A place for experimental photographers

Photoshop

Long Exposure Photography (outside a car)

I have just finished working on a project which I always wanted to shoot but never had enough courage, knowledge and the right equipment. Finally, the day has come and, together with a good friend of mine, we teamed up and mounted a camera on the bonnet of his car. Below you can see the results.

citylights

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Turning Day into Night in one Panorama

wroclaw

Inspired by a series of Vertoramas depicting the transition between daytime and night-time, I decided to try to achieve a similar effect in an equirectangular panorama. I have to admit, the final image isn’t perfect and there’s definitely more room for improvement but overall, I’m pleased with the result. This post will discuss some of the issues I experienced during this project. In order to appreciate this image more, make sure you visit the interactive version on 360cities here.

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How to capture a perfect Nadir

Capturing the Nadir (the area of the ground directly below the Nodal point of your lens) is probably the most challenging and time-consuming aspect of panoramic photography. It is also important to compose the Nadir properly if you want to turn your image into an interactive panorama. This post will explain some techniques you can work on in order to improve or even design the Nadir of your panoramas. If you are completely new to panoramic photography please read my previous posts:  Equirectangular Panorama and HDR Panorama.

katedra

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Focus Stacking in Photoshop

One of the greatest challenges in Macro photography is getting the right DOF (depth of field). Generally, the closer to your object you get, the shallower the DOF becomes. Smaller apertures will let you gain more DOF, but will also block more light, taking into consideration the fact that most handheld macro work is already done with fast shutter to reduce camera shake. If you want to achieve ultra sharp images, with a reasonable aperture, then focus stacking is ideal to achieve that.  There’s a lot of equally good software available for focus stacking on the market, but I have decided to demonstrate how Photoshop CS5 copes with it.

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Peirce Quincuncial Projection.

This week I’ve decided to experiment with the Peirce Quincuncial projection. In simple terms, this is a projection which is capable of projecting an equirectangular panorama onto a square. It’s similar to a stereographic projection as both of them represent a 360° field of view. The only difference between them is that a stereographic projection will produce a spherical image whereas Peirce Quincuncial will project the final image onto a square. If you are new to panoramic photography, please familiarise yourself with my previous posts on Equirectangular Panorama as you will need one to follow this step-by-step tutorial.

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Photoshop CS5 Merge to HDR plug-in

Ever since my taste for HDR photography started to develop, I’ve always used Photomatix Pro and thought that it’s all I will ever need to process my HDR images. Recently, however, I have started experimenting with Photoshop CS5 Merge to HDR plug-in and the results can be seen below.

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Sequence Photography for Beginners

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Time-Lapse Photography

Time-Lapse photography is gaining increasing recognition to the extent that this technique continues appearing in mainstream motion pictures on a regular basis and there is plenty of great examples on the Web. No photography blog would also be complete without an entry revealing the basics behind Time-Lapse Photography. Therefore, this post will discuss numerous aspects of Time-Lapse Photography including equipment, technique, processing and workflow in order to bring you closer to shooting your own Time-Lapse clip.

What is Time-Lapse Photography?

Basically, time-lapse is a photography technique that involves taking a series of photographs, maintaining the same interval between the shots, and then compiling them into a slide show or a movie clip. This technique is ideal to demonstrate events that usually take substantial time to develop in a relatively short period of time. Numerous examples of Time-Lapse Photography include blossoming flowers, growing plants, rotting vegetables and fruit, changing weather, moving clouds, cityscapes at night, night sky as well as city life. What makes this technique even more interesting is the fact that by increasing the intervals between the shots, it is possible to demonstrate unnoticed events that take time, in seconds.

Here are some of my examples of time-lapse projects shot both at night and in the daytime.

Notice how fast shutter speed and relatively long intervals made the video quite ‘choppy’.

Here on, the other hand, smaller intervals made the video flow better.

Finally, longer exposures taken at night create impressive trails of light.

Also an example of a time-lapse project made form video rather than picture files

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Vertical Panorama

Vertorama / tiltorama (see comments for details) simply stands for a vertical panorama and it’s one of the best ways to capture interiors. If you are not familiar with panoramic photography, please read my previous post on Equirectangular Panorama to get yourself familiar with the stitching process.

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Stacking Long Exposures in Photoshop

I had an idea recently and was wondering what would happen if I stacked several long exposures in Photoshop. The result can be seen below. This picture was stacked from 20 exposures and I have to say it looks really good. So, what are you waiting for? Take several long exposures, capturing car lights or other moving light sources, open all of them in Photoshop and then stack all the layers together. Unfortunately, you will have to blend the layers individually, working on two images at a time. Select one image and then place another on top of it. Then, select the layer you want to blend in the ‘Layers Tab’ on the left, right-click on it, go to ‘Blending Options’, select ‘Lighten’ from the ‘Blending Mode’ menu and voila! Just continue stacking the layers until you get the desired effect. If you are completely new to long exposure photography please read my post on Long Exposure Photography – Capturing Car Lights.

Thanks for reading and good luck with your photography.

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Bend Reality with Flexify 2

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Correcting Fisheye images with PTLens Photoshop plug-in.

Due to the size of the sensor in DX format cameras, an 8mm fisheye lens will not produce a circular image. FX format cameras, on the other hand, have a bigger sensor and therefore will produce a fully circular image.

If you are shooting with an 8mm fisheye lens on a DX format cameras, you will always have dark corners in your picture that require adjusting in order to de-warp the image to a full frame, just as a ‘full frame fisheye’ such as 10.5mm would do. You may simply crop the image but that way you will lose a considerable amount of picture and the image will still remain distorted. Alternatively, you may use the lens correction options in Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom 3, but these offer limited control over the image.

PTLense Photoshop plug-in is a simple and powerful plug-in which also works as standalone software and you will definitely find it useful when working with your fisheye images. The plugin is available to download as a trial version (both Windows and Mac) that has complete functionality, but will only process 10 images. For $25, you can also purchase the licence via PayPal, which is a pretty good deal in my opinion.

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