10 Guides To Fascinating Macro Photography

Macro photography allows nature photographers to take close-up images that reveal incredible details the naked eye can’t see. With digital camera technology, it’s now even easier and less expensive to explore the genre. The following guides explain the gear needed and the technical aspects you’ll need to master, and may even provide some inspiration for beginners and seasoned macro photographers alike.

1. Macro Vision

Mastering the art of macro photography in nature takes time and patience, but knowing the when, where and how of the art will increase your chances of finding fascinating subjects and creating successful images. Read more …

2. By Nature’s Design

A combination of depth of field, great light and composition, camera position and the right settings will allow you to master macro photography. This guide offers some key tips for discovering details and patterns through close-up compositions. Read more …

3. Macro Field Studio

Want to create studio-quality macro images of wild subjects in their environments? This guide offers tips for building a macro field studio for photos on location. Read more …

4. Speaking For A Species

Photographer Clay Bolt had to step out of his comfort zone and into the world of filmmaking to help protect one of North America’s rarest bees. He and his team transformed a simple idea into an award-winning film that may have been just the right catalyst to make life better for one little bee in need of some serious help. This article shares some of the most important lessons he learned during production of the film. Read more …

5. New Ways To Think About Macro

Every lens you have has the potential to be a great one for close-up or macro work when you know their benefits and limits. So, to get a unique close-up perspective, think beyond the usual macro lens. Read more …


Ode To Monet

Studying the work of celebrated painters can lead you to new ways of seeing photographically. Read now.

6. Depth Of Field In Macro Photography

Depth of field in macro photography is especially important to ensure the details of your subject are sharp. These tips take a deeper look to help you get the best results. Read more …

7. Tack-Sharp Macro Photography Tips

This guide covers the tools you need to get close, and how to produce the sharpest images by utilizing proper focus, stability and depth of field. Read more …

8. Macro Flash Tips & Techniques

This guide is all about gear. Learn how to get complete creative control over your close-up photography with these versatile flash and mounting systems. Read more …

9. More Advice On Macro Flash

Many gorgeous images of macro subjects have been taken with available light. But as with many other subjects, a lot of factors must fall into place to create a successful natural-light photo. If you’re not happy with the available natural light, flash can be used as a fill light, main light or in tandem with multiple flashes to produce dramatic and pleasing results. Read more …

10. Some Macro Quick Tips

This guide covers the basics of capturing great macro shots. Try them out on your favorite subjects. Read more …


Grand Landscapes, Intimate Details

Tell a deeper story of a place by adding close-up images to your location portfolios. Read now.

The post 10 Guides To Fascinating Macro Photography appeared first on Outdoor Photographer.

Target launches Wallet for in-store mobile payments

Image credit: Target

Paying for items used to be so simple, but it continues to grow more complicated with the introduction of mobile wallets for specific companies. 

Target is the latest to jump on the trend, as today the mega retailer announced its new Wallet for mobile payments, which can be found on both the iOS and Android versions of the Target app.

As with many other mobile payment systems, Wallet is a way of checking out with your smartphone at the register. At Target (as with Walmart), this is essentially the only way you can do this as the retailer doesn't accept Apple Pay or Android Pay. (Samsung Pay reportedly works at Target for some users because it's not based on NFC.)

The main appeal of Wallet, though, is that it allows users to both pay with the app and scan coupons from the company's Cartwheel program and automatically apply the discounts. Paying for items and applying Cartwheel discounts used to take two different steps, but the Wallet allows Target shoppers to simplify those multiple steps into one.

Seeing red

The catch, for now, is that you need to have one of Target's REDcards for debit or credit purchases to use the app, but Target plans to extend the service beyond RED members at some point in the future.

Target's announcement post plays up how much faster this process is compared to "other payment types," which presumably refers to traditional swipe and chip-and-PIN methods. Naturally, it neglects to mention that Apple Pay and Android Pay would be faster still as they remove the extra step of having to open an app.

