Agata Serge | Insight, Gear, & ‘How To’s’ From The #QueenOfBokeh

#QueenofBokeh. That’s the hashtag associated with Agata Serge, and while it makes for a nice soundbite and marketing tag, it’s actually a bit limiting, and, in my most humble opinion, a disservice to her work. I first heard about this young and accomplished photographer through the hashtag, and as someone who is notoriously annoyed with the broad obsession over images with a primary focus on the de-focused, the initial viewing was approached with low expectations. Quickly, however, the script was flipped. Her work is compelling, and so much more than ‘bokeh’, but 500px caught up with Serge for a webinar where she dishes on her approach to bokeh, speaking about method, tools, thought process, and post processing. [REWIND: HOW TO UPLOAD IMAGES TO FACEBOOK AT HIGHER QUALITY WITH LESS BANDING & ARTIFACTS] Having begun her career in 2012, Agata currently resides, works, and studies in Lodz, Poland, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in Photography at the National Film School and in 2014 she was mentioned as one of the most emerging fashion photography talents by Roy Kahmann...

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Lightroom Better | Using The Point Curve For The Look You Want

One of Lightroom’s most powerful tools is often overlooked, in part because it is set to its much less powerful form by default, with a tiny button to change it into something really useful tucked away in a corner. That tool is Lightroom’s Tone Curve. When first exploring Lightroom’s many panels, it’s common for new users to experiment with the Tone Curve, realize that it corresponds to sliders for highlights, lights, darks, and shadows in a manner that’s very similar to sliders that are found in the Basic Adjustments panel, and dismiss it as a redundant feature. If you came to this conclusion, however, you, like many others, would have missed the tiny icon in the bottom right of the Tone Curve panel that, when hovered over, says “click to edit Point Curve.” When you click that little button, you will open up a new world of possibilities. This one click will bring a much more Photoshop-like, robust curves experience into Lightroom. The Point Curve mode offers much more control and precision than the default ‘regional mode’, and it...

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The story of the film: A beginner’s guide to black and white film development

I love the immediacy of digital photography. In fact, I’m puzzled how anyone managed to gain expertise in the days of film: it takes hours, sometimes days, to get any feedback on the shot you’ve taken. By that time, I’ve usually forgotten about the camera settings I used or even what I was trying to […] The post The story of the film: A beginner’s guide to black and white film development appeared first on DIY Photography.        Share...

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How I created a homage to Universal studios Wolfman in Photoshop

Recently I got to work with FX makeup artist Nikoleta Tzani on a few projects. So far or collaborations have created neo-noir demons, Zombie hordes, Baba Yaga (a Slavic witch) and Recently this homage to Universal Studios Wolfman. Being that we are both big horror fans, I jumped at the chance when Nikoleta said she had […] The post How I created a homage to Universal studios Wolfman in Photoshop appeared first on DIY Photography.        Share...

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Auto Masking Made Easy In Lightroom | Who Says You Can’t Edit Precisely In Lightroom?

Photo editing is where the glamorous allure of photography can fade away quickly. After the initial thrill of shooting has waned, the reality that your work is only half done sets in and you get to work… again. This is why its important to learn how to edit quickly and efficiently without getting sloppy. One tool to help you through your Lightroom labors is the Automatic Mask feature, and in this video by Photonerds University you’ll find that its a tool that can help you generate precise and repeatable results. [RELATED: How To Set-Up Your Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet For Lightroom] What can an automask do for you? An Auto Mask allows you to control where an adjustment is going to be applied. Where is the Auto Mask located? It is located above the Basic Panel at the top right of your window and is actually apart of three different tools: The Adjustment Brush The Radial Filter The Graduated Filter *Note* The Auto Mask features work the same in each tool. In this example, the Graduated Filter is used...

