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Posts Tagged ‘space’

Ten Nikon D5 DSLRs will arrive at the International Space Station tomorrow

14 Nov

Back in August, NASA’s love affair with Nikon cameras made the news when the space agency ordered 53 unmodified Nikon D5 DSLRs that it would use on the International Space Station and for ‘training purposes’ here on Earth. Ten of those D5 cameras are scheduled to make it to the ISS this week.

Packed aboard the Orbital ATK OA-8 Space Station Cargo Resupply Mission that took off this Sunday at 7:19am Eastern time, and are scheduled to arrive at the ISS tomorrow morning around 4:50am (you can actually watch live coverage of the rendezvous on NASA TV starting at 3:15am).

Nikon tells us that NASA is “reusing Nikon lenses and accessories previously launch with the Nikon D4 and D2Xs cameras,” and are planning to keep the D5 cameras in circulation for 12-18 months. With any luck, the astronauts aboard the space station will use them to capture more images like these:

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NASA’s relationship with Nikon began in 1971, when the Nikon Photomic FTN (a modified Nikon F) went to the moon with the astronauts of Apollo 15. Fast forward to 2008, and NASA ordered its first digital cameras for use in space, a set of six Nikon D2XS DSLRs, followed by an order for 11 Nikon D3S cameras in 2009, 38 Nikon D4 DSLRs in 2013, and another 10 D4s in 2016.

The only question now, I suppose, is when is the Space Agency going to replace its glass? NASA’s latest order of Nikon glass was placed in 2010, when 64 NIKKOR lenses were delivered to the space agency. If astronaut photographers are anything like us Earth-bound folk, that means they’ve been drooling over ‘better’ lenses than they currently have since about… three days after they got those lenses.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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How to Use Negative Space in People Photography

11 Oct

When it comes to people photography, one of the most common pieces of advice is to “fill the frame” with your subject. In general, this is a good rule of thumb that can dramatically improve your photography right away. However, sometimes rules are meant to be broken, and learning how to use negative space in people photography can also be valuable in delivering a varied and useful gallery of images.

People Photography Negative Space

What is Negative Space?

When you’re photographing people, the subject of your image is always the person (or people) in your frame. Similarly, the negative space of an image is anything other than the subject. It’s the foreground, the background, and the visual “breathing room” all around your subject.

Although it can be counterintuitive, allowing a bit of space around your subject helps draw the viewer’s eye directly to the person you’re photographing. This, in turn, emphasizes their importance in the final image.

How to Use Negative Space in People Photography

How Do You Do Negative Space Well?

So, how do you make sure that your negative space looks intentional and not accidental when you’re photographing people? Here are a few tips that will help get you started combining negative space images and people photography.

Think in Thirds

How to Use Negative Space in People Photography

When creating a negative space image in people photography, aim for your subject to take up one-third of the image, and the negative space to take up roughly two-thirds of the image. Following guideline ensures that your subject is large enough to be seen while also creating a ratio that’s visually pleasing to the eye. You’ll also notice that using this ratio as a general framework for your images allows you to implement the rule of thirds in your negative space images, which further helps to ensure that your images are composed well and are aesthetically pleasing.

Face the Space

Rule of Thirds Photography - How to Use Negative Space in People Photography

If you elect to follow the rule of thirds and compose your subject off center, spend some time experimenting with the direction your subject is facing. Is the image stronger when your subject is facing the negative space or facing away from the negative space? As a general rule, try to pose your subject so they’re looking towards the negative space. This is particularly important if the person you’re photographing is walking, running, or playing sports.

By doing so, our brains are able to imagine the subject traveling through the negative space, which creates a more compelling and believable image. In addition, directing the person you’re photographing to look towards the negative space creates an image that looks more candid, which is a great way of adding diversity to some of your posed session images.

Bring it to the Center

How to Use Negative Space in People Photography

Keep in mind that not all negative space images have to be offset! Try bringing your subject to the center of the frame while simultaneously allowing plenty of “headspace” around them in your image. This technique is similar to the idea of white space in graphic design, rests in musical composition, and high-end clothing stores that leave plenty of space between the clothing on the racks.

