Month: April 2019

Fine Tune Incandescent Studio Lamps

Every type of incandescent light housing incorporates some type of reflector behind the lamp. It is partly to make use of each of the light radiated and partly to manage the beam.. The deeper and much more concave the reflector, the more concentrated the beam. As it is more challenging to spread a beam which is already tight if this leaves the housing than it is to focus an extensive beam, most general-purpose housing has reflectors that provide a range which is between about 45 and 90 degrees. Light that provides tighter concentration is intended for more specialized use.

Moving the position of the lamp in its reflector changes the spread of the beam. When it is farthest, the beam is quite narrow while if it is moved forward and the doors are wide, the beam spreads. Lighting filters are usually employed for converting the color temperature or for correcting the color to that of fluorescent lamps. You could use mixed lighting and post-production methods, but it is best to get it right on the shoot.

The reflector angle in certain tungsten lights where the lamp position is fixed allow a lens-precise control over the beam spread with hinged reflector panels. These are the basic configurations, but the hinges can be moved separately. Moreover, it is often convenient to filter each lamp instead of using a lens filter on the camera. Fittings vary, but usually you do not close the lamp to avoid over-heating. A universal fitting is an outrig frame, which attaches in front of the light. It is recommended to use purpose-made non-flammable filter material with any kind of lamps.

Light The Night

The technique involves two methods, moving a light around in the frame during a long exposure, similar to writing with a sparkler, on cracker night, or using a controlled light source, such as a flashlight or speedlight, on or off camera, to light a particular part of a scene.

The latter is more of a contrived and creative technique that can yield spectacular results, especially in a commercial setting. LED torches are the tool of choice here. $6.95 from Kmart, will get you a small pocket sized, but extremely bright and useful LED torch, which is also daylight balanced, so you won’t get any undue yellow shift in colour to whatever you light up. I often use colored gels / filters that go with my Canon speedlight, over the light source to further increase the dynamic feel of the image. I used this technique on a trip earlier in the year to the tip of Cape York.

A major part of light painting involves setting your composition. Often hard to do, when you in the pitch of night, with all the necessary evils at hand. No moon, no ambient light, and quite often in the middle of a quiet nowhere, all alone. If you’re well prepared, you’ll find that the tiniest amount of light in such a setting will have either a dramatic or devastating effect in your shot, so paint carefully.

I always test the setting, with sample shots of various areas, to measure the reflectiveness off anything shiny or wet, the time absorbed when lighting dark corners and the relevant amount of exposure to suit each. From there, you’ll need to orchestrate, which parts of the scene, are to receive a “heavy brush” of light exposure with the torch or flash, and which are to receive a “sprinkle. And you thought it was an easy technique! Using a torch, will provide you with so much more control, as a speedlight flash will never “choose its target”

For this article, I thought I’d step you through how to create your own image using the light painting technique. Light painting does take a while to grasp as there are many places you can make minor mistakes which consequently ruin the shot, but with a little knowledge and advice, anyone can try this technique.??Equipment Required?- Digital Camera?- Tripod?- Light Source – Flash or Torch or anything else you can think of (I’ve used my iPhone before!!)?- An open mind!

OK, first, set your tripod up to a predetermined height and leave it to the side. Time to scout for a scene. There’s no point setting all your equipment up to find that you just have to move later because something is killing your shot or getting in the way. I take my camera and walk the scene, looking for interesting things watching my background is not too congested, and that I have a way of separating my subject from the “junk”.

Setting Up Your Shot

Switch your camera to manual, and auto-focus or AF. Zoom in and find a light source or light area that is the same distance away as the subject you want in focus, press the shutter half way down. If need be artificially light the subject with your new LED torch. Once focused zoom back out to your desired length and make sure, without touching the shutter or the focus ring switch back to manual focus. Make sure you’re not touching the focus ring when you compose.

This is something that no tutorial can tell you how to do, this is in the eye of the photographer. Be creative and show off your creative eye.

QUICK TIP: Wide angles make for much more interesting settings at night than longer focal lengths.

Setting The Correct Exposure

Nearly there, but getting the exposure right, is crucial. The best way to expose your shot manually is to use your camera’s built in light meter as a rough guide, but not as a precise judge. When you first start you will need to follow it tightly but as you gain more and more experience you won’t need the meter at all.

