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Interview: Photographer Cath Simard talks about developing your own unique style

DPReview.com - Latest News - 7 hours 17 min ago

Introduction

Above: El Chaltén, located in the Argentine side of Patagonia, is known as the National Capital of trekking.

I first stumbled across Cath Simard's work on Instagram and was instantly mesmerized by its beauty. Not only does the Canadian photographer capture stunning and unsullied locations around the globe, she's developed a distinctive style. Every photographer serious about making a living with their work especially needs to focus on creating an aesthetic that makes them instantly recognizable.

Simard's humble, down-to-earth demeanor and grace dealing with the occasional critic is also refreshing. I got a chance to catch up with the former model and find out how she got into photography, why she's passionate about teaching others her methods, and how traveling solo altered her outlook.

What inspired you to get into photography?

Above: This campsite, located at an altitude well above 4,000 meters, was the perfect site to capture the night sky against the Andes Mountains in Peru.

I started in the creative industry as a model when I was 15 years old. I modeled for ten years and worked as an Art Director and fashion stylist for four years. I’ve always been attracted to the visual arts but I would have never thought I’d be a photographer one day. Then, back in 2014, I got tired of the fashion industry. I decided to sell all my belongings and buy a one-way ticket to Australia with very little money in the bank.

I did farm work for two years over there, documenting my journey with my iPhone. I was approached by an Australian bandana company to take photos of their products. I said yes, immediately, even if I had no experience using a camera or in professional shooting. I decided to purchase a Sony a6000 with a 35mm F1.8 lens and started photographing people wearing bandanas doing outdoor activities.

Why did you gravitate toward nature?

Above: After a long evening hike, the best was made of a foggy morning in the mountains of Peru.

After completing my farm work, I decided to go on a three-month solo trip covering Indonesia, Hawaii, and Western Canada. Never before had I seen such huge mountains as when arriving in Alberta. The feeling I got when I saw them for the first time is indescribable. It was in Alberta I discovered my passion for hiking and I was introduced to scrambling, which allowed me to access more remote areas and reach viewpoints that have never been photographed before.

I started to document my adventures and fell in love with photographing the mountains, specifically. It was the first time in my life I found something that made me feel whole and brought me so much joy and energy.

How were you inspired to grow into offering workshops?

Above: Here are the Cerro Yerupajá and Siula Grande mountains, in Peru, amongst other giants, captured between 2:00 and 3:00 am.

Three years ago, a company from Quebec (my hometown) asked me if I would be interested in teaching photography to a group of 10 people for one day. It was something I have never done before and I was curious to find out if it is something I’d enjoy, so I said 'yes.' That day was quite a revelation for me – the amount of excitement, satisfaction, and the feeling of accomplishment I got from teaching each student was indescribable. A new passion was born.

After this experience, I decided to combine my passion for teaching, hiking and traveling into unique international photography workshops for people to learn photography while completely immersing themselves in nature. I highly enjoy spending time with people that have similar interests, sharing my knowledge, and giving as much insight as possible so they can return home with images they are proud of.

Which photo are you most proud of and why?

Above: My favorite photo to date was captured at Jasper National Park in the Alberta province of Canada.

I don’t have one in particular but, in general, the images I’m the proudest of are the ones where I followed my own personal creative vision. They often involve a lot of physical work and perseverance. Being unique is also something I value and prioritize a lot, so I’d say that my favorite images usually have a unique and original compositional component or mood along with a great story behind them.

What gear are you using lately?

Above: I wanted to capture this ice cave in Iceland at night. Although I didn't get Northern Lights when I took this particular image, I decided to composite it with a night sky I captured a couple of days before.

I use the Sony a7R III + 16-34mm F2.8 lens for 80% of my images. I also love the Sony 100-400mm F4.5-5.8 lens for tighter shots of mountain peaks and compression.

What is your favorite photo editing software?

Above: This image was taken with a drone at El Chaltén National Park. It's important to note that you need a permit to fly inside the borders of a National Park, or you need to take off outside the border.

I used to say Lightroom Classic CC, but I’ve been experimenting much more with Photoshop over the last year. I like to combine both software programs for my editing.

You’ve traveled extensively. Do you have a favorite place? If so, why?

Above: My favorite image from 2019 was taken at Torres del Paine National Park in Chile's Patagonia region.

I simply cannot choose between Patagonia and Peru. I love the variety in landscape and wilderness that Patagonia offers and the remoteness and untouched beauty of Peru. Both places demand that you put work into creating great images – especially Peru, since you need to trek in high altitude for many days to reach interesting viewpoints.

Any destinations you wish to visit?

Above: Also captured in El Chaltén, I challenged myself to get out of my comfort zone by creating something interesting out of an average foreground and backdrop.

I would love to explore Alaska – especially its giant snow-covered peaks, glaciers, lakes, and ice caves. It seems this part of the world has it all!

What grounds you and keeps you inspired?

Above: I spent all night photographing the Andes Mountains in Peru. Obviously the Milky Way doesn't bend in an arch but I had some fun with compositing to create this effect.

Traveling solo multiple times allowed me to do discover hidden parts of myself through self-reflection and introspection. I think that introspection is essential for becoming a better person and it is the single most powerful tool for internal self-awareness and how to find true happiness.

