bobbi lane, umbrellas, soft boxes, photo studio

Umbrellas Vs. Boxes

PHOTO Techniques, May/June 2003
written by: Bobbi Lane

It’s common knowledge that when photographing a person, the shape of the reflected catch light in their eye identifies the light source. It’s easy to tell an umbrella by the shape and the spokes, and a box because it looks like a window. Some photographers base their decision on which soft-light modifier to use on this, falsely believing it is the only difference. The truth is there are vast differences in the behavior of light—not only between boxes and umbrellas, but between various styles in each type. Let’s face it—photographers are gadget freaks, equipment junkies and tinkerers. We are always Read more »

barry thornton, exactol, photo technique

The Evolution of Exactol: How I Created My Special Monochrome Developer

PHOTO Techniques, July/August 2003
written by: Barry Thornton

My childhood friend Peter Stott and I used to find trouble together, and I distinctly remember when Peter (who would eventually become an atomic scientist at Britain’s nuclear research center) and I filled an aluminum cigar tube with explosives and clamped it to a tiny, four-wheeled toy. While he lit the fuse, I photographed this momentous event with a crude box camera. Usually, I took my 127-size film to the chemist for developing and contact prints, but this time Peter had another idea. In his bedroom lab he mixed a concoction of several chemicals with water. We blocked out the Read more »

bobbi lane, 3 light setup, photo technique

The Classic Three-Light Set-up

PHOTO Techniques: Mastering Digital Techniques, 2003
written by: Bobbi Lane

We live in a world with one light source—the sun. It’s normal for us to see directional light that creates a specific set of highlights and shadows. But the surroundings—both natural and man-made—create additional highlights with light bouncing off buildings, or landscapes, sidewalks, etc. The sky acts as a fill light. However, when we’re in the studio, we need to create everything very carefully. It’s up to us to decide the effect or mood, as well as the direction, quality and depth of the light. We truly only need one light, but one light alone may not fit all the Read more »

bobbi lane, photo technique, business of photography

The Business of Photography- Part II: Copyright, Licensing and Business Plans

PHOTO Techniques, Sept/Oct 2007
written by: Bobbi Lane

Copyright, licensing, and business plans aren’t sexy, but understanding them is crucial for success. Welcome back! Are you ready for the next round of information? I promised that this would be more fun, and it will be, but first we need to tackle one of the most important items in a photographer’s career: copyright ©. Copyright The Copyright Law of 1976 states that photographers own the rights to their photographs for their lifetime plus 70 years. Copyright protection exists from the time the work is created in fixed form. Basically that means when you push the shutter, you own the Read more »

mark dubovoy, photo technique, file storage

Storage and Preservation of Digital Images

PHOTO Techniques, Sept/Oct 2008
written by: Mark Dubovoy

Something momentous has happened with the development of digital photography: For the first time since photography was invented, we have the capability to preserve original images without any deterioration for extremely long periods of time. Perhaps forever. The negative in the shoebox Most PHOTO Techniques readers know that storing negatives or transparencies in a shoebox is a bad idea. These boxes usually are acidic, do nothing to control temperature and humidity, and can lead to damaging physical pressure from having the originals on top of each other. All of these factors lead to premature decay and damage to precious originals. Read more »

john paul caponigro, substrates, digital printing, photo technique

Selecting the Right Substrate

PHOTO Techniques, Mastering Digital Techniques, 2003
written by: John Paul Caponigro

The substrate you select has a profound effect on both the aesthetic and technical aspects of a print. You can’t underestimate the impact that the material and surface characteristics of a substrate have on the presentation of an image. There’s a fundamental difference between plastic and natural fiber that can be seen and felt. Since looking is a sensual act, the sensual qualities of your prints are key ingredients in the experience of looking at them. When selecting a substrate, choose one that suits your images’ content and/or your artistic intent. Many choices available The astonishing array of choices available Read more »

abhay sharma, density vs lab, photo technique

Learning to Manage Color Correctly: Density vs. LAB

PHOTO Techniques, Mastering Digital Techniques, 2003
written by: Abhay Sharma

Photographers have used density measurements for many years. Density is routinely used for process control, measurement of negative and positive film, and plotting a characteristic curve. However, the days of using density are numbered. There is a new kid on the block—called LAB— which is a three-dimensional color specification system. Most new systems tend to work in LAB, including all color management applications and Photoshop. In the new world of imaging, where we measure color on many different media— film, inkjet prints, CRT and LCD computer monitors—LAB is more versatile and useful. In this article, we’ll illustrate the difference between Read more »


Infared I-Black and White

PHOTO Techniques, Jan/Feb 2003
written by: John Paul Caponigro

It looks like another world, yet it’s not. Opening a window into a spectrum we can’t see with the naked eye, infrared photography shows us our world in an extraordinary light. The human eye is sensitive to a range of light between 400–700nm (nanometers). Infrared exposure favors frequencies between 780-900nm, frequencies the human eye can’t see. Although we can’t see it, we are surrounded by, and often use, infrared light on a daily basis. Today, many household and office devices use infrared transmissions—remote controls, security alarms, printers, and laptop computers, to name just a few. To be sure, rendering the Read more »


Hyped On Depth: Understanding What’s in Focus and Why by Investigating Hyperfocal Distances

written by: Patrick Gainer

The concept of hyperfocal distance (or hfd), is known and used by many photographers.When a camera is focused at the hfd, depth of field is maximized and everything from half that distance to infinity is acceptably sharp.The depth-of-field scale found on many lenses with a self-contained focusing barrel is easily used to set the lens at its hfd by aligning the infinity distance mark with the index for the f-stop in use. It is not so easy with view cameras, which may use any of several different lenses and different film formats.The darkness of the view screen at the apertures Read more »


Getting Better Skin Tones

PHOTO Techniques, Sept/Oct 2007
written by: Ctein

Getting people to look good in a photograph takes care. You can take a lot of artistic liberties with a tree; a face is another matter. Human eyes and brains are very sensitive to the appearance of skin tones, colors, and textures. In my work, I use a number of techniques and tricks that produce realistic-looking flesh tones.These methods don’t entirely replace the need for pixel-by-pixel hand-retouching, but they drastically minimize it. The masked layer approach I just finished a book on photo restoration, so I’ve used photos in need of restoration as examples here. However, I use the same Read more »