Set the camera Mode to AV (Aperture priority) Now, set the ISO speed to 3200 (or your highest ISO available). As a rough guide I always start with an aperture anywhere in between f/4-f/8 to achieve maximum sharpness. Deeper apertures of f/16 etc will help your sharpness factor, but take much longer to expose, sometimes, too long. Two things you’ll need to be mindful of here, firstly, that such a shallow aperture setting of f/4 or f/8 will mean you will have to be accurate when focussing, and secondly, but just as important, the difference in exposure between these two apertures can greatly vary your result, depending on the conditions you’re in. Your in camera light meter will tell you its suggested exposure time when you half depress the shutter. Let’s just say the camera suggests a shutter speed of 10 seconds, remember 10 seconds. Now set the ISO to 100. Take your 10 seconds and multiply that number by 32. This gives us 320 seconds, Divide this by 60, this gives us about 5.5 minutes.

Getting the shot!?

Now, drag out your light source and begin painting in sections of your scene, by shining your torch onto the scene, during each test exposure. Check the results with each test image you capture. Look to achieve a nice ambient overall exposure without too much digital noise (a drawback of long exposures on digital cameras) or excessive highlights. Using the results you measured in each of your test shots, you should now be able to see what parts of your scene require more light painting, and what parts only require a quick flash past.

Now plug in a remote shutter release, set the camera to BULB mode (move the shutter down past 30 seconds). Get a timing device (Phone, stop watch or similar) and get ready to wait. Press the remote shutter release and lock it on. Start the timer. Wait the desired time and check the results. Look for excessive highlights or shadows with no light (which will fill with digital noise), and adjust your torch technique to suit.
A few things to remember here, the longer your torch shines or the more times you flash your speedlight, the light will accumulate and therefore increase the overall exposure, hence why you should run test shots and paint carefully. It’s not an exact science to start with, but after a few test shots, your accuracy can be high, especially if you take notes, whether mental or written to help you orchestrate the final image. What do we call this?? Planning… the ideals of every good photographer should begin with good planning. In Light Painting, its essential.

Droste Effect Photography

Use photo editing software

Once you have taken a photo that you are happy with, open up your photo editing software program of choice, and open an image on your computer that you want to apply the Droste effect to. Your photo editing software program will open the file for editing. Using an eraser or brush tool from the control panel, click on the slider to make the edges of the eraser feathered. You may want to play around with a number of different brush presets in the control panel area before you choose on a tool which will best create this effect. An eraser or brush tool with a feathered edge can soften the transitions between the different images that you will use to create the Droste effect.

Use the brush tool to erase portions of the image

Using the brush or eraser tool on the photo that you want to edit, erase regions of the image which have an outline. If you have opened a photograph portrait of a face, use the eraser to erase areas of the face that have strong outlines, such as the hairline and the eyebrow. Use a layer in the control panel that will enable you to duplicate the image, and then drag the second layer so it is placed underneath the original image. You will be able to see the original image underneath the areas you have erased using the brush or eraser tool.

Rotate the layer

Use a tool that enables you to rotate the second layer to a different position than the original layer. You should be able to do this by dragging the corners of the box of the duplicated layer and rotating the image to a different orientation. Drag the box corner slowly until you are happy with the finished result. The duplicated layer should appear much further back in the image, creating an almost 3D-like quality. Repeat this process until you have numerous layers which have been rotated. You may need to employ trial and error until you end up with a finished image that recreates Droste effect photography.

Benefits Of 50 Mm Lens

Ideal For Low Photography

The 50 mm lens is a prime lens thus it takes professional-quality photos. It has a wide aperture of f1.8 which allows more light to enter through the lens opening. The large aperture gives you the freedom of using faster shutter speed in order to avoid camera shake.

You can also use slower shutter speed and lock out noises you get from higher shutter speeds. If you are experienced, you can use both the faster and slower speeds.

Light Weight

Depending on the brand, a 50 mm lens weighs between 4.3 oz to 6 oz. This means that there’s no reason why you should leave the lens at home. If you are not in the mood of carrying a whole bag of stuff around, you only need to take your camera and the lens and you will be good to go.

Cheap

Lenses from the most popular brands go at a price range of $100-200. This price is too low compared to the quality of images taken. According to expert photographers, the quality of an image taken by the nifty fifty lens is almost the same as that taken by a $600 lens.

Super Sharpness

Since this lens is a fixed lens, you are able to take sharper images as there are less moving parts inside the lens. There are also less lens elements to give you blurred images. The large aperture in the lens greatly contributes in giving you sharper images.

Versatility

Since the lens is neither too wide nor too long, you can use it on a wide range of environments. For example, you can use it on the streets. You can also use it to take portraits. To take portraits, you only need to put the lens on an APS-C sensor.

