Writer’s Favorite Lens the Nifty Fifty on a Cropped Sensor Camera

50mm1Growing up, the first letter of my last name was towards the end of the alphabet, which meant that I was one of the last kids who got to choose my electives in high school. It was for this reason that I ended up with strange electives such as Physics, Advanced Placement Composition, Metal Shop, and eventually Black and White Photography. I was less than thrilled about taking Photography – I had SATs to take, colleges to get in to, and certainly did not have time for a photography class taught by the Psychology teacher who was notorious for making kids walking around campus with their hands in the shape of a rectangle, “visualizing” the shot. Despite my best efforts, somewhere between the enlarger and placing my paper in the developer for the first time, I fell in love.

I clung to black and white film photography for a number of years, until husband bought me my first DSLR – a Canon Rebel XS. One of the very first things I noticed was that something was wrong. Even when shooting with some of my favorite focal lengths, something looked off. After consulting Dr. Google, I quickly realized that the difference was that I learned photography in 35mm film format, and that the cropped sensor of the Canon XS made my lenses function in a different way than I was used to. There are plenty of articles that go into great depth explaining the hows and whys of cropped sensors, but what you need to know is that if you own an entry-level DLSR, you probably have one. If you do have a cropped sensor camera, you also need to know that a 50mm lens on a cropped sensor camera doesn’t actually act like a 50mm lens. Rather, APS-C (cropped sensor) cameras have a magnification factor of either 1.6x (Canon) or 1.5x (Sony & Nikon). So, you need to multiply the length of the lens on your camera by the magnification factor above in order to see what focal length that particular lens will function as on your camera. For example, if you put a 50mm lens on a cropped sensor camera, you have to multiply by 1.6x which means that your 50mm lens is actually functioning more like an 80mm lens.

How to Find Great Backgrounds for Portraits

Portraits and backgrounds

Finding great backgrounds that complement the subject is an essential part of the process of creating beautiful portraits. My article How to Plan the Perfect Portrait Shoot will help you with the other aspects of putting together a portrait shoot, but today I thought it would be interesting to delve deeper into the subject of backgrounds for portraits. Here are some things to think about in your search for the perfect background for your portraits.

Tiempo

Oliver Liria has added a photo to the pool:

Tiempo

[from Graffi’s That Retro Lo-Fi Look group on Flickr]

Highly Strung

Anita Waters has added a photo to the pool:

Highly Strung

Olympus Om2n
Fuji Superia Xtra 400
Film

[from Graffi’s That Retro Lo-Fi Look group on Flickr]

Cloud Photography Tips

From the time that I first began to photograph, one subject that always interested me was clouds. I have always loved the old black and white photographs of Ansel Adams and have admired not only his landscapes, but also the way the landscapes were made spectacular by the cloud cover in the scene. Adams was a master of both composition and working in the darkroom to burn and dodge to make sure that all areas of the photograph were exposed properly. This became so apparent in the areas of his subjects where there was cloud cover. He really brought out the subtle contrasts between the light and dark areas of a cloud scene.

Ansel Adams landscape with clouds

Filters

different pulses

4Spo has added a photo to the pool:

different pulses

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[from Graffi’s That Retro Lo-Fi Look group on Flickr]

Supermassive black hole

Salva G. has added a photo to the pool:

Supermassive black hole

Lomography Diana Mini
Fuji Superia 200 ASA
Scanned negative
Expired film

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr_qDnDPyA4

[from Graffi’s That Retro Lo-Fi Look group on Flickr]

10 Macro Photography Subject Ideas

Are you looking for some interesting and out of the ordinary project ideas for your close up or macro photography? Want to break away from the usual flowers, leaves, plants and mushrooms? Tired of bugs, butterflies, and spiders? All of those can make great close up subjects, but certainly not unique ones. Here are a few macro photography project ideas that may inspire your creativity:

macro photography ideas

Adventure is Calling

Anita Waters has added a photo to the pool:

Adventure is Calling

Olympus Om2n
Fuji Superia Xtra 400
Film

[from Graffi’s That Retro Lo-Fi Look group on Flickr]

3 Creative Uses of the Drop Shadow in Photoshop

Default-Drop-Shadow

Layer styles are a great way to add effects to your images in Photoshop. In this article, you will learn about the Drop Shadow. A typical example of the drop shadow effect in Photoshop is to add a 3D look to your text. Another example is when working with multiple images in the same document, the cutout elements should appear seamless in the background. A drop shadow effect can also be used in a creative way to make your image stand out.

You get into the layer styles in Photoshop, by clicking on the fx icon at the bottom of the layers palette. Then, click on Drop Shadow, this brings up the Drop Shadow Dialog Box.