A Focus on Multicultural Wedding Photography

Nitin Arora and Shanaya Arora

The world of wedding photography is an ever-evolving canvas, reflecting the diverse and multicultural tapestry of modern-day unions. Couples are increasingly crossing borders and cultures, blending traditions and celebrating love in unique ways. As a wedding photographer, I’ve had the privilege of capturing these beautiful multicultural weddings, and I’m here to share my insights and experiences on this captivating journey.

The Canvas of Multicultural Weddings

In a globalised world, love knows no boundaries. Couples from different backgrounds come together to create unions that are rich in cultural diversity. These weddings offer a glimpse into the fusion of traditions, the harmonisation of rituals, and the celebration of love that transcends cultural borders.

As a photographer, I’ve witnessed the magic that unfolds when two distinct cultures come together. From Indian-Chinese fusions to African-American celebrations, each wedding presents a unique palette of colours, customs, and emotions. My role is to capture these moments of unity and diversity, weaving them into a visual narrative that tells the couple’s extraordinary love story.

The Art of Multicultural Wedding Photography

Capturing the essence of a multicultural wedding requires a delicate balance of artistry and cultural sensitivity. Here are some key aspects that guide my approach:

Pre-Wedding Consultations:

Before the big day, I invest time in understanding the couple’s cultural backgrounds, traditions, and expectations. This enables me to plan my shots accordingly and ensure that no significant moment is missed.

Respect for Traditions:

Multicultural weddings are a blend of customs and rituals from two or more cultures. My role is to respect and honour these traditions while finding creative ways to capture their essence. It’s about preserving cultural heritage through imagery.

Cultural Awareness:

Being culturally aware is paramount. I often collaborate with local experts or consultants who can provide insights into specific customs and etiquettes. This ensures that I navigate each wedding with grace and respect.

Candid Moments:

Multicultural weddings are a treasure trove of candid moments. The exchange of vows, the laughter, the tears, and the joyous celebrations are a testament to the power of love in overcoming cultural barriers. Capturing these unscripted moments is where the real magic lies.

Fusion Photography:

In many multicultural weddings, couples opt for fusion ceremonies that blend elements from both cultures. This presents a unique opportunity for creative photography. I aim to capture the seamless fusion of traditions in a way that resonates with the couple’s love story.

Storytelling Through Images:

My approach to multicultural wedding photography is to tell a story through images. Each photo should convey the emotions, the cultural significance, and the essence of the moment. It’s about creating a visual narrative that the couple can cherish for a lifetime.

Challenges and Rewards

Multicultural weddings come with their own set of challenges. The complexity of coordinating diverse customs, language barriers, and the need for cultural sensitivity demand a photographer’s utmost attention and expertise. However, the rewards are immeasurable.

The smiles, the tears of joy, the coming together of families from different corners of the world – these are the moments that make it all worthwhile. Multicultural weddings offer a unique opportunity to witness the beauty of unity in diversity and to capture it in a frame.

The Multicultural Wedding Photographer’s Toolbox

As a photographer specialising in multicultural weddings, my toolbox extends beyond camera gear. It includes cultural sensitivity, adaptability, and a deep appreciation for the diverse love stories that unfold before me.

Camera Gear:

High-quality camera gear is essential, including lenses that capture the vibrant colors and emotions of multicultural celebrations.

Cultural Resources:

Collaborations with cultural experts or consultants are invaluable. They provide insights into customs, traditions, and etiquette.

Language Skills:

Basic language skills or access to translators can help in effective communication and coordination during multicultural weddings.

Cultural Attire:

Dressing appropriately for the occasion shows respect for the traditions and customs of the couple and their families.

Patience and Flexibility:

Multicultural weddings often involve intricate rituals and extended timelines. Patience and flexibility are key attributes for a photographer to navigate these events smoothly.

The Unifying Thread: Love

In the colourful tapestry of multicultural weddings, there’s a unifying thread that binds them all – love. It’s the force that transcends borders, languages, and traditions. As a multicultural wedding photographer, my mission is to capture the essence of this love and immortalize it in every frame.

Every wedding is a journey into a world of diverse customs and rich traditions, but it is also a testament to the universal language of love. Through my lens, I aim to celebrate this love, preserve cultural legacies, and create visual stories that resonate with the hearts of couples and their families.

In the end, multicultural wedding photography is not just about documenting an event; it’s about capturing the beauty of two souls coming together, defying cultural boundaries, and embracing a future filled with love and understanding. It’s an art form that celebrates harmony in diversity, and it’s an honour to be a part of it.

(Nitin Arora is the founder at Nitin Arora Photography and Shanaya Arora is the Creative Director at Nitin Arora Photography)

1stdibs vs Singulart | Where To Buy Photography Art Online

1stDibs vs Singulart | Where To Buy Photography Online

eCommerce art platforms are where creativity and consumerism combine to disseminate art, furniture, and other luxury items to the masses. Two such marketplaces have risen to prominence in recent years: 1stDibs and Singulart. Both of these platforms have their distinctive approach to the art market, and they cater to diverse tastes, budgets, and artistic sensibilities. Because I am a photographer, let’s take a dive into the photographic art for sale that these two platforms have to offer.

1stDibs, which is known for its lavishness and exclusivity, offers a curated selection of premium, high-end art, antiques, and other shiny baubles. It beckons to collectors and connoisseurs of the rare and extravagant, although the price tags can definitely get out of hand. You can purchase original contemporary photography from various artists as well as rare artworks such as The Museum Set by Ansel Adams for $850,000 or the most expensive piece of photography on the website, a family of elephants for just over 1.4 million, but hey, it even comes with a frame!

