~ Article by Danie Bester
If you are a lover of film photography, or would like to transform some of your digital photos to take on a film look, then I have great news for you!
Sony and DxO Labs are offering FilmPack 3 Essential as a free download until 31 October 2013. With the film pack you can simulate your digital images to a film look using all the major processes, including color positive film, color negative film, black and white film, and even cross processing it! The film pack offers simulations by Fuji, Kodak, Polaroid, Agfa and Ilford, with the click of a mouse button!
~ by Danie Bester
Today, I am featuring a video by National Geographic about the book “Simply Beautiful Photographs”. I’ve personally bought the book a few years ago and it is available for reading and viewing at the DPC Campus and Studio. It contains high impact photographs by National Geographic photographers. The book is a “must-have” for anyone who are interested in travel photography, or simply beautiful photographs (pun intended).
In the video, Annie Griffiths, the author of the book, explains that the elements that make a photograph beautiful are a combination of the classic elements of Light, Composition, and Moment. Other important elements she says, are Colour, Time, and Wonder. She also says that anyone, who is interested in photography can become more visual literate by paying more attention to it, keep on learning about it, and looking at other people’s photographs. The video also contain narratives of behind the scene moments by various National Geographic Photographers, like David Doubilet, Jodi Cobb, Michael Melford, Sisse Brimberg, and Jim Blair.
I’ve always been an advocate of learning from others and cannot reiterate how important it is to “train your eye” to the point where composition comes natural to you. Paging through the book, and looking at the images in the video should certainly inspire us all to become better photographers…
~ Article by John Fox
This article is a short extract from our Intermediate | Fine Art Photography Course and was posted on our Sister Website, Photo Critic, in order to help members when commenting on each other’s photographs. It goes hand in hand with another article he wrote, “Accepting Criticism of your Photos”. Here’s the article, and remember that your comment at the bottom of the post is always appreciated…
Firstly I would like to expand on the importance of giving people good, useful and most importantly honest feedback. As beginner photographers embark on their journey they amass a huge number of images. Generally they produce prolific quantities of work, which inevitably ends up on social network pages. When you upload to a site such as Facebook and tag friends and family members the comments start rolling in. These comments offer great self-esteem boosts causing us to add more images to get our fix of ego stroking.
Don’t get me wrong I have no problem with this process, except as a tool for personal growth and development for an artist; it offers little in the way of the progress towards improvement of your work. The comments on social sites are almost always positive and yet vague. Anyone who believes a picture could be greatly improved or is just plain crap is not going to comment, particularly if the comment follows ten gushing glowing reviews. So if there are ten good comments why would yours be so contradictory to the rest? Well there are a variety of factors, but in general, your mommy loves everything you do, and friends and family often comment based on the memory of the event you captured or the feeling evoked from the shots, and not the artistic or technical merits of your images.
So my concern is this, when someone comments “nice” or “cool” how do you use that opinion in a useful or meaningful way? You can’t use that information in a significant way to grow or improve your work to get foreseeable progress. Here are a couple of my steps to adding value in the feedback when commenting on another photographers work.
Firstly, every statement made or opinion expressed must be elaborated on or justified. This is crucial to effective interpretation by the recipient. I will give you an example.
- Wrong: I like it.
- Right: I like it, because I love the yellow colour!
The first comment is simply praise and yet adds no value. The alternate version which also contains a level of clarification adds far more scope for interpretation, even though it’s fairly nondescript and overly subjective. That the viewer likes yellow allows you to conclude several assumptions. Other people who like yellow may enjoy this image. If this person were to be targeted as a client then yellow would be a good starting point for meeting their aesthetic tastes. That the image potentially is interpreted by viewers as containing a dominant yellow aspect which is a warm colour and not necessarily the mood you wish to convey. This is a rather simplistic example and yet you can see the trail of analysis opened up by expanding on the initial comment.
The same is true, and perhaps even more so, of negative comments. If they are in isolation they may be disregarded as being spiteful or uninformed. If the negative comment is expanded upon you may gain insights of great value, even if you disagree with the opinion expressed. If you want to comment on an image in a meaningful way, my suggestion is to expand the comment to include your reasoning for it. This is by far the best way you can help a fellow photographer to better themselves. The opinions of friends and family have their place but you as a practicing photographer may be able to add far more worth than the other 99% of viewers.
Here are my suggestions on topics that are worth commenting on as they are common areas with scope for improvement, particularly where beginner photographers are concerned. Composition, lighting, cropping, subject matter, execution and appropriate choice of settings. Address some of these topics in the following format; a “what” followed by a “why”. An example of this would be “your image is not sharp; your shutter speed should have been higher to any freeze movement”. While I have not put any effort into dressing up or softening my statement in the example, the inclusion of a solution may go a long way to helping someone correct their mistakes in upcoming work. Which is certainly far better than having simply stated what could be an obvious issue which the photographer was potentially already aware of.
My next piece of advice is to always be honest and consistent. If you are always honest you will be consistent. This is here because the common response is “what if they get offended”. If you give your honest opinion and justify it with your rational you will be beyond reproach. The statements can’t be held against you as jealousy, spite or any other negative intention if it is expressed as an opinion which you qualify with a follow up rational of your assessment. A consideration to be factored in is… do they want to hear any potentially hard truths? The good news is that answer is a resounding “yes” if they are posting on the Photo Critic platform.
Photo Critic holds incalculable value in advancement of your personal development as an aspiring photographer. It is a place where one comment from a fellow photographer can outweigh the value of twenty Facebook comments. Next time you on Photo Critic and you add “nice photo” to someone’s work, bear in mind how much you have benefited from comments of substance on your own work and be part of uplifting photography within our community.
About Photo Critic…
Photo Critic is a photography network, mainly for students of Digital Photography Courses. Members are allowed to submit up to two (2) images per week for constructive critique and evaluation.
Photo Critic is packed with features to help you become a better photographer, and to help others as well. Check out some of the features we offer…
- Updates on course materials and notes
- Forums, Blogs, Groups, Classifieds
- Live Discussions via Chat and Video Chat
- News on upcoming events, including workshops and photographic excursions
- Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Photographic Competitions, Quizzes, Weekly Photo Ideas, Editing Techniques..
- Featured Photographers, Videos etc
~ article by Danie Bester
In the morning hours of South African time the Canon EOS 70D DSLR camera was launched with much hype. The EOS 70D succeeds the rather “ordinary” 60D and it does so with an explosion of new features. From the specs, it will be a worthy rival to Nikon’s D7100, but I would have to get my hand on one in order to prevent unfair assumptions. What I can tell you though is that the Canon 70D includes groundbreaking autofocus technology. With its brand-new Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, it can use 80% of its pixels to focus in Live View and Video modes. In other words it is no longer dependent on the standard focus points to track moving subjects when in live view. For still photographers, there are a few massive improvements as well. Here’s a quick breakdown on what the Canon EOS 70D offers:
Dazzling Wedding Photography by Jose Villa
Jose Villa is a Fine Art Wedding Photographer. His approach applies Fine Art Photography to the living, breathing, fast-moving phenomenon that is a wedding. He also does some documentary photography, as one needs to capture the important moments at a wedding, however, he also composes and directs. For him, it is all about making something beautiful, even if he has to insert himself into the situation. His ultimate goal is to craft vibrant, energetic, fine art images that are as unique as the people in his photographs.Jose has a very natural style to shooting a wedding, his images are usually bright and vibrant, with the details still in tact and revealed. His wedding portraits offer his client, a product which is both intuitive but stylish and very glamorous… He photographs his brides-pair in in front of a clean background, or usually uncluttered background with a shallow depth-of-field, which proves why he is such a great fine art photographer. His compositions and poses are well calculated and directed before taking the shot; he also mainly uses back-light to achieve the “dreamy” look in his photographs.
Jose Villa’s Fine Art Wedding Photography has been featured in many Magazines around the world, including Martha Stewart Weddings, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, GO Wedding Style New England, Pacific Rim Weddings, Brides, The Knot, Inside Weddings, Instyle Weddings, PDN Wedding Issue, American Photo Wedding Issue, Your Wedding Day, Santa Barbara Magazine, Elegant Bride, 805 Weddings, and was recently named 1 of the top 10 wedding photographers in the World by Photo District New (PDN).
Check out some of his work below…
Click HERE to visit Jose Villa’s website.
Sarolta Bán, The Surreal Fine-Art Master
Here’s one of my favorite artists in the world… Sarolta Bán!
She specializes in Digital Photo Manipulation and Fine-Art; I must say, what a specialist indeed! Sarolta’s work has been featured in a number of design, decor and photography magazines, she also won the Elle Magazine Young Talent Award for her ingenuity. Born in Budapest, Hungary – She was formerly a jewellery designer before she discovered digital photo manipulation. Her work is represented by several art galleries, from galleries based in the U.K, Europe and Japan.
She achieves this award-winning style of photo manipulation by combining ordinary elements into one scene that leaves a lot for the viewer to interpret. Her skill as a designer is immaculate! Her images are very edgy, with strong lighting effects, high-contrast black and white conversions and the blending of the colour and tones are done with perfection. All these images have a very deep sense of controversy, which must be the reason why her work is regarded as some of the best in it’s category in the world.
Here’s a few samples of her jaw-dropping Fine-Art pieces.
Head over to Sarolta’s website to see the rest of the astonishing work she produces…
Joseph Cartright – Fashion & Beauty Photography
Joseph Cartright surely knows how to captivate an audience. His “out-of-the-box” ideas make him stand out from among other Photographers in this genre. Check out these images from both his Fashion & Beauty collections…
Click HERE to visit Joseph’s website.
~ Article by John Fox
Lab Mode Sharpening for Photographers
25 Breathtaking Landscapes on Photo Critic
|This week we’re featuring 25 of the top landscape images on Photo Critic, check them out below…|
Lightroom 5 Beta Review
Lightroom software provides the user with a very complete set of tools that range from cataloging images to output… It boasts with quick, one-click adjustments to intricate controls; With this one of a kind software you can organize your photo libraries, enhance your photographs, create slideshows, design photo albums for showcasing your images, to even uploading your photographs to the web and sharing it with your friends.
Click HERE to follow the download link for the beta version…
The new features in Lightroom 5 Beta version
- Advanced Healing Brush
With this tool you can easily remove unwanted elements/objects in your image. An easy-to-use tool that allows you to select the unwanted objects and removes it in just one brush stroke. Unlike the previous versions of Lightroom, this healing brush is non-circular, meaning that you can remove unwanted objects in hard-to-reach and uneven areas.
Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite goes to the Cloud…
In the near future, you will no longer “own” your version of Photoshop. You will have to rent it on a monthly basis! Apparently, the new upcoming version, Photoshop CC (following CS6) will cost around 10 US Dollars per month (for people who upgrade from CS3 and higher) and 20 USD for new users. Professional / Power users will pay 50 US Dollars for the Complete Creative Suite. Converting to ZAR you’re looking at around R400 – R500 per month for the complete Creative Suite at the current dollar exchange rate! Again, people who upgrade from CS3 or higher, will get a discount.
Exquisite Wedding Photography by Jerry Ghionis
We are proud to feature the awe-inspiring work of one of the best Wedding Photographers on planet earth… Jerry Ghionis!
Jerry needs no introduction in the world of photography, his repertoire precedes him as being one of the greatest creative minds ever to roam the fields of high-end Weddings.
Check out some of his work below…