Our own Donald Page, staff shooter for the University of Tennessee Athletic Department, wrote a guest post on Scott Kelby’s Blog. He shared his insight on how to overcome the fear of failure in our photography. He also shared this video created by his university to showcase his work:
By Glenn Carpenter/Moraine Valley Community College
“This changes everything.” This was my first thought as I watched the behind the scenes video of Brigham Young University photographers using an iPad at a photo shoot. I watched as the art director held the iPad and the images appeared, I was amazed. This is the future of photography.
I quickly put together a list of what I needed to make this magic in Illinois. Along with the link to the BYU video I submitted the request to be just like BYU! The iPad and Eye-fi card arrived a few weeks later. The only problem is that I use Nikon. You see a Nikon D3 only uses CF memory and the Eye-fi card is SD memory. With the help of an adapter, I eventually got it to work but it was not perfect. I was not like BYU.
When my new D4 arrived it also had the new WT5a wireless transmitter, an additional option. I was cool like Mark and Jaren, almost. Set up was quick an easy, I chose to use the ad-hoc method, a direct connection to the iPad. The WT5a generates its own network that the iPad connects to via the web browser. The iPad can now view the images on the camera, but they are not downloaded to the iPad. There is an option to download selected files, but because I shoot RAW files the time to download is prohibitive.
I have used this setup several times to the delight of art directors. They love seeing the images appear and it keeps them from hovering over your shoulder to see the screen on the camera. The big drawback is the power consumption. You will quickly go through a battery on a long shoot. This is a small price to pay for the convenience and the distance from the art director it provides. As I explored the possibilities or this new accessory I noticed that the camera could be controlled via the iPad. Not just a few controls but almost all of them; shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focus mode, and even live view!
How can I use this new power? I can use it to be cooler than BYU! Mu Wah haha! Sorry, a moment of Dr. Evil. This option of camera control is useful when looking through the camera is not convenient. One of these situations presented itself the other day. Why I was asked to shoot this photo is not important. Anyway, I need to photograph water drops reflecting pencils. The set up is quite simple but my back gets tired leaning over a camera.
This is the perfect situation for the iPad! Depth of field is critical and trying to decide if it is to little or too much while leaning over a camera can be frustrating. Once I get the shot composed I can adjust aperture and ISO to achieve the perfect shot. The iPad also allows you to zoom in on the image on screen to check focus. This is cool.
Mark and Jaren, I have my water shot, I used the iPad, but I am not yet as cool as you. As all Cub Fans say, “Maybe next year.”
Glenn Carpenter is the current President of the University Photographers’ Association of America and has been a photographer at Moraine Valley Community College for the past 22 years.
By Mark A. Philbrick and Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo
A few months back we were approached by our dance department to create a poster for their upcoming concert. One of the featured numbers involved students dancing in the rain so we thought that would make the perfect poster, as long as we provided the rain. In case you were wondering, we kind of have an affinity for water shoots as of late (Softball - Gymnastics). Continue reading
Our own Kurt Stepnitz just started a 7 week marathon trip around the world working on a multimedia project for Michigan State University. This is the first in a series of posts chronicling his journey:
To my colleagues and friends of the UPAA,
After months of planning and about a 30-person support crew behind us, there are 7 weeks of travel and story gathering ahead. Tonight begins a journey for a crew of 10, certainly like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Continue reading
This year’s Monthly Image Competition has been full of amazing images from the members of the UPAA. If you haven’t seen them yet, check out the winners from November. The Best of Show prize went to Robert Jordan for his images called “Doorknob to the Universe” I asked Robert to share how he created the image: Continue reading
I wanted to share this great behind the scenes video of Mike Ekern shooting the 2012 Football poster for the University of St. Thomas:
To see more photos from the shoot and to gain some insight into how he created these images, check out his blog post at The University of St. Thomas
By Peter Frey, The University of Georgia
The assignment was to make a portrait of Psychology Department Head Keith Campbell for a back page feature in our alumni magazine. The back page feature contains a unique, conceptual image that portrays the research or work that the professor studies…in this case narcissism. We had photographed this particular faculty member for another publication a year prior using mirrors and reflections to represent the narcissism factor, but the magazine wanted a fresh concept, and here are the results…
By Mike Ekern, University of St. Thomas
There’s something about being a photographer at St. Thomas that feels just a bit like cheating. You work at an institution that is comprised entirely of beautiful architecture surrounding what is essentially an arboretum.
And every few years the place rents you a helicopter.
Read more at The University of St. Thomas
The University of Mississippi embarked on an ambitious project to create both 3D video and stills. Robert Jordan had to learn quickly how to create and reproduce 3D imagery. This is his story:
At the time there were no affordable 3D digital still or video cameras commercially available, so Matt and I each cobbled together a rig so we could capture Ole Miss sports in 3D. Ideally, the lenses on a 3D camera should be about 2.75” or eye-width apart. Matthew’s video was to be the centerpiece with my photography playing a supporting role in the Ole Miss 3D experience. We each started on different, but similar paths, but ironically ended up coming to the same conclusions and solutions in the end.
