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Ilford Unveils a Pop-Up Darkroom For Film Photographers

Ilford Unveils a Pop-Up Darkroom For Film Photographers

Ilford Unveils a Pop-Up Darkroom For Film Photographers 1

Ilford Photo has announced a new Pop-Up Darkroom that gives film photographers the opportunity to develop their prints on-the-go or in any indoor space without needing to convert it.

Ilford, the United Kingdom-based photographic film, paper, and chemicals manufacturer, is a well-known name in the analog photography world. At the start of the year, the company, which was founded in 1879, invited interested photographers to go on a virtual tour and see what its factory looks like today and how the film manufacturer operates. It also employs a modern approach and shares insightful and educational film photography videos that are accessible for everyone on the company’s YouTube channel.

The company’s latest product, the Pop-Up Darkroom, supports Ilford’s goal “of encouraging and enabling film photographers to take the next step in their analog journey and experience the creativity and magic of darkroom printing.”

Ilford Unveils a Pop-Up Darkroom For Film Photographers 2

The Pop-Up Darkroom has been created for film photographers who want to print their negatives but who may struggle to convert their existing spaces into suitable darkrooms. Not everyone has the space for a large darkroom or the tools to modify an existing tent into a darkroom. Ilford designed its pop-up darkroom to fit indoors, based on most standard ceiling height rooms in American, European, and Asian homes.

When erected, the darkroom stands approximately 7.2 feet (2.2m) tall and still affords a workable 4.3×4.3-foot (1.3×1.3m) space to process and print while the user is seated or standing. It has a built-in air vent that allows users to add an optional fan or air blower, and a smaller vent is included closer to the top of the darkroom to attach air extraction tubes.

Ilford Unveils a Pop-Up Darkroom For Film Photographers 3

The darkroom has a durable light-tight black material that clips to the frame in addition to an accompanying ground mat which adds extra protection for the flooring and can also be fastened to the darkroom material. It also has a material loop at the top to allows photographers hand a safelight.

For easy storage and transportation, the darkroom can be easily folded down using the included carry case.

Ilford Unveils a Pop-Up Darkroom For Film Photographers 4

The Ilford Pop-Up Darkroom will hit store shelves in the final quarter of 2021. Pricing has yet to be announced, but Digital Camera World is hearing that it will carry a price tag of around $265.

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Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 17, 2021

Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 17, 2021

Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 17, 2021 5

Every day, the PetaPixel Instagram account is sharing excellent photography from our readers and those who inspire us. Here is a look at some of our recent favorite posts and the photographers behind the lens.

Our @PetaPixel Instagram page has been posting all the great work that finds its way in front of our eyes. Want to see your photos shared on our account? First, you’ll want to follow us. Then use the #petapixel hashtag in your posts to join our Instagram community of photographers. These steps let us easily find what to share.

Below, we recognize a selection of talented photographers who recently had their work featured on @PetaPixel. Keep posting your images with #petapixel and you could find yourself here next week.


Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 17, 2021 6

Carim Jost, found on Instagram as @carim_jost, is a 37-year-old amateur photographer based in Switzerland. Jost has a passion for wilderness and adventure and loves sharing the beauty of the mountains as a means of protecting them.


Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 17, 2021 7

Dominik Zagarovsky is a fashion and portrait photographer based in Cologne, Germany whose work can be seen on Instagram at @dominikzky. “Mostly I shoot people that are not models and not in some kind of creative industry,” Zagarovsky told PetaPixel. “My goal is creating a connection with them, which makes them feel like being in front of the camera is the most normal thing in the world.”


Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 17, 2021 8

Matt Kenneally, or @matt_kenneally on Instagram, is a London-based photographer that specializes in time-slices. These time-slices show the passage of time in a single image and take hours to capture all the frames needed.


Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 17, 2021 9

Kevin Kielty, whose main Instagram account is @shakes11, is an amateur photographer living in Southern California. “I focus mainly on surfing photos and wildlife/animals,” Kielty told PetaPixel through email. “And am hoping to move professionally into either field.”

For this particular photo that’s sure to put a smile on your face, he used the Nikon D500 and Nikkor 200-500mm lens. Keilty said it was shot at a spot called The Wedge in Newport Beach, California “on a day when the waves were breaking 15-20 feet.”


Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 17, 2021 10

Alan Shapiro, known as @alanshapiro515 on Instagram, is a multi-talented photographer who said that he still can’t decide whether he prefers portraiture, food, still life, or macro. Any which way, photography for Shapiro came as a stress-relieving hobby and he “turned it into a joy-filled second career.”


Be sure to follow us on Instagram to see more work from photographers like you and tag photos with #petapixel for them to be considered for a feature.


Image credits: All photographs used with the permission of their respective photographers.

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Vanguard VEO 3T Travel Tripods For Photographers Who Vlog

Vanguard VEO 3T Travel Tripods For Photographers Who Vlog

The VEO 3T includes everything you’d expect in a high-quality travel tripod, with additional features that help anyone get the best result for their video with a camera or smartphone.

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Tripods, Monopods and Other Supports

Vanguard VEO 3T Travel Tripods For Photographers Who Vlog

 

Vanguard will be showcasing a new range of travel tripods for photographers and vloggers at The Photography Show this weekend.

The new VEO 3T Travel tripods fold down to just 41cm, hold up to 12kg and include a host of features that customers have come to expect from Vanguard, such as Arca compatible heads, a low angle adaptor, hook at the base of the central column for attaching additional weight, spiked feet and a tripod bag.

For vloggers, these travel tripods include an Arca compatible ball head that comes with a removable pan-handle, allowing greater control while filming. They also introduce a new Arca compatible quick release plate that can hold a camera or smartphone up to 85mm wide, and a Bluetooth remote control for IOS or Android.

The VEO 3T series also includes the new Arca compatible QS-72T quick release plate that acts as a long (70mm) quick release plate or can convert to hold a smartphone up to 85mm wide by simply lifting the central column and inserting the smartphone, which is held in place by a sprung clamp. On the top of the column is a cold shoe mount that can be used to attach an accessory such as a light or microphone. On the side of the QS-72T is a 1/4″ thread that can be used to attach a support arm for additional kit.

On the tripod canopy, there are also two 3/8” threads to attach another two tripod support arms, and even more accessories. This combination offers any photographer or vlogger the ability to use one support to hold multiple accessories to maximise any shoot.

For vloggers or photographers looking to capture low angle or macro shots, the VEO 3T includes 3- easy set leg angles (20°, 50° and 80°) and has a reversible central column for a quick setup. Alternatively, they can set up the low angle adaptor provided which has a 1/4” thread to fit any tripod head (though will need an adaptor for 3/8” threads). 

All models include fast set twist locks with the added advantage that they are easy to clean and the VEO 3T also includes a leg that converts to a monopod.

For more information, visit the Vanguard website

Recommended Retail Pricing:

  • VEO 3T 235AB £179.99
  • VEO 3T 235CB £219.99
  • VEO 3T 265HAB £229.99
  • VEO 3T 265HCB £269.99

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Four Clueless Photographers Trapped in Escape Rooms With 90 Minutes To Create the Perfect Image

Four Clueless Photographers Trapped in Escape Rooms With 90 Minutes To Create the Perfect Image

What is the greatest challenge you faced on a photoshoot? Your answer may very well include time pressure, an annoying art director, lack of gear, unknown locations, and much more. This is exactly what Profoto did to some four photographers who were asked to only take their camera to a secret location. 

There are four photographers involved. Erik Johansson strives to bring surrealism into his work. Martina Wärenfeldt creates magazine-style fine art portraits. David Bicho is a light guru who can create any light anywhere. Molly Barber is a conceptual photographer who brings drama and feminine power to her images. Four Clueless Photographers Trapped in Escape Rooms With 90 Minutes To Create the Perfect Image 11

With four different tasks to complete, each will race to create an image under the harshest conditions a photographer may find themselves in. Erik will have to create an epic image of a male model. Martina has to capture the character of a bright young magician who is in jail. David is tasked to mix his light with lasers and take an action-packed talent shot. Lastly, Molly will have only 90 minutes to transport her to the 1940s and create a dramatic yet classical hotel portrait. 

Four Clueless Photographers Trapped in Escape Rooms With 90 Minutes To Create the Perfect Image 12

Naturally, each of the four photographers knows light inside out and has experience being in different situations over the years; however, Profoto says that even pros like Molly, David, Martina, and Erik found the challenges to be, well, challenging. So, who escaped and who failed? Check out Profoto’s website!

