Apr 23, 2011

Macro Photo

Taking close-up pictures of small things is called "macro photography." I have no idea why. Perhaps because the small things in macro photography are generally larger than the things you are taking pictures of when doing "micro photography". If you really want to be pedantic then you should say you are doing "photomacrography".

What Kind of Camera

Point and shoot digital cameras can have remarkable macro capabilities, but for best results you want a single-lens reflex camera. These allow you to attach special-purpose macro lenses and show you in a bright optical viewfinder what you will get on the sensor.
A typical setup might be a Canon Digital Rebel XTi  with a Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM . This lens is designed for the small-sensor Canon cameras and gives a working distance equivalent to 100mm on a full-frame photo camera. The lens is specified to focus down to "1:1" or "life size". This means that the smallest object you can photograph that will extend to the corners of the final digital photo will be the same size as the sensor inside the Canon Rebel camera, 15x22mm. A professional photographer might use Canon EOS 5D  and a lens designed for full Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM. Confusingly, this lens is also specified to focus down to "1:1", but this time the sensor is 24x36mm in size, the old 35mm film standard. So you can't take a photo of something quite as small as with the cheaper equipment.
In the film world, the 35mm photo camera systems had comprehensive range of macro lenses and accessories and some medium format systems, such as the Rollei 6008 would have at least a few lenses and extension tubes. Only the extremely patient ever did macro photography with a 4x5 inch view photo camera.

Close-Up Lenses

Your eyes don't focus so great on really small things either. Do you try to pull your cornea a foot away from your retina? No. You stick a magnifying glass in front of your cornea. You can do the same thing for your normal lens. Unlike your cornea, it even has convenient threads for attaching a magnifying glass. The magnifying glass screws into the same place where a filter would go.

Macro Lenses

The best macro lenses are the latest autofocus mount models made by Canon and Nikon, typically in focal lengths ranging from 50 to 200mm. Each lens will focus continuously from infinity to 1:1. You can shoot the moon and capture the bear claw without stopping to change lenses or screw in filters. How do these lenses work? Do they just have a much longer helical than the 50mm normal lens? Yes and no.


Macro Zoom Lenses

Macro zoom lenses are not macro lenses. They don't allow significantly greater magnification than a 30mm or 50mm normal lens and they deliver low quality.


Unless you are using close-up lenses, when doing any kind of macro work, you always have to consider the effective f-stop. Even if you are using the SLR body's built-in meter, which will correct automatically for light loss, you can't turn off your brain. Why not? Because the effective aperture affects picture quality.
Taking pictures through a pinhole results in tremendous depth of field but very low sharpness due to diffraction. This is why lenses for a 35mm film camera stop at f/22 and don't go to f/45 or f/64. Large format camera lenses provide these smaller apertures for two reasons: (1) the lenses are longer (f/64 on a 210mm lens is not all that small a hole); (2) the negative won't be enlarged very much.
If you're at 1:1 and have selected f/22 on the macro lens barrel, you need to look at the lens markings and/or the close-up exposure dial in the Kodak Professional Photoguide to learn that your effective aperture is f/45.
If you're using a handheld meter, you absolutely must use these corrections (e.g., meter says f/22 but you're focussed down to 1:1 so you set f/11 on the lens barrel).


A good quick and dirty lighting technique is to use a through-the-lens (TTL) metered flash with a dedicated extension cord). A modern handheld flash is extremely powerful when used a few inches from a macro subject. That lets you stop down to f/16 and smaller for good depth of field. You can hold the flash to one side of the subject and have an assistant hold a white piece of paper on the other side to serve as a reflector. If you want a softer light, you will have enough power in the flash to use almost any kind of diffusion material. The TTL meter in the camera will turn the flash off when enough light has reached the sensor.
Lighting is the most important and creative part of any kind of photography.


With a depth of field of around one millimeter for precise macro work, camera positioning and focus become critical. If you have a good tripod and head, you'll find that you have at least 10 controls to adjust. Each of them will move the camera. None of them will move the camera along the axis that you care about.
That's why people buy macro focusing rails, e.g., Adorama Macro Focusing Rail . These are little rack and pinions capable of moving the entire camera/lens assembly forward and back. You use the tripod to roughly position the camera/lens and then the macro rail to do fine positioning.
The photos below are snapshots from the garden of the Getty Center. They were taken with a fancy Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM , but without a tripod.

