How to Make A Victorian Silhouette

These simple profile portraits are beautiful and timeless

For centuries, the art of making simple silhouette profile portraits has remained popular. While traditional Victorian-era silhouettes were often made from intricately cut sheets of thin cardboard, many silhouettes were also painted or drawn. I recall as a child, in fact, using projected light to trace my schoolmates shadows on construction paper, then... Read more

Photographic Lessons In The Internet Era

Photographers once had to toil as apprentices in order to learn their skills. Today, the Internet provides more resources than any photographer could wish for.

Mastering photography is a lifelong endeavor, one that’s constantly evolving and changing as new technology emerges. However, the Internet has altered the landscape for learning about photography, as well as understanding the newest techniques and technological advances that are available for both beginners and seasoned veterans. Back in the day,... Read more

Go Wild!

Make your wildlife park pictures look like Out of Africa images

An African photo safari is a dream come true for wildlife photographers. Not all wildlife photographers, however, have the time or the funds to make that dream come true. Still following their love for wildlife photography, photographers who can’t make the trek to Africa enjoy photographing at wildlife parks. With some creative composition techniques... Read more

Product Photography How-To: Dual Exposure

Combine flash with a long exposure to see the screen on an electronic device

If you’re photographing an iPhone or a tablet, a laptop or a TV screen, one thing is key to making the shot work: the screen has to appear brightly illuminated. But you can’t just turn on your device and assume that any old strobe exposure will work. In fact, when working with strobes, the high light output usually means it’s harder to see the... Read more

Shooting Campaigns From The Saddle of A Bike

Jeremy Dunn captures adventure-sports images, often side by side with the athletes, and has turned to film point-and-shoot cameras and compact digitals to make it possible

Photographer Jeremy Dunn has shot numerous national campaigns and magazine pieces. Because he needs to travel with the athletes he covers, he uses lightweight point-and-shoot film cameras and compact digitals. The result is a look that’s grainy and reminiscent of vintage European sports magazines. Always having a camera in your jersey pocket... Read more

Life In Motion

Some of the best photo opportunities aren’t found at your destination, but on the way getting there

Welcome to my playground: the space between home and destination. We live in a busy world. Fast-paced and often hurried, we are always in the state of getting from point A to point B. Recreation, work, or everyday life—this is a life in motion. Often, while the big camera is packed away and airports or train stations are navigated, photographic moments... Read more

The Deliberate Divide

The rules of composition are fundamental to creating great photos—and any great art

When it comes to photography, I’m big on storytelling. I know that part of why I’m drawn to capturing photographs is because of the stories that can be told through the beauty and wonder of the ordinary. Ironically, of all the photography classes and lessons I’ve taught (both online and off), some of the most satisfying were the ones that didn’t... Read more

Creating Truly Seamless Studio Backgrounds

Paper sweeps are great studio backgrounds, but incorrectly placed lights can bring out textures and inconsistencies in the seamless.

When shooting indoors with a seamless paper background most photographers want to achieve a pure seamless background. It might be white or gray or black or blue or almost any color under the sun, but what it can’t be is a patterned or mottled paper. Yet sometimes seamless paper backgrounds sure don’t look totally smooth. What causes this? And can... Read more

Tasty Angles

Where to place your camera for inviting photos of food

Do you have trouble figuring out what camera angle to use for your food shots? I find that, with the students I teach, this is a common problem. When I first started teaching, I would do a demo in class, where I set up my camera while my colleague, who I was teaching the class with, would set up our food and props for the shot. A student asked me, "How... Read more

Below The Surface

Explore the creative possibilities of underwater photography

Ten years ago, seeking to extend my traditional art background, I picked up a camera and an underwater housing and started "playing in my backyard" with my young daughter as my model. I was also lucky to live nearby clear, warm water, and soon became fascinated by what I found. The spectacular effect of sunlight through water, the dreamlike... Read more

Travel Lighter To Shoot Smarter

Fully mobile photography has changed the game for travel photographers—find out how it can make your shoots better, too

For the entire history of photography, photographers have strived to make the process of capturing an image more portable and more instantaneous. The camera obscura (literally, “dark room”), the precursor to what we know as a camera, was actually a room with a pinhole in it. That’s as immobile as you can possibly get. It was also the starting... Read more

Bearing Witness

Sometimes photos aren’t enough to capture a moment. Photographer Jason Watts helps families document unique periods in their lives. 

One morning in mid-August, as I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, a stunningly simple vintage-style portrait of a young boy caught my attention. The words written across the image, posted by photographer Jason Watts, read, “Bearing Witness.” That image and those words stirred my very soul. I was only two weeks away from traveling across the... Read more
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