Normal

The lens is categorised as a normal or standard lens. This means that the lens mimics the human eye. Due to this feature, the lens gives a natural look to the images that you take. This feature is also great for beginners as they won’t feel as if they are looking through a lens.

360 Degree Panoramas Photography

Choose the Right Camera

If you are just starting with in panoramic photography, don’t worry too much about equipment. This type of photography can be achieved using a basic DSLR. After your passion increases, you can purchase a better camera with high-end features.

Extra Equipment

In order to create exquisite virtual tours, you certainly need some extras for your DSLR camera. Get a fish eye lens, buy a tripod and a panorama head and also find a remote switch. Prices can vary from $100 to over $3,000. Now it is up to you how much you are willing to pay. For starters, we recommend you purchase more affordable items. After you will get to a certain level, you can invest more money into this hobby or activity.

Tips, Tricks and Techniques

It is of paramount importance to know as much as many 360 degree photography techniques and tips as you can. Take into account selecting the right exposure and focus. Ensure that your lens is set to infinity focus, especially when you focus on the sky. When it comes to subject area, you might want to put some objects or have some people in the foreground for a better perspective.

Use the Right Software

There are many software available on the market, such as PTgui, Kolor Autopano Pro or Hugin. You can use any of these to stitch your photos together, but in the end you need to use Photoshop to edit your pictures and transform them into photographic masterpieces.

Once all your masterpieces are ready, publish them on 360 Cities or other 360 degree panorama photography platforms. You might be able to monetize your 360 degree photos on certain platforms like Stockphoto, Shuttershock or Veer. You might even make a career out of that, so don’t forget that 360 degree panorama photography is simply the best.

Hacks to Enhance Portrait Photographs

Choose your background wisely

Whether you are trying to click a tight frame or it includes other objects too, you are required to choose the background of your frame wisely. The backdrop helps in reflecting the light in the most proper way. You can either create a dramatic contrast or play with the light and shade, the background you choose for the photography will have a major role to play.

Focus on getting candid pictures

Candid photos are the best when it comes to portrait photography. The candid moments bring out the best of your subject. Therefore, even if you are shooting in a studio, you are required to keep your camera clicking, and when you finally start analysing the pictures, you will realise that the candid ones are the best of the lot.

Use the light wisely

Using the light does not mean that you are required to click the photos in bright sunlight with your model directly posing towards the sunlight. It will burn your picture. It is about intelligently using the light so that it can brighten up your subject without making it appear something artificial.

You can always process and edit the images using photo editing tools. However, if the original picture becomes too much exposed to the bright light, it will become impossible for you even to edit it.

Take your time

Don’t hurry. It is about creating a single frame that stands out from the rest. It is difficult to use the image to tell a complete story with nothing else in the frame. In the case, it is a photo shoot; consider it essential to give brief details of the kind of look you want in advance. The more prepared you will be or the more homework you were probably be doing for a reasonable amount of time, your pictures will become full of conviction.

It is always beneficial to read the blogs and articles written by eminent photographers associated with portrait photography. It will let you learn about different aspects of the particular style along with the relaxed rules that you are required to follow to make sure your attempts and hard work offer you a fruitful outcome.

Combine Photographs

In the past, the thought of combining photographs was silly. Technology was not at the brink that it is currently at. Therefore, the photographs that you were able to capture with your camera were the photographs that you had to show people. Not anymore, there are tons of tools that can be used to combine multiple photographs together, allowing you to create an incredible picture that no one has probably ever seen.

Just about anyone can be a photographer these days, with as many camera devices as we keep. With this in mind, not everyone that takes photos is proud of the photos that they have taken. There are a few people that are lucky enough to take incredible photos every single time that they pick up a camera. However, modern day people with no professional training, takes photos so they can have something to show their family and friends.

Using a tool to combine multiple photographs together is actually a simple task. The only thing that you will need to do is take a few photographs that you are proud to display. Once the photographs have been captured, you will then need to search the net to find a tool that gives you the option to combine them. Make sure that you have uploaded the photographs to a computer, so you can make any changes that need to be made to them, first, before attempting to combine them.

Once the photos have been uploaded to a computer, log online and simply enter in the search terms, combine photos. You will be astonished by the amount of pages you will find on the internet, that will enable you to complete this task. It is important that you do not upload your photos to the first site that you come across. Read through some reviews of the various sites, before making your choice.

After locating a site that you trust, you will need to locate a place on the website that allows you to upload the photos that you have stored onto your computer onto the site. Once the photos have been uploaded, then the fun begins. Typically, sites that allow you to combine your photos will already have specialty pieces of software that are available to help you add and erase certain parts of your photo away, so you can end up having the perfect photograph combination.

