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Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

It’s been another full week in the world of photography. This week has seen a lot of major shifts in the world, keeping photojournalists on their toes as they travel from Sochi with the end of the 2014 Winter Olympics to the Ukraine to cover the protests and the collapsing government there. Venezuela has also been wracked by protests and riots which are gaining international attention. Advice columnists have been offering tips, tricks, and techniques aimed at helping novice photographers improve and professional photographers advance. And, the big camera manufacturers have been talking about the future of their companies’ lines at CP+.

All of these stories and more were covered in our Twitter feed this week. However, if you’re not following us on Twitter then we’ll recap the highlights for you below.


That’s all for this week, folks. Have a great weekend and see you again on Monday!

– da Bird


Parisian Street Photography

Parisian Street Photography

Paris, France, is probably one of the most-photographed cities in the world. From the Haussmann façade buildings to the monuments that liberally dot the land, Paris is one of those places where there’s an opportunity for photography as well as a story. Having stood witness to everything from the Roman invasion of Gaul before the common era to the dawn of the digital age, Paris and cities like it (such as Rome, Madrid, London, and Edinburgh) has a certain je ne sais quoi in the air that gives it a vital but timeless feel as if to say that it won’t sweat the small stuff because it knows that it has innumerable days ahead of it.

Over at Stuck in Customs, Trey Ratcliff has a great shot of a street corner in Paris. If this is the place I think it is, then this is a place I walked past quite frequently when I lived in Paris for a while. It’s a surprisingly quiet area on the border of a larger more commercial zone. Nestled in between the Latin Quarter and the Tour Montparnasse, this place is one that is utterly forgettable until you leave and see it in a photograph. Nearby, there’s a lovely restaurant that specializes in seafood. I used to stop there to pick up oysters and ask after shrimp and various fresh water fish they might have in. Just a few blocks away is the market at the Place du Edward Quinet which becomes a veritable neighborhood of tarps and tents every Wednesday and Saturday as people set up shop under a temporary construct offering goods from t-shirts and trinkets to spices and gourmet ingredients. There’s a Monoprix nearby as well which is where I would go shopping when the ED near my home didn’t have what I was looking for.

Sure, plenty of people spend their time getting photographs of the great monuments or famous buildings in Paris: Notre Dame de Paris, the Luxembourg Gardens and the old Sénat, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc du Triomphe, the Champs Elysées, or even the grandes marchées over near Chatlet-Les-Halles (one of the most crowded and noisy venues in the city). And, in the surrounding area, there are plenty of places to visit: Versailles being the most popular I can think of.

So many cities in Europe have so much beauty tucked away in little corners like this one. Which ones have you managed to capture with your camera?

– da Bird

Camera used: Nikon D800.


Sony’s Latest Waterproof Mobile Gadgets

Sony's Latest Waterproof Mobile Gadgets

This one is for the mobile photography enthusiasts out there. Sony has just unveiled a new line of phones and tablets that are waterproof. With the latest updates in weatherproofing and waterproofing, these new mobile gadgets from Sony can take a splash without fizzling out. No special bulky life-proof case needed.

These updates and the “ruggedization” of mobile devices will really be a boon to mobile photographers. For a while, now, mobile photographers have been hampered by the fact that if they want to waterproof or weatherproof their gear, they have to shell out for cases and protective screens that sometimes make it more difficult to use. And, even with those cases, there are still limits to how far a mobile device can be pushed before it refuses to work. Cameras, on average, have a greater range of temperatures they can handle without needing special casings. Also, cameras generally come with an optic view-finder which makes pushing the device against your face feel natural. Smartphones generally require you to hold them several inches away which means that they can’t easily be shielded by your umbrella or raincoat’s hood.

So, if you’ve been looking for a phone or tablet that can stand up to Mother Nature (within reason*) and not wilt, it looks like Sony has the device for you!

