This Is What People Are Asking Google About Photographers

This Is What People Are Asking Google About Photographers

Like most fields, the general public has some misconceptions about who photographers are and what they do. Many people turn to Google in such situations. Here’s what they’re asking about photographers.

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Versatile and Sharp: A Review of the Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens

Versatile and Sharp: A Review of the Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Lens

The Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD lens offers a highly functional focal length range with wider apertures than we normally see in high zoom ratio designs. In addition, it’s quite affordable, making it an interesting prospective lens for quite a few photographers, especially those who do not want to carry multiple lenses. Check out this helpful review to see if it’s right for you.

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Sigma Is Producing a High-Resolution Camera With a Unique Sensor Next Year

Sigma Is Producing a High-Resolution Camera With a Unique Sensor Next Year

Sigma just introduced the fp, a remarkably small full frame mirrorless camera, but it seems the company is only just getting started. Next year, they’ll be releasing a high-resolution mirrorless camera that takes advantage of a niche sensor technology that produces very sharp images.

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This is a Drone Hyperlapse of the 2019 Total Solar Eclipse

Photographer and astronomer Matt Robinson was in Chile for the only total solar eclipse of 2019 on July 2nd, and he managed to capture the total eclipse in a drone hyperlapse.

Robinson shot the imagery with the Hyperlapse setting on his DJI Mavic Pro 2.

“I wasn’t sure if it was going to work but I didn’t want to use it manually because I wanted to watch what was my first-ever eclipse,” Robinson tells PetaPixel. “Around 10 minutes before totality, the drone was sent up above our camp and programmed to fly along and above the spectacular Elqui Valley in Chile.

“Below I was freaking out. As the eclipse entered totality, a silvery air had descended over everything, the temperature dropped considerably, and everyone around us started to jump, scream, and cheer. I stood there with my hands on my head, mouth gawping at what looked like a portal to another dimension opening just above the horizon.”

After retrieving the footage from the drone, Robinson was amazing at how well the shot had worked out.

“It had captured the shadow of the moon traveling through the valley and right over us,” Robinson says.

A big thanks to Sam Cornwell, the photographer behind Solarcan, for sending in this tip.

Clients’ Reactions to My Prices

Clients' Reactions to My Prices

Sending a photography quote out is always a stressful moment, especially if it is for a job you really want. Here are a few memorable reactions from potential clients.

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This is the First-Ever Photo of Quantum Entanglement

Scientists have unveiled the first photograph ever captured of quantum entanglement, the physical phenomenon in which two or more “entangled” particles are connected via their quantum states, even across vast distances.

Physicists at the University of Glasglow published the image and a report of their findings in the journal Scientific Advances in a paper titled, “Imaging Bell-type nonlocal behavior.”

The groundbreaking photo shows two entangled photons sharing physical states for a brief moment in time in a strong form of quantum entanglement called Bell entanglement.

To create the photo, scientists pumped a beta barium borate (BBO) crystal with an ultraviolet laser, which produces quantum linked photons. This stream of entangled photons was then separated with a beam splitter, and the first photon was sent through objects that change the phase of photons passing through.

An ultra-sensitive camera was triggered to capture photos of both entangled “twin” photons, resulting in the image of quantum entanglement.

The scientists say that this pioneering photo opens the door to “a whole new class of quantum imaging demonstrations and techniques.”

(via Science Advances via Engadget)

Image credits: Photographs courtesy the University of Glasgow

Wedding Photog: This is Why Guests Should Put Phones Away

A Texas-based wedding photographer is making waves online after speaking out against a wedding guest who ruined an important photo by sticking her iPhone into the aisle at the ceremony.

Fort Worth-based photographer Hannah Mbalenhle Stanley of Hannah Way Photography was shooting a wedding recently when a guest blocked her view during the bride’s entrance with her father.

After the wedding, Stanley shared the two photos above on Facebook along with the following message to the guest:

To the girl with the iPhone…

Not only did you ruin my shot, but you took this moment away from the groom, father of the bride, and the bride. What exactly do you plan on doing with that photo? Honestly. Are you going to print it out? Save it? Look at it every day? No. You’re not. But my bride would have printed this photo, looked at it often and reminisced over this moment as her dad walked her down the aisle on her wedding day. But instead, you wanted to take a photo with your phone, blocking my view, and taking a photo that you will not use.

Guests, please stop viewing weddings you attend through a screen but instead turn OFF your phone, and enjoy the ceremony. You are important to the bride and groom, you would not be attending the wedding otherwise. So please, let me do my job, and you just sit back, relax and enjoy this once in a lifetime moment.


Wedding photographers

Stanley’s message has struck a chord with many: the post has gone viral, receiving over 120,000 reactions and 130,000 shares within the first 48 hours after being published.

Recognizing and Managing Stress and Trauma as a Photographer

Recognizing and Managing Stress and Trauma as a Photographer

No matter how long you’ve been shooting, there’s always been a kind of base level of stress that hangs in the background for every photographer, just out of sight. It’s one of those things that’s always there, even if you don’t notice it.

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ARRI: New Features For Stellar App

ARRI has released a new version of Stellar, a professional lighting control app, that allows you to sync and share between teams and devices. With Stellar 1.5, features have been incorporated that allow for more collaboration and exchange on set. Introduced in 2018, Stellar is the link in a complete ecosystem of ARRI lighting control […]

The post ARRI: New Features For Stellar App appeared first on Below the Line.

What I Learned from Capturing My First Total Solar Eclipse

Last week I made the long trip from the UK to Chile in the hopes of capturing my first total solar eclipse. I had experienced a cloudy total solar eclipse from the UK in 1999 but back then I was just 9 years old and certainly no photographer. Now that I’m apparently a professional landscape astrophotographer, a total solar eclipse was a gaping hole in my portfolio.

Total solar eclipses are of course a rare event. They occur once every 18 months on average but totality can only be seen from a thin and short path each time. On top of that, there will inevitably be eclipses ruined by bad weather and eclipses that occur in locations difficult to reach, such as the 4 December 2021 eclipse that passes through Antarctica. As such, people who are experienced in photographing total solar eclipses are few and far between and although I have only now captured just one myself, I’d still like to share what I learned from it.

Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance

Totality can last up to 7 mins 30 secs but is usually much shorter. In my case, it was just 2 mins and 37 secs. That’s not a lot of time, so you need to make sure you’re ready! Prior to the trip, I listed out what I wanted to achieve:

  • Telephoto Sequence (Partial Eclipse, Diamond Ring, Bailey’s Beads, Totality)
  • Wide Angle Sequence (Image taken during totality with partial eclipse phases blended on top)
  • Long distance alignment of person in foreground with total eclipse ~800mm focal length
  • Vlog footage of myself doing the above and of course my reaction to the event

Then it was a matter of working out which gear I would use for each and then, of course, the settings required. Now, I mentioned that there aren’t many people out there with experience in photographing solar eclipses but one of those people is certainly Fred Espenak, the retired NASA Astrophysicist behind I used his tables to work out the settings I would need for my telephoto sequence shots and the numerous examples of wide angle shots also guided me for my own.

I wasn’t able to decide the focal length for my wide angle shot until I was in the field and had found a composition I was happy with though. To assist with this I jotted down some notes and diagrams that would help me choose. I drew out a diagram of where the Sun would be positioned during the main moments of the eclipse and also the angular size of various focal lengths. I also noted the settings for my telephoto sequence. Notebooks don’t require batteries or internet signal, so they’re always a safe bet.

Bracket, Bracket, Bracket!

Even though I had worked out my settings based on the past experience of others, it is, of course, important to bracket your shots. Atmospheric conditions such as thin clouds could potentially alter the exposure of a total solar eclipse. It’s also worth noting that the eclipse I would be capturing was to occur only 13° above the horizon and so I would be viewing it through a thicker layer of Earth’s atmosphere than if it was directly overhead. This can also reduce the exposure value. Ultimately, bracket and be safe, or be sorry!

