Click on the image to view in the SCU Lightbox!
In the 193+ year history of photography, there have never been more creative tools for artists than today. Technology never slows down, and Panasonic has just raised the bar again with the new full-frame mirrorless S1.
In last week's Mirrorless Monday post, Mark Toal wrote about a new way to see with one his new favorite features on the S1, shooting in other formats, like panoramic at a 65:24 size ratio! This week I wanted to share an incredible image by Ben Grunow taken in what his eyes saw as total darkness, a "total blackout."
Ben regularly shares stunning photographs on his website, in some of the most diverse galleries of outdoor images in the industry. You'll never be disappointed in the content he shares. Ben's alsoi part of the LUMIX Ambassador team, one of the most skilled teams in professional photography. They're always sharing great content to help you raise the bar on your skillset.
by Ben Grunow
It amazes me how far cameras have come in the past few years. This shot was taken before the sun came up at iso 10,000. I couldn’t see without my head lamp on. Total blackout in front of me.
I figured I would take a few shots before the sun came up, not at all thinking that I would be able to see detail and color in the foreground. To my eyes everything was black and usually I would have to use the light of a powerful headlamp or flashlight to paint in any sort of detail to capture what was directly in-front of me on different settings.... I feel like I can look at photography now in a different light and capture what was not possible before!
Pretty cool that this is close to what some animals can see like at night. Limitless possibilities!
The image Ben is sharing was captured with the New LUMIX S1R and the 24-105mm F4 Lens. Click on either thumbnail below for more information.
Intro by Skip Cohen
It's "Mirrorless Monday," and my good buddy "Mirrorless Mark" (Mark Toal) is back with a different perspective on Panasonic's new full frame mirrorless S1 camera. When it comes to passion for the craft, it's pretty tough to find anybody that can top Mark, and it's one of the things I appreciate most when hanging out with him.
I'm not a tennis player, but there's that concept that if you play tennis with somebody better than you, your game improves as well. That's the way it is with Mark, photography and the new S1. Mark's no stranger to SCU, and in so many of his images, he's always sharing a different perspective. One of my favorites was his infrared image in the "Why?" series.
Well, this week he's having fun with two different size ratios, 65:24 and 2:1. Many of you know my Hasselblad history. So it's a kick seeing a panoramic size ratio matching the X-pan.
Mark shares so many great images along with solid ideas on his blogs. Just click on his photo above to link to his website. You'll never be disappointed in the content he shares. And check out the LUMIX Ambassador team. This is one of the most diverse groups in photography, and they're always sharing great content to help you raise the bar on your skillset.
Mark captured the images in today's post with the 24-105mm lens, all at 24mm. Click on any image to enlarge it on the SCU lightbox.
NEW! LUMIX S1 Kit, Digital Mirrorless Camera with 24.2MP MOS Full Frame,
24-105mm F4 L-Mount Lens - DC-S1MK
By Mark Toal
"Seeing in a New Way" - This is the slogan of one of my favorite photo companies, Lensbaby. They make lenses that let you tilt, bend and skew the world you see through your camera lens. It also sums up how I try to see the world and my photography. As part of my job for Panasonic I get to try out all the new Lumix cameras so I can teach sales people and customers about them.
I’m always looking for that one thing that the newest camera will give me to see the world differently. When I received the new Lumix S1 full frame camera I was impressed with the shallow depth of field and ability to hand hold the camera at really low shutter speeds until I came across the new frame size ratios, 65:24 and 2:1, in addition to the usual 4:3, 3:2, 1:1 and 16:9. That got my attention.
I forget about it until I was showing a customer different features on the S1 and switched to the very wide 65:24 shape. He immediately recognized it as the shape of the image from the Hasselblad X-Pan super wide film camera that he owns and bought the S1 just for this feature.
I’m still getting used to seeing the world through these shapes, but that’s what I love about learning something new. I get to see in a new way.
Images copyright Jonny Yoshinaga. All rights reserved.
There's something about going to a car show that makes it a photographic magnet, and it goes so much deeper than the beauty of the cars themselves. I love the passion of the owners and the pride that goes with the investment of years in the restoration process. They know every inch, bolt, spring, hose, and switch. They've taken an object and turned it into an almost living being, complete with albums of pictures no different than a family album from birth to the current moment.
At a show in Ohio several years ago, the owner of a beautiful 1937 Packard shared his album with me. He spent eight years looking for the parts. It took four cars to build one complete piece of perfection. It then took him five years to completely rebuild it, right down to doing his own paint job. The car was stunning, but paled in comparison to the pure joy and pride he shared!
I'm late for Mirrorless Monday this week, but it's never too late to share great images. My good buddy and LUMIX Ambassador Jonny Yoshinaga shared these image from a car show recently, and his use of depth of depth of field and composition. You can imagine the pride of each owner as you look at the finished restoration.
These images are all captured with the new LUMIX S1 full frame mirrorless, and they're remarkable. They were all shot wide open at f1.4 with the 50mm Leica certified lens. The camera is an amazing piece of technology and well worth a trip to your LUMIX retailer to check it out. Click on either thumbnail below for more information.
Jonny had a ton of images from this one show, and I pulled a few of my favorites to share here. I love the detail. Click on any image to enlarge it on the "lightbox."
