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Shooting Color on Color

How to match colors in camera, and in the computer, to make subjects and backgrounds match.
C Color on Color
If you’re charged with photographing a still life of a simple object on a plain background, you don’t have to settle for the basic “plain white background” approach. Why not consider making a more stylish take on the shot, and shoot on a color? And not just any color, but the color of the subject: a red berry on a red background, or a blue jewel... Read more

Fixing Double Chins

How to help those of us with extra chins to look better in portraits
Double Chin Before
I shoot a lot of portraits. The number one request I get from subjects as they’re preparing for their session is to make them look better than they do in real life. And the number one way they want to look better is to remove any evidence of a double chin. For those lucky among you who don’t have firsthand knowledge of double chins, it’s the bit... Read more

Set Up “My Menu” on Nikon and Canon DSLRs

Never get lost in a cluttered camera menu again thanks to My Menu customization.
My Menu 3
Tired of searching through the acres and acres of menu options on your DSLR? Instead of scrolling around through countless options until you find the item you’re looking for, set up My Menu to put your most-often used items all in one place. For me, that’s Format Card, Image Quality, Custom White Balance and Custom Shooting Modes. It’s one of... Read more

The Basics of Photographers’ Rights

Do you need permission to take pictures of certain places or things? Usually, believe it or not, the answer is no.
Photographers' Rights
Lots of photographers misunderstand the rules of where they can take pictures and who they can take pictures of. And the general public surely seems confused about the legality of photography in public places. Here’s a simple primer to help you know when you’re in the clear. Where? On public streets and sidewalks, as well as public parks and truly... Read more

New Magic Editing Tools in Photoshop CC

How to make the most of some cool new editing features in the latest update to Adobe Photoshop
Adobe recently released an update to its flagship Photoshop CC image editing software. Included were a handful of neat new tools that work like magic. Here’s a rundown of what’s new, what makes them special and how they work. Face Aware Liquify The Liquify filter has long been one of the most powerful body-shaping tools available in Photoshop. It... Read more

Use Auto ISO for Outdoor Portraits

When a photo shoot moves between bright sunlight and deep shade, nothing beats the Auto ISO function of modern DSLRs.
Auto ISO 1
One of the most popular requests I get these days is a natural light portrait made outdoors. This au naturel look requires little more than open shade or a lightly overcast sky, and a lens with a wide maximum aperture. And it works wonderfully for portraits, whether of CEOs or musicians or kids. Actually, I think it works especially well for kids. Even... Read more

For The Ultimate Polarization Effect, Polarize Your Lights!

For eliminating reflections and maximizing color and detail, nothing beats cross polarizing the light and the lens.
For The Ultimate Polarization Effect, Polarize Your Lights!
When I mention the use of a polarizing filter, what’s the first thing you think of? Chances are, it’s probably a circular polarizer—a glass filter that attaches to the front of your lens and can be rotated to modulate the filter’s effect—which is usually to eliminate strong glare from scenes, or to make blue skies darker in outdoor pictures. But... Read more

Keep Your Image Files From Being Corrupted In Camera

A few simple steps can protect your data and prevent the loss of a one-in-a-million shot
Keep Your Image Files From Being Corrupted In Camera
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got stacks of old media cards lying around. Be they SD or CompactFlash, these cards in my camera cabinet range in size from 1GB to 256GB, with vintages from 2006 to just last week. The smaller the card, generally speaking, the older it is. Every once in a while, depending on what I’m shooting, I might grab one... Read more

Better Portraits Through Overexposure

Overexpose ambient light or on-camera flash for beautiful skin and better high-key portraits
Better Portraits Through Overexposure
I’ve found that in a lot of portrait situations—particularly in natural light, or naturally high-key situations, or when I’m using a light source such as a flash on or very close to the camera—I’m happiest with the results if I subtly overexpose the images. The camera meter might suggest, for instance, that the correct exposure is 1/125th... Read more

Which TTL Metering Mode Should I Use?

Understanding how a DSLR’s light meter works is the first step toward more accurate exposures
Which TTL Metering Mode Should I Use?
Whether you’re shooting a fully programmed automatic exposure or using modes such as Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority, or even if you’re setting exposures manually, in all cases you’re relying on your camera’s through-the-lens light metering capabilities to determine the correct exposure. A DSLR’s TTL meter measures the amount of light... Read more

Make Blooming Flowers More Vibrant With Lightroom’s HSL Tools

Lightroom offers some surprisingly powerful custom color controls
In Lightroom’s Develop module lives a tab with the cryptic letters HSL. This tab, as you may infer from some contextual clues, allows you to modify the color. So those letters stand for Hue, Saturation and Luminance. By modifying these three sets of sliders, amazing color control can be as easy as the click of a button. That’s why this is the perfect... Read more

Angle Of View And Choosing The Right Lens

Two lenses might be able to render the subject the same size, but that doesn’t mean the shots will look the same. Here’s how angle of view should impact your lens choice.
Angle Of View And Choosing The Right Lens
I have a client who hires me regularly to make portraits of her employees. The primary requirements are that each person remain about the same size in the viewfinder—cropped from the waist to the top of their heads—and that the background shows depth, but is out of focus as well. This means, fortunately or not, that there are a lot of ways I could... Read more