Matthew ordered two Canon 5Ds cameras and a 3DFilmFactory 3D-BS Mini beam-splitter to shoot HD video with. The 3D-BS consist of a box with a 50/50- mirror mounted at 45-degrees. The mirror allows 50% of the light hitting it to be reflected and 50% of the light that hits it to pass through the mirror. One camera was mounted behind the mirror box shooting through the 50/50 mirror while the other was mounted to the top of the mirror box above looking down on the 50/50 mirror. The cameras both ‘see’ whatever is in front of the splitter mirror, with one camera shifted off center horizontally to achieve a ‘left’ and ‘right’ perspective.
I decided to take a simpler approach and set off to build a rig to mount two Nikon DSLRs side-by-side. I had access to pair of Nikon D40 cameras, so I mounted them on a flat aluminum bar and I shot some test shots around campus. Unfortunately, the D40 does not have any external shutter release and I was not able fire both cameras in perfect sync. The only other cameras I had were very heavy and large Nikon D3 bodies. Fortunately, I discovered that if I simply connected the two D3 10-pin connecters together, pressing either camera’s shutter button fired both cameras in perfect sync. However, the cameras were far too heavy for the simple aluminum bar I was using and the lenses were too far apart with the cameras side-by-side. Inverting one of the cameras would get the lenses much closer together so I contacted Physics Machine Shop Supervisor Mike Reep to see if he could build a better mount for me. Mike took some measurements after I showed him how I wanted the cameras to mount and called me a couple of days later to see what he had built.
Mike is an artist with metal and CNC milled a beautiful, sturdy rig from billet aluminum that exceeded my expectations. The rig is a 15”x8”x3” 4-sided box that holds both Nikon D3 bodies, with one camera inverted so the two camera lenses are just a touch over 5” apart. The generally accepted rule of thumb is to multiply the optical distance between the two lenses by 30 to arrive at the closest distance a subject could be from the camera: 5’ x 30 = 150” or about 12.5’.
I mounted two D3 bodies with identical lenses and reset all settings to the factory defaults and took the rig for a walk around the campus and shot various buildings and people being very careful to set both camera bodies to the same ISO, aperture, shutter speed, focal length and focusing distance.
Once back in the office, I downloaded the images and processed the files in Photoshop. The first step is to rotate the inverted camera images 180-degrees and then render the images for anaglyph 3D. There are tons of great tutorials on this, but basically you copy and paste one image over it’s mate, align the images at the point of focus, drop all the red from the ‘right’ channel and all the blue and green from the ‘left’ channel. Then change the top image layer from ‘normal’ to ‘screen’, flatten the image and enjoy.
Matthew was shooting video with his Canon 5D cameras and performing the same steps in post to render his video in anaglyph 3D. We both hit some home runs that made it to the final product, but also struck out on many attempts.
I discovered a major setback when I sent my anaglyph images to a color printer and then viewed the printouts with the anaglyph glasses. Converting the RGB to the printer’s CYMK ruined the 3D effect on many of the images. I’ve seen anaglyph images printed in magazines, so I knew it was possible. I asked one of our graphic designers to find out what we had to do to make the images work with CMYK inks.
I had other problems to work on, like our school colors; red and blue, which are very close to the colors of the anaglyph glass lenses. Whenever either red or blue appear in an image, your eyes fight for dominance and the 3D effect is spoiled. Fortunately, I found that desaturating the offending color before post processing in Photoshop solves the problem.
Matthew and I were talking one day and he said he had discovered a tutorial on the Internet for making anaglyph 3D images from a single photo. The process involves dividing the image into different planes based on the distance from the camera and creating a depth mask for the different planes. Once the depth mask was created the red/cyan colors in the image were shifted in different directions on either side of the focus point of the image and varying amounts depending on the distance from the focal point.
I used the process on some images and was blown away at how well it worked. If the depth mask is done crudely, the 3D effect was not very good, but more intricate and shaded depth mask resulted in some very impressive anaglyph images. Plus the faux 3D images looked much sharper when viewed without the glasses and they printed to CMYK without any loss in the 3D effect!
Robert Jordan is the Director of Brand Photography Services at The University of Mississippi, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Track and Field is not generally viewed as a dangerous sport, but every once in a while crazy things happen. That was the case a few weeks ago at the Robison Invitational when BYU’s Katy Andrews was competing in the 3000 Meter Steeplechase and got tripped up while attempting to jump the water barrier. She went head over heels into the water pit, hitting her head and bruising up pretty much everything else. I just happened to be there with a GoPro HD Hero 2 waterproof camera shooting video for a review I’m writing of the camera, and it caught the whole crash in High Def. Continue reading