On Editing

On Editing


Good morning everyone from beautiful Capo Noli, or Cape Noli, in Italy You might remember that a few months ago I started calling myself an artist instead of a photographer, I dropped all the labels: landscape, fine art, film photographer and I just called myself an artist That’s because I create art, or I try to You see, it might get confusing sometimes, but photography can be used for many things One of them is to represent what we are seeing in an accurate and truthfully way Another way of using photography is to express ourselves The first approach requires workmanship skills, skills that are not as needed today thanks to digital cameras and the advances in AI that’s why many people gravitate towards film photography it’s harder to get properly exposed and focused images an image that resembles as much as possible the original, what we are seeing The other approach requires art skills we don’t represent nature, we use it to express an idea or an emotion, to add a character in an individual way it’s less about what’s in front of the camera, and more about who’s behind it Both approaches are fine and correct, but in their proper places Lines are very blurry in photography In painting, we start with a blank canvas and we add what we think is needed In photography, instead, we start with a representation of reality and we need to remove stuff until we get to what we are trying to create Often times, we have no choice but to edit -in software or in the darkroom- the negative, the RAW file, the foundation the realistic representation that we got to create what we had in mind Some people dismiss this as unethical or something that you shouldn’t do I say, this is the way art is done

What different PHOTOGRAPHY FILTERS do and why you need them!

What different PHOTOGRAPHY FILTERS do and why you need them!


Today I’m going to talk about filters in
photography and which ones I recommend there are many filters in photography
from the ones that screw on to the front of your lenses magnetic ones that click
on really quickly right through to ones that use special brackets so you can
slide them down in front of your lens I’m going to show you each of them what
they do and how they will change your photos the first one I’m going to show
you is the UV filter this is a clear filter and it’s meant to cut out
ultraviolet light if you’ve ever been into a shop to buy a lens they will
usually try to sell you a UV filter to go with your new lens but I’m not sure
it’s such a good purchase UV filters used to be practical for film cameras as
a lot of film stock is sensitive to UV light I remember I had one for my EOS 5d
but nowadays digital sensors can cope with UV light a lot better now I
understand the principle of having one to protect your front element but
nowadays these front elements are pretty robust and can withstand quite a bit of
weather we normally take them out in without getting damaged and as most of
us photographers are pretty precious about our kit it is in safe hands well
most of the time anyway also if you have a lens hood on the camera this will
offer a bit of protection I’ve dropped a lens before and the lens hood broke but
the lens didn’t one thing I don’t like about UV filters is that it’s another
piece of glass in between your subject and your sensor and this really doesn’t
have to be there especially the really cheap ones that are available online so
in most circumstances I don’t use one the one lens I do use them with when the
weather is really bad or if I’m out in the desert when it’s really windy is the
Tamron 17 to 28 millimeter this has a groove around the front element that is
the perfect place for dust sand and dirt to catch so I don’t take any chances
with this especially in the desert now an ND filter is a neutral density filter
this means it should be neutral in the color cast and we’ll have a different
density depending on what filter you get or basically will cut out a
certain amount of light from getting to your sensor the perfect analogy for this
is that it’s like a pair of sunglasses for your camera now I really do like
fixed nd filters and have a whole host of them for my camera they can do
anything from letting you open up the aperture in the middle of the day whilst
controlling your shutter speed they can get rid of people in your travel photos
and they can also slow down your shutter speed enough to blur any kind of
movement in your shots they come in varying strengths from a one stop filter
right through to a 15 stop filter and beyond a one stop filter will reduce
your shutter speed by one stop of light so for example if you have a shutter
speed of one one-thousandth of a second you’ll cut it down to one 500th of a
second so having the amount of light a 10 stop filter will reduce it from one
one thousandth of a second to one second and a fifteen stop filter will reduce it
from one one thousandth of a second to thirty seconds so having a range of
these is well worth it and you can really do so much with them I have a
three stop a full stop a six stop in a 10 stop ND filter and these give me
everything that I need now the more expensive ones tend to be closer to
having a neutral color whereas the cheaper ones sometimes produce a bit of
a color cast and it can be really hard to remove when you’re editing your
photos now if you haven’t seen it already check out Mack Rangers test that
he did on 10 stop nd filters I’ve got a link in the I in the corner and in the
description he had around about 15 different Indies so it’s well worth
watching I have the magnetic filters from free well and they’re pretty good
value for money and really quick to use as well the kind of middle of the range
cost wise and are as neutral as I’ve seen especially with their ten stop nd
filters but there are many other reputable brands out there I definitely
recommend getting at least a couple of nd filters and I’d start off with say a
four stop and a 10 stop ND filter a graduated filter is a filter that has
half Clair glass and half darkened so you can see on this one the bottom half
is clear and the top half has the nd in it now these are slightly more
specialized filters and a great when you have a
rate horizon and a bright sky in this example I have the Sun setting and if I
was to just take a photo of this scene without the filter the sky would be
overexposed or the ground would be underexposed with a graduated filter
they normally work best in these filter brackets
once you have framed up your shot you can slide the filter into place and drop
the exposure of the sky you can get the border between the clear glass and the
ND piece of glass exactly where you want it in your frame and that’s where these
brackets really come in handy this will give you a better overall exposure
bringing the sky and the land closer together and within the dynamic range of
your camera if you’re not sure what dynamic range is click on the eye in the
corner or the link in the description to my quick video on that subject
now these grad filters are great when the horizon is flat but when something
does protrude into the sky or when you’re in the mountains and the line
between the darker and the brighter parts of your image aren’t flat you’ll
run into problems also if you are going to get these I’d recommend the bracketed
ones over the screw on ones as with the bracketed ones you can put the horizon
exactly where you want the next filter I’m going to talk about is the polarizer
and this is a filter that will restrict the amount of polarized light coming
into your camera they normally rotate and so you can change the intensity of
this filter I’ve done a video on these already so if you haven’t seen it yet
click on the eye in the corner or the link in the description you can create
more saturated colors in your photos it can deepen the blues in the sky as well
as reducing the amount of light reflected from shiny surfaces if we look
at these leaves you can see them with and without a polarizer you can also use
them when photographing through glass if there is a bit of glare on that glass
normally a polarizer will get rid of this generally a polarizing filter works
best at 90 degrees to the direction of the sunrays it is one of those filters
where you do need to be a little bit picky about when you use it but when you
get the hang of it it’s really good filter and I do
recommend getting one a variable ND filter does the same as a normal fixed
ND and the only difference is that when you
rotate it it darkens or lightens the shot so I have these two different ones
I have this one from Tiffin and these ones from free well the Tiffin is good
from about one to five stops but does have a slightly blue color cast also it
doesn’t have hard stops and if you go beyond five stops you’ll tend to get
this X pattern appearing in your shots and it does make them unusable now if
you see companies claiming that their nd filters don’t have this X pattern be
very wary of them unless they have the hard stop like these free well ones or
the Pizza MacKinnon polar probe variable n DS you can see with this one as I turn
it it stops me from turning it too far so this means it won’t go into that bit
of polarization where you get that X pattern in your images the two pieces of
glass in a variable nd are polarized and when you do rotate them it reduces or
increases the amount of light depending on which way you do rotate them so with
these you will get a bit of a color shift due to this polarization now the
benefits of a variable nd that you only have to have two filters and you can
cover most bases with this set from free well I can cover anything from a two
stop to a nine stop reduction now I don’t recommend getting ones without
hard stops as it’s so easy to go into that X pattern especially when you’re
rushing around trying to get that shot really quickly if you are a photographer
I’d still recommend getting fixed nd filters over the variable ones as you’re
only shooting through one piece of glass now if you’re a videographer variable ND
filters are great and you can keep your shutter down following that 180 degrees
shutter rule you can also use it to have a wide aperture in the middle of the day
to get that shallow depth of field look and more importantly you can adjust them
subtly as the exposure changes whilst you’re filming now there are things like
starburst filters and colored filters but these seem a little bit gimmicky so
the filter list that I’ve just gone through are the only ones that I’d
recommend for photography and videography now one last thing you will
need a place to put them all most companies do supply them with individual
cases but if you have these in your bag they’ll rattle around and they’ll
quickly take up space so I’d recommend getting a pouch of some kind now I have
this third-party pouch and it’s perfect for me
I can slot all of my filters in there and I can access them really quickly and
these are nice soft padded pouches if you want to get one of these I’ve linked
it in the description below now do you think I’ve missed any out or are there
any other filters do you think that I could benefit from let me know in the
comments below it’d be great to hear your thoughts and
if you like this video try this video next it’s Mack Rangers massive ND filter
test if you’ve seen it check out my waterfall video down here and if you
haven’t already remember to subscribe to my channel for weekly tutorials on
photography thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time

