3 reasons to upgrade to the Sony a6300

1.      4k video

The Sony a6300 isn’t the first Sony mirrorless camera to have 4k video. However, it is the first Sony APS-C sized sensor to feature 4k video. 4k video has been the talk of the town recently. More and more cameras have been making the leap to 4k video. This is due to future proofing. Companies want their products to be prepared for the future.

The 4k video is a giant leap for Sony. Sony has provided us with a compact interchangeable lens camera with 4k video. Now, I know Panasonic and other companies have done this before. However, this camera is under $1,000, a truly amazing feat.

The 4k video on the Sony a6300 allows photographers and video better dynamic range and better low light performance. 4k is four times the quality of HD (1920x1080). You can even downgrade the 4k to 1080p when exported and that provides a better picture while playing at 1080.

2.      Sensor

The 4k video allows for better dynamic range and low light performance. Another camera component that does this is the camera sensor. The Sony a6300 features a copper wiring layer. This copper wiring layer uses thinner and smaller copper walls that allows for better light gathering. Thus, allowing larger photodiodes that collects more light photons.

The new sensor provides 4D autofocusing, which is new in Sony mirrorless cameras. The a6300 also features 425 autofocus points that covers almost the entire sensor. The 4D autofocusing uses an advanced autofocus algorithm that “predicts” where the subject is going to move next. This allows for better and faster autofocus in single and continuous shooting modes.

3.      Lenses

When the Sony alpha line was released, the big concern was the available lenses. This isn’t a problem with Sony mirrorless now. Sony has recently released some up to date lenses, including a 24-70mm f/2.8 and a 70-200mm f/2.8 G-master lenses. However, the problem with these lenses is the price. You are looking at spending more than $2,000 for just one of these lenses. There are other options though.

With Sony’s new 4D autofocusing and the massive amount of autofocusing points, you are now able to used non-propriety lenses. When using the Metabones EF to E mount Mark IV and Sigma MC-11 smart adapters, the Sony a6300 uses phase detection autofocus points. This may not be the fastest autofocusing but it still usable. This allows Sony a6300 (also a7ii and a7Rii) to effectively use Canon and Sigma lenses. This provide the a6300 with better low light lenses and a cheaper alternative to the expensive Sony glass.

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How to determine what to do with your (creative) life

This blog is going to be a little different than the rest. This will not be the standard photography tips/tricks. However, this will be something I want to talk about since I am starting to realize this now.

As some of you may know, I am currently a second semester senior. I am studying strategic communications with a concentration in advertising/PR. I have also completed two minors, one in marketing and one in business administration. So where does this all some into play?

decisions.jonhyattphotograpyhy

But don’t you go to school for photography? Actually, I do not. Photography was something I picked up my senior year of high school. From there I watched hundreds of YouTube tutorials and read many articles on photography.  And occasionally, got a few tips from my father. I feel as if a lot of people have run into this problem.

The problem is, what to do with your life. Do I find a job in my area of study or do I follow my dreams of becoming a photographer? This is a decision that many face at the end of their college career. I am now facing this decision.

Recently, I have been hearing follow your dreams a lot and just do what you want to do. However, this is very hard decision because I am an adult now. I just can’t go out and do whatever I want and come home to mommy and daddy. I need to support myself and my family (when I get there).

I feel that there will be some waiting on that dream for right now. As for any new/amateur photography, you need to get your name out there. You need to build an audience/following.  In my opinion, you need to find a job that you are able to provide for yourself. When you’re not working that job, you have your photography job. This allows you to have some income while following your dream. Then when your photography has taken over your day-to-day job, you can go full-time photographer.  I understand that this may not be in a couple months or even years (I hope not!). I think the biggest thing I need to work on right now is just creating content constantly and keep practicing. You are only making yourself better. And soon that day will come, when you can call yourself a full-time photographer.

Good luck.

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3 reasons why mirrorless is the wave of the future

First off, I know it has been a while since the last blog. However, I am back and plan to create blogs on a bi-weekly basis now. Also, blogs will be posted Thursday instead of Friday. So, this blow will be released Thursday March 3rd. The next blog will be March 17.