Use the Memory Recall Modes on Your Camera

There is a huge difference in exposure of the partial eclipse compared to the other telephoto possibilities (Diamond Ring, Bailey’s Beads, chromosphere, corona). The partial eclipse would also require a solar filter which would need to be removed about 1 minute before totality. Not only that but the settings required for the various stages prior to totality also varied massively and in such a short space of time.

Rather than trying to adjust the settings manually, it was best to have a bracketed exposure that covered all of those settings and then I would continuously fire from 30 seconds before totality. Once I had worked out the sort of bracketing that I needed to cover everything, I saved the settings into Memory Recall 1 on my Sony camera. That way, 1-minute before totality, I could remove the solar filter and switch to Memory Recall 1 and fire away without wasting any time adjusting settings frantically.

Rehearse and Practice

Totality is a frantic mix of emotional overload and panic. It’s essential to rehearse and practice the short window of totality before the actual event and make sure all your settings are solid and your gear is up to the task. One issue I was having was composing at 800mm using a ball head. It was rather difficult to keep the Sun in the center of the frame as there was always a bit of sag after tightening the ball head and then releasing my grip on the camera and lens. As much as I would have loved to use an equatorial tracking mount, I didn’t want to carry one half-way around the world with me and then for another 3 weeks around Chile all for one shot.

In the end, I opted for the Benro 3-Way Geared Head. Keeping the Sun in the center of the frame was as simple as making minute adjustments in two axes and there was no dreaded sag to worry about. Problem solved.

Avoid Traffic and Camp Out

The only main city close to the path of totality in Chile was La Serena. With just a population of 200,000, they welcomed 300,000 visitors. Credit must be given and the public services were all handled impressively, but there’s not much you can do to dodge that kind of traffic. To be safe, we headed to our location the day before and camped out.

Solar Filters Are Essential But Don’t Have to Be Expensive

I remember seeing an article after the 2017 total eclipse in the USA showing all the rented gear that had been returned damaged by the Sun. I wasn’t going to risk any of my gear in that way so I started looking into solar filters. At first I found some expensive variants for 100x100m and 150x150mm systems but then was recommended Baader Solar Film by a fellow astrophotographer and friend. The film is quite cheap and you can DIY your own holder. I opted for a Gosky aluminum mount, but my friend resorted to simple tape.

Refocus After Removing the Solar Filter

Although technically there is no need to refocus after removing the solar filter, there is a chance you may knock the focus ring during the removal of it. I think this may have happened to me as my telephoto shots are slightly out of focus. Next time, I would remove the solar filter slightly earlier to give myself a chance to refocus, just to be safe.

Partial Eclipse – f/11 | ISO100 | 1/500 secs + solar filter
Diamond Ring effect – f/11 | ISO100 | 1/125 secs
Bailey’s Beads – f/11 | ISO100 | 1/125 secs
Totality – f/11 | ISO100 | 1/8 secs

Have a Backup Plan

About an hour before the partial eclipse was to begin, my friend Adrien dropped his super telephoto lens! Fortunately, he had a backup lens with him, albeit not as long in reach than he originally had planned, but better than nothing.

It’s also worth having a backup location just in case the weather forecast isn’t great. But do bear in mind that if you need to change location last minute, traffic may be crazy.

Stay Calm

The experience of totality is far too great for words but perhaps watching me curse my way through the entire 2 mins and 38 secs in my recent vlog (embedded above), you can get some idea of what it can do to a person. It’s such a moving experience, I’m convinced that if I wasn’t so focused on getting my shots I most certainly would have cried. If it’s your first time, no matter how you imagine it will be, you can’t prepare yourself for the real thing. Just stay calm and get the shots.