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Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on

Twenty years after the 9/11 tragedy, Amy Davies looks back at iconic images from the event, and some of the photographers share their stories


Marcy Borders by Stan Honda

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on 13

Freelance photographer Stan Honda had been contributing to the press agency AFP for five years at the time of the attacks. Living in Manhattan, he was able to get to the scene quickly to document what was going on. He describes that morning here:

‘One of the other AFP photographers called me and suggested I get downtown. I took the subway line from close to where I live down to the city hall exit. While I was in the subway, the second plane had crashed. So, when I got out, there were hundreds of people just standing looking at the Twin Towers.

There was smoke coming out of both of them, which confused me because I had only heard about the first crash. ‘We had no idea what was going on – this was in the days before smartphones. For AFP, I would cover lots of the business and Wall Street stories, so I knew my way around the area pretty well. I started to make my way towards the World Trade Center, and there were probably thousands of people running against the direction I was going in. It was probably the most chaotic day I’ve ever experienced.

‘Eventually I found some phones in a bank. We had cell phones, but the service had been out, so I managed to contact my boss here in New York, and also another colleague in Washington DC who filled me in. At one point I decided that the people were really the story. I tried to concentrate on getting pictures of people escaping, helping each other, trying to get out of the area and so on.

‘I was photographing the first tower when it started to collapse and there was this giant cloud of smoke and dust, and a noise like a train. I was photographing people as they were running out of that, and suddenly it became like night – you couldn’t see anything.

I was near a building with a lobby and there was a police officer pulling people in off the sidewalk for shelter. I went in there, and after about a minute, this woman walks in completely covered. ‘She sort of paused just for a second and I took that one frame and that was it.

‘At the time I didn’t think it was anything real special, but later, after I walked back to our office in Midtown – by then the public transport options were all closed – it was kind of striking to see it. It was kind of eerie, almost like something from Pompeii where the person is just white or grey. I think it resonated so well and got used so much because people can relate to the picture.

‘For news photos like this, we rarely find the identity of the person. A few months after September 11, her family called the AFP Washington office and identified her as the woman in the photo. The editors contacted me and a reporter in the New York city bureau, we were eager to find out who she was. We finally met Marcy at her Bayonne, NJ, apartment. It was a relief to see that she was physically fine.

We heard her story and I photographed her in a calmer setting. She worked for Bank of America on the 81st floor of one of the towers and managed to escape with other office workers. Unfortunately, she was still frightened of returning to lower Manhattan and was scared when hearing airplanes flying overhead. I lost touch with her and was sad to hear of her death from stomach cancer in August 2015.’


Raising the Flag at Ground Zero by Thomas E. Franklin

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on 14

This is perhaps one of the most famous photographs to come from the events of September 11. Hugely recognisable, it was used as the front page of The Record the following day, on 12 September, 2001. It was also put out on the Associated Press wire, used in newspapers and publications around the world.

One of the reasons why the photograph became so famous is that it was compared to the ‘Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima’ photograph, captured during World War Two by Joe Rosenthal. Franklin’s photo shows firefighters from Brooklyn (George Johnson, Dan McWilliams and Billy Eisengrein) erecting a flag cut from a yacht docked in the yacht basin in the Hudson River at the World Financial Center.

The photograph was taken from a distance using a telephoto lens, at around 5pm – less than eight hours after the towers had collapsed. Franklin stated that he was about 150 feet away from the firefighters, with the debris seen in the background about 90 feet behind them again. To get to the location, Franklin had hitched a ride on a tug boat across the Hudson River, arriving at the scene after both towers had collapsed.

When he saw the firefighters, he was with the famous war photographer James Nachtwey, who also went on to produce a body of work relating to the attacks. Speaking to Politico about the picture, Franklin said, ‘This picture did not stand out to me. The three men raising a flag paled in comparison to thousands of people dying and two buildings falling to the ground. I can’t even say this is the best picture I ever took – but it is the picture with the most meaning.’

As well as being used in a variety of publications both at the time of the attacks and in the 20 years since, the photograph has had a lasting legacy in other forms. It was used for a ‘Heroes 2001’ stamp by the US postal service, and there has been at least one statue commissioned replicating the shot. The actual flag itself went missing shortly after being raised, but it was recovered several years later.

The photograph is now a part of the permanent collection of the Library of Congress, and it has received dozens of other awards. In 2002, Franklin was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his photographs from September 11, including this shot. It was also included in Life magazine’s list of 100 Photographs That Changed the World. It was used to raise money for charity on several occasions, with a 2002 autographed original print selling for almost $90,000 at Christie’s Auction House, with the proceeds being donated to two 9/11 charities.


World Trade Center Attack by Mario Tama

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on 15

New York-based photojournalist Mario Tama was one of the first photographers on the scene. He describes the panicked situation on that fateful morning.

‘I was at home in my apartment in the Lower East Side, when my editor called me in a very frantic voice to tell me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and I needed to get to Lower Manhattan. So, I grabbed my gear and quickly headed out the door. When I got to the corner of Chrystie and Delancey [streets], I was able to see the Twin Towers and the big jagged hole in the North Tower, where the first plane had struck. I remember thinking to myself, “This is war.” I tried to hail a few cabs near that corner but had no luck, so I ran down from there to the scene.

‘That morning, before the towers collapsed, was managed chaos. I remember seeing people heading out away from the buildings towards me as I made my way there, some in shock, some bleeding, nearly everyone trying to somehow get home. As I got closer to the perimeter of the towers, I encountered more and more photographers and members of the media, and many of us were trying to get under or even into the towers.

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on 16

Something that we are often taught in photojournalism school is the famous Robert Capa line, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”. The police kept us a bit away from the scene and probably saved a lot of photographers’ lives that day, including mine.
‘I tried to make my way around the police barricades and walked around Trinity Church to head up Greenwich toward the South Tower – when I heard a sharp sound, looked up, and saw the South Tower begin to collapse above me.

At that moment I was transformed from a photojournalist into just another New Yorker running for their life as the tower collapsed. I made it a couple blocks before the tornado cloud of dust subsumed myself and two other men, at the edge of a parking garage. Daylight turned to night and quickly into a blackout where it felt like the world had stopped. Manhattan had disappeared. One or two of the men said prayers. Somehow, after a while, the dust began to settle and a bit of light started to filter through. We were alive.

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on 17

‘I remembered telling myself that I had been thrust into history and I needed to document it, that was my job; I told myself, over and over, “just do your job”. The camera was a shield that day. I had a pretty new digital set-up of Canon 35mm cameras, I think it was the D30 – which was 3.1 million pixels.

Having digital was hugely advantageous because I was able to walk from Ground Zero back to our office, on Varick and Canal [street], and drop off my cards to our picture desk, who were able to get those images out quickly to the world. Our picture desk team were amazing that day – they could have left and gone home but they stayed and sent our pictures out.

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on 18

‘I haven’t really looked through the images yet for this anniversary, but I usually do a few days ahead of time. I’m sure I will. I’m just not ready yet. It takes a bit of mental preparation. In some ways, the emotions can become raw again when I go through the images. I’m not surprised we are still talking about it, it was a moment in our history that should never be forgotten. I hope the photos speak to that.’


Manhattan From Ferry by Tom Stoddart

Photographers share their 9/11 story Twenty years on 19

We have featured much of the work of Tom Stoddart over the years here in AP. His image above was taken almost a week after the attacks, when the Staten Island Ferry reopened for the first time. He describes what it was like in the days following September 11:

‘I was in London when the attacks actually happened, so it took days and days to get there. Everyone was saying “don’t go, there’s no point”, but it was just something I had to do. I think if memory serves me right, I had to get there via Niagara Falls because all of the air space was closed over New York.

‘Like all the rest of the photographers, I was spending lots of time just walking around trying to make sense of this event. For about a week, I was just literally walking around seeing what I could get, photographing all kinds of things. Since this was the first time the ferry was open, I expected there to be lots of photographers on it, so I was very surprised when there was only myself and one other guy.

‘It’s a picture I really like. The people in the photograph were able to resume their commute, but they’re faced with a scene that is changed from the one they’ve seen for years. It was absolutely silent as the ferry moved towards Manhattan, and there was still lots of smoke and dust in the air. Everyone was very, very still. Some people were praying.

‘Whenever I look at the picture, it brings back a lot of memories for me. I remember how quiet it was, and the enormity of it. People were looking at this space where the Twin Towers used to be and realised that their daily commute would never be the same again.

‘I’m not really sure how the picture was used at the time – if at all – but it didn’t matter. Other photographers had already done a lot, I wasn’t expecting to get lots of publications publishing my stuff, but it was just something I had to do. I was shooting film too, there was no rush to develop it because there were wall-to-wall photographers. I’m sure those who were in New York at the time of the attacks had a different experience from those of us who arrived later chasing the story.

‘I think I only shot maybe two pictures in the entire time I was there – about two weeks – that I thought were worthwhile. My feeling was – and is – that if you go and get even just one picture that you appreciate or that you like in terms of the event, it’s worthwhile, so I was happy to get the picture.’


Further reading

JFK photos revealed after negatives lost in 9/11 attacks

Getty: Photojournalism is not dead

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Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 10, 2021

Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 10, 2021

Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 10, 2021 20

Every day, the PetaPixel Instagram account is sharing excellent photography from our readers and those who inspire us. Here’s a look at some of our recent favorite posts and the photographers behind the lens.

Our @PetaPixel Instagram page has been posting all the great work that finds its way in front of our eyes. Want to see your photos shared on our account? First, you’ll want to follow us. Then use the #petapixel hashtag in your posts to join our Instagram community of photographers. These steps let us easily find what to share.

Below, we recognize a selection of talented photographers who recently had their work featured on @PetaPixel. Keep posting your images with #petapixel and you could find yourself here next week.


Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 10, 2021 21

Pedro Lopez, or @pdromi_fotografia on Instagram, is a portrait photographer based in Chile. From what I understand, Lopez’s model is not a professional and makes this photo all the better. I love the treatment in the image that makes it seem like this man is a lead actor of a hit TV show or movie. Between the location, lighting, pose, wardrobe, camera work, and post-processing, it all comes together with class.


Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 10, 2021 22

Dilyana Hezhaz, found on Instagram as @dilyana.hezhaz, is a portrait photographer based in Bulgaria. Hezhaz began shooting three years ago said she enjoys “DIY studio experiments with as little props as possible” to showcase her portrait subjects. She photographs alongside her husband as ND Photography, to which she said, “we’re both each other’s biggest critics and supporters.”


Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 10, 2021 23

Jim Rocks is a landscape photographer based in Cork, Ireland and can be found on Instagram simply as @jimrocks. “This particular image was taken early morning whilst driving the winding roads of the Caha Pass in West Cork,” Rocks told PetaPixel through email. “This particular morning the mist was sweeping across the vista in the valley below offering a gorgeous scene that just had to be captured.”


Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 10, 2021 24

Ken Helal, on Instagram as @kenhelal, considers himself a serious photography hobbyist. “Osprey are my favorite bird as little can match the rush one experiences once they exit the water with their catch,” he said. “In this image, the osprey captured its desired target as well as a little extra.”


Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 10, 2021 25

Gergo Rugli is a Sydney-based ocean photographer and can be seen on Instagram as @rugligeri. Rugli told PetaPixel that he was born in Hungary and moved to Australia seven years ago where ocean photography became his main passion.


Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 10, 2021 26

Marcus De La Haye, or @marcusdelahayephotography on Instagram, is a 24-year-old amateur underwater photographer from Jersey, United Kingdom. De La Haye’s work is a must-follow for anyone interested in underwater photography as the varied body of images are sure to inspire.


Be sure to follow us on Instagram to see more work from photographers like you and tag photos with #petapixel for them to be considered for a feature.


Image credits: All photographs used with the permission of their respective photographers.

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How to Read an MTF Chart and Why They Are Useful for Photographers

How to Read an MTF Chart and Why They Are Useful for Photographers

If you have ever looked at the product page for a lens, you may have noticed some strange graphs called MTF charts. Though they look a bit unusual, they are not particularly hard to read once you know what data they convey, and they can tell you a lot of useful information in a short amount of time. This helpful video will show you how they work. 

Coming to you from Dustin Abbott, this great video will show you how to read MTF charts. MTF stands for “Modulation Transfer Function” and is a measure of the optical quality of a lens. They can be especially useful if you are the type of person who wants objectively quantifiable data on optical quality instead of prose or if you want to quickly gauge the performance of a lens (though be careful using them to compare lenses between manufacturers, since standards and procedures differ). Using an MTF chart, you can quickly get information on a lens’ contrast and resolution performance as compared to an ideal lens, both in the center of the frame and out to the corners. You can even ascertain the softness of the bokeh. While an MTF chart can’t tell you everything about a lens, it can very quickly give you objective data on some of its most important characteristics, making them a useful tool when buying new gear. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Abbott. 

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What Is Dynamic Range and Why Do Photographers Care About It?

What Is Dynamic Range and Why Do Photographers Care About It?

Dynamic range is one of the most fundamental properties of a camera sensor and one of the leading specs photographers are concerned about these days. What is it, though, and why is it so important? This great video tutorial will introduce you to the concept and show you its practical consequences on your images. 

Coming to you from Apalapse, this helpful video will show you the ins and outs of dynamic range and why it matters to photographers. Simply put, dynamic range defines just how wide the gap is between the darkest and lightest parts of a scene. In the context of a camera sensor, it defines how wide a gap that sensor can capture in a single exposure. The reason this is so important is because a lot of scenes you will encounter (particularly landscape scenes) will have a dynamic range that exceeds that of even the most modern cameras, and you will have to employ a number of techniques to get around that or simply accept the limitations it will impose on the image. As such, having a functional understanding of how it works and how it affects your photos is quite important. Check out the video above for the full rundown.

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Best birthday gifts for beginner photographers in 2021

Get someone started with birthday gifts for beginner photographers.

Yes, you can spend your life amassing more photography accessories. But some camera equipment is especially helpful for those just starting out. Whether you know someone with a DSLR on their wishlist or a friend who needs a way to carry their new camera to the top of a mountain, we’ve compiled a list of the best birthday gifts for beginner photographers. It includes a broad scope of items, from practical purchases like chargers and SD cards to more fun purchases like printers and reflectors. No matter your budget, this list of the best birthday gifts for beginner photographers is made to get your friends or family members set up to capture memories they’ll be looking back on for years to come.   

The best birthday gifts for beginner photographers 

From the best camera and the best camera bag to the best online course and photo book, we’ve compiled the best birthday gifts for beginner photographers. 

Best camera for beginners: Nikon D3500

The Nikon D3500 is the best camera for beginners.

Straight Shooter

Simple controls let you easily take rich, detailed photos. Nikon

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Nikon boasts that if you can take a picture with a smartphone, you can take a picture using the D3500’s automatic mode, making it one of the best cameras for beginners. The image sensor is roughly 15 times bigger than most smartphone sensors, resulting in sharper, more detailed photos. The Nikon DSLR camera captures 24.2-megapixel images and can shoot video in 1080p. And with the ability to take five frames per second, it’ll keep up with the action as long as the beginning photographer on your list isn’t planning to use it to shoot extreme sports. Other novice-friendly features include 11 autofocus points on the frame, built-in flash, and an interactive guide that can be viewed on the 3-inch LCD screen.  

Best camera bag: Vanguard Alta Sky 51D

The Vanguard Alta Sky 51D is the best camera bag.

Guard Your Gear

With padded inserts and even an included rain cover, this backpack offers serious protection. Vanguard

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Without a proper camera bag, photographers are limited in where they can cart their camera equipment, thus limiting the pictures they can take. That’s why a camera bag like the Alta Sky 51D is one of the best birthday gifts for beginner photographers. The 6.44-pound backpack features well-padded shoulder straps, breathable mesh back pads, a sternum strap, and hip pads to displace the weight of all your gear—it can hold nearly 30 pounds of stuff. It has a customizable interior, with multiple zippered access points, that can be set up to carry a full load of camera equipment, including four additional lenses and a drone. Or you can remove the padded inserts to make more room for your personal stuff—the bag can fit a 15-inch laptop. It also has smaller pockets to store your wallet and SD cards, as well as outside mesh pockets for water bottles. Meanwhile, you can clip a tripod to the back or tuck it in a special side pocket.  

Best camera battery charger: DigiPower Universal Li-ion Battery Charger 

The DigiPower Universal Li-ion Battery Charger is the best battery charger.

Power to Go

This universal charger drives up battery life, even in the car. DigiPower

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While new cameras come with a charger, universal chargers can be useful photography accessories because they provide additional charging options, and perhaps more portable charging options. At 9.75 x 2 x 5.5 inches and with a foldable plug, this DigiPower will fit in your pocket. Compatible with brands including Canon, Nikon, Sony, Kodak, and Olympus, this battery charger also features a 5 Watt USB port so you can charge your smartphone at the same time, plus a 12V DC adapter for the car. 

Best tripod for beginners: TYCKA Rangers Travel Tripod 

The TYCKA Rangers Travel Tripod is the best tripod for beginners.

All the Angles

With 360 degrees of rotation, a monopod option, and low-leg mounting, this tripod lets you change perspective. TYCKA

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A tripod is an important piece of photography equipment because it allows you to explore the full range of your camera. Not only does a tripod offer a steadier shot, but it lets you adjust important factors like shutter speed and framing while your camera is fixed in place. This aluminum travel tripod, with an included carrying case, is very portable, weighing just 2.88 pounds and measuring 14.17 inches long. Yet it’s strong enough to support 26.5 pounds of equipment. Its legs feature four segments with quick-release foldable locks to stretch the total height to 56 inches. Meanwhile, the central pole can be inverted to enable low-angle shooting. A ball joint provides 360 degrees of rotation, while a built-in level lets you know when you’re on uneven ground. 

Best portable printer: Canon Selphy CP1300 Compact Photo Printer 

The Canon Selphy CP1300 Compact Photo Printer is the best portable printer.

Picture It

A wireless printer that produces beautiful photographs—and fun times. Canon

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Looking for creative photography gift ideas? A printer lets budding photographers put their creativity on full display. The Canon Selphy sticks it to the competition when it comes to photo quality, but at 5.4 x 7.1 x 2.5 inches, it’s bulkier than pocket-sized printers like the Fujifilm Instax. Users can connect their camera wirelessly, with a USB cord, or can print via a camera’s memory card. This birthday present is also ready for the party. The Selphy can print photo-booth pictures, and a Party Shuffle mode allows users to send pictures from multiple smartphones to print a collage.  

Best camera strap: Peak Design Leash Camera Strap 

The Peak Design Leash Camera Strap is the best camera strap.

A Long or Short Leash

An adjustable camera strap that can support up to 200 pounds. Peak Design

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A strap may not be the most exciting of birthday gifts for beginner photographers, but it’s definitely among the most useful gifts. The Peak Design leash strap features dual adjusters that let you change the length from 33 inches to 57 inches. The leash can also be configured as a sling, neck, or shoulder strap, giving whoever is using it the chance to find the right fit. Four anchor connectors can hold up to 200 pounds, and the strap boasts universal compatibility, including with brands like Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fuji.  

Best SD card: Transcend 32 GB UHS-II Class 3 Memory Card

The Transcend 32 GB UHS-II Class 3 Memory Card is the best SD card.

Memorable Gift

Storing thousands of photos, this card lets you keep all those memories. Transcend

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A memory card is another birthday gift for beginner photographers that won’t stir up much enthusiasm during the present-opening process, but it’s also one of those critical photography accessories. This 32GB device stores thousands of photos with a read speed of 285 megabytes per second. It also stores HD video at a read speed of 180MB/s. And like the moments the card is made to store, the card is built to last—it’s water, shock, and static proof.

Best online photography course for beginners: Beginners Start Here

A Classy Gift

An online course to help a new photographer learn the basics.

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The party is today, but you forgot to get a gift. No problem. Online courses make for great last minute gifts for someone looking to get into photography. Led by author and photographer Scott Kelby, the nine-segment “Beginners Start Here” course covers everything from camera settings to F-stops to lenses. The tone is welcoming and non-condescending. Unlock the course to help birthday boys and girls unlock their full photography potential. 

Best photo book: Understanding Exposure By Bryan Peterson

Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is the best photo book.

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This book can help budding photographers develop their technique. Bryan Peterson

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With more than a million copies sold, Understanding Exposure has helped photographers across the world capture great images. Explaining the basics of light, aperture, and shutter speed, renowned photographer Bryan Peterson cuts through the jargon and emphasizes how the right exposure can help you make the exact picture you had in your mind. No wonder it’s one of the most popular gifts you can find for photographers. Plus, for less than $20, it also makes for one of the better cheap gifts out there.   

Best reflector set: Neewer 5-in-1 Collapsible Light Reflectors

The Neewer 5-in-1 Collapsible Light Reflectors are the best reflector set.

Shiny and Light

These portable reflectors let portrait artists get it right. Neewer

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If you’re shopping for someone interested in portraits, reflectors make excellent cheap gifts. The Neewer set features five collapsible 43-inch discs that fit into a portable bag. Translucent, silver, gold, white, and black color options let photographers redirect light using the exact shade their picture demands.  

The final word on finding the best birthday gifts for beginner photographers 

Taking up photography is an exciting pursuit—but it can also be a daunting one considering the amount of equipment involved. After all, camera accessories range from bags to straps to memory cards to tripods. But by giving someone any of the best birthday gifts for beginner photographers, you’ll be setting them up for picture-perfect moments. 


