I am happy to announce that Strobist's video series, Lighting in Layers, has by special arrangement been adapted for the video tutorial site Lynda.com. Those of you who are Lynda subscribers can now view the videos there. (This includes Lynda's many corporate subs, so check with your company.)
It's May. Which always means two things for me: dealing with heavy allergies and beginning my next batch of portraits for the Howard County Arts Council.
The drudgery of allergies is offset by the pure pleasure that is getting to work with a group of insanely talented young people. Doing the portraiture for the Rising Stars program is one of my favorite projects of the year.
One of the first this year was soprano Rebecca Hargrove, who we photographed in the venerable Garaj Mahal Studios…
What Really Happens When a Fuji X100s "Syncs" at 1/4000th of a Sec
For leaf-shutter flash geeks only: high-speed Phantom v1610 video of a Fuji X100s shutter not-quite-really syncing at 1/4000th of a sec.
Sorry, I know many of you will be bored to tears by this. But the full technical article photographer Kevin Housen developed around this video (and others, at different shutter speeds) will really peel the onion for you if you want to know about the demonstrable quirkiness of this camera and ultra-high speed sync.
BaltoWash, June 7/8th: One-Day Blogging/Social Media Intensive
UPDATE: Due to a tragic event in the Howard County blogging community, this class has been postponed. Long-time (and widely read) local blogger Dennis Lane was murdered on Friday morning (more here). The local blogging community is still in a state of shock. Out of respect, we felt it was best to postpone the class until a later date.
If you were already signed up, the organizer will have reached out to you at your email address of record. Many thanks, and we will be in touch again soon.
Leaf Shutter + ND + Flash: A Fuji X100s Daylight Primer
Right about now I feel like Alice in Wonderland, holding the "drink me" cup. Having a leaf shutter, a built-in 3-stop neutral density filter and a real chip in a compact camera is opening up a whole new world of possibilities.
But with these possibilities come some quirks, some compromises and a few technical things to be mindful of. What you need to know about leaf-shutter compacts and daylight flash, below.
We have a bluebird nest in our backyard. There are two fledglings, and this is their dad.
To me, bluebirds have always had a specific connotation (i.e., the "bluebird of happiness," or more lately, "Twitter"). But this guy is a fearless badass. He'll fight off other birds, cats, squirrels—and photographers—if they get too close to his nest.
And for two afternoons this week, this particular bluebird led me down a photographic rabbit hole.
Having traveled more in the last five years than in all of the previous forty three, I finally feel like I have found a comfort zone as a traveling photographer. Though lugging far less gear, I'm still protected with backups for critical items.
Looking back just four years, there is now a huge difference in the way I approach my gear pack. A walk-thru and my reasoning, below.
One of my favorite things about being a photographer is that if you pay attention, stories are everywhere. But the trick is paying attention—even if that story is presenting itself after you have had a drink or two at a New Year's Eve party.
That's where I met Judith Schardt-Shure, a cafeteria manager at a local public middle school. We asked each other the typical "So, what do you do?" party questions, and the 30-minute discussion about cafeteria food that followed left me wanting to know more—and wanting to make sure other local parents knew, too.
Which is exactly why I have developed HoCo360 over the last three years. It has now turned into what I had for 20 years as a newspaper photographer: a license to be curious.
We have a rule in the Hobby household. If the kids can get ready for bed quickly enough, we get to watch an episode of Doctor Who together. It is one of those rare shows that is equally enjoyed by every member of our family—including two middle-aged parents, a 12-year-old boy and a 14-year-girl.
That alone is remarkable. And as good as the show is, I've lately found myself watching it for the lighting as much as the imaginative story lines. A look at perhaps the most Strobist-y show on the TV dial, below.
The Simple Light: How to Take a Great Passport Photo
Fact: most people on the planet—including roughly two-thirds of Americans—do not have a passport.
Without a passport, you won't be traveling internationally any time soon. And even if you have no immediate travel plans, just having a passport is kinda like having a muscle car at a red light. You won't always squeal tires when the light turns green, but you know you could.
If you have never held a passport before, it's a neat feeling when it arrives in the mail. For perhaps the first time, you feel like a citizen of the world. Merely having the possibility of international travel is better than not having a passport and being guaranteed you can't go.
Even better, unlike your crappy driver's license or student I.D. mugshot, your passport photo is something you can control. So if you are gonna be a jet-set traveler, you may as well look good doing it.
On Strobist, I try not to merely echo content seen elsewhere. I just don't think rote aggregation adds much to the conversation. But I am making an exception on this Hassy HD5 BTS vid, which you may have seen recently on other sites.
That's because the video itself (which, to be fair, is quite cool) is not the subject of the post. Nope, this post is about a comment on this video from long-time Strobist reader Duncan Bell.
Welcome to The f/64 Club: A Front Row Seat at the 2013 GPP Shootout
Sure, the Gulf Photo Plus shootout might be fun to watch. But for the photographers competing, it is all about a week of anticipation, stress and nervousness. And come shootout day, all of that is on display live in front of an audience of 350 armchair quarterback photographers.
Below, the shootout video, how each photographer handled the stress and a challenge for you.