Branden Hughes Photography + Design: Blog http://brandenhughes.com/blog en-us (C) Branden Hughes Photography + Design brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) Fri, 07 Mar 2014 00:29:00 GMT Fri, 07 Mar 2014 00:29:00 GMT http://brandenhughes.com/img/s/v-5/u166384342-o696049626-50.jpg Branden Hughes Photography + Design: Blog http://brandenhughes.com/blog 50 120 **UPDATED** Initial impressions of the Fuji XT-1 http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2014/3/initial-impressions-of-the-fuji-xt-1 Fuji XT-1: Initial Impressions *UPDATED*

 

fuji xt-1fuji xt-1fuji xt-1

I got my hands on the new Fuji XT-1 for the first time this morning.  I will be running various tests on it over the next few days and will post the results. As for the moment, here are my thoughts:

 

  • Obviously this is a dead sexy camera [what the Nikon DF should have been].
  • The viewfinder is hands down the best I have ever seen.
  • Auto focus is beyond belief fast!
  • Memory card door slot is poorly built compared to the build of the rest of the camera.
  • I wish the hand grip was slightly larger.
  • JPEG image quality is superb. Fuji excels at image quality and color.
  • The dials and menu's take a little time to get the hang of. I dont know yet if I like the fact that there is an ISO lock button.
  • Per other Fuji menu's, the "Q" button menu system is a life saver. 

fuji xt-1fuji xt-1fuji xt-1 fuji xt-1fuji xt-1fuji xt-1

 

BELOW ARE SAMPLES SHOT AT VARIOUS ISO'S IN THE JPG FORMAT. FROM WHAT I CAN SEE, IT LOOKS LIKE 6400 ISO IS VERY USABLE AND EVEN AT 12800 ISO THE IMAGE LOOKS PRETTY CLEAN [CLICK TO VIEW ORIGINAL FILE].

FUJI XT1FUJI XT1SAMPLES FROM THE FUJI XT-1 AT VARIOUS APERTURES/SHUTTER SPEEDS/ISO FUJI XT1FUJI XT1SAMPLES FROM THE FUJI XT-1 AT VARIOUS APERTURES/SHUTTER SPEEDS/ISO FUJI XT1FUJI XT1SAMPLES FROM THE FUJI XT-1 AT VARIOUS APERTURES/SHUTTER SPEEDS/ISO FUJI XT1FUJI XT1SAMPLES FROM THE FUJI XT-1 AT VARIOUS APERTURES/SHUTTER SPEEDS/ISO

 

 

The continuous AF that Fuji has incorporated in the XT-1 is blazing fast! 8 frames per second and lighting quick .05 focus speed is spot on for any sort of motion.  I was impressed with how quickly the camera responded not only with the focus speed but the pure clarity of each image. 

Using phase-detection autofocus, combined with high-speed subject predictive, the AF accurately follows your subject through the frame. 

These images are all shot in the JPG Fine quality and are straight out of the camera.

 

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) ISO NEW best camera branden hughes camera fastest AF fastest auto focus fstoppers fuji fuji xt-1 fuji xt1 fujifilm hipster photography retro review http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2014/3/initial-impressions-of-the-fuji-xt-1 Wed, 05 Mar 2014 18:09:07 GMT
Is it worth it? Can you tell the difference? http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2013/11/50mm-lens-test-between-the-canon-f/1-8--f/1-4-f/1-2-and-the-sigma-f/1-4 For starters, this is by no means a comprehensive test on the most popular portrait lens, the coveted 50mm. It comes in 3 flavors: F/1.8 for $110, F/1.4 for $385 and F/1.2 for $1600. I also have included the Sigma F/1.4 in this comparison for $499. 

In order to keep things consistant, I shot each of these photos with the exact same settings, from the exact same distance, using the same camera (Canon 70D). 

Like I said, this is not a full test of each lens. It is just the "eye test." Do you and I see the difference in the images, yes. As consumers can we justify the extra costs as we step up to the lower apertures? The difference isn't that much, especially when I think about forking out an extra grand for the fancy L series F/1.2 vs. one of the F/1.4 options. The big question here though is, will your customers be able to tell the difference?

 

The below set of images shows the results of shooting with the lens at the lowest aperture available. 50mm lens tests, canon, sigma, f/1.8, f/1.4, f/1.2, lens, fstoppers, comparisons, bokeh, sharpness, contrast, branden hughes, photography, 50mm lens tests, canon, sigma, f/1.8, f/1.4, f/1.2, lens, fstoppers, comparisons,

The below set of images shows the results of shooting with the lens at: F/1.8.

The below set of images shows the results of shooting with the lens at F/8.

50mm lens tests, canon, sigma, f/1.8, f/1.4, f/1.2, lens, fstoppers, comparisons, bokeh, sharpness, contrast, branden hughes, photography, 50mm lens tests, canon, sigma, f/1.8, f/1.4, f/1.2, lens, fstoppers, comparisons, bokeh, sharpness, contrast, branden hughes, photography,

Below are the F/1.8 settings enlarged for each lens.

