Is Film Making a Comeback?

Garden of the Gods & Pikes Peak, captured with Fujichrome Velvia 50 film.
Garden of the Gods & Pikes Peak, captured with Fujichrome Velvia 50 film.

In the late 1990s, as the digital camera age dawned, I was shooting with a Nikon N70 film camera and whatever lenses I could afford on a graduate student’s (miniscule) salary. For me, the idea of switching to digital was something that I didn’t even fathom at the time, simply because a $5500  camera was so far out of my price range that I was never going to realistically own one.

Of course, when something costs a lot of money and you know you can’t afford it, you start to rationalize with yourself as to why you don’t really need one. And by “don’t really need” I mean we find ways to explain why our current gear is as good or better than some new technology. As the new century dawned, the “film vs. digital” debate bloomed across the Internet in chat rooms and discussion boards. Recently, that debate has returned, as some photographers are switching back to using film for certain clients. Continue reading Is Film Making a Comeback?

Photo of the day: Black-crested titmouse

Black-crested titmouse, Rio Grande Valley, Texas

Black-crested titmouse, Rio Grande Valley, Texas

I’m back after another trip to my favorite birding destination, the private ranches of Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.  A group of photographers joined me for three days of photographing birds from private photo blinds. By using the blinds, we not only got close to the birds, but we had perfect “studio” settings to photograph them in!

This black-crested titmouse is probably only 4-5 inches in length, and yet we were able to get great close-up shots of it. For this image, I used my Nikon D810 and 500mm f/4 AFS G VR Nikkor lens with TC-14EIII teleconverter. The 36 megapixel D810 allowed me to crop the image without sacrificing detail.

I’m already putting in my plans to photograph in Texas next year. If you’re interested, please become a member of my workshops group so that you’ll be the first to know when the trip is announced. I only have space for six photographers, so you’ll want to reserve your spot ASAP.

That moment it hits you

"The moment it hits you" Sunrise over Badlands National Park, South Dakota.
“The moment it hits you”
Sunrise over Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

I’ve been re-working some of my HDR shots using Lightroom CC because it really does a great job of keeping things natural. Here’s a shot from my Badlands trip in 2012 that I reworked.

I first used the HDR Merge feature in Lightroom CC, which produced an HDR RAW image (DNG). I was able to do a lot of adjustments in LR CC on that image, which I then sent to Photoshop CC, where I applied Color Efex Pro 4 and cleaned up some dust. I then returned the image to LR for the final tweaks and sharpening. The whole process took less than ten minutes.

Get my complete Lightroom HDR tutorial video here!

Master the art of HDR Processing in Lightroom CC

Work on RAW HDR images directly in Lightroom and get natural results. Check out my video tutorial to learn more!
Work on RAW HDR images directly in Lightroom and get natural results. Check out my video tutorial to learn more!

The newest version of Lightroom, called Lightroom CC (released May 2015), now offers photographers the ability to merge images to HDR. Until now, if you wanted to do HDR tone-mapping, you had to batch TIFF images to an HDR plug-in, like Photomatix or HDR Efex Pro 2, or use Photoshop. Now, you can work directly on high dynamic range images in Lightroom. Continue reading Master the art of HDR Processing in Lightroom CC

Workshop Report: Chicago & South Dakota tours full

The iconic lifeguard stands on South Miami Beach are just one of the many subjects we will explore there during our Miami Beach Art Deco instructional photo tour October 12-16, 2015.
The iconic lifeguard stands on South Miami Beach are just one of the many subjects we will explore there during our Miami Beach Art Deco instructional photo tour October 12-16, 2015.

I’m happy to report that both South Dakota Badlands and Chicago: Art & Architecture tours are completely full. If you are interested in being wait-listed for either of these photo trips in case there is a cancellation, please contact me directly. Continue reading Workshop Report: Chicago & South Dakota tours full

Jason P. Odell photography