In contrast, Singulart has taken a more democratic approach by championing contemporary art and seeking to make art more accessible to a global audience. Singulart serves as a launching pad for emerging artists and the platform helps connect these burgeoning talents directly with buyers. Where else can you purchase Louis Vuitton lips for your wall for under 25k, or this visually stunning masterpiece for $17,960?

Beyond their marketing rigmarole and glossy websites – are these platforms really all they’re gussied up to be? Or do buyers and artists have different experiences to share?

1stDibs The Most Beautiful Things On Earth

For designers and appreciators of a wide range of luxury items, 1stDibs might seem like a great online marketplace to score some new swag. Their website boasts just about everything: furniture, lighting fixtures, decor and gifts, art, jewelry and watches, fashionwear, knickknacks, paddywhacks, and even a few things made out of bone. However, the prices on some of their wares are simply outrageous, even by big spenders’ standards.

1stDibs positions itself as a platform for “the most beautiful things on earth” – rare and unique finds that you cannot access anywhere else. Many listings are antique or vintage pieces, often curated from high-end dealers and galleries. But this exclusivity comes with a hefty price tag, which is partly why 1stDibs is a playground for the wealthy. It’s a place where you can find a $100,000 antique chandelier or a $10,000 Sterling Silver wine goblet set without breaking a sweat.

The appeal of 1stDibs is in its ability to connect buyers with these items and provide a glimpse into the realm of lavish luxury living. However, for the average consumer, it may feel more like windowshopping in an opulent dreamland. Bargain hunters beware; 1stDibs is not the best place to snag a good deal. It’s more about indulgence, sumptuousness, and showcasing a curated collection of truly unique pieces.

While 1stDibs may not cater to everyone’s budget, there’s no denying it has made a significant impact on the world of interior design and luxury retail. It’s become a go-to source for designers, collectors, and the hyper-wealthy seeking one-of-a-kind statement pieces – but at what cost?

Bands of gold cross the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Aspen Colorado. Mature aspens serve as a seasonal clock in the mountains, heralding and celebrating the arrival of autumn, then falling quiet again at the first snow. Fine Art Limited Edition of 50.

Singulart | Your Online Art Gallery

Singulart’s focus is less on ‘stuff’ and more on art, as its name coyly implies. It’s an online platform where contemporary art caters to both creators and consumers of fine art – investors, too.

Serving as a bridge between emerging artists, established artists, and art enthusiasts worldwide, it’s a place where visitors can discover and purchase original paintings, sculptures, and digital art – all from a vibrant, contemporary art scene. Singulart fancies itself as a benevolent force in the art world, nurturing artistic talent and connecting artists with their global audience.

Singulart’s artist-centric approach seeks to empower artists to take control of their careers by providing a digital nexus for direct interaction with buyers and art lovers from around the world. This kind of exposure between the artist and collector not only fosters a greater sense of community, but also helps artists sell more of their work.

Oh, you’re curious about pricing? The pieces available for purchase on Singulart’s platform range from below $1,000 to over $10,000. Prices are determined by the artist and a Singulart expert, and are based on proven sales records, so buyers know what they’re getting into.

Exploring the Singulart website is actually quite intuitive and enjoyable. Visitors can browse by artist or medium, and there are helpful categories to guide buyers to exactly what they’re looking for. Like an artist’s work? You can follow them and receive emails about new works and exclusive deals. It’s a very handy, accessible site that makes the shopping process much easier and more enjoyable. But is there more to Singulart’s polished visage?

The placid waters of a seaside lagoon reflect the fires of dusk along Iceland’s western coast. Suspended as if in midair, the verdant monolith of Kirkjufell sits like a forgotten ziggurat, guarding the land of auroras from the frigid waters of the Arctic. Fine Art Limited Edition of 100.

1stDibs and Singulart Online Reviews

Internet critics can be a loathsome, scathing bunch. Ravenous, ill-tempered, and delusional at times. But more often than not, especially when it comes to providing helpful ratings to warn other buyers of potential scams and poor customer service, online reviews can be trusted when scrupulously considered. That said, you can find plenty of good and bad reviews for both 1stDibs and Singulart.

Most buyers’ frustrations with 1stDibs seem to revolve around unpleasant experiences with buyers, receiving damaged products, and not having helpful interactions with customer service representatives. Similarly, Singulart critics were chagrined by gross shipping costs and lengthy shipping times. Many users, however, have also reported positive interactions and successful art acquisitions on Singulart, praising the quality and diversity of artwork available for purchase.

While online reviews can offer valuable insights, it’s essential to approach with a discerning eye. Both 1stDibs and Singulart have their share of satisfied customers and detractors, making it crucial for potential buyers to research their options and take calculated risks when attempting to procure fine artwork.

The whites and indigos of an alpine meadow of lupine mirror the crags and glaciers of Mount Rainier National Park’s eponymous peak. The highest summit in the Pacific Northwest, the dormant volcano slumbers peacefully beneath the quiet grandeur of a midsummer sunset. Fine Art Limited Edition of 100.

Clash of the Titans | Singulart Vs 1stDibs

While both companies find themselves on a number of ‘best places to buy art online in 2023’ lists, how do they measure up against one another?

1stDibs caters primarily to affluent collectors, interior designers seeking rare antiques, vintage hunters, and buyers of top-tier contemporary art. The platform boasts exclusivity, prestige, and they frequently partner with well-known dealers and galleries from around the globe. With the prestige, however, comes a premium price tag which makes 1stDibs largely inaccessible to the average art enthusiast.

