Tag Archives: Digital photography

The Ring that Binds

Another for the ‘Little Ideas’ project, this time a large set of cast-iron keys, purchased by my daughter while in Spain.

 

 

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Photographing objects directly on a black background can be a real challenge, and will almost always require software adjustments and clean-up.

(29 November, 2014. Canon 5D Mk II (now evolved into the 5D Mk III) with the 24-105mm f4 L IS USM lens and a Vello battery grip. ISO 200, 3.2 sec. @ f16. One spotlight, 2 reflectors. Processed in Lightroom)

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New Adobe Lightroom 5 Presale

LightroomNow available at B&H, you can pre-order the boxed version of the newest edition of my favorite photograph management and editing program: Adobe Lightroom 5!

From the B&H Website:

What’s New in Lightroom 5?

Smart Previews
Easily work with images without bringing your entire library with you. Simply generate smaller stand-in files known as Smart Previews. Make adjustments or metadata additions to the Smart Previews and apply your changes to the full-size originals later
Advanced Healing Brush
Make your images spotless with a single brush stroke. Adjust the size of the brush and move it in precise paths. Unwanted objects and flaws–even those with irregular shapes–simply disappear
Upright
Straighten tilted images with a single click. The new Upright tool analyzes images, detecting skewed horizontal and vertical lines and even straightening shots where the horizon is hidden
Radial Gradient
Emphasize important parts of your image with greater flexibility and control. The Radial Gradient tool enables you to create off-center vignette effects or multiple vignetted areas within a single image
Video Slide Shows
Easily share your work in elegant video slide shows. Combine still images, video clips, and music in creative HD videos that can be viewed on almost any computer or device
Improved Photo Book Creation
Create beautiful photo books from your images. Lightroom includes a variety of easy-to-use book templates, and now you can edit them to create a customized look. Upload your book for printing with just a few clicks.
Continue reading »
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Book Review: Kubota’s ‘Lighting Notebook’

The full title is Kevin Kubota’s Lighting Notebook; 101 Lighting Styles and Setups for Digital Photographers. While I do little structured photography of people, I was interested in this book because my wife is involved with technical lighting, and because it is always good to have some background in all photography styles and subjects: you never know when you may need to deal with an unexpected situation.

Ever since discovering the great lighting effects done with light-weight ‘Strobist‘ style systems, and after reading through Joe McNally’s  The Moment it Clicks and The Hot Shoe Diaries, I have been fascinated by what can be achieved with ‘simple’ wireless off-camera flashes. I was curious how Kubota’s Lighting Notebook would hold up in comparison to similar books. Let’s have a closer look at this Wiley publication…

"Kevin Kubota's Lighting Notebook"The book is a pleasant-to-hold 7½”x9¼” paperback with 320 pages – just the right size to provide good visuals without overpowering your desktop (the wooden one, that is…). The first four chapters deal with the history,  language, skills and tools of lighting. Chapter 5 covers how to set up a lighting kit and chapter 6 gives an overview of post-processing. The rest of the book,  204 pages,  is devoted to 101 lighting setups for digital photographers.

Kevin Kubota is well known as a wedding photographer (he has been named one of the world’s top 10 wedding photographers by American Photo magazine and a Legend Behind the Lens by Nikon) and the notebook covers that field well, but also includes examples of boudoir, fashion, portrait and commercial photography. Each scenario, in and out of the studio, is clearly explained and includes graphic representations so that you can quickly envision the lighting layout, the light sources, the number of assistants and the expected equipment cost for the shoot. However, as he says in the Notebook introduction, “Most all of the setups also can be accomplished by the photographer alone or with one assistant.” Of course each scenario is well illustrated with Kubota’s excellent photographs, including information on the post-production processing he used for the final image.

Overall, I was impressed with this book. While not covering the extreme situations that Joe McNally takes on (and who of us could?), it offers enough diversity in scenarios to get your imagination humming. It is written in an easy going and sometimes humorous style, and all the scenarios are clear and easy to understand. There are a few limitations, but they are minor: for instance, Kubota uses Nikon cameras and Speedlites, and the book is co-produced by (among others) PocketWizard and Photoflex, so much of the equipment examples revolve around these products. However, no matter what system you use, this book will be a useful addition to your lighting library.

N.B. Disclosure: My copy of the book was provided free of charge by the Senior Publicist – Technology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. As a green blogger, I recommend that all books be obtained through your local library first prior to consideration for purchase. Please see my disclaimer in the sidebar.

 

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