In-Camera Double Exposures
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Have you seen all of the beautiful multiple exposures out there? It seems like this old-school film technique has experienced quite a resurgence of late—likely in large part thanks to its inclusion as a feature on some new DSLRs. My only complaint about the technique is that it seems to only be applied in one way: silhouetted people mixed with landscapes and foliage. (That's not to say these images aren't utterly beautiful; they just leave a little bit to be desired by way of originality. Ultimately it's up to the artist to apply the technique in whatever way he sees fit. But now I'm digressing.) Anyway, the point is, however we may choose to apply it, there's no doubting that it's an interesting and powerful technique. And the first step, of course, is mastering that technique! Thankfully, photographer Sara Byrne has posted a tutorial for making double exposures with a Canon 5D Mark 3, and the principles are the same with any multiple-exposure-enabled camera—which I'm sure we'll continue to see more of in the future.
Build A Backyard Bird Studio
Monday, May 6, 2013
Many of us might bring out the camera to photograph a beautiful bird we find in our back yard, but only David Hobby would turn such a birding discovery into a two-day location strobe lighting adventure. In a recent post, the man behind The Strobist explained how he turned his backyard into an impromptu photo studio complete with six speedlights and a paper background. Not only is it a neat explanation of how to photograph a bird in flight, but it also demonstrates something much more important and generally useful—the ability to be a photographic problem-solver. Read all about it at http://strobist.blogspot.com/2013/04/bluebirds-and-stink-bugs.html
How To Make A Cinemagraph
Friday, May 3, 2013
Do you know about cinemagraphs? They're sort of like a combination of a still photo and an animated gif, but only part of the image is animated. So, for instance, in this example from designer Chris Spooner's blog, only the model's hair and dress are moving—blowing gently in the wind. It's this subtly that gives cinemagraphs their power. If you're interested in learning how to make these unique web-based images, Spooner's blog post is built around a great breakdown of how to create the complex looking effect in a fairly simple way that requires no special software beyond that good ol' standby, Photoshop.
A Visual Compendium Of Cameras
Thursday, May 2, 2013
This I love. Are you a camera buff? Of course you are; we all are, in one way or another, right? Well, the talented artists and designers at the Pop Chart Lab have created a poster called A Visual Compendium of Cameras, and it beautifully illustrates the evolution of the camera from the 19th to the 21st century—so far—and includes favorite cameras we love, as well as I'm sure some cameras we've loved to hate. It's a must for your darkroom wall, or, I guess, maybe you could hang it over your computer workstation. A fun work of art for us gearheads.
Beverage Photo Tutorial
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
This link is something I'm definitely going to send to the students in my studio product photography class. Patric Bergkvist demonstrates that you don't need a fancy studio or expensive equipment to make a very nicely crafted product shot—even with a tricky subject like a transparent glass full of translucent liquor. A little bit of compositing combined with a lot of basic photographic ingenuity—and a straight up understanding of how to make shiny and clear subjects look their best—results in an excellent product shot in a home studio that anyone can emulate. I'm especially a fan of using black paper to turn traditional softboxes into dramatic strip lights. What a brilliant fix! Check it out at the Photigy blog.
Amazingly Affordable 4x5 Camera
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
When was the last time you bought a camera for less than $100? When was the last time you bought a film camera—much less a 4x5 large format film camera—for less than the cost of the film? Now you can do both of those things by pitching in to the Kickstarter campaign of the fellows behind the Travelwide 4x5 camera. This lightweight point and shoot uses standard 4x5 film and film backs, and with the addition of your own 65 or 90mm LF lenses, you've got a fully functional travel point and shoot camera that utilizes large format film. And while $99 is the earlybird price, it's only good for the next couple of days (the last in this already super successful Kickstarter campaign). After that, you'll have to wait until the camera goes into production, at a price yet to be determined.
Next Up For Photoshop: A Sharpness Fix
Monday, April 29, 2013
Adobe last week released a tantalizing—and unbelievably frustratingly short—video preview of a new feature to be included in the eventual release of Photoshop CS7. This camera blur filter will allow photographers to minimize camera shake in post-processing with a one-click fix. Think of Smart Sharpen on steroids; at least that's how it looks. Senior product manager Zorana Ghee demos the Camera Shake Reduction filter, but she doesn't go into the whys and wherefores of its functionality. For that it looks like we'll have to wait, which I know I'm going to do with bated breath. This filter looks like it could be a real sharpness game changer.
Lightroom For JPEGs
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I have an avid photographer friend with tons of experience who refuses to shoot RAW. I, on the other hand, swear by them. And since I started using Lightroom as my image management and RAW processing software, I've become an even bigger fan of RAW. Heck, Lightroom might be part of the reason I'm such a believer in shooting RAW. Well now, just recently I did the unthinkable—and something I can honestly say I had never done before: I accidentally shot JPEGs. (I'd let the friend in question use the camera, and voila, he switched it to JPEG and I didn't think to switch it back.) It was only in the Lightroom processing that I realized, hey, wait a minute, these are JPEGs! I panicked. But in fact since I'd done most of what I'd planned to do in camera, it will all work out in the end. I also discovered this: Lightroom is an excellent platform for not only organizing, browsing and managing JPEG files, and it's great for editing them too. Many of those same RAW adjustments can be easily made to JPEGs in Lightroom—just without the extremes of adjustability. It led me to this realization: Lightroom works great for JPEG files too. I'm now going to start advocating for those of you who insist on shooting JPEGs to consider switching to Lightroom for the bulk of your image management and editing workflow. Here's a great discussion of JPEG-specific Lightroom issues in the Adobe forums.