Astrophotography

Astrophotography is a very specialized and high cost photographic genre aimed at capturing images of astronomical objects in the space. Used mostly for scientific researches this photographic genre is very much popular among space researches and scientists. Capturing of several new stars, nebula, planets and studying their details has been made possible because of astrophotography. However, this genre can be done using automatic robots or time sets which makes it a little easier. Several optical telescopes and astronomical CCD cameras are used with sensors in their to capture astronomical objects in the space.

Syrp Timelapse Genie Mini | Initial Thoughts

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in Astrophotography, Featured, landscape, nikon, Photography Tips

Syrp Timelapse Genie Mini | Initial Thoughts

Sometimes a new product arrives at the studio for review, and I’m so excited that I take it out for a spin the very next morning, rain or shine. No, literally. You’ll see what I mean! (Thank you, El Niño) The Syrp Timelapse Genie Mini is an ultra-compact, simple, affordable timelapse motion tool for photographers. It’s a tad larger than a can of tuna, weighs only 230g / 8.1oz, and retails for just under $250. But, does it achieve the impossible by also delivering quality construction and an awesome interface / user experience? Read on to find out, and watch our quick initial opinion video below! [RELATED: ORIGINAL SYRP GENIE FULL REVIEW] INITIAL THOUGHTS ON the syrp genie mini As I stated in the video, timelapse photography has been around for a long time, but adding motion to your timelapse has often been a very expensive and laborious task. A few products have recently begun to overcome these obstacles by being both affordable and simple to use. About two years ago, Syrp, based in New Zealand, produced the original Genie which is a bigger device that can do both panning and sliding, though not both at once. About one year ago, another company called Alpine Labs (based here in Southern California) created the Radian, a compact and affordable device that broke the sub-1lb barrier at 15 oz. There have been other new timelapse devices worth mentioning, however, I believe everything can be clearly put into one of two categories: Either they’re advanced, complex, and a bit pricey, or they’re compact, affordable, and effortless to set up. Unfortunately, aside from the two devices I mentioned, the “compact and effortless” category has been rather neglected up until now. Fortunately, the Genie Mini is a great leap forward in this regard! Syrp Genie Mini Specs Price: $248.95 Dimensions: 40mm x 92mm (1.57″ x 3.62″) Weight: 230g (8.1 oz) Panning Load: 4kg (8.8lb)Tilting Load: 3kg centered (6.6 lb) Max Speed: 360° in 33s Minimum Resolution: 0.005° Li-Ion Rechargeable batteryTimelapse: 48+ hours Video: 5+ hours Charge Time: 3 Hours Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy – to Syrp App (iOS, Android) Camera Port – 2.5mm Accessory Port – 3.5mm (Dual Genie mode + IR cable) Syrp Genie Mini Pros The overall quality is great, it feels strong and supportive even when mounted with two ball heads! (But, a sturdy tripod is recommended!) The rubberized exterior feels nicely resistant to the elements, and grippy. The interface is amazingly simple and intuitive to understand, and effortless to set up. At ~8oz and less than 4″ wide, you have no excuse to leave it at home! Compatible with additional Syrp timelapse products for advanced movements. Includes necessary cables for standard USB charging, at least one type of camera cable, and one 1/4-20 tripod thread adapter, plus a lens cloth. Syrp Genie Mini-Cons I’m not sure how long-lasting the cork...

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Frequent Flyer Anna Tenne | Tips On Leveraging Photography To Travel More

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in Astrophotography, Featured, Food, landscape, Photography Tips, portrait

Frequent Flyer Anna Tenne | Tips On Leveraging Photography To Travel More

Photographers all seem to have a little bit (or a lot) of wanderlust within us. Even as a homebody 80% of the time, I long to go to far off places, just me and my camera (and some good lip balm) to see the world. The problem is that many of us in the creative field are starving artists who may be tied down to day jobs that finance our adult responsibilities like rent and car payments, leaving little room for world adventures. For photographers that do travel the world, I often wonder, how? How are they able to travel all the time? Is there a secret? A trust fund? A sponsor? I spoke with Anna Tenne, an Australian photographer who travels the world frequently, going on adventures many of us only dream about. She shares with us her last adventure traveling through Southeast Asia with quadruple amputee Chris Koch and some tips on how to travel on the cheap using your photography skills to help offset some of the costs. Anna and Chris and their new friends Anna and Chris in SouthEast Asia Anna met Chris Koch at an inspirational talk Chris was giving at a school nearby. So how did these two strangers end up traveling halfway across the world together months later? Well, Anna simply asked Chris if he’d want to go with her. Traveling with a limbless man who got around on a skateboard for six weeks from Thailand to Cambodia and ending in Nepal, wasn’t as difficult as Anna imagined (you can read her full account here). The pair visited schools, worked with organizations to bring awareness to various causes, as well as delivered food to locals. This trip for Anna was a labor of love. She didn’t make any money from the trip, get paid, or was sponsored to go. So, how was Anna able to travel for six weeks and photograph her adventures as she went? And furthermore, how does Anna afford to travel all the time? Besides saving everything she can from her wedding and portrait business, Anna tells me, she has taken advantage of various work for trade/work for travel organizations available. Below she recommends a few she’s tried and researched. Work Exchange Programs Though these work exchange programs aren’t photography-centric, you can always ask and see if they need the skills of a photographer. In a nutshell, you exchange labor or do volunteer work for a place to stay. The following are ones Anna has used before. She also mentions that each country will have their own volunteer programs. Do some research on the countries on your bucket list. Help Exchange: https://www.helpx.net/ Work Away: https://www.workaway.info/ WWOOFing: http://www.wwoof.net/ Anna also has used and recommends Couch Surfing, where people open up their homes for you to stay at no cost. Researching NGO’s, non-profits in your area and worldwide and offering your...

