Thursday, November 30, 2017

Designer behind Halide explains why you might enjoy RAW photography on your iPhone - 9to5Mac

In iOS 10, Apple introduced the ability to shoot RAW photography using the latest generation iPhones. Though the feature hasn't made its way into the official camera app, plenty of third-party apps have come in to pick up the slack. Halide, a ...



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Sexism Is Rampant for Female Fashion Photographers - Racked

Working in fashion has required Kristiina Wilson to develop a thick skin. She's faced criticism because of her age, her weight, and even her sense of style, she says. The twist is that Wilson doesn't work in front of the camera, but behind it. A ...



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Capture One 11 officially launched: improved masking, new annotation system and faster performance

Phase One has officially launched Capture One 11, the latest version of their RAW conversion and image editing software. It builds on the previous version, but it’s packed with new and improved features. It seems that the main focus was making the workflow faster and more efficient for the users, and from the preview, the […]

The post Capture One 11 officially launched: improved masking, new annotation system and faster performance appeared first on DIY Photography.



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YouTube is testing “Reels” – its own take on Snapchat/Instagram style “Stories”

Instagram Stories has been wildly popular since it launched a little over a year ago. It’s developed since then into a fantastic tool for Instagrammers to get more involved with their community. YouTube seems to have taken note of this, and are currently testing out “Reels”, according to their Creator Blog. It’s their take on […]

The post YouTube is testing “Reels” – its own take on Snapchat/Instagram style “Stories” appeared first on DIY Photography.



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Capture One 11 officially launched: improved masking, new annotation system and faster performance

Phase One has officially launched Capture One 11, the latest version of their RAW conversion and image editing software. It builds on the previous version, but it’s packed with new and improved features. It seems that the main focus was making the workflow faster and more efficient for the users, and from the preview, the […]

The post Capture One 11 officially launched: improved masking, new annotation system and faster performance appeared first on DIY Photography.



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YouTube is testing “Reels” – its own take on Snapchat/Instagram style “Stories”

Instagram Stories has been wildly popular since it launched a little over a year ago. It’s developed since then into a fantastic tool for Instagrammers to get more involved with their community. YouTube seems to have taken note of this, and are currently testing out “Reels”, according to their Creator Blog. It’s their take on […]

The post YouTube is testing “Reels” – its own take on Snapchat/Instagram style “Stories” appeared first on DIY Photography.



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Lightroom Mobile – The Secret to Shooting and Editing on Your Smartphone

Why use Lightroom Mobile

Many people don’t realize the benefits of using Lightroom Mobile with your Adobe Lightroom Subscription. When you subscribe to Adobe’s Photographer’s plan, not only will you receive Adobe Lightroom Classic, but you also get access to Lightroom Mobile.

Lightroom Mobile - The Secret to Shooting and Editing on Your Smartphone

Lightroom Mobile is a cloud-based program which originates from your Lightroom Classic desktop. It’s easy to set up, and Adobe’s help desk is there to quickly assist if you have any questions. You not only have the ability to share your images across multiple devices, but you can also shoot and edit quality RAW images right from your phone or tablet.

 Setting up Lightroom Mobile

The first thing you need to do is enable Lightroom Mobile from within your desktop version of Lightroom. This will signal Lightroom to sync the files that you select. Below is a screenshot of Lightroom’s Activity Screen that shows the status of Lightroom mobile. The activity screen is located in the upper left-hand corner of your Lightroom desktop page.
Lightroom Mobile - The Secret to Shooting and Editing on Your Smartphone

Creating Collections

The secret to working with Lightroom Mobile is to create collections within your Lightroom desktop version that you want to sync with Mobile. It will not automatically sync everything in your Lightroom catalog, you have to tell it which images you want to show on your devices and this is done through collections. I wouldn’t recommend syncing all your images to Lightroom Mobile. Leave this for special collections and your portfolio.

Select a group of images you would like to include in a collection and navigate to the collection module on the left panel of the Lightroom desktop app. Click the + sign in the collections pane to create a new collection.

Lightroom Mobile - The Secret to Shooting and Editing on Your Smartphone

Create a new collection.

