Thank you, Gig Photographer!


Kendrick Lamar Australian Tour Photos

A quick thanks to Gig Photographer, who published a few of my photos today:

The Dillinger Escape Plan - http://ift.tt/1lbyDv7

Kendrick Lamar - http://ift.tt/1lbyDvb

I love the team over at Gig Photographer, so it means a lot. Thanks!


from Thank you, Gig Photographer!

Melbourne creatives and iPhone photography


I just got back from Melbourne, and while I can’t say too much about what I was working on just yet, I did document some of my stay by means of iPhone photography. Soon enough my routine visits to Melbourne might become a little clearer, but like any creative, I’m working hard on ideas that I think are unique and useful to people and am somewhat protective of that.

Creatives are a unique type. I spend almost 100% of my time around them and we all work a little differently. The one thing we have in common is how territorial we can be with new ideas. We’re all stuck in a time when all of the obvious ideas are already realised, and those that don’t appear obvious at first often turn out to be just that. Sometimes finding a unique idea is like finding a needle in a haystack, only some creatives will act like the stack is made of needles because only they can see it. That may be true to some people, but it’s not to anyone I know or have worked with. It might be ego or the ‘fake it till you make it’ routine.

Everyone else is hungry for that one idea, and when they get it, they’re proud that it’s theirs. Melbourne respects the importance of that creative culture, which is probably why most of my friends live down there now. I don’t think my idea is world-changing, but I’m excited to show you. For now, here’s some shots from Melbourne as iPhone photography.

iPhone photography in Melbourne

iPhone photography in Melbourne
iPhone photography in Melbourne

iPhone photography in Melbourne

iPhone photography in Melbourne


from Melbourne creatives and iPhone photography

Free Lightroom presets giveaway is over


4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell

Over 150 of you are now enjoying my four free presets that I gave away over four weeks.

Thank you to all of you who download the free presets, sent me one of your photos that used the presets, or told someone in your network about the presets. You’re all winners to me.

For those of you that didn’t pick up the four Lightroom presets or missed one of the presets, you can download them all for just $4.

Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz
from Free Lightroom presets giveaway is over

High On Fire’s Australian Tour


I had never seen High On Fire before, but I had heard about the almighty Matt Pike before. 

Brisbane’s Crowbar have always been super nice to me and it was great to be back there after The Bronx’s double header a couple of weeks ago. High On Fire kicked off their Australian tour with a double header gig back-to-back at Crowbar and I got along to night number two, where they played with Zodiac and Lizzard Wizzard.

Check out the photos from High On Fire after the jump.

High On Fire band at Crowbar Brisbane

High On Fire band at Crowbar Brisbane

High On Fire band at Crowbar Brisbane

High On Fire band at Crowbar Brisbane

High On Fire band at Crowbar Brisbane

High On Fire band at Crowbar Brisbane

High On Fire band at Crowbar Brisbane

High On Fire band at Crowbar Brisbane

High On Fire band at Crowbar Brisbane

High On Fire band at Crowbar Brisbane

High On Fire band at Crowbar Brisbane

High On Fire band at Crowbar Brisbane


from High On Fire’s Australian Tour

Review: 40mm 2.8 Pancake lens


The 40mm 2.8 lens is known as a ‘pancake lens’ to most photographers. You probably won’t be surprised to know that it’s thin – but no matter what understanding you have of the size of the pancake lens, you’ll still be surprised. This thing is thin, and it’s a brilliant piece of photography gear for its price.

About the lens

I bought the pancake lens blindly and hoped it would be a decent addition to my camera bag. I just had one of those days where the urge to be a consumer was at an all-time high. The 40mm pancake lens had just come out and I thought I would try it out. What’s the harm at $220, I thought? The lens is designed for use with Canon’s EOS M range, which is Canon’s mirrorless body offering. The lens also features a certain type of motor which I admit I don’t know too much about, but provides a steadier change in focusing while filming with an EOS M body. That’s outside the scope of this review because I’m a photographer, and that’s all my insight can really comment on.

What I tested the lens with

I tested this lens mainly with street photography and food photography. The reasons I tested it on these types of photography is because the biggest selling point of the pancake lens is how thin and light it is. I wanted to test how much lighter it made my 5Dmkiii and how it focused for a prime. I also wanted to test it against sharpness, which food photography is perfect for.

