Archive for April, 2010

h1

VIDEO: Lens Correction Feature in Lightroom 3

April 27, 2010

I love the look of wide lenses.  Especially when shooting sweeping landscapes or even just around the house when I want to give an open feeling to the image.  But I am NOT a fan of the fish-eye effect.  I think it’s distracting and except in the most stylized of uses, should be avoided.  (Just a personal preference here… )

Adobe has officially released some video on YouTube demonstrating some fantastic embedded lens profiles which will seemingly correct these distortion issues with the click of a button.  You obviously also have the ability after the fact to tweak any changes made.

Looks powerful!

Direct Link to video: HERE
[tweetmeme source=”gh_photography” only_single=false http://www.URL.com%5D

Advertisements
h1

LINKS: 10 Things Photographers Can Do In Their Downtime (From Lighting Essentials)

April 23, 2010

Okay… in all fairness… their title is much more clever than mine, but I had spacial limitations.  Either way, the Lighting Essentials site posted a great list of things to do in your downtime.

I am, on my best days a writer, or a photographer, or a great employee at my day-job.  On my worst days, I am useless, achieving nothing (from a professional standpoint).

Lists like this get me going.  They make me realize that even though I may not have anything immediate pending in my “In Box” or images to shoot or process, there are always things that can be done to further your professional endeavors.

As this list proves, if nothing else, extending some goodwill towards other photographers, or simply taking some time to review the work of others in your craft, will prove far more useful than, in their words, playing Farmville.

From their list:

1. Identify your ‘Fans’ and create ‘Evangelists’.
Do you have anyone who is a super fan, those who love your work? Make a list of them. And then figure out how you can make them true evangelists for your photography. How can we turn fans into ‘raving fans’? Find out what they like about your work. Note what you can do to make more raving fans instead of ex-clients. It is so much easier to keep a client than to get a new one.

2. Take 5 of your images and do a critique of them.
Do it online if you want to be really brave. And remember that a critique is not simply what is wrong, it is also what is right. Do a thorough investigation of each of the images. What makes them work? What are their flaws? What could you have done to make it better if you had to do it again. Don’t do this in your head… write it down. In the process of writing or typing it becomes more important in your mind.

3. Write a review of a fellow photographer.
On Flickr there are those “Testimonials” that can do something nice for another photographer. If you don’t know someone, go to a gallery and see new work. Find the photographers I occasionally link here on LE, and visit their sites. If you have some shooters that inspire you, take a few images and write a review. Why do you like the work? What makes it special to you? How does the work engage you? You may find some ideas to help your own work.

4. Do something silly with photography.
Shoot from the hip. Take an image every 15 minutes. Document your walk with the dog. Document the dog. Take the camera and shoot without looking through the viewfinder. Make images at night with a flashlight. Play. It’s OK to not be serious.

5. Send a note or email to a photographer you admire.
If there is a shooter you admire, even if they are totally famous and nearly a celebrity in themselves, send them a note and let them know. Not a “you rock, dude… cool shots and totally awesome babes” kinda thing, but a thoughtful, well written note that tells them what you like and how it has inspired you. We aren’t doing this to get a reply… just for fun. And what you may learn about yourself while writing this can be very eye-opening as well.

6. Pick up one of those disposable cameras at the drugstore.
And use it to make incredible, outstanding images. One shot per shoot. In other words, if you do a shot of something, pull it out and make ONE image – and make it rock. So when you get that little stack of prints, each one looks like a million bucks – or at least as good as those little disposable cameras make. (No, digital P&S cameras don’t count. No chimping. It is about the fun of getting the shots back unforseen.) Alternate: Take the camera and shoot whatever the image count is on a single outing – no DSLR taken – just this camera. Make every shot count.

7. Take a Workshop in a different discipline.
Find a cool writing workshop and sign up. Do a pottery workshop, or something on web design. If you have never done any kind of art, take a painting or watercolor class. Sculpting and welding could be fun. Well, the welding thing could be a little dangerous, but then so is chasing elephants with burning torches… I digress. Have fun… learn something else, and it will burn some incredible ideas into your brain.

8. Pull 1 or 3 images out of your portfolio and write a short story based on the content.
An image is a story… now tell it. What is going on in the picture? What was the story behind it? Not the BTS stuff, fiction. Fiction. Make up a story about what the image is about. Alternate: write a poem that the image could illustrate. Or a rap song… whatever. It is such fun to do… and can increase the ’story telling’ ability of your next photographs.

9. Do a video of you shooting.
Not a behind the scenes video… focus the camera on you from where the subject is. You can see what you look like when you are shooting. That is what the model/subject sees when you are shooting. Very enlightening, and it can help you develop your shooting persona.

10. Reshoot the cover of your favorite CD/Album.
Take it as a self assignment. You know the music intimately, and probably a lot about the band/composer/singer who performs in it. Of course shooting the artist may not be possible (Joni… “Hejira”… I am open anytime.) Take the lyrics if available and find an ‘image’ within them to help the illustration. The energy that concentrates on the assignment can kick some creative ass… ya know.

That said… I love Farmville and will continue to make time in my life for it… because I will ALWAYS advocate for some time (a reasonable amount, mind you)… of mindless fun.

10 Things That are More Fun and Useful to Photographers Than Playing Farmville
[tweetmeme source=”gh_photography” only_single=false http://www.URL.com%5D

h1

LINKS: Collection of Great [FREE!!] Slideshows (from ThePhotoArgus)

April 22, 2010

The great folks over at ThePhotoArgus – a site which seemingly ALWAYS has something not just useful, but fantastically interesting, have put together a great list of Website Slideshows.  If you’re in the market for a new slideshow… give this list a look.

Free Slideshow Solutions (via ThePhotoArgus)
[tweetmeme source=”gh_photography” only_single=false http://www.URL.com%5D

h1

TECHNOLOGY: "Easy Release" iPhone App – Great Tool for on-the-go Photographers

April 20, 2010

When shooting, especially in non-controlled environments (like a studio), having a model release on hand can be a cumbersome thing to worry about.

The development firm Application Gap has recently put to market Version 1.5 of Easy Release (iTunes Link) which is an all-in-one tool that allows you to obtain a release signature while on location – anywhere, anytime.

There are some limitations inherent with the program the biggest of which is that it’s a little time-consuming… taking easily more than a couple minutes to formulate a release.  But hey — for my money, we always have our phones with us while we may not always have a release form.

Feature Highlights (from the developers website):

  • Professional-grade releases, created and signed, right on your iPhone.
  • Wizard style interface guides you step-by-step.
  • 12 built-in release translations.
  • Same format and legal language used by the world’s leading photo agencies.
  • PDF format (and optional JPEG) – emailed right to you!
  • Includes a picture of the model or property right on the release.
  • Sign on the touch screen using your finger or optionally using the separately sold stylus.

Link:  Easy Release (iTunes Link)

[tweetmeme source=”gh_photography” only_single=false http://www.URL.com%5D

h1

TECHNOLOGY: “Easy Release” iPhone App – Great Tool for on-the-go Photographers

April 20, 2010

When shooting, especially in non-controlled environments (like a studio), having a model release on hand can be a cumbersome thing to worry about.

The development firm Application Gap has recently put to market Version 1.5 of Easy Release (iTunes Link) which is an all-in-one tool that allows you to obtain a release signature while on location – anywhere, anytime.

There are some limitations inherent with the program the biggest of which is that it’s a little time-consuming… taking easily more than a couple minutes to formulate a release.  But hey — for my money, we always have our phones with us while we may not always have a release form.

Feature Highlights (from the developers website):

  • Professional-grade releases, created and signed, right on your iPhone.
  • Wizard style interface guides you step-by-step.
  • 12 built-in release translations.
  • Same format and legal language used by the world’s leading photo agencies.
  • PDF format (and optional JPEG) – emailed right to you!
  • Includes a picture of the model or property right on the release.
  • Sign on the touch screen using your finger or optionally using the separately sold stylus.

Link:  Easy Release (iTunes Link)

[tweetmeme source=”gh_photography” only_single=false http://www.URL.com%5D

h1

LINKS: Some Incredible Photoshop Work (from ThePhotoArgus)

April 19, 2010

I’m a huge advocate for work with Post Production Digital Tools (such as Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, etc.) mostly for enhancement or adding a bit of stylization to an image.

Some purists feel that these programs in some way illegitimize the photographic process and I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  All arguments for or against this aside, there are some folks out there who have made their use of these products into an art form which is based more around the processing work done, than whatever the original photo may have been.

Case in point: This collection from ThePhotoArgus.  A sampling of some of the most creative work I’ve ever seen from image enhancement software.

Thirty (30) Examples of Creatively Edited Photography
[tweetmeme source=”gh_photography” only_single=false http://www.URL.com%5D

h1

IMAGES – Gracelynn @ 3 Weeks

April 19, 2010

I’m astounded by how much change an infant goes through on a daily basis.  From new skills and new abilities to an appearance which seems to mature moment-by-moment.  A couple of new images from about 3 1/2 weeks old:

[tweetmeme source=”gh_photography” only_single=false http://www.URL.com%5D