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

Removing Reality

In this column, I’ll share with you a simple technique for removing reality using Photoshop.

John Lennon gave us an all-so-true quote: "Reality leaves a lot to the imagination." In photography, imagination is the key to a creative image. Removing a bit of the reality sometimes can result in a more artistic and creative image. In this column, I’ll share with you a simple technique for removing reality using Photoshop. ORIGINAL ... Read more

Fix Creative Fatigue

I’ve been having a blast writing this column for Digital Photo for many years, offering mostly technical tips on digital photography and digital image processing. In the future, I’ll continue to talk tech, but for now I’d like to offer some tips on a quick fix for those who have creative fatigue—photographers who feel as though they’re in a slump and need some inspiration.

I’ve been having a blast writing this column for Digital Photo for many years, offering mostly technical tips on digital photography and digital image processing. In the future, I’ll continue to talk tech, but for now I’d like to offer some tips on a quick fix for those who have creative fatigue—photographers who feel as though they’re... Read more

Sunrise & Sunset

We all enjoy experiencing beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

We all enjoy experiencing beautiful sunrises and sunsets. We also enjoy "making" sunrise and sunset pictures, rather than just taking pictures. Getting a good image when we’re shooting directly into the sun, however, requires three things: Envisioning the end result and thinking ahead about the enhancements that are possible in the... Read more

Think Like A Painter

When I give a workshop, I stress to my students the idea of thinking like a painter because painters see and paint light on canvas in a unique and artistic way.

When I give a workshop, I stress to my students the idea of thinking like a painter because painters see and paint light on canvas in a unique and artistic way. I thought—and worked—like a painter to create the opening image for this column, enhancing my original RAW file in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop (picture below). As you can see,... Read more

Drab To Fab

In this installment of Quick Fix, I’ll cover some of my favorite Photoshop features.

In this installment of Quick Fix, I’ll cover some of my favorite Photoshop features. Don’t worry if you don’t have Photoshop since many of these features or similar effects are found in other imaging programs. Okay, here are the features I’ll cover: Adobe Camera Raw, Shadows/Highlights, Lens Correction, Levels, Sharpening, Sponge... Read more

Supersize Me

Does this sound familiar? You get a great shot of a subject, but the subject doesn’t fill the frame.

Does this sound familiar? You get a great shot of a subject, but the subject doesn’t fill the frame. You want to make a cropped enlargement of the subject, but you think that upsizing the smaller portion of the frame will result in a soft, noisy and pixelated image. If an image is so boring that you notice the noise, it’s a boring picture.... Read more

HDR Without HDR Software

Okay, I admit it. I used the title for this column to grab your attention.

Okay, I admit it. I used the title for this column to grab your attention. Of course, there are times when using specialized High Dynamic Range (HDR) software is a must to create a true HDR image—very high-contrast scenes require multiple bracketed exposures to produce a single HDR shot. However, if the contrast range of a scene isn’t greater... Read more

Background Control

When I give a photography workshop or a seminar, I tell the students and attendees that the background is just as important as the main subject.

When I give a photography workshop or a seminar, I tell the students and attendees that the background is just as important as the main subject. It can make or break a shot. So, the first thing to consider when making a picture is to determine whether or not the background will enhance or take away from the main subject. Usually, that relates to elements... Read more

RAW Advantage

“RAW rules!” is one of the daily chants at my workshops.

“RAW rules!” is one of the daily chants at my workshops. That’s because I encourage all my workshop participants to always shoot RAW files since you can do more—and rescue more detail in highlight and shadow areas—with RAW files compared to JPEG files. For my professional processing work, I use Photoshop CS5. In my workshops, however,... Read more

Target Fixes

In the digital darkroom, it’s important to think and work selectively, rather than thinking and working globally.

In the digital darkroom, it’s important to think and work selectively, rather than thinking and working globally. In other words, you usually want to work on only part of an image, rather than on the entire image. In this column, I’ll share a few examples of this thinking and working process. I’ll use Photoshop CS5, but you can use these basic... Read more

Smoother Skin In Minutes

If you want to be a portrait photographer—whether pro or weekend warrior—you need to know how to light a person for soft and flattering lighting.

If you want to be a portrait photographer—whether pro or weekend warrior—you need to know how to light a person for soft and flattering lighting. You also need to know how to create the soft-focus look in the digital darkroom. The opening picture for this column started out as a sharp shot and then was softened in Photoshop. In the digital... Read more
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