C David Tobie: Lensbaby Image Comparison
Feb 2013 12

I recently had the opportunity to shoot with my long-distance friend David Saffir. We are usually thousands of miles apart, so this was a great chance to work side-by-side. One of the goals of the shoot was for David to experience Lensbaby’s lenses and macro attachments, and since the upcoming webinar Datacolor is co-sponsoring with Lensbaby is on floral photography, we went to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, as a prime location for shooting native California flowers, as well as landscapes.

When reviewing images after the shoot, I was struck by a pair of shots of the same view across Mission Canyon. David Saffir’s image was taken with the Fujifilm X-Pro1, with the 35mm f/1.4 lens. Mine what shot with the Canon 5D Mark lll, with a Lensbaby Composer lens. Comparing the two images is a good opportunity to analyze Lensbaby photography; highlighting some of its unique features.

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David Cardinal: New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS HSM – The Ultimate Safari Lens?
Aug 2013 27

The original Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 was a favorite safari lens for many pros. It fell behind with the introduction of the Nikon 200-400mm f/4 lens with built-in Vibration Reduction. It’s subsequent model – including Optical Stabilization — regained it respect, but left it a bit behind the Nikon in usability and build quality. That has changed dramatically with the new version – the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS HSM Lens. Every bit the equal of the Nikon in both optical and build quality at a fraction of the cost, the Sigma is again likely to become the favorite safari lens of many pros and enthusiastic amateurs alike.

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C. David Tobie: A Look at Sony’s Unique New Camera-Phone Lenses
Sep 2013 10

It’s not often that an innovation in photography is so unusual that it deserves the phrase “paradigm shift”; but Sony’s new QX series SmartPhone Lenses are exactly that. Previously it has been possible to attach lenses of assorted qualities and sizes to smartphones. But, no matter how good the lenses were, the results were limited by the resolution, speed and overall capabilities of the tiny sensor in the phone’s camera. Sony’s new QX10 and QX100 lenses are about to change all that.

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C. David Tobie: Dedicated Cinema Lenses and Your DSLR
Oct 2013 31

Standard DSLR lenses of the type you already own for your DSLR cameras work quite well for shooting video, both with DSLR bodies, and with the next step up: Cinema cameras such as those from Black Magic and Camera Red, if the lens mounts are compatible. However there are also dedicated cinema lenses designed specifically for shooting video. This may leave you wondering just what is unique about these lenses, and why might you consider acquiring one or more of them.

The list of advantages of Cinema lenses over their DSLR brethren is relatively short, and the justifications may sound minimal as well; but they may add up to justify adding one or more dedicated cinema lenses to your collection, if you find yourself shooting an increasing amount of motion.

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David Saffir: DSLR Video Gear On a Budget – Cameras and Lenses
Nov 2013 14

How to get into reasonable quality video capture, without spending all your cash or going deeply into debt? Many small cameras and iPhones offer video capture, but few, if any, can deliver high-quality, reasonable resolution capture. Real-world people can’t afford a Camera Red (myself included), so what to do?

I’ve been looking into this, thinking long and hard about the opportunities. I’m particularly interested in creating video content for my educational efforts and in fine art imaging. In the latter case, I’m intrigued by the possibilities offered in capturing video with simultaneous camera movement. I’m convinced that one can capture an element of dimensionality and a realistic viewpoint in video not accessible in still photography. That’s a big statement, for a life-long still photographer.

So how to get started? I’ve been working with Barry Anderson and his team during the DSLR Digital Dynamics seminars (still ongoing – next session I will attend is in Miami, others can be found here.), and with Ken Sklute at the recent California Photo Festival, and I’ve picked up a few tips along the way that might be helpful to others.

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Seán Duggan: Gradient Adjustments  (Part 1)
Apr 2014 09

Gradient adjustments are some of the most powerful, yet also most simple modifications that can be applied to your images. A gradient adjustment describes a change, be it a color or tonal adjustment that is applied so that there is a gradual fading from the adjusted to unadjusted area. In composites, gradient masks can be used to seamlessly blend different image elements together. In part 1 of this article, we’ll take a look at gradient adjustments that can be applied in the camera, via a graduated neutral density filter. In subsequent parts, I’ll cover post-capture gradient adjustment techniques in both Lightroom and Photoshop.

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