Contrasting Journeys – 29 Apr 2015 – Flickr

We were travelling Morningside in our holiday,when we met these old ladies walking to temple. Morningside is a place where you have to be at early morning hours to see some beautiful scenes. even we started before the sun, we were bit late. but the path was full of fabulous scenes. we were in our way to thrill our holiday, the old ladies were on there way to calm their minds and find a path to end the suffering. Even we met on this path, our destinations were quite different.

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The Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Brings B&W Photography to New Dimensions


Taking black-and-white photography above and beyond, Leica has brought the M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder to the world, with the company’s signature styling and modern functionality. Improving upon the original, the new Typ 246 stars a higher-resolution 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor that omits the color-filter array, as well as the optical low pass filter, to create stunning black-and-white images with higher clarity, depth, and resolution at sensitivities up to ISO 25000. Operation has been sped up with the Maestro processor and a 2GB buffer for saving up to 30 DNG or JPEG files in a sequence. Also, this sensor and processor pairing enables full HD 1080p video recording at 24 or 25 fps.

Following Leica’s legacy of classic rangefinder design, the M Monochrom utilizes a 0.68x optical viewfinder with automatic parallax compensation and LED-illuminated frame lines, as well as a split or superimposed bright field image in the center for accuracy during manual focusing. Melding with the digital age, it implements a 3.0″ 921.6k-dot LCD monitor with a sapphire crystal glass cover for durability, which permits live view along with focus peaking and a 10x zoom feature for assisting in achieving critical focus.

Discreet and demanding photographers will find the M Monochrom (Typ 246) to provide everything they need. Leica engineered the black chrome-plated body from solid brass and a high-strength magnesium alloy while simultaneously eliminating any superfluous obstructions from the design. This model also forgoes colorful branding with a simple Leica engraving on the rear. And, the ergonomics enable fast, intuitive access to all of the most critical camera controls at all times.

via explora

Nikon D7100 24MP DSLR 4 Lens Kit $980 at eBay

eBay with photovideo4less has the Nikon D7100 Digital SLR Camera + Four Lenses (Black) for $980 with free shipping.

Includes the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens, Nikon Zoom Telephoto 70-300mm f/4-5.6G Zoom-Nikkor Autofocus Lens, 52mm 2X Professional Telephoto Lens, and High Definition 52mm Wide Angle Lens as well as a backpack, two SDHC Class 10 cards, 50″ tripod and a three piece filter kit.

  • 24.1MP DX-format CMOS, 3.2″ 1.2m LCD, 100-6400 ISO
  • 1920×1080 HD video, 6 FPS Shooting, 51-point AF

    via Ben’s Bargains – Most Recent Cameras Offers

  • Long Exposure Photography Without a Tripod

    For me, as a travel photographer, the size and the weight of the photography equipment that I carry around is very important. Over the years, I learned how to carry only the items absolutely necessary for shooting in order to eliminate anything unessential.


    Long exposure photo shot without a tripod, using the Align+Blend technique.

    I was able to replace some of the pieces of equipment with software. For example, I stopped using ND Graduated filters a few years ago. For me, it was easier to take bracketed shots and blend two images in Photoshop or simply use the graduated filter in Lightroom. Next, I left behind the remote trigger because I learned that using the two second delay function on the camera allowed me to achieve the same result without an extra piece of equipment.

    A couple of months ago, I pulled the trigger on the biggest change in my photography universe when I switched from a Canon DSLR to a Sony Mirrorless (read my article here 5 Lessons Learned Switching from DSLR to Mirrorless for Travel Photography). That drastic switch resulted in cutting the weight and the size of the equipment I carry around by more than half.

    During my latest photography trip to Hawaii and Northern California, I did quite a bit of hiking and realized that, after the switch to mirrorless, the biggest and by far the bulkiest, piece of equipment I carried was my tripod. I love my Feisol tripod because it is light, tall, and steady like a rock. But, sometimes it is just impossible to bring with me.

    Even though I learned how to take bracketed shots handheld and merge them effectively to HDR in Photomatix and Photoshop HDR Pro (read Natural Looking HDR in Photoshop and Lightroom in 5 Easy Steps), without a tripod I still could not accomplish one of the most important types of photography, which is long exposure photography.