Why and how to add contrast to your images

Why and how to add contrast to your images


Have you ever gotten home after spending a day out shooting really excited to look at the images that you just took just to find out that they are not nearly as good as you were expecting them to be? They probably lack contrast Contrast is one of the most important elements in photography and here I’m not talking only about the slider in Lightroom to increase or decrease the contrast Let’s see what contrast is, why it’s important and how we can add more of it into our images Contrast means difference to me is what separates the subject, what we are trying to capture, from everything else It’s the main tool we have to tell stories with our images one of the most common mistakes in photography is to expect what we see with our eyes to feel the same in an image The thing is, a camera doesn’t see things the same way that we do with our eyes not only because there are physical differences, but because of the brain and senses the brain interprets what is getting from the eyes and the senses add a context to what we are seeing it might be hard to notice, but when you are looking at something that little something is the only thing in focus in your vision and everything else is out of focus, it’s still there because you need to be aware of your surroundings just in case something happens but your brain and your eyes are completely focused on that thing that you are looking at This is why depth of field is really important in photography, it kind of does the same it helps us isolate things from others that are further away or closer to us what happens is, if we are walking through the woods, for example, and we see something that we like a tree in the distance, and we like the way that tree looks chances are that we aren’t going to be able to make a good image of that tree unless it’s separated by some distance from the other trees, it has a clean background so we can use a fast lens to actually isolate that tree otherwise, there’s going to be too much noise, it’s not going to be enough contrast between the subject and everything else The idea behind contrast is to help the viewer and to give them an anchor, a place to look at at first when they first look at the image, and from there they can expand to the rest of the image if they want to and if the image calls for that but at least to have something to look at when there’s not enough contrast in the image it’s very hard to make the viewer pay attention to just that one thing that you were trying to show We need to understand that sometimes, we just can’t create enough contrast to make a good image and we just need to move on What I’m looking for in my images is usually to have a high contrast between the subject and the background, foreground, whatever it is that is not the actual subject that I’m trying to capture and that could be achieved in different ways with shapes, textures, and of course the difference in color, black and white, luminance now, we are going to look at some sample images that I have here to try to clarify these concepts that I’m talking about so these first 2 images are just to show you that, as I said, we need contrast between the subject and everything else we don’t want contrast, or as little as possible happening in the background or the foreground, and within the subject itself this was at Lago di Garda, and we have this platform one of the images is just a snapshot, I froze the movement of the water so you can see the waves even though there’s contrast between the platform and everything else, the image is not bad per se There’s contrast in the water, between the waves and the parts where the water is more still and calm and there’s contrast against the mountains in the background as well one of the ways to decrease the contrast in the background is to use long exposures I love using long exposures, and what that did, as you can see in this image is to remove all the details in the water, so that increases the contrast between the water and the actual subject We don’t need long exposures all the time, for example in these images that I’m showing you now Here, I’m using the shape of a dock it’s the same concept, the water was very, very calm at this lake, Lago di Varese it was foggy as well, you know where I’m going you need to use the weather to your advantage: foggy weather, snow, stuff that declutters the background and adds contrast between the subject and everything else This other example of the ducks at sunrise once again, the background disappears because of the fog, and that adds contrast between the background and the subject, the ducks because it decreases the contrast in the background Otherwise, we’d have some mountains, some trees, some houses in the background that right now you cannot see that increases the contrast between the subject and the background I’m showing you more examples now, but I hope it’s clear what I’m trying to say here another trick that I use to add contrast between the subject and everything else is I crash the blacks, it’s pretty obvious I remove as much detail as possible in the shadows, you can see here this path in the Cies Islands it was to make the path stand out from everything else if I were to show every single leave, tree, and bush around the path, the path would stand out less and it’d make, in my opinion, for a slightly worse image because the eye doesn’t directly go there, to the path Another of my favorites is to use silhouettes as you can see here in this photo of New York, or the photos that I made in Washington DC it’s always contrasting a bright background against a dark subject, and just hint what that subject is without showing all the details in the subject the contrast between that subject and the background is huge here, and it doesn’t work for everything only for some things like buildings, because you can still see what they are, you can have an idea sometimes it might be just too much, for other situations Another idea I suggested was to use shapes, and something I like to do is to place poles, trees, vertical stuff against further away backgrounds as you can see here, I think I made this image in New Mexico or the ones that I made at the Golden Gate bridge, like that telephone pole against the bridge then, textures! Textures are very important as well, as you can see here I have the grass in the foreground and showing the deer in the background of course, we have the classic contrast that we are looking for when using Black and White that is white vs black, like this example of this horse that I took in Northern Spain another image I made, of these 3 trees in the snow all of those work because it’s white vs black, and that works very well always of course there are exceptions to this rule and sometimes I’m looking for contrast, but very subtle And the best example is the image I made at the White Dunes in New Mexico as you can see, there’s contrast between the dunes and the Moon, the main subjects I’m trying to capture they are brighter than the sky, slightly darker but the contrast here is much more subtle and this works very well, when it works, it works very well even more than having higher contrast between the elements in the photo but you have to be careful, make sure that the viewer is going to understand what they are looking at or at least have an idea because they might lose interest if they don’t have an anchor to look at one thing that we can do to check if the image has enough contrast is to blur out the image applying a filter this image doesn’t have any filter applied to it, this was almost straight out of camera that way but as you can see, you are still able to recognize what the subject is, even if the subject is a little bit abstract you don’t know what it is, or what is going on here you still see clearly from the beginning, this is the subject and everything else is the background, or the foreground the context for that subject if we blur out our images and we are still able to see that, that’s a good sign These were just a few examples of how I create and increase contrast in my images of course I also use the slider in Lightroom, my images are very high contrasty in that sense as well but that’s to crash the blacks and to make those whites a little bit brighter to remove details on both sides of the histogram so the subject can stand out even more That’s all I had about this, I hope this video was helpful Thank you so much for watching, and see you in the next one!

