12 Essential Photoshop Skills Every Photographer Should Know (With Video)

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“…If you’re saying in your head, ‘Oh, I’ll just fix that later in Photoshop,” stop what you’re doing and slap yourself as hard as you can.” –Zack Arias

If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you know that I’m a huge proponent of getting it right in the camera. Exposure, lighting, composition– all of it. As I tell my students, Photoshop is a tool, not a crutch. A bad photo is a bad photo, and no amount of post processing is going to miraculously turn it into a good photo. A good photo can very often be improved with a few well-placed tweaks and adjustments, but it’s just as easy to kill a perfectly fine photograph by going overboard in Photoshop. Still, though, photo editing is a fact of life and I think there are certain essential Photoshop skills that every photographer should know.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Using Double Exposure in Photoshop

Last month, we shared some work by Alon Avissar, where he implemented double exposure photography by putting together different models with different seasons. The results were both colorful and incredibly eye-catching.

So how did it all get put together? Photographer Andrew Klokow sat down and made a quick, easy to follow tutorial for us, and it’ll show you exactly that. Though it doesn’t involve the seasonal aspect of the project, this video basically guides us along with a picture of a a woman and a bouquet of flowers. If you’re a wedding photographer, the tutorial might actually hold some extra interest for you.

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Quick Tip: How To Create Artistic Soft Photos With Any Camera

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Here is a fun creative trick for adding a ‘look’ to a photo. Photographer Simon Bolz shares a quick and dirty way to create a soft photo in camera by holding a small piece of glass or plastic in front of the lens while you shoot.

The trick is quite simple, hold a translucent object in front of the lens and move it around. As you move it you will get different softening patterns, depending on location and angle, you may also be able to catch some sun rays to either create a reflection or a light leak / burn / flare effect.

Head over to InMyBag for the full read.

P.S. If you don’t have any glass available, a nylon bag would do the trick.

Peter Hurley Shares A Few Killer Tips On How to Take Better Headshots

Taking pictures of someone can be a challenge sometimes, and especially when it comes to face portraits. Who hasn’t felt awkward while having their school picture taken before? And how can the photographer help in making the situation a little better?

Peter Hurley is a well known headshot photographer based in New York and Los Angeles. Just recently, he sat down to give a few tips on how to make better headshots.

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A Complete Checklist For Shooting Night-Time Time-Lapse Sequences

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Aside from the regular artistic consideration, shooting time lapses requires quite a bit of technical know how. This check list from Stefan Kohler take lots of the stress of you, as you can just cross the items as you go on…

If you are learning the ropes, or simply want something to ease your workflow, you should download this (here) print it and put it in your pocket. We break it down for you after the jump. [Read more...]

Don’t Have a Polarizer? This Tutorial Just Might Convince You to Get One

Did you know that that when you use a polarizer in a wet forest, the color come out more vibrant because of the water’s effect through the lens?

Up until today, the only two things I knew about polarizers were that they make things go black when you put two together, and that they’re a feature in my American Optical Pilot Aviators (insanely affordable for their quality). Photographer Steve Perry, however, is so passionate about the polarizer that he made a ten minute long video tutorial over it. And don’t let that throw you off; this video doesn’t waste time. He spends ten straight minutes teaching you about polarizers, and it’s one of the most informative little pieces I’ve seen for a while now.

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Posing, Light And Selective Composition – Getting The Best Out Of A “Nowhere” Location

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Today we are hosting a tip from Neil van Niekerk who also runs the excellent tangents blog.

Framing very selectively in-camera, you can very often pull out quite a surprising image out of “nowhere”.

With Julia and Luis’ wedding, I roamed around the reception venue – a bed & breakfast on the Jersey shore, for interesting spots. There were interesting nooks and crannies that would work for the romantic portrait session. But I also like adding variety, especially unexpected variety.

I went through a back-gate, and into a parking lot behind the venue. This gate was the delivery entrance for the venue’s kitchen, and the parking lot was, well, just a parking lot.

But, I loved the texture of tye wooden fence and gate, and the late afternoon sun really brought out the texture. I hurried back inside and asked Julia and Luis to join me – I think I may have a great idea! I shot it using the following settings: 1/250 @ f/5.6 @ 200 ISO – available light only Nikon D4: Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. [Read more...]

How to Take Pictures of Sound Waves with $9 and your Camera

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post going over Schilieron Flow Visualization, a method used to detect and visualize waves emitted from sound. NPR gave us a detailed and incredibly informative look into how it was all done.

Now, it looks like there’s a way to capture those waves through a lens yourself. A user on Instructables named jlansey recently put up a tutorial going over how you can make your own setup on a $9 budget (…assuming you already have a camera, of course).

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How To Become A Wedding Photographer In 10 Easy Steps – Photographers Hate This

Starting a career as a wedding photographer is EASY – all you have to do is follow these 10 EASY STEPS TO BECOME A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER!

If you have ever wanted to start a fun, glamorous and profitable ($$$$!!!) career as a wedding photographer, I will share the secret to success that professional wedding photographers don’t want you to know.

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The best part is that you don’t even need to know how to use a camera – or even have a camera to get started!

And you can learn it all FOR FREE – just read the rest of this article (and then be sure to buy our eBook*)!!! [Read more...]