See How Flash Media Cards Are Made
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
You know that show on the Discovery Channel called "How It's Made?" No? How about "Modern Marvels?" Still nothing, huh? Guess you're not as big a geek as I am. If you were, you'd know that these shows simply take viewers behind the scenes in the making of... well, just about anything. From breakfast cereals to hockey sticks, high-tech to low, there's clearly a mass appeal (albeit limited to us geeks) in seeing behind the scenes of how stuff is made. Well your friends at memory-maker Lexar have created their own little behind the scenes video, and Scott Kelby put it up on his web site not long ago. It offers a really neat glimpse into how these things are made. Very high-tech, very cool, and very precise. Frankly, after watching the video, it's amazing these little things actually do so much—and that they don't cost thousands of dollars each.
Time Lapse In Motion
Monday, February 21, 2011
Photographer Josh Owens is a time lapse master. I recently saw a video he put together showing New York City in time lapse, and the plain beauty of this simple technique once again wowed me. Plain old time lapse photography is impressive and beautiful enough in itself, even when the camera is static and we watch a scene unfold and evolve over a given amount of time. But Josh does what so many folks these days are doing—he pushes the boundaries of his medium and creates something a little bit new. He adds motion to his time lapse videos by moving the camera with a dolly. No he's not the first to do this, but his work demonstrates a magnificent aptitude for the construction of a pleasing composition and an amazing understanding of motion. He seems able to be a master of previsualization, which is no small feat. The bottom line is that Josh's work is if nothing else really neat to look at. Do that at his Mind Relic web site, www.mindrelic.com.
Scott Kelby's Super-Secret Duotone Recipe
Friday, February 18, 2011
Not long ago Scott Kelby showed a series of portraits from his "Sessions" series—a look at photographers who also double as musicians. The series was a collection of beautiful black and white photos Scott produced as a personal project. In fact, the black and whites are really duotone images, and they look warm and inviting and wonderful. I must not have been the only person who thought so, because apparently lots of folks asked Scott how he created his great duotone effect. I used to do things like this in Photoshop, creating duotones, tritones and quadtones with immense control and lots of options in the powerful program. It turns out that Lightroom has a super-simple built-in way to create a duotone, and Scott happily published his info. How does he achieve it? He opens the split toning panel in Lightroom and adjusts the shadows hue and saturation. That's it, all there is to it. Check out the screenshots, the specifics of the technique, and a link to the photos in the Sessions series, at Scott's Photoshop Insider blog.
Super High Speed Photography
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Sometimes I just like to look at cool photos. I'm no expert high-speed photographer--frankly, I'm not even a rank amateur—but dang, I think this stuff looks cool. DPS recently posted a neat gallery of high-speed photographs that are full of big-time wows. It's amazing to me that this kind of photography, which 50 years ago would have required industrial strength lighting gear (and the distinct possibility of death), can now be done by hobbyists. Serious hobbyists, to be certain, but something within reach nonetheless. After the gallery, DPS has compiled a list of links for photographers interested in learning more about how they can make this kind of high-speed photographic adventure too. Well worth a look, whether you're just a gawker (like me) or someone who wants to do these shots for yourself.
Correcting White Balance For Multiple Light Sources
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I just did a shoot where the color balance was way wacky. First of all, it was dark as night in the room I was shooting. It was mostly low-level tungsten illumination, but there was an occasional and changing fill from an ever-shifting digital projector. The color temperatures combined to make a soup of mixed up colors. I wish I'd known this tip from Digital Photography School about tweaking white balance in Lightroom when working with multiple color temperatures in a single scene. Peter West Carey explains the predicament in a much more common situation—when daylight from windows is mixing with illumination from tungsten or fluorescent bulbs indoors. Peter's solution is pretty simple, when you think about it, but that doesn't mean it's not valuable. Read all about it at DPS, and the next time you're faced with a too-blue window or an overly-warm interior, put this custom color balance advice to work for you.
More Ways To Modify Handheld Strobes
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I have to admit, sometimes the great ideas that come from the Strobist web site make me a little embarrassed. The problem is, they can be so simple and so brilliant that they make you wonder: "Why didn't I think of that?" Here's such a case, in the form of a "hack" to use studio strobe honeycomb grids—which focus light to narrowly send it in only one direction rather than scattered all around the room—with small hot-shoe portable flashes. The trick? Use a rubber band or a small elastic cord to connect the big ol' grid to that little bitty flash. The principle works just the same, even if the flash isn't using the entire surface of the grid. All you want is to make sure light is only traveling in a single direction. It's a great fix, either way, and definitely worth a look. Find it over at strobist.com.
The Human Planet
Monday, February 14, 2011
The BBC and The Discovery Channel have a tradition, in recent years, of producing really impressively beautiful television programs about the earth, its flora and fauna, and now the people who inhabit the big blue ball. They’ve created what looks to be another great project with the new series Human Planet, which debuted in January on BBC One in the U.K. British readers are no doubt familiar with the show by this point, but we Yankees haven't yet had the privilege. One must assume that the show will air on Discovery sooner rather than later. Until then, we'll have to be held over with this trailer on YouTube, and by visiting the Human Planet web site. The visual journalism employed by these programs is always top-notch and inspiring. But this time, interestingly enough, the program is the first joint BBC/Discovery series in which a still photographer, photojournalist Timothy Allen, has accompanied production crews in order to provide photographs to illustrate future books produced in conjunction with the series. To see more of Mr. Allen's work from the project, visit his web site at humanplanet.com, then head over to the BBC's Human Planet web site for more.
NPR On Astrophotography
Friday, February 11, 2011
NPR recently did a great story on its Picture Show blog about astrophotography. Unlike most other types of photographic pursuits, astrophotographers generally don't wield cameras, and they're also not looking through the optics of a telescope with the naked eye. Read about the process, and see a really nice gallery of astro images from a variety of sources, at NPR.org.