Fall is About Renewal

LeavesNot quite what you expected?  In the northern hemisphere, Fall is typically about shutting down, about returning to routines that don’t include time at a vacation home or sunlit walks in shorts and a floppy hat.  We begin to cocoon, bringing in our lives indoors, at least more so when it gets dark 4 hours earlier.

But Fall is also about renewal of the craft of photography.  Myriad trade shows, new gear releases, new software releases – everything to tantalize the tastebuds for next season.  I’m less caught up in this than I used to be, but still find some of the new developments fascinating. Continue reading “Fall is About Renewal”

How Important are Megapixels?

Whenever I look at a new camera (purely for interest these days), the first stat I normally read is the megapixel count.  There seems to be a lot riding on this one number, as though it somehow conveys the quality of the images you will obtain and the performance of the camera in different conditions.  We’re also taught generally that bigger is better.

Sony

Sony recently announced its 61 megapixel flagship.  61 megapixels is surely “better” than the 24 megapixels of my Fuji or the 20 megapixels of my aging but trusty Canon.  On all counts, nothing could be further from the truth.  Here’s why. Continue reading “How Important are Megapixels?”

On Camera Flash – Making It Work for You

I was in my local camera store the other day.  I was purchasing a small speedlite unit to use on my mirrorless camera.  Yes, on-camera.  In a twist of fate, in walks in a colleague from my local camera club, same flash unit in hand.  We chatted with the salesperson, also a friend.

Godox FlashMy colleague then said:  “I’m bringing this flash back.  It doesn’t fire consistently.”  He demonstrated the problem, with the unit set first on TTL mode and then on manual mode while attached to the hotshoe on his mirrorless camera.  He was right.  Without changing camera settings, sometimes the speedlite would fire and sometimes it wouldn’t.  He returned the unit.  But it got me to thinking about how the speedlite and camera work together and how to make sure they always work when needed. Continue reading “On Camera Flash – Making It Work for You”

Backing Up Your Photos on the Road

PackingTravelling on assignment or for personal interest is typically a big part of most photographer’s lives.  The challenge of managing gear – taking enough, but not too much – is always top of mind.  But what about managing your images while you are on the road?

With a bit more travel in my future, I wasn’t happy with a strategy that worked well for day or weekend trips, but wouldn’t work for longer absences.  So, I started looking at alternatives.  Here’s what I found. Continue reading “Backing Up Your Photos on the Road”

Leaving the Mothership

Last year around this time, I put out a piece on storage options, both online and local, for the vast collection of photographs that we are all accumulating.

low disk spaceAlthough I use cloud storage as my primary storage option, most of these services “sync” at least some of that content to a local hard drive.  Until today, that hard drive was my computer hard drive.  But I’ve now run out of room on the local drive, and had to make a choice about where to put the local copies.  Here’s what I came up with. Continue reading “Leaving the Mothership”

Fuji’s Focus Bracketing Explained

Happy New Year.  Hope your holiday season was fabulous.

This post is specific to Fuji users, so everyone else can have a break.  We’ll see you in a couple weeks.

In mid-2018, Fuji provided an upgrade to the firmware of it’s X-series of cameras.  Known for adding new features and functions, Fuji users were delighted to see the addition of new menu options and one particular update:  the addition of in-camera focus “bracketing”.

New FirmwareUnfortunately, there was a series of missteps with the upgrade and it was initially retracted, then re-released, which is a surprise for a company that prides itself on its quality options for photographers.

Even though it was corrected, Fuji made another mistake in not providing useful information to help us get the most of the upgrade.  This post is specifically about focus bracketing. Continue reading “Fuji’s Focus Bracketing Explained”

And So The Battle Begins

As most of you know already, Nikon launched its full-frame mirrorless cameras on Aug 23/18, revealing two models that will appeal to both pros and hobbyists alike.  Priced respectively for those markets, the pro model will be available in September and the consumer model in November.

This isn’t a review of that equipment.  You can get a very good overview of the offering in the great article by M. Zhang from Petapixel.Nikon Mirrorless

What struck me as I watched the launch was just how hard Nikon was struggling to differentiate this product from the offerings already out there.  Perhaps it was the English translation, but “redefine possibilities” and “new light…to pioneer the future” left a lot to be desired as to why I would buy this camera over any other. Continue reading “And So The Battle Begins”

Reading the Histogram

Another short presentation to my local camera club.  This item was on activating, reading and responding to the histogram.

Histogram Continue reading “Reading the Histogram”

A Focus on Autofocus

One of the greatest advancements in photography has been the invention of autofocus.  Simply by pointing your camera at a subject and pressing the shutter halfway, the camera will not only meter the ambient light, but bring the main subject into sharp focus.

Canon-5D-Mark-III-Autofocus-SystemAs with most things photographic, there is theory and there is practice and sometimes the two don’t mesh exactly.  Here’s what I’ve learned about autofocus. Continue reading “A Focus on Autofocus”

File Storage Options – What You Need to Know

Happy-New-Year-Images-2018-HD-1-1The start of a new year.  Time to consider shaping up – not only personally but maybe for your photography workflow.  How can you do things better?  At the very least, you’ve probably accumulated a huge amout of content this year.  Are you running out of storage space?  And are you safeguarding your work appropriately?

Managing and safeguarding your photographs is a personal decision with lots of options. Built-in computer hard drives are bigger and faster every year.  But there’s also detachable hard drives and network hard drives and online storage.  How do you choose the right combination?

I’ve used mixtures of all of the above over the years, and currently assign files to different storage options based on importance and where they are in my workflow.  I also need a clean, easy way to organize my content – client files here, personal files there.

With image volumes increasing, I recently looked into just how well these options are working for me, and here’s what I discovered.  One disclaimer:  these options may not be right for you.  It’s about what you feel comfortable with and what you are willing to spend. Continue reading “File Storage Options – What You Need to Know”