Polaroid Hotel is Your New Cool Photography App

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Polaroid Hotel app (1 of 1)ISO 10001-250 sec at f - 4.5

It’s not often that a new photography app really elicits a cool new interface and features, but the Polaroid Hotel App is totally looking to do that. It’s a free app that was released earlier this month by photographer Patrick Hoelck.

Essentially it boasts a couple of features: a camera, short films, an out of print Polaroid book, and your own curated Polaroid Hotel. The Hotel includes images that you’ve shot, edited and specifically curated from your batches. You’ve got the option of shooting images and applying filters or selecting from your camera roll. As with all Polaroids, your images are going to be Square with the special frame. In a way, it’s kind of like Instagram before Facebook realized that it was cool.

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Review: RNI Flashback (iOS)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer RNI Flashback app lead photo (1 of 1)ISO 5001-40 sec at f - 2.8

Hey folks, keep in mind that our Kickstarter now supports both iOS and Android. Help us out!

For a long time now, I was an Alpha tester for the latest app from Really Nice Images. Back then, it was codenamed ChemEngine, and today the company is releasing the app to iOS. So what is RNI Flashback? In some ways, I want to call it the Tinder of photography apps–but with less of the swipe left or right mentality and more of the “what’s next” mentality. In this case though, you’re choosing photo filters and each is random. And just like Tinder, it isn’t all awful–but it’s more about adding selections of those that could potentially be “the one” to your stable of choices.

Overall, it’s fun and allows you to have lots of interactivity and versatility with each photo filter. But as with all things from RNI, these aren’t ordinary filters–they’re based off of the company’s careful research into various film emulsions.

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Watch the New Sigma WR Ceramic Filter Survive a Ball Drop

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I never actually thought I’d see a day where a protective filter for a lens could survive a very hard impact, but in a new video that Sigma released, we can see that it’s now possible using the company’s new WR Ceramic filters.

The company took their filter and many others then dropped a 1,270mm metal ball weighing 49 grams onto their filter a bunch of others. Many others shattered and broke, but Sigma’s endured. How? No idea to be honest–but if you’ve ever had your lens filter protect the front of your lens (and I surely have) then you’ll know just how great the protection is here. The video is after the jump.

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What Lens Filter Do You Need for Landscape Photography?

Chris Gampat the Phoblographer X3 ND filter six stop review sample photos (8 of 8)ISO 4001-160 sec at f - 2.0

The decision on what filter to use when shooting landscapes can always be a tough one. There are so many and each one has their own use. To name just a few:

  • Polarizer: which cuts down glare
  • Circular polarizer: which lets you dial in how much glare is cut down
  • Neutral Density: darkens the exposure
  • Circular Neutral Density: lets you dial in how much of the exposure is cut down
  • Graduated ND: A Neutral Density filter that has one side very dark and the other side very light . One goes to the other very gradually and it’s typically used to cut down the effects of a harsh sky.
  • UV filter: cuts down UV glare and protects the front element

These are just a few to name, but the video below not only names a load of filters but also shows you their effects when it comes to landscape photography and seascape photography. Each of them lets you create your own creative effect and though the speaker uses aperture priority, you can get much different results when using manual mode because then you have a total 100% control over the image.

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Review: Breakthrough Photography X3 6 Stop ND Filter

Chris Gampat the Phoblographer X3 ND filter six stop review sample photos (7 of 8)ISO 4001-1250 sec at f - 2.0

Neutral Density filters, otherwise known as ND filters, are designed to cut down the amount of light that comes into a scene and therefore allow you to either use a more narrow aperture or a slower shutter speed. They’re most commonly use with landscape photographers, but are also known to be popular with strobists that want to overpower the ambient light in their scenes.

Breakthrough Photography has been manufacturing ND filters for a little while now, and in many ways, they’re an incredibly innovative and logical company that creates products that simply work. The company’s 6 stop ND filter is simply just that–an ND filter that cuts down up to six stops of light. Though vari-ND filters are much more valuable and useful, lots of shoots prefer a filter that was designed specifically to do an assigned job.

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Do UV Filters Matter Anymore?

Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Breakthrough Photography X-Series Filters Product Images-09

With the many advances in technology that have happened over the years, lenses have become better and better at reducing flare from sun and light overall. This has to do with how glass has become better and how the chemistry involved in the coatings has improved.

Many, many years ago back in the film days, photographers needed to use UV filters with their lenses. One of the biggest reasons for this had to do with glare from the sun and extraneous light that caused flaring that didn’t look so great. Indeed though, lens flare can sometimes look great but it is very situational.

Then the digital photography revolution happened, and the UV filters started to degrade the image quality that you’d see. The reason for this had to do with the glass involved.

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How to Use Macro Close Up Filters

Video thumbnail for youtube video How to Use Macro Close Up Filters - The Phoblographer

If you don’t own a Macro lens, one option that is often more affordable and can do somewhat of the same job are Macro Close Up Filters. What these filters do is act like a magnifying glass while working in conjunction with your lens and sensor. Years ago, they weren’t such great quality but over the years they’ve become better and better. To use them, you simply take the filters and screw them onto the front of your lens. The cool part is that they come in different magnifications and can be stacked one on top of the other for an even closer zooming effect. It will take a whole lot of them to get into a 1:1 ratio with many lenses, but the filters are also meant to be a more affordable alternative to a macro lens.

Photographer Mike Brown demonstrates this and how they’re used in his video after the jump. Mike shows us just how close in one can get when trying to focus on a very small and detailed subject. When he stacks of the filters on top of one another, he finds that he can’t even see the subject that he purposely placed in back of his main subject.

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Darren Moore’s Long Exposures Create an Ethereal World

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All photos taken by and used with permission from Darren Moore.

The beauty of Darren Moore‘s photographs is not in the capturing of fleeting moments, like with many others. It’s in the slow churning, the deliberate painting of light, in the patient waiting until the scenery is completely drawn and mirrored, with even the slightest of movements captured like ghosts floating across land or water.

This Surrey photographer’s haunting and transcending long exposures, as staggering as they are, only hint at the meticulous process behind their creation however. Aside from finding the perfect location and subject (which could be anything from old rotting wooden columns to castles to shipwrecks), getting the framing right, and determining the right exposure, according to Moore, who is as much a painter as he is a photographer, he also needs to set up his camera to take in less light since he mostly shoots in the daytime.

“Primarily working in Black & White, I specialise in a technique called ‘Daytime Long Exposure’ using Neutral Density (ND) filters attached to the lens. ND filters cut out the amount of light coming into the lens allowing the shutter to be left open for much longer than normal, capturing movement with an ethereal aesthetic.”

To top it off, he spends anywhere from 30 seconds to more than 15 minutes to shoot just a single image.

It’s these slow exposures that lend the unearthly quality to his photographs, such that when you look at them, it’s almost as if you’re walking into a parallel world, a mirror dimension where everything moves at the slowest pace imaginable and it’s just a little quieter and lonelier.

You can see more of Moore’s amazing work on his Flickr page but you can preview some of them here right after the jump.
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