Macro Photo Gallery

 information from http://photo-live-4u.blogspot.com/

HDR Photography

What is HDR Photography?

High Dynamic Range photography or HDR photography is an advanced set of photography techniques that play on image’s dynamic range in exposures. HDR Photography allows photographers to capture a greater range of tonal detail than any camera could capture thru a single photo.
While many imaging experts regard HDR photography as the future of digital photography, the discipline has long been in existence.
HDR photography is present in many pictures taken through modern day digital cameras. The truth is, if you are a real photography enthusiast then there is a great chance that you have taken at least one photo exemplifying HDR photography.
The real functions or even executions of HDR photography may be debatable. But no matter which website or source you consult they will always say it is a technique that employs the great use of exposure range to get distinct values between light and dark areas of the image. Its real intention is to create an image that accurately characterizes the intensity levels found in natural scenes. If you ever wondered why the picture you took was different from the scenery you actually saw, then maybe it’s time for you to learn HDR photography.
HDR Photography is the technique used to capture and represent the full  DR found in a scene with high perceptual accuracy and precision. To remember things better, think of the 3S: sunlight, shadows and subjects. These are the things that make an ordinary picture an HDR image.

Theory Behind HDR photography

There are two theories behind HDR photography. And as the technology around HDR photography evolves so is the discipline itself. But if one wants to take HDR imagery seriously then he must first understand the concepts and theories that make up this discipline.
The most fundamental of all HDR photography theories is to take multiple shots at varying exposure levels of a particular subject. A special computer program will then combine the images together into a single image. This is just an incarnation of the original theory during the time when there are no digital cameras and advanced computers and programs were nothing more than a work of science-fiction.
The second theory is the one that capitalizes on the RAW processing software to create various exposure levels of the same image. Modern Digital SLR camera and a lot of the Point and Shoot models allow photographers to capture RAW images. A RAW image or file is the data captured by your Camera’s sensor that is not processed yet and therefore does have color information. You can manipulate this file, adjust its color, lighting or while balance.

How to gather data for HDR photographs

Taking the images is the first stage in HDR photography. You can use a simple point and shoot camera or a fully configurable digital SLR camera.
In both techniques you will need a camera with configurable exposure settings. All DSLRs and most point and shoot cameras have this. Certain SLR cameras have bracketing function which makes it easier for photographers to change exposure settings.
For starters, you can use the following setting: ISO 200 and Aperture Priority Mode. And as they say good things come in threes, you can take picture with three different exposure settings: EV 0, EV -2 and EV +2. You can experiment more on these but generally speaking, the more exposure versions you can have, the better your final image will be.
It is recommended to use a tripod when taking HDR photo. This is because tripod stabilizes the photo camera and you need to get the clearest image you can get since you are experimenting on exposure values. The best way to do this is to use a shutter remote or if your photo camera doesn’t have one, just make sure you press the shutter button lightly.



Post processing is the last stage in HDR photography that you can really control. This is where technical skills merge with creative sensibility. And with the introduction of advanced digital cameras and photo editing software, HDR image post-processing is made a lot easier.
However, this does not guarantee that having an excellent HDR image will be as easy as clicking the shutter button. There may be times that the three or more images you took with varying exposure values are simply not enough. With this, the only chance you are left with is to do a post-processing of the image.
Post-processing generally involves color correction, saturation, contrast and brightness and darkness adjustment and other image element manipulation. But in HDR photography we need to concentrate on contrast and brightness and darkness adjustment. Brightness and darkness adjustment is the direct digital translation of exposure manipulation in the picture taking stage. If in the camera you adjust exposure settings, in the post-processing stage you will adjust the brightness.
The main advantage of process is surpassing the limitation of actually configuring your camera in different exposure levels. While some cameras may have eight exposure settings and therefore 8 different images, post-processing can simply give you a limitless number.
After the shoot, transfer the images to your computer. There is a merge to HDR feature in many photo editing software including Adobe Photoshop and above, Photomatix Pro, Dynamic Photo HDR and others.
Post-processing software also allows you to blend photographs with different exposures. This clearly increases the dynamic range of the final output photo. There is also tone mapping which reveals highlight and shadow details in an HDR image made from multiple exposures.

