The Brenizer Method
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Ever heard of the Brenizer method? Photographer Ryan Brenizer developed it, and lucky him it gets to have his name attached to it forever. It's fairly straightforward, and it goes like this. You want to make a wide angle view of a scene, but you want it to have the shallow depth of field of a telephoto shot with a wide aperture. What do you do? Simple: you shoot several exposures of the scene with a long lens and wide aperture to get the shallow DOF you need, and then you stitch them together to create the wide angle. It's one of those things that's optically impossible, but photographically beautiful. Why didn't I think of that? Then it could have been named after me instead.
Simple Data Security—The Old Fashioned Way
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
I found some great advice on the DPS blog about data safety procedures. Sure, it's a good article about using duplicate media cards when you have the opportunity, and importing and archiving and backing up your data, and all of those tips are always wonderfully useful. But the one that really caught my eye isn't mentioned in the text, it's elegantly illustrated in the photograph accompanying the story: there's a bold "REWARD!!!" sticker on the removable SD card. Brilliant! I think I'll have to start doing this. Not only including my name and number, but maybe offering a reward worth more than the value of the card for the return of the card. Because after all, it's the pictures you're concerned about, not the card, right? I love this idea. The simpler the better—and that much more effective, I'm sure.
The Future Of Smart Cameras
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
If you can get past the Apple vs. Android fanboys and haters so vocal in the comments, this article at DP Review is a great read. Allan Hoffman hypothesizes about what the future of smart cameras may look like. The idea being that iPhone and Android smartphones sure are great cameras, and we've now got camera makers now dipping their toes into the "smart" world of features that are similar to many features on smartphones. It's a continually blurring line that should eventually deliver some very interesting options for us photographers/phone-users in the coming years. The question I keep asking is not just can I get a camera into my phone, but rather when can I get a phone in my camera? Imagine your favorite compact point-and-shoot being able to make calls and send texts. No, it wouldn't be for everybody, but I'd sure love it. It would make it a lot easier to good carry a camera wherever you go, that's for sure. Whatever your take, it sure is fun to think about, especially when you figure that some of our wildest dreams are bound to come true in the smart phones and cameras of tomorrow.
Night Skies In The City
Monday, February 4, 2013
Have you ever wondered what New York City would look like in the middle of the night if all of the lights were turned off? Photographer Thierry Cohen can show you, if you don't mind a little bit of imagination thrown in. No, he couldn't shut off all the lights in New York for real—he had to do that digitally. But when he combined those now—darkened urban scenes (from cities around the world, I should point out) with photographs of starry night skies made in remote locations on the same latitude, he delivers what the night sky would actually look like to a New Yorker fortunate enough to find his city completely in the dark. Fortunate for those who hate light pollution, I mean—not so fortunate to the millions of people who'd have to deal with that massive havoc if the lights were really turned off! Maybe it's better that we leave the lights on in reality, and only turn them off in this wonderful art.
Lego For Your Lens Cap
Friday, February 1, 2013
Lose your lens cap? If you're chronically uncovered or if you have a hard time keeping track of your lens caps, consider trying this fun fix courtesy of the DIY Photography blog. You can use Lego pieces to affix your lens cap to your camera strap, tripod leg or just about anything else. Sure, it may not be as practical as using industrial strength hook and loop fasteners for the job, but it's a whole lot more fun. And on the plus side you get to sport a colorful bit of Lego on the front of your lens—when it's capped, that is.
Build Your Own Ground-Pod
Thursday, January 31, 2013
It can be difficult to use a camera way down at ground level if you don't want to hold it in your hands. If you also want it steadied by a tripod, you've got limited options. Some manufacturers make "ground-pods" in order to make it easier to steady your camera mere inches from the earth, but Elliot Hook has written about his own process for creating an inexpensive DIY ground-pod out of a frying pan and tripod head. I love the simplicity! It's simple and light and easily portable, and you can fill it with rocks or sand plain old dirt if you need some added stability when shooting from ground level. What a simple and effective tool.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Just yesterday I shot tethered while on assignment for a client. You see, I was making composited exposures, and that's an ideal situation for relying on the camera's tether to allow me to continue making pictures without ever touching the camera and risking even the smallest compositional bump. I was also, of course, using the tethered image on my computer to check the composition, sharpness, color and every other element of the image. Shooting tethered is a great way to photograph stationary subjects in a controlled environment. But how do you shoot tethered? Can you just plug your camera into your computer and go? No. But you can download one of several different pieces of software that make it possible to trigger your camera from your computer. This Lightstalking article by Jason Row explains some great options if you're looking to get into tethered capture, or if (like me) you're always looking to upgrade the caliber of your tethering experience.
35mm Photo Montages
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
When I was in college, a popular art class photo assignment was to create a photo montage. Of course, I'm ancient and that meant we were using film for these montages. My favorite approach, probably because it was the most fun, was to incorporate the format of the film itself to make these images. On a 36-exposure roll of 35mm, for example, you might do seven rows of five, or five rows of seven, or even six rows of six to create a framework montage that uses the very nature of the film roll to help contribute to the composition. Though I did make some neat work with this approach, it all pales in comparison to Thomas Kellner who takes this concept to the not-so-logical but oh-so-wonderful next step—massive montages. He creates strips of multiple rolls, say 24 frames across by 30 or more rolls in the vertical dimension. It's a great effect. Beautiful work, and definitely worth a look for appreciation as well as inspiration.