The “underboob pen challenge” is going viral on Weibo, and women have been posting pictures of pens and pencils held in the crevice under their breasts. Going by the proud posters, it seems being able to do this proves that you have larger than average assets. Image: Weibo Image: Weibo The meme first started in Japan as a way of showing off one’s breast size. But now that it’s spread on Weibo, some are pointing out a flaw in the challenge. Detractors are saying that if your breasts aren’t exactly big enough to grip things, you can make up for it by having a bit more flesh on your waist. This revelation has opened the contest to men as well, who are showing that some of them have what it takes to pass the challenge. Image: Weibo But some men are proving that their pecs are worthy of admiration too. Image: Weibo Some are skipping the breast portion of the race and heading straight for gold. Image: Weibo Image: Weibo Image: Weibo The challenge seems to have attracted enough controversy that people are going all out to prove that you can hold anything on various parts of your body, if you just put your mind to it.
Move Positions To Avoid Trees Looking Like They Are Growing Out Of Heads, When They Are In The Background.
It is in there on the full size file, but it’s very hard to see. Great Photography Guide, Tutorials and Videos! When you diffuse a light, you create a softer look that is more flattering than a harsh light because strong lights throw shadows on the face of your subject. You also have the opportunity to have your lesson assignments critiqued by our knowledgeable teaching team of professional photographers. Taking the Time for Portrait Digital Photography It is easy to take portrait digital photography and most people can take decent portrait images with their digital camera with some simple tips. You do not submit photo assignments for review. This I can guarantee! Set the camera’s resolution to take high quality photos at the highest resolution possible.
Andin case of emergency you can alway grab your mobile.! MAKE A CONNECTION Sometimes, whilst traveling, you want to stay at a certain place for a while. This where you should build a bond with some of the locals. Talk to them without a camera before asking them for a picture. Then it will be much easier to let this person pose for your camera, because they will feel more at ease with you. So, when you meet new people, make sure that you are nice to them who knows, they might end up in one of your photographs. TAKE TIME Its great to travel with other people, but when you want to take photos it might be easier to wander off by yourself. You can take all the time in the world to get the picture exactly the way you want.
Read More Manfrotto Introduces BeFree One, The Smallest In The Series Manfrotto Has Announced A New Travel Tripod In The BeFree Series.
Sorry,.e are photographers research photographers, not a commercial sales front. The majority of compact as well as some DLR cameras have a 4:3 aspect ratio, i.e. w/h = 4/3. 9 According to Digital Photography Review, the 4:3 ratio is because “computer monitors are 4:3 ratio, old CDs always had a 4:3 ratio, and thus digital cameras inherited this aspect ratio.” 9 The pixel count quoted by manufacturers can be misleading as it may not be the number of full-color pixels. We already have a new Canon 1GX to see if it is a good compact camera and we have our own new Nikon D800E to check out DLR and video capability. Once it is clearly and openly stated who makes the sensor of the Canon OS 5Ds and whether it is a traditional sensor or a multilayer sensor, then I can update my comments. You can see this exhibit at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St Louis, or in the flair Reports which are being issued this week. To start with, I’d be surprised if you don’t get a lot of pictures that are small in the frame. Nicholas and Sofia were in Cologne, Germany, taking notes on what we saw at Photokina 2012. Similarly, many camcorders can take still photographs, and store them on videotape or on flash memory cards with the same functionality as digital cameras . Reviews of point-and-shoot digital cameras: Canon Powershot G1X Updated Jan. 2, 2015, first posted Jan 2, 2013 We also continue to write about the better point-and-shoot digital cameras.
A few people wrote in with questions and comments on some of my software suggestions in the Digital Darkroom Essentials post the other week, and before I knew it, this post had pretty much written itself … so here you have it, 12 of my top recommendations for FREE software for photographers.
Some you’ve probably seen, but I’m guessing there’ll be a couple of surprises in there for everyone.
The big problem with any list like this is ‘compatibility’, especially for the Mac users, but also between different versions of Windows and even the 2-3 Unix users (who remind me they’re out there any time I do a post like this!) This time around I’ve tried to find software that has versions for everyone, and where that just isn’t available, I’ve listed the ‘Windows’ version, simply because that’s what I’ve got.
Where I found something I’ve listed it, but even when I didn’t find anything, I’m sure there’s Mac equivalents out there for those who know where to look. So if you do know any, or find any, please let me know and I’ll update the post accordingly!
1. GIMP. This gets top listing every time. GIMP is a versatile graphics manipulation package with most of the Photoshop functionality and none of the price. It’s open source software that’s really come of age. The downside used to be a lack of documentation and sometimes troublesome installers, but these days it is so well supported that the installation is a breeze and there is a wealth of free tutorials and videos out there. (Mac & PC versions available)
2. RawShooter Essentials: I started recommending this one about 4 years ago now, thinking it would soon disappear. As I understood it, it had been bought out by Adobe and was the basis for the Lightroom software … and we all thought it this free version would disappear quietly. The good news is, it’s still available and it still does a fantastic job of importing and converting RAW image files and several associated file-management tasks. If you capture raw images, or think perhaps you should start, grab this free download and give it a test drive. Mac Users: try this free raw convertor!
3. PicaJet Photo Management: PicaJet is a standalone digital asset management system, packed full of features and functions to make managing even the largest photo collections a breeze. This link goes to the PicaJet website where you can download the basic free version … which is excellent … though once they try it, most people seem eager to upgrade to the pro version.
4. PhotoByte Business Automation: There are too many features & functions to list here so you really should take a minute to visit the link below and check it out for yourself. This software basically handles the papertrail, start to finish, for professional photographers. It tracks your images your licenses and your accounts every bit as well as some of the high ticket alternatives on the market.
5. 7 – Zip : This is an archive utility is available as open source and is free to use. 7Z is fast, efficient and free. Most operating systems have an un-zip utility built in these days but they tend to be a bit limited … especially when it comes time to zip stuff up (ie. a heap of previews you want to email to a Client) … so it’s worth having a good one on hand, and being familiar with it before you need it.
6. CDBurnerXP is a free application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface. Everyone, even companies, can use it for free. It does not include adware or similar malicious components.
7.VLC Media Player : Maybe not essential for everyone, but increasingly photographers are using multimedia to market themselves and their work, so this media player will fill all your needs. It can handle DVDs, (S)VCDs, Audio CDs, web streams, TV cards and much more. You don’t
need to keep track of a dozen codec packs you need to have installed. VLC has all codecs built-in. It comes with support for nearly all codec there is.
8.Mozilla Firefox : Mozilla Firefox is another open source project that’s come of age. As a web developer I constantly recommend it because it adheres to the WWW/HTML standards much better than Internet Explorer or any other browser I’ve been able to test (Windows or Mac) … so you actually experience websites as their designers intended.
Aesthetics aside, I find Firefox a whole lot more reliable and user-friendly. It also makes good use of Add-Ons, free third-party tools you can download and install in seconds to add functionality to your browser.
As an open source project there are literally thousands of these, and they can transform your Web Browser into an incredibly powerful work station. Those alone probably justify another article sometime, but for now, if you haven’t tried Firefox, don’t put it off any longer!
9. Mozilla Thunderbird : Thunderbird is an open source e-mail client that is flexible to suit your personality, to give you the features you need, and to fit your work style. Again being open source has it’s advantages, and there are literally millions of free add-ons to make your email management more efficient. Two of my favourites are the Attachment Reminder, which scans outgoing messages for any indication of an attachment, and remind you when you’ve forgotten to add it. The other is a world clocks add-on, that you add to your toolbars so you can see at a glance other relevant time zones.
The other big advantage of non-Outlook email clients is the immediate reduction in hacking, phishing and virus emails. For better or worse, the idiots who create these tend to target Microsoft products, so when you use something else you become a much smaller target.
That’s not absolute by any means and you should still take all necessary precautions, but as a Eudora user for 15 years and now a Thunderbird fan, I have never had any of the problems with malicious emails that I’ve seen affect so many Outlook users.
10. File Renamer Basic : Digital photography has brought a lot of benefits to the table but it’s also created a few problems for photographers. Chief amongst those is how to manage the thousands and thousands of image files we now shoot so easily. The first step is a simple file-naming system, connected to a well planned workflow and filing system. You can view this guide to Making Sense Of Your Photo Fileswhich uses this great little utility to rename and number photo files in a logical, fast & user-friendly way.
11. Power Batch: Sometimes it’s easier and a whole lot faster to do a few batch tasks on a set of images before you open them individually in your photo editor. Power Batch batch-converts, resizes, renames, rotates, adjusts, and watermarks your photos. I particularly like the batch resizing, where you can use one of 11 example filters. There’s also functions built-in for renaming files, manipulating EXIF and IPTC metadata, basic sharpening, brightness, contrast & colour adjustments and a whole lot more.
12. Virtual Photographer : This is one I’ve only recently started using, and I love it! It is a Photoshop plugin that let’s you apply dozens of different filters, effects and corrections to your photos, and save your own as well. I find it a great way to manage the many filters and actions I’ve accumulated, and simplify my workflow. It’s listed as compatibly with all versions of Photoshop — Mac & PC, plus a lot of other images editors as well. (I haven’t tried it with GIMP, but if someone does, please let me know and I’ll update this! )
Well that’s about it for now. Of course there are plenty of other great programs out there when you start looking and it can be a trap if you try to download and test to many at once. A good rule it to only ever install and test one new application at a time! That way, if there are compatibility issues you know which program to un-install to get things back to normal.
