Q:I'm going to be filming at the local diy venue coming up, and thanks to the build in there, it gets extremely loud, which is usual in a small space. I was looking for a relatively inexpensive mic that wouldn't be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of noise that'll be going on. Any suggestions?
Hi there, Bex here!
I’m a huge fan of Zoom mics, and you could probably do with something like their H1 which you can look at here.
If the H1 isn’t what you’re looking for, you can spend a little more and get something like the H4n, which is here. I’ve used the H4n more than the H1, on loads of audio and video projects, and it’s super easy and very high quality for not a lot of money.
If you don’t want to buy one outright, you can probably rent one from a photographic retailer or an AV place. There are tons more options, but I’ve found the Zooms to be the easiest.
Hope this helps!!
Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood is one of my favorite places in the city to shoot, especially on a beautiful, sunny day. I take a lot of clients there as well for engagement shoots and portraits, because it’s so quintessentially Boston.
Nothing says “Look How Old and Cool This Neighborhood Is” quite like Acorn St. It’s narrow, cobbled and tucked away between large, brick row houses that recall a time of colonial masterpiece.
In the rare instance you can catch the street without a mob of tourists or a large, luxury SUV parked (illegally!), it’s worth taking the time to stop and soak it all in.
Photography by Bex
Correcting Chromatic Aberration
Also called Purple/Green fringing, or CA for short, Chromatic Aberration is most common in the edges of wide aperture shots. Almost all lenses will exhibit some CA in the right circumstances, but it is usually correctable.
First, an extreme example of CA for illustrative purposes:
This one was out of focus. The lips are almost in range of my aperture. Still, I like it. To cover up my lack of talent, I pumped up the grain and clarity, toggled with the contrast, and focused on creating a filmic, black and white look.
As my mom is fond of telling me, sometimes you have to make due with the imperfections you make.
Photo by Bryce
Then & Now.
The top picture was taken ~2 months after receiving my current camera, it’s a very “flat” picture.
The second picture was taken earlier this month, I’m pleased with the improvement in composition/framing, exposure, and post-processing.
Photo by Joanna.
Top photo: Canon 550D, 18-55mm (kit lens) IS
Bottom photo: Canon 550D, 17-55mm IS USM
Utilizing Gradient Filters
So I was kind of busy when I took this shot which resulted in me over exposing the sky a little. Luckily 5 minutes in Lightroom was enough to apply a gradient filter and sort the problem out.
Highlight and shadow clipping is when the whites are blown out or the blacks are crushed to the point where detail is lost and “pools” of black ink and areas of exposed paper occur when printing. This is a result of over or under exposing a certain area of a photograph, usually caused by a bright sky.
Now this is not the most extreme case of this problem, pretty much all the data in the highlights was intact thanks to the dynamic range of the raw files and it was completely fixable.
This is just one example of the uses for this tool and it’s the method I use most frequently for darkening skies or brightening under exposed ground.
Taken with the 5DmkII + 17-40 f4 L
Photos by Iain A
Q:Froggie & Friends - Thanks again, this blog has been outstanding, and I've learned a ton already. Today's question is editing software. I'm an amateur and take pics for fun, is it really worth shelling out the money for Photoshop or are there other, lower cost, options out there that are just as good. Thanks in advance and cheers - Jim
Hey Jim! Bex here!
I asked around to some photographer friends of mine (including one who teaches a very in depth course dedicated to Photoshop), and the overall consensus is that GIMP is a pretty rad program for some basic retouching and editing functions. Wikipedia has a great entry about it, with a full summary of it’s capabilities toward the bottom of the page. It’s not as powerful as any Creative Suite programs, but it’s still worth taking the time to get to know.
Best part about GIMP? It’s free!!
Maybe when I grow tired of paying out of the nose for Creative Cloud membership, I might make the switch myself.
On one visit to Edinburgh I stayed in the Caledonian hotel with a window looking directly at the castle, so I spent a lot of time shooting it at different times of day. This is from later in the afternoon after a massive summer storm.
Photo by Kaitlin
35mm Portraits [pt 2]
The first two photos use a Gary Fong light in my apartment.
The third to last photo is of nerdsnyarn.
The last photo, of me, was taken by the talented Grady Mitchell. He’s the only person I know (not on the internet) who succeeds at taking centered portraits. For the most part, you’ll want to remember the rule of thirds for where you put the subject (particularly their eyes). Rarely does a dead-centre face look as good as it could.
Grady does a lot of medium format film work these days, which we haven’t really started covering here. Besides being a good photographer, he’s a great writer. Check out his tumblr here.
Photos by Bryce
Photo by Joanna.
Canon 6D, Kiron/Lester A. Dine 105mm Macro, and edited with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.
This is an example of an image that was really salvaged by post-processing. It was incredibly drab this day, and the original image felt that way; everything was washed out and not colorful. I returned the color to the image, made the sand warm, and allowed the sky to return to the darker, moody color it had been in actuality.
Photo by Kaitlin