CF Card Mailer
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The term "genius" gets thrown around pretty freely… which means I don't feel too bad for doing it again right now. I'm going to call myself a genius for this brilliantly simple idea. I recently had a photographer friend shoot a job for a good client of mine while I was out of town. My friend didn't need his CompactFlash card back immediately, so he asked me to just pop it in the mail. I don't know about you, but I've never kept the little plastic storage case that every media card comes in, so I needed to think of an easy way to protect the card and allow it to fit easily in a normal business envelope. So I cut a piece of quarter-inch corrugated cardboard to fit the envelope, and then notched out an area where the CF card would fit perfectly. I taped it in place, and voila. I had protection for the card while maintaining the ability a smooth envelope that would travel easily through the Postal Service's machinery. And it only takes a single First Class stamp to send it. Genius, if I do say so myself.
Photoshop To Go From "For Sale" To "For Rent"
Monday, May 13, 2013
Say goodbye to buying Photoshop. Adobe announced last week that going forward it will no longer sell its Creative Suite of software in a "perpetual license" model. From now on, the formerly optional subscription service the company calls Creative Cloud will now be the only way the software—including Photoshop—will be available. The downside is for those who enjoy purchasing their software occasionally and not upgrading with every new version in order to keep costs down. The upside, of course, will be that as a subscriber your software will always be up to date, as new features and updates will happen bit by bit, rather than all at once in a single new software going on sale. And the pricing of cloud services can actually be a big cost-saver if you utilize several applications. When I first heard this news, I wondered about the eventual outcry. There's been some from photographers, because Lightroom is as of now not included in the Creative Cloud options. There's been speculation, and even some hint from Adobe, that this could change going forward in the future. Get the full scoop on options and pricing via Petapixel.
Photos Of Wreckage With Happy Endings
Friday, May 10, 2013
Here's a fascinating collection of photographs that may at first glance appear to be a bit intense, but you don't have to feel bad about viewing any of them. They each depict "genuine miracles." Photographer Dietmar Eckell has traveled the world photographing the wreckage of downed airplanes in which all of the passengers survived. Eckell has many more images on his web site, along with other photographs outlining his fascination with images of abandoned places and things. He's currently in the midst of an Indiegogo campaign to print a book of the "miraculous wreckage" photographs, as well as the stories about the planes and those who walked away intact.
Find Your Camera's Built-In Level
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Longtime readers will note that I've never claimed to be an expert on all the minutiae of my camera. And yet I'm still surprised on a regular basis by all the things I don't know. For instance, I've been using a 5D Mark 3 since its release, and only yesterday did I discover this wonderful little hidden gem of a feature. There's a built in level that appears on the LCD screen when you double-tap the Info button on the back of the camera. That's what I get for not reading manuals. I first accessed this level on accident, and it took me a second to realize what I was looking at. It's the perfect tool for ensuring level horizons and perfectly perpendicular vertical lines in your compositions. Take a look inside the manual of your own DSLR, as I'm sure many more offer some assistance when it comes to leveling things. (And if you're a film shooter, or someone who prefers something a little more manual, there's always the old-school hot-shoe-mountable spirit level, like the one in the link below from Photojojo. Still, it's hard to beat one built right into the LCD of your DSLR. A recent discovery it may be, but it's a feature I'm going to rely on regularly.
The Importance Of Retouching In Jewelry Photography
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
No wonder I'm never very happy with any of the jewelry I've ever photographed. Apparently high quality jewelry photography relies heavily on intense post-production work—something I'm just not predisposed to do. This post by Genia Larionova at the Photigy web site shows how she starts with RAW "before" images and, via techniques like focus stacking, extreme sharpening and uber-patient pixel-level retouching, essentially recreates the beautiful details of rings, necklaces and brooches. It's a pretty powerful testament to the quality of good retouching. It's also interesting how much very straightforward retouching techniques are crucial for subjects like this. It's worth a look if you ever find yourself struggling to photograph these tiny shiny things.
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.