The Photography side of Microstock-beginner to Masterclass

posted on 27th of may, 2009

Call this,if you like, a "Photographer's Notebook" -these are lessons learned in almost 50 years of photography-aimed mainly at the beginner in the game of stock; But hopefully more advanced practitioners may pick up a trick, or wrinkle here and there. Regards, Ken

I believe it is best to take baby steps- So before you do anything, take these Three steps:

A) Set your Focus icons - detach lens, (so you are adjusting focus on focus point, not image) - adjust dioptre (next to viewfinder) so focus points are sharply in focus. (easier against a white, or light background) Re-attach lens.

B) Calibrate your camera for exposure.

The starting point is to find out how your camera's meter reads exposure. I know mine overexposes by 0.3 to 0.7 EV, depending on lighting, so I set exposure compensation for -0.3. To check this:

With camera on tripod, exposure compensation at 0-0 and a scene with all tones:

set Exposure compensation (+/-) at +1 take a shot

Now in 1/3 (0.3) increments adjust exposure compensation and take a shot, all the way to -1, giving you seven images.

load these into imaging programme and select the image with best detail in shadows and highlights.

This setting will be your standard, set this on your camera, and you will never need to do this again - your camera will be calibrated for optimum exposure.
This is baseline, so if shot looks too dark or light, in certain conditions, just adjust (+/-) to suit.
(Note: +2 and - 2 Are Extremes, and rarely used so I have not included them)

C) Set White Balance to Cloudy - except for when under fluorescent or tungsten lighting-then use appropriate white balance

Keeping on “P”/P-shift
mode for now ,adjust for aperture to give desired Depth of field ,and concentrate and learn composition first)-Good composition is what gives your images Impact, and Impact sells the image- impact is that intangible factor, that makes the Prospective buyer desire the image.

Ask yourself 3 questions:

1. What is the main subject of my image?

- The most prominent object, theme or topic

2. How do I emphasise the main subject?

- Isolate the subject
- Use motion blur (slow shutter speed)
- Use fast shutter speed to freeze motion
- Use selective focusing
- Subject placement within frame
- Get close and fill frame with subject

3. What do I leave out of my image?

- All things that are irrelevant to the main subject
- All things that detract from the main subject
- Look out for cluttered foregrounds and backgrounds
- Watch for distractions: trees growing out of people’s heads;
- Rivers and fences running through ears, etc.,

Intro- What to Photograph?

An appropriate stock photograph evokes in the end user’s eye and mind, desire, or awareness: An image that helps to sell a product or service; or to bring a social problem to the public eye. A few categories are:

- Food and drink

Meal preparation
Restaurant meals
Ethnic Meals

- People…………………….If people are recognizable, you need a model release:

For valuable consideration, I hereby give my consent and permission to Your name Photography, and his assigns, heirs, and those acting on his behalf, to publish photographs taken of me on this date ______ at _________. Publication of these photographs may appear in, but may not be limited to, books, consumer or trade magazines, calendars, greeting cards, billboards, or corporate brochures, in the editorial, corporate, trade, or advertising markets. My compensation for consenting to this release shall be as follows: “e-mailed copies of all images taken at session” (Or prints or whatever you are offering)
*Your name will also make every effort to provide me with at least one copy of each and every publication where these photographs may appear, but both parties agree that he is not required to do so.
Model's Name (Please Print)
Model is over 18 ( ) Yes ( ) No
___________________________ ( Model ID required if nude images and must be over 21)

Signature of Model
(If model is under 18 then this signature is that of the legal guardian or parent)
E-mail Address & Phone Number

Witness________________________________ (Signature)

Witness________________________________ Block Capitals

-A few ideas….
……..Things that people do every day

Waking up
Brushing teeth
Making Breakfast
Putting on makeup, combing hair
Shaving, man combing hair
Getting dressed, choosing clothes
Travelling to work, or school
Working or being at school
Having a business or school lunch
Making a phone call, cell phone, home or desk phone
Exercising, sports, after school activities
Doing homework
Preparing dinner
Having dinner
Leisure activities, hobbies
Friendship, family love
Activities with pets
Home improvement
Getting in bed, tucking in the kids

Other people ideas

Feeling of freedom
Disabled people doing everyday activities
People writing
Homeless (sometimes difficult to get model releases)
Mum making school lunches
Crowds at events
Close-ups of hands doing something

- Products

Garden tools
Woodworking Tools
Kitchen utensils

- Communications

Power poles
Telephone lines

- Technology


- Transportation

Horse-drawn vehicles
Hot air balloons

- People with Disabilities

Wheelchair bound

- Industry

- Active seniors

- Concepts like:


- Casino, poker, dice, card games
- Fire extinguishers, firemen/police at work, fire engines
- People in a cultural/diversity setting
- Concepts (like: trust, happiness, sadness, loneliness
wealth, health, balance, success, fear, pride, joy,
sexuality, surprise, addiction, stress, commerce, etc.,)
- Seasonal pictures
- Christmas, Easter, Valentines, hallowe’en etc.,
- Healthcare and nursing
- Medical
- Fitness and sports

Qualities Required

Your image must:
- Be Bright
- Be Colourful
- Be Sharp
-Tell a story or fit a theme
- Be free of irrelevant detail
- Be Virtually “Noise-free”
- Create awareness
- Sell a product or service

That’s all you need-Now go capture some images !

Just use the following as reference when you need to know why, or want to get technical!!!!

1. Good Capture: This is about getting it right in the camera

[These are the settings I use-I like bold, vivid colours-You, of course must use settings which suit your style of shooting]

My optimum camera Settings: (Nikon)

a) Shooting Menu:

-Image quality -Fine
-Image size -Large
-ISO Lowest
-White Balance Varies with light temperature (See White balance section)
-Sharpening -0
-Color mode-111a(max)

b) Custom ( Pencil ) Menu:

-Auto focus -AF-A
-AF Area mode- central
-Flash Level - 0 -0
-AF Area- Auto
-ISO Auto - Off
-EV Step 1/3
-Bracket set-On
-AE Lock- Off
-Flash mode - TTL
-Self-timer - 2 Seconds


Composition is all about the arrangement of elements within the viewfinder’s frame, to evoke emotion from the viewer of the final image. What attracts us to great photographic images?
- They make us
- wrinkle our brow -
- smile -
- feel happy -
- feel sad -
- feel peaceful -
- feel disturbed -
- feel angry -
- feel like laughing -
- feel shocked.
If a photograph can evoke any of these emotions, it can be said to have Impact. The basis of impact in a photographic image is placement and possibly enhancement of that subject, within the viewfinder frame of the camera.
Composition refers to the arrangement of line, shape and contrast within the frame of the photographic Image. Effective composition arranges the elements, ( objects, colours, horizons, patterns, etc.,) that show the viewer your personal world view of the subject. It is a matter of knowing what to leave out of the image. The greatest influence on our reaction to a photograph is the position of the main centre of interest. This should almost never be placed at dead-centre in the frame, as any sense of implied movement dissolves. The result is usually static and boring.

