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How to Enhance Your Photos With Textures – Part 1: Adding Textures

In photography a texture image or “texturing” is used to enhance or accent some part of the image in your digital darkroom.  Although they can help you create eye-catching works of art, textures also can be very easy to overdo. In this article I’ll explain my process for adding textures to my photography, using Adobe Stock and Photoshop,  to create more impact, transform the mood of the image, or improve on the composition.

lighting, speedlights, model, photography, photo education, photo tutorial WPPI

Lights, Colors, Fractals

I shot this photograph at WPPI in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. I was at the ClickProps Studio Backdrops booth. This company makes over 500 backdrops in various

How to D.I.Y. a Snoot & Grid

What is a snoot? A snoot is just a funny name for a piece of equipment, generally a tube or similar objects such as a conical, cylindrical, or rectangular shape,

Rediscovering a lens that I already owned

When packing for trips, I find myself seesawing between my Fuji X system and Nikon DSLRs. We do underwater, street, nature and landscape photography. Do I pack the Fuji X-Pro2,

How to Make Your Photos Look Great with Curves Layers in Luminar

Curves layers are one of the most misunderstood, yet more powerful adjustments you can make. Our images are all made up of pixels, which each have values for color and luminosity. With Curves adjustments, we can remap the pixels’ values for these, changing them to be brighter or darker, or changing their color.  In Skylum Software’s Luminar you can add multiple curves filters, and make each layer target very specific parts of your image.  This will give your images more depth, dimension, and beautiful color.

How to Finish Your Wild Animal Photos With Tone Mapping

Funny thing about animals is they move around, a lot. So a technique like HDR, which requires several images that are nearly identical in everything but exposure values, is usually not an option for wildlife photographers. Often thought of as mainly a tool for landscape and architecture photography, High Dynamic Range photography captures a series of shots at multiple exposures to provide detail in both highlights and shadows a camera cannot capture in one frame. But, in the case of a running horse or flying bird, even at high shutter speeds and frame rates there will be large differences in their position from frame to frame. This makes multiple exposure HDR pretty impractical, if not nearly impossible, for wildlife and other action photography.

While the multi-shot HDR technique may not work well for high-speed creatures, software like Aurora HDR is a useful tool to put the finishing touches on your wildlife photos. Instead of capturing a series of shots at multiple exposures as you would for landscapes, you use a single shot in a process called “tone mapping”. This is a fast and easy way I use Aurora HDR to Tone Map a single image and add some extra pop and punch to wild animal images.

How to Remove Noise with a Luminosity Layer in Aurora HDR 2018

HDR (High Dynamic Range) processing of your photos by its nature can result in a lot of noise or graininess in your final image. While Macphun’s new Aurora HDR 2018 for PC’s does a great job overall reducing noise, there are still times when noisy areas appear in your processed HDR. This can be caused by many reasons, but most commonly it’s due to your settings in camera (such as shooting at too high of an ISO) or any image processing you have done to your images before merging them in Aurora (such as exposure adjustments). Regardless of the cause, you can remove most of this noise by using a “Luminosity Layer”. This technique saves a lot of time, giving you consistently good-looking results, quickly.  

Vermont House

Lab Luminosity Masks

Editor’s Note: Lee presents a very powerful way of enhancing color and sharpening an image in this post. The video that concludes this post is an excellent tutorial with step

Avoid These Tripod Trip Ups!

Most photographers will tell you that a good tripod is one of the most important equipment investments you can make for your photography.  But, just owning one isn’t enough to give you better pictures.  You have to have the right one to fit your photography, as well as know how to use it properly.  

For as much time as we spend discussing and dissecting our settings, we often don’t think about the physical mechanics of how we take pictures.  Over the years of running photo workshops and pursuing my own photos, I have seen many mistakes and mishaps with tripods, some resulting in pretty serious damage to pricey gear.  These are some of the most common I’ve encountered (or accidentally committed), so you can avoid not only the pain of a missed shot, but worse, a toppled tripod and a crashed camera.  

Enter to win a new camera, post-processing software and more!

It’s our birthday, and we want to celebrate with you! Check out our 21st birthday contest and enter to win a new camera, Drobo 8D, X-Rite calibration tools, XPozer prints, Skylum software and more!

Plus, by entering you’re automatically eligible to win one of our monthly prizes. This month we’re giving away a software bundle with Luminar 4, Aurora HDR and Plotagraph!