How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

There is an incredible array of color in our world, so it’s no wonder that it plays such a significant role in photography. However, have you ever considered narrowing your pallet down to just two colors? A duotone image is just that – an image made up of two individual tones. A duotone scheme can highlight subtle detail or boast a vivacious color combination that can make an image pop! Here’s how to make use of Photoshop’s Duotone tool to create a beautiful duotone look.

1 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

Select an image with a good tonal range so that the duotone can take full effect.

How to Duotone a Photograph

Step 1 – Preparing an Image

First, select an image with a good tonal range and open it in Photoshop. I chose this image of a flower because it has a range of dark shadows through to bright highlights.

In order to apply a duotone effect to your photograph, you convert it to a greyscale image first. Select ‘Image’ in the top Photoshop menu bar, followed by ‘Mode -> Grayscale.’

2 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

A prompt will appear, asking if you want to discard color information. Click ‘Discard’ and your image will be converted to Grayscale.

3 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

Click the ‘Discard’ button and your image will be converted to grayscale.

After you have converted your image to grayscale, you may notice that your image looks a bit flat. Open a ‘Curves’ adjustment layer by clicking on the ‘Curves’ icon in the Adjustments tab.

4 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

Adjust your contrast with the ‘Curves’ adjustment layer until you are happy with the level of contrast in your image.

5 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

Adjust your contrast with the ‘Curves’ adjustment layer until you are happy with the result.

Step 2- Converting to Duotone

The next step is to convert your image to duotone. Make sure you have your original image layer selected and click on ‘Image’ in the top Photoshop menu bar. Select ‘Mode ->Duotone.’

6 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

Once you’ve selected ‘Duotone’ from the menu a Duotone Options window will open.

7 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

If it isn’t already set, click on the ‘Type’drop-down menu and select ‘Duotone.’ Selecting ‘Tritone’ and ‘Quadtone’ will allow you to add three and four colors respectively, but we’ll just stick with the two colors for now.

8 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

Click on the ‘Type’ drop-down menu and select ‘Duotone.’

Step 3 – Making Adjustments

Once you’ve selected ‘Duotone’ from the ‘Type’ drop-down menu, you’ll see two channels are available: one for ‘Ink 1’ and one for ‘Ink 2’. Traditionally ‘Ink 1’ is set to black, as it defines the shadows in your image, so start with that. Ink 2 is for filling in the mid tones and highlights with your selected color.

9 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

The ‘Ink 1’ and ‘Ink 2’ channels.

There are two ways to go about applying a Duotone effect to your image. The first method is to click on the ‘Preset’ drop-down menu and select a color scheme from the available options. To preview your adjustments as you go, make sure the ‘Preview’ box is checked.

11 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

Click on the ‘Preset’ drop-down menu and select a color scheme from the options available.

However, if you aren’t keen on the preset options, you can always select your own custom colors. Click on the colored box for ‘Ink 2’ and you will bring up the ‘Color Libraries’ window.

12 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

Click on the color box for ‘Ink 2’ to bring up the ‘Color Libraries’ window.

The ‘Color Libraries’ window groups colors into certain printing prerequisites, so have a browse and find a color you like. You can also click the ‘Picker’ button to bring up the standard ‘Color Picker’ window. Once you have found a color you like, click OK.

13 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

You can adjust the contrast of each channel individually. Click on the curve window to the left of the color boxes and fine-tune your contrast as you would adjust a Curves adjustment layer.

14 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

Click on the curves windows to adjust the contrast in each channel.

15 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

Fine-tune your contrast as you would adjust a ‘Curves’ adjustment layer.

Once you are happy with the result, give a name to each channel (I usually just name them Ink 1 and 2) and click OK!

Step 4- Experiment!

Now you have the basics down, its time to experiment! Here are a few of my own examples below.

16 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

Here is a more traditional application of the duotone tool. I added this sepia tone by selecting a deep brown from the Color Library.

17 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

This evocative color scheme was made up of a deep red color for the shadows and a blue tint for the midtones and highlights.

18 - How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop

Traditionally, a duotone image is toned with black for the shadows. But that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment! I got this rich, pop-arty effect by combining red with magenta.

Please share your creations below!

The post How to Duotone a Photograph in Photoshop appeared first on Digital Photography School.

What I Learned From 30 Days of Black and White Photography

Color is an amazing phenomenon.

Most of us can appreciate color, even if we don’t understand the complex nature of light. Color Illuminates the landscape of our daily lives, and naming them is one of the first things we learn in childhood. We use them as a language and a way of expressing emotion. They affect both our brain and our bodies and fill our world with variation and even the occasional surprise.

So why would I ditch color for black and white for an entire month?

Up until the mid-1930s, color photography wasn’t widely accessible. And color printing wasn’t an affordable option until the 1960s. Pioneer photographers such as Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier Bresson set the standard in black and white photography. They emphasized composition and the controlled use of light without color, revealing the artistic merits of black and white photography that resonate to this day.

As a photographer, I shoot predominantly in color. But with such a wealth of modern photographic history steeped in black and white photography, I thought it would be interesting to prioritize monochrome instead.

So, I set myself a challenge: to photograph in black and white with my digital rig at least once a day for a month.

Here’s how it went.

Getting Started

Setting the Camera to Monochrome Mode

Okay, first things first. I wanted to shoot black and white images in-camera, so I needed to put my camera in Monochrome mode. In this mode, the camera records photos in black and white when photographing in JPEG. The LCD also previews photographs in black and white in Live View and the gallery.

While shooting in this mode does encourage a bit of ‘chimping’ (checking the photo after every shot), being able to review your pictures in black and white is very useful. It helps your eyes adjust to seeing your surroundings in black and white.

I’m using a Canon 5D MKII, so in ‘Shutter Priority’ mode (‘Aperture Priority’ and ‘Manual’ work too, depending on your preference) I selected the ‘Picture Styles’ tab on the main menu.

I then selected the ‘Monochrome’ (or M) option from the ‘Picture Styles’ menu.

Pressing the ‘Info’ button with ‘M’ selected in the ‘Picture Style’ screen allows further adjustments to ‘Monochrome’ mode such as ‘Sharpness,’ ‘Contrast,’ ‘Filters,’ and ‘Toning.’ I increased the Contrast parameters a tad, as using the Monochrome Mode by itself can make the images seem a little flat.

