How to Take Better Photos of Festivals and Celebrations

Mitchell K is not only a brilliant photographer, but also creates the most engaging videos of his travels. This one is no exception, and whilst a little longer than the videos we normally share, it’s an engaging, informative and inspiring lesson from Mitchell on how to get better photos at festivals and celebrations.

The video was filmed in a few locations in Peru. I’ll share parts of my adventure. You’ll even see how I almost killed myself driving over a high mountain pass at night. The main focus, though – is on the travel photography tips and advice. When you finish watching this video, you’ll have a much better idea about photographing festivals, celebrations and gatherings of people. It is almost 30 minutes long, but, I do really believe that it’s worth your time.
– Mitchell Kanashkevich

Mitchell has authored 3 great books for dPS – if you love his style, grab this quick offer to get 50% off these titles. Just use the code MITCHELLK50 (expires 31 October 2018):

Transcending Travel


Captivating Color

Natural Light

You can also check out more free tips on the blog:

Photographing Festivals and Events – Tips for Travel Photographers

Beginner’s Guide to Photographing Festivals

20 Tips for Photographing Historical Reenactments and Festivals

The post How to Take Better Photos of Festivals and Celebrations appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Google Pixel 3 XL sample gallery

The Pixel 3 represents another step forward in computational photography for Google's smartphone line. Introducing features like super-resolution digital zoom, a synthetic fill-flash effect and learning-based Portrait Mode improvements are just a few ways that the company is making the most of a single main camera. We've just started testing the Pixel 3 XL, but in the meantime take a look at some sample images.

We've included some Raw conversions and made Raws available for download where possible; however, please note that Raw support appears to be preliminary. Default conversions are very flat and require significant post-processing. We expect this to be remedied soon with proper profiles.

845 Half a Terabyte

Aubrey has a tip regarding Digital Asset Management, Rafael wants to shoot flat architectural drawings and wonders what camera and lens to use and ONE of the cameras that were announced at Photokina peaks Chris’ interest: the Zeiss ZX1.

Photo by Brittany Gaiser



Photo Tours with Chris Marquardt
» Aug 2018: Ireland — Giant's Causeway
» Sep 2018: Norway — Lofoten Fantastic Fjords
» Oct 2018: Morocco
» Feb 2019: Arctic: Fantastic Fjords Tour 1
» Feb 2019: Arctic: Fantastic Fjords Tour 2
» Jun 2019: Silk Road Kyrgyztan
» Oct 2019: Romaina Fall Colors
» Feb 2020: Lake Baikal, Siberia
» Sep 2020: Ireland, The Wild Atlantic Way
» all photo tours

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Canon EOS R teardown: Roger Cicala takes a look inside Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless, 2018

It's been less than two weeks since the Canon EOS R started shipping and already Roger Cicala, founder of Lens Rentals, has taken one apart in incredible detail to see what's inside.

Per his usual routine for gear teardowns, Cicala makes notes of various features and components found inside the camera along the way., 2018

The EOS R teardown started with the removal of the adhesive grip tape from around the body of the camera to better see where all of the screws are. From there, the Cicala stripped the EOS R of its various elements piece by piece from the outside in.

While Cicala called it 'a rather a boring disassembly," the resulting photos and look inside the camera are anything but. Canon appears to have done a solid job across the board considering the price point and feature set of the camera, but there's certainly room for improvements., 2018

The buttons on the camera are thoroughly protected with weather-sealing gaskets, but the body itself is only water-resistant by tightly overlapping two pieces of the seams of the polycarbonate frame. In Cicala's own words, "that means, I think, that it will be fine in a misty rain for a while, but don’t get it saturated and don’t set it somewhere wet.", 2018

Cicala also notes that "it’s not very crowded inside [the EOS R]," meaning there's plenty of room to pack in more features and tech inside if Canon decides to do so. He specifically mentions that much of the extra space he noticed between the circuit board and image sensor is where the in-body stabilization (IBIS) is seen inside the Sony A7R III he took apart. But don't hold your breath for seeing IBIS in future EOS R cameras. Cicala adds "Canon has been very clear that they think lens stabilization is superior.", 2018

Overall, Cicala says the EOS R appears to follow most of the design and engineering elements of past Canon DSLR cameras. "It was rather a boring disassembly, really, about what we should expect for Canon doing a Canon 6D Mark II quality mirrorless camera [...] It’s neatly laid out and nicely engineered inside.", 2018

To see more photos and more thorough insights from Cicala, head on over to the full Canon EOS R teardown. Cicala notes that a similar dissection of Nikon's Z7 is complete and will be written up as soon as he can get around to it.

