Subtle sharpening via Photoshop’s LAB lightness channel
Issues of sharpness—from too much to not enough—are always on photographers’ minds. While there are a million different methods for sharpening, and a million and one reasons to do it, there’s one rule that always holds true: understanding sharpening is important.
Mismatching white balance makes for great color effects
Sometimes the right white balance creates the wrong picture effect. When I recently photographed a puppet-maker’s shop I found the place fascinatingly odd—a workshop combination of cobbler, toymaker and sculptor. I realized that these interesting pieces could be photographed to look a little more interesting—even strange and disconcerting.
In the early years of photography, avant-garde artists realized that they could create pictures without even using a camera. Man Ray was a master of making Photograms—interesting images he created by placing objects directly on photo paper and recording the shadows and silhouettes. Photograms remained popular for decades, and they still are today.
Zoom blur adds interest to images through movement
Blurry pictures are usually an unwanted side effect of an improper exposure. Sometimes, though, creative photographers rely on motion blurs to help tell the story. One of the best in-camera blurs is the zoom blur.
A decade ago, in the pre-dawn light of the digital revolution, creative photographers were utilizing every method under the sun to keep their images from getting stale. One of the most popular color techniques in fashion, advertising and commercial photography was the art of cross processing—developing color print film (c-41) in slide chemistry (E-6), or vice versa.
There seem to be a million mode settings on most digital cameras, including the tiniest of point-and-shoots. One of those modes is likely to be represented by an illustration of a flower. It’s Macro Mode.
The Rule of Thirds is Sometimes Better to be Broken
There are some unbreakable rules of photography: always use the correct exposure, never allow blur to ruin your shots, and adhere to the rule of thirds to ensure you create crowd-pleasing compositions. Of course, the best part about all of these rules is breaking them—especially the aesthetic ones.
Every new iteration of digital cameras seems to be light years ahead of the previous generation. While it makes the selection of cameras much better, it doesn’t make it any easier to answer the simple question, “Which one is right for me?”
Customize with Channel Mixer for Grayscale Conversions
Converting color photos to black & white is a tricky proposition. On one hand, it’s one of the easiest one-click changes to accomplish in Photoshop: Image>Mode>Grayscale. Done. Now you’ve got a black & white version of your previously color photo.
Master Traditional Darkroom Effects with Photoshop’s Duotone mode
The digital darkroom was a giant step forward in retouching and printing for most photographers. The one area that has always lagged behind, however, is black & white (or monotone) printing. Sure you can make great black and white images in the computer, but it has always been a challenge to get them out effectively.