When you take the time to become an expert, you make better decisions, you are more confident, you learn to respect your limits which all brings you closer to live the life you want. You worry less about what other people think of you, you become more empathic to others, and have a more positive attitude towards life.

This is definitely easier said than done. You need to find a time and space for this, and to me this happens whenever I’m alone hiking in the mountains. It’s like a meditation that grounds me and helps me get back to what’s important in life.

Other tools that help are self improvement books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Dr. Shad Helmstetter, to name a few.

What advice do you have for someone looking to develop their own style?

Above: A final perspective of El Chaltén, located in Patagonia.

Pick three photographers that inspire you and analyze their images. Why do they speak to you? Try to identify the elements that you like in their photos and look for them when you are shooting or editing. I do believe that imitating – not copying – is a great way to learn and find your own personal style.

Another thing is to listen and trust your creative instinct. For example, I started creating composites at a very early stage of my learning process. Compositing has always been a creative way for me to express myself but it has always attracted negative comments. I’ve often been told that my images were too contrasting, too blue or too Photoshopped.

If I would have left these comments get to me and influence the way I create, I would never be where I am today as an artist. The moral of the story for me is to ignore negative comments and only take constructive criticism from people you trust and who you know truly believe in you.

Lastly, developing your style takes time. A lot of a time. So be patient, learn new techniques and practice as much as you can.

Catherine Simard is a Canadian-born self-taught travel/landscape photographer and digital artist with a passion for the outdoors and the wilderness. She is a Sony Artisan of Imagery. Simard will be resuming workshops at various international destinations in 2021.

Categories: Equipment

This 3D-printed accessory makes it possible to shoot split double exposures on Instax Mini 90 cameras

DPReview.com - Latest News - Sat, 08/08/2020 - 3:35pm

One of the accessories you can purchase for some of Lomography’s instant cameras is the Splitzer, an add-on component that makes it possible to shoot multiple exposures on the same frame. Unfortunately, the accessory isn’t available for the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90, but photographer Guillermo Hernandez has managed to create his own 3D-printed version for the popular camera.

Like the Splitzer, the 3D-printed component simply attaches to the front of the lens. To capture a double exposure, simply cover the half of the frame you don’t want exposed, take a shot, then rotate the Splitzer 180-degrees before taking another shot.

As you can see in the sample photos below, this allows you to create unique compositions wherein a single subjects can be in two places at once or frame the same object side-by-side.

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It’s undoubtedly a novel accessory, but it’s a fun way to get a little more out of a Fujifilm Instax camera. Hernandez is selling his Instax Mini 90 Splitzer in multiple colors for $5 on eBay with $3 shipping, but if you have access to a 3D printer and know some basic CAD tutorials you could probably whip up one yourself. Hernandez has other 3D-printed photo-related products on his eBay store, too.

Categories: Equipment

DPReview TV: Panasonic S1H ProRes Raw review

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 08/07/2020 - 8:00pm

ProRes Raw is finally here for the Panasonic S1H. Find out why Jordan says 'This is absolutely my favorite image from any of the cameras I've got right now...'

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new episodes of DPReview TV every week.

Categories: Equipment

Atomos releases full Ninja V firmware update for recording 5.9K 12-bit ProRes Raw with Panasonic S1H

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 08/07/2020 - 2:19pm

Atomos has announced the full firmware update for its Ninja V monitor/recorder that enables 5.9K ProRes Raw video capture from a Panasonic S1H.

It’s been just one week since the pre-release beta firmware was released alongside Panasonic’s S1H 2.1 firmware update, but the full version is up and ready to go. The full firmware update enables Ninja V units to record 12-bit ProRes Raw video over HDMI at up to 5.9K/29.97p in full-frame, or 4K/59.94p in Super35. Also new is a 3.5K Super35 Anamorphic 4:3 RAW mode that makes it easier to record footage shot on anamorphic lenses.

To accompany the new recording options, Panasonic has released a new LUT that can be downloaded for free on its website. The Atomos Ninja V firmware update (AtomOS 10.52) can be downloaded from the Ninja V product page, under the ‘Support’ tab.

AtomOS 10.52 press release:

Atomos releases full free Ninja V update to enable 5.9K Apple ProRes RAW recording for the Panasonic LUMIX S1H

August 7, Melbourne, Australia: Atomos is thrilled to announce the dream of ultra-high resolution RAW video from a full-frame mirrorless camera is now a reality. Last week Atomos launched a Pre-Release Beta for Ninja V users to try out on their Panasonic LUMIX S1H. Today Atomos announces the full firmware update for the Ninja V.

From today Ninja V & Panasonic LUMIX S1H users will be able to record:

Simply stunning 12-bit RAW

The Ninja V captures the unprocessed highly detailed 12-bit RAW signal files directly from the full frame sensor of the S1H over HDMI at up to 5.9K/29.97p in Full-frame, or 4K/59.94p in Super35. These unprocessed files are extremely clean, preserving the maximum dynamic range, color accuracy and every detail from the S1H. The resulting ProRes RAW files allow for greater creativity in post-production with perfect skin tones and easily matched colors, ideal for both HDR and SDR (Rec.709) workflows.

