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No Tripod, No Flash, No Problem
Nikon, Canon, and Sony Take Back the Night

Not all that long ago, shooting under low-lighting conditions without benefit of a flash or tripod meant pushing your film 1,2, or 3 stops beyond its native ISO rating. When shooting black & white this usually meant rating Tri-X at 800, 1200, or 1600 instead of its usual 400 speed rating, which in practice meant underexposing the film and developing it longer to ‘make up’ for the loss of exposure time. Pushing film usually did the trick at the cost of additional contrast and graininess. If you were really desperate you could also shoot Kodak 2475 Recording Film, which had a native ISO of 3200, but the grain was so bad you could see it on the contact sheets with your naked eye. And because the film curled up tighter than a Slinky it was a challenge to just keep it flat in the enlarger’s negative carrier.

When shooting color things weren’t much rosier. Color slide films were available in 400, 800, and 1600, but the grain, color, and contrast levels left much to be desired. Color negative film was equally on par, but instead of grain, you had to deal with multi-colored mush. (Think Froot Loops soaking in a bowl of milk for a few hours and you’ll get the picture).

But in the last year or 2 things radically changed in the digital world as camera manufacturers introduced extended range ISO ratings. And while the highest optimized ratings for the new DSLRs topped out at 6400, ‘Hi’ settings of 12,800 started appearing……..

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Eye of the Camera: The B&H 2009 Lens Buyer’s Guide

When you peer through the viewfinder or compose on the LCD screen, you’re watching your world through the lens.  Lenses are essentially an extension of your naked eye.  They can sharpen, skew, compact, and expand your field of view.  It is this power that makes optics the most indispensible component of any given imaging system.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned pro, it’s important to consider your photographic goals, and match these with the proper optics.  From the major brands to third party offerings, here’s a rundown of some of the finest glass available……

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GPS Geotagging – Around the World in One Day

What is geotagging? I traveled around the world in one day to find out for myself. When we buy a brand new camera, the first thing we usually set is the day, month, year, and time.. This data, embedded into each photo we take, effectively answers the question “when did this happen?” Geotagging additionally answers the question “where did this happen” Armed with a GPS device and a camera…

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Transport, Support, and On-camera Flash: The Accessories You Need for DSLR Photography

You’ve taken the leap into digital SLR photography—welcome! There’s an exciting world of possibility and discovery ahead of you. Whether you’re an enthusiast or budding professional, here’s a list of must-have accessories to get you started…   Selecting the right camera bag can be just as important as the camera itself. There are a lot of options…  Every photographer should own a camera support system of some type. For many, the obvious choice is a tripod. Tripods provide strength and stability while simultaneously forcing a deeper consideration of composition. Quality tripod systems are typically…..   The majority of DSLRs on the market come with integrated pop-up flashes. These are great in a pinch—providing fill light under a harsh high noon sun and creating the main light needed to remedy dark indoor conditions. They have some drawbacks, however. Deployed in a fixed position…

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After the Sun

Capturing the Glow and Magic of Dusk

There are several elements that make dusk shooting so special, and so very different from daytime shooting. First, sunset and dusk are devoid of the glare, harsh shadows and washed-out skies that that commonly plague photographs taken during the midday hours of summer. Secondly, daylight photography is about reflective light, and as such, what we see around us is….

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