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How to be Better Prepared for Your Next Photo Shoot

21 Sep

Greater success with your event, street, travel or any other genre of photography can depend a lot on how prepared you are before you leave the house and how observant you are at the location you are making pictures. Here are some tips to help you be better prepared for your next photo shoot.

senior Thai woman taking part in a street parade holding a painted parasol - How to be Better Prepared for Your Next Photo Shoot

A participant in the annual Chiang Mai Flower Parade enjoys having her photo taken.

I’ve based this article on street and event photography so I can use my photos to illustrate specific situations.

Planning

Planning your photography session in advance can make it a much more rewarding experience. You don’t necessarily need to start making spreadsheets and contingency preparations if you’re going out to photograph a local farmers market or craft fair. But a little groundwork can make times you are out with your camera significantly more enjoyable.

Having some prior knowledge of your subject, the location, and the type of activity that happens there (if any) will increase the opportunities you have to capture better photos. Even the way you dress and the footwear you choose can potentially have an influence on your photos. Certainly, the amount and type of camera equipment you choose to carry will have an effect on the outcome of your photography excursion.

Women in traditional Thai costume prior to the start of the Flower Parade in Chiang Mai, Thailand - How to be Better Prepared for Your Next Photo Shoot

Girls talking before a parade starts.

For example

Performers rest prior to the start of a Chinese New Year parade in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Performers rest prior to the start of a Chinese New Year parade.

Before heading out to photograph the Chinese New Year Parade I checked so I knew the starting time, location, and the route it would take. I arrived at least an hour early for some behind the scenes moments when the morning light was rich.

Some prior knowledge of the type of subjects and activity I would encounter enabled me to anticipate the flow of action. So I was able to capture the dragon as it moved through the streets and received cash gifts from locals in its mouth.

A woman places money in the mouth of a Chinese New Year dragon during a street parade in Chiang Mai, Thailand. - How to be Better Prepared for Your Next Photo Shoot

A woman places money in the mouth of a Chinese New Year dragon during a street parade in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Prepare yourself too

I was wearing a good pair of sports shoes as I knew I would need to run at times to keep ahead of the parade. With many parades and festivals in south east Asia, there are often few restrictions for photographers assertive and considerate enough to just go with the flow of things.

I traveled light, without an abundance of camera gear. There’s always a choice between carrying more and having it weigh you down and making your movements more difficult and not having the right lens with you. I typically prefer to take two lenses so I have one on the camera and the other in a small belt bag. This way I am free to move and can often get closer to the action than if I was weighted down with a shoulder bag or backpack full of gear.

Chinese New Year parade and photographers - How to be Better Prepared for Your Next Photo Shoot

Photographing the dragon during a Chinese New Year parade.

Researching is easy these days. So planning and being prepared before you head out with your camera takes very little effort but can make a huge difference to the photos you’ll make and how much you enjoy your experience.

Anticipation

Once you’re on location it pays to take a little time to observe and anticipate how you can obtain the best photos.

  • Walking around, watching people, and considering what you think will be the best spots to take photos from is an important first step. Think about lighting and composition.
  • How many places will you be able to clearly see your subject?
  • What will the background be like?
  • Will the lighting work for the style of photo you want to make?
  • Are there any vantage points that allow you to get above your subject?
  • Is there some place safe to get down and lie on the ground for a low perspective?
Chinese New Year parade with a ceremonial dragon - How to be Better Prepared for Your Next Photo Shoot

Try to position yourself where there will be a good background.

Find a good vantage point

Once you’ve found a good location it can often pay to stay there for some time. Consider the flow of the action and if you can get a good variety of photos from your position, don’t rush off. This is particularly relevant when you have a pleasing combination of good lighting and a background you can incorporate into strong compositions.

If you are constantly changing locations you may find that you have to adjust your exposure frequently and your background is different which will require more attention to your framing.

Sometimes moving around is necessary to follow your subject. It’s good to be aware of your surroundings and considerate of who else is around you, especially if you are on the move a lot. At events with a lot of spectators, you don’t want to block their view but you also want to make sure you and your equipment are safe.

