Subject Isolation: Finding Innovative Ways to Draw Attention to Subjects

I have no idea where I first heard this, but it’s extremely true: “the main difference between painting and photography is that the painters need to work hard to put things into their images, whereas photographers have to work hard to take things out of their images.” Painters start with a blank canvas, and every single thing that ends up in the final piece of art is a result of careful craftsmanship, years of hard-earned skill, and raw intention. The photographer’s canvas, on the other hand, is all of the world’s visual chaos, and he or she must deploy
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This Camera Lens is Made of Iceberg Ice… and It Actually Works

Photographer Mathieu Stern is a fan of creating strange lenses, but his latest creation is quite unusual, even by his standards. Stern visited Iceland and created a working lens out of ice from an iceberg. Stern says it all started with the idea: “If glass can focus light, then ice should do it too.” He then set to work seeing if he could actually make it happen. The first step was 3D printing a custom lens body that’s designed to hold ice within as its main lens element. Stern also hacked an ice sphere maker to create optical
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Photographer Turns Drone Shot Into a Facebook 3D Photo

Facebook’s new 3D Photos feature is designed for photos captured using the depth map-based Portrait mode in the latest smartphones. Photographer Oat Vaiyaboon went beyond smartphones and turned a DJI Mavic Pro drone photo into a Facebook 3D Photo by creating his own depth map. “I thought I would try creating my very own custom depth map in PS and then edit the image together with Depth Camera on iOS,” writes Vaiyaboon, who goes by hangingpixels online. “Each component (layers) needs to be selected and converted to greyscale individually with varying opacity using alpha channels – foreground is 100% black,
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This Music Video Mixes Day and Night Using Its Main Characters

Here’s a creative music video that may bend your brain. Featuring the song “No More” by the French electro band Loo & Monetti, the video visually mixes day and night through the two main characters. “It’s a poetic film involving two characters, one living in the day and the other at night,” producer Lionel Payet Pigeon of La Planète Rouge tells PetaPixel. “They cross the same places, but at different moments, like they where looking for each other.” The bodies of the characters were used as transparent “masks” in the shots — windows into the opposite half of a
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An Instax Camera with a Leica M Lens

Good photos have become commonplace. Smartphones have demystified camera technicalities in the past decade, and its pervasive adoption has democratized photography for mass consumers. Since the first known photograph was made in 1820, camera functions evolved significantly to compensate for human error. Features like image stabilization, white-balance detection, and low-light capabilities became baseline features. Rapidly improved smartphone cameras challenge conventional camera-makers’ advantage—the line between smartphones and conventional cameras is increasingly blurred. There is a convergence towards a compact form that easily creates great photos. So, camera-makers must offer an elevated experience to stay relevant. Leica, a company acclaimed for its
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Make a $10 DIY Disco Light Modifier for Round-Head Flashes

Controlling and modifying light is a lot of what photographing with studio lights and battery-powered strobes is about. Especially when it comes to portraits, I like to work with my lighting setups so they add something that is not perfect or flat. Twisting and turning your lights to make use of the edges is one very effective way of doing that. Breaking up the light with a scrim, gobo, or something else is also very rewarding. This do-it-yourself project is all about a cheap prism from an LED Disco Party Bulb that I found for under $10.

A Cheap Disco
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4 Portrait Locations You Can Find in Any Neighborhood

Don’t have the time or money to travel to picturesque portrait locations? There’s like spots for nice portraits in your own backyard. Photographers Tajreen Hedayet and Chloe V. of Tajreen&Co made this short, sweet, and informative 2-minute video on 4 portrait locations you can find in any neighborhood. “Look out for these backdrops next time you go location scouting, portrait shooting, or when you’re just out and about — you’ll be surprised to see how many you find!” the duo says. The four ideas they cover are solid colored walls, bushes and foliage, bushes and foliage, high locations, and
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The Essence of Photography: What You See Reflects Your Inner World

Here’s my favorite quote from Jay Maisel, one of the legends in the world of photography: “If you want to make more interesting pictures, become a more interesting person.” As photographers, we often get bored in the place we live and we want to travel as much as possible to get different and more interesting pictures. We think that it is all about pictures. But I’ve found that for me, it’s exactly as Jay Maisel said: the more I know about life, about people, about art, the better and more interesting my pictures become to me. If I’m in
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Photos of Humans and Dogs Who Look Strangely Alike

Dog owners often look strangely similar to the dogs they love. Animal photographer Gerrard Gethings turned this concept into an amusing photo series titled Do You Look Like Your Dog?. Gethings works out of London, England, with his assistant named Baxter, a 9-year-old Border Terrier. He had the idea of photographing similar-looking humans and dogs for a while before he found a backer for the project: Laurence King Publishing, which had Gethings shoot the photos for a memory game. Gethings had one year to find and shoot 50 portraits, and he started with the dogs. After putting out a call
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Imagination and the Power of Change with Beth Comstock

One of the world’s most powerful women in business, Beth Comstock, recently left a 27 year career at GE as their Chief Marketing Officer and Vice Chair to go in a completely different direction – to a new life beyond the enterprise-exec world where her new areas of focus include writing, art, exploration and discovery.  Rarely do we see or hear of these evolutions – where someone like Beth who is so accomplished in big business reveals very publicly and vulnerably that she’s just excited to “do something new” and figure it all out along the way.  It’s simultaneously brilliant, Continue reading "Imagination and the Power of Change with Beth Comstock"

This Newborn Photo Shows a Baby and His Twin Brother’s Ashes

New Zealand-based photographer Sarah Simmons has won an international photo competition with a powerful newborn photo showing a baby with his twin brother’s ashes. reports that mother Cherie Ayrton learned the devastating news that one of her twins had passed away in the womb at her five-month ultrasound scan. She still kept the newborn photo shoot she had booked with Simmons, and the photographer came up with the idea of capturing a portrait of baby Tiger with his brother Johnny’s ashes. Simmons wrapped Tiger in a cloth, twisted it, and connected the other end to Johnny’s ashes
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Time-Blended Composite Photos of Moscow

For the past three years, Russian photographer Vadim Sherbakov has been capturing time-blended composite photos in his home city of Moscow. To create the photos, Sherbakov visits the locations and stays for 1-3 hours as the light changes. With his camera fixed in the exact same place, Sherbakov captures a large number of photos that show different lighting conditions over that time. Once at his computer, Sherbakov picks the best portions from various photos across time and combines them into a single composite photo. In this way, Sherbakov is able to create photos that show things like car light trails
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This Guy Turned a Broken Camera Into a Working ‘Watch’ Camera

Iranian photographer Alireza Rostami had a broken vintage Chinese Seagull TLR camera on his hands, and he recently decided to get creative with it by turning the lens into a working wristwatch-style camera.
The broken Seagull TLR camera that Rostami started with.
Rostami extracted the lens and shutter mechanism from the camera and mounted them to a black leather watch strap. Custom-cut circular pieces of film are loaded into the back of the camera. Here’s what the resulting camera looks like when worn on the wrist like a watch:

Lighting a Photo Shoot with 100 Mini LED Lights

We are going to use 100 Lume Cube LED lights to teach you how continuous light can be used on a set. Using continuous light on set for still photography is a great way to learn photographic concepts and getting you comfortable with lighting techniques. Since continuous light never turns off, it’s much easier to see what the lights do and make easy adjustments. A key light will generally be a stop less than your rim light. First, you set your aperture, shutter, and exposure for your key light. Now the rim light is just a little brighter and gives
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This Couple Shot 70s-Themed Engagement Photos

After Erin Wotherspoon and Steve Markle got engaged recently, Steve had the idea of getting creative with their engagement photos by making them 1970s-themed (an era he’s obsessed with). HuffPost reports that the enlisted the help of photographer Robyn S. Russell for the photo shoot held at the couple’s home in the Parkdale neighborhood of Toronto, Canada. The home was already perfect for the shoot thanks to its 70s-style elements, and the couple found their outfits from a TV and film wardrobe rental business. You can find more of Russell’s work on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.
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Cardpackr is an Expandable Magnetic Case for Storing Memory Cards

Cardpackr is a new memory card storage solution designed by a design partnership called W2. It’s a stackable magnetic case that can expand to hold as many memory cards as you need. The Cardpackr system consists of one cover layer and as many standard layers as you’d like. Each layer has 4 strong neodymium magnets — memory cards aren’t harmed by magnets — built in that keep all the layers together when your cards are put away.
“These give just the right amount of grip to stop the layers accidentally coming apart whilst at the same time making it simple
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A Star-Stack Timelapse of a Lightning Storm in Hawaii

Star stacking is a popular technique astro-photographers use to create photos and time-lapses of star trails. But what do you get when a lightning storm is also in the frame? Maui-based photographer Joe Domrad created a mesmerizing time-lapse that will show you. Here’s the 16-second video:
Domrad was shooting with an exposure time of around 12 seconds and captured about 500 photos for this time-lapse. The dotted lines you see streaking across the frame are the blinking lights on airplanes. And
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Lucky Accidents: Viewing Corrupted JPEG Photos in a New Light

I’ve always had bad luck with portable hard drives. Over the years I have had failures with several brands and models, so nowadays I have almost everything in the cloud for more security. The last time this happened was a couple of months ago: one of my backup hard drives became corrupt, I took it to the tech and they gave me a very high quote that at the moment I could not afford to pay. As a photographer I’m not a very good computer technician, I do not know much about recovery software but a friend who is quite
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This Guy Poses with Toy Superheroes Using Forced Perspective

Wire Hon is a Malaysian toy collector and photographer who has been shooting creative photos of himself and his family with Marvel superheroes by carefully posing tiny figurines and using forced perspective. Here’s what a behind-the-scenes look typically looks like (Hon captures all his photos using his smartphone and its deep depth-of-field): …and here’s the photo that resulted from the above setup: Hon’s imaginative photos come with a dose of humor. He, his wife, and his son can be seen bossing Marvel superheroes around and being found in strange scenarios with them. The group even posed for this picture together:
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These Glowing Symbols in Landscapes Were Shot Using a Drone Light

After using light-equipped drones to illuminate landscapes and create halos over rock pinnacles, photographer Reuben Wu is back with another creative drone light-painting photo series. Titled Aeroglyph, the photos show glowing symbols hovering over waters. All the symbols are traced during long-exposure photos using a distant drone that’s carrying a lighting rig. The plus and minus were shot over the Pacific Ocean, while the square and triangle were captured over Lake Michigan. “This is an evolution of my Lux Noctis series, where I’m focusing on the actual light path rather than the illuminated landscape,” Wu tells PetaPixel.
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