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Create Great Bokeh By Following These 6 Simple Tips

Create Great Bokeh By Following These 6 Simple Tips

Want a bit of Bokeh in your images? Take a look at this article for a few simple but effective tips for the next time you’re photographing portraits.

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General Photography

Portrait

 

Bokeh is the term used to describe how good the out of focus blur, which is usually in the background, looks. Good bokeh will show attractive out of focus highlights and how the lens you’re using is designed and the shape of its aperture play an important role in creating bokeh that works. Different apertures and how far you are from your subject also affect how good the bokeh will look in your shot.

 

1. Lens Choices

The shape of your lens aperture will change depending on how many blades are used and what shape they are. These blades are what open and close to let more/less light through onto the sensor. The more blades there are, the rounder the opening will be which can mean the shape of the out-of-focus highlights in the background of your shot (the bokeh) will be more circular. Generally, the more expensive lenses have more blades and as a result, they generally create bokeh that’s more pleasing. Longer lenses tend to produce better results too, however, some lenses will produce better bokeh in some situations than others so try putting your lens to the test, shooting close up portraits against a background that has highlights that can be thrown out of focus.
 

2 Depth Of Field

You may think that using the maximum aperture will give you the best results but sometimes it’s worth using a slightly smaller aperture so you can still make out some of the shapes in the background of the shot. Make sure you focus on your subject at the front of the frame too so everything behind can fall nicely out of focus. Putting a little distance between your subject and the background will also help enhance the effect. If you don’t have a subject in the foreground and are going for a more abstract shot you’ll need to focus manually.

 

Portrait
 

3. Play With Shapes

You don’t just have to settle for circular out of focus highlights as you can use black card and a pair of scissors to change the shapes that appear. You need to decide on a shape cut it out of the card then fast the card around your lens like you would a lens hood. Try to not make your shapes too small or complicated as they won’t stand out very well in your final shot.
 

4. Get Out At Night

During the evening, the glow coming from various colourful lights in towns and cities make perfect backgrounds for this technique. Just remember to use a longer lens with a wide aperture, focus on your subject and everything in the background of your shot should glow. Keep an eye on your shutter speeds when working in low light as if you drop too low it can cause the lights in the background to blur rather than glow so you may need to increase your ISO.

 

Portrait

 

5. Other Suggestions

Try shooting close-up portraits against a background of foliage where the speckles of light can be turned into out of focus highlights. Sun glinting off water and glass can also be turned into blurry circles of light too. You can also use fairy lights indoors to create out of focus coloured circles.
 

6. So Remember:

  • Use a longer focal length
  • Switch to a wider aperture
  • Focus on your subject
  • Put a little distance between your subject and the background
  • Backgrounds with individual, glowing points of light work well

 

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acancarter’s latest blog : sing, dance, fly – sonification by fabio

acancarter's latest blog : 'follow' - making an interactive print

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Sing, Dance, Fly – Sonification by Fabio

10 Jul 2021 8:32AM  
Views : 89
Unique : 71

A great aspect of this site is the feedback, suggestions, friendships and collaborations that arise. Yesterday I posted a triptych captured using my harmonograph platform. This was entitled ‘Sing, Dance, Fly’ as each part of the image seemed to be evocative of these elements.

Sing, Dance, Fly

Fabio – who posts dark, interesting and minutely observed images – was very taken with this and has created a ‘Sonification’. It is abstract, outwardly, almost alien and fits the image in my mind brilliantly. The sound file is here

Sonification.

Maybe look at the image and listen at the same time? The Harmonograph was invented by the Victorians as a way of visualising musical notes and intervals. My project connected the musical aspect of the harmonograph to the visual through photography; now Fabio has linked the image back to music and sound – we have gone full circle! What do you think?

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Introducing Calibrite Photo Solutions Powered By X-Rite

Introducing Calibrite Photo Solutions Powered By X-Rite

Colour Checker

 

Today, X-Rite Incorporated and Calibrite announce their partnership to transition the X-Rite photo and video portfolio to Calibrite, a newly formed company dedicated to servicing the colour management needs of the photo, video, and content creation markets. Calibrite will collaborate with X-Rite on product development and take direct global control of the packaging, distribution, and marketing of X-Rite Photo solutions. The new Calibrite suite of products will be powered by X-Rite technology.

For decades, X-Rite led the market for colour management products in the photo and video industries and developed a range of award-winning products, including colour targets and calibration devices. As part of a strategic change, X-Rite decided the photo and video market would be best served through a dedicated partner solely focused on the unique needs of photographers and filmmakers.

Calibrite was formed by a group of passionate investors who worked with X-Rite in the photo and video markets for more than 20 years. Calibrite will continue to provide industry-leading solutions for photographers, filmmakers, designers, and content creators who demand the very best tools for working with colour. The Calibrite team is committed to building upon X-Rite’s exceptional products and legacy while adding a heightened level of education, inspiration, and customer support.

Colour Checker

 

Powered By X-Rite, Innovation By Calibrite 

Under the agreement, Calibrite will license core technologies from X-Rite. X-Rite will manufacture the devices for monitor and printer calibration and provide colour materials from the Munsell Lab for ColorChecker targets. This ensures that Calibrite customers receive the same level of quality, and innovation X-Rite Photo customers have enjoyed for decades.       

The team at Calibrite remains dedicated to an extensive research and development programme that will result in upgrades and new products covering monitor, printer, camera, scanner, and projector calibration. Calibrite will collaborate with X-Rite colour scientists to develop solutions that evolve with the speed of technology.   

 

Rebranding 

All of Calibrite’s products should look familiar but the X-Rite i1Display and i1Studio devices and the full range of ColorChecker targets will now be rebranded under the Calibrite ColorChecker name.     

 

Distribution                    

X-Rite’s existing distributors, MAC Group in North America and LUMESCA Group in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are appointed as exclusive Calibrite distributors in those territories. There is a seamless transition for their customers to the new Calibrite product range. Calibrite has agreements with other X-Rite photo and video distributors in the Asia-Pacific region and is actively seeking new partnerships for territories that are not currently covered.     

 

Customer Support

Calibrite is providing global support for all existing X-Rite photo and video customers and honouring warranties for products previously sold by X-Rite. Customer support is provided via a dedicated support portal on www.calibrite.com with technical specialists responding to support requests by email or phone. Calibrite maintains access to X-Rite’s massive library of customer support documents.                                                                                 

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johnriley1uk’s latest blog : review: classic rock covers by michael ochs

johnriley1uk's latest blog : the cameras with the wonderful lenses

Review: Classic Rock Covers by Michael Ochs

26 Jun 2021 2:57PM  
Views : 109
Unique : 93

Published as part of the Taschen Icons series, which is well worth collecting as there is some incredible art and incredible photography throughout, this book shows illustrations of LP record covers from the 1950s onwards. It covers the corny 1950s and 1960s, with highly stylised and improbable images of the singers and groups, to the iconic images of later years, when record covers became ever more art and began to have ideas above and beyond their place in life. Classic Rock Covers by Michael Ochs is published by Taschen (ISBN 3-8228-5540-5, 2001, 192pp) and is a joyous look back at some very fine memories. Whether or not our own favourites are covered is something else!
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The subject of record (or CD) covers was at the front of my mind as I’ve just taken delivery of Frankie Valli’s new CD “A Touch of Jazz”, the album he’s been promising to do for the past forty years or more, and it’s taken till he is 87 years old to get around to it. I was musing on the cover art compared to where he started in the early 1950s, so here we go and we can have a look at one from the book, the 1956 Four Lovers LP “Joyride”, typical of its day, with a young Frankie Valli on the left, singing and playing cocktail drums (stand up drums). He was 22 years old there.
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By the time the group had morphed into The Four Seasons, here in 1962 is the Sherry album, Frankie bottom left at 28 years old.
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By 1969, we have a multi-gatefold and the first of these types of designs, stolen by others who get their pictures in the book, but this one doesn’t. Frankie in protest mode at 35 years old.
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Life is getting tougher by 1985, so a 51 year old Frankie is projecting his Sopranos persona?
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And then we get more stylish again as an 87 year old Frankie still makes new recordings and the cover art is actually, I think, pretty good photography.
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So record covers are not just throwaway items, and I think they can be art, so well worth a look into books like Classic Rock Covers.

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johnriley1uk’s latest blog : lenses to capture birds by

johnriley1uk's latest blog : the cameras with the wonderful lenses

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Lenses to Capture Birds By

5 May 2021 10:53PM  
Views : 65
Unique : 61

When shooting birds I generally am using either the SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm (APS-C format) or the SMC Pentax-FA J 73-300mm (Full Frame). This is probably long enough for most subjects, but for a more dedicated trip I would also use the HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm. Then we are really talking about a long reach. However, the length of the lens may be helpful but it is as important to be in the right position. Frankly, for some situations no lens would be long enough, so we still need to move closer.

Bird photography is quite a challenge, so I’ll share now some of the images, some old, some newer, but these are theb ones I quite liked.

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Improve Your Landscapes Instantly By Capturing Mood

Improve Your Landscapes Instantly By Capturing Mood

Learn how you can add mood to your landscapes to improve your shots.

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Landscape and Travel

As photographers, when we think of mood, we think of stormy, dark and dramatic, but mood can equally relate to any lighting type that evokes a feeling. Photographically then, mood can readily be associated with weather conditions – calm and misty mornings, dramatic cloudy days with sunbeams and often, the most dramatic mood can be obtained on those days you might think offer less promise – as it only takes a break in stormy clouds to give a magnificent, moody image.

 

Improve Your Landscapes Instantly By Capturing Mood 2

Photo by David Clapp 

 

How To Capture Mood In Your Images

To capture dark and dramatic mood successfully, be prepared to wait for breaks in the weather, sometimes you just have to sit out the rainy spells – in the car if you’re lucky; but when the weather breaks you can be rewarded with a few minutes really exciting lighting.

When the light does come, be prepared to work quickly. Good lighting doesn’t wait for the photographer, and often its over just as quickly as it arrived, so think in advance whether you are going to need a graduated ND filter, or if you need to bracket the shot to put together an HDR (High Dynamic Range) picture. Don’t wait for the light before considering that you need a filter or need to bracket exposures to cope with the contrast range, as when the light’s gone – it’s gone. Checking your histogram after the event to find that your exposure is wrong it’s too late – you can’t bring it back.

For misty, early morning moody images, again the weather forecast is an essential pre-planner – there is no point sleeping in to find that you’ve just missed a delicate, moody sunrise. Similarly, there is little point getting up early to find the weather isn’t ideal.

The key to capturing mood is to pick the right day and location – as is all landscape photography, but the real secret is to be fully prepared for when the “mood” arrives.

 

Improve Your Landscapes Instantly By Capturing Mood 3

Photo by David Clapp

Words written by John Gravett

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5 Top Tips On How You Can Create Amazing Photos By Breaking All Of The Photography Rules

5 Top Tips On How You Can Create Amazing Photos By Breaking All Of The Photography Rules

The COOPH photography team want to show you how to create unique and extraordinary images by not following the rules.

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Creative

 

Our friends COOPH are back with a brilliant tutorial on how you can break all of the photography rules but still capture brilliant photos. They are looking for perfection in imperfection, extraordinary in the ordinary and flaws which actually make a photo great! 

“Most photographers are after those perfect images and painstakingly try to avoid shots that are slightly flawed. But sometimes, the ones that share a different and fresh approach are the best,” says COOPH.

The COOPH team play around with 5 photography rules but, of course, there are many more out there waiting to be broken so if you’re a rule-breaker, why not share your results and comments with us below – we’d love to hear your top tips! 

 

1. Wrong Exposure Levels

To kick the tutorial off, the COOPH team start by using the wrong exposure when capturing portraits in bright light so when they’re converted to black and white, the contrast makes them ‘pop’. They also experiment with contrasting light in a tunnel to add a bit of mystery to their portraits. 

 

Playing With Exposure Levels

 

2. Crooked Horizon

When capturing landscapes, it’s important for the horizon to be straight but there are other times when a wonky horizon can make a shot feel much more dynamic and dramatic as the COOPH team demonstrate. 

 

Dynamic portraits

 

3. Play With Blur

Blur can easily spoil a shot but when used the right way it can make subjects ‘pop’ from the frame, create a sense of speed or add a level of creativity to your shot you can’t get without it. One way to do this is with zoom blur which is a fun and really easy method to add a creative spin to woodland shots, and more. 

 

Lens Blur creative photography

 

4. Use The Wrong Lens

Wide-angle lenses aren’t usually what we reach for when shooting portraits but the way they distort proportions can actually help you capture really fun portraits of people. 

 

Wide-Angle Lens Portrait

 

5. Out Of Focus

Instead of focusing on whatever is in the foreground of your shot, switch and focus on the background to give a creative twist to your shot. 

 

Out of focus foreground

 

How do you break the photography rules? Show us your best examples in the Gallery

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The Nik Collection 3 By DxO Wins 2020-2021 EISA Award For ‘Best Photo Software’

The Nik Collection 3 By DxO Wins 2020-2021 EISA Award For 'Best Photo Software'

DxO has announced that the Nik Collection 3 photo plugin suite has been awarded the 2020-2021 EISA ‘Best Photo Software’ accolade.

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DxO Nik Collection 3 in Industry News

Nik Collection 3 By DxO

 

The ‘2020-2021 EISA PHOTO SOFTWARE’ title has been awarded to the Nik Collection 3 by DxO – the creative photo plugin suite for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, and DxO PhotoLab.

With more than sixty expert magazines published in nearly 30 countries worldwide, the Expert Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) represents the broadest editorial collaboration in the mass retail electronics sector. Every year, its jury awards the top products in photography as well as the Hi-Fi, home cinema, embedded electronics, and mobile device industries.

“With the Nik Collection 3 by DxO, we set out to provide Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom Classic users with an even more flexible and fluid editing process,” says Jérôme Ménière, founder and CEO of DxO. “We are especially proud that EISA’s expert jury chose to recognize this major improvement to our software, which was made possible by an amazing collaboration with the Nik Collection community – a group that is continuing to grow throughout the world.”

According to the EISA jury, “Nik Collection 3 by DxO is a suite of eight powerful photo-editing plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and DxO PhotoLab, that helps photographers take their images to the next level. Together the plug-ins allow a wide range of effects to be applied quickly and easily to images, such as great black and white conversions, attractive colour adjustments and creative treatments and new in this version, comprehensive geometric corrections. A new non-destructive mode allows you to export images as TIFF files and tweak your edits while keeping your original images safe and your adjustments reversible.”

To see the full list of winners, take a look at our ‘EISA AWARDS 2020-2021: Photography & Smartphone Winners‘ announcement. 

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