Subject Isolation: Finding Innovative Ways to Draw Attention to Subjects

I have no idea where I first heard this, but it’s extremely true: “the main difference between painting and photography is that the painters need to work hard to put things into their images, whereas photographers have to work hard to take things out of their images.” Painters start with a blank canvas, and every single thing that ends up in the final piece of art is a result of careful craftsmanship, years of hard-earned skill, and raw intention. The photographer’s canvas, on the other hand, is all of the world’s visual chaos, and he or she must deploy
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How to Overpower the Sun to Shoot Stunning Outdoor Portraits

Taking portraits in bright sunlight has been a bit of a no-no for a long time, but the truth is that you can actually get stunning results if you use a fill flash. The results look awesome and give a high-end feel to any outdoor portrait, and the best thing is that it’s really not too difficult. You just need to understand how to use a fill flash. Warning: The video above contains some portraits that may not be work-friendly. Check out the image below showing why we use a filll flash in photography and the best way to
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Tricks for Shooting Better Outdoor Macro Photos

Want to improve your macro photography game? Here’s a great 12-minute DPReview TV episode in which master macro shooter Don Komarechka demonstrates some simple techniques and setups you can use to capture better outdoor shots. Komarechka’s tricks include examples of setting up backdrops and lighting for shooting things like ice, water drops, flowers, and rocks. Previous articles Komarechka has written here on PetaPixel include shooting high-res photos of snowflakes: A snowflake photo that took 2,500 hours to create: Using UV light to make nature fluoresce: And capturing vibrant colors inside snowflakes: You can find more of Komarechka’s
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Underwater Photos: A Deep Dive Into Prep, Gear, Shooting, and Editing

This article is not about my advice on how to run your photography business with regard to legalities, releases (prop, model, and liability), safety, price, and style, etc. However, it is about what I do, how I prep, and how I take photos underwater. That’s it. Read it and if you get some good ideas and want to try, then go explore and do it safely and legally.

A Little About Me

I’ve always been interested in photography and was hooked with my first camera long ago – a Minolta X700. If there is a photo opportunity, I’m all in
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This is Why Lighting Height and Angle Matter in Portraits

How you light your subject is one of the key decisions you’ll need to make when shooting portraits. The Koldunov Brothers published this 9-minute tutorial showing the impact the height of a light source makes and some typical mistakes photographers make in placing and angling lights. The video examines the problem areas on a face that are introduced when the primary light source is too high or too low. While these issues may be less obvious when additional light sources are present, they’re still unappealing looks that are difficult to hide in the resulting photos. The tutorial also provides various
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Where to Focus in Landscape Photos and How to Shoot Sharper Shots

Ever wonder where you should be focusing when shooting a landscape? Here’s a 9-minute video by Nature TTL featuring renowned photographer and Nikon Ambassador Ross Hoddinott. In it, Hoddinott discusses both focusing and advice for shooting sharper photos. Hoddinott sheds light on one of the main things to trip up a number of photographers: where do you actually focus in a landscape photo? A rough and ready approach of a third way into the image might seem “good enough,” but there are other methods to try too. Hoddinott doesn’t rely on the hyperfocal distance calculation either, finding that it leaves
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Make a $10 DIY Disco Light Modifier for Round-Head Flashes

Controlling and modifying light is a lot of what photographing with studio lights and battery-powered strobes is about. Especially when it comes to portraits, I like to work with my lighting setups so they add something that is not perfect or flat. Twisting and turning your lights to make use of the edges is one very effective way of doing that. Breaking up the light with a scrim, gobo, or something else is also very rewarding. This do-it-yourself project is all about a cheap prism from an LED Disco Party Bulb that I found for under $10.

A Cheap Disco
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Continuous Lighting vs. Strobes: The Pros and Cons of Each

It’s photographer Jay P. Morgan here. Here’s a new 11-minute video in which I compare the pros and cons of strobes vs. continuous light and conduct some indoor and outdoor lighting tests between the two for you to decide which one to use when you are shooting.

What is Continuous Light?

