Why and how to add contrast to your images

Why and how to add contrast to your images


Have you ever gotten home after spending a day out shooting really excited to look at the images that you just took just to find out that they are not nearly as good as you were expecting them to be? They probably lack contrast Contrast is one of the most important elements in photography and here I’m not talking only about the slider in Lightroom to increase or decrease the contrast Let’s see what contrast is, why it’s important and how we can add more of it into our images Contrast means difference to me is what separates the subject, what we are trying to capture, from everything else It’s the main tool we have to tell stories with our images one of the most common mistakes in photography is to expect what we see with our eyes to feel the same in an image The thing is, a camera doesn’t see things the same way that we do with our eyes not only because there are physical differences, but because of the brain and senses the brain interprets what is getting from the eyes and the senses add a context to what we are seeing it might be hard to notice, but when you are looking at something that little something is the only thing in focus in your vision and everything else is out of focus, it’s still there because you need to be aware of your surroundings just in case something happens but your brain and your eyes are completely focused on that thing that you are looking at This is why depth of field is really important in photography, it kind of does the same it helps us isolate things from others that are further away or closer to us what happens is, if we are walking through the woods, for example, and we see something that we like a tree in the distance, and we like the way that tree looks chances are that we aren’t going to be able to make a good image of that tree unless it’s separated by some distance from the other trees, it has a clean background so we can use a fast lens to actually isolate that tree otherwise, there’s going to be too much noise, it’s not going to be enough contrast between the subject and everything else The idea behind contrast is to help the viewer and to give them an anchor, a place to look at at first when they first look at the image, and from there they can expand to the rest of the image if they want to and if the image calls for that but at least to have something to look at when there’s not enough contrast in the image it’s very hard to make the viewer pay attention to just that one thing that you were trying to show We need to understand that sometimes, we just can’t create enough contrast to make a good image and we just need to move on What I’m looking for in my images is usually to have a high contrast between the subject and the background, foreground, whatever it is that is not the actual subject that I’m trying to capture and that could be achieved in different ways with shapes, textures, and of course the difference in color, black and white, luminance now, we are going to look at some sample images that I have here to try to clarify these concepts that I’m talking about so these first 2 images are just to show you that, as I said, we need contrast between the subject and everything else we don’t want contrast, or as little as possible happening in the background or the foreground, and within the subject itself this was at Lago di Garda, and we have this platform one of the images is just a snapshot, I froze the movement of the water so you can see the waves even though there’s contrast between the platform and everything else, the image is not bad per se There’s contrast in the water, between the waves and the parts where the water is more still and calm and there’s contrast against the mountains in the background as well one of the ways to decrease the contrast in the background is to use long exposures I love using long exposures, and what that did, as you can see in this image is to remove all the details in the water, so that increases the contrast between the water and the actual subject We don’t need long exposures all the time, for example in these images that I’m showing you now Here, I’m using the shape of a dock it’s the same concept, the water was very, very calm at this lake, Lago di Varese it was foggy as well, you know where I’m going you need to use the weather to your advantage: foggy weather, snow, stuff that declutters the background and adds contrast between the subject and everything else This other example of the ducks at sunrise once again, the background disappears because of the fog, and that adds contrast between the background and the subject, the ducks because it decreases the contrast in the background Otherwise, we’d have some mountains, some trees, some houses in the background that right now you cannot see that increases the contrast between the subject and the background I’m showing you more examples now, but I hope it’s clear what I’m trying to say here another trick that I use to add contrast between the subject and everything else is I crash the blacks, it’s pretty obvious I remove as much detail as possible in the shadows, you can see here this path in the Cies Islands it was to make the path stand out from everything else if I were to show every single leave, tree, and bush around the path, the path would stand out less and it’d make, in my opinion, for a slightly worse image because the eye doesn’t directly go there, to the path Another of my favorites is to use silhouettes as you can see here in this photo of New York, or the photos that I made in Washington DC it’s always contrasting a bright background against a dark subject, and just hint what that subject is without showing all the details in the subject the contrast between that subject and the background is huge here, and it doesn’t work for everything only for some things like buildings, because you can still see what they are, you can have an idea sometimes it might be just too much, for other situations Another idea I suggested was to use shapes, and something I like to do is to place poles, trees, vertical stuff against further away backgrounds as you can see here, I think I made this image in New Mexico or the ones that I made at the Golden Gate bridge, like that telephone pole against the bridge then, textures! Textures are very important as well, as you can see here I have the grass in the foreground and showing the deer in the background of course, we have the classic contrast that we are looking for when using Black and White that is white vs black, like this example of this horse that I took in Northern Spain another image I made, of these 3 trees in the snow all of those work because it’s white vs black, and that works very well always of course there are exceptions to this rule and sometimes I’m looking for contrast, but very subtle And the best example is the image I made at the White Dunes in New Mexico as you can see, there’s contrast between the dunes and the Moon, the main subjects I’m trying to capture they are brighter than the sky, slightly darker but the contrast here is much more subtle and this works very well, when it works, it works very well even more than having higher contrast between the elements in the photo but you have to be careful, make sure that the viewer is going to understand what they are looking at or at least have an idea because they might lose interest if they don’t have an anchor to look at one thing that we can do to check if the image has enough contrast is to blur out the image applying a filter this image doesn’t have any filter applied to it, this was almost straight out of camera that way but as you can see, you are still able to recognize what the subject is, even if the subject is a little bit abstract you don’t know what it is, or what is going on here you still see clearly from the beginning, this is the subject and everything else is the background, or the foreground the context for that subject if we blur out our images and we are still able to see that, that’s a good sign These were just a few examples of how I create and increase contrast in my images of course I also use the slider in Lightroom, my images are very high contrasty in that sense as well but that’s to crash the blacks and to make those whites a little bit brighter to remove details on both sides of the histogram so the subject can stand out even more That’s all I had about this, I hope this video was helpful Thank you so much for watching, and see you in the next one!

Medium Format Digital vs. 35mm DSLR Cameras – Which is better?

Medium Format Digital vs. 35mm DSLR Cameras – Which is better?


