Gizmodo put up a decent article that simplifies the basics of some important manual settings on your camera.
To get the most out of your camera, it’s good to know what it can and can’t do. Not all cameras have the same extra features, such as filters, but they should all let the user have control over exposure, aperture, and ISO.
A lot of new photos and videos have been coming out of Japan since March 11, 2011 showing the devastation. Seeing the pictures of the aftermath of the earthquakes and tsunami is both amazing and frightening at the same time. It saddens me deeply to see the Japanese people in such pain.
In the YouTube video below you can see how fast the tsunami flows through a city, eventually being so powerful it pulls buildings off their foundations and carries them away in the current. Horrifying.
On March 11, 2011, Japan experienced one of the largest earthquakes in recent history – a 9.0 on the Richter scale. As a result of the earthquake and numerous aftershocks, Japan soon experienced one of the worst tsunamis and is currently experiencing troubles with several of its nuclear reactors. It goes without saying that the people of Japan are having a rough week and will have a long road to recovery.
I encourage everyone that’s reading this to check out the photos and videos coming out of Japan. If anything, natural disasters like these should show us that we are at the mercy of mother nature and that she still deserves our utmost respect.
I wish nothing but the best for the people of Japan.
If you’d like to donate to aid the people of Japan, head over to the Red Cross website and click the big red button in the upper-right corner of the page that reads “Donate Funds”.
A friend of mine sent this link to me, showcasing a super high resolution image of the view from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. Along with that image, are four other images from around Yosemite.
What makes these images special are that they are made out of thousands of smaller photos, stitched together with software to make up a much larger photo. This process is appropriately named photo stitching. You can try photo stitching yourself with Photoshop or any other similar image editing software. Things to look out for before doing so is making sure that the exposure, depth of field, and color temperature are the same for each photo that you’re using.
The largest of the five images on the site is 17.27 gigapixels, with dimensions of 214414 x 80571 pixels. For reference, the larger photos host on my site are 1200 x 800 pixels. If printed out, the 17 gigapixel image would be 59.5 x 22.4 feet!
I met up with my friend Bee and her 5 week old baby Gareth back in October and took a bunch of photos of them, one of which you can see above. This is my favorite photo out of the bunch that I took. It really shows the love and relationship between Bee and her son. [See the high res image in the Portraits Gallery]
I’ve only done a couple sessions of baby photography and there’s a lot that I have to learn. You know how people always say never work with babies and animals? I’ve found that to be true. You really have to have patience when working with babies – especially if you’re a stranger. You have to let the baby get comfortable with you being around. Eventually, they should warm up to you and smile. (I can’t tell you the numerous times I missed capturing a smile just because I wasn’t ready or previewing a photo I just took.)
Thanks to Bee and her family for letting me be their photographer for an afternoon. Also, congrats on such an adorable baby boy!
Lastly, I’d like to wish everyone reading this (and not reading this) a happy new year!
Bee Yinn Low is the author of Rasa Malaysia and Nyonya Food. If you like to learn about asian culture and food, I highly recommend checking out her websites.
Lifehacker posted a new article highlighting the basics to taking great portrait photos. They go over features that a camera should have if you’re shopping for a camera or camera gear for portraits. More importantly, they go over the basics of composing a shot and the basics of lighting your subject.
It’s been a long while since I’ve last updated my gallery. Too long a time, if you ask me. To try to make up for that, I’ve re-organized the gallery and divided up the photos into sub galleries each with a specific genre or theme. Oh, and I’ve added new photos, specifically pets and food, as well as touched up some of older photos in the portraits gallery. I hope you enjoy them!
So what’s up with the photo of chicken feet?
I wasn’t always a fan of chicken feet. I was born and raised in the United States, so the concept of eating something that wasn’t a hot dog, a hamburger, or pizza was very foreign to me. It wasn’t until I was older that I started to appreciate the unfamiliar foods that are common to the older generations in my family. Squirm if you must, but let it be known that chicken feet taste really good.
As for the photo itself. I took this photo at my cousin’s tea ceremony earlier this year. I haven’t always been interested in food photography, but became very interested once I saw the photos my friend Bee was taking for her blog Rasa Malaysia. While I’d like to think that I was able to recreate something similar to what Bee could shoot, I still have a lot to learn.
Check out Chicken Feet and other photos in the Gallery.
Gizmodo posted an article suggesting camera lenses for those on a budget, or perhaps someone looking to buy a good lens as a gift. I wouldn’t call some of their recommendations budget priced, but I’m guessing they’re comparing the prices to professional priced lens models.
Before purchasing the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM that I currently use, I used to have the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II. For $100, it provides awesome quality. The only problems with it are the feeling of cheap plastic and having a loud and sometimes slow focus. I’d still have that lens if I didn’t decide to get a more expensive lens that would give me a 35mm equivalent of 50mm on my Canon EOS 7D (the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II has a 35mm equivalent of 80mm on crop sensor cameras). If and when I get a full frame camera (hoping for a 5D mark III) I plan to buy the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM.
One of the best lenses that Canon makes is the Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. I use this lens on all my flower and toy photos. I sometimes use this lens for portrait photography too. The only downsides of this lens are the lack of image stabilization and its weight, but I say the benefits outweigh the downsides in this case. It should also be noted that Canon released an update to this lens, the Canon 100m f2.8L macro lens, adding image stabilization and improved glass and coating. If you have the extra cash, get the L model but note that the image quality is pretty much the same.
Gizmodo’s article also provides Nikon and Four Thirds cameras equivalents for these lenses. So if you’re looking for some recommendations, check out the link below!
To be honest, I’ve never made a wedding video before nor had I ever considered making one. After taking some engagement photos for Sharon and Billy, they asked me to be their videographer. It took some encouraging from both of them to get me to agree. A wedding, after all, is one of the more important events in a person’s life and I was very worried about messing up the video somehow.
The video embedded above is the result of going through 20GB worth of 1080p video. I think it turned out nicely – much better than I thought it would, all things considered. Sharon and Billy seem to be happy with the results too. During the course of the day, I did learn several things about shooting video on a DSLR.
I used one of my favorite lenses to shoot the wedding video, a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM. Watching the video, you may notice a bit of camera shake. Since the 30mm doesn’t have image stabilization, you can see every little shake my hands and arms did. If I do another wedding video, I plan to either use a lens that has image stabilization or to use one of those steady-cam products that you can buy (or make).
Another problem I ran into is memory management. The Canon EOS 7D doesn’t inform you how many minutes you have left on a given card without going through the menu system. It would have been nice to have that show up on the LCD screen’s UI. Luckily, I had an extra 16GB compact flash card ready to go. Also, for the 7D, the file size limit is 4GB and the LCD screen’s UI doesn’t tell you the size of the current video being shot. Not knowing this, the camera stopped recording suddenly, causing me to miss some of the ceremony. For future reference, I have to keep close track of the length of the current video being shot so I don’t miss out on something crucial.
Finally, I plan to buy one of those battery extenders for my 7D. That will double my battery life. By the end of the day, I was down to a 10% charge. Shooting video on a DSLR eats up battery like you wouldn’t imagine.
Luckily for me, Sharon and Billy are very nice people (and very forgiving). They like the video, and I hope you do too.