Weekend reading

Superhero photographer Michael Muller shares an inside look at the secrets of his craft.

Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua apologizes for publishing a doctored, award-winning photograph. One wonders how many doctored photos are never discovered...

Want to take your camera swimming? Here's some info about a DIY waterproof camera enclosure (via Lifehacker). Um, I ain't gonna try it. Let us know how it goes if you do.

Photos of camouflaged people by Desiree Palmen. Annoying popup windows but the pictures are worth it. Here and here. Click for more interesting projects from the artist.

Many photos from Steve Jurvetson in this video presentation about his most awesome hobby: launching model rockets.

Nikon have launched a redesigned NikonUSA.com website and a companion blog with the goal of "creating a place where you can learn, explore and get inspired."

Chang W. Lee, a photographer for The Times, got a rare outsider's glimpse of North Korea during a trip he took as part of a contingent of journalists traveling with the New York Philharmonic for a landmark concert.

Have a good weekend!

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Learning Composition: The Rule of Thirds

Rule of thirdsWhether you're feeling artistic or not, good composition is important for making images that resonate with viewers. Everything else being equal, poor composition can create an itch in a viewer---a subconscious and annoying one that can't be scratched.

Composition in photography refers to the arrangement of elements in an image. Those elements can be subjects, foreground, background, and props. They can also be color, focus, and balance.

It can be a difficult concept to grasp which is why people invented "the rule of thirds." Here's what Wikipedia says about the Rule:

The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb in photography and other visual arts such as painting and design. The rule states that an image can be divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines. The four points formed by the intersections of these lines can be used to align features in the photograph. Proponents of this technique claim that aligning a photograph with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the photo than simply centering the feature would. -- The Rule of Thirds, Wikipedia

The theory is that aligning your subject along one of the lines or at an intersection makes a stronger composition. Let's see how that works out in the example below:

Read more...

Interesting reading from around the web

Amy of Shooting the Kids has been taking her camera with her everywhere while working on her Year in Pictures project.

The New York Times has an interesting piece about Kevin Rivoli's project photographing the life that Rockwell depicted.

Toonyphotos.com offers some free software that lets you easily give your photographs a cartoon-like appearance (similar to the movie A Scanner Darkly). Windows/Linux.

Slightly Out of Focus shows us a neat lamp from IKEA that provides a ton of creative lighting options.

Looking for online storage and backup? ADrive offers 50GB of storage for free.

Finally, a success story about a photographer who won $19,462 in a somewhat bizarre copyright infringement case.

Tethered shooting on Ubuntu Linux using gPhoto2


Photo by Jacob Garcia

My D70, like most digital cameras, has a USB port that allows me to connect it to my computer and download photos. Many cameras also allow you to control them using your computer when they are connected. This is called tethered shooting. You click the shutter and a few seconds later the photo is displayed in all its glory on your big screen monitor. This can come in extremely handy in studio situations. It's a great trick for quickly checking that you're capturing the shots you want without squinting at a 2 or 3 inch LCD.

On a lark it occurred to me to do something goofy with my camera (more on that in a minute). On the way to crazy town I came up with a way to do basic tethered shooting on Linux.

Read more...

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