DPP Solutions: Blurring The Lines

A look at the various tools you can use to create bokeh

Until about 10 years ago, the term bokeh was almost unknown. Coined from the Japanese word for blur, photographers began using the term in the late 1990s, but it wasn’t until the mid-aughts that it really took hold. The effect itself has been around as long as photography—shallow depth of field—but as any marketing expert will tell you, it... Read more

Raw Processing Fundamentals

Take complete control of the nuances and subtle exposure elements within your image files

At the beginning of every class or workshop, I always ask the question, "How many of you feel that you completely understand—and are comfortable with—basic RAW concepts and the controls for RAW processing?" In response, I’ll sometimes get one or two volunteers, but more often than not, no one is willing to stick their neck out. And... Read more

Past & Presence

Douglas Dubler created a historical and artistic project that was ideally suited to the unique qualities of the legendary Polaroid 20×24 camera

Imagine a modern professional photographer involved in a photo project allowing only 25 exposures in an entire day—with film so rare, there’s no room for tests, mistakes or retries. This is the story of a meeting between a great photographer and a historic camera. Among the world’s foremost beauty and fashion photographers, Douglas... Read more

Essential Lighting

We talk to a range of top professionals about how they create some of their signature looks

Whether you’re creating a beauty shot, crafting an environmental portrait or setting up a still life, one single photography truth will always remain: Light matters. What separates professional photographers from the crowd is the ability to shape light into a previsualized design appropriate for the subject and client. But when faced with every... Read more

Over The Edge

As he plunges headfirst into the unknown, Lucas Gilman describes how to be a multimedia pro

Lucas Gilman is a photographer and filmmaker who creates breathtaking adventure-sports imagery for clients like Sports Illustrated, Red Bull, Patagonia, Gore-Tex® and Nikon. He shoots everything from surfing to snow skiing, ice climbing to extreme kayaking, and he does it simply: by choosing high-quality tools, planning carefully, and putting the safety... Read more

Autofocus Evolution

Radical advancements in AF technology are blowing away old assumptions about phase- and contrast-detection systems

Since the advent of digital photography, there have been aspects of a camera’s operation that are shrouded in mystery and confusion. That’s because many of the technologies involved in digital photography are rooted more deeply in optical physics and computational algorithms than in shutter speeds and lens openings. Most recently, a seismic... Read more

The Hero Image

The evolution of a shoot with Corey Rich

Illustrating the dramatic impact that even a subtle change can bring to a photograph, commercial lifestyle photographer Corey Rich spent a day working out with cross-trainer Del Lafountain to capture a series of high-impact shots of the towering athlete as he muscled through several hundred kettlebell repetitions. Ultimately, despite an extended sequence... Read more

Mothership & Scout

How to work with photos on location and seamlessly integrate them back into your studio’s system working with Apple Aperture

As the plane clears 10,000 feet, I open up my MacBook Air and launch Aperture 3. We bank to the north and I look out the window at the lights over Las Vegas. Just a few hours earlier, I was finishing off the last day of a multiday bicycling event where I captured more than 5,000 images at a series of bicycle races and a bike ride called the Mobile Social. ... Read more

Tone Curves

This often misunderstood control is as much about brightness as contrast

I recently read one popular author’s introduction to his chapter on the Lightroom Tone Curve, and he started out by saying that with the improvements in the 2012 Process Version, the Tone Curve was basically outdated. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s true the Lightroom 4/ACR 7 update represented a complete overhaul of the Basic... Read more

It's Hip To Be Square

Changing the shape of your frame can give you a completely different perspective on the world

Back in the day, serious film shooters had to decide between the 3:2 rectangular 35mm format and the much larger 2¼-inch square. Legions of photography and art students learned the basics of composition on a square-shootin’, 2¼-inch Yashica D twin-lens reflex camera. Yes, long before Beta vs. VHS, there was a very different, but very real format... Read more

Time-Lapse Primer

Preston Kanak takes us through the skills, steps and gear to making your first time-lapse

There has been an explosion in interest in time-lapse, and for professionals, being able to add time-lapse skills to your repertoire gives you one more thing a client may want. It also gives you some cool motion to have in your portfolio. Creating time-lapse can be incredibly rewarding, too. Half the pleasure of going out to shoot is the journey that’s... Read more

Old School For The New School

An analog wet-plate processing primer for digital photographers

In the age of Instagram, it’s not too surprising to find a growing movement of photographers looking for a more meditative approach to image-making. Photography is now nearing 200 years of technological advancement, and as digital continues to proliferate and film becomes more scarce, there has been a resurgence of interest in the classic analog... Read more
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