Tip: Use Empty Instax Film Packs as a Holder for Your Instant Photos

IMG_7498 Here’s a little tip for those of you who shoot with Fuji Instax film while out and about: once you’re done exposing a pack of film, you can use the empty plastic pack as a container to hold your Instax photos. Reader MJ Idzerda of London, Ontario, Canada, tells us that she only discovered the hack a couple of days ago after shooting with Instax film for 4 years. “When finished using Instax mini (or wide) don’t throw out the pack,” writes Idzerda. “Simply remove the thin plastic strip at the top of the pack and insert your prints for storage and display!” IMG_7496 IMG_7499 IMG_7497 IMG_7501 IMG_7495
Image credits: Photographs by MJ Idzerda and used with permission

My Lightroom Post-Production Workflow After a Day Behind the Lens

JBphotomedia-tumblr1-176 This post is a basic rundown of how things work behind my lens, after a big day of shooting. In this case, it’s mountain biking. However, whether you’re shooting a party, a bike race, a wedding or flowers in the garden, all post-production works the same way. Post-production can be confusing, though, and it’s easy to get lost in a whole bunch of windows and options, missing important adjustments and taking hours longer than you could. I hope this little guide can help you achieve what you want from your photos, in less time, and with greater confidence. Let’s start from the beginning — right after shooting finishes. After debriefing with the client or your team, it’s time to head home. The hard work is over, but the job is only beginning.


Arriving home it’s all about feeling clean and getting refreshed. I’ll have a shower, eat something and
Set out your base info for the shoot during the import stage
Rejected images in the library module, also see the keywords tagged on the right
Final edits and this picture is ready for export
Pictures selected for import, using the attributes feature
Before editing
After editing
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Tip: Use Heated Hand Warmers to Keep Your Lenses from Fogging Up

handwarmer When shooting in colder environments, one of the things that can plague your photography is condensation forming on your gear. Photographer Mark Peter Thorpe has a cheap and simple hack for avoiding this problem: heated hand warming packs. Thorpe originally found himself fighting against condensation after getting into nighttime time-lapse photography. “This is something we don’t see until about an hour into the shoot which has been going handsomely,” he writes. “We then start to see a black fuzzy area appearing in the center of the resulting image. […] Once it starts there’s no immediate remedy, the glass will have to be heated but that takes some time to ward off the immediate presence of mist.” examplestartrails Not wanting to shell out serious money for dedicated heating solutions and portable batteries, Thorpe decided try heated hand packs — the one-time-use kind that people carry with them during outdoor activities. They
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10 Different Ways You Can Use a Single Softbox

When you’re just starting out in photography, you may not have a lot of money to invest in putting together a high-end arsenal of studio lighting equipment. By being resourceful, however, you can do a lot with a little. In the 23-minute video by the lighting brand Sekonic, photographer Tony Corbell demonstrates how you can create 10 completely different lighting scenarios in the studio for products and portraits with a single large softbox. The main tools Corbell uses are the $180 Bowens Lumiair 80-100 Softbox and the $912 Bowens Gemini 500Pro monolight. Here’s a little table of contents for the different styles discussed, along with some example images and lighting diagrams that are shown. Jump to each time in the video to learn about each setup:

#1: Jewelry Photography (0m28s)


#2: Edge/Rim Light for Creating Depth (2m52s)


#3: Contemporary Beauty Look (4m12s)


#4: Movie Poster Face Lighting (7m06s)


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You Can Use a CD to View the Color Spectrum of Your Light Sources

cdlight If you want to view the color spectrum of a light source in your studio, there’s actually a super cheap and easy way to do so: an ordinary CD or DVD can do the trick. Simply allow the light to reflect from the surface of the disc into your eye — it acts as a diffraction grating, allowing you to see the different color bands in the light. Here’s an 8-minute video in which Matthias Wandel demonstrates the technique using different lights in his woodworking shop: Using this trick, you can see how different types of lights emit wavelengths differently. Here’s a still frame from a comparison Wandel does between a CFL bulb (left) next to an LED bulb (right): cdlightsources As you can see, the CFL emits very specific wavelengths of light, whereas the LED bulb is very smooth in comparison. While these lights may look similar to the naked
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8 Tips For Starting a Photography Business

8tipshead I am often asked for advice by those starting out in the photography industry. And if there’s one thing I have no shortage of, it’s advice. So with that in mind, I present you with my 8 Tips for Starting a Photography Business.

