You can really have fun creating artistic images by using textures. But did you know that you can take things further by combining texture layers? In this image, I used three texture layers with different blending modes in Photoshop to create the final product. Continue reading
In today’s digital world, we have unprecedented access to high-quality photographic equipment. Just ten years ago, most photographers had a basic camera, sent their film off for processing, and got back a set of slides or 4×6″ prints to enjoy. Early digital cameras were either too expensive or too limited in quality to really be adopted by the average consumer. Now, you can get a 24 megapixel camera like the Nikon D3200 with a zoom lens for under $700!
Think about that for a second. Today’s digital cameras have enough resolution to rival medium format film cameras of the past. Back then, the only people I ever met who used medium format were studio portrait photographers. A medium format system was completely unrealistic for most photographers; they were harder to use and cost a fortune.
With so many people having access to amazing digital photo technology, there’s a feeling that anyone can be a great photographer because they have a great camera. I see it when I talk to wedding photographers about how their clients don’t want to pay for prints or albums because “uncle Joe” has a DSLR and will shoot their wedding for free. I see it when I browse Google+ or Facebook and see mediocre images posted as “works of art.” Friends, a mediocre 24 megapixel snapshot is still mediocre. You just have more resolution to display your mediocrity. With that, here are five fundamental tips for anyone who has recently picked up a new DSLR (or even an older one) and wants to improve their photography. Continue reading
I’ve posted some excerpts from Mastering Silver Efex Pro 2.0, my 2+ hour video companion to The Photographer’s Guide to Silver Efex Pro 2. You can find the excerpts (and more videos) over at my YouTube feed. Note that these videos are presented at lower resolution than the downloadable version of Mastering Silver Efex Pro 2.0, which is presented in 720p HD format.
Here’s a quick tip on improving your on-screen previews in HDR Efex Pro. Once I figured this out, my images came out a LOT better because I wasn’t over-adjusting them.
Bonus: Download my new HDR Efex Pro preset “Hyper-realistic Interiors.” This preset gives a nice clean look that is very natural and crisp when used on indoor images.
As much as I like using Nikon’s Capture NX 2 image editing software for processing my NEF files, I also really like using Nik Software’s plug-ins. Currently, only Color Efex Pro 3 works natively within the Capture NX 2 environment. However, I was recently having a discussion with one of my contacts at Nik Software, and he mentioned an interesting fact: the Lightroom implementations of Nik’s plug-ins can essentially be made to work as “stand-alone” applications, and launched directly from Capture NX 2. This is because Lightroom doesn’t really support “plug-ins,” instead it supports external editing applications. The upside of this design is that if you have the Lightroom version of a Nik plug-in installed, you can send it TIFFs or JPEGs directly without using Lightroom or Photoshop!
Here’s how to make Nik Plug-ins work with Capture NX 2 as external editors: Continue reading