Analog is Left but Digital is Right?

Analog is Left but Digital is Right?

Having learned photography in the time of manual analog film cameras, I know digital feels different. And for me, it’s all about the “left and right of photography.”

Analog photography is predominantly a left-handed pursuit but digital is predominantly right-handed. The question that begs to be asked is “what influence does this have on creativity?”. Or more importantly, your images?

I personally find that the right-hand operation of shutter and aperture makes for a rather clumsy interface. I suspect, however, that being left-handed is only part of the reason.

Left and Right of Photography Ergonomics

Digital cameras often use the right-hand for both carrying and to change aperture and shutter settings. The “index finger/thumb” wheel and the other settings buttons are for the right-hand on most digital cameras. Leica and Fuji are different, and we will come to that. But this general modern design requires a strength and dexterity that is unnecessary considering the left hand is so underemployed.

Creativity, Artistic and Technical

While the jury is still out on left or right brain dominance, there is a general acceptance that different brain halves are effective in different tasks. Indeed studies on people with brain damage have reinforced the abilities being oriented in this way. Disputed is mostly the belief that we are either/or in our thinking and not that the brain has separation.

Other studies have shown that people with brain damage can sometimes not even know what they have chosen when being asked to select objects from a bag. This led the researchers to deduce that communication between the analytical and abstract areas are distinct and independent.

This all may or may not be true, the whole story or not even close. But one has to ask: has anyone in the mainstream photography companies checked?

Have they tested the artistic composition with photographers on the two very different systems?

Perhaps this is a little unfair, but it seems that the mainstream companies are tripping over themselves to meet the features and megapixel counts while ignoring the most important component in photography, the photographer!

Composition and an artistic eye seem to count for so little in today’s post-production and spray-and-pray photography. Yet even if this left-hand influence affords a slight increase in artistic influence it could give us the edge.

Leica/Fuji/Analogue Retaining the Lefty Way!

Surprising in the modern photographic world is the persistence of Leica in retaining much of the older approach. More surprising is the fact that they still have a dedicated following. Fujifilm cameras similarly have focus and aperture left-handedly. Older film cameras from other manufacturers are also seeing a strong resurgence and appreciation.

Modern Leica cameras still rely on manual, left-handed aperture control and focusing.

Many will point out that most other digital cameras allow the left hand to control aperture and focus. However, the aperture control and focus go round and round without any tactile confirmation of position. The feeling in the fingers for the end stops and clicks are missing and automation in these cameras is the expected norm.

Cameras with a retention or reassertion of the lefty way can’t all be because of the visuals, cost, weight or effort with film usage. There must be some artistic and ergonomic benefit. It appears to me that most people using these cameras are artists.

Is this the “secret” to the Leica/Fuji/Analogue following?

Affordable digital lefty system

Like me, most will be faced with a cold hard reality that a Leica with the glass is an unaffordable dream. The best I have come up with is a Nikon DSLR with the older AIS lenses; wonderful glass and the combination needs no adapter. This gives me the engagement and immersion that I so sorely missed with affordable automated digital camera setups.

Fujifilm’s X100, and others cameras, also provide the more traditional hand balance. Interestingly, I feel as comfortable and creative with my father’s X100 as I do with my hybrid Nikon setup.

Hybrid digital-analog lefty based digital setups can be created from Canon, Sony and the others too. So individual manufacturer preferences are by no means restricting a little personal experimentation. Best of all is the cost to experiment is actually cheap. Good manual legacy glass and an adapter for under $100 is realistic.

So does it affect pictures?

Clearly, this question is only open to those who try and compare. With my personal experience of both manual analog and modern digital, I can say, for my creativity and images it does. I feel more engaged, immersed and connected with my subject. I am also happier with the composition and timing in my portrait, street and event photography, something I find difficult with a right-hand dominant camera.

Is this only personal and a left-handed thing or is it a “creative something” that could impact all photographers? I don’t know but I think we need to test and debate this!

About the author: Alex Jackson-Smith has been a photographer for over 30 years. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Jackson-Smith’s work on his website and Flickr. This article was also published here.

Source: PetaPixel

Analog is Left but Digital is Right?

