Restoring Old Photos

How to reclaim vintage photographic prints from the damage that often occurs with aging images
restoring old photos, example image of a damaged vintage print
Stash some snapshots in a photo album for a few generations, and something special happens: They transform into family heirlooms. These photos are memories made tangible, connections to ancestors unknown and loved ones long gone. It is with this mindset that thoughtful photographers can rescue precious prints from the ravages of time. Here’s how to... Read more

Custom LUTs In Photoshop And Lightroom

How to turn Photoshop adjustment layers into a custom lookup table that can be used in Lightroom too
Custom Look-Up Tables (or LUTs) are a great way to apply color, contrast and exposure adjustments to digital images and video. In video and movies, this process is used to apply a “look” to the image without fundamentally modifying the pixels themselves. Think of it like a nondestructive filter through which a moving image is viewed. A handful... Read more

Understanding Various Video “Rates”

How bitrate, frame rate and refresh rate impact the way we shoot and view video
For photographers making the transition into moving pictures, there’s a lot to learn—not the least of which are several video-specific technical terms. Some of them—such as bitrate, frame rate and refresh rate—sound awfully similar, but they refer to very different things. Here’s an explanation of the differences between these important “rates”... Read more
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How To Go Remote With Studio Lighting

Options for lighting off the grid with battery-powered strobes and LEDs
How To Go Remote With Studio Lighting
If you like the look of studio-style lighting but don’t want to be tied down to electrified locations, consider investing in lighting equipment that allows you to take studio lighting out into the world. These battery-powered lighting options include speedlights, LEDs, monolights and pack-and-head strobe systems. Monolight Strobe: Profoto B1X Every... Read more

Make Digital Photos Look Like Film

Three simple things that add an authentic film look to digital image files
Make Digital Photos Look Like Film
I love my clean, crisp digital image files, don’t get me wrong. But, sometimes, whether it be for nostalgia’s sake or just for a creative change of pace, I want to make an image that looks a little more like film. So, I do a few simple things in Lightroom and Photoshop to make my digital images approximate film. 1. Color When it comes to film photos,... Read more

Flash-Based Motion Blur

How to mix flash with ambient to create intentional motion blur
Flash-Based Motion Blur
I admit it: I love using strobes. And I love using strobes because they allow creative photographers to do things with light that simply aren’t possible with ambient-only lighting or continuous light sources. One of my favorite strobe-specific creative tricks is to create a blurry edge around my sharp subject to enhance the separation between them... Read more

Use Smart Objects For Nondestructive Editing

This versatile Photoshop tool provides a great way to preserve detail and increase image-editing options
Use Smart Objects For Nondestructive Editing
Introduced back in Photoshop CS2, Smart Objects allow photographers to preserve image detail and make edits that don’t modify the original image-forming pixels. This is called nondestructive editing. Yes, duplicating an image onto a new layer and using adjustment layers always preserves image-forming detail, but Smart Objects work a little bit differently... Read more

Using Metadata Presets In Lightroom

The easy way to add your copyright and contact information into every file you import
Using Metadata Presets In Lightroom
Lightroom’s metadata preset functionality makes it easy to add all sorts of information to digital images the moment they’re imported. For instance, I use a handful of default presets that are accessed with a single click to add my name, phone number, website and copyright information to every image during import. I want to make it as easy as possible... Read more

Three Ways To Warm Your Portraits

Pictures of people often benefit from a bit of added warmth. Here are three techniques for adding warmth to a portrait.
Three Ways To Warm Your Portraits
I photograph portraits practically every day, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that the vast majority of people look better with a bit of warmth added to their portrait. Here are three techniques I use to make my portraits warmer with lighting, in Lightroom and in Photoshop. Lighting The simplest way to make a portrait warmer—more... Read more

Continuous Light

A new generation of lights has hit the market, including some innovative continuous light sources. Here's a look at the advantages and disadvantages of these different types of lights.
Continuous Light
If you’re a portrait photographer, chances are you started out with a continuous light source. I remember my first “hot lights,” inexpensive tungsten lights reflected through a simple silver reflector. Imagine a household lightbulb being reflected by a large silver dinner plate, and you get the idea. As the name implies, the lights were hot, and... Read more