So, from time to time, I receive requests to use my images for various purposes — like on a blog or a pamphlet or a calendar or the side of a zeppelin or for a urinal cake. Typically, if they are nice and they’re not going to be making a load of cash off where they’d like to use my image then I’ll let them use it as long as they give me credit. I’m especially generous with environmental interests and non-profits and ice cream manufacturers offering vouchers for all-you-can-eat tours.
But then there are the chumps (and chumpettes) who will be making a substantial amount of money off of the use of my image and I send them packing unless they pony up a fair amount of money. The latest version of this repetitive saga really got caught all up in my craw and so I felt the need to write a bit about it. Read more…
Even if you have a good command of using f-stop numbers and properly exposing photographs, you might not understand the math behind why f-stop numbers are what they are. Here’s a simple (albeit math-filled) explanation by Dylan Bennett of what f-stop is, including a simple trick you can use to memorize the f-stop scale.
Adam Dachis over at Lifehacker offers a simple method for correcting underexposed photo with any image editor that supports layers, inversion, and Overlay blending mode. Simply create a duplicate later, invert it, set the blending mode to Overlay, and then adjust the opacity to suit your taste. While it’s certainly not a pro photography trick — other techniques including adjusting the curves and levels may be better — it’s a quick and easy tip that may be good to know.
On January 1st of last year, photographer Michael Chrisman began shooting a solargraph by placing a pinhole camera in the Port Lands of Toronto and aiming it at the city’s skyline. Over the next 365, the rising and setting sun slowly exposed the photo paper inside. The total exposure time? 31,536,000 seconds. Instead of developing the image using traditional darkroom chemicals, he instead used a scanner to capture the extremely overexposed image — destroying the original image in the process — and ended up with the photo you see above. Those yellow lines you see in the sky shows the gradual shifting of the sun’s path over the course of 2011.
This might look like some kind of microscopic organism, but it’s actually a high-speed photograph of a nuclear explosion. It was captured less than 1 millisecond after the detonation using a rapatronic camera, which is capable of exposure times as brief as 10 nanoseconds (one nanosecond is one billionth of a second). The photograph was shot from roughly 7 miles away during the Tumbler-Snapper tests in Nevada (1952). The fireball is roughly 20 meters in diameter, and three times hotter than the surface of the sun.
Kaufmann’s Posographe is an intricate pocket-sized mechanical calculator invented back in the 1920s. Measuring 13x8cm and filled with tiny scribblings, the device allowed photographers to approximate the exposure values they needed by simply sliding around six small pointers. Read more…
In theory, you can still use the dubious right-hand rule. Just be careful to never blow out any pixels.
[...] Unless you’re sure you’re dealing with a low contrast subject, pushing your exposure to the high side makes it likely you’ll blow highlights. If you’re trying to improve your odds of getting a good exposure, pulling away from the right is a much smarter thing to do. If you know your subject is really high in contrast, pull far, far away from the right. Keep those highlights under control and let the shadows go where they may.
[...] Just, whatever you do, don’t expose to the right unless you’re absolutely positive there are no highlights to get blown. It was a questionable rule to begin with; these days I call it downright dangerous.
Want to challenge yourself by shooting manually without a light meter? Head on over to eBay and pick up a Johnson “Standard Exposure” Calculator for less than $10. Released in the late 1940s, it’s a simple rotary device that lets you calculate the proper exposure by choosing the current scene, weather, exposure time, and film speed. Find more about these exposure calculators over on photomemorabilia. You can also check out the Exposure-Mat for a printable card that helps calculate exposure too.
Future generations of photographers may one day look back and wonder why we often blinded each other with painfully bright flashes of light for the sake of proper exposure.
NYU researchers Dilip Krishnan and Rob Fergus are working on a dark flash that eliminates the “dazzle” effect of regular flashes in a low-light room. They’ve created this camera rig that combines common infrared photography techniques with an ultraviolet flash that produces a dim purple glow instead.
The team placed an infrared filter on the lens of the Fujifilm S5 Pro, which is has a modified CCD sensor that specializes in IR and UV photography. To supplement existing UV light, the team created a modified filter on an external flash to emit only UV and IR wavelengths. Read more…
It’s the end of an era. Photojournalist Steve McCurry has developed the last roll of Kodachrome film produced by Kodak.
National Geographic has been following the final journey of the last Kodachrome roll ever since Kodak’s announcement last year that it would retire Kodachrome. Kodak has been manufacturing Kodachrome since 1935.
McCurry developed 36 slides on Monday at Dwayne’s Photo Service in Parsons, Kansas, which is the last labs to process the film type. The final images were shot in New York City, but the last three frames were taken in Parsons.
If you’ve got undeveloped canisters of Kodachrome of your own, Dwayne’s will develop them only through December of this year.