Canon 70-200mm F4L IS II sample gallery

The Canon EF 70-200mm F4L IS II USM is the company's latest affordable constant-aperture telezoom, and it comes with some serious upgrades over its predecessor. You may have noticed that the paint is a shade brighter and, unfortunately, it's gained some weight. But the image stabilizer gives you five stops (versus three stops on the previous model) and we've seen generally excellent sharpness wide-open, throughout the zoom range.

From cruise ships in Vancouver B.C. to a grungy rock concert at Seattle's Pike Place Market, take a look through our sample gallery to see what this lens is capable of.

Wedding Photography Tip – 3 Ways to Tame a Bridezilla

One of the most terrifying things in wedding photography is a bridezilla. You’ve likely read the stories of photographer’s careers being ruined by an impossible to please bride. Of course, this is a worst case scenario and fears become heightened by the bridezillas you see on TV.

“I think of photography like therapy.” – Harry Gruyaert

But it’s normal for photographers to encounter some level of bridezilla behavior. The question is how to deal with it.

I’ve learned from photographers like Joe McNally, Zack Arias, and Jasmine Star that it’s our job as photographers to make great photos – no matter what.

So if you’re faced with a bridezilla (or any overwhelming person) at any point in your career you simply need to know how to handle them. Here are 3 ways you can do that.

bride in a pond - Wedding Photography Tip - 3 Ways to Tame a Bridezilla

This was one of the most laid back and down to earth brides I’ve photographed. Hard-working, yet easy going and ready to have fun every step of the way. Unlike some brides, she learned to handle the stress of a wedding very well.

1. Understand

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” – Ansel Adams

Even the most difficult situations become easier to deal with when you understand what’s going on.

The truth is, most bridezillas never actually wanted to become bridezillas. So why do some brides act like that? Major changes in your life come with stress. Marriage comes with one of the highest levels of stress. In addition to the stress, there is also decision fatigue, personal baggage, and pre-wedding depression.

Maybe the question should be why there aren’t more bridezillas!

portrait of a couple on a truck - Wedding Photography Tip - 3 Ways to Tame a Bridezilla

This photo was taken at golden hour. The unique shape of the sun flare was caused by moisture on the camera lens. There was a mist in the air that led to the surprising effect.

They don’t start out as Bridezillas. Not long ago she was living a normal life as somebody’s girlfriend. Then in the blink of an eye, her entire life changed as she became engaged.

When you put a person in a dramatic situation, you find out how much they can take before they crumble under the pressure. Planning a wedding provides more than enough stress and drama to make a person blow up.

Everybody reaches a threshold of how much stress they can handle. And for a variety of personal reasons some brides reach that threshold on or before their wedding day.

Bridezillas are people like you and me who have discovered what it takes to make them break.

couple seen under a tunnel - Wedding Photography Tip - 3 Ways to Tame a Bridezilla

This photo was taken from in the water. The couple was sitting on an abandoned train bridge. I thought the tunnel would make a good frame for the photo, so into the water I went.

2. Anticipate

“When there are other limitations, I don’t let myself be a limitation.” – Fer Juaristi

There is more than enough time leading up to the wedding day to anticipate who might become a bridezilla.

You can almost guarantee that if a bride comes from a happy family and she handles stress well then she isn’t going to become a bridezilla. But if her life is filled with stress and chaos and she doesn’t handle it well, there is going to be trouble on her wedding day!

couple on the back of a truck - Wedding Photography Tip - 3 Ways to Tame a Bridezilla

Engagement sessions are a perfect chance to get to know the bride and groom. Take time to see how they are handling the stress and find out if there are ways you can help.

When I meet with a couple who is interested in having me as their wedding photographer, I ask questions that let me know what sort of temperament the couple has.

Ask about their vision for the wedding. Then ask what would ruin the wedding for them. I had great fun with a couple who insisted that even if a tornado came along and they had to move the wedding to a basement shelter, they still wouldn’t care because their family is what means everything to them. The dress, flowers, and the decor were all secondary.

Ask other questions like, “What simply must be perfect?” or “What is your biggest fear for the day?” and “What would totally ruin your wedding day?”

Ask how quickly her emotions change to the negative and what cheers her up most in life.

couple on a bridge with a river flowing - Wedding Photography Tip - 3 Ways to Tame a Bridezilla

This photo was created using a slow shutter speed (about 2 seconds).

