If You Shoot RAW and Work In Photoshop

If you shoot RAW and work with Photoshop you know how frustrating it can be when you can not see your images / files when skimming your image folders. Then you have to open Photoshop to see your PSD and RAW files and this takes time and for me time is money. Today instead of…

If you shoot RAW and work with Photoshop you know how frustrating it can be when you can not see your images / files when skimming your image folders. Then you have to open Photoshop to see your PSD and RAW files and this takes time and for me time is money.

Today instead of checking my email and getting hit by a barrage of cyber Monday specials or dime sale guru's trying to sway my attention with their worthless crap I decided to do something productive.

I'm going to play around with Adobe Bridge because I found this great little tip that can save time and I want to share it with you.

1.) For start this exercise go straight into Adobe Bridge

2.) Select your image then PC right-click or Command click Mac

3.) Choose Open in Camera Raw from the contextual menu

This opens you image in Bridge's Camera Raw not Photoshop's Camera Raw. What is really cool you can toggle full screen mode by clicking (F) on the keyboard or the double arrowhead in the box next to the black upward pointing arrow called the shadow clipping warning?

That way you can get a full screen view of your image and see if it is a worthy shot you want to spend some time on. This quick, easy and fast tip is a great way to judge for composition, sharpness and detail.

That being said if the histogram dynamic range is within reason and not all bunched up on either end of the scale you should get a fairly good result with exposure, color and contrast.

As in this image considering it was dull, lifeless and flat as it looked from the start, that's why I love shooting Raw.

Here is the list of the adjustments I made in Camera Raw for this particular daytime image.

Tall Ship Before

Tall Ship After

I made my Camera Raw adjustments. It's best if your browser opens separate tabs then you can click each one and compare the marked improvement.

1.) White Balance – Daylight

2.) Temperature – 5500

3.) Tint +10

4.) Exposure -0.45

5.) Recovery 50

6.) Fill Light 2

7.) Blacks 16

8.) Brightness +51

9.) Contrast +63

10.) Clarity + 65

11.) Vibrance +63

12.) Saturation-22

If you were to zero out all the setting above you'll get the lifeless image I had when I first opened the file in Bridge Camera Raw.

Now the image “Pops” is it perfect? Of course not but does it matter no because it's a moment in time that I can look back on and remember what a great day we had in Newport, Rhode Island photographing the Tail Ships. You can see the before and after image on my Facebook fan page.

Innovations in 35mm SLR Camera Design: 1940 to 1960

The first innovation of this 20-year period came in 1947, in the form of the ambitious but highly unreliable Hungarian Gamma Duflex. This was the earliest SLR camera to use an instant return mirror, and an internal semi-automatic lens diaphragm. Previously, reflex mirrors had been coupled to the shutter release and were spring triggered so…

The first innovation of this 20-year period came in 1947, in the form of the ambitious but highly unreliable Hungarian Gamma Duflex. This was the earliest SLR camera to use an instant return mirror, and an internal semi-automatic lens diaphragm.

Previously, reflex mirrors had been coupled to the shutter release and were spring triggered so that they rose automatically when the shutter was tripped, but this meant the viewfinder remained blacked-out until the mirror was basically reset to its original position.

Similarly, lens diaphragms also had to be manually closed to the required f-stop before exposure, and opened afterward. The moment before and after exposure was often a period of dim visibility. The Duflex's semi-automatic diaphragm closed the lens diaphragm to a pre-set f-stop when the shutter was released, but it still needed to be manually re-opened after exposure.

In 1948, the Italian Rectaflex introduced the world to the first Pentaprism SLR, although its eyepiece was angled upward at 45 ° (no doubt a concession to the way things had been done up until that time?).

Earlier, SLRs employed “waist level” viewfinders, in which the photographer looked down at a focusing screen to observe the reflex mirror's image. This system was difficult to use since the scene is viewed as a mirror image, resulting in directional movements being reversed. In other words, an object viewed on the left side of the frame was on the right in reality, so bringing that object more to the center of the frame required the camera to be panned right rather that to the left. The Pentaprism re-reflected the viewfinder image, and was there before a big step forward, facilitating far more intuitive shot framing. Objects physically on say the right were also on the right of the viewfinder.

A Pentaprism is actually an eight-sided chunk of glass, where only five of those sides are significant. Two sides are silvered and redirect and re-reverse the light from the mirror. Another two sides let light in and out. The fifth side is not used optically but it made flat for the sake of compactness. The three insignificant sides are simply cut off corners.

1949 was the year the Pentaprism started to become adopted by other manufacturers, who used it to offer the eye-level viewing that has become commonplace. The East German Contax S by Zeiss Ikon, was the second Pentaprism equipped camera, followed by the East German Praktica.

In 1950, the East German Ihagee company launched the Exakta Varex, which was the first SLR camera to have an interchangeable viewfinders, focusing screens, and a viewfinder condenser lens.

The first two items – viewfinders, and focusing screens – probably need no further explanation, since customization and interchangeably of these components became a feature of the best SLRs. The condenser was a lens placed between the viewfinder's ground glass focusing screen and Pentaprism, which increased light intensity in the viewfinder.

Meanwhile, Germany was not the only Nation making advances. In France, Pierre Angenieux cave has name to the first “retrofocus” wide-angle lens made specifically for 35 mm SLRs.

Regular wide-angle lenses need to be mounted close to the film, but with SLRs, the space required to allow movement of the mirror prevents this, and so 40mm lenses were typically the shortest focal length possible. The retrofocus design (more correctly known as an inverted telephoto) uses a very large negative front element to force back-focus distances long enough to ensure mirror clearance.

1952, was the year the Soviet Union produced their first eye level viewing Pentaprism SLR camera – the Zenit, while Japan merely completed their first waist level finder SLR camera – the Asahiflex I.

The majority of technological innovation still arose in Germany, and in the East – in 1953 – Zeiss Ikon made the Contax E; the first SLR with a built-in light meter. This was quite simply mounted on the Pentaprism, above the lens, and had an external selenium photoelectric cell. The meter was uncoupled, so it's readings had to be manually set as a shutter speed / lens aperture combination.