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A Beautiful Drone’s Eye View of Hong Kong: The Pearl Of The Orient

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 in Astrophotography, Featured, Food, Photography Tips

A Beautiful Drone’s Eye View of Hong Kong: The Pearl Of The Orient

I’ve been to Hong Kong numerous times, mainly through their airport, and my impression of the small metropolis is that it’s crowded and busy. Usually, I am frantically trying to finish up my social media and Gmail work, before heading into the Mainland where many of my most used websites are blocked, and so I’m looking down on my phone as we drive past the harbor, shadowed by tall skyscrapers. Hong Kong has a land area of 1104 km2 and crammed into that space are over 7.2 million inhabitants! As a teenager, I remember walking the bustling streets of Hong Kong, overwhelmed with the activity and stimulus of the goings on around me. Smells of food and people filled my nostrils as I clutched my mother’s hand, hoping not to be lost in the sea of Asians speaking with British accents. It was a whirlwind. For as many times I’ve stepped foot into the city, I’ve never actually seen it. But the following 4-minute aerial video by NPro+ Aerial Production will give you an idea of the dense beauty of Hong Kong from a vantage point that not many get to see. [REWIND: LEARN CITYSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY, ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY, AND MORE | ELIA LOCARDI & FSTOPPERS] As you fly above buildings, through the skyscrapers, and by the statues adorning the temples in the countryside, switching from daytime to night, you get a small feel for the dichotomy of Hong Kong. I can almost imagine seeing this on the big screen at Disney’s California Adventure, soaring high above the IMAX screen, feet dangling and taking in the beauty of the City of Lights. I feel like after watching the video below, I have truly visited and seen Hong Kong. [Via Sploid]       Share...

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Learn Cityscape Photography, Astrophotography, and More | Elia Locardi & Fstoppers [REVIEW]

Posted by on Jan 23, 2016 in Astrophotography, Featured, landscape, Photography Tips, photoshop

Learn Cityscape Photography, Astrophotography, and More | Elia Locardi & Fstoppers [REVIEW]

Some time ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing the landscape photography tutorials portion of Fstoppers’ collaboration with Elia Locardi. If you read that review, you’ll know that I was very impressed with the quality of education and production value. There are few tutorials that I am actually excited to watch, but when part 2, Photographing The World: Cityscape, Astrophotography, and Advanced Post-Processing, was released, I immediately requested it to review. Check out this video featuring Elia Locardi (the instructor), Lee Morris, and Patrick Hall as they introduce this latest tutorial. You’ll get an excellent idea of what’s in store with this tutorial. What’s Included In The Digital Download: 15+ Hours of Video Content (1080p, 23.9fps, H.264 mpg4, over 32GB of material) 19 On Location and Studio Post-processing Lessons Intro to the Basics of Photography Overview of every piece of photography gear Elia uses and why Full interview on Elia’s Business practices Full RAW files and companion software catalogs so you can follow along (PSD and CaptureONE) 10 Behind the Scenes episodes of our experiences traveling and filming this incredible project Private Elia Facebook Group access for extended education and photo sharing What Is Covered In The Tutorial: Photography Basics (ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture, White Balance, etc.) Overview of best lenses and gear for Cityscape and Astrophotography Tips for better composition, angles, and vantage points Advanced Panoramic Photography Shooting and Stitching Working in Urban Environments Solid Neutral Density Filters Capturing Stars and Star Trails Locating and Capturing the Milky Way Galaxy Understanding and Mastering Light (Golden Hour, Blue Hour, Sunrise and Sunset) Using Fisheye Lenses for Artistic Compositions Shooting Through Windows and Removing Glare Time Blending (combining exposures shot at different times) Bracketing and multiple exposure blending RAW Processing Extensive color correction and image adjustment Complex selections and masking techniques Luminosity masking Advanced object removal and cleanup Precision Sharpening and Noise Reduction Who Is Elia Locardi AND Can He Teach? I don’t want to repeat myself too much from the last review but here’s a quick rundown for those that didn’t catch it. Elia is a world renowned travel photographer, Fujifilm Global Ambassador, writer, public speaker and educator. Since 2009, he and his wife have a led a location independent lifestyle (no permanent address), in which they have visited more than 45 countries and flown over one million miles. To cut a long story short, if you wanted to learn travel, landscape or cityscape photography from anyone, it should probably be Elia. And can he teach? Without hesitation, yes. Elia is one of the best educators I have ever watched, and I’ve watched a lot of them. What I Liked About Photographing The World: Cityscape, Astrophotography, And Advanced Post-Processing The Fstoppers team blew it out the water with the landscape portion of these tutorials. Having set such a high benchmark for themselves, I did wonder if they would fall...

