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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A Passionate Film Project (And Cool Prizes Too)

Brian Auer has a passion – old skool film photography. His passion, as most passions are, is contagious. If you have not caught the Film virus yet, Brian came up with a project to help you get some film inspiration going.

The $50 Film Camera is one of those projects that is real easy to get involved in. all you have to do is shoot some rolls of film with a film camera of under 50$, post your pictures, and a camera review and you are in. (Don’t forget to submit your review link).

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Learning About The Small Things

Nikon sb800If you, like me, have little money to spend on big expensive lighting, you can start up your flash photography with a small flash (AKA strobe).

Actually some of those are so cheap, you can start off with a few, or add strobes as you go along. I started with 1 small flash: The Nikon SB 28, added the Nikon SB 800 when I got my D70, and when I needed more light, I added the Nikon SB 26. The SB 26 sells for about 100 USD on eBay and other small flashes like the famous Vivitar 285HV sells for about 50 on eBay and about 80 for a new flash.

If you indeed choose this path (which from now on will be called the strobist path) there are several very useful resources on (and off) the web for you to learn how to perfect your small strobe lighting technique.

I have deep appreciation for all photographers listed below, they all helped me learn and grow to the photographer I am today.
This is why I am shamelessly promoting sharing their recent and not so recent projects.

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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:

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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.

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