePROGRAF PRO-4000 ($4,896) as well as a 24-inch imagePROGRAF PRO-2000 ($2,546). Both use the 11-color Lucia Pro ink set for increased color gamut, reduced bronzing, improved scratch resistance, greater clarity, and increased black density. Yet the feedback I receive from Shutterbug readers is that the build and output quality of affordable desktop photo printers has done a Thelma and Louise off a cliff. According to the Photizo Group, a Massachusetts market research firm, North American sales of consumer all-in-one printers dropped 12 percent last year and the number of pages printed at home has declined 15 percent since 2009. Computerworld suggested that printing “consumes expensive ink, and only the person you give it to can see it. Posting the same material online costs nothing, and countless people can see it.” There is, I think, a fallacy in this kind of short-term thinking. A few years ago I attended my sister and brother-in-law’s wedding anniversary celebration. During the party my aunt gave me a stack of photographs she had of me growing up, some when I was 4 years old. Ask yourself: What will happen to all those Facebook photos and Cloud-stored images? They might be lost forever because of password issues (admit it, you know that’s a problem) or hackers. How permanent are those images? After all, they’re just zeros and ones. Do yourself a favor in 2017, make some prints.



© Joe Farace

3. Smartphone Photography Creates More Photographers
Who knew? Futuresource ( reports that thanks to the smartphone boom the worldwide population of photographers has grown by a factor of eight over the past 10 years. They also think that while smartphones represent the primary camera for a growing number of people, present company excepted, the opportunity for users to step up to a digital camera grows with every new photographer this trend produces. That’s an interesting theory that I sincerely hope turns out to be true. This trend of increased cellphone photography then brings up the inevitable question…



Inset photo © Joe Farace

4. Selfies. How Is that Still a Thing?
In the book Digital Vertigo, psychologists Drs. Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell call it a narcissism epidemic: “A self-promotional madness drawn by our need to continually manufacture our own fame to the world.” And it’s one that keeps awarding the Darwin Award to deserving people each year. Take this headline, for example, which sounds like it could come from the New York Post but doesn’t: “Man Dies Taking Selfies with Gun.” A 43-year-old Washington state man fatally shot himself while taking selfies while he and his girlfriend were taking pictures of themselves with a weapon. The woman told the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office that she and the man had made photos with the gun several times that day and he’d loaded and unloaded the gun many times. A photograph of the president shown using a selfie stick is another sad commentary on this trend.



5. More Connectivity
Remember last year’s trend of the “Internet of Things”? Well, the IoT—as it’s known—is only growing bigger in 2017, especially when it comes to web-connected imaging devices. In my April 2016 Geared Up column, I wrote about how some years ago, while visiting an Agfa—remember them?—facility in Brussels, one of the tour leaders asked a group of writers, including moi, “What do you think of the idea of adding a phone to a digital camera?” We all laughed and thought it was the dumbest idea we’d ever heard. Futuresource thinks smartphones are now setting the bar in terms of interfaces, connectivity, and apps, producing a usability gap between smartphones and digital cameras. Panasonic’s Michiharu Uematsu said an Android-powered camera would be on the way “very soon” because “the interface from our cameras is sometimes experienced as too difficult.” So instead of designing a better camera interface (and Panasonic has one of the better ones, I think) we’re going to have an operating system that’s susceptible to viruses. And there’s this. James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, told lawmakers this year that, “the Internet of Things could be weaponized by governments as a spy tool, which will add to global instability.”



6. Fashion Camera Bags
Camera bag and strap designers realize that we all have our own styles. Enter the fashion camera bag. While there’s no formal definition, let me posit one: A fashion camera bag’s design reflects the personality of the owner but does so without sacrificing the necessary security and functionality of bag construction and utility. This trend began with companies building camera bags for female photographers using designs that emulated purses but also functioned as camera bags. But elegant camera bags have long been made for photographers, regardless of their sex, and many times these bags were expensive and maybe not all that functional. Yes, they cost more, too, but chances are bags from Billingham, Jill-e, Foxy Camera Bag, and ONA will last longer than the Chinese knockoff you picked up at Crazy Charlie’s Flea Market.



© Joe Farace

7. Vertical Video?
Not all trends or micro trends are good news. In some circles, it has become fashionable to shoot video clips in portrait orientation and then to post them on YouTube, Facebook, and other social media sites. Imagine the following in my Andy Rooney voice: When I think about it, maybe I understand why. After all, when I watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in the theater it’s on the big vertical IMAX screen and when I watch Person of Interest on TV it’s with my Samsung vertical plasma TV. Of course it’s not! Do me a favor, turn the camera in the same direction that we watch all video—horizontally. And if for some reason, you just can’t seem to be able to do that, don’t push the video button. Thank you. This has been a Public Service Announcement.



8. Better Cameras Not Bigger Cameras
Everybody likes bigger sensors with more megapixels but a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is 27 percent wider and 132 percent taller than an Olympus PEN-F. It’s 121 percent thicker than an Olympus PEN-F and weighs 258 percent more. As Dan K once said, “I have come to the realization that neither equipment, nor technique, can make up for inspiration, vision, and message.” But, but, but… The 100-megapixel Hasselblad H6D-100c is so dreamy, you say. If you’ve got the bread ($32,995) go for it. One of the big advantages of big sensors is you can crop the image and maintain some semblance of image quality. Yup, that’s true but how about this? Why not just shoot using the cropping you really want to use, instead of throwing away image quality. Please think of the megapixels. I realize that with street photography or grab shots this isn’t always possible but even Garry Winogrand, the patron saint of street photography, once said, “A photograph can only look like how the camera saw what was photographed.”



© Mary Farace

9. The Slow Death of the Trade Show
Trade shows are becoming smaller and less relevant. Not just for photo gear. Writing in the automobile blog Jalopnik, Patrick George said, “The auto show as we know it is dying.” This is because product launches for Chevrolet’s Camaro or Ford’s Mustang let manufacturers control the message away from the cacophony of a trade show. Apple has known this for some time and hasn’t participated in CES since 2011 with more companies following their example. The upside is that camera stores who’ve survived by catering to their customers, instead of just providing a place for people to look at gear before ordering it online, are the beneficiaries. Much as record stores who held firm selling vinyl albums are riding the analog wave, camera stores such as Denver’s Englewood Camera, Salt Lake City’s Pictureline, and Seattle’s Kenmore Camera are leading a revival of face-to-face retail. And then there’s this… Earlier this year, the Mirrorless Rumors blog posted the following: “There is almost no secret left to discover about the new Fuji X-T2. The camera will be launched within the next 6-8 weeks.” An accompanying video clip showed how the camera works. By the time the X-T2 arrives at a trade show, lots of people will already know everything about it and it will be old news.


Joe Farace has been writing and prognosticating about photography for more than 30 years. He shares his thoughts in Shutterbug’s print edition and website as well as his own sites and blogs, such as,, and, if you enjoy photographing cars,