Tip of the Week

Lightroom’s Adjustment Brush Auto Mask

Keep an eye out for unwanted artifacts from Lightroom’s automatic masking aid
By William Sawalich
Lightroom has a little tool called Automask that lives inside the Adjustment Brush. It's intended to help photographers by making their retouching jobs easier, automatically creating a virtual mask that limits adjustments to an automatically selected area. And while I like the idea of this tool a lot in theory,…

Make A Paint Chip Gray Card

Find a neutral gray paint chip and you’ve got an ideal, inexpensive, easily replaceable white balancing aid
By William Sawalich
The other day, as I was perusing paint chips while trying to select a color to paint my dining room, it occurred to me that these paint chips could be useful for photography. A truly neutral gray paper paint sample would make an ideal inexpensive (i.e. free) and very portable…

How To Photograph Basketball

Simple tools and techniques get you closer to the action than in any other sport
By William Sawalich
The NBA Playoffs are in full swing, so I thought why not offer some tips for photographing basketball. When I was a young photographer, there was nothing I enjoyed more than covering a high school or college basketball game. No sport puts you closer to the action with your camera,…

Understanding The Exposure Triangle

A look at the three camera controls that dictate exposure and how they work together
By William Sawalich
Switching the camera’s exposure controls from Auto to Manual for the first time is a big step. For beginning photographers ready to make that leap, all you need to know about exposure can be found in the exposure triangle. There are three camera controls that affect exposure: ISO, shutter speed…

Clean Up The Background

Simplify a composition with subtle changes to camera settings and angle of view
By William Sawalich
One of the best ways to improve a composition is to simplify it. And a great way to make a picture simpler and drive the focus to the subject is to clean up the background. So here are five techniques for simplifying the background and improving your pictures. 1. Move…

How A Flash Is Like A Double-Exposure

Controlling flash and ambient independently in a single shot
By William Sawalich
Someone recently suggested to me a new way of thinking about flash exposures. This piqued my interest, of course, because among students and young photographers it appears that understanding the intricacies of flash, and in particular of balancing flash with ambient light, is quite a challenge. So in an effort…
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