If you did not know, I have actually switched to mirrorless. In fact, I have switched to Sony. I currently own a Sony a6000. Previously, I owned a Canon 7D. I have picked three reasons why mirrorless is the wave of the future.

1.      Focus Peaking

If you have a DSLR, you probably might not have heard of focus peaking before. Focus peaking is a tool that highlights (either yellow or red) areas in the frame that are in focus. This allows the photographer to quickly and accurately focus manually. If you look through the viewfinder you will see certain parts of the frame have red lines. By rotating the focus ring on the lens you will see the highlighted areas move closer or further depending on which way you rotate the focus ring.

Why can’t I just use autofocus? You can, however this piece of technology allows the photographer to save some money and just buy some manual focus lenses. You may be thinking, old manual focus lenses are not that sharp or good? Actually, some manual focus lenses are sharper than your autofocus lenses. There is no focusing mechanism or motors in the lenses which the makes the lenses smaller and lighter as well.

2.      Lenses, lenses, lenses

As I just stated with focus peaking, this opens up mirrorless cameras to a huge selection of lenses. With focus peaking you’re not just limited to autofocus lenses. When mirrorless cameras (specifically Sony) came out there was only a couple lenses made specifically for mirrorless. What helped that were the numerous lens adapters that allow virtually any lens to be mounted to a mirrorless camera. My father had owned an Olympus OM-10 film camera. So, I bought an OM-NEX lens adapter. Now, I am able to use any OM lenses with my Sony a6000.

Since I have talked about manual focus lenses, it is time to talk about using autofocus lenses on your mirrorless camera. Up until recently, the focusing of non-propriety lenses on mirrorless cameras was unusable. However, after tests done by Jason Lanier, you are now able to use non-propriety lenses on mirrorless cameras. Jason used the Sony a6300 (due sometime in March) and the Metabones Mark IV. In his video, he shows how quickly and accurately the Sony a6300 is able to focus Canon L lenses.

3.      EVF

If you are familiar with DSLRs, you probably know that it uses mirrors and an optical viewfinder. What you see in frame is sent to your eye through a mirror and a prism. When you take a picture, the mirror lifts up exposing the camera sensor behind it, thus taking a picture. However, in mirrorless cameras, there is no mirror or prism. There is actually nothing in front of the sensor. The sensor is reading the image and then sending that image to the back screen or the viewfinder.

Sony mirrorless cameras feature an OLED viewfinder. An OLED viewfinder is a very high quality LED screen. As I just mentioned, DSLRs use an optical viewfinder. In mirrorless cameras, they use an electronic viewfinder (EVF). An OLED viewfinder is an EVF just a higher quality and newer technology. An EVF allows for a big advantage compared to the standard optical viewfinder. What you see is what you get. Since the image is not going through mirrors, you are getting exactly what the image sees. You can make an exposure adjustment and see that right through the viewfinder. This allows the photographer not to have to take a picture and see if he/she needs to adjust the exposure. Ultimately, making mirrorless cameras quicker and easier than DSLRs to use.

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3 simple portrait setups

As I said in my last blog, I will explain how I shot the photo shoot with my girlfriend. You can shoot portraits wherever. However, to get some professional looking ones, you need a couple things first. First, you will need a background. In this blog, I will go over three different backgrounds. I forgot to take pictures of my setup last week but in future blogs I will for these type of blogs.

1.      Bed Sheet.

You may not think of this right away but everyone has a bed sheet not being used (make sure it is clean first!). A bed sheet makes for a perfect background. That is what a muslin background is, just a giant one. What I do is find something to hold the bed sheet up such as a wardrobe or shelving. But what about wrinkles? Here is where the flash comes in. You set the flash up on the stand that comes with it. I am pretty sure all flashes come with it. You can also use a light stand if you have one available. What you want to do is set the flash right behind your model facing the bed sheet. This will make the wrinkles disappear due to the flash being bright. Your camera registers as this as just white since it is going to be bright (not intended to rhyme). You will have to play with the flash power to get the background looking just right.

If you are using a darker bed sheet such as black or blue you will have to try your best to make sure the bed sheet is smooth as possible.

