The Sony a7 Series: Which Model Suits You Best?


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Sometimes revolutions occur in small form factors. One small revolution in photography occurred with the introduction of the Sony Alpha a7―the world’s first full-frame mirrorless camera, loaded with cutting-edge features packed into a small, very able camera. After the 20MP Alpha a7 came the 36MP a7R, and the 12MP a7S, each with its unique set of features, each available at an incremental increase in price.

You may wonder, “Why does the priciest camera of this lineup contain the lowest number of megapixels?” The a7S offers certain features the other a7 cameras do not: with a maximum ISO of 409,600, it can obtain imagery where the other a7 cameras are just groping in the dark. While the Alpha a7 and A7R can capture 1080p AVCHD video, the a7s offers 4K-video capability (when you record to an external recorder).

We have devised the following guide to compare the features and functionality of these cameras in specifications, still imagery, and video. If you have been considering the purchase of one of the Alpha a7-series cameras, but aren’t sure which one is the best choice for you, read on―this guide is here to help you make the most practical selection for your particular needs, and perhaps start a little revolution in the way you capture still images and video.

Comparison Photos

This series of night exposures was captured to illustrate the way each of Sony’s A7-series cameras handles extremes of highlights and shadows at the full range of each camera’s shutter speeds. Each camera was mounted on a tripod and triggered using the shutter delay function. The lens, a Voigtlander Color-Skopar 25mm f/4 P Pancake, was set to f/11, and the camera set to Aperture Priority. The only variable was the shutter speed, which changed in relation to the ISO speed. Due to the various light sources evident in the scene, the camera’s White Balance was set to Auto WB. As expected, the image quality slowly degraded at a certain point, though each of these cameras is admirable in its own right, regardless of the imaging sensor inside.

Dynamic Range Examples

One of the key attributes of an imaging sensor is the extent of its dynamic range. Dynamic range, i.e., the range of highlight, shadow, and mid-tone detail a sensor can capture, is a barometer of how detailed and “rich” an image appears. Because the 12MP imaging sensor in Sony’s a7S contains photo diodes (pixels) significantly larger than the photo diodes in Sony’s a7 and a7R (24MP and 36.4MP, respectively), the a7S has much higher sensitivity to light, making it the most viable available-light camera currently available from any manufacturer. As these images illustrate, Sony’s a7S can capture and display an extreme range of highlight and shadow detail without your having to resort to heavy image editing.

Sony a7

Sony a7R

Sony a7S

Resolution Examples

While it’s easy to soften or diffuse a photograph, the degree of sharpness in a photograph cannot be improved after the fact. The side-lit texture and forms of the marble columns along the entrance of the James Farley Post Office, in Manhattan, are perfect for evaluating the resolving power of each of Sony’s a7-series cameras. When discussing resolution, it’s important to note the degree of detail in the highlights, which can easily be blown out on lesser sensors, as well as the shadows. What’s equally important to note is the high levels of resolving power of which each of these cameras is capable.

Sony a7

Sony a7R

Sony a7S

Vignette Examples

This photograph of a rare open patch of Manhattan real estate illustrates how each of these cameras handles vignetting on wider-angle lenses. A notable issue concerning Sony’s a7 and a7R concerns vignetting and color shifting when using lenses wider than 25mm. One of the positive attributes of the Sony a7S is that, unlike the a7 and a7R, vignetting is greatly reduced, if not completely eliminated, when shooting with wide-angle lenses. These photographs, captured with a Voigtlander Super-Heliar 15mm f/4.5-L Aspheric lens, clearly illustrate the differences between each of these cameras in terms of wide-angle vignetting.

Sony a7

Sony a7R

Sony a7S

Comparison Videos

Dynamic Range in Video Test

While all the a7 cameras have very good dynamic range in stills mode, in video it’s rather different. With the a7 and a7R you do have some control over gamma, because the creative-style jpeg profiles also influence the video. However, they don’t offer the best explanation of what they are doing with names like Night Scene, Sunset, Vivid, Clear, etc. For this test, the a7R and a7 are set to the Sunset creative style, which I think attempts to maximize the dynamic range.

On the a7S, there are much more precise picture profiles, with the ability to set knee level, black levels, gamma curves, and more. For this test, I shot the a7S in both Cine1 Gamma at a low ISO, and S-Log2 at ISO 3200 (3200 is the minimum ISO in S-Log2). The a7S has far more dynamic range in both modes, with S-Log2 having the most; however, it’s noisier in the shadows than Cine1 Gamma.

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Rolling Shutter Video Test         

In this test, all three cameras were mounted on top of each other to ensure that the panning speed was the same. All cameras are equipped with a Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 lens.

All three cameras suffer from rolling shutter, as do all CMOS-based cameras without a global shutter. However, the a7S is a little bit worse than the other two, probably due to the fact that it scans the entire sensor. In my experience shooting, this is the only area in which the a7S performed worse than the other two cameras in video mode, but it’s not terribly worse. To minimize rolling-shutter effects, wider-angle lenses work best, and lenses with IS should be used when handholding any of the cameras.

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High ISO Video Test

For this test, all cameras were set in the same night-scene creative style to test their noise performance at High ISOs. The reason a creative style was used instead of a more flattering gamma curve on the a7S is that crushing the blacks reduces the visible noise, as the shadows are typically the noisiest part of an image, so it makes the comparison fairer to use the same creative style on the a7S as the others. The scene was shot at night with the Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2. At ISO 3200, the lens is at f/1.2, and the lens is stopped down as the ISO is cranked up, until the end, when I open up to f/1.2 at ISO 409,600 on the a7S, just to see what it looks like.

As you might expect, the a7S wipes the floor with the other two cameras when it comes to high ISO in video. In stills at medium-high ISOs, the a7 and a7R aren’t that far behind the a7S once the 20MP and 36MP images are downsized to 12MP. Nonehteless, because they line-skip when shooting video, they aren’t actually using all of their pixels. Because of this, the a7 and a7R are already, in my opinion, only usable in emergency situations at ISO 6400 for video. Even ISO 3200 is really pushing it. The a7S is useable up to at least ISO 25,600.

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Resolution and Aliasing Test

This test shows both the difference in aliasing and moiré and the overall detail resolved by the different cameras. All cameras are equipped with the Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 and pointed at a scene with many fine details and fine lines. The brick building, fence, and lines on the gates are things to watch out for.

Aliasing and moiré will typically find themselves in any video camera, but the line skipping at the sensor level that most still cameras use when shooting video can lead to much more aliasing and moiré than when shooting stills. In this test, all three cameras show it to some degree, but it is far worse on the a7 and a7R then on the a7S, as is to be expected, since the a7S does not line-skip when shooting video.