When I say continuous light, it can be tungsten light, it can be LED, it’s basically any light source that stays on when you turn it on! A part of my personality just loves continuous lighting and that’s because I love video. These are some real advantages to using
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The Ultimate Guide to Forecasting, Shooting, and Post-Processing the Northern Lights

The crown of the (Ant)arctic. Known in the northern hemisphere as the Aurora Borealis (northern lights and as the Aurora Australis in the southern hemisphere, these brightly colored bands of moving and waving light are a majestic display in the night sky. The sun shoots out a constant stream of charged particles which we call the solar wind. When that stream interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field, these particles are led to the poles through the toroid (donut-like) shape of the field. It’s at our poles where the stream gets concentrated and crashes into particles in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.
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How to Fix Wide Angle Shrinkage Fast in Photoshop

How many of you can relate to this scenario? You encounter a scene that really grabs your attention, and it has all the elements you look for in a great composition — a spectacular foreground that works the eye towards the mid-ground that in turn leads the viewer towards a majestic mountain range in the background. You grab your wide angle lens to capture the entire scene, click the shutter, review the image, and you couldn’t be happier with the results. You arrive back home, load the image on your computer, but somethings off, the image lacks the grandiose quality
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How to Photograph the Back of the Hollywood Sign

It seems that every visitor to Hollywood wants to photograph the mountain with the Hollywood sign on it but rarely do people want to make the effort for a Hollywood sign hike to go photograph the back of it. If you can put in some extra time, photographing the back of the Hollywood sign will provide you with an amazing photo opportunity and a stunning 360-degree view of Los Angeles. The first obstacle to overcome is figuring out just how to get up there. The Hollywood sign is located at the top of Mount Lee. An asphalt road (Mt Lee
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4 Portrait Locations You Can Find in Any Neighborhood

Don’t have the time or money to travel to picturesque portrait locations? There’s like spots for nice portraits in your own backyard. Photographers Tajreen Hedayet and Chloe V. of Tajreen&Co made this short, sweet, and informative 2-minute video on 4 portrait locations you can find in any neighborhood. “Look out for these backdrops next time you go location scouting, portrait shooting, or when you’re just out and about — you’ll be surprised to see how many you find!” the duo says. The four ideas they cover are solid colored walls, bushes and foliage, bushes and foliage, high locations, and
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Why and How to Calibrate Your Lenses for Razor-Sharp Autofocus

When we finally pluck up the courage to purchase an expensive lens, we expect them to be perfect right? Unfortunately, no matter how good the lens is, there are always going to be minor differences when we attach it to our specific camera. Often our camera bodies are made at a completely different time and usually in a completely different factory, so when we finally bring the two together there are often minor adjustments that we the user have to make to ensure we’re getting the best image possible from that specific lens. So regardless of whether our lens is
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10 Rules You Should Break In Street Photography

I went on a photo walk the other day with a friend who mostly shoots events and does client-focused work. The majority of the time we just talked about freelance work, but every now and then we’d see an interesting scene and capture it. We both shot on zoom lenses, but when she would show me her captures, I couldn’t help but notice how zoomed in she was. Every photograph was at around 70mm… I let the first 2 attempts slide, but after attempt number 3, I said, “hey you aren’t supposed to zoom — that’s against the rules!”.
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How to Nail Exposure in Your Photos Using Manual Mode

If you’ve been wanting to learn more about using your camera in manual mode and have 26 minutes to spare, here’s a helpful educational video by photographer Sean Tucker that’s just for you. He teaches how to nail exposure using manual mode. Tucker walks through the fundamental concepts you’ll need to know, from how cameras work to the exposure triangle. After teaching the head knowledge, Tucker also goes out into the street (at 15 minutes in) to provide some examples and tips on shooting manual in the real world. “A lot of my street photography is made up of contrasty
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This $10 DIY ‘Periscope’ Lets You Shoot Underwater with Any Camera

Want a cheap way of shooting right under the surface of water without having to buy a special housing for your camera? Alex over at I did a thing recently built himself a PVC periscope-style device for a total cost of around $10, and the results are great. Here’s a 5-minute video in which Alex shows how he built the thing and what it can do (note: there’s a tiny bit of strong language):
Alex says he built the device because he wanted to see what was going on under the surface in his frog pond. Shooting with his DSLR
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