Sports: The Competitive Edge

A professional approach to modern sports photography
Brett Wilhelm
In the sponsor-rich world of televised competition, clean backgrounds can be hard to come by. Separating the athlete against the sky while still showcasing the fans and overall ambience makes for a compelling competition shot. Advancing technologies and evolving educational resources in the last decade have led to a new golden age in digital sports... Read more

Shoot Into The Light

Everything is better with backlight
backlighting
Everything is better with backlight. That’s a lesson I learned 20-plus years ago shooting sports, and I put it to use today for everything from tabletop food photography to portraits and events. Why is backlighting so great, and how do you work with it? Read on to find out. Edge Separation. That lesson I learned 20-something years ago was about edge... Read more

Setting The Scene For Landscape Photography

How to quickly and easily capture the grandeur and beauty of the world around you
landscape photography tips
Plan Ahead. I had planned this photograph of the Milky Way over Turret Arch and South Window in Arches National Park, Utah, months in advance using The Photographer’s Ephemeris and Skygazer. Landscape photography looks so easy. We’ve all pulled up to a scenic overlook or arrived at our destination on a hike, and said, “Wow!” But as most of us... Read more

Tips for Freezing Fast-Moving Action

How to ensure a speedy subject will be sharp in your pictures
Fast-Moving Action - Skier
When a subject is moving fast, it can be difficult to ensure they are tack-sharp in your pictures. Here are some techniques, from basic to advanced, that help eliminate motion blur and ensure sharp subjects even when they’re moving fast. Use a fast shutter speed. Okay, I know this one’s obvious, but for the newbies, it’s an important reminder.... Read more

Travel Photography Pro Tips

Get the most out of your travel images with these tips from a pro
Rick Sammon
To really connect with a subject, it’s good to get up close and interact with them, instead of capturing them from afar. Being a travel photographer is a dream come true for many amateur and professional photographers alike. Sure, there’s a downside—most notably the travel to and from a destination—but those long airport TSA wait lines and... Read more

To Find Great Light, Look For Its Edges

Transitions from light to shadow offer great lighting opportunities
Edges of Light - Fence shadows
A great moment in a great location with a great subject might make for a great photo. But for it to be one of those really special “best of the best” photographs, it absolutely has to have great light. In fact, I would argue that great light can be enough to turn an otherwise humdrum moment into a photograph that’s pretty special—just on the... Read more

Identifying And Repairing Banding

Eliminate this artifact that renders continuous tones and gradations in a blotchy manner.
Repairing Banding - Banding example
One of the most annoying digital-specific image problems is the banding that can appear in areas of solid color, such as skies and studio backgrounds. Banding typically occurs when a color is graduated across a number of shades—like light blue to dark blue in a sky. In a continuous tone image, the transition from one tone to the next is seamless.... Read more

Portraits: Keep It Real

Finding Creative Ways To Capture True Portraits
Portrait/Thomas Boyd-Trail Blazer
On the Portland Trail Blazers’ media day, the players go to a dozen stations of video and still photographers. They expect a photo to be shot in seconds, not minutes. There’s very little time to build rapport. They just want to get it done as soon as possible. They’ve had so much practice at PR, they know what it takes. My strategy is to give... Read more

Is The New iPhone 7 Plus A Must-Have For Photographers?

Photographer-friendly features make this smartphone uniquely qualified for taking pictures
iPhone 7 Plus
After a few years of abuse, my old phone was on its last legs when Apple announced the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus this summer. My old phone limped into the fall when I finally got my hands on the iPhone 7 Plus, and boy was I surprised by just how capable the camera is. I never thought I’d seriously see a smartphone camera as a useful photographic device.... Read more

The Benefits Of Low Camera Angles

When eye level just won’t cut it, getting low is a great way to make your pictures stand out.
Low Camera Angle
Robert Capa famously said that if your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough. To that, I’d like to add that you also might not be low enough. A low camera angle, in my opinion, is one of the easiest ways to make a dull photo more interesting and to simplify a photo by eliminating some of the layers of depth between subject and... Read more

Cross-Lighting

The silver bullet of lighting solves some difficult photographic problems.
Cross-lighting22 by Tom Bol
Cross-lighting in an alley. Background light is an Elinchrom Quadra with 30-degree grid and an orange gel. Main light from the front is an Elinchrom Quadra shot through a 27”x27” square softbox with grid. Every photographer knows that beautiful light is critical in creating an impressive image. Striking subjects can look boring in flat light, while... Read more

Mixing Lights With The Help Of Orange And Blue Gels

How to combine light sources of different color temperatures and still nail a neutral white balance.
Orange Gels - Gel on flash
If you want to mix your flash with indoor ambient light, you’re going to find some color problems. Namely, if you balance for the flash the indoor lights will look orange. Or if you balance for the indoor lights the flash will look blue. The same problem occurs when shooting a scene with strong window light as well as indoor tungsten light. In these... Read more
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