Tag Archives: photography

Sneak Peak! – The Digital Show Expo 2012

Have an exclusive, sneak peak at the impressive gear on display at The Digital Show Expo

It’s not every day you can find such an exhilarating gathering of the world’s greatest photographers and the most advanced imaging technology all in one place. The Digital Show looks like it will be bringing the ‘not every day’ to today! Or rather, this week! Whether it’s waterproof armor for your camera, the ability to print on just about any surface and material imaginable, or face to face encounters for personal tips from the world’s leading photographers, The Digital Show somehow manages to bring it all together!

The doors to the expo open at 10am on Friday for business and trade, and 10am on Saturday and Sunday for the general public. However, we were able to have an early look at just a few of the jaw-dropping exhibits on display. Some of the latest technology was simply out of this world! Here are just a few glimpses of the photographer’s dream that awaits visitors.

Trust us, it’s safe to go back in the water! Up to the minute, and downright cutting edge, Scubapix has everything you need to take your brand new Canon EOS 5D Mark III underwater! Not only that, but they’ve also got water housing for Phase One, Nikon D800, and the Nikon D4.

Ever wondered what the future would be like? While we still may be far off from hovering skateboards, flying cars, and self drying clothes, we do have the next best thing. On display is an actual printer that creates real objects from photos and 3D models loaded from a PC. This tech can ‘print’ out objects in stainless steel, tough ABS plastic, and more. The printer even paints the objects as well!

Can’t find that always-conveniently-missing wrench? Don’t bother looking for it. Grab your new 3D printer and make yourself a new one!

Need ideas for unique, meaningly gifts? We could not keep track of all the amazing ways to print photos. If creative printing solutions were stars, then The Digital Show would be the night sky. Everything from pocket books, teeshirts, mugs, caps, and even some astounding new framing solutions will be sure to razzle and bedazzle!

Pocket photo books not tough enough for you? Then how about some nice, tough metal? The innovations and new framing ideas at this show certainly left us wide-eyed and star struck. With layered-dimensional collages and an incredible range of printing materials, Print2Metal certainly had us ooh-ing and ah-ing.

It is vital for photographers to be strong and stand firm. What better way to stand firm with the latest and most advanced Tripods that have ever been on the market. Every photography will be able to find exactly what they need for stability at The Digital Show. When was the last time you saw this many tripods? Can’t remember? Neither can we!

With so many world-leading photographers in one room, it only makes sense to have a gallery of award winning photographs, stretching on for as far as the eye can see. Some of the works we caught glimpses of made us laugh, others almost made us cry, while others had us wishing we owned a more expensive camera. This is one of the most evocative photo galleries we have ever seen.

Quite a few of these interesting, analogue-TV-static filled squares really had us curious. They’re not just for decoration! The Digital Show is adorned with a myriad of QR codes, hidden all over the place! We used our iPhone to scan them, and found some fantastic surprises! We don’t want to spoil anything, but we will hint that there are some exciting contests to join, and enticing free giveaways to take part in!

Just make sure you download a free QR Scanner/Reader for your smart phone, and get in on the fun!

We were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of The Digital Show, and whatever treasures and plunder lie on the other side will be revealed when the doors open on Friday. Bring your friends, family, and a camera. The Digital Show looks to be one wild ride that you definitely won’t want to miss!

Entry is free with online pre-registration. Sign up at www.thedigitalshow.com.au !

Hope to see you at the show!

Happy Hunting,

Jerrel Dulay

Jerrel Dulay

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Gear For The Aggressive Photographer – Part 2

Sometimes the going gets tough,  and photographers simply have to get tougher. Here’s the gear to help you do just that.

Sometimes, photography can be compared to an adorable kitten; gentle, delicate, and requiring the utmost precision to pet it the right way.  However, sometimes that kitten becomes a vicious lion, and when photography starts to bite, it’s time to bite back.

