Posts Tagged ‘stepbystep’

Wet Plate Collodion Photography from a First-Person Point of View

Here’s a video that may be very interesting to you if you’ve never tried your hand at creating a tintype with wet plate collodion photography. Oklahoma City-based photographer Mark Zimmerman recently strapped a GoPro Hero 3 to his head and went through the entire process of creating a wet-plate photo on aluminum, from flowing the collodion in the beginning, through exposing it using his large format camera, and ending with a finished tintype photo of a camera.
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Tutorial: Creating a Photo of Syrup Being Poured on a Pancake Lens


The vast majority of my photographic work is environmental portraiture, corporate and editorial photography, and interiors, some of my commercial photography does include product photos. Quite honestly, some of this stuff is pretty straightforward, take a nice representative image of the product on a clean white backdrop so it integrates onto a website (also white) seamlessly. Sometimes a client gives me a bit more artistic license, and sometimes I get to do a shoot that’s just for me.
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How to Photograph International Space Station Flyovers

Photographer Shane Murphy has written up an informative step-by-step tutorial on how you can photograph the International Space Station as it whizzes by overhead.

First things first, the most important thing to do is to plan well. Forward planning is vital to any night sky shot, along with a steady tripod and a warm coat. There are quite a few websites and twitter feeds that can help you with your planning. Even though it only takes about an hour and a half for the ISS to complete an orbit of the planet, you could be waiting quite some time under the night skies before the station appears above. The station only appears for a short time (about 1-2 weeks) and then re-appears again many weeks later. This is due to the orbit of the station above earth.

You can check out a collection of ISS photographs he has taken here.

Imaging the ISS (via Boing Boing)

Image credit: Photograph by Shane Murphy and used with permission

How to Photograph a $380,000 Car with $60,000 in Lighting Gear

How would you go about photographing a $380,000 Lamborghini Aventador? Here’s an interesting behind the scenes video in which photographer Blair Bunting presents a step-by-step walkthrough of how went about doing it. He uses $60,000 in lighting gear, but also demonstrates how you can achieve similar lighting by light painting with a single softbox. Another neat trick is using a small light and a model car to plan your lighting setup prior to working with the actual car. The finished photograph can be seen here.

(via Fstoppers via DPS)

How Civil War-Era Tintype Photographs Were Made

Ever wonder how photographs were made back in the days of the Civil War? This video by the George Eastman House provides an interesting step-by-step look at how tintype photographs are created. It’ll make you feel spoiled as a modern day photographer.

(via Photographs on the Brain)

A Step-by-Step Guide to Developing B&W Film with Coffee and Vitamin C

Here’s another helpful step-by-step guide teaching how to develop B&W film (in this case it’s Agfa APX 100) using powered coffee and vitamin C (AKA “caffenol“). You can also download a text version of the process here.

(via Hack a Day)

Three Light Setup of a Jazz Player Portrait

Here’s an easy to follow video in which commercial and advertising photographer Jay P. Morgan walks us through how he went about shooting a portrait of a jazz player with a three light setup.
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Post-processing of a Graduation Photo

A few weeks ago, I was taking photographs of my friend Tommy at his Berkeley graduation using a Canon 40D and the 24mm f/2.8. I had originally purchased the 24mm as part of a package and was planning on selling it off, but decided to keep it after being shocked by its quality and versatility. Anyhow, here’s an unprocessed photograph of my friends Tommy and Jacob I took right after the graduation:


It was a pretty cloudy day, which was definitely a plus in terms of lighting. I shot the photo wide open at f/2.8, which blurred the background enough to bring out the subjects, but not too much in order to keep the campanile recognizable. In terms of framing, I positioned myself so that

  1. The subjects obey the rule of thirds.
  2. The campanile is framed by the Hass School of Business gate.

Finally, in terms of timing, I waiting until the balloons floated to a visible position above the subjects, since the slight wind was blowing them around.

Now, opening the image in Adobe Camera Raw, I made the following post-processing decisions:

White Balance: Increased temperature from 4950 to 5450 (you can hold shift and press the right arrow key) to bring some warmth back into the scene, since it’s pretty cool. Left the tint unchanged at -2. Hover over the image to compare:


Exposure: Left unchanged, since the photo was exposed pretty well.

Recovery, Fill Light, and Blacks: Now, pressing ‘U’ and ‘O’ to turn on shadow and highlight clipping warning (respectively), we see the following:


Camera Raw (You can do these things in Lightroom and Aperture too, of course) overlays the image in certain places with blue and red pixels to indicate where shadows and highlights are clipped (where information is lost). The three values we use to try and recover as much of this lost information as we can are “recovery”, “fill light”, and “blacks”. Holding Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) while dragging recovery or blacks will temporarily replace the actual image with a black background, allowing you to see the clipped pixels more clearly.

First, we slide recovery over to 16. I notice that after 16, there isn’t much more detail being recovered no matter how much more I increase the value. Setting recovery to too high of a value results in a muddy looking photograph.

To recover shadow details, we add a little fill light by setting it to 10. This removes most of the black clipping pixels. We can then recover most of the rest by dropping the blacks value down a few points to 2.

What results is an image with more detail, but less contrast. Hover over it to compare:


Notice how the dark shadows became a little lighter, the sky became a little more blue, and the overall difference between dark and light areas became less pronounced.

Contrast, Clarity, Vibrance, Sharpness, and Vignetting: To get back the contrast we lost in the process of recovering detail, I move the contrast slider over to the right until it looks right. In this case, I set it at 80. The clarity value can make things like the campanile and edges of the building more defined. I slide it up to 25. Vibrance I increase by 15 to make things a little more colorful. Finally, I sharpen the photo a little and add some lens vignetting to make the subjects stand out more.

Here is the final photograph. Hover over it to compare it to the original, unprocessed version:


If you have questions, suggestions, or other remarks, please leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you.