Trend Trial: Chain Jewelry, The Style Essential You Need Now
Say so long to last season’s dainty accessories and over-the-top costume jewelry. Instead, it’s time to opt for the new wave of heavy-duty hardware (not the mechanical kind). The latest configuration of your middle school chain jewelry exudes edge and comes in designs like oversized gold chains, silver link necklaces and chain earrings. Whether your newfound love for chains is worn around your neck or stacked on your wrists, these classic chain renditions are sure to add edge and instant…
How This Portrait Was Shot and Edited, From Planning to Final Photo
Photographer Francisco Hernandez has launched a new video series titled “Behind the Shot” that will document the entire process of how a photo of created, from concept to finished image. In this 12-minute video, Hernandez shares how he shot a portrait of a model named Barbie.
Hernandez originally met Barbie back in 2014 when he was just starting out. After sending out around 40 messages to photographers in search of an assistant position, Hernandez heard back from one based about an hour away. It was at the first shoot with the photographer that Hernandez met Barbie, and this is one of the portraits that resulted then:
Earlier this year, Barbie contacted Hernandez and asked if he would be able to do a portrait shoot. She suggested a location, and Hernandez agreed after taking a look at it through Google Street View. Barbie also selected her own outfit and did her own makeup.
Since he was planning to expose for the sky, Hernandez had an assistant hold a reflector to illuminate the darker shadows in the shot.
Here’s what a first straight-out-of-camera test shot looked like without any lighting on the model:
After adding in the light and reflector, Hernandez found that placing the octobox 3.5 feet away was too far and didn’t illuminate his subject well despite being at full power.
When Hernandez moved the octobox to about a foot away and the reflector closer as well, here’s what resulted (the straight out of camera shot without the octobox cloned out from the upper left hand corner):
Hernandez boosted exposure and brought down highlights (to prevent the sky from stealing attention from the model).
After more adjustments in Lightroom, this is what resulted:
Finally, Hernandez did more detailed edits and cleaned up the image in Photoshop. Here’s the final portrait that was created from the shoot:
Watch the videos above to watch Hernandez discuss the changes that were made to the image at each step of post-processing. You can also follow along with Hernandez’s new series in this YouTube playlist.
On ‘Making It’ as a Photographer, or: What if Your House Burned Down?
What if your house burned down? Have you still “made it” as a photographer?
3 weeks ago I was sitting, much as I do now, winding down on a Saturday evening, finding some time to write a newsletter and blog post. I had just released an image shot for Kohler, a company whose advertising I had wanted to be a part of for a long time, and wanted to write something around this image and the process to create it.
Earlier in the day, I had listened to comedian Bill Burr being interviewed on Tim Ferriss’ podcast. A good laugh, as always with Bill Burr, balanced by Tim’s prodding for life lessons.
At one point, they talked about accomplishments and the idea of “making it.” Bill Burr had bought a house and said to his wife “I know you are not supposed to say this, but… I made it!”
He continues, “There’s a sickness in this business of: if you think you made it, you’re going to relax and then it’s all going to go away!
“No! I tell jokes for a living and I bought a house. I MADE IT!”
The stigma is that one can’t, as a photographer or creative, say or admit that you have made it. The second you do, you relax and lose your drive and creativity… I can so relate, and Bill Burr’s thoughts lingered with me as I started writing.
Shooting for Kohler was a long time goal of mine creatively and by Bill Burr’s standard of buying a house, I have “made it” several times over.
So have I really “made it?”
I settled in that evening reflecting on what I had accomplished as a photographer and the blog post shifted to words about goals and the acknowledgment of reaching them. Of pausing and being content for a moment rather than going straight into the chase of creating another image or landing the next assignment.
That was my Saturday 4 weeks ago.
That Sunday night, we were woken up by flashlights shining into our bedroom window and our neighbor shouting that the hillsides were on fire. We packed our essentials and got out.
That was October 8th.
The weeks since have been indescribable. The fires around Sonoma and Napa in California, where we live, burned more than 100,000 acres. Lives were lost and neighborhoods left in ashes. One of my best friends and 5 of our neighbors lost their homes. It is devastating.
There are many emotions around the 17 days we were in mandatory evacuation. My perspective on having “made it” as an artist has shifted during the past weeks, and I wanted to finish the blog I started and get back to Bill Burr and his benchmark of having made it.
