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Smartphone Model Releases

Here's another indicator that I'm completely behind the times. It's the model release via smartphone phenomenon, and I'm ready to jump on board. First, a bit about model releases: you need them. I recently spoke to a photographer who's able to turn his entire archive into a money-making stock image library specifically because he's been getting model releases for people shots since the 1980s. I, on the other hand, struggle to get model releases even when I know it's in my best interests. With the advent of a handful of smartphone model release apps, now I've got no excuse. In most cases, it seems that the subject is able to sign right on the smartphone screen just by using their finger in lieu of a pen. Pretty cool. The real question is which app to choose. There's iD-release, which is free and allows you to create and store releases on your iPhone. There's Easy Release, which seems to do the same sort of thing, sans freeness, for both iPhone and Android operating systems. Then there's mRelease, which offers a variety of releases (including talent, property and location releases) for the iPhone OS. Are there any others? Do you utilize one of them? I'd love to know which way you think I should go.

http://www.idrelease.com
http://www.applicationgap.com/apps/easyrelease
http://www.mreleaseapp.com
DPMag
Here's another indicator that I'm completely behind the times. It's the model release via smartphone phenomenon, and I'm ready to jump on board. First, a bit about model releases: you need them. I recently spoke to a photographer who's able to turn his entire archive into a money-making stock image…

Reuters Pictures of the Year

It's that time of year once again where everyone starts talking about their year-end highlights. Every media outlet seems to put together some variation on a slideshow of its favorite pictures of 2010, and to get us started here's a good batch from Reuters, by way of Rob Galbraith's blog, that focuses on world news. It serves as a great reminder of the power of photojournalism to tell a story quite unlike any other medium can. These are powerful, and in some cases disturbing, photographs.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-10058-11090
DPMag
It's that time of year once again where everyone starts talking about their year-end highlights. Every media outlet seems to put together some variation on a slideshow of its favorite pictures of 2010, and to get us started here's a good batch from Reuters, by way of Rob Galbraith's blog,…

Always use a tripod, even when you can’t

I'm constantly touting that photographers shoot with a tripod, because it can make all sorts of shots much better. The tripod is practically a necessity for still lifes or when shooting in low light at dusk, and it’s most definitely necessary for shooting after dark. But what about when you're shooting in places where a tripod can't go? Even worse, what about where you're not allowed to take your tripod? That's when you have to get crafty. The point remains the same—and that is that steadying the camera makes sharper pictures. So here’s a workaround courtesy of Scott Kelby’s blog. It’s about how to achieve the same effect as a tripod even when you're unable to take a tripod with you.

http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2010/archives/14599

DPMag
I'm constantly touting that photographers shoot with a tripod, because it can make all sorts of shots much better. The tripod is practically a necessity for still lifes or when shooting in low light at dusk, and it’s most definitely necessary for shooting after dark. But what about when you're…

Polaroid Hotel

Fashion photographer Patrick Hoelck recently emailed with information about a new book project he’s working on. It’s called Polaroid Hotel. Here’s what he had to say: "I decided to pay tribute to the dying art of Polaroid photography with a book of images and an exhibition that capture intimate moments of my career... I want to show that just because a certain technology has aged it doesn’t have to lose its appeal." Patrick’s project is a neat one, and it’s certainly new. Really new. So new, in fact, that the book itself is not yet made. That’s part of what makes this interesting. Patrick is using a web site called Kickstarter to help raise funds to turn the idea into a reality. Kickstarter is a unique web service built expressly to raise funding for creative projects. Visit Patrick’s Kickstarter page to see a slideshow of some of his Polaroid work, to learn more about Kickstarter itself, and maybe even to contribute money to help the project along. If you want to see more of Patrick and his work, take a look at his personal web site.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1090625529/polaroid-hotel
http://portfolio.patrickhoelck.com

DPMag
Fashion photographer Patrick Hoelck recently emailed with information about a new book project he’s working on. It’s called Polaroid Hotel. Here’s what he had to say: "I decided to pay tribute to the dying art of Polaroid photography with a book of images and an exhibition that capture intimate moments…

The Inverse Square Law

I lost a one-dollar bet yesterday when I challenged a fellow-photographer’s understanding of the inverse square law. Turns out I was the one who had the math wrong. I don’t know where in my years of understanding this rule I got off track, but I sure was wrong yesterday. Hopefully it was just a momentary glitch. Anyway, I figured I’d review it one more time here in case anybody else has their math mixed up like me.

The inverse square law, as it applies to lighting, means that with every doubling or halving of the distance of a subject from the light source, the intensity of light doesn’t change strength equally. It’s not just half or double, it’s in fact four times stronger (when moving closer to the light) and a quarter the strength (when moving away from the light). In real world terms that means that when you have a light source four feet from a subject, a background (or secondary subject) eight feet from the light source will be one quarter as bright—or two full stops darker. A subject exposed at f/8 in that scenario would see the background register f/4 on a light meter.

In practice, this principle is used to make backgrounds lighter or darker, to cast even lighting over a wide area, and to frustrate photographers like me and win money in ridiculous bets about who knows more about photography.

Read more about the inverse square law and see great examples of it in practice on Zack Arias’ blog at www.zarias.com/white-seamless-tutorial-part-3-from-white-to-black

DPMag
I lost a one-dollar bet yesterday when I challenged a fellow-photographer’s understanding of the inverse square law. Turns out I was the one who had the math wrong. I don’t know where in my years of understanding this rule I got off track, but I sure was wrong yesterday. Hopefully…

The Sunny f/16 Rule

Did you know you can determine the correct exposure outdoors in almost any situation without a light meter and without using your camera’s TTL meter or LCD screen? It’s true. I learned to call this the sunny f/16 rule. I recently spent some time with a dyed-in-the-wool video shooter, a real videographers (if you will), and we were discussing the different truisms and things that are particular to our different industries. For instance, did you know that the standard pat answer for "hey, what are you guys doing?" when you're all set up on a big fancy video shoot is, "We're shooting a mayonnaise commercial." I didn't either. But I love it, and I'm going to use it whenever people ask what I’m shooting. I shared some information with my videographer friend too. Like zone exposure basics and the Sunny f/16 rule. That's where this post from DIY photography comes in, because it's also about the Sunny f/16 rule. It's in the version of a little graphic card you can carry with you in your pocket until you've got the whole thing perfectly memorized. The basics, by the way, are simple: On a normal sunny day, the correct exposure will be 1/ISO at f/16. So if you're shooting at ISO 100, the correct exposure will be 1/100th at f/16. It's translatable to cloudy days and bright snowy or sandy situations too. This card errs on the side of overexposure, but perhaps that’s simply an adjustment for overexposure while shooting RAW. Either way, the principles are sound. You don’t need a meter, or an LCD screen to know the correct exposure as long as you know the Sunny f/16 rule.

http://www.diyphotography.net/we-dont-need-no-light-meter

DPMag
Did you know you can determine the correct exposure outdoors in almost any situation without a light meter and without using your camera’s TTL meter or LCD screen? It’s true. I learned to call this the sunny f/16 rule. I recently spent some time with a dyed-in-the-wool video shooter, a…
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