Making selections in Photoshop gets easier with each passing year thanks to better tools. But, there are times when more precise selections are needed, most notably when there’s hair or fur involved in the photograph you’re trying to cut out. For times like these, more robust means of selection are required.
If an amazing light painting portrait has caught your eye sometime over the last few years, you’ve probably seen the work of Montréal, based visual artist Eric Paré.
Since then Eric and his long time collaborator Kim Henry have been busy traveling the world combining dance, environmental portraiture, and light painting with gorgeous results (check out Eric’s 500px portfolio here and his work with Adobe Max here).
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Eric and Kim in Toronto where they were presenting a Creative Photography and Light Painting Workshop…
There are many books and countless online articles about marketing your photography business, each with their own thoughts and opinions. Over recent years, the main the push has been towards social media and the wide audience it brings to the photographic entrepreneur. However, with sites like Facebook basically giving page managers the finger unless they pay to have their page promoted, I fear that it won’t be long before others follow suit and the viability of social networking as a means of marketing for small business will be a thing of the past. So, what do we do?
In a recent article over at Fstoppers, Craig Beckta shares how to effectively grow your marketing reach while others are losing theirs. “Don’t make the mistake of countless other photographers by building your business on someone else’s platform,” he cautions, which is exactly what marketing through social media is. But, Craig offers a different approach.
It’s been my experience that I enjoy working with things more when I create them myself. And, for the sake of argument, we’ll say you feel the same way, too. Which is why I can only imaging that you would enjoy photography that much more if you crafted your own gear.
Instructables user bertwert has been looking for an excuse to break out the duct tape and incorporate it into photography in a manner that didn’t result in the Mounties being called. Using a toilet paper roll, some old glass, and a little measuring, he was able to construct a usable homemade camera lens that yielded some hauntingly beautiful results.
Terry Richardson is the most recognized and probably the most controversial photographer in the art world. From stripping down naked while shooting risqué fashion work to publishing books filled with pictures of him receiving fellatio and having sex to collections of images of his feces, he’s a bit of a hotly-debated topic. And that’s not even mentioning the numerous first-hand accounts of Richardson allegedly sexually preying on models with whom he’s worked. But, if there’s one thing he’s got going for him, it’s his easily-recognized photographic style. With images that have graced the pages of almost every major fashion publication, from covers to editorials to ads, he knows how to get around.
His signature style is very simple and almost jarring, often shot as high key with the model posed against a white wall, using a bare flash for harsh, direct lighting. For those looking to replicate the “Terry Richardson Style” into your own work, the kind folks over at StyleMyPic show us how to do it with the most basic of gear.
I’ve been a not-so-closet pyromanic for most of my life. I burned everything I could get my hands on (without crossing the line to juvenile arsonist), crafted homemade napalm, and frequently blessed out neighbors with explosions in the backyard. As an adult, I’m become a little more skittish…especially after burning two acres of our property in Easter Sunday a few years back.
But, photographers in general seem to like pyrotechnics, whether it’s blowing stuff up or throwing sparks all over creation. So, what’s yet another way to brighten your life? The Backyard Scientist gives us a few ideas in a recent video.
By dissolving various household chemicals in methanol, he was able to produce rainbow-colored flames, producing a great visual result. But, of course, that wasn’t enough. Crafting a DIY flamethrower from PVC pipe and a bicycle pump, he shows us how to build a rainbow flame canon…which would be perfect for anything from infant photography to engagement sessions.
It has been my experience that most people are cordial when they see you trying to capture a photo. They may pause until you are done or ask if you are taking a shot at the moment or apologize if they feel they accidentally walked into frame. Then again, I live in a place where we wave at strangers while driving just to be polite, so my sampling may be skewed.
But, what happens when you’re taking photos on a tripod outside a nuclear facility and the security personnel keep getting in the way of your pristine shot? (Buggers!) Well, you remove them. (EDITOR’S NOTE: “Remove” is not to be confused with “eliminate.” We are forbidden to advocate such actions.) In Photoshop. Greg Benz show us the rather straight-forward process which involves shooting multiple frames of your subject (whilst keeping the camera still, i.e. mounted to a tripod) as people are moving about within the frame.
Smartphones are great, whether you’re grabbing quick snapshots of the kids smearing icing on themselves, making a low-budget film (they’re surprisingly good, actually), or immortalizing your visage in a selfie. But, without interchangeable lenses, one area where they lack is in focal control. Having this power over your technology is important for things like macro photography. While there are a variety of hacks for using your smartphone to capture tiny details, some can get rather complicated.
Instructables user Znaffi (we’ll call him Mr. X) shows us how to use a simple water droplet to turn your mobile device into a macro powerhouse. We touched on this a while back, but Mr. X gives us a full breakdown of this simple and basically-free technique.
Time lapse videos are incredible beasts, especially when coupled with dynamic angles and camera movement. However, purchasing a motion control rig for creating time lapse movies is not always in everyone’s budget. But creating one typically is! In this detailed and uber-awesome tutorial, the geniuses at Make show us how to build a self-contained, motorized platform for panning your camera throughout a long time lapse sequence…for $150!
While the tutorial relies heavily on some technical know-how, the finished product is absolutely beautiful and functions flawlessly.
Achieving a “film look” is something that most aspiring filmmakers strive to accomplish. We always want our work to appear as masterpieces, but sometimes we aren’t sure how to capture those little nuances that could help push it over the edge. The advent of dSLR video helped bring video production capabilities to the masses, but getting that classic look of film continues to be a steady pursuit of many.
But, don’t be feint of heart! With some simple tricks, from adjusting camera settings to tweaking in post-production, you can be well on your way to getting the result you want!