Sometimes the Simplest Light Is the Best

I always carry a flashlight with me for lighting purposes just a small one, either a standard bulb or a halogen, with an adjustable beam. A flashlight can offer a spot of light for a dramatic effect. I was on Alaska's Yukon River, working for National Geographic, photographing a story about the river. The day was cold and dark, and the village, Kotlik, was nearly empty. This was an important village in that it is the last outpost on this mighty river. An old man walked by and I started a...

Photographing Children

Children are an easy subject and such great material. Kids are naturals when it comes to posing, and without much exception they love having their photos taken. Rarely do you find a kid who is self-conscious in front of a photographer, and most will willingly strut, mug, and perform for the camera. However, some hard-and-fast rules must be addressed. First and foremost, always ask permission from a parent or guardian before you shoot. This is not always easy, as the parents may not be around,...

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Guadalupe Peak is the tallest mountain in Texas, at 8479 feet. This image was shot for Texas Highways magazine, part of a story on the Seven Great Wonders of the state. I found pilots George West and Richard Davies to fly me over the rugged terrain shortly before dusk, so I could take advantage of the low setting sun to emphasize the structure and striation of the landscape. I intentionally included the wing of the Cessna because I thought it provided a bit of human perspective to this stunning...

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You can also move a bit closer to the person you're shooting. The flash, even those on the point-and-shoots, will fill the shadows in eye sockets created by the sun directly overhead. This results in a kinder, gentler photo that will make your significant other much happier to pose for your endless photos next trip. Moving closer fills the frame and brings the center of attention, the main subject, closer to the viewer of the photo. The simple trick here is to force on the flash, turning the...

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The topmost brush stroke uses a soft brush set to 100 percent Opacity. The remaining three strokes show the effect of painting using multiple passes at a decreased Opacity setting, from a single pass at 50 percent, to four passes at 50 percent. The topmost brush stroke uses a soft brush set to 100 percent Opacity. The remaining three strokes show the effect of painting using multiple passes at a decreased Opacity setting, from a single pass at 50 percent, to four passes at 50 percent. Tip You...

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Tip You can also access the Copy and Paste Settings options by right-clicking an image in the Filmstrip and then clicking Develop Settings and then Copy Settings. By synching and copying camera raw settings, you can quickly perform your shoot-specific and scene-specific corrections. For corrections you perform even more frequently, such as camera-specific corrections, it's worth creating a preset that stores your changes and allows you to apply them to images with a single mouse click. A good...

Sepia Toning in Lightroom

Once you've completed your black and white corrections in Lightroom, you can add a sepia tint using the Split Toning panel. The Highlights and Shadows sliders allow you to apply a separate colored tint to the highlights and shadows of your photos, and then you can blend the two with the Balance slider. Begin by selecting a Hue value for the Shadows between 35 and 45. This is the color range between reddish-orange and yellow-green. After some experimentation, you'll find the hue that suits your...

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One of the final steps necessary to ensure your digital photo can be read, printed, or displayed by other applications is to save your photo in a file format appropriate for its intended use. The four most common digital photography file formats are JPEG, TIFF, PSD, and DNG. In the following section, I'll offer recommendations of when to use each format and help you avoid some file format pitfalls. JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) Fast, nimble, and read by almost every imaging program on...

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Chapter will help you improve your outdoor photographs and give you invaluable tips on photographing wildlife and protecting your camera equipment in unpredictable environs. It was early in the morning when we set the helicopter down on Roraima-tepui in southeast Venezuela. These giant and ancient granite monoliths rise straight from the surrounding rainforest floor to heights of 5000 to 6000 feet. Roraima-tepui, the largest, is almost 15 miles long and several miles wide. The tepuis are...

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When Lightroom hands off your photo to Photoshop, it processes your raw file according to the Edit in Adobe Photoshop settings in your preferences. This makes for the most efficient workflow. Unfortunately, the default settings are designed for advanced users and will make image processing on older machines difficult. To simplify your transition between Photoshop and Lightroom, change your Edit in Adobe Photoshop settings to the following Color Space AdobeRGB 1998 Bit Depth 8 bits component...

Camera Types

Cameras fall into three classes consumer, prosumer, and professional. Although the dividing line between the classes can be a bit fuzzy, I'll point out features you can use as a landmark to help compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Consumer-level cameras encompass a range from the basic point-and-shoot camera with little or no control over exposure up to pricey point-and-shoots that provide quite a bit of creative control. These are all fixed-lens cameras, eliminating your ability...

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Upon startup of the camera, several figures, icons, and numbers will appear in various forms, depending on the camera manufacturer. Following are some common ones Shutter speed Shutter speed is represented as either a whole number 250, 500, 1000, and so on or a fraction 1 250, 1 500, 1 1000 . If, for example, you divided 1 second into exactly 250 equal parts, the result would be 1 250 of a second. This setting tells you the duration the shutter is staying open. Obviously, the longer the shutter...

How To Understanding Light

Joe McNally shoots assignments for magazines, ad agencies, and graphic design firms. Clients include Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, National Geographic, LIFE, Time, Fortune, New York Magazine, Business Week, Rolling Stone, New York Stock Exchange, Target, Sony, GE, Nikon, Lehman Brothers, and PNC Bank. In addition to having been a recipient of the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for outstanding magazine photography, McNally has been honored for his images by Pictures of the Year, The World Press...

How To Panoramic Photography

How Panoramic Photography

It's almost impossible not to be impressed when viewing a well-shot panoramic photo. This format brings to the viewer a version of reality that cannot be revealed with the human eye, and this is part of the fascination. Creating panoramic photos has become easier with today's software and, in some cases, with the cameras themselves. As I shot from the balcony of a friend's apartment in Paris, the only way I could do justice to this amazing panorama was to shoot a number of images, stitch them...

Developing Technical Proficiency With Your Camera

The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are. Such a simple little box, yet the complexities of today's cameras are staggering. Precise exposure, the closely guarded secret of all serious photographers, is now just a half-pressed shutter button away. Even the lowly PHD push here, dummy cameras, which account for the majority of cameras sold, possess technical capabilities that could only be dreamed of a decade ago....