#1. You Are But One of Many

People will ask you what you do for a living. When you respond with, “I’m a photographer,” 9 out of 10 people will reply, “Oh! I’m a photographer, too!” If not, they will respond by informing you that one of the following people they know is also a photographer: husband, wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, cousin, niece, nephew, next-door neighbor, co-worker, mailman, mailwoman, doctor, roofer, midwife, pharmacist, grandma, or their Corgi. “Oh my gosh, my former brother-in-law’s next door neighbor’s estranged ex-daughter-in-law is also a photographer.” Brace yourself for this. It will happen almost every time. You will
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Lightroom Slow? Try Setting a Huge Cache Size

lightroomspeed Here’s a quick tip: if your Lightroom’s Develop module is a pain to work with because it’s so slow, try increasing the Camera Raw cache size in the settings to a huge limit. As long as you have disk space to spare, you could see a major increase in speed. Photographer Nicky Digital of New York City was experiencing major slowdowns with his Lightroom image catalog containing 288,889 photos. He consulted with Lightroom tech support, and they told him to increase the cache size from 4GB to 50GB, and then from 50GB to 70GB. customersupport The change worked, and now Nicky’s Lightroom is usable again:

How to Make DIY Anti-Fog Inserts for Your GoPro with Paper Towel

If you want to prevent your GoPro lens from fogging up when you’re in cold and humid environments, GoPro sells Anti-Fog Inserts that you can stick into your camera case. If you’d rather not pay $15 for 4-use inserts, you can actually make some makeshift anti-fog inserts for yourself using some paper towel strips. Ho Stevie!, the creator of the GoPro Mouth Mount, published the short 3-minute video tutorial above showing how it’s done. All you need to do is cut some paper towel into 3-inch strips, roll up the strips into little rectangles, and then insert those rectangles into the gaps in your GoPro’s case. papertowel1 rolled inserted Voila! The paper towel inserts should help keep your lens clear of fog, and they’re incredibly cheap and easy to replace after they’re used.
Image credits: Video and still frames by Ho Stevie!

PSA: Never Pack Spare Lithium Batteries in Checked Baggage When Flying

nobatteries The FAA has published a new warning about the danger of storing spare lithium batteries in checked bags. The batteries, which are widely used in the photography industry to power things like cameras and lighting equipment, “present a risk of both igniting and fueling fires in aircraft cargo/baggage compartments,” the FAA says. To reduce the risk of lithium battery fires, the FAA’s regulations only allow for limited exceptions for passengers to carry spare lithium batteries into the cabin for personal use. The government agency is also asking that airlines to inform passengers of this ban during ticket purchase and check-in. For spare lithium batteries that are carried into the cabin, the FAA says that they need to be stored separate from each other or have their exposed terminals taped over. They should also be kept away from other metal objects, and there are size and quantity restrictions as well. Here’s
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6 Tips to Make Great Photographs with the iPhone 6

iphone6tips When you leave home and hit the road, be it for work, play, or pretty much anything you set out to do, you should always carry a camera. There is a photographic axiom that says, “What is the best camera? The camera you have with you!” and that is undeniably true. The camera you will sling over your shoulder is going to change over the years and a new camera can stimulate you and put you into a photo-taking mood by simply being new. The technology changes, and even the great masters used a range of cameras across their careers.
This shot was taken while I was at a stop light sitting on my Vespa. I looked up and the drama of the clouds struck me. I slipped the phone out of my pocket pointed it straight up and make this shot. It looked good in color, but the B&W was more dramatic.

This shot was taken while I was at a stop light sitting on my Vespa. I looked up and the drama of the clouds struck me. I slipped the phone out of my pocket pointed it straight up and make this shot. It looked good in color, but the

Taken at dusk on a bridge over the Arno River in Florence. I pushed the saturation to give it extra punch. I also shot this with my trusty Fuji X-Pro1, but made the same shot with the iPhone so I could tag and share it by the time I stepped off the bridge.
Keep your eyes open when walking and when you see something interesting, bam! You can capture faster than you can call your mom. Construction site for Hudson Yards project in NYC.
Still life with the iPhone, you bet!
Nikki Sixx on tour with Six AM. I was about 15 feet back and did cropped in post. The colors were awful as most concert photography is, so I just converted to black and white.
View from Little Round Top over the Valley of Death at Gettysburg, PA. This is a great example of working the exposure. I tapped the cannon and then had to further adjust the exposure due to the setting sun in the photo.
I saw this composition across the street and waited about 3 minutes for the traffic to clear. Look close, they are all on their phones! I corrected the perspective in Snapseed to make the lines all straight.
Go ahead, be that person who posts their food, but make sure it looks good! If you can’t shoot your dish in good light then just don’t. Use the table-cloth to add to the ambiance, feel free to arrange the salt shaker and utensils so it looks good. Never use the flash!
Street shooting with the iPhone you never miss a shot. Just keep an eye on the street signs so you don't get a ticket!
NY Harbor from a tall building in Battery Park. the Drama filter in Snapseed just really brings out the rays of light and clouds.
The house I summered in when I was a kid in the 70's. Bradley Beach.
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How I Bought a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 Lens for $50

