Did you know that with a little tweaking, you can extract tremendous dynamic range from single RAW files in Adobe Lightroom without using HDR? The trick is to take advantage of Lightroom’s Camera Calibration panel. There, you set the initial tone curve of your image (contrast & color). By using a low-contrast tone curve, you can recover more highlight and shadow details than by using sliders alone. If you use Nikon DSLRs, you can choose the “Camera Flat” profile to get more dynamic range. If you don’t have a Nikon camera, you can create your own custom profile with a linear tone curve by using the Adobe DNG Profile Editor. My video above will show you how.
Color is extremely important in photography. Getting accurate color is even more important. With digital photography, you are relying on a monitor to display your images properly so that you can make any necessary corrections and adjustments to brightness, contrast, and color. The problem with computer displays is that they just aren’t accurate. When your computer communicates with your display, it sends a command to generate a particular color value in the RGB universe. The monitor responds in turn by lighting up its phosphors or LCD elements accordingly. But your computer cannot “see” that the actual color produced by your display matches the command it sent. You see, most monitors have inherent flaws that prevent their actual output from matching what the computer told it to produce. What’s more, the human eye has an uncanny ability to compensate for color casts, so if your monitor is a little off, you might not even know it. Continue reading Color Management 101→
If you enjoyed my Death Star image post, here’s a quick tutorial on how I did it. All you need is Photoshop and some layer blending prowess. Should Ewoks disable the shield generator, however, you’re on your own to defend it. The same technique works with overlaying images of the moon on cityscapes.
Originally published December 2010. Updated Dec. 9, 2016
‘Tis the season for family portraits. If you’re like me, you’ve got friends and family who say “you’re a photographer, will you shoot portraits for me?” Unfortunately, these people don’t always understand that photographing landscapes and wildlife is completely different from photographing people. I mean, the camera is the same, but that’s about it.
So what should you do when asked to shoot portraits? Here are some tips and gear recommendations that should get you started.