Shooting Top-Down Light-Painting Photos Using a Drone

There are a couple of different ways to use drones for light-painting. Some people will attach LumeCubes to their drone and paint an environment with them or will fly a drone around the sky or an object and have the drones lights creating images in the sky. However, there is another way to use them that isn’t widely used yet: using the drone’s camera to capture light-painting from above. Drones are becoming more and more popular these days and it’s not too expensive to buy one and play with its possibilities. Note: Always be aware of your surroundings when
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These Exploding Star Wars Ships Were Shot with Cotton and LEDs

Star Wars enthusiast @plasticstarwars shot a series of photos showing starfighters from the fictional universe at the moment of their destruction. Everything was done in-camera. “They are just Bandai model kits lit up with LEDs hidden in cotton wool,” @plasticstarwars tells PetaPixel. “I also used fiber optics to simulate sparks.”
Image credits: Photographs by @plasticstarwars and used with permission

This is a Steel Wool Photo Shot with a 360-Degree Camera

Australian photographer Rod Evans took his 360-degree camera out at night this past weekend and created this mind-bending “little planet” photo of himself spinning burning steel wool above his head. “I’m new to the whole world of 360 imagery but I am quite experienced with spinning steel wool, so on Saturday night I thought I’d try and combine the two,” Evans tells PetaPixel. “I’m not the first to try it I must admit, I have seen some other 360 photographers spin steel wool, with great results, but I don’t think I’ve seen an image quite like mine, as of yet.
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6 Camera Gear Storage Ideas in 90 Seconds

Looking to organize your ever-growing collection of cameras, lenses, and accessories? Here’s a short and sweet video in which Ted Forbes of The Art of Photography shares 6 DIY storage hacks in just 90 seconds. One thing to look out for when looking for an efficient way to store and retrieve your lenses is repurposing solutions that are actually designed for storing other things. In the video, Forbes shows how things like wine racks, lazy susans, and pantry sliding storage racks can be the perfect homes for your gear.

This is How You Shoot High-End Food Ads on Low-End Budgets

You know those food commercials you see on TV with foods and drinks (and sometimes fire and ice) flying around in slow motion? You don’t need extremely expensive camera equipment and rigs to achieve impressive results — all you need is some creativity. Here’s a 3-minute video that shows how one Chinese studio managed to create all kinds of eye-popping shots using low-fi practical effects — things like spinning a wet ear of corn on a power drill and drilling holes in glass bottles to blow drinks out the top.
And as you can see, several of the shots are
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How I Shot a Nova Terra Cosplay Photo in the Desert

As a photographer, I’ve never really planned my shoots too much. I kind of look at what I’ll be shooting and think of cool-looking images. Then I try my best to match what I’m seeing in my head through photography and sometimes post-production. This shoot happened in California in 2015 shortly after Blizzcon. My good friend Lyz Brickley finished an incredible Nova Terra costume from Starcraft (the outfit is based on her Heroes of the Storm look). She had the gun professionally made by her friend Jordan over at Henchmen Props. I couldn’t wait to shoot it. Lyz has a
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Photos of Tokyo and Seoul Shot Using a Fractal Lens

Seoul-based photographer Steve Roe recently took a fractal lens around Asia and captured futuristic views of the narrow streets filled with neon signs. Roe used the glass prisms made by Fractal Filters, which launched back in 2014 after a successful Kickstarter campaign. “The fractal works are inspired by the likes of Blade Runner and Altered Carbon,” Roe tells PetaPixel. “Both of these feature holographic neon signs, which I immediately fell in love with.” “I looked for a way to try and recreate these without having to do it digitally,” Roe says. “I looked into light prisms and
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These Backlit, Macro Photos of Leaves Look Like Lava Landscapes

Turkish macro photographer Can Tunçer recently turned his camera onto ordinary leaves in order to study the details of nature. After back-lighting a leaf, Tunçer was surprised to find that up-close, it looked like a lava landscape. “I especially chose this leaf because there were sections drying and ‘dying’ on it,” Tunçer tells PetaPixel. “When I backlit the dry/dead part of the leaf, a very interesting texture was formed.” Here are some views of the rig Tunçer used to set up, light, and shoot these macro photos: Tunçer captured a total of 1,400 photos over two weeks using a
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This Guy Flipped an Element in an Old Lens and Got ‘Magic’ Bokeh

Iranian photographer Alireza Rostami has been studying and tinkering with lenses for years, and a few years ago he made a discovery: by reversing one of the elements in a vintage lens, he found himself with a lens that produced beautiful and unusual “magic” bokeh. “Only a handful of countries can design and build photographic lenses,” Rostami tells PetaPixel. “I am a researcher in the field of photography lenses from Iran, and my country doesn’t have the technology for manufacturing cameras and lenses. I’m motivated to research and discover this technology, so I began studying and collecting information about the
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Steadify is a Camera Stabilization Belt That Turns You Into a Tripod

Want a way to steady your camera without having to haul a tripod or monopod around? Are tripods banned in the location you’d like to shoot? Steadify is a strange-looking camera stabilization belt that’s designed just for you. The slogan for the product is: “You are the tripod.” After putting on the belt, you extend the aluminum monopod hanging from under your belly button with a single twist to lock and unlock it at your desired length. Rather than mount your camera to it using a standard tripod mount, the end of the Steadify monopod features a fork-shaped mount
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How I Shot a Light-Painting Levitation Portal Photo

