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How to Set Your White Balance with a Gray Card [video]

Amazon: My Inexpensive “DGK” White Balance Card
Note: After my review caused them to sell out, they doubled the price.  Still cheap though.

Amazon: A More Expensive “High End” White Balance Card

Lightroom Made Easy

Secrets of Successful Event Photography

If you have trouble watching the Video here you can watch on YouTube at this link:
How to Set Your Camera White Balance Using a Gray Card

Tips for Phone/Tablet Art Photography

iPhone Art Example

Self-portrait by Sebastian Michaels – Click to enlarge

How to Hone Your Artistic Skills While Creating Great Images on a Smart Phone or Tablet

by Sebastian Michaels [guest post] 

It’s a new world out there.

The art being created today by serious “iPhoneographers” rivals (and often surpasses) easily 90% of anything I’ve ever seen created with Photoshop.

It really is that good.

When Bob Weil (2013 IPPA Photographer of the Year and author of the book The Art of iPhone Photography) decided to put together a serious online course showing the advanced layering and compositional techniques possible now on an iPhone or iPad, I knew I wanted to be part of it … But I also knew, going in, that most people were going to need to start with a more basic, fundamental skill set.

So that’s what I’ve come up with for you here. (more…)

Two Great New Photography E-Books

New E-BooksI know many of you love photography e-books because they are:

(a) Inexpensive,
(b) Easy to refer back to any time,
(c) Portable on all your devices, and
(d) Did I mention inexpensive?

Well, while I was busy finishing my Event Photography course, two of my favorite photography teachers put out great new e-books that I am long overdue in bringing to your attention.

Let’s look at each separately. (more…)

Using Lightroom on Two Computers

Shop for Lightroom 5 on

Lightroom 5 Full Version

Ligtroom 5 Upgrade from Earlier Version

You can also watch this on YouTube: Using Lightroom on Two Computers

Lightroom 5 New Features

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5Adobe has released Lightroom version 5, and it includes some killer new features that make it worth upgrading.

If you own my Lightroom Made Easy online course, I have already updated it with four new videos covering the four biggest new features (described below). Simply log in to your course on my training website, and you’ll find the new LR5 videos waiting for you.

For those of you trying to decide whether to upgrade to Lightroom 5, here’s a quick look at the key new features. (more…)

My First Attempt at Photo Art

Photoshop Artistry 1

Postcard from the Apocalypse?
[click to enlarge]

This is my first attempt at photo art using the principles taught by my friend Sebastian Michaels in his  Photoshop Artistry course.

This course is the most popular thing I ever offered my subscribers!  It has become an international phenomenon with an almost cult-like following of raving fans.

You can still sign up for 70% off the regular price  during this special invitation-only sale for my subscribers.

So, here’s how I created this monstrosity. (more…)

Wacom Tablet for Photoshop Retouching [video]

Price and Compare Tablets Online

Small Tablets

Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch (this is the one I have)

Wacom Bamboo Capture Pen and Touch Tablet

Medium Size

Wacom Bamboo Create Pen and Touch Tablet

Large Size

Wacom Intuos5 Touch Large Pen Tablet

 You can also watch this video on YouTube: Wacom Tablet Review

Landscapes and Lightroom

lightroom landscape 1

Lots of Clarity in Lightroom makes the details pop. Graduated filter recovers washed out areas. Click for Before-After comparison.

First off, an admission: I’ve never been much of a landscape photographer.

It’s never very been high on my photography interest list, because I’m drawn more to people and action—two things that are generally absent from landscapes.

Nevertheless, when I find myself in beautiful surroundings—like the jaw-dropping red-rock country of Sedona, Arizona—I naturally want to pull out the camera and bring home some knock-out photos. (more…)

Meetups, Models, and Photo Retouching

Meetup Model Photo

Click to enlarge

Last week I participated in a “Models and Photographers” Meetup event where I took the photo at left. If you’re an aspiring photographer, or even a pro looking to meet new models or experiment with new techniques, I highly recommend using Meetups ( as a low-cost, low-stress way to get out in the field and work with like-minded people.

In my city there are at least a dozen photography Meetup groups, many of which hold events at least once per week. Some Meetups charge a small fee to help cover administrative costs, but usually everyone involved is working for trade to build their portfolios (called TFP).  At last week’s meetup I found half-a-dozen would-be models and a similar number of photographers all working hard to create great images together with no financial pressure, and no expectations except that any good photos would be provided to the model afterward.

My photo above got some attention from the group, because other photographers who shot the same model in the same location did not get equally good results. They asked me to explain how I made the shot, and I happily obliged (sharing our techniques is one purpose of this group).  I thought you might enjoy the explanation as well. (more…)

Before and After: Photo Post-Production

Sculpture after editing

CLICK TO ENLARGE --- Bliss Dance, sculpture by Lloyd Taylor

Some people think of photographic post-production (especially if the word “Photoshop” is used) as synonymous with trickery—as an underhanded way of creating something fake, of “doctoring” a photo, like some supermarket tabloid cover featuring Gary Coleman partying in a hot tub with an extra-terrestrial. Sure, you can do that with Photoshop.

But for most of us photographers, post-production is not some diabolical plot to create something fake, but a useful tool to help us re-create what we saw in reality but were unable to capture in the camera.  Or sometimes what we saw in our mind’s eye as the potential shot, if not for the unfortunate accidents of poor weather, bad lighting, or fat tourists.

It’s a tool to help re-create the shot that should have been. (more…)

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