Consider Using Long Lenses For Landscape Photography

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Do you use long lenses for landscape photography?

When most people think about landscape photography, they often think Wide. Using wide angle lenses is very common with landscape photography and for a good reason. Wide lenses have some great advantages for landscape photography. They capture a wide view of the scene; they provide great depth of field; and they create a deep perspective which emphasize the foreground and minimize the background. But in many cases they’re not the best choice, and you shouldn’t fixate on shooting wide every time you see a great landscape.

Using long (or tele) lenses allows you to capture amazing scenes you wouldn’t be able to shoot with a wide angle lens for several reasons:

  1. The immediate foreground (which is closer to you) is not always interesting, and it doesn’t have to be included in the frame in every shot. Sometimes you only want a more distant part of the scene.
  2. Landscape is not always about huge and wide scenes, it can also be more intimate and include a small part of a scene like part of a water stream or mountain edge.
  3. A long focal lens does exactly the opposite of a wide lens in terms of perspective – long lenses compress foreground and background so you can capture and balance them both.

Here are some examples:

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Using Clipping Masks and Drop Shadow to create surreal images

image showing the power of clipping masks

On my last post I talked about my backup workflow, but I am probably more known for my editing style. So this time I decided to break down a photo. A question I get asked a lot when I showing my portfolio is how I make images like the one above (This one is featuring the wonderful Renee Robyn, click here for a bigger version). With all the organic shapes and details in there, it seems like a non trivial edit. With this tutorial I’m going to show the basics of the effect, which should give you an insight into the creation of such images.

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A Simple Explanation On How Aperture Impacts Depth Of Field (And Why Pinholes Are Always Sharp)

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There is a Seinfeld episode where George loses his glasses, yet he is able to spot a coin on the floor by squinting. Without knowing the team at Seinfeld made a very elegant scientific experiment comparing lenses to pin holes.

A Lens makes things sharp by focusing rays of light coming from a source so the rays converge on a single sport.

A pinhole, on the other hand, only allows light to enter from a single direction thus not letting it blur.

Both aspects are very clearly explained in this video by MinutePhysics.

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Understanding ISO And Why It Causes Digital Noise

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The kind folks over at Panvista Productions put together a great informational video aimed at helping us better understand ISO. Most of us already know that we can adjust exposure through ISO, but for many that’s about the extent of what we know about the subject. Panvista’s  9 1/2 minute long clip, however, goes far beyond the basics of ISO we learn in the beginning of our careers. The video gets right down to the nitty gritty as it shows us exactly what’s going on inside our DSLR or micro four thirds camera every time we adjust the ISO setting. This of course leads us into the topic of digital noise (ugh) and why it occurs (interesting). Overall, it’s a well rounded video that’s delivered in a way which is easy to understand and engaging. [Read more...]

Shooting Ironman Triathlon Swim Training – Underwater Photography

I love a photography challenge and underwater photography has a way multiplying complexities.

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But like most challenges, it is the preparations that you make before diving in that will help your photography sink or swim (I’m sorry – I couldn’t resist).

In this article, I will take you through a recent underwater photography session I did with three triathletes currently training for the Ironman Triathlon.

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How To Shoot A Watch Using One Light And All The DIY Gear In The World

I’ve never been a fan of watches, normally I just use my cellphone if I need to check the time. My girlfriend, on the other hand, is a fan of G-Shocks so I went ahead and bought my first watch last January, and bought another watch – a G Shock - just recently. As I always practice my photography with everyday items I thought about using my new watch as my subject.

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I’m going to share you how I shot this using one main light and all the DIY equipment in the world.

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Wedding Photography Prices: ON or OFF Your Website?

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It’s the age-old question, should a wedding photographer put his/her prices on the website, or leave them off? I’ve asked myself this, and seen many photographers ask the same thing. Lots of opinions, some of them very strong opinions, but no one seems to back it up with actual data.

An argument I’ve heard for putting prices online is that the potential client wants to know if you’re within her price range. If you make it too difficult to find that information, she won’t bother to contact you because there are plenty of other photographers to look at. Would you go look at a new car if they wouldn’t tell you the price until you got to the dealership?

The counter-argument is that wedding photography can be expensive, clients don’t always have an understanding of how much they should expect to spend, and placing too much emphasis on price means that the client misses out on less-tangible benefits that the photographer has to offer. If you make the client ask for pricing, you can then strike up a dialog with the client and build a relationship before getting icky with numbers.

Both arguments seem reasonable. And those photographers who can’t make up their minds usually wimp out and put a “starting at $xxxxx” on their site! (That’s what I do currently. :) )

But I’ve got some Actual Data!

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Quick Tip (GoPro Beginners): How To Set Smooth Slow Motion Videos

If you’re not familiar with video editing and camera settings then shooting slow motion video with a GoPro can perhaps be a little frustrating.You may keep wondering why your new GoPro Hero4 slo-mo’ed footage is jittery and jerky. It may be because you need to sync the camera and editing settings. MicBergsma is here to help you out in this situation though: in his short GoPro Quick Tip he demonstrates the best way how to get the smoothest videos possible.

 Do you have any tips on shooting slowmo video? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

How to Confidently Choose the Right Mat and Frame for Your Photographs

If there’s a downside in the shift to digital photography, it’s the mindless hours we now spend uploading, liking and clicking through endless online galleries. The instant gratification from the immediate applause leaves us with our best photographs buried in online albums, rather than appreciated and cherished up on our walls. It’s all too easy to ‘post’ a photo that you might have framed a decade ago, and then forget all about it.

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Worse yet, if you aren’t social media savvy, these photos may sit on your memory cards, hard drive or permanent to-do list, collecting dust until you find the time to upload and share with the world.

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Everything You Need To Know To Master Composition In One 30 Minute Lesson

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This is probably one of the most comprehensive videos we’ve seen on the topic of composition. Though it was made with the intent to help out CGI artists, the advice educator Andrew Price dishes out to us in the 30-minute tutorial can be applied to just about any creative work, especially including photography and cinematography. Price is able to teach visual artists the foundations of composition as well as some more advanced techniques, making this video a useful tool for all skill levels of photographers. [Read more...]