Tip of the Week

Layer Masking Tips

I started working with Photoshop way back in the early ‘90s, so I remember a time when Photoshop lacked what today I consider its most powerful tool
By William Sawalich
I started working with Photoshop way back in the early '90s, so I remember a time when Photoshop lacked what today I consider its most powerful tool: layer masking. I worked for years without masks, and for a long time I considered my workaround methods a suitable stand-in. I was…

New Backgrounds With Nothing But Light

Changing the look of the background is discussed
By William Sawalich
I was recently working with a new assistant on location making portraits for a corporate client, when the topic of changing the look of the background came up. I explained to her that our middle-gray background (lit with a focused spot from a gridded strobe) could be turned into anything…

Making Cookies (The Photographic Kind)

I love cookies. I’m not talking about the edible kind (though I do love those too)
By William Sawalich
I love cookies. I'm not talking about the edible kind (though I do love those too). I'm talking about the kind of cookie that's used in photographic lighting. Its name is short for cucoloris, which is the industry standard device for casting patterned shadows for specific photographic effects. And these…

Build A Speedlight Softbox

When it comes to modifying my speedlight, I’ve always been a bit of a do-it-yourselfer
By William Sawalich
When it comes to modifying my speedlight, I've always been a bit of a do-it-yourselfer. For instance, my favorite flash modifier is a simple white card and rubber band, employed to create a great bounce when the flash is pointed straight up. More important, though, it's dirt cheap and easily…

How To Photograph Cars

Did you ever find yourself in a less-than-ideal situation trying to pull off a tremendous photograph
By William Sawalich
Did you ever find yourself in a less-than-ideal situation trying to pull off a tremendous photograph? Only all the time, right? It seems like I'm always trying to pull a proverbial rabbit out of my photographic hat. Like when a client recently hired me to photograph a beautiful car in…

D-I-Y Beauty Shot Mode

Here’s how to recreate the effect in camera and in post
By William Sawalich
The first thing the beauty shot mode will do is slightly overexpose—whether that's via flash or available light. So, if you'd like to start there in-camera, simply set your manual exposure to be a half-stop or more overexposed. If you're shooting on an auto mode, adjust the exposure compensation to…
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