Tag Archives: Photography

Fujifilm Launches SL1000 with 50X Zoom in India

Last week, Fujifilm launched SL1000 in India. Targeted at prosumers looking to upgrade from their basic point-and-shoot cameras but wary of using and maintaining DSLRs and the hassle of lenses, this is a fine camera at the price-point.

Fujifilm SL1000

With a 50x zoom lens, it offers a stunning shooting range of 1cm super macro to a huge 1200mm extreme telephoto. Additionally, with Intelligent Digital Zoom, the focal length is effectively doubled to 2400mm or an incredible 100x with decent results. The camera also features powerful Optical Image Stabilization that minimizes the effect of blurring at longer zoom lengths.

“We are extremely proud to bring the best of the long zoom camera segment- SL1000 which is enriched with versatile functionalities and will be desired by those photographers who do not want the lens-changing capability of a DSLR, but are still keen on having total control over their images. It’s powerful zooming capacity is certain to attract people with an eye for detail.”

– Rohit Pandit, EVP – Sales & Marketing, FUJIFILM India

The camera allows shooting a movie in full HD, with 60p/fps and stereo sound and also boasts of 3D shooting features. SL1000 is a 16 million pixels 1/2.3-inch BSI-CMOS sensor which makes it able to cope shooting at sensitivities as high as ISO 12800, and ensures high quality images even in low light conditions. The advance filter function enables to choose up to 8 artistic effects such as Pop color, Toy Camera, Miniature 5, Partial Color, High Key, Cross screen, Soft focus, raw shooting mode and motion panorama mode.

Specifications:

  • 50x optical FUJINON zoom lens (24mm-1200mm)
  • Record 1080i Full HD movie 60fps with stereo sound
  • 3.0 inch tilting LCD
  • Sensitivity ISO 12800
  • f/2.9 – f/6.5 Aperture
  • 16.2 Megapixels

At an MRP of INR 29,999, Fujifilm SL1000 is a great camera for prosumers. However, with the prices of entry-level DSLRs falling to around INR 30K, serious photography enthusiasts might want to look at the latter for that extra bit.

On Film: Picking the World’s Most Haunting Photos

There are images which speak a million words — or which simply shut you up. Some shake you to the core and some just leaves you with a feeling that you’ve never experienced before and perhaps never will again. Photography — that wordless medium of expression. Photography — that capture of a moment of reality that you might never have otherwise noticed. Photography — a medium that you’ll fall back on when words simply run out!

On the occasion of World Photography Day, I present a compilation of 14 photos that have presented to me a different facet of life, in either some obscure part of the world or somewhere quite familiar. The characters are supreme; the personal touch can warm your heart; the impersonal can horrify you; all of this will definitely imprint themselves on your mind.

Click on any of the photos to reveal a bigger version, alongwith a short description.

This Amazing Camera Captures Speed-of-Light in Slow Motion

If one asked me to believe that some researchers have developed an imaging system to capture light in slow motion, say about five years ahead from now, then I would probably believe it with a blink of an eye.

I was told about the same technique today (by a friend of mine) that researchers at MIT have created a camera that rendered the speed of light in slow motion. Believe me, I literally kept blinking after I heard about it.

I was filled with awe when I read about the New York Times report, which stated that “scientists at MIT have created an ultrafast camera that captures light as it passes through liquids and objects, creating a snapshot in less than two-trillionths of a second.”

Speed of Light Captured in Slow Motion

Well, if you still haven’t got the idea on why I’m so surprised, or if this news hasn’t really blown your mind away, then consider this – The video you see below would require an entire lifetime to watch one tenth of a second of footage on this camera. Hence, it is actually delayed down to 30 frames per second, so that you can actually watch the speed of light in slow motion.

The team headed by Ramesh Raskar – Associate Professor at MIT Media Lab, terms the technique as “femto photography”, which consists of femtosecond laser illumination, picosecond-accurate detectors and mathematical reconstruction techniques.

The light source used in the demonstration is a Titanium Sapphire laser that emits pulses at regular intervals every ~13 nanoseconds.

