Photographing Starry Skies

Getting started in astrophotography requires little more than a wide-angle lens, a tripod and dark skies
photographing starry skies
Late summer is a great time to photograph the night sky. Cooler evening temperatures make for comfortable working conditions across much of the U.S., and the Milky Way is at its highest point of the year. Here’s a primer for getting started photographing nighttime landscapes that include the moon, stars and even the gorgeous Milky Way. Avoid Manmade... Read more

Layered Hair Repair In Photoshop

A Photoshop retouching technique for effectively eliminating flyaway hair
Layered Hair Repair in Photoshop
When portrait subjects ask me to retouch their favorite pictures, there’s one thing they request above all else: “Can you fix that flyaway hair?” And, as is often the case when it comes to post-production, there are many effective ways to tackle this retouching challenge. But one of my favorite methods involves a layer mask to quickly and effectively... Read more

How To Put Portrait Subjects At Ease

Build confidence in your photography skills and learn to put portrait subjects at ease for better photos
portrait of a woman
When I talk to photography students about the things they’d like to learn in a portrait class, a large percentage of them are primarily interested in learning how to interact with the people they’re photographing. Eventually, after years of working with strangers during portrait sessions, this process won’t seem difficult or stressful. But until... Read more

Full Moon Photography Basics

How to photograph the moon without a telescope, using just a regular camera and telephoto lens
Full Moon Photography
There will be full moons on August 3 and September 2. Why not take the opportunity to get out your camera and a long lens and try your hand at full moon photography? Avoid Light Pollution Start by getting away from light pollution to have a clearer, sharper, contrastier view of the moon without worry about streetlights and hazy skies from urban areas.... Read more

Photoshop’s Top Tools For Image Repairs

Make any image like new—like magic!—with the help of the Clone Stamp, the Patch tool and the Spot Healing Brush
top tool for image repairs
New photographers may think that Photoshop works magic all by itself, particularly when they see it completely eliminate distracting elements from a photograph with just a few clicks of the mouse. It’s not magic, of course, and a lot depends on knowing how to use the powerful tools this software puts at our fingertips. That said, Photoshop really... Read more

Lightroom Classic Import Improvements

Making the most of Lightroom’s New Raw Default Options and ISO Adaptive Presets
ISO adaptive presets
Last week, we touched on one tremendous new Lightroom tool, but the latest release of Adobe’s awesome image management and RAW processing application includes many new updates, and we want to highlight other favorites. So this week, it’s all about Lightroom Classic Import improvements made to some valuable tools: the RAW Default system and ISO Adaptive... Read more

Using Lightroom’s New Local Hue Adjustment

Selectively modify colors right from Lightroom’s Develop module
Lightroom’s New Local Hue Control
Just a few weeks ago, Adobe introduced several new updates to Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw. One of the most powerful tools, particularly for photographers who relish selective control, is Local Hue adjustment. This allows photographers to make everything from subtle tweaks on a portrait subject’s skin tone to wholesale from one color to another—all... Read more

A Hard Drive For Every Need

Three drives for traveling photographers, video shooters and high-capacity backup
As camera makers increase megapixels, file sizes also increase—as do photographers’ processing and storage needs. Add to that the fact that so many photographers are branching out into video and there’s never been more need for fast, high-capacity hard drives that are portable and permanent. But one drive can’t do it all; different needs require... Read more

Creating And Saving Transparent Files

How to save an image with a transparent background
Creating And Saving Transparent Files
Sometimes we want to isolate a subject on a blank background. Whether it’s a portrait or an object, the process of cutting a subject out of the background is often called clipping or a cutout. Whatever you call it, the key is that for true transparency, the image needs to be saved in the correct file type with a truly transparent background. Here... Read more

Understanding Smart Collections In Lightroom

Take sorting and organizing image files to the next level with Smart Collections
Understanding Smart Collections In Lightroom
I’ve long been a fan of Lightroom for its unique ability to provide a one-stop solution for several digital imaging needs. Namely, I use the application to organize, sort and archive my many thousands of image files. In the short term, it’s the place I go to sort images immediately following a shoot. In the long term, it’s the portal through which... Read more