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Archive for December, 2017

High Sight launches the Mini portable cable camera system

14 Dec

Manufacturer of cable camera systems High Sight has unveiled the latest addition to its product lineup. The Mini System was designed with portability and ease of use in mind, but builds on High Sight’s experience building larger and more complex products. The unit is controlled via a button interface and can carry gimbals, such as the DJI Osmo, Gopro Karma Grip and similar models.

“The High Sight Mini has been a blast to create and will be a game changer.” said Kevin Brower, president and chief executive officer of High Sight. “The Mini has evolved into something more than we could’ve hoped for. With our ping pong mode, you can set it up and walk away, it’s like having an extra cameraman on set just continually getting great footage.”

The Mini uses speed and position sensing for smooth movement and has been developed to be be fully autonomous. According to High Sight, this means the operator can focus on camera control, allowing for single user operation when normally two users would be required.

The Mini is made from machined aluminum and weighs only 1.3 lbs (0.6 kg). It can carry a payload of 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg) and easily fits into a backpack.

The demo reel below will give you a better idea of the kind of shots that are possible with the company’s cable systems. And if you think the Mini could be a useful tool for shooting your next video, you can find more information on the High Sight website.

Press Release:

High Sight Mini Sets The Bar With Ultra-Portable Design And Smart Functionality

Features Fully Autonomous Mode, Whisper Quiet Movement, and Reliable Performance. High Sight Launches New Product Allowing One of a Kind Shot.

Salt Lake City, Utah, November 7th, 2017 High Sight (highsightcam.com) cable camera systems is proud to launch the ultra-portable and fully autonomous Mini system. The new system was developed through years of experience building larger and more complex products. The Mini was brought about when creator and owner of High Sight saw a need for a smaller version in their current product line.

“The High Sight Mini has been a blast to create and will be a game changer.” said Kevin Brower, president and chief executive officer of High Sight. “The Mini has evolved into something more than we could’ve hoped for. With our ping pong mode, you can set it up and walk away, it’s like having an extra cameraman on set just continually getting great footage.”

Innovative: The Mini was designed to be compact, easy to use, and intelligent. Through years of experience High Sight developed the mini to be fully autonomous. By eliminating the task of controlling the Mini the operator can focus live camera control. This functionality allows for a single user to capture the same shot that would normally require two users. The Mini is great at capturing new and creative angles. Use it to shoot
interesting b-roll or set it on ping pong mode and capture great moments in your next BTS video.

  • Intelligent speed and position sensing for perfectly smooth movement
  • Fully Autonomous mode
  • Button interface for quick and easy operation
  • Compact size allows for maximum portability
  • ¼-20 mount to carry gimbals like the DJI Osmo, Gopro Karma Grip and many more
  • Machined aluminum for increased durability and protection
  • Made in the USA

Specs and Details:

  • Weight: 1.3 lbs. / .6 kg
  • Dimensions: 7.48” Long : 3.2″ Wide : 2.3″ Tall
  • Max Payload: 3.3 lbs. / 1.5 kg
  • Max Speed: 10 mph
  • Battery: Rechargeable: Lithium ion battery

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

How to Capture the Feeling of Color and Create More Compelling Images

14 Dec

How to Capture the Feeling of Color and Create More Compelling Images

I am an unashamed lover of color. I say this because when I first started out as a photographer, color photography was considered inferior to black and white. This attitude was especially prevalent in the photo-art world.

I found that confusing because to me, color can bring so much expression, feeling, excitement and vitality to an image. Don’t we want that? As my very favorite photographer, Ernst Haas said:

“Color is joy. One does not think joy. One is carried by it.”

I totally agree!

How to Capture the Feeling of Color and Create More Compelling Images

In this article, I’d like to talk to you about how to use color to create more feeling, more depth, and more energy in your images.

After all, if your images are not provoking an impact, a feeling for your viewer, then they will be easy to forget. And don’t we all wish to create memorable and unique images?

“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.” – Don McCullin

How to Capture the Feeling of Color and Create More Compelling Images

Colour is a form of expression

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”  – Georgia O’Keeffe

I agree with her! As a really visual person, I find it hard to express the feelings I have about the world with words. I’ve learned how, but it comes much more naturally to me to express my curiosity about the world through taking photographs.

Color evokes a spectrum of feeling, and it that is what we really want to capture in our photography.

