educational

Light Modifiers for Portrait Photos: A Beginner’s Guide

In the two-plus decades I’ve been a photographer, finding the right light modifiers for the varied work that I did was a challenge. In the small community I lived in, my subject matter ranged from commercial photography to weddings and portraits. Each subject required its own type of lighting.

Does Your Lens Rattle? Here’s What You Need To Know

It's quite a scary thought when you hear your new lens rattle for the first time. Let's face it, you most likely spent a stack of cash to obtain new gear, and if it's failing out of the box, you're not going to be too impressed. So rather than ringing the manufacturer's support line to complain, know that there is nothing wrong with your rattling lens.

Tips for getting started in film photography

How to Get Started in Film Photography

We’re beginning to see a resurgence in film photography and for those of you who are looking to get into it but have no experience, it can be hard to decide where to start.

An Intro to Shadows in Photography

What is a photograph? There are many different ways to answer this simple question, but in basic abstract terms through the lens of lighting, every photograph is a combination of highlights and shadows. The only reason we see depth and dimension is in fact shadow. Understanding shadows is crucial in growing as a photographer.

A Beginner’s Guide to Pricing Commercial Photography

A big question every beginning commercial photographer asks themselves is how they should price their work. There is always a wide range of price points in all genres of photography, and they all depend on your level of work. But there is one truth that may apply to most photographers: you can’t apply a simple pricing strategy to your work.

Why Inkjet Photo Printers Are So Bad (And What You Can Do About It)

Remember those halcyon film days? You mailed off that little black cartridge in an envelope and then about a week later negatives and prints were magically returned. With the rise of digital, the inkjet printer promised instant gratification at low per print prices. What could possibly go wrong?

13 Camera Settings Every iPhone Photographer Should Know

If you do iPhone photography, common sense may say you pick up the iPhone, open the camera app and just start shooting. That’ll work, but there happen to be so many settings and features hidden within these phones that stump way too many people, even some of us pros sometimes.

How to Shoot Macro Photos with Regular Lenses and Extension Tubes

Macro photography works well with conventional lenses and inexpensive extension tubes. The combination achieves 0.3x to 0.5x magnification. Depth of field is much greater with these moderate magnifications than at the 1x magnification possible with macro lenses.

Fully Loaded: The Complex Connection Between Guns and Cameras

“Why are guns and cameras so closely connected?” This is what I set out to explore and investigate recently through my own experience in film. Between starting the production and finishing it, one major event made this connection a lot darker.

Why the Inverse-Square Law Might be ‘Wrong’ for Your Photo Shoot

Think you know the inverse-square law? How much of a "law" is it actually in the practice of photography? We are taught that the inverse-square law is the holy grail of understanding the laws of light. Some condense all the wonderful knowledge about light concepts to the inverse square law only. In this article, I want to invite you to take a step back and see how the inverse square law is wrong. Sometimes.

Photography Abbreviations and What They Mean

The world of photography is filled with abbreviations that allow longer words or phrases to be more easily communicated. If you're just starting out as a photographer, however, they could be more confusing than helpful, and this guide was put together just for you.

What Are Parabolic Light Modifiers and Are They Worth It?

Parabolic light has become increasingly popular among fashion and portrait photographers. With so many options to choose from, a photographer may get lost or not understand the modifiers at all.

Is Diffused Light the Same as Soft Light?

Diffused and soft light are often used interchangeably among photographers. Indeed, to an untrained eye, the two can sometimes appear to be the same. Furthermore, modifiers such as softboxes that give both soft and diffused light make it hard to spot the difference. Nonetheless, diffused light is not necessarily soft, and soft light is not necessarily diffused.

Five Tips to Make Better Beverages Photos

Here are a few tips to help you improve, or maybe get started with, drink photography. Drinks can be quite tricky: you have unpredictable liquids and glasses with reflections, so these tips may come in handy.

HSS Does Not Freeze Motion: Light is the Key, Not Shutter Speed

How do photographers freeze motion? With shutter speed, of course! This is something fundamental that everyone starting out in photography learns to do. If you’re shooting sports, for example, just crank the ISO up, set a high shutter speed, and expect a good frozen-in-time image. However, when using a flash, things are a little different. In fact, shutter speed is by far the worst way to freeze motion. Here’s why.

What Every Photographer Needs to Know About Reflections

Reflections are the sole reason we’re able to see objects. An object that absorbs 100% of the light is invisible. Fortunately, we don’t encounter these in our daily lives. Any lighting-conscious photographer would be aware of the fact that their light positioning directly influences reflection and hence the viewer experience.

How to Photograph Couples With Height Difference

I am a professional wedding, portrait, and fashion photographer and have been photographing couples for nearly three decades and I have been teaching photography for over twenty years. I recently published a brand new video tutorial with tips on how to pose couples that have a big height difference.