Photography is all about light and there is no exception for model photography. Professional model photography puts a lot of emphasis on artificial lighting. There are a large variates of tools available to photographers to add, block, reflect, soften, and shape lights to create the perfect light for the model.

In a pair of nicely written tutorials by Maciej, readers are presented a case study of how to setup the lights to take the photo and how to perform the post processing in Adobe Photoshop to enhance the photo. You can read the tutorials at Tutorials9.

Many new digital SLR cameras now come with a feature called Auto ISO, which automatically adjusts the ISO sensitivity of the camera based on pre-programed algorithms and user preferences such as maximum allowed ISO and minimum shutter speed.

Is this feature useful?

The typical support argument for the Auto ISO feature goes like this: Camera lenses have the maximum aperture limitation. At a given ISO,  the required shutter speed to achieve proper exposure may be too slow to stop motion or avoid camera shake even when the aperture is at its maximum setting. In this case, the ISO setting of the camera needs to be raised until a usable shutter speed can be obtained. This previously human-involved process can be automated by the Auto ISO feature.

Still need to see some more convincing arguments or have some questions answered about the usefulness of the Auto ISO feature? Professional photographer Steve Simon shared his thoughts on the Auto ISO feature in Nikon DSLR camera in two discussion threads on Flickr:

Posted in Online Resources, Tips and Techniques on December 30th, 2009. No Comments.

Starblitz Flash, front

It is not the safety of the photographer but the safety of the camera at stake here. Some flashes use very high voltages in the trigger circuit that may be high enough to fry your camera’s circuit board. If you are temped to buy cheap flashes from garage sale or off eBay to expand your strobist arsenal, check this site first to make sure it is safe to use on your camera or other triggering devices’ hotshoe.

If the flash you are interested in is not listed, you can follow the instructions (scroll down until you see How to Check the Trigger Voltage) to measure it yourself. My Starblitz 200 DNX isn’t listed in there. The voltage on the sync terminal is ~11 volts. I put it on my Nikon D200 and it works just fine. According to Nikon D200 manual, the accessory shoe on the camera can support up to 250 volts.

Posted in Online Resources, Photography Lighting on December 24th, 2009. No Comments.

The camera on the iPhone doesn’t take great pictures but it doesn’t prevent people from loving it either. The reasons?

  • It is available at any time. I can leave my Nikon DSLR camera at home but I won’t leave home without my cell phone, which is currently the iPhone.
  • Photo taking is now spontaneous. Whenever anything catches my eyes, I pull out the iPhone and snap a picture.
  • It is easy to be creative. Part of the reason for that is the tens of photo-related apps you can find in the App Store.

For all the iPhone shutterbugs out there, here is a good blog I just discovered (I know, I have been living under a rock for quite some time): iPhoneography. This blog covers all kinds of stuff related to iPhone photography and videography. You will find news, showcases, new photo app introductions, app reviews, etc.

Social network presence

Posted in Online Resources, Photography blogs on December 12th, 2009. No Comments.

Canon EOS News November 2009 issue (You can read the online version here) hit my inbox today. The Canon Quick Tip section has a link to some great tips about how to photograph children.

The tips are offered by professional photographer Heather Lickliter based in Athens, GA. Her business, Stylized Portraiture, specialize in Maternity, Newborn, Baby, Infants, Children, Toddlers, Fairy Tale, Princess, Fairy, Boutique, Couture, Storybook, Studio, Seniors, Weddings, and Events Photography.

The three part series has only two of them published so-far.  In Photographing Children, Part 1: Working with Different Age Groups, Heather started with some general advices on composition. It is not about how to pose the children using instructions. It is about how to capture the most nature moments by selecting the proper shooting angle, by anticipation, and by selectively drawing or not drawing the attention of the children. Photography is not all about skills in camera handling. It has a lot to do with how to interact with people and how being patient, positive, and creative helps with the process.

After the general advices, she went into details on the setup techniques in working with children of different age groups. There are lots of great tips! The best way to get great photos of your children, she said at the end, is to “think like a child, whatever their age. Be close to the ground, watch the world around you, and be happy. If you’re having fun, then so are your kids, and the photos will show that!”

In Photographing Children, Part 2: The Canon You Carry, Heather first offered some tips on how to choose proper camera settings such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, followed by advices on choosing props and wardrobes. According to the article, she had spent $7,900 on Canon gears but you really don’t have to. Most of the tips can be applied to point-and-shoot compact cameras but for the best results a DSLR is highly recommended. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a Canon.

The third part, Lighting and Post Processing Techniques, has not yet been published.

Further reading

Posted in Online Resources, Tips and Techniques on November 19th, 2009. No Comments.

Fall Colors

There is just a hint of Autumn here but we can expect to see the colors of the Fall at full display soon. It is a great time for photographers, not just for landscape but also for outdoor portrait.

Posted in Digital photography, Online Resources on September 25th, 2009. No Comments.

It has been a while since the last Digital Photography Links was published. It has become quite difficult for me to keep up the work here due to a newborn. Hopefully things will slowly get better. Here are some interesting digital photography links:

Have a great weekend!

Posted in Digital photography, Online Resources on August 28th, 2009. No Comments.

Nikon’s Senior Product and Software Manager, Michael Rubin, has been touring US cities to show people how to use Nikon Capture NX and how to establish a RAW workflow using Nikon Transfer and Nikon ViewNX. Now one of the places he gave classes, B&H, puts a complete set of the class videos online. The total length of the video is approximately 2 hours. So make yourself comfortable and enjoy!

Posted in Digital photography, Online Resources on April 23rd, 2009. 3 Comments.
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