Cheat Sheets

I like cheat sheets. I have a customized cheat sheet to remind me of the specific gear I take on location. I have a cheat sheet taped to my studio strobe pack outlining a couple of unique setups I use for a couple of particular clients. I am not shy about putting together detailed cheat sheets if they will help me make better pictures. That’s exactly the idea behind a couple of cheat sheets put together by the DIY Photography blog. First they assembled a portrait lighting cheat sheet, in which they worked out in detail the lighting results they’d get from various lighting positions in relation to the subject’s face. It’s the sort of thing you’ll naturally pick up over time, but it can be immensely helpful when you’re getting started. That cheat sheet was such a rousing success, they created another one—this time, all about lighting modifiers. With this sheet a photographer can see the results achieved from a variety of strobe modifiers (like various sizes and configurations of umbrellas, softboxes and reflectors) on a portrait subject’s face. This one is especially valuable, even for experienced photographers. To be able to see the subtle differences achieved by different modifiers is invaluable. Best of all, both of these cheat sheets are available in downloadable and printable form from the DIY Photography site.

diyphotography.net

diyphotography.net: lighting modifiers

I like cheat sheets. I have a customized cheat sheet to remind me of the specific gear I take on location. I have a cheat sheet taped to my studio strobe pack outlining a couple of unique setups I use for a couple of particular clients. I am not shy about putting together detailed cheat sheets if they will help me make better pictures. That’s exactly... Read more

More New Old Cameras

There’s another pair of new “old” camera on the block, and it’s Sony’s Alpha NEX-3 and NEX-5 combo. Another, because lately cameras in this format seem to be popping up with a bit of buzz almost every couple of months. They’re new because they’re high-tech and fancy, fitting high-res APS-sized CMOS sensors into “pocket camera” bodies. And the cameras I describe are “old” too because they’re capitalizing on the trend that was popularized in the 1960s when camera makers worked to make 35mm film cameras into pocket cameras without sacrificing image quality and manual control. That’s what cameras in this category—referred to by some bloggers as DEVIL cameras (because they are Digital Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens cameras)—strive for, and it would appear that the Sony Alpha NEX-3 and NEX-5 deliver. The most interesting thing as far as I’m concerned appears to be the large interchangeable lenses that fit on the tiny cameras (Sony says they’re the tiniest when compared to other interchangeable lens bodies). I’m assuming the lenses seem larger because the cameras are so small, and also because they are larger to work with the APS-C sized sensors—which are a bit larger than many DEVIL cameras’ Micro Four Thirds sensors. The bottom line certainly appears to be that these two cameras can do quite a lot, packing considerable quality into a little package. I’m excited about these DEVIL cameras in general, so it’s exciting to see all of the new entrants into the category. Check out hands-on reviews of the NEX cameras at DPS and C-Net’s web sites, and then go shopping at Sony’s dedicated NEX microsite.

digital-photography-school.com

news.cnet.com

bit.ly/ctRgVe

There’s another pair of new “old” camera on the block, and it’s Sony’s Alpha NEX-3 and NEX-5 combo. Another, because lately cameras in this format seem to be popping up with a bit of buzz almost every couple of months. They’re new because they’re high-tech and fancy, fitting high-res APS-sized CMOS sensors into “pocket camera” bodies.... Read more

How to shoot Rainbows

Let’s face it, rainbows aren’t the most common of photographic subjects. But when you are fortunate enough to find one—no matter where you might be or what you might be shooting—how are you going to pass up the opportunity to try and make pictures of it? Photographer Ian Plant, who writes about shooting in the outdoors for his Mountain Trail Photo blog as well as the newly revamped Outdoor Photographer blog, is the ideal instructor to turn to when you’ve got questions about shooting in nature. His recent article on photographing rainbows is full of very practical tips on everything from how to find rainbows in the first place to the right technical approach to capturing them in camera.

ianplant.com

Let’s face it, rainbows aren’t the most common of photographic subjects. But when you are fortunate enough to find one—no matter where you might be or what you might be shooting—how are you going to pass up the opportunity to try and make pictures of it? Photographer Ian Plant, who writes about shooting in the outdoors for his Mountain Trail... Read more

Live From New York…

A few months ago I was fortunate to interview Saturday Night Live’s esteemed—if somewhat unknown—photographer Mary Ellen Matthews. The resulting Digital Photo Pro article called attention to her phenomenal body of work, and I noted many regular folks (i.e. non-photographer-types) who came out of the woodwork to say they’d always loved those photos on the show and were glad to meet the woman who made them. Well now Mary Ellen is getting even more recognition with a retrospective of her work at the former CBGB rock club and current John Varvatos clothing store in New York’s Bowery neighborhood. After a decade of toiling in relative obscurity (after all, her photos aren’t seen in print so often as they’re seen during commercial breaks—with no room for a credit), it’s great to see this phenomenal photographer receiving so much well-deserved attention. Read about the show at the Wall Street Journal, and check out more of her work at her Jed Root web site.

