I have been testing and experimenting with ON1 Photo RAW since it first came out. If you used the first version when it came out like I did, you will know just how far they have come in such a short amount of time!
That is the best part about companies that actually listen to their customers. They move and improve QUICKLY!
You guys and gals know from previous videos of mine that I have given ON1 my fair share of feedback on things they need to improve, and I think they just simply nailed it with the release of Photo Raw 2018! Every software company needs improvement, but the new processing speed and effects module in 2018 is fantastic!
I mainly use Photo Raw 2018 as an effects plugin inside of photoshop, and I have found that I rely on Photo Raw for almost every image that I process now. The contrast and color options that can easily destroy RAW files in other processors seem to be so refined and clean inside of ON1 2018. I just can’t wait to see what they will bring to us in the next version!
If any of you are interested in purchasingON1 Photo Raw 2018, they were cool enough to give me a discount code to save my viewers 20% off the price! Just use code: FMEON1 at checkout!
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-bVVbH8W/0/610d6132/X3/i-bVVbH8W-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2018-02-01 15:36:482018-02-01 15:36:48ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - How Do I Use It?
Over the years, I have found that Zeiss is a lot like Apple in the sense of giving the consumer a very luxurious experience from the unboxing all the way to the look and feel of the product.
After all of the fluff and the dopamine hit of marketing psychology wears off, is this lens really work the $1843 USD price tag? Let’s find out!
The Full Review…
Build Quality & Ergonomics
The metal construction on the Zeiss Milvus 21mm lens is absolutely brilliant. The focus ring, aperture ring, and lens mount are all built just as well as the main chassy of the lens. From the second you pick it up, you know that you should be more worried about WHAT you drop the lens on instead of the lens itself. In short, it’s built like a tank!
The handling and ergonomics of this lens is also quite pleasing. I have pretty big hands and really enjoy the way the manual focus ring is positioned in the right place to fit into that perfect “pocket” between the thumb and index finder for easy focusing.
The only small complaint I had within this category was with the felt material inside of the lens hood. It is literally a dust and fuzz magnet! It attracts everything! Luckily, I leave it off most of the time since I use filters.
This will be a very short category because there’s only so much you can say about distortion. All wide angle lenses have it, and I can say with complete confidence that this lens handles it much better than my Nikkor 16-35 that I used to shoot landscapes with all the time.
Keep in mind that most distortion can be easily fixed inside of photoshop, but it has definitely been nice to see that this lens almost no distortion issue at all.
Optical Image Quality And Performance
This is definitely the most important category of the review because optical quality is the reason we purchase expensive lenses.
After using this lens exclusively for the one month I have owned it, I can say that the pure quality that it can squeeze out of my 36 megapixel Nikon D810 is just outstanding! I would almost say that this lens is too sharp! Did you hear that, pixel peepers?? TOO SHARP! Wait, who am I talking to? The second the pixel peepers read that it was too sharp, they stopped reading and immediately left to purchase the lens…
I expect my D810 RAW files to come into Capture One looking flat as always, but when I imported my first set of images from the Zeiss 21mm Milvus, I couldn’t believe the natural contrast and color rendition. I honestly had to make sure I didn’t have a preset turned on in Capture One because I was so skeptical of what I was looking at.
I tested this lens on a tripod at my native 64 ISO going through the entire aperture range, and I can confirm that you get all of the Zeiss goodness that I talked about above from about f/4 to f/16. Shooting this lens wide open at f/2.8, you will see a little bit of light fall off and slight vignetting in the corners. Luckily, those minor setbacks can be easily fixed with modern software.
Keep in mind that I am only shedding light on those minor complaints so that you have all of the information I have discovered about this lens. If you and I were casually discussing this lens over a cup of coffee, I would probably never shut up about how awesome it is.
Feel free to download a few of my RAW files from shooting the my D810 and Zeiss 21mm Milvus.
So, it’s time for the million dollar question….or should I say the $1843 question? Is this lens worth the hefty price? It all depends on what kind of photography you do and how you will use this lens
If you are an avid printer who sells to galleries or consistently prints large and participates in print exhibitions, then It is worth every penny! You will love it and actually be able to see the difference it makes when you start printing large or licensing work to companies who need massive banners, etc.
