Here at Sony, we love "User Generated Content", and will do whatever we can to promote content sent to us by our loyal fan base!
This is a great write up about the recent Nex-5R Live Gallery event that was held in London, and featured live content being uploaded to TV screens in the gallery from Berlin, Paris and London - where photographers armed with the NEX-5R and their Xperia smartphones shot some great pictures and uploaded them for the waiting gallery audience!
Read all about it from the Sony Communities collaborator known as "Watashiwateshdes"
Sony Music artist Lang Lang uses the NEX-5R and gives us a little insight into his life and how he likes to share the moments in his life by recording photos and videos and uploading them to social media.
With the speed and sensory technology of a DSLR, the NEX-5R from Sony is an award-winning interchangeable lens camera that fits in your pocket. Take professional level photos from any angle, thanks to the 180 degree tilting LCD screen and large 16.1 megapixel sensor. Including Wi-Fi and HD video capabilities, this camera fits a massive amount into its tiny body.
Despite its small size, the camera's large 16.1 megapixels sensor captures more of the image and more of the light, resulting in expert looking photos with less noise in low light settings. Taking up to ten frames per second with DSLR-speed auto focusing, you'll never miss that perfect shot again.
PlayMemories Studio is an exciting application that harnesses the power of your PlayStation 3 to to share and edit your photos and videos!
In this video, you can see where and how to get a hold of PlayMemories Studio. You may even be eligible for a free full-length or limited-time download!
PlayMemories Studio allows you to organise your pictures by date, geography or any way you like. Using your PS3 controller, you can crop, zoom, apply titles, or add ready-made visual and sound effects to your photos and videos. Then, it's a quick and simple process to upload your masterpieces to a social networking site to share with friends and family or the wider world!
The winners of the Sony World Photograpy Awards 2012 have been announced!
L’Iris d’Or - the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year
The overall winner of the coveted L’Iris d’Or - the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year is American photographer Mitch Dobrowner. His series, Storms, captures the majesty, force and beauty of extreme weather with superb technical precision. On receiving the award Dobrowner said, 'In landscape photography, there is one moment that will never be the same again. I want my images to do the speaking. That's what photography is all about.'
Dobrowner was selected as the winner by a panel of 9 judges from the World Photography Organisation and the wider photographic community. Over 112,000 images were entered into the 2012 competition from 171 countries – the largest number of entries to date. He will receive a $25,000, Sony's latest digital imaging equipment and the promotion of his images throughout the year and around the world.
Sony World Photography Awards Open Photographer of the Year
The Sony World Photography Awards Open Photographer of the Year title was awarded to Tobias Bräuning for his innovative image Dancing Queen, in the split second category, a new category this year.
Student Focus Award
Middlesex University, UK student Asef Ali Mohammad was awarded the Student Focus award that attracted entries from over 200 institutions across six continents. The brief for this category was 'Your world in colour'. His series of images of youngsters in Kabul was chosen over 10 other shortlisted photographers for its strong emotional impact through colour.
The title of Sony World Photography Awards Youth Award Winner went to Sergey Kolyaskin from Russia, for his image The Last Hero. New for the 2012 Awards, the Youth Competition was open to anyone under the age of 20.
Images from the winners and finalists will be displayed in the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House in London. You're bound to be inspired by the diversity of subjects and techniques on display.
If you can see it, you can photograph it. As long as there is enough light to illuminate your subject — even if it’s very dim — you’ll be able to get your shot.
Here is a lovely twilight setting, let's look at ways to capture the best images and take advantage of available light.
Don't necessarily use a flash An electronic flash provides plenty of light but the result (below) can look unnatural with hard shadows. The evening light is rendered much too dark.
Increase the light getting into your photo
Compared to taking photos in a well-lit scene, there are three ways of compensating in low-light situations. You may need to take your camera out of automatic mode in order to control these settings.Although each will help you get a great low-light photo, each has other potential effects so it's best to balance their use.
Increase the exposure time/ slow down shutter speed: the longer the shutter is open, the more light can get in. A longer exposure can result in blurry photos, so you may want to use a tripod or support your arms on a table, tree, lamp-post etc. Steady the camera against the object and press the button gently to take the photo. Sometimes it helps to hold your breath until the photo is taken. Sony cameras have a feature called Steady Shot Inside to help keep photos sharp.
Use a wider aperture: If possible, use a wide-angle setting or open the aperture of the lens when taking the photo. Compared to a telephoto setting, much more light will be able to come through the lens. This will affect how much of the photo can be in focus.
Increase the ISO: Use High Sensitivity mode (on Cyber-Shot cameras) or increase the ISO setting to 400, 800 etc (on manual cameras). This setting controls the amount of light that reaches the sensor of the camera and is recorded in the photo. On some cameras this can increase the amount of noise--coloured speckles where there shouldn't be any. Sony cameras have extra sensitive sensors so you can increase the ISO more than on other cameras without a noticeable effect.
