Mission: Monochrome

Think and shoot in black-and-white to add depth and beauty to your black-and-white photography
Mission: Monochrome
Using natural sunlight coming in through a window, and the texture of the wall behind the subject, it’s possible to create a range of tonality and shape, perfect for monochrome photography. In the bright and vibrant digital world, we all find ourselves in today, it can sometimes be an exciting change of pace to choose to explore the world of black-and-white... Read more

The Natural Beauty Of Open Shade

Understanding how to use the natural beauty of open shade will expand your creative options
I did environmental portraits and reportage shots using open shade for part of my photo essay on the tequila-making process at the Hacienda del Patrón in the Jalisco highlands of Mexico. Noël Coward’s lyrics, only “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,” can be expanded to include photographers on location who want to increase... Read more

Intent To Shoot

How approaching street photography with a clear goal results in better images
I’ve long held the idea that one of the most important skills a photographer can gain is learning how to approach a shoot based on intent. In other words, before heading out to a shoot, do you ever ask yourself, “What do I want to get out of this outing?” And the answer very well may be, “I really don’t know, but I’m open to finding out!”... Read more

Stacking The Deck

Quickly improve your landscapes with focus-stacking—a simple, but rarely used technique to increase depth of field and fix common imaging problems
Stacking The Deck
A focus stack of two exposures. The foreground leaves and fence at ƒ/8 for 1/3 sec., the background at ƒ/11 for 0.6 sec., and blended manually in Photoshop. Nikon D810, NIKKOR 24-70mm ƒ/2.8, all shots at 36mm and ISO 80 Are you a landscape photographer suffering from out-of-focus foregrounds or backgrounds even when you shoot at ƒ/11? Or are you... Read more

Drones: Eye In The Sky

As tomorrow’s technology matures into today’s staple tool, we look at the latest models for the photographer and videographer
Drones: Eye In The Sky
In 2016, it was reported that over 2.5 million drones were sold in the United States alone, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is projecting that figure to exceed 7 million units in 2020. If you’ve ever flown a drone before, you can appreciate the thrill of instantly getting a bird’s-eye view of where you’re standing. Advancements in... Read more

7 Guides To Black & White Photography

From interviews with pros who share their techniques to software solutions to printing, these guides explore a variety of ways to work with monochrome photography
black-and-white photography
From interviews with pros who share their techniques to software and lighting solutions to printers, these guides explore a variety of ways to work with monochrome photography. 1. Julia Dean: Finding The Lost Angels The photography legend turns her eyes on Los Angeles, a city—and people—in transition, revealing a vibrant street life in black-and-white.... Read more

Crafting High-Energy Portraits

Athletes don’t always have to be photographed outside. Bring the action in the studio for an energetic portrait session.  
portrait photography
When assigned to capture a portrait of an athlete, the most obvious photographic solution is to photograph them on the field (court, track, etc.), but various restrictions and challenges might not make that practical, and often these environmental portraits aren’t what the client is looking for. A “traditional” portrait session is naturally a... Read more

The Perfect Debut

All you have to do to make movies is push a different button. How hard can it be?
filmmaking
Photo by Chris X Carroll It was the perfect opportunity—shooting a cover and an ad campaign for a novel, where the client asked if we could “shoot a little video” to make a trailer. I had a brand-spanking-new Canon EOS 5D Mark II, but had yet to press the Big Button that activated the video function. I had been shooting digital stills for some... Read more

Mastering Midday Light

Turn the worst light into the best shoot with these simple techniques  
midday light photography
To create this portrait in Cuba, the subject was placed in covered shade and photographed using one SB-5000 shot through a small softbox. Nikon D810, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F1.8G, 1/800 sec., ƒ/1.8, ISO 32. Photo by Tom Bol Photographers have one thing in common. We’ve all gotten up early, really early, to photograph the sweet rays of warm sunshine at... Read more

Great American Eclipse 2017 Photo

One of our contributors is based in the Midwest, where he witnessed 100% totality. Here’s how he captured this image of the eclipse.
Great American Eclipse
Whether you were able to photograph it, watch a live stream of it or catch it in person, the Great American Eclipse was a breathtaking event. The coast-to-coast total solar eclipse began in Oregon at 10:15 a.m. PST, traveling across the country to coastal Charleston, S.C. at 2:49 EST. Contributor Editor William Sawalich, who’s based in St. Louis,... Read more

Paying Tribute To The Masters Of Painting

As photographers and filmmakers, most everything we try to achieve visually with lighting, a camera and storytelling through composition goes back to the Masters
the Masters of painting
“The Supper at Emmaus” by Caravaggio. The lighting is a wonderful example of chiaroscuro, translated from Italian meaning literally “light-dark,” but for those of us who create images, both filmmakers and photographers, this is a common method we use to create contrast, mood and, most significantly, depth and dimension. I recently visited a... Read more

Cooke Optics UK Factory Tour

How to get the Cooke Look
Cooke Optics lenses
A vintage Cooke Optics lens Cooke Optics has been making lenses for 130 years, and their coatings haven’t changed much since the ’60s—that’s what contributes to the Cooke Look cinematographers want on their digital bodies, like RED and ARRI. The coatings are like pixie dust and seen here (decades of them built up) on a flange. The flange holds... Read more
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