Upgrade Your Lighting Kit With A Boom Arm

This telescoping length of steel may not seem like a big deal, but it provides tremendous control and easy adjustments for even the most cumbersome light sources
boom arm
Cameras and lenses get all the front-page attention, and for good reason: They’re the sexiest, most innovative technologies we photographers typically use. But when it comes to studio equipment, sometimes it’s the less glamorous stuff that’s the most exciting. Well, if not exactly exciting, it’s at least the kind of stuff that makes a surprisingly... Read more

Generate Smiles With Photoshop’s Face-Aware Liquify Tool

A powerful solution for portrait photographers who want to make their subjects happy while helping them to look their best
Photoshop Face-Aware Liquify tool
About a year ago Adobe updated Photoshop CC to add some tremendous portrait retouching capabilities to the Liquify tool, namely, what Adobe’s designers call Face-Aware Liquify. Liquify, you may know, has always been useful for pushing and pulling and expanding and contracting and generally reshaping image elements. It’s such a powerful way to modify... Read more

Use Fill Light Right

On the correct way to use a reflector to illuminate portraits
portait photography tips
When shooting portraits outside, one of the simplest and most popular lighting techniques is to use a reflector—either a white card, for instance, or a silver, white or gold collapsible reflector—to bounce sunlight onto the subject. This works whether the subject is in direct sunlight or shade, and whether the reflected light is used as a key light... Read more

Creative Blur Techniques

Blur isn’t always wrong. Sometimes it’s so very right!
creative blur techniques
We can all agree that sharp pictures are always the best pictures, right? Not necessarily. Sometimes blurry pictures may be preferable. For instance, if you want to convey a feeling of motion in a picture of a fast-moving subject, you might find that a bit of motion blur does the job. Or maybe you just want to add interest to an otherwise ho-hum portrait;... Read more

Using Vimeo For Video Backup

More than a great place to share high-quality videos, Vimeo also can store original video files in the cloud
cloud storage
Looking for a great way to display your videos online? Vimeo is a high-quality option. Almost every video shooter understands that if you want something to look its best online, Vimeo is a tremendous option for maximum quality. Better still, Vimeo offers an unlimited amount of storage space, whether you’re subscribing to the free Basic plan or whether... Read more

Turn The Sun Into An Outdoor Studio With One Simple Modifier

Make the sun a softbox with a translucent piece of fabric
lighting modifiers
If you’re shooting people outdoors, there’s one lighting modifier in particular that you need. In fact, there’s only one modifier that you need. It’s a silk, also called a scrim, stretched on a frame. This piece of white diffusion fabric turns the harshest sunlight into beautifully diffused, soft light. It’s the perfect key light, especially... Read more

How To Fake Sunset Light

Use a strobe and a gel to re-create beautiful magic hour lighting
magic hour light
What’s the prettiest natural light there is? A lot of photographers would argue it’s the golden hour, that time shortly after sunrise and shortly before sunset when the light is strong and warm and comes from a low angle close to the horizon. The combination of a low angle and warm glow can make almost any subject more interesting and attractive.... Read more

Building A Basic Camera Kit For Serious Photography

What should be in your bag when outfitting your camera kit?
camera kit
If you’re reading this, you’re interested in photography. Some might say you’re “serious” about the hobby. So, now you want to upgrade from your smartphone, point-and-shoot or even your basic camera to a kit that matches your dedication—something like an interchangeable-lens mirrorless or DSLR camera. What are this kind of kit’s essentials,... Read more

For Outdoor Portraits Aim Your Camera At The Sun!

Put the sun at your subject’s back for improved outdoor portraits
outdoor portrait photography
When you’re taking a picture of a person outdoors on a sunny day you have one fundamental decision to make: Do you position the subject so they’re facing the sun, or do you position them so that the sun is at their back? There’s one answer that’s almost always correct: Place the sun at the subject’s back. Here’s why. First, if you position... Read more

Use A Polarizer For Better Color

Polarizers do a lot more than eliminating reflections and deepening blue skies
polarizer
Nearly a decade ago, on this very website, I wrote a short piece about using a circular polarizer on overcast and rainy days. I explained how the polarizer would eliminate the shine on damp leaves and other surfaces, and instead allow detail and color to come through. The response was immediate and strong. “You don’t know what you’re talking about!”... Read more

Use Teleconverters To Photograph Wildlife

An affordable option to get up close and personal with animals in the wild
teleconverters
In the good ol’ days of 35mm film, serious wildlife shooters needed 600mm and even 800mm supertelephoto lenses to get up close to their subjects. But then came the digital revolution and smaller-than-35mm sensors, which have the effect of cropping out the center of a full frame and making a 400mm lens behave more like a 600mm. Now factor in higher... Read more

Repair Moiré The Easy Way

When fine patterns interfere with your sensor, here’s an easy fix for removing those colorful bands of moiré
moiré
Photoshop is such a powerful and multifaceted image-editing tool, there are many repairs that can be made with several equally effective approaches. Fixing moiré is one such task. Moiré is the colorful banding that appears when a fine pattern in an image is even finer than the pattern of the pixels on a camera’s sensor. It’s frequently found in... Read more
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