Vincent Laforet’s ‘AIR’ Book Strikes a Balance Between Serene Cityscapes and Visual Overload

I have been following and reporting on Vincent Laforet's "AIR" series since its first round was released. I came across an early printing of the book itself in the waiting area of San Francisco's Storehouse startup while I was about to take on another interview. I knew Storehouse and Laforet had a good working relationship, and I knew the images so well. But I didn't have time to look inside -- not that I felt I had to, however, since I knew the work inside and out. So when Laforet offered me a copy of the book to review, I simply had to say, "Of course," even if it was with mixed feelings. What could I, objectively speaking, really get out of it? Hadn't I seen it all? [ Read More ]

Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art Special: Astronomy Review

Not long ago, I released a review of Sigma's newest Art-series lens, the 20mm f/1.4 Art. Unfortunately, Northern California skies have had bit of a tough time clearing up despite numerous requests from astrophotographers below, patiently waiting for news of this lens' nighttime, Milky Way performance. Last night, although far from perfect, areas of the sky did clear up enough to get a small consensus on how this lens fares when pointed toward the stars. [ Read More ]

A DSLR Shooter Reviews the Hasselblad CFV-50c

Last time I wrote an article for Fstoppers was almost a year ago when I had just picked up a Hasselblad V-system medium format film camera for the first time. If you remember my first post, I taught myself to shoot 120 film while traveling in Europe. I reported my findings as best as someone with only a month of practical experience could. In the year that's passed I've learned so much about the modern uses and challenges of this legendary camera system and it has become a fixture in my studio. In today's market it's not always the right tool for the job, but when it is, it's a remarkably satisfying camera to use. [ Read More ]

Sigma’s 20mm f/1.4 Art Is Pure Heaven with No Competition (Unless You Shoot Nikon)

If you don't know Sigma's Art series lenses yet, you're missing out. Their well established 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and zoom options in the Art lineup shine, but it's hard to believe it took this long for a wide-angle 20mm f/1.4 Art to make it out into the real world. But the moment I began shooting with this beauty is the moment of the past didn't matter anymore. We're in a new world: there's a 20mm to die for; and this is it. [ Read More ]

Fstoppers Compares Profoto HSS and Elinchrom Hi-Sync

Until recently, HSS and HyperSync were considered gimmicky features available on either expensive PocketWizard or cheap Chinese triggers. With Profoto, Elinchrom, Priolite, RiME LITE, and other brands catching up on these techniques, it is slowly becoming more popular. However, are these sync modes as reliable and useful as the brands try to make us believe they are? Moreover, is one better than the other? [ Read More ]

Fstoppers Reviews $299 Electronic Earplugs for Concert Photographers: The Etymotic Music·PROs

Hear me out on this one. As a concert and event photographer (and music lover), I will argue until my dying breath that the most important piece of equipment we have after our camera is ear protection. In fact, this made my recently published list of 10 concert photography tips for everyone. I've gone through nearly a dozen different kinds of earplugs over the past five years, but the Music•PRO high-fidelity earplugs from Etymotic are something absolutely unique, and I'm thrilled to be able to review them. They're electronic. And they're alive. [ Read More ]

The Top Photos and Cameras on Flickr in 2015

flickr2015head Billions of photos were uploaded by photographers to Flickr over the course of 2015. As this year is winding down, Flickr has crunched some numbers and announced the top photos and cameras on the photo sharing service this year.

Top Photos

Flickr determined top photos by using an algorithm that considers a number of factors, including view count, fav count, and more. For popular photographers that appeared multiple times, Flickr selected only their top photo for inclusion. Here are the top 10: #1: CRS-4 by SpaceX Photos 16661753958_3d70ab216d_b #2: Stormy Porthcawl by Steve Garrington 20700232572_13b666e628_b #3: “SELF REFLECTION” by JK 17169987313_21e268df40_b #4: BORGO INCANTATO by Daniele Romagnoli 19552135792_b40968ac01_b #5: gooseherd by Iwona Podlasinska 20471528443_e39d992210_b #6: Untitled by Elena Shumilova 16457687977_83cb4d2576_b #7: Magical light by George Probst 17079730571_e6af51ee4b_b #8: Typical Dutch! by Albert Dros 18556751445_9a008167d7_b #9: Keep staring by David Olkarny 16897408331_081a1f705b_b #10: OM-D E-M5II by Thomas Leuthard 16468196711_d23462b57a_b You can find the top 25 photos in this Flickr blog post.

Continue reading "The Top Photos and Cameras on Flickr in 2015"

Lightroom Film Presets: Full Totally Rad Replichrome I, II, and III Review

Totally Rad are the producers of the film emulation presets titled Replichrome. Currently there are three sets of presets, Replichrome I: Icon, Replichrome II: Slide, and Replichrome III: Archive. The initial inception of the Lightroom presets, now known as the Icon Series, came with the intent to get it right. Not to create stylized versions of film but to create accurate depictions so that the digital images with the film presets would appear as close to actual film as possible. [ Read More ]

Review: Canon’s CS100 Connect Station is Overpriced and Unnecessary

canonreview The CS100 Connect Station is a new product, first of its kind, from Canon, and it’s designed to be a home media hub for your photos and videos. It even integrates with your printers — so long as they are Canon brand — so you download, browse and print your favorite images from your sofa. When it was announced earlier in the year reception was lukewarm and Canon kept quiet until its release late last month. I’ve tried it out day to day for a few weeks now to see if it’s an early Christmas cracker or a Thanksgiving turkey… cs100

Video Review

Check out my rapid-fire video review of the CS100 here:

Out of the Box

Alongside maybe an inch of printed instruction manuals — for what is theoretically a “plug and play” device — you get the CS100 unit itself, power cables and a remote control. Batteries included. Absent
Continue reading "Review: Canon’s CS100 Connect Station is Overpriced and Unnecessary"

Hands-On with the Everyday Messenger: The Bag That Raised Nearly $5 Million

While running a Kickstarter campaign might be a bit easier for veteran company Peak Design, there’s something to be said for raising over $4.8 million of excitement over a messenger bag. What is so special about this bag that merits this reaction? After reaching out to Peak Design, they sent a just-finished version of the Everyday Messenger — the "Trey Ratcliff bag" — for review so I could answer some of those questions. [ Read More ]

A Real-World Review of the Canon PowerShot G3X

download (22) The G-series of cameras from Canon have always been their enthusiast/prosumer range with features and specs that typically outclass their other compact cameras. With the compact camera segment suffering heavily at the hands of ever-improving smartphones, the enthusiast user is pretty much the only slice of the market which I think has any future. Smaller cameras and smaller sensors, but with controls and features photographers come to expect from more expensive models will still appeal to many as either a backup or an alternative to a larger, more capable body. download (23) Within the G-series, Canon stratifies their offering with the ageing G1X as theoretically the “best” and the G3X, G5X, G7X and G9X all slotting in beneath. With the G5X and G9X only recently announced and the G1X relatively long in the tooth now, the G3X is currently top of the Canon enthusiast compact range. On paper the camera has some
download (21)
download (20)
download (19)
Probably my favourite shot from the G3X. I took this while reviewing another camera & lens and spotted this - if the G3X wasn't so compact I would have left it at home. As it was, I was able to pack the G3X with space to spare and still get this image.
The "macro mode" built into the camera isn't brilliant. It's not truly macro of course, just a close-focus mode, but it's still possible to get pleasing results.
Straight out of camera
Green tinge fixed. You may not notice the difference - it's very subtle. Look at the stone cladding around the archway near the bottom of the frame, just left of centre.
The final image with the processing I would apply to make the scene pop!
With its tiltable touchscreen it's pretty damn good for street photography - even lazy street shots like this! For people who want to snipe pedestrians from afar this could be the camera for you!
Another off-the-cuff shot but this caught my eye - the people wearing masks on the bus seemed to tie in with the sad "hospital" image on the side of the bus. Even the red marks on the left hand person's shirt reminded me of blood.
Bokeh with such a small sensor isn't easy but definitely possible if you go hunting for it.
Another image I personally really like. It reminds me of the absolute chaos that are the streets of Bangkok.
download (9)
Sometimes it doesn't matter if there's a green tinge
download (7)
A very obliging common lizard here in Singapore, this chap kept an eye on me but let me get as close as I wanted.
download (5)
download (4)
As an inexpensive 600mm option it's very good. With the right conditions you can get some very good wildlife shots although framing & hand-holding at 600mm can be annoyingly difficult at times. With the EVF you could likely get a more stable posture maybe.
download (2)
This is the 6D shot.
Continue reading "A Real-World Review of the Canon PowerShot G3X"

Which Mobile Photo Editor is Right For You?

I think the only thing that has changed photography more than the invention of digital cameras is the ever-growing involvement of photography and social media. Sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr are the perfect platforms for sharing not only your work, but also behind-the-scenes images and other content that draws interest towards your brand. Today it is easier than ever to take advantage of this. Not only have mobile apps changed the shape of the industry, but they have changed the way that photographers can work. Apps like Snapseed, VSCO, and Lightroom Mobile have made it possible for aspiring artists, or even those in a hurry, to create incredible content with relative ease. [ Read More ]

Canon EOS 5Ds R Follow-up Review – 4 Months In (Podcast 496)

After using the Canon EOS 5Ds R digital SLR camera for just over four months now, today I’m going to do a follow-up review to let you know how I’m getting on with this new ultra-high-resolution offering from Canon.
If you didn’t catch my earlier 5Ds Review, you can check that out in Episode 478. That review contained a lot of test photos and I went into detail on how it is totally possible to shoot with the 5Ds R hand-held and still get sharp photos. This has been one of the main things that people have been asking about since that review, so I’ll include an update on this, now that I’ve been shooting in the field in Namibia and Iceland, and I’ll share some example photos with some 100% crops to really show you the results I’m continuing to get with this camera, and we’ll touch on a lot of other
Two Canon EOS 5Ds R Bodies
Juvenile Blacksmith Lapwing
Juvenile Blacksmith Lapwing 100% Crop
New Really Right Stuff L-Bracket
Himba Lady Taking Smoke Bath
Himba Lady 100% Crop
Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon
Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon 100% Crop
Young Himba Man
Young Himba Man 100% Crop
Cocoon Building
Cocoon Building 100% Crop
Flamingoes against Dune
Flamingoes against Dune 100% Crop
Himba Goat Herding
Himba Goat Herding on Breathing Color Pura Bagasse matte media
Himba Goat Herding on Breathing Color Pura Bagasse matte media
Subscribe in iTunes
Continue reading "Canon EOS 5Ds R Follow-up Review – 4 Months In (Podcast 496)"

Fstoppers Reviews the Elinchrom Skyport HS

A couple of weeks ago, Elinchrom released the Skyport HS, a new iteration of the very old and rudimentary Skyport. The Skyport HS seems to have everything a strobist could hope for, from the laser grid to focus in low-light conditions to the Hi-Sync mode. This new radio trigger is a welcome addition to Elinchrom's product line. At least, it is on paper. The Swiss company was kind enough to lend me a unit before it was even released so that I could play with it and review it for you. [ Read More ]

The Good and the Bad of the Periscope Social Media Platform

Periscope is a social media app that turns your life into a live broadcast. Instead of updating your Facebook status or sending a tweet, with this app, you start a live broadcast similar to any live broadcast you see on TV. The difference is that you get live interaction with the people that are tuning in to watch you. Now that the app is available on both Android and iOS, it’s starting to pick up some steam, and like any social media platform, it’s good to get in on the ground floor. Before you do, I have a list of positives and negative you may want to consider.

[ Read More ]