Graduated Neutral Density Filter – A Beginners Guide

Graduated Neutral Density Filter – A Beginners Guide


hello and welcome to another episode of
mujahid’s photography this is mujahid and in today’s episode we are gonna talk
about graduated ND filters how and when to use them.
so let’s do it. So I often get asked by beginner photographers
about graduated ND filters if they should be investing in filters and if
they do how to use them and when to use them. So in this episode what I’m gonna
do is I’m gonna show you some examples of photos that I took using graduated nd
filters, but but, first we need to talk about graduated nd filters what they are
and what the purpose is? In landscape photography
most landscape photographers want to take photos during golden hours when the
conditions are a bit tricky. The background where the Sun is setting or
rising is quite bright whereas the foreground, the rocks, the elements in
front of you sometimes are in the shade shadow, or they are a bit dark because
there is not enough light. During the sunset or sunrise time. So what happens
is that when you take a photo to expose the sky properly the foreground becomes
very very dark and it is a lot of frustration. And if you make the exposure
right for the foreground, which is the rocks or the bush in front of you, or any
other natural elements, then the background becomes too bright and that
my friends is a big frustration. So as you can see on your screen right
now we use graduated nd filters in this case there are various types of filters
available in the market reverse graduated ND filter ,horizon filter, soft
graduated ND filter, also called a soft edge filters and hard edge filters.
But we are going to talk about soft and hard graduated ND filters in this
episode only because they are used most often. Now this is a hard graduated ND filter
the reason is that it blocks the light from the top till the center and the
transition from the dense to the clear part is abrupt. Hard, no filtration,
it’s clear. As compared to the hard graduated ND
filter this one is a soft edge or soft grad ND and the reason is that it is
dense on the top and as it transits towards the center portion of the filter,
it becomes a bit soft. Hard, soft, and it eventually goes in to clear. So this is a
side-by-side comparison this one is hard graduated ND filter, this one is soft
filters blocked light by three stops each so there is no difference as far as
filtration of light is concerned, but this one will filter three stops from
the dense portion and it will eventually become soft. Whereas this one, the hard ND
filter, will block three stops from the top and three from the center as well. So
the question is when should I be using a hard graduated ND filter? And when should
I be using a soft graduated ND filter? So let’s look at a few examples to find
that out. This photo that you see in front of you
right now was taken at Arniston at sunrise time. It’s an absolutely
beautiful scene and this was taken using a hard graduated ND filter. And the
reason I say a hard gratitude ND filter is because the horizon over here is
straight. What I did was that I put the hard portion of the graduated ND filter
on the horizon here, and the clear portion over here. I’m actually creating
this wall over here then this thing is leading you towards the back it’s an
absolutely gorgeous side. I have got only a hard grad on to block the light from
the top. So you saw the video clip just now and as you can see that the hard
graduated ND filter was used to take this photo. Let’s try to put a hard
graduated ND filter in adobe light from here right now and reenact the scene. So
I’m going to use a hard gradual ND filter I’m gonna under expose it a
little bit, for the sake of this video. And I’m going to put the graduation
right in the center, ok, so this is how a hardware used ND filter looks when you
are putting it in front of the camera on location. Okay so here’s another example of me
using a soft graduated ND filter in a bit of a tricky situation.
The horizon over here is straight, but then we have a big boulder on the left
hand side. Faced towards you is in shade and you don’t want them to be
darker by putting in graduated ND filter on. The horizon is not straight
so we have a straight horizon on the sea and then we have got this big boulder so
what I have done is that I have you I’m using a soft graduated ND filter so that
this big boulder behind us is not completely.
So in order to reenact the scene I’m gonna put a soft graduated ND filter on
the photo right now. Now make it a bit dark. I’m gonna spread it over here. So
if it was a hard graduated ND filter, it would have been something like this, but I
use a soft graduated ND filter which is dense on the top part but soft towards
the center and I used it at an angle like this. As you can see now we have
hard graduation on the top portion, then in the middle is a little bit soft, and
towards the boulders is getting softer. This is how I actually put a filter in a
real world situation when I am shooting the scene. So now let’s quickly have a look at how
we can use graduated ND filters so let’s say you have the scene in front of you.
It is a seascape and the Sun is rising and pouring this beautiful light on the
clouds, and all you have is clouds the sea meeting the sky on the horizon on a
straight line and you want to use a hard graduated ND filter. Now what are you
gonna do in this situation. Put your camera in aperture priority mode, focus
on the brightest portion in the sky, and note the reading. And then you focus
somewhere in the foreground most probably an element that you find quite interesting
and it is in shadow, focus there in aperture priority mode and note the
shutter speed again. So let’s say the shutter speed of the sky was 250th of a
second that is 1/250. And let’s say the foreground’s shutter speed was 30th of a
second which is 1 divided by 30. Now it’s almost three stops difference between
foreground and the background. In this case you will use a three stop hard
graduated ND filter. Where will you align the hard graduated ND filter? Right on
the horizon. Now you are going to turn your camera into manual mode keep their
personal value the same, let’s say f-14 keep the ISO value the same, but choose
the shutter speed 30th of a second which is for the foreground. When you
choose 30th of a second for the foreground the hard graduated filter
will block the light by three stops from the background, which is the sky. If for
some reason you have a 2 stop graduated ND filter, and do not have a 3 stop
graduated ND filter, i will suggest that you under expose the photo a little bit
maybe by one stop so if you are using 30th of a second then use 60th
of a second instead so that the sky doesn’t get overexposed. If for some
reason you are using a 4 stop graduated ND filter, I have never tried it but I
will say that you over expose the photo a little bit and
instead of using 30th of a second maybe use 15th of a second which is one stop over 30th of a second. Easy-peasy. The idea behind the filters is to take the
best photo on location so use your discretion play around a little bit and
get the right photo in the camera while you are there shooting at sunset or
sunrise. This way you will come back home as a happy photographer. So I hope you
enjoyed and learn from this video, if you did please, press the thumbs up button
for this video, please subscribe to my channel if you are new here and press
that notification bell so that you can be notified the next time I upload a
video. please drop a comment below punch some
text in to tell me what did you like about this video and I hope to see you
in the next video by the way by the way I have got an Instagram account if you
want to stay in touch and see more of my photos please follow the link in the
description below and I will see you on Instagram as well until then bye bye

