Converting to Manual Focus & Learning Lens Repair


This is one way to gain an edge on the competition amongst professionals in the photography business… Learning to repair one’s own equipment in case of a stuck shutter, or a lens with sticking aperture blades, as was the case with this Minolta 58mm 1.4 lens. I disassembled it and put it back together again after re-lubing the aperture with rubbing alcohol and cleaning the excess dust from between the elements making it look brand new. I paid $10 bucks for it at the local thrift store!

Many of the lenses that are being made these days are auto-focus and highly calibrated and much harder to fix. Learning to fix these old lenses allows me to collect broken ones from eBay, or elsewhere at a much cheaper price. The demand for manual focus lenses is going up though, because people like me have discovered the joy in having complete control over every aspect of their photography. The art of manual focusing has a learning curve and could be considered by some to be a sub-field within the trade of photography. Learning to repair these old lenses though gives me an opportunity to really enjoy my equipment, building a bond between me and the tools.

I’m surprised how popular these old manual lenses are getting. The demand for vintage lenses is skyrocketing because of the new mirror-less technology that many camera manufacturers are implementing in their latest digital cameras. My personal equipment consists of mirror-less cameras made by Olympus in the Micro Four Thirds format. I highly recommend these cameras and those made by Sony under the label; NEX. All these cameras can utilize these old manual focus lenses with special adapters that can be purchased relatively cheap. Anyone who is half serious about photography should learn the art of manual focusing because it develops a skill set that can set you apart from the soccer-ball mom crowds who use Canon as their brand and refuse to move beyond the zoom-lens.

I have no problems with soccer-ball mommies if they are willing to learn the process of photography before calling themselves pro. I also advise people to avoid the zoom lenses, because they stifle the creative process. Fixed focal-length lenses are the best for mastering photography, because they force your feet to become the zoom and you begin thinking more about composition. I also prefer shooting with medium telephoto primes because of the tighter crop factor with allows the photographer to really isolate the subject matter.

These are just a few thoughts on my mind for tonight. So stay tuned for more tips! :)


The Tale of Two Social Networks: Instagram & Flickr


For the passed six months I’ve poured my interest into Instagram when I got my first iPhone last Septempter. I quickly upgraded from the 4s to the 64 GB iPhone 5. It became my go to resource for everything photography when I fell in love with the art of mobile photography. The iPhone changed the way I did photography forever. The diverse variety of photography apps readily and cheaply available for the IOS platform caused me to quickly abandon Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. I have become a photographer with an outlook similar to a mobile photojournalist and began pouring all my efforts into Intagram community, and began building my own hub starting in September of 2012. Right now, my community is over 50,000 people strong and I’ve decided that this trend in social networking has replaced the old realm of photoblogging!

This domain was once an established photo-blog, and I still reminiscence on those old days but I have a much bigger vision; I want to build a community on a blog that provides a resource. If it works on Instagram, it can work here. Not too long ago, I started putting similar efforts into a Tumblr blog and that community is growing as well! Then Yahoo acquired Tumblr and then I started rethinking Flickr. Like the photoblogging community, Flickr sounds archaic or something that has gone extinct, yet it survives. Yahoo is now trying to breath life back into that good ol’ social network. I’m interested in these moves by Yahoo and I’m going to bank on these two social networks because they can really enable an emerging artist!

Is Flickr better than Instagram? In some ways, yes. I see it more as a strong photography resource for professionals and advanced amateurs. Despite Flickr being seen by many as dead horse, there is actually a very strong and vibrant photography community that lives in the photo groups on Flickr… and I think it’s a social network that is more than worthy of a serious come-back. I support Yahoo’s efforts to really take initiative with Flickr and revamp it. So, I’m going to put my marketing experience and time into Flickr and find a new way to light up this old flame!

Will I give up on Instagram…? No I will not, I love IG more than ever. I think both Flickr and Instagram are worthy of your love. Invest in both if you have a passion for photography and ignore all the Talking Heads!