If a bride tells me that the most important thing to her is that she has a perfect Pinterest wedding, I know there could be trouble.

There are enough problems with the dress, flowers, and decor to drive anybody crazy. If the bride is anxious and disagreeable, to begin with, planing her perfect Pinterest wedding will drive her nuts. She’s a perfect candidate to become a bridezilla.

bride in funky socks - Wedding Photography Tip - 3 Ways to Tame a Bridezilla

When the bride is wearing fun socks and cowboy boots, you know she’s not overly stressed about the details.

Being a wedding photographer means knowing how to work with people. So if you can’t handle the stress of working with a bridezilla, you should politely decline weddings when you think there is a good chance she’ll become one. Let her know you don’t think you’re the best photographer to help her have a perfect wedding.

3. Encourage

“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt

If you understand the things that lead to bridezilla behavior, and you’re happy with the challenge of working with one then good for you! You could actually help her get through her wedding day without baring her teeth and lower her stress level.

The truth is, most bridezillas don’t enjoy being bridezillas. You can’t help the ones who enjoy it. But you can help the ones who are afraid of becoming a bridezilla.

bride spinning on the dance floor - Wedding Photography Tip - 3 Ways to Tame a Bridezilla

Weddings can be an exhausting journey, not just for the photographer who works all day, but for the family who has worked for months or years to get to this day.

If she’s open to having help, you can assist her in setting goals, seeing the big picture and embracing what is truly important about her wedding day.

Find out what’s bugging her the most and share stories about other couples who have dealt successfully with these things. That way you’re not just pushing your opinion on her, but sharing stories of real people who found a way not to crumble under pressure. You can even publish these stories on your wedding photography blog.

Help her see her goal and what is truly important to her. Help her pivot around obstacles, and there will be less of a chance of her crumbling under the pressure of her wedding day.

No matter what you do, be the one who helps, not somebody who makes it worse.

wedding couple kissing - Wedding Photography Tip - 3 Ways to Tame a Bridezilla

When a wedding is done right, the bride and groom are still excited and energized at the end of the day.

Happily Ever After

“If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.” – Eve Arnold

No photographer wants to photograph a bridezilla. No bride wants to be a bridezilla.

You can surpass a bride’s expectations of you as a photographer by understanding her situation and being the most flexible, helpful, encouraging person on her wedding day.

All it takes is one good friend to be a calming presence amidst stress and anxiety to help a bride not turn into a bridezilla. This person could be you.

The post Wedding Photography Tip – 3 Ways to Tame a Bridezilla appeared first on Digital Photography School.

The First 10 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography

You’ve just splashed out a vast sum of money on a shiny new camera to do amazing travel photography, but what’s next? There are so many different lenses, accessories, and even filters to choose from. Most people would not be able to afford to buy everything they need in one go. So what should you buy first?

Fear not, here is a simple guide on what to purchase, and in what order, after you have bought a new camera.

photo on the back of a DSLR camera - The First 10 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography

1. Lens

It may seem pretty obvious but you won’t be able to do much without a lens for your camera, so naturally, this should be the first purchase.

But the lens you choose will impact on the quality of your photos. For travel photography, you will be able to get away with only using one lens most of the time so try to buy the best lens that you can afford. Look for something that has a good focal length range and is fairly fast.

Something like a 24-70mm lens will often mean you can get 95% of the shots that you would take.

24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses - The First 10 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography

Left: 24-70mm f/2.8. Right: 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.

2. Memory Cards

The next vital purchase is at least one memory card to be able to store your photos.

Again this is something that is worth spending a little more money on in order to buy a higher capacity memory card. If you are going to be shooting in RAW format (which you should be doing) then your file sizes will be large. This means memory cards can fill up pretty quickly. Something like a 32gb or 64gb memory card should usually last a few days, depending on what you’re shooting.

Whether you buy more will come down to your budget. Using one card will mean that you have to clear your memory cards each day or every few days. So if you can afford a couple more, it will be worth the investment.

CF memory cards in a case - The First 10 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography

3. UV Filter

A UV filter might seem like an unnecessary expense, but the real benefit of buying one is to protect your lens’s glass.

They are pretty cheap to buy compared to having to repair a lens so consider getting one straight away. I fit every one of my lenses with a UV filter the day that it comes out of the box.

