Ultra-Cheap Full Frame: Is the Canon EOS RP the Camera for You?

Ultra-Cheap Full Frame: Is the Canon EOS RP the Camera for You?

The Canon EOS RP is an ultra-cheap mirrorless full frame camera, and as such, it’s an intriguing option for those looking to try the full frame or mirrorless world without breaking the bank. Of course, to get to that price point, compromises were made. This comprehensive video review takes a look at the camera to help you decide if it’s right for you.

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The Photos That Helped Bring an End to Child Labor

The Photos That Helped Bring an End to Child Labor

At the turn of the 20th century, the Industrial Revolution had led to a need for workers, and in the pursuit of cheap labor that was less likely to unionize, many companies turned to hiring children, often putting them in dangerous conditions for long hours and low pay. As the cries for child labor reform began to grow, one man’s photos helped to humanize the movement and spur the change. This great video tells the story of his work.

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Is Canon Going to Redefine the Holy Trinity of Zoom Lenses?

Is Canon Going to Redefine the Holy Trinity of Zoom Lenses?

For a long time, the holy trinity of zoom lenses has been considered the 16-35mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, and 70-200mm f/2.8, with slight variations in the focal lengths from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, Canon may be looking to up the ante in a major way by creating a holy trinity of f/2 zoom lenses.

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‘Ask Me Anything’ With Architectural Photographer Mike Kelley

‘Ask Me Anything’ With Architectural Photographer Mike Kelley

Architectural photographer and Fstoppers alumni Mike Kelley recently did an AMA (ask me anything) over on Reddit that’s easily worth checking out.

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Zhiyun Top Player Video Challenge

Zhiyun is running the Top Player Video Challenge, a competition offering prizes worth up to $18,000 USD to creative video makers who use the companies products. The competition runs until August 31st and is sponsored by Nikon, Atomos, Rode, Aputure, Moma, Lennon, Videogoal and CineHello.com. Judges include noted filmmakers and Zhiyun brand ambassadors Brandon Li … Continued

The post Zhiyun Top Player Video Challenge appeared first on Newsshooter.

Does Sensor Size Matter? The Test Results Are In

Does Sensor Size Matter? The Test Results Are In

Do cameras with larger sensors have a specific look? Last week I posted images taken with four different sensor sizes and let you decide. Spoiler Alert: Nobody could tell the difference.

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How to Create Realistic Bokeh In Photoshop

How to Create Realistic Bokeh In Photoshop

There are a variety of valid reasons you may need to enhance the out of focus blur in Adobe Photoshop. Whether it’s a limitation of your equipment, limitation of the shooting environment, or you just want to make a creative change, this tutorial shows you the trick to making fake bokeh look great.

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The Stunning Images of Formula 1 and How the Pros Do It

The Stunning Images of Formula 1 and How the Pros Do It

Formula 1 photography has every right to be bland; the scope of what can and can’t be done at first seems like it would be limiting and result in the same looking shot of the cars over and over again. The pros that shoot trackside, however, have no intention of fitting into the mold.

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How Long Does it Take to Write a Screenplay?

Maybe this is your first foray into the trade, or maybe you’re stuck on act two and want to give up, but we’ve all asked “how long does it take to write a screenplay” at one point or another. So…how long will it take to finish your script?

I started a screenplay back in November of 2018 and I think I’m almost done now. In between starting that one and now, I’ve written two TV shows and rewritten another script. Today we’re going to cover how there is no right answer to “how long does it take to write a screenplay?”

Instead of giving you the information, we’ll talk about strategy, process, and answer a few other questions.

Let’s go!

How long should a screenplay be?

I get this question a lot. The general answer is 80-120 pages. There are a ton of exceptions to the rule, but if you’re a first-time writer, those are the parameters most producers want to see your script stay within. After people figure out how many pages they have to write in a script they usually ask the next biggest question…

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Utterly Mesmerizing Video of World’s Biggest Nuclear Icebreaker Shot With a DJI Drone

Utterly Mesmerizing Video of World's Biggest Nuclear Icebreaker Shot With a DJI Drone

Aerial photography company Timelab Pro have released a breathtaking video of the world’s biggest nuclear icebreaker ship ploughing its way through frozen waters.

