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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 A Mirrorless Camera? Read On

Mirrorless camera

Take the lens off of a film SLR or a digital SLR and you’ll find yourself staring into a mirror. In fact, mirrors have been essential camera components for more than 150 years—that is, of course, until roughly the last decade. During that time, mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses have come onto the scene and eaten up huge chunks of DSLR market share thanks to promises of smaller cameras, superior autofocus tracking, and electronic viewfinders that allow you to see what your photo will look like before you press the button. 

Which cameras actually had mirrors in them? 

The term mirrorless camera is, like so many other bits of camera terminology, somewhat confusing. When someone says the phrase “mirrorless camera,” they’re typically referring to a camera that has interchangeable lenses but isn’t a DSLR. So, a camera like the Canon R5 is a mirrorless camera because it works like a DSLR, but it doesn’t have the mirror to fulfill the “reflex” part of the digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) designation.

A camera like the Fujifilm X-Pro 3 is also a mirrorless camera, even though it uses a rangefinder-style design (and even old film-based rangefinders never relied on mirrors). It’s a little messy, but it gets simpler as you get accustomed to it. 

Your smartphone camera doesn’t have a mirror in it, but most people wouldn’t call that a mirrorless camera because you can’t change the lenses. The same goes for compact cameras like the Fujifilm X100V, which has the same sensor as Fujifilm’s other mirrorless cameras, but has a permanently attached lens.

How do they work?

Canon EOS R5 mirrorless camera side
A look at the connections on the side of the Canon R5. Stan Horaczek

To understand the mirrorless moniker, we first have to understand how cameras with mirrors worked. SLRs (whether digital or film) place a tilted mirror behind the lens and in front of the shutter and film plane. That mirror reflects light up into the camera’s viewfinder, which uses more mirrors or a glass prism to redirect the image to your eye. This gives the shooter a real-time, analog view of the scene in front of the lens. When it’s time to take the picture, the mirror quickly flips up out of the way to expose the film before flipping back down to do it all again. 

For a long time, this was the only real way photographers could get a true look at exactly what their camera sees through the lens. Early DSLRs didn’t offer digital live view because their imaging sensors simply couldn’t provide it. Eventually, as sensors improved and read-out got faster, those chips could provide real-time views of a scene and even handle the autofocus functionality. Some modern mirrorless cameras like the Sigma FP L rely solely on the camera’s rear-screen for composing and reviewing images. Many others, like the Canon R-series, Nikon Z-series, Sony A-series, Fujifilm X-series, and more, pump a live feed into an eye-level electronic viewfinder that tries to mimic what you’d get with a DSLR. 

Both Canon and Nikon make first-party adapters so that their older lenses will work natively on their mirrorless cameras. In most cases, they work without any performance loss. The same isn’t true going the other way. Because of differences in the mounts, mirrorless lenses typically won’t attach to DSLRs, and they wouldn’t have a full range of focus even if they could. 

How do mirrorless cameras focus?

While DSLRs typically employ a stand-alone autofocus sensor, mirrorless cameras let the imaging sensor handle it. Most modern mirrorless camera sensors have dedicated autofocus pixels baked in. Earlier imaging sensors relied on a type of focus that was contrast based, which typically isn’t as accurate or snappy in real world situations. Now, many mirrorless sensors have phase detection pixels baked in, which allows them to focus much faster and track subjects more accurately. That’s one of the biggest advantages mirrorless cameras have over DSLRs. 

What are the advantages of mirrorless cameras?

As stated above, mirrorless cameras excel when it comes to tracking subjects with focus. That’s especially true for people—many mirrorless cameras can hone in on a subject’s eye to ensure it’s sharp when you press the shutter. Canon and Sony have expanded that eye-tracking functionality to animals. As the cameras get smarter, they will inevitably learn to track even more types of objects. Canon recently announced that its upcoming R3 mirrorless flagship camera will be able to recognize and track cars to help with motor sports photography. 

Because electronic viewfinders pull a live feed from the sensor, they can also show you how changing your settings will affect your final image. For instance, if you adjust the exposure compensation on your shot, you’ll actually be able to see the image get brighter in the viewfinder before you press the shutter. DSLRs can’t do that. 

