Landscape Photography

With these techniques and gear, you’ll be able to capture anything, from a local park to a majestic mountain range, just like the pros
Can you imagine all of the jaw-dropping photos you’ve seen in magazines and online of this planet? Think about it for a minute. The diversity in ecology and landscape that our planet offers is so magnificent and varied, it’s stupefying. And how lucky are we as photographers to have opportunities in travel and technology—unlike any time in history—to... Read more

Look Up To Portrait Subjects

Create a hero angle by getting low when shooting portraits
Look Up to Portrait Subjects
I’ve been studying the work of master portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz lately and something finally caught my eye. Not about her pictures, which are consistently great for going on five decades now, but about her process. No, it’s not about how she typically uses a single light source balanced with the ambient light. And no, it’s not about... Read more

It’s The Little Things That Matter Most

Macro photography can open up a whole world that’s hiding right in front of you
My introduction to “real” macro photography came more than a decade ago when I was reviewing the Canon MP-E 65mm F/2.8 1-5x Macro lens and Canon’s macro strobe setup. I had shot macro before, but this was my first time shooting with a lens that captured images greater than life-size, and it was a mesmerizing experience. I remember buying flowers... Read more

DIY Studio: Build a Faux Brick Background

Make your suburban garage look like a downtown loft with a whitewashed faux brick wall
DIY Studio: Build a Faux Brick Background
I have a big, empty wall adjacent to my shooting space that is ripe for transformation into something more usable for photography. This wall typically collects clutter; lights and stands end up leaning there, as do tables and chairs and really anything that needs an out of the way home for a little while. In an effort to turn the fairly plain space... Read more

Travel Photography

Capturing the journey and the destination with these pro tips and techniques
When traveling, I’m always looking to capture moments that normally get overlooked, like an elderly man taking in the setting sun in Essaouria, Morocco. I’ve long battled with myself over how to accurately define the genre of travel photography. Is it about taking photos of the vehicle you’re using to get from where you currently are to where... Read more

Use Color Fill For Mood Modifications

From vibrant to subtle, toning an image with color is a great way to impact the feel of a shot
I regularly add a subtle color overlay to my images in order to help influence the mood of the finished photo. For a portrait in which I want to convey a sense of warmth and comfort, for instance, I’ll use a warm color like yellow, red or orange, applied ever so lightly. I like to use an adjustment layer in Photoshop in order to add this hint of color... Read more

Customize Photoshop’s Info Panel

Fine-tuning the information displayed by Photoshop’s Info Panel puts all sorts of useful data at your fingertips
One of the many windows you can have open in your Photoshop workspace is the Info Panel. By default, this window shows you RGB and CMYK color values of pixels as you mouse over them, along with the mouse coordinates on X and Y axes and width and height measurements of any selections or transformations. This information can be very useful, but it’s... Read more

Making Multiple Exposures In Photoshop

For a fun and funky portrait, consider combining multiple exposures using Photoshop’s layer modes and masks
Multiple exposures have made a comeback in recent years, with some digital SLRs allowing photographers to combine frames in camera to mimic the approach taken in the film era when photographers would make multiple exposures by exposing the same piece of film twice. The effect produced can definitely be quirky, and with some practice, photographers can... Read more

Compact, Low-Output, Super-Affordable Strobes

A rundown of five priceless options in the low-power, low-price studio strobe category
There are many ways to spend a whole lot of money buying photographic lighting equipment. From LED panels the cost of a reliable used car to high-power studio strobes that take a home equity loan to fund, there’s no shortage of really great but really expensive lighting options out there. But what fun is a new lighting toy when you have to go into... Read more

7 Techniques For Modifying Light

Learning how to work with and shape light is critical in image making
Behind the scenes on a photo shoot using a Lastolite Skylite. Nikon D3, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F2.8G ED, 1/600 sec. at ƒ.8, ISO 400 Every photographer knows light is what makes or breaks an image. One of my favorite quotes about photography is, “You’re not photographing the subject; you’re photographing the light on the subject.” Photograph a... Read more

The Importance Of Subtlety With Low-Key Fill

When you’re producing low-key lighting, subtle fill light becomes especially important
The Importance Of Subtlety With Low-Key Fill
When you create a low-key lighting scenario, it’s especially important that you implement a fill light—but not too much fill light. Otherwise, the shot can simply turn into an abyss of shadow without any detail or, at the other extreme, you can overfill and eliminate the drama inherent with low-key lighting. Low-key lighting is any scenario in which... Read more

Building A Portrait Business

Countless photographers have started their careers by shooting portraits. Find out what it takes to have a successful portrait business.
Building A Portrait Business
Ask a photographer how they got their start, and you’ll often hear a similar story. “I loved taking photos, and my friends started to ask me to shoot portraits. Soon enough, I started taking portraits for clients, and that launched my career.” There’s a constant demand for portraits, and an even greater demand for photographers who can take... Read more