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Lightroom 6 has arrived!

Lightroom 6 has arrived!

Lightroom 6, or as part of an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription where it’s called “Lightroom CC”, is finally out! Now this is nothing revolutionary in any sense of the word, but it is still great and that’s what counts.

Lightroom 6 at first glance is like any other run of the mill update from Lightroom 5, with no new killer features. It seems however most of the work was done under the hood. Performance improvements can be witnessed across the board on both OSX and Windows machines. Adobe says this will allow you to edit photos up to 10 times faster than before. What’s more, the company says it covers a wide range of computers, and even older machines will see an improvement thanks to the better utilisation of your graphics processor.

Of interest is that Adobe has added a few new features, the most notable ones being “HDR merge” and “panorama merge.” No more having to ‘Merge in -> Photoshop’, Lightroom takes care of it for you. The best part? These particular ones generate rich DNG files that can be edited without worrying much about quality loss, with support on select smartphones like the One Plus One and Nexus 5/6. Other features announced are the addition of facial recognition and finer control over the graduated filter tool.

The cloud has got some love too, with library syncing working across all your devices. With this version if it was not obvious enough, Adobe  is further stressing the value of its Creative Cloud subscription plan.  You can purchase a stand-alone version of Lightroom 6 for $149, you won’t have access to any of the file-syncing features, and you’d have to buy separate licenses for Adobe’s other software.

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Long Exposure

Long Exposure

Long exposure was one of the reasons I got into photography to begin with. There is something truly mesmerizing about capturing such a fast paced world over the course of seconds or minutes.  Light simply reveals more given the time. In this article I am going to give you a little insight into my workflow, equipment and set-up.

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Independence Day – Neon lights are a popular feature of long exposure.

Equipment

Camera

Most cameras are capable of doing long exposure. However one should see that there is a manual means of controlling the length of the exposure such as a remote trigger. There also exists a great third party firmware for Canons called Magic Lantern which has an In-camera intervalometer, great for long exposure and so much more.

It is interesting to note that with many crop sensor DSLRs such as my 600d, you are more likely to get nosier images when performing long exposures. These smaller sensors tend to heat up quicker than their full frame brothers, and thus they are preferred especially when pushing the 7 minute mark.

Lens

A relatively wide angel lens would allow for more to be captured in a single image, avoiding the complexity of stitching multiple long exposures. A good choice would be the Canon 10-18mm STM, check out my review.

ND Filter

There are many different kinds of filter grades and means of how they attach to your camera. They exist to ‘darken’ your image even in sunlight and allow for long exposure to take place. A good start would be  an ND 3.0 (10 steps) however it really matters on lighting conditions and needs, which is why a holder design might be more attractive. It is cheaper than buying a filter for each lens diameter and allows for multiple ones to be added on each other.

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Tripod

Essential. Any sturdy tripod will do, and if it is super light make sure to weigh it down with bag.

Remote Trigger

IMG_6833 Highly Recommended. It is probably one of the cheaper accessories to purchase and a must have if you really want manual control over you exposure time. When photographing fireworks this will be a great help in stopping the exposure.

 


 

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HDR Long Exposures – Note the smoothness of the water.

Set UP

First of all, scout the location before hand and take a few photos to see what angles work and don’t. Experiment with different focal lengths and go with what shows true potential.

Then look at the clouds and watch just how fast they move. On windy days – and depending on the desired effect – extend the exposure time to about 1-2 minutes. If the clouds around rather rigid, it has to be more. 5 minutes or more as a guide.

It is at this point I would suggest using a Long Exposure Calculator, Android equivalents exist. Simply enter the filter density and base shutter speed (speed at normal exposure) and the calculator will suggest an exposure time (always keep in mind the effect you are after).

Experiment with different settings and see what works for you.

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Fireworks over the Grand Harbour – A remote trigger allows you to end your exposure before a new set.

The applications are truly endless.

Visit www.lukegalea.com for more long exposure photographs :)

Layout by Instagram Is An Official Collage App For iOS & Android

Layout by Instagram Is An Official Collage App For iOS & Android

If I were to sum up Instagram in four terms it would be selfies, food porn, hashtags, and collages. So, so many collages. Both the Play Store and App Store are chock full of apps that will put your photos together in a fancy collage, but now Instagram’s launching their own.

Layout by Instagram is a completely free application that lets the user put together a fun collection of cropped photos. The app opens to show a preview of the layouts available, but every layout can be customised to the user’s delight. You can resize, crop, rotate, and resize sections of any layout to get the perfect collage.

Layout by Instagram helps you sort through your photos easily enough too. Firstly you can choose photos right off the ‘photo reel’, so you can insert your last taken photos into Layout easily enough. But Layout by Instagram also has an interesting Faces feature that will only show photos with people in them. It sounds silly, but considering all the other stuff we take photos of these days it will probably save quite a bit of time.

Layout is, of course, free, and is out now for iOS and coming soon on Android. You can get it for the iPhone and iPad here.

In the REFLECT Project, Maine inmates write letters to their younger selves

In the REFLECT Project, Maine inmates write letters to their younger selves

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Trent Bell is a commercial photographer best known for his architectural photography. His work has been published in a number of prestigious publications such as the New York Times, Design New England, and Conde Nast Traveler.

“Our bad choices can contain untold loss, remorse, and regret…but the positive value of these bad choices might be immeasurable if we can face them, admit to them, learn from them and find the strength to share.”

However, in early 2013 a friend of Bell’s was sentenced to 36 years in prison. He was a husband, a father, an educated professional, and after the sentencing Bell was haunted by how easily one’s life can take a turn for the worst. Bell recalls times when his son would look up and smile to him, and Bell would reflect on the finality of his friend’s situation.

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