It's been four years since I started shooting LUMIX cameras and after all these years it's truly changed my photography. As I've stated in past posts, I don't make a living as a photographer. My passion is on the business and marketing side, but put a camera in my hands and I'll match my love for the craft anybody. Spending time over the years with artists like my buddy Dan, I've learned a lot and often know more than I let on!
I'm a big fan of this relatively new series, Lumix Stories. Daniel's out and about in Cook Inlet and taking full advantage of the GH5's dual image stabilization. Shooting without a tripod, I love his comment about almost never using a tripod and feeling like a kid again!
Check out more of Daniel's work by clicking on any of the images below linking to his Luminary page in the Lumix Lounge. You'll find links to his website, Facebook page, and tweet stream.
Regardless of what you photograph for your core business, there's so much you can learn with Daniel on your radar!
Daniel's Gear in this Video: Click thumbnail for more information
Images copyright Daniel J. Cox. All rights reserved.
Photography in the "IA" Mode
Intro by Skip Cohen
My good buddy Mark Toal shared this post on the Mirrorless Photo Tips blog a couple of weeks ago. He also shared more images captured in "IA" in 2016. While most of us shoot in Shutter or Aperture mode, there are so many image captures that often don't give us the time to think about the camera settings. "IA," as Mark explains, gives him the time to concentrate on composition.
Chasing butterflies or more appropriately, waiting for them, I use "IA" a lot. I started using it after another member of the Luminary team, Bob Coates, suggested I give it a try. "IA" never disappoints me.
Stop by the Lumix Lounge and get to know all of the Luminary team. They're an incredibly diverse group of artists and educators. They're always pushing the edge of the envelope in technology and especially all the amazing features on Panasonic's Lumix cameras!
My image above was captured with a Lumix FZ300 and Mark's below with the new GH5 and Vario 7-14 mm lens. Click on either thumbnail to learn more about Lumix!
by Mark Toal
I frequently hear new photographers say that they need to learn to shoot in the Manual mode on their camera. When I tell them that I shoot a lot in the Intelligent Auto (IA) mode they look at me like I don’t have a clue about what I’m doing. Trust me, I spent years with cameras before auto anything was invented. I was so happy when auto exposure and auto focus came along. Finally, I was free to concentrate on composition and not the camera setting’s.
Don’t get me wrong, if I’m shooting action I will use shutter priority and for portraits I’ll use the Aperture mode. Most of my photos are vacation photos, street scenes, things I see in my travels, etc. I want to be able to take the image quickly before what caught my eye changes.
A good example is this photo that I took in Virginia City, Nevada. I walked out of a store and saw this guy and his donkey posing for photos. I quickly walked up and took this photo on the Intelligent Auto (IA) mode with my Panasonic Lumix G85 and Lumix 7-14mm f/4 ASPH lens. After I took a few photos in the IA mode he asked me for a dollar that you can see in his hand. I then switched to Aperture priority and tried shooting wide open to get a softer background. The Intelligent Auto photo was my choice for the final 20×30 inch print.
Try setting your camera to Intelligent Auto, or Program if you just can’t bring yourself to use IA and shoot for a few days. Just don’t tell your photography friends.
Loving the LUMIX FZ300 and Butterflies
Twenty minutes ago we had a new visitor to the butterfly garden, and this little guy just wanted to pose and show off. Since "Irma" came through with wind damage to the plants visits from the butterflies, have been a little light. So, seeing a species we haven't seen in the past, I grabbed the FZ300 and grabbed a few shots.
I think this butterfly is called a Gulf Fritillary, and if you want to challenge me, feel free. This is new turf for us. Over the summer we've had a half dozen different types of butterflies, and each time we're like little kids. I do my best not to miss any new visitors and have gotten in the habit of keeping one of the Lumix cameras near the back door.
When we built the garden last February we had no idea of the fun we'd have. Now the trick seems to be having the right plants. Different plants attract different visitors and thanks to LUMIX I rarely miss anything! And, while the butterflies come to feed during the day, nothing beats a glass of wine and an evening shot just after sunset.
The Zebra Long Wing and Monarch below were both shot with the FZ1000. Check out both the LUMIX FZ300 and FZ1000 with a click on either camera's thumbnail.
My good buddy William Innes is no stranger to SCU and has been featured in a few different posts about his experiences with Lumix cameras. He's also been a guest on the SCU/Photodex series to help you build a stronger business, but my favorite of all his appearances to date just might be this new video.
