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  • This optimistic message took over 50 sunsets to shoot

    Remember how open you were when you were a kid? How everything seemed easy? And how options seemed to be closing as you grew up? If this is the case, you will draw some inspiration from “Children of the sun” by videographer Ofer Yakov. The movie was shot in Israel during a full year and spans […]

    The post This optimistic message took over 50 sunsets to shoot appeared first on DIY Photography.


    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • How to Refresh Your Creativity by Shooting Digital with a Film Mindset

    There exists a strange and long standing line drawn in the weird sands of the photo world. On one side of that line you have those who shoot only digital images and on the other, you have those who still swear by analog film. Then there’s a hazy gray area (probably 18% gray) where people like myself reside.

    Do you shoot film or digital? Seeing as this is Digital Photography School, I assume the answer to that question likely leans towards the latter. I started out on my photographic journey with a 35mm SLR, then moved to a DSLR and mirrorless, until I now strike a weighted balance between digital and large format film photography.

    Why am I telling you all of this? The reason is simple; we all want to make better images and we all want to grow as photographers.

    How to Refresh Your Creativity by Shooting Digital with a Film Mindset

    Stay with me here….Consider for a moment that instead of choosing sides on that imaginary line between film and digital photography, while pointing out the perceived benefits of digital over film, that there are many lessons to be learned from the film shooter’s mindset.

    In this article, we’re going to look at some ways shooting film, or at least with the mentality of film, can help you with your digital photography skills. And no I won’t try to persuade you to jump from one side of the line to the other.

    Shoot like it isn’t free

    If there’s one thing that has both illuminated the field of digital photography while at the same time stamping out the classical mental focus involved in the craft it is this…

    How to Refresh Your Creativity by Shooting Digital with a Film Mindset

    This little piece of plastic and silicon cost me about $13 and holds well over a 1000 images when used in my 36.4-megapixel camera. That’s a lot of photographs. What’s more is that it doesn’t end there. I can hypothetically erase and reuse this contraption an unlimited number of times.

    My camera will wear out (knock on wood) before this memory card does. Now, compare that memory card to this:

    How to Refresh Your Creativity by Shooting Digital with a Film Mindset

    This is a box of one of the 4×5 sheet films that I use with my large format camera. It cost me around $40 after it was all said and done. That’s 25 sheets of film that I will have to load into holders under complete darkness, put into my view camera, expose for about $1.60 each, and then bring back home to develop in my darkroom. And that’s just the first phase.

    If I want to print images from those negatives I have to either scan them into the computer or print them myself in the darkroom using light-sensitive paper and even more chemicals and equipment.

    Which causes more pause before shooting?

    So, here we have two entirely different mediums to record what is essentially the same thing. Which one do you think I am more careful with when shooting? The $40 box of film or the $13 memory card?

    If I make a mistake in exposure, composition, or anything else when I’m shooting digital there is virtually instant feedback and the error usually costs nothing. With film, the result is hidden and any “Uh-ohs!” are only evident after the fact.

    How to Refresh Your Creativity by Shooting Digital with a Film Mindset

    I urge you to shoot as deliberately as possible when using your digital camera. Sure, even a well thought out photo can go bad regardless of planning but the more you think about what you’re doing the fewer variables there are in the equation.

    Pay attention to what you’re shooting and why. Photograph as if every frame costs you money and I promise that you will begin seeing better results with your digital photos.

    Choose an ISO and stick to it

    Something that we take for granted with digital photography is the quick application of ISO changes. Usually, a prompt turn of a dial can take you from ISO 100 to ISO 6400 and back again in a few seconds.

    How to Refresh Your Creativity by Shooting Digital with a Film Mindset

    This is not a bad thing. Changing ISO on a digital camera opens up astounding creative possibilities and lets you get shots you would have otherwise missed when the light changes suddenly.

    That being said, it can also spoil us to the point where we crank up the ISO at times when we might possibly find more creative alternatives. Try this to practice – choose an ISO for the day and shoot at only that ISO setting.

    Granted, I wouldn’t try this on a wedding shoot…but go out with your camera set to say, ISO 400, and force yourself to think through difficult lighting conditions. You might find you gain a better understanding of the relationships between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO that will help you immensely in the future.

    Make a set number of exposures

    Before I moved into digital photography I used 35mm film. Most rolls were of the twenty-four exposure variety with some being extended to thirty-six. That seems like a million frames when compared to the two sheets carried in each large format film holder or the eight with my Polaroid SX70.

    How to Refresh Your Creativity by Shooting Digital with a Film Mindset

    As much as I love my film cameras, I still use digital for over 80% of my “professional” work. Each time I switch back and forth between film and digital I notice a strange change in the way I shoot particular scenes. It goes back to our first point about how film actually costs money with each click of the shutter.