CANON 50mm F/1.2 at F/1.8 [below] $1600

CANON F/1.4 AT F/1.8 [below] $385  

SIGMA 50MM F/1.4 AT F/1.8 [below] $499

CANON 50mm F/1.8 at F/1.8 [below] $110

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) 50 50mm L aperture black bokeh branden hughes camera canon f/1.8 fantastic fstoppers lens nifty photography plastic portrait rapid series sigma tests the http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2013/11/50mm-lens-test-between-the-canon-f/1-8--f/1-4-f/1-2-and-the-sigma-f/1-4 Thu, 14 Nov 2013 22:08:55 GMT
Fuji X100s: Straight Out of The Camera "Review" http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2013/10/fuji-x100s-straight-out-of-the-camera-review FUJI X100s: Straight Out of The Camera "Review"

 

I have been fortunate enough to acquire the much sought after, Fuji X100s. In the month that I have used it, the little retro engine that could journeyed with my girlfriend and I to Italy to test out it's street and landscape capabilities. She used it the brunt of the time, but what stands out most in her images is that the colors pop right off of the page and MIGHT be unrivaled to any camera that I have personally been able to use. This is a quality that Fuji has always prided themselves on. The film simulation modes are amazing and the black and white film mode allows you to choose from red, yellow or green filters so you can choose how much contrast you want in your blacks. My personal favorite for landscapes would be the Velvia for a deep saturated look.

Image quality: RAW vs JPEG. I am the kind of shooter that doesn't care so much about getting everything right in camera. I shoot more for the fun of the edit. I am finding that the color, clarity and being forced to compose the image on the spot, that I am wanting to get everything right in camera and focus on the quality of each shot and not the quantity. After downloading them and viewing them on the 27" Imac, the images look ready to go straight to print. I have been completely blown away by the quality of the JPEG images the XTRANS sensor in the Fuji create. 

Pros:

  • ISO performance is very usable up to 3200 and looks pretty good at 6400.
  • The build and ergonomics of this camera are outstanding, especially if you add the ergo kit to it.
  • Built in ND filter. I noticed zero reduction in quality while using it.
  • The hybrid viewfinder is excellent. Being able to manually focus with either the split screen or the focus peaking will help get your shots as sharp as you want.
  • Quick and for the most part accurate autofocus. Occassionally it would hunt in dimmer lit scenarios, but that is expected from most cameras anyway.
  • The "Q" button for quick access to all the settings [customizable] you want to change on the fly fast.
  • The JPEG quality the Fuji puts out is top notch! Unless you intend to do white balance in post production or enlarge your images for large format printing, I don't see much need to shoot in RAW.
  • Dynamic range settings of up to 400% [at ISO 800+] bring more contrast between your highlights and shadows.
  • If you are poor at composition the Fuji will teach you how to better compose your image since there is no zoom lens.
  • The quiet shutter mode makes the shutter sound virtually non existant.

​Cons:

  • The highest ISO ranges are only in JPEG, but remember, the JPEG quality of this camera is great.
  • I wish that the focus peaking offered a colored solution like Sony. I see this as coming in a future firmware upgrade.
  • Little to no warning when your battery is about to die. I would have a spare on hand.
  • The video mode is less than ideal, but if you are buying this camera, it is not because of its cinematic qualities.
  • If shooting in continuous shooting mode the files have to be reviewed in a slideshow format instead of individual shots.
  • No face detection in autofocus for portraits. This is not  the end of the world, you would just think with this feature widely used and the technology existing, why not include it?
  • The histogram is basically useless when shooting in manual mode, when this is where it should excel.
  • The in camera RAW conversion feature is great for those struggling with using the Fuji RAW files in Lightroom, but there is no live preview of the converted image.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

The X100S feels like it has a history to it. Something that has a story to tell and is waiting for you to tell it. The camera has a build that has that nostalgic feel to it. The aperture dial on the front of the camera and the shutter speed dial on the top of the camera force you to use the tool you have in your hands to create.  I have owned 6 DSLR's and multiple other film and digital cameras, but this is the first time that I have felt that I have an emotional attachment to a camera. As camera's evolve and technology evolve, I feel the X Series as a whole is has a firm grasp on who it is and it begs to be used to tell a story to the user and the viewer.

Is this camera a full time replacement to your DSLR? No, but it will force you to learn how to compose your shot better and fall in love with photography all over again. Can this camera be used for commercial or in studio production? ABSOLUTELY! 

ASPECT RATIOS

FUJI X100S REVIEWFUJI X100S REVIEWaspect ratios

ISO CAPABILITIES FUJI X100S REVIEWFUJI X100S REVIEWREVIEW OF THE FUJI X100S FUJI X100S REVIEWFUJI X100S REVIEWFUJI X100S REVIEW FUJI X100S REVIEWFUJI X100S REVIEWFUJI X100S REVIEW

 

APERTURE SETTINGS

 

DYNAMIC RANGE

[NOTICE THE WINDOW ON THE FAR RIGHT SIDE AS THE RANGE INCREASES] FUJI X100S REVIEWFUJI X100S REVIEW

FUJI X100S REVIEWFUJI X100S REVIEW FUJI X100S REVIEWFUJI X100S REVIEW

FILM SIMULATIONS

fuji x100s NEUTRAL FILMfuji x100s NEUTRAL FILMfuji x100s, film, simulation, retro, vintage, sepia, b&w

NEUTRAL

fuji x100s B&Wfuji x100s B&Wfuji x100s, film, simulation, retro, vintage, sepia, b&w

BLACK & WHITE

fuji x100s B&W YELLOWfuji x100s B&W YELLOWfuji x100s, film, simulation, retro, vintage, sepia, b&w

BLACK & WHITE YELLOW FILTER

fuji x100s B&W REDfuji x100s B&W REDfuji x100s, film, simulation, retro, vintage, sepia, b&w

BLACK & WHITE RED FILTER

fuji x100s B&W GREENfuji x100s B&W GREENfuji x100s, film, simulation, retro, vintage, sepia, b&w

BLACK & WHITE GREEN FILTER

fuji x100sfuji x100sfuji x100s, film, simulation, retro, vintage, sepia, b&w

SEPIA

SAMPLE IMAGES TAKEN IN ITALY [STRAIGHT OUT OF THE CAMERA]

THE BELOW IMAGE WAS SHOT THROUGH A WINDOW ON A MOVING BUS.

 

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) 23mm art branden hughes camera creative film fuji fuji x100s hdr photography retro review x100s http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2013/10/fuji-x100s-straight-out-of-the-camera-review Fri, 11 Oct 2013 01:24:39 GMT
24-70 F/2.8 Canon Lens VS Sigma Lens http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2013/10/24-70-f/2-8-canon-lens-vs-sigma-lens The Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 Lens=$1024

Versus

The Canon 24-70 f/2.8 Lens=$2299

This is not a "review" of what makes one lens better than another. This is is simply a side by side SOC [STRAIGHT OUT OF CAMERA] eye test comparison of the two lenses used on the same Canon 6D body with the same settings for each trial. From what I can gather, both lenses are extremely sharp in detail but the Sigma will introduce some slight vignetting until F/8 at 70mm and F/4 at 50mm. This is easily correctable in post production. The Sigma also appears to have a little more contrast than the Canon lens. The build of each lens is outstanding with a good solid feel. While the Sigma is a shorter and pudgier looking lens, the Canon is more slender and longer.  Call me a Nikon fan, but I love that the Sigma doesn't have the red ring around it. 

Best uses for the 24-70mm f/2.8:

  • Landscapes
  • Weddings
  • Portrait
  • Low light

SIGMA

Pros: 

  • Fairly fast and accurate auto focus.
  • This lens is built like a rock.
  • Very consistent output.
  • Good bokeh

​Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Occasional slow focus pending on available light.
  • More contrast than the Canon, but some view this as a pro.
  • Vignetting at various stops and lengths. See above for those ranges. 

CANON

Pros: 

  • Very fast and accurate auto focus.
  • Great bokeh
  • Great construction/build.
  • Very consistent output.

​Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Occasional slow focus pending on available light.
  • Extremely pricey compared to the Sigma.

canon vs. sigma lensescanon vs. sigma lenses

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) 2.8 24-70 24-70mm branden hughes camera canon comparison fstoppers lens lense photography quality review sigma http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2013/10/24-70-f/2-8-canon-lens-vs-sigma-lens Fri, 04 Oct 2013 15:19:04 GMT
50mm F/1.4 Canon VS Sigma Lens http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2013/10/50mm-f/1-4-canon-vs-sigma-lens  

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4=$499.99

Versus

The Canon 50mm f/1.4 Lens=$399.99 

Today we are taking a look at the 50mm f/1.4 lens for Canon and Sigma. This is one of those rare exceptions where the Sigma lens is more expensive than the "name brand" lens. This is not a "review" of what makes one lens better than the other. This is simply an eye test and some basic info of the lenses side by side SOC [straight out of the camera]. The images were shot on a Canon 6D with the same settings for each trial. 

The Sigma will sport a 77mm filter size, while the Canon is a 58mm. The 58mm size will offer cheaper filters and will be the same size as the Rebel series kit lenses, 18-55mm as well as the 55-250mm. 

Whether you are a street, landscape, portrait, or events, the 50mm is a lens that every photographer should have in their arsenaI. I will let you be the judge of the sharpness and quality of each lens. My findings are that they both perform exceptionally well and are incredibly sharp at various apertures as they should be [The Sigma around f/5.6-f/8 was razor sharp]. Either lens is a win in my book.

SIGMA

GOOD:

  • Bokeh from this lens is hard to beat.
  • Very sharp at apertures smaller (larger f number) than f/2.
  • Excellent build quality vs. the Canon and has a quieter focus motor.
  • Case and lens hood included. Not included on the Canon
  • The 50mm mounted on a DX sensor will equate to an 85mm.

​BAD

  • The autofocus is slower than the Canon 50mm 1.4. Some people will consider this a deal breaker, but for landscape and portrait shooters, this should not impact your decision.
  • This lens is bulky and heavy. Weighing in at a pound, you will not forget that this lens is attached to your camera. 

  canon vs. sigma lenses50mm canon vs. sigma lenses canon vs. sigma lensescanon vs. sigma lenses canon vs. sigma lensescanon vs. sigma lenses canon vs. sigma lensescanon vs. sigma lenses canon vs. sigma lensescanon vs. sigma lenses

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) 1.4 50mm Canon Sigma aperture branden branden hughes camera canon comparison fashion fstoppers hughes lens photography quality sigma vs http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2013/10/50mm-f/1-4-canon-vs-sigma-lens Fri, 04 Oct 2013 01:45:34 GMT
Follow me on my new Facebook Fan Page. http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2013/2/follow-me-on-my-new-facebook-fan-page I am going to start using this site less and focusing more on my Facebook Fan Page. If you would like to follow me on there and get updates on my work please add me. 

 

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2013/2/follow-me-on-my-new-facebook-fan-page Fri, 08 Feb 2013 18:48:49 GMT
Livestrong Sponsorship Already Removed http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2013/1/livestrong-sponsorship-already-removed livestrong, lance armstrong, sporting kc

Not even 24 hours went by before construction crews dismantled the LIVESTRONG signage from the stadium where Sporting KC plays.

