Sep 012014
 

“Want to see that ultra-rare Canon 1200mm f/5.6 L USM lens we told you about a couple of weeks ago in action? Well, you’re in luck, because the folks over at MPB Photographic have delivered on their promise to create some content with it by putting this monster through its paces in London.”

To view full article please click the link below:

PETAPIXEL

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Aug 302014
 

Nils Olof Soderback is a multi-talented musician originally from Sweden now living in southern Oregon. I had an opportunity to ask him to speak about his early years in Sweden and his music.

We are planning to make a documentary film together in the near future to explore these subjects in more detail.

Thank you Olof!

Aug 302014
 

“Consumers and professionals alike are obsessed with fingertip technology, camera and grip equipment is getting smaller and lighter, and smartphones can do just about anything except cook us dinner (in the literal sense, plenty of culinary apps out there!)”

“Last year we were taken by storm by what seemed to be the next fad after time-lapse photography – Hyperlapse. Now, social media snappers Instagram have released a sister app that stabilizes video from your very own smartphone to create hyper lapses.”

To view full article please click the link below:

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Aug 302014
 

Emmy-winner Yves Faroudja on his company’s prototype technology and why he sees high frame rates as “disturbing”

During the transition to HDTV, Yves Faroudja won three Emmys for processing technology that remains in use today. And now the award-winning engineer is using his experience to take aim at new formats including Ultra HD, or 4K, which is four times the resolution of HD.

“Bandwidth requirements for video are clogging the Internet, and we need to reduce the bit rate on the video system,” he told The Hollywood Reporter, noting that today it commonly involves use of a 4K-capable compression scheme known as HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding, or H.265). “But that doesn’t work. It doesn’t [keep up with] the increased popularity of video transmission, which is doubling every 2 to 3 years.”

To view full article please click the link below:

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Aug 292014
 

Read at at slrlouge.com:

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Widening Your Horizons

If you are a professional photographer, you know how the photography market has morphed over the last few years. We have more competition than ever from our fellow pro shooters. The relative ease of creating digital images has inundated stock photo agencies to the point that our images often get lost in a “sea of similars.”

To add insult to injury, we are now seeing a tidal wave of smart phone images and a perception that images should be free!

Over the last 21 years, the art of creating visually compelling (and highly marketable) panoramic images has brought me the unique appeal I always wanted as a professional photographer. 

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A Profitable and Fun Niche

I found that the panoramic format is fun, as well as challenging, in many ways. I love the cinematic feel of panoramas and enjoy the compositional opportunities the format has to offer. By concentrating my efforts, I have found a unique way to compete in a changing marketplace.

Creating Your Panoramas

First of all, you may want to investigate the technical aspects and gear requirements of the format. One of the most important technical aspects of creating panos is that your lens must rotate around the entrance pupil of the lens. Sometimes, this point is called the “Nodal Point.” This is essential to getting a good stitch. You can read a good explanation about it here.

When shooting images for a pano be sure your camera is set on manual exposure and focus. If these change during your exposure sequence, the resulting panorama will be useless. Also, be sure to use a remote to trigger your exposures as any vibrations can ruin the panorama.

I set my exposure based on the brightest portion of the panorama using “Expose to the Right” technique.

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Use Gear You Already Own 

Add a good a panoramic tripod head, either manual or automated and you are on your way. Here are a few panoramic gear suppliers;

360 Precision

Nodal Ninja 

Really Right Stuff 

Seitz Roundshot 

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Dedicated Panoramic Cameras?

With the exception of the Seitz Roundshot Digital cameras, all of the dedicated panoramic cameras use film… not that there’s anything wrong with that! Actually, the Fuji and Linhof panoramic cameras are fantastic. The problem is that we just don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to purchase film and find labs to process it. These cameras served me well for many years. That being said, I have rarely used my film cameras in the last few years. 

Most camera manufacturers have not produced digital panoramic cameras due largely to the lack of appropriate sensors. Development costs and what would be a miniscule scale of production are to blame. The Seitz cameras are the exception, as I mentioned. Their panoramic cameras are famous for their Swiss precision and durable design. I use their VR-Drive tripod head which automates the process of shooting images needed for the subsequent stitching process. The customer service at Seitz is first rate! Ask for Werner Seitz. Mr Seitz has been very helpful to me over the years.

Aspect Ratio?

Panoramics can be any aspect ratio greater than 2-1. However the best selling and most common aspect ratio used is 3-1. Unless there is a compelling compositional reason not to use the 3-1 aspect ratio, that is what I recommend. The 3-1 ratio being exactly double the width of the full frame 35mm standard format. As such, 3-1 works well for advertising and coffee table books where the images are often displayed across two pages. 

