How To Save Old Photos That Are Stuck Together

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If you’ve been around long enough to be printing photos, and even longer to be storing them in shoe boxes, you must have had that frustrating experience when two (or more) photos got stuck together. It feels as if there were super-glued and any attempt to apply force to separate them will result in damaging the photos.

wikiHow shares a great tip to separate those photos, simply soak them in warm water: [Read more...]

Quick, Clever and Easy Method to Correct Skin Tones in Portraits

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When shooting portraits, getting the right skin tones is not a trivial task. Differences in lighting, skin tan and other factors can create uneven skin tones which our brains usually compensates in ‘real life’, but they can be quite distrusting when looking in a portrait.

Photographer Michael Woloszynowicz shares quite an easy method for correcting skin tones that automates the hardest part of the process – getting the correct skin tone to correct with. [Read more...]

3 Ways To Shoot A Ferrari On A Budget

One of the perks that I have as a photographer is the opportunity to shoot super cars every now and then. Sadly, I don’t have a big ass studio that I can fit a car into, and I need to improvise by lighting cars on whatever location I can get. Those can be inside a garage or in the street, or somewhere else.

3 Ways To Shoot A Ferrari On A Budget

Here are 3 different lighting techniques that you can use with cars or when shooting large product or still life shots. [Read more...]

Restoring and Digitizing Old Photos Using a Smartphone

Processed with VSCOcam with x4 preset

I was going through some old photos of my family overseas. My dad’s kept them in a hard brown briefcase since before I was born, and we decided to find a way for them to be able to be cherished more freely. I wanted to share a few tips I noted down along the way as I was restoring those photos. And you don’t need an elaborate setup. Grab your phones, guys.

[Read more...]

How To Take Beautiful Portraits of Women With Or Without Photoshop

Building on last weeks April fools joke, where I riffed on the absurd idea that women actually prefer to look awful in photos and the current anti-Photoshop and no-makeup selfie trend making the rounds on social media – in this week’s article, I am going to share how to use proper lighting, posing and the right lens to make women look gorgeous without Photoshop, and then how I touch up portraits in Photoshop.

But first, we need a before and after (complete with cheesy internet meme).

Before and After professional photographer glamor portrait lighting and photoshop jp danko totonto commercial photographer

Yes, this is the same woman…read on to find out how I went from before to after.

[Read more...]

Lighting Techniques: All the Things you can do with One Speedlight

I have encountered many people that think they are very limited because they only had one light (usually it is one speedlight), and I always tell them that most of my photographs are taken using a single light; From portraits to product shots. To put my money where my mouth is, I am sharing all those photos and tips – all using only using one speedlight.

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Why use one light, you ask?  There are many reasons: [Read more...]

Capture First-Person Video of Your Shoots with a DIY Hot Shoe Adapter

diy-hot-shoe-adapter-titleI am slothful. I am impatient. And, above all else, I am cheap…a beautiful trifecta that led me to this little project.

For the longest time, I have been wanting a way to easily capture point-of-view (POV) footage of my shoots as a way to document the exact moment an image is taken. This serves a variety of functions ranging from satiating my own vanity to allowing me to show others the “big picture” that eventually became a final image.

Essentially, I wanted something like this adapter from B&H that would allow me to attach a small camera to my hot shoe for documenting a shoot. However, I never really felt like buying one, buying one would require me to wait for it to arrive (like it was going to be THAT much longer than the year I’ve already sat on this), and, why buy something you can make yourself, right? So, I set about pulling odds and ends I had laying around to make my dream finally come true! ::snickers with excitement:: [Read more...]

Simple And Effective Food Photography Techniques

One of my photography niches is food photography. It started awhile back when a friend asked me if I could shoot for his restaurant. It seems that many photography businesses started just like that, with a friend asking a shoot, or acknowledging a talent.

Food Photography

We all need to start somewhere, so this article shows a very simple yet effective food photography technique using only one or two lights. While simple, it is very effective and I still use this technique when shooting for clients today. [Read more...]

Freelensing: Un-Focus To Tell a More Dynamic Story

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So often we are distracted by what we see, sucked in by that which is right in front of us. Each day can be a battle of not missing the forest for the trees, and losing track of the big picture, both metaphorically and literally, is a demon to which we frequently fall prey. But, life is as much about the unseen as it is the seen…it is more honest to say that it is what’s lurking in the shadows that truly defines us rather than what the world around us seems to see.

This concept, when considered in photography, is as much philosophical as it is visual. There are thousands of tutorials on how to maintain a sharp focus or isolate a subject or achieve that perfect image. But, life, which is the literal reflection of art, is not sharp or clearly-defined or nice and perfect. It’s not! What if more contemporary photography chose to focus on the imperfect, the beauty in the flaws, and creation by suggestion rather than destruction by defining? [Read more...]

If You Have No Idea What Coloring And Grading Are, This Is A Great Intro

Grading and Coloring are part of the creative workflow that any piece of video goes through (or at least any fully produced piece of video). It controls the overall ‘feel’ of the movie. When I started doing movies in addition to stills this is one of the things that got me on the first few times. It is a very similar concept to using curves, hue/saturation and other tonal and contrast tools on a photograph.

Colorist Rob Bessette of Finish Post gives a great introduction into coloring a video (hosted by Rule Boston Camera). It covers everything from what coloring actually is, through basic principles, setting a monitor up and ends up with a spectacular demo of coloring a commercial. If you are unfamiliar with coloring, you would be surprised at how different a movie looks once a colorist is done with it.  [Read more...]