Shorter flange distances on lens mounts represent one of the unsung benefits of mirrorless cameras. It sounds nerdy, but because the lens mounts can be wider and sit closer to the sensor, lens makers can do some things that would have been difficult or impossible before. Consider a lens like Canon’s 28-70mm f/2. Sure, it’s chunky, but it’s also a full stop faster than any of the many 24-70mm lenses Canon and other manufacturers have offered in recent years. 

Speaking of chunkiness, mirrorless cameras can be smaller than their DSLR counterparts because they don’t need room inside their bodies for a flapping mirror. While there is a size advantage to an extent, it’s not usually a profound reduction. Still, if you’re carrying around a camera for a 12 hour wedding, a couple ounces can make a big difference. 

What are the disadvantages of mirrorless cameras?

Because mirrorless cameras rely heavily on electronic screens, they tend to get less battery life out of a charge than DSLRs. The difference, however, really depends on your usage. If you’re primarily using the smaller viewfinder screen over the larger rear screen, it will save you some juice. 

There is also at least a little lag in the electronic viewfinder, though it has gotten much less pronounced over the years. Current-gen mirrorless cameras are so snappy that you likely won’t notice much lag at all. When you get into dark situations, however, the viewfinder will try to brighten up the scene so you can see what you’re doing. That typically involves employing longer shutter speeds, which can make everything look smeary as you move the camera. This is one reason some shooters still prefer DSLRs for things like sports or dark wedding receptions. 

What are some of the best mirrorless cameras?

Sony mirrorless cameras

Right now, the Sony A1 is the king of the mirrorless camera landscape. It captures 50-megapixel photos at a super-high burst rate with an impeccable AF system all for the pros-only price of $6,500. Both Canon and Nikon are working on high-end mirrorless cameras to compete with the A1 in terms of specs. Expect to see those before the Olympics start.

Canon Mirrorless cameras

The Canon EOS R5 is cheaper than the Sony A1 at $3,899 and offers 45-megapixel images with almost-as-fast burst rates. While you shouldn’t be wooed by its promises of 8K video, the R5 is one of the best all-around cameras ever made. It competes directly with the Sony A7 Mark IV, which has an even higher-res 61-megapixel sensor. 

Nikon mirrorless cameras

Peruse the Nikon mirrorless lineup and you’ll find the Z7 II at the top of the heap. Like the Canon R5, it offers a 45-megapixel sensor, a powerful image processor, and dual card slots for $3,000. The 24.5-megapixel Z6 II offers smaller file sizes and a more affordable starting price of $2,000. For just $1,000, Nikon still sells the Z5, which crams a full-frame sensor into a small body. 

Panasonic mirrorless cameras

Panasonic made the leap to full-frame mirrorless back in 2019, and its S1-series cameras offer some of the most advanced video features in the space. The cameras are a bit bulky, but their excellent performance makes up for it, especially when it comes to shooting motion. 

Fujifilm mirrorless cameras

Fujifilm has two excellent lines of mirrorless cameras with different sensor sizes. The GFX medium format cameras command high prices, but they offer medium-format sensors, which are even larger than the full-frame chips typically found in pro cameras. That translates into excellent image quality and depth of field effects smaller cameras can’t provide. 

The X-series represents Fujifilm’s smaller sensor APS-C line, which is full of rugged cameras with excellent designs that make them appealing to pros. The $2,000 X-Pro3 has a rangefinder-style design, while the $1,700 X-T4 looks more like a DSLR. The X-series also offers some excellent entry-level models like the X-E3, which provides an impressive set of features for a $700 camera.

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How To Take Better Travel Photos – 6 Top Tutorials For You To Read Today

How To Take Better Travel Photos - 6 Top Tutorials For You To Read Today

Travel and holidays give us so many opportunities to photograph exotic locations, interesting people and other subjects we might not see at home. With this in mind, we’re sharing 6 travel-themed tutorials for you to peruse before your next trip.

