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2018 Sony World Photography AwardsThe free to enter 2018 Sony World Photography Awards is now open.

The 11th edition of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards will provide more opportunities than ever before to win prizes and get your work seen on a global stage.
  • Deadline: 4 January 2018
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Theme: Architecture, Conceptual, Landscape, Nature, Portrait, Sports, Multi-categories
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Chromatic Photography Awards 2017

Color Awards with $3000 cash prizes

2017 Grand Prize is $2.000 for Professional Winner and $1.000 For Amateur Winner.
  • Deadline: 30 July 2017
  • Entry fee: Professional: 20$ / Single Entry Amateur: 15$ / Single Entry
  • Theme: Abstract, Architecture, Cityscapes, Conceptual, Documentary, Fashion, Fine Art, Landscape, Macro/Micro, Multi-categories, Nature, Nudes, People, Portrait, Photojournalism, Photomanipulation, Street, Travel, Urban, Wildlife
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Vincent van Gogh Photo Award 2017

Let the theme ‘Human Nature’ inspire you in a contemporary way.

Let the theme ‘Human Nature’ inspire you in a contemporary way. Think out of the box, just like Vincent used to do. Surprise everyone! Let the camera be your paint brush and participate in this contest!
  • Deadline: 31 July 2017
  • Entry fee: € 10,00
  • Theme: Other
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100 Year Anniversary Nikon Annual Photo Awards 2017

Celebrating 100 Years of Precious Memories

The 100 Year Anniversary Nikon Annual Photo Awards (NAPA) 2017 once again aims to encourage and inspire individuals to explore, create and vividly express through images captured.
  • Deadline: 29 September 2017
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Theme: Other
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Fine Art Photography Awards

$5,000 in cash prizes

FAPA mission is to celebrate Fine Art photography and to discover emerging talent from around the world.
  • Deadline: 15 October 2017
  • Entry fee: $15 Amateur / $20 Professional
  • Theme: Aerial, Architecture, Black and White, Cityscapes, Conceptual, Culture, Documentary, Fashion, Fine Art, Landscape, Nature, Nudes, Open Theme, Panoramic, People, Portrait, Photomanipulation, Photojournalism, Seascapes, Street, Travel, Urban, Wildlife
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ND Awards 2017

Total cash prizes: $7500

The winners of the Professional and Amateur sections will receive the titles: Photographer of the Year and Discovery Of the Year and $7500 in cash prizes.
  • Deadline: 24 September 2017
  • Entry fee: $15 Amateur / $20 Professional
  • Theme: Aerial, Abstract, Architecture, Conceptual, Digital Art, Documentary, Environmental, Fashion, Fine Art, Landscape, Macro/Micro, Multi-categories, Nature, Nudes, Open Theme, Other, Panoramic, People, Portrait, Photomanipulation, Photojournalism, Self-Portrait, Seascapes, Sports, Street, Travel, Underwater, Urban, Wildlife
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15th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest 2017

The Smithsonian will select 10 finalists per category, a winner for ea

The Smithsonian will select 10 finalists per category, a winner for each category and a Grand Prize winner from the 60 finalists.
  • Deadline: 30 November 2017
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Theme: People, Nature, Travel
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Photogrvphy Grant 2017

Applicant will receive $1000.

PhotogrVphy Grant awards $1000 annually to the applicant with the most inspirational photographic idea to support visual project of the artist.
  • Deadline: 31 August 2017
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Theme: Architecture, Conceptual, Nature, Photojournalism, Culture
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Monochrome Awards 2017

An annual award for all photographers using black and white medium.

This is an annual award for all photographers using black and white photography.
  • Deadline: 19 November 2017
  • Entry fee: Professional - 20 USD, Amateur - 15 USD
  • Theme: Abstract, Architecture, Conceptual, Documentary, Fashion, Fine Art, Landscape, Nature, Nudes, Open Theme, People, Portrait, Photomanipulation, Photojournalism, Seascapes, Street, Travel, Urban, Wildlife, Black and White
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Shoot The Frame

Monthly portrait, landscape and wildlife contests.

