Adobe Lightroom comes with the ability to sort your photos into collections. In fact, there's an entire section on the left dedicated to organizing your photos in either Collection Sets, Collections, or Smart Collections. But there is also a separate collection located under the Catalog drop-down, and that is the Quick Collection. What is the Quick Collection? The Quick Collection is a place for you to quickly add photos that you need to grab from more than one folder in your Lightroom Catalog. It is an "easy access", temporary location for a … [Read more...] about What is Lightroom’s Quick Collection?
Canva has become my new favorite go-to website for design resources and inspiration. They have an excellent blog for designers, with plenty of content that I have found to be very educational. But their most impressive feature is the design tool, where you can create digital image designs from templates, and they even have both free and premium backgrounds, photos, and illustrations you can use as well. Canva is free to use, and while they do have premium content (primarily stock images and illustrations), you can get a lot out of it without … [Read more...] about How Photographers Can Use Canva
Disclosure: This bag was provided to me free of charge from Aide De Camp. Feature image on left is Brian Matiash Not long ago I received the Evie bag from Aide De Camp to test out and review. I spent some quality time with this bag and wanted to share my thoughts! For those of you who follow my blog, you may already be aware of my frustrations with "girl" camera bags. Spoiler alert: this bag was a nice surprise! Keep reading to find out more. The Basics: The Evie bag is a nice sized bag, and makes for a good large purse. It's a little boxy at … [Read more...] about The Evie Camera Bag from Aide de Camp
When photographing food, adding a utensil in the scene can imply the action of someone getting ready to eat the food, which can "humanize" your photograph and make it more relatable. However, in many cases it is difficult to hand-hold the utensil in the frame, and also keep it still (especially in low light situations). And if you're like me, you may even be doing everything solo, which would make it nearly impossible to set up and photograph without having any trouble. In these situations I find that pre-positioning the utensil with a … [Read more...] about Behind the Scenes: Pasta on a Fork
This is an excerpt from Nicole's new eBook, Waterfalls & Waves. CLICK HERE to download a FREE chapter! The most important thing to consider when photographing long exposures is control. You need to have complete, manual control of your camera settings, particularly the shutter speed, and you also need the ability to set your camera to Bulb mode (also called Time mode on some cameras). Most DSLRs and mirrorless camera bodies will accommodate this, and the particular brand you choose is not important. As long as it allows you to manually … [Read more...] about Camera Requirements for Long-Exposure Water Photography
It's a new year, and that means updating your copyright information! For photographers, this oftentimes means making updates in more than one place, like your Camera, post-processing software, and possibly your website. On Your Camera All camera models will be a little different, but they should each have a place to enter your info. For this example, I'll show how to set your info using a Canon 6D. (If you have utility software for your camera, then you may be able to edit your information on your computer. Then, connect your camera for it to … [Read more...] about It’s a New Year! Don’t Forget to Update Your Copyright Info
When working with masks in Lightroom's Develop module, such as the Graduated Filter, Radial Filter, or Brush tool, you can easily preview the mask by either using the checkbox in the Toolbar below the image, or with the keyboard shortcut O. By default, this mask is red, but if you are processing a photograph that has a lot of red color in it, the mask may be difficult to see. So thankfully Lightroom has a feature which allows you to change this preview color, and there are a few different ways to do it. Here's how: Method 1: Keyboard … [Read more...] about Lightroom Tip: Changing the Mask Overlay Color
That's right, Photofocus has a newsletter! If you'd like to stay in the loop and get monthly updates on our most popular and trending articles, then use the link below to sign up: Want to get an idea of what to expect when we email you? Click here to view an example of one of our recent emails. In coming months we'll have exclusive newsletter-first stories and special offers for the newsletter readers. … [Read more...] about Sign Up to Receive Our Free Newsletter!
