How to Enhance the Sky in Your Photos

July 2020 issue Tech

Whether you should or shouldn’t replace a photographed sky with one that’s more interesting has been a contentious topic among photographers. Regardless of that debate, modifying the original sky in an image can be a tedious, labor-intensive undertaking involving complex masking, blending modes, and other techniques. But there are times when you can’t wait for the perfect sky for a portrait background, or you can’t return to the landscape location when the sky is ideal. For these times... Continue Reading >

Use Free Transform to Enhance Creative Work

5.22.2020 Tech

I use Adobe Photoshop’s Free Transform tool on almost all of my creative photography projects. There is rarely a cloud that doesn’t appear more graceful or delicate after adding a little curvature, or a tree that doesn’t get more interesting with some bending or stretching. Old shacks gain character with more sag in the roof. Foregrounds benefit from being less flat, backgrounds contribute more drama with taller mountains, and dirt roads come alive with an exaggerated S-curve.In most... Continue Reading >

Creative analysis with Julieanne Kost

January 2020 issue Profiles

© Bob Coates Dennis Chamberlain and Julianne KostMany Photoshop users are familiar with Adobe Evangelist Julianne Kost. She’s a must-see at conferences and conventions as well as a helpful tutor via her blog, YouTube and Adobe Help videos, and her books “Window Seat” and “Passenger Seat.” She is looked to as the one person who can answer any Photoshop question.I first saw her in 2004 as she took command of an auditorium of about 2,000 Photoshop World attendees with her... Continue Reading >

Erich Caparas gives photographers an education

October 2019 issue Profiles

Stepping back to help others move forward© Erich Caparas Erich CaparasIn 2002, after 22 years working as a photographer and graphic designer, Erich Caparas, M.Photog., walked away. “I was burned out,” he says of his career in the commercial niche. He craved something different, so he moved to Florida to become, of all things, a real estate broker.For nine years, Caparas built his brokerage business. But photography wasn’t done with him yet. In 2011, he picked it up again as a... Continue Reading >

How-to: A grand wedding composite

9.25.2019 Tech

Photographer: Charmi Patel PeñaDate: June 23, 2019   Location: The Ritz-Carlton PhiladelphiaSubject: Shauna and Saheelan and their large bridal partyEquipment: Nikon D850, 28mm 1.8 lens, Speedlight, and Magmod grid/sphere combo.Notes from the photographer: Shauna was extremely glam and wanted a glam bridal party photo. A single light just wouldn’t have produced the vision she wanted. Knowing this is a busy lobby, we started by posing everyone in their places, starting with the... Continue Reading >

Product review: Topaz AI Software

September 2019 issue Tech

Most photographers I know would rather spend time creating new images than painstakingly enhancing recent captures. Topaz Labs has introduced four new programs that use artificial intelligence to take some of the drudgery out of post-production.From improving image quality in smartphones to creating software presets that emulate prominent painters’ styles, the branch of AI called machine learning is changing the imaging world. Firms including Adobe, Skylum, CyberLink, and Topaz are using AI... Continue Reading >

Product review: DxO Photo Lab 2

June 2019 issue Tech

If you care enough about the quality of your image captures to shoot raw format files, you want to process those files in software that extracts the highest quality image output. DxO OpticsPro software has earned a well-deserved place among the applications that can do the job, but it’s lacked some of the features that would make it a total image processing workflow package. After a name change to DxO PhotoLab and the addition of Nik U Point technology last year, the program only required a... Continue Reading >

Software review: Phase One Capture One 12

May 2019 issue Tech

Each full-version release of Capture One software from Phase One offers at least one major new feature as well as a few minor ones, and Capture One 12 is no exception. Where version 11 added somewhat improved masking tools, version 12 takes a giant step forward by introducing straightforward luminosity masking along with a new radial gradient masking tool and an improved linear gradient masking tool.Luminosity masks are simply masks that affect certain tonal values in an image. They are... Continue Reading >

Amy Feick makes a mad scientist

March 2019 issue Tech

Date: March 18, 2015Location: Amy Feick’s studio in Port Huron, Michigan, and her ex-husband’s machine shopSubject: Amy’s son, AveryEquipment: Nikon D750, Nikon SB910 Speedlight for the backlight, and a Photogenic Powerlight 1250 with a beauty dish for the front lightFeick’s notes: “Avery had been a mad scientist for Halloween the year before. He played the part so well that we wanted to create a special portrait for him. The goal was to portray Avery’s lab after it had just... Continue Reading >