31 Photography Links From Helpful Tutorials To Great Images To Get You Inspired
The Toad never seems to rest, relentlessly searching in all corners of the internet for links for photography enthusiasts of all types to enjoy. Just like a bowl of mashed potatoes, we've got a heaping helping of tutorials and great photography to check out.
Find your favorite boat of gravy and pull up a seat to settle in for a time as we look at these great shots and read interesting tutorials and articles from some of the finest artists and writers working today. We really hope you enjoy checking out this list as much as the Toad did in bringing it to you this week.
15 Incredibly Useful Tutorials On Headshot Photography – this link leads to a series of great links that talk about how to get great headshot portraits. Posted right here on Light Stalking, this great article gives you a wide range of articles and tutorials that can really help you get the most out of your own portraits.
Here’s How to Make Beautiful Portraits at Home Using Table Lamps and Window Light – sometimes the best photographs are a result of the simplest setup, as we see here in this video tutorial that shows us how to use available light from a window along with light cast from table lamps. The results are amazing, and for those of us looking for a unique process to capture great portraits, this is a must-see tutorial.
Simplify Your Background for More Powerful Compositions in Photography – great compositions can be found everywhere, sometimes they are intentional and other times they are a result of being in the right place at the right time. This article discusses how to use simplified backgrounds to improve the overall quality of any composition.
Surf Photography: Catching The Wave – there are countless photography opportunities on beaches and shores, particularly if you are in an area that is actively used by surfers. Capturing this type of image however requires a slightly different approach than many other genres of photography, and this article shows you how to get the most out of your shots.
Introduction to Aperture in Photography – all the mysteries of how to use your aperture to its full potential are discussed in this in-depth article. Sample shots are included along the way to help you see how the various settings affect the image. The concepts shares in this post are key to taking full control of your exposure and depth-of-focus.
Create a Water Reflection With Photoshop – have you ever wanted to have a great water based reflection in your composition, even though the scene captured in camera doesn’t include one? This video tutorial is just over 10 minutes long and takes you through the creative process of creating one in post-production.
How to Photograph Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park – this is the final article in a series that talks about photography in world-famous Yellowstone National Park. Learn about the various times of the year and what to look for, and for a more detailed exploration of this topic, you can follow the links to read the entire series.
16 Things I Learned While Using Tilt-shift Lenses – tilt-shift lenses are typically used in architectural sessions to allow for management of converging lines, but they also can be used for many other purposes, as outlined in this article that talks about how to use them in portrait and food photography, just to name a few. This post talks about the learning curve and gives you some much-needed insight into this type of lens.
Pull Off Unique Camera Angles in Tight Spaces with These Simple Steps – learn how to achieve the near impossible in this short video tutorial that shows you how to shoot in extremely tight spaces. The resulting photographs are fun and astonishing, giving a fresh perspective to certain compositions that just can’t be achieved in any other manner.
How To Photograph Seascapes – this article shares an in-depth perspective on how to get the very most out of your seascape photography. All the key steps are covered in this post, and they are accompanied by terrific example shots to allow you to visualize the topics covered and to help inspire you to get out to your favorite shore to capture your own great shots.
How to Shoot Night Photography – getting great shots at night is a totally different challenge than it is to capture great day shots. This video tutorial shows us a bunch of tips and tricks from a pro that will certainly help get you started, or help you take your shots to the next level.
Five Ways To Shoot More Effectively With Natural Light – let’s take a look at how to get the very most out of your natural light images in this great post that covers all the key facets of this style. Great sample shots are included as you read along, allowing you to see how the topic can be applied with full effect.
Toronto Night 01 – cityscape photography is a compelling type of photography in that is reveals modern cities with all the people going about their lives, not knowing that they are part of the study being conducted at that time. This terrific shot from Evan Gearing was shot during the blue hour and does a fabulous job of capturing the iconic modern architecture of the city with great detail.
New Life Everywhere – as spring emerges here in Canada it’s time to turn our focus to everything that is springing to life. This great post from Lisa Gordon features this concept wonderfully with a series of shots of macros of new plantlife, capped off with a shot of a birds nest full of just born chicks.
Timeless Glowing – the Antelope Canyon is a well-known destination for photographers as the location is full of interesting compositions created by the rock walls that have been carved out of the rocks over the course of countless millennia. Simon W Xu delivers a stunning shot of this natural phenomenon that includes great elements such as light streaming in from above along with sand falls that create an almost surreal feel to this magical locale.
Gaudi Blue – Edith Levy captures this shot on a visit to Barcelona, focusing on the two primary colors the were evident in the scene she captured. This simple shot showcases the rich blue architectural design that surrounds a rich wood colored door, all post-processed in a manner to deliver a painterly feel.
Epic Morning – Ricardo Mateus discovers that being at the right place at the right time with a plan can often lead to amazing images. This shot is of a modern bridge with traffic running to and fro as a very thick fog creates an amazing frame for the modern architectural design, making it look as if it is suspended in the very heavens.
Madrona In May – Vancouver Island based photographer Randy Hall takes to the shore in the early part of the year to capture this seascape shot. This picture was captured in the evening, taking advantage of the beautiful golden hour and the striations that were found in the rock formations in the foreground for an added element of interest.
