Light Direction And Color

How the position of your light source affects the colors in your photographs
Light Direction sample image 1
When we think about light in terms of its affect on colors, we usually go straight to color temperature. A tungsten light, for instance, is warmer than a flash or daylight. A sunset, too, is warmer than normal daylight, which is warmer than the cool blue of shade. But these aren’t the color effects I’m thinking of today. In fact, there’s another... Read more

My Camera Displays an “L” When I Try to Change the Aperture

Can’t adjust your f/stop due to an “L” error on your camera? Here’s why.
L Error
There are lots of unfortunate error codes that digital SLRs can produce. Canon users may be familiar with ERR 01, which means the lens isn’t correctly mounted on the body and the two aren’t communicating effectively. Nikon shooters may have seen the “CHA/CHR” error message, which tells them there’s a problem with their memory card. But what... Read more

Making Magic Of The Messes

Re-frame the routine or the remarkable and create legacy-worthy memories.
Making Magic
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.”—Brene Brown Life is messy. Our days have stains, stumbles and ragged edges. But life is worth it; there’s so much beauty and meaning in each moment, even our most difficult ones. There isn’t a day that goes by that doesn’t offer us... Read more

Protecting Lenses And Cameras From Condensation

Temperature changes can produce damaging moisture on, and in, your camera.
Condensation
It’s autumn in the United States and for many of us, that means changing weather. Here in the Midwest, we’re still dealing with summer-like high temperatures, while cool evenings are beginning to take hold. All of these changes have got me thinking about the dangers of wide temperature swings on my cameras and lenses. If you’re not careful, they... Read more

Best Tips For Soulful Photography

Alessandra Cave reveals her "secret formula" for taking soul photography.
Soulful Photography
Here the mood is a bit more contrasty, but at the same time it is softened by the warm tones throughout the image, creating an inviting and cozy atmosphere. In my book Shooting with Soul: 44 Photography Exercises Exploring Life, Beauty and Self-Expression, I revealed my “secret formula” with the necessary steps to shoot images with soul: See + Feel... Read more

Beyond Perspective Control

More great reasons to use a tilt-shift lens.
Regular readers know that I love my tilt-shift lenses. Also known as “perspective control” optics, these devices are really neat. They bring view camera movements into the world of the DSLR. And every time I connect one to my camera I’m struck by how uniquely they let me view the world. Most folks who employ tilt-shift lenses use them for perspective... Read more

Correct Architectural Distortion Easily in Photoshop

You don’t need a perspective control lens if you know the simple Photoshop tool that eliminates architectural distortion.
As long as there have been cameras, architectural photographers have struggled to keep straight lines straight when they point those cameras up at their subjects. You see, when the focal plane is not parallel with the planes of a building—its walls—the lines appear to converge. The more you tilt up, the stronger this distortion becomes.To solve... Read more

Shooting Color on Color

How to match colors in camera, and in the computer, to make subjects and backgrounds match.
C Color on Color
If you’re charged with photographing a still life of a simple object on a plain background, you don’t have to settle for the basic “plain white background” approach. Why not consider making a more stylish take on the shot, and shoot on a color? And not just any color, but the color of the subject: a red berry on a red background, or a blue jewel... Read more

Fixing Double Chins

How to help those of us with extra chins to look better in portraits
Double Chin Before
I shoot a lot of portraits. The number one request I get from subjects as they’re preparing for their session is to make them look better than they do in real life. And the number one way they want to look better is to remove any evidence of a double chin. For those lucky among you who don’t have firsthand knowledge of double chins, it’s the bit... Read more

Set Up “My Menu” on Nikon and Canon DSLRs

Never get lost in a cluttered camera menu again thanks to My Menu customization.
My Menu 3
Tired of searching through the acres and acres of menu options on your DSLR? Instead of scrolling around through countless options until you find the item you’re looking for, set up My Menu to put your most-often used items all in one place. For me, that’s Format Card, Image Quality, Custom White Balance and Custom Shooting Modes. It’s one of... Read more

Five Classic Lighting Recipes

Five tried-and-true lighting styles for effective portraits
Classic Lighting 9
As much as I like to experiment when it comes to lighting, there are times I need a sure thing, and that’s when I reach into my bag of tricks and pull out one of the five lighting techniques that always work and that create a variety of looks? These techniques are ones that a beginner can master in a short time with minimal gear, and should be part... Read more

The Basics of Photographers’ Rights

Do you need permission to take pictures of certain places or things? Usually, believe it or not, the answer is no.
Photographers' Rights
Lots of photographers misunderstand the rules of where they can take pictures and who they can take pictures of. And the general public surely seems confused about the legality of photography in public places. Here’s a simple primer to help you know when you’re in the clear. Where? On public streets and sidewalks, as well as public parks and truly... Read more
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