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Landscape and Travel

How To Take Better Travel Photos - 6 Top Tutorials For You To Read Today 1

 

As we dream of jetting off to warmer climates in search of sea, sun and some scenic shots to photograph, we thought we’d put together a collection of top travel tutorials you really should have a look at before you head off with your case packed and photographic gear ready.

 

1. How To Improve Your Travel Photography Portraits Instantly

We share our tips on how to successfully photograph the people who live in the place you’re travelling to with kit advice, tips on framing and more. 

 

2. Six Awesome Travel Food Photography Tips For That Perfect Instagram Shot

As well as portraits and shots of beaches why not take a few photos of the plates of food you purchase? After all, getting your smartphone out before you chow down is the normal thing to do nowadays, isn’t it?

 

3. How To Photograph Ruins in 5 Easy Steps

Historical ruins such as churches, castles and abbeys decorate our countryside and seaside towns but you’ll also find a few smaller, but still impressive ruins closer to home. Walls, arches and columns are still dotted around a few towns and villages which are still photogenic even if there’s not much of the structure left to photograph. If you’re off on your travels, have a look online and at local tourism centres to find out what ruins are near to where you’re staying.

 

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4. How To Keep Shooting During Those Hot, Sunny Days

If you’re heading off on holiday here are a few tips to help you keep taking photos when it’s hot outside. Plus, as well as looking after your gear, don’t forget to look after yourself. It may seem obvious now, but it’s easy to get away with taking photos and the small things such as reapplying sunscreen and having a drink of water can be forgotten.

 

5. Ten Safety Tips For When Traveling With A Camera 

Here’s a quick list of quick but essential tips to help you keep your camera safe while on holiday. 

 

6. Learn To Convey A Sense Of Place And Culture With Your Travel Shots

When shooting travel images, as well as showing people back home that you had a really great time and that it was sunny every day, try capturing shots that convey a sense of place and culture as well. 

 

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Read This If You’ve Ever Been Scared Before a Photo Shoot

Read This If You’ve Ever Been Scared Before a Photo Shoot

Read This If You’ve Ever Been Scared Before a Photo Shoot 3

In the age of increased mental health awareness, it is important to address some mental health issues that photographers may have to cope with. For many, that is primarily anxiety. In this article, I will break down a few ways you can be less anxious before and during a shoot.

How I Shot Events at 17

Let me start with a personal story. At the joyfully stupid age of 17, through some connection of events, I was asked to come and shoot an event with 500 people. Some of them were CEOs and one of them was a minister. At that time, it was my biggest job ever — in fact, it was much bigger than anything before.

To say that it was a challenge would be an understatement.

In my arsenal, I had: a camera that took 1 CF card, a working lens, a semi-working lens, a poorly working Speedlite, a laptop from 2010, and a single hard drive. To add to the trouble, I was going to be in a different city without a camera store nearby to help should things go south.

I was incredibly stressed, but I couldn’t refuse a job I had wanted to do for some time. I didn’t know if I could pull it off, and I would describe the two days of shooting as being extremely stressful. In hindsight, that job was probably more than I could handle. However, the client has since hired me over and over again.

Ever since that experience, I’ve been trying to reduce stress as much as I can. I think over the years I’ve managed to distill shoot anxiety and figure out how to combat it.

Less Anxiety Translates Into More Fun

We’ve all been there: a shoot is coming up soon, you’re sweating, having a headache, and not having fun at all. I’ve been there, and I still go there sometimes. That’s completely normal. Each shoot is a huge commitment, the pre-production is often quite extensive, and failing on shoot day would be the worst thing imaginable.

While pre-shoot stress and anxiety can be quite normal, it is best to go on set feeling positive instead of stressed. I’ve found the environment to be a lot more fun and the resulting pictures better when the photographer is rather relaxed.

Read This If You’ve Ever Been Scared Before a Photo Shoot 5

Prepare

Sometimes the origin of pre-shoot anxiety is simply lack of preparation. Winging a shoot rarely works, and it’s safe to assume that it won’t. If a major detail is up in the air on shoot day, I strongly suggest moving it to a later date. Some of the worst cases of anxiety stem from a lack of readiness.