Most SLRs had Focal Plane shutters, but in 1953 – in West Germany – Zeiss Ikon made the Contaflex I, which was the first leaf shutter 35 mm SLR. Other cameras used leaf shutters, until Focal Plane shutters improved, got faster, and finally dominated SLR design from about the mid-70s.

Still in West Germany, Metz's Mecaflex became the first and only square format 35 mm SLR, based on the design principles of the 1934 Robot camera.

Now the fact that it proved not to be an important design innovation might exclude it from this list, but it was quite a sensible idea. 24 × 36 mm frames are somewhat inefficient, in so far that they require a 43mm lens diameter, and 59% of that lens' area is used to produce the image. A square 24 x 24 mm frame requires a smaller 40mm lens diameter, and uses 64% of that lens' area. Many years later, this idea has resurfaced in digital camera design.

In 1954, the Praktina FX, had the first spring powered motor drive accessory for an SLR, and first breech-lock lens mount.

1955, and the Miranda T was the first Japanese Pentaprism eye-level viewing 35 mm SLR, while West German manufacturer – Kilfitt – made the first close focusing “macro” lens for 35 mm SLRs.

1957 was the year in which the Asahi Pentax was the first SLR with a right-handed rapid-wind thumb lever, foldout film rewind crank, and micro-prism focusing aid, plus it adopted the M42 screw lens mount. This landmark camera set the standard for future control layout. Elsewhere in the land of the rising sun, the Zunow SLR offered first internal auto-diaphragm – a device coupled to the shutter release and which automatically stopped down the lens diaphragm when the mirror swung up, and reopen it when the mirror swung down to provide almost continuous fully open aperture viewing. Sadly, the Zunow Company sunk into bankrupt before they could benefit from this development.

1959 – the West German Zeiss Ikon Contarex (or Bullseye) was the first SLR with a built-in light meter. But, from the East came the mighty Nikon F. This was not technically groundbreaking, other than being the first SLR with an electric motor drive accessory, but its impact sealed the fate of some alternative camera formats: it displaced 35mm rangefinder cameras, and dealt a deathblow to medium format TLRs. The 1960s were here!

Expert Photographic Art Ideas You Can Use

For some people, a simple black and white image of any subject might be thought of as art, and for others, a photo made to look hyper real would be art. Art is subjective, that much is true. But when it's in a riveting black and white style or enhanced with certain effects, the bottom…

For some people, a simple black and white image of any subject might be thought of as art, and for others, a photo made to look hyper real would be art. Art is subjective, that much is true. But when it's in a riveting black and white style or enhanced with certain effects, the bottom line is that a great photo can be great art.

And with photographic art, you will have multiple ideas as to how you can use it. Do you have a blog? It's safe to assume that you have at least one social media page. If you're using the web to promote your business or to present your work, images can boost your visitor traffic as well as engagement. Visually driven content is one of the key drivers to improving your position on any search engine search result page. And nothing is more captivating than artistically created photos.

If you have bare walls all around your apartment and your landlord does not allow you to paint, hanging wall art is the next best thing to enhancing your interior space. Depending on the uniqueness of the photo, your image can even become a conversation starter when you're having the company over.

Scrapbooking has become so creative in the last several years. You only need to look at Pinterest and other sites that cater to the craft to realize this development. Aside from using different ribbons, letters, stickers, textured paper, and other embellishments, you can use your digitally enhanced and artfully designed photos for your scrapbook.

Some of the more well-appreciated gifts in weddings tend to be ones that have that personal touch. You can take a photo (or two) of your favorite couple and have a professional photographer work on adding effects to create a certain mood or look. You can even enlarge the photo so that the couple will have the option to hang it on their hallway or in their bedroom.

Finally, artistically enhanced photos can serve as your holiday cards. Instead of just putting on a costume to send your Christmas greetings to friends and family, you can hire a professional photographer for a studio session, and have the photos edited to look like you're in a dreamy castle made of ice.

There are really a lot of ways to show your artistic side in photography. And learning some tips from the experts is such a big help.

Photography Tutorial on How to Add Light in Photoshop

Thought I would do a bit of a wedding photography tutorial on how to add light in Photoshop today, so I can take a bit of a break from wedding photography editing! The editing is the stuff wedding photographers do whilst photographing weddings, so it's quite a big part of the job and I thought…

Thought I would do a bit of a wedding photography tutorial on how to add light in Photoshop today, so I can take a bit of a break from wedding photography editing! The editing is the stuff wedding photographers do whilst photographing weddings, so it's quite a big part of the job and I thought I would share this recent shot I got and go through some of the steps to get it looking how I wanted it to. It's worth noting this can be done in any room with a bit of light coming through the windows but if you have an big impressive church to capture it might have a bit more impact! When I was taking this every now and then I could see these cool shafts of light coming through the windows but it was not really enough to capture so I had already planned how I was going to edit this shot after the wedding (you can ' t stop these sorts of things and just wait for the light, it's a wedding at the end of the day). Anyways this was the end result but I will go through some of the main steps I took to get it.

This photography tutorial will be split between Lightroom (LR) for the early stages and Photoshop (PS) for the later stages. The shot was taken with a Canon 5DII with a 24-70 f / 2.8L lens. Taken in manual mode at 24mm, f / 2.8, 1/100 ISO3200. This is the image, unedited, straight out of the camera. One important point, generally if you shoot a lot in Av mode these types of shots tend to underexpose as the camera sees the big bright windows and thinks there is more light then there should be so it is important to either increase your exposure compensation (if in Av mode) or just go to manual and have an experiment with your settings.

Converging Verticals
The first thing to deal with is the converging verticals which is common when photographing any architecture, basically buildings look like they are falling backwards as the vertical lines go up. This is a very quick fix in LR in the development panel, lens correction, manual. I just move the vertical over until the walls appear parallel (in this case I used the impending columns / arches to line up with the grid).