By limiting the proportion of the image that causes our mind to “think”, we’re emphasizing the importance of the objects that do exist in the frame, thus increasing their perceived value in our brain.

It’s Not All About Neutrals

White Space in Photography - How to Use Negative Space in People Photography

Negative space images don’t have to be all about neutral backgrounds and bokeh that obscures the background beyond recognition. Whether you’re at a favorite lake or their family’s historic farmhouse, negative space images can be a great way to subtly reference location without making it the star of the show!

Look for backdrops that are relatively uniform in color and/or pattern, which will invoke the same visual feeling of breathing room and rest around your subject, while simultaneously visually cueing your location.

Why Does Negative Space Matter?

Now that you know how to create images of people that utilize negative space, it’s also helpful to understand why negative space images are important and why you should consider incorporating at least a few into every photo session.

Emphasizing Scale

Newborn Photography Scale - How to Use Negative Space in People Photography

Using negative space when you’re photographing people can help to emphasize the size of the person you’re photographing. For example, if you’re photographing a newborn and fill the frame in every image you take, you may have missed the ability to convey just how small newborn babies are relative to their surroundings.

By including varying degrees of negative space in your images, you will be better equipped to emphasize the scale of a newborn. Similarly, you could also consider using negative space images to convey how small a bride and groom are compared to the vast beach they were married on.

Give Your Clients Options

Headspace in Portraits - How to Use Negative Space in People Photography

If any part of your business plan includes offering digital images to your clients, keep in mind that many of your clients will want to post the images you’ve taken on social media. Many of the popular social media platforms are not very conducive to typical “fill the frame” portraits, forcing your client to either cut off the top of their head or cut off their shoulders (leaving them looking rather like a floating head as above).

Similarly, if a client requests a certain image printed on a canvas, images with negative space allow you to accommodate that request without worrying about part of the image getting cut off by the gallery wrap. By including negative space in a few images, you’ll be giving your clients more options and less frustration!

Give Yourself Options

Original shot with negative space on the left.

Not only do images with negative space give your clients flexibility, they give you additional flexibility as the photographer as well!

Want to submit your image for the cover of a local magazine? Many editors want images with plenty of negative space to accommodate headline text. Want to start offering a Christmas Card design to your clients? Negative space images help make that easier. Want to advertise mini sessions on Facebook? Try placing the text in the negative space of one of your favorite images.

Using Negative Space in Photos - How to Use Negative Space in People Photography

The negative space in this image allows room to add a text overlay.

Making an effort to utilize negative space every time you photograph people will give you more ways to use your images.

Wrapping it Up

How to Use Negative Space in People Photography

In a nutshell, using negative space when you’re photographing people can help bring attention to your subject. It can also showcase locations in an unobtrusive way. Negative space also helps emphasize movement and scale, add variety to your images, and offers more flexibility to both you and your client. It’s a great technique you can implement right away and it costs nothing!

The post How to Use Negative Space in People Photography by Meredith Clark appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Pop-Up Parking Garage & Rooftop Green Space Rises Higher When it Rains

05 Oct

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

Stormwater flooding, too few places to park and a lack of green space are three of the main issues plaguing every major city, and this strange but kind of brilliant building concept attempts to solve all three at once. ‘POP-UP’ by Danish architecture firm THIRD NATURE places a five-level parking garage topped with a public park on top of a stormwater reservoir, with the building’s height changing depending on how much it has rained lately.

On a dry day, all that’s visible of the POP-UP structure is the rooftop park, which essentially sits at ground level. But when rain falls, it fills the underground reservoir, causing the parking structure to rise higher in the landscape, highlighting its adaptability in the face of changing weather. The architects present it as an alternative to constructing a rainwater reservoir that’s empty most of the time or a mono-functional parking facility that takes up valuable urban space.