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Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton Appointed Patron of Royal Photographic Society

Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton Appointed Patron of Royal Photographic Society

By now it’s no secret that Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is an avid photographer, having shot a number of the official portraits of her children. And it seems her talents aren’t going unnoticed, as she has become patron of the Royal Photographic Society, succeeding the Queen after she served 67 years in the role.

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Tips to Help You Take the Plunge into Underwater Videography

Underwater photography and videography both have a hypotonic, almost sensual look to them. Today we’ll go into how you can best pull it off so you swim instead of sink.

The look is obviously cool. Unfortunately, the challenge of achieving it is obvious as well. Think about everything hard to manage on set, and then dunk it underwater where none of it is supposed to be in the first place.

The work is harder to do, it takes longer to complete, the gear is even more ill-adapted for the elements than the crew and talent are.

Luckily the folks at Shutterstock Tutorials put together this video laying out some super easy tips you can use to get those languid, luxurious underwater looks:

Let’s go over a few of the key underwater photography tips:


What types of lights and lighting techniques make the most sense here?

Hard light. Direct light. Why?

Because it’ll pierce through the water and create some cool highlights and shadows. The water will serve as a natural diffusion.

Check this post out for a quick a harsh lighting tutorial.

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Think Differently in the World of Macro Photography

Macro photographers learn over time that this genre of photography can break rules you’d always follow in other areas like landscape or portrait photography. It’s a different world to explore, and taking a different approach is an asset when mixing science with art.

As a landscape photographer, having a horizon line two degrees off is an annoyance, but for small-scale subjects where no horizon exists, it can be creatively freeing to rotate the camera arbitrarily to allow for the lines, shapes, and colors of the composition fit together better.

A flower stem or a blade of grass can be put to a diagonal line for stronger visual appeal. It’s completely believable for most insects to be seen at angles or completely upside down, as if gravity plays a far less important role in their lives.

I constantly have to make a mental note to play with odd angles as it doesn’t become instinctual. Something that easily becomes second nature with a bit of practice, however, is focusing by physically moving the camera. Autofocus can be hit-or-miss with many macro subjects, especially when you are aiming for maximum magnification – if your subject is a hair too close to the camera, it might never end up in focus.

Manual focus can work, but it’s often easier to physically move the camera forward and backward to make the subject pass through the focal plane. This might sound intimidating at first, or at least a foreign concept. It’s easier to focus this way on frolicking bees!

This is how focusing rails work, akin to adjusting a microscope: the optics stay the same, the distance between lens and subject becomes the variable. This technique is useful handheld as well as on a tripod with a focus rail, and I tend to shoot most of my images handheld – it provides a level of creative freedom where moving your forward and backward while simultaneously rotating it around your subject for the best composition allows for far more creative options than you would have “locked down”.

Using this technique, you set the focus on the lens based on the size of your subject (you’re effectively using it as a magnification ring) and then let the focal plane pass through your subject with physical movement. With the below example of a bee, everything is staged but the “actor” is an element you need to be flexible around.

Using this technique, it’s common to shoot a high-speed burst of images as you approach proper focus, and pass through the proper focus hoping that you nail exactly the focus you were after – applicable to insects and other moving subjects.

Adding an extra battery pack to your flash will help keep things illuminated – the Bolt CBP is a great inexpensive option. You’re hedging your bets by taking images likely to be out of focus in order to hit exactly the right focus point on a chaotic subject.

It’s not uncommon to take 100 images to end up with one photo where all the variables are aligned. You’re not using the images as a “spray and pray” concept, but rather as an attempt to overcome pandemonium.

Why can’t you overcome such a shallow depth of field by other means? If your aperture could go infinitely small, why couldn’t you just shoot at f/96 to get greater depth? Well, light doesn’t play nicely in such scenarios due to diffraction. What is diffraction? Essentially, when light passes through an opening (your aperture) it bends – just as water waves behave in ripple tank experiments. The smaller the opening, the more the light will bend off-course, eventually spilling onto neighboring photosites on the sensor. This coloring outside the lines problem can be easily seen when you push to these extremes.

