Communicating with someone who speaks and writes in another language isn't the easiest task, but this Google Sheet incorporates Google Translate so you can have a real-time chat conversation with anybody in the world.
Communicating with someone who speaks and writes in another language isn't the easiest task, but this Google Sheet incorporates Google Translate so you can have a real-time chat conversation with anybody in the world.
If you aren't careful with hot peppers like jalapeños, you'll get the burning oils on your hands. Ouch. Once on your hands, they'll transfer anywhere. Double ouch. Clean up those hands with some baking soda.
Even the best camera is only as good as the photographer's skills. The "Where to Start" interactive chart guides beginners to learn about the basics of photography.
It's a common practice to blur or pixelate sensitive information like account numbers when you share an image online, but your info might not be as secure as you think. It takes some work, but there are ways to uncover that sensitive text.
Whenever I teach, I get a lot of requests to review images. Over time, I’ve started to notice that a majority of the mistakes I see come from the same small group of errors that are repeated constantly, particularly by less experienced photographers.
Please keep in mind that all of these common mistakes can also be advantages when done well and with purpose. This article is not about those times, but is an observation about how often I see them done the wrong way. As a photographer, you need to build the right foundation of skills before you can successfully veer away from them.
Chinatown at Night, NYC. Subtle but strong and natural colors.
Unrealistic and strong colors are often a fantastic creative choice. However there is a noticeable difference between when it is done purposely due to experience, and when it is done through lack of knowing any better or poor color management.
The first thing you need is a good monitor that is color calibrated. Without this, you are working on your images blind. I see photographers share images that look good to them on their screen, but they look off to everyone else. This is because their screen is the problem. How can you retouch an image if you can’t see the true colors or tones?
There is also a common tendency of newer photographers to try to make their photographs look like paintings. Once again, this can be done well, but the way I usually see it done is where people raise the saturation slider way too far. It may make the colors stand out more on a monitor and be more noticeable as a thumbnail in Facebook, but it just makes the image look fake. In a print, the colors will end up even more extreme than they do on a monitor. When you print images with natural and subtle colors those colors will look incredible and much stronger than you think. This look can sometimes be hard to notice on the monitor.
Instead of raising the saturation slider, find images where the natural colors in the scene are already strong. Find a subject that is a bright color surrounded by muted tones. Shoot at the golden hour to let the colors naturally gain strength. Instead of raising the saturation slider if you want the image to feel like a painting, overlay a specific color onto the image. Or try creating a moody image with subtle and natural color, print it out, put it on your wall, and shine some light on it and you will see how powerful that subtle color can be. That can feel like a painting too.
Smokestack and Graffiti, NYC.
Intensional blur can be gorgeous, but to be a good photographer you need to have control of your sharpness. If you are doing a portrait, the focus point should be on the eyes. The eyes need to be the sharpest part of your image, not the nose or the ear. Also, pay attention to back focus in certain situations. This is where the camera’s focus will miss what you are aiming at and instead focus on the background behind it.
To achieve sharpness and reduce handheld camera shake, your shutter speed needs to be at least one over your focal length. So if you are on a full frame camera with a 50mm lens, the shutter speed would need to be at least 1/50th of a second (and probably a little faster to be safe). On an APS-C sensor a 50mm would be the equivalent of around an 80mm lens and on a micro-4/3rds camera it would be the equivalent of a 100mm lens, needing 1/100th of a second shutter speed. If you are freezing motion you need an even faster shutter speed. For people moving at average speeds, I prefer 1/320th of a second.
Think about raising your ISO sometimes to get sharper shots, particularly in darker lighting situations, but also sometimes during the day. A higher ISO will allow you to use a faster shutter speed and a smaller aperture, such as f/16, to ensure that your entire image will be in focus.
Shop, Chinatown, NYC. Notice the right edge.
If you are Garry Winogrand then you can skew your images purposely for that energetic effect. However, I notice many photographers struggle to get their images straight. Look through the viewfinder and find a frame of reference to straighten your image. Maybe it’s a lamp post or a sidewalk or a tree. Pay attention to when the camera might be slightly lower on the left or right side. Often it will be the same side consistently for you and it’s just a tendency that has to be unlearned. Some people don’t even notice that their images are very slightly skewed when editing. Noticing and fixing the slight skew (crooked) can make a huge difference.