Shoot The Frame is a suite of monthly international photography contests. Our mission is to expose talented photographers to the world.
  • Deadline: 28 February 2018
  • Entry fee: One Photo $10 / Three Photos $15 / Seven Photos $19
  • Theme: Portrait, People, Landscape, Wildlife, Self-Portrait, Nature, Environmental, Seascapes, Nudes, Travel, Panoramic, Cityscapes, Street
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Britpart Photography Competition ‘2018 Calendar’

Will your Land Rover become a star?...

Here at Britpart we are planning our 2018 Land Rover themed calendar and we’d love to feature the pictures of proud Land Rovers owner’s vehicles – whatever model or age of vehicle.
  • Deadline: 4 September 2017
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Theme: Other
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2017 Sente International Photo Contest

A Chance to Share in the ¥1000,000 Cash Prize Pool

We ask for 30 original works of each entrant, which are able to display their individual style. There is no limit on the content, form, theme or category of the work.
  • Deadline: 20 November 2017
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Theme: Open Theme
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International Garden Photographer of the Year 2017

£9,500 in cash prizes

There are eleven main categories to enter and numerous special awards including Young Garden Photographer of the Year and a mobile only category, Gardens on the Go.
  • Deadline: 31 October 2017
  • Entry fee: £12 for 4 single images. £25 for a portfolio.
  • Theme: Nature, Landscape, Other
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Amateur Photographer of the Year 2017

Over £10,000 of prizing to be won

There are eight rounds of contests to enter throughout the year, each one focusing on a specific theme, such as street, black & white, macro and wildlife.
  • Deadline: 30 November 2017
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Theme: Multi-categories
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ANIMA MUNDI – VENICE MAY-NOV 2017

ANIMA MUNDI - It’s LIQUID International Art Festival - Venice 2017

It’s LIQUID Group, in collaboration with Ca’ Zanardi, is pleased to announce the open call for ANIMA MUNDI 2017, the International Art Festival. During the festival, will be presented works of photography, painting, installation.
  • Deadline: 27 August 2017
  • Entry fee: Variables
  • Theme: Nature, Abstract, Architecture, Culture, Environmental, Fine Art, People, Multi-categories
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TRAVEL PHOTO CONTEST 2017

Online Travel Photo Contest - Win $100

To enter the Online Travel Photo Contest, travellers from all over the world are invited to send in their best travel snaps in digital form.
  • Deadline: 31 December 2017
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Theme: Travel
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8th Annual Self-Published Photobook Exhibition

Portfolio Showcase

The Davis Orton Gallery promotes both gallery exhibitors and portfolio showcase exhibitors through its website, press releases, banner and other forms of marketing.
  • Deadline: 24 October 2017
  • Entry fee: Submission fee for each portfolio is $35 (7 to 12 photographs from a single series/portfolio.)
  • Theme: Other
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Vintage International Circuit 2017

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  • Deadline: 25 August 2017
  • Entry fee: For All Section Rs 1600 / $45 (max 16 photos)
  • Theme: Other
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Contemporary Art Awards 2018

$3,000 non-acquisitive cash prize sponsored by Dynamic Events

$3,000 non-acquisitive cash prize sponsored by Dynamic Events
  • Deadline: 28 November 2017
  • Entry fee: $40.00AUD Per Entry
  • Theme: Open Theme
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How to Use a Polarizing Filter

A polarizing filter is one of the most essential tools in a landscape photographer’s bag. It is typically the first filter landscape photographers buy to instantly improve their pictures by adding vividness and contrast to them. In this article, we will go through detailed information on polarizing filters, what they do, why they are important and why you should consider using them for your landscape photography.