Canon L-series lens with a UV filter fitted on the front. The First 10 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography

Canon L-series lens with a UV filter fitted on the front

4. Tripod

Most travel photographers would put a tripod at the top of the list of their accessories. This is with good reason. If you want to capture the best possible photos at the best possible time of the day a tripod is a must.

During low light conditions, you simply will not be able to hold a camera steady enough to take a sharp photo. The only way will be to raise your ISO which will in turn mean noise in your final shot.

But it’s also worth investing in a good tripod rather than something that is cheap and flimsy. I always find it astonishing when I see people with expensive cameras using poor quality tripods. Not only are poor quality tripods subject to vibrations which cause camera shake and blurred photos, but they are putting their expensive camera at risk of falling over.

So, always look to buy a good quality tripod that can support the weight of your DSLR.

camera on a tripod overlooking a landscape scene - The First 10 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography

5. Camera Bag

Over time most photographers will end up with a collection of different bags for different scenarios. For example, a long hike will require a bigger bag, whereas day to day, you will need something more compact.

But most people can certainly get by with one bag to start off with so look for something that you can use day to day. I would always recommend buying a day backpack as a first camera bag as opposed to a top-loader or sling bag.

Look for one that is carry-on approved as you should always take you camera equipment on board rather than checking it in when you’re flying. It’s also worth buying one that you can strap your tripod to and has space for a laptop.

There are so many choices out there so do your research and even test them out at your local camera store before buying one. It’s an important purchase that will not only keep your camera equipment safe, but also mean carrying things in comfort.

camera bag full of gear - The First 10 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography

6. Graduated Neutral Density Filters

Once you’ve purchased the above items it’s time to start building up an inventory of the more specialized things you might need.

Graduated Neutral Density filters are incredibly useful anytime you are photographing at sunrise or sunset. They help to even out the light across your image when you are faced with one area being too bright (the sky) and another area being dark (the foreground).

They will generally come as a glass rectangle that fits onto the front of a lens with an adaptor. There are also screw-in versions (like traditional polarizing or UV filters) but frankly, they are a poor substitute in my opinion.

There are a whole range of brands and options and buying a complete set can work out to be pretty expensive. But you will find them incredibly useful and use them for years.

Canon camera with filter on the lens - The First 10 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography

7. Polarizing Filter

The next thing that you should look to purchase is a polarizing filter. Primarily used for suppressing glare or reflections these little screw-in filters can be really useful when photographing water, metallic objects, or even glass (like shop windows).

They also have the added benefit of darkening blues and greens which makes them very useful for landscape and travel photography. Like most photographic items you are better off purchasing a better quality version rather than cheap alternatives that can have a detrimental effect on the sharpness of the image.

beach scene tropical location - The First 10 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography

Use a polarizing filter to darken the sky to a rich blue like in this image.

8. Neutral Density Filters

Whereas Graduated ND filters are used for darkening part of the image, these filters can darken the whole scene. They are essentially a square or rectangular piece of glass that come in different darkness levels (representing the same effect as stopping down you aperture).

You might be wandering when you will ever need to darken the scene? Well, for example, if you are photographing water during the day you could use a Neutral Density filter to help you capture a smooth moving water effect. Or cloud movements in the sky.

Again a full set of these filters can be expensive so build up your collection slowly over time.

waterfall and a river flowing - The First 10 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography

9. Spare Batteries

While most people can get by with one battery, it’s always worth having a spare. The last thing you would want is to run out of power mid-way through a shoot.

Keep in mind that long exposure photography will drain your battery more quickly than photographing during the day. So if you are going to be doing a lot of this kind of photography or if you’re heading to a remote place with no electricity, this item may move up on your priority list.

I tend to travel with around six batteries in total and charge the ones I have used each night.

camera batteries - The First 10 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography

10. GorillaPod

It could be argued that a cable release should be on this list, but as you can use your camera’s timer instead, I feel a GorillaPod will be a better purchase.

The great thing about these small bendy tripods is that they will often draw less attention than a regular one. So in places where tripods are not allowed, you might get away with a GorillaPod. The other great thing about them is that you can set them up on tables, which makes them great for food photography on the go.

