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woman using canon dslr camera
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CAMERAS TODAY CREATE QUESTIONS

I admire people who have taken the plunge to buy a DSLR camera or a new Mirrorless camera system. Somewhere in my mind, I think that you are an artist, or want to become an artist. That is why you bought that camera, because you want to create something more than what your cell phone can do.

screen of photo camera with photo of chocolate cupcakes
Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

But, what does all this mean on my camera? How come my photo didn’t turn out like I thought? What kind of lens should I use? Why does this flash system make my photos look worse? And on, and on? Questions are how we learn.

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TRY THINKING YOU ARE A PAINTER!

Photo by Ilnur Kalimullin on Unsplash

This particular blog is all about “feeling your Photo”. Take a look at another famous photographers thought and hopefully you will understand what I mean:

This picture was taken by Ken Lee, and the thought process is what we want to talk about today:

If you want to be successful in photography, and really make a name for yourself, you have to think that every time you take a photo, you need to “feel” something about the photo you are about to take. It’s part of THE ART OF SEEING! A good photographer is also an artist. If you want to be a good photographer, what do you need to do to create a piece of art? Is it composition? Is it learning that you camera is the “palette”? Your camera takes great photos. But, can it also take great art, from what you do with the camera. That is what you need to learn.

woman leaning back on tree trunk using black dslr camera during day
Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

I often will go to a special place to take my photos. Or, I will just be driving to some destination, and looking off to the side of the car, I see a great photo opportunity. Yes, I stop and use my palette to get what I want:

Driving out in a small farming town, in the rain and fog on the mountains, I saw this fence, and thought: “Oh yeah, leading lines” which draws your eyes back to the mountain in the background. I actually got a couple of raindrops on my lens, but, kept it on for impact.

Here is another great quote I found about how important to think of photography as an art:

To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

One more:

Art is what we call…the thing an artist does. It’s not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall or you eat it. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something risky. Something human. Art is not in the …eye of the beholder. It’s in the soul of the artist.

Seth Godin

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WHAT DO THE NEW CAMERAS MEAN TO PHOTOGRAPHY?

AN EDITORIAL ON THE NEW CAMERAS FROM THE BIG CAMERA MANUFACTURES, AND WHAT IT MEANS TO PHOTOGRAPHY:

BIG ADVANCES IN PHOTOGRAPHY! DOES IT JUSTIFY THE BIG PRICES?
man standing on rock formation
Photo by Zukiman Mohamad on Pexels.com

I have been in the camera industry, either selling, taking pictures, and even doing this amazing blog, watching all the manufactures battle it out for supremacy in technology. It has been fun to watch the new developments in the last couple of years especially to see the rapid advances in technology.

IS THERE A BIG WINNER IN THE TECH WAR?

IS THERE A CLEAR WINNER IN THESE BRANDS?

Good questions and my opinion and my answers are:

  1. The big winner in the tech war in the camera industry is the Photographer
  2. Is one brand better than the other in creating the “SUPER” CAMERA? And my answer is NO.
man holding black dslr camera
Photo by Suliman Sallehi on Pexels.com

Because I sold cameras for a long time I have a hard time coming out and saying that one brand is better than another. So, how does that help you, the photographer, pick which camera is better for you?

If you know photography good enough to understand all the new advancements of the above 5 cameras (and there are other camera manufactures you could look at too), then as you read all the features they have, there are definitely some features that should excite you.

I do not have a favorite camera so I can be totally unbiased, but as I looked at some of the features of these cameras, there was something in each one that blew my mind, and got me way excited to buy that brand. So, I think I would like to own each one of the above 5 cameras. That won’t cost much, right?

Let’s look at the features of some of these cameras, and I will tell you what got me excited about each one:


OLYMPUS OM – D

  • Olympus has always had a well built camera.
  • Price on camera body:: $999.95
  • 121 Cross phase focus points.
  • Incredible, highly rated image stabilizer built in to camera body
  • Weather sealed for maximum wear
  • 3.0″ Vari-Angle Touch LCD
  • 10fps [H] mode 6fps [L] mode mechanical shutter
  • 30fps [H] mode 10fps [L] mode silent electronic shutter
  • 4K video recording
WINNING AND EXCITING POINTS FOR ME:

Have you ever felt an Olympus camera in your hands. Find one, feel the construction. And you will know you have a winner. Motor drive capable of 30 frames per second, or 10 frames a second in silent mode. WHAT! Thank goodness it does not have film in it. And the price alone has to be one of the big advantages to this camera.


