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Posts Tagged ‘Photographs’

Tips for Getting Sharper Real Estate Interior Photographs

23 Feb

Photography is a key part of advertising a property for real estate sales. But just as stunning images show the property looking its best, the opposite is also true. Poor photography, with blurred, sloping rooms, and out of focus images does little to inspire viewings.

Here are some basic, but important, steps to help you improve the quality of your interior photos. You’ll see what causes photographs to turn out blurry, and get some handy tips on equipment and techniques to avoid falling into these traps.

Preparing for the shoot

The best techniques for getting sharp photographs can be let down by poorly working equipment, or badly chosen or untidy scenes. So it’s important to start your session with good preparation and follow your check-list. Here are a few things that should be on your list.

1. Check your equipment

Make sure your equipment is okay, batteries are charged, extra lights working, tripod joints tight and in good condition, and that the lens is completely clean. Loose tripod joints, broken lights, and dirty lenses make problems for you later, so good preparation is worthwhile.

2. Make sure everything is clean and tidy

Dirty windows still look dirty in photographs, so take a household cleaning cloth and some glass cleaner. Cleaning everything is always easier than removing debris in post-production.

3. Set the scene

Tidy and set the scene, removing unwanted items from window sills, adjusting furniture positions and cleaning the windows. Don’t forget to look through the window too – a washing line of underwear probably isn’t what your client wants to see!

Think about the final image and what you want, then keep that in your mind throughout the photography session.

Using a tripod

Three common issues ruin a real estate photograph: blur, poor focus, and sloping rooms.

Blur and bad focus often come from camera movement during the long exposures you need when photographing interiors. Rooms appear sloping when the camera is not level.

You can resolve all three problems by securely mounting the camera on a sturdy tripod, which is why a tripod is highly recommended when photographing interiors.

Here are some pro tips for using a tripod:

  • Hang your camera bag from the center of the tripod (if it has a hook, as seen above) to increase stability.
  • Set the tripod exactly where you’ve decided to take the photographs, and extend the thicker sections of the legs first as they provide most stability. Avoid extending the center column as this is the least stable section and will reduce the stability of the tripod.
  • Give the tripod a gentle prod to make sure it won’t slip on the floor or wobble.
  • Mount the camera on the tripod, ensuring that the base plate and mounting are tight and cannot move around.
  • Adjust the tripod head until the camera is perfectly level and the image doesn’t slope to the left or the right. By getting the camera level, you ensure the room won’t look as if it slopes sideways.

For more on getting sharp images with a tripod, read: 5 Tips to Get Sharp Photos While Using a Tripod.

Eliminating sources of camera shake

There are also other sources of blurriness in photos. One of these is called mirror shake.

DSLR cameras have a mirror which sits in front of the camera sensor and helps you see the view through the lens by reflecting the image up to the eyepiece (through a prism). The mirror snaps up and out of the way when you take the photo, creating vibrations that can cause blurring.

You can eliminate this problem by setting it in the up position before taking any photographs. Look in your camera menu for the Mirror LockUp setting.

Left: The mirror is down in this image. Right: the mirror is up here exposing the camera’s sensor.

Conclusion

With good preparation and technique, and the right equipment, you can consistently get sharp, crisp interior photographs. When you set out to capture that image, remember:

  • Set the scene by making the room look neat and clean.
  • Make good use of a tripod.
  • Choose an appropriate lens.
  • Keep your camera stable and free from vibration.

The video tutorial expands on some of these tips, as well as showing other helpful hints for getting sharp photographs like choosing an appropriate lens and focusing correctly.

Watch the video to learn more about tripods, lenses, focusing, and keeping the camera steady.

Please share any other tips you have for taking sharper interior photographs of real estate in the comments area below.

Disclaimer: HDRsoft is a paid partner of dPS

The post Tips for Getting Sharper Real Estate Interior Photographs by David Robinson appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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How to Show More with Your Photographs by Thinking Outside the Frame

19 Feb

In its simplest form, a photograph is a representation of a very limited part of space at a very limited point in time. This article is about choosing which tiny bit of reality to represent and how that choice can make a photograph into much more than just a record of time.

