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« September 2017 | Main | November 2017 »

October 31, 2017

Mastering photography (technique) vs. art

_PJJ2733-110px.jpgWriting this week from my nordic getaway, pretty much smack on the 60th north latitude. I am heading out to the Baltic coast today for some landscape and bird shooting and reminded myself to pack enough rain covers and cleaning cloths for the gear.

Want to make sure you get our weekly update in your mailbox? Just subscribe.

I find that extra large microfiber cleaning cloths are working very well when out in this wet kind of weather.

I read something in the D850 forum that I found interesting, a question if one should bother to fine tune AF lenses or not. Member Pics905 is wondering if it's worth to fine tune his AF lenses on his new D850 and he gets some good con's and pro's on this from fellow members.

There were some good comments on the short MF lens summary mentioned in last weeks newsletter, where member GiantTristan thinks that only with these MF lenses he can take full advantage of his cameras image capturing qualities and member nikonzen thinks MF brings a zen-like moment to photography, forcing us to slow down.

I am wishing you a great, photographic week and wish me luck out at the coast :)

Bo (bgs)

The other items for this week are:

Mastery
In the third part of "mastering the art of photography" articles, I continue to explore what mastering this art form entails, discussing "is it really art?" and the creativity required to get "artsy enough".

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How long or short is the road?
It comes down to you; you are the key factor and you are more capable than you may think.
As seen by Pascal Baetens (pbaetens)

Just because one might be mastering the technique does not mean we are producing art, of course. Art is not technique; rather it is the result of creativity. I believe that truly creative artists often are not very good at the mundane, ordinary tasks of daily life. It seems to me that our specialized brain regions are not often articulated at the same time, resulting in us being either well centered in the daily life with organized schedules, or that we are less focused on those timelines and pressures while being capable of being truly creative. Read more

Your membership
We now show small thumbnails in the forum topic overviews. In case a forum post contains attached (uploaded) images, up to seven of the latest images are now shown in the topic overview. If you don't like this feature, e.g. because it takes some additional space, you can disable it under your preferences "Show thumbnails in topics overview".

Keep track on what other members you care for do by using the "Friends" function. Under "My Profile" and "Friends" tab you can send a friendship request to another member. This can be a good way to stay a bit closer in touch with some members. Any of your friends image uploads will show in the "Friends" activity box in the community, plus some other activities.

A good way to show appreciation towards other members is to recommend them. You can recommend a member by using the corresponding icon under the members image ("avatar") in the members posts. There is also an icon to send a friendship request located there.

Posted by bgs at 10:18 AM | TrackBack

October 26, 2017

Any reason going manual focus?

20171026_084915_5.foss_skiff_mklass_110pxh.jpgIs there really any reason for going manual focus when our autofocus (AF) systems are just getting better and better?

Yes, maybe there is. In this weeks newsletter I am shortly looking into one good reason.

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I am writing this from a cottage up in Sweden, far away from the big cities, looking out over the meadows where the light conditions at this time of the year are often less than optimal for us landscape shooters. This is though the season when we are getting that great foliage, the superb, low hanging fog or mist and the rutting dear or elk suddenly appearing in front of our camera.

Light, being of outmost importance to all of us photographers and maybe letting us sleep a bit later right now, might be a very good reason to consider really good glass. Some of it comes in MF-only packaging, such as that produced by Zeiss. We have a short wrap-up on the new Milvus 25mm/f1.4 in our article section.

This is a new, completely redesigned wide-angle lens for all of us who love great optics and don't mind to carry a bit more weight to achieve crisp, excellent edge-to-edge results.

Zita (zkemeny) in our back office just told me that over 5,000 members have downloaded their complimentary eBook "Inspirational Photography #1" in the first three weeks - I hope you have yours.

I am wishing you a great upcoming weekend, with the right kind of light for your photography.
Bo (bgs)

The other items for this week are:

Inspiration

20171026_084915_5.foss_skiff_mklass_650pxh.jpg
Foss Skiff by Mick Klass

Nikonians Platinum member Mick Klass (mklass) shares his work and background in this latest I Am Nikonians article.

Industry
Adobe has released Lightroom Classic CC. This is the former Lightroom running on your desktop with your regular files and folders based workflow whereas the new version is the cloud-only Lightroom CC, focused on a cloud-based workflow.

Comments on this by team member Eric Bowles (login required) and from Adobe

Your membership
Now easier to see if a forum discussion contains uploaded images. We are including thumbnails of the first seven images and show these in the topic overview. If you don't want to have thumbnails showing, disable this under your preferences "Show thumbnails in topics overview".

Nikonians Europe trip 2018 being planned. The trip will include shooting Alps locations, medieval towns, castles, wildlife plus a visit to the large, international imaging and photography exhibition Photokina in Cologne, Germany. If you are interested in joining, please do chime in and give us feedback at this early stage.

Your Nikonians gear profile has been extended with equipment such as the Nikon D850 and software packages such as the On1. If you are missing your favorite application, please let us know in the About Nikonians forum.

Our survey: If you've never had the chance to join our survey to help us improve, you might want to read this.

Sharing of images from our galleries now easier; just use the sharing buttons below the image.

Membership certificate: Remember to print it out and frame it. You'll find it under "My Profile" and "Membership" tab. Silver and higher.

Posted by bgs at 10:30 AM | TrackBack

October 19, 2017

A Nikon D850 job - What keeps us motivated?

20160107_SwanLake_0102-110px.jpg

In this weeks newsletter we are looking into what members say about the Nikon D850 and what keeps us motivated when continuing on our quest to improve our photography.

Want to make sure you get our weekly update in your mailbox? Just subscribe.

I hope your week has been good so far and that you are planning some shoots for the next few days. I am using the autumn light and turning leaves here in continental Europe to get inspired myself.

The members that were on this years annual trip (aka autumn ANPAT) are back after a week of shooting and it seems they are happy with their results. Just saw the first few shots from the Maine coast in the galleries and more should come.

The Nikon D850 is keeping many members extra active and happy. If you are interested in this camera, maybe considering even getting one, make sure you look at what members have to share in the D8XX forum. Member xtrememac did his first job using it and reports on that

Some members are comparing the output of their D810's with D850, like in this thread

Oh, and by the way. If you are interested in writing for Nikonians, see our open position on this

Talking about writing, or rather reading, if you are not one of the over 4,000 members that have downloaded your own, complimentary eBook, this is a good time to do it :-)

I am wishing you a great rest of the week with a lot of colorful leaves!
Bo (bgs)

The other items for this week are:

Mastery

20160107_SwanLake_0102-800px.jpg
Ballet dancers practicing Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, as seen by Pascal Baetens (pbaetens).
What keeps us motivated to continue on our quest to improve our photography?

In the second part of the series on "Mastering the art of photography", we are digging into selecting one photography discipline that "resonates within you", plus what keeps us motivated to continue. On to the article

Your Membership
Images being uploaded in the forums which are within certain size limits are not touched by us. If you click on the preview image in a post you will see the original image. For the size/resolution limits when resizing kicks in, see the info box in the post message window.

A small but hopefully useful change: We are now showing your username together with your location under your "avatar", clearly flagging your location as such. This should fix the problem of jrp being called "Mr. Garza Garcia" ;-)

If you let your family, friends and colleagues know about the community, you can give him or her 20% off on a membership, while two additional months are added to your Silver, Gold or Platinum. See "My Profile" and "Invitations" tab.

If you are a member on a Gold or Platinum membership, remember to request your Photographer's ID under "My Profile" and "Membership" tab. You can also have your own @nikonians.org email address set up on the same tab.

Posted by bgs at 8:12 AM | TrackBack

October 16, 2017

European trip autumn 2018

SchlossHofAustria_DSC1703-110px.JPGAre you interested in going for a week of shooting in Europe in the autumn of 2018?
Maybe combined with the largest imaging and photography exhibition there is, Photokina in Cologne, Germany which is taking place 26th-29th of September?

Before starting the planning on this, it would be great to get your feedback on this and your ideas of what you would like to see.

We could include the alps region of Switzerland/Austria/Germany to get some great shooting opportunities at castles, medieval towns, birds, wildlife in general and then to end the week at the Photokina for a day or two of tons of industry updates, photography arts and everything else around imaging.

The overall design of the trip would be in line with our regular "ANPAT" trips, but it would potentially include one additional leg of flying (e.g. from the alps to Cologne).

Please do chime in on the post to discuss this in the Café

Posted by bgs at 10:57 AM | TrackBack

Open position: Writer

JRP_6573_3_110px.jpgWe are expanding our team of authors - If you are interested to join, send me, bgs a private message.

This could be a good chance for those of us who love both photography and writing, and who want to work some extra hours weekly.

See the job description as PDF


JRP_6573_3_1200px1.jpg

This lovely photograph was taken by JRP on one of the recent annual Nikonians photo trips (ANPATs).
He enjoys combining landscape photography with his personal style of writing.

Posted by bgs at 8:50 AM | TrackBack

October 14, 2017

Why bother about mastering photography?

_PJJ5004-110.jpgThis weeks newsletter is the weekend edition. That was not planned, but some network equipment at an Internet provider in Austria, where I am located right now, decided to give up and take a long, maybe well-earned rest. Next week is back to Thursdays.

Want to make sure you get our weekly update in your mailbox? Just subscribe.

Our eBook "Inspirational Photography #1" has already been downloaded over 3,000 times in its first week. It's available to all members at no cost, no matter your membership level. It highlights seven talented photographers and includes five bonus chapters with how-to's and tips. A few members have found out there is a voucher for a discount at the end of the book as well.

The eBook is available in two formats, just download the one you want (or both) by clicking on the corresponding link below and open it in your e-Reader:

ePUB (for most eBook readers) and mobi (for Amazon Kindle)

I am wishing you a great weekend and a good start of the new week :-)
Bo (bgs)

The other items for this week:

Mastery
What does "mastering the art of photography" mean to you?

We are starting a new series of articles on "mastering the art of photography", where I want to discover the processes and methods supporting any photographer interested in consistently achieving better results.

_PJJ5004-800px.jpg
A ballet dancer may only achieve a level of mastery of the art after many years of hard work and practice. Photographed by Pascal Baetens (pbaetens) in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia in front of the presidential palace.

"To master the art of photography", that sounds big, maybe ominous or even impossible to achieve, right? Is it a level, an outmost goal, a high or the highest plateau of skills, knowledge and execution one can reach, probably with substantial effort invested? Or, is it rather the road itself, the path that we hopefully are on and that might never end?

Join me in the article

Your membership
Since many years, photography equipment is exchanging owners in our very popular "Want to Sell" & "Want to Buy" forums. Members can take leverage of these forums compared to e.g. online auction sites. If you have some gear you are no longer using or if you want to upgrade some accessories or bodies, this might be a good time to do so.

No matter your level of membership, we are now advertising free. Let us know what you think about this in the "About Nikonians" discussion thread

Posted by bgs at 3:39 PM | TrackBack

October 5, 2017

Your complimentary eBook

Inspirational_Photography_1_cover_110px.jpgUpdate October 5th, 2017

The highlight in this weeks newsletter is our new eBook "Inspirational Photography #1" where we are presenting seven ambitious, talented amateur photographers. The book also contains five bonus chapters with how-to's and tips.

Want to make sure you get our weekly update in your mailbox? Just subscribe.

This is the first of a new six-part series of books, where our community reaches out to help and hopefully inspire a larger audience of photographers, no matter your skill level, what kind of camera brand or model you might use.

Inspirational_Photography_1_cover_400px.jpg

The image "Neatly Stacked" by Paul Ekman (pdekman) is decorating the front cover of our new eBook.
It is a winner in the Best of Nikonians 2015 contest, where the July theme was "Hunger".
He shot it with his Nikon D800, f/2.8, 1/1250s, ISO 360, 300mm/2.8 VR.

The eBook is available to all members and in two formats, no matter your membership level. Download the one you want (or both) by clicking on the corresponding link below and open it in your e-Reader: ePUB (for most eBook readers) and mobi (for Amazon Kindle) Download requires login/sign up.

Update 06-OCT-2017: If you are having a problem to download your eBook copy:

  1. If a link is not working on a mobile device/smart phone (nothing happens), then your browser likely blocks the link redirection we are doing. In this case, copy the link address by long tap, copy the link, open a new browser window and paste in the link.
  2. If links are not opening in a certain Internet browser: login first then try again.
  3. If login did not help, you might have an ePUB reader add-on in the browser which is not understanding the redirect we are doing. If so, disable the add-on temporarily, download the file, then enable the add-on again
  4. Last but not least, if all of that did not help, your browser might block redirects (high security setting). Temporarily lower that so you can download the file and then set it back again to where it was.
Hope you like the eBook and, enjoy your photography! Bo (bgs)

The other items for this week:

Inspiration
Artist Renée Renard shares her work, her moving family history in war torn Europe and thoughts around her cameras with us: How much are we emotionally connected to our cameras and what makes the bond so special? Is it just an instrument? Is the newest always "better" or do we have regrets leaving "the old one" behind? See her article

Exposure
Member Darryl Hodson (skibreeze7) announced as winner in the third segment, "Natural Patterns", in this years Best of Nikonians Contest. The 2017 segments are:
April - May: Black & White
June - July: Abandoned, Neglected and Forgotten
August - September: Natural Patterns - More info (login required)
October - November: Reflections

24-hrs-bryce-canyon-6-skibreeze7-364581-400px.jpg
Winning image "24 hrs at Bryce Canyon #6" by Darryl Hodson (skibreeze7).
Nikon D7000, f/14, 1/8s, ISO 100, 70-200/2.8 VRII @ 70mm.

If you are interested in participating in this years contest, while learning and earning exposure for your hard work, please do read what Dave Summers has to say (login required).

Mastery
In his second article of his new eight part series, Martin Turner continues with discussing and teaching us process before the shoot; the importance of thinking things through and to plan them. Follow him for planning and shooting an event. This is a premium article, available to all our members on a Silver membership or higher. Read this article or see the article series

Your membership
As already mentioned last week, you can now upload truly large JPG and PNG images in the forums. If the image is very large, it will be resized to a more easily viewed version automatically. This should make it easier for you to share your work and get input, no matter your level of membership.

Advice & critique are important to help you grow your skills. To receive that, you can either request it for an image of yours in the Nikonians image gallery (use link below your image), or you can upload your image directly to the Premium Advice & Critique forum. No matter which path you are using, your image will be shown in that forum and you will be notified via email as soon as there is a reply to your image.

This specific learning method is available to all members on a Gold or Platinum membership. If you are interested to try this out, use either method - See the Premium Advice & Critique forum. You can even upload a RAW file (NEF format, using direct upload to the forum and not via the galleries). Up to 50MB large JPGs and NEFs can be uploaded.

Industry news
In case you have missed it, the first Nikon D850 lab tests are becoming available and we have a summary on this in our article section

I am back next week with more inspirational items, information on photography, the community and, of course Nikon.

Posted by bgs at 4:16 AM | TrackBack

October 1, 2017

Inspiration and mastering the art - We are back to weekly

question-guy-bgs-110px.jpgInspiration, mastering the art of photography, professional tips and industrial news: The publishing of our weekly newsletter stopped mid July after we'd experienced some unplanned changes on the team. We are now getting back on track again and expect to be publishing weekly starting coming week.

The main items from this weeks newsletter are included in this blog below. The upcoming newsletter will be structured a bit differently, but we are working very hard trying to make it an easy to read, not too long & wordy.


question-guys.jpg
bgs and jrp, the two founders of the Nikonians Community, doing a podcast at the Crazy Horse Memorial.

If you are not subscribed to the newsletter and want to get inspiration, mastering the art of photography, professional tips and industrial news, sign-up for it today.

1. We are now advertising free.
The reason? The value of the advertising, for you as a member and for the community over all, is diminishing. Many of us are using ad blockers and if we do not, we hardly interact with the ads or view them. Let us know what you think In the About Nikonians forum (login required)

2. We now support (really) large file uploads in the forums
Starting right now, all of our forums allow for upload of files larger than the recommended 1200 pixel width for landscapes and max 900 pixels height for portraits. If the file is larger than 3MB in file size, it will automatically be resized as well. Motivation for this is to make it easier for you to upload files without having to bother about exact size of the original file, just because you wanted to share something. More in our blog

3. Our fundraising is up
We have already raised over $5,000 since we started early September. Our fundraising page has more info

4. Last days for the 50% discount on upgrading to a Gold membership
Last days to take advantage of a heavy discount on our popular membership level. Go head :-)

5. New, inspirational photography from members
We have some new articles up on inspirational photography and the members behind it
Kathy Cavallaro and Lawrence Treadwell

6. New functionality: Ask for critique on images directly from the galleries
We are running an open beta of a new functionality, making it possible to include images from your gallery for advice & critique. The new functionality is available to all members on Gold and Platinum. More info in the blog

7. Some more buttons, forums time-zone aware, comments on your images & more info on your membership
In case you've missed it, we now have a "Post a reply" button top right corner in the forums.
We further introduced a "Cancel" button in the post message window.

You can now set your timezone in your profile and you will see all posts with your correct time.

If someone posts a comment on an image of yours in the galleries, it now shows under the
"Heart" menu as well.

More details on your membership now showing under your profile, "Membership" tab.

Posted by bgs at 1:23 PM | TrackBack