Location of New Giant Cave Being Kept Secret to Thwart ‘Instagram Tourists’

Location of New Giant Cave Being Kept Secret to Thwart ‘Instagram Tourists’

A giant cave has been discovered in British Columbia, Canada, and the opening is large enough to fit the Statue of Liberty inside. But the location of the cave in Wells Gray Provincial Park is being kept a closely guarded secret in order to keep Instagram tourists away from the spot.

The New York Times reports that the cave was first noticed back in early spring when a group of researchers in a helicopter conducting a wildlife census noticed a “black hole” in a snowy slope.

After being made aware of the sighting, geologist Dr. Catherine Hickson raised some funding and assembled a team to visit the location once the snow melted in September.

What they found upon arrival after a 50-minute helicopter ride to the northeast corner of the park was one of the biggest caves in Canada and one that was previously undiscovered. The opening is about 330 feet long, 200 feet across, and at least 450 feet deep (but it’s believed to be deeper).

“As far as North America goes, this is a honking big cave,” Royal Canadian Geographical Society governor John Pollack tells the Times. “It’s one of the biggest in Canada,” he said, “and certainly one of the most spectacular.”

A still frame from the aerial video by Catherine Hickson/Canadian Geographic. The red box is the rough size of an adult for scale.

The cave is tentatively being called “Sarlacc’s Pit” due to its resemblance to the desert pit creature in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

And to prevent a sudden onslaught of adventure and photo seekers from impacting the cave, researchers aren’t revealing exactly where it is.

“The exact location of the cave has not been divulged, partly to discourage Instagram tourists and amateur climbers,” the Times writes.

There has been a movement against geo-tagging (both manual and automatic) locations in photos shared online, as picturesque spots across the world have been marred by exploding foot traffic in recent years. Just last month, Jackson Hole began an ad campaign pleading with the public to stop tagging locations in the famous Wyoming valley.

Unless people do find out the location against the cave researchers’ wishes, the team will have peace and quiet during two more planned expeditions over the next couple of years.

Source: PetaPixel

Location of New Giant Cave Being Kept Secret to Thwart ‘Instagram Tourists’

KIPON Unveils the First 3rd-Party Lenses for Canon R and Nikon Z

KIPON Unveils the First 3rd-Party Lenses for Canon R and Nikon Z

While the Canon EF and Nikon F lens mount ecosystems are teeming with 3rd-party lenses, the new Canon R and Nikon Z full-frame mirrorless lens mounts completely lacked 3rd-party glass… until now. The Chinese brand KIPON has announced that it’s the first out of the gate.

KIPON’s new ELEGANT series of lenses will be the world’s first 3rd-party full-frame lenses designed specifically for the Canon R mount and Nikon Z mount.

“After 6 years non-stop learning for how to make high quality lenses, KIPON accumulated rich experience now,” the company states. “The reason why we use ELEGANT to name this lineup is because we want to transfer exactly how we develop these lenses from design to manufacture. They are consistent with our inertial thinking and philosophy about developing products in our company.”

There are 5 initial lenses on the ELEGANT roster: the 24mm f/2.4 for $499, 35mm f/2.4 for $468, 50mm f/2.4 for $325, 75mm f/2.4 for $355, and 90mm f/2.4 for $386.

All five lenses are set to start shipping before the end of December 2018. Keep your eye on the company’s Amazon store if you’d like to pick one or more of these lenses up right when they become available.

(via KIPON via Canon Rumors)

Source: PetaPixel

KIPON Unveils the First 3rd-Party Lenses for Canon R and Nikon Z

LP Digs Deep on Heart to Mouth

LP Digs Deep on Heart to Mouth
For music buffs of a certain generation, the stage name of New York-born singer-songwriter Laura Pergolizzi, a.k.a. LP, may conjure the black lacquer vinyls of yesteryear—a fitting association given LP’s raw, full-throated sound and 70s-inflected style that, in today’s synth-heavy, streaming-dominated landscape, allow LP to hover somewhere between nostalgia and novelty, black-and-white and 4D.

It’s that combination that propelled the breakout success of LP’s 2016 album Lost on You,…

Keep on reading: LP Digs Deep on Heart to Mouth
Source: V Magazine

LP Digs Deep on Heart to Mouth

A Guide To Surf Photography: Tips and Techniques

A Guide To Surf Photography: Tips and Techniques

It always takes time to really master any craft that you choose, and the same rings true for surf photography. I have spent countless hours in and out of the water over the years with the aim to improve my surfing pictures each time I enter the water. I find that no matter how much you think you know, there is always more to learn.