01 photography tips thinking outside the frame

The most obvious elements of any photograph are the subject, the foreground, and the background. The light and the time it takes to create the photo are equally essential. In this article, I’ll be focusing on an ingredient which may be less obvious, sometimes even overlooked, but never absent: the frame.

What is the frame?

By frame, I don’t mean a picture frame, but the edges of the photo.

02 photography tips thinking outside the frame

Take a look at the photo above. What’s going on? There’s the subject (a cat) the foreground, a bench, the background (a pink wall) and a branch of some kind. So what does the frame have to do with all this?

The frame of a photograph is what separates the obvious from the inferred. It’s part of why a good photograph means different things to different people because that which is inferred is subjective.

Consider the photograph of the cat again. The cat is about to pounce, which means that there’s something going on outside the frame. Maybe another cat is walking by, or maybe there’s a delicious-looking bird on the ground.

What’s outside the frame is just as important

03 photography tips thinking outside the frame

What is left outside the frame can tell a story of its own or be an essential part of the subject of the photo? By creating tension between the obvious and the inferred you wield a powerful tool to make even better photographs. Every image has a relation to the rest of the world, even though the immediate surroundings aren’t obvious or don’t seem to add anything.

04 photography tips thinking outside the frame

So how do you start thinking outside the frame?

I will show you a few examples so you get the idea.

1 – Make it obvious

The obvious way is to make it clear that there is something outside the frame that isn’t being shown. The easiest way to do this is to capture an interesting gaze or photograph a detail.

05 photography tips thinking outside the frame

In the image above, the groom is not looking at the camera, but towards something more interesting outside the frame. For those who recognize the setting, it may be obvious that he is looking towards the church door, which will soon reveal the bride; for others, the interpretation could be different.

06 photography tips thinking outside the frame

These photos show a part of something larger. The hands suggest a person, and might even reveal something about that person. The spiraling tree creates a looping line that continues outside the frame.

2 – Tie the subject to the setting

The scene inside the frame can be tied to a larger setting without the subject directly or indirectly touching the frame. This can make the subject seem large or small, create an open or claustrophobic feeling, or give the surroundings a sense of continuity.

07 photography tips thinking outside the frame

Take a look at the photo above. By surrounding a tiny subject with a single, strong color, that color almost always feels like it continues on and on. In this picture, does it give you a sense of comfort or claustrophobia?

08 photography tips thinking outside the frame

The idea with the photo above is somewhat similar, but the feeling of it is quite different. Here is a playful animal in its seemingly limitless element, suggesting unlimited enjoyment. Or do you see something quite different?

3 – Use pattern or rhythm

By using a pattern or rhythm in the photo, you can create an effect that allows the viewer to imagine infinity. The idea is the same as in the example above, but the execution and effect are different. Here, the pattern or rhythm itself can be the subject, and it’s that subject that leads the viewer outside the frame.

09 photography tips thinking outside the frame

The pattern of cracked sea ice works like a block of color. But since it’s more interesting than just a single color, it can stand by itself and let the eye wander through the details in the photo and the mind continue beyond.

10 photography tips thinking outside the frame

A seascape like the one in the image above can suggest an infinitely large ocean just by showing an unbroken horizon. The ocean doesn’t only continue into the photo, though, it also continues sideways and beyond the edges of the photo. The rhythm of the clouds emphasizes this illusion.

4 – Reflections

Reflections are also an effective way of suggesting a wider world outside the constraints of the photograph. It’s a more direct way of pointing to the wider context.

11 photography tips thinking outside the frame

Concrete walls can suggest many things, but thanks to the reflection in the window it becomes quite clear that the photo is not taken in a concrete jungle, but in a verdant and sunny place. Reading the expression on the subject’s face becomes quite different thanks to the wider context.

Conclusion

Photography is always about choices, conscious or not. The more photography you do, the more deliberate your choices will become. Being aware of this gives you more control over your creative process. The creative decisions you can make based on those choices is what makes photography art.

How you frame your photographs is just one of the things to keep in mind when you photograph.

Do you pay attention to what you leave out when you take a photo? Do you have any examples or thoughts you’d like to share about how you’ve used the frame and what’s beyond as an element in your photography? I’d love to hear about it and see your photos in the comments below.

