Capturing The Northern Lights Forever

Little compares to the majesty and splendor of the aurora borealis; or as it is better known- the northern lights. Brilliant colors of the red, green, blue and predominantly yellow dance across a midnight blue arctic sky. As they dance across their night sky stage, they tango with a back drop of stars that seem to be just ever so slightly out of reach, making it the perfect scene for photography. But what is the science behind these celestial light show? What actually causes the northern lights phenomenon?

Causes Of The Northern Lights

Light Portion

First let’s learn what causes the light portion of the northern lights. Our sun is continually spewing positive ions (positively charged parts of atoms) into space due to the nuclear processes that keep it burning. This flow of ions, which occurs in all directions, is called Solar Wind.

When the particles that make up this wind reach the Earth’s atmosphere, they knock the electrons out of atoms. When other atoms catch the electron, light is emitted. There you have the cause of the “light” in Northern Lights.

Northern Lights Colors

Second let’s learn what causes the Northern Lights to have all these colors. The color of light depends on the type of gas, or atoms, involved. Each type of gas emits a characteristic color when it captures an electron.

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The varieties of gases in the atmosphere are what cause the varied colors in the northern lights. Hydrogen, helium, nitrogen and oxygen collide with the solar charged particles and result in the yellow, blue, purple, red, and green colors emitted by the lights.

The Northern Part

Third let’s learn what causes the “northern” part of Northern Lights. They are called Northern Lights because the poles of the Earth’s magnetic field are near the north and south poles. Light seen around the North Pole is known as Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis.

Southern Lights

Light seen around the South Pole are called the Southern Lights or the Corona Borealis.
Sometimes, the flow of ions from the sun gets stronger, and the Northern Lights can reach closer to the equator then they might otherwise. There have been reports of people seeing the Northern Lights close to the equator in places such as Texas, USA.

The Dancing Of Lights

Lastly, let’s learn what causes the northern lights to dance. As with any wind, solar or otherwise, the particles move in a sweeping motion over the Earth’s surface. This results in a dancing like pattern of light.

So there you are. You now know exactly what causes the northern lights, and why a traveling to see them is a once in a lifetime experience.

Preserving Old Slides With Slide Scanners

Way back before the time of digital cameras, there were slides. You may have slides or remember looking at your parents or grandparents’ slides. Many memories may be held on these pieces of film but they may also be in danger of damage or complete ruin. You can save and preserve these shots by scanning them and saving them digitally with flatbed slide scanners.

Look For Multi-purpose Scanners

Flatbed slide scanners, or a 35mm slide scanner, is a specialized scanner only meant to scan film and slides. You can also find multipurpose scanners that not only scan slides but also photos and documents. If you mainly want to preserve your slides, the best solution is probably a dedicated slide scanner.

With all the choices of brands and models, making a choice of which slide scanner to buy can be tough. Most of the top names in camera and photographic technology design slide scanners, including Canon, Polaroid, Epson, Nikon, Kodak, HP, and Minolta. Slide scanners will range in what they can offer you and what they will cost you.

Choose The Best Scanner

How do you decide what the best flatbed slide scanner is for you? The best way to make an informed choice is to analyze why you are using the scanner. Obviously, you’ll be scanning slides and film, but are you doing so for personal use or is it for business? The answer may impact your choice of slide scanners dramatically. For most personal use, and even occasional professional use, a mid-range slide scanner should be enough. But for those in printing or publishing, a high-end model might be necessary. All of this should come into play in your slide scanner evaluation.

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Scanner Quality

Choosing between these scanners basically comes down to how much you will scan and the scanning quality that’s necessary. The higher the scanning resolution, the better quality is the end results. That also usually means a higher price tag. But if you want clear scans — especially if they’re for professional output — the extra price may be worth it. Also look into the flatbed scanner software that comes with the scanner. Make sure it has any features you demand such as editing or enhancement options. Some slide scanners may come with auto correct features and ways of fixing damaged images as well.

Using The Software

Scanning slides or film isn’t entirely serious business either. It can also be fun and games. With some editing software, you can manipulate images and use different filter effects to change the look of photographs. You may be able to add borders or other things for fun. And once the image is digital, you can use it in almost any way imaginable. Create prints, either directly from your computer or upload them to a print making company online. Add images to cards or mugs through various online businesses. Share images with family and friends by email or through social networking sites. The possibilities are close to limitless.

