Creating a Photo of Nail Polish Bottles in a Swirling Splash

Creating a Photo of Nail Polish Bottles in a Swirling Splash

For a recent project, I was tasked with creating hero images for a cosmetic brand. They commissioned me to work on several different shots for a range of nail polishes they are looking to market. I was put in charge of coming up with the creative angle and had the freedom to explore and execute the final result. The client was open to any suggestions or ideas, and I had fun putting it all together.

My vision was to keep the design simple yet unique and deeply orientated towards the brand and product on show. Nail polish bottles are generally small objects and require slightly different treatment than, say, photographing a large carry bag. The bottle needed to be centered and close up enough to capture the logo and brand name.

Each bottle was cubed-shaped, with a matte-pastel color, the same as the gel nail polish inside. The lids (bottle tops) were long, frosted-gold colored. This color really illuminates the final image and casts long diagonal lines as the viewer follows it up.

The Setup and Using Splashes

As this project is not a single image, but rather a series of images, I tried to create something that flows like a story. After brainstorming and running through different ideas, I found a particular genre of still life photography to be most suitable.

Splash photography is the art of capturing liquid in motion. Splash is a classic genre, and it is popular to take splash templates and use them as backgrounds or additions to your image. It does require some knowledge of Photoshop and other editing software to manipulate. I chose to create a splash specifically for this project rather than use take advantage of existing ones from other artists.

I experimented with several different liquids, from organic to synthetic mixtures. I was looking for a consistency and fluidity that fit the brand and idea. Eventually, I settled with a classic, white acrylic wall paint. A water-based solution worked best for this project. Pouring the liquid by hand from a raised position into a container below, I hoped to capture interesting patterns.

The setup was a standard white background positioned not far behind the table. On the table, I had a container to catch the paint as I poured it from above. I repeated this pouring step multiple times until I found some splashes worth editing and merging with the nail polish bottles.

Then, I shot the products separately. This particular project required more post-production editing and other software, like Photoshop, to achieve the final results.

The Result

The client and I agree that the final results are satisfying.

The elegance of the brand complements the creativity and flow of the photograph. The splash and the still life photograph were well received online.

P.S. I’m giving away my splash photos for free. You can receive a download link for the files if you sign up for my mailing list.

About the author: Martin Pitonak is a still life photographer based in Slovakia and available worldwide. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Pitonak’s work on his website and Instagram. This article was also published here.

Source: PetaPixel

Creating a Photo of Nail Polish Bottles in a Swirling Splash

Winning Photos from the 2018 Nikon Small World Competition

Winning Photos from the 2018 Nikon Small World Competition

Nikon has announced the winning photos from the 2018 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition, the 44th annual contest celebrating “excellence in photography through the light microscope.”

The first place photo, shown above and captured by Emirati photographer Yousef Al Habshi, shows part of the compound eye of an Asian Red Palm weevil and the greenish scales that surround it. The beetle is usually less than 0.43in (11mm) in length.

Al Habshi created the photo using reflected light and by stacking 128 micrographs into a single photo.

“The main challenge was to show the black body against the black background without overexposing the skin and scales,” the photographer says. “Because of the variety of coloring and the lines that display in the eyes of insects, I feel like I’m photographing a collection of jewelry. Not all people appreciate small species, particularly insects.

“Through photomicrography we can find a whole new, beautiful world which hasn’t been seen before. It’s like discovering what lies under the ocean’s surface.”

Here is a selection of other winning photos from this year’s competition:

Spore Structures

2nd place. Fern sorus (structures producing and containing spores). Rogelio Moreno Gill of Panama, Panama.