    Long exposure photo – shot with a tripod.

    I use long exposure photography quite a bit, especially when shooting seascapes, and of course, I have plenty of seascapes in my portfolio. Longer shutter speed allows me to achieve beautiful, smooth and silky looking water plus, it works just as well for the sky.

    Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a few techniques in an attempt to achieve the same long exposure effect in the water and the sky by shooting handheld without a tripod. After I started to produce predictable results on a consistent basis, I am now ready to share the technique with you.


    Below is the effect I achieved using my new technique that I call Align+Blend.

    Normally, I shoot in bracketing mode, taking at least three exposures. In order to use the Align+Blend technique, I had to switch from bracketing mode (AEB) to the Single Shot Mode. I shot 10 consecutive shots of the scene, trying to be as steady as possible, without too many movements. I was shooting at an approximate speed of one shot per second and, it took me nine seconds to complete the series. In order to get the sharp images, I used a shutter speed of 1/200th of a second.


    Single RAW image, unprocessed (1/200 sec).

    That was it. The shooting part was done. The rest was accomplished in post-processing.


    Step 1 Import

    I imported the 10 RAW files into Lightroom.

    Step 2 Process in LR

    I applied one of my landscape presets to the entire set making sure that each image had an identical look (If you are interested you can download my free preset collection on my blog).

    Step 3 Open as layers in Photoshop

    I selected 10 images in Lightroom and opened them in Photoshop as layers in the same document (right/option click).

    Long Exposure Photography Without Tripod Photo 3

    Step 4 Align Layers

    I used the Auto Align Layers feature in Photoshop to align all 10 layers with Projection set to AUTO. The Auto Align is a fairly sophisticated tool, and Photoshop had no issue aligning all of the 10 individual layers.

    Long Exposure Photography Without Tripod Photo 4

    Step 5 Convert to one Smart Object

    I converted the 10 layers to one single Smart Object (right/option click).

    Long Exposure Photography Without Tripod Photo 5

    Step 6 Set Stack Mode

    I used the following command to blend the 10 original layers inside of the Smart Object. Layer > Smart Object > Stack Mode > Mean. This resulted in a long exposure effect by moving elements of the scene (water, sky).

    Long Exposure Photography Without Tripod Photo 6

    Step 7 Fix any areas with issues using a layer mask

    At the same time, the windy weather created some unwanted effects by moving tree branches and the grass in the foreground. To fix the blurry effects I placed one of the 10 original RAW images on top of the Smart Object layer and blended together two layers with the help of transparency (layer) masks. I used the area of the water and the sky from the smart object layer and, the rest of the scene from the single RAW layer.

    Long Exposure Photography Without Tripod Photo 7

    I managed to achieve the long exposure effect without a tripod and without sacrificing the quality of the final image.

    This technique also works as the replacement for Neutral Density filters. In broad daylight, even when you have a tripod but the smallest aperture (f/22) is still not small enough to slow down the shutter speed, take multiple shots and blend them together later in Photoshop in a similar manner.

    Here’s the final image again:

    Long Exposure Photography Without Tripod Photo 2

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    The post Long Exposure Photography Without a Tripod by Viktor Elizarov appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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    Manfrotto Off road: Gear For The Great Outdoors


    Manfrotto, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of tripods, tripod heads, monopods, lighting equipment, and camera bags, has partnered with Fizan, a prominent Italian company that’s been making ski, trekking, and outdoor gear since 1947, to create the Manfrotto Off road line. It’s a new collection of lightweight products aimed at hikers, wildlife observers, and other outdoor enthusiasts who want to shoot pictures on the trail. It includes an ultra-light tripod, a pair of ingenious walking sticks (one of which can be used as a monopod), and a commodious lightweight backpack that can carry a comprehensive photo outfit, as well as spare clothing, food, and accessories, or can be configured as a traditional hiking pack. To give you an idea of how well these items perform in the field, we put them through their paces by taking a five-mile hike in the woods, packing a consumer DSLR with an 18-55mm and a 75-300mm zoom to capture the glories of early spring.

