The Human Connection

I didn’t set out to become a portrait photographer with an international focus.

I didn’t set out to become a portrait photographer with an international focus. No, most of my work came from the most ordinary sources—requests to shoot local events at my children’s schools, your everyday, ordinary family portraiture and the occasional shoot of friends newly engaged, married or having a first baby. All that changed,... Read more

Stage A Photo Series

I have long had a fascination with what’s known as the "highwheel" bicycle, a novelty from a bygone era.

I have long had a fascination with what’s known as the "highwheel" bicycle, a novelty from a bygone era. My first encounter with one of these magnificent bicycles was at a young age in the town of Minocqua, Wisconsin, where a local sports shop had one displayed in its front window. Last summer, 20 years later, I photographed that bicycle... Read more

Use Your Head

One of my goals as an adventure- sports photographer is to convey the tension and adrenaline that goes hand in hand with participating in these sports.

One of my goals as an adventure- sports photographer is to convey the tension and adrenaline that goes hand in hand with participating in these sports. What does it really look like when you catch big air on a snowboard in a superpipe? How does it feel to ride a mountain bike across Moab slickrock at sunrise? What does a kayaker see as he crashes through... Read more

Make A Splash

When I teach photo workshops, one of the most common questions is, "How can I improve my images?"

When I teach photo workshops, one of the most common questions is, "How can I improve my images?" This is a big question, with a lot of answers. For some participants, the answer is working on a specific technique, such as using a tripod to capture tack-sharp images. For others, it’s choosing the right depth of field for accurate selective... Read more

Control Extreme Contrast

Cameras today do such a good job with exposure that we start expecting them to do great with every scene.

Cameras today do such a good job with exposure that we start expecting them to do great with every scene. But sooner or later, you’ll run into a scene that causes you and the camera problems. You don’t get an exposure that gives the results you need. That’s disappointing. EXPOSE FOR THE SHADOWS One of the challenges we all face... Read more

High-Contrast Light

When we first learn to compose portraits, we discover how well soft light works on faces.

When we first learn to compose portraits, we discover how well soft light works on faces. Big, soft sources—windows, softboxes, umbrellas—deliver beautiful, diffused light that hides skin flaws like wrinkles and blemishes. The next thing we know, we’re using soft light for all of our portraits, and why wouldn’t we? Our subjects are happy... Read more

Competitive Edge

10 tips to help you shoot sports like a pro

Sports photography is one of those disciplines that can be practiced almost anywhere at almost any time. Whether you’re covering the Olympics across the globe or your daughter’s soccer game just across town, the principles—and challenges—have a lot in common. Photographer Mike Powell has 25 years of experience shooting sports for the... Read more

Fireworks On The Fourth

The Fourth of July is the holiday most suited to photographers.

The Fourth of July is the holiday most suited to photographers. It’s during one of the warmest months of the year, most festivities occur outdoors, and just after dusk, the sky fills with colorful flashes of light. Armed with basic gear and a little bit of know-how, photographing fireworks is as easy as it is fun. Here’s what you need to... Read more

HDR Without HDR Software

Okay, I admit it. I used the title for this column to grab your attention.

Okay, I admit it. I used the title for this column to grab your attention. Of course, there are times when using specialized High Dynamic Range (HDR) software is a must to create a true HDR image—very high-contrast scenes require multiple bracketed exposures to produce a single HDR shot. However, if the contrast range of a scene isn’t greater... Read more

Thinking In Black & White

Good black-and-white photography isn’t about removing color from a color photo.

Good black-and-white photography isn’t about removing color from a color photo. You could do that, but most of the time, the image won’t turn any heads. That’s why the Grayscale and Desaturate commands in Photoshop products are of little value to anyone who’s after good black-and-white work. Black-and-white photography is based... Read more

Wireless Flash

What’s the best way to improve your flash photography?” This is the most frequently asked question when I teach my flash photography workshops.

Two SB-900s were aimed at this skateboarder while he rested, and the flashes were triggered by an SU-800. High-speed sync was critical. I used a Nikkor PC-E 45mm tilt-shift lens at ƒ/2.8, and the soft focus was necessary to add mood to the shot. The proper shutter speed to get the right exposure at ƒ/2.8 was 1?2500 sec., which required high-speed... Read more

Explore The Art Of iPhoneography

You use your iPhone to talk, email, search, navigate, text and tweet, but do you realize it has the power to make you a better photographer?

You use your iPhone to talk, email, search, navigate, text and tweet, but do you realize it has the power to make you a better photographer? Just as a writer might jot spontaneous thoughts in a journal or an artist might draw loose marks in a sketchbook, making images with your iPhone can help you craft compositions in a more organic way, hone your... Read more
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