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.
Despite the fact that I’ve owned a copy of Adobe Photoshop since the 1990’s, I’ve rarely made a big deal about it in my workshops and presentations. That’s because the cost of ownership presented a huge barrier to amateur photographers. Moreover, Lightroom has become quite powerful in its own right; many users simply find they didn’t need to leave the Lightroom editing environment.
If you’re using Lightroom via the Adobe Photography Plan (Creative Cloud subscription), then you’re getting the complete version of Adobe Photoshop right along with it. If you have access to this powerful tool, you ought to know how to use it (at least in terms of your photos).
There are so many tools in Photoshop that it’s easy to get lost and intimidated. However, there are a few things that Photoshop lets you do that you can’t do in Lightroom, and for certain photos, those tools can be tremendously useful. Read on to see my list of “go-to” tools.
Tonight is yet another “supermoon” event, in which the moon is closer to the Earth than usual. Of course, Astrophysicist Neil Tyson has already pointed out that the difference in the moon’s apparent size is in reality, quite small. Nevertheless, the moon is still a fun subject to photograph, if you do it right.
There are two kinds of “moon shots.” Landscapes, and close-ups. Both of these shots have challenges, because the full moon is so bright that it requires a daylight (sunny-16 exposure) to preserve details. For landscape shots, it’s important to be able to photograph the moon when it rises near sunset or blue-hour. The sheer brightness of the moon will cause it to become blown-out if you are exposing for a dark foreground. For telephoto shots, it’s important to use a fast shutter speed to prevent the moon from blurring out due to its apparent motion in the sky. You’ll want to use a shutter speed of at least 1/250s to keep the moon sharp.
Infinite depth of field and maximum sharpness without a tilt-shift lens
Focus-stacking is a technique that macro photographers have used for years to maximize depth of field in close-up images. You can apply the same technique to landscape photos, too. While dedicated focus-stacking software has been around for a long time, this tool is now built-in to Adobe Photoshop CC (you just have to know where to find it). That means if you have the Adobe Photography subscription package, you can start experimenting with focus-stacking right away.
Free Download: Focus Stacking Tutorial (PDF)
I’ve put together a FREE focus stacking tutorial eBook (PDF format), which is free to all my newsletter subscribers.
The secret to finding frequently used items in your Nikon Menus
Have you ever been shooting with your Nikon DSLR and find yourself needing to change a menu setting quickly but cannot remember where it’s located? The “My Menu” option in Nikon DSLR cameras allows you to custom configure your own menu panel with the items you frequently use. Here, I’ll show you how to access and add items to the My Menu panel in Nikon DSLR cameras.