I have been a proponent of shooting RAW since the beginning of digital photography. In the early days, there wasn't a choice. Cameras shot RAW, period. Processing RAW for me was all part of the deal for photographing with a digital camera. Things have come a long way since the early days in the late '90s. It starts with exposure The predominant challenge facing photographers today is getting a "correct" exposure using auto modes. "Auto" usually renders a scene containing significant bright areas darker than reality while scenes with large … [Read more...] about RAW Develop vs. Accent AI 2.0 in Luminar 3.1.0
Capturing bracketed images really isn't very difficult but, at first, it sure can feel intimidating. I remember when it was mysterious to me and, to this day, I get questions about it all of the time. So I want to point out a great tool to help you set your camera's Auto Exposure Bracketing. But before you can set your camera's AEB, you first need to measure the exposure for two extremes in the scene. Once you know the fastest and slowest shutter speeds needed, you'll need to find the 'middle' exposure and turn on your camera's AEB. Which … [Read more...] about Photograph HDR with Exposure Calculator
A careful exposure helps to assure there is detail in the highlights and shadows. It's easy to know how by checking the percentages in Lightroom or the numbers in Photoshop. Here's how to know. It's easy. Detail by the numbers The numbers or pixel brightness values must be understood to get a grasp on clipping. Fortunately, they are not difficult to understand. In Lightroom, black is represented by 0% and white is known as 100%. (Yes, I know that means there are 101 possible percents. Seriously, black is always zero. And white just would seem … [Read more...] about How to know there is detail in the highlights and shadows
The Weekly Wrap-up compiles interesting articles published this week on Photofocus. This week we learned about the rule of thirds, how to use the whites and blacks sliders in Lightroom, lens choices, shutter speed and attracting clients. … [Read more...] about Weekly Wrap-Up: February 17-23, 2019
Exposure is the process of choosing the correct settings on your camera to produce a picture that "looks right;" not too bright, not too dark, and sharp where it should be. In this series, you will learn what each setting means, how they affect the way your images look, and how they work together to create an image that matches your creative ideas. In this article, we dive into the shutter speed setting, what it represents, and how to use it in your photography. What is the shutter? The shutter is like a door in front of your sensor or film … [Read more...] about Understanding exposure: The shutter speed setting
The Weekly Wrap-up compiles interesting articles published this week on Photofocus. This week, we learned about finishing studio portraits in Perfectly Clear, a camera's exposure, traveling to Antarctica, cropping in Lightroom Classic, and found out some quick tips for nature photographers. … [Read more...] about Weekly Wrap-Up: February 3-9, 2019
You reviewed the camera manual and completed an online tutorial. You did everything you thought you were supposed to do. And yet, your photographs aren't exposed the way you want them to be. When I was a new photographer, shooting transparency film, I was always frustrated by exposure. I kept asking myself why some exposures worked and why others didn't. What exposures worked The exposures that worked for me usually depended on the brightness of my subject and the size of the subject in the frame. If my subject contained the brightest … [Read more...] about Exposure beyond the camera manual
The Weekly Wrap-up compiles interesting articles published this week on Photofocus. This week, we tackled the ins and outs of ISO, got tips on how to recover tough exposures, began to tackle Facebook ads, got some tips on photographing newborns, lit up a barn with Lume Cubes and more. … [Read more...] about Weekly Wrap-Up: Jan. 27-Feb. 2, 2019
Sometimes, even the best of us have to deal with underexposed images. Here is a comparison between three popular RAW developing software plus important tips to help us in our quest to recover tough exposure! Starting point Bad location or bad lighting can leave us with tough exposures to recover. Fortunately, RAW files can be modified and enhanced with good developing software. With so many of them available on the market, it isn't always easy to know which one suits best our needs. I got into the game and edited the same image with three … [Read more...] about Tips to recover tough exposures
The Weekly Wrap-up compiles interesting articles published this week on Photofocus. This week, we dove into the new Olympus OM-D E-M1X, learned about the aperture setting and how it affects exposure, checked out five awesome photo accessories, learned about the new Lume Cube Air and explored Shutter Priority mode. … [Read more...] about Weekly Wrap-Up: January 20-26, 2019
Shutter Priority exposure mode is a fantastic tool for controlling how motion appears in your final image. This exposure mode allows the photographer to set the shutter speed while the camera determines the aperture. Most DSLR and mirrorless cameras offer at least four different exposure modes including shutter priority, aperture priority, program mode and manual. Although I shoot the majority of my images in aperture priority, I regularly use shutter priority for subjects where I’m concerned about properly conveying motion. How to set up … [Read more...] about Shutter Priority and when to use it
Exposure is the process of choosing the correct settings on your camera to produce a picture that "looks right;" not too bright, not too dark, and sharp where it should be. While your camera will figure all of this out for you, it's good to know how to take control away from your camera, and make sure it's making the right choices in each situation. In this series, you will learn what each setting means, how they affect the way your images look, and how they work together to create an image that matches your creative ideas. The process of … [Read more...] about Understanding exposure: The aperture setting
As a working photographer, I’m always looking for the most efficient way to create high-quality images. There are hundreds of things to keep track of during a photoshoot, but nailing the exposure is definitely one of the most important. Choosing the right exposure mode can make or break your photo experience. Modern cameras generally give the photographer four exposure modes to choose from: programmed auto, manual, shutter priority, and aperture priority. For my work, I’ve found that aperture priority works best for most shooting scenarios. … [Read more...] about Aperture Priority: What’s it good for?
