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Portrait Posing Guide

The great thing about photography is that there are very few hard and fast rules

The great thing about photography is that there are very few hard and fast rules, especially when it comes to the creative, compositional, aesthetic side of things. But there are definitely guidelines that have proven time and again to lead to better photographs. For instance, there are compositional “rules” that we learn early on—like... Read more

The Most Important Flash Tip

For many of us, when we purchased our first DSLR, we also acquired a few accessories

For many of us, when we purchased our first DSLR, we also acquired a few accessories. Commonly included in that kit is a handheld flash, or speedlight. These flashes mount to the hot-shoe on top of the camera, and are brilliant devices that communicate with the camera via TTL metering to deliver accurate exposures almost every time. But, many new photographers... Read more

Use A Polarizer On A Cloudy Day

Why do you put a polarizer on your lens? Everybody knows the answer to this question, right?

Why do you put a polarizer on your lens? Everybody knows the answer to this question, right? You do it when you want to make blue skies on sunny days look really deep blue. Oh, and you can also use polarizers to eliminate strong reflections, from window glass or even lakes and streams. Those are probably two of the most popular answers, but the truth... Read more
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Mastering Intentional Blur

Most photographers would probably agree that blurry images are bad

Most photographers would probably agree that blurry images are bad. Whether they’re caused by poor focus, camera shake or a fast-moving subject, blur is not usually desirable. But, in some situations blur can actually be a valuable story-telling tool. It can demonstrate the speed of a fast-moving subject, or communicate anxiety with a bit of camera... Read more

Archiving With Lightroom

When I began using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom as my primary digital image management tool, I wondered how I would feel about the catalogs I was creating after a few years had passed

When I began using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom as my primary digital image management tool, I wondered how I would feel about the catalogs I was creating after a few years had passed. Well, a few years have passed and I couldn’t be happier with Lightroom’s organizational capabilities. One of my favorite features is the way the program allows... Read more

Make High-Key Portraits Indoors And Out

When you’re photographing a person and you realize that the subject and background are both presenting you with bright tones, you may want to consider making a high-key portrait

When you’re photographing a person and you realize that the subject and background are both presenting you with bright tones, you may want to consider making a high-key portrait. High-key images are photographs in which almost all of the values in the scene remain light and bright, with minimal deep shadows and very few dark areas. This is a great... Read more

How To Use Auto ISO

For the longest time I considered my camera’s auto ISO feature something only amateur photographers used

For the longest time I considered my camera’s auto ISO feature something only amateur photographers used. It was for people who didn’t fully understand the intricacies of light sensitivity and exposure adjustments, I told myself. True, I’d long used aperture priority and shutter priority automatic exposure modes when a situation called... Read more

One-light Portrait Lighting

The things you can do with a single light source are simply amazing

The things you can do with a single light source are simply amazing. If ever you doubt this, walk outside and take a look at the sun. Don’t stare at it, mind you, but consider the variety of beautiful lighting scenarios created by that single source up in the sky. It can act a specular source on sunny days, a giant softbox on cloudy ones. It can... Read more

Fixing Bad Light

We’re all faced with bad ambient light from time to time.

We’re all faced with bad ambient light from time to time. Sometimes it’s too flat, or too dark, or just too plain boring. Well, here’s a look at a few types of bad light and what you can do to fix them. Midday Sun A professional photographer with a beautiful portfolio once told me that the secret to his success was simply that he refused... Read more

How To Make An Animated GIF

Animated GIFs are experiencing a bit of resurgence of late

Animated GIFs are experiencing a bit of resurgence of late. It seems like they’re most often used to make goofy Internet memes out of scenes from movies and TV shows, but animated GIFs can actually be another useful storytelling tool for photographers. Animated GIFs live somewhere between stills and video, and when used creatively they can be... Read more

Lighting Ratios In The Digital Era

A lighting ratio is the difference between the brightness of the main light and the fill.

A lighting ratio is the difference between the brightness of the main light and the fill. Ultimately it’s a measure of the contrast within a scene, between highlight and shadow. A stronger ratio is higher contrast, while a lower ratio represents flatter illumination. Lighting ratios were especially important in the days of film, because the... Read more

More Artful Architectural Photos

When I land a particularly challenging photo assignment, I turn to my friends for their insights and advice

When I land a particularly challenging photo assignment, I turn to my friends for their insights and advice. When the assignment involves architecture, the first person I turn to is my good friend, the talented architectural photographer Elon Schoenholz. He creates subtle, sublime photographs with a beautifully simple approach, using little more than... Read more
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