Why I shoot a lot

Why I shoot a lot


Hello everyone from Lago Maggiore, in Italy I’m taking some long exposures here of this beautiful scene I just wanted to share another quick thought with you today I wanted to share something that I was wrong about, I was dead wrong This is because I took bad advice in the past You see, you should be very careful where you take your advice from, who you take it from including me and this channel and most importantly, if that advice even applies to you and your photography what you are trying to do, what you are trying to create with it the long exposure is done! The bad advice I took was the one about making every shot count to be very mindful before pressing the shutter, and only do it when we are sure there’s an image to be made there and that it’s going to be a good one with the goal of increasing the ratio of keepers once we get home we don’t have a lot of photos to go through because, somehow, that’s what good photographers, real photographers, do and I did it, I did it for a long time now, further down my photography journey, I realize that it was a big mistake I used to believe that the magic of photography happens here, in the field, and when I press the shutter that’s when the photo is made, and there’s nothing else to do about it I realize now that photography is a whole process, a set steps, each one of them as important if not more important, than the previous one nowadays I shoot a lot, anywhere between 100 and 200 photos while I’m traveling, on a day like today sometimes even more and that means a lot of work for later, selecting and editing all these photos I tried to avoid that, I thought that was something bad but now, I believe that, perhaps, this should take time, it should take some effort the goal here is not to shoot so much that we get good images by accident just because we have so many, there’s gotta be at least one, a good one no, it’s not about that if I’m out here, hiking, walking, in a new city, in a new country, wherever and I don’t shoot for half an hour, or an hour, I become disengaged, distracted I stop being focused and I start thinking about anything else but making images what I do by shooting a lot is to try to create an image even when I know there’s none to be made when I know that it’s not going to work out, that image is never going to make it through my whole process it’s never going to see the light of the day because in trying, I stay engaged, I stay focused on what I’m doing, I stay in the zone if you will I believe that this change in mindset has made me a better and more aware photographer but I want to hear from you, because every approach to photography is valid and it’s ok as long as it works for you photography is subjective, it’s an art, it’s not a science I’d love to hear from you, how you approach photography and how you deal with these issues that’s all for today thank you so much for watching again, see you in the next one!

