All posts by DSLR ROCKS

Laowa 24mm f/14 Replay 2x Macro – pretty interesting and niche lenses

Laowa 24mm f/14 Relay 2x Macro Lens With Unusual Shape Announced  – There will be a new Laowa lens arriving this year that’s designed for capturing macro images of shy subjects.

Laowa 24mm f/14 Replay 2x Macro - pretty interesting and niche lenses

The Laowa 24mm f/14 Relay 2x Macro lens has a rather long lens barrel that Laowa says can be used to shoot shy subjects at difficult spots without scaring them.

New DSLR lenses dslr macro lens dslr camera macro lenses

The macro lens has a 2:1 maximum macro reproduction ratio, is resistant to temperature and extreme conditions and it’s full-frame compatible.

Image quality

The lens is pre-production, and the price hasn’t been finalised yet, but it’s clear this lens needs a little bit of work to get the best results possible. Normally for lenses, a rule of thumb regarding shutter speed is that you use a higher one than your 35mm equivalent focal length. So if the lens is around 50mm, 1/60 is pushing it, but should be enough for sharp photos. This time around though, I’m not exactly sure what shutter speed would be sufficient to get sharp images. I shot the image below at 1/100 of a second, but it still looks to suffer a little from motion blur.


When released, it will be available in Canon and Nikon mounts and is full-frame compatible. No information on pricing has been released yet.

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Wildlife Photography tips for beginners – I

For perfect photography of wildlife along with the skills we need to have the perfect equipment and the camera set. In this page you will get to know the best tools required for wildlife photography.

1. Best focal length for wildlife photography:

There is not a perfect answer to this question. Although the photographers across the globe prefers the 400 mm for many reasons.

NIKON D4 + 300mm f/4 @ 300mm, ISO 400, 1/100, f/8.0
NIKON D4 + 300mm f/4 @ 300mm, ISO 400, 1/100, f/8.0

The key component of the 400mm is its MFD. Minimum Focusing Distance often plays a huge role in Wildlife photography. You can do it with any focal length but for wildlife and especially in the beginning, the 400mm just takes away all the credit.

NIKON D3X + 200-400mm f/4 @ 340mm, ISO 100, 1/30, f/6.7
NIKON D3X + 200-400mm f/4 @ 340mm, ISO 100, 1/30, f/6.7

2. DX or FX for wildlife photography:

The debate of DX vs. FX for wildlife photography is a never ending one. DX shooters argue that they get more reach; setups are lighter due to smaller lenses and less expensive and have reduced optical issues.

On the other side the FX shooters argue that they get better image quality at pixel level, better viewfinder, less diffraction issues, better AF performance in low-light, etc.

The following points will draw a comparison between DX and FX-

  • Pixel size and resolution: Both Nikon D300 (DX) and D700 (FX) despite having sensors of completely different sizes, the two cameras produce images of similar size / resolution. However, the D300 has a lot more noise than the D700 due to smaller pixel size.

So despite having this magnification advantage, photographers had to constantly deal with cleaning up apparent noise even at relatively low ISO levels.

  • The impact of Diffraction: Smaller pixels magnify a lot of things and one of them is diffraction. DX sensors are typically impacted by diffraction at f/11 and smaller.

Take a look at the following chart:

Nikon DSLR D300S D7000 D7100 D600/D610 D800 D4
Effective Resolution 12.3 MP 16.2 MP 24.1 MP 24.3 MP 36.3 MP 16.2 MP
Image Resolution 4,288×2,848 4,928×3,264 6,000×4,000 6,016×4,016 7,360×4,912 4,928×3,280
Sensor Size 23.6×15.8mm 23.6×15.6mm 23.5×15.6mm 35.9×24.0mm 35.9×24.0mm 36.0×23.9mm
Diffraction Limit f/17.6 f/15.3 f/12.5 f/19.0 f/15.6 f/23.4
  • DX have lighter lenses: The DX lenses are lighter and cheaper. While that statement certainly holds true for wide and standard lenses, it is absolutely not true for telephoto and super telephoto lenses. DX shooters have no super telephoto DX lenses to choose from.
  • DX cost advantage: The only real advantage of DX over FX today, is cost. But with such offers as the D600 and the price of FX sensors continuously coming down, that huge cost difference is not there anymore. If in the past you had to spend 2-3x+ to move up to FX, today that difference is much smaller.