The post How to Show More with Your Photographs by Thinking Outside the Frame by Hannele Luhtasela-el Showk appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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7 Benefits of Printing Photographs

02 Nov

Digital sharing of photos may have reduced the urge to print a photograph after taking a shot with your digital camera. But printing photos offers you a lot of benefits as a photographer. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider buying a photo printer and start enjoying the benefits of photo printing. 1. Improve Your Photography Skills Continue Reading

The post 7 Benefits of Printing Photographs appeared first on Photodoto.


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NASA Curiosity Rover captures rare photographs of clouds on Mars

12 Aug
Clouds drift across the sky above a Martian horizon in this photograph captured on July 17, 2017 by the Navcam on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/York University

Last month, NASA’s Curiosity Rover captured something (appropriately enough) curious in the Martian sky: clouds. Specifically, Curiosity snapped several sequences of “wispy, early-season clouds resembling Earth’s ice-crystal cirrus clouds” that NASA is calling “the most clearly visible so far” since the Rover landed 5 years and 5 days ago.

As NASA explains in a news release:

Researchers used Curiosity’s Navigation Camera (Navcam) to take two sets of eight images of the sky on an early Martian morning last month. For one set, the camera pointed nearly straight up. For the other, it pointed just above the southern horizon. Cloud movement was recorded in both and was made easier to see by image enhancement.

Each sequence of 8 images was enhanced and turned into an animated GIF:

To learn more about these photos and the science behind why there are clouds on Mars, and why they were a lot more common billions of years ago, head over to the NASA news release by clicking here.


All photos courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/York University

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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VAST photography collective creates ‘highest resolution fine art photographs ever made’

02 Aug

A group of photographers are working together to take gigapixel photography to the next level, and they’re doing it under a collective called VAST. Founded by photographer and software engineer Dan Piech, the VAST collective combines artistic skills with technical skills to produce high-quality, Fine Art gigapixel photographs.

Unlike typical gigapixel photography, these images feature scenes that are difficult to produce in massively high resolutions, such as photos taken around sunrise and sunset.

Talking about the collective and the work they do, founder Piech said, “We’ve developed a number of new techniques for doing some pretty amazing things that allow us to have the best of both worlds: resolution + aesthetics.”

Whereas common panoramas may involve only a few photos stitched together, these gigapixel photos require creators to assemble hundreds of images, the end result being an incredibly detailed, sharp photo for large printed pieces.

Huge amounts of time and work go into creating gigapixel shots, but the process doesn’t necessarily require expensive rigs.

As explained in a blog post by Ben Pitt, this 7 gigapixel photo of San Francisco was taken using “a normal tripod and an inexpensive ultra-zoom camera [the Panasonic FZ200].” That particular gigapixel photo is composed from 1,229 images captured across 16 rows, each with about 75 images. The shooting alone took more than an hour.

Stitching the images was, in the case of the San Francisco photograph, performed over the course of many hours using the automated and free Windows application ICE, though alternatives are available like GigaPan Stitch and PTgui. Photoshop was tapped for post-processing, used to patch in content from the original images when necessary, among other things. The resulting Photoshop files can be many gigabytes in size.

You can find out more about VAST’s own technique here.

VAST offers prints of these photographs, as well as others spanning categories like Abstract, Cityscapes and B&W. Price depends on the image and size—one example, the ‘Requiem for 2016’ image of New York City shown above, starts at $ 2,745 for a 60 x 21″ print of the 6,410 megapixel image. The full gallery of available prints can be viewed here.

Note: A previous version of this post mistakenly identified Ben Pitt as a VAST photographer. That is not the case.


All photographs courtesy of VAST, and used with permission.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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DPReview on TWiT: How to take macro photographs

01 Aug

DPReview has partnered with the TWiT Network (named after its flagship show, This Week in Tech) to produce a regular segment for The New Screen Savers, a popular weekend show hosted by technology guru Leo Laporte.

On this week’s episode of The New Screen Savers, the hosts discussed emojis, action cameras and Macro photography. DPReview editor Barney Britton spoke to Leo Laporte and Jason Snell about how to get great closeup pictures, without breaking the bank. We’d recommend watching the whole episode, but if you’re especially interested in macro photography tips (or if you’re Barney’s mum) jump to 43:00 for the beginning of our segment.

