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Video: HDR & IR Photographs

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

I uploaded an HD video compilation of some of my high dynamic range (HDR) and infrared (IR) photographs. I created the music using Sony Acid. Hope you enjoy.


Use the following links to find out more about HDR and IR:

Review: The Digital Photography Book, Part 4

Friday, March 9th, 2012

The Digital Photography Book, Part 4Summary: 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.

Click to continue »

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.

Photography Tricks: Use Sunglasses as a Polarizing Filter

Monday, June 27th, 2011
My Take: Great tip for point and shoot cameras plus the article contains a link to a viable portfolio website for photographers.

Next to a fully charged battery and a huge memory card, a polarizing filter is the digital photographer’s best friend. It reduces unsightly glare, deepens the richness of skies, and improves overall color saturation. The problem for most shooters on the go is that they don’t always have their full kit of accessories with them. And many point-and-shoot cameras don’t even provide a way to attach an external filter, even if you wanted to. Click to continue »

Portrait Photography – Tricks to Get Children to Sit Still for Their Pictures

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
My Take: Now I know why I avoid taking pictures of children.

Family portraits are something that parents want to have done before their kids grow up and go to college. These special pictures can be used for many things, including greeting cards during the holidays, souvenirs for other family members, and family pictures to frame up on the wall or to make your place feel more like home.

When giving family pictures as a gift, consider including a picture frame as well. You can book an appointment with a professional photographer to take these pictures, but you can also do it yourself, especially if you have some photography experience. Sometimes, it will be challenging to get your kids to sit still, particularly if you are taking many pictures as they sometimes become bored and restless. Getting your kids to sit still for the pictures is a pretty tough trick sometimes, but you don’t have to be a professional photographer to accomplish this task. Click to continue »

Photoshoot at Vizcaya

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Vizcaya was built by agricultural industrialist James Deering in 1916. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens features a Main House, ten acres of formal gardens, and a rockland hammock (native forest).

I used the Panosaurus panoramic head and a Canon T1i to take all the examples in this post. Since I have also become obsessed with infrared, all of the photographs were taken with a Hoya 58mm RM-72 Infrared Filter.

Click on the thumbnail to see the full photograph.


Follow this link to find out more about taking panoramas and infared photographs.

Portrait Photography Tips: How To Set The Mood And Get The Best Candid Shots

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
My Take: Here are some good basic tips for taking portraits.

Are you looking for portrait photography tips so that you can improve your picture taking skills?

At first thought, portrait photography would seem easy, yet the results are often disappointing.

Many of our pictures often include people, and whether you are photographing a model, taking a family photo, or capturing some candid shots while on vacation, you have probably discovered that great photography is a little more than just pointing a camera and pushing a button. Click to continue »

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 »