A popular way to make portraits is to place the sun behind your subjects (often done in a field of tall grass at sunset). It's a pet peeve of mine, however, that these pictures are often the wrong color. White Balance for the Faces Your camera's white balance control helps you make portraits with great color by correcting for the color of light illuminating your subject's face. The common problem with backlit portraits is that the photographers thinks to himself, "My subjects are standing in sunlight, so I'll use the Daylight white balance," … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Remember the White Balance, Forget the Histogram
On all the smartphones I get my hands on these days there's a n HDR function. Quite often I find that the default is 'Auto' but what difference does it really make? What Is HDR? High Dynamic Range or HDR is a technique of combining three or more images to make one evenly exposed image. That is, one for shadows, one for mid-tones and one for highlights. Photographers have been creating HDR images for some time using software from Photomatix, Adobe or other third party software providers. The Smartphone HDR What smartphones do however is take the … [Read more...] about What Difference Does HDR make With Smartphone Images?
Like many of our readers, I am the resident Photoshop expert among my friends and family. Every year, around this time, I am asked to do at least one custom helmet for a friend's fantasy football team. I usually poke around Google, looking for a template that allows me to be a good friend while working quickly so it does not become a distraction. Until this year, my search has been fruitless. A few weeks ago, I found V2 Revolution Helmet, an Photoshop template from Fraser Davidson (aka rezland). The PSD file is very well organized and easy … [Read more...] about Are You Ready for Some Photoshop Football?
Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from a new book called the Photofocus Guide: Develop Great Images in Lightroom. This book is almost done and we'll be giving away free copies soon to all our readers thanks to Mosaic. Be sure to check out the Lightroom Learning Center. The Histogram panel contains a number of tools to help you evaluate your photos exposure and even begin making adjustments. The most visible part of the panel is the histogram itself, which is simply a graphical representation of all of the tones contained in your … [Read more...] about How to Read a Histogram: Underexposed? Overexposed? Or Just Right?
Guest post by Juan A. Pons Twitter "Expose to the right" is an expression that you may have heard before, but my experience has been that most folks don't understand what it means or how how to do it. In simple terms what this means is that in order for you get the absolute best image quality your digital camera sensor can produce you should be slightly over-exposing your images. I know this does not sound like good advice, but bear with me for a minute, there is a very good technical reason for this. The imaging sensor in your digital … [Read more...] about Expose to the Right
At a workshop I once taught, an older fellow in the back of the room raised his hand. He said, "I just bought me a new toy and she's a beauty! But I can't figure out how to make the hysterectomy work?" Fortunately, my student wasn't describing a lady of the evening. He was talking about how to pull up the histogram on his new Nikon digital camera. His confusion is not unusual. One of the first things new digital cameras ask about is the histogram...what is it, and how should they use it. In this article, I will detail the basics of working … [Read more...] about Histogram Basics
If your camera does offer an RGB historgram, use it. Here's why: If you rely on a standard histogram to determine whether or not you've blown your highlights or lost detail in your shadows, then you're only getting about one third of the information you need to make an accurate decision. Most modern cameras offer a regular histogram mode by default that merely represents the green channel. Unfortunately, this is the channel least likely to show clipping. If you have the ability to turn on an RGB histogram, you get to see the red and blue … [Read more...] about Does Your Camera Offer an RGB Histogram?