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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:

How to Shoot 360×180 Degree Panoramas with a Panosaurus Panoramic Tripod Head

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Required Equipment: Panosaurus

17th Street Causeway BridgeShooting 360×180 degree panoramas usually requires a special tripod head. Trying to shoot this kind of panorama hand held would not be an easy task. Each picture has to overlap by 25-30% not to mention the likelihood of seeing parallax errors in the final image. Parallax errors occur when the camera rotates around a point other than the no parallax point of the lens. The bottom line is that the shots can’t line up properly if there are parallax errors. I have gotten great results with an inexpensive Panosaurus panoramic tripod head. Click here to read my review of the Panosaurus.

Software

To stitch the images together I rely on two programs. Hugin is free software and does a great job with a 360×180 panoramas shot with a fisheye lens such as the Rokinon 8mm Fisheye Lens. If you use an 18mm lens, then Serif PanoramaPlus X4 is a better choice. Each program has its strengths; what one can’t stitch together the other can. Click here to read my review of PanoramaPlus. Your camera may have come with software that can stitch together panoramas but don’t expect it to work with a 360×180 degree panorama. Click to continue »

Secrets of Creating a Fake HDR

Thursday, July 28th, 2011
Faro Blanco HDR

Fake HDR

A real HDR is created by taking a series of photographs with different exposures then merging them together in software in order to tone map the separate exposures into one HDR image that has an extremely high dynamic range. Since the photographs used to create the HDR are separate shots, anything that is moving can be problematic because a moving object is in a different spot in each photograph. The HDR software can’t align a moving object. It is possible to remove the ghosts but I have experimented with creating fake HDR images of moving subjects such as water. Instead of using multiple exposures, I take one good exposure and create separate files from one RAW photograph then merge the files together into an HDR image. The resulting image does not have the same dynamic range as a real HDR but it does have the unique look of an HDR. Expect additional noise in the shadows. Click the image to the right to see what I mean. I have read that you can’t or shouldn’t create exposures from one file but I find that the process can create a compelling image out of a lackluster one. Take a look at the difference between these photos and judge for yourself.

Here are the steps that I took in order to create the HDR pictured in this post. Click to continue »

Fake Smoke

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

This is a great tutorial for creating fake smoke using a string and a Mag light.

I highly recommend Evan’s eBook Trick Photography and Special Effects.

Portrait Mode for Canon Digital Cameras

Sunday, June 26th, 2011
My Take: The tips in this article apply to any digital camera with Portrait mode. Portrait mode opens up the aperture so that distracting stuff in the background is out of focus and the subject becomes the focal point.

Portrait Mode is a simple to operate exposure selection on our Canon EOS Rebel T3. Like the Green Zone, a Rebel T3 set to Portrait Mode will make almost all of the decisions for the photographer. In fact, other than the shutter button, none of the override buttons or dials will function with the camera set to this mode. Click to continue »

Article source: http://ezinearticles.com/6372491

Review: Hoodman 3.0 Hoodloupe

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Summary: OK, so I feel a little dorky having the Hoodloupe hanging around by neck but I don’t care because it makes it possible to see my LCD in the brightest sunlight. Click to continue »

Back Button Focusing*

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

If you find it frustrating that your camera focuses and sets the exposure when you slightly depress the shutter button, there is a solution. Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras can separate auto focus from the shutter button and use a button on the back of the camera instead. They don’t call it back button focusing but that phrase does a better job of describing the feature. You will find the setting buried in the custom commands. I first came across the setting when reading Digital Landscape Photography by John and Barbara Gerlach. I decided to give it a try and have kept the setting ever since.

*Digital Landscape Photography, John and Barbara Gerlach, Focal Press, ISBN 978-0-240-81093-5

Enhance Google Searches for Photography

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Google has a new service to enhance Google searches.

In order to use Google Subscribed Links, you must create a new Google Account or sign in with an existing Google Account.

Infrared Photography Tips

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Infrared PhotoStart by testing your DSLR to find out if you can use it to take infrared photos. Point a remote at your camera and take a one second photo. If your camera records the light produced by the remote, you can take the next step – buy an IR filter. The Hoya 58mm RM-72 is a good choice. Be sure to get the correct size for your lens. The link pictured in this post is to a 58mm filter. Expect your exposures to be extremely long because the filter blocks out almost all visible light. Click to continue »

Hugin Tips and Tricks

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Hugin is free software that can be used to stitch together panoramic shots. Hugin was even able to stitch together standard panoramas that Photoshop CS5 failed to stitch together properly. It can even be used to stitch together 360×180 degree panoramas. Click to continue »