Image Quality

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Quick tip: Taming the sun with a Multiply layer in Photoshop

Pl_ShweYanPanMonastery_0116mulSometimes you just can’t control the clock or the sun. The monastery in Nyaung Shwe (in Myanmar’s Shan State) is famous for its historic round wood windows. But finding them with novices peering out from the study hall inside was a special treat. Harsh light or not, it was a great photo opportunity. Having a Nikon D810 certainly helped me capture the full tonal range of the image from light to dark, but another trick was needed to make the image look good…

Tiffen Dfx v3: World’s leader in film filters goes digital–helps me recreate history

Tiffen Dfx3 provides a wide arrary of nearly 200 filters and special effectsLike many pro photographers, I’ve gotten used to relying on filters from nik Software to augment those found in Photoshop. Tiffen, to me, was a name associated with glass filters, not digital ones. But when Mike Rubin, who I greatly respect, made the jump from Nikon to Tiffen, my ears perked up and I had to learn more. I’m glad I did. Mike introduced me to Tiffen Dfx v3 plug-in for Photoshop (as well as Lightroom and Aperture). At first I wasn’t sure I needed yet another plug-in for Photoshop, as I already use a variety of others. After firing up Dfx, though, I realized it took a different approach than any other filter set I’d used, starting by recreating Tiffen’s legacy of film filters for digital, making it feel much more like a traditional darkroom tool – except on steroids… Read more »

nik’s Detail Extractor: For when spot metering just won’t cut it

EDL_InleLake_Fishermen_1960Unless you only shoot models in a studio, you’ve no doubt run into a lighting situation your camera just can’t handle. A very common one is a shaded subject in a bright environment. There are two classic ways to deal with the situation. First is flash. Of course, that only works if the subject is close enough and you have the right flash(es) to achieve the desired effect. The second, which I’ve often used at sporting events where the contestants are wearing caps, is to spot meter on the subject. But sometimes, like in the case of this Inthar fisherman in Myanmar, neither of those approaches will work. I’d really like to capture his wonderful facial expressions, but not lose the rendering of the background. If I spot meter for his shadowed face, I’ll blow out the scenery and even much of his fishing gear. Fortunately there is another solution… Read more »

Thirty Minutes That Can Save Your Photo Vacation

Whether you are going on a casual vacation and want to capture some images of your trip or a full-fledged photo safari where you are hoping to capture the “images of a lifetime” there is hardly anything more distressing than looking at your images and finding them blurry. The camera normally gets the blame, but with a simple exercise before you go you can prevent this disaster… DOF Test SetupDOF Test Setup