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How to Make Sure You Use Your New Camera

Posted by on Jan 10, 2016 in Astrophotography, Featured, Food, Photography Tips

How to Make Sure You Use Your New Camera

Raise your hand if this scenario sounds familiar: you get a new camera, possibly as a gift, and immediately your mind leaps with excitement at all the photographic possibilities that await. You quickly start taking photos of everything around you; houseplants, food, pets, your kids, the trees in your yard, even mundane objects like cookware, or office trinkets. You just can’t wait to get your new camera and kit lens off the shelf and shoot photos of everything. But after a week or two the lustre wears off, and your camera starts spending more time in your closet than in your hands. You find yourself too distracted, too uninspired, or worst of all, too busy to take photos. Every now and then you pick up your camera, put it in Auto mode, and take a few interesting pictures – but sooner or later your camera, which initially held such wonderful photographic possibilities, spends most of its time tucked away, only to be pulled out on special occasions when you really need some good photos. If that rings a bell it’s because almost everyone interested in photography goes through a similar phase at some point. Thankfully there’s hope! I’ve been in this same situation, as have many other people I know. So, here are some tips that will help you get your camera out more often, so you can start learning and growing as a photographer. Take your camera with you This may seem obvious, but it’s an important step that many new camera owners overlook. Your fancy DSLR or mirrorless camera doesn’t have to be just for special occasions, it can be for anything you want. The important thing is that you have it with you to take pictures. Basically, if you don’t want your camera to end up collecting dust on a shelf, don’t let it sit and collect dust on a shelf. Going to work? Grab your camera. Heading to a friend’s house? Take your camera. Taking a walk? By all means, bring your camera. Of course you’re going to bring your camera to events like your kid’s baseball game or your friend’s graduation, but using it only in those circumstances often leads to camera atrophy. This shot was a complete accident. It was not planned at all, and I only got it because I had my camera with me when I was out for a walk. The famous hockey player Wayne Gretzky once quipped, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”, and the same holds true for photographers. The only way you’ll ever start taking more pictures, and thus growing as a photographer, is if you start taking more pictures. And you can’t do that if you don’t have your camera. I take mine with me to work every day, and even though I have a similar daily commute and work routine, I constantly...

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A Simple Photography Tip Which Could Drastically Improve Your Photography

Posted by on Dec 24, 2015 in Astrophotography, Candid, Featured, Photography Tips, portrait, Wildlife

A Simple Photography Tip Which Could Drastically Improve Your Photography

I recently wrote an article about a question that amateurs believe to be so important, but, in fact, turns out to be relatively useless; “What camera settings did you use?” That got me thinking about other incorrect assumptions which hold back progression. This article will address the thing that many of us hold, ashamedly, close to our hearts. Gear. [REWIND: WHY ‘WHAT CAMERA SETTINGS SHOULD I USE?’ IS A POINTLESS QUESTION] One of the photography adages we hear all too often is, “It’s the photographer, not the gear.” That is not what I want to address here but you’d be forgiven for thinking that’s where this article is headed. No, this is about a mentality; a mentality which holds photographers back and stops them from progressing. Stalling Your Progression Formal education is expensive and with so much available online these days, it is often seen as pointless. I understand that viewpoint, however, I do not totally agree. Yes, if I were advising someone whether to go and get a photography degree, I would probably tell them to do something else. Have a fallback plan. There are, however, some significant advantages to formal education. One of which being the logical manner in which the courses are taught. A step-by-step structure which gives you a more rounded perspective and thus avoids these kinds of pitfalls; advice which is rarely touched upon in online education. As you develop as a photographer, you come to realize what goes into making a photo; be that a million pound advertising campaign, headshot, candid portrait, whatever. You begin to understand the different elements necessary: crew members, lighting, cameras, lenses, editing techniques, locations, and so on. This knowledge, or understanding, is taught at photography schools but rarely touched upon online. The result of which, for online educated individuals, is a skewed perception of what is important to creating a photo. The Incorrect Assumption It’s quite logical when you think about it. You buy a camera and begin the lengthy process of learning its menu system and all the settings contained within. That process makes you settings obsessed. You then realize you need a new lens or two for whatever type of photography you want to do. Research begins and you obsess over acquiring some new gear. That process makes you gear obsessed. [REWIND: THE CURE FOR GEAR ACQUISITION SYNDROME (G.A.S.)] This leads me to my all-important photography tip: Stop believing that gear is what “makes” the shot. In just the same way that settings do not create beautiful photos, neither does gear. It is NOT the basis of a good photo. I Know What You’re Going To Say I know, some of you will no doubt be thinking, “What is he talking about?” Of course gear makes the shot! You need “x” lens to create “x” effect and incorporating such and such light with “x”, not to...

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