In photography, ISO is a rating of your camera sensor’s sensitivity to light. A lower ISO like 50 or 100 means that the sensor will require longer shutter speeds and larger apertures to properly expose an image. A higher ISO like 1600 or 3200 will require shorter shutter speeds and/or smaller apertures to properly expose an image. What is Auto ISO? Almost all current interchangeable lens digital cameras give you the option to manually select an ISO value or to use a setting called Auto ISO. There are advantages to setting your ISO for a … [Read more...] about The advantage of Auto ISO
We've been having a really, really long summer in Michigan. Lots of humidity, lots of warm temperatures and lots of sun. Last weekend, I shot for seven hours outdoors over the course of Saturday and Sunday. And while it took several bottles of water to keep me cool, keeping the strong highlights out of my photographs was a bit easier. By utilizing the sunny 16 rule, you can get great photographs because getting the right exposure is easy with the hot sun beating down on you. What's the sunny 16 rule? While using an incident light meter … [Read more...] about How to get perfect exposures on a sunny day
Whether you use it in-camera or in your post-processing software, you ultimately will come across a set of mountains that help to describe the pixel distribution by the brightness of your image. This mountainous graphic is known as a histogram. What the "mountains" mean Histograms in Lightroom and Adobe's Camera Raw are broken up into five main sections — blacks, shadows, exposure, highlights, and whites. Some cameras and image editing programs divide it a little differently — shadows, mid-tones, and highlights, or blacks, quarter tones, … [Read more...] about Photography 101: How to read and understand a histogram
One question I'm asked a lot is "Where does all the noise come from when my camera is set to ISO 100?" The answer is simple. The photograph is underexposed. What is ISO? Grain vs. noise Back in the film days, the ISO (or ASA as it was called then) setting was the sensitivity of the film in the camera. While grain existed in every image, high ISO numbers produced more grain because the film had to have bigger chunks of light gathering chemistry. Today, the same idea applies. ISO in digital cameras refers to the light sensitivity of the … [Read more...] about Photography 101: How does noise happen at a low ISO?
Fireworks and the Fourth of July go together like hot dogs and apple pie. Thing is getting the exposure right for fireworks is anything but simple as pie. Here's an easy way to make sure your settings are perfect. Buy some sparklers Give them to your kids Make photos of the lit sparklers After the fun, review the photos to see which setting give the best detail in the brightest parts of the photo. More fast and easy tips for photographing fireworks. … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Use Sparklers to Get Exposures Right for Fireworks
Have a series of photographs that have different exposure settings? While synchronizing your develop settings from picture to picture brings over all the adjustments you've made, it doesn't take into account different exposure settings you used while capturing the image. The solution? Once you're done editing one of your photos, select all of them in that set and go up to Settings > Match Total Exposures. You'll now see that all the photos have the same exposure settings, matching perfectly. … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Match Exposures in Lightroom Classic
Note: If the video doesn’t show up at first, please reload the page. How do I fix an image that's too dark? from Lightroom: Tips and Quick Fixes by Richard Harrington How do I fix an image that's too dark? Sometimes when I shoot, I tend to underexpose just a little bit. This is a safety thing, so I avoid overblowing details or getting areas that lack any information whatsoever, but an underexposed image can look a bit muddy. Let me show you. Let's click on the next photo here, and if you look at the histogram, you can see that it's really … [Read more...] about How do I fix an image that’s too dark in Lightroom?
Note: If the video doesn’t show up at first, please reload the page. How do I fix an image that's too bright? from Lightroom: Tips and Quick Fixes by Richard Harrington How do I fix an image that's too bright? Exposure problems are one of the first things I tend to fix in an image. That's because exposure affects everything else. Darken an image, and the colors get more rich. Lighten the image, and they tend to wash out. Let's tackle some common exposure problems. Let's switch the exposure problems group. And make sure that you're viewing … [Read more...] about How do I fix an image that’s too bright in Lightroom?