HDR Photo Gallery


Apr 9, 2011


German manufacturer of optical goods founded in 1920 by Paul Franke and Reinhold Heidecke in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, and maker of the Rolleiflex and Rolleicord series of cameras. Current products also include specialty and nostalgic type films for the photo hobbyist market.

Grand Prix for the twin-lens Rolleiflex

The twin-lens Rolleiflex was awarded the Grand Prix at the World Exhibition in 1937. The boom in the sales of this latest versions of which delighted professionals and amateurs alike, was only interrupted by the Second World War. Who was this Reinhold Heidecke really who designed such an ingenious product? Heidecke was the type of person who knew how to combine in the best possible way the characteristics of an entrepreneur, who was prepared to take a risk, with the vast store of experience of a camera constructor. It was clear to him from the very beginning that such an ingenious idea can only grow naturally if all the conditions necessary for this are available. Heidecke's philosophy was the precise and high-quality transformation of an idea. This contributed just as much to its of the art marketing as its inherent spirit and technical state Heidecke was, however, not just an ingenious constructor, who set great store by the transformation of his ideas. At the same time, he was his own most critical customer. Professional and amateur photographers came across him at all the "photographic focal points" of the world. A passionate photographer, he popped up all over the place, and everyone's eyes were upon him. For Heidecke never travelled with a camera from the normal production programme, and was always trying out new developments or improvements.

Rolleiflex MiniDigi 

The MiniDigi AF 5.0 is a three-inch high, fully functional digicam replica of the original classic twin reflex camera.Rolleiflex introduced the original MiniDigi in 2006, but it quickly sold out. The new MiniDigi AF 5.0, which is is available with a red or black casing, has been given some significant performance upgrades, including a 5 MB image file from a 3MP CMOS sensor, autofocus, and a very clear 1.1 inch TFT monitor, located at the top of the camera as it is on the full-sized Rolleiflex TLR.It's available through specialty retailers. Pricing is expected to be $399 MSRP.A nostalgic design feature that has modern applications is the square format. The square format means no need to choose between horizontal or vertical position. You simply look downward into the viewfinder at waist level, aim, and shoot.

Rollei 35B
The 35B is the basic, low-cost model. Instead of the battery-operated CdS meter of its more expensive siblings, it uses a selenium "solar cell" meter which supplies its own electricity. So you don't need batteries. And given that mercury batteries are outlawed, that's most probably a good thing.
Unfortunately the Rollei 35B uses a lower-cost Triotar lens and a modified shutter system. So it's a bit more basic than a regular 35. Still, it's a gorgeous camera, especially in the mint black finish that I found this unit in.
The quirks of the Rollei 35 series are well known. The rewind dial and the flash bracket are located on the bottom of the camera. The button by the flash shoe is the rewind release button. Interestingly, on the top of the lens is the scale-focus in feet, on the bottom is the scale-focus in meters. I'm assuming you could ask a repair-person to flip the two around, depending on your preference.
Although we think of the Rollei 35 as pretty compact, compare it against the 1939 Kodak Retina I - made almost 30 years previously. I have a page extensively comparing all of the 35mm Compact Cameras of the 1960s and 1970s.


meter center-weighted, spot and multi-spot meter in body
shutter electronically-controlled 30 to 1/500th of a sec, 1/3 stop increments, up to 1/1000th with some lenses, longer times with expensive auxiliary equipment
film transport built-in motor drive
handholding easy with action grip
engineering electronic mechanisms that never need adjustment, but fail catastrophically
battery constant reliance on custom NiCd pack
changing backs brilliant dark slide design
changing film drop-in inserts
resale value fair
automatic exposure aperture, shutter and program AE
film backs 6x6, 6x4.5 horizontal 120 and 220 backs, 6x6 70mm, 70mm databack and Polaroid back
viewfinder info full information; f-stop and shutter speed to 1/3 stop, reminders of mexter mode, meter lock and exposure compensation, flash ready light and battery low indicator
service 48 hours in New Jersey
film ISO->meter coupling film backs keyed with ISO data, exposure adjusts automatically
lens/camera coupling electronic, so macro accessories are simple and preserve automation
documentation sketchy owner's manual
appearance modern, clunky workhorse
"take my picture" can lend camera to novice for a few shots and expect good results
lenses Zeiss lenses from 40mm to 500mm, Schneider 60, 80/2, 150 fixed, 75-150, 140-280 zooms, 55 perspective control, 2x teleconverter
renting lenses good luck
filters Very restricted choice of bayonet or 67mm with adaptor
price terrifyingly expensive



