All posts by Jason Odell

Sensor Plane Podcast #13: Photographing Fall Colors

Photographing fall foliage is one of my favorite things to do.
Photographing fall foliage is one of my favorite things to do.

It’s time again to think about photographing fall foliage! In this episode of The Sensor Plane podcast, I’ll go over some tips and tricks for getting fall colors that really pop. Specifically, I’ll talk about some of the filters I use when photographing fall colors, including the Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo.

I pack all my filters into the Mindshift Gear Filter Hive.

Download an audio-only (MP3) version of this episode here

Shop for filters at B&H Photo and support The Sensor Plane Podcast.

eBooks and tutorials by Jason Odell

Shooting the Milky Way

Milky Way over the wind farm near Limon, CO
Milky Way over the wind farm near Limon, CO

Night photography is fun. Night photography is also hard. To photograph the Milky Way, you need to be somewhere dark. In the summer, when the nights are warm, it often isn’t truly dark until after 10pm. That means this time of year is perfect, as the nights are just starting to get longer but temperatures are still fairly warm. You also want to make sure there is no moon to spoil the starlight. I use The Photographer’s Ephemeris to determine when astronomical twilight ends (this is when it gets very dark), and for moon information.

Last weekend, everything came together. I took a nice drive with my friend to Limon, CO, where I’ve shot the wind farm in the past. I’d pre-visualized this shot for over a year; I just finally got around to doing it.

Tech Specs

Nikon D810 with 14-24mm AFS G zoom Nikkor lens
30-second exposure at f/2.8, ISO 1600

Night photography tips after the jump… Continue reading

Fuji X-T1 News: New body, New Firmware

The Fujifilm X-T1 (Graphite) edition offers some new features that will also be available to original X-T1 owners via a firmware update in December 2014. Image courtesy of Fujifilm.

Fujifilm announced a new color (Graphite) X-T1 body to be released later this year. While it looks really nice, it’s really the same camera as the original (black) X-T1, which I use as my primary travel/family camera. The bigger news, however, was a firmware upgrade coming in December that will match the original (black) X-T1’s features with its silver counterpart. I looked through the firmware features, which you can read here, and the following items caught my eye:

  • Electronic shutter option for fast primes: You will be able to shoot at a shutter speed of up to 1/32,000s with the electronic shutter. That’s perfect for using a fast prime in bright light without having to stop down. The downside is that this feature will only work with the 23 f/1.4, 25 f/1.4 and 56 f/1.2 Fuji prime lenses (I’m scratching my head on that one).
  • Natural Live View Mode: Because the X-T1 uses an electronic viewfinder (EVF), the viewfinder displays the scene with in-camera settings applied, like monochrome or “Velvia” mode. What that means is that sometimes the viewfinder image is too contrasty or saturated due to the chosen film emulation mode. Natural mode will display a normal image in the viewfinder, while the captured images will have the film emulation settings applied to them.
  • Linking the focus area to the metering area in spot metering mode: This is something my Nikon’s do, and it’s a feature I find quite useful. Currently, the spot meter uses the center of the frame, meaning you can’t just choose a metering area with the focus points without recomposing the shot.

Sadly, the one feature I really want, ± 2EV bracketing, wasn’t on the list. I hope Fuji reconsiders and adds this feature… it would make HDR capture so much easier!

The X-T1 (Graphite Silver) is available for pre-order from site sponsor B&H photo for $1499 (body only). You can also pick up the original X-T1 (black) in a new bundle with the 18-135mm zoom lens (highly recommended) for $1899.

The Sensor Plane #12: Nikon Crop Modes

This week on The Sensor Plane Photography Podcast, I explore the various crop modes with my Nikon cameras. Ever since Nikon came out with their first 35mm format camera (FX format), the D3, they have implemented ways of cropping the images in the camera.

While the most obvious crop mode is Nikon DX (1.5x) format, which enables the use of DX format lenses on FX format bodies, Nikon also offers 1.2x and 5:4 crops on some of their cameras, including the D800 and D810. These crop modes can be useful in a variety of situations, but have some drawbacks depending on the camera you use.

 Audio only version (mp3 format)