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https://alphauniverseglobal.media.zestyio.com/Alpha-Universe-Cath-Simard-Ice-Caves-4.be110857376e1c1dc5afaa178864837f.jpg
Photo by Cath Simard (@cathsimard)

#CreatorConversations: Highlights From Our AMA With Cath Simard

#CreatorConversations is an AMA (Ask Me Anything) series hosted by @sonyalpha on Instagram. As part of the series, we were joined by photographer Cath Simard (@cathsimard) of the Sony Alpha Imaging Collective. See some of the highlights below, learn more about the gear she uses in her What’s In My Bag article and learn about some of her techniques for shooting in challenging conditions. Visit the Instagram post for the full AMA and make sure you’re following @sonyalpha and #CreatorConversations to stay connected.

“Right now is the perfect time to revisit old work and create something new out of it. Don't be afraid to open your horizons creatively and try new editing techniques including composites!” – Cath Simard #CreatorConversations

"Tips for long exposure shooting and editing?" – @antonephoto

Cath: “Use a remote shutter or two seconds timer to avoid vibration. I personally use a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop for my editing.”

"What lens suggestion would you have for a zoom lens paired with a 20 and 55? Starting to get more into the outdoor scene!" – @ben.vanhorn

Cath: “Either the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM or the Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM depending on what you like to shoot.”

"What color depth do you prefer to export photos (16/32 bit)? Have you used multiple images to finish a final photo and what's the maximum images you've used in a single photo?" – @whorohit

Cath: “My JPEGs are exported in 8 bit and my TIFF files in 16. Also yes, most of my images are from multiple other images. Sometimes up to 30 if doing big panoramas and composite in a single final image.”

"What are some of your most used lenses?" – @ lukes_images

Cath: “Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM and Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM.”

“Any suggestions for a “budget” Sony lens for astrophotography?” – @brady426

Cath: “For astrophotography if you want quality images you need a minimum aperture of at least 2.8 which doesn’t come with « budget » unfortunately. My favorite lens to shoot Astro is the 16-35 2.8 GM but the 24mm f/1.4 is also a good choice.”

“I'm considering getting myself an α6100 to start out. Any suggestions? – @bacon_delight

Cath: “It’s a great camera! I also love the α6000 – it was my first camera.”

"Can you tell me how to capture stars in the simplest way!" – @s.h.a.h.e.e.r.a.h.m.e.d

Cath: “Use the Rule of 400 (Named 500 traditionally) focus on the brightest start with manual focus and live view until you see the smallest point. Don’t be afraid to use high ISO’s. Use your widest aperture.”

“Do you go with several bodies and if - which is your most preferred for these shots? Do you also do several exposures for this or is it only one?” – @davidlofman

Cath: “I have both the Sony α7R III and the α7R IV. I use both and prioritize the α7R IV if I’m sure I want to make prints. I rarely take single shots. I mostly take multiple shots for different techniques including focus stacking, exposure blending, composites, etc.”

“I come from the film side of the world and would like to know if you have any tips on composition for landscape photos if you don't have a subject to show how grand scheme everything is? – @ryan.piski

Cath: “Definitely! Including a foreground close to the lens such as my night shot with the cactus helps bring perspective. The middle ground and background are important as well and should balance the foreground.”

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