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Photography Videos Helpful videos on Photography Thu, 10 Apr 2008 15:58:52 +0000 en Portrait Photography - Tips and Techniques Mon, 07 Apr 2008 10:39:22 +0000 admin
Portrait Photography

When taking a portrait you need to find out from the subject what the portrait is for.  If the portrait is for a company website or brochure it will be more professional.  If the portrait is for a spouse it will be more personal or sexy.  For a profile portrait a good lighting choice is a soft box.  You would want it close to the subject for a softer touch so the light will wrap around them.  If you move the soft box further away, it will give a harder effect as the light will become smaller, if you are looking for something not so soft.  For a much harsher effect, don’t use a soft box at all. 

For a different effect on a front shot, a single honeycomb grid light in the background will create a circle of light around the subjects head.  A background stand allows the flash head to be used at a very low level.   The light should be positioned so that it is behind the model and hidden by their body.  If you don’t like the white light, you can use a lighting gel to create a colored circle behind the model. 

If you are looking to create a pure white background you want to use two lights in the background that are two stops brighter than the light in front of the subject.  You are looking to overexpose the background by at least 2 stops to get a pure white background.  You also need to make sure that the subject is at least 8 feet away from the background so that by the time the light bounces off the background and onto their back and hair it has lost enough power not to degrade the edges of the subject. 

High key effect is the absence of dark tone.  If the eyes and lips are darkened, for example, then you expose them directly to show them at their correct shade.  This will overexpose the face and get rid of any imperfections in the skin.  When taking a portrait the fill light needs to be set up where it will light the whole subject.  It should be right in front of the camera and directly above or below it.

How to Set up Lighting - Conference Room Fri, 04 Apr 2008 18:29:06 +0000 admin
In order to take photos of a meeting in a conference room the right lighting is important.  You need to be able to see the parties at the conferece as well as the whiteboard at the front of the room.  Outside of one of the conference room windows you should place one flash head as a main light.  On the inside of that same window you can use a CTO filter to soften the light.  Then you will need a fill light.  It is best to get this light above the subjects by fastening it to the ceiling.  With that light you want to use cinefoil to prevent reflection on the whiteboard.  A second fill light can be placed facing one wall so that the light bounces off the wall and illuminates the backs of the meeting attendees.  This should give you the proper lighting so that your pictures will come out crisp and clear.

Depth of Field Tips / Tutorial Fri, 04 Apr 2008 17:24:54 +0000 admin
Depth of field tells the viewer of the photograph what the photographer considers to be significant in the photo. A smaller aperture (F16, 22, or 32) will make the whole image sharp bringing the viewers eye from the foreground all the way through to the background. A wider aperture (F1.8 or 2.8) makes the foreground sharp while the background is blurry in order to highlight the foreground and keep the background from distracting from the subject of the photo.

For shooting photos of people or something that you want only the foreground highlighted, you should use a wider aperture lens so that the focus of the photo is where you want it. In order to highlight the model, a lens with a wider aperture is focused on the models eyes making everything else around them out of focus and placing them in a clear context.

For landscape photography you would want to use a smaller aperture lens so that the whole photo is sharp and it draws the eye from the foreground to the background taking it all in. No one part of the photo is clearer than any other so the viewer is not focused on any one specific thing and can clearly see the whole of the landscape.

Top 10 Digital Camera Buying Tips Thu, 03 Apr 2008 19:40:16 +0000 admin
There are four different types of digital cameras to choose from. Ultra compact and compact are light weight and small enough to carry around in your pocket or purse. Full size and Digital SLR cameras are larger and not as easy to carry around. The different types of cameras also have different levels of optical zoom. The Ultra compact usually has a 3 times optical zoom. The Compact usually has a 3, 4, 6, or 8 times optical zoom. The Full size usually has a 10, 12, 15 or 18 times optical zoom. The Digital SLR lets you change lenses so you can use different lenses for different situations. Optical zoom refers to the lens where as digital zoom just crops the image digitally.

The newer cameras have newer features. Image stabilization helps to prevent camera movement so you get sharper photos. Face recognition helps the camera find faces in the photo and focus on them instead of the background. Redeye repair software takes care of red eye in the camera when the picture is taken. Newer cameras also have more megapixels. Most cameras today start at 5-7 megapixels whereas older cameras only went up to 3 megapixels. Newer cameras also have newer prices. The Ultra Compact digital camera will run about $150-350. The Compact digital camera will run about $90-300. The Full Size digital camera will usually run about $250-450. The Digital SLR camera can run anywhere from $550 to $5,000 plus the cost of lenses.

