maanantai 6. helmikuuta 2023

PictureCorrect.com: Landscape Photographer Explains Diffraction and Sharp Photo Tips

In today’s featured video, Gavin Hardcastle is here to share a technique with you to capture sharp images. He explains that this technique is not about sharpening your images in post-production, but about capturing the sharpest image possible in-camera:

The most commonly asked question he has received in the last 10 to 13 years is about getting sharp images and he is here to show that it is just a matter of technique, which can be learned by doing the right things.

Diffraction is a physical phenomenon that occurs when waves, such as light or sound waves, encounter an obstacle or a gap, causing the wavefront to bend, spread out and interfere with itself. This results in a recognizable pattern of light and dark bands or fringes. It occurs because the wavefront is not a smooth, continuous curve, but is made up of many individual wavelets that overlap and interact with each other as they pass through the obstacle or gap.

In photography, diffraction is the bending of light waves as they pass through an aperture. Diffraction affects the sharpness of an image by causing the light waves to spread out, leading to a loss of detail.

According to Hardcastle, diffraction becomes a visible problem in images when the aperture is stopped down to the extreme ends of its range, leading to a loss of overall sharpness and resolution. He explains that while diffraction may not be a concern for photographers who exclusively post their images on platforms like Instagram, it is still recommended to shoot high-quality images that are sharp, as you never know when a client may request high-resolution images for print.

landscape diffraction

Hardcastle explains that diffraction is not restricted to just a single aperture and occurs at all apertures, though it becomes more extreme as the aperture is stopped down to a smaller size. He also mentions that as a landscape photographer, he typically aims to avoid diffraction.

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PictureCorrect.com: Photo AI: Updated Image Upscaling Models

In photo editing news, Topaz Photo AI was recently updated; version 1.2 introduces refined upscale models with finer and more natural results, improved cropping, more accurate subject detection, and continued performance and stability improvements. The company has marked it down $40 off for a short time to celebrate the update if you want to try it out. Deal ending soon: Topaz Photo AI at $40 Off

photo ai update

Photo AI Update (see more examples)

Finer upscaling detail and more natural results

Topaz Photo AI v1.2 adds greatly improved Enhance Resolution models with a new architecture, 3x larger model size, and better training data. This new approach is a major step forward and significantly outperforms every other upscaling method currently available.

There are two variants, Standard and High Fidelity.

The “Standard” upscaling model

The Standard model excels at generating very natural textures and fine detail, in contrast to more “blocky” results from older methods. Use this model for small images, tight crops, compressed/noisy inputs, or other situations where you’d like to enhance image detail. (In v1.2, the Standard model replaces the old Natural model.)

The “High Fidelity” upscaling model

High Fidelity attempts to “first, do no harm”: it’s trained to minimize artifacts and create more natural upscales. Use this for already high-quality or high-resolution images with little noise that do not need much detail generated. You can also try this option if you’re getting too many image artifacts with Standard.

upscaling models

Processing Images with the new upscaling models

New crop tool

Topaz Photo AI v1.1.7 added a new Crop tool in public beta. You can access it in the Upscale section.

Instead of making a round trip to an external program, this allows you to more conveniently upscale your desired crop with Enhance Resolution in one go. We’ll also add the ability to straighten / rotate your image soon.

More precise subject detection

Topaz Photo AI v1.1.8 improved the precision of the Default subject selection model, which will now perform better especially for wildlife and portrait photos:

subject detection

Subject Detection Model Updated

The improved masking performance will reduce the percentage of images where you need to manually refine the subject.

How to Get Topaz Photo AI for a Discount Today:

It is currently $40 off for their update sale which ends soon. Already own a Topaz product? You may be able to get a special price. Topaz Labs also has a 30 day, no-questions-asked refund policy. That means that if you aren’t happy with the results, you are eligible for a full refund on any of their products within 30 days after purchasing. No risk in trying it.

Deal ending soon: Topaz Photo AI at $40 Off

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sunnuntai 5. helmikuuta 2023

PictureCorrect.com: Square vs Circular Filters for Landscape Photography

Filters can do wonders for your landscape photography when used correctly. That said, it does not mean simply using any sort of filter will cut it. There are different types of filters with different functions, and using them without properly understanding their impact will only hurt your photography. Take for instance a screw-type filter versus a slide-in filter. You might think that they differ only in shape, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Landscape photographer Mark Denney talks more about this in today’s video. It’s a must-watch if you’re looking to invest in filters for your photography:

As Deenney beautifully explains, it’s not that one system is better than the other. Both of these systems have their own advantages and disadvantages. And based on your workflow and your budget, you may prefer one to the other.

For instance, when it comes to getting an image with close to no vignetting, you’d be better off getting a square of a rectangular slide-in filter. They cover a larger portion of the front element of the lens and prevent vignetting. But on the other hand, if you’re not careful, there’s a high chance of light leaks.

Similarly, circular filters are relatively cheaper, but when it comes to durability, they’re much more durable than the more expensive slide-in filters. That’s because the circular filters usually come with some sort of edge banding for protection.

To know more about the pros and cons of each of these systems, and to understand which one you’d be better off with, we suggest you go through the complete video. You don’t want to regret your purchase decision later.

What filter system best suits your workflow? Feel free to let us know in the comments.

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lauantai 4. helmikuuta 2023

PictureCorrect.com: Add Drama to Photos with Negative Fill

Getting a correct exposure doesn’t guarantee a good image. A good image has some drama going on in it. Photographer David Bergman from Adorama demonstrates how using negative fill can help you add drama to your images:

When starting out with flash photography, the first thing you learn is to place the flash at an angle to the subject. This makes sure that the subject is not lit with flat light; the angle produces some shadows on the side of the subject’s face that is opposite the flash.

portrait with negative fill

But when shooting in a room with white walls, the shadows don’t come out as deep, since a lot of light gets bounced back. This softens the shadows and can reduce the depth in the image.

To get around this problem, Bergman places a black V-Flat on the opposite side of the flash. This acts as a negative fill and prevents the light from bouncing around. You can achieve the same effect with a black card or cloth. The shadows become more prominent and add more contrast. The image appears much punchier and more dramatic. You can control the darkness of the shadows by experimenting with the distance between the negative fill and the subject.

“The closer I put the black card to her, the darker the shadows are going to be.”

portraits with and without negative fill

Next time you take portraits, be sure to pay attention to the shadows. Then take control over them with negative fills.

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perjantai 3. helmikuuta 2023

PictureCorrect.com: Interesting Photo of the Day: Moonlit Waterfall

Technology in photography has come a long way. The developments have allowed photographers to capture images that were once nearly impossible to take. Whether it be the focusing system, the speed, or even sensitivity, cameras have matured very well. It’s now up to photographers to decide how to use such capable systems to capture their visions. Photographer Matt MacPherson captured the following image of Palouse Falls lit only by the moon:

“Palouse Falls by Moonlight” by Matt MacPherson (Via Reddit. Click image to see full size.)

MacPherson shot this incredible image with his Nikon D810 and 16mm lens. The center of attraction definitely has to be the silky smooth water of the falls. The low light conditions allowed him to take the image using a long exposure. To capture the shape of the water body, and the surrounding landscape, he took the photograph from a higher vantage point. Doing so also allowed him to get the moon in the shot, which is the only source lighting the scene.

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PictureCorrect.com: How to Keep Your Camera Stable for Sharp Photos at Slow Shutter Speeds

Amateurs and pros alike face the fact that slower shutter speeds and camera shake lead to blurred images. This tutorial by David Bergman demonstrates some of the main reasons for camera shake and how to overcome them:

Camera Shake Rule of Thumb

The old school rule of thumb about camera shake is that as long as the denominator of the shutter speed is bigger than the focal length, you can avoid image blur. That means that if you’re shooting at 50mm, you should select at least a shutter speed of 1/50 of a second or faster to get a blur-free image. In the real world, the wider the focal length, the less the camera shake.

rule of thumb for shooting handheld at slow shutter speed

Modern lenses come with built-in image stabilization and selectable ISO. These are great in terms of speeding up the shutter speed and getting blur-free images.

Use higher ISO to negate camera shake

Body Positions to Prevent Camera Shake

There are a host of techniques that you can adapt in order to minimize camera shake.

First, keep one hand underneath the lens barrel (as demonstrated below) in order to stabilize it.

proper camera holding position

Keep one hand under the lens.

Tuck your elbows in to your body to reduce movement.

how to shoot without camera shake

Spread your feet slightly so you’re properly balanced.

spread your legs to balance yourself

If possible, lean against a wall or a tree for additional support.

trips to shoot with camera shake

Take slow, deep breaths and press the shutter release at the end of your exhale.

Look through the viewfinder instead of at the LCD screen to compose shots. Holding your camera up against your faces gives you an extra bit of support.

use the viewfinder rather than the lcd screen

If you have to use the back LCD screen, use the camera neck strap and hold it as far and as hard as you can. It should give you some leverage to get sharp clean video footage.

shoot without camera blur using slow shutter speed

Make use of your neck strap.

Finally, if you’re still plagued by the problem of camera shake, set your camera to burst mode and fire away as many shots as you can. Chances are you will get at least a few frames that are perfectly sharp.

Do you have any tips to add?

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torstai 2. helmikuuta 2023

PictureCorrect.com: Complete Macro Photography Tutorial

Macro photography is a unique type of photography that involves capturing extremely close-up images of small objects. In this video tutorial, Adam Karnacz of First Man Photography takes us through the complete guide to macro photography:

Gear:

The first thing you’ll need for macro photography is a camera. A macro lens is the best option, but you can also use a regular lens with macro tubes that allow your lens to focus closer. In addition to a camera and lens, a flash is also useful for macro photography.

Capturing the Shots:

In the video, Adam takes us through the process of setting up and taking macro photos. He uses a flash in manual mode and sets it up off-camera to avoid harsh contrast in his images. He also uses a tripod and a trigger to help keep the camera steady during the shoot.

coffee macro

Macro coffee photo captured by Anastasiia Chepinska

Post-processing:

After the shoot, Adam demonstrates how to do some basic post-processing on his images in Lightroom. He shows us how to adjust the exposure, contrast, and color in his images to make them pop.

Printing:

Finally, Adam demonstrates how to print his macro photos in the best way possible. He explains the importance of using high-quality paper and a good printer for printing images that will last.

Macro photography is a fun and creative type of photography that can lead to some beautiful and unique images. Whether you have a macro lens or use macro tubes with a regular lens, the process of taking macro photos involves some gear, careful shooting, and some post-processing. With the right tools and a little bit of patience, anyone can start creating beautiful macro images.

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