My Own Backyard

Become a better landscape photographer by practicing these techniques without traveling far afield

I live in Suburbia, plain and simple. The streets in my Southern California town have been plotted out in a grid formation, with strip malls on most corners and tract homes that resemble one another. Besides the beach being only a few miles away (my favorite part of living here), many of the natural elements around me have been placed there by human... Read more

Creative Sharpening In Photoshop And Lightroom

How to selectively apply sharpness and blur

Last week I discussed the importance of capture sharpening, because RAW files don’t come out of the camera sharp enough. This week I want to talk about the next in the triumvirate of image sharpening: creative sharpening. The term creative sharpening comes from the concept that this sharpening is done for more aesthetic reasons rather than to remedy... Read more

Accelerate Time

How to create stunning time-lapse video with a process that has become easier than ever

“NEVER SAY NEVER.” I absolutely love still photography. In fact, my family probably would tell you I’m obsessed with taking photographs. There’s something almost indescribable about the magic, power and expression a still photograph can convey. Every day I grab my camera and seek out an image that moves me and, hopefully, others. A few years... Read more

Always Be Sharpening

Raw image files are great, but they come out of the camera half-baked. If you’re not sharpening your RAW image files, your images won’t look their best.

Last month I had the opportunity to get up close and personal with some rare birds—raptors, owls and eagles—at a wildlife rehabilitation facility. With a long zoom in hand and a light snow falling, I managed to get a few interesting photos, one of which is included here. I knew in an instant the shot was a keeper, but when I looked at it close up... Read more

Light Fantastic

Capturing the magic of nighttime photography

Exploring the world at night with your camera opens up many fun opportunities to play with exposure. Chasing light outside is an excellent way to learn more about your camera settings while creating artistic images. Long exposures, bokeh effects and painting with light are just a few ways to get creative, learn some new techniques and reinvent how... Read more

Options For Instant-Print Cameras

A guide to great compact cameras that make small prints on the spot

I recently gave my daughter an instant-printing point-and-shoot camera. Seeing how much she loved it, and what a kick she got from making actual photographic prints, reminded me just how much fun I’ve had with instant-printing cameras—especially since the digital era has largely erased the fun of cheap, quick prints from our lives. So in an effort... Read more

Onward And Upward

Simple strategic moves that can help you get focused, inspired and noticed

The desire and drive to continually improve one’s craft is something that creatives share. It’s as though there’s always the next skill to master, the next step to take or the next level to reach. There are infinite ways to grow and evolve as artists, photographers and businesspeople, but it’s not always easy to know where to start. It may seem... Read more

Gear For The Soulful Photographer

Shooting with equipment that complements your individual aesthetic can lead to images with more depth and meaning

“Photography is not about cameras, gadgets and gismos. Photography is about photographers. A camera didn’t make a great picture any more than a typewriter wrote a great novel.” —Peter Adams, Sydney, 1978 When we make the decision to take our passion for photography to the next level, our first instinct is to upgrade our gear. However, while... Read more

Lightroom’s Awesome Painter Tool

Better organize and edit images with that strange little spray paint can

One day you’ll look at your screen while Lightroom is in Library mode, and you’ll think to yourself, “Why is there a can of spray paint at the bottom of the preview pane?” Lightroom’s spray paint can isn’t for painting pictures in Develop mode. It’s actually very useful when it comes to organizing image files in your library. ... Read more

Step Up To Adjustment Layers

Improve brightness, contrast and color with Photoshop’s simplest and most powerful nondestructive editing tools

One of the many things that makes Photoshop so powerful is its ability to facilitate nondestructive image editing. Traditionally, anytime a pixel is altered—even if it’s just an adjustment to its luminance or color—image data has been modified in a way that can’t be undone. Additional edits degrade data even more, and soon enough, the subtle... Read more

Fighting Chromatic Aberration

Color Fringing: What causes it, how to avoid it, and how to fix it when it appears

I use good glass. Still, sometimes chromatic aberration rears its ugly head. Even with quality lenses, sometimes I see color fringing at the edges of my subjects. And sometimes it’s obnoxiously bright! So how can I keep it from appearing, and can I fix it when it does? – First, what exactly is chromatic aberration? Also known as color fringing... Read more

Tips For Natural Posing

A handful of helpful hints to make posed portraits look a little less formal

What’s that you say? You don’t like the look of posed portraits? You prefer your subjects to look natural and spontaneous? Well that’s great. But did you know that posing still plays a big role in natural and spontaneous portraiture? Some people naturally fall into comfortable and attractive poses. Other people seem to look good no matter how... Read more
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