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...]

Speed Links for 7-9-2008

speedlinksThis has been a busy month again with a great ending.

As usual my day job was getting more of my time then photography, but some good things happened in the last week or so.

The first is that my son’s teeth are finally breaking. It means that he plans to eat better, but it also means that I get some sleepless nights and wonder around the web to find great goodies.

The other good thing was a nice long vacation with no work email access (and actually no internet access at all – what do you know, it didn’t kill me).

No I am back and would like to share some of the great sites and article I found during those sleepless nights.

  • The 15 second DIY adjustable snoot!
    If you liked the cardboard snoot and the better bounce card you’ll love this adjustable snoot
  • How to Reduce Camera Shake – 6 Techniques
    Some great techniques to reduce blur when taking pictures. It all comes down to the way you are holding the camera. Techniques are especially useful, if you (like me) travel with kids which makes carrying gear virtually impossible
  • Chase Jarvis SHORTS: Pimped Photography Van
    Chase Jarvis
    Yet again, chase shows us how to make photography business with style. Forget about the batmobile. It is time for the framemobile. The next challenge is to make all the equipment fit in this.
  • The 75¢ Sandbag
    Stabilizing your setup can not go cheaper then this. For 75c a bag times four you can get **some** stability. The idea is great just need to be multiplied a few times
  • 10 things I hate about Flickr (and its users)
    Neil Creek
    Flickr has a lot of merits, but also a lot of vices. Neil gives a detailed analysis of how Flickr can become a better place. His comments can be used by Flickr programmers and Flickr users alike. Make sure you browse through the comments, there is a great discussion and opinions voiced there.
  • quick video 3: studio setup for a large white background
    If you’ve followed Zack Arias’s white background series, you’ll love this. A quick video on how to provide a white background in a full studio environment (A LA huge octagon and multiple flash units). Quick math produced 10,000 Watts/seconds.
  • Seeing the Possibilities
    The f-Stops Here
    everybody can take a stunning image of a great location. David walks us through a idea to convert a boring location to a winning shot
  • Alltop
    A ton of great photoblogs. And by ton I mean A TON. A great place to freshen up your feeds
  • Lighting 102: CTO Assignment | Discussion
    Great discussion from David on how to use CTO gels on your flash. I really like this one as it show just how creative one can get when assignment has a weird limitation such as Use a CTO gel on your flash. Dont miss the extra shot.

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Related Links:
- Speed Links for 6-6-2008
- Speed Links for 05-09-2008
- Speed Links for 4-20-2008
- Speed Links for 2-23-2008
- Speed Links for 12-20-2007 [Read more...]