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Tag: lighting

How to Avoid Burned-Out Highlights

Filed in Tips by on January 28, 2016 0 Comments
How to Avoid Burned-Out Highlights

With very few exceptions, every photograph needs to have shadows and highlights. Defined, a shadow is an area that contains true blacks, and a highlight is an area that contains true whites. It sounds simple, but you probably already know that there’s an art to capturing those highlights and shadows. You can have true blacks in your photograph, but that doesn’t mean that they’re good shadows. And you can have true whites in your photograph, too, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are good highlights. How do you know the difference? Read on to find out. Continue Reading »

How to Photograph Shiny Objects

Filed in Tips by on January 15, 2016 0 Comments
How to Photograph Shiny Objects

In so many ways, indoor, tabletop photography is ideal for beginners. There are a ton of advantages to shooting photos inside your own home, using controlled light and objects that can’t move on their own or protest. Taking photos indoors in your own tabletop studio is a great way to teach yourself about light without the encumbrances of time or the pressures associated with photographing living subjects. Read on for my tips.
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How to Photograph Windows and Doors

Filed in Tips by on December 24, 2015 0 Comments
How to Photograph Windows and Doors

You already know that light is the most important element in every single photograph you take. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to find great light, and your photos practically take themselves. At other times you are stuck with some really challenging light, and you’ve got to employ some strategies to make the best out of the situation.

Perhaps no lighting situation presents quite the same sort of challenge as windows and doors do. The light that comes through an opening in a building—whether it is covered by a piece of glass or not—is extremely bright compared to the ambient light in a room. If you don’t think through a shot that includes a window or door, you may end up with a bright, white, burned-out rectangle where that window or door is supposed to be. So is photographing windows and doors just an impossible task? Read on to find out.
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How to Photograph Body Art

Filed in Tips by on November 19, 2015 0 Comments
How to Photograph Body Art

Have you ever tried to take pictures of paintings in a museum? The chances are pretty good that you found it a little challenging. Now imagine trying to take photographs of art on a living, breathing human being—that’s going to be even more challenging. So exactly how does one go about photographing body art? Read on to find out.
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Shooting Portraits with Window Light

Filed in Tips by on November 5, 2015 1 Comment
Shooting Portraits with Window Light

All indoor photographs are low light photographs. But not all indoor photographs are break-out-the-super-fast-lens-and-tripod low light photographs. In fact, during the brighter parts of the day, you may actually be able to get better photographs indoors then you can outdoors. That’s because the type of natural light you get in the middle part of the day is direct and comes from directly overhead. When you take photos in these conditions you get subjects with black shadows over their eyes and under their noses and burned out highlights or super-black shadows in other areas of the photo. When you move indoors, however, the natural light that comes in through the window is indirect and easy to control. Think of it as your own personal photography studio that you didn’t half to invest any money in. How do you get the best out of this beautiful, free light source? Read on to find out. Continue Reading »

How to Shoot Into The Sun (On Purpose)

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How to Shoot Into The Sun (On Purpose)

If you get lens flare in your photo, then that’s a ruined photo. Good photos never have anomalies in them – motion blur, high contrast, lens flare – these are all errors. Lens manufacturers actually go out of their way to build equipment that doesn’t cause lens flare. So it follows that lens flare is bad, right?
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Yes, You Can Shoot Good Photos in Terrible Light

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Yes, You Can Shoot Good Photos in Terrible Light

You probably have photographer friends who “tsk, tsk” you for heading out to take photos in the middle of the day. If not, you’ve probably at least read that you shouldn’t take photos during the middle of the day – you may have even gotten that idea from something you read on my site. And it is pretty decent advice for beginners, but it is not by any stretch of the imagination an unbreakable fact of photography. You can actually get good photos in bad light, contrary to popular belief. But how?
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The Five Values of Light

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The Five Values of Light

Before you became a photographer, there was exactly one sort of light. It was either on, or it was off. Sure, there were varying degrees of brightness – there was dim light and there was bright light, but it was all pretty much the same thing.

Then, when you learned how to use a camera, you discovered something new. There’s not just one kind of light. Light has color and direction. It can be hard or soft. It’s no longer just about how bright it is – now light has quality. And what’s more, that quality can make or break your photographs.
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White Balance 101 – How to Get It Right

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White Balance 101 – How to Get It Right

Until you started taking photos, you may not have even been aware of such a thing as white balance. That’s because in the real world, white balance is a function of your brain. Our brains are pretty good at white balance, actually, so good that many photographers have to train themselves to consciously understand what our brains just do for us behind the scenes, every single day.

However, your camera isn’t as smart. Fortunately, there is an easy way to make sure you don’t get a color ‘cast’ in your photos.
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How To Take Pictures Indoors Without a Flash

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How To Take Pictures Indoors Without a Flash

When you were a kid, your mom probably took a lot of pictures. When she wasn’t taking pictures outdoors, she was using a flash. Remember that? “Oh wait dear, don’t move, the flash has to warm up.”

If you look back at those photo albums full of all those pictures that your mom took when you were a kid, you may notice a common theme. Those photos probably don’t look very good. In them, your kid-self probably has a washed-out face and/or red eyes, and there are most likely some really big, ugly black shadows directly behind you. These are all hallmarks of direct flash.

Now that you’ve grown up and have a camera of your own, let’s see how to take photos that don’t look like the ones in your mom’s photo album.
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Pointers for the Perfect Self-Portrait

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Pointers for the Perfect Self-Portrait

Are you guilty of an occasional selfie? Most of us are. It’s true, we are a selfie-obsessed culture but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Self-portraits have a long history as part of an artist’s journey of self-discovery. They give us a way to try out new techniques, fail in privacy, learn, grow and adapt as photographers. They are also a way to chart how we physically change over time. Here are some items and practices that help me achieve the self-portrait I set out to create.
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Photographing The Perfect Shadow

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Photographing The Perfect Shadow

Photography is known as the art of capturing light. But did you know that the counterpart of light, the shadow, also plays an important role in the creation of an image? We all know what a shadow is, it’s that stalker that keeps following us on bright sunny days or well-lit places at night! Shadow is more than that though, it is also the darkest area of a scene as opposed to the highlights which illuminate the brightest. The challenge in shooting a scene that contains both highlights and shadows in it is to record the details without washing out the highlights or turning the shadows into unrecognizable black areas.
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White on white images

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White on white images

If you’ve ever spent any time photographing products in a studio setting, you’ve probably tried capturing images of white objects against a white background. Done correctly, white on white can be really stunning. Done incorrectly, it’s still a valuable learning experience. That is, if you don’t throw that beautiful white egg across the room in frustration, splattering it all over your poor dog, wife/husband or that painting that you never really liked much anyway.
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How To Shoot Photos in the Dark

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How To Shoot Photos in the Dark

Light! It’s the single most important element in any photograph. Without light, you’ve got no image. Without the right light, you’ve got a bad image. In photography, light is everything.

And with that in mind, I’m going to tell you how to shoot photos in the dark.

But wait, didn’t you just say that light is everything? Yes, I did. And the reason that you can still take great photos in the dark is because – with the possible exception of a very deep cave or a crevasse at the bottom of the ocean – there’s really no such thing as “dark” here on Earth.
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6 Ways to Use Windows in Your Photos

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6 Ways to Use Windows in Your Photos

Windows provide light and add beauty as an architectural feature. As a photographer your concerns about glare and reflections may cause you to steer clear of windows, but you may want to consider including them more. If you do it properly, including a window in your composition can actually add visual interest and of course light to your photos. If you are stuck in a creative rut, this may be just the ticket. Read on for six ways to use windows in your photographs.
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