You can watch The New Screen Savers live every Saturday at 3pm Pacific Time (23:00 UTC), on demand through our articles, the TWiT website, or YouTube, as well as through most podcasting apps.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Google demos technology that scrubs objects from photographs

19 May

During its I/O 2017 conference yesterday, Google demonstrated a new algorithm-based technology that can remove unwanted objects from existing photographs. The demonstration showed the technology removing a chainlink fence from the foreground of an image, with the final result offering no discernible indications that the fence had ever existed (around 10:45 in the video below).

The technology was demonstrated on stage by Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai during a conversation about the company’s expanding visual technology. ‘Coming very soon,’ Pichai explained, ‘if you take a picture of your daughter at a baseball game and there’s something obstructing it, we can do the hard work and remove that structure and have the picture of what matters to you in front of you.’

It looks to be an evolution of the research Google and MIT have been collaborating on for some time – in fact, their demonstration from 2015 includes a very similar chain-link fence demo. This method takes advantage of the parallax effect to identify and remove obstructions from photos. 

Unfortunately, Pichai didn’t elaborate on when this technology will be made available aside from ‘very soon,’ nor did he specify where the technology will be available. Given the company’s Google Photos announcements, however, it seems likely the technology will be implemented within that product.

Via: Google

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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DPReview photographs Seattle’s famous cherry blossoms (with expensive gear)

22 Apr

There are an infinite numbers of ways to photograph a subject. So when a group of DPR staffers headed to the University of Washington campus recently to photograph the cherry blossoms, we each got a chance to show off our personal tastes and styles shooting the same subject.

See the DPReview cherry blossoms gallery

Click through the gallery to see each staffer’s approach and to find out what each of us chose to shoot with. And for more on the gear we chose and why, check out our behind the scenes video below.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Everypixel Aesthetics uses neural networks to judge your photographs

08 Apr

Designers and image editors often have to browse through large numbers of low-quality photographs before they find the stock image that is most suitable for their purposes. Now, a new algorithm has been created to filter images based on their aesthetic value and get rid of the junk before it clogs up your search results. 

Everypixel uses neural networks for ranking stock images and for this purpose has trained the algorithms to judge the aesthetic value of a stock image in the same way as a human would do.

Everypixel’s CEO Dmitry Shironosov said: “Designers, editors and experienced stock photographers helped us generate a training dataset with 946,894 positive and negative patterns. We wanted to create a technology that can measure not only aesthetics of stock images, but their commercial potential as well. This is the main difference between our smart filter and other solutions that exist today.”

The neural network is capable of estimating the visual quality of an image and applies a score to every file which, if working properly, could save many man hours of human image curation. The algorithm is currently in beta stage but you can already test it with your own images on Everypixel. We’re not so sure about the scoring, but the system already looks pretty good at assigning correct keywords. How did your images do? Let us know in the comments.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Image style AI can convert paintings to photographs

04 Apr

Apps that convert your photos into paintings, with styles ranging from Monet to Lichtenstein, have been all the rage recently, with Prisma being one of the most popular offerings. A research team at UC Berkeley has now developed an artificial intelligence algorithm that can do the reverse – and much more. 

Using ‘image style transfer’ their AI can convert Monet’s impressionist paintings into a much more realistic image that comes close to photo quality, giving you a good idea of the scene that the French painter was looking at when he put down his easel and started to paint. In addition, the system is capable of changing winter to summer in an image of a Yosemite scene, turn apples into oranges and horses into zebras. Of course it’s also possible to transform regular photos into Monets, Van Goghs or Cezannes.

The research project uses so-called ‘unpaired data’ which, in the words of the project team means that ‘we have knowledge of the set of Monet paintings and of the set of landscape photographs. We can reason about the stylistic differences between those two sets, and thereby imagine what a scene might look like if we were to translate it from one set into another.’

To achieve that the relationships between similar styles had to be coded in a way that can be understood by a computer and then the AI had to be trained using large number of photos from Flickr and other sources. In a final step the quality of the results was checked by both humans and machines before fine-tuning of the algorithms. 

On some occasions the results are still far from perfect but overall the AI is impressively good at transferring styles from one image to another. More information is available on the project’s GitHub page.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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