Bug in Bubble House

3rd place. Spittlebug nymph in its bubble house. Saulius Gugis of Naperville, Illinois, USA

Peacock Feather

4th place. Peacock feather section. Can Tunçer of İzmir, Turkey

Spider Embryo

5th place. Parasteatoda tepidariorum (spider embryo) stained for embryo surface (pink), nuclei (blue) and microtubules (green). Dr. Tessa Montague, Harvard University of Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA


6th place. Primate foveola (central region of the retina). Hanen Khabou of Paris, France

Tear Drop

7th place. Human tear drop. Norm Barker, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine of Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Weevil Portrait

8th place. Portrait of Sternochetus mangiferae (mango seed weevil). Pia Scanlon, Government of Western Australia of South Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Stalks and Pollen

10th place. Stalks with pollen grains. Dr. Csaba Pintér, University of Pannonia, Georgikon Faculty of Keszthely, Hungary

Human Cell Division

11th place. Human fibroblast undergoing cell division, showing actin (gray), myosin II (green) and DNA (magenta). Nilay Taneja, Vanderbilt Universit of Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Butterfly Wing Scales

12th place. Urania ripheus (butterfly) wing scales. Luciano Andres Richino of Ramos Mejia, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

A Mite on a Bee

15th place. Varroa destructor (mite) on the back of Apis mellifera (honeybee). Antoine Franck of Saint Pierre, Réunion Island, France

Breast Tissue in Lactation

17th place. Breast tissue in lactation: Milk filled spheres (red) surrounded by tiny muscle cells that squeeze out milk (yellow) and immune cells that monitor for infection (blue). Caleb Dawson of Melbourne, Australia

Hornet Venom

19th place. Vespa velutina (Asian hornet) with venom on its stinger. Pierre Anquet of La Tour-du-Crieu, Ariège, France

You can find the complete gallery of winning photos on the Nikon Small World Competition website.

Source: PetaPixel

Winning Photos from the 2018 Nikon Small World Competition

Hora Skin Care Proves CBD Is More Than a Buzzword

Hora Skin Care Proves CBD Is More Than a Buzzword
Hot on the heels of Canada’s legalization of recreational marijuana, there’s never been a better time to openly embrace all the cannabis plant has to offer. Enter the CBD beauty phenomenon, full of cosmetics brands proclaiming the supposed benefits of the cannabidiol compound, from reducing inflammation to preventing acne without any of the psychological effects associated with its better-known cousin, THC.

Los Angeles-based Hora Skin Care, which launched earlier this year with the goal of in…

Keep on reading: Hora Skin Care Proves CBD Is More Than a Buzzword
Source: V Magazine

Hora Skin Care Proves CBD Is More Than a Buzzword

Yashica’s ‘Unexpected’ Y35 Camera is Worse Than Anyone Expected

Yashica’s ‘Unexpected’ Y35 Camera is Worse Than Anyone Expected

The Japanese brand Yashica stirred up a great deal of excitement in the photo world in 2017 by teasing its return to the camera industry. In October 2017, it unveiled the Yashica Y35 digiFilm camera and raised over $1 million on Kickstarter. Backers are now receiving their cameras, and the initial reaction has been overwhelmingly negative.

Yashica’s many teasers for the Y35 camera told photographers to “expect the unexpected.” The camera turned out to be a minimalist digital camera that features pretend rolls of film that are used to choose your photo style, aspect ratio, and ISO combinations (instead of being able to do so in-camera).

While the concept may be novel and fun for people yearning for the look and feel of film cameras while having the convenience of digital, execution appears to have been lacking.

The Phoblographer reports that the project was the result of a Hong Kong-based company that picked up the iconic brand name, and that the Kickstarter campaign is now getting flooded with comments from many of the 6,935 backers who are seriously disappointed with the camera they received.

Of the nearly 4,000 comments that have been posted to the campaign page, a huge number are reports of poor build quality and badly thought out design details.

Here are some of the issues and complaints being shared:

  • The camera turns off when the shutter is pressed
  • The camera doesn’t even turn on
  • The camera is plastic and cheaply made
  • Camera parts are breaking and falling off
  • Fake buttons molded into the plastic just for looks
  • The camera is hard to hold while pressing the shutter
  • Many backers have yet to receive their cameras and haven’t had any updates on the status
  • Awful image quality comparable to cheap toy cameras for kids
  • Incorrect labeling on the fake film rolls, resulting in mismatched photo styles
  • Black-and-white photos coming out blue
  • An unreliable shutter button that doesn’t always trigger a photo when pressed
  • The shutter takes photos on the way up instead of when its fully pressed down
  • A shutter button so stiff that it’s unusable
  • The winding lever gets jammed and needs to be manually pushed back
  • Stickers on the camera have bubbles and are defective
  • Photos can’t be found after they’re captured
  • Difficulty inserting digiFilm rolls into the camera
  • Removing the lens cover caused the lens to separate from the camera body
  • An included cable that isn’t compatible with the camera
  • Photos are out of focus and distorted

The general sentiment seems to be that backers were expecting a faithful revival of the famous Yashica brand, but were instead surprised when they received a cheap and unreliable plastic camera with the brand name featured on the front. The price tag of $150+ also makes the failings of the camera difficult for backers to stomach.

