Nikon’s New Feature: Automatic Autofocus Lens Calibration

Posted by on Apr 23, 2016 in canon, Fashion, Featured, landscape, nikon, Photography Tips, portrait

Nikon’s New Feature: Automatic Autofocus Lens Calibration

If we looked at the long list of annoyances in photography (and it is long), few would contest that sitting right near the top would be autofocus problems. There is nothing quite like special kind of fury felt when coming back from a shoot and loading up those image on a big screen only to find the majority are just enough out of focus to be unusable. Of course, this happens more frequently for some types of shooters than others; Landscape photographers shooting at infinity likely won’t have the problem quite to the same extent as a portrait or wedding photographer shooting at f/2 or shallower, but the problem is malignant. It’s one of the reasons we sing the praise of tethering and urge you to do it as much as possible, and why we care so much about being able to program buttons for single-press 100% zoom – so we can quickly analyze in-field when without a tether station. However, even when tethering and checking focus, that just tells you if you’re off; showing the symptoms rather than administering the cure. At least, however, the diagnoses is generally straightforward – your autofocus needs tuning. Just like any piece of machinery cameras and lenses go wrong sometimes and need calibration, and the problem is that most photographers don’t ever address autofocus calibration. In fact, the problem is of pandemic proportions. It’s somewhat understandable because it’s a bit of a geeky thing, and the traditional ways to calibrate are geeky endeavors, even if easy and inexpensive. You can buy a simple and straight-forward calibration tool (and should), and most cameras have menu options that allow you to do the fine tuning with these kits in no time. Lens Calibration tool example. Get this one as used by our Jay Cassario here. To be fair, these systems aren’t perfect, and many of these systems allow for AF fine tuning to only affect a single focal length and distance, but in my experience, it tends to be worth it. That said, Sigma – surprise, surprise – is doing it well and better with their dock. But Nikon is stepping up to the plate with their new Auto Autofocus calibration system to be found on their D5 and D500 cameras. The new cameras will be the first to offer the option, but there is hope that Nikon will be able to usher in the feature to other camera models via a firmware update. Essentially the Auto AF fine tuning just cuts out a few steps of the tuning process, but it still requires you to set some ‘controls’ when using it. Nonetheless, the controls required aren’t much, and you can do it in the field, on the fly. Now, mirrorless cameras are generally less symptomatic of these AF problems due to how they focus – right off the sensor, so it sort of...

Read More »

Weekly Photography Challenge – People Photography

Posted by on Apr 23, 2016 in Candid, Featured, Food, Photography Tips, portrait

Weekly Photography Challenge – People Photography

In my career as a photographer I’ve covered many genres from studio product photography, editorial, industrial, food photography, weddings, portraits, fine art, and travel – but through all of that, I’m primarily a people photographer. I like to photograph people. Shoe repair man in Nicaragua – By Darlene Hildebrandt Model at sunset – By Darlene Hildebrandt Cuban beauties – By Darlene Hildebrandt Whether it’s in a studio environment doing a posed portrait, a candid doing street photography, a shop owner or vendor in a foreign country – people are always interesting and challenging to photograph. Weekly Photography Challenge – People We’ve got lots of articles to help you as you go about photographing people this week in fact it’s our feature topic right now. You can see all the ones we’ve done so far this week below, and watch for more people photography articles over the next few days: How to Take Low Key Head-shots How to Do a One Light Portrait Setup and Use it as Your Back-up Plan Travel People Photography – Tips and Pitfalls 8 Tips for Photographing Men 24 Diverse Images That Showcase People Photography Nicaraguan school kids – By Darlene Hildebrandt Wedding fun – By Darlene Hildebrandt Cuban dancers – By Darlene Hildebrandt You can also check out our ebooks on people and portrait photography: Fast Flash for Portrait Perfection Portraits: Lighting the Shot Portraits: Making the Shot Portraits: Striking the Pose Kids Photography So if you are not inclined to photograph people and this challenges makes you a bit nervous – maybe now is the time to get out of your comfort zone and just do it. I promise they won’t bite! Share your images below: Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer upload them to your favourite photo sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge. Sometimes it takes a while for an image to appear so be patient and try not to post the same image twice. You can see some of mine here on this page – now it’s your turn to share, and show me your people photos. The post Weekly Photography Challenge – People Photography by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.        Share...

Read More »

28 Diverse Images That Showcase People Photography

Posted by on Apr 23, 2016 in Candid, Featured, Photography Tips, portrait

28 Diverse Images That Showcase People Photography

People have a diverse range of emotions, styles, and looks and capturing that with a camera is the photographer’s job. From posed studio portraits, to street photography or candid shots, getting the character and essence of a person in an image is the goal. Let’s see how these photographers did with people photography: By United Nations Photo By Darlene Hildebrandt By Jim O’Connell By Darlene Hildebrandt By Shahab By Tyrone Daryl By Fouquier ? By Sebastian Rieger By Khánh Hmoong By Christopher Michel By astrid westvang By David Stanley By Eric Montfort By Chryssa Kotsanidou By T W I N K A By enki22 By Tilman Haerdle By Elena Penkova By Monique Prater By Ivan Constantin By Michael Salvato By Kannan Muthuraman By Hernán Piñera By Meena Kadri By Rod Waddington By Rod Waddington By Meena Kadri By Umberto De Peppo Cocco People photography week This week on dPS we’re featuring articles all about different kinds of people photography including portrait, event and travel photography. See all the previous ones below, and watch for more people photography articles over the next few days. How to Take Low Key Head-shots How to Do a One Light Portrait Setup and Use it as Your Back-up Plan Travel People Photography – Tips and Pitfalls 8 Tips for Photographing Men The post 28 Diverse Images That Showcase People Photography by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.        Share...

Read More »

Five Perfect Posing Tips For Boudoir Photography

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in boudoir, Featured, Photography Tips, portrait

Five Perfect Posing Tips For Boudoir Photography

If you were looking for something sexy, you came to the right place. Don’t worry, this article is totally SFW (safe for workplace), but I am not promising it won’t tease you. Learning the subtle variations in hand gestures, looks, and body placement will diversify your portfolio and give you a better understanding of the nuances of posing. In general, one of the biggest mistakes photographers make is moving from scene to scene too quickly, without making adjustments to the posing of their subjects. The five different posing ideas presented here will help you pay attention to small details that make a huge difference. Conceal, Don’t Feel The most important thing we as photographers can take from Disney’s Frozen was the lesson, “Conceal, don’t feel.” After all, Elsa knows best. Odds are, if a hand’s placement doesn’t look natural, it will draw attention to the fact that the subject is concealing something (refer to the image above of our Dearest Pye). Place the subjects’ arms in a way to make it seem as though it wasn’t their intention to conceal. By doing so, you leave more to the viewer’s imagination and create thought-provoking imagery. Watch How the Hands Are Placed Since we are on the subject of hand placement, pay close attention to how your subject places their fingers on their body. You want to avoid stiff and tense “Barbie Hands” and you can do this by requesting that your subject shake out the tension in their fingers and softly place their hands on their body. It’s also good to note that bending at the wrist releases tension and eases the fingers to lay naturally. Once this has been addressed, place the hands where they would naturally be if the subject was to conceal their private parts and avoid mirroring arm placements at all costs. Relax The Lips Closing and pressing the lips together can have the effect of creating tension in the jaw line, and typically this isn’t what we’re going for. Instead, try having your subject open their lips, ever so subtly, to release tension and go for a softer look. Making this slight adjustment completely transforms the feel of a portrait, and the look of the subject. [REWIND: Boudoir Photography Tip | Breaking the Ice] Direct Where the Eyes Go If your subject desires a sexy, confident overall feel to the images, direct them to have their chin up and eyes looking down at the camera. This showcases a more domineering and powerful gaze. If it’s an innocent and ‘longing’ look that’s sought, direct their chin down and have them look up towards the camera. It’s good to note there that direct eye contact with the camera is the perfect posing idea for shots where you are peeking in on a scene (behind a door, through a curtain, etc), however for a voyeuristic image, have the...

Read More »

8 Tips for Photographing Men

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Fashion, Featured, lightroom, Photography Tips, photoshop, portrait, Portraiture

8 Tips for Photographing Men

When I put my hand up to write an article about photographing men, it didn’t occur to me (until I sat down in front of a blank screen) just how big a topic it actually is. While much could be written about photographing men, from lighting ratios to posing, post-processing and more, there seems to be a drastic imbalance in the amount of material devoted solely to photographing men, as compared to women. A guide to how lighting ratios can differ for men, women and children are covered in the article Lighting Ratios to Make or Break your Portrait, and Tips for Posing Men offers suggestions, along with Posing Guide: 21 Sample Poses to get you Started with Photographing Men. When it comes to context, men are photographed within the genres of photojournalism, fashion, sports, travel, wedding and family photography, and corporate portraiture to name a few. My primary genre is family photography, and I also shoot corporate portraits. There is a growing demand for more relaxed professional portraits for clients to use on their LinkedIn profiles, professional Facebook pages – even online dating sites. Clients want a portrait that flatters, showcases their personality or perhaps the type of work they do, without looking too corporate. For the purpose of this article, I’ll be talking about photographing men mostly within these two contexts. Tip #1: Include him in the consultation process This tips sits at number one with good reason. One of the most common complaints I hear in portrait photographers’ forums is that of the reluctant father/husband – the guy who turns up to the family portrait session, looking like it’s the last place on earth he wants to be. His crankiness is infectious, and makes your job of capturing all those joyful family connections close to impossible. I confess, it was one of my bugbears also until I realized how often I’d been leaving male partners out of the consultation process altogether. In every grumpy dad case I encountered, I had mistakenly assumed that the women I spoke to during consultation would communicate everything to their partners, and in turn, share with me any concerns their partners had. Following a major light-bulb moment, I started to include men in the process, and it made a world of difference. Turns out, they just want to be heard. The more you engage with a man before the shoot, the more comfortable he will be when you are wielding a camera, and the better the photos you will get. This applies whether you’re photographing a paying client, the guy next door, or your brother. Ask him if he has any features he’s sensitive about. A prominent nose, a double chin, acne scarring and a bit of a tummy are common sensitivities. Allow him to express his insecurities without feeling silly, and reassure him that you can work around these with...

Read More »

A Guide To Content Aware Fill | Is it Still Useless?

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Bokeh, canon, Fashion, Featured, lightroom, Photography Tips, photoshop, portrait

A Guide To Content Aware Fill | Is it Still Useless?

Ever wanted to remove something from your photos? Stupid question. We all have, and Content-Aware Fill is one of the many tools Photoshop provides which aids us at this endeavour. Whether it be a blemish, person, car, or building, Photoshop is your friend. Content-Aware Fill, however, has often been thought of as less than useful, to putting it politely. But advances in technology have improved it drastically, so Is this still the case, and for those that don’t know, what is Content-Aware Fill anyway? What is Content-Aware Fill? Content-Aware Fill, in the conventional sense, is accessed via Edit > Fill. Make a selection around the item you want to be removed, go to Edit > Fill, and you’ll be presented with the dialog you see below. Select Content-Aware from the drop down menu at the top, click ‘OK’, Photoshop analyses the pixels surrounding your selection and perfectly removes the offending object. At least, that’s how it should work. In practise, the results can vary wildly. As well as this “conventional” form of Content-Aware Fill, you will also find it in other forms throughout Photoshop. There’s Content-Aware Scale (Edit > Content Aware Scale), Spot Healing Brush, Healing Brush, Content Aware Move and the Patch tool. To one degree or another, each of those tools utilises, what I can only assume to be, a similar algorithm. The algorithm analyses the pixels surrounding your selection (or brush strokes) and replaces those pixels, thereby removing the object. The big difference between using Content-Aware Fill via Edit > Fill Vs. any of the other tools mentioned above, is that applying the effect through Edit > Fill requires your layer to not be empty. In other words, you’ll need to duplicate your background or create a merged layer for the effect to work. That can be annoying as it increases the file size dramatically and makes maintaining a non-destructive workflow a little more problematic. However, if you insist on continuing in that fashion, at the very least use the shortcut Shift + Backspace (PC) or Shift + Delete (Mac). [REWIND: AN EASY & QUICK WAY TO REMOVE DUST SPOTS USING CONTENT AWARE FILL] As well as the blank layer annoyance, another big difference between the methods mentioned above is the ability to adjust Structure and Color. The Patch Tool and Content Aware Move tool allow this refinement, even after you have made the adjustment. Now, I’m sure some of you are going “huh!?”. Let me explain. If you head over to Photoshop and select the Patch tool (hit shift > J until it appears) you’ll see the following menu and, hopefully, ‘Structure’ and ‘Color’. Those two settings allow us to restrict Photoshop. The higher the number, the more we give Photoshop free reign to adjust either the color or structure of whatever we are editing. Pick an image, use the patch tool to remove an...

Read More »