Quick Fix Fridays: Enhancing Shadow And Highlight Detail

When you think about it, every picture you have ever taken, and every picture you will take, has one main element: light.

When you think about it, every picture you have ever taken, and every picture you will take, has one main element: light. Break that down and you have two sub elements: highlights and shadows. When working on a picture in the digital darkroom, controlling and enhancing shadows and highlights is of the utmost importance. Over the years, digital darkroom... Read more

Painting With Light

This installment of "Quick Fix" is about creating a dramatic portrait using a technique called painting with light.

This installment of "Quick Fix" is about creating a dramatic portrait using a technique called painting with light. But first, here’s a tip about portraiture: If you want an interesting portrait, don’t light the entire subject. Instead, create shadows with your lighting. Shadows are the soul of the photograph. Shadows add a sense... Read more

Envision The End Result

You know, it doesn’t take much to turn a snapshot into a great shot.

You know, it doesn’t take much to turn a snapshot into a great shot. Most of the time, envisioning the end result—what you can do in the digital darkroom—is the key. Hey, if it worked for Ansel Adams (using film and the wet darkroom), it can work for you, too! Ansel Adams was the master of previsualizing the final image. Other times, turning... Read more
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Build A Prime Lens Kit

How (and why) to select key prime lenses for your camera system

In the almost distant past, the prime lens was de rigueur. Just about every SLR from the late 1930s up until the mid-1970s was equipped with a 50mm prime lens. Then manufacturers started to include zoom lenses as part of the kit because it afforded entry-level photographers more bang for the buck. These early zoom lenses were slow and of relatively... Read more

Quick Fix Fridays: Fill-Flash Shots In A Flash

Many long articles have been written on fill-flash, also known as daylight fill-in flash.

Many long articles have been written on fill-flash, also known as daylight fill-in flash. It’s a technique where you use your flash/speedlite to fill in shadows in harsh and backlit situations. Well my friends, fill-flash really not that difficult. Here’s the quick technique. Set your camera on the Manual exposure mode and adjust the aperture... Read more

Reflections

Be delighted by what can emerge in the layered world of visual echoes

Over the many years I’ve been a photographer, I’ve experimented with a number of creative techniques. I began shooting film, way back when, and learned how to use the darkroom in college. I experimented with the basics, and then less mainstream techniques like double exposure to add an element of mystery to the final image. I also enjoyed... Read more

Add Some Flare!

Shooting toward a light source reduces the overall contrast and color saturation of your image.

Shooting toward a light source reduces the overall contrast and color saturation of your image. It underexposes your subject if you set the exposure for the background and overexposes the background if you set the exposure for the subject and the effect introduces odd color and shape artifacts in your image known as lens flare. As photographers, we’re... Read more

The Essence Of Place

Move past the obvious and obligatory to make more expressive images

When I was 18, I traveled to Japan to tour with a dance company. I had also just been formally introduced to photography in a studio art class and had fallen head over heels in love with it. As excited as I was to perform in a foreign country, I was perhaps even more excited at the prospect of taking pictures. Giddy, even. I had never been out of... Read more

Quick Fix Fridays: Cropping – Your Second Chance At Composition

Edward Weston (March 24, 1886 – January 1, 1958) has been called one of the most innovated and influential American photographers.

Edward Weston (March 24, 1886 – January 1, 1958) has been called one of the most innovated and influential American photographers. He was big on composition, and his quote on composition says it all: "Composition is the strongest way of seeing." When you are looking through your camera’s viewfinder, you decide what’s in the... Read more

Make High-Key Portraits Indoors And Out

When you’re photographing a person and you realize that the subject and background are both presenting you with bright tones, you may want to consider making a high-key portrait

When you’re photographing a person and you realize that the subject and background are both presenting you with bright tones, you may want to consider making a high-key portrait. High-key images are photographs in which almost all of the values in the scene remain light and bright, with minimal deep shadows and very few dark areas. This is a great... Read more