Archive for December, 2015

PIX 2015: Josh Trujillo on the power of photography

31 Dec

Professional photojournalist Josh Trujillo has been published in almost every major US newspaper and magazine, including the front page of the New York Times and full-page features in People Magazine and Sports Illustrated. Join him for an insightful look at the world through the eyes of a photojournalist.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

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Happy New Year 2016 from dPS

31 Dec
Randy Tan Travelogue

By Randy Tan Travelogue

Well it’s been a fantastic year here at dPS, we hope you’ve had a good one too.

The New Year is upon us and it’s a time to reflect on the past 12 months, and look forward to the next 12.

So I’m curious, do you make goals for the new year? I’m not into making resolutions myself, I think they’re often too shallow, and most people make rash ones, that they don’t keep more than a few days. The reason is they don’t have a plan to go with them.

Goal + A plan of Action = Success

So tell me, in the comments below:

  • What are your photography goals for 2016?
  • What will you do (action plan) to move yourself closer to achieving them?

My own personal goals this year are around balance and fitness/health. So I’ve already joined a gym and have started going three times a week or more. For my photography goals, my big one is (I’m putting this out there so I actually do it and you guys can hold me to it):

  • GOAL: Make a book of my Grandmother’s images (have had the photos for two years) to give to her and my family members (she’s 96 and want to do this while she’s still here and has eyesight, which is failing her).
  • ACTION PLAN: Take 30 minutes each week to work on this project (cull images, edit them in Lightroom, and design and order the Blurb book).

Okay, it’s your turn. What is your one big goal and your action plan?

William Cho

By William Cho

PS – a future goal is to spend New Year’s in Singapore (I’ve been there over Christmas but didn’t quite make it to the 31st). Sure looks like they have an amazing fireworks display based on the two images above!

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The post Happy New Year 2016 from dPS by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Behind the Camera: A conversation with Peter Hurley

31 Dec

Peter Hurley wasn’t always a noted portrait photographer with a great head of hair – before he ever picked up a camera he was a bartender, actor and model. With encouragement from Bruce Weber he purchased a camera and lens and the rest is history. Ever the engaging storyteller, Hurley takes us through the beginnings of his career and how he learned to stand out in a crowded field.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

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Post-Processing Tips of the Year 2015 on dPS

31 Dec
Shaheer Shahid

By Shaheer Shahid

Continuing on this holiday week with a list of some of our most popular articles here on dPS, this time on post-processing.

Whether you use Lightroom, Photoshop, or something else entirely you can find some hidden gems in this bunch. Get your editor ready to try these tips on post-processing out:

Lightroom tips

  • Understanding the Difference Between Photoshop and Lightroom
  • A Super Simple Way to Make Landscape Photos POP Using Lightroom
  • How to Watermark Your Images Using Lightroom and Photoshop CC
  • Natural Looking HDR in Photoshop and Lightroom in 5 Easy Steps
  • How to Isolate Your Subject in Lightroom
  • Understanding the Radial Filter in Lightroom
  • 5 Things You Should Know About Lightroom Before Starting
  • 3 Simple Steps to Make Your Skies Pop in Lightroom
  • 10 Quick Lightroom Tips and Shortcuts
  • How to Choose Which Version of Lightroom to Buy
  • Five Useful Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts
  • How to Retouch a Portrait with the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom
  • How to do Basic Processing on a Portrait in 5 Minutes Using Lightroom

You can find many more articles on Lightroom here if you haven’t had enough, or if you want to pick up some Lightroom presets dPS offers a set of those as well.

Photoshop tips

  • How to Make a Photoshop Collage in 9 Simple Steps
  • 12 Tips for Mastering the Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop
  • 10 Things Photoshop Beginners Want to Know How to Do
  • How to use Photoshop’s Quick Selection Tool to Change a Background
  • 4 Photoshop Tools Every Photographer Should Know
  • How to Process a Landscape Photo in 5 Minutes Using Photoshop
  • How to do Frequency Separation Portrait Retouching in Photoshop
  • 5 Photoshop Layer Mask Tricks – Video Tutorial
  • Cheat Sheet Photoshop CS6 Shortcuts
  • The First 3 Photoshop Blend Modes You Need to Understand
  • Understanding the Basic Sliders in Adobe Camera Raw

Find even more Photoshop tips here.