Struggling to make images in beautiful Lugano, Switzerland

Struggling to make images in beautiful Lugano, Switzerland


Hello everybody, hello from Switzerland, look at this view! This morning I woke up in a different country, though Let’s go back and start from the beginning This is the border with Switzerland I have no idea if I have to stop people are not stopping well, that was easy I’m in Switzerland! Good morning everyone from the little town of Meride looks like a pretty cool town I’m trying to find the trail to Monte San Giorgio that I believe is that one up there That’s why I’m here this morning I don’t know if this is the way, but it’s definitely going up Sunrise is happening all around me this is the first real sunrise I see in more than one month it’s been raining and cloudy, which I love by the way but it’s nice to have a sunrise every once in a while I’m missing it, I’m not at the top just yet I don’t even know if I’m on the right trail but the point to be here this early is because I need the time I don’t have much time today, at this time of the year sunset is so early I only have a few hours to spend here in Switzerland I have many spots to hit, so let’s keep going Sound like there are hunters around here which gives me a lot of confidence, being here in this forested area no, it doesn’t! You might be wondering: “what the heck is he doing in Switzerland”? I feel like I owe you an update about what I’ve been up to As usual, nothing went according to plan on this trip I change my mind a lot, but this time I was forced to We were going to be 3 weeks in Austria, but we had to leave early because the snow came way earlier than I was expecting I didn’t have the car or the equipment to be driving through mountain passes I couldn’t reach any of the spots that I wanted to visit, I couldn’t go to the Dolomites as I wanted to So we decided to leave early and it was the right call right after we left a big snowstorm came and covered the mountain pass we went through the day before with snow, we would’ve never made it with our car through there that day but in the end it was all good, we got to spend some time next to Lago di Garda, in Trentino I didn’t know about that place, it was a nice surprise, it was beautiful and I had a great time there It’s been a month since I left Spain, we have only 2 weeks left on this fall trip this is one of the 2 destinations that we have left We are very close to Varese, in Northern Italy, a little farther west, very close to Milano There are quite a few spots around Varese that I want to visit and Switzerland was one of them I mean, it’s half an hour away by car, so I had to I found this place, Monte San Giorgio, in Google Maps it looks like it has an amazing view from the top of Lugano and Lake Lugano I’ve made it to the top, this is beautiful, isn’t it? Look at this view There are mountains as far as the eye can see This is a good example of how a great view doesn’t always make for great images I’m really struggling to find something here I’ve been taking long exposures hoping that they could do the trick, but they don’t Everything is too far away, there are not even clouds today If I want to make some good images today, I think it’s going to be down there, from the town of Lugano I’m heading back down now Don’t get me wrong about what I said up there, it’s a beautiful place it was totally worth it to hike up here, I really enjoyed this walk but it was just not the time to make an image from up there it’s more important to have the right conditions in a less than ideal place than to have the right place in less than ideal conditions if that makes sense This will depend on how you photograph, what you are trying to achieve in my opinion, what I try to do is to tell stories with my images that create some mystery and drama and that is very hard to do with panoramic vistas like this one because it gives up everything, it shows clearly what’s going on there’s a lot of stuff, a lot of mountains, there’s no clear anchor, there’s no clear subject there’s no weather helping, like clouds or fog isolating a subject that could tell a story it cloud be anything, like a mountain peaking through the clouds or fog, creating drama in a beautiful forest like this one something, but today was very flat and nothing was really happening I’m back in the car, it’s 11am that means that I have 6 hours left of daylight, should be plenty enough to go to Lugano and make some images but first, second breakfast, after this 6-7 mile hike For those who don’t know, Switzerland is one of the very few european countries that are not part of the EU it’s a bit confusing because it is part of the Schengen area what that means for me today here is that I’m free to come, the border was pretty much open but, they don’t use euros, the have the Swiss franc I don’t have any of those, so I’m hoping that if I have to buy something I can use my cards or they can take euros what affects me the most today is that my mobile carrier does not offer free roaming in Switzerland the way it does in the EU I think it’s 10 euros per megabyte, something really crazy I have data turned off, that is bad on one hand, because I can’t look anything up I can’t do any research, I can’t let anyone know that I’m still alive but on the other hand, it’s good because I’m disconnected and I can focus on actually experiencing this place on capturing images, on making this video and every once in a while it’s good to be disconnected I just hope that I don’t have any problems and I need to call for help because I don’t know if I’m going to be able to, and if I am, it’s going to cost me a lot of money This is much more like it I’m at Lake Lugano, just out of the city of Lugano, in a little town called Melide This is beautiful, you can see Monte San Giorgio where I hiked to this morning This is something I can work with I’m taking long exposures, I’m not going to analyze the photo but being able to blur out the water and using the silhouette of the mountain for me, it creates a drama and a mystery that I’m looking for in my images that tells more a story than the view that I had from up there I’ve made a huge mistake, I don’t know how this happened but I left most of my batteries at home I only have one fully charged battery left I’m here in the car, charging the battery in camera It’s probably not going to be enough, or fast enough but it’s better than nothing, at least I have this option This was pretty cool, as I said when I was on top of one of those mountains I had better chances to make images down here at the lake, and that was the case I’ve made a few that I really like That is the rest of Lake Lugano, it ends not too far from here this place is called Gandria, I drove here, it looks amazing but I don’t think I’m going to be doing any more photography today first, because I only have half an hour left of daylight second, because I’m exhausted I woke up at 5am, I’ve been driving, I went on that hike this morning and then walking a lot in Lugano it’s been a lot of walking, it’s been a long day I think it’s been enough I’ve made a few images that I like, I don’t know about this video, it’s been a little bit chaotic anyway, I hope you still enjoyed the video and the images I don’t know how I’m going to be uploading this video, the place where we are staying in Varese has terrible wifi but yeah, that’s all for today Thank you so much for watching, and see you in the next one!