Just make sure that the GorillaPod you select can support the weight of your camera and not collapse.

gorillapod - The First 10 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography

Conclusion

There you have the 10 items that you should buy in order after you’ve purchased your camera. There will always be exceptions and you might need to tweak this order for your needs. Building your camera and accessories collection up is expensive, so the key is to plan out your purchases in order and take your time.

What do you think? Have I missed anything? Anything you would swap with the 10 on the list? Share your answers below.

The post The First 10 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School.

DPReview TV: understanding 4K and 6K photo modes on your camera

Special 4K and 6K photo modes may be one of the most under-appreciated features on recent cameras. After all, with today's models boasting impressive performance and high frame rates, why would you need them? In this week's episode, Chris and Jordan take a closer look at these modes and explain why – and when – you'll be glad to have them on your camera.

For more information check out our in-depth article explaining 4K photo mode.

Read our in-depth article about 4K photo mode

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new episodes of DPReview TV every week.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Tips for Culling Your Photos – How to Throw Away the Worst and Concentrate on the Winners

Can you happily throw away your worst images and concentrate on your winners? Are you confident culling your photos to find the best?

I know many photographers struggle to cull their photos after coming back home from an enjoyable photo session. It can be effortless to create hundreds of images from a photo session you are immersed in. But feeling buried by a mountain of new photos to post-process can be discouraging.

The key to breaking free of this dilemma is to discern which of the photos are worth keeping, which are the best, and which to throw out. To do this you need a method, a good healthy workflow. Possessing a positive attitude will be a considerable help too.

I use Adobe Lightroom to import and cull my images and I will refer to it during this article. The workflow I am sharing can be utilized with any similar software.

woman catching a pumpkin - Tips for Culling Your Photos

Start by Seeing Your Best

Creative people often excel at being negative when it comes to their own creations. How many times have you heard musicians tell you they are not practiced enough to perform? Or friends who paint tell you they don’t have the confidence to complete a canvas they are working on?

It is quite typical of creatives to be too hard on themselves.

When you first load your images from a new photo session be purposefully positive. Don’t let yourself get sucked into negative thoughts. Start looking for the best photos in a series you have made, not the worst.

Take some time to scan through and get an overview of your new pictures. Look for the ones which excite you and mark them. You can use a flag, color or star rating.

Buddhist monk making art - Tips for Culling Your Photos

Take Out the Worst

You will usually have some photos which are clearly not usable. It is best to remove these from your workspace right at the start.

The most common problems not able to be fixed are:

  • Poor focus
  • Bad timing
  • Very poor exposure
  • Unwanted image blur

Bad focus

You cannot fix poor focus in post-production. If you have a photo that is not sharp where it really needs to be, delete it. It is not worth keeping. Some amount of sharpening can be applied but is only somewhat effective on photos which are slightly out of focus.

monk making pressed metal art - Tips for Culling Your Photos

This one gets deleted. It is not focused.

Very poor exposure

Working with RAW files produced by a modern camera, the images need to be really over or underexposed before I throw them out. You must know your camera and your own post-processing skills. Still, if the exposure is way off, delete it.

Unwanted blur

Sometimes we want blur in a photo. That nice silky look waterfall. The bicycle rider passing. The people walking by in the market. When you have motion blur because your subject moved or your camera has moved, delete those images.

Occasionally you can still make something of an image like that. Not by fixing it, but rethinking it and applying some careful post-processing, but not often.

Bad timing

Maybe someone has walked in front of your camera just as you took a photo. Perhaps the bird you were photographing had already flown out of frame. Many things can happen like this that means you have missed the shot or the decisive moment. Delete them.

Pumpkin Store at the Market - Tips for Culling Your Photos

Poor timing makes this photo unusable.

Don’t Want to Delete?

If you are nervous about deleting photos at first, you can just hide them. I use the flags to determine which images I see and which I do not.

In Lightroom when you are in Grid view in the Library Module with the filter bar showing at the top, click on Attributes at the top of the window. If you then click on the black flag to turn it off all the images you apply a black flag to (rejected) will be hidden from view. To quickly apply a black flag to an image, select it and hit the X key to mark it as rejected.

You can bring the hidden black flagged images back into view by turning on the black flag in the Attributes bar.

Once I have am confident I want to delete my flagged images I turn off the other two flags in the Attribute bar. With only the images I have flagged as rejected showing, I select them all and hit the Delete key and delete them from my disk.

