Upcoming Photo Workshops

September 21, 2013 by · 12 Comments
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I’ll be teaching or assisting in three different photo workshops in October at the Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute at the beautiful Quartz Mountain State Park lodge. This is a beautiful location, teeming with landscape potential, colorful small towns, and interesting people. If you’ve seen my Lynda.com course Foundations of Photography: Composition, then you’ve seen a fairly detailed view of the Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute. Workshop details below.

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Wondering about Polaroid?

September 20, 2013 by · 3 Comments
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On The Practicing Photographer this week, I talk to fashion photographer Troy Word about his use of Polaroid. Along the way, he brings us up-to-date on where the current state of Polaroid is, how you can easily get into Polaroid gear, how to mix it with digital, and what you can expect to spend along the way. Most importantly, he speaks to how it can change the way your photographic eye works. You can watch it right here.

A month in Mongolia with an iPad photo workflow

September 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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This summer, for some reason, a friend and I drove a tiny Fiat Panda from London to Mongolia. Though I have a 13″ MacBook Air, I decided to take my iPad with me on the trip instead of a “real” computer. I also took a good amount of photography gear, which meant that the iPad had to support a fairly full photo workflow. This article details how I made it work, and what I found I could and couldn’t do. The good news is that, if you manage your expectations, and grab the right apps, you can run an effective post-production workflow directly from your iPad.

New Lynda Course: Lens-Reversal Macro Photography

April 15, 2013 by · 6 Comments
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In my Lynda.com Macro and Close-up course, I cover the simple basics of reversing the lens you already have to turn it into a macro lens. This gives you an extremely easy way to start shooting macro, without having to invest in any special gear. If you give this technique a try, and find it useful, then you’ll want to watch my Lens-Reversal Macro Photography course which goes into more detail of how to get good macro results when shooting with a reversed lens. You’ll see how to re-gain aperture control, how to mount your lens to your camera backward, and how to stack multiple lenses to get even more macro power. Check it out now!Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-up.

New Lynda.com Course: Foundations of Photography – Macro and Close-up

April 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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There are a lot of small things in the world, and many of them make great photographic subjects, provided you know how to shoot at a macro scale with your camera. In this course, you’ll see all the basics of macro shooting. If you don’t have a macro lens, don’t worry, because the course starts with instructions on how to shoot macro shots with gear you already have. From there, we work up through extension tubes, add-on lenses, and finally to full-on macro lenses. Focus, metering, composition, and basic lighting are all covered. If you’re interested in macro or close-up photography, you’ll want to check out Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-up.

New Lynda.com Course: Foundations of Photography – Specialty Lenses

January 9, 2013 by · 5 Comments
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Mostly, good photography is about the skill of the photographer. That said, a lot of photographs are only possible with the right type of lens, and there are a lot of lenses out there tailored to very specific types of shooting. In this new course, I go into detail on how to shoot with ultra-wide-angle lenses, super telephotos, fisheyes, Tilt/Shift, and more. If you’ve been wondering if any of these types of lenses are right for you, or you’ve already got one and want to know more about what it can do, then you’ll want to check out my Lynda.com course Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses.

Shooting Macro Photos With Deep Depth-of-Field

January 9, 2013 by · 6 Comments
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I’m currently deep in the process of preparing a macro shooting course for Lynda.com As anyone who’s ever dabbled in macro knows, as you get closer, your depth of field gets more shallow. Sometimes unusably shallow. However, there are things you can do to get much deeper depth of field.

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Now Available: Lynda training for the Nikon D800 and Canon 5D Mark III

November 9, 2012 by · 6 Comments
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If you’re the lucky own of a Nikon D800 or Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and you’d like to know more about how to use either camera, then you’ll want to check out my two latest Lynda.com courses. Both classes walk you through all the critical features and operations of each camera, and are designed to work in concert with my Foundations of Photography series. Note that the 5D Mark III class is also ideally suited for users of the 5D Mark II. Click here if you’re a 5D user or click here if you’re a D800 user.

Some Notes on Canon’s Evaluative Metering

September 20, 2012 by · 12 Comments
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I’ve been shooting with Canon SLRs for a long time, and for the most part, I’ve always been pleased with the camera’s metering. Granted, I can never remember which icon corresponds to which metering mode, but now that I keep the PDF of the manual on my phone, I can always look it up. During a recent shoot, though, I came across a curious detail about Evaluative metering that I never knew – one that can dramatically alter metering behavior in certain situations.

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Now available: Inkjet Printing for Photographers

September 14, 2012 by · 2 Comments
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While our topic of choice at this site is digital photography, when it comes to final output, I still want my photos on paper. These days, quality output to paper means inkjet printing, and in this course, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get fine-art quality inkjet prints. Whether you’re working on color or black and white, with or without a color-managed system, this course will show you how to get the best prints possible from your inkjet print. Click here to get started watching now.

Shooting on the Road, from Gear to Workflow

July 17, 2012 by · 6 Comments
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Better gear won’t necessarily make you a better photographer, but having the wrong gear can certainly make it more difficult to get the shots you want. In this 3-hour Lynda.com course you’ll see my entire thought process as I equip and prepare for three different kinds of shoots. Through examples of heavyweight, mid weight, and lightweight shoots, you’ll see how I tackle the problems of choosing shooting gear, power, storage, and post-production equipment. You’ll also see how I strategize methods for carrying all this stuff. Discussing everything from tripods to bags and batteries, this course is ideal for anyone who shoots while traveling, and wants a better plan for selecting the right gear. Click here to get started watching now.