Moody path to Pyramid Island – this shot features a strong leading line in the form of a wooden bridge that leads outwards onto a small island that is ensconced entirely in a thick and moody fog. This shot from Johannes Hulsch also features a strong vanishing point from the pathway, adding a great touch of artistic tension to the composition.
Stamping Symmetry – Michael Criswell heads to the roof of the long abandoned Cadillac Stamping Plant in Detroit city for this black-and-white shot. Michael’s composition uses the beams of the building as strong leading lines here to capture and image that features a strong vanishing point, highlighted by the myriad reflections found in the small puddles of water collected from recent rains.
A boat ride in Austria – this image features a dominantly blue color palette which helps to create the moody feel of the terrific landscape that forms a frame of sorts for the picture. Tobias Hägg captures this shot at the perfect moment as a small boat works its way across the still waters, delivering a perfect touch of allure to draw the viewer in.
Hallstatt is just beautiful – Jim Nix brings us along as he explores this picturesque community in Austria that is the inspiration of photographers far and wide. This shot features their character-rich architecture set against a backdrop of majestic snow covered mountains.
Santorini style – the rich colors of the buildings found in this world-famous spot in Greece find beautiful harmony with the deep blue seas that form the backdrop for this photograph from Daniel Metz. This shot features a tight frame of the top of a church along with the bells that overlook the ocean beyond.
Mysterious Worlds at Hand – Laurie MacBride shares a wonderful shot that takes on a bit of an abstract look, focusing on the teeming lifeforms that float past her just under the surface of the ocean. Laurie frames this wonderful shot with her personal insights that add a dash of the profound to the photograph shared.
Castle in fall – the vibrant colors of fall foliage form the perfect skirt to encircle the amazing Neuschwanstein castle as it overlooks the valley below. Jovana Rikalo captures this terrific shot at the peak of the season, creating a joyous feeling picture that welcomes the viewer in for a closer look.
John Hite House – those of us who appreciate heritage architecture will want to check out this post in this weeks list from Mark Summerfield. Mark turns his camera to a wonderful classic home that was constructed in the mid-1700s and today stands as a beautiful link to our collective past.
Waterfall in undergrowth – it is very hard to beat the ethereal effect that long exposure can have on fast moving waterfalls as the shutter time turns the surface of the falling water into a veil of visual silk. This shot from Robert Didierjean does a terrific job of capturing this style of image as the dynamic falls emerge from the natural vegetation that surrounds it.
The First Spiral – there is just something nostalgic that can’t be replicated in images captured in film many years ago. This shot comes to us from Andy Hooker (LensScaper) who shares one of his early black-and-white shots of a spiral staircase in an apartment he lived in. The natural light in this shot reveals a glimpse into some of the early inspiration he has had over the years in his photography practice.
Playfull cubs – those who love wildlife photography will not want to miss this shot in this weeks list, coming to us from Joke Hulst. This shot features a pair of small fox cubs playing as fabulous light swirls around them to add to the overall feel of the great scene.
Schwabacher Landing – this shot was captured in the amazing Grand Teton National Park in the US one early morning by Michael Criswell. Here we see the amazing and dramatic landscape that comprises this park, including majestic and rugged mountains in the backdrop as a gentle reflection in the foreground mirrors the scene back to the viewer.
Neverending – Christophe Staelens captures this amazing helical staircase, looking upwards as layer upon layer of geometry draws the viewer further upward. This shot is processed as a black-and-white to bring out the great shapes and lines found in this particular architectural feature, culminating in a great vanishing point in the distance.
via Light Stalking http://bit.ly/2kwTW5i
April 19, 2019 at 07:00AM
Godox V1 vs Profoto A1: A Battle of the Round-Head Flashes
The Godox V1 round-head flash is coming to market despite the loud protests and legal threats of Profoto, which claims its A1 design was stolen (something Godox denies). If you’re wondering how the $259 V1 compares to the $995 A1, photographer Robert Hall has a sneak peek for you.
In the 14.5-minute video above, Hall pits the V1 against the A1 to see how the features and performance compare.
First, Hall compared the light pattern of the two flashes:
After publishing a blind test to photographers over at SLR Lounge, the vast majority (~89%) said they preferred the Godox’s quality of light.
Both the V1 and A1 share the same maximum light output, HSS, TTL, magnetic modifiers, the same recycle time, similar size, a switch lock, and a modeling lamp.
Hall notes that neither flash produces soft natural light when used unmodified since both are small, harsh light sources.
Hall found that the Profoto A1 has more accurate daylight white balance, a better display, a sleeker build, and a perfect 9-stop light output range.
On the other hand, the Godox has its advantages as well. It has shorter flash durations, 35% more 1/1 flashes on a battery charge, less battery drain, more consistent color temperature, and a reverse-tilting head (for bouncing backward without twisting the head 180 degrees).
“The Godox V1 and Profoto A1 are extremely similar flashes in terms of capabilities,” Hall concludes at SLR Lounge. “You would be hard-pressed to create an image with one that couldn’t be done with the other.
“The primary issues facing the Godox V1 are it’s slightly blue color temperature and thermal protection limit of 30 full power flashes. But, if neither of those will affect your shooting style it’s hard to ignore the quality the Godox A1 delivers at 1/4th the price of the Profoto A1.”