In summary, FX is better than DX for wildlife photography.  The only reason why anyone should be shooting with DX is lower cost. If you can afford high-end FX, there is very little reason to stick with DX.

Photography tricks and guidelines for beginners

The very basics of photography lie on the camera setting but the real art of photography lies in the composition. Simply we can say, composition is the way in which elements are arranged in an image. Composition includes all the elements in a photo and not just the primary subject.

For all the good that rules do in photography, they have the ugly side-effect of stifling freedom and individual creativity.  And what is photography? A way to express creativity and artistic freedom. So, there shouldn’t be any “rules”!

In order to develop a good understanding of how photographic composition works, let’s take a look at some of the basic rules or rather we can say guidelines of composition for learning photography.

1. The One-third rule:

Avoid placing your subject at the center of your frame.Iin these kind of situation if you  use center focusing point, then you may end up placing our subject at the horizontal center of the frame.

That will include a lot of black foreground and will spoil the picture.

Basic tricks for beginners for photography
Courtesy: Sudhir Shivaram

2. Viewpoint:

Viewpoint can dramatically change the mood of a photograph or can also change the viewer’s perception of an object’s size.

To emphasize the height of a tree, for example, shoot it from below, looking up. To make something seem smaller, shoot it from above, looking down

Viewpoint isn’t just limited to high, low and eye-level of course – you can also radically change the perception of an object by shooting it from a distance or from close up.Basic tricks for beginners for photography

3. Color:

 Use of color can dramatically change a viewer’s perception of an image. Cool colors (blues and greens) can make your viewer feel calm, tranquil or at peace.Reds and yellows can invoke feelings of happiness, excitement and optimism. A sudden spot of bright color on an otherwise monochromatic background can provide a strong focal point.

Basic tricks for beginners for photography2

4. Background:

 Background is one of the important aspects of photography. If the background is busy and doesn’t add anything to your composition, try using a wider aperture so those distracting elements will become a non-descript blur.

Basic tricks for beginners for photography3

5. Texture:

 Texture is another way of creating dimension in a photograph. By zooming in on a textured surface – even a flat one – you can make it seem as if your photograph lives in three dimensions.

Basic tricks for beginners for photography4

6. Leaving Space:

 This rule of photography incorporates two very similar ideas: breathing room and implied movement. To make your subject comfortable, you need to give him a bigger box that allows him some visual freedom and/or freedom of movement.

If your subject is looking at something (even something off-camera), make sure there is some space for him to look into.

Basic tricks for beginners for photography5


 Actually, there really is no conclusion to any discussion of photographic rules. Because unlike that “keep out” sign posted in front of the most beautiful part of the forest, the rules of photography aren’t meant to stifle your creativity. They are meant to provide you with guidelines for enhancing it.

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Professional tips to take great travel photos

Getting perfectly balanced travel photos is always a challenge. Below are some of the tips and tricks that will surely help you to get great pictures in your next trip.

To get Better Balance, brighten the shadows and tone down the highlights

Most photo editing application includes tools to adjust highlights and shadows. By using this tool we can balance the exposure by brightening the shadows and darkening the highlights. We can include some warm hues to outdoor photos to make the result brighter and more even toned.

Better Balance photography

Add vignette and amp up shadows to increase brightness.

Add a hint of vignette and a subtle dark border around the photo, brightening the middle of the image. This slowly guides your audience’s gaze towards the center of your picture. It will create stunning images, grab the attention of your audience and help them rediscover the beauty of photography!


Edit the photo, then go back and reduce your adjustments by 50%

The trick to maintaining the integrity of your photo is to not filter and edit them too heavily. Edit your image as normal then dial back everything to 50%.

Another advice: “Stay away from clarity! Also known as Lux in Instagram.” Clarity and Lux are intended to “fix” underexposure and lack of contrast. But the use of these tools often make images look Editted and Photoshopped.

Put human whenever possible in landscape photography. Landscapes are better with people in them.

“It’s like your living vicariously through the subject … People create a feeling,” Rise said.

Put human whenever possible in landscape photography

Setting your camera on the roof of your car can give some visual interest.