Hello guys Josh Geiger here. Product
photographer from Atlanta and instructor at photigy.com. Today we’re going to talk
about two types of cameras, 35 millimeter DSLR and medium format DSLR I like most
of you started out on a 35-millimeter system and its really all we’ll ever
need for the majority of our work but sometimes we find ourselves in a
situation where we need to upgrade or we’re looking to upgrade down the road
and when you start talking about systems like this you’re looking at big money
and it’s a good idea to have a little bit more information before diving
straight in when I was looking around online for more information about medium
format systems I found the basic information kind of hard to find if you
root around deep enough you can find you know a whole bunch of technical
information but I was really just want to start at the beginning the basics and
that’s kind of what we’re going to do today we’re going to break down each
camera system to their main parts talk a little bit about them and then we’re
going to dive a little bit deeper and do a pros and cons comparison we’re going
to look at some of the benefits of each system some of the negatives of each
system obviously it cost comparison maybe a little bit of photo comparisons
and you might be surprised at what you don’t get for fifteen to thirty thousand
dollars let’s check these out first we’re going to start with the 35
millimeter system that we’re all pretty familiar with but for those of you who
don’t know everything about these and we’re not going to go over everything we
are going to dive a little bit deeper and break this down so let’s go ahead
and do that alright so here we have a nikon d700 this belongs to a buddy of
mine i’m currently using my d800 making this video so it still gets plenty of
use this is a 12.1 megapixel camera it shoots like five to eight frames per
second and it’s a full-frame camera meaning that it’s chip is the same size
as a full piece of 35 millimeter film but that’s not all there is to this
camera so let’s take a deeper look inside okay
so looking at the 35 millimeter DSLR it’s pretty simple we have two main
parts here the body and the lens I’ll remove this lens cap real quick and a
lens hood and we see our front element our rear element and inside of this lens
we have aperture blades that open and close to varying amounts allowing more
or less light in which is actually referred to as your f-stop obviously the
more that is closed down the less light will come in the more open it is more
light will obviously come in looking at the body you can see inside here there’s
a mirror that mirror actually reflects the image up into the viewfinder behind
that mirror is the shutter curtain and the sensor when you press the shutter
button the mirror flips up the curtain does its thing in the sensors exposed
looking at the back we have our LCD screen which on the majority of new
DSLRs is really great our regular controls for the different functions
which will of course vary depending on the body that you have whether it’s
Nikon or Canon or any other brand that’s pretty simple LCD on the top for just
viewing more information and that’s the basics this camera actually happens to
have a pop-up flash most do and of course slots for memory cards and here
our battery slot very simple hasn’t changed much in a pretty long time with
the exception of maybe you know software options
and that’s it moving on from this we’re going to take a look at the medium
format system okay so now that we’ve seen the 35 millimeter system we’re
going to do the same thing to this here we have a medium format DSLR the body is
a mamiya 645 DF they also make a DF + and you’ll notice too that you see
cameras that look just like this thats a phase one on them phase one I believe
purchased mamaya leaf and so they produce the same bodies with you know
the different name on them I think now they might actually all be phase one but
it’s the same camera here we have the digital bag this is a leaf aptus to 10
it’s 56 megapixels and the chip in this is a little bit wider format then is
typically found in other medium format digital bags also you’ll notice that the
battery on this is external on newer backs a lot of the batteries are
internal which is kind of nice and it also helps with some weather proofing
I’m not sure I think they have some weather proofing digital bags not
positive anyway that said let’s take a deeper look inside this what I’m going
to do first is just go ahead and break these pieces down and then we’ll talk
about them individually so getting started I have here a really right stuff
L bracket on here so I’ll remove that and then I’ll remove the battery so we
can just set this down flat make it easier to deal with if I can manage to
get this piece on here oh that would help wouldn’t it okay so first let’s
take off the lens it’s a little bit different than we’re used to on the 35
millimeter systems normally you’d have a button on either side of the lens that
you would press and rotate the lens off here the button is actually over here
which is actually kind of dangerous because I’m always afraid I’m going to
hit that which is partially do I keep that L bracket on here it kind
of blocks that but anyway moving on let’s take that off for a second and put
the cap on and then our body we will remove our digital back and I’m just
going to put the cap on that real quick while we talk about some other stuff I’m
just a little protective of that to keep the chip clean so looking at this body
obviously it’s bigger than the 35 millimeter body but the first thing we
notice is we can see straight through it it does still have a mirror in here and
actually a focusing screen but when you take off the back it automatically flips
up it really works just like a regular 35 millimeter DSLR the only real
difference is the chip comes off the back there is a shutter in here it just
so happens that this lens is a mamaya sec or d schneider leaf shutter lens and
what that means is is unlike the 35 millimeter lens this not only has
aperture blades it also has its own built-in shutter which has its own
blades they call Leafs and the benefit to this really is just that you get very
high sync speeds on this it actually sinks up to 116 hundredth of a second
which can be quite handy in a myriad of situations but setting that aside again
with the rest of this body we have our LCD screen our control knob
your regular array of scroll wheels and doodads for changing your different
options and then actually i’ll move this over here here we have our digital bag
this is pretty cool because it’s basically a little computer what we have
here is our normal LCD screen on the back which as I said we’ll talk more
about in the pros and cons it is a touchscreen LCD this particular back is
a firewire tethered support back some of them will do USB 3 even some of the
newer ones you’ll get Wi-Fi support for tethering which is really nice but we’re
moving that if we put the battery back on you can see we have an external
battery some of the new digital backs have the bit battery um built in which
is kind of nice it just reduces a little bit of the bulkiness and then let’s just
take a look at this chip for a second look at the size of that bad boy typically a full frame medium format
chip is going to be twice the size of a 35-millimeter chip and without getting
too specific into technicalities here basically what that means is larger
depth of field more sharpness and all-around image goodness but breaking
them down they’re really pretty similar to the 35 millimeter systems biggest
difference being this little computer pops off the back and is incredibly
expensive so I guess now we’ll get into the meat of this situation which would
be the pros and cons where’s one beat the other and let’s do that now okay so
now that we’ve broken down both of these systems and taking a look at their main
parts we’re going to do a little pros and cons comparison let’s start with the
35 millimeter system first it’s got an accurate auto focus it’s fast it’s
accurate there are tons of auto focus points on the majority of these DSLRs
and having the ability to fly around the viewfinder with your selection wheel and
just pick a specific thing that you want to focus on is a real big help
especially if you’re looking through the viewfinder it’s sometimes hard to see
and check focus visually so the electronic focus check is pretty much
imperative if you’re not tethered to something with live view also is OS in
these cameras because of the chip they use the iso range is incredible most of
them come around standard or native a hundred ISO and go upwards of you know
6400 and then ridiculous numbers above that high one high 2 & 2 just crazy
numbers I normally wouldn’t go above 1600 iso I just happen to like it’s
clean of images as possible I know some people like noise especially in black
and white photography but needless to say the ISO ranges in here
are great and you can get some really clean photos with iso s in the four six
eight hundred range and that’s real beneficial in low-light conditions also
the capture rate another benefit to the chips and knees is that they can capture
images faster like I said this camera i think will do five frames or so some of
the higher-end cameras will go upwards of 10 or 11 frames a second which is
just so fast rear displays on these cameras talking about our LCD they’re
great they’re bright they produce color nicely which leads us into the other
thing is that a lot of these you can do video and having a nice screen that’s
got a high resolution is good to have when you’re doing video work easy access
to controls there’s tons of buttons on these cameras everything’s pretty much
right at your fingertips that’s really nice not having to dive down into menus
and select around and find what you’re looking for and make your adjustment it
just speeds up the workflow quite a bit weatherproofing most DSLRs are going to
have some degree of weather proofing I wouldn’t soak them in a tub or anything
like that but I’ve seen plenty of instances where in a light drizzle or
something you don’t really have to worry about it I’ve seen other instances where
somebody left their camera outside in a storm and it was just soaking wet and it
survived I wouldn’t suggest that but I’ve seen it done and they’re not too
expensive for what you get you know you can get upwards of probably seven or
eight thousand dollars on a high-end DSLR body and 35 millimeter format but
really for somewhere between you know one and three thousand dollars you can
get a really nice camera it’ll do pretty much anything you needed
to do and there’s tons of lenses available form a lot of manufacturers a
lot of specialty lenses macro lenses tilt-shift lens is really that kind of
boils down to the markets just so much larger you know when there’s a lot of
people out there with these cameras that’s a lot more customers out there
for companies to create products for I guess that kind of brings us to the
negatives the downsides I don’t really consider it a downside but when you’re
comparing it to a medium format system you could say image quality nowadays the
images you get out of these 35 millimeter systems are incredible but
you do get a little bit more out of a medium format camera they’re difficult
to clean as we saw earlier when you break one of these down and you look
inside you know if you want to clean the sensor you got to lock the mirror up and
then get a light so you can see what you’re doing down there and you know
