Step Up Your Light

Speedlights and on-camera flashes have become so advanced that many photographers are using them as primary studio and location lights.

Harbor Digital Design Ultimate Light Box Diffuser ProPack Speedlights and on-camera flashes have become so advanced that many photographers are using them as primary studio and location lights. Thanks to wireless communication, multiple flashes can be used together in several groups to produce very sophisticated lighting setups. Just as adding... Read more

Envision The End Result

You know, it doesn’t take much to turn a snapshot into a great shot.

You know, it doesn’t take much to turn a snapshot into a great shot. Most of the time, envisioning the end result—what you can do in the digital darkroom—is the key. Hey, if it worked for Ansel Adams (using film and the wet darkroom), it can work for you, too! Ansel Adams was the master of previsualizing the final image. Other times,... Read more

Build A Prime Lens Kit

How (and why) to select key prime lenses for your camera system

In the almost distant past, the prime lens was de rigueur. Just about every SLR from the late 1930s up until the mid-1970s was equipped with a 50mm prime lens. Then manufacturers started to include zoom lenses as part of the kit because it afforded entry-level photographers more bang for the buck. These early zoom lenses were slow and of relatively... Read more

Add Some Flare!

Shooting toward a light source reduces the overall contrast and color saturation of your image.

Shooting toward a light source reduces the overall contrast and color saturation of your image. It underexposes your subject if you set the exposure for the background and overexposes the background if you set the exposure for the subject and the effect introduces odd color and shape artifacts in your image known as lens flare. As photographers, we’re... Read more

Reflections

Be delighted by what can emerge in the layered world of visual echoes

Over the many years I’ve been a photographer, I’ve experimented with a number of creative techniques. I began shooting film, way back when, and learned how to use the darkroom in college. I experimented with the basics, and then less mainstream techniques like double exposure to add an element of mystery to the final image. I also enjoyed... Read more

Travel Like A Pro

"Now boarding, US Airways flight 708 to Munich, Germany. All passengers please proceed to gate A20."

"Now boarding, US Airways flight 708 to Munich, Germany. All passengers please proceed to gate A20." I’m kicking back in my seat in the International A Terminal at the Philadelphia airport, casually reviewing some notes on Florence, Italy. I’m leading a workshop there for Strabo Photo Tours, and I’m connecting in Munich... Read more

Exposure Solutions: Sharp Action

There is, perhaps, nothing more satisfying than an image of action frozen in crisp, sharp detail, allowing us the time to scrutinize and analyze every nuance—down to the smallest speck.

Arising early one morning in Maui, I came upon a spot where both big waves and surfers were now arriving. After traversing down a somewhat narrow path along a rather steep cliff, I found the perfect shooting spot. Within the hour more than 20 surfers had accepted the challenge offered up by these thunderous and sometimes unforgiving waves. It became... Read more

Memories In The Making

Using photography to tell the most important story

Remembering As I continue to document the life of my family, I often think about what it’s all for. Photography is a creative outlet and I use it to communicate with a single image what is meaningful to me, but I also know that there’s something probably even more important: I am leaving behind documentation that when pieced together is... Read more

Time Collapse

During my studies for my Graphic Design diploma, Photography 101 was a required course, and that was the start of my passion for photography.

Human Tornado. This "timestack" is made from 340 photos of myself drumming, merged into one image. The interval between shots was 1 second. It was a low-light situation, so I cranked up the ISO to get a quicker shutter speed (1/5 of a second). I had previously tried a longer shutter speed and the drumsticks almost disappeared, so I wanted... Read more

Get With The Program!

The fact is, most professional photographers use some form of automatic settings for the majority of their work.

More photographers these days are stepping up to high-end DSLRs from compact or entry-level models, which offer more sophisticated controls. As they gain more knowledge and experience, many photographers start to eschew any sort of automatic settings. I often see Internet discussions where a newcomer to the world of photography posts a question about... Read more

The Garage Studio

I remember walking into Bathhouse Studios in New York for the first time.

I remember walking into Bathhouse Studios in New York for the first time. Stretching out before me was 4,000 square feet of shooting space, including a 30-foot white cyclorama cove you could drive a Ferrari onto. One of New York’s premiere rental facilities, this massive studio (originally a bathhouse) was what photographers fantasized about.... Read more

Passion For Color

Learn to use color deliberately to evoke emotion and deepen the narrative of your images

I love color. I seek it out, and fill my frame with as much as possible. It’s a continual and consistent theme in my work. I like to be bold and playful with all the colors of the spectrum. The color within a photograph can draw the eye into the frame, evoke emotion and—depending on the subject matter and intention of the photographer—can... Read more
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