Hall reports that the Godox V1 is being shipped to retailers now and should be hitting shelves soon. You can pre-order it now for $259.
via PetaPixel https://petapixel.com
April 18, 2019 at 09:38AM
What was once a weird little niche in photography is now a worldwide phenomenon. Food photography is only growing in popularity if the 32 million posts currently on Instagram are anything to go by.
Food photography is here to stay, but it’s not an easy genre to master.
Our guide gives you some of the top tips and tricks to help you get mouth-watering results.
The first thing to think about when you’re on the hunt for a new camera body is the size of the sensor.
Whether you decide to buy a camera with a cropped sensor or invest in a full-frame, your budget will likely determine your choice.
The important thing to know is that your camera and lenses behave differently when they have a cropped sensor than a full-frame.
Every camera has a crop factor. This is a number used to describe how much the camera is cropping your image in relation to the standard 35mm.
A full-frame camera matches the 35mm cropped standard of a traditional film camera. It has a sensor size of 24mm x 36mm. A cropped sensor is smaller than this and is therefore cheaper for camera manufacturers to make. It doesn’t match a lot of lenses and the final images look different.
The Canon Rebel, for example, has a crop factor of 1.6. This means that you multiply 1.6 times the focal length of your lens to get the actual focal length that it will look like your pictures were taken at.
On a full-frame camera, a 50mm lens behaves like a 50mm. Put that same lens on a camera with a cropped sensor, it behaves more like an 80mm.
Lenses are where you should spend the most significant part of your budget. You should look at them as a long-term investment in your craft.
Here are the factors to consider:
Your biggest concern when shopping for a lens is sharpness.
Prime lenses are preferred when shooting food because they are sharper than zoom lenses.
Zoom lenses have more moving parts that enable the zoom to function. This tends to result in lower image quality and sharpness.
They also give you a much tighter depth of field, enabling you to isolate your subject and get that really nice blurred background we all love in food photography.
The 50mm Lens
The 50mm can also be a useful lens, especially if you don’t have a zoom. This lens is good for overhead shots and tablescapes. However, it can give you some distortion when taking a portrait-style shot. In food photography, the 50mm is actually considered a wide-angle lens.
The 50mm f/1.8 is often referred to as the “nifty-fifty” because it gives you decent results for a very low price. If you’re just starting out and your budget is tight, get this one.
The 24-70mm Lens
Although primes are ideal, it’s actually very useful to have one zoom lens in your kit, such as a 24-70mm.
It’s very sharp for a zoom lens, and really versatile. Many food photographers consider this a staple in their kit.
The 60mm Macro
If you’re shooting with a cropped sensor, then a 60mm macro is a great choice.
On a cropped sensor, it’s more like having a 100mm. If you upgrade to full-frame, you can use it like you would a 50mm.
This lens allows you to get 3/4-angle view shots of your subject with a nice bokeh on a cropped sensor.
You also won’t get the distortion at this angle that you would when shooting with a wider focal length, like a 50mm.
The 100mm Macro
An excellent lens to have in your kit is a 100mm macro lens. This lens is not only for macro or close up shots, although it’s great at these, too.
By pulling further away from your set, you can get very nice portrait-style shots as well. The focal length will give you a great blurred background.
If you go for the 100mm/105mm macro lens on a cropped sensor you will be shooting at a focal length of 150mm.
This will be a very tight crop, which can be a problem if space is an issue.
A tripod is a must for food photography. It helps you create consistent images and frees up your hands to style according to what you see through your camera.
The biggest requirement in a tripod is stability. A tripod needs to be able to handle the weight of your camera and lens.
When shopping for a tripod, look for one with both adjustable height and orientation. This is where you have a center column that you can move.
Make sure that it has rubber feet to avoid slippage, and that it has a high payload.
Payload refers to the amount of weight the tripod is able to withstand. It needs to bear the weight of your camera, lens, and any other additions such as a bracket or extension arm.
The objective of food styling is to make food look it’s very best. Most food needs a bit of doctoring to make it look presentable for the camera.
Here are some things to consider when approaching food styling:
Use the freshest food possible
The food you shoot needs to be as fresh as possible so that it looks appealing in your images. When shopping for your ingredients, take care to buy the freshest and best-looking items available.
Always have your scene, lighting, and camera ready before placing your food on set.
When you’re adjusting with your lighting and camera settings, use a substitute in a similar color and shape as your food as a stand-in. Replace it with your “hero” (your main food subject) at the last moment, so that it looks as fresh and appetizing as possible.
Buy more than you need
When shopping for groceries, be sure to buy more than you think you’ll need for the shoot. Food dries out, melts, goes brown, or otherwise begins to look unappealing within a short time frame.
Depending on the food, you may also need a lot of the items to fill the frame.
The most important factor when choosing the dishes on which you will present your food is the size.
Objects can look very different to the camera than to the eye and often look bigger than we expect. For this reason, it’s a good idea to choose smaller dishes than you would ordinarily use.
Present your subjects on salad plates or smaller dinner plates. Large plates can dwarf the main subject and dominate the frame.
Herbs and spices, and items such as croutons, can enhance your food shots.