It is also a good idea to check the 'constrain crop' box, this way LR will crop in to remove the white sections that will appear. You will lose some of the sides on this so it is worth remembering to go a little wider when taking the photo to account for correcting the verticals later. After the verticals were corrected I just tweaked where the crop was going

Color Temperature
I then adjusted the temperature of the image using the white balance slider, again in the develop module. I love my images to look nice and warm so I sent this one from the cameras reasonable cool estimate of 3800K to a much more pleasing 5000K

Noise Reduction
I then did some noise reduction in LR. The church looked nice and bright but to get this I had to go to ISO3200 which is not ideal really so I wanted to get rid of a bit of the noise. This again is in the develop panel under 'detail' and the amounts will vary depending on what camera and ISO level you use. I have some presets set up so it's just a case of clicking on the appropriate one (there are loads of noise reduction presets for LR out there or you can go ahead and save your own. you import your RAW files.

Photography tutorial on how to add light in Photoshop – Adjustment Brush
The last thing I did in LR was use the adjustment brush (again in develop panel) to just bring back a bit of detail in the stained glass window. I did this by bringing down the exposure on the adjustment brush by 0.3 and reducing the highlights by 25. After that I then took the image into Photoshop for the shafts of light.

I began by using the polygonal lasso tool, on a new layer, to draw out the shaft of light from the first window, the important thing to remember is the light must spread out a little. I could use the pools of light on the floor of the church and the sides of the pews to line up the light. After this was drawn I then filled it white (ctrl + backspace)

As light is not that sharp it must be slightly diffused. With the light shaft layer active (no selection), go to filter, blur, Gaussian blur. I went with about 25 pixels but this again is dependent on the image. This will diffuse the shaft a little. I then reduced the opacity to suit (between 20-50%)
The next thing to do is apply a graduated layer mask to the shaft of light. This is done by adding a layer mask then selecting the graduated tool, making sure it is going from black to white and then drawing a line in the opposite direction to the light, in this case from the bottom left up to near the window. Again this may take a bit of experimentation to get right.

If you want to add a bit of warmth (or any color) to the light you just add an adjustment layer, solid color and then pick the color you wish to add to the light (the whole screen will go that color, do not panic) you then hold ALT and click the line between the solid color layer and the light shaft layer, this will then only apply the solid color to that layer.

It is then just a case of repeating this for any other windows and tweaking the opacities of both the light and the color overlay. The thing to remember is all the light layers must be going in the same direction through the windows. They will nicely stack up on themselves to create a nice effect. I grouped mine so I could adjust the opacity of the whole group.

Photography Tutorial on how to add light in Photoshop
The last thing I did back in light room was a bit of a vignette but you can also do these in PS no problem but that's another tutorial. I hope this has helped and / or inspired you with your photos, it's a great little trick to be used if the circumstances are right. Thanks for looking folks, feel free to share this tutorial with anyone who will appreciate it.

Wedding Photography – Contemporary or Classic Style?

Special effects Black and white photos are very beautiful and very flexible. They can be easily manipulated, and a professional can get great results with a bit of work. Compared to the colored ones, the black and white photos can have different contrast, make the sky darker, etc. The flexibility of these types of photos…

Special effects

Black and white photos are very beautiful and very flexible. They can be easily manipulated, and a professional can get great results with a bit of work. Compared to the colored ones, the black and white photos can have different contrast, make the sky darker, etc. The flexibility of these types of photos can add a bit of magic to the images and can create an amazing work of art.

Hand coloring

This is another type of art that can be performed today. How is this done? This happens when a single item of a photo, like let's say the single rose from your bouquet, can be colored by hand. This highlights it and adds more interest to the picture. This effect can be achieved in a digital manner too. The photographer you work with can obtain the same effect by turning the colored photo into a black and white and letting a part of the image with its original color.

Toning and sepia

While the photographs in black and white are processed, they can be toned with a color (pink, blue, green). On the other hand, for a more romantic look, you can create a sepia print from the black and white photo. In case you do not know, sepia refer to the brown, red dusty hues.

The blue toning is very efficient for the outside and street scenes, while the sepia effect is better for traditional scenes and the parks. And last but not least, the metallic look creates a better impact on streets, cafés and wharfs. Not to mention that the color of a photo depends on the photo itself. While there are pictures which work better with warm tones, others are excellent with cool tones.

Infra-red

To get the infra-red look, the photographer uses special film and light. These change the tone of various things: the green foliage turns into a light gray, the sky might become black and the overall image might appear softer. What's the result? An amazing picture that looks almost surreal.

However, the infra-red experience can be tricky. The photographer you work with will not see infra-red and it's possible that the photo will not turn out perfect. But the result is worth it. Due to the evolution of technology, good photographers can create the infra-red look in a digital manner.

The black and white wedding photos can be enhanced with special effects, and turn a good photo into a wonderful one, but they should not be used too much. Why should one apply infinite special effects when you can let the photo do the magic itself.

Last piece of advice

Every wedding deserves black and white, photos but colored ones should not be ignored either. On the long road, you will want to remember the color of the dresses, the flowers, etc. The black and white photos can highlight the creativity, feeling and amazing appeal of special places and people.

Selfie Mania

Self portraits have been around for years but since the advent of smart phones with cameras, 'selfies' have gone viral. Their popularity is due to the feeling of togethness when two, three or many faces are close together in a picture. The spontaneity of the moment fosters happy, natural expressions and the ability to take…

Self portraits have been around for years but since the advent of smart phones with cameras, 'selfies' have gone viral.

Their popularity is due to the feeling of togethness when two, three or many faces are close together in a picture. The spontaneity of the moment fosters happy, natural expressions and the ability to take many images quickly insures that at least one image will have all the eyes open.

As far as when the portrait ports a true likeness is unlikely. The wide-angle lens used in the smart phone exaggerate foreshortening, distorting the facial features significantly. Noses look bigger, eyes are different sizes and ears look too small. These differences are important because even minuscule differences in facial proportions are quite noticeable to us. A popular saying that symmetry is beauty is really true. Faces near the edges have a diagonally stretched look and the cropping is hit and miss. On the other hand, expression and story will trump picture quality every time and most people feel that a little distortion is a small price to pay for a great shot.

Of course, there is a way to overcome these shortcomings but some sacrifices must be made. A normal or slightly telephoto angle lens setting can be set on the camera / phone (before taking the picture) and the number of heads limited to one or two. But most people would probably not make the effort or take the time to learn the technique. Better yet would have to have a third person take the photo from a normal distance but then you could not call it a selfie. It is a mystery to me why many selfie photographer hold the camera / phone vertically when it is just as easy to hold it horizontally creating a much improved composition when three or more faces are in the picture. My biggest disappointment is that millions of slightly distorted selfie portraits are placed on Facebook purporting to show the world a true representation of their face.

