All About Histograms

How to read a histogram for better exposures and post-production efficiency
By William Sawalich
What exactly is a histogram? In general, it's a way to visualize exposure via a bar graph that displays the luminance values of every pixel in a digital image file. From left to right across the X axis of the graph, pixel brightness values from 0 to 255 are displayed.…

Make Precise Selections With Photoshop’s Color Range Tool

The simple approach to making crazy-accurate selections a snap
By William Sawalich
When working in Photoshop, accurate selections can be a time-consuming, sometimes confounding challenge. And while there are lots of tools to aid in selecting various parts of a scene, not all of them are as efficient and easy to use as others. If you find yourself always falling back on…

From Flat To Fairy Tale

When you photograph and process your images in the digital darkroom, try to think like a painter
By Rick Sammon
When I teach digital enhancements, I suggest to my students that the subject itself often recommends a certain special effect, filter or plug-in. For example, a grunge effect may look great on an image of an old car in a junkyard, but that same effect probably wouldn't look so great…

Road Lighting Hacks

In a pinch, almost anything can become a light modifier
By William Sawalich
There are a lot of great light modifiers out there. From scrims to grids, diffusers to flags, if you've got the money, you can buy some beautifully constructed items from any number of manufacturers for shaping, modifying and controlling light. At my studio we own quite a few versatile light…

Photo Exercise: Something You Collect

Every collection tells a story
Text & Photography By Alessandra Cave
"Her umbrella was filled with rain she had collected in her travels & on hot summer days she would open it up for the neighborhood kids & we would splash in the puddles & then it would smell like Nairobi or Tasmania & later on we would sit on the…

Ends Of The Day

Saving and enhancing sunrise and sunset shots
By Rick Sammon
We all love photographing beautiful sunrises and sunsets. When everything comes together—the correct camera settings, the light, the composition, the foreground subject, the background, the mood and the all-important clouds—we get a near-perfect in-camera photograph. Of course, there are times when our photographs need a bit of workin' and playin'…
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