Weekly Wednesday – 5 interesting links

It’s that day .. or well not really, but lets pretend it is, or perhaps we shouldn’t since that would mean it aint weekend soon enough .. whatever. Anywho, yeah, this post is late but did you see my apologies? Anyway today I’ll have a couple very interesting links to equipment, some photoshop techniques and general photography techniques.

The fast and the furious

Over at DIYphotography some dude did some amazing High Speed Photography. You should definitely check it out. I tried to do it my self but I just couldn’t get it right. I wont even bother you with the results, they sucked.

Stop taking pictures, start creating images

Well the title might seem a little bit dodgy, but it’s definitely a good read. It might seem common sence but he’s actually right, stop taking pictures because you can and think for a moment what you’re actually trying to achieve. That post won’t make you a better photographer perse, but I think his approach might actually do you some good in one way or another. Set goals and when you go out to photograph, imagine you’re photographing for some made-up client.

Elinchrom

This might look like some advert but it actually isn’t. I’ve been wanting to buy studio lights, something affordable and everyone recommends Alien Bees. Unfortunately there ain’t a reseller here in Europe which sells AB, and neither AB them self ship international. So I’ve been looking around to get something else instead in the same quality/price range. I’ve sought long and tiresome but I think I’ve actually found decent, affordable studio lights. I’ve been looking at reviews about those prosumer strobes and everyone that’s bought them seems pretty happy with them. I want those D-Light400, they seem absolutely awesome! The cool thing is that every accessory you buy can be used on whatever upgrade you might buy. So want bigger guns, no worries, your old accessories are still usable!

Tone mapping

Want to get in to HDR photography? Take a look at this link, it will get you started. And while you are there, check out that image all the way at the bottom, that looks awesome!

Christian Fletcher

Christian Fletcher is an Australian Landscape photographer and his photo’s are pretty stunning. Besides images he has some pretty interesting everyday blog posts including ranting about environmental issues ūüôā

So that was it for this week’s Weekly Wednesday Thursday. I hope you enjoyed it ūüôā

Oh and before I forget, check out¬†Zeitgeist the movie¬†if you haven’t already … society man!!!!

Fear not, for I have returned!

I apologise for not writing and updating for over almost a week! My girlfriend and I have been looking at apartments for quite some time and we’ve finally spotted something that suit our taste, it’s a fancy one I promise you that! So as you can imagine it has been a little bit hectic lately. Project 365 hasn’t been updated and neither has {WW}. But .. dear readers, I promise I’ll make it up to you! Tomorrow I’ll have a great post and I’ll post a new entry of {WW}. I have some very interesting links for you ūüėČ

Just now I also decided to create a new Blog which is targeted at Dutch people. The meaning of the other blog is mainly as point of interest for contractors where I can show of my portfolio when I decide to make one and hopefully get some contract work thru there. And as you probably noticed I tried out a new theme, hope you like this one better than the old one. I certainly do!

Once more I apologise and hopefully you’ll check back tomorrow for the promised new posts. See you then!

Project 365 ‚ÄĒ All stars

All stars

Exposure 1/200 sec at f/3.5 ISO 200 focal length 18mm flash 1/10

You’re still following me? That’s awesome! Today I’ll be featuring nothing less then my own pair of shoes! I love my All Stars; they are comfy, they look nice, I can wear them where I ever I go, they keep my feet warm and dry. So all in all, they deserve to be featured here!

The idea

The idea is quite simple, just photograph my shoes! No, I wanted to photograph my shoes against a black background. There was however one problem, I didn’t have anything around the house which was black and could be used as background, or so I thought. I used my computer as the background. It’s black, and that’s what I needed.

The set-up

The set-up was dead easy. Once again I used my strobe with with Omni. I positioned on left side of the shoes next to the computer. Unfortunately I didn’t have anything black to put the shoes on for a much better effect. Well better luck next time. Anywho, I used a very small focal length of 18mm. I only wanted light from the left side to create a dramatic look, I went for harsh shadows on the right side leaving the rest of the shoes in the dark.

Post process

I actually didn’t do much to the image. I’ve actually been that cheesy and used a Lightroom Preset ‚ÄĒ Creative – B&W High contrast.

The result

Well I love my shoes and therefor the image is good looking! If you disagree with me, you’ll have to face my wrath!

Sorry for this quicky, unfortunately I didn’t have much time. Tomorrow will hopefully be a bit better ūüôā

Weekly Wednesday ‚ÄĒ¬†5 interesting links

Welcome to the second edition of Weekly Wednesday! Today we’ll have a couple of links to tutorials, print services and other interesting topics for your reading pleasure. So lets get right at them and skip the ****

Butterfly Effect

Over at digital-photography-school.com Christina N Dickson wrote an interesting post about how to achieve the butterfly/clamshell effect/technique. I won’t join the fight whether this is called butterfly or clamshell ‘cuz quite frankly I couldn’t care less. It’s an interesting read, so go ahead and check it out.

Bokeh

I just love the word Bokeh, it sounds funny and weird in a way. But with some good practice you can create really beautiful effects. A guy over here at a blog wrote a bit about it and how to create your own bokeh. So go a head over to his blog and see what he has to say ‚ÄĒ Oh and the post is from January this year, so yeah it’s a little bit old, but interesting nevertheless!

Snapfish

Snapfish is a new printing service by HP. I haven’t tried out their prints yet but the cool thing is that it works with Flickr. The fact that it works with Flickr isn’t really unique but it works for European countries as well! Us Dutchies have our own snapfish.nl website so we can now order our flickr images (or perhaps someone else his, if allowed)! So check out their site! And if you’ve ever ordered images at Snapfish, please share your opinion!

