Photoshop vs. Lightroom: What if You Had to Pick Just One?

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One of the questions I get a lot comes from new photographers wanting to know whether they should be working in Photoshop or Lightroom. I particularly enjoy their deer-caught-in-the-headlights look when I reply, “Both!” While it’s true that either of these incredibly powerful Adobe tools could, in theory, provide photographers with everything they need to edit their images, I really am a firm believer that a strong workflow rests on a solid foundation of both PS & LR. Having said that, though, learning just one of these applications can be a daunting task for even the most dedicated photographer. Learning two can seem insurmountable.

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Tokyo Timelapse Is Proof You Don’t Need Pro Gear To Make Beautiful 4k Timelapse Footage

japan_timelapse_1If you’ve ever lived in, or even just visited Tokyo, you are probably well aware of the vibrant nature and scenery that exists around every corner. As this timelapse by Bill Minhyuk Kim of Bokah Media shows us, Japan’s capital is full of bright flashing lights and a pulsing energy that’s undeniably Tokyo. The South Korean timelapse filmmaker has done a great job matching Tokyo’s sleepless vibes with this fast paced hyperlapse.

At times, the editing, and especially the color grading, of the clip present a real cinematic feel, which is nice technique to see in a timelapse every once in a while. Tokyo Timealapse is presented in 4k resolution (at 3840×2160). The entire film was photographed using a Canon Rebel t4i with a  Sigma 10-20mm and a Sigma 50mm, to which I have to say, it’s nice seeing such good quality work done with a sub $1000 camera, check it out: [Read more...]

Jellyfish Stinging In Microscopic Slo-Mo Shows They Don’t Rub Against You, They Use Syringes

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Have you been to the beach in the last few years? If so was the only thing you could think about was “Please don’t let that jellyfish touch me! Please don’t let that jellyfish touch me! Please don’t let that jellyfish touch me!”. And was that because of those slimy tentacles that smear venomous pain-inducing mucus on you?

I had those thoughts too. But it turns out that if you actually take a strong microscope coupled with a 2,200 fps Phantom Miro camera you see that it is not the slime that hurts you, it is millions of small syringes that extend from the jellyfish and inject venom into your skin.

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Unforgiven: The Cinematography of Jack N. Greene

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Last year, actor Ken Watanbe starred in the Japanese remake of a film called Unforgiven. Though it may have had a limited release, its reception wasn’t diminished in the slightest. Acclaimed by critics worldwide, Yurusarezaru mono continued the cinematic relationship between samurai epics and spaghetti westerns at full ignition; the tradition’s beginnings are rooted in Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars, which was a scene-by-scene remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo.

Out of everything the film achieved, Yurusarezaru mono reminded us that Unforgiven still remains an ageless masterpiece. After its release, the film became known as a eulogy to classic spaghetti western cinema; in other words, it signified the end of a generation. If that statement holds any truth to it all, then it’s fitting that Unforgiven was helmed by Clint Eastwood, who starred in the Sergio Leone trilogy that pioneered the genre in the first place.

The reason I bring up the fact that it eulogized a generation for this post is because of the fact that Unforgiven was entirely rooted in it; every element that made it what it was borrowed from the old classics, and that included direction, music, writing, and cinematography.

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Why The Non-Refundable Photography Deposit Is A Myth

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About a year ago I received an email with some bad news from a client.

“Dear Jeff– I just wanted to let you know that Gwen and Peter have called off their engagement and will not be getting married in September. The news comes as quite a shock to us, but Gwen claims it’s for the best and we’ve always trusted her judgment. I apologize for the short notice, but we just found out less than 48 hours ago. I would like to stop by later this week and pick up a refund of our deposit…”

There was a bit more after that, but it was just a blur. My attention was focused squarely on four words– “refund of our deposit.”

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An Epic Photography Shootout: Benjamin Von Wong vs. Rebecca Litchfield

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to participate in a project that brought photographers to Israel to share some of its nicer sides. The project was hosted by Kinetis and brought together an amazing team: Benjamin Von Wong, Rebecca Litchfield, Simon Pollock, Mike Kelly and Adam Lerner and Jared Polin of Froknowsphoto.