I have learned that a home is absolutely no measure of having “made it” as a creative. The truth is, we never “make it”. We just keep making.
I now know this to be the truth.
After we left our house that morning I got a chance to go back to grab a few items. I had a shortlist from Andrea; Journals, some jewelry, and some additional clothes for our 3-month-old daughter. The main item for me was my server rack containing all my work as a photographer. I ripped it out of the office and by sheer adrenaline got it into the car.
I hosed down the house with water and walked through it one last time. I grabbed a few small items as I passed them and unhinged a few framed prints by Nadav Kander, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Mario Testino, Alexi Lubomirski, and a few others.
In these moments, I was strangely okay with the house being gone. I knew then that this house was no measure and had nothing to do with who I am, my self-worth, or how much or little I have accomplished as a photographer.
I’m sharing this, as I believe it can help a lot of young photographers starting out. And Bill Burr for that matter.
I know there are a lot of talented photographers who have given up on photography. Making a living taking pictures is as competitive as it gets, and a long endeavor if you choose to take it on.
What makes this process even harder is the social demands for immediate success.
But what if there was no monetary measure attached to successfully creating?
What if there was no pressure of even being good at it?
What if we would proudly call ourselves photographers without making money doing it?
I believe this paradigm would keep photographers in the game long enough to break through to the side of success!
As I was starting out I was embarrassed to call myself a photographer. In my heart, I was one, but my job was to be another photographer’s assistant, carrying his gear. It took a long time for me to proclaim that I was a photographer.
Why is it so darn hard for us artists/comedians/photographers to confidently identify with what we do early on?
Why can’t we just claim our photographer (or comedian) title right out of the gate and then just slowly go about creating? Why do we have to “make it” before we can proudly claim our title?
I believe any young photographer would increase his success rate 10X if there were a detachment between creating and success. If the bar of “making it” was set so that one would never fail there would be nothing to “give up on”. It would only be the process of continually creating and as that continual creating would go on, success would only be a question of time.
Experiencing the certainty of losing my home and how that realization affected me created a shift in my perspective on success and what having “made it” is.
In no particular order, and without being right for everyone, here’s a work in progress short list of what now resonates with me and the idea of “making it”:
If you keep your focus on creating, you have made it.
If doing what you do expands you and fills you up, you have made it.
If you crave creating every day, you have made it.
If you are excited about what you just created and even more excited to improve upon it, you have made it.
If you are proud to show your work, you have made it.
If you found an expression that consistently expresses who you are, you have made it.
If you have done the above so consistently your expression starts to recognize itself, you have made it.
If you question why and how and who and explore this through your work, you have made it.
So my shift and lesson is this:
You can celebrate your successes like Bill Burr, but don’t attach them to an event, a monetary item or any other social measure of success. This will yield nothing but downward pressure and distractions to the significance of creating something which deeply resonates with your being.
It will leave you feeling like you are coming up short every time. Which, in turn, will make you want to give up…
3.5 of our 5 acres of land burned and the firefighters stopped the fire just a few feet away from our home. I’m glad our house is standing. I’m also glad I had this experience and deeply realize the house is without significance when it comes to who I am as a creative. My “I have made it” has nothing to do with a fancy car or a home, but to every day do what expands me and fills me up.
I will remind myself of this going forward. I will worry less and create more because of it.
And if there are any up and coming photographers or other creatives reading this; please worry less about achieving success and focus on the items on my “having made it” list above. You will then achieve your success…
Like Steve Jobs said: “Stay foolish, stay hungry!”
A few side notes…
It is an archetypal event to build or buy a home. I’m by no means diminishing this fact. In short, I’m saying to not attach anything to your self-worth as a creator. Instead, focus on creating and consistency, and measure yourself against your own progress.
The word hero gets thrown around a lot. I have not fully understood, or felt, what a true hero was till now. The fire firefighters and individuals who fought the fires in Napa and Sonoma are my heroes. These men and women will all be my heroes forever.
The Kohler assignment was an extraordinary one. We started with the design of the dress. The fabric, color, pattern, and form was designed for the shoot and sown to fit the model. This design informed all the other elements and creative choices of the image.
I absorbed the fact that the house would burn with a strange detachment. The news that it had survived however brought big tears of relief and gratitude. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to those less fortunate.
