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PhotoTube Update

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Sorry for not posting much during February. I’ve been spending most of my time working on PhotoTube.info and I’m starting to see results. For one thing, it now contains over 800 instructional photography videos. Be sure to check it out. Here is a list of current categories and the number of videos in each category:

PhotoTube: Tutorials and Videos for Photographers

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

PhotoTube.info is a website dedicated to photography videos containing tips for producing HDR, infrared, landscape, portrait, flash, macro, night, and product photographs. It is a relatively new website but already contains hundreds of instructional videos. Here is a list of some of the most viewed videos:

  • phototubeDSLR Tips: Night Photography
  • Strobist Preliminaries
  • DSLR Tips: How to blur backgrounds on portraits
  • DSLR Tips: How to blur water for a dreamy effect
  • Merge to HDR in Photoshop
  • Long Exposure Turorial
  • DSLR Tips: Using polarizing filters
  • Secrets of Amazing HDR Photography
  • Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark
  • HDR Photography
  • Strobist Softbox Technique Tutorial
  • In-Camera HDR Using Multiple Exposure
  • Photoshop Tutorial: Creating an HDR Image from a Single RAW File
  • Canon T2i 550D HDR Tutorial
  • Shooting the Moon
  • Landscape Photography Tips: Creative Composition
  • 20 Essential Things for Landscape Photography

It is easy to see which videos have been Recently Added, Most Viewed, and Top Rated as well as many categories. PhotoTube is definitely worth checking out! Oh, by the way, it is completely free!

Moon Watch: November 2012

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

November will have many opportunities to shoot the moon. On November 28, the moon will rise during the blue hour.

Location: Miami, FL (All Times EST)
Sun Moon
Date/Phase Rise Set Rise Set
Nov 26/97% 6:47 AM 5:29 PM 4:15 PM 5:02 AM
Nov 27/99% 6:48 AM 5:29 PM 4:57 PM 5:54 AM
Nov 28/Full 6:49 AM 5:29 PM 5:42 PM 6:45 AM
Nov 29/99% 6:49 AM 5:29 PM 6:30 PM 7:35 AM
Nov 30/96% 6:50 AM 5:29 PM 7:20 PM 8:22 AM

View my posts How to Shoot the Moon, Night Photography, Night Photography Tricks Revealed, and Video: How to Shoot the Moon.

Video: Getting the Most from Canon Speedlites

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

“Canon Speedliting with Multiple Flashes” is a two hour video by Syl Arena uploaded to YouTube by B&H Photo Video Pro Audio. Many of the concepts in this video apply to any flash setup that you might have whether you use Canon, Nikon, or studio flashes.

Key Concepts

  • Master/Slave
  • Groups
  • Ratios
  • Enabling/Disabling Master
  • Channels

In this Canon-specific video, you will learn the how and why of using multiple Speedlites off-camera. The emphasis is on the wireless system built into Canon Speedlites but Syl mentions how Nikon flashes differ from Canon flashes throughout the video. He explores the settings on both the master and slave Speedlites as well as the in-camera settings that can be made by recent Canon cameras that can act as the master for Speedlite flashes. Click to continue »

Moon Watch: August 2012

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

There will be three opportunities to shoot the moon in August. On August 1, the moon will be full and rise before the blue hour. On August 2, the moon rises during the blue hour.

Location: Miami, FL (All Times EST)
Sun Moon
Date/Phase Rise Set Rise Set
July 31/97% 6:46 AM 8:08 PM 6:55 PM 5:08 AM
Aug 1/Full 6:46 AM 8:07 PM 7:42 PM 6:12 AM
Aug 2/100% 6:47 AM 8:06 PM 8:24 PM 7:14 AM
Aug 3/97% 6:47 AM 8:06 PM 9:02 PM 8:14 AM

Read my posts How to Shoot the Moon, Night Photography, and Night Photography Tricks Revealed.

Video: How to Shoot Fireworks

Saturday, June 30th, 2012
Other than your camera, the most important piece of equipment is a tripod. The exposures required for fireworks are too long to handhold your camera. I found an excellent video for how to shoot fireworks on YouTube from phototips.biz.

Basic Settings for a DSLR

  • Manual Mode
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Shutter speed: 1 second to start
  • ISO: 400
  • Focus: Turn off auto focus and manually focus on infinity

I agree with the video’s suggestion to just change the speed if you need to adjust the exposure. Increase the shutter speed if your shots are too bright or slow down the shutter speed if your shots are too dark.

Even if you don’t have a DSLR, you can still take photographs of fireworks. If you have a compact digital camera that doesn’t have Manual mode, look for a Scene (SCN) mode for Fireworks. As with a DSLR, it is manditory that you use a tripod.

Feel free to post links to your fireworks photographs in comments.

Review: Digital Landscape Photography

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Summary: I highly recommend Digital Landscape Photography by John and Barbara Gerlach. If you are at all interested in landscape photography, get this book! Digital Landscape Photography covers cameras, lenses, exposure, composition, HDR, and panoramas.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Landscapes are Everywhere
  • Chapter 2. Cameras and Accessories
  • Chapter 3. Choosing and Using Lenses
  • Chapter 4. Mastering Exposure
  • Chapter 5. Techniques for Sharp Images
  • Chapter 6. Light on the Landscape
  • Chapter 7. Composing Pleasing Images
  • Chapter 8. Special Subjects
  • Chapter 9. High Dynamic Range Images
  • Chapter 10. Panoramas

Review: The chapter on cameras and accessories emphasizes investing in a camera system not just the camera. The authors recommend Canon and Nikon cameras because both brands have an excellent selection of lenses and accessories. This is the same advice that I give my students. The book is filled with excellent tips such as how to use a back button to auto-focus rather than having the shutter button initiate the auto-focus function. 34 out of 36 customer reviews on Amazon, give Digital Landscape Photography 4 stars and above with 26 5 star reviews. This is an outstanding book that is clearly written and informative. Click to continue »

Review: Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark is a amazing book that has many examples of fantastic night photographs as well as step-by-step instructions for how to get the same kind of results.


Click to continue »

How to Photograph Children

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The Top Three Things to Do When Photographing Children

  • Spend a lot of time with your subject
  • Get down on their level
  • Use a wide open aperture for limited depth of field

Copyright 2011 Maria HendersonThe photograph on the right was taken by Maria Henderson, one of my students. This a wonderful example of the top three things you should do when photographing children. The depth of field is shallow with the eyes in sharp focus and her angle of view is nearly level with her subject. The composition enhances the immediacy of the shot and emphasizes the child’s enthusiasm. Click to continue »

Review: Crafting Reality: Painting with Light

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Captain America and 3-D BoyCrafting Reality: Painting with Light is an inspiring eBook by Eric Curry. The photographs in the eBook look like HDR images but they are created in quite a different way. Small sections of the subject are illuminated from different directions then merged together with Photoshop. Eric goes into detail about how to take the photographs and the settings to use in Photoshop.

Throughout his eBook, Eric emphasizes that you should think and plan your shots.

So often during my public presentations and coaching new photographers I advise them to think in terms of “concepts.” Do not just go out into the environment and photograph neat stuff you happen to see, but take the next step and envision an idea first, then try to create that vision you see in your mind’s eye.

This is good advice and Eric spends a lot of time telling you how to plan a photoshoot. He tells you what he does and why as well as which equipment he uses. Crafting Reality: Painting with Light is an extremely thorough how-to book and I highly recommend it.

You can find more videos about painting with light at Eric’s YouTube Channel and on his website American Pride and Passion.