Canon 85mm f/1.8 - Most Bang For The Buck

No matter how you slice it, the Canon 85mm f/1.8 delivers. whether your a shooting on a Canon 5DMKIV or the Canon XTI Rebel, this lens is for you. With a full frame camera you have a great mid-range portrait lens, but with a APS-C camera you get approximately a 135mm portrait lens! I shoot with Canon 135mm f/2L 75% of time. A 135mm lens is one of my absolutely favorite focal lengths.

If you are looking for rich, buttery smooth, creamy bokeh, look no further. I love the way this lens smooths out the background of any photo. Additionally, the compression in this lens is fantastic and gives dramatic results that really make your subject pop.

This lens color reproduction is simply gorgeous and the color tones from this lens are rich and full of contrast. Photos with this lens are tack sharp. If your photos aren't razor sharp, you can't blame the lens.

Last, is the price. This lens is a steal. You can find the Canon 85mm f/1.8 for just over $319! That is a steal for a great portrait lens, especially when you consider the quality of images this lens delivers. I have loads of Canon L-series lenses that cost significantly more than this one, but the 85mm f/1.8 is right up there with image quality at mere mortal prices.. It’s just that good of deal.

If you’re looking for a portrait lens that will deliver high impact photos without emptying your bank account, take a hard look at the Canon 85mm f/1.8

Urgent! Flickr Is Dying!!!

My beloved Flickr is dying, and there's nothing I can do stop it.. This morning I opened up my Flickr account and the numbers don't lie. Activity on Flickr is in free fall..  Just look at the numbers above.

I know Flickr has been lacking in direction for years now, and competitors such as Facebook and Instagram have literally destroyed Flickr's market share over the years. But Flickr is uniquely special, and brings something that the others don't offer.

A open community of high resolution pictures available to share with everyone and anyone. No other online service offers what flickers offers. I started using Flickr back in 2005 when it was just newly acquired by Yahoo. This was Flickr's heyday, Flickr was the leader of online photograph community. In 2013, Flickr had a total of over 87 million registered members and 3 1/2 million images were uploaded daily.

 Flickr has always been a site for photographers for sharing the love of photography whether it's through groups or critiquing of photos Flickr offered all that and more in high resolution beauty.

 Just ask Thomas Hawk; Thomas is extremely talented photographer, and one of the biggest supporters of Flickr since its inception. Thomas uses Flickr to catalog and store his entire body of photography work as a master catalog of his goal of publishing a million photos in his lifetime.

 Thomas himself will tell you exactly how special  and unique Flickr is.  and why is so vital for us to support and help Flickr survive.  A lot of people have left Flickr because they have forgotten how great Flickr is; to those people I say it's time to come back home where you belong if you love photography, you love Flickr.

 To coin a age old cliché "together we can make a difference". Support Flickr and let Yahoo know that we are here and want them to continue to develop support and grow the Flickr community.

You can find my Flickr Account here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/erickson/

Thomas Hawk's Flickr Account here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/51035555243@N01/

It's that time again!

It’s time to “fall back in the fall.” Daylight Saving Time ends early tomorrow morning, so be sure to set your clocks back one hour before going to bed Saturday night.  But don't forget about your cameras!

Unlike your computers, tablets, and smartphones, the clock in your camera doesn’t typically do the “Spring forward, Fall back” routine required to keep its clock accurate throughout the year. So if you don’t go in and manually  change the time and date on you camera, every picture you take will be stamped with incorrect date & time stamps.

While it’s not the end of the world if your photos show a time that’s an hour off, having your clock accurate is always a good thing. Knowing the exact time an image was taken can help you if you want to replicate the exact atmospheric conditions in a landscape shot at a later time, for example.  Having accurate timestamps is especially important if you’re doing any kind of geo-tagging of your images using a GPS tracker to record a GPS track file and apply it to your DSLR photos in Lightroom or other photo cataloging software.

So take 5 mins before you go to bed and show your camera so love!  Happy Shooting!

Top 5 Accessories For The Photographer In Your Life

1. Manfrotto Pixi

A great all in one portable table-top tripod. Great for those low shots close to the ground. Folds up small, fits in any bag. With a built-in ball-head, this tripod will be a great gift. This little tripod can even act as impromptu selfie stick! A great gift for any photographer!

Today's smart phones have some really great cameras on them.. This stand from Joby lets you have a portable stand that you can take everywhere! Great for shots at dinners, parties, or even time-lapses. This little stand folds up so small and thin you can fit it right in your pocket! The GripTight is also available in a XL version for those of you with jumbo smart phones, such as the iPhone 6s Plus.

Every camera bag should have a rocket blaster. All photographers know that getting their equipment dirty is an inevitability. No matter how hard you tell yourself you're never gonna get dust on your lenses, or dust on your camera mirror...it will inevitably happen. Giottos Rocket Air Blaster is a must requirement for those situations. It's great for cleaning dust off sensors, and lens, safely. I have one in all of my bags!

I own more camera bags than I do cameras! Finding the perfect camera bag is a life long pursuit, but this Think Tank Retrospective is very close to the perfect walk-around day bag for my mirrorless setup.. I love this bag! 

5. Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries

Photographers go thru batteries faster than water!. Electronic flashes eat AA batteries like they are going out of style. These Eneloop batteries save you some serious cash. All rechargeable are not created equal. Eneloops are simply the best rechargeable batteries on the market today. They have a high energy capacity, and they perform better than similar high-capacity AAs. They can only be charged 2100 times. That's a lot of charge cycles. If you charged your batteries twice a week consistently, it would take 20 years to reach 2000 recharge cycles. 

Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries

So there you have it! My top 5 choices for 2015! All are guaranteed winners with photographers. Happy Holidays!

Creative Fun with Double Exposure Composites in Photoshop

Double Exposure, or Multiple Exposure, is a photographic technique that combines 2 different images into a single image. The technique has its roots way back in the film days, but has fallen out of favor since the introduction of digital. Double exposure is making a come back recently, due to the fact that graphic editors like Photoshop making the effect so easy to recreate.