Move beyond the basics with advanced photography software techniques from our experts. Covering much more than how to use photo software, topics include color choice, file formats and hundreds of other subjects.
Digital technology and equipment give you more control and the ability to make the finest black-and-white images ever, but there's an art to coaxing the best print from your image files
Black-and-white used to be the core of the photographer's darkroom. Now, ironically, as companies concentrate heavily on moving the darkroom onto the desktop, black-and-white photography has been slowly relegated to the sidelines of fine art and portraiture. New advances in technology, however, have given black-and-white printing a little more, pardon the pun, exposure. Read More...
Color correcting by numbers is a combination of art and science
The digital darkroom offers more control over the imaging process than ever before with the promise of higher quality and quicker, easier results. The price is a steep learning curve and a plethora of creative choices that often leave us scratching our heads wondering where to begin. Mostly, we need to begin, after the image capture, with color correction.
There are special considerations to take into account if you're shooting RAW and you want to be sure that you're getting a proper exposure
You wouldn't think changing image capture from film to digital photography would require a new way to think about exposure, but it may, depending on how you use your digital camera. This is because a digital camera sensor behaves quite differently from how film and our human visual system respond to light intensity.
In this first in a series of columns about digital black-and-white, we explore some of the fundamentals
Prior to the 21st century, black-and-white photographers developed a heightened sensitivity to the direction and intensity of light, a given relationship between highlights and shadows, largely discounting the appearance of hue and saturation unless able and willing to use color filtration during exposure. These perceptual skills are all very important for 21st century digital black-and-white photographers. But, today, because you can make any hue light or dark, globally or locally, and you can make more dramatic changes to more saturated hues, hue and saturation need to be factored in rather than factored out.
Getting color right isn't just about the scientific quantities of the Kelvin scale and wavelengths of light; it's also about emotion and creativity.
Personal creativity comes from the “sweat” of making great pictures. Get the balance with powerfully effective imaging tools; it's choice, not chance! Let's examine the balance of color. Deeply involved with digital, I draw upon film experience and knowledge about color rendering. Balance has always been a key factor. Film photographers choose a film for its color rendering, but digital photographers make the same decisions through observation and their camera's and software's digital tool control; digital provides a broader range of personal control.
Strategies for selectively lightening and darkening an image
This is the first iteration of a new Digital Photo Pro column from John Paul Caponigro, a master photographer and artist who teaches workshops, writes books and lectures on Photoshop technique. In each installment of (R)evolution, we'll examine a technique for improving your photographs. By focusing on a single problem in each column, we hope to show you the depth and power of some of the tools at your disposal in Photoshop.
Mastering this tool will help to ensure that you have continuous tones in your images
Smooth transitions. They're the essence of continuous-tone images. In most cases, you want to preserve them. On occasion, you want to modify them. Sometimes, you want to create them. While gradients can be extremely complex and yield highly sophisticated results, once the basic principle behind them is firmly grasped, they're simple to create and use. Using the Gradient tool, a gradient is created between the start (where you click first) and end points (where you drag to). The start and end points may be placed anywhere on the canvas. Gradients can be drawn for any length at any angle.
Take control of the contrast in your images with precision using these Photoshop controls
The relationship between highlights and shadows is a critical aspect of any image. Photographers have been trained to become highly sensitized to these relationships. Today, we have more control and greater precision than ever before over these key visual elements using the digital darkroom. In Photoshop, the type of adjustment chosen will provide very specific control. The specificity of an adjustment can be further refined by using a mask. One type of mask yields extreme precision and is derived directly from the light and dark relationships within an image—a luminance or contrast mask.
Use this powerful tool to affect precise areas of your image smoothly
Digital imaging offers the ability to define complex contours efficiently and precisely, enabling users to affect an image in very specific areas. What was once tedious and challenging is now quick and easy. Once you learn a few essential selection and masking techniques, few contours will elude your grasp. Before I continue, let me caution you against defining contours too precisely. Remember, contours in continuous-tone images are often quite soft. What's more, many times photographers simply need to define broad areas to work smooth transitions into surrounding areas. Just because you can define contours precisely doesn't mean you should, but it's advantageous to have the option when you need to.