Tip of the Week

Winter Photography Warm-Up

Equipment and tips to help you make the most of cold-weather photography
By William Sawalich
Along with the new year, winter has arrived. If you pocketed a little money over the holidays, here’s some suggested equipment you can invest in for your cold weather photography adventures, as well as a few tips to help ensure you make the most of your valuable time outdoors this…

How To Align Layers In Photoshop

Two techniques for perfectly precise alignment of multiple frames in a single file
By William Sawalich
Aligning layers is one of the most common tasks I perform in Photoshop, particularly if I’m trying to composite two exposures or subtly different compositions of the same scene. One approach is simply to move the top layer around, nudging to and fro, until it looks about right, then turning…

How to Make A Victorian Silhouette

These simple profile portraits are beautiful and timeless
By William Sawalich
For centuries, the art of making simple silhouette profile portraits has remained popular. While traditional Victorian-era silhouettes were often made from intricately cut sheets of thin cardboard, many silhouettes were also painted or drawn. I recall as a child, in fact, using projected light to trace my schoolmates shadows on…

Product Photography How-To: Dual Exposure

Combine flash with a long exposure to see the screen on an electronic device
By William Sawalich
If you’re photographing an iPhone or a tablet, a laptop or a TV screen, one thing is key to making the shot work: the screen has to appear brightly illuminated. But you can’t just turn on your device and assume that any old strobe exposure will work. In fact, when…

Creating Truly Seamless Studio Backgrounds

Paper sweeps are great studio backgrounds, but incorrectly placed lights can bring out textures and inconsistencies in the seamless.
By William Sawalich
When shooting indoors with a seamless paper background most photographers want to achieve a pure seamless background. It might be white or gray or black or blue or almost any color under the sun, but what it can’t be is a patterned or mottled paper. Yet sometimes seamless paper backgrounds…

Why Do You Need a Hair Light?

In studio and outdoors, a hair light can help separate a portrait subject from the background
By William Sawalich
One of the best ways to increase the production value on any photograph is to add to the illusion of three-dimensionality. Skilled photographers use depth of field, light and shadow to accomplish this, accentuating shapes and separating subject from background in an effort to make it easier to interpret what’s…
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