• Can You Learn Photography With a Smartphone?

    You absolutely can.

    If you have any device that can capture an image of what’s in front of you,and with which you have at least some control over the composition, focus, andexposure, you sure as hell can learn photography with it. In fact, if yourdevice is a smartphone, it even has some unique advantages over other kinds ofcameras, which I will dive into today.

    It is no secret at this point that today’s smartphones are capable of takingamazing photographs, but the question I want to really dig into is can learningphotography with a smartphone be an on-ramp for more “serious” photography? Tobe clear, I believe that answer is also “Yes.”

  • You Probably Don't Need an F/2.8 Lens

    Photo by Matthias Oberholzer

    I’m serious. You probably don’t.

    Here’s the thing, guys, if you need a lens with an f/2.8 or larger aperture, youalready know it, so why are you reading this article? Perhaps you suspect thatI’ll talk you out of it somehow, teach you something you don’t know about thefundamental physics of light and save you a few bucks.

    Well, sorry to let you down, but I won’t be breaking any laws of physicstoday. But if you’re here because you’re actually not sure if you should springfor that fancy and expensive f/2.8 lens, I think I can talk you out of it,unlike Nando Harmsen of Fstoppers, who decidedly expressed almost no opinion at all.

  • Yellowstone Photography Guide

    If you’re considering a trip to Yellowstone for landscape or nature photography,you are absolutely in for a treat. Among the 61 US national parks, Yellowstoneis easily one of the most unique and memorable, mainly thanks to its geothermalfeatures such hot springs and geysers and its abundance of megafauna includingbison and elk.

    I’ve photographed in Yellowstone on two separate occasions and came away with afew of my most favorite images. There are huge opportunities to create uniqueimages in this park.

    In this article, I want to go over what I think you should know before you head out toYellowstone, show you some of the locations I really enjoyed shooting, and giveyou some of my hard-won tips and tricks.

  • Fixing Sony's Grip

    Artist's rendition of small grip anger

    Years ago, when I decided to sell all of my Canon gear and switch to amirrorless Sony system (the NEX-7, at the time), I was running away fromgiant, heavy equipment that actually made me less likely to take my camera withme, just because of the inconvenience of it.

    I loved, loved, shooting the NEX-7. So small and light, and yet it tookamazing pictures, and there were (and still are) tons of lenses for the mount,from all different makers.

    But once I got a couple bigger lenses, and then ultimately moved to the a7II,that tiny grip just would not do.

    To the right, observe an artist’s rendition of my emotions while using the gripon my a7RIII, where you can see that my entire pinky finger has nowhere togo. Nowhere but into a little cramped ball during a day of shooting.

    I don’t fault Sony for this at all; if you want a smaller camera, that’s whatyou’re going to get, but I had to do something, and do something I did.

    Read on to learn about my voyage through the world of “quick release plates” and“L brackets” and why you should absolutely be using an “L” bracket on yourcamera.

  • How I Use Sony Camera Settings Memory

    I really like the camera settings memory that my Sony a7RIII offers. Referredto in their documentation as “Camera Settings 1” and “Camera Settings 2,” thisfeature has saved me from mistakes more than once, so I want to tell you how itworks and how I use it.

    If you shoot with a Sony Alpha camera (a6000, a6500, a7II, a7III, a9), youprobably have this feature. If you aren’t using it, allow me to tell you why youshould!

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