Articles & eBooks

Free articles and eBooks to help you make beautiful photos.

How to Use Photoshop Layer Masks for Long Exposure Blending

I’m a sucker for long exposure effect especially smooth glassy water. I use ND filters a lot and create a long exposure in camera. But there are times when I don’t have my ND filters or ND filters won’t work. In this article, I’ll show you how to create a long exposure effect in Photoshop.

Getting Started in Astro-Photography

Astrophotography is as complex as it is gratifying. Astrophotography takes a lot of planning and a working knowledge of both Astronomy and Meteorology. In this article, I’ll introduce you to the camera gear you’ll need. I’ll help you plan a shoot and set your camera.

How to Shoot Daytime Long Exposure Photography

Unlike short exposures that freeze a moment in time, long exposures create a world we don’t normally see. Clouds smear. Water turns to glass. It's tricky to capture these magical photos, especially during the day. In this article, I’ll take you through a few easy steps for capturing daytime long exposure photography. Once you know the tricks, you’ll never see the world in the same way again.

Skylum’s Luminar 4 Photo Editor Review (Is It Worth It in 2022?)

Skylum Luminar 4 is an image editing software program in the same market space as Adobe Lightroom. This Luminar 4 review will look at the program’s latest version (4.3.3) for iOS as Skylum released Luminar Neo early in 2022.

How to Easily Understand the Exposure Triangle: Aperture, Shutter Speed & ISO

If you find the exposure triangle confusing, you’re not alone. For many photographers, the exposure triangle seems to be a moving target. Just when you think you understand one side of the triangle, everything changes. In this article, I’ll talk about how to control exposure in digital photography. I’ll talk through each of the three settings that make up the exposure triangle: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. As I go, I’ll help you understand how the settings interact with each other. Finally, I’ll give you a shooting exercise to help solidify your understanding of the exposure triangle.

Why I’m Sticking with Lightroom Classic… for Now

Ever since Adobe announced that Lightroom would become “Lightroom Classic”, the writing has been in the wall. Lightroom as I know it will someday become a technological dinosaur. If Adobe gets their way, the replacement - confusingly known as Lightroom (non-Classic) – is the way of the future. When CC came out, I opened the program and poked around a bit. But it was such a different interface and I couldn’t really see the point. I had photos to process, so I closed CC and went back to work in Classic. In this article, I’ll give you my impressions as I revisited CC with a view to switching from Classic.

Travel Photography in your own Back Yard

Travel photography is fun and exciting. We see new places and have new experiences. When we travel, we always something new to photograph.
But let’s face it, most of us can’t travel all of the time. If we’re lucky, we get a couple of trips a year. The rest of the time, we’re home doing everyday things in familiar places. During the pandemic, many of us found our traveling greatly reduced or eliminated entirely.We often think of traveling as part of a long trip, but traveling is a mindset. As long as we're open to the experience, travel photography can happen wherever you are. Even in your own back yard.

Creating a Sky Replacement Reflection in Photoshop

Photoshop’s Sky Replacement tool is easy to use. Two clicks will completely change the sky and the mood of your image. But Photoshop skips reflections of the sky in water. The sky above the horizon looks great, but the water reflects the sky from the original photo. In this eBook, I'll show you how to reflect a sky replacement.

A Practical Guide to Shooting Star Photography

Night photography can lead to some amazing images. But photographing stars can be tricky. In this article, we will cover the different types of star photography and the gear you might need. We'll cover camera settings, finding a location, and setting up your shot.

How to Rotate, Flip, and Straighten a Photo in Adobe Lightroom

This article shows how to rotate a photo in Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC, and Lightroom Mobile. Adobe Lightroom gives you many tools to fix a crooked picture, add a diagonal line for a more dynamic composition, or flip an image to create a mirror image.

How to Make and Sell Your Own Lightroom Presets (Best Tips!)

Are you a photographer who loves photo editing? Do you spend hours in Lightroom tweaking an image? This article is for you if you approach photo post-processing as a creative art form! Funnel your technical knowledge and creativity and we’ll show you how to sell Lightroom presets.

How to Edit Photos Like a Pro in 10 Steps

If your photos look different from the professionals, you may not need a better camera. Your photos may just need some post-processing love.
In today’s digital photography world, taking a photo is only half of the photo-making process. The other half is digitally enhancing the photo in a photo editing program. Almost every professional photo you see online has been digitally altered in some way. Sometimes the photos are completely changed to create a unique world. But mostly the photos are tweaked to fix errors or make them visually more appealing.

How to Understand Depth of Field in Photography

Depth of field (DoF) is one tool that will make your images more powerful and interesting. It is an artistic focusing choice with a technical foundation.
In this article, I’ll help you understand depth of field and how you can use it in your own photography. To increase your depth of field, you have three options:

You can narrow your aperture by increasing the f/stop, move further away from your subject, or by shortening the focal length of your lens.
To decrease your depth of field, you have three options:
You can widen your aperture by decreasing the f/stop, move closer to your subject, or by lengthening the focal length of your lens.

Dodging and Burning: Simple Tools, Powerful Results

Dodging and burning are fundamental and robust post-processing techniques. But they are often overlooked by digital photographers. In this eBook, I’ll introduce you to the dodge and burn tools found in many post-processing programs. I’ll show you how to use the tools for dramatic effect and push the idea of dodging and burning to the next level. The tools are simple to use but can have powerful results.

Snapping the Night Sky: It is not as Dark as You Think!

In this article, I’ll detail the camera settings that will help you create well-exposed images at night. I’ll give you the basics of long-exposure photography. Whether you want to photograph the moon or the Milky Way, I’ll show you what you need to make your nighttime photos a success.

How to Calculate Long Exposure Time

There’s something special about smooth water, soft waterfalls and cotton candy clouds. In this article, I’ll show you how to skip the guesswork and calculate long exposure times. I’ll give you a couple of tools that will make calculations a snap. I’ll show you how to use long exposure calculator apps and give you a template to help you chart long exposure times.

How to Create Awesome Color Splash Photography in Photoshop

This color splash Photoshop tutorial will show you how to highlight colors and make them pop off the screen. Creating a color splash effect takes only a few steps, and there is much room for creativity.

What is Color Grading? (And How to Use it for Better Photos)

The Color Grading tool in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw does not look like much—a few colored circles and sliders. But this tool is deceptively powerful. Once you know how to use the Color Grading tool in Lightroom, your post-processing creativity will expand to whole new levels. Consider these images before and after color grading.

Photographing Wild Horses

A few hours’ drive from my home is a field deep in the Missouri Ozarks. The field is quiet and secluded, tucked back at the end of a series of dirt roads. But if you stumble across this particular field you might get a surprise – the thundering sound of wild horses. The wild horses of Shannon County, Missouri are technically “feral” rather than wild. Their ancestors were likely domesticated animals turned loose during the economic difficulties of the Great Depression. Today, the horses run free in the fields and forests of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
This ebook will help you find and photograph wild horses – or even domesticated ones. Many of the lessons in this ebook apply to photographing other animals in the wild.

How to Create a One Photo a Day Project

A One Photo a Day Project (also called a 365 Project) can be deeply rewarding. It has the potential to change your photography – and it may even change your life. By the end of the project, my photographic skills had increased tremendously. I was also a very different person with a different outlook on the world around me. This ebook is about starting and staying with a One Photo a Day Project. We’ll talk about different ways you can personally define the project and how to stay motivated over time and I’ll give you a few tips to make your daily photographic journey a success.