50 episodes

The latest stories from the Phoblographer brought to you using the power of AI. We've been working for over a decade to bridge the gap between art and tech in the photo world.

The Phoblographer Daily The Phoblographer

    • Arts
    • 2.9 • 7 Ratings

The latest stories from the Phoblographer brought to you using the power of AI. We've been working for over a decade to bridge the gap between art and tech in the photo world.

    4 Ways for a Portrait Photographer to Get a Different Look

    4 Ways for a Portrait Photographer to Get a Different Look

    The modern world of portrait photography is very sterile. Modern photographers often shoot with cameras and lenses that get rid of all the fun. And then a portrait photographer often needs to spend hours grinding away in post-production to get what they want. But seriously, you don’t have to do it. Want that cool vintage lens flare? Or what about just a softer look. Well lucky for you, we dove into our reviews index to find a bunch of great products from Lensbaby. It will give you the extra clove and bergamot that your photography has been lacking.
    Reader Exclusive Deal: Lensbaby currently has 15% off on all products in their store. But if you use our links to their store and enter promo code phoblog you’ll get an extra 10% off, which totals 25% off their products.
    This piece is presented in partnership with Lensbaby. We’ve independently and ethically reviewed all the products in this post already without sponsorship. And we worked with them to recommend a few key gems to you.
    The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear that we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
    Table of Contents
    Pro Tips for the Portrait Photographer That’s Bored
    Lensbaby OMNI System and Expansions: The Lens Flare You Want
    Lensbaby Edge 35: Tilt-Shift Portraits!
    Lensbaby Velvet 85: The Glow a Portrait Photographer Is Looking For
    Lensbaby Sol 45: Tilt-Shift and Bokeh!
    Pro Tips for the Portrait Photographer That’s Bored
    Here are some pro tips for the portrait photographer:
    All of these items are from Lensbaby. If you’re used to fast-paced shoots, it’s time to slow down. You’re going to shoot less photos, and shoot them with a more intention.
    Forget about doing it in post-production. A portrait photographer can do everything in-camera with these lenses and accessories.
    Experiment with all sorts of funky colors, projectors, and more to get the look you want.
    All of these were independently reviewed using the Sony FE camera system. But these products are available for pretty much any system around.
    Sick of Sony’s super sharp and sterile lenses? Why not give these a try?
    Lensbaby OMNI System and Expansions: The Lens Flare You Want
    How to Use It: The OMNI system is a series of prisms and crystals that can be placed in front of your camera lens. Observe where the light is hitting from and place the prisms directly over that angle.
    In our review, we state:
    “Many things in life are easy to use but challenging to master, and such is the case with the Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System. While the OMNI can effortlessly adapt to a variety of different camera setups, you will have the easiest time using the system with a camera that has excellent Live View functionality, or at least a high-res Electronic View Finder. Since you’re basically modifying the way light enters your camera, it helps to see what the various Effect Wands are doing as you’re repositioning them and making adjustments. You’ll also create the most impressive results using the OMNI Creative Filter System when shooting in well-lit environments, or have light sources directly facing your camera lens.”
    Buy Now
    Lensbaby Edge 35: Tilt-Shift Portraits!
    How to Use It: Think about tilt-shift portraits! Imagine just the face in focus and not much else in a scene. It’s going to be so fun!
    In our review, we state:
    “If you’re using the Lensbaby 35mm f3.5 Edge, then you may be a bit put off by the

