Friday, October 31, 2008

Excellent Photoshop Tutorials for Textures and Backgrounds

Photoshop provides designers with unlimited options for creating unique and attractive backgrounds. One of the most popular approaches is to create some type of textured background, and fortunately there are a number of helpful tutorials to teach you all the tricks you need to know.
PhotoshopPoint is a tutorial-providing website with well-written, high-quality Photoshop tutorialsGrungy Metal Texture

Free Photoshop Brushes Website

The Photoshop brushes website now offers fourty free sets of Free Photoshop Brushes for free download, more detailed information on the progress of the site can be found on the news page.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

PhotosHOP brushes and textures AND PLUGINS

Grunge and dirty Photoshop textures,
Grunge, dirty, gritty, slimy, rusty, shattered, dripping, torn, worn, and whatever you think that you may frown upon in real life, is an awesome resource for creativity.An incredible amount of photo effects, text effects, brushes and textures are available for free access on the web.This list is a compilation of sixty grunge and distressed effects resources for Adobe Photoshop. Go and get your hands dirty with them!


PSDTUTSis a blog/Photoshop site made to house and showcase some of the best Photoshop tutorials around. We publish tutorials that not only produce great graphics and effects, but explain in a friendly, approachable manner.
Photoshop is a fantastically powerful program and there are a million ways to do anything, we hope that reading PSDTUTS will help our readers learn a few tricks, techniques and tips that they might not have seen before and help them maximize their creative potential

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lighting Ratios for Portrait Photography

An important concept to understand when dealing with studio lighting for portrait photography is contrast. Contrast is the difference in the amount of light that falls on the dark areas of a scene and the amount of light that falls on the highlight areas of a scene. Due to the latitude of film and digital sensors, it is the photographer’s goal to find the exposure that strikes the appropriate balance between the highlights and shadows. You must begin by deciding the desired “feel” of the final image. If you wish to obscure shadow detail and draw attention to the subject, high contrast lighting may be most appropriate. On the other hand, you may wish to show detail in both the highlight and shadow areas which would require lower contrast lighting. Once you know the effect you wish to obtain, you can begin to identify the proper lighting ratio for the shoot.


Generalcolor photography
11/2 Stops
Generalblack & white photography
Dramaticlighting, low key
Verydramatic, low key

Scott Vallance Video Tutorials

Photography Studio Equipment: Gels
Gels can add mood and drama to your photography lighting. Learn about gels in this free video on studio equipment for photography

Photography Studio Equipment: Portrait Lighting Patterns
You can change the look of the subject and feel of the portrait tremendously with different portrait lighting patterns. Learn about portrait lighting patterns in this free video on studio equipment for photography

Photography Studio Equipment: Portrait Pre-test
When shooting portraits, do a pre-test before your subject arrives. Get your lighting set up based on an inexpensive wig head. Learn about portrait pre-test in this free video on studio equipment for photography.
Scott Vallance Tutorial

Photography Studio Equipment: Portrait Lighting Patterns

You can change the look of the subject and feel of the portrait tremendously with different portrait lighting patterns. Learn about portrait lighting patterns in this free video on studio equipment for photography.

Photography Studio Equipment: Gels

Gels can add mood and drama to your photography lighting. Learn about gels in this free video on studio equipment for photography.

Photography Studio Equipment: Portrait Pre-test

When shooting portraits, do a pre-test before your subject arrives. Get your lighting set up based on an inexpensive wig head. Learn about portrait pre-test in this free video on studio equipment for photography.

Vintage Lenses on Digital Cameras


The hundreds of manual focus lenses adaptable for D.S.L.R.’s vary in price from the unlikely Sears-branded variations for under $10 to limited editions of the legendary Leica Noctilux that can cost more than $10,000.
For mechanical and optical reasons, some brands of D.S.L.R.’s work with a wider array of vintage lenses than others. Nikon D.S.L.R.’s can take scores of vintage Nikon lenses without adapters. But the Nikon cameras don’t work well, if at all, with the majority of vintage lenses from makers like Olympus, Pentax and Zeiss.
Canon cameras have the opposite characteristic. They are incompatible with most vintage Canon lenses, but with cheap adapters can mount dozens of brands of third-party vintage lenses.
Olympus D.S.L.R.’s can mount most of the same vintage lenses Canon cameras can, along with vintage Olympus lenses if you have the adapters

Pentax D.S.L.R.’s can mount just about every Pentax lens ever made and the third-party lenses that use the Pentax-style lens-mount. Sony D.S.L.R.’s are the least compatible of the major manufacturers. Those cameras work with certain Minolta lenses and, with an adapter, lenses that use what is known as an M42 screw mount.
As many of you know, the Pentax Screw Mount Lenses are superb lenses that cost relatively little. Some of the M42 Takumars are considered absolute "classics" and "gems" like the 50mm 1.4 SMC Takumar

read more here:

Fashion Photography Blog

welcome you to the world of Melissa Rodwell, a Los Angeles fashion photographer with over 21 years experience and at least that many years left in her in image making. This blog is for all of you: amateur, student, professional, gossip monger, groupie, fashionista and just simply fan. Enjoy

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cactus Hack Installing a jack to the Reciever

The other day, the PC Synch cable which attaches the Cactus wireless flash trigger to my Canon 580EX flash broke. I’ve read on Strobist that PC Synch cable connectors are notoriously weak and unreliable. One clever member of the Strobist discussion group hacked their Cactus receiver to have an additional 3.5mm phono jack. So I decided to do the same!
hacking a 3.5mm phono jack to my 580EX, I’ve not needed to use the Cactus’ flimsy cold foot adapter, which I have since removed. That left me with the perfect location to put a 60 cent 3.5mm phono jack. I drilled out a slightly larger hole, pushing the drill bit to the side a bit to widen the hole in the direction away from the Cactus’ circuit board. I used a couple of layers of electrical tape to cover the contacts on the board near the hole to prevent accidental short circuit.

How to hook up a power jack

What is a power jack and why would you want one? A good question. Simply put, the power jack replaces both the switch and the receiver battery charge jack in your airplane. No more having to deal with connecting and disconnecting wires sticking out of your plane in order to charge the internal battery. No more replacing the super cheap switches most RC radio sets provide.
The power jack is very unobtrusive (see Figure #1below). The power jack has a plug in place when you want to leave the power disconnected, or you want to charge the internal battery of your plane. When you remove the plug, you battery supplies power to your receiver. Very simple.
Some care is needed. This is a popular thing modelers do, but they often do it with substandard jacks. Sometimes even using stereo jacks. Stereo Jacks are not designed to deliver DC power ! If you are listening to your stereo and the jack fails, all you get is some crackle. If it fails in your plane, the result can be a disaster.
You must use high quality DC coaxial jacks designed for this purpose. I use and recommend the Switchcraft 712A power jack used with the Switchcraft 760 power plug. Both are available at many electronic supply houses, or online at
Currently I am using Hitec radios only, this works fine for those. Any others brands, try at your own risk. As with anything else, this requires care, and I cannot personally guarantee results. It does work consistently for me; I have them in every new plane I build.

Vivitar flash hacked with phono port - P365 Oct19

I’ve had enough of the unreliability of the proprietary cable plug on my Vivitar 285HV flash. I’ve been putting off modifying it with a phono port like I did with my 580EX, but with the help of the Strobist discussion group, I found a reference with instructions how to do it, so I did it!And here’s the thing assembled with my modified Cactus wireless remote attached.
It works like a charm now. Completely reliable so far. I only hope my dodgy welding job holds. I’m a little wary of the cable being outside the flash. One good tug and it could pull right out. There was no room to put a knot in the cable inside the hole. I’d epoxy the hole shut if I was sure I’d never need to take the cable out in the future should it need re-doing.
I’ll just have to be careful with it!

here is another link

Adding A Mono Jack To The Vivitar 285HV

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


This tutorial will outline the process involved in modifying a set of Gadget Infinity Cactus V2s triggers (one transmitter and two receivers). So far I have made three modifications; an antenna matched at 433MHz for the transmitter, a lanyard for the receiver, and an external 2xAA battery pack for the receiver. The reason for doing this is to increase reliability and trigger distance, hopefully making them a much better option for the financially challenged folks out there (such as myself).

Friday, October 10, 2008

Home Depot Week: Fluorescent Lights and Accessories

This is another area I will be getting into when I have a little free time. Fluorescent fixtures are so cheap and so bright, you can use them as portrait light sources very easily.As you can see, there are lots of shapes and sizes. Normal people see kitchen fixtures. I see soft boxes, strip lights and ring lights.More on the lights and accessories after the jump.___________________________Okay, follow me for a sec. Say you have one dinky little flash. Why not consider two fluorescent strip lights for a high-glam foreground scheme and use the flash for the background light?Seriously, you could mount them vertically (one per light stand) or horizontally (one over your camera, one under, one stand supports the left side of each fixture, one supports the right.) You'd get some very cool clamshell and/or dual sidelight schemes for under $100.Better yet, throw up a strip light as a side/rim light on each side and umbrella the front to channel your frugal inner Greenberg. (If you want to make the subject cry, shoot another photog and tell him how little you paid for the lights...)

