Aspects of Digital Photography

Understanding AF and MF: focusing aids tested | Ming Thein

Right after the question of ‘what X should I buy?’ comes ‘how do you manually focus your lenses?’ in popularity. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to dismiss everything under the sufficiency banner; contrary to the trends in image quality, we’ve gone the opposite direction away from sufficiency. There used to be a time when viewfinders were actually very good for acquiring focus manually; there was no choice because there was simply no other way to focus, either. That required a few things: firstly, a focusing screen with adequate coarseness (sometimes also referred to as ‘snap’); the same distance between flange and focusing screen and flange and imaging plane; adequate magnification, and fast lenses – to compensate for the coarseness of the focusing screen making it somewhat dark. Looking through the viewfinder of an F2 or a Hasselblad is a revelation compared to the drinking straws of modern finders. It seems we barely have the latter these days. So what can we do? ……

Source: blog.mingthein.com
 


Fuji X-T1 Graphite Silver

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A guide to perfect panoramas using nodal shift | Damien Lovegrove

By using the latest software like Lightroom 6 (cc) with built in RAW photo merge we can create stunning multi image panoramas. No matter how good the software is it needs great source images to work with. Here is my guide to making great panoramic photographs using Nodal shift. In days of old, roll film cameras with panoramic proportions 6×17 or even 5″x4″ cameras were used to create negatives large enough to make immensely detailed prints for display. Nowadays we can use carefully shot multiple exposures of a scene taken on a small easy to carry camera and stitch them together however there are problems to overcome. When you shoot multiframe or sweep panoramas with the camera panned on a standard tripod the side swipe of the lens introduces parallax errors at the image join points. The post production software tries to fudge these irregularities and often delivers panoramas that look great at a distance but suffer at the detail level where the individual frames join. It doesn’t have to be this way because with the rotation of the camera around the nodal point of the lens such distortions are completely eradicated leaving perfect joins. This even works for the panoramas created in camera with the panorama function……..

Source: www.prophotonut.com
 


Fujinon XF Lenses

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The abstraction of an idea | Ming Thein

In a previous post, I tackled the general concept of an abstract photograph. I think it can be refined down something of the following: an image which is balanced equally across the entire frame such at that no one area attracts your attention more than any other area; the eye wanders, takes in the details, and never really lingers. By this definition, there is no subject since no one area or element of the photograph stands out more than any other; however, you could probably also argue that the entire frame is really the subject. Semantics is a funny thing, though, and this isn’t quite the definition of the term: we must think in terms of essences and summaries instead. An ‘abstract’ of a paper or article is really the core idea distilled down to the simplest possible terms; the objective elevator pitch rather than the marketing tagline. Today’s article tackles the visual equivalent of that: how do we take an idea and translate that into something visual? …..

Source: blog.mingthein.com
 


Fujifilm X-T10

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14-bit vs 12-bit RAW – Can You Tell The Difference? | John Sherman

12-bit image files can store up to 68 billion different shades of color. 14-bit image files store up to 4 trillion shades. That’s an enormous difference, so shouldn’t we always choose 14-bit when shooting RAW? Here’s a landscape I snapped, then found out later I had shot it in 12-bit RAW. Better toss this one out, right? Depending on which class you took at the University of Google, the human eye is only capable of distinguishing between 2.5 and 16.8 million different shades of colors. If this is the case then wouldn’t 12-bit be plenty? Even 8-bit JPEGs can render 16.8 million colors. There are many upsides to shooting 12-bit instead of 14-bit. The files are smaller, hence your camera’s buffer doesn’t fill up as fast, allowing longer action sequences to be caught before buffering out. 12-bit files take up less space on your memory cards – great for if you are on vacation without the ability to download your images every night. You can save money because you don’t need to purchase as many gigs of storage. Likewise, 12-bit hogs less space on your drives at home and the same number of 12-bit files load faster than if they were 14-bit. Lastly some cameras, such as Nikon’s D7100 and D7200 achieve higher burst rates when shot in 12-bit than in 14-bit…..

Source: photographylife.com
 


Fujinon XF Lenses

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Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015) | The Art of Photography

Mary Ellen Mark grew up in Philadelphia in the 1940’s. She received a BFA in painting and art history from the University of Philadelphia in 1962. It was there that she met and became friends with Harold Feinstein who was teaching at the Annenberg School for Communication. After graduating, she worked briefly as a drafter for a city planning office. She quickly realized that she had no interest in drawing for a living. She had already embraced photography and decided to enroll in the masters’ program at Annenberg and she graduated in 1964. The following year, Mary Ellen received a Fulbright scholarship to photograph in Turkey. Early elements of her style began to emerge as she documented local people and began to embrace an intimate style of environmental type portraits that brought her subjects into a relationship with the viewer. Her travels included other countries and cultures as well and began to plant the seeds for future projects……..

 
Source: theartofphotography.tv


Leica M Monochrom

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Differences between eye and camera: practical implications | Ming Thein

Many photographs do not work. Subsequently, we find out they do not work because there is a difference between what you saw and what your audience sees in the image. Sometimes this comes down to lack of skill in translating an idea, but often it’s more subtle than that: the camera doesn’t see what we see, and we need to be both highly aware of that and how to compensate for it. Yesterday’s photoessay is a good example: it’s no big deal to make a monochrome image, but our eyes only perceive a lack of color under very exceptional circumstances. Yet it’s these differences that make some images stand out, and others not really ‘work’. There are a few important properties of the eye/brain combination to note: firstly, we have an incredibly wide dynamic range, but it isn’t linear. Highlights seldom clip to white or oversaturate, though blacks go black fairly quickly. Also, our vision switches to luminance-sensitive rods at lower brightness levels, meaning that the darker it gets, the more desaturated and flat things appear. A camera mostly maintains linear tonal response across the entire tonal range, and thus the final output will look different to both what we see and our idea of how a scene of that given brightness should look…….

Source: blog.mingthein.com
 


Fujinon XF Lenses

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Nature Photography and the Law | Simon Booth

How do we stand legally when it comes to photographing the flora and fauna that we find in the British countryside? Simon Booth gives us a whistle stop tour of nature photography and the law. For the most part, we needn’t concern ourselves with trespassing whilst out with our cameras enjoying what Britain has to offer, but just occasionally, nature photography and the law run very closely side by side. On these occasions, it’s important to know where you stand, quite literally, when photographing some of our most exciting species. The water vole, kingfisher, badger, otter and barn owl are all high on the nature photographer’s list of things to photograph, and are frequently splashed across the pages of magazines as a result. But how often do we actually consider that all these animals receive some degree of legal protection that as photographers, we should be mindful of? It’s easy to get bogged down in legislation and as part of my job as an ecologist and professional photographer, I know just how much of a minefield it can be. Fortunately though, we only need to learn the basics as photographers…….

Source: www.photographymonthly.com
 


Fujifilm X-T10

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My Philosophy | Luminous Landscape

This essay is the first in a series of essays focused on my work.  I thought it best to start the series with a description of my philosophy in regards to art and photography.  The following essays will focus on explaining specific aspects of my work, namely how I approach and use color, form, composition, light and so on.  Each of these essays will describe the aspects of art and landscape photography that are essential to my work and therefore particularly important to me. I like great gear but I am aware that improving gear means getting better gear, not creating better art. Quite simply better gear equals better resolution, sharpness, dynamic range, stability, functions and other technical qualities.  Better gear does not equal better art or more interesting photographs.  Better knowledge of art and photography equals better art and more interesting photographs…….

Source: luminous-landscape.com
 


Fujinon XF Lenses

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How to Make Your Photos More Interesting with a Human Element |
Andrew S. Gibson

I believe that when someone asks how to improve their composition, that what they’re really asking is how they can make their photos more interesting. The skill of composition is in arranging the elements of the scene in such a way that the resulting image is aesthetically pleasing, and interesting to look at. Composition involves using techniques such as including leading lines, isolating the subject, exploiting tonal contrast, deciding what to leave out of the frame, and so on. But none of this matters much if your subject matter is boring. The most effective way to create interesting images is to find an interesting subject. Composition becomes much easier when your subject is interesting. You are more likely to be enthusiastic about the photos, and put more effort into finding a good composition, if you are engaged with, or passionate about the subject. Luckily, there are lots of interesting things to take photos of. But for me the most interesting subject of all is people……..

Source: digital-photography-school.com
 


Fujinon XF Lenses

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Why Shoot Film? | Leicaphilia

Why shoot film? In a digital world of instant information and communication, there is something very appealing about a medium that requires one to slow down, focus and delay, (thus enhancing) gratification.  There is nothing like shooting a roll of film, then, whether processing yourself, or waiting to receive your results from a lab, viewing the results of what was so carefully crafted. Professional photographers know and love the image quality of film.  Many professional artists will tell you that there is a quality to film that isn’t easy to, or even impossible to replicate digitally. In a fast paced digital world, there is definitely a need for digital photography within the professional realm, but there will always remain a cherished place, and desire for film as well.  There is a growing embracement of film among creative youths, who are discovering its magic for the first time. With the increasing accessibility of high quality cameras and lenses at affordable prices, it’s easy for anyone to get started with film. This has opened up a thrilling resurgence of creativity and ingenuity within the world of photography…….

Source: leicaphilia.com
 


Leica M Monochrom

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