Having Fun @ The Pool #4

The last week was very interesting week on my professional career, I was attending a software conference in Toronto called The Agile Conference 2008. The conference was all about making software better. (Any Agile practitioners here? Give me a shout).

I find that there are plenty of similarities between Agile software development and striving for photography perfection and style, and I intend to share this in an upcoming post. (Don’t worry, this will not be a geeky-techie post).

While being away from home I had the pleasure of watching the DIYP Flickr group grow. We are now 2751 enthusiastic photographers, and sharing 2653 picture. Great work. While it feels great to be part of such a striving community, I noticed that the number of photographer is smaller then the number of pictures. That means that some of us are missing on the great opportunity to share our pictures and get ideas, critique and standing ovations from group member.

Here is my suggestion, if you did not submit at least on picture to the group, submit one picture now, and pick one of the other images on the group and make a comment. This is turn will encourage other to comment on your images.

Thanks for making my day great! Below are some of my favorites from the last month.

Take me with you! by Hugo de Stockholm cupcake_aftermath.jpg by hodgespics Isle Of Avalon promo by kryss martin Stormy weeds by Dr|g Christine by Jon Neftali spencer_portrait2.jpg by hodgespics
KCS Train by 710 Photography IMG_1704 by ZtarMan aka ZMan Vasutas lettem by akosphoto  by kaankiran Play "Misty" for me! by Anthony HB2007  by kaankiran
what's at the end of this rainbow? by hlkljgk Tres Chic by viktor.dite Angela and Sadie by Artheon Mermaid Watching by Brian Auer Yellow Gerbera by nickwheeleroz
Small World by ksten singing-lessons-copy by rockhoppermedia Curves by skedonk CRW_4259 by evolved photography Pinhole Seesaw  by Darren C. Alexa-1 by MATTaddington
Signing Documents by TrixSigio Might as well jump.... 2bw by Adam Melancon Sunrest by Hugo de Stockholm 9pm Spectacular on Sydney Harbour by sachman75 Vanished by oz_ranger Floating Gin by Bald Monk
Give a man a thought... by getbusylivn Cover Shot by Auzigog painting smoke II by morrmota Save Christian in Egypt by Brian Auer Half Full by Chica-X Firestarter by 710 Photography
Kenzie by Jon Neftali Day 13 - Inspiration by Kwame John classic_Spencer.jpg by hodgespics Soraya by Abdallah ? "Dicen que los galanes existen en las películas nomás" by Yon Pol (Digital Canon XT en Venta) reader by rsplatpc
Ice Lollies are not just for Kids! by Bald Monk Lemon Lime by Matthew Stones the wind by Lady Twiglet You Don't Bring Me Flowers.....Anymore by DownTown Pictures Devil's Den by getbusylivn The Halls Are Empty Now..... by DownTown Pictures
The Self Preservation Society by nickwheeleroz Girlfreind having a Cigarette by PaulGT Shot from the cab by Dr|g windywalk by neilcreek

More Photodumps:
- Having Fun @ The Pool #3
- Having Fun @ The Pool #2 – What a Splash
- Having Fun @ The Pool #1 [Read more...]

Portrait Professional 8 Giveaway

UPDATE2: For a Flickr picture to be eligible to participate it must
have a short (or long explanation on why you took the portrait / the
person means something for you)

UPDATE1: See some Q&A at the bottom. I’ll update those as more questions come in.

A little while back, Alasdair Townsend, one of the makers of Portrait Professional, sent me a copy of Portrait Professional 8 to play with. Apart from the great fun that I had with the software (review coming soon), he also suggested to give three copies of Portrait Professional 8 as contest prizes.
- No Way!
- Way! And to make it even better, I’ll make those giveaways the studio high end version. (Valued at 239.95 USD).

So what do you have to do to win one of those three copies? You have three options to submit an entry:

[Read more...]

Japanese Fun Street Art (And A Peek Into My Living Room)

FruitsA few weeks back, I did a post about lighting a portrait from different angles – the portrait cheat sheet card. As part of the project I also posted the setup shot for creating the card allowing DIYP readers into my leaving room.

If you went supersize into my studio my wife’s living room, you could see two pictures on the right corner. This, of course besides the usual mess and child goo left all over the floor.

Tuffer who is apparently moving to Brussels got intrigued by the mystery of my living room and asked what those pictures are. (Feel free to ask more questions about my living room. it is a wondrous place)

Those are pictures from a photography album called Fruits by Shoichi Aoki which deals with a Japanese fashion called (surprise, surprise) Fruits.

[Read more...]

The Easy Tripod to Reflector Holder Conversion

reflector holderThis is another fun project from the factory of reader Jerry Hamby.

It is a reflector holder from a $9.99 tripod, a 3ft long piece of PVC pipe, an elbow to fit, and a small clamp. (The Tripod is 9.99$ on July 26th on Amazon, but I bet similar tripods are always on sale somewhere). Like the previous project from Jerry, the Green Bean Hair Light, it’s a short and fun project, and you don’t have to make it in whole, if you like the idea, you can expand it to things other the tripods…

[Read more...]

The Green Bean Hair Light

hair lightReader Jerry Hamby just sent in this great hair light project. It is made from a cheapo 45 ws ebay flash and – believe it or not – a green-bean super value can (the kind you don’t want to eat too much of at one time). Just before sharing his tutorial with you, allow me to extend two small tips:

1. Empty the bean can before using it.

2. Do not empty it alone. 

Now, to the tutorial. [Read more...]

Portrait Software Developer Want Your Help

Anthropics is a company that develops a portrait retouching software called Portrait Professional. Tony Polichroniadis who is the chief scientist over there is looking for some feedback on the package.

If you have any ideas, thoughts and wish-lists from this kinda software you can influence the next version of Portrait Professional. 

Use this flickr thread to share any thoughts you may have. If you just want to play round with the software and get the idea of what it can do (quite a lot), you can download a trial version here.

[Read more...]

Manual Focus – Practice Makes Perfect (Part 3)

Manual FocusIn my two previous posts I discussed eleven reasons why you would ever want to use manual focus, and six ways to help you get a good sharp manually-focused picture.

As I said, it takes some practice to get sharp results, and in this wrap up post I’ll discuss practice. One type of practice it easy and can be done a home. The benefit of this practice is that it is very technical and needs little preparation.

Here is how it’s done:

[Read more...]

Six Tips To Take Great Manual Focus Pictures (Part 2)

manual focus ringIn my previous manual focus post I discussed nine reasons to use manual focus. But wait, isn’t manual focus slow and inaccurate? Not if you do it correctly.

In this post I will describe six ways to get the perfect (and fastest) manual focus. As will all things photography, practice makes perfect – You may not have your first manual focus pictures right, but as you keep practicing, you’ll get better and better, until manual focus becomes a second nature to you. [image CC by parl]

[Read more...]

Nine Reasons to Manually Focus When Taking Pictures (Part 1)

Macro antMost Digital (and film) cameras today offer a nice feature called Manual Focus.  This has not always been the case. The older more experienced folks remember that in the good old film days there was a big excitement when auto focus was introduced as a new feature.

There are many reasons to use Auto Focus – it is fast, accurate, and let you, the photographer concentrate on composition, lighting, framing and other technical and artistic factor of your picture.

However, there are still many situations when Manual focus can give better results than auto focus. [image cc by dalantech] [Read more...]