Pro Tips: Black-And-White
The classic look of monochrome is as popular as ever. Here’s how to get the best results. Getting good black-and-white prints used to mean mixing batches of chemicals, being secluded in a darkened room, calculating exposure times, dodging and burning, then finally watching an image magically appear out of the developer soup onto a sheet of paper. While digital photography made it easier to get images without the effort or cost of processing film, it wasn't until the last few years that software applications and, more importantly, inkjet printers were equipped to handle the ever-growing desire of photographers to create and print black-and-white images that rival—or sometimes exceed—what once was the domain of the traditional darkroom.
For the best image quality, focus your sharpening on the areas that need it most
Digital photos typically need some sharpening in Photoshop to bring out the original sharpness of the scene as imaged by the lens. But not all photographs have everything in sharp focus, so they don't need overall sharpening.
A Cloning Primer
Use these tips to master the subtle power of the Clone Stamp tool
No matter how hard you try to keep everything looking good in the picture area, sooner or later something creeps in that doesn't belong. Visual trash creates a distraction from your subject and your composition. It keeps you from enjoying your photo as much as you'd like, and every time you look at the image, that junk just seems to taunt you.
Color Saturation: Getting It Right
For the best color in your images, learn to use these techniques and don’t overdo it While black-and-white photography has enjoyed a rebirth of interest, color is still how the world appears and is mostly photographed. Yet colors you see and experience often don't quite translate to the picture you compose. We also sometimes want to interpret the world's colors in ways that better express how we felt about a subject.
Tame The Contrast Monster
Control the light in your photo with the Shadows/Highlights adjustment
Although digital camera sensor technology has made big strides in recent years, there still are limits to the range of tones sensors can capture. So we often end up with highlights that are too bright or dark, muddy shadows.
Seven Steps For A Better Image
Use these techniques to get the most out of even the trickiest exposures
Constructed in a remote area of Peru in the 15th century, the lost city of Machu Picchu, the grandest of all Inca sites, is truly one of the photographic wonders of the world. Adobe Photoshop and its little sister, Adobe Photoshop Elements, can be considered wonders of the photographic world, too—wonders for creative photographers who want to get the most out of their images. In fact, much like Hiram Bingham, who discovered the famous lost city, photographers can discover and recover seemingly lost details in their images.
Follow these tips to finish your image enhancements in less time
I think most photographers have a somewhat love-hate relationship with Photoshop. It's a great program, to be sure, and it offers the most comprehensive and expandable set of tools for photographers. But on the other hand, it takes time to learn and use, and working on a computer isn't what most photographers wanted to do when they began photographing. There are ways to make your workflow in Photoshop go faster so that you can spend more time with photography and less time trying to work through software. Here's how you can accomplish that.
Add dramatic effects and visual impact to your images without spending hours in photoshop
The trouble with creativity in Photoshop—going beyond the basics to more imaginative, artistic changes—is knowing where to start. The possibilities are almost endless and therein lies the rub. That's where Photoshop plug-ins like Nik Color Efex Pro 3 provide a launchpad for experimenting with a variety of effects that can add drama and graphic punch to your images.
Trick Shots: Low Light
Discover how high ISOs can improve the quality of your photographs
While recently critiquing the work of one of my students, I noticed that several of his images lacked sharpness, which I immediately attributed to camera shake. We looked at the images' EXIF data to find out at what shutter speed he was shooting while using a 200mm lens. He had been shooting at 1⁄30 sec.—far too slow a shutter speed to use with a telephoto, particularly without the camera being mounted on a tripod. When I asked him why he didn't increase the camera's ISO for a more reasonable shutter speed, his response was an all too common one.
Essential Processing Techniques
Tools all photographers should know for adjusting exposure, color and sharpening
No matter what camera model you shoot with or file type you capture with, every image needs a little work before it's ready to show. Three key adjustments—exposure, color and sharpening—should be the foundation of your digital darkroom work. The approach to making these adjustments varies depending on the software you use, but the basic principles are the same. We'll look at different solutions for addressing these adjustments and techniques for getting them right.
Think color from capture to finish for stunning images
Good color in pictures is subjective. Some people like pictures that pop with saturated hues, while others prefer pictures more subdued. What's more, we see colors differently at different times of day—even our mood affects how we see colors. In this article, I'd like to touch on the basics of color in digital photography, with the focus on getting the best possible image at the time of capture. To illustrate the techniques, I'll use some pictures that I took on a recent trip to Panama, where my goal was to take color pictures of the three indigenous tribes: the Kuna, the Emberá and the Ngobe.