Sprigs of various herbs like rosemary can be tied together with kitchen string to make little bouquets you can use to add context to your food story.
You can enhance a plain bowl of soup with a drizzle of cream and a sprinkling of chopped chives.
The key is that your garnishes should make sense within the wider context of your scene. If you’re shooting salmon with a lemon dill sauce, then don’t garnish it with basil.
When using herbs, use the freshest possible and replace them as you shoot. They wilt or oxidize quickly. Cut herbs can be kept fresh in the refrigerator much longer when wrapped in some wet paper towel.
You need to have a collection of food photography props.
A prop is any item you use on set to enhance the image. In food photography, this is typically kitchenware, like plates and flatware, serving bowls and utensils, and linens.
When selecting your props, think about your food photography style and what types of props would complement it.
If your style is really clean and elegant, or more refined, such props would not make much sense and you’d be better off with more delicate pieces.
In general, stay away from very bright colors and bold patterns, as they distract from the food. Colorful pieces can add a point of interest, but they need to work with the overall composition and feel of the photo.
Don’t use a lot of props. A couple of the right props can have a lot of impact in telling a visual story, but too many will distract the viewer and dominate the image.
When selecting your props, start with one or two pieces, perhaps a neutral salad plate and a vintage knife or spoon. If in doubt, keep it simple.
You’ll need a variety of interesting backgrounds on which to place your food.
Use a variety of items for your backgrounds, like fabric, craft paper, or large floor tiles. You can also get creative and make your own.
Buy sheets of wood and paint or stain them yourself. There are also some great online resources for buying professional food photography backgrounds and they ship worldwide.
When shooting food, neutral or cool-toned backgrounds like blue generally work best.
Whether you use natural or artificial light, you’ll need to modify your light source.
One important item in your kit is a diffuser. This is a panel of sheer white material that you place at the edge of your table to soften the light that hits your scene.
You’ll also need some simple tools to bounce and absorb the light. You can buy a professional 8-in-1 reflector kit, with foldable discs in a variety of materials to use in your shoots, as pictured below.
The silver reflector, for example, can brighten your food, while the gold reflector will add warmth. It usually comes with a diffuser as well.
For a DIY version, you can also use simple black or white cardboard purchased from a craft or dollar store. White brightens your scene, while the black absorbs the light.
You should have an idea of what you want your final image to look like before you pick up your camera. Do you want the light to look soft and dimensional, or are you looking for striking contrast?
The greater the contrast between light and dark, the more dramatic your image will be. Often, your subject will dictate the light you choose.
The next time you shoot, photograph your subject in both soft and hard light and note the difference. How does each approach affect the final result? Many photographers tend to gravitate to one or the other as part of their style.
This is when your light is coming from directly beside the food.
Side lighting is a good approach for a lot of your food photography. It works for most set-ups and is easy to use.
Place a reflector or bounce card on the opposite side to the light. Depending on how much shadow you want on the side of your food, move it closer or farther away, or use a smaller or larger reflector.
When shooting white and airy scenes, you still want some shadow to add dimension.
Backlighting is when you position your light behind your food.
If you imagine the face of a clock, it’s at 12 o’clock. This is an ideal position for beverages or soups, as it adds a sheen and highlights the liquid properties of food.
In general, backlighting is very flattering to food. It makes it gleam and brings out its texture.
However, it can be tricky to work with because it can cause your image to be too bright at the back, and too dark at the front. Too much contrast means the back of the photo will be blown out, with a loss of detail blurring into the main subject. Not enough contrast will result in a blown out photo or one that looks washed out, which is what happens when you shoot with too much light.
Side backlighting is a combination of the first two types of lighting. It’s the best of both worlds and the easiest to work with. Here, our light is placed between 10 and 11 o’clock.
With this lighting style, you get the surface shine provided by backlighting without the risk of overexposure. You also don’t have to reflect as much light onto the front of the food because the light is coming at more of an angle.
When using side backlighting, you’ll have to play around with the height of your light relative to your scene, depending on how you want the shadows to fall.
The closer your light source is to your set, the softer the fall-off will be.
Camera angle can have a powerful effect on your final image.
Before you pick up your camera, you need to think about what kind of food or dish you are shooting and which camera angle will help bring out its best features.
There are three main camera angles used when photographing food: overhead, 3/4 angle, or straight-on.
The 3/4 Angle
The 3/4 angle is when your camera is placed anywhere from 25 to 75 degrees in relation to your subject.
The 3/4 angle is a popular angle because it’s so versatile. You can usually show the front and surface of the dish, as well as the sides.
You see this angle a lot in commercial food photography.
The Overhead Angle
The overhead angle is the 90-degree angle. This has become a very popular angle lately due to Instagram.
This angle definitely has several positives. It’s good for fitting several elements into a scene, like in a tablescape. This also makes it a great storytelling angle. You can see a variety of props, ingredients, or dishes of food in the frame when you shoot from overhead. It is also often easier to compose your shot using this angle than a 3/4 angle or straight-on.
However, the overhead angle doesn’t work for every type of food shot. It eliminates depth, which gives a more graphic pop to an image but is not suitable for every type of food.
With the overhead angle, what you most emphasize is the shape of the food and various elements of the scene.