With so much talent condensed in such a limited geographical area, I knew I have to do something fun. The concept evolved to make a crazy shootout between Benjamin Von Wong and Rebecca Litchfield. We planned on presenting those two very unique photographers with an ‘identical photo’ themed challenge. Only instead of having them create a single photo, we upped the ante and decided on three different themes they will have to shoot in: A Fire Challenge, A Feathers Challenge and a Flour Challenge.

So, theme was identical, props were identical, wardrobe (donated by Rebecca) was identical, hair and makeup were shared, and the timeframe was tight for both. But…

Having Ben and Rebecca almost on the opposite sides of the spectrum should be pretty interesting: Ben shoots Nikon, while Rebecca shoots Canon; Ben like massive strobes, while Rebecca usually use small constant lights; Ben comes from epic and surreal while Rebecca is keen to fine art… you name it, they differ on it.

The final photos are found below for your enjoyment… (and both Rebecca and Ben will share some more detailed info about the photographs on their own channels as well so stay tuned).

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How The Launch of Apollo 11 Looks Slowed Down at 500 FPS

It’s been forty five years since Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first two men to walk on the moon. The more unbelievable fact for us, however, is that apparently had cameras that could run at five hundred frames per second back then, as well.

For thirty seconds, the launch of Apollo 11 was filmed by a camera on location at 500 FPS. The ending result was a stretched out to about eight minutes, and gave us one of our sharpest looks ever at the launch of a spacecraft. Obviously, the content shown is a breathtaking sight on its own, but I really found myself focusing on the aesthetics of the video itself after a few repeat views. How amazing is it that we’re able to see footage this sharp, fluid, and clear from 1969? Shot originally on 16MM film, the film was spotlessly converted to HD for us to be able to view online. Check it out for yourself, and stick around for the commentary by Spacecraft Films‘ Mark Gray. For a video that lasts just under ten minutes, what you learn for nearly its entire duration is half of the enjoyment.

Seriously though. With just how expensive film should have been at that point, NASA must actually have been receiving sufficient funding back then.

The Spielberg Face

One of the reasons Steven Spielberg is considered a sage in the art of filmmaking is because of how successful he is at keeping the audience emotionally connected to the movie. Even from simply seeing the helicopter approach Isla Nublar in Jurassic Park, we’ve got that rush of excitement; we didn’t see anything at all yet, but we knew it was coming. We knew because John Hammond’s eyes started gleaming with childlike joy as he pointed at the island and said, “There it is.”

Here’s a badly-mathed-out breakdown of a good movie: while one half of the work goes into making the magic a reality through set design, visual effects, and sound editing, another half goes into making the characters of the film believable and enjoyable. Though dinosaurs may only have been in the movie for about fifteen full minutes of its screen time, we enjoyed the movie that much more because of how believable the reactions of the characters were.

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10 Steps to Better Photo Workflow

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I don’t know about you, but I got into photography so I could spend my time taking photos. What I did not get into photography for was the post production, the marketing, the meetings, the consultations, the pitches, the proposals, and the networking. Or the countless hours away from my family. For that I could have kept practicing law and left photography on the shelf as a hobby. The things we do in life always look different to those on the outside looking in. Just like my non-lawyer friends were convinced that all of my courtroom appearances were worthy of a “Law & Order” script, I find that many of the non-photographers in my life have a totally warped view of what those of us who make a living with our cameras do every day. Realistically speaking, I’d have to say that maybe only ten percent of my life as a photographer is about shooting. The other ninety percent is the stuff that makes me wish I could afford a full-time assistant. For me, it comes down to the best use of my time. Does “insert activity here” take time away from shooting and/or family? If so, what I can I do to switch that around?

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These Photos Of Old Iranian Mosques Redefine Symmetry

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23 years old photographer, Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji, from Babol, Iran took it upon himself to document the old beauty found in Iran. He is shooting Mosques , Hammams (bathrooms ) , Symbols , Churches , historical sites , Old houses , Special structures , Windcatchers, giving a unique point of view on those hard to shoot locations.

The symmetry in Mohammad’s photography is incredible and while the places are amazing in their own right, Mohammad’s definitely adds his touch to each photo.

While most of the photography is done in public places, getting ‘pro’ gear such as tripods is usually forbidden. We asked Mohammad how he approached them:

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