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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

Window Light Still Life

Channel Renaissance masters with beautiful light from a window
Window Light Still Life
If the pandemic shutdown has you at home with more time on your hands, you might find yourself branching out to photograph things around the house. I’ve found myself photographing new things in new ways—tabletop objects, including food, toys and even impromptu still life images. And I’ve done it all, not with strobes or other special lighting... Read more

Macro Photography Adventures Close To Home

Discover a whole new world in your own backyard
Macro Photography Adventures Close To Home
This coronavirus shutdown has got most folks staying close to home. As such, the outdoor photographer is somewhat limited in terms of his or her options. As an increasing number of photographers are surely discovering, one way to find a whole new world to photograph is to strap on a macro lens and explore the galaxy of close-up nature photography, all... Read more

Portrait Lighting And Posing Techniques

Use your downtime to get great at portrait posing and lighting
portrait lighting and posing techniques
If you’re at home and looking to improve your photography skills during your downtime, why not work on the portrait lighting and posing techniques you can put to use once life gets back to normal? This is a great way to capitalize on a captive audience you may have at home with you—a spouse and kids, for instance, or a hopefully willing roommate.... Read more

How To Use Photoshop’s History Brush

Selectively undo mistakes and fine-tune edits from long ago
Using Photoshop’s History Brush
For years and years, professional photographers and digital artists in the know have promoted the idea of non-destructive image editing through the use of Photoshop tools, such as layers, masks and more. But just as many photographers prefer to go their own way by doing things such as capturing JPEGs instead of RAW and avoiding great tools, such as... Read more

Sony Camera Focus Areas

Make the most of your Sony camera's autofocus capabilities by choosing the right focus zone
Having recently added a Sony mirrorless camera to my kit, it took me a minute to master what turned out to be a very user-friendly autofocus system. Sure, I understood how to choose between manual focus and continuous or single-shot autofocus modes, but I didn’t really capitalize on the powerful autofocus system until I took full advantage of changing... Read more

How To Use Photoshop’s Image Processor

Multiple edits and batch RAW processing is easily accomplished with the Image Processor
How To Use Photoshop’s Image Processor
Photographers often want to make changes across a group of images, and the process is much more efficient if it can be done automatically. Frequently, this includes resizing or reformatting to a different file type, but it might also include color, contrast, sharpness and almost any other adjustment under the sun. While Photoshop’s actions and batch... Read more

Adding Texture To A Photograph

Digital texture overlays add interest to all sorts of images
Adding Texture To A Photograph
Digital image files are bigger, better and cleaner than ever. That’s great most of the time, but what about when you want to make images with a bit less perfection and a bit more character? In the analog days, different darkroom processing and printing methods could impart texture to a photograph. But with crystal-clear digital image files, texture... Read more

Quarantine Photo Projects

Stay busy and creative by using your camera in a different way
Quarantine Photo Projects
With normal life in the United States shut down due to the coronavirus, those who are fortunate not to be dealing with difficult health issues or financial distress may be looking for ways to continue their photographic pursuits without venturing from home. Here are a few ways photographers can get creative with their cameras while waiting out the pandemic. Macro... Read more

5 Tips For Working With Lightroom Catalogs

Optimize Lightroom’s Catalog to fit the way you work
5 Tips For Working With Lightroom Catalogs
Lightroom is a tremendous image editing and organization tool, and it’s all based around the application’s unique catalog system. It stores image files in a normal folder hierarchy outside of the application and uses a catalog file to generate preview images and save image adjustments as metadata information. It provides agility when working with... Read more

Same Aperture, Different Lens

How focal length, depth of field and angle of view impact your photographs
Focal length, depth of field and angle of view
Let’s talk about focal length, depth of field and angle of view. How do they change based on lens selection? A wide-angle lens up close to a subject and a telephoto lens from far away may render something the same size on the sensor, but still, the images will look very different. Why? Depth of field is the area of the frame that’s in sharp... Read more

3 Ways To Add Depth To A Photograph

Create the illusion of depth in a two-dimensional photograph
A photography instructor long ago told me that photographic technique is often about trying to recreate the three-dimensional world in a two-dimensional medium. As such, we’re always looking for ways to create the appearance of depth and dimension in our images. Here are three ways to add depth to a photograph. Use Backlight To Add Depth To A Photograph One... Read more