“By 2050, the Earth’s population is expected to grow to over 9 billion people,” says THIRD NATURE. “The migration to cities is on the rise and urban spaces are under pressure from the growing numbers of cars and traffic in the streets. With the quest for green, livable and human-scale cities cars and car parking have become an increasing challenge fighting for m2 in the dense cities – often at the price of urban areas and parks.”

“At the same time, climate changes require cities to handle huge amounts of stormwater generated by more and more powerful cloudbusts – this by building large water reservoirs under roads and squares. The situation calls for a rethinking of the way we establish parking, storage of stormwater and new urban spaces.”

They compare the building to a piece of cork in a glass of water. Hydraulic and mechanical lifts would help balance the weight ratios of parked cars in the structure to make sure it’s able to move up and down smoothly without changing the water level underneath. The two lowest levels of the parking structure would be off-limits, remaining underground to ensure the stability and buoyancy of the building.

Though an approach that reduces the number of individual vehicles allowed into a city would arguably be more practical, it’s also true that many places (especially in the United States) are likely to remain car-centric for the foreseeable future. Is this a realistic compromise?

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[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

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UltraPod II: Saving Space and Holding Cameras Still

26 Sep

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8-Bitten: Space Invaders Street Art Tells Tile Tales

21 Aug

[ By Steve in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Urban street artist Invader has installed tile mosaics modeled after Space Invaders 8-bit video game characters in over 30 countries over the past 20 years.

Although he prefers to remain incognito like Banksy and many other street artists, Invader has a known personal history aside from his art. Born in France in 1969, he graduated from the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris though one wonders what his instructors think of his trademark works.

Classical training aside, Invader’s main artistic focus relates to the 8-bit graphic style of visual displays common to the first wave of electronic video games from the late 1970s. His choice of “Invader” as an artistic nom de plume reflects the influence of Space Invaders, one of the first shooter-style video games, released in 1978. The images above, captured by Flickr member Philosofia in Rome in June of 2011, are typical of the artist’s style and preferred placement in public urban settings easily visible but less than accessible.

We’ll Always Have Paris

Invader is not your typical tag & go, fly-by-night graffiti artist though many of his works ARE installed in the dead of night so as to avoid traffic and police. Instead, Invader typically plots his so-called “Invasions” of a chosen city far in advance, scouting out locations for his mosaics and semi-completing the works before he goes out to install them.

The artist’s earliest mosaics began appearing in Paris about 25 years ago. The examples above come courtesy of Flickr members Wally Gobetz (wallyg), Nelson Minar, and Ferdinand Feys.

High Plain Invaders

As time went by and word of Invader’s distinctive works spread, a black market for his pieces sprang up. Naturally, the artist disapproved of this – his works were and are designed to be not-for-profit installations.

In response to a rash of thefts and subsequent resales, Invader has made efforts to make his work more complex (and therefore more difficult to remove) and he’s also been placing them in higher, less accessible locations. The above images were snapped by Flickr members Allison Meier (allisonmeier), KnitSpirit, and victorillen in 2009, 2011 and 2009, respectively.

Miles Of Tiles

In June of 2011, Invader celebrated the installation of his 1,000th work in Paris alone. Over his “career” to that point, he had created 2,692 space invader style mosaics in 77 cities using approximately 1.5 million ceramic tiles. The mosaic above dates from February of 2013 and was snapped by Flickr member sinkdd in Tokyo, Japan’s famously trendy Harajuku shopping district.

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8 Bitten Space Invaders Street Art Tells Tile Tales

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[ By Steve in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

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Composition tips: simplification and negative space

06 Aug
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Composition is about a whole lot more than the ‘rule of thirds’ or the ‘golden spiral.’ If you really want to understand what makes a photograph stand out, you need to dive deeper into the art of photography and photo composition… which is exactly what Ted Forbes did in this old episode of his aptly-titled YouTube channel The Art of Photography.

The episode was dug out of the archives by Fstoppers, and it was part of a larger series on composition, which is elaborated on in a blog Forbes was maintaining at the time called Composition Study.

But this episode in particular stands out, because it’s one of the deeper video dives out there on the subject of simplicity, minimalism, and negative space. Forbes starts with figure/ground relationships, and expands from that to explain how you create dynamism in a photograph, let your subject/figure breathe while drawing your viewers eye to that subject, and much much more.

