The Joy and Freedom of Manual Mode

I remember the days –  I’d take a few blurry shots here, a few underexposed shots there, and find the occasional decently exposed and in focus shot somewhere amidst all the not so good ones. I’d take a bunch of photos, and wonder why they didn’t look good – but I never dug deeper to find out why.

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Oxbow Photo featured in Golden Gate Audubon Society’s 2020 Calendar

Oxbow Photo is proud to announce one of our photos (B.Vogt: Brown Pelican) was selected for the National Audubon Society, San Francisco Bay Chapter’s Annual Calendar.

If you are a lover of the outdoors and nature, consider supporting your local Audubon Society chapter or the National Audubon Society through donations, become a member, or purchase this calendar. A recent study has shown bird populations in North America have plummeted to all-time recorded lows, and are in desperate need of our help. All proceeds from the calendar support Golden Gate Audubon Society’s programs. The Audubon Society works to protect, restore, and enhance habitat for the benefit of both birds, but also for other wildlife and humanity. Audubon provides funding and manages programs for scientific research, advocacy, and on-the-ground conservation actions.

Ortlieb Atrack: The almost perfect rugged camera backpack that’s not a camera backpack

Finding a perfect camera bag sometimes seems like an exercise in futility. I’ve owned and also tried out tons of bags over the years, and very few seem to check all the boxes. For hiking and photography, I’ve always been on the lookout for a bag that strikes the balance between durability, weight, and functionality. As a traveling photographer, I’m often going to wet, humid, sandy, snowy or dusty environments where having a durable bag is a great asset to protect sensitive electronics and keep stuff dry.

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Why I still shoot Micro Four Thirds in a full-frame mirrorless world

Mine’s bigger than yours.

In the past year, the world has witnessed a steady stream of full-frame mirrorless camera releases. We’ve got a full suite of Sony Alpha full-frame mirrorless cameras (with more, including the A7R IV on the way), and newcomers including the Nikon Z, Canon R, and Panasonic S series. I can imagine someone interested in purchasing a serious camera for the first time would naturally gravitate towards these full frame models, if for no other reason than these cameras are getting the lions share of marketing attention. A bigger sensor must be better, right?

Is a large format camera necessary when a smaller format is giving you the results you desire?
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Field Report: August 18th, 2019 – Nikon Z7 with 500mm PF Lens

Lately I have been renting some different full frame camera setups to test. The Nikon Z7 and 500 PF lens is a nice, nimble and compact setup for kayak photography. Photographing wildlife from aboard a kayak is rewarding, but can be extremely challenging. Not only do you have movement of the wildlife and shake from shooting handheld deal with, you also have boat movement due to wind and tides. The reward is that wildlife are generally less afraid of people in a boat, and you are naturally already at eye level – which can produce compelling photos.

Sea otter in Monterey, California
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Long-term Review of the Olympus E-M1X: A Wildlife Photographer’s Perspective

A Question of Size

For some, the E-M1X might seem like a bit of an enigma. For many years, Olympus and Panasonic championed the compact form factor of their micro four-thirds series cameras and the advantages that they offer in terms of portability over a DSLR. Over the past couple of years, Olympus has shifted its focus away from ultra compact lenses and bodies and  towards larger bodies and lenses for working professional and serious enthusiast photographers. Panasonic seems to be leaning this direction as well, if the release of the GH5 and G9 micro four-thirds flagship cameras and their recently released 10-25mm F/1.7 zoom lens are any indication. That brings us to the E-M1X, which is a clear deviation from Olympus’s compact micro-four thirds heritage. Is it worth considering with today’s full-frame craze?

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FotoPro EGL-65 Eagle Series Carbon Fiber Tripod and E-6H Gimbal Review – A Lightweight Option for Wildlife and Landscape Travelers

Fotopro EGL-65 with E-6H Gimbal (Olympus E-M1X mounted)

Preface

Tripods are one of those pieces of photography equipment I tried to avoid buying for a long time. In part, it’s because I’ve benefited from the excellent built-in image stabilization provided by the micro-four thirds cameras that I have used over the years, but I also never liked carrying extra weight when I didn’t have to. Still, there are times when I have found that a tripod is an indispensable tool. This includes situations where I must be patient and wait for a wildlife subject to appear, or when shooting macro subjects where maximum stability is required. Holding a camera with a telephoto lens at your eye for long periods of time can be extremely fatiguing, and not having a tripod near the correct position at the right moment could lead to missed or blurry shots. Tripods are also exceptionally useful for stabilizing video.

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