Photography Store

Published by under Recommended Products

To help you find some great deals, I have set up a Photography Store at www.photosbyrichard.ca/store. Enjoy shopping.

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An f1.8 Zoom Lens? Is that possible?

Published by under Equipment

Sigma, not a company known for innovation, is about to release an 18-35 zoom lens with a constant f1.8 capability. No other company has done that! Not even the mighty Canon or Nikon.

Check it out at Sigma.

If the image quality is there (above page details some specs) this would be awesome.

For those not into the nitty gritty physics details, an f1.8 lens allows over twice as much light to enter the camera as a more common f2.8 lens. It also provides more shallow depth of field. These are 2 attributes of a lens that serious photographers long for.

One caveat ... it will only work on crop frame cameras.

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Best Lenses

Published by under Equipment

As I can afford to do so, I have been buying some better lenses. Still do not own any Canon "L" series ones (L for luxury or L for lotsa money!) but will some day.

Rather than talk about lenses that I have never owned (or rented) I will refer you to an article but a pro. There are many other similar articles out there. Jim Harmer has owned both Canon and Nikon, so that gives him a bit more credibility to discuss both.

See his article here.

p.s. I own one of the lenses on his list - the 50 mm 1.8, and I would LOVE to have a 70-200 2.8. My favourite lens right now is my Tamron 18-50 2.8. Way less money than the Canon equivalent, and it gets decent reviews. Bought it used via eBay. I also have the Canon EFS 17-85, but have not used it much yet. Before those 2, my fave was the Canon 28-135, which I used LOTS.

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Photography: Capturing Cherished Memories Since 1826

Published by under Commentary

The people and moments we hold so close to our hearts cannot always be properly portrayed through words alone. This is where photographs come into play. Photographs are said to capture 1,000 words, so it's good to know just how many ways you can go about not only getting the most out of the photographs you take but also protecting them and leaving your personal mark in the world.

Something to Pass on to Future Generations

One of the neatest things about photographs is the ability to show off where you have been, who you are and who you wanted (or still want) to be. It's interesting to show your children, or grandkids what you looked like when you were there age, where you went to school, what your neighborhood growing up looked like and how your clothing was different 'back in the day.' It's not only a great bonding experience but it's also educational. These types of memories will stay with children into adulthood.

Relive Your Favorite Memories Time and Time Again

Not only will your legacy be passed on to your future family but there's something really neat about opening up an old photo album, or seeing photos in your office from some of your most enjoyable family vacations, trips to the zoo and award-winning moments. It really keeps you motivated, especially when you find yourself going through rough patches. Memories have a way of getting all of us through those tough times and keeping our eyes on the prize. Maybe they will motivate you to keep working hard to get that promotion you've dreamed of for years now, or maybe you want to purchase a new home, move to a place of the world you have yet to visit. No matter what your goals are, sometimes the past is able to push us forward by reminding us how far we have truly come.

Keeping Your Photos Stored and Protected

There are many easy ways to keep the photographs you have safe. If you are concerned about physical photographs that have been passed down to you, scanning them to your computer or storing them on the internet (such as the Flickr and Shutterfly) is a great place to start. Depending on the way you choose to store your photographs, there are some pretty simple organization tools available today. Tag your photos with the person or people's names, dates, event titles and any other 'easily searchable' phrases which will help you locate the exact photo you are looking for at any given time. Sharing is easier than ever. You can choose to set certain photos to private, while allowing your friends to see other ones. These settings can be adjusted at any given time.

Place some of your personal favorite photos on display in your home (never display the only copy). For those original copies, you may want to invest in a photo album that is acid free so your photos can stand the test of time. Acid has been known to literally 'eat through' physical photographs and if you have your pictures stored in a safe place, you may not realize until it's too late. There are also photo-safe boxes that can be purchased at most craft stores, if you would like to go that route instead.

Todd Benson enjoys blogging in his spare time. He writes on a wide range of topic including SEO and photography. He loves his family and always finds time to be with them when they need him. Todd just presented his wife photo mats and she was very happy with them.

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Amazing photo editing apps for beginners

Published by under Tips and Ideas

Many people have a passion for photography. Some of them take up photography as a profession and a few others, as a hobby. There are great apps that you may use to edit photos. You can make a simple picture into an amazing work of art through editing. To make your picture better you can add effects to it.

After taking a snap, many people feel that the pic might have come out much better. If you are among them, the following are the apps which can come in handy for editing photographs.
Pic frame: Through this app you can edit pictures by arranging them into one image. Multiple pictures can be brought into a single collage. The Frame artist app is a similar app that does the same work.

