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Posts tagged ‘photography’

Google Camera App Blur Example Before And After

Google has a new standalone camera app.

Here are a couple photos I just took with a Samsung Galaxy S III (Intl) – i9300 running Cyanogenmod.

For some reason the app scaled down the “blured” version but here they are untouched straight out of the app for the sake of comparison.

The blur actually looks decent!

Photo with blur feature on:
Google Camera App Blur After IMG_20140417_101342

Photo with blur feature off:
Google Camera App Blur Before IMG_20140417_101354

Dream Cameras

Got a spare $30,000 burning a hole in your pocket? Take a look at the Rolls Royce of cameras, the Hasselblad H5D-50c:
Hasselblad H5D-50c

If you’re not in the mood for dreaming, here is a fantastic little camera in a completely different form factor and price category:
amazing camera - fuji x100s

How To Shoot A Panorama Portrait

Joe McNally discusses how he captured some dramatic panoramic portraits using a beauty dish and film.

Video Lecture About Portrait Photography

Here is a fantastic two hour long presentation by Gregory Heisler. The video is a companion to the “50 Portraits” Book and Gallery Show February, 2013.

Learn more about portraits.

Best Photo Editing Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is the best photography post processing software as of this writing. It will allow you do everything you need to manage, process, and edit your photographs. Lightroom saves you from ever having to dive into Photoshop. We highly recommend this piece of software and use it heavily.

Here are some screenshots:




Buy it on Amazon.

See Also: Free Adobe Tutorial videos.

15 Ways to Eliminate Camera Shake

Camera Shake, a leading cause of bad photos
Camera shake is like the gingivitis of photography. When you’re dealing with camera shake you’re dealing with images that are not in focus or are totally blurry. Most often with images that suffer from Camera Shake the image is just slightly out of focus.

Example of camera shake:

(photo by itchys)

Notice how the image is just barely out of focus but it’s far enough out to ruin the image. The horror!

Why does camera shake happen?
When you take a photo there is a moment when the shutter is open and light hits your camera’s sensor or film. If the shutter is open for a long time and you move your camera while it’s open you will most likely get a blurry photo. While the shutter is open and you are holding the camera tiny movements in your hands and arms will make your image slightly blurry. In photography the shutter is very very fast so a long time in this context could even be less than a second.

There are a whole host of ways to avoid camera shake. Here are a few:

Shutter Speed
One method would be to shoot at a faster shutter speed. In some cases to achieve these higher shutter speeds you will have to shoot higher ISOs

Shoot at Higher ISOs
Obviously the side effect of this is that you’ll get more noise and grain in your image but I’ll take a noisy image that’s in focus over a blurry image any day of the week.

Use a Better Lens
Another option would be to shoot with a faster lens. If you shoot with a better lens you can get away with more. So if all things are equal you can capture more light with a better lens. As such you’ll have less camera shake.

Get a Better Camera
A camera with a high quality imaging sensor can almost always shoot sharper images in lower light. Before anything else gets written here I should note that ‘getting a better camera’ should almost NEVER be a solution to a problem in photography. I just needed something to fill out this list! In all seriousness though a better camera will help in this situation so get yourself a better camera.

Use A Tripod!
The most obvious solution is to just use a damn tripod! As a general rule you almost always get sharper images when you use a tripod. The tripod is a stable platform for your camera and it does not move and it will eliminate camera shake. Don’t have a tripod? Go buy a tripod.

Hold The Camera Steadier
When you don’t have a tripod or can’t use one just take a moment and control your breathing and concentrate on being still. Take a deep breath or two. Compose yourself if you will.

Make a Tripod
You don’t have to carry around your bulky tripod. You can just make your own tripod out of string!

Hold the Barrel
Support your camera by holding the barrel of your lens and putting your elbow on something like your knee or something solid.

Bring Your Elbows In
Bring your elbows in and rest them on your stomach/chest. That way you’ll be making a tripod between your two hands and your eye pressed against the viewfinder.

Make it Art!
Just like most artefacts and technical screw ups in photography you can make it into an art form. People have taken this artifact of photography and produced some very interesting images. It’s like the rule of thirds, you should really learn it before you start to break it as a rule.

Examples of camera shake (or motion blur) being used creatively:

photo by unukorno

photo by ninette_luz

To learn how to use motion and the blur effect creatively take a look at our article: How To Show Motion in Photography By Panning

Put Your Camera on a Stable Surface
You can really get away with anything that is stable and doesn’t move. Just be careful because cameras have been known to fall of things you might have thought we’re stable.

Lean On Me. And I’ll be your friend
Just like Bill Withers suggests, just lean on something. If there is a post or a tree or something right at the position you want to shoot from then lean on it. This essentially removes a great deal of the movement that is occurring in your body all the time

Get closer
Geting closer to your subject means you won’t have to zoom as much. The less you have to use your zoom, the less your lens will shake.

Stop Drop and Shoot!
If you can lie on the ground. The all but eliminates the movement of your body and will result in sharper images.