This is article #16 in the DSLR Video Weekly series. If you'd like the whole thing in one shot, check out the book Creating DSLR Video: From Snapshots to Great Shots. Once you get the hang of video, be sure to monetize it by becoming a contributor to Adobe Stock. When you start to get serious about shooting great-looking video on your DSLR, you’ll likely begin to disable several of the automatic features on your camera. Additionally, you’ll likely be attracted to the more artistic capabilities, like a wider range of contrast and … [Read more...] about DSLR Video Weekly: Exposure and Focus
It's last minute getting ready for the eclipse, have you listened to any experts for advice? Well, I found myself in the middle of a great conversation, and I want to pass it on so as many photographers as possible can benefit. Expert Astrophotographer Jean-Marc Lecleire answered questions from a Photomatix customer interested in using bracketing and HDR to capture the subtle details which will be lost by most eclipse photographers. Our friends at HDRsoft condensed this discussion down for us all … [Read more...] about Full Eclipse in HDR – Expert Advice
I just got back from an amazing trip to Ireland! We went everywhere from the Ring of Kerry to the Cliffs of Moher, capturing the beautiful landscapes. Along with foggy, grey skies. I'm used to crazy Michigan weather, but Ireland seems to not want to make up its mind on the weather! But I couldn't let that hold me back. Don't Forget to Bracket If there was one thing I learned during the trip, it was the importance of bracketing. At the Cliffs of Moher, we had foggy, grey skies to deal with, but I was determined to capture an iconic … [Read more...] about Bringing Back the Depth of Grey Skies
I just received a pre-production Illuminati incident light meter that uses bluetooth to connect to a smart phone. I am really excited to use it on a job... Why use an incident lightmeter? The answer is really simple. The meters in our cameras are kinda crippled. Want to see what I mean? Go find a white wall. Fill the viewfinder of your camera or camera app on your phone with the white wall then take a photo. Is it white? Nope. It's gray. 12.5% gray. Here's a screenshot of my iPhone of white wall I shot with it at the Las Vegas Convention … [Read more...] about The Smartphone Lightmeter on the Job
Mirrorless cameras' greatest advantage is the fact that there is no separation between what the sensor records and what you see in the viewfinder. Seeing exactly what your picture will look like before you even press the shutter button is an incredibly powerful way to shoot. Personally, I now shoot far fewer pictures because I know that I've already nailed the exposure. When I look in the viewfinder, I see the world like a photograph. DSLR's require you to focus a lot of brain power on your camera's light meter. The skill to interpret what … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Guru: How To See The World Like A Photograph
You know how it is: you've got a great looking subject in front of you and you're nervous to miss a shot so you start shooting and shooting and clicking and clicking and you capture the great expressions. But, when you review your images, you realize that you didn't capture the great exposure. Don't Catch the Expression and Miss the Picture This is especially common when photographers are new at working with flash or speedlights. You've got to slow down a second and verify that you've got the right exposure and depth of field, etc., then you … [Read more...] about Portrait Tip: Double Check, Let Her Rip
Let’s think technical for a moment. A properly exposed image is created by mixing three key elements, known as the Exposure Triangle—Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO—to produce the right amount of lightness and darkness for a photograph. There are almost endless combinations that can be used to achieve an equivalent exposure. Leaving your camera in full auto mode will usually guarantee a perfect exposure, but not necessarily a perfect image. To be creative, a photographer decides how much of each element’s value to use based on the element’s … [Read more...] about Understanding Equivalent Exposure Pay attention – there’s a Quiz
A Look Inside Ansel Adams’ Darkroom Magic https://youtu.be/IoCtni-WWVs It’s hard to imagine a world without Photoshop or Lightroom. But there was a time. Instead of a computer mouse, iconic photographer Ansel Adams used a microwave and cardboard cut-outs to create his masterpieces. We kid you not. In “Advancing Your Photography Show’s” latest video, "An Inside Look into Ansel Adams' Darkroom Magic," Ansel's son Michael, gives us a tour of his father’s darkroom. At times the darkroom looks and feels more like an experimental science lab. … [Read more...] about A Look Inside Ansel Adams’ Darkroom Magic
Correct exposure for video capture is complicated by several factors. Even if you’ve mastered it for stills workflows, additional limitations make video capture more difficult. As a photographer, you’re can take advantage of shooting in different program modes for unique situations. Perhaps you enjoy the ease of aperture priority. When shooting video, you will generally achieve best results by switching all controls over to manual. Your basic tools for exposure control are ISO and aperture. Unfortunately, with video you’ll lose the shutter … [Read more...] about How to Expose a Video Shot