According to Raskar –

A laser pulse that lasts less than one trillionth of a second is used as a flash and the light returning from the scene is collected by a camera at a rate equivalent to roughly half a trillion frames per second. However, due to very short exposure times (roughly two trillionth of a second) and a narrow field of view of the camera, the video is captured over several minutes by repeated and periodic sampling.

The recording is done at roughly 480 frames and each frame has a roughly 1.71 picosecond exposure time. A fixed delay is maintained between the laser pulse and the movie start time. After all the process, an algorithm uses the captured data to compose a single 2D movie of about 480 frames.

Speed of Light Captured in Slow Motion

Raskar also notes that the use of such cameras can be done in “Medical Imaging, Industrial or Scientific use, and the future for even consumer photography.” He also explains that one can use this technique in Industrial Imaging to analyze defects in objects and materials, while in consumer photography, people are generally fascinated about lighting effects, and with this we can create photos showing how photons move through space and analyze their movements.

NASA’s Incredibly Awesome Time Lapse View of Earth from Space

One of my favorite time-lapse photography was the one created by André Chocron, which I had posted about it earlier in the best examples of Time Lapse Photography post. That favorite has now been replaced with time lapse sequences of photographs taken by Ron Garan and the crew of expedition 28 & 29 on board of the International Space Station from August to October, 2011, called the Time Lapse View of Earth from Space.

NASA posted the time lapse view of the Earth from space, which was shot using a special low-light 4k camera that shows up the Aurora Borealis around the globe. This piece of footage is incredibly awesome, providing with some unbelievable scenes from the International Space Station that raced the earth at nearly 17,227 mile per hour at an altitude of around 350 km. The images were captured with a high ISO HD Camera developed by NHK Japan, nicknamed the SS-HDTV camera.

The time lapse view of the earth from space starts over the USA and travels through Madagascar to South West Australia, and also covers the Eastern Europe to South-eastern Asia at Night.   This time-lapse features stunning shots of the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis, lighting storms, and amazing images of Earth’s cities at night!

At 4:39 we can notice parts of the Indian state, starting from Gujarat and goes through Karnataka (Bangalore), Tamil Nadu (Chennai), and lastly Sri Lanka.

Shooting locations in order of appearance:

  • Aurora Borealis Pass over the United States at Night
  • Aurora Borealis and Eastern United States at Night
  • Aurora Australis from Madagascar to southwest of Australia
  • Aurora Australis south of Australia
  • Northwest coast of United States to Central South America at Night
  • Aurora Australis from the Southern to the Northern Pacific Ocean
  • Halfway around the World
  • Night Pass over Central Africa and the Middle East
  • Evening Pass over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East
  • Pass over Canada and Central United States at Night
  • Pass over Southern California to Hudson Bay
  • Islands in the Philippine Sea at Night
  • Pass over Eastern Asia to Philippine Sea and Guam
  • Views of the Mideast at Night
  • Night Pass over Mediterranean Sea
  • Aurora Borealis and the United States at Night
  • Aurora Australis over Indian Ocean
  • Eastern Europe to Southeastern Asia at Night

Find Useful and Amazing Stock Photos at Depositphotos

Most of you might be already familiar with the term "Stock Photography". But, if you are one of those, who have no idea regarding this term, then let me explain you briefly. Stock Photography, also known as Stock Photos, are professional photographs of common people, events, nature, landmark, etc. These photos can be bought and sold on a royalty-free basis. The royalty free images are not actually "free". You will need to pay a one-time fee to use the image multiple times.

Stock photos are used in newspapers, magazines, textbooks, T-shirts, consumer advertisements, trade advertisements, greeting cards, calendars, websites, etc. You might also need some stock photos in the near future, but finding a great stock photography site with a large amount of useful photos as well as reasonable pricing is a difficult job. After browsing a number of stock photography sites, I finally found a collection of great photos at Depositphotos.com.

deposit photos

Depositphotos was founded in 2009 and it is the fastest growing free stock images agency in the world. You can find more than 4 million stock photos and vector images at Depositphotos. The design of the site is quite simple and easy to use. I was looking for a couple of royalty-free photos related to nature. I did a simple search with the keyword "nature". And within few seconds, I was able to find thousands of amazing nature photos. You can see the live example here.

