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Anatomy of a photo: The silly faces project

The silly faces project I recently published this photo on Flickr (click here to view larger) and it received a lot of interest so I thought I’d share how I made it. Taking 64 photos like this may look like a lot of work but it can actually be done quite easily. Here’s how I did it.

First of all, I used two flashes for lighting. An on camera SB-800 with diffusion dome pointed up and back and an off-camera SB-600 bounced into an umbrella to the right of the camera. You can do this without fancy lighting equipment. The important thing to remember is simply that the lighting must be consistent from shot to shot.

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How camera lenses are made

From the markings on the barrels, these appear to be lenses made by JML Optical. It shows how painstaking it is to make high quality lenses. I thought it was interesting to see the strange mix of high-tech (vacuum chambers and electron beams) and low-tech (wooden sticks and plastic cups) manufacturing methods used in the production of one lens.

via kottke.org

Airsick: Short film from 20,000 still images


As part of its Earth Hour feature, The Toronto Star is hosting a short film created to highlight human impact on the environment and specifically on the air we breathe.

Twenty days. Twenty thousand still images. A single message. Toronto Star photographer Lucas Oleniuk captures the issue of global warming in a video created entirely by using still images.

Because it was made with still images, the entire film consists of time-lapse sequences. It’s a beautiful example of time-lapse photography. Photojojo recently did a good tutorial on time-lapse you should check out if you are interested in giving it a try.

Watch video

Camera Lens Rentals opens its doors

Lenses If you ever need to rent a lens you certainly can’t complain about a lack of options. A few months ago I reviewed 8 online lens rental stores and now we can add the aptly named Camera Lens Rentals to the list.

This new store is strictly Canon with a fair selection of standard, wide and telephoto lenses. They follow the standard rental model. Prices are fairly competitive and they offer an optional damage waiver for a few dollars more. In addition, they are currently promoting a “3 clicks special” where you rent three lenses and get your fourth rental for free.

For their grand opening, they’re offering 15% off your first rental with the discount code GRANDOPEN.

Also, be sure to check out my reviews of competing services Rent Glass and Zip Lens.

Ice Cold Photography

npsmall.jpg I spent this past weekend in Chicago and, as you may know, it was FREEZING in Chicago this past weekend. But since a mere 6 months ago I was living in Alaska I know that extreme cold doesn’t mean I can’t take my camera out and I now have some lovely photos of very cold Chicago dwellers. For those of you that have never yet ventured out with your camera at 25 below but think you might be brave enough this winter here are a few tips:

Use A UV Filter
They are a hell of a lot cheaper to replace than a lens. Extreme cold makes glass more brittle, last winter I was out shooting at -30F, put my camera down, gently, and the UV filter simply shattered. But it cost ten bucks to replace so I didn’t have to be too worried!

Get A Good Camera Bag and Heat It!
A decent camera bag is a worthwhile investment anyway but especially if you do a lot of outdoor photography. In the cold it’ll offer some protection by itself and you can make it even better by padding around the camera with hand or foot warmers (they cost about $2 at sports stores). Wrap them in a thin cloth first to protect the camera in case they leak little carbon particles.

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