If you are a more MacGuyver-ish, you should be able to find a circular fixture that will work as a ringlight. You'll likely have to cut a hole in the center of the fixture after having relocated the ballast to somewhere off-board.And if you do this, please insulate the crap out of it. Be safe.(Some of those progressive Seattle types are already all over this one. Click on the pic for more info.)Remember, you'll want to green any flashes you use along with the fluorescents and set you camera to fluorescent white balance. For better color, check which bulbs match your camera's fluorescent white balance before purchasing by shooting the various bulb displays and seeing which looks the whitest.____________________________Moving down the aisle a little, we get to the cool, prismatic diffusers. How does $7 for a 2x4-foot sheet hit you? (Yeah, me, too.)
DIY Studio Lighting - The Strip Light That Won't Strip You
Davide Greene - Fashion lighting on a budget
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Hyperfocal Distance is?

Do you know what Hyperfocal Distance is?Posted by: jeff in Landscapes
If you are shooting landscapes you probably should. Have you ever wondered where to focus on a landscape to render the greatest area of focus from near to infinity? If you know how to figure out your Hyperfocal Distance (HFD), you will knoSo what is HFD? It is the point of focus that will give you the greatest acceptable sharpness from a point near your camera on out to infinity. The near point is half the distance to your HFD. The wider your lens and the greater the aperture, the larger the area of acceptable sharpness.
Every lens has a distance that can be calculated depending on the length of the lens and the aperture you are using. You might have noticed this effect when using a very wide lens where almost everything looks sharp as opposed to a telephoto lens which has a much farther HFD. This is because your HFD on a wide angle lens is very close to you when shooting at high f-stops so you will have more area in focus. It sounds pretty complicated but it’s really not. For example, you walk into a nice mountain range with a field of wild flowers in the foreground and you would like to get everything in focus. If you set your lens to f/22 and just focus on the closest flowers, the chances are that you won’t be sharp to infinity, which is where your mountains are. This is because you depth of field is determined by your HFD. Let’s say that you know that with your 24mm lens, your HFD is 3 feet at f/22. By focusing at a subject that is 3 feet away, you will be sharp from 1.5 feet to infinity.w exactly where to focus your lens.

Home Made Battery Packs

If you’ve been shooting with a flash for a while, I’m sure you had some battery problem or another at least once. Like when one of four batteries goes bad and quickly discharges the other three. Or when it’s cold and the batteries don’t hold their charge so well anymore. Wouldn't it be nice if you could have a more reliable source of power? One that virtually lasts for ever (well, not forever, but for a darn long time). This is probably on the wish list of anyone who is shooting off shoe and don't care much about weight, but do care about recycling time and number of pops that can be squeezed in a session.
Konstantin Sirotkin describes how to make a Flash mod that will allow you to connect your flash to an external power source.Yes this is an external power source, no mater how bomb-like it looks.
Four full alkaline batteries connected in series will give you about 6V total voltage. Four fully charged NiMH will net you about 5V. A fully charged sealed lead-acid battery (SLA) is about 7V and it eventually goes down to 5V as the battery discharges. As you see, a fully charged SLA is slightly above the rated voltage for the flash, but in practice I’ve never had a problem with that. I believe that the logical electronics in the flash works on 3V from a regulated supply (i.e. with a higher input it would just generate a bit more heat) and the step-up converter that produces high voltage doesn’t really care about its input as long as it’s DC and above 4V.

Here's another example.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


We believe that lighting is the key. It is the basis for great photography. Learning to see light and create light is a joy, and photography is the medium of light.
This site is devoted to photography, and photographic lighting in specific. We want to feature items that photographers of all kinds will be interested in. Tutorials, online workshops, assignments, fun shoots, show-n-tell and more. We will present lighting information and lighting tools from DIY to the top-of-the-line Pro Gear.

Welcome to Model Behavior with Briana. If you would like to ask any questions at all about modeling, working with models or what happens on the other side of the lens, go to the tags and click on Ask Briana. Here is this months column (October).
Let me introduce myself by saying that I have been modeling for over a year now and have been on dozens of photoshoots and movie sets. I work with Don at Lighting Essentials on workshops, DVD’s and tutorials. Working with so many models and photographers has given me some insights I would like to share with you all. While I am certainly not an expert, my work as a model in smaller markets may give you some insights as you work with models in your area. There are plenty of books by super-models, so think of this as a column by a young model starting out.
I will be posting columns at least a couple of times per month so come on back to see what is happening at Model Behavior.
Don and I will be doing some more things like this: Here we let it all hang out. No editing… this is what we did with a black dress and you see the good ones and the bad ones, but you also get to see how I approach the shot (with Don’s direction, of course…). You can see how I take a simple pose and try to get more out of it. Anyway, enjoy.

Thursday, October 2, 2008