If there are cool cloud formations above, the reflections from your car’s roof can add a lot to your photography.

Cole Rise
Cole Rise

Putting your DSLR camera right to the water’s edge can also create cool reflective effects.

Getting low on the ground can give you more interesting foreground

Grayling High School Art

Bad weather can be used as a great photo weather

Rain and hail are actually great conditions for a good photo! If it’s raining or snowing at night, you can leave your flash on and use Slow Shutter Cam to create streaks.

Overcast days can also mean interesting cloud patterns in the sky, so don’t stay indoors if the weather isn’t stellar.

Bad Weather photography
Danny Santos

The most important thing to do is to “travel further and travel more.”

“Keep hiking. Be the crazy one.” The only way to find beautiful, epic places is to, simply, explore. If you’re visiting a monument, drive away from the tourists. Push yourself to go even further.

Phil Brick

Happy Photography!

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DJI Phantom 3 Professional

DJI is quickly becoming one of the most sought after drone companies, both in terms of investments and purchases. DJI Phantom 3 line is one of the most popular choice in aerial photography. The company has developed four different models in this category: Standard, Advanced, 4K, and Professional.

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The DJI Phantom 3 Professional is the second most-advanced model and is mainly designed for professionals. It offers 4K video, 23 minutes of flight time, and a whopping 5km control distance.

The quadcopter also comes with five advanced flight modes:

  • Follow Me: The quadcopter will automatically keep you in the camera’s view as you conduct your activity.
  • Point of Interest: It revolves around an object, person, or place in a perfect circle.
  • Waypoints: Allows you to record a flight path then tell your quadcopter to fly along the same path repeatedly, while you control the camera and orientation. You can save your favorite missions, customize speed, and more.
  • Course Lock: Fly along a set path.
  • Home Lock: Customize your flight controls to be relative to you at all times.

These autonomous modes free you up to focus on camera control and getting the right shot. This makes the DJI Phantom 3 Professional a smart choice for pro pilots, and especially for aerial mapping and 3D modeling.

DJI also recently released the DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter, an upgraded version of the Phantom 3 series with an obstacle sensing system.


  • 3-Axis GimbalGPS positioning
  • GPS positioningVision Positioning technology for GPS-free areas
  • Vision Positioning technology for GPS-free areas4k video
  • 4k videoLive FPV streaming to your controller
  • Live FPV streaming to your controller


  • Frequency: 2.4GhzSize: 18 x 13 x 8 inches
  • Size: 18 x 13 x 8 inches
  • Weight: 9.2 poundsCharging time: Approx. 1-1.5 hrs
  • Charging time: Approx. 1-1.5 hrs
  • Flight time: about 23 minutes
  • Control distance: 5 km


These extra parts are available for the DJI Phantom 3 Professional:

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7 photography tricks to take expert photos using smartphone

Capturing moments in your smartphone or DSLR is a rising trend. With improving smart phone capabilities, apps, free photography sites and e-books, it is becoming easier day by day. Whether you are striving for more impressive Instagram-worthy shots on your smart phone, or you are a DSLR photographer in the making, these tricks will help lead you down the road of picture taking mastery.

1. Be in multiple places at once with an easy panoramic trick

Be in two places at once with an easy panoramic trick

With the help from a friend and a little loping, you can pose in the single frame multiple times. Open your phone’s camera app and select the panoramic mode. Ask your friend start on the far left of the frame and slowly pan to the right. As soon as you are out of the frame run around behind your friend and pose again somewhere to the right. Play around with it to see how many times you can appear into the frame.

2. Use panoramic shots to click vertical photograph, change the direction and angle

 panoramic shots to click vertical photograph

These aren’t complicated, but they might be something you haven’t realized yet. Change the panning direction by simply tapping the arrow and it will switch direction. Take vertical panoramic photos by rotating your smart phone so that you are holding it in landscape orientation. Instead of panning horizontally, pan vertically from low to high, or high to low.

3. Capture Both Sides of the Moment with the Frontback App

Capture Both Sides of the Moment with the Frontback App

The app (on Google Play and in iTunes) uses the front and back of your camera to capture what you see and how you feel at any moment. Some have described it as having your face being the emotion, or caption, for what you are seeing and experiencing. If about to bungee jump off a bridge your frontback image might show the view of the drop and perhaps your anxious selfie before the jump. Once you’ve taken a photo, you can share it in a single image to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the app’s news feed.

4. Create Your Own Macro Lens Using Drop of Water on Your Smart Phone

Create Your Own Macro Lens Using Drop of Water on Your Smart Phone

Another Macro Lens trick is to use a straw to drop a small droplet of water on your smartphone lens to magnify your image immensely. A small drop won’t run off when you pick up your phone to take a picture.

5. Perfect the simple silhouette by taking an exposure reading from the sky

Put your subject in front of a light source (often the sun) and turn off your flash. Set your camera to spot metering and point the camera towards a brighter part of the sky (but not the sun). You can take an exposure reading by pressing your shutter button half way down.

Put your subject in front of a light source (often the sun) and turn off your flash. Set your camera to spot metering and point the camera towards a brighter part of the sky (but not the sun). You can take an exposure reading by pressing your shutter button half way down.

6. Take backlight photos at golden hour for desirable portraits with a warm glow

backlight photos at golden hour

The golden hour in photography is the first and last hour of sunlight of the day, where you get the desired soft light for halo like portraits. And if you really want to be precise, there is an app for that. The Golden Hour App shows you the path of the sun in the sky for the location and date selected.

7. Use Mobile Apps, to enhance your smart phone pictures

Mobile Apps, to enhance your smart phone pictures

Photography apps on smart phones have come a long way. While smartphones don’t offer the professional capabilities of DSLR camera, you can still use these apps to help adjust and enhance your photos to take them to a new level.

Two favorites are Camera Awesome (iphone and Android) and Camera + (iphone and ipad). Camera Awesome has an easy-to-set timer and burst feature. It also allows you to set ISO, white balance and exposure separately.

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10 Facts to know about World Photography Day

August 19th is celebrated as World Photography Day to celebrate the passion of photography in our communities. In a world where thousands of pictures are uploaded and shared in every second, World Photography Day is an inspiration for millions of photographers across the planet to share their passion.

No matter who you are, where you are or what equipment and skills you use, World Photography Day can help open your eyes to the possibilities of photography, and enable you show us the world as you see it. Some important points to know about this day are as follows:

  1. The date behind World Photography Day originates from the invention of the Daguerreotype, a photographic processes developed by Joseph Nicèphore Nièpce and Louis Daguerre in 1837. On January 9, 1839, The French Academy of Sciences announced the daguerreotype process. A few months later, on August 19, 1839, the French government purchased the patent and announced the invention as a gift “Free to the World”.
  2. The daguerreotype, invented in 1837, was the first practical photographic process.
  3. The earliest known permanent photographic image, however, was created by a more complex process called heliography in 1826.
  4. The exposure time needed to create that photograph was eight hours.
  5. Thanks to digital cameras on mobile phones, more than 350 billion photos are now taken worldwide every year.
  6. Around 250 billion photographs have been uploaded to Facebook.

    Around 250 billion photographs have been uploaded to Facebook
    Around 250 billion photographs have been uploaded to Facebook
  7. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had a darkroom installed at Windsor Castle to indulge their passion for photography.

    Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had a darkroom installed at Windsor Castle ~ Getty
    Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had a darkroom installed at Windsor Castle ~ Getty
  8. The first photo of the Moon was in 1851; the first photo of its dark side was in 1959.

    The first photo of the Moon was taken in 1851
    The first photo of the Moon was taken in 1851 ~ Getty
  9. The earliest known use of the word ‘photograph’ was in 1839 by the astronomer Sir John Herschel.
  10. The earliest known use of the abbreviation ‘photo’ was by Queen Victoria in a letter in 1860.

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Nikon D5 DSLR includes 4K video and ISO pushes to 3,280,000

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Nikon came with its flagship D5 DSLR with incredibly high image processing power.

At its heart, the D5 DSLR is equipped with a brand new 20.8-megapixel sensor that’s coupled with Nikon’s new Expeed 5 image processor. Together, they’re capable of capturing images up to ISO 3,280,000. Yeah, three million.

It’s capable of 12 frames per second with AF thanks to a revamped autofocus system that has 153 total AF points, 99 of which are cross-type. This is a major talking point for Nikon, especially how it exceeds the capabilities of mirrorless.