How to Capture the Feeling of Color and Create More Compelling Images

Think about how you feel when you see the intense red of a flower, the soft azure blue of the sea, the warm yellows of morning sun in summer, the dark muddy browns of the earth in fall.

That is what I want you to think about today. Not only the photographing of color itself, as an element almost, but how you can use color to bring intense feeling into your photograph. Show the viewer more about how it felt to stand in the place where you were. To infuse your photographs with a feeling of atmosphere.

In this article, I will give you three techniques for using color in your images. They go from simple to pretty hard – but I hope you will try all three.

How to Capture the Feeling of Color and Create More Compelling Images - flowers

1. Using color as an element

The simplest way to start working with color in your photography is to use it as a key element within your image. Color can be used to provide contrast, shape, form, and texture.

The simple shape and form of color can be the subject of your photo. It can help you build elements within the photo.

I love to get inspiration for my photography from all kinds of sources. It’s important to me that I am not just stuck in the world of photography and image-making – because there is a stunning and unbelievable world out there for us to draw interesting and exciting ideas from. From philosophers to writers, musicians to scientists – I get ideas for photos from all kinds of places.

How to Capture the Feeling of Color and Create More Compelling Images

I love very simple, bold background for portraits. I’m always keeping my eye out for backgrounds like these.

I love how so many painters use color in big, bold ways to create powerful elements in their work. Painters such as Henri Matisse with his simple shapes and beautiful colors, Mark Rothko with his thick banks of color that seem to suck you into his paintings and Van Gogh with his heavy brush strokes of rich color.

Here is another quote from the painter Georgia O’Keeffe that explains a lot of what I am doing with my photography: drawing attention to things that most people miss

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

How to Capture the Feeling of Color and Create More Compelling Images

In this photo, I used the contrasting colors to make a simple and interesting composition with some abandoned chairs. For me turning simple things I find on the street, peeling off walls, at my feet, into something interesting is a favorite thing for me to do in my photography.

2. Using color to evoke a feeling

A more interesting way to use color – and one that takes more practice – is to use it purposely to create a feeling in your image. Color evokes all kinds of different feelings for people.

Painter Wassily Kandinsky developed many theories about art, one being that color created different feelings and states within the viewer.

How to Capture the Feeling of Color and Create More Compelling Images

“The deeper the blue becomes, the more strongly it calls man towards the infinite, awakening in him a desire for the pure and, finally, for the supernatural… The brighter it becomes, the more it loses its sound, until it turns into silent stillness and becomes white.” – Wassily Kandinsky

Kandinsky felt that colors evoked these feelings and states:

  • Yellow – warm, exciting, happy
  • Blue – deep, peaceful, supernatural
  • Green – peace, stillness, nature
  • White – harmony, silence, cleanliness
  • Black – grief, dark, unknown
  • Red – glowing, confidence, alive
  • Orange – radiant, healthy, serious

How to Capture the Feeling of Color and Create More Compelling Images

To use color to evoke feeling is a more sophisticated way to incorporate it into your images.

Now, where is a good place to start with this process?

Look at how the color you are seeing affects how you feel. Explore and examine color – almost in that state that toddlers do – with a sense of wonder and freshness. Then you can bring that into your images.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be big bold colors, it can be about the subtle, the evocative colors. I love playing with greys, browns, and blacks – and drawing out the subtlety in their range.

How to Capture the Feeling of Color and Create More Compelling Images

3. Capturing the inherent qualities of your subject using color

This has to be the hardest, most sophisticated technique of the three presented here – but it’s so worth trying it as you will create images with more complexity.

What I mean by capturing the inherent qualities of your subject using color, is to reveal the qualities of your subject using color. Pablo Picasso explained it even better than me when he is said:

“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.”

How to Capture the Feeling of Color and Create More Compelling Images

So you are using the color to tell the viewer something of what that subject is. What it feels or looks like, what it is or how it is.

I love this photo below because to me it captures perfectly the browns, yellows, and oranges of autumn. I can feel autumn in this photo.

autumn image - How to Capture the Feeling of Color and Create More Compelling Images

The colors I am capturing here are not a compositional tool, but about revealing more about the subject itself.

I hope those were some interesting ideas to you. I love to know how you use color in your photography – and if you found some useful tips here that you can apply to your images.

Please let me know by commenting below.

 

The post How to Capture the Feeling of Color and Create More Compelling Images by Anthony Epes appeared first on Digital Photography School.


