Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

As an aspiring photographer, there are aspects of the job that can be overlooked when trying to teach the basics. Here’s an article I found on white balance and how it affects your photographs.
http://www.howtophotography.org/understanding-white-balance/

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Understanding White Balance

Perhaps one of the most important camera settings that beginning digital photographers don’t understand is white balance. In this article, we’ll introduce the basic concept of white balance as well as a few photography tips for managing the white balance within your images.

What is white balance?

Put simply, white balance is the color of the lighting in your images. It might seem like a strange concept at first to think that light has color, but various types of light produce different hues which are reflected in your photograph. For example, indoor fluorescent lighting commonly produces a bluish hue, filtered or indirect natural sunlight produces a cool blue tone, and other natural forms of light like a fire produce a very warm tone within the image.

While these variations may not be visible to the human eye since our eyes adapt to compensate for them, in a digital images they can be very noticeable and can produce vastly different temperatures within your photograph. Therefore controlling for and adjusting the white balance in your images can change the feel of a photo completely.

How to manage white balance

Most digital SLR cameras come pre-programmed with a range of white balance settings. These commonly include:

Auto: This setting will work well for many settings as the camera will automatically adjust for the appropriate lighting.

Fluorescent: Useful when shooting indoors under fluorescent lights to compensate for high levels of blue.

Shade: Again, this setting will warm up cool, dark hues in shaded areas by adjusting accordingly.

Cloudy: This is a very useful setting for warming up an image on cloudy days where the dark skies might produce elevated levels of blue.

Sunny: This setting may go by different names according to the camera manufacturer, but in essence it makes very minor adjustments on most models to adjust for direct outdoor sunlight.

Tungsten: Programmed for shooting indoors under incandescent lighting, this will adjust for the high levels of yellow produce by most indoor light bulbs.

Flash: This setting will adjust the white balance to mitigate against the harsh lighting of a flash.

Most DSLR cameras will also have manual white balance setting which we will discuss in more detail in a follow-up article. This process involves “teaching” your camera what you want the lighting to look like in an image, so we’ll discuss this setting alone. However, most of the settings listed above will allow you to capture great images making only one setting adjustment.

With these white balance photography tips, you’ll be able to capture the lighting you want for your photograph regardless of where you’re shooting.

Its that time of the year again, when the ghouls and goblins come out to play. Here in Vegas there are plenty of scary attractions to attend. The Viewfinders will be at The Mirage‘s Halloween bash, while you may want to don your sexiest referee costume and check out the Fetish and Fantasy Ball. Or put on some tights and fly over to the Superheros and Villains Costume Party at Insert Coins. When else can you dress to truly match your style? Any day in Vegas but Halloween is when you can get away with leather, gags, body paint, and everything your twisted little mind can think of. Have fun and be safe!

Some might remember when a photographer had to load there non-digital cameras with stuff called “film” and then after the shoot, that film would be taken into a “dark room” and processed into photographs. Now that technology has made that process obsolete, the current day photographer has different tasks they need to follow, one that includes data management and social networks. Creating an effective workflow from the beginning of the shoot to the delivery of the goods, is essential to putting out a great photograph or design.

A basic and thorough workflow can consist of the following steps:

  1. Shooting images
  2. Downloading images to the computer
  3. Backing up raw (untouched/unedited) images
  4. Importing photos into image-management software
  5. Organizing images into an image library, with keywords and virtual photo albums
  6. Processing/retouching images to get a desired look
  7. Outputting images for clients, printing, or Web sites
  8. Backing up processed images and the image library
  9. Archiving images for permanent (offline or online) storage

Breaking it down into a series of steps helps to simplify workflow and keep it consistent, which increases the likelihood that you’ll get through all the steps efficiently and quickly. (http://blog.photoshelter.com/2009/09/an-effective-workflow-for-phot/)

 

At least since the 20th century, many artists and architects have proportioned their works to approximate the golden ratio—especially in the form of the golden rectangle, in which the ratio of the longer side to the shorter is the golden ratio—believing this proportion to be aesthetically pleasing. A golden rectangle can be cut into a square and a smaller rectangle with the same aspect ratio. Mathematicians since Euclid have studied the golden ratio because of its unique and interesting properties. The golden ratio is often called the golden section or golden mean.Other names include extreme and mean ratio, medial section, divine proportion, divine section, golden proportion, golden cutgolden number, and mean of Phidias. -wikipedia.com

Born in Beijing, Chenman is a young Chinese photographer who is known for her own photographic style. Not only does she use vibrant colors, models with unique make-up and hair but her use of 3D technology, her photos are one of a kind. Take a look at the pictures below.

