Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro lens, f/11, 1/200s, ISO 100. Cherry Supreme.

Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro lens, f/11, 1/200s, ISO 100. Cherry Supreme. I truly enjoy chocolate. My grandmother makes chocolates as Christmas gifts each year, and as a student in High School I worked at a chocolate factory everyday after class. So, when a prospect called to inquire about making pictures for her candy […]

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You’ve probably noticed that Damien Lovegrove has been demonstrating lighting and posing techniques here on Photofocus. I’ve enjoyed these posts immensely, and have been floored by his concise and clear instructions accompanied by stunning images. I’ve been fortunate to also watch his tutorial called Hollywood Portraits Remastered, and I highly recommend it to you. Lovegrove […]

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Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 Micro lens, f/11, 1/200s, ISO 200

Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 Micro lens, f/11, 1/200s, ISO 200. Copyright Levi Sim Most of the time, when I’m making a portrait I have a million things running through my mind all at once: How bright is the light? How soft is the light? Is the light flattering? Is the pose flattering? Is my subject […]

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Nikon D7100, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII lens @70mm, f/8, 5 seconds, ISO 400, B+W Polarizing Filter, finished in Adobe Lightroom 5

Nikon D7100, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII lens @70mm, f/8, 5 seconds, ISO 400, B+W Polarizing Filter, finished in Adobe Lightroom 5 I was pretty disappointed when I arrived at the Grand Canyon the other evening. Well, as disappointed as you can be looking into layers of eternity with colors splashing around before you. The thing is, […]

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I love a fine art print, with a well fit matte and a custom frame. Unfortunately, my walls (and my wallet!) are not big enough to accommodate all the prints I would like to make. I could cycle my images up and down, and trade frames, but they don’t always look good in the ratios […]

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Nikon D800, 50mm f/1.4 lens, f/11, 1/3s, ISO 100, 7 frame panorama. Copyright Levi Sim.

Nikon D800, 50mm f/1.4 lens, f/11, 1/3s, ISO 100, 7 frame panorama. Copyright Levi Sim. I recently read an article claiming that photographs including smooth running water are cliché, over-done, boring, and not worth making again. For those who believe, as I do, that every photograph you desire to make is worth making, here’s how […]

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I made this portrait at Pacific City on the Oregon coast the other day. It’s a wonderful place to shoot, and the cliffs at the northern edge helped me control the direction of light on this little family. Almost everybody looks better with light coming across the face from the side, so that one side […]

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hdrcar

I think whoever invented the idea for HDR software must have been a car guy who wanted to make it simpler to show off his beautiful cars. Cars are such ideal subjects for HDR techniques because they always have bright highlights and sheen as well as sculpted forms revealed only with shadow. Last week I […]

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Nikon D800, 50mm f/1.4 D lens, f/11, 0.4-1.6s, ISO 100, finished in Photomatix Pro and Lightroom 5

Nikon D800, 50mm f/1.4 D lens, f/11, 0.4-1.6s, ISO 100, finished in Photomatix Pro and Lightroom 5 I’ve taken Rich Harrington’s advice and read The Visual Story, by Bruce R. Block, and the one point that always comes to mind is that contrast is a major key to a great image. Color contrast is one […]

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Lightroom’s Spot Removal tool has always been so handy, allowing me to do most of my touchups without another application. Well, with the latest 5.2 update they really outdid themselves. Watch this video for a full demonstration and my favorite shortcuts for speeding up workflow. Here are the shortcuts I showed you: Q: to enter […]

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Sooner or later every photographer in America is asked, “So, when are you gonna quit your job and shoot for National Geographic?” And all of us say, “Oh, I’m not that good,” but secretly we’re thinking, “My picture would look good with a yellow border…” We all know that they represent the gold yellow standard […]

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LRadjustmentbrush

Editor’s Note — For complete coverage of the new Lightroom 5.2 features click here. There have been many times when I’ve used Lightroom’s adjustment brush to its maximum use.  In other words I’m getting positive changes, but I’ve hit the highest value on the slider. In the past, I’d need to paint paint another mask on […]

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I was recently invited to review an app from Juggleware called Sol: Sun Clock (iOS only). Claiming to be “the Swiss Army Knife of sunlight tools” and useful to “plan the perfect photograph,” I was happy to get to get some time to try it out. There’s a few things this app does well, and […]

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PF-001

28mm, f/8, 1/20, 1/80, 1/320s, ISO 800. Do you ever get a craving to go make a picture? An urge that just won’t go away? That kind of urge is distracting, and may be hazardous to your health; you should probably take a sick day to get it taken care of. I’ll sign a note […]

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The left picture has no Camera Calibration adjustments, but the one on right has the adjustments shown. It's more punchy, vibrant, and lustrous. Copyright Levi Sim

I’ve always been a fan of using Lightroom’s Camera Calibration tab to make your RAW files look more like your camera’s JPEGs. Well, I’ve found, lately, that the same tab holds the secret to making my colors punchier and more vitreous–more lively. Let me show you what I mean. Shadows Right at the top there’s […]

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burgers

Before we jump right into the geek speak… indulge me for a moment. Perhaps it’s summer grilling season, but I’ve got food on my mind. I love hamburgers—who doesn’t? The way I see it, I’ve got two choices when I want a burger: I can order out or I can stay in, and there are […]

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AFMF

While most photographers rely on autofocus (even the pros), sometimes autofocus isn’t the right tool.  Perhaps your camera keeps latching onto the wrong object.  Or perhaps using the Autofocus assist lamp is drawing too much attention as you try to shoot that dramatic performance.  It’s okay, cameras over manual focus for two real reasons.  For […]

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If you want to learn to make art, you should learn from artists. A couple of weeks ago I learned an important lesson by contrasting painters and photographers. Painters do an activity called “En Plein Air“, which refers to painting in the open air; photographers would call it shooting on location. There’s this terrific contest in […]

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Using HDR in the image below allowed me to reveal the details of the machinery as well as the colors of the sky.
I shot the image using 14-24mm lens at f/11.

Using HDR in the image below allowed me to reveal the details of the machinery as well as the colors of the sky. I shot the image using 14-24mm lens at f/11. Editors Note: This post builds upon Levi’s earlier post on Starbursts. When you include the sun in you composition, you have framed a scene with […]

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starburst1

When I started making pictures, my day job took me all over the world and I ended up with lots of time to go out shooting in various countries. This was mostly at nighttime and mostly in cities, like this bike I found tethered to a post in Dubai. As I walked the streets with […]

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Portrait photographers like David Ziser and Clay Blackmore taught me very early in my career that great portraits are almost always short lit, and that made me happy. Knowing that a simple technique could give me a leg up in making great portraits was music to my ears. Unfortunately, I didn’t really understand what that […]

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