How to be Better Prepared for Your Next Photo Shoot

Watching dancers practice prior to the start of a parade I observed the pattern of their movement and positioned myself so the background and light were best, and then made a series of photos. The image on the left illustrates reasonably well what’s happening. But because I had paid attention to the dance I knew the girl would arch her back and I would be able to photograph her face and a more interesting pose.

Get out of the flow of traffic

Putting yourself in position a little away from the traffic flow, when there is one, will allow you to work more freely also. I made this series of photos of cheese vendors at Istanbul’s spice market by standing in between two of the stalls where there were no other people. I got the nod from the men selling the cheese nearby that I was okay to be there and was even offered a slice of very tasty cheese to try.

Vendor selling cheese at the Istanbul spice market - How to be Better Prepared for Your Next Photo Shoot

It’s good to get out of the traffic flow so you can take photos without being bumped or disrupting business.

As I savored the flavor of the cheese I observed the action of the vendors offering cheese to passers by and got a feel for the rhythm of activity.

close up of cheese being sold in a Turkish street market - How to be Better Prepared for Your Next Photo Shoot

Once you find a good location make a series of photos.

Being out of the flow of foot traffic (which was very busy) allowed me to take my time without being bumped and jostled. I made a series of photos that illustrate this part of the market better than I could have with a single image taken as I was just passing by. This series of photos were made with my 50mm prime lens.

Istanbul spice market cheese - How to be Better Prepared for Your Next Photo Shoot

A few tips for taking the photos

  • Concentrate. Don’t hesitate or be distracted from your task. Stay focused and single-minded about getting the photos that you have come to make.
  • Don’t worry about making mistake. These will help you learn. Keep all your photos on your card so you can compare them once you have them loaded to your computer.
  • Choose your moments carefully. Machine gunning your subject will result in an overwhelming number of bad photos which can be discouraging.
  • Use a narrow aperture and a fast enough shutter speed to avoid blur. You might need to raise your ISO even if you are working in bright conditions.
  • Use manual focus and zone focus to ensure greater success.

Kebab Seller, Istanbul, Turkey - How to be Better Prepared for Your Next Photo Shoot

Conclusion

With a little research and planning, you’ll be better equipped mentally to approach your chosen subject with confidence. Observing your surroundings and the flow of activity once you’re on location will help you find the optimal spots in which to position yourself to obtain the best photos. Then, employ some solid photographic technique to ensure you make some great photographs.

The post How to be Better Prepared for Your Next Photo Shoot by Kevin Landwer-Johan appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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How to Plan a Street Photography Shoot When Traveling

19 Sep

Street photography is normally a very open and free-form photography genre, but sometimes because we are traveling it’s better to plan a shoot rather than relying on luck.

Fortune, they say, favors the prepared, and when all you have is a few hours in a new land, better get ready to make the most of what you’ve got. Makes sense, no? Here’s how I prepare a street photography shoot when I know time will be limited.

What to do a few days before

A few days before your shoot you will need a few apps and tools.

The first is an offline map, Google Maps allows you to save chunks of the map but some areas are off limits (I tried to save a map of Osaka and wasn’t allowed). You need to find apps that have offline maps from the get-go and download the map of the area where you are going. It sounds stupid and you might be tempted to skip this part, but when I went to Hong Kong, I wasted an hour and a half trying to get out of the subway area into the main roads.

How to Plan a Street Photography Shoot When Traveling

The second app you need is called the Photographers Ephemeris (iOS / Android). It’s designed for landscape shooters but it’s also useful for street photographers because it allows you to know where and when the sun will rise and set. It tells you what to expect in terms of light. It is a paid app, but alternatively, you can get that information for free online.

This is very useful information that you can use to predict what camera/lens you may require also. No need to get your high ISO camera if you plan to leave before the sun sets, for example.