You can easily purchase the required images using credits. For every dollar, you will get one credit. The images are available in various sizes, resolutions and dimensions. You can purchase the XSmall image for just 0.50 credits, while the value of XXLarge photo goes up to 6 credits. You can also purchase the vector image for 9 credits. Depositphotos offers 4 different payment options – Credit Card (Visa, Master Card and Visa Electron), PayPal, MoneyBookers and WebMoney. It also offers an unique "Pay-by-SMS" option, where you can purchase credits just by sending a simple text to the given number.

deposit photos

You can not only purchase stock photos but also stock illustrations on an individual basis along with purchasing them with a subscription. As soon as you join this site, you will get a free 7 days subscription with an option to download up to five photos of any size per day. It means that you can get up to 35 photos, without spending any money. The only catch is that you will need to link your credit card or PayPal account. After 7 days, you will be automatically charged $59 for the monthly subscription. But, you can cancel the order within first 7 days and easily get the required photos for free.

If you are a photographer, then you call also sell some of your great photos to potential buyers via Depositphotos. There is no limit on uploading and selling your photos. But, you will need to go through Application process. The expert staff at Depositphotos will ask you to submit five images that represent your best work. You application will be reviewed and accepted, if the images are of good quality and composition. Once accepted, you can sell your images and earn money based on commission. You can earn a commission of anywhere between 40% to 60% of the selling cost of the image.

deposit photos

There are number of sites offering stock photos. But, some of the stock photo agency offer good quality photos at a very high cost, while the others offer low cost images, which are not even worth buying. Depositphotos is one of the best site where you can get high quality stock photos, without burning a hole in your pocket.

Depositphotos also have also launched some special programs for bloggers and photographers which can be viewed at http://depositphotos.com/for-bloggers.html or http://depositphotos.com/for-photographers.html.

Disclaimer: The following post is a sponsored review of Depositphotos. All views provided in this post are unbiased and have not been influenced by the sponsor.

Scott Kelby’s 4th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk 2011 Announced

A photo walk is a free event where photographers, be they pros or an amateur, meet up at a place and walk around a pre-determined area capturing the streets and things around. It lasts not more than two hours depending on the area. Photo walks are a perfect start for beginners  as they can get to interact with professional photographers and learn new things for better photography. It is basically called ‘Knowledge Transfer’ (KT).

There are several groups on Flickr that organize photo walks. Each of these groups is based in different cities in the world, and focus on different places and themes. Photo walks are organized every week or every month or even every year. Photographers collaborate with each other in their respective groups and decide on an area to walk. At times photographers choose a place that is thousands of miles away from their homes.

Usually photo walks happen during early hours of the day, and at the end of the event, all photographers go for a Dutch treat for refreshments. This particular time is for KT. Photographers mingle with each other, exchange photography tips, share recommendations and so on. Once the event is over, the photos captured can be uploaded and added to the photo walk group on Flickr or shared using other networking  platforms  like Facebook and Tumblr.

One such event is the worldwide photo walk, organized by the renowned photographer Scott Kelby. It takes place on a specific time every year. Every city that is registered will have an organizer who has to organize a photo walk on the specified dates. The event is open to public in general regardless of age, sex, professional or beginner, phone camera or DSLR camera, level of knowledge in photography or whatever. It just requires you, your camera and your creativity.

Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk

The objective of this event is to bring in together thousands of photographers of all ages and levels to take pictures, share and promote coexistence among those who agree with the same passion: Photography.

Scott Kelby announced the Fourth Annual Worldwide Photowalk 2011 on October 1st and 2nd. Registration for the event is completely free. To participate, all you have to do is to search for your city and click on the “Join This Photowalk” button. Each walk is limited to 50 participants, so try to registers as soon as possible.

Photowalk Bangalore

Once you have successfully registered, you will be notified about the venues, schedules and instructions by the organizer via email.

