We all love to spend money on the latest and greatest photo gear, whether it be a $120 reflector with a hole in it (I’m just jealous I didn’t market this myself haha ;) ), or a $500 tube with LED’s inside! We love to spend money on our passion. But sometimes, you can create some fantastic looking shots for next to no money at all. I present to you, the wonders of the humble cling film!
Most of us shoot portraits with bokeh behind the subject. But what if we reverse the position of lights and the model? In this video, photographer Mark Wallace shoots portraits with front bokeh to create more playful indoor portraits. All you need is a camera, a model and a string of Christmas lights. It’s a simple trick and gives really good results.
This technique in a way emulates the look of being outside. It’s not exactly like this, but it does add some depth and interest to the photos. And it’s definitely fun for playing when it’s dark and cold outside. After watching the video, I tried it out myself for a few quick test shots. I made some portraits that are definitely more interesting than they would be with plain white background. And I had tons of fun, too.
Creating custom bokeh for lenses is something many of us try at some point. Even if it’s not something we’re ever going to do again, it’s fun to have a go at least once. We’ve mentioned the technique on the site a few times before. But, different lenses will render out of focus areas differently. The balls of blur will be difference sizes. So, how do you know what size hole to cut?
This video from the Kuldonov Brothers offers up a handy tip to get the size right. All you need is a compass. No, not the kind that’s built into your phone so your maps work. One for drawing circles. And it’s a pretty easy and straightforward process.
Sometimes you want to create a stunning portraits indoors but you are stuck with those seamless white, black and gray sheets as backgrounds. Well, how about creating a about creating a bokehlicious wall like this?
I love using out of focus bokeh circles, they are beautiful, unique and pretty dramatic. There are many ways to create those bokeh shapes in the background (I;ve seen light bulbs and LED lights used before). The method below, however, is simple and it will create hundreds, and thousands of little bokeh shapes.
Have you ever seen an interesting photo of a clear globe and wondered how to create such an image? This article will give you a few tips on how to take crystal ball photos.
You can use a crystal ball to get a fisheye effect without the expense of buying a fisheye lens.
One of the ideas I picked up from another blog on photography suggested that you’ll get interesting results if you include a fence in your photo.
In the photo above, I set up an old tripod with a black cloth on top and carefully balanced the ball upon it. I took the shot from a deck with a roof, close to steps that lead down into my backyard. I rotated the image 180 degrees to have the steps appear upright in the final image.
It’s died down a little now, but last year there was an insane craze surrounding the Sigma Art series lenses so much so that I actually ended up buying 2 of them, selling them, then borrowing them again in the future for other shoots when I had no money.
To be clear from the outset, I actually think the Sigma Art lenses kick serious ass, the sharpness, the focus ring, build quality, the price. They are “cheap enough” ($900 for 35mm f/1.4 or $950 for 50mm f/1.4) and give you some serious firepower in the lens department. But after all of this, after all of these wonderful points, I STILL sold the 50mm and the 35mm because of one key factor. I think the bokeh sucks.
I have played with photography a little bit since I was a boy, first with an old Olympus 35mm film point-and-shoot, then with a GameBoy camera and later a pretty terrible mobile phone. At age 18 I got my first DSLR and instantly fell in love with out-of-focus backgrounds, and now almost 10 years later I still have a passion for bokeh.
Most new lenses aim to have bokeh that is very smooth. Some people really like this, and in most lens comparisons and reviews, the smoother bokeh is considered the winner. And while I do like the smoother bokeh from some lenses, sometimes I find it can be a bit boring to me. An example of this is the Sigma Art 35mm f1.4, a lens that is very highly regarded, and I have absolutely nothing against it, it’s just not to my taste.
Do you like lens flares? And I don’t mean those CGI flares. No sirs! We are talking about real lens flares made with real vintage lenses. Are you sharp enough to match the lens to the flare?
We know that it’s not easy because we made a lens flare package with real lenses and real flares for composites and adding a punch to photos. But even after playing with those lenses for a few days it was not easy to match a flare to a lens.
Hit the jump to test your flare to lens matching powers.
Now, this could of course be a coincidence, but the spikes have been there every year since 2009 and I think eight years definitely establish a trend.
Sometimes it does not take much to create a wonderful shot for new year, it only takes a punched black cardboard and two champagne glasses.
Moldova based Photographer Alex Zatsepin provides a detailed explanation on how he took the photo above using a punched black cardboard, an Ironing board, 3 strobes, and a good understating of how light and lenses work.