Until recently, a super-telephoto 800mm lens fixed at f/11 wouldn’t have been possible. This is because Canon EOS DSLRs simply won’t work with a lens at a minimum f/11 aperture as it can’t let enough light into the AF sensor for the AF to function properly. But thanks to the more advanced AF in the latest Canon EOS R mirrorless cameras, and their EVF (Electronic Viewfinder which brightens your view of scenes you’re shooting) an f/11 fixed aperture lens is possible. So Canon created the unique Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM and Canon RF 800mm f/11 IS STM super telephoto prime lenses!
It’s this narrow f/11 aperture that’s enabled Canon to make these lenses much smaller, lighter and cheaper, and the RF 800mm is impressively light and easy to shoot handheld, without any worries about arm ache associated with using such long lenses.
Having an 800mm super-duper telephoto lightweight lens started as a very exciting proposition, as I pictured myself taking amazing frame-filling shots of distant wildlife with ease! However, the RF 800mm has some distinct disadvantages when you start shooting in different scenarios.
For a start, I wouldn’t normally choose to shoot at f/11 with a telephoto for wildlife or sports, as I want to blur the background and would usually shoot around f/4 or f/2.8. The f/11 at 800mm is actually fine for blurring distant and clean backgrounds – eg a bird on a fence post with a greenery 50 yards away. But a bird in a tree with branches around, or squirrel on a forest floor, then the backgrounds look very messy.
Then there’s the impact f/11 has on your shutter speeds. Even shooting at ISO6400, I was only averaging 1/40 to 1/160 sec inside the woods in day; not fast enough to freeze the wildlife I’d set out to shoot. Plus the combo of IBIS and IS won’t help you get sharp shots if subjects aren’t totally still.
But I’m pleased to say I did find the perfect subject for a mega 800mm focal length at f/11. The RF 800mm is almost purpose built for the big, bright, faraway moon as you can see in the beautifully detailed shot on the right.
• Make sure you’re using the best lenses for wildlife photography
1. Size isn’t everything
The RF 800mm f/11 weighs only 1260g and is 352mm when fully extended, and 282mm when retracted. It has a 95mm filter size; it’s the small f/11 aperture that’s enabled this diameter to be so relatively small, which makes the lens very portable.
2. Using a Canon RF 800mm lens
To start using the RF 800mm lens you need to twist to unlock it, then extend the lens, and twist to lock it back in place. We used the RF 800mm on a Canon EOS R6, and this combination proved to be a very lightweight setup for shooting handheld.
3. Autofocus setup
As we were setting out to photograph wildlife in the woods, we set up our R6’s AF using the Servo AF, AF method as Face + Tracking, Subject to detect to Animals, and Eye Detection enabled. These settings really make it easy to lock AF on wildlife.
4. Fine in sunshine
In sunny conditions at f/11 and ISO3200 with the RF 800mm, we had a fast shutter speed of 1/4000 sec – ideal for freezing even the most twitchy of little birds. But when we used the RF 800mm on darker days, or in low-light inside darker forests, things went slowly pear-shaped…
5. Struggles in lower light
In lower light levels at f/11, you’re forced to up the ISO to get decent shutter speeds. But even at ISO6400 I only able to shoot at 1/160 sec, which isn’t fast enough for most wildlife. Even if you do manage to bag a sharp subject, the f/11 aperture won’t significantly blur surrounding branches.
While the RF 800mm is challenging to use for wildlife if not in sunny conditions, it’s the perfect lens for shooting the moon! I comfortably shot at f/11 for the brightly-lit moon at 1/250 sec and only ISO800. The detail in the moon’s craters is incredible, and I took some of my best moon photos.
PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine is the world’s only monthly newsstand title that’s 100% devoted to Canon, so you can be sure the magazine is completely relevant to your system. Every issue comes with downloadable video tutorials too.
