My First Shoot with a Fine Art Photography Collective


This post is by Simon King from PetaPixel


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I’m always looking to find new ways to incorporate larger goals into my photography. I find it focuses my approach to the way I treat it as a career and a hobby. By dedicating myself to projects outside of things relevant to my life, I am able to explore potential new ways of seeing and interacting the world through my camera. Something I’ve always been interested in is the idea of photography collectives; a group of visual artists with shared philosophies, spaces, and resources.

I was recently invited to photograph with one of my favorite collectives, a multi-disciplinary fine art

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Shooting a B-2 Stealth Bomber Flying Over the Rose Bowl


This post is by Mark Holtzman from PetaPixel


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Ten years ago, in January 2009, was the first time I ever photographed a flyover and this year the same pilot was doing his last Rose Bowl flyover as he is retiring from the Air Force this year. The challenge this year was the strong winds and subsequent turbulence.

We were being tossed around a lot (and both of the B-2s mentioned the turbulence), but the timing still had to be exact for me to catch the B-2 over the stadium. Despite the heavy winds bouncing us all around, the B-2 pilots were perfectly over the stadium and I managed

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I Built a Replica Chinese Takeout Restaurant in My Photo Studio


This post is by Nicky Hamilton from PetaPixel


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My name is Nicky Hamilton, I’m a photographer from London. In-between commercial work I produce fine art photography, specializing in cinematic set builds, which unlike my commercial work is done solo, the set design, build, photography, styling, and retouching. It started this way as a means to an end but then blossomed to become a meditative process that’s creatively very fulfilling for me.

After completing a very long 4-year project called ‘The Lonely Man’, I found myself lost in the world of social media in search of marketing, inspiration and (if I’m honest) affirmation. From this I found

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Create Impossible Photos with a Lighting Composite


This post is by Robert Hall from PetaPixel


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“Do you have 9 lights?” The account manager at Oakland University asked me. Somewhat inspired by a Queen album cover, he was looking to create an image where 9 award-winning students stood out in a dramatized version of a newly renovated space on campus. While I understood the goal of the session, I immediately knew rigging 9 lights up would be nearly impossible while showing such a vast space. I told him that it may take some time, but I could get it done with just 2 lights.

My mind immediately went to a lighting composite. That is, individually

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Dissecting the Shot: A Long-Exposure Photo of London’s East India Station


This post is by Anthony Epes from PetaPixel


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In this article, I am going to dissect how I took an image from both a technical and narrative standpoint. I hope this gives you some ideas for your own photography.

The photo above was shot at 10s, f/11, 32mm, and ISO 50 with a Canon 5D Mark III and a 17-40mm lens. It’s from a book I did on East London at Dawn. I love photographing the city at sunrise — the beautiful light is mesmerizing.

The Technicals

Let’s start with a look at the technical side, shall we?

I love this shot for the success of execution. My

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A Day in the Life of a Kiwi Police Officer Photographer


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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The Auckland, New Zealand police department posted this interesting 9-minute behind-the-scenes video that shows a day in the life of a Kiwi Police Photographer.

The video follows a photographer named Rhonda, who shows us the ins and outs of what a typical day looks like as a member of the Police Photography Section.

There are three cars in the department that are dedicated to photography gear — the trunk contains each photographer’s Canon 5D camera kit, accessories, and other items the photographers might need in the field (e.g. crime scene number placards).

The photographers wear plain clothes, but they

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Backpacking the World with a 500mm Prime Lens


This post is by Jono Dashper from PetaPixel


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6 months ago, my girlfriend and I finally did what we had always dreamed of doing: quitting our jobs and traveling the world. This is a relatively normal narrative for western couples in their 20s, but the difference here is I am a passionate wildlife photographer.

We planned to travel for approximately 2 years (or until our money runs out) and so far have visited Indonesia, Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka. Over the years I collected my photography kit to reflect my needs for wildlife photography, but leading into the trip, I needed to decide what I would be taking

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Capturing the Milky Way Over Yosemite National Park


This post is by Derek Sturman from PetaPixel


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Back in June of 2018, I was fortunate enough to make a 9-day trip to Yosemite National Park, California to capture the Milky Way galaxy over Half Dome. My entire trip revolved around capturing this image since I had captured nearly this same panorama two years prior during my first ever trip to the park in 2016.

It wasn’t until mid-2017 that I discovered that the panorama I had photographed in daylight in 2016 lined up perfectly with the Milky Way in May and early June. Immediately I knew that this pano was one that I would have to perfect,

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Tell a Story to Get Great Portrait Poses from Ordinary People


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Want to learn how to get your portrait subjects to give you the poses and expressions you’re going for? Photographer Miguel Quiles made this helpful 11-minute video in which he shares one of his best tricks: getting subjects to play a character.

Rather than telling the average person exactly what to do with their body and face mechanically — something that works nicely for experienced models — Quiles finds it easier to tell those people to imagine that they’re a certain character in a specific situation. It’s a way to get the expressions to “look right” on regular people.

As

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This is Leica’s Official Sensor Cleaning Process


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Want to see how Leica does its official digital camera sensor cleanings? Here’s a 20-minute video that steps through the process.

Leica Society member Hari Subramanyam shot the video after taking his Leica M (Typ 240) and Leica SL to Leica Camera AG for its sensor cleaning service. Customer service technician Michel Razafimahefa demonstrates the tools and techniques used whenever a photographer drops off their gear.

We see Razafimahefa clearing out dust before the shutter is opened, using the Leica M’s dust detection feature, removing dust with the rubber and sticky pad from a Pentax sensor cleaning kit, and

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5 Steps to Shooting a Photo of a $2.75 Million Sports Car


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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How do you go about shooting one of the rarest sports cars in the world? Here’s a 17-minute tutorial in which automotive photographer Mike D’Ambrosio shares the 5 steps of his “night flare” style while shooting a $2.75 million Maserati MC12.

The Maserati MC12 is a limited production sports car that only saw 50 units produced in 2004 and 2005, each of which was pre-sold for about $670,000 at the time. An additional 12 racing cars were also made, meaning there are only 62 of these cars that exist in the world.

Here’s a rundown of D’Ambrosio’s 5 steps

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Shooting New Portraits of My Family, From Idea to Framing


This post is by Richard Paas from PetaPixel


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In our hallway, we have some family portraits of our kids, but the portraits were taken some years ago — time for some new ones! But we would also like to hang the portraits of their partners. The previous portraits were color portraits, and this time I would like to do some black and whites. So the challenge is taking seven portraits, each with the same look and feel. This is how I did it.

Portraits with same look

First of all, the seven new portraits should have the same look. I chose a square format, f/2.8, and a

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How to Photograph Mysterious Floating Scrabble Letters


This post is by Ted Kinsman from PetaPixel


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This past month, a student showed me an Instagram post with floating scrabble letters and asked me how it was done. After a few moments of reflection, I decided there was a number of ways to photograph floating letters and it would be a great idea for a student lab. To explore different techniques would be a great lab. The students evaluated the techniques to see which was best for creating floating letters.

The Scrabble letters are obtained from an online retailer that sold a large bag of letters for a reasonable price.

After several other experiments were tested, the

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The Bucket Shot: Peter McKinnon’s Journey to Shooting His Dream Photo


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Growing up as a skateboarder and BMX biker, Peter McKinnon never thought he would one day become a creative. But after he received a camera, he was bitten by the photography bug and got hooked. This 23-minute short film, titled “The Bucket Shot,” tells the story of McKinnon’s life journey to shooting the photo of his dreams.

The Toronto-based McKinnon’s eyes were opened to the joy of photography after he received a point-and-shoot camera as a gift for being in his sister’s wedding party. And after seeing his friend’s DSLR in action, McKinnon saved up and bought his own.

He

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Light Painting with a Paper Tube and a Shower Curtain Dress


This post is by Eric Pare from PetaPixel


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After our flight to NYC got canceled last summer, we got stuck in Chicago for one night with no light painting tubes, no dress, no tripods, and no battery chargers. During the shuttle ride to the hotel, we started joking about using a bed sheet to fake a dress and to use whatever we could find in the hotel room as a light-painting tool.

It turned out that the shower curtains and hooks were amazing.

We also tried using our plane ticket printouts to roll our own light tube. Well, it worked!

The point we were trying to make with

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This Guy Shot Color Photos with His Game Boy Camera


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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One of the earliest ways of creating color photos was by combining black-and-white photos shot using red, green, and blue filters. Matt Gray recently decided to use this technique to shoot color photos using his Game Boy Camera.

In case you’re not familiar with it, the Game Boy Camera was a camera attachment released in 1998 for the Game Boy that could shoot 128×112 black-and-white photos. Photographers in recent years have been using the retro camera for shooting unusual photos of things like solar eclipses, planets, and Formula 1 racing.

Gray carried red, green, and blue filters with

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We Shot an Award-Winning Landscape Photo Using a Fog Machine


This post is by Tim Shields from PetaPixel


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I needed a landscape photo of a foggy forest on a sunny day, in which beams of sunlight were streaming through the trees and creating beautiful sun rays. The only problem was that it was summer and there was no fog to be had… so I decided to rent a fog machine and see if we could make enough fog to simulate real fog.

For this task, I enlisted the help of my friend Chris Collacott, and together we created a pretty cool image. Here’s an 8-minute behind-the-scenes video we made of the experience:

Step one: Rent a fog machine.

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Creating Surreal Photo Art of Flying Whales in Space


This post is by Amr Elshamy from PetaPixel


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In this article, I’ll share how I created a photo art piece titled, “Flying Whales.” The idea was to create surreal artwork using only toys and some handcraft and make it as real as possible.

I started with a clear idea/concept about flying whales and flying planets. I used one flash head to be the moonlight. I got the white balls from a gift shop and colored them with gold paint to make them shine.

The whale toy was from a company called “MOJO FUN”. They make high-quality life-like animals and sea creatures. I hooked the toy whale using

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This Homemade Light Stick Drone is for Light Painting Images into the Sky


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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What do you get when you combine a pixelstick with a drone? Makers Ivan Miranda and Tom Stanton recently decided to show all of us by creating a custom light stick drone that can be used to shoot light-painting photos in the sky.

“My part of the job was to design and program a huge POV display using a 432 LED 3 meter led strip controlled by a Teensy 3.6 and loading the images from an SD card,” Miranda writes. “Once I finished I sent everything to Tom so he could make it fly.”

Here’s the 16.5-minute

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Making a Platinum Palladium Print That Will Last 1,000 Years


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Photographer Tyler Shields recently paid a visit to Hidden Light LLC, a fine art printing business in Arizona. While there, he watched as printer Matt Beaty used the platinum/palladium printing process to turn one of Shields’ photos into a black-and-white print that can last 1,000 years or more.

You can watch the printing process for yourself in Shields’ 1.5-minute video above. The photo being printed is titled Swim Cap, and it was shot by Shields using the Hasselblad 503CW and staged to look as though it was created back in the 1930s.

“In short, the necessary chemicals

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