These suggestions will hold true for digital camera users. Professional portrait photographers using a DSLR prefer an equivalent lens length of one hundred to one hundred ten millimeters. Some corrective effects can be utilized by extending the telephoto length to one hundred thirty-five millimeters. Beyond that some spatial compression will be noticed.

My hope is that smart phone engineers will someday provide smart phones with optical zoom camera lenses rather than the digital zoom lenses they now have. Optical zoom lenses keep the same high quality throughout the zoom unlike the digital zoom lenses that have the high quality only at the widest setting.

5 Tips for Taking Great Food Pics for Social Media

The days when sharing your food meal taking a nibble off your neighbor's plate are long gone. Today, sharing food means sending shots of our favorite food delicacies out into the world. For you foodie lovers who would not dare dream of eating a bite of a deliciously grilled meal until after the photo op…

The days when sharing your food meal taking a nibble off your neighbor's plate are long gone. Today, sharing food means sending shots of our favorite food delicacies out into the world.

For you foodie lovers who would not dare dream of eating a bite of a deliciously grilled meal until after the photo op is over, you'll be happy to know that according to a 2014 study by Socialbakers.com, photos shared on Facebook garner more interaction than any other form of shared content. So when dining mates complain that the food is getting cold while you find the perfect shot, remind them that your food photos are actually bringing you closer to and connecting you with others. (Heads up: your mom may or may not buy that argument.)

Whether you snap food pics for fun or for your blog or website, you'll want some seriously eye-catching photography. Fortunately, this does not require blowing your budget on the latest camera. You really only need a smartphone and these 5 tips to taking great photos for social media.

1. Lighting . Lighting may be the single most important factor when taking a great photo. Make it easy on yourself by leaving your camera or smartphone on “automatic.” Natural light is best, but if a photo does not turn out quite right, utilize the filters offered by either of the social media platforms. Just be sure that the source of light is always in front of your food-no amount of filters can fix backlighting!

2. Composition. The rule of thirds is a well-known photography guideline for a reason. Do not put the main subject of your photo smack dab in the center-it's just not that interesting to the viewer. Instead, position the subject either in the left or right third of the shot to add interest.

3. Angles. By simply shooting your subject from above, below or to the side at an angle versus head-on, you will instantly attract more attention.

4. Blurring. By using the blur tool – even just softly around the edges – you can instantly draw someone's eye to a focal point that you want them to notice.

5. Tell a story . Above all, social media photos are used to tell stories. Use your pictures to tell stories about you, your life and what's important to you. Pictures are still worth a thousand words. Done correctly, however, they're also now worth an 87% engagement rate.

Camera Lens F-Stop Values Explained

Lens aperture settings are commonly known as f-stops. The letter “f” is an abbreviation of the term “focal-ratio”, which describes the ratio of the lens's focal length to the diameter of the light entrance pupil (more commonly called the apperture). The standard sequence of f-stops is: f / 1.4 f / 2 f / 2.8…

Lens aperture settings are commonly known as f-stops. The letter “f” is an abbreviation of the term “focal-ratio”, which describes the ratio of the lens's focal length to the diameter of the light entrance pupil (more commonly called the apperture).

The standard sequence of f-stops is:

f / 1.4 f / 2 f / 2.8 f / 4 f / 5.6 f / 8 f / 11 f / 16 f / 22

On this scale, an f / 1.4 setting is the largest aperture, while f / 22 is the smallest, and each f-stop in the sequence is half the size of its neighbor to the left, and twice the size of its neighbor to the right. In other words, f / 5.6 permits the passage of twice as much light as f / 8, but only half the light of f / 4.

Low f-stop numbers represent larger apertures, and higher f-stop numbers indicate smaller apertures because the f-stop is a ratio is between the size of the aperture and the focal length of the lens; ie a larger number represents a larger difference.

Here's the maths for a 50mm lens.

f-stop / Diameter (mm) / Focal length: aperture ratio

f / 1.4 / 35.7 / 1: 1.4

f / 2.0 / 25.0 / 1: 2

f / 2.8 / 17.9 / 1: 2.8

f / 4 / 12.5 / 1: 4

f / 5.6 / 8.9 / 1: 5.6

f / 8 / 6.3 / 1: 8

f / 11 / 4.5 / 1.11

f / 16 / 3.1 / 1:16

f / 22 / 2.3 / 1.22

This ratio is commonly detailed around the front element on most lenses (eg “50mm 1: 1.8”, or sometimes “50mm f: 1.8”).

Here's a bit more maths, but do not stop reading, because it's really quite simple, and all the calculations have been done, so you just need to follow the logic. Let's start with f / 2 on a 50mm lens. This f-stop has a diameter size that is half the focal length of the lens: that is 25mm.

The area of ​​a circle is calculated using the formula – rr2.

Expressed in words, this is “Pi” (the common name of the s symbol, which represents 22/7) times the radius (r) squared, which is another way of saying radius x radius. You will no doubt remember that the radius of a circle is half the size of its diameter.

The calculation of the area of ​​f / 2 for a 50mm lens is therefore: (22/7) x (12.5 x 12.5).

Repeating this calculation for each f-stop produces the following results:

f-stop Diameter (mm) / Area (mm2)

f / 1.4 / 35.7 / 1,002

f / 2.0 / 25.0 / 491

f / 2.8 / 17.9 / 250

f / 4 / 12.5 / 123

f / 5.6 / 8.9 / 63

f / 8 / 6.3 / 31

f / 11 / 4.5 / 16

f / 16 / 3.1 / 8

f / 22 / 2.3 / 4

What you should see in this table is proof that the area of ​​each f-stop is double / half the size of each neighbor (results shown to the nearest whole number).

The point of all this dull maths is three-fold: it proves the claimed relationship made at the beginning of this article, it explains why lenses use such and odd sequence of numbers to name f-stops, and it equips us to understand the in -between apertures, such as f / 1.8, and other idiosyncrasies of the naming system.