Yashica’s comeback camera hit by claims of delays and poor quality

The Kickstarter campaign for Yashica’s digitFilm Y35 camera has produced a wave of complaints about delays in shipping product as well as cameras that don’t work. Running with the foreshadowing strapline ‘Expect the Unexpected,’ the campaign seems to be delivering on its promise to be unexpected by giving some of the 6935 backers exactly what they weren't hoping for.

The campaign raised HK $10,035,296 (approx. $1,280,225) for the firm and promised a digital camera that you load with different ‘film cassettes’ that apply specific styles to the pictures. While a delivery date of April 2018 was given at the time of the launch many backers have yet to receive their cameras.

In the last update, on 18th September, the company explained that they are dealing with 38 different combinations of product, and that they were working hard to get orders completed by the end of the month. However, four weeks later the feedback section is 3900 comments long, and while some are complaining that their camera hasn’t arrived others say the shutter button doesn’t work or that the camera switches off unexpectedly.

One user who has received his camera tells those who haven’t to stop complaining, as the product is so bad they’ll be happier now than when it arrives.

The picture isn’t much brighter on Indiegogo where the project took the total raised to $1,515,695, as more investors are making the same complaints. The principle problem seems to be the lack of communication from the manufacturer that's leaving customers in the dark about their cameras and their money.

This hasn’t been a good period for camera-related campaigns on crowd-funding sites, as this failure comes right after the collapse of Meyer Optik Gorlitz, and its associated brands, which left many photographers out of pocket and without the costly products they had backed.

5 Adobe Lightroom Plugins That Will Make Your Life Easier

5 Lightroom plugins that will make your life easier

We all love Lightroom.

There’s a reason it became an essential part of a photographer’s workflow. It’s powerful, easy to use, and helps make your photos come alive.

But what if I said you could make it even easier to use while adding a new dynamic to your editing process?

Well, plugins can do just that.

Being able to extend Lightroom’s capabilities with third-party plugins is one of the things I love most about it. And it’s something most people overlook.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to five Lightroom plugins I use and couldn’t live without.

But first…


How to install Lightroom plugins

Installing Lightroom plugins is pretty straightforward. They all use the same six-step installation process.

  1. Unzip the ZIP file for the plugin, and move the unzipped file to a folder on your computer. Note: The unzipped files can’t be moved or deleted after installation, or the plugin will stop working.
  2. From Lightroom’s File menu, select ‘Plug-in Manager’.

How to install Lightroom plugins

  1. Click the ‘Add’ button near the bottom of the dialog box.

How to install Lightroom plugins - Plugin Manager

  1. Navigate to folder you chose in step 1.

How to install Lightroom plugins - Folder selection

  1. Open the folder and highlight the file with the ‘.lrplugin’ extension, then click ‘Add Plug-in’.

How to install Lightroom plugins - selecting the plugin

  1. Restart Lightroom to complete the installation of your new plugin.

Note: with the 7.5 release of Adobe Lightroom, some newer plugins now have the extension of .xmp rather than .lrtemplate or .lrplugin. This is so they can be used in both Lightroom and Photoshop.

In this case, go to Lightroom->Preferences and select ‘Show Lightroom Develop Presets’. This will open the Presets window. Select the ‘Settings’ folder, and simply drag and drop your unzipped file into the Settings Folder and restart Lightroom.

If you don’t have the ‘Show Lightroom Develop Presets’ link select the ‘Show Lightroom Presets Folder’. This will open the Presets window. Select the ‘Lightroom’ then ‘Develop Presets’ folder, and simply drag and drop your unzipped file into the folder and restart Lightroom.

Now that you know how to install Lightroom plugins, let me show you five that will save you time and effort during your next mammoth editing session.


The Fader

The Fader is probably the plugin I use the most. Its main advantage becomes clear when you’re using presets.

