Tip of the Week

Don’t Shoot on Green Screen

Every once in a while, while referring to the creation of multiple photographs with the intention of compositing them together in a finished blended image, someone will use the phrase “shoot it on a green screen.”
By William Sawalich
Every once in a while, while referring to the creation of multiple photographs with the intention of compositing them together in a finished blended image, someone will use the phrase "shoot it on a green screen." The term "green screen" tends to be loosely interpreted, but most folks are talking…

Five Ways To Black And White

Back in the good ol’ days of the darkroom, creating a black and white photograph was easy
By William Sawalich
Back in the good ol' days of the darkroom, creating a black and white photograph was easy: start with black and white film in the camera and end up with a black and white print. But thanks to the digital revolution, what has become even easier—black and white with one…

Choose The Right Lighting Setup

So you want to improve your photographs by improving your lighting
By William Sawalich
So you want to improve your photographs by improving your lighting. Sounds like a good plan to me. But there are a lot of viable lighting options out there, so here's a primer explaining the pros and cons of various lighting options you have at your disposal. STROBE VS. CONTINUOUS…

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…
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