Once you have created the collections and added images to them, you need to be sure that these collections will sync. When you first create them, there is a box to tick to enable Lightroom Mobile and syncing between devices – make sure that is checked off.

Lightroom Mobile - The Secret to Shooting and Editing on Your Smartphone

Enable Lightroom Mobile

If you don’t enable Lightroom Mobile upon import or when you create a new collection, you can always enable it after the fact by making sure the firebolt is enabled located to the left of the collection name. Just tick the box next to the collection you want to sync and the firebolt will show.

Lightroom Mobile - The Secret to Shooting and Editing on Your Smartphone

Firebolt Icon is Located to the Left of the Collection Title

To stop a Collection from syncing with your device, do one of the following in the Collections panel:

  • Click the firebolt sync icon next to the name of the Collection to turn it off.
  • Right-click a Collection and deselect Sync With Lightroom Mobile from the sync menu.
Viewing Images on Your Device

If your Lightroom Mobile is enabled correctly, you will need to sign into the Adobe Creative Cloud with your password. The mobile version should start filling up with the collections you enabled on your Lightroom desktop. You can also enable Lightroom Mobile to automatically pull images that you take from your Mobile device. Make sure you create a special collection of those images only.

Creating Images with Lightroom Mobile

With the current version of Lightroom mobile, you can create images on your Smartphone with the app. It gives you the option of either shooting in JPG or DNG. You can also shoot in automatic or professional mode and use a variety of presets. I prefer to shoot an image without any preset adjustments made to it and apply any edits afterward. That way you will always have the un-retouched original image.

The automatic shooting mode on Lightroom mobile works really well. It gives you separate focus and exposure points as well as overexposure indicators that show up as a series of parallel lines indicating highlight clipping. These three tools are the keys to getting a good shot on your mobile device. If you scrub left or right on the screen, the highlight clipping indicators will go away when the exposure becomes balanced. If portions of the image are overexposed, it will show up as you see in the image of my white dog below.

Lightroom Mobile - The Secret to Shooting and Editing on Your Smartphone

Automatic Shooting Mode with Over Exposure Highlights

The beauty of using Lightroom Mobile is you can edit images on your Mobile device or from your main computer. They can be located in a collection taken with your DSLR, or they can be images taken with your cell phone and located in your Lightroom Mobil collection.

Note: if you have your monitor calibrated, the colors may come out differently on your pad or phone if you decide to edit from there. No editing is permanent within Lightroom, so it’s an easy fix if it doesn’t look right on your main desktop computer.

One of the keys to success in mobile photography is to get it right in the camera just like a DSLR. Using these tools with this intuitive mobile app will help you accomplish that goal.

Please keep in mind, your phone or tablet is not a DSLR, so know that the images will not be of the same quality as a high megapixel DSLR. However, the Lightroom Mobile camera app gives you some great tools to create some really nice Smartphone images.

Editing in Lightroom Mobile

Once you have created your images and imported them to Lightroom Mobile (either from your desktop or from your smartphone), you have almost as many options for editing on your device as you do on your desktop.

If you tap on the edit screen in the top left corner, it will open up a menu of several different editing options.

Lightroom Mobile - The Secret to Shooting and Editing on Your Smartphone

Select the Edit Tool

On the edit screen, you can choose to edit the image globally or choose selections and edit specific areas individually. This is how to start a post-processing workflow, whether you’re using Lightroom Classic CC desktop version or Lightroom Mobile.

Then you can go through the different options for post-processing, starting with light, color, effects and finishing off with detail. You can also make a selection in your image and go through all of those same adjustments, just affecting the selected areas.

Local Adjustments

By tapping on the selective icon on the bottom left, it will bring up a menu with a paintbrush. Tap on the brush, and then select the middle brush size and paint with your finger over the area you would like to edit. If you overdo it, you can use the eraser tool to clean up your selection. After you make the selection, then you can make any number of adjustments on just that area. Once you have made all the necessary adjustments, save your edits.

Lightroom Mobile - The Secret to Shooting and Editing on Your Smartphone

Using this technique will give you the most interesting effects by truly painting with light and not just adding random light adjustments for the whole image.

