Proper Exposure Matters!

Translating the film-based Zone System to a digital way of shooting and seeing

Back in the fall of 1972, my very first photo school assignment for Commercial Photography 101 was entitled "An Industrial Interior." I had read Ansel Adams’ Basic Photo series the year before, and I was enthralled with his Zone System for exposure and development. So by the time I got to school, I had enough of the basics to know how... Read more

Simplify Your Lighting

Less is often more when it comes to crafting beautiful illumination

I recently received a call from a commercial photographer who was to visit my city on assignment. Along with recommendations for assistants, digital techs and hairstylists, he also inquired about renting a basic lighting setup. "Only four or five packs," he said, "and maybe just eight or 10 heads." He would be bringing some more... Read more

Lighting For B&W

High-key black-and-white portraiture has been popular since Hollywood’s golden era

High-key black-and-white portraiture has been popular since Hollywood’s golden era. While those early greats created high-key glamour with hot lights and film, we can achieve the same effect today with almost any lighting approach—from daylight to strobe light, outdoors and in. A high-key image contains tones that are primarily light gray... Read more

Going Viral

August Bradley’s personal project “99 Faces of Occupy Wall St.” was simple to execute and brought immediate media attention as it caught fire online

This Article Features Photo Zoom August Bradley is known for photography that’s incredibly detailed and highly stylized, with deep literary references and complex, psychological motifs. He refers to his intensely cerebral approach to portrait and commercial photography as "conceptual," but for a more recent project, Bradley... Read more

Car Shots

How to take pro-level automobile pictures

1962 Cadillac Interior, Costa Mesa, CA Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 17-35mm lens at 17mm, 1⁄15 sec., ƒ/16. There’s nothing like the interior of an early ’60s Cadillac. This image was part of a job for a car collector in California. To accentuate the deco design and colors of the Caddy, I parked the car in front of an appropriately painted... Read more

The Art & Craft Of Modern Storytelling

The photo essay came of age in the heyday of the large-circulation, general-interest print magazines.

Michael Freeman is a virtuoso of the photo essay. In this article, we show several images from his project on tea. It’s destined to be a full book, but editing down to a smaller group of images makes for a very compelling photo essay. Above: The leader of Baja Akha village on Bulangshan tea mountain, near Menghai, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China,... Read more

Shooting For Post

How to be an efficient photographer by shooting with the Photoshop work in mind

Everyone has heard the expression "I’ll fix it in Photoshop." Usually, blowing off details when you shoot because you know you can fix them in Photoshop isn’t a good idea, and often it’s not as possible or as easy as you think. However, making images around a concept that uses Photoshop to pull it off is a great way to work.... Read more

The Right Print Resolution

The conventional wisdom says set 300 dpi and forget it, but it turns out that there’s more to optimizing image resolution for fine-art printing

There seems to be some confusion in the industry about how to prepare and optimize image resolution for fine-art printing from modern high-end inkjet printers. Some people say you can’t really see any difference between prints made at higher or lower output resolutions. Well, I can. Contrary to what some people may say, size really does matter... Read more

The Biggest Shoot Of Your Life

There are many differences between the way a professional photographer works and the way an amateur works, but the biggest of them can be callously summed up by money because quality costs money.

Rachel Whaley
There are many differences between the way a professional photographer works and the way an amateur works, but the biggest of them can be callously summed up by money because quality costs money. Professional talent costs money, location scouting costs money, crew and stylists cost money. It takes a considerable sum to finance a professional shoot,... Read more

The Raw File Shuffle

How to keep organized and sane when you’re working and reworking your RAW files.

Adobe Photoshop has been around for 21 years now. Given that, I think it’s safe to say that we’re finally dealing with an adult. For the better part of that 21 years, Photoshop was the place where you went to work on, to crop, to color-correct or to manipulate, more or less, one image at a time. In the process, Photoshop became synonymous... Read more

DPP Solutions: Get Connected

A quick guide to the interfaces for video and audio that you’ll encounter as you get into working with motion

Connecting a DSLR to a peripheral used to be simple. You had a USB cable, a card reader—maybe USB or FireWire—and you were done. Images could move from camera to computer fast and easy. Times have changed, and now DSLRs can connect to TVs, projectors, computers and other devices. You’re shooting stills and HD video, and you may be recording sound... Read more

DPP Solutions: AV File Formats

As you get into multimedia, the alphabet soup of file formats can be confusing. Here’s a quick reference guide to common file types.

The following is an annotated list of the data file types you may encounter while working with audio/video recorders and editing systems. Uncompressed Audio Files WAV: Flexible PCM file based on the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF) and capable of storing virtually any combination of bit rates and sample frequencies; ideal format for data interchange... Read more
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