Want to get closer to animals when doing wildlife photography? If there’s access, your car can do the trick by serving as a photography blind. Scott Bourne of Photofocus writes,
For whatever reason, most wildlife (birds included) won’t spook or flush when they see a car. Open the car door, step out of the car, now that’s a totally different situation. But as long as you stay in the car, your chances of getting close enough to wildlife to get the shot are improved by 90%.
Image credit: CAR STUCK IN SAND – BULL ISLAND by infomatique
If you’re relatively new to Photoshop, you might not know that it’s possible to highlight and/or remove the various options in dropdown menus. All you need to do is play around with the Edit->Menus screen to make your commonly used options more visible and to reduce clutter by hiding options that you’ve never touched in your life.
(via Orms Connect)
If you’ve ever tried shooting in a dark location without using flash or a tripod, you probably know how difficult it can be to remove camera shake from your photos. Alex Jansen — a photography enthusiast who’s an officer in the US Army — has written up an awesome tutorial on how you can apply some of the tricks used by rifle shooters to shooting with a camera:
I am by no measures a “pro,” but I understand my fundamentals very well, and this specific set has been drilled into my head so many times that it is now second-nature. I am going to teach you how to “shoot” your camera like a high end rifle because at the end of the day, the fundamentals stay the same in every aspect.
The guide focuses on the US Army’s four fundamentals of marksmanship: steady position, aiming, breath control, and trigger control.
Making the Most of Long Exposure Handhelds [Pentax Forums]
Image credits: Photographs by Alex Jansen/Pentax Forums
So I’ve been shooting some shows for some of the choral groups on campus at my school, and I’ve started to notice a trend: people make some stupid faces when they are singing. They can range from an approaching sneeze to a full-on O-face.
Steve 21 has an interesting trick for finding good available light: he places a marble in his hand to simulate what the light would look like on a human face:
Just hold a fist in front of you (like holding a telescope), tuck the marble just under your forefinger, and there you have it – the same lighting an eye would get.
And since you know you want the catchlights to be up at 1 to 2 o’clock, or up high at 12 o’clock, simply turn about until you see the catchlights you want.
The neat thing is that the curves and wrinkles of your hand show you the amount of contrast and backlight.
Black marbles: the latest must-have item in any beginning photographer’s camera bag.
A Trick to Finding Good Available Light [photo.net]
Image credits: Photographs by Steve 21
Here’s a video in which interior photographer Roger Brooks walks through how he goes about lighting, photographing, and stitching residential interior photographs.
Here’s a helpful illustration that shows acceptable places to crop when shooting portraits. Cropping at green lines should be fine, while cropping at red lines might leave you with an awkward looking photograph.
Image credit: Don’t Chop at the red by J. Southard Photography
Here’s a quick and easy tip from Scott Kelby for portraiture: reduce the number of distracting elements in the shot by positioning yourself with the background in mind. Sure it’s a simple and obvious tip, but those are usually the kind that come in handy most often.
(via ISO 1200)
In response to the “widespread, continuing pattern of law enforcement officers ordering people to stop taking photographs or video in public places”, the American Civil Liberties Union has published a helpful article that clearly details what your rights are as a photographer in the United States.
Marc Levoy, the Stanford professor behind the “Frankencamera” project, teaches a course on digital photography called CS 178. The class website is a treasure trove for anyone looking for some great free education in photography:
An introduction to the scientific, artistic, and computing aspects of digital photography – how digital cameras work, how to take good pictures using them, and how to manipulate these pictures afterwards. Topics include lenses and optics, light and sensors, optical effects in nature, perspective and depth of field, sampling and noise, the camera as a computing platform, image processing and editing, history of photography, and computational photography. We’ll also survey the history of photography and look at the work of famous photographers.
Think you know all there is to know about digital photography? Try answering these 10 final exam review questions (answers can be found here). Leave a comment telling us how many you got right!
CS 178 – Digital Photography (via Reddit)