Learn how to do creative bokeh photography and come and see more about Bokeh photography here.
My studio was still set up with Christmas lights after a portrait session yesterday. After seeing this video, I decided to capture some creative aperture shots using my Lensbaby Spark to add to my collection of stock backgrounds and textures.
For what it's worth, here was my favorite from yesterday's session:
Adobe has released an update to Photoshop CC that addresses a few bugs introduced by the previous update released at the beginning of this month, most notably an issue with the Liquify tool which produced improper results with 16-bit files and GPU acceleration enabled.
I'm actually pretty surprised by how quickly Adobe was able to release this update. With record breaking revenue bolstering their bottom line (largely due to the popularity of Creative Cloud), it looks like Adobe is funneling their resources accordingly to address issues quickly and keep customers happy (like me). [Sean]
Simply use the Creative Cloud application to update Photoshop CC to version 2015.1.1.
Make 2016 count with tips from 50 photo trailblazers!
In The Inspiration Handbook: 50 Tips from 50 Photography Trailblazers, award-winning photographers, recognized photo editors, and leading industry experts share their best advice to make 2016 a knockout year.
Get insights on all the key aspects of building and running your photo business, including:
Growing your photo business
Marketing your photography
Mastering social media
Embracing personal projects
Understanding your finances
You’ll hear from some of the most influential names in the business including David Burnett, Ami Vitale, Joe McNally, Zack Arias, Brad Smith, Alison Zavos, Jodi Cobb, David duChemin, Jeremy Cowart, and more.
We’re excited to announce an update to Lightroom for iOS just in time for the holidays! This new version adds a bunch of new features, including:
iPad Pro support and support for iOS 9’s multitasking capabilities
Point Curve mode for the Tone Curve and the Split Tone adjustments tool
Support for 3D touch and a new widget to launch the Adobe built-in camera from the iOS Notification Center
New shoot-through presets in the Adobe built-in camera, and more.
The launch of the iPad Pro has gotten us all pretty excited at Adobe. The ability to take such a powerful and yet compact device on the road with us, and the new opportunities it offers, has gotten us thinking about what new possibilities we can add into Lightroom for mobile. In this release, we optimized the app to work on an iPad Pro and to also support the multitasking functionality new in iOS 9. On iPads and iPad Pros, Lightroom for iOS 2.1 enables both the Slide Over functionality so that you can quickly interact with other apps without having to switch apps as well as Split View so that you can run two apps at once, such as reading a tutorial while working within Lightroom.
We are constantly working to make Lightroom for mobile more and more powerful, and this update adds in both the Point Curve mode for the Tone Curve tool, as well as the Split Toning adjustment tool. With the Point Curve mode, you can have full control over the curve, as well as direct access to each of the color channels. This level of control previously has only been available in our desktop apps, so we’re pretty excited that now you can really tweak your images anywhere. The Split Toning tool makes it possible to add a different tint or tone to both the highlights and shadows of your photo. This effect is great both creating artistic and stylistic enhancements with color photos, something that we’ve seen become a lot more popular recently, or to recreate an effect that was more traditionally used in black and white photography.
Since we’re often using our mobile devices on the go, we’re always looking for ways to make it easier and faster to work with Lightroom for iOS. The 3D touch functionality introduced with the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus opened up a new realm of possibilities for speeding up interaction. With Lightroom for iOS 2.1, you can use 3D touch on the home screen to open the camera directly or in the collection view to Peek and Pop an image, to quickly check which image you’d like to edit before moving into the Loupe view. Lightroom for iOS 2.1 also adds a Notification Center widget that lets you quickly open the camera found within Lightroom for mobile.In Lightroom for mobile 2.0 we added in a brand-new camera experience, built from the ground up to provide powerful new capture experiences.
In version 2.1, we’ve added in a new exciting feature that lets you preview and capture images in real-time with a preset applied. These presets take full advantage of the full processing abilities of Lightroom and apply their enhancements non-destructively. This means you can see what your photo will look like with the preset applied before you capture it, capture the photo with the preset already applied, and then adjust or even remove the effect from the photo, all without losing any quality along the way. And of course, the original image and the edits are synchronized with your other mobile devices, Lightroom on the web, and Lightroom on your Mac or PC. These shoot-through presets are one of the first ways we’ve made the Adobe in-app camera within Lightroom for mobile a truly unique and powerful experience, and we’re just getting started.
In addition to all of these major new features, we’ve added a bunch of little enhancements and improvements throughout the app. We’re continuing to work hard to come up with new, fun features that make mobile photography even more enjoyable, and look forward to sharing those new features with you in the new year.