If you missed part 1 of this article, check it out HERE.

Whether it’s due to sub-zero temperatures, seven-hour hikes through rugged mountains, or having to outrun a ravenous pack of zombies, photography is not always an easy sport. To help make dealing with these tough situations easier, we take a look at some wicked gear for the aggressive photographer.

Lowepro’s SlipLock harness system can be one of the most vital tools in a photographer’s arsenal. The harness system is fully customizable to fit the user’s needs. The Lowepro harness uses a modular system that fits a wide range of add-ons, consisting of a variety of lens pouches, pockets, and bags. Continue reading


Photos Your Mobile Phone Can’t Take

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See how mobile-photo-enthusiasts can take their creativity to the next level with an SLR camera.

Smart phones like the iPhone have changed the way we communicate with each other. Mobile phones with camera features have introduced many people to the world of photography.

To deal with the limitations of mobile phones, many apps have been introduced. However, using an app to ‘fix’ an image taken with a mobile phone only masks the faults and limitations of the phone hardware.

SLR cameras grant users an exciting level of creative freedom, and quality of images that simply cannot be matched by mobile phones. For those smart phone owners who have had a taste of photography and are looking for more, we look into the photos that your mobile phone simply cannot take.

Click any image to see the full-size versions to really compare the differences

#1 Fast Shutter Speed

Ever wonder why some pictures taken at kids birthday parties have all sorts of colourful blurs where there should be happy children? This happens when a camera’s shutter speed is too slow to capture a scene with movement. Mobile phones do not offer much control for the user in this respect. When there are options for controlling shutter speed, they are extremely limited.

Most entry level SLR cameras can capture pictures at up to 1/4000thof a second!  The faster the shutter speed, the more “frozen in time” the image will look. Modern phones automatically do what they need to do in order to achieve the “best” picture. This often results in unwanted images. SLR cameras allow users to have full control over shutter speed with just a flick of the wrist.

#2 Long Exposure

There are few things quite as enchanting as a glowing city skyline at night. Ever try to snap a quick photo, only to see bunch of little squiggly lines? Sometimes with luck, one might get a photo that kind of looks like the city, except with blue and gray sprinkles everywhere. These are not the same kind of delicious sprinkles found on donuts and cupcakes. These sprinkles are referred to as “noise” or “grain”, and they definitely do not make the picture look good.

SLR cameras allow users to take “long exposures”, which means the camera is taking a photo for a few seconds, or even a few minutes! This lets users take amazing photos at night, where there doesn’t seem to be any light at all.

Taking night pictures isn’t the only cool thing SLRs can do. Long exposure shots allow anyone with a flashlight or torch write out cool messages or draw silly pictures. Ever wonder how some people are able to take mystifying photos with blurry ferris wheels or misty oceans and waterfalls? How about those star-filled night sky photos? The answer is long exposure photography! Continue reading


How To Use Natural Light To Take Better Photos

Learn the do’s and don’ts of relying on natural light to take better photos

Whether taking happy snaps at a family party or capturing breath taking landscapes, the most important ingredient to taking a photo is light. Have you ever wondered why a photo you’ve taken simply doesn’t look how you expected it to turn out? Much like how a chef cannot prepare a soup without water, a photographer cannot take a photo without light. Keep these few easy tips with you to take not only better pictures, but memories as well!

Much like how a chef can use different ingredients to create different flavours, photographers must understand how the natural light in a scene changes the ‘flavour’ of the photograph taken. Have you ever had a dish with too much salt? That’s like taking a photo with too much light! How about a dish without enough salt? That’s like a photo without enough light!

There are very few aspects about light to keep in mind, but these few aspects are very important!

Intensity

The first thing to keep in mind with natural lighting is how bright that light source is. One might say the summer sun emits a very intense light! However, a street lamp at night emits a light of very low intensity. Intensity can be a gift or a curse, depending on the photo you want to take. Shadows will be much harsher and dramatic in high intensity light.

