Museum Opens ‘Firehouse: The Photography of Jill Freedman’ Exhibit


This year marks the 45th anniversary of the groundbreaking book “Firehouse,” featuring photographs by award-winning photographer Jill Freedman and text by firefighter and Firehouse Magazine founder, Dennis Smith.

The New York City Fire Museum is presenting Firehouse: The Photography of Jill Freedman, an exhibition running until April 2, 2023, that showcases images from the book and videos of Freedman describing how she was able to capture these incredible images.

Freedman was a highly respected New York City documentary photographer whose award-winning work is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the International Center of Photography, George Eastman House, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the New York Public Library, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, among others. She appeared in solo and group exhibitions throughout the world and contributed to many prominent publications.

In the “Firehouse” book, “Jill Freedman created a visual story that captures an important piece of New York City history,” said Jennifer Brown, executive director of the New York City Fire Museum. “Most importantly, she showed the humanity of firefighters through their day-to-day struggles and triumphs.”

The images in the exhibition include close-ups of the firefighters, action shots at the scene of a fire, and other scenes during the FDNY’s War Years in the 1970s..

“Exhibitions such as this are crucial to honoring Jill Freedman’s work and keeping her legacy alive, much like Jill did with her photography subjects,” said the Jill Freedman Estate: Marcia Schiffman, Susan Hecht, Nancy Schiffman Sklar, and Wendy Wernick. “Jill is one of the greatest photographers of all time, and we are pleased to partner with the New York City Fire Museum and other institutions to keep her work available to the public.”


Revised book

The Jill Freedman Estate also announced that they have re-released the book with a new introduction and new captions provided by retired 40-year veteran of the FDNY, Keith Nicoliello.

When I asked Nicoliello, who spent 37 years at Ladder 30, what drew him to the assignment, he had a very interesting response.

“We were working one day, and we were going shopping for the meal when this woman comes up to me and says ‘You guys have always been good cooks! I had a lot of good meals in firehouses.’ So, I said, ‘Who are you?’ and she said, ‘I’m Jill Freedman.’ She didn’t think I’d remember, but I said, “I know exactly who you are!’ I told her all about how much I liked the book, and she was thrilled.”

Later that day, Freedman came to visit Nicoliello at the firehouse, shot a quick video and they were friends ever since.

“When she passed away, her three cousins had an idea for a book…a second writing of the “Firehouse” book. They approached me and I said I’d love to be a part of this. I loved the book, I knew most of the guys in the book, so my job became putting captions to the pictures. And I am so proud to be part of this.”

Nicoliello shared the story of how Freedman was not allowed to stay in the bunk rooms while compiling the photos for the original book.

“She used to sleep in the battalion chief’s car,” he said. “That’s how dedicated she was.”

He went on to explain how each photo has a double meaning.

“A civilian will look at one of these photos and see something amazing,” he said. “A firefighter will see something completely different, especially FDNY guys because we had a certain way of doing things and she captured all of that.”


How it started

Back in the mid-70s, Freedman ran into Dennis Smith at a club in Greenwich Village. She was singing an Irish ballad (Freedman was multitalented) and when she was done, Smith comment about the impressive range of her voice. They began talking and Smith discovered that Freedman was also a photographer whose favorite photo was of a firefighter rescuing a cat.

Smith told Freedman how he always wanted to do a book filled with photos of firefighters and Freedman said how she was always obsessed with firefighters and in fact wanted to be a firefighter when she was younger.

Smith had already authored a couple of books, including the highly acclaimed “Report from Engine Co. 82,” and was in the process of launching Firehouse Magazine. The two talked about it for a while, but then went their separate ways.

And then, somehow fate brought them back together again…in Ireland.

“Ireland was like a second home for Jill,” said her cousin, Susan Hecht. In fact, Freedman visited and photographed the people of Ireland over a seven-year period and published two books, “A Time That Was: Irish Moments” and “Ireland, Ever.”

