Read My Photo Essay WILD LABRADOR

The Torngat Mountains, LabradorThis summer, I spent half of July exploring the northeast region of Canada as a guest photography guide with Adventure Canada and Fujifilm. The highlight of that trip was traveling up the entire coast of Labrador, and I’ve just published my first photo essay about that amazing and beautiful region.

Read WILD LABRADOR: Adventures in the Upper Right Corner and see some of my favorite images from the trip and learn just a bit about this rugged and remote corner of the world.

I posted the story on my adventure mini-site, adventures.danbaileyphoto.com. This site is designed to offer a clean, bold presentation and a simple design. As much as I love writing about my adventures here, there are some topics I feel require this treatment for maximum visual impact.

Check out the story here, and subscribe to be notified when I post future adventure photo essays.

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Serif Releases Affinity Photo Software For Mac

Serif software just released a professional photo editing program for Mac called Affinity Photo. Built as a high-end alternative to Adobe Photoshop CC, Affinity Photo offers a sophisticated tool set for editing and retouching and a beautiful, intuitive user interface.

During its beta period, which had been going on since February, Serif gathered input from thousands of trial users and worked to refine the app into a rock solid performer. Reviews of the beta version noted it’s speed and reliability.

Five years in the making, Affinity Photo offers full file compatibility, RGB, CMYK, LAB and Grayscale color spaces, with full ICC color management, Adjustment Layers, RAW editing and a huge selection of creative tools, filters and customizable effects.

Best part about Affinity Photo is the price; only $49, available at the Mac App Store. Flat fee. No subscription. Obviously, this will be music to the years of everyone who’s unhappy about Adobe’s Creative Cloud pricing model, which has left a bad taste in the mouths of more than a few photographers.

Although I haven’t tried Affinity Photo yet, I’m really excited by its release, because the world needs competition. Photoshop has been the only game in town for professional photo editing for a long time and they need someone to keep them honest. In turn, they have set the bar for other companies who want to bring something new to the table. Either way, competition leads to innovation, which only makes things better for everyone.

Even though I’ve been a Photoshop user for many years, my loyalty only goes so far if I find a system that works better for my workflow. Photoshop does offer a very powerful solution when I need to go beyond Lightroom, and although I’m not necessarily ready to ditch Adobe right now, I’m always open to options, and so should you be.

It’s true, there are a number of other image editing programs out there, but nothing as full featured as Affinity Photo. Most of them do a few things really well, they just don’t do everything, or else they have limitations, like only being able to work in RGB color space, or not being able to work with 16-bit raw files.

Affinity Photo is not dumbed down in any way, it handles any task you could do in Photoshop, some better, some not, although keep in mind that is only version 1, and if they did this good right out of the gate, it will only improve.

If you’re not happy with Adobe, or if you’re looking for a viable alternative to Photoshop, check out the Serif website and see what Affinity Photo is all about- they even have a free ten-day trial period. You can also read this early review by a beta user. 

 

 

Read My Article in Outdoor Photographer Magazine, August 2015 Issue

Learn Photography Online with the Pros

OP-ArticleI’m excited to report that my work is featured in the August 2015 issue of Outdoor Photographer Magazine. The article is called “My Move To Mirrorless, and it outlines my transition from Nikon DLSR gear to the smaller, lighter Fuji X-T1 and X-T10 for all of my photography.

The piece features a number of my recent favorite images, all shot with the X-T1, and it details exactly how I made each photo. For each example, the extended caption explains how mirrorless camera technology has influenced my work, and in most cases, how my fast moving style of outdoor action and adventure has actually benefitted from using mirrorless cameras.

Aside from being lighter and smaller, there are distinct advantages that mirrorless cameras such as the X-T1 offers over DSLRs. And I’m not the only person who has discovered these benefits- A a wide number of photographers, both pro and amateur are discovering that they don’t need clunky DSLRs in order to shoot professional quality work.

Having used SLR and DSLR cameras for well over 20 years, I did not take my switch to mirrorless lightly. The bottom line is that I can’t afford to use gear that doesn’t let me push my creative and technical limits as I continue to evolve as a photographer.

