Tip of the Week

Use A Hard Light For Portraits With Pop

The rules of portraiture say you have to use soft light to make your subjects look their best
By William Sawalich
The rules of portraiture say you have to use soft light to make your subjects look their best. While it's true that soft light (from diffused sources like windows and softboxes) is definitely flattering for faces, it can also be somewhat boring when it's not used carefully. So sometimes I…

How To Insure Photography Equipment

I recently suffered through a flood at my studio that caused many thousands of dollars in damage and many months of headaches
By William Sawalich
I recently suffered through a flood at my studio that caused many thousands of dollars in damage and many months of headaches. Thankfully, though, we didn't lose any expensive camera equipment, and the computers, furniture and structures we did lose were covered by insurance. It got me thinking, though, about…

Photographing Clear Objects

Lighting stuff is easy, right? You just point a light at it, and you can see it.
By William Sawalich
Lighting stuff is easy, right? You just point a light at it, and you can see it. But what if the thing you're trying to photograph is transparent—as in crystal clear? In that case, simply pointing a light at it won't work. You have to concern yourself with what can…

Histogram Exposure Adjustments in Lightroom

We all know what a good histogram should look like, right?
By William Sawalich
We all know what a good histogram should look like, right? A "normal" scene should not be too heavily weighted toward the left side of the histogram—the shadow side—or else we risk underexposure. Likewise, a normal scene's histogram shouldn't spike heavily toward the right, the highlight side, or the image…

Retouching Multi-Layered Files

The thing that really makes Photoshop an invaluable editing tool, in my opinion, is its ability to process images with layers
By William Sawalich
The thing that really makes Photoshop an invaluable editing tool, in my opinion, is its ability to process images with layers. Layers allow you to make edits without ever changing the original image-forming pixels. They sit there undisturbed on the background below. By the time I'm ready to do the…

How To Build A Book Light

I’m always studying soft lighting techniques in hopes of refining my portraiture repertoire
By William Sawalich
I'm always studying soft lighting techniques in hopes of refining my portraiture repertoire. The subtle differences between a simple softbox and a light bounced off a flat or through a silk are intriguing to me, because while each of these sources is "soft," they're both distinctly different. The type of…
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