“On one of those visits, who does she meet again? Dennis Smith!” said Hecht. “They ate, they drank, and they decided they were going to do this book.”


Every photo tells a story

Freedman spent 6–8 months at Smith’s station, Engine 82 and Ladder 31 in the South Bronx and then she went to Engine 69 and Ladder 28 in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood.

“Every picture tells a story,” said Hecht. “Just talking to the firefighters here tonight you can see how these photographs bring out such emotion in them.”

One of those firefighters was 89-year-old Louis Andrade, who joined the FDNY in 1957 after having served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

“I was somewhat instrumental in getting her to ride the trucks in the South Bronx,” Andrade recalled. “I introduced her to the chief and told him that she was a photographer and that I she was going to ride with me. That was Chief Cuddles, that’s what we called him because he was like a little bear that you wanted to cuddle.”

One of things Andrade liked most about Freedman’s photos was how it showed firefighters interacting with the community “especially the children. We always had a great time with the children.”


Speaking of children

Dennis Smith passed away earlier this year, but his daughter, Ashley, was on hand for the opening of the exhibit and perfectly summed up the evening.

“This is such a wonderful thing that they did,” said Ashley Smith. “Dad would be happy and proud. We all are as well.”


The exhibit runs through April 2, 2023 at the New York Fire Museum located at 278 Spring Street, New York, NY.        

Here is a small sample of what you can expect to see:


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Five Myths About Photographing Portlands Japanese Maple


The Portland Japanese Garden

In the city of Portland, Oregon there is a world-famous Japanese Maple tree, located just inside the gates of the Portland Japanese Garden just waiting to capture your spirit and imagination. Millions of visitors each year travel to the Pacific Northwest, to the city of roses, to explore everything that this city has to offer including the world renowned Japanese garden.

In 1958, Portland became a sister city to Sapporo, Japan, helping to create a broad interest in Japanese culture. Soon after, several business leaders and the Mayor of Portland decided it would be wonderful for Portland to have a traditional Japanese Garden. On June 4th, 1962, the City Council created a commission to establish the garden on the site of the former Washington Park Zoo.

The Legendary Lace Leaf Maple Tree

This beautiful Japanese Maple tree that so many have grown to love, was not an original planting in the garden. No one is 100% sure of exactly when it was planted, or where it came from. Speaking to Adam Hart, Senior Gardener of the garden, after looking through historical photographs, I was told that this lace-leaf maple was most likely planted sometime around 1971 and is between 65-70 years old.

Every year, when the carefully pruned leaves of the trees & shrubs in the garden shift from the greens of summer to the reds, oranges and golds of autumn, photographers from around the world flock to the garden to capture the transformation of fall and often, specifically to photograph this single lace leaf maple.

Maybe you yourself have wanted to photograph this maple tree and have heard stories about the experience itself. Let me enlighten you with some common myths about the tree and prepare you for your adventure to the city of Portland.


Nebulas of scarlet stars erupt from the twisted branches of an old Japanese maple in a garden in Portland, Oregon. A brilliant flash of fire, the autumn boughs make the surrounding beds of moss seem almost to glow. Fine Art Limited Edition of 200.

Five Common Myths About Photographing The Worlds Favorite Maple Tree

Myth #1 – This Japanese Maple Tree Is Located In A Mysterious Secret Garden Whose Location Is Only Known By Photographer Peter Lik.

This, of course is the most ridiculous and my personal favorite myth of all. Over the years I have been accused of and even have even received hate mail from collectors of Peter Lik’s work who were led to believe that Lik was the first and in some cases only photographer to capture the heavenly beauty of this tree with his camera.

In 2011, an image of this tree titled The Tree of Life by photographer Peter Lik, was awarded 1st place in a photography contest called Windland Smith Rice International Awards and was on exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C from April – September of 2012. Those of us that lived in Portland had been photographing this tree for years prior to Lik gracing the garden with his “most awarded, most wanted, most full of $%^&* presence.

