Balanced Illumination

Low-light flash photography can be frustrating, especially when you’re new to it.

Low-light flash photography can be frustrating, especially when you’re new to it. Balancing ambience nicely with flash seems like the mark of a masterful photographer, but it’s actually fairly easy once you know the basics. The trick to balancing ambient light with your flash is to think of these two types of light as two separate exposures... Read more

Exploring Fall Colors

Capturing the essence of autumn and the change of seasons

We come inside with dewy shoes and arms full of firewood. The air shifts, the leaves fall, and the farm stands are full of crimson, browns and orange. The cooler wet weather creeps in; we light the first fire in the wood stove and walk slowly into autumn. Welcome to fall in New England. Through the early-morning fog, we drive past ponds where mist... Read more

Stranger In A Strange Land

When we travel, either to the other side of the world or to the other side of the country, making good people pictures can be a rewarding experience.

When we travel, either to the other side of the world or to the other side of the country, making good people pictures can be a rewarding experience. Yes, that experience comes with some challenges, but it’s pictures of people that make slideshows and web galleries come alive. Strong portraits, pictures with impact, can also be showstoppers on... Read more

Liquid Landscapes

Create evocative images from watery surfaces

Reflections are the beauty of a childhood imagined. The daydream of life captured in a flash of sunlight and sea sparkle. I dig turning the world on its end, diving inside and outside to peek beneath and beyond the ordinary world I face every day. The dreaminess of a reflection aptly resembles the many layers that life hands us. Nothing is as it seems,... Read more

Photographing Architecture

Tips for making pro-quality images of iconic buildings when traveling

Whether your destination is close to home or across the globe, vacation travel presents a chance to photograph interesting architecture. Longtime pro John Linden shares his suggestions for making the most of this unique opportunity. GEAR "On holiday," Linden says, "you don’t want the camera to get in your way. Carry a camera you’re... Read more

The Great American Camping Trip

So begins certainly one of my favorite parts of the experience: capturing it all through my lens.

Whenever I think about "travel photography," I think of images of sunsets on a tropical island, unusual yet enticing foods placed on platters over vibrant textiles, cobblestone streets flanked by ancient architecture and, of course, the compelling candid shots of the local people. The whole "idea" of travel and the photography that... Read more

The Painterly Portrait

While studying the painting, I observed the shadow and highlight areas of the painting, as well as the highlights on the girl’s hair and arms.

My guess is that most readers of Digital Photo don’t rent a studio for thousands of dollars a month and don’t have thousands of dollars invested in studio lighting equipment. Me, neither! That, however, doesn’t stop me, and shouldn’t stop you from making studio-quality images. All you need is basic lighting equipment, an understanding... Read more

Lighting For Success

Three simple, classic portrait lighting setups that will generate income

When I first started out in my photography career, I shot a lot of different jobs. One day I might be shooting ice climbers, the next day snapping shots of cheesecake dripping in chocolate and the next day photographing moose for a visitor bureau. During this time I started shooting portraits, and I quickly realized there was a steady flow of business... Read more

Sharpness Is Essential

Tools and techniques for perfect focus

If you’re going to make money with your photography, you absolutely have to make sure your images are sharp. I don’t mean the kind of sharpness that comes from postprocessing; I’m talking about the real thing: tack-sharp focus, no motion blur, no camera shake. Cameras are so good these days, the smallest flaws are evident. While... Read more

The Beauty Of Available Light

When many people think of a professional portrait photographer, this often conjures up images of someone like Richard Avedon, darting around frantically with a light meter.

When many people think of a professional portrait photographer, this often conjures up images of someone like Richard Avedon, darting around frantically with a light meter, taking readings from all different angles in a high-paced and frenetic setting at a large industrial space surrounded by a myriad of assistants, different types of strobes, hot lights,... Read more

Shot In The Dark

It has never been easier to create stunning astral photos. Here’s how.

"I can’t see anything in my viewfinder." "What’s the symbol for infinity focus?" "How do I turn on my long-exposure noise reduction?" "What white balance should I use?" A barrage of questions is hurling my way in the frozen, ink-black night. I’m teaching a photo workshop, and we couldn’t... Read more

The Positives Of Negative Space

Consider the space surrounding your subject for more dynamic compositions

As photographers, we often get so involved in selecting, positioning and composing for the subject that we can forget the unrelated factors that have just as much of an impact on the composition as the main subject itself. In many cases, the often forgotten element is the negative space. Negative space is the area of a composition that doesn’t... Read more
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