A Simple Rule
As a really rough mental guideline ensure that your shutter speed is never slower than half the focal lenght of your zoom lens. So if you’re shooting with a 300mm lens you don’t really want your shutter speed to drop below 150/sec. This is an very very rough tool but it helps you keep camera shake in mind.

Now get out there and shoot some razor sharp images.

What Is The Best Way To Learn Photography?

Let’s set the record straight.
There is no best way to learn photography. There are plenty of ways to learn photography and there really is no perfect answer this question. Everyone has their own learning style, as such there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

Some people teach themselves, others benefit greatly from a formal education. Others choose to get best of both worlds by learning photography online and teaching themselves.

List of Ways To Learn Photography:

The list could go on and on. The main thing is that nobody can tell you what is best for you!

What you should really be asking:
If you want to learn photography, ask yourself what is the most fun you’ve had learning something? And then try to replicate that. When something is fun people tend to learn quickly. Also as yourself what format do you prefer when learning? Some people prefer the written word and others are more visual. Then choose your method(s) accordingly. A hybrid approach is really great. Just combine a few theoretical and practical approaches and you’ll be all set.

Essential To Learning Photography:
This really applies to anything you want to get good at but it really works with photography.

  • Have fun
  • Practice hard

Without the hard work of practice and the fun of learning you won’t get anywhere.

Photography is a Life-long Journey:
One of the most fascinating aspects of photography is that you really never stop learning. Not only does the art form evolve over time but you get older and you attain a different perspective. Your early photos will be embarrassingly bad but they may be more interesting in a different context. What’s more, the technology of photography changes regularly as well. There is always something new to learn! How great is that?!

Your first 10 000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

What are you waiting for? Get started learning photography now. The sooner you start the better! When you enroll in this course you can start learning right. There is no waiting!

328 Photography Themes: A List Of Themes To Photograph

photo by ClickFlashPhotos

This list of photography themes is super hand for those of you feeling like there is nothing to photograph. Photography themes are a great way to organize your photography. Often students say their town is boring or there is nothing to shoot. There is ALWAYS something to photograph!

Just take a look at this list of themes and items that are interesting to shoot. It should get you started.

If you’re wondering why using themes in photography is useful read this.

We will update this list as we come up with new ideas.

