- 3 Tips for Better Summer Photography
- 12 Impossible Self-Portraits That Will Blow Your Mind (Album)
- Nikon Announces the D810 FX DSLR Camera
- Extreme Lava Photographers Document Hawaii’s Volcanoes (Video)
- Should You Use a Teleconverter? (Video)
Posted: 28 Jun 2014 12:08 AM PDT
The fun and hectic days of summer are upon us, and that means taking lots of photos at backyard barbecues, days at the beach, camping trips, and other fun outdoor activities. But just because it’s bright and sunny out doesn’t mean every photo is guaranteed to turn out right. In fact, summer photography comes with challenges—a glaring sun, blinding reflections from the water, just to name a couple.
Here are three great tips for taking great photos this summer.
1. Set up a fill flash
We’ve all done it. You find the perfect backdrop and you position your subject in front of it, delighted you’re going to end up with the perfect photo. Then, when you go to review your shot, you see that your subject is dark because your camera lens was facing toward the sun.
How do you solve this problem? Well, you can try repositioning your subject, though oftentimes this isn’t possible without completely spoiling the shot you intended to get. Or, you could come back at another time, but this is most often not possible.
There are easy ways to get light onto your subject. One is to use a fill flash.
To fill in the subject with your camera flash, you’ll need to be able to set the f-stop on your camera. First, take a reading with the light meter built into your camera. Be sure that your shutter speed is slower than, or equal to, your flash’s sync speed. Then, go ahead and set your flash so it exposes at an f-stop 1 or 2 stops larger than the f-stop you set on the camera (you are opening up the lens, so more light gets in).
2. Use reflectors
Fill flash isn’t the only way to bounce light onto the front of your subject. You can also buy reflectors or you can make them yourself using white cardboard. You’ll have to experiment with how much light to reflect back onto your subject, so be ready to take a couple of different exposures.
3. Reduce glare
First, try a polarizing filter. It could reduce or completely eliminate glare. It will also deepen the colors of the sky, trees, grass, etc. You will need to experiment a bit with your polarizing filter, but the results will be well worth it. The filter reduces overall light reaching the camera, so you will need to adjust your f stop accordingly.
Also, glaring water surfaces may require taking a little more time with metering. For example, if you’re trying to capture sea foam on the waves as they break and the water is dark, try reducing the exposure by one stop. You can do this by reducing the f stop or reducing the shutter speed. If your subject is darker than the surrounding water (or other glaring surface) you can take your meter reading close up on your darker subject, and then step back to take the picture, overriding your camera’s automatic setting with the reading you got close up.
Put these three tips to use, and you’ll see a lot more of your summer time photos turn out the way you want. Of course, experimentation is the key. Don’t be afraid to try a lot of different exposures. You’ll be glad you did when you get the one shot everyone wants.
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Posted: 27 Jun 2014 07:45 PM PDT
Imagine what your dreams would look like if you could photograph them. The mind has a unique, sometimes scary, often odd way of taking everyday life and turning into abstract dream sequences. Well, one artist has the amazing talent of consciously manipulating those dream sequences into surreal, abstract photo-manipulated works of art:
Photographer and Photoshop magician Martín De Pasquale is a digital artist who translates real life into dark, quirky and often completely mind-bending images. The Argentinean photographer first takes pictures of himself in ordinary settings–although the pose may not always be so ordinary—then he uses Photoshop to layer those images with more conceptual photos to create imaginative and dreamlike portrayals:
De Pasquale seems to have endless ideas for his hallucinatory images.
Go to full article: 12 Impossible Self-Portraits That Will Blow Your Mind (Album)
Posted: 27 Jun 2014 05:56 PM PDT
MELVILLE, NY — Today, Nikon announced the D810, the next benchmark in DSLR image quality for professional photographers and cinematographers. The D810 features a brand-new 36.3-megapixel, full-frame FX-format sensor without an optical low pass filter (OLPF) for extreme resolution and staggering dynamic range. Bolstered by Nikon's EXPEED 4 image processing engine, the D810 delivers enhanced response and performance for a wide variety of photographic, cinematic and broadcast disciplines. Whether photographing weddings, fashion or landscapes, shooting documentary-style cinema or video for broadcast, this is the one D-SLR that provides the ultimate in versatility and capability.
