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Lighting Modifiers: Softboxes

Softboxes are popular modifiers that are well suited to many genres of photography. Here I explain the advantages, disadvantages and effects of softboxes as well as offer some alternatives.

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The science and challenges of moon photography

This July marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landings — a historic moment that had a huge impact on technology, particularly photography, as we know it today. To celebrate this historic occasion we’ll be welcoming a technical expert from Hasselblad for an exclusive live talk show, where you’ll be able to see one of the moon cameras and …

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Top tips for creating stunning black and white photos

If you’ve ever tried to convert an image to black and white, chances are you’ve ended up with a flat, dull photo with none of the original contrast. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially for photographers who are new to Photoshop. To help you create stunning black and white images, I explain the key things to understand when shooting for …

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How to light & photograph cars

Car photography is notoriously difficult and often requires some high-level professional equipment. In the video above I talk you through a recent car photoshoot and TV commercial we did in the studio using our new custom-built ceiling rig. Ceiling rigs, or floating panels, are commonly used in car photography as they help make an already challenging task much easier. I’ve …

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My best photography books of all time

Over the years I’ve built up quite a collection of photography books and as many of you have asked what my favorites are, I thought I’d put together a list of my favorite inspirational and educational photography books.

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Photography equipment — What professional photographer Ben Thomas has in his bag

Award winning professional photographer Ben Thomas recently joined me in the studio, where we discussed everything from promoting your work to printing and exhibiting images. Ben also shared his go-to equipment and touched on the post production processes he uses to achieve some of his signature images. Many of our members were particularly interested in what equipment Ben uses and …

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Pricing calculator

Having operated a successful business for over 25 years, I’ve realized there are a few critical requirements for maintaining and growing a profitable business. However, when starting a photography business, it’s easy to get caught up and find yourself running around in circles in an attempt to keep on top of things. One of these things is often pricing. Determining …

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A guide to understanding studio lighting

When it comes to photography lighting, the move from natural light to studio flash is a definite step-up, but there’s no disputing the extra creative freedom it allows. Understanding the basics of studio flash lighting will help ensure a smooth transition; the same way understanding fundamentals like aperture, shutter speed and exposure will help you switch from Auto to Manual …

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Portrait photography — Three creative one light portrait lighting setups

I’ve often heard photographers use the excuse that they don’t have many lights, but when it comes to portrait photography, you can get amazing results using just one studio light. Looking to create a beautiful soft light portrait image? Or perhaps you want something more dramatic and moody? Even if you’ve only got one light, with a little creativity you …

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Motorbike Photo Shoot

When it comes to photographing motorbikes, there are a number of challenges you can expect to face. Whether you’re working outdoors on location, or in a more controlled studio environment, these steel speedsters are no easy subject. Some of the challenges you may experience include: I demonstrate how to overcome each of these challenges in this live show, explaining my …

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Mistakes to avoid when using studio lighting

Photography can be considered both a science and an art, with basic principles of physics governing the practicalities of recording light, how we direct and modify it, and also the human biological visual responses to the mood of an image. All of this together contributes to the outcome and overall success of an image. If you really want to understand …

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Portrait Photography: How to take better business portraits

As a commercial photographer business portraits are still a regular feature in my calendar. Here I’ve outlined the key elements to ensure you’re able to successfully tackle a business shoot, including lighting setups, posing your subject and recommended camera settings and lenses.

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Portrait lighting setups — Two light setup ideas

In a previous article I discussed three easy portrait lighting setups using just one light, but for those of you who have more equipment, I thought I’d go one step further and show you some more great setups, this time using two lights. When it comes to portrait photography, whether you’re using one light or four, you can get some …

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How to photograph flying food images

Levitating burgers, suspended salads and exploding tea — the craze of flying food images is taking over the food photography market. But how are these exciting images created? Photographing floating images, whether it be food or any other product, can be difficult. There are a number of challenges you’ll need to overcome, including getting the composition and positioning of your …

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Why image quality is not just about megapixels

When it comes to image quality, there is a big misconception that if you want better quality, you need more megapixels. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) it isn’t that straightforward. Over the years camera manufacturers have dedicated much of their efforts to improve the number of megapixels in their latest models. At the start of …

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Portrait photography lighting ideas — Three creative ways to use three lights

From soft, angelic lighting to darker, more contoured lighting, there’s no end to how creative you can be using three lights for portrait photography. If you’re looking for some creative three light portrait ideas, I’ve put together three different setups you can add to your arsenal. These setups use only basic modifiers and show effective techniques that can help add …

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E-commerce photography in 5 simple steps

E-commerce is a booming industry, and with it, e-commerce photography. Done correctly, e-commerce photography can be a quick and easy way to make money, but there’s a few tricks to getting it right. In two recent ‘How To’ videos that I did with broncolor’s Urs Recher, we showed you an effective setup for shooting e-commerce fashion as well as pack …

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Case study: Natural light product photography

Case study: Photographing products with minimal equipment In the past, I’ve proved that you don’t need lots of equipment to get good results and I demonstrated this again for our recent ‘Working to a brief challenge’ when I shot a product shot of a wine bottle using only natural light. When you apply the knowledge of light, you can achieve …

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Viktor Fejes: Life as a professional retouch artist

Viktor Fejes took the first steps towards a career as a retoucher at the age of eight years old, but it wasn’t until years later that he realized that’s where life would take him. Read more about his career as a professional retoucher ahead oh his live shows on Karl Taylor Education here.