Digital Photography School

 
 

These are the winners of Nat Geo’s Nature Photographer of the Year 2017

14 Dec

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

National Geographic has revealed the winners of their annual Nature Photographer of the Year contest, and as usual, every photo from the Grand Prize winner all the way to the Honorable Mentions and People’s Choice awards are fantastic.

The Grand Prize this year—and title of Nature Photographer of the Year—went to Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan of Singapore, who captured an intense wildlife portrait of an orangutan crossing a river in Indonesia’s Tanjung Puting National Park. The photo, titled “Face to Face in a River in Borneo,” was selected from over 11,000 entries and earns Bojan $ 10,000 in prize money, in addition to his image showing up in an upcoming issue of National Geographic.

Speaking of the moment he captured the shot, Bojan told Nat Geo:

Honestly, sometimes you just go blind when things like this happen. You’re so caught up. You really don’t know what’s happening. You don’t feel the pain, you don’t feel the mosquito bites, you don’t feel the cold, because your mind is completely lost in what’s happening in front of you.

You can see Bojan’s grand prize winning image, as well as every 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and People’s Choice winner in the slideshow above, or by visiting the National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year website.

Press Release

National Geographic Announces Winners of the 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

WASHINGTON (Dec. 12, 2017) – Selected from over 11,000 entries, a wildlife photo of an orangutan crossing a river in Indonesia’s Tanjung Puting National Park has been selected as the grand-prize winner of the 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest. The photo, titled “Face to face in a river in Borneo,” was captured by Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan of Singapore. He has won $ 10,000 and will have his winning image published in an upcoming issue of National Geographic magazine and featured on the @NatGeo Instagram account.

Bojan took the winning photo after waiting patiently in the Sekoyner River in Tanjung Puting National Park in Borneo, Indonesia. After spending several days on a houseboat photographing orangutans in the park, Bojan learned of a location where a male orangutan had crossed the river –­ unusual behavior that he knew he had to capture. After waiting a day and night near the suspected location, a ranger spotted the orangutan the next morning at a spot a few minutes up the river. As they drew near, Bojan decided to get into the water so the boat did not scare the primate. About five feet deep in a river supposedly home to freshwater crocodiles, Bojan captured the photo when the orangutan peeked out from behind a tree to see if the photographer was still there.

On capturing the photo, Bojan said, “Honestly, sometimes you just go blind when things like this happen. You’re so caught up. You really don’t know what’s happening. You don’t feel the pain, you don’t feel the mosquito bites, you don’t feel the cold, because your mind is completely lost in what’s happening in front of you.”

Karim Iliya of Haiku, Hawaii, won first place in the Landscapes category for a photo from Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park; Jim Obester of Vancouver, Wash., won first place in the Underwater category for a photo of an anemone; and Todd Kennedy of New South Wales, Australia, won first place in the Aerials category for a photo of a rock pool in Sydney at high tide.

The judges for the contest were National Geographic magazine’s senior photo editor of natural history assignments, Kathy Moran, National Geographic photographer Anand Varma, and photographer Michaela Skovranova.

Contestants submitted photographs in four categories – Wildlife, Landscape, Aerials and Underwater – through National Geographic’s photography community, Your Shot. All of the winning photos, along with the honorable mentions, may be viewed at natgeo.com/photocontest.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

1st Place | Wildlife and Grand Prize Winner

Photo © Jayprakash Joghee Bojan, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

A male orangutan peers from behind a tree while crossing a river in Borneo, Indonesia.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

1st Place | Underwater

Photo © Jim Obester, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Jim Obester, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Blue-filtered strobe lights stimulate fluorescent pigments in the clear tentacles of a tube-dwelling anemone in Hood Canal, Washington.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

1st Place | Landscapes

Photo © Karim Iliya, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Karim Iliya, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Shortly before twilight in Kalapana, Hawai’i, a fragment of the cooled lava tube broke away, leaving the molten rock to fan in a fiery spray for less than half an hour before returning to a steady flow.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

1st Place | Aerials

Photo © Todd Kennedy, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Todd Kennedy, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

In Sydney, Australia, the Pacific Ocean at high tide breaks over a natural rock pool enlarged in the 1930s. Avoiding the crowds at the city’s many beaches, a local swims laps.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

2nd Place | Wildlife

Photo © Alejandro Prieto, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Alejandro Prieto, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

