What is the difference between RAW and .jpg?

We often hear about shooting in RAW versus .jpg, what is the RAW format and why is it better than .jpg? Once you have a RAW file how do you get it back into .jpg format to share it online? Why do RAW files look drab compared to the image displayed on the back of your camera? All good questions, […]

Get to work, COVID-19 edition.

Well Well Well… look where we are today. Many of us are sequestered at home (some voluntarily and some not), in an effort to quell the spread of COVID-19, nearly all of my photographer friends have stopped seeing clients and are spending their time looking for something to do. I have compiled a list of ideas to direct your time […]

Understanding flash duration

Freezing motion when working in the studio can be a bit confusing. Generally (say when we shoot sports) we rely on our shutter speed to freeze action. Understanding how flash duration freezes motion can clear up some misconceptions about relying on shutter speed to freeze motion. Mark Wallace does a great job explaining how older flash technology can have a […]

My images are always blurry! what am I doing wrong?

Cameras, especially DSLRs can be confusing when you are just getting started in photography. Many tell me that an iPhone can snap a decent image regardless of where you take it, why can’t an expensive DSLR do the same? Think about cameras like a musical instrument, and a camera phone like a radio, both will play music – one you […]

Calibrate your monitor using DisplayCal

Calibrating your monitor is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your image quality. While you can’t control the way an image looks once it gets to your clients or viewers, you can control how it looks when you are editing it. There are several choices available for monitor calibration, I personally use the Datacolor Spyder X. […]

Is Landscape photography worth the time?

Recently I exhibited a new body of work at one of the galleries in the Santa Fe Art District here in Denver Co. The opening nights are always my favorite because you can be a fly on the wall with the people looking at the displayed art. You can always count on hearing some interesting candid critiques of the work […]

Are critiques useful after the shoot?

I lurk (and participate) in a lot of internet forums on photography, and one recurring topic I see is that image critiques are not useful after the shoot has been done. This sentiment seems to be especially common from newer photographers. Let’s face it, the internet can be a terrible place, and no matter how good you are at something […]

Focus Fail

Teaching yourself to be critical of your work can improve the quality of your work immensely. I often use a failed attempt at an image here to illustrate my workflow and mindset when choosing images for social media or an exhibition. Let’s talk about it..   I often see photographers using the “machine gun” approach when taking a photo, they […]

Helping you cull your work

Are you one of those photographers who have difficulty selecting the one iconic image from a set of good shots? Have you ever taken a portrait, and liked the look on the models face but you missed focus on the eyes and decided to show it anyway? If you have problems identifying flaws in your work, then this article can […]

When a model flakes

First, let me say this article is written from the perspective of a photographer (that’s me), but the information contained herein can certainly be applied to either side of the image creating relationship. When a model cancels on your shoot, it can be frustrating, but understanding the process, and your actions that led you to that flaked session can make […]

Vignettes and how to use them

The vignette in photographic terms is characterized as the loss of brightness around the edge of a photograph. A vignette was often considered an undesirable effect in photography, as it historically highlighted the limitations of a lens. Programs like Adobe Lightroom come preloaded with profiles for most available lenses and easily counter the darkening effect in software. Vignettes have changed […]

Profoto vs Godox Light Modifier showdown

There are more videos and articles comparing battery powered flashes than you can shake a stick at. Anyone researching a portable lighting setup will undoubtedly look at the strobe offerings from Profoto (B10, B1X) and Godox (AD200, AD600PRO etc.) but once you have that shiny new strobe unit, you are going to need to pony up for some light modifiers. […]

Photography forums survival guide

I actively participate in many online photography forums, and I have noticed after years you start to see patterns of behavior and the same kinds of people in every forum. Learning how to deal with critiques and comments – both positive and negative can help you grow as a photographer and artist. While this article is geared towards the photographer, […]

Easy Film noir style images

This week we explore how objects between and around your flash affect your images. You may have heard of terms like cookie, flag and gobo when referring to lighting, what the heck are these things and will using them benefit your images? Lets talk about it… Cookies Cookies are an object which is placed in front of your light source […]

Christmas light portraits

By numerous reader request, in this week’s Troubleshooting your photography we discuss portraits with Christmas lights. Controlling your ambient light and flash exposure to get Christmas lights that pop while keeping a proper exposure on your subject can be confusing. Let’s talk about it… Using a strobe, whether on-camera or off to light your subject is a straightforward process, but […]

Getting shadows under control n your portraits.

Today I continue my weekly series helping you to Troubleshoot your Photography. This series is geared towards beginning and intermediate photographers, but old grizzled photographers (yours truly included) may also find useful tidbits in these musings. Are you new to photography and finding that people on social media are not liking your images as much as you expected them to? […]

Wait…do you calibrate?

Have you ever sent off your photos to the local pharmacy or the big box store, only to get back a box full of prints that are way too dark? Do you wonder why your prints do not match what you see on your computer monitor? Did you get an awesome new photo printer for a gift, and all your […]