One great example is the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1x-5x lens set to 5x magnification and f/16. The manual for this lens details a chart (page 8) that illustrates how your “dialed-in” aperture needs to be translated to your “effective” aperture since the lens magnification has an impact on this setting. You’ll actually be shooting at f/96 given the above variables, and diffraction makes a muddy mess out of your image.

There are a number of diffraction calculators online to see if you are limiting your resolving power, but remember this: increasing your depth of field becomes problematic the closer you are to your subject, as your aperture effectively becomes smaller with higher magnification.

If we cannot overcome the physics of light, we can at least work around it: focus stacking. By combining narrow slices of focus that slightly overlap, we can create a composite image with greater depth in post-processing. Remember those hundreds of images you shot earlier looking for perfect focus? If two or more of them are very close together, you’ve got a decent chance of combining them for even greater depth.

Some subjects such as water droplets might require 2-15 images, my work with smaller subjects such as snowflakes will average 40 images to get everything tack sharp. Remember that you don’t have to get everything in focus, but you have tools available to help you get the most of your efforts in post-processing. You don’t even need dedicated software to handle this: Photoshop works great and ON1 Photo RAW recently added focus stacking to their RAW processing workflow with a simple and easy to use interface.

As always, new technology allows for more options to overcome certain limitations. A fun example is using the sensor-shifting “high resolution” mode found on many mirrorless cameras. If I only need a 20MP image but I can shoot a 187MP image with the Lumix S1R, I can be farther away from my subject. This will inherently allow for a greater depth of field, and I can crop in heavily and still have great results. Only five images were needed for the below image, which would have otherwise required closer to 15:

Getting lost in all the technical information is easy, so let’s bring this back around to the artistry of macro photography: storytelling. Few people would disagree that an image is weaker when it contains a narrative of some sort, and the possibilities of creating fantasy fables in the macro realm are endless.

Often times I’ll just wander around our gardens looking for a story – some insect interacting with its environment, the progression of the season from bloom to dead flower head, or even just looking up from the ground to see the world from the perspective of a flower. Ask yourself “what if?” and try to see the world from a new perspective before picking up your camera and you’ll find a story worth shooting.

Editor’s note: Want to learn more macro photography techniques and ideas? Don Komarechka is currently producing a 352pg hardcover book titled Macro Photography: The Universe at Our Feet that you can back on Kickstarter, due out before Christmas 2019.

About the author: Don Komarechka is a nature and macro photographer who specializes in snowflakes. He has published a book, Sky Crystals, which details the wonderful science of snow in addition to an exhaustive photographic tutorial from equipment through settings, techniques and post processing. His work on the subject has been featured in documentary films from CBC, BBC, and National Geographic as well as on limited edition Canadian currency. Komarechka hosts the podcast Photo Geek Weekly. You can also find more of his work on Facebook and Flickr.

Tamron Launches the 17-28mm f/2.8 Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras

Tamron Launches the 17-28mm f/2.8 Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras

Following on from the success of the 28-75mm f/2.8, Tamron has just announced the launch of its much-anticipated 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD. Will the price make it an affordable competitor alongside the solid ultra-wide angle zoom offerings that already exist from Sony?

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3 Huge (Non-Superhero) Action Flicks That Might Get Rebooted Soon

The ‘John Wick’ directors are looking to add to this new culture of reboots by potentially taking on several action movie franchises.

Even though it’s been quietly happening under our noses for the past several years, this new reboot culture might have hit a high water mark when a viral photo of a cinema marquee featuring a whole lineup of reboots and remakes began popping up online.

For some, it’s a welcomed sight to see some of their favorite franchises brought back to life and reimagined from a whole new lens, while to others it’s a sorry sign for the future of original content.

One of the best examples of the power of creating something good and new in the past few years has been the emergence of a critically and commercially successful John Wick franchise, directed by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski.

The franchise, which is just finishing up a stellar box office run of John Wick 3 has launched both stuntmen-turned-directors as the new in-demand filmmakers of note and both could conceivably work on any project they’d want to at this point.