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One of the simplest ways to reduce anxiety is packing up for shooting the day before. For me that means going through a checklist of things:

Cameras and Lenses

Ask yourself: “What am I taking, and does it all work? Should one item die, can I still make do?”

If you’re in business, I suggest bringing a backup camera to all shoots. Even if it is significantly worse, it is still a backup that can take pictures. Ideally, you’ll want to own two copies of the same camera.

Lights and Grip

Pack them in cases and don’t leave loose lights or stands for the last minute. Check that all tubes work and that everything syncs properly. Stands should work as they did on day one, and make sure nothing is odd about your grip. It can get ugly expensive fast.

Batteries

Don’t store your batteries in the camera — I found that they deteriorate a bit faster. You want to make sure that everything is charged the day before. Labeling batteries helps you keep track of which ones are charged and ones that are not.

Read also: A DIY Solution for Tracking the Charge of Camera Batteries

Storage

Have multiple storage locations. Although I’m tethering most of the time, a few memory cards never leave my bag. I have two cards permanently in my go-to bag. In case I forget something at home, I have a place to shoot on.

If you’re going to be on location, designate a corner for stuff that’s packed. It is a very easy way to check everything you have and don’t have.

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Physical Preparation

Physical preparation is as important as mental preparation. One of the most stressful shooting experiences I had so far was a portrait right after sunset with only five minutes available for the subject. I visited the shoot location the day before and planned out everything. Mentally, I pictured the shots in my head, as well as I imagined myself shooting in the place tomorrow. While that may be stressful for some, it helps me be calm and reassured that I know what’s happening.

One of the best ways to prepare mentally for the situation is to grab a friend and give yourself 5 minutes to shoot a killer portrait of them. This mock session will give you practice when running against the clock and you won’t be as nervous about the real thing.

Care For Yourself

For me, caring for myself means having a nice breakfast with lots of coffee. Taking a long shower or just listening to music before the shoot can be relaxing and put you in the right place for shooting. I find it best to come to the studio as early as I can and just sit down sip on coffee before everyone arrives.

While Shooting

This is when nerves can kick in quite badly. When everyone arrived and you’re setting up, things may not go as planned and you may go back to feeling anxious. It is important to know that it may happen.

Assistants Are Your Best Friends

I truly believe that assistants are your best friends. You spend lots of time with them, and they are the people who know your process inside out. They often know everyone on the shoot and sometimes even know more than you do.

Chatting with an assistant can be very helpful when you’re bouncing ideas back and forth. If Plan A doesn’t work, the assistant knows what Plan B is, and can execute it in a second. I discuss what I will be doing in detail before each shoot, and if something is a bit dodgy I talk it through with the assistants.

Be Grateful

I like to think that the universe never gives you more than you can handle. If something changes, it is probably because you’ve got it. Like me and the big event job, it was just on the brink of what I could handle, and for that reason the opportunity presented itself. I probably can’t handle a Nike campaign just yet, so I’m not shooting something on that level. Regardless of what is happening, chances are you’ve got it — otherwise, it wouldn’t happen. Being grateful for what’s happening is a great trick up your sleeve to reduce stress.

Gratitude is a great thing. While that sounds like the most obvious sentence in this article, it is probably the most important one. You can’t be prepared for everything materially, but you can be grateful for your team, for the world, and for the past to align so that you are able to shoot.

Being grateful and expressing that gratitude over and over again is creating positive energy and a positive shooting environment. This comes down to saying thank you, but also to feeling grateful.

People are putting their hands to work so that you can shoot pictures. I find that incredibly kind, and I’m grateful for my team and everyone involved. Part of feeling grateful is being approachable. A team member should not be afraid to ask you something, even if it is the craziest idea they’ve ever had. Being kind and grateful goes a long way in feeling comfortable and reducing anxiety in photography.

