Choosing The Right Format For An External Hard Drive

From exFat to APFS, drive formatting options are wide—and not very obvious
There are several factors to consider when it comes time to format an external hard drive. Whether you’ll be using it to back up photos for travel, shuttle video files from machine to machine or archive files for the long term, the format you choose for the disk makes a big difference. Here’s help to choose the right hard drive format whether you... Read more

Automatic Panorama Stitching In Photoshop With Photomerge

Photomerge is a powerful tool for automatically combining multiple frames into one big panorama image
Automatic Panorama Stitching In Photoshop
Sometimes, a single frame doesn’t do justice to the big, beautiful landscape before your eyes. In other cases, the lens you’ve got isn’t wide enough to take in the whole scene. Still, in other cases, you need a larger file than what your camera can deliver. Whatever the cause of this conundrum, there’s a simple solution: stitching multiple frames... Read more

Simple Home Portrait Studios

Two great options for useful home setups that don’t require much equipment
At-Home Portrait Studios
For obvious reasons, photographers everywhere have been photographing at home more than ever. For portrait photographers who want the look of a studio that entails a bit of ingenuity but doesn’t involve much specialized equipment, here are two approaches to a simple home portrait studio. One requires a few simple elements such as a strobe, a stand... Read more

Photographing Autumn Sunsets

Fall presents the perfect opportunity to capture beautiful, vibrant sunset landscapes
Photographing Autumn Sunsets
Around September and October of each year, I inevitably gasp the first time I catch a glimpse of the vivid pink, orange and red hues that signal awesome autumn sunsets are beginning to arrive. The sun sets earlier in the day this time of year, and for most of us in the U.S., the early November time change makes it possible to photograph the sunset before... Read more

Flash Blur Fun

Combine flash with ambient light to add motion blur to moving subjects
Flash Blur Fun
When many photographers think about techniques for accentuating motion blur, they consider shutter speed exclusively. And for good reason—as a stationary camera and a moving subject create motion blur, so does panning the camera to keep the subject sharper while the background blurs. But the problem with this approach is that it’s awfully easy for... Read more

Portrait Lenses, Focal Lengths And Faces

Why a long lens produces better portraits than a wide angle
Focal Lengths And Faces
We’ve all heard of portrait lenses, right? And we maybe even know that lenses with a minimum focal length of approximately 70mm constitute these portrait lenses with popular portrait-specific focal lengths including 85mm, 105mm, 135mm and longer. But do we know exactly why these lenses are considered ideal for portraits? Here’s a look at the... Read more

Photographing Starry Skies

Getting started in astrophotography requires little more than a wide-angle lens, a tripod and dark skies
photographing starry skies
Late summer is a great time to photograph the night sky. Cooler evening temperatures make for comfortable working conditions across much of the U.S., and the Milky Way is at its highest point of the year. Here’s a primer for getting started photographing nighttime landscapes that include the moon, stars and even the gorgeous Milky Way. Avoid Manmade... Read more

Layered Hair Repair In Photoshop

A Photoshop retouching technique for effectively eliminating flyaway hair
Layered Hair Repair in Photoshop
When portrait subjects ask me to retouch their favorite pictures, there’s one thing they request above all else: “Can you fix that flyaway hair?” And, as is often the case when it comes to post-production, there are many effective ways to tackle this retouching challenge. But one of my favorite methods involves a layer mask to quickly and effectively... Read more

How To Put Portrait Subjects At Ease

Build confidence in your photography skills and learn to put portrait subjects at ease for better photos
portrait of a woman
When I talk to photography students about the things they’d like to learn in a portrait class, a large percentage of them are primarily interested in learning how to interact with the people they’re photographing. Eventually, after years of working with strangers during portrait sessions, this process won’t seem difficult or stressful. But until... Read more

Full Moon Photography Basics

How to photograph the moon without a telescope, using just a regular camera and telephoto lens
Full Moon Photography
There will be full moons on August 3 and September 2. Why not take the opportunity to get out your camera and a long lens and try your hand at full moon photography? Avoid Light Pollution Start by getting away from light pollution to have a clearer, sharper, contrastier view of the moon without worry about streetlights and hazy skies from urban areas.... Read more