Tutorial: The Differences Between a Parabolic Umbrella and a Beauty Dish

Photographer Anita Sedowska takes us through what a parabolic umbrella and a beauty dish do for portraiture.

When it comes to portrait photography there is no doubt in my mind that softboxes are the most popular diffusers, but parabolic umbrellas and beauty dishes are also a favorite of many photographers. If you’re just getting into lighting, then it can be difficult to look at an image and determine whether a softbox, umbrella, or beauty dish was used to shoot it. Anita Sedowska takes you through this in her latest tutorial video which you’ll find after the jump, but we thought that we’d go into our archives to dig even deeper.

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Mijonju Introduces Photographers to Shooting Large Format with a Wista 45D Camera

For the latest installment of The Mijonju Show, we get some quick tips on shooting with a large format camera.

In case you haven’t heard yet, everyone’s favorite camera lover and collector Mijonju is back with The Mijonju Show. We’ve previously seen him test and review the MiNT InstantKon RF70 prototype a few months ago. In his most recent analog adventure, he takes us to a quick portrait session with a 4×5 large format camera. Step right up if you’re planning to shoot large format soon!

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This Lightroom Trick Will Let You Change The Color of Objects In Your Images

Thinking outside of the box with a Lightroom trick like this can yield some powerful techniques for adjusting your images

Lightroom is an interesting piece of software, on one hand, if all you want to do is apply a preset or make some basic adjustments to your image it can be an incredibly simple and straightforward experience. On the other hand, if you want to take things to another level in your postprocessing workflow without leaving Lightroom there are some more advanced ways that you can tweak and modify your images to great effect. One such method is this way to adjust the color of specific objects in your images within Lightroom utilizing the adjustment brush. Continue reading…

Hasselblad Shows Differences Between 35mm and Medium Format in Comparison Videos

Curious about what makes medium format different from 35mm format? These comparison videos by Hasselblad will serve as a technical and unbiased primer.

Because there’s now more to the distinction between 35mm and medium format than the frame size and shape, it’s worth knowing their differences given today’s technologies and applications. With the help of photographer and technical expert Karl Taylor, Hasselblad has created a series of comparison videos that put both formats to the test, and shows the advantages of medium format in an unbiased manner.

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Sand on an ND Filter Made a Nice Bokeh Effect on This Long Exposure Photo

Who knew an accidental sprinkling of sand could work some bokeh magic on a long exposure shot?

During one of our routine rounds on Reddit’s photography threads, we spotted a post by Brandon Nguyen on r/photocritique asking for thoughts on one of his long exposures taken at Lake Tahoe. There doesn’t seem to anything out of the ordinary about that at first, except for the bit about sand making a “neato bokeh effect” on his shot.

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How to Take the Best Photos of Fireworks That You’ve Ever Made

Experiencing even a small fireworks show is a purely sensual delight.

For the eyes there is the synchronized bursts of color and lights arcing across the sky, compounded by the light reflecting off the smoke, nearby buildings, and low clouds, but there is more to it than visual spectacle. If you are close enough you can even feel the concussive whump of the shells exploding overhead, smell and taste the acridness of fire and burnt chemicals. For the ears there are the irregularly syncopated booms and bangs of launch and explosion accompanied by the sliding whistle and sizzle of individual stars, and at the end the sheer fusillade of sound followed by silence at the show’s end. It is this sort of whole body experience that makes the show exciting- that and the primal psychological yin-yang attraction to and fear of controlled danger. As a photographer, I see it as my job as trying to transmute that full range of experiences into a visual document which communicates the excitement I felt, across time to someone who was not there. That for me the great challenge.

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How to DIY a Pinhole Camera for Some Cool Solargraphy

Our photography funny man, Lou Guarneri, is back with a new “Lou-torial” showing us how to make a pinhole camera for trying out solargraphy.

Are you in the mood to get crafty and try something new? If you said yes to both, we have just the right stuff for you today – a new “Lou-torial” for a DIY pinhole camera! You’re going to love step one — grab a can of your favorite drink and chug the contents down, because that can will be your camera for the day!

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How to Shoot Fireworks with Film: An Analog Photography Tutorial

Photographing fireworks on film surely does require more work than when shooting digital.

With pyrotechnics, the stars of the show are quite literally shooting stars (“stars” being the fireworks industry’s term for those bits of flying sparkly fire). As in any performance, stars need a stage, and in a photograph the stage is everything else in the frame: the dark sky, buildings, or monuments, even your fellow audience members watching the show.

Although shooting on film eliminates digital photography’s near immediate feedback loop, it has other advantages. If you use color transparency film, you give up dynamic range with film and the ability to easily manipulate color in exchange for sensationally saturated color against a very dark background. The challenge is to get the exposure right while shooting without resorting to post-shoot processing manipulations. On the other hand, ISO 100 to 400 color negative films have an inherently large highlight range and lower contrast which is great for recording the color and details of the bright but short-lived streaks.

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