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Conclusion

I’d like to conclude by saying that reducing anxiety in photography is not a quick fix. It took me a few years to get to where I am now. Starting to be more prepared is easier, but feeling grateful takes some time and even courage. Being courageous enough to say ideas out loud and being grateful for others and yourself is crucial to feeling “home” when shooting. Think back to when you first picked up a camera; did you have fun? If yes, why not have fun now?


About the author: Illya Ovchar is a fashion photographer based in Budapest, Hungary. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Ovchar’s work on his website.


Image credits: Stock photos licensed from Depositphotos

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The Best Photography Books You Should Read in 2021

A good photography book an enjoyable way to pass the afternoon, and it’s often the perfect antidote to a creative rut. Whether you’ve been photographing for years or you’re a beginner looking to take your work to the next level we’re going to take a look at the best photography books for everyone.

When I started this post, it was my intention to create a top 10 list. Something like “The 10 best books for photographers”. But honestly, I couldn’t narrow down the list to just those few. And the best books for portrait photographers are not the same as the best books for landscape and nature photographers. So instead of a top 10 list, this is the first post in what is going to become a master resource of the absolute best books for photographers.

Best Photography Books

Across the series, I’m going to be diving into the best books for beginners, and the best books for advanced photographers looking to take their work to the next level. I’m going to be looking at the best books about composition and the best books on nature photography, portrait photography, as well as books about lighting. If you enjoy memoir, then you will want to stick around for the best photography books about the lives of photographers, and we will conclude with the best photography books for kids so that you can pass your love of photography onto your children as well.

Most of the books on this list are not new. Some of them are more than a decade old. But every one of them is as relevant today as the day it was released. Because some of these have been out a while you may be able to find a used copy and save a few dollars. A good photography book is less expensive than almost any piece of gear and it can work wonders to get those creative juices flowing.

Please feel free to share your own favorite photography books in the comments! I would love to hear about the books that inspired you as a photographer, the books you keep coming back to, and the books that you find yourself recommending to friends.

Best Photography Books For Any Photographer

While many photography books are fairly specific in their audience, there are a few that make amazing reads for anyone interested in photography. These are the books that I recommend over and over again to photographers of all interests and experience levels. These are books that don’t fit neatly into a category but stand out on my shelf as the most relevant or inspiring books for photographers.

“The Moment it Clicks” by Joe McNally

In some photography books, a photographer shows us an image and then talks about what makes it work or why and how they took that image. But The Moment it Clicks comes across as though Joe McNally chose the advice and wisdom he wanted to share and then effortlessly chose an image from his vast portfolio to illustrate the point.

The Moment it Clicks by Joe McNally

While I don’t actually know the process through which he wrote the book, I do know that his wisdom and the vast array of information he wants to share with the reader are clearly front and center.

McNally, who photographed for Life magazine and National Geographic among countless other publications is a literal master of light and he has written other, more technical volumes that I will include in other reviews. But this book might be my favorite of his. It feels personal. He poured countless years of accumulated wisdom into a single volume, seamlessly mixing the technical with the anecdotal.

Tidbits of wisdom include quotes such as:

Nice is nice, but it stops short of being fabulous.

A good idea becomes a bad idea when you don’t see anything else.

If you want something to look interesting don’t light all of it.

and

Light falls, just make sure it falls in your favor.

Each pithy quote is illustrated with one of Joe’s amazing photographs as well as an accompanying behind-the-scenes story and technical information on “how to get this type of shot”.

This book should be required reading for anyone working in or hoping to pursue a career in commercial or editorial work, but you will be hard-pressed to find a photographer that won’t find this book binge-worthy. If you do binge on it though, enjoying the entertainment and drama that comes with the life of a commercial photographer, you’ll want to go back and re-read it slowly, with a highlighter or a notebook on hand.

“Light, Gesture, Color & It’s Not About the F-Stop” by Jay Maisel

If you don’t already know the work of Jay Maisel then these books, Light Gesture, Color and It’s Not About the F-Stop will be a surprise treasure. Jay’s career spans more than half a century, and he has photographed just about everyone and everything there is to photograph during that time. But these books focus less on his commercial work and more on his personal love of photographing “Light, Gesture, and Color”.

