Backyard Birding With A Super-Telephoto Zoom

See birds in a whole new light. Try a long zoom lens to get up close and personal with the your local feathered friends.
Backyard Birding With A Super-Telephoto Zoom
I don’t know much about birds, but I know lots of them inhabit my yard. I hear a woodpecker on occasion, and I can identify a blue jay and a cardinal when I see them, but that’s about the limit of my avian expertise. So, when I rented a super-telephoto zoom lens to get a better glimpse of the birds in my backyard, I was amazed by the world of detail... Read more

Crop To Open Images As Same-Sized Layers

Automatically open multiple images in a single Photoshop file while keeping each layer the same size
Crop To Open Images As Same-Sized Layers
One of my favorite shortcuts when working with images in Lightroom that I want to open in Photoshop is the “Open as Layers in Photoshop” option in Lightroom. With it, you can select as many images as you’d like and then, in much the same way as you can right-click and choose “Edit in Adobe Photoshop” from the popup menu’s “Edit In” heading,... Read more

Fixing Moiré In Lightroom

A simple and straightforward fix for unappetizing interference patterns known as moiré
Look Up to Portrait Subjects
As someone who photographs a lot of corporate portraits, I’ve seen my fair share of business suits. And one of the most common things you’ll find in these suits is very fine patterns and woven textures—the kind of thing that’s perfectly suited to causing moiré. (These patterns can be found in all types of clothing, however, and other surfaces... Read more

Look Up To Portrait Subjects

Create a hero angle by getting low when shooting portraits
Look Up to Portrait Subjects
I’ve been studying the work of master portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz lately and something finally caught my eye. Not about her pictures, which are consistently great for going on five decades now, but about her process. No, it’s not about how she typically uses a single light source balanced with the ambient light. And no, it’s not about... Read more

DIY Studio: Build a Faux Brick Background

Make your suburban garage look like a downtown loft with a whitewashed faux brick wall
DIY Studio: Build a Faux Brick Background
I have a big, empty wall adjacent to my shooting space that is ripe for transformation into something more usable for photography. This wall typically collects clutter; lights and stands end up leaning there, as do tables and chairs and really anything that needs an out of the way home for a little while. In an effort to turn the fairly plain space... Read more

Use Color Fill For Mood Modifications

From vibrant to subtle, toning an image with color is a great way to impact the feel of a shot
I regularly add a subtle color overlay to my images in order to help influence the mood of the finished photo. For a portrait in which I want to convey a sense of warmth and comfort, for instance, I’ll use a warm color like yellow, red or orange, applied ever so lightly. I like to use an adjustment layer in Photoshop in order to add this hint of color... Read more

Customize Photoshop’s Info Panel

Fine-tuning the information displayed by Photoshop’s Info Panel puts all sorts of useful data at your fingertips
One of the many windows you can have open in your Photoshop workspace is the Info Panel. By default, this window shows you RGB and CMYK color values of pixels as you mouse over them, along with the mouse coordinates on X and Y axes and width and height measurements of any selections or transformations. This information can be very useful, but it’s... Read more

Making Multiple Exposures In Photoshop

For a fun and funky portrait, consider combining multiple exposures using Photoshop’s layer modes and masks
Multiple exposures have made a comeback in recent years, with some digital SLRs allowing photographers to combine frames in camera to mimic the approach taken in the film era when photographers would make multiple exposures by exposing the same piece of film twice. The effect produced can definitely be quirky, and with some practice, photographers can... Read more

Compact, Low-Output, Super-Affordable Strobes

A rundown of five priceless options in the low-power, low-price studio strobe category
There are many ways to spend a whole lot of money buying photographic lighting equipment. From LED panels the cost of a reliable used car to high-power studio strobes that take a home equity loan to fund, there’s no shortage of really great but really expensive lighting options out there. But what fun is a new lighting toy when you have to go into... Read more

The Importance Of Subtlety With Low-Key Fill

When you’re producing low-key lighting, subtle fill light becomes especially important
The Importance Of Subtlety With Low-Key Fill
When you create a low-key lighting scenario, it’s especially important that you implement a fill light—but not too much fill light. Otherwise, the shot can simply turn into an abyss of shadow without any detail or, at the other extreme, you can overfill and eliminate the drama inherent with low-key lighting. Low-key lighting is any scenario in which... Read more

Selective Control With Photoshop’s Black And White Adjustment Layer

Combine multiple black and white adjustment layers for total tonal control in Photoshop
Combine multiple black and white adjustment layers for total tonal control in Photoshop
One of the best ways to convert a color photograph into black and white is to utilize Photoshop’s black and white adjustment layer. Simply open any color image, open the Adjustments palette and click on the “Black and White” icon found there. (It’s a square divided vertically in half, one side dark, one side white. Simple.) This will immediately... Read more

Importing and Exporting Photoshop and Lightroom Presets

How to update a new computer with the presets and shortcuts that make Lightroom and Photoshop work as you want them to.
Adobe allows the installation of its Photoshop and Lightroom software on two different computers. If you work on different machines, as many of us do, it can be incredibly handy to have the same presets, shortcut keys and settings apply when working with Photoshop and Lightroom, no matter which machine you’re working on. For me, I have a desktop computer... Read more