Sunday, 4 August 2013

Bad Weather = Good Light for Opportunistic Photographers

Bad Weather = Good Light for Opportunistic Photographers

Link to PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Bad Weather = Good Light for Opportunistic Photographers

Posted: 03 Aug 2013 04:45 PM PDT

We've all sat, staring out of our window and cursing at the rain poring down or the flat, grey sky that just happened to cloud over on few hours we've managed to set aside in our busy schedule to head out and shoot some photos. But all is not lost for the opportunistic and well prepared photographer.

bad weather lighting for photography

“The Bourgeoning Eve” captured by Jim Worrall (Click Image to See More From Jim Worrall)

Be Patient

After many rainfalls or storms, comes a spectacular burst of light. Often this light lasts only momentarily, but is worth waiting for. But you're never going to catch it if you're still staring out of that window. Part of making good photographs is being an opportunist. Weather reports are easily accessible through the internet, over the radio, and in newspapers, often with detailed information.

You might be able to find out if the cloud cover or storm is about to pass. If not, head out anyway. Yes, it might all be in vain and remain gray and unappealing until nightfall and be a complete waste of time, but what if it isn't?

If you speak to, or read any book written by a successful landscape photographer, they will tell you stories about how they visited a place dozens of times and waited for hours before getting that one in a million shot. Have a look at that shot. Was it worth the time? Chances are it was. Imagine the satisfaction gained from someone looking at your photo and letting out a breathless "Wow!" Then you'll be the one telling the stories. A simple way to think about it is that you get out what you put in.

Be prepared

Have you done any research on your subject? Have you visited your location at this time of day before? Do you have a list, or at least a mental outline, of the photos you want? Have you considered the equipment you might need to take? Answering these questions will take you a long way to being able to seize the moment when it does eventually arrive. Instead of fumbling around trying to attach lenses, tripods, filters and any other gadgets that might be necessary, (and I do mean "might"), you will simply be able to step out of your car, or hiding place, gear in hand, and calmly collect the images you've been imagining.

taking photos in bad weather

“Saguaro Hill” captured by nathan mccreery (Click Image to See More From nathan mccreery)

A little foresight in taking care of these things beforehand allows you to focus completely on taking photos once in the field. As with anything else, if you can concentrate completely, you'll likely do a better job.

What's your purpose?

Think about what you are actually trying to achieve with these pictures. Do you even need blue skies? Many a moody, muted landscape has been created using the worst weather conditions. If you have an interest in shooting black and white images, you could be in for a real treat. Many subjects, such as outdoor portraits, can work better in overcast conditions, enabling you to pick up the lines in someone's face and add character to the portrait without having to worry about your subject squinting their eyes from the sun or dark shadows appearing over half of their face.

Most successful photography, like anything else, comes from having a clear goal and taking the steps necessary to achieve it. It also comes from working with the elements and planning for various possibilities. Open yourself up to new ideas and you will find that your photography improves markedly.

weather photo tips

Photo captured by Rahul Sharma (Click Image to See More From Rahul Sharma)

About the Author
Mark Eden is a freelance travel photographer and writer, and the founder and director of Expanse Photography, a photographic services company offering fine art, limited edition prints as well as stock and assignment photography and publishing services. Mark can be contacted through the Expanse Photography website.

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Insider Look at the Work of Famous Street Photographers: New Documentary (Video)

Posted: 03 Aug 2013 02:22 PM PDT

A new documentary by ALLDAYEVERYDAY Films will offer an insider glimpse at the work of some of the most prominent street photographers of past and present. If the trailer is any indication, the film, entitled Everybody Street, will show how street photography captures life in all its facets — the fascinating and the bizarre, the disturbing and the violent, as well as the beautiful and the heartwarming. (Warning: some photos in the trailer below contain partial nudity.):

Everybody Street will feature interviews from and the work of well-known street photographers including Jill Freedman, Bruce Davidson, Boogie, Joel Meyerowitz, Ricky Powell, Mary Ellen Mark, Jeff Mermelstein, Martha Cooper, Elliot Erwitt, Jamel Shabazz, Rebecca Lepkoff, Clayton Patterson, and Bruce Gilden. Below, you can view some of the photography from the trailer, along with snippets from interviews with the photographers listed above.

street photography documentary

"Everybody Street" photography documentary

“It’s the only tool that will stop time itself.”

vintage street photography

“A slice of a moment, a thousandth of a second of recognition — I just knew I had to be out there, watching life. I welcome the ambiguity and the surreal, even though it’s chaos.”

modern street photography

“You don’t have time to think; you just react.”

photography from new documentary

“The deeper you go, the better pictures you’ll take.”

city street photography

“The street can be like a nerve ending; it’s not the street, it’s the life on the street and where the street takes you that’s important.”


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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Challenges and Benefits of Panoramic Photography

Posted: 03 Aug 2013 01:44 PM PDT

Cinerama movies are generally preferred for a very good reason: The field of view is more like what the human eye is accustomed to seeing. Unconsciously at some level, when we look at a "normal" photo we know that it is like looking at the world through a window, and we are only seeing part of what we would see if we were there. That missing information may not produce deep psychological distress, but it is my belief that panoramic images that cover approximately 90 X 180 degrees field of view are more comfortable and satisfying than traditional photography.


In the last few years TV and computer screens have gone from 3X4 ratio to 16X9 which is a wider field of view, and many newer cameras can be setup to capture 16X9 images. When I contrast that to the 4×5 film that I shot many years ago it seems that there is a general movement in the direction of wider field of view.

