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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance photography instructor and tech innovator. Read More

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08.27.14     photography  

Tips For Improving Smartphone Photography

Many times when you're out and about exploring the world you might find that the only camera you have on hand is your smartphone. While they've come a long way and are capable of truly awesome pictures, it's always nice to make the most of your most portable camera. Commercial photographer Lorenz Holder shares 7 tips for taking better smartphone pictures. Check it out below.


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08.26.14     photography  

B&H Photo Introduces: The Canon Lens Experience

B&H Photo has presented an exciting new feature to their site; The Canon Lens Experience. In their words;

"Covering all things related to Canon and its lenses, The Canon Lens Experience is an immersive hub containing interviews, technical information, interactive tools, educational articles, and glossaries that take in the breadth of Canon's network of optics. This multi-faceted project began with a desire to uncover the wide range of options dedicated to Canon photographers and includes in-depth details about what makes Canon lenses so special and how these technologies can be employed for successful imaging results."

They're offering a wealth of information in the form of five sections; Experiences, Virtual, Lenses, Why Canon, and a Glossary. This is a truly invaluable resource for photographers of all skill levels.

Experiences - They've chosen 15 photographers with expertise in a diverse array of backgrounds. They range from aerial photography to underwater photography. These industry leaders share their experiences and stories of their work for all of us to learn from.

Virtual - This will display focal length, aperture, tilt-shift, image stabilization, and macro in an easy to use interactive tool. How cool is that? You can see what these settings and tools will look like and how it will affect your images right on the site.

Lenses - Another awesome interactive tool showcasing available Canon lenses with descriptive information on each lens.

Why Canon - "Dedicated to the unique lens-based technologies employed by Canon, this guide highlights a range of topics from basic lens design concepts to some of the proprietary techniques and features found in Canon's lens lineup."

Glossary - This is a comprehensive glossary with definitions of photography terms, tools, and concepts.

Make sure to check out this free and amazing photography education resource by CLICKING HERE.

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08.26.14     apps!  

'Hyperlapse' by Instagram

The team at Instagram stepped up the game this week by releasing their newest app. 'Hyperlapse' can make super-smooth images out of up to 45 minutes of video. Check out their promo below.

Stabilization for Hyperlapse from Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.

To learn more check out the post on PetaPixel here.

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08.25.14     tutorial & training videos  

Epic Shootout Featured on 4K Shooters Podcast

4K Shooters did a podcast review of my Epic Shootout Between the A7s and GH4. Feels really nice to be recognized for all the hard work we put into it! Thanks again for your help team! I think 4K Shooters is going to be a great resource website, check them out if you are into video production!

You can listen to the podcast 4K Shooters Podcast HERE.

You can check out my Sony A7s vs Panasonic GH4 Epic Shootout HERE.

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08.24.14     fun!  

Japanese Painters Use Single Stroke For Detailed Dragons

A video of a Japanese art studio with generations of master artists trained in the technique of Hitofude Ryuu (Dragon with one stroke) has been circulating the internet. It's hypnotizing to watch the painters use a single brush stroke, loaded precisely with beautiful colors, create the detailed design of a scaly dragon.

Check out the artist in action below.


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08.23.14     photography  

Professional Photographer Shootout: Benjamin Von Wong vs Rebecca Litchfield

DIY Photography had a really cool idea. What happens (and what can the rest of us learn) when you take two well known photographers, one location, three models, and a selection of props, and put them up against each other in a shootout style challenge. Check it out in the video below.

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08.22.14     tutorial & training videos  

Canon 7Dii Tutorial Training Crash Course DVD Coming in September

With the Canon 7D being discontinued and the imminent announcement of the 7Dii in the next few weeks, I thought I would share some initial thoughts as well as announce our plans for a Canon 7Dii Tutorial Training Video DVD. The Original 7D Crash Course is one of our very best sellers, so if you are planning on this camera, just know it is coming very soon, probably should finish around the end of September as we are still working on the Sony A7s DVD now.

Canon Rumors has leaked the specs on the 7Dii, for a full line up, definitely head over there and check it out.

My thoughts?

- 10 FPS will probably require a new battery.
- 65 Focus Points all cross type sound phenomenal
- Headphone Jack is wayyyyyy past due
- 1080 60 fps is decent, but also way past due.
- I would love to know more about the sensor, what fine detail means, heck even what size it is. The Nikon D750 is full frame and it sounds like these two are going to be released around the same time.
- I also understand the body is completely metal and very strong, and weather sealed.

The fact that there is no touch screen, no wifi, no GPS, and especially no 4K is disappointing. Canon is going to lose videography customers in droves without the 4K option. Maybe they have plans for a firmware update, but until they address this, it is just crazy to me that they and Nikon would release new DSLRs without it. Panasonic is going to be raking in new sales with the GH4

More to come.....

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08.22.14     photography  

Sam Byford Put the Fujifilm's X-T1 Again iPhone 5S Camera

Sam Byford is a reporter for The Verge and is currently working and living in Tokyo. He's a gadget enthusiast and a photographer. He poses an interesting question; with the undisputed greatness of the iPhone 5S camera, is it time to get rid of expensive high-end cameras? And/or is it worth it to fork over the money for a new DSLR?

He tested both cameras in varied light conditions. He used side-by-side comparison photos, using a slider to show the differences, to compare their performance. To check out what he learned and read some of his insights check out the article HERE.

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08.21.14     tutorial & training videos  

GH4 Tutorial DVD Now Available for Order

Our Panasonic GH4 Tutorial DVD - CLICK HERE is now available for order. Downloads have been available for sometime, and the physical DVDs are now in stock. If you ordered a download and want a DVD, just contact support@michaelthemaven.com and we will tell you how to send the shipping, $8.95 in the USA and then will get it right out to you. If you order the DVD now, you also get the download as well, with the only extra cost being additional shipping.

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08.21.14     featured photographers  

Fantasy Photoshop for Weddings by Shane Elliott

A new trend hitting the wedding photography scene is dramatic and often comical wedding photos. Using a heavy amount of Photoshop the wedding parties are being inserted into crazy fantasy and sci-fi type situations. It's actually pretty cool.

One such photographer is Shane Elliott of Studio Louisville. He posed a group of groomsmen so he could later edit them into crazy scenarios such as riding the high seas and exploding concrete. It seems like a lot of fun and the pictures are great.

For more images you can check out the article here.

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