NOTE: Lightroom will give you the option of just removing them from the program or deleting from your hard drive as well – I do the latter, but make note they will be gone forever so make sure you have the right images before hitting delete.

Screen Grab for Black Flag - Tips for Culling Your Photos

Use the grid view, Attributes and flags to help your workflow.

Select Similar Images

Now begin to work through to separate out the best of your photos. Many photographers will take multiple frames of whatever they are photographing. This results in too many images that are really similar. To deal with these, it is good to compare them to each other.

Do this by selecting four to six images and hitting the N key. The selected images will be displayed and the others will be hidden from view. You can now begin to compare your similar images. Using this method it is much easier to concentrate on the qualities of the photos and decide which ones are better than others. Look for similarities and differences in each frame.

Maybe your timing is noticeably better in one than the others. Maybe your composition was a little different or more interesting in one over another. Narrowing down your options as you go will help you see the stronger images more easily.

To do this, keep using the X key to flag the photos as rejects (note: do not do this using the comparison N view as it will tag them all at the same time) so they become hidden. Once you have only one photo in view, press the G key to take you back to Grid view. Now you can select more photos and repeat the process. I sometimes keep the best image from my last selection to compare with three or five other images in the series.

lightroom thumbnails - Tips for Culling Your Photos

Select similar images (use ctrl+click) and the N key to view only the images you have selected.

lightroom compare images side by side - Tips for Culling Your Photos

Look for Strengths in Your Photos

Choose photos which are well-exposed and well composed. Look at your backgrounds. Are there unwanted distractions which will be too difficult to remove? If so, use the X key.

Do you have one or two where your exposure is bang on? These will be potential keepers. Using the P key will mark them with a white flag (as a Pick). You could also use colors or star ratings (from 1-5) to mark your favorites.

Focused Monk - Tips for Culling Your Photos

In this frame, the monk was well focused (pun intended)

Find the photos that make you feel good. Narrow down your selection step by step.

By making comparisons with a small selection it should be less vexing than with all your photos showing at once. You will be more confident to come to recognize your best work using this method. If you are more randomly browsing through hundreds of photos at one time you are less likely to find your best photos as easily.

The post Tips for Culling Your Photos – How to Throw Away the Worst and Concentrate on the Winners appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

If your ideas are more than a photo, why not combine two or three of them in a single image? When you want to create something surreal, ghostly or that is just beyond what you can capture in a single shot, then the multiple exposure effect is the thing for you!

This effect comes from analog photography and some digital cameras offer this feature as well. However, we can mimic the multiple exposure effect not only without film and even without a camera, so let’s get creative in Photoshop!

How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Achieving double or multiple exposures in-camera means that you have to do your photos in a sequence, this can be very impractical and therefore limits your creativity.

In Photoshop, you can combine a photo you took today with your smartphone with another one that you made last year with your camera or even add a Creative Commons photo that you found online, so let your imagination go wild!

Method Two – Creating Double Exposures in Photoshop

If you need to kickstart your creativity, try playing with opposites or contrasting concepts. To demonstrate, I’m going to use urban versus nature, I’ll also show the practicality of doing this in Photoshop instead of running back and forth from the countryside to the city, so let’s get started.

First open your first image, the one that will be the base on which you’ll compose your image. When the image opens it is the background layer which is locked. You can always change this but for now, it’s fine to leave it as is.

Duplicate your image by going to Menu > Layer > Duplicate Layer or just click and drag it into the Create New Layer button on the bottom of the Layers panel (or use the keyboard shortcut Cmd/Ctrl+J). Now you have two identical images on top of each other, one in each layer.

duplicate layer - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Add your second image

Now drag and drop the second image onto your canvas. I suggest you use this technique instead of copy and paste because this way it gets added as a Smart Object. Therefore you can make it bigger or smaller as many times as you want without losing image quality.

This is always a good thing to have but especially for this exercise since you still need the other photo(s) to see how they will interact to create the final composition. Then click OK and it will be added as a layer. By default it will be dropped on the top, so you won’t be able to see the other image for the moment, but that’s normal.

drag and drop second image - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Click on the layer you just added, the one with the second image, and drag it down so that it’s between the two previously existing layers. Now all you see is the first image again and the new image is hidden, Don’t worry, we’ll get to it in a moment.

Adjust the Blend Mode

The top layer should now be the copy of your background, click on it to select it. Now open the drop-down menu from the top of the Layer panel which contains the Blending options. Select Screen Mode and as a result, you’ll see a mixture of the two images.

Keep in mind that the results will change drastically depending on the colors of your images as this information is what Photoshop uses to make them interact.

For example, with black, it leaves the colors unchanged while screening with white produces white. In any case, don’t worry if your image doesn’t look like the example I’m using.

screen mode - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Adjust to your liking

The result you’re looking for is rarely achieved by just doing this, so click on the layer that contains your second image, and modify it until you’re happy.

You can change its size by going to Menu > Edit > Transform. Then drag it with the Move tool from the top of the Toolbox. Add some filters by going into Menu > Filters or adjust its settings by adding Adjustment layers by clicking on the button from the bottom of the panel. Play with it until you’re satisfied.

transform - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Mask out unwanted bits

Once you’ve decided on the final image position, create a layer mask on that layer by clicking on the Add Layer Mask button at the bottom of the panel. Making sure that the mask is selected, use your Brush tool to paint in black in the areas where you don’t want the image showing.

It behaves like an eraser but without actually losing your pixels. That’s the great thing about masks, it just hides things. If you make a mistake all you need to do is change the brush to white and paint it back in.

layer mask - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Repeat the process with as many photos as you want to add. If you don’t want one image to be predominant but instead you want to have a blank canvas on which to put many smaller pieces, first open a blank canvas that will be your “negative” where you are going to combine your images.

You can do this by going to Menu > File > New and just set the size and resolution that you want and click OK. Then follow the steps above normally. Have fun!

final image #1 - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

A Trendy Twist, Method Two

As many vintage things, double exposures made a comeback and became trendy just by adding a little twist to it. You’ve probably often seen images of multiple exposures that are silhouettes with the second image inside it. Here’s how you can do that with the same technique as before just by adding one more step.

So, open your first image in Photoshop and duplicate the background layer once again. On this copy, select your background with the tool of your choice depending on your image.

If you have a white background you can quickly select it with the Magic Wand while a more busy background might require the Pen tool or a mix of different ones.

selection - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Once you have your background selected then go to Menu > Edit > Fill, choose white and click OK. Drag and drop your second image just like you did in the first part of this tutorial so that it becomes a new layer. Drag it and put it in between the background and the background copy you created.

layer order - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Now it’s totally covered, so click on the background copy to select that layer and change its blend mode to Screen.

result #2 - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Modify your second image and create a layer mask to paint with black whichever you don’t want in the composition and that’s it.

black and white - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

You can use images with a lot of contrast or monochrome to create different effects. Try them out and share your results with us in the comment section below.

The post How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Looking back on 10 years of Mirrorless

Micro Four Thirds: ten years old this week


There were no illustrations when the Micro Four Thirds concept was announced, so we had to draw our own.

Ten years ago this week, Panasonic and Olympus announced the Micro Four Thirds format. And in doing so, prompted us to use the term 'mirrorless' for the first time.

The rather corporate press release didn't necessarily spell out just how important a development it was. The two camera makers thought they were announcing a new mount, while trying not to upset existing Four Thirds customers. What they were actually doing was changing the direction of the industry.

We'd initially written a story stating that "Panasonic and Olympus have said they've developed a new mount with a shorter flange-back distance that will ... " but that wasn't the story at all. So instead we ran with: "Olympus and Panasonic have announced a new, mirrorless format / lens mount."

With hindsight we can see that Panasonic and Olympus were heralding the start of the mirrorless era.

A DSLR, but without the mirror


The idea of removing the mirror from a DSLR wasn't new: Pentax created this design study as far back as 1997. Phil shot this image when it was displayed at Photokina in 2006: still two years before Micro Four Thirds was announced.

For the first few hours there were no illustrations available, so we traced the outline of an existing E-series DSLR and scaled the other elements of the camera to show roughly what a mirrorless version could look like. It would be another six weeks before the public got to see the first Micro Four Thirds camera.

September 2008 [Announcement + 6 weeks]

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 did everything it could to downplay how radical it was. It looked a bit like a Canon Rebel XSi / 450D that had shrunk in the wash but, more significantly, it also operated a lot like an existing DSLR. Critically though, it worked in live view as well as through the viewfinder. Or, more to the point, it worked identically, regardless of whether you used the viewfinder or the rear screen.

Panasonic had clearly been working on the camera for a long time: I'm not sure I can think of another 'version 1' product that's worked so well from the word go. And yet 10 days later Olympus managed to upstage the G1. With a block of wood.

September 2008 [Announcement + 6 weeks]


Sure, it's much smaller that the real PEN would be and looks nothing like the final design, but as a placeholder to say 'we're doing this too,' it was a powerful one.

I remember hearing that Olympus was going to unveil a mockup of it first Micro Four Thirds camera as soon as I arrived at the Photokina trade show, straight from the G1 launch. I raced over to the Olympus stand and begged, harassed and cajoled our press contact to let me get a shot of it without a glass case covering it.

It would be another nine months before a real product, the Olympus PEN E-P1, was 'ready.'

March 2009 [Announcement + 5 months]


The GH1 looked, to us, like a G1 but with the video function now working. Did we miss the clues as to what the 'GH' line would deliver or did they only start to emerge in the later models?

Yet, while all this was going on, Panasonic would quietly begin a second revolution with the release of the 1080-capable GH1.

It's strange to think back now and realize that Nikon and Canon introduced HD video to DSLRs before those capabilities came to mirrorless (the 720p-shooting Nikon D90, also launched at Photokina 2008, was completely overshadowed by the EOS 5D Mark II's ability to shoot 1080 just a few days later). But I don't think we were alone in not seeing just how significant the GH line was going to become for filmmakers, when high quality video arrived in mirrorless.

June 2009 [Announcement + 10 months]


The E-P1 was a pretty camera. There was a lot that still needed work, which meant it only achieved a rating of 66% – and a Highly Recommended award (Really, Simon? Really?)

When it finally arrived, the E-P1 was really pretty. Yes it was essentially an E-620 in a retro-styled SPAM can (I kept looking for the little 'key' for peeling the tin open). Yes, the initial two lenses were unacceptably slow to focus. But, coming almost two years before Fujifilm's X100, it offered the most image quality possible from such a small (and oh-so-stylish) package.

We all wanted one. I think everyone in the office decided they were going to buy this beautiful little camera, regardless of its flaws. Then Panasonic came to visit, with Phil and Simon emerging from the meeting with the words "you might want to wait for a bit." They'd just seen the GF1.

September 2009 [Announcement + 13 months]


We all wanted an E-P1, until Panasonic arrived to show us this: The DMC-GF1

Just over a year on from the announcement of the Micro Four Thirds system, Panasonic unveiled its third mirrorless camera: the DMC-GF1. Or "The world's smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens system camera with a built-in flash" as they snappily put it at the time.

I've lost count of how many camera journalists I've met who said they own or owed a GF1: it was exactly the small body, big image quality, plenty of control camera we'd all been waiting for. Except Panasonic thought they'd made a camera for upgraders, so spent the next couple of years taking the buttons away to make it easier to use. Still, we eventually got a spiritual successor in the DMC-GX1.

Mirrorless, for short


Nobody really used the term 'mirrorless' before the G1 so no, your smartphone, 20-year-old compact or fifty-year-old rangefinder can't be retconned to count as 'mirrorless.'

The early running made by the Micro Four Thirds system nearly saw it get adopted as the generic name for all mirrorless cameras (it would be over a year until Samsung introduced the second mirrorless system, with its NX10).

As you might expect, the existing forum favorite: EVIL (electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lens), wan't exactly embraced by the industry. The almost painfully literal 'Compact System Camera' faired a little better, but arguably isn't the best way to describe the far-from-compact GFX 50S.

We stuck with 'Mirrorless' as shorthand for 'Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera,' a decision validated by a reader poll in early 2011. 45% of readers chose MILC, making it nearly two-and-a-half times more popular than 'Interchangeable Lens Compact,' which polled second.

August 2018 [Announcement + 10 years]


The first great mirrorless camera? The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is the first example I can think of that was every bit as good as its DSLR peers. Only smaller. And prettier.

A lot has changed in the decade since that first hectic year of Micro Four Thirds launches. Sony, Fujifilm, Canon, Sigma and even Leica have introduced their own mirrorless systems. Samsung, Nikon and Pentax have all had a go, only to give up.

