Photography Camp 2015

19953337031_5063ef3bec_zOur Tween patrons were busy snapping and Photoshop-ing pictures at this year’s Photography Summer Camp. The Tweens took many pictures and applied new techniques to make their own photography better. Follow this link to the Studio 300 Flickr page to see the results of their creative work. We hope you agree that there are some amazing pictures in the group.

 

Flickr

 

Stock photos

Sunflower isolated on white

The popular GraphicStock.com recently added 10,000 stock photos to their already extensive library of stock media. Fountaindale Public Library cardholders get free access to this stock media in Studio 300. Having access to royalty-free stock photos is often requested by our patrons, and we are happy to offer these additional choices. You can browse the media available at GraphicStock, but you can only download the images in Studio 300.

If you need video stock footage and royalty-free music, check out the other sites we provide: VideoBlocks and AudioBlocks.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 4.26.55 PM

 

Fixing Pixelated Printing Problems

Why is it that a picture that looks nice on your computer screen doesn’t look as nice when you print it? This degradation will happen if the resolution of the picture is lower than the size you want to print. Here are some tips to help prevent these kinds of printing disappointments.

Before you print a picture, check out its original size. To do this save your picture to the computer, right click on it, then click on “Properties” if using a PC or “Get Info” if on a Mac. See the pictures below:

imagepropertiesMacGETINFO

For PC users, click on the “Details” tab and scroll down to “Image”. For Mac users, click on the “More Info” arrow. See below:

imagesizeMACscreensize

In both cases, the Width and Height of the image displays. In the examples above, the PC image (left) is 480 pixels for width and 359 for height — or 480 x 359. The Mac example shows 1243 x 902.

Two variables for printing are image Pixel size and the Dots Per Inch (DPI) of the printer which for most printers is 300. Using the formula:

Pixel Width / DPI
Pixel Height / DPI

yields the maximum width and height of your image (in inches). For example, if you want to print a poster-sized image with 18″ x 24″ dimensions, the formula says that your image needs to be 5400 pixels x 7200 pixels — a rather high resolution. It is acceptable to scale down an image but scaling up will result in a distorted, pixelated print. In short, always use higher resolution images when printing.

Tweens & Teens Photography

This week Studio 300 hosted two Photography Summer Camps for Tween and Teen patrons. They learned tips and techniques for taking better photos and manipulating them using Adobe Photoshop. They took photos outside, portraits inside, and product shots using the Studio 300 photo tent. Below are just a few  examples. See more of their work on our Flickr page by following this link.

Time for Reflection

Reflector-SurfacesHave you ever taken a picture or a video and it came out a bit dark? Here’s a little trick. A light reflector can vastly improve your images.  Reflecting light can reduce shadows and lighten other dark areas. These reflectors come in many different sizes and colors (to help match different lighting conditions and skin tones).  They are very light, fold into a small package, and are far easier to use than hauling a big, heavy light kit around.

reflector with and withoutToo much light coming from behind your subject? See the example picture to the left. Use a white reflector to bounce some sunlight back into your subject and produce a nice soft fill. A gold reflector can provide a warm light fill, too.

Studio 300 has reflectors available for check out.  Stop by and we’ll show you how easy they are to use.

Painting with Photoshop

wacomWant to learn how to use the Wacom drawing tablet to paint on the computer? This April and May we are offering Photoshop 103 – Digital Painting. You will learn how the brush tool works, how to create your own brushes, how to upload free brushes, and how to use the Wacom drawing tablets. Use these skills for digital illustration, to create dynamic photos, and for scrapbooks.

Sign up here.

 

DSLR Light Meter

ImageAll DSLR cameras have internal light meters that attempt to determine the proper exposure setting for a picture.  However, depending on the composition of a shot, the camera’s internal metering system may not be accurate enough.  Using an external handheld light meter, such as the Sekonic 478D, can really make the difference between a good picture and a great one.

The touch screen interface lends itself to an intuitive workflow and the visual layout of the screen is easy to navigate and understand, even for a novice.  Great results can be achieved in a short time.  So take your DLSR pictures to the next level!  Stop by Studio 300 and we’ll show you just how easy the meter is to use.

Stock images and graphics available

GraphicStocklogoNeed to enhance your digital media work? Studio 300 now gives you access to thousands of non-exclusive stock images and graphics … FREE! Our partnership with GraphicStock.com gives you access to:

  • Backgrounds
  • Icons
  • Patterns
  • Textures
  • Templates
  • and more

Click here to go to the GraphicStock site and browse what’s available. Find what you need and then let the Studio 300 staff know and we’ll download your selections for use in your projects.

Need video footage and music instead? We also partner with VideoBlocks.com.

GraphicStockExamples

Samples of stock media available for Studio 300 patrons.

External Flash for DSLR

ImageHave you ever taken disappointing flash pictures with your DSLR?  Chances are it’s the internal flash that is causing the problem.  While the internal flash can do a good job, it does have limitations.  If you want to take your flash photography to the next level, try using an external flash.

External flashes simply mount on top of the camera.  They can be set to fully automatic or manual mode.  Like your DSLR, when set to manual, you can control all its settings to achieve some amazing results.

Studio 300 has the Canon Speedflash 430EX II which can be used on the Canon Ti series cameras.  (We also have a T4i camera). Stop by Studio 300 and we’ll show you how easy it is to use.  Check out the pictures below.  Notice the difference in color and shadowing in these raw, untouched examples.

Image

Internal Flash

Image

External Flash

Canon 55-250mm Telephoto Lens

55-250 When taking a picture, you often need to zoom in on distant subjects. A telephoto lens is the solution.  Most DSLR cameras come with a stock lens of 18-55mm.  While this lens is great for wide angle shots, it falls far short as a telephoto lens.

Studio 300 now has a Canon 55-250mm Telephoto Lens for our Canon T4i (and other) DSLR cameras. This item can be checked out for 3-days.

Picking up where the stock lens ends, this telephoto lens has a range of 55mm to 250mm.  At 250mm, distant subjects can be easily pulled in and captured.  The lens has both Auto Focus and Image Stabilization like the stock lens, and it’s easy to capture sharply focused shots without a tripod.  If you’re curious what a telephoto lens can do for you, stop by Studio300 and we’ll show you how easy it is to use.  Meanwhile, check out the two shots below.

IMG_0006

55mm setting

IMG_0007

250mm setting