    • 6 min
    How to Shoot Beautiful Street Photography with a Leica 28mm Lens

    How to Shoot Beautiful Street Photography with a Leica 28mm Lens

    The 28mm lens is a classic focal length for many photographers. It’s true that 35mm and 50mm lenses tend to see more of the spotlight and are romanticized more often. But the 28mm lens embodies the truth that if your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough. If you’re shooting street photography, one of the best lenses you can grab is a Leica 28mm lens. In this guide, we’ll go through how to get the most from them!
    This blog post is presented by Leica.
    Why Zone Focusing Is Perfect for Street Photography
    So why is the Leica 28mm lens perfect for street photography? Well, that’s because it lets you zone focus. Zone focusing is pretty awesome. It makes street photography so much easier. All you do is set the focusing on your Leica 28mm lens to a certain distance away, stop the lens down to get a workable area in focus, and shoot! That’s it. This means you can do things like working a scene! See some nice light? Cool! Focus into that area, wait for something photogenic to happen, and then shoot.
    Otherwise, you can casually walk around and photograph too. Pay attention to anyone and anything happening in that preset distance away. Then just photograph it as it happens.
    With a 28mm lens, you’re getting more of a scene in focus at a given aperture than you would a 35mm or 50mm lens. Be warned, this means you might have to get over your fears of getting close to subjects. You could crop in using the resolution of a camera like the Leica M10R, of course. Otherwise, you can aim to frame your scenes a bit wider. If you do that, be extra careful of distracting elements.
    The Leica 28mm Lens: Which One to Get?
    PS, we’ve got an entire guide to Leica 28mm lenses right here. But here are some critical questions to ask yourself:
    Describe yourself and how you shoot. Do you get close up?
    Do you shoot in low light often and need more of a shallow aperture? You might want the Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux!
    Do you want something lighter and more balanced or bigger with more potential? Smaller lenses include the Leica 28mm f2.8.
    Do you have a fear of getting up close and personal to people? Maybe the 28mm lens isn’t right for you. But a lot of us like getting up close.
    Do you prefer to be connected to the shot and manually focus a lot, or is prioritizing getting the shot more important to you?
    What’s your budget?
    These are just a few questions you’ll need to answer.
    Tips for Zone Focusing
    Here are a few more tips for zone focusing with a Leica 28mm lens that you probably haven’t heard before:
    The really sweet and balanced spot is around 5 feet away. At this distance you’ve got a workable scene. You can also stop the lens down to get subjects in focus while getting a lot of light to hit the sensor.
    Start off by metering the scene off your hand. This will give you a great idea as to what the exposure needs to be. Shoot in aperture priority. Then figure out the minumum shutter speeds you can get and set the ISO to a stop faster than that. It isn’t uncommon to shoot street photography these days at ISO 1600 or ISO 800. This is what’s needed for when you stop the lens down. You want the shutter to minimize camera shake and motion blur, unless that’s part of your creative vision.
    A lot of photographers use the Leica Visioflex to get their images. If you just want to stick with the rangefinder, just take notice of what’s on the same focusing plane as your subject.
    If you’re taking the time to focus and recompose, don’t pivot the camera. Instead, focus on the subject using the center rangefinder patch, and slide it. This way, all the work you did you get the subject in focus won’t be undone. Pivoting throws off the plane of focus.
    Get an idea of what the world looks like when you shoot from the hip. This is often similar to a child’s point of view. And children can create some of the most remarkable photos.
    Sometimes it’s a good idea to just stop and take a scene in. Look around at the light. Maybe s

    • 5 min
    Want a 35mm Lens for Sony FE Cameras? Look Here!

    Want a 35mm Lens for Sony FE Cameras? Look Here!