Singulart, on the other hand, has taken a more inclusive route. This platform prioritizes direct connections between artists and buyers, offering more affordable options for those seeking to purchase contemporary art, paintings, sculptures, and even digital creations.

In lay terms, 1stDibs is kind of like a high-risk, high-reward dealer. You will likely pay a lot of money to get something decent or even of exceptional value. But you might also have to deal with poor customer service, difficulty communicating with sellers, and other headaches that make the cost seem ludicrous. Artists and buyers on Singulart may have an easier time facilitating purchases, but there are still risks associated with eCommerce platforms – items can arrive late, damaged, or with missing elements, etc.

The choice between the two will ultimately boil down to your budget, artistic preferences, and how much patience you have to deal with artists and artist platforms.

The gnarled branches of a Japanese maple spread forth a flaming crown in a sculpted garden in Portland, Oregon. Beside a tranquil pond, the winding footpaths and soft beds of moss are scattered with the gold and crimson stars from this dazzling display. Fine Art Limited Edition of 100.

Artist Direct Original Art For Sale

If you’d like to preserve your sanity, it’s generally best to buy photography directly from the artist. While these platforms can certainly do a lot for aspiring creators and artists who have made careers from their practices, the only surefire way to support an artist whose work you love is to hand them money directly. This way the buyer knows where their money goes, and the artist gets to buy dinner for another day – everyone wins!

As a family-owned and operated business you will always work with me (the artist) directly, never disconnected office staff, wholesale distributors or pushy gallery directors. I believe in offering the highest quality photographic art available in the world today, while continuously going above and beyond for collectors of my work, providing exceptional and personal customer service. Whether you are simply looking for a single showpiece to transform a room or have a grand vision to fill your home or office with the world’s finest photographic art, my level of dedication to you never wavers.

The choice is yours, you can purchase beautiful nature photography for your home or office, or you can get that elephant print with the killer frame. I think you know the right choice.

A moss-covered tōrō or Japanese lantern sits in contemplative repose beside the tranquil waters of a reflecting pool in Seattle, Washington. A slight breeze caresses the surface, stirring the shades of the maples beyond into a cloud of red and gold. Fine Art Limited Edition of 100.

Torn ruins of crumbled cliffsides are pummeled by the Pacific to create a tattered tableau of towers and archways along California’s Big Sur. Beds of ruddy ice plant melt down the hillside, clinging to the smallest fissure for purchase against the forces of gravity. Fine Art Limited Edition of 50.

A royal carpet of scarlet leaves winds through a stand of maples in the deep of fall. A quiet country road bears its hidden splendor before the snows that will hide its brilliant chromatic display until next year. Fine Art Limited Edition of 50.

CJPOTY round 10: Animals – Camera Jabber

The theme for the tenth round of the 2023/24 Camera Jabber Photographer of the Year (CJPOTY) competition is ‘Animals’. The photographs can be taken anywhere and at any time, and the animals can be wild or domestic pets – we love them all equally.

This round of our monthly competition is open for submissions until 23:59 BST (00:59 CET and 15:59 PST) on 31st October 2023.

To submit your entry, follow the link to cjpoty or click on the CJPOTY button at the top of any of our website pages. You can submit up to three entries for £2.00 plus payment processing costs (£0.26). Images should be Jpegs at least 1920 pixels along their longest side but no larger than 2MB.

Camera Jabber Photographer of the Year prizes

At the end of the month, the Camera Jabber team will pick one winning image and nine runners-up from the September entries. The photographer of the winning image will receive a voucher from MPB.com to the value of £500, which can be spent on anything from a huge range of kit from the World’s biggest platform for used photographic gear.

All 10 of the selected images will go into our shortlist for the year.

We’ll do this each month in 2023 so that by the end of the year, there will be 120 shortlisted images. These will then go before our fantastic panel of judges who will decide the 1st, 2nd and 3rd-placed images.

The photographer of the first-placed image overall, as decided by the panel of judges, will receive a voucher to the value of £1000 from MPB.com as well as a trophy and the title ‘Camera Jabber Photographer of the Year 2024‘. The photographers who come second and third will receive vouchers worth £500 and £250, respectively.

You don’t have to enter the competition every month, but you are welcome to do so, and the more shortlisted images you have at the end of the year, the greater the chance of winning the top prize.


At the end of the year, our illustrious panel of judges has the onerous task of selecting the first, second and third-placed images overall from the shortlist of 120. Our judges are:

Benedict Brain – Photographer, journalist & Sigma ambassador
Sophie Collins – Chief Marketing Office at MPB, Trustee of Royal Photographic Society
Donna Crous – Food photographer, author, Nikon Europe ambassador and Rotolight Master of Light
Ross Hoddinott – Landscape photographer, wildlife photographer, author, tutor, conservationist
Tracy Marshall-Grant – Arts Director, curator and producer
Denise Maxwell – Multi-genre photographer and lecturer
Carolyn Mendelsohn – Artist and portrait photographer
Paul Sanders – fine art photographer
Jemella Ukaegbu – Photographer & founder of UK Black Female Photographers (UKBFTOG)
Christina Vaughan – Founder of Cultura Creative, the home of inclusive stock photography

Follow the link to find out more about the CJPOTY judges.

About MPB

Founded by Matt Barker in 2011, MPB is the world’s largest platform for used photography and videography kit. MPB has transformed the way people buy, sell and trade equipment, making photography more accessible, affordable and sustainable.

Headquartered in the creative communities of Brighton, Brooklyn and Berlin, the MPB team includes trained camera experts and seasoned photographers and videographers who bring their passion to work every day to deliver outstanding service. Every piece of kit is inspected carefully by product specialists and comes with a six-month warranty to give customers peace of mind that buying used doesn’t mean sacrificing reliability.

