Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Back Button Focusing – Easier than you think!

Back Button Focusing – Easier than you think!

In this article you’ll learn what back button focusing is, and how to back button focus for Canon and Nikon cameras.

What is back button focusing?

The camera usually focuses when the shutter button is pressed half way down, and then the photographer takes the picture when the button is pressed in fully.  Back button autfocus makes it so the shutter button doesn’t control the focus activation at all, but instead assigns another button on the back of the camera (hence the name) to activate focusing on the camera.

Read the article here: Back Button Focusing

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Totally Rad sale

Totally Rad sale 

I love their DIRTY PICTUREs, actions and LR presets

This Friday, November 28, 2014, save 35% off everything in our store. Don’t miss this chance to stock up on Pro Photographers’ favorite editing tools.

Enter BLACKFRIDAY2014 at checkout and save 35% on your entire purchase.


We make tools for photographers of all levels, workflows and styles. Whether you want fast, one-click editing, simple and powerful portrait retouching, or the most accurate film emulation on the market, we have a tool for every photographer.



Click here for the Totally Rad sale 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Topaz Sale

Topaz Sale

Tom and I use Topaz all the time, our favorite plugin!

Check out their plugins here

From November 28th through December 1st, we're offering our Topaz Photography Collection (all 15 products) for only $249.99. Whether you want to achieve stunning photo enhancements or apply artistic effects, this unique collection has you covered

Use coupon code 'BLACKFRIDAY2014'

Check out their plugins here

EFSC: Why it’s Amazing, and Why You Need to be Using it

EFSC: Why it’s Amazing, and Why You Need to be Using it

"Chances are have probably never heard of Electronic First Shutter Curtain or EFSC for short, but don’t worry, most people that have it don’t even know anything about it. Here’s the important thing to understand about EFSC: it can make a major difference in image quality by completely eliminating image blur due to shutter vibration. After using EFSC for a couple of months now I have one word to describe it, amazing!"

"The reason you haven’t heard about EFSC is that Canon and Sony promote it as a feature that reduces shutter noise and not about shutter vibration reduction. Popular sites like DPReview and imaging-resource only discuss the noise reduction aspect of the EFSC and don’t even mention the elimination of shutter vibration and the resulting benefit in image quality."

What Cameras Have EFSC?
Canon DSLRs: Canon 5DII, 5DIII, 7D, 6D, 40D, 50D, 70D, and entry level models (rebels in the US) have EFSC. The 60D has EFSC but it does not reduce vibration. None of the 1D series has EFSC except for the 1DX.

Sony A and E mount cameras. There is a big issue right now with the new Sony A7/A7R. It turns out that while the A7 has EFSC the A7R does not.

Panasonic MFT cameras with EFSC or silent mode are limited to a few bodies.

Nikon: Only a single Nikon camera, the Nikon 1, has EFSC (actually the Nikon 1 has a full electronic shutter). Its hard to believe that Nikon doesn’t offer a single DSLR with EFSC!

Read the whole article here: EFSC: Why it’s Amazing, and Why You Need to be Using it

For more information on EFSC, including comments from Chuck Westfall, see Charles Krebs site:



Why is my viewfinder blurry?

Why is my viewfinder blurry?

Next to your viewfinder, there is small dial with a plus(+) and minus(-) sign next to it. This is called the diopter and it measures the optical power of the lens.


Photographers Ephermeris Desktop

Photographers Ephermeris Desktop Program was discontinued in September 2014

The Photographer's Ephemeris depended on Google Maps for Flash API and Google discontinued Google Maps for Flash API as of September 2014.  TPE desktop program will no longer function.

However, TPE did create a web-based app to replace the desktop program you have installed on your computer. And, it's still free!
Click here for more information.

Tutorial: Back Button Focus for Canon

copied from :
"Canon was the first camera manufacturer to implement back button focus in 1989 and has put the feature in all DSLR models made in the last 8 or 9 years (yes, even the Canon Rebel XT and XTi)."
"In the Canon camera menu, you’ll look for an option called “Shutter/AE Lock Button” and then in that menu you’ll see a whole host of options.  The one you’re looking for is called “Metering Start / Meter + AF Start.”  Could they have possibly made that any more confusing for us photographers?  No… I think not."
"The following is a cheat sheet from the Canon Learning center where you’ll find the menu option on your Canon camera to set up back button focus.  If your camera is not listed here, just poke around a bit and I’m sure you’ll find it easy enough."
EOS Rebel T3: C.Fn 7 (option 1 or 3)
EOS Rebel T3i: C.Fn 9 (option 1 or 3)
EOS 50D: C.Fn IV-1 (option 2 or 3)
EOS 60D: C.Fn IV-1 (option 1, 2, 3, or 4)
EOS 7D: C.Fn IV-1 (Custom Controls — Shutter, AF-ON, AEL buttons)
EOS 5D Mark II: C.Fn IV-1 (option 2 or 3)
EOS-1Ds Mark III: C.Fn IV-1 (option 2 or 3)
EOS-1D Mark IV: C.Fn IV-1 (option 2 or 3)
"More advanced Canon cameras have a dedicated button on the back of the camera that will be the button used to activate the focus on the camera, and other Canon cameras (such as Canon Rebels, Canon 60D, etc) will use the AF-L, AE-L button as the button that will activate focus after this option is selected."
how to back button focus your DSLR camera
About Jim Harmer. Jim Harmer is the founder of Improve Photography, host of the popular Improve Photography Podcast, author, and complete photography geek.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bill Gekas -- photographic masterpieces

Bill Gekas

"Take a peek at Bill Gekas’ portfolio and you’ll be reminded of a trip to the museum. That’s because his style so closely resembles the master painters of the 17th century. If you look up the Golden Age of Dutch Painting, you’ll see hundreds of works that resemble Bill’s photographic masterpieces."

