Photography - Post archive

Have a holiday photo-scanning party: The Practicing Photographer

Published by | Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Getting together with family over the holidays? Take advantage of all that togetherness by holding a scanning party, and scanning your vintage family photos, as Ben Long describes in this week’s installment of The Practicing Photographer.

It was inspired by an experience I had recently. During a trip to my hometown in Pennsylvania, a couple of family members showed me some photo albums containing riches that I’d never seen before—and that I wanted copies of. It dawned on me that every member of my family probably has an album of photos they’ve curated from their unique perspectives. So while I was in town, I ordered a $49 flatbed scanner from Amazon.com and had it shipped to my mom’s house. Then I told my family members to bring those albums over, and we sat around the dining room table as I scanned and scanned and scanned.

scanning photos

Create a high dynamic range (HDR) time-lapse movie: The Practicing Photographer

Published by | Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Creating a HDR time-lapse movie

Explore The Practicing Photographer at lynda.com.


In this week’s installment of The Practicing Photographer, Ben Long combines two techniques that involve capturing the world in unique ways—ways that we can’t see with our eyes but that photography lets us bring to life.

One technique is high dynamic range, or HDR, photography. That’s the process of taking multiple shots of a scene, each with a different exposure setting, and then merging them into one photo that captures a broad range of bright and dark tones. Ben describes HDR in detail in his course Shooting and Processing High Dynamic Range Photographs (HDR).

6 steps for creating dramatic skies in Lightroom

Published by | Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Creating dramatic skies with Adobe Lightroom

A dramatic sky can make a photograph look great. Lightroom’s Graduated Filter tool offers a quick way to enhance a sky without affecting the rest of the photo.

1. Select the Graduated Filter tool in the tool strip in the Develop module, or press M on your keyboard. In the dropdown Graduated Filter panel, double click Effect to set all the controls to their defaults.

2. Drag the Exposure slider in the panel to the left. This step is optional, but it’s a good way to see where a graduated filter is going to affect your photo.

How to combine and modify presets in Lightroom

Published by | Monday, November 18th, 2013

Many photographers rely on Develop presets to quickly change the appearance of photos in Adobe Lightroom. You can extend the power of presets by modifying them to meet your current needs, or by combining presets on a photo.

Modifying presets
By modifying a preset, you can make a third-party preset your own or update one that you created yourself.

Modifying a preset in Lightroom

Exploring your photographic themes: The Practicing Photographer

Published by | Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Ben shoots a bike

Explore The Practicing Photographer at lynda.com.


Whether you call yourself a photo enthusiast or a pro, whether you shoot with a phone or with film, you probably have themes that crop up frequently in your photography. By intent or by accident, certain subjects or themes surface in your photos—whether dogs or rivers or carefully crafted coffee drinks.

Or bicycles. Ben Long likes bikes, and he finds himself photographing them frequently. As he describes in this week’s installment of The Practicing Photographer, he hasn’t yet photographed The Perfect Bicycle shot, but he keeps practicing. And that’s what it’s all about. Maybe one day he’ll find a perfect bike in a perfect setting with perfect light, but in the meantime, he’s refining his eye and building a library of thematic shots—photographic studies of the lines and shapes of bicycles.

5 tips for touching up your photos in Lightroom

Published by | Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

You can quickly remove dust spots and unwanted content from your photos with Lightroom’s Spot Removal tool. These tips will help you make the most of the tool.

1. Get help visualizing spots

kabili_post5_window

When you’re viewing a photo on a small screen, you may not see all the tiny dust spots that can show up later in a print. Use the Spot Removal tool’s Visualize Spots option to locate subtle spots, like the dust on this window.

Cleaning up a crummy product shot: Deke’s Techniques

Published by | Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Cleaning up a poor product shot

Explore Deke’s Techniques at lynda.com.


If you’re selling something on Craigslist or eBay or even documenting possessions for insurance purposes, you want to make your stuff looks its best. But if your camera or lighting isn’t up to snuff, the images can be a little grainy and distorted. What to do? Deke McClelland faced this same challenge recently, and he’s here to share the solution with you.

Inspiration for this technique struck during the tutorial Deke was making on attaching a GoPro camera to a bicycle’s rear wheel. He took a photo of the necessary equipment with a camera he had on hand, but was disappointed with the results. Then he realized he could clean the image up in Adobe Photoshop. Watch today’s free Deke’s Techniques video to learn how to use the Reduce Noise, Camera Raw filter, and Magic Wand in Photoshop CC to make your product shot look more professional.

How to create presets in Lightroom

Published by | Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Lightroom presets are a popular way to add great looks to your photos with just a few clicks. You can apply any of the presets that come with Lightroom or install third-party presets. When you’re feeling creative, make your own unique Develop presets by following these simple steps:

1. Adjust a representative photo

Faux HDR look preset

Open a photo into Lightroom’s Develop module, and adjust the image to the look you want using any of the controls in the panels on the right. For example, I’ve set the controls in the Basic panel to give this portrait a grungy faux HDR look.