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Archive for July, 2017

Jul
31

Video: See exactly how a mechanical DSLR shutter works

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Have you ever wondered what exactly happens when you press your DSLR's shutter button? Many of us know the theory, we may have even seen (or made) diagrams and GIFs showing how the standard mechanical shutter works. But for this video, YouTuber Chris Marquardt actually yanked the shutter out of a Nikon D500 to show you the mechanism IRL.

The demonstration is pretty simple, showing you how the two spring-loaded curtains move across the frame, and revealing the electromagnets that keep them in place when the curtains are cocked.

"The first and second curtain are both cocked against spring tension and held back by electro magnets," explains Marquardt. "When it's time to fire the shutter, the electronics release the first curtain, then after the exposure time is up, the second curtain." It's definitely an interesting demo if you enjoy these kind of tear downs, although you might want to turn the volume down... or off. As our own Richard Butler put it, the music "makes me want to rip my sound card out of my computer and destroy it." Okay then...

Once you've watched the video (sound card intact, we hope), click the button below to read our more comprehensive dive into all things shutter related.

Electronic shutter, rolling shutter and flash: what you need to know.

Jul
31

How to Make Your Photos Stand Out Using Color Contrast

Filed Under Digital Photography School, Photography Tips and Tutorials

A great way to make your photograph look attractive is to make it pop! One of the best ways of making your photo pop is to use eye catching colors your image. Those colors will have even more impact when paired with a contrasting color, so in this article, we’ll look at how you can apply this idea. There is a simplicity to these kind of photos, and learning which colors pair well together will help a lot. Let’s take a look at contrast, and color contrast photography to see why this works.

How to Make Your Photos Stand Out Using Color Contrast

How to Make Your Photos Stand Out Using Color Contrast

Red and blue, one of the strongest color contrasts, was used in this still life.

Why does contrast work in photography?

Opposites work well together in an artistic sense, concepts like old versus new are good photographic subject matter. One of the simplest forms of contrast is black and white, which is why photographs that were taken in this style look so effective. The best black and white photos often have strong contrast which makes them stand out.

The aim of many photos is to isolate your subject, and by doing so, tell a story. The use of contrast is one way you can isolate a subject from the background, or bring out a strong repeating pattern in a texture photo. It’s also possible to have color contrast as well, but only certain color combinations work well together.

How to Make Your Photos Stand Out Using Color Contrast

The warm glow of street lights against the blue hour sky is a color contrast.

What is color contrast photography?

Getting color contrast is a bit more complex than it is with black and white photography. Color can be broadly split into two groups, cold colors, and warm colors. Color contrast happens when a cold color is paired with a warm color. You can also use complementary colors – that is when warm colors and cold colors (opposite on the color wheel) are in the same photo.

An easy way to visualize this is by looking at a color wheel, which shows colors that are opposite each other. It’s not uncommon to see color contrast occurring naturally in nature with things like fruits and flowers often displaying this concept. The classic color contrasts are yellow/purple, red/green and orange/blue. Using the color wheel can you come up with some yourself and apply them to your images?

How to Make Your Photos Stand Out Using Color Contrast

Using this wheel you can see which colors are opposite each other. Image credit Todd Weed. Creative commons.

How to take photos that have color contrast

The world is full of color, but it’s often a mess of many different colors. So how do you go about taking photos that have color contrast, if there are so many other colors in the frame? The following are ideas you can use to do color contrast photography.

How to Make Your Photos Stand Out Using Color Contrast

Finding a good location

Look for places with a solid color, walls often provide this. A red brick wall can contrast against green or blue colors. In some neighborhoods you might find a wall that has been painted blue or wood paneling that is a particular color. Artistic areas of town are often good hunting grounds. Once you have a strong color background you will need to find something or someone that has the contrasting color.

How to Make Your Photos Stand Out Using Color Contrast

The vendor knew to lay out their wares using color contrast to attract more customers.

Create your own color contrast

Color contrast photography is creative, so how about creating your own contrasts? This could mean asking a model to wear a particular color of clothes, or you can create still life photos that display color contrast. A quick trip to a local crafts store to buy colored paper will allow you to play with contrast.

How to Make Your Photos Stand Out Using Color Contrast

In this photo, the opposing colors of purple and green have been used.

Finding color contrast in nature

Flowers, especially orchids, have natural color contrast, meaning you don’t need to create it yourself! Another subject with strong colors are fruits, so head to the market and see if you can find contrasting colors with the food on display!

How to Make Your Photos Stand Out Using Color Contrast

The strong color contrast of red and blue gives this street scene more impact. Even the stalls are red and blue.

