Tip of the Week

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…

That Extra 5%

Five Ways to give your image a little extra quality to help it from good to great.
By William Sawalich
I recently had a great professional photographer tell me about how he does all sorts of things to help him eke out another 5% of image quality. He’s looking to do a few extra little things that add up to a big improvement in his pictures. So here’s a list…

The Importance of “Closer”

A closer look may be all that stands between you and a great photograph.
By William Sawalich
There are a variety of ways that the concept of “closer” comes into play in making better pictures. From composition to lighting to retouching, harnessing the power of “closer” can make all the difference in your pictures. - Iconic photographer Robert Capa famously said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough,…

The Easiest, Best, One-Click Black and White Conversion Available

Lightroom’s B&W presets are simple to use and produce beautiful results
By William Sawalich
Want to convert your colorful digital images into black and white? Well, you’ve got about a million choices for doing it, and about half of them will do a nice job. You can learn about altering the black and white mix in Photoshop or Lightroom, and it really is a…

Three Great Uses For High-Speed Flash Sync

High-speed sync is a versatile tool. Here’s how to put it to good use.
By William Sawalich
I tend to think of strobes and flashes as fairly simple lighting tools, even when they’re high-tech and capable of doing all sorts of things like TTL metering and wireless communication. But the one bit of high-tech wizardry that I regularly employ with my flash is high-speed synchronization. Both Nikon…
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