Very specific to stock photography are the Rule of thirds, and allowing for copy-space (leaving room for text)
The rule of thirds comes into its own when using subject placement within the frame-
Imagine your camera viewfinder with a nine-segment grid ( like a tic-tac-toe, (Noughts and crosses)) grid
The most aesthetically pleasing position to site your subject will be on one of the four intersections of this imaginary grid, which also gives you two horizontal guides, and two vertical guides. There are many ways of using this imaginary grid:
- Horizontal lines are used to place horizons- 1/3 down from top for earthy renditions, and 1/3 up from bottom for more dreamy effects.
- You can use vertical lines for positioning trees, poles, vertical subjects
- When filling the frame with, for instance, a head-shot, eyes should be placed 1/3 of the way down from the top
- For landscapes, you can use this imaginary grid-by focusing on the 1/3 up from bottom gridline, you will be correctly focusing 1/3 into your distance, as you should be for landscapes
There are many elements to consider when composing your images, such as:
Position of horizon

The photographic image’s frame doesn’t just come from the edges of your viewfinder. Be careful that framing the things surrounding the main subject doesn’t trap the subject, or detract from it. Don’t use if the image doesn’t require it. Lines, in the image have a certain effect on how the viewer’s eye travels through the photograph:
Implied lines, always straight, between interacting objects, or between an object and whatever is ahead of it.
Upright lines give feelings of strength and balance throughout the image.
Curved lines convey peaceful movement, but the steeper the curve, the more tension and force.
Diagonal lines give feelings of action and dynamism.
Perspective lines show dynamic movement in the direction of the lines
Jagged lines convey unhurried and peaceful movement.

It’s the control of composition that determines the “WOW” factor in photography, and it is very important, if you are going to take worthwhile photographs, to master that control. Where Lighting and Exposure, are pure technique, or the science of photography, Composition is the art of photography.
Creativity is the understanding and manipulation of composition elements within the frame of the camera’s viewfinder.

On Seeing Creatively:

Developing a creative eye is about seeing things in a different way. A personal visual focus rather than obvious point of view. When we first use a camera we take pictures of all the obvious things around us, landmarks, people we know, family pets, etc., and after some while taking these mundane, overdone subjects, boredom starts to take effect (hopefully) and If we get bored enough, we, (well, some of us anyway) tend to look further than the obvious for our photographic endeavours, hopefully encouraging us to present our personal view of the World. Remember back when you were a kid?, where anything could be whatever you imagined it to be?. We, as adults have set-in-concrete ideas of how something should look, and that’s where the problem lies. How about, (photographically, anyway,) Going back in your imagination to that child-like innocence, and start looking at things the way you decide how they should appear? What would a worm see- if it looked up? Or a bird-looking down- I recall reading somewhere a woman and her 3-year old were out shopping, in a department store, at Christmas-time, and the child was crying. “what’s up with you?” the mother asked,” We are here in this beautiful shop, and we are going to buy some nice things to take home with us-look at all the lovely things they have here”. She looked down and noticed the child’s shoelace was undone. In bending down to re-tie the child’s shoelace, she understood why the crying- all the child could see from his height, was a forest of grown-up’s legs-he couldn’t see all the beautiful Christmas decorations or gifts-he wasn’t tall enough to see above the counters. Here’s a challenge: Spend a day taking photos of everyday things from a height of 600mm to 800mm, how a small child would view them. isolate part of an overall scene, using the camera’s viewfinder -Show things how they are not normally viewed. Use light creatively, to show texture, give mood or to produce silhouetted shapes. Use telephoto lenses for landscapes-wide angle lenses for portraits - take photos into the sun - take pictures while jumping in the air -
Place horizons where you want them to be. After a while creative vision becomes as natural as breathing, and when this occurs, you can concentrate on capturing the moment : The peak of action -a fleeting glance- certain lighting conditions. Learn all the “Rules” of composition-then see how many you can break, while still communicating powerful images. Try not focusing on the point of interest, instead focus on shape, or form. Decide what you want to emphasise-what message you want to convey to the viewer. Look for pictures within pictures. try looking at a scene through a 28mm wide-angle lens, change to a 200mm telephoto lens, and see how many different pictures you can isolate within that scene.

Working the subject

Instead of just taking the one picture from the angle you first saw it, try “Working the subject”, that is, cover the subject from as many angles as you can, to get the best from each photo opportunity. Here’s a checklist:
-From the front
-From behind
-From the left
-From the right
-From up close
-From far away
-From above
-From below
-Capture detail
-Unusual angles
-Into the light
-Include foreground

“Masterclass” (Technical part)


Is the measure of the degree of sharpness in our images.
All modern cameras have Auto-focusing, which works very well, but there are times when you need to focus manually. For auto-focus to work properly it requires a certain amount of contrast, if the contrast isn’t adequate you will need to focus manually.[ NOTE: In your camera’s viewfinder, depending on camera-flagship models generally have many focusing spots, and lesser, entry-level dslr’s will have around 5 focusing spots. With lens wide open, any of these spots can be used for selecting where to auto focus-But, depending on maximum aperture of lens in use, the ones you are able to use get fewer. Top-of-the-line cameras will only have the centre spot usable at F8,and entry level cameras at F5.6, and less than that, even these single spots aren’t reliable.]
Actually it is more beneficial to set auto focus by the centre spot, then re-compose, rather than use the peripheral spots-The reason being that only the centre spot has vertical and horizontal pixel rows. This means that if you use the peripheral spots (top and bottom spots have horizontal pixels only and right and left spots have vertical pixels only) To focus, you must have a part of the scene crossing a line of pixels at 90 degrees, and the centre spot gives you a more accurate reading ,having both vertical and horizontal pixels) It will pay you to manually focus most of the time, for full control of the situation. For instance, if an unnoticed reed encroaches into your image, when your are shooting a swan at the lake, for instance, your lens may auto-focus on that reed, rendering your actual subject out of focus.

Concerning Auto focus

There are times, you will find when auto focus will fail to respond favourably-although auto focus is able to lock on to any subject, there are certain conditions where it may not be possible ,even when the indicator lights are on, and the shutter releases.