Friday, November 21, 2014



The Improve Photography Podcast is a free weekly internet radio show that you can download on your smart phone.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New eBook – 53 Tips For Nature Photography

53 Tips For Nature Photography
In the last six years, we’ve published over 240 posts here on PhotoNaturalist. With each new post, it gets harder to dig through the older posts and find the ones you might be interested in. It’s one of the most common comments I get from new readers. So, I thought now was a good time to create a “best of PhotoNaturalist” eBook that contains all of our most popular posts (but only including posts written by me, because I do not have permission to resell other writers’ posts).

The eBook is 108 pages, and has 53 of my top posts. I determined the “top posts” by looking at traffic, and how much each post was shared on social media. I also tried to include a nice balance of subjects, so I separated the posts into four sections: general, landscape, wildlife, and close-up.

Table of Contents

53 Tips For Nature Photography

Click here to download the table of contents (PDF)

Why am I charging for this eBook?

Since all of these posts are already available freely on PhotoNaturalist, you might be wondering why I’m charging for this ebook.
Well, it took a lot of time to put this book together (and to get it formatted properly), and I think there’s value in having all of the top posts in one nice easy-to-consume format. This is also an opportunity to help support PN and ensure we can continue to run this site and publish free content, and stay away from splashing advertisements all over the site :)

Get the eBook now for just $8!

Buy Now
The ebook is delivered as an Adobe PDF.

Also available on for Kindle!

Get the eBook on Amazon!
I’d be extremely grateful if you wrote a review for the book :)

About the Author: Steve Berardi is a naturalist, photographer, software engineer, and founder of PhotoNaturalist. You can usually find him hiking in the beautiful mountains and deserts of southern California.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Special eBook Deal - Behind the Action

Special eBook Deal - Behind the Action

"Last year, I released Behind The Action – Creating Adventure Imagery, Step By Step. It’s a hands-on how-to manual that lays out the exacts step and gear I used to create 12 specific adventure and outdoor type images. Essentially, it takes the reader along with me on a number of shoots and lets then look over my shoulder as I scout the location, gauge the light, choose my equipment, come up with an approach and execute the final image. I even show you a number of outtakes so that you can see how the final shot eventually came about."
"Behind the Action is the closest thing you’ll ever get to actually being there on a shoot with me and watching how I get my imagery. It’s a great way to learn, and right now, I’ll give you a very special price on the book. "

"Normal full price on this book is $24.95, but I really want you to have this ebook, because I know it can help you make better images, so I’ll offer it to you for a special price of only $16.95. This is a limited time deal, so don’t wait. You can see more info about the book here."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tack Sharp ebook


Tack Sharp: A Step By Step Guide To Nailing Focus (3rd Edition) $9.97

Tack Sharp is the ebook that started it all for my path as a photography educator. It has sold tens of thousands of copies on six different continents and is now in it’s third edition!

If you have ever struggled with getting consistently sharp images, this book will completely revolutionize your ability as a photographer. There is a laundry list of techniques and tricks that the pros use daily to get sharp images on purpose, and that’s what this ebook sets out to uncover. From back button focusing, to focus tracking, to single point AF, this ebook will demystify it all. So grab yourself a copy and take a huge leap forward in your photography. Be sure to scroll down and read what people are saying! Ebooks are great. They are cheap, short and full of great material that you can read in less than a day. At only $10, this ebook will pay for itself by the time you are done reading it. I truly believe that!

Xposure 02 - Click to read online magazine

Xposure 02 - Click to read this online magazine

  • David Noton explains his new strategy after seismic changes in stock photography.
  • Long exposure workshop with Steve Gosling.
  • Sarah Alsayegh's "rooftopper" view from the top of Kuwait's skyscrapers.
  • Get close-up with David Ward in his Composition Masterclass.

Xposure Issue 01 Highlights
  • Influential photographer Colin Prior in the isolated and epic landscape of the Karakoram.
  • Craig Roberts goes urban and gets inspired.
  • Anatomy of a Landscape - three top photographers take apart their shots.
  • Composition Masterclass with Jonathan Chritchley.
  • And plenty more to whet your photographic appetite.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

4 Reasons to Capture Images of You and Your Child Together Right Now

I like this article, too many people keep putting this off, waiting for their hair to look good or for them to loose x pounds. Kids grow up FAST. Photograph them NOW. 

4 Reasons to Capture Images of You and Your Child Together Right Now

"Sometimes you have to get on the other side of the camera, and let someone else be the photographer for a minute. Even if you weren’t planning on being in photos that day, just do it. It doesn’t matter if your hair is perfect. It doesn’t matter if you wore the most flattering outfit. It doesn’t matter if you meant to lose five pounds first. Just get in there."

"One day that baby boy you’re holding in your arms is going to tower over you. He’ll have big man hands, and his voice will be deep and strong. You’ll have a hard time believing that there was a time when his teeny fingers couldn’t even wrap all the way around your fingers. Make sure to capture the little details. Those little faces, hands, and feet are so adorable when contrasted with a parent’s hands."

"I hope these four reasons will encourage you to be in more photos with your children. You will never ever regret these precious moments captured forever."

Melinda Smith was born to be a teacher. She teaches violin lessons and fitness classes, as well as photography classes and mentoring. She lives on a mini farm in Eastern Utah with her camera, husband, kids, chickens, horses, bunnies, dogs, and cats. Visit her at Melinda Smith Photography.