Creative Blur Techniques

Blur isn’t always wrong. Sometimes it’s so very right!
creative blur techniques
We can all agree that sharp pictures are always the best pictures, right? Not necessarily. Sometimes blurry pictures may be preferable. For instance, if you want to convey a feeling of motion in a picture of a fast-moving subject, you might find that a bit of motion blur does the job. Or maybe you just want to add interest to an otherwise ho-hum portrait;... Read more

The Tilt-Shift Effect

Captured in-camera or generated with software, this technique can make your images jump off the page—if you use it right
tilt-shift photography
Lofoten Islands, Norway. This image of a fishing village shows the miniaturization effect using a Nikon PC-E Micro-NIKKOR 45mm ƒ/2.8D tilt-shift lens. Nikon D810 at ƒ/4, 1/30 sec., ISO 200 My first commercial assignments landed me in a kaleidoscope of interiors. From kitchen remodels to spacious hotel suites, I was hired to photograph interiors. At... Read more

Using Vimeo For Video Backup

More than a great place to share high-quality videos, Vimeo also can store original video files in the cloud
cloud storage
Looking for a great way to display your videos online? Vimeo is a high-quality option. Almost every video shooter understands that if you want something to look its best online, Vimeo is a tremendous option for maximum quality. Better still, Vimeo offers an unlimited amount of storage space, whether you’re subscribing to the free Basic plan or whether... Read more

50mm Vs 35mm Lenses: A Visual Guide For Portrait Photography

A visual guide to 35mm and 50mm lens use for portraits, from our friends at ThePhoblographer
With wider angle lenses becoming better and better, photographers are bound to ask the question of 50mm vs 35mm lenses and how they relate to portraiture. Our friends at ThePhoblographer produced this visual guide to the differences in these two common lens focal lengths. This content is provided by our friends at ThePhoblographer.com. Visit their... Read more

Turn The Sun Into An Outdoor Studio With One Simple Modifier

Make the sun a softbox with a translucent piece of fabric
lighting modifiers
If you’re shooting people outdoors, there’s one lighting modifier in particular that you need. In fact, there’s only one modifier that you need. It’s a silk, also called a scrim, stretched on a frame. This piece of white diffusion fabric turns the harshest sunlight into beautifully diffused, soft light. It’s the perfect key light, especially... Read more

Expand Your Vision: Getting Started Shooting Video

Evolving from photography to video production
shooting video
Photographers will recognize many parts of this high-end Canon motion camera, as it’s an evolution of the company’s video-capable still cameras. Editor’s Note: This piece first appeared in our Spring issue and reflects the products available at the time of publication. To see our equipment coverage of new gear, visit our Camera and News sections.... Read more

How To Fake Sunset Light

Use a strobe and a gel to re-create beautiful magic hour lighting
magic hour light
What’s the prettiest natural light there is? A lot of photographers would argue it’s the golden hour, that time shortly after sunrise and shortly before sunset when the light is strong and warm and comes from a low angle close to the horizon. The combination of a low angle and warm glow can make almost any subject more interesting and attractive.... Read more

Improve Portrait Photos With A Quick Positioning Trick

By adjusting the subject and having them lean at their hips, you can make their chin and neck line look better
We often see portraits with a rounded, unflattering crinoline, but it’s easy to improve portrait photography tremendously with a quick trick. Improve Portrait Photos By Bending Photographer Peter Hurley and many others tell portrait photographers to instruct their subjects to stick their chin out. When someone sticks their chin out, they elongate... Read more

Building A Basic Camera Kit For Serious Photography

What should be in your bag when outfitting your camera kit?
camera kit
If you’re reading this, you’re interested in photography. Some might say you’re “serious” about the hobby. So, now you want to upgrade from your smartphone, point-and-shoot or even your basic camera to a kit that matches your dedication—something like an interchangeable-lens mirrorless or DSLR camera. What are this kind of kit’s essentials,... Read more

For Outdoor Portraits Aim Your Camera At The Sun!

Put the sun at your subject’s back for improved outdoor portraits
outdoor portrait photography
When you’re taking a picture of a person outdoors on a sunny day you have one fundamental decision to make: Do you position the subject so they’re facing the sun, or do you position them so that the sun is at their back? There’s one answer that’s almost always correct: Place the sun at the subject’s back. Here’s why. First, if you position... Read more

Use A Polarizer For Better Color

Polarizers do a lot more than eliminating reflections and deepening blue skies
polarizer
Nearly a decade ago, on this very website, I wrote a short piece about using a circular polarizer on overcast and rainy days. I explained how the polarizer would eliminate the shine on damp leaves and other surfaces, and instead allow detail and color to come through. The response was immediate and strong. “You don’t know what you’re talking about!”... Read more

Use Teleconverters To Photograph Wildlife

An affordable option to get up close and personal with animals in the wild
teleconverters
In the good ol’ days of 35mm film, serious wildlife shooters needed 600mm and even 800mm supertelephoto lenses to get up close to their subjects. But then came the digital revolution and smaller-than-35mm sensors, which have the effect of cropping out the center of a full frame and making a 400mm lens behave more like a 600mm. Now factor in higher... Read more
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