Cropping With Perspective

Photoshop’s Perspective Crop tool is a great way to resize images and eliminate perspective distortions in a single step
Many of the best Photoshop tools are slightly hidden, requiring users to dig a little to find them. Take the Perspective Crop tool, for instance. It’s buried under the Crop Tool on the toolbar, and to find it, you simply click and hold on the Crop Tool to reveal a popup menu containing it. Click the second icon and the Perspective Crop tool is activated. Now... Read more

Our Favorite Shutter Speeds And Why We Love Them

We’ve got all the best shutter speeds. Everybody says so. Nobody’s shutter speeds are better.
Are you trying to learn to take manual control of your camera settings but you’re having a hard time understanding the nitty-gritty details—like why you might choose one shutter speed over another? Depending on what you’re shooting and how you’re doing it, some shutter speeds are ideally suited to specific photographic situations. Whether you’ve... Read more

Astrophotography And The Winter Solstice

Take advantage of the longest nights of the year to get better at photographing the night sky
The Winter Solstice occurs annually on December 21, and while this year included unique astral events such as a meteor shower and planetary alignment, the solstice presents a unique photographic opportunity every year. By virtue of early sunsets and cold dry air, it’s the perfect time to practice astrophotography without staying out into the dead... Read more

Holiday Light Portraits

Make use of the season’s twinkling lights to make people pictures more interesting
One of the great joys of the holiday season—aside from spending time with family and celebrating long-standing traditions, of course—is the beauty of our surroundings. From town squares decorated with thousands of twinkling bulbs to drive-through light shows and the colorful glow of a simple Christmas tree, holiday lights are beautiful. And more... Read more

Match Perspectives When Compositing

Two different tools for making more accurate composites when the angle of view doesn’t match
When compositing two images together in Photoshop, one of the most accurate ways to do it is to start by photographing the objects with the same focal length lens, from the same distance and camera angle. This way the perspectives will match. But often we’re tasked with compositing two images that weren’t shot with the same perspective. Getting... Read more

Optical Control Like None Other With Tilt-Shift Lenses

Used by the book or for breaking the rules, tilt-shift lenses offer totally unique in-camera effects
Many specialized photography tools open up new worlds of photographic technique and creative output, but none is more unique and powerful than the perspective control lens. These lenses were designed to mimic the movements of a view camera to bring them to the world of digital SLRs. Also known as tilt-shift lenses, they allow photographers to rotate... Read more

Use Pattern And Repetition For More Compelling Compositions

Pattern and repetition are all around—and they almost always add interest to photographs
Conventional wisdom holds that interesting photographs are made by following a few compositional rules like having a single center of interest, using leading lines to guide the eye through the frame and dividing the scene with the rule of thirds. But one image element makes for interesting pictures even when it doesn’t follow these rules. It’s pattern... Read more

High Key And Low Key Portraiture

Make portraits instantly more interesting by shifting the key toward highlights or shadows
A large majority of photographs contain a wide mix of tones from shadows to highlights and, primarily, everything in between. That means that images at the extremes—composed primarily of light tones or dark tones—are inherently more interesting than the same old thing. There’s a name for these images at the extremes. Images comprised of shadows... Read more

Clipping A Subject From A Background In Photoshop

Four steps to ensure great results when clipping a subject from a background
Clipping a subject from the background of an image is a fairly straightforward process that allows you to change the background or move the subject to a new image. There are numerous ways to do this and tools to use. Here’s my preferred method for clipping a subject from a background in Photoshop.  Step 1: Shooting The Subject If at all possible,... Read more

Creatively Using Lens Flare

Get a “flare” for the dramatic by understanding the effects of lens flare and how to use
Lens flare occurs when a light source shines directly into the lens. It can happen with pinpoint sources or broad, diffuse sources, and in practice, it occurs when you’re pointing your camera toward a light source such as a strobe, lamp or the sun. Not sure if you’re getting lens flare? You can try to place your eye near the camera and look toward... Read more