June 19, 2013
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June 17, 2013
Let’s start with the different types of filters. I recommend three to consider: protection, polarizer, and neutral density. In the world of protection filters, those commonly used are clear, UV, Skylight, and Haze. Here’s a quick overview.
UV—Typically, this filter is very pale yellow to virtually clear. In the past, UV filters helped protect your image from the negative effects of atmospheric ultraviolet radiation. But thanks to the improved high-tech coating on today’s lenses, these filters don’t have much impact on image quality at lower altitudes. Some effect may be noticeable at high altitudes, however. Their primary use today is to protect the lens itself.
Skylight—Light pinkish in color, this filter can help correct the slight blue cast from shooting outside under a blue sky. Some photographers see benefits for their landscape photography. I don’t recommend this filter for portraits because it can affect skin tones.
Haze—This is essentially another name for a UV filter.
The above filters were very popular in film camera lenses. But with digital cameras, we can now counteract the mild effects of UV light with the white balance settings in our cameras. So, even though UV and skylight filters do have some mild filtering effect, they are primarily used as protection filters.
I recommend that you use a high-quality, multi-coating glass filter if you want protection for your lens. You don’t really need UV or skylight under most outdoor lighting conditions.
Specific protection filters
I typed the term protection filter into the search box at B&H Photo. Among the hundreds of results listed, here are a few good examples:
Tiffen 52mm UV Protection Filter ($5.20) This filter helps absorb ultraviolet light, reduces the bluish cast of daylight, and serves as a general protective filter.
Hoya 58mm EVO Clear Protector Filter ($57) This offers a clear filter for protection, a low profile, and a rigid, aluminum filter ring. The coating prevents surface reflections.
Heliopan 72mm Protection Filter ($780) A clear filter for protection, the SH-PMC provides a 16-layer multi-coating, brass ring construction, and high-quality Schott glass.
That’s quite a price spread among three filters of different sizes and different qualities. Generally, you don’t have to use a UV or skylight filter if all you’re after is protecting the lens. A clear filter is all you really need. Here are three things to consider when choosing this type of filter:
Multi-coated surface to help improve contrast and reduce reflections. For best results, the quality of the filter should be on a par with the quality of the glass in your lens.
Appropriate thickness for the type of lens you’re mounting the filter on. On my 16-35mm wide-angle zoom, I have a filter with a thin mount so it doesn’t cause vignetting when the lens is set to its widest field of view. For my long zoom lens, such as a 70-200mm, it doesn’t make any difference how thick the filter mount is.
Brass or aluminum for the mount. The theory is that brass mounts tend to be easier to unmount from the lens than their aluminum counterparts. Some photographers believe that they don’t “freeze up” as often, when they then require a filter wrench to remove. I don’t have any conclusive data on the superiority of a brass mount, but I will say that I like the feel of brass better.
The two main benefits of a polarizing filter are to reduce or eliminate reflections on some surfaces and to darken a blue sky. The most widely used type, the circular polarizer, has two glass elements. Depending on the angle of the light, you can increase or decrease the polarizing effect by rotating the front element.
Polarizers are effective for both color and black and white photography. They can add drama to a sky, clarity to an object in water, and saturation to foliage in a landscape. As with protection filters, look for multi-coated polarizers with high-quality mounts. Keep in mind that polarizers are dense and will usually absorb two stops of exposure.
Since polarizers tend to be relatively expensive—up to $250 for a 72mm mount—you may want to buy the size for your largest diameter lens, then purchase cheaper step-down rings to mount the filter on your other lenses. But I like to have a polarizer for each of my major zooms.
Neutral Density filters
For photographers who like to shoot at wide apertures or use slow shutter speeds, even in normal daylight, neutral density filters are a valuable asset. They come in two basic types: single density and faders.
Single-density ND filters are commonly available in the following options:
ND.3 = 1 stop exposure adjustment
ND.6 = 2 stops exposure adjustment
ND.9 = 3 stops exposure adjustment
ND1.2 = 4 stops exposure adjustment
You can buy them individually or in a kit. Kits typically run $100 to $200.
The second type, variable neutral density filter, sometimes referred to as “fader ND filters,” are often seen in ranges of 2 to 8 stops of exposure adjustment. You choose the density by rotating the outer ring of the filter. I’ve seen faders as cheap as $35 and as expensive as $350.
What’s best for you?
Outdoor and event photographers should consider a high-quality protection filter when working in the field. If most of your work is in the comfy confines of a studio, adding an extra layer of glass shouldn’t be necessary.
Polarizing filters are particularly handy for landscape artists. I also like to have one in my camera bag to help me tame reflections when working in contrasty light.
And if you like to shoot at wide apertures for shallow depth of field, or want to slow the shutter for a soft, flowing-water effect, then ND filters are certainly worth the price. Videographers also are big fans of ND filters to help them control depth of field when working in bright conditions. In a pinch, you can use a polarizer to help reduce light to the sensor, since it absorbs two exposure stops too.