Although it is a non-profit event, it holds a contest for all its attendees who stand a chance to win the following

Grand Prize Winner Will Receive

  • Full Adobe CS5 Suite
  • Epson R3000 Printer
  • PhotoshopWorld Ticket
  • Full Library of Kelby Books
  • iPad (32GB)
  • $500 B&H Photo Gift Card
  • 2 Light Kit w/Box Stands, Clamps & Case from Westcott
  • Nik Software Suite
  • OnOne Software Suite
  • One Year NAPP Membership
  • One Year Kelby Training Subscription

10 Finalists Will Receive:

  • Nik Software Suite
  • OnOne Software Suite
  • One Year NAPP Membership
  • One Year Kelby Training Subscription
  • Scott Kelby’s Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It Book
  • $100 B&H Photo Gift Card

You will be notified via email about the contest after the event. Sign up, pack your gears and get ready for the worldwide photo walk!

Protect Your Photographs from Being Stolen on the Internet

Most photographers work hard in protecting their photos from being used by others. This is one of the greatest challenges that photographers are facing when it comes to protecting their work. Despite several techniques like watermarking and copyrights, protecting pictures has become nearly impossible.

Although the Internet has changed a lot of things on how art is shared and distributed, it has also shown a way to steal them. Thousands of photos are uploaded every day on free/paid hosting sites such as Flickr, 500px, Picasa and elsewhere. If the hosting service  provider  says that the photos uploaded are protected, then they are wrong. There are several back entries to gain access to them (Well, viewing the source code is one way).

I have to admit, nothing on the internet can be protected. The best way to protect your art/photos from being downloaded or stolen is to not upload them online. However, it is possible to make image theft harder, but like I said, there is always a back entry.

This article reveals some of the techniques required in order to protect your photos from infringement, ranging from preventing downloads from blogs, finding unauthorized usage of images and modifying your photo’s EXIF data. Let us take a close look at each of these techniques.

Preventing Downloads

Photos uploaded on your photo blog can be prevented in several ways. Here are two basic, yet useful ways – disabling Right-click using Javascript and placing images as a background to Tables.

Disable  Right-click using Javascript:

When you right-click on an image, you have an option to save it. Disabling right-click will prevent visitors from saving your images. To do so, just add the following code in your HTML page –

Place this javascript code after the <head> tag.

<script type="javascript">
<!-- Begin
function disableRightClick(e) {
var msg = "Go hang yourself!";
if (navigator.appName == 'Netscape' && e.which == 3) {
alert(msg);
return false;
}
if (navigator.appName == 'Microsoft Internet Explorer' && event.button==2) {
alert(msg);
return false;
}
else return true;
}

function onRightClick() 
  {
  if(document.images)
    {
    for(i=0;i<document.images.length;i++)
      {
      document.images[i].onmousedown = disableRightClick;
      document.images[i].onmouseup = disableRightClick;
      }
    }
  }
// End -->
</script>

Replace <body> tag with this –

<body onLoad="onRightClick()">

Placing Images as a Background to Tables

You can place your photos as a background image to Tables. Doing so, will remove the option “Save image as…” from the right-click menu. Replace the background-image with the URL of your image in the code below –

<table style="background-image:http://cache.techie-buzz.com/images/joel/copter-burnout.PNG');
</table>

Here’s a demonstration of the technique.

Right-click on both the images to see the difference.

Alternatively, you can hide your image behind a transparent image. i.e., by placing a transparent image within the table data <td> cell. This will, however, enable the Save image as…option, but when someone tries to save/download the image, the transparent image will be downloaded instead of the original image.

Here’s a demonstration.

Right-click and save the image below and see what you have downloaded.

Finding Unauthorized Usage

Recently, Google introduced a new functionality to Google Images where users can search photos by just dragging them into the search bar. Impressive enough, however, the feature focuses on finding similar photos, but not exact ones. To find if your photos are being used elsewhere, you can make use of TinEye. Designed by Idèe, TinEye can be used as an alternative to Google Image search. It is a free image search service that allow photographers to upload a picture and then search for the same image across the Internet.

TinEye allows you to either upload an image or enter the URL of the image, in which the attributes of the image are analyzed instantly, and its fingerprint is compared to the fingerprint of every single image in the TinEye search index. It then provides a detailed list of websites that are using the image.

Modifying EXIF Data

Almost all digital cameras save JPEG files with EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) data. EXIF data contains camera settings such as camera model name, lens, shooting mode, exposure and so on.