An adult Caribbean pink flamingo feeds a chick in Yucatán, Mexico. Both parents alternate feeding chicks, at first with a liquid baby food called crop milk, and then with regurgitated food.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

2nd Place | Underwater

Photo © Shane Gross, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Shane Gross, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Typically a shy species, a Caribbean reef shark investigates a remote-triggered camera in Cuba’s Gardens of the Queen marine protected area.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

2nd Place | Landscapes

Photo © Yuhan Liao, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Yuhan Liao, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Sunlight glances off mineral strata of different colors in Dushanzi Grand Canyon, China.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

2nd Place | Aerials

Photo © Takahiro Bessho, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Takahiro Bessho, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Snow-covered metasequoia trees, also called dawn redwoods, interlace over a road in Takashima, Japan.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

3rd Place | Wildlife

Photo © Bence Mate, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Bence Mate, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Two grey herons spar as a white-tailed eagle looks on in Hungary.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

3rd Place | Underwater

Photo © Michael Patrick O’Neill, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Michael Patrick O’Neill, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Buoyed by the Gulf Stream, a flying fish arcs through the night-dark water five miles off Palm Beach, Florida.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

3rd Place | Landscapes

Photo © Mike Olbinski, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Mike Olbinski Photography, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

A summer thunderstorm unleashes lightning on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

3rd Place | Aerials

Photo © Greg C., 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Greg C., 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

On the flanks of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai’i, the world’s only lava ocean entry spills molten rock into the Pacific Ocean. After erupting in early 2016, the lava flow took about two months to reach the sea, six miles away.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

People’s Choice | Wildlife

Photo © Harry Collins, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Harry Collins, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

A great gray owl swoops to kill in a New Hampshire field.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

People’s Choice | Underwater

Photo © Matthew Smith, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Matthew Smith, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

A Portuguese man-of-war nears the beach on a summer morning; thousands of these jellyfish wash up on Australia’s eastern coast every year.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

People’s Choice | Landscapes

Photo © Wojciech Kruczynski, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by Wojciech Kruczy?ski, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Sunset illuminates a lighthouse and rainbow in the Faroe Islands.

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

People’s Choice | Aerials

Photo © David Swindler, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.


Photograph by David Swindler, 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Green vegetation blooms at the river’s edge, or riparian, zone of a meandering canyon in Utah.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

Lomography’s 3-in-1 Neptune lens system is officially on sale

14 Dec

After raising $ 585,085 through Kickstarter earlier this year, Lomography is finally ready to release its Neptune three-in-one lens system for sale to the general public. This odd system uses a single lens base that accepts three different front element groups to can create three individual focal lengths.

The Neptune system provides 35mm f/3.5, 50mm f/2.8 and 80mm f/4 optical configurations via the interchangeable front groups, and two switchable iris units. The kits are available in Nikon, Canon and Pentax mounts and cost £840/$ 990.

The kits come with all three front element groups—called Despina, Thalassa and Proteus—as well as a set of cut-out stops that influence the shape of out-of-focus highlights to create stars, discs and crosses, among others. A set of adapters is also available for MFT, Fujifilm X and Sony NX cameras that work with the Nikon F and Canon EF mount versions.

For more information, read the full release below or visit the Lomography website.

Press Release

The Neptune Convertible Art Lens System

One Story, Unlimited Endings – Now Available in the Lomography Online Shop and Gallery Stores Worldwide

  • One System, Three Prime Lenses, Two Aperture Mechanisms: The Neptune Convertible Art Lens System packs countless creative options into one compact package. Mix and match focal lengths, f/stops, and special aperture plates to adapt the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System to your style, mood or subject.
  • Three Fixed Focal Lengths for Flawless Images in Every Situation: This handcrafted lens system delivers superb optical quality at a fixed focal length of 3.5/35mm, 2.8/50mm or 4/80mm. The Neptune Convertible Art Lens System offers clean and crisp shots, dense colors and unlimited freedom of choice.
  • A Dual Aperture System for Extended Creative Options: Rely on the seamless iris diaphragm aperture mechanism for stunningly sharp photos and videos, or use the special drop-in aperture plates to create rich bokeh.
  • An Expandable System to Grow With Your Creativity: Inspired by Charles Chevalier’s innovative concept, the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System looks to the future — Lomography is already designing a brand new front lens with an ultra-wide- angle focal length of 15mm.

One System, Three Prime Lenses, Two Aperture Mechanisms:

The Neptune Convertible Art Lens System offers unlimited stylistic possibilities to a whole new generation of photographers. It’s a single lens system that consists of three interchangeable lenses, each of which can be attached to the lens base to shoot at a fixed focal length of 3.5/35mm, 2.8/50mm or 4/80mm. What’s more, you can switch through a range of apertures and use special drop-in aperture plates to achieve countless shooting styles.

Ideal for photography and perfect for videography because of its seamless aperture, the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System offers you the ideal tools and much more for complete creative freedom — whether you’re capturing street, fashion, nature, portraiture or just the beautiful simplicity of everyday life. After months of hard work and incredible support from Kickstarter backers around the world, Lomography is excited to announce the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System is now available in the Lomography Online Shop and Gallery Stores worldwide.

Three Fixed Focal Lengths for Flawless Images in Every Situation:

Each Neptune Convertible Art Lens System has been carefully assembled by hand using the finest multi- coated glass optics. Your shots will be clean, crisp and filled with strong, saturated colors even at the unrivalled closest focusing distances of 0.25m (35mm), 0.38m (50mm), 0.8m (80mm). With three elements in three groups in the lens base, and four elements in four groups in each of the interchangeable front lenses, the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System delivers prime-lens optical quality whilst offering a choice of three different fixed focal lengths.

Use the Thalassa 3.5/35 Art Lens to frame architecture, street and urban scenes at 35mm; rely on the versatile 50mm focal length of the Despina 2.8/50 Art Lens for fashion, editorial and everyday; or change to the Proteus 4/80 Art Lens and shoot perfect portraits and beautiful nature photography at 80mm. Inspired by Neptune’s moons, each focal length is determined by the proximity of their lens’ namesake to that distant, blue planet. Handcrafted to be lightweight and portable, the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System is small, compact and the only thing you need in your bag — no matter where your creativity takes you.

A Dual Aperture System for Extended Creative Options

Each of the interchangeable lens elements of the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System works with a seamless iris diaphragm aperture mechanism to produce meticulously sharp images at smaller apertures, and beautiful smooth bokeh at larger apertures. Each prime lens has its own optimal maximum aperture — f/3.5 for Thalassa, f/2.8 for Despina and f/4.0 for Proteus; but you can also push beyond these to experiment and produce unique effects with the Thalassa and Proteus lens elements. And that’s not all — the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System also includes special aperture plates that you can insert in front of the iris diaphragm to edge your frame with delicate bokeh.

An Expandable System to Grow With Your Creativity

The potential of the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System is unlimited. Inspired by Charles Chevalier’s first convertible lens from the 19th century, Lomography is redefining this classic yet ground-breaking concept as an expandable lens system.

Thanks to the support of Kickstarter backers worldwide, Lomography has already been able to release a Neptune Convertible Art Lens System macro adapter. And that’s not all — having asked backers to vote for their preferred focal length, Lomography is also designing Naiad, a brand new front lens with an ultra-wide-angle focal length of 15mm.

No matter where your creativity takes you, with this Art Lens System in your bag, you’ll be ready for everything. Available in Canon EF, Nikon F or Pentax K mount and compatible with a wide range of other cameras using adapters available from Lomography, it’s the ideal solution for photographers and videographers everywhere.

Thalassa 3.5/35mm Despina 2.8/50mm Proteus 4/80mm

Tech Specs

Focal Length: 35mm, 50mm, 80mm, front element group convertible
Aperture: Dual aperture system

  • Multi-scaled diaphragm aperture: 35mm: extended, f/3.5 – f/22 , 50mm: f/2.8 – f/22, 80mm: extended, f/4 – f/22
  • Drop-in aperture plates

Field of View: 35mm: 63°, 50mm: 46°, 80mm: 30°
Lens Mounting Profile: Canon EF, Nikon F or Pentax K
Closest Focusing Distance: 35mm: 0.25m , 50mm: 0.4m, 80mm: 0.8m
Lens Construction:

  • Lens Base: 3 elements in 3 groups
  • Front Lens: 4 elements in 4 groups for each focal length

Filter Thread: 52mm
Lens Coating: Multi-coated Electronic Contacts: No Focusing Mechanism: Helicoid

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

5 Ways to Take More Meaningful Photos This Christmas

13 Dec

Christmas goes by in the blink of an eye. But taking photos helps us to savour the moments long after the tree is gone and the kids are grown up. When you follow these 5 tips, you’ll have better and more meaningful photos this year.

