Tag Archives: sony a7

Ancient castle courtyard.

Courtyard of the ancient castle is especially pleasing on the evening after the sunset. The noisy tourist groups, accompanied by guides in a hurry, left it already and slow passage of time came back inside the ancient walls.

Ljubljana castle, entrance
Ljubljana castle, entrance

Many friends told me that they filling presence in the courtyard when they are looking at the picture. They asked me how I created this filling and which post processing have I used. I have to say, at the begging, that this photo is not a composite or HDR and I didn’t use any advanced post processing in this case…

I have spent multiple evenings to catching the right image. Under the right I mean the picture how I was imaging it and how I would like it to be, so it would communicate my filling from the place. My eye was caught by the color contrast of warm yellows and cold blues. So it became obvious that picture must be composed around that. To increase depth I found a place where my foreground would be darker than main scene. I also blurred the nearby background on the right so it would be as our eye expects. That forces the eye to travel from the corner up to the mild ground where the ivy is brighter and sharper. On the left, there is a repetition patter of columns from the side to the middle. This receding pattern just confirms the filling from the right side. Bluish-ness of the pavement beneath and foreground on the right side is in contrast with warm yellow openings of the gallery on the left. I think that also stretches the space. When our eye reaches the portal there is again play of shadows and lights which creates extra depth. There is another element which forced me to spend one more evening catching the right moment… It is the sky which you can see behind the portal and tree silhouettes. I would like them to be exactly as it is depicted here and that brought an issue, either the sky was too dark on the moment when external lights balanced with embedded light or lights were coming later than I need it, but finally I succeed…

I have a strong feeling of accomplishment and excitement in such cases when everything goes as I anticipated and planned it to be 🙂


P.S. The look of the courtyard was changed shortly after the shot has been taken. Framing tree was totally cut off. The wall was cleaned from the ivy. So, it recalls world known phrase – “You could not step twice into the same river.” (Heraclitus)


Sony a7, Sony SEL3528Z, tripod.

Sony a7: Firmware update

I would like to install the time-lapse application from Sony app-store and occasionally found that my firmware obsolete, so that would be a good time to update it also.

Here is my experience of update from 3.10 to 3.20.

General recommendations

First above some general recommendations which applies for firmware updates, please, read them carefully.

  • Download firmware only from the producer’s web site!
  • You have to select exact firmware for you device, select it carefully!
  • It is recommended to use power safety devices like UPS for desktop or Laptop with fully charged battery.
  • Battery of your camera must be fully charged or you can use external power supplies (AC PW-20).
  • Close all application so update software wouldn’t have any occasional interruptions. Don’t try assemble time-lapse during the update or export images from Lightroom. 🙂
  • It is also recommended to disconnect all other USB devices. (Very strange requirements, I have USB keyboard and mouse for example  🙂
  • Use approved USB cable.
  • Don’t use USB hubs.
  • Remove flash card from the camera body.
  • Be patient!Update takes around 15 min, screen of the camera can stay blank or blink during this period, don’t switch off camera till the moment it is directed. (It was very disappointing when update software shows finishing installation and camera screed still dark. “…Don’t worry – be happy…”  🙂

Checking current firmware version

  1. Switch on camera.
  2. Enter to the Menu (Menu button)
  3. Open section (tab) “Setup”, the last one.
  4. Look for “Version” ()  st the “Setup” screen and press enter button (central button of the Joystick wheel).

Downloading camera firmware

I am downloading required firmware from the following web site: Sony support.

  1. Select your camera.
  2.  Select your operating system.

sony_a7_firmware_3.203. Download the firmware update.

Preparing camera for update

  1. Switch on camera.
  2. Enter to the Menu (Menu button)
  3. Open section “Setup”, the last one.
  4. At the “Setup” screen, looking for “USB Connection” (page 4) and select “Mass Storage” options.

Camera is ready for update! Let’s begin!

Updating firmware

Note: Software provides very accurate instructions what to do during the update read them carefully, they might be different in your case.

  1. Start downloaded software. It will automatically unpack and start.sony_a7_software_update_start
  2.  When the following window appears connect camera to the PC and press Next. 02_sony_a7_update_start
  3. Application will check connection to the camera. During the connection screen of the camera will became blank. If connection is not established probably you would like to reboot your camera or connect it to another USB port.03_sony_a7_update_connecting
  4. Next window prefaces version checking, so simply  pressing Next button.04_sony_a7_update_version_checking
  5. Next window will offer you to verify currently installed version and version which will be installed. If they are correct press “Next” and go further.05_sony_a7_update_version_displayed
  6. Sorry I lost somewhere screen for camera reset. Shortly:
    • Don’t remove USB cable!
    • Safely remove USB device through icon in task bar.
    • On camera: Press central button of wheel/joystic
    • Press Next button in the update application.
  7. 07_sony_a7_run_the_update
  8. Update running08_sony_a7_update_in_progressPlease, for your and camera safety don’t switch off anything! 🙂
  9. Finishing the update08_sony_a7_finish the updateBe patient, first wait till the camera screen will show invitation to use www.sony.net/pm URL.
    • First screen blinks.
    • Then the following message appears: “Recovering data, please wait.”
    • Then a screen appears notifying us that USB Mas storage device connected
    • And finally invitation to visit www.sony.net/pm.
    • Now you can press Finish button.