If 35mm film photography is your thing, you will have inevitably encountered some f-stops that do not fit the opening sequence: f / 1.7, f / 1.8, f / 1.9, f / 3.5 and f / 4.5 are some of the most common ones.

f / 1.7 is one-half-stop larger than f / 2.

f / 1.8 is one-third-stop larger than f / 2.

f / 1.9 is one-quarter-stop larger than f / 2.

f / 3.5 is one-third-stop larger than f / 4.

f / 4.5 is one-third-stop smaller than f / 4.

[To address my original concern – was it worth paying double for a lens that was a half-stop faster? I concluded it was not.]

An understanding of these in between f-stops has a further day-to-day application: setting a lens aperture in between between f-stops. Most lenses have an aperture ring that is “click stopped”. That is to say, rather than visibly aligning an aperture setting, the ring clicks into place when alignment is correct. Some lenses also have clicked half-stops. If your lens does not, when half-stops are set visually, they fall about 1 / 3rd of the distance from the wider aperture alignment (take my word for it, but you can do the maths is you wish). If you have a lens that has half-click-stops, you might even be able to see this one-third spacing.

With different focal length lenses, the standard apertures will be physically different sizes (eg f / 2 on a 100m lens will have a diameter of 50mm), but fortunately the expression of f-stops as ratios means that, say f / 2, will always permits the same level of light to pass if it's f / 2 on a 50mm lens, or a 100mm lens, or any other focal length (ie 50mm focal length: 25mm aperture diameter: 100mm focal length: 50mm aperture diameter is also a ratio of 1: 2).

Zoom lenses often have two maximum aperture values ​​(eg f / 3.5-f / 4.5), and this reflects changes to the maximum aperture relative to the increase in the focal length setting of the zoom.

In conclusion, if you did not already know this, you should now understand why apertures are called f-stops, why lens f-stops follow a seemingly illogical sequence of numbers, why longer focal length lenses tend to have a smaller maximum aperture ( due to the high cost of making really wide lens glass, and why slightly faster lenses can be so much more expensive), why some zooms have a variable maximum aperture, how much faster those in between between aperties really are, and how to set half-stops (if your doing everything the old fashion manual way without TTL metering).

It's time for me to go bid on that f / 2 lens, and stop watching the f / 1.7.

5 Tips Before Starting A Photo Booth Business

Photo booths have changed and looks like they now have a bigger and better feel to them. This time they are more sophisticated than the old snap shot ones for just your passport pictures. photo booths can now be found at many events: weddings, birthday parties, charities, corporate events and frankly any event can fit…

Photo booths have changed and looks like they now have a bigger and better feel to them. This time they are more sophisticated than the old snap shot ones for just your passport pictures. photo booths can now be found at many events: weddings, birthday parties, charities, corporate events and frankly any event can fit a photo booth. People love photos and there is an event happening at every hour of the day. This makes photo booths a very good start-up business with potential average revenue of between £ 40 – £ 100k. The returns can be good but like every business, it is a competitive market and customers will not come running to you.

Consider these 5 things which are vital and that I found out after starting my photo booth business over 2 years ago.

1. Getting Started

As I always say, every idea is a good idea but what is important is the person championing the idea. You have to know that the success of your photo booth business depends on you. Some are happy with two events a week (Saturday, Sunday), others will want three and so on. What I am trying to say is that, you will get how much you put in. It is true there are at least 10 – 20 Weddings near you each weekend, there are multiple parties, there are rewards ceremonies, corporate / charity events, college / university open days, product launches and much more. The possibilities are limitless but you need to know that bookings and events will not come crawling to you.

2. Get the Right Booth

Starting a photo booth business is not cheap. Do not get me wrong there are some really cheap booths out there but what is the longevity of your business? I recommend personally visiting the warehouses or production unit of the company selling the booth if possible. See at least two so that you can compare. If not then do your research as some booths have been known to break after 10 events. That means disappointed customers. Most events as it gets to the late evenings will have a few drunk guests so you will need a booth that is sturdy and can stand any bumps. Again the booth should be easy to set up and pack up. Try and go for one that can be flat packed and can easily fit into your current car and there are booths like that.

3. Getting Customers

This is the tricky bit. Frankly, this third point could easily have been the first. It is amazing how many people start a business, spend thousands on ads and websites but fail to find out their customer demographics. After getting a working website, business cards and some flyers together, the number one way to get customers is word-of-mouth. Someone you know knows someone having an event. Social media is also powerful as it allows targeting either those celebrating birthdays or engaged to be married. Call wedding planners and hotel routes, register with wedding package websites, business directories, local newspapers and anywhere you can think about. Secret to success in this business is to be in the face of your customers. Register for fairs, seminars, entrepreneurial groups and tell everyone who wants to listen. It will be slow at the start, you will get some rejection but you need a tough skin as an entrepreneur and very soon bookings will flow in.

4. Pricing and Running Costs

Do not price your service lower than it should be for fear of not getting customers. Reason being, you will risk running a business that is “marking-time”. Your customers will consider price but most importantly the value you will give them that they can not get from anywhere else. You should factor into your turnover, buying or hiring a car (if you do not already have one), fuel cost, ink and paper replacement cost, extra accessories, props, public liability insurance (yes you definitely need one), staff cost (if you employ someone for an event), insurance, advertising, wedding fairs cost, networking costs just to name a few. You need money to make money and there would be these and more costs that you should plan for.

5. Provide a Great Service

Your customers and their events should be your pride. Right from when they contact you through the event day to the day after the event, you should make them feel you were the best company for their event. The events you will be covering will be very important to the one organizing it. This can be their special wedding day, 18th, 30th, 50th birthday parties. Make sure you respond quickly to enquiries, on the day, arrive one time, make sure your camera is set right for great pictures and give the guests full attention (strictly no phones). Go the extra mile, it can be as simple as a wedding or birthday card or a free gift. You will get referral business this way.

These are the basics in running any business and for that matter a photo booth business. It can be a really profitable business if you are willing to put in the time and effort. Good luck and leave me some feedback or if you think I left something important out please let me know.

Should an Actor Have Facial Hair In His Headshot?

