Why Do You Need a Hair Light?

In studio and outdoors, a hair light can help separate a portrait subject from the background
By William Sawalich
One of the best ways to increase the production value on any photograph is to add to the illusion of three-dimensionality. Skilled photographers use depth of field, light and shadow to accomplish this, accentuating shapes and separating subject from background in an effort to make it easier to interpret what’s…

Gel Your Flash To Mix Light Sources

Alleviate color balance issues with a simple gelled-flash technique
By William Sawalich
With all the technological advances Digital SLRs have made in recent years, it may seem like there's literally nothing they can't do. They can automatically select the appropriate ISO, the shutter speed, aperture, white balance, flash exposure… They can do almost everything automatically and perfectly every time. But the one…

Expand Your Range

Look, ma! No HDR (high-dynamic-range) program or HDR plug-in! That’s right, HDR fans.
By Rick Sammon
ORIGINAL Look, ma! No HDR (high-dynamic-range) program or HDR plug-in! That’s right, HDR fans. The opening image was created in Photoshop using basic adjustments, which I applied with Photoshop Adjustment Layers. In my how-to feature in this issue, we consider when to use HDR techniques and the capabilities of specialized…

An Automatic ISO Primer

How and why to use the auto ISO feature on your DSLR
By William Sawalich
For a long time in my photography career, I used digital SLRs just like the film cameras that came before—relying heavily on the manual features that I knew would provide me with total control. But eventually I began to investigate the functionality of all sorts of helpful automatic settings, things…

Better Low Light Photography

How to make the most of a photo op when the light is low
By William Sawalich
It's easy to make sharp photos in broad daylight, or beautiful photos with golden sunset light. But what do you do when the light gets really low and you still want to shoot? Here's a handful of tips to help you improve your low light photography skill. - Don't be…

Frequency Separation Retouching… For Hair!

This popular skin retouching technique is also great for taming flyaway hair
By William Sawalich
The frequency separation technique is particularly popular among portrait retouchers who want a subject's skin to look its best without appearing overly retouched or, heaven forbid, downright fake. As good as the process is for skin, it's also quite effective when retouching hair—for eliminating flyaways and stray hairs, in particular.…
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