For anyone still in the dark about the reality here, the tree is located in a public garden in Portland, Oregon and Lik was not the first the photograph it. Also, in case you were wondering, it is also impossible to photograph clouds BEHIND the moon, but I digress.

Heavens Gate

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.

Myth #2 – Your Dreams of Climbing This Magical Tree Are Within Reach

Maybe you loved to climb trees when you were a child and you are looking to regain some of the glory of your youth. Maybe you are trying to get closer to God. Maybe you are just a weirdo. Whatever the reason for your quest to conquer the glory of this magical tree, I’m afraid I’m going to have to crush your dreams. The tree is only six feet tall. If you attempt to climb it you will most likely get tackled by a fellow photographer, disemboweled by the ancient Samurai who watch over the garden or be forever haunted by the spirt of Peter Lik. You will most certainly make a fool of yourself.

Myth #3 – You Are Special

I mean, you are special. The odds of you being alive at all are basically zero. When it comes to your desire to photograph this legendary Japanese Maple Tree though, you are going to have to get in line. Literally. Everyone wants to photograph this tree in autumn. Everyone wants it in the best light, hopes for fog, is looking for peak color and thinks their photograph of it is going to be the best photograph ever of Portlands Japanese Maple. Everyone bought the same garden membership you did, thinking that gaining entry two hours before everyone else was going to grant them access to photograph the tree all by themselves. Wearing knee pads and a headlamp, traveling from another country or shooting with your super fancy Phase One camera does not make you special.

In reality I have witnessed lines of up to 40 people waiting to photograph the tree at any one time. I have witnessed fist fights almost break out more than once. Every year I hear the same jokes about how small it is, how someone is going to chop it down, about thinking they were going to climb It and about how special Peter Lik Is. Lol.


The fiery boughs of a grand Japanese maple fill the skies above a sculpted garden in Portland, Oregon. The enormous canopy shades the beds of jade moss and gently caresses the tranquil waters of a nearby pool. Fine Art Limited Edition of 100.

Myth #4 – It Is The Only Beautiful Japanese Maple In The World

There are at least a thousand different varieties of Japanese maples. Some are quite similar to each other and only of interest to collectors, but there are many unique and special forms of outstanding beauty which are very popular with all gardeners. I bet many of you even have one in your yard like we do. While the Portland Japanese Maple is an extremely beautiful tree, there are literally millions of others across the globe. In fact, if you find yourself in the Pacific Northwest and have an itch to photograph a beautiful maple but don’t want to fight over this one, you can visit this tree inside Seattles Kubota Garden and likely photograph it all by yourself for hours.

Myth #5 – Your Cell Phone Picture Will Make A Great Wall Art Print For Your Home

Over the years I have sold well over one thousand limited edition fine art prints of Portlands Famous Japanese Maple to collectors of my work around the world. While you can certainly capture a beautiful photograph with your cell phone these days and can even print a billboard with the photo you captured with your iPhone, when it comes to a truly spectacular large wall art for your home, there is much more to creating quality artwork for your wall. Bt all means, capture that memory with your smartphone and then give me a call so I can help you get that memory on your wall. 🙂

Falling Embers Panoramic

Transform your space with Aaron Reed’s luxury fine art photography print, Embers, from his Panoramic Wall Art collection. Order yours today! Fine Art Limited Edition of 50.

Aaron Reed’s Tips For Photographing Portland’s Japanese Maple

If after reading this blog post, you have your knee pads & headlamp on, your Phase One locked and loaded and your Peter Lik fan club membership badge displayed on a lanyard around your neck, you still want to visit the garden this year, I have a few tips for you.

The colors in the garden are typically best the 3rd – 4th week of October. The tree itself changes from greenish to yellowish and if you are lucky a bright red/orange all in the span of about 5 days. If a strong rain or wind hits Portland once the tree is at its peak, the leaves can completely fall off in a matter of a day or two.

Be patient, take your time photographing the tree, be courteous to other photographers and if you didn’t get the shot you wanted the first time, swing back around again for another go at it. The tree can look very different in various types of light and you can capture some beautiful conditions if you are lucky.

