Photo Technique

Turn Old Family Pics
Into Big Ol’
Engineer Prints

Dads are great. So great, in fact, that they deserve a really big present this Father’s Day.

Are you thinking what we’re thinking? Let’s say it together now:

Engineer Prints!

These hugenormous prints are perfect gifts, especially if you make ’em out of old family pictures.

So we’re gonna 1) show you how to digitize old prints and 2) give you some fun ideas for making your Engineer Prints unique and wonderful, just like your fave guy.

Engineer Prints Say Happy Father’s Day!

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Shooting Stars

Summertime is prime time for astrophotography. Snapping shots of the milky way is tricky, but totally doable when armed with the right info and tools.

So, how about them tools and info, eh?

Tools:

  • DSLR or even a decent point ‘n shoot.
  • Tripod or any way to keep your camera rock steady.
  • Compass. Try an app! (Apple/Android)

Info:

  • Find a super dark area near you using this Dark Sky Finder.
  • Try to go either when the moon is hiding (before it rises or after it sets) or during a New Moon.
  • For a perfectly focused stars, don’t go over 30s shutter speed.
  • For light streaking stars, shoot at 30s or higher.
  • Use a remote shutter or set up a timer prior to each shot.

Even Moar Info:

Check out this write-up on astrophotography, it’s full of excellent tips and ideas.

 

Photo by Sarah & Colin’s Astrophotography

Must-Have Gear for
Summertime Photography

Goodbye tests and 8:00 a.m. classes.

School’s out and summer’s in!

To help you prepare for all those fun-in-the-sun photo ops coming up, we put together a handy list of essential summer photo gear.

From umbrellas to lens filters, you’ll be ready to snap pics whether you’re poolside or in the middle of that long-awaited camping trip.

Slap on some sunscreen and let’s go!

FUNdamental Items for Summer Photos

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Your Hunk-a, Hunk-a Burning Questions
Answered Here


Meet our stellar customer service team. They’re chock-full of information about all of our shop goodies (also great at telling jokes!)

We picked their brains about some of our most popular products in order to answer your most FAQs.

Don’t see your question? Shoot them an E-mail, they love chatting!

CS FAQ ASAP

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Liven Up Your Tabletop
Photoshoots

Tabletops are great for elbow leaning, finger drumming and they make pretty good photo backdrops too!

You can set anything down on ’em, from baked goods to the newest product in your Etsy store, and just snap away.

But if you’re sick of the same ol’, plain ol’ tabletop, we’ve thought of five fun ways to spice up your next tabletop shot.

Whether you’re selling something or just want to up your Instagram game, you’re gonna love these tabletop makeover tips.

Take Tabletop Photos That Pop 

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Organizing and Archiving Your Photos

It’s spring cleaning time and that means organizing a lifetime or two worth of photos! Whooo! (Guh.)

Let’s break this daunting task into bite-size pieces, yeah?

Step 1: Choose a place to store photos
Pick one place to stash your snaps and stick to it! This Wall Street Journal article makes it easy to find your perfect storage fit, whether you’re a simplicity-lover or tech-savvy pro.

Step 2: Organize at a reasonable pace.
Set aside just 5-10 minutes a day to organize your photos. Then treat yourself to a cupcake, you’ve earned it!

Step 3: Preserve your favorites.
As you go along organizing, you’ll find a few photos that you want to save – maybe even for generations. Like of your parent’s wedding or that time you met Justin Bieber. In the ever-changing digital age, it’s hard to know what the best archival solution is. Take a few minutes to read through this write-up from Photo District News which covers a 3-point consideration for saving your best shots. *Spoiler alert*: Prints are still king. Have you heard of a little something called Parabo Press?

Whew, that wasn’t so bad was it? Now … about your closet …

Photo by Geoffrey A. Fowler

Creative Ways to
Photograph Flowers
In Your Home

For many of you, the harshness of winter has finally come to a close. (Yay!)

In its place you now have the beauty of spring, which means flowers are everywhere.

We’ve already starting making the most of this new and colorful season with our recent guide on frozen flower photography.

Now we’re gonna share four more ways to get creative with flower photos right in your own home.

So go pick some flowers and let’s get shooting!

Creative Ways to Photo Flowers Indoors

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Deep Thoughts
on Depth of Field

Ah, depth of field. As photo history geeks, we feel certain in our knowledge that every photographer everywhere has asked the pivotal question: “Hold up, what the deuce is depth of field and why is it important?” Yes, the age-old question.

What is it?

Simply put, depth of field (DoF) is the area of your photograph that is sharp and clear.

While your camera can only focus in on a single point, in your final image the area just in front and behind of that single point will sometimes appear to be in focus as well. How much of your photo is in focus is the DoF of that image.

What is it good for?

A narrow DoF eliminates distractions from your subject and typically used in portrait, wildlife and sports photography. While a wide/deep DoF ensures clarity through the entire image, usually best for landscape, cityscapes and big ol’ group shots.

How can I control DoF?

Depth of field is controlled through focus and aperture settings (the f-stops.) So, if your camera has manual controls, making the aperture number smaller (moving toward toward f/1.4) gives you shallower DoF, and raising it up (toward f/22) will give you a deep DoF and make everything in your photo tack sharp.

Tell me more!

Check out this extremely detailed lesson from Digital Photography School for everything you ever wanted to know about DoF and how to use it to best capture your subjects.

Then, if you’re already picking up what we’re putting down, take your DoF play further by faking extremely shallow DoF (no expensive lenses required.)

So how deep does the rabbit hole go? Depends on your DoF!

DoF: Make it and Fake it
 

Photo by Bruce Wunderlich

Straight Lines and Symmetry

The majority of our mobile devices are packing a wide angle lens. This is awesome for taking in the scenery, but not so awesome if curved walls drive you up the … ah … wall.

Skrwt is an app that is dead set on helping you achieve symmetry in lines. Fire up the app, take a photo or import one and get to straightening.

Lens corrections for iPhones, wide angle lenses, fisheye lenses and even GoPros (it’s under “action”) are pre-loaded for a quick-fix. Or take full manual control over all distortions, crops and vignetting. The app features non-destructive editing, so your original snaps stay intact.

You can watch a tutorial or download here. And don’t miss their Instagram page for a straight-up symmetry feast.

Check Out Skrwt and Get to Straightening
 

Photo by @gerritpiechowski

With Spring Showers Comes Lightning Photos

Storm season is upon us which means it’s the perfect time to try for some shocking shots.

Lightning photos are hard to perfect but super fun to attempt. Here’s a few tips for getting started.

First and most importantly: Stay safe. Distance is your best friend – use a telephoto lens when possible. Keep your gear dry by setting up under a covered patio or deck.

Second: Long exposures mean you need a tripod, or duct tape and a rock, whatever it takes to get that stability!

Third of all: Every storm is different, so your settings will vary slightly each time. Try these to start with and play around from there –

  • ISO 100
  • f/7 aperture
  • 30 second exposure

For a more in depth tutorial, check out Richard Gottardo’s excellent write-up here covering everything from storm searching to stacking images in post.

And you thought puddle jumping was the best part of a storm…

Richard’s Guide to Photoing Lightning
 

Photo by Richard Gottardo