2.      Flash behind the background

If you have muslin or a photographic background you can use this for the first setup and this setup as well. Instead of putting the flash in front of background you are going to put it behind the background. Now this will only work with a white background since you will be shooting through it. I used this setup in my photo shoot last week.

I took a PVC pipe and drilled a hole at each end. Then, I put the PVC pipe on top of my two light stands. This will hold up my background. For this setup, you will need some light stands or a background stand to do this since you need to shoot through. Next, you set the flash up like you did in the first setup. I had my model (girlfriend) stand right in front of it. This lets the light wrap around her and creates a very soft light. You can also have the model stand perpendicular to the background. This creates a very soft like and almost looks like the model is standing next to a window.

3.      White or cream wall

In this last setup, you don’t even need a bed sheet or background. You can just use a white or cream colored wall. Setup the flash like you did in the previous setups and place it right behind the model. This will be just like the first setup as the flash will be shooting into the wall. This will “blow out” the color and imperfections in the wall making it look like a white background.

From here, you can use any key light as you wish.  You can use a softbox, umbrella, or bare flash whatever style you are going for.

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Photographer's New Year's Resolution

As 2015 draws to a close, many want to change themselves in the New Year. Whether it is losing weight, traveling, or just taking pictures, we all plan to better ourselves. However, the question is, will you actually do it? I have compiled some things that I want to complete in 2016.

1.      Shoot more

I am lazy and with that being said I just need to go out and shoot more. I just need to bring my camera as much as possible whenever I leave the house. The only way to better whatever you do is by practicing it all the time. If I want to get better at photography I need to practice as much as possible.

2.      Create more content

I think everyone that is successful does this. You need to just put content out as much as possible. This goes for any occupation. Jared Polin, photography YouTuber, stresses this all the time. By creating content regularly generates more interest and in turn a bigger audience. For a photographer, it’s not just photos but writing or videos. As long as you are creating content, you will create an audience.

3.      Focus on what I have now

In a recent blog I talked about GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). It is not a real disease but it is when you want the newest and best equipment. I have struggled with this many of times. This year I have really put my foot down. When I ponder new lenses or equipment, I think to myself, do I really need this? I can work with what I have now. The only time you need new equipment is when you are limited by the equipment you have now.

4.      Marketing

As I am heading in to my final semester of college, I need to figure out what I want to do. I know that I want to do photography and if I really want to do that I need to market myself. I need to get my name out there to potential clients. This year I really hopped onto the social media train, which is a great way to get your name out to the world. I also need to use it more and put more time and effort into acquiring new clients.

5.      Be a better person

Last but certainly not least, I need to better myself. I am not just talking about in photography but also life in general. And this can be with anything. Going to the gym, being nicer to people, or even just helping a friend out in need. I am not going to be good with photography and clients if I am not a good person. We all strive to be a better person but we just need to do it.

If you liked this article, please like, share, and comment if you enjoyed. Happy New Year!


3 reasons why the phone (iPhone) is your best camera

Many people under estimate the power of your cell phone camera. However, it is quite a powerful machine. In 2010, the iPhone 4 packed just 5MP and 720p @ 30 fps. We have come a long way from 2010. The 2-3 month old iPhone 6s and 6s plus are packed with camera features some pro DSLR’s and mirrorless cameras don’t have. Such as image stabilization and 4k video recording. Listed below are 3 reasons why the phone (iPhone) in your pocket is your best camera.

1.      It’s always there

As Chase Jarvis says, “The best camera is the one that’s with you”.  In this day in age, everyone carries there phone with them, everywhere. Then, when we don’t have it, we have a panic attack. So, we always have a phone on us. That means we always have a camera on us. Every time you go out you are not going to always grab your DSLR. Rather we grab our keys, wallet, and last but not least our phone. Although we don’t think about it at first, we are always able to capture a moment with our phone. And a very good “camera” phone at that.

