- Glass Photography Tips
- Photographer’s Project to Find the Average Face of Women from Each Country
- A Rare Peek at How Canon Camera Parts Work (Video)
- Commercial Car Photography Shoot For Fiat (Video)
Posted: 18 Jan 2014 06:23 PM PST
Photographing glass objects can be a challenge that frustrates the most experienced photographers. It reflects everything. It will give the most undesirable catch lights. And it can at times be almost impossible to get focused properly.
A quick look at web-sites that cater to home craft vendors will reveal that only the best photographers have learned how to control the nuances of the glass object. So let’s take a quick look at how we can improve our capabilities when it comes to glass.
Once we have come to truly understand how reflective glass is (usually after a couple of hours of trying to get a good photograph) we may come to the conclusion that it is something we are going to have to learn to live with.
But what about all those beautiful advertisements of crystal with absolutely no reflections and a catch light perfectly placed. They must have done it in the computer – they surely could not have taken the picture that way. Well there are ways to make that photograph in camera and one of the first rules to understand is you want a lot of black colored material around your set.
When you look at a high quality photograph of a glass object you will notice that the extreme left and right sides of the object are black. That is from the black corkboards set up just out of camera view on both sides of the object. The glass is reflecting the black but since it is black the picture is much more desirable. Additionally, the black color stops a lot of the back and forth repetitive reflection that other colors would not. In my studio, the walls are white and removing the black corkboards instantaneously results in a disastrous capture.
When lighting a glass object there are two primary places I light from; directly behind the object and directly above. When I have the object placed between the camera and the light source, with black corkboards on both sides, and a black curtain around the set it is very difficult to get a single sign of reflection in the object. The edges of the object are a rich black and the whole rendering looks very pleasing. I have had clients look at these pictures and immediately want a glass of wine – the desired effect.
When lighting from directly above I usually want a controlled catch light on the object. Using the modeling light on my studio strobe gets me in the neighborhood. Then it is a matter of shooting and moving the object slightly and repeating until I get the right effect.
In both of the above examples I can have liquids in the glass or pitcher but I find I am limited to water with a small amount of food coloring. Both of these lighting set ups require the liquid to be very translucent (near transparent). Getting the liquid into the container without splashing is a challenge. I use a funnel with a short tube and keep the bottom of the tube at the bottom of the container until I have filled to the desired level. I then use a paper towel to wipe the tube as I am extracting it to minimize dripping.
But what about objects filled with a near opaque liquid such as a bottle of red wine? One of my favorite wine shots is when I place a softbox on the studio strobe and then put a piece of black tape horizontally and vertically on the face of the softbox and the reflection in the bottle changes from studio lighting to a window. Once again, I have to surround the set with black material to keep the light from bouncing back and forth all over the place.
I only use manual focus when photographing glass as the auto focus system can be easily confused. I always check my dioptic setting on my viewfinder first with a solid object to make sure it is set right. I check my focus before every shot as I am normally using a very shallow depth-of-field.
My goal with this article was to give you some confidence when photographing glass objects. I’m sure a little experimentation with the above techniques will do exactly that. I would be very excited to hear what you think.
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Posted: 18 Jan 2014 05:49 PM PST
Is it possible to determine what the average face of a nationality looks like?
Using photos of women across 41 countries, a photographer has merged the images using Face Research software to create one face for each country:
It’s amazing what computer software can do these days when it comes to photography. Face Research actually lets you take anywhere from two to thousands of photos and merge them into one final, flawless image.
A composite image, actually, that is more attractive than its constituent faces. As written on the Face Research website, the Averageness Hypothesis of attractiveness proves
That can’t be denied in this case. These final portraits are definitely beautiful, the average woman is stunning!
Go to full article: Photographer’s Project to Find the Average Face of Women from Each Country
Posted: 18 Jan 2014 02:20 PM PST
Earlier this month techies from all over congregated at the the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show where visitors to the convention were free to roam through thousands of booths, each chock full of electronic goodies. One of the highlights of the show included the Canon booth where visitors were treated to a rare glimpse of how their cameras work from the inside out. Take a look at the video below which features some of its coolest components:
One of the demos seen in the clip shows how Canon’s electromagnetic diaphragm functions in both video and still modes. The electromagnetic diaphragm can be found in all of Canon’s EF lenses, such as the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens and their cult classic “nifty fifty”.
Another fascinating aspect of the demo was the optical image stabilization which showed how the insides of the lens fluttered around to counteract any shake that was coming from outside the camera (i.e. camera shake). Canons optical image stabilization can be found on many of their products including some of the more affordable point and shoot cameras.
Go to full article: A Rare Peek at How Canon Camera Parts Work (Video)
Posted: 18 Jan 2014 11:12 AM PST
Many commercial projects can take a while to complete, such is the case with an ad campaign for the automobile manufacturer, Fiat. Over the course of six months, photographer Dave Hill worked on a project for Fiat to create over 200 images to be used in various magazines, billboards, and dealerships. Take a look at the following behind-the-scenes footage that Hill was nice enough to put together for his fans. The clip is about 30 minutes long, but gives viewers a lot of insight and more great photography than you could shake a stick at:
Before any photos were snapped, Hill spent an entire month planning the shoot. With such a large project to work on, the team set up shop in a large Los Angeles studio. He then spent the following three weeks creating the 215 images that Fiat requested for the campaign, which required a vast multitude of shots to be taken. The studio offered Hill the opportunity for set design and ultimate control of the light, but many of the shots were done on location.
Outside of assuring the lighting, focus, and perspective was spot on, Hill was also tasked with directing a slew of assistants and talent. Keeping everything organized by utilizing storyboards and posting descriptions of each shot helped ensured that the project kept running smoothly.
Many of the finals shots were products of composite multiple frames together. This approach allowed the photographer completely fine tune the lighting for each specific area. He used a large selection of light modifiers including Pocket Wizards to control his flashes.
After all the shots were done, the team entered post production. A task which took the team of five people about five months to complete. Most of the post production work was done in Photoshop. Each person was assigned a specific task such as handling the masking, one person strictly worked on compositing, etc. Again, high organization kept the team running efficiently and resulted in a host of great images.
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