How to Plan a Street Photography Shoot When Traveling

Planning your shoot

Here’s the deal, if you had all the time in the world, you would stroll and go wherever you feel images are calling you. But you don’t, probably one or two days is all you have while traveling. So you need an idea of where to go while leaving things open to opportunity and chance as well.

1- Check the weather

Don’t miss this step! It may sound stupid but this not only allows you to plan ahead and might tell you to bring extra protective gear. I usually check the day before because the weather is very unreliable and the forecast can change quickly.

How to Plan a Street Photography Shoot When Traveling

2- What are your numbers?

You need to know when you are arriving and leaving. For example, imagine you are arriving at 8 pm and leaving at 4 pm the next day. What I recommend first of all is to set an alarm that tells you when to start and stop shooting, it usually takes an hour to get situated so I would set an alarm for 9 pm and 3 pm the following day. You need to figure out the amount of time it takes to get from the airport to where you are staying and to return again. I personally have an alarm for when to eat too.

While this might sound tedious, it gives you the freedom to shoot because it will tell you exactly when to start and when to stop, and you do not have to worry about it. When traveling you have no familiar bearings so the alarms get you grounded.

How to Plan a Street Photography Shoot When Traveling

Consider your arrival time

The other reason for knowing your numbers is knowing what you can expect. Remember the information you got from Photographer’s ephemeris or online. When are the sunrise, midday, and sunset?

Let’s say sunset is at  7 pm and sunrise at 7 am. If you are arriving at 8 pm you would know that you will arrive at night. So if you want to shoot the morning light, you need to wake up before 7 am and you know that you will miss the sunset. This kind of information will tell you what kind of light you can anticipate. But you also need to know where you are going.

How to Plan a Street Photography Shoot When Traveling

Where to go

When going somewhere new, I try to find the population centers and busy streets. So I google “[city name here] busy street” look at the results, and try to find the names of the busiest streets. It’s not magical, it’s probably overshot but where there are more people, usually there are interesting shots. Here are my results using Hong Kong as an example.

How to Plan a Street Photography Shoot When Traveling

Note: This is where you want to google according to your project and style. If you have a project with businessmen, you want to find out where the central business district is for example.

When looking for populated areas, there is usually a long stretch of road that is popular that provides great opportunities. For example:

  • Market Street in Philadelphia
  • Times Square in New York
  • Dotonbori in Osaka
  • Ocean Drive in Miami
  • Gangnam in Seoul
  • Nathan road in Hong Kong

Then I map out how to go there from the airport. When you know your times and where to go, you have a clearer idea of what you can expect. All of your energy is saved for shooting and not figuring things out when you arrive. Like I said above, after sweating like a pig trying to get out of the subway area in Kowloon, Hong Kong, it zapped my energy levels greatly. I doubled down on coffee.

How to Plan a Street Photography Shoot When Traveling

Use your gathered information wisely

It takes some experience but after a while, you start to know what to expect with all the information gathered. In the morning, you know what direction to be in to shoot the sun or have it at your back. You know when stores will start opening and people go to work. Knowing where you are going will help with your expectations. For example, if there are a lot of high-rises that will create shadow areas.

Knowing what time night falls will tell you when street vendors will start to close, the light from stores will create a new light source, or when to pull out a flash if that’s your thing.

How to Plan a Street Photography Shoot When Traveling

Protection

You have to be careful. What you believe is a camera is someone else’s next meal for a month. Population centers and busy streets are opportunities for street photographers but also for street thieves. It depends on where you are going, some places are safer than others. I like the anti-theft Pacsafe brand, but you can make yourself less pick-pocket friendly if you turn your backpack and hold it against your belly.

Also, don’t flaunt your camera if you know you are going somewhere there are lots of pick-pockets. You have to be careful not to damage the camera, but some tape is perfect to uglify the camera. And as much as you can, avoid backpacks and bags that scream “camera bag”. It immediately flags you as having a camera.

How to Plan a Street Photography Shoot When Traveling

Conclusion

There you have my system for how to prepare for a travel street photography shoot. I would be the first to say that it’s better to go somewhere and leave things open, but sometimes that’s just not a good use of your time when you only have a few hours or days to shoot somewhere. It’s better to prepare and then leave things open. Be yourself, stay focused and keep on shooting.