Dave Wilson Cumbria

By Dave Wilson Cumbria

Other programs and random tips

  1. Macphun Noiseless Pro Software Review
  2. Post-processing RAW Files – ACR Compared to Some Free Software Options
  3. 3 Tips for Getting Great Skin Tones Using Adobe Camera Raw
  4. How to Give Your Macro Photography a Fine Art Touch in Post-Processing
  5. 3 Simple Tips for Subtle Landscape Photography Post-Processing
  6. Post-Processing Tips for Overcoming Beginners Acts of Omission

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Wearable RIP: Coffin Hood Helps You Relax Among City Chaos

31 Dec

[ By Steph in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

wearable RIP 7

There’s no peace quite like death, a fact that seems to have inspired this coffin-shaped, sensory-dampening hood encouraging you to “say goodbye to everything” no matter how chaotic your environment may be. The ‘Wearable RIP’ fits around your head, with padding for your shoulders and a kangaroo pocket for your hands, so you can get some (hopefully not eternal, just yet) shuteye, even in airports or on the bus.

coffin 10

wearable RIP 8

wearable RIP 9

What kind of burial do you want? That’s a serious question, because the hood will give you three options that change the type of music that auto-plays when you lean back enough to activate the sensor behind your head. Select the glory of a burial by fire, go deep into the silent earth, or float with the echo of the ocean in your ears.

wearable RIP 3

wearable RIP 4

wearable RIP 6

Designers Ting Wu and Yu Ting Chang want you to “cut down the connection between you and reality,” burying yourself in a world of your own choosing. There’s some heavy philosophy in their description of the project: “‘Lived-body’ is the alive body that you can perceive; ‘body as image’ is just the object, the shape of the body. If you can perceive the object, does that mean the object is alive to you? In contrast, if you can’t perceive someone, is he/she still alive?”

wearable RIP main

The Wearable RIP hood: for when you just want to be a little bit dead.

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Gear of the Year Part 8: Wenmei’s choice – Lensbaby Velvet 56mm f/1.6

31 Dec

My photographic style has always favored precision and sharpness with rich tones and vibrant colors.  I also have a bit of a control issue – my inner engineer likes predictable behaviors and consistent results. But sometimes I get into a photographic rut and I need something to give me a creative jump-start. Where do I turn? To Lensbaby of course, because how better to feed my need for precision, sharpness, control and predictable results than by using creative lenses that have very few of those qualities?

Predictable behavior. ISO 400, F4, 1/125sec.

My pick for Gear of the Year is the Velvet 56 F1.6 lens from Lensbaby. It’s a portrait lens that is incredibly versatile, going from a soft ethereal glow at F1.6 to satisfyingly sharp details when stopped down.

What I love:

  • 56mm focal length, perfect for portraits
  • Sharp focus when stopped down, if I need a break from the velvet glow
  • 1:2 magnification means I can get up close and personal with my subjects or shoot near-macro details
  • Soft focus effect forces me outside of my comfort zone and makes me think more creatively when setting up my shots
  • Sleek body looks cool, especially the silver version

When I first picked up the Velvet 56, I had a hard time figuring out how to make it work for me. My creative style does not naturally include soft edges or ethereal glow, so getting a feel for the lens and how it works took several days of shooting. (In contrast, colleagues who tend to shoot in a dreamier, more vintage style have tried the lens and fallen in love with it immediately.)

Still shooting stopped down to F4, having trouble embracing the glow. ISO 200, F4, 1/200sec

With the Velvet 56, once you open up above F2.8 it’s impossible to get a sharp edge. Having a direct relationship between the wide apertures I typically use to capture light and the soft focus that is a signature of this lens was very frustrating to me. However, once I gave up on the idea of being able to control both light and focus in the ways I expected, I found creative freedom in allowing myself to shoot for the “feeling” of a moment rather than the precision of it.

Sleeping children helped me step into the world of intentionally soft focus (by taking “dreamy” a bit literally…each of us takes the path that works for us). ISO 800, F2, 1/125sec.

I am still a huge fan of sharp focus and the comfortably predictable results I get from more conventional lenses, but I find that I reach for the Velvet 56 more and more for personal projects and family lifestyle or legacy sessions. The phrase “emotionally in focus” is often used to justify keeping a blurry shot that you like, but I find that it is an accurate description of how I use the Velvet 56. Sometimes, emotionally in focus is the best way to capture the moment.

This ’emotionally in focus’ moment brought to you by an irritated 5 year old. ISO 400, F2, 1/250sec.

And sometimes you just have to appease the engineer inside and stop down to F5.6 or F8 to try for that tack-sharp focus. Luckily, the Velvet 56 can do that too (manual focusing ability of the photographer notwithstanding).