Click here for the original posting on Tech Hive.
June 15, 2012
by Michael Zhang
Videographer Joel Loukus created a continuous ring light source — which he calls the “WreathLight” — using a wreath frame and two strings of Christmas lights. The total cost came out to $24. It’s a cheap and easy way of adding some soft lighting to your portraits. No Skills? No Tools? No Problem!
Here’s the How-To…
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May 20, 2012
It was 4:30am when my alarm clock went off. A quick shower, a few bites of cereal, and I grabbed my bag that I packed the night before with snacks, a second change of clothes and my go-pro camera kit. I was going to get dirty. I was going to get wet.
Today, I’m going to shoot a sizzle reel for Frank Lee Ruggles, Warrior Artist.
At the crack of dawn, I hopped into Frank’s jeep along with photographers Guy Noffsinger and Lee Love. We looked forward to the day ahead with great anticipation. We were about to shoot a 10 minute action-educational video in hopes of eventually getting Frank a new television program on a major network.
Frank Lee Ruggles is an Artist, Author, and former Eminent Photographer for the National Park Service, a job position once occupied by Ansel Adams. “Often compared to the American icon, Frank similarly delights us with his patience for the perfect shot and with his heroic efforts to get there”. An exhibition of his private works of America’s National Parks is currently showing in several locations across the US, accompanied by lectures about his experiences traveling to all 50 US States and showing images from his books”Beautiful America” and “Workbook”. A third book: “The Outdoor Photographer’s Guide to Hiking” was released in late 2011. Current Projects include: teaching photography at his “Hike and Shoot” Workshops, his exhibit and lecture tour, and his dedication to photograph all of the National Parks.
Frank Lee Ruggles began his photography career as a hobbyist in 1992, working in a one hour photo lab on Kiawah Island, SC. Before and after work most days, he would hike the trails of the Island, practicing his photographic skills and developing his own shooting style. After taking thousands of images, studying Ansel Adams’ books, and with the help of his wife Lisa, he found his own style and a buying audience at the photo store, where he sold his Fine Art images.
After five years, he moved to the Washington DC area to try new challenges and found work as a camera store manager where he met hundreds of photographers and learned the business of photography by networking and sharing experiences. In 1999, with his business partner he purchased a lab of his own. Their clients for photography and custom hand processing were primarily Federal Government clients, Architects, Realtors, and Manufacturers.
Frank Lee Ruggles has photographed over 100 of our National parks and logged 25000 miles on his photographic journey over the past four years. He can often be found hanging off remote cliffs, hiking on active volcanoes,or sitting for sometimes hours – waiting patiently – for the perfect image to capture the American Beauty he sees through his lens. His hikes frequently take him far off the beaten path to discover the lesser known views of these well known places. Mr. Ruggles will go to almost any extent to “get the shot”. He has committed to not only searching out, documenting, and sharing the beauty of America, but he has also committed to protect it as well through education and fundraising for preservation foundations.
Our crew of ten are made up of all sorts and ranges of talent from the Washington DC and Baltimore areas. We came together, unpaid, but knowing this was going to be a project that is going to garnish a lot of attention and create the next sensation in the likes of Anthony Bourdain, only within the photography world.
It was a long and tough day shooting throughout and above Harper’s Ferry where West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia come together at the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. The second half of the day demanded the crew to accompany Frank on a 2 mile hike up a 750 foot rocky mountain “for that perfect shot.” Along the way up, we lost three crew members to heat exhaustion sickness and they had to traverse back down the mountainside. The rest had to now carry even more gear to our final destination, an expansive view overlooking Harper’s Ferry and two railroad bridges far below. Frank swiftly harnessed himself to a rope and hopped over to another ledge. When the Scarlet Red camera was set-up and ready to shoot, Frank proceeded to enthusiastically educate the viewer in photographic technique. He climbed down the ledge and back up to another small spire away from the curious onlookers and crew for his final hot-shot.
Here’s hoping all the best to a fine man who deserves a show. Frank Lee Ruggles is a Warrior Artist who is going places… and taking you with him!
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September 27, 2011
The weekly Photoshop TV show featuring “The Photoshop Guys” Scott Kelby, Dave Cross and Matt Kloskowski. Presented by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP). Tune in!
Kelby TV Shows
The Grid with Scott Kelby & Matt Kloskowski is a live talk-show about photography, Photoshop & other industry-related topics. Each week features a different guest (in-studio or online) and viewers are encouraged to chime in on the Liveblog here on KelbyTV.com or via Twitter by adding #TheGridLive to their tweets.
The D-Town TV segment all about making the most of your photography dollar. From clever DIY projects to inexpensive photography solutions, host Larry Becker takes you through all you need to know to get more photography gear for less money.
The weekly Photoshop TV show featuring “The Photoshop Guys” Scott Kelby, Dave Cross and Matt Kloskowski. Presented by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP).