Check out the best cameras for wildlife photography, as well as our wildlife photography tips to get the most of your animal portraits.
The large photograph hanging on the wall of Hall 1 at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath (CKP) is a particularly endearing one. It depicts three tigers huddled close together, staring into the camera lens with unblinking amber eyes.
M. N. Jayakumar, the man behind the photo, recalls being in a particular part of the national park very early one day—around 6.15 in the morning—when he saw a tiger, Gowri, rush past them and disappear into the woods. They spent the next few hours circling around that block of the national park, he says, but could simply not spot her till much later in the morning, feeding on a sambar deer.
She wasn’t alone, but was accompanied by her four sub-adult cubs. “She had made the kill and gone rushing back to bring her cubs,” says Mr. Jayakumar, who spent the next couple of hours, watching the little family feed. “I think she wanted some rest so she brought the cubs to the waterhole to play in the water,” says Mr. Jayakumar, who clicked the snap when the family was frolicking in the waterhole. “I liked this image because it looks like a family portrait,” he says.
Fiery-Throated Hummin bird .
| Photo Credit:
M N Jaykumar
A forest official in the wild
This photograph is one of the 231 that form part of Encounters in the Wild 2.0, a solo exhibition both celebrating global wildlife as well as commemorating 50 years of Project Tiger, the wildlife conservation movement launched in 1973 to protect and preserve the Bengal tiger. Talking about his obsession with wildlife and conservation, Mr. Jayakumar recalls the incident that started off his passion for the wild.
In 1971, his father took him to watch a khedda, or wild elephant capture in Mysuru, among the last conducted in India before the practice was banned under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, of 1972. He was only 19 back then, and the incident impacted him greatly, remembers Mr. Jayakumar. Looking back, he thinks, “I was destined to join the forest service.”
| Photo Credit:
M N Jaykumar
He went on to pursue agriculture at the College of Agriculture, Bengaluru, graduating with the second rank there, before turning his attention to forest service. “I wanted a career that took me outdoors,” he says. So, he joined the Indian Forest College (now the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy) in Dehra Dun, before becoming part of the Forest Department.
Photography happened rather serendipitously back in 1993 or so. He was working as a deputy range forest officer in Mysore, and would often host wildlife photographers from all over the country who would stop by for a meal while visiting Bandipur or Nagarahole.” On one occasion, a colleague jokingly remarked that while the whole world came to the Mysore District for photography, you—being the head of the district—are wasting your time,” he says, with a laugh. “That really spurred me to learn.”
African Elephant with Wildebeest.
| Photo Credit:
M N Jaykumar
25 years of photography
Encounters in the Wild 2.0, which is spread across four halls in the CKP multiple species, documents multiple species of animals from all across the world. Held in collaboration with the Karnataka Forest Department, the display includes 47 species of mammals, 109 types of birds, and 8 species of reptiles and frogs shot on Mr. Jayakumar’s travels to different parts of India, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Americas.
| Photo Credit:
M N Jaykumar
From the gloriously-plumed birds of the Galapagos to tawny Bengal tigers; giraffes, elephants, and lions silhouetted against twilight skies shot with ochre and vermillion and even an aerial large shot of Machu Picchu, that icon of the ancient Inca empire, every photograph on display is evocative and stunning, a visual representation of Mr. Jayakumar’s love for the great outdoors. “Thankfully, all of us (his wife and two children) are lovers of nature. So, it doesn’t come in the way of my activity,” he says, adding that three of the images exhibited at the show were taken by his wife.
Mr. Jayakumar had his first solo exhibition in 1998, beginning with a series in New Delhi to commemorate the silver jubilee of Project Tiger. This was followed by what he thinks of as the first edition of Encounters in the Wild at CKP in 2008 and another titled Birds as Art at UB City, Bengaluru.
| Photo Credit:
M N Jaykumar
Most of the images in this exhibition, his fourth, were shot after he retired in 2012. “I have a group of friends, all my age, who I travel with regularly,” he says, adding that these travels enable him to continue observing and photographing wildlife. “As soon as I have my back and legs intact, I hope to keep on documenting nature,” says Mr. Jayakumar who is all set to visit Kenya in November, followed by Rwanda, Uganda, Columbia and the U.S. early next year.
| Photo Credit:
M N Jaykumar
As with all his shows, he hopes to “experience, educate and engage viewers,” with Encounters in the Wild 2.0. “Every image in this exhibition will have a QR code that you can scan to get to know about the animal,” he says. And yes, if you don’t like reading or are visually impaired, there is an audio option too. “All you need to do is bring your headphones,” he says.
| Photo Credit:
M N Jaykumar
Way to conservation
Mr. Jayakumar firmly believes that exposing urban dwellers to the magnificence and beauty of nature through exhibitions such as this one can go a long way toward driving conservation in this country. “I hope the people who attend my exhibition will engage with the forest department afterwards, in times of crisis, to protect our precious earth,” he says. As human beings encroach into the habitat of wild animals, leading to an increase in conflict, it is more important than ever before to learn how to peaceably live with the natural world, believes Mr. Jayakumar. “We need to know how to adjust their lives to see that it is not disturbed.”
Encounters in the Wild 2.0 is on till September 8 at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath from 10 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. Entry is free for all.
Here are the stunning winning photos of the 2023 Analog Sparks International Film Photography Awards.
Let’s come together to celebrate the rich tapestry of visual narratives and the exceptional artists who crafted these mesmerizing analog captures. Behold the most exquisite collection of analog photography from the 2023 Analog Sparks International Film Photography Awards.
The photographer of the year won by Cristina Fontsare for her sereis “A Crack In The Mirror” and the Best New Talent of the year won buy Ayanah George for her series “Coming Through”.
Scroll down and inspire yourself. You can check their website for more information.
You can find more info Analog Sparks:
#1 Photographer Of The Year: A Crack In The Mirror By Cristina Fontsare
The intention of my project is to have a look at childhood, puberty and adolescence through the annual practice of photographing the same girls every year.I am interested in those moments of transition between one evolutionary stage and another,highlighting the imaginary world of childhood that is invisible to to the adult gaze, the beauty and fragility of puberty, the lights and shadows of growth, the adaptation to the new incipient subjectivity and the psychological changes that will come and that will distance you from your closest environment:the family, where everything begins and ends.
#2 Best New Talent Of The Year: Coming Through By Ayanah George
This series inspired by the art of Kehinde Wiley is my transformation in creating work that represents my style. The concept of “coming through” is represented by various double exposures, an allegory to something that was covered and revealed. The photos are meant to document, uplift and highlight women of color, representing them as majestic and beautiful. In the past I created work that did not represent me. As I reflected on other aspects of life it occurred to me that I was (and possibly still am) afraid to show all of myself. As I begin to open up, I invite others to do the same.
#3 Architecture – 1st Place: Not An Exit By Austin Irving
#4 Architecture – 2nd Place: Cold Square By Dominik Gottwald
#5 Architecture – Bronze: Britannia Pier Cafe By Debby Besford
#6 Fine Art – 1st Place: A Crack In The Mirror By Cristina Fontsare
#7 Fine Art – 2nd Place: From Africa With Love By Jean-Claude Moschetti
#8 Fine Art – Gold: The Rocketgirl Chronicles By Andrew Rovenko
#9 Fine Art – Silver: Milan, Italy By Noah Dolinsky
#10 Human – 1st Place: Last Day Of School By Marko Risovic
#11 Human – 2nd Place: Mujeres Medicina, The Sould Healers Marta Kowalska
#12 Human – Gold: People In The Landscape By Mark McCarty
#13 Human – Gold: The Life Boat By Nicola Doro
#14 Human – Silver: Cara Mia By Mark McCarty
#15 Life Style – 1st Place: The Hot Water By Christo Stankulov
#16 Life Style – 2nd Place: Modern Tribe By Shahriar Mazandi
#17 Life Style – Silver: Fight Like A Woman By Lucas Urenda
#18 Life Style – Bronze: Mother & Daughter By David Weightman
#19 Life Style – Bronze: Solitude Standing By Dai Nakamura
#20 Nature – 1st Place: Where Beauty Prevails By Andrea Rosemercy
How can you make possibly the best smartphone for photography an even more capable cameraphone? Accessorize it!