    If you were to look at the 35mm lens lineup for Sony FE cameras, you’d be shocked. There are tons of 35mm lenses for them. That means there’s some overlap and a large variety of options. Want something cheaper? It’s available. How about something more premium? There are options for that too. We dove into our Reviews Index and our Sony FE Lens Guide to help you find you the best 35mm lens for Sony FE cameras. Take a look!
    The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear that we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
    Table of Contents
    Pro Tips on Using a 35mm Lens for Sony FE Cameras
    Sigma 35mm f1.2 DG DN Art
    Sigma 35mm f2 DG DN Contemporary
    Rokinon 35mm f2.8 FE
    Tamron 35mm f2.8 Di III OSD
    Sony 35mm f1.4 GM
    Sony Zeiss 35mm f2.8
    Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG DN Art
    Sony 35mm f1.8 FE
    Zeiss 35mm f2 Loxia Biogon T
    Sony Zeiss 35mm f1.4 ZA
    Pro Tips on Using a 35mm Lens for Sony FE Cameras
    Here are some pro tips on choosing a 35mm lens for Sony FE Cameras.
    Sony has a few 35mm lenses that they make themselves. In fact, they make four 35mm lenses as of publishing this roundup.
    35mm lenses for Sony FE cameras cover lots of different criteria. Need something weather-resistant? Well, our reviews literally go deep into covering this aspect.
    Just because a lens is big and heavy doesn’t mean it will suit you. Editor in Chief Chris Gampat adores his 35mm f1.8 FE. He used to own the Sigma 35mm f1.2 Art lens, but it’s too heavy.
    Don’t get suckered into faster apertures. They don’t always mean you’ll get the image quality you want.
    Sony’s lenses tend to be very clinical. So too are Sigma’s. Take that for what it’s worth.
    Sigma 35mm f1.2 DG DN Art
    In our review, we state:
    “One of the reasons why you’d buy the Sigma 35mm f1.2 Art DG DN is the bokeh. Of course, the photographer who really enjoys bokeh will go for this lens. But for most of us, there is very little practical reason for it unless you plan on working with special lighting and delivering a unique look. Canon’s 50mm f1.2 RF provides an almost medium format look, but the Sigma doesn’t give me that vibe. Besides bokeh, the argument for an f1.2 lens would be to use it in low light. But with ISO abilities at 12,800 being fairly decent, I’d make an argument that this is rubbish. So why go for f1.2? Honestly, it’s the bokeh. You really want that slim sliver of the scene in focus. Again, couple this with off-camera lighting for a more unique look.”
    Buy Now: $1,499
    Sigma 35mm f2 DG DN Contemporary
    In our review, we state:
    “The Sigma 35mm f2 DG DN Contemporary is part of the I series of Sigma lenses. As part of the company’s contemporary lineup, it’s not at all innovative. There are tons of 35mm f2 lenses on the market. And they’re all very good. But nothing really makes the Sigma stand out.”
    Buy Now: Usually around $594
    Rokinon 35mm f2.8 FE
    In our review, we said:
    “The Rokinon 35mm f2.8 has very typical Rokinon colors. They’re saturated but not uber contrasty the way Sigma tries to make an image appear sharper than it really is. But Rokinon’s lenses have good color overall. The Rokinon 35mm f2.8 is no exception here.”
    Buy now: $229
    Tamron 35mm f2.8 Di III OSD
    In our review, we said:
    “The Tamron 35mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F053) renders colors accurately with buttery smooth bokeh and negligible chromatic aberrations. When it comes to sharpness, the Tamron 35mm f2.8 wins a

    • 9 min
    Printing Photos In His Hawaii Darkroom Brings Much Love To Mike Caputo

    Printing Photos In His Hawaii Darkroom Brings Much Love To Mike Caputo

    “I like having only 36 photos to go through,” says Mike Caputo when asked why he prefers analogue to digital for his photography work. Based in Hawaii for over two decades now, he enjoys being in complete control of his creative process, from shooting all the way to developing. From the looks of it, he doesn’t seem like he’s giving up photography any time soon. He successfully crowdfunded a darkroom in his local town some years ago, and it’s his go-to place for hanging out these days.
    You can view this article and much more with minimal ads in our brand new app for iOS, iPadOS, and Android.
    I wish we had an accessible, community-type darkroom here like the one Mike owns in Hawaii. Imagine being able to spend as much time as you want there, playing around and experimenting with developing film. I’d probably spend more time there each day than at a gym. Mike’s passion for film, and black and white analogue especially, is evident in how he speaks about that darkroom where he immerses himself for a good part of some days. It’s more than just a pet project now. He also takes time out to teach people how to develop their film rolls here. It’s important to spread the passion you have when doing what you love. What’s the point in hoarding knowledge when it’s best improved when it is shared? When I interview photographers like Mike, I sit back in awe when I read about how photography is a part of life that they cannot disconnect from. It’s always lovely to explore the work of photographers who shoot for themselves and their happiness first.
    The Essential Photo Gear Used by Mike Caputo
    50 film cameras over the last 5 years, some of which are:
    4×5 Speed Graphic
    Pentax 67
    Minolta Autocord
    Holga 120N
    Nikonos II
    Nikon L35AW
    Nikon DSLRs
    Nikon F
    Nikon F3
    Nikon L35AF
    Olympus XA
    Leica M3
    I also recently acquired a Leica M3 with a 50mm Summilux F/1.4 for $400. Who could say no to that deal? I’m about to run my first roll through it. I guess I’m in the Leica club now. I’ll find out soon if they’re all they’re cracked up to be.
    The Phoblographer: Please tell us about yourself and how you got into photography.
    Mike Caputo: I’m a firefighter in Hawaii, and I also own a small community darkroom in downtown Hilo on the Big Island. I came to Hawaii from Chicago about 20 years ago, and I live in a tropical jungle now instead of a concrete one. Both have their charms, I suppose. Occasionally I miss city life, blues bars, jazz festivals, fancy restaurants, Italian beef sandwiches, and of course, a proper hot dog. I’ve seen grown men put ketchup on a hot dog out here. It’s disgusting. Nobody puts ketchup on a hot dog!
    I’ve always been interested in photography in a casual way, mostly snaps with family and friends for photo albums. My interest in photography as an art started a few years ago. It was gradual at first. When I learned how to develop my own film and make darkroom prints is when it really took off. I love the whole process from beginning to end. There’s something very satisfying about doing it all on your own. I still feel excited developing a roll of film and peeling it off the steel reel, holding it up to the light to see how the negatives look and wondering which ones I will decide to print is as fun as it ever was.
    The Phoblographer: Underwater film cameras have been around for a few decades now, but what made you want to try this out in an era where digital photography is constantly evolving?
    Mike Caputo: Digital is cool, and there are tons of things you can do with it that you can’t do with film. None of that interests me, though. I’ve tried shooting digital many times. For some reason, I don’t get the same feeling, the same satisfaction as I do with using film. Digital is stale to me. Too clean. Too many pictures. Too much editing. Maybe I’m just lazy. I’m not knocking digital; it’s just not my thing. The darkroom is my thing. That’s why I use a Nikonos. I like hand printing my

    • 11 min
    Colorful Portraits Of Women Have Won Cristina Venedict Many Awards

    Colorful Portraits Of Women Have Won Cristina Venedict Many Awards

    “When you want something from the bottom of your heart, the Universe will show you a way,” says Romanian photographer Cristina Venedict about her path to photography. She loves using primary complementary colors in her portrait work, which allows her soul to speak to the viewer using styles learned from art school. But her path to discovering photography wasn’t all that straightforward.
    You can view this article and much more with minimal ads in our brand new app for iOS, iPadOS, and Android.
    It’s only the lucky among us who genuinely find what our calling in life is. Many of us are stuck in mundane 9-to-5s, wishing we had an outlet to express our creative thoughts (me, for almost 15 years of my life). And yet, many others stuck in that same rut are still wondering what they could possibly do creatively. Despite going to art school, Cristina took a few years to realize what she really loved doing. Step by step, she began bringing her imagination to photography and gradually taking it to higher levels of artistry. Her portraits have bagged her 1st place in the Romanian category at the World Photography Awards on two occasions now.
    The Essential Photo Gear Used by Cristina Venedict
    Cristina told us:
    Fujifilm XT-3
    Fujifilm XT-4
    Fuji GFX 50S II
    Lensbaby lenses and optics:
    Twist 60
    Burnside 35
    Velvet 85
    Obscura
    Sweet 35
    Sweet 80
    Edge 80
    Omni
    Composer Pro II
    I was always amazed by dreamy images. When I started with photography I wasn’t fully satisfied with the lenses that were on the market. I couldn’t create my desired images. Searching for new lenses, I stumbled upon Lensbaby. It was love at first sight!
    The Phoblographer: Hi Cristina. Please tell us about yourself and how you got into photography.
    Cristina Venedict: I have never dreamed nor thought I would be a photographer. I graduated from an art school, and I studied psychology at university. But all my life, I was fascinated by people. I love people, and I could spend hours looking at them and observing their gestures, unique features. I even make up my own impression about them just for the fun of it.
    After I graduated from university, I practiced for a while as a psychologist. During that time, I was very upset because I felt I was not doing something that represents me. I felt I wasn’t true to myself. I know that during that time, all I wanted was to do something I loved. And when you want something from the bottom of your heart, the universe will show you a way. I remember one day I was chatting online with a friend, and she showed me a picture taken by her brother. When I saw it, I smiled and thought to myself that I could do better, and I felt that that was what I want to do: photography.
    Then I started to create my own world and express myself through the images I created. It was like I was making for myself a universe made of dreams. It was a new wonderful feeling; I felt at peace with myself, I felt happy. With the help of my camera, I went from the surreal world to the real one.
    The Phoblographer: You use your mobile phones a lot when shooting portraits. Not exactly the first choice of gear for a portrait photographer. How do you deal with optical issues like distortion etc when doing this?
    Cristina Venedict: At first, I was challenged by how I could handle taking pictures with a phone. But more recently, I photographed an entire session with just the phone. And I can say that it was a delight for me.
    I like the format 3:4 and the wide lens; it makes it easier for you to get into the soul of the subject and find more creative angles. I like that I can take photos in raw format and be able to edit them later, just like a professional camera.
    The Phoblographer: How did you get those slivers of red light when using the smartphone cameras?
    Cristina Venedict: I use a led focusing light and some crystal from Lensbaby Omni. (See the bottom of the page for a video about this)
    The Phoblographer: Reds and browns feature prominently in your work. Tell us what

    • 8 min
    Photography in France: Get Lost in a World of Romance and Adventure

    Photography in France: Get Lost in a World of Romance and Adventure

    France, a nation full of romance, is a beautiful spot to make images. From the cityscapes in Paris to the golden sands of Nice, France doesn’t lack picturesque destinations. Photographers visit from all over the world to create their perception of the Western European nation. Once they’ve made their images and edited them in post, they often send them to us to see if they fit for publication. Many of them are, and in this piece, we will show you the best photography in France.
    You can view this article and much more with minimal ads in our brand new app for iOS, iPadOS, and Android.
    Damien Hypolite Created Some of The Best Photography in France
    Way back in 2014, Damien Hypolite came up with a cool concept that made his photography in France stand out from the pack. While playing Assassin Creed, he took screenshots of Paris in 1789. He then visited all the locations in real life and photographed the contrast between then and now. It remains one of the most original stories we’ve published and one you’re bound to enjoy. Take a look here.
    Roland Kraemer Photography in France is Tranquil
    Roland Kraemer is a German photographer with an eye for peaceful scenes. While taking a road trip through France, Kraemer used his Sony a7 III and Sigma 100-400mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM to photograph the calming seas located on France’s beautiful coastlines. The photographs look like paintings; they’re almost too perfect. But Kraemer did most of the work inside his camera, which is remarkable. To learn about his story, check out his full interview here.
    Martin Ruffin’s Photography in France is Full of Double Exposures
    Dreamy double exposures are what we’re about here at The Phoblographer. When done properly, they can be some of the most compelling types of photographs. Martin Ruffin, a film photographer based in the UK, turned to nature in France to create is double exposures. Pretty flowers, glorious landscapes, a Nikon FE, and a ton of film roll make up a day in the life of this photographer. You can see more of his work here.
    Mike Kandel: Paris in Monochrome
    Returning to The Phoblographer’s vault, allow us to once again take you back to 2014. This time, Mike Kandel is the protagonist, and Paris is the location for this entry. Kandel turned the city of love into a deep monochrome space full of wonder. He told us, “Paris is beautiful no matter how you view it, but through a monochrome lens, its true elegance and character become strikingly apparent. Removing color from a place so rich in fashion, art and culture impress a fresh perspective upon both the tourist and seasoned resident.” We couldn’t agree more. Take a look here.
    Paul Boomsma Risks it All
    Paul Boomsma, a photographer and adventure junky, turned to France to get his fix. Armed with a Fujifilm X-T3, a Fujifilm 18-55mm F2.8 lens, and a Fujifilm 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 lens, Boomsa set out to create images of wildlife and the beautiful French habitat it exists within. Often solo traveling and camping in remote locations, Boomsma takes big risks to create his work. The reward for his investment is access to subjects and environments most other photographers don’t have. And he handles the task of making something of worth extremely well, evidenced through his top-level photography. Take a look here.
    Show us Your Vision of France
    France will long continue to be the place where most photographers want to visit. It’s rich in history, and beyond the architecture, there’s always a story to tell. If you have a solid take on French culture and the country itself, send it in using the form below. Also, let us know what you think of the images in this article. We’d love to read your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading.
    Want to get your work featured? Here’s how to do it!
    Lead photo by Martin Ruffin. All images used with permission.
    Find us on Flipboard!

    • 4 min

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