The Straight-On Angle
This straight-on camera angle is most suitable for “tall” foods, like burgers or stacks of brownies or pancakes. It emphasizes the height of a dish.
When you’re shooting burgers and sandwiches, the bun or the top piece of bread hides what is inside, so taking the shot from anywhere above the food doesn’t make sense.
Remember, the objective is always to focus on the best features of the food.
Compositional tools can help us make better photographs, however, not each tool will work for each image.
Before you begin to shoot, know the goal of your image. What is the mood? What is it that you want to convey? What is the purpose of your shot and how will it be used?
Good food photography evokes the viewer’s emotions. Composition is one of the main tools that help us do this.
Line is the most basic element in visual composition. Lines lead the eye through a photograph to key focal points and elements and keep the viewer’s eye focused on the image.
There are a couple of things to be aware of when working with lines. When using lines to direct the viewer’s eye, they should point to the main subject, or into the frame.
Lines should also never point outside of the frame, as the eyes will be forced to leave the image. This weakens the image and can cause the viewer to lose interest.
Rule of Odds
The rule-of-odds states that when photographing a group of objects, having an odd number of elements in the frame is much more visually interesting than having an even number of elements.
Odd numbers create a sense of balance and harmony and provide a resting point for our eyes, whereas even numbers of objects can divide our attention and compete with each other.
When there are more than five elements in an image, it becomes difficult for the mind to register the higher number. For this reason, it’s a good idea to compose many elements into groups of odd numbers whenever possible.
Rule of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds is intended to help you place the main elements and focal point within the composition.
Think of an imaginary grid that divides the image into nine equal parts, like a tic-tac-toe grid. The ratio is 1:1 per rectangle.
Rule of Thirds is a great place to start. It helps add harmony to your images and helps you take the first steps in composition as a new photographer. In fact, it can work for many images, particularly landscapes.
When it comes to food photography, however, this rule can be limiting. You can end up making images that are unbalanced and awkward.
The Phi Grid is a similar concept that is more powerful than the Rule of Thirds. Both grids look almost the same, but the centre lines of the Phi Grid are closer together.
The Phi Grid
The Phi Grid is an expression of the Golden Ratio. It helps you create a balanced and naturally pleasing image.
The Phi Grid follows the ratio of 1:1.618, a ratio that is a constant in nature and one we automatically gravitate toward.
It appears throughout the natural world, from a nautilus shell to the number of petals in a flower.
You can find the golden ratio everywhere in the world around us, though no one can explain exactly why it exists this way.
You can use this knowledge in your photography. Thinking about how the eye moves through an image and incorporating some expression of the golden ratio will help you create images that the brain will recognize as aesthetically attractive and harmonious.
Positive space is the space taken up by your main subject. Negative space is an area where your eyes can rest. It provides balance, a bit of breathing room, and emphasizes the subject.
Negative space can portray movement and give context to an image. It may also give the viewer the idea that there is a story beyond what the eye is seeing.
In food photography, there is a tendency to shoot with a lot of negative space due to text placement, particularly when it comes to magazine work, product packaging, or advertisements.
When an image doesn’t make use of negative space, it can feel a bit claustrophobic and cluttered. Also, when there is too much going on in an image, the viewer is unsure of where to look.
Repeating elements also add interest to an image. Repetition can occur spontaneously in the subject or can be created by added elements such as props and supporting ingredients.
Sometimes patterns can become monotonous, so breaking up a pattern can create a stronger photograph.
There are various ways to create a break in pattern, such as with a break in color, shape, size, or texture. Where you place this break is crucial; you want to place it in one of your focal points or along intersecting lines.
Color is an important part of a composition. It evokes emotions and creates a sense of mood within an image.
Cool and dark colors such as navy blue and black recede, while light or warm colors like yellow bring objects forward.
Backgrounds and surface colors that are too bright can detract from our subject; they should be chosen according to the mood you want to create, as well as in harmony with your chosen elements.
Color combinations can be monochromatic when they are tonal variations within a single hue. This approach has its place, but utilizing complementary colors is a great technique to apply to food photography.
Complementary colors appear directly opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green, or blue and orange.
The color scheme you choose to work with will, in part, be dictated by the food you are shooting.
Your colors should also be balanced in terms of not having too many colors in a frame, which will appear chaotic.
One of the best ways to add interest to your photographs is with texture. It adds contrast and detail and enhances food subjects.
Texture occurs naturally in food, but can also be used effectively in backgrounds and surfaces, and your props and linens, as long as it’s not overdone.
Lots of texture in the food, linens, and backgrounds composed together can look too busy and overwhelm the viewer.
Editing Your Images
Adobe’s Lightroom is an excellent post-processing program. It’s more intuitive and easier to learn than Photoshop.
I recommend using Lightroom to do your global adjustments and then to fine tune your image in Photoshop if need be. For example, if you need to work on specific areas of the image.
Let’s look at the most important tools:
It’s important to have a basic understanding of the histogram to make the proper adjustments to the exposure and tones in your image.
A histogram maps out the tonal range of an image. Brightness is graphed on a grayscale. Every pixel in the image is assigned to a value.
Black is on the left, while white is on the right. You can find the shades of grey in between.
The distribution of the tones in the histogram will tell you about the overall exposure of the image.
A big peak in any of these regions means that the image has a lot of pixels at that particular density. An open gap in the histogram means that there are no pixels at that density.
Check if you have a strong peak at the black or white end of the histogram. If you do, your image could be underexposed or overexposed.
Generally, most images look best if they contain both dark and light values. Otherwise, they may lack contrast and look flat.
It’s a good idea to crop and straighten your image before you start making global adjustments.
To straighten an image, start in the Transform panel and click on -> Auto.
If this doesn’t work, you can try one of the other settings, or do it manually under the Crop Tool.
To access the Crop Tool in Lightroom, click on the grid symbol under the Histogram in the top panel. Or hit R for the keyboard shortcut. This will allow you to crop your image by bringing in the corners with your cursor.
Note that when the lock is closed on the lock symbol, the tool will crop each side of the image evenly.
If you would like to freeform crop, simply click on it to unlock it.
White Balance in a very important aspect of post-processing your food pictures.
I recommend shooting with a grey card and adjusting your white balance in post-processing. This removes incorrect color casts and ensures that your whites are truly white.
A grey card is a piece of grey plastic you can buy at a camera supply store. It is exactly 18% grey, which is what your camera looks for when metering a scene.
Take a picture with your grey card in the scene. In Lightroom, take the White Balance eyedropper and click on the grey card. It will automatically read the proper white balance.
The Basic Panel
This panel is where you may end up doing a lot of tweaking before you settle on a final look.
Exposure affects the brightness of the range of tones in your image, however, playing with your shadows and highlights, and your whites and blacks will give you a more precise balancing of tones than simply relying on the Exposure slider.
Check if the bright areas look muddy, or the shadows still need more light. Move the sliders to points where the image looks good overall.
You will likely need to go back and readjust your exposure slider once you have made edits with the other sliders.
Vibrance & Saturation
Vibrance is also an important slider in editing food photography.
It’s a better editing tool than Saturation because it’s more subtle. It adjusts the less saturated colors without intensifying the already saturated ones.
Vibrance will first boost the saturation of the muted colors and then the other colors.
Whether you actually use the saturation slider depends on the image. In general, a conservative approach is what works best when editing food photography.
If you decide to use this slider the slider, nudge it up a tad, to about +5 or +6.
New users often find the Tone Curve challenging, but it’s one of the most powerful tools found in Lightroom.
The Tone Curve is a graph that maps out where the tones in your images lie. The bottom axis of the Tone Curve starts with Shadows at the far left side. It ends with Highlights on the far right end. The mid-tones fall in the middle, in a range from darker to lighter. They get darker as you move lower, and brighter as you move up the axis.
You can control the lightness and darkness of your tones. Adjust the Point Curve itself or the Region Curve.
The Region has sliders for each part of the tonal range. As you drag each slider, the curve, and the image both change.
To make adjustments with the Point Curve, click on the area you want to affect. This will create an anchor point at which to control the tone.
Dragging the point up lightens that tone; dragging it down darkens it.
Assess the mid-tones in your image to see if they are already bright. If not, click on the middle of the tone curve and bring the point up.
If they are too bright, bring the curve down. Check the other parts of your image.
If you’re just getting started with learning the Tone Curve, play around with the Region sliders first. Take note of how the various sliders affect the curve.
Whichever approach you choose, be sure to watch the histogram as you make changes. This way you’ll make sure that you are not losing important detail.
HSL stands for Hue, Saturation, and Luminance. This is where you balance the colors in Lightroom.
Color adjustments are usually more subjective than tonal adjustments. This is because color gives a photograph a sense of mood.
There are two ways to make color adjustments in this panel. You can adjust them all at once under HSL/All. Or each color individually under the Color tab at the top of the panel.
The Hue tab or section at the top of the panel is where you choose how warm or cool you want each color in your image to be.
For example, I find that greens almost always look off. I slide the greens slightly more towards the left or right to get them looking more realistic.
To add more warmth – meaning more yellow – to your greens, slide it to the left. For a cooler hue, sliding it to the right adds more blue.
The Saturation slider in the basic panel adjusts the color of the whole image. But the saturation sliders here adjust each color individually.
If you adjust a color to be more saturated, this will affect the saturation of that particular color throughout the whole photo.
Whether you’re working in the basic panel or the HSL panel, saturation requires a light hand.
Lastly, Luminance affects the brightness of the color. These sliders are more valuable than the saturation sliders, so work with these first.
Editing in Lightroom is all about balance. The same goes when working with Hue, Saturation, and Luminance adjustments.
Sharpening should be the last editing step. It adds contrast between pixels and edges, which creates definition and a more refined look.
However, you don’t need to apply sharpening to the whole image because, in food photography, there is not much point in sharpening the props and the background.
The focus is on the food, so that is what you sharpen.
To do this in Lightroom, mask out the image to select the areas of the image you want to sharpen. Hold down the Alt/Option key while clicking on Masking in the Sharpening panel.
Lightroom will show you where the sharpening is being applied in white. Your image will look like an x-ray.
Slide it to the right. The further right you go, the less the image will be sharpened.
You will find that you will be in the +70-80 range for sharpening for food photography.
There is a lot to learn when it comes to shooting food, but hopefully, this guide has given you an overview of what’s involved and some ideas about how you can improve your images.
The more information you have, the more empowered you can be in your creative decisions.
Above all, lots of practice is what is going to take you to the next level in your food photography.
via Digital Photography School http://bit.ly/29wB9CX
April 18, 2019 at 09:09AM
Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 III Unveiled for Full-Frame Mirrorless
The Chinese lens maker Zhongyi Optics (ZY Optics) has unveiled the new Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 III for Sony E, Nikon Z, and Canon RF full-frame mirrorless cameras.
Compared to the version II model of the lens, the version III model features a new optical design that provides both a smaller size and greater resistance to flares.
“Offering a natural 50mm perspective along with an ultra-fast f/0.95 maximum aperture, the Mitakon 50mm f/0.95 is a compact prime characterized by its bright f/0.95 aperture to suit working in low-light conditions,” ZY Optics states. “It also affords a great degree of control over depth-of-field for isolating subjects from the background and producing selective focus effects.”
Features and specs of the manual-focus lens include 10 elements in 7 groups, an 11-blade aperture, a stepless silent aperture, depth-of-field and distance scales, a minimum focusing distance of 1.6 feet (0.49m), and a durable metal body.
Here are some sample photos captured with the lens:
via PetaPixel https://petapixel.com
April 18, 2019 at 09:06AM
Here's why I'm not quite ready to let the Pixel 3 replace a dedicated camera
On the topic of "When will smartphones make most dedicated cameras obsolete?" I tend to be in the "We're pretty much there already" camp. In my own day-to-day photography, and even for some special occasions where I expect to take more than a few photos, I'll stick with my smartphone rather than bringing along a dedicated camera.
That wasn't the case on a recent trip to Palm Springs. I shot with both the Pixel 3 and a Micro Four Thirds camera (the Olympus Pen F, specifically). Here's where each of them shine, and why I'm glad I had a dedicated camera at my side.
My photographic priority in Palm Springs was the city's veritable smorgasbord of mid-century modern buildings. Banks, hotels, liquor stores – all housed in stunning modern buildings that are extremely Instagrammable. You know you've hit the architectural jackpot when you're excited to photograph the town BevMo!.
There are obvious benefits to any smartphone, including of course the Pixel 3. It's always with you, even by the pool, photos are automatically backed up to your image library, everything is immediately shareable. But the Pixel 3 presents a few unique advantages: it handles high-contrast scenes particularly well, and the multi-shot Night Sight mode captures a level of detail well beyond what we're used to seeing from smartphones, even in the daytime.
There are some disadvantages though, which figured into my decision to bring along the Olympus Pen F and 12mm lens. First, the Pixel's main camera wasn't quite wide enough for the kind of photography I wanted to do. Photographing mid-century modern buildings from the sidewalk along a busy road doesn't make it easy to just back up to get the whole thing in the shot.
Using panorama mode for a wider shot isn't a great option either – image quality is pretty poor. This year's smartphones are addressing this problem with wide-angle lenses, so if Google ever decides to add another rear camera, who knows what will be possible!
Editing Pixel 3 Raws isn't my favorite experience at the moment, either. Editing Pen F files is familiar and comfortable to me, while handling Pixel Raw files seems to be a quirky process in its current state. When I use Camera Raw I start with a very flat, overexposed image, and when I edit Raw photos in Snapseed I encounter a couple of bugs along the way (and don't love the small-screen edit experience). It's more than good enough for something I'll post on social media, but I wanted a little more control with my Palm Springs photos.
I also found myself taking advantage of a few Pen F features that were handy, if not necessarily must-haves. A viewfinder really came in handy under the bright mid-day sun. I also like a tilting LCD to compose shots from higher and lower angles. Also, the digital level was pretty huge for me, a person with (apparently) a crooked brain who is unable to keep horizons straight.
To be sure, there are some third-party workarounds that would have adapted the Pixel 3 to my purposes better. I could have brought a wide-angle attachment lens along and used a camera app with a level. There are trade-offs when using either of these options, though.
I also prefer the anonymity of the Pixel 3. One morning I walked from the center of town a mile and a half to the visitor's center, a futuristic-looking building that used to be a gas station and is one of the most recognizable structures in town.
I was quite conspicuous on this journey for several reasons. For starters, nobody walks a mile to get anywhere in 80°+ heat if they can help it. I'm also incredibly pale and probably a danger to motorists walking under a beaming sun on the side of the road. I also had a Real Camera in my hand, and on top of that, am a lady.
Being a lady alone in public doing something out of the ordinary is, in my experience, an invitation for commentary, usually of the harmless "What are ya doin' there with that big ol' camera little missy??" variety. Well-meaning I'm sure, but my male colleagues don't quite experience the same interruptions.
I wish I'd been shooting with the Pixel when I saw the Photo That Got Away. Traffic in the street was stopped at a red light, and I was walking parallel to a pickup truck towing a camper van with a majestic purple mountain on the side. Behind it was a backdrop of actual majestic mountains. It was perfect, except the driver was staring right at me staring at him.
Maybe I would have gotten away with it shooting with the phone. As it happened, it just felt too conspicuous, almost invasive, to pull the camera up to my eye and take a picture. The light turned green and I thought about that photo through the rest of the trip.
