PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 97: William Neill’s Landscape

William Neill’s photographic career began in the Ansel Adams Gallery and continues as a long-time resident near Yosemite, leading one-on-one tours and writing about the craft in columns and books. We talk about his latest book, Light on the Landscape, and how his vision of the splendor in his backyard has changed over the years.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 96: Photographing Children

We’d bet that a sizable portion of the DSLR or mirrorless camera market wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for parents wanting to take photos of their kids. Too often, though, people think that just buying a “good camera” will ensure good photos. Then they discover just how fast kids move. In this episode, Kirk and Jeff talk about overcoming challenges unique to photographing children using traditional cameras. (And why using an iPhone instead can be a better option most of the time.)

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 95: Lens Filters Are Cool

We’re talking filters in this episode—not the kind you apply in Instagram to make your photos look different, but actual glass filters that change how light passes through the lens. Neutral density (ND) filters, circular polarizing (CPL) filters, infrared (IR) filters, and the debate over whether ultraviolet (UV) filters are worthless junk or actually useful.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

Kirk’s Picks No. 2 – Lake Pictures, Lucinda Devlin [Photobook]

My pick this episode is Lake Pictures, a book of photos by Lucinda Devlin. This book is a series of photos of Lake Huron, showing the water, the sky, and the horizon on different days and at different times. It is very relaxing to look at.

Theme music: Honest Labor, composed and performed by Timo Andres.

If you enjoyed the podcast, follow it on Apple Podcasts or in your favorite podcast app. For show notes and links to my pick, go to kirkville.com/picks. You can support this podcast by purchasing items via my affiliate links, or you can sign up for my Patreon and donate a few bucks a month.

PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 94: All About SD Cards

You can shoot the most amazing photos using the best gear you can afford, but it doesn’t mean anything if the pixels you capture aren’t saved to a storage card. In this episode, Kirk and Jeff talk about SD cards: what do the symbols on the card stand for? What speeds are good? How best to transfer images from the camera to the computer? What capacities should you buy? If your camera includes two card slots, do you write to them sequentially or for simultaneous backup? And how in the world did Jeff manage to shoot a Hawaiian sunset and end up with zero images?

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 93: P Is for Professional

Do you capture photos using your camera’s automatic modes, or do you shoot using manual settings? Jeff and Kirk debate both approaches, looking at situations where each is appropriate and clarifying which features constitute “auto” modes.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

Episode 92: Sensors and Megapixels with Richard Butler

Camera marketing often leans heavily on sensor size and numbers of megapixels, because those are numbers that are easy to sell. But are they easy to understand? When does an APS-C sensor outperform a medium format one? Are larger pixels better? Should Jeff take the plunge and buy the 100 megapixel Fujifilm GFX 100S? Our guest Richard Butler, technical editor at DPReview, helps clarify how sensor sizes and megapixels affect the way you shoot photos.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

Opinion: Do we really need all those buttons and dials?

My first camera, back in the late 1970s, was an Olympus OM-10. The camera body had dials to adjust shutter speed and ISO/ASA, an exposure compensation dial, and an ‘Auto’ mode. A built-in light meter helped get the right exposure, and a self-timer allowed for group shots or self-portraits. The most prominent controls on that camera were for managing the film: the film advance lever, rewind knob, and crank. Its user manual makes the OM-10 look a lot more complicated than it really was, but, like all film cameras, its settings were comparatively limited.

Today’s cameras are computers with lenses, and like computers, they have a plethora of features, far more than any film camera. As with any computer, we need to be able to adjust these many settings. There are menus that allow us to enable, disable, and tweak the many features available, and buttons and dials give us quick access.

But with many modern cameras now offering a dozen or more control points – some customizable with no obvious markings – there’s a risk of overwhelming certain users. More importantly, the sheer complicatedness of digital cameras can get in the way of taking photos.

Read the rest of the article on DPReview.

Episode 91: iOS Photo Editing Workflows

In episode 87, we explored Kirk’s workflow for importing and editing images into Apple’s Photos app. Now, we revisit the topic by focusing on how Jeff works with photos on the iOS side, using both the Photos app and Lightroom on the iPhone and iPad. And has Jeff fallen in love with presets?

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 89: Buttons and Knobs

The experience of using a camera is just as important as what you put in front of the lens. If the controls are complicated — or too minimal — you wind up focusing on the camera, not the images. In this episode, we count buttons and deliberate whether today’s cameras are helping or hindering photographers.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.