Enjoy the Experience

Given the rarity of the event and just how moving it can be don’t forget to enjoy it. In the end, I had to sacrifice some of the shots on my list as I didn’t want to encroach on the experience too much. At least by keeping it simple, I had time to take it all and enjoy the precious moment and I’m glad I did.

Make it More Than Just the Eclipse

If like me you plan to travel for an eclipse then it’s best to make it more than just the eclipse. The fear of bad weather ruining the even was unavoidable, but being encouraged to visit Chile gave me a good excuse to tick two locations off my bucket list; Easter Island and the Atacama Desert. Even if the eclipse had been cloudy, I’m sure it wouldn’t have ruined the trip altogether.

Sony A7sii astro-modified + Laowa 15mm f/2.0 f/2.8 | 25 secs | ISO6400
Sony A7sii astro-modified + Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM f/2 | 20 secs | ISO6400 multi-row panorama

About the author: Alyn Wallace is a landscape astrophotographer based in South Wales, UK. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Wallace’s work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. This article was also published here.

Shooting High-Res Thermal Photos of Iceland to Show Nature at Work

A computer vision engineer by day and photographer by night, I never take the path most traveled, especially when it comes to imaging technology. Thermal cameras are one of the most interesting types of cameras, and while they are widely used in industrial, scientific, and military applications, they are largely untouched and unknown to the general public.

Thermal cameras aren’t your average infrared camera, which sees light in the 0.8-1.7 micron range of wavelengths, depending on the sensor technology. On the other hand, thermal cameras pick up infrared light in the 7-14 micron range, which allows them to see the blackbody radiation that is constantly emitted by all objects at habitable temperatures.

These cameras require no external lighting — not even starlight — and can measure the temperature of every pixel they see from afar. That makes them excellent for spotting people or wildlife in the dark, inspecting heat loss from buildings, and in my case, hunting down geological activity.

Iceland ranks as one of the topmost photographed countries in the world. But in the land of fire and ice, constantly being shaped by geological forces, there is much more than the eye — or your digital camera — can see, and is perhaps one of the most interesting places on Earth to wander around with a thermal camera.

Since I wanted to image wide-angle landscapes in high resolution, and my thermal camera’s field of view was only about 24 degrees, I had to put together a DIY rig to panoramically scan the scene. I also simultaneously shot a black-and-white photo with a regular camera and a wide-angle lens for comparison. I then wrote my own program to color the black-and-white photograph with the actual thermal data, using a false-color scale which you see in the upper-right corner of every image.

Grjótagjá is a small water-filled cave in northern Iceland and is situated beneath an active fissure. Between 1975 to 1984 the water reached temperatures of 50°C, but as measured here it has now cooled down to just under 40°C. This cave was the location of a scene in season 3 of Game of Thrones.

Icelandic horses have been bred pure for more than 1,000 years, and have a double fur coat for extra insulation which keeps them warm through the harsh winter. They lose heat largely only through their eyes and mouth, which you see in this picture.

Glacier ice breaks off and floats into the North Atlantic Ocean, sometimes to be swept back onto the shore. Although the waters are already at dangerously freezing temperatures, the glacier ice is actually significantly colder, so they take a relatively long time to melt.

A fumarole is an opening in the Earth’s crust which emits steam and hot sulfurous gases. Here we see an extremely hot one at Námafjall Hverir.

Strokkur, a geyser in Iceland erupts into the air with boiling-hot water. The word “geyser” comes from Icelandic.

Iceland is well-known for its waterfalls. Most of them continue to gush through the winter, when super-cooled water is able to continue to flow despite being slightly below freezing.

Located close to the Hengill volcano, Hveragerði is home to numerous hot springs and fumaroles. Through thermal imaging, it is also possible to locate them from afar and locate activity beneath the ground via differences in surface temperature. Here we see a stream of hot water, but the surrounding area is also warm from other activity beneath the surface.

North America on the left, Europe on the right. Here we see one of the fissures where the two continents are slowly drifting apart, and a small amount of heat and steam emanating from below.

Turf houses offer superior insulation to traditional building construction. This thermal image of a turf church shows just how little heat is being lost through the roof; most of the heat loss occurs through the windows. (Note: Glass windows are opaque to thermal cameras; the temperature measured here is the surface temperature of the window.)

Iceland is a pioneer in the use of geothermal energy. A newly-built power plant at this geothermal field at Þeistareykir can supply up to 90 MW of renewable energy.

A large iceberg breaks off from a glacier and floats into a bay, and is melted by the warmer waters beneath, as seen through the cracks.

At the small hamlet of Búðir sits a famous church painted fully in black. A side effect of the black paint is that the entire building absorbs heat from sunlight rather effectively. (I am not sure if that was a consideration in its design, rather simply an interesting observation I was able to make.)

Winter in Iceland is a harsh time of the year. The black faces of the iconic Vestrahorn are heated up by the evening sunlight, yet these dunes in the foreground and the tops of the mountains are seen subject to fierce winds and colder temperatures.

Editor’s note: The author, Dheera Venkatraman, previously reshot old photos in China to see how scenes have changed over the past century.

About the author: Dheera Venkatraman graduated with a Ph.D. from MIT, where he worked on a new type of single-photon camera and co-founded, a robotics startup in Palo Alto, where he works on computer vision, machine learning, and self-driving technology. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. When he is not working he enjoys combining art and science, and traveling to explore and do photographic projects. You can find more of Venkatraman’s work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Time to Prepare for Viral Photos Is Before They Go Viral

The Time to Prepare for Viral Photos Is Before They Go Viral

Unless you’re a photojournalist, the chances are low that your photos will ever go viral. If you’re trying to go viral, you’ll probably be prepared ahead of time. If you just so happen to be in the right place at the right time, you may not be prepared for what happens when your photos go viral.

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Lesser Known Photography Galleries: Seek Them Out

Lesser Known Photography Galleries: Seek Them Out

If you’re into photography and you’re into galleries, I’m confident you’ve heard of New York’s MoMa, Toronto’s AGO, and London’s Tate Modern. But what about some of the lesser known galleries that are often given short shrift in favor of the bigger iconic galleries?

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Is the Sigma fp a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K Killer?

This article is a comparison of the specifications of the Blackmagic Design Pocket Camera 4K (Amazon, B&H) and the Sigma fp (Amazon, B&H). If you’re interested in seeing a comparison between the Blackmagic Design Pocket Camera 4K, Panasonic GH5/GH5S and the Z CAM E2, click here. Important: Some of the information is unverified. Some are just rumors. Don’t take […]

DJI Launch Complaint Against the BBC for Their Portrayal of Drones in Recent Programs, Call It ‘Sensationalist’

DJI Launch Complaint Against the BBC for Their Portrayal of Drones in Recent Programs, Call It 'Sensationalist'

DJI, one of the world’s leading drone manufacturers, has formally lodged a complaint against the BBC for a pair of “biased” programs they aired on drone safety. DJI claim the broadcaster included little of the information they provided for the programs, and that the shows were sensationalist by focusing on high-risk incidents like the Gatwick Airport drone crisis.

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Hands-on with new Sigma 35mm F1.2, 45mm F2.8 and 14-24mm lenses

Hands-on with new Sigma 35mm F1.2, 14-24mm and 45mm F2.8 lenses

Sigma just launched three brand new lenses: the 35mm F1.2 DG DN and 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN ‘Art’ are joined by the ultra-compact 45mm F2.8 DG DN ‘Contemporary’. All three are being made available in Sony E-mount, and in L-mount, making them compatible with Panasonic and Leica full-frame mirrorless cameras, alongside Sigma’s own forthcoming ‘fp’ model.

We’re in Japan, where we took a closer look at the three new lenses.

Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art

First up: the 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art. This is an ultra-fast semi-wide-angle prime lens for full-frame Sony, Panasonic and Leica mirrorless bodies, which Sigma says is capable of resolving more than 50MP (something we’d expect to become a necessity, before long). As you can see from this picture, the 35mm F1.2 is a hefty piece of glass, measuring 94mm (about 4 inches) in length.

Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art

Weighing in at nearly 1.1kg (2.4 lbs) it’s 50% heavier than the older 35mm F1.4 Art, but obviously for some photographers, that extra brightness wide open will be worth the handling penalty.

Speaking of handling, whereas previous Art-series lenses have been pretty bare-bones in terms of external controls, the 35mm F1.2 features a electro-mechanical aperture ring (which has a ‘de-click’ switch for video work) and a customizable AF-L button.

Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art

The optical construction of the 35mm F1.2 explains its large size and weight. Comprising 17 elements in 12 groups, this is an unusually complex prime lens, optically. Three SLD (super low dispersion) and three aspherical elements should keep aberrations under control and ensure high resolution across the frame.

That big front element does mean a correspondingly big 82mm filter ring, though. Sigma claims that the 35mm F1.2 is built to a high standard of construction (it seems to be, from our time handling this sample) and is sealed against dust and moisture incursion.

The 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art will be available this month at an expected MSRP of around $1499.

Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art

Next up is a lens that a lot of Sony E-mount shooters have been asking for: the 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art, designed from scratch for mirrorless. Featuring 18 elements in 13 groups, this is a serious piece of glass, and like the 35mm F1.2 it also features a customizable AF-L button and weather-sealed construction.

Despite all this, as you can see from this picture, the lens remains relatively small. Compared to the older 14-24mm F2.8 for DSLR mounts, it’s a substantially more portable bit of kit.

Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art

Sigma claims that its engineers have been able to keep the size of the 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art manageable precisely because it was designed from the ground up for mirrorless. We’ve always been lead to understand that the size and weight benefit of lenses designed for mirrorless is clearer at wider focal lengths, and this lens (among others like Sony’s excellent 12-24mm F4) would seem to support that hypothesis.

Unfortunately though, the bulbous front element of the 14-24mm (which moves in and out when the lens is zoomed) does not allow for conventional screw-in filters. However….

Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art

A rear filter holder is included, which allows for the use of sheet-type filters at the rear of the optical assembly. Sigma is pitching this specific feature as a benefit to astrophotographers, but we suspect that at least as many landscape shooters will find it useful. They’ll also appreciate the 11-bladed aperture, which should be good for sunstars and well-shaped bokeh. Sigma’s new ‘Nano Porous Coating’ has also been included, for flare and ghosting suppression.

The Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art will be available later this month at an MSRP expected to be around $1499.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary

At the other end of the size and weight spectrum is the 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary – a retro-styled, compact standard prime lens weighing in at only 215g (7.6oz). As you can see, this is a genuinely small optic (hooray for a move – however tentative – back towards small standard lenses…) but at F2.8, options for low-light imaging will obviously be somewhat limited.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary

But the whole point of a small, light standard lens is that you can take it anywhere. For daylight shooting at medium apertures, its small size and fast AF (courtesy of a stepping motor) make the 45mm F2.8 a lovely companion for something like Sony’s a7 III….

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary

…or the even tinier Sigma fp!

Despite its small size and weight, the 45mm F2.8 is made mostly of metal, and offers a very nicely machined aperture ring, a well-damped focus ring and a degree of dust and moisture resistance.

While its maximum aperture of F2.8 means that it might not be a natural first choice as a portrait lens, Sigma claims that it has been designed to give very pleasant bokeh, transitioning from a ‘classical’ rendering wide open to a more modern, sharper look when stopped down. A remarkably close focus distance of 24mm (1″) should allow for some interesting closeups, too.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary

Here’s an unpainted 45mm F2.8, showing its metal construction, which even extends to the generously-proportioned (included) hood. The hood attaches via a bayonet mount, and can be reversed on the lens for storage.

The Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary will ship later this month at an MSRP expected to be around $559.