Subjects with low contrast
Solution: Focus on something the same distance as the subject you want to make an image of, then aim at that subject
Subjects that do not contain vertical lines
Solution: Hold camera vertically, lock focus, then switch to horizontal
Subjects in excessively bright light
Solution: Focus on something the same distance as the subject you want to make an image of, then aim at that subject
Two subjects at differing distances
Solution: Focus on something the same distance as the subject you want to make an image of, then aim at that subject, and re-compose
Subjects with repetitive patterns
Solution: Focus on something the same distance as the subject you want to make an image of, then aim at that subject, and recompose
High speed subjects at close range
Solution: focus on another subject at the same distance-to-subject distance first, then re-compose your frame

To ensure you are in focus, there, in the viewfinder, is the electronic rangefinder icon, that comes on when you are in focus. NOTE: Each lens has its “sweet-spot”, that is when the aperture and zoom length combine to give optimum sharpness- 18-55 mm zooms usually have this “sweet-spot” at the 35mm distance setting and 2 stops back from wide open. On a 70-300mm zoom the “sweet-spot” would be around 185-200mm aperture 2 stops back from widest.
Auto focus is good for situations where you cannot focus fast enough, manually, such as sports and wildlife photography.
Depth of field appears to be the most confusing of focus elements. Depth of field is a range of acceptable sharpness in an image, from near to far. Three factors control Depth of field: Aperture: The wider the aperture, the shallower the depth of field. Focal length of lens, The longer the focal length of the lens, the shallower the depth of field will be. and Distance from subject, Landscape images have great depth of field, whereas Macro (extreme close-up) images have very shallow depth of field. Concerning depth of field, Hyperfocal distance seems to be even more confusing -Hyperfocal distance is a point of focus where at a certain aperture, Half the distance from that point to Infinity, (which starts at 30 feet, and extends to as far as you are able to see)) will be in acceptable focus, The best lenses for hyperfocal distance are 80mm or wider ; telephoto lenses, because of their relative short depth of field, are rarely used. (Prime lenses have a scale on them for this, zooms do not) Using a 18mm setting on your zoom lens at f16, Hyperfocal distance is somewhere around 5 ½ feet (1600mm), so depth of field at this aperture would be from 2 ¾ feet ( 800mm) to infinity, when focused at 5 1/ 2 feet. A good guideline for great depth of field for landscapes is to use the bottom focusing marker in your DSLR viewfinder, (either horizontal, or vertical) as this will focus 1/3 of the way into the distance, (It is on the lower third imaginary “Rule of Thirds” gridline!) ,as is usually recommended. [ NOTE: Unless your camera has depth of field preview, looking through the viewfinder all will not be in focus, because your lens, until you press the shutter button to make the shot, will be open at full aperture.]

When shooting landscapes, it pays to know exactly where the sun will be at any certain time of the day, so you know where to be when the light is right for good 3-dimensional images. If you wear an analogue watch- point the twelve o'clock marker towards the sun-, now each 5 minute marker equals 2 hours of time (360 degrees to a circle, divided by 24 hours = 15 degrees to an hour, so each 5 minute marker =30 degrees = 2 hours) Using this, and knowing which direction the Earth is travelling, you can figure where the sun will be at any time of day.
To avoid camera-shake, always use a sturdy tripod. When using lenses equipped with VR/IS (vibration reduction-Nikon/Image stabilisation-Canon), on a tripod you will need to turn off the anti-shake, or lens will still try to counteract vibration that isn‘t there,, and cause unwanted shake. If, for some reason you cannot use a tripod, use your self as one-
Feet at “T-Stance”, left hand supporting camera, elbow against ribs
Camera pressed against nose and brow
Right hand also elbow against ribs, index finger on shutter button
Set shooting mode to continuous, and “Roll” index finger on shutter button - First couple of shots will probably be blurred, but somewhere between 3-4 and 5 you should have a shake-free shot of the scene. ( When using zoom lenses longer than 200mm-I usually set ISO to 400, when hand-holding)

An alternative way to turn yourself into a tripod/monopod, is to:

1. Extend your left arm out in front of you, palm down.

2. Bend forearm back, so fingers just touch right shoulder

3. Bring right hand and arm up inside that triangle, resting edge of right hand on crook of bent left arm-pull right arm back, so left hand grips right forearm.

4. That’s the grip, and with camera held by right hand, with lens resting in crook of left elbow, press camera against brow and nose for stability. ( I hope this is clear to understand)

“Trap” focusing:

This is a neat way to use auto focus especially for fast sports/wildlife action, I don’t know other maker’s settings but these are the settings for Nikon users:
Custom (pencil) menu:

Autofocus set to AF-S
AF area mode set to single
AE-L/AF-L set to AF ON

Compose your shot and set the focus by aiming the centre focus icon at a definite target at the precise distance you want, (Say a tree branch where a bird is about to land, or on second base where the baseball player's foot will land) and pressing the "AE-L/AF-L" button near the viewfinder. This will focus the lens, let go of AE-L/AF-L button. Turn away,
press and hold the shutter button all the way down. Point camera at pre-focused point when subject approaches, and your camera will take the shot
Much faster than Human reflexes.

P.S. Searching through Canon manuals, I found that In Custom Function 4-2, that auto-focus can be pre-set by using the * button on the back of the camera. From this, the following may work with Canon cameras:

Trap Focus Theory for Canon users

1. Select shooting mode (Sport/macro/portrait, etc.,)
2. In menu set Single Frame advance
3. Then set One Shot focus
4. Switch Lens to A F
5. Push and hold the * button and the shutter button, turning away from focus area
Slowly move camera forwards or backwards to detect critical focus, and when focus is detected, the shutter should fire. I don’t have access to a canon camera, so I have no way to test this. Therefore I cannot guarantee that it will work


Thanks to digital cameras, exposure has never been so easy and simple to achieve, for general outdoor photography. (Studio work still requires a hand-held meter and grey card for its more exacting demands on the photographer) Most of the time matrix (evaluative) metering, will do a great job. For portraiture, centre-weighted is preferred, and where high contrast separates dark from light, spot metering comes into its own. Considering stock photography, we need to also keep in mind the element of noise, the biggest reason for rejection in the business- noise can be reduced in post-processing, to an extent, but if we can avoid excessive noise when making our images, the better our chances of approval, and less time at the computer. Correct exposure is how to control noise at the making/taking stage- and correct exposure is simple-By studying the histogram on the camera’s monitor screen, we can adjust our exposure compensation to ensure that the bulk of the graph is just to the right of centre, and each end is just touching bottom corners.- If left-hand side of graph climbs left screen edge, the shot will be under-exposed, with no detail in the shadow areas: If the same thing happens to the right-hand side, highlights will be blown, rendering the shot totally useless. For a second opinion, we can use the highlight flashes, also on the monitor screen, which flash black and white when highlights are blown. NOTE: If you can, get hold of a hand-held exposure meter, and you will be amazed at the difference it will make to your images

The advantages of a hand-held flash/exposure meter

A flash meter can give exposure reading in reflected light and incidental light and can detect a one-tenth of an F-stop difference in light levels-A digital sensor has less dynamic range than negative film, and resembles slide film-If you get the exposure just a little bit off, the resulting images are less than desirable. Although software such as photoshop etc,. can correct exposure via curves and levels, by needing to redistribute tonal qualities in an image, valuable detail suffers in the process. If you look at the histogram of an image that has been manipulated in this manner, gaps will be apparent, to show that there are no pixels present in those tones. By using a hand-held meter, to gather exposure information, your image will need little, or no tonal correction in photoshop.

When you need to measure flash exposure, you can either set meter to flash, (Lightning symbol) for use with pocket wizards, or corded flash, (lightning symbol with C) when using a pc cord which plugs into the meter itself.

To use a hand-held meter, first you set the ISO rating, by pressing a button. Then you set the mode (ambient- just a sun symbol) flash, or corded flash. These also from a button push or wheel spin, depending on the make of meter. Your meter will either have a sliding opaque semi-sphere, (Like Half a ping-pong ball) or one that can be attached. For reflected readings ,detach, or retract this semi-sphere from the metering cell. Pointing meter slightly downwards, to avoid too much light from the sky, press the measurement button to get a reading. Readout will display shutter speed/aperture combination for correct exposure. you can then use either a wheel or up/down buttons, to cycle through the different combinations to suit speed of subject or aperture for desired depth of field, and transfer these settings to your DSLR. When you want to take an incident reading, use the semi-sphere over the metering cell, stand within the subject’s plane, and point meter to where photo is to be taken from, and adjust buttons accordingly

Your camera uses reflected light readings for exposure-light reflected from different subjects, will result in a range of tones, which your camera’s meter will try to average to give an overall exposure. It may not matter sometimes, but because any little deflection of lighting will give a different reading, and if you are photographing a wedding, for instance, it could look as if photos were taken on different days!
You may have noticed, at weddings, the pro photographer will hold a meter at the bride’s face, pointing to where the camera will be-This is taking an incident light reading - which actually measures the light falling on the subject, not affected by the tonal differences of the subjects coloring- as the light falling on any subject in the frame will be constant, so the incident reading will ensure that there will be detail in the black tuxedo, and the white of the wedding dress will not be blown out. .

Sometimes you will find a scene will be beyond the camera’s 5-stop dynamic range, so if you meter using ,Matrix (Evaluative) or Centre-weighted, you will lose some detail in either highlights or shadows. A split-graduated neutral density filter (ND Grad) is recommended, But if you don’t have one: Try Dynamic Range Increase: With camera on tripod: meter for highlight, take a shot-then meter for shadows, take another shot. In Photoshop, add lighter image to darker as a new layer, then: Select> Color Range-click highlights ,check “invert”, click “OK”. Add layer mask. Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur 250 pixels. Flatten and save. You will get detail in highlights and shadows.

How zoom lenses can affect metering

There are two distinct types of zoom lenses
a) Constant aperture zooms, that maintain a fixed aperture when zooming
b) variable aperture zooms, where the aperture changes as you zoom

Therefore metering with a type b) zoom lens, is trickier than a type a) where the aperture remains constant, when in manual mode
So when you zoom away from the original metered scene, you will need to change the settings, because the aperture will have changed while zooming
So, with an 18-55 zoom lens, which aperture varies from F3.5-F5.6 as you zoom, If you get a meter reading at the 55mm (F5.6)setting, then zoom back to 18mm, your aperture will have changed to F3.5 .
Those two stops difference in exposure will make a noticeable effect on the final image

Manual Exposure Metering

Your camera uses reflected light readings for exposure-light reflected from different subjects, will result in a range of tones, which your camera’s meter will try to average to give an overall exposure. It may not matter sometimes, but because any little deflection of lighting will give a different reading, and if you are photographing a wedding, for instance, it could look as if photos were taken on different days!

Incident light-light falling on the subjects is always constant.

Start using your in-built Incident exposure meter- Your eyes!

This is how us oldies who started in the late 1950’s/60’s learn to read exposure: You will often hear the term “The sunny 16 rule”, or Basic Daylight Exposure” here it is explained:

Basically four apertures are used: F16; F11; F8; and F5.6

Shutter-speed is based on Equivalent ISO#

Watching the shadows, the base settings are: ( for ISO 200)

Hard-edged shadows …………………….1/200 sec @ F16

Soft-edged shadows………………………1/200 sec @ F11

Barely visible Shadows…………………..1.200 sec @ F8

No Shadows……………………………….1/200 sec @ F5.6

Remember, these are the base settings: so variants would be:

1/200 @ F16
1/400 @ F11
1/800 @ F8
1/1600 @ F5.6
These all give the same exposure
The other 3 settings use the same spatial relationship, the settings you choose are based on subject movement and/or depth of field desired. For instance If you want to keep the Aperture at F8:

Hard shadows……………………………1/800 @ F8

Soft shadows…………………………….1/400@ F8

Barely visible shadows…………………1/200 @ F8

No shadows………………………………1/100 @ F8 (As shadows fade, more light is required)
Heavily overcast…………………………..1/125 @ F8

Deep Shade………………………………1/60 @ F8

Pre-thunderstorm…………………………1/30 @ F8

Brightly lit store interior……………………1/15 @ F8

Well-lit stage/sports arena…………………1/8 @ F8

Well-lit house interior……………………….¼ @ F8

(Of course you would vary the F stop and shutter speed combinations to whatever would be most appropriate. )

To get exact exposure readings, you may want to bracket exposures. As you can’t use exposure compensation button when in manual made, this is what I do on my Nikon, your Dslr will have a similar action:

I set aperture to F16, and shutter-speed to 1/200, ( for Hard shadows) Take a shot, then:

2 clicks of the thumbwheel to the left-take a shot- this gives me a + 2/3 exposure
1 click to the right now, gives me + 1/3 exposure

1 more click to the right brings me back to the basic (meter as read) setting, then:

1 more click to the right gives me -1/3 exposure, and finally ,
1 more click to the right gives me - 2/3 exposure-so I have 5 exposures from 2/3rds over, to 2/3rds under exposure.

Looking at these, I choose the one that gives the most detail in the shadows and also in the highlights, without blowing the highlights-and after a while you will find you are able to guess just about right with your exposures-It is all very simple, and I hope I have explained in words that make it easy to understand.

White balance

Where, with film you either shot print film in daylight or with flash indoors, and with slide film, you used daylight or tungsten film, or used compensating filters with these. White balance is Digital’s version-you select a white balance based on the condition of the light you are using, so the camera’s meter allows for white to photograph as white
Auto white balance does a reasonable job most of the time, but it cannot cope in some situations-especially when subject is in deep shadow. You need to know when to use the white balance settings for all situations, and this table will help you understand: ( degrees Kelvin is a means of determining colour temperature)

Sunrise/sunset 2400-3000 Kelvin……………………Use Auto white balance
Tungsten lighting 3200-3500 Kelvin ……………………Use tungsten/Incandescent white balance
Fluorescent lighting 4000 Kelvin …………… Use fluorescent White balance
Early morning/afternoon sun 4000 Kelvin…….Use auto white balance/ --fluorescent white balance
(Magenta filter) to counter greenish cast on skin from foliage if under trees or on really green grass
Noon sun/Sun overhead…5000-6500 Kelvin…………………….use Cloudy White balance
Flash photography in daylight 5500 Kelvin ………………………Use Flash White balance
Deep shade………………….6500 Kelvin…………………………Use cloudy/shade white balance
Shade in daylight 7500 Kelvin ………………………………......Use shade white balance
Heavy overcast, very dark shade 8000 to 10000 Kelvin………Use shade white balance plus 81a-85c glass filter

To set custom White balance: (Nikon)

Select a neutral coloured object to set your white balance
It’s best to avoid using a white target. The camera prefers grey.( Print yourself a grey card: In photoshop- File> New
Click on background square in toolbox
select: red 127; green 127; blue 127 from color chart- Print)

In white balance menu select "Custom"> "Preset"
select "measure"
Press shutter release halfway to return to shooting mode
press wb button until a blinking "Pre" appears in control panel and viewfinder
frame reference (grey card) so it fills the frame
and press shutter release all the way down (Camera won't take picture)
If camera was able to register a value for white balance "Good" will flash in control panel and GD will flash in viewfinder
If lighting is too dark or bright "no g d" will flash in viewfinder and control panel

If you use white in direct sunlight you'll always get a "No Gd" response from the camera because the Matrix meter is rendering it white instead of grey. Thus the trick is to select the centre-weighted meter when using a white reference in bright light and you'll get "Good" from a camera. Remember to set back to Matrix metering as soon as you're done.


- without which, we would have no photography. We need to understand its Magnitude, Direction and Intensity, so that we may manipulate, and control its power.
Direct sunlight and On-camera flash/strobes are Directional light sources, their shadows are sharply defined, and distinct. For many photographers, the sun is the main source of illumination. There is nothing wrong with relying solely on sunlight, but you do have to appreciate the different qualities of light available. Time of day and angle of light are the two essential considerations to be made about using sunlight as the main source of light. Photographers talk about late afternoon ( golden) light. Things do seem to photograph more beautifully when the sun is low on the horizon, that is, at dusk. You can get a similar feeling early in the morning although morning light tends to be more pink ( Cooler) while afternoon light is redder (Warmer).While shooting photographs between 10am and 4pm is not generally recommended, sometimes certain subjects will work fine, especially when you want a high degree of contrast between highlight and shadow. ( Architectural details come to mind)
Non-directional lighting has light reaching the subject from all sorts of angles; from left, from right, and all angles in between, and shadows thus formed are very soft, sometimes hard to discern-Cloud cover on an overcast day is one example of non-directional light, while light reflected from the sky (skylight) is another. Concerning portraits, It is better to use a non-directional (Diffused) light source, due to the gradual gradation of its shadow, which doesn’t mar the portrait. If you’re shooting outdoors, for the best modelling you will want the light to strike the model’s face from the side, at 45 degrees vertical and horizontal. First get out of the direct sunlight, either in the shade of a building, or under the shelter of a tree. This will result in your model being lit by a diffused, non-directional light source, skylight or reflected light from surroundings. If you position your model looking towards this light source , the face should be lit with soft, delicate light. All you need to do is to move your subject, or your camera, to get light crossing the face.. What you want to achieve here is to have one side of the face brighter than the other by two stops exposure, giving a 3-dimensional rendering to the portrait. In case there is no tree, or building, you may need to resort to scrims, reflectors or blacks to modify the light to suit. Scrims are sheets of translucent material that are held between the sun and the subject to diffuse direct light. Reflectors are panels of card or material that reflects light, providing a soft quality of light. Usually white, silver or gold in colour, light bounces off the surface and into the shadow areas of the face. Blacks are the opposite of reflectors and they absorb light, instead of reflecting it. For indoor portraits, window light is a great source-First choose a window on the side of the house away from the sun-you don’t want direct sunlight, it’s too harsh. When you position your model close to a window, you get a soft light to one side of the face, and because the inside of the room is relatively dark, the other side of the face will be in shadow -a 3 dimensional look for your portrait.
Again, by using a reflector, ( Gold gives a warm tanned look, White will be most used, and Silver gives a glint to the model’s eye) you can arrive at the 2-stop difference - For instance F 11 for window -lit side of face, and F 5.6 for the shadow side- ( 3:1 ratio) for the ideal portrait. Or you can use fill-in flash as a last resort if reflectors, scrims or blacks aren’t immediately available. Set flash to ¼ power for head shots at 4 feet, (1200mm) or ½ power for head and shoulder shots at 6 feet (1800mm)

For architecture, hard light and shadows help to bring out details in buildings, and for landscapes, certain times of day, combined with knowledge of where the sun will be at those times will add depth and detail to your images. In days when film was the only way to record your images, you would always carry a set of filters to help modify lighting outdoors, The usual ones were an 81a warming filter, an 80b,cooling filter, a polarizer, (a red. a green, a yellow for black and white film) and for landscapes and seascapes a set of graduated neutral density filters, Fortunately, with modern digital cameras, the white balance settings include the 81a (cloudy) and the 80b (tungsten)
You will need a circular polarizer, not a linear one-both types can be circular in construction, but it's how they polarize that makes the difference . Polarizers are grey in colour, and you need to sacrifice two stops in exposure to use one. The front part of the filter can rotate to adjust the amount of polarization. The proper, intended use for these filters, is to cut glare and reduce reflections from all materials except shiny metal objects. A polarizer will help you to see through the glare of a river or a lake’s surface. Wildlife and nature photographers use polarizers sparingly, to cut the sky’s reflection on animal fur and feathers, and the land itself. To set a polarizer for such images, you point it at something earthy-brown in colour-this can be a tree bark, dirt, etc., then the front lens of the filter is rotated to give the brown dirt a dark chocolate-y colour-then it is ready to use for your nature, landscape and wildlife images. Polarizers can also deepen blue skies, making white clouds stand out, but realise that over-use can accentuate noise in blue skies. To cut glare the camera needs to be at 30 degrees to the water surface, or shop window to work 100%.To use for darkening the blue in skies, the camera needs to be around 90 degrees to the sun to have any visible effect, you just turn the front element to the shade you desire .It is a good idea to have your white balance set to cloudy, even on sunny days, as sometimes images can come out cool-looking- If you already have an 81a accessory filter for your lenses, when days are really crappy, rainy etc., attach this also to brighten your image colours. ND Grads, as the neutral density filters are usually called, come in 1,2,3,4,5,6 etc., stops, but a 2 stop is a good medium one to start with-These are used when there are more than 3 stops difference between the land/sea, and the sky-where the sky will be blown out, or the land/sea in heavy shadow. If you need to slow down your shutter speed more than your camera will allow, at the exposure you need, say to get that cotton-wool effect of waterfalls, then you will need a straightforward neutral density filter-a 2-stop will do-if you need to slow down more, just add your polarizer to slow down 2 more stops.

Flash basics

On-camera flash, (forget the built-in flash) using a hot-shoe-mounted flashgun, directed straight at the subject is very flat lighting, possibly the very worst of all. There are ways that we can modify the on-camera flash to control our lighting. We can diffuse the flash by means of clip-on plastic domes, (think non-coloured Tupperware-type pots that will fit over flash head),or we can bounce our flash from ceilings, walls, off of reflectors, etc.,.
Balancing the light between existing light and flash is quite simple- Just remember that Shutter-speed controls existing light and Aperture controls the flash effect. You set your camera’s mode to Av (aperture priority) selecting aperture to desired depth of field. (ie: for weddings F8 does the job) Get a reading from subject. Take note of these settings. Now select M (manual) mode and use the settings you got from Av mode. Fit your flash to hot shoe, use manual flash. Try first maximum sync speed (usually 1/250 sec or 1/500 sec), then come down from here just adjusting shutter speed, and checking on monitor, until ambient light looks right. As for power setting, I like to start at ¼ power, then I can go down two stops to 1/8 and 1/16 power, and up to ½ and full power. (My flashguns only span from full to 1/16 power) For interior shots use the same method: If ambient light reads 1/125 @ F4, you will need to set aperture to F4, and set shutter speed at 1/500(if this is your camera’s maximum sync speed, or 1/250 @ F5.6 if that is your maximum sync speed, and bounce off ceiling. Adjust power of flash until it looks right in the monitor. This gives a ratio of 3:1 as a basic starting point. A big advantage, especially when photographing people, is to have the flash off-camera, so wherever you wander to get different angles, your lighting with remain constant. If flash is on camera, you would need to make adjustments each time you move out of the pre-set range of focus. Your flash can be triggered by radio transceivers (Pocket-wizards) or by means of pc cables. For wraparound, or cross- lighting, you could place your subject between the sun and your off -camera flash, using the sun as fill and your flash as the main, or key, light
Ideally, indoor images should not show that flash was used, so for this to take place, modification is required. I use a black computer mouse-mat, which forms a half snoot and is rubber banded to the underside of my flashgun when bouncing off of ceilings etc., this ensures no direct light lands on the subject. You can choose of course, to use automatic mode for flash-or TTL, (Through The Lens) I just prefer the manual mode.

Problems occur when using flash under fluorescent illumination, where you will get a severe green cast over your images-Solution is to use a gel (Window green) over the flash window, and a magenta filter( FL-D) over the lens. These filters will lose you one stop of light, but the lens filter alone will do the trick, if you aren’t using flash. Why this works is green over the flash window equalizes foreground and background color temperature, and the magenta on the lens absorbs the green from both sources to neutralize the image.
Most cameras will let you select front or rear curtain flash set-ups, (Front curtain flash fires as soon as the shutter opens, while Rear (or second) curtain flash fires just before shutter closes) and for most types of photography Front curtain will do the job, If the subject is on the move however, Rear, (Second) curtain flash is the way to go, the reason being that if you were to use front curtain flash on a moving subject, the movement defining blur, especially against a black, or at least a dark background, would appear in front, and not behind the subject, giving the impression that the subject is going backwards. On the other hand, if you were to use rear-(second) curtain flash for say a portrait, and you are trying to capture a certain mannerism, you would not want the flash to fire too late and miss the emotion.

If you shoot at a party or wedding reception, indoors at night using the auto or programme flash setting, which is usually either 1/250 or 1/500 second, you will end up with ultra black backgrounds, and not the scene you saw. That is because the flash fired too fast to record background detail. Solution: set camera to shutter priority or manual mode, and adjust speed to between 1/30 and 1/8 second-these are normal settings for fairly dark conditions, because of the actual flash speed,. blur won’t be a problem. This is Known as “Dragging the shutter”.
When using Dragging method keep flash set to auto or ttl, as, unless you are comfortable with doing this , you could complicate matters. If you only have a point and shoot camera, use the night setting-the camera will automatically set shutter speed to allow background detail to be captured, BUT, you will need a tripod/monopod etc, as for night mode shutter speeds are likely to be a lot slower than 1/8second.

Flash doesn’t reach as far as you like? Up the ISO! -“Twice the distance, four times the speed”. For instance: If your flash has a Guide number (GN) of 25(metres (80 ft), the best you can expect is a realistic distance reach of 20 metres (60 feet) at Iso 100,so at Iso 400 you will get a realistic reach of 120 feet (40 metres),and at 1600 Iso, a reach of 240 feet (theoretically),but noise will play its part at high Iso’s.

If you are using an automatic flashgun, that does not give you fill-in values, just double the iso you are using. Meter the scene, select an f-stop for the DOF you want,set auto flashgun aperture to same f-stop, and take your shot,this will give a 2:1 ration-your fill will be 1 stop darker that the main subject.

2. Shooting Guide

There are vast differences between “Taking” the shot, and “Making” the shot:

First, you Make the shot:

Answer these questions:

1. What is the main subject?

2. How to emphasize main subject?
- fill the frame
- freeze the motion-fast shutter speed
- blur the motion-slow speed
- subject placement in frame-rule of thirds
- Low side-lighting for texture

3. What to leave out of the image?
- All irrelevant stuff

4. How to light the Subject?
-flash-on camera -off camera
- available light?
- available light plus flash?

5. What time of day/ white balance?
- dawn Auto
- sunrise 2400 Kelvin Auto white balance
- mid-morning 4000-5500 Sunny white balance
- noon 6500 Kelvin Cloudy white balance
- afternoon in shade 7500 Kelvin Shade white balance
- evening (sunset) 2400 Kelvin Auto white balance
- night………………………..Tungsten

6. - What lens?- What focal length?

7. Exposure?

Let’s say settings of 100 ISO @ F8

- Hard Shadows 1/500 sec
- Soft shadows 1/250 sec
- Barely visible shadows 1/125 sec
- No shadows 1/60 sec

Okay, you have, after answering all the questions above, just Made a photographic image, with your eyes, and your mind.