My Name is Swen Cubilette, and I’m a 34-year-old photographer living in the Central Pennsylvania area. I’ve been shooting photos for about 5 years. In this article, I’ll share how I shot this levitation portal photo. To achieve the results in this image I first locked my camera on my tripod after I had found an area that had a suitable background that I felt would make the shot interesting. To prep the scene, I used a bucket and filled it with water from the river in order to wet the ground as to get more reflection from the
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Shooting a Sunrise Portrait with a Drone-Mounted Flash

This idea had been rolling around in my head for years. I use flashes a lot in my photography. Whether that is a Speedlight on or off camera or in the studio with some big strobes and modifiers. But this is the first time I have ever used an aerial drone-mounted flash. The whole point of this shoot was to light the impossible. I wanted to be able to get a flash where it would be impossible using any normal means. While location scouting I found this rock face with the eastern sky as the background. I first thought it
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Shooting Portraits with a $20 Work Light from Home Depot

After seeing photographer Skyler Burt’s experiments with lighting food photos using a cheap work light, photographer Jessica Kobeissi recently purchased that same $20 light from Home Depot for an experimental portrait shoot. The light is the HDX 250-Watt Halogen Portable Work Light — HDX is Home Depot’s store brand. Similar light with the same design and specs can be found on Amazon for $16. Since the light is strong and harsh, Kobeissi recommends placing some kind of diffuser between it and your model (a white sheet can work). But be careful not to place it too close, as the
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5 Portrait Composition Ideas (Not Rules)

Photographer Eric Floberg made this 5-minute video tutorial on the subject of composing portraits. “Rules are rules for a reason, but they are meant to be broken, so let’s follow the rules and also break them a little,” Floberg writes. “This video features my favorite ideas for composing portraits.” 1. Centeredness “isn’t just putting your subject in the center, it means balancing the image out.”

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2. Negative Space “draws attention to your subject in a way that interprets how small they are…”

Shoot Light-Painting Photos During the Day Using an ND Filter

Light-painting photography is generally done in the dark since you need long exposure times to capture moving light sources as streaks. But use can also shoot long-exposure photos in bright sunlight using a neutral density filter. Photographer Eric Paré recently did just that, experimenting with doing light-painting in afternoon daylight. Paré used a 10-stop ND filter by NiSi on his 24mm lens and set his camera to bulb mode, triggering it with a remote shutter. “As with my usual work, the trick here is to be able to balance three things: the ambient light, the camera settings, and the brightness
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‘P’ is For Pariah: The Nikon 500m f/4 P Lens on a Sony a7R II

My family and I recently moved back up to North Carolina. It feels so good to be back in the place we feel is home to us. Now surrounded again by all this State’s natural beauty and wildlife, I’ve had quite the itch to ramp up my efforts in bird photography that began down in Florida. The past few weeks I’ve been researching ultra-telephoto lenses for bird/wildlife photography. Not wanting to spend a fortune on a modern lens, I focused on legacy, manual focus lenses. After much browsing of Internet forums, I started to pick up on a trend in
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The Developist is an In-Development DIY Auto Film Processor

A truly mass-market (and widely adopted) at-home automatic film processing machine has yet to appear in the world of photography. Photographer Mark Webb didn’t want to wait around for one to show up, so he cobbled together one with his hardware and software knowledge. It’s called the Developist. Webb, who calls himself “an English bloke [working] in a garden shed”, says he was inspired by seeing the Filmomat auto film processor but balked at the machine’s €3,500 (~$4,070) price tag, so he decided to have a go at creating his own. He just finished the “1st step prototype” of
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Photos That Show Similarities Between the Human Body and Nature

Visual Exercises is a new photo project by Polish fine art and portrait photographer Alicja Brodowicz, who hunted for similarities between the human body and nature created diptychs of her findings. I photograph the human body – the microcosm,” Brodowicz says. “Its’ fragments: hair, scars, texture of skin, wrinkles. I am interested in individual particularities; I look for distinguishing features and irregularities. Imperfections are my favorites.” “I photograph nature – the macrocosm,” she continues. “Surface of water, grass, tree bark, dry leaves. “I combine the two images, looking for converging lines, textures, similarities in layout and analogies in
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These Surreal Photos Were All Created Without Photoshop

Photographer John Dykstra says he believes in the power of perspective. His surreal photo style is created entirely with practical effects and simple ingredients — things like paint, chalk, and glass — rather than digital image manipulation techniques. “My goal is to create photographs that dabble between abstract truths and concrete reality,” Dykstra says. “By drawing connections between illusions of realism and the subjectivity of human experience, my work lingers between daylight and daydream.” Here’s his account of how his first anamorphic illusion (shown above) came about:
My first idea came to me when I thought about how our
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These Photo Manipulations Take You Into a Dreamlike World

Justin Peters is a 22-year-old self-taught artist from Germany who uses Photoshop to creative dreamlike photo manipulations. His work blends reality with his imagination to transport the viewer to strange worlds. “‘Everything you can imagine is real’ by Pablo Picasso is a quote I live by especially when creating my work, which is inspired by the world around me and surreal painters,” Peters tells PetaPixel. “I hope that when people experience my work, they discover a new and different world, which they can dive into to prove that everything is possible when you open your mind.” You can find
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