If photography is an art, so is retouching. While there are school teaching photography classes, fewer offer retouching programs. Many photographers starting out seem to be looking at the same tutorials over and over again, without ever actually getting anything out of it. Frequency separation, dodging and burning, or curves will only get you so far before you hit a wall. In past the two years, I’ve been looking at other crafts to step up my retouching work. Here are five things I have spent time on that you should look into and why.
How did technology make Planet Earth so much more cinematic? If we go back to how it was done back in the day and compare it to the technology we have today, it's quite a leap. Back in the day 35mm was the broadcast standard. The 35mm cameras were bulky and heavy, they were perfect for studio and not for the shots that they needed. In the filming circles and the BBC insiders saw 16mm film as being for amateurs. But, thanks to David Attenborough first taking his 16mm camera out to shoot abroad and coming back with footage of animals never filmed before, it changed opinions. This made the program that later became one of the best wildlife documentaries of all time.
Buying the right gear for you is not only a question of money. Sometimes the wisest decisions are made within a tight budget, while the stupidest choices may be made when finances are abundant. In this article I'd like to share with you my process of buying new gear for my photography and video projects.
Audio is arguably the most important facet of any film or video production. There is a saying that goes: “Audio is 70% of what you see,” which means that sound makes up more of the experience than the visuals do. So while we may spend a lot of time planning for what our shot looks like, it’s even more important that we mic it properly for the best audio recording possible.
Everyone and their Auntie seem to sell Photoshop action sets these days, as if they're the answer to something. I'm primarily referring to action sets which create entire "looks" for your image, but there are uses for actions which are less comprehensive and arguably more useful. For example, I use an action for sharpening my images which creates a layer I can lower the opacity of or mask until it is satisfactory. Actions like these are easy to create and can result in accrued time saved. This guide will ensure even people whom have just picked up Photoshop for the first time can create actions.
We've all seen Toy Story. We've all been taken on the same journey with Finding Nemo, and felt sad when Wall-E was left behind to clean earth all by himself. We've all had either a smile on our face or a tear in the eye due to a fictional 3D rendered character showed an emotion you identified with. We take photos and video of what we know. We show others these images and moving images with the aim to make them feel that same emotion. We create because of the emotional experience we felt at some point in life towards a movie or photo that made us decide that's what we want to do.
I'm not too sure about this, but maybe it's because most of the images on my Facebook profile that people like are the ones of me looking left but hey, this is science, and it's called Spacial Agency Bias. Simone Schnall is a Director at the Cambridge Embodied Cognition and Emotion Laboratory. She says we all want to look progressive, dynamic, and forward thinking. It's what the social circles, culture, and industry demands. It's also what we want to portray when people see photos of us.
We as photographers capture light. It's the fastest thing we know in space and time, and we try make it still to enjoy and share with others. It's the one thing we as photographers use every time we press the shutter button. To change from looking at photography for inspiration we can follow Chase Jarvis's advice and look at a Swedish Furniture design company IKEA to show us how they think about and use light, and about how we use it and how we don't.
DSLR Guide, created by Simon Cade, is one of my go-to resources for all things film and cinema. With almost a half-million subscribers and over 21 million views, his channel is an awesome resource for anyone interested in becoming a film maker, particularly those who are DIY-savvy or on a budget.
When you hear the term “HDR photography,” you probably either cringe, or start to smile at the thought of beautifully balanced landscape and architectural imagery created by the likes of Trey Ratcliff. Some may argue that with the dynamic range of current camera sensors, taking bracketed exposures is no longer necessary, since detail can be effectively recovered from both shadows and highlights. In this video, Scott Kelby demonstrates how an image produced from combining bracketed exposures can be superior to one derived from a single frame.
Grids are probably amongst the best pieces of equipment a photographer using flash can own. Alas, they are often either underrated or misunderstood. On one of my recent shoots, I decided to create a lighting setup with grids on every single strobe. My goal was to create a somewhat complex setup, that once broken down step by step would be easy to recreate by any photographer starting out in studio photography.
I've always had this issue with regards to the sound design of video and how to actually get something that is usable for the video you are working on. It's either getting audio from a stock library, having a friend compose something, or making it yourself. And the latter is really very time-consuming, and I'd rather focus on the stuff I enjoy and am good at, like shooting photos or video. Once I watched the latest video by Film Riot, it seems like the problem of finding audio might be over.
Have you ever seen those amazing shots that show a subject holding its place in the frame while the background falls away or becomes extremely compressed? This is called a "dolly-zoom," and you've likely seen an example in films such as "Jaws" and "Goodfellas." While we don't typically use a dolly-zoom when filming interviews, we can learn a lot from studying what happens to an image at different focal lengths. In this video and article, I'll discuss the visual effects created when choosing a wide versus telephoto lens for documentary-style interview productions.