How To Fake Sunset Light

Use a strobe and a gel to re-create beautiful magic hour lighting
magic hour light
What’s the prettiest natural light there is? A lot of photographers would argue it’s the golden hour, that time shortly after sunrise and shortly before sunset when the light is strong and warm and comes from a low angle close to the horizon. The combination of a low angle and warm glow can make almost any subject more interesting and attractive.... Read more

Improve Portrait Photos With A Quick Positioning Trick

By adjusting the subject and having them lean at their hips, you can make their chin and neck line look better
We often see portraits with a rounded, unflattering crinoline, but it’s easy to improve portrait photography tremendously with a quick trick. Improve Portrait Photos By Bending Photographer Peter Hurley and many others tell portrait photographers to instruct their subjects to stick their chin out. When someone sticks their chin out, they elongate... Read more

Building A Basic Camera Kit For Serious Photography

What should be in your bag when outfitting your camera kit?
camera kit
If you’re reading this, you’re interested in photography. Some might say you’re “serious” about the hobby. So, now you want to upgrade from your smartphone, point-and-shoot or even your basic camera to a kit that matches your dedication—something like an interchangeable-lens mirrorless or DSLR camera. What are this kind of kit’s essentials,... Read more

For Outdoor Portraits Aim Your Camera At The Sun!

Put the sun at your subject’s back for improved outdoor portraits
outdoor portrait photography
When you’re taking a picture of a person outdoors on a sunny day you have one fundamental decision to make: Do you position the subject so they’re facing the sun, or do you position them so that the sun is at their back? There’s one answer that’s almost always correct: Place the sun at the subject’s back. Here’s why. First, if you position... Read more

Use A Polarizer For Better Color

Polarizers do a lot more than eliminating reflections and deepening blue skies
Nearly a decade ago, on this very website, I wrote a short piece about using a circular polarizer on overcast and rainy days. I explained how the polarizer would eliminate the shine on damp leaves and other surfaces, and instead allow detail and color to come through. The response was immediate and strong. “You don’t know what you’re talking about!”... Read more

Use Teleconverters To Photograph Wildlife

An affordable option to get up close and personal with animals in the wild
In the good ol’ days of 35mm film, serious wildlife shooters needed 600mm and even 800mm supertelephoto lenses to get up close to their subjects. But then came the digital revolution and smaller-than-35mm sensors, which have the effect of cropping out the center of a full frame and making a 400mm lens behave more like a 600mm. Now factor in higher... Read more

Repair Moiré The Easy Way

When fine patterns interfere with your sensor, here’s an easy fix for removing those colorful bands of moiré
Photoshop is such a powerful and multifaceted image-editing tool, there are many repairs that can be made with several equally effective approaches. Fixing moiré is one such task. Moiré is the colorful banding that appears when a fine pattern in an image is even finer than the pattern of the pixels on a camera’s sensor. It’s frequently found in... Read more

Studio-Style Lighting Control Outdoors

When taking photos outdoors, look for natural opportunities to control the light as you would in a studio
shooting outdoor portraits
When working outdoors, you might think you’re required to take it or leave it when it comes to the light offered by Mother Nature. In fact, though, you often can take control over this natural light simply by changing your position relative to the subject, or by changing the position of the subject themselves, so that structures nearby, as well as... Read more

Types Of Lenses

There’s a lens for every need. But how do you know what you need?
types of lenses
There are, it seems, one million and one lens options out there for the discerning photographer. You bought a new camera and it probably even came with one, called a kit lens. Is that all you need? What’s a kit lens, anyway? What about a wide-angle, or a portrait lens? Do you need a zoom? Is that the same as a telephoto? Here’s a rundown of types... Read more

How To Photograph A Solar Eclipse

This month’s total eclipse presents photographers with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
how to photograph a solar eclipse
On August 21, 2017, the “Great American Eclipse” will present a unique opportunity for photographers nationwide. The moon will pass between the earth and the sun and fully block the sun, creating a swath of shadow stretching from the northwestern to the southeastern United States. Ideal viewing can be had in Oregon, Wyoming, Illinois, Tennessee... Read more