If you are like the other 70% of photographers who post to Facebook, Instagram, and your blog, then I would take the $1843 and spend it on marketing your business. Launch some Facebook ads, spruce up your website, pay a videographer to create a compelling story about your business. as a business owner, your money can be much better spent if you aren’t going to regularly let the Zeiss 21mm Milvus shine in it’s full glory.
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-7Fthhf6/0/c80a6221/X3/i-7Fthhf6-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2018-01-22 21:34:062018-01-23 17:22:06Zeiss Milvus 21mm f/2.8 Lens Review
I find that so many photographers don’t get the results they want our of their RAW files because they’re simply scared of introducing Photoshop into their workflow.
Yes, I have some premium tutorials that help you learn Photoshop, but I wanted to provide a completely FREE way for you to learn the basics so that you aren’t afraid of the interface. That is where the “Photoshop Made Easy” series comes in, and I have made four videos already! With each new video, I teach you a new tip or trick that Photoshop offers, and I make sure to go step-by-step so you don’t miss a thing! 🙂 If you decide to take your photoshop skills further and want to join me for over 10 hours of post processing knowledge, be sure to pick up myLandscape Photography Post Processing & HDR Blending course while it’s 75% off! Only $25!
Enjoy the four videos I have posted so far! I will update the blog post as I record more!
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-vkBnZX5/0/2163843c/X3/i-vkBnZX5-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2018-01-17 15:58:122018-01-17 15:58:12New FREE YouTube Series! Photoshop Made Easy
Long exposure photography is one of the most interesting ways to experiment with your scene and creativity. I have been shooting long exposures for almost 13 years, so I thought it was time a provided a couple of tips about it 🙂
In part 1 of the videos below, I explain the importance of using an ND filters to soften the water while the golden light is still lingering in the sky. If you break your scene into puzzle pieces for blending like me, you will understand why I take one exposure for the sky, one for the foreground, and in this case, one for the “long exposure” water effect.
Once I get back to my workstation and start post processing, I choose the exposures that showcase the best light of the scene, and I blend them together. This is why it is so important to know when to use your ND filters so that the light values match the other exposures for post production.
Side note: If you are interested in what filters to purchase, I highly recommendFormatt-Hitech Firecrest Filters. They leave no color cast and don’t harm image quality at all! Also, if you do decide to buy those, they gave me a discount code for all of my viewers to save 10% off of any purchase! Just use code: EMARKS10at checkout.
Watch part 1 below for my long exposure tips in the field.
Using Luminosity Masks To Piece Your Puzzle Together…
In Part 2, I show you how to leverage luminosity masks in post production to seamlessly blend everything together.
I chat with so many photographers that are literally afraid to photograph brackets or multiple exposures just because they don’t know how to blend everything together in Photoshop. If you think that blending exposures together is accomplished by manually brushing and masking every pixel of your photo, have not fear! My video below will show you a better way!
Ok, now that I am starting to sound like an infomercial, I will stop typing and let you watch part 2 so you can actually see me blend all of the exposures from the first video. 😉
The Final Image…
Fujifilm X-T2 | Exposure Blend From Three Images
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-frfNpxb/0/f0e5103f/X3/i-frfNpxb-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2018-01-10 22:50:302018-01-21 22:59:47Long Exposure Photography Tips - Firecrest ND Filters & Exposure Blending
It’s finally here! I have been promising a tutorial like this to my subscribers for quite a long time, and It feels fantastic to make this a reality! Thank you all for your support the past few months while I have been producing this!
This in-depth tutorial covers my post processing workflow, different levels and methods of exposure blending, the benefits of luminosity masks, texture and contrast enhancement, selective dodging and burning, how to individualize color, using restricted luminosity masks for sharpening and noise reduction, etc, etc.
Surprisingly, this my very first video series on landscape photography post processing, and I couldn’t be more excited to finally release it! I have been carefully compiling all of the techniques I wanted to teach, building the lesson plan, choosing the photos, filming, re-filming, and producing this tutorial for almost four months! Today, all of you finally get to see it, and I am more than humbled by all of the requests I have received to produce something like this! It’s because of YOU that this now a reality!
Not only do I show you how to use all of the tools in my post processing workflow, but I also stop along the way to explain WHY I make the creative decisions that lead to the end result of each photograph.
What software do I need?The only software you really “need” is Photoshop(not elements)and the Nik Collection. TheNik Collection plugins are completely FREEnow, and you can easily follow along with me while I use Lightroom and On1 RAW by simply downloading their FREE trials. Click HERE for a Lightroom free trial, and click HERE for a free trial of ON1 RAW.
Do I have to be a photography wizard to take this course?You definitely do not have to be an expert to take this course. However, I would recommend that you have basic knowledge of processing RAW files since you will learn many advanced techniques, but I slowly walk you through each step that I take. Also, I spread the techniques over 10 hours of video lessons so that I don’t overload you with information in Lesson #1.
Do I need advanced Photoshop knowledge?Again, I would recommend that you have a basic knowledge, but I walk you through the tools that you need to know in order to follow along with me in this course.
What happens if I have a question or don’t understand a certain part of this video course? No worries at all! I have a created a private FaceBook support group just for people who purchase this tutorial. As long as you have questions that pertain directly to the content in this video tutorial, I will be more than happy to answer your questions and help you overcome any possible confusion. I will have a few other photographers helping me manage this Facebook support group so that we can answer all questions in a timely manner. This group will also become a very fun community as more people join, and we can always continue learning from each other’s creative vision.
How much is this going to cost me?Creating a price for this tutorial was one of the hardest aspects of this entire experience. It’s easy sometimes for creators to overcharge for digital products because we know how much it consumed our life for months at a time. I preach so much on my YouTube channel about being smart with your money when investing in yourself or new gear, so I wanted to make this affordable! The price for the first 15 days is going to be only $69.00 USD, and after the first 15 days are up, it will reset to it’s regular price of $99.00. If you’re part of my FME newsletter, you will get surprise discount codes all throughout the year. Want to join? Just head to the top right of this page, and click the “SUBSCRIBE” button. UPDATE: I have decided to extend the promo pricing of $69 until 09/25/17. Enjoy!
A Few Photo Examples…
Here are a few of the photos that we will be working on together.
introduction to workflow and getting the most out of one single RAW file
Auto HDR blending and using gradient masks to add directional lighting effects
Enhancing texture and selective dodging and burning
Choosing the best portion of three brackets to piece together the your creative vision
Basic luminosity masks and the benefits of color separation
Using individual RGB channels to enhance color and learning new methods for sharpening and noise reduction
Advanced exposure blending and processing with 7 bracketed photos
Gain ultimate control by using luminosity masks to selectively dodge and burn, add color, blend exposures, sharpen, reduce noise, and completely separate the foreground from the background.
Learn How To Unleash The Power Of Your RAW Files With The Landscape Photography Post Processing & HDR Blending Course. Includes Over 10 Hours Of Video Lessons!
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-SdZFcX5/0/aec45a5b/X3/i-SdZFcX5-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2017-08-17 04:45:002017-09-05 02:23:36NEW COURSE! Landscape Photography Post Processing & HDR Blending Video Tutorial
If you’ve been in or around the photography industry, you KNOW that glass is always more important than camera bodies. When the time comes to choose what camera brand you want, researching that brand’s lens lineup is very important. I did that before I chose to shoot with Fujifilm X bodies, and I had to look over the entire internet to find a blog or forum that had negative things to say about Fuji lenses.
It’s simple, Fujifilm has a killer lens lineup, and the value for your money is wonderful. As with any camera company, there are certain pieces of gear that are underrated or not as appreciated as they should be. I’m sure everyone has a different opinion on what those underrated pieces of gear might be, but I want to specifically talk about two Fuji lenses that are often overlooked and underrated.
You can watch my video below to hear my full opinion on these lenses, but it seems that quite a few people overlook the 18-55 f/2.8-4 OIS Kit Lens and the 55-200 f/2.5-4.8 OIS telephoto. Typically, the alternative choices to those lenses are the 16-55 f/2.8 and the 50-140 f/2.8. Let’s just go ahead and get something out of the way, the 16-55 and the 50-140 are absolutely fantastic lenses, but they cost more money, take up more room in your bag, and weigh quite a bit more than the 18-55 and 55-200 lenses. The question is, are those lenses worth the extra money to YOU? It really comes down to knowing what you need out of your lenses for your genre of photography. the point I am trying to make is that going with the 18-55 and 55-200 is not a “bad” alternative. It’s simply a different alternative that might work better for your style of shooting. In the end, all four of these lenses will give you fantastic images!
Don’t Just Take My Word For It…
In order for this blog post to provide true value for you, I’m allowing you to download a few of my Fuji X-T2 RAW files from the 18-55 and 55-200 so you can check the out-of-camera quality when paired with the X-T2. Do as much testing and pixel peeping as you want! Just click the button below to get access to the RAW files.
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-fZxGzMb/0/c19dac3c/X3/i-fZxGzMb-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2017-07-07 16:39:072017-07-07 16:39:07Two Underrated Fujifilm Lenses - Download The RAW Files
While I was on holiday with my family near Rosemary Beach, Florida, my dad and I took a day to explore the coast in search of great seafood and photography. We found both!
The best tips I can give you for shooting in the mid-day sun is to look for high-contrast scenes where the natural shadows make interesting compositions, and you will also want to take a really powerful ND filter to add interest to water and clouds. You will notice in the VLOG and photos below that I used the high-contrast light AND a 9 stop ND filter for almost every photo I captured. Always take advantage of the creative tools in your camera bag, and if you don’t own filter already, feel free to watch my video where I tell you all about my favorite filters for landscape photography. Also, the filter company even gave me a discount code that allows my viewers to get 10% OFF of all of their products. All of the info is in the video.
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-h4CNcgs/0/ea58bc5b/X3/i-h4CNcgs-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2017-06-10 18:33:442017-06-26 23:26:31Exploring The Gulf Coast With The Fujifilm X-T2
It’s no secret that the three biggest RAW processors right now are Lightroom CC, On1 Photo RAW, and Capture One Pro. As with anything, each processor has it’s pros and cons, but the big deciding point for me lately has been how these processors handle Fujifilm RAW files.
In my video below, I give you a detailed comparison on how each software interprets color, detail, contrast, and auto lens corrections from a Fujifilm X-T2 RAW file. The results are very interesting as you will see, but I can tell you now that On1 Photo RAW is really impressing me for being the “new kid on the block” of RAW processors.
I got a phone call from one of the corporate guys at On1 after they saw a few of my videos, and it was so refreshing to chat with a company that loves taking feedback directly from their customers. I made a few videos when On1 Photo RAW was first released where I discussed some issues that I was having, and within about 4 weeks, all of the issues were fixed in a free update along an email from their marketing manager who thanked me personally for the feedback in my videos. THAT is the kind of company photographers should support!
In fact they even gave me a 20% off coupon code to give to all of my viewers that want to purchase On1 Photo RAW. Just use coupon code FMEON1, and you will get 20% off of your order at their online store. Hope that helps all of my awesome followers! 🙂
Enjoy the video!
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This FREE video explores what's in Eric's Camera bags, accessories outside of the bags, and Eric's favorite lenses for landscape photography.
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-ZckKLJF/0/4c16e8ee/X3/i-ZckKLJF-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2017-05-23 14:34:002017-05-24 23:09:41Fuji X-T2 RAW Files - Lightroom Vs On1 Photo RAW Vs Capture One Pro
I have been looking for the perfect outdoor hat for a long time, and I finally found the perfect one. The Tilley Hiker’s Hat provides great protection from the sun, it has a lifetime warranty, and it is so comfortable that I could sleep in it.
I have spent the past year trying different outdoor hats from tons of different brands, and I can tell you after extensive research, Tilley’s customer service and product quality is second to none. Oh, and it helps that the Hiker’s Hat will make you look like Indiana Jones 😉
Watch my video review below to learn more about the Tilley Hiker’s Hat and where to buy one.
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-9pkn4Cd/0/72914ff1/X3/i-9pkn4Cd-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2017-05-02 22:56:252017-05-04 16:14:34Tilley Hiker's Hat Review - Landscape Photographer's Best Friend
Printing my work is one of my absolute favorite ways to showcase my photographs. There is just something special about seeing my work as a physical object that I can hang in my office. I appreciate it in a different way, and I really hope this blog post inspires all of you to start printing more as well.
Before you watch my step-by-step video, please know that everyone has a slightly different workflow of prepping their photos for print, so everything I am showing you is what works really great for me. If you would like to tweak my process or remove/add a step, feel free to create your own way that works well for you.
The biggest issue that people have when sending their digital files off for print is receiving a print that looks completely different from the digital file that it was printed from. For example, the vibrant and contrasty colors on a digital sunset photo may look awesome on a computer display, but they could be completely flat and lifeless on print.
Our computer displays need to be properly color calibrated to make sure that our computers and printers are reading the same color profile. There are quite a few ways you can improve your post processing experience in order for proper color, contrast, and sharpness to give your prints that extra “pop” that will make the sell. Check out my videos below…
Step-By-Step Video For Print Prepping…
The Prepped Digital Image…
The Final Result – Fuji X-T2 20×30 Print…
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-3jLjcZJ/0/X3/i-3jLjcZJ-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2017-03-10 18:01:292017-04-07 19:55:20How To Prep Your Photos For Printing - Fuji X-T2 20x30 Print
Today we spent the first half of the day in Epcot while our friends and their son traveled from Georgia to spend the week with us.
It’s always nice taking photos and being in Disney during the most uncrowded times of the year. THAT is where it’s awesome having a wife that is a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. She always hooks us up with the best shows, fast passes, and dinner reservations.
Once our friends arrived, we met them back at the hotel and got ready for dinner at Tokyo Dining in Epcot’s World Showcase. If you haven’t eaten there before and you like Japanese cuisine, you are really missing out! They have some of the best sushi I have ever had in the states. Disney definitely prides themselves on making all of the countries insanely authentic with the people, architecture, food, and the whole cultural experience.
There was a fantastic golden hour today with tons of beautiful/warm light kissing the sides of the epic Disney Architecture. I was able to take one photo of the light hitting a clocktower in Italy that stands next to another awesome restaurant called Via Napoli. Great pizza!
All in all, it was an awesome first day with our friends, and we’re all looking forward to a great night of sleep to prep us for another day in the magical world of Disney. I should probably stop blogging now since I’m the last one awake. Look below for a few photos I took today with the Fuji X-T2.
Dia De Los Muertos(Day Of The Dead) – Fuji X-T2 | Fuji 18-55 f/2.8-4
Clocktower in Italy overlooking Via Napoli restaurant. Fuji X-T2 | Fuji 18-55 f/2.8-4
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-CtM2HH3/0/X3/i-CtM2HH3-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2017-01-23 00:37:282017-02-18 14:54:31Disney Day #2: Epcot And Dinner At Tokyo Dining
I am very thankful that we left for Disney on Saturday instead of Sunday since the storms were crazy all over Florida today! There were 40 to 50mph wind gusts, and the clouds were pretty crazy looking.
Since it was our first day waking up here in Disney, we decided to head to Animal Kingdom since we knew our 10 month old daughter would love looking at all the different animals! The park wasn’t very crowded at all, but the security bag-check-line to get in the park was honestly ridiculous. They have changed their bag-check procedures apparently.
I rarely get ticked off, but I was not happy about how they were treating me different JUST because I had photography equipment. They acted like my camera equipment was homemade explosives. When I asked why they were checking MY bag differently than everyone else’s, they said, “I’m sorry sir, it’s procedure.” Well, that makes about as much sense as the Canon 5d Mark IV…
Anyway, I don’t want to go into too much detail, but they basically let my wife and tons of other people walk right into the park with their backpacks full of stuff after simply taking a quick “peek” into their bags. Not me…They unzipped every tiny little zipper on my camera bag, went through my memory card pouch, took both lens caps off of every lens, etc. It was just dumb. You can watch my VLOG about it HERE.
Happiness From Here On…
Once security finally made up their mind that I wasn’t a terrorist,(sarcasm)we had a blast! Our daughter, Scarlett, loved seeing all of the animals run around! It was a great “dad moment” watching her enjoy Disney for the first time, and it might have even brought a single tear to my eye…
After my emotional “dad moment” was over, I noticed that it was going to be tough to find a photo with the mid-day light and crazy winds. However, I made up my mind that I was going to work the ominous clouds and crazy wind into my art, so that is exactly what I did 🙂
I used a fun technique where I purposely let the shutter drag down to around 1/10th to 1/30th of a second to get some cool motion blur effects. I ended up getting two decent photos out of the day that you can check out below.
Thanks for reading, and check back to see what fun and/or craziness we get ourselves into on Day #2!
