Worldwide Pinhole Day

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day
April 28th, 2013

pinhole7The last Sunday of every April is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day and this year that date falls on April 28th. The day is set aside each year to celebrate the wonders of images created by pinhole camera or, camera obscura.

pinhole0

The WPPD site offers plenty of information regarding the history, technique, and construction of pinhole cameras. It also has a gallery where photographers can upload their photos and view others’ work from around the world. The only stipulation is that photographs must be created with a lensless camera on April 28th, 2013.

pinhole1

Pinhole cameras can be constructed from most any container that can be made light-tight. Cameras have been fashioned from oatmeal boxes, pringle cans, large trucks, and even an airplane hanger! It’s photography at it’s most basic and a welcome respite from today’s high-tech gadgetry.

pinhole2

If you missed this years event, the next Worlwide Pinhole Photography Day is April 29, 2014.

For more information on pinhole photography, visit our new location in downtown Bellevue and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

Omega Photo
210 105th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
(Located between NE 2nd & NE 4th behind Safeway)

Phone:
(425) 455-2126

Hours:
Mon – Fri: 10-7
Saturday: 10-6
Sunday: 12-5

Call (425) 455-2126, or “click” below, for specials, upcoming classes, and information regarding our photo processing & print services, cameras and lens sales, and our comprehensive passport photo service.

Omega Photo website

Follow us on:

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Tuesday Tutorial: Sunny 16 Rule

Last week a gentlemen stopped by to visit with a Nikon FM2 and had some questions. For those of you unfamiliar with this classic camera, a Nikon FM2 is a fully manual SLR film camera that was manufactured between 1984 – 2001.  Our friend’s primary concern was how to properly calculate exposure without relying on a meter.NikonF2

This is a common dilemma even with today’s fully automatic digital cameras. It is still quite possible for a camera’s metering system to be fooled by a predominately dark or bright background, or image element, which may result in a photograph that is improperly exposed.

So, regardless if we’re shooting film or digital, what is a quick method for calculating exposure?

The Sunny 16 Rule

Still relevant today with digital as it was in the past with film, it simply states:
To achieve proper exposure when shooting in bright daylight, set your lens aperture to f/16 and your shutter speed will be the inverse of your ISO.

Example:
On a sunny day with the camera set to ISO 400, the exposure would be: 1/400sec @ f/16

Or it’s equivalent…
Keep in mind that the basic rules of the Exposure Triangle still apply. This states that if you change any single exposure element (shutter speed / aperture / ISO) then you must also compensate by adjusting another element. Therefore, you can use the Sunny 16 Rule to determine a baseline exposure and then adjust accordingly to obtain the desired shutter speed or aperture that’s needed for the shot.

Example:
ISO 400,  1/400sec @ f/16  =  ISO 400, 1/800 @ f/11  =  ISO 400, 1/1600 @ f/8

In each of the examples above, the the shutter speed was increased one full stop while the aperture was opened up a full stop to compensate. The ISO remained unchanged.

Space Needle

This is all good and fine if you live in a predominately sunny climate, but up here in the drizzly Pacific Northwest that is rarely the case.  Just the same, we can use the Sunny 16 Rule as a baseline and make the following adjustments for climate:

Partly Cloudy / High Haze  – open up +1/2 stop
Overcast – open up +1 stop
Heavy Overcast – open up +2 stops
Heavy Rain – open an umbrella, you’re on your own…

If you would like this tip and would like to learn other useful photo tricks and techniques, join us next week on the Omega Photo Tulip Photography Workshop in Skagit Valley.  For additional details call 425-455-2126, or visit our new retail location in Downtown Bellevue.

Omega Photo
210 105th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
(Located between NE 2nd & NE 4th behind Safeway)

Phone:
(425) 455-2126

Hours:
Mon – Fri: 10-7
Saturday: 10-6
Sunday: 12-5

Call (425) 455-2126, or “click” below, for specials, upcoming classes, and information regarding our photo processing & print services, cameras and lens sales, and our comprehensive passport photo service.

Omega Photo website

Follow us on:

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Tulips Photography Workshop

Tulips_1513

Omega Photo will be leading a three hour tulip photography workshop in Washington’s beautiful Skagit Valley from 9am-12pm on Wednesday, April 24th 2012.  Our sources inform us that the tulips will nearing their peak blooms that week and we anticipate capturing some fantastic images.

The workshop is planned for mid-week to minimize crowds and maximize access to the tulip fields. During the workshop Jeff and Carmen will discuss exposure fundamentals, basic composition, macro-photography, and panorama techniques.

Tulips_1541 (853x1280) copy

Tulips_1484 copy

 Class size is limited to 16 students to ensure plenty of one-on-one / hands-on instruction for every attendee. Participants should be prepared for an intensive shooting session and are encouraged to bring ALL their camera gear, foul weather gear, boots, and knee pads.

Sharon's tulips | A&A

To register, call Omega Photo during regular business hours at: 425.455.2126.
This workshop will fill fast so call today….

