Friday, September 30, 2016

PHOTO CONTEST GALLERY / SEE THE WINNING PHOTOS

WEEKEND EDITION:
SINGLE PHOTOS THAT HAVE WON PHOTO CONTESTS:

Have you ever wanted to see what type of photos win national photo contests?  Here is a sampling of some amazing photos that have actually won photo contests. 
I don't have a listing of their prize awards, but, all that is listed is that these photos were the winners in their categories.  I am presenting different categories so you can get a sampling of all different types of winners.

Enjoy this great Photo Gallery:

The top photo:

By: Karolos Trivizas  | 


Tags: sphinx
Equipment: Sony DSC-F828


METEORA MONASTERY II

The monastery of Agios Stefanos in the region of Meteora in Central Greece. .......... In the same region, during the period between 11th and 14th century, on the top of similar huge monoliths, the Greek monks built 24 monasteries, in order to be protected from the bandits and pirates. .......... In the past the only access to this monastery was a small movable wooden bridge. .......... Today only 6 of the Meteora monasteries remain renovated in the region, while the rest are abandoned and ruined. ..........


IRISH SUNLIGHT

Ireland, Moville. .......... The pier at Carrickarory near Moville Co Donegal. .......... An idyllic port with colorful fishing boats, partly illuminated through a hole in the cloudy sky. .......... In Ireland I saw for the first time this -unusual for my country- climatic phenomenon of the sudden successions between a completely cloudy sky and a glorious sun, many times during the day. .......... During these changes, the glorious sun rays, passing through openings in the heavy lead colored clouds, create impressive lighting effects. ..

INSPECTOR JAVERT ?

Captured in Soreze, a small town in southern France................


KING’S SAD LOOK

Germany, Berlin Zoo................. A king behind bars, a prisoner without a crime, a prisoner who never stood a trial................ This magnificent proud animal was staring at the people passing in front of the cage and its sad look narrated the unjust condemnation.............. It was an expressive look with so many questions



TEAM WORK

PORTUGAL – ALVITE . . .. A scene from the past….. in an isolated picturesque small village of central Portugal. These old ladies were knitting warm socks with woolen lisle from their sheep. Their gatherings are good opportunities for some gossip and exchange of village news.


"SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI" :

ASCETIC MONK

By: Karolos Trivizas

The white-tailed eagle, the fish & the crow

Shot in Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan

Akranes

Old lighthouse of Akranes, Iceland. 30 sec at f/8 (but not enough clouds to get any clear effect

Lucas Valley Road

Thank you for stopping by. I caught this in the midst of a rain, and wind. As you can see the leaves blown all over. The exposure was 8 seconds, or longer with no correction for reciprocity. The film was Velvia 100. It was dark in there so I kept it that way.


Little Sur river


Autumnal fondness


Mystical prayers


Mount Assiniboine

This image was taken on 21 September 2012, in Mount Assiniboine, Canadian Rockies. A dramatic sky appeared over Mount Assiniboine: after sunset, the rising moon was hidden behind Mount Sunburst while its light was burst from the peak, moving clouds crossed the starry sky and formed such magic patterns.

Glenorchy Moonrise

Glenorchy is a small settlement nestled in spectacular scenery at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, about 45 km from Queenstwon. This image captured a dramatic moment of moonrise over Gelnmorchy in autumn time.

Be Together

The Moeraki Boulders are unusually large and spherical boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach on the wave cut Otago coast of the South Island of New Zealand between Moeraki and Hampden. They occur scattered either as isolated or clusters of boulders within a stretch of beach where they have been protected in a scientific reserve. This photo was taken on 30 April 2013, the setting sun illuminated the light on the horizon as the sky was already filled of stars.

The World of Imagination

Milford Sound is a fjord in the south west of New Zealand's South Island, within Fiordland Nation Park. Because of its special geographic location, each year there are almost 300 raining days. Surprisingly, during our two-day staying in Milford Sound, it was sunny and cloudless, while I was told that just a week before, there was a fierce storm here and it even damaged a scientific facility in Milford Sound Observatory Centre. A starry sky was rarely seen in Milford Sound, as I was told by two local photographers in Milford Sound. Luckily, this time I saw it, and moreover, I was able to capture this magic scene of Milford Sound. This image was taken on 11 July 2013. The photography process was rather difficult. Nearly 3 hours before sunrise, it was very dark, but the sky was just dramatic through my camera. Since the tide was extremely low, I had to jump into the cold water from the other side in order to get a perfect reflection of the mountains. The water was freezing cold, about 0 degree. After standing there for nearly 2 hours with my wader on, my tripod was frozen by the end. But the result was rewarding..