Check out the full episode below, and then share your favorite minimalist composition in the comments down below:

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sony a7S II sends 4K video from the International Space Station to Earth

28 Jul

Last December a Japanese rocket brought cargo 249 miles above the Earth to the International Space Station. On that rocket was none other than a Sony Alpha a7S II, which was soon mounted on the outside of Japan’s KIBO module to take photos and videos of the mothership, so to speak.

Mounting a camera to a space station isn’t like putting a GoPro on your handlebars – the a7S II is enclosed in a specially designed aluminum housing with a radiator to keep it at a comfortable temperature in the vacuum of space. It’s mounted on a two-axis gimbal so, unlike prior cameras on the ISS, it’s not constantly looking straight down. The camera itself is basically the same as what you could buy off the shelf, and has an FE 28-135 F4 G OSS power zoom lens attached.

Head on over to Sony’s website to learn more about why the company’s high-sensitivity full-frame camera was chosen and how it all works. You can also find additional 4K videos to enjoy.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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You can now explore the International Space Station in Google Street View

20 Jul
Cupola Observation Module, Image: Google

Thomas Pesquet, an astronaut with the European Space Agency (ESA) spent 6 months on board of the International Space Station (ISS). During his time in space he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images of the space station’s interiors and unique images of the Earth seen from space.

As a result you can now explore the ISS and have a look at the blue planet from space using Google Street View.

US Laboratory Module, Image: Google

In his post on the Google Blog Thomas provides a little insight into the the picture capturing process in space: “Because of the particular constraints of living and working in space, it wasn’t possible to collect Street View using Google’s usual methods. Instead, the Street View team worked with NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas and Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama to design a gravity-free method of collecting the imagery using DSLR cameras and equipment already on the ISS. Then I collected still photos in space, that were sent down to Earth where they were stitched together to create panoramic 360 degree imagery of the ISS.”

More information and images are available in Thomas Pesquet’s article “Welcome to Outer Space View” on the Google Blog.

Joint Airlock (Quest), Image: Google

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Japan’s space agency has an adorable ball-shaped camera drone on the ISS

19 Jul

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has a robotic ball-shaped camera drone called Int-Ball floating around the International Space Station, and for the first time ever it has released videos and images captured by the camera.

The drone, which measures 15cm in diameter and was delivered to the ISS on June 4th, was created using 3D printing technologies; with it, flight controllers and researchers on Earth can watch video from the ISS in real-time.

JAXA hasn’t detailed the type of camera used with Int-Ball, saying only that the robot features ‘existing drone technology.’ According to a report in The Japan Times, a dozen propellers enable Int-Ball to navigate in any direction while a variety of inertial sensors, ultrasonics sensors, and a camera make navigation possible.

JAXA says Int-Ball frees up about 10% of the ISS crew’s time for other tasks… so there is some use for it beyond adorable ISS drone marketing.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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This is the first ever permanent photography exhibition in space

07 Jul

Duggal Visual Solutions has teamed with its client, Dubai-based photographer Dr. Hersh Chadha, to create what they say is the first-ever permanent photography exhibition in space.

The exhibition consists of five photographs of flowers that Dr. Chadha donated to three astronauts aboard the International Space Station, where the photos are currently zooming around the Earth at 4.76 miles per second.

You can see two of them below:

Col. Valery Korzun of Star City, Moscow made the arrangements to have Dr. Chadha’s photographs on-board the ISS Expedition 49-50, which took place last year. In addition to donating these photos, Dr. Chadha donated a hard drive containing 500 of his photos, as well as his ‘Visions of Nature’ book, to the Yuri A. Gagarin State Scientific Research-and-Testing Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City.

Talking about his donation, Dr. Chadha explained, “Photography is a great medium of expression, and my purpose of doing this was to let the human beings who live on the Space Station for so many months still be connected to Mother Earth.”

You can hear more from Dr. Chadha and watch the photographs’ journey into space in the video below:

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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