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How to recreate Upside Down from the Stranger Things series using Hitfilm Pro

How to recreate Stranger Things’ Upside Down using HitFilm Pro

The alternate dimension “Upside Down” is coming to your TV screen, and in anticipation of the new season of Stranger Things, FXhome created a tutorial to recreate the “Upside Down” using HitFilm Pro.

Since July last year that Netflix promotes the third season of Stranger Things, with the introduction of a series of videos revealing strange evidence that “stranger things” are coming. Then, on the midnight of December 31, 2018, a New Year’s Eve teaser was used to reveal the premiere date.

The teaser utilized footage from Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 1984, specifically the countdown to the New Year, but as the Hollywood Reporter tells, “the video goes horribly awry with static, as well as a secret coded message that reads: “When blue and yellow meet in the west.” Who knows about what’s happening out west, but the teaser itself ends in a different direction entirely: upside down, appropriately enough.”

Create your own Upside Down

The third season of the American science fiction-horror web television series Stranger Things, titled onscreen as Stranger Things 3, was created by the Duffer Brothers, who are also executive producers along with Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen and Iain Paterson. The series will premiere on Netflix’s web streaming service starting on July 4th, 2019.

How to recreate Stranger Things’ Upside Down using HitFilm ProYes, Stranger Things 3 returns on July 4th. The season’s first poster confirms it, as it features a menacing creature slowly approaching the cast while they’re enjoying Independence Day festivities. Now, if you’re a true fan of the series and happen to like creating your own movies, FXhome has a challenge for you: create your own Upside Down, an alternate dimension existing in parallel to the human world.

FXhome, in anticipation of the season of Stranger Things, has created a tutorial for super fans to recreate the “Upside Down” using HitFilm Pro. Using an integrated Foundry 3D camera tracker (coming in July, with HitFilm Pro 13.0, a new update to the software), you can produce thundering skies, ash flakes and spooky grading in no time at all. In fact, HitFilm Pro 13.0, says FXhome, will come packed with amazing new features including the all-new 3D camera tracker from Hollywood legends, Foundry, for creating more immersive environments.

Now, there is another side to this story: a special Stranger Things promotion, Stranger Sales, that runs until July 4th. Save a 25% storewide in FXhome’s sale until the 4th July. When you buy HitFilm Pro 12, you automatically get 12 months of free updates and support with no subscription. This means that you’ll be ready for when HitFilm Pro 13 arrives.

Paving the way for the release, FXhome announced a new tutorial that explains how to create the Upside Down with the powerful new 3D camera tracker from Foundry, coming in HitFilm 13.0.  As the company says, “with the upcoming Stranger Things season 3 release, we wanted to tackle this iconic effect and show how anyone can recreate it with HitFilm Pro.”

The post How to recreate Upside Down from the Stranger Things series using Hitfilm Pro appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

What is a Spec Script (and How to Write One)

Have you heard anyone say “I wrote it as a spec script” and not understood what they meant? We look to debunk speccing myths and talk about screenwriting in Hollywood.

If you’re breaking into Hollywood you’re going to do a lot of work on spec. It sucks. Trust me. I think I have broken in three times now. But before we get into why it sucks we need to answer another question.

But what does work “on spec” mean?

Today we’re going to go over one of the most common terms in the film industry, “spec,” and talk about when it makes sense for your career. We’ll also go over when you should never spec a script, and how people speccing as an opportunity to break in.

Let’s get into it!

What is a spec script?

A spec screenplay is short for “speculative screenplay” and it is one the writer does for free outside of the studio system. It’s “speculative”.

You write the spec based on the speculation that the idea is good enough to sell in the open market. The purpose is to showcase the budding screenwriter’s acumen at telling a story through action, structure, and dialogue.

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Matthews Co-Founder and President Ed Phillips Dies at 72

At 72 years old, Ed Phillips, who helped start Matthews Studio Equipment (MSE) in 1969 and presided as President for nearly 50 years, died Saturday, June 22nd. The cause of death was not reported by his family. He had an active career defining grip standards and developing new products; and innovating to standardize the gear […]

The post Matthews Co-Founder and President Ed Phillips Dies at 72 appeared first on Below the Line.