Start Your Own Space Program for $148

The Vision

This is a story that I find inspiring.  Since it’s also about photography and space, I find it even more inspiring. It’s about two MIT students who wanted to photograph the “edge of space.”

It started when Oliver Yeh had a vision. He wanted to see the curvature of the earth and the blackness of space from high up in the stratosphere.  Many of his friends thought he was crazy.  Not Justin Lee. Lee accepted the vision and made it his own.  So together they set out to accomplish the task.

The Ingenuity

Like others before them, Yeh and Lee decided to use a weather balloon  filled with helium  to lift a small camera up into the stratosphere.  They bought a 300 gram latex balloon online.  Balloons are capable of reaching altitudes of 20 miles or more. Unlike others before them, Continue reading

How to get that “Film Look” in your videos

I’ve never liked the look I get from consumer video cameras. The combination of narrow aperture and small sensor means that your subject and the background are both going to be in focus (to some extent). This can make a shot look too busy and distracting. Part of the “film” or “cinema” look is due to very selective focus, with the background receding into a blur.

With the recent introduction of DSLR’s with video, such as the Canon 5dmarkII, the Nikon D90, the Panasonic GH1 and others, it is now possible to shoot with wide aperture lenses yielding very selective focus. While this is one contributor to the “film look” there are many others.

In a recent free audio class entitled “Discover the Secrets as used by top DOP’s to create the ‘Film Look’ using your HD video camera,” Philip Bloom and Dennis Lennie discuss a number of factors that contribute to the film look. In addition, they address several related topics, especially interesting to those of us who are still photographers and eager to explore video.

These topics include,

  • What defines the ‘film look’,
  • How you overcome the limitations of small sensor cameras,
  • How important shallow Depth of Field is,
  • The 5 Fundamental factors Phil uses when creating the ‘film look’,
  • What is absolutely essential kit,
  • How significant grading (post production) is in the overall process.

As a still photographer with a small amount of video experience, I found the discussion engaging and highly informative.

You can access the audio from their new educational site This class was so good, I can’t wait for more.

Smibs TV Interviews Photographer Philip Bloom

I came across this brief interview with Philip Bloom on Luminous Landscape.

Smibs TV Interview with Philip Bloom

It should be interesting to both still and video photographers. He discusses how he started his own business, and about how he got such high visibility after over a year in business for himself. What caught my attention was a comment he made about giving first. He put videos, tutorials and a blog on his website, free. The videos received a lot of attention and gave his business quite a boost.

Bloom used a Nikon D90 for some of the work presented on his website, which is how I first discovered his work. He has some of the best examples of D90 video on the web. We’ll be talking more about the D90 and using it for video in future blogs. Even if you’re a still photographer, a video presentation of your work is a great way to market yourself.

You can see more of Philip Bloom’s work on his website


Welcome to ‘thePhotographySite!’ This is an educational and inspirational site devoted to the art and craft of photography. There are many good sites devoted to camera and equipment reviews. There will be very little of that here. Instead, we will focus on topics more directly related to finding and manifesting your vision as a photographer. In these pages you’ll find a diverse range of articles. We will explore the psychological and spiritual levels, as they relate to photography, as well as the practical level. For example, you can expect to find how-to articles on the many ways to use photoshop and related software to improve your images. However, you can also expect to find articles that help you to get started in photography; or to pick a new direction for your existing photography business; or to explore ways to attract more clients, if your business is mature. We also plan to publish articles, often in the form of inspirational stories, that are intended to help you overcome any blocks that may be momentarily slowing you down from reaching your potential as an artist.

This site is for you, if you love photography and want to develop your vision, your skills, or your presence in the photographic community. We hope that you will find something of interest here, whether you are a beginner, an amateur, or an experienced professional.