A How-To for Black and White Photography

By jgmurphy88 in Articles and Tips on Mar 8, 2015

Black and white photos have long held the imagination as artistic portrayals of subjects. While it can certainly look striking, a monochrome color pallet isn't what you want for every image. There are certain elements and conditions that can create a spectacular black and white image.

Dyrholaey Iceland
Photo by Gordon Murphy

A Basic Guide to Long Exposures

Creating interesting effects with an ND filter

By jgmurphy88 in Articles and Tips on Jan 22, 2015

Long exposure photography is a trend on the rise, with a lot of people trying out this technique now that the tools to do so are becoming more accessible. Long exposures have gotten a lot of attention in landscape magazines, and on photo sharing sites. Long exposures are a really unique effect achieved by letting your camera shutter remain open to soak up light, which has the added effect of capturing movement if any parts of the image aren't stationary.

When to Shoot

Long exposures really shine in a couple areas: capturing things in motion, and enhancing lights already present, bringing out even dim sources. There are a few subjects that always make for good shots. Long exposures can make water look like mist, streak clouds across the sky, and leave trails with any kind of light in motion. Car headlights leave bright trails across the image, and with a long enough exposure you can actually capture the stair trails as the Earth rotates.

Landscape Photography: How to Expose for Mixed Lighting

By jgmurphy88 in Articles and Tips on Dec 10, 2014

Landscape photography can be very rewarding when done well, but getting that perfect shot comes with its fair share of difficulties, perhaps the largest of which is that you have virtually no control over the environment and lighting. Often when you're trying to take a really wide shot, you'll run into problems with mixed lighting, and it becomes difficult to take your shot so that you don't have underexposed shadows or overexposed highlights in the photo. There's not much you can do about changing the lighting, other than pick your time of day and look up weather forecasts, but you can compensate for some issues by setting your exposure properly. This is especially prominent if you're shooting at noon, when the sun is stronger and you’re working with harsher shadows with faster falloff. It’s the reason a lot of people opt for the golden hour because the quality of the light is easier to work with.

HDR sunset

Digital Camera Sales Trends

A declining trend that's slowly stabilizing

By jgmurphy88 in Photokina 2014 on Sep 22, 2014

With Photokina wrapping up, many of you are probably considering one of the great new options announced during the event. Before making your choice, take a look at some of the data we've compiled on the camera market.

The camera market is changing, and has been for the past few years. Sales of digital cameras have shrunk globally over the past few years, with shipping numbers peaking at 11 million in March of 2012. Compare this to just over 3 million digital cameras shipped in March of this year:

Digital Camera Sales

There are multiple factors tied into this, the largest of which is that digital cameras, in some form or another, are more widely available. The chief competitor is smartphones. With nearly everyone carrying around a digital camera in their pocket everywhere they go, there's less demand for a dedicated camera.

Pros and Cons of 4K Camera Options

Ultra-high resolution video

By jgmurphy88 in Gear Guides on Aug 2, 2014

4K technology has made a big splash in the video world over the last two years or so, trying to establish itself as the new cinema standard. With crystal-clear pictures coming out of Hollywood, it's left a lot of independent filmmakers and videographers wanting access to the same kind of resolution. Though the Red One is still considered the best in the field for 4K resolution, unless you have a budget of over $20,000 it might be out of your reach. However, a whole host of great options have sprung up covering a range of budgets and accessibility as manufacturers jostle each other for a position at the 4K table. Take a look at some of the most popular.

First of all, why should you care about 4K technology at all? 4K is the next step up in resolution, delivering four times as many pixels as 1080 Full HD, with a resolution of 4096 x 2160 (8 megapixels) compared to 1920 x 1080 (2 megapixels). You get greater detail, textures, clarity, and depth in your images. Take a look at a comparison between a 4K image and a Full HD image at the top of this article to see the difference!

Unless you have a 4K monitor you won't be able to fully appreciate Ultra HD, but you will still be able to see a difference thanks to the extra sharpness and additional resolution in the 4K image.

For video, 4K is swiftly becoming the standard, and is not a technology that can be ignored. Aside from a higher picture quality, it brings a few other benefits: if you're a professional videographer, sooner or later, your clients will start asking for 4K (if they haven't already) and you need to be able to tell them yes. It's a great way to future-proof your business and your projects, as 4K viewing will be around for awhile yet. If you do any post-production work with graphics or visual effects, 4K also offers greater control: it's easier to place and work with graphic elements when you have more pixels

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