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Composition tips: simplification and negative space

by on Aug.05, 2017, under Reviews


Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Composition is about a whole lot more than the ‘rule of thirds’ or the ‘golden spiral.’ If you really want to understand what makes a photograph stand out, you need to dive deeper into the art of photography and photo composition… which is exactly what Ted Forbes did in this old episode of his aptly-titled YouTube channel The Art of Photography.

The episode was dug out of the archives by Fstoppers, and it was part of a larger series on composition, which is elaborated on in a blog Forbes was maintaining at the time called Composition Study.

But this episode in particular stands out, because it’s one of the deeper video dives out there on the subject of simplicity, minimalism, and negative space. Forbes starts with figure/ground relationships, and expands from that to explain how you create dynamism in a photograph, let your subject/figure breathe while drawing your viewers eye to that subject, and much much more.

Check out the full episode below, and then share your favorite minimalist composition in the comments down below:



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Yongnuo unveils its first Li-ion powered speedlight for the Canon RT system

by on Aug.04, 2017, under Reviews


Hong Kong camera company Yongnuo, known for its affordable lighting gear and knockoff Canon lenses, has launched its first Li-ion powered speedlite: the YN686EX-RT flash for the Canon RT system.

The Speedlite—which was quietly released a couple of months ago—is available through eBay and Amazon and features an integrated 2.4GHz transceiver and a 2,000mAh Li-ion battery able to power 750 full-power flashes. This model can be used as either a master or a slave, and it offers optical slave triggering, according to the Speedlite’s product page.

In addition, the Speedlite YN686EX-RT features a dot-matrix LCD display that shows the battery charge level, a USB port for firmware updates, and an electric zoom lamp head with a 20 – 200mm range. Other features include high-speed sync with shutter speeds up to 1/8000s, a stroboscopic mode, and support for both Custom Functions Setting and Auto-Save Setting.

Yongnuo’s Speedlite YN686EX-RT is available online starting at $150 USD.



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Nikon 8-15mm F3.5-4.5E ED fisheye lens impresses in underwater review

by on Aug.03, 2017, under Reviews


Photo © Robin Dodd

Our friends at Backscatter Underwater Video & Photo—the world’s leading supplier for underwater imaging equipment, the same folks behind this impressive underwater review of the Canon 1DX Mark II—recently took the new Nikon 8-15mm F3.5-4.5E ED fisheye zoom lens for a spin beneath the waves. As usual, they came back with some stunning photographs, along with a few thoughts about Nikon’s new fisheye zoom lens.

Backscatter CEO Jim Decker and Producer Robin Dodd were able to ‘MacGyver’ a makeshift zoom gear from some stuff they had lying around the shop, slapped the lens onto a Nikon D810, and went diving. Immediately they were impressed.

“The lens is a fisheye zoom lens that is a full frame diagonal fisheye lens at the 15mm side of the zoom, and a circular fisheye at the 8mm side,” explains Decker in their review. “It’s great to have the versatility of being able to shoot a circular fisheye, without having to dedicate your whole dive to it.” The photo up top was shot at 8mm, the one below at 15mm.

Photo © Robin Dodd

But it’s not just the versatility of having both a diagonal fisheye and a circular fisheye in one lens—a first for Nikon—that impressed Backscatter. The photos turned out great, too.

“We were super impressed with the image quality of this lens along with the versatility,” writes Decker, “and will now recommend this lens as the primary lens for wide angle use with full frame Nikon cameras.”

That’s some high praise. To read Backscatter’s full review and see several more underwater sample shots captured with the Nikon 8-15mm F3.5-4.5E ED fisheye, head over to their website by clicking here. And if you want to see some above-ground sample photos, you can see our sample gallery here.



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