The other thing I notice is that a lot of photographers don’t pay attention to their edges. Put things in the edges of your frames when possible to keep a viewer’s eyes from moving off the print. This could be a tree branch, a fire escape, a building, anything. Cut off a part of an element and place it in the corner to help keep the eyes in the frame. Look at the right edge of the image above. It makes a big difference.
Sometimes compositions can be too simple. Simple can be good but not always. Take a step back and see if you can include more in the frame. Create more complex composition with more elements. That can make for very fun and engrossing images.
Also, a surprising number of people overly rely on either vertical or horizontal shooting. It’s good to have a preference, but when I see it in beginners it seems more like they are just uncomfortable shooting the opposite way. It’s not like they are shooting two verticals for every one horizontal, some are shooting six or more verticals for every horizontal, or vice versa. It’s not on purpose as they default automatically into that way of shooting no matter the situation.
Most importantly, I find that people will see something interesting, stop immediately when they notice it, click a few shots, and move on. It’s almost like a robotic move. Stop yourself when you see something interesting and take a few seconds to actively think about the best way to capture it. Horizontal or vertical? What is the best focal length and where can I move to get the best viewpoint? Are there other elements that I can include in the frame? How is the lighting?
SoHo, New York, NYC.
Robert Capa once said it all, “If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Don’t hover from far away like a sniper. Get in there close, and get in there with a wider angle lens. This can work for portraits, landscapes, or any type of photography. Sometimes it is best to get closer and capture what is most important, large in the frame.
The overall tones in your image are vital and you need to get good at working with the contrast, exposure, black levels, and highlights. Always try to get the exposure as close to perfect as you can in the camera. I know you can fix it later and often you can do it well, but it’s just not the same as getting it right in the camera. Also think about whether your images might be too dark or too light.
Getting the contrast correct is tough. Be very careful about overdoing contrast as this is a very common mistake. You also don’t want to add the same amount of contrast to every image because the amount of contrast needed depends on the lighting that was in the scene. I notice both tendencies from photographers who use too little contrast or too much contrast. Sometimes this is the monitor’s fault but other time it is the photographer’s.
Having blacks and whites in your image are good things. Often you want some detail in the shadows or highlights but you want areas of white to draw the eyes in and areas of black to ground the image.
HDR in black and white, Central Park, NYC.
I’m not against HDR. I swear I’m not. I just see it overdone so much that it makes me want to cry. HDR can be done subtly, and it can look amazing when done right.
However, what I often see is HDR done to such extreme that the colors look far from real. It doesn’t even look fake, it just looks bad. There are absolutely no shadows or blacks, and no highlights or whites. I’ve seen entire images that are all middle tones!
You can take some detail out of the shadows and bring in the whites somewhat to get a better dynamic range. Try to find that fine line between realism and looking as good as possible. Retouching is about finding that fine line where an image works and not going over or under it.
Shoe Store, SoHo, NYC. Notice the consistency in the next three photographs.
Photographing beauty, light, and color is so important, but sometimes your images need some substance to them as well. Great photography is the merging of both form and content. If you can mix a beautiful image with an interesting subject matter, you have hit photographic gold. Think about subjects, ideas, or emotions that are portrayed within an image. Figure out what that substance is that appeals to you and develop it. Think about what your voice is and develop it.
Prince and Broadway, SoHo, NYC.
You can photograph many different subjects and you should try different styles, but organize these subjects and styles into cohesive groups. Try to give these groups a consistent look with an overall feel and related content. Consistency is developed with experience, so the more you photograph, the more you will start to think about it. Pay attention to the flow of one image into the other.
Trash, SoHo, NYC.
So many people say to me that they only photograph when they travel. I don’t care where you live, or how busy you are, it’s so important to photograph where you live.
If you don’t want to lug your camera around then use a phone camera. Phone cameras are pretty good. Schedule some time every week, even if it’s only 20 minutes or during a lunch break, to photograph somewhere, anywhere. Photograph in the parking lot, on the corner, at the market. I promise you that there will be interesting subject matter there if you look. But you have to go out and take the time to look.
It’s fine to take a lot of photos. It’s fine to show a photograph a day if you shoot a lot, but edit your work down to the best. Nobody has the time to wade through a million photographs to find the gems. They will miss the gems if they have to look through too many mediocre images.
We all take mediocre images but the best photographers do the best job at hiding those images. Do your viewers a favor and pick out the gems for them and only show those. You want people to want more rather than wanting less, because if they want less then they’re probably not coming back.
Do you have any other mistakes you think should be added to this list? What are you guilty of, and willing to admit it?
Donut, American Apparel, NYC. Yes, someone thought this was a good idea.
While it takes time to master the technical skills needed to excel at street photography, I think the most difficult aspect of the genre is trying to figure out what you are trying to capture. I get this question a lot, “What should I be looking for?”
This is why street photography is a genre where experience is second to none. You can get comfortable capturing strangers candidly, you can learn to technically capture your images perfectly, but finding your voice is something that takes years of experience, exploring, and organizing of your images.
Ultimately, I can’t answer this question as it’s up to you to figure out what to capture, however I can give some tips and ideas to help figure it out.
A Powerful Expression, SoHo, NYC.
Practice street photography in areas that you know well. If you know an area well then you will be able to describe it well in your photographs. You will already know how it ticks, the weird nooks and crannies, and the type of people that live nearby. Use photography as a way to explore your area and to portray it to others.
Ultimately as you get better, you will be able to photograph in areas that you don’t know well as you explore them. This is important. However, it takes a very skilled photographer to be able to be transported into a place that they don’t know well, survey the place, and be able to take poignant images. More often than not the images will feel touristy to an insider that lives in the area.
The best place to to develop your photographic voice is near home.
Which of the images that you have captured relates the most to you? Your photography will end up becoming a representation of you and how you think, so think about yourself and your ideas as you photograph. Try to photograph what you are thinking as you are out there.
This takes time to develop. You can’t just walk outside and do this. Over years of photographing you will begin to notice yourself in your images and then you will become more aware of moments that convey who you are.
SoHo, NYC. A tight crop, but one with interest, gesture, and many elements and textures.
Editing and reviewing your images is one of the best ways to improve your photography. This is where you get to asses how you’ve improved and to really slow down and think about what you are trying to say. It will give you new ideas for what to capture and for what to look out for.
On a similar note, review the images of other photographers to help figure out what images you relate to. There is no better way to inspire your work than to find imagery from others that inspires you.
One of the ultimate points in street photography is creating a body of work that is consistent, whether or not the images were taken in the same area or of the same content. The images play off each other to tell a story.
You can think of these ideas ahead of time, but I think it’s better to go out and photograph consistently for a long stretch of time, then spend time reviewing and editing your work, while keeping your mind open to what the images tell you. You can let the images guide you to an idea.
SoHo, NYC. This shot is about the expression in the subject’s eyes.
One thing I hate, but do frequently as all street photographers do, is to capture images of people walking down the street where nothing is happening. These are impossible not to take since street photography is often instinctive, and you have to take a lot of images where nothing happens to get those few that are really special. My archive is littered with bad images where I saw a sliver of potential but nothing happened.
Something needs to happen in the photograph. There needs to be an idea, an emotion, or an expression.
I tend to look in people’s eyes before anything else. The eyes are the key to showing emotion and if you can capture a poignant expression in the eyes, then your photo will be significantly better. Notice a subject’s eyes first and wait for them to give a look, not necessarily at you although that can work, but at something. You want to see a thought going through their head.
SoHo, NYC. One day this window display will look extremely dated.
When you look at photographs of the past, what interests you? I’m assuming for many of you the photographs you prefer are ones of people, fashions, or shop windows and not necessarily of architecture or landscapes.
Images of the past show us what life was like and make us think about our own lives in that way. However, those scenes probably looked fairly standard to the photographers when they were first captured.
Just as a photograph of a Gap store window might seem like the most boring thing in the world to you now, it could easily be one of the most fascinating images in 20 years when everything has changed. Think about how many people have a photograph of a Gap window. Everyone has a photograph of the Chrysler Building, but photographs of everyday life are much rarer.
Street photography is both about thinking and instinctive reacting. Unfortunately, those two ideas are at odds with each other. Do your thinking while you are editing and reviewing your work. Think about things when you are walking around, but ultimately when a moment unfolds, turn your brain off and react.
Do you have any other tips you’d add to this list? How do you approach street photography?
The post 7 Tips for Doing More Meaningful Street Photography by James Maher appeared first on Digital Photography School.
You know my tricks. You know the games I play around here. The more browned butter, sea salt, and chopped pistachios, the better! It’s just that… pistachios are the best, browned butter reigns supreme, and I think good sea salt is my secret weapon in my baking pantry. I’m not wrong.
We’re keeping it simple by shoving all of the good things into one pan of rice krispie treats. Fancy rice krispie treats are totally my go-to party trick. They never disappoint. Also consider Salty and Malty Rice Krispie Treats. So much win.
I’m traveling these next few weeks to meet you and celebrate the release of my cookbook Homemade Decadence. I’m in Philadelphia Tuesday 10/21 and you should totally come say hi! Keep in mind that for some reason I’ve been listening to the Once soundtrack nonstop for the past week, so… just so you know where I’m at and that I’m weird. Ps. Do you know how easy it is to cry to the Once soundtrack? Like crazy easy. I don’t know what’s going on with me. I really am in a happy place, I promise.
I’ve said too much.
This is how rice krispie treats go: mega marshmallows + butter + salt + the krispie element + fancy nuts and chocolate.
Marshmallows are melted with the butter. Pistachios are coarsely chopped and added to the rice cereal along with the gooey melted marshmallow situation.
Pressed into a 9×13-inch pan. I always make a double batch for of the treats for a pan. I like the treats thick. (I almost made that a joke about how I like my men… aren’t you glad I didn’t?)
Dipped in chocolate because that’s just how we do things. Let’s enjoy this indulgent simplicity (while we cry a little bit to the Once soundtrack… I’m sorry.)
makes 16 treats
How is this sort of sculpture made? Via Colossal:
When first contemplating these glass sculptures by Seattle-based artist Carol Milne, your imagination runs wild trying to figure out how she does it. Glass has a melting point of around 1,500°F (815°C), so how could it possibly manipulated into neatly organized yarn-like strands that are looped around knitting needles. The answer lies in a technique invented by Milne in 2006 that involves aspects of knitting, lost-wax casting, mold-making, and kiln-casting.
Submitted by: (via Colossal)
If you like to make your own pizza at home, pizza peels make it easy to set and retrieve your pie. They can be large and awkwardly shaped, but a simple guitar mount gives you easy, out of the way storage.
Life is to be enjoyed and appreciated, not endured and tolerated.
In life, unnecessary tolerations can bleed you of energy and make it impossible for you to function effectively. You can’t live a happy, successful, fulfilling life when you’re spending all your energy tolerating things that shouldn’t be tolerated. Sometimes you need to put your foot down.
In our line of work, Angel and I hear from hundreds of coaching clients, book readers and blog subscribers (subscribe here) every month who have been tolerating the wrong things for far too long. If you feel like you have been too, here are some things to stop tolerating in your life:
This article has been published at RLSLOG.net - visit our site for full content.
Another OSX release from scene gorup ACTiVATED, this one is the HD edition of the classic Gabriel Knight Sin Of The Fathers, enjoy.
Experience one of adventure gaming’s most stunning masterpieces all over again in this blockbuster retelling of the award-winning 1993 murder-mystery, which adds all-new puzzles, scenes, and HD graphics!
Blending the best of yesterday and today, it re-imagines the 1993 original, voted one of the greatest games of all time, for an entirely new generation of fans. As struggling author and bookstore owner Gabriel Knight, players will investigate a series of savage ritual killings in New Orleans and their connection to voodoo’s sinister mysteries.
The deeper you dive into master storyteller Jane Jensen’s tale of terror and suspense, the closer you’ll come to discovering the secrets of Gabriel’s family history–and unfolding his destiny.
Publisher: Pinkerton Road
Developer: Pinkerton Road
more at RLSLOG.net
We've all been there—one accidental email, and suddenly your entire organization is filling your inbox with angry replies. Gaffes at work happen to everyone, but you can learn how to navigate the politics of your workplace to keep your cool and avoid drama.
As in, the whole bally company. Clearly anyone’s been able to buy a copy of the engine for yonks.
Unity is the go-to gamemaking tool for a vast number of developers, big and small (around three million of ‘em, in fact, with Blizzard’s Hearthstone its highest-profile title, at least until one of my games comes out), and it was perhaps only a matter of time before it became an even greater concern. That time may be very soon, if reports that the game engine company’s angling to be sold are true.
… [visit site to read more]
I'm deep in the middle of a streak where I cook primarily from other people's cookbooks. Every now and then it's a groove I fall into, sometimes lasting a few weeks, other times a month or two. There's something creatively energizing, and at the same time, relaxing about following a recipe written by another cook or writer I admire. I like to mix it up a bit by alternating between recipes from new volumes (like the one today), and recipes from older titles (the Sopa Verde from last week). It's a practice that tends to shake out the creative cobwebs for me. So, that's where my head was at when I turned to a stack of books the other night. I was asked to bring a soup for a group of friends getting together for a casual, coastal overnight in beautiful west Marin. There were a number of recipes that were contenders, but a spicy chickpea soup from Yotam Ottolenghi's upcoming cookbook, Plenty More, caught my attention. It features a seductive, red harissa broth fragrant with cumin, coriander, and caraway, and enough chickpeas and bulgur to make it work as a main course. An herb-whipped feta is the crowning dollop. We enjoyed it after an invigorating stroll along the coastline just as surfers were catching the last waves before sunset - I popped off a few snapshots along the way...
That first shot (and the one with the surfers and fishing boat) is looking south toward the Golden Gate - people surf, paddle board, swim, and fish from the shore. The clouds were settling in, and they weren't just coastal fog and mist, we had a few hours of real rain - but none since.
I really like this soup with a finishing squeeze of lemon juice, or a sprinkling or chopped olives. I had it the next day with a poached egg for dinner, with a swirl or arugula pesto (Deborah Madison's Marjoram Sauce would be nice too). Just play around with whatever you have on hand to give a generous pot of soup a few twists for a nice series of meals.Continue reading Spicy Chickpea and Bulgur Soup...
Here’s what we’re going to do:
We’re going to go to our refrigerators and gather all of the delicious things. If those things are roasted, pesto-ed, and melty… that’s ideal.
Truth be told, sometimes all I have in the fridge is orange juice and bendy celery… that’s why God invented bourbon and those Chinese take-out menus at the bottom of my junk drawer. Orange juicy and bendy celery aren’t allowed in this sandwiches. Not on this day… when there is precious Brie and pesto in the refrigerator.
This is what it looks like to pack every delicious item in my refrigerator between toasted and buttered bread.
I’ve also been known to shove everything delicious in my refrigerator into a giant bowl of pasta. When something is good, don’t you just want to add carbs? YES.
My friend Tracy taught me to be the kind of person that has pesto on hand. It’s called Fridge Pesto and you should totally jump on the bandwagon especially if you have wilted spinach in your refrigerator. (Continue to ignore the bendy celery.)
On this sandwich is thinly sliced Brie (rind and all), smeared spinach pesto, roasted cherry tomatoes, salty parmesan cheese and buttah!
Roasting the tomatoes intensifies their flavor and sweetness. The Spinach Pesto adds a happy green, garlic-y kick. Two kinds of cheese because we’re the kind of people who deserve two different kinds of cheese on your sandwich. Spread with butter and grilled on each side until the center is just warm and melty.
Next: settle yourself into a cozy place (somewhere near the open back porch door and the washing machine), sit right down on the floor and eat every bite of the sandwich before you’ve successfully taken any decent pictures of it. It’s fiiiine. Most people have seen melted cheese on bread before. Relax. Scroll through Instagram. Only move when the desire for a beverage or potato chips stirs you beyond laziness. Bendy celery be damned.
makes 2 sandwiches
The size of a shoe doesn't always tell the whole story. While a shoe may "fit", your comfort level can still vary. If you need some extra breathing room, put a baggie of water in your shoe and toss it in the freezer to stretch it a bit.