Expand Your Range

Look, ma! No HDR (high-dynamic-range) program or HDR plug-in! That’s right, HDR fans.

ORIGINAL Look, ma! No HDR (high-dynamic-range) program or HDR plug-in! That’s right, HDR fans. The opening image was created in Photoshop using basic adjustments, which I applied with Photoshop Adjustment Layers. In my how-to feature in this issue, we consider when to use HDR techniques and the capabilities of specialized software like Photomatix... Read more

An Automatic ISO Primer

How and why to use the auto ISO feature on your DSLR

For a long time in my photography career, I used digital SLRs just like the film cameras that came before—relying heavily on the manual features that I knew would provide me with total control. But eventually I began to investigate the functionality of all sorts of helpful automatic settings, things like Auto Exposure, Auto White Balance and, eventually,... Read more

Better Low Light Photography

How to make the most of a photo op when the light is low

It’s easy to make sharp photos in broad daylight, or beautiful photos with golden sunset light. But what do you do when the light gets really low and you still want to shoot? Here’s a handful of tips to help you improve your low light photography skill. – Don’t be afraid of high ISOs Way back in the old days DSLRs were a lot... Read more

Frequency Separation Retouching… For Hair!

This popular skin retouching technique is also great for taming flyaway hair

The frequency separation technique is particularly popular among portrait retouchers who want a subject’s skin to look its best without appearing overly retouched or, heaven forbid, downright fake. As good as the process is for skin, it’s also quite effective when retouching hair—for eliminating flyaways and stray hairs, in particular.... Read more

Digital Toning For Beautiful Black And White

How to use Lightroom and Photoshop to add dimension to black-and-white photos

Split Toned Before For generations of darkroom print makers, toning a black and white print was not only a way to add beauty via a subtle gold, sepia or blue tone, but it also added longevity as well. Bonding metals such as gold and selenium to the silver in black and white photo paper made beautiful prints that were more archival. A dual benefit.... Read more

How To Make A Photo Look Like An Oil Painting

Photoshop’s art history brush is a fast and fun way to emulate the look of an oil painting

Before If you’ve got a photo you’d like to makeover with a painterly flair, consider using Photoshop’s Art History Brush. It can transform any photograph into a virtual impressionist painting. I find that it works particularly well on landscapes, flowers, and naturalistic images in general. Found just beneath the History... Read more

Change Your Lens Or Move Your Feet?

The difference between zooming your lens and zooming with your feet

In the development of every photographer, at some point we figure out that there are multiple ways to approach the composition of any scene. For instance, if you know you want to shoot a portrait of a person in the park, and you want to photograph her from the waist up and fill the frame, you’ve got one major choice right off the bat: should I... Read more

The Peripheral Vision Retouching Technique

How do you determine which spots need fixing? Look Here, Click There.

One of the most useful ways to put Photoshop to work improving a photograph is to use it for simple spotting and retouching of tiny distractions in any shot. With a portrait, for instance, small blemishes, pores and wrinkles serve to keep a portrait subject from looking his or her best. It can be obvious sometimes which blemishes need to be removed,... Read more

Emulating Open Shade With Strobes

To create broad soft light with strobes, bouncing is key

Open shade is one of the most beautiful portrait lights there is. It can be found anywhere, practically any time of the day, almost always outside. Open shade is brighter than "heavy shade," because indirect light is reflected off of open sky, nearby buildings or even the ground. It’s this indirect, bright, diffuse light that makes open... Read more

The Super-Simple Fix For Common Moiré

Got Moiré? Here’s the fastest, easiest way to eliminate it in Photoshop.

Have you ever encountered moiré? It’s the discolored rainbow pattern that can pop up in digital images at the most inopportune times. It shows up when tight patterns in a subject’s clothing (most often, I find, in the fine patterns of men’s suits) create virtual interference due to the way they align with the equally tight pattern... Read more

Curves For Color

Use this simple, yet powerful technique for perfectly neutral color, by the numbers

Maybe your white balance setting was off, or you’ve scanned an old slide, or you were dealing with difficult-to-control mixed light. Or, maybe your image looks pretty good, but you want to be sure you have perfectly neutral color, regardless of how accurately your monitor is calibrated. Working with Photoshop’s Color Sampler Tool and a Curves... Read more

Intro To Macro

Explore the fascinating world of close-up photography

Imagine a land ruled by giant eight-eyed creatures the size of a car with long translucent fur, colorful stripes and purple iridescent fangs. Imagine a land where huge balls of glistening water fall from the sky and cling to every surface, magnifying and refracting sunlight, a land where you can explore flowers the size of a house with beds of pollen... Read more
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