special tools and there’s oil in there for the mirror to flip up and stuff and
you don’t want to touch anything and smear oil inside and it’s just really
kind of a hassle to get in there and most people actually suggest you just
have them done professionally I’d call that a downside and I guess probably
least of the worries is if you’re dealing with high-end clients or
something like that they’re just not that impressive you know a camera’s a
camera is a camera but if you’re dealing with a client it’s used to walking in
and seeing somebody using you know either large-format cameras or medium
format DSLRs and they come in and they see a 35-millimeter DSLR it doesn’t mean
you can’t do the job right or produce images they want necessarily but it
might make them feel not as comfortable as they were when they originally hired
you for the job but I wouldn’t let that hold you back that’s not reason enough
to upgrade to a medium format system that said I think that’s probably all
the cons that I could come up with on these things they’re just great little
cameras wonderful and I guess we’ll move on to
breaking down the medium format let’s go okay so now we’re going to do the same
thing with the medium format DSLR first the pros I would think that the first
pro that I have with this is if you’re going to work a system like this you
have to have a digital back and by having the digital back you have more
versatility because one thing that we know is you can take the digital back
off and put it on a technical camera that just opens up you know the
possibilities of what you can actually do with the equipment and that’s just
amazing of course the image quality you’re dealing with a sensor that’s
twice a size as a 35-millimeter sensor and that’s going to produce shallower
depth of field it’s going to capture more light it’s going to be sharper and
of course that’s all the stuff we’re going for but what it also does is
provides more color information more accurate color representation larger
dynamic ranges you know from the blacks to the whites you know you’re looking at
12 14 stops of dynamic range and easy to clean you know when you take that back
off that chip sitting right there you just get your swab wipe it clean it up
brand new of course you know it’s impressive that’s just kind of a little
ego driven thing there I guess and you have great lenses available on these
things now you don’t have the range of lenses like you do in here which will go
in the con list but the lenses you do have available for these are superb
they’re sharp they’re crisp you have the leaf shutter options in some of the
lenses they’re just magnificent and of course another thing that’s not
necessarily a benefit of the camera itself but when you get into a system
like this is the customer service you get from the company that you purchase
from I don’t know about all of the you know different companies and plans
available and stuff like that but I know that if something goes wrong with this
camera I can have it taken to the shop I’ll get something to use in exchange
for it it’ll be taken care of in no time and ship back to me I’ve heard some
horror stories of course on both sides and you can’t win them all all the time
but I have heard a lot of bad things about new models and cameras that come
out in the 35 millimeter world my d800 when it first came out had some issues
and luckily I ended up with a model that came out after those issues were taken
care of but I haven’t heard of that many issues out of medium format systems I
would think that’s mostly because when you have a customer forking out that
kind of money the last thing you want is for them to be angry with you because
you didn’t give them a functioning product that said I’m only saying that
because I personally haven’t heard of any of those issues and then I guess
we’ll get to the cons the bad sides and you might be surprised at some of these
a they’re super expensive no kidding no surprise the lenses super expensive
maybe a little bit of a surprise but um I guess it should have been expected
right working with these you have a single focal point unlike these where
you look through the viewfinder and you have a ton of little boxes and a ray to
choose from and you can flick it around in there and get whatever you need in
here you have one circle in the middle of the frame that’s your focusing point
you do have the ability to kind of decide where it’s going to weigh you
know where it’s focusing so I’m like the edges of the focusing circle or the
center of the focusing circle but you can’t move it around the frame and when
you’re shooting something like this with a shallower depth of field that becomes
even more difficult because if you have to say focus and recompose
you got to be really careful doing that because the slight change in your
recomposition can completely blow your focus so it’s not the easiest thing in
the world to deal with of course again if you’re shooting tethered and you have
a live view saying capture one or some other similar program and becomes less
of an issue I so capabilities basically I wouldn’t use this camera on anything
over its native iso 100 if I have to I might put it on 200 but like I said I
like clean images but these things produce a lot of noise I think it might
go up to 800 iso and that’s just completely unusable so you’re not going
to be using these for sporting events low-light situations you know and some
soccer in a field at night of your family you’re definitely not going to be
getting photos with this guy you’re going to want to take something like
this with the long wide aperture lens and just have a blast and capture rate
you know on these we were talking about five frames a second upwards of 10 or 11
frames a second something like this you’re looking at one frame a second
maybe one point zero five frames per second something like that but uh
they’re slow and I think a lot of that has to do is just how long it takes to
process such a large image image file it’s it’s not really that big of a deal
for the kind of work I do if your still life photographer or something like that
but you know if you’re shooting say hi fashion or something and you’ve got a
model that’s there’s just a whole bunch of energy and she’s going through these
tons of poses and you want to be able to capture as much of that as possible this
you’re not really going to be able to do that with you know it’s going to be
click click click and that’s about as fast as it’s going to get the LCD screen
on the back of these cameras I’m not going to say this about the new ones
because some of the newer ones the Krytos and the IQ to
forties or two 80s or 2 60’s or whatever they are probably have really nice
screens on them I haven’t had my hands on one yet but I do know that the older
digital backs or even some of the newer versions of older models like the Aptus
series from leaf the screens just aren’t very good you get a lot of banding and
gradients and stuff like that for color representation and it’s just kind of
difficult to deal with the touchscreen is nice but you end up with fingerprints
all over the screen and I find myself having to wipe it constantly and no
built-in live view some of the newer ones do like I said the sum of the
Krytos and the IQ series from phase have live view built in and I can tell you
that would definitely be at the top of the pro list if I had one of those but
as of right now it’s got to sit on my con list because it’s in the majority of
the older more affordable digital backs that you find the lower quality screens
and accessing some of the controls you know if you take a look at this you
don’t have all the buttons that you had on this I mean it’s just buttons
everywhere on this thing here you’ve got a knob you know your dial of three or
four buttons here and a button here you know what I mean the rest of it is in
your digital back so if you want to change your white balance or your ISO or
any of that kind of stuff you have to go in here route into your menu or whatever
it is go to wherever it is and you can set up a favorites folder that has your
most accessed options and that’s pretty convenient but still it’s not really as
easy as just pressing the button scroll to where it is and you’re good to go I
find with this I don’t have to really look at what I’m doing when I’m making
changes with this I do and complicated custom settings you know over here it’s
pretty easy to set up custom menus and settings but over here when you get into
the customizations nothing’s really named
intuitively it’s like c1 c2 c3 and then there’s all these just different
categories that don’t have even abbreviations that make sense so you
kind of to keep a little cheat sheet with you or something that tells you
what they all mean if you play with that kind of stuff a lot I find myself not
doing that I tend to just keep it in manual hundred iso and then I’m just
messing with you know shutter speed and aperture and even shutter speed not that
often because I’m using you know strobes and I typically keep it a it max ink so
that would be that talking about the lenses again you know I said that with
medium format the lenses that are available are incredible but where you
have a problem is there aren’t that many available at least not in comparison to
35 millimeter there are a couple tilt shift lens available a couple of macro
lenses available but really the choices are fairly limited good news is the
choices that are there are superb they’re also incredibly expensive I
think I say like a 85 millimeter tilt shift lens from Schneider or well let’s
go with Nikon which is pretty much just as good it’s 90 millimeters from
schneider i believe the 85 millimeter tilt shift lens from nikon is going to
run you a couple thousand dollars and that’s expensive but it’s a great lens
and it will do what you needed to do however on medium format the 90
millimeter Schneider tilt shift I’m sorry 120 millimeter Schneider tilt
shift lens is depending on where you get it going to run you somewhere between
five thousand and six and a half thousand dollars that’s pretty expensive
likewise just regular you know leaf shutter macro lenses 120 millimeter from
the same company you’re looking at four grand ish four or five thousand dollars
so it’s very expensive but you do get the quality out of that and that pretty
much wraps up for this pros and cons when I only
had my d800 system when I was dreaming about having a medium format system I
kind of expected that if i was going to fork out that kind of money everything
would just be better that this all the options that you had in this would
transfer to this and it would just do the job better maybe even provide me
some new trickier options that weren’t previously available in this kind of
system that turned out not to be the case actually a lot of the things that
are available here are not available here and when they are available here in
a handful of instances they actually don’t perform as well as they do in the
35 millimeter system so as I said at the beginning of this you might be really
surprised at what fifteen to thirty thousand dollars won’t buy you in a
future part of this series we are going to compare a medium format DSLR system
with this digital back on a cambo Ultima monorail camera and we’re just going to
compare the pros and cons of using both of those systems obviously using the
large format system is going to slow things down a bit but it might get us
some really nice results that we don’t expect to we’ll see I’ve been Josh
Geiger with photo gcom and we’ll talk to you later

