[Strong Graphics] Big Ideas, Small Budget – How To Create Fun Conceptual Images On A Small Budget

Editor note. The post has some strong graphics in it which may not be to everyones taste. Proceed with caution.

Side Order

Photography can be an expensive passion; and none of us have the budget of a small European country although sometimes it does feel like we need it to create amazing images.  In this article I’d like to share some of my favourite conceptual images that were both fun and inexpensive to create.

Whilst I understand that my slightly dark and quirky style doesn’t suit everyone, you can take the basic ideas and techniques to apply to your own style.

For each concept I’ve given the price of the items I’ve used but keep in mind that you won’t have to buy everything every time for every shoot.  A little creativity goes a long way to keeping your costs down.

[Read more...]

Why Leaf Shutter Lenses Matter

wpid-leaf-shutter-lens-images-01-2013-01-9-00-55

Have you wondered how something as simple as a lens design might shape your approach to off-camera lighting? And what if that same lens could shape how light is recorded within a camera? Add to that this bonus: this same lens might take what you already have and make it four times more effective?

We are approaching an era where camera sensors and mega-pixels no longer matter and the darling of the off-camera lighting world isn’t what you might guess.

[Read more...]

From Shoot To Blog, What Is The Best Way To Get Your Images Looking Great (Also On Your Blog)?

workflow-highend-01

First thing….

Having a good workflow from camera to web is key. It should be noted that this workflow not a wedding workflow or a image heavy workflow and is one of the more expensive setups. I guess you could call this a premium workflow or a high end workflow. It is designed for photographers who are all about quality over quantity. If you are putting out 8-10 high end images per shoot, have paying clients, you have busy sets and pressure deadlines, this might be the set up for you.

Capture One (Capture) > Capture One (Develop) > Photoshop > Lightroom > SmugMug > WordPress

The interesting here is that each step is using the best program or tool.

[Read more...]

How To Turn Your Photos Into Beautiful Resin Jewelry

photo-resin-jewelry-09

Looking for an innovative way to show off your latest and greatest photos? Try experimenting with personalized jewelry using pictures from your most memorable vacation or outing.

Think: dramatic landscapes, charming landmarks, pets and animals, signage from a great restaurant, or even that one family portrait where everyone miraculously has their eyes open.

For this tutorial, I’m using a photo of an African spotted eagle owl, taken during a recent visit to a raptor sanctuary, along with a picture of a lighthouse, a dead tree on the beach where I live, and a shot of my friend surfing from our last camping trip. Each piece is unique and the possibilities are endless!

Most craft supply stores carry various bezel blanks for resin. For this project, I chose blank pendant and ring shapes, but you can also find bracelet, earring and brooch blanks. If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary, check out Etsy for some unique shape and size options.

To create these eye-catching charms, photos are fit into the blank bezel and covered with resin. These stunning, personalized pendants make excellent gifts and keepsakes. Impress your friends, and feel great about wearing such a fond memory so close to your heart.

[Read more...]

Essential Night Landscape Photography Tips from Chris Burkard

chris-burkard1Today’s post comes from extraordinary surf and landscape photographer Chris Burkard, who was recently featured by Smugmag’s short film, Arctic Swell. Chris has made it his life’s work to find wild, remote destinations and then capture the juxtaposition of humans in these environments. The world is an oftentimes harsh, humbling, and magical place, and Chris wants to photograph it all.

He shares his essential night landscape tips below. You can browse his portfolio and print store on his site.

It’s hard to beat the enchanting feeling of star gazing at a clear night sky. You soon become lost in its beauty like a giant kaleidoscope full of shooting stars, planets, and glow from the setting sun or nearby cities. I’ve traveled to countless countries over the past ten years and some of my fondest memories occur long after the sun has set. Whether it’s camping near my home in Big Sur or witnessing a rare northern lights show in the Arctic, I’ve had the privilege and challenge of documenting these night landscapes.

[Read more...]

Creating A Children Photography Studio On A Budget

studio-on-a-budget-15

Let’s face it: the thought of taking an existing space and converting it into a studio can be daunting to say the least! As a newborn photographer, a studio is an absolute necessity. But creating the studio without spending a fortune (I’m talking gagillions of dollars here…gagillions) led me on a path that had very little instruction, so I had to blaze my own trail, getting creative along the way!

[Read more...]

How To Build A 22 Gallon High Speed Photography Studio

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

High speed photography has a tendency to be messy (broken glass, water and other flying debris) and potentially dangerous (guns, and that flying debris again). However it’s the need for darkness which can prove to be the biggest problem. Having built a high-speed laser trigger, I needed a way of actually using it to take some photos. This presented me with a puzzle, as I work in an open plan office and have small children at home. Neither lend themselves to blacked-out rooms, flying shards of glass and small arms. The solution I came up with manages to solve all of these problems and more, and is I think worth trying even by those who are lucky enough to have access to real studios.

My inspiration was the film changing bag, which is simply a light-proof bag with elasticated holes for arms. This is great for times when you need complete darkness but don’t have a darkroom, such as when you’re loading a film into a developing tank. Clearly a bag would be no use here, but perhaps a box would do. I looked at the large, black recycling boxes that we have around here and thought they may be on the right track. A quick search on Amazon for the largest black plastic box I could find turned up this 84 litre (22 gallon) beauty, complete with lid for £21 ($37). It sits comfortably on my desk, and is easily stored underneath it.

[Read more...]

How an Old School Photographer is Kicking Your Butt on Instagram

jim-richardson-03Social media is supposed to be the realm of the young, and in this realm, Instagram reigns as visual king. It’s easy to imagine skinny jean-wearing hipsters snapping filtered squares of their perfect lunches and summer skinny dipping soirees. So it might surprise you to find that an old school National Geographic photographer has unlocked the keys for Insta-success.

Jim Richardson (@JimRichardsonNG) is a contributing photographer to National Geographic and has shot over 25 stories in a storied 30-year career. Although he continues to work for the magazine and pursue personal topics of interest like light pollution, Richardson has also amassed an Instagram following of over 80,000 people – outpacing the majority of his contemporaries, as well as online photo “celebrities.” The ever-cerebral photographer and I have been discussing Instagram and its meaning and implications for over a year now, and we recently traded some notes on the topic.

PS: What compelled you to create an Instagram account?

JR: At first I thought Instagram was totally frivolous. But then I started seeing that photographers were using it to make real statements. And then National Geographic started the @natgeo feed, and early on I could see that there was broad interest. It was gaining an audience. So I jumped in — not the first of the National Geographic photographers to do so, but pretty early on. I just figured that I didn’t know how this thing was going to work, but I needed be in the middle of things, trying to figure it out.

[Read more...]

5 Reasons DSLR’s Are Obsolete In Today’s World By Martin Gillman

Mirrorless camera gear by Martin Gillman on InMyBag.net

OK, sure that’s a bold statement, and for me it just may be true. I believe that the mirrorless camera is and will continue push the DSLR as we know it aside. Its progress and its coming. If you do not agree you may just have to accept it, even the greats in Glass like Carl Zeiss are making lenses for the mirrorless systems, they see where photography is going too. So, let me tell you why I think so. [Read more...]