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

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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

DavidDuChemin06a

Nikon AF Modes

Nikon AF Modes

Confused by Nikon AF modes? Not sure if you should use single point, dynamic, or group AF? Not sure how to setup your custom functions menu to get the most from it for your style of shooting? Then check out this video and I’ll explain all the critical information you need to know for Nikon’s AF system – and how I personally use them in my wildlife action photography.

by Steve Perry

How to photograph low light landscapes

Discover why it pays to embrace the darker parts of the day, as Doug Chinnery reveals how to overcome the technical and creative challenges of capturing powerful images in low light.

DougChinnery01As photographers, we feed on light. It is the main ingredient of our images. We are always on the hunt for light that inspires and transforms our subjects. So, as the light departs, do we do the same? Or are we prepared to stay on when others leave, work that bit harder and realise the full potential of photographing in low light?

DougChinnery02True, the lower the light, the greater the challenges for the photographer, but with today’s cameras and an understanding of the techniques required, it is possible to make truly creative and evocative images on ‘the edge of light’.

DougChinnery03As light levels drop, our eyes struggle to perform. Digital cameras, on the other hand, have an extraordinary ability to gather light even in near total darkness. Seeing the resulting images appear on the camera’s monitor can be a revelation, and will spur us on to be even more creative in low light conditions.

DougChinnery04Outdoor Photography by Doug Chinnery

via Outdoor Photography Magazine