The basic accessories you want to get with your camera are a case, extra memory cards and batteries. Hard shell cases or cases with at least one hard side will provide more protection for the new larger lcd viewing screens. Different cameras take different types of memory cards, so be sure you check to be sure what kind of card your camera takes. Ultra Compact cameras and the Digital SLR cameras usually use a manufacturer made battery pack. You will need to purchase extras of these if you want them from the camera retailer. The Compact and Full Size cameras usually take standard batteries. Rechargeable batteries can be reused and last 3-4 times longer in your camera than the disposable batteries do.

You can purchase your digital camera at a store or online. In a store you can see how the camera feels in your hand, how big it is, how easy the controls are and how long it takes to take a photo and how long is the wait time between photos. Also in a store you can go back and ask questions later if you need to. Online you can get some great deals, but make sure you are dealing with a reputable website, that they have the item in stock and that you will get it on time. Also compare the online cost with shipping to the in store cost to see if you are really getting a good deal. Whether you buy online or in a store, check out what the return policy is. Most places have a different return policy for digital cameras than for the rest of the items in that store or on that site. Some places charge a 15% restocking fee if the seal on the package is broken and the box has been opened. Also check to see how long you have to return it if need be. Some places have a 14, 30, 60, or 90 day return policy.

What is Aperture (F-Stop) and how does it work? Wed, 02 Apr 2008 19:52:03 +0000 admin
Aperture is how a lens controls the amount of light that comes through into the camera. F-Stop is a description of how much light is being allowed in. The smaller the F-Stop value the larger the opening (aperture). Aperture size is usually calibrated in f-numbers or f-stops. i.e. those little numbers engraved on the lens barrel like f22 (f/22),16 (f/16), f/11, f/8.0, f/5.6, f/4.0, f/2.8, f/2.0, f/1.8 etc.

Aperture is the diameter of the lens opening. The larger the diameter is the more light will reach the film or digital sensor.

As you close a lens each F-Stop cuts the amount of light allowed through in half. When a lot of light is coming through you will get less depth of focus. This is good for isolating a subject to make it stand out from the background. The background will be blurred.

To vary how much of the photo is in focus adjust your aperture (F-Stop)

How to clean your camera lens Wed, 02 Apr 2008 01:01:52 +0000 admin
How to clean the lens on your digital or video camera. Bobby Hester from Expert Village demonstrates how to clean the lens of your camera.

Clean lenses are necessary equipment for all photographers whether you are shooting with a digital camera or film. The best way to clean a lens is to not let it get dirty in the first place. When you are not using your lens make sure to keep a cap over both the front and the rear elements. You should always be careful not to put your fingers on the lens.

Purchase a cleaning kit from a camera shop.
Make sure there are no rough particles on the lens. If you rub a rough particle around while cleaning you could scratch your lens. Use a blower to remove any particles before cleaning. Once all particles are removed use a cleaning tissue to lightly wipe your lens. Use your lens cleaner to remove any greasy spots. Do not over clean your lens. If it is not dirty do not clean it. Every time you clean your lens you run the risk of scratching it.

Keep dust off your lens. When shooting into the sun, dust on your lens can cause flare ups.

Unless you have something especially greasy on your lens you can most often clean your lens without chemicals. Simply breathing hot air on the lens will fog it up enough for a good cleaning.

Only clean when you really need to and your lens will live a long life.

How a Camera Lens is Made Wed, 02 Apr 2008 00:39:44 +0000 admin
This video from the Discovery Channel shows how a camera lends is made. 

It all starts with a design. A diamond blade slices up a block of optical glass.  A drill cuts the glass into disks.  Optical glass is very expensive.  A device spins one of the disks while a wheel overhead sculpts it into a lens.  Each lens is checked for chips.  The underside of the lens is coated with pitch.  The pitch is melted on the lens.  Grinding makes the surface of the lends uniform and smooth.  The lens are polished and lubricated.  Polishing makes the lens smooth and transparent. 

Any residue is wiped away.  A technician optically centers the lens.  The lens is cleaned again.  It is very important to keep the lens clean and free from dust particles.  The F number and other technical details are carved into the side of the lens.  It takes 6 weeks to make one of these optical lens’.