Seascape Photography: The Ultimate Guide by Anton Gorlin

“Often, when we travel to the seaside, we want to create some great shots, not just to remember, but also to impress others. The sea is beautiful, the coast is picturesque, but the photos need a bigger punch, right? No worries, I’ll teach you how to create some stunning seascape photography pieces. Read further to learn about all aspects of the coastal photography: types of light, composition, shutter speeds, planning, the spirit of freedom, etc.” —Anton Gorlin

Seascape Photography: The Ultimate Guide
by Anton Gorlin

read it or download the PDF at Anton Gorlin Blog
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The Ultimate Wildlife Photography Tutorial

The Ultimate Wildlife Photography Tutorial
By Robert Andersen

In this in-depth Wildlife Photography Tutorial, we put together some of the best material we have published to date on photographing wildlife. Most of the information comes from myself (Robert Andersen), but a few extra tips are shared by other talented PL team members like Tom Redd. Instead of creating separate articles on each topic, we thought it would be a good idea to compile everything into a single piece, so that our readers could get the best out of it and have a chance to follow the material in a logical progression. This tutorial is a work in progress and we will be adding more sections in the future, so make sure to bookmark it in your browser!

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The Ultimate Wildlife Photography Tutorial
more at Photography Life

Six Essential Layers for Photos

The six most frequently used Photoshop layers for image editing, and how to use them to improve almost any photo.
Photoshop has many types of layers and adjustment layers available, but there are six that you’ll find you need to use again and again. Learning how they should be used may seem a little daunting for beginners, but once you’ve got to grips with them, you’ll find they play a part in the creative process of almost every image you make.

layers01 Levels

This should be the first layer you add to an image, because it fundamentally alters the tonal range of the entire image. Create a Levels adjustment layer, drag the Black Point slider inwards until it touches the lefthand edge of the histogram, and drag the White Point slider inwards to the right-hand edge. This remaps the tones of the image to make more of the available tonal range.

layers09b02 Curves

Curves is one of the most powerful adjustment layers. An S-shaped curve brightens the highlights and darkens the shadows, resulting in extra contrast. Create a Curves adjustment layer and click the middle of the diagonal line to add a central control point. Drag down on the lower part of the line and drag up on the upper part of the line to improve image contrast.

layers09c03 Hue/Saturation

This adjustment layer is best used for altering the intensity and brightness of individual colour channels in an image – greens and blues in landscapes, for instance. Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, click the Master menu and choose the colour channel you’d like to adjust. Small changes are usually the most effective.

layers09d04 Healing Layer

Most photos contain unwanted marks or blemishes. The Spot Healing Brush tool is effective at removing these. The best way to apply the healing is on a new blank layer, so that you can easily tone down or remove selected healing work later without having to start from scratch because you healed directly on the background layer. To do this, create a new blank layer, choose the Spot Healing Brush tool from the Tools panel and tick Sample All Layers on the Options Bar, then continue as normal.

layers09e05 Dodge and Burn

One of the best ways to enhance a photo is by lightening or darkening selected areas of the image. This can be done with the Dodge and Burn tools, but rather than use them directly on the image, a separate grey layer gives you greater control. To create a Dodge and Burn layer, hold down Alt and click the Create a new layer icon in the Layers panel. Give the layer a name, then choose Mode: Overlay. Check Fill with Overlay-neutral color and click OK. Now use the Dodge and Burn tools (with Range set to Midtones) to work on the new layer.

layers09f06 Selective Sharpening

Once all other adjustments have been made, you need to sharpen the image for output. The traditional way is to create a merged layer at the top of the stack, apply Unsharp Mask, then paint on the mask to remove the sharpening from those parts of the image you want to remain soft. However, the Sharpen tool enables more control over the process by enabling you to build up the effect by brushing repeatedly with a low opacity brush. Create a new blank layer, select the Sharpen tool, tick Sample All Layers and set a Strength of 50% or lower.

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from: Practical Photoshop – September 2015

via worldmags

A 10 Step Personal Development Strategy for Photographers

A 10 Step Personal Development Strategy for Photographers
by Alister Benn

AlisterBenn08aIn this article I want to lay some foundations, on which I will build in future articles. I am not talking here about image development, but your personal and professional development as a photographer. As a full-time working photographer, I am well aware of the 10,000 hours I have invested in my art and craft – not just once, but many times over the last two decades – and it doesn’t end. This is ongoing and if you don’t continue to invest in your personal development, you will not improve and remain static.

AlisterBenn08bRegardless of whether you are at the start of your journey, having just recently picked up a camera, or have been working in the field for decades, this overview will apply and help you improve.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, don’t complain about the destination!”