Focusing with the lens

The focusing is quite accurate with the autofocus, although it is noticeably slow. This is probably the weakest point of the lens. The lens is best when you have it on manual focus. However, this really shows off where the pancake design has its biggest flaws. The focusing ring is on the furtherest part of the lens away from the camera body, and is as thin as you imagine it to be. It’s very unforgiving when you’re out and needing to focus quickly. Because the lens is really design for filming on the EOS M range, the focusing ring requires a lot of rotations to focus compared to more common Canon lenses.

Build quality of the lens

The build quality is pretty good, but there are some concerns I had with how well it meets non-EOS M mount cameras. When you slide the lens in and twist it into place, it feels like it’s not meant to fit on the EF mount. It feels like you are pushing against it unnaturally. When you get it in place, some of the connector points must not have made contact with certain parts of the 40mm lens, because it would not autofocus or allow me to release the shutter. Once I took the lens off and remounted it, the autofocus worked and everything was going great. However, I find that this lack of contact point accuracy happens almost every time I equip the lens, which is frustrating. It’s also concerning how much damage the friction it has against the EF mount might be doing. This lens is designed for the EOS M camera, and it shows, despite boasting its compatibility. The lens is made out of some durable plastic and metals, and while there’s not much to it, it does feel solid.

Sharpness

This thing is razor sharp in terms of clarity for its price. I expected something similar to the 50mm 1.8 that many people say is a photographer’s best friend. The 50mm is very sharp, but I believe the 40mm 2.8 pancake lens is sharper. I often shoot with the 50mm 1.2L lens, and the 40mm performs almost as sharp as that lens, and comes in at around $1,200 cheaper than that of its luxury competitor.

Who the lens is perfect for

The 40mm 2.8 pancake lens is perfect for photographers who feel the 50mm 1.8 is a little long in the tooth, or are using a crop-frame and feel the 50mm is a little too restrictive in terms of what fits in the frame. The lens is best when it’s taken out on the street, making your camera much more subtle when catching that perfect moment between strangers. But it really is a well-rounded lens that is sharp enough and fast enough to grab enough light and pass as a professional lens.

Samples

Matt Warrell food photography
Who Invited The Vegan
Matt Warrell food photography

from Review: 40mm 2.8 Pancake lens

4fo4 – Last chance for free Lightroom presets!


There has been a fantastic show of support for my 4for4 Lightroom preset giveaway. And by a show of support, I mean acceptance of the free presets I’ve offered you in return for supporting me.

I’m sad that this is the final week of 4for4. I might do another one again sometime. These presets might become available in the future in some kind of preset pack, but this is your last opportunity to download one of the 4for4 free Lightroom presets for zero dollars.

I hope you’ve enjoyed downloading them and creating different-looking work! But for now, download the final preset below, or see some examples of work I’ve made with the final week of 4for4 – a preset titled ‘Dirty and Dull’. It does what you’d expect; making cracks and dirt look more prominent while fading some of the commonly clean-looking colours.

Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz

 

4for4 Free Lightroom Presets

4for4 Free Lightroom Presets

4for4 Free Lightroom Presets

4for4 Free Lightroom Presets

4for4 Free Lightroom Presets

4for4 Free Lightroom Presets

4for4 Free Lightroom Presets


from 4fo4 – Last chance for free Lightroom presets!

A week curating the We Are Brisbane Twitter account


Time with the We Are Brisbane Twitter account

This week I was asked to curate the We Are Brisbane Twitter account, a dedicated rotation curation identity. Each week, a new Brisbane-dweller takes to the account and engages with the different followers that We Are Brisbane has, and this week, I was that Brisbane-dweller.

I’ve just finished my week speaking with people of Brisbane about photography, film, social media and more. It’s been a hectic and fun week chatting with so many new people. I shared my photography with people and they shared theirs with me. Brisbane has a fantastic photography community, but they’re more reserved than similar communities in Melbourne and Sydney. This makes it harder for me to find and chat with them, discuss techniques and share content. Finding those connections and other Brisbane creatives was the best thing about curating We Are Brisbane account.

