Background Control

When I give a photography workshop or a seminar, I tell the students and attendees that the background is just as important as the main subject.

When I give a photography workshop or a seminar, I tell the students and attendees that the background is just as important as the main subject. It can make or break a shot. So, the first thing to consider when making a picture is to determine whether or not the background will enhance or take away from the main subject. Usually, that relates to elements... Read more

Experiment With Shutter Speed

One of the challenges of photography is figuring out how to make a still moment come to life.

One of the challenges of photography is figuring out how to make a still moment come to life. We all know that the camera’s shutter speed and lens aperture determine how much light falls onto your camera’s image sensor. But shutter speed is also one of the most powerful tools a photographer has when trying to take creative, dynamic pictures. ... Read more

Green Screen For Photographers

Chris Borgman is a New York-based photographer with a knack for crafting wild and whimsical images.

Chris Borgman is a New York-based photographer with a knack for crafting wild and whimsical images. He does this with a tremendously creative imagination and help from technology. He often photographs subjects and backgrounds separately, compositing them together in post. "It all started out very innocently many moons ago," Borgman says.... Read more

The Fine Art Of Bookmaking

Photo books are ideal repositories for meaningful memories, and they can be great gifts if done right.

Photo books are ideal repositories for meaningful memories, and they can be great gifts if done right. Even the most polished website doesn’t create the same impact as an expertly bound photo book. There are an almost limitless number of subject matters that can comfortably fit between the covers. Books also are fantastic tools for photographers to... Read more

Lighting Makes The Difference: Fill In The Light

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go right?

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go right? I’m in the middle of one right now, as I photograph a beautiful model in the midday Colorado sun. I can’t find a decent image in this photo shoot. It’s not my subject’s fault—she looks like an SI swimsuit model. I put full blame on the overhead sun and cloudless sky. Every... Read more

RAW Advantage

“RAW rules!” is one of the daily chants at my workshops.

“RAW rules!” is one of the daily chants at my workshops. That’s because I encourage all my workshop participants to always shoot RAW files since you can do more—and rescue more detail in highlight and shadow areas—with RAW files compared to JPEG files. For my professional processing work, I use Photoshop CS5. In my workshops, however,... Read more

10 Keys To Unique Portraits

No matter what type of photography you like, at one point or another, you’ll find yourself shooting a portrait.

No matter what type of photography you like, at one point or another, you’ll find yourself shooting a portrait. I know landscape photographers who swore they would never shoot a portrait in their career, and one week later they were shooting a portrait. Weddings, graduations, holidays or a day at the zoo all present great opportunities to photograph... Read more

Strange World

Recycled materials and digital capture combine to create elaborate miniature narratives

The American Dream looks different through the eyes of Jeff and Sabrina Williams. When they go off on a trip and come across a scene that grabs their attention, they start drawing pictures rather than photographing them as they have intentionally replaced their cameras with a pencil and sketch pad. Odd, given that the Williamses are photographers, but... Read more

White Balance Blues

If you had asked me a few years ago if I could tell the difference between a photo shot with Auto white balance and one with a specific setting.

If you had asked me a few years ago if I could tell the difference between a photo shot with Auto white balance and one with a specific setting, I would have laughed and said, “No way.” Auto white balance may have its problems, but I didn’t think it was that distinctive to immediately show up in a photograph. I would have been wrong. While I... Read more

Lighting Gear Makes A Difference

Lighting is the most crucial element in photography, and, in fact, it’s at the very core of image-making, be that photographs, paintings or drawings.

Lighting is the most crucial element in photography, and, in fact, it’s at the very core of image-making, be that photographs, paintings or drawings. An artist needs great light to produce great images. In photography, the most basic source of illumination is “available light,” a general term that describes the existing light on hand. Sometimes... Read more

Target Fixes

In the digital darkroom, it’s important to think and work selectively, rather than thinking and working globally.

In the digital darkroom, it’s important to think and work selectively, rather than thinking and working globally. In other words, you usually want to work on only part of an image, rather than on the entire image. In this column, I’ll share a few examples of this thinking and working process. I’ll use Photoshop CS5, but you can use these basic... Read more

Extra/ordinary

There couldn’t be truer words than those found in the Latin proverb, “By learning you will teach, by teaching you will learn.”

There couldn’t be truer words than those found in the Latin proverb, “By learning you will teach, by teaching you will learn.” My cameras have taken me to more than 80 countries around the globe, but Tiffini Myers, a student of mine at The Art Institute of California in Hollywood, reminded me that there’s a whole world of photo opportunities... Read more
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