Little photo: You can add retouch and film effects to the image. It has over 70 effects in it. This new effect will appear in updates which are present in your handset.

Label box: This app can help you by putting messages onto the image. This means that you can write text on the image using this app. You can a add date or an appropriate quote to make it more memorable. A picture will remind you of the moment forever.

Photosynth: This helps you take panoramic pictures. High quality panoramic picture can be taken on your iPhone. It is one of the best apps for iOS devices.

Masking tape: You can add text on the tape through this. It is a digital wash tape.

Red Stamp: You can make stylish greetings using this application. E-greeting cards can be made through the app. A truly awesome way to express your feeling to your loved ones.

Lenslight: The app has so many light filter choices for your picture.

Picfx: It has many neat features in it, which you can add to your image..

Pixlromatic: It has many cool screens to select for your picture.

Camera timer: You can fix a time for a click.. Suppose, you want to take your own pic, or there is no person who can click for you. In this case, you can on the timer and give a posture for your pic.

Photogene: You can add speech bubbles using this application. Other awesome effects may also be added using this app.

Incredibooth: This app is akin to an old school photo booth. This incredible booth has 4 different retro effects. You can share your pics from this app, directly to Facebook, Twitter etc. You can share all at once or separately.

The apps above are a few editing applications for the beginners.

Author’s Bio: Hi, I’m Lucy. I am a blogger who writes articles varying from health to ppi claims. I like investing in gadgets that ease many things in my day to day schedule, I also have a great interest in writing on a varied kind of topics, currently I’m working on articles related to ppi claims.

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Last Minute Wedding Photographer Survival Tips 101

Published by under Tips and Ideas

Well, you warned them in advance, but they would just not listen to reasoning. Now, on the eve of their big day, disaster stroked and the "professional" wedding photo service they have hired has called to inform the soon-to-be newlyweds that their photographers will not be able to make it on time. On top of it all, you just found out that you are suddenly in charge of shooting the wedding photos. The best approach in this case is to stay calm and use the little time you have left to prepare yourself properly for your first wedding photographer gig. Here are some suggestions to help you out.

1. Review the potential list of shots with the bride and groom

Before you do anything else, have a talk with the happy couple to find out whether they have established anything regarding the shots with the wedding photography service. In case they did, then your job here is fairly simple considering that you could simply stick to the predefined listing. In addition, you still have a few minutes to go check the places from which you will snap the photos and possibly get creative about the locations at the same time. However, if the couple has made the mistake of not discussing this issue in advance, then the only solution consists of brainstorm location ideas and creating the list as soon as possible.

2. Talk to them about what they should expect

Since the bride and groom have assigned this task to you, then chances are you have a little experience in photography. On the other hand, because you are not a professional it is best to comport an open discussion with the couple about what they can and should expect. Even though this is the first time you are "working" as a pro, it is best to not be overconfident and have a realistic outlook regarding the results. In addition, it is usually wise to talk about the monetary aspect beforehand in the event that they want to pay you for the gig or you are expecting reimbursement.

3. Don't be intrusive

In spite of the popular perception on wedding photographers, it is necessary to mention that these professionals always prefer to capture natural reactions rather than beg for smiles and postures. However, natural reaction in this case does not refer to barging in on the bride or groom while they are still in the preparation phase. What it does mean is that you need to anticipate what is going to happen so you can get into the right position to take the right shots. For instance, a picture of the restless groom exiting his chamber with the best men would be more priceless than one with him yelling at you to get out, right?

4. When in doubt, use fill-ins

The main dissociation between an amateur and a professional photographer resides in the fact that the latter is "magically" able to set an atmosphere in the wedding album. However, the mood and the sense of ambiance of the location are not obtained through sorcery, but rather by finding the perfect fill-ins to put in the photo album. If you want your work to be just as delightful and admired, then the secret is to wander around the location of the wedding – if you are allowed to, of course – and take shots of photogenic details, such as the rings, flowers, invitations, bridal shoes, bride's hair accessories, table menus, so on and so forth. Because the bride and groom have worked very hard to make sure that every details fits perfectly in their big day, they will surely be glad to know someone else appreciates their effort.

5. Make sure to include everyone in the picture

In general, people tend to sit near/talk to people they know not because they are antisocial or they do not like the other, but because at a subconscious level that familiar crowd makes them feel more comfortable. Since you are a guest at this wedding from either the bride or the groom side, chances are you may fall into this trap as well if you are not careful. In order to avert this mind trick, an idea is to make a list with all the family members attending the wedding and take at least two shots with each guest on the listing.

Featured images:

Matt Moogan is a webmaster and event executive with XeroDigital.ca, award winning wedding photographers based in Toronto.

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Family Portraits

Published by under Tips and Ideas

Family portraits are usually a painful experience to most people looking at past family photography. Mainly, people think they look very dated as they capture the current hair and fashion trends that looked cool then but can look absolutely abhorrent now. However, this does not have to be the case. Family photography has changed a lot over the years and can now be a fun experience. To get the highest quality, it is great to have the services of a professional photographer who best knows how to capture that moment. The following are helpful tips on how to have a successful family photography session with your family.

If having the photo session at a portrait photo studio, try different poses other than the ubiquitous “class photo” stance. Try looking as natural as possible by looking at one another, telling jokes and holding each other in various positions. This will allow the photographer to maneuver around the family and choose more candid shots. It is best to forget that the family photographer is there and to feel free to have various expressions on your face. You can have a more serious or playful look and you can show different moments of tenderness.

The photo studio may even have a couch or chair to allow you to “get comfortable” and feel more relaxed. The advantage of having it at a portrait photo studio is of course the ability to let the photographer manipulate the lighting, shadows and props. There are many methods to allow the photographer to make the setting more “real” and less “fake”. This allows for a greater range of photographical opportunities. The photographer can create the mood, music and lighting, such as using candles or having very upbeat music to get the family in the mood. If the photographer is really good, he or she can even guide you on your best sides and give direction as to how to pose.

Another suggestion is to have the photo session in an outdoor setting. If you have children, perhaps have the family photos at a play park where you can interact with your children on a swing or climb the play set with them. This can provide various photos that show a fun moment in your family’s lives. You can also take advantage of various seasons. For example, building a snowman with your family is one of the most precious moments to capture. Another great photo session can be at a beach, amusement park or even at a family picnic. These photos do not have to be boring or motionless. Some of the best photos are captured while living the moment in action.

Another important thing to think of is you and your family’s clothing choices. Try to wear very plain or subdued clothing that does not reflect current fashion trends. This can be a simple sweater and jeans or solids instead of patterned clothing. You should try to minimize the amount of flashy jewelry and heavy makeup that will distract the viewer of the photographs. It is best to let the photographer do various touch-ups to the photography to give a more natural appearance than to rely on makeup or stylish hairdos. You will regret having those trendy cuts 10 years from now.

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How To Take a Good Picture Without a DSLR

Published by under Tips and Ideas

Without the help of an expensive DSLR camera, or Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera, it can sometimes be difficult to take a high-quality picture. Use these five tips to help you overcome this obstacle and come up with beautiful images:

1. Chose a different type of high quality camera
Even if you do not want to spend excessive amounts of money on a Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera, there are plenty of bargain priced cameras that can take high-quality photos. The best way to go about finding the best camera for your money is to look at consumer reviews online or to go into a store to talk to sales representatives. Stores that would give you the best information would be electronics stores and camera specialty stores. Regular super-center grocery stores will  most likely not have the specific information about certain brands and models that you want, despite how knowledgeable the salespeople appear.

2. Always check the lighting in your surroundings
When looking at photographs of others, it is obvious that a big problem in pictures is the lighting. Combating a lighting problem can be difficult if you are not a professional photographer, so your best bet would be to experiment with the lighting options available to you in your photography setting. This can be toggling with the flash setting, moving lighting equipment around, or adjusting the location of your subject in reference to the sun. Remember, pictures look best when the light is in front of the subject--not behind.

3. Make the best use of your camera's built-in settings
Because the subject of your photo will change, cameras also come with different settings that are better for different types of subjects. Most cameras, for example, have a sports setting. This is good for subjects that will be in motion. Often times this setting has the ability to take several rapid shots with just one click of the snap shot button. There are also usually portrait settings, night settings, and many more. It is recommended that when you buy a new camera you read the manual and explore the different settings your camera offers.

4. Move in close to your subject
No matter what the subject is that you're capturing, it is in your best interest to move in as close as you can to the subject. This will give your picture exponentially more clarity than simply using the zoom feature of your camera. Even in the case of landscape images or larger objects, it is recommended that the photographer gets as close as possible. This will bring out the most detail from the subject.

5. Consider the use of a tripod
Whether you are capturing images of stationary objects or objects in motion, a tripod can help you focus on your subject. The use of a tripod also eliminates some of the risk of a blurry photo. Stationary subjects will ensure no movement from the camera and will also allow you, as the photographer, to make adjustments to the subject while keeping the camera in place. This gives you the opportunity to base your changes on the practice images you take without changing the position. With these tips, your pictures will never again look like the products of a point-and-shoot camera.

Jacklyn Jennings is a photojournalist and a contributing author for flowerdelivery.net.

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Proper Care And Storage of Paper Photos You Should Know About

Published by under Tips and Ideas

Your paper pictures are some of your most prized possessions. You have pictures covering everything from those of your grandparents as children all the way up to your own kids. You need to keep them safe that your family will always have them to remember their history. The following suggestions have been designed to help you keep your paper pictures in good condition.

1) Keep them dry!
The most important thing to protect paper pictures from is death by water. Humid areas often make pictures curl or crack. You do not want this to happen! Therefore, you need to keep your pictures in dry places. Also, keep them away from pipes or sinks because you never know what could happen! Also, regularly check to see if any pictures have started to change. If so, then you need to move them to a new spot so that they do not get any more ruined.

2) No Sunshine!
Sunshine damages photos because it bleaches them. You do not want discolored paper photos! This is what Instagram was made for! In order to keep your photos from getting to discolored, keep them out of the sun. If they are on display, then keep the shades down so that the sun does not hit the pictures directly.

3) Special Displays
You should keep your pictures in a photo album or keepsake box. This will keep them from jumbling together and from being torn. Also, the pictures will be forced to lie flat. You can even place tissue paper between them so that the pictures do not stick. You should keep your pictures well organized so that you know where to find specific photos. The best way to do this is to spend and afternoon going through them. You can reminisce and organize at the same time!

4) Scan to be Safe
It may be a pain, but you should always scan paper photos. This way you they know they can never be lost if they are on the computer. You can also upload them to your favorite social media site for everyone to see! Older paper photos are great to use to look back at fun times you have had with family and friends. Why not use this opportunity to let others reminisce as well? These will be great conversation starters as well. Who knows? You may even learn a new family story or about history you did not even know.

As long as you know how to keep your photos safe in general, then you have nothing to worry about. Keep them out of humid areas full of sunshine because that is the kiss of death for paper photos. You will also want to rotate them out when on display. This way the photos do not get sun bleached, and you can show off newer photos as well. You will have these to remember some great times for years to come.

Roger Timm is a photographer and specializes in restoring prints.  He enjoys sharing tips on keeping photographs in great condition to preserve precious memories.  He recently bought his dream studio and used www.homeequityloan.net to keep it affordable.  

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Sony Nex 7: A Progressive New Camera

Published by under Recommended Products

Sony's latest release, the NEX 7, is a refreshing update to the NEX line, boasting new technological upgrades and innovative features.  Sony is quite successful in attaining the objectives it aimed for with Nex 7:  a compact, mirrorless lens camera with no sacrifice in performance than any other DSLR.

Size & Shape

Nex 7 can be regarded as a progressive camera thanks to its complete array of avant-garde technical featured. It is a sophisticated machine with a slender, shiny structure and ergonomically designed, designating it as a cult classic with complete DSLR functionality.

Its right-hand grip fits snugly in your hand, providing the proper range and comfort for your fingers to facilitate shooting steadiness.

Functions

  •       Similar to the Leica M9, at the upper left-hand corner of the body, Nex 7’s excellent high resolution viewfinder is positioned. Having Nex 7 in your hands gives you the same feel as if you are holding a 35mm rangefinder.
  •        At maximum resolution, Nex 7 has capability of 10 frames per second shooting bursts, along with coverage and focuses set at the initial frame, and in AVCHD arrangement it can apprehend a 1920 × 1080 screen resolution of entire HD movies on 24p, 60i or at 60p.
  •       The positive aspect of NEX 7 is that it renders nearly 100% of information captured without needing a translucent mirror. Under some particular shooting circumstances, the translucent mirror can provide an edge icleaner resolution and contrast.
  •       The latest high-end enthusiast DSLRs don't surpass the NEX 7 image sensors of 24.3 mega pixels.
  •        Its high-tech image processing system provides exceptional pace and performance.  Apart from speed, it also provides precision of contrast through an AF contrast detection system and its great imaging efficiency.
  • At the rear side of this camera, there is radiant 3.0-inch LCD screen with high resolution that inclines 45 degrees downwards and 80 degrees upwards to outline entities at both axes.
  •       Nex 7’s other remarkable features include complete user control; flexibility of auto modes to shoot complete HD movies; 11 Picture Impression Modes; 3D brush off view for automatic apprehension of 3D 16:9 shots; 6 layers of picture; AF for subject tracing; and Anti-Dust acoustic system.
  •       The great resolution realized with the 2.4 mega pixel viewfinder gives a credible viewing experience which is quite near to conventional visual viewfinders incorporated in high tech DSLR cameras. Plus, similar to all other EVFs, in dim light it demonstrates a brighter image than the real image.
  •       Its Tri-Navi control system has three separate programmable controllers that permit direct access to any three settings you often use.
  •       Incredibly, phase-detection AF ability can also be added to this camera through a resourceful accomplice, namely the Sony A-mount-to-E-mount LA-EA2 adapter which allows you to increase Sony Alpha-mount DSLR lenses. This tool definitely provides you an edge in absolute AF speed while shooting at extreme speed and action and HD video.
  •       Extreme precise exposures with a maximum tonal range can be attained through the Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO). Plus, Auto HDR, which functions just in JPEG capture mode, joins 3 exposures to provide a visibly wider shadow.

Drawbacks

  •       A very small diopter regulator that ranges from -4.0 to +1.0 is positioned at right side of the eye-piece and comes under the eyeglass. While making adjustments in accordance to your individual eye level, the rubber bezel causes an extreme ache in your finger. This annoyance could use some adjusting when Sony comes out with the next version.
  •       In dim light, particularly with close-up and low-contrast subjects, the NEX 7 focus is a bit slower than other DSLRs when using phase-detection.
  •       One of the negative aspects of Nex 7 is the nonexistence of the Translucent Mirror which signifies that the NEX 7 employs contrast AF for focusing and tracking purposes which is admirably accurate but not fairly as quick as contrast AF while shooting bursts at 2.5 fps with AF, or shooting video.

Theresa Happe works with Photo.net where you will find a more specific details about the Sony Nex 7 as well as hundreds of reviews of digital cameras and lenses.

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5 Great Ways To Turn Your Photographs Into A Work Of Art

Published by under General

Taking photographs is one of the most exciting things in the world. It's why there are millions of people around the world that consider photography their favorite hobby. It's why there are so much cameras get sold year in year out. But what do you do once the photo is taken? In the past it was quite obvious. You'd take it to the local camera shop and they would print them for you. If you were really lucky you got a choice of a few sizes. Then you would go home and maybe look at them once per year. The rest of the time they'd be stored in the basement.

These days the tables have turned. You can take a photograph and literally do anything with it you like. You can store it on your computer, which is great, but it's not exactly exciting. There are even special websites you can visit that'll turn your photographs into anything. Everything is digital so all you need to do is upload a photo and choose what you want done. Now you can really turn your favorite photos into something special. In case you had no idea what options you have available we can go over them now.

Have a canvas print made

These things are absolutely beautiful and would look great in your home. You could choose any photo you like and have a company print it onto canvas with a lovely matte finish. They can be so bright and colorful which really livens the place up. You can even do cool things like have the photograph stretched over more than one canvas, so it looks a lot more professional when it's up on the wall. They would definitely make the perfect gift for someone you care about.

Turn it into a magnet

If you walk into some homes you will see photos stuck to the fridge with tape. People like to remember the good times and love having their favorite photographs somewhere they will always see them. You could take it one step further and have your favorite photographs turned into fridge magnets. You can have something that will last for the rest of your life. If you want to add a little spice to your car you could also turn them into a car magnet to advertise something.

Lovely invitations

When you're throwing a party you want to stand out. It could be anything from birthday parties to a wedding. You need people to attend and you will have to send them invitations. If you have a special photograph you could have them printed on special made invitations that will guarantee you stand out from the crowd. They're also good to keep as mementos to remind you of your special day.

Have a poster made

You're a little older so you want your home to be stylish. A poster would look seriously out of place on your wall. But what about the kids? They love to take photos as much as you and they would love to turn their favorite ones into posters to put up on their bedroom wall. The best thing about having a photograph turned into a poster is that you get to choose what gets printed. You don't have the same power over something that gets ripped out of a magazine.

Say hello from abroad

When you're away on holiday you will probably never put your camera down. A lot of people send postcards from abroad. You could combine the two and have your favorite photographs turned into postcards. Then you could send them to all your friends and family back home. Show them what you're really doing and why they should be jealous. A little more work than buying one from the shop, but it's up to you.

Ronald Hodge is a British graphic designer, photo book publisher and blogger. He suggests using online photo books as they offer a host of user-friendly features.

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