Every manufacturer has made some lenses that are terrible at focusing before recognizing that low-inertia, single focus element designs are usually the way to go. Pretty much every camera maker has tried to chase an upgrader crowd (from compacts or smartphones) that turns out not to want cameras at all.

August 2018 [Announcement + 10 years]


Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds lineup includes the most capable video cameras we've yet tested.

All the while both Panasonic and Olympus have continued to build out one of the most comprehensive systems of modern lenses. And improve their cameras: unlike the E-P1, the PEN-F is as good as it is pretty. Meanwhile the Panasonic GH5 and GH5S define the current high water mark for video in stills/video hybrid cameras, and camera such as the E-M1 II have helped dismiss the idea that DSLRs are inherently better at autofocus.

The move to mirrorless was a big step for both companies: moving on from a system they'd both spent a lot of time and money on, and that had developed a passionate following. But I think the last ten years has vindicated that decision.

August 2018 [Announcement + 10 years]

More than anything else, the expectation that Canon and Nikon – the two companies most committed to their DSLR legacies – are going to introduce full-frame mirrorless systems, confirms that Panasonic and Olympus were right to turn their backs to the mirror and look to the future.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let's raise our glasses to Micro Four Thirds: the little revolutionary.

Video: 5 DIY photography storage ‘hacks’

Storing camera gear seems to be a never-ending battle. Whether you want to admit to having too little space or too much gear, it almost always holds true that there are better ways to keep your gear organized.

Ted Forbes of The Art of Photography has created a short video on DIY storage hacks for cameras and lenses. The video's title suggests Forbes mentions six different methods in 90 seconds, but based on the numbers he provides, there are actually only five suggestions, considering hack number four seems to be skipped.

Numbers aside, Forbes uses wine racks, a lazy susan, and even pantry spice organizers as methods for camera gear organization. You could argue some of the hacks are common sense (shelves are a pretty obvious choice, I would think), but the video is still worth a quick watch.

California wildfire devastation revealed in series of aerial images

Aerial photos reveal California wildfire devastation

Image via city of Redding

The City of Redding's Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Division has published a series of aerial images showing the devastation caused by the ongoing Carr Fire in Shasta County, California. Located approximately 100 miles north of the Mendocino Complex fire, the Carr Fire has destroyed approximately 176,000 acres of land, more than 1,000 homes, and claimed eight lives.

The aerial images, which are available publicly on Redding's GIS website, reveal burned homes, vehicles and wilderness. The images were captured in part using UAVs equipped with cameras. According to ABC News, the fire was 48% contained as of Thursday morning, but experts expect it to continue into September. More than 13,000 firefighters are working to control the blaze.


Aerial photos were collected as part of a multi-agency collaboration. Licensed UAV pilots from Menlo Park Fire District, Alameda County Sheriff, Contra Costa Sheriff, and other agencies assisted the City in capturing the aerial photos. The City would also like to acknowledge CAL FIRE for permitting the use of UAV technology to assist in damage assessment.

Aerial photos reveal California wildfire devastation

Lake Keswick Estates. Image via the City of Redding

Aerial photos reveal California wildfire devastation

Image via the City of Redding

Aerial photos reveal California wildfire devastation

Image via the City of Redding

Aerial photos reveal California wildfire devastation

Image via the City of Redding

Aerial photos reveal California wildfire devastation

Image via the City of Redding

Aerial photos reveal California wildfire devastation

Image via the City of Redding

Aerial photos reveal California wildfire devastation

Image via the City of Redding

Aerial photos reveal California wildfire devastation

Image via the City of Redding

Aerial photos reveal California wildfire devastation

Image via the City of Redding

Weekly Photography Challenge – Long Exposures

This week, for your dPS photography challenge, you will need to get out your tripod and remote trigger because you’ll be doing some long exposure photography.

Shooting star trails is the ultimate long exposure photography.

There are many ways to incorporate a long exposure into your images. Here are a few ideas:

Car light trails – this image is a combination of several frames shot to capture more lights.

Light painting is another idea for long exposures.

Try an intention motion blur, in this case, the lens was zoomed during a long exposure.

Weekly Photography Challenge – Long Exposures

Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge. Sometimes it takes a while for an image to appear so be patient and try not to post the same image twice.

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

You can also share your images in the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

Long exposures on moving subjects like this carousel can turn out great.

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Long Exposures appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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