Nesting dolls on the mantel, no emotion required. ISO 800, F5.6, 1/200sec.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

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Caviar Warehouse to Modern Home: 14 Converted Residences

31 Dec

[ By Steph in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

converted caviar warehouse 1

You wouldn’t mind living in a stable, boathouse, boiler room, post office or even a wartime bunker once they undergo modern renovations like these, contrasting the original historic architectural elements with smooth new wood surfaces and lots of glass. A former caviar warehouse in New York City gets a lantern-like sunken courtyard, a bridge connects two old brick food factory buildings, a Victorian church goes contemporary and priests party it up in a seminary turned retirement home.

Concrete Bunker to Hidden Home, Netherlands
converted bunker 1

converted bunker 2

converted bunker 3

converted bunker 4

If not for the incongruously new and modern deck positioned adjacent to the entrance, you’d never imagine that this wartime bunker in Belgium is actually a functional residence. Architecture studio B-ILD transformed the half-buried structure into a vacation retreat big enough to sleep four people, but made no attempt to disguise its original purpose, leaving most of it stark and unfinished.

Bakery Warehouse, Australia
converted bakery 1

converted bakery 2

converted bakery 3

converted bakery 4

Two brick buildings in a former bakery warehouse complex stretch out to each other from across verdant courtyard with the addition of a new wooden bridge. What was once the Golden Crust Bakery in Melbourne is now a luxury residence large enough to house a Brady Bunch-like extended family, with the teenagers in one building and the parents with their younger children in the other.

Stable to Off-Grid Home, Spain
converted stable 1

converted stable, 2

converted stable 3

A crumbling stone stable in a remote area of western Spain is now an off-grid home with the help of Madrid-based studio Abaton. Oriented to maximize solar heat gain, the home sits within the restored stone exterior, its deep glazed windows hidden behind operable stable doors acting as shutters. A freshwater swimming pool in the front doubles as an irrigation tank.

Caviar Warehouse with Sunken Interior Courtyard, New York
converted caviar warehouse 2

converted caviar warehouse 3

converted caviar warehouse 1

A glass-walled courtyard sinks from the landscaped rooftop of a former caviar warehouse in Manhattan by Andrew Franz into the renovated interior, acting as an oversized skylight. A retractible roof lets air flow into what was previously a poorly ventilated and ill-lit space. Within the living quarters, modern elements contrast with original factory materials, like a staircase made from the old roof joists.

Victorian Church, London, UK
converted church london 1

converted church london 2

converted church london 3

converted victorian church 4

converted victorian church 5
Look beyond the copious animal print and oversized dog paintings to the architectural bones of this Victorian-church-to-home conversion in London by Gianna Camilotti architectural studio. While the design is a bit heavy-handed on the contemporary additions, the beautiful timber elements and windows of the original structure still shine.

Next Page – Click Below to Read More:
Caviar Warehouse To Modern Home 14 Converted Residences

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48 Hours Left to Save up to 90% on These Great Photography Deals

30 Dec

photography deals

Over the past two weeks we’ve put together some great photography deals to help you improve your photography in the new year but as 2015 comes to a close so will the deals.

As this post goes live you have approximately 48 hours to take advantage of this promotion.

Each year at this time we announce the most popular deals so I thought I’d list them here in order of popularity.

Congratulations to Sebastian Michaels for topping the list again – this year with his new Black and White Photo Artistry course.

  1. Black and White Photo Artistry
  2. Cole’s Classroom Lightroom Course
  3. Landscape Photography Bundle
  4. Mike Newtons 104 Lightroom Presets Pack
  5. Phil Steele’s Event Photography Course
  6. Photography Concentrate Composition Skills and Light Skills Guides (or get the bundle)
  7. Photo Nuts Photography Courses
  8. Natural Light Photography eBooks
  9. Portraits eBook Bundle
  10. 101 dPS Lightroom Presets
  11. $ 10 eBooks Day (plus Ed Verosky eBook Bundle)
  12. Snapn Motion eBook (and Snapn Motion eBook Bundle)

Which deals did you snap up this year?

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Introducing The Photographer’s Oil Collective

30 Dec

For almost ten years now, Strobist has embraced the idea that by freely sharing knowledge we can all learn to make better photos. And because photography is now digital, with low barriers to entry and instant visual feedback, that learning process is simpler than ever.

As photographers, we owe much to the ease of the digital process. But digital has also stripped much of the value from our work. Ones and zeroes want to be free.

Starting today, the Photographer’s Oil Collective is a strong push back against that trend. Rather than just creating painterly light, a photographer can now create a high-quality oil painting. And it can be done at a surprisingly accessible cost.

The portrait above is a painting, done by POC artist Zhixing Zhang from a photo by Moscow-based photographer Alex Mazurov. As a photo, it was one of many. As a painting, it is a one-of-a-kind object, designed and destined to last.

