- Types of Vignetting in Photography
- Parallax Animation: Bringing Still Photographs to Life (Video)
- 10 Things to Know Before Buying a Camera Flash (Video)
Posted: 20 Jan 2014 04:19 PM PST
Vignetting is a decrease in brightness of a photograph around its edges which are furthest from the centre of your photograph — Not only is the brightness of the photograph comprised in this darkened region but vignetting can have a negative effect on the accurate saturation of your timeless artistic work as well.
Interestingly the term vignetting is commonly used by book publishers when describing a decorative design placed at the border of a book page, to emphasize the beginning of a chapter for example. But in photography, Vignetting does not usually have positive connotations associated to it, unless it is your specific endeavour to use this darkened outcome as a special or unusual effect around the edge of a particularly creative composition.
There are four ways in which vignetting can occur and to understand all of them, correctly, is complicated. A synopsis, of the types of vignetting that you are likely to experience at some stage of your photography career, follows.
The first type of vignetting can be purposefully achieved, using post processing tools, in a broad range of image manipulation software offerings such as Photoshop or CorelDraw. Of course the post processing vignetting result is chosen by the photographer, and definitely adds some degree of creativity to photographs, in particular to portrait photographs, but can make photographs look somewhat old fashioned. If this is not your intention steer well clear of these vignetting tools.
The second type of vignetting is natural vignetting, which occurs as a result of the angle at which the light coming into your camera, through the lens, impinges on your image sensor. This form of vignetting is particularly evident in low-end compact digital cameras. It should be known that some of the software which drives these cameras is coded in such a way as to reduce the effects of light falling off at the peripherals of your photograph. Zoom lenses which are above a certain focal length are far less prone to natural vignetting, but wide angle lenses suffer allot from accentuated vignetting.
The third type of vignetting occurs when there is a physical obstruction between the light rays trying to enter your camera and these bundles of light eventually striking your image sensor. This is most often caused through incorrect lens hoods, a cocktail of lens filters stacking up higher than a burger from Burger King, or some kinds of secondary lens such as extension tubes. In this case, it stands to reason that the smaller the aperture setting on the camera, the worse this mechanical vignetting will become. Stepping the aperture down will help to rid your photos of this very undesirable effect.
The fourth type of vignetting is often a result of the actual size of a modern day lens. Expensive lenses often have 20 individual elements or more! By the time the light has fought its way through the elements, it has lost some of its intensity, as the rear elements are slightly shielded from the incoming light by the lenses in front of them. This is where modern lenses with aperture values of 2.8 or less literally shine, as when stepping down to these wide open aperture values you can usually completely eliminate vignetting.
About the Author
Posted: 20 Jan 2014 02:12 PM PST
Update: the photographer made a followup tutorial to answer all the reader questions, see it here:
A little technique called "parallax" can add a lot of life to your photographs. Joe Fellows, founder of a London-based animation and short film production company called Make Productions, describes the parallax technique as the process of separating a photograph into layers, opening the layered file in a compositing program like Adobe After Effects, and then rearranging the layers and zooming a camera "into" the picture.
Fellows is highly-acclaimed in the animation world, but happily, he still has time for the little people—or at least time enough to create this brief-but-helpful tutorial about how to add parallax animation to a static image to create a multidimensional scene:
In his tutorial, Fellows provides a very basic, step-by-step walk-through of the parallax process.
First, he brings the selected image into Adobe Photoshop or another type of processing software and "cuts out" all of the different layers using a wand tool—in the case of the photo Fellows uses to demonstrate, the layers are: himself, each separate ping pong ball, and the background.
Next, Fellows hides those selected layers and paints the background in the empty spaces using the clone tool. Painting the background behind the object layers is what will help to create the "2.5D" effect by allowing the viewer to see behind the objects as if they're moving through space.
After painting, he adds the object layers back in, saves the file with the individual layers, and brings the file into a compositing program like After Effects. This is where the magic happens and Fellows creates the illusion of moving through 3D space.
In After Effects, Fellows rearranges and re-sizes those layers, pushing some close into the foreground and others farther away. He also resizes the background layer and adjusts it so that it is accurate to the viewer, being mindful of the camera effect he plans to add.
All that's left then is to add the subtle camera zoom and animate the objects by pinpointing various objects and limbs and adjusting them to move ever-so-slightly throughout the five second frame.
Fellows has worked on animation projects for Channel 4, Cartoon Network, Channel Five, and BBC, among others. He has most recently been working with Ad Hoc Films and World Wildlife Fund to infuse hundreds of WWF photographs with movement in a short film. This sequence showcases some of the resulting images:
Go to full article: Parallax Animation: Bringing Still Photographs to Life (Video)
Posted: 20 Jan 2014 01:57 PM PST
Choosing the right flash can be a daunting experience, especially if you are new to the world of flash photography. With so many options, brands, and fancy terminology it’s easy to get confused. Thankfully, this is a new video clip highlighting 10 bits of insight that will not only have you laughing, but will also help you find the perfect flash. Have a look:
1. TTL? A-TTL? E-TTL? What Does That Even Mean?! – TTL stands for Through The Lens, what that means is that the camera communicates and controls the flash settings automatically. It uses a pre-flash to measure and determine certain variables which will decide how much power the actual flash will throw off–and this all happens in real time!
2. How Important Is It To Have Manual Mode? – Well, that depends on you, the shooter! For ultimate control and to get the most out your flash unit, by all means you will want manual mode. This will also allow you to use any brand flash with any brand of camera with a standard hotshoe.
3. Recycle Time – Being able to rapidly fire your flash will be very helpful especially if you are a fast shooter or are trying to capture action sequences. Nickel–metal hydride batteries (which are rechargeable) often give a better recycle time, plus they are environmentally friendly!
4. Understanding Guide Numbers – The guide number can help you calculate the range of a specific flash by dividing the guide number by the f/stop you plan on using.
flash-to-subject distance = guide number / f-stopFor example, the Nikon SB-910 used in the video has a guide number of 34 meters. So, shooting at f4, you could use the following equation to figure out that the SB 910 has a range of 8.5 meters.
8.5 meters = 34 meters / f4
5. Flexibility is Essential – One of the downfalls of your cameras built-on flash is the inability to direct it in any direction other than where the camera is pointed. This makes it difficult to bounce it, much less control it. If the head of your flash unit doesn’t allow for tilting or turning, it somewhat defeats the purpose!
6. Going Wireless – There are three options available to get you strobing wirelessly. One is to buy a flash with an optical trigger to use with almost any brand of camera which supports optical triggers, but you will sacrifice the TTL ability. Alternatively, you can buy a flash unit compatible with your camera to preserve TTL capabilities. Lastly, you could use Pocket Wizards to mix and match your flashes with different cameras and maintain TTL.
7. Longevity – Flashes, like any light bulb, will not keep flashing forever. They will eventually burn out which is why it’s important to research how long a specific model will last before it’s time to replace it.
8. Temperature Control – Flash units have the tendency to get hot when they are in heavy use. On some units this means they may shut down completely or start operating at a lesser power. Know what to expect if you will be putting your speedlight through rigorous shooting sessions.
9. Functions And Features – Not all flash units are created equally. Some have advanced features such as zoom, multi-flash for rapid burst shooting, and modeling lights for previewing the light. Evaluate your photography style and needs to prevent overpaying for features you will likely never use.
10. In The End, You Get What You Pay For – In general, the higher end flashes will feature a higher durability and resilience to wear and tear.
As Kai mentions in the video, there are other factors that can and should go into purchasing the right flash for your needs. Be sure to ask friends and fellow photographers for their recommendations, too!
Go to full article: 10 Things to Know Before Buying a Camera Flash (Video)
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