5 Quick Headshot Tips in 3 Minutes by Photographer Peter Hurley


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Want to up your portrait game? Here’s a video by B&H in which Naew York City-based portrait photographer Peter Hurley shares 5 headshot tips in about 3 minutes.

Here’s a rundown of the tips covered:

1. Keep it Simple

2. Keep a Consistent Portfolio

3. Get the Jawline Out

4. It’s All About the Squinch

5. Confidence and Approachability

Watch the video at the top for Hurley’s explanation of each of these tips and how they can result in better headshots for your business.

Why Lens Focal Length Matters


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Thinking about which lens to buy next? You might want to take a look at this 9-minute video first. In it, photographer Jamie Windsor argues that choosing the right focal length is more than a technical decision based on what type of photography you want to do — your choice affects the dynamic and meaning of your photos.

“Choosing the right focal length is much more than about creating a flattering portrait or being able to fit everything you want into your frame,” Windsor says. “Your choice of lens changes the dynamic of your image and the psychological meaning the

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Why Size Matters: Lens Compression at 400mm in Landscape Photography


This post is by Kaitlyn McLachlan from PetaPixel


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Most the time when I am out doing landscape photography, I have a Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS and Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS with me. On road trips, I try to bring my Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II — it’s a fantastic lens with great image stabilization and impressive image quality. Unfortunately, it is a bit too big and heavy for me to bring out more often!

On a recent trip through the Canadian Rockies, I had this special lens with me. I knew of this tree in Banff National Park and knew I wanted to

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Astrophotography Can Capture Seismograms During Earthquakes


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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During an earthquake, a camera capturing a long exposure of the night sky can capture star trails as seismograms that records the motion of the ground.

Back on January 20th, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake rocked Coquimbo, Chile. About 56 miles (90km) away, the ESO La Silla Observatory was in the process of shooting images of the night sky.

The observatory’s Rapid Action Telescope for Transient Objects (TAROT) telescope, which monitors gamma-ray bursts, was shooting a series of 10-second exposures of geostationary satellites and stars.

In the stacked photo above, each star trail is seen three times. The blurry left version

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Basics of the Histogram: From Foe to Friend


This post is by Kaspars Dzenis from PetaPixel


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A long, long time ago, that is, in days of film photography, it was a rather difficult task to learn how to produce properly exposed pictures. There was no instant feedback and the only way to see how good of a job you did exposing the scene was to wait until the picture was developed.

Nowadays, regardless of your skill level or how advanced are you with any photo editing software, if you are using a digital camera, there’s a slice of digital information that can help you instantly adjust your camera settings in order to take a picture with

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The First Great Photography Craze: Cartes de Visites


This post is by Richard Davies from PetaPixel


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Before Instagram, selfie sticks, disposable cameras, Polaroids, and box brownies, there were carte de visites — small photographic albumen prints, mounted on card, which were wildly popular during the Victorian era.

Also known as CdV, carte de visites followed the early pioneering photographic techniques such as daguerreotype and ambrotype, which were expensive and difficult to reproduce. Cartes de visites were born from calling cards, which bore the owner’s name and usually an emblem, and were presented to the host during a social visit. Homes often had a tray near the door for collecting calling cards.

In 1854, Paris photographer Andre

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10 Things You Should Know About Being a Wedding Photographer


This post is by Jeffrey Wang from PetaPixel


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There’s something unique about being a wedding photographer. It’s a job that filled with joyful moments and happiness. A wedding photographer plays a significant part in the best day of someone’s life. Plus, you can make a fair amount of cash capturing those joyful moments. Could this be a career for you? Well, it’s certainly an excellent idea, but there are certain things you need to know before you take the plunge.

Before you get started on your journey as a professional wedding photographer, here are the top 10 things you must know:

#1. It all starts with the right

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How I Handle Storage and Backup as a Photographer


This post is by Albert Dros from PetaPixel


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I remember when I just started out with photography I would use external hard drives to save the biggest amount of my data on. I’m sure most of you reading have been there (or are still in this phase). The drive got full, and then I would get another drive, and because of technology and price, this one was often bigger… but eventually it would also run out of space.

I had a bunch of external hard drives with different sizes from different brands, each one with labels on what was on there. And from time to time I would

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This $2,200 Sony Camera Got Fried by a Tattoo Removal Laser


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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You probably know that the lasers in concerts and even on self-driving cars can damage your camera’s sensor in a direct hit, but did you know that light reflected off skin during laser tattoo removal can also destroy your sensor? Watch this 37-second video to see for yourself.

The video was recorded by Andy Boyd, who had his $2,200 Sony a7S II permanently damaged by pulses from the tattoo removal laser.

“Don’t record laser tattoo removal on… anything,” Boyd writes. “You can see with each pulse the sensor shows new damage. The repair cost was about as much as a

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Why People Don’t Like Portraits of Themselves


This post is by Eric London from PetaPixel


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Portrait photos are often disliked by the subject themselves. From the early formative years of grade school on into the advanced years of adulthood, the feeling of dislike of your own picture is universal. Yet it is not for vanity sake, nor is it to spare the shock of another from seeing self-assumed horrors. Assuming you are neither a narcissist nor a person with flawless perfection, you may simply be like the rest of the human race: there is real science behind the reason why you may not like your own photograph.

Enough subtle differences to matter

The human mind

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How Much a Full Pro Camera and Lens Set Costs for Each Brand


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Photographer Terrance Lam’s friend recently purchased Sony’s entire line of pro G Master lenses. Curious about how the cost stacks up against other ecosystems, Lam decided to do some research and find out how much equivalent camera and lens kits cost for other brands.

