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Opening RAW Files As Smart Objects

One of the things that makes Lightroom such a useful tool in many photographers’ workflows is the fairly seamless way it integrates with Photoshop

One of the things that makes Lightroom such a useful tool in many photographers’ workflows is the fairly seamless way it integrates with Photoshop. A click of a button will open a RAW image file right in Photoshop, ready to be worked on with Photoshop’s even greater range of precision editing tools. By default, that image file is opened... Read more

Light Meters Still Matter

Here’s how, and why, to use a handheld light meter effectively

There are some pretty cool things happening in the world of handheld light meters these days, like Sekonic’s L-478 touchscreen light meter, which can do all sorts of amazing things like create custom profiles for cameras and lenses. But the fundamental task of handheld light meters has remained unchanged for generations: They’re simply a... Read more

Skin Retouching With Frequency Separation

I recently met a professional portrait retoucher who taught me all about her preferred method for skin retouching, commonly called the Frequency Separation technique

I recently met a professional portrait retoucher who taught me all about her preferred method for skin retouching, commonly called the Frequency Separation technique. It’s a great way to separate the texture of skin from the tonalities. It’s important to eliminate unwanted texture like wrinkles and blemishes while not eliminating good texture... Read more

Build An In-Home Photo Studio

Whether you’re shooting for fun or aspire to open your own photography business, building your own in-home studio opens up a whole new world of photographic possibilities

Whether you’re shooting for fun or aspire to open your own photography business, building your own in-home studio opens up a whole new world of photographic possibilities. From still-life product photos to refined studio-style portraits, an in-home photo studio can revolutionize the way you work. Here are a few things to consider when building... Read more

How To Photograph Football

Fall is here, and for a lot of us, fall means football

Fall is here, and for a lot of us, fall means football. If you’d like to try your hand at photographing football—whether it’s a Pee Wee league, high school or the NFL—here are five great tips from professional photographer Dilip Vishwanat who covers football for clients like Sports Illustrated, Getty Images and USA Today. 1. Equipment... Read more

Making Long Daytime Exposures

I recently found myself on an impromptu afternoon walk, camera in hand, and faced with a babbling brook and a small waterfall

I recently found myself on an impromptu afternoon walk, camera in hand, and faced with a babbling brook and a small waterfall. Wanting to make one of those classic blurred-motion waterfall images, I knew it would take a long exposure and that the fact that it was the middle of the day would make that a challenge. With the right equipment and know-how,... Read more

How To Make Digital Contact Sheets

No matter whether you’re a paid professional or a hobbyist, it’s not uncommon to need to show your work to someone else so that they can select the images they’d like to receive

No matter whether you’re a paid professional or a hobbyist, it’s not uncommon to need to show your work to someone else so that they can select the images they’d like to receive. A wedding photographer, for instance may produce a printed book of proofs for their bride and groom to browse through in order to select the images for their... Read more

Improving Color Accuracy

If you’re new to the concept of color management, this tip is for you

If you’re new to the concept of color management, this tip is for you. The topic isn’t a whole lot of fun, because it’s not glamorous, and it’s less about creativity than technical accuracy. It can also be kind of a difficult subject to get your head around. Consequently, a lot of photographers completely avoid the subject and... Read more

Dark Backgrounds In Broad Daylight

No studio? No problem

No studio? No problem. When working with flash you’ve got the ability to turn any location into a studio—even bright daylight. Here’s how to overpower daylight and create a strobe-only exposure that can render even a bright midday background dark as night. First, start by positioning your subject far from the background. If you try... Read more

How To Cut Window Mats

In this digital world, the photographic print has become increasingly rare

In this digital world, the photographic print has become increasingly rare. Rarer still is the artfully matted and framed photograph, although this remains the preferred approach for showcasing fine photographs. If you want to prepare your work for framing, here’s my time-tested technique for measuring, cutting and finishing a window mat that’s... Read more

Five Methods for Bouncing Light

For many photographers, bouncing light means just one thing…

For many photographers, bouncing light means just one thing: using a reflector to lighten a subject’s shadow side. But bounced light can take many forms because it can be done for many reasons—like making “motivated light” or creating a softer, more natural looking source. Here are five examples of how you can bounce light for more... Read more

Breaking Bad Photographic Habits

We all have them. They come in infinite forms

We all have them. They come in infinite forms. They’re bad habits, from chewing with your mouth open to biting your nails. But the worst habits of all are the ones that compromise your photographs. If you want to start improving your photography, start working to break these habits. • Autofocusing all the time. Sure, it’s convenient,... Read more
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