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Posts Tagged ‘how-to

Lark publishes new Magic Lantern Guides book for the Olympus E-P1

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LarkOlympus E-P1Lark Books has published Magic Lantern Guides – E-P1. The new book is authored by Frank Gallaugher, who has years of experience shooting with Olympus cameras. The book (ISBN: 1-60059-671-1) costs $14.95 and will be available November 3, 2009.

Magic Lantern books help new digital photographers take the trial and error out of using and shooting with their new cameras. No matter if you’re a beginner or more experienced photographer, Magic Lantern Guides offer practical information and smart advice, while explaining all the features of a DSLR or interchangeable lens camera, and are written in an easy to read style. The Magic Lantern Guides are easier to understand than many of the manuals that come with these types of cameras.

You can check out the website at www.larkbooks.com to find out more about this book or see the other titles that Lark Books publishes.

— Diane Berkenfeld

[Editor’s Note: Read the PictureSoup review of the Olympus E-P1 on this website.]

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Book Review: The Art of Digital Photo Painting; Using Popular Software to Create Masterpieces

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By Diane BerkenfeldSholinLarkBookCover

As a photographer, I can take great photographs, but I can’t draw, sketch or paint, so when I first discovered software that allows you to transform your digital images into artistic masterpieces that have the look of a painting, I was giddy with excitement. Then I saw the great images that professional photographers and Corel Painter Masters have created and thought to myself, “there’s no way I can do that.” And then I read The Art of Digital Photo Painting; Using Popular Software to Create Masterpieces, by Marilyn Sholin; published by Lark Books, (www.larkbooks.com) ISBN: 978-1-60059-101-3.

Author Marilyn Sholin is a professional photographer, Corel Painter Master, and educator. She is known for her digital photo paintings, and has authored a great book for photographers who want to learn how to fulfill their painterly visions of enhancing their own images.

Corel’s Painter XI is such a great piece of software—it’s the best around for emulating the look and feel of a variety of painting/drawing media. It can also be intimidating when you see the amazing photographs that have been enhanced using the software, not to mention the freehand pieces that talented artists have created with the program.

The majority of the book covers Corel’s Painter program, although the author mentions a few other software titles and plug-ins that are great additions to any digital imager’s repertoire. A chapter is dedicated to explaining the basics of Painter, including an overview of the palettes, tools and more.

The publisher created a website with downloadable files that are used as examples in the book, so readers can follow along with the tutorials, and be able to see how the final product should look. It’s almost like being in a class or workshop—you’re doing the work so you’re learning—but you’re going at your own pace.

The author discusses multiple ways of using Painter’s powerful tools, including some great shortcuts. Sholin writes in an easy to understand tone so readers won’t feel overwhelmed. She offers step-by-step instructions for painting from multiple sources, portrait painting, and mixing media in one image. The book includes techniques for digital photo painting of portraits, landscapes, still life, and an entire chapter dedicated to flowers. Dozens of examples, screenshots and tips are included throughout the book.

Whether you want to add a realistic painterly effect or go wacky with color, this book will show you how.

Examples of different ways you can “add to” your images with digital borders—complete with instructions—shows readers a great way to add a little “oomph” to their final images.

Sholin also includes examples of painterly photographs from other pros, which is great, because it shows varied styles and techniques that different photographers specialize in.

I love the look of images that have been enhanced with Corel’s Painter software or other such digital photo painting techniques, and as I photographer, I want to be able to create such masterpieces of my own. After reading The Art of Digital Photo Painting; Using Popular Software to Create Masterpieces, I’m not intimidated anymore. In fact, I’m more excited than ever about working on my digital painting skills.

If you’ve thought that you couldn’t turn your photographs into digital paintings, buy this book—the $19.95 will be money well spent.

To see more of Marilyn Sholin’s work, go to her website at www.marilynsholin.com. To learn more about Corel Painter software, go to www.corel.com.

Book Review: Ellie Vayo’s Guide to Boudoir Photography

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By Diane BerkenfeldVayocover

Have you thought about adding Boudoir photography to the other services your studio offers but was unsure of how to go about doing so? Then Ellie Vayo’s Guide to Boudoir Photography is just what you’re looking for. The book, published by Amherst Media (www.amherstmedia.com; ISBN 978-1-58428-253-2) retails for $34.95.

“Boudoir photography is more than posing and lighting; its about building confidence, trust, and of course, producing the highest-quality art,” Vayo explains. And her book is filled with helpful information regarding all aspects of boudoir photography. The author includes an important chapter on “The Psychology of the Woman” to help the reader understand their clients better.

Within the pages of her book, Vayo shows the reader how to create glamorous, flattering images of any woman—regardless of her age, shape or size. “My ideal client is in her forties,” Vayo says in the book. These are established career women with the income to purchase high-end photography. This is so important, especially from the point of view of a photographer looking to add a specific type of photography to their business. Not all clients will look like models, so you really need to know how to best shoot women of all body types.

The book is a comprehensive volume from marketing boudoir photography services, how Vayo books jobs and sells/upsells clients, as well as posing women with different body types.

She points out the importance of shooting without distraction of studio personnel, or family members/friends. And she notes that male photographers should definitely have a female assistant present to alleviate concerns that clients may have about posing in the nude or semi-nude.

One of the great things I like about Vayo’s tone throughout the book, is that she understands that not all professional photographers have the access to large budgets for props and backgrounds. She offers tips from her own past experience—for finding inexpensive items that can be used—while you are building your studio business. One of these tips is that you don’t need a wind machine when a hair dryer on the “cool” setting will do.

She discusses various settings that can be used for these images, using sets or backdrops, window lighting, and outdoor settings, including location shoots.

Numerous images are peppered throughout the book, showing the wide range of imagery that makes up boudoir photography. While most folks would think of nudes as the definition of boudoir photography, many beautiful boudoir photographs feature women wearing clothing or draped in fabric. Even the creatively posed headshot of a woman wearing little clothing, and with a seductive expression is a boudoir image.

Although much of the boudoir photography that Vayo shoots is of female clients, she does on occasion photograph guys too. In these cases, she makes sure to have a male assistant with her. Regardless of whether the subject is a man or woman, Vayo recommends meeting with your boudoir clients beforehand for a consultation. This is a great suggestion and can help you immensely in capturing the ideal images for your customers.

As well as the sections on shooting, Vayo spends a great deal of the book explaining how she markets her boudoir photography, client booking, as well as how her studio presents proofs and final images to clients.

The author includes information on post-production, from the standpoint of enhancements that clients may ask to be made to their images, such as retouching away years. She also includes examples of various software techniques that can be used to create finished images, and the software that her studio uses.

Ellie Vayo’s Guide to Boudoir Photography is a definite read if you’re interested in adding this niche to your studio’s photographic offerings.

To see more of Ellie Vayo’s work, check out her website at www.evayo.com.

Written by PictureSoup

August 1, 2009 at 11:30 am

NYC’s MOMA Exhibits a Photo How-To

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Looks like museums are appreciating the value of “semi” interactive experiences, even if it is installed on their grand white walls in the form of a photography exhibition. In the The Printed Picture, located on the third floor of the Modern Museum of Art in Manhattan, the viewer experiences a sequential how-to on photo printing techniques throughout the ages in the form of explanation and compelling photographic examples.  While some of these images, under normal circumstances, would never find their way onto an art museum wall admittedly by MOMA curators, the displays are instructional and fascinating. 

On view until July 13, 2009, the show is perfect for the professional who’d like to try experiment with some different photo techniques as well as the novice who may want to pick a genre, perfect it, and stand out. 

Like the book of the same name, the exhibit follows the technology of making and distributing images from the Renaissance to present day digital processes. There are woodblock and engravings, but I found the more contemporary techniques inviting, such as Platinum and Palladium processing as well as the side-by-side comparison of images from different camera formats.  Augmenting the display are details of dozens of images magnified fifty times to reveal the structure of the image. The show is mounted in a way that one could easy take out a pad and jot notes for later use.

Still, an accompanying side display of  Helen Levitt’s early work with a handheld Leica of poor children hamming it up in NYC streets demonstrates that perhaps technology has no bearing on the success of the final product. Only the eye behind the lens does. It had no fancy tricks, techniques or technology. In 1943, about a year after her first image was taken, Edward Steichen curated her first solo exhibition Helen Levitt: Photographs of Children at the MOMA. 

by Helen Levitt

This show can serve as great inspiration for any photogs creatively stuck in the summer humidity. The simply written accounts of particular processes reveal how the process by which a picture is made can indeed shape its meaning, but not necessarily its ability to elicit emotion. For more information visit http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/309.  -Alysha Sideman

Written by PictureSoup

June 16, 2009 at 5:44 pm