All posts filed under: Photographer’s Christmas Wish List

On the Bookshelf – Portraits

I love shooting portraits. In the studio or on location. Friends or strangers. In exotic lands or in the backyard. I like the fact that  each portrait is unique, and if you can get  eye contact,  you’re staring into a person’s soul, capturing for eternity a brief moment of connection. When it comes to photography books, once again the eyes have it. I thought I’d show some recent additions to my bookshelf that are focused on portraits. It’s probably not a coincidence that the cover of each book has the subject staring directly into the camera. In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits and Portraits are filled with immersive images taken all over the world. The National Geographic book spans more than a century with shots by a wide range of staff photographers. Portraits is solely by Steve McCurry (whose work also features in the Nat Geo book). The blurb about McCurry’s book sums up things nicely: Compelling, unforgettable and moving, McCurry’s images are unique street portraits: unstylized and unposed snapshots of people that reveal the universality of human emotion.  Although …

A Photographer’s Christmas Wish List – Polarizers

Polarizing Filters are a great accessory for photographers. Some may argue that UV filters are a waste of money, and that colored filters are obsolete in the age of Photoshop, but polarized filters are still a fantastic tool particularly for landscape photography. A polarizing filter will give you saturated blue skies and bright white clouds, verdant vegetation, and  remove reflections from water. Before you rush out and buy one for you or your loved one, here are some things you need to be aware of: Buy the same diameter filter as the lens you’ll be using the filter on. To find out the lens diameter check on the back of the lens hood, or on the lens itself. It’s often written with a diameter symbol so it would look like this  ⌀72 for a 72mm diameter lens. “Wide” versions of polarizers are thinner (and more expensive) so they don’t result in vignetting of the image when placed on wide angle lenses. Buy a circular not a linear polarizer. Linear polarizers can lead to autofocus problems with …

A Photographer’s Christmas Wish List – Lightroom 4

As Christmas, or more accurately the time for Christmas shopping, draws near, I thought I’d list a few things that would make good presents for photographers. (These are not hints to my own family, but things that I have and, or, would recommend for others) Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 is a photo management and editing program. What is does is create a simple and intuitive workflow for photographers from inserting the SD card into the computer and importing new images, through keywording and adding IPTC data, to editing the image, and then final exports to web, print or other applications. Rather than using Adobe Bridge for data management, then Camera Raw to process files, then opening them up in Photoshop CS6, Lightroom is your all in one solution. The editing part of the program isn’t anywhere near as powerful as Photoshop CS6, but more than enough for most applications. If you have an image that requires serious manipulation then you can simply export the image from Lightroom to Photoshop CS6. Both Lightroom and Photoshop CS6 …