Macro Photography in Windy Conditions

Macro Photography in Windy Conditions


It is a grey day today. The sun is just
starting to come out which is really beautiful but there are no leaves on the
trees. There’s really nothing exciting to speak of, meaning there’s no snow on the
ground. There’s no leaves on the trees. We’re kind of in that in-between season
where it’s really difficult to think of what to photograph. Now I’ve come out to
this place here and it’s just beautiful. It’s the Devil’s Punchbowl, which is a
waterfall in Hamilton but I’m not here to see the waterfall today. Today I would
like to see if I can capture just something of the simplicity of this
season without… without all the exciting stuff that there usually is to
photograph. I am out here with my 50 mm macro and I’m going to look
for some simple, beautiful subjects. I may have a bit of a challenge on my
hands today because it’s actually quite breezy and all of the plants and grasses
are moving quite a bit in the breeze. That is definitely going to be a bit of
a challenge with macro so I might need to bring my ISO up and and my shutter
speed up quite a bit. Hoping that I can still get a proper
depth of field for at least one image. I’ve just gone for a little bit of a walk
and I am at the edge of the… well, the valley is before me. I definitely am NOT
making my way down there today but maybe one day this is the way to the bottom of
the falls. I’m not exactly sure. It’s beautiful though. The ground is still
full of the orange from the leaves that have already fallen. Okay. First subject. I like the way the
sun is backlighting these plants here – the red. I’m going to try and get that.
Okay. I’m going to set up and then and then I’ll tell you what I’m doing. This is not an easy image. The breeze is
blowing and the red plant is moving quite a bit in it so I have my camera on
ISO 500. Also the sun is backlighting my subject. It’s not a strong sun. The sun is
out behind the clouds but it’s still backlit so I have my exposure value up
two clicks which is +1 exposure value just to make sure that I don’t lose all
of the detail in the actual plant itself because it is in shadow. f/6.7 and 1/200 of a second. I’m playing around with that. I’ve gone
up to f/8 and down to f/4 and want the background to be soft but not… I don’t
want my ISO to be… Sorry not my ISO. I don’t want my aperture to be so low that
part of the plant is not in focus. I’m going to take this a couple of times, see
how it turns out. It’s really hard finding compositions
here today. I like this curly grass here. I’d like to
see if I can try and catch it but it’s extremely challenging because it’s very
light and it’s moving a lot. I’ve gone up to ISO 800. I’m completely amazed how beautiful such
a plain brown day can be. It’s just so quiet. The trees are just standing there.
Grasses are rustling in the breeze. The sun is soft in the sky. It’s beautiful. These are so beautiful. The milkweeds. Alright. So I’ve got ISO 800 because they’re moving quite a bit in the breeze. I love
the soft white. The soft white bits as they as they move in the breeze. It’s
amazing. So what I’m doing is ISO 800, f- somewhere between f/4 and f/8. I want a
low enough f-stop to have a soft background but not so much that a part
of the milkweed gets blurry. Now it’s okay if a little bit, some parts of it
are a little blurry but not the main parts. so I’m taking quite a few
shots here – click, click, click – because the wind is changing. The composition is… The composition is not static and yeah. I’ve got 1/200 of a second approximately but when I move up to f/5.6 I have 1/90 which actually isn’t
much. Okay. I’m avoiding the sky. I don’t want to
have the horizon at the top of my image just going across just that little bit
of sky because it’s just a distraction. The sky doesn’t say anything towards my
composition so I’ve angled the camera down a little bit so I only have the
soft green in the background. The soft green and brown. I’m going to go handheld. I’m on ISO 800.
Anyway, the plants are moving so fast that I might as well. I’ve got manual focus on and like I said, ISO 800, f/4.5 and I’m just grabbing a
whole bunch of little details. Sometimes I find it really fun just to not be
concerned about how quickly I press the shutter. I just, “Oh. That looks good.”
Snap. “Oh. That looks good.” Snap. So that’s what I’m going to do now. I’ve got the
little seeds blowing in the wind and some of the other cool plants here and…
Okay! Let’s do this. That was fun. Just got back from the Rocky Mountains and it was so incredible. Today I thought I
would just do something really simple. I’ve been so tired since we got back.
I’ve just been really, really busy and it’s all good stuff but you know, I
sometimes just need to get out and spend some time with my camera and with you.
Thanks for coming along guys. I’ll see you soon. Bye!

Best camera for me? Maybe! ~ RX100VII first impressions

Best camera for me? Maybe! ~ RX100VII first impressions


Over time, my camera gear has steadily grown in size and weight That hasn’t stopped me from getting out there But I started to realize that it was dragging me down while hiking I was also afraid of getting hurt by carrying so much weight 2019 has become little by little my minimizing-gear-year I embraced compact cameras, and I just double down on that bet Meet my newest camera, the RX100 mark 7 So, how did we get here? Well, I knew that going compact could be ideal for me, at least on paper, for what I do I wanted to give this approach a try, so on this trip I only brought compact cameras with me They are the RX100 mark 2 and the rx100 mark VA And they are a great combo! But I’ve run into some problems The RX100mII is my stills camera, and it’s falling apart, literally I had to replace the screen years ago, and I must have done a poor job Because it barely works anymore The screen on the poor mark II just died Less than 24 hours after getting the mark 7 I think it’s just got sad But I wasn’t going to replace you I am still using you, don’t you see? I bring you to beautiful places I kept using it without the screen and the images looked lovely It’s a very tough camera, it’s working again But it’s just not the screen, the autofocus motor makes a very weird and loud noise I’m afraid that this camera is going to stop working at any moment And my video camera, the VA, doesn’t have a microphone input which has made my video workflow much more complicated, now that I have to synchronize the audio in post A decision had to be made and not an easy one I started thinking more and more about the mark 7 which seemed to be the perfect camera for me for both video and photos There was just one big issue, and that was the price So after days and days of overthinking Sleeping on it I even had nightmares Until one day… “I need the mark 7!” There was only one thing left to be done So I gathered the courage and… I went for it Rach? Yeah? I’ve been thinking… Just get the damn camera already! So I did Then I patiently waited for a few days Until it finally arrived There are 5… Five things I was really excited about from this camera 4 about video and 1 about photography I couldn’t have chosen a worse, or better, day to try this camera out First day with the camera and it’s snowing like crazy The first thing is the digital stabilization in 4k, this is something missing in the VA It was only available for 1080p It does crop the image a little bit, but I think is completely worth it because it makes for a much smoother footage I find this very useful and not only for vloggers or when you are recording and walking at the same time This, combined with some additional stabilization in post allows me to get very steady shots Almost like if they were taken from a tripod All of these were handheld, even this one at 200mm It’s also very useful for a smooth panning and to get more cinematic shots like you can see here Thing number 2, there is no recording time limit in 4k You see the mark VA has a 5 minute time limit when recording in 4k Which to be honest has helped me a little bit because I’m more direct and to-the-point when I talk to the camera But…. the thing is, the camera overheats and you have to wait longer and longer in between clips and that kind of sucks The mark 7, though, fixes this so that’s great And it’s falling, it’s falling, it’s falling, it’s falling…. Thing number 3, it has a touchscreen Sony’s implementation of a touchscreen is very poor There is only so much you can do with it But being able to change the focus point while recording video is extremely important for me and something that I was really missing from my bigger camera, the a6500 so I really appreciate this one Despite its tiny size, this camera is very powerful and capable for video with plenty of features that much bigger and more expensive cameras don’t have many people care about frame rates, about codecs, about the 4k if it’s downscaled if it’s able to shoot in s-log or other picture profiles And sure, those things are important to have but I believe that sound plays a much important role in our videos I think we can all agree that good sound makes a huge difference with these videos, I want to make you feel like you are here with me I want to share my experience with you, and sound and good audio play a really important role That’s why I’m so, so happy that this camera has a microphone input It only took them 7 generations, but hey, it’s here If you’re American in the living room, what are you in the bathroom? European! What do you say to someone who tries to steal your cheese? That’s nacho cheese! Of course, the number 5 is the unbelievable 200mm lens that comes in this tiny camera And I know, I know, it’s gone from 1.8 to 2.8, but we’ll talk about that later For now, let’s focus on the good side of this that is the incredible reach that you are able to get I guess that eventually I’ll get used to it But for now, every time I extend that lens all the way to 200mm, my mouth just drops It’s just incredible that a tiny camera that fits in your pocket can do that and sure, the image gets softer at 200mm but still, this will allow me to create images that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, because I didn’t have the reach before without having to bring a backpack with a bunch of lenses, of course It could even be a good camera for wildlife, I guess Before we keep going, I’m going to show you a few images that I’ve made with this camera during the last couple days. Of course, edited to my style When I was thinking whether I should buy this camera or not, I had 3 main concerns The first one is of course money This is not a cheap camera, it’s actually expensive for what it is It’s a compact camera with a tiny sensor But it does a lot of things that other cameras can’t and in the end, it all depends on what you need, what the right tool is for you, and for what you do I believe that this camera is almost the perfect camera for me, for my photography, and for my videos But it might not be for you The second one is the bokeh I’m recording this with my 2 cameras, the VA and the VII The lenses are different, in the VII is a 2.8, in the VA is a 1.8 That not only makes it better in low light, but it also should make it better when it comes to blur the background So do you notice any difference? The VII is at 2.8, as I said, the VA is at 1.8 I believe, let me check… Yes, 1.8 Of course, the closer you get to the camera the blurrier the background becomes another you can do is to get farther from that background so it blurs even more But no matter what you do, the wider aperture will always have the edge here and there is no way around it I just don’t worry too much about this It is true that the VA looks a little bit better But I mean, the VII is fine When it comes to low-light performance, I’m no camera tester I tried to compare the VA and the VII against a surface and you can see the results here, I don’t really know what to say If anything, the VII looks a little bit worse But they look pretty similar, they look just fine up to ISO 1600 – 2000, in my opinion It gets worse very quickly from there The difference of 1+ stop on the lens of these two cameras makes a huge difference if we are shooting at ISO 3200 on the mark VII, we could be using ISO 1600 or even 1250 on the mark VA and that means much less noise But still, it’s just one stop, and I think low-light capabilities are a little bit overrated If we want to get good results in very low light, we need completely different setups Bigger cameras, bigger lenses For example, I have the aa6500 back at home, with my Sigma 16mm f/1.4 And that combination has an advantage of more than 3 stops over the mark VII and not only that, but at the same ISO it looks much better So if you need the low light performance this camera is not for you but if your use in low light is more casual like I do here, just for YouTube videos because after all, for photography we can always use a tripod, that is not a problem Then this camera might be just fine While these cameras are very complete right out of the box There are a few accessories that I think make them even better The first one almost goes without saying but you need a screen protector, just do it The second one is a filter adapter ring that you have to glue to the lens of this camera Out of the box, the lens can’t take any kind of filters And since this one doesn’t have a built-in ND filter anymore It’s almost a must if you’re gonna do any kind of video The third one is of course an external microphone to take advantage of that microphone input This is my favorite, it’s a Rode VideoMicro I think that the sound that comes out of this thing is very good It doesn’t use any batteries or anything like that, so it’s pretty easy to use The only thing is that is a little bit big, it’s almost bigger than the camera So I got a new one, it’s a Saramonic SR-XM1 or something like that It’s much smaller and it’s pretty convenient for this camera It’s not as good as the Rode VideoMicro in windy conditions So you might want to get a windshield for that one, too And even then, it’s not as good as this one, so I want to have the option to use this one I don’t have a way to mount it and this is where the fourth and last accessory comes in and it’s a cage for the RX100 I’m yet to buy that cage, so for now I’m going to show you the one that I have for the VA Unfortunately, they are not compatible anymore The VII has a slightly thicker lens So this one doesn’t fit on the new one A cage like this will make your RX100 a much better camera, a much more versatile system Not only they offer places to mount your microphones that you can see here They offer some extra protection They have a grip, these cameras are not the easiest to hold And they fix a very big design flaw in these cameras, right here on the bottom The problem is when you have this camera mounted on a tripod, and you have a tripod plate here You can’t open the battery door, so you can’t change the battery, you can’t take the memory card out But with this, you can attach the tripod plate here, and you still have access to the battery door right here So, it’s much more convenient And now, time for some Q&A I asked both on Instagram and YouTube if anyone had any questions about this camera Of course, if you still have more questions after watching this video, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you Should I get this or the mark 6? I don’t have the VI, I’ve never used it But it looks pretty similar to this one, it looks like a very solid camera But if you do need that microphone input, I would pay the 200 bucks – I think that’s the difference in price I would pay that only for the microphone input Step-by-step instructions for long time exposure Okay, I can do that but not in this video, this has already been a long one But yeah, you can definitely do long exposure photography on these cameras I’ve been doing it during this trip Possible print size and quality with the smaller sensor? Someone was asking for a print sample on YouTube as well I went to a pharmacy yesterday looking for something different but they had one of those, you know, printing machines, vending, kiosk… whatever the name is I copied a photo from my phone, printed that photo Here, you can see it This is the biggest size I could do, a 15x15cm I don’t know how much that is in inches It’s one of those instant images so it’s not the highest quality you can get But in my opinion, it looks pretty good I’ve actually printed before images that I made with my VA and even with my phone My prints are not too big, they go up to 8x8in, I’ve done tests with 12x12in and I found these little cameras to be more than able to do that If you want to go bigger than that, then I don’t know But up to those sizes they look beautiful Why not the Ricoh GR III? Well, that looks like a beautiful camera and I actually had it in my hands before It’s something that I would really like to use But my problem here is the fixed lens, I think that’s a 28mm lens you can buy some converters to make it a bit wider, to 21mm By the way, you can buy converters for this one too, I have one in the mail coming I don’t know what the equivalent focal length will be but I’m very excited to shoot wider than 24mm with these little cameras But anyway, going back to the Ricoh, as I said – it looks like a very solid camera but the problem is the fixed lens, I really like the zoom lenses on this one and the range from 24 to 200 gives me a flexibility for the kind of photography that I do outside, landscapes and stuff like that that the Ricoh just can’t give me The Ricoh looks like a beautiful and perfect camera for street photography Just not for the kind of stuff that I do Look like it’s windy Love mine, been using them since the Mark 1, how do you find the compromise between focal range and lens speed? As I said the lens has gone from 1.8 in previous versions to 2.8 on the mark 6 and 7 So it’s more than one stop slower and that obviously has consequences when you’re shooting in low light You have to crank the ISO or use slower shutter speeds and also the bokeh as you can see, if I was recording this with the VA the background would be blurrier This comes down once again to your needs and what you are looking for in a camera This one can do everything I need to do 99% of the time Of course if I’m going to be doing some night photography, or some low-light photography then I would grab the VA or even the a6500 because this one is not the perfect camera for those conditions Do you miss the old 24-70 lens? So once again, this comes down to the speed of the lenses, I do not miss it I really like the 200mm reach of this camera And I still have the VA, so I use them both and sometimes I even bring them both with me Because they are so tiny that I can fit them both in my pocket, so it’s not a problem Why did you choose that over a full frame? That’s a very big question that I think I should make a video about I haven’t shot full frame in a long time, it actually disappointed me when I bought the a7II, I think it was I didn’t find that the improvement in image quality is worth the extra cost, the added size and weight I really love the smaller footprint of the these cameras They are actually not as sharp as a full frame but I think that that renders a more beautiful image that goes more with my style because they look more like drawings or paintings… I know, it might sound a little bit silly, but I find it to be true I like that more than the crispness or whatever you want to call it, from full frame Some more questions, about the price Is it worth the price? I’d say so, it looks like you get your money’s worth having had the last one for so long Yes, I do use these cameras a lot I bring them with me everywhere, if I’m going out for dinner, have a coffee if I’m just going to the grocery store They always come with me because they fit in my pocket That’s the amazing thing about them Why not the RX1 instead? It has better image quality That is an amazing camera but once again, it’s a fixed lens camera I can’t zoom in or out, it’s a full-frame camera so the image quality I’m sure it’s amazing but it’s also much, much more expensive What is it like to take photos with it in full manual mode? Well, I don’t know because I shoot in P mode, at most Aperture or Shutter Speed priority But I would say that not very easy, because it has a very limited controls It’s a very tiny camera and they are tiny buttons and dials, I just wouldn’t do it Does it come with a built-in ND filter? If not, does it have any long exposure app setting that you don’t need the ND filter for long exposure shot? No, it does not have a built-in ND filter But that is a bigger deal for video or if you want to use wider apertures if you want to do long exposure photography you want to go for darker ND filters than the usual 3 stops that come built-in in cameras you need to get standalone ND filters that you can put in front of your lens I have a 6, 10, 15 stops ND filters, so that allows me to create very long exposures even during the day Ok, it’s been a very long video already I don’t usually do these kind of videos, camera gear review, first impression thing I really wanted to share this with you though, because I’m really excited about this camera It’s a powerful tool, I’m going to create a bunch of images and videos with this one because it’s going to come with me everywhere from now on I’m going to be using it as a complement to all the camera gear that I already have not only my other compact cameras, but my aps-c and even my bronica So it’s going to be there with me all the time because it doesn’t take any space in my backpack And the good thing about these cameras is that when you buy it, you’re buying a complete system You don’t need new lenses, you don’t need anything You don’t need to carry with you stuff to clean the sensor or anything like that It’s almost hassle-free, it fits in your pocket and as long as you have space in your memory card and a fully charged battery It’s going to do a good job no matter what you throw at it As I said, if you have any questions or if you have any comments or anything to say about this camera, please leave a comment down below and that’s all from Italy, we got here yesterday to a beautiful town called Arco just on the shore of Garda Lake, it looks beautiful around here Today, we got a very nasty day, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get out there in the next few days and create some good images around here If I do, they’ll be coming to your screen very very soon Until then, thank you so much for watching and see you in the next one

