As folks may or may not know, I help moderate a photography forum over at http://www.rocktheshotforum.com/. A question was recently posed on the forum over my review of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art Lens; specifically the difference in performance of the lens on a crop sensor camera, vs. the performance on a full frame.Read More
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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 this 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, or whatever else goes into a hard drive. You have that, and jar after jar of tears, because you've spent the last 24 hours crying away the pain.
Not a very exciting thought, is it? Of course it isn't! Nobody wants to be in a situation where they're unable to deliver something to their paying clients, and that's why there are few things more important to a photographer than a good backup solution. Now, it's important to note that this isn't so much a sales pitch on any particular company (although it should be pointed out that I use BackBlaze , and that the link IS an affiliate link) but rather my attempt at urging you to take care of your work.
You should cherish that digital files that are nothing more than a bunch of 1's and 0's, because there isn't a whole lot of tangibleness about them. How can you ensure the safety of your goods? A few ways, actually.
- Hard drive redundancy - HDDs are fairly cheap these days, and having a few extras around (like this 1TB Western Digital Drive) can really help you keep track of your photos. I wouldn't recommend putting all of your eggs in one basket, so avoid falling into the "Bigger is Better" trap and having all of your photos on a single, larger drive.
- Cloud Storage - As previously mentioned, cloud backup like BackBlaze is a great way to make sure your photos are being backed up offsite, far away. One of the greatest benefits to a company like BackBlaze is that they offer multiple ways to restore your data, in the event of catastrophe. You can download the files or, for a small fee, BackBlaze will send you your files on a thumb drive or a hard drive! Backup is done behind the scenes, and all you really need to do is stay connected to the drives and the internet.
- On-site (events like weddings and other longer shoots) backup - These tend to be a bit more expensive so they might scare some folks off, but devices like the Digital Foci Photo Safe II PST-251 500 GB Digital Picture Storage can really be a lifesaver when you're shooting the wedding and want to make sure your photos are safe
The best plan of action is probably to utilize a combination of all of these, but I cannot stress the importance of using at least one of the above-mentioned techniques to keep your photos safe.
Nowadays, backup and storage is so easy and relatively cheap, that there really isn't much of an excuse to take chances anymore. Do your clients a favor, and back, back, back it up.
Questions? Feel free to shoot me an email!
Now that my first wedding has come and gone, and my wonderful clients have been given their photos, I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on the experience. From just a single wedding, I've learned more lessons than I ever thought possible, and wanted to give my readers some insight into what went through my mind before, during and after shooting my first wedding. I will say this to start: Weddings are a blast, and I look forward to shooting more in the future (which is good, considering I'm booked for 2 more already in the next year). That being said, weddings are also a ten-hour blur of emotions, actions, and reactions and will present the average photographer with stresses the likes of which they might have never dreamed of experiencing. So for Part 1 of my "Wedding Lessons Learned" series, we'll take a look at the Pre-Wedding Festivities, up until the Ceremony.Read More
It's been almost 3 full months since I've done any sort of blogging on my site. I'm sure it's gone mostly unnoticed, but that doesn't mean I don't still feel bad about it. In a way, this post is going to be some sort of pre-shoot therapy for me, because on Saturday, I'll be one week away from shooting my first wedding.
I won't lie and say I'm not a little worried, or maybe even a bit scared. Weddings are a HUGE deal, and wedding photography is, in my opinion, one of the most important parts about the wedding. 20 years from now, the bride's dress might be faded or yellowed; rings will be tarnished, dented and scratched. 20 years from now, wedding party friendships might change, and venues might even be gone. 20 years from now, however, wedding photos will instantly bring you back to the memories you had on the day you got married. I know this. I'm married.
One of our members over at The Photowalk Alliance was in the market for a new lens to do some portrait work. Fellow TPA Co-Founder, Joe Sterne mentioned that she should be careful about lens distortion, especially if she was using specific camera sensors, or had limited space. Come to find out, she was going to be shooting in a very tight space, and had considered using a wide angle lens to do her work.
I wanted to throw something together quickly just to show the differences between wide angle lenses and the "nifty fifty" when used on both a full frame sensor (Canon 5D mkii) and a crop sensor (Canon 7D). All shots are OOC, and taken from about three feet away. The 50mm lens is the Canon "Nifty Fifty" and the wide angle lens is the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens. It's also important to note that the 50mm is a EF lens, and the Sigma is their equivalent to a EF-S Canon lens. That's the reason behind the black circle on the 5D photos.
The differences are pretty mind-blowing.
As many of you probably know already, I may have married one of the greatest ladies of all time. How do I know she's great? For the one-year anniversary of our wedding, she presented me with an incredibly unique and exciting gift, one that was tailored to my hobbies, and one I would be sure to enjoy. My wife got me a day-trip "Photo Safari" in Washington, DC with Washington Photo Safari. We would both be going on a trip to DC (arguably, one of the most photogenic places on the East Coast) for a whole day, learning from a professional photographer, and getting the chance to see the sights and sounds around town.
It's important to understand that my wife HATES history. Museums, tours, statues, monuments; she can't stand being around ANY of it. For her to sacrifice that hatred for a single day is pretty gosh darn special, and I think it's even safe to say that she enjoyed the safari almost as much as I did!
I'll admit that, at first, I was concerned that this wasn't going to be a fun trip. I was worried that this was going to be a couple of hours with some out-of-work photographer who catered to folks with no experience and nothing but point-and-shoots. He'd probably teach them the proper way to hold their cameras (he did) and maybe speak a little bit about composition (he did that, also), but I was happily surprised to find out that he was able to recognize that I was a photographer with a bit more experience, and give me some information that I had never heard before!
The tour took us to a bunch of places, starting in front of The White House, and ending up at The Marine Corp monument (Which was great to see, as I'd never been there before). We visited the major War-related monuments, all the while having our instructor teach us the proper way to capture each scene from the composition, to the white balance and technique.
E. David Luria (David) has been a photographer for a LONG time, and it showed in his presentation and ability to communicate with everyone in the group. I never once found myself thinking that the trip was boring, and that I wasn't going to learn anything, and before I knew it, our time was up.
My wife and I are greatly looking forward to booking his group in the Baltimore area, as we found out on our trip that they run "Safaris" up here as well. If it was half as good as David's trip, it's sure to be a great time. If you've got a day to walk around your city, I would highly recommend these folks. And if you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment after the gallery from our trip!
One of the bigger mysteries that I've encountered on my journey through photography has been the exclusive club that belongs to the strobists. Flash photography has always, to me, been whatever happens when I put my 580EX II on top of my camera, point it at the sky, and hope for the best. But that's the fascinating thing about flash photography: it's so much more than just on-camera flash.
Today I decided to play around with some of the equipment that I've picked up over the past year or so, and post the results in a small blog here. Today's "toy" was an off-camera flash mounted behind a 24" umbrella sitting camera left. For those of you that can't figure that one out, what it basically means is that I had the flash off of the camera (triggered remotely) behind a 24" white umbrella. This allows the light to be softly defused and spread out a lot more easily over the subject. The light was then placed to the right of the camera. I did this for a couple of reasons: My subject was lit from camera left, and I wanted to light his better looking side with the flash.
From there, it was all a matter of camera setup. For most of these shots, I shot around f/4.5, kept my shutter speed a bit low and my flash stepped down 1/4. This kept the photos from blowing out from the flash. I also exposed on the window that you can see in the background, especially seeing as how my subject was so dark. The rest of the small shoot will follow at the end. If you have any questions, or want to know more about settings, setup, or anything else, feel free to comment below