Let’s see your examples of color contrast photography

The world is much better in color, so let’s see examples of your photos! The chances are you already have some photos of this type in your archive. So which color combinations worked best for you? When you next challenge yourself to try something new with your photography how about using color contrast as a central theme? Go out and get some new photos, post them here, and share your experiences! This is a fun form of photography that anyone can try no matter what camera you’re using, so let’s see some color contrast photography!

When you next challenge yourself to try something new with your photography how about using color contrast as a central theme? Go out and get some new photos, post them here, and share your experience in the comments section. This is a fun form of photography that anyone can try no matter what camera you’re using, so let’s see some color contrast photography!

How to Make Your Photos Stand Out Using Color Contrast

The yellow wall makes the women who are wearing blue stand out more.

How to Make Your Photos Stand Out Using Color Contrast

In this photo, the color contrast was created. I used a pixelstick to paint first in red, then in blue.

The post How to Make Your Photos Stand Out Using Color Contrast by Simon Bond appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Jul
31

Nikon and Canon both announce delays for upcoming DSLRs

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Both Nikon and Canon have warned users that forthcoming DSLRs will be hit by delays: The 100th anniversary edition of the Nikon D5 and the Canon 6D Mark II kit with the EF 24-70mm F4L lens are both going to arrive at your door later than expected.

According to a statement on Nikon’s website, the 100th anniversary edition of Nikon’s D5 has been put back by a couple of weeks from July 28th to ‘early August’ while final adjustments are made. The company promises to inform users of the new release date once it is determined.

More seriously perhaps, Canon has issued a statement letting hopeful shoppers know that demand for the EOS 6D Mark ll kit with the Canon EF 24-70mm F4L IS USM lens has exceeded expectations, and that orders will take some time to fulfill. The kits were supposed to ship on August 4th, but Canon has not revealed when it will be able to satisfy the initial demand.

The EOS 6D ll is also offered body only and as a kit with the 24-105mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, so those desperate to buy the camera do have other options.

Jul
31

Japan Camera Hunter StreetPan 120 Black & White film is now available for preorder

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Bellamy Hunt of Japan Camera Hunter has just launched the JCH StreetPan 120 Black & White film for preorder through the company's online shop. Hunt first released a 35mm version of the StreetPan film in 2016, and he has now launched this 120 version in response to popular demand.

According to Hunt, "It is the same old StreetPan you know and love, just in a larger size" for medium-format photographers.

Hunt goes on to explain that, while the film is available for preorder now, it is still in production; if everything goes as planned, the film will launch in mid-to-late August with shipping starting in early September. The film is offered in various quantities starting at a 3-pack for ¥3900 / $35 USD and ranging up to a 10-pack for ¥13,000 / $118 USD. Shipping is available globally.

As with the original StreetPan film, the 120 version offers a very fine grain alongside 'excellent penetration' through atmospheric conditions like fog and haze. Japan Camera Hunter explains that this high-speed film is sensitive to red light and has "near IR sensitivity." Full details on its properties, including development times, are available here.

Jul
31

Sample gallery: Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

The Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD is an ultra wide angle lens for crop sensor DSLRs. It offers a 15-36mm equivalent field of view on Nikon DX and a 16-38.4mm equivalent field of view on Canon's APS-C format DSLRs.

We've been out and about with the 10-24mm recently in and around Seattle, shooting on the Canon EOS 80D.

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Jul
31

This is the first photo of a total solar eclipse ever taken, shot in 1851

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

The first successfully captured photograph of a total solar eclipse, this daguerreotype was shot on July 28, 1851, by Prussian photographer Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski.

Here's a little history lesson to help you pass the time between now and the next total solar eclipse on August 21st. The photograph above, a daguerreotype captured almost exactly 166 years ago, is the first successfully-captured photograph of a total solar eclipse.

The photo was captured by master daguerreotypist Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski, a Prussian photographer who was commissioned by the Royal Prussian Observatory at Königsberg to do what nobody else had managed up until that point: capture an appropriately-exposed photograph of a total solar eclipse.

Up until that point, every photograph taken had been over or under-exposed, and/or didn't capture sufficient contrast between the bright corona and the obscuring disk of the moon.

According to a paper in the journal Acta Historica Astronomiae, the photograph was captured using a small refracting telescope attached to the hour drive of the 15.8-cm Fraunhofer heliometer. Berkowski began exposing the image shortly after totality, and the final daguerreotype took 84-seconds to capture.

To learn more about this photograph, click here. And if you want to learn how to capture the August 21st eclipse for yourself (and why you should maybe put the camera down for this one...) check out our own eclipse how-to.

How to photograph the August eclipse, and why you probably shouldn't try.

