Aurora Photographers Spot New Night Sky Phenomenon, Name it ‘Steve’

Aurora photographers have been buzzing in recent days about a newly spotted phenomenon in the sky. It’s a purple ribbon of light that differs in appearance from standard aurora. After being confirmed as a new phenomenon, it was given a new name: “Steve.” After focusing its Swarm program satellites on locations where there were Steve sightings by photographers, the European Space Agency detected the purple ribbon with its instruments. The temperature inside the ribbon was 3000°C hotter than the air around it, and the gas was traveling at 6 km/s versus the 10 m/s speed of the surrounding air.
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This is the Canon 300mm f/1.8 — Yes, Such a Monster Lens Exists

Want to see one of the rarest Canon lenses in existence? Check out the Canon 300mm f/1.8. It’s an extremely huge and heavy lens, and so few exist that you’ll probably never come across one in real life. “The lens is used for photo finishes in horse races,” Emil Wiik Larsen of @canongearnerd tells PetaPixel. “It has an EF mount and weighs a ton.” Due to the fact that it’s a 300mm telephoto lens with a giant aperture of f/1.8, the front element of the lens is a ginormous piece of glass. This particular lens was used
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How Nature Documentaries are Fake: A Filmmaker’s Perspective

When you watch nature documentaries like the BBC’s famous Planet Earth series, do you take for granted that everything you’re seeing is 100% real? We wouldn’t blame you if you did, but as Simon Cade of DSLRguide explains in this video, you’d be wrong. While the amount of “manipulation” that takes place in the cutting room of a nature doc varies with the editor and how far the producer is willing to push the truth, the fact is: every nature documentary is edited to tell a story. This means fake sounds—because you can’t capture the rustling of animal legs through
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3 Simple Tips for Posing Non-Models

Many (if not most) of us will spend at least some time photographing non-models—whether we’re talking about a bride, a high school senior, or just a good friend or sibling. Here are 3 simple tips that will help you help them look their best. This quick video comes to us from Rachel and Daniel of Mango Street Lab, who created it as a sort-of followup to their popular Couples Posing video we shared with you last month. After that video, many of their subscribers asked for a solo-posing tutorial, so they roped in Rachel’s not-a-model sister to demonstrate three
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3 Simple Tips for Posing Non-Models

Many (if not most) of us will spend at least some time photographing non-models—whether we’re talking about a bride, a high school senior, or just a good friend or sibling. Here are 3 simple tips that will help you help them look their best. This quick video comes to us from Rachel and Daniel of Mango Street Lab, who created it as a sort-of followup to their popular Couples Posing video we shared with you last month. After that video, many of their subscribers asked for a solo-posing tutorial, so they roped in Rachel’s not-a-model sister to demonstrate three
Continue reading "3 Simple Tips for Posing Non-Models"

Photographer Uses ‘Science’ to Find the ‘Perfect’ Portrait Angle

Is there such a thing as the ‘perfect’ portrait and headshot angle? When you’re dealing with something as subjective as photography, probably not. But that didn’t stop Ed Gregory from YouTube channel Photos in Color from applying some ‘science’ to try and find that perfect shot. Gregory decided to try and find this ‘perfect’ portrait angle by applying—in broad terms—the scientific method to a photo shoot. So he lined up a model under clam shell lighting, got out his Nikon D800 and an 85mm f/1.8 lens (set at f/8), and established some basic parameters for shooting 16 portraits from
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This is What 20fps with the Sony a9 Sounds Like (Spoiler: Nothing)

Sony made quite a splash in the photo industry this week by announcing the new a9, a mirrorless camera that can shoot 24MP full-frame photos at a whopping 20fps. We soon got a look at what 20fps on this camera looks like. If you want to see what 20fps sounds like, check out the video above. Some DSLRs can shoot at relatively fast rates as well — check out 12fps with the Nikon D5 and 16fps with the Canon 1D X II — but with DSLRs you’ll have audible sounds from the mirror and/or shutter flapping up and down.
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Why Zooming with Your Feet is NOT the Same as Zooming with a Lens

You’ve probably heard it a million times: “zoom with your feet!” This advice comes up almost any time the prime vs zoom lens debate resurfaces, but as anyone with even basic lens knowledge will tell you, zooming with your feet is NOT the same as zooming with your lens. “Zoom with your feet” has become photographer shorthand for “don’t be lazy,” implying that only lazy people buy a 24-105mm lens when you could just buy a shaper and faster prime lens and either get closer or further away—in other words: zoom with your feet. But as JP Morgan points
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The 5 Best Film Scanners Under $200

Scanning film is probably the least attractive part of shooting film, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect this stage. Nowadays, we all want to share our analog images online, and the only way to do that is by digitizing our negatives one way or another. If you want to get the most out of your negative, then you should choose your scanner carefully, as it’s probably THE most important link in the chain after capturing the image. But picking the right scanner can be tricky. Scanners can be as cheap as a dinner for 2 or as expensive as
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The Rise of 8K: Pros, Cons, and Why You Should Adopt it ASAP

8K is the future… at least that’s what Matt Granger believes. And so he recorded this educational video at the YouTube studio in NYC to prove his point, explain some of the benefits and pitfalls of ultra-high res footage, and convince you to adopt 8K just as soon as you can. If you’ve never even shot 4K—or you’ve spent any time looking at the price of the few 8K-capable cameras out there—this video probably comes as a shock. Many people don’t even have 4K capable monitors yet, most graphics cards groan under the weight of even 5K and 6K footage,
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How to Get a 35mm f/0.9 Lens for Just $350: Speed Boosters Explained

You would think the physics of lenses and light are pretty set in stone—and yet, somehow, people still get really twisted around when it comes to things like crop factor, depth of field, and speed boosters. Hoping to end (or at least quiet) this debate, photographer Jimmi Kai created this very informative, easy-to-understand video. The video specifically focuses on so-called Speed Boosters, and how these focal reducers can, in fact, turn a 50mm f/1.2 lens into a 35mm f/0.9 lens. It all comes down to a basic understanding of f-stop, how it’s calculated, and how it’s different than
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Parfocal vs Varifocal Zoom: What is the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

You’ve heard the terms “varifocal” and “parfocal” to describe lenses, but do you know what these terms mean? Or why they matter? If you don’t, this informative conversation between Vistek video producer Dale Sood and product manager Brian Young is the perfect place to start. Varifocal and Parfocal describe two different types of zoom lenses based on whether or not the focus is maintained when you change the focal length. With varifocal lenses, as soon as you zoom the lens you are varying the focus (hence the name). Any amount of recomposition is going to change the focus, which is
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The NPF Rule: A Formula for Sharp Star Photos Every Time

A common rule of thumb to figure out your maximum shutter speed for sharp stars at night is to divide 500 by your focal length. Sometimes it’s called the 600 Rule or the 400 Rule or several other numbers that can be used depending on your sensor size. Unfortunately, it’s a a very inaccurate rule today. The so-called 500 Rule was designed for 35mm film grain at higher ISOs; but current digital sensors far out-resolve grainy film, especially with high-megapixel count, medium format, or printing larger than 20″ x 30″. The rule doesn’t take into account pixel density, aperture, or
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The Modeling Industry: What Photographers Need to Know

I think it’s fair to say that most photographers will, at some point in their career, have to work with models at least once—whether you’re a still life shooter that photographs models’ hands holding a fork full of food a couple of times a year or an e-commerce shooter that works with models every single day. We all need to know how to contact a model, book a model, and what to expect when working with a model. But working with models in our current industry isn’t just for professional photographers anymore. The digital age of photography has meant that
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I Spent Two Years Botting on Instagram — Here’s What I Learned

In the world of Instagram, there is a practice known as botting — and I hate it. For the uninitiated, botting is the process of tying your Instagram account to a wide variety of automation software, which charge users small sums of money to juice their profile. At the heart of it, it’s a pay-to-play relationship where you’re paying money to grow your following on Instagram. For this experiment, I used a popular bot called Instagress, which I’ll explain in more detail soon. This is how the folks at Instagress pitch their services:
If you’ve ever wondered how certain
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This is What Actually Happens Every Time Your Computer Rotates a Photo

Rotating an image in Photoshop might seem like a pretty simple process: you just… rotate it, right? Not quite. As this video from 2010 demonstrates, one of the ways a computer rotates an image is actually by applying 4 sequential transformations. (Warning: math incoming). For image editing nerds, this demo is pretty fascinating. It was initially created by YouTube user IronMortality because of a limitation in MS Paint: you could only rotate by 90° at a time. To solve for this, he instead broke down the rotation process into its individual parts, and applied each of them one
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This is What Actually Happens Every Time Your Computer Rotates a Photo

Rotating an image in Photoshop might seem like a pretty simple process: you just… rotate it, right? Not quite. As this video from 2010 demonstrates, one of the ways a computer rotates an image is actually by applying 4 sequential transformations. (Warning: math incoming). For image editing nerds, this demo is pretty fascinating. It was initially created by YouTube user IronMortality because of a limitation in MS Paint: you could only rotate by 90° at a time. To solve for this, he instead broke down the rotation process into its individual parts, and applied each of them one
Continue reading "This is What Actually Happens Every Time Your Computer Rotates a Photo"

This is What Actually Happens Every Time Your Computer Rotates a Photo

Rotating an image in Photoshop might seem like a pretty simple process: you just… rotate it, right? Not quite. As this video from 2010 demonstrates, one of the ways a computer rotates an image is actually by applying 4 sequential transformations. (Warning: math incoming). For image editing nerds, this demo is pretty fascinating. It was initially created by YouTube user IronMortality because of a limitation in MS Paint: you could only rotate by 90° at a time. To solve for this, he instead broke down the rotation process into its individual parts, and applied each of them one
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How to Make a Timelapse Video: A Beginner’s Guide

A video is made up from 25 single photos per second, that, when placed back-to-back, trick our mind into seeing motion. But what would happen if we only took one photo every minute, and then played them back at 25 frames per second? The result is a magnificent hyper-realistic compression of time. We call this a timelapse, and I’ve created a video that will explain all the steps you need to know so you can make your very own. I started off in the beautiful Louvre courtyard in Paris, focusing on the Pyramid, and hoped to capture some engaging clouds
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