Video with your DSLR: Why use a Digital SLR to shoot video, The Bad

August 19th, 2010 by Juan Pons

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C6ysj7wGxQ

Yesterday I wrote about some of the advantages of shooting videos with DSLRs, which hopefully gave you an idea why they have become so popular.

There are two sides to every coin, and video on DSLRs is no different. Some major drawbacks exist as a result of where we are in the evolution of these new hybrid camera systems.

Video capable DSLRs are first and foremost designed and engineered for taking still images, with video being a secondary function.  As such, you can expect manufacturers to prioritize functionality and design accordingly. Also expect any compromises that inevitably need to be made, to be made in favor of still photography.

So here are some of the areas that I feel are most challenging when shooting video with your DSLR.

Video with your DSLR: Why use a Digital SLR to shoot video, The Good

August 18th, 2010 by Juan Pons

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnZLTzRYw1Q

I am amazed that there is a debate still going on about why anyone would want to use a DSLR for shooting serious video. The arguments remind me of the early days of digital photography, where many out there would argue that images NOT taken on film were not real photos. Today we know differently.

To this end I want to share with you why I shoot video with a DSLR, what I find the be the advantages and disadvantages of using what many are now referring to HDDSLRs (I personally prefer the term Video DSLR).

In this first installment I will talk about what is great about shooting video with DSLRs. Tomorrow I will follow-up with what I consider to be the shortcomings of such systems.

Think Tank Photo Modular System – Ben Wilmore

August 12th, 2010 by Matt Dennison

If you've never used a modular system for carrying your camera gear, check out this video courtesy of Think Tank Photo and presented by photographer, Photoshop author, trainer and guru of digitalmastery.com Ben Wilmore.  Ben explains how you can become more efficient, lighten your load and make taking photos while on the go, much easier.  Sweet!

You can checkout all the modular belt system options here.

If you'd like to learn more about everything Think Tank Photo has to offer you can check it out right here

Photo Editing with Less Clutter

August 6th, 2010 by Richard Peters

This week we're running a series of Workflow Tips by pro photographer Richard Peters.  Check back each day for a new tip!

The perfect mono conversion…its so subjective and down to personal taste does it even exist? Here is my quick 3 step process to having a go.

Editing with minimal screen furniture

Editing with minimal screen furniture

Desaturate? Channel Mixer? Greyscale?

Of course there are many different ways to do a mono conversion and none of them are right or wrong. Some of you may have better or faster ways but this is the way that seems to give me the most pleasing results in a reasonable amount of time, especially for portraits.

Panoramics – when one image just isn’t enough.

August 5th, 2010 by Richard Peters

This week we're running a series of workflow tips by pro photographer Richard Peters.  Check back each day for a new tip!

When I was taking the shot below I only had my Nikon 200-400 VR with me, which even at 200mm was so long I could only get a section of the scene in frame. So, to solve the problem, I took twelve shots and stitched them together! Lets find out how I turned the mess below into something worth keeping.

All 12 shots side by side.

12 RAW shots ready to be stitched

Step one: Manual settings for all shots & overlaping each frame

The first step to creating a panoramic image is making sure the camera is set to manual so ALL the photos have the same exposure, aperture, shutter speed, white balance and focus. I have the camera in aperture priority so I can control the depth of field, I then look through the viewfinder at my first shot, use auto focus to get it where I want it (then switch it straight to manual and leave it) and check the shutter speed for my chosen aperture. I then switch to manual metering and dial in the settings the meter reading had given me. You may want to take a test shot and check your histogram to be %100 sure no exposure compensation is needed.

When you take your shots make sure you overlap each frame by around %20-30. The more overlap the more the software will have to work out the joins later, so you can do less or more but I find this amount works well. Also try to take the images in portrait orientation…its quicker to do landscape, yes…but you’ll get a higher resolution capturing the same photos needed in portrait.

You will notice the shots above have a colour miss-match. I did not have white balance set to manual as I put my hand up to being lazy and alter the white balance back on the computer. If you can use a tripod to make sure your images are %100 straight and lined up to each other then do, these were taken handheld so I had to take a mental note when doing the second row of roughly where each overlap should be.

Step two: preparing your

Converting to Mono

August 4th, 2010 by Richard Peters

This week we're running a series of Workflow Tips by pro photographer Richard Peters.  Check back each day for a new tip!

The perfect mono conversion…its so subjective and down to personal taste does it even exist? Here is my quick 3 step process to having a go.