As always if you have any feedback or suggestions we’d like to hear them. Unfortunately the spammers have been hitting this site hard so we’ve had to disable the blog comments, but you can post your feedback on my Guestbook if you want so everyone can see them!
Finally, here are two free web tools you should check out … and one commercial demo you ought to grab and put away for later … just in case!
Web Tool #1: Currency Convertor Calculator — Not software as such, but a great tool that any online photographer should bookmark … Enter an amount in any currency, select the currency you want to convert to, and submit. This is great for quick & simple conversions when you’re dealing with overseas photo buyers.
Web Tool #2:ZamZar File Convertor— Another web-based tool you should bookmark for future reference. This one lets you open any file type you can imagine and save it in a format you can use. You won’t need this often, but when you do, you’ll usually be in a hurry and seriously stressed!
Free Trial: Art Plus Digital Photo Recovery Tool : This is a commercial program, but well worth installing for when you do need to recover lost images from corrupted or accidentally formatted digital camera memory cards. It works with all types of memory cards. It’s able to recover images from formatted cards and reads corrupted cards (in most cases even if they’re not recognized by Windows).
The demo version will read your damaged card, let you know what files can be recovered … and then you can decide to spend the $25 to unlock the software once you know for sure you can recover the images files you need! Hopefully it’s something you’ll never need to use, but if you do, it will be a lifesaver!
A lot of very talented photographers come to a screaming halt around here when we start talking ‘digital darkroom’. It scares the life right out of them but it’s just not necessary.
At first glance it can be pretty overwhelming if you’re wanting to start supplying commercial quality digital images to professional photo buyers … it’s a serious step-up from downloading new images from your camera to your computer and doing a few minor fixes … but when you break it down to basics, it’s not so bad!
Even better, there are hundreds of digital masters out there on the internet who are happy to share their knowledge and experience for anyone prepared to go looking. The trick is knowing what to look for …
So here’s a short guide to the digital darkroom fundamentals that evey serious photographer should aim to get their head around …
I will stress up front, I am not an expert on any of this. I’ve had no formal training on any of this and I’m totally colour blind! I’ve simply learned enough to get by. Accordingly, these are simply my ‘personal’ recommendations for anyone trying to do the same!
1. Colour Space:
Not such a big deal really. sRGB for web publishing, RGB or CMYK for print publishing. It’s a simple process to convert, so just check your software documentation and try it before someone asks.
2. Colour Management:
This is important, but don’t let the 300+ page books scare you. It is simply a process of setting up your imaging equipment (camera, computer monitor, printer etc) and standardizing your workflow to get consistent colour results.
The article above explains this in (a lot) of detail … but the short version is as follows …
For any image: Print Size = Pixel Dimensions / Print Resolution
So if you have an image that is 4800 pixels wide and 3600 pixels high, at 300dpi it can make a 16″ x 12″ print reproduction. ie 4800/300 wide, 3600/300 high.
Looking at it from the other direction …
If a buyer needs to print an image 6″x4″ they will need a 300 dpi digital image that’s 1800 pixels (6 x 300dpi) by 1200 pixels (4 x 300dpi).
One final example, at OzImages we suggest — as a minimum — any image you submit to the stock photo library should be suitable to be printed at high resolution to a full page ie. 10″ x 8″ …
So the digital file should be (10 x 300 pixels) by (8 x 300pixels)
… which is 3000px x 2400px
I think a lot of the confusion comes from the camera manufacturers constant talk about ‘megapixels’ … forget that … that’s purely for marketing purposes!
For commercial purposes, the file your camera can produce and what buyers can do with it is much more important!
5. File Formats:
These days this is a lot more simple than it used to be but again the camera manufacturers don’t make it any easier. These days there are only really 3 file formats you need to know …
RAW …this is a capture format that the high-end digital cameras all use. As the name suggests, this one captures ‘everything’ and RAW should be used whenever possible.
The downside is the images need to be ‘converted’ before you can edit them and they can be significantly larger files, but for most serious photographers that’s a small price to pay for the extra quality and filesize. (Repeat after me … memory cards are cheap!)
TIF / TIFF … this is a non-compresed format that has become the defacto standard for the industry. This should be the minimum at which you capture images style=”font-
You do your editing and corrections in this format, and your master files and backups should be saved in this format as well. In most cases, when a buyer needs an image for print reproduction, they will ask for a TIFF file.
JPG / JPEG … this is a compressed format designed to reduce the size of the image file. It usually does that at a cost … by reducing the amount of iamge information saved, which will always have an impact on quality of the image.
Camera manufacturers often use high quality JPG by default so the memory cards will hold more photos. Most serious & professional photographers have little use for it. You should NEVER capture as jpg … buy more memory cards instead!
