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Teen arrested for refusing to delete a photo, on his film camera

A British Columbia teen was arrested after he snapped a photo of mall security guards arresting a man in a Burnaby B.C. mall in September. 16 year old Jakub Markiewicz took a photo believing the  scene to be a news worthy event on his film camera. Mall security then demanded that he delete the photo. Jakub explained that he could not because he was shooting with a film camera. After being asked not to take any more photos Jakub took a second photo of RCMP officers, he was then pushed to the ground by mall security, Jakub then started swearing. His backpack was cut off him and searched, the teen was later released without being charged.

Mall security over stepped their bounds, a mall, although private property is open to the public and security can not stop someone from taking photos, but they can ask you to leave. Bottom line is that you should know your rights as a photographer, and no one can ever order you to delete a photo.

Via CBC

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Understanding F-Stop

This is a great video that gives you a easy to understand overview of what F-Stop is, and the math behind it. The video was created by Dylan Bennett, if you liked this one you might also like his other video Understanding Depth of Field.

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Understanding Depth of Field

Understanding Depth of Field is important, this video by Dylan Bennett gives you a good overview of what it is, how it works and how to control it.

Example of Shallow Depth of Field. Photo by Stephen Heron

Example of Wide Depth of Field. Photo by John Bruckman

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The $100 Portrait Lighting Challenge

$100 flash challenge

The components of my $100 portrait lighting challenge assembled

In the recent past we covered basic three point lighting for portraits and basic five point lighting. That’s all well and good if you have a space big enough for a studio and can afford the equipment. But what do you do when you’re just starting out and can’t afford all that? Or you have to choose between portrait lighting and your kid’s braces? There are also many situations where you want to shoot fast and scoot along without the overhead of setting up big lights.

Today I thought it would be fun to put together an ultra-el cheapo, one light, hand-held system that will still take a decent portrait and try to keep the price tag below $100. Here’s what I came up with and today’s prices.

Yongnuo YN-467 Flash (I had one of these left over from another article) $76.65

A Neewer 33in Translucent Umbrella $7.07

Flash Shoe Holder Type B with Umbrella Holder $7.95

That all comes to $91.67. I picked the components for value, price and versatility. The umbrella you can use as a shoot-through or shoot turn the flash around and shoot into it. It yields a nice soft light that works surprisingly well for portraits.

No flash sync cable or wireless controllers this time, neither one was in the budget. To make it work off-camera, I’m going to set the flash power manually and use my camera’s built-in flash to trigger the external flash in slave mode. But to keep the built-in flash from taking over, I’m going to shoot in Program mode, manual flash operation, and crank the flash exposure compensation down to -2 ⅔.

Now the built-in flash is way underexposed but still bright enough to fire the slave trigger so most of the usable light is coming from the external flash, but there’s still enough from the built-in flash to fill in some of the shadows without being too harsh.

model photo jone

Proof is in the pudding. For $100 in lighting gear I think that looks really good.

The flash bracket is the type that can be mounted on a flash stand, which you can pick up for around $20.

Since I already have a flash stand I’m going to use it even though that, technically, puts me over budget. I could just as easily hand-hold it or get someone to hold it for me, so I’m claiming the $100 price point victory anyway!

Okay, fellow cheapskates, show me what you got.  Let’s see how many of you can beat my $100 rig on price and quality.

model shot three

I think these came out excellent and I didn't have to advertise myself as a "natural light photographer"

model shot two

I used AfterShot Pro for a little touch up, but I would not be embarrassed to charge money for these shots.

 

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Pixels, Bytes, and DPI – Oh My!

When it comes to sensors, size matters, but maybe not as much as people think - by Infomatique via Flickr

Understanding the difference between megapixels, megabytes and DPI is one of those subjects that makes people glaze over sometimes because it’s technical. But, if you’re angling to make money from photography or do it for a living, it’s important to understand what the terms mean and the difference it makes in your photos. So, while I realize a pictorial of hot models in skimpy clothing is how you’d rather be spending your time, I’m going to try to make this discussion as fun and interesting as humanly possible.

Megapixels

Probably the most ridiculously overused comparison in digital cameras today, and the camera manufacturers go along with it because it’s not worth the effort trying to explain why it’s not always a fair comparison. Comparing cameras by their megapixel rating is like my wife picking a new car because she likes the color. The number of megapixels has very little to do with the quality of the final image. Color, tone and sharpness will have far more sway over the quality of the final image, which is one of the reasons the highest rated cameras are all over the road when it comes to the megapixel rating of the sensor.

The difference in megapixels does effect the resolution of the final image, but even that is a geometric comparison and not a linear scale. The number of pixels increases by the square of the resolution. If you double the resolution of an image, you quadruple the number of pixels.

If you’re comparing a 5 megapixel camera, like your cell phone, with the 10 megapixel Sony TX300v, you now know that does not mean the 10 megapixel camera is twice as good. In fact, the difference in resolution is just 1.4 x in either dimension. Not so great now, is it?

sensor size chart

You have to nearly double the sensor size to see any significant increase in resolution - via Wikipedia

So when considering the difference between a 16 megapixel camera and a 19 megapixel camera, the difference is nearly insignificant. Other factors in camera and lens quality can erase such a small difference.

Where megapixels do matter is the image size, the more megapixels, the bigger the final image. That says nothing about the quality. A large blurry image through a bad lens is still a bad picture no matter how large it is.

If you’re just looking at your own pictures on a display device, it’s not an issue. If you’re hoping to sell stock photography, it becomes more important because many stock photo companies set minimum image sizes.

True resolution

Snapsort uses true resolution which is based on the physical size of a cameras sensor and not the manufactures advertised high megapixels, which can be misleading.

Megabytes

A megabyte is a measure of digital storage, the same as it’s applied to any digital storage. How large an image is is loosely related to the final image size, but every image file is a little different based on a large number of factors including the compression type (JPEG vs RAW).

NASA photo

In 1999 NASA had to take a composite image to get this 2,796 x 2,796 pixel image of Io. Roughly 8-megapixels, or about the same resolution as an iPhone 4s today - by NASA

DPI

Dots per inch is only relevant to a discussion of a printer or other display device. Outside of printers, you can pretty much forget about DPI. In the old days if you changed the picture DPI, your editing software would automatically resize the print output. These days if you tell Photoshop you want a 5×7 and change the DPI, you’ll still get a 5×7 print.

In photography it’s all about the resolution and resolution is measured in megapixels, but that isn’t necessarily significant unless the difference is very large.  There would be a noticeable difference between an 8-megapixel camera and a 12-megapixel camera, the difference between 12 and 16-megapixels would not be as significant, if it were even noticeable.

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