Anamorphic RAW

More and more cinematographers are now choosing to shoot with anamorphic lenses and the Ninja V and S1H combination caters to them with the new 3.5K Super35 Anamorphic 4:3 RAW mode. An even bigger world of cinematic opportunities opens up as the Ninja V and S1H can now be used as an A-camera or smaller B-camera on an anamorphic RAW production.

Improved color pipeline

LUMIX S1H ProRes RAW files recorded to the Ninja V can now benefit from an improved color pipeline in Apple Final Cut Pro X. Panasonic have published a new LUT based workflow that allows the enhanced potential of ProRes RAW files captured from the LUMIX S1H to be realised in the NLE software.

Ninja V advantage

The Ninja V allows users to accurately monitor the RAW signal on its daylight-viewable 5” 1000nit brightness HDR screen. Setup is simple when the camera is attached with perfectly tuned color settings applied automatically. Users can then view the RAW image accurately in HDR in a choice of HLG and PQ (HDR10) formats. The Ninja V offers touchscreen access to tools like waveforms, 1-1 magnification and focus peaking, allowing them to perfect their RAW video. The Ninja V then records the ProRes RAW data onto a removable AtomX SSDmini or other SSD drive. When shooting is complete the drive is removed and connected to a computer via USB for immediate offload and editing.

ProRes RAW the new standard

In addition to their ground-breaking combination of flexibility and performance, Apple ProRes RAW files are smaller than other RAW files – simplifying and accelerating file transfer, media management, and archiving. Even with the new higher 5.9K resolution, ProRes RAW files from the S1H can easily be edited on most modern Macs. ProRes RAW is fully supported in Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro along with a collection of other apps including ASSIMILATE SCRATCH, Colorfront, FilmLight Baselight and Grass Valley Edius.

This is available immediately; Ninja V users can download the free AtomOS update for their monitor-recorder directly from the Atomos website.

Over the past few months Atomos has created a series of content pieces with the Ninja V and Panasonic LUMIX S1H, from test footage, to setting up your Ninja V and S1H with PhotoJoseph, to hearing from creators like Stuart Morgan and Krzysztof Sieniawski and their experiences with the great combo of Ninja V & S1H. Please see recent examples below.

Categories: Equipment

Unsplash releases massive open-source image dataset with 2M high-quality photos

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 08/07/2020 - 11:20am

Unsplash, a website that enables anyone to share high-quality images under a Creative Commons Zero license, has announced the release of what it says is the 'most complete high-quality open image dataset ever.' The dataset contains more than 2,000,000 images, according to Unsplash, which sourced the images from more than 200,000 photographers around the world.

An image dataset is a collection of images that can be downloaded as a full batch; they contain relevant details, such as EXIF data, location information and more. In this case, Unsplash says that its dataset includes data on AI- and community-generated keywords for the images, landmark details when relevant, image categories and subcategories, download stats, the number of image views, groupings of images, user-generated collections and 'keyword-image conversions in search results.'

All data included with the dataset is anonymized and private, with the only exception being attribution to photographers. Unsplash says that it sourced the data from 'hundreds of millions [of] searches across a nearly unlimited number of uses and contexts.'

The 'complete' nature of this dataset distinguishes it from other open-source image datasets, which Unsplash notes often have various issues, such as relying on mass image labeling from third-parties, the use of low-quality images, size limitations and other issues that may limit their usefulness.

In its present form, the dataset is 16GB in size, but Unsplash says that it will continue updating the dataset with additional images and fields as its online library grows.

The dataset is available to download from a dedicated portal on the Unsplash website, where two download options are available: the full high-quality 16GB dataset, which is offered only for non-commercial use, and a 'Lite' version that is only 550MB and available for both non-commercial and commercial use.

The full dataset contains more than 2,000,000 images, 5,000,000 keywords and 250,000,000 searches. The 'Lite' data is limited to 25,000 images and keywords, as well as 1,000,000 searches. Whereas the Lite dataset is available for anyone to download, the full dataset requires users to request permission to download.

The company requires certain details from the user as part of their request, including name, email and the intended use of the data. In addition to the dedicated download website, Unsplash has published the related documentation on Github.

Unsplash remains as controversial as it is popular. The website has been integrated into a number of services, including Adobe, Trello, Wix, Medium, Facebook and thousands of other platforms. The service is distinguished from other free photo platforms by the high-quality nature of the images available to the public under a CC0 license, making them available for non-commercial and commercial use.

Professional photographers have criticized the platform as undermining the profession and photographers who contribute images as devaluing their work, among other things. Back in 2017, Unsplash founder Mikael Cho attempted to address these concerns in a blog post, stating, 'We didn’t start Unsplash to reinvent an industry. We started Unsplash because we thought it might be useful.'

Categories: Equipment

This Week in Photography: Civil War Visions

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 08/07/2020 - 10:52am

 

My kids talk a lot.

 

It’s true.

And I’ve found that the older I get, the more I like quiet, though give me a few drinks at a party, and I’ll never shut up.

(A party? I wrote the word, but am now having trouble remembering what it might mean. Party? Sounds familiar, but like something from a pre-#2020 reality.)

So I like quiet, which can be hard to come by, and I also like to read my own column.

Occasionally, though, the two strands will overlap, and I’ll come to the point, reading the column back, where I can’t stand the sound of my own voice.

(In my head, as I’m reading it.)

I’m not talking about being crazy, or doing a full “Being John Malkovich” either. Rather, sometimes I write the column, and then it just doesn’t feel right.

On a handful of occasions over the years, I’ll write in flow, (as usual,) and then decide, when I’ve finished, that it’s crap.

I’ll be reading it back to myself and think, “Oh, just get on with it already, you old windbag.”

Or, maybe, “Gosh, could you be any more self-involved? Please, tell us more about yourself, or your kids.”

Now, if I’m being honest, this almost never happens, but it did today.

I wrote 1600 words, (over four parts,) and but it was all wrong.

Luckily, I’d grabbed an envelope from my submission pile before I got sidetracked by a different idea, and once I opened it up, I knew the book-reviewing-deities were smiling on me today.

Because it is literally perfect for the moment, (based upon what I’ve been writing about lately,) but it also allows me to stop talking, and let the pictures in the publication do the work.

Brandon Tauszik reached out to me early in lockdown, asking if he could send me a self-published ‘zine, and as I’d shown a digital project of his a bunch of years ago, so I said, “Sure, I’d be happy to check it out when the time was right.”

And that time is today.

It’s called “Pale Blue Dress,” and features some bright and sharp photographs of Civil War re-enactors in California.

There are so few photographs here, when most people would have wanted to show a book’s worth.

It’s brief, which makes it seem more like a poem than a novel.

We see Abe Lincoln, who’s been featured in the column a couple of times lately, and visions of a 19th Century war that, as I wrote just last week, still dominates the American cultural narrative in the 21st Century.

Photography records history, whether we like it or not, and in this case, it’s a record of people who like to recreate history, visually, for pretend.

It feels lighthearted, (like this column today,) but masks a much darker message.

In an essay at the end of the book, the Stanford historian James T. Campbell, PhD, writes,

“They are generous, even gentle images, devoid of irony or condescension, inviting not ridicule but curiosity about people whose commitments may differ from our own. In this polarized, perilous moment in the history of our democracy, this is an attitude worth cultivating. Societies that lose it sometimes fight civil wars in earnest.”

I often think that part of why history repeats itself is that once an event has receded from living memory, because no one is alive from when it happened, nor their direct descendants, then it becomes more likely to happen again.

No one outside of a few thousand truly insane individuals really wants another Civil War here, so let’s all do our best to put out good energy these next few months, and hope the national mood dials back from “11.”

Stay safe out there, and see you next week.

To purchase “Pale Blue Dress” click here

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please contact me directly at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com. We are particularly interested in books by women, and artists of color, so we may maintain a balanced program. 

The post This Week in Photography: Civil War Visions appeared first on A Photo Editor.

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Categories: Business

Slideshow: Winners of 2020 Creative Photo of the Year by Siena Awards

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 08/07/2020 - 9:56am

Winners of 2020 Creative Photo of the Year by Siena Awards

The Creative Awards is part of the larger international competition put on by the Siena International Photography Awards. The aim is to encourage photographers to experiment with the subject matter they capture as well as their post-processing techniques. There isn't any limit to how much an image can be digitally manipulated.

11 jurors selected winning and runner up images from 12 different categories including Fine Art, Abstract, Nature & Landscape, Open Theme and Architecture. The Overall Winner, and recipient of the 'Pangea Prize,' along with € 50,000 in photography gear, is Hardijanto Budiman for his image of ping pong players competing in Indonesia.

Typically, winners and runners up attend the annual Siena Awards and their works are displayed in the 'I Wonder if You Can' outdoor exhibition. For now, they can be viewed in this online gallery.

Overall Winner and Pangea Prize Recipient: 'Ping Pong Training' by Hardijanto Budiman

Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

Artist statement: Ping pong or table tennis is my favorite sport. When I was young I used to be a ping pong player in my home town club. So when the idea came up, I straight away started the project. This picture is about daily activities of ping pong players in a club. I made the concept look different and unique, representing my signature style.

Creative Runner Up Winner, Fashion: 'Borderland' by Gerard Harrison

Location: Houston, Texas, United States

Artist Statement: A photograph of a fashion model in a couture bohemian design is merged with a a fine art painting to create a walk through a garden in an alternate reality.

Creative Runner Up Winner, Abstract: 'Delta Abstraction' by Manuel Enrique González Carmona

Location: Huelva, Spain

Artist Statement: Minerals, water and water currents are the ingredients with which nature creates these ephemeral landscapes. This canvas is actually a raft of toxic waste from a copper mine, located in the province of Huelva, Spain, having been captured by aerial shots. These ephemeral formations will disappear with the next intense rains.

Creative Runner Up Winner, Nature & Landscape: 'Silky Hat' by Takashi Nakazawa

Location: Lake Yamanaka, Yamanashi prefecture, Japan

Artist Statement: When the clouds cleared, there was Mt Fuji with a silky hat. To make it even more impressive, I used a long exposure and then made it black and white monotone.

Creative Runner Up Winner, Architecture: 'Achieve Dream' by Min Ying

Location: Zhoushan, China

Artist Statement: The image was shot at the Zhoushan Sea Bridge, which is a great construction area in China.

Creative Runner Up Winner, Animals/Pets: 'Black Friday' by Pedro Jarque Krebs

Location: Spain

Artist Statement: Flamingos have eyes that are bigger than their brains. But this doesn't make them animals without a conscience. They have great vision, and although their ability to interpret what they see is limited, their way of associating in groups allows them to develop a collective consciousness to cope with their environment. Climate change is increasingly affecting their habitats.

Winner, Portraiture: 'The Same Sky' by Carloman Macidiano Céspedes Riojas

Location: Argentina

Artist Statement: This goodbye does not mask a see you later. This never does not hide a hope. These ashes do not play with fire. This blind man does not look back. To this noise so fatherless I will not let you drill. A rotten heart of beating. This fish does not die through your mouth. This crazy man goes with another crazy. These eyes do not cry anymore for you.

Creative Runner Up Winner, Experimental: 'Chicago Station' by Carmine Chiriacò

Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Artist Statement: This is the classic example of how I like to interpret what I capture with my camera. Through photography I try to communicate the emotions that I am feeling in that moment to the observer. My aim is to tell a story each viewer can experience, and allow him to see the world through my eyes.

Creative Runner Up Winner, Open Theme: 'Celebration of Sitti Mariam' by Hisham Karouri

Location: Sudan

Artist Statement: The annual celebration of 'Sitti Mariam' the nobel sufi lady of Khatmiyyah sect in Sinkat town in east Sudan; a three days feast ending by the first Thursday of Rajab (month of Hijri calender). During Sitti Mariam lifetime, (1870-1952), the celebration was an annual meeting to assist the followers of the sect, and especially the needy, whom she cared mostly about.

Creative Runner Up Winner, Beauty: 'Inner' by Renat Renee-Ell

Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Artist Statement: From the series 'The Room Of Sound Distraction.' The feelings of the heroine are rolled up like bud petals. At the heart of the fragrance is the soul. Sly hands stretch to take it away.

Creative Runner Up Winner, Product: 'Speed Freak' by John Grusd

Location: Long Beach, California, USA

Artist Statement: This image is one of a series of compositions about automobile racing and the driver's relationship to the distractions and danger inherent in motorsports. The driver remains focused and calm while the world hurtles by at tremendous speeds. In this image, the world around the driver becomes streaking color at streaking speeds.

Creative Runner Up Winner, Food & Beverage: 'The Broccoli Forest' by Yuliy Vasilev

Location: Bulgaria

Artist Statement: This is the pilot image of my ongoing project 'Miniature World.' The image was taken in my home studio in Bulgaria in August 2019.

Categories: Equipment

Film Fridays: Help us pick the best beginner-friendly film SLRs

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 08/07/2020 - 9:00am

We've been putting together a 35mm SLR beginners' guide, aimed at photographers who may be starting out in medium, whether on their own or through some sort of intro to darkroom photography course.

To be considered for this forthcoming guide, we felt cameras should meet the following criteria:

  • Offer both full-manual and some sort of auto exposure mode, to help beginners wet their feet
  • Be a manual focus camera
  • Use readily available batteries (no mercury cells)
  • Can easily be found in good working order, with lens, for under ~$200

After some research and much chatting with other fellow analog nerds, we've settled on the following list of cameras, all of which are shining examples of our criteria. Now it's up to you to help us decide which of these cameras deserve to be featured in our final guide; we'll lean on your opinions heavily as we whittle the contenders down further.

Please vote only once for your favorite beginner-friendly camera. We'll share the results of our poll when it closes, and our final guide thereafter.

Have your say

$(document).ready(function() { Poll({"pollId":"3230435594","openForVoting":true,"mainElementId":"poll0","slot":null,"isSingleChoicePoll":true,"minNumberOfChoices":1,"maxNumberOfChoices":1}); })
What's the best beginner-friendly film SLR?
Canon AE-1 Program
Minolta X-700
Minolta XD
Minolta XG-1
Minolta XG-M
Nikon FA
Nikon FE / FE2
Nikon FG
Olympus OM-2
Olympus OM-4
Pentax K-2
Pentax P30 / P30T
Pentax Super Program (Super A)
Ricoh KR-10
Rioch XR-2
You need to login to vote

Is your beginner-friendly SLR choice not listed? Does it meet our criteria? If so, please mention it in the comments below and vote for the next closest model.

About Film Fridays: We recently launched an analog forum and in a continuing effort to promote the fun of the medium, we'll be sharing film-related content on Fridays, including articles from our friends at KosmoFoto and 35mmc.

Categories: Equipment

A mysterious firmware update turns the Viltrox 85mm F1.8 lens into an even faster F1.6 prime

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 08/06/2020 - 6:26pm

The $400 Viltrox 85mm F1.8 lens is a popular choice for Sony E and Fujifilm X users due to its compelling blend of performance and value. Owners have remarked that the lens delivers sharp image quality even when shot wide open. It now appears that wide open can be made even wider with a firmware update allowing the lens to become an F1.6 prime.

Photographer Stefan Malloch has published a video tutorial, seen below, which shows how to use the USB port on the lens to update the lens. This update allows the lens to open its aperture wider, changing the maximum aperture from F1.8 to F1.6. With a simple firmware update, you can get an extra one-third of a stop of light gathering capability.

As PetaPixel notes, there are conflicting reports as to the origin of the firmware. Sony Addict reported that the firmware was released officially in China. FujiRumors, on the other hand, reached out to Viltrox and was told that firmware to turn the F1.8 lens into an F1.6 lens had not been released. All this is to say that installing (possibly unofficial) firmware into your lens is a risk with unknown consequences.

Supposing you still want to update your lens using Malloch's video above, what can you expect from the Viltrox 85mm F1.6 lens? Malloch also published an overview video of the lens, including sample images.

As mentioned earlier, the Viltrox 85mm F1.8 (or F1.6) lens is available as a full-frame lens for Sony E mount or for the APS-C Fujifilm X system. The fast, autofocus-capable prime lens can focus as closely as 2.62' (0.8m). The lens includes 10 elements across 7 groups, including 1 ED lens element and 4 'short-wavelength and high-transparency' lens elements. The lens has a 72mm filter thread and weighs 636g (1.4 lbs.). You can learn more about the lens on Viltrox's website.

Categories: Equipment

Industry Ink: Soundstripe, Lucky Bird Media, PLA Media

MusicRow.com - Nashville Music Industry - Thu, 08/06/2020 - 3:39pm
Tia Watkins has been promoted to Director of Customer Support at Soundstripe. Watkins has been [...]
Categories: Music Industry

Canon R5 / R6 overheat claims tested: Stills shooting, setup quickly cut into promised capture times [UPDATED]

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 08/06/2020 - 3:16pm
Testing conducted in Seattle by our Technical Editor Richard Butler. Real-world production experiences by Jordan Drake: the director and editor of many of our ‘DPRTV’ videos.

Originally published Aug 3, updated Aug 6: conclusions and analysis revised based on additional experience with the camera

If you have any interest in cameras, you may have witnessed the heated discussions lately around the new Canon EOS R5 and R6’s tendency to overheat when capturing video internally. The Internet tends to amplify the most extreme version of any story or phenomenon, which might have lead to you getting the impression that the cameras are unusable.

Jordan's EOS R5 experience

We shot for 10 hours at a variety of locations, which I thought would give the camera ample opportunity to cool down. I planned to shoot the episode in the 4K HQ mode, with occasional 4K/120P and 8K shots peppered throughout. Quickly I realized that setting up a shot and menu-diving would reduce the amount of record time I had for HQ, so I found myself spending far less time previewing the shot before rolling, adding a layer of stress.

Eventually, I realized couldn't record all the talking points in 4K HQ, and settled on using 4K HQ for wide shots and standard, line-skipped 4K for closeups. This made shooting sustainable, though I found myself avoiding trying to capture any spontaneous establishing shots or cutaways, lest I drop the dreaded overheating clock a bit lower. While our host Chris took it in his stride, I can only imagine how frustrating it would be for the talent to not know if the camera will last until the end of a take.

I also found myself heavily rationing the 4K/120P as it really chews up your remaining shooting minutes. I spent two minutes capturing the seagull footage in the episode: beforehand I the camera said it would shoot 15 minutes of 4K HQ, when I returned I had only five minutes remaining!

If the quality difference between 4K HQ and standard 4K capture were not so dramatic, this would bother me less. However, once you start viewing and editing the gorgeous 4K HQ footage, it makes it that much harder to go back to inferior line skipped 4K, and that’s a type of disappointment I don’t want to be dealing with on a shoot.

After extensive testing of both cameras, our conclusions with regards internal recording are:

  • From a cold start, the Canon EOS R5 and R6 perform in line with the company's video performance claims.
  • Non-video use cuts into available shooting time, adding significant uncertainty for video shooters

We tested a pair of R5s and an R6 in a variety of warm conditions and found they consistently performed in line with the limitations that Canon acknowledged at the point of launch. However, the practical implications are that the cameras are prone to overheating if you shoot for extended periods and if you have crew or talent waiting to re-start shooting, they may take too long to recover.

It should be noted that Canon did not design either the EOS R5 or R6 to be professional video tools, nor does it primarily market them as such. But based on our testing and real-world usage we would caution against using them as a substitute.

So why is YouTube saying the sky is falling?

Our testing suggests that the cameras perform in exactly the way that Canon said they would. However, there is an important caveat that Canon’s figures don’t address: although the cameras can repeatedly deliver the amount of video promised, they may not always do so in real-world usage.

Even set to the mode designed to limit pre-recording temperature build-up, the clock is essentially running from the moment you turn the camera on. Video recording is the most processor-intensive (and hence most heat generating) thing you can do, but any use of the camera will start to warm it up, and start chipping away at your recording times. Consequently, any time spent setting up a shot, setting white balance, setting focus or waiting for your talent to get ready (or shooting still images) will all cut into your available recording time, and you won't reliably get the full amount Canon advises.

Not only does this make R5 a poor fit for many professional video shoots, it also means that you can't depend on the cameras when shooting video alongside stills at, say, a wedding, which is a situation that the EOS R5 clearly is intended for.

Even when left in direct sunshine, the cameras continued to record for the duration Canon promised. However, this is only true when you're not using the camera for anything else.

The one piece of good news is that the camera's estimates appear to be on the conservative side: every time the camera said it would deliver X minutes of footage, it delivered what it'd promised. You can also record 4K footage for much longer if you can use an external recorder but again, this probably isn't going to suit photographers or video crews looking for a self-contained, do-everything device.

Click here if you want to see our test methods and results.

EOS R5 suggestions:

  • Expect to shoot line-skipped 30p for the bulk of your footage
  • Only use 8K or oversampled HQ 4K for occasional B-Roll
  • 4K/120 and 8K will cut into your shooting time quickest of all
  • Be aware of your setup time and cumulative usage (including stills shooting)

EOS R6 suggestions:

  • Don’t expect to be able to shoot for extended periods
  • Be aware of the need for extensive cooling periods between bursts of shooting

Analysis: Why hadn’t Canon thought about this?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking this means Canon didn’t put enough thought into thermal management for these cameras. Our testing suggests this isn’t the case, but that the cameras’ specs are rather over-ambitious.

Jordan's EOS R6 experience

I had done some testing prior to my shoot, and was comfortable that overheating wouldn't be a problem if I stuck to 4K/24p. Unfortunately, my experience on a warm day was quite different to that room-temperature test. There's no line-skipped 4K mode on the R6, so if the camera overheats, you're back to 1080P, which will be a jarring transition for viewers watching on larger screens.

While I was able to record much longer with the R6 before encountering the overheat warning, once it appears the camera takes far longer to cool down again than the R5. Our regular drives in an air conditioned car allowed Chris and Levi’s R5 to function throughout the day, but at one point I was left sitting in the car, babysitting a hot R6 while they went out to shoot. During a one hour lunch, the R5 had returned back to normal, but the R6 had a twenty minute warning still on.

This was hugely disappointing as, rolling shutter aside, the R6 video quality is excellent, and I’d be perfectly happy using it over the R5. However, the longer cool down times would probably lead me to use the R5, dropping to line-skipped 4K from time to time.

While I enjoyed most aspects of using these two cameras, I have no intention of using either of them as a primary video camera. They would be great for grabbing occasional, very high quality video clips, but I’d never want to rely on them for paid work.

With the exception of specialist video models, most cameras that shoot 4K are prone to overheating, regardless of the brand. Some companies let you extend the recording time by ignoring overheat warnings (and risk ‘low-temperature burns’ if you handhold the camera), while others simply stop when they get too hot. This should make it clear that shooting 4K for an extended period is difficult. For instance, Sony says the a7 III will shoot around 29 minutes of 4K video with the temperature warnings set to ‘Std,’ while the Fujifilm X-T4 promises 30 minutes of 4K/30 and 20 minutes of 4K/60.

The cumulative heat is constantly counting against you

8K is four times as much data as natively-sampled 4K and seventeen times more than the 1080 footage that older cameras used to capture so effortlessly. Perfect 2:1 oversampled 4K (downsampled 8K) requires this same amount of data, which is still 1.7x more data than is used to create 4K oversampled video from a 24MP sensor. Data means processing, which means heat.

What's interesting is that the exterior of the cameras don't get especially hot when shooting for extended periods. We're only speculating, but this could indicate that Canon has tried to isolate the camera's internals from external temperature fluctuations, with the down-side that they can't then dissipate internally produced heat.

This would be consistent with us getting the full recording period out of the camera, even when tested well above the 23°C (73°F) conditions specified by Canon. And with the fact that leaving the camera's doors closed and battery in place didn't change the recovery time. However, while this appears to be workable for the line-skipping 4K mode, the added workload of the higher quality settings seems to present a problem. Dealing with 1.7x more data than the a7 III and X-T4 is a step too far: the R5 will match them for promised recording duration but only from cold. This leaves it much more sensitive to any other use beyond video recording.

The EOS R6 is a slightly different matter. It can shoot 40 minutes of 4K taken from 5.1K capture, which is a pretty good performance and may be enough that you won't often hit its temperature limits. However even after a 30 minute cooling period, it has only recovered enough to deliver around half of its maximum record time, whereas the EOS R5 recovered nearly its full capability. The more extensive use of metal in the construction of the R5 seems to help it manage heat better than the R6 can.

And, as both Jordan's and Richard's experiences show: if you don't have time to let the cameras cool, that cumulative heat is constantly counting against you.

Categories: Equipment

Dolly Parton To Release ‘Songteller: My Life in Lyrics’ Audiobook

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RBmedia has inked a deal with Dolly Parton to release the audiobook production [...]
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Lightning 100’s Live On The Green Music Festival Pivots To FM Music Festival For 2020

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Lightning 100 has announced the 2020 Live On My Green FM Music Festival coming to WRLT Lightning [...]
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Circle’s Drew Reifenberger On Launching A Network—Then Revamping—During A Pandemic

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A2IM, Recording Academy Address PPP Concerns In Letter To Senator Rubio

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Kane Brown, Crown Royal Team With Military Veterans For “Homesick” Remix

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Songwriting University Competition Winner Awarded $10,000 Grand Prize

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The first trailer for the Pete Souza documentary, 'The Way I See It,' has been released

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 08/06/2020 - 11:32am

The first trailer for the forthcoming Pete Souza documentary, The Way I See It, has been released, providing a glimpse into what we can expect from the feature-length documentary.