For Nikon or other camera brands, check the manual to find out how to set your camera to Monochrome mode.

Changing Your Quality Settings

The next step was to set my camera to photograph in dual RAW and JPEG modes. Why? Because even in Monochrome mode a RAW file will revert to color when uploaded to the computer. Whereas, a JPEG file retains the monochromatic scheme used in-camera.

Unfortunately, a JPEG retains less quality than a RAW file. So what do we do? We shoot both! If you take a fantastic black and white shot as a JPEG, you’ll also have the quality RAW file to edit in post-production.

But make sure you have some decent space on your memory card.

On my Canon 5D MKII, I set dual RAW and JPEG mode by selecting the ‘Quality’ tab on the main menu.

I adjusted my settings with the ‘Main’ and ‘Quick Control’ dials so I had both RAW and JPEG selected, and pressed the ‘Set’ button.

Again, for Nikon or other camera brands check the manual to find out how to change the Quality settings.

Ready, Set, Go

With my camera settings sorted, I was ready to begin my 30-day challenge. Here are a few things I learned during my ‘Month of Monochrome.’

Adding a New Layer of Interest

One thing I quickly realized was the power a stripped back color scheme has in lending a unique atmosphere to an image.

Having worked in black and white before (both with film and digitally), I know how evocative an excellent black and white image can be. But working digitally in black and white with no other option was new and refreshing. It hammered home the way a black and white photograph can separate the everyday world and its portrayal. This separation presents subjects in a new and thought-provoking light that generates a significant connection between the viewer and the image.

Minimizing Distraction

When you work in ‘Monochrome’ mode, you appreciate the dominance color can have over a photograph. While confining myself to black and white photography, I could experiment within a gradient, free from the distraction of color. Black and white photography strips an image back to the basics of composition and light. Without the color distraction, I had space to hone in on what makes a compelling story – creating a visual study of a subject.

Learning How Light Behaves

A lot of photography is about observation: watching people, landscapes, light, and shadows. And most photographers have a basic knowledge of how light behaves from these observations.

But black and white photography highlights the fragility of light in every environment with higher acuity than a lot of color photography.

The way an image gets read is affected by degrees of light. Hard light creates a highly contrasted image with dark, hard-edged shadows. It emphasizes drama and immediacy. Soft light is more subtle, rendering a soft, lower-contrast image.

Black and white is all about degrees of light versus shadow. My 30-day challenge encouraged me to take more notice of the light. In each environment, I embraced different lighting situations as a chance to test out my skills and experiment.

Seeing Differently

After the fourth day of my 30-day black and white challenge, I started scrutinizing everyday things with more of a photographic eye. Walking down my street, I began noticing plant life that would look interesting in black and white. The texture on the path I was dawdling along stood out. Because I deliberately made time for my photography each day, my mind started working creatively to seek out more photographic opportunities.

I felt more inspired. There was a greater impetus to hang out to get the best shot rather than the most shots. I felt in the zone.

Conclusion

Photographing in black and white for 30 days was a fun and rewarding challenge. It helped me to rediscover a freshness in photography and inspired me to experiment.

Sure you can convert any photograph to black and white in post-production, but to go out and photograph in black and white in the moment is a different process.

If you ever find yourself in a photographic rut, why not challenge yourself to a month of black and white photography? You never know what you might discover.

Do you have some black and white photography you’d like to share? If so, put them in the comments below.

The post What I Learned From 30 Days of Black and White Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Two Ways to Transform Old Photography Magazines Into Coasters

Photography magazines are one thing I can’t seem to throw away. My fascination with photography has culminated in a library of magazines filled with beautifully dated galleries, equipment reviews, tutorials and advice. They accumulate on my bookshelves, and quickly migrate to desktops, the tops of fridges, assorted drawers and nightstands.

While having a cup of tea the other day, I realized I’d forgotten to put down a coaster. I quickly grabbed a magazine and rested my cup on it, sparing my furniture. And it got me thinking. Could I transform some of my magazines into coasters themselves? Surely the thousands of pages I’d accumulated could be put to use as an interactive dining accessory. After all, who wouldn’t want a cute photography-themed coaster to admire while having a cup of tea?

Here are two simple ways to create striking coasters out of your old photography magazines.

The cut and paste method

You will need

  • A photography magazine or two.
  • Some coasters to stick your magazine images to. (I used simple round cork coasters from IKEA.)
  • Mod Podge (a glue and sealant) available at art supplies stores.
  • A pen or pencil.
  • A brush.

Method

First, find an image you’d like to incorporate into your coaster design. The choice here is endless. You could focus on text, photographs or whatever catches your eye.

Once you’ve selected an image, trace a circle around it (using your coaster as a template) and carefully cut it out.

Next, apply a generous amount of Mod Podge to the coaster and spread it around evenly with the paintbrush. (I put some newspaper down for this bit to protect my work surface from spills.)

Place your image face up on the Mod Podged side of the coaster and smooth out any wrinkles.

Once your coaster has dried (allow an hour or two), you’ll need to seal it. Spread a layer of Mod Podge evenly over the image with the brush. (Don’t worry, it dries clear.)

Once it has dried (again, allow an hour or two), repeat this step four times. Make sure you let the coaster dry between coatings.

Once the last layer of Mod Podge has dried, your coasters is ready to use.

The coiling method

You will need

  • A magazine.
  • A ruler and scalpel (or a paper shredder).
  • Glue. (Mod Podge works well for this project too.)
  • A paintbrush.

Method

Tear out a few magazine pages – the more vibrant the better. Cut each page lengthways into 7mm strips. (If you have a strip-cut paper shredder, you can use it instead.) You’ll need to cut up at least six pages.

Once you’ve cut your strips, its time to start curling. Select one strip of paper and curl it over itself to create a coil. Once you’ve completely curled the first strip, add a dab of Mod Podge to the end and glue it down.

Now you need to add a new strip to build on the last. Add a dab of Mod Podge to the end of a new strip of paper, and press it Mod Podge side down onto the coil where the last strip ended. Wind the fresh strip around the coil, keeping the paper nice and taut. Once you’ve completely wound it on, add a dab of Mod Podge to the end of the strip and secure it to the coil.

Keep winding your strips of paper onto the coil. For every fifth strip, add a thin a layer of Mod Podge down its entire length and wind it Mod Podge-down, around the coil. This will keep the coil together as it grows.