If you’re just getting started in surf photography or you’re fairly experienced and just looking to improve your techniques, this article has something for everyone. It contains and range of surf photography tips and techniques which will have you shooting like a pro in no time.

Understanding Your Equipment

Before we begin to get into the camera settings its worth discussing the type of equipment you will need. Just like camera lenses, different pieces of equipment have different uses. So if you have a particular type of surf picture you would like to take then this is worth noting.


It goes without saying that the camera is easily the most obvious piece of equipment that you will be needing. Unfortunately, there isn’t a go-to camera for surf photography, so it’s at your discretion which camera you decide to use. If the camera your using takes photos then your off to a good start but if you’re looking to purchase a new camera, I would personally aim for a camera which has a good focusing system and has a high frame rate per second.


Just like in any other genre of photography, the type of lens you choose to use is going to have an impact on the type of photos you come home with. When it comes to surf photography there are a few other decisions which may impact the lens you decide to shoot with on the day but I’ll talk about that a little later in the article.

Wide Angle

Depending on if you are using zoom lenses or prime lenses, a wide angle can offer a great deal of versatility. A wide-angle lens can range from 15mm all the way up to 24mm. I like to shoot with Canon’s 16-35mm f/2.8 because the focal length gives me a little more range to play with when it’s in the housing.

A wide angle will allow you to take shots from in front of the barrel or shoulder of the wave as well as any underwater shots that you have in mind. I’m guessing that your thinking the wider the better right? If that’s the case, it’s worth noting that wider lenses will push your subject further away in order to fit more in the frame which means you will have to sit closer to your subject.


If you want to sit inside the barrel and get everything in the frame then the fisheye is your go-to lens. You will need to be about 3-4 meters away from your subject to really utilize these lenses full potential. In addition, they can also take some pretty nice underwater shots when the wave passes by.


Although they are bigger and a little more comparison to swim with, telephoto lenses are perfect for those long-range shots. Using a telephoto lens will also give you the ability to shoot a little more artistically.


The housing is one of two pieces of equipment that will ensure your camera stays dry when using it in the surf. The housing is what the body of your camera will sit in.

When deciding which housing to buy it’s worth paying close attention to the type of controls your housing will come with as these can vary from model to model. It’s important to understand this because once you are in the surf, you cannot pull your camera out to change the settings. Essentially you want to be able to control the exposure, aperture, and ISO while in the water as well as being able to zoom and move your focus point around.


The port is the second piece of equipment which goes together with the housing to keep your gear dry. The port will go over the lens and attach to the housing, sealing your equipment in. There are two main types of ports and each one will have a different use, so I’ve had listed them below to help you get your head around it.

Flat Port (Dry Port)

Probably one of the most common ports, this port is designed specifically for shooting above the water. Although it can take nice underwater shots its intended use was for above-surface shooting.

Dome Port (Wet Port)

The dome port is designed to be used below the surface or for obtaining those split shots (above and below). The dome port pushes that water further away from the front of your lens and this is what makes the above and below shots possible. It’s for this reason that it will also keep your images sharper while shooting underwater.

Shooting Location

In a similar way to how a lens governs the type of shots you take, where you position yourself in the surf will have the same effect. Once you have an understanding of your equipment you will need to decide where you plan to position yourself when in the water.

I usually like to also analyze the size of the surf before making this decision. This will usually come down to how confident you are in the surf. For example, if it’s quite big and you aren’t that confident in big waves, I would probably avoid shooting with a fisheye.

Inside the Barrel

If you plan to shoot from inside the barrel with the surfer then you will need a fisheye lens with a dome port and that’s all there is to it. I recommend a lens in the range of 8-15mm.

From the Channel

If you are going to be shooting from the safety of the channel then you will be needing a telephoto lens and flat port to really zoom in on the action. In this case, I use Canon’s 70-200mm f/2.8.

In Front Of the Barrel

I like to refer to this location as being somewhere in between the channel and sitting inside the barrel. Sitting in this location, I find a wide angle or short range telephoto lens with a dry port to be the most effective. Anything from 16-70mm will do nicely.


For the best underwater results, I would probably lean towards using a wide angle lens, anything from 16-24mm or fisheye at about 8-15mm coupled with a dome port.

Shooting settings

The type of conditions you will be shooting in and the amount of available light (Sunny, cloudy or time of day etc) will have a direct impact on the settings you use. It’s for this reason, I cannot give you an exact setting that will work in all conditions but I can give you a guide to the settings that I use when I’m trying to achieve a certain photo.

Sharp Image with Everything in Focus

Because waves move very quickly, it’s important to shoot with a very fast shutter speed if you want your image to be tack sharp. In this scenario, I would normally shoot with a shutter speed of 1000th- 1250thof a second. If you plan to keep everything in focus I would aim to use an aperture of no less than f/7.1.

In order to always achieve an evenly exposed image, I would set my ISO to auto. The reason we do this is because the amount of light can vary incredibly from when the wave is far away compared to when it is directly on top of you. If it’s a sunny day, I will often set my exposure compensation to minus 2/3 in order to protect the details and highlights in the white wash.

Creating Movement with an Image

In contrast to creating a sharp image, an image which conveys movement means that parts of the image will be blurred. When trying to achieve this shot it’s best to shoot somewhere in the range of 16-24mm while sitting as close as possible to your subject. Sitting far away from your subject will not only mean that your subject is moving slower but it will also mean you need to use an even slower shutter speed to create the same amount of movement and this can introduce addition camera shake, especially if your shooting with a telephoto lens. It’s for this reason that it’s best to sit as close to your subject as possible and use a shorter focal length.

Keeping all this in mind, if you plan to keep your subject in focus while showing movement in the background, then pan with your subject while taking the photo. If you aren’t using an ND filter, a shot like this will only work early in the morning or later in the afternoon when there isn’t much light around. You can really get some nice results shooting the back of the wave from underwater when it passes as there is often limited light beneath the surface to.

For the above-mentioned shots I would shoot with shutter somewhere in the range of 20th– 30th of a second and set aperture so as to keep the ISO as low as possible. Another alternative would be to set the camera to shutter priority (TV) using the above-mentioned shutter speeds which would allow your camera to automatically determine the aperture. Additionally, I would still recommend using auto ISO, as the camera will determine an aperture which keeps the ISO relatively low. For both of these scenarios, I would still recommend shooting with an exposure compensation of minus 2/3rd’s.

Shallow Depth of Field

Whether you are trying to isolate your subject, highlight some details or create that bokeh effect when shooting in the surf, a shallow depth of field can really make your images sing. Before I say it’s as easy setting your aperture to as low as it will go, it’s important for you to understand what factors actually affect your depth of field.

1. Your aperture
2. The distance from your subject
3. Your focal length

As an example, your depth of field will vary greatly if you have an aperture of f/2.8, your subject is 2-3 meters away and you are zoomed in to 200mm compared to if your subject if 30 meters away and your using the same aperture and focal length.

Keeping this in mind, I normally set my aperture somewhere in between f/2.8-f/4 as this can leave you with some really nice effects. Using a wider aperture will also mean that you have more light coming through your lens which gives you the opportunity to shoot with a much faster shutter speed. Set your shutter speed as desired and continue to use auto ISO.


Another important factor to take into consideration before sealing your housing and jumping in the water is the focusing system that you use.


For all lenses with the exception of a fisheye its best to use autofocus. The first thing you want to do is change your cameras setting from One Shot to AI Servo for Canon or AF-C for Nikon users. This means that your camera will continually focus on your subject as it gets closer to you.

Then you want to set up the focus parameters, I personally find the best results are achieved when using the center point with four surrounding assist points. I find this more beneficial than using a single focus point when in the water because the four assist points give your camera a greater area to focus on which in turn means that it will achieve focus faster. The last thing I would want is for a single focus point to miss my subject and focus on something else.


If you plan to shoot with a fisheye then it’s best to shoot with your focus setting on manual. Shooting with a fisheye means that you are always going to have to sit within a few meters of your subject in order to achieve the best results. To set your manual focus prior to placing it in the housing, stand 3 meters away from a wall or object then focus the camera. Once your camera achieves focus switch it from auto to manual and then place your camera in the housings. The reason for manual focusing is because your subject will move very quickly when shooting this close and you don’t want to miss a frame while your camera tries to find focus.

Removing water Droplets

When shooting with both flat and dome ports it’s important to understand the different techniques that are used to prevent water droplets from building up on the front of the port. The last thing you want when you get home is to discover that your shots aren’t sharp or there was a giant blob of water on your port which completely ruined your shot.

Dome Port (Wet Port)

When it comes to shooting with a dome port the best thing you can do to prevent water beads is using saliva from your mouth by spitting on the perspex and rubbing it all over with your tongue or finger. Once done, wash the saliva off and inspect the port to see if the water continues to bead off.

You may need to do this a few times before the water stops beading. The saliva from your mouth will create a very thin film of water over the port for you to shoot through. To keep the saliva on the dome port for as long as possible, try to keep it submerged beneath the water. You will need to repeat this process every five minutes or so throughout your time in the surf to prevent water beading.

Flat Ports (Dry Port)

To prevent water beads from forming on the front of your flat port its best to do some preparation before entering the water. Take a non-scented candle and draw eight or so lines on the perspex. Once done, take a micro fiber cloth and rub the wax in until it’s not visible anymore. When you enter the water try to keep the perspex that you just applied wax to above the water. This will ensure the wax remains on the port for as long as possible. Prior to taking a shot, make sure you shake the housing or blow any water droplets off the front of the port.


Before taking your expensive equipment in the water, it’s very important to make sure all your gear and equipment is insured. There are always a number of risks that are associated with taking your equipment in the surf, so it always pays to have it covered. I have heard too many stories in the past, from leaky housings to impact damages resulting in drowned cameras.

Insuring your gear means that you will be able to put yourself in harm’s way to get the shot and know that if something goes wrong your not going to be out of pocket at the end of the day. Personally, I would never enter the water without it!


I feel that surf photography is one of the best categories of photography to shoot because its so much fun and at times can really get your adrenaline going. If you follow this article and do it right, you’ll come home with some incredible imagery. But don’t forget to also think about safety, not only for yourself but for others around you when you’re in the water.

P.S. Some of the prints seen in the images above and many more are available for purchase through the online print store at Lonely Hunter.

About the author: Richard Johnston is an award-winning Australia-based freelance photographer who publishes under the name Lonely Hunter online. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Johnston’s work on his photo site, wedding photo site, Facebook, and Instagram. This article was also published here.

Source: PetaPixel

A Guide To Surf Photography: Tips and Techniques

DIY Lighting Performance Boosters

DIY Lighting Performance Boosters

For many years, I have been modifying and adapting lighting and camera equipment to better fit my style of shooting. The process of altering lighting gear, as well as combining products that were not originally intended to work together, is of particular importance to me these days, as I constantly mix and match the best from many different brands.

I have always loved using ring flashes for close-up shooting. Earlier, high-end ring flashes from the major brands were rather heavy, and without modeling lights.

Around 2002, when Broncolor launched the more advanced Ringflash C, I shot their launch campaign but decided to forgo their mounting bracket. For my own use, I built a sturdy, dual rail system that allowed for easier and more secure camera mounting.

The Broncolor ring flash is not a self-contained unit — it requires a relatively heavy power pack and has a big cable that can slow one down on fast moves — when shooting on location, for example.

I now prefer to use the Godox/Flashpoint AR400 Ring Flash, which is a very convenient, self-contained unit. Unfortunately, this product has not been updated for a few years and does not have the built-in 2.4GHz system that is part of the company’s newer flashes.

However, this ring flash delivers great performance otherwise and also has a strong LED modeling light function. I find it works best with a sync cable, which is a small compromise, given the many other advantages of this light. It also is not very heavy.

Like all the other ring flash models available on the market today, the AR400 comes standard with the typical camera mounting bracket that I personally find unusable. Therefore, I decided once again to build my own bracket from various RRS, Broncolor and Elinchrom parts.

Taking advantage of the 1/4″ stand mount on the AR400, this DYI bracket was easy to put together. It adds excellent ergonomics and one can hand hold the contraption without strain.

I also love shooting with Broncolor Paras. I worked with the Para 330 since 1999, as I also photographed the original launch campaign for the brand.

Over the years, Broncolor has updated the design of the Para many times, and it is now available in several sizes. I use the 88, 133 and 222, but I recently thought of an un-intended application that delivers great results! The Focusing Tube and Tube Mount from the Para 88 can readily be used for indirect lighting setups, with a number of other modifiers, as long as these modifiers come with a Broncolor speed ring or Broncolor mount.

The smooth and well-designed Broncolor focusing system is far superior in my opinion than other similar products out there. My two favorite modifiers to use in this rogue combination are Broncolor’s own Beauty Box 65, and Elinchrom’s Rotalux 100 Octabox.

In my opinion, both modifiers are greatly improved when used with indirect lighting, and the focusing system allows to perfectly adjust the position of the flash head into the sweet spot. I like to fill these modifiers very evenly with light, so in both cases, the flash tube pretty much lines up with the outer edges of the modifiers.

Like the ring flash, these two modifiers deliver the best result when used fairly close to the subject. At such close range, the relatively large size of the beauty dish and the octabox can get it in the way of the camera, and one normally has to rig them from above or from the side. In order to be able to position them straight on, I decided to add a double slide zipper into one the panels of each modifier, to allow shooting directly through them!

This idea is not new, and one can find a few soft boxes that come standard with a zipper. The issue is that the few available models with zippers are generally of somewhat parabolic type, and therefore quite focused in character. I prefer to use more shallow and wider angle designs.

Installing a zipper is extremely easy, any local sewing shop can do it for little cost. This is ideal for many types of close up and macro applications when one is not interested in directional lighting or lots of shadows.

Another interesting combination comes also from Flashpoint. The Magnum reflector seems intended to be used on the standard larger units, such as the 600 Pro. However, to my initial surprise, this large reflector performs superbly well with the small bare bulb of the Evolv 200 and the AD-B2 bracket.

This combo yields tremendous power and is ideal for HSS in the brightest sunlight. This creates a very spotted light, closely comparable to a fully spotted fresnel at close distance. This combination works best for shooting with a longer lens, for close- up shooting, but is still impressive when used further out.

For some reason, the small flash tube of the Evolv 200, hits the Magnum in such an optimal way, that the resulting output is nothing short of phenomenal. In addition, this is a very inexpensive setup, which makes it even harder to believe how well it works. Comparably, the same Magnum on the 600 Pro works just fine but is not as exciting and dramatic as when used with its smaller cousin.

About the author: Markus Klinko is an international fashion/celebrity photographer who has worked with many of today’s most iconic stars of film, music, and fashion. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Klinko’s work on his website and Instagram.

Source: PetaPixel

DIY Lighting Performance Boosters

Canon to Unveil 5-Axis In-Body IS in Next EOS R Camera: Report

Canon to Unveil 5-Axis In-Body IS in Next EOS R Camera: Report

Canon officially joined the full-frame mirrorless camera wars back in September with its new EOS R, but one of the glaring omissions from the features list was in-body image stabilization (IBIS). But that may soon change: Canon will reportedly be including IBIS in the next EOS R camera.

Canon Rumors is hearing from a “pretty good source” that 5-axis IBIS will be in the upcoming EOS R series body.

Canon has long stuck with keeping its image stabilization (IS) system in its lenses as competitors such as Nikon and Sony have placed 3-axis and 5-axis IBIS systems (respectively) in their mirrorless cameras.

An illustration of Sony’s 5-axis IBIS system.

“We feel that in-lens IS is the optimum system for image stabilization,” Canon UK product consultant David Parry told Digital Camera World back in September. “With an in-body IS system you are creating something that needs to work over lots of different types of lenses and different lens groups, so you don’t get a dedicated system for that particular lens.

“All lenses move in different ways, and you get different types of shake depending on what kind of lens you’re using, so dedicating the IS system to the particular lens is, for us, the optimum way of doing it – but that’s not to say that we aren’t looking at in-body IS.”

On the contrary, it seems Canon has been looking at in-body IS and doesn’t intend to let this feature gap remain for long as rivals continue to polish their technologies.

One of the big challenges will be figuring out how to make a new IBIS system play along nicely with Canon’s existing IS-capable lenses.

“We’re not sure how this is going to work with in-lens stabilization, but if Canon could figure out a way to make the systems work together to improve performance, that would be a big step forward,” Canon Rumors says.

Source: PetaPixel

Canon to Unveil 5-Axis In-Body IS in Next EOS R Camera: Report

The World’s First Titanium Hollow Tripod Ballhead. Price Tag: $499

The World’s First Titanium Hollow Tripod Ballhead. Price Tag: 9

The Denver-based tripod maker Colorado Tripod Company has announced the world’s first hollow titanium ballhead. It’s called the Highline Ballhead Titanium, and it’s designed to be ultra-light, ultra-strong, and ultra-versatile.

“Although the process of extracting titanium from its ore is costly, designers consider it valuable enough for specialty applications such as aerospace, where its combination of strength-to-weight and corrosion resistance is unrivaled,” the company says.

This isn’t the first-ever titanium ballhead of any kind, though, as Gitzo released a 90th-anniversary edition of the GT90TT with a titanium ballhead back in 2007, though only 390 of those $2,500 kits were made.

The Highline titanium ballhead is 40% lighter than high-strength steel but just as strong. And by hollowing out the ballhead, which is machined from a solid block of titanium, the designers managed to reduce the ball weight by 52%.

Despite its lightness, design decisions purportedly give the system an incredibly strong hold.

“By re-engineering internal locking mechanisms, the Highline Ballhead features an incredibly strong 54lb locking force – more than double the locking force of Manfrotto, Gitzo, Vanguard and many other industry leaders,” Colorado Tripod Company says.

The company has also focused its attention on the handedness of its ballheads.

“For decades tripod companies have optimized ballheads for right-handed use relative to the drop location for vertical shooting,” it says. “Since cameras are right-handed, why don’t ballhead companies optimize the ballhead knobs for the left hand?”

The Highline Ballhead is optimized for left-handed operation through the window design and tension knob orientation, allowing the photographer’s right hand to be free for handling the camera.

Finally, the company worked to provide increased range compared to existing ballheads on the market.

“For over 100 years, the drop window (the cutout area on the side of the ballhead) has been fixed to a 90-degree drop,” it says. “Once the 90-degree limit has been reached, the photographer must adjust the tripod legs to go lower to achieve a level shot.

“With decades and billions in revenue why haven’t the tripod companies increased range of motion beyond 90-degrees?”

The Highline Ballhead features a new patent-pending enlarged opening design that expands the range of motion beyond 90-degrees.

Here’s what some professional photographers have to say about the Highline Ballhead:

Colorado Tripod Company is launching the new Highline Ballhead through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. There are two variants: an “ordinary” aluminum version and the groundbreaking titanium one.

A pledge of $79 or more can possibly get you an aluminum one (retail price $99) if the company successfully delivers on its goals, and a contribution of $399 could get you one of the first titanium ones (retail price $499). The company is aiming to ship the first units in March 2019.

(via Kickstarter via Canon Rumors)

Source: PetaPixel

The World’s First Titanium Hollow Tripod Ballhead. Price Tag: 9

Astrophotography: How to Photograph the Stars

Astrophotography: How to Photograph the Stars

Before we get started, it’s essential to understand that astrophotography takes time and practice in order to achieve good results, so don’t get frustrated if you don’t nail it on the first go.

When it comes to photographing the night sky there isn’t an exact setting which is going to achieve the same results across the board. This is due to the amount atmospheric light which is available in your area. So in order to help get you started, I’ve decided to write a guide on “how to photograph the stars.”

The aim is to shed some light on the type of equipment you will need and give you a general starting point for where your settings ‘should’ be so that you can head out into the night and have some fun with it.

Gear and Equipment


You are going to need a DSLR camera or a camera which allows you to manually control the shutter speed, the aperture, and the ISO. An automatic camera just isn’t going to get you the results you’re after.


You will need a lens which has a really large aperture. This is the ‘f’ number you can usually find printed somewhere on the lens. Another way to tell how wide the aperture of your lens is, is by adjusting the aperture setting on the camera (how low will the number go?). This is going to control the amount of light which comes in through your lens. Because you are going to be shooting at night a lens which has a greater opening (smaller ‘f’ number) is better.


You are going to need some form of a tripod, the sturdier the better. This is because you’re going to be shooting long exposures and this means your camera is going to need to stay incredibly still for a given period of time. Any camera shake will result in blurry photos and we don’t want that.

Remote Trigger

This isn’t essential but it’s always a handy tool to have in the camera bag. It will help you avoid camera shake when you push the shutter release button down. A handy workaround to this, if you don’t have one, is simply using the timer function on your camera to delay taking the photo by 2 seconds, that way you will be nowhere near the camera when the photo is taken. You can also use the remote trigger to engage the bulb setting on your camera which will allow you to shoot exposures longer than 30 seconds.


This is a great item to have in your kit. You can use a flashlight during long exposures to help paint in the subjects in the foreground of your image. For example, this could be used to paint in a tree or some rocks etc. You can even use a flashlight creatively if you want to jump in the shot. I’m sure you have all seen the images which float around the internet of people pointing the flashlight up to the stars in their photos?


Night Sky

The location is very important when it comes to astrophotography. You want to find the darkest place possible, which means you want to avoid being anywhere near big cities or small towns. When it comes to star photography, we like to refer to the light emitted from cities and towns as light pollution due to the fact that it makes seeing the stars harder. The most ideal places to photograph the night sky are international dark sky reserves. This is where you will find the stars to be at their brightest because there will be little to no light pollution. Have a search on Google to see if there is an international dark sky reserve near you.


When I am looking for a location to photograph the night sky, I usually tend to visit the area during the day prior to heading out a night. The reason I do this is because I like to look for a subject or a point of interest that I can include in my photos. This way, not only will you have the bright stars in the background of your shot but you will also have a subject in the foreground.

Camera Settings

Shutter Speed
You want to use a long exposure time (slow shutter speed) when doing astrophotography, this will give your camera’s sensor enough time to record those little dots of flickering light. Usually, a good place to start is somewhere in between 20 seconds and 30 seconds. If you want to avoid any form of star trails, then use the rule of 600. Because we are stationary in our position on earth, as the earth spins the stars will very slowly move across the sky in front of our camera, which will cause the stars to create a trail of light. These photos can be incredibly unique in their own right but if you want to avoid that, divide 600 by the focal length you are shooting at. In my case its almost always 16mm because I want to fit as many stars in my shot as possible. 600/16 = 37.5 which means that I can use a shutter speed of 37 seconds before the stars begin to create trails in my photo.

But on the other, hand if your aim is to capture star trails then my advice would be to take a series of photos, one immediately after the other. In most cases, I would take a series of 100 photos and create the star trail in post-processing. Read on for how to achieve this in post-processing.


Usually when it comes to setting your aperture, its best to shoot as wide as your lens allows (smallest ‘f’ number). This will let the largest amount of light into your camera. This means that you can shoot with a lower ISO which is almost always desirable or a slower shutter speed if desired. The lowest my lenses allow me to go is f2.8, so that’s what I always shoot with when photographing the stars.


Your ISO will usually range anywhere from 800 – 2000. I personally try to use a slower shutter speed (longer exposure time) and keep my ISO towards the lower end of that scale. Doing it this way creates less noise in my images.


When it comes to focusing you want to set your lens to manual focus and adjust it to infinity, this is the safest bet when shooting distant objects. Most lenses do have a mark which tells you what infinity is. This is a little ‘L’ or ‘I’ on the focusing ring of your lens. Once set, take a photo and then zoom in on the stars using the LCD panel and magnifying glass button on the back of the camera. If it’s not 100% sharp, try adjusting the focus ever so slightly and taking another shot. Repeat until the stars are in focus. If you want to focus on a tree or subject in the foreground then I usually set the camera to autofocus, point the flashlight at the subject to light it and focus until your camera tells you that focus has been achieved. I then switch back to manual focus without bumping the focusing ring, this means all your images will be in focus and sharp.

Lens Stabilization

Some lenses have this option and some don’t. If your lens has a stabilization control, then you want to switch it off when shooting long exposures with a tripod. Doing this prevents the camera/lens from continually trying to auto-stabilize any shake. We do this because the tripod is already stabilizing the camera for us and this will lead to sharper photos.

Post Processing


Don’t be disappointed if the images on the back of the camera don’t look exactly like the images you have seen on the internet or in magazines. When it comes to astrophotography a lot of the magic will happen in post-processing. This is where you can adjust some important settings like the highlights, the whites, the exposure, and even some clarity in order to really help those stars’ pop.


If you took a series of star photos because your aim is to create star trails then import all the photos into Lightroom and apply your desired adjustments to a single image. Now sync the adjustments applied to the single image across every other image in the series and import them into photoshop as layers. Once they are all imported, highlight all the images. Then in the layer’s tab adjust the setting from normal to lighten and boom! There are your light trails.

P.S. Some of the prints seen in the images above and many more are available for purchase through the online print store at Lonely Hunter.

About the author: Richard Johnston is an award-winning Australia-based freelance photographer who publishes under the name Lonely Hunter online. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Johnston’s work on his photo site, wedding photo site, Facebook, and Instagram. This article was also published here.

Source: PetaPixel

Astrophotography: How to Photograph the Stars