Educational

PetaPixel's editorials are in-depth stories, thought-pieces, and opinions on the photography industry led by the minds of our editorial team.

The Best Photo Contests to Enter in 2022

As a photographer, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to gain exposure. Many opt for the social media route, and you should certainly consider creating profiles on at least one platform. Building a website to showcase your work is also a good idea, but have you thought about entering photo contests?

What is a JPEG? Everything You Need to Know

JPEG is, by far, the most popular image format for digital photographs and images in the world. An overwhelming majority of photos are stored and shared in this format, typically with a .jpg or .jpeg file extension, because it was a necessity of the early internet to keep file sizes smaller to enable faster transfer speeds.

Leading Lines in Photography: A Complete Guide

“You don't take a photograph, you make it,” Ansel Adams once said. Great point, but let's take it a step further. An important thing to remember is that photographs are just a type of picture, and pictures are made of lines.

A Guide to Social Media Image Sizes in 2022

If you have ever uploaded a photo to your social media feed and found that the image quality isn’t as good as you’d like it to be, you're not alone. Most sites that allow you to upload images will use their own set of parameters to resize and compress uploaded images to save file space and bandwidth.

The Cameras That Helped Shape the Mirrorless Revolution

Many of us who have been around since the transition from film to digital have been the beneficiaries of innovations in camera technology. It's been around two decades of growth in the right direction. While some companies have seen setbacks in the megapixel race, others have contributed more than their fair share of new advancements.

Golden Hour: When Sunlight is Warm and Photos are Magical

If you’ve been outside during a nice sunrise or sunset, chances are good you’ve heard the term “golden hour.” It’s one of the best times to do many types of photography and a beautiful time to be outside. This guide will help you understand golden hour, when it happens, and how to make the most of it through various types of photography.

The Gray Market and How It Works

Globalization certainly has its advantages. Anyone can order almost anything online with a few clicks and have it conveniently delivered to their door regardless of where it is. However, convenience aside, many consumers purchasing things like cameras and lenses may unwittingly be purchasing gray market products rather than "legitimate" ones.

Why Referrals Are Key in Marketing Your Wedding Photography

There are countless marketing strategies used by wedding photographers, but referrals are key in marketing your wedding photography. When starting or growing your business you’ll likely have to implement a variety of marketing techniques. As you fine-tune your process it becomes easy to see the value of referrals.

William Henry Fox Talbot: Inventor of the Negative-Positive Photo Process

William Henry Fox Talbot was on his honeymoon at Lake Como in northern Italy in 1833. He was trying to sketch the beautiful lake and the surrounding scenery but was becoming increasingly frustrated with his lack of drawing skills. He used a camera lucida and a camera obscura, two devices that use lenses to project an image onto a piece of paper to aid in drawing, but he didn’t find either one very satisfactory.

Foveon: The Clever Image Sensor That Has Failed to Catch On

Back in the early 2000s, Sigma -- a company usually known in the photography community as a lens manufacturer -- released a new type of camera sensor named the Foveon X3. This sensor technology was first patented in 1999 by a company called Foveon, Inc. (later acquired in 2008 by Sigma) and featured an innovative color perception technology: a 3-layer stack of photosensitive diodes.

16 Types of Landscape Photography

Although I’ve seriously practiced the art of landscape photography for more than two decades, I’ve never questioned the definition of the term. It’s fairly obvious, isn’t it? If I am taking most of my photos outdoors – in the landscape – then I must be a landscape photographer.

CPL Filter: Why, When, and How to Use a Circular Polarizer

A CPL filter, or circular polarizer filter, is a popular and powerful filter that can reduce or eliminate glare and reflections from surfaces in your photographs. In this article, we will introduce this filter type and analyze its use and effects.

Philippe Halsman: American Portrait Photographer to the Stars

Philippe Halsman was born in Riga, Latvia, on May 2, 1906. He discovered an old view camera in the family attic when he was fifteen, bought some glass plates, and started making photographs. Like many other photographers, when he first saw that image appearing in the darkroom tray, it was a life-changing moment, and he knew what he was going to be doing with his life.

Image Quality is More Than Megapixels

The megapixel count of a camera is often viewed by consumers to be the benchmark number for telling whether or not that camera is "good." If that were true, however, why do photographers not just buy a 108-megapixel smartphone to use as their primary equipment? The answer: because image quality has to do with far more than just megapixels.

The Key Elements of Composition: Light and the Relationships of Forms

Photographers, from beginners to the most experienced, search for ways to improve their compositions. To be successful in your search, you have to compose an image based on two things above all else: light, and the relationships of forms.