The typical way the tree is photographed is from ground level shooting under the canopy of the tree. You will want a tripod that allows you to get close to the ground, an ultra wide angle lens and will want to use a fast shutter speed to freeze the delicate leaves in the wind.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and have an opportunity to photograph the tree during peak color this year. Just don’t photoshop in a moon with magical space clouds behind it.

Who knows…. maybe I’ll even see you there. 🙂


The rounded crown of a Japanese maple sits on the sloping fields of a green hillside like a polished bubble of ancient amber. Across the verdant glade, a blanket of red, yellow, and white leaves forms a dazzling mosaic. Fine Art Limited Edition of 100.


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New Galaxy S22 Update Brings Astrophotography


The Galaxy S22 phones have some of the best cameras of 2022. While this is true, they can still be made even better. Samsung just announced that a new update will bring astrophotography and other camera features to the Galaxy S22 phones.

The Galaxy S22 phones received praise when they launched earlier this year. They retain designs similar to last year’s phones with the exception of the S22 Ultra. This phone brought a new camera design.

Android Headlines did reviews on these phones. You can check out the review for the Galaxy S22+ and the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

The new Galaxy S22 camera update brings astrophotography and more features

Let’s start off with the most relevant feature here. Samsung introduced the ability for Galaxy S22 owners to take pictures of the stars using the Expert Raw application. This lets you take a picture of the night sky and clearly see the stars. This is something that was introduced with Pixel phones, and it’s been well sought after ever since.

There’s also a new multiple exposures feature in the Expert Raw app. This allows you to take multiple pictures and layer them on top of each other in different ways. Say, if you take a picture of flowers, you can overlay it over a picture of you. The app gives you different ways to overlay your pictures for all sorts of effects.

There is a new camera assistant app

You can download this application from the Galaxy store. What this app does is let you choose which features you want to enable and disable in the camera app.

This includes features like auto lens switching, auto HDR, fast shutter, etc. It gives you access to these features so that you can easily change them on the spot. The Camera Assistant can also soften your selfies to get that beauty filter look.

These are all welcome features for the Galaxy phones. Google just launched its Pixel 7 phones, and they bring a spectacular photography experience. So, this is a way for Samsung to keep up with the competition. The new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro also launched, and those phones brought some camera improvements. This should tide users over until the Galaxy S23 phones launch next year.


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Unique HEIPI 3-in-1 travel tripod announced


Kickstarter has been the launch platform for many exciting camera and accessory projects with the latest project to catch my eye being the HEIPI tripod, a quite unique 3-in-1 travel tripod.

What makes it unique is the way it splits down from a travel tripod in to three components that can be used in isolation, or at least two can the other is the head. As its core function it is a travel tripod, then remove the centre column, and you have a smaller compact tripod and that makes two very functional accessories from one. The third part is the removable head which can then be displaced and popped on top of another set of tripod legs. 

Aside from the design, which from the photos and video looks amazing, the main USP of the unit is the 3-pillar centre column that makes up the lightweight tripod section of the design. 

Essentially, the designers have replaced the standard tube-style removable centre column with one that quickly removes and transforms into a tripod. Then when it’s in place, it can be raised or lowered like any other tripod centre column, all be it looking a little different, which is all very clever. 

The centre column is, therefore, lightweight, very transportable in it’s own right and features spiked rubber feet to keep it steady when working out in the field. 

As a travel tripod, the HEIPI needs to be lightweight and easily transportable, and to this end, the entire tripod weighs in at 0.63lb/0.29kg while taking a maximum load capacity of 55lbs/25kg. It also features a 360º panoramic head with an audible click that highlights every 10º turn. This click has been added to enable users to accurately gauge the rotation of the head in lower light conditions. At present I’m not sure if the click is a permanent fixture or if it can be silenced, I’ll find out soon.

