This is my new (old ) toy from my Dad. He has two lenses: a 50mm f1.4 and a 28mm f2.8. With just a roll of film and a small watch battery to power the light meter, that’s all that’s standing between my eyes and the subject. It’s refreshingly liberating to use something so purely mechanical! It’s over 30 years old and still works like a charm (I hope..I have yet to develop the film..) It’s funny how the older generation grew up with film and made the switch to digital while I am doing the opposite. Hopefully I’ll get to post some decent images in a few weeks.
If you’re curious about my workflow, here it is.
Disclaimer: I’m not a professional photographer (yet!) and so I know there are areas where I can improve my work flow but as an amateur/enthusiast, it gets the job done.
- I import all of my photos from my SD Card to my computer through Lightroom 3. I insert the SD card directly into my 13″ Macbook Pro and Lightroom automatically detects it.
- I go over all my photos from that important and mark off the ones that I don’t want to keep or edit and delete them from the group. I don’t see any problem with this since I take a lot of images and it costs virtually nothing to throw away. (I say virtually since every shutter actuation ads to to the age of the camera’s mechanisms.
- From there, I switch into “develop” mode and start editing. Starting with White Balance or Exposure (whichever is in need of more tweaking). I also decide at this point if I want to go Black and White or Color.
- I stay away from sharpening since I have already set my jpeg picture style to add some sharpening “in-camera”
- I then straighten my lines and correct my distortion.
- Now, I export my images in web-friendly dimensions with a small watermark to a designated folder for upload
- Finally, I export my images again but this time in full-size resolution to a designated folder on my hard drive organized by geographic location. Sometimes I have enough photos from a certain event/shoot that I’ll make a separate folder altogether.
- Share my photos on Facebook, Xanga, WordPress and my website.
This is one of my favorite shots from the East Village Block Party. The exposure is spot on, the sky looks awesome and the direct lighting on the DJ, in this case, works out well. To edit this shot, I bumped up the contrast and clarity a tad to give it make it pop a little more and fixed the rotation/distortion so all my lines would be straight. The only gripe I have is I wish it were wider or even fish-eye but this is as wide as my lens would go. Enjoy!
So I’ve experimented with HDR before but it’s never really turned out as well as this shot. I compiled this shot from 5 shots spaced at 1 stop exposure differences. If you’re just learning what HDR processing is, it stands for High Dynamic Range.
In photography, dynamic range refers to the highlights and shadows of a photograph. An HDR photograph contains detail in both the highlights and the shadows at the same time. With an intense lighting situation like a sunset and dark canyon, I decided to take 5 shots at varying exposures in rapid succession so I could merge them together in Photoshop. I had to act quick since sunsets are notorious for being too fast and thus changing the lighting of the shot. I used a tripod and a remote shutter. After each shot, I quickly adjusted my exposure and took the next shot. The rest of the magic is credited to Photoshop!
Do you take photographs or do you make photographs?
There’s a big difference between these two. If you just take photographs, presumably, you are adopting a point and shoot mentality to photography. You are taking away these memories happening now to be revisited at a later time. There’s nothing wrong with this but if you consider yourself a photographer either by trade or by interest, you should strive to make your photographs.
What do I mean? Well, for one, put some thought into your photos. Sit down and think about what you want to capture and the story you want to tell. There’s obviously several denominations of photography including both candid and planned. Some photographs may only have To really develop your eye and discipline as a photographer, try to imagine scenes you want to create and go and create them! Get the shot, tweak it however you like in the computer, and share it with the world. Invite your audience into the story, accept their constructive criticism but don’t forget why you took the photo in the first place.
So where is the future headed for DSLR cameras? From what I’ve seen lately, here is a list of trends and predictions that I have for the coming years.
- 3G enabled cameras capable of direct upload to the cloud
- 3D cameras capable of shooting photos and videos
- Seamless integration with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets
- Higher ISO capabilities at the entry level price point
- Mirrorless Interchangeable lens cameras (Sony already implementing this)
- “Green” manufacturing of bodies and lenses.
- Better implementation of lens specific corrections (distortion, fringing, chromatic aberrations, etc.)
- More in-camera novelty features like built in Panorama, HDR, Tilt Shift effect, Hyper Focus, Poloroid-esque processing, filters similar to Apple’s Photobooth.
I wonder if any of these things will become more mainstream. Time will tell.
This image takes advantage of the gradient filters in Lightroom where you can exclusively control certain portions of a photograph. For example, in this case, I lightened up the exposure of the sand while darkened the exposure of the sky to preserve detail in both halves.