blogs.wsj.com

www.jedroot.com

A few months ago I was fortunate to interview Saturday Night Live’s esteemed—if somewhat unknown—photographer Mary Ellen Matthews. The resulting Digital Photo Pro article called attention to her phenomenal body of work, and I noted many regular folks (i.e. non-photographer-types) who came out of the woodwork to say they’d always loved those... Read more

The biggest photo in the world.

There’s a new world record holder. The title of “largest photograph in the world” now belongs to the same place that can boast the tallest building in the world. It’s Dubai, home of the 2700-foot-tall Burj Khalifa skyscraper and subject of the 45-gigapixel panoramic cityscape. Equivalent in size to 100 billboards, Gerald Donovan’s photograph is a composite of 4000 images made over four hours. I don’t know that I have the patience to spend four hours creating an image like this, but I could probably easily spend several hours zooming in to examine the details in this image. I never get tired of gigapixel panoramas, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Though it appears a little hazy and not so densely populated as some European gigapans, it’s still worth a good exploration. After all, the haze comes from smog (rather than a poor exposure) and what it lacks in human interest it makes up for in human ambition. With this image, you can really see Dubai’s rapid expansion writ large in amazing detail.

gigapan.org

There’s a new world record holder. The title of “largest photograph in the world” now belongs to the same place that can boast the tallest building in the world. It’s Dubai, home of the 2700-foot-tall Burj Khalifa skyscraper and subject of the 45-gigapixel panoramic cityscape. Equivalent in size to 100 billboards, Gerald Donovan’s photograph... Read more

Shoot the Outdoors Indoors

Every season seems to have an excuse to keep photographers from getting out into the world.

Every season seems to have an excuse to keep photographers from getting out into the world. Summer’s heat can be oppressive, winter’s cold can make you miserable, and even within the pleasant confines of springtime rainy days can sideline adventure plans. So what do you do when you can’t get outside to shoot the nature you love? Bring the nature... Read more

Better Photos Through Math

Wired magazine’s Jordan Ellenberg recently published an interesting piece about math.

Wired magazine’s Jordan Ellenberg recently published an interesting piece about math. (So far, this does not pertain to photography, I know, but trust me—it will.) The story was based on the sparsity principle, which is a mathematical concept that states… well, I don’t exactly understand what it states. But some other smart people do, and this... Read more

Serious D-SLR Moviemaking Gear

Are you considering turning your D-SLR into an HD-movie-making machine?

Are you looking for a little more inspiration in your life? Do you struggle with the search for meaning in photography? If so, take a few minutes to watch this great TED talk from National Geographic photography director David Griffin. Not only is Griffin’s presentation full of valuable insights into how photography connects us and how we all... Read more

How Photography Connects Us

Are you looking for a little more inspiration in your life?

Are you looking for a little more inspiration in your life? Do you struggle with the search for meaning in photography? If so, take a few minutes to watch this great TED talk from National Geographic photography director David Griffin. Not only is Griffin’s presentation full of valuable insights into how photography connects us and how we all... Read more

Learning HDR

High-Dynamic Range processing, known popularly as “HDR,” is a bit of a controversial topic.

High-Dynamic Range processing, known popularly as “HDR,” is a bit of a controversial topic. Many photographers love it for its visceral, hyper-real grabbing power. When you see an HDR image, it epitomizes “eye candy.” That’s also part of the problem if you’re on the other side of the fence, the side which says HDR is too over the top, too... Read more

iPad For Photographers

Apple’s iPad has a lot to offer photographers—it may be the ultimate photo accessory.

Apple’s iPad has a lot to offer photographers—it may be the ultimate photo accessory. First, you’ll be able to connect your digital camera to the iPad and download photos, giving you the peace of mind of an instant backup, plus the ability to review images on a much larger screen than the camera’s LCD. You’ll also be able to e-mail photos... Read more

An Anachronistic Acronym

The acronym “SLR” is increasingly less useful as a generic term for interchangeable lens cameras.

The acronym “SLR” is increasingly less useful as a generic term for interchangeable lens cameras. For decades, the most popular camera design with the ability to swap lenses was indeed a single-lens reflex. And while that design remains dominant among interchangeable-lens models, a newer design, which eliminates the mirror box in favor of a completely... Read more
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