    I tend to essentially overshoot a scene with digital. I may take 10 or 12 images of a frame whereas with film I might only make one or two. Why is that? When you think about it, making consistently solid photographs isn’t a matter of firing off a bunch of frames and hoping for the best, though that does work sometimes. Usually, the best images come from the careful execution of each snap and with film you only have a certain number of those snaps in the bank before you have to change things out.

    How to Refresh Your Creativity by Shooting Digital with a Film Mindset

    In an effort to strive for quality over quantity with your digital work, begin thinking in terms of keeping your shot count for a scene in the single digits. No, of course I’m not saying to sell your digital camera short and only shoot 20 or 30 photos at a time all the time.

    What I’m suggesting is that you limit yourself to a focused group of purposed photographs instead of firing off a hoard of shots and hoping for the best. Try to shoot no more than 10 images of the same scene and then move on to something else. Make 10 images of that, and then move on again. The key outcome of this exercise is to train (or retrain) yourself to produce a smaller number of total images but a larger amount of usable ones or keepers.

    Some final thoughts…

    The real conclusion and the true lesson to be gained from all this is for you to learn how to become more deliberate with your photography. Use your camera with purpose, and most importantly remember to slow yourself down from time to time. Slowing down is key.

    Being both a film and digital photographer I find the complete flop of my creative mindset changes drastically between the two mediums. Obviously, digital cameras have extraordinary capabilities and offer many benefits over their analog cousins. At the same time, the true nature of photography can be lost when we suddenly find ourselves with limitless shooting capabilities that are often only capped by a camera’s battery life and our own enthusiasm.

    Try putting some of these lessons from the world of film to use the next time you find yourself deleting more and more images and finding fewer quality pictures. It just might be that you begin shooting better and get more enjoyment from your digital photography.

    The post How to Refresh Your Creativity by Shooting Digital with a Film Mindset by Adam Welch appeared first on Digital Photography School.


    Source: DP School

  • Which Street Photography Lens is Right for You?

    The correct lens for the correct photo is a debate often heard among many photographers. In this article, you’ll see the various merits of three different street photography lenses. The 50mm lens is often thought of as the perfect lens for street photography, perhaps even the only one.

    Using different focal lengths can dramatically change the type of photos you take, though. So let’s take a look at which street photography lens might be right for you!

    Which Street Photography Lens is Right for You?

    This photo was taken at 135mm. There is still plenty of context in this scene, even at the longer focal length.

    Wide-angle to get in close

    This class of lens is usually thought of as a landscape, or architecture photography lens. That may be true, though using it for street photography is equally valid. So why might you use a wide-angle lens in your street photography work?

    • Get close – That famous Robert Capa quote that I’m sure you’ve seen, “If your pictures are not good enough, you’re not close enough.” Well, when you use a wide-angle lens for street photography you’ll have to get close. This will get you closer to the action and will lead to the following.
    • Tell more story – Capturing a wider scene will allow more context to come into your photo. If you can avoid the photograph becoming too cluttered, and you retain a clear focus on the main subject you will likely have a great photo.
    • Interaction – Getting close to your subject means interacting with your subject, most likely a person. They’ll now know you’re taking their photo. How you use this to your advantage depends on you. Building a positive relationship with your subject will enhance your photo, even if that relationship is short.
    Which Street Photography Lens is Right for You?

    This photo required a wide-angle lens to capture the whole scene. It was photographed at 17mm, and I was close to the people I captured in the image.

    The nifty fifty, the classic street photography lens

    The icon of street photography, it really is one of the best lenses out there. There are several different options for this lens along with the more expensive variety having a larger aperture. What makes the 50mm lens such a good choice for street photography then?

    • Normal field of view – This lens gives you a field of view that’s close to what your eyes see, a trait desirable for street photos. So you’re not dealing with a distorted view when using this type of lens. This assumes you’re using a full frame camera, crop sensors will give you a longer focal length of around 75mm on a 50mm lens.
    • The Depth of Field – As a prime lens with a fixed focal length these lenses have a large aperture of at least f/1.8. This allows you to create a shallow depth of field, and to blur out the background. This control can really help you take better street photos when it is applied well.
    • Comfortable distance – With this lens you’ll be close to your subject, but not in their face. A 50mm will also include enough of the surrounding scene to allow context in your photo.
    • Fast lens – This lens can be used in low light conditions. The combination of a wide aperture and mid-range focal length make this a fast lens and a good option to use at night.
    Which Street Photography Lens is Right for You?

    There’s no getting away from it, the 50mm lens is GREAT for street photography.

    Long focal length for the unobtrusive photographer

    At the longer focal lengths, you’ll be positioned farther from your subject, far enough that they may not spot you taking their photo. This type of lens is the choice of the paparazzi, although it’s unlikely you’ll be using a lens with the same kind of focal lengths (really long!).