Jay Maisel - Light, Gesture and Color Book

These 3 elements, according to Jay make up the essence of every good photograph and his books describe his relentless pursuit of light, gesture, and color in a classic, conversational manner. Every photographer will glean from Jay’s wisdom in these two books, but these should be considered essential for anyone with an interest in street photography. Many of his photographs are of objects so ordinary (bus wheels, power lines) that most people would have overlooked them but Jay’s search for Light, Color, and Gesture transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

The images alone are worth the price of the book, but the real brilliance is the ease and generosity with which he pours out his wisdom and knowledge of the craft. Jay’s tone is casual, almost conversational as he shares his thoughts and the stories behind each image. These books are less technical than Joe McNally’s and while they are chock full of wisdom,  it’s shared in such a casual off-hand way that I’m positive they barely scratch the surface of Jay’s years of cumulative knowledge. These are the books I come back to when I am in need of inspiration and motivation. I once heard an interview with Jay where he described the process of hitting the streets daily with a camera as doing “visual pushups” and exercising those creative muscles. That approach changed the way I think of photography. Instead of picking up my camera only when there is something important to photograph, only when I’m sure that I can get that “trophy” shot, Jay Maisel’s work is a reminder that photographs are everywhere if only we look for them. I’m confident that any photographer who reads these books is going to be inspired to pick up their camera and take it to the streets in search of Light, Gesture, and Color.

“A World History of Photography” by Naomi Rosenblum

When I was in college, I was fastidious about reselling my textbooks at the end of each semester to pay for film. A World History of Photography by Naomi Rosenblum was the one exception. Despite the fact that it commanded a relatively high price on the used book market, it’s the one textbook I kept and I still have it on my shelf today. While I’m sure there are other books I should have kept, I’m thankful I had the foresight to realize that this book was well worth the shelf space.

A World History of Photography Book by Naomi Rosenblum

Years later I can still confidently say that this book belongs in the library of every photographer. It’s a massive volume and the most comprehensive history of photography I have seen to date. It is also a very image-heavy volume, with hundreds of images spanning almost two-centuries of photographic history.

I appreciate the fact that it focuses on the people and historical context of photography as well as the technology. Admittedly my third-edition is essentially pre-digital but the book has been updated in the two editions since then to cover the advent of digital image-making.

While the book is a chronological history of photography, it also delves deeply into the uses and types of photography during each time period. For example, there are 4 chapters on photography between 1839 and 1890, each one focusing on a different aspect of photography (portraits, landscape and architecture, objects and events, and art). Throughout the book there are also profiles of photographers, which serve not as side boxes or antidotal information but as a part of the text, giving specificity and context to each time period. And because this is a world history each section also compares what was happening around the world within each time period and genre of photography.

The book is well laid out, and if reading more than 600 pages on the history of photography is more than you want to tackle right now, it will be easy enough to pick out the chapters that are of most interest to you. And while the book is text-heavy, the images are still plentiful and it would be worthwhile to spend an afternoon looking through the images of your favorite subjects (portraits, landscapes, etc.) from beginning to end just to trace the stylistic and technical changes over the centuries.

Best Beginner-Friendly Books and Resources

If you are just getting into photography, you might be wondering what books are the best for beginners. This list is going to be a bit tough to compile and recommend for a number of reasons. First, many beginner-level books have a lot of technical information on things like camera technology, gear recommendations, and typical camera settings that change all the time with newer technology. As a result, many beginner-level books end up getting re-published with newer editions in order to incorporate these changes. For example, some older books had chapters like “Film vs Digital”, or chapters that explain in detail how DSLR cameras and their autofocus systems work, which could be considered outdated by today’s standards. With ever-changing technology and the rise of newer cameras and tools, such books have to be constantly kept up-to-date in order to continue to stay relevant.

Second, there are plenty of great resources available online that cover everything a beginner photographer needs to know, and beyond. For example, take a look at our own Photography Basics – The Complete Beginner’s Guide that includes 15 chapters of detailed, beginner-friendly material that covers everything you need to know from photographic history and exposure variables to more specific topics on how to take sharp images.