Keep adding strips of paper until you’re happy with the size of your coil.

It may take you a couple of hours, but the results are striking. And it’s really fun to watch it grow.

Whichever method you choose, it’s a great way to get those stunning images out of the bookshelf and onto your coffee table.

The post Two Ways to Transform Old Photography Magazines Into Coasters appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How to Find Opportunities for Abstract Photography Anywhere

Abstract photography, otherwise known as non-objective, conceptual, or experimental photography, is a tricky subject. According to Wikipedia, abstract photography is “a means of depicting a visual image that does not have an immediate association with the object world and has been crafted through the use of photographic equipment processes or materials”.

So basically, abstract photography is image-making that doesn’t aim to represent reality but rather visually explores the components that construct conventional subject matter.

To seek out abstract photography in any opportunity, you must shift your focus away from describing the world in a literal way, focusing on line, shape, form, space, color, contrast, pattern and texture instead. These elements come together to create an image that explores the way you appreciate your visual environment.

Here are a few tips to finding opportunities for abstract photography, wherever you are!

Previsualization

How to Find Opportunities for Abstract Photography Anywhere

Previsualization in photography is a skill where a photographer “sees” the outcome of an image before it is taken. By breaking down a potential image in your mind’s eye, you can dissect a scene, prioritizing the best possible visual results.

This is especially useful in abstract photography, where the outcome of a photograph sometimes isn’t immediately obvious.

Previsualizing will help you make the most of any potential photographic opportunity. Imagine encountering a fence for example. You could easily photograph the fence line and move on, but your photograph won’t be very engaging. Or, you could mentally analyze the fence’s structure, breaking it down into abstract categories (color, shape, line, pattern, etc.) to take advantage of the scene and exploit it to its full potential.

Go macro

macro flower - How to Find Opportunities for Abstract Photography Anywhere

Macro photography is an especially unique form of photography, illuminating what often goes unseen to the naked eye. Provided you have a macro lens, extension tubes, or even a magnifying glass, one of the best things about abstract macro photography is that you can get an interesting result photographing just about anywhere.

Abstract macro photography is a great opportunity to focus on subtle details in a scene without being overly concerned about representing a specific subject. Focusing on abstracted aspects such as color and shape rather than the subject means you can explore the building blocks of an image visually.

Look for lines

Abstract photography focuses on the naked ingredients of image making, but sometimes this means a change-up in your photographic approach. One great way to tease out abstract photographic opportunities is to focus on a compositional technique. For example, focusing on lines will reveal opportunities you may have passed over before.

How to Find Opportunities for Abstract Photography Anywhere

As one of the most basic elements of composition, lines are an extremely powerful tool in visual art. Lines that guide a viewer’s eye around an image (also known as leading lines) are a way to point towards a specific subject or highlight the geometry of a scene. They can also add a sense of urgency with straight, abrupt lines or lend a sense of calm or peace with softer, curved lines.

Concentrating on lines will reveal new opportunities in any environment, all you have to do is look.

Seek out texture

Texture in photography is one of the most under-utilized compositional tools. Exploring texture creates an image that people can “feel” in their mind. The feeling of touch appeals to a viewer’s understanding of the world.

By incorporating texture into an abstract photograph, you are connecting to an audience’s knowledge of how the world behaves under the sense of touch. And because most things feel like something, there are plenty of opportunities for textural abstract photography. Try looking for peeling paint, roughed up wood or dried leaves.

How to Find Opportunities for Abstract Photography Anywhere

Investigate color

Color is all around us, it’s a universally powerful tool of communication. For example, psychologically, yellow has associations with joy and energy, whereas green is associated with nature and calm. It’s just the same in abstract photography.

Focusing on color investigates our associations with the environment around us. It transcends abstract subject matter to connect with a viewer on a psychological level.

Making color the center of interest in your photography will reveal new and unusual abstract subject matter too. Objects that may seem boring or mundane come alive with a bit of color, creating unusual and interesting abstract photography.

How to Find Opportunities for Abstract Photography Anywhere - color

Conclusion

The scope of abstract photography is exciting and endless. Although it’s exact meaning is hard to define, abstract photography provides space for creativity and experimentation.

It’s the perfect excuse to shake up your photographic practice, all you have to do is look! Please share some of your abstract photos in the comments below.

The post How to Find Opportunities for Abstract Photography Anywhere appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How to Create Abstract Photos with Colored Paper

Developed in China, paper as we know it has been around for at least 2000 years. Originally made by pressing the wet fibers of plant-derived cellulose together and dried in sheets, paper’s ability to be mass produced resulted in the advancement of the written word as a means to pass information down through time. This accelerated exchange of information triggered a revolution in cultural and technological advancements that have shaped the way we live today.

Artists paint and photographers print on specialized paper. Books, magazines, and newspapers distribute information across the world. Important documents are filed away on paper, ready to be pulled out at a moment’s notice. Even with today’s abundance of computer screens, paper has endured as an indispensable material.

Creating abstract photos is another wonderful use of paper. With a few bulldog clips, some colored paper, and a bit of creativity, you can create beautiful abstract images to enjoy and use as desktop wallpapers or backgrounds.

Creating Abstract Photos with Colored Paper - orange and red abstract image

What you will need

  • Your camera
  • A macro lens or set of extension tubes
  • A selection of different colored paper (I used a packet of variously sized one-color per piece origami paper I found at a dollar shop).
  • Several medium or large bulldog clips.

Selecting a space

First, you’ll need to choose a space to set up in. This is important because your paper needs to be exposed to plenty of natural light. Otherwise, your shadows will be too dark, and your photographs will look flat or awkward.

Set up outside, or near a large window with a decent amount of light flooding into your space. I work on a desk outside, with plenty of room to move and shoot from different perspectives.

Creating Abstract Photos with Colored Paper - orange circle abstract

Setting up

Setting up for this project is can be a little tricky. Once you’ve settled on a space to work in, you’ll need to arrange your colored paper. First, select a piece of colored paper that will serve as the background for the image. You’ll want this background to cover the frame, so choose a size that has adequate coverage. The background color is up to you, so choose whatever catches your eye.

Next, add a second layer of paper to sit on top of the background. This will be your foreground subject. Again, the color is up to you. To make an interesting image, you need to separate the foreground layer from the background. You’ll do this by physically adjusting the orientation of the foreground paper.

