- Light Painting Photography Techniques: 7 Useful Tips
- 5 Things You Need to Do to Become a Better Photographer (Video)
- Interesting Photo of the Day: Hobbiton in the Morning
- How to Use Graduated Filters in Lightroom (Video)
- Clever Illustrator Puts His Cartoon Drawings into Real Life (Album)
Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:18 PM PDT
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Light painting is a fun photography technique where photographers use camera flashes, flashlights, and spotlights to paint light in a scene. It can easily qualify as the best/most fun night photography technique. Although many photographers have attempted it before, only a few have mastered the technique. Below are some very useful tips to consider when you want to perfect your light painting skills.
1. Try out different light sources
This is very important You shouldn’t try painting everything using the same light. To avoid odd and flat pictures, consider using different light sources, otherwise your work will defy the sole purpose of light painting, which is to create unique light impressions on different landscape parts at night.
2. Use dimmable light sources
For the best results, you need to choose dimmable light sources, because light painting relies heavily on light intensity. To get the best results, you must be able to alter light intensity whichever way you like to ensure every part of a photo gets the right amount of light.
3. Take care of the noise
It is important to note that long exposures create more noise. Because of this, take time painting in light, but don’t forget to factor in this small detail; it can be the difference between good and bad lighting photography.
4. Take multiple shots
To get the best light painting photos, you need to take as many shots as possible. Multiple shots help you treat different parts of a photo separately which should be the case in light painting.
5. Use flashlights that don’t have hot spots
Moving your flashlight beam randomly when taking light photos doesn’t make a big difference even if your flashlight has a hot spot (a bright circle located at the center of the beam). The hotspot does, however, make a big difference when you are considering fine details in scenes. If you don’t have money to buy the perfect flashlight, consider taping tissue paper or wax paper over your flashlight lens to eliminate hot spots.
6. Include night photography techniques
Just because you are light painting shouldn’t mean you forget typical night photography techniques. You must consider techniques like mirror lockup, cable release, long exposure noise reduction, etc., to ensure you get the best outcome.
7. Mix ambient light
You should also remember to incorporate ambient light—like street lights or moon light—to add mood to your photos. Using flashlights shouldn’t mean you ignore all other light sources.
Keep these tips in mind next time you head out for a light painting shoot.
About the Author:
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Go to full article: Light Painting Photography Techniques: 7 Useful Tips
Posted: 05 Jun 2014 02:35 PM PDT
Good photographers aren’t made overnight. And most accomplished photographers will admit that their earliest attempts at the craft were pretty unimpressive. In this inspiring interview, San Francisco based photographer Jim Goldstein shares his advice for novice photographers looking to improve their skills:
Goldstein’s earliest experience with a camera left him feeling incredibly discouraged. His first roll of film came back from the developer without a single good image, and he temporarily gave up the hobby. Now, as a successful professional photographer, he shares what it takes to go from snapping those first failed shots to creating photographs that make you proud.
How to Get Better at Photography
1. Have fun.
Taking yourself too seriously is a good way to get frustrated or quit altogether. Remember to keep photography fun. Enjoy the experience of learning and come to terms with the fact that getting great photos requires time and practice. And lots of it.
2. Know your equipment.
There are no shortcuts. If you don’t understand depth of field, aperture, or shutter speed—just to name a few of photography’s technical aspects—you’ll get discouraged quickly. The key to getting the photos you envision is to know how your camera works.
3. Focus on your subject.
Free your mind of other worries and focus on the subject you’re trying to capture. Photography is more than pressing a button. To make art, you must be present and focused while you’re out shooting.
4. Follow a routine.
You can prevent many common mistakes simply by coming up with a routine to follow each time you go out to shoot. Keep a mental or physical checklist: charge your batteries, format your memory cards, clean your lens, check your camera settings, etc. When following your list becomes habit, you’ll be less likely to make silly mistakes.
5. Never give up.
Goldstein’s most valuable piece of advice is to keep at it. Every photographer, no matter how experienced, has been tempted to pack away his or her camera after a disheartening shoot. Do not give in to this temptation.