Even though cameras are being delivered to backers, many commenters are still calling the project a “scam” for misrepresenting what the camera would be like. The company behind the campaign was responding to individual comments days ago, but it appears to have gone completely silent as more and more complaints are posted.

“Expect the unexpected,” “Yashica” said. Unfortunately, supporters probably weren’t expecting a camera that’s so unexpectedly bad.

Source: PetaPixel

Yashica’s ‘Unexpected’ Y35 Camera is Worse Than Anyone Expected

Sony Beats Canon EOS R and Nikon Z7 in Dynamic Range

Sony Beats Canon EOS R and Nikon Z7 in Dynamic Range

Photonstophotos has published its dynamic range test results for the new Canon EOS R and Nikon Z7 full-frame mirrorless cameras. The numbers show that both Canon and Nikon trail the performance of Sony’s cameras.

Here’s the comparison chart by Photonstophotos:

At ISO 100, the Sony a7R III has a Photographic Dynamic Range (PDR) of 11.64, the Nikon Z7 is 10.98, and the Canon EOS R is in last with 10.6. The Nikon Z7 does have a lower native minimum ISO of 64, but even there it has a PDR of 11.56, which still trails the Sony score at ISO 100.

At base ISO, Canon’s EOS R (10.6) is closer in dynamic range performance to the APS-C Sony a6500 (10.31) than to the full-frame Sony a7R III (11.64).

At ISO 25600 (the max native ISO of the Z7 — the Sony goes to ISO 32000 and Canon has ISO 40000), Sony scores 4.34, Nikon is measured at 4.25, and Canon is 3.85.

What’s interesting about these test results is that Sony is the world’s leading image sensor manufacturer right now in quantity (and arguably quality), Nikon uses Nikon-designed/Sony-manufactured sensors in pro-grade cameras such as the D850 (and perhaps the Z7?), and Canon makes its own sensors and only recently began selling them to third parties.

“[K]eep in mind the Canon and Nikon cameras are the newest cameras meaning that the gap is expected to increase once Sony announces the new models,” sonyalpharumors writes.

Despite the apparent differences in scores, however, this test also shows that all three cameras have very similar dynamic range performance that’s in line of what’s expected of top full-frame cameras — the numbers above are all better than or equal to pretty much all cameras on the market, so don’t read too deeply into them.

Source: PetaPixel

Sony Beats Canon EOS R and Nikon Z7 in Dynamic Range

Banksy’s ‘Director’s Cut’ of His $1.4M Art Getting Shredded at Auction

Banksy’s ‘Director’s Cut’ of His .4M Art Getting Shredded at Auction

One of the biggest stories in the art world this year was street artist Banksy having his painting “self-destruct” just moments after the work sold for nearly $1.4 million at auction. Banksy just shared the 3-minute director’s cut above of the prank as it went down.

In the video, we see new footage of the “Girl with Balloon” artwork being auctioned off. Shortly after the hammer falls, someone in attendance presses a button on a remote, an alarm starts ringing out, and the art begins passing down through the hidden shredder in the bottom of the frame, stopping about halfway through.

A still frame from Banksy’s Director’s Cut.

Sotheby’s staff then quickly remove the frame from the wall and carry it away.

Banksy also reveals that the painting was supposed to be fully shredded, stating that “In rehearsals it worked every time.” In the actual prank, something went wrong and caused the painting to remain in the frame half-shredded.

A rehearsal showing what was supposed to happen. Still frames from Banksy’s Director’s Cut.

The glitch makes the new form of “Girl with Balloon” much easier to display on walls, and the art experts say the artwork, now renamed “Love Is in the Bin,” is now worth significantly more than the $1.4 million paid by the winner (who has decided to keep the piece).