Creating Abstract Photos with Colored Paper - bulldog paper clip

Generally, sheets of paper want to stay flat and straight, so shaping your foreground paper can take a little bit of coordination. An easy way to control the orientation of the paper is to add weight to its edges. Attach a bulldog clip to each side of the piece of colored paper and lay it down so that there is a gap between the foreground and background paper.

Photographing your creations

Once you’ve attached your bulldog clips and arranged your paper, it’s time to get busy photographing. There are no hard-and-fast rules here, just photograph what you think looks best.

Try sitting your foreground paper vertically or horizontally in relation to the background paper for different depth effects. You can also try focusing your lens on different areas of the paper, or for a smooth, featureless gradient, unfocus your lens altogether. Focus on a small section of your paper or zoom out to include the whole arrangement.

You can modify the shape of your foreground paper by manipulating the location of the bulldog clips on the paper. Moving them closer together creates a nice S or U bend in the middle of the paper for soft organic lines. For harder lines, move the bulldog clips further away from each other to tighten the paper.

blue and yellow abstract - Creating Abstract Photos with Colored Paper

Paper has a thousand uses, the great thing about this project is that there is no right or wrong way to do things. Just take some time to relax and experiment. If you have kids or grandchildren, get them to help you – they’ll have fun helping to arrange the paper.

Enjoy!

The post How to Create Abstract Photos with Colored Paper appeared first on Digital Photography School.

A Few Common Photography Abbreviations Explained

For a visual medium, photography is a bit of an alphabet soup when it comes to abbreviations. AWB, DOF, RGB… Even for the seasoned photographer, photographic abbreviations can be a confusing encounter. Here are a few of the most common photography abbreviations to help you tell your TIFF’s from your TTL’s.

A

Aperture priority commonly abbreviated to A or Av (for aperture value) is a setting on your camera that allows you to adjust the aperture value (otherwise known as the f-number or f-stop) while the camera automatically selects a shutter speed to produce an image with the correct exposure.

As you adjust the aperture for different photographic effects, the camera’s internal light meter measures the lighting conditions of the scene and adjusts the shutter speed accordingly.

Read more here: Getting off Auto – Manual, Aperture and Shutter Priority modes explained

AF

AF is an abbreviation for autofocus. The AF feature automatically adjusts the camera lens to focus on a subject, creating a sharp image.

There are several types of AF focus modes. Single focus, known as AF-S (Nikon) or One Shot AF (Canon) will cause the camera to lock focus on a subject and the camera won’t re-focus while you keep the shutter actuator depressed half way. Continuous or tracking focus – AF-C (Nikon) or AI Servo (Canon) on the other hand, continuously readjusts the focus if you keep the shutter button half-depressed. This maintains focus on moving subjects. Some cameras also have a mode called AF-A (Nikon) or AI Focus AF (Canon) that switches between the two modes automatically.

Read more here:  5 Beginner Tips for More Autofocus Success

Auto

Auto is short for automatic and is sometimes signified by a small green rectangle on the camera’s shooting mode selector wheel. In this mode, the camera calculates and adjusts all camera settings for correct exposure, taking into account shutter speed, aperture, focus, white balance, ISO and light metering automatically.

Some cameras have automatic modes programmed to specialize in taking photographs of a particular subject. For example, action or sports mode prioritizes a higher ISO value and faster shutter speeds. It is represented by a running figure on your dial if your camera offers such modes.

A Few Common Photography Abbreviations Explained - camera mode dial

Auto mode is sometimes signified by a small green rectangle on the camera’s shooting mode selector wheel.

AWB

Light is different under different conditions. AWB or Automatic White Balance works in-camera to measure the white balance (WB) of a scene and remove any color casts that may impede on a photograph. In short, it tries to automatically analyze and color correct your scene. It works fairly well in most cases but can be tricked.

Note: if you shoot in RAW format you can easily tweak the White Balance later in post-production.

Read more: Auto White Balance: Yay or Nay?

B

B stands for Bulb, a mode designed for longer exposures like those often seen in time-lapse photography. In Bulb mode, when you depress the shutter button, the shutter will remain open until the button is pressed again (or until it is released, depending on your camera).

This mode is usually used in conjunction with a tripod and a remote shutter release and is necessary to achieve exposures longer than 30 seconds (the maximum exposure time on most cameras).

Read more: How to Use Bulb Mode for Long Exposure Photography

CMYK

CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Black is referred to as K which is shorthand for the key plate – a printing tool which makes the artistic detail of a picture in black ink. CMYK is the color space used for most color reproduction printers (magazines, posters, business cards, etc.). This four-color mode utilizes each color in set amounts to create a color print. It is a subtractive process, so each additional color means more light is absorbed to create colors.

Because RGB (the color space in which your camera records an image) provides a larger range of colors available on the digital screen, a printed image will be inconsistent with the image you see when you press “print”. Converting an image to CMYK in Photoshop or Illustrator before printing will produce an image on the screen that is much closer to the printed product, allowing you to print an image accurately.

DOF

Depth of Field or DOF is the zone of focus in a photograph. Depth of field is affected by the aperture. A large aperture creates a shallow depth of field with a small amount of the image will be in focus. A small aperture creates a large depth of field with more in focus. Depth of field is also defined by lens focal length and the distance from the subject to the camera.

Read more: Seeing in Depth of Field: A Simple Understanding of Aperture

A Few Common Photography Abbreviations Explained

A small aperture creates a large depth of field with more in focus

DPI

DPI or dots per inch is often used interchangeably with PPI or pixels per inch. Technically, DPI measures the number of dots that can be printed in a line within the span of one inch. PPI also measures the number of dots in a line within the span of an inch but on a computer screen instead. Printers and screens with higher DPI or PPI values are clearer and more detailed.

You need to know the DPI of your printer or lab to correctly size your images for printing. Read more: How to Choose Your Lightroom Export Settings for Printing

DSLR

DSLR stands for Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera. A DSLR camera has a mirror that reflects the light coming in from the lens and directs it through a prism or set of mirrors to the viewfinder. This arrangement allows you to see what you are shooting by looking through the viewfinder. When the shutter button is depressed, the mirror flips up and allows the light coming through the lens to reach the camera sensor.

Canon 5D Mark IV full-frame DSLR camera – Image by dPS writer Mark Hughes. 