The Tree Is My Shelter (Please view in large)

It was a cold but calm night in Wanaka. The lake water level was surprisingly high such that the tree trunk was completely sunk under the water. But this tree was obviously a safe shelter for these little birds. Taking this image was not simple: as the water level was too high, there was no possibility to frame the scene that I was interested from the lake shore. Luckily, with my wader on, I was able to stand in the cold water for a long time to take my shots.

Cathedral Cove

This Cathedral Cove is located in Hahei coast, about 2 hours drive from Auckland towards south east direction. Arriving in this place before 4.30am, I looked into the beautiful sky through this natural window.


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These were all such amazing photos.  When I pick our "photos of the Week" on Thursday's I think those photos rival these photos.  So, it is refreshing to see what types of photos actually are winning photos on real contests.  We have collected photos from photographers who make it their business to enter photo contests, and as you can see they take wonderful photos.  I hope we can look at these and learn from them.  For that is the goal when we look at winning photos.




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Thursday, September 29, 2016

HOW TO AVOID THE MOST COMMON PHOTOGRAPHY MISTAKES

HERE IS A LIST OF COMMON PHOTOGRAPY MISTAKES

AND ALSO HOW TO FIX THEM:

We all have some mistakes we make as we take photos.  Some we have mastered already.  Some, we are going to make in the future.  This article should cover a lot of common mistakes, that if you are aware of them, should help you become more of a master photographer sooner.

I have found an article written by:  RAJIB MUKHERJEE That just explains it all very well.  Thanks to PictureCorrect for posting this article.  This is one that I think covers almost all of the mistakes I can think of. 

1- LIGHT AND SHADOW:
Many times choosing the wrong spot for taking your images can ruin the shot, even though you are standing at a beautiful location, such as when your model stands bang in the middle where light and shadow seems to intertwine. Cameras don’t like extreme differences between light and shadow areas. As a result, your camera will either expose for the bright side or the shadow side, thereby under-exposing the shadow side or over-exposing the bright side, respectively.

Just by shifting the subject’s position, the quality of the final image can improve dramatically.

2- location:
Much of the aesthetics of a good image depends on the location where you ask your subject to stand, meaning, the background. Most people are hesitant to ask. The result is boring and downright distracting images. Be open to move your subject around and you could get much better shots.

Another tip that Cable shares is to try and work with darker backgrounds. The human eye is attracted to the brighter part of the frame, which is the subject’s face, rendering the background almost invisible.

A wrong location can ruin your photos, just as well as incorrect use of ambient light

3- FOCUS:

Focusing is a critical skill in the whole process of photography. No matter how beautiful the subject or the background is, if your focusing is incorrect you will end up with a poor image that fails to draw the attention of the viewer. So, if you are shooting portraits, invariably the point of focus should be on the eye closest to you.

Always focus on the subject’s eye that is closest to you.
4- APERTURE:
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with shooting in aperture priority mode, choosing the wrong aperture is a common mistake. Aperture allows you to decide how much of the frame you want to be sharp. In other words it is what decides depth of field.

The left uses a big aperture and results in a shallow depth of field. The image on the right uses a small aperture and results in a big depth of field

5- COMPOSITION:
There are hundreds and thousands of examples of bad compositions littering the Internet. The most important thing that photographers must be clear about is the subject matter of their photos. That in itself can lead to better images. When required, change the perspective to shoot low or shoot only from the waist up or shoot from a close distance. Not to mention the many opportunities when you can make a great shot by shooting off-center.
Good composition depends not only on the knowledge of aesthetics but also on your understanding of how to use different perspectives

6-FRAMING:
One mistake that new photographers makes is not shooting tight enough. Essentially, the closer you are to your subject the more you become part of it. In that sense, it is even OK to crop out parts of the head and only focus on the eyes.

7- FLASH:
Flash can be helpful, even during the day, when you have harsh shadows on your subjects due to the direct sun. When using flash, fire just enough of it to fill in the shadows, never overdoing it to the point where they become obvious. If you are shooting during the day with flash, Cable suggests that you turn your model around so that they are not facing the sun.

When shooting in broad daylight, ask the subject to stand against the sun and use a little bit of flash to fill in the shadows.

8- SHUTTER SPEEDS:
Even though the aperture priority mode is a good place to start, allowing you to focus only on one aspect of exposure, not knowing the shutter speed used is unpardonable. There are uses of both slow and fast shutter speeds which can be used in all lighting conditions depending on the need. Here are a couple.

Two images, two different shutter speeds

The shot of the Indy car on the left was shot at 1/40 of a second where as that of the slider on the right was at 1/8000 of a second.

9- CAMERA BASICS:
There are certain things that you need to learn and incorporate into your system while you are still learning the tricks of the trade. These are the basic dos and don’ts. So things like using a lens hood backwards or holding the camera incorrectly or not using a wide stance when photographing have to be corrected very early.

10- TRYING TO SHOOT AT NIGHT WITHOUT USING A TRIPOD:

If the light is low and you want to shoot at a slow shutter speed, use a tripod and turn off your flash (unless of course you have someone in the frame).

Never, ever shoot without a tripod in low light situations.

11- ATTENTION:
How many times have you been guilty of looking for the obvious while there’s something interesting happening in another direction? As Cable puts it, “The best shot isn’t always in front of you.”

12- BACKGROUNDS:
This is something that a lot of us are guilty of, having the subject stand in front of a wall or a bush. This causes strong shadows and it is difficult to have subject separation.

13- SHOOTING:
Memory is ridiculously cheap. There is absolutely no reason for you to try to save memory space. Shoot as much as your memory cards allow. That way you have enough shots to pick from.

14- CREATIVITY:
Thinking outside the box is not just a piece of advice, it becomes a necessity at times. Being imaginative is the first rule of being a photographer, and that alone can help you to shoot better images. To demonstrate this, Cable shows this image he shot at the Sochi Olympics:

When you are stuck for unique perspectives, think outside the box.


“The spotlights over the arena had come down and kind of blasted this one area and I thought, ‘Shoot, that’s going to mess up all my shots.’ Until I realized, wait a second, I can meter this differently, and actually highlight that.”


The result was a unique and interesting shot.

15- HORIZONS:
Keep them straight, period.

Which photography mistakes do you see most often?


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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A WINNING PHOTO OF LIGHTNING, A PORTRAIT AND OTHER WINNING PHOTOS HERE:

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK:

SEPT. 29TH, 2016


This week's "Photos of the Week" are absolutely amazing.  I have searched the internet all week for these, and found them in several places.  I hope you enjoy seeing real photos from the best photographers in the world.  Here they are, and please share these with your friends and family:

When I look at this, it reminds me that I don't want to be in water during a lightning storm.  This is a great example of how these big thunderstorms roll in. Sometimes you see them, but you are just not in the right place to photograph them, or catch the light and composition just right to catch this type of amazing photo.  But, this photographer did.  Congratulations to:
PHOTO TAKEN BY:  Karim Bechara.  And the photo is simply titled:  "Lightning".

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This is just a rare chance to capture this photo like this.  And I like the comments by the photographer:
Such a rare chance for ten thousand years at the same time I get to see when all the planets in the same line. 
Congratulations to the photographer:  Vishal Agarwal

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Oh, I love a well composed photo.  The subject off center, the beautiful sunset, the ocean.  Just makes me want to be there.  This is located in Nervi, Near Genova, Italy.  Thanks this time to a newly discovered photographer:  LINO CANNIZZARO.  Your work is amazing, and you have won the "Photo of the Week", along with these other great photographers.

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Now the only way to catch such a photo is to certainly be at the right place at the right time.  This was displayed on the website:  "FASCINATING PLACES IN THE WORLD".  Not really sure who was the actual photographer, but several names are listed.  So, I will post them all as they may have all been contributors.  It is titled:  "Solar eclipse in Paris".  And the names listed as contributors to the photo are:  Graciela Gonzalez Santos, Eva Jovita Canaveras and Armin Afshar.  So, Congratulations to the photographer(s), and thanks for this incredible photo.


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Now this photo would certainly be so amazing if it was real.  And it is real to a point.  In the photography world, a great deal of work has to be done on a computer and there is some real great talent from people who can go on to their computer and create images from a conglomeration of images to create the final image, like this.  The amount of time it would take to do this particular photo can only be mind-boggling.  Anyone who has played around with Photoshop and Lightroom realize that this is not done overnight.  I can see the photographer taking days, weeks, maybe months to create this photo.  So, that is why this photo just has to be in the "PHOTOS OF THE WEEK".  Just because of the time commitment to produce this photo.  So, congratulations to:  TRACY WILLIS, WHO ALSO POSTED THIS IN THE GROUP:  PHOTOSHOP AND LIGHTROOM.  Her comments after she posted this:   One of the hardest and most time consuming images I've created (using Lightroom and photoshop).
Congratulations Tracy.


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PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK
This portrait of the week was just well thought out.  I love when you get a great looking person, and have them do something other than just sit there.  This model was asked to blow glitter out of their hands to create this effect, and it worked really well.  Congratulations to :  SAFIN PAGE who took the time and created such a beautiful portrait.  And looking at all the portraits I have looked at in the last week, this one wins them all.  And Black and White as well.  Just goes to show you that Black and White photos is not a dead art.  This is an amazing photo.  Congratulations Safin !  You certainly deserve the recognition for producing such a great photo.
SAFIN PAGE, also posted this in PHOTOSHOP AND LIGHTROOM.


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Congratulations to this week's winners.  Your photography skills should be shared.  This is the one place where photos of professional and amateur photographers photos can be shown and be winners.  From all over the world, and now posted to many different social media links, to be shared to inspire other photographers.  My goal is that we can all learn from your skills.  Thank you so much.  Please share these winning photos with your friends and family so all can enjoy.


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NIKON REGISTERS 4 NEW CAMERAS IN THE U.S.

NEW TECHNOLOGY REPORT:
Wednesday Sept. 28th, 2016

1-  Nikon Registered D6, D7, D8 and D9 Trademarks
2- Fujifilm Announced Development of GFX 50S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera
3- Sigma Will Make FE Lenses for Sony Full Frame Mirrorless Cameras
4- Olympus Pen E PL8 Cameras and 3 new MFT lenses announced.


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Nikon Registered D6, D7, D8 and D9 Trademarks


Nikon has registered the D6, D7, D8 and D9 trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. That means the Nikon D6, D7, D8 and D9 flagship full frame DSLR cameras will be announced in the next few years! That’s not a big surprise for us since the latest Nikon D5 (AmazonB&HAdorama) flagship DSLR camera received lots of praise: The Nikon D5 achieved a top score of 1170 at SenScore and the D5 got an impressive 89% overall score and Gold Award from the experts at DPReview.
So, let’s wait for the next 4 generations of Nikon flaship full frame DSLR cameras.

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Fujifilm Announced Development of GFX 50S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera


Fujifilm officially announced the development of the new medium format FUJIFILM GFX mirrorless digital camera system that will deliver unmatched and exceptional image quality. Fujifilm will release the Fujifilm GFX 50S mirrorless camera which features the FUJIFILM G Format 43.8×32.9mm sensor with 51.4 megapixels and six lenses that will be introduced under the new FUJINON GF Lens series of interchangeable lenses after early 2017 sequentially for professional photographers and photo enthusiasts.
The new FUJIFILM GFX 50S will give professional photographers the most extraordinary image quality in the history of Fujifilm.
FUJIFILM GFX 50S
The FUJIFILM GFX 50S mirrorless digital camera will feature the new FUJIFILM G Format 43.8 x32.9mm sensor with an astonishing 51.4MP resolution and six FUJINON GF Lenses that will be introduced sequentially in early 2017.
FUJIFILM GFX 50S Key Features:
  • 51.4MP Medium Format 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor for superior sharpness and image quality for all professional photographers
  • Can be adapted to various aspect ratios, including 4:3 (default), 3:2, 1:1, 4:5, 6:7 and 6:17
  • FUJIFILM “G Mount” with short flange back distance of just 26.7mm
  • “X-Processor Pro” imaging processor
  • Detachable electronic viewfinder
  • Weather and dust resistant; operates as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit \ -10 degrees Celsius
Availability and Pricing
The new FUJIFILM GFX system will be available in early 2017 in the U.S. with pricing to be announced at a later date.

Press Release:
FUJIFILM announces development of mirrorless camera system “GFX”
The game has changed. Medium-format re-invented.
Large sized sensor and large-diameter realize the highest image quality in the history of Fujifilm
PHOTOKINA 2016, COLOGNE, GERMANY, September 19, 2016—FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) is proud to announce the development of the mirrorless digital camera system “GFX” to deliver the highest image quality in the history of Fujifilm electronic imaging. The company will release mirrorless digital camera FUJIFILM GFX 50S which features the FUJIFILM G Format 43.8×32.9mm sensor with 51.4 megapixels and six lenses that will be introduced under the new FUJINON GF Lens series of interchangeable lenses after early 2017 sequentially for professional photographers and photo enthusiasts. The new series deliver the highest image quality Fujifilm offers as well as outstanding expandability and functionality as a camera system.
Over the course of its proud history that extends over 80 years, Fujifilm has developed and manufactured photographic films with advanced image resolution and outstanding color and tone reproduction to meet the needs of professional photographers and photo enthusiasts, an extensive range of professional cameras under the consistent philosophy that “a camera is a tool for producing artwork,” and high quality FUJINON lenses which forms an indispensable part of camera systems. All these technologies have been amassed to develop the GFX, which uses a medium-format sensor to achieve the highest level of image quality and a completely new type of mirrorless system, and its companion FUJINON GF lenses.
As a long-term manufacturer of photographic films and medium-format film cameras, Fujifilm was always aware of the impact which different format sizes have on photographic expressions. Using a larger format gives ultimate enhancement to a camera’s ability to capture “texture quality,” “stereoscopic effect” and “aerial feeling,” which cannot be attained even by substantially increasing the sensor’s pixel count. Since the launch of the X Series, an increasing number of professional photographers and photo enthusiasts expressed their desire to achieve the ultimate world of photographic expression with the X Series’ signature color reproduction. The GFX camera system with “G Format” is Fujifilm’s response to their desire.

Highlight features
(1) Obtaining the ultimate in photo image quality
Since the introduction of the X100 in 2011, Fujifilm has strived to achieve the best image quality possible with its X series of cameras. The latest and the most advanced addition is the new medium-format mirrorless camera GFX. It uses the new large-diameter “G Mount” and incorporates a large 43.8×32.9mm CMOS sensor. Boasting the effective pixel count of 51.4 million, the camera delivers superior sharpness and image quality that will satisfy professional photographers shooting commercial, fashion or fine-art landscapes. The sensor’s 51.4 megapixels can be adapted to various aspect ratios, including 4:3 (default), 3:2, 1:1, 4:5, 6:7 and 6:17, which were available in film cameras of the large- and medium-formats. The camera uses the “X-Processor Pro” imaging processor, which provides Fujifilm’s outstanding color and tone reproduction at an extremely high level. The result is the ultimate capability in photographic expressions that only Fujifilm can deliver thanks to its extensive knowledge in medium-format cameras and large-format films.
(2) Mirrorless camera system with a large sized sensor
The GFX is an all-new mirrorless camera system that revolutionizes the concept of medium-format cameras. Compared to conventional medium-format digital SLR cameras, the GFX is lighter weight, achieving a far more compact form factor. With regards to functionality, the camera follows in the footsteps of the X Series by featuring numerous physical buttons and dials, and is designed with an ergonomic grip, shaped carefully and optimized for the camera body and lenses. This model becomes Fujifilm’s first model to use a detachable electronic viewfinder, which you can remove when using an external monitor or wanting to make the system even lighter. In addition, an optional adapter makes it possible to fit the EVF in any angle, giving greater freedom in the choice of shooting angle. Other optional accessories that will be released at the same time, include the Vertical Battery Grip, which enhances functionality when shooting in the portrait orientation. The camera also supports tethered shooting, which has become an essential part of the professional photographers’ workflow, and will be compatible with various RAW conversion application software.

(3) New lenses with a new lens mount for added descriptive performance
A new lineup of FUJINON GF lenses, designed specifically for the GFX, supports the new G Mount. Taking advantage of the mirrorless system’s structure, the G Mount has the short flange back distance of just 26.7mm to shorten the back focus distance as much as possible. This prevents vignetting to achieve edge-to-edge sharpness of the world’s highest level. The initial lineup on launch is to include the following six lenses:
    1. Standard prime “GF63mmF2.8 R WR” (equivalent to 50mm in the 35mm format)
    2. Wide-angle standard zoom “GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR” (equivalent to 25-51mm in the 35mm format)
    3. Mid-telephoto macro 1:0.5 “GF120mmF4 Macro R LM OIS WR” (equivalent to 95mm in the 35mm format)
    4. Fast aperture mid-telephoto “GF110mmF2 R LM WR” (equivalent to 87mm in the 35mm format)
    5. Ultra wide “GF23mmF4 R LM WR” (equivalent to 18mm in the 35mm format)
    6. Wide “GF45mmF2.8 R WR” (equivalent to 35mm in the 35mm format)
    The lenses feature an aperture ring, a popular feature in the X Series, and have the new C (Command) Position on the ring to enable aperture adjustments with the Command Dial on the camera body. All the lenses feature dust and weather resistant construction that withstands operation at temperatures as low as minus 10 degrees Celsius, allowing you to take them outdoors with peace of mind. This gives these lenses a strong potential, suitable for professional use in tough conditions.

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Sigma Will Make FE Lenses for Sony Full Frame Mirrorless Cameras

At Photokina 2016 Focus Numerique had an interview with the President of Sigma, Mr. Kazuto Yamaki and Mr. Yamaki stated that Sigma will make FE lenses for Sony full frame E-mount mirrorless cameras in the near future:
The future of FE mount is beaming. So yes we will come out of FE mount objectives in the future.
Sigma recently announced 8 High Speed Cinema Lenses, including 3 zoom lenses and 5 prime lenses. But the upcoming Sigma FE lenses mean the general photography lenses. So, what do you expect from Sigma?
Stay tuned for more info.


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Olympus Pen E PL8 Cameras and 3 new MFT lenses announced.


Olympus has officially announced its new midrange mirrorless camera, the PEN E-PL8.
A successor to Olympus ... Pro lineup by adding a trifecta of new lenses The rear of
the camera includes the same 3-inch, Photography News: Olympus Has Just
Revealed a Variety of Products to Expand Its Micro Four Thirds System, Including
a Stylish PEN E-PL8 Camera, 12-100mm f/4 PRO, 25mm f/1.2 PRO, and
30mm f/3.5 Macro Lenses, and a Flagship FL-900R Electronic Flash1.04million-dot LCD



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WOW, A LITTLE MORE CALM NOW THAT PHOTOKINA IS OVER.  BUT SOME EXCITING NEW THINGS ANNOUNCED THAT DIDN'T MAKE IT ON THE PRESS AS
OF LAST WEDNESDAY.  I THINK THE BIG ONE THAT IS GOING TO BE A BIG HIT
TO THE PROFESSIONAL MARKET IS THE NEW CAMERA FROM FUJI FILM.  A
MEDIUM FORMAT CAMERA, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE A LOT OF MONEY, WILL
RESULT IN SOME OF THE SHARPEST, MOST BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS THAT YOU WILL
EVER SEE COME FROM ANY CAMERA.  HASSELBLAD INTRODUCED THEIR NEW
MIRRORLES MEDIUM FORMAT CAMERA EARLIER THIS YEAR, AND NOW FROM
JAPAN COMES FUJI FILM'S VERSION.  FUJI IS AN OPTICAL COMPANY, AND YOU
CAN BET THE OPTICS OF THIS CAMERA WILL BE AMAZING.  AND SHOULD RIVAL THE LENSES FROM HASSELBLAD.  IT IS GOOD TO HAVE THIS KIND OF
COMPETITION IN THE  PROFESSIONAL MARKET.

WHAT STILL AMAZES ME IS THE NEW LINE-UP OF HIGH-END CAMERAS NOW FROM EVERY MANUFACTURE.  WITH THE NEW INTROLDUCTION OF THE FLAG-SHIP CAMERA FROM OLYMPUS, IT WILL MAKE THE WHOLE MARKET VERY INTERESTING IN THE HIGH END MARKET ONCE AGAIN.  I REMEMBER BACK IN THE GOOD OLD FILM DAYS, WHEN I THINK I ONCE OWNED OR BORROWED EVERY BRAND OF CAMERA.  IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE THE RESULTS OF EACH OF THESE AS THEY COME OUT.  I THINK I WILL FIND A PRESS TEST ARTICE OF EACH OF THESE CAMERAS.  SO WATCH THIS BLOG CAREFULLY, AND IF YOU EVER GET IN THE MARKET FOR A HIGH END CAMERA, THIS WILL BE THE PLACE TO DO SOME COMPARISONS.


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Monday, September 26, 2016

WHAT IS A FOCAL POINT?


A focal point is the part of an image that draws the eye of a viewer to the most important part of the image or the area that you want to highlight. How you do this will make or break the final image. If you don’t know how to create this point then you will not achieve much in your photography.

THE IMPORTANCE OF A FOCAL POINT:

Article written by Wayne Turner for PictureCorrect:

photo by Dominic Alves

The professionals have all worked this one out and if you are attempting to create similar images then learn this point well. It frustrates the eye of a viewer if there is no focal point, as the eye is not drawn to any one particular part of the photo. The focal point only occupies a small part of the scene but will make or break the whole image. The simplest form of this is an isolated object seen from a distance on a plain background.
So how is this achieved successfully? Let’s take a look at a few pointers:

1- THE RULE OF THIRDS:

Fundamental to photography this rule needs to be learnt well and executed to perfection. If you know where to place your focal point then you will shoot great images every time. A focal point needs to be off centred and never in the middle of an image. The rule of thirds places it at a point that is very pleasing to the eye as discovered by the ancient Greeks. This golden rule will bring you success every time. Imagine a noughts and crosses or tic-tac-toe grid. Two lines across the image and two lines down the image—vertically and horizontally placed. Equally spaced, they cut the image up into thirds. Where these lines intersect are your focal points. The horizontal lines are where you place your horizons. The human eye loves to view subjects placed at these intersections. Take a magazine or travel book and take a look at how many times this rule is used effectively and see how your eye is drawn to them.


2- SELECTIVE FOCUS:


This is an incredibly effective way to focus attention on your subject of focal point. You need to know how aperture and depth of field works in order to use it properly. But, basically it’s very simple. Your settings (e.g. f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6 and so on) change the size of your aperture all the way up to f/32. You only need to be concerned with the lower apertures for this effect. If your lens goes to f/1.2, brilliant, but most lenses won’t take you below f/4 or f/2.8, as they get more expensive the wider the aperture. Depth of field is the area of focus in front of and behind your subject. With the aperture wide open at f/2.8 you will have very little in focus which makes it so effective with selective focusing. Everything not on the same focal plane as the subject will be out of focus and thereby excluded from the viewer’s attention. The longer your lens, the less depth of field you will have and the more you will be able to selectively focus.


It’s a great way of drawing attention when used in conjunction with the rule of thirds.

3- EXPOSURE:

By underexposing parts of the image (i.e. making them darker), the areas that are light will stand out. If you are able to able to use this effectively the light parts will stand out as focal points and whatever you place here will become the point of focus in the photo. This really works well if you have a subject that is lighter than the underexposed, darker areas. Key to the process is knowing what the final image will look like in mind’s eye.


4- LIGHT SOURCE:


This really pushes your photographic eye to the limits and if you see the opportunity and go for it, will result in a stunning photo. How this works is that when you see a shaft of light or a ray of sunlight entering a window or coming through the clouds, use it to place your subject. A patch of late afternoon sun in dimming light will create an area that is much lighter than the surroundings. When you shoot an image and take the metering off this area, the surrounding environment will appear darker. The image now has a focal point that draws the eye in to the image. This will also work at night where a solitary window is lit and the surrounding area is dark. Experiment with this technique and you will soon be creating dramatically lit sources.

5- THE EYES:


By placing a person’s eyes on a two thirds intersection a viewers eyes are immediately drawn to that area. When the subject is looking down on something else like a child or an object your eye will be naturally drawn to the point where the subjects eyes are focused. Whenever you shoot a person eyes they will automatically become the focal point so if they are the focal point then you have a problem and they will compete for attention


6- TWO FOCAL POINTS:

Sometimes you will have two focal points and there will be competition, but, you can offset this by using size. One of the focal points must be considerably larger which will draw the eye but immediately your focus will move to the smaller focal point. If they are the same size the viewer’s eyes will dart between them. So be very careful when using a double focal point.

A focal point is essential to any great image and you need to be able to create this in every image. An image lacking this will appear flat and without impact. As you learn digital photography it will become easier and easier to place it in the right position. Happy shooting!

About the Author:
Wayne Turner has been teaching photography for 25 years and has written three books on photography. He has produced
21 Steps to Perfect Photos; a program of learner-based training using outcomes based education.



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Sunday, September 25, 2016

WHAT MAKES SOME PHOTOS BETTER THAN OTHERS?

WHAT MAKES SOME PHOTOS BETTER THAN OTHERS?




That is a question asked by many people.  You know art is so subjective that this is a difficult question to answer.  But, as you take a look at a group of photos, it is obvious that some are better than others.  What makes photos better than others?  Your eyes are naturally drawn to photos that are attractive, have some characteristics that are unique.  In this article, I hope to bring out the points that make those photos better than the others.

I have had some opportunities to be a judge at some local fairs in photographic competition.  With that you do have to know some of the rules of art, and composition.  Actually you don't.  You will find that the photos that are the best are the ones that naturally follow those rules.  For example, a photo with the subject in the middle seems so harsh, compared to the one that seems off center or well composed with the subject in the "third" portion of the photo.   It just seems right.  So, after looking at many photos, I have composed some things that I think that sets the real good photos apart from the ordinary:

A GOOD PHOTO NEEDS LINES:
“Chairs” captured by PictureSocial member Lilian Ann Murphy


Lines are the things that direct your eyes around the photograph.  They can be diagonal, they can be leading lines, they can be like the photo above, and just lead your eyes all through the photograph.  They are very important to just direct your eyes around a certain type of photograph. 
Photo by Jeff Hill, Picture Social member

SHAPES, PATTERNS AND CONTRAST:

Photo by Erik Stensland, Photography on Facebook Member, winner photo of the week

The shapes of your subject and background elements and how they interact will tell your story. Our brains are programmed to look for these things. One of your main challenges as a photographer is to demonstrate a 3D world in a 2D format, and good photographers understand how light (and shadow) interact with these subjects to make a scene come alive.
Photo by Darby Sawchuk, Photography on Facebook member, winner photo of the week.

BOLD COLOR:

Color is important in a photo, for sure, but, if you can get a photo with bold, dynamic colors, you will have to agree that your eyes will be drawn to that photo.  Try it some time and see if your friends and family don't just go OOOOhhh.  
“Neighbourhood Street in Venice” captured by PictureSocial member Pat Kehoe



BEAUTIFUL SUBJECTS

You have to give credit to some photographers who just happen to walk upon the most beautiful landscapes, or picture taking opportunities accidently.  And they just capture it all, just because it happens to be so beautiful there.  I have some friends, that every time they post a photo, I swear they must live next to heaven or something.  All they have to do is go there at the right time of the day, and they capture these beautiful photos every time they go there. 

Photo by Pamela Locke
Photo by Duarte Sol Photography - Portugal


BEING AT THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME:

This does have to have a certain amount of good element to this.  So many wonderful photos are captured, not by any skill of the photographer, but, by just being there at the right place and at the right time.  It certainly helps if the person being there happens to know about photography.  I have often looked at some of those photos that are caught on camera and said, "wow, it would have been so much better if they knew what they were doing".  Right?  But, there are good photographers who do happen to be in the right place at the right time to capture images that are amazing.

Double rainbow over Amsterdam. Photo taken by:  Pie Aerts.  A rare and beautiful photo rarely captured anywhere of this magnitude.

Photo taken by Dan Piech over New York City.  Called the "The Hand of Zeus"  It's not easy to catch lightning like this.

Almost all the better photos taken will have the above points in them.  There may be a few exceptions I am sure.  But, it takes thinking about these things to make sure your photos are better than the guy next to you.  Of course the equipment you have may be the thing that captures it just right.  It takes practice, practice, practice.  In a previous article I posted recently, it stated that you have to take about 10,000 photos before you start taking good photos.  I am not sure that is totally accurate, because I think you will take a few good ones in getting to that number.  But, while you are taking those photos, you will be thinking about these points as you take them. 

Now when you go to a National Park, or to Disneyland, and they tell you to "stand here" for a photo opportunity, will  you stand there?  I hope not.  Look around for other places that will make your photo more unique.  Capture these photos from different angles, with a story behind the faces:


But photography isn’t only about being able to see what’s in front of you; you have to be able to record what you see using some technology that is more advanced than what it took to take Neil Armstrong and his buddies to the moon. This can be quite daunting for some people and is the reason you see so many people with really good cameras keeping their dial on the green auto mode and never moving past that. Don’t be that person.

Allright, go and enjoy photography.  Learn about composition well, and learn all the different things your camera can do.  And make photos that are better than the others.


ARTICLE BY LANNY COTTRELL
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