Facial hair is quite popular at the moment, everything from full beards to designer stubble can be commonly seen on the streets of our cities. However there's a couple of things to consider when thinking about having a facial hair in your headshot, 'to beard or not to beard' or is 'moustache the question'. Headshots…

Facial hair is quite popular at the moment, everything from full beards to designer stubble can be commonly seen on the streets of our cities. However there's a couple of things to consider when thinking about having a facial hair in your headshot, 'to beard or not to beard' or is 'moustache the question'. Headshots are about creating the right first impression and facial hair can sometimes give the wrong type of impression, it can alter people's perception of you when looking at your headshot. You may not have considered how facial hair can alter people's perceptions but here's a few things to think about. There are some significant psychological effects about a man with a beard against a clean shaven man. More often than not a beard will make a man look older. For instance, adolescent boys do not need psychologists to tell them that growing some stubble could help them look more mature, but it also turns out the aging effects of a beard do not disappear as you get older. A group of men and women were asked do guess the ages of men with bears and men without them -and it was found that both men and women assumed the bearded men were “significantly” older than they actually were. Not good when your playing age is late thirties and your actual age is early twenties.

So there's a pretty good reason why wearing a beard can effect your chances of being cast, and here's another.

It's worth considering is how a man with a beard can give the impression of being more aggressive than a clean shaven man. In a 2008 study in the journal Individuality and Individual Differences, British psychologists at Northumbria University manipulated men's facial hair in photographs, giving them five degrees of beard- from clean-shaven to hairy. They then had 60 women rate them on various attributes-and found that the men with full beards scored highest for perceptions of aggressiveness as well as masculinity. The good thing noted here was the perception of masculinity in a man wearing a beard. In a 2012 study written up in the journal Behavioral Ecology, men were photographed bored and clean-shaven while making neutral, happy, or angry expressions. The men were of a mean age of 23, so all fairly young and the bearded men were judged to be significantly more aggressive than their clean-shaven counterparts. I can guess that most guys who sport beards are not particularly aggressive but it's also a fair bet that they had not ever considered this.

So there's an extra reason not to have a beard in a headshot you do not want to be perceived as being more aggressive than you actually are. The term beard can be somewhat of a mis-description as there are many types of facial hair to be seen on the streets at the moment from thick beard to a bit of designer stubble (I am talking about thick, full beards here)

OK, let's back up a little bit and see how a hairy face effects you and your headhot, one thing that is definite is that facial hair will limit the amount of rolls you would be cast for as not all character roles are suitable for wearing a beard.

Let's deal with the full bared first, it's generally a lifestyle choice although sometimes it can be fashionable too, as in the case of the “trucker look” that's been quite popular recently. However if you are the sort of guy who sports a full “Wild man of the mountain” beard then it is clearly your look, it's obviously taken quite some time and a fair bit of effort to grow so it's definitely that you're going to shave it off for a photo shoot. You may consider going clean shaven for a good role should you get it, but you'll be stuck in that 'Catch 22' situation of not wanting to shave it off after spending the time to grow your beard while not being able to audition with your beard. It's a tricky one.

So in this case having a headshot done wearing a full beard would be the right choice as this is how you would expect time to turn up at an audition, there's certainly to be a drastic change in the way he looks between having his heads done and turning up for an audition.

On the other hand there are lots of people who wear designer stubble on a regular basis. This type of facial hair often varies in length from a light or short growth to a stylish, shapely full beard that is worn as fashion statements as opposed to lifestyle choices such as the 'Grizzly Adams' look. In this case I always suggest to my clients that they have some of their headshots taken wearing facial hair, but that they also take the time to shave during the session so that they can have a clean shaven look too.

From a Casting Directors point of view, decisions about suitability and whether you have the right look they have in mind for the character they are casting for are important. If you are a well-known actor with a good body of work behind you it's less of an issue as Casting Directors know your look and have a certain amount of flexibility. On the other hand if you are less well established or are just starting out in your acting career then it's important that there are no barriers put in the way of fitting the Casting Directors idea for the role.

So what does it boil down to in the end? Know your castability, know your look, do not limit your options and be flexible.

5 Photography Tips For Beginners

Now that you have a camera and started taking photos you might feel that you are not getting the desired look and feel you envisioned for the shot. Here are 5 tips to make that image better. 1. Different camera exposure settings Switch your camera to MANUAL, the fastest way to learn is to jump…

Now that you have a camera and started taking photos you might feel that you are not getting the desired look and feel you envisioned for the shot. Here are 5 tips to make that image better.

1. Different camera exposure settings

Switch your camera to MANUAL, the fastest way to learn is to jump in and try it. Once your camera is on manual you can adjust your exposure. If your image needs more or less light you can just set it to a shorter or longer exposure. Play around with one subject and see what the different exposures do and you will quickly get used to it.

2. Lighting

Using Natural Light:

What does this mean? It simply means that you are using sunlight to light your subject. This can be a great way to make a difference in your photography, using a reflector to bounce or diffuse light will give your photo a more professional look, and it will not look so bright and washed out. Sunset is always a great time to do photo shoots because it gives a nice soft, warm look and feel.

Using Studio Lights:

While Studio lights are more expensive they really make a difference when you have learned how to position and use them. It can give you so many options in regards with mood and over all look. You can have crisp clear shots and in the same time change a few settings and positions and have a moody silhouette.

3. Creative Blur

Here is a simple and easy way to make a difference in your photo, just adding a blur effect will make it more interesting and will draw the viewer's attention to the focus point of your image.

Depth of field:

By adjusting your depth of field you will have a soft blurry background and your subject will be in focus. Drawing the viewer's attention to the subject.

You can do this by creating a very shallow depth of field. How do I create a shallow depth of field you ask, well that's easy you adjust your aperture to a very low F stop.

For example if you adjust your aperture to F4 you will have a very soft blurry background leaving your subject sharp and in focus. We refer to this as a height depth of field as opposed to F24 where you will have a clear image from front to back.

Motion Blur:

You can do this with setting your camera on shutter priority, a slow shutter and a moving object will create blurry streaks giving it an interesting feel. For example have your subject move a piece of material around them.

4. Every day things

Taking photos of everyday things may sound dull but once you look at different and interesting ways to photograph them it opens up a world of opportunity, be creative and use simple objects that we see every day in your photography, trees, food, water, the list goes on and on. Put a fork in an apple see what happens, create something.