That’s exactly what Xiaomi did for the 13 Ultra with the Photography Kit – a quirky set of accessories for the everyday phone user, but an invaluable work tool for the enthusiast photographer and videographer.
What’s the Photography Kit?
The Xiaomi 13 Ultra Photography Kit features a quality protective case with a lens cap, a 67mm filter adapter, a camera grip with Bluetooth, and a lanyard.
The whole package
You can just snap the case on the phone and put the cap on top. It protects the cameras from dust and other potentially-harming objects and it looks cool. The lens cap attaches with a push.
The grip accessory is pretty neat. You slide it onto the bottom of the case and it has a convenient locking lever to stay in place. The grip has a USB-C port so you can charge its built-in battery, a lanyard hole, and a full-on shutter button – it has half-press focusing and a zoom ring.
Press and hold the shutter for a second and the remote grip initiates pairing with the phone. From there it can launch the camera from a locked phone, control the zoom, and take pictures.
Lanyard eyelet and a zoom ring around the shutter button
With the case and grip attached, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra becomes a photography powerhouse! It’s very easy to fall into a rhythm of waking up the phone and moving between the different cameras using just your index finger. Taking the phone out of your pocket by grabbing the grip is very convenient too.
If you want to take your imaging further, twist on the 67mm filter adapter on the back of the case. This is the most popular filter thread on the market and you’ll get the widest selection of ND and circular polarizing filters around.
We happened to have a CPL lying around and we attached it to the phone to take some photos. Using a filter on the Xiaomi 13 Ultra feels fully professional. And it’s nearly impossible to twist the adapter off the phone’s case.
We found that the best use case for the Photography Kit is action shooting. It takes capturing your friends playing beach volleyball to a whole other level. Put the phone in either 3.2x or 5x, half-press to focus, and then wait for the ideal moment.
Here are a few samples we shot with the Xiaomi 13 Ultra with the Photography Kit attached.
Xiaomi 13 Ultra using the Photography kit
It’s hard to find the Xiaomi 13 Ultra Photography Kit online. It seems your best option is to import it from China. Prices range from around $130 to nearly $300. It’s a quality set of tools, but not amazing value for money.
The joy we get from using such accessories with a phone may well make it worth it, however. It brings us back to a few years back when phone and accessory makers were more imaginative, more daring. Remember LG and Friends, those were some fun days.
Now phones have become clinical tools. They perform a million tasks and they excel at most of them. Being great at photography is one of their key strengths. Using something like the Xiaomi Photography Kit can elevate one of the best phones around to a full-on professional tool.
Motherhood is a profoundly fulfilling journey, yet it’s not without its trials. From those sleepless nights to the relentless juggling of responsibilities, being a mom demands both physical and emotional resilience. But then there are extraordinary moms like Yulia Enslinger, who tackle these challenges with a hearty dose of humor.
Yulia, an artist with a knack for illustrating the realities of motherhood, captures the essence of this remarkable journey in her comics—a journey marked by both struggles and triumphs. While her comics candidly depict the tough moments, Yulia’s unwavering positivity serves as a beacon of inspiration for fellow moms navigating this beautiful, albeit unpredictable, adventure.
Scroll down and inspire yourself. Please check Yulia’s Instagram link for more amazing work.
Ancient Sentinels | Exploring the World’s Oldest Trees
Nature has witnessed the rise and fall of civilizations, the passing of centuries, and the evolution of countless species. Throughout human history, trees have stood by silently, serving as living witnesses to history, carrying within their rings the secrets of time itself. While they hold a profound and enduring fascination for many of us, trees are vital symbols of wisdom, change and the journey of life. From the towering redwoods of California to the ancient yews of Eurasia, trees have woven their roots deep into every culture and human consciousness. They provide shade, shelter, sustenance, and inspiration, and their significance transcends mere biology.
In this blog post, we are going on a journey to uncover the unbelievable tales of Earth’s ancient, upright guardians – trees that have continued to grow and thrive for thousands of years. These arboreal giants have borne witness to the rise and fall of civilizations, silently chronicling our planet’s dramatic history. Each one tells a unique story, and as we venture into the world of these venerable giants, we’ll uncover some of those stories while also gaining a glimpse of the future where conservation and preservation efforts are paramount.
Methuselah | White Mountains, California
Residing in the remote White Mountains of California, Methuselah is a truly remarkable tree – estimated at approximately 4,900 years old, which would make it the oldest known living bristlecone pine on the planet. This ancient sentinel has endured millennia of harsh environmental conditions including extreme cold, arid soil, and relentless winds. Its resilience serves as a living, breathing testament to the enduring power of nature’s forces. Methuselah is a symbol of longevity, evoking awe and reverence from all those who are blessed to gaze upon it.
Jomon Sugi | Yakushima Island, Japan
A gigantic, looming Cryptomeria tree (colloquially known as a Japanese sugi pine or Japanese red cedar), takes up the second spot on our list. Jomon Sugi can be found on Yakushima Island, Japan, and is estimated to be anywhere from 2,100 to a staggering 7,000 years old. This historic tree has weathered countless storms, typhoons, and changing climate conditions, yet it continues to thrive in the lush, mystical forests of Yakushima.
Revered by locals and tourists alike, Jomon Sugi is evidence of Japan’s deep-rooted cultural and historical connections with nature. Its enduring presence serves as a reminder of the enduring prowess of nature, inviting all who encounter it to reflect upon the beauty of these ancient trees.
Llangernyw Yew | Conwy, Wales
Located in a serene churchyard of the Llangernyw village in Conwy, Wales, the Llangernyw Yew watches as the seasons come and go. Estimated at around 4,000 to 5,000 years old, this ancient yew is a living relic, predating even Stonehenge. It holds a revered place in Welsh folklore and history, serving as a symbol of strength, perseverance, and continuity.
The Llangernyw Yew’s gnarled branches and lush, green foliage have offered shade to generations of visitors who have sought solace or reprieve beneath its sprawling canopy. Its longevity and connection to Welsh heritage make this a cherished and respected living monument, embodying the deep-rooted bond between people and trees.
Sarv-e Abarkuh | Yazd Province, Iran
Also known as the Zoroastrian Sarv and the Cypress of ABarkuh, Sarv-e Abarkuh is a Persian cypress in the Yazd Province of Iran. Like most of the trees on this list, Sarv-e Abarkuh is also thousands of years old – estimated to be between 4,000 and 4,500 years old. Not only is this behemoth one of the oldest living trees on Earth – it’s also a cultural icon that’s deeply ingrained in Persian and Iranian history.
Its name is in reference to a nearby village, and the tree itself has survived millennia in the desert amid war, regime changes, drought, and much more. This ancient sentinel continues to inspire awe while reflecting the enduring spirit of the region and its people.
Gran Abuelo | Alerce Costero National Park, Chile
Like many of the world’s oldest trees, Gran Abuelo’s home is in a secluded, remote valley in southern Chile (within the Alerce Costero National Park). Gran Abuelo – or “great grandfather” – is thought to be approximately 3,650 years old. What sets Gran Abuelo apart is its status as an Alerce tree, a species that’s closely related to the giant sequoias.