About the author: Erik Almas is a California-based advertising photographer who travels around the world shooting for clients like Kohler, Toyota, Puma, Nike, Hyatt, USPS, Citibank, and Amtrak. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. To see more of his work, visit his website, Facebook, and Instagram. This post was also published here.
Photoshop CC Easter Eggs: Monkey, Banana, Coffee, and Toast
Did you know that hidden within Photoshop CC are a number of “easter eggs” that customize the photo editing app in wacky ways? Three that you can activate in the latest version of Photoshop CC are “Layer Monkey,” the “Banana Toolbar,” and “Coffee & Toast.”
Here’s a quick look at how you find each one (keep in mind that these are entirely for fun, i.e. completely useless):
While you have a document open, select Window->Layer Comps. Create a new Layer Comp.
Rename that Layer Comp to “Layer Monkey 0”, and you’ll suddenly see a “cute monkey face” icon looking back at you instead of the standard comps icon.
“‘Layer Monkey!’ appears in English no matter what the app or OS language is,” Adobe tells PetaPixel. “To dismiss Layer Monkey: Rename the Layer Monkey 0 Layer Comp to any other name.”
The Banana Toolbar
This easter egg is one we shared recently. First, open up the Customize Toolbar menu by either selecting Edit->Toolbar or by clicking the “•••” on your toolbar and selecting the option there.
Hold Shift while clicking the Done button, and voila! Your toolbar’s “Edit Toolbar” icon has now been replaced by a yellow banana.
To get rid of this banana, open up the same Customize Toolbar menu and hold Ctrl/Cmd while clicking on Done instead of Shift.
Coffee & Toast
You can replace Photoshop’s UX color chips with icons of coffee or toast. First, open up Photoshop/Edit->Preferences->Interface.
To replace the color chips with Toast, hold Shift and Opt/Alt while clicking on a Color Theme color chip.
To use icons of Coffee instead, hold Shift and Ctrl/Cmd while clicking on a color chip.
You can also toggle between the two options by clicking on a Color Theme repeatedly while holding the Coffee key combo. To revert back to default color chips, click on the Coffee or Toast icons again while holding the Toast key combo.
Workshop Preview: Aline Smithson’s “Cuba with Intention”
Fine art photographer and Lenscratch founder Aline Smithson will lead the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops “Cuba with Intention” workshop in Camagüey, Cuba from February 4 to 12 2018. “I often review portfolios of photographers who have made work during travel to far flung places,” Smithson says. “Often times the portfolios are beautifully shot, but ultimately there is nowhere for the work to go as they aren’t covering any new terrain or showing us something we don’t already know.” Smithson spoke to us about how her workshop, which she is co-teaching with Carrie McCarthy, will help attendees elevate their work.
PDN: Who is your workshop for and what are you hoping to teach?
Aline Smithson: I’ve been teaching a class for the last several years called “Photographing with Intention.” I realized that many photographers take all these workshops about the technical side of photography, and they haven’t really considered focusing in a profound way on what they’re shooting. I have had a number of students who have come to my classes with travel photographs that weren’t shot with intention—photographs which are of all the shiny objects they see along their journey, and it doesn’t make for a story. With this workshop, what I’m hoping to do is give photographers some ideas and ways of shooting where they could come back and perhaps then put this work out into the fine-art market, rather than just having it live in the travel photo market.
PDN: What do you mean when you talk about shooting with intention?
AS: One way to describe it is, when you take a road trip, you always bring a map. And so rather than just go out without any idea of what you’re shooting, actually begin to look for things to shoot. One way to do that is through typologies, where you are looking for something in that culture that you see over and over again and you photograph it. When you put it all together, you can compare and contrast this one object or idea. For example, Michael Wolf did this great project called Bastard Chairs, which is a typology of chairs that people [in China] put together to sit on. And that’s the kind of thing [I mean] when I say typology. You’re looking for something that is really specific to that culture that shows us something that we don’t know.
PDN: The typology of Cuba that has been so overdone is the old American cars.
PDN: How do you see beyond things like that if you’re new to a culture, and everything seems so new to you?
AS: One of my friends, Simone Lueck, [went to Cuba] and the first day she was there, she went out without her camera and just walked the streets and observed. One thing she noticed was that the front doors were open and people’s televisions were on, whether they were at home or not. She started realizing that the television is like another member of the family. So she went back and photographed people’s living rooms with the television on, and came out with a terrific body of work called “Cuba TV.” She went on to [publish] a monograph of that work. It came from looking at a culture in a new way, and seeing what was unique about it.