Flatbed slide scanners can work well for personal or professional use. The range of flat bed scanners available makes it possible to afford for both and still get the features and quality you need. Take the scanner’s use into consideration and then narrow down your best options for a slide scanner.

4 Tips for Budding Stock Photographers

Photography is an art that requires an artist’s vision. Developing your artistic sense is not an overnight process and it takes a while before you can deliver amazing stock pictures. In order to understand the basics of stock photography, it is important to understand the product you’re shooting and the target audience that is going to be interested in such a product.

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Bose 151 Environmental Speakers –  Image Source – Outer Audio

Let us take the example of Bose outdoor speakers. When you’re photographing speakers, you would want to churn out a picture that appeals to the music loving youth. You could either give it a classy feel like how Apple manages to do or you could give it a cool kind of a look. However there are a few aspects that are always important irrespective of the product you’re photographing –

  1. Lights: Needless to say, proper lighting is the key to great stock photography. Your Bose outdoor speakers might appear to be grainy if you haven’t flooded the area with proper light. However, you would also need to ensure that the subject does not vaporize in the lighting. You can diffuse the light by bouncing it off the ceiling and walls.
  2. Focus: As much as you want to focus on getting the perfect shot, you need to ensure that your camera does not have different thoughts. One of the major problems that come into picture is that the subject appears great on a small traditional screen but looks horrible on modern bigger screens like and inside and / or outside TV. Therefore getting your Bose outdoor speakers in focus is an important aspect of taking a stock picture.
  3. Rule of thirds: Rule of thirds is important in order to get your speakers intersect two perpendicular lines. A camera with the ‘grid feature’ is ideal for taking good pictures. You also need to ensure that you have a good editing software in place so that you can get the best resolution for your images.
  4. Multiple shots: There are times when photographers are left fretting and fuming simply because you think that you could have taken the picture form a different angle. As a budding photographer, you should ensure that you take multiple shots so as to get the best out of your editing software later on.

 

How to Photograph Paintings

Whether you are an artist who wants to sell one of their paintings oversees or a college student who wants their parents to see their painting from 200 miles away- having the ability to photograph a painting can be helpful.  When you choose the right camera, wait until the time is right, and find the right place to photograph – you can create the perfect photograph.  Below are some top tips on how to properly photograph a painting.deleteeee

1)      Choose the right camera-  Before you take a photograph of a painting, you’ll have to find the right camera.  The amount of money that you spend on your camera depends on its purpose.  If you are a professional artist who wants to take pictures of their paintings in order to sell their artwork overseas, you’ll probably want to go with a high-end camera.  There are more affordable options for someone who wants to use a photograph of a painting to decorate their living room or to send to a family member/friend.  You might also want to look for a tripod.  You should look for tripods that are both stable and compact.  Even though heavy tripods are heavy to carry around, they can provide the most stability.

2)      Wait until the timing and lighting is right- Because photographs of paintings look the best when they are taken in natural light, you will want to wait until the time is right.  A problem with using the flash feature on your camera is that it can create a distracting glare in your photograph.  The sunlight can provide your painting with a non-distracting soft glow.  You should avoid taking the picture during night time when you will be forced to use the flash feature.  One thing that we often look at is what type of painting too.  If we are photographing wall art, it is best to take it in a gloomy setting or low light, as the bright colors stand out more.  For a traditional painting, we suggest taking it when it is just medium lighting if at all possible.

3)      Find the right place to photograph your painting- After you have chosen the right camera and the time is right, you have to decide where you what to place your painting.  If you are taking a photograph of a piece that is 10×14 inches or smaller, you have the option of placing the photograph on the floor and shooting from above.  This is not the best option if you want to enhance certain types of paintings and colors.  It is easy to place a painting up against the wall or create a white wall/backdrop.  You will probably want to create a white wall or backdrop if you have distracting or dirty walls.

4)      Take your shot without shaking- Even though it isn’t easy, you are going to have to try and shoot the photograph straight on.  If you or the angle on the lens is slanted, the painting won’t look its best.  Try to make sure that your hands stay stable and aren’t shaking.  You might want to take multiple shots if you want a perfect outcome.

5)      Frame your photograph- Framing your artwork can add formality and color.  Frames can also help the audience focus on the painting.  It reinforces the fact that the painting should be the center of attention.

Choosing the right camera, using natural light, hanging your painting on the wall, and framing your photograph can help you create a new version of a painting.  Whether you are a professional artist or someone who just wants to decorate their home, following these tips can help you shoot the perfect photograph of a painting.