Time can see - or photo camera on your wrist

Subminiature Photo Camera Watches - Spy Watches

Once I think I've seen everything, somebody alerts me a mind-blowing gadget like this Steineck Subminiature Wrist-camera. Thanks to Max Busser, founder of MB&F Horological Machines who shared his find from a vintage watch store in Lugano, Switzerland. Needless to say, I've been obsessed these antique spy gadgets for the last few days and have uncovered a secret force of "Submini" wrist-cameras. A wide array of styles existed over many different eras, originating in 1907 with a pocket watch camera. Others were fit into rings, some were undisguised miniature cameras fit onto a wristband but my favorite remains the Steineck, with its robotic cyclops face and potential for Captain Kirk-ian prop-weaponry!

It all began with these patent designs from 1907 for the first concealed camera in a pocket watch. Later marketed as the "Ticka"  with dummy watch face permanently set at 7 minutes past 10 o'clock indicating the viewing angle making it possible to use without the detachable viewfinder. Exposing unsuspecting subjects on a cassette of 17.5mm film and the lens is hidden by the watch crown.

An original Ticka with packaging

Ticka's fixed 7-past-10 dummy dial

The above mentioned Steineck produced from the late forties into the fifties. Invented by Dr. Rudolph Steineck of Switzerland and highly regarded as one of the better quality subminiature cameras made. Uses a 24mm circular film disk and automatic film advance. The viewfinder is a reflex concave mirror with a sharp centre line pointer, which permits sighting from above when the camera, worn on the wrist, is held in picture-taking position. Through the centre of the camera is a hole, an alternative direct-vision viewfinder.

A complex mechanism

The worlds first wrist-camera was created by Japanese inventor, Jujiro Ichiki in 1939.
1950s Pixie Wrist Camera

1960 Tessina Cameras featured the only subminiature watch that uses standard 35mm film but is the size of 16mm cameras. A rare version exisits for the wristand one with a Swiss watch attachment . Made up of 400 parts and built by Concava of Switzerland, the Tessina was also designed and patented by Dr. Rudolph Steineck.

Tessina with watch attachment

1981 Magnacam Wristamatic invented by Bernard Seckendorf of New York. Not a spy camera but rather intended to be "on hand" for active sports. travel, sightseeing.

Also from 1981, the Italian Ferro Ring camera. Very high quality and even had accessories. The lens was a fixed-focus 10mm with a variable shutter of B, 1/30 - 1/500. It takes special 25mm diameter discs of film and produces six 4.5x6mm images.
Gold plated Ferro Ring Watch with case

Here's one I wish existed. An impressive and ambitious 1940 Patent shows this K.M. French design for a wrist-attached camera complete with expanding bellows.


information from bp0.blogger.com

Apr 8, 2011


It was March 16th, 1981, one year after the introduction of the Pentax LX. The ten-millionth Pentax SLR  photo camera, an LX, came out of AOC’s main plant in Mashiko and was given to the chief designer, then chairman of Asahi Opt. Co. Ltd. Minoru Suzuki. In order to celebrate this 10 million event, on August 25th, 1981 a limited edition "LX Gold" was introduced. It was 18 carat gold plated with brown leather (also-called lizard skin or snake skin) and was equipped with an SMC Pentax f/1.2 50mm lens also with brown leather and gold finish. All dark details of the LX Gold are dark-brown instead of black, including the front lens ring and film chamber, with only the film pressure plate and the small watch curtain in black. Of course, the natural titanium shutter curtains remain unchanged. Also a brown lens cap and everready case were provided with the LX Gold. The package included a wooden box with red lining and white silk gloves to handle the camera without leaving fingerprints on the sensitive gold plating. Both the photo camera and the case are provided with golden carton boxes sporting 10million logo and 1981 lettering.

Only 300 pieces of the LX Gold were manufactured, 200pcs for the Japanese home market and 100pcs for the international market. Serial numbers for the LX Gold ranged from XM001 to XM300 (XM meaning ten million). Sales started in November 1981 at 850,000 Yen, but not all of them, were sold, as some were either given to Pentax importers worldwide or became prizes for photo contests. In 1983, Mr. Greg Peck won an LX Gold as first prize in a photo contest held by British magazine Camera Weekly. Mr. Peck was already a Pentax LX user and member of the Pentax Club UK. As far as I know, today in Italy there are only three LX Gold cameras, two of them being owned by AOHC members and the third one gifted by Api to a sales representative on occasion of his retirement after many years of service with them. The LX Gold XM028 was also shown at 5th Pentax Day. An American friend of mine owns another one (XM011). Apparently, the LX Gold for the US market had a different type of leather, maybe for import laws about leather of endangered species.
informaion from www.digitalpixels.net

Apr 7, 2011

Authentic Photo

Pinhole Photography

Pinhole Photography
A pinhole camera is created using a small box with a tiny hole, the overall form is extremely simple with no lens. DIY pin hole cameras are often made from shoe boxes and photographic paper.

Cross Processing

Cross Processing
Cross processed photographs are recognisable from the unusual colours and tones in the final shot. The effect was originally produced from developing the photographic film using the wrong mix of chemicals. Nowadays, a cross processed style can be simply achieved in just a few steps.

Street Photography

Street Photography
One of the most recognisable street photography shots is ‘Homeless Mike’ by Leroy Skalstad. The gritty, high contrast style of the image really emphasises the nature of street life.

Split Toning

Split Toning
The technique of split toning was originally developed from the printing process of a photographic image, using various toners to produce a subtle, multi-tone effect to the final photograph.

Rock Photography

Rock Photography
Although not quite a photo effect itself, the style of rock photography has become a recognised approach to creating portraits of long haired rockstars.

The Dave Hill Look

The Dave Hill Look
Professional photographer Dave Hill has become highly acknowledged for his unique style of post-processing that gives a very strong and impactful effect to his portrait images.

Lomo Photography

Lomo Photography
The Russian made Lomo LC-A camera was manufactured a cheap alternative to the higher quality Japanese rivals. It was poorly made and the photographs it produced were just as bad, however as time passed popular culture brought the mis-coloured shots from the Lomo camera into a whole new light, which is now a very sought after effect.

Infrared Photography

Infrared Photography
Infrared film used alongside an infrared filter allows the camera to block out the usual spectrum of light, allowing only infrared light to expose the film. The result is a false colour or black and white effect, the effect is particularly stunning with shots of foliage, where the reflections from leaves and grass are made visible and give the impression of a dream-like scene.

The Velvia

The Velivia Effect
Fujifilm Velvia film created highly saturated, largely contrasting and extremely sharp images, which made it particularly popular with nature and landscape photographers.

Dark Grunge Photo

Grunge Photo Effect
The term grunge has evolved from the music genre also known as Seattle Sound, characterized by stripped down sounds and heavily distorted guitars. The term grunge also made its way into photo post processing, where the key features are muted colours and large areas of texture and grain.

HDR Photography

HDR Photography
High Dynamic Range Imaging is a photography technique that produces an image with a much larger range of luminance between the darkest and lightest areas, making it much closer to the spectrum seen by the human eye. More recently the effect has been pushed to the max, with heavy tone mapping producing an abstract and highly stylised photo effect.

Soft Focus Photography

Soft Focus Photography
The effect produced by soft focus photography is actually the result of a flaw in the lens, although lenses with a specific soft focus feature have since been produced. Soft focus lenses create a slightly blurred image that retains sharp edges, often described as a dreamy or glamourous style.

Movie Photo

Movie Photo Effect
Alongside post processing, the video filming of movies often involves a range of camerailters.

Tilt Shift Photography

Tilt Shift Photography
Tilt Shift is a photographic technique where the image plane is rotated, giving a very shallow depth of field but maintaining sharpness in a specific area of the shot. One of the popular post processing effects related to tilt shift photography is known as miniature faking, where the depth of field manually added to a shot gives the illusion of tiny model figures and sceneries.

copywriting from  www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk