Photo Resources

How to buy a camera

Everything you need to know about buying a camera

Vlad Savov has really done a great job of laying out the pieces of this puzzle you need to think about and in what order.

Ultimately, the number one lesson in photography is that there are always tradeoffs. If you want the best possible image quality, you’ll need specialized and bulky equipment. Should portability be your highest priority, you’ll simply have to accept that some photos and creative ideas will be beyond your reach.

In other words, there is no one camera that’s perfect. This is why I use three: iPhone 4S, Canon S100 (and S95) and Canon 5D (at some point upgraded to the next Canon 5X). Each has its place.


B&H Photo app

B&H Photo has a free iPhone app that’s quite good and if nothing else allows you to check out your wish list(s) while browsing around the store, instead of printing them out as I usually do.

Tip: consider making wish lists of things you buy often, like ink and paper for for your printer. That way you’re not searching all the time for things. I have four wishlists:

Stuff I want (camera gear)
Stuff I have (camera gear
Ink and Paper
Other stuff (other electronics)

I now have access to these lists on my iPhone. Useful and no doubt useful for B&H too.

B&H Photo app in iTunes

When is sharing a photograph stealing?

That famous space shuttle photo: When is sharing stealing?

Stefanie Gordon took a picture of the Space Shuttle taking off from a commercial airliner. No doubt some of you have seen the image. She tweeted it to friends with Twitter when she landed and didn’t think much more about it.

By the time she was out of the airport she was getting congratulatory messages about the image from people she’d never met. The image went viral in a matter of minutes and has been viewed over a million times.

The linked to piece above discusses the legal technicalities of taking pictures, sharing them and having them lifted by third parties you don’t know who see them on the web. Fascinating stuff and well thought out. Bottom line:

The mere act of taking a photograph means the photographer holds the copyright for that picture. Sharing it on a social media site does nothing to limit or reduce that fundamental right.

[via Coudal Partners]

Lens comparison test – full vs cropped frame

5Dmk2/7D lens comparison test from Mike Collins on Vimeo.

This is a short test with the tripod in the same spot switching between prime lenses to show how the crop affects the 7D. The subject, ace stand in Chris Clement, was roughly five feet from the camera. This isn’t meant to be an aesthetic test to show the difference in image quality between the two cameras. It’s a down and dirty field guide for myself and the other shooters we work with so we can quickly figure what lens we want to use on each camera.

We go from 20mm all the way to 100mm with a Lensbaby composer thrown in at the very end.

This is quite useful and for all who fog over when they hear someone attempt to explain what a smaller sensor does to the image a lens projects onto the back of the camera, this excellent video should help.

[via PetaPixel]

Vowl Meet Vowl, a very small app that displays random…


Vowl is a free Macintosh application from stevenf (Panic) that given a tag or list of tags will display a random flickr slideshow in a window on your computer. Simple, clean, well designed and fun.

If you click on an image you go directly to that image on flickr.

If this becomes popular it will hopefully push people on flickr to use tags more effectively. Most flickr users have little idea of the power of tags, both within the flickr universe and with apps like Vowl, outside it.

The Zone System

The Zone System

Developed by Ansel Adams and Fred Archer in 1941, the zone system is a systematic way work with exposure and processing to get the right gradient of tones from white to black.

Most of us are just trying to get a handle on the different light meters in our DSLRs, let alone using them more proactively to create a range of tones but in face, getting a handle on the light meter is exactly what Ansel Adams was thinking about when he came up with this.

Maybe the best way to think about this is in its historical context and when Adams and Archer were working on this there were no film or digital cameras that had a mode dial with “automatic” on it.