Read more: The dPS Ultimate Guide to Photography Terms – a Glossary of Common Words and Phrases

F-stop or f-number

The f-stop or f-number is a term that indicates the size of the aperture opening on your lens. Every aperture is expressed as an f-stop or f-number, like f/8 or f/2.8.

Read more: How to Take Control of Aperture and Create Stronger Photos

IS

IS stands for Image Stabilization. This technology goes under several names; Vibration Reduction, SR, VR, and VC are a few. Image stabilization is a feature in your lens (not all lenses have it!) that enables you to photograph sharper images when shooting handheld at lower shutter speeds, in dark conditions, at longer focal lengths.

Note: Some cameras have the stabilization inside the camera body. Read your user manual to be sure.

ISO

ISO stands for International Standards Organization. In film photography, ISO (or formerly ASA) was an indication of how sensitive a roll of film was to light. In digital photography, ISO measures the relative sensitivity of the camera sensor. This value can be adjusted in-camera.

The higher the number, the more light the sensor can capture. However, the greater the sensitivity of the film or sensor, the grainier the image will be (in digital photography it’s called noise).

Editor’s Note: Before you jump up and down and add a comment below about the fact that the sensitivity of the camera sensor does not actually change, let’s agree to keep it simple for the purpose of this article and these definitions. No, it isn’t that simple, but people new to photography need to take baby steps in understanding these terms, so please accept that we’ve simplified it here.

A Few Common Photography Abbreviations Explained - digital noise and bokeh

The graininess in this image is caused by a high ISO value.

JPEG

JPEG (sometimes shortened to JPG) is an image file format. It stands for “Joint Photographic Experts Group” – the name of the group that created the format. It’s one of the most common image formats saved by digital cameras, the other being RAW.

JPEG files are lossy which means that images in this file format are compressed. Lossy formats are smaller and easier to handle, but they suffer from a loss of quality.

Read more: RAW Versus JPEG – Which one is right for you and why?

M

M or Manual Mode is a shooting mode on your camera that when activated, means that you have complete control over every setting on your camera. This includes the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, metering mode, and more.

Note: Manual Mode and Manual Focus are NOT the same thing and are not exclusive of one another. Meaning you can shoot in Manual Mode using Autofocus, or in an Automatic mode using Manual Focus.

Read more: Simplifying Manual Mode to Help You Take Control of Your Images

M4/3

M4/3 is short for Micro Four Thirds and it is also known as MFT. Developed by Olympus and Panasonic in 2008, the M4/3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens system for digital cameras and lenses. This mirrorless system means that the camera does not have an optical viewfinder system like conventional SLR/DSLR cameras, but an electronic viewfinder (EVF) instead. This system is simpler, lighter and allows for smaller cameras than DSLRs.

Read more: The 19 Most Popular Compact System and Mirrorless Cameras with Our Readers

The Olympus OM-D EM-10 is a micro four-thirds camera which means it has a smaller sensor size but is every bit as capable as most other cameras on the market.

P

P stands for Program Mode. This shooting mode has the camera adjust aperture and shutter speed automatically, while allowing you to adjust other settings like ISO, flash, white balance and focusing functions.

Read more: Your Guide to Understanding Program Mode on Your Camera

RGB

Based on the human perception of colors, RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. RGB is an additive color space designed for viewing imagery on digital displays (see CMYK above).

Read more: Adobe RGB Versus sRGB – Which Color Space Should You Be Using and Why

S

Shutter Priority Mode (also known as SP or TV for Time Value) is a setting that allows you to select the shutter speed while the camera automatically adjusts the aperture for proper exposure. As you adjust the shutter speed the camera’s internal light meter measures the lighting conditions of the scene you’re shooting and adjusts the aperture accordingly.

This mode is best used for shooting fast moving objects or when you want to blur or freeze a moving subject.

Panning a moving target is a good time to use Shutter Priority Mode.

Read more: Getting Your Priorities Straight – A Guide to Selecting Your Shot Priority

SLR

SLR or “single lens reflex” refers to a non-digital camera with single-lens reflex capabilities (see DSLR).

TIFF

Short for Tagged Image File Format, TIFF is a file format for digital images that does not lose color and detail in the way that lossy compression formats such as JPEG files do. This type of file format is described as lossless.

TTL

TTL stands for Through the Lens and refers to an automatic flash metering system. The flash fires a short burst prior to the actual exposure, the camera reads the amount of light coming through the lens, and sets the power of the flash according to the selected aperture. This mode is most often used with the flash on the camera.

Read more: How to Understand the Difference Between TTL Versus Manual Flash Modes

TTL versus manual flash – image by dPS writer Kunal Malhotra.

USM

USM stands for Ultra Sonic Motor, a type of autofocus motor in lenses trademarked by Canon. Equivalent systems include Nikon’s SWM (Silent Wave Motor), Sigma’s HSM (Hyper-Sonic Motor) and Olympus’ SWD (Supersonic Wave Drive Motor). They are designed to have the lens’s autofocus work as silently as possible.

WB

WB stands for White Balance, the act of balancing the color cast found in different lighting conditions for an accurate image (see AWB). White Balance can be set in-camera and adjusted in post-processing if you have shot in RAW format.

Read more: How to Use White Balance as a Creative Tool

Conclusion

There you have it. Of course, there are plenty more photography abbreviations where they come from. But knowing these basics will get you on the right track to navigating the alphabet soup that is photographic lingo! Be sure to add any extra abbreviations you’d like to see in the comments below.

The post A Few Common Photography Abbreviations Explained appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Why Old Photography Books and Magazines are Still Valuable

Cleaning out my bookshelf the other day, I rediscovered a bunch of old photography books I bought from a second-hand store some time ago. Leafing through the pages and taking in that unmistakable “old book smell”, it got me thinking about the value of reading older books as opposed to shiny new publications and PDFs on a laptop.

Aged coffee table books, magazines, essays, how-to encyclopedias, and guides – there is just something about old books that capture the heart. And they continue to be relevant today, sometimes in new and surprising ways. Here are some ways old photography books and magazines are still valuable.

folded book pages - Why Old Photography Books and Magazines are Still Valuable

Why read photography books?

With the abundance of on-screen resources available nowadays, it’s easy to dismiss hard copies of books and magazines, even brand-new publications, as a step behind the cutting edge. But books, especially older ones, offer something that the modern iPad screen lacks. They offer an experience.

