New Photography Tools
Want a new mirrorless camera or thinking about adding wireless connectivity to your studio but don’t know where to start? Changes in photography equipment and technology happen so quickly, it can be hard to keep up. Our in-house managing photographer Ric Deliantoni has created a guide to current trends in photography equipment to get you up to speed. You can read an excerpt from our guide to new photography tools below or read the complete article in the 2015 Photographer’s Market or on ArtistsMarketOnline.com.
Keep creating and good luck!
New Tools: Current Trends in Photography Equipment by Ric Deliantoni
The digital age of photography continues to evolve as do the tools and the processes we use to create images. This may be the understatement of the century. It seems that I see new equipment and procedures every day, so much so that it makes my head spin. It’s challenging to keep up with all the new advancements.
So let’s take a look at what seem to be the big standout trends we will see in 2015. (To allow for publishing lag time, I’m writing this article in the first quarter of 2014, so there will be things I miss as they are not yet released to the world or are still just in someone’s imagination.)
Mirrorless cameras have made a big splash lately, and to my mind have come into their own in the professional market. Much of the technology used in its big brother, the DSLR, has made its way into this smaller, more user-friendly camera style. This is evident in the recently announced Nikon 1 V3. The DSLR will continue to be the mainstay in most pros’ camera bags, but you have to love that what once required a big fifty-pound camera case full of gear can now fit easily into your briefcase.
The quest for the big, bigger, biggest full-frame sensor seems to have slowed to some degree in the DSLR camera race. While big high-resolution sensors will still be a goal for all major manufacturers, the focus for most seems to be on speed and advancements in image processing. These advancements are pushing full-resolution captures to twelve frames per second and adding editing features in the camera, once the purview of post-production image editing software.
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Inferred Camera Conversion
IR imagery (inferred) is making a comeback. For some time photographers could create near-inferred images in post-production editing. While this effect had the look of IR images, it fell into the close-but-no-cigar category for most photographers. The trend here is to give new life to an older digital camera by having it converted into a dedicated inferred camera. Several conversion services are available and range from around $100–500, depending on the camera you wish to convert.
Super-zoom lenses have been gaining ground for the past few years with many photographers looking to simplify and lighten their camera bags. Advances in technology have made building an ultra-wide zoom range into high-quality lenses a reality. With a lens that ranges from 18mm to 300mm, you can most certainly lighten your load, leaving several lenses out of you bag for this all-in-one lens. While you will have to give up some speed with these lenses, the image quality will still be there.
Wireless Linking Advancements
Wireless connectivity within the studio, linking your camera to your computer, has been an offering for some time, but advancements to these features have led to onboard or add-on Wi-Fi in many new cameras. For the news and editorial photographer, this gives you the ability to upload images to your smartphone as soon as you shoot them. For the commercial photographers working on location or without an art director in the studio, this gives them the ability to communicate quickly to get approvals. Coupled with services like Dropbox, Hightail, or Google Drive, these new connectivity features allow you to transfer large, high-resolution images and video files to anyone, anywhere on the globe.
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Digital Black-and-White Photography Improvements
Black-and-white photography never really went away, but it did see a bit of decline in the beginning of the digital age. Fine art photographers have always stayed true to this genre, holding on to their darkrooms and film, as the digital process did not offer the depth, contrast, or quality they required. The latest versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements have added tools that vastly improve the quality of black-and-white conversion from color image files.
One black-and-white conversion program is Nik’s Silver Efex Pro, which employs advanced tools that optimize the control you have in emulating the look of specific film types. It renders very high-quality black-and-white files that rival anything the old process produced.
Printer technology has also made advancements in black-and-white printing. A few manufacturers make specialized ink sets that can convert your inkjet printer into a very high-quality black-and-white printer. Inksupply.com offers MIS Ultratone ink sets for most professional-level Epson printers in four types, including carbon, neutral, medium warm, and cool. If you have an old printer you’re not using, this is a perfect way to give it new life. If you have been thinking about adding quality black-and-white work to your skill set, the roadblocks that once existed are now a thing of the past.
Ric Deliantoni is a professional photographer and director with thirty years of experience, with a focus on still-life and lifestyle imagery for advertising, design, and publishing. He has developed a unique style that has been described as impressionistic and bold. Ric has also spent much of his career teaching and mentoring students of all levels to better themselves as artists.