Sample Images: Benefits of Shooting Olympus and Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds

Sample Images: Benefits of Shooting Olympus and Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds

Mirrorless cameras and the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system are gaining in popularity. From Panasonic’s GH3 to the Blackmagic, more and more cameras are coming out in MFT mount. Olympus originally pioneered the Four Thirds system and, along with Panasonic, announced a new Micro Four Thirds standard in 2008. This new system increased in quality while decreasing in bulk. Olympus Micro Four Thirds Cameras and Lens Variety Olympus carries three main breeds of camera: Digital SLR, OM-D, and the Pen. Their DSLRs are Four Thirds Mount and the OM-D and Pens are Micro Four Thirds. While Four Thirds and MFT lenses cannot be used interchangeably, what is nice about  MFT is that it aims to be a universal mounting system for mirrorless cameras. There are several brands outside of Olympus that make MFT lenses that mount well on the OM-D and Pen cameras. This opens up your lens experimentation options. For instance, while manual-focus only, the Voigtlander Nokton 25mm and 17.5mm lenses for MFT open up to a very wide 0.95 f/stop, a rare feature. You can also use extremely low-profile pancake lenses, such as the Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 for MFT. For reach, there is the Panasonic 45-200mm Mega Optical Image Stabilization lens or Olympus’ own fast 75mm  f/1.8, whose 9-blade diaphragm produces excellent bokeh. If you are into experimenting with many lenses at once without being married to 1 particular brand and without killing yourself trying to carry them all, then give the MFT system a shot. Keep in mind when choosing your MFT lens that MFT sensors have a crop factor of 2.0 (as opposed to...
Three Key Methods For Backing Up Your Photographs

Three Key Methods For Backing Up Your Photographs

Zach Egolf is an IT professional and freelance photographer in the Baltimore area. In this guest post, he explains three methods for backing up your files in preparation for the worst possible scenario. The Importance of Back…Back…Backing Up reprinted with permission by Zach Egolf Wandering into the world of photography without a backup plan is a lot like wandering into…well, just about anything blindfolded!  You might think you know the terrain, how to navigate it, and where you’re going, but the next thing you know you’ve wandered into a forest, caught yourself on some thorn bushes, and lost your pants.  And much like losing your pants in an evil forest, losing your photos can be a frightening ordeal. Think of this scenario: You spend 10 hours shooting the perfect wedding.  The colors are all perfect, the lighting is spot-on, the bride and groom photograph like the two greatest love birds in the world.  You get home to your computer, pull all of the photos off of your memory cards, and then go to bed.  A wedding is a long day, after all, and you want to get your rest so that you can wake up the next morning and start working your magic! The next day comes along and you start to edit the photos.  Two days pass, you’re halfway through the photos and, all of a sudden, a freak storm rolls through town and zaps your house, frying your external hard drives, and wiping out 10 hours worth of photos.  You have nothing to deliver to your clients except the crisp shell of metal and magnets.  You have...
SnapKnot’s Favorite Beach Wedding & Engagement Photos

SnapKnot’s Favorite Beach Wedding & Engagement Photos

Photographers are always seeking ways to land that one awesome wedding shot. The unique setting, timing, and location of each photo opportunity is what makes the final product so special. In order to share some brilliant inspiration, we had our friends at SnapKnot send five of their favorite beach wedding and engagement photos from their expert photographers. Better yet, they shared the secrets behind their incredible shots. SnapKnot’s Favorite Beach Wedding & Engagement Photos This portrait was taken at sunrise just after a short ceremony with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 24-70 f/2.8L. Only natural lighting was used for this at ISO 320, f/2.8, and 1/1000th of a second. This well-timed candid was taken in the late afternoon after a heavy rain with a Canon 5D and a 24-105mm f/4L using only available light. Taken at ISO 400, f/5.6, and 1/250th of a second. This trash-the-dress shot was taken early in the morning with a Canon 5D Mark III and 135mm f/2L. No flash was used; instead, King captured the moment by taking super quick, multiple shots. Taken at ISO 800, f/6.3, and 1/1000th of a second. This scenic portrait was taken at sunset with a Canon 1D Mark IV and a 16-35mm f/2.8. To light the scene, Joy used 2 Canon 580EX II flashes triggered in ETTL mode with remotes. Final settings: ISO 200, f/2.8, and 1/1600th of a second. White balance was manually set. To learn more about triggering flashes at high shutter speeds, see Syl Arena’s tutorial on using high speed sync with Canon flash. This romantic silhouette was taken at sunrise with a...
Hidden Gems – The Canon 400mm f/5.6L

Hidden Gems – The Canon 400mm f/5.6L

Here’s something that’s going to make Canon shooters looking to get started in wildlife or sports photography pretty darn happy. For years, Canon has made this often-overlooked piece of glass that, as the headline for this blog entry suggests, is a true hidden gem. Presenting: The Canon 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.   One of the things I like doing as a hobby is photographing birds. That’s quite apart from my usual genre, so I don’t really own any gear that appropriate for photographing birds. I usually end up renting something, but those large super-telephotos (like the 600mm and above optics) aren’t exactly cheap (though they are way more affordable to rent than own). After a bit of research, I stumbled onto the Canon 400mm f/5.6L USM lens. Surprising small and compact, it’s thinner and lighter than Canon’s 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II lens, while being about the same size. It’s got an integrated metal hood that collapses down over the lens when not in use, and, when paired with a body like Canon’s 7D, equates out to be a 640mm lens. That’s the combo that was used to make the image above. The neat part? It’s only $42 to rent for three days. Compare that with, say, Canon’s 400mm f/2.8L, which is $300 for three days. You get an extra two stops with that lens, which is pretty handy for sports shooters shooting in stadiums (just ask Scott Kelby), but if you’re just starting out, or even if weight is a concern, the 400mm f/5.6 is a fantastic, razor-sharp lens for a fraction of the cost. In fact, it’s...
Focus on Composition: An Interview with Nature Photographer Ian Plant

Focus on Composition: An Interview with Nature Photographer Ian Plant

Ian Plant is a world-renowned professional nature photographer, writer, and adventurer who has been photographing the natural world for almost twenty years. Plant is a frequent contributor and blogger for Outdoor Photographer Magazine, a Contributing Editor to Popular Photography Magazine, and a monthly columnist for Landscape Photography Magazine. He is also is the photographer/author of several dozen print and electronic-format nature photography books and his work has appeared in a number of other books, calendars, magazines, and advertising campaigns worldwide.