Fun with Focus and Depth of Field

Three techniques for creating funky depth of field effects in the camera and in the computer
By William Sawalich
Shallow depth of field in a photograph has always been a great way to put the attention exactly where you want it—at the point of focus and nowhere else. But a recent influx of various tools and techniques has made shallow depth of field, as well as special depth of…

How To Handle Harsh Light

What to do when you need to get the shot but the light is just too harsh
By William Sawalich
We all know how important it is to make sure we’re working with nice light. It’s not enough to have a great moment and a great subject in a great composition. If the light’s not right, the picture’s going to suffer. So does that mean if you’ve got bad light—the…

Create An Out-Of-This-World Image

Go from average to awesome in just a few minutes
By Rick Sammon
If you're like most photographers, you go to popular locations and attend popular events to make pictures. Not surprisingly, your straight-out-of-the-camera shots may look similar to those of your photographer buddies. Happens to me all the time. A quick fix is to use digital darkroom enhancement to remove or alter…

Shooting Back

In the absence of facial expressions, context and gesture make the portrait
By Tracey Clark Of Shutter Sisters
When striving to capture truly expressive portraits, focusing on facial expressions may seem like the most effective approach, and it certainly can be. But there are a number of other ways to shoot evocative, emotional images totally void of any facial expressions. As a matter of fact, you don't need…

Milestones And New Beginnings

Use important moments in life to exercise your documentary skills
Text & Photography By Alessandra Cave
Milestones are those important moments in life that mark the passage of time. While these occasions can be very personal, some of them are universal, such as birth, a child's first steps and first words, the first day of school, the first kiss, graduation, first job, marriage, first child and…

Background Tricks

Five ways to better portrait backdrops
By Wes Pitts
"Watch your background!" is one of the first lessons to learn as a photographer, and it's an essential tip for portraiture. Clean and simple is generally best; cluttered backgrounds distract from your subject. That doesn't mean your portrait backgrounds need to be stark and uninteresting. With enough lens blur—achieved in-camera…
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