Nikon Z-9

  • 45Mpixel sensor
  • 120Fps in burst mode with reduced sharpness
  • Built-in GPS
  • To avoid the chip shortage, Nikon has developed their own chip.
  • Built extremely well.
  • 8Kvideo recording
  • Priced at between $6,000 to $7,000 dollars (not really available yet, so price is uncertain)
  • New style locking flap for the two CFExpress memory cards.
WINNING AND EXCITING POINTS FOR ME:

The price of this camera has not been set in stone yet. There will be a few cameras that come to the US before the end of the year, but, mostly will not be available until 2022. In true Nikon Fashion, it seems they wanted to outperform most of the other brands out there, although, some things are just getting out of hand. Like the video shooting 8K. I hope somewhere somebody says, that you can’t tell the difference between 4K and 8K. And some optometrists are reporting that your eyes can’t see anything sharper than 4K. The other thing I like is with the chip shortage that is going on, some manufactures are starting to make the chips themselves. That way, production should be better. The new screen on the back of the camera is a new “articulated” screen. Yet to see it, but, I think that will be amazing.


Pentax K3 – III

  • Uses Pentax KA mount, the same mount it has been using for over 30 years, and all those lenses will fit this
  • Full frame DSLR, slightly bigger than the others. Feel is good.
  • Built-in sensor cleaner.
  • ISO up to 1,600,000
  • In-body image stabilizer – originally developed by Pentax
  • 5 different auto exposure points
  • 5 different user exposure modes
  • Flash sync speed at 1/200
  • Priced at body only at $1995.00
WINNING AND EXCITING POINTS OF INTEREST FOR ME:

Pentax is one of the oldest camera manufactures in the world. They have a reputation for extremely well built camera and lens quality is more than amazing. If you would like to do more photography with natural light, then this one is the winner, with an ISO setting from 100 to 1,600,000! This camera is not a mirrorless camera, and maintains the bigger size sensor. There are people who don’t like holding a mirrorless camera because they are too small and hard to hold. This camera seems more traditional in size and design. Pentax was one of the first to put their image stabilization system in the body, and not on the lens. Every manufacture does that now. Just that Pentax keeps improving on their original design so it seems ahead, in technology of the image stabilizer.


SONY A7 -III

  • 24MP sensor
  • Fast Hybrid AF with 693 phase-detection and 425 contrast-detection AF points
  • High-speed continuous shooting of up to 10fps with AF/AE tracking
  • 4K video
  • ISO reading from 50 – 204,800
  • 2 SD memory card slots
  • Uses standard E-mount lenses. Lenses from Europe will also fit this camera
  • Longest battery life on all cameras
  • Articulated rear screen with tilt
  • Priced at $1899.00 for the body only
EXCITING POINTS OF INTEREST WITH THE SONY CAMERA:

Sony has not been in the camera business that long, but, has done some really smart things with their cameras. First of all, they didn’t come up with some strange lens mount, they used one that other camera manufactures use. So, there are several lens companies in Europe that their lenses will work on Sony. To think that I can get a Carl Zeiss lens to work on a Sony is really exciting. The other thing I like about Sony’s thinking is the Auto focus sensor has 3 different types of auto focus, with a crazy amount of sensor points. That means the AI in the auto-focus system is real good. And finally, the way their screen works on the back of the camera is articulated and tilts in several directions. Seems that would be a very convenient feature that a lot of the others miss.


CANON R3

  • High Image Quality with a Back-illuminated Stacked 24.1 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor
  • Improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 1,053 AF Points featuring Vehicle Detection as well as Eye, Face, Head, and Animal Detection
  • The First EOS Digital camera to feature Eye Control AF
  • Uniques new Auto exposure modes: Includes: “Fine Detail”, “Monochrome”, “Faithful”, “Neutral”, and 3 user defined modes.
  • LCD screen with “vari-angle” viewing.
  • Built-in WI-FI and Bluetooth
  • Priced at $5999.00 body only
INTERESTING POINTS OF THIS CAMERA I LIKE:

Canon has been working on the “Ultiimate” camera for some time. I think when Sony came out with their new “flagship” camera, they wanted to UP them a lot. And they did come out with truly unique features. However, their price on this camera should include: To take away the loneliness anytime mode. Priced at $5999.00, it truly should be set for a few years as the ultimate in features. This camera has some unique settings. First of all, special autofocus mode that works best with faces, animals and eyes, and more. What a system. Then the little dial at the top that has the different exposure modes. What is “Faithful” mode? And what kind of exposure does that do? Does it show people from the other side? Can’t wait to see what these new settings are. I like that it has a Monochrome mode. How easy is that to do black and white just by putting it on a setting in your camera. This camera is just really impressive. See: https://123photogo.com/2021/09/18/new-canon-eos-r3-now-available/

My goal in this blog today was to show you that every camera manufacture has some special points to their camera systems. And you should just see which spec or feature you like. They are all really good cameras. But, don’t be biased towards any brand, be biased about the features you want.

Photographic inspirational thought for the day:

There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.

Ansel Adams

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SHOOT BLACK AND WHITE TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

Photo by Javant Kulkarni / The Art of Black and White

Have you ever done black and white photos? Do you think that there is a place for black and white in your repertoire? Are you not sure how to do black and white?

Let’s take care of all those questions and get you excited about taking black and white photos. Black and white is, what I like to call: “The true art of Photography”. Whether that is right or not, is totally up to you, but, I can take you to some black and white photos, and it would be breathtaking to see it.