Also, despite the fact that all cameras shoot video internally in 1080p, the amount of actual detail the cameras resolve varies by quite a bit. You can easily see by just looking at the bricks how much more detail there is in the a7S in 1080p, with the a7R coming in second, and the a7 coming in third. And if you need even more detail, the a7S can output UHD 4K video over HDMI. Unfortunately, portable UHD 4K HDMI recorders aren’t on the market yet.

The thing that surprised me most about this test was not how much better the a7S is than the others, since I was expecting that, but how much better the a7R is than the a7. The a7R resolves a lot more detail than the a7 and has less moiré and aliasing than the a7, as well.

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Compression Video Test

This test pitted the 24 Mb/s AVCHD video codec offered by the a7 and a7R against the higher-quality 50 Mb/s XAVC S codec offered by the a7S (although the a7S can record in AVCHD too, if you like). Traditionally long-GOP codecs like AVCHD and XAVC S struggle the most when there is a great deal of change between frames, as they try and record only the differences between groups of frames to save space. But since XAVC S has double the bitrate, it should be able to withstand twice as many changes without lowering the quality. I attempted to stress out AVCHD in two ways: first, with a high-speed object moving through the frame—a bicycle in this case—and the other by panning across highly detailed green foliage.

AVCHD held up pretty well in the bicycle test, probably due to the static background. On the foliage test there is a definite difference between the two, but it’s hard to say whether the better image coming out of the a7S is due to the fact that it resolves much more detail, or if it’s the AVCHD codec falling apart. Either way, the XAVC S codec is a welcome addition to the a7S.

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New York at Night

The excellent dynamic range and high-ISO ability of the a7S lends itself particularly well to street shooting at night, as streetlights and neon signs create very high-contrast environments. To showcase this, I shot a short at night. Most clips were shot with the a7S, but there are a few comparison shots thrown in, as well, to showcase just how different the a7S renders images in these high-contrast situations than the a7 and a7R. Also, it’s worth reminding people that the a7 and a7R aren’t bad at video—they perform at about the same level as other high-resolution still cameras that also shoot video. It’s just that the a7S performs at a different level.

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Recommendations

While the Alpha a7, a7R, and a7S share many qualities, they each offer specific features and specs that differentiate them from one another. The list below presents different kinds of photo and video work, and recommends the a7-series camera that’s preferable for the application.

 

Wedding and Event Photography

 
     

With its faster Hybrid autofocus system and continuous shooting, the a7 could outweigh the benefits of the higher resolution of the a7R, since wedding prints are rarely made large. Also, the anti-aliasing filter in the a7 could prevent unwanted moiré on certain fabrics.

     
 

Exception: if you also shoot video at weddings, consider the a7S for its top-of-the-line video capability.

 
     
 
  Portrait and Fashion Photography  
     

The 36.3MP resolution and exacting details offered by its filterless design makes the a7R the clear choice for this application.

     
 

Exception: if you shoot portraits or fashion outdoors, the faster maximum sync speeds of the a7 and a7S offer an advantage.

 
     
 
 
  Sports and Action Photography  
     

The fast and accurate autofocus of its Hybrid AF system, and the faster continuous shooting speed make the a7 the best choice for shooting sports and other fast-moving subject matter.

     
 
 
  Landscape Photography  
     

With its high-resolution sensor and omitted anti-aliasing filter, the A7R would be a good choice for capturing the details usually important to landscape photography. In addition, fine art landscape photography is often printed in large format, which is supported by the high-resolution a7R.

     
 

Exception: when shooting in locations with extreme contrast between the highlights and shadows, the high-dynamic-range capabilities of the a7S would retain more information in the shadows, without overexposing the highlights.

 
     
 
 
  Vintage Lens Users  
     

For the many photographers who are choosing lighter-weight mirrorless cameras in order to utilize compact, high-quality rangefinder lenses, such as those by Leica and Voigtlander, the a7S may be the best choice. Its gapless on-chip lens design improves light distribution across the sensor, reducing the vignetting that can occur when using lenses designed for film cameras.

     
 
 
  Photojournalism and Street Photography  
     

With the fastest continuous shooting rate and faster autofocus, the a7 is the way to go for street, documentary, and journalistic applications. In addition, a 1/250-second flash sync helps when shooting with fill flash outdoors, and the electronic first-curtain shutter provides more quiet activation. Normally, this type of photography does not require maximum resolution, and the faster processing speed of smaller files is an advantage in the news world.

     
  Exception: the potential for damage on the street and in the field makes the magnesium-alloy, weather-sealed bodies of the a7R and a7S appealing. Plus, if the utmost silence is a concern, the silent mode on the a7S is a benefit. It is absolutely silent.  
     
 
 
  Still Life Photography  
     

Resolution and details are paramount in still life work and for this, the a7R with its 36.4MP filterless CMOS sensor, offers the highest resolution and superb details.

     
 

Exception: if you’re shooting still life in very low light, it might be worth considering the a7S with its low-noise, high-ISO capability.

 
     
 
 
  Night Photography  
     

Here, the a7S has the clear advantage. A native ISO sensitivity to 102,400 (expandable to 409,600) will enable very effective low-light capture. Also, with its wide dynamic range, city lights and dark shadows can be balanced within the frame and the improved signal-to-noise ratio reduces noise at high ISO levels. In addition, AF sensitivity to -4 allows improved AF accuracy in low light.

     
 
 
  Nature Photography  
     

The faster continuous shooting and hybrid autofocus system in the a7 allow you to capture images of fast-moving animals. Furthermore, the AF Predictive Control feature on the a7 recognizes movement to or away from the camera and calculates where the subject should be in the instant between continuous shots.

     
 

Exception: the a7S has the advantage of better battery life, which will help on long outings into the woods. It also has the silent mode, which is clearly an advantage when photographing wildlife.

 
     
 
 
  Mirrorless Enthusiast  
     

For the user who is ready to make the leap from point-and-shoot cameras to mirrorless, or one who prefers the compact form factor of a mirrorless camera over a DSLR, the a7 is the most affordable full-frame camera currently available and combines the practical control of a smaller camera with interchangeable-lens options and the light-gathering, resolution, and depth-of-field control of a full-frame sensor.

     
  Exception: if you are a photographer who wants to use their camera for producing high-quality video as well as still images, the a7S is the option for you. While all three cameras offer Full HD capture, the a7S stands out with its ability to handle 4K video.  
     
