Light Noir

How Britton Black creates intriguing, mysterious images through dramatic lighting and color

I try to make it seem like my subjects are emitting the light. Though it may seem that Britton Black’s exciting portfolio of finely crafted, atmospheric images are the result of meticulous postprocessing, his unique “film-noir” style is performed almost entirely in the real world. Black employs a variety of lights and long exposures in a... Read more

Overexposing Raw

Most photographers try to make the perfect exposure every time.

A “normal” exposure’s histogram will show an even distribution. Most photographers try to make the perfect exposure every time. But there’s a school of thought that says photographers who capture RAW files would do better to slightly overexpose. This theory, sometimes called “exposing to the right” because it places the peaks of a histogram... Read more

The Art Of Selective Focus

Save the planet. Stop world hunger. Eliminate poverty. These mottos bounced around in my naive brain as I entered journalism school years ago.

Save the planet. Stop world hunger. Eliminate poverty. These mottos bounced around in my naive brain as I entered journalism school years ago. College was my formal photography education; freelancing and world travel was my reality check. Nikon D3, 24-70mm, 1/2500 at ƒ/2.8, ISO 100, blur applied in Photoshop One of my assignments in journalism... Read more

Go Ultra Wide!

Ultrawide lenses are usually defined as lenses 20mm or shorter in full-frame 35mm-film-equivalent terms.

Ultrawide lenses are usually defined as lenses 20mm or shorter in full-frame 35mm-film-equivalent terms. That usually means 18mm, 15mm or even 12mm, but it’s not just about the focal length—you also have to account for the sensor size. On smaller sensors, ultrawide status requires even shorter lenses, down to as small as 7mm, which translates into... Read more

Creative Flash

The word is finally out: TTL flash is a powerful tool to improve your photography, and easier to use than ever before.

The word is finally out: TTL flash is a powerful tool to improve your photography, and easier to use than ever before. Modern TTL flashes are loaded with useful features and can even work wirelessly from your camera. One obstacle that has kept many photographers from embracing TTL flash is the lack of accessories available to modify TTL flash. One... Read more

Master Depth Of Field

Depth of field (DOF) seems like a pretty straightforward thing, right?

Depth of field (DOF) seems like a pretty straightforward thing, right? Photographers quickly learn that to minimize DOF (in order to isolate the subject from its surroundings for a simplified composition), we should use a larger aperture (smaller ƒ-number); and to maximize DOF (in order to ensure all the important details in a scene are tack-sharp),... Read more

10 Top Portrait Tips

Since no single pose is perfect for every model, professional or otherwise, each person before your lens should be looked at individually to decide what to highlight and what to hide.

Since no single pose is perfect for every model, professional or otherwise, each person before your lens should be looked at individually to decide what to highlight and what to hide. That said, there are basic positions and compositional rules that are extremely helpful to have in mind when going into a photo shoot. When it comes to photographing... Read more

10 Tips For Better Travel Photos

Whether you’re headed to the big city nearby or across an ocean, shooting on location is a lot of fun, and full of photographic possibilities.

Whether you’re headed to the big city nearby or across an ocean, shooting on location is a lot of fun, and full of photographic possibilities. These tips will help prepare you to make the most of your camera as you explore. 1. Shoot for HDR Images As recently as a year ago, shooting for HDR (high dynamic range) images would not have been on the... Read more

Secrets Of Black & White

In recent years, black-and-white has gained new attention and appreciation.

In recent years, black-and-white has gained new attention and appreciation. Software makers are offering increasingly capable tools for custom black-and-white conversions, and most photo printers address the unique needs of black-and-white printing with special inks and settings. Use the following tips to help you create distinctive black-and-white... Read more

The ISO Advantage

I recently returned from photographing brown bears along the Katmai coast of Alaska.

I recently returned from photographing brown bears along the Katmai coast of Alaska. I was leading a workshop for Photo Quest Adventures, and we had more than 20 bears at a time on the beach. I’ve been returning to the same area for more than 10 years and have captured some fantastic bear images along this rugged coastline. But this last trip was... Read more

Master Your Camera Meter

Whether we shoot on auto or manual, we all share something in common: the TTL meter. It makes or breaks every exposure.

Whether we shoot on auto or manual, we all share something in common: the TTL meter. It makes or breaks every exposure. Digital SLRs utilize “through-the-lens” light metering; what you see through the viewfinder, you meter. TTL is reflective, measuring the amount of light bouncing off a subject. It’s accurate, and it means that subtle changes... Read more

Point-Of-View Photography

“Tom, what’s the main thing you think about when you’re shooting mountain biking?”

“Tom, what’s the main thing you think about when you’re shooting mountain biking?” Josh, a workshop student, asks. I’m teaching a photo workshop on adventure sports in Maine, and today we’re photographing mountain bikers. “I want the viewer to be a part of the action,” I reply. “I want the viewer to stop in his tracks and really take... Read more
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