The post How to Plan a Street Photography Shoot When Traveling by Olivier Duong appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Photo of GoPro Hero6 leaked, will be able to shoot 4K at 60 fps

15 Sep

We’ve already knew the GoPro Hero6 was on the way thanks to company CEO Nick Woodman, who revealed the camera’s existence back in February. But a newly leaked photo of the Hero6 reveals one very exciting feature we didn’t know about: the little camera will allegedly be able to shoot 4K at 60fps.

The leaked photo was sent to Photo Rumors by a reader of theirs, and as with any unofficial leak, it’s worth taking the image with a grain of salt. But if it is legitimate, this is what the GoPro Hero6 will look like in its final packaging:

If the packaging is legitimate, we can see that the Hero6 is waterproof to 10m, takes 12MP photographs, and can shoot video at 4K and 60fps. The current Hero5 maxes out at 4K 30fps, which puts it at a disadvantage when you compare it to cheaper action cameras like the Yi 4K, which shoots 4K 60fps and costs just $ 340.

The Hero6 will very likely cost more than this—even the Hero5 still goes for $ 400—but with more accessories to choose from and a brand name people recognize, it might just convince some Yi fans to return to the mothership.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Tutorial: How to shoot a martini splash photo using only speedlights

03 Sep

Photographer Dustin Dolby of workphlo is back with another of his straightforward, easy-to-follow lighting tutorials. This time, he’s showing us how to shoot (and post-process) a professional-looking splash photography shot—a very popular ad style—using just the affordable speedlights in his home studio.

As usual, his setup is extremely affordable. To start, he places the empty glass-and-lime combo onto a sheet of plexiglass, with two diffusers behind it and a cheap Yongnuo speedlight behind that. Then he uses a second speedlight off to the side to light the garnish, and that same speedlight is what he’ll use to light the splashes once he adds water and begins throwing in his fake ice cube.

From start to finish, here are all of the exposures he captured and combined in post to create his final image:

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Along the way Dolby offers a bunch of little tips and tricks that help really round out the final image, and produce something beautiful. Here’s the final shot, after a bit of post-production magic:

To see the full tutorial, click play above. And if you love product photography his YouTube channel is definitely worth a look.


All photographs by Dustin Dolby/workphlo and used with permission.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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There’s no right way to be a photographer, and no right way to shoot (or not shoot) an eclipse

28 Aug
Photo by Allison Johnson

After speaking with a bone-a-fide eclipse expert a few months ago, I’ve been a proponent of not taking photos of the solar eclipse. So, on the morning of August 21st, 2017, I was on my way to the office with no plans to take pictures. I happened to have the Nikon D810 and AF-P 70-300mm at my side, but that was only because I’d been shooting with it over the weekend and planned to bring it to the office and pass it off to someone else.

My grand plan for the morning included mooching my colleague Jeff Keller’s eclipse glasses and safely viewing the event from our building. This scheme was almost waylaid when I was initially turned away from the at-capacity roof deck by an actual bouncer. But I persisted, and by that I mean I just hung around for a few minutes, and eventually made it outside into the utter spectacle when someone else left.

Equally as good as the show in the sky was the show on the ground

As it turned out Jeff actually had glasses to spare, because he is good at planning ahead, so I found myself with a coveted spot on the deck and a pair of eclipse glasses just as the show was getting good. But I was surprised to find that equally as good as the show in the sky was the show on the ground.

There’s something that happens to your face when you put on these glasses and look at the moon in front of the sun. I felt it happen to my face, and I saw it on countless other faces Monday morning. Your mouth opens in awe. You smile, or laugh, or just stare.

Photo by Allison Johnson

I watched, and eventually started photographing my fellow eclipse-viewers. And though I hadn’t expected to take any photos at all, I found myself really enjoying capturing the reactions around me. Not one person put on those glasses and looked bored or unimpressed. Staring at the moon eclipsing the sun turns out to be a great equalizer, because it makes us all feel like little kids again. In fact, Wenmei can verify this, because she took photos of actual kids.