Nikon Capture NX 2 Essential Training

May 3, 2012 by · 3 Comments
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Nikon Capture NX provides a complete editing environment and workflow tool, all built around Nikon’s exceptional raw converter. A complete, non-destructive image editing system, Capture NX also uses Nik software’s uPoint technology for selective editing. This gives you incredibly powerful editing without having to hassle with masks, keys, paths, or any other traditional selection tools. You can learn all the ins and outs of this great image editor in this new five hour and forty minute course at Lynda.com. Watch it now right here!

Photoshop Automator Actions 5.0.4 Update

April 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Automator Actions, Features 

The Photoshop Automator Actions v5.0.4 Updater is now available. If you’re not familiar with it, this is a piece of software that lets Mac users drive Photoshop from Automator, which allows you to create very sophisticated automated workflows. This is a very important update for anyone who’s currently using the package. With this release, the entire package has been ported to the AppleScript-Objective-C platform that Snow Leopard and Lion prefer. This offers much better stability, and possibly improved performance. Along the way, I also fixed a lot of bugs. Finally, with this release there is finally a Photoshop 5.5-specific version. You can learn more about the collection here. If you already use the collection, you can get an update here. Available for CS4, CS5 and CS5.5. CS6 coming soon!

Foundations of Photography: Night and Low Light

April 27, 2012 by · 2 Comments
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Digital cameras offer tremendous convenience over their film counterparts, but one of the most dramatic changes opened up by digital imaging technology is the world that exists in low light. Whether you need to shoot an event in a dark auditorium, a landscape at night, or simply want to shoot in your house after the sun goes down, you need a particular skill set, and this Lynda.com course will give it to you. This four-hour course will walk you through all the details of preparation, shooting, and post-production for any kind of low-light or night shooting that you might be interested in. Watch it now right here!

Camera-Specific Training at Lynda.com

February 27, 2012 by · 7 Comments
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There’s a lot to know to be a capable photographer. Exposure theory, lighting, composition. On top of all that, there are all those buttons and dials on your camera. To help you understand exactly how your camera works, you might want to check out one of my camera-specific courses at Lynda.com. These courses will work you through all of the features of their respective cameras, and help you understand those features in the context of larger photographic theories. Courses are now available for the Canon EOS60D, the Nikon D7000, the Canon Rebel T3i, and the Nikon D5100.

Experimenting With Less Contrast

February 25, 2012 by · 1 Comment
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In most of your image editing endeavors, you probably find yourself striving to achieve more contrast in your images. This probably leads you to crank up black points, and make sure your whites are as white as possible. There are times, though, when less contrast will give you a better image. I first covered this idea in 2005, in this article. Recently, the subject came to my attention again, as I decided that the best way to handle an image was to dramatically reduce the contrast. This time, I took a different approach to solving the problem.

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Foundations of Photography: Black and White

February 23, 2012 by · 2 Comments
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Your digital camera is capable of producing incredible color images, but color isn’t always the best way to represent a scene. By choosing to express a scene in black and white, you’re stripping photography down to its barest essentials, and very often, you will achieve an image with more power than if you choose to capture rich, perfect color. This Lynda.com course covers every aspect of digital black and white, recognizing a good black and white scene to shooting, to black and white conversion and further retouching.

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Foundations of Photography: Composition

February 23, 2012 by · 5 Comments
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It doesn’t matter how technically perfect you are with your exposure, if you compose a boring shot, you’ll have a boring picture. If you find yourself shooting boring pictures, and would like to stop, you might consider checking out my Foundations of Photography: Composition course at Lynda.com.

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Photoshop Automator Actions 5.0.3 Update

February 17, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Automator Actions, Features 

The Photoshop Automator Actions v5.0.3 Updater is now available. This package updates delivers numerous bug fixes and tweaks, and adds Lion compatibility. Available for CS4 and CS5, the update is free to all users of both the free and Pro versions of the Photoshop Automator Actions Collection version 5. Updates are available here.

For this updater to work, you must have a copy of the version 5 package installed. (Obviously, you’ll need to install the updater package that matches the version that you have installed, either CS4 or CS5, free or Pro.)

The iPad, the HyperDrive, and the Traveling Photographer

July 28, 2011 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: Features 

Like a lot of photographers, I like gear. Lots of gear. Sometimes I think that I like gear because buying new gear is easier than trying to take a good picture. But still, I buy more. But when it comes time to actually travel somewhere, all that gear presents a bit of a quandary. The sad fact is: while I like gear, I don’t like carrying it. When traveling, I used to carry a rather full kit – lots of lenses, flashes, anything I might possibly need. But these days, even for extended travel, I tend to go pretty stripped down. Usually just two lenses, no flash, possibly a lightweight tripod. On a recent 3-week trip to Turkey, I decided to go even more bare, and travelled with only a small backpack as my only luggage – both for clothes, and camera gear. Needless to say, this presented a bit of an issue in terms of gear choice.

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