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-v8NSB8z/0/X3/i-v8NSB8z-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2017-01-22 18:43:242017-01-24 01:33:49Disney Day #1: Animal Kingdom And Tornado Warnings
Ohhh, so THAT Is What Fuji Fanboys Are Talking About…
I am going on three weeks of being a “Fuji Shooter” with my X-T2, and I can say with complete confidence that it has exceeded my expectations.
I am primarily a landscape/nature photographer and have always used my big Nikon DSLRs. I have been very pleased with my D810 for the past two years, but there are four distinct features that I think sets Fujifilm X cameras apart from the other camera brands I have used.
#1 Light Rendition:
I have no technical explanation for this one. I have used tons of cameras, but the way the Fuji X-trans sensors record light is just magical. There is such a defined and attractive separation between highlight and shadow. I’m Pretty sure that Fuji performs some kind of wizardry on these sensors after Sony sends them over.
This image was taken during golden hour, and I still can’t explain how the sensor magically portrays the separation between the cold blue shadows and the golden highlights kissing the rocks.
#2 High ISO Detail:
This is a big one for me because I do a lot of printing. There many times where I see “the shot” and just have to crank the ISO much higher than normal to capture the moment before it disappears. Usually when this happens while I am shooting with my D810, it’s kind of a general rule that loss of detail and color starts happening around 3200 ISO. For sharing online or any kind of web use, 3200 and up is easily useable on the D810, but printing is entirely different. To my complete surprise, the XT2 files are still useable at 6400 ISO and up for printing. I ordered a 16×24 print from an XT2 TIFF file that was shot at ISO 8000, and it looked freaking phenomenal due to the amount of detail that held together at the higher ISO values on the Fuji XT2. If you would like to see a Fuji vs Nikon ISO comparison I did, you can read that blog post HERE.
This image was taken handheld at 5000 ISO with no noticeable loss of detail at all.
#3 The Mechanical Dials:
The image quality isn’t the only reason that the XT2 has been an absolute pleasure to shoot with. The handling and ergonomics of this camera simply make it fun to use. My favorite feature about the ergonomics of course are the mechanical dials on top for controlling ISO, shutter speed, metering, and exposure compensation. Not only does it make for a super fast workflow when shooting, but it also adds that beautiful bit of nostalgia as if I’m shooting on an old film camera.
#4 Color Rendition:
Last but not least, the color rendition on that Fuji cranks out of their files are stunning. It really has a look of it’s own that I have not seen before when using any other camera or software plugin. If you make the jump and purchase one of these Fuji X cameras, you will know exactly what I am talking about. Ever since the first few Fujifilm mirrorless cameras started to hit the market a few years ago, I have heard nothing but good things about their natural rendition of “colory” buttery goodness. Now I know why people won’t shut up about it ;-).
This image only had some micro contrast and sharpening applied to it. The colors and exposure are straight out of the camera. It impressed the heck out of me!
Conclusion And Video Going Over These Four Topics…
If you can’t tell, I am really loving this camera so far, but I have obviously found some quirks and cons that I will mention in my full review(coming soon). I will go ahead and put your mind at ease by saying that I haven’t found anything yet that bothered me enough to sell it or return it. I am going on almost a month of not touching my Nikon D810. It might sound weird, but when I get creative and feel like going on a photo adventure, I just naturally pick up my Fuji kit without thinking. It just feels right…
As Always, please let me know in the comments if you have ANY questions at all.
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-jfq5bcK/0/X2/i-jfq5bcK-X2.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2017-01-09 14:39:282017-01-13 22:44:06Why Are Fujifilm X Cameras So Special? Fuji XT2 Mini Review
This was my first time bringing the Fuji camera for a day of landscape photography while leaving my Nikon D810 at home, and the X-T2 honestly impressed me way more than I thought it would
I have been shooting on 35mm full frame Nikon cameras for as long as I can remember, and after an entire day of shooting waterfalls, creeks, architecture, and very harsh lighting situations, I honestly forgot everything about what camera I was shooting with. I was just focused on capturing the photos.
There were many great aspects of shooting landscapes with the X-T2, but the best part was the size and weight. I was able to fit my entire day-kit in a messenger bag…that was AWESOME! I did not miss my full frame camera all day, and I am very happy with the images I came away with.