Give Lightroom Mobile a try and make it a part of your everyday photo organizing and editing. Give some of these selective tools a try and let me know how it goes in the comments area below.

The post Lightroom Mobile – The Secret to Shooting and Editing on Your Smartphone by Holly Higbee-Jansen appeared first on Digital Photography School.



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How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

Layers of fun

One advantage that Luminar has over the average Raw processor is the ability to work with Layers. “What is a layer?” I hear you ask.

Well, your basic image is a single layer, like a sheet of paper on a table. Adding another layer is akin to adding another sheet of paper on top. With layers, you get the benefit of being able to control the layer opacity (the transparency effectively) as well as what parts of the layer are shown – a bit like choosing tracing paper or cutting holes out of the paper.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

Think of layers like a stack of paper. By cutting out parts of the sheet you can see the one below, or like with tracing paper, you can see through to the layer before.

Originally you’d need to erase the bits of the layer you didn’t want showing, which could be messy if you made a mistake erasing. These days you’d use a layer mask instead. A layer mask is a greyscale map running from white, where everything is visible, to black, where everything on the layer is hidden. Varying shades of gray indicate how visible a part of the layer is or the mask opacity. Lighter is more visible.

There’s a mantra I learned many years ago that helps you remember. “White reveals, and black conceals”.

The beauty of Luminar (by Macphun, soon to be Skylum) is that it hides some of the mechanics of this because rather than painting in black or white, you have a brush that either paints in, or erases the mask. It’s really great!

When you have a few layers together, the combined set of layers is called the layer stack. Working in layers allows you to apply effects to only certain parts of your photo, or to combine more than one photo into a more interesting composition.

Beginning

Let’s open Luminar and choose a photo. Click Open Image to begin.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

Luminar opening screen.

Navigate to your photo and select it. This process will be easier when the new DAM (Digital Asset Management) module for Luminar 2018 comes next year. I’m going to work with this shot of an old cottage.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

Original image.

Making a Layer

Luminar provides a few options for creating new layers. In the right panel, you have the Layers panel. To make a new layer, click the + icon in the panel header and select one of the following options:

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

Layers: click the plus symbol to make a new layer.

  • New Adjustment layer; which creates a layer that contains only the filters that you add.
  • Create Stamped Visible Layer; which copies the results of all the underlying layers (combining them) to a new flattened layer.
  • New Original Layer; which copies the base layer on top of the currently selected layer.
  • Add New Image Layer; which allows you to add any other image to the layer stack. This is the one that allows you to add texture and other files!

Add a texture file

Luminar doesn’t store textures, but you can use any texture file you like. Personally, I keep my favorite textures in a folder on Dropbox for easy access from anywhere, but you can use any cloud service you like for this.

From the Layer options, choose Add New Image Layer and navigate to your textures folder. Choose the texture you want to add to the current photo. Viola. It’s loaded.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

Texture image.

Now obviously the texture file will load over your original image. This is fine, you’ll fix this shortly. But first, you should check that the file fits how you like. By default, Luminar will make it fit over the layer below, but you’re not stuck with it.

You have three options in the Layers menu for this. Right-click on the layer and from the Image Mapping option in the menu, choose from Fill, Scale to Fit, or Fit (as seen below). If you don’t like how these look, you have another option:  the Transform tool.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

You can pull and drag your textures file into shape as required. It doesn’t have to retain its original aspect ratio as it’s adding to your original image and isn’t the actual focus of the final composition. In my case, the texture looks fine for now in regards to size.

Blending Modes

The next step is to go through the different blending modes to find one that suits the images best. Different ones work for different images, so it’s best to experiment. Overlay and Soft Light tend to get used a lot, but often Multiply or Screen can work too. Even Hard Light can be perfect sometimes.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

Overlay Blend Mode.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

Soft Light Blend Mode.

Whichever one you use, you’ll probably find that the effect is really strong. That’s fine because you’re working with layers, you can just reduce the opacity until the texture looks good.

For this image, I thought both Multiply and Color Burn looked great. I loved the saturation that Color Burn gave to the photo, but reducing the opacity to bring back some shadow detail removed too much of that. For that reason, I went with Multiply.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

Multiply Blend Mode.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

Color Burn Blend Mode.

