The Big-Glass Effect

I remember my first big telephoto lens.

I remember my first big telephoto lens. I was living in a small cabin in Alaska, working as a mountaineering guide and living on a shoestring budget. I awoke many mornings to see moose wandering through my yard or sandhill cranes feeding nearby. My Nikon 80-200mm ƒ/2.8 lens was always attached to my camera, ready to go. I captured some nice moose images,... Read more

Ultralight

Use multiple exposures and light-painting techniques to create powerfully luminous images

If you devour Flickr and YouTube videos on photography, you probably know about the “paint with light” photography technique—it’s really more of a lighting technique. For anybody who hasn’t stumbled upon this unusual and inspiring form of photography previously, you’re in for a wild ride of discovery. During my own journey... Read more

The Making Of “Multiplicity”

I believe that nothing is ordinary, that everything and everyday life can be seen as art.

EDITOR?S NOTE: The image Multiplicity by Meredith Winn was featured on the cover of our October 2012 How-To Special Issue. We asked Winn to take us through her creative process in making the image. Also be sure to check out the related story by Winn from that issue, "Express Yourself." I believe that nothing is ordinary, that everything and... Read more
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The Dramatic Portrait

We can take many different types of portraits: soft, dramatic, pleasing, fun, low-key, high-key and so on.

We can take many different types of portraits: soft, dramatic, pleasing, fun, low-key, high-key and so on. From our original captures, we also can create even more dramatic portraits in the digital darkroom. In this column, I’ll show you a quick fix for creating a dramatic image from a fairly flat image using Photoshop. It’s the technique... Read more

Tips For Ultimate Sharpness

When I teach a workshop, I encourage my students to take the sharpest picture possible.

When I teach a workshop, I encourage my students to take the sharpest picture possible. Afterward, if they want to soften an image with software for a creative or an artistic effect, that’s cool, easy and fun. There are several requirements for getting the sharpest in-camera shot. There are also several techniques for enhancing sharp shots in... Read more

Be A Storm Chaser

Inclement weather creates dramatic photography opportunities

If I had a nickel for every time I decided not to go out in bad weather with my camera, I’d be a rich man. After all, I can hardly resist a good cup of French roast and a fresh blueberry muffin at my local coffee shop. I sit down in those big fluffy red chairs, start reading my favorite book—what photographer in his or her right mind would go... Read more

Express Yourself

We use self-portraits to explore a basic question that plagues all of us: Who am I?

We use self-portraits to explore a basic question that plagues all of us: Who am I? As early as the mid-1400s, artists began painting themselves onto canvas. With the invention of the camera, photographers began turning the image (and their artwork) inward, as well. Yes, a photograph can tell a person what he or she looks like, but we know that the... Read more

Portrait Background Basics

One of the most important things you can do to make better portraits is to find, or create, a background free of distraction.

One of the most important things you can do to make better portraits is to find, or create, a background free of distraction. This doesn’t mean your backgrounds have to be plain, especially if you’re shooting an environmental portrait where context is key. But, generally, you want to find a setting that focuses attention on your subject... Read more

Win A Photo Contest

Whether you’re motivated by the great prizes, exposing your images to a big audience of fellow photo enthusiasts or the possibility of being published, entering a competition can be a rewarding part of being a photographer.

Some of the best images we see here at DP come through our contests. Whether you’re motivated by the great prizes, exposing your images to a big audience of fellow photo enthusiasts or the possibility of being published, entering a competition can be a rewarding part of being a photographer. What do judges look for? We’re going to assume... Read more

5 Essential Photo Enhancements

No matter what you’re shooting or how you’re shooting it, there are a few areas in which almost every image can be improved.

No matter what you’re shooting or how you’re shooting it, there are a few areas in which almost every image can be improved. Here are the five essential photo enhancements you should make to every image you shoot. 1 FINE-TUNE THE EXPOSURE I frequently rely on the wide exposure latitude of my RAW image files to wrangle significantly over-... Read more