 

Full Rainbow
X-E1 + Touit 2.8/12 @ 12mm, ISO 200, 1/105, f/5.6

1) Why Use a Polarizing Filter?

One of the biggest frustrations when shooting landscapes has to do with lack of color. Due to the fact that sunlight gets bounced all over atmosphere and objects present in a landscape, eventually making its way into your camera at specific angles, many photographs end up looking bland and lifeless. A quick way to reduce such reflections is to use a polarizing filter. Once attached to the front of a lens and rotated to a particular angle, it is capable of cutting out most of the reflected light in a scene, instantly enhancing resulting photographs by increasing color saturation and contrast. When photographing distant subjects such as mountains, a polarizing filter can also help in reducing atmospheric haze. So if you are wondering how some photographers manage to get rich colors in their photographs, particularly when it comes to the sky, foliage and distant subjects, you will find that in many cases, they heavily rely on polarizing filters. Although color can certainly be added to photographs in post-processing, the effect of a polarizing filter cannot be fully replicated in software, especially when it comes to reducing reflections and haze in a scene, making the filter indispensable for landscape photography.

B+W Circular Polarizing Filter
A Circular Polarizing Filter

Most lenses are designed to have a screw-on filter thread in the front part of the lens, allowing one to mount any matching size filter. Such lenses can accommodate a circular polarizing filter, also known as a “circular polarizer”. A circular polarizer is very easy to use and once it is attached to the front of the lens, it can be rotated either clockwise or counter-clockwise to increase or decrease the effect of polarization. Polarization can vary greatly depending on the celestial position of the sun, so it is important to understand that both time of the day and time of the year can impact the amount of polarization one can obtain from a polarizing filter.

2) Maximum Degree of Polarization

The maximum degree of polarization occurs in a circular band 90° from the sun, so it is relatively easy to pinpoint exactly where the sky will appear at its darkest in your photographs. A simple trick is to form a pistol with your index and thumb fingers, then point your index finger straight at the sun. Now rotate your thumb clockwise or counter-clockwise (while keeping your index finger directed at the sun). The parts of the sky where your thumb points towards are going to have the maximum degree of polarization, as they are at the right angle from the sun. This means that when the sun is directly overhead close to the zenith, the sky will be polarized horizontally, making the sky appear more or less even in all directions. Take a look at the below photograph taken at high noon:

Even Sky Polarization
The sky is polarized evenly in all directions, since the sun is almost directly overhead
NIKON D750 + 15-30mm f/2.8 @ 15mm, ISO 100, 1/250, f/11.0

On the other hand, when the sun is closer to the horizon at sunrise and sunset times, the sky will be polarized mostly vertically. This can present problems when photographing landscapes with a wide-angle lens, since the more polarized areas of the sky will be visible in the frame, as shown below:

Uneven Sky Polarization
Note the much darker sky on the right side of the frame
NIKON D810 + 20mm f/1.8 @ 20mm, ISO 100, 1/10, f/11.0

With the sun rising from the left of the frame, it is very clear that the right side of the sky in the image is where the maximum degree of polarization is, making that particular part of the sky much darker compared to the left. Such situations are commonly encountered when photographing landscapes at the golden hour, so one must be careful when using a polarizing filter, especially when shooting with a wide-angle lens. In some cases, it might be helpful to switch to a telephoto lens and concentrate on a much smaller area of the scene, effectively concealing the uneven sky.

Here is a more extreme example of the same problem appearing at sunset:

Uneven Gradient Sky
Note the vertical polarization of the sky in the middle of the frame
PENTAX K-1 + HD PENTAX-D FA 24-70mm F2.8ED SDM WR @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/125, f/4.5

Due to my proximity to the Morning Glory hot spring in Yellowstone National Park and lack of an ultra wide-angle lens, I had to shoot a panorama at 24mm focal length, composed of several vertical frames. Once the panorama was stitched in Lightroom, the problem with the polarization in the sky became very apparent. Here, one can clearly see that the center of the sky is where the maximum degree of polarization is – both left and right sides of the frame look much brighter in comparison. This is because the sun was setting on the right side of the frame, which means that the darkest part of the sky would have been vertical, as seen here.