No matter what camera you are shooting with, never let your gear get in the way of taking the photo itself. You can see the VLOG and photos from the trip below:
Fuji X-T2 | 42″ | f/11 | ISO 200
Fuji X-T2 | 1/2000 | f/5.6 | ISO 200
Fuji X-T2 | 1/400 | f/4 | ISO 200
Fuji X-T2 | 1/3000 | f/16 | ISO 200
Fuji X-T2 | 27″ | f/8 | ISO 200
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-p2w4fxd/0/O/i-p2w4fxd.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-12-31 18:25:102017-01-07 19:50:04Fuji X-T2 Landscape Photography VLOG
HDR(High Dynamic Range)is one of those styles of photography that some people love, some people hate, and some people just don’t understand.
This fun style of photography is nothing more than capturing multiple photos of a scene at different light values in order to blend the best part of each photo into “one photo to rule them all.”
I made a very detailed digital blending tutorial that you can follow along with by downloading my PSD with the RAW files from this project below. I hope this helps everyone, and you can always find more free tutorials on my YouTube channel!
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Digital-Blending-Blog_Feature-Image.jpg12602048Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-12-08 13:25:332016-12-11 23:27:49Digital Blending Your HDR Photography
I was super excited about shooting the sunset because we had some severe weather coming in. If you pay attention to the clouds as much as I do, you will start to notice that the best clouds and sunsets come right before and right after bad storms.
As you will see in the video, I had a little trouble chasing down the sunset, but I believe I captured a pretty good image in the end. I hope you all enjoy vlog #2!
Once I finally made it down this steep hill by the shore, I was able to find a good foreground for the composition. As you can see, I used the angles of the rocks to point the viewers right into the sunset. I ended up only having to post process one photo instead of blending the brackets because the mid-ground was not interesting enough to bring into light.
I made a video explaining when and how to use HDR so that you don’t ever use HDR as a crutch when you’re having trouble finding a solid composition. You can watch that video HERE.
NEW PHOTO – “Summer Sunset”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-6Jc58Z7/0/L/Lake%20Bliss-L.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-06-05 00:01:522016-09-17 16:45:12Landscape Photo Vlog #2 And A Summer Sunset
Thank you all SO much for allowing my channel to reach ONE THOUSAND subscribers! There will be a lot more great content coming in the future, and I can’t wait to see the channel at ten thousand subscribers!
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/1000-SUBS-graphic.jpg7201280Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-04-01 23:24:332016-05-12 02:40:58THANK YOU FOR 1,000 YOUTUBE SUBSCRIBERS!!
Ok, I am really excited about this post because Google actually did something really cool for the photography community yesterday! I will let you watch the video to get the full scoop, BUT……Google made their Nik Software Collection FREE for everyone! Merry Christmas in March!
NEW VIDEO – “Google Announcement – Nik Software Collection Now FREE”
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Nik-FREE-Graphic.jpg7201280Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-03-25 15:45:092016-05-12 01:46:10Google Nik Software Collection Now FREE
I have received quite a few requests over the past year to video document all of my photography hikes and adventures in order for all of you to see my process from start-to-finish. After researching the best way for me to vlog my adventures while delivering quality video production, I decided to finally purchase a full GoPro rig to handle all of my my on-location vlogging.
As per your requests, here is the the FIRST Landscape Photography VLOG. I hope you all enjoy!
Landscape Photography Vlog #1
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Vlog-1-YT-GRaphic.jpg7201280Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-03-13 21:20:302016-05-12 01:51:59NEW Landscape Photography VLOG
If you follow my videos, you will know that my primary and favorite camera is the Nikon D810. I absolutely love the high resolution files that come out of that camera! However, with Canon pushing out a 50 megapixel camera and Sony pushing out their 42 megapixel camera, I can’t help but wonder if Nikon is going to fight back soon in this megapixel war.
I understand that a lot of people whine and moan about megapixels when they never actually need the crazy resolution, but I will ride with megapixel-pony all day long since my clients want large gallery prints. I would love for you to check out my video below where I discuss all of these topics while comparing the new Nikon D5 and D500. Enjoy!
NEW VIDEO – Nikon D5 vs D500- Possible D820/D900 Coming Soon?
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/YT-D5-D500-.jpg7201280Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-03-01 20:24:272016-09-03 01:37:48Nikon D5 vs D500 - Possible D850/D900 Coming Soon?
