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Five In-Camera Techniques to Maximize Sharpness

Blurry pictures got you down? Make sure you’ve got all five of these techniques dialed in.
Five In-Camera Techniques to Maximize Sharpness
There’s nothing more depressing for a photographer than discovering upon closer inspection that the great moment they thought they captured is in fact not sharp. There are lots of causes of blurry pictures, including motion blur from a moving subject, camera shake, missed focus and more. How do you avoid making these unintentionally unsharp pictures?... Read more

Portrait Lighting: Should You Face The Key Light Or Face Away?

How the subject is positioned relative to the key light makes a huge impact on the look of a portrait
How you position a portrait subject in relation to the key light makes a huge impact on the picture. It’s how you create precise lighting, based on tried-and-true lighting patterns that have helped faces look their best for generations. But along with these various subtleties of portrait lighting comes a more fundamental choice: Should you face your... Read more

Five Photoshop Hidden Gems

These simple and effective Photoshop controls may not be flashy, but they’re a great way to make editing easier, better and generally more efficient
Five Photoshop Hidden Gems
When you’re new to Photoshop, it’s easy to feel like there’s a never-ending list of things to learn and that it’s going to be impossible to learn them all. That daunting truth is also the beauty of such a robust application: There are always additional secrets to discover. And after 25 years of using the application, I still regularly learn... Read more

Tethering A Sony a7R III

How to ensure smooth and seamless shooting with a Sony a7R III connected to a computer
Not long ago, I purchased a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera. And while so much of its tremendous functionality comes easily, it took me a bit to determine the best, easiest and most functional approach to using the a7R III for tethered capture. After a bit of trial and error, I honed in on my preferred approach. And now I find it to be more reliable... Read more

Add A Fill Light At The Camera

The on-axis fill light adds more than shadow detail. It also increases nuance and production value in portraits of all kinds.
When, as a young photographer, I was taught the secrets of portraiture by working shooters, their approach to fill light was simple: Place a reflector—either white or silver or sometimes even gold—opposite the key light to illuminate the shadows. This works, sure, and it works well. But, done poorly, it has some issues. First of all, with the fill... Read more

Lighting Studio On The Go

Go mobile by building a rolling studio lighting kit
For photographers who like total control over their lighting, there’s nothing better than studio-style strobes. They provide power and versatility, with an abundance of easily adjustable light modifiers readily available. But while they may be the ultimate photographic lighting tools, they’re also kind of cumbersome and they’re not particularly... Read more

How To Digitize Film Without A Scanner

Get better quality, and do it faster and easier, by shooting negatives and transparencies with a camera and film-digitizing adapter
How To Digitize Film Without A Scanner
Scanning film is tedious, time-consuming and expensive, and the results don’t always seem worth the effort. But since most photographers these days are armed with high-resolution digital cameras, that opens up a faster, easier and more affordable option to digitize film—and the results are outstanding. It’s the Nikon ES-2 Film Digitizing Adapter,... Read more

Sensor Cleaning Best Practices

Safe and effective techniques for getting dust off a camera sensor
Sensor Cleaning Best Practices
Mirrorless cameras are missing one thing: the mirror. Sure, not having a swinging mirror in the body enables all sorts of things, including smaller bodies, lower weights, fewer moving parts, live-view electronic viewfinders, etc. Unfortunately, it also allows dust and dirt to more easily come into contact with the sensor. So, as I recently discovered... Read more

Spot Healing Brush Options

Content Aware, Proximity Match and Create Texture. Which one should you use?
Spot Healing Brush Options
If there’s one Photoshop tool that makes an impact on almost every image I shoot, it’s the spot healing brush. This tool is as close to a magic fix as anything in the application. Simply click it on a spot in your image you want to eliminate, and voila, like magic, Photoshop makes that spot disappear. It’s perfect for repairing blemishes, sensor... Read more

Updating Camera Firmware

Manufacturers often offer free updates to camera software in order to improve their functionality and features
Updating Camera Firmware
Firmware is the software that makes your camera work. Think of it like the operating system that runs the internal computer. The camera manufacturer will occasionally offer updates to the firmware in order to introduce new features and make improvements to the camera—things like video frame rates, autofocus capabilities, image processing, operating... Read more

The Top Five Non-Camera Accessories That Should Be In Your Kit

Of course you need a camera, lenses, batteries and media. But what other gear should you consider essential?
Your go-to kit likely contains your cameras, lenses, batteries and media. But you never know what situations may arise in the studio or on the road. Adding these five accessories to your kit will make sure you’re prepared for almost anything.  Neutral Gray Card No matter how you set the white balance on your camera—be it auto, by Kelvin... Read more

Make Better Pictures In Snow

Camera techniques to create strong photos when winter blankets the world with snow
Last week, we talked about keeping yourself and your gear warm and dry when shooting outdoors in winter. But, once you’re well prepared to be comfortable and productive when shooting in snow, how do you go about, you know, actually making great photos? Here are some tips for making the most of the peculiar photographic opportunities that occur when... Read more