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Portrait lighting ideas – Creative four light setups

When it comes to portrait photography, you often see results that are really quite similar. Softboxes are a go-to modifier and aim is either Butterfly, Loop or Rembrandt lighting. But with a little creativity (and the right knowledge), the possibilities are endless. In previous articles I’ve shown you how to create great portraits using just one, two and three lights …

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7 Tactics you can use to become a professional photographer

Photography is a popular choice of profession for many, but despite the perception of it being a ‘glamourous’ career, in actual fact it requires a lot of hard work, time and effort. If you ask any professional photographer for advice on how to get started, they will tell you how essential it is that you understand the basics. I’m not …

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How to photograph the moon: 4 simple tips for you to try

The moon is a beautiful and fascinating subject to photograph, but determining the right exposure and the best composition can be a challenge. To help you get even better photos, I’ve outlined four simple tips in this blog post. I explain what to consider when it comes to when and where to photograph the moon, what equipment you’ll need, how …

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Top 5 photography tips from professional photographers

From interviews with award-winning photographers to exciting photoshoots with flying liquids, our live photography shows are one of the most popular features on Karl Taylor Education. After launching the site just a few years ago, it soon became apparent just how valuable our live photography talk shows in particular were for members. These interviews offer a unique opportunity to learn …

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Jewellery photography: Top tips for how to photograph jewellery

Whether it’s diamond rings or gemstone necklaces, jewellery photography is notoriously difficult, but there are a few useful techniques you can try that will make the process so much easier.  This diamond necklace jewellery photograph forms one of three videos that make up our jewellery photography classes. Watches, rings and necklaces all present a unique set of challenges when it …

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Splash photography — How to photograph liquid splashes

If you’ve never tried splash photography before or if you’re looking for a few useful tips or new ideas, then this is the place to be. I explain the equipment, lighting, important photographic concepts and also share a few creative ideas for you to try. Splash photography is a technique that can add a certain degree of professionalism to your …

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Everything you need to know about umbrella lighting

In any photography studio — amateur and professional alike — you’ll probably find at least one or two umbrellas. These lightweight and affordable modifiers can be used to achieve a number of different results, which is part of the reason they’re so widely used. In our previous ‘Umbrella Lighting’ live show, I took a closer look at these popular modifiers, …

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The Magic of Parabolic Lighting

As a professional photographer, one of the most common questions I get asked is “If you could have just one lighting modifier, what would you choose?” And my answer is always the same — “The Para 133”.

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How to focus stack in Photoshop

I’ve had a lot of members asking me what focus stacking is, when to use it and how to focus stack images in Photoshop. Here you’ll find the answers to all those questions and learn how, using Photoshop, you can get the whole of your image sharp in just a few simple steps. Sometimes, regardless of what camera settings you …

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Identifying & overcoming the challenges of a high-end product shoot

Note: Watch the step-by-step process of how I shot this image in our Product section. I often get asked how I come up with ideas for shoots, but as a commercial photographer I’m often tasked with working to a brief, rather than creating my own concepts. For this Clinique shot, although it wasn’t for a particular project, I went about …

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Live Workshop — One Light Challenge Product Photoshoot

In this live show Karl will undertake the challenge of a product shoot using only one light, showing it’s not about how much equipment you have, but more about how you use what you do have. Product photography can be a challenging genre of photography, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create professional results with minimal equipment. Often, when thinking …

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Beginner Photography Quick Start Guide

Starting out in photography can seem daunting but this quick start guide contains all you need to know to get the ball rolling. Having this knowledge will ensure that you not only master the basics but have the skills to progress and confidently take creative control of your photography.

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Members Critique – Retouching and Techniques

In this members critique live show Karl will be assessing members retouching skills and identifying good and bad post production practices. Members will have an opportunity to submit an image for feedback and follow along live as Karl examines their work. Karl will also be answering questions live throughout the show. You’ll learn how to recognise areas that need retouching …

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Photography pricing – How much to charge for your photography

As someone who’s done it for over 20 years, trust me when I say running a successful photography business requires more than just talent. It requires hard work, dedication and business savvy. Knowing how much to charge for photography is just one of the hurdles you’ll have to overcome if you want to make it, but it can be challenging …

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A detailed guide to creative still life photography

One of the best things about still life photography is that you can get creative and test your photography skills using almost anything you have laying around the studio or your house. You also don’t need very much equipment. And if that’s not enough to persuade you, still life images can also be a great way to make money. Still …

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Simple tips to take better photos

As a professional photographer and educator people often ask me how they can improve their photographs so I’ve put together some simple photography tips you can use to improve your photos.

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Light meters and why I don’t use them

A recent post about light meters on my Facebook page created a lot of debate and many photographers defended their use, which of course is absolutely OK. I’m not saying you can’t use them, I’m only here to explain why for me they are a waste of money and can negatively affect creativity. Please read on if you have an …

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Top 10 commonly asked photography questions

Whether you’re a new photographer just starting out or have a few years of experience to your name, chances are you’ll have found yourself asking similar questions. Each month I do a live Q&A on social media and I’ve found that many photographers are asking the same questions time and time again. I answer the 10 most commonly asked photography …