First - 5 Ways to Take More Meaningful Photos This Christmas

1. Don’t Get Caught Off Guard

The first step to photographing an upcoming event like Christmas is to do a little planning. Start by considering the traditions and moments that you want to look back on in photos. Write an actual list so that you don’t forget what’s on it.

When you’re finished writing out your list, do this exercise to help you figure out what is truly meaningful about those moments. When you do this exercise, you’ll be able to capture deeper themes in your photos.

Take each moment and ask yourself, “What about this moment is important to me?”

For example, you might put “opening presents on Christmas morning” on your list. That’s an obvious one. But ask yourself, “What about the kids opening presents is important to me?” Perhaps the answer is something like, “seeing the look of delight on their faces.”

But don’t stop there; you’ve only gone a little bit below the surface. Now ask yourself, “What about seeing the look of delight on their face is important to me?” Maybe the answer is, “I remember what it was like as a kid and I want to pass that magic and excitement on to my kids.”

Sleep - 5 Ways to Take More Meaningful Photos This Christmas

Do you remember when you were a kid how hard it was to fall asleep on Christmas Eve? After putting the presents under the tree, I snuck in to take this photo of my son as he lay sleeping. This is the book we were reading for his bedtime story.

Now you’re getting somewhere! But you can still keep asking that question until you get right to the bottom. What about “passing on magic and excitement” to your kids is important to you? “Well, this is such a short time in their life. Soon they’ll be grown up and stressed out like me. I just want to slow that down and make their childhood good.”

You’re finally getting deep, so ask the question one more time. “What about slowing down and making their childhood a good one is important to me?” Maybe the answer is that “these are the most formative years of their life. If their childhood goes well, they’ll likely grow up and become good and strong adults themselves.”

By asking the question, “what about this moment is important to me,” you will discover the deeper themes in your photos. Now you can look for those themes in other moments too. Where else do you find the magic and excitement of growing up?
Get in touch with the things that will shape your children as they grow and the things you care most about.

Instead of a few random snapshots of Christmas morning chaos, you can photograph all sorts of meaningful moments to look back on.

Better Christmas photos 01

This is one of the most meaningful photos I have of Christmas time. Not only do I love the quiet moment and beautiful candlelight, but the photo was taken at my grandma’s church on Christmas Eve. It was my son’s first Christmas Eve church service and it was our first Christmas without my Grandma. The photo reminds me of the traditions and hope that is passed down the generations in our family.

Sick - 5 Ways to Take More Meaningful Photos This Christmas

A tender moment between mom and daughter. Our daughter came down with a fever this Christmas. Giving our kids gifts is an exciting part of parenting, but so is comforting them when they are sick. I knew this was a moment worth capturing.

2. Prepare for the Light

You’ve got your list of moments to photograph and you’ve checked it twice! Now you need to consider the type of light in which you will be photographing. When you’re able to handle the light, your photos will look better.

Go ahead and use the flash on your camera (or phone) if you have to. It’s better to have a photo lit with flash than a dark and blurry photo that isn’t worth looking at.

Better Christmas photos 02

This was our first Christmas together as a family. I had read that you shouldn’t use the flash on your camera, so I didn’t. Unfortunately, the photo is so dark you can’t see us. I wish I had used the flash!

Better Christmas photos 03

I used the popup flash on my camera for this photo. It doesn’t always work out this nice though. If you’re going to use the little built-in flash on your camera, then get as close as you can to your subject. The flash will light them up, but not affect things in the background so much.

If you have a DSLR camera and you’re going to use flash, consider using an external flash called a speedlight. When you use an external flash you can bounce the light and your photos will look far better than the little pop-up flash on your camera.

Better Christmas photos 04

An on-camera speedlight was used to light this photo. It was pointed up toward the ceiling so that the light would become softer as it bounced back down toward my son. The Christmas lights in the background are far enough away that they weren’t affected by the flash.

But whenever possible, use natural light. When you’re taking indoor photos, one of the best sources of natural light during the day is a large window. Many of your holiday events will happen in the living room, and most living rooms have a large window which lets in lots of light.

Place your Christmas tree beside the window instead of in front of it and allow the window to become a large, soft light source, making your photos look beautiful.

Better Christmas photos 05

Here the kids are at Grandma’s house. There is a large window to the right which is lighting them up. The Christmas tree is tucked into a corner away from the window.