Sotheby’s says the piece is “the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction.”

It’ll be interesting to see whether the publicity generated by this stunt results in any copycats — perhaps there’s a fine art photographer out there who’s now plotting a deconstructed print prank.

Source: PetaPixel

Banksy’s ‘Director’s Cut’ of His .4M Art Getting Shredded at Auction

Adobe MovingStills Creates Realistic Camera Moves in Still Photos

Adobe MovingStills Creates Realistic Camera Moves in Still Photos

At the ongoing Adobe MAX 2018 conference, Adobe is showing off some sneak peeks of features being developed for the Creative Cloud. One of them is MovingStills, which lets you add realistic camera moves to any still photograph, bringing it to life.

The idea is to use artificial intelligence to intelligently create parallax based on what’s found in a photo, turning it into a faux video shot with a moving camera.

Here’s what an ordinary “zoom” into a 2D photo looks like without any special technology:

“The result is not very impressive,” the presenter says. “It looks quite flat and there’s no illusion of depth, there’s no parallax. It’s not quite like a real video.”

By developing a feature that understands how the things in the photo are arranged in 3D space, a much more realistic result is possible.

In addition to single click animation to bring photos to life, allowing MovingStills to select the optimal camera path, you can also choose between different camera paths to produce different effects.

The view control interface lets you specify the view you’d like the shot to start with and the camera view at the end, and the AI will fill in the motion in between the two camera “positions.”

Finally, since the feature can be so hands-off, an entire album of photos can be quickly turned into “moving stills.”

No word yet on when MovingStills will be included in a Creative Cloud app update.

Source: PetaPixel

Adobe MovingStills Creates Realistic Camera Moves in Still Photos

LORDELE Takes On Collective Nature & Sustainability

LORDELE Takes On Collective Nature & Sustainability
For the third collection of LORDELE, Beyond the Valley, designer Nay Campbell chose a junkyard across the street from McKibbin lofts in Bushwick to host the show. Nay played around with existential ideas about our digital reality when drawing up inspiration for the collection. “Do we actually care about each other and progress? Or is Instagram creating a facade?” they said.

Nay said that most inspiration grew from the aspects of American culture that are actually ‘killing’ us, like the pink s…

Keep on reading: LORDELE Takes On Collective Nature & Sustainability
Source: V Magazine

LORDELE Takes On Collective Nature & Sustainability

If You Backed Meyer Optik Görlitz on Kickstarter, Your Money is Gone

If You Backed Meyer Optik Görlitz on Kickstarter, Your Money is Gone

If you backed a Meyer Optik Görlitz lens on Kickstarter and are still waiting for your reward to arrive, there’s some bad news for you: it never will, and your money is now gone. net SE, the company behind those lenses and other vintage brand reboots, is dead.

The news was first reported by photoscala after an official notice was published to direct claims to a law firm.

This news comes less than two months after we reported on the nightmare happening behind the scenes at the company, which launched new Kickstarter after Kickstarter in order to fund existing lens projects already promised to backers.

net SE launched the Trioplan 50 (right) on Kickstarter before it had fulfilled its rewards to backers of the Trioplan 100 (left).

In early August, net SE announced that founder and CEO Stefan Immes had gotten into a serious traffic accident and would no longer be involved in the company for the foreseeable future. Around the same time, the company delisted its shares from the over-the-counter market in Germany and filed for bankruptcy.

photoscala reports that insolvency proceedings have been opened on the remaining assets of the company, which is the final nail in the coffin — one that means there’s no hope of Kickstarter backers ever seeing the products they’re still waiting for.

In addition to Meyer Optik Görlitz, net SE also attempted reboots of vintage brands that include Emil Busch A.-G. Rathenau, Oprema Jena, C.P. Goerz, Ihagee Elbaflex, and A. Schacht.

Kickstarter’s history is littered with much-hyped projects and products that ended up never seeing the light of day, leaving backers angry and without anything to show for the money they eagerly put toward the campaigns. The sad story of net SE is the latest such case at the intersection of crowdfunding and photography.

Source: PetaPixel

If You Backed Meyer Optik Görlitz on Kickstarter, Your Money is Gone