The SIGMA Corporation is pleased to announce the world's first* Clear Glass Ceramic protective lens filter.
Interchangeable lenses are the most important element of photographic expression, and to the photographer they are a valuable personal asset. To help photographers continue to use for many years the lens systems in which they have invested their time, knowledge, and budgets, SIGMA has developed original lens filters that meet the company’s high standards of excellence. In developing its new protective lens filter, SIGMA has leveraged an unprecedented cooperative relationship with a glass manufacturer, resulting in a completely new type of glass called Clear Glass Ceramic. Featuring this advanced material, the SIGMA WR CERAMIC PROTECTOR is a highly reliable filter with outstanding protective capability.
With many applications in aerospace and other industries, glass ceramic is an extremely tough type of crystallized glass that serves as the foundation for Clear Glass Ceramic. While featuring the high transmittance required of optical devices, this advanced new material combines greater hardness than chemically strengthened glass and greater flexibility than sapphire crystal glass. These qualities make Clear Glass Ceramic the ideal material for protective lens filters.
*Among filters for interchangeable lenses as of December 2015 (SIGMA research)
Full disclosure: my extended family already celebrated Christmas this past weekend. We generally all make the long drive to my aunt's house to get together a week or two before Christmas so that actual Christmas day can be spent at home with immediate family.
As such, I thought I'd share my "Christmas Day Presents Opening" kit because, after photographing my family's event over the past few years, I've finally settled on a small kit that seems to work very well for the festive day.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is an extremely versatile body that works well in just about any situation. The AF system is great, the full-frame camera offers a wider angle of view compared to using the same lens with a crop-sensor camera, and its high-ISO image quality allows me to grab ambient only shots when desired. As I'll explain later, a full-frame camera body isn't necessarily required, but it is certainly my preferred choice. I also like that the 5D III (and 5Ds/5Ds R) feature dual memory card slots. While capturing the fleeting moments of bliss and unbridled happiness that the day brings, having a backup set of images means that you're less likely to lose your precious memories because of a memory card malfunction or accidental deletion from the primary card.
A lot of people prefer a general purpose zoom for these types of celebrations and events, and there are certainly advantages to having a versatile focal range available for use. However, I find a 35mm f/1.4 lens to provide an excellent balance between focal length and maximum aperture. The 35mm focal length is wide enough to you create a story with relatively loose framing, yet it's rarely too wide. It's also not too long so that photographing in smaller spaces/rooms becomes an issue.
The wide f/1.4 aperture allows you to separate your subject from the background while [in most cases] still getting a sense of what's actually taking place in the background. The wide aperture also allows you to utilize the ambient light while helping to freeze action (certainly a benefit when arms and hands are busy opening presents) without having to use your maximum ISO.
But just because you can shoot at f/1.4 doesn't mean that's going to be optimal for your needs (especially with the depth-of-field needs associated with keeping multiple subjects in focus). The next part of my kit allows me much more flexibility in choosing the right aperture/shutter speed/ISO those kinds of shots.
No matter how much ambient light there is, I always like to be able to push a little bit more light into the room in order to allow for the use of lower ISOs and/or faster shutter speeds or to simply change the quality of light in the scene.
In a presents-opening situation, I'm typically using a camera-mounted flash with its head pointed straight up toward the ceiling to create flattering, room-filling bounce flash. Attached to the flash I use either a full CTO or a 1/2 CTO gel so that the color of the flash more closely matches that of the room's ambient light (generally created by tungsten lamps and even the glow of Christmas lights).
Another tool I find helpful is the use of a Rogue Flashbender 2 (Small). I like the Flashbender 2 (Small) because it isn't unwieldy when attached to the flash and it pushes just enough light forward to mitigate dark eye shadows that can sometimes be caused by the primary light source coming from overhead.
And while the flash works great with a wide aperture prime lens and a full-frame camera, a flash can also enable the use of narrower aperture zooms (or primes) and/or cameras with pixel-dense sensors (i.e., crop-sensor cameras). In these cases, the flash will likely shift from augmenting the existing ambient light to being the predominate light source in the scene.
So that's the kit I used this past weekend and it worked very well for capturing a wide variety of shots throughout the day. Do you have any other suggestions or recommendations? Let us know in the comments.
At 22 years of age, the 50mm f/1.4 is one of Canon's oldest lenses, but it remains a perennial favorite. Increasing its favoritism at the moment is the big-for-this-lens $70.00 instant rebate and a 4% B&H reward.