(This episode of the B&H Photography Podcast was originally published on January 20, 2017.)
We are living in a Golden Age of landscape photography. Digital cameras and improved software enable the kind of imaging that, until recently, was only possible via the budgets of large publications and the talents and ambitions of a few select photographers. Ambition and talent remain, and with enhanced dynamic range and color algorithms, higher
Portrait photography, or portraiture, remains one of the most popular genres of photography today—and for good reason. Portraits are compelling; they are evocative. Portraits tell a story; they elicit an emotion. Shot correctly, a portrait can reveal the true essence of a person, who they are and what they feel. According to Godard, portraiture is tantamount to capturing the soul. About what other medium or form of expression could you say such a thing?
As with most genres of photography, portraiture is not beholden to any one specific
If someone were to ask me what is the fastest, easiest, and most effective way of instantly improving their photography, my answer would be: a tripod. In the quest to make better photographs, we often dream of owning the latest camera body or the most expensive lenses. For many of us, these remain out of reach and impractical. A quality tripod, however, can be had for less than the price of a New York City dinner for two (with drinks) and, because of that, I
It might seem easy these days to go shoot on a beach. I mean, you could just throw an action camera into a protective case and all is good. Perhaps that works—for some shoots.
And if that is all you need, then more power to you. However, I’ve done a few shoots on beaches, and my experience is that the beach can be one of the most difficult environments in which to shoot. From getting the look you want, to protecting your gear from sand and salt spray, a little bit of planning can make a huge difference.
The Look of Your Shoot
On a sunny day
Landscape photography is a broad genre in which the outdoor landscape itself is the subject of the photo. Often, landscapes don’t have any people in them at all, although they are sometimes included to give the viewer a sense of scale. There are also subgenres that are generally considered to be under the umbrella of landscape photography, such as urban landscape, or cityscape as it’s sometimes called, long exposure, nature, astrophotography, and seascape photography, like the photo of the Block Island shoreline at the top of this page.
Close-up or macro photography is an incredible way to capture the tiny world around us on a super-detailed level. While the dedicated macro lens is still one of the best tools for exploring the world on a miniature scale, there are some very inexpensive ways to jump into macro photography with the lens or lenses you already own—no need for a specialized close-up macro lens. In this article, we will take a closer look (no pun intended) at close-up filters
Day for night for color cinematography is an old shooting methodology that relies on a number of techniques regarding human perception, socially accepted convention, and technical qualities of film/sensors. There are a variety of reasons for shooting day for night, and understanding the whys and wherefores can help you create believable images.
Moonlight Is Blue
It isn’t really, any more than sunlight is blue. The reality is that moonlight is reflected sunlight, so why do people think moonlight is blue? Sunlight has a color temperature of
I was enthralled with long exposure photography long before I took up the practice myself. There’s something about seeing movement represented in a still image that I’ve always found compelling. In everyday life, we observe stillness in more or less the same way we do in a photo. Movement, however, is represented differently in photography than we see it in everyday life, and long exposure photography allows us to explore and study movement in a unique, abstract way.
In the months after I purchased my first DSLR, I quickly realized there was
The term “macro photography” is most often defined as close-up photographs taken with macro lenses, but isn’t always the case. True, macro lenses are designed to deliver life-size photographs of small objects with sharp edge-to-edge detail, but macro lenses are not the only tools of the trade when it comes to going face-to-face with bumblebees.
If macro photography is something you’d like to delve into without first having to invest in a macro lens, you have several
Traditionally considered strictly a portrait retouching technique, frequency separation allows you to change the texture of a particular area of an image, while maintaining the color and brightness levels of that area, and vice versa. It’s often used by fashion retouchers to achieve those perfectly smooth skin tones that are free of marks and blemishes; however, it can sometimes be overused, resulting in an unnatural look. Because of this propensity to overdo it with frequency separation, it is one of those photography techniques that has been
Some photographers refuse to place a UV or clear filter, or any other type of photographic filter, in front of their lens—worried about sacrificing image quality in the name of a layer of protection. It’s a fact that the more glass elements that light has to pass through, the greater the chance that the light is bent, altered, or degraded in some way.
Filtering ultra-wide-angle lenses, which are generally defined as lenses with diagonal angles of view of 90° or greater, can be challenging. And the greater the AoV, the more challenging filtering can become. The big problem has to do with vignetting, which in the case of filtering ultra-wide-angle lenses means seeing the edges of the filter in the corners of the frame.
In the case of full-frame cameras, this is seldom an issue with lenses in the 18mm to 21mm range (approximately 90° to 100° AoV) assuming you are using threaded, thin-mount
Dr. Kah-Wai Lin presents an in-depth seminar on the various filters used in landscape photography, such as the circular polarizer filter, graduated neutral density filter, and neutral density filter. These tips will help you take your landscape photos to new dimensions. Which lens filters have you used? Expound on them in the Comments section!
Click here to learn about adventure photography tips, with Colby Brown and Stan
Neutral density (ND) filters allow photographers and videographers to shoot at wide apertures in bright environments, use slow shutter speeds to create a blur effect, or produce a smoky, fog-like look with moving bodies of water. Graduated ND filters offer a soft-edged transition from dark to light to darken specific areas of the image, such as the sky.
LEE ND Filters
Known for providing rolls and sheets of filters of all types, LEE also makes a wide