Thanks for asking me to be a part of We Are Brisbane, Kelly!


from A week curating the We Are Brisbane Twitter account

Camera Stores in Ginza, Tokyo


Much like my article on how to find a good camera at a good price while shopping in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Ginza is worthy of its own article. Shorten your camera shopping in Tokyo by taking a read of what stores I think are worth your time.

Lemon Camera

This Lemon Camera is much like the one in Shinjuku, but considerably larger. You can find almost any type of camera in there, as long as it shoots some film format. The best part about Lemon Camera is that there are almost always more than one or two cameras available of each model, so inventory isn’t an issue if you’re looking for something specific. The worst part about Lemon Camera is that the sales are made on consignment from the camera’s owner, and the price is not set by the store itself. This could go either way, but it almost always goes in the way of the seller.

Don’t let that drive you away from stopping by Lemon Camera. It really is a great store and I’ve found some excellent bargains in there from sellers who obviously have a realistic idea of what their camera is worth. 

To make matters worse, everything is behind locked glass cabinets, which means you can’t see the prices of stock behind the item closest to the glass without asking. I’m not sure if this is done on a first-in, first-out basis, but it does make things considerably harder to arrange, especially if you don’t speak decent Japanese.

Don’t let that drive you away from stopping by Lemon Camera. It really is a great store and I’ve found some excellent bargains in there from sellers who obviously have a realistic idea of what their camera is worth. Plus, don’t forget, it has almost every film camera you can think of on the shelves.

Shimizu House

Don’t be surprised if you walk past Shimizu House and you find it empty. It feels like this place lives off reputation alone.

They once carried a wide range of gear, but now it’s pretty slim pickings. They do a good job of making the shelves look full, but if this isn’t your first stop on your camera shopping adventure, I could imagine that you might come away underwhelmed. I only stop by because it’s easy to sweep past on your route to other stores.

Worth a look, but I’ve never made a purchase here. The staff are super friendly, though.

Nikon House

Most people sing high praises of Nikon House, but I must be one of the only photographers who see problems with it. It’s iconic (for some unknown reason) and not something I would recommend if it wasn’t really close to other great camera stores in Ginza. If you’re not a Nikon shooter, you probably won’t find anything interesting in there.

It’s iconic (for some unknown reason) and not something I would recommend if it wasn’t really close to other great camera stores in Ginza.

My concerns around Nikon House are primarily due to the way the cameras are stocked in the curved window. The afternoon sun hits that window and is unobstructed, and in Spring and Summer that glass can get really hot. I worry about the quality of the gear sitting on the opposite side of the glass, regardless of the air conditioning inside. Extreme heat can easily weaken the plastics used on older film camera bodies, and I would assume it would also weaken the shutter curtain on some cameras.

If you’re a tourist and unable to make a return if it’s defective, I would avoid buying anything at Nikon House.

Sukiya House

I’m undecided about my thoughts on Sukiya House, so I recommend you check it out to make your own decision.

The guys that work there are awesome and while they don’t have great English, they make up for it in genuine willingness to help you out.

The range isn’t huge, but they ocassionally have a rare camera in there that might tempt you to make a purchase. The guys that work there are awesome and while they don’t have great English, they make up for it in genuine willingness to help you out. If you have a bit of patience and feel like a gamble, I would definitely recommend stopping in.

It’s hidden down a small doorway, but the lights inside are super bright, so you shouldn’t miss it. They love their Leicas here.

Sankyo Camera

This is probably my favourite camera store in Ginza. Sankyo Camera has one of almost everything, and the store has two parts, similar to Map Camera. Fortunately, if you look at the doorway of the main store, your back will be almost exactly lined up with the entrance to the other store.

I saw a Canon EOS 1V in there for a cool 12,000 yen and the same camera at other stores for 18,000 – 40,000 yen.

The thing that makes Sankyo Camera great is that it has a fantastic range like Lemon Camera has, but isn’t a consignment store, so the prices are often more reasonable. I saw a Canon EOS 1V in there for a cool 12,000 yen and the same camera at other stores for 18,000 – 40,000 yen. The staff are fantastic and will take you through the cameras functions so you know everything is working.

