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 … [Read more...]
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.
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, … [Read more...]
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 … [Read more...]
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 … [Read more...]
Modern lenses are pretty good at creating even illumination across the frame, and if there is some corner shading (vignetting) you can use software to eliminate it. However, sometimes vignetting is good! Especially if you can control it creatively to improve your picture’s composition and contrast. This image below has all the ingredients for … [Read more...]
Digital images don’t have much texture. Your subjects might, of course, but the way cameras render tones is glassy-smooth (at low ISO settings anyway) and sometimes a little sterile. Adding a texture digitally can make a picture look more interesting, more tactile and more ‘hand made’. Textures can be very subtle, like the fine texture of a … [Read more...]