Masking

You may not want the texture to appear on all parts of the photo. So you’ve got two options. Paint in the texture, or just paint out where you don’t want it. To access the masking functions, click on the brush icon on your texture layer. This opens a menu allowing you to choose the type of local adjustment you want to apply. Your options are Brush, Radial Mask, or Gradient Mask. You can also go with a Luminosity mask. For this image, the brush is the best option.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

Access the masking tools.

Once the brush is selected, the options appear at the top. I’m going to remove the texture from the house. If you want to remove (hide) part of a layer, click the Erase option on the Brush settings menu. Set Size, Softness and Opacity to taste as you paint.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

You will see this menu at the top of your screen when you active the Brush tool. Choose Erase to paint away effects, choose Paint to add it in. This allows you to make corrections if you go too far with your painting as well.

Once you’re finished, click Done on the end of the brush options bar.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

Adjusting the Texture

One good thing about Add Image is that the layer you’ve created has full access to all the Filters in Luminar. Let’s say you’re using either the Overlay or Soft Light blend mode. Any part of the image that’s mid-grey will be unaffected by the texture.

If your texture is dark, or light, the image will reflect this. You can easily change this by adding a Tone filter and adjusting the exposure. If the color from the texture is too strong, you can use Saturation to reduce this or use Hue Shift to change it.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

Apply filters to the texture layer to fine tune it.

Finishing the image

Of course, you can also apply filters to the original image. Being a landscape, this would be a good time for you to try the Landscape workspace. When you click on the original image, layer Luminar hides the layers above it. To get to the workspaces, click on Clear Workspace and choose Landscape from the menu.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

Landscape workspace.

Using the suggested filters in the workspace, it’s easy to add back the saturation I saw when I used Color Burn blending mode on the texture.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar

To activate the texture again, simply click on the texture layer.

How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar



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How to Blur the Background of a Portrait Using the Magnetic Lasso Tool in Photoshop

Have you ever taken a portrait and wished that the background were just a little bit more blurry? You can address background blur in-camera by changing either your aperture or the distance of your subject from the background. However, there’s also a relatively quick way to make slight adjustments to background blur in post-processing. In this article, we’ll be walking through how to use the Magnetic Lasso tool in Photoshop to slightly blur the background of your portraits and people photography.

Getting started

First, open your desired image in Photoshop, and duplicate your background layer (Layer > Duplicate Layer). Next, select the Magnetic Lasso tool. If you’ve not used this tool recently, you may need to right-click on the original lasso tool and then click on the magnetic lasso tool from the fly-out menu.

How to Blur the Background of a Portrait Using the Magnetic Lasso Tool in Photoshop

Selecting the subject

Using the Magnetic Lasso tool, begin by clicking at any point right next to your subject. You’ll notice that the magnetic lasso tool begins to “stick” to what it thinks is the outline of your subject. Continue to click your mouse to create anchor points periodically all around your subject.

If the magnetic lasso tool jumps somewhere you don’t want it to go, press the delete button on your keyboard to return to your last anchor point.

How to Blur the Background of a Portrait Using the Magnetic Lasso Tool in Photoshop

Definitely be aware that once you’ve started using the Magnetic Lasso tool, you’re pretty committed! You won’t be able to do much else with Photoshop until you’ve either completed the lasso loop by connecting your endpoint to your starting anchor point or until you hit “Esc” on your keyboard to delete all your anchor points.

Once you’ve closed your lasso loop, navigate to Select > Modify > Feather (or Shift + F6) and feather your selection by 5-10 pixels.

How to Blur the Background of a Portrait Using the Magnetic Lasso Tool in Photoshop

Feather your new selection 5-10 pixels.

Invert to select the background

Next, you’ll want to invert your selection so that you’ll be blurring the background rather than your subject. To do that, navigate to Select > Inverse (or Ctrl + Shift + I). If you see a dashed outline appear around the border of your image, then you’ve correctly inverted your selection.

How to Blur the Background of a Portrait Using the Magnetic Lasso Tool in Photoshop

Notice where the marching ants are – if they appear like this around the outside of the image you’ve correctly inverted the selection.

