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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HDR (High Dynamic Range) emphasizes texture and color. It has become extremely popular for landscapes and cityscapes but is also used for food and sports photography. HDR images of food look delicious and the essential oils glissen. For sports such as body building, every muscle and vein pops off the page. HDR images actually have greater color depth than a standard digital photograph. 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.
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 »
PhotoBuddy is an iPhone/iPad app that is a Swiss army knife of photographic functions.
Photomatix Pro is a program that can create stunning High Dynamic Range (HDR) images from high contrast subjects that defy being captured in one exposure. The results can range from ultra real to surreal.
The thumbnails below are images created with Photomatix Pro presets:
Usually, it is best to take multiple exposures of a subject in order to create the RAW files that will be combined into an HDR. For this tutorial, I created multiple exposures from a single RAW file by using Photoshop. Click here to read my post about creating the exposures needed to make a fake HDR image.
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 »
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.
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 »
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