Monday, August 22, 2016

Smartphone is always with you, but you need to change lenses

Technology marches on and amazing pictures are captured everyday. Thanks to the smart phone. But as an old-timer, use to changing lens. Seeing a need for a telephone to isolate the subject, get in tight and remove distracting elements, the one lens smart phone meant missing some shots.
Multiple sensors stitch together an image.

It is interesting how the challenge is to never miss a shot. So the first launch of the Light camera (claiming to be "world's first multi-aperature computational camera) moves closer to capturing what you see 24/7. It can always be with you! So when you see it you can capture the moment. Size of a smart phone it weaves images together to: produce a large hi-res image, build images to simulate different depth-of-field focus (f/2 to f/16), and it can be set to wide-angle, normal or telephone capture.

The first launch at $1600 has sold out, it is amazing camera for the photojournalist and street photographer who wants to be a "fly on the wall." It beats having to stick auxiliary lens over the lens on a smart phone.

I doubt it can shoot bursts of shots, but wait, maybe it can take a burst of shots and let you pull sections from all the shots and create a "perfect photo," where everyone is smiling with their eyes open!?

George Eastman saw how everyone should capture images, not just the rich who could afford to hire a painter or professional. His dream is finally becoming a reality.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Portable Lighting Equipment

Portable Lighting Equipment

Make it look professional, here are some tips from Videomaker to help shoot better looking video with your smartphone. I'm going to check out the Coleman lantern mentioned at the end...

Friday, July 1, 2016

Infared security shuts down smartphone camera?

Recent report by PetaPixel on patent by Apple to use Infra Red transmitter to turnoff, disabling" camera and audio recording as a way to block bootlegging tunes.

Comments report that you need to turn your smartphone to airplane mode it you want to snap a photo. Other comments range from big brother taking control to who cares, the copies are going to be poor quality.

So how many people buy a tick to a movie and then film it on their smartphone hoping to earn money selling it on You Tube?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Another pro moves to shooting with smart phone

Coming back to the United States after working 20 years for Associated Press around the world, David Guttenfelder can't stop taking pictures. But not wanting to carry around a big camera, he uses his smartphone. One lens and the camera is always with you.

No need for telephoto lens to get the heart on the window with post-it notes, or show the all American strawberries his cousin decorated.

The smartphone is with you to capture the moment. He would take it with him to cover sports where a long telephoto captures the action and covering a war with just a smartphone wouldn't help him stand out as a press photographer.

With everyone using a smartphone, they take there photos and don't mind having others take pictures of them. And you can miss a shot if you have to stop to get the big DSLR.

Capture the moments.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Professionals like the amartphone

Professional photographers who don't mind carrying the big and heavy DSLR also like their smartphones. So much so that David Kennerly has published a book of photos taken with his Apple iPhone.

Now native Kansan Jim Richardson who started as a newspaper photographer in Topeka and covered Highschool USA in the black and white film days, moved to shooting slide film at National Geographic tells his local paper how he likes taking photos with his iPhone.

“It produces a lot of good pictures in a different way,” he said. “The cameras are pretty extraordinary anymore. In one hand-held device, you have a camera, editing and processing abilities. You can transmit photos while in the field and get an almost immediate response.”
Photos are everywhere and professional photographers never stop looking. Seeing pictures, when the light is right and all the elements come together it is great to take the photo. They appreciate seeing the world around them, but it is like being a hunter. Shoot it, capture the moment.

The Salena Kansas Journal quotes Richardson, “It produces a lot of good pictures in a different way,” he said. “The cameras are pretty extraordinary anymore. In one hand-held device, you have a camera, editing and processing abilities. You can transmit photos while in the field and get an almost immediate response.”

He and his wife founded and run the Small World Gallery in Lindsborg, Kansas, where they sell prints, cards and books. This summer they are showing "The iPhone Eye" exhibit of photos taken by Richardson with his iPhone and promoting a book he published, Guide to iPhoto Photography."

So what about Android smartphones? Snapseed and you can do it all.

Richardson says he has 300,000 friends on Instagram and says he was amazed when a kid told him "how he wanted to grow up to be a National Geographic Instagram photographer."

P.S. - Richardson said he has been posting on Instagram since 2014, I've plugged postings by other National Geographic photog Ira Block who has told of the changing times and how passionate he is to share images on Instagram. Check them out.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Speaking of light

Whatever camera you use, whether the smartphone or a DSLR, you need to see the light. Understand the effects and make some compensation.

Take this artisan my daughter knows, he wants to take photos of his jewelry. But it is hard to explain without having some pictures so I grabbed some jewelry and a white shirt hanging in my closet.

Went outside at 4pm when the sun was at a nice angle in the sky, it was on the right and I was looking south. I need some shadow to give the jewelry shape. But the bright sun is harsh.
Dark shadows, so I added a white board to reflect light back. Reduce some contrast, the coffee beans look better and opens up the shadow. But wait, I'm going to take the shirt off my back, a white shirt.
With the camera on a tripod, I can hold up my white shirt and soften the sunlight. Keeping some detail in the highlights, less contrast. I opened up two stops at ISO of 400. So this next shot is F/11 at 1/125 of a second. i was shooting close and needed as much depth of field as possible, so F/11 was better than F/8. Since I was on a tripod I could have done better with F/16 at a 1/60th of a second.

My white shirt softened the bright sunlight and I can not see detail and color of the camera, but the coffee beans are very dark. Where did I put that white board?
Found the board, am holding the shirt with one side in my mouth and my right arm stretched out to put the jewelry in the shade. Softening the bright sun. I take the white board and move it around and see how it reflects light back into the scene, it opens up the dark coffee beans. Then, click, I have a picture when you can see the detail in the highlight area and the shadow.

Granted this isn't perfect. It would have been nice to have an assistant to hold the shirt. I can see a need to improve the reflection in the "camera lens." Perhaps, someone could have held maybe a 8-in x 10-in sheet of paper around to get it reflected in the glass, or maybe a black sheet of paper would work better.

You need fool around and try everything.

Working alone, I could have tried giving the camera jewelry a bit more angle, rather than lying flat, wonder what it would look light raised up on the right or left. I'll try it the next time. Or maybe rotated it a bit, or tilted it a bit and watch how the reflection changes.

Tripod helps, getting close with a 50mm macro lens on my Olympus E5.

Monday, June 13, 2016

5 tips for shooting with a smartphone

Associate Professor Judd Slivka at the University oif Missouri School of Journalism posted to alumni five steps to shooting "better video on your smartphone." I've talked before on how audio is the base for tieing together wide, midlle range and close-up shots. But with the smartphone, the mic is poor and with Android phones you can't edit a "b-roll." You simply cut the shots and arrange them in various order. (Google does it automatically)

So what really counts is how you shoot it. Here is what Professor Slivka recommends:

1.) Hold the phone horizontally. Shoot sideways and fill the frame. Too many simply shoot vertically for a smaller image.

2.) Try not to shake, just let the subject move, not you. "Just because you're shooting a home movie doesn't mean you need to have the "home movie" look. This is where you can rest the smartphone on a chair, press up to a tree, arms close to your body and hold your breath.

3.) Zoom with your feet. using the digital zoom features just makes the pixels, grain, bigger. To actually zoom you need to slowly move closer. Best to stop filming and move then start taping again.

4.) "A five-minute shot of anything from one vantage point is boring." I find that you need at least 10-12 seconds to get the start and flow. This can be edited down to 3-seconds. Looking at commercials I see them cut away every 2-seconds. Goal today is to tell the story in 2-minutes.

5.) Use the free editing apps like imovie on iPhoto or FilMIC in Android. I also like Adobe's Premier Clip, which enabled me to cut the clips down and rearrange. But couldn't use any B-roll imaging to the audio!

Slivka says to "start scenes on the action - the kid in the batters box - rather than with him making his way from the dugout."