Photo by Wenmei Hill. Also, two of these children.

My lackadaisical approach to the whole thing was just one of a range of ways DPR staffers captured the eclipse. My colleague Dale Baskin planned for the big day months in advance. He traveled south to Oregon, where he’d staked out a place for himself in the path of totality. He’s an experienced night sky photographer and had a mostly set-it-and-forget it rig in place, so he photographed the whole enchilada and even managed to enjoy it too.

And then there’s Rishi. Never one to back down from a scientific challenge, he Frankensteined a rig that he was mostly certain would not fry his camera’s sensor. It worked, and his sensor is still intact.

Photo by Rishi Sanyal

Stacking filters and doing math seems like entirely too much trouble to me, but if I’ve learned anything working at DPReview it’s this: that’s just how some people enjoy photography. It’s different from how I enjoy photography, but that’s okay – each is valid.

Really, the “don’t photograph the eclipse” advice wasn’t directed at every photographer. It was meant for people like me: hobbyists who might be tempted to try and capture the event at the expense of their own enjoyment of it.

There’s no one right way to be a photographer, and there’s no one right way to enjoy an eclipse

The more precise advice would have been, “Enjoy the eclipse,” and for many people, that means photographing it: scouting a location, acquiring the right filter, picking a lens, getting in place and coming away with a once-in-a-lifetime shot. And it wouldn’t really matter whether that eclipse shot looks more or less like everyone else’s: what matters is that they did it and enjoyed the process. That means something different to me than it does to Dale or Rishi.

As a baseball fan with little interest in advanced stats, the sentiment I often hear that “there’s no one right way to be a fan” makes a lot of sense to me. For some people, enjoying the game means understanding how to calculate a player’s slugging percentage. I’m content just baselessly speculating whether Nelson Cruz will hit a 400-foot home run in his next at bat. To each their own.

Just as there’s no right way to be a fan, I believe there’s no one right way to be a photographer, and no one right way to enjoy an eclipse. It really is too good of a thing to miss, however you take it in.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Photo of the week: An epic dancer shoot in an inverted room

27 Aug

A month ago, I got in touch with my old friends over at Little Boxes Theater—a recreational performance art/photography studio in San Francisco—about shooting a fun personal project. Since I love to fabricate things in my workshop for shoots, I asked if they’d be up for collaborating on something along those lines.

Aaron Simunovich (one of the studio managers), had a lot of experience woodworking, and threw out the idea of an inverted room. Without any doubts, I said something along the lines of, “yes, let’s make this happen right now.” I immediately got to work on a detailed 3D model of what it might look like structurally, and from there, we budgeted what material we’d need in order to get this set done.

I spent the following 5 days commuting over the San Francisco bridge, gradually building the set with Aaron, and us making frequent trips to the hardware stores… and junkyards. This was all a big experiment, but I called my good friend Valentina Reneff-Olson to model, since this trippy composition just called for a flexible dancer. Combine this two-wall set with a bit of intricate posing, and you end up with a series of photos that emulate anti-gravity perfectly.

Generally, the concept was to have the dancer shooting out of what looked like a painting/mirror frame. Oh yeah, and rain. There was rain.

Technical Details

If I told you how long we actually shot for, you’d probably think I was exaggerating. The truth is, once we had everybody at the studio, we only had 2 hours to get something good. Since I had to travel back to LA for an upcoming shoot, and their studio was booked out, there was just no way to do it the following day.

Little Boxes Theater likes to store set designs in-house, but since I don’t live anywhere near San Francisco, I was not going to leave back to Los Angeles without content that was up to my expectations. Two hours to get both photo and video content? No pressure.