You also can't use gift cards with the Wallet feature at the moment, but that feature will be coming "soon."

Whether users gravitate to Wallet is another question, but Target is certainly doing what it can to stay up to speed with rivals.

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Finns burn through mobile data

 If you ever see a Finn staring at his mobile phone, chances are that he’s watching a video.  According to figures from GlobalData, users in Finland churn their way through 13.3GB per SIM every month, nearly six times the European average and more than 18 times the data usage of Slovakia, the least data driven country.

The figures are slightly misleading, however. Some countries, such as France and the UK have low monthly mobile data figures because of the large numbers of low data-intensive M2M cards that are bringing down the average. In the UK, for example, average monthly mobile data usage is 1.98GB, but smartphones use up to 2.6GB and connected data devices 2.8GB; only the 291MB of the M2M brings down the average.

Video usage

Users from all countries are increasingly turning to data, often driven by high usage of video. A survey last month from OpenWave Mobility found that the high volumes of HD video was not only adding to the data being used but was causing operators to struggle to cope.

But some operators are doing their best to encourage this high use and that can lead to some rather unusual countries being known as heavy users, even though they’re not countries with traditionally large mobile computing history. This is generally down to operators offering unlimited data packages.  These countries include Austria  with 5.7GB per SIM, Poland (3.7GB) and Russia (3.5GB). 

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The best iPhone 7 Plus cases

The iPhone 7 Plus is one of the most expensive phones in the world that doesn’t come encrusted with diamonds, or inlaid with real gold – so if you scratch this palm-filling wonder a week after buying it, you won’t be happy.

There’s no way around it: you need a case.

A case may alter your phone’s lines a bit, and separate your hands from all that lovely aluminum, but let’s be honest: do you really trust yourself to keep a phone this pricey in good nick?

That’s what we thought – and that’s why we’ve created this list of 12 brilliant iPhone 7 Plus cases.

Note: we've ranked these from cheapest to most expensive according to prices at time of writing.

The only thing better than a case is no case, at least until you drop your phone, and this Dockem sleeve aims to combine the best of both worlds, by giving your iPhone 7 Plus a cosy case when you’re not using it, and leaving it naked and free when you are.

The inevitable downside of this is that your phone also has no protection when in use, but if you’re more concerned about your phone’s safety when it’s out of your hands than in them this could be a good option, and it doesn’t hurt that it looks suitably classy too.

Wooden cases are arguably among the most stylish around, and definitely among the most unusual. This YFWOOD case mixes things up further though by using three different shades of wood for a distinctive patterned finish.

Like most other wooden cases the edges are still plastic, which slightly spoils the look when viewed from an angle, but viewed from the back this is a stunning case and one that won’t break the bank.

Simple and classy, the Cygnett UrbanShield is the kind of case we can get on with. This year Cygnett has dumped the cut-out for the Apple logo too, and the case looks a lot sleeker as a result.

It’s a basic case – a clip-on plastic shell designed to avoid dings to your iPhone’s aluminum frame, but it has some sweet finishes tailored to match the classic pink, silver and black colors.

The two silvery versions have a thin plate of brushed aluminum on the back, while the black uses carbon fiber, and the pink a panel of silicone for a soft-touch feel.

We’ve shied away from featuring too many super-tough iPhone 7 Plus cases, because they tend to add so much girth to the already-large phone’s thickness and width. However, the X-Doria Defense Gear is one of the slimmest cases to boast of having ‘military-grade’ protection.

What this means in practice is that you can drop the phone case’d-up from a height of 6 feet 6 inches and it should survive.

The case is made from a mixture of rubber, hard plastic and anodized aluminum. The special sauce is what X-Doria calls DropShield. Like most advanced materials used in cases, this hardens on impact, a state change that absorbs a lot of energy.

If you want a simple leather case but don’t want to be an iSheep and buy Apple’s own one, take a look at the Knomo Snap-on case. It looks great and is much cheaper than Apple’s, partly because the leather is just an inlay in a fairly standard polycarbonate shell.

It’s still real leather, however, and this means the parts that will take the brunt of abuse will be plastic, which don’t rip as a leather veneer can after serious mistreatment.

Knomo makes the Snap-on case for iPhone 7 Plus in five different shades, ranging from a pretty eye-popping orange to a much more interior design-inspired “lido” blue-gray.

Torro makes funky-looking leather flip cases that double as stands, and a stand comes in particularly handy with an iPhone 7 Plus, with its big screen just begging to be used for a bit of movie-watching while you’re bored on a long plane or train journey.

The case is made of real leather, and there’s neat stitching along the sides for a hand-made look. The black version has red stitching, while the tan one uses thread that blends into the leather much more.

Other notable features include a magnet to stop the screen cover flapping about, and a pouch on the front that’ll hold a travel or debit card.

If you want your iPhone to look serious and professional, you can’t go far wrong with a Cygnett UrbanWallet Flip. It’s a simple folio case that uses a real leather ‘lid’ and a plastic shell into which your iPhone 7 Plus clips.

There’s a metallic finish on this part that holds your phone, in a semi-successful attempt to trick your eyes into believing the shell is actually metal. The main draw here is that it’s a flip case, though, and a fairly smart-looking one at that.

The tricky part of designing a case is to find ways of sucking up impact damage without effectively wrapping the phone in bubble wrap.

Belkin’s Air Protect SheerForce tactic is to use arches in the case’s bumper sides, creating little compressible air pockets that absorb force rather than transmitting it to the aluminum sides of the iPhone.

It’s a cheap, low-bulk way of protecting the phone. This is a deliberately low-key case, with a transparent or translucent finish. The non-clear ones are tinted to match the various colors of iPhone too. This is a good pick if you want protection without lots of bulk or weird style influences.

The Spec Presidio Grip case doesn’t just to try to make dropping your phone no big deal, it wants to stop those drops in the first place. As well as some basic protection, this slimline case makes your iPhone much grippier, using embossed strips of rubber across its back.

If you do drop your iPhone 7 Plus a layer of – don’t laugh – Impactium will reduce the force transferred to the phone. This compressible material, which sounds like it was nicked from the Marvel universe, sits underneath a hard polycarbonate exterior.

OtterBox is best known for its ultra-protective cases. But unless you have hulk-like hands, you’re not going to want to live with a brute of a case on your iPhone 7 Plus. It’ll just be too much of a handful.

The OtterBox Symmetry does its best to find a middle ground. It’s a slim-ish case, but one with a chunky lip above the screen and dual rubber and plastic construction, to put more layers between the pavement and your iPhone. It comes in a selection of finishes, including the funky pattern you see here.

One of the classic iPhone cases is Apple’s own leather model. On the surface, it seems as simple as they come, a clip-on cover that keeps the phone’s aluminum exterior looking good as new without downgrading the look. Leather is as classy as aluminum, right? There are some touches that deserve a mention, though.

First, the finish is real “French” leather rather than a synthetic alternative. This means it’ll wear and age naturally rather than starting to peel off six months in.

The case also has its own buttons, sitting on top of those on your iPhone, and has a microfiber lining that hugs your phone. It comes in a whopping seven colors too.

The Portlandia of iPhone cases, the Grovemade Walnut & Leather is all-natural and, as it happens, made in Portland. Its frame is made of walnut wood finished with vegetable oil, its leather rear tanned with vegetable extracts.

It’s delightfully artisanal, and pretty delightful all-round actually. As Grovemade says, though, “the wood used in this product may be damaged by drops or other impacts. If a case that may break is not for you, please consider a rubber or plastic case.” You’ve been warned.

Grovemade also makes bumper-style cases, an all-walnut standard case and a flip case.

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