Manage The Blur

How to use shutter angles for creative control in your motion-capture work

The advent of digital cinematography has opened up new creative possibilities for how motion is captured. This article explores the influence of shutter angle, along with how it can be used as a creative tool for accomplishing one’s artistic goals. What Is Shutter Angle? The "shutter angle" is a useful way of describing the shutter... Read more

Proper Exposure Matters!

Translating the film-based Zone System to a digital way of shooting and seeing

Back in the fall of 1972, my very first photo school assignment for Commercial Photography 101 was entitled "An Industrial Interior." I had read Ansel Adams’ Basic Photo series the year before, and I was enthralled with his Zone System for exposure and development. So by the time I got to school, I had enough of the basics to know how... Read more

Viva Lucha Libre!

How Douglas Sonders used an iPad to build trust and photograph the colorful cast of characters of the Mexican wrestling community

As more and more images proliferate our culture, so do more and more image-making devices. Where photography has long been hailed as the everyman art form, the sheer multitude of cameras present in an area at any given moment is unprecedented. With the advent of cameras integrated into mobile devices, suddenly we’ve reached an era of relentless... Read more

Lighting For B&W

High-key black-and-white portraiture has been popular since Hollywood’s golden era

High-key black-and-white portraiture has been popular since Hollywood’s golden era. While those early greats created high-key glamour with hot lights and film, we can achieve the same effect today with almost any lighting approach—from daylight to strobe light, outdoors and in. A high-key image contains tones that are primarily light gray... Read more

Going Viral

August Bradley’s personal project “99 Faces of Occupy Wall St.” was simple to execute and brought immediate media attention as it caught fire online

This Article Features Photo Zoom August Bradley is known for photography that’s incredibly detailed and highly stylized, with deep literary references and complex, psychological motifs. He refers to his intensely cerebral approach to portrait and commercial photography as "conceptual," but for a more recent project, Bradley... Read more

Car Shots

How to take pro-level automobile pictures

1962 Cadillac Interior, Costa Mesa, CA Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 17-35mm lens at 17mm, 1⁄15 sec., ƒ/16. There’s nothing like the interior of an early ’60s Cadillac. This image was part of a job for a car collector in California. To accentuate the deco design and colors of the Caddy, I parked the car in front of an appropriately painted... Read more

The Art & Craft Of Modern Storytelling

The photo essay came of age in the heyday of the large-circulation, general-interest print magazines.

Michael Freeman is a virtuoso of the photo essay. In this article, we show several images from his project on tea. It’s destined to be a full book, but editing down to a smaller group of images makes for a very compelling photo essay. Above: The leader of Baja Akha village on Bulangshan tea mountain, near Menghai, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China,... Read more

Shooting For Post

How to be an efficient photographer by shooting with the Photoshop work in mind

Everyone has heard the expression "I’ll fix it in Photoshop." Usually, blowing off details when you shoot because you know you can fix them in Photoshop isn’t a good idea, and often it’s not as possible or as easy as you think. However, making images around a concept that uses Photoshop to pull it off is a great way to work.... Read more

The Biggest Shoot Of Your Life

There are many differences between the way a professional photographer works and the way an amateur works, but the biggest of them can be callously summed up by money because quality costs money.

Rachel Whaley
There are many differences between the way a professional photographer works and the way an amateur works, but the biggest of them can be callously summed up by money because quality costs money. Professional talent costs money, location scouting costs money, crew and stylists cost money. It takes a considerable sum to finance a professional shoot,... Read more

Take A Bite

In this excerpt from the book, you can get helpful tips on some of the most important aspects of this specialized class of image-making.

The art of food photography requires skill in several disciplines, not least of which is diplomacy in dealing with the client. Above: A rich chocolate dessert lit to eliminate any distractions. Lou Manna’s book Digital Food Photography is a comprehensive guide to the fine points of professional food photography. In this excerpt from the book, you... Read more

Digital Manipulation And The Flair Of Subtlety

Digital photography has transformed the fine-art world.

Digital photography has transformed the fine-art world. Beyond merely allowing commercial photographers to produce more efficient and cost-effective imagery, the digital revolution presents artists with new tools to create broad-reaching, high-impact images that can be seen around the world, instantly, with the click of a button. The potential of the... Read more

Dialing In Skin Tone

For fashion, beauty, portrait and wedding photographers, the advent of digital photography has been a godsend.

Getting skin tones right is critical. When you’re shooting, you can be sure your tones are good by using the D-SLR’s histogram in Luminance mode. You can see that although the histogram is stacked to the left due to the dark background and the dramatic lighting, the midtones, where skin is represented, are looking good. This is a tricky image to... Read more