    So what are the advantages of standing a bit further back?

    • Capture the moment – When the person you’re photographing is oblivious to your presence, the chance of the moment being natural is a lot higher.
    • Compress the scene – This allows you to focus much more on the subject, but the risk is that you don’t include the area around them so you lose some of the story. It’s still possible to provide context at longer focal lengths, you will just have to stand even farther back.
    • Avoid confrontation – Not everyone wants their photo taken, and photos taken without permission can cause a confrontation if you’re caught. While it’s better to build a relationship with the person you want to photograph, sometimes what they don’t know won’t hurt them. In this case, using a longer telephoto lens allows you to get the photo, without causing a scene.
    Which Street Photography Lens is Right for You?

    This photo was taken using a 135mm lens. You can see the street vendor preparing food, the outside scene isn’t visible though.

    Extra tip

    When taking street photos with a long focal length you can sometimes take advantage of a shard of light. This will typically happen when there is a gap in the roof, perhaps in a market. Underexpose your photo at -2 or even -3 EV, with just enough exposure to give detail to your subject, but make the rest of the photo black. This will give some minimalism to your photo, which is a nice effect.

    Which Street Photography Lens is Right for You?

    This image was photographed at 180mm, on a camera with a crop factor of 1.6x. The shard of light was used to make the background black, as it is underexposed.

    What’s your preferred street photography lens?

    Many people will stick to the 50mm lens as their street photography lens of choice, but there are alternatives available. To this day, my favorite street photo was taken at full zoom with a 70-300mm lens.

    How about you, do you have a favored lens for street photography? How about trying a different lens, and see how that changes the types of photos you get?

    Here at dPS, we love to hear your opinions, so let us know what you think. We’d also love to see your examples of street photos, together with the lens you used to take that photo. Please share in the comments section below.

    Which Street Photography Lens is Right for You?

    Here is a selection of lenses that could be used for street photography.

    Which Street Photography Lens is Right for You?

    This is a scene captured using a wide-angle lens, photographed at 17mm.

    Which Street Photography Lens is Right for You?

    The scene was photographed at night. The 50mm lens is fast, and ideal for this type of scene.

    Which Street Photography Lens is Right for You?

    This scene also shows the 50mm lens in action.

    Which Street Photography Lens is Right for You?

    Even a fish-eye lens can be used for street photography. Though admittedly this photo is also architectural.

    The post Which Street Photography Lens is Right for You? by Simon Bond appeared first on Digital Photography School.


    Source: DP School

  • Deal Alert: save $2,200 on Bowens Battery-Powered flash kit

    If you are looking to make your first steps in the “big strobes” world, this is a deal you don’t want to miss. B&H are now selling a Bowens XMT500 2-Light Battery-Powered Flash Kit at $1,599.00  instead of the usual $3,799.oo. This is a $2,200 savings. The kit includes 2 500WS Flash Heads, 2 Reflectors, 2 Batteries, 2 Light […]

    The post Deal Alert: save $2,200 on Bowens Battery-Powered flash kit appeared first on DIY Photography.


    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • How to Compress Time Into One Photo

    Throughout the history of photography, many photographers have blended multiple exposures into one final image. Obviously, they didn’t shoot the exposures at the same time, but at some interval to achieve something.

    One really common purpose is to remove people by shooting several photos and making sure that all areas are covered without any people and then blend all the images into one image. Another purpose of shooting multiple images is bracketing for HDR. Yet a different purpose is to compress a long time into one photo.

    Italy Manarola Day to Night

    In this article, you will learn how to make an image that compresses a long time-span into one image. It is a bit like a time-lapse movie sequence, but instead of making a movie you create one final image.

    Like in time-lapse photography you will shoot several photos shot over a period of preferably several hours to see a change in the scenery. To make it more interesting, you shoot the photos during a change of light, like from daylight to nighttime. When you put such photos together, you get something really fascinating.

    Required Gear

    To be able to make such a photo you must have a camera and a tripod or similar device. While you shoot, you need to avoid touching the camera more than you have to. Therefore a cable release or remote trigger is recommended.

    You will be standing still for several hours and the temperature will most likely change quite a bit. Remember to bring clothes for a change of temperature.

    Australia Sydney Harbor View Time Compressed

    Where to Shoot

    In theory, you can shoot these kinds of photos anywhere and of anything. But since you are putting a lot of time into one single image, it is recommended that you have an excellent composition of an interesting scene.

    When to shoot

    You should shoot when the light changes the most, which is from daytime to nighttime or the other way around. It is this change that will make it into a remarkable photo. If you just shoot for four hours around midday, you will get a midday photo.

    How to Shoot

    When you shoot photos that you intend to blend into one final image, it is essential that you make sure to have an almost identical composition in each frame. You can do that by stabilizing your camera, typically on a tripod. Minor pixel shift differences can be handled later in the post-processing phase, but big differences in the composition will be really hard, if not impossible to blend.

    You can either use a remote control to trigger the camera for each shot or put the camera into a time-lapse mode. The advantage of triggering the shutter release remotely yourself is that you can time your shots if something interesting happens.

    As the light changes, you will need to change the camera settings.

    During the daytime put your camera in Aperture Priority mode at ISO 100 and set the aperture around f/8. This mode makes sure that the images have the same depth of field and therefore are identical, except for the change of light. Do a couple of trial shots to make sure you don’t blow out the highlights or the shadows. If the image is too bright or dark, use the exposure compensation to adjust.

    As it gets darker, the camera will make longer exposures and when you hit the 30-second mark, you will need to increase the ISO. You will typically end up at ISO 800 or 1600.

    Sweden A Mountain Sunset in Sweden

    You most likely want to switch off autofocus before it gets dark. It depends on the scenery. City photos often offer good low light autofocus points, while the contrast disappears in landscape photos and makes autofocus impossible. Alternatively, you can use Back Button Focus.

    How many photos do you need?

    You need at least two different photos, but any number larger than one will work. For my photo of Sydney, I used a couple of night shots. For the morning part, I only used two.

    If you shoot the “many people” variation, you will need photos with interesting people in all those areas you want to be populated with people. For the photo of Manarola, Italy I used approximately 60 photos from a batch of around 200.

    Switzerland Montreux Compressed Time

    How to handle high dynamic range?

    Some situations are hard or impossible to capture in one exposure because the dynamic range gets too high. Typically this happens in nighttime city photos or if the sun enters the frame. The difference between the strong light source and the shadows is too great to capture in one single exposure.

    In these situations, you must either switch to Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) or do some manual exposure compensation.

    How to blend the photos

    You can use any layer-based photo editing tool to blend the photos together. I will demonstrate using Photoshop, but Photo Affinity, GIMP or any other similar photo editing tools can do the same.

    UK Lake District Time Compressed

    The overall process is to pick one of the good photos from the shoot as the base photo. Then you handpick a set of other photos that you want to blend into the base image.

    The technique you are going to use to blend is called “Layer Masking”.

    Step 1

    Put all the photos you have picked into an empty folder on your computer. JPEGs are fine, but you can also use RAW files.

    Step 1 image folder with images - How to Compress Time Into One Photo

    Step 2

    Pick your base photo and open that in Photoshop.

    Step 3

    Pick another photo with different light. Load that in into Photoshop by dragging the file onto the base image. Position the photo and press enter.

    Notice that you now only see the top layer.

    Step 3 image drag layer into place - How to Compress Time Into One Photo

    Step 4

    Add a mask to the top image, by selecting the top layer and clicking Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All. You have now added a Black Mask. Notice that you can now see the lower image layer again.

    Step 4 image The black layer mask - How to Compress Time Into One Photo

    Step 5

    Select the layer mask by clicking on the black mask and then select the brush tool. Select white as your brush color and set the opacity to around 50% and hardness to 0%. You want to work with a BIG soft brush for most stuff. When you need to do more detailed work, increase hardness to around 50%.

    Step 5 image Select a brush - How to Compress Time Into One Photo

    Step 6

    Start painting in some areas and see how the image changes. Each time you click the mouse and paint in an area, the more the top image becomes visible. Play around until you see something you find interesting.

    Step 7

    Add more photos by dragging them into Photoshop one at a time and make sure the new layer is the top one. You can drag it to the top of the stack if it is not. Then repeat steps 4-6 again.

    The final image

    In the end, you will end up with several layers containing photos from which you have used bits and pieces, to create your own unique and quite fascinating image. In the image of the idyllic alp town of Hallstatt in Austria, I used 18 photos to create my image.

    Tutorial image 3 An example of layers

    Austria Hallstatt Day To Night

    Additional things to consider

    8-bit or 16-bit?

    Normally you should never use 8-bit mode for image editing, but if you are blending 20+ photos, you will run into serious performance issues at 16-bit, even with a high-performance computer. One workaround is to use 8-bit at the cost of image quality. You can change the mode by going to Image > Mode > 8-bit/Channel. The downside of using 8-bit is that you may end up having banding which is when you can see the colors transition from one to the other (they do not graduate smoothly).

    Alignment

    You have probably had to adjust the camera while shooting and most likely you will find that the images are slightly misaligned. It may not be more than a pixel or two.

    Tutorial image 1 Move tool

    You use the Move Layer tool to micro adjust the misaligned layer using the arrow keys.

    Addition tip – try to make more than one final image from the same photos, by switching around the night and day photos.

    The post How to Compress Time Into One Photo by Jacob Surland appeared first on Digital Photography School.


    Source: DP School

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