Shooting Underwater Has To Be Creative Both Artistically And Technically

A while back photographer Benjamin Von Wong was invited to the Underwater Realm set to take a group portrait of the actors and crew.

Shooting Underwater Has To Be Creative Both Artistically And Technically

If you cringe at the thought of taking a big group shot, you would probably cry with the added difficultly of managing everything underwater (while being videographed by Erwan Cloarec) I was really unaware of all the added challenges of shooting underwater.

From water safety personal, through using weights to speed up descent to weighting down the wigs so they don’t float. It seems that everything we know as photographer has to be relearned for underwater.

The video and Ben’s post provide an interesting look into that world, as well as to some of the unique features of shooting underwater, like the inability to use radio slaves (which can be solved with optical wires), the “natural” depth of field that water provides and what’s it’s like working in the water in general. The BTS and more photos after the jump. [Read more...]

Understanding Metering, Part Two: What To Use, When By Ming Thein

This is part two of Ming Thein‘s series on Understanding Metering.

In part one we examined why metering is important, and how the basics of how meters work. In today’s article, I’lltake a closer look at the different types of metering, how they differ, and under what situations they should be deployed.


A sample viewfinder – in this case, a rough representation of the Nikon D2H/ D2X finder.

With that background out of the way, let’s look at how the various metering options work, and what typical situations they might best be deployed under. Cameras typically have three options, or some variation upon that. Within these options, it’s also usually possible to fine tune various aspects of the meter’s operation. I’m going to leave out handheld meter operation since this is something that’s almost never encountered today. An important point to note is that all meters can be fooled by situations of uniform luminance, so don’t trust the readout blindly. Remember, meters function by averaging the entire evaluated area out to middle gray; this means if your evaluated area is meant to be black or white, you’re going to need to add or subtract some exposure compensation. For predominantly light/ white scenes, you need to add; for dark scenes, subtract. This holds true for every one of the different metering methods detailed below. [Read more...]

The Three Rules Of Creating Great Bokeh

Bokeh, as you must know by now if you are a regular reader is a Japanese word that means blur. In photography the quality of Bokeh usually means how creamy is the out of focus area in the photograph.

The Three Rules Of Creating Great Bokeh

Sometimes tough, Bokeh refers to the highlighted circles that we see in nightscape photos. Those out of focus street lights and car lights that turn into beautiful blurry discs.

The folks at The Slanted Lens did a great Bokeh oriented shoot in Times square. But… before that they did their almost scientific analysis run down on what creates a good highlight Bokeh from specular lights, comparing different focal lengths, and camera-to-subject-to-background variations. [Read more...]

David Hobby vs. Buzz Lightyear (The Camera) – A Close Tie

David Hobby vs. Buzz Lightyear (The Camera) - A Close Tie

Kai and Alambi at DigitalRev has an interesting video series where they conduct photography duels. Not between two photographers, but between a pro photographer and a cheap camera – the series is titled Pro Photographer / Cheap Camera.

For the latest match in this epic series they had David (Strobist) Hobby in the blue corner and Buzz (2MP kids camera) Lightyear in the red one.

To quote from an unremembered origin, “Expensive gear does not make your photography better, it only makes some photographs possible”. I could not agree more, and this video shows this point in a spectacular way. Hit the jump for a video and some thoughts. [Read more...]

Understanding Metering, Part One: Introduction by Ming Thein

This is part one of Ming Thein‘s series on Understanding Metering.

An image from my recent Introduction to Wildlife workshop, and a very tricky metering situation – more importantly, do you know why, and what to do in a situation like this to achieve the desired exposure outcome?

One of the more important – yet almost always overlooked – aspects of camera operation is metering. Simply put, the meter determines what your final exposure is, and how bright or dark your image looks relative to the scene. Unless you are shooting manual – and even then – the camera’s exposure is determined by the meter. Add the fact that the eyes of a viewer tend to go to the brightest and/ or highest contrast portions of an image first (i.e. this should be your subject) – and it’s clear to see why it’s absolutely critical to understand both how metering works as a fundamental concept and any camera-specific peccadilloes that might exist. The last thing you want is to find that your camera drastically underexposed a once-in-a-lifetime shot of some critically important event because you didn’t know (or forgot) that the meter was extremely affected by point light sources*. [Read more...]

Who Is More Fit, Photographers Or Editors?

I think it is a good question. On one hand, photographers, move, change lenses, operate strobes, look for different POV. On the other hand, editors really pump up some brain muscle which is known to burn more calories than sitting idle. I thought it was kinda like that research about bus drivers vs. conductors by Jeremy Morris. That research concluded that bus drivers are more prone to heart attacks thatn conductors since they move less during the working hours. (of course, if I wanted to stay true to that research this post would have been titled Who Is More Prone To Get A Heart Attack? – but… No drama today)

Who Is More Fit, Photographers Or Editors?

There were two ways to approach this question. The more methodical way of comparing 1000 different photographers vs. 1000 different editors. Or look at one photographer who spends a lot of time shooting, and then a lot of time editing. [Read more...]

Aspect Ratios And Compositional Theory by Ming Thein’s

This post details Ming Thein‘s thoughts on aspect ratios and composition.

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Round plate in a square frame. The composition is ostensibly balanced, but a little randomization is created by the uneven lighting. Leica D-Lux 5

Aspect ratio: image width/ image height, with the long dimension first.

There are six common aspect ratios for cameras today (and as many as you like if you use the crop tool, but that’s another subject for another day :) [Read more...]

Poll: Which Tutorial Did You Like Best?

How about YOU get to decide!!

We have had over 100 submission to our How I Took It Contest and I could not be happier with the results. A few of the more awesome tutorials on the contest are here for your judgment where the finer of the all will win the Readers Favorite banner along with the eternal bragging rights and a prize pack worth over $700. Take your vote on the poll below. Results and grand winner on Thursday.

vote for the best tutorial

[Read more...]

The Amazing Epochs Timelapse With Super-Detailed How-It-Was-Created

The Amazing Epochs Timelapse With Super-Detailed How-It-Was-Created

Sean Goebel shot Epochs, a spectacular time lapse piece over 11 months and 4 states. Interestingly enough, a lot of the tracking gear he used was home made and lots of the “pro” gear borrowed. Just goes to show that talent and dedication trumps budget anytime. Sean was king enough to share the complete super-detailed making of Epochs, including gear lists, locations, challanges and a lost-in-a-desert with a dying flash light story. So sit back, go to full screen crank up the volume and enjoy. [Read more...]