A Detailed, Informative, and Simple Introduction Into the World of Astrophotography

Out of everything I’ve got on my camera’s bucket list, the night sky is what’s always intimidated me the most. I look at so many amazing photos of the Milky Way, or of billions of stars with absolutely no light pollution at all, and I find myself saying it’d be impossible for me to take something like that. If you’ve ever considered trying to get into night photography, you know how overwhelming it can feel at first. Mark Gee will be the first person out of any to tell you that going into it will require some serious patience. But like anything, if you put in the right amount of effort with the right amount of heart, that patience will ultimately pay off. To help out on getting started with astrophotography, Mark Gee wrote a tutorial that goes over almost everything we need to know.

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This Extensive Tutorial Will Show You Everything You Need To Know About High Speed Photography

Maurice Ribble, the maker behind CameraAxe,  probably one of the higher authorities on high speed photography today just released one of the most extensive lectures on high speed photography that I have seen to date.

It is not a fancy video like we are used to, but rather a slide based lecture, but nevertheless the information there is priceless.

It goes from the very most trivial question of “what is high speed photography” to some basic concepts like why you want to use a strobe to freeze the action using a strobe and not a high shutter speed. Maurice is then doing a few extensive how-to tutorials on drops and balloons and ending with some fancy setups using uber powerful (and slightly dangerous) air gap strobes. [Read more...]

A Detailed Breakdown Of Shooting A Gokou Ruri 1/8 by Griffon Enterprises Figurine

Gokou Ruri "Nekomimi version" 1/8 scale

This is the first photo I’ve taken to try out the “tinfoil / aluminum foil background” method. Basically, you take a bunch of tinfoil, screw it up into a ball, then carefully unfold it to create a crinkled background. Hang it a good distance behind your subject, then point a flash at it. The crinkles in the foil will create a series of bright reflective points, which when thrown out of focus create a stunning sparkly background. [Read more...]

An Introduction to Glitch Art: Implementing Digital Surrealism Into Your Photography

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One thing I love implementing in the work that I do is surrealism. When it comes to music production, for example, I like throwing in noises that catch me off guard. I might take samples of speeches and alter the voice of whoever’s speaking, and fit it into something as an introductory cut; vocoders are something I have too much fun with, if I don’t abuse them while experimenting with different sounds and figuring out what works best with what I’m writing.

Similarly, that form of surrealism is something I experiment with in photography to the point where it’s becoming something I generally implement into my work. One way I tend to mess with some of my photos is by giving them glitch distortions. If you’ve heard of this before, you’ve probably heard it referred to as “glitch art”. Glitch art’s gained a good amount of popularity since the turn of the millennium, around the time when digital photography started becoming popular. In the same way film has its imperfections illustrated through the little cracks and marks you see flashing by when a movie’s being projected (the “cigarette burn”, for example), digital work has its imperfections as well. The pixelization of a JPG, the compression of an uploaded mp4, or the complete chaos done to a video when it’s converted to an incompatible format – the digital age now has its own unique form of flaws, and it’s arguably a part of our culture up to today just because of the familiarity each of us have with the imperfections.

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Lightroom’s Develop Module Creative Workflow – The WHYs Rather Than The HOWs

Photographer Robert Rodriguez  shares his view on the creative workflow using Lightroom. Interestingly, rather than focusing in the different modules and explaining what each button and slider does, Rodriguez goes one level upwards and discusses the creative workflow using Lightroom. (Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of sliders and buttons explained, just a different context)

The way that Rodriguez does that is focusing on the WHYs, and he starts with the vision with a strong tag line – Why is more important than how.

Rodriguez shares 4 concepts to facilitate the creative workflow: [Read more...]

This Tutorial Covers Everything You’ll Need to Know about Photoshop’s Clone Tool

The team at Phlearn put together a pretty detailed video tutorial over mastering the cloning tool, and they’re not wrong when they emphasize on how important it really is. I’ve been Photoshopping since I was in the 8th grade, and just from reading that you can probably already imagine the atrocities that came out of my, uh… “graphic design” skills back in the day. One thing I never really made myself learn was the cloning tool. It just looked too complex, and I thought using blur on pretty much everything was the way to go. At the time, I was basically under the impression that the Blur tool was all I needed because it does the same thing the Clone tool would do.

Please don’t make the mistakes I’ve done.

If you’re like me, and never really got the hang of a tool like that, do yourself a favor and check this video out. The seventeen minutes that comprise this tutorial aren’t wasted by any means at all; covering four different sections, Phlearn’s Aaron Nace gives us a broken down, professional, and intricate look into the software, and in the end it’s downright easy to follow along with.

[Via Phlearn]

The Trick On Getting Gradient Reflection On Reflective Surfaces (Cellphones, Laptops Etc.)

Getting gradual reflection on a shiny surface is not trivial. It is not hard, but you have to know how it is done (which you will once you’ve read this post :). This is one of my favorite techniques when shooting products with a granite tile, and it gets that gradient reflection on a reflective surface every time.

I got a couple of messages on Flickr a while back asking me how to get a gradient effect on an iphone shot I did before. So here is a step by step lighting tutorial on how to achieve this kind of lighting and where you can use it.

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How To Properly Shoot Landscape Night Photographs

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Shooting landscapes during the night can make for a stunning photo. Our eyes can see the night sky in great sensitivity – we can look at the stars and even see the Milky Way if the conditions are right. DSLR cameras, however, have even greater abilities than our eyes and can produce night photos with fantastic details of the night sky. These photos can be achieved by using the advantages of DSLR cameras like high ISO capabilities, fast aperture lenses and long exposures. But shooting night landscapes does not come without its challenges – noise and shallow depth of field (DOF) issues.

Shooting landscapes in during the day has an huge advantage when it comes to exposure settings. Low ISO means high quality, low noise and high dynamic range photos. Small aperture settings gain us large DOF, and the shutter can be set to almost any speed we want creating short or long exposures. When shooting at night, we have less control over the settings and some are almost pre-determined to allow enough light to reach the sensor. [Read more...]

How to Use A Marble To Detect Catchlights

marble-catchlightsHere is a fun trick that can help you quickly discover (and design) the look of catch lights in your photo.

Catch lights is the photo-lingo for the reflection of the light that you see in one’s eye. Most catch lights are rectangular in shape and are positions on the top right (or left of the eye) as they reflect a rectangular softbox.

But if you are using any other type of lighting, or simply want to see how a catch light will look like in any particular scenario, this quick method by Frank Donnino is perfect and takes practically no time. [Read more...]