Cameras and Photography Explained

This page points to all recent articles published on, and, and is updated as new articles appear (most recent on top). For articles from previous months, check the Articles Index Archive. 

INT COSTA RICA 12-2014 EM1 15372

How much is enough? How little is too much? There's no correct answer. I'm not going to claim this is the best possible out-of-camera framing I could have done (on a 16:9 aspect ratio capture from an unstill boat), but it's close. I see students get headshots and full body framing right before they get to images more like this, because that's conceptually easier (e.g. "just the head" and "make sure you show everything"). Showing some, but not all, of a body is where most struggle. As with humans, there are places where it is better to crop an animal and other places where it is not. This is actually one of the things you can practice with a zoom lens at a local zoo. Take an hour or two at an exhibit where you have good access to the animal and try various crop points on animals. Afterwards, examine them to see which seem right and wrong to you. I'm pretty sure you'll quickly start making some conclusions about what you can and can't do in showing only part of an animal. 

There's another aspect in this image that should be discussed: color. You may get an overwhelming sense of green. Well, that's what happens when you're shooting under a deep shade canopy where everything reflecting light is green. I've elected not to pull all the green out in white balancing the image because, well, the green is what I remember, and that's what you'd see in the same place. But arguably, there are other approaches I could take here. Both things I just wrote about—crop point and color balancing—are "supportive decisions." They should be supportive of what you want the image to show, and what you want the viewer to feel. I like tight crops because it enhances the sense of closeness; I'm often really close to the animals I photograph, and I want you to feel that. 

Sony's current promotions, including the US$1000 off the A9, end this week on the 22nd. Nikon's current promotions run through June 29th. As a new financial quarter is starting on July 1 for the camera companies, I don't expect them to be quite so aggressive about continued discounting for awhile after that. Many discounts will obviously continue, but those may be on fewer products, older products  or more limited in amount.

B&H is having a Mega Deal Zone at the moment. In the long list are a lot of excellent deals, including big discounts on 2017 iMac Retina 5K models (if you can tolerate a Fusion drive), a 15" MacBook that's loaded (2018, 2.9Ghz i9, 32GB RAM, 2TB RAM), lots of video gimbals, my favorite big (4TB) SSD for the MacBook Pros, the Ruggard Electronic Dry Cabinets that are useful in high humidity climates or for drying out gear you used in damp conditions, and a ton of other accessories, including lighting gear [all advertiser links]. Indeed, there was so much good stuff I had to go run and hide my credit card. The Mega Deals expire on Thursday or until items sell out.

>>> This Week's Articles: 

June 17

Is Disinformation a Problem? Have you ever thought about whether or not misinformation might be harming the photography market? Article on

How Do You Make the Mirrorless/DSLR Choice? It seems that despite my repeated efforts to try to put things into perspective, a number of people are still asking the same questions, typically along the lines of "should I buy a D750 or Z6"? Article on

May I ask that you start your photographic-related shopping by clicking on any of the B&H links on this site, such as the following one. B&H is this site's exclusive advertiser. Starting a purchase at B&H from a link on this site helps support this site.

Some of you probably aren't aware that I've long had a dedicated B&H Landing Page [advertiser link] where the items in each of four different "gear bags" I use lives. We've just updated that page and the underlying pages, as well.


>>> Recent Articles: 

June 10

Is Landscape Photography Done? A long-term recently wrote to me about how they had stalled when it came to shooting landscapes. Some of it was due to restrictions on where he could be (e.g. no off-trail shooting in some areas he visited now), but much of his reaction was due to a sense of "having seen it all." We all hit plateaus like that if we do something long enough. But is it a summit or a plateau? Too many think that it's a summit and get depressed that there isn't any further to go. This leads to thoughts like the one in the headline: landscape photography is done. Article on

Frustration Versus Reality. I've been encountering a lot of very frustrated—and in some cases, angry—folk lately. Moreover, the press sometimes seems to pile on without actually doing much in the way of fact checking or logical analysis. Article on

Cameras Shouldn't Dictate Self-Esteem. One thing that becomes obvious very quickly when reading various comments across the Internet (or in my In Box), is that there's a very large proportion of active participants that have linked their self-esteem to their camera brand (or model, or type). Article on dslrbodies.comJune 7

The final comments in Your Z Questions Answered article were made. Hope you enjoyed Z Week.

June 6

Nikon 14-30mm f/4 S Lens Review. The 14-30mm f/4 S is the first wide-angle zoom for the Z series bodies (a 14-24mm f/2.8 S will follow in 2020). Unlike most wide-angle zooms, the Nikkor 14-30mm f/4 S is smallish and doesn't have a bulbous front element that precludes filters. So it's immediately intriguing to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 owner looking for wide angle options. Article on

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens Review. The 24-70mm f/2.8 S, while the fifth lens to sport the S badge, is really the start of something new in the Z lens lineup: truly professional caliber lenses, with high performance and extra features. Article on

June 5

The Your Z Questions Answered article was updated again.

June 4

What did Apple Just Do? Apple's 2019 World Wide Developer Conference—what seasoned veterans call dub dub—had a keynote with some things of interest to photographers. Here's a quick analysis. Article on

June 3

Nikon Z6 Camera Review. The Nikon Z6 is Nikon's thirteenth mirrorless camera. For those of you whose mouth just dropped, you're forgetting that Nikon began making mirrorless cameras in 2011 with the Nikon 1 (J1 and V1 models). Article on

About the Z6/Z7 Guide. My policy on ebooks has to been to do error correction for free in periodic light updates, and to charge a small update fee for major "edition" changes (and to update for free any purchase made within 30 days of the edition changeover). Article on

Z Week: Your Questions Answered. I asked for your questions about the Nikon Z6 and Z7 to answer during Z Week, and you responded with some excellent ones. This is a "live" article (at least this week), and I'll add to it as I get more questions. (And yes, I'll be doing "weeks" for other brands coming up, generally centered around reviews as I get to them.) Article on

June 2

Panasonic Reveals Cinema-Oriented S1H. Panasonic today pulled a Sony, beginning to coordinate their still and video product lines via a unified lens mount (E in Sony's case, L in Panasonic's). The camera was pre-announced at Cinegear, and won't be available until fall. Article on

May 28

Sticking with DSLR? Don't Worry, Be Happy. With camera sales overall still contracting, and with so many players duking it out in full frame mirrorless and dangling discounts to grab business, it's easy to see the Dark Side of the situation. Article on

What's Likely to Go Away? The common theme you see now is that we're in a DSLR-to-mirrorless transition period. I would agree, but that doesn't mean that DSLRs go away completely, nor does it mean everything will go away. After all, Nikon is still building a high-end film SLR body and selling it (F6). Article on

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