Jon Hyatt Photography

5 last minute gifts for photographers


There is only a few days left until Christmas and you still haven't bought your photographer friend a gift. We’ve all done it. You’re probably reading this write now in hopes to come up with some ideas. Here is 5 last minute gifts for photographers.

  1. Print their photos

Photographers love prints. Pick out some of their favorite pictures and have them printed. You can even get upload them online and have the photos shipped directly to their house. I highly recommend They have tons of different sizes and reasonably priced.

2. Camera strap

It depends on the photographer but almost ever photographer doesn't use their supplied camera strap. A great place where you can get good quality camera straps are They have a wide range of cloth and leather straps for decent prices.

3. Film

Every photographer has started with film or have shot with film before. Film is actually not that expensive (depends on what film your buying). Give them some film and let them reminisce the good ole days. 

4. Memory cards

Since photography has been shot digitally for years now. I know there is some that still shoot film. One of the concerns when shooting digital is running out of space. So, pick up your photographer a memory card, he/she will greatly appreciate it!

5. Portable printer

This is a more expensive gift but he/she will love it. These printers are fairly small and can fit in a pocket. All you really need to do connect it to your printer (usually WiFi) and in a matter of seconds. The best part is the film or printer paper is readily available.

Fuji Instax Printer

Fuji Instax Printer

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(My) 5 favorite street photographers

During this past week, I was on a photography documentary/show binge. After watching most of Tales of Light (Netflix) and having just finished season 1 of Top Photographer by Nigel Barker (AdoramaTV, YouTube), I watched Everybody Street (Netflix). Everybody Street follows the street photographers of New York City. 

    Street photography is something I’ve always been interested in. I love how it captions human life and interaction in its true form. The surprise, the candidness, and the reality are what make street photography what it is. So I’ve decided to compile a list of my 5 favorite street photographers. 

Jeff Mermelstein

Jeff was one of the many photographers on Everybody Street. Jeff is more of a run and gun style of street photography, weaving in and out of people snapping pictures. You can check out more of Jeff’s work on his website.

Jill Freedman

Jill is another photographer from Everybody Street. She almost exclusively shoots black and white. She is known for her work following the police and firefighters of New York City. More of her work can be found at

Vivian Maier

Vivian was actually not known as a street photographer until her images were posted in 2008. She was a nanny and took pictures whenever she had time. None of her negatives were every published or printed until they were found. You can find more of her work at


Boogie aka Vladimir Milivojevich was born in Serbia and is currently based out of Brooklyn. Boogie is known for his gritty gang and drug related street photography. He was able to “get in” with local gangs and get some incredible images. You can check out more of his work on his website.

Eric Kim

Eric is relatively new to being known as a street photography even though he's been shooting for years. He is also a fellow Eagle Scout like me. Eric is highly involved in street photography, running his personal blog to hosting street photography workshops. You can check out his work and blog at

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Choosing the right camera

Personally, I have experienced this problem many of times. It can be a tough decision deciding what camera fits your needs. And there is no definitive answer. It all depends on what you need and works best for you.

A question many ask is, DSLR or mirrorless? I did a blog post a while back about how mirrorless is the wave of the future. You can check it out here. But the question still stands; do I choose a DSLR or mirrorless camera? It all depends on what you want. A DSLR is going to offer reliability, speed, and a bigger form factor. They also provide a giant selection of lenses. A mirrorless camera is going to provide small form factor, 4K video, and easier use of manual lenses. I know many are questioning the 4K video. As of right now, mirrorless cameras are the only ones to offer 4K video (besides one or two higher end Canon and Nikon DSLRs) on a full frame body when comparing it to a DSLR.  However, there are some caveats to mirrorless cameras.

One caveat is the small form factor. Mirrorless cameras are smaller in comparison to DSLRs. However, the lenses are bigger and longer, which in turns makes the whole kit (body and lens) the same size as a DSLR and lens (picture below). Another caveat with mirrorless cameras is the amount of lenses. Yes, mirrorless cameras open the door to manual lenses with adapters and focus peaking. But if you want autofocus and electronic control of the lenses, you’re stuck. As of right now, Sony only has a handful of propriety lenses and these lenses are expensive. So it all depends on what you are looking for but there are some caveats to a DSLR as well.

Image from PetaPixel

Image from PetaPixel

DSLRs are quite a bit bigger than mirrorless cameras. This is due to the mirror and prism in a DSLR. But this allows for smaller lenses. Another caveat of DSLRs is the limited video options. I’m sure this will change soon but right now the only 4K offerings in DLSRs are the higher end models in which you are looking at dropping $6k plus. Sony offers 4K video on the Sony a6300 at about $1K. Mirrorless cameras do provide multiple cameras with 4K. However, how do you know what mirrorless camera to go with?

This was just a brief overview of choosing the right camera. There are more options to research but I chose these as most people will be looking for these features. In my opinion, mirrorless cameras are great for video right now. They have multiple 4K options but don’t have a good range of lenses for photography unless you like manually focusing. I would buy a DSLR if you are OK with just HD video but want the speed and reliability of a DSLR. Also, DSLRs have a huge selection of propriety lenses and third party lenses.

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Where ya been?

I haven't written a blog post since April 29th....and that's not ok. It bothers me that I have neglected my blog for over a month now! I wasn't just sitting there not doing anything, well sometimes I was but I was tied up with graduation and all that stuff. I also shot a proposal of a friend and classmate. You can check out some of my pictures here!

I finally graduated college! If you haven't clicked my about page yet (you should have!), I attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania. I graduated Cum Lade on May 6th! As I'm writing this I just realized I have mentioned this multiple times in previous blogs.

Anyways, I have been working with a chiropractor ( on his social media and website. I've focused most of my time working on that along side working at U-Haul. So, no full time job yet but working (technically) three part time jobs.

I plan on getting on the grind of writing blogs every two weeks. Next blog will be June 22nd. Keep an eye out for it!

Update and award

Hello all,

Sorry I have not written in a while. This coming up week is finals week. So, this pass week has been pretty busy, working on group projects, and typing papers. The blog will definitely pick back up after I graduate.  Almost done!

Last night, I attended the Communication department awards reception thing. I knew I was getting an award for being in The Clarion Call and what not. However, I wasn't expecting this one. I received third place for news photo. This is a national contest hosted each year by the Society of Collegiate Journalists. Someone likes my work!

Well, that is all I have today. Have a great weekend! Next blog, will probably be up 2 weeks from now. As I need to finish up school. Thanks!

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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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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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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