Category: Informative

Online Photo Crop Calculator

Online Photo Crop Calculator

Have you ever been frustrated trying to get your photo image to fit a certain print size, like 8×10? Try my new Photo Crop Calculator:
Img of Photo Crop Calculator

Photographer with Shaky Hands

Photographer with Shaky Hands

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How can I possibly be a pro photographer with these trembling hands?

Everyone has a tremor, even if it isn’t visible.

So, I just do what any good photographer does: keep an eye on my shutter speed and lens length, use a tripod and remote where possible, and stabilize my body as best as possible when a tripod is not possible.

But, if I want to blur the photo, I’ve got a great hand tremor that complements a 1/60s exposure!

Reform Portrait Photography

Reform Portrait Photography

I have completely rewound my thinking about portrait photography, and started at the very beginning: what is the purpose of a portrait photo? I continued right through to the best ways to edit portrait photos. I came up with a formula.

I’m going to make all of my portraits and Portrait Photo Stories using my new formula.

G family

Chroma Key Green Screen

Chroma Key Green Screen

Tips for using a green screen:

  • while planning or selecting a background image, make sure the image belongs to you, or you have permission to use it– give proper credit when required
  • before you make the photo of your foreground subject, study the background photo you’re going to use; study the lighting in the background photo: where is the light source, what color is the light and how bright is it? you need to reproduce this lighting with your subject to make the final image look believable; of course, this isn’t applicable if your background is just a pattern or solid color
  • maintain as much distance between the subject(s) and the green screen as you can
  • maximize your aperture, without compromising the depth of field you want for your subject, to help blur the green screen
  • technical and lighting setup (click here)
  • Use FXhome PhotoKey or some other professional software to combine the images

(more tips after the image)


Editing tips:

  • spend time reading the instructions for the green screen software; there is a fair bit to learn, but it’s worth it; it will be difficult to do a good job if you’re just playing with the settings
  • while it’s important to see the final result, of course, the Matte View is essential and extremely helpful for working on your image; when you are using Matte View, your goal is to eliminate the grey areas; you want your subject to be white and the background to be black; after importing, rotating, resizing and cropping the background and foreground images, the first thing you should do is switch to Matte View and slide the Gain control until the grey areas are minimized
  • if there are grey areas (green highlights) in your foreground subject:
    • where it’s easy enough, use Masks to retain alpha in your subject
    • otherwise, slide Hue Balance to until you have minimized the problem
  • if there is green reflecting onto a human subject’s skin, change the Spill Suppression method to Extended
  • if the edge of your subject is wrong, these are the settings you need to investigate:
    • Edge Color
    • Erode
  • use the Blur filter to make the noise/grain levels between foreground and background look natural (believable)
  • there is a lot more to learn, but these tips should give you a good start