– da Bird


Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

Another week has flown by bringing us to the time for another one of our weekly recaps. This week has been a big one for mobile photography and innovation with manufacturers like Sony and Schneider Optics working on getting the word out about their new mobile photography friendly lenses and photographers offering advice on tricks and techniques novices can use to take epic mobile photographs. Canon, Nikon, and Olympus have been touting their technical advances and the latest additions to their lines.

All of these stories and more were mentioned on our Twitter feed. If you’re not following us on Twitter then we’ll recap the top stories for you below!


That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend and see you again next week!

– da Bird


Nikon D4s Buzz and Rumors

Nikon D4s Buzz and Rumors

Ever since its first appearance at CES 2014, pro photographers have been waiting for the latest word on the new Nikon D4s. Buzz around the Internet is that this camera will be Nikon’s first pro-level DSLR to shoot 4K video and could include a 16MP sensor, HD movie recording in 1080p at 60fps, a new focus mode for 3D tracking in 9 or 21 groups, and an improved time-lapse movie recording with an adjustable 1/6 stop interval shutter. Nikon has been playing this release rather skillfully with careful leaks of the camera at the Sochi Winter Olympics. And, according to NikonRumors.com, it will also be on display at the Wedding and Portrait Photographer’s International event and The Photography Show in the United Kingdom.

The alleged price-tag for this high-end pro-camera is $5,996.95. This is probably out of the range of most photography enthusiasts and hobbyists but will be an easy investment for pro-photographers to make. And, as more news about the specs and release dates comes out, we’ll be keeping track here at On the Board Walk with Beach Camera. Also, if you happen to get your hands on this camera, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

– da Bird


Mobile Photography: Lenses

Mobile Photography: Lenses

With predictions projecting a decline in the point-and-shoot market as the entry point for photography, more and more camera manufacturers are turning to support of mobile photography in order to both embrace new photographers and new forms of photography as well as continue to make up for the missing 40% they are expected to lose in point-and-shoot production and sales over the next few years. One of the ways that camera makers are learning to stop worrying and love the smartphone is by creating special light-weight, durable, snap-on accessories, especially lenses.

It’s no real secret that though smartphones pack a lot of processing power under the hood, they still don’t have the power and settings to match a good point-and-shoot phone when it comes to photography. But, as the apps get better at compensating for the lack of highly-specialized image processors and chipsets, mobile photography has begun to take off. Skilled mobile photographers can often work magic with their smartphones or tablets that even the best point-and-shoot couldn’t match in the hands of an amateur. Sony has always been one to get ahead of the rest and is now offering lenses for smartphones that allow the photographer the option of capturing almost DSLR-like quality in their photography without having to ditch their smartphone in favor of a bulky (and expensive) DSLR camera themselves. These lenses also offer the mobile photographer one thing that, until now, they were bereft of: true optical zoom. If you’re interested, check out the Sony DSC-QX10 and the DSC-QX100. Overtime, we expect to see Sony expand beyond zoom lenses for smartphones and into fisheye, telephoto, macro, and wide-angle lenses. Who knows but that one day soon, mobile phone photography will have as many after-market accessories (flashes, filters, lenses, etc) as high-end photography has now?

Lenses are one of the most important parts of a camera. If you’re interested in taking your mobile photography further but don’t quite want to shell out for an expensive or bulky camera, then these snap-on mobile lenses are a great compromise that allow you to continue using your primary “camera” but will let you stretch your smartphone’s abilities beyond the limits foisted on it by design.

– da Bird


Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope that you have nice plans for the day. And, if being Valentine’s Day wasn’t enough, it’s also Friday which means another wrap-up. This week has been another full week in the world of photography. While the focus has been on Sochi and the 2014 Winter Olympics, there have been plenty of other stories out there for photojournalists to cover. The world-renown Westminster Dog Show was held this week and much of south England continued to face severe flooding. Also, in the month since CES 2014, more of the showcased cameras have found their way into the hands of photography and camera experts who have broken them down and given their own thoughts on the presentation and utility of these new cameras. And, as always, veteran photographers have been busy posting advice and guidelines for novice photographers or for photographers looking to expand into new fields.