When you are uploading a photo online, make sure that you edit the EXIF data and add your information (like your name) in the comments field. It is rare to find infringers to go through the EXIF data and modify it. When you come across someone using your photo without your knowledge, you can sue them for it.

How-To View and Edit RAW Photos in Windows Live Photo Gallery

Microsoft has released Microsoft Camera Codec Pack that enables the viewing of a variety of device-specific file formats. The codec pack allows you to import, organize, and edit RAW files without using third-party plugins or applications.

A RAW file is the uncompressed output from each of the original pixels on the camera’s image sensors. RAW files have higher image quality than JPEG files and have more image information. Microsoft Camera Codec Pack lets you view RAW files from over 120 digital SLR devices in Windows Live Photo Gallery as well as in Windows Explorer. The files can also be viewed in other applications that are based on Windows Imaging Codecs (WIC). This pack is available in both the x86 and x64 versions for Windows Vista Service Pack 2 and Windows 7.

Once the codec pack is installed, you can edit copies of your RAW images in Windows Live Photo Gallery. Within Photo Gallery, make a JPEG or JPEG-XR (or HD-photo) copy of the original photo, and then apply different editing effects available. You can even use the RAW files to stitch panoramas using Photo Gallery.

The Microsoft Camera Codec Pack provides support for the following device formats:

  • Canon: EOS 1000D (EOS Kiss F in Japan and the EOS Rebel XS in North America), EOS 10D, EOS 1D Mk2, EOS 1D Mk3, EOS 1D Mk4, EOS 1D Mk2 N, EOS 1Ds Mk2, EOS 1Ds Mk3, EOS 20D, EOS 300D (the Kiss Digital in Japan and the Digital Rebel in North America) , EOS 30D, EOS 350D (the Canon EOS Kiss Digital N in Japan and EOS Digital Rebel XT in North America), EOS 400D (the Kiss Digital X in Japan and the Digital Rebel XTi in North America), EOS 40D, EOS 450D (EOS Kiss X2 in Japan and the EOS Rebel XSi in North America), EOS 500D (EOS Kiss X3 in Japan and the EOS Rebel T1i in North America), EOS 550D (EOS Kiss X4 in Japan, and as the EOS Rebel T2i in North America), EOS 50D, EOS 5D, EOS 5D Mk2, EOS 7D, EOS D30, EOS D60, G2, G3, G5, G6, G9, G10, G11, Pro1, S90
  • Nikon: D100, D1H, D200, D2H, D2Hs, D2X, D2Xs, D3, D3s, D300, D3000, D300s, D3X, D40, D40x, D50, D5000, D60, D70, D700, D70s, D80, D90, P6000
  • Sony: A100, A200, A230, A300, A330, A350, A380, A700, A850, A900, DSC-R1
  • Olympus: C7070, C8080, E1, E10, E20, E3, E30, E300, E330, E400, E410, E420, E450, E500, E510, E520, E620, EP1
  • Pentax (PEF formats only): K100D, K100D Super, K10D, K110D, K200D, K20D, K7, K-x, *ist D, *ist DL, *ist DS
  • Leica: Digilux 3, D-LUX4, M8, M9
  • Minolta: DiMage A1, DiMage A2, Maxxum 7D (Dynax 7D in Europe, α-7 Digital in Japan)
  • Epson: RD1
  • Panasonic: G1, GH1, GF1, LX3

Creating HDR Images with Photoshop, Quick and Easy

High Dynamic Range-technique (HDR) is a photography technique that is achieved by shooting two or more standard photographs, taken at different exposure levels, and then merging them together into an HDR image. The merging of these photos can be done with the help of photo editing tools such as Photoshop and Photomatix.

HDR can create extremely beautiful pictures that highlight the viewer’s perspectives, which can make the picture, look more realistic.

In this tutorial you will learn how to create or transform your pictures into HDR by tuning them with the help of Adobe Photoshop. Unlike the actual HDR technique, this Photoshop trick will require only a single JPEG image. You don’t have to shoot into RAW images or take multiple photos.

Note: In this tutorial, I’m using Photoshop CS5 (CS4 compatible), so there might be a few changes with regard to menu options if you are working with CS3 or lesser.

