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Photoshop 101 – Part 1 – Understanding Layers

In Learning Center, Post-Processing, Tutorials by jfischerLeave a Comment

Making the jump from Lightroom to Photoshop can be an intimidating proposition.  Much like that first time you switched the camera from Auto all the way to that frightening ‘M’, suddenly you had more tools to work with than you knew what to do with.  No longer was the camera handling everything and making the majority of the decisions for you; now you had to know the correlation between Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO to make the image you wanted. While Lightroom isn’t exactly the ‘Auto’ of Post Processing workflows, …

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Landscapes 301 – Long Exposures

In Landscapes, Learning Center, Tutorials by jfischerLeave a Comment

Photographs have the ability to not only show the world as it is, but also how we perceive it, and with the right tools, far beyond how the human eye can interpret it.  In some ways the camera is inferior to the human eye (which in the wide natural world is far from being all that impressive), but in other ways the camera can be manipulated to capture views of the world that the human eye never could.  Examples range from capturing the Milky Way in all of its detail, …

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Dodge/Burn with Photoshop Blend Modes

In Learning Center, Post-Processing, Tips and tricks, Tutorials by jfischer1 Comment

When most photographers think of Dodging and Burning they immediately think of portrait retouching. Adjusting the contouring of the face and other body features to sculpt the lights and shadows. However, the technique can be used on almost any photo where objects need to take on an increased depth through the addition of contrast. While global and even localized contrast can be used to bring punch and detail, it can not reshape or refocus the light like a little bit of dodging and burning can do. Regardless if it’s a …

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Landscapes 201 – Adjust and Adapt

In Landscapes, Learning Center, Tutorials by jfischerLeave a Comment

You’ve planned your photography trip for weeks, maybe even months, you’ve picked the best time of year for the location, or the skies, or the tides, or whatever it is you want to capture at some far away location.  Taking time away from most likely both work and family, you have a list of ‘must have’ photos in your mind of what you want to shoot when you get there for the trip to be a success.  There is, however, one thing you can’t control, one variable that will, almost …

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Landscapes 201 – Preparing for the Shoot

In Landscapes, Learning Center, Tips and tricks, Tutorials by jfischer2 Comments

In Landscapes 101, I discussed 10 top tips to kick start your thinking on how to improve your landscape photography regardless if your subject is your local park or Arches National Park in Utah. In Landscapes 201 will break this down further by diving into much more detail on a number of these tips. This series is geared towards preparing for a major photography trip to a landscape photography destination, be it Olympic National Park, the beaches of Mexico, dark skies of West Texas, or deep in the Smokey Mountains. In …

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The Plight of the 50mm Lens

In General, Learning Center, Tutorials by jfischerLeave a Comment

Go ask almost any forum filled with Photographers “What is the first lens to buy after the kit lens?”, and the answer is often ’50mm’, ‘Nifty Fifty’ and so on. The 50mm has no shortage of fans. Simply Google ‘Why every photographer should own a 50mm’ and you’ll get dozens of articles from some of the biggest photography websites around. However, go back into those same forums you started at, and ask ‘What’s your least used lens’, and amazingly, the 50mm also gets mentioned a fair bit. And this got me …

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Landscapes 101 – Beyond the pretty snapshot

In Landscapes, Learning Center, Tutorials by jfischer3 Comments

Every photography site out there seems to have one, the “How to improve your Landscape Photography” article.  Usually they have 5, or 10, or even 12 bullet points that cover the same general set of tips to taking better landscape photos.  And this is mine.  Why should you read it?  Well, for starters, you’re already here, so you might as well.  Additionally,  I’m not so far removed from ‘before I knew these tips’ that I’ll assume you already know why they are important.  I’m going to take the time to say …

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Star Trails – Astrophotography in Motion

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Tutorials by jfischer1 Comment

Photography, as they say, is about capturing a moment in time. Some moments are a fraction of a second, like a batter swinging for the fences, or a Kingfisher as it dives for its breakfast. Other moments might capture a full second of time, such as a waterfall flowing over Niagara Falls. Some moments are longer yet, such as letting light flow through the camera long enough to capture eddies in a river, or soften a raging surf into a misty fog. When you start dragging out the length of …

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Astrophotography – Seeing the Light in the Darkest Places

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Tutorials by jfischer2 Comments

I remember vividly the wonder, and the frustration, in trying to capture my first astrophotography photographs.  I was standing on the edge of the road in the middle of Yellowstone National Park, taking in the arch of the milky way as it reached overhead.  It was one of the first times in my adult life, or ever that I could recall, that I was able to see the band of stars that make up our galaxy from the general star field stretching across the sky.  The problem was, I knew …