Posts Tagged With: camera

Interesting Links

I haven’t posted a “Links” post in a long time, so I have quite a few… Let’s get to it:

My good friend Bryan Lathrop finally got a website up.  He’s a freelance photographer in Philadelphia shooting all kinds of different stuff.  Check the “Things” gallery for some real cool “Painting with Light”-type still lives.  This is a technique I’ve been meaning to write a post about but I’ve been having trouble fining the equipment I need in Taiwan…  Soon though… soon.

Cool Iris is a great add on to Firefox.  (I’m not sure if it works with other browsers)  It a much faster and cleaner way to view multiple photos on flickr or facebook or most sites that have a lot of photos.  I found that I needed to change the settings a little to keep myself from getting sick as I scrolled through (you’ll see), but it’s definitely cool.

Anther great add-on I found for Firefox is Autopager.  It automatically loads the next page when surfing many sites with all those numbered pages at the bottom.  It also works great with flickr and similar websites and saves a lot of time.

Here’s just an awesome photo of a volcano erupting.

From the “Fake Human Being Files” comes a fake woman.  It’s just an example that portraits are so easy to take now that you don’t even need a subject… or flashes… or a camera.

Want to go to college for photography?  PhotographyColleges.org has all the info you’ll need on choosing the right one.

And lastly is the most comprehensively written article on choosing photo equipment that I’ve ever read.  Alexandre Buisse wrote an article for The Luminous Landscape about the photography equipment he chooses to take mountain climbing and why.  I know most of you aren’t going to go on a big mountain expedition anytime soon, but reading this article is a reminder of the thought that sometimes needs to go into choosing photography gear.  Whether it’s for a big mountain adventure or a walk down the street… And it’s also a reminder that you don’t need all that flashy-super-expensive equipment!!!

Cheers,
-neil

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Categories: Inspirational Links, PHOTOGRAPHY | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Techniques #7 – Handy Corporate Portrait

Corporate portraits are something you almost have to do as a professional photographer.

I recently shot a portrait for a client that wanted a very specific looking style.  They’ve been running a series of ads for a long time that have a consistent look to them.  Basically, one of their art directors must have come up with this brilliant, easy way to get consistently-styled photographs from different photographers.

The brilliance of this portrait is that it has style and is easy to reproduce…

Here’s how you can do it:

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Techniques #6 – Off-Camera Non-TTL Flash

Once you’ve mastered the on-camera flash techniques you might want to start thinking about how to take that flash off and get really creative.  This is the good stuff.  This is the “Strobist” stuff that you’ve heard so much about.  There’s lots of information out there about choosing the right umbrella, the right softbox, making you’re own DIY grip gear, snoots, grids…bla, bla, bla, bla.

None of that is going to do you any good if you don’t know the basics.  This article is dedicated to helping you figure out those first few steps.

First Thing: Make Those Flashes go POP!

i-TTL and E-TTL:
One way is to use the relatively new i-TTL (Nikon) or E-TTL (Canon) systems.  These are pretty good systems but have their limitations.  To use them, you need an on-camera flash, even if you don’t want it to fire.  You also need all new, expensive flashes, and they have to be in the “line of sight” of your camera.   Old flashes aren’t going to work, and forget about hiding a flash behind a rock or wall.  The truth is, I don’t know a lot about these two systems because I don’t use them, I do it the old fashioned way.  But they are very interesting and may be the future of flash photography.  If you want more information look in your camera’s user’s manual or do some googles.  Maybe I’ll cover Nikon’s i-TTL in the future, but it’s really not on my radar.

Words, words and more words about multiple remote flashes after the jump…

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Getting Fungus Free

I recently had a big problem with fungus…on my camera’s lens!

I live in Taipei, Taiwan and to describe the climate as being “humid” doesn’t even begin to do it justice.  We have 2 month periods where it doesn’t stop raining…ever.  The walls sweat for days and days on end.  What’s truly startling about that fact is that the locals don’t really drink that much!!!  But I suppose the cultural differences between Taiwanese people and westerners is best left for another blog.

I started to notice that my Nikon 17-55mm F/2.8 AF-S lens was slowly starting to loose it’s sharpness.  I noticed that when shooting at its widest setting, it was almost always soft.  Then in bright daylight, I started to get very noticeable loss of sharpness.

See how the center is blurry and has a bit of fuzziness?  Not good for a $1,400 lens.

See how the center is blurry and has a bit of fuzziness? Not good for a $1,400 lens.

So I started doing some online research, suspecting that fungus might be the cause.  I found some very good articles that helped me out:

http://www.chem.helsinki.fi/~toomas/photo/fungus/

http://www.mypentax.com/Fungus.html

After reading these articles, I came to the moment of truth…looking through the lens…  What I saw shocked me:

This is the fungus, growing on two of the inside elements of my lens.

This is the fungus, growing on two of the inside elements of my lens.

If you want to check your lenses, simply take the lens off you camera, hold the aperture open with your finger and put you eye right up to the back of it.  It helps if you point it in the general direction of a light and try to change your eyes focus around… looking through glass like this can deceive your eye.  Be sure to move it around in the light and check the edges.  If your infestation just started, you might only see a few “fingers” around the edges.

What really scared me about this much fungus was what I read in the online articles.  It said that many times, even if the fungus could be cleaned off, it might leave an etching on the lens that can’t be removed.  I was scared.

I started a thread on SportsShooter.com to ask for advice, and while I did get some, I was surprised at how few professional photographers knew anything about this. But the basic advice I got from everyone was to try to get it cleaned, it would certainly be a lot cheaper than replacing then lens.

So I took the lens to the official Nikon service center here in Taipei.  I was sure they were going to laugh at me and tell me they couldn’t clean it, but all they said was, “It’ll be ready in two weeks.”  Nice.  I was still holding my breath, hoping for the best but suspecting the worst.  Two weeks later, I went back to collect my ABSOLUTELY PERFECT lens.  Not a single speck of fungus or etching from the fungus to be seen!

So, I guess I’ve learned my lesson.  Or maybe I’ve learned quite a few lessons.  Since I’ve been in Taiwan, I’ve known about the humidity and the the damage it does to photographic equipment.  I’ve just been too lazy to go out and buy a humidity-proof cabinet.  If you live in Taiwan, or any place else with high humidity, the $100USD you would need to spend on a cabinet is a damn fine investment.  Go get one.

Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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