The screen on the back of the camera is a 3.2-inch touchscreen with 2.36 million dots of resolution, which should be a decided upgrade, especially when it comes to video capture.

The D5 ably carries on the tradition set forth by its predecessors, giving professionals the tools they need to do their jobs effectively, with very little fluff. With the best JPEGs we’ve seen from any Nikon in its current lineup and the most capable autofocus system that anyone in the DPReview office has ever used, the D5’s value proposition for those that truly need it is better than its price and sensor specification might suggest. – by DPReview

GOPRO HERO4 BLACK – The Best 4K Travel and Sports Camera

The Hero 4 Black is the current flagship of the GoPro range, and it’s actually been out for a while. However, GoPro was one of the first manufacturers to offer 4K with the Hero 3 Black, although it provided 15 frames per second, and theHero 3 Silver didn’t go any further. The Hero 4 Black offers 4K video shooting at up to 30 frames per second, among other enhancements, and hasn’t yet been surpassed in shooting abilities.

Reasons to buy

  • Great picture quality at 4K resolution
  • Ability to capture high frame rates
  • 12-megapixel photos at burst speeds of 30 fps
  • More image control

Things to consider

  • Battery life is inadequate
  • No preview screen
  • Difficult to make menu changes without app

Key Features Of GOPRO HERO4 Black

  • 1/2.3-inch CMOS with 12 megapixels
  • MP4 recording at up to 4K and 30 frames per second at 60Mbits/sec
  • Waterproof to 40m with bundled housing
  • Mounting kit included
  • Wi-Fi control functions via smartphone or remote
  • Manufacturer: GoPro

The Hero4 is available in two versions: Silver and Black. The Black model has a faster processor and can shoot in higher resolution or higher frame rates while Silver has a built-in touch display. It’s ideal for framing your video and photos, and for providing a more intuitive method for changing settings. An optional LCD Touch BacPAC accessory brings similar functionality to the Black edition. The Hero4 isn’t waterproof without its separate casing, so you’ll lose any touchscreen functionality as soon as it’s enclosed.

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Top 10 places for photographers to sell their photographs

Just clicking photographs for personal use is not the case these days. You can take your photography passion as a career and make money out of it . Webmasters and businesses use images for their websites and marketing materials. As a freelance photographer, you have now numerous options to sell your photos online.

Sell your photographs

There are several websites that sell stock photos and vector images to webmasters and business owners. These photos can be sold over and over again providing long-term residual income.

Fotolia – 20-63% commission can be earned. Exclusivity is not required though some rules apply to pricing once a certain rank is achieve. Payment is made via Moneybookers or PayPal.

Shutterstock – Contributors can earn 20-30%. Payments are made monthly with a $75 minimum. Shutterstock does not insist on exclusivity. You are free to sell your stock elsewhere.

Dreamstime – Earn 20-60% from each sale and it has an active community.

iStockphoto – Contributors earn 15% from each download. Exclusive Contributors earn 22-45%. Payments can be requested up to twice per week by PayPal, Moneybookers or Payoneer Mastercard with a $100 minimum balance. – Keep 70% of your sales revenue. Payments are made via PayPal with a $10 minimum.

Bigstock – Earn 30% from individual downloads and up to $0.38 royalty on subscriber sales. Payments are processed once per week upon request with a $30 minimum balance. Receive payment by check, PayPal or Moneybookers.

Demand Media offers freelance positions to photographers. Payment is like clockwork twice per week. Rates will vary by assignment. These must be exclusive photos and you give up all rights to the work upon sale.

Sell Your Images on Tangible Items

There are also a number of websites that will allow customers to print your photos on everything from coffee mugs to canvas.

CafePress offer several options for selling. List your creation on their site or set up your own shop. Regular listings earn you 8%. Payments are made monthly by check or PayPal with a $25 minimum.

Redbubble is similar to CafePress in the items they sell. Contributors set their price, earning everything above the predetermined base price. Payments are sent by PayPal monthly with a $20 minimum for US contributors.

Shutterfly –Pro Galleries run $99 to $199 per year plus 15% commission on each sale. Shutterfly does take care of customer service issues. Payments are made monthly by direct deposit.