5. Take the time to make your photography unique

Take some time to plan a few things, even if it is only right before you take the shot. This will help you execute the final look that you want in your photographs. Think of how you can make it extraordinary. Adding a little something to it spice it up or to take away some elements for a clean shot. Try different things, and experiment with different settings and angles. Avoid taking photos that have already been done, put a fresh spin on things, be unique and creative.

Noteworthy Reasons To Take Up A Photoshop Course Today

Almost all people today are now making photography their number 1 hobby. This is of course all thanks to more affordable yet high quality camera phones and ever popular trend called selfies. Everyone seems to be taking photos of themselves where they are and of anything that they find interesting. When you take a photo…

Almost all people today are now making photography their number 1 hobby. This is of course all thanks to more affordable yet high quality camera phones and ever popular trend called selfies. Everyone seems to be taking photos of themselves where they are and of anything that they find interesting.

When you take a photo using your smart phone other mobile device with a camera, there are apps that you can use to enhance your selfies and the other pictures that you took. With these apps, you can personalize these images with ready frames and other icons that you can put around and on the photos. As a result, you have customized, fun and whimsical photos that you can share with your loved ones, friends and other people via the various social media sites.

These photo-editing or enhancing apps, however, have quite limited capabilities. They are quite all right for making your photos look more unique and creative, but if you're looking to edit pictures to make them look more professional, these apps will not be of any use to you. After all, editing and enhancing the photos you have taken is quite important if you wish to use them to promote your business, products or services or to advertise your services as a professional photographer.

If you are a photographer looking to turn all your captured images into masterpieces, you need to learn how to use Photoshop.

Photoshop is a photo editing software that gives any user access to a wide range of great features or tools to turn any picture into a work of art. It is very user-friendly and not that hard to learn and as such, it is the best software companion of any photographer, designer, editor and artist.

There are many reasons why any budding photographer should take up a Photoshop course. These notable reasons include:

• You have more options to express yourself creatively with Photoshop. Compared with free (and even some paid) photo-editing apps, you will have more access to more tools to enhance and add your designs to your images.

• You can use Photoshop to restore old or vintage photos. Do you still have some photo from your prom from 20 years ago that you keep for sentimental reasons? These old pictures are already worn-looking and probably even faded. With Photoshop, you can use healing brush, clone stamps, patch tools and other features to make old photos look new again.

• You can correct various photography mistakes. By taking up a Photoshop course, you can learn how to adjust images that do not look good or have certain images. You will learn how to cover up poor lighting, marks on the picture, dark photos, red eyes and others mistakes.

• Finally, from a Photoshop course, you will learn how to make beautiful art works using brushes. With the various Photoshop brushes that you can choose from and use, you can add special effect to your photo or the layout that you are working on. You will learn and ever see how brushes could bring your design to the next level when you get to choose the right one and apply it to your final image or product.

Purchasing an Underwater Digital Camera – The Must Knows

A person, who loves to travel, will undoubtedly own a camera so that he can click pictures of the places he visits and create memories with his family and friends that will last a lifetime. If you're an adventure lover, you probably own a good waterproof sports camera already. However, a person, who loves exploring…

A person, who loves to travel, will undoubtedly own a camera so that he can click pictures of the places he visits and create memories with his family and friends that will last a lifetime. If you're an adventure lover, you probably own a good waterproof sports camera already.

However, a person, who loves exploring the underwater life, will certainly opt for a waterproof sports camera. These sports cameras are more commonly known as an underwater digital camera, and as the name suggests, allows a person to easily click pictures benefit the water and get high-quality pictures of the same.

Why do you need to get one?

There are many reasons to purchase such a camera instead of a normal one. Apart from the fact that such cameras allow you to take underwater pictures, they are loaded with amazing features such as a dual screen, LCD display, Micro SD card and a digital zoom. Such features work wonders for professionals who wish to capture the blue life under the water in great details and are also great for amateurs who are just learning how to click pictures and make photographs come to life!

Where can you get one of these?

Online stores are flooded with digital cameras with LCD display, and one can choose the sports camera that best suits his unique needs and requirements. Such digital and sports cameras also comes with added advantages such as being shockproof, crushproof and freeze proof! This means that your camera comes in a solid case which does not allow the device to get a scratched or damaged even when thrown from a certain height. Moreover, the sports camera can withstand extremely low temperatures and be easily used by skiers. What's even more amazing is that such digital cameras can withstand a lot of force without incurring any harm.

What's there to know about these underwater sports cameras?

An underwater digital camera boasts of a fixed and sealed outer case that not only protects the device but also does not allow any dust to settle on the camera. Such cameras are so lightweight and compact that they are conveniently portable and fit any kind of handbag or purse without taking too much space.

So, if you're an adventure lover, what are you waiting for? A beautiful aqua life is awaiting you and your underwater digital camera. Jump into the blue waters today and create and capture moments like never before!

5 Ways a Waterproof Sports Camera Can Help You

Love to click pictures? Love going for underwater expeditions and exploring the beautiful world benefit the sea? If your answer to both questions is yes, then your trips and excursions are absolutely incomparable without a waterproof sports camera. As the name suggests, such cameras are waterproof but they also come with many more advantages, 5…

Love to click pictures? Love going for underwater expeditions and exploring the beautiful world benefit the sea?

If your answer to both questions is yes, then your trips and excursions are absolutely incomparable without a waterproof sports camera. As the name suggests, such cameras are waterproof but they also come with many more advantages, 5 of which have been mentioned below in details.

1. It's time to click some good pictures

The first and foremost way in which a waterproof camera will be of help to you is by allowing you catch exciting and unique underwater moments with ease which a normal camera will not only allow you to do. Such cameras have a great flash light and handle strong pressure easily, allowing you to click pictures when under the sea. Being quite lightweight and compact in nature, waterproof sports cameras can be conveniently carried to any place without taking up too much space in a bag or purse.

2. They can withstand the weight

Some high-end and superior-quality waterproof cameras claim to withstand almost 100 kgs which is equivalent to the weight of a man standing on the camera! It is this feature that makes such cameras referred to as 'rugged' cameras.

3. They are shockproof

Waterproof cameras are shockproof in nature and can withstand drops easily. Most cameras can withstand a drop from a height of 1.5 meters with other better quality cameras being able to reach up to 3 meters without getting damaged. A solid case ensures that the camera does not get any scratches when it falls.

4. Do not worry about the temperature

Such cameras can easily withstand freezing temperatures that are as low as -10 degrees Celsius and is a great option for skiers. They can click pictures while skiing or while indulging in other snow-related activities.

5. If you're a traveller, go for it!

Waterproof sports cameras are the best option for travelers as a fixed outer case helps provide reliable protection from any kind of physical damage. Dust is never an issue with such cameras as the casing is always sealed in such models. An underwater housing protects the camera from water damage and even if such a camera is accidently or seriously dropped into a pool of water all of a sudden no harm is caused to it.

Buy a sports camera that has a LCD display. You can even get one with a dual screen. In fact, a digital camera with dual SIM has digital zoom as well, enabling you to click better pictures.

35mm Film Camera Light Metering Systems

The first types of light meters were called extinction meters . They were hand-held devices, or sometimes built into cameras. They complied a set of neutral density filters, arranged in order of increasing thickness. Each had a number or letter marked on it. The photographer had to look towards their subject through the extinction meter,…

The first types of light meters were called extinction meters . They were hand-held devices, or sometimes built into cameras. They complied a set of neutral density filters, arranged in order of increasing thickness. Each had a number or letter marked on it. The photographer had to look towards their subject through the extinction meter, and decide which filter only just allowed them to still see the character marked. It's letter or number was then looked-up on a chart, which identified the appropriate aperture and shutter speed combinations for a given film speed.

The extinction meter was a beautiful simple solution, but in use it suffered from subjective interpretation, and variations in the sensitivity of the human eye, which differs from person to person.

Photovoltaic Selenium light meters came next. This material converts solar energy into electrical current, and generates a tiny voltage proportional to the intensity of light exposure. Both hand held, and built-in Selenium Meters became commonplace. They even allowed the development of simple automation, where mechanical systems exploited electrical deflection of a meter needle pointer to otherwise other physical changes (to set apertures or shutter speeds).

Selenium meters were inexpensive to make, and cost nothing to run, and did a pretty good job provided that they were not exposed to moisture. The most iconic exposure meter of all time – the Weston Master – was a Selenium meter.

Thecoming of Selenium was that it is incapable of measuring lower light levels accurately. This became an issue as ever-faster films were developed, and so CdS (Cadmium Sulphide) replaced Selenium. CdS meters work differently, and exploit the phenomenon of photo-resistance. CdS is a material with an electrical resistance to the passage of a current that changes proportionately to the intensity of light exposure. Accordantly, CdS based meters require a battery to provide a current.

Most manufactures incorporated CdS meters in their cameras, as did the makers of hand-held systems, but CdS ever had a way to another material; Silicone. This worked in the same way as CdS, but was even more sensitive to lower light levels, and reacted faster to changes in illumination levels. Silicone is today's standard light measuring material.

Once Cds had been adopted, other forces (technological advances, and consumer needs) conspired to make light meters an integral, and internalized component of the evolving camera, and design moved towards the exposure meter measuring light on its path to the film, rather than capturing an approximated measure of lighting levels in the vicinity of the subject. Here I am thinking and writing primarily about 35mm SLR cameras, and the development of through-the-lens metering.

The advancement of battery operated, CdS meter equipped camera brings us to the point of this article, since the following typical metering systems were adopted by manufactures.

Average metering

This is the simplest form, where the camera will use all the light coming from the entire scene to determine the exposure setting. No weight is given to any particular portion of the metered area, so an analalous bright spot, for example, can result in overall under exposure. True average metering is a very rare thing. The vast majority of 35mm SLR film cameras employed the second form of metering.

Center-weighted average metering

In this system, the meter concentrates between 60 to 80% of its sensitivity towards the central part of the viewfinder. The advantage of this method is that small areas at the edges of the viewfinder that vary greatly in brightness have less influence, and most subjects are generally in the central section of the frame anyway. In truth, center-weighted metering was more of a consequence that design feature, since light scatter from the focusing screen coupled with the positioning of the meter cell (s) naturally caused an intensity fall off at the edges.

Partial metering

This type of metering works on the same principle as center-weighted average, but intentally ignores areas on the edges of the frame, which could otherwise influence the metering unduly if there are either very bright or dark. Partial metering typically concentrates on around 10-15% of the entire frame. Canon was a manufacturer quite keen on this system at one time.

Spot metering

Here the meter will only measure a very small area, typically at the center of the view screen, and usually between 1-5% of the viewfinder area. Spot metering is very accurate and is not affected by other areas in the frame. It is commonly used to shoot high contrast scenes. For example, backlit subjects, where probability a face is much darker than the bright halo of sunlight around the subject. Spot metering enables the photographer to select which element of a shot is correctly exposed, and the consequential under or over exposure of other, less important areas. Spot metering was usually a second option on high-end cameras, and not an every day metering pattern.

Matrix or Multi-zone metering

This is a much later development, where the camera measures the light intensity at several points in the scene, and then combines the results to find the best compromise exposure setting. Matrix metering was first seen on the Nikon FA, back in 1983. This pioneering camera did not sell well, because nobody understood how its metering system worked, and so did not trust its accuracy. Yet today, this system is the basis of evaluative metering, the name by which Matrix or Multi-zone has become more commonly known in digital cameras.

Obviously, as we move down this list, the metering systems become potentially more accurate, but the desirability of any system really depends on what you mostly want to photograph. There are no hard and fast rules to say which type of metering is most appropriate, and familiarity with the performance of any metering system is really the best way to exploit its particular strengths and weaknesses.

Once upon a time, the photographer might notice a bright spot in their center-weighted metering viewfinder, and realize they needed to compensate, without recourse to more sophisticated metering systems. Evaluating metering has found its place in the modern age because photographers now want cameras to do the thinking for them, and they trust their superior powers.

My personal film camera collection includes 35mm SLRs made by Contax, Fujica, Minolta, Nikon, Pentax, Topcon and Yashica, made between the late 1960s and early 1980s, and they all use center-weighted average metering. I have no idea what sort of metering system my digital camera has; I just know it works.