Insight: What You Need to Stop Doing in Photoshop CC and other How-To Guides

By David Schonauer   Tuesday November 8, 2016

Once upon a time — that is, before the internet — you had to put some work (and money) into finding photography tutorials and guides.

Now the abundance of advice, insights and tips online is nothing less than overwhelming, which is why we occasionally gather together a number of how-to articles and spotlight them here. Today’s collection features a beginner’s guide to astrophotography, an introduction to digital infrared photography, Instagram tips for photographers, a tutorial on different ways to mount a camera overhead, and a guide to framing a video long shot like a pro cinematographer.

Tutvid: 10 Things You Must Avoid Doing in Photoshop CC

Photoshop offers so many creative possibilities, it’s no wonder that people screw up. “We all know about the Photoshop faux pas, techniques like trying to smooth skin by blurring it, or the good olde Over Retouching of the eyes that will so often leave our subjects looking like they’ve been subjected to the most awful of death-ray-esque LASIK eye surgeries,” notes Nathanial Dodson at Tutvid. His short video highlights 10 other things you should stop doing in Photoshop CC. DIY Photography  expands on the discussion.

sympathink: A Beginner’s Guide to Night Landscape and Astrophotography

Photographer and blogger Lisa Row has created a five part series for shooting the night sky and nighttime here on Earth. She covers planning (find a location to use as a foreground, as in photo at top); gear; camera settings; ideas for composition and more.

Makify1: How to Build an LED Light Panel for Under $200

If there’s one thing you can find plenty of on the internet — well, actually, there are plenty of things you can find plenty of on the internet — it’s articles about how to build DIY LED light panels. (Just Google.) A new video from Makify1 offers an updated build you can do for under $200. You’ll need aluminum channels with diffusers, quick-set epoxy and some other stuff.

Rick Battle: A Introduction to Digital Infrared Photography

“The human eye is incapable of seeing infrared light, so Infrared photography is truly a way to show your audience something they can never see with their own eyes,” writes landscape photographer Rick Battle in his primer on the subject. He covers everything from filters and lenses to shooting methodology and post-processing.

KINETEK: Cool Trick for Pulling Focus at High Speed

Pull focusing makes for cool video shots. So does slow motion. A video from director/cinematographer Matthew Rosen shows you how to bring the techniques together. Rosen explains how he shot an ad by capturing detergent powder at 1500 frames per second with a Phantom Miro camera. See PetaPixel.

PremiumBeat: How to Frame a Long Shot Like a Cinematographer

In filmmaking, long shots often show the scale, distance, and location of a scene. They don’t always feature characters, but if they do, the subjects traditionally are framed from head to toe. However, notes cinematographer Conrad L Hall in a tutorial at the PremiumBeat blog, that is a rule he frequently breaks.

Medium: 10 Instagram Tips for Photographers

“Quite often other photographers tell me, ‘I don’t have time for another social network and I don’t need Instagram.’ Yet they spend hours posting on Facebook, 500px and Flickr where almost zero potential clients will see their work,” writes.Samuel Zeller, a Geneva, Switzerland-based photographer and Fujifilm brand ambassador. Zeller says you need Instagram and explains how to make the most of it. Tip one: Remember that Instagram is not your portfolio.

Wistia: Three Ways to Mount a Cam for Overhead Stills and Video

Mounting a camera overhead can be a difficult task if it’s not something you need to do regularly. A new video from  Wistia offers three different ways to help you get the overhead shot with minimal extra kit. Method number one: Putting the camera on a tripod and aiming it straight down. Option two combines a light stand and a monopod. But option three may be the best of all, notes DIY Photography.

Ryan Prawiradjaja: Creating a Panorama Without a Wide-Angle Lens

Some how-to guides show you how to take your craft to a new level. Others show you how to recover from mistakes, because, as Ryan Prawiradjaja notes, “s**t happens.” A photographer currently based in Austin, TX, he describes what happened when he traveled to Rocky Mountain National Park, the highest-altitude national park in the lower 48 states, with sweeping views of the Continental Divide, and forgot to bring a wide-angle lens.

Koldunov Brothers: Use an Old Point & Shoot to Light Paint Products and Portraits

Do you have an old film camera or point and shoot lying around? A video from the Koldunov Brothers shows you how to use the camera’s flash to light product shots and portraits on the cheap. “[I]’s not going to be groundbreaking or totally revolutionize the way you shoot. But if you find yourself in need of some artificial light for product shots or portraits, they suggest turning out the lights, setting your camera to take a long exposure, and using the flash on your old point and shoot to light paint the scene,” notes DIY Photography.


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