Warm Vintage – Photoshop – Color Grading

In this quick minute video I show you the settings I used to get a warm vintage look in my photograph. Be sure to give this a try to if you felt it helpful, give me a follow!

Photo Journal – 1

One of my favorite shots, I was camping at Bartlet lake in Arizona and I wanted to capture the stars in the background because they looked so gorgeous out by the lake.

How I got the shot:

Took some trial and error, but off to the left I believe we had a lantern that was admitting light into the frame. Keep in mind this a long exposure shot so all the light was bleeding into the sensor making it over exposed.

I used my iPhone flashlight to get this shot, since it was a long exposure of about 4 seconds I needed to light the foreground but also have the background in focus as well. I accomplished this by taking the photo and waving my flashlight at the foreground so that light would bleed in the sensor, then I cut the light completely; thus, allowing the stars to bleed into the sensor and not have the foreground over exposed.

Nightscapes tips:

The primary goal is to get both the foreground and the background properly exposed. However, the problem is if you expose for the stars your foreground becomes pitch black or over exposed, both resulting in wasted space. Now, the solution is being able to control the light. If you can light the foreground for a few seconds in your exposure, then let the image continue exposing for the stars you can strike the perfect balance.

This photo is literally trash bro?

Russ’s Review: Small-rig Cage

Not everyone needs a cage for their camera but those who do video work will appreciate the attachments you can add to your camera. Those who primarily record themselves will benefit by getting a cage for their a6400 or any a6xxx because the mic jack get’s in the way of the screen, you can counter this by purchasing a hot shoe mount to attach.

Furthermore, you can attach lights and 4k monitors if you’d like; the possibilities are endless until you run out of screws that is. My favorite attachment next to the hot shoe mount is attaching my light from aperture! i suggest looking into the cage if you are a videographer. Let me know how you like it!

If you decide to purchase any of these items head over to the My Gear tab and use my link if you’d like. Thank you.

Russ’s Review: 85mm 1.8 Sony

The 85mm 1.8 Sony is one of the highest quality lenses you could get for little investment. With that being said, let’s find out if it’s right for you.

1/125th ISO: 400 f/1.8

Lens Price

This lens is one of my first additions to my very small collection, also the best quality lens for the price in my opinion and of many others. I originally purchased this lens for around 600$ new, this was before i was comfortable buying used gear. Furthermore, i have seen this lens go for as low as 400$ on Reddit’s photomarket and on offer up, (be sure to inspect and ask for detailed photos). At this price i think this would be a good addition to any photographers toolkit.

Lens Use

The price is right but, is this lens right for you?

Personally this lens was worth every penny to me. However, i primarily do portrait work. This lens allows me to get close to my subject without breathing down their neck, this is a huge benefit by the way. As you can see from my portfolio most of my portraits are up close and personal with people and sometimes its easier to get a longer focal length than actually getting closer to someone you just met.

Lens Quality

The build quality of this lens is very sturdy, it has a switch on the side so you can alternate between Manual Focus (MF) and Auto Focus (AF). This comes in handy when shooting through windows. Furthermore, this lens is light, it will not break your back hiking a mountain. As for the image quality this lens is very sharp not as sharp as the 55mm 1.8 Zeiss but it is second in my collection. The main selling point of this image is the bokeh it produces, that is thanks to it’s aperture and its focal length.

Do i buy this lens??

This statement entirely depends on you. Speaking honestly, i only pull this lens out when doing portraits. That being said i shoot a lot of portraits haha. However, im not walking down the street with this lens taking photographs or climbing mountains, not saying that you shouldn’t but most don’t. This lens stays at home unless i know i will be shooting portraits. So if you shoot a lot of portraits or think you can use this lens in other ways by all means purchase it. Compared to all the other lenses in this focal range, this one is the best bang for your buck.

Is the 55mm F/1.8 Zeiss worth the cash?

The Sony 55mm 1.8 Zeiss clocks in around a whopping 1000$ new. If you’re lucky and can wait for a great opportunity, you can find it selling for around 600$ – 800$ used on Facebook marketplace or offer up, just be sure to inspect the lens first. I purchased mine for 600 and it was in perfect condition.

What are you paying for?

The reason this lens is so pricey is simple, in a lot of cases you get what you pay for, this is one of those times. While this lens might not be needed for everyone, those working professionally will appreciate the extreme sharpness and build quality of this lens.

A lens around the 50mm focal range is needed in all camera bags, its the most versatile lens a photographer can own. So, if you could only afford one professional lens, it would make sense to go with the 55mm Zeiss; especially if you’re working professionally.

How’s the low light?

The 55mm 1.8 Zeiss holds up nicely in low light as you expect given its stats. Personally this is one of my favorite lenses for low light shooting and street photography. Previously, the 85mm 1.8 from Sony was my most cherished lens and it still holds a place in my heart for portrait work but recently i have had the 55mm stuck to my a7iii.

55mm 1.8 or the 50mm 1.8?

The big question for most of you is will it be worth it choosing the 55mm over the 50mm, the honest answer is no. Most people can not handle this much power, i mean um, sharpness. If you’re focused on videography the smarter choice would be the 50mm. My photographers will have to weigh out the options.

Are you a hobbyist? Do you want to have at least one high quality lens? Do you work professionally for clients? Do you need a competitive edge?

For most, you will not need this lens. I suggest you rent and try this lens out and decide if you actually need it, if you do head over to the My Gear page and purchase it using my link if you’d like, be sure to check offer up and other used local places first though, we’re all about saving money here.