*Game face*

Since I wanted to test the stills and slow motion of my new GH5, I used that body with a 25mm f/1.7 lens, and did everything handheld with the 5-axis stabilization turned on. There were two lighting setups being used simultaneously:

One for stills:

  • Two 600w heads
  • Reflector

One for video:

  • LED panel
  • Reflector
  • 1K Arri fresnel

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Since I was shooting slow motion at a higher shutter speed, I was really pushing the GH5 settings to see how it performed on this test. The power output of the strobes overpowered the constant lights, so for stills we just kept the constant lights on to help with auto-focus.

Together, we all improvised a bunch of choreography and posing for Valentina to follow, and our stylist, Virginie Suos, switched out the clothing after each video sequence in the rain. I got oddly comfortable shooting atop a scaffolding, with my head tilted 90º the whole time.

This shoot ended up being 75% stills and 25% video, so the minute-long short film that I threw together was cut only from about 6 shots only.

To that I’d say: “not too shabby Daniel, not too shabby.”

Check out the full behind the scenes video below:


Daniel DeArco is a Los Angeles-based photographer, filmmaker, and inventor who first picked up a camera in 2011 after he severely broke his neck. Since then, he’s made a name shooting creative portraits and commercial work. You can find more of his work on his website, Instagram, and YouTube.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Video: Four top-notch portrait photographers shoot the same model

18 Aug

There are two types of kind-of-clichéd photography challenges that are actually quite inspirational and informative: (1) A great photographer using a cheap camera, and (2) Several top-notch photographers shooting the same thing. This video by portrait shooter Jessica Kobeissi is a great example of the latter.

In the latest episode of her new series “4 photographers shoot the same model,” Kobeissi goes up against Joey L, Dani Diamond and Brandon Woelfel to see who can capture the most consistently great portraits of the same model—in this case, Charlotte McKee.

All four photographers get to pick one location and outfit, and the entire group has to shoot each of the scenarios. In practical terms, that means only one of the outfits and locations will be ‘familiar’ and ‘comfortable’ for each photographer. Oh, and you only get three minutes to shoot…

To see the final shots from each of the four photographer, check out the video up top. And then scroll down to reveal who shot each photograph:

Outfit 1
J.1 – Brandon
J.2 – Dani
J.3 – Jessica
J.4 – Joey

Outfit 2
D.1 – Jessica
D.2 – Brandon
D.3 – Joey
D.4 – Dani

Outfit 3
JL.1 – Dani
JL.2 – Joey
JL.3 – Brandon
JL.4 – Jessica

Outfit 4
B.1 – Jessica
B.2 – Joey
B.3 – Brandon
B.4 – Dani

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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How to shoot the solar eclipse: a list of resources for photographers

16 Aug
The first successfully captured photograph of a total solar eclipse was shot on July 28, 1851, by Prussian photographer Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski. Your eclipse photos can look better than this, with a little advice from some of our friends.

If you live in North America or are a citizen of planet Earth, you’ve probably heard chatter about the upcoming solar eclipse starting the morning of August 21st. It’s a rare opportunity for a lot of folks across the United States to see and/or photograph a partial or total eclipse of the sun, and it’s all happening just under a week from now.

We’ve already published our guide to photographing the eclipse (and a plea to consider not photographing it), but the Internet has no shortage of great information on the subject, some of which goes very in-depth. In an effort to provide you with the totality of eclipse photography resources, we’ve rounded up some of our other favorite articles and guides below. Good luck, and remember to protect those eyes and sensors!

Canon eclipse guide – 16 articles on shooting the eclipse

Canon’s guide to photographing the solar eclipse is very impressive and thorough. It features more than 15 articles on the subject. There’s also a nifty ‘Solar eclipse pocket field guide’ PDF you can download and print. The guide is slightly geared to Canon shooters, but we feel the information is useful to all photographers, regardless of brand of choice.

Read Canon’s eclipse guide

B & H eclipse guide- An easy-to-read complete guide

B & H also posted a really thorough guide on everything you should consider to safely and successfully shoot the eclipse. And unlike the Canon guide, these tips are all in one (long) article.

Read B & H’s eclipse guide

National Geographic – The creative side of photographing the eclipse

National Geographic’s guide to shooting the eclipse is less technical nuts-and-bolts and more about planning, composition and creativity. Nat Geo pinged pro shooters Stan Honda and Babak Tafreshi to share their advice on getting the shot.

Read Nat Geo’s eclipse article

Wired – Tips for shooting an eclipse with a smartphone

Smartphones, with their tiny sensors and wide-angle lenses might not seem like the obvious choice for photographing the eclipse, but Wired has some tips for making the most of the camera you likely always have on you. In short, they recommend purchasing an accessory telephoto lens to attach to your phone (there are several decent brands that make them), and stabilizing the rig with a small tripod.

Read Wired’s eclipse article

Nikon – Exposure advice

Nikon put together some useful information on the various types of eclipses, and what kinds of exposures you might use over the course of a total solar eclipse. If you’re a Nikon shooter, the post addresses camera settings for various Nikon lines.

Read Nikon’s eclipse article

Nikon also put together a couple of videos on eclipse gear preparation and shooting advice, for those who prefer to watch instead of read. Watch them here.

Astropix.com – Catching the light

This eclipse guide was recommended in our forums by a reader. Written by astrophotographer Jerry Lodriguss, it is one of the most complete and detailed guides to eclipse photography we’ve come across on the Internet. If you are serious about nailing the shot, this is your guide. However, for the more casual/enthusiast photographers, this guide goes a tad above and beyond.

Read the Astropix.com guide

Popular Mechanics – How to photograph a total solar eclipse

Unlike the Astropix.com guide above, Popular Mechanics guide is more enthusiast-geared, but still covers all the core eclipse shooting information. There’s also a nine-minute video that largely covers the same material found in the article. And the author also briefly addresses post-production, something most other guides gloss over.

Read Pop Mech‘s guide


Feel free to share your town eclipse resources in the comments below.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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How to shoot classic beauty product photography on a budget

16 Aug

Dustin Dolby of Workphlo is back with another simple step-by-step tutorial that shows you how to create professional-looking magazine-quality product photography using affordable gear—in this case, he uses two speedlights inside strip boxes, and could have used just one.

For this shoot, Dolby is tackling beauty care products, which he decided to place on white plexiglass because of the subtle reflection this creates. From there, he brings out his trusty strip lights (two of them) and some diffusion material, and begins to “build” his composition. Over the course of five minutes he captures seven different lighting variants and a silhouette (which he uses as a mask):

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He then combines these images to taste in Photoshop, using the mask to cut out his products and picking a color from within the product itself to use as a solid background. The final image looks just like any other classic beauty care shot you might see in a popular magazine:

Check out the video at the top to walk through the tutorial step-by-step. And if you like Dolby’s style you can find more of his tutorials on his YouTube channel.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Pentagon gives military bases approval to shoot down wayward camera drones

08 Aug

Federal UAV regulations prohibit drone operators from flying drones near or over airports or military bases, but that hasn’t stopped some individuals from doing it anyway. But if you’ve been bold (read: stupid) enough to break those rules, be warned: military bases are now authorized to shoot down or seize your drone.

The directive comes straight from the Pentagon, who gave military bases the authority to shoot down any drones, whether commercial or private, that fly into their airspace and are believed to be a threat starting last month.

Confirmation of the new policy was announced yesterday by Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, according to Military Times. “The new guidance does afford of the ability to take action to stop these [drone] threats,” said Davis, “and that includes disabling, destroying and tracking.” As part of the authorization, a military base could seize a drone.

Overall, the new policy covers 135 military installations, though there are some questions remaining about whether drones will be deemed threats if operated on lands used by both the military and private citizens. One example is the land around Minot Air Force Base, which is leased to both private and commercial farmers; under the land are silos containing ballistic missiles, making it unclear whether those farmers are free to survey their crops and livestock using drones.

The FAA had a role in the formation of this new policy, which leaves some room for military bases to make determinations about how to handle any given drone that operates in its space. However, the criteria that a military base might use to determine whether or not it will seize, disable and/or destroy a wayward drone wasn’t revealed.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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