Try combining these setting changes and techniques to improve your low-light photography.
Composition means arrangement: putting together elements to make a whole. Just as speakers of a language must learn to put words in order to communicate verbally, photographers must learn to arrange the elements of their photos in order to communicate visually.
Good composition feels right when you look at the finished photograph. The eye and the mind have a preference for certain arrangements. When this arrangement is present in a photograph, the viewer's eye will stay in the photograph longer.
When you're taking a photograph, try not to think about just the objects in the photo. Try to look more 'abstractly' at the scene and recognise shapes, shadows, forms, lines etc. This is a skill that can be cultivated over time with practice. Although no one can give you the rule to follow in any given scenario (there are simply too many possible scenes to photograph--that's what makes photography so special!), there are some principles you can start to think about that will improve your composition. Looks out for these visual elements in your photos, and remember to take lots of photos. When you look back over your photos, compare the compositions and see the effect of each.
Converging Lines Look for converging lines such as roads, railway lines, paving stones, railings and shadows. These lead the eye across the picture and into the distance, making for a more dynamic shot. This technique often works well in a wide-angle photo.
Rhythmic elements Try to find repeating or rhythmic elements such as anything in rows – people, trees, cars – or any repetitious arrangement. These patterns are restful to the eye, but the slight variations make the composition lively and interesting. This works well with photos taken in telephoto mode or taken with a long (telephoto) lens that allows a far-away view.
Overlapping elements Overlap elements in the scene to partially hide your subject – creating a sense of mystery. You’ll also notice a greater sense of depth – space receding into the picture. This works well with photos taken in telephoto mode or taken with a long (telephoto) lens that allows a far-away view.
Framing Use frames within the picture: trees, people’s arms, doorways – these are all framing devices which concentrate the viewer’s attention on the point of interest. Sometimes adjusting your position only slightly is all it takes to use one object to frame another.
There's something about a great portrait that really captures the viewer's imagination. This is handy because people are a plentiful subject and provide lots of possibilities. Whether you're a novice portrait-shooter or a seasoned hand, here are some ideas for trying something new with your people photos that might help you get the images you're looking for:
1.) Take lots of shots
This is a good rule for all digital photography. The more shots you take, the greater the chance that you will get one or two exceptional images in the bunch. When it comes to portraits, this is especially important because the smallest shift in facial expression or eye contact can make a very dramatic difference in the final photo.
2.) Change up the angles
Don't always shoot someone straight on. This is what most snapshots are, and the resulting photos are usually not very interesting or notable. Try shooting your subject from above, underneath, or from the side. We're not as accustomed to viewing others from these angles, so the results are more visually interesting.
3.) To make eye contact or not?
Consider variations in the eye contact of your subject. Sometimes it is very powerful to have the subject looking directly at the camera. The viewer of the image can connect with the subject easily that way. However, many subjects feel uncomfortable when looking directly at the camera and, as a result, their facial expressions look uncomfortable. Try having them look at the side of the camera, at something behind you/the camera, at the ceiling or floor. Often this allows people to relax enough to get a natural expression that can be more compelling to look at.
4.) Get uncomfortable with strangers
Often we photograph our families or ourselves because they are the subjects that are always around and easily accessible. It's easy to fall into the comfort of the familiar, but you may end up with a lot of portraits that look similar or rely on your interaction with the subject. Ask to photograph acquaintances or strangers (be certain to ask permission first, it is only polite!). It may feel uncomfortable, but it's this discomfort that will force you to rethink how to shoot the photo and could result in some stunningly different images.
5.) Compose a masterpiece
Composition is important in all photos, but don't get hung up on 'the rules' when it comes to portraits. Sometimes giving your subject 'room to breathe' in the photo may look best. Other times, cropping in tightly on their face or a part of their face may make a better shot.
You may also want to consider using a camera with portrait-enhancing features built in. Some of Sony's latest cameras feature Auto Portrait Framing which uses a face-detection software to identify the face in your portrait and suggests well-balanced crops that may help your portraits look like the professionals'.
The Sony World Photography Awards allow experts and amateurs alike to showcase their photography, and in doing so offer them the chance to win some great prizes in this highly acclaimed photography awards ceremony.
Hear how two Professional Photographers were inspired to enter the awards and how easy it is for you to do the same!
Peter Hainsworth, from Sony, explains the best ways to go about Astrophotography.
Astrophotography is one of the most frustrating, rewarding and addictive forms of photography I have ever undertaken and encompasses many different disciplines which will grow as you perfect your skills. From experience, even before start taking a camera out of its bag.
