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A Foolproof System For Model Releases

Property and model releases are important. Learn how to keep them safe, secure and easily accessible.
model release
If you have any plans to use a photograph of a person or their property for commercial purposes, model releases and property releases are necessary. They really should be part of the best practices of any professional photographer. I recommend carrying them in your camera bag, and keeping a virtual release app on your smartphone in order to ensure you’ve... Read more

Shoot Stunning Flower Images

An assortment of creative techniques to turn average flower photos into pieces of floral fine art
Harold Davis
Alstroemeria Medley: I photographed this arrangement of Alstroemerias (Peruvian lilies) straight down on a light box, then used a series of LAB color adjustments in Photoshop to create the painterly effect you see here. 85mm macro, seven exposures combined in Photoshop, exposures at shutter speeds ranging from 1/4 sec. to 5 sec., each exposure at ƒ/64... Read more

Camera Basics: Start With Shutter Speed

When it comes to learning your camera’s manual exposure controls, the place to begin is with your shutter speed
shutter speed
Cameras are simple: just a light-tight box with three modifiers. Those modifiers, which are adjusted in conjunction with one another to make every exposure, are ISO (formerly film speed in the pre-digital era), aperture (also known as iris, ƒ-stop or lens opening) and shutter speed. Each has a different impact on the picture, so how do you know where... Read more

Ultralight Painting

Use multiple exposures and Eric Curry’s light-painting techniques to create powerfully luminous images
Eric Curry
If you devour Flickr and YouTube videos on photography, you probably know about the “paint with light” photography technique—it’s really more of a lighting technique. For anybody who hasn’t stumbled upon this unusual and inspiring form of photography previously, you’re in for a wild ride of discovery. During my own journey and experiences... Read more

Eliminate Extra Lightroom Modules

Clean up your workspace to streamline your Lightroom workflow
eliminate extra Lightroom modules
If you’re anything like me, you tend to use Lightroom for a whole lot of your workflow, but you don’t take advantage of all the amazing things the application can do. For instance, I spend tons of time in Lightroom’s Library and Develop modules, but only occasionally do I make prints and step over to the Print module. And, though I use Lightroom... Read more

How To Photograph A Painting

Simple steps to follow for proper copying of flat art like paintings, drawings and photographs
photograph a painting
If you want to copy a painting, drawing or photograph, your main challenges are to ensure the piece remains perfectly flat (in order to minimize glare and optical distortions) and to light it evenly so it’s well represented and doesn’t show any distracting shadows or highlights. The easiest way to do this without any special equipment is to hang... Read more

The Pros And Cons Of LED Lights

Considering investing in lights? LED panels are a great option, but only if you’re also aware of their limitations.
Litepanels Astra
At my studio, we invested in a pair of Litepanels Astra bicolor LED lights. These panel-style lights consist of an array of multiple diodes (like a whole bunch of little light bulbs) spread across a housing about 12 inches square. They don’t use a lot of power so they’re really energy efficient and even can be run off a battery. They’re really... Read more

Using Snapshots And Virtual Copies In Lightroom

Built-in tools that make undoing your work and creating editing variations a breeze
Lightroom Snapshots and Virtual Copies
Many times when working on editing digital image files in Lightroom, you may find yourself at a point you might eventually like to come back to, almost like saving a video game to protect your progress in case the zombies up ahead eat your brain. In Lightroom, saving your work in a particular state is done by taking a snapshot of the current state.... Read more

Are DSLRs Still Relevant?

Why DSLRs still rule (and when they really don’t)
There are more camera options available today than ever before, which means a lot of good reasons why even serious photographers should consider compact mirrorless and point-and-shoot cameras. But the DSLR is still in many ways the king of the hill. Here’s why you should think of the DSLR first when considering a new camera, and a few reasons why... Read more

Don’t Get Scammed!

There are photographer-specific email scams out there. Here’s how to spot them.
Tip Of The Week
There are a lot of bad people out there, trying to trick you out of your hard-earned dollars—Nigerian royalty, a long-lost friend stuck in Istanbul, work-from-home scams and more. There’s even a type of scam out there specific to photographers. When the bad people find out you’re a photographer—by scraping your email from your photo-related... Read more

Using Highlight Tone Priority

This Canon DSLR setting helps rein in overexposed highlights to prevent the permanent loss of detail
highlight tone priority
Most Canon DSLRs made in the last several years have included a setting called Highlight Tone Priority. Found in the camera menu near High ISO Noise Reduction and other exposure controls, Highlight Tone Priority sounds like it might be the perfect thing to solve a big digital capture problem—overexposed highlights. And it is, but only to a certain... Read more

Diving Into Underwater Photography

Finding the right lens, best light, sturdiest gear and smartest ways to keep equipment dry
Jason Bradley
Not every photographer will get to dive with sharks, but with the right techniques and gear, it’s possible to capture breathtaking sub-aquatic photos on any aquatic adventure. Gear Photography By Backscatter Underwater Video and Photo Photography today has no shortage of technical hurdles. It can be daunting to learn about camera sensors, flashes,... Read more