Get Hitched to Streamline Your Workflow

written by: David Saffir

Most people know that it’s possible to capture images while the camera is connected to a laptop or desktop computer. It’s been my experience, however, that most photographers don’t do this—instead they rely on the camera LCD for their histogram and image preview information. When conditions permit, in the studio or on location, shooting tethered can give you more control over image quality and in many cases streamline overall workflow−saving you time and money. Advantages Of Shooting Tethered Include: • A larger image preview (even on a small laptop) • Near-immediate preview of captured images • Availability of a number Read more »


Modern Light Painting

written by: Jeffery Jay Luhn

Light painting is the common term for a technique that uses a single light, which is moved during the exposure, or through a series of exposures, to simulate a more complex lighting scheme. Most often, a small lamp is moved around to seem as though the shot was taken with a larger light source, or multiple sources. Back in the film era light painting was always fun, but often unpredictable unless extensive testing was done. Camera LCD review features and the ability to blend multiple exposures in Photoshop elevates this age-old technique from a technical chore to an adventure. For Read more »


Two Zone/Mixed Lighting

written by: John Welzenbach

A two zone/mixed lighting set up is one of the simplest to design and create. It’s visually captivating with infinitely diverse applications. Easily controllable, yet unpredictable, it can add drama, whimsy, or elusive sensuality to a photograph. Two zone/mixed lighting refers to two different lighting sources, isolated in two distinct zones to create a single photograph. Zone 1 affects only foreground subject and Zone 2 only affects the background. It’s the combination of the light sources and your creativity that gives you a unique result in the final image. The Basics: • Physical separation isolates one light zone from the Read more »


Oil Painting in Photoshop

written by: Steve Anchell

One of the techniques I enjoy using, especially for portraits and landscapes, is converting an image to ap- pear like an oil painting. Photoshop CS6 (PS) has a built-in filter but I don’t care for it as much as this alternate technique. Here are the few easy steps to follow. Start with a high-resolution image, preferably a RAW file. I chose this portrait of a young girl taken under a picnic table in 2004 with an Olympus E-1 DSLR. 1. After opening an image in PS right-click on the background image in the Layers dialog and create a background copy. Read more »


Casein Printing

written by: Christina Z. Anderson

Casein is a colloid derived from milk. For those already versed in gum printing, casein printing is done much the same way: a colloid is mixed with a light-sensitive dichromate and watercolor, brushed onto paper and exposed under a negative to UV light. Where the light hits the most, the casein hardens the most. Where the light hits the least, the casein and pigment wash away in a simple water bath, and thus an image emerges. For each print, this exposure and development process is done multiple times, particularly for a tricolor print, which will require a red, yellow and Read more »


Making Pictorial Prints

Techniques popular from 1850 to 1949 provide ways to put texture and mood into your photographs
written by: Barclay Travis Cook

Photographers don’t have to be limited to strict recordings of what’s in front of our lens—we are entitled to use both imagination and creative strokes. The enhancement of an image can bring it to a state beyond what a camera can capture. This is the fine art of pictorial photography, where imagination and talent are coupled to produce original hands-on work. Texture-screen printing and chiaroscuro are the essence of classic pictorial photography, while Photoshop manipulation is a direct descendant of the pictorial photographic artist. A pictorial print can be of any subject; the main thing is that the artist has Read more »


Who Says Film is Dead?

Kodak's New T-MAX 400-2 Film Shows an Old Dog Can Learn New Tricks

I was one of many surprised when Kodak announced an improved version of T-Max 400 f ilm. I thought that T-Max 400 was a really good film and wondered how were they going to improve it—and why? Kodak found in a 2007 survey that there was an ongoing commitment to black-and-white film. They decided to improve both the grain and sharpness of T-Max 400, and it took them 18 months to do it. Large-format photographers who used a UV light source to print platinum/palladium were bothered by the UV dye layer on the back of the old T-Max 100 sheet film (it Read more »


Altered Worlds: Photo Encaustic Part II

written by: Jill Skupin Burkholder

Beyond the Basics A photography student showed up on the second day of an encaustic workshop with a huge smile on her face. After learning the basics on Day One, she had gone into a local art supply store that evening and roamed the aisles. “For the first time,” she said with a grin, “I felt like I belonged there.” I knew exactly what she meant. As photographers, we share a history of chemistry, foul concoctions and magical toners but rarely do we get the chance to enjoy a stroll through the paint aisle, having our imaginations tickled by the colors Read more »

Figure 1. Mel Brown at Christo’s Lounge in Salem. This image was taken towards the end of the set and the noise is substantially worse than at the beginning due to the sensor becoming overheated. Leica M9, 50mm f/2 Summicron lens. ISO 2500, f/4 @ 1/30 second.

Noise Reduction in Digital Photography

written by: Steve Anchell

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 »


Selective Color Adjustments in Adobe Photoshop

written by: David Saffir

There are quite a few ways you can edit color in Photoshop, even down to the colors of leaves on a tree. The advantages? You can target specific parts of an image for a simple color boost, change the color completely, add a color tint or color cast, improve dimensionality and more. I define selective color adjustment to also include selective color replacement. I encourage the use of Photoshop, because many of these techniques can be applied to a new layer, or an adjustment layer, or a series of layers. This gives you maximum flexibility in editing although it can Read more »