    Manfrotto Off road Aluminum Walking Sticks may well be the most innovative of the three items in the Off road line. Both feature calibrated 3-section twist-lock poles that fold to a portable 23.4″ in length, and can be clipped together with a furnished flexible plastic clip to form a unit that’s only about 2″ wide, weighs a mere 12.8 oz combined, and attaches easily to the Off road backpack via the adjustable tripod cords on its back. Each stick is topped with a rubberized ergonomic handgrip and a robust heavy fabric wrist strap with a soft, pliable rubberized inner surface and each has a spiked base that terminates in a concave end that provides a good grip on a variety of ground surfaces and is less likely to wear than a pointy tip. The sticks also come with slip-on rubber feet for use on surfaces like hardwood floors, and sand/snow baskets that slide over the bottom of each leg to prevent the sticks from sinking into any snow, sand, or soft ground encountered on your trek.


    While a single walking stick can be useful on a hike, there is no substitute for having a pair of walking sticks when you’re trekking up and down hills traversing uncertain or slippery terrain. Since I was hiking in fairly cold weather in the hilly areas of upper New York State, I did encounter some snow. Once I reached my shooting destination, a mountain vista, I extended the stick with the built-in camera-mounting platform to its near-eye-level maximum height of 52.1″, flipped open the rubberized cover, screwed the standard 1/4″-20 screw into my camera, and was able to shoot sharp pictures at ISO 100 at relatively slow shutter speeds, such as 1/30- and 1/60-second—even at the 200mm and 300mm settings of my telephoto zoom.

    Granted, no monopod will provide the stability of a good tripod, but then, there aren’t any tripods I know of that weigh less than 7 oz and also double as a walking stick. The monopod stick is very easy to mount your camera on, even without a quick-release plate, and it provides a commendably stable and sturdy shooting platform even at its maximum extension—there are metric calibrations on both poles, and STOP marks on each extension to warn you not to overextend them. Minor niggle: When you mount the rubber feet, you should remove the sand/snow baskets first so they’ll slip on securely and won’t fall off. Overall, Manfrotto Off road Aluminum Walking Sticks are a very useful and attractive accessory for adventurers dealing with challenging terrain and also dedicated to shooting sharp pictures on the trail. They are available in red, blue, and green.

    The Manfrotto Off road Aluminum Tripod With Ball Head is also designed for easy carrying when attached to a backpack, and it certainly qualifies as an ultra-light, ultra-compact unit that weighs only 1.4 lb, has a folded length of 24″ and a minimum diameter of a mere 2″ when collapsed. Like the Walking Sticks, it features 3-section twist-lock legs, but they terminate in a unique multi-faceted high-grip pattern that provides stability on a variety of outdoor surfaces and is less likely to wear than a conventional pointed tip. It also comes with rubber feet that slide over the metal tips and sand/snow baskets that slide over the bottoms of the legs to keep it stable on loose surfaces.


    While the Off road Tripod has a reasonably high load capacity of 5.5 pounds, sufficient to accommodate a consumer DSLR with a moderately-sized telephoto zoom, it does not have a center column, which limits its maximum height to 40″ and minimum height to 21.5″. Also, unlike other Manfrotto tripods, there is only one leg-angle stop at about 30°, and no center hook for hanging a stabilizing weight, such as a camera bag. These are not crucial omissions, given its intended use, and the lack of a center column enhances its stability. The rotatable ball head is surprisingly robust for its compact size, has a built-in bubble level to facilitate camera alignment, a large milled thumb screw that makes it easy to mount your camera, and a notch in its housing, making it convenient to rotate the camera from a horizontal to vertical shooting position. If the legs are positioned properly it will hold your camera in any position the ball head allows—impressive. However, as you approach its weight limit you may find that the camera jiggles slightly when you tap it. If this happens, I found that lowering the legs a bit, or placing your hand lightly atop the camera as you fire solves the problem.