AlisterBenn08cA 10 Step Personal Development Strategy for Photographers
by Alister Benn

continue at: digital-photography-school

Stop Using A Camera, Start Making Photographs

Stop Using A Camera, Start Making Photographs
“The day my photography changed was the day I stopped learning to use a camera and started learning to make photographs. Indulge me: it’s more than just semantics, at least it was for me. We begin, most of us, learning photography as the art of using a camera, figuring out the buttons and dials and learning to focus and expose. It’s a first, necessary stage. And many, if not most, of us camp out there way too long. I did. We point our cameras at things, we expose, we focus, we press the button. And we wonder why, day after day, our photographs don’t get better. So we focus on the flaws, moan about the low dynamic range, or the high ISO noise, or the lack of edge to edge sharpness. Those things become our target in the ongoing quest for better photographs, because it seems so logical – if we use our cameras better, and we use better cameras, our photographs will get better. …” — David duChemin

continue (MUST READ) at: davidduchemin


Tips for Shooting Off-Camera Flash with an Umbrella

Off-Camera Flash | You see photography umbrellas in almost every Hollywood movie that features a photographer. They are part of the imagery that people see in their mind when they think about portrait photographers, but what exactly does a photography umbrella do? In this article we will examine 3 tips for shooting off-camera flash with an umbrella.

Types of Photography Umbrella For Off-Camera Flash.
You may be as surprised as I was to find out that there are actually different types of photography or flash umbrellas and each one has a specific purpose. The first thing to note is how many spokes the umbrella has. The standard number of spokes is usually 8 or 16. The more spokes it has the more it wraps the light around your subject giving you a more flattering and less harsh light. The next thing to examine is if it is translucent or not. A translucent umbrella means that you can fire your off-camera flash though the umbrella, turning it into a large diffuser. If it is not translucent, then your flash umbrella should have a black fabric covering the back of it and it should be lined with white, silver or gold material. The gold and silver linings are obviously more reflective than the white lining so they give a more specular or striking light while the white lining diffuses the flash for a softer light on your subject. Remember that the reflective material will also determine the final look of your portrait, as the gold reflective material will cause your image to warm up considerably.
Shooting with a Flash Umbrella.

The most important thing to remember when shooting off-camera flash is that the light falling on your subject is determined by the size of the light in relation to your subject and the distance of the light from your sitter. The larger the light source, the softer the light and the closer the light source, the softer the light. This is best demonstrated by looking out your window. The sun is a small spot in the sky, for us here on planet Earth, and it is also very far away. The resulting light is bright, harsh and with great contrast between highlights and shadows. Not ideal for portrait photography. Now imagine a cloudy day. The light from the sun hits the clouds turning them into a massive light source that is far closer to us than the sun. The result is a softer and more flattering light with less contrast. This exact same principle applies to off-camera flash photography.

40” Silver Photography Umbrella.

UmbrellaSilverThis example was shot against a white wall using an off camera flash and a 40” silver photography umbrella. With the silver lining, you can see that there is a very focused light on the model’s face with striking shadows and contrast. The highlights very quickly turn to shadow areas and there is very little light hitting the background. What is interesting to note in this photograph is the shadow on the model’s cheek with beautiful contrast with the viewer’s attention being brought directly to the model’s eyes.

40” White Bounce Umbrella.

UmbrellaWhiteThere is a striking difference between this example and the one above. This photo was shot with a 40” white bounce umbrella. Instantly you can see how the white lining of the photography umbrella scatters the light from the off-camera flash. The result is a more even light with just enough contrast to keep detail in the shadows without the image becoming flat. You can also see that the flash now lights more of the background, which is perfect for location photography as it keeps your sitter in the environment. A 40” white bounce umbrella is ideal for shooting headshots where you want to add a bit more character to the portrait without making it look theatrical.

40” Diffuser Umbrella.

UmbrellaDiffuserThe 40” diffuser umbrella gives you a variety of shooting options. As you are shooting through the umbrella, you turn it into a sort of soft box that can be used to create either high or low contrast images. In this example, the desire was to create a “Rembrandt” lighting style. Rembrandt lighting is named after the 17th century painter known for his portraits, among other works, and his creative use of light. His signature style was a small triangle of light on the shadow side of his sitter’s face. He used window light as his inspiration but photographers can recreate this iconic look with a diffuser umbrella. As you are shooting though the umbrella the light is scattered and tries to wrap itself around a person’s face. Although some experimentation is needed in the positioning of your model, the resulting image has a beautiful level of contrast with a creative use of light.

Off-Camera Flash Photography.
Using a photography umbrella to control and manipulate your light is one of the key techniques that you must learn when starting out in portrait photography. Flash umbrellas represent a convenient and affordable option for getting more creative and interesting images when you are learning how to photograph people. So what are you waiting for? Get practicing and start shooting your best portraits yet.

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via seamlessphoto

EOS 7D Mark II AF-Setting Guidebook

EOS 7D Mark II AF-Setting Guidebook
Detailed explanations of how to master the 65-point cross-type AF

EOS7DMarkIIAFguidebookLearn more about how to customise the EOS 7D Mark II’s autofocus system according to individual shooting conditions.

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get the guide at canon

or here “EOS_7D_Mark_II_AF-Setting_Guide