This isn’t about trends, it’s about tools. Since much of my photography revolves around very technical shooting situations that incorporate tricky light and fast breaking subject matter, I need a camera system that can perform to high standards and deliver fast, accurate autofocus, good ergonomics and high quality images with excellent color rendition. For me, the X cameras deliver all of those things, plus they’re really fun to use.

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There’s still a misperception with some people that DSLRs are far superior to mirrorless cameras when it comes to quality and performance. However, some of the arguments I hear are either not entirely accurate, or they do not reflect the kinds of real-world situations that most photographers deal with on a regular basis.

The goal with this article, which the OP editors asked me to write, is to dispel these notions. While I don’t have the same extensive experience with other mirrorless camera brands, some of my points in the OP article do apply to other mirrorless setups as well. With regards to the Fuji system, here are some addition points not described in the magazine piece.

The Fuji X-Trans sensors are capable of producing results that exceed the needs of many shooters. With its irregular pattern, non-bayer color filter matrix and no optical low pass filter in front of the sensor, the Fuji X cameras produce incredibly sharp imagery that rivals full frame. I’ve seen side-by-side comparisons of the Fuji X-E2 and the Nikon D750, where the image from the X-E2 was sharper. Plus, the pixel density/size on the X-T1 is almost identical to the Nikon D810, which means it has the same, excellent low light performance.

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Also, Fuji’s long history of color rendition, which stems from decades of film production, has been infused as specific color profiles into their digital cameras. I’ve always loved the Fuji colors. There’s nothing like capturing a brilliant, dynamic outdoor scene on Velvia. It was gorgeous then, and it’s gorgeous now.

Then there’s the glass. Fuji has made lenses for Hasselblad, NASA, TV and film and other uses/manufacturers for years. Their glass is as sharp as any lens you’ll ever look through, and combined with the X-Trans sensor, the X cameras produce unbelievably sharp photographs that will reproduce well, even at VERY large sizes. I’ve had photos from my X cameras blown up to 4 by 6 foot wall panels for professional clients that look absolutely stunning.

In just a few years, Fuji has built an incredible selection of 20 lenses, that encompass a wide range of fast primes and zooms, 5 of which are weather sealed, and they even have a 100-400mm lens and a teleconverter slated to come out in the next year or so. This will be an excellent combo for wildlife photographers. Also, Lensbaby has finally released an X mount version for the Fuji cameras.

Finally, with the recent v.4 firmware update, Fuji totally revamped the predictive autofocus system on the X-T1 and the new X-T10. It’s even faster and more accurate now, and as good or better than many lower priced DSLRs. Combined with the X-T1′s high buffer and 8 fps frame rate, you can max out at 47 RAW shots in full continuous mode. Is it as good as the $6,000 Nikon D4? No, but for what most people shoot, it will get the job done. I shoot lots of fast moving subjects and it gets the job done for me.

DSLRs are great, but the reality is that mirrorless cameras represent the future. As the performance gap keeps closing with each new model, I think you’ll find them to be more than adequate, if not ideal for just about everything you shoot.

The August 2015 issue of Outdoor Photographer is now on the newsstands, and you can also read the digital edition on your mobile device, or read my article online. Also, to read the full story of my move from Nikon to Fuji, check out this blog post.

Have you switched? Leave a comment and tell me your story.

Bring Back the Shadows: The Case Against HDR

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Call this ode to the shadow, my attempt to rescue that wonderful, often elusive species, which has been pushed aside lately with such increasing and ruthless neglect by slider-happy photographers who banish it from existence in their images. You know what I’m talking … Continue reading

Check Out My Brand New iOS Photography Apps

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I’m excited to announce the release of my brand new photography apps for iPhone and iPad. Capturing Action and Capturing Landscapes are both full of photography tips designed to help you shoot better, more dynamic images, whether you use a DSLR, a mirrorless … Continue reading

Mirrorless Cameras and the Legacy of Photography

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Last week, I went out shooting with my friend Ryan Greeff, who lives here in Anchorage. He also likes to photograph outdoor adventure subjects and sports like mountain biking. He’s only been shooting for a few years, but he’s got a … Continue reading