Adding the blur effect

After you’ve inverted your selection, it’s time to blur the background of your image. Click on Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Next, play with the radius slider a bit.

Please keep in mind that this technique isn’t designed to take a tack sharp background and transform it to the creamy bokeh of an 85mm lens. Rather, it’s designed to slightly enhance the bokeh that you’ve already got going on in your image. As such, I usually select a radius of 5-10 pixels for the blur filter.

Don’t be afraid to play around with this a bit. Utilize the preview check box, and see what your image looks like when using different amounts for the radius!

How to Blur the Background of a Portrait Using the Magnetic Lasso Tool in Photoshop

Gaussian blur added.

Finishing up

Once you’ve run the Gaussian Blur filter, press Ctrl + D to deselect your image, and you’re about finished! If there are any parts of your image that are blurry and shouldn’t be, go ahead and add a layer mask to your top layer, and mask off any of those blurry areas, and then you’re finished!

How to Blur the Background of a Portrait Using the Magnetic Lasso Tool in Photoshop

Original image on top; image blurred with magnetic lasso tool on the bottom.

As you can see, this technique is subtle, and helps to soften (but not eliminate) slightly distracting elements from the background of your image. I most often find myself using this technique on one or two person portraits, including newborns. It’s a really simple trick to have in your tool bag!

Have you ever utilized the magnetic lasso tool for people photography? What’s your favorite way to use it? Chime in below and tell us in the comments section.

The post How to Blur the Background of a Portrait Using the Magnetic Lasso Tool in Photoshop by Meredith Clark appeared first on Digital Photography School.



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These are the photos from Iceland’s largest volcanic eruption in over 200 years

Iceland is one of the destinations on my bucket list. And while I’m gradually saving up and making plans, I enjoy looking at the photos from this magical place. Photographer Axel Sigurðarson is lucky to live there, and he’s spent a large part of his life exploring this country. When Bárðarbunga volcano had its largest […]

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Google finally opens up Visual Core chip for HDR+ to third party apps on the Pixel 2

Google have now announced the availability of the final Developer Preview of Android 8.1. While the finalised version won’t roll out until December, the new preview features “near-final” system images. The new preview actives the Pixel Visual Core chipset in both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL. Essentially, this is an 8 core system on […]

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These are the photos from Iceland’s largest volcanic eruption in over 200 years

Iceland is one of the destinations on my bucket list. And while I’m gradually saving up and making plans, I enjoy looking at the photos from this magical place. Photographer Axel Sigurðarson is lucky to live there, and he’s spent a large part of his life exploring this country. When Bárðarbunga volcano had its largest […]

The post These are the photos from Iceland’s largest volcanic eruption in over 200 years appeared first on DIY Photography.



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This short film was made almost entirely from cinemagraphs

Cinemagraphs seem to be more and more popular among photographers. If you like this type of artwork, this video will be a real treat for you. Filmmaker Erick Flores Garnelo has made a short film created almost entirely of cinemagraphs. It doesn’t only demonstrate Erick’s talent and skill. It has such a special atmosphere that it […]

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These 3 Features on Your Canon Camera Can Help With Your Black and White Photography

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We take a look at 3 features on your Canon camera that can help with your Black and White photography.



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How to make a $8 DIY light painting tube from cake collar

If you are into light painting, you know that light tubes can create plenty of stunning effects. There are a few ways to make your own light tubes, and in this video, you’ll see a really cheap, yet effective one. Eric Paré and Kim Henry bring their passion for food and light painting together and […]

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Use Photoshop’s Lighten blend mode to shoot high end product composites

Shooting product photography is a whole lot of fun. Often, though, it can require a surprisingly high number of lights and modifiers to get the job done in a single shot. But what if you don’t have a ton of gear? What if you just want to give it a go without having to spend […]

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Leica updates its 75mm f/1.25 manual focus lens and it’ll only cost you $12.8K

I know things with Leica written on them are supposed to be expensive, but wow. Leica has been producing Noctilux lenses for over 50 years. It kicked off in 1966 with the Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 at Photokina in 1966. That lens today has been updated with an f/0.95 aperture. Leica say that the new Noctilux-M […]

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Leica updates its 75mm f/1.25 manual focus lens and it’ll only cost you $12.8K

I know things with Leica written on them are supposed to be expensive, but wow. Leica has been producing Noctilux lenses for over 50 years. It kicked off in 1966 with the Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 at Photokina in 1966. That lens today has been updated with an f/0.95 aperture. Leica say that the new Noctilux-M […]

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'The Experimental Self: Edvard Munch's Photography' Review - Wall Street Journal

New York. It's not a secret that Edvard Munch (1863-1944) took photographs. A monograph about his fitful output, by the Norwegian art historian Arne Eggum, was published here in 1989. Ten years later, Dorothy Kosinski's “The Artist and the Camera ...



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The Art vs. The Craft of Photography - PetaPixel (blog)

Most of what you learn about photography is about the craft — the how of it all. When you think of craft, consider the word craftsmanship – real dedication towards high quality. A carpenter selecting the right tools to enable him to sweat love and ...



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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

T+L's Photo Contest Finalists: Tim Guiteras - Travel+Leisure

T+L: How would describe your style of photography? Tim Guiteras: I would say my photographic style is abstract, deliberate, unorthodox, and empathic — I use my photography as a tool to tell a story and connect my audience with my subject. Regardless ...

and more »


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Denver dudes bare it all in the woods of Idaho Springs as part of growing “dudeoir photography” trend - The Know

4, when she packed her Subaru with holiday-themed props and consenting, male models, whom she drove into the mountains and instructed to drop their pants. “We were at 10,000 feet, and it was cold and windy,” Fritz, 26, said. “We got there and set up ...



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Can having a photography website help you improve your work? - imaging resource

Having a photography website is not only a great way to showcase your work, it can also be a means for improving your photography. Landscape photographer Andrew Marr says that you need to get out and shoot more if you want to improve your photography ...



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Presenting 'Thought Processes' -- Stefanie Timmerman to present photography at Reach Arts - Wicked Local Swampscott

For German-born photographer and Swampscott resident Dr. Stefanie Timmermann, photography is a way to dissect and dramatize the patterns of nature and challenge traditional interactions with visual art. In her upcoming Reach Arts exhibit, “Thought ...

and more »


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Want to Grow a Photography Business? Look Beyond the Picture. - Entrepreneur

In a point-and-click age, almost anyone can manage a decent photo. Heck, I know people using portrait mode on their iPhones trying to turn their tap-to-focus "skills" into a side hustle. But, if you want to start and grow a photography business and ...



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Shortlist for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018 announced - FAD magazine

Collectively and individually, the four projects drive forward an artistic enquiry into the mechanics of visibility and concealment and interrogate the status and position of the image in contemporary culture. Works by the shortlisted photographers ...



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Don’t leave your Mac unattended. High Sierra bug lets anyone log in as root

This isn’t so much a photography related post, but a PSA for photographers, video professionals, or anybody else who uses a Mac. If you’ve updated to the latest version of High Sierra – 10.13.1 (17B48) – prepare yourself for a shock. This is a big one. It turns out there’s a big gaping security hole […]

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Creating Beautiful Multiple Exposure Wedding Photos

The multiple exposure is one of the easiest, fastest and most flexible ways to create striking images. It is usually my go-to technique when I am struggling with creativity and I need a good shot fast or when the venue is less than ideal for creating amazing images.

Introduction

So what are multiple exposures anyway? In technical terms, a multiple exposure is the superimposition of two or more exposures to create a single image. Originally done in film photography by exposing the same film negative multiple times to create an overlaid image, These days it can be done with digital cameras by exposing the camera’s digital sensor two or more times and then overlaying those images.

Overlaying multiple exposures is one of the oldest forms of “trick photography” and is responsible for many of histories “unexplainable” photographs.

Understanding Multiple Exposures

The way that multiple exposures work can be a bit tricky, so let me start off by explaining that white in an image represents exposed data. Once you expose part of your image to the max that part is exposed forever. You will not be able to bring it back or overlay anything over it because it is already exposed.

Black represents unexposed area. Which is perfect for overlaying the second exposure. Black parts of the image are still unexposed and so the second exposure will fill those parts with substance. This means ideally you want a black area on your first exposure to allow your second exposure to show through.

Everything in between is just different densities of black or white, so they will show through different amounts of the second exposure.

Technical Details

As far as I know, there are 3 ways to do a double exposure.

1. Using a multiple exposure setting on your camera to combine two or more consecutive shots into one.

2. Using a multiple exposure tool in the camera that allows you to combine two images that have already been taken.

3. A program like Photoshop.

95% of the time I am using option number 2, which I believe gives me the most flexibility. The other 5% of the time I will use number 1. Sometimes I will use a combination of Number 1 and Number 2 but I will explain that later. As for number 3, I’ve never combined exposures in Photoshop after that fact — not that I am against using Photoshop, but I just prefer to do it in-camera.

Setting up for consecutive multiple exposures on Nikon

Most Nikon Cameras will have a double exposure mode that can be found by navigating to your Camera Menu->Shooting Menu->Multiple Exposure and from there you can turn on multiple exposure mode, and select the number of shots you want to have combined. This is how you would do a traditional multiple exposure but like I said earlier, I only do this maybe 5% of the time. The majority of the time I am using Nikon’s combine multiple exposures tool.

(Note: I have my BKT button on my Nikon d5 mapped to double exposure mode so I can quickly set it up if I need too.)

Combining already taken multiple exposures in camera with Nikon

Navigate to the Retouch menu and then Image Overlay and from there you will be able to select two images that you have previously taken and combine them into one. You will be able to adjust the density of each image and then combine them. The output will be a RAW image of the two selected images but combined into one. In my opinion, this is the best way to do multiple exposures because it offers the most flexibility.

Setting up for Double Exposures on Canon

Most Canon cameras can be set up for double exposures by navigating to the camera menu and then navigating through the shooting tabs until you see a multiple exposure option that will allow you to enable multiple exposure mode. You will also be able to select how the exposures are combined, how many exposures you want the camera to combine and if you want the camera to shoot in multiple exposure mode continuously or for just one complete multi-exposure.

Combining multiple exposures in camera with Canon

Similar to Nikon there is a way to combine already taken images in camera, You can do this by going to menu, navigating to the same tab where the multiple exposure mode can be found and selecting “Select images for multi. Expo.” This should allow you to go through the images on your memory card and select the two (or more) images that you want to combine.

(Canon cameras have the ability to select different kinds of blending modes for the multiple exposures. I don’t know a ton about the different modes, but when I was shooting with canon cameras I would always use “additive” mode which I believe is the closest thing to what would be considered a traditional multiple exposure.)

The Thought Process

Multiple exposures can be a bit tricky to wrap your mind around when you first start doing them, there is a lot of stuff going on when multiple images get combined that it can be confusing trying to keep track of whats going on. For that reason, I like to keep things simple by breaking them into two parts. Part 1 being the “Canvas” and part 2 being the “Subject”.

The Canvas

The canvas is the background, foreground or any part of the image that doesn’t have a subject in it. This is for me the most interesting aspect of a double exposure and I will take the time to figure this out before I consider adding the subject to the frame. Usually, for canvases I’ll look for interesting lights, abstract designs, geometric shapes, cityscapes, fire, sparkly stuff and I’ve even been known to use pages from a magazine or paintings on walls to make interesting canvases. Here are some examples of canvases:

This is a stained glass lamp shade that I found while walking around the venue. Notice the black area on the left, That was actually made by placing a credit card behind the lampshade to flag a dark area because I knew I eventually wanted to put a subject in that area.

These are 3 lights that were above the bathroom mirror in the bridal suite. Ordinarily, they would be pretty boring but I saw them for their basic geometric shape and thought they looked kind of cool. I under-exposed my camera quite a bit to try and only get the basic shape and color from the lights.

This is a chandelier and I just I opened up the shutter speed to get a long exposure, then I moved the camera around and also zoomed in and out to get these cool abstract light trails.

Once you have decided on your canvas, you need to decide where to put your subject. When I am looking for good canvas shots, I am looking for good places to put my subject within the canvas. Remember that black represents no exposure, and so will show the second exposure. For that reason I intentionally look for dark areas within my canvas shot, knowing that it is going to be the place I put my subject.

If I can’t find a naturally dark area I will create one by putting an object in front of the lens to flag the area I want my subject to go. I’ve used my finger, a credit card, and other random objects to create a dark spot in the canvas frame so that I have a spot to place my couple.

The Subject

I’ll do one of two things with the subject, turn them into a silhouette, or light them with a completely black background. Here are some examples of Subject photos.

This is just a silhouette taken against an empty white wall. I used the red gel from Magmod and had the groom hold my flash at his waist and point it directly at the wall behind him. Then I used my shutter speed to kill all the ambient light in the room and got this simple silhouette.

This is just a very simple silhouette made by placing a flash behind the subject and pointing it at the wall. Then I just increased my shutter speed to kill the ambient light and got this simple strong silhouette.

All I’ve done here is put the couple in a completely black frame. This can be achieved pretty much anywhere with a gridded flash, just kill the ambient exposure by increasing your shutter speed until your frame is completely black and then put a flash on the couple. The completely black parts are perfect for filling in with a cool canvas frame.

Complete Double Exposures

Interesting Canvases

Here are a few of the techniques that I use to create interesting canvas shots, Obviously the sky is the limit on what you want to create but I usually stick to these.

1. White Balance Throw

This is when you use a different white balance with each exposure. For instance, I’ll crank up my white balance to 10,000k and photograph some interesting lights (like a chandelier, candles, or twinkle lights) as my canvas. This makes the lights super orange because I’m tricking the camera into adding orange to the image.

Then for the subject image, I’ll move my white balance to the correct white balance, this will make the subject correctly colored while the canvas image is still bright orange. You can do this the complete opposite also by setting your camera to something like 3200K and making the canvas image a strong blue color. If you are doing a silhouette you can set the white balance to 10,000K for the canvas and 3200K (or the opposite) for the subject and that will add a strong orange/blue color contrast to your image.

2. Long Exposures

This is one of my favorites, you can find interesting light sources and set the camera to do a long exposure. Then shake the camera around to get cool motion blur and or light trails for your canvas shot. Then just place your subject in as usual. You can also use a zoom lens and zoom in and out while taking the long exposure shot and it creates an interesting zoom in effect that I’ve done a few times before.

3. Multiple exposures

This is when I will use multiple exposures just to build my canvas. For example I will set my camera to shoot consecutive multiple exposures, then take an image of a chandelier, re-compose and take another image of the same chandelier, I sometimes will do this like 10 times which results in a canvas image that is build of about 10 exposures with 10 of the same chandelier in the shot but recomposed a bunch of times so it is just an abstract mess of chandeliers. Then I’ll just add my subject in as usual. This usually results in some pretty crazy/abstract shots, which can be pretty fun.

4. Mixing Focal lengths

Sometimes I’ll use a 200mm lens to compress lights, cityscapes, or anything else for the canvas. Then I’ll switch to a wider angle lens to capture my subject. By mixing focal lengths you gain control over how big or little your subject/canvas can be. For example, you can use a 200mm lens to make something small look huge and fill up the entire frame, then use a wider angle lens and step back to make your subject look small. Then put your tiny subject within the bigger canvas.

Conclusion

I try not to do multiple exposures all of the time because I feel like they are not always 100% true to life, not an accurate representation of what was really happening on the couple’s wedding day, and sometimes I feel like they are kind of gimmicky. That being said, however, the couples who hire me are doing so because they want amazing images and it is my responsibility to create them.

I will always strive to capture real moments, and real emotion before I fabricate something like a multiple exposure, but at the end of the day if the venue isn’t the most ideal place for amazing portraits, or if I am low on portraits for the day I know I can always put together a multiple exposure that will blow the couple’s couples mind and make me look good in the process.

So ultimately look at double exposures as just another tool in the tool-box, something you can break out whenever the occasion calls for it.

About the author: Carsten Schertzer is a wedding and engagement photographer based in Los Angeles, California. You can find more of his work on his website, Instagram, and Facebook. This article was also published here.



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