How to Use Lightroom: A Complete Tutorial for Beginners

Adobe Lightroom is a behemoth of photography software with enough functions and processes to make any photographer crazy. At the simplest level, though, Lightroom was created to help you do just three main things: sort your photos, post-process them, and export them. On Photography Life alone, we already have more than 100 articles about Lightroom — the equivalent of several books — and other websites have countless more. Clearly, it is an important topic to learn, whether you are just…

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Must-Have Gear for a Traveling Photographer

As a busy photographer who travels quite a bit both within the USA and overseas, I have gone through many types of gear in my camera bag. While some of the gear and accessories are absolute necessities I will not leave my home without, others can be very useful in particular situations or when traveling to other countries. In this article, I would like to go over my top must-have gear for travel and discuss why you might consider including…

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Taking Your Sports Photography Beyond Snapshots

This post is the second in a three-part series dedicated to teaching sports photography at all levels of competency. In part one I covered the basics for photographers who are just getting started. This article will focus on intermediate amateurs who have mastered the basics, and want to gain additional competency to bring their images to the next level. The final part will be geared towards advanced amateurs looking to build a portfolio.

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Understanding Auto ISO in Photography

Did you know that most modern digital cameras have the ability to set ISO automatically? Back in the film days, you would drop a roll of film into your camera and your ISO, or ASA as it was known back then, would be fixed for the entire roll. With digital, not only can you change your ISO on the fly, but you can also set your camera to adjust it automatically. In this article, we will explore Auto ISO in…

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The Ultimate Wildlife Photography Tutorial

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…

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How to Photograph Winter Landscapes

Four seasons is a marvelous gift of our planet to landscape photographers, at least in certain parts of the world. In the past, I preferred anything but winter. I always impatiently awaited fall colors, peaking around late October and beginning of November, or the lush green tones of mid-April. But in the past few years, I learned to love winter too. Well at least when there is snow and frost. Here are my tips on how to photograph snow in…

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How to Crop in Lightroom and Why

There are two kinds of photographers. Those who admit they crop, and those who claim they don’t. The latter are glistening bastions of photographic purity whose souls glow at a constant Zone 10. They graciously lecture us heathens on the evils of cropping and try to exorcise the post-processing devils from our souls. They abhor us croppers, whom they consider inferior photographers – low down scum worse than fixer stains or a piece of grit in a bulk loader. They…

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Getting Started With Sports Photography

This post is the first of a three-part series dedicated to teaching sports photography at all levels of competency. In part one I will cover the basics for photographers who are just getting started. Part two will focus on gaining competency for those who have mastered the basics. The final part will be geared towards serious amateurs looking to build a portfolio.

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How to Use a Polarizing Filter

A polarizing filter is one of the most essential tools in a landscape photographer’s bag. It is typically the first filter landscape photographers buy to instantly improve their pictures by adding vividness and contrast to them. In this article, we will go through detailed information on polarizing filters, what they do, why they are important and why you should consider using them for your landscape photography.

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ISO Invariance Explained

ISO invariance is one of the most talked-about topics in photography today, yet most people don’t really understand what it is. That isn’t a surprise; ISO invariance can be very technical and counter-intuitive, and it doesn’t fit well with many photographers’ general understanding of ISO. However, ISO invariance is an important topic, especially since many cameras today are close to being ISO invariant. If you want to maximize your camera’s dynamic range and avoid using “useless” ISO values, this topic…

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How to Properly Use and Care for Memory Cards

As photographers, we heavily rely on memory cards, because they store images captured by our cameras and we use them to transfer images to our computers / main storage. In some cases, photographers even rely on memory cards to be their secondary or tertiary backups when shooting in the field. The role of memory cards in a photography workflow should not be underestimated – a failed card may not only lead to many problems and frustrations, but can also create…

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How to Use Telephoto Lenses

Telephotos – lenses that are “zoomed in” to a significant degree – are wonderful tools for almost any genre of photography, but they aren’t necessarily easy to use. In particular, telephoto lenses will magnify any camera shake and provide a much thinner depth of field compared to wide angles. Don’t let that stop you, though. Telephotos have a unique way of showcasing the world — one which may be ideal for your photos. In this article, I’ll go in detail about…

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How to Take Camera Phone Pictures

As many of you probably know, having a camera with you at all times isn’t always possible. As much as you might try, there will be times when you want to take a photo and don’t have a camera at hand. Or do you? Pretty much everyone these days has a phone in their purse or pocket that’s capable of taking photos. While you may dismiss your phone’s capabilities as a camera, don’t be so quick to judge. In this…

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When to Use a Higher ISO for Landscape Photography

For landscape photography, most of the time, you’ll end up using your camera’s base ISO. That’s the power of a tripod; it lets you set long enough shutter speeds to capture a bright photo, even in dark environments at low ISO values. However, settings like this do not work for all images. Sometimes, depending upon the landscape, you’ll need to raise your ISO in order to capture a successful photograph. This article dives into the most common of those situations.

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Seven Tips to Pick the Perfect Shutter Speed in Photography

Shutter speed is one of the most important settings to know as a photographer. It doesn’t get any more fundamental than this. To be specific, shutter speed is the length of time your camera sensor (or film) is exposed to light — essentially, how long your camera spends taking a photo. As simple as this sounds, though, shutter speed has an enormous influence on how your images appear. In this article, I will cover seven of the most important tips…

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Aperture and F-Stop Explained for Beginners

Aperture is perhaps the single most important camera setting that every photographer needs to know. Whether you do landscape photography, portrait photography, or anything in between, you have to set your aperture properly in order to capture successful photos. Below, I’ll dive some important terminology — aperture, f-stop, and f-number — and talk about how to use them for your own photography.

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What Makes a Good Night Photography Lens?

Everywhere in the world, across the course of a year, the sun will be below the horizon just about 50% of the time. Although it can take a while for sunset to fade away completely, it’s safe to say that we spend a huge portion of our lives under dark skies. Normally, nighttime isn’t something that people equate with being awake, of course, but landscape photographers are strange people. In fact, moonlight and the Milky Way can lead to some…

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Photography Workflow – Year-End Activities

As a photographer and a photography business owner, I go through a number of activities at the end of each year to close it out, just like many businesses do when performing year-end activities. These activities have become an essential part of my photography workflow, allowing me to continue using a very consistent and reliable method to not only store and archive my images, but also to be ready for future data growth and potential hardware changes. If you have…

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Understanding Depth of Field – A Beginner’s Guide

Depth of field (DoF) is one of the most important concepts in photography. Understanding what DoF is, and knowing what factors affect it, are things all photographers should master. Many photographers know that you can control DoF by adjusting aperture. But did you know that DoF is influenced by other factors too? In this article, I want to explain in simple terms what depth of field is and talk about the ways you can control it.

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Architectural Photography Tutorial

Light, shapes, lines, forms — the foundations of photography. No matter what subjects you shoot, you’ll end up working with these features for every photo that you take. Architectural photography, though, takes it to another level, with its perfect geometrical lines and shapes that are hard to find anywhere else in the world. In this article, I will cover everything from indoor architectural photography to outdoor “urban landscapes” and cityscapes, including some tips and tricks that I use all the time in…

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