Nearly at the Antipode

As a photographer who loves to travel (which isn’t exactly the same as being a travel photographer), I love maps. I enjoy seeing where I am on a map, having GPS coordinates embedded in the metadata for my photos, and browsing a map to see where else I might like to visit.

As I write this I am teaching onboard a ship that is traveling across the Indian Ocean. It just so happens that this puts me reasonably close (at least in global terms) to the “antipode” of my home in New York City.

A photo captured in the Indian Ocean, looking toward the “antipode” of New York City.

So, what exactly is an “antipode”? It is a position exactly opposite another position on the planet. In other words, right now I am very nearly the farthest away from New York City that I can possibly be while on the surface of Earth. It is fascinating to me to ponder this little bit of trivia while looking out at the Indian Ocean toward the nearby antipode of New York City.

The red “target” is the position of the antipode of New York City, and the yellow marker above is the position from which the previous photo was captured.

From this point forward I will be working my way closer to New York, arriving in plenty of time for the all-inclusive field photography workshops I will be leading in May of this year.

If you’re interested in joining me for my New York City Photo Experience Workshop, there is still space available for this year’s second session (May 27-31, 2019). You can get all of the details on my Tim Grey Photo website here:

How to Share Photos on Instagram from a Computer

You can use a web browser on your computer to share directly to Instagram, without the need to use the Instagram app.

In a recent edition of the Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter, I indicated that it was necessary to copy photos to a smartphone in order to share them on Instagram. Thankfully, many of my readers wrote to let me know that there are in fact a variety of ways you can post photos to Instagram directly from your computer, without the need to use a smartphone or the Instagram app.

One of the options that I think is especially convenient is to simply have your web browser simulate the browsing experience of a mobile device, which in turn will cause the Instagram website to provide you with all of the feature normally found in the Instagram app, including the option to share photos to Instagram from within your computer’s web browser.

Safari on Macintosh

If you are a Macintosh user, the Safari browser makes it especially easy to access all of the Instagram features from within the web browser. First, you’ll need to make sure that the Develop menu appears on the menu bar. To enable that option, go to the menu bar and choose Safari > Preferences. In the Preferences dialog go to the Advanced tab, and turn on the “Show Develop menu in menu bar” checkbox. Then close the Preferences dialog.

You can then navigate to the Instagram website (, and sign in to your Instagram account. Finally, go to the menu bar and choose User Agent from the Develop menu. On the User Agent submenu, choose the Safari option for iPhone or iPad. For example, as of this writing the current iPhone option is “Safari–iOS 11.3–iPhone”.

Once you have selected a User Agent option that corresponds to a mobile device your web browser will behave as though you were using a mobile device rather than a computer. As a result, among other things you will see the “plus” (+) button at the bottom of the Instagram page, which you can click on to initiate the process of posting a photo from your computer to your Instagram feed.

By simulating the mobile version of Safari on your computer, you can gain access to all Instagram features, including the option to publish photos to your feed.

Chrome on Windows or Macintosh

With the Chrome web browser the process of simulating a mobile device is a little more complicated than with Safari, but the advantage of this option is that the same approach works on both Windows and Macintosh computers.

The first step with the Chrome browser is to navigate to the Instagram website ( and sign in to your Instagram account. Then right-click in any empty area of the web page and choose “Inspect” from the popup menu. This will open a set of panels on the right side of your web browser. At the top of these inspect panels you will see a series of tabs including Elements, Console, Sources, and others. To the left of those tabs you will find a button with an icon representing mobile devices, which enables you to toggle the Device Toolbar. Click that button to reveal a set of controls on a toolbar above the Instagram website.

The popup at the left side of the Device Toolbar will initially indicate “Responsive”. You can click this popup and select the mobile device you would like to simulate. For example, selecting the “iPhone 6/7/8” option will simulate the user of a web browser on an iPhone even though you are using a computer.

The Inspect feature in the Chrome web browser enables you to simulate browsing on a variety of mobile devices when using the browser on a computer.

To finalize the effect and enable you to work with the mobile browsing experience at a larger size, first click the Refresh button to the left of the address bar in the Chrome browser. Then click the “X” at the top-right of the Inspect panels to close those panels. Because you are now simulating a mobile web browser on your computer, you will have access to all Instagram features, including the use of the “Plus” (+) button at the bottom of the page to post a new photo to your Instagram feed.