You may also be interested in the following  related posts:

End Result

HDR Photoshop Tutorial

Step 1

Open the image that you want to convert to HDR

HDR Photoshop Tutorial

Step 2

Go to Image -> Adjustments and click on Shadow/Highlights. Set the Shadow and Highlights to 45-50%

HDR Photoshop Tutorial

Step 3

Now, duplicate the layer by pressing Ctrl + J on PC. Desaturate the duplicated layer by pressing Shit + Ctrl + U (Or Image -> Adjustments and click on Desaturate). After that, change the layer blending to Hard Light

HDR Photoshop Tutorial

Step 4

You’re almost there. Now to make the picture look more realistic, let’s add extra colors to it. Duplicate the base (original) layer again, and move it on top of the other layers as shown below.

HDR Photoshop Tutorial

Next, go to Filter -> Blur and select Gaussian Blur, and set the Radius to around 35 pixels. Now, change the layer blending to Soft Light.

HDR Photoshop Tutorial

Step 5

You’re done. If you’re not satisfied with the effect, then you can redo the above steps to give your image a strong effect.

HDR Photoshop Tutorial

P.S. The image used in  demonstrating  this  tutorial  was shot by me sometime back. I request you to link back to my Flickr page or this tutorial if in case you are using it elsewhere.

Stunning and Inspiring Macro Photography

I am a big fan of macro photography. I started shooting with a Sony Cyber-shot point and shoot digital camera and ever since, I have liked the art of macro photography. The best part of macro pictures are the minute details that they reveal. I never got a chance to play with macro photography despite owning a DSLR, as I do not own a macro lens. However, I am inspired with all macro photographs that are uploaded on Flickr and elsewhere.

Macro photography is the art of taking close-up pictures that reveal every detail that goes unnoticed by the naked eye. It’s altogether a different world inside. Point-and-shoot digital cameras have good macro capabilities, but for best results you would require a special single-lens reflex camera.

Photography can serve as a nice source of inspiration. Given below is a collection of some truly inspiring and amazing macro photographs from various professional photographers. Go feast your eyes!  (You can click on the images to see larger versions of the photographs or find more information of the photographer.)

You may also be interested in the following related posts:

Dreamland

Heliotropium ellipticum

Heliotropium ellipticum

Honey Bees on the Comb

Honey Bees on the Comb

Igor Siwanowicz

Igor Siwanowicz

The Last Warrior

The Last Warrior

Blue Smoke

Blue Smoke

Tentacles

Tentacles

Caterpillar

Caterpillar

Dropside Down

Dropside Down

Filament

Filament

Pearl Drop

Pearl Drop

Fly

Fly

Eye of a Tokay Gecko

Eye of a Tokay Gecko

Cat Eyes

Cat Eyes

Eye

Eye

Eyes of the Hunter

Eyes of the Hunter

Cauliflower

Eye

Caterpillar – Reverse Lens Technique

Caterpillar

Red Veined Darter

Red Veined Darter

Nokia N9 Camera Photo Samples – They Rock

There has never been a doubt in my mind that Nokia makes phones with great cameras. They had this ability since quite early when they fitted the Nokia N95 with a 5MP camera with Carl Zeiss lens. Even had a beast of a 12MP camera which was simply awesome.

Nokia N9 Images

The newly launched which runs on sports a 8MP auto focus camera with Carl Zeiss optics. Compared to the Nokia N8, this is an inferior camera but it does take some beautiful pictures.

The Nokia Conversations blog recently shared some images taken with the Nokia N9’s camera and posted the images. Most of them are brilliant and look stunning. The images have not been altered from their original form. Here are some of the image samples taken from the camera.

[salbumphotos=13,160,3,y,n,uploaded_timestamp,center,]

What do you think? You can view the entire gallery on the Nokia Conversations blog.

[Tutorial] Long Exposure Photography: Writing Your Name

In my previous article, I explained about long exposure photography, the technique involved and the important features and materials you require while shooting photos in slow shutter.  In this article, I’ll show how you can take long exposed photos. In this simple tutorial, you’ll learn how to create the following effect – Writing your own name

Long Exposure Photography

Materials Required

Tripod
Flashlight or LED

You can use any kind of light source, but make sure that you can control the light. For best results, stick to a flashlight or an LED.

Setting Up Things

First things first. Get your camera and set it on your tripod or on a flat surface (make sure it does not shake). Set the focus of your camera using the auto-focus mode or AF mode. Once the camera is focused, switch it to manual mode and do the following changes:

ISO
Set your camera ISO to 100 or 200. Always use lower ISO when doing long exposure photography. It reduces the noise.

Shutter Speed
Since we’re writing a name, we require ample amount of time. Therefore, we need to keep the camera shutter open for a longer period. I took about 20 seconds to write my name. I suggest you to set the shutter speed to at least 30 seconds.

Aperture
Aperture completely depends on your lens/zoom, focal, exposure etc. I generally use f/11. Depending on the conditions, figure out what aperture suits best and set the aperture.

Once you’ve changed the above mentioned settings, you’re now ready to go.

Turn off the lights and press the shutter-release button. The camera shutter is now open. Without shaking the camera, slowly go and stand in front of it. Turn on the flashlight and start writing your name in mirror image (or you can draw/scribble something). The shutter will close after 30 seconds, so you need to be as quick as possible.

You may commit a few mistakes, but repeating the steps several times will definitely give you a result.

Now you can start experimenting with different colored flashlights to get some nicely exposed pictures. Use your art and make it look colorful! Here’s something you can try as well. Turn yourself into a ghost!

Long Exposure Photography

P.S. You need to remotely trigger the shutter-release button to do this, so you will need a wireless remote.

Best iPhone Photography Apps

There are over hundreds of photography-related iPhone apps available in the iTunes app store and it’s quite hard to decide which app is the best. Here’s a list of carefully selected iPhone apps that will easily capture/edit your photos and share them with your friends.

Free Apps

Instagram

Instagram lets you take quick photos or use photos that already exist in your iPhone, apply creative filters and share it with friends on Flickr, Facebook or Twitter. You can also tag your photos with location using your foursquare account.

Instagram has over 11 different custom filters you can apply to your photos.

PicPlz

PicPlz is similar to Instagram which allows you to quickly snap photos and share it among your online friends. In competition with Instagram, PicPlz also introduced filters to add some effect to your photos. You can view a live thumbnail preview of what your photo will look like with different filters.

PicPlz iPhone App

Old Photo Pro

With Old Photo Pro you can make your photos look old as if you captured them years ago. You can manually edit the photo or let the application do all the work.

Photoshop Express

Photoshop Express app is developed by Adobe and comes with some handful of features. You can quickly edit – adjust color, crop, straighten, rotate and flip your photos and share it with your friends.

Top features:

  • Basics: Crop, Straighten, Rotate, and Flip
  • Color: Exposure, Saturation, Tint, Black and White, and Contrast
  • Filters: Sketch, Soft Focus, and Sharpen
  • Effects: Vibrant, Pop, Border, Vignette Blur, Warm Vintage, Rainbow, White Glow, and Soft Black and White
  • Borders: Rectangle, Rounded, Oval, Soft Edge, Vignette, Rough Edge, Halftone, and Film Emulsion

Picture Effect Magic

Picture Effect Magic can transform your photos into retro photo or a picture drawn by a pencil or paints, or done in a Modern Art style by tap of a button. You can add cool filters like Vertical Quad and Subtense which you cannot find on any other app.

Paid Apps:

Camera+

Camera+ shooting modes and high quality effects brings in the DSLR feeling. Camera+ has key feature like a stabilizer timer and take photos in burst mode. It has 6× higher quality zoom with ability to adjust photos by flipping, rotating and cropping it.

Camera+ lets you share your photos on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and even email.

The app is available for $0.99

Magic Shutter

Magic Shutter focuses on leaving the camera shutter open and easily take long exposure and repeated exposure photos.

Here’s a video tutorial shared by Anistar App Studio

Magic Shutter costs $2.99

ToonPAINT

ToonPAINT allows you to easily create awesome looking cartoon-paintings with your photos and give them a fun animated look. The app offers the ability to change colors by double tapping on the color splat.

ToonPaint iPhone App

It costs $1.99

Pro HDR

This app allows you to shoot an auto HDR just like the Apple built-in version, but allows you to capture 3 or more photos. Pro HDR captures images exposed for the highlights and another exposed for the shadows. It then merges the images to give you a 3- or 5-megapixel HDR image.

