I am sure we have all had those days where you stare at an image and just start moving sliders up and down to see what they do. What happens if I take this slider all the way up and this slider all the way down? For the most part, the results are entertaining, but not really aesthetically pleasing. But every once in a while, you can stumble onto something pretty awesome.
Imagine yourself under a starry night sky. Wouldn’t it be great to capture the Milky Way to show it at home or on the web? Unfortunately, you are left with a black frame after you’ve pointed the camera upwards at settings you are used to. It's time to open up the aperture, lengthen the exposure, and bump up the ISO. You will introduce noise, but do you really care? Aren’t there tools out there to reduce noise but still keep the detail?
Recently, during my annual trek to Las Vegas for WPPI (wherein I arrive in the city of sin and proceed to actively avoid going to the actual expo because I book too many other things), I found myself in the deserts outside of Vegas with a Sony A7RII, a few bits of glorious Zeiss glass, no modifiers or lighting of any kind, and Renee Robyn as my model. Welp, guess it was time to see what Sony's dynamic range claims were truly about then.
I’m a big fan of getting images right in camera, and it's something that strive to do. I think there is something to be said for the skill that it takes, especially when shooting an event like a wedding. Getting the perfect light, the perfect composition, and the perfect moment while dealing with all the different variables of the day is quite a feat. The main image I’m going to be talking about today, though, does not fit into this category, but it still manages to be one of my favorite and most "liked” images.
Phase One has dropped two new software updates today including Capture One Pro 9.1 and a camera firmware update for its medium format XF system. Version 9.1 of Capture One Pro is focused on workflow tool improvements aimed towards working fashion and still life photographers. The XF camera system update brings interesting new software tools and autofocus improvements, as well as two new “blue ring” lenses.
Whenever we've written an article mentioning Affinity Photo, people have commented and complained that it is not compatible with Windows. But this is about to change in the next couple of months. Affinity just announced that they are working on Windows versions of their different apps.
Don't get me wrong; I am not going to show you how to make up for bad lighting in post-production. However, Glen Dewis has created a very interesting video that shows us how to achieve a gobo-like effect using Photoshop, something that be very handy if you are looking for an easy way to add drama to your picture without spending too much time in front of your computer.
In a way, your journey as a photographer will start out with personal projects. Everything that you shoot for those first few months or years are things that you choose to shoot for fun. Personal projects help you to learn, experiment, and grow as an artist. Actually organizing and creating a series, however, takes a little bit of planning. From brainstorming to gallery showings, I’m going to help you put together a game plan for your next personal project.
There's this nifty piece of software called Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, and in my time as an educator in the craft of photography I have seen its use frequently abused and mishandled. The issues affect beginners and pros alike, and stem from multiple issues, everything from technical oversight, all the way to a fundamental misunderstanding of what Lightroom is meant for. Read on for an overview of common misconceptions and mistakes with regards to this immensely powerful photo editing system.
Just like ever camera owner is a photographer, every person who owns an abundance of MAC products is a makeup artist. At least that is how it seems on Instagram these days. There are now more makeup artists on social media than ever, and finding the right ones to follow can be tricky. Following the best makeup artists can make a portrait photographer better. If you follow them closely, you can step up your game.
Creating a music video for a national act is one of the most intense tasks for a modern day filmmaker. Sure, the tools are more affordable, but declining budgets and insane turnaround times can turn your production into a sprint. Last month, my company, McFarland & Pecci, was tasked with creating two new music videos for the Grammy-nominated metal act, Killswitch Engage. My partner, Ian McFarland, and I drop everything when these guys call.
If you’ve been working with video in the last few years and are looking to take your post-production to the next level, color grading absolutely needs to be something you consider incorporating into your workflow. DaVinci Resolve is not only a powerful software for doing this, but it's base version is actually free for anyone.
Full disclosure: Creating this Action goes against many things I've stated in the past, including and especially my whole idea that "No Action should create effects for you". That said, with the huge influx of Action requests that I've been receiving, I reasoned this particular one is steeped wholly enough into "procedure" that it could possibly make a decent (and useful) automatic process. As such, let's have a look at my Soft Flare FX Action.
So I've been posting more and more of the Actions I've been making and using lately, and this afternoon is no different. While today's Action creates a subtle effect, and may not be something everyone likes, I am posting about it because it's a process I use pretty frequently. Sure, it's not for every image, but sometimes it just does the trick. Let's review what it's all about.