What I love about "Lumix Stories" is their ability to give you a profile of each featured artist. In the description of the video they wrote:
William avoids what he calls the wedding camera hangover effect caused by caring heavy full-frame DSLR equipment around, but thanks to the compact, lightweight nature of Micro Four Thirds mirrorless lenses he is hangover free. His transition away from full frame DSLR’s and onto mirrorless photography came after experiencing several key benefits key to his needs. Those key benefits include super sharp lenses like the Leica 42.5mm and Leica 12-60mm and a camera like the LUMIX GH5 with dual card slots, wifi, and the ability to shoot with lower ISO thanks to the innovative Dual Image Stabilization 2.0 mode.
But here's what was left out of this video's description - William shares a lot of great information about how and why he shoots the way he does. Listen to his choice of lenses, along with favorite features in the GH5, and regardless of what gear you currently shoot with, you'll pick up a mini-lesson in stunning wedding photography!
Check out more of William's work with a visit to his website. Just click on any image in this post. Then, take a "scroll" over to the Lumix Lounge and meet the rest of the Luminary team. They're a diverse and talented group of some of the most dynamic educators and artists in professional photography!
Images copyright William Innes. All rights reserved.
4K Video in the Hands of a Pro!
Here's the scenario. The challenge of any busy industry is getting quality time with friends and associates. We all see each other at the major conventions; follow each other on social media and even catch up via phone calls about various products, but we're always busy with the focus on everything but the friendship. Sound familiar?
Well, Suzette Allen and her husband, Jon Yoshi were up in St. Petersburg teaching last week, and I talked them into coming south before heading back to California. What a kick to just hang out with friends. We had no agenda, no schedule, except to spend time together.
But, there is a significant side benefit - Suzette and Jon are both members of Panasonic's Lumix Luminary team, and I had a challenge I wanted their help with. I wanted a better video and still images of Molly the Wonder Dog chasing a tennis ball. Molly's been chasing tennis balls since she was a puppy - turning twelve this past Labor Day weekend, it's still her favorite activity!
Suzette shot the video above with the new Lumix GH5 and the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-60mm, F2.8-4.0 ASPH. The individual images are frames from the video, and they're tack sharp. Click on either image above for more information.
Check out more of Suzette's images, blog and teaching schedule with a visit to her website. Just click on any image in this post. Then, wander over to the Lumix Lounge and check out more of Suzette and Jon's images along with the rest of the Luminary team. They're a remarkable group of talented and diverse artists and educators.
"If you don't have a challenge, you're not telling a good enough story!"
Lumix Stories are short videos about my favorite camera system, Panasonic's Lumix line. They feature some of the most diverse photographers in our industry,
I chose this particular video to share because it features one of my favorite artists, and longtime friend Jennifer Maring. She's on location in Verona, Italy doing an editorial assignment with the GH5, which is not only responsible for the still images I pulled off the clip but the filming of the video itself.
I love her reference to the GH5 as a "stealth camera," because it's so light. We've all traveled with heavy bags of camera gear, and at the end of the day felt every ache and pain, a reminder of the weight of that bag!
The GH5 is loaded with features, outstanding optics and technology giving artists an incredible selection of creative tools. But, when one of the benefits is the weight of the gear, you're free to be creative without physical restrictions. Your energy is being channeled into capturing each vision in your mind's eye without regard to "schlepping" equipment!
As you watch the video, pay attention to the way Jennifer sets up some of her shots. There's some great subliminal education about shooting on location, including her lighting. She's traveling with Profoto's Off-Camera Flash System, giving her the opportunity for more creativity in images where in the past she would have been limited.
To see more of Jennifer's work visit Maring Visuals. To learn more about Lumix, along with Jennifer's favorite lens, the Lumix G Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm, F1.2, visit the Lumix Lounge and meet the rest of the Luminary team. Just click on the GH5 to the left!
Panasonic's tagline for Lumix is "Changing Photography," and they're living up to that reputation with every product in the lineup!
Focus Stacking With a Lumix GX85
I want to set the stage for this post by reminding you I do not make a living as a photographer. My passion is the business and marketing side of imaging. However, after all these years at Hasselblad, Rangefinder/WPPI and working with some of the finest artists in the industry, I've learned a lot and often know more than I let on. The difference is, while I could light and capture a stunning portrait, it would take me the entire day when many of you would have the image in a few minutes! But, I'll match my passion for the craft with anybody!
I've been playing with the LUMIX GX85 and what a kick. For the first time, I tried shooting in the Post Focus Mode and then stacking the images. I've shared several posts on the feature, most recently a demo with the NEW GH5 by good buddy and Lumix Luminary, Bob Coates.
This morning I grabbed the GX85, the Lumix 30mm macro lens, a tripod and headed out to the butterfly garden. All I wanted was to show you the process which couldn't be simpler. While this is hardly a scientific demo, here are some of the focus points I chose to stack and blend. It's all done in camera and using the feature couldn't be easier.
Remember, I'm just playing with the feature. The image without focus stacking is on the right.
The flowers of the lantana are relatively small, probably no more than 1-2 inches across for a cluster. I started out in search of a monarch butterfly, and typical of chasing critters, they're never there when you need them!
Check out the GX85, the new GH5 and the rest of the Lumix family with a trip to the Lumix Lounge, and then your Lumix dealer. Take the time to get to know the Luminary team. They're some of the most diverse artists and educators in the industry, and an outstanding resource to be in your network!
"My advice for people who want to shoot landscapes...
First of all pack light,
second of all get somewhere where nobody is,
and shoot wide, shoot super wide."
I realize many of you don't typically shoot landscapes, but this short video featuring Ben Grunow is loaded with some great "how-to" material. In fact, you could almost turn off the sound and simply watch his technique. One of my favorite images above was captured with the new Lumix 8-18 mm lens. It got me thinking about photographs with similar composition but as a ring shot or components in an environmental portrait shoot where elements related to the subject were important.
Then there's simply Ben's style of shooting that combines his creativity with his technique and the tools that Lumix brings to the table. In fact, in the history of photography there have never been more creative tools to help you capture those images in your mind's eye!
Remember too; I'm sharing screen shots here not the original files!
And there's one more point I love about this video - Ben's advice for landscape artists is to pack light. In that backpack he's carrying throughout his hike, are two camera bodies and eight lenses! For those of you who still haven't taken a Lumix system for a test drive - imagine carrying that much gear with whatever camera gear you currently use.
Panasonic's tagline is "Changing Photography," and it's what I've experienced myself over the last few years. I'm never without a member of the Lumix family!
To see more of Ben's work, along with the rest of the Panasonic Luminary team, visit the Lumix Lounge. This is one of the most diverse group of artists in the industry, and over and again they're sharing their expertise and insight to help you raise the bar on the quality of your images and skill set.
P.S. When you visit a Lumix dealer, check out the new GH5. This entire video, along with Ben's still images, was captured on this amazing new "over achiever" in the Lumix family!
All images copyright Daniel J. Cox. All rights reserved.
Intro by Skip Cohen
Besides becoming a great friend since first meeting at a Panasonic Luminary meeting a few years ago, Daniel J. Cox is one of the most thorough, knowledgeable and detail-oriented artists I've ever worked with. In this unique guest post he's put the Lumix LX10 and ZS100 to the test, and the results are outstanding!
Click on either of the cameras below for more information. In the mean time I tend to live vicariously through Daniel's travels and these images certainly share the beauty of these trips!
Natural Exposures needs to be on your radar. And, if you're looking for an amazing travel experience to scratch off your bucket list, Daniel and Tanya are just a click away.
by Daniel J. Cox
Lets face it, everybody today is a photographer, right? Anyone carrying a phone can snap an image at a moments notice but what the image looks like in the end can be either great, mediocre or useless depending on many different things.
Thankfully, the number one advantage to making a great image is the set of eyes that start the process. No matter what camera you’re using from a cell phone to the new Fujifilm GFX the vision of the image creator is by far the most important element to getting a photograph people will remember. Moving from a cell phone to a real camera doesn't mean you have to break the bank or carry lots of additional gear. There are now options that will blow your mind and the two I’ve found are the Lumix LX10 and the Lumix ZS100.
A short backstory as to why I love what I call “ Small, Light and Mobile” is in order.
For forty years I carried one of the largest collections of camera gear you could buy. We all know the brand very well so that doesn't matter but it included lenses from 8mm all the way up to 600m F/4. At one time I carried all of this in a Lowepro Super Trekker, the total weight being 60lbs, schlepping it through airports, train stations on the back of horses, boats and sometimes a bike. On my first trip to Kenya, I had the 60 pound pack with a small duffel bag holding 600 rolls (40lbs) of Fujichrome film. Between the camera gear and the film I was literally hauling 100lbs of weight trudging through airports on my way to Africa.
