White Water Kayaking Photos – Surprisingly More Difficult Than You Might Think

I can’t believe that its late August and summer is almost over.  It seems that every year I have a list of summer time photo sessions that I never get around to.

One thing I have had on my list for a while now is white water kayaking photos.

There is a world class white water course just down the road from one of the cottages we spend time at every summer, yet somehow I never end up with enough time to get out and photograph the kayakers.

Well, this summer I finally made time for it – and as it turns out, white water kayaking photos are surprisingly much more difficult than you might think!

white water kayaking photos photography jp danko blurmedia extreme sport commercial photographer toronto

In this article, I will share the thought process, camera settings and post production behind this series white water kayaking photos.

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The Inverse Square Law of Light, Explained in the Simplest Way Possible

Let’s face it; we’re not scientists and the name of this law could frighten many of us. The reality is that this is a very basic concept with a very technical name: the inverse square law of light.

When it comes to lighting subjects, whether you’re a wedding photographer of a feature film cinematographer, the possibilities given to you are endless. Sometimes you don’t know how you want to photograph something just because you might not know whether you’re doing it in the best way possible. With so many different ways to light something, it’s pretty easy to start doubting yourself, and it happens to us all the time.

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Invisible Waves: NPR Science Video Shows Exactly What Sound Looks Like

Screen Shot from Video.

Back in the mid-1800s, August Toepler gave us a way to be able to look at sound. Not synthetically visualize it- but actually be able to look at it. His invention was called Schilieron Flow Visualization; by implementing the complex technique into your camerawork, you’ll actually be able to see waves. Whether it’s the waves made from the snap of your fingers, or the waves from the hiss of an opened Pepsi bottle- you can see the noise they make. And NPR released a video that shows you how its done.

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A Man Films Himself Walking Backwards in Tokyo… And Then Reverses the Video

Screenshot from the video

Tokyo Reverse is a movie with a running time of 9 hours, and it was broadcasted in its entirety on a network in France. As strange as that sounds, the network is known to do things like this, and this clip from the film shows exactly how the entire thing was filmed: with a guy walking backwards.

It’s strange to look at on first glance, but you’ll notice how cleverly put it all really is as the clip goes on. Ludovic Zuili, the man in the video, films himself walking backwards in a way where it’d look like he was walking completely normally if the clip were to be reversed. [Read more...]

Daniel Boschung’s Cartogaphy Gives Us an Unsettling Look at the Human Face

Screen Shot from ROBOPHOT

For those who don’t know, cartography is the making of maps. The word comes from the french terms carte and -graphie, which literally mean map and writing. Daniel Boschung is a face cartographer, and he does exactly what that title suggests: he makes geographic landscapes out of portraits of the human face.

The maximum resolution of a perfect human eye is around 450 pixels per inch (PPI). That means if you’ve got a smartphone, like the iPhone 5S, you probably wouldn’t notice the separate tiny pixels that make up the screen because of its display of 326 PPI. The screen looks almost as sharp as real life. Keeping that in mind, if you were to take a 90 x 90 inch portrait of one of the faces photographed by Daniel Boschung in this project, the final resolution of the picture would amount to somewhere at 111,000 PPI. [Read more...]

Photographer Robert Harrison Gives a Great Workshop on 1940′s Glamour Shots, and it’s Free to Watch Online

Screen grab from the Workshop Video.

After the Great Depression, American cinema began to evolve, and Hollywood slowly started to become the country’s primary source of theatrical entertainment. Most of pop culture began its growth in that period, the 30′s and 40′s, with influences stemming from films like King Kong, Gone With the Wind, and Citizen Kane. There’s something about the photography that grew through inspiration from that age that has kept its appeal even up to today; after all this time, the 1940′s is an era that is recognized today for how glamorous it was through the art that it bred. And while we now have new and more modern approaches to portrait photography, sometimes it’s fun to try something different and go for a look that gives the portraits an entirely different dimension. Robert Harrington just recently held a workshop on how to achieve a “1940′s” look in your photography through tools you may already have. And for the good amount of people who didn’t have a chance to attend it, he just posted it online.