In addition to the above, there is a whole repository of beginner photography articles that cover so many more topics and genres. Take a look at the following list of detailed articles:

In addition to these, the PL team has published two complete video courses for beginners that cover photography basics, and post-processing basics. These courses cover everything a beginner needs to know, and beyond.

Lastly, don’t forget about the rich repository of other material available online from other photography websites, universities, as well as video resources like YouTube.

Thus, if you are in search of beginner-level material, you don’t need to buy any books – you have plenty of free material to get started.

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johnriley1uk’s latest blog : a good read

johnriley1uk's latest blog : cool activities on the streets of manchester

A Good Read

29 Nov 2020 3:19PM  
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I used to read loads of different photographic magazines, basically because there were loads of them around and I was hungry for knowledge. These days the picture is a little different as we have the internet, where everybody and anybody can say what they want to, dispensing information that may or may not be right. Fortunately it’s still possible to tell the difference and the internet is a great tool. However, it’s great if you know what to search for, but arguably less useful if we just want to browse. For example, I was searching through an old book and came across a description of a Chinese tower that looked interesting. I can’t remember its name now, but suffcie it to say that I became curious as to how it would look now. An interent search brought me the answer, but I would never have found it at all had I not been browsing a book.

I collect old photographic magazines as well and these give a fascinating insight into life in general, as well as interesting facts and information on techniques and equipment. The sense of equality between male and female photographers is also highlighted, and from the start there have been formidable photographers of both sexes. There are other remarkable differences to today, for example winners of photo competitions would likely have their full address published. That would be unthinkable and downright hazardous today.

I’ve gathered together and re-processed images of a selection of photographic magazines for your kind consideration……….

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The most convenient way to collect these is in bound volumes and most of my APs are bound. These were the days when photographers spent the long lonely winter days and nights making an index for the year’s copies so they could add that to the bound magazines. Those days could well be with us again!

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Top 12 Best Photography Techniques To Read

Top 12 Best Photography Techniques To Read

ePHOTOzine has hundreds of photography techniques available, from Photoshop to Photography, from Macro to Composition and more. You’ll find hints, tips, and advice on how to improve your photography or find new things to try while out and about or while stuck at home. Here are some of our most popular, and favourite techniques for you to read. As well as the below, why not find out what features make the top ten: Top 10 Best Photography Features.

 

Creative Macro Photography Tips To Try At Home

If you’re stuck at home, then there are a number of different macro shots you can try. You don’t need an expensive studio and lighting equipment for great macro photography! In fact, with a bit of DIY and some imagination, you can easily capture creative close-up shots.

Bubble - COOPH

©COOPH

 

Top 10 Best Adobe Photoshop Techniques

Looking for ways to edit your photos in new ways? Have a look at this. If you want to know how to make a Polaroid-style photo, make colour pop from the image, enhance eyes and portraits, or learn more about Photoshop, then this is a great place to start.

Polaroid shots made in Photoshop

 

Four Easy Ways To Create A Vignette In Adobe Photoshop

Vignettes are a simple yet subtle way to guide the eye through a shot and can make portraits and other subjects “pop” from the frame. So here are four easy ways on how to create one in Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and Photoshop Elements.

Four Easy Ways To Create A Vignette In Photoshop

 

P, A, S, M, Manual Shooting Modes and Exposure Explained

If you’ve ever wondered what P, A, S, or M stands for on your camera, then this article is for you. We explain the shooting modes on a camera, including shutter priority, aperture priority and more. Plus this article will help you understand how shutter speed and aperture affect your image.

P, A, S, M, Manual Shooting Modes and Exposure Explained

 

 

9 Need To Know Photography Composition Rules

Take better photos by following these basic photography rules. Read about them, go out and practise them then share your amazing results with ePHOTOzine in the photo gallery!

Top 12 Best Photography Techniques To Read 13

 

7 Creative Indoor Photographic Projects For You To Try

If you’re looking for things to photograph indoors, then this article is for you, whether you want to photograph cutlery, tiny objects with a macro lens, liquid, water droplets, frozen things, or get even more creative with oil on water, then this article has hints and tips for you so that you can get creative without leaving your house.

7 Creative Indoor Photographic Projects For You To Try

 

 

How To Send A Photo As An Email Attachment On Windows, Mac, iOS & Android Devices

If you want to share your photos with friends and family, then sometimes email is a great way of sending your photos. If you want to send a photo or image in an email, then this quick and easy guide will help you do that. Photos and documents can be attached to an e-mail and sent so the receiver can open the file on their computer.

How To Send A Photo As An Email Attachment On Windows, Mac, iOS & Android Devices

 

8 Top Ways To Use A Telephoto Lens For Photography

Telephoto lenses have a multitude of uses and can be a great tool in a photographer’s arsenal. To see just how versatile they are, here are 8 top ways you can use a telephoto lens.

8 Top Ways To Use A Telephoto Lens For Photography

 

How To Make Your Own Passport Photos At Home

The dreaded photo booth in a supermarket or bus station is something we’ve all faced in our time but you can avoid using them by simply taking your own passport photos at home. Plus, as printing passport photo size prints from one of these machines costs at least a fiver, you’ll be saving yourself quite a bit of money should you need passport photos for the whole family.

How To Take Your Own Passport Photos At Home

 

A – Z Of Light Trail Photography Tips

26 photography tips on capturing creative shots with light trails, from A for Aperture, to Z for Zooming and Panning, there will be something here for you to try, to get some creative and stylish looking shots.

A - Z Of Light Trail Photography Tips

 

10 Top Ways To Use Different Angles In Your Photography

Here’s a rundown of ten top things you can do to put a different perspective on your photography, by trying different angles. How many have you tried?

10 Top Ways To Use Different Angles In Your Photography

 

Food Photography: Top Tips For Instagram Food Photography Likes

If you’re a foodie who loves capturing photos of your breakfast, lunch and dinner for everyone to see, this video tutorial is for you.

Food Photography: Top Tips For Instagram Food Photography Likes

 

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This Free Photoshop Add-On Will Read You Jokes and Puns While You Work

This Free Photoshop Add-On Will Read You Jokes and Puns While You Work

Retoucher Pratik Naik and his co-workers at Infinite Tools have released a fun (and free) little side-project that you might want to get in on. It’s called the “Infinite Jokes Panel” and it’s a Photoshop add-on that will read you jokes, puns, and condescending statements about your photo editing abilities while you work.

The Infinite Jokes Panel is… well… it’s exactly what it looks like.

“What if Photoshop could verbally judge your decisions while you were working, or tell you the best photo related puns and jokes? Infinite Jokes is just that!” reads the description. “The free light hearted panel is the perfect retouching buddy that will provide humor for hours on end.”

This Free Photoshop Add-On Will Read You Jokes and Puns While You Work 14

But Naik and Co. went beyond just creating a little web-app that refreshes with a new quote every 30 minutes. You actually have some customization and rating options built in.

First of all, the panel will actually READ you the joke, pun, or condescending statement in either a male or female voice, using either an American or British accent; second, the panel allows you to choose if you’re in a funny or mean mood; third, you can change how often it tells you a joke from every 15 seconds to every 30 minutes; and fourth, you can control the volume as well.

Finally, if you’re part of the Infinite Tools community, you can also rate the jokes you hear or submit your own for consideration.

This Free Photoshop Add-On Will Read You Jokes and Puns While You Work 16

Obviously this isn’t going to help your retouching in any way—it’s not that kind of Photoshop panel. It’s just a fun little side-project that might inject a little humor into your next retouching session… or help you take yourself a little less seriously.

To learn more about the Infinite Jokes Panel or download it for yourself, head over to the Infinite Tools website here.

(via DIY Photography)

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Read the issue – Photography News

Issue 67

Welcome to issue 67 of Photography News.

Welcome to the latest issue of Photography News, the UK’s only free photo publication and, as ever it is an issue packed with news and reviews. Find out where you can pick up a physical copy here or read the online issue below.

Check out the back issues.

You can also subscribe to the Photography News Newsletter to get the latest issue and more delivered to your inbox.

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