The app costs $1.99

360 Panorama

Panorama is very popular feature on most digital camera. This feature allows you to take multiple photos of a horizontal landscape which are later combined together to form one picture.

Its usually very difficult to capture multiple pictures and combining them together. This iPhone app makes your life easy. It automatically combines all the pictures for your and generates the final picture.

360 Panorama

It costs $0.99

TimeLapse

TimeLapse is the professional choice for automating the iPhone and iPod’s camera to help create time lapse photo sequences. It is used to create HD videos on your iPhone and store full size, GPS tagged, photos in the photo library for later downloading.

TimeLapse is available for $1.99

Here’s a example Time Lapse video

iPhone Graduates as Serious Photography Tool with iOS5 Updates

Apple’s iPhone has been the weapon of choice for many photography enthusiasts. iPhone 4 has already reached second place for all the photos uploaded to Flickr.

iPhone4 is second most popular camera on Flickr photo sharing site.
iPhone4 is second most popular camera on Flickr.

With the announcement of features geared for photography in iOS5, Apple has made sure this upward trend continues.

What’s New?

Apple announced at WWDC on 6th June, these features for photography included in iOS 5:

iOS5 New Features - Access from lock screen and volume up button as shutter release.
iOS 5 New Features - Access from lock screen and volume up button as shutter release.
iOS5 New Features - Compose pictures better with zoom and focus+exposure lock
iOS 5 New Features - Compose pictures better with zoom and focus+exposure lock
  1. Most interesting is the ability to click a photo using volume-up button in iPhone 4. This may seem trivial, but it makes clicking photos in landscape (horizontal) mode much easier than before. Camera+ a third-party app had enabled this feature previously, now it is built into iOS.
  2. You can now get to the camera app from lock screen right away. No unlocking necessary. iPhone drops you into a restricted camera app, so if a friend picks up your iPhone they cannot see previously clicked photos, not even the ones they click. This feature is great to snap those brief moments of brilliance that were missed before.
  3. Pinch to zoom now works when you are shooting! Of course, it is digital zoom, but being able to compose better is an added advantage.
  4. While we’re talking about composing, iOS5 also brings in composition overlay for rule-of-thirds. To use, turn the grid overlay on and align horizontal and vertical lines in photograph along the grid lines – better composed photos guaranteed!
  5. Auto-focus and exposure lock is a feature most photographers use on a daily basis. It lets you focus on a subject and expose well for the scene by moving the frame around till you get that sweet spot and then lock the settings with a long press on the screen; now you are free to compose the frame to your liking without losing the focus and exposure settings.
  6. Photo stream sync. This will work it’s magic if you have photo stream enabled in iCloud. All the photos you take on your iPhone will be synchronized across all other devices. The only catch seems that once it is enabled, your iPhone will only keep the latest 1000 photos while the desktop computer will hold all photos.
  7. And finally, the post-production also gets an overhaul with new editing features such as crop, rotate, red-eye reduction and one-click enhance.

All these features certainly put iPhone in the league of portable cameras, and with features like in-phone editing, iCloud and iMessage to accompany the camera… it goes beyond what portable cameras can do!

London80GigaPixels: The Largest 360 Panorama In The World

A picture is worth a thousand words. How about a picture that is 80 Giga Pixels and is claimed to be the largest 360 panorama image ever created? This gigantic panorama has been created by Jeffrey Martin and captures a very large part of the city of London.

The panorama is hosted at 360Cities and provides a great opportunity to tour the city of London without leaving your couch. The best way to enjoy the image is to click on the start tour button which will then take you through different parts of the city allowing you to enjoy several landmarks and monuments. On the other hand, if landmarks are what interest you, you can also click on the landmarks button which will display a thumbnail list of around 15 different landmarks in the city of London. Clicking on any of the thumbnails will then take the image to that exact location.

You can also use the mouse arrows to move around and zoom-in and zoom-out to a great degree. The quality and clarity of the image is pretty decent even at the most detailed level. 360Cities also has panraomas from other major cities of the world giving you a 360 degree tour right from your desktop.