Five Ways To Black And White

Back in the good ol’ days of the darkroom, creating a black and white photograph was easy

Back in the good ol’ days of the darkroom, creating a black and white photograph was easy: start with black and white film in the camera and end up with a black and white print. But thanks to the digital revolution, what has become even easier—black and white with one click—has also become much harder to do well. There are about a million... Read more

Choose The Right Lighting Setup

So you want to improve your photographs by improving your lighting

So you want to improve your photographs by improving your lighting. Sounds like a good plan to me. But there are a lot of viable lighting options out there, so here’s a primer explaining the pros and cons of various lighting options you have at your disposal. STROBE VS. CONTINUOUS LIGHT The first decision you need to make is whether you want... Read more

Layer Masking Tips

I started working with Photoshop way back in the early ‘90s, so I remember a time when Photoshop lacked what today I consider its most powerful tool

I started working with Photoshop way back in the early ’90s, so I remember a time when Photoshop lacked what today I consider its most powerful tool: layer masking. I worked for years without masks, and for a long time I considered my workaround methods a suitable stand-in. I was wrong. Layer masking is an incredibly powerful tool that provides... Read more
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New Backgrounds With Nothing But Light

Changing the look of the background is discussed

I was recently working with a new assistant on location making portraits for a corporate client, when the topic of changing the look of the background came up. I explained to her that our middle-gray background (lit with a focused spot from a gridded strobe) could be turned into anything from white to black, simply by adjusting the amount of light on... Read more

The Painterly Image

For most photographers, taking pictures is only a part of the creative image-making process.

For most photographers, taking pictures is only a part of the creative image-making process. The other part, and for some photographers, even the most important part, is enhancing their pictures in the digital darkroom. Image enhancements aren’t new. Famed landscape photographer Ansel Adams and noted portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh of Ottawa... Read more

Delicious Memories

Real-life food photography at home

With the booming age of food photography, foodie blogging, cookbooks and food stylists, where does this leave the everyday cook? There’s no food stylist in my home, but lots of good food, fresh ingredients and homemade goodness. Don’t be intimated by the amazing world of food photography—instead, let it serve as an inspiration in your... Read more

Go Deep

About five or six years ago, the term "bokeh" started getting batted around a lot in the photography community.

About five or six years ago, the term "bokeh" started getting batted around a lot in the photography community. Bokeh became one of the most overused buzzwords of the decade, and now just about every online discussion or review of a lens discusses the phenomena of bokeh at length. Bokeh is a word that seems to have materialized out of nowhere... Read more

Unexpected Subjects

A year and a half ago, I paused outside the house with the red door just long enough to hang my iPhone out the car window to tap a photo of the realtor’s sign.

A year and a half ago, I paused outside the house with the red door just long enough to hang my iPhone out the car window to tap a photo of the realtor’s sign. Since then, I’ve been tightening the loose ends of this 60-something-year-old house into a home—patching plaster walls, replacing air filters in the confines of a crawl space and... Read more

Workflow, Start To Finish, Part 1

My shutter seems like it’s going to catch on fire at my current frame rate.

"Click click click click click click." My shutter seems like it’s going to catch on fire at my current frame rate. I’m leaning off a cliff on Mount Lemmon, near Tucson, in the middle of a photo shoot for Nikon. My job for the last week has been photographing adventure sports, logging thousands of miles shooting everything from... Read more

Wild Exposures

Multilayered silhouettes that explore new territory in self-portraiture

Creating multiple exposures is a trend that’s getting a lot of attention in the photography world lately. I’ve seen multiple-exposure photographs pop up everywhere, from Flickr to 500px, and I really love the way they look. These images, created by combining multiple images into one, can be done in-camera with some camera models, as well... Read more