Specialized Software 

Though you can stitch panos in Photoshop CC, I use specialty software; 

PTGui 

Autopano Giga 

HDR Expose 3 

PTGui and Autopano Giga are stitching programs which allow a greater degree of stitching control and precision over Photoshop CC. These programs allow you to create panoramas, but also 360 degree virtual reality images. HDR Expose 3 will allow you to create extremely precise and realistic HDR images and HDR panoramic images. Although there are many HDR software programs, HDR Expose 3 now has a unique “Pano Prep Batch Processing” mode. This new mode allows the application of identical tone-mapping to the HDR panels for subsequent stitching. 

What to Shoot

You will need to consider the types of subject matter that are in demand if you are hoping to get your images licensed on the one hand, or sold as “Print On Demand” on the other. My experience is that compelling scenics will sell, however well composed city skyline images can do extremely well. Nicely executed composites are salable if you have a great concept, and if you have excellent compositing skills. 

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I have found that standard views of well known places may well become best sellers. The images must be well composed, clean and taken in attractive light. 

Marketing Your Panoramas

Working with a specialty panoramic stock agency can be very helpful. I am under contract with Panoramic Images (Doug Segal, President).

Other options for marketing your panoramic images are increasing and well worth investigating. Here are a few that come to mind;

Stocksy 

500px Prime 

I suggest you also set up a section of your website to show off your panoramas. My website is tightly focused on my panoramic work.

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Mastering the Panoramic Medium

The rules of composition for panoramas are no different from standard formats. I have found that one point perspective to be especially effective with panos. The Golden Mean or Golden Ratio is a powerful tool. For years, I used a Golden Mean grid over the ground glass of my V-Pan 617 MKIII panoramic view camera. 

Learning More

The varied technical aspects of panorama shooting are beyond the scope of this article, but stay tuned as I plan to follow up soon with more information on the subject! 

About the Guest Contributor

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Twenty one years ago, I began a voyage to photograph the American landscape with high-resolution panoramic cameras. I used several cameras for this project, including the Fuji G617, the V-Pan 617 Mark III and more recently, high resolution Canon digital cameras and an advanced panoramic device called the Seitz VR-Drive.

There have been many moving moments during this long journey. However, the people I met along the way, have been the greatest source of inspiration throughout my travels.

I wish you the best with your own dreams, photography and adventures of discovery.

Richard Sisk - www.richardsiskproductions.com

Aug 282014
 

“We often visit Flickr to see what’s new in HDR photography. As you know by now, we’re into natural HDR. So, when we do a search on “HDR Expose 3″ we’re often gratified to see the inspiring images created by users of our software. Here are three great examples of what’s on Flickr right now. Click on the image to be taken to the photographers Flickr page.”

To view full article please click the link below:

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Save with coupon code “HDR360pro”

Aug 282014
 

“You have a powerful idea for a photography project, but not all the funds you need to make it happen. Sound familiar? The great news is there are many foundations, non-profits and private companies alike, who are willing to fund worthy photographers based on talent and project goals. Some offer grants for photojournalists who expose social injustices; others focus on editorial photographers who tell long-form stories.”

To view full article please click the link below:

PETAPIXEL

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Aug 262014
 

Film and Music by Roy Two Thousand roy2k.com/
Additional footage by August Winkelman and Connor McNeill
Produced by Roy Two Thousand and Crystal Dawn Davis
Drums and Percussion by Anthony Mogli Maureal

Please click the image below to view this amazing video:

Aug 262014
 

When it comes to taking better photos you can never go wrong with a few choice words from Joe McNally.  In this short video Joe reminds us of the importance of giving our audience a sense of scale and demonstrates how the simple addition of a person can create a more compelling image.

To view full article please click the link below:

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Aug 252014
 

 Our friend Blake Rudis has created an excellent review of Topaz Labs Remask!

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Aug 212014
 

For most Stockholm residents, the city’s metro is just a transport system to get them to and from work.

But St Petersburg-born photographer Alexander Dragunov saw it differently when he moved to the Swedish capital, and started taking photos of it from angles commuters hadn’t seen before.

His photos soon became an internet sensation, and now the stylish metro attracts visitors as a tourist attraction.

This presentation looks best in 1080p

To view full article please click the link below:

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Aug 212014
 

Professional photographers and casual photo snappers will both likely find a new free book of interest in this collection of photography eBooks.

Compiled by Light Stalking, the digital books cover topics such as studio lighting, copyright, Adobe Lightroom versus Photoshop, and how to shoot in manual mode. Textbook of Digital Photography, pictured above, alone is a gem, with over 100 sample pages of instruction.

Most of the books are PDFs, and some require you to provide your email, but combined with Light Stalking’s previous collection of eBooks, it’s a lot of great information you can download and read at your leisure.

To view full article please click the link below:

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