Why You Should Meter Your Portrait Lighting

How to use a handheld light meter to help you craft a perfect portrait lighting ratio
Tip Of The Week: Light Meter Portraits
Anybody can be a photographer these days. After all, pointing your camera at a subject with enough frequency is bound to eventually lead to an acceptable picture, particularly if you’re reviewing the LCD after every shot and adjusting accordingly. But haphazardly hoping you find your way into a nice picture isn’t a great way to stand out as a talented... Read more

Urban Photography: The City Comes Alive At Night

Finding the soul of the city through night photography
Brian Matiash
A City Has A Different Look At Night. While I have more than my share of photos of the Tokyo Tower during the day, the elegance and beauty is instantly apparent when viewed from a distance at night. For many reasons, I consider myself very fortunate to have been born and raised in New York. For the first 18 years of my life, my entire world was made... Read more

Make Your Own Lens Flare In Photoshop

Add to the look of authenticity in your images with a bit of fabricated lens flare
create lens flare using Photoshop
Last week we discussed how shooting into a backlit situation produces interesting lighting almost without fail. One of the most interesting results of shooting into a light source is lens flare. Whether you’ve shot an image with lens flare that just isn’t quite appealing enough, or whether you want to capitalize on the increased “authenticity”... Read more

Sports: The Competitive Edge

A professional approach to modern sports photography
Brett Wilhelm
In the sponsor-rich world of televised competition, clean backgrounds can be hard to come by. Separating the athlete against the sky while still showcasing the fans and overall ambience makes for a compelling competition shot. Advancing technologies and evolving educational resources in the last decade have led to a new golden age in digital sports... Read more

Shoot Into The Light

Everything is better with backlight
backlighting
Everything is better with backlight. That’s a lesson I learned 20-plus years ago shooting sports, and I put it to use today for everything from tabletop food photography to portraits and events. Why is backlighting so great, and how do you work with it? Read on to find out. Edge Separation. That lesson I learned 20-something years ago was about edge... Read more

Setting The Scene For Landscape Photography

How to quickly and easily capture the grandeur and beauty of the world around you
landscape photography tips
Plan Ahead. I had planned this photograph of the Milky Way over Turret Arch and South Window in Arches National Park, Utah, months in advance using The Photographer’s Ephemeris and Skygazer. Landscape photography looks so easy. We’ve all pulled up to a scenic overlook or arrived at our destination on a hike, and said, “Wow!” But as most of us... Read more

Tips for Freezing Fast-Moving Action

How to ensure a speedy subject will be sharp in your pictures
Fast-Moving Action - Skier
When a subject is moving fast, it can be difficult to ensure they are tack-sharp in your pictures. Here are some techniques, from basic to advanced, that help eliminate motion blur and ensure sharp subjects even when they’re moving fast. Use a fast shutter speed. Okay, I know this one’s obvious, but for the newbies, it’s an important reminder.... Read more

Travel Photography Pro Tips

Get the most out of your travel images with these tips from a pro
Rick Sammon
To really connect with a subject, it’s good to get up close and interact with them, instead of capturing them from afar. Being a travel photographer is a dream come true for many amateur and professional photographers alike. Sure, there’s a downside—most notably the travel to and from a destination—but those long airport TSA wait lines and... Read more

To Find Great Light, Look For Its Edges

Transitions from light to shadow offer great lighting opportunities
Edges of Light - Fence shadows
A great moment in a great location with a great subject might make for a great photo. But for it to be one of those really special “best of the best” photographs, it absolutely has to have great light. In fact, I would argue that great light can be enough to turn an otherwise humdrum moment into a photograph that’s pretty special—just on the... Read more

Identifying And Repairing Banding

Eliminate this artifact that renders continuous tones and gradations in a blotchy manner.
Repairing Banding - Banding example
One of the most annoying digital-specific image problems is the banding that can appear in areas of solid color, such as skies and studio backgrounds. Banding typically occurs when a color is graduated across a number of shades—like light blue to dark blue in a sky. In a continuous tone image, the transition from one tone to the next is seamless.... Read more

Portraits: Keep It Real

Finding Creative Ways To Capture True Portraits
Portrait/Thomas Boyd-Trail Blazer
On the Portland Trail Blazers’ media day, the players go to a dozen stations of video and still photographers. They expect a photo to be shot in seconds, not minutes. There’s very little time to build rapport. They just want to get it done as soon as possible. They’ve had so much practice at PR, they know what it takes. My strategy is to give... Read more

Is The New iPhone 7 Plus A Must-Have For Photographers?

Photographer-friendly features make this smartphone uniquely qualified for taking pictures
iPhone 7 Plus
After a few years of abuse, my old phone was on its last legs when Apple announced the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus this summer. My old phone limped into the fall when I finally got my hands on the iPhone 7 Plus, and boy was I surprised by just how capable the camera is. I never thought I’d seriously see a smartphone camera as a useful photographic device.... Read more
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