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Stop shooting the same shot over and over again

Screenshot of a series of similar images in lightroom

Today we’re going to talk about letting go of your zoom ring, moving your feet and dealing with a habit a lot of us have, me included, the habit of shooting the same safe shot over and over again.

I realize I’m generalizing here, but most photographers have “safe shots”, shots they know how to pull off 10 out of 10 times, shots they know will please the client and shots that will put money in the bank. Now let me be very clear from the get go, this is a good thing. I know that a specific light set up, a specific vibe at the shoot and a specific way of asking questions and talking to the client will get me a specific kind of portrait, that makes people happy. I’m so dang happy that I have those set ups ready to go, because a bunch of times those shots are exactly what the client want, and other times when my head just isn’t working and I’m not feeling it, I can use those setups to make a shoot work. What I don’t like is that I have at various points, and I assume I’ll get there again, been stuck in only shooting these safe shots. It is an easy place to get stuck because you know the shots work, and you know you aren’t risking messing the shoot up. But if you get stuck there, you stop developing your vision, and that is a really bad thing. So, without more intro-ado, let’s get to the point of the thing, stuff that I know have helped me a truckload with getting out of the safe-shot-rut. [Read more...]

The Standard 3-Point Lighting Technique

3-point-lightingOne of the oldest lighting techniques in the book is called “Three Point Lighting”. It is vastly used in studio photography and by snobby fashion photographers. It is also a very good basis for any portrait photograph. In this technique you use three lights:

The first light is a key light. Usually this is the strongest light and this light sets the lighting of the scene.

The second light is called a fill light, this light helps fill the shadows that the main light casts.

The last light is called a backlight (because it comes from the back), and is used to create a contour and separation. It is common to use a snoot or a gridspot on the backlight to avoid a spill.

The guys at mediacollege have created a nice illustration and explanation of that basic technique. They have also created a cool flash simulator (After writing this, I’ve noticed that this is a pan, so no credits here. Kudos for the great pan) that can help understand the concept of a three point lighting. Or you can just click the various lights and enjoy seeing how the model reacts to each type of light. The flash simulator is also good way to understand key light and backlight in general.

While in general the guys (or girls, I don’t know who works there) deal with video, the lighting stuff is great for still photographers as well.

Related links:
- Media college lighting tutorials
- Flash Simulator
- Homemade snoot

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Painting With Light

painting with lightPainting with light is a fun technique that gives great results. It is called painting with light because this is what you are actually doing while taking the shot – painting with light.

You don’t need much to experiment with this kind of shot, just make sure you have the following items:

1. A camera capable of long exposures – film cameras will work OK, but if you really want to get the most out of the shooting session, use a digital camera. You will be able to see the results in “real time” and make corrections as you go.

2. A nice tripod. Since you will be doing some long exposures you want to make sure your camera sits still. If you don’t have a tripod you can make one in a few minutes (see this article or this one).

3. A flash light – and by flash light I do not mean flash as in a speedlight, but the flash light or what our British will call a torch.

4. A dark location. This one is tricky. If you are going to shot at home – a dark room will be OK. If you are going to shoot outside – make sure that you are not doing this under a street light, or where a car can come by and “paint its headlight” all over your shot. [Read more...]

DIY – Reverse Macro Ring

reverse macro ringAs everybody knows, macro lens are expensive. Daniel Kyaw has a great way of creating a macro reverse ring for practically nothing.

Reverse rings can be used to shoot macro shot using non-macro lens like 50mm. We can buy original reverse ring from dealer, the price is ranging from 30~40 US$. And normally they do not have stock in hand since this is slow moving stock item.

Well, so I want to share my idea with you to make your own reverse ring from your old/unused accessories which will cost you about 3-4 US$. [Read more...]