Jonny needs to be on your radar along with the entire US LUMIX Ambassador team. They're one of the most diverse and creative teams in photography. They're on the road all year long speaking and teaching at LUMIX retailers and a variety of conventions/conferences. In fact, Jonny and a few other members of the team will be at ShutterFest in the Panasonic booth on April 23-24. If you're there it's a perfect time to meet them and check out the complete LUMIX line.
Images copyright Suzette Allen. All rights reserved.
One of the best things about our industry and the Internet is the way we share images today. Suzette Allen shared the light-painted image above yesterday on Facebook, and I loved it.
There's a fun part of the backstory, and it helps if you know a little about Ms "BT" (Bubble Trailer). Sheila and I were first introduced two years ago when we saw Bubble Trailer in images Suzette and her husband Jonny shared when visiting us in Florida after taking BT to Burning Man.
Since then, "BT" has become a leading personality in photographic education. It's no longer a mechanical object, but the co-star in the story of two passionate artists and educators! And, she's loaded with personality as well as gear and outdoor metal prints from Bay Photo!
Suzette and Jonny hit the road last week with a mini California tour but stay tuned, because there's lots more coming later in the year. You're going to hear a lot about the three of them. Even better, there are some fantastic educational opportunities coming up to help you raise the bar on your skill set!
Suzette posted last week:
Come to Bay Photo on April 4 and you are in the area (Santa Cruz, CA) from 3-5pm to enjoy some [safe] S'more and Smiles! Sorry- no campfires allowed! BUT get a selfie with Ms Bubble Trailer and check out her beautiful EXT Metal Photo gallery! First thirty people get some BT swag too!
And while it's got nothing whatsoever to do with the tour, BT or for that matter even photography...today is Jonny's birthday! So, Happy Birthday Buddy - wish we were there to help you celebrate!
Meanwhile, with the top image of BT at night in the woods, Suzette published how the image was created using the LUMIX G9 and the LUMIX G 7-14mm lens...
Light Painting with @BubbleTrailer in the redwoods! We just had to do this!! We waited until dusk to capture her tiny-ness next to that huge tree....we photographed this with a #LumixG9 on aMeFOTO tripod at IS0200 for 10 seconds on each exposure. (most were at F7.1 but a few at f4) Combined in Adobe Photoshop with masking, using 8-ish exposures, we were able to get all of the elements in pretty light. We just used our big flashlights and lit up each area of the image separately.
Gotta make a print of this... what [BayPhoto] product do you think? Maplewood print? metal? Acrylic? ideas??
The camera sees more than the eye. So why not make use of it?
Over the years I've heard so many of you talk about how photography helped you through a rough chapter in your life. From divorces to death of a loved one to failed businesses, health issues and depression friends have talked about how immersing themselves in photography has helped them stay focused on their values and find balance in their lives.
"Balance" has to be one of the most abused words in business or for that matter life. We all talk about the importance of balance as if it was a juggling act that could be learned with practice over time. Well, it's so much more - we're challenged every day to make choices and with each option comes a focus on our priorities. While often our brains know precisely the path we need to take, our hearts often go in another direction.
The image above is a perfect example. While business is excellent and the new blog is getting a lot of nice comments, my heart has been elsewhere. Yesterday, while outside I spotted the spider above. My initial instinct was to knock down the web, step on the thing and treat it like any bug we see around the house. But here's where photography became therapeutic.
Looking closer I was drawn to the red spikes on her back. That led to Google and looking up "Florida Spiders." Wandering a little further through cyberspace I learned it was a spineybacked orb weaver, and because they eat bugs that damage house plants and crops, it's a beneficial spider.
Keep in mind the spider above is at best 3/8 of an inch across, the size of a child's fingernail. So, out came the 30mm macro lens and the LUMIX GX85. I switched to manual focus and was able to get within a few inches of her. Again, thanks to Google, the lighter color and bright spikes mean the spider's a female.
But capturing the image was only the first part of getting my mind to focus on something other than the rut I was in. The next step came with wanting to share the image. I don't profess to be a professional photographer. My primary focus is helping you with the business and marketing side of photography, but having been around so many artists for so many years, I know more than I let on and I'll match my passion with anybody.
So, I decided to share it in several Facebook forums, and the response has been terrific. Each comment and "like" added to the fun of knowing I got the shot. And, in turn, it helped me out of the rut I was in.
It's one of the few times, I've taken my own advice from so many past blog posts and used my camera for the fun of capturing a little of the world around me. I didn't set out to do anything with the camera except relax and chill.
Meanwhile, my little buddy has expanded her web and is fast becoming a daily project for me. I'm going to wind up moving her, but the web, in just 24 hours has expanded to cover a 3-4 foot area for the core pictured on the right. It extends 4-6 feet beyond that for the anchors to the top of the pool cage and a hibiscus plant below.
And there it is - my whole point and along with Edward Weston's quote above - the camera truly does see more than the eye.
Recognize those times when you need to step away from working and recharge your battery.
“To me, photography is an art of observation.
It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…
I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see
and everything to do with the way you see them.”
Few things beat the beauty of a Florida sunset. Out with my FZ1000 last Thursday it was a perfect evening, and as the sun was dropping it was as if somebody said: "Cue the boat!" Across the horizon came a speeding boat. While this is hardly scientific, and really meets the definition of a grab-shot, I was surprised at the detail when I enlarged it 300%. Plus, these are screen shots of jpegs.