It works as a master slider that controls all the different tools within Lightroom. Moving the slider will adjust all the edits a particular preset makes at the same time and in equal measures.

If you’re working on an edit and haven’t applied a preset, but you still want to use The Fader, simply create a new preset using the image you’re working on as a template and adjust it from there.

To create a new preset, click either a filter tool (graduated or radial) or the brush tool, and from the drop-down menu select ‘Save Current Settings as New Preset’.

Lightroom plugins - The Fader

Whether you create your own presets or download other people’s, chances are you’ve experienced this situation: You apply a preset to one photo and it looks great, but when you apply it to another, it’s completely over the top and looks terrible.

Normally you’d have to reduce each tool individually. But with The Fader you can reduce them all at once using the slider. Just open The Fader (File -> Plug-in Extras -> The Fader), select the preset you want to apply, and then use the opacity slider to increase or decrease the preset’s overall strength.

Lightroom plugins - The Fader 2


LR Backup

LR Backup does exactly what it says it does – back up your Lightroom catalog. But it gives you a few extra features the standard backup tool doesn’t provide.

Why is it important to back up your catalog? Because it contains a record of every edit you’ve made to your images. You might have backups of your RAW files, but without a backup of your Lightroom catalog they’ll be just that: RAW images with no editing applied.

LR Backup lets you make manual backups of the Lightroom catalog without having to exit the program, which you need to do when using the built-in backup tool. But what makes this plugin really useful is its ability to schedule backups.

Lightroom plugins - LR Backup

It also compresses the backup to almost 10% of its original size, which is particularly useful when you have a large database of edited images.

While a free version of LR Backup is available, you need to make a donation to the creator to unlock its full functionality. But the donation can be as small or as large as you like. It’s totally up to you.



If you create time-lapse videos using your camera’s intervalometer, you’ll need an easy way to batch edit the images so you don’t have to do them one by one.

LRTimelapse makes time-lapse videos easy. It comes in both free and paid-for versions as either a standalone product or a Lightroom plugin. And what I really love about it is how the plugin integrates with Lightroom.

Lightroom plugins - LR Timelapse

By integrating LRTimelapse with Lightroom, you can create a few keyframes that you’ll edit in Lightroom and then export back into LRTimelapse. It then uses these edited keyframes to automatically and seamlessly edit the other time-lapse photos into a video that transitions smoothly and gradually from the first frame to the last.

It’s a great way to incorporate the power of editing in Lightroom into your next time-lapse video.


Focus Mask

The Focus Mask plugin by Capture Monkey (the same people who make The Fader) is a simple plugin. It does only one thing, but it does it very well.

The plugin works the same way focus masking or focus peaking does in your camera. It highlights the parts of the image that are in focus.

Lightroom plugins - Focus Mask

This helps you to choose the best shot between two or more similar images at a glance.

We’ve all taken a handful of photos of the same subject because we weren’t sure we nailed the focus. This plugin will help you quickly pick a winner.


The last plugin on the list might not be for everyone. In fact, some people might be totally against it.

Photolemur automatically edits your photos with one click. It uses artificial intelligence to create the best edit possible so you can focus your time on other aspects of photography.

Now, some of you might think letting a bunch of computer code edit your photos takes away part of the artistic process. And you’d be right.

I wouldn’t use it on every image, especially client images. But if I want to quickly upload something to Instagram without having to process the image first, I’ll use Photolemur.

Photolemur is a standalone product, but can also be set up as a Lightroom plugin. Unfortunately, there isn’t a free version you can try before you buy. It’s only available as a paid product.


Which Lightroom plugin will you try?

I’ve used all the plugins I just mentioned. But if I had to pick one, I’d choose The Fader because I love using my own presets. It makes my editing style consistent across all of my work.

But they’re all great plugins. Which one are you going to try?

Image Credit: Joseph Pearson

The post 5 Adobe Lightroom Plugins That Will Make Your Life Easier appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Pixelmator Pro 1.2 brings smart photo enhancements, batch processing and more

Pixelmator today released Pixelmator Pro 1.2 Quicksilver, a major update to its image editing app that brings support for macOS Mojave, machine-learning-powered automatic photo enhancement, and batch image processing among other new features.