It is really hard to do when you are on the ground and have to work quickly, but that’s why perhaps we need to investigate some things before we go: learn a little bit about the history, the culture, the ceremonies before you go, so you have an idea of what you’re shooting. At the beginning of the workshop, I’ll spend maybe half a day having the students look at tons and tons of work made in Cuba from a more artistic point of view that will perhaps inspire them.
PDN: What kinds of exercises will you give the students to help them figure out how to photograph in Camagüey with intention?
AS: One thing is to have a day when you’re really absorbing the culture, and you come back with ideas about what you can shoot, and we can explore and expand those ideas. It’s planting the seeds in photographers that they don’t need to photograph all the classic Cuba stuff—if they want to they can, and if they went to Cuba and didn’t they’d probably be disappointed. But I want them to make work in addition to that. It’s an usual place to go, where things have stood still. But things are changing with the teenage and millenial generations, as they now have cell phones for the first time, and thinking about technology, maybe [workshop attendees] can make a small series that speaks to the change whether we understand it or not.
For example, Greg Kahn’s “Havana Youth” project focused in on the 19 to 23 year-old population and how they went from rotary phones to cell phones, and how that’s radically changing that generation. Things like that, I find way more interesting than cars and cigars. So that’s the kind of thing I want people to be looking for.
PDN: You mentioned having students explore at first—do you mean explore first without a camera?
AS: Yes, and I know that’s really hard for people, but I think it’s not a bad idea, because when you have the camera up all the time, you’re not seeing things in a deeper way. You’re not seeing the whole, because you’re always looking for the details.
Ugly Places, Pretty Portraits: I Did a Photo Shoot in Lowe’s
A few weeks ago, a model friend of mine, Rachelle Kathleen, and I were planning to meet for a fun little photo shoot. Instead of searching out the usual beautiful locations around where we live, I had the idea to do just the opposite. I wanted to go somewhere “ugly” by all conventional photography standards and then see what we could do with it. Lowe’s seemed like the perfect option.
The point was to challenge ourselves. I wanted somewhere with horrible lighting and limited backdrops. Somewhere that made absolutely no sense for a photo shoot. Our local Lowe’s home improvement retail store hits all those points. Before we went in we decided on a few rules:
1. We had to work with whatever was already there. I brought in just my camera without any artificial lighting or props. She simply brought a small bag with a couple outfit options.
2. We couldn’t rearrange the displays or make any big changes. In one instance (as you’ll see later) we moved a cart from the side of the aisle to the center, but then put it right back. We’ve both spent years in the service industry, we weren’t about to leave the workers with a trashed store an hour before closing time on a Sunday night.
3. We’d stop shooting if anyone was in the background. We didn’t want to give anyone any reason to complain, so we went to a place that was completely empty of customers, and if someone did show up, we lowered the camera until they were done browsing and left the area.
Of course, if none of this was allowed we would’ve left, but as soon as we walked in an employee asked if they could help us and I asked, “We were just going to take a few photos, is that okay?”
He replied, “Of course! I was just wondering why she was so overdressed for a trip to the hardware store!”
Since they were about an hour from closing the store was almost completely empty. Anyone we did come in contact with was super friendly, if not slightly curious. We had a few people stop and watch, but that’s to be expected anytime Rachelle models anywhere. The girl just can’t help but stop traffic.
And this is what we got! I’ve included the cell-phone pic of the actual location along with each photoset, so you can see what we were working with.
Lowe’s Location 1: The Paint Samples
I have to admit, I have always wanted to shoot in front of these paint samples, so as soon as we walked in the door I made a bee-line right to them. I’m excited I finally got to shoot in front of them – these shots turned out to be some of my favorites ever!
Straight Out Of Camera (SOOC):
Lowe’s Location 2: The Lighting Section
I was also excited about the lighting section. I’ve always been a fan of shooting straight into the light (though I’ve heard it’s a bit of a no-no). The main problem was the lights were so much higher than we thought…or maybe we’re just a lot shorter than we realized (we’re both barely 5’4″).
I knew the light itself was going to be pretty horrendous, with all the different colors, brightness levels, and shadows, but I was excited to give it a shot. You can see in the second photo what it looked like straight out of camera.
Lowe’s Location 3: The Aisles
We knew we couldn’t avoid the aisles. Photographically speaking, they were awful. Horrible lighting, lots of plastic surfaces, really nothing that would be considered aesthetically pleasing, but that was the point. This was the essence of Lowe’s, and we wouldn’t have been doing the challenge justice to steer away from it.
Also, yes, we know you aren’t allowed to sit on the carts. An employee was there and gave us permission to keep shooting. Like I mentioned earlier, we were in a pretty big hurry, so she was sitting on that cart for a total of maybe 6 minutes, so calm the hell down, it’s not like we were dancing on them.
And yes, we know there has probably been something pretty disgusting spilled on them at some point, but we really couldn’t care less. Rachelle and I have shot nude in abandoned buildings full of spiders, bats and bird shit, a dry cart really isn’t much of an issue.
We shot in both the larger aisles and the skinnier ones. Here’s the larger aisle:
Location Shot: Aisle 1
Location Shot: Aisle 2
Lowe’s Location 4: The Garden Section
I would’ve loved to spend more time in the garden section, but the store was closing and we were running out of time. We spotted a cluster of fake shrubs and I had her kneel down in front of them so I could fill the frame. It’s too bad we had to move on so quickly – this was actually the best lighting we got out of the entire store! If we had been there in the daytime, it probably would’ve been even better!
I knew I wanted to edit the finished photo with a kind of moody, wintery look. So even though the raw image really wasn’t too bad, it still needed some adjustments to get to what I wanted it to be.
Overall, this was a really fun challenge! Not that I’d invite an actual client to ever do a Lowe’s photo shoot (I mean, never say never), but I was pretty happy with the result! Horrible location for the win! Next time you see an awful spot, maybe give it a chance, you never know what you might end up with.
About the author: Jenna Martin is the founder of PhotoFern.com and a fine art and underwater photographer based out of Billings, Montana. After acquiring her Master’s in Psychiatric Rehabilitation, she made a drastic career change into the field of photography where she has been producing surreal images ever since. You can find more of her work and writing on her website and blog. This article was also published here.
It’s finally here! My Nikon D850 review is finally finished! It took me 11 states, two countries, eight weeks, and 16,000 images to get it done, but here it is! This is a true field test loaded with real-world examples, advice, and tons of tips for getting the most from all the new features.
Yes, it’s a bit of a long review, but I didn’t want to simply tell you about the new features — I wanted to show you how to use them as well. Nothing more frustrating than a review that tells you about some amazing new feature but leaves you clueless when it comes to using it, right? Well, rest assured this will give you all that and more. So, sit back, kick your feet up and enjoy!
I also wanted to include some extras to go along with the video. These are either items that people have frequently asked about or that I referred to in the video.
D850 Bird In Flight (BIF) Settings
One of the questions I am getting a LOT is about bird-in-flight (BIF) settings. As with my other cameras, this sensor sees a lot of flying feathers, so you’re in luck!
As always, keep in mind that what works for me may not work for you and that’s cool – we can still be friends.
Focus Mode: AF-C of course. Since I use BBAF, I’m always in AF-C. However, if you’re more of a shutter release shooter, you’ll want to make sure you remember to switch to AF-C for action or face cards full of 46MP disappointments. AF-C is the only mode that can track/follow your subject, so, if you’ll pardon the pun, it’s the only way to fly!
AF Activation: For me, it’s always Back Button AF. It gives you the best of both AF-S and AF-C without all the switching back and forth. Rather than ramble on, I’ll refer you to this good-looking guy who did a video on the subject:
AF Area Modes: On the D850, I found myself once again gravitating towards Group AF for BIF shots, however, I also used the super-small D9 Dynamic Area as well – especially when the subjects were a bit slower or I needed more precise focus. Group AF likes to grab whatever is closest to the camera, so sometimes that can lead to sharp wingtips and cottony soft eyeballs. D9 gives you a little more precision in that department, BUT it is more difficult to keep on target.
Speaking of which, if you find D9 / Group is too tough, try a larger area like D25 or F72. As a general rule, always use the smallest AF area you can manage for whatever subject you’re after. Only go bigger if you can’t seem to stay on target.
For more on how Nikon’s AF modes work, see this video. Note that this was done prior to the D850 (and D500 / D5), but the way the modes (Group, 3D etc) work is the same.
Focus Tracking With Lock On (custom function A3): I mention this in the video, but I’d like to go into more detail here since Nikon has made some changes from the D810 to the D850. The first part of this setting is, “Blocked Shot AF Response” and the idea here is that if something comes between you and your subject for an instant, the camera won’t jump to the obstacle but instead hesitate just a bit and stay with your target until the obstacle has passed. Very handy if you’re tracking a bird flying by and a tree jumps between you and your subject as you pan.
The setting allows you to choose a value from 1 to 5. The higher the number, the “stickier” the AF system is. Of course, when people read that, the first thought is often to crank it up to 5 and call it a day. However, if the system is too sticky it will make it tough when you need to switch between subjects. Additionally, it can cause hesitation when you have an AF point on the wrong area of the subject and are trying to lock back onto the eye. I usually have this set to 2 or 3, but it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it option either. You may want to dive in and switch things up if the AF is letting go too easily or when it’s stickier than a three-year-old who just discovered the maple syrup jar.
The other part of this setting is “Subject Motion.” This new setting is a way for you to let the camera know how erratic or steady your subject is – especially when it’s coming at the camera. If you have a subject that likes to start and stop suddenly, you want “Erratic.” On the other hand, for a subject coming steadily at the camera, switch to “Steady.” For wildlife and BIF shots, I usually have good success just leaving it in the middle.
Custom Controls (Custom Setting F1): The D850 also has some exciting new options for the preview button, sub-selector, function button, and AF-On button. Here’s how I have a couple of mine set up.
For the PV (preview) button I have selected the “AF area mode” option, “Single Point AF.” This setting allows you to press the PV button on the front of the camera and regardless of what AF area mode you’re currently in, it will switch you back to single point as long as the button is held in (demo in the video). This is really handy when you’re in Group AF and your subject gets into a tight area (since Group AF loves to focus on the vegetation around the critter instead of on the critter itself).
For the Fn1 button, I have it set to cycle through Image Area Mode (1.2X, 1.5DX, etc.). The reason for this is that the buffer capacity of this camera is somewhat limited and switching to a crop mode will increase buffer depth. And, if I’m going to crop back home anyway, I figure I might as well just do it in the field and enjoy the gains.
To set, head to custom setting F1, and choose Fn1 button + dial turn (the right hand column). Select “Choose image area” from the resulting menu. You’ll also notice an arrow on the right of this menu. Give it a press and you can even select which image areas you want to scroll through. Way faster than setting this stuff via the menu!
Oh, and another cool option for crop modes is called “Masking” and is found under the Photo Shooting Menu > Image section. Look for an item called Viewfinder mask display. Turn that on and kiss those useless crop outlines goodbye. Instead, you’ll have a handy, semi-transparent mask to show you your image area. Try it, you’ll like it!
Frame Rate: This is set to maximum frame rate (7 or 9, depending on if you have a grip). Keep it at maximum for the best variety of wingbeats/expressions and shoot in short, controlled bursts whenever there’s something cool under your AF point.
Shutter Speed: I’ve been keeping my shutter speed at 1/3200 or higher for most of my birds in flight shots and that seems to keep my success rate pretty high. I have gone with lower speeds, but my keeper rate gets progressively more disappointing as my shutter speed drops (exactly like the D500 in fact). For faster birds, don’t be afraid to go to 1/5000th or higher if you have enough light.
F/Stop: This really depends on how much light I have at my disposal. Most of the time, I shoot wide open to keep noise to a minimum (usually F4) and capture those creamy, subject-isolating backgrounds. However, if it’s bright enough, I’ve been known to drop down to F5.6 for a little added depth-of-field fudge factor — especially with fast, tricky subjects.
ISO: This varies depending on the light of course, but I tend to cap out around ISO 6400 (preferring to keep it under ISO3200). Beyond that, I feel like I’m losing too much detail in the fur and feathers of my favorite subjects. About the only exception to that would be if something extraordinary was happening, but if I can get basically the same shot the next day in better light, I’ll wait (or grab the D5).
Also, I generally use Manual Mode with Auto ISO if I’m in an autoexposure kind of mood. With this method, I just set in the ISO range I want and choose the shutter speed and F/Stop I want to use. From there, the camera will float the ISO to give me a proper exposure. It’s either this or full manual mode, depending on the subject/scene.
See this video for more:
Nikon Approved Lenses For The D850
Now, for the “Nikon approved” lens list. As noted in the video, this list is chock-full of current lenses that Nikon wants to sell you. Many older discontinued lenses are NOT listed but would work just fine (like any big prime for example). Ditto for excellent third party glass. So, for what it’s worth:
AF-S NIKKOR 20 mm f / 1.8 G ED
AF-S NIKKOR 24 mm f / 1.4 G ED
AF-S NIKKOR 24 mm f / 1.8 G ED
AF-S NIKKOR 28 mm f / 1.4 E ED
AF-S NIKKOR 28 mm f / 1.8 G
AF-S NIKKOR 35 mm f / 1.4 G
AF-S NIKKOR 35 mm f / 1.8 G ED
AF-S NIKKOR 58 mm f / 1.4 G
AF-S NIKKOR 85 mm f / 1.4 G
AF-S NIKKOR 85 mm f / 1.8 G
AF-S NIKKOR 105 mm f / 1.4 E ED
AI AF DC-Nikkor 105 mm f / 2 D
AI AF DC-Nikkor 135 mm f / 2 D
AF-S NIKKOR 200 mm f / 2 G ED VR II
AF-S NIKKOR 300 mm f / 2.8 G ED VR II
AF-S NIKKOR 300 mm f / 4 E PF ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 400 mm f / 2.8 E FL ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 500 mm f / 4 G ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 500 mm f / 4 E FL ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 600 mm f / 4 E FL ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 800 mm f / 5.6 E FL ED VR
AF – S Fisheye NIKKOR 8 – 15 mm f / 3.5 – 4.5 E ED
AF-S NIKKOR 14-24 mm f / 2.8 G ED
AF – S NIKKOR 16 – 35 mm f / 4 G ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 24-70 mm f / 2.8 G ED
AF – S NIKKOR 24 – 70 mm f / 2.8 E ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 24 – 120 mm f / 4 G ED VR
AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200 mm f / 2.8 G IF-ED
AF-S NIKKOR 70-200 mm f / 2.8 G ED VR II
AF – S NIKKOR 70 – 200 mm f / 2.8 E FL ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 70-200 mm f / 4 G ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 80-400 f / 4.5 – 5.6 G ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 200-400 mm f / 4 G ED VR II
AF-S NIKKOR 200-500 mm f / 5.6 E ED VR
Macro / PC
AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60 mm f / 2.8 G ED
AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105 mm f / 2.8 G IF-ED
PC-E NIKKOR 24 mm f / 3.5 D ED
PC-E Micro NIKKOR 45 mm f / 2.8 D ED
PC-E Micro NIKKOR 85 mm f / 2.8 D
PC NIKKOR 19 mm f / 4 E ED
D850 ISO Comparisons
Next, we have the actual images from the video for ISO comparisons (100% crops, the D850 downsized to D5 and D810 size. The D500 was downsized to D850 DX size). Just click to enlarge and it will open on a new tab.
D850 vs D810
D850 vs D5
D850 in DX mode vs D500
D850 full frame downsampled vs D500 at ISO 6400
D850 Buffer Findings
Next, we have my buffer test findings. I may add more down the road, but for now this should get you started.
First, results from my normal, outside test scene (again, these can and will vary depending on the scene, don’t take the number as gospel).
14 bit 7 fps
14 bit – 9 FPS
12 bit – 7fps
12 bit – 9fps
Now, some figures I got with the lens cap on and viewfinder shutter closed. (The results are higher because it’s easy for the camera to compress and create a file when it’s just black.)
12 bit FX 9 fps = 48
12 bit 7 FPS = 193
14 bit FX 9 FPS = 26
14 bit FX 7 FPS = 51
I also tried a few rounds with higher ISOs. As you can see, the higher the ISO, the shallower the buffer:
12 bit 7 FPS ISO 6400 = 67
14 bit FX 6400 = 25
14 bit FX 5000 = 36
14 bit FX 3200 = 43
14 bit FX 1600 = 46
14 bit ISO 800 = 47
14 bit ISO 400 = 50
I also wanted to share the settings I typically set with I use Focus Shift Shooting (I wish they would have called it focus stacking, but what do I know…). Be sure to see the video for a quick intro.
Number Of Shots: 50+ (since the system stops at infinity)
Focus Width: 4
Interval Until Next Shot: 0 or 1
Exposure Smoothing: On (Off if you’re in manual mode)
Electronic Shutter: On
(I usually shoot landscapes between F/6.3 and F/8)
Number Of Shots: 20 (you can add more if needed)
Focus Width: 4
Interval Until Next Shot: 0 or 1 (set to 3 or 4 if electronic shutter is off)
Exposure Smoothing: On (Off if you’re in manual mode)
Electronic Shutter: On
(I usually shoot macros between F/8 and F/11)
Facebook Messenger Now Lets You Share Photos in 4K High Resolution
Facebook has just introduced the ability to share high-resolution photos on its Messenger app. This makes for a much better, and less compressed, visual user experience for the countless people who send photos to one another every day through the popular app.
“We’re making significant investments in how people communicate visually on Messenger,” says Facebook in a statement.
Photos up to 4,096px x 4,096px in size can now be shared at their maximum resolution. According to Facebook, the new photo sizes will be shared “just as quickly as before.”
These comparison images show the benefit of 4K photo-sharing on the app (the quality before is on the left, and the 4K resolution is on the right):
Once you have updated your app to the latest version, high-resolution photo-sharing will happen automatically since it’s the new default setting.
As of today, both Android and iPhone users in the US, Canada, France, Australia, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea will benefit from the 4K resolution sharing. Other countries will be added to the rollout in the coming weeks.
V’s Guide to the Most Covetable Black Friday Deals
The greatest holiday of the season is upon us—no, not Thanksgiving. Black Friday, the biggest shopping event of the season, is nudging our Thanksgiving dinners as many malls and big-box stores open their doors starting at 5PM on November 23, with the holiday rush continuing all night into the actual day of Black Friday. But as many fervent shoppers know, the best Black Friday deals can be found without leaving your cozy bed (and why would you want to after stuffing yourself?), starting now as…
Federal Court Sustains Vivian Maier Copyright Claim
A federal court in Chicago has ruled that the Vivian Maier Estate can proceed with copyright infringement and other claims against defendant Jeffrey Goldstein, who allegedly sold prints, set up exhibitions and licensed Maier’s images without authorization.
The ruling came in response to a motion by Goldstein to dismiss the estate’s claims against him.
The estate filed the claims last spring, seeking unspecified damages and lost profits for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and other alleged violations. Yesterday, the court rejected Goldstein’s motion to throw out any of the estate’s claims against him, clearing the way for a trial.
Maier died in 2009 without a will, without any known heirs, and also without any recognition as a photographer. The photographic prints, negatives and undeveloped film she left behind were discovered in a Chicago storage locker and sold to collectors after her death. Among the buyers was Goldstein, who began selling copies of Maier’s photographs on a website in 2010, and in galleries by 2012.
In 2014, the state of Illinois designated a state administrator to manage Maier’s estate. The administrator has been asserting control of Maier’s copyright ever since.
Goldstein asked the federal court to dismiss the estate’s copyright claim against him because he has a “rightful claim of ownership” to the Maier works, he says. He asserted that ownership because the works in dispute were “transferred before [Maier’s] death, making them not part of the estate.”
But the federal court kicked that argument to the curb: It said the transfer was after her death, but the timing was irrelevant anyway. The relevant issue, the court said, is that under federal copyright law, ownership of a physical copy of a work doesn’t convey ownership of any rights in the work. In other words, you can’t copy and distribute someone else’s creative work—whether it’s a photograph, book, recording or anything else—just because you possess a copy of it.
“Even if it were true that Goldstein bought certain Maier works prior to her death, ownership of those works would not entitle him to the copyright or provide a defense to infringement,” the court said. “Defendants [Goldstein] cite no authority to the contrary. Accordingly, plaintiff’s copyright claim will proceed.”
Goldstein also argued unsuccessfully that the federal court should throw out the claim because it interferes with the administration of an estate, and the disposal of a deceased person’s property. A so-called “probate exception” bars federal courts from getting involved in such cases because they fall under the jurisdiction of state courts, Goldstein argued.
But the federal court also rejected that argument, saying that the “probate exception” is extremely narrow. The copyright claim falls squarely and exclusively under federal court jurisdiction, outside the “probate exception,” and does not interfere with the (state) probate proceedings, the federal court said in its ruling.
A trial date for the estate’s claims has not been set.