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) branden hughes kansas city lance armstrong livestrong livestrong park soccer sporting kc http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2013/1/livestrong-sponsorship-already-removed Wed, 16 Jan 2013 19:23:56 GMT
Lens Compression http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2013/1/lens-compression  

Object close to the lens appears abnormally large relative to more distant objects, and distant objects appear abnormally small and hence more distant – distances are extended. Compression, long-lens, or telephoto distortion can be seen in images shot from a distant using a long focus lens or the more common telephoto sub-type (with an angle of view narrower than a normal lens). Distant objects look approximately the same size – closer objects are abnormally small, and more distant objects are abnormally large, and hence the viewer cannot discern relative distances between distant objects – distances are compressed.

Note that perspective distortion is caused by distance, not by the lens per se – two shots of the same scene from the same distance will exhibit identical perspective distortion, regardless of lens used. However, since wide-angle lenses have a wider field of view, they are generally used from closer, while telephoto lenses have a narrower field of view and are generally used from farther away. For example, if standing at a distance so that a normal lens captures someone's face, a shot with a wide-angle lens or telephoto lens from the same distance will have exactly the same perspective on the face, though the wide-angle lens may fit the entire body into the shot, while the telephoto lens captures only the nose. However, crops of these three images with the same coverage will yield the same perspective distortion – the nose will look the same in all three. Conversely, if all three lenses are used from distances such that the face fills the field, the wide-angle will be used from closer, making the nose larger, and the telephoto will be used from farther, making the nose smaller. [wiki]

 

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) branden hughes camera concepts lens lens compression photography http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2013/1/lens-compression Fri, 11 Jan 2013 19:27:08 GMT
Kevin Russ brings his dream to life with the iphone. http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/12/kevin-russ-brings-his-dream-to-life-with-the-iphone  

Kevin has been traveling the United States, shooting landscape photography with just his iPhone, and living off the print sales. I must admit I am jealous of Kevin’s current life. He hops in his car, looks at a map of places he wants to go in this country, and takes off. When he gets there he photographs what he sees, predominantly landscapes and nature, and most of which he shoots on his iPhone. He is a contributor to iStockphoto as well as sells his prints on his Society 6 page. Check out his work, in my opinion it is absolutely beautiful. He also has a new flickr for his mobile photos, check it out! I think his work is a prime example of the fact that it isn’t about the camera, it’s about the photographer. [taken from F/stoppers]

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) fstoppers iphone iphonography kevin russ landscapes lofi low dynamic range photography http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/12/kevin-russ-brings-his-dream-to-life-with-the-iphone Mon, 31 Dec 2012 18:55:58 GMT
NIKON D600 TEST WITH VARIOUS NIKON LENSES TO EXAMINE CLARITY, COLOR, CONTRAST, ETC. http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/12/nikon-d600-test-with-various-nikon-lenses-to-examine-clarity-color-contrast-etc ALL IMAGES TAKEN WITH THE NIKON D600 AT ISO 500 AT F/10 WITH AUTO WHITE BALANCE AT 24 PIXELS.  THIS TEST WAS DONE TO EXAMINE THE SHARPNESS, COLOR, CONTRAST AND CHROMATIC ABRASION OF EACH LENS ON THE D600. ALL IMAGES ARE ALL STRAIGHT OUT OF THE CAMERA.

 

24-85MM 3.5-4.5

 

85MM F/1.8

NIKON D600 WITH 85MM LENS

 

 

28MM F/1.8

NIKON D600 WITH 28MM LENS

 

40MM MACRO F/2.8

NIKON D600 WITH 40MM MACRO

 

50MM F/1.8G

NIKON D600 WITH 50MM G LENS

 

50MM F1.8

NIKON D600 WITH 50MM LENS

105MM MACRO 2.8

NIKON D600 WITH 105MM MACRO LENS

24MM F/1.4

NIKON D600 WITH 24MM LENS

 

70-300MM AT 116MM LENGTH

NIKON D600 WITH 70-300

18-200MM DX

NIKON D600 WITH 18-200 DX

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) 18-200MM 24-85MM 24MM 40MM 50MM 70-300MM CLARITY LENSES MACRO MICRO NIKON NIKON D600 SANDISK SHARPNESS branden hughes camera photography http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/12/nikon-d600-test-with-various-nikon-lenses-to-examine-clarity-color-contrast-etc Sat, 29 Dec 2012 05:30:47 GMT
The Photographers You Idolize Are No Better Than You http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/12/the-photographers-you-idolize-are-no-better-than-you  

The Photographers You Idolize Are No Better Than You [fstoppers original]

We look up to other people in all aspects of our lives. Most of us admire our parents or an older sibling. We desire to be like those who have “made it” like actors, musicians, or wealthy business owners. As photographers, we probably all have a list of our favorite people in the industry. I’m here to tell you that they are no better at photography than you are.

Fstoppers.com has given me a very unique, inside look into the photography industry. I’ve had the rare opportunity to have met with and gotten to know a large number of my photography idols. I’ve been able to ask them the questions that they would never answer on camera, such as “How exactly did you book that job?” “How much did that campaign pay?” or “Are you making more money shooting or teaching at this point?” In many cases, my idols, the photographers who I always wanted to be like, are actually like me already, but in many cases they are just a few years ahead of me. The thing that all of my favorite photographers seem to have in common is that none of them think that they have “made it.” Most of them are still constantly struggling to land that next big job or start that next big business idea. I assumed that once you reached “the top” you could relax but I’ve found that there is no “top”. No matter how successful you become, you can always land more jobs, gain more sponsors or raise your rates. It’s exciting to set a goal and then reach it but as soon as you do it’s time to set another goal.

When I first got into photography my goal was to assist as many professionals as I could to become a well rounded photographer. I assisted commercial, portrait, wedding, food and architectural photographers. I learned a seemingly endless amount of information from each of them, but I was always shocked by how much each of them didn’t know. I watched each deal with amateur problems like forgetting to lower their ISO from 3200 for a studio session or forgetting their cameras maximum sync speed and wondering why their flash wasn’t showing up or not understanding crop vs full frame cameras or lenses. Many of these photographers didn’t understand the basics of Photoshop.

 

I’ve also randomly met shooters who have assisted one or more of the most famous photographers alive today. After we’ve had a few drinks the stories begin to fly and are usually all pretty similar: “You know that million dollar campaign that ________ shot? Well I was there for that campaign and that photographer didn’t know what the hell they were doing. Basically I had to come up with that lighting scheme myself.” I’ve heard so many stories about some of the biggest photographers alive today not having a basic understanding of lighting, their camera or post production.

As I’ve learned all of the industry’s dirty little secrets over the past few years it has both inspired and depressed me. It’s inspiring to know that the photographers I’ve looked up to throughout my entire career are not that different from me. It’s inspiring to know that even the best photographers in the world still struggle with some of the same things that I do. It’s inspiring to know it actually is possible for me to reach their level. At the same time it’s completely depressing to think about how much time I spend online learning every technical aspect of my camera equipment only to hear that the last giant fashion campaign was shot by someone who doesn’t understand what ISO is.

The title of this article is “The Photographers You Idolize Are No Better Than You” and that is actually a lie. The Photographers you idolize may not know their camera better than you, but they are actually better than you and me both at a lot of other things that matter more.

Business
Hugely successful photographers are master businessmen and women. If they aren’t good with business, they hire someone who is. Most of these photographers have agents that can not only help them find jobs but also do all of the negotiating. If these photographers don’t have a private agent they will have a manager on staff that deals with this aspect of their business. Underbidding a job in many cases is worse than overbidding and these photographers know exactly how to negotiate with each client/campaign.

Client Interaction and Perceived Value
I was once told a story about a famous NY photographer by his assistant. The photographer would set up 5-10 extra, unnecessary lights, for every photoshoot and then set them all to fire a fraction of a second late so that they wouldn’t affect the actual picture. The set might have 10 lights set up but only 1 or 2 were actually affecting the image. The assistant heard one of the art directors say to another “look at this production, we would have never gotten this quality if we had hired the other guy.”

 

Now this is a story is way over the top but perceived value is a very real thing. Why does a photographer need to shoot with a Hasselblad digital camera to shoot images for a web campaign? Why do you need a 10 million dollar studio to shoot products on seamless? You don’t, but your clients appreciate it. I spoke to an art director at a large advertising agency and he told me that they liked to hire a specific photographer because that photographer spent a ton of the photography budget on everyone involved with the shoot. The photographer would hire a professional chef to show up and cook for agency reps. His studio was extremely nice and for the art director “it was so refreshing to get out of our crappy offices and go to his studio for a shoot.”

Production Value
Production value is the biggest thing separating a good picture from a great one. Haven’t you ever watched a behind the scenes video of a giant campaign photoshoot and thought “man, they are only using 1 light, I could totally do this.” Well it’s true you could, but most of us are to lazy to do it the right way. High end photographers think about making flawless images. You might have an amazing location and dress but if your model doesn’t look professional then neither will your picture. Fashion photoshoots require 5 major components and most average photographers fall short in at least 1 of these areas. The model, lighting, location or set, outfit, and the post production must all be world class for the final picture to be world class. As I said above, many of the best photographers in the world are not very good at each of these things, but they realize their shortcomings and they hire a team to handle each aspect. The photographers work with modeling agencies to get the best talent available for every photoshoot. If the lighting is extremely complex many of these photographers have a team of lighting specialists that recreate the photographer’s “vision.” The photographer has a location scout or a set designer to find or build the perfect location for each picture. Hair, makeup and clothing stylists are brought in to make the models look as perfect as they possibly can. After the shoot it’s very rare for these photographers to do the retouching themselves; they almost always have someone on staff or send their photos out for retouching.

 

The Unnamed Trait
If you want to become a big name photographer everything I’ve written above is extremely important, but I don’t believe that any of those traits are THE most important. The most important trait is something that I don’t think I can fully explain with a couple of words. This trait has nothing to do with photography specifically, it has everything to do with success in general. Successful people are “Do’ers.” By that I mean successful people accomplish things. In many cases it doesn’t even matter what they do, they just have to do something, anything, over and over again. “Talented” people take initiative to do, create, or start something. The average person doesn’t actually do anything themselves; they go to work, they do what they are told, and then they come home and watch tv and get ready for the next day of work. Successful people see a problem and then fix it. They have an idea and they create something. Think about the people that you look up to in your life. You probably admire them because they have done something unique or different or they do something specific very well.

The average person is a talker. They claim to be smart, they claim to be talented and they claim to have great ideas. But they also always have an excuse about why they aren’t doing anything. Don’t you know a person that is always planning something big but their big ideas never turn out? Every time you talk to them they have given up on the last idea but this new idea is “it” and this time it’s really going to work. You probably have very little respect for this person because each time someone promises you something and then can’t deliver you lose a little bit of faith in them. It’s always easier to “talk” than it is to “do.” These same people are the ones that will sit back and look at other people who are doing things and talk bad about them or their projects. These are the people that love to visit websites like ours and attack the writers or the photographers in the articles for not doing a good enough job. The truth is, successful people don’t have enough time to hate on other people because they are too busy doing things- like making money.

