The Weekly Wrap-up compiles interesting articles published this week on Photofocus. This Wrap-Up has articles about opportunity, winter architecture, exploring your self, long exposures and writing. Enjoy! … [Read more...] about Weekly Wrap Up: December 9-15, 2018
Making real estate pictures can be a lot of fun and even profitable. The thing is, you can easily spend way too much shooting and finishing them to make it worth your time or worth the realtor's time to hire you. Or maybe you're a realtor and you need to make these kinds of pictures for your client. Either way, using HDR is the fastest way to get great looking real estate photos. Here are ten tips to shoot them fast and finish them fast so you don't turn real estate photography into a money pit. 1. Shoot on a tripod You need to use a tripod … [Read more...] about How to make real estate interiors with HDR in 9 steps
I was attending a workshop with Matthew Jordan Smith years ago when I saw first-hand how a photographer used a light meter. At that time he had a Sekonic meter. I remember him explaining how he never does a shoot without one and that it was one of the most important pieces of equipment he owned. He went on to demonstrate how he metered around his set and around his models' faces. Metering every light individually, more than once and then how he would meter all the lights together at the same time. He would then combine all those numbers … [Read more...] about Getting to know my first meter: The Illuminati IM100A wireless light and color meter
My name is Bryan Esler, and I have a confession. I’ve never used a handheld light meter. For me, light meters were old technology. They weren’t something that was necessary. I didn’t completely understand how to use them, what the benefits were and most importantly, it just seemed like “one more thing” to carry around with me on a shoot. Enter the Illuminati, a light meter designed for the smartphone age. But Illuminati takes it one step further, allowing you to also determine the correct color temperature level and chromaticity for your … [Read more...] about Illuminati reads light and color for perfectly exposed photographs
White balance is always trying to pull a fast one on you and sneak by with the wrong color in your photographs. Here's the case in point, today: It's a sunny day, not a cloud in the sky, so you set the white balance to Daylight, which is just what the camera manufacturer advises you to do. But then you end up with a picture like this that has significantly too much blue in the skin tones. What the heck? Shade is sneaky The trouble is that although the subject is standing in the sun, the light shining on her face is actually coming from … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: The sneaky secret of white balance
Retouching the portraits you make can be a lot of fun, and it can be a lot of frustration. I realize that I've retouched thousands of portraits and one thing that makes it more fun than frustration is simply the way you go about it — the workflow. Let me show you how using layers in your retouching allows you freedom and creativity and reproducibility. I'll demonstrate using Luminar, but you can get similar results using any layered app. Basics Start by doing your basic tweaks — adjust the camera profile and white balance, which are in … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: A Layered Workflow for Retouching
I should have followed this rule the other day. I photographed 50 people in a row and I need to finish all of those pictures for delivery. It’d be a lot easier to get a great starting point if I had shot a white balance target to begin with. Why Not Use Auto White Balance? Auto white balance reads the colors in the scene and makes a judgment about how to compensate for those colors. It’s supposed to make the color of light look great, but there are a couple of problems when shooting a lot of portraits with a flash. First, if you’re not … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Why You Shouldn’t Use Auto White Balance
In today's digital cameras, there are a plethora of options in terms of setting your white balance. And many photographers I talk to just set it on the Auto setting and never think twice about it. But there are major benefits to not only setting your white balance but using a specific setting called the Kelvin scale. Why Worry About White Balance? I've found that, in most situations, Auto White Balance (often noted as "AWB" on cameras) does a pretty good job. The colors are well-represented, and I rarely get a weird cast when shooting. But … [Read more...] about What is Kelvin White Balance, and How Do I Use It?
When shooting winter landscapes, I often want to show the cold temperatures I'm fighting through in my photographs, by having a cooler white balance. Using the Kevin color temperature scale, the normal temperature is 5500, known as "Natural Daylight." But if I want to show just how cold it was when shooting this, I take it down to 4800, which brings a cooler temperature into the photograph. … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Cool Your Winter Photos with the Kelvin Scale
There are so many things to think about when making portraits that leaving your white balance set to auto is a tempting proposition. Especially when everyone raves about how good each new camera's auto white balance settings are. Don't fall into this trap, though. Auto white balance reads the colors in the scene before you take the picture and makes adjustments. But there are two things that foul it up, and there are two simple ways to ensure you get consistent color. Why Do My Pictures Look Different? The camera has white balance settings so … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: How Do I Choose White Balance For Portraits?