Manipulating the Aesthetic Blur

  • You’ll need dark colored construction paper, preferably black. Cut a strip of paper with a length that will fit around the lens of your DSLR camera. It’s best to be using a lens with a wide aperture to create bokeh. Wrap the strip of paper around the outside of your lens, forming a cylinder, and hold it together with tape.
  • Next, you need a circle piece of the black paper to form the cap on the paper tube which will fit over your lens. To do this, you can measure the lens of your camera and draw the circles on the paper with a compass set to half the lens width. Or you can get the paper tube you made, place it on the paper and trace around it to get your circle.
  • Cut out the circle and then use a paper punch, to make a custom shape in the middle of the circle. If you don’t have a custom shape paper punch, you can use a Xacto knife to cut out the shape you want. The shape should be between 1/2 and 3/4 inches. It can be anything – a heart, cloud, star, you name it. Make as many circles as you want with different cut out shapes. Some will work better than others. Have fun and experiment.
  • Prepare to place the paper tube and circle over the lens. Putting a strip of tape along one edge of the tube will make it easier for you to remove and change the shape cutouts. You should tape the circle to the tube so that it forms a cap that will fit nicely over your lens.
  • You are ready to shoot now. If you want to make the best bokeh, make sure the focused subject is positioned close camera and the bright background highlights should be at a distance. The background can be any tiny points of light, such as sunlight between leaves or Christmas lights. Set your camera in full manual or aperture and make sure your aperture setting is the lowest it can go.

With your own custom shaped bokeh, you can get awesome and creative images. This useful and simple photo trick is just about manipulating the aesthetic blur to create something magical in your photos.

Digital Compact Camera

Should you want to get more creative with your ‘simple’ camera there are a lot of things which you can do… the obvious start point is the instruction manual – this is a mine of useful information – it just takes a little perseverance – don’t try and learn it all at once! Just look up what you need to know now.

When you take a photograph with your camera in the ‘automatic’ mode it will produce what the manufacturer considers to be the best picture based on all the information available to the camera – such as the light; the type of light; the type of scene the camera calculates is in front of it; is it using the flash and so on. However the camera is just guessing, albeit very cleverly, about the picture it is taking.

You, however, know what type of picture you are taking – people, scenery, buildings etc and if you just tell your camera what you are doing it will be able to do a better calculation and produce a better picture for you.

How do we do this? Built into your camera are a set of different ‘modes’ or ‘scenes’. By selecting one of these we tell the camera what the picture is all about and it will calculate the exposure accordingly – it really is that simple. Your instruction book will tell you how to turn on modes really quickly – it is so easy! Just remember to turn the camera back to automatic afterwards to avoid taking a whole lot of pictures at the wrong settings.

On most cameras there are a multitude of different modes as the manufacturers compete to add features. At first sight this can be quite daunting – do not get mode gridlock! Pick two or three that you really find useful such as ‘Portrait’ or ‘Landscape’ and concentrate on these – practice with them and get an idea of the effects you can achieve. You will be so impressed with yourself!

Once you are comfortable with these you can start to increase the number that you use. Don’t be cautious about experimenting – the more you try the more confident and comfortable you will become with your camera and your pictures will improve considerably. You will get just so much more fun out of your hobby.

Acrylic Photo Frames

The various types of acrylic frames;

  • They are different types of these acrylic structures based on their shapes, for example, there are oval, rectangular, square, and circular ones. The forms also can be modified to suit the clients’ preference like having a heart-shaped frame.
  • The other difference is the size of the structure, whereby one can be made to accommodate either one or multiple photos within that one framework. Those for many images are large and have specified number of photos that they can hold without overlaps.

Color difference can also be another variation; acrylic glass is typically known as a transparent thermoplastic. However, they can be colored whereby some may be of single solid color or be multicolored.

Tips on how to take care of your acrylic frames.

  • These frames have few maintenance tips since they are like glass and they don’t break easily; the primary attention is on regular dusting and cleaning.
  • Dusting should be done by blowing instead of cleaning paper towel or cloth; this is to avoid scratching the surfaces. In case of cleaning, use microfiber cleaning towel that is smooth enough not to scratch.
  • Use clean water to clean when the frame has much dirt, and you can use plastic cleaning detergents such as Brillianize; avoid glass cleaners that contain Ammonia or the Acetone. These chemicals corrode and eat up the acrylic material giving it a cloudy appearance and make it easy to break.
  • In case of scratches use car wax to polish the surface to provide a smooth touch.