Nikon's Greatest Image Quality Yet
The Nikon D810 is the pinnacle of D-SLR image quality, continuing to rival medium format cameras thanks to a variety of Nikon technologies engineered for professional image capture. At the core of the D810 is a brand-new, 36.3-megapixel FX-format (7360 x 4912 resolution) CMOS sensor that lets photographers wield the benefits of extremely high resolution, with rich tonality and a broad dynamic range. This super-high resolution gives professionals the power to capture with stellar sharpness, make massive prints or crop liberally with confidence. The OLPF has been removed to maximize the potential of every pixel, resulting in outstanding resolution and sharpness, yielding images that render subtle details with striking fidelity.
Image quality further benefits from the application of Nikon's exclusive EXPEED 4 image processing engine, which also provides enhancements to overall performance while suppressing instances of false color and moiré. Photographing in the field or in the studio, users will see the difference with the ability to create stunning images with unprecedented clarity in gradation rendering, expanded dynamic range and high accuracy white balance. Additionally, EXPEED 4 enhances noise reduction performance, and helps to achieve a wider ISO range, from 64 to 12,800, to improve low-noise image capture in a variety of lighting conditions. The ISO range is also expandable from 32 (Lo-1) to 51,200 (Hi-2) letting the photographer shoot with maximum fidelity under studio lighting or confidently capture a faintly-lit wedding reception or other subjects in even the most challenging light.
Nikon has also implemented a myriad of new features aimed at improving overall image quality for all types of photographers. Nikon's Advanced Scene Recognition System with the 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter III provides unbelievably balanced exposures in difficult scenes. The system analyzes each scene to recognize factors such as color, brightness and human faces with startling precision to determine what type of subject a user is shooting. The system then compares all the data using an image database to adjust exposure, AF, auto white balance, i-TTL flash control and enhances subject tracking.
Further enhancing the D810's image quality, a "Clarity" setting has been added to the available Picture Control adjustment parameters, which adjusts mid tones to enhance details within an image. To help preserve the most amount of detail in shadows and highlights, the new "Flat" Picture Control Profile is now available. This Picture Control Profile allows both photographers and filmmakers to get the widest tonal range out of their cameras for maximum flexibility in post processing. For further customization of Picture Controls, users are now able to make adjustments in .25 step increments for the maximum level of custom color, saturation and brightness levels. Additionally, the D810 employs a new highlight-weighted metering option, which detects the brightness in a scene and determines optimum exposure, preventing blown-out highlights, which is ideal for stage and performance capture.
Video Features Fit for Production
The D810 has powerful video features that make it a valuable tool for any production environment. Whether a user is looking for manual control for pro video application or portability and lens selection for episodic broadcast, the D810 delivers a truly cinematic experience with a wide range of professional-oriented features:
Broadcast quality video: Full HD 1920 x 1080 video capture at a variety of frame rates, including 60/30/24p.
Versatile crop modes: FX and DX crop modes give users a telephoto boost when needed, a feature that has been very popular with camera operators because of its added flexibility on set.
Flat Picture Control profile: This neutral color profile is ideal for video and gives the user maximum flexibility in post-production.
HDMI output: The D810 can relay uncompressed digital video to an external recorder via HDMI, while simultaneously displaying the video on the rear LCD display and external LCD monitor. Operators can now also record both to the internal card (compressed) and to the external recorder (uncompressed) simultaneously.
Smooth in-camera time-lapse and interval timer: Like the Nikon D4S, the D810 uses an auto-exposure setting to help create super-smooth exposure and tonal transitions for professional results with time-lapse and interval-time shooting.
Audio control: The D810 features a built-in stereo microphone, and an external microphone can also be attached, such as the Nikon ME-1. Additionally, wide and voice frequency ranges are also now available for audio capture.
Expanded ISO for video: The ISO range is expanded for video, now encompassing a clean ISO 64 to a versatile 12,800. The Auto-ISO function is also available while recording to adapt the exposure as the light changes, which can eliminate the need to adjust the aperture (in manual mode, ISO 200- 51,200).
Zebra stripes: A zebra pattern can be displayed during live view, making it easy to spot overexposed areas.
Highlight weighted metering: This new setting helps to prevent blown-out highlights in video. This is especially useful when capturing spot-lit stage performances or shoots with harsh directional lighting.
Full manual control: With the innovative Power Aperture setting, it is simple to adjust the exposure and depth of field on the fly while recording to an external recorder or SD/CF cards. In manual mode, users can also control shutter speed and ISO while recording. Additionally, white balance and exposure compensation can be adjusted prior to recording.
Full time AF: The Live View AF has been improved, and now provides faster full-time AF (AF-F mode).
NIKKOR lenses: Cinematographers and filmmakers are supported with more than 80 NIKKOR lenses, many of which are a popular choice for cinema applications because of their brilliant optical quality and characteristics.
Accuracy and Speed
With the ability to brandish the results of such staggering resolution, accuracy and precision become paramount as the need for razor-sharp focus is critical. The D810 renders every subtle detail and nuance in epic clarity, with the enhanced Multi-Cam 3500-FX AF sensor module that utilizes new AF algorithms for fascinating precision, even in challenging light. The focus system also has 15 cross-type AF sensors for enhanced accuracy, and works with the Advanced Scene Recognition System to provide accurate face detection even through the optical viewfinder. The camera also utilizes 11 cross-type sensors that are fully functional when using compatible NIKKOR lenses and teleconverters (aperture value up to f/8), which is especially useful for wildlife photography. In addition to normal, wide area, face tracking and subject tracking modes, the D810 also features the new Group AF mode for enhanced accuracy, even while tracking subjects.
Despite the D810's immense imaging power, it will astound with its rapid response and speedy performance, thanks to the implementation of the EXPEED 4 image processing engine. The addition of EXPEED 4 allows for an overall 30% boost in performance, as well as a faster burst speed and enhancement to overall energy efficiency. Now the D810 is capable of shooting at 5 frames-per-second (fps) at full resolution and 5:4, 6 fps in DX or 1.2x modes, (15.4-megapixel, 25.1-megapixel, respectively), and 7 fps in DX mode (15.4-megapixel), with battery pack. For full workflow versatility, the D810 also gives users the option to shoot in full resolution 14-bit RAW/NEF file format or the new RAW Size Small format. This 12-bit file format is half the resolution and approximately 1/4 the file size of full RAW files, for increased flexibility when speedy downloads are desired or memory space is at a premium.
Refined Controls and Construction
From all day in the studio to an extended assignment in the field, the D810 has been engineered for superior comfort and operability. When looking through the wide and bright viewfinder with 100% coverage, users will see shooting data displayed on an organic EL display element for maximum visibility. The viewfinder now also features a prism coating for enhanced clarity. In addition, the grip has been refined for comfort and ergonomics, and the "i" button has been added for quick access to common mode-dependent settings.
Both photographers and videographers will clearly see the benefits of the new high-resolution (1229K-dot) 3.2-inch LCD screen, which makes it simple to check focus, review images or compose a scene. The color space of the LCD screen can now also be fully customized, a feature that is useful for matching monitor or print calibration settings. Using the high-resolution LCD screen, users can also activate the new Split Screen Display Zoom function. This new mode magnifies two separated points on the same horizontal line, making it easier to confirm the two points are both level and in focus; a true advantage for architecture, industrial and landscape photographers.
Inside the durable magnesium alloy structure of the D810 improvements have also been made, including the use of a redesigned mirror sequencer / balancer unit, which minimizes vibration during shooting to increase sharpness during multiple frame bursts. Additionally, the electronic front curtain can now act as an electronic front shutter when using live view or first composing through the optical viewfinder in mirror-up mode. This new feature is useful to attain exacting sharpness when shooting slow-shutter landscapes or astrophotography. The shutter unit has also been tested to 200,000 cycles for years of maximum reliability. For further durability, the body of the D810 has been thoroughly sealed and gasketed to resist the elements, reinforcing this camera's role in extreme production environments.
Superior System Support
Such extreme resolution requires that no compromise be made on glass, and NIKKOR lenses are the perfect choice to complement the D810. With more than 80 FX and DX-format lenses available, NIKKOR lenses offer the ultimate in image quality with sharpness and faithful color representation that is second to none. To light a scene imaginatively, the D810 has a built-in flash and is compatible with Nikon’s acclaimed Creative Lighting System, including a built-in Commander mode for controlling wireless Speedlights. The MB-D12 battery grip is also available to give users both extra grip and extra power when it is needed most.