 
 
  Cinema-Style Video Shooting  
     

The a7S is the best choice for controlled cinema-style video shoots. It offers far better dynamic range, a much more detailed 1080p image with less moiré and aliasing than the other cameras, a more robust XAVC S Codec when shooting in 1080p, a much cleaner image at high ISOs, and the ability to shoot 120 fps slow motion in 720p. Its ability to output UHD 4K video to an external recorder is just icing on the cake, seeing as the a7S is such a formidable performer in HD video capture.

     
 
 
  Live Event or Concert Video Shooting  
     

If you’re shooting live events or concerts, then you will probably be using telephoto lenses and panning around to follow the action. In situations like this, the a7R would be the best camera of the three. Its better rolling-shutter performance compared to the a7S, and more detailed video compared to the a7, make it the best choice.

     
  Exception: if you’re shooting in very high-contrast situations or in very low light and you can get close enough to use a lens wider than 100mm with a tripod, the a7S’s superior overall video quality makes it the better choice.  
     
 
 
  Documentary Video  
     

For shooting talking head interviews and controlled B-Roll footage, the a7S is a great documentary camera. A full-frame sensor makes it easy to shoot interviews with a defocused background, even in cramped spaces. The high dynamic range and more flexible picture profiles allow you to get B-Roll footage in almost any environment without setting up lights. All three cameras are also compatible with Sony’s XLR adapter, making it easy to get good audio without having to sync in post.

     
 

Exception: if you will be shooting handheld, run-and-gun work, consider the a7R. Its rolling shutter is a little better (fast pans and shaky hands don’t mix well with rolling shutters). Plus, the softer overall image on the a7R makes focusing on the fly a little more forgiving.

 
     
 
 
  Film Students  
     

A helpful aspect of the a7-series cameras is that they handle very similarly. They all have the same control layout, the same focus aids, they use the same lenses, and have the same-sized sensor. Once you get used to shooting with one, it’s easy to move to another. Because of this, the a7 might be the best choice for film students. It’s significantly cheaper than the a7S or a7R, and the differences in video image quality won’t impede your creativity. Having an extra $1,000 to spend on lenses shouldn’t be overlooked.

     
 

Exception: if your budget isn’t a barrier, the a7S is the best overall video camera.

 
     
 
     
     
     

   

Comparison Chart

  a7 a7R a7S
Effective Pixels 24.3MP 36.4MP 12.2MP
Pixel Size 5.96µm 4.87µm ~8.4µm
Resolution 6000 x 4000 7360 x 4912 4240 x 2832
Anti-Aliasing Filter Yes No Yes
Maximum ISO  25,600 25,600 409,600
Autofocus Hybrid Contrast Contrast
AF Sensitivity EV0 to EV20  EV0 to EV20  EV-4 to EV20 
AF Predictive Control Yes No No
Continuous Shooting  5 fps 4 fps 5 fps
Electronic Front-Curtain Shutter Yes No Yes
Silent Shutter Mode No No Yes
Flash Sync 1/250th 1/160th 1/250th
On-Sensor Micro Lenses No Yes Yes
Weight 416 g 407 g 446 g

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Which To Upgrade? Gear Or Skill?

You must forgive my ramblings on this age-old debate. And for many of us, it may seem like the chicken and egg quandary. Should I get a better camera to make me a better photographer? Or has my skill evolved to the point whether I need a better camera to fully realise my potential? If someone hands me an airplane do I automatically become a pilot? Or do I need to go to flight school first?

1 Emerald Lake Alaska

We’ve all read many times that your camera doesn’t matter; that attention to composition and lighting are more important for making images than the technology. For sure, certain cameras make it easier to capture certain subjects and achieve a certain look, but by and large it’s just a tool. Sounds very familiar, right?

2 Delsjon Lake Gothenburg

For professionals, their camera is essential. It has to perform reliably and deliver the functionality they expect of it. Perhaps that means evermore pixels for billboard prints; or robust autofocus, high frames per second and a deep buffer for sports. Ergonomic ease can mean the difference between a missed shot and a perfect moment. Excellent high ISO performance will allow shooting of events indoors or in the dark.

3 Alesund Norway

But within the hobbyist community, very few of us require such tall demands of our gear. What we want of our gear may not be necessarily what we need of it? There are many of us who primarily take an interest in camera and lens technology and there are many of us who primarily take an interest in the photographic art (most of us take a healthy interest in both). Now, let me say for the record that I believe people are perfectly free and entitled to be interested in whatever aspect of photography pleases them. No one should belittle anyone for their interest in technology anymore than for their interest in photographing a particular subject. And although I place myself in the latter camp of taking an interest in the art, I will happily and honestly admit to reading as many gear reviews as anyone else. The evolution of our species and its countless accomplishments is a long and continuing history of technological advancement. No high horse mounted here.

4 Churchill Statue London

However, often when I read the palpably giddy remarks that many people leave after a review, along the lines of how they can’t wait to get that latest camera, I cannot help but ask if they really believe it will improve their photography. Is it enough to acquire a technological marvel and then try to justify it to oneself with the promise of delivering better photography? Will the upgrade in technology automatically beget an upgrade in photographic ability? Or will they produce the exact same quality of images but with a newer, superior camera that no one would have realised they had bought anyway?

5 Genka Autumn

Conversely, how many people have said to you after you showed them a great photo that you must have used a good camera? Same here. Societally, we’re hard-wired to assume that technology plays an irrefutable part in our progress.

6 Puma Jumping

I am not the first to deliberate on this dichotomy between technology and art, and I certainly won’t be the last. But just for this moment perhaps I can offer the idea that for a large contingent of us who don’t make a living at this but merely pursue it for pleasure, the camera itself won’t make as much of an impression as the work we produce with it.

7 Olden Norway

Presented in this article are a number of images that I have printed on request (I realise there’s no accounting for taste!) at some point in the past to A1 size, around 33 x 23 inches. The cameras used to make them vary from my phone to a variety of bodies and formats, with resolutions ranging from 6MP to 24MP. I’m not decorating billboards for a living, and A1 is pretty large for me, but how many of us hobbyists will print this size that often? Or even A2, or A3? How many of us with 24-36MP cameras print at all? (Remember that Nikon’s first professional  digital SLR, the D1, had 2.7MP, and I sure some of its users made large prints from it.)

8 Monte Carlo

For the point of this article, it shouldn’t matter which camera was used for which image, so I have deliberately left out that information here. Furthermore, they have been reduced in size for this site, so you will simply have to take my honest word that at full resolution they print to A1. And look absolutely fine. No one questioned the resolution of the camera when they received the print, nor was it perceptible as to which image was made by which camera and with how many pixels.

9 Deer Richmond Park

Now, there are certainly technological factors at play here. Lens sharpness plays its part, too, but for these shots I have used anything from the lens in my phone to a consumer zoom to a prime. I had to use a relatively low ISO to avoid a noisy print, particularly with my phone.

Technique, however, seemed to matter more. I had to be in the right place at the right time; I had to anticipate action or wait for the right light; I had to judge how to frame the impending shot and steady myself. Shot discipline and absolute focus accuracy is not as crucial at 6MP as it is at 24MP, but it is still important for a large print from any resolution.

10 City Hall London

But the question I ask myself when I look at these images is simple. Would a newer, more sophisticated camera have enabled me to make a better image? Or would I have had to see things differently to accomplish that?

11. Alaska

You probably all know the answers to these questions. A great image captured with your phone is far better than a mediocre one captured with a Hasselblad. A great image made with 6MP will far outsell a poor image made with 36MP. A newer or more sophisticated camera might have made it easier and quicker to get the shot. Perhaps there wouldn’t be so much menu involvement for changing settings, or perhaps the metering and white balance abilities would be more accurate. But would we not have worked around the limitations of our cameras to create the image we wanted?

12 Waterfall Wales

In thinking about this article, I concluded that the dichotomy between gear and skill might not be so clear-cut as the purists would have us believe. Better technology will always continue to make our lives easier. Our ability to realise our vision improves with technology, not in spite of it. But ultimately, technology cannot substitute the creativity and imagination that is innate to all of us regardless of which camera we use. So, whatever camera you use, get out there and keeping shooting!

The post Which To Upgrade? Gear Or Skill? appeared first on Photography Life.

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The Bureau of Advertising Purity

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.” It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
– C. S. Lewis

One would think that with the myriad of problems facing the United States and the rest of the world, our lawmakers might be content to prioritize them, determine which are best to be solved by the private sector, the public sector, or some combinations thereof. But alas, there seem to be some that believe they can and should be solved with some form of government intervention and control. Recently, Congressional Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R -FL), with assistance from Ted Duetch (D – FL), and Lois Capps (D – CA), introduced a bill (H.R. 4341) allegedly to save our children from eating disorders and other mental problems by regulating the use of what essentially are labeled as “unrealistic Photoshop” alternations to pictures of models and others that are prominently displayed in advertising, magazine articles, etc. I was a bit surprised to find out that Ros-Lehtinen had sponsored this bill. I happen to be well-acquainted with her stances on many issues and often find myself in agreement with her.

They title the bill, “Truth in Advertising Act of 2014.” Don’t get me wrong – I am not advocating advertisers should be allowed to make blatant false representations regarding their products’ benefits. But policing every photo tied to an advertisement under the watchful eye of some government overseer seems to be fraught with it its own set of problems.

Photoshop Beauty

So how could anything go wrong with such a well-meaning piece of legislation? Read on…

1) The Evils Of Photoshop

Photoshop is a popular target for bashing nowadays. And why not? It easily and quickly enables us to modify photos in a myriad of ways, including improving complexions, eliminating imperfections, and even changing body dimensions and shapes. Some people are incensed by such capabilities. They literally think this is a crime, or at least on the border of being one. Many have seen this famous youtube video. They claim that it has perverted our view of beauty. And yet, where is the proof of that? In every age, and in every culture, people have had different ideas regarding what constitutes beauty and what does not.

Surely this can’t be good for society. Somebody somewhere has to be suffering as a result. And if verifiable victims can’t be found? Well… it seems that some will invoke broad sweeping generalizations, create a flawed cause and effect relationship, and attempt to bypass our intellects by appealing to our emotions. By attaching positive names to legislation, even if the names have nothing to do with the real intent or outcome of the legislation, it makes it more difficult to be against a given bill. Thus supporters of a bill entitled “Truth in Advertising Act of 2014” challenges opponents with the obvious question, “So you mean to tell the citizens of this great nation that you are not for truth in advertising?”

2) Sounds Good, But…

The bill’s author states (I paraphrase) that there is some strong evidence that links eating disorders and other mental issues to children’s repeated viewing of “Photoshopped models.” Yet there is precious little proof offered. And any that is submitted should be rigorously reviewed and interrogated. There is a reason we have a 1st Amendment in the United States. Free speech, in whatever form it takes, is not something we should ever relinquish. Unfortunately, this bill is just another in a long line of attempts to have us trade our rights for some magical solution to an ill-defined and extremely vague cause and effect relationship.

Invoking the name of the AMA (American Medical Association) would seem to dissuade us from questioning the bill’s “sincere” attempt to help our children. And yet every time I hear the AMA’s name linked to a product endorsement or being used to refute some health claim, my mind harkens back to those many commercials from the 1930s through 1950s featuring physician endorsements for cigarettes, even though, from the 1930s, there was plenty of evidence to believe there was a strong link between smoking and cancer and other respiratory maladies.

Luckies Physician Endorsement

Camels & Doctors

It is often said that one of the best things we can do for our children is help develop their critical thinking skills – to thoughtfully question everything they see and hear. Sadly, this bill’s author seems to want both children and their parents to turn off their critical thinking abilities. This bill is a real insult to both children and parents. First, the bill would have us believe that there is a strong link between eating disorders and other mental disorders and the viewing of images altered by Photoshop. This alone is a highly dubious claim that deserves a healthy degree of skepticism. The most obvious question is why, if Ros-Lehtinen is correct, do millions of people view Photoshop-altered images and fail to suffer from eating disorders and other maladies? And who is to say who has realistic and unrealistic notions of beauty? Secondly, the bill seems to assume that children’s parents are ill-suited to helping understand the context of advertising messages – as if only all-knowing bureaucrats from Washington, DC to control to do the job for us. Thirdly, there is no ability to measure the implied benefits against the very problems listed. Then again, it would be difficult for many government programs to quantify their ability to achieve the benefits they claim to provide. Fourth, over simplifying the cause of eating disorders and other mental illness to such as a degree as represented by this bill is simple-minded at best. Mental illness issues can be incredibly difficult to diagnose, understand, and treat.

And lastly, the real issue plaguing the United States, and well as many other developed nations, is obesity. If our children are really suffering from attempting to reach some mythical ideal, it sure isn’t apparent from the statistics. Here are a few facts the Mayo Clinic outlined in 2012:

  • Currently 35.7 percent of American adults and 16.9 percent of children ages 2 to 19 are obese (defined as a body mass index over 30).
  • If trends do not change, by 2030 the obesity rate for adults could top 44 percent nationally. In addition, rates could exceed 50 percent in 39 states and 60 percent in 13 states.
  • Currently more than 25 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, 27 million have chronic heart disease, 68 million have hypertension and 795,000 suffer a stroke each year.
  • Approximately one in three deaths from cancer each year (approximately 190,650) are related to obesity, poor nutrition or physical inactivity.
  • In the next 20 years, obesity could contribute to more than 6 million cases of type 2 diabetes, 5 million cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, and more than 400,000 cases of cancer.
  • By 2030 costs associated with treating preventable obesity-related diseases are estimated to increase by $48 billion to $66 billion a year.
  • The loss in economic productivity could be between $390 and $580 billion annually.
  • It’s also projected that if the average body mass index was reduced by just 5 percent by 2030, thousands or millions of people could avoid obesity-related diseases, thereby saving billions of dollars in health care costs.
Obesity Increase

Despite Ros-Lehtinen’s concerns, it would seem that the number one eating disorder that our nation needs to address is its addiction to overeating. Ros-Lehtinen may make vague overtures to the link between Photoshopped images and eating disorders, but the links between being overweight and its impact on our life spans, joint disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular concerns, and other maladies are very well-defined and leave little room for debate.

But let’s explore her proposed bill and see where we might be headed if such legislation ever gets passed.

3) Welcome To The Bureau of Advertising Purity

Someone obviously needs to be in charge of what is acceptable and what is not in the world of advertising images. And that is precisely what Ros-Lehtinen proposes. Here’s the text from the bill:

(1) a strategy to reduce the use, in advertising and other media for the promotion of commercial products, of images that have been altered to materially change the physical characteristics of the faces and bodies of the individuals depicted; and
(2) recommendations for an appropriate, risk-based regulatory framework with respect to such use.

Nothing like a “risk-based regulatory framework” to improve our lives, I always say… So how would this new organization work? Well for starters, we would need a pretty hefty bureaucracy. Total US Ad Sales spending in 2013 was approximately $180 billion. That number likely includes millions of images that the new Bureau of Advertising Purity would have to oversee. That is no trivial matter.

The agency would need processes for submitting, verifying, approving, denying, appealing, etc. images for publication on various media. A Standards Committee would have to define what is and is not an “acceptable” level of photo processing. One might imagine that color, contrast, skin smoothing, limb and torso reduction, muscle enlarging, and other categories of photo manipulation would have be defined in lengthy manuals, which of course would require frequent revisions. Some notion of standards for each of these relative to an alteration being “acceptable” would have to be defined as well. Just who in our society is qualified to make such decisions for the rest of us?

You can guarantee that developing such definitions would likely involve many research grants, studies, debates, and in the end, an umpteen thousand page documents that cover every picayune aspect of altering an image. One might also imagine that a large team of “Photoshop Forensic Specialists” (new career opportunities?) would be needed to verify the “authenticity” of photographs, particularly in the event of a dispute. A vast computer system would need to be developed for cataloging, tagging, and tracking images from advertising agencies.

The Bureau of Advertising Purity might eventually choose to co-locate their agents within the various advertising agencies, in order to observe the entire creative process first hand, thereby ensuring that no unacceptable or unauthorized Photoshop alterations take place. Advertisers might vie for that treasured endorsement of “Bureau of Advertising Purity Certified,” as they might speculate it will have a positive influence on sales.

4) The Photoshop Tax

The Bureau of Advertising Purity will not be properly implemented on the cheap. Vouching for having $180 billion dollars of advertising images pass the rigorous standards of the Bureau isn’t going to be done with handful of staff members and a few interns. We are talking tens of thousands of people. The money has to come from somewhere, so why not tax the very software at the heart of this debate – Photoshop!

But why stop there? There are other programs that enable various forms of photographic manipulation. Soon the tax would extend to just every aspect of the creative process. It only follows that some group of people would be responsible for monitoring, evaluating, and determining which programs, products, and services should be eligible for what will likely be dubbed as the “Photoshop Tax.” The tax would start out as something “reasonable.” With time and eventual increase in the Bureau’s size, scope, and responsibilities, this tax would also rise significantly.

Of course, many of our lawmakers would want you to conveniently forget that when the Income Tax was first passed in 1913, it was promised never to rise above 7%. And even then, there were healthy deductions one could take to reduce the tax. It would require just four short years before that “not to exceed 7%” tax rose to 77%. So much for political promises and their reality… Something to keep in mind the next time you hear a politician indicating that some government agency, under the guise of “helping” you, wants to diminish your choices and/or exert more control over your life.

Perhaps I am just being cynical. A federal bureaucracy, meant to serve the people, could never abuse its power. It’s not like the IRS would ever be used to punish political opponents or the Veterans Administration would ever conspire to falsify its treatment of veterans so legions of bureaucrats might rake in millions in bonus payments. Right?

5) Today, Cosmopolitan’s Cover. Tomorrow, Your Wedding Pictures & More…

The initial bill is only targeting images associated with advertising. But why stop there? It is only natural to expect that the Bureau of Advertising Purity would attempt to regulate ALL images they deemed as being “unrealistic representations of the human body.” What about all those young ladies are looking at Photoshop-processed wedding pictures on Etsy, for example? Aren’t these images, if altered by professional or amateur photographers also potentially “dangerous” to young women’s mental health as well?

And what of high school yearbook photos? Photoshop did not invent skin smoothing techniques. Even in the 70s (that period of time just after the dinosaurs became extinct), “airbrushing” was a well-known and accepted practice – and much appreciated by those teens suffering from acne. No doubt that every teen was glad to have smooth skin in that once-in-a-lifetime yearbook photo. Little did they know the damage that was being caused by their adding to that heavy burden of “unrealistic expectations.”

And as the digital photography universe continues to experience exponential growth, who is minding all the sites where photography plays a major role? With today’s children learning to live out their lives on various internet forums and magazine sales tanking, doesn’t it also make sense to regulate Facebook, Twitter, flickr, 500px, 1x, Instagram, and other such services that feature significant volumes of photos? Shouldn’t these websites, like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and others, be suspect of fostering unrealistic expectations among young people, through a bit too much skin smoothing here, and a little extra liquify there?

6) Expanding The Notion of “Unrealistic”…

If “unrealistic” images of beauty or body types are the cause of so much mental anguish amongst our youth, should the Bureau of Advertising Purity be really be constrained to photos alone? I think not. What about the Michelangelo’s Sistene Chapel, with its idealized images of the human body? Or the statue of David? What about the many statues of the ancient Greeks and Romans that represent perfection of the body? Perhaps the Fall of the Roman Empire was really due to having far too many statues of idealized men and women?

Is it so unrealistic to believe that some idealized statue, painting, or other work of art may also contribute to mental illness and eating disorders every bit as much as some Photoshopped ad? Should not the creation and display of art be linked to some standard created by the Bureau of Advertising Purity? And what of individuals who possess some notion of human beauty or body symmetry that simply beyond the hope of mere mortals? Should Angelina Jolie be banned from films because she possesses a unique form of beauty? Would the Bureau of Advertising Purity have stopped Sylvester Stallone from filming Rocky II, III, and IV because his physique was unattainable by most men? Should the Bureau prevent Kate Moss from modeling in advertisements because she is rail thin, more likely due to genetics as much as any other factor, and is such may cause some young girls to have some form of mental distress? Even if images of such people do not have to be manipulated to, does that mean that they should escape the moniker of “unrealistic.”

6a) Make-up

Take a good look at the before/after photos from any professional make-up artist’s work, and you will quickly realize just how the application of different tones can literally “sculpt” the face. If you look at the Dove youtube video, you will see that the vast majority of the young lady’s “transformation” is the result of hair style and make-up. Any good make-up artist will likely tell you with pride that they can significantly improve your looks. Should the use of and effects of make-up really be considered so much different than what Photohop’s can accomplish? A quick search on Amazon and a few peeks inside some of these books will reveal just how transformative some of these techniques can be. Why not regulate its use as well? It should be obvious that you do not need Photoshop to significantly alter someone’s appearance.

6b) Lighting

A skillful use of lighting can also make a huge difference in how we perceive a person. The Hollywood actresses and actors of yesteryear were nearly religious regarding how their faces were lit and the camera angles involved. Extensive testing was done to ensure that everyone looked their most glamorous self. Every light, every camera angle, and every lens was carefully considered in order to achieve what the actresses/actors and studio sought to achieve – idyllic results – whether they were associated with making someone look beautiful, or making them out to be the very incarnation of evil. Using lighting to manipulate someone’s appearance surely needs someone to be monitored, doesn’t it?

Here’s a photo of one of my all-time favorite actresses, Greer Garson. She was known to be nearly fanatical regarding having “her lighting man” arrange the lights and camera angles to show her at her best. This was not a responsibility to be handed to others who were not intimately familiar with her face and how light could sculpt it to bring out her best. Most of the photos were taken exposing her right side, with her face angled at 45 degrees from the camera and with a Fresnel light approximately 45-70 degrees above her head. You may say that this is not on par with Photoshop manipulation, but you cannot argue that lighting does not play critical role in our perceptions of someone’s appearance.

Greer Garson

6c) Avatars, Dolls, Comics & Animated Films

Hollywood filmmakers involved with animated movies, illustrators of all kinds, and anyone else involved in depicting the human body, in any medium, must also be candidates for regulation. Comic books depicting various superheroes have always featured idealized body types. That would include Batman, Superman, The Shadow, Green Hornet, Superwoman, Cat Woman etc. And what of the fantasy work of Boris Vallejo? Should someone be looking over his shoulder and determining what is and is not a realistic image?

Boris Vallejo

The Barbie doll has recently come under fire for representing an unrealistic image of the female body and supposedly causing widespread unrealistic ideas of feminine beauty. Some claim that Barbie “should” have more realistic dimensions.

Despite the outrage over Barbie, I apparently missed the protests over the movie “Avatar,” that featured 10 foot creatures with idyllic proportions that Barbie could only hope to match. Will the Bureau of Advertising Purity demand that the Na’vis look more proportional to their human counterparts, or are unrealistic stereotypes acceptable if they are associated with a different species and support a green agenda and an anti-military, anti-corporate theme?

Avatar

7) Why Not Regulate The Message Itself?

With the Bureau of Advertising Purity expanding their scope to photo sharing sites, Facebook, the art world, illustrations, and film makers, you have to wonder if they are really getting to the heart of the issue – namely, just how realistic are some of the ads we view, and are they really preying on people’s insecurities, hopes, dreams, and fears? Certainly someone could argue that many ads may cause a portion of our population to have unrealistic expectations and/or to chase wealth for the purposes of securing material possessions that may add precious little value to their lives. We don’t need Photoshop to create such connections.

When Michael Jordan began advertising “Air Jordan” basketball shoes and clothing some years ago, his magical aura had a tremendous impact on demand. At one time, it seemed that every young boy dreamed of having a pair of Air Jordan basketball shoes, even those who rarely played basketball and had little talent for the game. Sadly, there have been a number of well-documented cases of kids being killed for their Air Jordan sneakers. For poor kids in rough neighborhoods, being sold on the unrealistic dream that wearing a magical pair of sneakers could somehow transform their lives, seems to be dubious at best, and a rather tragic misdeed at worst. Your heart has to go out to the families of those killed over something so trivial as a pair of basketball shoes, which will likely show up in the local Goodwill once they get a bit of wear and are replaced by the next year’s model.

Beyond the images conveyed in our advertising, perhaps the Bureau of Advertising Purity should also focus on the message that is embodied in the ads. This opens up an entire new can of worms relative to legal and financial responsibility as well as regulatory oversight. If Michael Jordan and Nike benefit from the mania they caused with their basketball shoe advertisements, should they be made liable for the murders and/or broken dreams that may stem from them? If a young man, engaging in weight lifting, overdoses on steroids, are we ready to indict Iron Man Magazine because month-after-month, it plastered the pages with images of unachievable (by the vast majority of people) looking images of bodybuilders?

8) What Could Go Wrong With Such A Well-Meaning Idea?

As you can see, quite a bit. Once you buy into the simple-minded notion that broad swaths of the population are being negatively affected by some Photoshopped images, and implement another government agency to control the publication of images, you are heading down a slippery slope. The creative process itself will bog down due compliance challenges with continually changing and growing numbers of regulations. And the private sector (business and creative) will soon contract as the legion of bureaucrats grows.