Lasers cut through star trails in beautiful photo from the European Southern Observatory

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) shared a beautiful new image of stars trailing across the night sky. It was taken at the ESO’s Paranal Observatory, located in the Chilean Atacama Desert. The observatory is home to the Very Large Telescope (VLT), which consists of four Unit Telescopes and four smaller, movable Auxiliary Telescopes, like the one in the foreground of the image on the right.

Astronomers used a long exposure technique in which the night sky is photographed over several hours, capturing the movements of stars as they travel overhead. This creates a dazzling trailing effect, where  starlight appears to arc over the observatory’s ground-based telescopes.

Two bright orange lasers are also seen beaming out of one of the Unit Telescopes. These laser beams, known as laser guide stars, are used to correct the distortion of starlight caused by Earth’s turbulent atmosphere, according to a statement from the ESO. The beams are pointed in opposite directions because the long exposure technique took several hours to complete, during which the telescope moved to observe different targets in the sky, ESO officials said.

Related: Amazing space views of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (photos)

A laser guide star creates an artificial star by shooting a laser beam into the sky, which excites sodium atoms in the upper layer of the atmosphere and causes them to glow like stars. This, in turn, provides a reference point for ground-based telescopes, enabling them to cancel out the effects of atmospheric turbulence and create a sharper image of the sky.


— How to photograph star trails

— Astrophotography for beginners 2023: How to shoot the night sky

— Very Large Telescope surprisingly finds exoplanet lurking in 3-body star system

“Each laser delivers 22 watts of power — about 4000 times the maximum allowed for a laser pointer — in a beam that’s about 30 centimeters in diameter,” ESO officials said in the statement. “This remarkable display doesn’t just look pretty: the twinkling of these artificial stars is measured in real time and used by the adaptive optics system to correct for the blurring caused by the Earth’s atmosphere so that the telescope can create sharp images.”

When we look up at the night sky, we see stars as individual points of twinkling light. However, the new image of the star trails over ESO’s Paranal Observatory remind us of Earth’s constant rotation, or spin, around its axis. Long exposure images such as this capture the beautiful motion of the sky as the Earth rotates relative to the backdrop of stars.

Mastering iPhone Photography: Tips And Techniques

This article provides a comprehensive review of iPhone camera tips, tricks, and hidden features for photographers at different skill levels. Whether you’re a casual user or a content creator, there’s something for everyone on this list. Most of the tutorials require a smartphone with features like night mode, portrait mode, and wide-angle lenses, commonly found on newer models. We will help you unlock iPhone photography potential.

iPhone Camera Essentials

The smartphone photography revolution owes a lot to the smartphone camera. It was the iPhone that made it possible to create photographs that are difficult to distinguish from professional ones. Just look at the camera hardware overview. At the same time, many users do not even know about camera app navigation. The difference between the results that professionals manage to achieve and those that ordinary people photograph is enormous. We will help bridge the gap.

Composition and Framing

Composition is key in mobile photography, just as it is in traditional photography. Take a moment to frame your shot and keep the rule of thirds in mind. Visualize dividing the frame into a grid of nine equal sections and position your main subject at the intersection points or along the lines. You’ll create a visually appealing composition that draws the viewer’s attention to the focal point of your image. You may need to practice framing and perspective a little. Consider the purpose and scope of your photographs.

Lighting Mastery

Lighting and color balance are important for all types of photography and mobile photography is no exception. Whenever you can, utilize natural lighting conditions for optimal results. Soft, diffused light during the golden hour (early morning or late afternoon) or on overcast days can yield stunning outcomes. Steer clear of the harsh midday sun, as it tends to create strong shadows and overexposed highlights.

Experiment with various lighting conditions and compare natural vs. artificial light to capture your desired mood and atmosphere in photographs. It’s also worth learning more about golden & blue hours, where the lighting in the photos gives them a special style. There are interesting flash techniques on the Internet that allow you to achieve unusual effects. For a better effect, you should consider light modifiers, they will help achieve a professional effect.

Focus and Depth of Field

The autofocus feature is available in most iPhone cameras, ensuring software automatically locates the subject of the image. However, there are times when manual focus can result in the desired effect. This is especially true in macro techniques. To achieve sharp images, simply tap on the screen to indicate the focus point with a yellow box. You can also play around with focus modes. Additionally, for a blurred background effect, portrait mode creates a shallow depth of field, highlighting your subject.

Composition Styles

Mastering composition is a crucial aspect of capturing exceptional photos. So, what exactly is composition in photography? It’s the arrangement of elements within a photo, including the subject, foreground, and background objects, as well as the use of lines, shapes, colors, and other visual elements. By organizing these elements effectively, you can create visually captivating and impactful images. Exposure control directly influences how viewers perceive and interpret photos, directing their focus and eye movement within the frame. A photographer who pays attention to composition can create engaging images that captivate and intrigue the viewer, encouraging them to continue exploring the photo.

Editing and Post-Processing

You can enhance your iPhone photos by utilizing its built-in basic & advanced editing or third-party editing apps. Only if you use third-party applications, immediately explore the saving and exporting capabilities, since in some applications you need to pay for this.

Here are some tips to edit your photos effectively:

  • Adjust the color balance and saturation. Modify the warmth or coolness of your photo using the color balance tool, and make your colors vibrant with the saturation tool.
  • Try third-party apps. There are many of them, but you should always remember about safety. To improve privacy on Safari, you can use a VPN. VeePN has performed well, it is secure and offers many servers.
  • Crop and straighten images. Customize the size of your images using the cropping tool, and fix any crooked photos using the straightening tool.

