It's been said that Prague-based Photographer and Retoucher Erik Johansson doesn't capture moments, he captures ideas. To him, photography is a way to actualize complex, surreal concepts that are in his head. So, when you think about it, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that Johansson is kind of like our generation's Ansel Adams, as they both heavily employed previsualization techniques while pioneering unique solutions to achieve their visions. The end results are images that match the exact ideas they had in their minds' eyes.
Even though I am not a landscape photographer and I have never attempted any sort of astrophotography, I have always appreciated beautiful photographs of nightscapes. Recently, I borrowed the new Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD lens and tried to photograph an interesting night scene here in Charleston. Truth be told, it was quite the learning experience. In this video, I will share my first ever approach to shooting the night sky and hopefully give you a few things to think about when tackling this interesting genre of photography.
Our second tutorial with Elia Locardi: Photographing the World: Cityscape, Astrophotography, and Advanced Post-Processing was all about different types of cities. We started in Cinque Terre, a region of Italy where cities are basically built into the side of a natural landscape. We then moved on to Rome to shoot ancient architecture. Next we moved on to Singapore and Hong Kong for something a little bit more modern.
Current cameras' sensors are getting better year after year. Unfortunately, they cannot create noise-free images at high ISO just yet. I am sure the day will come soon, but in the meantime, there is a very simple technique using Adobe Photoshop or Affinity Photo to create the illusion of a clean file.
Big movies mean big budgets, which usually mean big visual effects. The Moving Picture Company (better known as MPC) recently released another one of those mesmerizing VFX breakdown videos for their most recent feature film, “The Martian.” The breakdown reveals some aspects of the film and of Matt Damon's performance that were both challenging and impressive, like the fact that the helmets worn in the film didn't feature physical windscreens. Those were added later with matching reflections to the scenery.
Flatland is a project created by the Turkish photographer Aydın Büyüktaş. These images resemble scenes from the hit movie Inception, where the city seamlessly curves upward into the sky. Each image takes months of planning, and because of the complex scenery, Aydin must constantly reshoot locations in order to get the perfect alignment.
Every photographer has come to a point where he thought he did not have the right gear, enough budget, the team, or just the perfect idea to make a project come to life. There are those that then let an idea go and others, like Anthony Kurtz, that keep their ideas in mind until all the elements come together.
Product photography is a great way to experiment with lighting and editing techniques. For me, it’s a chance to shoot in a relaxed environment where I have complete control over the subject, lighting, and camera. I can set up something small in the living room and find solutions that can be applied to my portrait work or professional product photography. It also requires a lot of creativity. Homemade items or DIY solutions are abundant on sets. From light-shaping tools to methods of creating parts of a composite, a lot can be created simply and at a low cost. You may be surprised to see how minimal of a setup can create some stunning photos.
MacPhun released Aurora HDR just a few weeks ago and touts it as the most advanced high dynamic range (HDR) software in the world. Certainly, veteran users of Photoshop and Lightroom might be skeptical. But if your sole purpose is to create HDR photos on the Mac, Aurora HDR might be the best option out there, seeing as it was created with the close consultation of HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff. In this video, Ratcliff dives deep in a first-hand look into how to get the most from Aurora HDR.
Last week we had the Fstoppers community submit their best composite images for the latest episode of "Critique the Community." There were some awesome composite submissions, including a wide range of genres. We chose a total of 20 pictures for Lee and Patrick to give feedback on. Add your comments and ratings to the pictures below. If we selected your picture, we'd love to hear about how you did it.
Our next episode of "Critique the Community" will feature images that have included some sort of composite. Take our featured image for example, the background was composited behind the beer bottle. (Check out this post for details of how it was done). Your composite image can come from any genre of photography but it must include elements from multiple images. Please get in your submissions by Saturday, November 14th and you'll have the chance to have your image critiqued by the Fstoppers team. For this episode, we will be giving feedback to 20 pictures. To qualify, you must follow the submission rules below.
All children have imaginations ranging from creative to radically abstract, and it's not until we become adults that far too many of us accidentally lose a good chunk of that imagination after the years start to stack up. How cool would it be for a child to see a dramatized depiction of what they want to be when they grew up? Brandon Cawood and his family asked the same question and put a project into motion called "When I Grow Up."
First off, some Fstoppers readers who follow my articles may be confused right now because I am posting an automotive retouching tutorial. For those who don't know, I used to do quite a lot of automotive photography work from 2011-2013 or so, and these days I still take the occasional car job here and there. But what I was so grateful for in 2011, when I started in this direction of editing, was that I was already very familiar and comfortable with Photoshop's pen tool - the ultimate weapon in automotive retouching (and more).
Maternity photos can be difficult. Shooting them isn’t different than an engagement shoot or senior portrait session, but the challenge is avoiding clichés. The typical husband’s hand on his wife’s stomach shot or the husband’s beer-belly imitating his pregnant wife’s are far too overused. Along those same lines, it’s easy to fall into the same category of clichés in other areas of photography. For example, with landscapes, Antelope Canyon is unlikely to gain you praise. Unless you’re Peter Lik, your photo isn't going to turn heads. With maternity photos, a new perspective is much needed.