Make A Paint Chip Gray Card

Find a neutral gray paint chip and you’ve got an ideal, inexpensive, easily replaceable white balancing aid

The other day, as I was perusing paint chips while trying to select a color to paint my dining room, it occurred to me that these paint chips could be useful for photography. A truly neutral gray paper paint sample would make an ideal inexpensive (i.e. free) and very portable white balance aid. In the spirit of using a sample pack of gels to adjust... Read more


Capturing the pulse of urban life

Cities are full of photographic potential. Urban photography is a blend of city landscape, portraiture and street photography; it’s a genre all to itself that’s often gritty and beautifully abstract. Because of these combinations, your tourist or vacation images from the big city have the promise of carrying a style all their own. With urban... Read more

A Change Of Scenery

Inspiration comes in a departure from the ordinary

The benefits of travel are no great mystery. Much of the time, travel means vacation, and vacation means rest, relaxation, fun and festivities. Although some travel might be more obligatory, like a work trip, for instance, when we’re plucked out of our normal daily routine and plunked down into a new environment, inspiration can be found practically... Read more

Local Color

Tips for finding unique shots to add style to your travel portfolio

Tuning your eyes to an alternative view of your city or destination can be really fun. I like to look for colorful details in a new location, for unique portraits and capturing places from a different perspective when I’m traveling. Here are some of my favorite ways to add cheer and color to your travel photography. JUMP SHOTS! Finding a colorful... Read more

Pro Landscape Secrets

Step up your scenic photography with these key techniques

Ever since Ansel Adams, photographs of the natural landscape have inspired people and fired the imagination. Great landscape photos, however, don’t just happen by pointing your camera at pretty scenery. Instead, landscape pros use a number of techniques to make captivating images, bringing their subjects to life with composition, color and light. ... Read more

How To Photograph Basketball

Simple tools and techniques get you closer to the action than in any other sport

The NBA Playoffs are in full swing, so I thought why not offer some tips for photographing basketball. When I was a young photographer, there was nothing I enjoyed more than covering a high school or college basketball game. No sport puts you closer to the action with your camera, so it can really be a lot of fun to shoot. I’m not expecting you... Read more

Apple OS X Photos

The replacement for iPhoto and Aperture sets a course between the two

Compromise isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except when it is. How you’ll feel about the new Photos app from Apple depends on what app it’s replacing for you and what you typically do with your photos. When Apple announced the development of this new app, they also announced that both iPhoto and Aperture would be discontinued. For iPhoto... Read more

Understanding The Exposure Triangle

A look at the three camera controls that dictate exposure and how they work together

Switching the camera’s exposure controls from Auto to Manual for the first time is a big step. For beginning photographers ready to make that leap, all you need to know about exposure can be found in the exposure triangle. There are three camera controls that affect exposure: ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Each of these occupies one side... Read more

Clean Up The Background

Simplify a composition with subtle changes to camera settings and angle of view

One of the best ways to improve a composition is to simplify it. And a great way to make a picture simpler and drive the focus to the subject is to clean up the background. So here are five techniques for simplifying the background and improving your pictures. 1. Move the camera. Simply raising or lowering the camera, or moving it left or... Read more

How A Flash Is Like A Double-Exposure

Controlling flash and ambient independently in a single shot

Someone recently suggested to me a new way of thinking about flash exposures. This piqued my interest, of course, because among students and young photographers it appears that understanding the intricacies of flash, and in particular of balancing flash with ambient light, is quite a challenge. So in an effort to bring more understanding to the concept... Read more

That Extra 5%

Five Ways to give your image a little extra quality to help it from good to great.

I recently had a great professional photographer tell me about how he does all sorts of things to help him eke out another 5% of image quality. He’s looking to do a few extra little things that add up to a big improvement in his pictures. So here’s a list of five ways you can add an extra 5% of quality to your pictures. Do enough of them, and the... Read more

The Importance of “Closer”

A closer look may be all that stands between you and a great photograph.

There are a variety of ways that the concept of “closer” comes into play in making better pictures. From composition to lighting to retouching, harnessing the power of “closer” can make all the difference in your pictures. – Iconic photographer Robert Capa famously said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not... Read more