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Did you know John also runs a ticket printing company in the UK? If you need printed tickets or wristbands check out Performance Ticket Printers.

Monday
Oct282013

Tutorial 28, Chapter 3 - Intensify Pro Detail Enhancement

In today's show I really get into how Intensify Pro's sliders can bring out every little detail of your image and how you can precisely control where you want that detail to go.

Tutorial 28, Chapter 3 - Intensify Pro Detail Enhancement

Friday
Oct252013

Tutorial 28, Chapter 2 - Intensify Pro Advanced

This time we take a deeper look at what Intensify Pro can do to make your photographs really pop. I start by showing you how to even out brightness using the HDR Soft preset. Then we use layer masks to change how the sky is processed. Next we do some traditional style dodging and burning using layers and layer masks and finish up with clarity and sharpening.

Intensify is a brand new photo editing app and plug in for the Mac from Macphun software. Find more Intensify Pro videos on the photowalkthrough site where you can also find a link to the free trial version.

Tutorial 28, Chapter 2 - Intensify Pro Advanced

Thursday
Oct242013

Tutorial 28, Chapter 1 - Intensify Pro Basics

Today we look at a brand new product from Macphun software called Intensify Pro. Intensify takes your image and boosts the colour, texture, detail and structure to really make it sing. It turns mundane pictures into awesome dramatic works of art. Ok maybe that's a little over effusive but it's a really great tool for adding interest to your photographs and it's set to become a regular part of my workflow.

This is the first in a series of 3 videos. I'll release one each day starting from Intensify Pro launch day on Oct 24th 2013. Find more photography tutorial videos at www.photowalkthrough.com.

Intensify Pro is for Mac only and integrates with Lightroom, Photoshop, Aperture and Elements as well as running stand alone.

 

Tutorial 28, Chapter 1 - Intensify Pro Basics

Wednesday
Oct162013

The old gang back together

I must say a massive thank you to Ibarionex Perello, host of The Candid Frame podcast, for inviting Chris Marquardt, Jeff Curto, Martin Bailey and me to join him for a special Candid Frame hangout on air today. This was the core lineup for The Focus Ring, our photography round table show from a few years back. This was our first time ever actually seeing one another but the conversation flowed as naturally as ever. We talked about how producing a podcast has affected our lives as well as getting into answering some questions from viewers about cameras, when to upgrade and which photographers have most influenced us. 

 

Saturday
Aug172013

Shooting into spotlights

My good friend @petitmew asked me on twitter today how to cope with a tricky situation for getting exposure right. She's shooting a scene with lots of spotlights in it and they're throwing off the camera's ability to correctly meter the scene and choose an appropriate aperture and shutter speed.

Spotlights can confuse the camera's metering system

To understand what's going wrong we need to know how the camera meters the scene. By default the camera looks at our picture and tries to figure out where the subject is based on an internal database of picture types. Then it looks at how bright everything is, giving extra importance to the subject and chooses the aperture and shutter speed that will make the average brightness "mid grey". So there will be some stuff darker and some brighter but the average will be mid grey. 

However, your camera has more than one way of metering the scene. The default mode is intelligent and that database of picture types gets probably 99% of pictures right. But sometimes the camera can be fooled and that's what's going wrong with those spotlights. So it's time to choose a different metering mode. Most cameras have a "spot" or "partial" metering mode. Instead of looking at the whole picture, "spot" metering will just look at the very middle of the picture and try to make that part mid grey. "Partial" metering is the same but the spot in the middle of the picture is a little bigger. Sometimes there will be a circle in the middle of your viewfinder showing the partial metering area.

Spot metering is useful because it lets you control exactly what parts of the scene the camera will use to make its decision about aperture and shutter speed. You'll typically want to pick a face if you're shooting people or something that should be about mid-grey in the scene. For extra credit you might want to add +2/3 of a stop exposure compensation if you're metering off a face. Once you're metering off your subject instead of the whole scene you will, of course, find that the spotlights are blown out and that's as it should be. You want your subject to be well exposed and the camera can only handle a small range of brightnesses above and below that midpoint. 

The down side of using spot or partial metering is that you have to be very careful and steady handed while shooting to make sure the spot is in the right place. And if you forget you're in spot metering mode you'll get some very strange pictures until you figure out what's wrong. So if the light in your scene isn't changing I'd suggest using spot metering to get a good exposure then make a note of the aperture and shutter speed that the camera chose. Switch to manual mode, dial in those numbers and shoot away without worrying about metering any more. 

Have fun and let me know if it works for you!