All of these stories and more were featured on our Twitter feed. However, if you’re not following us on Twitter then we’ll recap the top stories for you below.


That’s all for this week. Have a great Valentine’s Day and see you again on Monday!

– da Bird


The Winter Olympics at Sochi

The Winter Olympics at Sochi

For the next few weeks, the focus of the photography world will be fixed on Sochi, in Russia, as the Winter Olympics take place. There have already been a lot of photos tweeted out about the somewhat unprepared nature of the Olympic village and accommodations. And, while the coverage of the opening ceremony was nice, more digital ink was poured over whether or not Vladimir Putin was snubbing the Obamas over his choice in who would help light the Olympic brazier.

Still, the Winter Olympics are more than just a political and cultural event. They are the chance for sports photographers to really shine. Though the games at the Winter Olympics are not always as photogenic as the games at the regular Olympics, the snowy conditions and isolated events often give a photographer a chance to really show how well he can pick a scene, select his shot, and capture the essence of the event in a single image that lasts less than a second in real-time. Competition for those kinds of shots and locations is often intense and some of the best photographers are those like Adam Pretty who take time to scout locations off the beaten path.

Sports photography, especially extreme sports, requires a lot of toughness and fortitude from photographers and their gear. And, for those photographers who choose to go into this area of the field, the rewards can be boundless far beyond just the satisfaction of having captured the perfect shot. Additionally, without their willingness and the willingness of their TV crew counterparts, for most of us, getting the chance to see these beautiful competitions in action would be non-existent.

– da Bird


Photographing the Olympics: A Professional’s Take

Photographing the Olympics: A Professional's Take

The Olympics are in full swing over in Sochi, Russia, and plenty of people are paying rapt attention to the events. Journalists and television stations from around the world have converged on the city, often turning up stories that have little to do with the athletics and more to do with Sochi not quite being ready for the big time. However, events like the Olympics are where some sports photographers make their names known. One such photographer is Adam Pretty from Australia. His advice includes the usual — don’t follow the crowd, try to get the best shot, don’t be afraid to trek out far in order to get a unique image, know your gear, etc — however, his gear list for would-be Olympics photographers is rather interesting. Pretty suggests the following:

Now the lenses are a no-brainer. They’re all fairly good lenses, some with greater zoom features than the others so that you can still see the action even when it’s far away, and all have pretty fast focusing (the most commonly suggested lens speed being f/2.8), a huge necessity in fast-paced sports. Some are better for capturing the action right in front of you (such as the 24-70mm f/2.8 and then 16-35mm f/2.8 lenses) while the other two are great for when you can’t get very close to the action (such as on a long ski trail or on slopes where trying to get too close might be dangerous). The monopod is also not a big head scratcher. It lets you get the camera set up comfortably for a long series of distant (or zoomed-in) shots. But kneepads is a little unique. After reading the comments in the Ars Technica section, though, they seem like a fairly practical thing to take with you. If you’re going to be kneeling a lot, then having some extra padding will not only make you more comfortable (especially if you’re kneeling in snow), but it can help prevent you from developing pre-patella bursitis or “house wife’s knee.” Other gear that might be very useful for winter sports or winter Olympics photographers would be hand warmers — tuck these into your gloves or shoes and you can stay warm even in the most bitter-cold conditions. A good walking stick could also be very useful in helping you to keep your balance and letting you test to see how densely packed the snow is.

What are some other gear you might consider essential for winter weather photography? Let us know in the comments below!

– da Bird


Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

It’s been another busy week in the world of photography. Sony, Olympus, and Tamron all have announced new updates to firmware or new products to be rolling out soon. Though they are all still in the post-CES exhaustion, camera and photography accessory manufacturers are starting to come out of the haze and reveal new plans for the coming year. Additionally, this has been a week filled with advice on winter photography, lighting, and managing a photography business.

All of these stories and more were featured on our Twitter feed this week. However, if you are not following us on Twitter then we’ll recap the top stories for you below!


That’s all for this week, folks! Have a great weekend and see you again on Monday!

– da Bird