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:
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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:
- DSLR 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!
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 »
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.
Why Shoot in Black and White?
The answer is simple; black and white is timeless. Black and white images transcend the here and now to stand on their own. It is easier to see the art in a black and white image because the image is removed from reality. Rather than mentally comparing the photographic image to the actually subject as perceived by the eye, the viewer is forced to examine the image as something separate from reality — something that has a life of its own.
Using a DSLR to Take Black and White Photos
Even though you can use Adobe Photoshop to convert a color photograph into a black and white photograph, the best results are obtained by taking the photograph in black and white. There are those that would contend that Photoshop is better but I prefer being able to get instant feedback via my LCD while taking the photo. Being able to evaluate a shot immediately after taking it is one of the main advantages of using a digital camera. I don’t have to imagine what the image would look like in B/W — I get to actually see it. I prefer to not lose that ability. Besides, if you save your images in camera raw and JPEG, you get the best of both worlds. The camera raw file will be in color and can be processed later. I prefer to have the most opportunities to make creative decisions. For me, creativity occurs before, during, and after the shoot. Click to continue »
Summary: The Digital Photography Book, Part 4 by Scott Kelby is a worthy addition to his series of digital photography books. It picks up where volume 3 left off and, like the other books in the series, contains many useful tips written in a non-technical, conversational style.
Scott Kelby, author of The Digital Photography Book(the best-selling digital photography book of all time), is back with another follow-up to his smash best-seller, with an entirely new book that picks up right where volume 3 left off. It’s even more of that “Ah ha, so that’ s how they do it,” straight-to-the-point, skip-the-techno-jargon stuff people can really use today, and that made volume 1 the world’s best-selling book on digital photography.
Summary: Buy Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images (the Kindle version or the Printed Version) now! David duChemin has written a fantastic book that clearly examines what it takes to make photographs that communicate. If you are serious about photography, read this book!
Perhaps the steepest learning curve in photography is learning to see as the camera sees.
Review: David duChemin has his own way of talking about photographs. Rather than using standard vocabulary of art criticism, he prefers to talk about the Message, Elements, and Decisions.
The camera will create an illusion the moment we release the shutter; if we want a hand in creating that illusion, we need to understand it.
He states that first you have to see the 2-D image that the camera will make when you shoot a 3-D subject. By seeing and detecting the lines and shapes that the camera will record, you will be better able to control what the photograph will communicate. The Message is what you intend to say, the Elements are what is within the frame, and the Decisions are the choices made for aperture, speed, ISO, point of view, etc.
This is not a book for everyone. If you shoot intuitively and don’t want to think, this book isn’t for you. The book covers a lot of the same territory that I cover in my beginning lectures. My approach is that you need to learn as much as possible about your tool, the camera, to improve your skills. The process is probably going to be painful but it is the best way to improve your photography. In my mind, if you don’t know anything about how a camera works, you are using your lizard brain to take photographs. This is the part of our brain that we share with reptiles. Unfortunately,our lizard brains don’t want to take photographs. Mainly, our lizard brains want to eat and have sex. If you don’t believe me, next time you are confronted by an alligator, give him your camera and see what happens.
You may have noticed the bubble levels on your tripod and tripod head. Use them! Each serves a different important function. The following is a list of level and tripod related tips:
- The level on your tripod itself is used to ensure that your tripod doesn’t fall over. If you are using your tripod on uneven ground and the legs are different lengths, the level can be used to center the center column of the tripod over the legs which centers the weight of your camera over the legs so that the tripod will be less likely to tip over. If the tripod is level, the center column will be perpendicular to the ground.
- Another important tip for your tripod is to always have one leg toward the lowest ground. Let’s say that you have positioned your tripod on a hill with the camera pointed up the hill. One tripod leg should be toward you rather than two legs. The single leg toward you will be more stable and the tripod less likely to tip over. The tendancy is to always have two legs toward yourself so that it is easier to approach the camera. This is the time to not do that.
- Add weight to your tripod. I know, you bought a carbon fiber tripod so that it would be light and easy to carry but, while shooting, you may need some extra weight to keep it from moving. Tripods often have a hook on or near the center column of the tripod. I have a backpack camera case that I hang under my tripod.
- The bubble level on your tripod head is used to ensure that your camera itself is level.
- If you shoot a lot of landscapes, you will want to invest in one more kind of level. It fits in the hotshoe of your camera and can be more accurate than the round levels attached to your tripod head. I use a hot shoe level to make sure that the horizon is level. There are times when I am taking long exposures at night and I can’t even see the horizon. I use the level to make sure the camera is level and I know the horizon will also be level in the photograph. I only need to illuminate the level to see it, not the subject. Works great and I highly recommend that you get one.
- For panoramas, you can use the hotshoe level to ensure that your lens is parallel to the gound. That is what I do when I am using my Rokinon Fisheye Lens to take a 360×180 degree panorama. I mount the camera on a Panosaurus panoramic head and make sure the tripod is level, the head is level, and finally that the camera is level and the lens is parallel to the ground. If everything isn’t level, software such as Hugin will have difficulties stitching the shots together. Click here to read my article about using a Panosaurus panoramic head to shoot a 360×180 degree panorama.
Required Equipment: Panosaurus
Shooting 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.
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 »
10 Tips and Tricks for the Beginner
1. Shoot close to sunrise and sunset to achieve more balanced exposures. Shooting during the harsh daylight produces very contrasty light and is difficult to capture details in both the shadow and highlight areas. If it’s one thing you take away from this guide it should be this!
2. Compose an image to exclude more and include less; remove any element that does not add to the image. Simplicity is often the key!
3. Shoot in RAW format for maximum quality if any post production editing will be performed later. This is really a big deal! Click to continue »
Article source: http://ezinearticles.com/6627432