Shooting in High Intensity Light

A summer day at the beach or at the park are common scenes with high intensity light. A great to tip to keep in mind when taking photos in these scenes is to make sure your subject is facing the source of light. If the sun is bright, it is best for the photographer to take a photo with their back to the sun.


GOOD IDEA: Have the subject face the source of light

If the subject is facing the sun, it can be almost a guarantee that his or her face will be evenly lit, and have more presence in the scene.

BAD IDEA: Have the subject with their back to the source of light.

If the subject is facing the same direction as the light source, and the photographer is shooting towards the light source  (ie. the camera is pointed directly at the sun), we run into some problems. First, the subject’s face becomes lost in shadows, and is overwhelmed by the brighter surroundings. This is not what we want!

BAD IDEA: Have the subject stand in the shade

It’s also important to ensure that the subject is not in the shade! This may result in the background being brighter than the subject, and the subject will not be able to stand out in the scene. This is not what we want! In this example, the subject’s face is darkened by the shadows of the trees. It is his jeans and background water reflecting the sunlight that stand out most in the scene. Typically, it is best if the subject’s face draws the most attention in a scene. Hats and caps can also cast obscuring shadows, so… decapitate!

Shooting in Low Intensity Light

Low intensity lights can come in the form of light fixtures at a restaurant, lit candles, and even moonlight. The best thing to do in these situations is to ensure that the light source is between the photographer and the subject, and that the light source is illuminating the subject. In many situations, better photos can be taken with the automatic flash on the camera turned OFF!

GOOD IDEA: Have a source of light close to the subject, between the camera and subject

Taking photos close to the light source. Make sure that the subject is in the light source range. This helps the subject stands out in the scene. It is also a good idea to have lights in the background as well. This will provide balance in the image. In the example above, the model is holding a lighter to light a cigarette, which provides just enough light to illuminate his face. The floodlights in the background illuminate the environment, and the stars create an interesting sky.

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GOOD IDEA: Have a light source behind the subject

Try to include light sources in the background to capture interesting scenes! Continue reading


Gear Up! Lensbaby Composer Pro Review

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Everything you need to know about this creative secret weapon. Plus! Five tips to help you master the Composer Pro!

Why follow the rules of photography, when it’s so much more fun to break them? Lensbaby has the perfect range of tools for any photographer looking to break the artistic boundaries of the photographic world. For giving scenes that added edge of creativity, look no further than the Lensbaby Composer Pro.

Lensbaby optics are perfect for really putting a creative spin on things. With the ability to swap interchangeable optics in a lens, such as Soft Focus, Pinhole, and Plastic, the possibilities for creating unique scenes is endless. The Composer Pro is specifically built for creative photograhers who really like to make scenes their own with their own expressions.

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We’ve given the Composer Pro with the standard Double Glass optic a place in our gear bag to see just how well this lens really works. Much like a Fisheye or Macro lens, the Composer Pro gives photographers a whole new perspective with which to view the world.

Who is it for?

The Composer Pro is perfect for photographers who love to have fun with their work. The lens appeals to those who love to change their perspective, snap unique captures, and see how far they can take their creative freedom. Whether you are professional, hobbyist, or anything in between, you can definitely enjoy the Composer Pro.

HARDWARE

The Composer Pro feels sturdy in hand, as the plastic body feels solid, and the two focal and locking rings are a nice, grippy rubber that makes adjustments easy to make. The focusing action, though strictly manual, is smooth. There may be a minute amount of fidgeting towards the nearest focusing distance and infinity, but this depends on the optic being used, and never posed any sort of issue for us.

The 2nd ring on the Composer Pro locks the focal plane into place. After unlocking the ring, the lens can be shifted and tilted in all directions. Tightening the ring will lock the lens in its position.

The Composer Pro, with metal mount, fits our Nikon D90 like a glove. The reference dot for lining up the lens is on the bottom of the Composer Pro, right on the metal mount. There are no reference points on the sides of the lens, which can make mounting the lens a bit difficult sometimes. The trade-off for this is that the Composer Pro does look more sleek and streamlined once it is mounted to the camera, as it is free of any extraneous markings and labels.

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Lensbaby Optics make use of a specialized tool to change manual aperture rings. This may be a nuisance at first glance, but is actually one of Lensbaby’s strongest assets.

Lensbaby Optics use their own unique lens caps. These caps are solid, springy, and feel quite tough once they are in place. This is a blessing, since replacing a lost cap won’t be as easy as it would be for a standard cap.

Changing optics is actually quite easy, and with a few minutes practice, can be done in a just a few seconds. The Optics contain the glass through which the image passes, while the Composer Pro is the outer shell that mounts the Optic to the camera body. There are many Optics to play with, and many of those Optics allow the use of Creative Aperture Filters. We’ll cover more on that shortly!

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How To Use Colored Light Filters

Take your photos through rose colored lenses! Read how to use Colored Light Filters!

Off-camera flash can be a great way to spread your creative wings when taking photos. However, photographers can take their game to the next level by using colored light filters. Follow these tips to turn your photographic scenes into your  own coloring canvass.

What You’ll Need –

At least 2 Off-Camera Flash Guns

If you’re working with only one flash gun, you are severely limiting your creative freedom. Most colour changes to the scene can be made via White Balance, or even in post production on the computer. However, having more than one light source, each with a different color, is something that cannot be replicated in post production.

Many flash guns have a built in honeycomb filter that slides out and snaps down into position. These are perfect for holding a color gel filter in place. These particular filters have been cut to fit.

Triggers for each Flash Gun (Wireless works best)

Many flashguns can use a “slave mode,” that allow them to fire at the same moment other flashes go off, without the need for wireless or wired triggers. However, this is not recommended. Slave mode works perfectly in most situations, but when using color filters, “slave mode” can often fail to trigger the flash.

A Set of Color Gel Filters

Having a wide range of colors really helps! Check out your local retail photo shops. However, these can often be difficult to track down. A set of about 20 or 30 different colours can be found on eBay for usually around $20 USD. They most likely will need to be cut to shape to fit your flash guns!

Tripods or stands for the Flash Guns

Having a bit of experience with Off-Camera Flash Guns really helps. The sport of photography revolves around using light to create exposures. Without light, we cannot take photos. When we use off-camera flash, we have to be acutely aware of a few things!

Reducing or eliminating ambient light is key to controlling the tone and temperature of a scene or model.

First off, all scenes have Ambient Light. It is vital for a photographer to fully understand the nature of the Ambient Light in a scene. What temperature is the Ambient Light? Is it cold or warm? Is it soft or harsh? What direction is the light coming from?

For example, if a photographer is standing on a beach at noon on a sunny, cloudless day, then the Ambient Light is most likely to be warm and harsh. However, if the photographer is sitting in a dining room at mid day with a few windows open, the light might be soft and cold.

The ambient light here is soft, thanks to the diffusion from the clouds, and cold in temperature. There are no other point light sources. Continue reading


7 Tips to Master Your Fisheye Lens

Beauty lies in the fisheye of the beholder. Follow these tips to get the most out of your fisheye lens!

Every photographer strives to take the best photos he or she possibly can. Part of taking a great photo is being able to exercise creative freedom. When it comes to the Fisheye Lens, benefits such as low light shooting, wide angle perspective, and beautiful barrel distortion set it creatively apart from any other tool.

Like any other lens, the Fisheye Lens has its own unique strengths and uses.

Fisheye lenses allow us to see the world in a new perspective.

With a fisheye lens in hand, you can turn ordinary scenes into creative playgrounds, and turn beautiful scenes into works of art! Keep these tips in mind to really make the most of your fisheye lens:

Continue reading