Don’t forget to visit our new location in downtown Bellevue.

Omega Photo
210 105th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
(Located between NE 2nd & NE 4th behind Safeway)

Phone:
(425) 455-2126

Hours:
Mon – Fri: 10-7
Saturday: 10-6
Sunday: 12-5

Call or “click” below for specials, upcoming classes, and information regarding our photo processing & print services, cameras and lens sales, and our comprehensive passport photo service.

Omega Photo website

Follow us on:

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Question of the Week – April 5, 2013

Multonomah FallsI get a lot of questions from customers, workshop attendees, and even random strangers when I’m out shooting. Most folks ask about basic photography techniques or ask for equipment suggestions and, since these questions usually have broad appeal, I thought I would share my answers each Friday here on the blog.

This week, an attendee from last month’s Canon Live Learning seminar in Los Angeles asks:

Jeff:

I have it on my list to buy a neutral density filter. Should I get a regular one or a graduated one? What are your thoughts on the matter?
I enjoy taking close up images, such as insects on or in flowers.  Is a macro lens the way to go, or is there a different lens with a tripod that works just as well?

– Pascal

OK, that’s two questions.   A bonus this week…

Neutral density filters are a valuable accessory when you need to restrict the amount of light entering the lens. This is necessary when the photographer finds there is too much ambient light and requires a slow shutter speed to record motion blur.  A shutter speed of 1/2 second or slower is a very effective means of blurring streams, waterfalls, or ocean waves for a dramatic and ethereal effect that illustrates the motion and flow of water.
Another application is when a photographer desires minimum depth-of-field for portraits or selective focus and must use the lens’ widest aperture to obtain that degree of isolation. In normal daylight this might not be possible without filtering some of that light from entering the lens.

Neutral density filters are classified by their optical density and transmission values.
The most widely used are:

ND2 (-1 stop)
ND4 (-2 stops)
ND8 (-3 stops)

These three filters can be used separately or together to produce the desired amount of light transmittance.  A more convenient and precise, but costly, option is to consider a so-called “black glass” variable neutral density filter. This  type of filter is offered by several manufacturers and is a single ND filter that offers varying degrees of density within a 9-10 stop range. By simply turning the front filter element, the photographer can dial in the precise amount of neutral density needed.

A gradual neutral density filter is a rectangle or square filter that has a gradient tone ranging from dark to clear and is offered with the same optical values listed above. It is commonly used to maintain detail in the sky when exposing for the foreground detail (or vice versa).  For still photographers, Photoshop not only eliminates the need for gradient filters, but it also enables photographers to selectively darken or lighten specific areas of their image in a very precise manner. That being said, neutral density gradient filters are still widely used by videographers who wish to achieve the same effect while filming,  but want to avoid spending long hours correcting tonal values in post processing.


Bee PoppyMacro photography is a subject that requires much more than a single blog entry to discuss comprehensively, but the short answer to Pascal’s question is;

“Yes, a macro lens is the way to go”.

The simple reason is that macro is widely regarded as images captured at 1:1 life size or larger. Most lenses are incapable of achieving that degree of magnification unless they are a true “macro” lens.  I’m a Canon shooter and my favorite macro lens is the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro. It is incredibly sharp and the “L” series glass produces excellent color, contrast, and tonal values.  For Nikon shooters, the Nikon AF-S  105mmVR Micro f/2.8  is a comparable choice for macro.

There’s a couple of alternatives if you’re not quite ready to invest in a macro lens. One affordable option is a set of close-up filters. These filters are simple diopters that come in magnification powers of +1, +2, and +3 and screw on to the front of the lens. These filters magnify the subject and decrease the lens-to-subject distance which enables close-up focusing.

Finally, a set of extension tubes might be all you need for getting closer to your subject. They are typically sold in sets of three tubes with different lengths (12mm, 24mm, & 36mm) and can be used separately or together between the lens and camera body.  By extending the distance of the rear lens element from the camera’s imaging sensor, you shorten the camera’s minimum focusing distance.  Again, this allows you to leverage the magnification properties of a long focal length at very short distances.

tulipWhen shooting close-ups of  flowers, my favorite technique is to attach the 36mm extension tube onto my 200mm lens, then compose by filling the frame with the flower, and exposing with a wide aperture to blur the background.  This isolates the flower and eliminates any distracting background elements.

I hope you find these answers useful.  If you have a question you would like answered on the Omega Photo Blog, email me at jeff@omegaphoto.biz and I’ll give it my best shot…

Be sure and stop by stop by our new location in downtown Bellevue.

Omega Photo
210 105th Ave NE

Bellevue, WA 98004
(Located between NE 2nd & NE 4th behind Safeway)

Phone:
(425) 455-2126

Hours:
Mon – Fri: 10-7
Saturday: 10-6
Sunday: 12-5

Call or “click” below for specials, upcoming classes, and information regarding our photo processing & print services, cameras and lens sales, and our comprehensive passport photo service.

Omega Photo website

Follow us on:

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube