Archive for October, 2012

More Eye Retouching Tips in Photoshop Elements

31 Oct

If your are doing portraiture, especially glamour, retouching is an essential skill. Here are a few useful tips for enhancing your subject’s eyes. (Sorry…I said ‘pupil’ a couple of times when I meant to say ‘iris’.) Be sure to visit the PhotoBlog at !

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Catwalk Photoshoot Behind the scenes

31 Oct

The blog link is
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Aspect Ratios in Landscape Photography

31 Oct

Composition is often the key to the difference between a good landscape photograph and a great landscape photograph.  There are oft quoted rules that we all try to adhere to and break in equal measure (rule of thirds, leading lines, golden spiral etc.) yet when considering what we are trying to capture within the frame, we don’t always consider the frame itself.

The aspect ratio of the photograph can make or break the composition by both emphasising the subject and removing distractions, or by putting the whole scene off-balance.  When looking through the viewfinder, about to press the shutter, it’s a good idea to try and envisage the final shot, including the aspect ratio, in order to optimise your composition (too often the aspect ratio is an after-thought, being edited and applied during post-processing to correct for poor compositional choice).

But how does each aspect ratio impact our composition?  Hopefully, that’s where this article comes in.  I’m going to discuss a few common aspect ratios, with examples, and show the benefits and draw backs for each, considering where each one may be applied.

(Note, there is an argument for cropping your photo without sticking to a defined ratio to give an image a custom ratio based on your subject matter.  I believe that can make printing/framing awkward so will therefore be sticking to well-defined ratios that most should be familiar with).

1:1 –Square format

The square format can often be used to simplify an image and give a subject a striking presence at the centre of the frame.  By keeping the width equal to the height, the way in which we read the photograph changes, as there is less of a need to move left-to-right through the frame.  The square format lends a good opportunity to break the rules we so often follow – place the horizon along the centre of the image or place a subject in centre of the frame, and the composition may only get stronger.  You’ll often see a 1:1 aspect ratio used to emphasise minimalism (again, along the theme of simplification).

Derwent Water, Lake District, UK presented in a 1:1 aspect ratio

A 1:1 aspect ratio used to add to the simplicity of this image

4:3 – Four-thirds format

This format is the default aspect ratio of cameras that use four-thirds sensors.  The image is wider than it is tall, meaning that the eye naturally wants to move left-to-right through the image.  However, given that the image is still fairly tall, in relation to the width, this ratio is perfect for leading the eye into the scene through leading lines from foreground interest.  The relative height of the image encourages the use of wide-angle focal lengths to capture the depth of a scene within an image, without capturing excess details at the edge of each frame.

Lavender field at sunrise presented in a 4:3 format

A 4:3 format allows for capturing close foreground detail and leading lines to draw the eye into the image

6:4 – 35 mm format (also called 3:2)

This is the default aspect ratio for 35 mm film, and therefore for full frame and APS-C sensors used in most Nikon/Canon cameras.  The width of the image is significantly wider than the height that, again, encourages reading through the image from left-to-right, meaning diagonal leading lines can work a treat.  A limitation of this aspect ratio is that the height is that much shorter in relation to the width, meaning that capturing foreground detail using a wide-angle lens becomes more difficult due to the limited vertical space with which to work.  It can cause the subjects within the frame to become too disparate and therefore lose impact.  The 6:4 ratio can however be a format that is suited to capturing scenes where there is little to no foreground interest, with mid-range focal lengths (e.g. 35 mm).

Rain over Lake Como presented in a 6:4 aspect ratio

A 6:4 aspect ratio is used here as no close foreground detail is being captured, yet the scene still benefits from a wide aspect

16:9 – widescreen panoramic

This format was supported in film by the advanced photo system (APS) on its introduction and has recently become more popular due to the prevalence of 16:9 aspect ratio displays in the home – tvs, computer monitors, mobile devices.  With this format, the width of the image is dominant, meaning leading the viewer in from the foreground is difficult, but the format is ideally suited to presenting portions of landscape scenes captured with longer focal lengths (i.e. zoom lenses) from a distance.

Beach abstraction presented in a 16:9 format

A wide and narrow 16:9 format was used here to emphasise the horizontal bands of colour

12:6 or 18:6 – panoramic (also called 2:1 or 3:1)

I’ve chosen to adopt 12:6 or 18:6 as the panoramic format here for a few reasons.  Both 2:1 and 3:1 seem to be fairly well supported in that panoramic picture frame options are typically either 2:1 or 3:1.  2:1 is a panoramic format supported by a number of medium format film cameras and 3:1 was supported by the APS.  Typically, panoramic ratios will be used to present the result of stitching 2 or more images together – it’s quite challenging to capture a 3:1 aspect ratio image from one frame and it sill be large enough to print at any meaningful size – and often frames to be stitched will have been captured using a longer focal length in order to pick out details distant in the landscape.  There is no real option of including foreground detail here.

Chalkfields at sunrise presented in a 3:1 aspect ratio

An ultra-wide 18:6 (3:1) aspect ratio was used to present this panorama of 7 stitched images, captured using a focal length of approx. 140 mm

‘Portrait’ mode

I’m aware that I’ve discussed a number of different aspect ratios in the ‘landscape’ format and not in ‘portrait’ format.  That is because I believe the options for successful presentation of landscapes in ‘portrait’ format to be much fewer in number.  For a landscape to work, you need to balance the composition throughout a frame and aspect ratios such as 6;4 make that very difficult due to the image being too tall, relative to its width.  For ‘portrait’ landscapes to work, fatter rectangles such as 4:3, 7:6 or 5:4 are ideal, 5:4 being heavily used by professional landscape photographers using medium and large format cameras.  These formats allow the eye to be taken through an image, still from-left-to-right, without having an excess amount of sky putting the frame off-balance.

Bwlch Y Groes, Wales, UK presented in three different portrait formats

From left to right: 6:4, 4:3, 5:4. Which one looks best?


Whilst I have tried to describe specific uses to certain aspect ratios, I am aware that not all scenes will follow the suggestions I’ve made, and some images may well work in one ratio, not another, contrary to what I’ve suggested.

However, I’m hoping this introduction to aspect ratios will encourage you to think about them when composing your shot, before pressing the shutter.  It isn’t always ideal to fill the frame of your camera with the landscape in front of you, and knowing that the aspect ratio you choose is not dictated by which camera you use means you may be able to use them effectively to boost the impact of your landscape photographs.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Aspect Ratios in Landscape Photography

Digital Photography School

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Just Posted: Olympus Stylus XZ-2 real-world sample images

31 Oct


Just Posted: Our real-world sample images from the Olympus Stylus XZ-2. The XZ-2 builds on the features of one of our favorite compact cameras – the Olympus XZ-1 – adding an improved 12MP CMOS sensor, flip-out touch-screen and innovative dual-mode lens control ring. We’ve been shooting a range of subjects in a variety of lighting conditions, using various apertures and processing settings on the XZ-2. Click through to see the gallery.

News: Digital Photography Review (

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Connect: Using Instagram to follow current events

31 Oct


Connect: Australian photographer Misho Baranovic decided to use Instagram as a way of keeping track of the human-scale impact of Hurricane Sandy as it reached the US coast. He explains the steps he took to find the most relevant photos and filter-out inauthentic images – highlighting both the potential and pitfalls of curating and sharing crowd-sourced content.

News: Digital Photography Review (

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“John Dies at the End” (2013) – Official Trailer #2 [RED CYAN 3D, HD] – Paul Giamatti Horror Movie

31 Oct

“John Dies at the End” trailer #2 belongs to its owner, I own nothing. Convert any movie to 3D using 3D Video Converter:
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This is a sample of Sherlock Holmes 720p custom made in 3D from the 2D version. Keep in mind this was not originally shot in 3D. To watch it you need Red-Cyan Anaglyph glasses.
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Top 10 Piano Songs by Ludovico Einaudi (Photography by Pianopod)

31 Oct

The 10 pieces featured on this video are taken from a solo concert played by Ludovico Einaudi in Dublin in October 2009. The full version of each of these may be found on my channel. Andare Tu Sei Uno In Un’altra Vita Indaco i Giorni Oltremare Le Onde Divenire Nuvole Bianchi Playlist for full Dublin concert: This is a selection of my photographs taken in various places around the world. If you would like any information about the photographs or the locations, please contact me. Ludovico Einaudi – Photographs copyright Pianopod 2011

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11.00 hours

31 Oct

A few nice visual art images I found:

11.00 hours
visual art
Image by iamtdj
"Diary of a Victorian Dandy," commissioned by the Institute of International Visual Arts (inIVA) in London as a public art project for the Underground.

Circled Head
visual art
Image by Leo Reynolds
Artist: John Davies
Title: Circled Head 1992
Material: Epoxy resin and paint

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk, England, UK

I Just Can’t Get Enough – McLean Fahnestock – detail
visual art
Image by Angels Gate
Taken during the installation of I Just Can’t Get Enough.

Photo by AGCC Visual Arts Director Marshall Astor

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Posted in Photographs – Quick Levels Contrast Fix in Photoshop

31 Oct

The levels dialog in Adobe Photoshop is a great way to increase contrast and check exposure on a photograph. We show you how. Check out for more photography tips, tricks and tutorials.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Fixing your horizon in Photoshop.

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Dwight Yoakam – “3 Pears” captured in The Live Room

31 Oct

Dwight Yoakam performs his song “3 Pears” in an exclusive recording session live in the legendary Studio One at EASTWEST STUDIOS in Hollywood, CA for The Live Room on The Warner Sound. Watch more of Dwight Yoakam in The Live Room: Executive Producer Phil Botti Director Michael Thelin Recorded & Mixed by Marc Desisto Editor Steven Pierce Captured live at EASTWEST STUDIOS Hollywood, CA The Live Room with Dwight Yoakam was captured exclusively with Nikon D4 HD-SLRs camera and NIKKOR lenses. The Live Room is an exclusive Warner Sound original series that captures today’s most innovative artists performing live recording sessions in the most iconic recording studios across America. Subscribe to The Warner Sound: The Warner Sound on the Web: http

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