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May 22, 2012

Hagen to speak at photoact 2012 in August

Nikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen will be speaking at the photoact 2012 conference in Santa Barbara, CA this August 24th and 25th. A panel of 13 world-class photographers will speak on the art, craft and technology of photography through workshops, keynote lectures and breakout sessions.
Speakers include Uwe Steinmuller, Marc Muench, Christian Bloch, Bruce Barnbaum, Ken Rockwell and many more.

Sign up now through your Nikonians Academy workshops access pages.

Photoact 2012 is being organized in conjunction Rocky Nook, c’t Digital Photography, and International Fine Art.

Mike tells us he is ready for the California event, but for now he's fully concentrating on this coming weekend in New Jersey, where he will be unveiling his newest studio lighting workshop. The good news for those of you in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area is there are still a few seats available.

Here is Mike's report:

This week marks your last chance to sign up for our workshops in Fairfield, NJ hosted by Unique Photo.

We still have seats remaining for our new Master Studio Lighting with Profoto workshop and our Master the Nikon D700 & D3/D3s/D3x In Depth.

The other two workshops (iTTL wireless flash and Lighroom 4) are sold out.

June is approaching fast and we have a whole host of workshops around the USA covering everything from wildlife photography to Adobe Lightroom to Nikon D800/D4 to wireless flash to the Giant Redwoods.

Join us for a photo adventure in Yellowstone NP, Grand Teton NP, and Redwoods NP or a classroom-based workshop in San Francisco, Indianapolis, or Nashville.

Winston Hall just finished up a wonderful workshop in Monument Valley and the slot canyons near Page, Arizona.

The participant feedback was incredible with comments ranging from "incredible" and "amazing" to "the best trip ever."

One of our participants, Larry Jordan, posted a ton of photos to his photo blog of the participants on the trip.

If you'd like to attend one of our slot canyon trips, we're running another later this year.

Winston Hall will again be leading the trip, which runs from September 10 to September 14th.

Timelapse photography is getting more and more popular and photographers are putting together amazing photo sequences with their dSLR cameras.

If you've ever wanted to learn this skill set, then be sure to sign up for our Timelapse Photography Workshop in San Francisco with Michael Mariant.

The workshop runs from July 6th - 8th and will be photographing one of America's most iconic locales.

Posted by flashdeadline at 4:15 AM

May 15, 2012

Deadlines near on Nikonians Academy NJ workshop and Double-Park Special

Nikonians-Academy-Update.jpgNikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen tells us this month will feature one workshop series in Fairfield, New Jersey and he can’t wait to unveil the brand new Master Studio Lighting with Profoto - One Day Workshop during that trip. Meanwhile the instructor staff is gearing up for a busy month of June.

Here is Mike’s Report:We're getting down to the wire for your last chance to sign up for my workshops in New Jersey. We’ll start on May 24 with Master Adobe Lightroom 3 & 4 Essentials, followed the next day by Master the Nikon D700 & D3/D3s/D3x In Depth, and then comes our Profoto Workshop on the 27th of May.

Yellowstone-Spring_275.jpgIn June we’ll have wildlife photography workshops in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, led by Jim Stamates.

The Yellowstone trip is a special trip for us because we'll be using an outfitter to shuttle our group throughout the park in specially designed photo vehicles.

If you sign up for both the Yellowstone and Grand Teton workshops you'll receive $100 discount.

During our San Francisco series from June 7th - June 10th, we're bringing back one of our most popular workshops, Capture NX2.

We've conveniently placed this with our new Lightroom 4 workshop so you'll be able to fully understand how to integrate these two excellent software packages into your workflow.

flash_workshop_200.jpgWe're also running two different flash workshops in San Francisco, an iTTL wireless flash class and a studio lighting workshop sponsored by Profoto. Sign up for boht to see how these two different flash technologies can work for your photography.

Later in June, Winston Hall will be in Indianapolis and Nashville to run his multi-day workshop series featuring the very first D800/D4 workshops in the USA.

We'll also be covering wireless flash, Lightroom, and the D700/D3/D3s/D3x cameras.

Redwoods_175.jpgJune will also feature your chance to photograph the Giant Redwoods of Northern California with Michael Mariant in his signature 4-day photo adventure that will challenge your creativity.

Fill your memory cards with photos of the ethereal fog-shrowded forests that make the Giant Redwoods so popular.

Michael knows how to put together an amazing trip and we know you'll love the photos you take from this journey.

Posted by flashdeadline at 5:08 AM

May 9, 2012

Shooting Motorsport

I do consider myself as a good marriage material. I am kind, understanding, I keep telling girls they don't look fat and patiently wait in a shoe store while my better half is trying 27th pair of shoes. The eye contact with the fellow sufferer is priceless. I am not that fat, I don't drink that much and I gave up smoking, shall we say quite successfully, more than a year ago. And now the best bit, I love cooking. As I've said, the dream. So what are the cons to all this? 

Nothing. Well, nothing but a bit of patience form my wife-to-be every other Sunday afternoon while Formula 1 race is on. And on Saturday for qualifying session. And MotoGP. And WRC. And BTCC. And so on... The weird thing is, I still don't have a wife. Maybe I should do some life  revaluation, but about that later...

So of course as a big motorsport and photography lover, I did what needed to be done, I went to the racetrack with my camera. And boy oh boy, was I ready for that slaughter? No I wasn't, I left speechless. There were big guys with big cameras and even bigger lenses. Well at least something, I had 100 - 400mm lens, so I wouldn't be immediately recognised as a first timer. I've placed myself at the edge of the action-hungry photography gang and opened my ears for some hints. And than it came... "How did you get this shot?" "Well, I've got this great camera, I've just let it show what it can do on auto." Wait a moment, what? An AUTO? Someone must be kidding here and I had a feeling it wasn't me...

I left an auto guys to their talks about what's the world's fastest camera processor and how great it is to have a million mega pixels rather than nine hundred and ninety nine thousands... Yep. For me, M is for magic, so let's set the camera up.

First thing first, the exposure. In motorsport, the most important is your shutter speed. You want to get this right, because you want those nice panning pictures. Without being too technical, this depends on how fast the cars are and how far away you are from them. From spectators distance from 1/250 sec to 1/125 sec will do the trick. In sunny, or partly cloudy conditions f11 and ISO 100 or 200 is a good company to that shutter. You can always adjust it depending on how happy you are with the result.

FIA GT3, Silverstone, ISO 100, f11, 1/160s
bmw panning.jpg
Secondly, the focusing. Set your camera to auto focus, than select your AF point. I know new cameras have got like a hundred of them, but all you really need is one. Usually the middle one, because usually it is the strongest one, so it should be able to track your subject and keep it in focus. Oh, regarding auto focus, set it to servo mode, so it can really track your subject. And set continuous shooting of course.
ISO 100, f11, 1/250s
formula 3.jpg
I always shoot motorsport on JPEG. It's easier for my camera and card to take, it saves lots of space on memory card and I can't be bothered to process so many RAWs. If you can adjust your JPEG outcome in your camera, give it more contrast, sharpness and saturation and you can walk away with very little post process to do. And that's it regarding the camera setting. I bet the auto guys wouldn't believe it's that simple, but trust me. Technique and luck is more important. For post process I use Lightroom's batch processing ability and I crop some pictures. 

OK, now it's time to get creative. You can do panning, panning and zooming, long panning with slower shutter speed to create abstract shots, moving and tilting the horizon, zoom in really close, or just simply freeze the car in the corner. You'll shoot hundreds of pictures, and majority of them would the trash, so stack up on memory cards, or get a big one. After all day shooting you be getting quite impressive results. You spend time outside, so it's also healthy. I bet you, if you'll carry your equipment all day long around the circuit and next day somebody tell you photography is an easy job, you would punch him into his face. It a good exercise, you might loose few pounds, so your wife won't be that mad at you.

ford.jpg aston.jpg Porsche.jpg
lambo.jpg bmw.jpg vette.jpg
f430.jpg lamborghini.jpg seat.jpg

Posted by pkuzmin at 11:05 PM

Nikonians Photo Professors #5

Photo Professors Episode 5: The Photo Professors discuss the new Nikon D3200 camera, interview photographer Marc Koegel, and interpret an inspiring quote from Dorothea Lange.

Download Nikonians Photo Professors #4 (NPC-PP-2012-05-07.mp3;38:22;MP3 format)"

* The Photo Professors discuss the new Nikon D3200
* Interview with Photographer and Instructor Marc Koegel
* Being Inspired by the words of Dorothea Lange

To learn more about Marc's work, please visit his websites:

Length of the podcast is 38:30


Images by Marc Koegel:



Posted by obrueck at 6:51 AM

May 8, 2012

Ball head maintenance tip

A ball head on a good tripod is a great supporting tool for the photographer. Very flexible and quick to adjust. The better ones you don't even have to loosen when you want to alter them. This can be a boon to the photographer and certainly adds to the precision and ease of handling.

A good ball head is pretty low maintenance; the very tight space between the different moving parts prevent dirt and other stuff to get in. Just wiping the ball head with a clean (lint free) rag after use is enough to keep it going and operating smoothly for ages. Even when you've used it in adverse weather.

Sometimes, however, you'll notice your ball head isn't operating as smoothly as it should.
Continue reading the article...

Posted by hrbaan at 10:09 AM

ANPAT 12 details announced

Nikonians-Academy-Update.jpgThe 12th Annual Nikonians Photo Adventure (ANPAT) is locked on. Nikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen tells us the dates will be October 12-20 and the location is...... drumroll......

route66_175.jpgNew Mexico, USA.
The ANPAT 12 announcement went live on Friday and within the first seven hours had seven members signing up.

Here is Mike's report:
We'll be exploring Taos, Sante Fe, White Sands National Monument, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and lots more.

Join our group of intrepid adventurers as we enjoy a camaraderie built on the common bond of photography.

The ANPAT is the Nikonians field event of year.

Sign up quickly before all the seats sell out.

Speaking of Photo Adventures
Grand-Teton.jpgOur Grand Teton Wildlife Adventure this June is looking to be amazing.

We'll be photographing all kinds of wild critters in this most beautiful of National Parks.

The trip runs from June 6th to June 9th and is conveniently scheduled immediately after our Yellowstone Wildlife Adventure from June 2nd - 5th.

Save $100 by purchasing a seat to both wildlife adventure trips.

Master Series Highlights
Profoto_lt_220.jpgThe Nikonians Academy has built its reputation on offering the very best classroom-based workshops aimed at helping you master your gear and software.

Our next Masters series of workshops is set for Fairfield, New Jersey at Unique Photo's camera store (May 24-27).

Our Wireless flash workshop is already sold out, but we still have seats remaining for Master Adobe Lightroom, Master the Nikon D700/D3, and Master Studio Lighting with Profoto.

Next on the list for our Master's series of workshops is San Francisco (June 7-10), Indianapolis (June 14-16), and Nashville (June 21-24). Check our schedule for more dates and cities around the USA.

July in California
Timelapse_250.jpgIf you've ever wanted to use your dSLR for something more than straight photography, then consider our San Francisco Timelapse Photography Workshop or our Santa Barbara Video & Cinematography workshops.

Both of these are taught by our expert photographer, Michael Mariant and will be operated in California this July. You're going to love these multi-day classes.

Posted by flashdeadline at 12:15 AM