A place for experimental photographers

Posts tagged “Creative Photography

Macro Set-up for Focus Stacking

I have been fascinated by Macro ever since I started digital photography, partly because it takes you to places you wouldn’t normally go and shows you things that you wouldn’t normally see. After my first successful attempts at Macro Photography, I spent a great deal of time reading a lot about it and experimenting with different set-ups, in order to see how close I can get using the equipment available on the market and keeping the post-processing relatively simple. During that quest the word that was constantly coming up is ‘focus stacking’ and, as most Macro photographers would agree, in order to achieve very good results you will need to learn how to stack exposures at some point of your Macro exploration. This post will describe different kinds of Macro set-ups I have personally tested and discuss both their pros and cons. Finally, I will describe a set-up I’m currently using, which produces images you can see below.

dragonfly

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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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Table Panorama with Manfrotto 209

Following my passion for panoramic photography, I finally decided to take it one step further and try capturing a table panorama. I have seen those kind of images on the Web, and even once tried to capture one, but failed mainly due to the lack of the right equipment. However, this time I managed to capture and stitch a full 360 degree table panorama and here are some of my thoughts you may find useful.

office

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Capturing Fireworks

During the summer months people of Bournemouth can enjoy a spectacular fireworks show every Friday night around the main pier. As I happened to be working in Bournemouth for two months, I thought that was a great opportunity to launch into something completely new: capturing fireworks. Here are just a few of my thoughts you may find useful next time you want to capture fireworks yourself.

fireworks

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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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Long Exposure Photography (inside a car)

Following a recent trip to the mountains with a friend of mine, I decided to write about long exposure photography again. This time, however, realised in a different and rather tight shooting location.

car

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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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HDR Vertical Panorama

The basics behind capturing and stitching a HDR vertorama / tiltorama are almost the same as an equirectangular panorama. The only difference is that a vertorama / tiltorama represents a vertical field of view. If you are new to this kind of photography, please familiarise yourself with my previous posts: Vertical Panorama,  Equirectangular Panorama and HDR Panorama to get an overview of HDR and panoramic photography.

vertoramas

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HDR Panorama

Ever since I started developing a strong interest in panoramic photography, I also became interested in exploring HDR photography. One day these two finally came together and I decided to capture my first genuine HDR equirectangular panorama. It was not easy but I got there eventually and I’d like to share my thoughts with other panoramic and HDR photography enthusiasts. This post will guide you through the process of capturing a genuine HDR equirectangular panorama and will discuss the issues related to both the equipment as well as workflow. If you are not familiar with panoramic or HDR photography, please read my previous posts: Equirectangular Panorama and HDR from a single RAW

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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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HDR from a single RAW (continued)

Following my recent trip to the local museum, I’ve decided to write about the advantages of shooting HDR from a single RAW file using Photomatix Pro. If you are interested in this technique, please read my previous post ‘HDR from a single RAW‘.

First of all, shooting traditional HDR using your camera bracketing mode may prove extremely difficult, especially in low light situations as well as inside buildings. The picture below was shot with 1/25s, which is already a rather slow shutter speed for handheld photography. Creating brackets with your camera means that for overexposed brackets the shutter would have to be approximately 1/10s and that will definitely blur the image due to camera shake. Obviously, you can use a tripod for this kind of pictures but most places won’t allow you to use one for various reasons. Secondly, carrying and setting up your tripod every time you want to take a picture is also troublesome. Instead, you can capture one RAW file and then process it in Photomatix Pro. You don’t even have to create brackets yourself. Just open Photomatix, go to ‘File’ then select ‘Open’ and indicate your RAW image. Next, select the right settings and Photomatix will process the image and you still will be able to adjust the settings to get the desired effect. The results can be seen below.

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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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Advancing your Macro Photography

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Bend Reality with Flexify 2

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Capturing Car Lights

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Macro Bubble Photography

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Smoke Photography

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Water Splash Photography

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