I just launched a new site for photographers. PhotoBuzz.biz is a full-featured site for members to upload photos, contribute to forums, post ads, and submit articles, news, and links to other sites as well as create your own blog entries.
Help create a community for photographers
The content of the following sections of PhotoBuzz.biz will be up to the members:
Forums (Current Topics)
Ads (Current Categories)
Sites (Links to Other Photography Websites)
In order to prevent spamming, content must be approved before it will appear on Photo Buzz. The only exceptions will be photographs and comments. I have also implemented four spam filters to prevent Photo Buzz from being overrun by spammers. Anything identified as spam will be automatically rejected.
Join Panomonkey.com and stitch 360×180-degree panoramas for free. Well, mostly for free:
Creating panoramas can be absolutely FREE on Panomonkey. Every successfully stitched panorama can be downloaded and shared to Twitter and Facebook or embedded to your website. The FREE version of the panorama is 3000 x 1500 pixels and can be viewed up to 100 times.
Hign-resolution panoramas of up to 6000 x 3000 pixels can be purchased for $2.50 / €1.80 (that’s “one banana” in Panomonkey language) and can be viewed up to 1,000 times.
Additional views of the hign-resolution panorama can be purchased in bundles of 10,000 views for one banana ($2.50 / €1.80).
The free version of your panorama will display a watermark along the bottom of the image. I’m assuming that you have to purchase the stitched image to get rid of the watermark. I haven’t purchased an image, yet, because my tests didn’t stitch properly.
For my tests, I uploaded photographs that I had successfully stitched together using Hugin or PanoramaPlus. The results were less than stellar. To be fair, PanoramaPlus also had problems with one of the sets of images, too. Neither Panomonkey.com nor PanoramaPlus have the ability to manually add control points, Hugin does. Click to read more »
Summary: The Manfrotto 498RC2 Ball Head works great. I selected this ball head because it can also pan without releasing the ball head itself.
Review: I had been using a Manfrotto 322RC Joystick head with a Panosaurus panoramic head but the trigger of the 322RC would sometimes show in my shots so I needed a ball head with a smaller footprint. It is easier to level a panoramic head if it is mounted on a ball head. The Manfrotto 498RC2 Ball Head has proven to be a perfect choice. The build is light and solid. I have also used the 498RC2 with a variety of lenses and have not experienced droop, i.e. when you lock this ball head, it locks. The quick release plate is the same kind of plate that is used on the 322RC. Click to read more »
With all the opportunities to shoot the moon in October, I decided to scour YouTube looking for a good tutorial for shooting the moon. I found a two-parter. Be sure to watch both videos.
The first video gives great advice for shooting the moon with just about any digital camera. You will need a tripod but you don’t have to break the bank. If you have a super-zoom digital camera, you may be able to frame the moon tightly.
The second video lets you know how to use Manual mode to get an even better shot. The video does a great job of explaining why you need to reduce the exposure by 2 stops. Click to read more »
Summary: HDR Efex Pro 2 is a major improvement over the original version. Not only is it much faster, the presets are usable right out of the box. Finally, Photomatix has competition. I highly recommend upgrading. If you already own HDR Efex Pro, the upgrade cost is only $49.
Review: I seldom used the original HDR Efex Pro. It was deadly slow and, quite frankly, I hated the presets. Version 2 fixes all that and more. I could now find HDR Efex Pro 2 my go-to program for HDR. The new presets are extremely usable and the program is now speedy. Click to read more »
Backeting is taking several shots of the same subject using different exposure settings. Usually three shots are taken.
The exposure the camera thinks is correct
One shot darker
One shot lighter
Any of the settings that affect exposure (aperture, speed, ISO) can be used to manually bracket shots.
The main reason I bracket is to produce three shots that can be merged together as an HDR image. When bracketing to create an HDR image, don’t change the aperture — just change the shutter speed. If you change the aperture, you will also change the depth of field in each of the bracketed shots. Changing ISO could introduce digital noise. Since HDR images are already noisy, reducing digital noise is the better choice. When bracketing for HDR, exposures are usually 1-2 stops apart. I have successfully used 3 stops between exposures.
Another reason to bracket has to do with lighting conditions. If your camera is having problems finding the best exposure, you can turn on bracketing so that you have a range of exposures for every shot. When bracketing to get the best exposure, use more subtle settings. Depending on your camera, you can set the bracketing to 1/3 or 1/2 stops between exposures. Click to read more »
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