Tutorials

Whether you are a beginning photographer or a seasoned professional, there are always new things to learn and more areas to improve in. PetaPixel regularly publishes in-depth tutorials on a wide range of subjects, from Photoshop tips and post-processing techniques to ideas on building your own cameras and do-it-yourself equipment.

How to Achieve Moody and Emotional Portrait Photography

Some of the most enticing shots in portrait photography depict darker emotions, adding in elements of storytelling that include our shadow sides, and show the subject as a complex human. Portrait, documentary, and news photographers rely on emotions to draw viewers in.

The Best Time of Day to Take Outdoor Portrait Photos

When is the best time of day to shoot portrait photos outdoors? Should we shoot only during the golden hours and avoid midday altogether, or is it better to use the brightest daylight hours to take our portraits with a few simple light modifiers? In this guide, we explore the best times of day for outdoor portraits.

Why Clients Won't Like Your Portrait Photos

3 Reasons Clients Won’t Like Your Portrait Photos (And How to Fix Them)

There is nothing more devastating for a portrait photographer than when a client doesn’t like your photos. You train for years, buy the best equipment possible, and come to your session with 100% dedication to providing the best possible experience... and then you get that feedback.

3 Steps to Creating a Dramatic B&W Infrared Photo in Photoshop

Like most photographers, I love black-and-white infrared images. There is a purity and intensity to a well-crafted monochrome image, and there are many software options out there to help convert an image to black-and-white.

A photographer's reflection in a window on the street in Budapest

Street Photography: A Complete Guide

Street photography is an age-old photography genre that is both popular and sometimes controversial. However, contrary to the reputation some prominent street photographers give the genre, there is way more to photographing streets than being aggressive and confrontational -- it can also be a relaxing, creative, and freeing experience for both amateurs and experienced shooters alike.

A Guide to Digital Camera Modes

Have you just gotten a more advanced camera and are looking to get better at photography? Having a good understanding of digital camera modes is an essential step in that process. If you are just starting out and are confused about all the different icons on your camera's mode dial, then this comprehensive guide to digital camera modes is just for you.

Yosemite Firefall: A Photographer’s Guide in 2022

We photographers generally have long lists of projects we want to do and then we have our bucket list items -- those things we can only hope we someday get a chance to shoot. As a nature and landscape photographer, the big three on my bucket list were the Subway at Zion, Fly Geyser, and Yosemite’s Firefall.

Real Estate Photography: A Complete Guide

I have been shooting real estate now for over a decade, and as dry and uninteresting as shooting homes may sound, I have found this a very rewarding niche in the photography world. Sure, there are dull, boring, or repetitive days, but then there are some you walk into a home and you just thank your lucky stars the Realtor called you on this one.

How to Update Your Camera’s Firmware

If you are a digital photographer, it is a good idea to make sure your camera's firmware is up to date to ensure you have a reliable device with the latest features and fixes. In this article, we will guide you step-by-step through updating your camera firmware.

What is Split Color Lighting, and How Do You Use It?

After I published a story on sunglasses for photographers, I got a ton of emails asking how I lit the series. So, while on the road for a recent photo shoot, I took some time at my AirBNB and wrote out how I approach what is called "split color lighting."

How to Shoot ‘Space Nebula’ Smoke Photos at Home

During long periods of cloudy weather, it can be really frustrating as an astrophotographer to wait for the sky to clear up. Over the years, I’ve learned how to handle these long downtimes.

Camera and lens for main image

How to Set Up Your New Camera: A Step-by-Step Checklist

Getting a new digital camera is an exciting time for photographers and videographers. A world of possibilities and learning lies ahead as well as doors to new adventures and places to visit. But it’s not always smooth sailing when it comes to using a new camera as a beginner. There are lots of complex numbers, letters, and acronyms to wrap your head around, let alone figuring out how to operate the numerous dials, buttons, and switches. But by following the simple steps included in this checklist you should be up and running in no time.

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.

Anything Can Be a Light Modifier for Portraits with a Little Creativity

Light shaping tools are very expensive. What if you could take any object and turn it into a modifier? That would save you a lot of money as well as give some unique results. In this article, I will share some everyday objects that you can turn into light modifiers to get different looks.

A DIY Remote Mechanical Cable Release for a Large Format Camera

I do mainly large format photography, and I often take my own self-portrait by using my pneumatic cable release that has a long cable and air bulb release. However, I have long been thinking about how to make a more modern kind of remote cable release. In this article, I will show how I created a DIY remote cable release.

How to Restore Reverse Image Search with Right-Click in Chrome

Google recently added Google Lens to its Chrome desktop Web browser. While it is a great tool, it replaced the "Search Google for image" option when right-clicking a photo. Here's a guide on how to continue doing reverse image searches with a right-click if you have lost it.

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.