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This Is My Photo Story From Israel: Editing Process and Final Images

Jared Polin May 30, 2014 Comments Off

The first video here showcases the final edits and keepers from my trip.

Follow this second video to see how I edited every single image in Adobe Lightroom.

Click Here for the FULL RES exported images from my Photo Story.

My goal is rarely to capture just one image that purely stands out on its own. My personal goal is to tell a story across many photos. A story that leaves the viewer feeling like they were actually living the moments captured in the images.

Recently when I spent a week in Israel thanks to “Vibe Israel” and Kinetis, I set out to tell the story of my journey. We criss crossed this country which is the size of New Jersey seeing everything from ancient Biblical places to the new modern cities.

I consider myself to be a very selective photographer. Where many photographers are snapping away at everything that moves I find that I have to get into the shooting mood before actually doing so. Generally I get inspired by people in locations that are interesting. When I am not rushed or being bogged down I tend to get into shooting mode.

Shooting mode for me means I get quiet, I start to observe the situation I am in and I prepare to capture the moment. This is an interesting place to be, I am not sure if you have ever experienced this but if you have you know what it’s like. The rest of the world fades away and your focus kicks in. You are hyper focused on what is around you and it almost seems like it’s moving in slow motion.

I took just over 400 pictures in the eight days I was in Israel and out of those 400 I edited it down to my final 37. That doesn’t mean that other images that I captured weren’t good enough it just meant the didn’t fit into this photo story.

See, you have to understand that not every photo will fir the story you are telling. Sometimes you have to let go of certain images for the betterment of the story.

Am I pleased with the final images I captured, the answer is absolutely. Is there room for improvement and the answer is a big yes. There’s always room to get better and to learn from the images you took, missed or did not were there.

What would I have done differently is spend more time focused on a specific type of image to capture. I didn’t really have a desired story in mind to capture, I pretty much went with the flow and considered myself the behind the scenes guy. The guy that helps tell the stories of everyone who was on the trip.

One Of the BEST Sports Photography Books: SLIDE SHOW

Jared Polin May 29, 2014 Comments Off

How many you out there have ever shot with slide film? I know when I was just starting out at 13 I never ran a roll of slide film through my camera.

One I had no idea what I would need slides for and two I was afraid that “it didn’t have as much give” as film did.

Of course over time and as I became more educated about slides I understood their importance. The colors were better than film, the slides held up better over time and the overall quality was just superior. I also found out that most pro sports photographers were only shooting chrome.

Slides were not something that you would generally turn into prints. That meant they lived as they were and normally did not get cropped. What you saw is what you got and you really lived with it.

When I cam across the photo book called “Slide Show from Sports Illustrated” I was truly amazed at the moments captured. What I love about this book is you get to see the original slide and mount. You can read all of the information that editors over the years have written. You have your X numbers, dates, dots and so much more. All of these things have their own special meaning and that is explained in the book.

I was fascinated to find out that so many of the images were cropped and cropped heavily. In sports photography that seems to be something that is the norm. There is nothing wrong with it, let me repeat just because I don’t personally crop my work doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with cropping. If the image is still good enough for the cover of Sports Illustrated it’s still good enough for me.

Nikon 200-400 F4 VR II Review: Is It Worth $6800?

Jared Polin May 25, 2014 Comments Off

Is any lens worth $6800, that’s the question. This is Nikon’s second version of the 200-400 VR that has been a very popular lens. Second generations tend to mean sharper photos, lighter in weight and better VR.

As you know with my reviews I like to actually take the lens out into real world shooting environments. This time around I shot Maria indoors working out in a very low light situation along with Professional Lacrosse, The Philadelphia Flyers and a High School Baseball game.

Let’s start with the boring stuff. How is this lens built? Like any high end professional lens this lens is built extremely well. It feels great in the hands but I highly recommend using a nice and sturdy mono-pod or tri-pod when shooting. This definitely is not a lens you want to hand hold for a long time (7.4 LBS). With that said I did end up hand holding it in pit at the Arcade Fire Show and you can see the results Right Here.

I love Nikon’s top of the line lenses as they have the Nano crystal coating. This coating means sharper images and less lens flair when shooting towards bright light. All of the Hebrew Trinity lenses have Nano coating and I can tell you even when shooting into the sun you will not see any flair.

The truth is when you spend this much money on a lens you can only expect that it is built well and will deliver the results you are looking for.

Thank you to borrowlenses.com for allowing me the time to play with this bad boy.

Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art Lens: Is It Worth $950

Jared Polin May 23, 2014 Comments Off

Since Sigma announced the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens people have been toughing it as the sharpest thing since sliced bread, not that sliced bread is sharp. The major question in my mind is wether or not a 50mm lens is worth almost $1,000.

The Nikon 50mm F1.4 clocks in at only $439 with the Canon F1.4 being $399. This new signma on the other hand is more than double the price of these other 50mm’s. It really is hard to wrap your head around the price difference but is the quality there.

14249774341 a68b7b08ba Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art Lens: Is It Worth $950

As soon as AllensCamera.com got in their first copy they gave me a call to come in to unbox and sniff the lens. This is a mini review of sorts with sample images only, not real world shooting situations. As you know I like to really test my gear in the real world opposed to shooting charts and test images. In this case I set up some very simple shots which give me the ability to let you pixel peep all you would like at my files.

Click Here to download four DNG Files (70 megs).
Click Here for the FULL RES Jpeg exports.

First things first, this lens is built extremely well. It feels great in the hands and does not remind you of the lower end Sigma glass. Sigma has spent the last two years focusing on upping their game. Stepping up not just the quality of their products but the quality control.

You Don’t Just Have “Experience” You “Specialize”: It’s All About Perception

Jared Polin May 18, 2014 Comments Off

If you would like a 14 day FREE TRAIL of Squarespace please CLICK HERE. If you decide that it is a good fit for you after the trial don’t forget to use the code “FRO” to get 10% OFF your first order. If you sign up for a full year your cost will be roughly $8 a month which is pretty sweet.

I am jumping back into the Rapid Fire Squarspace critiques again after taking a few weeks off. This week I selected Glen Riley’s website to critique.

One of my favorite sections to read on photographers website’s is the “about me” section. The reason is it gives me a good look into the confidence level of the photographer. In this case the about me section was pretty good but one word stood out to me over all the rest.

Glen wrote that he has “experience” in xy and z. But to me the word experience could give people a little bit of hesitation. I say that because experience means you have done it where as specialize means you own it.

When you specialize in something it makes you seem like you are the expert or you have a lot of experience. So much of what we do revolves around the perception we create. You have heard me talk about this time and time again. How people perceive you as a photographer can make the difference between getting the job and not.

Now on to the rest of the website. I still have a little bit of hesitation every time I see a black background website. It comes across as dark, dead, dry and the images seem not to pop as much. On the flip site white seems like it’s alive and your images really pop. Of course this is personal preference and just how I feel about those sites when I see them.

When you go down the left side of the page you see a lot of travel type images. I would like to see those put into their own drop down menu to make that side of the page cleaner. The stories are strong so wrapping them into a category will make the site flow much nicer.

I would like to see one 20 image portfolio that showcase the best of the best travel work that glen has. This way if someone looks at just his main portfolio of images it will leave a great impression.

All and all the website is simple and with a few minor tweaks it will be even better.

If you would like a 14 day FREE TRAIL of Squarespace please CLICK HERE. If you decide that it is a good fit for you after the trial don’t forget to use the code “FRO” to get 10% OFF your first order. If you sign up for a full year your cost will be roughly $8 a month which is pretty sweet.