Tip of the Week

How To Photograph Art Like an Expert

My friend Elon Schoenholz is a talented photographer who is often hired by museums to photograph gallery interiors and artwork
By William Sawalich
My friend Elon Schoenholz is a talented photographer who is often hired by museums to photograph gallery interiors and artwork. He is also a former staff photographer for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where he photographed everything from tiny paintings to large sculptures and installations. When I wanted…

Photographic Copy Work

The foundation of photographically reproducing two-dimensional images is called copy stand photography, or copy work
By William Sawalich
The foundation of photographically reproducing two-dimensional images (such as paintings, drawings, prints or photographs) is called copy stand photography, or copy work. It involves making the closest duplicate of the original image as possible. That means minimizing distortion with the right lens and camera position, and lighting the subject so…

Contrast Correction and Color Balance By The Numbers

No matter what mood you’re trying to create in a photograph, one thing about exposure values generally remains true
By William Sawalich
No matter what mood you're trying to create in a photograph, one thing about exposure values generally remains true: there should be pure black values and pure white values if you want your images to have pleasing contrast and reproduce well. If you can set a solid baseline of black…

Learning to Light Shiny Objects

What happens when you try to photograph a reflective surface such as glass, chrome or gold?
By William Sawalich
What happens when you try to photograph a reflective surface such as glass, chrome or gold? Simple: you end up photographing whatever is visible in the reflection. If you point your camera straight into the bathroom mirror, for instance, you'll take a picture of your own reflection, right? The same…

Snow Photography Tips

Here are five keys to success when working in snow
By William Sawalich
1: Snow creates a fundamentally unique lighting situation that requires extra exposure care. First understand that the exposure will easily be one stop brighter than the same scene would be on a normal sunny day without the snow. It's because of all the light reflecting from all those snow-covered surfaces.…

How To Buy A Lens

What lens should I buy?
By William Sawalich
A photography student recently asked me the million-dollar question: "What lens should I buy?" She wanted to add to her budding camera kit, and she was hoping beyond hope—as most folks who ask this question are—that I would simply answer with the perfect, magical equipment choice. "You need the Argonaut…
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