We've got two people in a boat that was easily a few hundred yards offshore. The driver is taking off his glasses, and you can see the end of one earpiece. His friend seems to be having a great time - mouth open and a grip on the leash of the dog, who appears to be looking back. Obviously, the image breaks up a little at 300% magnification, but that doesn't change the amount of data collected in this one frame.
I've been shooting with LUMIX cameras for the last four years. While my passion is helping you with the business and marketing side of photography, and I don't make a living as a professional photographer, that doesn't mean I don't appreciate great optics and the ability of LUMIX to often make my images look better than I deserve. LOL
The FZ1000 with its fixed bright Leica DC Lens 25-400mm F2.8-4.0, and super-fast LUMIX DFD focusing technology weighs in at under 2 lbs. Like most of the LUMIX family, it's perfect for travel. With retail pricing typically around $500 it represents one of the most bang-for-your-buck cameras in the industry.
Isn't time you checked out the complete LUMIX line, including the new full-frame S1, at your Panasonic dealer?
Fast Food Fridays are all about ideas to help you build a stronger more effective business model and often increase brand awareness. I started the series because so many of you are right-brained creative types with little interest in the operational side of your business. Plus, because you're business owners and struggling to find balance in your life between all the different hats you wear, Fast Food Friday posts hopefully help you focus on various aspects of your life other than your subjects. There is no auto-focus button when it comes to life.
Last week I wrote about the importance of getting back to basics, your skill set. The greatest marketing programs in the world won't make up for poor quality images that NEVER meet your clients' expectations, let alone exceed them!
I want to stay on a similar theme. Today's "blue-plate" special is about ways recharging your battery! It's a key ingredient in everybody's fight to find balance and stay focused on your priorities. And, the only key ingredients are time and the discipline to recognize when you need a break.
Is it time for you to take a short break?
Recently I noticed a little burn-out syndrome starting to creep into my life. I think it began with the grief of losing Molly the Wonder Dog, but it continued with some long flights on our WPPI trip, followed by not getting enough sleep and allergy season kicking in here in south Florida. Put all of that together, and you've got the perfect ingredients for a little apathy and a lack of enthusiasm and at times, even creativity.
Too often we deny our lack of energy. For me, I was going through all the motions and getting everything I needed to do done, but there was no sizzle. Life was like a can of soda left open overnight - it had color, flavor but no fizz! Well, you need fizz!
Here's how I snapped out of it, and it's hardly rocket science!
The first step is to recognize there's a change going on. I realized l was slowing down in my passion for the craft. I was going through all the motions but wasn't having fun. "Fun" is one of the most important words in business today and it's often lost underneath all the baggage that stress drops on your doorstep.
Second, is taking the time to do something to change what you're going through. Again, it's hardly scientific but does require a plan of attack. For me, it's often as simple as just unplugging and staying out of my office, off email, and removing myself from the work environment. I needed to go off-the-grid for a day or two. If something urgent had come up, I was available, but overall I needed to change my environment.
Third - do something you love. Often snapping back to your passionate self is as easy as going out and shooting for an afternoon on your own. Other times it takes good friends, people in your network who know you, understand what drives your passion and are just fun to be with.
For me this week it was both. I needed to grab a camera and change my environment, and Suzette Allen and Jonny Yoshinaga were here for a couple of days of their vacation. We rented a boat and headed out on the inland waterway with a ton of Panasonic LUMIX gear.
Everyone's needs are different when it comes to getting out of a rut, but the key starts with recognizing you're in one. I've shared this thought so many times in the past, but you can't create images that tug at people's heart-strings if your own heart isn't in it. And, it's okay when that happens - as a small business owner and artist you're dealing with a lot of variables, and many of them outside of your control. So, learn to recognize when you need to take a break and then follow-through with recharging your battery.
On the airlines in the safety pitch before every flight they always tell us, ..." in the unlikely event of a change in cabin pressure, put your mask on first before you help others." Well, it's no different in business, and you've got to take care of yourself before you can effectively get back to helping your clients and associates.
Most important of all remember one of my favorite quotes:
"It's just a bad day - not a bad life!"
Image copyright Jennifer Maring. All rights reserved.
"Why?" is all about some of the most respected artists in photography today. When I started the series over two years ago, I wanted to find a way to introduce you to more photographers and their work. Well, what better way than through the backstories behind their favorite images?
Jennifer Maring is in the spotlight today, and she's a multi-talented artist regularly demonstrating her skill set across several different platforms. She's a photographer, an educator, a decorator, presenter, cook and a great friend to so many of us in the industry. She's a diverse visual artist focused on a wide variety of passions!
Working together with her husband Chuck, she's half the team of Maring Visuals. You'll find her on Youtube promoting great photography, sharing great recipes and decorating tips through "Together in Style," and her diversity goes on and on in a steady stream of focus on a healthy lifestyle.
Click on her "Why?" image above to visit Maring Visuals.
She's also a LUMIX Ambassador. The image above was captured in Verona, Italy with a LUMIX GH5. I wanted to share this short video below, because it's a perfect example of three of Jennifer's passions - great photography, travel, and people. As you watch the video, think about how you might tell your own story. While the star of the video is the LUMIX GH5, it's also about Jennifer, her artistic eye and her passion for storytelling.
In the video she shares a piece of wisdom I loved:
"If you don't have a challenge, then you're not telling a good enough story!"