This photo was taken on a super fun adventure that me, my dad, and my brother went on while we were vacationing in Panama City Beach. My dad knows that I am obsessed with seafood and taking photos, so he wanted to take my brother and I on a day-trip to Apalachicola, Florida where they have the best oysters in the world. I had never been to Apalachicola before so I was really excited to embark on a day of adventure, seafood, and photography!
It was a beautiful drive from Panama City Beach to Apalachicola! We stopped probably ten times along the way for me to take photos and for us to try different seafood of course. I took a lot of photos that day for documentary purposes, but the one I ended up using for my portfolio was the photo you see below of the abandoned ship consumed by sand. I saw the boat as we were crossing the bridge to enter St. George Island, and I immediately asked my dad to find a place where we could pull off the road and hike to it. Without going into detail, it was quite a difficult process hiking down to the ship due to things like high tide, steep hills, slippery rocks, etc. However, it was all worth it once I saw the immediate result on the back of my camera. It was an awesome location for photos!
I made a quick video while I was photographing boat to show everyone how I helped mother nature out a little by adding an element from my surroundings into the shot for a stunning final composition. If you have any questions at all or simply want to talk about seafood, lets chat in the comments!
NEW VIDEO – Landscape Photography Tutorial – Abandoned Boat
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-QhJzPRg/5/M/Why%20is%20The%20Rum%20Gone-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-01-21 16:57:212016-09-03 15:40:26Why Is The Rum Gone
After loads of people asking how I give my photos a magical and etherial look, I made a video on how I post processed one of my most popular Disney photos. I hope you all enjoy it!
NEW VIDEO – Disney World Photography Post Processing #2
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Disney-Post-Processing-Video-2.jpg7201280Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-01-07 22:34:122016-09-03 15:49:57Disney World Photography Post Processing #2
I was honored this week to be featured on the Art Of The Image youtube channel and website. I was asked to speak on my top tips for theme park photography. I have never spoken on this topic before, but how could I turn down the opportunity to be on this awesome photography show? I have posted the link to the video below, and I hope you all enjoy it!I was honored this week to be featured on the Art Of The Image youtube channel and website. I was asked to speak on my top tips for theme park photography. I have never spoken on this topic before, but how could I turn down the opportunity to be on this awesome photography show? I have posted the link to the video below, and I hope you all enjoy it!
NEW VIDEO – Theme Park Photography Tips
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Theme-Park-Tips-YT-Graphic.jpg7201280Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-01-01 23:49:042016-09-03 15:52:44Happy New Year With A NEW VIDEO
Hello! I hope everyone is having a magical evening on this lovely “eve” of Thanksgiving! First, I want to tell everyone how truly thankful and blessed I am to have fans and supporters of my artistic life adventures here on The Finding Middle Earth Photography Blog! You are all very important to me, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families.
Instead of a quick “Happy Thanksgiving” video, I wanted to provide a cool tip that might help you all when trying to take family photos this Thanksgiving and Christmas. You might find the tip a little goofy, but I promise it works wonders on the quality of your photos. Enjoy The video below!
NEW VIDEO: How To Take Better Family Photos For The Holidays
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Better-Fam-Photos_YT-Graphic.jpg7201280Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-11-25 19:33:012016-09-03 16:03:31How To Take Better Family Photos For The Holidays
I have been using the Adorama Flashpoint ZoomLioN i-TTL Speedlight for a while now, and I finally did an in depth review on it. I hope I can finally answer the high speed sync questions that so many people have and put them to rest. I could not find any good videos about this flash online, so I hope you all enjoy the information in this one!
After talking with and observing many other photographers, I learned a few things: There are a lot of photography professionals and enthusiasts out there that do not geotag their photos, and a lot of them have never even opened the “Map Module” inside of Adobe Lightroom. Needless to say, I wanted to make a quick video to show everyone how and why I geotag my photos! It sounds really hard, but I promise I go slow enough in this video for you to see every single step in my geotagging workflow.
I hope you all enjoy the video!
NEW VIDEO – “GEOTAGGING YOUR PHOTOS WITH ADOBE LIGHTROOM”
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Geotagging-Youtube-Graphic.jpg7201280Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-10-02 18:01:562016-09-03 17:44:28Learn How To GEOTAG Your Photos