The Gateway Arch in St. Louis photographed from the Mississippi side.

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis photographed from the Mississippi side. “Fisheye lenses are gimmicks.” Lots of photographers think so. Most have never used one. I don’t travel without one. The 15mm f/2.8 fisheye lens from Sigma is less than three inches in diameter and length. It weighs in at less than twelve ounces. This […]

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Adelina

This definition of a real photographer: “full time PRO with a real brick and mortar studio who makes 100% of his income taking pictures not selling crap to other photogs“was a response to a tweet about my fellow Photofocus contributor Nicole Young. First, here’s some context. Nicole wrote a very thorough and useful “how to” […]

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aperture

Apple announced today that it will no longer add features to its professional imaging application Aperture. Apple will continue to update camera formats for the foreseeable future. Apple is folding iPhoto and Aperture into its new release of the Photos app included in the recently announced Mac OSX Yosemite operating system coming this fall. The […]

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Factor model Alexa Johns

Normal is defined as conforming to a standard, the usual, the typical or the expected. When it comes to photography, normal most often refers to the standard focal length lens on a camera. A normal lens sees about the same angle of view as the human eye. Let’s delve into what normal means and why […]

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flbanner

    Focal length has a lot to do with modern photography. It’s always been important, and now, even more so. Changing the focal length makes a photograph of the same scene into its own unique vision.  Above, the first photo is a normal, 47º angle of view. The middle one was made with an […]

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shootingmirrorsbanner

My last post covered the law of light that says the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflectance. In other more understandable words it means that light bounces off of a subject at the same angle as the light falling on it. Another use for this rule is photographing something in a mirror. Here’s […]

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2781-0012

The angle of incidence equals the angle of reflectance is a law of light.  It’s also photo-speak that (allegedly) explains how to evenly light a background, a copy stand or photograph a mirror. Unfortunately it means very little unless there’s an understanding of what the two types of light meters–incident and reflective–do to measure light. If […]

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refining

The previous Exposure Tactics post, explored understanding the difference between how Lightroom, Photoshop, and light meters measure exposure.  Now we continue to look at working with the files in postproduction. Exposure Tweaks in Lightroom & Camera Raw Calibrated computer monitors are great for displaying color and brightness. Unfortunately, the human visual system just can’t tell if […]

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A properly exposed RAW photograph offers almost unlimited creative possibility.

This Exposure Tactics post explains what a “technically proper” exposure is and how to get there. Remember I said technically proper, not creatively right. The sensors in our cameras don’t necessarily match the sensitivity of our light meter. Sad and true. This can make it difficult to judge exposure and get things right. One meter […]

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A RAW file open in Camera Raw 8.4 shows the color values for white, middle gray and black before it is white balanced.

What comes after using an incident meter to set the exposure? Setting a neutral color balance then refining the exposure, both in post production. I always refine the exposure after neutralizing the color. Before going into the steps for either one, here’s some background on digital captures, especially RAW files. (You are shooting RAW aren’t […]

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IncidentMetering

My last post showed why it’s difficult to get the exposure right with the reflective meters in our cameras. They measure the light without being able to differentiate whether a subject is bright, dark or in-between. This one is how to get accurate exposures every time. The trick is to measure light before it hits […]

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2279-PSU Lighting Article Photographs

Exposure can be really confusing. It’s particularly so with modern digital cameras. Why? The type of light meters built into cameras is a big reason. Those meters are reflective meters. They measure the amount of light bouncing off of a subject. A reflective meter’s exposure makes what ever it sees 12.5% gray. Always. Here’s an […]

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musicPhotogs

We live in an ultra connected world where the amount of media seemingly free for the taking is virtually unlimited. This is not a rant on stealing, fair use or copyrights for that matter. It’s really some thoughts on creating and sharing work. Photographers are content creators just like musicians, writers, sculptors, painters and every other […]

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backlight

I have been exploring backlight lately. Any light coming from behind the subject can be considered backlight. Backlight that is two or more f/stops brighter than the exposure on the camera will record the subject as a silhouette. I decided to do a shoot in the studio featuring this dreamy light. I set up a […]

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