Now, grab your camera and Take that image you have made: Using the acronym FAST



Shutter Speed

Think…….Take a look through the viewfinder before pressing shutter button, to see if there are any visible distractions, (Foreground rubbish, rivers running through ears, cluttered backgrounds, trees growing out of heads, etc.,)

3. Digital darkroom Basics

IMPORTANT: Always view images at 100%

a) Check Levels -(Histogram)

b) At 100% (Actual Pixels) check for:

- Noise (Chroma-colour noise)

- Image> Mode> LAB Colour> Channels
Channel “a” Gaussian blur 5 pixels
Channel “b” Gaussian blur 5 pixels
Channel “lightness” Filter> noise> despeckle
Image> Mode> RGB colour

-Noise (Luma -Grainy noise)

-lasso area and apply smart blur at default setting (For small areas)
-Or Ctrl+J
-Smart blur-Then eraser tool to expose background features

- Lateral chromatic aberration (fringing) Removal

Ctrl+J select brush tool and click on the quick mask tool.
Choose a brush size to match the width of the fringe.
Draw all the areas that have fringing. When done, click icon next to quick mask
Select> Inverse.
Image> Adjustments> Hue/Saturation and pick the color closest to your fringe color Click eyedropper on the fringe color on your image.
drag Saturation slider to the left until the fringing goes.
Select> deselect

Quick method for fringe elimination

Using lasso tool select area with fringing
Image> adjustments> Hue/Saturation
De saturate fringe color
Select> Deselect

- Transverse chromatic aberration (Moire banding) Elimination

- Filters/blur/Gaussian Blur at 1.5 pixels radius

- Local Contrast Enhancement

Filter> sharpen> Unsharp Mask
Amount 10
Radius 50 pixels
Threshold 0
Flatten and save


Filter> Sharpen> Unsharp mask
Amount 30
Radius 60 pixels
Threshold 10
Blend mode> Luminosity- Flatten

- To sharpen - Smart sharpen
Unsharp mask amount 18%
Radius 40 pxls
Threshold 0
Unsharp mask amount 150%
Radius 0.3 pxls
Threshold 0
Edit> fade Unsharp mask 100% Darken
Unsharp mask amount 150%
Radius 0.3 pxls
Threshold 0
Edit> fade Unsharp mask 50% Lighten

- Smart sharpen ( Alternative)

- To sharpen - Smart sharpen
Select> All> Edit> Copy
Channels> New channel (alpha 1)> Edit> paste
Filter> Stylize> Find edges
Ctrl+L move sliders for clean edges
Filters> Blur Gaussian blur1.5 pixels
Select> Load selection-Check “invert” click “ok”
Select RGB channel
View> Show> “selection edges” uncheck
Filter> Sharpen> Unsharp mask- Amount 500
Radius 0.2
Threshold 0
Select> deselect> dump alpha channel
Blend mode “luminosity”

- To lighten under-exposed images

Blend mode Screen
Adjust opacity to suit before flattening/save

- To darken over-exposed images

Blend mode Multiply
Adjust opacity to suit before flattening/save

- To Vignette portrait images

Create an ellipse around subject, using elliptical Marquee tool
Select> Inverse
Feather radius 250 pixels
Edit> Cut

- To reduce skin redness in portraits

Add new adjustment layer> selective color
Set to Reds
Click, hold drag magenta slider to left

-To smooth skin in portraits

Click on quick mask
Brush tool 35 soft
Press ”D” Paint face except for eyes, eyebrows and nostrils, and lips
(If you go over the edges, press X and erase, then x again to continue…)
Press “Q
Select “inverse”
Select> feather 10 pixels
Filters> Blur> Gaussian Blur 3 pixels
Filter> Noise> Add noise 2.5%
“uniformed” and “monochrome” checked


2. Window> Channels
3. Red Channel
4. Ctrl+A; Ctrl+C
5. Lab Colour (Don’t Flatten)
6. Channel> Lightness
7. Ctrl+V
8. Image> Mode> RGB (Don’t Flatten)
9. Select top layer- Layer> Layer mask Reveal All
10. Click on layer mask thumbnail
11. Image> Apply Image
12. Layer-background; channel red; “Invert” Ticked Blending-Multiply-opacity 100% Flatten and save.

Polarizer (Alternative)

1. Ctrl+J
2. Mode> soft light-click “OK”
3. Press ”D”
4. Press ”G” for gradient tool - Select Black to transparent Linear gradient
5. Mouse cursor at top of image, click-hold-drag down to horizon-release
6. Click on background layer; Click, hold on b/w circle
7. Choose selective colour Cyan/magenta 100/100 (Cyans)
Cyan/magenta 100/100 (Blues)

8.Flatten and save

Graduated Neutral Density Filter effect

Add adjustment layer> levels
Drag right slider to left
Drag middle slider to left (These moves enable you to get the ground or sea how you want it)
Press “D” or "X" to make foreground color black
Press “G” for gradient
Choose linear gradient -black to transparent-2nd icon from left
Drag cursor from top of image down to horizon

- Black & White conversion from colour #1

Image> Calculations
Background layer
Background Layer
New channel
Image> Mode> Greyscale

- To black & White Quadtone

Image> Mode> Duotone
Choose type: Quadtone
Load> quadtones> pantones
Select last option Bl 541 513 5773. Hit LOAD. Hit OK.
Image> Mode> RGB Color

- To convert to Black & White then selectively colourize

New adjustment layer> Hue/Saturation
F7 (or click on layer mask)
Press ”D”
Click on brush tool
Brush over parts to colourize

-To Isolate Objects against a white background:

Photograph your object using any background, Then:

a) Zoom in 200-300%.
b) Use the pen selection tool to chart an exact path around the object.
Get it perfect.
c) Click on working path Icon in paths palette
d) Select> Modify> Contract by 2 pixels. Smooth by 3-5 pixels.
e) Select> Inverse-.
f) Select> Feather by 0.2 - 0.5 pixels.
g) Make sure foreground black/background white - Press Delete.
You now have isolated object on white background.

-To Correct Converging verticals

"Select > All"
"View > Fit on Screen"
"View > Show > Grid" .
"Edit > Transform > Perspective"
Eight small squares will appear around the image edges.
Using the Left mouse button select the small square
at the top left or right corner and drag in the opposite
direction to the way the verticals are tilting.