For wireless control, the D810 is compatible with a full range of Nikon's remote systems, including the new wireless remote system with the WR-1 to trigger the camera remotely. This system uses radio frequency rather than infrared, eliminating the need for line of sight communication.
Nikon will also be making a Software Developers Kit (SDK) available in the near future for the D810. This SDK will give third party developers the resources needed to create applications and enhance the flexibility of the D810.
Robust New Software Suite: Nikon Capture NX-D
Capture NX-D is Nikon's new software for processing and adjusting RAW images captured with Nikon digital cameras. Capture NX-D is a free software application that will replace the current Capture NX 2 program, and adds interface and performance enhancements. In addition to RAW images, the program can also be used to adjust JPEG and TIFF files. This new software will support many functions needed by professional photographers, including batch image processing, filtering and an enhanced user interface with a variety of displays and floating palettes that are ideal for multiple monitors. Additionally, photographers will also have the ability to adjust parameters including exposure and white balance in RAW files, and can adjust tone curves, brightness and contrast, as well as functions for correcting lateral color aberration and vignetting in JPEG and TIFF files. The software also features a new "sidecar" format, which retains and saves the adjusted image as a separate file.
Nikon will also make available at no charge the new Picture Control Utility 2 software. This new software allows users to create custom Picture Control profiles, which can be easily loaded into the camera.
Price and Availability
The Nikon D810 will be available in late July for the suggested retail price of $3299.95, found here on Amazon.
Posted: 27 Jun 2014 03:58 PM PDT
It’s an old cliché. Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life. Regardless if this is a quote to live by, the boys from Lava Light Galleries seem to have it figured out. For several years, Nick Selway and CJ Kale have been passionately documenting the beautiful island they call home, with a particular interest in the volcanic activity on Hawaii:
Selway and Kale travel six hours several times a week to photograph the wild beauty of volcanoes. The stunning images are backed by a profound appreciation and understanding for the task at hand. It’s a dangerous feat, as the volcanoes are constantly moving—spitting hot rocks, oozing molten lava, and creating extremely high water temperatures.
Go to full article: Extreme Lava Photographers Document Hawaii’s Volcanoes (Video)
Posted: 27 Jun 2014 01:23 PM PDT
We've all been there. You see the perfect photo out in the distance, but it's just too far to capture with the lens that you brought. This is where a teleconverter comes into play. A teleconverter can take your lens and allow it to reach that extra distance for that special photo. In this video, SnapChick explains what a teleconverter is, why you might need one, and when to use it:
The main questions photographers ask about teleconverters are whether they are worth the price whether their benefits outweigh their compromises.
What is a teleconverter?
In the simplest terms, a teleconverter is a lens for your lens. Each teleconverter has a number or a multiplier. Nikon teleconverters come in 1.4x, 1.7x, and 2.0x, whereas Canon teleconverters come in 1.4x and 2.0x. The number of the teleconverter takes the effective focal point of a lens and multiples it by that number. For example, a Nikon 1.7x teleconverter would take a 70mm-200mm f/2.8 telephoto lens and convert it to a 70mm-340mm lens.
What are the downsides to using a teleconverter?
The first downside to a teleconverter is that it does not work with all lenses. Typically, it works with telephoto lenses that were already meant to reach. Make sure to check that the teleconverter will work with the lenses that you already have.
Secondly, the teleconverter causes some loss of light. For reference, a 1.4x teleconverter typically loses 1 stop, a 1.7x loses 1.5 stops, and a 2.0x loses 2 stops. What this means is that if you start with an f/2.8 lens and use a 2.0x teleconverter, the lens will no longer be f/2.8 and instead be f/5.6. Depending on the lighting situation, this could be a negligible change; however, it could also make the difference between a clear photo and a blurry one in some situations.
The last downside is that adding more glass to the original glass can make the photos a bit softer. This is where a lower f-stop will be beneficial. Also, an increase in shutter speed will help compensate for the extra shake due to added length.
Is a teleconverter worth buying?
Teleconverters are easy and lightweight to pack, which makes them perfect for traveling. If you are not too worried about a bit of lost quality, they can be a great deal!
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