Tip of the Week

Paint Your Own Custom Portrait Background

The big-time pros use hand painted backgrounds, now the rest of us can too
By William Sawalich
There are several prominent commercial portrait photographers who I’ve noticed rely on an advantage over the rest of us: they have beautiful, custom-painted portrait backgrounds. Sure, there are plenty of background options from a number of resellers, and at a variety of affordable price points. But as is so often…

Adding Copyright Information In Camera

Your ownership information can be embedded directly in EXIF metadata from the moment of capture. Here’s how.
By William Sawalich
I’m a big believer in using every technological advantage possible. So that means that if I can use EXIF metadata to embed all sorts of information in my image files, well then I’m definitely going to take advantage of that. One of the most practical uses of image metadata is…

Advice On Output Sharpening

Your picture isn’t finished until you prepare its pixels for printing
By William Sawalich
For the last few weeks I’ve been discussing image sharpening in Photoshop and Lightroom. This is done, typically, for three reasons: to compensate for the in-camera sharpening that is not performed on RAW image files; to creatively sharpen select areas of a scene in order to match the aesthetic you…

Creative Sharpening In Photoshop And Lightroom

How to selectively apply sharpness and blur
By William Sawalich
Last week I discussed the importance of capture sharpening, because RAW files don’t come out of the camera sharp enough. This week I want to talk about the next in the triumvirate of image sharpening: creative sharpening. The term creative sharpening comes from the concept that this sharpening is done…

Always Be Sharpening

Raw image files are great, but they come out of the camera half-baked. If you’re not sharpening your RAW image files, your images won’t look their best.
By William Sawalich
Last month I had the opportunity to get up close and personal with some rare birds—raptors, owls and eagles—at a wildlife rehabilitation facility. With a long zoom in hand and a light snow falling, I managed to get a few interesting photos, one of which is included here. I knew…

Options For Instant-Print Cameras

A guide to great compact cameras that make small prints on the spot
By William Sawalich
I recently gave my daughter an instant-printing point-and-shoot camera. Seeing how much she loved it, and what a kick she got from making actual photographic prints, reminded me just how much fun I’ve had with instant-printing cameras—especially since the digital era has largely erased the fun of cheap, quick prints…
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