Popular Photography wants to help you find the most useful and expert shopping recommendations for the best gift ideas. Searching for more unique gifts? Check out Birthday Gifts for Professional Photographers, the Best Gifts for Mom, or the Best Father’s Day Gifts.

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What’s New in Apple iOS 15 for Photographers

What's New in Apple iOS 15 for Photographers

For many, Labor Day weekend means the kick-off of the fourth quarter, new products from Apple, Google, Amazon, and so many others. There’s also that new Apple iOS operating system free upgrade that will be available to the masses to download in a few weeks.

What's New in Apple iOS 15 for Photographers 27

While the marquee iOS 15 features include the ability to watch entertainment together on FaceTime and have a digital version of your driver’s ID honored, for photographers, there are many new features to look forward to.

I downloaded a beta version of iOS 15, and have been playing with it, so I’d love to point some of the cool new features that I think we photographers (anyone who takes a photo on the iPhone!) will enjoy.

What's New in Apple iOS 15 for Photographers 28

Let’s run them down:

Memories

If you’re like most folks, you love shooting videos and photos on your smartphone, but you never get around to the bother of sitting down to edit them. Apple knows this and has gone to great lengths to create automatically produced sizzle reels of our trips, friends, and family that if you’re like me, you rarely look at.

So with the new iOS, Apple has upgraded its transitions, animated cards, and collage styles for “a cinematic feel.” You can soon add licensed songs from your Apple Music subscription for the soundtrack or continue using tunes from Apple’s canned library.

The new Memories do look way better, and unlike in previous iOS versions, they are easier to share on social media and via email. Best of all, you can now do slight edits on the videos as well, switching out the automatically selected song suggestions and deleting photos you don’t want shown that Apple has added to your production.

What's New in Apple iOS 15 for Photographers 29

Memories is getting the most hype, so far, from Apple, although I think it’s questionable whether people will actually do much with them. Facebook and Google generate automatic videos from our images too, and I never bother with them. They’re way too cheesy and I have other things to do. Can Apple change that? Doubtful, but I like the upgrade.

What's New in Apple iOS 15 for Photographers 30

Text Photos

The most useful feature is so simple. How much do you hate the bother of trying to save photos that are texted to you?

The old way: put your finger on the photos and wait for the Save button to appear. Then hope it makes it to the camera roll in the Photos app.

New way: there’s a share tab right next to the photo in the iMessages app, and a new “shared with you” album in your camera roll of texted photos.

What's New in Apple iOS 15 for Photographers 31

Like why didn’t Apple think of this years ago?

Live Text

Apple has added the ability to copy text from a photo and send the words to an e-mail or document, which is incredibly useful if you take pictures of recipes or the like. (Google added this to Android several years ago. Just sayin’.)

What's New in Apple iOS 15 for Photographers 32

Info Please

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A new feature that probably won’t get much play at first, because it’s not really totally ready for prime time is an information tab you can click on under the photo to reveal the download about artwork, landmarks, pet breeds, and flower types. In my tests, I was able to find the breed of a dog shown in a photo as well as a flower type. Some landmarks popped, others didn’t.

What's New in Apple iOS 15 for Photographers 34

EXIF

More importantly, for photographers, we finally get EXIF information listed in the Camera Roll, which tells us which of the iPhone lenses we used, what our automatic exposure was, and this is fantastic, the file name of the photo. This basic info hasn’t been available in previous iOS editions and it really helps when I want to search for the photo on my computer. Knowing what it’s called is a lot more useful than just looking for that photo of the Manhattan Beach Pier.

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Apple historically releases the new iOS about a week before the release of the new iPhones. Bloomberg pegs September 14th as the likely date for Apple to announce the 2021 iPhone lineup and September 24th for their release.

Last year iOS 14 was released on Wednesday, September 14, so I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict the final release of iOS 15 for Wednesday, September 15th.

But if you’d like to download it now as I did, the beta version is available here.


P.S. Speaking of iOS 15, that controversial new feature we wrote about that would see Apple snooping on your iCloud photos in the name of child safety, has been paused, for the time being.


About the author: Jefferson Graham is a Los Angeles area writer/photographer and the host of the travel photography streaming TV series Photowalks. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can subscribe to Jeff’s newsletter here.

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