To see more of Jennifer's work and enjoy her diversity as she defines art and lifestyle, click on the banner below and visit, "Together in Style."
And, a big thanks to the sponsor of the "Why?" series and a new SCU partner, PhotoTexting.com. Communication is continually changing and PhotoTexting is giving thousands of photographers the ability to market in the mobile side of life! Check it out with a visit to their website. You can't afford to miss the opportunity and upgrade how you communicate with your clients.
What a strange few weeks it's been - until you go through it, nobody can describe the process or the pain of losing a pet. And it doesn't matter how your brain reminds you that pets don't live forever, or how lucky you were to have had such a fantastic friend in the first place - it's all about the hole in your heart, which is anything but logical.
Well, here I am on a Sunday morning and focused on some different feelings that came out of nowhere yesterday. Directly they have very little to do with photography, but everything to do with memories and the appreciation of looking back.
As a kid, my Dad and I collected antique musical instruments. My mom would drag us into antique shops looking for odd size plates, and we needed something more relevant to us. He played trumpet all through high school, college and even in a band in the Army Air Corps in WWII. I played trumpet and French horn in high school, so music became a sidebar hobby for us. Over the years we built quite a collection.
However, my most favorite piece is my Dad's cornet. It's been sitting on a shelf on a bookcase for the last two years and slowly turning black as the tarnish took over everything but my memories. I decided it was time to pull out the silver polish and clean it up. I with I had done a before shot because it was completely black.
When I was done, I grabbed a small roll of black velvet and captured a few shots, playing with a LUMIX FZ1000, available light and post-processing in Luminar. As I fooled around with the images, there were so many great memories that came back.
Too many of us spend so much time focused on the day in day out challenges of business and life that we forget to take those important walks down Memory Lane. We're so preoccupied with defining success that we don't appreciate those moments when a look in the rearview mirror is just what we need.
Cleaning Dad's cornet was like rubbing a magic lantern. It took me back to seeing him smile every time he could still triple-tongue a note and play Flight of the Bumble Bee (you've got to be a trumpet player to appreciate that) and he did it right up into his 90's. I thought about all the great times we had together carrying some of our instruments out of antique shops in pieces. I laughed over the tuba we bought for $5.00 and took it home in three shopping bags. One smile after another came over me and then the biggest smile of all...thinking about Molly the Wonder Dog and my Dad hanging out together right now.
Wishing all of you a terrific day and time to savor those memories and appreciate whatever it takes to get them to bubble to the surface. So, whether it's looking at old photographs or just something in your home that reminds you of special moments from days gone by - don't rush the process. It's like drinking a glass of great wine - take it slow and appreciate it.
And as always, grab those eleven-second hugs with those people most special in your life, because the time you have with them today will be those memories you savor tomorrow.
Happy Sunday everybody!
One of my favorite cameras to travel with is the little LUMIX GX85. It's often sold in a kit configuration and comes with a 12-32mm LUMIX G Vario lens. It's the perfect travel camera weighing only a pound and having most of the features that's made Panasonic's LUMIX line so legendary.
Most of you know, I don't make my living as a working pro because my passion is helping you with the marketing and business side of photography, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate quality in my gear. And, like many of you, I've always been a little skeptical about the quality of kit lenses.
The GX85 went everywhere with us in Los Angeles last week, and I'll be sharing more images in future posts. But, if you're looking for an ideal camera for travel, family time or just having at your fingertips, this is it. And, because of it's ability to use interchangeable lenses, the GX85 can use 27 different LUMIX lenses.
Click on any image to find out more about the GX85. You should never be without a camera, and while cell phones keep getting better and better, they can't do what a good camera can!
The two images above were shot at 32mm on the zoom at f5.6 @ 1/100 ISO 200. They're straight "out of the can."
While it's hardly a scientific test, I put it through my own "taste" test at a Farmer's Market last Sunday - nothing fancy, just handheld at some of the various stands. I post-processed in Luminar with only a minor tweak using one of the presets for mild image enhancement. Then I zoomed in to 100% and then 200% enlargement on the Luminar desktop. Remember, these are screenshots and not even close to the original file size.
And one final sidebar footnote. I'd forgotten one of the best benefits from the days when I lived in California - the fruit is ALWAYS fresh! Now living on the east coast, at best berries only last a few days before they start to get moldy, but the berries above were probably picked less than 48 hours before appearing at the market! The market was their first stop direct from the farm. Everything is fresh!
Sheila and I pretty much ate our way from one end of the market to the other!
Intro by Skip Cohen
Since launching in 2016, we've shared thousands of posts here on the SCU blog, with information on virtually every type of idea to help you build a stronger business. Well, as we get more into 2019, we're going to be sharing more technique posts to help you not only develop a stronger and more successful business but raise the bar on your skill set.
I love this post we're sharing today, thanks to Suzette Allen. While it might seem like a lesson in outdoor landscape photography, learning to work with slow shutter speeds is a skill applicable to so many different images you capture, including photographing a wedding and children playing, to name a couple.
Roday is "Mirrorless Monday," and Suzette is out with with a LUMIX G9 and two different lenses. More information about each one is linked in the thumbnails below.
Suzette has several different blogs, all filled with great content on technique, new ideas and often providing inspiration and insight into her passion for the craft, people and life. She's just a click away. Then, follow her and the entire US LUMIX Ambassador team. They're regularly speaking at LUMIX retailers and conventions around the country. In fact, she'll be with me and several of the other LUMIX Ambassadors at WPPI in the Panasonic booth #934 February 27-29. They're one of the most diverse and creative teams in photography, and should all be on your radar. You'll be surprised at how much great content they share.
by Suzette Allen
There’s something magical about the silky softness of a waterfall, shot with a slow shutter speed! While it’s very easy to do once you know how and have the right equipment, it seems just like pure magic before you master it! In this blog, you will learn how to capture water flow with a silky soft look, whether it be a grand waterfall like Havasu or a babbling brook down the road from you.
One thing that is necessary is a tripod, or at the very least, set your camera on a rock or log or something very stationary. Camera movement will destroy this effect in a fraction of a hot second!
In the examples here I’m using a Mirrorless Micro 4/3 camera- the Lumix G9 and either the 7-14mm lens above or the 8-18mm lens. I have my camera on a MeFoto Backpacker tripod which is light and easy to hike with, so it was my companion for the 57 miles we hiked in 7 days in the Grand Canyon on this trip!
Note: There were times I used it as a walking stick as well, when we walked the Narrows in freezing cold water in Zion National Park too! But next time I won’t do that—I’ll tell you why (and show images) in a different blog!.
Anyway, the trick to getting a soft silky water look is shooting in manual mode and using a slow shutter speed. Typically, you are shooting in the daytime, and hopefully in shade (or you will NEED neutral density filters), and you want to shoot with the shutter speed at 1/8 of a second or slower if possible. It was relatively soft light, but at ISO 200, which is the lowest my camera goes, and the aperture at F22, the highest f-s top it offers, the slowest I could go was in the range of 1/5 to 1/8 of a second. Otherwise my image was overexposed.
It usually requires a bit of experimenting with a DSLR because you cannot see the effect or the exposure through the view finder and you need to shoot and adjust and re-shoot and adjust a few times until you get the right combination. Even if you use a meter, there is some experimentation or at least bracketing.
What I love about the Mirrorless Lumix is the EVF, or Electronic View Finder, which shows you exactly what your exposure looks like AND the effect of a slow shutter speed! [Be sure to turn on the Constant Preview feature to see that]. My camera is ON Constant Preview all the time and I literally cannot live without it.
The other benefit is the Zebras feature, which shows any part of the image that is overexposed with little black zebra stripes, alerting you to the overexposure BEFORE you take the shot! Take a look at this short video taken of Havasu Falls, where I show how I can confidently get a great exposure without any blown-out pixels (or needing to bracket or use a meter).
This feature is also turned on ALL the time on my camera and is an invaluable tool for getting great exposures all the time.
Turning on Constant Preview on the Lumix G9
Menu>Custom Wrench>Monitor&Display>Page4, bottom item: Constant Preview
turn to ON
Setting the Zebras on the Lumix G9
Menu>Custom Wrench>Monitor&Display>Page5, almost bottom item: Zebras
Choose SET and then choose [Zebra2 100%] and then turn it ON. Hit the center Set button on the camera back to be sure it is turned ON.
A few notes about this technique.
For the last ten years, the line between photography and videography has gotten thinner and thinner. Many of you are now shooting both still images and video, most often with the same camera. I know with my own images, working with any of Panasonic's LUMIX cameras, I switch back forth with the push of a button.
That works fine for me, but remember my business is based on the educational side of marketing and business. I don't make a living as a photographer, but most of you do! I'm very excited to be sharing two great videos in this post - both featuring LUMIX Ambassador Griffin Hammond.
"Griffin Hammond is a documentary filmmaker in New York City, known for producing DIY filmmaking tutorials for indie filmmakers, and his award-winning documentary Sriracha."
In the same way, so many of you have taken workshop after workshop to build a strong skill set in still imaging; it's time you did the same in filmmaking. I'm hoping you'll spend the next few minutes ( 3 1/2 to be exact) and watch the short film above. Pay attention to how Griffin tells the story. Then drop down to the video below and check out the newest member of the LUMIX family, the S series, and you'll have a better understanding of the gear he used.
If you're headed to WPPI later this month, Panasonic along with the LUMIX Ambassador team will be sharing the excitement of the S series with twenty-six different short programs in Booth 934. It's an opportunity to check out how this new full-frame camera continues to set the standard for technology and reenforcing the LUMIX tagline of "Changing Photography!"
There's a great expression from the old west, meant to evoke the image of a town having a new sheriff come to power and shake things up..."There's a new sheriff in town!"
Snow Goose at Sunrise
Bosque del Apache
Panasonic Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400mm lens
Exposure triad: f/11, 1/800 sec, ISO 640.
Seeing this image shared by my buddy Shiv Verma last November, I realized that Bosque del Apache has been on my bucket list for far too many years. It's time to change that in 2019.
Just in case you don't know about Bosque del Apache:
"The Refuge is 57,331 acres located along the Rio Grande near Socorro, located at the northern edge of the Chihuahuan desert. The heart of the Refuge is about 12,900 acres of moist bottomlands - 3,800 acres are active floodplain of the Rio Grande and 9,100 acres are areas where water is diverted to create extensive wetlands, farmlands, and riparian forests." Quote taken from: https://www.newmexico.org
"Each season, the Bosque del Apache offers unique bird and wildlife viewing opportunities. Peak visitation occurs in winter when bald eagles and thousands of sandhill cranes and snow geese flock to the fields and marshes. Plan to visit the weekend before Thanksgiving during the annual Festival of the Cranes. This world-famous event includes speakers, special tours, and arts and wildlife displays." Quote taken from: https://www.socorronm.org
While it is "Mirrorless Monday," today's post is also a perfect example of the best thing about our industry, the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. Although Shiv and I crossed paths several times in previous careers, we've managed to get in a lot of quality time over the last couple of years thanks to Panasonic. Shiv's a LUMIX Ambassador, and over the years we've caught up to each other at various shows and even my house for dinner when he's speaking at the Southwest Florida Birding Festival in Fort Myers.
He posted the image above on the LUMIX Photographer's Facebook page, and it was so beautiful, I wanted to share it here in a post. Remember, this is a screenshot, so you can imagine how stunning the original must be at maximum resolution.
Check out the gear Shiv used to capture this image with a click on either of the thumbnails below. "Changing Photography" is Panasonic's tagline. They never slow down in bringing the very best in creative tools to photographers all over the world.
You'll enjoy more of Shiv's work with a click on today's "Mirrorless Monday" photograph above. Then follow him and the entire US LUMIX Ambassador team. They're regularly speaking at LUMIX retailers and conventions around the country. They're one of the most diverse and creative teams in photography, and should all be on your radar, and you'll be surprised at how much great content they share.
Intro by Skip Cohen
It's Mirrorless Monday, and Daniel J. Cox is in the spotlight together with the Swans of Lake Kussharo.
Daniel's sharing another great image, and "how-to" tip, especially for those of you interested in photographing wild life. He's no stranger to SCU, always sharing ideas to help you raise the bar on your images. Over the last few years, we've shared a lot of his work together with some terrific insight into photography. You'll find more of Daniel's work in the SCU archives with top shelf images and helpful articles.
If you've got even the slightest interest in travel with a camera in your hands, Daniel and Tanya need to be on your radar. They run one of the best travel and photography companies in the country, Natural Exposures. Daniel regularly shares outstanding information on travel, photography, and technique on The Corkboard Blog. Just click on the banner below and check out one of the most diverse blogs in photography.
Find out more about Daniel with a click on today's spotlight photo. Then follow him, along with the rest of the LUMIX Ambassadors. They're one of the most diverse and creative teams in photography. They should all be on your radar, and you'll be surprised at how much great content they share.
Check out the gear Daniel used to capture this image with a click on either of the thumbnails below. Panasonic's tagline is "Changing Photography," and they never slow down in the quality and creative tools they're bringing to photographers all over the world.
by Daniel J. Cox
The Swans of Lake Kussharo
For this picture I was lying on the shore of a partially frozen lake this group of swans spends the winter on. Most of these beautiful birds migrate to Russia for the summer but always come back to the more temperate winters in Hokkaido, Japan.
Getting down to your subjects level is always a great way to create more interest in your picture. Sometimes, it’s even better to get below your subject as is the case with the Whooper Swan taking flight. Being below the swan taking off and having one of many birds in motion is also a way to add implied movement to still image.
I shot this picture with the Lumix GH4 and the 7-14mm F/4 lens. I used an aperture of F/11 for getting substantial depth of field. This image would not be successful if the swan in the air was sharp but the swans in the foreground were not. ISO was 160 and shutter speed was 1/500th of a second, plenty fast to stop the motion of the swain flight.
Image copyright Mike Peters. All rights reserved.
Intro by Skip Cohen
With help from my good buddy Mark Toal, we started Mirrorless Monday to share great images from a wide variety of applications all captured with LUMIX cameras. Later the feature expanded to include the LUMIX Ambassadors and today's post is especially unique, thanks to Mike Peters.
I'm always looking for great images captured with LUMIX cameras. Mike sent me the image above and then in an IM conversation on Facebook, he gave me some of his background leading up to joining the Ambassador team. Well, sometimes the backstory behind an artist and an image is just as much fun as the photograph itself. I loved Mike's story, not just about this image, but his love for photographing people, the square format and the way his work captures and defines the human spirit.
Check out more of Mike's work with a click on his image above. And, check out the LUMIX Ambassador team. They're an incredibly diverse group, always sharing great content to help you raise the bar on your skillset.
Find out more about the LUMIX GH5 and the Leica 15 mm lens Mike used on this image with a click on the thumbnails below.
by Mike Peters
Many years ago when I began to shoot on the street I was using a Rolleiflex, and then a Hasselblad. I used those cameras specifically because I wanted to shoot square. Why square, because I shoot for clients, and they all want rectangles. When I look at the world through a square viewfinder, I know that I’m shooting for myself and I can immediately shift gears to a more personal approach to my work. I like that the square is neutral, not this or that, just what it is - kind of like my photographs.
I like my personal work to be very unlike the commercial work where I make pretty pictures to tell uplifting stories for my clients. The work I do for myself is more a reflection of the reality that I see, and an expression of how I feel about that.
Photographing on the street gives me an opportunity to find people in whom I see something familiar, and to find their universal humanity in their specificity. We all have stuff. We all want the same things in life, to love and be loved. And within each of us is the capacity to be both very good and very bad people.
Finding people where they are in public places, I look for those who express the honest and unvarnished truth about themselves. I am bearing witness to their existence, acknowledging their presence at that particular place and time. We were there, together. The photograph is the proof.