8xpMw9t-590x393 Pawn shops are hit and miss for photographers, but when they’re a hit, they can be a freaking HIT. During one of my bi-monthly visits to all the local pawn shops in my town, I came across the sight above. It was a popular Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens that had an “As Is” label and a $99.99 price tag. A hundred bucks? Even for a broken copy of this lens that’s a great deal — you can sell just the parts on eBay for between $200 and $500… I ask to see the lens, and then I discover that it looks like only the lens filter is shattered, not the front element! “It’s been popular,” the employee tells me. “A few people have looked at it so far today.” I ask her if they had any Canon cameras in the shop that I could test the lens
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So You’re Taking a Picture at a Concert; Step 1: ‘Don’t’

Filmmaker Woody Roseland made this short 2-minute tongue-in-cheek video titled “5 Photohacks to Take Better Snapchats and Pictures at Concerts.” Step 1 is: “Don’t. Just don’t do it.” “Nobody really cares. You’ll be fine without posting it to the ‘gram,” Roseland says. “You didn’t pay good money to watch someone more talented than you through a 3 by 2 screen.” He also shares some great tips on how to give your friends and family FOMO, because “isn’t that what we’re really trying to do here?” (via Woody Roseland via Reddit)

Tip: You Can Use Nikkor G Lenses on Nikon Film SLRs with a Piece of String

DIY-solution-for-using-Nikon-G-lenses-on-film-cameras-550x367 If you ever find yourself needing or wanting to use a newer Nikon G lens on an older Nikon film SLR camera, a little piece of string can help you do so. Since Nikon G lenses lack an aperture ring for manually adjusting aperture, the string is used to do the adjustment mechanically. DIY-solution-for-using-Nikkor-G-lenses-on-Nikon-film-SLR-cameras-550x492 This little photo hack is courtesy of Nikon Rumors, which recently received it from a reader. The basic idea is to loop the string around the little aperture lever found on the lens mount. Pull it to give it some tension, and hold the string away from the lens. DIY-solution-for-using-Nikon-G-lenses-on-film-cameras-2-550x367 While the string is still looped around the lever, mount the lens to your camera. DIY-solution-for-using-Nikkor-G-lenses-on-Nikon-film-SLR-cameras-3-550x367 You can press the string close to the body of the lens to keep it from flapping around while you’re out and about. DIY-solution-for-using-Nikkor-G-lenses-on-Nikon-film-SLR-cameras-4-550x367 To check the current aperture, press the preview button
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Staying Busy as a Photographer, Even When Busy

2015-09-01-20.59.24-1024x664 It’s been a busy past couple of months for me, full of photo experiments and metadata blunders. But even when I’m busy with assignments, I’m still looking for a project. I’m better at short-term projects, something I can set up quickly and shoot in a few hours. Coming up with these projects can be mind-numbing, so I look for outside inspiration. Fortunately, being with Wonderful Machine, I get ideas sent to my inbox. About once a day I get an email from Wonderful Machine with stock photo requests. Sometimes the requests get incredibly specific, for example: “Frontier restaurant in Albuquerque: the breakfast burrito with green chile.” I’m not getting myself to Albuquerque to shoot one random dish. rsz_bugs_2_4558 Recently one request caught my eye. It was from a magazine looking for images of a woman on an indoor rock climbing wall. I’d worked with an assistant recently who frequented
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These Camera Lenses Were Sprayed with Rubberized Car Undercoating

"OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA" Check out the rugged Panasonic lenses in the photo above. No, Panasonic didn’t quietly release ruggedized versions of the 100-300mm and 42.5mm that you didn’t hear about. The lenses were upgraded do-it-yourself-style by photographer Nate Cowlishaw at home using rubberized undercoating designed for the undercarriages of cars. On his website Talking Tree Photo, Cowlishaw writes that while he mostly uses the spray on cheap lens hoods, he also occasionally uses it on lenses themselves. “[…] some of my lenses felt pretty plasticky,” says Cowlishaw. “After thinking long and hard about it, I felt like things should have some extra protection implemented. So I took the liberty of painting my lenses in rubberized undercoating to toughen them up a bit and it really works like a charm!” "OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA" The photographer has spent years experimenting with different rubberized undercoatings, and he recommends using Evercoat Automotive Premium Rubberized Undercoating instead of
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Photo Hack: Use Your Phone in a Car Mount for Close-Up Lighting

photohackiphonelight Back in May, we featured a clever hack by photographer Paul Adshead that involved using an IKEA storage box as a $6 laptop sun shade for outdoor shoots. Now he’s back again with another nifty photo trick: using a smartphone and a car phone mount for photographic lighting. “I’ve found that using an adjustable sat nav holder and an iPhone as a light source make a great combination for close up lighting or medium fill,” Adshead tells PetaPixel. “The suction mount from the sat nav stand will stick to most flat surfaces and the articulated arm means you can position the light exactly where you need it.” He recently tried this trick out on a video shoot, and says he had no problem balancing the power of the iPhone LED light with his LED video lights. exampleuse And the results were great. Here’s a close-up photograph that was lit entirely
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10 Things to Check Off Before Flying Your Drone for the First Time

droneheader Drones present an exciting new world of possibilities for photographers looking to explore and capture their world. Never before has aerial photography been as accessible to the masses as it currently is thanks to companies such as DJI. However, to quote a line from Spiderman: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Drones can be dangerous if not used properly, and it is important to know the basics before taking off with your drone.


#1: Understand Your Drone’s Limitations

Start by learning what your drone is capable of achieving and what limitations it may possess. Important information to know is how fast your drone can ascend and descend, along with its maximum speed and altitude. Hover accuracy is also important so that you can understand how far your drone may drift when told to maintain its position. Also, be aware of the temperatures your drone can operate within. Come winter,
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This SmugMug Glitch May Be Quietly Damaging Your Photo Business

SMUGMUGHEADER I recently discovered a glitch with SmugMug that’s now causing me a massive headache. If you use SmugMug, this may be negatively impacting your business as well, so this article is a heads up for any photographer on SmugMug that may be affected. The problem is with SmugMug’s system for announcing galleries to clients. They have an option for entering custom text in your announcement, so you can customize this to include passwords and other relevant info that SmugMug’s generic message doesn’t provide. Clicking the “send me a test” button sends you an email that includes the modified message. The problem is that when you actually use the links SmugMug provides the way our clients would, the custom message doesn’t appear. So, for me this means that for every wedding I’ve shot for the last 3 years, my clients have not received the correct info on accessing their galleries. I’d
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A Primer on Planning a Lunar Eclipse Photograph

"Lunar Eclipse by the Lighthouse" This article is about how this time slice shot of a lunar eclipse was made. Its focus is mainly on the planning that went into it, even before the first shutter click. Hopefully by sharing what I did, I can prepare you for creating your own lunar eclipse photo. Let us start off by getting some key details of the event. There are several web sites that provide details on the astro events (like Space, SpaceDex, TimeAndDate, EclipseWise to name a few) and social channels. I used these to find an eclipse that would be visible in Chicago, where I live. Though the complete eclipse I shot wasn’t visible, it turned out to be an advantage. As the moon was setting, it appeared to be dissolving into the the horizon.


11025727_10205055945052767_561822843608647086_o1 Above is the initial sketch I made on a napkin. Create a vision in the mind’s
Scouting from the previous night.
"Lunar Eclipse by the Lighthouse"
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8 Camera Shots and Angles From Cinema That Can Help Improve Your Photos

DSCF4576Sallie Gardner at a Gallop’ is sometimes considered to be one of the earliest films ever produced when it was released on June 15th, 1878. Twenty-four photographs of a horse and its jockey were played rapidly in succession, creating the illusion of motion when viewed through an old-time zoopraxiscope. Since then, filmmakers have broken out their creativity and established a number of essential shots for depicting emotion through a lens. Today, we are taking a look at a number of these typical cinematic camera shots and angles to learn how they could be incorporated into still photography.

The Medium Shot

DSCF4584 Let’s begin with one of the most basic shots. The medium shot may be similar to many of your typical photographs. A subject is captured from around the knees or waist to the top of the head. We can’t see their entire body, but we are close enough
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