Mobile on Your Desktop

By using a web browser feature that enables you to simulate a mobile device browsing experience in the browser on your computer, you can gain access to features not normally available on a computer web browser. In the case of Instagram, this little trick enables you to post photos to your Instagram feed without having to use the Instagram app on your mobile device.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram! You can find me with my user name of @timgreyphoto, or by pointing your web browser here:

My Favorite Camera Accessory Ever

Accessories can help streamline your photography, and sometimes they can greatly reduce frustration. That’s certainly the case with my favorite camera accessory ever, the XUME filter adapters from Manfrotto, which make it amazingly easy to attach a filter to a lens.

Xume Adapters in Episode 1 of Tim Grey TV

A XUME adapter involves two pieces. One piece screws on to the front of the lens like a filter otherwise would, and the other screws onto the filter you want to use with that lens. Both pieces have a magnet, so that once installed the filter can be attached to the lens simply by putting into position. The magnets hold the filter in place, and you save time and frustration that would otherwise be involved with screwing a filter onto a lens.

I recommend getting one or more XUME adapter kits, which includes one lens adapter and two filter holders, such as the 77mm size found here:

And you can see the XUME adapters in use in the first episode of Tim Grey TV here:

Contest Winner: “Animal”

Photographer Marc Lombardi has been selected as the winner of the December 2018 GreyLearning Photo Contest with his photo of a group of snow monkeys in Japan. The theme for this photo contest was “Animal”, inviting photographers to submit their best photo featuring animals.

Snow Monkeys by Marc Lombardi

Marc had this to say about the photo:


The image was taken in Jigokudani snow monkey park situated in the valley of the Yokoyu River near Nagano, Japan. I was on a winter wildlife photo tour and we spent three days at the monkey park, hiking about 30 minutes each day up to the area where the monkeys gather by the hot springs. These monkeys were huddled near the hot spring stream that flows down from the mountains. I captured the image with a Sony a7rIII and 100-400 GM lens.


As the winning photographer Marc will receive a Tamron 70-200mm lens valued at US$1199, thanks to a sponsorship from Tamron USA.

Congratulations to Marc on a beautiful winning image! You can view more of Marc’s images from Japan and his other travels to the ends of the earth here:

A Forgotten Skill Among Photographers?

When digital first starting shifting the world of photography, one of the topics I covered the most was color management. In fact, the second book I ever wrote–many years ago–was on the subject of color management.

Top among the issues in color management that I encouraged among photographers was to calibrate their monitor display. Back in those days, it felt that most photographers took this subject seriously, and calibrated their displays on a relatively frequent basis.

These days, it seems I never hear photographers talking about display calibration, and when I ask about the subject many say they simply don’t perform a display calibration.

In fairness, with today’s digital displays and more advanced operating systems, it isn’t as important to take an active role in color management as it was in the early days of digital photography. But that doesn’t mean you can expect accurate results among different devices–such as monitors and printers–if you’re not calibrating your monitor display.

While calibrating a monitor with today’s equipment won’t cause as dramatic an improvement in your workflow as was the case with older analog displays, calibration is still important. You don’t need to calibrate as frequently today as we did in the past, but calibrating every six months or so is still a very good idea.

There are a variety of tools available for calibrating your display to improve the accuracy of what you see and the quality of your workflow. One product I highly recommend is the X-Rite ColorMunki Display, which you can find here:


New Bundle of Photography Courses

This weekend we have launched a new bundle of GreyLearning courses focused on photography, with an emphasis on helping photographers improve their creative and technical skills.

The “Photography Bundle” currently includes ten courses related to photography. This includes the “Photo Gear Quick Tips” and “Behind the Photo” courses, both of which feature a new lesson every week. Even better, as new photography courses are published to the GreyLearning library, they will be added to the Photography Bundle at no additional cost.

For all of the details about the new “Photography Bundle”, please visit the GreyLearning website here:

My Go-To Tool for HDR Imaging

There are a variety of software tools available for creating high dynamic range (HDR) images from a series of bracketed exposures. My recent experience has demonstrated that Aurora HDR 2019 is among the best,

NOTE: Get an extra $10 off Aurora HDR 2019 by using coupon code greylearning after following this link:

Conceptually the process of creating an HDR image involves only two steps. First the bracketed exposures are combined into a single image, generally with a very high bit depth that enables that image to contain a tremendous range of tonal and color values. Second, that image with an extended range is mapped into the narrower range of a “normal” photographic image, with a degree of creative interpretation available as part of this process.

What I have found is that a surprising number of my photos can’t be assembled reliably by most of the HDR software that is available. This often happens when I have a frame that has a relatively large area of the scene that is dynamic. One recent example was this sunset featuring water below and clouds above:

A sunset HDR capture, which I found that only Aurora HDR was able to assemble with good quality.

With a scene such as the above, it can certainly be difficult for HDR software to figure out how to blend the exposures into a single image. The water is moving relatively quickly, and even the clouds have a degree of movement that may cause variations among the individual frames of the bracketed exposures.

From a workflow convenience standpoint, I will admittedly use Lightroom Classic CC to assemble my more basic HDR images. After all, I’m already using Lightroom to manage my photos, and Lightroom does a good job with many HDR images.

Lightroom, however, failed miserably when it came to assembling the above sunset photo. Aurora HDR 2019, on the other hand, did a great job.

Beyond the task of assembling the initial HDR image, it is also important for HDR software to provide a good range of flexible tools for optimizing the appearance of your HDR images during the tone-mapping stage of the workflow.

In particular, I find the various adjustments in Aurora HDR’s “HDR Enhance” category to be helpful for enhancing details in a photo. Multiple sliders enable you to increase the clarity and texture, with control at varying scales within the image.

The wide range of tonal and color adjustments also make easy to exercise tremendous control over the general appearance of an HDR image being assembled with Aurora HDR.

If you like to create HDR images in your photography, I recommend taking a look at Aurora HDR 2019. You can get a free trial through the Skylum website here:

NOTE: Get an extra $10 off Aurora HDR 2019 by using coupon code greylearning after following the link above.

Black Friday Deals

Every year “Black Friday” seems to be extended longer and longer, and so we thought we would join in on the fun with an expanded list of discounted offers for photographers, on some of our most popular content. So, now through “Cyber Monday” you can take advantage of any (or all!) of these deals:

NOTE: The Black Friday deals have expired, but the great content is still available through the links below.

70% Off “Photography Bundle”

The “Photography Bundle” currently includes ten courses related to photography. This includes the “Photo Gear Quick Tips” and “Behind the Photo” courses, both of which feature a new lesson every week. Even better, as new photography courses are published to the GreyLearning library, they will be added to the Photography Bundle at no additional cost. This bundle normally sells for $99, but during our Black Friday promotion you can get it for just $29, a 70% discount. Get all of the details here:

$300 Off “Premium Access” Bundle

The key feature of our “Premium Access” Bundle is direct access to me, so you can get help with issues you may be having in your photography and workflow. You’ll gain access to the full GreyLearning library of educational courses, and get unlimited help via email. This bundle is normally $795, but for our “Black Friday” offer you can save $300 and get full access for just $495 per year. Check out this great offer on the GreyLearning website here:

$100 Off “Lightroom One-on-One” Bundle

If you have a bit of a mess in Lightroom Classic CC, my “Lightroom One-on-One” Bundle can provide the cure. This bundle includes all of my video courses on Lightroom Classic, which will help you better understand Lightroom, clean up your catalog, and define a better workflow. Even better, with this bundle you will have three months of support directly from me via email. This bundle is normally $295, but as part of our “Black Friday” offer you can save $100 and get the bundle for just $195. Get the details on the GreyLearning website here:

$70 Off the “GreyLearning Ultimate Bundle”

The GreyLearning “Ultimate” Bundle includes all of the educational content I publish for photographers. With courses on photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and more, you can learn to optimize your photography and workflow. Right now, new subscribers can get $70 off the normal price of $149 per year, locking in a rate of just $79 for the full library of content from GreyLearning. Learn more on the GreyLearning website here:

40% Off “Cleaning Up Your Mess in Lightroom”

My most popular course is “Cleaning Up Your Mess in Lightroom”, which has helped many photographers clean up their catalog and workflow in Lightroom Classic CC. This video course is normally $49, but right now you can save 40% and get the course (with more than five hours of informative videos) for just $29. You can sign up  for cleanup on the GreyLearning website here:

40% Off the “Quick Tips” Bundle

I now have four courses that include a new “quick tip” lesson each and every week. And the best part is that you’ll get new weekly tips on an ongoing basis, for a single one-time payment. Even better, right now you can get the full bundle for just $29 rather than the normal price of $49. So if you’d like weekly quick tips on photography, photo gear, Photoshop, and Lightroom, check out the “Quick Tips” Bundle on the GreyLearning website here:

40% Off “Mastering Photoshop Elements”

If you use Photoshop Elements to manage and optimize your photos, my “Mastering Photoshop Elements” bundle of courses can help you make the most of this software and truly optimize your workflow. The full bundle of courses on Photoshop Elements is normally $99, but during our “Black Friday” promotion you can get the bundle for just $59. Get started with this bundle on the GreyLearning website here:

The Only Filters I Carry

Back in the days of film photography, it was common to see photographers carrying a wide variety of filters in their camera bag. These days, I often find photographers who don’t carry any filters at all. And one of the most common questions I hear from photographers about photo gear is which filters they are supposed to buy.

In my mind, there are really only a couple of filters that most photographers should probably carry in their bag. Of course, whether this is true depends on the type of photography you do. But the list of filters that I don’t really think you need is much longer than the list of filters I should most photographers could put to use.

Solid Neutral Density Filter

The first filter I think most photographers would enjoy putting to use is a solid neutral density (ND) filter. This is something like sunglasses for your lens, reducing the amount of light that passes through the lens without altering the color of the scene.

A solid neutral density filter enables you to achieve longer exposure durations than would otherwise be possible. Even at a minimum ISO setting, and with the lens aperture stopped down completely, you might not be able to achieve a slow enough shutter speed to render blurred motion in the scene.

To really have tremendous flexibility for long exposures, I prefer to use a ten-stop neutral density filter. With such a filter, I’ve been able to capture 30-second exposures even in full sunlight.

I have been using a ten-stop filter from B+W, with excellent results. You can find this particular filter here:

B+W 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter:

Of course, in some cases a ten-stop neutral density filter results in an exposure that is longer than you’d like. In some cases you might simply be able to open up the lens aperture or increase the ISO setting in order to get an exposure of a shorter duration. However, you may want to also carry a neutral density filter with a lower density rating, such as a six-stop filter.

One option I’ve used with great success is the six-stop filter from Breakthrough Photography, which you can find here:

Breakthrough Photography 6-Stop Neutral Density Filter:

Note, by the way, that for most photographers I don’t consider a graduated neutral density filter to be critical. In situations where I might otherwise use a graduated neutral density filter–such as to prevent a sky from getting blown out–I will instead capture a series of bracketed exposures. Later in my workflow I can then assemble those captures into a high dynamic range (HDR) image, using software such as Aurora HDR 2019.

Circular Polarizer Filter

In addition to a solid neutral density filter, I recommend that most photographers consider carrying a circular polarizer filter.

In my experience most photographers think of a circular polarizer as a filter for making a cloudy sky look more dramatic. In addition, a circular polarizer can help cut back on reflections, enhance color saturation in many situations, and even enable you to “magically” see through the surface of water.

A circular polarizer filter can be rotated to adjust the effect, from minimum to maximum polarization. I’ve been very happy with the results I’ve gotten with the circular polarizer filter from B+W, which you can find here:

B+W Circular Polarizer Filter:


Loupe for Sensor Cleaning

Carson SensorMag™ Loupe with LED Illumination.

In a few of my recent Ask Tim Grey eNewsletters I have addressed the subject of cleaning the sensor on a digital SLR camera. Part of that overall process involves evaluating the sensor (which really means evaluating the filter in front of the sensor) to see if there is any dust or other debris that needs to be cleaned.

One of the common approaches to checking for dust on a sensor is to capture a test photo of a blank wall or similar surface. However, in my experience it is far more effective (and I think easier) to simply get a close look directly at the sensor with the help of a loupe with a built-in illumination source.

I have been using the Carson SensorMag™, and have found it to be very helpful in evaluating whether the sensor on my camera needs cleaning. I use the SensorMag to check the condition of the sensor before cleaning, and again after cleaning to make sure I’ve done a thorough job.

The SensorMag provides a 4.5X magnification, along with strong LED illumination built-in. This loupe can be set on the lens mount of the camera body when the camera is set to manual sensor cleaning mode. In addition, the loupe can swivel out of the way so you can still make use of the LED illumination while cleaning the sensor.

You can find the Carson SensorMag here to get more information:

And of course there are also a variety of other similar products from other manufacturers that provide the same features. The key is to make sure you have a loupe with good magnification and with a built-in LED illumination source.

(Note that as an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases for some of the links included on this website.)