“Users love Pixelmator Pro for making such powerful image editing tools so incredibly easy to use,” said Saulius Dailide, one of the founders of the Pixelmator Team. “And the new ML Enhance is our most powerful feature yet — it lets you dramatically improve the look of any photo with a single click, thanks to a machine learning algorithm trained on millions of professional photos.”

The new ML Enhance feature automatically adjusts color and exposure locally in the frame. The goal is to give the user an optimized starting point for their own edits. The feature was developed using a set of millions of photos to train the machine learning algorithm which analyzes photos to detect objects and scenes and applies the adjustments.

There's also a new option to use a light-colored user interface in addition to a refresehed version of the dark theme, allowing for easy adaption to the light and dark modes in macOS Mojave. The app is also capable of automatically switching to adapt to the current appearance of macOS.

A lot of the new and existing features can now be applied via the Automator batch processing tool, making work with large numbers of files less stressful. Other improvements include support for colorful SVG Fonts, a Continuity Camera camera, an Eraser Mode for the Pixel Paint tool, as well as a range of performance improvements and bug fixes.

Pixelmator Pro 1.2 Quicksilver is available from the Mac App Store and can currently be purchased for $29.99, 50% off the regular price. More information is available on the Pixelmator website.

Press Release:

Pixelmator Pro gets major update with AI-powered photo enhancement tools

Vilnius, Lithuania — October 18, 2018 — The Pixelmator Team today released Pixelmator Pro 1.2 Quicksilver, a major update to the fast and powerful image editor for Mac. The update adds support for macOS Mojave, including an all-new light appearance, Core ML-powered automatic photo enhancement, batch image processing via the Automator app, and much more.

“Users love Pixelmator Pro for making such powerful image editing tools so incredibly easy to use,” said Saulius Dailide, one of the founders of the Pixelmator Team. “And the new ML Enhance is our most powerful feature yet — it lets you dramatically improve the look of any photo with a single click, thanks to a machine learning algorithm trained on millions of professional photos.”

The new ML Enhance feature in Pixelmator Pro automatically enhances photos — balancing the colors, evening out exposure, and making changes to individual color ranges — to give you the best starting point for making your own creative edits to a photo. Powered by Core ML and developed using a carefully refined set of millions of professional photos, the machine learning algorithm analyzes photos to detect the objects they contain, then enhances their colors and brings out missing details, leaving the final creative touches to the user.

The update also brings the option to use a gorgeous light appearance, giving users an entirely new way to experience Pixelmator Pro. In addition, Pixelmator Pro 1.2 Quicksilver includes a refreshed, much more native dark appearance, so the app now adapts seamlessly to the light and dark modes in macOS Mojave. And with automatic switching, Pixelmator Pro instantly updates to match the current appearance of macOS.

Automator support and five powerful, versatile actions now makes it possible to batch process images using the professional editing tools available in Pixelmator Pro. The Auto Enhance Images action uses the new ML Enhance feature to automatically improve photos, Auto White Balance Images automatically corrects white balance, Apply Color Adjustments to Images and Apply Effects to Images makes every single color adjustment and effect in Pixelmator Pro available in Automator, and Change Type of Images makes it a breeze to convert batches of images from one file format to another. So now, working with large sets of images and making repetitive edits becomes effortless.

Pixelmator Pro 1.2 Quicksilver includes many other improvements, including support for colorful SVG Fonts, the new Continuity Camera, an Eraser Mode for the Pixel Paint tool, as well as a range of additional performance improvements and fixes.

Pricing & Availability

Pixelmator Pro 1.2 Quicksilver is available exclusively from the Mac App Store and is currently on sale for $29.99, 50% off its regular price.

Pixelmator Pro requires macOS High Sierra and a Metal-compatible graphics card. Full system requirements and more information on Pixelmator Pro can be found at

Meyer Optik Görlitz’s parent company is insolvent, backers won’t get lenses or money returned

In August Net SE, the company behind Meyer Optik Görlitz, Emil Busch, C.P. Goerz, Ihagee, Oprema Jena, and A. Schacht products, was removed from the German stock exchange and subsequently filed for insolvency.

Now, the fears of Kickstarter backers of the Meyer Optik Görlitz products who have not received their lenses yet have turned into a reality: The reward will not arrive and you won't get your money back either. Net SE is completely dead. This was first reported by German photo publication Photoscala after an official notice was published, asking to direct claims to a law firm.

Insolvency proceedings have been opened which means all hopes for backers to receive rewards or their money back have evaporated. Net SE's lack of assets means nothing can be expected from the company and Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms reject all responsibility in such cases.

This isn't the first crowdfunding project ending up in a mess but given we are dealing with several campaigns here the number of affected photographers is likely higher than usual. It's a reminder that backing a crowdfunding project isn't the same thing as pre-ordering and there's always some risk of losing your money.

How to Use Shutter Speed and Aperture Together When Using Manual Mode

When you’re just starting out as a photographer, one of the biggest challenges can be using the correct shutter speed and aperture values. Shooting a correctly exposed photo in manual mode is an amazing feeling. But unless you know the relationship between shutter speed and aperture it may not happen very often.

In this article I’ll talk about how to use the shutter speed and aperture values efficiently to get properly exposed photos.

Note: To get full control of your camera’s shutter speed and aperture values you need to put it in Manual Mode.

What happens when you adjust the aperture value

When you increase the aperture value the aperture opening inside the lens gets smaller, reducing the amount of light that can enter the camera. Similarly, when you decrease the aperture value the opening gets bigger, allowing more more light to enter the camera.

Here’s an example to help you understand how changing the aperture value affects the shutter speed.

Let’s say you’re using a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens with a default aperture value of f/8. At a shutter speed of 1/200th of a second your camera will give you the correct exposure.

EXIF: f/8, 1/200th sec, ISO 100

Now you want a shallower depth of field (more blur effect), so you reduce the aperture value to f/2.8. Because you’ve reduced the aperture value by three stops, the aperture opening is now letting three stops more of light into the camera. The result? An overexposed image.

If you reduce the aperture value, you must increase the shutter speed by the same number of f-stops to compensate. Similarly, if you increase the aperture value, you must slow down the shutter speed by the same number of f-stops.

In this example, you’ve reduced the aperture value by three stops. So to get the correct exposure at f/2.8 you must increase the shutter speed by three stops to 1/1600th of a second.

EXIF: f/2.8, 1/1600th sec, ISO 100

Another example might be if you’re shooting a landscape. This time you want a deep depth of field, so you choose an aperture value of f/16. You’ve increased the aperture value by two stops (from f/8 to f/16), so you’re letting two stops less of light inside the camera. At a shutter speed of 1/200th sec this give you an underexposed photo.

Underexposed image at f/16, 1/200th sec, ISO 100

To get the correct exposure, you need to slow down the shutter speed by two stops to 1/50th of a second. With the aperture value two stops higher (f/16) and the shutter speed two stops lower (1/50th sec) your photo will be perfectly exposed just as it was at f/8 and 1/200th sec.

What happens when you adjust the shutter speed

When you increase the shutter speed the camera shutter opens and closes more quickly, reducing the amount of light that enters the camera. Similarly, when you reduce the shutter speed more light enters the camera.

Starting with the same base camera setting as before (f/8 at 1/200th sec), let’s see how changing the shutter speed affects the aperture value.

Let’s say you’re a wildlife photography, and you want to take photos of a flying bird. To avoid any blurring you’d need to increase to 1/800 sec. You’ve increased the shutter speed by two stops, and so you have two stops less of light entering the camera sensor. At f/8 this would give you an underexposed image.

Because you’ve increase the shutter speed by two stops to 1/800th sec, you must also reduce the aperture value by two stops to f/4 to get the same correct exposure you had at the f/8 and 1/200th of a second you started with.

Or perhaps you intentionally want to capture a panning shot, and s reduce the shutter speed to 1/50 sec to get the effect you want. Reducing the shutter speed by four stops (from 1/800 sec to 1/50 sec) means you’re letting in four stops more of light into the camera. And at f/8, that would give you an overexposed image.

To get the correct exposure you’d need to increase the aperture value by four stops to f/32.

By remembering these examples when you’re shooting in manual mode, you should end up with far more photos that are correctly exposed.

The post How to Use Shutter Speed and Aperture Together When Using Manual Mode appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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