Generally speaking, losing detail in your image is a bad thing. However, there is a creative way to do so that is most commonly employed in cinematography, known as "crushing the blacks." I alluded to this technique in my recent article on creating your first Photoshop actions and I received a number of queries about this technique. This article will give you a brief overview of what the effect is used for, why you would use it, and how.
I hear a lot of photographers talk about tone curve shapes: the s-curve for contrast, for crushing blacks, etc. But really taking advantage of tone curves is less about memorizing shapes that produce specific results and more about understanding exactly what they do. This great video will get you up to speed in no time.
I love shooting on location and am passionate about deep blue skies. Usually I would use CPL and ND filters to get the best skies to my taste. A detailed article about how to get dramatic skies is described in my previous article, "The Ultimate Guide to Dramatic Skies in Portrait Photography." After the shot is taken I always play with the luminosity and saturation values of the blue tones. One issue I often face while darkening the skies via luminosity is having a white outline appear around my model. Today I will take you through a short tutorial of how to get rid of that quickly and effectively, without the need to compensate on your luminosity.
One of my favorite setups for studio portraits of children was inspired by Jill Greenberg’s photos of crying babies. These portraits are fun, simple, and focus on teasing out a variety of natural expressions of children as they are being photographed. This tutorial demonstrates how to photograph and edit this particular style of a three-light children’s portrait.
Ah, the crown of the (Ant)arctic. Known in the northern hemisphere as the Aurora Borealis (northern lights), and as the Aurora Australis in the southern hemisphere, these brightly colored bands of moving and waving light are a majestic display in the night sky. Who doesn't want to take a picture of this otherworldly phenomenon? Here's exactly how to do it.
Managing color in photography is one of the hardest things to master. A red berry in a green bush just jumps out at you, while brown skies don't often make for great looking images. Aside from color having a profound impact on any given scene, color has its own luminosity values as well, making it color theory something to pay close attention to before your next shoot. Professional landscape photographer and instructor Dave Morrow comes to the rescue.
Taking photos at night can be an incredibly creative and rewarding experience. Unfortunately, increasing levels of light pollution in cities and urban areas makes it virtually impossible to include any detail in your sky which is often a major aspect of your composition. Adding stars is an easy and effective answer to this problem. With simple masking and blending techniques you can add interest to your background and give the impression of being in a secluded, faraway place. The most common error is overdoing it by adding too many stars or trying to integrate them into a scene that simply does not look natural. Here are two quick techniques which aim to avoid these pitfalls.
When retouching, it is not rare to come across color problems on a model’s skin. Whether it is from a sun tan, dodge & burn, spots or skin discoloration issues, it can be really painful to treat it in post. Despite being all about having it right in camera and doing as little as possible in post, there is an easy way to correct this in Photoshop -- a method that is going to make your makeup artist want to stop correcting redness, yellowness or under-eye bags. It is so easy to use you are going to wonder why you did not think of it earlier!
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