Get your weekly dose of the coolest Adobe® Lightroom tutorials, tips, time-saving shortcuts, photographic inspiration, and undocumented tricks. New videos posted each Monday and other news over the week.
D-Town TV is a fresh approach to teaching camera tips and photographic techniques to today’s digital photographers with Rafael “RC” Concepcion and Larry Becker as its hosts. No matter what the skill level or interest, each episode covers a wide variety of topics.
Sptember 26, 2011
One of the benefits of editing software is that you can take an image or media file and edit it through Photoshop, one of the most popular sources for editing and design. The one big problem with this software is the cost. If you want to get a basic Photoshop program, it could cost you in the ballpark of a couple hundred dollars. You can get a low end computer for that price. This article is for those who want to do some editing, but don’t want to shell out exorbitant amounts of cash. Here’s a list of some of the top open source software alternatives to Photoshop that would make an excellent addition to any virtual office:
GIMP, which stands for GNU image manipulation program, is one of the older and well known programs out there that’s been used for years as a good alternative to Photoshop. It doesn’t quite have all of the bells and whistles, but the best thing about the program, first and foremost, is that it’s free and it works well across multiple platforms. You get many of the same features like photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring. The program provides expert retouching tools and mass production image rendering. Another great feature is the expandable and open sourced capabilities to alter the program to meet the user’s specific needs.
Since GIMP is an open sourced software, for those who prefer the way that Photoshop manages the photo editing experience, GIMPshop is a modification of the standard program that allows it to work very similarly to Photoshop. This is also a free and open sourced software, but it’s primary function is to give users the ability to interact with the menu and features that are structured closely to match its editing counterpart. For anyone who wants more adjustable features, this is a good option that is a hybrid between Photoshop and the standard GIMP software.
As we all know, Macs are really expensive and so is their software. ChocoFlop is exclusively for Macs and is optimized to work with Macs system architecture. Currently, it’s free, but if you’re wanting to do some editing but not really interested in shelling out the money, you can download this program that works very similarly to Photoshop. With it, you can edit your photos and design your images, and it is designed to work in conjunction with Apple’s CoreImage technology. It takes great advantage of your Mac’s graphics card, and it works very well up against many of the program’s competitors.
This is another open source program that’s really designed for the novice. It has many comparable features that all work on the Koffice suite for Linux, but Krita is a little more low key than it’s Photoshop or GIMP counterparts. It has a lot of unique features, but it’s more for the person that doesn’t want to do high-end editing but just wants a way to make some alterations or retouching to their own photos. It’s intended to be really user friendly and for anyone to pick up in their spare time.
Check one of these programs out if you’re looking to save money or you just want an alternative to Photoshop’s rigid approach to editing software. Photoshop is well know for a reason, and, though it is an excellent program, it’s not for everyone. There are other opened sourced photo editing programs, but these are some of the most popular user picks. Check these options out and see which one works best for you.
September 8, 2011
by Rich Harrington – Scott Bourne, http://3exposure.com
Photography has been around a long time. One of the reasons for that is the constant innovation and improvement in technique and craft surrounding photography. Another reason is the invention of interesting styles or genres. Enter time lapse, HDR and panoramic photography. While HDR is the new kid on the block, time lapse has been possible since the first motion picture and panoramic photography has been around in some form since the 1840s.
Here at Triple Exposure, we’ll cover these three photographic specialties. We’ll offer tips, tricks, reviews, punditry, training videos, podcasts and anything else we can think of that might interest photographers using time lapse, HDR or panoramic photography.
The site is updated at least three times each week. Also watch for our video tutorials and audio podcasts.
We’re inteterested in knowing what you want to see here so send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for stopping by.
Rich Harrington – Scott Bourne
Contact us at: email@example.com
August 19, 2011
by Pixlr.com (thanks to Gary Riegel for the information)
People – I’m so excited today, the reason being the release of our new product, we call it Pixlr-o-matic! Until today we have focused on creating utilities, you know applications that can help you being more productive and be there when you need to fix an image, do a screenshot or share work in progress.
Pixlr-o-matic is our first product that we release for the broader market, an application that anybody can understand but still create awesome photos!. The application is foremost designed to fit within Facebook but works great on its own as well, you however lose the ability to open and save from and to your Facebook account.
The idea was to create a fun and playful “post process” darkroom where you can experiment with different base effects, overlays and borders. No downloads, all online…
Start of by selecting an image to play with either from your webcam, Facebook, your computer or you can just click one of our examples in the bottom.
The image is brought into the darkroom where you can select from a large number of effects, overlays and borders .. but why take my word for it? Go to http://apps.facebook.com/o-matic/ if you have a Facebook account or http://pixlr.com/o-matic/ if you don’t.
We would like your help though – please like and share the application so that all of your friends get to create cool looking photos as well.
A single photo can have more then 25 000 different looks!