Pete Souza has served as Chief Official White House Photographer under two presidents, Ronald Reagan and Barrack Obama. Between his tenure at those positions, as well as his time as a photojournalist, he’s captured some of the most iconic shots of life in and beyond the Oval Office, with unrivaled access to two of the most iconic presidents from either party.

The official movie poster for The Way I See It

The Way I See It documentary is based on the New York Times #1 bestseller book of the same name. It provides ‘an unprecedented look behind the scenes of two of the most iconic Presidents in American History, Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, as seen through the eyes of renowned photographer Pete Souza,’ as shared in the trailer’s description. ‘As Official White House Photographer, Souza was an eyewitness to the unique and tremendous responsibilities of being the most powerful person on Earth. The movie reveals how Souza transforms from a respected photojournalist to a searing commentator on the issues we face as a country and a people.’

The film is due out in theaters September 2020, but we’ll see if that comes to fruition amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find out more about the film by visiting The Way I See It website.

Categories: Equipment

Nick Norman Signs With Fourward Music/Cock Crows Publishing

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Songwriter Nick Norman has inked a publishing deal with Fourward Music/Cock Crows [...]
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The Art of the Personal Project: Patrick Fraser

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 08/06/2020 - 10:00am

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

 

Today’s featured artist:  Patrick Fraser

This series originated on a road trip from LA to Indiana four years ago.  I knew I wanted to make a series while on the road but wanted a focus.

I have always been most interested in sub cultures.  As an expat from the UK moving to America getting on for twenty years now the vast landscape you have here and the open road depicted in road movies has always fascinated me and fueled my photographic desire.

The idea for Women Truckers came to me before I departed Los Angeles when I was planning the series.  I ran it by a few trusted friends in the film business and started to write a series of searching question to ask the women drivers who I met at the truck stops.  I came up with a list of about 12 written out in a sketchbook knowing that this would come in handy when I was faced with someone I had never met and would provide context for the story.

I use my iPhone to record the interview and then later transcribe them into a text document.

My first stop was late in the evening driving out of LA near Ontario on the 10 freeway.  There was no light left for a daytime exterior shot so I headed inside the truck stop and had a good scout around.  I got some strange looks from people inside as I had a vintage film Hasselblad 501 cm hanging from my shoulder and a light meter, which people always wonder what it is.

On my first look around a real working truck stop I realized this was predominantly a man’s world.  There were a plenty of men eating junk food, looking for spare parts in the store, paying for gas.  Then I discovered that they had areas for showers and washing clothes.  I was discovering a new underworld where drivers, men and women lived out of a suitcase on the road for around three months at a time.

Women truckers would be hard to find, they are about one in twenty on the road.  I found a games room with pool table and sitting there in this sparse dimly lit room was a women and her young daughter who was wearing headphones.  I opened the door, walked in and plucked up the courage to ask her if she would mind having a portrait taken and if I could ask some questions about being on the road and a female. Regina Campbell and her daughter Shelby who rode with her in the summer turned out to be open to my request.  She too was heading to Indiana so we discussed route to break the ice.  It turns out she has been driving for seven years, has a BA degree in sociology and formally worked in law.  One point she made stuck with me in her words “ its one of the fairest places for a female to earn what a male earns”.  She then told me many of the solo women drivers stay in their cabs and don’t come out at night for safety.

Regina was my first subject and over a period of about four years I now have about twenty-five subjects and interviews.  Once I did a commercial shoot in New York and booked a one-way flight knowing that I wanted to drive back to Indy in a rental so I could make more truck stop portraits.  Always with these kinds of portrait series you get quite a bit of rejection and resistance.  There were times I spotted a woman who had an interesting face or who seemed like a character but they were not interested to be photographed or talk.  That’s when you can feel deflated and start doubting your idea.  Then you find someone who is really open to it and can’t stop talking and you are back on track.

My first edit seemed a bit monotonous just having portraits only.  Luckily in most of the stops on the road I captured landscapes and details to tell the story of the road and show the truck stop as an American subculture.  I would drive through the entrance which said trucks only and park my car right next to these huge 18 wheelers and start shooting details of trucks and anything which I thought was worthy of setting the scene to go alongside my portraits.  Many of these wider shots included men, which I think is ok because they are a big part of this landscape.

Four years later and I’m still editing and pairing landscapes with portraits and wondering if this or that is a good shot.  Finally it was time to show this work and get some feedback from editors like Suzanne.

I continue to shoot this subject and I have a whole binder full of color negatives of women truckers and the truck stops landscapes.  One day this could turn into a larger body and printed book.  I plan to make a zine next of some of my favorites to try it out in print and start paring up more and seeing if I have something worthy of ink.  If anything it has been an exercise in documenting culture for me and I have learnt a great deal from talking with these strong women about life on the road.

 

To see more of this project, click here

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it.  And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.

 

The post The Art of the Personal Project: Patrick Fraser appeared first on A Photo Editor.

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