I’m going to start this story by saying that this is my 3rd lens hood for my Nikon 70-200 IS II. My first one was the Nikon HB-48 that came with the lens and it met it’s demise at a Cars & Coffee event I was shooting. When I was putting my lens into the bag I removed the hood, it slipped out of my grasped and cracked when it bounced off the asphalt. I read some reviews on the cheapy ones and saw the same ole discouraging statements I always see when looking at off-brand accessories. “You get what you pay for!” “It didn’t quite fit snuggly.” “Feels flimsy...” Fine, I said. I’ll fork out the $50 for a Nikon one... My second HB-48 stayed with me for almost a year until I lost it at a wedding this September. I briefly glanced at the reviews on the off brands again... These brands are so tempting because it’s just a piece of plastic, whose only purpose in life is to block out some flare and take the brunt of any accidental bumps. Fortunately something has changed since the last time I was in the market for this item and that is that I now live in Manhattan, where there is a B&H Store that has every photography item available for you to touch and inspect with your own eyes prior to purchase.
I grabbed my 70-200 and caught the next Q train to 34th St where I walked over to B&H, straight to the VELLO section......They didn’t have hoods in the VELLO section. I marched right over to an associate and said hey, I need a lens hood for this guy!(gesturing to the 70-200) She said, no problem, we have the Nikon HB-48 and the VELLO LHN-HB 48, which would you like to see? I said, let me see this VELLO that people keep insinuating isn’t up to PAR. She punched in the request and the crate dropped from the ceiling to the conveyor belt where it went around the lens section then back into the floor and popped up through the little doors on her desk. She pulled it out of the box and to my surprise, it was an exact fit. I’m so sorry to Nikon, I love their products but this hood fits more snug than the HB 48s I’ve had. It feels identical in structure and even has the metal components for the release button and latch. With solid construction, a superior fit to the stock one and a price point of $15, I couldn’t pass it up. If you are like me and you lose a lot of accessories in the field, I am here to tell you that you can save yourself $35 by picking up one of these bad boys. I know I will be when I inevitably lose or break this one or any of my other lens’s hoods. I hope this helps anyone on the fence with VELLO hoods. Check out the pics and comment any questions or concerns! Thanks -Dan
Red Nose is an organization that is on a mission to end child poverty. Through events and the sale of red noses and Red Nose merchandise, the Red Nose organization uses the power of comedy to raise funds and distribute them to various charities to benefit children around the world.
Over the past 25 years, the Red Nose organization has raised more than 1 billion to drive their goal of creating a just world free from poverty and has positively impacted the lives of more than 2,659,642 children in 2016 alone!
I was fortunate enough to attend the event in Herald Square last week and the energy was amazing. There were folks from all walks of life attending to contribute and to welcome a group of cyclists who rode all the way from Boston to NYC to support this wonderful cause.
After recognizing the amazing efforts put forth by the cyclists and a few speeches the event moved to Times Square where the cyclists joined Walgreens President, Alex Gourlay to ring the closing bell at Nasdaq.
The crowd that gathered in Times Square to celebrate Red Nose Day was humbling and the organizers, contributors, and cyclists involved were an inspiration to us all to step up and find a way to make our world a better place.
I encourage everyone to visit www.rednoseday.org to find out more about this great organization.
The title of this gets me excited. Ever since I got my drone I wanted to fly in Midtown. It's quite a challenging thing to do though. Apart from the confusing and ambiguous laws/rules/guidelines that are different depending on who you talk to, the magnetic forces emitting from all of these tall buildings interfere drastically with drone performance. The building I was trying to shoot probably has some of the most magnetic forces of the whole area - the Empire State Building. Standing at 1,454ft at the tip top, I have been hoping to get my drone (with a 1,654ft limit) up and over the 102 story skyscraper. Sadly, that didn't happen today. I was able to get some interesting images but the interference was more than I imagined. From pixelated and momentary loss of video feedback altogether to high wind gusts pushing the mavic off balance, this was a nerve wracking test of my little drones capabilities. While I am grateful that the anti crash sensors and the long range controls kept the mavic safe during the entire flight, I didn't get the shots that I wanted and would really like another crack at Midtown under better conditions. Until I get that second chance, I hope you enjoy the pics from the maiden voyage.
last weekend I had the opportunity to help a buddy shoot some headshots at The Plaza Hotel. Since it was his gig we were working with his gear and I worked the lighting, posed the subjects, and essentially assisted where needed. Firstly, The Plaza Hotel is AMAZING. After this experience I am definitely going to make it a point to do more shoots there. Secondly (and to the point) we used his Sony A7 mirrorless camera to do the shoot. I've never used a mirrorless camera but they're becoming difficult to avoid lately. Our setup was a rolled, seemless, white, paper back drop. We used 2 strobe backlights, one front strobe, and 2 reflectors. The A7 was tethered to the Capture One 10 program on a MacBook Pro.
I really had my doubts about this little camera, mostly because of how little it was but the buzz in the photog world is that these tiny Sonys are the future. I am happy to report that it really out performed my expectations in terms of photo quality. Granted we were using strobes so lighting wasn't an issue and the focus was tack sharp but he assured me that it performs as beautifully in event photography as in these headshots. I have another friend that swears by the "Sony Mirrorless Revolution" as well and while I'm not ready to post my Nikon collection on eBay quite yet, I'm thinking I may pick one of these A7s up on the used market as a little side-arm for when the D4S is too clunky. Whether that ends up happening or not, I'm really happy I had the opportunity to get my hands on one to see what the hype was all about. Check out the pics below of our lighting set up and the full res shot he took of me! Thanks -Dan
It's been my experience that the more one diversifies their life the more creative they can be. New and exciting experiences give new perspectives so I personally try to balance the amount of work I do with an equal amount of exciting life experiences.