I first ventured into the rabbit hole of oil reproduction in 2012. It started as an idea — a lark, really — to translate a photo that had great sentimental value into something that would exist in our family for many generations.

Having shot the photo of my kids in 2008, I was long familiar with it. But when the painting (seen above) arrived I was overwhelmed by how strongly I was drawn to it. It somehow felt much more significant than the photo. A collaboration between subject, photographer and a skilled artist 10,000 miles away.

A painting is just different. It is a time-consuming and organic process, with half a dozen layers of semi-transparent oil. Skin tones look luminous.

My first experience with this was that of an enthusiast photographer. Literally, a dad with a camera. As I spent more time with the painting, and thinking about the personal value that it unlocked for me, I starting thinking of it in the context of professional photographers. With the right painters and the right training (on both sides of the image creation process) this could unlock great value and entirely new business models for us.

With prints, we quietly acknowledge that we are competing on price with the neighborhood Costco. With paintings, we are competing with artists who routinely charge thousands of dollars for a simple portrait. And much more for larger/more complex work.

But in theory, we could produce better work —a nd at a cost that would create a new business model for photographers. There was so much potential.

So I traveled to Xiamen, China, where Zhixing Zhang lives and paints. Xiamen is a world center for commercial oil painting, and Mr. Zhang is a leader in the community of artists who live there. With the help of a team of local art directors and translators, we searched among the over 5,000 oil painters in the city to create a small group of hand-picked artists. As a result, we were now partnered with four exceptional reproduction oil painters.

A good start.

But they would need to learn to think like photographers; to develop a better understanding for our needs. They’d have to more closely align their palette with the more muted colors in what the West sees as classic paintings. So we commissioned multiple rounds of paintings from each of our painters, fine-tuning them to be able to better work with us.

(And to the photographers who graciously agreed to be involved in the testing/education process with us: Thank you.)

And the education would not end there. Photographers would also need to learn how to create photos that could be best reproduced as oil paintings. For both sides, education would be the key to bridging that knowledge gap. But that sort of thing is our bread and butter at Strobist.

The information photographers need to know (to meet the painters halfway) is now in place. And we are adding to that knowledge base continually. Our growing list of white papers will include education on technical considerations, shooting/lighting methods, business models and more. In short, it will contain everything you will need to know to become capable of producing a beautiful painting — for your clients, or for yourself.

I have spent the last ten years learning to think outside of the box as a photographer; to challenge assumptions and to unlock possibilities. Strobist is one of the results of that line of thinking.

Today, I am equally proud to introduce the Photographer’s Oil Collective. With studios in Xiamen, and administrative offices in Dubai, photographers anywhere in the world can now offer museum-quality oil portraiture for their clients.

Credits, from top:
POC Painting by Zhixing Zhang from a Photo by Alex Mazurov
POC Painting by Zhixing Zhang from a Photo by David Hobby
POC Painting by Zhixing Zhang from a Photo by R.J. Kern

From front page, L to R:
POC Painting by Zhixing Zhang from a Photo by Brian Rickey
POC Painting by Ivy Lin from a Photo by Ivan Kosmynin
POC Painting by Zhixing Zhang from a Photo by Alex Mazurov
POC Painting by Thomas Linn from a Photo by David Hobby
POC Painting by Ivy Lin from a Photo by Bill Gekas


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Et tu, Brutalism? ‘Experimental Home’ Now a Modern Roman Ruin

30 Dec

[ By WebUrbanist in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

experimental house ruins rome

Photographers traveling to photograph the ruins of Rome are generally so distracted by ancient remnants they naturally overlook this unique decaying structure on the outskirts of the city: the ‘Casa Sperimentale’ (Experimental House) created as a model to study interactions light, space and geometry at 1:1 scale.

experimental geometric brutalist abode

experimental home concrete sphere

Designer and shutterbug Oliver Astrologo sought out this decaying relic, which has gone into further decline since the death of its designer, Giuseppe Perugini, in the 1990s. A work of concrete, metal and class, the asymmetrical dwelling pushes out in unexpected directions and frames surprising spaces.

experimental playground study architecture

experimental scale model modernism

experimental window details

experimental desk interior design

As with many abandonments, signs of decay are showing, vandalism has further deteriorated the site and structure while wild plants continue to encroach as well. Figures in the photographs both help give the unusually-sized spaces and details a sense of scale, while also adding a layer of human emotion to the shots.

experimental circular bathroom window

experimental climber urban explorer

The building is a product of its times, drawing on planes-in-space Modernism and thick concrete Brutalism, almost as if famous architects from these stylistic traditions got together to make a pavilion or playground. And today, that is what it effectively is: a semi-enclosed space for urban explorers to climb and document.

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