The above photo is a great example of an artistic approach to black and white. And, I think there are a lot of people who would love to take a photo like that.

If you research old photography masters such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, you’ll notice they photographed primarily in black and white. Now, part of this had to do with technical limitations of the time. Until the 1930s, color photography was tough to produce. Yet even once Kodachrome, a color film, was invented, plenty of photographers stuck to black and white, simply because they preferred it to color.

Why? One reason is that black and white presents interesting creative problems. The world looks different in black and white, which means that you can think about tone, texture, and light in new ways. In fact, when you remove color, the emphasis of an image naturally shifts to other compositional elements.

For some photographers, this can feel freeing; you’re no longer stuck thinking constantly about color but can instead focus on the more fundamental aspects of photography: tone and light.

grayscale photography of woman wearing veil
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

1. Black and white helps you see differently

If you research old photography masters such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, you’ll notice they photographed primarily in black and white. Now, part of this had to do with technical limitations of the time. Until the 1930s, color photography was tough to produce. Yet even once Kodachrome, a color film, was invented, plenty of photographers stuck to black and white, simply because they preferred it to color.

Why? One reason is that black and white presents interesting creative problems. The world looks different in black and white, which means that you can think about tone, texture, and light in new ways. In fact, when you remove color, the emphasis of an image naturally shifts to other compositional elements.

For some photographers, this can feel freeing; you’re no longer stuck thinking constantly about color but can instead focus on the more fundamental aspects of photography: tone and light.

As I look around the internet for black and white photos, I just wish that people understood black and white better. There are far too many photographers, who take the photo in color, then convert it to black and white, without even caring about the artistic nature of black and white.

As you’re probably aware, not all great color images will translate well to black and white. But the inverse is also true: certain images that look great and black and white won’t look good in color, which means that you’ll have a whole new set of photo opportunities to contemplate.

2. Black and white eliminates distractions

Photo by Lanny Cottrell photogrpahy

The world in color is great, but sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming.

Specifically, there are plenty of distractions that exist in color that simply disappear when converted to black and white.

For instance, a rainbow shirt in a color portrait may draw the eye, but is essentially unnoticeable in B&W. And a distracting red rock in the foreground of a seascape might turn a nice neutral gray following a black and white conversion.

Plus, color itself can take away emphasis on contrast, texture, lighting, shape, and form. If you’re photographing a weathered man with a face full of wrinkles, black and white will highlight the texture of the wrinkles, the intensity of the man’s age. Whereas color will simply distract the viewer and prevent them from seeing what the photo is all about.

Photo by Atilla Hangyasi (2) / The Art of Black and White

Black and white can also eliminate distracting color casts that would otherwise subtly shift the viewer’s attention away from what matters.

3. Black and white offers increased creative choice

greyscale photography of woman holding umbrella
Photo by Kha Ruxury on Pexels.com

Since the world is in color, it is safe to say that color photography is more realistic and descriptive. A color photo depicts the world as it really is – whereas black and white photos only show a version of reality, one that seems more interpretive and creative.

In a sense, this can help you break free from certain restraints. Without color, you don’t have to show the world as it is; instead, you can show what you see, which might involve unusual relationships, interesting shadows, beautiful textures, and so on.

Ultimately, when you take away color, you remove what your viewer is used to seeing. Suddenly, you have to capture the viewer’s attention without the help of color – which also means that you’re free to have fun, experiment, and show the world in a completely new, creative way.

So in a way, black and white forces you to think, but it makes you more creative in the process.

4. Black and white adds emotion and mood

two bare trees
Photo by Todd Trapani on Pexels.com

When you look at the photos that have been in this article so far, do feel a certain mood or feeling with them?

Personally, I think black and white photos almost always create a wonderful mood – or in cases where the mood is already present, the B&W conversion makes it even more intense.

Why does black and white photography go hand in hand with moodiness? I’m not completely sure, but something about tonal range, rich blacks, and deep contrast just appeals to us psychologically. It creates an emotional connection, and it makes you stop, look around, and pay attention.

5. Black and white photography feels timeless

Here’s a common reason why photographers shoot in black and white:

It adds a timelessness to your images.

For one, black and white photography has existed since the beginnings of photography, which means that a black and white image cannot instantly be dated. Also, color schemes change over time, especially in clothing, business logos, cars, and architecture. Therefore, a color image will often include datable elements – but in black and white, these features may be much harder to place.

Personally, I feel that black and white photos seem to transcend reality. Look at the image below. Can you tell when it was taken? Is it a recent shot? Is it from 50 years ago? Or does it exist outside of time?

Photo by Niko Akin / The Art of Black and White

Most of this blog today is compliments of Nisha Ramroop from the Digital Photography School.

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TODAY’S INSPIRATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY QUOTE:

When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!

Ted Grant

UNDERSTANDING “ISO”

white vase beside apples
Photo by Nixon Johnson on Pexels.com

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