Gradient skies can be very difficult to deal with in post-processing, so one must be very careful when using polarizing filters close to sunrise and sunset times, especially when using wide-angle lenses. In many cases, cutting the amount of sky captured in a scene and rotating the polarizing filter to reduce its effect can prove to be effective, as seen below. However, in some cases where re-framing is not desired, it might be better to remove the polarizing filter completely to avoid capturing gradient skies.

3) Handling of Unnaturally Dark Sky

When your camera is pointed towards the part of the sky that has the maximum degree of polarization and the circular polarizing filter is at its strongest point, the sky might appear unnaturally dark in images, making it look very fake. In such situations, rotating the filter further and thus reducing the effect of the polarizing filter can take care of the problem, creating not only a brighter sky, but also addressing the potential of having a gradient sky in the photograph. Take a look at the two images below:

Maximum vs Reduced Polarization

I captured the first image with the polarizing filter rotated to yield the maximum polarizing effect, which unnaturally darkened the sky and made it appear uneven. To take care of the problem, all I had to do was rotate the filter until the sky returned to a much brighter state. As you can see, the photograph on the right looks much better in comparison and with just a single turn, I was able to address the issue without having to remove the filter.

4) Reflection Reduction

One of the main reasons why photographers use polarizing filters, is to reduce reflections in a scene. Reflections are everywhere around us and they are very common in nature. Aside from common water reflections originating from ponds and lakes, we might be dealing with window reflections or perhaps even tiny reflections of light bouncing off vegetation or rocks surrounding waterfalls. In such situations, using a polarizing filter can help dramatically reduce reflections, even potentially adding contrast and saturation to the image. Take a look at the image below:

 
 

As you can see, the pond was reflecting the sky and the trees in the background into my camera. By using a polarizing filter, I was not just able to cut down most of the reflections from the pond, but also reduce the micro reflections coming from the surrounding grass the scene, which changed the appearance and the color of the glass in the resulting photograph. Such effects can never be replicated in post-processing software.

5) Haze and Contrast Reduction

One of the main reasons why I personally take a polarizing filter everywhere I go, is because I often rely on it to reduce haze in my images. Haze is something we landscape photographers have to deal with very often, so being able to use a polarizing filter in such situations helps quite a bit during post-processing, since we can take it one step further and reduce haze even more through various “dehaze” and contrast adjustment tools in software. Some haze is relatively easy to deal with in post, but when there is a lot of it, a circular polarizing filter can definitely help. Take a look at the below image comparison:

 
 

It is very clear that there is a dramatic difference between the two images. Both are “as is, straight out of the camera”, meaning, I did not apply any post-processing to them. The “Before” image is the one I captured before mounting a circular polarizing filter and the “After” image was captured with a polarizing filter attached and rotated to reduce the reflections in the scene. As you can see, there are huge differences throughout the image. First, the image with the polarizing filter has significantly less haze in the distant mountains. Second, take a look at the colorful areas of the image: the reds and the yellows appear much more saturated. Note how the evergreens appear completely different, looking greener and lighter in comparison. This is all the result of reduced reflections in the atmosphere and reduced reflections originating from objects in the scene. Without a polarizing filter, the greens appear “dirty”, giving evergreens a much darker and uglier tone. Lastly, note the difference in the sky – the clouds appear to pop out much more and the sky looks a bit more saturated and darker. This is something you could never replicate in post! The image goes from “bland and lifeless”, to “colorful and natural” in less than a minute…

The only downside here is the gradient sky introduced by the polarizer (you could tell it was early in the morning), but with a couple of simple techniques in software, I can address such problems very easily. Just by using a graduated filter tool in Lightroom, along with a couple of small tweaks, I was able to make my image look even better:

Landscape With Polarizing Filter Edited

If I had not used a circular polarizing filter, it would have taken me a significant amount of time to try to replicate these changes in Photoshop and I am fairly confident that the result would not even come close in comparison.