Before and after mono conversion

Before and after mono conversion

Desaturate? Channel Mixer? Greyscale?

Of course there are many different ways to do a mono conversion and none of them are right or wrong. Some of you may have better or faster ways but this is the way that seems to give me the most pleasing results in a reasonable amount of time, especially for portraits.

Selective sharpening

August 3rd, 2010 by Richard Peters

This week we're running a series of workflow tips by pro photographer Richard Peters.  Check back each day for a new tip!

Another of my quick processing techniques, sharpening for web sized images. Whenever you re-size an image for the web you’ll find it looks a tad soft (if you think your images don’t, apply some sharpening and see how they suddenly seem to pop from the screen more than before), it’s easy to get back that nice crisp, clear look though. As usual there are many ways of doing it…I keep it nice and simple as this article below will show.

Finished

No sharpening and selective sharpening

Whilst the image above looks quite sharp to start with, I wanted the fine feather detail and head area to stand out just that little bit more, and this is how I did it. Remember, sharpening should always be the LAST step in your processing!

Quick and Easy Canvas Extension

August 2nd, 2010 by Richard Peters

This week we're running a series of workflow tips by pro photographer Richard Peters.  Check back each day for a new tip!

Ever had one of those shots that ‘almost’ worked but the framing was just off? Or you wanted to clone out a small distraction near the edge of the frame but there was too much detail to try and match with the clone stamp? Well here is a very quick and neat way to add in some extra canvas, and fill it with original picture information so it matches the rest of the image perfectly. It takes 30 seconds and requires no fiddling with the clone stamp and paint brush – which also makes this technique ideal for Photoshop beginners as well as more advanced users.

Before and After canvas extension

Before and After canvas extension

Ok, so the base image I am using for this demonstration is a little tight in the frame but it’s nice enough and serves as a good image to do this quick tutorial with. It’s a simple duck swimming across the water, however, I ran out of room to pan and so caught the duck too far to the right of frame so the composition isn’t ideal. The image would of course look better if the duck had a little more room in front of it than behind. The way a lot of people would tackle this is to extend the canvas and use the clone stamp and paint brush to try and put some detail back in the shot. This method is fine if you only want to touch up a plain area, but, as soon as you start needing to add in area’s that have some detail or a variation in light/colour change etc…well, things can start to get fiddly and time consuming as you try to match the old canvas with the new…but without having duplicate area’s of detail or patches of light and dark that don’t flow together well – the tell tell sign of a rushed clone job.

With this image there are some texture/ripples in the water and although they are quite simple I don’t really want to have to spend time trying to clone them. So, let’s see how I quickly gave the duck a little more space to swim

Jump Into Creative Outdoor Lighting

July 30th, 2010 by Rick Sammon

Here’s the first installment in a series I plan to post on quick lighting tips. Let us know if you want to see more stuff on lighting –  indoors and out.

These pictures were taken by Vered Koshlano, the co-author of my book, Studio and On-Location Lighting Secrets.

In the top photograph, a remote flash, mounted on a stand and placed in an octodome softbox, was used to freeze the action of the model jumping. Compare the contrast and detail in that image to the second image. That image looks flat, because the day was overcast, and overcast days produce flat lighting.

Is there a future for the solo nature photographer or photojournalist?

July 29th, 2010 by Jerry Monkman
Rock climbers on Cathedral Ledge.

A couple rock climbing near the top of Cathedral Ledge. Echo Lake State Park in North Conway, New Hampshire. White Mountains.

This last April I attended the American Society of Picture Professionals’ reinvention weekend in Boston, and the major theme was finding ways for those working in the picture industry to keep working while the landscape of the industry is rapidly changing.  Both stock and assignment prices have been deteriorating for years, if not decades, challenging both stock agencies and photographers to change business tactics in order to survive.  It’s no secret what is causing the decline in prices – digital technology. To some extent, digital cameras have leveled the playing field on the content creation side of things.  More importantly, digital distribution has drastically reduced the cost of selling images.  On the stock side of the business, digital distribution (first in the form of royalty-free CDs, then with the advent of microstock) has enabled stock companies to be profitable without charging large rights-managed fees as the administrative costs of managing a large stock library have been drastically reduced due to digital image management and distribution.  Lower stock prices have also led to lower assignment fees, both on the commercial and editorial side of the business, though to a greater extent in the editorial world, as newspapers and magazines are downsizing and going out of business.