  1. Abandoned Buildings
  2. Abstracts
  3. Amphibian
  4. Anger
  5. Arches
  6. Architecture
  7. Autumn
  8. Back Alleys
  9. Bad Weather
  10. Bald Heads
  11. Balloons
  12. Bare Feet
  13. Bark
  14. Barns
  15. Bees
  16. Bicycle Parts
  17. Bikes
  18. Birds
  19. Black and White
  20. Blimps
  21. Blue
  22. Bolts
  23. Bones
  24. Books
  25. Bottles
  26. Bridge
  27. Bridges
  28. Broken Glass
  29. Bronze
  30. Brown
  31. Bump
  32. Butterflies
  33. Butterflies / Bees
  34. Campsites
  35. Car Details
  36. Catching People Unaware
  37. Cats
  38. Celebrations
  39. Choice
  40. Church Windows
  41. Churches
  42. Circles
  43. City Hall
  44. City Skylines
  45. City Street Scenes
  46. Close-up
  47. Clouds
  48. Cold
  49. Colours
  50. Columns
  51. Computers
  52. Contrasts
  53. Covered Bridges
  54. Critters
  55. Culture
  56. Curves
  57. Custom Cars
  58. Dancers
  59. Decorations
  60. Demonic
  61. Demonstrations
  62. Devilish
  63. Digital
  64. Disappearing Professions
  65. Disappearing Technologies
  66. Dishes
  67. Documentary
  68. Dogs
  69. Dominating
  70. Doom and gloom
  71. Door Knobs
  72. Doors
  73. Dots / Dashes / Diagonals
  74. Drawers
  75. Duplicates
  76. Easter
  77. Eggs
  78. Elation
  79. Embrace
  80. Emergency Situations
  81. Enthusiasm / eager
  82. Environmental Trash
  83. Events
  84. Eye Glasses
  85. Eyes
  86. Farm Animals
  87. Feathers
  88. Feet
  89. Feisty
  90. Feline
  91. Femininity
  92. Fences
  93. Fetes & Festivals
  94. Fetish
  95. Fire
  96. Fire Engines
  97. Fireworks / Fire
  98. Fish
  99. Flags
  100. Flower Petals
  101. Flowers
  102. Food
  103. Forks
  104. Forms in Nature
  105. Fountains
  106. Framed
  107. Freeways
  108. Frozen
  109. Fruit
  110. Games
  111. Gardens
  112. Gates
  113. Gears
  114. Geriatric (older folks)
  115. Glamour
  116. Glass
  117. Gold
  118. Graceful
  119. Graffiti
  120. Green
  121. H Hands
  122. Halloween
  123. Hallways
  124. Handles
  125. Hands
  126. Happiness
  127. Harbours
  128. Harvest
  129. Hats
  130. Hidden
  131. History
  132. Holiday
  133. Horizon
  134. Horses
  135. Hot Rod Cars
  136. Hunger
  137. Ice
  138. Inclines
  139. Indian Ruins
  140. Indigenous Things Or People
  141. Industrial
  142. Insects
  143. Inspiration
  144. Iridescent
  145. Iron
  146. Isolated Objects
  147. Jails
  148. Jets
  149. Jewelry
  150. Jobs
  151. Joints
  152. Journalistic
  153. Joy
  154. Jugs
  155. Junk Yards
  156. Keys
  157. Kids
  158. Kin or Families
  159. Kite
  160. Kites
  161. Knives
  162. Landscapes
  163. Lazy
  164. Learning
  165. Leaves
  166. Legs
  167. Letters
  168. Light
  169. Lightning
  170. Lights
  171. Locks
  172. Machine Parts
  173. Macro
  174. Marine life
  175. Masculinity
  176. Masks
  177. Mass flowers
  178. Mirrors
  179. Money
  180. Monuments
  181. Mood
  182. Movie Theater Marquees
  183. Muse
  184. Mushrooms
  185. Neon Signs
  186. Night
  187. Night lights
  188. Nighttime
  189. Nonsense
  190. Noodles
  191. Numbers
  192. Nut
  193. Nuts
  194. Objects
  195. Odd Couples
  196. Old Everything
  197. Olympic
  198. Opposites
  199. Opulent
  200. Orange
  201. Pairs
  202. Paper Abstracts
  203. Parallel Lines
  204. Patterns
  205. Peacocks
  206. Peeling Paint
  207. People
  208. People At Work
  209. People Walking Dogs
  210. Peppers
  211. Perspective
  212. Pets
  213. Pictures in Pictures
  214. Piles of Things
  215. Pink / Purple
  216. Polished
  217. Porches
  218. Quad
  219. Quarters
  220. Queens
  221. Railroad Cars
  222. Railroad Tracks
  223. Raindrops
  224. Rainbows
  225. Red
  226. Red Barns
  227. Reenactments
  228. Reflection
  229. Reflections in Glass
  230. Reflections in Water
  231. Religious
  232. Roadscapes
  233. Rocks
  234. Round Things
  235. Rows of Things
  236. Rust
  237. Rustic
  238. Sand dunes
  239. Sand Patterns
  240. Sea Shells
  241. Seascapes
  242. Seasons
  243. Self
  244. Shadows
  245. Shoes
  246. Signs
  247. Silhouettes
  248. Skulls
  249. Sky
  250. Sleeping Animals
  251. Sleeping People
  252. Small Furry Animals
  253. Smiles
  254. Smoke Stacks
  255. Snow
  256. Soft Curves
  257. Sorrow
  258. Spanish Moss
  259. Speed
  260. Spoons
  261. Sports
  262. Spring
  263. Squirrel
  264. Stacks
  265. Stairs
  266. Statues
  267. Steam Railroads
  268. Still life
  269. Strange Signs
  270. String Instruments
  271. Structures
  272. Summer
  273. Sunrise
  274. Sunset
  275. Superstitions
  276. Sweets
  277. Swings
  278. Tattoos
  279. Teddy Bear / toy
  280. Textures
  281. The Local School
  282. The spot (X marks it, you know)
  283. Toads
  284. Tombstones
  285. Tools
  286. Tools of the Trade
  287. Transport
  288. Tree Knots
  289. Trees
  290. Ugly Everything
  291. Umbrella
  292. Umbrellas
  293. Ungulates (hoofed animals, pigs, goats, deer horses)
  294. Uniforms
  295. Urban
  296. Utensils
  297. Vacation
  298. Valves
  299. Vegetables
  300. Vices or Habits
  302. Vignettes
  303. Vines
  304. Visitors
  305. Watches
  306. Water
  307. Waterfalls
  308. Weather
  309. Weathered Wood
  310. Wet
  311. Wheels
  312. White
  313. Wide Angle Everything
  314. Wildlife
  315. Windows
  316. Winter
  317. Woods
  318. Xenon
  319. Xenophobia
  320. Xylophones
  321. Yachts
  322. Yellow
  323. Yo-yos
  324. Zebras
  325. Zig Zags
  326. Zipper
  327. Zombies!
  328. Zoos

How’s that for a list of things to shoot?! Now get out there and take some great photographs!

This website is an online photography school where you can learn to take amazing photos. Learn more.

Black And White Photography

At Icon Photography School we teach our students techniques to greatly increase the quality of their black and white photographs.

Many photographers specialize in black and white photography due to its sheer power, elegance and beauty. However, it is important to note that black and white photography is not simply color photography with black and white film (or a black and white digital setting). Black and white photography has its own set of rules that it needs to abide by. Black and white photography, since it is colorless, needs to find other ways to set moods.

Tones are the most important element of black and white photography. As humans we don’t really think about the world in tonal ranges. For us when we see light blue and then we look else where and see yellow, we are in fact seeing two different colors. However, when you take a black and white photograph with light blue and yellow in the same frame, the camera may not actually communicate the difference to your viewers since the colors have almost the exact same grey tone.

We dedicate an entire lesson to black and white photography techniques in our online photography school.

Learn more.

The incredible photograph above was taken by Ansel Adams.

Learn Photography From the Masters

This page has moved to here:

Masters Of Photography: