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All About Depth Of Field

How to use depth of field deliberately for creative control
All About Depth Of Field
There’s a name for the area of a picture that’s in acceptable focus. It’s called depth of field (often abbreviated as DOF) and it’s one of the central considerations in the taking of a picture. Depth of field is controlled by the aperture (also known as the ƒ-stop) of the lens. A wider aperture—larger opening—is denoted by a smaller number,... Read more

Three Ways to Fight Moiré

In the camera and in the computer, eliminate distracting moiré caused by pattern interference
Three Ways to Fight Moiré
Have you ever encountered a strange pattern that seemingly appears out of nowhere and ruins your digital pictures? This is called moiré. It’s the kind of thing that sometimes shows up in intricately woven fabrics or other fine patterns. It appears when two patterns—such as the weaving in a suit jacket and the pixels on a digital SLR’s sensor—don’t... Read more

How Light Works—The Inverse Square Law

Understanding the inverse square law can lead to better lighting in your photos
Understanding the inverse square law can lead to better lighting in your photos
Every year in my studio photography class I give a lecture on the Inverse Square Law. With a name like that it doesn’t sound like it would be a laugh-a-minute romp, but in fact, the students are captivated! Well maybe not captivated, but they’re excited once they see how these laws of physics can be quite useful when it comes to lighting a subject—especially... Read more

Optimize Lightroom For Sorting, Rating And Editing

Speed up Lightroom for specific tasks, whether that’s faster imports, quicker culling or instantaneous edits
Optimize Lightroom For Sorting, Rating And Editing
Recently, I’ve heard from more than one photographer who uses Lightroom for much of their RAW file processing and organization with one exception: They feel it’s too slow out of the box for sorting and rating. This process, often referred to as culling, is where photographers separate the wheat from the chaff. Some pros like to use a dedicated program... Read more

Use Lightroom To Watermark Images With Filenames

Adding filenames to the image area should be automatic in Lightroom, but unfortunately it’s not. This workaround at least makes it possible.
Use Lightroom To Watermark Images With Filenames
For photographers who want to show proofs to friends and clients or post images online, the ability to watermark images with a logo or text is invaluable. Sometimes, though, it would be preferable to watermark an image file with the actual file name. This can be particularly helpful for proofing—selecting the image someone would like to receive as... Read more

Make Landscape Photos During Summer Vacation

Avoid two primary pitfalls to improve your chances for making great landscape photographs during your family vacation
Make Landscape Photos During Your Summer Vacation
Summer is in full swing, which for many of us means it’s finally our chance to get out of the office for a week and spend some quality time outdoors, doing the things we love most with the people we love most. Namely, it’s time for summer vacation. For many, this is our best chance to get out in beautiful places, camera in hand, to make beautiful... Read more

Restoring Faded Color Photos

Return color accuracy to old family photos
Restoring Faded Color Photos
Last week, we discussed how to digitize old photos using a basic copy stand setup. This week, we’ll examine a simple technique for making those old photos look new again by restoring faded color photos to their former glory. First, I open the image in Photoshop in order to address the color. Start by duplicating the image to a new layer so it’s... Read more

How To Digitize Old Photos

Preserve family photo albums by rephotographing them with your high-resolution digital camera
How To Digitize Old Photos
Many of us are unhappy to discover that our old family photos are deteriorating with age—especially color photos. The best way to preserve them may be to rephotograph these aging prints with our digital cameras in order to archive them permanently in stable, high-resolution form. I find that a basic tabletop copywork setup is a great way to digitize... Read more

Special Effects With Gelled Lights

Three ways to use gels to improve your lighting
Special Effects With Gelled Lights
Plain white light is perfectly fine, but when you want to have a lot of fun and create a practically infinite list of color options, you’ll want to use gels on your lights. These dyed sheets of translucent plastic impart color to any light shined through them. Best of all, they’re dirt cheap—perhaps the biggest bang for your buck when it comes... Read more

Photographing Soccer

Long lenses and fast shutter speeds are essential when photographing this expansive and fast-paced sport
Soccer is gaining popularity in the United States every day—not just with players and fans, but with photographers too. Whether you’ve got Premier League aspirations or you just want to shoot your kid’s weekend game, photographing soccer is a great way to capture exciting images and get a closer look inside the game. Here’s a rundown of the... Read more

Take Time-Lapse Videos To A New Level

Use Adobe Premiere to add production value to time-lapse videos
Take Time-Lapse Videos To A New Level
Last week, we discussed how photographers can turn a series of still images into a time-lapse video without the use of video editing software. The process is simple and effective, but there are some things you can do with video editing software (such as Adobe Premiere Pro) that easily add production value. Namely, with even a basic understanding of... Read more

Make Time-Lapse Video Without Video Editing Software

Use Lightroom and Photoshop to turn a series of stills into a time-lapse video
Make Time-Lapse Video Without Video Editing Software
Time-lapse videos are a great way to see things with a camera that aren’t possible with the naked eye. And while they can be stunningly beautiful, they’re also actually pretty simple to create. You can even do it without specialized video editing software; still photography applications like Photoshop and Lightroom work just fine. The process of... Read more
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