Go to full article: 5 Things You Need to Do to Become a Better Photographer (Video)
Posted: 05 Jun 2014 12:28 PM PDT
Don’t you wish you were here? Photographer Trey Ratcliff captured this beautiful morning in Hobbiton, in the Shire…okay, it’s actually on the set location of the Lord of the Rings film series, in Matamata, New Zealand. Whether in New Zealand or Tolkien’s Middle Earth, this HDR image is simply stunning:
Ratcliff was invited to tour Hobbiton by Ian Brodie, a fellow HDR enthusiast who leads tours of the region for Hobbiton Movie Set Tours. He gives a short demonstration of his process in shooting HDR at the Party Tree in the Shire in the following video:
Ratcliff is well-known for his HDR photography, and one of his photographs was the first HDR image to hang in the Smithsonian.
Go to full article: Interesting Photo of the Day: Hobbiton in the Morning
Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:55 AM PDT
We could all stand to shoot more during the "golden hour"—that splendid wash of yellow and dramatic light created at sun up and sun down. But sometimes we must shoot in less than desirable lighting situations, and in turn, we may end up with a handful of mediocre images. In this video tutorial, Mark Wallace demonstrates how to use graduated filters in Lightroom to give new life to bland images:
The original image, shot in bright sun with a Canon EF 16-35mm wide angle zoom lens, has unbalanced exposure and dull colors. Wallace adds a 1-stop under exposed vertical filter to compensate for the left side of the image being over exposed. He layers on a second horizontal filter to add intensity and detail to the sky and water. As Wallace describes, using the graduated filter option in Lightroom is one quick tool to help add vibrancy and depth to washed-out images.
How to Apply a Graduated Filter to Your Images
1. Before you make any changes, in the Library module of Lightroom, right-click on your image, then click on Create Virtual Copy. This will generate a new copy to work from, leaving the original for easy comparison.
2. Enter the Develop module of Lightroom.
3. Color correct your image using the global settings. Change anything from the color temperature to contrast, highlights, or clarity by using the sliders in the "Basic" panel.
4. Click the Graduated Filter button—a rectangle icon in the right side panel.
5. Click on the Effect drop down menu to reveal filter options that will help you get started, or select Custom and use the sliders to create your desired filter.
6. On your image, click and drag where you would like the graduated filter to be placed.
7. Fiddle around with the filter settings. Try these settings when fixing a semi-cloudy, bright sky: Take the exposure down a stop, add some contrast, pull up the shadows to 60 for some sky detail, set the clarity to around 65, add some saturation, and pull up the sharpness to about 35.
8. The little box on the bottom left hand corner of the Graduated Filter panel can be clicked on and off to show the image with and without the filter.
9. Click on Close when you are done with the filter. A small grey circle appears when a filter is closed; it can be clicked to reopen a filter.
10. The majority of the filter will appear in front of the first line. The area between the 3 lines displays the fade of the filter. Moving the lines closer together will result in a harsher transition, while pulling them apart will create a softer one. You can also rotate the filter to line it up with horizons, buildings, etc.
What are your favorite graduated filter tricks?
Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:15 AM PDT
Talk about putting a little fun into everyday life. Storyboard artist Marty Cooper (aka “Hombre McSteez”) turns goofy little doodles into “an odd creature-infested cartoon universe” using transparent animation cels, sharpies, white-out, and his iPhone 5S:
Cooper uses traditional animation cels and his iPhone 5s to insert his cartoons into real world scenes. He can take virtually any everyday scene—from a coffee shop to a simple lonesome country highway—and turn them into magical stories involving giant bugs drinking coffee or Bigfoot mama and baby roaming the countryside.
The artist takes his images even further to make short animated videos, really bringing the creatures to life (via PetaPixel). Check out Hombre McSteez’s Aug(De)Mented Reality:
To create this type of video, Cooper uses a unique stop-motion animation technique which involves drawing on both the transparent cels and his iPhone and some post-animation digital effects. The results are both amusing and impressive.
Go to full article: Clever Illustrator Puts His Cartoon Drawings into Real Life (Album)
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