1 duplicate layer,
2. then select background copy layer and select background layer invisible
3. select layer and go
image -> adjustments -> Match color...
4. then set luminance to 200 and color intensity to 1
5. then select background layer to visible and take the eraser tool
6 on "background copy" layer start delete the all what you want in real colors

For landscapes

Step one- To bring out detail

1. Ctrl+J
2. filter> other> high pass 1.7 pixels
3. Change blend mode to "hard light"
4. Ctrl+Shift+N
5. Edit> Fill - black 100%
6. Click on eraser tool-set brush size 300
7. Click once in centre of blacked-out image
8. change blend mode to "soft light" Adjust opacity to suit
9. Flatten and save

Step two- To enhance colors:

1. Ctrl+J
2. Image> adjustments> Match Color
Luminance 119
Color intensity 126
3. Flatten/save

- Soft light portrait

Press ctrl+j to duplicate the layer and press shift +control +u to de-saturate the new layer.
Click on Add layer mask button
Click on layer mask thumbnail to active it and go to Image> Apply image :-
Layer- merged
Now, click on image thumbnail to active it. ( It is located just before the layer mask thumbnail ). Now do two things :-
1. Go to filter> Blur> Gaussian blur and give 2.5 radius.
2. Change the blending mode of the layer to Multiply.
Duplicate this layer again and change its blending mode to Linear dodge. You now have soft light effect on your image. If you want more light than change the blending mode to Color Dodge.


1. Ctrl+j
2. New adjustment layer-Channel mixer
Check "monochrome"
3. Set Red to +100
Green to +200
Blue to -200
Set constant to between 27 and 32
Click “ok”
Flatten and save.

Faux F1.8 D.O.F.

1. Ctrl+J ; Add a layer mask-Using Pen tool, draw a path around subject, Edit> fill Black 100%
2. Selection> save selection, save to new channel
3. Select gradient tool, black to white, linear
4. From the area you want in focus, draw a line vertically downwards (1/3 in front;
5. Using gradient tool again, layer mode Screen, drawing a line upwards 2/3ds behind)
6. Channels-click on saved mask Ctrl+ click-select gradient mask, mask only
7. Set background color to black. Ctrl+ backspace
8. Click on original duplicated layer with its mask-name it “Gaussian Blur”
9. Now select image-not mask.-Lock Transparency. click little chequerboard, at top of layer palette
10. Filter> Blur> Gaussian blur 40-50 pixels
11. Repeat step 8,but name layer “Lens Blur”-Filter> blur> lens blur, and in the dialogue box:
12. “faster”, depth map source “layer mask” Blur focal distance-adjust to suit
13. Set iris shape to number of diaphragm blades of your lens. Radius 100%
14. Don’t play with “blade curvature or rotation” Brightness 2;Threshold 180
15. Click Ok-Flatten and save

Red eye Reduction
Double click Quick mask icon
Change masking color to green-opacity 60%
Paint mask over eyes
Click icon next to Quick mask
Select> Inverse
Image> adjustments> Desaturate
Add new adjustment layer-Levels
Move both input sliders towards the centre of the range until you are satisfied.
Layers> Flatten image

To Whiten Teeth

Select quick mask icon
Select brush tool 13 pixels soft
Brush over teeth
Click icon next to quick mask
Select> Inverse
Image> adjustments> Hue/Saturation -60
Add new adjustment layer-Levels
Click and drag right slider to left until whiteness looks good
Flatten and save

To Color a black and white Image

1. Image> Mode> RGB color

2.Double-click the Quick Mask button near the base of your toolbar to bring up the Quick Mask options. Under “Color Indicates” choose “Selected Areas” and press OK.

3.. Choose the Paintbrush from your toolbar and start painting over the area that you’ve decided to add some color to.

4.This portion will just appear to be red so you can see the area you’re selecting.
After completely covering the chosen area,.

5.. . .click on the Quick Mask button again. This will put you back to Normal mode. You’ll notice that the area which you just filled in with color is now selected. the selected area for later use (or in case you make a mistake). Do this by going to Select >> Save Selection.

Click on Layer >> New Adjustment Layer >> Color Balance.

7.Click OK on the first dialog box, and the color sliders will appear.

8.Put a checkmark in the preview box and adjust the color sliders until you get a color you like for the selected area. Then click OK.

9.If there are other areas that you want to colorize, just repeat the previous steps again on a new section.

Copyright: © Kenneth William Caleno (Dip Phot) 2009

Comments (9)

Comment by Maigi on May 27, 2009

Thank you very much for sharing this information, Ken. So many great advices. You are a very generous person. Thank you very much for that!!

Comment by Markfgd on May 27, 2009

Hello Petroruth, the pen tool first appeared in Photoshop 2.0 so it should be there in your version 4.0.

Thanks, Ken, for taking the time to write your very thorough and knowledgeable article.

Comment by Petroruth on May 27, 2009

Hi Ken you have supplied so much good information I am slowly digesting it and am printing out the info. I have a question o learned one. I have Adobe 4.0 photoshop and do not have the pen tool for isolation .Checking out the pen tool on some one else computer i think it works similar to the magic lasso in my program. Are you familiar with adobe 4. I would like to beable to do the best isolation's i can. Thank you Peter

Comment by Noonie on May 27, 2009

Ken, thanks! I've followed your tuts for a while and learned a lot. I read them here and on the other site (I don't sell there, just read things). They've helped me a lot but I wish I could remember it all. I think I'm beginning to retain a little, I have sooo much to learn and so little time....I've put together my own "Kenny" book with all I've printed out :-) promise I won't publish it and go into competition with you, tho!

Comment by Littledesire on May 27, 2009

just saw them ... I'll read now about wedding photography first .. I'll need it after less than a month.

Comment by Kenny123 on May 27, 2009

Hi,little desire, thankyou for your comment- i have just published another two blogs-one on getting perfect outdoor exposure,and ny wedding photography crash course. I hope you find them useful. Regards, Ken

Comment by Littledesire on May 27, 2009

Hey, hi!
I'm here at the bottom :)
Do you see me? :)) Kidding!

Thanks for the useful article! I've met it lond time ago in forum but still haven't read it all. I should take some days off.

Comment by Kenny123 on May 27, 2009

Hi, Alexhor, Actually I am collaborating with another guy,who lives in California, I met him on his trip in New Zealand for Deer hunting season- He and are are on another site,and have been for years-I only shoot jpeg,I can't be bothered with RAW-this other guy shoots both,so we are writing a complete stock photography treatise covering Raw processing,studio work,using studio strobes,wedding photography-the lot-not sure yet but we could be asking a price when complete-we don't know yet. Thank you for your comment. regards, Ken

Comment by Alexhor on May 27, 2009

Wow, a masterpiece, Kenneth! I saw this article in message board, and I am glad that you decided to share it on blog too. I believe admins will notice usefulness of this and add it to tutorials in utilities section. Thanks for sharing.

Comments (9)

This article has been read 2307 times. 6 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Kenneth Caleno.

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"Shoot as if Photoshop doesn't exist!" - Perfect practice makes perfect

Masterton, NZ

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