B&W Conversions

Try these creative adjustments using Photoshop, Lightroom and third-party software programs for striking black-and-white images
b&w conversions
Ballet dancer in Cuba. Photography began with black-and-white images and the darkroom process, where images came to life. Today, photographers have many more choices. Some photographers still shoot black-and-white film and develop in the wet darkroom. But for most photographers, we capture in digital color and decide later if we want to convert to black-and-white.... Read more

Cooke Optics UK Factory Tour

How to get the Cooke Look
Cooke Optics lenses
A vintage Cooke Optics lens Cooke Optics has been making lenses for 130 years, and their coatings haven’t changed much since the ’60s—that’s what contributes to the Cooke Look cinematographers want on their digital bodies, like RED and ARRI. The coatings are like pixie dust and seen here (decades of them built up) on a flange. The flange holds... Read more

Self-Assigned Challenge: Cine Lenses

Manufacturers are responding to ever more capable cameras with cinema lenses, and Byron tries out two of them
cine lenses
“The Initial Mystery that attends any journey is: how did the traveler reach his starting point in the first place?” — Louise Bogan For this journey I’m on in London, it’s an initial mystery of shooting with cine lenses, but let’s back up to the starting point. If you’ve never heard of a cine lens, that’s shorthand for cinema, and what’s... Read more

Self-Assigned Shoot—Vegas In Black & White

Why the Leica M Monochrom has this photographer reacquainting himself with black-and-white photography
black-and-white photography
To me, shooting in black-and-white is like listening to opera—I have to be in the right mood and frame of mind. Earlier this year, that mood happened at WPPI, a wedding trade show in Las Vegas. I had arranged a demo Leica from their booth and, well, the lighting at trade shows is always terrible, so I asked for the M Monochrom, then assigned myself... Read more

Telling A Story With Environmental Portraiture

On assignment with Jim Cornfield, as he uses a subject’s history to tell the story of an honored vet and the airplane that saved his life
portrait photography
For a recent photo assignment, Jim Cornfield chose to create an environmental portrait of Air Force Capt. Kenneth Curry, telling a story in images by connecting the pilot to his former military experience. The environmental portrait is one of photography’s simpler ideas: An image of a subject that includes his or her external life—some place or... Read more

Adjustments With A Restrained Hand

Faithfully and creatively reproducing your images with careful post-production techniques can yield huge dividends
restrained adjustment post-production techniques
The left half of this frame shows the original photo, as taken by my camera. I had a 6-stop ND filter applied, which not only allowed me to get this long exposure, it also applied a visible blue tint. The right half is the exact same photo except I applied a custom white balance that targeted the gray part of the rushing water. The improvement is quite... Read more

Byron’s Blog: Self-Assigned Shoot—Urban Geometries

Using shapes, lines, colors, tones and lighting to create visually interesting and painterly photos of the city
self-assignment
Scene from a typical spring night in NYC. When considering geometries, note that the architect’s vision of the building is ignored because I’m instead concerned with the visual activity around it. In this photo taken during the Sony a9 launch of 30 photographers crowded around the long jump at The Armory, notice what David J. Schloss is doing—he’s... Read more

The Power Of Portable Light

Using speedlights to tell a more compelling visual story
portable light
Moai Statue At Sunset. Nikon D3, 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 lens, shot at 1/50 sec. at ƒ/8, Nikon SB-800 used off-camera to light the statue. I have traveled 4,625 miles to get this image. I’m stumbling through the volcanic landscape in the murky predawn darkness trying to find the Moai statues. The salty breeze and crashing surf remind me of early-morning shoots... Read more

In Your Face: Photography In The Age Of Virtual Reality

Photography In The Age of Virtual Reality
Just as this issue was going to press, Pokémon GO swept the country. Overnight it seemed like everyone was looking face-down at their phones, flicking pretend balls at pretend creatures. Thanks to the intelligent use of a smartphone’s camera, developer Niantic is able to superimpose the various wild Pokémon in a video stream of the real world, a... Read more

Why You Should Own A Light Meter But Probably Don’t

A light meter is one of the most important tools in a photographers' arsenal, and you probably don't own one.
Photography is about capturing light, which is why it’s confusing that many photographers don’t own a light meter. After all, if we’re trying to capture light accurately and/or creatively, then we need to know how much light there is and where it’s coming from. In this conversation at the Seikonic booth at the 2016 Photokina... Read more

DxO OpticsPro 11

The latest iteration of DxO’s RAW Raw converter and image processing software, OpticsPro 11, offers a couple of new features that really piqued our interest.
DxO OpticsPro 11 - Herbie After
DxO is best known for DxOMark.com, a website that publishes a vast database of quantitative measurements for thousands of lenses and cameras. That information is not gathered for consumer information but to power its image-editing software. The DxO suite of tools uses the analysis of the imaging characteristics of camera equipment to correct any inherent... Read more

Stepping Up To Medium Format

A bigger platform opens up a world of possibilities
Stepping Up To Medium Format
Aaron Miller climbing on the Crystal Clear Arete (5.12c) in Diablo Canyon near Santa Fe, New Mexico. This image was shot with an 1,100 Watt seconds strobe mounted high on an adjacent cliff above my shooting position. Shooting Info: Hasselblad H5D 50c WiFi, HCD 24mm lens, F/7.1 at 1/80th second at ISO 800. © Michael Clark Michael Clark is an internationally... Read more
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