Photography news from Long Island's premiere camera store
Would you like to investigate the micro world? What is in a droplet of pond water? What is in the surface of a leaf? What does the human skin look like on a micro level? What does the intestine look like? What does the part of your tongue look like that tastes? Do you know what a human hair looks like close up?
First, let’s explore the basics:
PARTS OF THE MICROSCOPE
Here’s a picture of a Compound Microscope. This particular one is a Celestron Professional Microscope.
Notice that you have a Binocular Head which holds the Eyepieces of the Microscope. When you look into the Eyepieces, you get the image of the microscopic sample you want to examine. This sample is on a clear glass slide through which light is passing.
Below the Binocular Head is a Turret containing the Microscope Objectives. These are the image forming optics in the microscope. They form an image of the microscopic sample which can then be examined by the Eyepieces in the Binocular Head.
Objectives come in various powers which are typically 4X, 10X, 40X and 100X. Like a telescope, the Objective power plus the power of the Eyepieces used to examine the images determines the actual magnification you see.
The typical Microscope Turret takes 4 Objectives. Using the above power Objectives and 10X Eyepieces, this gives the Microscope the final powers of 40X, 100X, 400X and 1000X (power of the Objective times the power of the Eyepiece).
Below the Objective Turret is the Slide Stage. Here’s where you put the glass slide that holds the sample you want to magnify. The typical Stage has either clips to hold the Slide or an X/Y mechanism to move the slide around on the Stage so that you can look at all parts of your sample.
Below the Stage is a Condenser Lens System. This lens system concentrates a light source onto the area of the slide where your sample is found. Part of the Condenser Lens System can be moved up and down to focus the illumination on the slide. There is also a Diaphragm which allows you to cut down on the amount of illumination. In addition, there is a holder which allows you to put colored filters between the light source and the slide.
At the base of the Microscope is a Focusing Knob on both sides. This Knob allows you to move the Stage and part of the Condenser up and down to focus the slide.
The illumination level can also be controlled via a wheel at the base of the Microscope. There is also an On/Off Switch for the light located there.
WHAT CAN YOU SEE WITH A MICROSCOPE?
To show you what can be seen in a Microscope, it is possible to take pictures - “photomicrographs” – using a special kind of Microscope that has a Trinocular Head. This is simply a Microscope Head with stereo eyepieces to look at the sample plus a tube that allows a camera to be attached to take pictures of the sample. With this type of Microscope, you can simultaneously view and take pictures of what is being imaged in the Microscope. Here’s a picture of this setup.
Here are some pictures taken by Berger Brothers Associate Rich Huber using a Trinocular Microscope and a Nikon D5100 Camera Body.
Tongue Cells Showing Taste Buds at 100X
Bee Foot at 100X
Paramecium (single celled animal in pond water) at 400X
Human Connective Tissue at 100X
Cross Section Of a Plant Stem at 100X
Pennicillin Mold at 100X
Human Skin Cells at 100X
Litchen at 100X
Heart Tissue at 100X
Lily Ovum at 100X
Radiolaria (single celled plankton) at 400X using Darkfield Technique
Leaf of Pittosporum at 100X
Arteries and Veins at 100X
Cytoplasm Connecting Plant Cells at 100X
photos and post by our Optics Expert, Rich H.
Fast, Fun, and Reasonably Priced
The NikonAF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G lens is a great choice for anyone looking to upgrade from the kit lens that came with their camera. The large, 1.8 aperture is reason enough to make the switch to this reasonably priced lens. The edge-to-edge sharpness is another benefit. You will definitely appreciate the faster shutter speeds your camera will be able to give you in low light. The Bokeh of this lens is amazing, given the price. The Nikon 50mm 1.8G lens should be part of every photographer’s kit. The lens is available at both Berger Bros. Camera locations in Syosset and Amityville, and online at http://www.berger-bros.com/NIK2199.htm
Jupiter and Saturn are the planets to see this Month. Jupiter is in the southwestern sky after sunset. Saturn is visible late in the evening.
Comet PanStarrs is still visible at sunset and sunrise, but its magnitude has dropped to almost 5th. You need binoculars and a dark sky to pick it out.
The Lyrid Meteor Shower may produce some bright meteors on April 22.
April 3 – Look for Comet PanStarrs in the west northwest about 30 minutes after sunset. It will be getting close to the great Galaxy M31 in Andromeda. If you have a DSLR, set it up with a 50mm lens at F2.8 and make exposures between 5 and 30 seconds at ISO 800. The higher the ISO you can use, the shorter the exposures you need to use.
It’s also Last Quarter Moon, so the evening sky will be without Moonlight to wash out deep sky objects.
April 5 – View Jupiter in the southwest until it sets at midnight.
April 10 – New Moon.
April 18 – First Quarter Moon.
April 22 – Lyrid Meteor Shower is visible in the early morning sky. The number of meteors visible varies a lot but it is possible to get a good show, up to 30 per hour. However, the Moon is in a gibbeous phase so you will be contending with Moonlight a lot of the night. Your best bet is when the Moon sets about an hour before dawn.
April 24 – The star Spica in the Constellation Virgo makes a conjunction with the nearly Full Moon.
April 25 – Full Moon.
April 27 – Saturn is at opposition, which means it rises at Sunset and sets at Sunrise. The best time to observe it is when it is high in the sky, close to midnight. The tilt of the rings is nearly 18 degrees, which makes them appear very clearly. The size of the globe of the planet will be big, about 20 seconds of arc across. This will be a good time to view Saturn in a small telescope. Saturn’s Moon Titan will be visible near the planet.
April 30 – Venus was on the other side of the sun for most of the month, but at month’s end it emerges again and is visible about 20 minutes after Sunset low in the western sky. Since it will be in twilight, you will need binoculars to see it.
We all love food. It’s how we converse, catch up, and coexist. Without food we wouldn’t last a week. One of the greatest joys of “fooding” is the art of product photo taking. Capturing food in a photo in just the right way does more to arouse the appetite than starvation. Most people assume the photos are simply pointing and shooting good food. However, there are an incredibly large number of things that go into taking a perfect food shot. Just ask McDonald’s.
Taking the perfect food shot requires an amazing amount of patience and artistry. By viewing the link above, you can see what it takes to create the right shot for your product. Here are five pro tips to taking stunning food photos:
- Focal Point
Lighting: This is probably the most basic item in the list of five. Obviously if you can’t see definition in your product, you may need more light. Conversely, if it’s too bright to see colors you need to rethink your approach. Set the lighting in a way that your product is well-lit and shadows are either where you want them or nonexistent.
Lens: It doesn’t matter how beautiful your product looks if you don’t have a lens to give you the professional look it deserves. Take a look at Twitter and Instagram and see how many food pictures are out there. Most of the pictures taken are then put under lens modification. Food pics are a big deal and taking them with the right lens will make your product stand out. Ensure you’re using the best DSLR lenses for your shoots.
Focal Point: One of the biggest mistakes photographers make when it comes to food photos is the focal point of the picture. Whether you’re shooting a burger, ice cream or pizza, it’s essential you identify the correct focal point for the photo. The tricky part is that there’s no definite spot for every photo, you have to have the experience to know where it is with each and every shoot.
Product: Another common mistake companies make is using the wrong product for their highlight placement shoot. If you’re a sandwich shop, don’t focus on that amazing pasta salad you serve with all sandwiches or the soup kitchen that produces incredible rolls. Stick with your main product and make sure it’s the best photo you have.
Background: When taking your photos, one of the things to consistently remember is your background. What’s behind your product? What’s in front of it? Is it in front of a white or black drop? What would look better? Are there people behind the shot? Some of the answers to these questions may be yes, but remember that whatever you print will be interpreted and criticized. Take the time to do it correctly and intentionally.
News Flash! Comet PanStarrs is finally visible. Look to the west and above the horizon about one fist width in the hour after sunset. Estimates are now optimistic that it will be 1st Magnitude! That means it should be bright enough to see if you don’t have too much light pollution from NYC. If you can go out east and get a western looking view with no obstructions, you’ll get a better view. You should be able to see the comet any time after March 8 and into April. Of course, the Moon will interfere when it gets fuller. Optimum time to view the comet is around March 15.
Use 7X50 binoculars or a small spotting telescope. If you already own a telescope, use the lowest power you can. Locate the telescope with your naked eye or binoculars and then point the telescope at the comet. To take pictures, use a 50mm or shorter focal length and put the camera on a tripod. Set the camera to “Manual” mode if you have, set the lens wide open (F/2, F/2.8, F3.5, whatever your maximum opening is) and make exposures of around 30 seconds at ISO 800 or higher. Look at your histogram or the actual picture on your screen to see if you have the right exposure. Stars and the comet should be visible but not blown out, and the background should be blue but not too light.
The Celestial Sights by Date for March:
March 1 and later: The Planet Saturn rises after midnight. It will be visible in the southeast as a very bright star. The rings are tilted dramatically so that the Cassini’s division and other details will be plainly visible.
March 4: Last Quarter Moon.
March 8 and later: Comet PanStarrs is visible in the west after sunset.
Finder Chart For the Comet:
March 10: Daylight Savings Time begins.
March 17: The Planet Jupiter appears in the Constellation Taurus, and makes a great view with the bright orange star Aldebaran (the brightest star in Taurus) and the waxing Gibbeous Moon. The Pleiades, the bright open cluster in Taurus, is nearby.
Use 7X50 binoculars to take in the entire field with all of the celestial “jewels.” Jupiter is a fine sight in a small telescope. At 50-100 power, you will see the “belts” of gas against the disk of the planet, and the Galilean Moons Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto will be visible. You might even see an occultation (A Moon goes behind the Planet) or a shadow of the Moon on the bright cloud surface of the planet.
March 19: First Quarter Moon.
March 20: Spring begins.
March 27: Full Moon.
Before the digital age, photo restoration was not something widely available to the general public. Restorations were reserved for important works or art, and socially meaningful photographs. Art restorers at museums would make repairs directly on the original photograph by airbrushing over the damage. This method remains the preferred technique for repairing valuable historical photos, but it is very expensive and often times, the photo is not restored to “good as new” condition.
Today, we are able to take advantage of all sorts of new technologies that allow us to repair damaged photos at very reasonable prices. Instead of working directly on the damaged photo, a digital copy is created. Then, this copy is imported into photo editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop, and the necessary repairs are made on the computer. Professional photo restorers can do anything from piecing together and repairing torn photographs to removing people or objects from a photo completely.
A fair amount of education and training is required to have the skills needed to do these repairs. If you have photos that have been damaged in any way, be sure to bring them to a photo restoration professional. At Berger Bros. Camera, we have a staff of highly qualified photo restoration experts who can save your treasured memories. For more information, visit our website, or stop in to either of our retail locations in Syosset and Amityville, or our Center for Photographic Art in Huntington Village.
What is the first thing you notice about product photos? Is it the aesthetics, or do you see the product itself stripped of any subjective overtones? What if I told you there’s a way to have both? Taking photos worthy of a Pulitzer Prize may sound a bit lofty, but let me assure you there’s no reason an amateur photographer can’t take the necessary steps to achieve greatness in art, even when it’s as simple as taking product shots.
Anyone who owns a camera knows the impact of detailed, quality photos. There’s a huge difference between blurry and grainy shots and the crisp effect of clean, detailed pictures. The goal of any product shot is to capture the best of your product in a vibrant and well-lit, clearly identified, photograph. And it’s not uncommon for companies to spend millions of dollars on outsourcing their photos to professional companies who charge ludicrous amounts for their services. Why not take some photography workshops and perfect the use of your trusted Nikon camera lens at a fraction of the cost?
Photography classes and workshops are found all over, and provide the most essential skill to develop in taking fantastic product photos: repetition. When we repeat a process over time, we learn how to more effectively shape our craft. Pick up your camera and get out there practicing and repeating. What do you learn from others’ work? What angles and lighting work well? Most product shots are done in a studio with expensive equipment, but with time and effort you can achieve the same professionalism in your photos. Take the time to workshop with your camera and get the results you want.
Get the Right Shots
Taking excellent shots is more of a habit than an art form once you’ve mastered the basics. Having the fundamental knowledge of capturing light, color, and angles will ultimately become muscle memory to you as you consistently hone your new talent. Take the time to research the best product photos out there. The more examples you can find of the best, the more opportunities you have to achieve that level or possibly surpass it. To be the best you have to beat the best.
Product photos are often filled with subjective overtones. Whether it’s a hamburger that looks bigger than it really is, or a diamond with enhanced sparkles to add that little extra shine, subjectivity in product placement is everywhere. Often, product shots are so stuffed with falsities they are borderline dishonest.
You don’t have to take that route. There is a way to take great shots and add that little extra touch of class to get greatness and subjectivity. It all starts with angles and light. You can Photoshop something to look bigger, smaller, sharper, or lighter, but getting those things right on the initial shot are what will distinguish your photo as professional. Use Photoshop only to touch-up, not create. That’s the secret to amazing photos. If you’re spending the majority of your time in Photoshop trying to perfect the lighting and color, you’re doing it backwards. Trust the experience you’ll gain from professional photography workshops and classes.
The general public is often referred to as ignorant and unwise. Companies try to treat us like we’re dumb, and that they know what’s best for us, but when a company trusts its audience they see the results. The more you take genuine, Photoshop-free pics the more you will see the results you desire and the positive response from your demographic.
When you begin work-shopping your skills, the opportunities for growth are limitless. Using your Nikon Camera Lens correctly will enhance all your images and ultimately make you a better photographer. Here are some quick and easy steps to becoming a better photographer:
- Know Your Lens Features
- Take the time to work with your lens and practice taking shots randomly. Notice the lighting and clarity. Fiddle with the ISO and f-stop to achieve different results and learn how you can most effectively utilize your camera and lens.
- Get a Second Opinion
- We often take pictures with our best interests in mind. We feel we have the correct artist interpretation because… well… we do. We’re the artist. It’s often helpful though to get a second opinion. Speak with someone you trust to see if what you’re trying to achieve is actually happening. Those you trust can be your best teachers.
- Shoot, Shoot, Shoot
- The more photos you take, the more you’ll ultimately see what you’re looking for. It takes time to become an expert in any field, and you need to ensure you’re continually honing your skills. This is where practice is important. The more shots you can dissect and critique the more opportunities you’ll have to increase your ability and deliverables.
- What is My Focus or Desire?
- Where Will I Find the Best Shots?
- What Lighting is Available?
- What Lenses Should I Bring?
- What Time of Day Will I Be Shooting?
- What Do I Want to Accomplish in my Photos Today?
Lenses are incredibly expensive. They are the priciest because they are the number one factor in taking excellent photos. Without a great lens, you’re taking poor pictures-it’s that simple. Once you’ve purchased that amazing lens you need to take it out for a spin. If you’re an amateur this can be a somewhat daunting experience. You hold that new lens and wonder, “What do all these buttons and switches do?” Don’t worry too much; you really can’t break a digital photo. Just start sliding things and taking note of the buttons you press.
Once you begin seeing the results you like, you can hone in on the things you did that worked for your specific shot.
Professionals already have a basic understanding of photography essentials: f-stop, ISO, hue, saturation, etc. there’s so much to know, and learning it all takes time. Once you’ve learned all the basics, and more, you can purchase a Nikon camera lens and completely interpret all the dials and digits. Learning is a continual process that just increases with time and experience.
Get a Second Opinion
Nobody likes to be told they’re wrong. Only those who seek advice ready to make changes know that constructive criticism means they can never be wrong. You’re only wrong if you think you are. Approaching your art with the desire to improve will allow for second opinions from trusted friends and confidants to improve and stretch your work.
Understanding that others’ work is perfectly acceptable as a platform or launching pad for your own creative ideas allows you the freedom to build your own brand. Obviously blatant plagiarism is wrong and should be avoided at all costs, but don’t let that deter you from gaining insight and ideas from other works. Ask those you trust to help you become better.
Shoot, Shoot, Shoot
As previously stated, the more shots you take; the more you understand. Once you begin grasping the idea or concept of art and aesthetics it’s only normal and reasonable to continue your process. Experimenting with lighting, hue, saturation, ISO and more will only increase your ability to deliver professional and high-quality art.
Buy a massive memory card and go shoot the world. Take pictures of everything you see and don’t stop until the card is full. Then sit down and go through all your pictures. What worked? What didn’t? Where could you have improved? What different approaches could you have taken? In all these questions lie the answers to achieving greater results and more sensational success.
Distinguishing Between DSLR Lenses
Now that you’ve worked out the kinks and how to use your Nikon camera lens, perhaps you want to branch out and try other DSLR lenses. This is perfectly normal-in fact most professional photographers have an arsenal of lenses at their disposal purely for a difference in taste or aesthetic preference. Let’s look at some of the different lenses professionals keep in their bags:
1) Portraits, Weddings and Landscape Photography
a) Ultra Wide Angle(15mm, 16-35mm, 17-40mm)
b) Wide Angle/mid-range zoom (24mm, 24-70mm, 28-80mm, 28-135mm)
c) Standard Telephoto(85mm, 100mm, 135mm, 70-200mm)
These are your standard lenses for shooting faces or landscapes. If you want to specialize in wedding photography or headshots for actors, these are the three must-have lenses to go in your camera bag. If you want more help with landscape photography, click here.
2) Architecture and Interior Photography
a) Ultra Wide Angle(15mm, 16-35mm, 17-40mm)
b) Wide Angle Zoom(24-70mm, 28-80mm)
These lenses are great for architecture and photography because they specifically allow, with the ultra wide angle, minor obstruction to entire rooms. You can capture more of the design and layout of particular rooms or buildings. These two are “must-haves” for any photographer shooting interior decorating or product placement for businesses.
3) Sports and Nature Photography
a) Long Telephoto Lens(300mm, 400mm, 500mm +)
b) Long Telephoto Zoom(70-200mm, 100-400mm, 50-500mm)
c) Converter (1.4x, 2x)
The specificity of these particular lenses is the zoom factor. These zoom lenses have the ability to capture extremely close, emotionally rich shots mid movement. This capability allows for amazing shots from long distances as well. Sometimes you can’t get close enough to take the shot you want, and these power-zoom lenses are just what’s required.
