BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Archive for February 20th, 2009

Mamiya Announces New Medium Format Digital Camera System

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

Elmsford, NY – In medium format digital photography, price and performance are usually at opposite ends of the digital spectrum. Normally you have to pay more – a lot more – for better quality, performance and features, certainly for the latest technology. The new Mamiya DL28 Digital Camera System totally changes that way of thinking.

The Mamiya DL28 Digital Camera System offers professional features and benefits found in much more expensive cameras. For example, even though the DL28’s resolution is an impressive 28 megapixels, its large sensor allows a pixel size of 7.2 microns, producing images with unmatched richness and color accuracy, low noise, and striking highlight and shadow detail. Its 3.5-inch (diagonal) screen is the largest in the industry and offers a bright, high-contrast touch screen that is ideal for outdoor or indoor work.

Mamiya DL28 Digital Camera System. (Photo Credit: Mamiya)

Mamiya DL28 Digital Camera System. (Photo Credit: Mamiya)

The DL28 marries the professionally proven Mamiya camera system to the innovative 28 megapixel Aptus-II 6 Digital Back from Leaf – a system capable of unrivaled performance, image quality and value. The 645AFD III body has a new coreless motor for faster, more accurate autofocusing and an enhanced interface system that provides total communication between the camera, lens and digital back. The 645AFD III and Leaf Aptus-II 6 Digital Back work as an integral unit so you’ll never miss the action.

With 16-bit capture, 12 stop dynamic range and an ISO range of 50-800, the Mamiya DL28 is a full featured professional digital solution that allows photographers to focus on creating the image and not worrying about the technology. The 28 MP back provides raw files of 53Mb, and 16 bit TIFF files in excess of 159 Mb – ensuring that you’ll have the information needed for virtually any size reproduction.

Compact flash media storage makes it easy to shoot untethered on location or in the studio. You can also use the included firewire cable and Leaf Capture 11.2 software to shoot directly to your computer. And the latest Leaf Capture software allows other people – in the field or in the studio – to view your creativity on their iPhones as you continue shooting

The Mamiya DL28 has an estimated price of $14,999.

Written by jeremyparce

February 20, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Sigma Announces New Zoom Lens Available in March

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of new SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM on March 10.

The Sigma 18-250mm lens will be available March 10.

The Sigma 18-250mm lens will be available March 10. (Photo Credit: Sigma)

The SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM incorporates Sigma’s original anti-shake compensation function, with a 13.8 times zoom ratio. As opposed to having an anti-shake function in the camera body, this lens’s Hybrid Optical Stabilizer provides not only an anti-shake function for the camera body, but also compensates for image shaking in the view finder as the Optical Stabilizer is built in to the lens.

Incorporating four Special Low Dispersion glass elements and three aspherical lens elements provides excellent image quality throughout the entire zoom range. This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 45cm (17.7 inches) at all focal lengths and a maximum magnification of 1: 3.4 reproduction ratio, making it ideal for close-up photography. An inner focusing system eliminates front lens rotation, making it suitable for use with circular polarizing filters and the supplied petal-type hood. Incorporating super multi layer coating reduce the ghost in the backlight photography.

Written by jeremyparce

February 20, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Photo Tips: The Two-Minute Portrait

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The words, “smile and say cheese!” usually does not mark the beginning of a great portrait. As a beginning/novice photographer, you probably want to make portraits that “look professional” but lack the information on how to do so.
It’s simple if you follow some very basic steps. Here are some tips that will have you making great portraits in less time than you would think.

Step 1: Get the right background

If you want to highlight the subject, don’t allow the background to compete with the subject for the viewer’s attention. Busy, noisy and loud backgrounds distract from the subject unless you’re very experienced and have a great lighting setup and even then it’s a crapshoot.
Keep the background simple. Backgrounds with solid, neutral colors work best. A white wall is ideal but any solid color works.

