What is a ring flash and do I need one ?

cheryl Says: what exactly does the ring flash do… show a picture with it would be helpful

In a recent comment I got the following input and I have realized that some things that I take for granted are not that obvious for others. So I will try to address this question in this post !

As its name indicates, a ring-flash is a flash light that has the form of a ring that has 2 main purposes !

Macro Photography

In macro, or closeup, photography, the ring flash is mounted on the lens and casts an even light on your macro subject thus eliminating shadows and emphasizes texture and details ! Here is a sample image taken with the Canon MR-14EX macro ring flash.

Picture by Dalantech

Portrait/Fashion/Glamour Photography

Larger and usually needing a separate power source, those ring flashes are used in portrait or fashion photography. They are know to produce a shadowless light on the subject and are characterized by a 3D “halo” shadow that appears on the background. Their obvious downside, apart from their price, is that they are bulky and not easy to move around.

Picture by zoule

Being rather expensive, people have invented all kinds of hacks and modifications to build their own for cheap and I have blogged about a couple before here at ADIDAP here and here

I hope that answers the question Cheryl please if it doesn’t let me know

Minimalism: because complexity sucks !

I am a big fan of minimalist compositions ! I like the simplicity it just relaxes my eyes but what are the “must have” ingredients of minimalism ?

THE MAIN SUBJECT

In a minimalist composition the main subject, or focal point, of the picture usually takes just a little portion of the frame answering the rule of third with a lot of open or empty space around .
This will give the eye room to relax , wander freely around the frame and then “rest” on the focal point. Make sure to remove all unneeded objects and clutters from your shot.

THE COLORS

A minimalist picture does not only means minimal elements in composition, but also minimal colors. Pick up 2 or 3 well contrasted colors so that the focal point of your picture is well highlighted against the “empty space”. You can also achieve amazingly good results with just shades of gray !

LIGHTS, SHADOWS & PATTERNS

If you don’t want to rely on colors, then a play of lights and shadows are a pretty safe bet!
A pattern “broken” by your main subject will also give you a winning picture in both color or black and white !

THE TEXTURE

Textures are a very power elements in photography and they perform at their best in minimal pictures. All that empty space is crying for a good texture.

ONE SIZE FIT ALL

Minimalism can work for any subject ! Still life, landscape, portrait you name it … With a good mixture of simplicity and creativity you will always end up with striking images

I could really write about it till tomorrow but since a picture worth a thousand words here are some wonders of the minimalism photography

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Picture by Robem

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Picture by Antoine Khater

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Picture by baboonâ„¢


Picture by davebluedevil

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Picture by auer1816

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Picture by Bright Tal

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Picture by Nomad Photography

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Picture by Robem

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Picture by Robem

Going with the grain

This post is Brian Auer’s, from Epic Edits, contribution to the Christmas Blog post exchange

I love those grainy, gritty, dirty, fuzzy, noisy photos — you know the kind. Technically they may have their flaws, but artistically they’re inspirational. To me, grain or noise can add a lot of impact to a photo and change the mood quite rapidly.

BE SURE YOU CHECK THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR SOME AWESOME GRAINY EXAMPLE PHOTOS!!!

WHAT IS NOISE AND GRAIN?

Grain is a term that speaks to the presence of bits of silver on a piece of silver halide film. They’re similar to pixels, but their shape is much more random than the grid of a camera sensor. The grains can be thought of as the little buckets that capture light. Grain on a developed print appears as a scattering of light and dark spots — which is what people are usually talking about when they say “grain”. Higher speed films use larger grains, and thus produce more “grainy” photos.

Noise is very similar to grain, but there are differences too. It’s the digital version of the analog grain in film photography. Noise is produced by the amplification of your sensor’s output — it happens with all electrical systems. In our case, this signal noise results in mis-representations of the captured light. You end up with pixels that are slightly off from where they should be in a perfect world. The more you amplify your signal (higher ISO), the more noise you produce and transfer to the digital image.

The two terms are often interchanged, especially in the case of describing a digital photo with a grain-like appearance. While noise is literally not the same thing as grain, they can often be similar enough to ignore the differences in meanings. In fact, digital black and white photos can be produced to simulate grain with great accuracy — good enough to fool most photographers if done by a highly skilled artist.

HOW DO YOU MAKE GRAIN?

There are basically two ways to produce noise or grain using a digital camera: with the camera itself and/or with post-processing software. Each method has its merits, so it’s probably best to experiment with both until you find a personal preference.

And now for a little grainy inspiration. Here are 9 photos that show different styles and uses of noise and grain. Some are black and white, some are color, some are film, and some are digital. At any rate, enjoy! You may have to view some of them at higher resolutions to really see the effect — trust me, it’s worth checking them out.

1. THE TOWER OF BRUSSELS


by Brian Auer
[CC by-nc-nd]

2. ROOSTER


by James Wainwright
[CC by-nc-sa]

3. 丝


by Sinsong
[CC by-nc-nd]

4. THE OWLS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM, THE SWALLOWS TOO


by Andrea Marutti
[CC by-nc-sa]

5. VENICE


by Stephen Jesse Taylor
[CC by-nc]

6. PREFONTAINE AT THE OTTOBAR


by Liz Kasameyer
[CC by-nc]

7. GUARDIANS OF THE HORIZON – ONE MORE TIME


by Ken Douglas
[CC by-nc-nd]

8. LONELY… AGAIN


by tread
[CC by-nc-nd]

9. FLYING PURPLE


by Ali Karagˆz
[CC by-nc-sa]

5 good reasons why I will never use Shareapic

If you are a TechCrunch reader than you must have read today the post about Shareapic Pays You To Host Pictures. As far as I know, Share a pic is the first service that actually pays you to host pictures. They will not only allow you to host unlimited number of pictures but they will pay you a $0.22 CPM to use their services.

Tempting you say for a photography blogger ? Well I have at least 5 good reasons why I will never use their services.

Tips on Photographing Christmas Ornaments


In this article of reader’s section raspberrytart shares with us tips that will improve our Christmas Ornaments pictures. All pictures in this article are by raspberrytart

There’s something magical about Christmas ornaments. When you unpack them from their boxes and prepare to put them on the tree, there’s dozens of memories associated with the little baubles–vacations to Hawaii, a child’s art project, or a friendship. Then again, maybe you just bought them because you thought they were pretty. In any case, they make great subjects to photograph. Here are some tips to help you get the most in capturing your ornamental subjects.
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