    Overall, I found the Manfrotto Off road Tripod to be stable, satisfying, and easy to use on the trail, and it was a big help in achieving sharp pictures, especially in low light. Clearly, it’s been optimized to provide ultra-light weight and a slim, portable profile that meets the needs of hikers and backpackers. Its simple, no-frills design may lack a few features found on larger, heavier tripods, but this is intentional. It is available in red, blue, or green.

    The Manfrotto Off road Hiker Backpack provides the classic configuration for adventure-style backpacks, featuring a top compartment for non-photographic items such as jackets, food, and incidental gear, and a roomy reinforced bottom compartment for carrying and protecting your camera gear. This setup places the heavier stuff on the bottom for a lower center of gravity and better balance on extended treks, and there’s a sturdy mesh layer on the back that provides an air gap that keeps your back cool on the trail. Below this is a large padded section that protects the small of your back from jarring loads, and a number of cross straps with sturdy click-in fittings, including chest and waist supports, which make the pack comfortable to carry even over long distances.


    The bottom compartment has a conveniently placed side zipper for easy access to your photo gear without removing the pack, and it contains an insert that divides the space into two well-padded compartments with room on top for extra equipment. This pack will accommodate a DSLR with a mounted 70-200mm lens plus one additional lens, so there was plenty of room left over when I stowed my DSLR outfit. The insert is attached by hook-and-loop strips and is easily removable to convert the pack into a standard camping pack. The large shoulder and waist straps, internal flexible polycarbonate frame, and light 4.9-lb weight of this pack make it a good choice for photo trekkers, and its 30-liter capacity is impressive. The upper compartment has a top flap for weather protection that’s secured by two sturdy, adjustable straps with click-in closures, and you can cram a remarkable amount of stuff into it, though you should favor lighter items to maintain the pack’s excellent balance.

    For the record, the bottom compartment measures 6.7 x 10.6 x 4.9″, and the top compartment is even bigger, measuring a commodious 10.2 x 11.4 x 6.7″. The Manfrotto Off road Hiker Backpack is constructed of water-repellent nylon, has a large mesh side pocket for stowing the insert, if desired, provides a handy waistband pocket for your smart phone, and has a sturdy top carrying handle. This is a well-designed, well-made pack that has clearly been optimized for hikers and trekkers aiming to take pictures in the woods and along the trail, and it’s one of the most comfortable backpacks I’ve ever used when traversing long distances—highly recommended. It is available in red, blue, or green.    

    via explora

    Nikon D3300 24MP DSLR Camera Two Lens Kit + PEPE 12 $440 at eBay

    eBay with Beach Camera has the manufacturer refurbished Nikon D3300 Digital SLR Camera (Black) with 18-55mm VR II Lens and 55-200mm VR Lens and Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 for $440 with free shipping.

    Amazon has refurbs of the camera + 18-55m lens from $408 shipped and refurb 55-200mm lenses from $104 shipped.

  • 24.2MP DX-format CMOS, 3″ 921K LCD, 100-12800 ISO
  • 1920×1080 HD video, 5 FPS Shooting, 700 shots/charge

    via Ben’s Bargains – Most Recent Cameras Offers

  • Stop the Rush and Return to Simplicity

    As modern day photographers it is easy to get overwhelmed and consumed by new gear, new technology, new software, new techniques (did someone say HDR?) and so on. With so much going on in the industry, sometimes you need to step back, sit down and relax.

    Sometimes you need to stop the rush in your head and slow the heck down.

    With that said, I thought it would be worthwhile to share some advice for you new photographers that feel an intense desire to do more than you know you can handle at the moment. Or for you photographers that have experience already, but want to go back to simplicity.

    Before I dive into my advice, read through Simon Ringsmuth’s article: 5 Tips to Help You Slow Down and Take Better Photos. Now that you have done that, here is my advice.

    Slow Down

    To add to Simon’s article, I wanted to share a video I recorded on the same topic of slowing down:

    You will notice that I have shared some very specific things you can do to force yourself to simplify your photography. Things like switching to manual focus completely, using a smaller memory card, or not using Auto-ISO. Each of these things will force you not only to think, but to think specifically about the subject or scene rather than just broadly.

    Prime Lenses

    Prime lenses are another way to simplify. It would be nice to have expensive zoom lenses with f/2.8 or wider apertures. But do you need that? Might it just complicate your photography?