10. Disconnect USB cable.

11. Do a hard reset (remove battery or external power source).

12. Check if version was update correctly.

Installing the same firmware

Attempt to install the same firmware will cause the following window appear: 10_sony_a7_update_isn't_required


P.S. This article represents personal experience and doesn’t replace official firmware update guidance from Sony. Author succeed in this procedure and can not be blamed for a break bodies. 🙂

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Bled lake is situated in the North of Slovenia and in southern foothills of Julian Alps. This is a popular place among Slovenes and tourists.

Evening_view_on_bled_lakeThere is a walking path around the lake which offers the best views of the lake. The views are marvelous at any time of the year.

A medieval castle dominates over the lake. It is simply named after the lake – Bled castle. It opens a beautiful view on the lake and surroundings.

Castle Bled, Slovenia
Castle Bled, Slovenia

The calling card of the place is an island in the middle of the lake. The island is crowned by the ancient monastery . Its church rises up in the middle of the island.

Church on the island of Bled lake (Slovenia)
Church on the island of Bled lake (Slovenia)

(buy a print)

Walking around the lake you will collect new perspectives of the church.

Church_on_the_island_of_bled_lake_by_vyacheslavYou can use a rowing boat to get to the island.

The lake became a popular photography place. That evening I was sharing my location with 3 Hungarian photographers, who were equipped by high end cameras (Nikon D810), heavy tripods and Lee filters.

See you on the photo tour,  Cheers!

Buy a print

You can help me to improve this web site! Make a beautiful present for yourself or your friends – buy a print or some goods here:

Sell Art Online
Sell Art Online
Sell Art Online
Art Prints


  • Sony a7
  • Canon nFD 80-200
  • Benro Travelmate

Minolta MD 24mm & Sony SEL2870

Minolta MD 24mm can be easily used on Sony a7, thanks for the adapters. Adapter represents simple piece of metal – metal tube which is attached to the lens.

Size comparison of Minolta MD 24mm equipped with MD-NEX adapter with Sony SEL2870.

Minolta MD 24mm & Sony SEL2870 for Sony a7.

You can check price for Minolta MD 24mm: eBay.com  or eBay.de

Buy on BHPhoto: Sony a7, Sony a7r II
Buy on Amazon: Sony a7, Sony a7r II



Harsh light. Baroque in photography.

Many times I’ve been asked – What to photograph in the middle of the day or how to use the harsh day light.

I think many of us were trapped by the harsh light in the middle of the day during a travel. Same happened to me in Rome, when I was enjoying a walk to an evening location, which I have selected couple days before. The sun was still above my head and light was quite harsh. Passing  Fountana di Trevi I noticed how beautifully the light was falling on one of a figures.

Fountana di Trevi is a famous touristic attraction in the center of Rome. Literal translation is a fountain in the Trevi district of Rome (location on Google map). It is surely one of my favorite places to spend an evening, but I am rarely passing by in the middle of the day.

The scene reminded me of baroque paintings tecnique with  the main characters advancing from a dark background. Actually the figures of the fountain were created in the baroque period and the fountain is the largest baroque fountain in the city.

So, I had a baroque figure and a baroque light, I only had to find a composition which would work.

Fontana di Trevi, Rome, Italy
Fontana di Trevi, Rome, Italy

There are following elements which make the picture work for me:

  • Rhythm in shadows and highlights
  • Diagonal rising composition

I believe this is a good example on how even the harsh light can assist in bringing out a special character of a picture.



  • Sony a7
  • Canon nFD 80-200 L

Shiseido Pureness

Shiseido Pureness has a beautiful sky-blue shell form. It was quite a challenge to photograph it for a beauty blog.  It’s glossy surface required special technic.

3 shots were requested by customer: Package, Open, details. Below is my solution to these requirements.

Photo of Shiseido Pureness package by Vyacheslav Isaev

In the first shot I was solving the problem of getting a nice transition on curved surface from highlight to shadow. The glossy table surface was also selected especially to emphasize the play of light.

Shiseido Pureness by Vyacheslav Isaev

Try on your own to capture a product with mirror and reflect label of the product in the mirror.

Shiseido Pureness by Vyacheslav Isaev
Shiseido Pureness by Vyacheslav Isaev

The last shot took actually the most of the session time to  position a highlight correctly on the Shiseido label.

You can check similar shots  in my cosmetics portfolio.


Equipment: Sony a7, Canon nFD 80-200, Canon 500d