Buyers needing images for web use or low-end print uses may ask for JPGs … in those cases always use the highest possible quality setting, which will equate to the least amount of compression.
Some buyers will prefer an untouched original, while others want you to do all the work, so the first rule is, always check with the buyer and find out their preference. If the buyers sounds at all unsure, get them to check with their printer! If they do want a corrected image, make sure you check what work they want done.
Here are a few tasks you should be familiar with … you should definitely perform these tasks on your web previews, but leave your hig-res images alone until a buyer requests it!
Cleaning & Dust Removal … this is usually required. Enlarge the image to 400% and use the Clone tool to remove spots, blemished and artifacts.
Sharpening … there is a real art to this and many buyers will prefer you don’tattempt it. If you do, the Unsharp Mask will usually produce a better result, but experiment first on different images. Here’s an Advanced Sharpeting Tutorial to help hone your skills.
Basic Colour Adjustments … this is usually done by ‘Adjusting the Curves’. As someone who’s totally colour blind I, try to avoid this as much as possible by constantly re-setting my camera’s white point! You should have a basic understanding of this though so you can make corrections when required:Adjusting Colour Curves
Brightness & Contrast Adjustments … this is easily done by ‘Setting Black, Grey and White Points on the ‘Historgram’. Here’s a good tutorial on that … Adjusting The Histogram
7. Photo Editor Software
A final stumbling block for a lot of photographers wanting to sell photography onlines is the belief they need to spend a small fortune on ‘professional’ software like Photoshop. That might have been the case 5-10 years ago, but these days there are some excellent low-cost and free alternatives available. Here are some of my favourites …
Serif Photo Editor Plus: This is a full-featured photo editor that has all the important functions of Photoshop without the price tag. I have an earlier version than this but I found it a lot easier and faster to learn to use, and this latest looks even better!
GIMP: This is an open source (ie free) equivalent of Photoshop. In it’s early days there were issues with installation and documentaton but they are long gone now. It’s become extremely popular and there’s no shortage of experts prepared to share their knoweldge via tutorials and videos.
Photo Editor X: This is a GIMP based application package with an extensive library of video tutorials, covering all the major functions of the software. We’ve had some excellent feedback on the videos from a number of photographers now, so if you lack confidence and like to learn by watching, be sure to check it out.
Well that’s about it. I hope you found something useful in that lot.
Of course it should go without saying, these days the digital darkroom is an essential part of the photographic process. So you need to be prepared to do whatever it takes to master it. There’s no point capturing perfect images if you can’t get them out of the camera!
So I hope you’ll look at this as a starting point, explore the resources listed, and go looking for more information as required. YouTube is a fantastic resource with hundreds of great how-to videos … once you kow what you’re looking for!
If you prefer more formal training, for a couple of years now, we have also been recommending this Digital Photography eCourse … we’ve had some great feedback and witnessed some incredible ‘turnarounds’ … highly recommended!
Digital Stock Photography is a comprehensive how-to manual with everything you need to know to create digital stock photography that will sell in today’s competitive marketplace.
Stock photography is no longer a matter of posting ‘anything you have on file’ to a library, and these days the best stock is almost always shot with a buyer in mind. So this book covers everythnig from organizing a shoot to raking in the profits as the pictures sell and sell and sell again.
Sections cover capturing commercial quality digital images, working with scans from your film originals, digital delivery of images to buyers, equipment, organizing your digital files and more.
Other sections cover how to market, how to negotiate and quote prices, and tips on managing a business, obtaining model releases and protecting your copyright.
It includes 30 self-assignments, designed to get you thinking stock and understanding the latest trends in the industry, all while building up your collection with quality images of commercial content.
This is the long-awaited follow up to How To Shoot Stock Photos That Sell and it totalyl delivers. If you’re new to the business of stock, this is possibly the best $20 investment you could make in your new business.
This is another great primer to really get you thinking about ‘why’ photo buyers use specific images. It covers a broad range of photo uses, and provides many insights into that photo buyers are actually paying for.
It covers the elements you should be working into your compositions and the styles & moods that really sell. All up a very handy book for anyone getting started in stock photography and wanting to target their efforts and start shooting more marketable photos.
This is a book we’ve been recommending at OzImages Photo Stock Agency for quite a few years now … so long in fact that it’s actually gone out of print in that time.
You can usually find a copy on Amazon if you dig around a bit, and if you do it’s probably the single best investment you could make in your stock photography business.
The information is timeless, and it includes a series of self-assignments to really get you thinking ‘stock’ while you build up your collection.
There is a fair emphasis on working with people and the right way to incorporate human activity into your iamges for better sales potential. While a lot of nature/landscape shooters prefer to avoid this, when you include people you automatically increase demand and lower competition, so you should always be open to these possibilities.
All in all, if you only ever buy one book on ‘stock photography’ I’d recommend this one without hesitation!