6) Color Enhancement

The same goes for photographing waterfalls and foliage – a polarizing filter in such cases can be invaluable. The below image would have looked vastly different without a polarizing filter:

Sri Lanka Waterfall
Polarizing filter reduced reflections from rocks and vegetation, boosting overall colors
NIKON D750 + 24mm f/1.4 @ 24mm, ISO 50, 5/1, f/11.0

When photographing waterfalls, you deal with highly reflective rocks, since they have water and other wet vegetation on them, all of which send nasty reflections right into your camera. A polarizing filter makes a huge difference in such situations, not only significantly cutting down on those reflections, but also increasing the overall saturation and contrast of the image.

Here is another example of fall foliage captured with a polarizing filter:

Best of 2016 - Nasim Mansurov (28)
Note the richness of colors and tones, along with haze-free mountains in the distance
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV + EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 39mm, ISO 200, 1/4, f/8.0

7) Disadvantages

Unfortunately, polarizing filters do come with a set of disadvantages and problems. Here are a few other things you be aware of:

  • Polarizing filters can mess up the sky: as explained in sections #2 and #3, using a polarizing filter on a wide-angle lens near sunrise and sunset times can potentially make your sky appear gradient and uneven. The same goes for panoramas – be extra careful when shooting panoramas, as you could end up with a sky that is very difficult to fix in post-processing.
  • Polarizing filters require more time to set up and use: when taking pictures with a polarizing filter, one has to pay a bit more attention to the picture taking process, since circular polarizers require adjustment each time framing changes significantly, as the effect of the polarizing filter varies greatly depending on the position of the sun and the direction of the camera. Also, sometimes it is hard to see changes in the viewfinder when rotating circular polarizing filters, especially when using cameras with smaller viewfinders.
  • Polarizing filters rob light: one of the main disadvantages of polarizing filters, is that they reduce the amount of light entering your lens. Some filters are worse than others in this regard, but in general, you can expect polarizing filters to decrease your exposure time by 2-3 stops. Highest quality B+W filters typically block very little light between 1-1.5 stops, but some older and poor quality polarizing filters can bring your shutter speed down by 3+ stops, which is significant. For this reason alone, polarizing filters should be used sparingly, only when they are needed.
  • High quality polarizing filters are expensive: depending on the size of the filter, the quality of glass, multi-resistant coatings and brand, high-quality polarizing filters can be quite expensive, especially if you want to buy a polarizer for each filter size you have. Instead of buying many different size filters, my recommendation would be to buy one filter (pick the largest filter thread size you have) and for all other lenses you have, get much cheaper step-up rings. This way, you can easily use the same filter on different lenses. It might take more time to set up in the field, but you won’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to get CPL filters on all your lenses.
  • Polarizing filters can add more ghosting and flare to images: since it is another piece of glass in front of your lens, there is always a potential to see more ghosting and flare in your photographs, especially when using a cheap quality polarizing filter. Additionally, you must always make sure to keep both your lens front element and your polarizing filter clean, as dust particles and other debris could add to more internal reflections, reducing both contrast and image quality of your photographs.
  • Polarizing filters can add vignetting: when using polarizing filters with some wide-angle lenses, you might see noticeable vignetting in the corners of the frame. To avoid vignetting issues, we recommend not to stack filters and only buy “slim” or “nano” type polarizing filters, which are much thinner compared to full-size polarizing filters (please note that some thinner filters can make it difficult to use lens caps).

8) Conclusion

Overall, a circular polarizer is a must-have tool in a photographer’s bag, especially when photographing landscapes. As you can see, a circular polarizer is not just something that can help enhance the color of the sky – it is a much more versatile tool that can reduce reflections and haze, and effectively boost both colors and contrast in your images. A polarizing filter is not something you want to leave on your lenses at all times though, since it can rob between 1-3 stops of light and it can potentially make the sky look unevenly gradient when using wide-angle lenses. High-quality circular polarizing filters can also be rather expensive to buy and can take some time to get used to. However, those are small disadvantages compared to the benefits they bring…

I personally use and highly recommend the B+W 77mm XS-Pro Kaeseman Circular Polarizing MRC Nano filter, because of its top notch optics, small footprint and very little light loss of 1-1.5 stops, but there are many other high-quality polarizing filters available on the market today – some cheaper, others more expensive. Please make sure to only buy high-quality polarizing filters – you do not want to put a cheap piece of glass in front of your expensive lens, only to be later disappointed by poor image quality and unwanted ghosting and flare. Bad quality filters are not worth wasting your money and time on!

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What are the best Nikon lenses for wedding photography? This question comes up so often via comments and emails from our readers, that I was first going to include it in our Photography FAQ section, but then decided to write a separate article and elaborate on the subject a little more. Specifically, I want to not only write about what lenses I think are the best for weddings, but also why and in which cases we use a particular lens. Please keep in mind that the information I present below is a personal opinion based on my experience so far. If you have a favorite lens of yours for wedding photography that is not listed below, please feel free to add a comment on the bottom of the page with some information and pictures (if you have any that you would like to share).

 

1) Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S

The first on the list is my (and Lola’s) most favorite lens for wedding photography – Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S. We like it for four main reasons: it is sharp, colorful, lightweight and the bokeh it produces is outstanding.

Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S

I have always been a fan of the 50mm primes. The older Nikon 50mm f/1.4D is also excellent, but the heptagon-shaped bokeh it produces is a little distracting, so I like the newer “G” version instead. On a full-frame body, the 50mm focal length is ideal and you can capture both beautiful portraits and full-size body shots if you stand a little away from your subjects. It works equally well on a DX body, but the focal length can be a little long, which is certainly a disadvantage when working in tight spaces. If I were only allowed to use one lens for weddings, I would certainly pick the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G. See a detailed Nikon 50mm f/1.4G Review for more information on this lens. Here are some image samples from it:

StudioWed-21
NIKON D700 @ 50mm, ISO 800, 1/100, f/1.8

Anastasia-and-Artem-9

20100703-Erica-and-Brett-Wedding-479
NIKON D700 @ 50mm, ISO 320, 1/640, f/2.2

Nikon released a much cheaper, compact and lighter 50mm lens in 2011 – the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G. It actually performs better than the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G in many ways, so I would recommend to get the f/1.8G model instead.

2) Nikon 85mm f/1.4D/G

If you want the best-looking, creamy bokeh, check out the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G or the older Nikon 85mm f/1.4D, our second most favorite lens for wedding photography. Most photographers associate the word bokeh with this lens for a reason – it is the king of background blur. It is also one of the sharpest lenses from Nikon, producing outstanding results at maximum aperture of f/1.4.

Nikon 85mm f/1.4D

At maximum aperture the depth of field is so shallow, that if you stand too close to your subject and focus on the eye, the nose gets out of focus. I typically shoot between f/2.0 and f/2.8 for portraits and f/4.0 every once in a while if I need more depth of field. Lola also loves it and she has been using it a lot for her portrait sessions and weddings lately.

20100321-Andrea-and-Dan-Wedding-5321
NIKON D700 @ 85mm, ISO 640, 1/100, f/2.8
20100321-Andrea-and-Dan-Wedding-1311
NIKON D700 @ 85mm, ISO 200, 1/125, f/1.8

See my detailed Nikon 85mm f/1.4G Review for more information on this lens.

3) Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II

I got my hands on the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II as soon as it became available, because I knew that it would be much better than the old one, which I always enjoyed shooting with. The nice thing about the 70-200mm, is that it gives you so much focal length to play with.

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Review

When you shoot with prime lenses like the Nikon 50mm or Nikon 85mm, you almost have to engage with people, because they will certainly note your presence due to your proximity. The Nikon 70-200mm allows you to capture subjects from a distance in their natural state, without drawing their attention to you. It is a very versatile lens and it works great with all Nikon teleconverters, if you feel that the focal length is not sufficient. Sharpness and color are outstanding at all focal lengths and the bokeh on the 70-200mm is also superb. The only complaint that I have about the 70-200mm is its weight – Lola never uses it because it is too painful to carry. Periodic shooting with this lens is not as bad, but I had a lot of back pain after shooting our last wedding with it all day long…not something I want to do again. Combine the weight of a pro-level body like Nikon D3s and it becomes one heavy combo. Check out my review of the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II that I posted a while ago.

Wedding Image Sample
NIKON D3S @ 200mm, ISO 800, 1/100, f/4.0

Anastasia-and-Artem-37

Anastasia-and-Artem-27
NIKON D3S @ 200mm, ISO 200, 1/800, f/4.0

4) Nikon 24mm f/1.4G AF-S

If you want to see the sharpest Nikon lens ever produced, check out the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G! This gem has not been leaving my bag ever since I put it on my camera. I have been using it for all kinds of photography, including nature photography and weddings, and the 24mm focal length is very useful for full body and group shots or when working in tight space environments.

Nikon 24mm f/1.4

While it is not designed to be a great portrait lens like the 85mm or 70-200mm lenses, it can certainly do the job quite well in the bokeh department with its maximum aperture of f/1.4. Just like other f/1.4 prime lenses, it is great for low-light situations, especially towards the end of the wedding when the amount of ambient light diminishes to very challenging levels. Check out my in-depth review of the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G if you have not seen it already for more information.

20100703-Erica-and-Brett-Wedding-125
NIKON D3S @ 24mm, ISO 800, 1/60, f/8.0
20100420-Iron-ISES-121
NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/40, f/1.4

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5) Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G

The Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G has been one of my favorite lenses for landscape photography ever since it was released. While it is not as sharp as the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G and suffers from heavy distortion/vignetting between 24mm-28mm focal lengths, its versatility to zoom all the way to 70mm compensates for the problems. I rediscovered this lens when I started photographing people and I have been very pleased with the beautiful and colorful images it creates. It is certainly not a lens of choice for isolating subjects and creating beautiful bokeh, but if you stand close enough to your subject and shoot at f/2.8 and use focal lengths above 35mm, you will get pretty impressive results.

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED

The Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G is a great lens for photographing full body shots and it does equally well when taking pictures of groups. I wrote a detailed Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 Review, comparing it with both Nikon 24mm f/1.4G and Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G.

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NIKON D3S @ 55mm, ISO 360, 1/320, f/2.8
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NIKON D3S @ 27mm, ISO 450, 1/320, f/5.6

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We heavily rely on all of the above lenses for our wedding photography. When it comes to wide-angle lenses, I typically take either the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G or the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G, but not both.

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Now that you know how to operate your camera, set camera settings for proper exposure and use your lenses, it is time to learn how to compose and frame with your camera. Many beginners struggle in this area, so we have plenty of material that covers not just the basics, but also more advanced topics on framing and composition. Start out by reading about Composition, then check out our Introduction to Composition. From there, see basic composition articles such as The Rule of Thirds, the Importance of Straightening the Horizon and Aligning LinesCreating and Using Leading LinesLeading the Eye of the viewer, Using Central CompositionUsing Negative Space, differences between Open and Closed Composition and Using Foreground Elements to Create Added Depth.

 

UNDERSTANDING COMPOSITION IN DETAILS.

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18 July 2017
18 July 2017
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