On Assignment: How to Use a Portrait Photography Self-Assignment to Spark Creativity

Photographer Vanessa Joy walks us through a recent self-assignment project while sharing tips
Vanessa Joy On Assignment Hero image
Editor’s Note: Have you ever wondered how your favorite photographers capture the images they take? Starting this month, Digital Photo Pro will be launching a new monthly column called “On Assignment” where Canon Explorers of Light, past and present, will share a backstage look at one of their favorite assignments and how they delivered... Read more

How I Made It: The Story Behind Ira Block’s Photo of Myanmar

Location scouting and a clear goal helped produce a memorable image of Myanmar in a more peaceful time
Photo of Myanmar by Ira Block
Photographer and educator Ira Block recently shared the above photo he shot a few years ago in Myanmar on his social media pages the day after the country’s military staged a coup and arrested a large number of pro-democracy leaders including Myanmar’s president Aung San Suu Kyi. We wanted to learn more about the image and how Block captured... Read more

Travel Portrait Techniques

Follow these valuable tips when traveling abroad
Travel Portrait Techniques
Because I was prepared for some resistance to taking photos while visiting Morocco, I altered my approach and utilized a variety of compositional hacks to get some unique photos. I’ll just come out and say it: I love to travel with photography as my primary agenda. Everything from the decision-making process of where to visit to deciding which... Read more

Add Motion To Strobe-Lit Portraits By Dragging The Shutter

This slow-shutter-speed-with-flash technique adds a hint of motion and a lot of interest to portraits and fashion photographs
Add Motion To Strobe-Lit Portraits By Dragging The Shutter
Dragging the shutter works particularly well in settings with a bright background. In this case, the window light creates a silhouetted subject ready to be illuminated by a strobe—here softened by a large silk diffusion panel. That soft key light can sometimes look flat and plain, but the blur from dragging the shutter while handholding (visible particularly... Read more

As Numerous As The Stars

Take your astrophotography to the next level with these techniques
As numerous as the stars
With today’s cameras and lenses, it has never been easier to capture the stars and the Milky Way and get sharp, clean results. All it takes is some technical knowledge, patience and a good amount of practice. Before we start, I think it’s important to note that most of these images are the result of blending multiple exposures together in... Read more

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
Of all the neighborhoods in New York City, Chinatown is one of my favorites. It’s so rich in culture while also offering a lot of visual diversity for photographers. This is doubly true once the sun goes down and the lights flicker on. I’ve long held the idea that one of the most important skills a photographer can gain is learning how to approach... 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