Better Christmas photos 06

Again, there is a large window providing light for this photo. The tree is tucked away from the window allowing the lights to keep their glow.

When the sun goes down, and you don’t want to use flash, try using lots of lamplight in your photos. The lower placement of lamps simulates the position that the sun is in during golden hour or sunset. The lampshade diffuses the light making soft sidelight for your photos.

Better Christmas photos 07

This photo was lit with two lamps. The warm, soft light provides ambiance for the moment.

3. How to Make Your Photos Look More Exciting

There is a secret that will instantly make your photos look more exciting. Use a low angle! It sounds simple and it is. Just crouch down a little bit and look up at the person you’re photographing. If it’s an exciting moment then use a low angle to make it look exciting in the photo.

You should take note that low angles are not generally good for formal portraits. A low angle exaggerates a person’s size and adults don’t usually like that. But, if it’s a portrait of an athlete or rock star then a low camera angle is a must.

Better Christmas photos 08

We all remember how fun it was to play with the empty wrapping paper rolls as kids. I wanted to make this moment look epic so I crouched down for a low angle.

Better Christmas photos 09

When my son unwrapped his emergency set he wanted to play with it immediately. I went for a low angle because in real life we always look up to see a helicopter flying. It’s just a photo of a boy with his toy helicopter, but I wanted a more dramatic effect. Notice the burst of backlight coming from the big window in the background.

Better Christmas photos 10

This low angle gives us the fun perspective of the toys looking up at everyone.

4. Tell a Story With Your Photos

As you’re photographing your most important moments, in beautiful light, from interesting angles, be mindful of the fact that you’re photographing a story. Your story is filled with characters (your friends and family), with an emotional plot that takes place in many settings (around the dinner table, the Christmas tree, at church, in front of the fireplace).

Photograph the unique personality of each character. Take more than one photo of each moment and link them together to show the plot-line. Make sure to include the background as part of the setting for your character’s story.

The photos below illustrate a story being told over time.

Better Christmas photos 11

This was the year that my son first learned to print letters and read simple words. Here, he’s writing the tags for Grandma’s presents.

Better Christmas photos 12

The following Christmas he had begun to spell out words on his own.

Better Christmas photos 13

After our family Christmas trip to Grandma’s house was over, both of the kids were really sad. So as they went to bed that night, they drew pictures to mail to Grandma. But my son wrote her a whole letter. He had never done anything like that before.

It’s exciting when we bring our kids into our traditions. Something as simple as filling out a gift tag is a huge step in their growth and part of a bigger story.

5. Practice Before Christmas Day

Christmas isn’t just about what happens on December 25th. For most families, Christmas has a month-long lead up. So work on your list of things to photograph, but remember to start photographing Christmas before it even gets here.

Practice looking for deeper moments in beautiful natural light (or using your external flash). You’ll be far more confident when the big day arrives and you don’t have time to over think the photos you’re taking.

Better Christmas photos 14

This was my first Christmas using a speedlight with my camera. As soon as our tree was up I began experimenting so that when Christmas arrived I would know how to use it. This shows a pretty good balance of ambient light from the tree mixed with the light from my flash.

Listen to Your Heart

When your heart tells you to pick up your camera and snap a photo, do it. Don’t hesitate, just take the photo. It may not turn out to be the perfect moment or the best angle. But at least you’ve got a photo.

Better Christmas photos 15

This is one of the most precious photos I have.

The photo above is my daughter and my grandma. It was just a fun little moment that they were having together. My camera is never out of arm’s reach at Christmas time. I saw this moment and clicked a few photos. I didn’t know then that these would be the last photos I would take of my grandma. My little girl won’t remember this moment, but she will always be able to look back and see the love that her great-grandma had for her.

Your Checklist for Deeper Christmas Photos Than You’ve Ever Taken Before

  1. Make your list of important moments
  2. Look for beautiful light and have your external flash ready
  3. Use low angles to make exciting events actually look exciting in your photos
  4. Tell a story with your photos
  5. Practice before Christmas day

The post 5 Ways to Take More Meaningful Photos This Christmas by Mat Coker appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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All dPS eBooks just $9 Today! (Save up to 80%)

13 Dec

It’s that time of year again where here on dPS we put together some amazing deals in the 12 days leading up to Christmas.

In that time if you’re subscribed to our newsletter or watch the blog here you’ll get access to some mega-discounts on dPS products as well as some very special offers from our partners.

