Your camera’s sensor, your lens’s image stabiliser and the latest photo-editing software technology may surprise you with what they can do together. When you’re on vacation or on a once-in-a-lifetime trip or just strolling through warm city streets at night, you’re going to want to capture the sights with your camera but you don’t want break the mood by wrestling with a … [Read more...] about Don’t be scared of high ISOs!
Ideas to try
Looking for ideas to improve your images? Here's a collection of quick fixes, image effects and unusual processes to get you thinking. Some of them are software specific, others can be adapted to work in just about any photo editing application.
One of the reasons I rate image effects programs so highly compared to traditional image editors is the way they open your eyes to effects you wouldn’t have thought of. Like applying the Lith Border effect in Alien Skin Exposure X3 to this early morning shot of a country church. There’s already a lot of contrast in this shot, with the sun shining through the leaves towards the … [Read more...] about Try a black and white high contrast Lith effect
In photography, things don't always come together as you'd want them to. Sometimes you get wonderful lighting but there's no effective subject in front of the camera for bringing it out, and sometimes you've got a good subject but the lighting isn't right. Lightroom CC/Photography plan trial version and offers This is one of those situations. I thought the couple … [Read more...] about How to relight a scene in Lightroom
There's colour photography and there's black and white, but sometimes there's something in between which has its own very distinctive look. This tutorial is all about selective colour – making a black and white image but with one single colour preserved. In this case it's red, which is usually the most popular choice for this technique. I've used it to create a retro seaside … [Read more...] about How to create a selective colour effect
Very often in landscape photography you get the landscape or the lighting you want, but not the sky. In the perfect world you'd keep going back again and again until everything was perfect. In our not-so-perfect-world, however, it's sometimes useful to be able to add a new sky later, as the final touch to an image that was already 90% of the way there. The trouble with … [Read more...] about How to add a new sky to a landscape without selections
It does seem a bit perverse, adding colour to a black and white image which used to be colour in the first place, but hand-coloured (or digitally-coloured) black and white has a very particular 'look' that colour images just don't have. So this image (below) is one I originally shot in colour but then reworked as a black and white image with a little more contrast and a … [Read more...] about Hand coloured black and white with a bi-colour filter
Zoom blur is a popular bit tricky little technique where you zoom the lens during the exposure so that you get a kind of radial blur from the centre of the picture. This means using a shutter speed long enough to capture this rapid zoom movement, which usually means you get plenty of regular blur too. You can even add another twist, rather literally. As well as zooming the … [Read more...] about Add zoom blur with a twist
If you want to add a dark and brooding sky to your black and white photos then a graduated filter is the obvious way to do it. As long as the sky still has a full range of tones, i.e. it's not burned out to a solid white anywhere, you can practically do what you like with it. Here's an example. This picture is already quite rich and contrasty, but it would be nice to add … [Read more...] about Improve your compositions with two graduated filters not one
You normally associate soft focus effects with portraits, but they can work on all kinds of images, adding a romantic, dreamy feel to an everyday scene. Landscapes, for example, are often given a dramatic, brooding look when sometimes the emotion we feel is much lighter. Here's an example. This tree-lined avenue felt bright, airy and summery, but somehow the picture … [Read more...] about Try this soft focus effect on landscapes
With careful use of levels and curves adjustments you can rescue even the faintest and most faded artworks and restore both saturation and contrast. Levels and curves are two of the most basic adjustment tools in any image-editing program, but there’s often confusion about which to use and when, and it often appears as if they overlap in what they do. But some programs … [Read more...] about Restore faded art using levels and curves