Memphis

Memphis Event Photography

I offer Memphis event photography services starting at $75. I cover your party or event using high end Fuji and Leica gear. I usually offer next day delivery of non-watermarked images.

I have 35 years photography experience in Memphis and have covered events with important Memphis politicians, socialites, and musicians. I am equipped to handle photo booths, low light events, parties, and events in the Memphis metro area.

Larger events that require multiple photographers start at $150.

Whatever your event needs are, My staff and I are ready to handle your next party, occasion, or event.

There are many people out there offering these services, make sure you choose the service that you are most comfortable with.

Publishing Experience:  My photographs have been published in the Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Our Wisconsin Magazine, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Mad Magazine, The Dallas Sundowner, The Street Photographer’s Notebook, Times of Israel, AZJewishPost,NationalGeographic.com, The Jewish Journal of Greater L.A, Gizmodo, Petapixel, The Desoto Times, The Memphis Flyer, sciencedaily.com, Fox 13 and other publications. I have experience with hard news, documentary, travel and general assignment / news photography.

Book Publishing: I have self produced seven fine art coffee table books. I produced all photography, layout, design, marketing, and publishing of all books. I also handled paper selection, printing, binding, and distribution of all books as well as press release writing and distribution.

Portrait and Wedding Photography: I have over 20 years experience with portrait, event, and wedding photography.  My experience includes both environmental and studio work. This includes all sales, marketing, image delivery, and presentation of bodies of work for clients.

Relevant Skills: Photography, Photoshop, web design, layout, copywriting, graphic design, page layout for print and web, printing preprocess, darkroom, customer service, sales, fine art marketing, graphic design, sem, seo, html, php, mysql, InDesign, Tech Support, Public Relations, Technical writing, travel writing, journalism, content management, local seo, social media management.

Galleries: I have had numerous individual and group gallery shows over 20 years. I was responsible for all photographic processes, framing, matting, presentation of final images and assisting with the marketing of gallery shows.

Stock Photography: I am currently represented by three stock agencies handling sales, publishing, and distributions of my image catalog.

Studio Photography: I currently run my own studio for event photography, portraits, family, headshots, assignment, product photography, and fine art photography production

Portfolio available for review.

BFA in Photography, Memphis College of Art


Blake Billings Photography

3364 poplar, suite 101
memphis, tn 38111
United States
Phone: 8503742291
Email: leicaphotos@gmail.com

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Android Apps as a Cash Cow

Android App DevelopmentIt’s not easy initially to produce an Android App. You have to be an adept programmer or willing to hire someone to write the code for you. But once you get the app written, listed, have entered your financial information into google, become an approved merchant, and thoroughly tested your app, THEN you get to tirelessly market it. There are millions of competitors, people need to have a reason to download it. After your first thousand or so downloads, it becomes easier… The money should be rolling in by this point.

You don’t have to be an ace programmer to implement a few android apps, but it helps if you have some programming knowledge. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

For android apps, you have to install java, the android studio, set up an account with Google Play Apps Developer, there is a one time $25 setup fee. You have to register all your financial information, and then you jump through all the hoops of writing your app (or hiring someone to do it for you), promoting it through admob, adwords, and high traffic volumes to your site. You also have to set up analytics to track your effectiveness.

There are many places to find prefab android code: CodeCanyon.net

If you have a good idea and are patient, you can have a fun or useful app that will generate revenue for your business. Apps have to do something special. Most people have a short attention span, so your app has to be engaging.

Google charges a one time fee of $25 to list all the apps you can develop – whereas Apple charges $99/month.

Your SEO comes into play here as it doesn’t matter how great your app is if nobody can find you. I do offer SEO and android app consulting services for Memphis businesses.

 

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Memphis SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

 

Memphis SEO Services

Local SEO for Memphis BusinessesI provide efficient SEO consulting for Memphis businesses. I also address the issues of Local SEO, Bing, Google Webmaster Tools, and tweaks you can make on your site to show up for desired results. I talk about the important stuff that is learned and ingrained from over 20 years of building websites. If you are reading this, it means that my search engine magic works for getting high rankings on google and bing. From here on, it’s just a matter of personality.

I know all of the technical tricks that most SEO consultants will never address. I will set you up for better search engine results using proven white hat techniques that work VERY effectively.

Local SEO, Memphis SEO,Search Engine OptimizationDon’t trust some marketing firm with a pretty face or out of towners where you’re just a number as they will tell you it’s all about facebook and instagram. 90% of the people that claim to be SEO/Marketing firms have no business handling your business.

For the local small business, it is critical that you have all the pieces to the puzzle. Have you set your site up at Google Search Console? Have you set up a proper sitemap? Have you set your site up at Bing Webmaster Tools? Is your site mobile friendly? Do you have good copy with the correct percentage of keywords and length of copy?

If you are confused already or have answered NO to any of these, call my and we can set up an initial meeting to help your business.

Do you believe in supporting local businesses? That’s exactly what you are asking your customers to do, so, please use local owned consultants for your search engine needs. If a “SEO Consultant” isn’t talking about Local SEO, fire them. IMMEDIATELY.

I specialize in Memphis area Restaurants, Musicians, and small Memphis owned businesses.  My rates are more than affordable.

I specialize in Local SEO, SEO for small businesses & Memphis SEO. These specialties help a variety of Memphis companies in countless industries find success in the ever-changing digital landscape. I will utilize my industry and search engine experience to elevate your company’s local search presence and web profile, and ensure the best possible rankings, relevance and ROI from start to finish. Utilizing my tools and experience, I will provide powerful ideas and strategy to drive your business towards ongoing internet success.

Memphis SEO: Content Marketing

What your website says about you is almost as important as how you say it. By creating specific content on a regular basis, potential customers are more likely to visit your website more frequently and view your company as a reputable resource. As a  copywriter, I know how to create engaging content that keeps your website visitors coming back for more.


Blake Billings Photography

3364 poplar, suite 101
memphis, tn 38111
United States
Phone: 8503742291
Email: leicaphotos@gmail.com
URL:

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Venice in winter with the Nikon D810

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Venice in winter with a D810 by Dominique Robert:

Roughly 60,000 permanent residents versus 28 million tourists yearly, the Venetians are clearly overpowered. Traditional local trades, such as sausage-maker or puppeteer, are long gone, and even daily supply stores such as butchers’ shops or bakeries, are now being replaced by tourist traps full to the brim with Chinese “Venetian-looking” cheap merchandise. Even most of what is sold as so-called Murano glass comes from the industrial sweat shops and factories of the Far East.

No one will deny that mass tourism has brought an enormous influx of cash to the city, but the damages made to the lifestyle of the natives are now beyond repair. Nevertheless, “Venice as it was before” (provided there ever was a “before”: there was tourism already in the Middle Ages!) still remains, in pockets tucked away from the tourist throngs, and largely ignored by the outsiders.

There are also times when pressure from tourism abates a little, such as in the middle of winter, either before or after the Carnival. When you happen to return to Venice during one of those times, even though is it cold, the rain is pouring and the light is lugubrious, there are interesting opportunities for non-mainstream photography of l’altra Venezia, “the other Venice”, which a lover of the Serenissima cannot ignore.

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at f/1.4, 1/4000th sec at ISO 32

For this trip, I took a D810 body with a couple of Nikkors (24/1.4, 85/1.4, 300/4) and two Zeiss lenses (15/2.8 and 135/2), together with one Sigma (50/14. Art). I left home my Manfrotto backpack in favor of a very nondescript Eastpak leather backpack, very worn and inconspicuous, carrying the lenses inside in their individual pouches. On this subject, I hate to admit that, even though I’ve been a lifelong loyal and happy Nikon user, the lens pouches made by Canon are much better quality, with a strong semi-rigid leather base that protects the lenses really well. The grey rough leather upper parts can be inscribed with Sharpie felt-tip pens or the like, so you know instantly which lens is inside which pouch.

All this equipment withstood persistent rain perfectly. The 24/1.4 was on most of the time, and it got soaked more than once. It and the D810 always worked flawlessly in spite of the rain.

Please keep in mind that I had to degrade the quality of the JPEGs to 85 or 90 percent to fit NR’s requirements.

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at f/7.1, 1/50th sec at ISO 100

This is a little trick that Venetians like to play on people, even in locations somewhat remote from the beaten tourist track, like here, in this tea room near the Gesuiti church: “Sorry, the credit card machine is not working today…” This has two advantages: one, the shop owner does not have to pay the credit card commission, and two, since the tax authorities will not have any proof of exactly how much business will have been done, there’s room for some creativity…

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF at f/4, 1/200th sec at ISO 125

Venice has grown and been built mostly haphazardly, as the centuries went by and island after island was conquered and their sandy and muddy soil consolidated and made fit for construction. Thus, houses sometimes retain the unlikely shapes dictated by the necessities of the ground they were built on. Sometimes, one wonders just how safe it is to live in some of those houses, but the locals obviously do not mind.

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at f/6.3, 1/60th sec at ISO 125

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at f/3.5, 1/50th sec at ISO 100

You will see a lot if this ivory Istrian stone in Venice, as it is almost immune to corrosion by brackish water that fills in and out of the lagoon with the tides, while rivers such as the Brenta pour their own fresh water into the lagoon. Other materials, such as metal, is much less durable and makes for exquisite bits of “rusty and crusty”.

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at f/1.4, 1/160th sec at ISO 64

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at f/5, 1/40th sec at ISO 200

This harmonious colonnade, although made famous by a German TV series recounting the adventures of a Venetian commissario, stands in a remote part of town and is almost never found by those who are looking for it.

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at f/5.6, 1/125th sec at ISO 125

What did I say above about unlikely-shaped buildings?

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at f/3.2, 1/50th sec at ISO 64

This is what “the other Venice”, that of the Venetians, often looks like today: stairs discreetly leading down to the canal, sorely in need of repair (as well as the surrounding buildings, literally eaten around their base by water), and a dark sotoportego leading to deserted back streets. The shops are gone, there are not many people left, and humidity and cold are everywhere.

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at f/3.5, 1/60th sec at ISO 64

This is the terrace of one of the most famous ice-cream parlors of all Venice. Bustling with tourist activity from mid-March to late December, it is otherwise sad and deserted… even though the gianduiotto specialty ice-cream is still as yummy as ever.

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at f/7.1, 1/640th sec at ISO 64

The Giudecca Island is a large island that’s not part of the historical, “downtown” Venice. Living there is less expensive, and the neighborhoods have remained largely untouched, as very few tourists ever roam them. There are large patches of grass, which are virtually unknown in Venice proper, and one feels like one is visiting the countryside. This house below is where a family of fishermen lives. They can often be seen on the banks of the nearby canal, cleaning fish and shellfish that they sell to local restaurants. In the spring and summer, they appropriate the public land in front of their house and set up an outside patio covered with greenery…

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at f/6.3, 1/125th sec at ISO 64

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at f/2.2, 1/1000th sec at ISO 64

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at f/1.4, 1/1250th sec at ISO 64

This island of Murano is of course famous for its few remaining glass-blowing factories, in which artistic treasures are still crafted daily. But it is also a residential island where many Venetians still live: the glass people of course, but also other residents chased away from the historical center by skyrocketing real estate prices, driven by the buying power of the tourists. And with many a house, comes also a mooring and a boat, as most Venetians are sailors, mariners, rowers…

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Nikon D810, Zeiss Distagon 15mm f/2.8 at f/5.1, 1/400th sec at ISO 400

Don’t’ come to Venice to test the distortion of your new lenses on a brick wall, you might get unpredictable results…

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Nikon D810, Zeiss Distagon 15mm f/2.8 at f/2.8, 1/80th sec at ISO 250

Lapping and flapping, water is always right next to you in Venice.

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Nikon D810, Zeiss Distagon 15mm f/2.8 at f/3.5, 1/100th sec at ISO 125

To conclude this series, two more classical photos of Venice, where the sun does shine indeed, even in the winter… From the Accademia Bridge, the Grand Canal, more deserted than I’ve ever seen it, except in the dead of night, and the sun setting over the domes of La Salute church… Thank you for walking the wet, wintery and glistening streets of La Serenissima with me!

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at f/8, 1/250th sec at ISO 64

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF at f/5, 1/250th sec at ISO 500

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Trinidad Carnival: Shooting with the Nikon D7100 (could be NSFW)

Trinidad Carnival with the Nikon D7100 NSFW
My name is Donovan Jordan (Facebook, Flickr) and I am a Barbadian photographer based in Trinidad & Tobago. I’ve been shooting Carnival in Trinidad for the past few years and every year presents itself as an opportunity to capture the color and beauty that is Carnival.The Trinidad & Tobago Carnival is an annual event held on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. I shot these all images using just a Nikon D7100 with a 35mm f/1.8G DX at f/2 (could be NSFW):

Trinidad Carnival 1
Trinidad Carnival 2
Trinidad Carnival 3
Trinidad Carnival 4
Trinidad Carnival 5
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Trinidad Carnival 7
Trinidad Carnival 8
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Trinidad Carnival 21

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Chernobyl 30 years later, photographed with Nikon

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Chernobyl, 30 years later photographed by André Joosse

Nikon photographer André Joosse visited the Chernobyl forbidden zone to document 30 years of exclusion (Chernobyl website,  WebsiteInstagramFacebook):

01-Pripyat-Skyline
Pripyat skyline with the power plant on the horizon

I am a photographer from the Netherlands. I travel and shoot abandoned buildings and structures. You can see my work at urbex.nl . After exploring most European countries I made the photographers’ ultimate trip to the Exclusion Zone of the Chernobyl power plant.
The Chernobyl disaster took place on April 1986, which will be exactly 30 years ago this month. Failures during a system test of the nuclear power plant lead to explosions in its core. Large quantities of radioactive particles were released into the atmosphere which then spread over much of the western U.S.S.R. and Europe. The Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear power plant accident in history in terms of costs and casualties.

After evacuation they set up a 30 kilometer zone around the power plant which is fenced off and guarded. You can only visit the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone with the permission of the government and with a guide. In the past two years I had the opportunity to go there for seven days in total.

I used my Nikon D800 in 2014 and my Nikon D750 in 2015. The first day I packed my bag with several lenses and my D700 as backup body. Due to radiation safety it was not allowed to put your bag on the ground. Also, there was too much dust to change lenses. From then on I started to travel light with just one body and one lens. In 2014 I used my Nikkor 20-35mm 2.8. and last year I used the Tamron 15-30 2.8.

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A street in Pripyat, nature takes over

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The Ferris wheel in Pripyat park

Most days I spent in the city of Pripyat. A city built in the 1970s to house power plant workers and family. It used to be a beautiful city with luxury and class. Today it’s completely sealed off and left to nature. Here are some photos taken in the city center of Pripyat.

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The gym of the technical high school

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The supermarket

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The hairdresser

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A kindergarten

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The gym in the Palace of Culture

Further south I visited the abandoned army base Chernobyl-2, known for its Duga over-the-horizon radar system. The radar was built during the Cold War to protect the Soviets from the West. Besides the radar there was a small military town. I visited the social center with a gym, cinema and theater. There was also a small hospital, a school and kindergarten.

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Lenin welcomes you to Chernobyl-2

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The radar

11-Duga-theater
The theater

12-Duga-Kindergarten
A wall in the kindergarten

Hidden in the forrest between Chernobyl and Pripyat lies a holiday camp. The Emerald holiday camp is where the children of Pripyat would spent their summer holidays. The camp has many wooden huts with bright colored murals showing cartoon characters.

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The colorful huts

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The swing

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Mural art on the cinema

If you would like to see more photos from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone please visit www.30-years-later.com.

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Solving AF problems: 8 common autofocus problems and their solutions

Solving AF problems: 8 common autofocus problems and their solutions by Steve Perry (website | YouTube | Facebook, you can check also his previous [NR] posts here):

It happens to every photographer at one time or another, and it can cause more frustration than baptizing a cat. You’re happily shooting away at your favorite subject, the action subsides, and you quickly check the images on the back of your camera – but something’s wrong. Instead of the crisp, biting sharpness you were expecting, you see photos soft enough to make pillows.

So, what gives?

Well, it could be any number of things. In fact, it’s safe to say there are hundreds of sharpness gremlins that can conspire to ruin our images. However, more often than not, it boils down to just one of eight different issues. I hear about these difficulties all the time on various online forums and they frequently pop up as questions during the talks I give at camera clubs. Thankfully, chasing these problems down is pretty straightforward and you can usually start seeing better results immediately with just a few simple steps.

In the video I cover what I feel are the most common issues involved with getting sharp images. We’ll look at causes, solutions, and perhaps even solve a few problems that may have been plaguing you over the years.

Of course, if you’ve been shooting for any amount of time some of these will be familiar, but I wanted to keep the list as complete as possible. After all, eager new shooters come on the scene every day and will end up facing some of the same old problems the more experienced photographers have already tackled.

That said, I still think there may be some new stuff in this video, even for those photographers with a few years under their belt. So, give it a watch and I hope you enjoy it.

Note on the images below: The captions will make a LOT more sense if you watch the video first :)

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I had been experiencing a few odd, inconsistent AF issues with my D7200, but a quick cleaning as described in the video cleared everything up and allowed me to successfully capture one sharp image after another on my last Florida trip.

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By fully understanding how my AF modes work, I was able to choose the proper settings to capture this coyote about to catch his lunch.

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Only an hour before this was captured, I had been fighting severe heat refraction. However, when the clouds came in and subdued the sun a little, the air became calmer and I was lucky enough to get a tack sharp image of this snowy owl taking off

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By understanding how the AF guides in my viewfinder really work, I was able to position the single point I was using in a way that kept the eye of this ring billed duck tack sharp.

Black-Bear-On-Alert
For lower contrast images like this (especially if it’s getting dark), knowing which AF points are the most sensitive makes all the difference between getting the shot or watching the lens rack the focus back and forth in your viewfinder.

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When I first started doing wildlife photography, my technique was so poor even a simple shot like this would often be out of focus (although I didn’t photograph too many polar bears back then LOL). However, after learning proper techniques and gaining experience missed opportunities are (happily) the exception rather than the rule.

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miXed zone :: Fujifilm X-Pro2 Reviews :: Why use one RAW Converter Over Another? :: & more

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Fujifilm X-Pro2

Making an eyecup for the X-Pro2 – Fuji X Forum

USA: BHphoto / AmazonUS / Adorama / CANADA: AmazonCA / EUROPE: AmazonDE / AmazonUK / WexUK / PCHstore / AmazonITA / AmazonFR / AmazonESP / AUSTRALIA: CameraPro

Studio session at Hotz in Belgium ~ Fuji X-Pro2 at prophotonut / When To Take That Photograph: And When to Fuggedaboutit (images taken with X-Pro2) at karenhutton / Five NB Questions about the X-Pro2 for professional photographer Leon Oosthuizen at myfujifilm / My first experiences with the X-Pro2 (part 2) at robvisualfuji / ACROS film simulation with urban and architectural elements (and the ongoing X-Pro2 report) at eyesuncloudedphoto / 15 Pictures that will revive your memories of the pyramids! at hakemphotography / Manipulated Landscape – Part 1 at olafphotoblog / NSFW – The X-Pro2 focus joystick at fabyandcarlo / Lady Liberty – using some extreme focal lengths with the Fuji X-Pro2 at aboutphotography-tomgrill / X-Pro2 Video for First WEC Press Conference of 2016 at macleancomms / Wedding with the X-Pro2 at davidmcclelland-photography / Postcards From Rome: Gear Chat By The River at karenhutton / Jackson Heights – an X-Pro2 test at josephpadiernos /

Other X-series cameras

X70 and X100T: Hipster Camera System at ivanjoshualoh

Photograph with an “S” (Fujifilm X-E2S): The essssence of photography at photodanielm / X70 review at stuff / Fuji X-E2 the camera system for Live Theater at stanleyleary / Fast Action Fight Sports Photography with the Fujinon XF16-55 and XT-1 at caveiraphotography /

Lenses

Real world testing of the Fuji 100-400mm and 50-140mm on safari in the Kruger National Park South Africa at philogene / Japanese XF100-400 review at dc.watch (translation) / 100-400: Fujifilm XF100-400 Lens Around Town at brandonremler / Thoughts On the Fujifilm 50-140mm + 100-400mm Lenses As Well As the Fujifilm Matched 1.4X Tele-Converter at thewanderinglensman / Sharpness of Fujifilm XF50-140mm lens with XF1,4× teleconverter at michalkrause / XF35mmF2 at jamesbrokenshaphotography / Going back in time to 16 mm Fuji summer – Landscape Photography at miksmedia / The Fujifilm 35mm F/2 R WR is a Must-Have at resourcemagonline /

Jpeg / RAW / Converters

Why use one RAW Converter Over Another? (An excerpt from my upcoming Fuji X-Trans Guide for Iridient Developer) at thomasfitzgeraldphotography /

Travel X / Switch (or not) to the X / Fuji X for Weddings

Into the desert with the X-Pro2 and infrared X-T1 in German at qimago (translation) / Three-part story from beautiful Venice at jonasjacobsson Part1Part2Part3 / Vacation to the Chattanooga, Tennessee at mattrussellphoto / A Weekend Away with the FujiFilm X-series at caveiraphotography / Six Days in Tokyo | Sky-hi & Down-lo – The Last Hours at laroquephoto /

Acessories / Flash / Bags

Shapeways Eyecup Adapter and Hand Grip for X-T10

Cotton Carrier chest harness for Fujifilm X-series at ksgphotography / Lee Filters – 100mm or Seven5 on the Fuji X at billallsopp / Are UHS-II SD cards really faster? Test at the French site tirages-pro (translation) /

a bit of everything

The Black and White Renaissance at japancamerahunter / Bokeh – meaning and use of bokeh in photography at sebastianboatca / Is That Lens Sharp In The Corners? No? Are You Sure? at thewanderinglensman / A Look at Electromagnetic Focusing at lensrentals /

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Nikon D500 updates

Nikon-D500-DSLR-camera
More Nikon D500 updates:

  • The D500 has an extra crop factor of 1.5x on top of the DX that’s already there (see the manual on page 70 for more info):
  • Nikon D500 unboxing:
  • Nikon D500 4k sample video:

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