It all starts today with all of our dPS eBooks available for just $ 9 each (USD).

That’s up to 80% off! But don’t delay – this deal will be gone in 48 hours.

With 23 titles in our eBook store there’s loads to choose from and at this price if you see more than one that you like you can create your own little bundle of photography training and still not break the budget.

Here are 3 of our most popular eBook guides:

  • Going Pro. Normally $ 49, get it today for just $ 9
  • Living Landscapes. Normally $ 19, today just $ 9
  • Portraits: Making the Shot. Normally $ 19, today just $ 9

But that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are eBooks on post processing, lighting, black and white photography, travel photography and much more.

Be sure to checkout all 23 titles here to find the guide that will take your photography to the next level.

Bonus Parter Offers

This year we’ve added some extra special bonuses for anyone who makes a purchase during our 12 days of Christmas.

Buy anything during this week and you get access to exclusive partner bonus offers – like saving $ 200 on online photography courses from our friends at the New York Institute of Photography.

Christmas Deals:
Bonus Offers

Bonus Offers

Brought to you by

ON1
Athentec Perfectly Clear
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New York Institute of Photography

The post All dPS eBooks just $ 9 Today! (Save up to 80%) by Darren Rowse appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Have your say: Best smartphone of 2017

13 Dec

This year was a busy one for smartphone manufacturers, with major new handsets released from all of the big players. Take a look at some of 2017’s noteworthy new phones, and vote for your favorite!

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

Useful Software For Photo Enthusiasts

13 Dec

Nowadays you can call anyone with an Instagram account a “photography enthusiast”. However, what I meant was “newbie photographers”. Those, who instead of cropping their snaps muse over the best composition before the picture is taken. Those, who instead of applying filters fiddle with curves and white balance. Those, who feel like the Wizard of Oz behind their shutter – Continue Reading

The post Useful Software For Photo Enthusiasts appeared first on Photodoto.


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Smartphones dominated Flickr’s 2017 uploads, but DSLRs are on the rise

13 Dec
Photo by Max Delsid

The iPhone has dominated Flickr’s annual ‘top devices’ list, representing 54% of the site’s top 100 devices in 2017, as well as the majority of the site’s 10 top devices list. These figures were published as part of Flickr’s end-of-year analysis, in which the platform reveals what cameras are most popular among its users, as well as highlighting the site’s top photos of the year.

Flickr’s 2017 Year in Review report shows that smartphones were once again the device of choice among the site’s users, increasing from 48% in 2016 to a full 50% of uploads in 2017.

But it’s not all smartphones this and smartphones that. In fact, DSLRs were used to take 33% of the images uploaded to Flickr this year compared to just 25% in 2016. And in an utterly predictable turn of events, the use of point-and-shoot cameras dropped from 2016’s 21% to a paltry 12% this year.

Mirrorless cameras were the only ones to hold steady, boasting just 4% of uploads in both 2016 and 2017.

Looking at brands specifically, Apple dominates Flickr’s 2017 annual review, with its iPhone representing 54% of the top 100 devices of the year. Flickr says that 9 of the top 10 devices were iPhone models; only the Canon 5D Mark III tarnished that record, coming in at #9. Canon, overall, was the second biggest brand on Flickr this year, accounting for 23% of the top 100 devices. Nikon came in third at 18%.

Flickr has a very large user base at 75 million, making its annual report a notable insight into which devices are most popular with the general public. Just like its top 25 photos of the year give us an idea of the photographic styles that appeal to the most people.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

Lumoid gear rental service has been shut down

13 Dec

Lumoid, a startup that offered photography gear and other gadgets for rent, has been officially shut down. The process had actually been underway for months, but was only officially revealed to the public late last week. According to company founder Aarthi Ramamurthy, who recently posted about the matter on Facebook, the team had “gradually wound down Lumoid” over the last four months, including selling its IP and assets.

The Lumoid website is still live and showing various gadget rental categories; however, clicking on any given rental item shows that it is no longer in stock. Speaking to TechCrunch, Ramamurthy indicated that it was Lumoid’s deal with Best Buy earlier this year that led to the decision to close the service down. The company was ultimately unable to get the money it needed to scale up the business to meet Best Buy’s needs.

Though Lumoid is gone, other camera and lens rental services remain, including the newly merged Lensrentals and LensProTogo, and Borrow Lenses.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)