Possible Halo Effect with Canon 70-200 f.2.8 L IS USM II

The Canon 70-200 f.2.8 L IS USM II is quite a flagship of a lens. At $2500 and 2.9 pounds it is quite a beast, and almost every review or recommendation I’ve seen on it states that the only real issue with it is that you will never change lenses after using it.

Possible Halo Effect with Canon 70-200 f.2.8 L IS USM II

Lisbon based Photographer Rui M Leal had a different experience though. Rui was assigned to shoot a concert when he noticed a bright halo at the edge of the frame when shooting at the 90-110 zoom range. [Read more…]

Inspiration from Successful Creatives

Making money as a creative can be is a tough grind.

As an established photographer once told me when I was just starting out: “My job is everyone’s hobby.”

Essentially, what he was saying was that everyone wants to be a famous photographer, musician or actor, but so few have that special combination of talent, personality and luck to actually make it happen.

The reality is that ridiculously talented creatives are a dime a dozen (literally in many cases…), but those who are able to translate talent into commercial success are a very rare breed. 

With that in mind, I am going to look at an example from the musical side of artistic talent that I personally find inspiring because of the way these creatives have leveraged their considerable artistic talent into the kind of commercial success that we all aspire to.

Walking Dead Business Man

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How To Build A Giga Pixel Scanner

Large high resolution scans are kind of an art form, and definitely not easy from the technical aspect. Photographer/maker Charlie Romer took on creating a mega-scanner called Matrix Shot as a summer project.

How To Build A Giga Pixel Scanner

This Arduino controlled camera is just what you need to make a high precision, large format mega scan. The idea is that the camera traverses the picture while taking many, many macro shots – one row at a time. Then those images are stitched together into one huge scan. With the D800 36MP per shot combined with a 200mm lens, the resulting image is a few 1000’s MB. [Read more…]

Clever Way To Store Multiple Seamless Paper Backdrops

One of the more annoying things to store is seamless paper backdrops. They are big, bulky and you can’t lay them on the flow because they will collapse over their own weight and great folds. This means that the best way to store a seamless paper is vertically.

Clever Way To Store Multiple Seamless Paper Backdrops

If you have a long wall that is unused (as no studios probably have), you can stick em on the wall with something like this foam system. Here is a much cooler way tough.

Photographer Rob Grimm made a rope and dowel system that can store a few dozens of backdrops in a neat and orderly fashion. Check out his video below. [Read more…]

Leaving the Camera at Home (You Can Do It…Really)

I just read an article about a blogger who actually called 911 from a Toronto film festival, complaining about excessive cell phone use during a midnight press screening. Alex Billington of FirstShowing.net says he called the police because there was too much texting and emailing going on in the theater and that the theater management refused to do anything about it. Yes. You read that correctly. An allegedly sane person called 911 to complain about phones lighting up in a movie theater.

I’m going to walk away for a few minutes and let that sink in.


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10 Good Reasons BuzzFeed Is Going To Pay My F#$king Invoice For Copyright Theft*

BuzzfeedLast week (although by the time I post this it’ll be two weeks) BuzzFeed posted a highly successful “listical” 18 Everyday Products You’ve Been Using Wrong], it went viral and you can see why. The list is useful, involving household items some of which you probably use on a daily basis and has that “of course!” level of enlightenment.

And when I say “highly successful” I mean their most viewed post in way over two months, here’s a recent top 5…

  1. 18 Everyday Products You’ve Been Using Wrong – 4,239,456
  2. 21 Painfully Awkward Band Photos – 2,920,505
  3. 28 Things That Happened After The Harry Potter Books Ended – 2,615,219
  4. Will Smith’s Family Reacting To Miley Cyrus Is Perfect – 1,733,798
  5. 17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand – 1,374,124

We’ll get back to it being one of it’s most successful pages and why this is important in a moment. But first this is where my problem with this list comes in, down at number 14…


…where they used my copyrighted photo without permission. [Read more…]

The Effects Of Changing Focal Length

When I was your age, we did not have zoom lenses, we used to zoom with our legs. Barefoot. In the snow.

So what is the effect of changing focal length vs. zooming with your legs?

Mike Browne has a great video explanation packed with examples on the impact that zooming vs walking has.

Basically it changed three things: Field of view, Depth of field and Perspective, as the vidoe so wonderfully demostrates.

Focal Length Changes 3 Things via csbphoto

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How To Properly Put Dates In Photo Files Names

do your photo files have dates in them? They probably should so you can easily track them and know when they were taken even if they are not in their original folder.

How To Properly Put Dates In Photo Files Names

But… the big questions is how do you put the date in the file name? Apparently there are a lot of wrong ways and one right way.

The matter of dating files is not exclusive to photography and since it has such a broad scope there is a standard way of doing it. It is called ISO 8601 (now, don’t get me wrong, you can name your files however you want, I am just saying that this is a standardized, common, clever way of doing it). [Read more…]

Learning to Critique

Pop quiz– How many times in an average day do you come across a photo on-line, put there by a photographer seeking critique, comments, suggestions, opinions, or input? Actually, it’s not a fair question. If your day is anything like mine, you lose track by lunch time. Between Flickr, 500px, my students, and the many photography-related pages I follow on Facebook, there are just too many to count. Despite the huge count (or maybe because of it) I find two things that resonate with me about these posts. The first– based on their reactions– is that most people aren’t really looking for an honest critique. They are looking for validation. The second thing that jumps out at me is that most people simply do not know how to give a proper critique.


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