The physicality of the printed text lends the feeling of a place. And the presence of a physical book discourages multitasking, focusing the mind solely on reading and absorbing information. The smell and texture of old paper, tinted with age. The turning of the page – it all contributes to a sense of knowledge, history, and sometimes nostalgia too.

It’s the same for old magazines, with each glossy print serving as a time-capsule for photographic history.

pile of photography books - Why Old Photography Books and Magazines are Still Valuable

Trends and culture

Studies have shown that reading physical books has a positive effect on the brain. It expands memory and imagination and inspires you, the reader, to develop new concepts and ideas. But older books have the additional charm of age, they are a photograph of their time.

But it’s amazing how little the groundwork of photography has changed. Although trends come and go, the foundations of photography have remained the same. Open up an old photography guide and you’ll see practical information that looks remarkably similar to many present-day photography guides.

Everything old is new again

Just like in fashion, trends in art are often recycled and re-invented. Recently, the “soft focus look” came back into vogue, gracing the covers of magazines and fashion shoots. Street photography has had a major resurgence on Instagram and the use of old film cameras over digital technology has also garnered popularity recently.

Old photography books are full of inspiration for trends like these, with guides on how to put them into practice and an abundance of imagery to study. You may even want to re-spark a trend on your own, plus, you might discover a few out-dated tips and tricks that will put you ahead of the trend.

close up of words on a page - Why Old Photography Books and Magazines are Still Valuable

A sweet deal

Unlike hot-off-the-press publications that haven’t filtered through to the second-hand market, old photography books are often incredibly economical. You could purchase three older books for the price of one new one. Maybe even more! Recently I bought a whole stack of beautiful, full-color photography magazines for 10 cents a pop. I couldn’t believe my luck.

Try looking for old books and magazines at book fairs, online, used bookstores, charity stores, and garage sales. You never know what you might find, a special kind of excitement reserved for photographers and book lovers alike!

an open book with photos inside - Why Old Photography Books and Magazines are Still Valuable

Back to basics

While we all know that editing and photography often go hand-in-hand, books that predate Photoshop and digital technology can introduce you to a world of photography with an often overlooked method of execution – getting it right in-camera.

With the ability to take thousands of photos in a single day, modern photographers can get in the habit of taking numerous photographs and hoping for the best. Older photography books and magazines that rely on film or limited memory space depict a slower, more deliberate methodology which can be a refreshing way of shooting.

inside a photo book - Why Old Photography Books and Magazines are Still Valuable

Conclusion

Photography has a long history recorded by countless publications. While brand new books and magazines may have the advantage of cutting-edge photography, older generations of print material hold a nostalgic charm and an alternative perspective to current photographic trends.

And they are cheaper too! So next time you visit a charity store or a book fair, why not pick up a few older photographic book or magazines? You’ll be surprised how useful and inspiring they really are! Share some of your book finds in the comments below.

Why Old Photography Books and Magazines are Still Valuable

The post Why Old Photography Books and Magazines are Still Valuable appeared first on Digital Photography School.

5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers

Photography is a process of constant learning, so it’s only natural to make mistakes along the way. But with a little bit of advice from those who have been there already, fledgling photographers can avoid a few common camera setting mistakes and focus on bigger and better things. Here are a few tips and tricks I learned early on that will help you get stuck into quality image making.

1 – Leaving image stabilization on when using a tripod

Image stabilization is a handy device that can reduce camera shake and improve image quality when it’s used properly. When activated, image stabilization counteracts slight movements of the camera to help reduce blur in your photos. It can be so effective that cameras and lenses equipped with the system allow you to use a shutter speed of between three and five stops slower than cameras without the feature.

This makes for sharper images in lower light conditions. Sounds great right? Well yes, but not all the time. In fact, when image stabilization is used with a tripod, it can sometimes be more of a hindrance than a help.

If your camera is already set up on a tripod, it should be steady enough by itself. In this case, with the image stabilization left on, the system may try to compensate for minuscule vibrations that wouldn’t otherwise have an effect on the image, increasing blur rather than reducing it.

Check your camera or lens user manual to learn how to switch the system off while shooting with a tripod and you’ll get much sharper images. Just don’t forget to turn it on again when you are going to hand-hold the camera.

5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers

In this example, you can see the difference in sharpness between the photograph taken with Image Stabilization on and the photograph taken with IS off. Notice that the photograph with IS off is sharper, with greater contrast.

2 – Using the wrong autofocus mode

When I started out in photography, I remember struggling to properly focus on a subject in my frame, often leaving the camera to select a point at random and hoping for the best. At the time, I didn’t realize the importance of different autofocus modes.

Autofocus offers several different modes which you can select. These are One-Shot AF (Canon)/AF-S (Nikon), AI Servo AF (Canon)/AF-C (Nikon), and final AI Focus (Canon) and AF-A (Nikon).

Probably the most commonly used focus mode is the One-Shot/Single-Servo option. It is the best choice for stationary subjects and serves as the standard setting on your camera. For this setting, the autofocus system achieves focus and then locks that setting in until the shutter is actuated. Once locked, you are assured that your subject will be sharply focused.

AI Servo/AF-C, on the other hand, focuses the lens continuously, which makes it ideal for tracking a moving subject. In this focus mode, the camera will let you take a picture at any time, even if the subject isn’t in focus. This mode is the best choice when you have a moving subject like children, animals, shooting sports, birds, etc.

5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers

You can change your focus mode in the quick control panel (this shows the Canon options).

Many cameras also offer a third autofocus mode: AI Focus (Canon) or AF-A (Nikon). This mode attempts to automatically detect whether the subject is stationary or moving and sets the focus mode depending on the situation. However, AI Focus isn’t as reliable as the other two dedicated settings, so it’s best to deliberately select between One-Shot/AF-S or AI Servo/AF-C where possible.

 

5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers

AI Servo/AF-C focus mode is ideal for photographing moving subjects.

3 – Not shooting in RAW format

For much of my early photography, I shot in jpeg. It was a familiar file format, so I just went with it. Only later did I discovered what I was missing out on. JPEG files are processed by the camera. That means that while settings like color temperature and exposure are set based on your camera settings, the camera will process the image to adjust blacks, contrast, brightness, noise reduction and sharpening. The file will then be compressed into a JPEG.