If there is one thing you take away from this article let it be this: stop talking and start doing. My world is filled with people with “great ideas” that they want me to be a part of. At this point I only want to be involved with people that have proven that they actually can accomplish their goals. Everyone has good ideas, that is not a unique talent. The talent lies in making your idea a reality.

When Patrick and I came up with idea for Fstoppers I tried to get other photographers in the area involved and nobody was interested. If the rolls were reversed I wouldn’t have been either. Two wedding photographers had an idea for yet another photography website? We had no experience in web design or video production and we wanted to start a video based website? That’s crazy. At the time we were just talkers like everyone else. Through a lot of hard work and luck, Fstoppers did turn into something and because of that one relatively small success, we can say with confidence that we had a pretty ambitious idea and we made something of it. The creation of this simple website has gained me access to the secret club of photographers that “do”. Without Fstoppers I would have never been able to meet my idols.

 

Now you may be thinking, what in the world does this have to do with photography? It has everything to do with photography. No matter where you are in your photography career you need to be creating better images on a weekly basis. This does not mean that you need to take more images, it means you need to create better images. Do you talk about your next concept for a photograph or do you plan it out and shoot it within a few days and then move on to the next idea? When you do shoot for yourself how meticulous are you in regards to the final product? Are you involving the most talented models, stylists and retouchers available in your area? It may be difficult to get the most talented people in town to collaborate with you at the beginning but once you prove yourself, just like we did with Fstoppers, the talent will find you. I bet you have an idea for a single photo or a photography series or a behind the scenes video that you have been thinking about for literally years. Turn off your computer and your TV and actually do it. When you’re done with it, enjoy the feeling of accomplishing a goal for a day and then move on to the next idea.

The photographers that I idolize may not be a better photographers than me, technically speaking, but they are far better than me in the areas that actually matter. I am still trying to figure out how to make the jump from average photographer up to the “top” but as I said before, I don’t think there is a top. The road to success for 99% of people isn’t a jump, it’s a steady incline from one successful project to the next. You’re not going to go directly from shooting girls on Model Mayhem to shooting a campaign for Prada but if you act like every one of your photoshoots is for Prada I have no doubt you will get there. The photographers that we all look up to had to start from the bottom just like us.

In my mind I am a very average wedding photographer so I am always shocked and flattered to hear that I have inspired someone else in some way. Three years ago, before Fstoppers, I was struggling to book my next job just like all of you and nobody knew who I was. Honestly I’m still struggling to book photography jobs today. I didn’t think that Fstoppers would ever turn into what it is now. I simply had an idea and unlike all of my other failed ideas, this one actually worked. I did something and it paid off. I’m honestly no different than you, at best I’m just a few years ahead of you.

I hope that this article has inspired you. I hope you now realize that you are just as capable as anyone of “making it”. But the truth is, I didn’t really write it for you. I wrote this to myself because I am probably the laziest person I know. I needed to give myself a pep-talk for 2013. There are a lot of ideas that I need to make realities.

 

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) The Photographers You Idolize Are No Better Than You branden hughes canon inspiration lighting motivation nikon photography photoshop http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/12/the-photographers-you-idolize-are-no-better-than-you Tue, 11 Dec 2012 03:57:56 GMT
Stunning Spread From A 1960′s Harper’s BAZAAR http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/11/stunning-spread-from-a-1960-s-harper-s-bazaar  

Stunning Spread From A 1960′s Harper’s BAZAAR

In 1963, American photographer Melvin Sokolsky shot a gorgeous series for Harper’s BAZAAR of a model inside a giant plexi-glass bubble all around Paris. I can’t say enough about these images. They are timeless and even wow me today, more than 50 years later. What a spectacularly executed concept that really draws you in and keeps you wanting for more. Well done Sokolsky, well done. Enjoy! [Fstoppers]

 

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) branden hughes fashion fstoppers harper's bazaar lighting melvin sokolskyshot photography http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/11/stunning-spread-from-a-1960-s-harper-s-bazaar Thu, 29 Nov 2012 02:23:46 GMT
Simply Serene: Landscape Photography By Carlos Resende http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/11/simply-serene-landscape-photography-by-carlos-resende “My name is Carlos Resende. I am 41 years old and I live in Lisbon, Portugal. I am an amateur photographer who is very passionate about the art of landscape photography.
Not having inherited any photographic genes in my DNA, I would say that photography came into my life by accident. It resulted from my need to find a replacement for my previous ‘hobby’ which used to be Archery. 
I try to enjoy and draw from it all the pleasure there is in capturing what the moment has to offer. That’s probably why I like to capture images of places or times of day that carry us into parallel universes transmitting a sense of calm and tranquility as opposed to our ‘crazy’ everyday life. I’m always on the hunt for these new realities and I look forward to be transformed into those new realities in one way or another.
I draw my inspiration from the work of Michael Levin, Julius Tjintjelaar, Matt Toynbee, Maria Strömvik, Andrew Dolphin , Nana Sousa Dias, António Sá and Paulo Dias.” ~ Carlos Resende [fstoppers]

 

What are your thoughts on these?

Make sure to check him out on Flickr!

via – thedphoto.com [fstoppers]

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) Andrew Dolphin António Sá Carlos Resende Julius Tjintjelaar Maria Strömvik Matt Toynbee Michael Levin Nana Sousa Dias Paulo Dias art branden hughes camera fstoppers landscape photography photography photoshop http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/11/simply-serene-landscape-photography-by-carlos-resende Wed, 28 Nov 2012 01:51:53 GMT
“What If Money Didn’t Matter”: Great Tip To All Creative People Out There http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/11/-what-if-money-didn-t-matter-great-tip-to-all-creative-people-out-there

 

“What If Money Didn’t Matter”: Great Tip To All Creative People Out There

Take a 3-minute break from whatever you’re doing right now, and listen to this short recorded lecture of British philosopher and writer Alan Watts (1915-1973). This is a very inspirational, thought-provoking and interesting to anyone who ever wanted to work in the industry – Doesn’t matter if its as a photographer, film maker, sound-man or a retoucher. Listen, and decide: ‘What do you desire?’. [fstoppers]

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) British philosopher Alan Watts creative fstoppers inspire just do it photography what do you desire http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/11/-what-if-money-didn-t-matter-great-tip-to-all-creative-people-out-there Tue, 27 Nov 2012 20:36:34 GMT
Yes Please! Nikon Lens Thermos. http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/11/yes-please-nikon-lens-thermos

First came the mug, now it's the thermos!

To help you focus. Get it?

 
 

Most people need a good shot of caffeine in the morning to help them get focused. Or maybe even a thermos full of caffeine. Or two thermoses full. (Who's counting?) And what better way to get your focus, and your caffeine than with this Camera Lens Stainless Thermos.

If you like a high quality lens, then you are sure to like this high quality "mug," if you can even call it that. Not only will it keep your hots hot or your colds cold -- for a really long time -- but it has many other awesome features as well. The cap becomes a cup. The leak proof pour spouts means that your contents won't lose temperature if you want to sample a little taste of the goods. It has grips to keep it steady in your hands and it comes with its own carrying case. We would still maybe recommend keeping your caffeinated liquids away from your actual, real-life, super-expensive lenses though. Just in case, you know.

Product Specifications

  • Looks like a camera lens, but it's a thermos
  • Insulation keeps beverages hot or cold
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Cap can become a cup
  • Comes with carrying pouch
  • Capacity: 17 ounces
  • Love your thermos: Hand wash, please.

 

Pick one up here: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/ee6c/?pfm=rightcolumn_NewStuffFTW_2&cpg=cj&ref=&CJURL=&CJID=2617611

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) branden hughes camera nikon lens thermos photography thermos http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/11/yes-please-nikon-lens-thermos Wed, 14 Nov 2012 21:32:42 GMT
Portrait: A Documentary Insatgram vs Professional http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/11/portrait-a-documentary-insatgram-vs-professional Andy Newman created this intriguing documentary that explores the question “In the age of Instagram, what sets a professional photographer apart. In this film, photographer Andria Lindquist and web designer/ professional instagramer Cory Staudacher talk about their outlook on photography and how it has impacted their life. Two points I couldn’t agree more on is how Cory talks about how important sharing your work and building a community is, and Andria talks about following your heart and continue to do what makes you truly happy. If you’re getting into photography or looking for inspiration on why to continue with photography you should definitely check this out. [fstoppers]

 

Portrait: A Documentary on Instagram and Photography from Andy Newman on Vimeo.

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) andria Lindquist andy newman camera canon concepts cory staudacher documentary fstoppers inspiration instagram iphone nikon photography http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/11/portrait-a-documentary-insatgram-vs-professional Fri, 09 Nov 2012 21:45:48 GMT
Portraits of Strangers on the Street http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/11/portraits-of-strangers-on-the-street  

Taking nice portraits in a studio setting requires a great skill set and understanding of how to set up lights. Doing the same thing, but on the street with complete strangers takes the skill one step further. Benoit Paillé, Quebec based photographer, recently released images from his latest project titled, “Stranger Project” in which he breaks the norm of “not speaking or disturbing” strangers in order to create stunning portraits on the street.

Paille, whose surreal landscapes photos have been featured before on Fstoppers, says the project started in 2007 when he decided he wanted to take portraits of strangers on the street. But rather than doing it hidden or from the hip (as I recently did on my trip to New York) he would talk to the people and let them know what he was up to and get them on board. His goal was to “break the individualism and anonymity of the big city” reaching out to people “break the usual way this modern world works.” Currently he is up to 222 photographs of strangers and eventually looks to publish a book with the photos and stories from each encounter. [ Taken from F/Stoppers ]

 

 

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) Benoit Paille camera concepts fstoppers photography portraits shoot from the hip stranger project street photography surreal landscapes http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/11/portraits-of-strangers-on-the-street Fri, 09 Nov 2012 17:28:30 GMT
The Documenting of Travis and Karelynn's Wedding Day. http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/11/wedding I recently had the privilege of spending the day documenting Travis and Karelynn's wedding. These are a few captured moments that I really loved. Thank you for including me in your day and letting me do my crazy James Bond secret agent style of shooting. 

Travis and Karelynn Wedding Travis and Karelynn Wedding Travis and Karelynn Wedding Travis and Karelynn Wedding Travis and Karelynn Wedding Travis and Karelynn Wedding Travis and Karelynn Wedding

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) branden hughes kansas city wedding photographer lenexa weddings loose park nikon photography wedding http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/11/wedding Thu, 01 Nov 2012 22:06:10 GMT
More Nikon D600 Macro/Micro Photography. http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/10/more-nikon-d600-macro/micro-photography I shot these images with the Nikon D600 with the Nikon D60mm Macro lens.

Aperture was f/3.9 and Exposure was 1/20 at f/14.

 

NIKON CORPORATION Camera modelNIKON D600 Focal length60 mm Focal length (35mm)60 mm Max lens aperturef/3.9 Exposure1/20 at f/14Shot with Nikon D600 and a 60MM f/2.8 Macro lens. Image is lite with a Manfrotto ML360 LED light. NIKON CORPORATION Camera modelNIKON D600 Focal length60 mm Focal length (35mm)60 mm Max lens aperturef/3.9 Exposure1/20 at f/14Shot with Nikon D600 and a 60MM f/2.8 Macro lens. Image is lite with a Manfrotto ML360 LED light. NIKON CORPORATION Camera modelNIKON D600 Focal length60 mm Focal length (35mm)60 mm Max lens aperturef/3.9 Exposure1/20 at f/14Shot with Nikon D600 and a 60MM f/2.8 Macro lens. Image is lite with a Manfrotto ML360 LED light. NIKON CORPORATION Camera modelNIKON D600 Focal length60 mm Focal length (35mm)60 mm Max lens aperturef/3.9 Exposure1/20 at f/14Shot with Nikon D600 and a 60MM f/2.8 Macro lens. Image is lite with a Manfrotto ML360 LED light. NIKON CORPORATION Camera modelNIKON D600 Focal length60 mm Focal length (35mm)60 mm Max lens aperturef/3.9 Exposure1/20 at f/14Shot with Nikon D600 and a 60MM f/2.8 Macro lens. Image is lite with a Manfrotto ML360 LED light. NIKON CORPORATION Camera modelNIKON D600 Focal length60 mm Focal length (35mm)60 mm Max lens aperturef/3.9 Exposure1/20 at f/14Shot with Nikon D600 and a 60MM f/2.8 Macro lens. Image is lite with a Manfrotto ML360 LED light. NIKON CORPORATION Camera modelNIKON D600 Focal length60 mm Focal length (35mm)60 mm Max lens aperturef/3.9 Exposure1/20 at f/14Shot with Nikon D600 and a 60MM f/2.8 Macro lens. Image is lite with a Manfrotto ML360 LED light. NIKON CORPORATION Camera modelNIKON D600 Focal length60 mm Focal length (35mm)60 mm Max lens aperturef/3.9 Exposure1/20 at f/14Shot with Nikon D600 and a 60MM f/2.8 Macro lens. Image is lite with a Manfrotto ML360 LED light. NIKON CORPORATION Camera modelNIKON D600 Focal length60 mm Focal length (35mm)60 mm Max lens aperturef/3.9 Exposure1/20 at f/14Shot with Nikon D600 and a 60MM f/2.8 Macro lens. Image is lite with a Manfrotto ML360 LED light. NIKON CORPORATION Camera modelNIKON D600 Focal length60 mm Focal length (35mm)60 mm Max lens aperturef/3.9 Exposure1/20 at f/14Shot with Nikon D600 and a 60MM f/2.8 Macro lens. Image is lite with a Manfrotto ML360 LED light. NIKON CORPORATION Camera modelNIKON D600 Focal length60 mm Focal length (35mm)60 mm Max lens aperturef/3.9 Exposure1/20 at f/14Shot with Nikon D600 and a 60MM f/2.8 Macro lens. Image is lite with a Manfrotto ML360 LED light. NIKON CORPORATION Camera modelNIKON D600 Focal length60 mm Focal length (35mm)60 mm Max lens aperturef/3.9 Exposure1/20 at f/14Shot with Nikon D600 and a 60MM f/2.8 Macro lens. Image is lite with a Manfrotto ML360 LED light.

 

 
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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) art branden hughes camera close ups fstoppers insects macro micro nikon petapixel photography http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/10/more-nikon-d600-macro/micro-photography Wed, 31 Oct 2012 21:53:34 GMT
MACRO IMAGES SHOT WITH THE NIKON D600 AND THE NIKON 105 & 60MM MACRO LENSES http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/10/macro-images-shot-with-the-nikon-d600-and-the-nikon-105-60mm-macro-lenses I got bored today and took 15 minutes to go capture this bug and set up a quick shoot. I shot these images with the Nikon D600 along with the Nikon 105mm and the 60mm Micro lenses today. The shots were illuminated with the new Manfrotto ML360 LED constant light source with the assistance of Jeff Gouldsmith.

Macro photography is extreme close-up photography, usually of very small subjects, in which the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than life size (though macrophotography technically refers to the art of making very large photographs). By some definitions, a macro photograph is one in which the size of the subject on the negative or image sensor is life size or greater. However in other uses it refers to a finished photograph of a subject at greater than life size.

nikon d600 macro images nikon d600 macro images nikon d600 macro images nikon d600 macro images nikon d600 macro images nikon d600 macro images nikon d600 macro images nikon d600 macro images nikon d600 macro images nikon d600 macro images nikon d600 macro images nikon d600 macro images nikon d600 macro images nikon d600 macro images

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brandenhughesphotography@gmail.com (Branden Hughes Photography + Design) Manfrotto ML360 LED branden hughes camera insect photography macro macro photography micro micro photography nikon d600 photography http://brandenhughes.com/blog/2012/10/macro-images-shot-with-the-nikon-d600-and-the-nikon-105-60mm-macro-lenses Mon, 29 Oct 2012 23:35:43 GMT