In this video I share a tip on how to make use of diffusers when photographing food. To watch the full-length behind-the-scenes for this shoot, click here. Product mentioned in this video: TriGrip 30-inch Diffuser … [Read more...] about Using Diffusion Panels with Food Photography [Video]
When processing photos in Lightroom's Develop module, if you want to apply a preset you are only able to apply the preset to one file at a time. Sure, you can sync the files, but that one extra step can be a nuisance if you would like to simply use a preset. Thankfully, there is a very easy workaround by using the Quick Develop panel in the Library module! Here's how: Note: Click on each image to view larger. First, make sure that you have a preset ready to go. You can either create one in the Develop module, or download a preset online (here … [Read more...] about Batch-Applying Presets in Lightroom
I use Lightroom, and I have one main catalog on my desktop computer. This catalog houses all of my photographs (over 250k of them), and they all are on a Drobo in my office at home. However, when I travel, I still want to be able to use Lightroom, and so I have what I call my "travel" catalog on my laptop. This is sort of a temporary home for the photos I am creating while traveling. Here's how it works: I create photos with my camera, import them to my laptop (and oftentimes a backup hard-drive as well), and then sort, edit, and share from … [Read more...] about Lightroom Tip: Transferring Photos Between Catalogs
ON1 just released the newest version of their software, ON1 Photo 10. This version comes with a significant update to the user interface, making it much more sleek and refined, as well as some new additional features. Here's a highlight of some of the new features in the suite, and I'll be sharing more in the coming weeks on how I use this software in my own workflow. All new interface The interface was updated and really refined. Here's a look at each of the modules: New Export Window The export process has now been added to each module, … [Read more...] about ON1 Photo 10 is Now Shipping
This is an excerpt from Nicole's eBook and tutorial, The Art of the Blend. Watch this tutorial using the video above, or read the written instructions below. One of my favorite methods to manipulate texture blends with my images is to use the Blend If setting, which is located inside of the Layer Styles window. Lets walk through the steps to apply this to your images: Start with an image and texture in the Layers panel, with the texture layer active and highlighted. The next step is to access the Layers Style window. There are a few ways … [Read more...] about Blending Textures in Photoshop with the “Blend If” Setting
I've been a fan of the Lensbaby line of lenses for quite some time. If you're unfamiliar with the brand, they have a wide collection of manual-focus lenses that introduce blur, distortion, and other elements into your photo. I would say that their main customer is a portrait photographer, but that should not stop any type of photographer from trying them out. They are definitely unique lenses, and worth looking into if you want to try something new. Recently, Lensbaby recently let me play around with their new Velvet 56mm lens on my Fuji … [Read more...] about Using the Lensbaby Velvet 56 on a Fuji X-T1
Many lenses these days, especially zoom lenses, have some type of stabilization on them. It is usually labeled as IS, OS, OIS, or VR, and it can be turned on or off with a switch on the side of the lens. This feature is beneficial for hand-held photography, and will oftentimes give you an extra stop or two of light (for example, with stabilization turned on, you might be able to get away with hand-holding a 200mm lens at only 1/60th of a second). However, when using a tripod, the stabilization feature works against you. In order to get sharp, … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Turn Off Stabilization When Using a Tripod
Photographers are a very fickle bunch. In many ways, we can be supportive, kind, and well-intentioned towards other photographers. I like to think that we all want to help others succeed and enjoy themselves, but unfortunately, not everyone has the same approach. Photographers are competitive. I totally get it. And very few will say what they really are thinking to your face. Have you ever become discouraged after seeing something amazing posted by another photographer? I know I have. It's tough to feel accomplished when you see your … [Read more...] about Photographers: Don’t Let Them Crush You
As we progress as photographic artists, one of the most difficult things to master is the editing process. By "editing" I am not referring to post-processing, but rather the selection process of what photos we like and will print, add to our portfolio, or share online. Being a good editor means we recognize the good from the bad, which is more difficult when it is our own work. We have sentiment attached to the photographs that we take, and there's just no way around that. It could be from the subject in the photograph, or maybe just because we … [Read more...] about Discovering Your Old Photos with a Fresh Set of Eyes
Feature image metadata: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens, 6 sec at f/16, ISO 100 (6-stop ND filter used for long-exposure) The simple act of creating art is oftentimes all that I need to get through the day. Even with the other crafty things I do, such as ceramics, the pure motion of forming the clay into something that is beautiful is enough make me happy. I also knit, and the reason I knit is to watch what I am making slowly become something usable, beautiful, and soft. The moment of creation is what I live for. Sure, it's … [Read more...] about Reliving the Photographic Moment
ON1 just announced their brand-new "ON1 Photo 10", scheduled to be released late October. I've had a chance to see this version up-close, and they have made some really great updates. The most noticeable is a brand-new graphics interface, along with some rearrangement of the panels and some behavior changes. It's a really great update and I am very excited to start working with it! They are taking pre-orders today, and have some pretty good offers to go along with it. Click here to take a look at some of their promotions. Here are some of the … [Read more...] about ON1 Announces Version 10 — Coming October 2015
The other day I was out with some friends, and I also brought my Fuji X-T1 and 18-55mm lens along for the ride. I ordered a beer, and before having a sip I decided to photograph it. Because I was sitting close to the table, my first instinct was to photograph it with the lens zoomed in (in this case, it was set to 24mm): The photo has some noticeable distortion, primarily at the top of the glass where it flares out and then narrows towards the bottom. I saw this and decided to re-shoot it, but instead I leaned back in my seat a bit, fully … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Focal Length and Distortion
Back in 2009, when I made my living photographing stock imagery, the size of the images we could license made a difference in our potential for sales. Photos were sold based on how big the file was (in megapixels), so photographers with large-megapixel cameras had a more competitive edge over those of us who did not. At the time, I was using a Nikon D200, a 12-megapixel camera, and felt pressured to upgrade. When it was obvious that Nikon (at the time) was not going to come out with anything with more than 12-megapixels, I decided to make the … [Read more...] about Megapixels: Does Size Matter?
If you are in business, odds are that you aren't the only person trying to make money in your field of work. Whether you are a wedding photographer or provide professional photo editing services, odds are that your job is not "cookie cutter". You create something special for your clients, and that "something" cannot be replicated by other businesses. People copy ideas. It's human nature, and some even say it's the highest form of flattery. I'm not talking about plagiarism or copyright infringement here. What I am referring to are ideas for … [Read more...] about Embrace Your Competition
We have all lived this moment in our lives. When the dust starts to settle on your camera, or you haven't even unpacked your gear from that photo-shoot you did one month ago. And don't think the "pros" are immune to these feelings of inadequacy. Being a professional photographer does not mean photographing every day of our lives. Many of us have other obligations, other jobs, and other ways we earn a living. But after a certain period of time passes without lifting our cameras (and we all have timeframes we hold ourselves to), the feelings of … [Read more...] about The Guilty Photographer
The internal meter in your camera is always trying to balance your settings to create what it thinks is a proper exposure. In the "mind" of the camera meter, it thinks that everything is balanced if it is gray. For most subjects, such as light skintone and green grass, the meter is usually going to create an accurate exposure. But what happens when you are photographing something very dark? That's when you need to intervene. If you have your camera set to aperture priority, then the camera is choosing the shutter speed based on what setting … [Read more...] about Underexposing Dark Scenes for Proper Exposure
Photographers love to create beautiful, interesting, and unique photographs. We carry several pounds of gear on our backs through forests and mountains to find beautiful and sought-after scenes. When we finally find something amazing and photograph it, it's a wonderful feeling knowing that we're are not repeating the same clich photograph that hundreds or thousands of other photographers have already created. And so it's no wonder that some photographers prefer to keep these locations a secret. I get it, I totally do. Portrait and wedding … [Read more...] about Should Photographers Keep Locations Secret?
When I travel, I like to share photos from my trip on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Typically I will share one or two photos per day, depending on how much down-time I have and also whether or not I have Internet or data on my phone. But here's the thing: I am usually creating more than one or two photos per day that I would like to share! Because I am an avid Lightroom user, my solution has been to start using Lightroom Mobile as "storage" for the overflow photos that I don't get around to sharing during my trip, so that I can post them … [Read more...] about Using Lightroom Mobile to Share Photos From Your Computer
If you use Lightroom, you may be aware that Lightroom was updated a few months (Lightroom CC/Lightroom 6). One of the standout features in this new version is the ability to quickly merge HDR images inside of Lightroom without having to use Photoshop or another HDR processing app. I photograph a lot of landscapes, and have plenty of bracketed series that have never been touched. Photographing hundreds of images on any given outing typically means that one or two are shared, and the rest end up collecting virtual dust inside of Lightroom. … [Read more...] about Using Lightroom Smart Collections to Organize HDRs and Panos
When photographing food, the direction of your light is very important. Certain angles of light will help shape the scene and can also be the difference between a successful image, and one that is just "meh". In this article I will be sharing examples of three different types of light: back light, front light, and side light. Back Light Placing the light behind your subject is a common setup, and one I have used quite a bit. It is good to highlight and rim the food, and works well for images with leafy herb garnishes (such as mint or basil) as … [Read more...] about Direction of Light for Food Photography
In this video I show the new and updated features inside of on1's Perfect Effects version 9.5. Here's what is covered: Luminosity Mask Line Mask Tool Double-click Chisel and Blur Tools Feather In and Out with Blur Tool Mask Contextual Menu "O" key to toggle mask preview Updates to Borders filter options Improvement to Temperature slider (now yellow, not orange) If you would like to learn more about Perfect Effects, please take a look at my full video course by clicking here. … [Read more...] about What’s New in on1 Perfect Effects 9.5
We all have our own definitions of beauty. The color red may be bold, beautiful, and invigorating to some, while to others it has a different meaning, feeling, or emotion (or lacks one if you are colorblind). A grungy, run-down building that smells like piss and mildew may be a scary, undesirable place to photograph for you, but for someone else it is glorious, glamorous, and beautiful. The definition of beautiful is, well, flexible. I know that I photograph things that I think are beautiful. A delicious and flavorful plate of pasta, a serene … [Read more...] about Treat Every Photograph Like It’s Beautiful