Do remember though, that with a 1.4x converter you lose 1 stop, and a 2x converter you lose 2 of light whether with shutter speed or your aperture. Keep that in mind when you purchase your converter.
Using Your Lens in a Specific Field
Once you’ve established your specialty-be it portraits, weddings, sports, or architecture, take the time to do things correctly. Spend your efforts honing your skills in one area before trying to branch out. In the photography world it’s good to be a jack of all trades, but it’s required to be a master of one. Now that you’re focused on one area of expertise, take the time to see others’ works that are popular or renowned. This is your time to learn from the best. Here are the key points you should ask yourself about your field of expertise:
When you take the time to ask yourself the important questions about why you’re doing what you’re doing, you’ll get the answers that will motivate you to a better result. Never give up on yourself when you get discouraged after a bad shoot. Sometimes photography just doesn’t go the way of the photographer. What’s important is that you remember you are the one in control of how it goes, and when you have that amazing shoot you’ll be reminded ever so quickly why you love what you do. Some say photography is about art; achieving an aesthetic goal that others may not have imagined. I say differently. I say photography is life inspired by art.
Are you colorful? Vintage? Adventurous? No matter what your camera style, Pentax has the perfect camera just for you.
If you are the colorful type, we suggest you find your perfect match with the Pentax Q10, the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable lens system camera, now available with customized grip and body colors in 100 possible color combinations.
The camera may be small, but its capabilities are enormous. A high resolution 12.4 megapixel sensor and advanced focus and metering system capture beautifully detailed images, all while fitting comfortably into your pocket. A variety of specialty Q lenses suits just about all of your photographic needs. Plus, you can use your K-mount lenses with the Q-to-K mount adaptor.
If a vintage look is more your style, check out the retro feel of the MX-1.
The MX-1 is the perfect marriage of craft design and contemporary quality. Reminiscent of an old film camera, the genuine brass covers will look even better with age. Combine this with the fast, bright wide-aperture smc Pentax lens at f1.8-2.5 and you get outstanding depth of field control and beautiful bokeh.
If you consider yourself outdoorsy, check out the ruggedized compact WG-3GPS, built for all of life’s adventures. Capture outstanding images in any element – the camera is waterproof to approximately 45 feet and shockproof from drops of approximately 6 1/2 feet. Not to mention coldproof, dustproof, and crushproof too. This new GPS model also has a secondary LCD that displays time, barometic pressure, altitude or depth underwater.
When you are ready to explore your camera style, please visit Berger Bros. Camera in Syosset or Amityville, or shop online at www.berger-bros.com.
Happy New Year!
Despite the cold weather, we hope you will take the time to look at the skies this month. You’ll be rewarded with some bright and beautiful views in the dry winter sky.
Some of the brightest stars in the sky can be seen in January. Betelgeuze and Rigel shine brightly in the Constellation Orion the Hunter, while Adebaran marks the “eye” of the Bull in Taurus. Capella marks the shoulder of Auriga the Charioteer, while Sirius, the brightest star in the northern sky, marks the position of Canis Major, the Big Dog. The planet Jupiter is bright and in the sky over most of the night.
Here are some day-to-day sights and happenings throughout the month:
January 10 – Right near Sunrise, Venus is very close to the thin, waning crescent Moon in the Southwest.
January 11 – New Moon.
January 12 – Mars will appear next to the thin crescent Moon about an hour after sunset. Use binoculars to view Mars and the Moon. No need to use a telescope on Mars as it is too far away and is a very tiny disk that will be difficult to see.
January 13 – The waxing crescent Moon will be above Mars and both will be easier to see with binoculars.
January 18 – First-quarter Moon.
January 21 – Jupiter is very near the gibbous Moon around midnight. Jupiter’s disk is large; the four biggest moons are easy to see and a small telescope will be enough to see the equatorial belts on the planet. With a 4-inch telescope or larger, you will be able to see fainter belts and zones as well as the Great Red Spot.
January 31 – Saturn becomes visible in the East about an hour or so after midnight in the Constellation Libra. The rings are tilted so that you have a terrific view, even with a small telescope.
As you gaze at the sky this January, keep in mind that in 2013, we have two great chances to see spectacular comets. Sometime around March, Comet Pan-Starrs will become bright enough to be visible to the naked eye. In the Fall, Comet ISON will come close enough to the Sun, to be visible in the daylight. Comets are hard to predict, so keep checking this blog for updates!