2.      Actually a very good camera

Now that we know we have a camera on us at all times, how good is it? As I stated in the first paragraph, just five years ago we had a 5 MP camera. The newest iPhone, the iPhone 6 and 6s packs a lot more. Both phones have a 12 MP camera and an aperture of f/2.2. Which is even a big jump from last year’s 8 MP. This means you can actually capture very high quality photos just from your phone. Apple even has a gallery on their website of pictures taken on the iPhone 6s. My thought while looking through the photos was this. If you took the same picture with a pro DLSR with the same aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, would you be able to tell the difference? If you’re a pixel peeper, then yes. However, many could not tell the difference.

3.      4k

Now that we have discussed the camera on photos, now it’s onto the video. There have been a couple phones that have been able to record 4k before the iPhone. But this is Apple’s first jump into 4k. Both the 6s and 6s plus are able to record 4k at 30 fps. They also record slow motion at 1080p at 120 fps and 720p at 240 fps. I have a Sony a6000 and the best I can record at is 1080p at 30 fps. I know that the a6000 is not a high end pro camera, but you have a phone that does 4k.  There are a couple higher end cameras that do 4k such as the Panasonic GH4 and the Sony a7ii. But this camera is with you at all times in your pocket. You can even make money on your 4k video! Videoblocks will actually pay you quite a bit when for your 4k video. You will make $191.54, every time someone “buys” your stock footage. The new iPhone is a killer camera phone that can even make you money!

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“A sweet name for the one you love, the one you adore”

There will be no blog today due to finals week this week. I arrived home yesterday for a long break (until January 21st). And I am glad to be home. This semester I think was the hardest semester so far. I couldn’t tell you have many papers I had to write or how many group projects I had to help complete. Tip, if you have the chance, do a project by yourself or find people who you know will do the work. However, the previous year around this time, actually this date was the hardest.

When I got home from break last year, my family and I (excluding Mom) hurried into our car. We were heading to Wisconsin, where my grandparents have lived since 1990. However, this time was different. It was going to be fun and cheerful, it would be filled with tears and mourn.

Last year, on this day, December 11, my grandmother passed away. She was in the hospital for a couple weeks with stokes and stuff like that. On December 11th 2014, after fighting for weeks, she left us and became an angel. I have never seen my mother and the rest of the family cry for that many days before. Most of the time, I do not cry or brawl my eyes out in public. However, the first time I realized she was gone was when I escorted her casket from the church to the hearse. It hit me and my eyes became teary and my nose began to stuff up.

We call my grandmother, Bubby. I actually came up with the name when I was younger because I couldn’t say grandpa and grandma. So, I called them Bubby and Big Guy. If you looking up the meaning of Bubby which is Jewish for grandmother and “a sweet name for the one you love, the one you adore”…

I miss and love you Bubby.

4 mistakes new photographers make

I have been the photography editor for The Clarion Call (university newspaper) for 3 years now. Over those 3 years, I have noticed some mistakes that are reoccurring with student photographers. These mistakes are particularly seen in people just starting out in photography. I have seen these mistakes with my photographers but also from a lot of other photographers. Here are these mistakes and what you can do to learn from them.

1.      Rule of Thirds

If you do not know anything about photography, you probably may not have heard of The Rule of Thirds. This is one of the fundamental rules of photography. The Rule of Thirds is separating the frame with two horizontal and two vertical lines, creating a 3x3 grid. When shooting a subject, you want to put the subject on any of those lines. That’s why in most photos, the subject is often to the left or the right. It is aesthetically pleasing.

2.      Using flash and not ISO

Since I have students shooting events around campus, often events are in auditoriums or chapels. These places do not have the best lighting let alone lighting at all. When shooting in these conditions, I urge the photographers to crank up the ISO and turn off the flash. There is a great chance that you are not going to be in the front row or very close for that matter. With that being said, the flash will be useless. You will be lighting the crowd more than the subject(s) on stage. Plus, do not be that guy/girl who is being annoying and using flash.

3.      Gear Acquisition Syndrome

Gear Acquisition Syndrome also known as GAS, is a very serious condition where one needs the newest and best photography gear. I have and am currently suffering from this. How can you not want the newest lens or body!? However, it is all in your brain. If you are a photographer, you hear this all the time. You don’t need the best gear to create the best pictures. I recently read an article about the cameras the photographers of National Geographic use. One photographer used a Canon T5i. This camera is a high end consumer DSLR. You couldn’t tell which National Geographic photo was taken by a Canon 5D Mark III or a Canon T5i, no one could.

