How to Achieve Fast Autofocus In Low Light Situations

Getting accurate Autofocus must be one of the most frustrating things an event or wedding photographer deals with on a daily basis. How many times have you been in the right place at the right time, taken a photo at the absolute peak of the action, and then found yourself cursing under your breath when you review the image only to find it wasn't in focus? This used to happen to me a lot at weddings, and I still see many of my assistants struggling with autofocus in extremely low light situations. Luckily there is a very simple solution that works everytime.

Studio Basics: Discussing Portrait Lighting Patterns and How I Use Them in Glamour

I admit it freely: I didn't used to pay attention or care about portrait lighting patterns. In fact, when a photographer would mention them around me, I would cover my ears and say "La la la la la" as loudly as possible while hurriedly trying to leave the room. There was a time where dismissing the standards was my usual, as was my tendency, but eventually I realized I was missing out on fundamentals that I could easily have built on and expanded rather than ignored. Just starting out? Don't make my mistakes.

Why You Should Try Shooting in Black and White

If you look back to the beginning of photography, color didn’t exist. In fact, it didn’t exist for a long, long time. Even as 35mm film pioneered the way that photography was used and purchased, black and white was king. Slowly, as time progressed, color film began to take a foothold in the industry. Once legendary color films like Kodachrome and Kodacolor became widely available, black and white became far less popular for commercial use. Now, in the digital era, almost every digital camera records information in color. Why then, would I bother viewing my images in monochrome during my shoots, even if I know I’ll deliver them in color?

Don't Underestimate The Importance Of Casting In Your Workflow As A Photographer: Why, When, Where, and How

Casting is time consuming! It can suck up all your energy. It can leave you exhausted and frustrated. It is mostly the one part of photography that always demands tons of effort, and does not always reward us with the results we hope for. That’s why there are casting directors, both in the stills and film industry. It is a job! When you are working on your portfolio you rarely have the means to hire one, so better to get efficient with it on your own. If you are a landscape or a still life photographer, move along gleefully.

Adobe's Lightroom Coffee Break Gives Quick, One-Minute Tutorials for Some Tips You Might Not Know

Adobe launched a new YouTube series through their Lightroom channel to give Lightroom users some extra tips on features they may not have come across yet. While some highlighted features such as viewing masking for the sharpening tool are a little better known, others are more tucked away and might come as a surprise, like this feature that allows you to update the overall effect of a local adjustment with multiple sliders in effect.

Have Fun Learning How to Create a Slow Motion Explosion Effect

Watch as Josh Connolly tests out the slow motion explosion he bought off Amazon Prime (ya, you heard me) and then learn how to create your very own. OK, they won't actually teach you how to blow things up, but they will entertain you while walking you through the process they used to create a slow-motion explosion effect. So, even though you may go to Film Riot to learn filmmaking techniques and how to create kick-ass visual effects, you'll go back for the sketches.

The Smaller the Sensor Size, the Shallower Your Depth of Field

When talking about the differences between full-frame cameras and crop sensors, one of the biggest arguments in favor of full-frame sensors is the ability to produce images with a shallower depth of field. This was always my understanding of the subject as well. But after watching this video, I have seen the error of my ways. As it turns out, if all the variables are the same and the only thing changing is sensor size, the smaller the sensor, the shallower your depth of field.

The Secret to Directing Models: The Dos and the Don'ts You Need to Know as a Photographer

The ability to direct models (any model) in your shoot is key to any visual project. You might have the best location, styling, and lighting setup, but if you don’t have the right kind of emotion in your model's face, it will all have been for nothing. Your mission is not just to press on the shutter release, but to also be a director. Here are the dos and don'ts and a little bonus at the end.

Understanding Light: Large Light Sources and How To Use Them

I’ve always been a fan of big lights. There are certainly situations where they aren’t appropriate, but a lot of my work is centered around big, soft light. What has always drawn me to large sources of light is their versatility. Almost every subject looks good with soft light. Because large light sources cause such soft gradation in the shadows, they can be useful for both younger subjects with smoother skin, or even older subjects that may have wrinkled and scarred skin. However, there is one thing that should be cleared up: the definition of a large light source.

Precision Automated Focus Stacking with Stack Shot

Ever tried to photograph a subject, only to find out that you don’t have enough depth-of-field to get the whole thing in focus? Typically our first reaction is to stop down to increase our DOF. Unfortunately that doesn’t always give us the results we expect. The first issue is that even with our lens stopped down to its smallest aperture, we still may not have our subject completely in focus.

How to Interpret Light and Why It Is Paramount to a Photographer's Success

Regardless of what genre of photography you shoot, understanding light and its characteristics is key to creating better photos. For those of us working with off-camera flash, there is another layer to the complexity: balancing ambient and artificial light. On top of that there are various modifiers that can be used for artificial lighting to replicate or create certain effects. A great way to become proficient in understanding and seeing light is to examine photographs by other photographers in your genre.