A simple background and good natural lighting will help you make great portraits. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

A simple background and good natural lighting will help you make great portraits. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Step 2: Get Good Lighting
Unless you’re using a shoe-mounted flash or other pro-quality lighting, find a strong source of natural light. A portrait near a window where there is a good quantity of light is ideal or go outside where natural light is plentiful.
Remember, the sun should be to the side of your subject. If the subject is looking directly into the sun his/her eyes will squint and if the sun is behind the subject, you’ll get an underexposure.
The popup flash on your camera will probably ruin a good portrait with cast shadows so try to avoid using the popup flash.
If you are using a shoe-mounted flash, then try bouncing the flash instead of shooting with the flash pointed directly at the subject.

Step 3: Get Vertical
Horizontally aligned portraits don’t really allow you to utilize your frame the best. Shoot vertical instead so you get more up-and-down room. Even better, shoot the portrait both horizontally and vertically and see for yourself which photo looks better.

Step 4: Get the Right Emotion
Portrait subjects don’t always have to smile. Believe it or not, that’s a tough habit to break for some photographers. Don’t get me wrong, smiling is OK but try to make it less forced. A nice, natural smile will outshine a “Say Cheese!” photo anytime.

Step 5: Get Close
Try to fill the frame with your subject. Try getting close and then work you way back.

Don't be afraid to get close to your subject. Try different distances for different looks. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Don't be afraid to get close to your subject. Try different distances for different looks. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Bonus Tip:
Don’t forget to try the images in both color AND black and white. B&W will help really well if you want to focus more on the subject than the color of clothing or background colors. Plus, B&W gives an image a nice, “classy” feel.

Good luck and keep shooting!

Written by jeremyparce

February 20, 2009 at 3:15 am

Photo Critique 3: “Untitled,” by Adriana O.

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I love critiquing photos. It’s the best way to learn and get new ideas for photo shoots. Today, we’re going to critique an image made by Adriana, a friend of mine in Venezuela.

"Untitled," By Adriana O.

"Untitled," By Adriana O.

General Overview:
Adriana, you really have a gift for composition. If you staged this shot, then you did an outstanding job making it look “real.” If you just saw it and decided to make a photo, then you have a great eye for finding interesting subjects in an otherwise normal setting.
This is a nice image because it’s not forced. You’re using a simple theme and simple techniques to make a visually-compelling image. I especially like your use of depth-of-field. The image falls out of focus at just the right place.
Great job.

Improvements
There are only two improvements I can see that you need to make. First, a little front lighting on the stack of puzzle pieces would have made the image look better because it’s just a little underexposed. Second, the light coming through in the upper right corner is distracting from the scene. I would definitely edit that out and perhaps make the whole background – from the end of the table on – black. By doing that, I think you would have made a perfect shot.
Finally, there are some hotspots on the puzzle pieces that need to be toned down. A little selective dodging would help there.

Great job overall. Your portfolio has some great images on it too.

Thanks for the submission, good luck and keep shooting!

If you would like to submit a photo for critique, e-mail us at submissions@brickhousephotoschool.com.

Written by jeremyparce

February 20, 2009 at 1:00 am

Expressing Personality Isn’t Just for ‘People Photos’

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If you have a pet, you know how expressive they can be and you know that each one has a unique personality.
Why not express your pet’s personality in a photograph?
You don’t have to have an elaborate set up nor do you need any specialized equipment. All you need is a little time to follow your pet around and a little patience to wait for the right moment.

Newton, our 7 month old Schnoodle, is extremely curious so I thought an image of his nose would help express his curiosity. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Newton, our 7 month old Schnoodle, is extremely curious so I thought an image of his nose would help express his curiosity. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

How To Do It
First, figure out what your pet’s personality is. Is he lazy? Playful? Curious? Well, find a way to illustrate the emotion in a photograph.
The key to a good pet photo is patience. Give him time to settle in and get used to the camera. As soon as your pet is tired of you, he’ll go back to being himself and that’s when you’ll get your best shots.

Remember, compose the shot. Look for interesting ways to illustrate the message about your pet’s personality. Also, try to keep your background simple and use the largest aperture value you have available in order to keep the background from competing with the subject. Also, the largest aperture value will allow you to use the fastest shutter speed available for the aperture setting. This will help reduce blurred images as animals are prone to quick movements.

With a little time and patience, you should get some images that really showcases your four-legged friend’s true colors.

Good luck and keep shooting!

Written by jeremyparce

February 20, 2009 at 12:20 am