Match Perspectives When Compositing

Two different tools for making more accurate composites when the angle of view doesn’t match
When compositing two images together in Photoshop, one of the most accurate ways to do it is to start by photographing the objects with the same focal length lens, from the same distance and camera angle. This way the perspectives will match. But often we’re tasked with compositing two images that weren’t shot with the same perspective. Getting... Read more

Optical Control Like None Other With Tilt-Shift Lenses

Used by the book or for breaking the rules, tilt-shift lenses offer totally unique in-camera effects
Many specialized photography tools open up new worlds of photographic technique and creative output, but none is more unique and powerful than the perspective control lens. These lenses were designed to mimic the movements of a view camera to bring them to the world of digital SLRs. Also known as tilt-shift lenses, they allow photographers to rotate... Read more

Use Pattern And Repetition For More Compelling Compositions

Pattern and repetition are all around—and they almost always add interest to photographs
Conventional wisdom holds that interesting photographs are made by following a few compositional rules like having a single center of interest, using leading lines to guide the eye through the frame and dividing the scene with the rule of thirds. But one image element makes for interesting pictures even when it doesn’t follow these rules. It’s pattern... Read more

High Key And Low Key Portraiture

Make portraits instantly more interesting by shifting the key toward highlights or shadows
A large majority of photographs contain a wide mix of tones from shadows to highlights and, primarily, everything in between. That means that images at the extremes—composed primarily of light tones or dark tones—are inherently more interesting than the same old thing. There’s a name for these images at the extremes. Images comprised of shadows... Read more

Clipping A Subject From A Background In Photoshop

Four steps to ensure great results when clipping a subject from a background
Clipping a subject from the background of an image is a fairly straightforward process that allows you to change the background or move the subject to a new image. There are numerous ways to do this and tools to use. Here’s my preferred method for clipping a subject from a background in Photoshop.  Step 1: Shooting The Subject If at all possible,... Read more

Creatively Using Lens Flare

Get a “flare” for the dramatic by understanding the effects of lens flare and how to use
Lens flare occurs when a light source shines directly into the lens. It can happen with pinpoint sources or broad, diffuse sources, and in practice, it occurs when you’re pointing your camera toward a light source such as a strobe, lamp or the sun. Not sure if you’re getting lens flare? You can try to place your eye near the camera and look toward... Read more

Build Confidence As A Photographer

Three techniques to help you build confidence as a photographer—which leads to better pictures
Sometimes the most difficult challenges facing novice photographers are related not to matters of cameras and lighting but rather the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills required to produce great photographs. Namely, new photographers aren’t typically confident in their skills, becoming increasingly uncomfortable when it comes to photographing... Read more

Simplifying Portrait Backgrounds

Four techniques for ensuring the focus is on the face
Portrait photography is fascinating for a million different reasons, not the least of which is how we love looking at other people. There’s something special about the human face. We respond to it viscerally when we see someone’s humanity right there in a photograph. Perhaps that’s why so many dedicate so much time to trying to do it well. Of... Read more

Fast Frame Rate Portrait Technique

Shooting several frames per second can make for better portraits, especially when photographing groups and kids
Fast Frame Rate Portrait Technique
I’ve found over the years that sometimes the simplest assignments present the biggest challenges: family portraits, for instance, or portraits of young children. These subjects are fairly straightforward and yet they can be immensely difficult and frustrating if you’re not sure how to do it right. And if you’re not quick, you can miss the perfect... Read more

The Simplest Portrait Posing Trick

Help your subjects look natural even when they don’t know how
Aside from all the technical difficulties of choosing ideal camera and lighting equipment, then deploying each to its fullest potential, portrait photographers are also faced with a challenge they have much less control over: posing their subjects. The challenges these days are even greater, as portrait styles have become increasingly natural with anything... Read more