But because the image has been edited, compressed and then saved as a JPEG, information in the original photograph gets discarded and cannot be recovered. This limits how much editing you can do with the image in post-production.

Advantages of RAW format

RAW files, on the other hand, are uncompressed and unprocessed. Although they come out looking flatter and darker than JPEG images, they retain all the information recorded in the original image. This allows for a lot more flexibility in post-production, allowing you to take full control over adjustments that you want to apply to a photograph.

Shooting in JPEG can be useful for happy-snaps or circumstances where output doesn’t need to be as higher quality. Otherwise, for professional-grade imagery, you want to shoot in camera RAW. And if you aren’t sure, it is possible to shoot both at the same time – just make sure you have an extra CF card or two on hand.

5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers

You can see that the unedited, uncompressed RAW image is a lot flatter than the JPEG because it retains all the information of the original shot. Only after processing will the RAW image match or surpass the look of the JPG.

4 – Always shooting in automatic mode

Automatic exposure mode means that the shutter speed, aperture and ISO are set automatically by the camera for a given situation, leaving you to depress the shutter button and move onto the next shot. But what if you want to take more control over your images?

The biggest advantage of shooting in manual mode (or shutter/aperture priority mode) over automatic is creative control. Plus, the camera doesn’t always get the algorithm for exposure right, so you can end up with underexposed or overexposed images.

Choose a semi-automatic mode instead

You don’t have to shoot fully manual to take better control of your images either. Aperture and Shutter Priority modes allow you to select and adjust either your aperture or shutter speed while the camera compensates to give you the right exposure.

5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers

Auto shooting mode.

By using Aperture Priority, you have much more control over the depth of field in your image, dictating how much of the image is in sharp focus. This is helpful for many genres from portraiture to landscape photography, changing the dynamic of your images depending on the situation and how deep you want your photographs to look.

As for using Shutter Priority, being able to take control of the motion in an image allows for a lot more creative leeway. Motion blur has long been used to make images more dynamic. Think waterfalls with smooth flowing water and time-lapse cityscapes, as well as intentional camera movement.

While Automatic exposure mode is useful and often effective, relying only on Auto is allowing your creative photographic potential go to waste. Experimenting with shooting in full Manual or Shutter or Aperture Priority Mode means that you can truly get to know your camera and exploit its artistic possibilities.

5 – Not backing up files

We have a saying in Australia; “She’ll be right”. The term asserts that whatever is wrong will right itself with time. It’s both an optimistic and an apathetic outlook, and when it comes to photography, it can be the start of a spiral into digital file oblivion. I’m talking about backing up files.

Okay, so it isn’t technically an in-camera setting mistake, but photography has an enormous output of content that needs to be maintained so that it is as fresh as the day it was created.

From day one, “she’ll be right” just doesn’t cut it. If you only have one copy of your images stored on a hard drive, and that hard drive fails, (as they often do) then you’ll completely lose all your work. Forever! The easy solution is to have a second or even third copy of your images stored somewhere else, either on an external hard drive or cloud storage service.

Make the investment now and you’ll thank yourself later.

5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers

An old favorite, this image is backed up on two separate hard drives!

Conclusion

Starting out in photography can sometimes seem like a daunting task – there’s so much to learn! But photographers, for the most part, are a friendly bunch. We’re happy to pass on the tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way.

By doing your research, there are plenty of ways to dig into photography, avoiding common mistakes, and delve into the world of photography with confidence!

The post 5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers appeared first on Digital Photography School.

My Top 5 Photography Documentaries on YouTube

Surrounding yourself with inspiration is one of the best ways to jump-start your creativity. By viewing the works of others, we connect with our own photographic practice. One of my favorite things to do in a creative lull is to trawl YouTube. I could spend hours looking for interesting photography documentaries to watch and study.

I always feel myself rearing to get photographing by the time the credits roll. So here are a few of the favorites that I like to revisit from time to time. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

#1 – The Many Lives of William Klein

William Klein is known for his gritty street photography as well as his fashion work with Vogue. As a creator of some of the most iconic imagery of the 20th century, the American-born French photographer originally trained as a painter. Despite having no formal training as a photographer, Klein won the Prix Nadar in 1957 for New York, a book of photographs he compiled in 1954. Since then, Klein’s work has been praised as uncompromising and revolutionary in both his approach and execution.

The Many Lives of William Klein takes a peek into Klein’s world as he prepares his retrospective exhibition. Smart and sarcastic, Klein recounts memoirs of his photographic past and shares insights into his process and passion for photography.

Note: there is a warning of strong language in this video so if you find that offensive you might want to go to the next one.

#2 – The Colourful Mr. Eggleston

Produced by BBC for its “Imagine” TV series, The Colourful Mr. Eggleston provides a rare look into the life and work of one of photography’s most influential proponents. William Eggleston was born in 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee to a family of plantation owners. He grew up in Sumner, Mississippi and spent six years studying at various art schools, never receiving a degree. When he received his first camera in 1957, a Canon rangefinder, he was hooked. As one of the first art photographers to use color film, he began visually recording the world around him, capturing everyday moments in life in compressed color and light.

Eggleston’s idols, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Walker Evans roamed the world for photographic subject matter. But Eggleston remained rooted in Memphis. His wife, Rosa, tells the story that one day Eggleston told a friend that there was nothing to photograph because everything in the city was ugly. The friend told him to “photograph the ugly stuff” which set him on a path photographing a contemporary landscape made up of vending machines, light bulbs, power poles, wires, signs, urban decay and occasionally human subjects.

The Colorful Mr. Eggleston follows his photographic process in and around Memphis as he isolates the facets of everyday life that make up the dense, atmospheric imagery of his work.

#3 – The Genius of Photography

The Genius of Photography is a series originally featured on BBC Four that investigates the rich history of photography. Over the six-part series, the documentary explores an aspect of the photographic medium. It covers the earliest incarnations of photography through to modern digital practice.

From art to commercial photography, the series includes interviews and encounters with some of the world’s best including William Klein, Sally Mann, Jeff Wall and many more.

Click here to go to the video.

#4 – Lomography: Shoot from the Hip

The Lomo Camera: Shoot from the Hip is a colorful insight into the history and momentum of the Lomography movement. The philosophy behind Lomography is “Don’t Think, Just Shoot”, encouraging spur-of-the-moment photography not dissimilar to Cartier-Bresson’s decisive moment. The movement is also accompanied by 10 golden rules encouraging spontaneous, active photography with less concern for formal photographic technique.

While Lomography itself can be a bit hit-and-miss, the documentary conveys a world of unfocused color and spontaneity. But the Lomo ethos isn’t reserved only for photographers with plastic cameras; much of the Lomographic practice can still appeal to those with more hi-tech photographic equipment. With rules like “Take your camera everywhere you go” and “Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it.”

The Lomo Camera: Shoot from the Hip inspires a fun and creative approach that can be applied across the board photographically.

#5 – The Photographers

Click to go to the video page.

Working for National Geographic is a job that many photographers dream of, but few attain. With some assignments lasting for months, National Geographic’s camera staff aren’t just journalists, they’re artists, braving a myriad of hardships. As one Nat Geo photographer featured on the Photographers, Michael (Nick) Nichols explains, “The toughest part of [the] job often times is not taking photographs but surviving an environment”.

Seeking out “memorable images, unusual subjects, and unexpected moments” in some of the most unique and sometimes inhospitable of locations. The Photographers follows several Nat Geo photographers as they capture iconic shots the magazine has become known for, delivering beautiful and unique imagery and delving into what it is that makes up our world.

Conclusion

Photography documentaries are great because they give us a behind-the-scenes look at someone else’s photographic world. Every photographer works differently. So when we view another photographer’s practice, it’s as if they are passing their own inspiration on to us.

These are only a few of the wide selection of photographic documentaries to find on YouTube. So go ahead, start your own list of favorites and get inspired! Share your list in the comments below as well.

Editor’s list: here are a few others I recommend if you can find them:

  • War Photographer – James Nachtwey. I can’t find the whole documentary on YouTube but you can watch his TED talk here.
  • The Big Bang Club is about news photographers in South Africa during the fall of the Apartheid. This one you might have to pay to watch but it’s really worth it.
  • Double Exposure is about the life of photographer Margaret Bourke-White, one of the earliest women photojournalists. I can’t find it on YouTube but look around maybe you can find a copy somewhere.

The post My Top 5 Photography Documentaries on YouTube appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Using Scanography to Create Images of Plants

black and white flower - How to Create Images of Plants With Scanography

Since its inception, photographers have found weird and wonderful ways to create photographic images in amazing styles and mediums. The first photograph, or more specifically, the earliest known surviving photograph made in a camera, was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 or 1827. He used a polished sheet of pewter coated with a thin layer of bitumen, a naturally occurring petroleum tar, which was dissolved in lavender oil, applied to the surface of the pewter and allowed to dry before use.

As cameras developed, the popularity of photography increased and the possibilities of the medium grew, opening new artistic avenues.

How to Create Images of Plants With Scanography - leaves

We’re a creative bunch, so it’s only natural that as technology progressed into the contemporary climate, advances in office technology such as the printer presented a whole new realm of artistic possibilities. Printers not only allowed for new aesthetics but provided the opportunity for more economical distribution too.

It’s the same with scanners. Modern scanners are considered the successors of early telephotography and fax input devices. The first modern scanner developed for a computer was a drum scanner built in 1957 at the US National Bureau of Standards. Led by a team headed by Russell A. Kirsch, the first image ever scanned on this machine was a 5cm square photograph of Kirsch’s then-three-month-old son, Walden.

Companies such as Acer, Microtek and HP began offering flat-bed scanners in the late 1980s, although hi-res (600 DPI or more), color versions didn’t become popular until the mid-1990s. Once the technology moved into mainstream use, people began experimenting with the flatbed scanner’s artistic potential. What they discovered was a new form of digital photography, called scanography.

How to Create Images of Plants With Scanography

Making your own scanography

The process of scanography is as simple as arranging objects on the scanner and capturing the resulting image. But a few extra steps can help refine the process for more successful images.

What you’ll need

  • Computer
  • Flatbed scanner
  • Objects to scan (flat, mailable objects like plants make great subjects)
  • Glass cleaner and cloth
  • Square of glass approximately A4 in size
How to Create Images of Plants With Scanography

For this image, I have combined two scanned images together and included the duct-tape frame that was on the piece of glass I used to compress the branches flush against the scanner bed.

Before you start

Because the scanning surface is made of glass, you’ll have to take care that the bed doesn’t get scratched or cracked. If you are particularly concerned about marking your scanner, try using a layer of glad-wrap as an extra barrier between your objects and the glass. Keep in mind that a scanner bed can only hold so much weight and exceeding this weight will break the scanner.

Method

First, open your flatbed scanner and give it a good wipe-down with glass cleaner and a cloth. This will reduce the amount of dust that will show up in your scanned image. Next, arrange your objects face-down directly on the scanner glass. For a nice, sharp image, I place a layer of glass over the top of my objects so they are flush with the scanner bed.

The depth of field of most scanners is very limited, usually no more than half an inch (12 mm), but the built-in light source provides excellent sharpness, color saturation, and unique shadow effects on objects pressed close to the bed. This is why flat objects like plants produce the most successful scanographic results.

How to Create Images of Plants With Scanography

Using a pane of glass will help keep your subject flush with the scanning bed, emphasizing detail. I’ve included the duct-tape border of the glass to create a more dynamic image.

The next step depends on whether you would like a black or white background for your image. For a white background, simply close the scanner lid and activate the scanner. For a black background, leave the lid of the scanner open and activate the scanner in a dark room. Once your scanner has finished processing, observe the results on the computer screen and make any necessary adjustments until you are happy with the finished result.

Post-processing

Once you are happy with your scanned image, open it up in Photoshop for a better look. Photoshop will allow you to remove any pesky dust marks or scratches that appear on your image. Personally, I don’t mind a few imperfections in the capture, as it embraces the quirks of the medium.

How to Create Images of Plants With Scanography

Experiment!

Once you have the technique down, the possibilities are endless. Why not try “branching out” and scanning some other objects?

How to Create Images of Plants With Scanography

Here are several scanned images of my pet rat that I’ve combined in Photoshop. I think it makes an interesting (and cute) study of movement, detail, and the scanner technology itself.

How to Create Images of Plants With Scanography

This creepy wavy effect was done by slightly moving my hands from side-to-side as the scanner arm passed over my fingers.

The post Using Scanography to Create Images of Plants appeared first on Digital Photography School.

1 2 3 6