I don’t really consider myself a street photographer in the classic or most popular sense. I photograph people on the street and in public spaces. My focus is on the people and their character and personality, along with the way they express themselves. I see these images that I make more as spontaneous portraits.
I saw this particular woman while walking across 42nd Street in NYC. I noticed that she was quite unusual in her presentation as she passed by me. So I turned around and walked quickly to get in front of her, far enough so that I could stop and wait. I saw the Broadway Magic sign and knew that it would be perfect.
I had one opportunity to nail the shot; she was walking towards me, so I cranked up the shutter speed in shutter priority, and auto ISO, and made the shot f1.7 @ 1/4000 ISO 1250 with the Leica 15mm on a GH5 using multi area focus in the single shot mode. The 15mm is the fastest focusing lens that I’ve ever used and I knew the focus would be nailed in this situation.
The other day I shared a post about starting the year out right and making the first quarter of the new year a time to focus on fine-tuning different areas of your business. I started out comparing many of you to acting like "deer in the headlights."
In my files, I had an image of the two deer above captured with a LUMIX FZ300 on a trip to Maryland last Spring. It's hardly an award-winner, but as an illustration, it was going to make my point just fine. All it needed to tie in better with the expression was a little more impact.
So, into Luminar I went, and minutes later I had what I wanted. I brought down the exposure, changed the highlights/shadows slightly, added in a little vignette and just a touch of sharpening. I also love the Before/After tool allowing me to immediately compare where I've been to where I'm going. It gave me what I wanted to tie in with the blog post - in minimal time and with more impact on the image to better illustrate my point.
Most of you know I'm not a professional photographer. My passion is the business and marketing side of the industry, but I'll match my love for the craft with a camera in my hands to anybody. Hanging out with so many of you my entire career I've learned a lot and know more than I let on. Often, I just want to capture good images, with minimal time in post-processing. Between Panasonic's LUMIX cameras and Skylum's Luminar, it's an exciting time for photography.
With the images Chamira and I have been sharing in Luminar Corner, I'm blown away by how easy Luminar is to work with. It redefines the meaning of fast and user-friendly. So, if I can get great results, imagine what you, as a professional photographer, can do!
If you haven't checked out, the new Luminar isn't time you found out what all the buzz was about?
Still the Biggest "No Brainer" Decision in Photography
by Bob Coates
I never could have gotten this photo without the long reach and stabilization that is in the Lumix G9 and the Leica 100-400mm f4.0-6.3 lens. Fully extended at the 400mm end of the lens which is the 35mm full frame equivalent of 800mm . Check out the specs...and this was handheld. 1/50th sec f6.3 ISO 200
It's the first "Mirrorless Monday" of the new year and LUMIX Ambassador Bob Coates is joining us with an incredibly striking image of a Mandrill. Captured at the Phoenix Zoo, it a perfect example of that great line from Shakespeare about "the eyes being the gateway to the soul."
Bob's image is another example of how technology keeps expanding your creative tools. Today you have the biggest collections of creative tools in the 190+ year history of photography. Bob shares plenty of great images along with lots of solid ideas about your business and marketing. Just click on his photo above to link to his website, Successful-Photographer. You'll never be disappointed in the content he shares.
And check out the LUMIX Ambassador team. This is one of the most diverse groups in photography, and they're always sharing great content to help you raise the bar on your skillset.
Find out more about the Lumix G9 and the Leica 100-400mm lens with a click on the thumbnails below. And, take the time to watch the short video below about the backstory behind this amazing member of the LUMIX family.
Click either thumbnail for more information.
Yesterday evening was one of those times when neither Sheila or I felt like cooking dinner. So we went for an early dinner at a favorite place called Dockside in Venice, FL. Sunset is early this time of year, and as we were ordering I looked out the window and the evening light show had begun. I grabbed a shot with my cell phone, but it just didn't capture the real beauty.
Fortunately, my FZ1000 was in the car. The image above has only minor processing in Luminar. The camera truly captured the beauty of the marina at sunset.
And there you have it, one of my resolutions for 2019 - to never be without a real camera.
My cell phone is fine for food shots posted to Trip Advisor and Yelp, and a grabshot now and then, but they don't give me the quality I want. Last night's sunset was spectacular and is going to wind up as a print, maybe even on Performance EXT Metal!
I know most of you are professional photographers, and the last thing you want to be carrying around is your full-time gear. At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, check out the members of the LUMIX "family." The FZ1000 is a personal favorite, because of the 25-400mm fixed zoom and weighing under two pounds.
Had I not had a decent camera with me I would have been shooting "neuro-chromes," and sunsets in Florida this time of year are just too beautiful not to capture more permanently.
We're down to the wire on a list of special offers in photography. I don't want to waste time or space with a lot of text, so everything below is linked to the appropriate program and manufacturer. There are some terrific deals out there right now, but it's a narrow window, and the opportunities are closing fast.
From Profoto Ending December 31
Profoto's promotion on the incredible A1 ends on December 31, 2018. Just click on the banner below to link to the product and find out what all the buzz is about!
From Marathon Press Ending on December 31
Every professional photographer is looking for ways to increase their profitability and Marathon Press is always there with great promotions. Their Buy-One-Get-One (BOGO) offer on holiday cards ends on December 31. Here's your chance to cut your costs per card literally in half! And, even if you no longer need cards, check out their various products and programs, so you don't miss out next year!
From Tamron USA:
You've got two different promotions worth checking out. Their holiday savings program ends on January 5, and includes other lenses beyond what's shown below. And, registration for their VIP club, which is pretty remarkable. You've got until January 15 to register.
From the SLR Lounge
Photography is one of those skill sets where you can never slow down on your education. No matter how much you feel you know and understand about the craft, there will always be more to learn. With that education comes a need for a continuous supply of creativity as technology keeps pushing the envelope and giving you more tools and concepts to help you capture outstanding images! Just click on the banner below and check out SLR Lounge Premium. It's an annual membership fee providing outstanding content to help you stay on track to becoming the very best...all year long!
From Panasonic on LUMIX Cameras
,Just about every Mirrorless Monday a member of the LUMIX team has shared a great image and insight into their passion for photography. Right now Panasonic has some outstanding offers on a variety of LUMIX cameras and it's well worth the time to take a scroll through their online store. Just click on the banner below.
It's not really down to the wire, because PhotoShelter has this program ongoing but concerning timing, it's the perfect solution for so many of you. Just because we're headed into the slow season, doesn't mean it should be quiet for you.
NOW is the time to clean up your website and raise the bar on your presentation to your target audience. PhotoShelter makes it so easy and with downtime coming up for many of you, it's time to stop procrastinating and clean up your website and galleries!
Normally I'd share this post on Mirrorless Monday, but it's holiday time and with next Monday being Christmas Eve, there's too much good content here to not share it today. In fact, I can't think of a better topic for a blog post going into the last week of the year than to share this video about the Friendship Centers.
Here's the scenario:
I've been actively working with the Friendship Centers here in Sarasota for the last seven years as a blogger, volunteer and now a Board member. Their tagline says it all, "To promote health, dignity, and quality of life throughout the journey of aging."
There were nearly 33,000 visits to the Senior Centers in 2017; 273,900 meals to hungry elders served, 16,000 patient visits to the medical and dental clinics and the list goes on and on in at least six more areas providing community support. And, just as important as the service they provide, they run a multi-million dollar business with 92% of funding going back to program services!
On December 13 the Friendship Centers held their annual Venice, Florida holiday party, Venice Lights of Friendship, with approximately 150 people in attendance. It's a fund-raising dinner, and the video below was shown for the first time that night.
This is where Mirrorless Monday takes over even though it's Thursday! The backstory here also ties into one of my favorite things about this industry - the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft.
The video was captured with a LUMIX GH5 by a talented local videographer, Don Gangnagel who I met for the first time at the Venice event. He shot the video interviews with the LUMIX Leica DC Nocticron 42.5mm lens and the B-roll with the LUMIX G X Vario 12-35 mm and G X Vario 35-100mm lenses.
Don's company is G3 New Media, and he's no stranger to creating award-winning films. G3 New Media is a collaboration of marketing media professionals created by Don Gangnagel, an Emmy-Award winning professional filmmaker who has worked on five continents. With twenty years of experience creating online content, his passions are video production and podcasting.
After the event, I caught up to Don with a great phone call this week. We started talking about the process he went through to tell the story, and I learned a lot about one his most important keys to success. It's his philosophy about the way he goes through the interview process when doing a documentary piece like this.
“I don’t even call them interviews…they’re just conversations. It's critical to show interest in your subject and make them feel safe. When that happens, you start to build trust....and everything is about the storyline. One of the biggest mistakes I see videographers make is not spending enough time listening to their subject. You've got to understand their point of view.
So often film producers working on a piece like this walk in with a list of questions they want to ask. Well, if you focus too much on the questions rather than just having a conversation, you miss these wonderful little nuances, gems of wisdom, that people share and help tell more of the story. The most amazing things people give you won’t come out the first time around, but come out along the way. So, if you’re worried about your next question you’ll miss some of the best material.
It’s not an interview, but a conversation person to person and you need just to listen – your next question isn’t on the page in front of you, but in response to something your subject has said."
Knowing that many of you are also interested in Don's technique and lens choice he talked about the Leica lens:
This is my FAVORITE interview lens. One of the challenges on this piece was that we had to conduct all nine interviews in two locations and didn't have the ability to visit each person at home. So we setup a portable green screen to film all the interviews. As a one-person production crew, I had to trust that the GH5/Leica combo would capture all the beautiful details of their facial expressions when I couldn't monitor what the camera was capturing. Part of that conversational interview style is always being mentally focused on the subject. If you keep looking away to check the shot every few minutes, you will distract the subject as well as yourself and you will break the momentum of the conversation. This requires a lot of trust in the camera. I love the way this combo captures facial details and provides a nice clean image to be able to remove the green screen during editing.
Regarding this three-minute clip about the Friendship Centers, Don admitted he interviewed more people than he normally would include. There were nine people interviewed and close to four hours of interview time to edit down to just three minutes. But, for me that's one of the things I appreciate most about his skill set as a storyteller - he's boiled down all those interviews into one solid high-impact piece that tells a story about the Friendship Centers.
While I know most of you aren't from the south Florida area, the Friendship Centers help thousands of people in the area every year and never stray from their vision to "continue servicing an ever-growing senior population with the highest quality of programs and service and remain the leader in the industry."
The Friendship Centers need everyone's help all year long. If you've got an interest in finding out how you can help or would like to donate, just click on the Friendship Centers' logo below.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.