Jul
31

Behind the scenes: Shooting a $2.5 million car with a $50,000 camera

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Photographer Richard Thompson recently had the chance to shoot one of the most advanced (and expensive) cars in the world with one of the most advanced (and expensive) camera systems in the world. Fortunately for those of us who enjoy salivating over both camera gear and gorgeous cars, there's a behind the scenes video for us to enjoy.

The car in question is the Pagani Huayra BC, and the camera a Phase One XF 100MP medium format—an appropriately advanced camera system to capture such an advanced piece of automotive machinery.

The behind the scenes video was created by Phase One, which (of course) means that it feels a bit ad-like at several points. But Thompson throws in plenty of information about the photo shoot, why he captured the car the way he did, and showing off some of final images to make you salivate freely on your keyboard.

Check out the full BTS video above, and then click here to see the final composites on Thompson's website.

Jul
31

Behind the scenes: Shooting a $2.5 million car with a $50,000 camera

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Photographer Richard Thompson recently had the chance to shoot one of the most advanced (and expensive) cars in the world with one of the most advanced (and expensive) camera systems in the world. Fortunately for those of us who enjoy salivating over both camera gear and gorgeous cars, there's a behind the scenes video for us to enjoy.

The car in question is the Pagani Huayra BC, and the camera a Phase One XF 100MP medium format—an appropriately advanced camera system to capture such an advanced piece of automotive machinery.

The behind the scenes video was created by Phase One, which (of course) means that it feels a bit ad-like at several points. But Thompson throws in plenty of information about the photo shoot, why he captured the car the way he did, and showing off some of final images to make you salivate freely on your keyboard.

Check out the full BTS video above, and then click here to see the final composites on Thompson's website.

Jul
31

Former Google SVP prefers iPhone over Android for mobile photography

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Vic Gundotra was an SVP of engineering at Google for almost eight years before leaving the company in 2014, and heavily involved in running Google's mobile initiatives. However, despite being one of the main drivers behind Android from 2007 to 2010, Gundotra appears to prefer Apple's iPhones over Android devices, at least for photography.

In a Facebook post, Gundotra called the results of the background-blurring iPhone 7 Plus portrait mode "stunning" and "the end of the DSLR for most people". When replying to comments on the post he went on the say that, in terms of imaging, Android phones were years behind the iPhone:

Here is the problem: It's Android. Android is an open source (mostly) operating system that has to be neutral to all parties. This sounds good until you get into the details. Ever wonder why a Samsung phone has a confused and bewildering array of photo options? Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera? Samsung gallery or Google Photos?

It's because when Samsung innovates with the underlying hardware (like a better camera) they have to convince Google to allow that innovation to be surfaced to other applications via the appropriate API. That can take YEARS.

Also the greatest innovation isn't even happening at the hardware level - it's happening at the computational photography level. (Google was crushing this 5 years ago - they had had "auto awesome" that used AI techniques to automatically remove wrinkles, whiten teeth, add vignetting, etc... but recently Google has fallen back).

Apple doesn't have all these constraints. They innovate in the underlying hardware, and just simply update the software with their latest innovations (like portrait mode) and ship it.

Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don't mind being a few years behind, buy an Android.

Apple's portrait mode doesn't come without its limitations, but it's probably fair to say among all the various incarnations of depth or bokeh effects we have seen so far it is the best performing. On the other hand some Android smartphones, such as the Google Pixel or HTC U11, offer an advantage over the latest iPhone models in terms of detail resolution and textures.

So, like with so many things, the smartphone camera that is best for you depends a lot on your personal requirements. Vic Gundotra definitely seems to have made his mind up, though. In another post he says he "would NEVER buy an Android phone again if I cared about photography." Do you agree? Let us know in the comments.

Jul
31

Leica releases TL2 firmware update, fixes critical Visoflex bug

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Last week, Leica confirmed that the newly-released Leica TL2 had a serious issue: when used with the company's Visoflex electronic viewfinder, the camera could simply stop working... permanently. Fortunately, the company has come up with (and rigorously tested) a firmware update that will fix the issue.

The new firmware, version 1.1, is available to download from Leica's website now, and it fixes the 'defect' the company described in its original notice to customers. If you own a TL2 and Visoflex viewfinder, consider this update mandatory, not optional.

Here is the official statement from Leica:

Important Information for Leica TL2

The fault when using the Leica TL2 together with the external electronic viewfinder (Visoflex) has been identified.

In order to rectify this defect, an updated Firmware can now be downloaded now from the Leica Corporate Website and at your local authorized Leica Dealer. With the new Firmware 1.1 the Leica TL2 is fully functional; camera and viewfinder can be used without any restrictions.

We thank you for your continued trust.