4.      Shutter Speed

Shooting for the university newspaper, requires sports photography. Numerous times I see photographers getting blurry action photos or the subjects are sharp and clean but the ball is a glob of blur. This is all due to a low shutter speed. When shooting sports photography, it is key to shoot at least 1/250 of a second or higher. This freezes almost all the action in the frame. There may be some sports that need to be higher than 1/250. I have also noticed some student photographers are shooting at f/10. You can easily open your shutter to f/4-5.6 to increase the shutter speed and get rid of motion blur.

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5 reasons why you should still shoot film

 Film? What is it? Film is actually what you would shoot pictures with before you had a camera in your pocket at all times.  Film is one of those things I don’t think I will ever let go.  It’s really like magic. You have a roll a film that gets developed, from there is a tiny negative image and then it can be blown up and printed or scanned. There are quite a lot of reasons why you should still shoot film. Listed below are just some of the many reasons why.

1.      Slows you down

With the cameras we have now, all we have to do is turn it on and hit the shutter button. However, that’s not the case with shooting film. Almost all film cameras are full manual besides Aperture and Shutter priority modes.

Yes, with a film camera you’ll need to actually study and learn the basics of photography. Since the camera is manual you need to adjust the camera settings (shutter and aperture) before each shot. Which in turn slows you down. It really makes you think and analyze the shot. You must evaluate the light and adjust the settings for the correct exposure. Remember, you only have a limited number of shots…choose wisely or what everyone says, “Think twice. Shoot once”.

2.      Fairly Cheap

Buying a camera in this day in age can get pretty expensive. For a decent DSLR (cropped sensor) you are looking at spending about $500. However, since the technology boom with cameras, 35mm film cameras have dropped dramatically in price. KEH sells film cameras as well as lens and other camera accessories.  Or you can bargain on eBay and hope for the best. Another great website is also etsy.com. Most lenses from film cameras also work on digital cameras. For instance, lenses from the Canon film cameras from 1987 and on still work great on modern Canon DSLRs, which can save you money in the future if you don’t care for manual focus lenses. Also, with a film camera you’re getting full frame right away.  With the $500 DSLR you are getting a cropper sensor. You will however have to buy film and pay for developing, scanning, and printing or you can do that all yourself. But will $500 you can get a decent 35mm film camera, a couple lenses, some film, and pay for developing (quite a few rolls).

3.      High Dynamic Range and No megapixels

With film, you are about to get a wider range of light which dynamic range. In modern cameras, there are sensors and these sensors have restrictions. There are only a certain number of stops of dynamic range and number of megapixels they can cram into a single camera. On the other hand, there is only one restriction will film, the scanner. So you are able to get better shadows and highlights with film.

There are no megapixels in film cameras. What does this mean? You can print giant photos from your roll of film and they will look amazing. The bigger the negative the more detail, so with a medium format or even 4x5 camera there is going to be a lot more detail and dynamic range.

4.      The colors are amazing

There is a difference from pictures shot on film from pictures shot on digital. Film just has that look that I don’t think I can every get away from. Film brings me back to when I was younger because everything shot then was on film. Film just feels timeless. Most digital photography filters are mostly based off film. There are presets you can buy for Photoshop now from VSCO Cam and Mastin Labs. This is because the colors of film are so amazing. When I look at pictures that were shot on film especially Kodak Portra I just get connected to the image. They just feels warm and at home. Just look around at The Find Lab’s Instagram, many images they process and post to Instagram are shot on Portra.

5.      Physical Prints

Now that we are in the digital age, everything is digital. “Hey look at this photo I just got on my iPhone, I’ll send it to you”. We share everything online now and we hardly ever print anymore. Since film has no megapixels, technically (it depends on how you scan it), you can print decent size prints and the image will look great. Printing film just makes you fall in love with it even more. Even seeing digital prints printed are amazing.  Also, with physical prints there not just stored on the computer and you forget about them. When was the last time you pulled out old photo albums and looked at the pictures, probably not for a long time.  Physical photo albums for many are old and out dated. However, print your prints, you will love them and appreciate your photographs so much more.