In 2008 I began to look for something smaller and I found it in the Panasonic Lumix system. I’ve been downsizing ever since. Today I have the same range of lenses I had with my older traditional DSLR system. My new lenses are combined with much smaller, more technically advanced interchangeable lens bodies. These are my current work horse cameras and lenses. But once in awhile I go even smaller and have added the amazing point and shoot sized cameras to my bag, the Lumix LX10 and the Lumix ZS100 I mentioned above.
I recently spent two months shooting in Slovenia, Croatia and France and part of my goal was to see how much I could do with these two miniature photographing power houses. It was quite an experiment and I thought I would share with you some of my photos and experiences of using such small, easy to carry yet powerful photography tools. I’ve created extended captions highlighting how this same image might have been shot with the traditional DSLR’s but how I was able to do the same, maybe better, due to the smaller size and weight off powerful point and shoots.
Things Both Cameras Have in Common
-1-inch sensor. This is smaller than the Micro Four Thirds sensor but it produces high
-Relatively easy to navigate menu system with similar options
-4K Photo Mode
-Near identical controls on top and back of camera
-Fixed, noninterchangeable zoom lens
-Very slippery hand grip
Differences Between the ZS100 & LX10
How Does Lumix Produce Such High Quality? 1-inch Sensor
Sensor size relates to the size of the chip that records the photograph. Do any of you remember seeing photos of Ansel Adams shooting an 8x10 or 4x5 inch view camera? The film size for those cameras was 8x10 and 4x5 inches respectively. Now think about how small a piece of 1-inch film would be. That should give you a visual of the sensor size of the two Lumix point and shoot cameras. The Lumix sensor is not very big compared to what Ansel Adams used to shoot. But the quality is pretty close to what he produced with film back in the day. Hard to believe it’s true but the proof is in viewing the images shot with these tiny little cameras using 1-inch sensors.
Without a doubt I was able to capture incredibly high quality images with both cameras. Were the photos equal to what I would get with the Lumix GH5 or Lumix G85? In some cases yes. Some cases no. After shooting these tests I’m definitely more impressed with the quality of the lens on the LX10. The ZS100 gave me long range reach but the quality of the lens was not up to the standards I’m used to. The LX10 on the other hand was.
Between these two cameras it really comes down to lens choice. If you plan on shooting in darker light and want to be able to leave your tripod behind, the LX10 is the obvious choice. However, if you yearn for long range telephoto opportunities you may prefer the ZS100.
Either way you get a lot camera in either or. Ideally, if you really want to travel super light and have great range, you should really buy both and have each along as I did.
The FZ300 Hits the Lily Pond
I've shared a lot of images captured with the FZ300, which has become my favorite camera to travel with, even if it's just out for the day around Sarasota. It's light, easy to carry and with a 25-600mm fixed lens, there's pretty much nothing I can't capture. For you full time working pros out there, I recognize it's got a smaller sensor, but for my profile and what I'm normally trying to capture it's the perfect camera.
On a trip to the Mote Aquarium recently there was an outdoor lily pond with plenty of flowers in bloom. Conditions were pretty close to perfect, and because it was mid-afternoon with plenty of light, it was easy to handhold and get a few shots.
The image above is blown up 50% from the original file, which is below. Remember these are also screen shots. The only tweaking I did was darken it slightly with a small increase in the saturation. I wanted to highlight the water drops.
Check out the FZ300 with a click on the thumbnail to the right. Then catch up to Panasonic's Luminary team in the Lumix Lounge. They're one of the most diverse groups of artists in professional photography and need to be on your radar! Follow their travel schedule and catch up to them when they're teaching at programs throughout the Lumix network.
And, have you checked out the new GH5? The features in this camera are amazing, giving you some of the finest creative tools in the 190+ year history of photography. Isn't it time you found out what all the buzz is about?
Listen to this recent episode of "Why?" with Shiv Verma who had the GH5 out in a storm and talks about the camera's durability along with the background on his image, "Refugees Welcome."
Pansonic's tagline is "Changing Photography," and that's exactly what they've done!
Welcome to Luminary Corner. Besides being a recognized member of the professional photographic community, each post author is a member of Panasonic's LUMIX Luminary team.