- Pose Couples and Groups Like a Professional Wedding Photographer (Video)
- Interesting Photo of the Day: A Magical Russian Childhood
- Introduction to Astrophotography
- Robot Creates Absurdly Detailed Map of the Human Face (Video)
- Should Photographers Help or Shoot During an Emergency? (Video)
Posted: 21 Mar 2014 06:37 PM PDT
Too many wedding photographers fall into the same routine pitfalls: standing large groups in a uniform line, not bringing enough softboxes to cover everyone, and, worst of all, posing the bride and groom unnaturally. Wedding photographers have to know what works for individual couples and place each person to highlight his or her best features. In this information-packed video, Moshe Zusman gives some excellent tips to help you stylize your next wedding shoot:
Ask your friends or family to pose them in your spare time. Get a feel for what it means to move someone, because you don’t want to look hesitant on the wedding day. An even better idea, Moshe says, is to work with the couple for an engagement session. This less formal shoot can establish early on a connection between you and your clients.
Come wedding day, you want to work as efficiently as possible. Scout locations in advance to know where you want to shoot. A good bet is natural light—even if the room isn’t that gorgeous, or the background is kind of plain, with a tight enough focus, the lighting can engage your subject enough on its own.
Get Them On Your Side
Make It Look High-Fashion
Try posing your brides in C- and S-curves, with their backs or legs arched. Use as many different poses as you can until you find one that makes their body shape shine. She might look all right with her arms hanging down in a straight line, but usually curves are more attractive and definitely more visually interesting.
Uncertainty is a plague. Once you show signs of discomfort, your couple will catch it. But if you’re keeping the mood light but staying assertive, your couple will loosen up and start to trust you a little more. Attitude affects pose. Imagine your shot will wind up on the cover of a fashion magazine like Vogue or GQ. Very particular details like placing the groom’s hands in his pockets (thumb out to create definition) or placing the bride’s hand on her fiancee’s shoulder makes for more interesting visual images than simply standing side-by-side and smiling.
Make Big Groups Interesting
Everybody knows “the group wedding shot”—straight line, smiling at the camera, everyone and everything symmetrical. Isn’t that boring by now? Instead, create levels by setting your parties up on stairs. Don’t be afraid to be meticulous, explain your image and take your time. If you don’t have physical levels, work with varied lighting using off-camera lighting like sharp Qflashes, and stagger up your group.
Here’s a good example of a dynamic group shot, with a story to explain the logic below:
Go to full article: Pose Couples and Groups Like a Professional Wedding Photographer (Video)
Posted: 21 Mar 2014 04:45 PM PDT
There’s nothing like the relationship between a boy and his dog, alone against the world. That’s what Russian photographer Elena Shumilova so beautifully captures in this image from her quiet farm outside Moscow, Russia:
She uses a Canon 5D Mark II body with a 135mm lens. But it’s truly the post-production that makes the picture sing “magical realism.” She likely works with an undersaturated shot, increasing the yellow tones and desaturating the image for a pseudo-sepia feel. Shooting at f/2, her lens is wide-open, which distinctly blurs the background. Of course, it helps that her kid is pretty adorable and that her backyard looks like the set from a Narnia movie.
We’ve shared Shumilova’s work before; it’s hard to resist her heart-warming images. Hear more about these magical photos from the artist herself in this short video profile:
Go to full article: Interesting Photo of the Day: A Magical Russian Childhood
Posted: 21 Mar 2014 04:21 PM PDT
Shooting the stars at night can be a difficult but hugely fulfilling discipline in photography. We have all seen those utterly fantastic shots of stars streaking across the sky, or the milky way in all of its colorful glory, and marveled at this snapshot of the heavens.
The night sky can stir all sorts of imaginative thoughts, making you wonder who or what is out there, whether we alone, and just how these photographers take such fantastic shots!
Well, there is good news and bad news for those who wish to emulate them. The bad news is that you really do need to have access to a DSLR, a good tripod, and lens. You will also need to develop an intuitive sense of how to use the camera settings and just where to point your camera in the night sky. The good news is that there really is no magic going on with the camera. The controls are there to be manipulated, and it is distinctly possible to learn how and when to use your camera to get these shots.
Ideally, you are going to want to get out of the city and into the country to avoid light pollution. The warm glow of the city lights tend to mask the true glory of the night sky, which I am sure that anyone who has spent time in rural areas will testify to. Coastal areas offer better visibility.
Aside from the post-processing, taking good shots of the Milky Way is also a matter of knowing just where in the heavens to point your camera. However, it is not needle in a haystack stuff, and you don’t have to be an expert astronomer or understand which planet is which, or which star is part of which distant constellation, to be able to figure it out.
Interpreting the celestial canvas is a matter of understanding the seasons, which dictate where the distant stars are in the night sky. If you really don’t care to learn this amazing science, you can always download a Stellarium, which will give you an idea of where to point your lens in the night sky. This will give you an idea of where to point the camera at a given time of year. For example, if you live in the northern hemisphere, you should point the camera up high into the night sky during winter and in the south during summer, where you will see Orion and the wider Milky Way. In the spring, the Milky Way is likely to be more on the western periphery of the night sky. During the autumn, you are most likely to see the Milky Way high above the western horizon.