Once you’re done with the main store, head across the walkway and jump into the second store. This one has heaps of odds and ends and some camera bodies that didn’t fit in the main store. Pretty much everything you find here will be parts or broken, but from what I see when I’m there, there’s no mould and the prices are very reasonable for things sold ‘for parts’.

Katsumido Camera

Katsumido Camera is for the rich. You might think that’s a silly statement, but the prices in there will make your wallet shrivel up and die. Katsumido lives mainly off reputation alone, although they do have an excellent range of Leica gear, and a very good range of everything else. It’s worth a stop by, but I can’t imagine you would find anything here that you couldn’t find elsewhere for cheaper.

The reputation for this store is quite poor in terms of service, but because I’ve only ever been in as a looker, never a buyer, I haven’t had any real dialogue with the staff. Worth a poke around to see what is on offer at the very least.


from Camera Stores in Ginza, Tokyo

3 tips for Lightroom’s Develop Module


Starting out as a photographer can be hard enough with trying to get off automatic mode without needing to learn how to make the most of Adobe Lightroom’s features. The program has more features than most photographers realise, but what I see more often than not is photographers avoiding some of the most useful ones. So here are three Lightroom features and tips I recommend all new photographers and Lightroom users take advantage of to save time later.

White Balance

One of the most common issues I see in photos is that the white balance is off. And by off, I mean way off. It’s a mistake even I make regularly. One thing you can do is to simplify your process.

Your camera does a pretty good job of selecting the correct white balance for the shot if you have it set on auto. It might seem like choosing one of the setting-specific options in the White Balance dropdown is a good idea, but you’re just confusing yourself for the next step. The reason I say that is because when you move into the ‘Develop’ module, you’re going to have the full White Balance slider available.

Trust me, using this slider and seeing the results change slowly right in front of you gives you a much greater level of control over your image. Don’t let these dropdown presets complicate things.

 

Lightroom Photography tip

Keywords

When you start out either building a new Lightroom catalogue or getting into photography, keywords might seem like a hassle.

One of the things you will thank yourself for later is keeping on top of your keywords. So many times someone has asked me for a photo in a certain resolution, and I sit there and give myself a good, long, pat on the back for having accurate keywords attached to the photos in my Lightroom catalogue.

Even the simplest of keywords can save you time later. Plus, the keyword suggestions will get more meaningful as time goes on, so there really is no excuse not to get in the habit of saving yourself time!

 

Lightroom Photography tip

Metadata

Protecting your images from copyright is almost impossible in the short-term for photographers. Having to run through the courts with a copyright infringement case is not cheap. Almost everyone watermarks images, but Lightroom has a metadata entry option that some photographers don’t take advantage of. And every little bit of copyright protection helps.

By adding your metadata, you can specify what usage rights people have, where the work originated from, and how someone can get in contact with you if they want to talk about using the image for their campaign or initiative. This metadata will be embedded in your JPEG file on export, so set up a metadata preset and enable it by default so you don’t have to worry about adding the information in each time you go to export images.

Lightroom Photography tip

 

Lightroom Photography tip

So there you have it – three tips for getting your Lightroom catalogue off on the right foot. What tips do you have for keeping a clean Lightroom catalogue?


from 3 tips for Lightroom’s Develop Module

Week 3′s Free Lightroom Preset now available to download


It’s Monday again, and that means it’s time for the third free Lightroom preset of 4for4, a campaign that gives you free Lightroom presets absolutely free!

If you didn’t get the first or second out of the four free Lightroom presets from 4for4 – don’t worry. There’s still two great presets coming, and the first one is available right now!

Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz

Don’t forget:

  • Visit the 4for4 page each Monday for the next three weeks
  • Download the free Lightroom preset on offer
  • Share with me what you’ve made

‘Vintage Greenery’ was last week’s free preset, and proved to be even more popular than week 1′s preset, ‘Skin Pump’! This week’s is one of my favourites. Check out what I made with the ‘Bright Monochrome’ Lightroom preset:

4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell

4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell

4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell

4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell

4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell

4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell

4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell

4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell

4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell

4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell

4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell

4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell

4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell

4for4 Lightroom Presets by Matt Warrell


from Week 3′s Free Lightroom Preset now available to download