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

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

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

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

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

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

The Benefits Of Low Camera Angles

When eye level just won’t cut it, getting low is a great way to make your pictures stand out.
Low Camera Angle
Robert Capa famously said that if your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough. To that, I’d like to add that you also might not be low enough. A low camera angle, in my opinion, is one of the easiest ways to make a dull photo more interesting and to simplify a photo by eliminating some of the layers of depth between subject and... Read more

Mixing Lights With The Help Of Orange And Blue Gels

How to combine light sources of different color temperatures and still nail a neutral white balance.
Orange Gels - Gel on flash
If you want to mix your flash with indoor ambient light, you’re going to find some color problems. Namely, if you balance for the flash the indoor lights will look orange. Or if you balance for the indoor lights the flash will look blue. The same problem occurs when shooting a scene with strong window light as well as indoor tungsten light. In these... Read more

Lighting Hack: The Ultra-Affordable, Super-Portable, Instant Softbox

Need a big diffused light source? Try this simple trick for easy and beautiful light in a snap.
002-diffusion
I’m sort of a soft light aficionado. I’ve got giant softboxes and small ones. I’ve got a seven-foot-tall octabank and a variety of homemade strip lights and bounces. I’ve got shoot-through umbrellas, silver umbrellas, brolly boxes, diffusion frames, pop-up silks and just about every kind of light-diffusing tool you can imagine. But while my... Read more

What’s New In Adobe Photoshop CC 2017

The features in the top-of-the-line image editing software that photographers will want to know about.
Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 In-application search
Earlier this month, when Adobe sent out its newest batch of updates to its Creative Cloud software, it also launched a new version of Photoshop: CC 2017. The application features a bunch of improvements for photographers and designers. Here’s a quick rundown of the newest features that make photographers’ lives easier and how to put them to use. In-Application... Read more

How To Speed Up Lightroom

A few simple tweaks can make Lightroom run much faster
Lightroom Speed up
When you’ve been working with Lightroom for a while and your catalog starts to get cumbersome, you may notice the application’s processes starting to slow. You can also notice slowdowns when processing large groups of data-rich RAW files or particularly large files, like layered TIFFs. Here’s how you can get under the hood, so to speak, and rev... Read more
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