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3 great ways to get out of the photography creative rut

A creative rut is a place (non physical) where you just can’t seem to create anything. Your mind is blank and every time you take a picture, you’re just not happy with. It is a mental hole that is often hard to climb out of. However, I am here with a stepladder.

Many may ask if these are the only ways to do this, and the answer is obviously no. These are the 3 ways that have worked for me and I’d thought I’d share them.

1.     The first way that helps me climb out of this rut is looking at my past photographs. After searching around my computer, I pull up the pictures in Adobe Bridge and start scrolling. The reason I look at my past photos is to see where I came from. Nothing motives someone than seeing his or her progress. That’s what everyone wants to see in life, progress.  Looking at past photographs also can show yourself what you need to work on. You can decide, “hey maybe I still need to work on my flash work, it’s still not where I want it to be.” Finally, looking at your past photographs you can get ideas. You may have a photo-shoot years ago that you really liked. Recreate it, make it better. For me, these things not only get me out of the creative rut but also help me improve my photography.

2.     Just go and shoot. I read an article the other week that talked about this (This isn't the exact article). Don’t plan and visualize but just go and create photographs. I think that’s a reason why people get into the creative rut. They try to copy other photographers (which is fine) but they just don’t get the results they were looking for. Which in turn, discourages them and they start digging that rut. What you need to do is just grab your camera and just go shoot. Don’t think about it, don’t visualize the shot, create it right there and then.

3.     The last way to get out of the creative rut is to look at other photographer’s work. I know from reading numerous photography articles, is to look at other photographer’s work. I do this daily whether it is from Instagram or Twitter; I am always exposing myself to other photographer’s work. This lets my analyze their and try and figure out how they got the shot. Did they use flash or a reflector? Was this shot on film or digital? Looking at other photographer’s work also just makes me want to go out and shoot. Every time I’m on the VSCO iPhone app and scrolling away, I just get that urge to go and create the shots I saw or even create better photos.

Again, these are just 3 steps that help me get out of the creative rut. I hope you took something away from this article.

Shot Breakdown : Gemma

Last Sunday, my girlfriend, Maegyn, asked me to take some pictures of her family. They planned to have every all the relatives over for a get together. Half way through the party, they said let’s do the pictures now. I grabbed my camera and started to take some test shots. I changed the shutter speed and ISO to account for the late afternoon sunlight. I chose to put the sun to the back of my subjects since the sun was coming down and provided a soft light. I found the right exposure and proceeded to get everyone together. First, are my girlfriend’s grandmother and her five sisters (one couldn’t make it). This was a challenge since all the sisters like to mess with each other. I finally settled them down and clicked the shutter. Next, I got all the cousins together. After some giggling and playing around, I moved onto the second cousins (my girlfriend and her cousins). That took only a couple of seconds since they know to smile and be down with it. I then noticed Maegyn’s cousin Noelle holding her daughter Gemma. Noelle’s right side was facing and she held Gemma. Gemma was faced towards me but wasn’t look at me at first. I lifted my camera to my eye in the hopes she would look directly at me. I twisted the focus ring until her face became clear. I fired off a couple frames and I didn’t get the shot I wanted. I waited and finally Gemma looked at me and I clicked off two quick shots. I hit the replay button on my camera to review the image. I scanned the image making sure she was looking at me and she was in focus. I smiled and realized, I got it! I got the shot I wanted.

            This brings up a style I guess you would say of my photography. I like to shoot real shots and real emotion. When people get their pictures taken, they pose and force a smile or a face. Everything’s manipulated to look like that’s the way the person looks all the time and I don’t think that’s true. I think what makes an amazing photograph is the real emotion. Photography is capturing the moment but it’s about capturing the right moment. That right moment is real and might not be part of the photo session. That brings up another part of photography that photographers need to focus on, keep clicking. You must always be ready for that moment. A photographer needs to keep their fingering on the shutter. If they are not, they miss the shot. That shot maybe the one. That one shot that you look at and just go, wow. I try to capture that wow shot every time I lift the camera up to my eye. That’s why I take photographs. #storyportrait #shotbreakdown.

 Gemma.

Gemma.