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Seen as a high fashion photographer in China, Chenman also has been featured in high fashion US magazines as well such as Vision, Vouge, Bazaar, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, and Modern Weekly. Becoming a huge name for fashion photography in China, Chenman is becoming the most promising inspiration of her generation. Her innovative style, and within 10 years of work, she has proclaimed herself as one of China’s most successful commercial photographers.

A negative energy has seemingly darkened the door of the photographic industry.  As a practicing member of the, I’ll term it, fraternity of professional photographers, I am witness to many industry changes may they be tech related or in the case of this article a social transmogrification.  The negative energy of which I write has origins in free trade and capitalism but echos through the halls of our democratic society.  Photographs, pictures and videos of all types are slowly being slipped from the hands of artists into the waiting grasp of societal sycophants wanting only to be paid for the effort of stealing a moment in time.  True photographers, professionals who have greatly earned the title are being set aside for the sensational and the fantastical.  Our work no longer hangs in the museums of contemporary culture but has been replaced by grotesque shades of what art should be.  Our work has lost the distinction of inspiring the onlooker rather, it is now evidence of the follies of the celebrity du jour or to prove that one of our superlative youth can indeed light afire his flatulence.

I find myself retreating into my studio of photography at times wondering if I will ever see the day that my colleagues and I are once again thought of as leaders of an indudstry instead of being members of hordes who mustered their quarters to make a trip to Verizon to purchase the newest camera/phone.  Perhaps one day soon I can peek out my studio door and see a horizon that consists of artists of all kinds being warmly lit by the setting sun and all of the members of the new TMZ Society were no where to be found…ah to dream.

Yes you read that right, $4,338,500!  On November 8th 2011, this photograph sold at a Christie’s Auction.  The photograph is called snore….we mean “Rhein II”.  We fell out of our seats here at the studio, when we saw the price and were asleep by the time we hit the floor when we saw the photo.

We love art, obviously by our chosen profession, but come on!  Andreas Gursky (the photographer) says “For me it is an allegorical picture about the meaning of life and how things are.”  OK, we could agree with that, if the photo had not been “retouched” to make the banks of the Rhine River appear to be empty stretches of grass.

Is it art?  We like to think of it more as an empty background with potential.  Are we jealous we didn’t think of it first?  Your damn right we are!

We at the studio were sick to our stomachs when we read this!  If we can get past all the dry heaves and swearing, we will tell you why we are upset.  Normally, we would not comment on this situation using this platform, but being that it directly involved photographers…

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

P.S.- Accept when taking pictures “with no apparent esthetic value.”

That’s right, the Long Beach pig…uh…er…police department has taken it upon themselves to disregard the constitution as a matter of standard department procedure.

The LBPD, detained a local news contributor for taking pictures “with no apparent esthetic value” as stated by police chief Jim McDonnell.

All hail the oppressors of civil liberties! That is sarcasm by the way.

Jim McDonnell Long Beach police chief

Like most in our generation, we grew up on superheros.  One was greater than all the rest.  Superman!  What kid didn’t fly around with a cape pretending to save people.  Hell, I have a cape now that fits me!  So, when the first picture of the new superman was released this morning we could not wait to see it and make comparisons.  The new movie is just under two years from release and we are already excited!  What does this have to do with photography or our photography studio? Well, these are both professional photographs.  So, which superman do you like better?  Or are you withholding judgement for now?

    

Photoshop is an amazing tool and we use it here at the studio all the time to clean up photographs that might have been a little less than perfect.  But what is with the wave of poorly doctored photos by less than skilled professionals.  It is one thing to blend a blemish on a model or fix a shadow or two, when serving our clients needs, but it is yet another to poorly doctor photos of actual or fictional events to corroborate news stories disseminated to the masses.  At least so far these transgressions have occurred only in minor stories, the missing Clinton, then the fake Chinese road inspection and now the swearing in of a new Governor in Syria.  But that does raise an important question.  Is the reason we have not seen doctored photos in any major news events because it is not happening or because there are highly skilled professionals at work?