    Instead of spending the money on expensive lenses, or an all-in-one zoom, try prime lenses. When I am on the job I’m typically using either a 20mm, 35mm, 50mm or 85mm lens. Each has an aperture of f/2.0 or wider. They’re lighter so they don’t hurt my back, they’re smaller so they take up less room, and they make me move my feet and think about perspective more.

    They are simple.


    Made using a prime lens.


    Admittedly, when HDR first became popular I hopped on the bandwagon. But eventually I got bored with doing the same bracketing technique over and over. At the time processing HDR was not even close to perfection, so the time needed for post-processing was way too much for my liking.  So I stopped and instead started to bracket two exposures, or three if needed. Then I would manually mask in specific parts of the scene as needed. I would do this using onOne Perfect Layers or Photoshop – depending on what else I wanted to do to the photo.

    Having written books on long exposure and panoramic photography, I love both those techniques. But I don’t always need to do them. I don’t always need filters or a tripod.

    A good example of this is as follows. Recently I have started trusting the dynamic range of my camera’s sensor more than ever. Instead of using a filter as often as I used to, when possible I will use that dynamic range and recover highlights and shadows inside of Lightroom. The histogram for my photos is typically towards the middle so that it’s even easier to recover both ends of the spectrum.

    Fortunately the Nikon D810 has an amazing dynamic range to allow this. Many other cameras are in a similar situation.  That doesn’t mean I never use my neutral density filters, because I do. It just means I simplify when I can, because it allows me to enjoy photography even more.


    Sky blackened without filters and only using Lightroom.


    When it comes to processing photos I often see so many filters being used by photographers. There is nothing wrong with that, but I sometimes feel it’s overboard. I might be a minority with how I feel about processing, but here it goes.

    When processing photos I am a mix of a purist who also likes to experiment. I am colour-blind, so I rely on my ColorChecker Passport to guarantee accurate colors. But I know that my colors are often off. It happens and that’s okay, but I still aim for accuracy. That’s the purist side of my mentality. The experimental side wants me to try new things, and that is also okay.

    But, lately while processing I have been keeping things simple. Very basic color correction as needed, contrast, clarity, and so on. Or a very basic black and white conversion using either Lightroom, onOne, Silver Efex or Tonality. I don’t go for anything out of the ordinary. My black and white processes are very simple. Because sometimes simple is best.


    Simple photo and processing brought a smile to hundreds of Vineland, NJ residents.

    Keep it at One

    If you really want to return to simplicity, try spending your photography time with only one camera body and one lens. For the past few months I have been participating in the WE35 project at The Photo Frontier. It’s a project where each photographer is researching the world of photography, and life in general with only one camera body and a 35mm lens (or 35mm equivalent).


    Doing this is extremely challenging and mentally fulfilling. It requires you to simplify your entire photography workflow. So I encourage you to give it a try, as well as the other tips I have shared here.

    I will leave you with one more note. Believe in yourself, your knowledge, and your creativity. You don’t need expensive equipment or to always do fancy techniques. You need yourself, your camera and a lens. So step back and enjoy photography and stop driving yourself nuts over every piece of gear and technique that you can do.

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    The post Stop the Rush and Return to Simplicity by Scott Wyden Kivowitz appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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    Sony Alpha NEX-5TL 16.1MP Camera w/ Electronic Viewfinder $399 at Amazon

    Amazon has the Sony Alpha NEX-5TL 16.1MP Wi-Fi Flip Screen Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens and Flash + Sony FDA-EV1S Electronic Viewfinder + Sony LCJEBA/D Body Jacket (Black, Green, Orange) for $399 with free shipping.

    This bundle with carrying case is $409 with free shipping.

    The Sony FDA-EV1S Viewfinder alone normally sells for over $200, so you’re essentially getting it free in this bundle.

  • 16.1 MP APS-C Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, built-in Wi-Fi/NFC
  • 3″ tilting LCD, 1080i/p FHD video at 60/24 fps, ISO 100-25600

    via Ben’s Bargains – Most Recent Cameras Offers