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Binded Wants To Democratize Copyright, For Free | Here’s How It Works

The seemingly eternal battle creators find themselves in with misappropriation of their images or blatant copyright infringement and theft is exacerbated by a rapidly evolving tech world, and so far, the processes there for protection have been slow to adapt. However, Blockai, a forward thinking company is pushing new boundaries to make life easier for the creative making copyright simple, and free. Copyright, unsurprisingly, can be a heated topic among creatives. In the US, copyright is automatically granted to the author of an original work, that otherwise meets the basic copyright requirements, and registration is not necessary. However, registration cements a copyright holder’s rights, creates the possibility of enhanced “statutory damages” should that copyright be infringed upon and is often considered to be a prerequisite before a lawsuit can be filed. Registration isn’t that expensive, (around $65 for a collection of about 750 photos) but unfortunately, most photographers forget or just choose not to register their images. [REWIND: COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION: HOW TO COPYRIGHT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS] Registering is relatively easy (as any government website can be) and there are services,...

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How to professionally photograph glassware with one speedlight and a kit lens

Photographer Dustin Dolby is known for his comprehensive tutorials all of us can try out at home. After a series of excellent wine photography tutorials, he has issued the latest one – about photographing glassware with minimal gear, but professional results. You need to pour that wine into something, right? Like his previous setups, this […] The post How to professionally photograph glassware with one speedlight and a kit lens appeared first on DIY Photography.        Share...

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How to match the colors between different photos in Photoshop

What I’m going to do is I’m going to show you how to match the colors between backgrounds and objects once you’ve cut them out and combined the different photos or otherwise known as compositing. So what I’ve done here is I’ve grabbed some photographs from Adobe Stock. So I grabbed the photograph here of […] The post How to match the colors between different photos in Photoshop appeared first on DIY Photography.        Share...

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2017 Memorial Day Weekend Sale

Memorial Day is just around the corner! To begin the Memorial Day celebrations a little early this year, we’re offering the following discounts on our photography education and resources: $100 Off Annual Premium Memberships (BEST VALUE) 20% Off ANY Workshop in the Store. Code: MEMORIAL2017When: Today – Monday, May 28th, 2016. How do I get these discounts? Go to our Premium Membership Page or our Store Add your membership or your selected workshops to your cart Use the code MEMORIAL2017 upon checkout This is your chance to get a great deal on some of our best-selling items like our newest Wedding Workshops and our Lightroom Education. Premium Membership Info        Share...

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Lens Review: The Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 | Pint Sized Powerhouse

In the early days of the A7, Sony’s full frame E-mount lens lineup was a bit thin. At most focal lengths photographers had only one lens choice, and at some, none at all. Zeiss was the first to offer an 85mm, and that first lens in the Batis line was more popular than even Zeiss could have anticipated. It was on backorder for months before anyone could keep it in stock. Then with the arrival of the G Master line, Sony introduced their own excellent 85mm f/1.4 GM. Both of these lenses, however, were quite expensive; the Zeiss being $1200, and the Sony $1800. So, in early 2017, Sony announced a new, affordable option: the FE 85mm f/1.8, priced at $600. Photographers, myself included, were understandably eager to see how the lens would perform, with the same basic specs as the Zeiss but for half the money. I’ve had a chance to take this lens on a few shoots, and I’m happy to report that it does not disappoint. Without delving too deeply into the technical minutiae, I’ve compiled...

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How to make DIY “rusty wall” background out of plywood

Guys at raw.exchange offer tons of great resources for photographers and retouchers. They are devoted and serious and put a lot of effort in their packages, and for this article, they shared with us how they built a “rusty wall” background – out of wood! “Why would you make a DIY rusty wall” you may […] The post How to make DIY “rusty wall” background out of plywood appeared first on DIY Photography.        Share...

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Instagram’s New ‘Archive’ Feature Lets You Hide Your Posts Without The Metrics Hit

Instagram is constantly updating and evolving for the benefit of their audience and itself. After all, in a world with business at the speed oft thought there is no time for complacency. However, behaviors change and as IG becomes more important for some people, there is often a habit of deleting old or ‘poor performing’ images. We generally encourage photographers to ensure their IG is only their very best work but deleting can hurt overall statistics for the user, and Instagram too. In what seems like an effort to curb this and also provide for their user-base Instagram has been rolling out a new ‘Archive’ feature which lets you essentially hide those posts you would otherwise delete but still keep them and even return them to your feed if desired. [REWIND: HOW TO UPLOAD IMAGES TO FACEBOOK AT HIGHER QUALITY WITH LESS BANDING & ARTIFACTS] How To Access & Use Accessing the feature is done simply by selecting an image/post, hitting the three dots in the top right of the screen whereby you’ll be presented with a list of...