You will need a DSLR camera, as these tend to perform much more efficiently in low light conditions, picking up all sorts of data that we are barely able to see with the naked eye. The lens aperture is of fundamental importance. A wide open lens (say f/1.4 or f/2.8) allows your camera to gather the most light. However, this will come at the cost of sharpness toward the edge of your images. An aperture of f/2.8 can produce acceptable results, but you really do need a lens of the highest quality. Be careful not to stop too far back to, say, f/11 or above. However, at f/4 there may be a possibility that the blurred effect can be more pleasing than the sharp effect of stars at that aperture size. Therefore, it can often be better to accept a little blurring as a more pleasing result. Prime lenses tend to offer the best quality, but that comes at a cost. They often have a focal length which is not entirely suitable for the wide angle skyscapes you expect with astrophotography.
Focusing in the dark can be a troublesome business, but an important one. Achieving what is known as “hyperfocus” or “infinity focus” is the only way to ensure that as much of the scene is in focus as possible. However, this does not just mean just turning the focus ring to the widest setting. Hyperfocal distance is actually just short of this. There is a way around this though; focusing on a flash light placed around 50 feet away (or the distance to hyperfocus) can be just as effective as a more scientific method of determining the plum point on the focal ring. The second method would be to use live-view and zoom in (with digital zoom rather than optical zoom) and adjust the focal ring until the stars are sharp. In my experience, though, this is not always an accurate or stress-free way to focus on the stars.
When taking certain types of astrophotography, it is actually better not to capture any movement in the stars themselves. This means you are going to have to limit your exposure time. In my experience, limiting to 20 to 30 seconds will probably suffice. Of course, the closer the stars are to the celestial pole, the shorter any movement will be, and vice versa. When looking straight to the north star, with a long focal length, you may even be able to extend the exposure to 90 seconds.
Manipulating ISO will also provide some control over both the number of stars in view and the quality of the image. These, unfortunately, are conflicting goals. The more you crank up the ISO, the poorer the image quality will be. ISOs of greater than 800 will produce noise, even when viewed at large scale. However, the benefits are that the camera is letting the light flood into the sensor, bringing out a number of distant stars that perhaps aren’t even visible to the naked eye.
See more on photographing star trails at http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-photographing-stars
About the Author:
Posted: 21 Mar 2014 03:39 PM PDT
Cartography is the study and practice of creating maps. Imagine a robot performing the task. Like Google Earth, the machine would have to take dozens of detailed square-shaped photographs and patch them together to create an enormous image. Now imagine a robot doing that same process–except instead of a satellite, it’s a macro lens, and instead of Earth it’s a human face:
This project is the brainchild of Daniel Boschung, an experimental German photographer and photojournalist. The video does not do his work justice at all: the images look like standard, if more detailed than usual, head shots.
To get the real effect, you need to visit the project’s main website and tour the portraits yourself. You can zoom in from a fairly attractive face, like this…
And ultimately this…
That’s actually not even the closest one could go, but to zoom in any more makes the image look unidentifiably human. Which, I believe, is partly Boschung’s goal: to dehumanize the human face, to make it look static and explorable from a mechanical, even scientific perspective.
Boschung used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a 180mm macro lens, which he transformed into a telecentric lens, along with the unique Scoro S 32000 RFS 2 flash to withstand the technical demands of the shoot.
The entire rig was controlled by an ABB industrial robot, controlled by a software script written especially for this project. Boschung monitored the progress on a computer, but purposely stayed away from the lens itself as much as possible, allowing the automaton to do the work of taking 600 individual photographs, and compiling them into a portrait made up of a baffling 900 million pixels.
Can you recognize 900 million pixels when you see them? The result is subtle, to say the least—until you zoom in.
Go to full article: Robot Creates Absurdly Detailed Map of the Human Face (Video)
Posted: 21 Mar 2014 02:10 PM PDT
When Al Diaz saw a screaming woman run out from her SUV, he didn’t think twice: he pulled his car over, flashed his hazard lights, and ran toward the frightened woman. Her five-month-old nephew had stopped breathing. Others were calling 911, so Diaz began waving his arms, trying to find someone who knew CPR. Eventually, someone who was qualified showed up and began to help the infant, patting his back gently and performing mouth-to-mouth. Only after he ran to find a police officer, four were steadily on the scene, and the baby began to recover and breathe again, did Diaz, a photojournalist for the Miami Herald, grab his camera and shoot.
Listen to Diaz’s full story here:
Suddenly, the baby stopped breathing again. Since Diaz already had his camera and there was enough help, he felt comfortable shooting the scene.
After the February 20, 2014 incident, Diaz was presented with the NPPA Humanitarian Award for his choice to intervene during a time of crisis (via PetaPixel). It’s a tricky line to tread as a photojournalist, but Diaz makes morally strong decisions: he may have sacrificed some shots early on, but being a good person should always come first.
Go to full article: Should Photographers Help or Shoot During an Emergency? (Video)
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