How To Create The Droste Effect And Mesmerizing Animated Gifs

Have you ever seen a picture where you were so fascinated with it that you needed (NEEDED!) to understand how it was made? 
I have a confession to make, I like to browse the web and get my ideas and inspiration from unusual sites. 
Recently I came across some pictures that I am not sure how to describe, so I’ll just show one.

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I looked at the picture and couldn’t stop thinking of how they made it. 
After 30 minutes of googling I found the name of the effect: it is called the ‘Droste effect’.

Today I am going to teach you about that effect and how to create it.

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4 Ways You Should Be Storing And Backing Up Your Photos If You Want To Do It Right

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If you’ve ever lost an entire catalog of images to hard drive failure, you probably know how important it is to properly and securely back up your data. If you haven’t run into such a speed bump just yet, congratulations, but just because it hasn’t been an issue in the past, doesn’t mean you’re not prone to a hard drive failure in the future. Losing your images can be devastating, especially if you shoot a lot of paid work. Thankfully, a little forethought and planning can help prevent such a catastrophe.

In the video below, Matt Granger talks about a few options photographers have when it comes to photo storage and backing up image files. Very important stuff! Here’s a quick list of 4 ways Granger backs up his data, then be sure to watch the video as he explains the process he uses both at home and when shooting on location. [Read more...]

How To Shoot Dramatic Portraits By Yourself With Only A Single Light And On Location

One-LightWho says pulling off an entire photoshoot by yourself needs to be difficult? Not Jay P. Morgan. In the quick video clip below he invites us behind the scenes of photoshoot he did on location in Maine. Morgan wanted to photograph fisherman on his first visit to New England, but he traveled light for this trip, only carrying a single light and softbox along with his camera. Seeing as how he only had two hours to setup and complete the shoot, not having an extensive lighting setup kind of worked as an advantage. He had an assistant along with him, but her job was strictly to film the behind the scenes footage, Morgan handled the photoshoot all on his own.

Curious as to how he pulled it off? Here’s the scoop: [Read more...]

How To Use A Remote Shutter Release to Start and Stop Video Recording on Your Nikon Camera

I have been filming a lot of tutorial videos lately, and one of the problems that I keep running into is starting and stopping video recording on my own.

This usually involves me walking over to the camera, pressing record and then walking back into position to film the video.  I have tried using a stick, but I am not nearly that coordinated and it risks messing up the alignment of the shot.  I have also tried bribing my children, but their quoted rates were a little higher than this production can afford.

The problem is especially frustrating if I have to focus the camera, in which case I usually build a little focusing dummy out of pillows or beer cases or cats.

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Fortunately, if you are a Nikon user, there is a relatively simple solution.

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How To Shoot a Perfect Watch using only an iPad

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Last week, I wrote an article about shooting a watch using only one light, and I promised to write a Part 2 of this series on how to shoot a watch using more Photoshop work. So, I was in my studio preparing to do the 2nd part of the article and I brought my iPad for pegs and music. I was getting ready to shoot but something crazy hit me, what if I shot the watch using only my iPad (like I did a year ago for other products), could be something, right?

So, here is a step by step and behind the scenes tutorial on how to photograph a watch using your iPad. So instead of 2 Parts of my How to shoot a watch, it will be a 3 Parts Series.

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Essential Tips To Improve Your Bird Photography Skills

bird-photography1 Photographing wildlife takes a lot of patience coupled with a decent amount skill, and photographing birds is no exception. If you’ve been thinking about giving bird photography a try, or are just looking for ways to improve your shots, this quick fire video posted on Paulo Carvalho’s YouTube page  is full of tips to help you out. The clip is just under three minutes long and is packed full of useful tips from start to finish.  [Read more...]

From Shooting To Post Production: How To Balance Flash With Ambient Light

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Natural light is a wonderful thing, but sometimes we need to supplement it with an artificial light source, such as a flash, to really get the look we’re going for. In the video tutorial below, Gavin Hoey takes us behind the scenes of a Robin Hood themed photoshoot to show us the techniques he used to seamlessly blend a flash with the low, ambient light in the forest where the shoot took place.

Hoey explains how to use different modes including aperture priority and manual mode to capture the image you see above. The light wasn’t as great as Hoey hoped it would be on the day of the shoot so he calls on a Flashpoint RoveLight 600 outfitted inside of a Glow ParaPop 28″ R Softbox, to help create some of the dramatic lighting you see. There was a little added magic done to the photo in post production, but nothing to difficult and Hoey (the nice guy that he is) included a walk through of his  post production, as well.  [Read more...]

Thomas Shahan Shares His Methods In Macro Photography

Methods In Macro Photography
A few days ago we shared some macro shots of spiders being reflected in drops of dew which were simply stunning. They definitely inspired me to pull out my extension tubes and reverse ring and get back into macro. If they inspired you to dabble, too, macro photography master, Thomas Shahan, just posted a new tutorial on the subject. There’s a lot of good advice for beginners in there, but more experienced photographers can find a few gems in the clip as well.

The video is an mostly an eight minute long slideshow of Shahan’s brilliant macro photos with some behind the scenes shots in there for good measure. Shahan narrates the clip by explaining his setup, process, and dishes out a ton of great pointers for levels of photographers. Be sure to look for the variety of DIY light modifiers he uses in some of the images. He briefly talks about how he made one of them with a paper towel and some sheets of plastic. He’s able to get some great shots using just that and the pop up flash on his Pentax DSLR

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Is It Ever Okay To Add A Lens Flare In Photoshop? Yes, And Here’s How To Do It

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Photoshop makes adding lens flares to a photograph an incredibly simply task which is, both, good and bad. Though they can add a creative touch to a photo, lens flares can also be a great way to turn a good photo bad (really quickly). We’ve all seen those awkwardly placed lens flares that result in more confusion than awe. Luckily, we have Aaron Nace, who nicely explains when they should and shouldn’t used in this 15 minute tutorial. After he offers us his guidance on when to use a light flare, he’s kind enough to do a walk through of the process of actually doing so. [Read more...]

How To Shoot Motorcycles Using Only One Speedlight

I did a shoot recently with a big BMW using only one speed light and I wanted to share how I made it happen. The idea is, of course to learn something new, but also to show that having little gear should not stop you from pushing yourself. Sadly I cannot use the bike photo, but I reproduced the process using a trusted unique Kymco Like, it’s not a BMW but it will do. My original plan was to use a full blown studio setup: monoblocks, softboxes and umbrellas as diffusers for the shot. But as I was setting up I thought of a crazy idea: Light is light, so why don’t I just add the light from multiple exposures and shoot it with one small speedlight. So here is a step by step tutorial and video on how we did it.

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