The three-pillar design centre column has also been designed to make the tripod more structurally sound than competitors with legs that fold tight under the head removing much of the negative space common with other manufacturers.

The legs themselves are tubed and offer angles of 22°/48°/69.5°. A simple button mechanism enables the adjustment of the leg and angles and lever locks to enable you to release and lock the legs into position. The sub-tripod features a single leg section with leg angle adjustment from 40°/85°. 

A HEIPI tripod is on its way to us here at, and I’ll update you on the tripod as soon as it arrives. 

Visit or the Kickstarter campaign.


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Grinning, Winking, Happy Animals Vie for Photo Honors


A winking spotted owl peeks out from inside a pipe and a winking fox sits in the woods. Grinning fish swim up close in bright blue water. A squirrel vaults in the air during a rainstorm.

One of these shortlisted images could be the winner of the 2022 Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards.

It could be the photo above, “Say Cheeeese,” of gray triggerfish in Faial, Azores. Arturo Telle Thiemann of Spain talks about his image:

“A couple of triggerfish looking into the camera, captured at the Azores. Even though they may look funny, these fish can be quite aggressive. In this case they didn’t attempt to bite me, but the domeport of my camera housing ended up with some scratches… life is hard… at least it wasn’t me who was hurt.”

The awards were founded in 2015 to focus on the more lighthearted side of wildlife photography, while drawing attention to conservation. This year the competition benefits Whitley Fund for Nature, a U.K. charity that supports conservation leaders. There were about 3,500 entries this year from around 90 countries. The winners will be announced in December.

Here’s a look at some of the other shortlisted finalists.

“I CU Boy !”

Arshdeep Singh /

This spotted owl was photographed by Arshdeep Singh in Bikaner, India.

“Few hundred miles away we went to explore wildlife of a small town named ‘Bikaner.’ It was after almost a year I travelled because of Covid. We hired a guide to explore places around. During the last day of our trip we came across a pipe in a city where we spotted an owlet. I have earlier clicked owls in a pipe before so I was sure that I wasn’t mistaken. We waited for a short while and it didn’t take a long time and one of the spotted owlet came out of the pipe. It was really funny when he came out and looked at me straight, before going inside he closed one of his eyes and felt like he wanted to say ‘I CU boy!’ and I immediately snapped a picture when he gave this pose.”

“Jumping Jack”

Alex Pansier /

Alex Pansier of the Netherlands captured this image of a red squirrel during a rainstorm.

 “Stop and Stare”

Andy Evans /

Andy Evans of the U.K. photographed this proboscis monkey in Borneo.

“After hearing Borneo’s borders would reopen again in April 2022 I couldn’t wait to visit and photograph some of the weird and wonderful wildlife on the island. After 2 years with no tourists it seemed like the wildlife was just as shocked to see me as I was to see them. This young proboscis monkey watched in amazement as I cruised by on the Kinabatangan River.”

“The Wink”

Kevin Lohman /

Kevin Lohman of the U.S. snapped this red fox in San Jose, California. “An American red fox casually walked up to the edge of the woods and sat down, then turned around and gave a wink. Moments later, this sly fox disappeared into the trees.”

“Pegasus, the Flying Horse”

Jagdeep Rajput /

Totally not a flying horse, Jagdeep Rajput photographed a crane and an antelope at Keoladeo National Park, India.

“Actually this is an Indian sarus crane attacking a blue bull from behind. The bull happened to venture close to [the] sarus’s nest, where it had laid a single egg. The sarus crane, which is [the] tallest flying bird in the world, opened its huge wings and attacked the bull from behind, driving the bull away from the nest.”

“Happy Feet”

Thomas Vijayan /

Canadian Thomas Vijayan focused on this emperor penguin chick in Antarctica.


Saverio Gatto /

Named for the folds of skin (lappets) on each side of their face, these lappet-faced vultures posed for Italian photographer Saverio Gatto in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

“Misleading African Viewpoints 2”

Jean Jacques Alcalay /

French photographer Jean Jacques Alcalay captured a hippo yawning while next to a heron at Kruger National Park, South Africa.

“Mum Life”

Sophie Hart /

This baby long-tailed macaque was photographed clinging to its tired mother in Singapore by Sophie Hart of the U.K.

“What Shall I Write Next”

Torie Hilley /

Torie Hilley of the U.S. photographed this coastal brown bear cub in Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

“Most bear cubs do cub-like things. Like, follow mom around, nurse, and be generally cute. But this cub took it to another level of cuteness. She found an eagle feather and started to play with it for a good 10 minutes! As she danced and rolled with the feather, she held it in her mouth for a moment—as if she was thinking of what to write next! Cuteness overload!”


Paul Eijkemans /

Paul Eijkemans of the Netherlands took this photo of a Picasso triggerfish in Marsa Shagra, Egypt. “The fish just vomited the coral residues that it picked up while nibbling on the coral.”


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4 Incredible Lenses for Astrophotography You’ll Love


OM SYSTEM users are lucky when it comes to astrophotography. They get the best cameras when it comes to creating stunning astro images in-camera. What’s more, their best lenses for astrophotography are all compact and lightweight. What’s not to like about that? They’re also going to easily survive the cold because of their weather resistant design, which also lets you know they’ll be very reliable. Indeed, these are the best lenses for Astrophotography OM SYSTEM makes.

This piece is presented in partnership with OM SYSTEM. We’ve independently and ethically reviewed all the products in this post already without sponsorship. And we worked with them to recommend a few key gems to you.

The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

How to Use This Guide to Lenses for Astrophotography


Here’s some insight into how to use this guide of the best OM SYSTEM lenses for astrophotography:

  • This list of OM SYSTEM lenses for astrophotography is brought to you by OM SYSTEM. It abides by our Editorial Policies regarding these roundups. We won’t talk about a lens or product we haven’t touched. And to that end, this roundup contains OM SYSTEM lenses we’ve reviewed. Luckily, we’ve reviewed all their PRO grade lenses.
  • We shot all the product images and sample images in this roundup. So, know that we actually used them and that you can trust the experts at the Phoblographer.
  • These are Micro Four Thirds lenses. In order to get the full-frame equivalent, double the focal length.
  • Pairing these OM SYSTEM lenses with cameras that have computational photography like the OM SYSTEM OM-1 provide a ton of potential. There’s the Live ND feature, which helps you avoid stopping the lens down, and therefore prevents diffraction. Then there’s Live Composite, which does what pretty much no other camera system can for astrophotography and more. Indeed, the cameras are part of what makes these lenses for astrophotography so incredibly attractive.
  • Four Thirds is a trendy format right now. Watch a lot of Netflix shows, and you’ll see that they’re purposely letterboxing the sides to give it that look at times.
  • These OM SYSTEM lenses have different additions to the names, like IS and PRO. PRO designates their highest end lenses. IS stands for image stabilization.
  • We’ve ordered this list of OM SYSTEM lenses for astrophotography in no specific way. So keep in mind that they’re genuinely all good.

M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f1.8 Fisheye PRO

Pro Tip

This becomes the equivalent field of view of a 16mm lens in full-frame. That’s very, very wide. And it also means you’re going to have a lot of fun when capturing the stars at night.

In our review, we state:

“There isn’t a lot to say about the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f1.8 Fisheye PRO lens that these images don’t say for themselves. Olympus optics have always been known for being very sharp, rendering lots of details, and focusing quickly. And quite honestly they have so many things about them that make them perfect.”

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M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f2

Pro Tip

This lens has the cool function that lets you pull the focusing ring back and manually focus the lens. Set it to infinity and let it do its thing!

In our review, we state:

The color rendering is true to life and, unless you’re very close up, there is almost no distortion. In fact, I daresay that the colors are the most life-like I’ve seen of any lens in the Micro Four Thirds system.

