The Joy of Photography – When You Capture Great Photos Without Knowing It

If you have ever shot film, you know it – the feeling you get when you sit down with that stack of prints that just came back from the lab.

The nervous anticipation: Is there anything good in here?

The initial disappointment:  Flipping through the first bunch of mediocre prints….meh, meh, ohhh…nope…meh…

Then you see it – its like getting a new bike for your birthday when you’re 10: The killer shot!  Yesssss!!!

If you began your career with digital, you still know it – the feeling you got when you didn’t really know what you were doing and just when you were about to give up: Bang – there is a fantastic photo staring back at you from your screen.

I have noticed recently that I don’t get that surprise of a completely unexpected great photo very often any more, or the joy that comes with it.

I mean, I have a pretty good idea how any photo I take is going to look before I take it.  Sure, I still produce a massive amount of duds compared to keepers, but it is rare that I capture something completely unexpected.

So, I though I’d share the stories behind a few of my favorite accidental photos.

Sailboat dinghy hull underwater jp danko toronto commercial photographer, underwater photographer

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Awesome New Photo Editing Software Helps Us See What Our Cameras Couldn’t

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Imagine taking a single photograph of an object and being able to bring that lonely image into editing software that would allow you to turn the object around 360°, revealing all its sides which the camera never even saw. Software that would let you take a single picture (just one frame) of an origami bird and still allow you to turn the bird around, flip it over, even animate it as though you had many photos of the bird from every angle….

Sounds pretty cool, right? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University thought so, too.  The researchers are actually working on a piece software that will allow us to isolate certain objects in our photographs and apply some wicked 3D manipulations to them. And, as it turns out, they are already doing some really cool photo edits with it.

But, how do they do it? Check out this quick video clip for an inside look of the software at work (spoiler alert: the camera doesn’t actually see the unseen…) [Read more...]

Sony’s KW1 Does Not Squirt Purfume It Takes Selfies

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In ancient times, before smartphones were around the fight was over cell phones. At one step Motorola changed the market forever when they introduced the a pink version on 2005. This was one of the first statements that the way a cellphone looks is just as important as its features.

Now it looks like Sony is trying to take a similar route on cameras with the introduction of the KW1. The camera is not the best in the market for its size, nor is it the cheapest (pre-orders at $485 if you read Chinese).

But! it is a (hideous) fashion statement. The phone inspired by perfume bottles actually looks like a perfume bottle itself. Tech-wise it employs a 19.2-megapixel sensor and a 21-mm equivalent F2 lens and a 3.3″ OLED screen. The lens rotates so you can really look like you’re spraying scents while you are actuality taking a selfie.

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Know The Difference Between Correct Exposure And Creatively Correct Exposure

Which exposure is "correct"?

Which exposure do think is correct?

One of the most commonly asked questions by new photographers is what exposure settings they should be using to get correct exposures. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most difficult questions to answer because of the seemingly endless amount of variables involved in calculating such settings. There are always situational elements such as available light, motion, and other things that we can use to help us determine correct camera settings, but outside of those tangible variables, a photographer must also take creativity into consideration. How do you want the photo look?

In this quick primer on exposure settings, Bryan Peterson discusses the notion that just because a photograph is exposed correctly on a technical level doesn’t necessarily mean the exposure settings were the right ones. [Read more...]

One Photographer, Three Cameras : Shooting Cam Zink’s Mammoth Flip

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Planning a fast paced, action sports photoshoot in which there is only one cameraman trying to capture multiple angles, is true test of any photographers ability to pre-visualize and plan a shoot. A skill which is priceless when you’re commissioned to photograph high energy sports and once in a lifetime moments similar to the exciting challenge Brett Wilhelm took on when he decided to photograph a champion freestyle mountain biker pull of a world record breaking flip.

Take a look at some of the behind the scenes action as Wilhelm shows you how he played the part of three photographers at one time.
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34 Edits To A Single Road Photo – And Who Won The Best Edit Challenge

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A few weeks back we held a fun contest revolving around editing a photo. We started out with a photo by Dave K. Piper with strong compositional elements, but used a ‘naked raw’ file to let anybody who wants to try and tweak it to their likings.  The winner, chosen by Dave  (and announced at the bottom of the post) gets a a sweet Blue CityWalker 20 camera bag from Think Tank Photo.

Results have been staggering. Several wonderful looks have been submitted, as well as a few composites. Here are some of the many wonderful submissions, followed by Dave’s selection of the winner: (if you just want the winner scroll to the end)

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A Review of the Ondu 135 Panoramic Pinhole Camera

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In the world of photography products, there aren’t many surprises. We see variations on themes. New strap styles may seek to innovate (and sometimes succeed), but when you get right down to it, they’re straps. “New and Improved” sensor cleaning systems may improve on those that came before, but it’s still a blower or a swab or an electro-static stroke of marketing genius aimed at convincing you that this next purchase is the one that’s going to put your photography over the top. I know…this all sounds a bit jaded, and maybe it is. A little. So, you can imagine how happy I was when something truly different found its way across my desk recently.

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Model And Photographer Call Swimwear Company Out For Altering Photos And Using Them Without Permission

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Screenshot of the original photo and the altered photo.

After discovering each other through Instagram, underwater photographer, Pip Summerville, and model/self proclaimed mermaid, Meaghan Kausman, decided to take on a personal project together. Summerville wanted to take photos of Kausman posing in a swimming pool and when Fella Swim heard about the pairing, they were nice enough to offer up some free swimwear for the model to use in the photoshoot. According to a statement made by Kausman, the entire shoot was a collaboration and no payment ever changed hands. [Read more...]

Gawker Reporter Launches a Witch Hunt, Attacks a Photographer Allegedly Using Ferguson For Self-Promotion

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Over the past month, the events taking place in Ferguson have become a significant catalyst for rising tensions between the public and the media. With the emotional responses that issues of racism trigger across the political spectrum coupled with the response to police brutality that we’re already so familiar with, there’s an unsettling amount of conflict for the journalists and photographers involved.

Just recently, that crossfire hit 30-year-old freelance photographer Leo York, who was present in Ferguson during the riots. An Al Jazeera writer posted an article discussing his contempt for the media’s reaction to the events, and mentioned how an unnamed reporter asked him if he could take a picture of him and Anderson Cooper. That same reporter also mentioned how he was there for the “networking opportunities”.

“One reporter who, last night, said he came to Ferguson as a ‘networking opportunity.’ He later asked me to take a picture of him with Anderson Cooper.”

- From Ryan Schuessler’s original article on Al Jazeera

After the post went viral, grabbing attention from multiple online blogs, Gawker reporter J.K. Trotter posted an article asking readers to find out who the people being referred to in the post were since the Al Jazeera writer, Ryan Schuessler, wouldn’t give out any names. Eventually, a few readers managed to deliver on the request, finding pictures of Leo York posing with Anderson Cooper on the former’s personal Twitter account.

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Transform Your Lighting With This Cheap And Easy DIY Lighting Trick

A set of color gels are incredibly useful to have around any studio whether you are a still photographer or a filmmaker. They aren’t even that expensive. You can pick up a set of 24 Lee gel filters online for under $40. Definitely worth the investment, BUT if you get caught without a set or just like the challenge and sense of accomplishment of a DIY project, you are going to want to take a peek at this short video from film maker, Ryan Connolly, as he shows us how we can replicate the look of a color gel using nothing more than a light source and a bath towel.

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