The ‘spider-man’

I’ve had so much fun reading this guy his posts and I have a feeling you will too! I know it’s not even closely related to photography but this guy is just too funny to go unnoticed. What he basically does is he just .. well let me not spoil all the fun, go check it out your self!

Seemless White

I love Elizabeth Halford’s work (link to her blog) and I think she inspires many of us with her photography. She’s also a writer over at digital-photography-school.com and she wrote a very interesting article about Seemless white backgrounds. It’s a pretty recent post and if you’re a frequent DPS reader you probably already read it. For those that haven’t here is the link.

That was it for this week’s Weekly Wednesday! I hope the links were of any use to you and hopefully you a had a good laugh at the ‘spider-man’ his posts. Next week there will be another {WW}, so hopefully I’ll see you then!

Project 365 ‚ÄĒ Snooted portrait

It’s time for the second photo in¬†Project 365¬†and I hope you’ve enjoyed the first one! Today we’ll be featuring a¬†snooted¬†portrait which should be more exciting then the one yesterday ‚ÄĒ I promised you it would be a lot fancier!

Brother snooted

Exposure: 1/30 sec at f/4.0 focal length 24mm ISO 200 Off camera flash at 1/8

 

I asked my brother to model for me and he willingly accepted. I used a very simple setup, I used my strobe and created a¬†snoot¬†for it out of paper and tape. It wasn’t the most sophisticated¬†snoot, I used a couple of white paper sheets, rolled it up and attached it to my flash (an image of the¬†snoot¬†can be found at the bottom of the page).

Idea

What I tried to achieve was a dramatic looking image with some specific highlights and I went for the eyes in this case. The reason I used a snoot was to highlight the eyes to give them extra attention. In post process I also gave the eyes a color boost!

Setup

The set up was easy, I positioned my brother at the table, dimmed the light for a more dramatic look, placed the snoot front left of my camera and aimed the snoot at my brothers eyes as you can see in the image. I made quite a lot of test shoots so the highlights covered a small part of his right side and centered around the eyes. Thankfully we have dSLRs so we can review our image on the LCD screen on the back of our cameras!

Post process

I did quite some post processing in order to create the image. I toned down most of the colors and reduced the exposure slightly (not even half a stop). After that I open up the image in Photoshop and used the technique that I have featured here before. The post can be found here.

I also added a Hue/saturation layed and boosted the eyes a little bit and I added a curves layer in order to reduce some of the light from the flash. Later on I realised I should have done that in Lightroom when the image was still RAW.

Conclussion

I’m pretty much satisfied with the outcome of the image. The idea that I went for came out pretty well. I never used a¬†snoot¬†before so that was a whole new experience for me and I’m¬†definitely¬†going to try to use it more often to creat some awesome effects.

That was all for post #2 and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did making it. My brother and I had a good laugh while pulling dodgy faces! Anywho, stay tuned for #3 tomorrow!

The snoot

Project 365 ‚ÄĒ MacBook Keyboard

This is the very first post in series Project 365. As I’ve promised, I’ll be featuring one photo each day and explaining how I photographed the object or person. The introduction can be found here incase you want to read back. As I’ve said last time, the keyboard from the introduction will be the first in the series. The reason I choose my MacBook is because it looks lovely. I love the whiteness. It’s simple, it does everything I ask and it looks just beautifull.

Mac

Exposure 1/80 sec at f/5 ISO 200 +0.3EV flash correction and used the strobe in iTTL mode.

The photo was taken in the kitchen of my girlfriend and didn’t require much equipment, in fact it only took my strobe ¬†and my on-camera flash ‚ÄĒ nothing else! I’ve used the screen of the laptop as reflector to bounce some light (glossy screen). I triggered my off camera flash with the build in Nikon Commander mode of my D300S.

Set-up

The set-up was really easy, I placed my MacBook on the kitchen table my flash was positioned on the right side of my MacBook and I used a STO-FEN OmniBouncer to diffuse some of the light. I used the reflected light that bounced on the glossy screen to fill in some of it’s shadows.

Post-production

I hardly did any post-production except I cropped the image a little bit to get a nicer composition. Because I also used my on camera flash my lens created a shadow so I had to crop that out as well ūüôā Of course I also tweaked the image slightly in Lightroom. I corrected the exposure slightly by half a stop.

Result

I think the result is pretty nice. The object is nothing fancy but the image is nice to look at nonetheless. You can see, with some effort you can go a long way. The next image will be a little bit fancier and I already have some ideas for tomorrow. I won’t give away what it will be yet. I had it planned for today, but as I said last week I’d be featuring the keyboard I’ll save it for tomorrow. So go on and try some of your own stuff and remember to think simple. Take any object that seems interesting and photograph it. Try things as you go along; position it in a different way, bounce some light to fill in those shadows or put a sheet of paper under it to bring out the object more, be creative and improvise!

I shot the piggyyy

Today I did a couple of test runs for Project 365 and it actually went pretty good! I created an improvised studio and shot me and my gf’s saving piggy. I only used one strobe on a light stand with a shoot thru umbrella, a silver umbrella as reflector and a normal lamp.

I placed the piggy on a small glass table, placed the normal lamp below it, shining upward thru the glass against Miss Piggy’s belly. My light stand with shoot thru umbrella was placed front right of the camera shooting at 1/10th power. The silver umbrella was on the left side of the piggy.

Here is the set up:
How I shot Miss Piggy

After a couple of shots I had the composition I wanted and tweaked the image a little bit in Lightroom. Here is the final result:
Miss Piggy

As you can see it looks pretty decent and only required minimal equipment. This is exactly the kind of stuff you may expect next week in P365. Hope you liked it!!!