Productivity Pro, Keynote Speaker, and bestselling author of 6 books, Laura Stack addresses a situation that hits very close to home for me in her book, “What to do when there’s too much to do”. Number 6 on her list is, Manage your capacity. To me, this means manage ourselves, our downtime, and our health. It is far more difficult to maintain objectivity in tense situations with no breaks from them. Off-work time is the fuel for our at-work engine.
Having a good work/life balance with excitement and exercise will give your mind a break and expedite your professional goals by maintaining something that most overlook – mental capacity.
Let me know how you balance your work/life in the comments! -Dan
This past Saturday, we spent the day shooting a group of bloggers.
It was exciting to say the least. We traveled from location to location, experiencing first hand what blogging truly is.
Unbeknownst to us, blogging is a really interesting scene. Not only do bloggers write about different topics of their interest, they help local businesses by promoting their brands. Whether it's a restaurant, clothing store, or make up boutique; bloggers have a way of capturing whatever it is you do and creatively showcasing it for the world to see.
Today was extremely exciting. I met one of my heroes and role models Peter Hurley. Peter is an Olympic athlete turned model turned photographer and is now widely considered to be the greatest headshot photographer of all time.
Peter held an event for Westcott Lighting to promote the lighting system that he designed, the Westcott 7537 Peter Hurley Flex 4‑Light Kit. This kit is an extremely portable and high quality constant lighting system that can be used for images or video. I was really happy with the lighting in the images that Peter allowed me to take using the kit. Below are my 2 shots.
Peter was an awesome guy and my opinion of him as a person and photographer was only elevated further by this experience. I'd encourage everyone to check him out at www.peterhurley.com or on Instagram @peter_hurley
Thanks for reading! -Dan
Do you need aerial services in New York City?
Today, we are introducing the launch of Rein Aerials!
Rein Aerials is an independent drone and aerial services company. With this venture, Dan and I plan on utilizing our aerial capability and maximizing the industry’s vast potential.
Under the Dan Wagner Photo umbrella, we typically use our aerial services to enhance our weddings, adding a beautiful and unique perspective. With Rein Aerials, we are entering a growing field with the opportunity to penetrate a niche market. With 2 drones we plan to not only capture weddings but to branch out into new channels including real estate, city mapping and zoning, portraits, and much more!
Please visit us at www.ReinAerials.com and keep an eye out for the new Rein Aerials Instagram & Facebook coming soon.
Thank you so much for visiting!!
Until next week,
I really enjoy shooting cars. On my downtime or even if I can fit it into busy time I truly enjoy showcasing the beauty of vehicles. I started shooting Cars and Coffee events just about a year ago in Virginia Beach. A friend of mine is a car enthusiast and would go to these events regularly and occasionally I would attend with him to check out the local vehicles. It's definitely a lot of fun and even more if you have a car or in my case a motorcycle to bring for people to check out. It didn't occur to me to shoot at these events at first, my attendance and interest was only as a spectator. Another cool aspect of these events is that there are usually plenty of photographers or car enthusiasts with cameras that would post a ton of photos after the event to show off all the vehicles. My friend would always be quite disappointed if his car wasn't captured in these which made me wonder how many people frantically search all the posts after an event hoping to see an interesting shot of their pride & joy. After considering that I brought my camera to the next event and started shooting. Naturally, this particular day it was raining. We hung out anyhow and got some coffee. The rain passed and I was able to get a lot of shots of the wet vehicles which ended up being more interesting than had the event been dry the whole time. Below are some of my favorites from my very first Cars & Coffee shoot.
In Manhattan these gatherings aren't as frequent so now-a-days I don't get the pleasure of shooting them as much as I'd prefer. But whenever I am out of the city on a Saturday morning I take the opportunity to try and capture the effort, money, and love that these individuals invest in their vehicles. Below are some more of my favorites. Thanks for reading and to see more of our car photos check out danwagnerphoto.com/cars - Dan
Are you interested in aerial photography? If so, you're probably asking yourself the same thing I asked myself, “How do I know which drone to buy?”
First, my journey started by narrowing the seemingly never ending list of brands down to the “best of the best.” With that being said, what is the “best of the best?” For me, I wanted a professional quality drone at an affordable price. It seems easy enough right?
So back to the narrowing down of brands. After watching and reading several reviews and even testing out a handful of drones in person, I was finally able to narrow my search to two specific drones. These drones were the DJI Mavic Pro and the Yuneec Typhoon H.
Both of these drones had everything I wanted. They were both brand new to the market and unique in their own ways. They were professional quality, affordable, and both had outstanding reviews.
I chose to purchase the DJI Mavic Pro. It was a tough decision but ultimately I knew I couldn’t go wrong with either option. The Mavic produces beautiful photographs and videos and is the most compact drone on the market. It even folds down so small that it can fit in your pocket! This was an important factor for me because living in Manhattan with limited transportation options, convenience is huge!
I hope this helps you and your entrance into the fabulous world of droning. I absolutely love my Mavic and wouldn’t go anywhere without it! Below are a few of the latest images I've captured;
P.s. No, DJI did not pay me to write this post. :)
Thanks for checking in and until next time,