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

A look at the must-know lighting techniques used by the pros
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

The Digital Delivery Conundrum

Large file sizes and multimedia projects are changing the way photographers deliver the goods

With film, it was simple. You shoot the job, process the film, then place the transparencies in a FedEx box or hand them to a messenger for delivery to your client. They open the box and send you a check for the unpaid balance on the invoice. Life was simple, even if it didn’t always seem like it at the time. Starting with the ability to scan... 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

Why Make Prints

The process of evaluating, editing and prepping an image for making a print refines and consolidates your vision

Despite the ubiquity of images that are shared entirely in digital form, via computer screen, tablet and smartphone, a print remains the ultimate expression of a well-conceived photograph. Images shown on a tablet screen can look spectacular, but a print is tangible in a fundamentally different way. The paper (or canvas or other medium) itself adds... Read more

DPP Solutions: New Features In Lightroom 5

The latest version of Adobe’s workhorse software has some particularly useful tools

2013 has been a big year for Adobe. Their biggest announcement, of course, was the change in licensing of their software to a pay-as-you-go subscription model facilitated through their Creative Cloud service. Around the same time as the Creative Cloud announcement, and almost lost in the din of controversy that it generated, was the Lightroom 5 Public... Read more
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