What Are The Best Lenses For Product & Still Life Photography?

Posted by on Jul 22, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

What Are The Best Lenses For Product & Still Life Photography?

We all know there are lots of different ways to achieve the same look. From the lights we choose, to the retouching we do in Photoshop, there are often dozens of different paths a photographer can take to arrive at the same destination. Within still life photography, I believe the same can be said, to a degree, when it comes to lenses. That’s why answering the question “what are the best lenses for still life photography?” is surprisingly difficult. Today I’ll be letting you know what a still life photographer needs from their lenses, and I’ll be giving you a few recommendations. The Best Lenses For Still Life | What Do You Need? As always, this will depend on what you’re shooting and how you’re shooting it. Things to consider will be; your subjects size, your lighting set up, your set, the space you’re shooting in, and the distance you need to your subject. By knowing that info, you’ll be able to answer the question “what type of lens do I need?”; macro, zoom, prime, telephoto, wide-angle and so on. Leaving the more obvious requirements aside you may be surprised to hear that many lenses will provide you with the quality necessary for still life photography. Why? Still life photography is usually shot at high apertures and if using programs like Helicon Focus, you can shoot at your lenses “sweet spot” and get the maximum quality. [REWIND: IS HELICON FOCUS THE BEST FOCUS STACKING SOFTWARE? {REVIEW}] In addition, it may surprise you to hear but most still life images don’t involve moving subjects, who knew! As such, the latest and greatest focusing system is not needed. Nor do we need any kind of vibration reduction/stabilization technology as we’re almost always shooting on a tripod. There are really only two main things a still life photographer needs from their lens. To be sharp in the f8-f11 range (so most lenses) to be the appropriate focal length for your subject Ok, it is nice to have a lens with decent manual focus. One where you don’t turn the barrel a little and suddenly find you’ve gone from infinity to close focus. With that in mind, however, I’ve taken many great photos using Nikon’s basic 50mm 1.4g, and Canon’s 50mm 1.8. The most important part of still life photography is knowledge and imagination. On the subject of knowledge, check out one of my recent articles all about photographing watches, find it here. Best Still Life Lenses For Versatility Sometimes versatility is a big requirement. Let’s say you’ve been asked to shoot 60 pairs of shoes in a day, with multiple angles of each. Not a fun day but we’ve all gotta pay the bills. In that situation, I’d want a zoom lens so I didn’t have to move my tripod too much; saving precious time. There are loads of other situations where...

Read More »

5 Accessories You Need For Your Sony Mirrorless Camera

Posted by on Jul 22, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

5 Accessories You Need For Your Sony Mirrorless Camera

The idea of switching or adding a new camera system is often viewed through rose colored glasses, but the reality of actually going through the process can be far less enamoring once you account for the shortcomings of your new camera and the cost of addressing them. However, that probably isn’t enough to stop you from taking the plunge, nor should it be. The events of this summer will weigh heavily in the decision of whether or not many photographers stay loyal to their brand or move on to greener pastures. The Sony mirrorless system is maturing before our eyes and if you’re undertaking the obligatory research to make the switch, here are some accessory recommendations for you to consider as you enter into the new camera ecosystem. [REVIEW: Sony A7II Review | Proof Size Isn’t Everything, It’s How You Use It] [REWIND: 3 LENSES TO CONSIDER FOR YOUR SONY A6500 OR A6300] #1 – Sensor Cleaning Tools A camera air blower may seem insignificant and you may be in luck because already have one. However, if you considered this a “nice-to-have” for your DSLR, know that this is a “need-to-have” with your new Sony. Going mirrorless opened up many feature opportunities but, it also exposes your sensor to the elements every time you switch a lens. Amazon Basics Cleaning Kit – $9 Altura Professional Cleaning Kit – $10 Giottos Rocket Air Blaster – $12 #2 – Batteries & Chargers The Sony a7 and a6XXX series share the same NP-FW-50 battery and therefore, they all suffer from less than ideal battery performance. Furthermore, they don’t ship with an AC power battery charger and can only be charged in the camera. You can buy a Sony charger for $40 and an extra battery for $52 or you can explore more affordable third-party options. Sony BC-TRW W Series Battery Charger – $40 Sony NP-FW50 Battery – $52 RAVPower Battery Charger Set – $28 Note: The Sony a9 uses a new battery (Sony NP-FZ100) which has been said to alleviate the battery performance concerns. #3 – Grips If you want to take advantage of your newly acquired battery power and avoid the workflow interruption of switching batteries, a grip is a way to go and your options abound. Additionally, the ergonomic challenges presented by these smaller cameras are partially addressed by girth added by a grip. Full Frame a9 Grip Sony VG-C3EM Vertical Grip – $350 Full Frame a7 Series Grips Sony Vertical Battery Grip for a7 II, a7R II, and a7S II – $350 Vello BG-S3 Battery Grip for Sony Alpha a7 II, A7S II & a7R II – $68 APS-C a6xxx Series Grips Meike MK-a6300 PRO – $68 Vello BG-S4 Battery Grip a6300 – $70 Meike MK-a6500 PRO – $68 #4 – Adaptors Leaving one camera system for another can be a pricey and sometimes emotional process. After all, we...

Read More »

This 7 part crash course will teach you everything about post processing videos

Posted by on Jul 22, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

This 7 part crash course will teach you everything about post processing videos

If you’re into creating video content, then you’re definitely going to want to set aside some time to watch this one. Probably a few evenings. Adobe Worldwide Evangelist, Jason Levine, has put together this amazing seven video course on how to make great videos. Each video in the playlist is about an hour long, and takes […] The post This 7 part crash course will teach you everything about post processing videos appeared first on DIY Photography.        Share...

Read More »

Learn how to light the inside of a cube for better interior architectural shots

Posted by on Jul 22, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

Learn how to light the inside of a cube for better interior architectural shots

Architectural photography has never really appealed to me. Not shooting it, at least. I do enjoy looking at it occasionally and there’s some fantastic work out there. For me, an interior is basically just an environment for a portrait rather than the subject itself. But the principles that go into lighting the room are the same […] The post Learn how to light the inside of a cube for better interior architectural shots appeared first on DIY Photography.        Share...

Read More »

How to get rid of four different types of flares

Posted by on Jul 22, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

How to get rid of four different types of flares

Sometimes flare is a matter of artistic preference and choice. However, there are plenty of instances when we don’t want it in photos. Koldunov Brothers show you four different types of flares, and the methods to get rid of them. In some cases, there are only minor improvements. But in the others, the difference is […] The post How to get rid of four different types of flares appeared first on DIY Photography.        Share...

Read More »

Goodbye, Bowens | Company Is Officially Shuttering After 94 Years

Posted by on Jul 21, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

Goodbye, Bowens | Company Is Officially Shuttering After 94 Years

Today we received an official confirmation after information had been circulating last week of lighting company Bowens’ untimely demise. After 94 years of business, Bowens is down for the count. Last year they were acquired by the investment firm AURELIUS, unfortunately for Bowens, as an add-on to a transaction that held higher value to the firm. Calumet, the other brand bundled in the acquisition, is intended to expand across Europe. Some curious claims have been made in an attempt to explain Bowens’ failure. AURELIUS told PDN, “…the far-reaching changes affecting its market, including new, considerably less expensive products by Chinese manufacturers, product innovations by competitors, and the changed buying behavior of professional photographers, who are now only willing to invest in new equipment if the investment guarantees additional income.” In Europe, Calumet will continue to provide service for discontinued Bowens products, and Calumet CEO Christof Bergmann has told PDN that they are working to ensure service globally, though details are not available on that yet. [REWIND:] DRAMATIC LIGHTING FOR PORTRAITS | CHRIS KNIGHT COMPARES LIGHT MODIFIERS From a consumer perspective, it’s not particularly surprising that Bowens would not make the cut when acquired by a new company. Their Generation X Line, released in 2016, was a step to get in line with the times, but it appears to have been too little, too late. Prior to that release, their products felt dated and lackluster in comparison to other lighting options available. If nothing else, the ubiquitous Bowens mount will surely live on, as it has become a standard for non-proprietary lighting mounts around the world.        Share...

Read More »