“[My friend] was curious about the wisdom of [his purchase],” says Lam, a marketing consultant and professional photographer based in British Columbia, Canada.

Lam looked up current non-sale prices from B&H for the most popular pro lenses and camera bodies for each system (excluding some newer full-frame mirrorless models that don’t have a wide range of

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How to Place a Softbox to Finesse the Look You Want


This post is by Jay P. Morgan from PetaPixel


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Today we are going to talk about placing a softbox — not the positions that you would use, like a Rembrandt, a butterfly, or a loop, but how to place it once it’s in position. Let’s talk about how to finesse the look that you want to achieve while using a softbox.

We have our model with us here today, Hailey West, who is going to help us demonstrate this.

#1 Horizontal or Vertical

The softbox has a round area of coverage. It doesn’t matter whether or not it is horizontal or vertical, it’s the same coverage. However, what

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Sony: E-mount Can Take f/0.63 Lenses


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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At its a6400 announcement event back in January, Sony also gathered press together for a presentation in which it aimed to debunk some of the things being said about its E mount in recent days. One of the interesting facts shared is that the E-mount supports a maximum aperture of f/0.63.

After tackling Leica’s claim that the E-mount wasn’t designed for full frame — Sony quotes its director as discussing the possibility the same year the first E-mount camera was launched (2010) — Sony discusses the “myth” that the E-mount is too small for f/1.0 lenses.

Sony says

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Making a Camera Lens from Scratch Using Rocks, Sand, and Copper


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Can an ordinary person made a camera lens from scratch? Here’s a 22-minute video in which Andy George of How To Make Everything answers that question by producing clear glass and metal and combining them to create a camera lens.

The video covers everything from creating optically clear glass (using borax from California, river sand from Mississippi, and soda ash from a Wyoming lake) and measuring properties of the glass to grinding the glass and casting the lens body (using copper).

“It has been one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever done,” George says after completing his lens. “Every

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The Disturbing True Story Behind the Iconic ‘Afghan Girl’ Photo


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Tony Northrup recently decided to create a video celebrating photographer Steve McCurry’s most famous photo, the iconic “Afghan Girl” portrait featured on the cover of National Geographic. But upon researching the shot, Northrup learned the other, more disturbing side of the story that’s more hidden from public view.

In interviews that Sharbat Gula (the “Afghan Girl”) has given over the years, Northrup learned that she wasn’t a willing subject in the portrait McCurry shot when she was around 10 to 12 years old. As a Pashtun, she wasn’t supposed to be in the same room as a man outside her

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Debunking the Myths of Robert Capa on D-Day


This post is by A. D. Coleman from PetaPixel


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I want to give you a brief overview of an investigation that began almost five years ago, led by me but involving the efforts of photojournalist J. Ross Baughman, photo historian Rob McElroy, and ex-infantryman and amateur military historian Charles Herrick.

Our project, in a nutshell, dismantles the 74-year-old myth of Robert Capa’s actions on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and the subsequent fate of his negatives. If you have even a passing familiarity with the history of photojournalism, or simply an awareness of twentieth-century cultural history on both sides of the Atlantic, you’ve surely heard the story; it’s been repeated

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If Iconic Space Photos Had Been Shot with a Smartphone Camera…


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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What would iconic space probe photos of celestial bodies in our solar system look like if they had been shot with an ordinary smartphone camera? Astronomer Scott Manley made this 12.5-minute video that explains the answer, which is: “not much.”

The beautiful photos of planets and moons that you’ve seen were captured with specialized cameras on spacecraft that are much more like telescopes than like iPhone cameras.

For example, in August 2015, NASA shared a beautiful photo of the Moon passing in front of Earth that was captured by the camera on its DSCOVR Earth observation satellite.

But

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A History of the Yosemite Firefall and Tips for Photographing It


This post is by Akram Mellice from PetaPixel


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Each year from summer of 1872, the owners of Glacier Point hotel started the event of Yosemite Firefall. For seven nights a week, they would spill hot embers from Glacier Point down to the valley 3000 feet below. The event ended in 1968 when the National Park Service ordered it to stop because the overwhelming number of visitors that it attracted overwhelmed the meadows, and because it was not a natural event. NPS wanted to preserve the Valley, returning it to its natural state.

In a February 1973 evening, photographer Galen Rowell saw the setting sun lights Horsetail Fall against

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Camera Terms You’re Saying Wrong


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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There are several terms in photography that are commonly mispronounced. Here’s a 5-minute video in which Gerald Undone discusses them and teaches how to correct pronounce them.

Here are the terms covered in the video:

  • Raw: Not written in all caps.
  • JPEG: Yes written in all caps.
  • EOS: Pronounced as one word.
  • ISO: Pronounced as one word.
  • Bokeh: “The trick is to separate the syllables and hit them hard.”

Watch the video to hear Gerald’s pronunciations and explanations for why.

Ben Baker: Photographing the World’s Most Powerful People


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Photographer and movie maker Henry Thong made this episode for his documentary series Makers Who Inspire about the life and work of photographer Ben Baker. Over the years, Baker has pointed his camera at some of the most powerful people in the world.

Baker is a portrait photographer based in New York City who has spent the last 15 years focusing his work on people of power, or as Baker puts it, “people who effectively run the world.”

“Through his work with Time Magazine, Fortune, Politico, and The Sunday Times, Ben has photographed media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch,

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