1) Make sure you are warm – If you get cold you will loose interest, this includes good pair of shoes / boots
2) Know your environment - know where any potential trip hazards are located, I know from bitter experience having travelled to a dark site only to stumble into the edge of a pond!
3) Ensure the camera battery is charged – if it is very cold the battery will not last as long
4) Take a torch with you – a head torch is perfect, especially if it also has red LED’s built-in, (Red light is a lot more forgiving on your night adapted vision).
What will be useful to take astrophotos:
Camera – I’ll say more about the settings in a moment
Lens – the focal length depends upon what you wish to try and capture, but for general star trails a wide angle lens of around 28mm would be perfect, (remembering the Alpha 35 due to the APS size imager does give a 1.5x magnification). I would strongly recommend the lens hood (Light shield) is fitted to the front of the lens to prevent condensation forming on the front element of the lens. If you are using a zoom lens pointed up into the sky it is possible for the zoom to creep. If you experience this I have used a piece of electrical insulation tape on the zoom collar, (Please don’t use tape which leave a sticky residue when removed) when finished taking the photos remove the tape.
Tripod – the importance here is that it is stable. In my case I started using a flimsy non branded tripod but found by leaving the legs collapsed it was surprisingly solid
Black card – you can use this to hold in front of the lens to create some interesting effects
Black or dark cloth to cover the camera – on a cold crisp night, you will be surprised by the amount of dew which will form on the camera, so to protect the camera placing a cloth (well washed to stop dust) over the camera will protect your camera
Cable release – this will allow you to trigger the camera via a cable and avoid introducing movement (camera shake) from shutter button.
Compass to identify North – The whole sky revolves around “Polaris”, the north star, so if you could open the shutter for 12 hours you would find all the stars would scribe half a circle around “Polaris”. If you can recognise the Great Bear, (Ursa Major) and the two stars at the end of what looks like a sauce pan, these stars point towards Polaris
OK, now lets look at taking some photos or star trails:
Set the tripod on the ground, ideally for stability set at it’s lowest setting – on some tripods they do have a hook so you can hang your camera bag to help give the tripod stability.
Now we need to set the camera to the following:
ISO400 – you can go higher, but this does depend on the local light pollution
Set the camera to manual
Set the aperture to the widest setting (Lowest F number) – I prefer to click it up one or two steps, but this is something you can fine tune
Set the shutter speed to 30 seconds or if you have a cable release to the “B” or Bulb setting. The total length of exposure is dependant upon you local conditions (light pollution) but the beauty of digital is it costs nothing to try it.
Set the auto white balance to daylight – When shooting in Auto White Balance, (AWB) the camera can be easily fooled by the local light pollution
Set the focus to Manual – cameras find it difficult to focus at infinity at night and uses power hunting around for focus
In the menu of the Alpha 35, select “Long Exposure Noise Reduction” – this overcomes noise generated when taking a long exposure. So if you take a 30” exposure the camera will take a photo for 30” with the shutter open, then close the shutter and take another 30” with the shutter closed. The camera then subtracts the two images to give a cleaner (reduced back ground noise) photo. It is always worth trying this with and without Long Exposure NR to see the difference. The down side is a 30” exposure takes 1 minute, so you can be stood around waiting for the photo to appear on the screen, (This is why it is important to dress with warm clothes).
Set your camera to RAW and JPEG – in RAW it is so easy to change the white balance
Attach the camera to the tripod
Point the camera at a bright object in the sky and manually focus to infinity
Now point the camera to the North, at an altitude so you can obtain some foreground interest
Press the shutter and wait for the 30” to elapse – then another 30” whilst the Long exposure NR does its stuff – Don’t forget if a lot of dew, cover the body of the camera with a suitable cloth for protection
Review the image on the screen and using the magnifier inspect the image for focus and exposure and adjust as appropriate
I did say you would get to know how to drive your camera
The next steps is to look at being more creative:
As above, but whilst the shutter is open try highlighting some of the foreground with a torch or flash gun set on a low power. You could even point the low power torch towards the camera and literally paint with light. The main thing with this is keep moving so the camera doesn’t capture you – unless of course that is the effect you wish.
Once you are proficient with this, the next step to a make what is called a Scotch Mount, Haig or barn door tracking platform – just use a search engine for either one of these terms and you will find many examples, which are so simple to make from a few pieces of wood and elementary DIY skills. Once you have made this you can track the stars and then start to track the stars and then capture even more deep sky objects. Then the next steps is to piggy back your camera onto the side of a driven telescope, then you can remove the camera lens and attached the camera body to the rear of a telescope.
Paul Tucker and Paul Genge talk about aperture control using the alpha digital cameras, and how you can take great looking pictures where parts of the picture are clearly in focus while other parts are blurred.