The conservation efforts surrounding this primordial giant underscore its ecological importance. Indeed, the existence of these trees serves as a poignant reminder of humanity’s responsibility to protect these elder giants and ensure they continue to enrich the Earth with their enduring presence.
O Patriarca | Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
Lovingly known as “The Patriarch Tree”, O Patriarca resides deep within the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil. Estimated to be between 3,000 and 3,600 years old, this giant Samaúma tree stands tall as a symbol of the ecological importance of the Amazon. Not only does it shelter a vast array of biodiversity within its colossal trunk – it also connects deeply to the indigenous cultures of the region and is revered as a sacred, living entity.
As the Amazon continues to face threats from deforestation and climate change, O Patriarca is a reminder of the irreplaceable value of these ancient sentinels. They help maintain the delicate balance of the planet’s ecosystems while also absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and replenishing oxygen levels.
Sajama Tree | Sajama National Park, Bolivia
Deep within the high-altitude terrain of Sajama National Park in Bolivia, the Sajama Tree has grown for 2,000 to 3,000 years. This ancient Queñua tree has shown the adaptability and perseverance of natural forces even at high altitudes. It has served as a crucial resource for indigenous communities – providing wood for fuel and shelter.
Beyond its practical uses, the Sajama Tree holds immense cultural significance, as it’s featured prominently in indigenous rituals and various traditions. The Sajama Tree is a living connection to the rich heritage of the Andean highlands, reminding us of the profound role that nature plays in sustaining and shaping human civilization.
Chestnut Tree of One Hundred Horses | Mount Etna, Sicily
More commonly known as the Hundred-Horse Chestnut, this tree is the tallest, broadest, and oldest known chestnut tree in the world. Located on Linguaglossa road in Sant’Alfio, on the eastern slope of Mount Etna in Sicily — only 8 km (5.0 mi) from the volcano’s crater. While experts figure this tree is somewhere between 2,000 to 4,000 years old, it has borne witness to centuries of human history. In fact, it gets its name from allegedly having sheltered a group of one hundred Aragonian horsemen during a tempestuous rainstorm. Its sprawling canopy and impressive girth reflect the interconnectedness all humans share with our arboreal siblings.
General Sherman | Sequoia National Park
According to the National Park Service, the General Sherman Tree is the world’s largest tree when measured by volume. Located in California’s Sequoia National Park, General Sherman has stood for around 2,200 years.
Named after Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman, this looming colossus captivates with its immense size while symbolizing the enduring spirit of our species’ conservation efforts. This tree in particular reminds us of how important it is to preserve these ancient trees and the myriad ecosystems they support.
Living Testaments of Earth’s Rich History
In the tapestry of our world’s greatest natural wonders, ancient trees are the remarkable threats that weave together stories of endurance, adaptation, and perseverance. All around the world, trees both large and small bear witness to the history of our planet and human civilization. These trees inspire us with their resilience and remind us to be diligent stewards of our planet and the life that calls our planet home.
While the images in this blog are not representative of the oldest living trees in this list, they are a living testament to my personal love of and connection with trees. Tree photography has always been my favorite subject and all types of trees, from smallest to greatest and youngest to oldest, continue to inspire me every day of my career and my life.
These ancient sentinels are much more than mere artifacts from the past; they are living treasures, fragile yet robust, and they hold the key to unlocking a greener, more sustainable future. In nurturing and safeguarding these timeworn beauties, we enshrine their stories in our own history. May they continue to be a part of our planet’s legacy for generations to come.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
High-quality camera gear is essential, including lenses that capture the vibrant colors and emotions of multicultural celebrations.
Collaborations with cultural experts or consultants are invaluable. They provide insights into customs, traditions, and etiquette.
Basic language skills or access to translators can help in effective communication and coordination during multicultural weddings.
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 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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
CJPOTY VIP Judges
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.
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.
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.