Storage, Backup, and Privacy

It doesn’t matter whether you work in landscape, portrait, macro, or position yourself as a street photographer, your data should not be stored only on your phone. You must have backup strategies developed. To manage photo storage, you can upload copies to your PC or cloud storage. It is also good for creating online portfolios.

Sharing and Showcasing

Of course, you’ll want to share your masterpieces on social media platforms. You can even do this directly from your gallery, but printing and displaying can be configured on the platform itself if you upload photos through their built-in service. There is usually an additional editing tool there.

Also, remember privacy awareness in photography, do not photograph people while performing their duties. Photography ethics may differ in some countries. For example, taking and storing photographs of girls in Muslim countries is prohibited. All this is from privacy considerations.

Accessories and Gear

To enhance your iPhone photography, you can explore various accessories that offer unique features. Here are some examples:

  • Tripods and Stabilizers: Keep your phone steady and capture sharp images by using a tripod or stabilizer to reduce camera shake.
  • Lenses Attachments: Experiment with different lens attachments for your iPhone. For instance, a wide-angle lens allows you to capture a broader scene.
  • Remote Shutter Release: Capture photos without touching your phone by utilizing a remote shutter release, ensuring sharpness by reducing camera shake.
  • Gimbal Stabilizers: These will help you shoot smoother and less jerky. Although blurry photos are fashionable now, not twitching videos. Of course, the iPhone 15 has built-in stabilization, which works quite well, but on other devices, the issue of stabilization should be solved with external stabilizers.
  • Drone: If you need drone photography, then you also need a drone.

Key Takeaways

All together will help achieve better results. Although you may not get everything right the first time, don’t despair. Let this guide be an encouragement to practice photography. You can additionally test editing apps, try community engagement, and gradually eliminate exposure issues. Probably, storage and memory will run out very soon, just make a backup of them. And most importantly, remember to maintain your iPhone so that your pictures are always first-class.

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Now I’ll never get to photograph Sycamore Gap, but others are hurting more

Of all the lone trees in the UK, the one at Sycamore Gap was arguably the most famous. It was situated almost smack bang in the middle of Hadrian’s wall and was featured in the 1991 movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. The one-of-a-kind beauty spot’s photogenic nature and Dark Sky location made it a favourite among landscape photographers and astrophotographers, but it was also sought out by thousands of hikers, daytrippers, historians and local residents year upon year. It was a bastion of rural England and a symbol of the Northumberland National Park. It was even named tree of the year by the Woodland Trust in 2016. And now it’s gone…

The felled tree was found on September 28 and at the time of writing a police investigation is ongoing. Reuters quoted the police in calling it a “deliberate act of vandalism,” but the damage has already been done. You cannot simply replace a three-century-old tree and although the prospect of the stump providing new shoots has provided some solace, this is by no means a certainty. Even if the old tree does regrow, how can it measure up to the majesty of what was? After all, it was a textbook specimen – a tree from childhood picture books – the muse of millions of photographers and a movie star.

• Read more: Photographers react to Britain’s much-loved tree being chopped down at Sycamore Gap

But it’s the local residents I feel for most. Campsites, holiday cottages and B&Bs line the nearby Military Road. The Twice Brewed Inn is famously little more than a half-hour walk from the gap. Its logo is a silhouette of the sycamore tree and it runs a variety of stargazing and astrophotography events throughout the year. The Vindolanda Charitable Trust relies on footfall through its Roman Army Museum and Roman Vindolanda Fort & Museum, the latter being a live excavation site. And then you have the thousands of walkers who take up the Hadrian’s Wall Challenge every year, walking the 84-mile National Trail from Bowness-on-Solway to Wallsend (or vice versa). Sycamore Gap is one of the route’s biggest draws. And you have to assume that its destruction will have some kind of impact on local tourism and businesses.

Two weeks ago, a friend and I embarked on the Hadrian’s Wall Challenge. Roughly 67km in I twisted my knee and to make matters worse, I woke up in my tent the following morning with tonsillitis. Constant rain throughout the four-day hike from Bowness-on-Solway had beaten me down, and I couldn’t continue. My friend suggested struggling the final 2.5km to Sycamore Gap so I could at least see it, but with another deluge of rain falling upon my already sodden clothes and the prospect of a seven-hour journey home, I elected to hit the road. My intention was to return in the summer and finish what I’d started. Little did I know that my departing friend would be one of the last hikers to see the famed sycamore tree still standing. I’ve missed my chance, and I won’t be alone.

Much like the mindless act of cutting down a tree, I’m struggling to find a point to this article. I guess I’m sad that nobody else will get to experience or photograph Sycamore Gap. I’m sad because so many local businesses rely upon the landmark’s worldwide appeal. I’m sad because in a world where humanity is constantly reminded that it’s failing the planet, this feels like a cruel microcosm of more heartbreak to come.

I’m afraid too. Afraid that we’re powerless to safeguard historical and natural landmarks from a similar incident. It’s hardly an isolated one… In 2021 an osprey nest was felled at Llyn Brenig and nature reserves across the country regularly report acts of vandalism. It makes me want to do my part in safeguarding other areas of natural beauty. Refrain from geotagging landscape locations on Instagram, perhaps even refrain from photographing them altogether. But then again, isn’t photography and videography at least partially responsible for fuelling the nation’s passion for nature and history? And that passion is evident in the nationwide response to the felling. Hopefully it’s enough to deter other would-be vandals.

The sad truth, though, is that nothing can bring back Sycamore Gap. What really got me today was Google. The omniscient overlord of the Internet never misses a trick. Already, when you search Sycamore Gap on Google Maps, you are presented with a red pin. It no longer reads Sycamore Gap, just: Sycamore Stump…

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If you enjoyed this article, you might be interested in reading about the best Nikon Z lenses for FX and DX cameras. If you’re clinging to your DSLR you can also check out the best lenses for the Nikon D850, and it you’re embracing the revolution then take a look at the best lenses for the Nikon Z50.

Photographer Tavepong Pratoomwong Captures Fascinating Coincidences On The Streets

Prepare to be enthralled by the artistry of Tavepong Pratoomwong, an acclaimed photographer hailing from the vibrant streets of Bangkok, Thailand. With an uncanny ability to spot surprising coincidences, charming moments, and quirky details, Pratoomwong transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. His lens captures the essence of life in a way that invites contemplation and wonder.

In this handpicked assortment of Pratoomwong’s work, we invite you to embark on a visual journey. From the lively markets of India to the serene landscapes of Thailand, his photographs tell compelling stories of the world’s myriad facets. Each image is a testament to Pratoomwong’s passion for street photography, showcasing his talent for finding beauty in the unexpected corners of our everyday lives.

Join us as we explore his curated collection, where every click of the camera is a magical revelation, inviting us to share in his perspective, finding joy in the mundane and fascination in the unnoticed. Discover the extraordinary in the ordinary through the lens of Tavepong Pratoomwong.

Scroll down and inspire yourself. Please check Tavepong’s Website and Instagram for more amazing work.

You can find more info about Tavepong Pratoomwong:




































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Lasers cut through star trails in beautiful photo from ESO

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) shared a beautiful new image of stars trailing across the night sky. It was taken at the ESO’s Paranal Observatory, located in the Chilean Atacama Desert. The observatory is home to the Very Large Telescope (VLT), which consists of four Unit Telescopes and four smaller, movable Auxiliary Telescopes, like the one in the foreground of the image on the right. 

Astronomers used a long exposure technique in which the night sky is photographed over several hours, capturing the movements of stars as they travel overhead. This creates a dazzling trailing effect, where  starlight appears to arc over the observatory’s ground-based telescopes. 

Two bright orange lasers are also seen beaming out of one of the Unit Telescopes. These laser beams, known as laser guide stars, are used to correct the distortion of starlight caused by Earth’s turbulent atmosphere, according to a statement from the ESO. The beams are pointed in opposite directions because the long exposure technique took several hours to complete, during which the telescope moved to observe different targets in the sky, ESO officials said. 

Related: Amazing space views of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (photos)

A laser guide star creates an artificial star by shooting a laser beam into the sky, which excites sodium atoms in the upper layer of the atmosphere and causes them to glow like stars. This, in turn, provides a reference point for ground-based telescopes, enabling them to cancel out the effects of atmospheric turbulence and create a sharper image of the sky. 

“Each laser delivers 22 watts of power — about 4000 times the maximum allowed for a laser pointer — in a beam that’s about 30 centimeters in diameter,” ESO officials said in the statement. “This remarkable display doesn’t just look pretty: the twinkling of these artificial stars is measured in real time and used by the adaptive optics system to correct for the blurring caused by the Earth’s atmosphere so that the telescope can create sharp images.” 

When we look up at the night sky, we see stars as individual points of twinkling light. However, the new image of the star trails over ESO’s Paranal Observatory remind us of Earth’s constant rotation, or spin, around its axis. Long exposure images such as this capture the beautiful motion of the sky as the Earth rotates relative to the backdrop of stars.  

Astrophotography Cameras Market Share and Ongoing Trends, Size, Growth Rate, Recent Key Players

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Key players which are covered in the global Astrophotography Cameras market is: Nikon,Canon,Sony,ZWO,QHYCCD,Atik Cameras,Fujifilm,Panasonic,Olympus,Leica

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iPhone 15 Pro review – why you should upgrade in 2023

A word of warning, the current demand for the iPhone 15 Pro models is very high, so while you’ll find it listed at Amazon, John Lewis, Currys and other retailers, it’s only intermittently in stock.

We know all too well how strong the urge is to upgrade your phone, especially in September each year when Apple sends its latest models out into the world. If you’re a committed iPhone user, it can feel like your current handset is suddenly obsolete. But before we go further into this review we want to remind you that that’s not the case.

Those of you reading this with an iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 14 or 14 Pro should be confident that you’ve got a great model that’s built to last. We don’t think it’s urgent for you to upgrade right now, especially as iOS 17 adds a few handy features to those phones. If, however, you’re coming from an older iPhone like the 11 Pro or 12 Pro, it’s understandable that you’re looking at the newest launches.

We’re happy to report that there are noticeable upgrades present in the newest pro-level iPhone 15 models, although those looking for value should highly consider the standard iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus as this is the most “pro” the main lineup has been in years.

Set on a Pro? Well, you’re in for some real changes. For its 2023 refresh, Apple has introduced a new lighter material, an upgraded camera system (especially if you go for the bigger Pro Max), a customisable “action button” and graphics updates for gamers – and yes, the long-rumoured switch to USB-C was true.

We’ve been hands-on with the iPhone 15 Pro models (both the 15 Pro and the 15 Pro Max) for over a week now, and what follows are our main thoughts on using the two phones.

Simon Cocks

iPhone 15 Pro key specs

  • Screen size: 6.1-inch for iPhone 15 Pro; 6.7-inch for iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Resolution: 2556 x 1179 pixels for iPhone 15 Pro; 2796 x 1290 pixels for iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Operating system: iOS 17
  • Processor: A17 Pro
  • Cameras: 48MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP 2x telephoto, 12MP front-facing, 12MP 3x telephoto (this is replaced by a 12MP 5x telephoto on the iPhone 15 Pro Max)
  • Battery life: Up to 23 hours for iPhone 15 Pro; Up to 29 hours for iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB for iPhone 15 Pro; 256GB, 512GB, 1TB for iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Weight: 187g for iPhone 15 Pro; 221g for iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Water resistance: Yes, IP68
  • Micro SD card slot: No

Apple iPhone 15 Pro

iPhone 15 Pro design

The key difference when it comes to the iPhone 15 Pro in direct comparison to not only its predecessor but also previous Pro models is weight. Specifically, how little there is. Apple is right, these are the “the lightest Pro models ever”, and although this will be barely noticeable if you’re coming from the 11 Pro, it’s definitely something you’ll feel if you’ve come from a 13 Pro or 14 Pro, which are 17g and 19g heavier than the 15 Pro respectively.

Apple lowered the weight by using titanium in the construction of the handsets. This helps with strength too, although some recent tests suggest that because it has more tensile strength than previous aluminium designs, the back glass (on the Pro Max) may not withstand as much pressure. This probably isn’t as big of a deal as the internet makes it seem, and it’s still incredibly strong and sturdy. Basically, don’t bend your phone.

We’re fans of another noticeable design change, which is that the phone now has slightly contoured edges to make it feel more comfortable when you’re holding it without a case. And, yes, the matte finish means it’s less slippery than Google Pixel options like the Pixel 7 or 7 Pro. However, we’d still recommend everyone put their phone in a case to keep it protected, as there’s really no other way to keep the corners and all that glass safe from accidental drops or bumps. We recommend options from Mous, CASETiFY and Tech 21.

Simon Cocks

The other major alteration is to something that’s been present ever since the first iPhone was announced way back in 2007 by Steve Jobs: the mute toggle. It’s been replaced by the “action button” on the Pro models. We love how this works, especially as our phone’s been on silent forever – it’s so much more helpful to program this button to open the camera, turn on the torch or fire up a handy shortcut to a frequently used app. This could have even more functionality if Apple allows us to set different “actions” for a single press, long press or double press in the future, so we look forward to seeing how it evolves.

When it comes to colours, you’re going to have to settle for neutral tones here. You’re picking between black titanium, blue titanium, natural titanium and white titanium. Pro users don’t get the lovely pastel shades of the regular iPhone 15, and we totally understand why some might see that as a little bland, especially as the white and natural look similar. The reason for this is likely that it’s challenging to colour the titanium in an effective way. For what it’s worth, we like the subtle looks of both our blue titanium 15 Pro and natural titanium 15 Pro Max review units.

Simon Cocks

iPhone 15 Pro camera

Arguably, Apple hasn’t changed quite as much with its camera system on the 15 Pro series as it has with the more affordable iPhone 15 models. These retain a 48-megapixel (MP) sensor, which is something you got in last year’s high-end iPhones, but there are still improvements.

It performs better in low light, has a bit less lens flare, “next-gen” portraits and the ability to pick different focal lengths. Those last two are pretty noticeable, and what we think will make the most difference to mobile photographers. It’s also worth mentioning that Apple introduced a longer 5x zoom that’s only in the bigger iPhone 15 Pro Max (more on the below) so you have to pay more if that’s a feature that’s important to you.

Simon Cocks

The new default 24MP output from the main sensor is fantastic, as is the option to shoot a high-res 48MP shot in good lighting conditions. We also like that you can pick between a few different focal lengths (24mm, 28mm and 35mm). This isn’t quite the same as a simple zoom, with Apple applying some computational photography magic to these shots. So far, we’ve found all these results come out looking terrific, and other than an improved night mode, we haven’t noticed a massive change to the ultra-wide or the 3x zoom on the main 15 Pro.

The “next-gen” portraits are worth it, though. We can’t tell you how many times we’d have liked to take a portrait mode shot with background blur to emulate pro lenses, but we forgot to switch to portrait mode. Now the cameras capture depth information automatically, so you can transform any picture of a person, cat or dog into a portrait after you’ve taken it. We’re already finding this super useful.

And, while this isn’t a dedicated review of the pricier iPhone 15 Pro Max, we’ve been using that model too and think zoom fans should consider it for the extra reach available with its 5x “tetraprism” zoom – it’s a clever design to stuff a longer 120mm equivalent lens into a phone, and it lets in a lot of light. We’ve found the results to be crisp and detailed, and its f2.8 aperture offers real background blur without portrait mode. We can see a lot of photographers going for this model just for the capable extra camera.

Below, we’ve included a gallery of photo samples from the iPhone 15 Pro camera system (including some 5x zoom shots from the bigger iPhone 15 Pro Max). These are all straight from the camera, with no re-touching or editing.

iPhone 15 Pro sample photos

iPhone 15 Pro display

At a glance, you’re not going to notice much of a difference between this iPhone’s display and the one on the iPhone 14 Pro, as both models have an excellent 6.1-inch OLED screen. They share the same refresh rate (120Hz), the same always-on capabilities, the same excellent colours and a maximum of 2,000 nits of peak brightness in outdoor conditions. The only very minor difference that you might notice is that the Pro handset has tiny edges around the display, but these are otherwise very similar panels.

While the iPhone 15 brought a notable display addition in the “Dynamic Island” feature, that was already something available on the Pro model from 2022. Of course, if you’re upgrading from an older phone, this is going to feel new, and it’s a feature we find more useful than some reviewers give it credit for. It was recently invaluable when notifying us of our gate on a recent flight, for keeping tabs on our pasta timer and controlling our currently playing podcast at the same time. Overall, despite its silly name, we love that it serves up notifications and status information without us having to go digging through apps.

Simon Cocks

There are no changes to “Face ID” but that’s understandable as it’s already far ahead of what’s offered by the competition. Yes, it’s the reason why you can’t get a tiny pinhole camera design on iPhones, but we’d take the extra security of proper 3D face recognition biometrics over that any day. There’s a reason why no Android offers comparable tech that works for not only unlocking your device but also confirming mobile payments and granting entry into banking apps.

iPhone 15 Pro performance and battery life

If you found yourself watching Apple’s presentation and wondering what a 3-nanometre chip is and whether it makes a difference, we’re here to let you know that you don’t need to worry or get lost in the jargon.

The key thing to know is that Apple has further improved the processing power with this generation but that they’re already highly impressive and it’s been a long time since anyone has had a real issue with the power and efficiency of any iPhone. The A17 Pro chip in the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max will continue to be fast and smart for many years, too.

Throughout our initial tests, we’re appearing to get the kind of battery life Apple is promising. The company never states official battery capacities, instead saying you’ll get “all-day” battery life with normal use, and that’s holding up after our first week or so with the iPhone 15 Pro. Of course, we’ll be monitoring this and updating this review if we notice any change, but we think for most people other than the most intensive power users, this will be a great battery for watching videos, taking a load of photos, hopping on FaceTime calls, sending messages and dealing with emails every day.

Simon Cocks

Where this phone does differ from previous models is with its gaming performance. It enjoys a big graphics upgrade and Apple boasts that console games can now be ported over to the iPhone with ease. We got a chance to play Resident Evil Village and were impressed with the realism and smoothness in the gameplay of the horror game.

The Pro iPhones now have hardware-accelerated ray-tracing, which should make them real competitors for gaming, as long as there are enough titles available for fans to play. It’s been revealed that Resident Evil 4, Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Death Stranding are all headed to iOS to play on the 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max.

iPhone 15 Pro connectivity and charging

For some (yes, including us), the addition of USB-C is the biggest and most welcome change coming to all iPhone 15 models. We know Android diehards are rolling their eyes right now, but this change finally brings Apple’s smartphones in line with the rest of the industry and opens up compatibility with a huge number of chargers and accessories. That massive versatility is going to make these iPhones more useful for loads of users.

Audiophiles can connect high-end wired headphones for reference-grade listening by using either a small USB-C to 3.5mm adapter or a hi-fi USB-C DAB like the Astell & Kern HC3. Photographers and videographers can offload their shots and footage using a USB-C hub or a USB-C to SD card reader while finding the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro Max support recording ProRes video directly to an external storage drive. With the Pro models, you’ll get faster data transfer speeds too, so you won’t have trouble moving large files over from a USB-C flash drive.

Simon Cocks

And that’s before even talking about charging, and how much more convenient it is to have one cable that works across all your devices. You’re not stuck with Apple-approved options for charging and can use quality USB-C cables for refuelling, as well as USB-C power banks with a built-in plug. Gamers will be able to connect to the Backbone One mobile gaming controller, making it much easier to play console titles on the phone. You’ll be able to recharge another iPhone, a wireless earbuds case or an Apple Watch directly from your phone’s battery too, when using the appropriate cable.

iPhone 15 Pro drawbacks

There aren’t many downsides that have become apparent during our testing of the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro Max. Of course, we’d always love to see a more substantial increase in battery life, so those hoping for more longevity than a day’s use will be disappointed. While we love the action button, we’d also love to see even more functionality and customisation through future software upgrades, including perhaps different functions in different focus modes, or different controls for a single press, long press or double press.

It’s also a shame that this iPhone appears to be slightly less durable than its predecessor, but we think you’ll be safe if you keep it in a case and don’t forcefully bend your phone. We’ve not done that in the last decade of smartphone use, so we do think it’s pretty unlikely you’ll be breaking this handset in normal use. The only other thing we’d mention is that, even if these iPhones have a welcome price cut compared to last year’s lineup, they’re still pricey compared to certain Android rivals. If you’re tempted to consider the switch, you can get a lot of the same features in the Pixel lineup, and Google is set to unveil its latest models soon. Patience is a virtue.

Simon Cocks

iPhone 15 Pro verdict

While we’d still encourage owners of the iPhone 13 Pro and 14 Pro that now isn’t quite the right time to trade in their working devices and upgrade, if you’ve got an older iPhone that’s on its last legs or you’ve been tolerating that cracked screen on your 11 Pro for just a little too long, then the changes in the iPhone 15 Pro make for a substantial improvement that you’ll notice.

Thanks to the addition of the USB-C port, the smart action button, the neat camera upgrades, the lighter design and a better chip, this is a fantastic phone for mobile gamers and keen photographers.

These models also cost you less than it would set you back to have upgraded to the iPhone 14 Pro models last year, making for a worthwhile saving. The iPhone 15 Pro now starts from £999 for 128GB of storage, a notable £100 cheaper than the 14 Pro was at launch. However, Apple did get rid of the lowest storage tier for the 15 Pro Max, as it now starts at 256GB for £1,199, matching the price of the 14 Pro Max in 2022.

If you’re a big fan of zooming into your photos, then the 15 Pro Max is a brilliant upgrade for its 5x lens. We’re not sure it’s something that everyone will use, but it’ll be great for certain travel and landscape shots. We’d struggle to criticise this latest batch of iPhones, although those hoping for a battery increase may be a little disappointed. Overall, the iPhone 15 Pro is a great upgrade for those coming from an older model but will feel incremental if you’re coming from last year’s iPhone.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro