Harnessing The Power Of HDR

Rescue detail in high-contrast scenes with this simple technique
HDR Basics 1
There’s a common misunderstanding about what HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography actually means, and what it was designed to do. HDR is often confused with tone mapping, a technique that simulates an extended dynamic range by reducing contrast in an image while brightening and saturating colors. Tone mapping is a way to tackle overly high contrast... Read more

For The Ultimate Polarization Effect, Polarize Your Lights!

For eliminating reflections and maximizing color and detail, nothing beats cross polarizing the light and the lens.
For The Ultimate Polarization Effect, Polarize Your Lights!
When I mention the use of a polarizing filter, what’s the first thing you think of? Chances are, it’s probably a circular polarizer—a glass filter that attaches to the front of your lens and can be rotated to modulate the filter’s effect—which is usually to eliminate strong glare from scenes, or to make blue skies darker in outdoor pictures. But... Read more

Keep Your Image Files From Being Corrupted In Camera

A few simple steps can protect your data and prevent the loss of a one-in-a-million shot
Keep Your Image Files From Being Corrupted In Camera
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got stacks of old media cards lying around. Be they SD or CompactFlash, these cards in my camera cabinet range in size from 1GB to 256GB, with vintages from 2006 to just last week. The smaller the card, generally speaking, the older it is. Every once in a while, depending on what I’m shooting, I might grab one... Read more

Better Portraits Through Overexposure

Overexpose ambient light or on-camera flash for beautiful skin and better high-key portraits
Better Portraits Through Overexposure
I’ve found that in a lot of portrait situations—particularly in natural light, or naturally high-key situations, or when I’m using a light source such as a flash on or very close to the camera—I’m happiest with the results if I subtly overexpose the images. The camera meter might suggest, for instance, that the correct exposure is 1/125th... Read more

High-Speed Portraits

Using fast shutter speeds with flash for creative images
High-Speed Portraits
The use of a large diffuser and fast shutter speed allows for balanced light in what otherwise would have been a very harsh, backlit image. ƒ/1.4, 1/1600 sec., ISO 125 © Tom Bol You never stop learning in this business. As photographers, we spend years mastering our craft, and just when we think we get it, new technology is introduced, and we’re... Read more

How To Be A Second Shooter

Mastering wedding photography usually starts by apprenticing as a second shooter, a position that can sometimes make or break a wedding shoot
How To Be A Second Shooter
Capturing a wedding is one of the most important photographic assignments, because it is impossible to re-create a wedding and the images are cherished not only by the bride and groom, but by their families and offspring, often for generations to come. While most people book a photographer for their portfolio, skills and personality, they don’t realize... Read more

Which TTL Metering Mode Should I Use?

Understanding how a DSLR’s light meter works is the first step toward more accurate exposures
Which TTL Metering Mode Should I Use?
Whether you’re shooting a fully programmed automatic exposure or using modes such as Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority, or even if you’re setting exposures manually, in all cases you’re relying on your camera’s through-the-lens light metering capabilities to determine the correct exposure. A DSLR’s TTL meter measures the amount of light... Read more

Telling A Story With Portraits

An editorial approach to portrait work can yield amazing results
Telling A Story With Portraits
The most meaningful portraits tell a story; they not only memorialize a person at a specific time and place, they give us insight into that person as well. Really great portraits tell us as much about the photographer as the person they photographed. The significance of the portrait you take today may not reveal itself for years and the portraits we... Read more

Make Blooming Flowers More Vibrant With Lightroom’s HSL Tools

Lightroom offers some surprisingly powerful custom color controls
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In Lightroom’s Develop module lives a tab with the cryptic letters HSL. This tab, as you may infer from some contextual clues, allows you to modify the color. So those letters stand for Hue, Saturation and Luminance. By modifying these three sets of sliders, amazing color control can be as easy as the click of a button. That’s why this is the perfect... Read more

Angle Of View And Choosing The Right Lens

Two lenses might be able to render the subject the same size, but that doesn’t mean the shots will look the same. Here’s how angle of view should impact your lens choice.
Angle Of View And Choosing The Right Lens
I have a client who hires me regularly to make portraits of her employees. The primary requirements are that each person remain about the same size in the viewfinder—cropped from the waist to the top of their heads—and that the background shows depth, but is out of focus as well. This means, fortunately or not, that there are a lot of ways I could... Read more

Portraits With Soul

Photographic style for the soulful wedding photographer
Portraits With Soul
Paying attention to how guests fit into their surroundings is key. In this shot, the natural beauty of the young woman, the soft backlighting and the gentle breeze contributed to create a romantic photograph. Weddings are a wonderful setting to explore portraiture. While the wedding photographer’s job is to capture the bride and groom (as well as... Read more

Keep It Simple

Not interested in taking traditional wedding photos? Consider one of these beautiful alternatives.
Keep It Simple
The array of incredible wedding photographic styles and wedding photographers to choose from today is staggering. Whether it’s highly conceptual composite images you love or simple, natural film pictures that’s your thing, the time is just right for wedding photography as a true expressive art. Most of today’s couples have sophisticated tastes,... Read more
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