Many agree that one of the most vexing things about photography is getting your exposure and white balance correct in camera. Sure, you can fix it in the post-processing phase if you shoot in RAW (and I generally recommend that you shoot in RAW. It makes all the difference in the world). Still, if you could make your life easier, cut down on your workload, and make sure your photos look consistently great, then wouldn’t you go that route? Seems like a no-brainer to me. That’s why I’m going to review the Impact Quikbalance 12" Gray Panel. … [Read more...] about Review: The Impact Quikbalance 12″ Gray Panel for Correct White Balance in Camera
Breaking away from the standard white balance settings in your camera can be intimidating, but so worth it. Once you learn how to set your own custom white balance, you will wonder why you never tried it before. It’s an effective way to streamline your workflow and ensure consistency with a given batch of photos. Today's tutorial will focus on doing just that. Setting Your Custom White Balance In order to get our white balance correct, we'll be using a handy compact tool called The Impact Quikbalance 12" Grey Panel. It's all of 12 inches, … [Read more...] about Breaking Away From Auto White Balance: Setting Custom White Balance in Mixed Lighting
Editor's Note: A special thanks to our partner Datacolor for helping us to bring more information about color calibration to you. White Balance is one of the most critical settings that we have to get our colors right, it is a core concept for every photographer to learn. Right up there with Exposure Theory and how to get swamp smell out of your truck upholstery (that might just be a “me” issue…). But, it is an often misunderstood concept, used incorrectly it can make your colors look strange, dull, or unreal. Fortunately, it is a setting … [Read more...] about What You Need to Know about White Balance In Your Photos
Editor's Note: A special thanks to our partner Datacolor for helping us to bring more information about color calibration to you. Special Deals on Datacolor Spyder Elite Getting accurate color all starts with getting it right in the camera. In Part 1 of this series we covered the concepts of color management, and some of the speed bumps you will contend with. Fortunately, there are loads of things we can do, and tools we can use, to make it easier to display and print consistent colors. In this second part of the series, I'll cover … [Read more...] about The Color Calibrated Workflow, Part 2: Getting it Right in the Camera
Editor's Note: A special thanks to our partner Datacolor for helping us to bring more information about color calibration to you. The Color Calibrated Workflow, Part 1: Uncomplicating Color It should be pretty simple, I see a colorful flower, I take a photo of it, download it, print it, and it should look just like what I saw. Except, many times it doesn't. Capturing and reproducing accurate colors was once one of the most frustrating and time-consuming things in the realm of digital photography. It can cause no end of problems for both … [Read more...] about The Color Calibrated Workflow, Part 1: Uncomplicating Color
A popular way to make portraits is to place the sun behind your subjects (often done in a field of tall grass at sunset). It's a pet peeve of mine, however, that these pictures are often the wrong color. White Balance for the Faces Your camera's white balance control helps you make portraits with great color by correcting for the color of light illuminating your subject's face. The common problem with backlit portraits is that the photographers thinks to himself, "My subjects are standing in sunlight, so I'll use the Daylight white balance," … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Remember the White Balance, Forget the Histogram
The Vello Universal White Balance Handheld Disc is a hand-held disc placed in front of a camera lens to manually set white balance. It is very simple to use. Just hold the disc up to the lens, pointing your camera to the light source, and take a custom white balance measurement per the instructions in your camera's user manual. Why Use It Light can be tricky. It can be made of light from different sources, such as the sun, a light bulb, or your camera flash. Skin tones can also be very tricky. The skin reflects colors around it. If the … [Read more...] about Vello White Balance Disc
This is article #12 in the DSLR Video Weekly series. If you'd like the whole thing in one shot, check out the book Creating DSLR Video: From Snapshots to Great Shots. Once you get the hang of video, be sure to monetize it by becoming a contributor to Adobe Stock. White Balancing Your Camera One of the most important settings on your camera that you need to choose is a white balance. This control allows you to set the overall color (or tone) for the scene. White is used as a reference point because it is the perfect blend of all the … [Read more...] about DSLR Video Weekly: Fixing White Balance in Video
We all know that there’s a right way to do things and a “cheating” way, but it doesn’t matter which one you use as long as the end result is the same, right? A few months ago, I was on Zuma Beach in Malibu for sunset. Even though the dynamic range is incredible on the Sony A7r II, I still opted to shoot bracketed images “just in case”. After I merged them into an HDR image using Photomatix Pro, I needed to fix the sky. It looked dark and weird, compared to the blue sky I saw during sunset. Maybe it’s the LA smog, but I need to fix … [Read more...] about Cheating Blue Skies in Lightroom
I travel across the country talking to some of the top photographers in the field to ask them to share their experiences while shooting on set. You'll soon learn that even season professionals encounter roadblocks during photo shoots. By staying calm under pressure they rely on their skills to overcome these obstacles to capture an amazing shot. Sit back, relax and enjoy a Story from the Set. Fashion photographer Mark Crislip shares how he uses shallow depth of field, color temperature, and fake snow to creates a winter effect--even in … [Read more...] about Stories from the Set: Snowing in Florida with Mark Crislip
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/the-problem-solving-show-photofocus-podcast-october-11th-2016 Ron Pepper and Scott Bourne discuss the issues surrounding your light source, setting the appropriate white balance, and when to use a different white balance for a more dramatic image. They also address the difficulties of shooting with competing light sources. Get the show here or get it on iTunes — Don’t forget to post a review on iTunes. … [Read more...] about The Problem Solving Show | Photofocus Podcast October 11th, 2016
You need great light to direct attention to your subjects and help your photos appear natural. If you want to make great light with flashes, you need gels. Gels simply color your flash's light which allows you to match the flash color to the light in a room. When the light from the flash doesn't match the ambient light, it stands out and looks like it was flashed. You'll make more natural-looking photos if you use gels. I recently made a photo for a pro bono ad in a local magazine. This fellow has started a food bank in town, and the local … [Read more...] about Want Natural-Looking Light? Use Gels.
When shooting video, it is important to achieve a white balancing setting that gives you the desired color temperature at the point of acquisition. While you can apply filters or effects during editing, these can add additional processing time to your workflow. Taking the time to manually white balance your camera will reduce shifts in color temperature as the subjects move in the scene. The last thing you want is shifts in color. https://vimeo.com/37315644 White balance presets All digital cameras have some white balance presets for … [Read more...] about Understanding White Balance & Video
The X-Rite ColorChecker is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. It was originally created to help photographers get consistent results in color balance and exposure from one film emulsion lot to another. Today, the ColorChecker has become the photographic industry standard for obtaining accurate color and perfect exposures too. I'm presenting The Beginner Photographer's Secret Weapon: Why + How the Pros use ColorCheckers as a free webinar Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at !2:00pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time. Register for this free webinar … [Read more...] about Free ColorChecker Webinar with PF Author Kevin Ames
White Balance is all about the color of light, and the best reason to shoot RAW is the freedom to adjust the white balance with great power in post production. But what's up with Lightroom's White Balance Slider? Why is it backwards? Keep Cool, Like 2000 Kelvin If you've shot in RAW, you'll notice the top white balance slider has a number on the right, and that represents the color temperature in kelvins (if you're working with .jpg files, then you see a number from -100 to 100, but the affect is the same). A really orange light, like a sixty … [Read more...] about What’s Up With Lightroom’s White Balance Tools?
If you want to get serious about shooting calculated photoshoots, get yourself off Auto White Balancing! The camera usually does a great job at analyzing the lighting scenario and chooses a suitable color temperature when it is set to AWB. The problem is that setting it to auto lets the camera adjust the white balance ever so slightly for every single image, reducing consistency if you're sending out a batch of pictures from one specific location. Varying factors, such as color of clothing or reflected sunlight, are the prime suspects for the … [Read more...] about Want Better Photos? Turn OFF Auto White Balance (AWB)!
If you're shooting raw, you may have gotten a bit lazy with your white balance settings since they are so easy to fix in post. But if you're shooting video or JPEG, there is a benefit to getting it "right in camera." Here's a video I recorded for the DPBestflow project which may help you. https://vimeo.com/37315644 ______ … [Read more...] about Manually White-Balancing a Camera
While White Balance presets and Auto White Balance can be quite useful, many choose to manually set the white balance on their cameras. This is a useful approach if you need to compensate for when multiple lighting sources are mixed together in the same scene. It is also a way to warm or cool a shot for stylistic purposes. If you want to work numerically, you can use these numbers in degrees Kelvin as a guide. 1,700K Match flame 1,850K Candle flame 2,7003,300K Incandescent lightbulb 3,400K Studio lamps 4,100K Moonlight 5,000K Horizon … [Read more...] about Setting a Custom White Balance
The White Balance setting on your camera is one of the most important choices to make. This control can be used to neutralize any color cast in an image and to set the overall color (or tone) for the scene. White is most often used as a reference point because it is the perfect blend of all the color channels. While many are perfectly content to shoot in an Auto White Balance setting... this can lead to extra work in post. Changes in lighting conditions (such as clouds passing overhead) can create variations in skin tones or subjects that … [Read more...] about Choosing the Right White Balance Preset
Have you ever attended a truly great seminar? Where the impact on your life was enough to actually motivate you to change? A couple of weeks ago I attended Skip Cohen University's THRIVE in Las Vegas, and it was just that sort of event. The best thing about SCU is the relationships you get to build with other photographers as well as the instructors. I finally met Tom Shue and he invited me along for a wonderful afternoon making pictures with him and Clay Blackmore. Clay is an instructor at SCU, and it was really a pleasure to get out and see … [Read more...] about Going for Red! Diffusion + White Balance = Big Color