Continuous Light

A new generation of lights has hit the market, including some innovative continuous light sources. Here's a look at the advantages and disadvantages of these different types of lights.
Continuous Light
If you’re a portrait photographer, chances are you started out with a continuous light source. I remember my first “hot lights,” inexpensive tungsten lights reflected through a simple silver reflector. Imagine a household lightbulb being reflected by a large silver dinner plate, and you get the idea. As the name implies, the lights were hot, and... Read more

Lighting For White Background Portraits

Illuminating bright backgrounds requires the right know-how and deliberate positioning of the subjects, the lights and the light modifiers
For consistent white background illumination, place two lights behind a subject on each side of the frame. This ensures even lighting without hotspots. One of the most popular requests I get from portrait clients is to photograph them in front of a white background. It’s for good reason, too. The look has a timeless quality, plus it’s clean and... Read more

Composing People

Great candids and portraits aren’t always as simple as getting the right expression
Composing People
If this photograph had been shot from a position more directly behind the woman taking a snapshot, the three people who are her subject would have been blocked or overlapped by her body. Shooting from a position more to the left caused the photographer (in the image) and her subjects to be horizontally more separated—especially important in a two-dimensional... Read more
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Family Travel: Beyond The ‘I Was There’ Photograph

A different photographic style to shoot friends and family on the road
A Backroads bicycle trip around Japan’s Noto Peninsula led to person-to-person cultural exchanges, making for a much deeper and more rewarding experience. During four very different Backroads tours—hiking through the Japanese Alps, cycling around Japan’s Noto Peninsula, crossing western Cuba and biking/cruising down the Danube—I focused my cameras... Read more

Tips For Shooting Photos In Cold Weather

Learn to overcome the challenges of winter subjects
Tips For Shooting Photos In Cold Weather
Snow is a challenging element to include in a composition. It can wreak havoc with exposure and make it difficult to direct your viewers. However, when you get a lock on proper exposure settings and add more prominent colors, it can be magical. Shooting photos in snowy conditions brings with it a number of technical and compositional challenges that... Read more

Gearing Up For The Olympics

How sports photographer Paul Kitagaki Jr. captures that unexpected moment
Gearing Up For The Olympics
Shawn Johnson (U.S.A.) captures the silver medal in the women’s individual all-around competition at the 2008 Olympics on Friday, Aug. 15, 2008, in Beijing, China. Like the athletes they capture, photographers have been gearing up for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Both have to be at the peak of their games to produce the desired outcomes. Paul Kitagaki... Read more

Taking It To The Streets

An introduction to the equipment and craft of candid street photography
An introduction to candid street photography
After a long day of photographing life and death along the Ganges in Varanasi, India, I came across a most unusual scene in a fabric shop. When it comes to street photography, Joel Meyerowitz is among the giants. In one of my interviews with him, we talked about his early work in New York. He started his street photography with a 50mm lens on a 35mm... Read more

Telephoto Strategies For Sports Photography

Tools and techniques to maximize your ability to reach out and fill the frame with sports action
Pay close attention to the sidelines of your favorite sporting event, and you’ll see the photographers share one thing in common: long lenses. Whether it’s world-class tennis or World Cup soccer, high school football or little league baseball, the professional photographers who cover these events know that when it comes to sports, telephoto reach... Read more

Photo Tips For Adventure Seekers

How to photograph your next backcountry adventure
Photo Tips For Adventure Seekers
Photographing rock climbing at Red Rock near Las Vegas, Nevada. Nikon D800, 24-70mm F2.8, 1/500 at F8, ISO 200. “We need you to canoe into a remote cabin for a classic north woods canoe shot,” Casey explains as he shows us the shot list. “The best light will be around midnight, so we rented the cabin so you can stay overnight. We would love images... Read more

The Timelessness Of Black-And-White Street Photography

How to turn your street shots into monochrome masterpieces
The Timelessness Of Black-And-White Street Photography
Converting your images to black and white can add depth and soul to your street photos. In this shot, I’m especially fond of the way the treatment brings out the swirls of the steam from the vat of hot soup. Whenever I hear the term “Street Photography,” I have an almost Pavlovian response: In my mind, I conjure up a series of photos that have... Read more

How Lynn Saville Works The Night Shift

This New York City-based photographer uses patience and knowledge of art history to shed new light on the challenging genre of night photography
How Lynn Saville Works The Night Shift
“This image is from my ‘Acquainted with the Night’ series and is shot in the Roof Garden at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City,” says Saville. “A sculpture by Gaston Lachaise looms against the sky over Central Park.” Growing up in North Carolina during the 1960s, Lynn Saville was more attuned to fashion than photography. “I honestly... Read more

How To Photograph Musicians

Whether you travel great distances or just to the next town to see and shoot your favorite bands, use these tips to improve your photos of musicians
How To Photograph Musicians
I captured this photo of Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth singing at Nassau Coliseum in 1980 on film using a long telephoto lens that lacked image stabilization on a Minolta SLR. Today’s technology would have allowed me to get a lot more detail and better color accuracy. Yet I accurately captured the right moment, when the singer connected with his... Read more
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