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Laowa Magic Format Converter | Adapt Full Frame Lenses For The Fujifilm GFX Without Cropping

Laowa has a habit of making weird and wonderful lenses, like their 15mm f/4 Macro Lens, and the new Magic Format Converter for the Fujifilm GFX is no exception. The Fujifilm GFX 50s is a weird little beast; combining the pitfalls of a full-size DSLR (namely size and weight) and a mirrorless camera (slow auto-focus, terrible battery life) and combines it with a sensor that is slightly bigger than full frame, making adapted lenses other than tilt-shift lenses vignette. Laowa Venus Optics has recently announced an adapter called the “Magic Format Converter”, magnifying Nikon and Canon full-frame lenses to fit a Fuji GFX sensor.’ [REWIND: WIDE ANGLE VENUS/LAOWA 15MM MACRO LENS FOCUSES AT 4.7MM] The technology behind the adapter is nothing new; similar adapters exist converting old Canon FD-mount lenses onto newer EOS bodies. What is essentially a small teleconverter, Magic Format Converter multiplies the focal length of a full-frame lens by 1.4x and losing 1-stop of light in the process. When the 0.79x crop factor of the GFX itself is taken into consideration, the math roughly equates to...

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Filmic Family Sessions | SLR Lounge Film Presets

We’ve all heard the term “bright & airy” roll off the tongue of numerous clients over recent years due to the rise and popularity of film edits, film cameras, and presets. Whether it be a fashion shoot, wedding, or simple portrait session, the filmic look has become one of the most sought after styles of photography and editing. So how do you emulate filmic looks while still maintaining the dynamic range in your images? Let’s take a look at a recent family portrait session to see just how simple it is to get it right in-camera for the look you want in post. step one: Understanding natural light It all starts with a strong comprehension of how to use natural light. It is a known fact that photographing subjects at Golden Hour yields a style of imagery currently in trend according to literally every Pinterest mood-board we’ve come across. Finding the right background and placing your subject’s back to the light is your first step in creating this look. Canon 5DMKIII + Canon 70-200mm 175mm f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/250th...

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The DJI Spark | This Tiny Drone Is A Big Deal

When it comes to predicting the future, Hollywood has had its fair share of fun. We may not have flying cars and time travel as of yet, but one thing it has completely gotten correct is the use of drones. Drones are steadfastly changing the world of imagery as we know it and up until the past year or so the good ones have been pricey, and bulky. The folks over at DJI, however, shifted that in a major way with the Mavic, and have just created yet another intuitive product that’s smaller, lighter, and significantly cheaper, putting it at a price point that is making it accessible to the masses. Meet the DJI Spark. Priced at $499. The absolute basics of the Spark is that it provides up to 16 minutes of flight time and has a flight speed of up to 30mph in strong winds, but it’s so much more than that and absolutely packed with tech and convenience. The Spark comes equipped with a 12mp camera on a 2-axis gimbal, and offers 1080p playback while supporting...

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How to Design a Wedding Album Simply and Painlessly

I’ve been photographing weddings for about nine years now, and I’ve found this to be the most effective and efficient way of designing and delivering a client’s dream wedding album. The method that I am going to describe keeps you in control of the process and still gives the client what they want and need. You might be surprised to know that it only takes me about 30 minutes to design an album from beginning to end. In fact, just to test, I created an album right now for this article to see exactly how long it might take. I had 150 images to choose from; I used 118 images, created 31 spreads, and it took me 26 minutes. Let’s talk about how to achieve this, and how to work with your clients so you don’t find yourself dealing with wedding album orders months or years after the wedding. One spread of images created in Pixellu SmartAlbums2. 1. Who is in Control of the Process? If a client has indicated at some point in the process that they want...

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi | Annie Leibovitz & A Shoot Befitting General Leia

When we think of enduring film franchises there really are only three that come to mind if you’re out of your teens: Star Trek, Star Wars, and Bond. We won’t get into a discussion (read: fist fight) here about which is best and most beloved, but it isn’t unreasonable to think that perhaps the one that’ll be the most enduring as time goes on will be Star Wars. As I’ve written here before, the true genius of Star Wars is that at its core it’s a story as old as time. There is the evil empire fighting the righteous forces of the princess, her guards, and some handsome loner-rogue with a sidekick modeled after the director’s dog. It’s captured our imaginations for generations. Bond may have it beat in years but Bond lives in the ‘real’ world and Star Wars isn’t bound by such mortal limitations. But while the characters of Star Wars are eternal, those who brought them to life are relatively ephemeral, and with the sudden passing of Carrie Fisher last December, the upcoming film has more...

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This short tutorial makes it easy to create composites in Lightroom and Photoshop

There are several approaches to creating composites, and whichever you choose, it takes some time and effort to make it look good. Young photographer Kaiwan Abdulrahman will guide you through creating a realistic composite from two images using Lightroom and Photoshop. In this 12 minute tutorial, he makes it look easier than ever. I’m sure […] The post This short tutorial makes it easy to create composites in Lightroom and Photoshop appeared first on DIY Photography.        Share...

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How To Get The Best Out Of Your Subjects | Direct, Don’t Pose

Photography subjects run a gamut from seasoned models to inexperienced and hesitant folk who need a photo of themselves but really want no part of being in front of the camera. The models will have some tricks up their sleeves while the camera-shy types will undoubtedly take some photographer-aided finessing for best results, but for both of these contrasting archetypes and everything in between, a photographer’s understanding of subject direction can make a huge difference in the outcome. That’s why we made the Complete Posing Workshop, a full course on the subject because it’s such a major differentiator. Calgary-based commercial photographer and art director Derek Heisler recently conducted a workshop detailing some ins-and-outs of directing subjects, a portion of which is now available on YouTube. Heisler has been featured in National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, and TED, and has worked with his share of high-profile subjects like Danny Trejo and Bill Nye The Science Guy. A glance at all the expressive faces in Heisler’s portfolio evinces great subject direction in action. To accomplish this, he likes to keep the subject...

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How Including People or Manmade Objects in Your Landscapes Can Add a Sense of Scale

My natural instinct as a landscape photographer has always been to keep people and manmade objects out of my images. I want to create images of nature that are pure and free (or at least appear to be free) of human interference. That said, over the past few years, I have started to backtrack on this a bit, especially when the camera fails to show the true scale of a landscape. In this article, I’ll share a small collection of images from my portfolio that include situations where allowing people or objects into the scene made the image a success. Add a manmade object to show size Na Pali Coast Sunset Sony A7RII and Sony 16-35 f/4 | ISO 500, f/4.5, 1/800th. Here is (quite possibly) the most beautiful and rugged stretch of coastline on Earth, the Na Pali Coast of Kauai. I’ve photographed it from land, sea and air and still there is just no way to truly capture how incredible it is in person. On my most recent trip to the Garden Isle, I took my workshop...

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Microsoft’s New Surface Pro Gets 13+ Hours Battery Life, New Pen, Better Latency, More Power

It’s been generally accepted that Apple’s last MacBook Pro offering was, by and large, off the mark – if you ask the Pro community. In terms of practicality and specs that pro users want, there were some major omissions; some, like 4 USB-C ports and none others marketed as forward thinking, and others, like maxing out at 16GB RAM, not marketed at all. It was not a matter of whether it was a good computer or not, but rather was it what those who would be buying it wanted it to be. It’s that distinction that Microsoft seems to want to exploit, and the new Surface Pro is proof in pudding of that. The new Surface Pro deviates in nomenclature from the previous generations so it’s simply the Surface Pro, and not a Surface Pro 5 as most assumed, and while it may look like its forebearers its lack of alteration by way of notable cosmetic design seems to be in favor of a revamp of its innards, providing a significantly more powerful Surface Pro option. The new Surface...

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Photokina Makes A Big Move To Be Annual & Diversified For Today | Their Temerity Should Be Applauded

Photokina, the biennial photography show that generally promises the most surprises and anticipated releases has announced what sounds like a major overhaul, and for those acquainted with the photography trade shows this is a much-needed step in the right direction if trade shows are to remain relevant, or indeed in existence. The first major alteration to Photokina as we know it is that it is set to become an annual event instead of biennial, and instead of taking place in its usual September slot the month of May will play the new host to the show starting 2019. However, a change of season isn’t the biggest shift, as Photokina will also be condensing, intensifying, and branching out. Photokina 2018 will take place between the 26-29th of September but the series of days/events will be changing, which according to the press release“…enables a more compact, more intensive trade fair experience.” Beyond that, however, the crux of the adjustment seems to be the recognition and actual embracing of the fact that the photography industry is no longer an analogue foray, and...

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Overview of the New Canon 5D Mark IV

Canon’s 5D Mark line has embedded itself deeply in the heart of photographers. Although the price generally keeps this camera in the hands of professionals, hobbyists have equally drooled over its capabilities and power. It comes as no surprise that the newest edition to the line, the Canon 5D Mark IV, sparked a lot of excitement and interest. But does this model really live up to the expectations it has set itself? Subject: Rusty the Golden Retriever As a Canon camera enthusiast myself, having gone through many different cameras in my career (and currently working with four), I have been pleasantly impressed by the new model. Each camera has its high points and its low points, but the Canon 5D Mark IV lends itself to being an excellent piece of machinery with more pros than cons. In comparison to its predecessor the 5D Mark III, beloved features have been better optimized and improved while adding new capabilities that were previously missing. Physical Specs of the Canon 5D Mark IV In terms of the camera’s physicality, the Canon 5D Mark...

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Why Artists Are Never Happy | We Never Truly Accept Compliments Being Too Busy Agreeing With Our Critics

The creative process is often a soul siphoning endeavor that requires an intellectual and emotional fortitude that many of us do not develop. We avoid the seemingly endless drudgery of our craft in pursuit of those things that possess more appeal, yet, it is the aversion to this experience that pillages the process of the value that would be reaped at its end. For many reasons, this has described me and I am sure that it applies to many of you as well. If you need to some encouragement to endure what needs be to done to scale the palisade of complacency, here is a video by Simon Cade to provide a bit of motivation. “We may never truly accept compliments about our work because we’re too busy agreeing with our critics.” MODIFIED PERFECTIONISM Living life while constantly pursuing perfection is a hard way to live because you will obsess over your work and will be intimately knowledgable of it’s shortcomings. “Before and after every great idea, someones got to say that’s still not good enough.” Simon posits that...

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Pete Souza hits Campaign trail with ‘president’ Frank Underwood ahead of House of Cards Premiere

When you look at the television at night, chances are your screen is usually filled with a political climate that is, at best, unnerving. Secret foreign meetings, deleted emails, coupled with ‘leaderless’ intelligence and security services, would probably be more entertaining if it wasn’t a harsh reality; like in the case of the Netflix series House of Cards. In an art imitates life situation, the former Official White House Photographer, Pete Souza, is back on presidential duty thanks to the streaming service. [REWIND: MELANIA TRUMP’S OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO | A STROKE OF GENIUS OR ‘GLAMOUR SHOT BY DEB’?] Zoe warned me not to get too close. A post shared by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on May 22, 2017 at 6:32pm PDT Pete Souza, the former chief Official White House photographer for President Barack Obama, first started following presidents during the Ronald Reagan administration, but as of recently has become increasingly known on Instagram for using his vast archives of the former POTUS for his posts, even in the face of a new one. Tasked by Netflix, Souza was hired...

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