In any case, I made it to the visitor's center, which is a lovely building but I actually ended up taking my favorite picture around the back of it. Funny how that happens.
I liked the experience of carrying the Pen F at my side. It put me in a mindset of taking photos that's harder to get into when I'm using my phone. But I don't think we're far from a future where the Pixel 3 satisfies almost all of the photographic needs I had on a trip like that, and there are real benefits to shooting with the Pixel 3 that traditional cameras don't provide now. The Pixel automatically backed up all of the trip photos I took with it to my Photos library, where they were instantly shareable, searchable and photo-book-printable. The Pen F sure didn't do any of that.
When I can get 90% of the image quality from a smartphone that I would from a traditional camera, and the experience of using it as a photographic device – from capture through editing – is 90% as good, I'll be ready to leave the camera at home when I go on a trip like the one I just took. That day probably isn't far off at all.
via Dpreview http://bit.ly/i0r8o5
April 18, 2019 at 08:04AM
The follow-up for the Canon EOS 7D Mark II has been talked about for the last year or two, with varying degrees of information being passed onto the rumor sites. This has obviously lead to a lot of speculation about the future of the flagship APS-C shooter Canon.
We’re now being told that no EOS 7D Mark III is coming down the pipeline from Canon. Instead, we’re going to see a replacement for the EOS 80D that will move slightly upmarket to cover the prosumer and enthusiast APS-C shooters.
We’re told that there will be an EOS R camera body that will come to replace the EOS 7D Mark II. However, we weren’t told whether or not the replacement would still be APS-C or if we’ll see a full frame camera in its place.
We’ve heard an APS-C EOS R camera body prototype exists, but Canon themselves have said their future is in full frame cameras due to their higher margins and the desires of the marketplace.
Maybe we’ll see two separate “sports” EOS R cameras in the next year or two, one to get the EOS 7D Mark II users and another later on to entice the EOS-1D X Mark II (or Mark III) shooters. As with the switch from film to digital, I imagine EOS-1 professionals will be the last to fully embrace the EOS R system.
Take all of this with a grain of salt, as the information hasn’t come from known sources. It just happens to make a lot of sense to us.
More to come…
via Canon Rumors http://bit.ly/2CsmGDw
April 18, 2019 at 07:54AM
With the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS already announced, it was only a matter of time before an f/4 version of the lens hit the market. This patent shows that Canon is actively working on such a lens.
Unlike the RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, the f/4 version in this patent appears to show an internal zoom lens design.
Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L:
Additionally, there is also an optical formula for an EF 58mm f/1.4 with what may feature a dual AF motor focus system according to Canon News.
Canon EF 58mm f/1.4
via Canon Rumors http://bit.ly/2CsmGDw
April 18, 2019 at 07:40AM
The Canon RF lens lineup will obviously include more affordable non-L options, and this patent shows Canon is working on such optical formulas.
The back focus on the RF 28mm f/1.8 is really short, which is quite interesting.
Canon RF 28mm f/1.8
Canon RF 50mm f/1.8
We had previously reported on the possibility of an RF 50mm f/1.8 IS coming sometime in 2019. With the coming IBIS in Canon mirrorless cameras, we may not see IS in these types of lenses to reduce size and weight.
via Canon Rumors http://bit.ly/2CsmGDw
April 18, 2019 at 07:35AM
You can now download firmware v1.2.0 for the Canon EOS R.
via Canon Rumors http://bit.ly/2CsmGDw
April 18, 2019 at 07:35AM
Choosing a camera Part 3: the trade-offs of sensor size
We've already looked at the role played by pixel size and the benefits of a larger sensor. But, before you rush out to buy the camera with the biggest sensor you can, it's worth bearing in mind that you won't always see its full advantage.
The depth-of-field trade-off
As we've seen, if you can achieve the same exposure settings, a larger sensor will have a chance to absorb more light and hence give better image quality. But achieving the same exposure value usually requires you to use the same f-number.
With the same f-number, a larger format will also have shallower depth-of-field, which will sometimes be desirable but other times not. Depending on your tastes and shooting style, shallow depth-of-field (and the additional light that usually comes with it) can be a valuable creative tool. But only up to a point, and not in all circumstances.
In situations where you need more depth-of-field it's possible to stop down the lens on a large sensor camera, but doing so will reduce the amount of light available to your camera: at which point you'll see the advantage over a smaller-sensor system begin to diminish (while still having to deal with the larger format's size, weight and cost).
Bigger is usually better, but how much better do you need?
Also, the examples we've used were shot in relatively low light. In bright daylight, the image quality of many systems will readily exceed 'good enough:' even simple one-shot smartphones do a reasonable job in good light. And once you're reached 'good enough,' any further improvement may not be worthwhile, or even perceptible. So, while a larger sensor will give the potential to receive more light and capture every tone with greater fidelity, that difference won't always offer a visually appreciable benefit.
In the most simple terms, all systems involve trade-offs between size, price and image quality. The challenge is to understand the magnitude of these trade-offs, and choose the one that makes most sense for you and the types of photos you want to take.
via Dpreview http://bit.ly/i0r8o5
April 18, 2019 at 07:00AM