Progress usually comes in small increments, over a fair amount of time, and while I consider 16X9 to be astep in the right direction, but why not go to 2X1 which is how we see with our eyes? Well, there are several problems that have to be overcome to make that practical.

Cinemascope was achieved in the 1950's with the development of the anamorphic lens which was VERY expensive to produce, and is still well beyond the reach of the typical photo enthusiast. Zeiss has a new Tuit ultra wide angle 12mm lens that sells for well over a thousand dollars and does a good job of handling the usual distortion found in wide angle lenses, but it is still not enough to achieve my 2X1 goal.


Cell phone and many point and shoot cameras allow the user to take sweeping photos that are stitched in the camera. (sometimes) So we know that it is possible to take multiple photos and splice them together electronically, much like people used to splice two prints together to produce a panorama. When we try and do the same thing with an SLR camera the bigger, longer lenses on these cameras create a new problem; parallax. (If you want a good technical explanation of this go to Wikipedia/parallax.)

Panoramas are usually shot from a stationary location, typically a tripod, or monopod. Unfortunately, cameras come with tripod socket in the center of the camera bottom, not anywhere near the entry pupil of the lens so that when the camera is rotated to take multiple photos, each photo is from a different point of view and photos may not align and stitch properly. If you are able to stitch many photos together you end up with a very wide, but short photo that resembles a roll of postage stamps, and doesn't fit any media well.

What is needed is a way to mount your camera on a tripod in the vertical format (for taller panos) and move the center of rotation to the front of the lens to eliminate the parallax problem then stitching becomes quite easy. I started working on the problem five years ago and today I hold, what I have been told, is the only currently active US Patent for a mechanical panoramic camera bracket.


With a typical kit lens, or a wider angle lens, mount your camera vertically on a PanoFix or other panoramic head, attached to a level pod, then start at the left side of your subject and Shoot your first shot, rotate the camera 30 degrees and shoot the second shot. In six shots you will have gathered enough material to produce at least a 80X160 degree field of view.

Depending upon your camera and software it can be easy as that, but there are other considerations that you might want to plan for:

  • Camera shake: it is best to use a remote control or self timer
  • Because of the greater area, you are more apt to encounter variations in light level, so I recommend that each frame be a set of three bracketed exposures for an HDR effect.
  • The wider your lens the more sky & dirt, or ceiling and floor you can get in a single pass. I prefer to use a wide angle lens and make a single row of photos as opposed to trying to shoot multiple rows.
  • Once you get used to shooting panos you will realize that you can shoot 360 degrees. Because you can, doesn't necessarily mean that you should. They tend to be disorienting and defeat the purpose of seeking a more "natural" image.
  • You don't want the camera changing setting as you rotate through your pano, so use manual focus and white balance.
  • In the beginning I used a tripod for every pano, now I nearly always use a monopod and as long as the base stays in the same place and I keep it level it works just fine. Plus it is easier to carry and sets up much quicker.
  • Why would I need a full frame camera that cost more than twice as much and produces smaller photos?
  • Speaking of cost, I recommend Serif Panorama Plus software which is drag and drop simple and has no charge.
Today's Two Lb. Set Up Works Even Better

Today's Two Lb. Set Up Works Even Better

My first Pano kit of camera, lens, head, and tripod weighed over twelve pounds. Now everything weighs about 2 Lbs, and I can shoot panos almost as quickly and easily as normal photos. The finished photos are around 50MP and can be blown up to wall sized murals.

About the Author:
Started at age 12, was teaching darkroom in the public school system when I was 16,as a teachers aid. I have now been shooting for sixty years. I shoot an Olympus E5 in JPG only and edit in Elements without using layers. (Yes I know that is not how it should be done) My photos will have to speak for themselves.

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Good Example of How to Raise Money on Kickstarter as a Photographer (Video)

Posted: 03 Aug 2013 11:27 AM PDT

Photographer Joseph D.R. OLeary had a wonderful idea, even if it was a bit different than your typical idea. He wanted to create a photographic collection of bearded men. So over the next 18 months OLeary photographed over 130 men with beards. But it wasn’t just enough to shoot them. He wanted to publish a book for his subjects. However, OLeary’s funds were a bit low, so he took his idea to the place where the people could decide if his book was worth publishing, Kickstarter:

Kickstarter is a place for those with great ideas, but little or no money to realize them. Anyone can create a Kickstarter campaign. Though all the promotion, writing, videos, and photos are up to you, this site lays the groundwork for you and makes it easy for people to view your page and donate to your cause. Besides all the content you can add, Kickstarter allows you create rewards for the people who donate money. You can create multiple tiers, each of which has a different donation amount and different reward. Most commonly, low pledges will give the donators an acknowledgement or a special thank you of some sort. The highest rewards can give you as much a meeting with the project creator him/herself.

Just because you have a great idea doesn’t mean you’ll get donators though. Joseph D.R. OLeary has put a lot of time and effort into his project and has already funded a great deal of it. The money he’s raising will only go towards printing costs and will not reimburse him for his prior investments (Via Petapixel). Every project has a monetary goal. With over 300 backers, OLeary has already surpassed his goal of $27,000 which he says he will put towards higher production quality.

beards and men

"As a photographer, I've always been compelled by portraiture — of myself and others. People are fascinating and everyone has a story to tell."

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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