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DIY LED Light Panel

How to affordably build your own continuous key light for photos and video
DIY LED Light Panel
Not long ago, we updated the overhead lights in my studio, replacing the fluorescent fixtures with LED light panels. Not only are LED lights much more affordable and convenient than fluorescent tubes or incandescent bulbs, but they’re also much more energy-efficient. As the electrician was prepping one of the units for the ceiling, I took note of... Read more

Planning A Photo Trip To Jordan

Learn how to capture exceptional shots in the Middle Eastern land of Jordan
Planning A Photo Trip To Jordan
Bedouins with their camels make their way across Wadi Rum. E. Lawrence, known for his heroic actions during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, was immortalized as “Lawrence of Arabia,” the title of an epic 1962 film based on his wartime activities described in his book, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. I channeled both... Read more

Camera Mode: Aperture Priority

This auto-enhanced exposure mode provides a great combination of assistance and control
Camera Mode: Aperture Priority
Some photography snobs cite the capability to shoot in manual mode as a badge of honor, eschewing any other mode as something akin to cheating. But I’m a longtime professional photographer, and while yes, I do like shooting in fully manual mode, I use Aperture Priority mode on a regular basis as well. Typically represented by a capital A (or sometimes... Read more
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Five Tips For Getting Amazing Night Photos

Use these techniques to make the most of shooting after dusk and before dawn
Five Tips For Getting Amazing Night Photos
While I’ve always found sunrises and sunsets picturesque, what truly fascinates me is when all of that radiant light is gone, and I’m left with a gigantic sky full of stars or the moon. It just fills me with awe, especially when I’m lucky enough to be in an area with little to no light pollution from cities or even a densely populated suburban... Read more

All About Depth Of Field

How to use depth of field deliberately for creative control
All About Depth Of Field
There’s a name for the area of a picture that’s in acceptable focus. It’s called depth of field (often abbreviated as DOF) and it’s one of the central considerations in the taking of a picture. Depth of field is controlled by the aperture (also known as the ƒ-stop) of the lens. A wider aperture—larger opening—is denoted by a smaller number,... Read more

Three Ways to Fight Moiré

In the camera and in the computer, eliminate distracting moiré caused by pattern interference
Three Ways to Fight Moiré
Have you ever encountered a strange pattern that seemingly appears out of nowhere and ruins your digital pictures? This is called moiré. It’s the kind of thing that sometimes shows up in intricately woven fabrics or other fine patterns. It appears when two patterns—such as the weaving in a suit jacket and the pixels on a digital SLR’s sensor—don’t... Read more

How Light Works—The Inverse Square Law

Understanding the inverse square law can lead to better lighting in your photos
Understanding the inverse square law can lead to better lighting in your photos
Every year in my studio photography class I give a lecture on the Inverse Square Law. With a name like that it doesn’t sound like it would be a laugh-a-minute romp, but in fact, the students are captivated! Well maybe not captivated, but they’re excited once they see how these laws of physics can be quite useful when it comes to lighting a subject—especially... Read more

Travel Photography Guide

Focus on these subjects, tips and techniques to create stunning travel images
A Guide To Great Travel Photos
I shot this incredible sunrise behind a church near Ljubliana, Slovenia. Not long ago, I visited a friend who was ecstatic about his recent trip to Europe. Brimming with excitement, he grabbed his iPad and started quickly flipping through images. Now, I do want to point out that my friend isn’t a professional photographer. He’s just really enthusiastic... Read more

Optimize Lightroom For Sorting, Rating And Editing

Speed up Lightroom for specific tasks, whether that’s faster imports, quicker culling or instantaneous edits
Optimize Lightroom For Sorting, Rating And Editing
Recently, I’ve heard from more than one photographer who uses Lightroom for much of their RAW file processing and organization with one exception: They feel it’s too slow out of the box for sorting and rating. This process, often referred to as culling, is where photographers separate the wheat from the chaff. Some pros like to use a dedicated program... Read more

Use Lightroom To Watermark Images With Filenames

Adding filenames to the image area should be automatic in Lightroom, but unfortunately it’s not. This workaround at least makes it possible.
Use Lightroom To Watermark Images With Filenames
For photographers who want to show proofs to friends and clients or post images online, the ability to watermark images with a logo or text is invaluable. Sometimes, though, it would be preferable to watermark an image file with the actual file name. This can be particularly helpful for proofing—selecting the image someone would like to receive as... Read more

Make Landscape Photos During Summer Vacation

Avoid two primary pitfalls to improve your chances for making great landscape photographs during your family vacation
Make Landscape Photos During Your Summer Vacation
Summer is in full swing, which for many of us means it’s finally our chance to get out of the office for a week and spend some quality time outdoors, doing the things we love most with the people we love most. Namely, it’s time for summer vacation. For many, this is our best chance to get out in beautiful places, camera in hand, to make beautiful... Read more

Restoring Faded Color Photos

Return color accuracy to old family photos
Restoring Faded Color Photos
Last week, we discussed how to digitize old photos using a basic copy stand setup. This week, we’ll examine a simple technique for making those old photos look new again by restoring faded color photos to their former glory. First, I open the image in Photoshop in order to address the color. Start by duplicating the image to a new layer so it’s... Read more
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