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M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f1.2 PRO

Pro Tip

OM SYSTEM cameras have this cool feature called “Starry Sky AF.” It lets the camera and the lens focus on, well, the stars! Try it!

In our review, we state:

“The M.Zuiko 17mm f1.2 PRO is about as easy of a lens to use as any other in this day and age. If you prefer manual focus, you can do that easily. If you prefer to just slap the lens on your camera, throw it into auto mode, and snap away on a family vacation, you can do that too. This lens has no issues that we ran into when it comes to ease of use, with the one exception being the manual focus mechanism that we noted in the build quality section.”

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M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F2.8 PRO

Pro Tip

This is one of the widest lenses that OM SYSTEM offers to passionate photographers just like you. If you really want to capture a vast scene, we recommend reaching for this lens.

In our review, we state:

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO lens is stellar when it comes to image quality. Quite obviously, it’s designed for wide angle shooting, which means landscapes, architecture, interiors and, at the longer end, you can probably squeeze in a portrait or two if you don’t put the subject near the edges.

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Artist-in-Residence offers public programs at Big Meadows


Shenandoah National Park Artist-in-Residence Carl Johnson will present public programs about his landscape photography this Friday, Oct. 28 and again on Halloween.

Friday’s program is at 2 p.m. in the Big Meadows Visitors Center auditorium.

“From DSLR to mirrorless cameras and smartphones, pretty much everyone has a camera today,” said Johnson in a park release. “Rather than documenting our trips or hikes, how can we put our cameras to better use?”

The SNP Artist-in-Residence will discuss how to use photography to form deeper connections with nature—in the backyard or a favorite national park.

“These connections can be formed through exploration, discovery, and giving ourselves the time we need,” said Johnson.

He will back at 5 p.m. on Oct. 31 for an outdoor program near the visitor center at Big Meadows.

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“We have all seen amazing photos,” Johnsons said in the release.

“What they have in common is great use of light and composition. But they didn’t happen by accident. The photographer had to see the image first before it could be created.”

He quoted world famous American landscape photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984): “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

“Seeing and noticing details in the world around you is crucial to making that photograph,” Johnson said, encouraging program attendees to join him for an excursion into the field to learn the importance of observation and visualization in the making of good images.

The SNP Artist-in-Residence will also offer helpful technical and creative tips on how to use a camera to take better pictures. Johnson is documenting his residency on Instagram and Facebook.

It’s also an adventure in nature photography. He described his quest to capture an image of an elusive Alaskan moose.

“I first started hiking the trails in the mountains above Anchorage, searching for moose to photograph. Early on, I envisioned a photo that included a large bull moose in the foreground and the Anchorage skyline in the background. Finally, after over eleven years of searching, I finally found it while guiding Doug Gardner, host of “Wild Photo Adventures” to photograph moose,” Johnson recalled.

The upcoming programs are free. Attendees will need a Shenandoah National Park entrance permit or pass. The Artist-in-Residence program is funded through generous donations to the Shenandoah National Park Trust.


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A Lily Manor Wedding | Dylan & Maggie



They went to high school together, but their paths hardly crossed. It wasn’t until a few years after graduation that they reconnected… and this time… for good. <3 When Dylan proposed on New Year’s Eve it was an instant, no-brainer YES to being Mrs. Cisney and spending a lifetime together!

Dylan and Maggie are some of the kindest people and getting to be a part of this season of their lives has been such a joy!! Maggie is a photographer herself who actually came to my workshop a few years ago… so of course when her name popped up in my inbox that she was ENGAGED (!!!) I was especially honored she chose me to capture her day! It was so sweet to get to capture *her* as the bride (she was glowingggg!!) and of course we were both so excited that her wedding day had PERFECT LIGHT. Dream day.

Dylan & Maggie! Thank you for trusting me with these memories and for being so joyful and trusting throughout the whole process!! Your day is one that I’ll never forget. I’m truly so grateful for your confidence in me to capture every moment. Enjoy a few of my favorites from this beautiful Lily Manor wedding full of so much love! Xo


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