No doubt that some advertising companies will be able to skirt some of the Bureau’s laws, based on donating to certain politicians who hold sway with Bureau’s management. Lawsuits will spiral out of control, since instead of people taking responsibility for their choices, they will increasingly blame advertisers and others that they believe somehow caused them mental or physical anguish. And with each new controversy, the cry will go out that, if we will only expand the size, scope, and sphere of control of the Bureau of Advertising Purity, none of these bad things will happen. Eventually, we will end up with commercials that look something like this parody, and a society to match:

9) Summary

Despite any soaring emotional rhetoric associated with this bill, it is simply a bad idea. History shows that censorship, in all its flavors, has always been offered as a means of protecting and helping us. But it never turns out that way. And blaming complex mental disorders on digitally altered photographs is a terribly specious argument, as well as an insult to our intelligence. Visual influences of beauty and physical ideals are not limited to Photoshopped images, but rather extend to the realms of film, art, and myriad of other aspects of our culture. Once the bureaucrats master the control of Photoshop, it is only a matter of time before they set their sights on other targets.

In the last year alone, we discovered that the many promises of being able to keep our healthcare plans, the Veterans Administration officials assurances that it was providing adequate medical treatment to our veterans, the IRS’ claims that it was not targeting political opponents, and a video alleged to have been the impetus for the murder of our Ambassador and military personnel in Benghazi all turned out to be lies. As such, it would seem that we should be more worried about the veracity and integrity of our politicians, instead of photos associated with product advertisements.

What Rep. Ros-Lehtinen fails to realize is that the free market can indeed foster the very change she seeks – if non-Photoshopped ads are what the public truly wants. As an example, if a given dress designer increases its sales as a result of putting average-looking models in their ads, featuring little make-up and little, if any, Photoshop modifications, people will take note. Competitors, who continue to use highly modified photos, will quickly follow suit in switching to more natural looking advertisements, lest they see their market share and sales decrease. It is that simple. No Bureau of Advertising Purity required.

I urge everyone to write their congressional representatives as well as Rep. Ros-Lehtinen. Let them know that you would rather have them focus on the serious challenges of the day. Emphasize that you are responsible for the education and training of your children, not the Federal government. Remind them that attempting to regulate people’s use of Photoshop, just as with any form of censorship, will create far more problems than it solves. And suggest that if they are genuinely concerned about Truth in Advertising, they should start with their own legislation and campaign promises.

“Truth is the first casualty in war.”
– E.D. Morel

Perhaps the same could be said of politics as well.

The post The Bureau of Advertising Purity appeared first on Photography Life.

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The New Nikon D810: Some Candid Thoughts from the Specialists at B&H


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Nikon’s announcement of the D810 was greeted with the anticipated buzz from the photography industry, and as you would expect, from within B&H as well. We asked a few of our in-house experts and enthusiasts what they thought was significant about the announcement.

“The thing that excites me and should excite all the ‘star-stacking’ night photographers is the brushed-over fact that this camera is the first camera to offer ‘unlimited continuous shooting for exposures up to 30 seconds.’ This means you can take 120 30-second exposures and stack the star trails to equal a one-hour exposure that should have minimal ‘breaks’ in the trails. Every other camera needs at least a 1-second interval between exposures, which is fine for the Web―but when viewed 100% (like a print) the breaks in the trails are noticeable. I just spoke with a Nikon rep, and will be testing this theory out in the next two weeks.” ―Gabe Biderman, B&H Camera Specialist

“It’s refreshing to see Nikon addressing a few small changes that will make some photographers and filmmakers’ lives easier. One particular upgrade that time-lapse photographers will be pleased with is the increase in the number of images allowed in a time lapse, from 999 to 9,999!” ―Michael Hollender, Social Media Manager

“On a non-technical note, we’ve all been watching the changes in the photo industry over the last few years with the rise of mirrorless, higher-quality compacts, and smartphone photography, and many are tempted to write off the DSLR as having lost much of its relevance. And to be sure, it’s no longer the only game in town. But with this relatively quiet but meaningful upgrade of the D800 cameras, I’m once again reminded of the control, precision, and image quality that only a top-flight classic DSLR like the D810 provides both enthusiasts and pros. Until further notice, the D810 has no peer!” ―Zevi Slotkin, B&H Camera Specialist  

“The seemingly endless battle to gain higher and higher ISO abilities is an arms race that may never cease, but as a photographer who really enjoys shooting long exposures during daylight hours, I am very interested in the lower native ISO setting option on the Nikon D810. The redesigned shutter mechanism is also exciting, as vibration is the bane of any high-resolution sensor’s existence.

 I am always comforted when a company decides to focus on the details; details matter in my photos and details matter in my equipment.

I am also excited by Nikon’s choice to encourage more of their dedicated photographers to begin thinking cinematically. The Filmmaker’s Kit Nikon offers will allow any budding or serous filmmaker to take advantage of many of the D810’s improvements, aimed squarely at the cinema crowd.

Additionally, one of my favorite though little-known control features of the D800 and D800E―Power Aperture―has been upgraded in the D810.

Power Aperture, the ability to control the aperture mechanically via manipulation of the Function button (OPEN) and the depth-of-field preview button (CLOSE), had only been available when recording to an external recorder such as the Atomos Ninja 2, but the Nikon D810 now allows this control feature when recording internally (to CF or SD) as well. This ability is very helpful during handheld recording, which is often aided by a stripped-down, minimal rig without the added weight of an external recorder.

Finally, I am impressed by the added benefit of simultaneous internal and external video recording with the D810. The option of recording H.264 to internal memory cards and ProRes recording to the Atomos Ninja 2 is not a bad option to have while making your movie.” ―Matt Sinclair, B&H Imaging Specialist

Our in-house photographers are not the only ones who are talking about this new camera from Nikon―the D810 is inspiring others to talk, including our readers and customers. We’d like to read about what you think of this new camera and its improvements. Please feel free to describe your reactions and thoughts in the Comments section below.

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Using Depth of Field and Perspective for Better Composition

We all know this problem. You take a picture of a beautiful scene but it just doesn’t turn out the way you want. Something is missing. It usually isn’t a matter of your camera or the settings you are applying. But what is it then? The question at hand is how do you get from a snapshot to an interesting, unique, and well composed photograph.

To answer this, we have to move away from the technical aspects and go more into the creative and artistic aspects of photography. You might say that this is a very subjective matter and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there are a few building blocks that will help to improve your photography and also develop your own unique visual language.

Depth of field for a more three-dimensional Look

An important aspect of photography is that we want to capture a three-dimensional reality by taking a two-dimensional image. When we are out in the field, our eyes in collaboration with our brain create very complex images within split seconds. The most important factor in this context is that our eyes are constantly moving while focusing on different subjects. The focal plane is shifting with a subject in focus and everything in front or behind appearing to be blurred. This “Depth of Field” is one the most important techniques we can utilize to simulate depth and three-dimensionality.

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Utilizing depth of field to create a more three-dimensional look

In order to play with depth of field, we need a scene with a defined foreground and a background. Whereas the background is usually a given, a lot of images lack foreground which makes an image appear flat and boring. Choosing a defined foreground will enable us to actively compose an image and become creative.

Once you have chosen a background and a foreground you like (ideally both complementing each other), you have to find the right position for you and your camera in order to combine both for an appealing overall image. To find the right position, you should try different angles, move around, get low to the ground and don’t solely rely on your zoom. By using a large aperture (small f-stop number) and a selective focusing, we can isolate the foreground from the background by making the foreground objects sharp and the background blurry (or vice versa). This will convey a sense of depth and three-dimensionality.

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No foreground. Lack of depth and composition.

This image (above) of one of the ancient tombs around Hue, Vietnam looks flat. There is no depth, no three-dimensionality and it lacks a clear composition. Because a foreground is missing, the image is too busy and distracting.

Begginner photography tips 04

Foreground and background nicely isolated to create a sense of depth.

Above an image of the same subject but with a much better composition. The focus is on the eye of one of the dragons, making it our foreground. The rest of the tomb is our background, slightly blurred and nicely separated. It generates a sense of depth and also appears much calmer and structured than the first image. The viewer is being led into the picture. You can use this technique when photographing very popular places like for example the Eiffel Tower, Angkor Wat or other monuments. Instead of taking the same shot as every other tourist, experiment with different backgrounds and foregrounds, get creative, move, and I am sure you will end up with an original and authentic image.

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Cambodian Fighter. Focus on the subject, still including the environment.

You can also apply this technique to your people and portrait photography. It not only helps to really put emphasis on your subject, but also to incorporate some of the environment, which will help to tell a story. In the picture above, the focus is on the weary fighter, catching his breath during a fierce Khmer Boxing fight in Cambodia. We are at eye level with the fighter and again, the foreground is nicely separated from the rather blurry background. Yet, we can still see parts of the surrounding environment which is the ring and the crowd in the back. The focus however always remains on the main subject.

Leading lines for a sense of perspective

Of course depth of field is not the only means to create a sense of depth and three-dimensionality. The concept of leading lines is another one of those building blocks that you can apply. The viewer of a photograph usually associates diagonal lines which are leading into an image, to a vanishing point perspective. This means that objects which are farther away also appear smaller. This context automatically and unconsciously gives the viewer an impression of three-dimensionality.

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Two images with a clear vanishing point perspective.

As you can see in the images above, a shallow depth of field is not necessarily needed to convey that sense of depth we are looking to achieve. Here it’s all done by using a jetty as lines, which connect different layers of the picture – the image becomes much more plastic and complex.

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Night Scene: The bridge leading into the picture.

Similarly the image above becomes three-dimensional because the pedestrian bridge is leading into the image. It also appears to become smaller and smaller as it leads into the background. This way the image has that sense of depth even without applying a low depth of field. The bridge as a leading line is connecting our different layers, the foreground and the background.

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The bridge and the train convey a sense of depth.

Providing a relationship in size

When regarding a picture, the viewer often needs a reference point in order to correctly interpret the information our two-dimensional images provide. We can do this by establishing proportions and providing a relationship in size. Often this isn’t needed as we know a lot of the subjects we are capturing. In the image above we were dealing with familiar objects like a pedestrian bridge, a street and a commercial building. It was easy to put everything into context. But a lot of times, when we are confronted with unfamiliar things, this isn’t as easy.

Begginner photography tips 09

Mingun Pahtodawgyi in Mingun, Myanmar. Can you tell how big it actually is?

In the picture above is Mingun Pahtodawgyi, a temple in Mingun, Myanmar. Left unfinished, this huge construction was planned to become the world’s biggest stupa with a height of 150 meters. It is huge and impressive but the picture above somehow doesn’t manage to convey this. Just by looking at this image it is impossible to gauge the sheer size of the temple. A reference is missing.

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Mingun Pahtodawgyi. Are you getting a better sense of dimension?

Here I have added myself to the picture and despite my rather stupid pose, it instantly provides a point of reference. This relationship in size helps to categorize the stupa and establishes a sense of dimension. To achieve this effect and to provide a relationship in size, you can also use other elements which help the viewer to better comprehend an image.

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The hike up Mt. Minatubo, Philippines. Another example of relationship in size.

Try to practice, and utilize, these three building blocks to improve your photography. You can also try combining two of these techniques to generate an even greater sense of depth. Of course these concepts are by far not the only factors that make for a good and well composed image. There are many more things to take into account but for now, it should give you a good starting point.

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Temple dogs – a shallow depth of field and leading lines combined.

I hope you liked this article. Feel free to comment below and let us know what other techniques or concepts you found helpful on your quest of becoming a better photographer.

The post Using Depth of Field and Perspective for Better Composition by Philipp Dukatz appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Hometown Zennies


There’s nothing quite like celebrating your hometown in the summer. Our stomping grounds shape us into who we are, and new cities help us grow into the people we’re meant to be. Below, you’ll find some amazing Zenfolio users who are proud of their hometown or current city. To join them, email a photo of you in front of your hometown landmark or favorite spot holding a sign that says  ‘I’m a Zenny’ to marketing@zenfolio.com and you’ll win a deluxe swag bag. Be sure to include the location of your photo and a link to your Zenfolio site in your email.

Karen Gilbride at the Colorado National Monument, Grand Junction, CO


Amiee Stubbs at the Nashville Zoo in Nashville, TN


Bernie Doran at Mt. Hood, Oregon


Carl Anderson in Cincinnati, OH


Candice Budgick in the plains of Oklahoma, OK


Chris Grigsby, Saint Louis Zoo, St. Louis, MO


Michelle Chun-Hoon in Sydney, Australia

 

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Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Body + PRO-100 Printer $383 at Adorama

Adorama has the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 18MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) for $449. Includes 16GB SD memory card, camera bag and cleaning kit.

Add to cart, then add the Canon PIXMA PRO-100 printer ($389) to cart to reach $783 – $400 rebate [Exp 6/30] = $383 with free shipping. The Canon SG-201 Photo Paper Plus appears in cart for free, qualifying the purchase for the $400 rebate.

Alternatively, click the “Save up to $184.95 with bundle” link on the camera page and choose the last bundle with the Canon EF 75-300mm F/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens ($49). The final total with the printer will be $832 – $400 rebate [Exp 6/30] = $432 with free shipping.

  • 18MP CMOS (APS-C), Full HD video, 3″ touch LCD, live view
  • 9-Point AF, ISO 100-12800, weighs just 14oz., SD/SDHC/SDXC

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