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Dancer with second curtain flash

Dramatizing movement is one of the coolest things that you can do in a photograph that otherwise captures it all in a single frame. While many photographers love to do this with long exposures, adding a strobe element via second curtain flash can create even more drama. When you add second curtain flash, what the camera does is freeze a specific moment in the image while dramatizing the movement of the rest of it. It’s a lot of fun–and we do it occasionally in our reviews.

Photographer Phillip McCordall created a tutorial video last month showing us a very proper and fairly old school way ot creating a photo like this in a studio setting with a dancer. He combined second curtain flash usage with a slower shutter speed and just the right aperture and ISO mixture to create the images that you’ll see in the video below.

Want to try this for yourself? We recommend grabbing a dancer or a ballerina. But this can be done with a lot more than just them. I’ve done this with fire dancers and athletes before. You’ll just need to think in terms of a long exposure for the most part.

Mr. McCordall’s video on photographing dancers with long exposures and second curtain flash is after the jump.

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Chris Gampat Bronica etrs and film 75mm f2.8 (1 of 1)ISO 2001-160 sec at f - 1.4

Back around the end of last year, PBS decided to do a small segment putting film against digital photography: a debate that’s been going on for years now. The segment put two Canon cameras up to shooting the same scene in many different scenarios. And without looking at the images at 100%, we can see that it’s quite tough to tell the difference between the two unless you have a trained and skilled set of eyes.

The video also brings up a better point that is only realized when you think deeper: real people and clients won’t sit there pixel peeping at your images. Instead, they’ll want to look at it as a whole. It also demonstrates the use of filters to make digital images look like film.

What it ultimately proves though is that telling the differences is really tough to do in some situations though in other situations film will also need much more careful work where digital is more forgiving. Of course, that statement only applies to color film and color digital. It would be interesting to put black and white film and digital up against one another. The video featuring Film vs Digital Photography is after the jump.

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BHInsights Chris Gampat Beauty Dish Speedlite Mating (6 of 8)

A beauty dish and an umbrella can accomplish different looks due to the way that they diffuse light. While an umbrella will more or less spread the light out in pretty much every forward facing direction, a beauty dish will bounce it off of a plate then reflect it back around a dish area. YouTube User Ticknor Photography decided to do a demonstration of one modifier against the other when it comes to headshots. The only criticism that we have of the otherwise very informal video is that the light modifiers aren’t the same size. Otherwise, you’ll want to turn your speakers up because the sound is a tad low.

His findings are that the beauty dish delivers more texture on the skin–which you’ll either not want if you’re retouching the image or want if you’re trying to get all the skin details. In general, beauty dishes are used more for fashion photography and portraits that are meant to have a very fashiony look. If you want a similar look from an umbrella, you need one with a silver interior.

The video is after the jump.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 7D Mk II first impressions images (1 of 7)ISO 2001-160 sec at f - 3.2

The Canon 7D Mk II has been in development for many years now, and the company’s track record of staying conservative sticks true to this latest product. When the first 7D launched, it made waves in the APS-C world with its super fast FPS rate and its complementary features to the 5D Mk II. Canon’s choices to stick to the safe side and make modest improvements isn’t a bad one per se at all–but we’d be telling complete lies to say that we didn’t expect more.

As far as the feature set goes, Canon has a 20.2MP APS-C sensor at the heart of the camera that also shoots at 10fps, houses dual DIGIC 6 processors, 65 cross type AF points, a 100% viewfinder, a magnesium alloy camera body, dust and weather resistance that is said to be 4x better than the original, GPS integration, a CF and SD card slot, ISO ranges from 100-16,000, a custom movie servo mode and much more.

We took a look at the 7D Mk II earlier last month.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials Medium Format Beginner (3 of 6)ISO 1001-125 sec at f - 4.0

While your average Costco or WalMart may be able to process film within an hour, many better labs that do an even better job can take up to a day or more. For many of us who have never developed film but would like to know what’s involved, Youtube user OffTheMainTrack shot his entire darkroom process that involved working with the film inside of a dark changing bag to ensure that the film didn’t get destroyed. But the catch is that it is a timelapse condensed down to four minutes. It involves a lot of patient waiting for the chemicals to work as well as working with the rolls.

The video of how it’s done is after the jump.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art Lens Review images (1 of 13)ISO 4001-800 sec at f - 3.5

When it comes to getting a first prime lens, many of us on the staff reached for the 50mm f1.8–otherwise known as the nifty 50. But as time progressed, almost the entire staff also moved onto the 35mm field of view. In fact, many of my personal friends have too because 35mm lenses could arguably be stated to have a field of view of what you actually see in a scene. But this is one of the biggest debates for prime lens owners: 35mm or 50mm. In a recent video, DigitalRev tried to solve this debate. Kai makes some great points stating that one is a great travel lens and street photography lens and great for working with tight spaces, but when it comes to getting bokeh you’ll want to go for the other (obviously the 50mm).

And just in case you’re curious, you should check out our Sigma 35mm vs 50mm Art comparison. The video on choosing a 35mm or a 50mm lens is after the jump.

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