Develop a Negative Film at Home with Photoshop!

Develop a Negative Film at Home with Photoshop!


If you have a lot of old negatives laying
around somewhere in your cupboard or your old photo albums just like so. What a better way to kill time rather than
trying to develop them in Photoshop? Doesn’t that sound like a good experiment? It actually is. And the great news is, it’s possible. However, the quality of the image that comes
out of these negatives depends upon three things. Number one – lighting. How you light these negatives when you take
a picture of them. Number two, of course – the lens. How much can the lens magnify this film? So if you have a macro lens, that would be
the best. And number three, obviously – the quality
of the film. Now here comes the important question – how
do we take a picture of this film? Simple, make the screen of your phone white
or run a widescreen video and then keep the film in front of it and simply take a picture. Make sure not any other light in the room
is falling on this film and then take a picture. It would be best if it’s a dark room. However, whoops, mother’s calling, I gotta
pick it up. Now when you take a picture, keep the film
away from the screen. You know why? Let me show you. Here’s the picture of the film touching the
screen. It looks all right. However, when you zoom in, have a look, look
at these pixels and these banding. They are not from the film, they are from
the phone, they are from the light, because they’re so close that each pixel of the light
is going to show up. However, when you do keep a gap, what happens
is when you focus on the film, this gets blurred. And that’s what I did in the second photo. This is too much DIY, have a look at this. I just kept a container on this side, another
container on the other side and placed the film on top of it just to create a gap and
then took a photo of it. You see? There is none of that banding. And all these greens that you see, that’s
just because the ISO of the camera was too high and I was too lazy to set up a tripod
and do a long exposure. Anyway, that’s how you take a photo. Now again, if you had a macro lens, you could
have made it even bigger. However, I just had to take it with my 24-70
because I don’t have that kind of macro money. Once you take the picture, the rest of the
magic will happen in Photoshop. So without any further ado, let’s get started. So here we are back in the magical world of
Photoshop and you can go ahead and download this photo, of course, you can download this
15 year old photo by checking the links in the description. Maybe it’s a 16 year old photo, I don’t even
know, but I look pretty small in there, and fat too. So what is a negative? It is actually a negative. What do we have to do? Make it positive. And how do we make that positive? By simply inverting it. So, let’s create an Inversion Adjustment layer. Click on the Adjustment layer icon and then
choose Invert. It does look much better. Now, we need to correct the color, take away
the blues and all of that can happen with Curves. So click on the Adjustment layer icon and
then choose Curves. Now in here, what color in the scene or any
of these scenes should have been grey or neutral? Figure that out. So in my opinion, of course, his shirt should
have been grey. So select the middle eyedropper, click on
that one and just click on his shirt and have a look. The colors have been improved. You can also try clicking on different areas
to see what looks best for you. Now do keep in mind, this is totally non-destructive. We can adjust this at any point of time. And also, this is art, you don’t have to get
it absolutely accurate. You just have to make it look attractive. These boatmen look nice. All we have to do is to increase some contrast
in here. So take this slider from the left to the right. All right. You can also hold the Alt key or the Option
key just when you begin to see these artifacts in the image. That means the details are going away from
the dark areas. Similarly, let’s do the same for the bright
areas. All right, let’s stop right there. And then you can work the Curves and maybe
increase the Contrast a little bit. Just like this. So, if you want to adjust and edit the colors
further, you can go to the different channels – Red, Green or Blue, and make manual adjustments. However, to make Curves visually simpler,
there’s one more Adjustment layer and that is called Color Balance. Click on the Adjustment layer icon and then
choose Color Balance, just right there. Now do keep in mind Color Balance is just
a simplified version of Curves. Anything you can do in Color Balance can be
done with Curves. Check out this video if you want to know more
about it. It’s just that Color Balance makes it simpler. So we want to target the mid tones. So select the Midtones and then just add a
little more Yellow to it, probably just keep it the way it is, probably in the shadows,
you want to take away the greens. So let’s go to the Shadows and just add Magenta
to it. Magenta is the opposite of Green. And a little bit Yellow, probably some Red
or the opposite of it. You can take all the time in the world to
adjust these colors. Once you’re happy with the colors, all you
got to do is to just crop it out. Now for different images, you might have to
adjust everything differently. Have a look, this is me and my mother and
probably all of these photos were taken by my father. Anyway, once you are happy with all of this
just crop it. So select the Rectangular Marquee tool or
any tool of your choice. I’m going to make a square, sorry, a rectangle
right there, press C for the Crop tool, hit Enter or Return..boom. There you go. Of course, we need to crop it properly, and
you can do that. You get the idea. So that’s how we can develop a negative very
easily with Photoshop. Here’s the before, here’s the after. And here is the final image. If you want even better result, get a macro
lens, or simply give it to the developers, developing stores. That would be cheaper than buying a macro
lens. Anyway, this was a fun experiment. I hope you enjoyed it and if you did, make
sure to give us a like and also don’t forget to subscribe and not just subscribe, ring
the bell so that you, my friend, don’t miss any other future tips, tricks or tutorials. I would like to take this moment to thank
all these nice and amazing people for supporting this channel on Patreon and helping keep PiXimperfect
free for everybody forever. Thanks so much for watching. I’ll see you guys in my next one. Till then stay tuned and make sure that you
keep creating.

Why I shoot a lot

Why I shoot a lot


Hello everyone from Lago Maggiore, in Italy I’m taking some long exposures here of this beautiful scene I just wanted to share another quick thought with you today I wanted to share something that I was wrong about, I was dead wrong This is because I took bad advice in the past You see, you should be very careful where you take your advice from, who you take it from including me and this channel and most importantly, if that advice even applies to you and your photography what you are trying to do, what you are trying to create with it the long exposure is done! The bad advice I took was the one about making every shot count to be very mindful before pressing the shutter, and only do it when we are sure there’s an image to be made there and that it’s going to be a good one with the goal of increasing the ratio of keepers once we get home we don’t have a lot of photos to go through because, somehow, that’s what good photographers, real photographers, do and I did it, I did it for a long time now, further down my photography journey, I realize that it was a big mistake I used to believe that the magic of photography happens here, in the field, and when I press the shutter that’s when the photo is made, and there’s nothing else to do about it I realize now that photography is a whole process, a set steps, each one of them as important if not more important, than the previous one nowadays I shoot a lot, anywhere between 100 and 200 photos while I’m traveling, on a day like today sometimes even more and that means a lot of work for later, selecting and editing all these photos I tried to avoid that, I thought that was something bad but now, I believe that, perhaps, this should take time, it should take some effort the goal here is not to shoot so much that we get good images by accident just because we have so many, there’s gotta be at least one, a good one no, it’s not about that if I’m out here, hiking, walking, in a new city, in a new country, wherever and I don’t shoot for half an hour, or an hour, I become disengaged, distracted I stop being focused and I start thinking about anything else but making images what I do by shooting a lot is to try to create an image even when I know there’s none to be made when I know that it’s not going to work out, that image is never going to make it through my whole process it’s never going to see the light of the day because in trying, I stay engaged, I stay focused on what I’m doing, I stay in the zone if you will I believe that this change in mindset has made me a better and more aware photographer but I want to hear from you, because every approach to photography is valid and it’s ok as long as it works for you photography is subjective, it’s an art, it’s not a science I’d love to hear from you, how you approach photography and how you deal with these issues that’s all for today thank you so much for watching again, see you in the next one!

Struggling to make images in beautiful Lugano, Switzerland

Struggling to make images in beautiful Lugano, Switzerland


Hello everybody, hello from Switzerland, look at this view! This morning I woke up in a different country, though Let’s go back and start from the beginning This is the border with Switzerland I have no idea if I have to stop people are not stopping well, that was easy I’m in Switzerland! Good morning everyone from the little town of Meride looks like a pretty cool town I’m trying to find the trail to Monte San Giorgio that I believe is that one up there That’s why I’m here this morning I don’t know if this is the way, but it’s definitely going up Sunrise is happening all around me this is the first real sunrise I see in more than one month it’s been raining and cloudy, which I love by the way but it’s nice to have a sunrise every once in a while I’m missing it, I’m not at the top just yet I don’t even know if I’m on the right trail but the point to be here this early is because I need the time I don’t have much time today, at this time of the year sunset is so early I only have a few hours to spend here in Switzerland I have many spots to hit, so let’s keep going Sound like there are hunters around here which gives me a lot of confidence, being here in this forested area no, it doesn’t! You might be wondering: “what the heck is he doing in Switzerland”? I feel like I owe you an update about what I’ve been up to As usual, nothing went according to plan on this trip I change my mind a lot, but this time I was forced to We were going to be 3 weeks in Austria, but we had to leave early because the snow came way earlier than I was expecting I didn’t have the car or the equipment to be driving through mountain passes I couldn’t reach any of the spots that I wanted to visit, I couldn’t go to the Dolomites as I wanted to So we decided to leave early and it was the right call right after we left a big snowstorm came and covered the mountain pass we went through the day before with snow, we would’ve never made it with our car through there that day but in the end it was all good, we got to spend some time next to Lago di Garda, in Trentino I didn’t know about that place, it was a nice surprise, it was beautiful and I had a great time there It’s been a month since I left Spain, we have only 2 weeks left on this fall trip this is one of the 2 destinations that we have left We are very close to Varese, in Northern Italy, a little farther west, very close to Milano There are quite a few spots around Varese that I want to visit and Switzerland was one of them I mean, it’s half an hour away by car, so I had to I found this place, Monte San Giorgio, in Google Maps it looks like it has an amazing view from the top of Lugano and Lake Lugano I’ve made it to the top, this is beautiful, isn’t it? Look at this view There are mountains as far as the eye can see This is a good example of how a great view doesn’t always make for great images I’m really struggling to find something here I’ve been taking long exposures hoping that they could do the trick, but they don’t Everything is too far away, there are not even clouds today If I want to make some good images today, I think it’s going to be down there, from the town of Lugano I’m heading back down now Don’t get me wrong about what I said up there, it’s a beautiful place it was totally worth it to hike up here, I really enjoyed this walk but it was just not the time to make an image from up there it’s more important to have the right conditions in a less than ideal place than to have the right place in less than ideal conditions if that makes sense This will depend on how you photograph, what you are trying to achieve in my opinion, what I try to do is to tell stories with my images that create some mystery and drama and that is very hard to do with panoramic vistas like this one because it gives up everything, it shows clearly what’s going on there’s a lot of stuff, a lot of mountains, there’s no clear anchor, there’s no clear subject there’s no weather helping, like clouds or fog isolating a subject that could tell a story it cloud be anything, like a mountain peaking through the clouds or fog, creating drama in a beautiful forest like this one something, but today was very flat and nothing was really happening I’m back in the car, it’s 11am that means that I have 6 hours left of daylight, should be plenty enough to go to Lugano and make some images but first, second breakfast, after this 6-7 mile hike For those who don’t know, Switzerland is one of the very few european countries that are not part of the EU it’s a bit confusing because it is part of the Schengen area what that means for me today here is that I’m free to come, the border was pretty much open but, they don’t use euros, the have the Swiss franc I don’t have any of those, so I’m hoping that if I have to buy something I can use my cards or they can take euros what affects me the most today is that my mobile carrier does not offer free roaming in Switzerland the way it does in the EU I think it’s 10 euros per megabyte, something really crazy I have data turned off, that is bad on one hand, because I can’t look anything up I can’t do any research, I can’t let anyone know that I’m still alive but on the other hand, it’s good because I’m disconnected and I can focus on actually experiencing this place on capturing images, on making this video and every once in a while it’s good to be disconnected I just hope that I don’t have any problems and I need to call for help because I don’t know if I’m going to be able to, and if I am, it’s going to cost me a lot of money This is much more like it I’m at Lake Lugano, just out of the city of Lugano, in a little town called Melide This is beautiful, you can see Monte San Giorgio where I hiked to this morning This is something I can work with I’m taking long exposures, I’m not going to analyze the photo but being able to blur out the water and using the silhouette of the mountain for me, it creates a drama and a mystery that I’m looking for in my images that tells more a story than the view that I had from up there I’ve made a huge mistake, I don’t know how this happened but I left most of my batteries at home I only have one fully charged battery left I’m here in the car, charging the battery in camera It’s probably not going to be enough, or fast enough but it’s better than nothing, at least I have this option This was pretty cool, as I said when I was on top of one of those mountains I had better chances to make images down here at the lake, and that was the case I’ve made a few that I really like That is the rest of Lake Lugano, it ends not too far from here this place is called Gandria, I drove here, it looks amazing but I don’t think I’m going to be doing any more photography today first, because I only have half an hour left of daylight second, because I’m exhausted I woke up at 5am, I’ve been driving, I went on that hike this morning and then walking a lot in Lugano it’s been a lot of walking, it’s been a long day I think it’s been enough I’ve made a few images that I like, I don’t know about this video, it’s been a little bit chaotic anyway, I hope you still enjoyed the video and the images I don’t know how I’m going to be uploading this video, the place where we are staying in Varese has terrible wifi but yeah, that’s all for today Thank you so much for watching, and see you in the next one!

Best camera for me? Maybe! ~ RX100VII first impressions

Best camera for me? Maybe! ~ RX100VII first impressions


Over time, my camera gear has steadily grown in size and weight That hasn’t stopped me from getting out there But I started to realize that it was dragging me down while hiking I was also afraid of getting hurt by carrying so much weight 2019 has become little by little my minimizing-gear-year I embraced compact cameras, and I just double down on that bet Meet my newest camera, the RX100 mark 7 So, how did we get here? Well, I knew that going compact could be ideal for me, at least on paper, for what I do I wanted to give this approach a try, so on this trip I only brought compact cameras with me They are the RX100 mark 2 and the rx100 mark VA And they are a great combo! But I’ve run into some problems The RX100mII is my stills camera, and it’s falling apart, literally I had to replace the screen years ago, and I must have done a poor job Because it barely works anymore The screen on the poor mark II just died Less than 24 hours after getting the mark 7 I think it’s just got sad But I wasn’t going to replace you I am still using you, don’t you see? I bring you to beautiful places I kept using it without the screen and the images looked lovely It’s a very tough camera, it’s working again But it’s just not the screen, the autofocus motor makes a very weird and loud noise I’m afraid that this camera is going to stop working at any moment And my video camera, the VA, doesn’t have a microphone input which has made my video workflow much more complicated, now that I have to synchronize the audio in post A decision had to be made and not an easy one I started thinking more and more about the mark 7 which seemed to be the perfect camera for me for both video and photos There was just one big issue, and that was the price So after days and days of overthinking Sleeping on it I even had nightmares Until one day… “I need the mark 7!” There was only one thing left to be done So I gathered the courage and… I went for it Rach? Yeah? I’ve been thinking… Just get the damn camera already! So I did Then I patiently waited for a few days Until it finally arrived There are 5… Five things I was really excited about from this camera 4 about video and 1 about photography I couldn’t have chosen a worse, or better, day to try this camera out First day with the camera and it’s snowing like crazy The first thing is the digital stabilization in 4k, this is something missing in the VA It was only available for 1080p It does crop the image a little bit, but I think is completely worth it because it makes for a much smoother footage I find this very useful and not only for vloggers or when you are recording and walking at the same time This, combined with some additional stabilization in post allows me to get very steady shots Almost like if they were taken from a tripod All of these were handheld, even this one at 200mm It’s also very useful for a smooth panning and to get more cinematic shots like you can see here Thing number 2, there is no recording time limit in 4k You see the mark VA has a 5 minute time limit when recording in 4k Which to be honest has helped me a little bit because I’m more direct and to-the-point when I talk to the camera But…. the thing is, the camera overheats and you have to wait longer and longer in between clips and that kind of sucks The mark 7, though, fixes this so that’s great And it’s falling, it’s falling, it’s falling, it’s falling…. Thing number 3, it has a touchscreen Sony’s implementation of a touchscreen is very poor There is only so much you can do with it But being able to change the focus point while recording video is extremely important for me and something that I was really missing from my bigger camera, the a6500 so I really appreciate this one Despite its tiny size, this camera is very powerful and capable for video with plenty of features that much bigger and more expensive cameras don’t have many people care about frame rates, about codecs, about the 4k if it’s downscaled if it’s able to shoot in s-log or other picture profiles And sure, those things are important to have but I believe that sound plays a much important role in our videos I think we can all agree that good sound makes a huge difference with these videos, I want to make you feel like you are here with me I want to share my experience with you, and sound and good audio play a really important role That’s why I’m so, so happy that this camera has a microphone input It only took them 7 generations, but hey, it’s here If you’re American in the living room, what are you in the bathroom? European! What do you say to someone who tries to steal your cheese? That’s nacho cheese! Of course, the number 5 is the unbelievable 200mm lens that comes in this tiny camera And I know, I know, it’s gone from 1.8 to 2.8, but we’ll talk about that later For now, let’s focus on the good side of this that is the incredible reach that you are able to get I guess that eventually I’ll get used to it But for now, every time I extend that lens all the way to 200mm, my mouth just drops It’s just incredible that a tiny camera that fits in your pocket can do that and sure, the image gets softer at 200mm but still, this will allow me to create images that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, because I didn’t have the reach before without having to bring a backpack with a bunch of lenses, of course It could even be a good camera for wildlife, I guess Before we keep going, I’m going to show you a few images that I’ve made with this camera during the last couple days. Of course, edited to my style When I was thinking whether I should buy this camera or not, I had 3 main concerns The first one is of course money This is not a cheap camera, it’s actually expensive for what it is It’s a compact camera with a tiny sensor But it does a lot of things that other cameras can’t and in the end, it all depends on what you need, what the right tool is for you, and for what you do I believe that this camera is almost the perfect camera for me, for my photography, and for my videos But it might not be for you The second one is the bokeh I’m recording this with my 2 cameras, the VA and the VII The lenses are different, in the VII is a 2.8, in the VA is a 1.8 That not only makes it better in low light, but it also should make it better when it comes to blur the background So do you notice any difference? The VII is at 2.8, as I said, the VA is at 1.8 I believe, let me check… Yes, 1.8 Of course, the closer you get to the camera the blurrier the background becomes another you can do is to get farther from that background so it blurs even more But no matter what you do, the wider aperture will always have the edge here and there is no way around it I just don’t worry too much about this It is true that the VA looks a little bit better But I mean, the VII is fine When it comes to low-light performance, I’m no camera tester I tried to compare the VA and the VII against a surface and you can see the results here, I don’t really know what to say If anything, the VII looks a little bit worse But they look pretty similar, they look just fine up to ISO 1600 – 2000, in my opinion It gets worse very quickly from there The difference of 1+ stop on the lens of these two cameras makes a huge difference if we are shooting at ISO 3200 on the mark VII, we could be using ISO 1600 or even 1250 on the mark VA and that means much less noise But still, it’s just one stop, and I think low-light capabilities are a little bit overrated If we want to get good results in very low light, we need completely different setups Bigger cameras, bigger lenses For example, I have the aa6500 back at home, with my Sigma 16mm f/1.4 And that combination has an advantage of more than 3 stops over the mark VII and not only that, but at the same ISO it looks much better So if you need the low light performance this camera is not for you but if your use in low light is more casual like I do here, just for YouTube videos because after all, for photography we can always use a tripod, that is not a problem Then this camera might be just fine While these cameras are very complete right out of the box There are a few accessories that I think make them even better The first one almost goes without saying but you need a screen protector, just do it The second one is a filter adapter ring that you have to glue to the lens of this camera Out of the box, the lens can’t take any kind of filters And since this one doesn’t have a built-in ND filter anymore It’s almost a must if you’re gonna do any kind of video The third one is of course an external microphone to take advantage of that microphone input This is my favorite, it’s a Rode VideoMicro I think that the sound that comes out of this thing is very good It doesn’t use any batteries or anything like that, so it’s pretty easy to use The only thing is that is a little bit big, it’s almost bigger than the camera So I got a new one, it’s a Saramonic SR-XM1 or something like that It’s much smaller and it’s pretty convenient for this camera It’s not as good as the Rode VideoMicro in windy conditions So you might want to get a windshield for that one, too And even then, it’s not as good as this one, so I want to have the option to use this one I don’t have a way to mount it and this is where the fourth and last accessory comes in and it’s a cage for the RX100 I’m yet to buy that cage, so for now I’m going to show you the one that I have for the VA Unfortunately, they are not compatible anymore The VII has a slightly thicker lens So this one doesn’t fit on the new one A cage like this will make your RX100 a much better camera, a much more versatile system Not only they offer places to mount your microphones that you can see here They offer some extra protection They have a grip, these cameras are not the easiest to hold And they fix a very big design flaw in these cameras, right here on the bottom The problem is when you have this camera mounted on a tripod, and you have a tripod plate here You can’t open the battery door, so you can’t change the battery, you can’t take the memory card out But with this, you can attach the tripod plate here, and you still have access to the battery door right here So, it’s much more convenient And now, time for some Q&A I asked both on Instagram and YouTube if anyone had any questions about this camera Of course, if you still have more questions after watching this video, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you Should I get this or the mark 6? I don’t have the VI, I’ve never used it But it looks pretty similar to this one, it looks like a very solid camera But if you do need that microphone input, I would pay the 200 bucks – I think that’s the difference in price I would pay that only for the microphone input Step-by-step instructions for long time exposure Okay, I can do that but not in this video, this has already been a long one But yeah, you can definitely do long exposure photography on these cameras I’ve been doing it during this trip Possible print size and quality with the smaller sensor? Someone was asking for a print sample on YouTube as well I went to a pharmacy yesterday looking for something different but they had one of those, you know, printing machines, vending, kiosk… whatever the name is I copied a photo from my phone, printed that photo Here, you can see it This is the biggest size I could do, a 15x15cm I don’t know how much that is in inches It’s one of those instant images so it’s not the highest quality you can get But in my opinion, it looks pretty good I’ve actually printed before images that I made with my VA and even with my phone My prints are not too big, they go up to 8x8in, I’ve done tests with 12x12in and I found these little cameras to be more than able to do that If you want to go bigger than that, then I don’t know But up to those sizes they look beautiful Why not the Ricoh GR III? Well, that looks like a beautiful camera and I actually had it in my hands before It’s something that I would really like to use But my problem here is the fixed lens, I think that’s a 28mm lens you can buy some converters to make it a bit wider, to 21mm By the way, you can buy converters for this one too, I have one in the mail coming I don’t know what the equivalent focal length will be but I’m very excited to shoot wider than 24mm with these little cameras But anyway, going back to the Ricoh, as I said – it looks like a very solid camera but the problem is the fixed lens, I really like the zoom lenses on this one and the range from 24 to 200 gives me a flexibility for the kind of photography that I do outside, landscapes and stuff like that that the Ricoh just can’t give me The Ricoh looks like a beautiful and perfect camera for street photography Just not for the kind of stuff that I do Look like it’s windy Love mine, been using them since the Mark 1, how do you find the compromise between focal range and lens speed? As I said the lens has gone from 1.8 in previous versions to 2.8 on the mark 6 and 7 So it’s more than one stop slower and that obviously has consequences when you’re shooting in low light You have to crank the ISO or use slower shutter speeds and also the bokeh as you can see, if I was recording this with the VA the background would be blurrier This comes down once again to your needs and what you are looking for in a camera This one can do everything I need to do 99% of the time Of course if I’m going to be doing some night photography, or some low-light photography then I would grab the VA or even the a6500 because this one is not the perfect camera for those conditions Do you miss the old 24-70 lens? So once again, this comes down to the speed of the lenses, I do not miss it I really like the 200mm reach of this camera And I still have the VA, so I use them both and sometimes I even bring them both with me Because they are so tiny that I can fit them both in my pocket, so it’s not a problem Why did you choose that over a full frame? That’s a very big question that I think I should make a video about I haven’t shot full frame in a long time, it actually disappointed me when I bought the a7II, I think it was I didn’t find that the improvement in image quality is worth the extra cost, the added size and weight I really love the smaller footprint of the these cameras They are actually not as sharp as a full frame but I think that that renders a more beautiful image that goes more with my style because they look more like drawings or paintings… I know, it might sound a little bit silly, but I find it to be true I like that more than the crispness or whatever you want to call it, from full frame Some more questions, about the price Is it worth the price? I’d say so, it looks like you get your money’s worth having had the last one for so long Yes, I do use these cameras a lot I bring them with me everywhere, if I’m going out for dinner, have a coffee if I’m just going to the grocery store They always come with me because they fit in my pocket That’s the amazing thing about them Why not the RX1 instead? It has better image quality That is an amazing camera but once again, it’s a fixed lens camera I can’t zoom in or out, it’s a full-frame camera so the image quality I’m sure it’s amazing but it’s also much, much more expensive What is it like to take photos with it in full manual mode? Well, I don’t know because I shoot in P mode, at most Aperture or Shutter Speed priority But I would say that not very easy, because it has a very limited controls It’s a very tiny camera and they are tiny buttons and dials, I just wouldn’t do it Does it come with a built-in ND filter? If not, does it have any long exposure app setting that you don’t need the ND filter for long exposure shot? No, it does not have a built-in ND filter But that is a bigger deal for video or if you want to use wider apertures if you want to do long exposure photography you want to go for darker ND filters than the usual 3 stops that come built-in in cameras you need to get standalone ND filters that you can put in front of your lens I have a 6, 10, 15 stops ND filters, so that allows me to create very long exposures even during the day Ok, it’s been a very long video already I don’t usually do these kind of videos, camera gear review, first impression thing I really wanted to share this with you though, because I’m really excited about this camera It’s a powerful tool, I’m going to create a bunch of images and videos with this one because it’s going to come with me everywhere from now on I’m going to be using it as a complement to all the camera gear that I already have not only my other compact cameras, but my aps-c and even my bronica So it’s going to be there with me all the time because it doesn’t take any space in my backpack And the good thing about these cameras is that when you buy it, you’re buying a complete system You don’t need new lenses, you don’t need anything You don’t need to carry with you stuff to clean the sensor or anything like that It’s almost hassle-free, it fits in your pocket and as long as you have space in your memory card and a fully charged battery It’s going to do a good job no matter what you throw at it As I said, if you have any questions or if you have any comments or anything to say about this camera, please leave a comment down below and that’s all from Italy, we got here yesterday to a beautiful town called Arco just on the shore of Garda Lake, it looks beautiful around here Today, we got a very nasty day, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get out there in the next few days and create some good images around here If I do, they’ll be coming to your screen very very soon Until then, thank you so much for watching and see you in the next one

Create for the sake of it

Create for the sake of it


Hello everyone from beautiful Lago di Garda, in Italy As you can see, I’m taking some long exposures back there I just wanted to share a quick thought with you today, and it’s this one This week, I’ve had a few conversations with a few people about the same topic about the meaning behind my work and why I create what I create That’s a very good question But I don’t know if I have a real answer to it or if an answer is necessary at all I believe that creating -almost no matter what- makes humans happy At least that’s what it does to me I am happier when I’m out here taking photos or even back at home editing videos and editing photos because that’s still creating at that point Sometimes we like to make things more complicated than they should be Maybe creating should be the goal, the purpose creating for the sake of it We don’t need a grandiose project, we don’t need to change the world with our images We just need to get out here and create something because that’s going to make us happy The great thing about photography is that is a very democratic art form You don’t need special skills, you don’t have to go to school You just need a camera, it doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be big You don’t need a darkroom anymore and everyone can afford now shooting photos Photography has become more accessible, it has become more democratic, every has access to it now Some people don’t like that, I love it and I think we should stop overthinking things We should just get out there and start capturing the world the way we see it and share it with everyone else So don’t wait for inspiration, don’t wait until you have a grandiose project or a purpose for your photography Get out there and start capturing the world the way you see it, capture the beauty that you see or the ugly that you see, whatever you feel like creating That’s the important thing: create something That was my quick thought for today I’m going to keep taking more photos here because this place is just beautiful I mean, look at this Okay, thank you for watching, see you in the next one

How I select my best images

How I select my best images


You might have noticed that I shoot a lot. I mean, I take a lot of pictures. and if you are anything like me, you know that going through hundreds or even thousands of pictures from a trip to select the best ones can be a very daunting task but fear not, because over time I’ve developed a process that is relatively fast and painless to select my best images and I wanted to share it with you in this video I use Lightroom CC for this but you can use any software that allows you to organize your photos in albums or folders or anything like that you can even use regular folders in your hard drive The idea is very, very simple. But before I even start going through the images I like to wait. Some times it’s just a few days, sometimes it’s a much longer time. For example, I only recently went through the images that I made well over a year ago in South Dakota at the Badlands National Park The reason why I wait is because images take some effort and time to make And some of them require a lot of time and a lot of effort Maybe we had to drive really far away, maybe we had to go on a hard hike Things like that that might trick us into thinking that the images are better than they really are The goal here is to look at our own images the way a stranger would look at them as much as we can, of course the reason is because everyone is going to look at them that way if we are lucky enough to have anyone looking at them, but if we do have someone looking at them they are going to look at them that way only you know what it took to make that image, the effort and the time that it took I believe that if we can look at our images that way we are going to be better at selecting the best ones ok, so once we are not attached to them anymore, it’s time to start selecting the photographs the way I do this is, instead of making a selection from the huge, very big set of original images, I like to narrow them down in a series of steps, and after each of those steps I have fewer and fewer images until I end up having just a handful of images hopefully the best ones I have several folders that represent each of those steps. I call them #0, #1, #2, #3… you get the idea I have 4, but you can have as many as you need let me show how this would work with a quick example of some images that I took at the Great Sand Dunes Ntl Park in Colorado as you can see I have these 7 that are very similar to each other the reason why I have so many of the same composition is because the light kept changing if you watched the video you might remember there were some clouds that were moving really quick and that were creating a lot of patterns on the sand so I kept taking more photos because I liked this composition a lot and it was changing really quick all of them are in the folder called #0, that’s the first step I’ve already made the selection here but what I’d do I would look at them, as you can see they already have flags, rejected and picked I’ve already gone through these ones, but that’s what I’d do From these 7, I chose 4 those are the ones that I like the most I select them and move them to the next step that is folder #1 I remove them from folder #0 and the ones that I don’t like, I just delete them, so they are gone those 4 go to the next step in the next step, I’ll narrow those 4 down even further hopefully getting 3, 2, or even just 1 to the next step and this is not always an easy decision to make I don’t dwell on this, I don’t spend a lot of time at least in the first steps of the process I’m very quick and if I have to move 4 or 5 or 6 images that are very similar to each other to the next step, I will because I’ll have more time and many fewer images to select from in the next few steps the goal here is to move quickly and narrow those photographs down from hundreds to just dozens or even fewer than that as you can see the final step of the process is a folder that I call “to publish” every image that makes it that far is going to make it to my website, I consider my website to be the main repository for my work, it’s where I publish all of them I post images on Instagram, Twitter and here on YouTube but most of those haven’t gone through this whole process, it’s just a quick selection that I do just to share more in real time my work I work further on those images, I edit them a little bit more some of them will never make it to my website My website is the final goal here. And the prints, of course. This is basically it, how I go from a lot of photographs… for example this most recent road trip I don’t have the exact number but it was somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 photos that I took I’m down now to 1,000 photos, that will go down to probably 100 or 200 in the next step and hopefully I’ll end up with 50-60 images from 3 weeks of shooting across the Southwest and that’s how I do it, how I go from a lot of pictures to just a handful of them without going crazy I’d love to hear from you, if you shoot a lot, how do handle that? How do you select the best images? Do you do something similar? You just go insane every time you have to do it? This is it, I hope you found this video helpful Thank you so much for watching, and see you in the next one!