Recently, I took the plunge and picked up a copy of Luminar 2018. I spent some time going through it this weekend. I thought I would write about my impressions of it for those who are unfamilar with Luminar or who have been considering it but haven’t yet taken the plunge. This will look like… Continue reading Introduction to Luminar
Everyone Talks About the Stuff You Need. Let’s Talk About What You Don’t. Since the day you became interested in photography, you’ve been inundated with articles, ads, and reviews about all the photography gear you need. Hint: you don’t need most of it. Your photography friends probably join in too. It is a rare outing… Continue reading Photography Gear You Don’t Need
Do you find yourself thinking something like this: “I’m doing everything right in the field, but my pictures just aren’t as sharp as I want. When I look around at others’ pictures, they are way sharper than mine. What am I doing wrong?” If so, you are not alone. I have thought that plenty of… Continue reading Why Aren’t My Pictures As Sharp as Professional Photos?
The zoom setting on your flash sets how disperse or narrow the light coming out of the flash head is. The head actually moves up and down within the flash unit as you change the amount of zoom. When you use wide angles, the head is near the top of the flash so that the… Continue reading What is the Zoom on my Flash?
As photography has advanced, filters become less and less necessary. The old black and white photographers used a lot of filters. Now we use very few (and some photographers use none at all). The only filters I personally use – or that I really think are useful – are Polarizing filters, Neutral Density filters, and Graduated… Continue reading Which Filters Do I Need?
Unfortunately, there is no answer to this question. Different people have different ideas on this topic. Some people want everything to appear natural, and the tipping point for them is when their photos does not. Others couldn’t care less about that and in fact don’t want their pictures to appear natural. Neither approach is correct. … Continue reading How Much Editing is Too Much?
I know you want me to tell you a secret or a gadget that will get you great background blur easily. Don’t worry – I will do so – but first please indulge me while I stress the fundamentals. Aperture Settings As you likely already know, getting a blurred out background or shallow depth of field… Continue reading How Can I Get Great Background Blur?
I do not recommend that you purchase a variable strength neutral density (ND) filter. If you are familiar with these filters, that might surprise you. It is not that I don’t agree that they are a wonderful idea, it is just that I don’t think they work properly. Instead, I think you should buy normal… Continue reading Should I Get a Variable Strength Neutral Density Filter?
Common strengths of neutral density (ND) filters are 3-stop, 6-stop, and 10-stop. I recommend that you start with a 6-stop, but any of them will be fine. I find that a 6-stop filter is powerful enough to achieve virtually any goals I might have in terms of lengthening my shutter speed. At the same time,… Continue reading What Strength Neutral Density Filter Should I Buy?
One question you might have as you start your photographic journey is which photo editing software you should get. For a long time now, Adobe has been at the top of the chain, with Photoshop and Lightroom dominating the market. So complete was Adobe’s dominance, that others companies were content to market their software as mere… Continue reading Which Photo Editing Software Should I Get?
If you are considering a new computer, you will want to make sure it can handle your photography needs. Even if you are content with your current machine, you might like to see how it measures up. How do you do that, when there are a million models out there? And if you start looking at… Continue reading Computers for Photographers: What to Look For
Today I would like to introduce you to a change you should make in your focus controls. This is a change you probably don’t think you need. Even after I tell you about it, you might not think it terribly useful. But it is. People I have taught have consistently pointed to this change as… Continue reading Back Button Focus
If you are reading this, it is because you have a passion for creating great photographs. You think a lot about how to improve your photos. You work at it. Probably a lot. So let’s talk a little about how to do that. Specifically, what does it take? But First, What It Doesn’t Take You… Continue reading Creating Great Photos: What It Takes
If you haven’t done it before, photographing fireworks might appear difficult. It really isn’t though. As support for that statement, I point you to the image above. I am pretty happy with it, but I took it many years ago, very early in my photo career, with basic entry-level equipment. So this is definitely something… Continue reading How to Photograph Fireworks
I am writing about this picture because I hope it will inspire you to keep looking when you are pretty sure you are destined for failure. I was down in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. If you haven’t been there, there is a lot of beach with heavy commercial development up and down the coast. This… Continue reading Pier at Puerto Vallarta