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HDR: The School of Bracketology

Fri July 30, 2010

When shooting High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos, the photographer must bracket the pictures. “Bracket” is just a fancy technical term which means that you take the same shot with different exposures: typically, one exposure as measured by the camera’s meter (mid tones); a second underexposed to capture detail in the highlights (high tones); and a third overexposed to bring out the detail in the shadows (low tones). Since one picture rarely has the capability to retain detail in the high, mid and low tones, we bracket and then combine the three pictures into one in post processing to obtain a HDR picture.

Depending on the complexity of the lighting situation of your scene, you may choose to take even more than 3 photos, varying the amount of over and under exposure in each photo. You can use the Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) function or manually dial in a positive or negative exposure using the exposure compensation function of your camera. Some cameras allow only 3 AEB shots; others 5 or more, and you may be able to specify 1/3 EV, 2/3EV or 1EV (or even finer intervals) over/under exposure with each shot.

The question then becomes, How much do I need to bracket? How much over and how much under exposure? The quick answer is to make sure you’ve obtained all the tonal information present in the scene.

Brian Matiash answers this question in more detail in an excellent article on LensProToGoBlog.

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Applying HDR Judiciously In Real Estate Photography

Thu July 29, 2010

Using High Dynamic Range (HDR) technique can dramatically improve your real estate photography. But how much is just right? This excellent video gives examples of the good, the bad and the ugly of HDR photography:

Notice how turning on the lights in the indoors shots make such a great difference.

After you’ve seen these without and with HDR images, don’t you want to take all your pictures with HDR from now on? Just make sure you don’t overdo it.

Continue Reading »

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How Photographers Can Make An Impact In The World

Thu July 29, 2010

Alex Rodriguez finds out just where a $25 Kiva loan goes, how it’s spent and whether it really helps someone.

[Alex Rodriguez Photography]

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Kodak Digital 1

Thu July 29, 2010

Kodak Digital 1

Kodak Digital 1

It doesn’t matter what it was called; to us, it will from now on be known as Digital 1 — the first digital camera ever built. It happens to be by Steve Sasson who, on one fateful December 1975, after a year of piecing together a bunch of ‘new’ technology in a back lab at the Kodak Elmgrove Plant in Rochester, was ready to try the “rather odd-looking collection of digital circuits that we desperately tried to convince ourselves was a portable camera.

The lens came from a used parts bin from the Super 8 movie camera production line, the imaging sensor was a new type of CCD imaging array with an A/D converter implementation stolen from a digital voltmeter application, and several dozen digital and analog circuits were all wired together on approximately half a dozen circuit boards.

Kodak Digital 1 - Recording Media

Kodak Digital 1 - Recording Media

The recording media was a portable digital cassette recorder which took 23 seconds to record a crude 100 line black and white image. It took 16 nickel cadmium batteries to power the contraption. That, ladies and gents, was the humble beginnings of the first ‘portable’ digital camera.

Kodak Digital 1 - Playback

Kodak Digital 1 - Playback

To view the recorded image, a microcomputer was used to display the images on a B&W TV screen.

[DigiCamReview]

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Leonard Nimoy Photography

Thu July 29, 2010

Starting today, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is presenting an exhibition of Leonard Nimoy’s latest photographs in conjunction with R. Michelson Galleries.

Leonard Nimoy is probably most famous for playing the role of Mr. Spock in the Star Trek TV Series and movies. He is also an avid photographer, starting as a teenager developing films in the family bathroom / darkroom. He studied at UCLA under Robert Heineken in the early 1970’s and later received an “artist in residence” appointment at the American Academy in Rome.

Leonard Nimoy’s photography is included in many museum collections, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Judah L. Magnes Museum, The LA County Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum of NY, The New Orleans Museum of Fine Art and The Hammer Museum.

You can meet Leonard Nimoy in person at the opening reception of Leonard Nimoy: A Retrospective on July 29th from 6 to 8pm at the R.Michelson Galleries, Northampton MA. He will also be signing books purchased at the opening reception [only].

Leonard Nimoy: A Retrospective
Featuring work from Secret Selves, The Full Body Project, Shekhina, The Black and White Series, and Self Portraits
July 29 – October 31, 2010
R.Michelson Galleries, Northampton MA

Leonard Nimoy’s Secret Selves Exhibit at MASS MoCA
August 1– December 31, 2010
MASS MoCA, North Adams MA

[R. Michelson Galleries]

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Test: Pairing High-Quality Vintage Leica Lenses With Your Micro Four Thirds

Thu July 29, 2010

John Mahoney over at PopSci tests a old-new setup to see if pairing some of the best lenses in the world with a modern digital camera is worth the money, specifically pairing a Leica Elmar-M 24mm lens with an Olympus EP-2 using the Novoflex M-Mount adapter.

Read the article and conclusion at: PopSci.

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Grow Your Wedding Photography Thru Referrals

Wed July 28, 2010

Two interesting articles at Black Star Rising on growing your wedding photography using client and competitors’ referrals.

Should Wedding Photographers Pay for Client Referrals?” examines th ereal motivation behind a client who refers you to their friends — and therefore which type of incentive may be most beneficial.

Grow Your Wedding Photography Business with Referrals — from Your Competitors” shows you how to make makes your competitors become your best source of referrals.

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Aquatic Photography Part II

Tue July 27, 2010

If you have tried underwater photography and got so-so pictures, then don’t miss “Aquatic Photography, Part II: Basics of Shooting Underwater” at Mack Camera Blog. It covers underwater photography while scuba-diving (as opposed to snorkeling) and gives a few basic considerations and concepts to help you get started in aquatic photography once you’ve received your scuba certification.

Read the tutorial at: Mack Camera Blog.

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Understanding and Using Optical Slaves

Tue July 27, 2010

Head over to Strobist for Part I of “Understanding and Using Optical Slaves.”

Read the tutorial at: Strobist.

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