Happy 2023 Alpha Community! As we look at the new year ahead, we’re excited by the endless possibilities. New ideas, new goals and fresh starts. As we all forge boldly into 2023, we challenge you, Alpha Community to learn a new photography technique this year. It could be anything you’ve been thinking about, and we’re here to support you! We’ve gathered a few ideas as well as photographers who are experts you can check out on Instagram. And head over to the Community Forums to share your goal and be supported by fellow photographers. Plus, as you work toward your goals, share your results on Instagram with #SonyAlpha and make sure you follow @sonyalpha for more inspiration!
As we all forge boldly into 2023, we challenge you, Alpha Community to learn a new photography technique this year. Check out a few ideas and experts to follow.
Light is at the core of photography, and being able to control light in any given situation will elevate your skillset. From beautiful portraits to freezing action to creating the mood you want; mastering lighting is an invaluable skill.
Matt Hernandez - @MattHernandez
Matt Hernandez is a portrait and sports photographer based in Paducah, Kentucky. A Westcott Top Pro, he’s known for creating dynamic sports images and using light creatively. His Instagram account is fun to scroll through because you get to see his stunning images and many behind the scenes clips. He also uses it to teach, and many captions will walk through his lighting setup. He took the image below with his Sony Alpha 1. Follow him to learn more about lighting!
JC Carey - @JCPhotoMedia
JC Carey is a photographer based in the New York City area. He is a jack of all trades who photographs headshots, weddings, concerts, events, and more. We love his dynamic lighting for his portraiture. The image below is impeccably lit with a Westcott light and shot on his Sony Alpha 7R IV.
Macro photography is the art of photographing something extremely close up, typically larger than lifesize. You need special equipment to achieve true macro images. Sony has some spectacular choices, the most popular being the Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G lens. However, the Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro lens is also a great option. Check out these macro experts for ideas and inspiration.
Erin Sullivan - @ErinOutdoors
Alpha Collective member Erin Sullivan is an outdoor, travel and nature photographer based in Los Angeles, California. Her work explores the feelings that a place or experience can evoke, and in the past few years she has delved into miniature work. Using commonly recognized objects from office supplies to food, Sullivan has created a mini image series to reflect the same grandeur that we observe in the ‘real’ world. Check out her Instagram account for quirky and fun miniscapes!
Caroline Jensen - @carolinej
Sony Artisan of Imagery Caroline Jensen is a botanical photographer living on the prairie of SW Minnesota. With a specialty in flower photography. Not only is it a passion for Jensen, it has also become a sort of stress relief. Not only is Jensen a macro expert, she’s also incredible with off camera lighting. We love that she creates images the look like paintings.
Compositing is the process or technique of combining visual elements from separate sources into single images, often to create the illusion that all those elements are parts of the same scene. This means, as a photographer you can take multiple images with varying exposures and combine them into a single shot! This magical process is particularly useful when taking images at night.
Cath Simard - @cathsimard
Cath Simard is a photographer, composite artist, workshop leader and Alpha Collective member with an incredible talent to create stunning landscape and astroscape images. Her style has a way of portraying the enchantment of the night sky and her landscapes transport you to another world. We love how she talks about composites in the caption of the image below, “I am fascinated by the limit that separates fiction and reality. Isolating elements of nature and assembling them to create a new experience that sometimes could happen, sometimes not.” This image was made with two separate shots taken on the Sony Alpha 7R III and the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master.
Jess Santos – @missjessbess
Jess Santos is an Alpha Collective member who creates inspiring astroscapes. She composes her images of the night sky, usually including a perspective that includes the landscape in the foreground, leading the eye to a beautiful backdrop of the Milky Way or an immense sky of stars. The colors of her images are bold, with prominent hues of blues, purples and pinks. She used the Sony Alpha 7R IV and the Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master to create the composite below - this shot is a combination of over 20 images!
Camera Trapping For Wildlife Photography
A wildlife camera trap is a camera left at a location, rigged so that any approaching wild animal will automatically trigger the shutter release and take one or more photos or video sequences, without the photographer being present. This allows images of elusive animals to be made. Camera traps have led to some truly epic images. These two photographers have made incredible images with their Sony gear.
Roman Willi - @romanwilliphotography
Roman Willi is an award-winning wildlife photographer and filmmaker. He made this series of images with his Sony Alpha 7R IV setup in Switzerland. It’s great fun to see how many animals use the same patch of land. Willi also discusses some of the challenges he’s faced with this technique in the caption and some of the solutions he’s had to overcome.
Børre Aasbø - @borreaasbo
Børre Aasbø is a wildlife photographer. He is based in Norway and shares a lot of wildlife images on his Instagram account. He shared the image below on his Instagram, it was a camera trap setup with his Sony Alpha 7S inside. And it’s absolutely stunning! We love the lighting as well as the behavior of the eagle.
Long Exposures & Timelapses
Special photography techniques like long exposures and timelapses can make for very interesting images and videos. Using a Sony Alpha camera, these creatives have bent time to create something out of this world.
Max Boncina - @max.bon
Photographer Max Boncina is a member of the Alpha Collective who lives in New York City. He focuses mainly on one theme of photography: urbex. It is defined as a subset of architecture photography, involving ruins and dilapidated locations. With a special focus on color and storytelling, Boncina often finds a scene and uses his camera, creative vision and editing skills to tell the story he’s envisioned. Long exposure is one technique that Boncina uses in his shots, like in the image below!
Mike Eloff - @lifeofmikeza
Mike Eloff is a content creator with a focus on adventure and timelapses. Not only is his Instagram filled with stunning images, it’s also filled with tips and tricks. Eloff often gives advice on settings, gear used, and apps that can help in his captions. You can check out the caption in the timelapse below to get the details on how he created it. We love that he’s so open with his knowledge and willing to share it with the Sony community. This timelapse was shot on the Sony Alpha 7R IV with the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master.
The art of portraiture is tricky. Not only does one need to be a strong photographer, they also need to be able to make people comfortable in front of the camera. So much goes into effective portraits - lighting, expression, camera settings, and more play into the story. These Sony shooters are exceptional portrait photographers.
Miguel Quiles - @miguelquilesjr
Miguel Quiles is a Sony Artisan of Imagery and content creator who is well-known for storytelling through portraiture. Quiles is able to create scenes using makeup, lighting, clothing, and expression that allows the viewer to experience a story in their minds by looking at the image. We love this portrait below, taken with the Sony Alpha 1 and the Sony 24-105mm G series lens. Quiles shares his expertise on the Sony Alpha YouTube channel, check it out HERE.
Taylor Ballantyne – @taylorbphoto
Taylor Ballantyne is a photographer and director based in Nashville, Tennessee. Ballantyne has a knack for capturing authentic portraits. She builds a connection with the subject and that feeling comes through in her images. We love the photograph below, the casual pose creates a sense of intimacy and the lighting adds a beautiful depth to the image.