Lens Design And Technology In The Age Of D-SLRs
Lens quality has grown exponentially in recent years. The optics being produced for professionals today incorporate some high-tech miracles to get the job done.
Lens technology has improved by leaps and bounds over the last 15 years. Innovations like high-tech glass, advanced apochromatic elements, optical stabilization and fast, accurate AF systems have coalesced into a set of tools that provide fantastic image quality. Prior to the 1980s, most pros avoided zoom lenses because they simply weren't up to snuff. Prime lenses were thought of as being the pro's choice because they were sharp, they exhibited fewer aberrations and they were fast.
New Tools Of The Trade
The Futility Of CMYK
Myth: A big color space with 16-bit color guarantees visibly better results on a printed page
I wish that were true. The printed page can be a frustrating place for a photographer. Sometimes images look better there, sometimes worse. Like many photographers, I once thought a publication simply took an image, “translated it” into printing plates of some sort, then worked to match the photo to the page. With that line of thinking, it's easy to then believe that a photo should perfectly match its printed version; if it doesn't, someone screwed up.
The Paper Chase - Selecting The Best Paper
One of the least considered, yet most used materials in the photographer's arsenal, a paper's fundamental construction can have a profound impact on how images print
For most photographers, the ultimate goal is a print. When inkjet printing hit photo quality, the choices were very limited. Every manufacturer went to great pains to supply papers that mimicked traditional darkroom papers in an effort to lend a more legitimate feel to digital printing. Photographers didn't take long to try alternative media, though, looking for that perfect surface and finish that would bring out the best in their images.
Bert Monroy - Re-Creating Reality
Bert Monroy is a Photoshop master who uses software like a brush and canvas all at once. He's not a photographer, but a digital painter who pushes the software envelope to create his art
Bert Monroy makes beautiful photographic images, but he doesn't do it with a camera. His photographs aren't photographs, and he's not even a photographer. He's a painter. Beginning with a blank canvas—actually, a blank computer screen—Monroy meticulously creates detailed images from sketches, notes and snapshots. Most people call Monroy a photo-realistic painter because they mistake his work for photography.
Max Morse - Making Pictures
Although just beginning his professional career, Max Morse is already landing big jobs and in the process building an impressive portfolio of work
At a small bar in the Southern California beach town of Manhattan Beach, I met up with Max Morse to talk about photography, images and plans for the future. Morse greets me with a quick wave, taking off a pair of white sunglasses and casually tossing them on the table. We shake hands and he ushers me to a seat and a cold pitcher of beer.
Patrick Hoelck - Film Noir
Patrick Hoelck's distinctively dark style casts today's brightest stars in a new light
In the 1940s and '50s, during Hollywood's golden age of film noir, darkness ruled the silver screen. Actors' faces were often masked in shadow with highlights placed precisely for maximum dramatic effect. Los Angeles photographer Patrick Hoelck puts a modern twist on this classic approach, photographing today's biggest stars in his own unique world of shadow and light.
An Argument For Color Management
It's not sexy or exciting, but calibrating your full image workflow is just about guaranteed to get you better results
If you've set up your digital workflow to be completely color-managed, congratulations! You understand exactly why it's important. If you haven't calibrated your gear because you don't think you need to do it, that's because you haven't calibrated. Confused? It'll all become clear—but only after you calibrate.
B&W Comes Of Age
There has been a paradigm shift in what photographers can do with black-and-white imagery. Digital tools and capabilities have opened the medium to new possibilities.
One of the major paradigm shifts presented by digital imaging is that you can start and finish with any media, analog or digital. When it comes to input, you have two choices: analog film or digital capture. Within each of these choices you have two more choices: black-and-white or color.
Masking Essentials I
Mastering the art of the mask will empower you to control your images with precision
The ability to work in specific areas of an image with unparalleled precision and repeatable results, along with the ability to combine multiple exposures seamlessly and flexibly, are two key advances that are propelling the current revolution in photographic practice. Still, selection and masking are topics that plague many longtime Photoshop users. This whirlwind tour will demystify the process and set you well on your way to mastering these essential skills.
Get creative with your lighting technique with some inspiration from these case studies by a master of illumination
To me, lighting is the most important tool for creative photography. It's followed far behind by focal length, aperture and so on. Too many photographers approach the same “problem” with the same technique—and always get the same result.
Hustle & Flow - Self-Marketing Secrets
The art of getting a job and staying on a buyer's speed dial is as much about your photographic talent as it is about your self-promotional talent
The compulsive urge to panic while waiting for a job should be recognized as a physical condition. Many times over the last 20 years, I've found myself on the edge of a complete breakdown, spending huge money on promo campaigns, e-mails and sourcebooks as I try to figure out the magic method for getting noticed by the people with the work. There were times when resources ran low and the whole effort seemed overwhelming. Then, out of the blue, often on the day that I was using the same coffee filter for the third time, a phone call.
Workshops For The Pros
Workshops aren't just for amateur enthusiasts. You can take your business to a new level by attending an intense, professionally oriented program.
Making the move to a fully digital workflow can be like trying to merge onto the information superhighway in a brown Dodge with a yellow door and white smoke pouring out the back. You sometimes feel like you're only seconds away from getting creamed by a semi with Digital Asset Management written in 10-foot letters on the side. To get turbocharged and start your trek to the fast lane, you need to get some high-horsepower help.