*Topaz Adjust, ‘a bit of everything Topaz’ plugin on sale! w/ @topazlabs

For many of us, Topaz Adjust was the first Topaz plugin that we bought.  It was a one click solution to enhance a variety of images in a multitude of ways.  Many of the newer Topaz plugins have even been born as an expansion from some of the filters in Adjust, so I guess you could call it the OG Topaz plugin.  It has grown over the years to include many more filters and is onto version 5.

It is currently on sale for $29.99, 40% off through July (normally $49.99) on Topaz Labs website HERE (use code julyadjust at checkout).

If you’d like to see and read more about my thoughts on Adjust, come on in!

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*Wrap your subject in light, a 4 light, high key setup.

 

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I’ve been working through some lens reviews, and wanted to take a break from the technical, to share a lighting setup.  Portraiture wise, I tend to normally go in one of two directions, either very minimal, directional, moody light, or a sh*t ton of lights.  This setup is the latter.  Using 4 lights and a reflector, my goal for shooting with Trisha was to wrap her in light from every direction.  I knew I wanted to really showcase her beautiful blue eyes, and getting enough light into them meant lighting her from the front high and low. C’mon in for the setup.

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*Freebie Photography 101, the Exposure Trifecta Part 3 : ISO

exposure trifecta iso

Rounding out our Exposure Trifecta is our ISO.  We discussed Aperture here, Shutter Speed here and with ISO we finalize this three pronged, exposure equation.

Understanding when and how to manipulate your exposure might be a little tricky to fathom at first, but I’m hoping that after this series, you’ll have a very good grasp on how these three factors can be used to capture an image in any situation.

We’ll look not only at ISO specifically, but we’ll tie in all three and explain how, why and when to adjust them in concert to achieve proper exposure.  C’mon in…

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*Freebie Photography 101, the Exposure Trifecta Part 2 : Shutter Speed

freebie photography 101 exposure trifecta shutter speed

 

Welcome to part 2 of our Freebie Photography series where we are exploring the Exposure Trifecta.  In our first installment, we discussed the aperture of a lens and how it affects both the light through a lens, and the depth of field when adjusted. If you missed it, you can read Part 1 HERE.

Today, we’ll go over the second of our three primary exposure functions, our shutter speed.

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*Freebie Photography 101, the Exposure Trifecta Part 1 : Aperture

exposure trifecta aperture part 1

Welcome to a new series on the blog, FREEBIE PHOTOGRAPHY 101 where we will explore both technical and artistic aspects of photography and our cameras.  The aim with the Exposure Trifecta (the relationship between Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO value) is to learn how to better understand and control our exposure manually through examples and exercises to gain a better grasp on some of the seemingly daunting exposure modes and tools involved.  I’ll add articles about metering, exposure compensation, white balance and other often automated, yet powerful to understand settings that our cameras provide us the ability to control as time goes on as well.  It doesn’t matter if you’re shooting with a phone camera or a fifty thousand dollar medium format machine, understanding how an exposure is created, how a camera works while perhaps overwhelming at first, is easy, it really is.  With just a little time and effort, you’ll be understanding the hows and whys of different photographic effects and how to apply them in different situations.

When starting this blog 5 years ago, I did it to help friends and family who were interested in photography, to share techniques, and help answer questions I’d field to better understand basic photographic principals.  The site has grown and evolved into what you see today, chalk full of camera, lens and software reviews, gear-centric comparison pieces, lighting explanations or post processing tutorials, travel ramblings and editorial articles for the design collective I work with.

As is the cyclical nature of life, I’ve recently been having more and more conversations lately with friends and friends of friends who have shown interest in better understanding these powerful image creation tools and I thought it would be a good opportunity to refresh my original Exposure Trifecta article, written over 5 years ago.  Getting back to the roots as it were, and perhaps act as an introduction to some new friends we’ve gathered along the way here on the site.  So, grab your camera and a cup of coffee, we’re gonna have some fun.

If you feel like you could use a refresher, would like to add your input, or know someone just starting out or looking to better understand the Exposure Trifecta of Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO sensitivity, come one, come all.  Through my amazing ability to ramble on, and the community we’ve built through this site, we’ll get you sorted and knowing how, and when to adjust these exposure variables to understand how to completely control your photographic vision. C’mon in… Continue reading

*Happy Halloween! Using ReMask, Clarity and AS Exposure for some holiday fun.

happy halloween

 

Halloween is upon us.  We’re only a week away from discounted bags of little candies and the beginnings of Christmas decorations adorning every retail outlet.  With Topaz currently offering their cool photo enhancement plugin Topaz Clarity at 25% off until this Friday Oct 31st (Click HERE and use code “octclarity”), I thought it would be fun to use it as part of a little tutorial.  Last year, when Topaz ReMask went on sale, I used my jack o’lantern as my muse and replaced my head with it.  After fielding inquiries about my penchant for replacing my head with pumpkins, cameras and various other objects over the last couple years, I thought I’d take the opportunity to show you how easy it is, while creating a fun family portrait in the meantime.  I’ve set up links to download free trials of all the plugins used if you’d like to try it yourself.  Come on in…

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*Digital Silver Imaging, a unique digital silver gelatin printing process.

 

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I love photography.  I love the journey that photography has taken me on, and I continue to enjoy exploring the possibilities available to appreciate the fruits of my photographic labor.

Last month, I tested and reviewed MacPhun’s Tonality Pro black and white conversion software (click here to read more on that).  I really enjoyed talking with Alex and Kevin from MacPhun about their software, and getting some insight into both the software and the people behind it.  Long story short, I consider it the best black and white conversion software I’ve personally used.  Upon finishing my review, I was referred to one of their partners in Digital Silver Imaging, a unique print lab specializing in black and white printing.  DSI offers a variety of printing solutions, but one in particular was fascinating to me.  Using a laser enlarger, they convert and project your digital image file onto light sensitive, silver gelatin, black and white photo paper which is then processed in black and white photo chemistry.  Why, and what benefit might this have for those of us that have moved into the digital realm?  Come on in for more information about the process, and why I think it might be the best way to archive your favorite black and white, digital images.

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