There will be a time when the wizards behind your camera technology conjure up a sensor so powerful they will swallow up any scene and spit it out just as it was – no over, or underexposed areas. Until then, in order to produce an image with a high dynamic range of light, you have to work with the sensors available to you and create your own post-processing magic.
Image created by blending two exposure with luminosity masks, one for the sky and one for the foreground.
While you, and many photographers, may have relied heavily on HDR programs in your exposure blending quest, many more are now beginning to turn to luminosity masks as a cleaner alternative. Through the use of luminosity masks you can create stunning, balanced images that encapsulate a vast dynamic range of light. They give you incredibly fine control over your imagery in almost every area.
While some HDR programs nowadays produce very natural, clean HDR images, luminosity masks do not affect the original files at all, so there is literally zero image degradation during the blending process. That is why so many digital photographers are beginning to make luminosity masks a staple in their workflow.
If you’re shooting with soft lighting and a colorful backdrop, it’s all too common to find a bit of color affecting the subject—green backgrounds make them look sickly, orange makes them glow, stuff like that. In this tutorial, Michael Woloszynowicz shows off a handy little tip that avoids Photoshop‘s messy trial-and-error color balance correction:
As he points out, the original image is simply too orange. The subject looks like she just came from a tanning salon:
Download ‘Creative Shadows.jpg‘. This is going to form the shadow of the effect. Notice how the bottom of the sword’s handle is missing. We can bring this back in later. Select the Quick Selection tool, or if this isn’t part of your Photoshop inventory, use the Magic Wand instead.
The classic illustration style used on money is something I’ve always wanted to figure out how to replicate in Photoshop. There’s plenty of Photoshop tutorials that show how to create a basic halftone line effect, but they never quite capture that authentic engraved look with plenty of shading and tone. After lots of trial and error I finally managed to figure it out, so here’s an in depth tutorial on how to create a realistic money illustration effect in Photoshop (with some help from Illustrator!).
The effect we’ll be creating in today’s tutorial is this vintage engraved or etched illustration style that builds up the tonal areas of an image with lots of tiny lines. Unlike the basic halftone line effect used in other tutorials, this method actually uses curved and wavy lines that vary in weight to produce an accurate replica of this classic illustration technique.
Often times shooting special events is not the most glamorous gig in photography, but when a client calls you up looking for a photographer to shoot an event, you take the job. Sometime’s you end up somewhere great like the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, other times you’re in a small, dark, dull event space with only 20 people making the best of the situation. Regardless of the size or location of the event, you’re job is to make some great images. There are a lot of little things that can make diving into special event photography much easier or much harder on yourself, below are a few ideas of how to prepare and execute the photography at your next event.
Composition in nature photography comes easy to some, but many new photographers struggle to find their balance. This is especially true where wildlife is concerned.
“Warming Up in the Warm Morning Sun” captured by Dennis Rademaker (Click image to see more from Rademaker.)
There is a bit of false wisdom that says: “You should never put your animal right in the middle of the photo–only to the left or the right.” This is simply not true, but it is a notion that causes all sorts of anxiety for new photographers.
“Save Best Fox for Last…” captured by Dennis Rademaker (Click image to see more from Rademaker.)
If you don’t put your animal in the middle of the photo, where do you put it? And what do you do with all that extra space? Well, it may (or may not) encourage you to know that there is not really any hard and fast rule to answer these questions. Like all things in composition, it really depends on your own sense of visual balance. Good composition requires you to have the confidence to trust your own judgment.
That doesn’t mean you are on your own when it comes to learning composition. The answers to the following questions may help you if you are struggling to get started.