Category Archives: News

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My photographic year in review 2014

2014 was another busy year for me. I logged a lot of miles this year traveling to both new and familiar locations, and I’m incredibly happy that I got to meet some of you in person along the way! With that, here’s a little recap of the past year and some of my favorite captures. Enjoy.

April 2014: Digital Underground Las Vegas

I kicked off the year with the inaugural tour in a new series of workshops, called Digital Underground, that I’m co-hosting with Deborah Sandidge. We took a small group of photographers to Las Vegas, where we explored creative techniques and got to see some pretty cool places like the Neon Museum Boneyard and the Nelson Ghost Town.

Neon Museum, Las Vegas, NV
Neon Museum, Las Vegas, NV
Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV
Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV

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Choosing the glass that’s best for you

The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 AFS G lens is part of the “holy trinity” of FX lenses. Should it and its brothers be in your bag?

It’s shopping season again, and I want to talk a little about that obsession we have with camera lenses. Often times, you’ll hear, “get the best glass, you won’t regret it.” This is certainly the case in terms of total image quality, but is it practical advice? I mean, there are entire websites devoted to the minutia of MTF charts and brick-wall photos trying to convince us which lenses are the best, and which are marginal. I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately, especially when going through my images and examining my gear needs as they have evolved. Continue reading

Explore Chicago with the Digital Underground in 2015.

Just Added: Two new Digital Underground tours

Join the Digital Underground as we explore creative urban photography!

I’m pleased to announce the addition of two new Digital Underground instructional photo tours for spring and summer 2015. I will be co-hosting these small group (10 max) tours with Deborah Sandidge. Each day, we’ll cover interesting locations within the city, explore creative techniques, and provide feedback and critique. If you’re looking to get creative with travel photography, these workshops are not to be missed.

Digital Underground: Washington, D.C.

March 30-April 2, 2015
Limited to 10 participants

Join us in Washington, D.C. for the cherry blossoms!
Join us in Washington, D.C. for the cherry blossoms!

Explore the monuments and architecture of the nation’s capitol during cherry blossom season! Washington, D.C. is an incredibly photogenic city, and we’ll be capturing many of the iconic monuments at twilight and at night. Learn More

Digital Underground: Chicago

August 19-22, 2015
Limited to 10 participants

Explore Chicago with the Digital Underground in 2015.
Explore Chicago with the Digital Underground in 2015.

We roll into the Windy City in the summer of 2015 to capture the amazing art and architecture of Chicago. We’ll start with an architectural boat tour along the Chicago River. We’ll also photograph the fireworks display over Navy Pier. No trip to Chicago would be complete without photographing “The Bean” sculpture in Millennium Park.

Early Bird Registration

Register by December 31, 2014 and save $100 on the workshop fee!

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.