Much has been made of digital noise being similar to grain in film. And like film grain, the photographer needs to decide to use it or lose it, often depending on the image. For example, if the image is a landscape meant for large format reproduction, then noise is a bad thing, with less being better. On the other hand, if the image is a street scene or a music show, then noise can add a gritty, gutsy feeling, one that is lost by eliminating all the noise. Even if you choose to keep the noise it helps to know Read more »
Creating panoramic photos is a fun and easy way to add to your repertoire. In fact, once you learn how easy it is you might even become addicted as many have. The definition of a panorama is an image that has a 2:1 or greater ratio of sides, though ratios up to 3:1 are considered to be the most visually pleasing. Even so, it is not uncommon to see panos that have a 4:1 or even greater ratio. Good panoramas begin in the camera. While it may seem logical to record the subject using horizontal orientation of the camera, a Read more »
There is almost nothing more gratifying to a photographer than to see their work in print. Due to the cost of publication, prior to online digital publishing it was necessary to print a minimum of 2,000 books, and most photographers opted for an even lower cost/per book print run of 5,000, with an initial investment of $20-50K. Today it is easier than ever to publish your work, and more than that, it can be printed on demand. I am going to introduce you to the rudiments of building a book using Adobe Lightroom (LR), one of the easiest programs I Read more »
This article is about making your LR experience more productive using some of the lesser known techniques and shortcuts. Software is the conduit by which digital photographers create their images. As such, it is good to have access to as many software tools as possible, onOne Perfect Layers, Nik Silver Efex Pro 2, Mediachance Dynamic-Photo HDR, Alien Skin Snap Art, and of course, the mother of all digital imaging software, Adobe Photoshop. Even so, I have often said the only software a digital photographer needs is Adobe Lightroom. If you have this one piece of software you can do any Read more »
While Adobe Photoshop has many great tools to facilitate creativity, it is first and foremost a production tool for professional photographers, graphic artists and designers. What makes PS a tool for the professional is not just what it can do, but how quickly it can do it. To the pro, and to their clients, time is money. Minutes count when charging by the hour, and minutes can add up if you have to reenter repetitive steps every time you want to call up a particular brush or style.
Do you really need to calibrate your monitor? Perhaps you don’t. Read the following scenarios and see if they fit. Scenario #1 You’ve just captured the world’s greatest landscape. When you released the shutter the light, color and composition were perfect. Never mind that your camera wasn’t calibrated, you’ll fix it in Lightroom. You work on the image in LR until it’s perfect, color, saturation, contrast, shadow detail, luminous clouds with subtle detail in a blue sky. You write it to disk and take it to a really good lab to print. Never mind that your monitor wasn’t calibrated. The Read more »
Many digital imagers have found that the program they use the most is no longer Adobe Photoshop but Lightroom, or its Mac dedicated counterpart, Aperture. Color correction, cropping, spotting and printing tools can all be found in these two easy-to-learn and use programs. Even so, they do have their limitations. Simply put, if you need to add special effects to a photo, such as Liquify to apply a digital tummy tuck, then Photoshop is your tool. But most everything else can be done in Lightroom or Aperture. Built into both of these programs, especially Lightroom, is the ability to use Read more »
It takes practice to paint a realistic picture. It takes practice to play a guitar. It takes practice to capture the decisive moment with a camera. And just like with painting or guitar playing, while you can use almost any brush or guitar, it helps to have a good-quality sable brush for oil painting, an electric guitar for rock- n-roll, and a viewfinder camera for street photography. I began street photography in the 1970s using an 8×10-inch Agfa-Ansco large-format camera. I would set my Majestic tripod up on a sidewalk in downtown Los Angeles and take formal photos of the Read more »
Most photographers acknowledge the importance of calibrating their monitor. Calibrating their printer is also generally accepted practice among those who print their own images. But many photographers ignore the all-important first step of calibrating their camera. In a well-managed, digital workflow, camera calibration is of equal importance to the monitor and printer. Until recently camera calibration was a process not much understood by many photographers. The X-Rite ColorChecker Passport has taken the mystery out of camera calibration for those photographers using Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom and capturing images using RAW.
RAW vs. JPEG Think of RAW files as if they were the digital equivalent of a film negative. Think of JPEG files as if they were prints for distribution. You would not think of passing your negatives around to all your friends. On the other hand, like a print, the JPEG is the easiest format in which to distribute a digital image. A RAW file requires the photographer to prepare the recorded image for viewing, because a RAW file contains everything recorded on the camera sensor. The better the camera and optics the better the RAW file. A JPEG contains Read more »