Composing an Action Sequence Shot

Sequence ShotThey say a picture is worth a thousand words and a movie is worth a thousand pictures. But sometimes you want something in between, something that is as still as an image, yet conveys action like a film. This is an action sequence shot.

Sometimes the best way to achieve an effect is to do it in post. So this post will not involve any gear hacking (although I can think of some elaborate ways to make this with no post at all), but some good old post processing method.

An action sequence shot as a still image that is made from several frames. In the following tutorial Kaan Kiran demonstrates one method of making such action shot.

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Lighting Ori’s One Year Old Birthday

Ori's Birthday Lighting SetupMy son, Ori turned one today. Man, time flies. Just yesterday he was kicking back in his crib. Meditating on how the color in his room slowly fades.

Two and a half days later. BOOM, He is one. Walking (as in from three days ago), dadaing, and has a strong opinion and stand towards anything in this world – starting from the location of the kitchen chairs (always on the move) through the best place for a ball of cereal (the floor), ending with his own spot in the world (in my hands).

So yesterday we had a small family gathering to celebrate. Of course daddy was on the camera to document the event.
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A DIY Optimus Maximus keyboard For GIMP, Photoshop or Lightroom

DIY Keyboard For Image Editing Software If you have not heard about the Optimus Maximus keyboard, let me fill you in.

The idea is simple: Use OLED technology to place a tiny monitor on each key; Make each such small monitor completely configurable, and updatable in runtime; have each button display any image depending on what you are currently doing with your computer.

The easiest example to grasp is that pressing the shift key will turn all “engravings” on the keyboard to CAPS. But a more interesting application would be a keyboard that displays the icons from your favorite image editing software. No more having to memorize what Ctrl + Shift + Alt + S does (it save for the web). Each key will display an image of its action. Isn’t it nice?

Well, you are about top learn how to make an Optimus Maximus keyboard yourself.

Uwe  Mayer (flickr, site) and Markus Dollinger (if you read German) show us how to make a keyboard that well, kinda does the same. Actually, this DIY keyboard is more like the awesome keyboard you get from RPG keys, but you can make one on your own and it will only cost about 30-40$. (See demos here). I just could not pass on the Optimus introduction.

You can use this keyboard to expedite your Lightroom workflow, your Gimp experience or your Photoshop speed-keying.

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Speed Links for 8-28-2008

speedlinksAfter getting back from one great Agile 2008
conference I had some time to get back to my grinding, head in the keyboard work kick back, relax and read some of the great content out there on the web.

I also remind you that there is about a week left to the grand finale’ of the Portrait Professional 8 Giveaway. There are some really great entries both on the black and white category and on the color category. There are also some great tips on taking portraits, and I’m looking forward to getting more of those tips submissions.

And speaking of great project’s Brian’s still running the 50$ camera project – a great way to experience film and get some cool prizes.

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Yes, You Can Say It – The D90 is Out

Now that the rumors have ended and the Nikon D90 is officially out.I bet you’d like to know how it feels. and you may also be interested in how it shoots.

Chase Jarvis just released his videoed review of the Nikon D90. No – it is not available yet – unless your name starts with a Ch and ends with a ase. Read the full review over at Chase’s Blog.

The D90 has some very cool features:

  • Movies (there are called D-movies,  I guess the D is for "DOPE!, how come we did not do it before)
  • Rocking 3 Inch LCD with Live preview (yes Live preview on a top level DSLR)
  • GPS tagging
  • The usual 12.3 megapixels, 4.5 FPS, Low Noise, great interface and ergonomics that you see from Nikon

Estimated at 1,200 USD I am suspecting that it will not be the price that will hold off buyers, but availability.

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Agile Photography

Agile AllianceCharles Darwin said it was not the strongest of the species that survived, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

Yea, yea, yea… this is a photography blog and a DIY one at that. Why are you bothering us with biology?

As I mentioned at the last fun @ the pool collection, I recently attended the Agile 2008 conference and the fast and relentless stream of Agility opened my eyes to the way photography can (or already is) become Agile.
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Removing The Mystery From The Heart Shaped Bokeh Thing

Create a Heart Shaped BokehOne of the most popular posts here at DIYP is the Create Your Own Bokeh post – this is the one that teaches you how to make nice shapes in the blurred area of your image – AKA Bokeh.

It is a nice thing because, usually, those hotspots are just taking away from your subject attention, and if you apply this technique, those annoying hotspots can become part of your artistic say.

Creating your own bokeh shapes is easy and fun, however there are a few repeating questions that I frequently get by email and comments. This is why I was really happy to learn that manimal magic has done some great thinking and have solutions for all questions. Some of manimal magic’s wisdom was found in the comments of the original post, and some was taken (along with the images for this article) from his (really awesome) Flickr stream. I am going to format this as a Q&A thing, cuz it really feels like he’s answered all the hard questions.

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Black & White Cheatsheet For Photoshop

Photoshop Black and White Cheat SheetWhen it comes to black and white conversion, there is no definitive method that will get the best results every time. Some use the channel mixer conversion, while others will swear by black and white filter. Other just like the simplicity of the desaturate function. Which one is the best? It depends. This is why I was so happy when Ladislav Soukup from (flickr) sent me this cheat sheet. Read on to find your best suited conversion in an instant.

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Rapid Fire By Chase Jarvis

Chase Jarvis put up a rapid fire video going from nothing to product-final in just a bit over three minutes.

So, OK, there is no way to actually do all the things in the video in three minutes. But if you are looking for some quick intro about what is the process behind commercial photography, you are in for a treat.

If you liked this video, you may want to check out Chase’s blog. On the top right there is a bunch of more goodies and videos.


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Making a Softbox Just Got Easier

studio_photography_best_softbox_ever.jpgIf you’ve been reading DIYP for a while now, you know that I am a fool for home made softboxes.

DIYP has featured all kind of softboxes, ranging from small light weight camera strobe to big studio photography strobes. Some are minutes to build and some are hours. Here is a list of some of the better softboxes we’ve had here on DIYP:

- The Best Softbox Ever (Image is from this project by Nick Wheeler)
- Two Great Weekend Projects – Striplight and Softbox
- Even Better Softbox Part One – The Build Process
- Even Better Softbox Part Two – The Test Results
- a home grown softbox
- Flash Mounted homemade DIY Softbox

One of the trickier parts of growing a softbox at home is the planning. The delicate work done by professionals to calculate the lengths of segments. The gentle work of trigonometry to calculate the angels. Light-less nights spent in dark basements with calipers.

(Actually it is the drawing of the the
individual pieces before you glue them together that is the real hard task)

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