Create for the sake of it

Create for the sake of it


Hello everyone from beautiful Lago di Garda, in Italy As you can see, I’m taking some long exposures back there I just wanted to share a quick thought with you today, and it’s this one This week, I’ve had a few conversations with a few people about the same topic about the meaning behind my work and why I create what I create That’s a very good question But I don’t know if I have a real answer to it or if an answer is necessary at all I believe that creating -almost no matter what- makes humans happy At least that’s what it does to me I am happier when I’m out here taking photos or even back at home editing videos and editing photos because that’s still creating at that point Sometimes we like to make things more complicated than they should be Maybe creating should be the goal, the purpose creating for the sake of it We don’t need a grandiose project, we don’t need to change the world with our images We just need to get out here and create something because that’s going to make us happy The great thing about photography is that is a very democratic art form You don’t need special skills, you don’t have to go to school You just need a camera, it doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be big You don’t need a darkroom anymore and everyone can afford now shooting photos Photography has become more accessible, it has become more democratic, every has access to it now Some people don’t like that, I love it and I think we should stop overthinking things We should just get out there and start capturing the world the way we see it and share it with everyone else So don’t wait for inspiration, don’t wait until you have a grandiose project or a purpose for your photography Get out there and start capturing the world the way you see it, capture the beauty that you see or the ugly that you see, whatever you feel like creating That’s the important thing: create something That was my quick thought for today I’m going to keep taking more photos here because this place is just beautiful I mean, look at this Okay, thank you for watching, see you in the next one

Want to be Accountable for Your Photography – Join Us

Want to be Accountable for Your Photography – Join Us


my name is Debra Stephenson and I am a
member in Janice Sullivan’s membership program at Sullivan J photography my
photography skills and knowledge have really progressed my name is Kim Nordby
Sullivan J photography helped me become a better photographer I am Siri Brandshoi SJP membership has helped me to grow as
a photographer janice sullivan creates videos that are
targeted on our interest and our needs you can post your images and she goes
into detail into your image critiques and it really helps you grow as a
photographer really liked the video workshops and the monthly challenges I
really like alive calls that’s where you can join her in real-time ask her
questions you can watch her teaching you something that you’re working on you can
really they on track with your learning goals in addition we have a community
but it can discuss anything she really wants to see us all succeed