All posts by Sabine Hermann

Wedding Photographer Susan Stripling Writes Open Letter Tackling Industry Sexism

Wedding Photographer Susan Stripling Writes Open Letter Tackling Industry Sexism

Award-winning Wedding Photographer Susan Stripling recently shared an open letter she wrote dealing with sexism in the photography industry. In the letter, she shares her experiences with male peers, wedding guests, employees at camera stores, and everyone in between who makes gender an issue in a field where sex shouldn’t matter.

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First Impressions: Lomography Lomo’Instant Square

First Impressions: Lomography Lomo'Instant Square

In the past few years, I’ve learned to trust in Lomography’s ability to churn out solid instant film cameras, and the Lomography Lomo’Instant Square seems to be every bit as solid as lots of cameras that I’ve seen thus far. It’s the first camera to use the Fujifilm Instax Square format that isn’t made by Fujifilm. With a very classic design that is sort of an ode to old Kodak instant film cameras, this is one of Lomography’s more curious camera’s. Lomo decided to go with a glass lens, a bellows system, and more or less the same sort of system that the previous Lomo’Instant cameras have had. It borrows a lot from them and personally speaking, I’m actually pretty glad that I backed it. For ethical reasons of running a photography blog, I typically don’t like to back Kickstarters, but this is one that I firmly believed it.

Don’t Fear Photo Post-Processing Shooting is Only the First Part of the Image Creation Process

You have just bought your new bright shiny camera and you are sure that it is just the thing that will help you create better images. You’re shooting JPG with the camera’s automatic program modes, but you’re not getting the results you wanted. You keep upgrading your cameras thinking that will do the trick, only to find that the quality of your imagery isn’t getting any better. What’s going on?

Lightroom Banner - Don't Fear Photo Editing - Shooting is Only the First Part of the Image Creation Process

You may be missing an important part of digital photography, post-processing, with a state of the art processing program like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.

Before and after

Iceland Light Before - Don't Fear Photo Editing - Shooting is Only the First Part of the Image Creation Process

This image of a lighthouse in Iceland was taken on a bright yet overcast day. In a matter of moments with the help of Lightroom, it became a favorite.

Iceland Light After - Don't Fear Photo Editing - Shooting is Only the First Part of the Image Creation Process

The role of post-processing in photography is not new

There are several integral parts to digital photography. The technical and creative aspect of using your camera, and the technical and creative application of post-processing your images. Each part is equally important and when all the pieces are put together, that’s when the magic starts to happen.

Unfortunately, many people are still thinking about the days of film when you took it to a lab and the post-processing was done for you. You never had to think twice about how the image was processed. Did you ever notice that different labs gave you different results? That’s because of their level of post-processing.

Now it’s time for you to understand the importance of post-processing if you are going to create better imagery. It will take some time and some dedication to learn, but it will improve your photography by ten-fold.

The first step shooting with post-processing in mind

First of all, start shooting in RAW format and stop letting the camera make the decisions for you. When you shoot JPG format, it will automatically process your images in camera, even though you may even not be aware of it.

Have you ever taken a JPG and a RAW image and compared the two photographs? The JPG may appear bright and saturated and the RAW file looks flat. That’s because the JPG has been processed by the camera and the RAW file is an unprocessed digital negative.

That RAW file is ready for you to make your own creative adjustments and apply your photographic vision in Lightroom or Photoshop. Only then can you start to recreate that scene you saw when you first took the image.

What kind of post-processing decisions will the camera make for your JPGs? Depending on your camera, it can automatically increase saturation, sharpness, and contrast, but it will also compress your image. There are settings in your camera where you can make blanket adjustments for every JPG (Picture Styles), however, the camera is still making the decisions for you. That gives you zero creative control.

Raw format gives you control

RAW files contain more information and will allow you to have a wider range of tones (called dynamic range) to work with when you bring your images into Lightroom or Photoshop. When shooting in the JPEG format, image information is compressed and lost forever. In a RAW file, no information is compressed and you’re able to produce higher quality images while correcting problem areas that would be unrecoverable if shot in the JPEG format.

The Histogram

Once you start shooting in RAW, it’s very important to be conscious of the histogram. You can bring up the histogram on your Live View shooting screen or after you have taken the shot in your image review screen. Check your camera’s manual for the location of the histogram.

Note: If you shoot with a mirrorless camera you may be able to see the histogram on the screen before you shoot. Check your settings this is very handy.

Why is the histogram important for your photographic success?

If used correctly while shooting, the histogram will give you the information you need to know to bring up the shadows or bring down the highlights and pop out exposure and detail in an image.

The histogram shows you the brightness of a scene and it can be measured as you are shooting, or after you have captured the image. When look at the histogram and see the bulk of the graph pushing towards the right, this means you have an image that may be overexposed (or a really light toned subject).

Overexposed - Don't Fear Photo Post-Processing - Shooting is Only the First Part of the Image Creation Process

If the data is mostly on the left of the graph, it’s an image that might be underexposed.

Underexposed - Don't Fear Photo Post-Processing - Shooting is Only the First Part of the Image Creation Process

If the graph spikes on either the left or right wall of the histogram, that means that clipping has occurred. Clipping happens when you have areas in your photo with no information as a result of over or underexposure. When an area has no information, it is either pure white or pure black which is often referred to blown out.

Generally, it is undesirable to have large areas of your image that have highlights or shadows clipping. See the image below. The red areas show highlight clipping, and the blue areas show shadow clipping.

Clipping - Don't Fear Photo Post-Processing - Shooting is Only the First Part of the Image Creation Process

Because of the limited dynamic range of a camera’s sensor, the area registering as clipped usually leaves the image with no information in the shadows or highlights. A spike touching the left edge of the histogram means that there is shadow clipping. A spike touching the right edge of the histogram means that there are highlights clipping.

What is possible with post-processing?

Many photographers have frustrating results with their images because they don’t embrace digital editing and post-processing. They are doing everything right when they shoot and are good at composition. They know how to expose correctly for the scene, but don’t know where to go with the image once they get home.

For example, maybe they are in a high contrast area and have taken an image with the histogram in mind. Then they open the image on-screen and throw it out because it looks over or underexposed. They don’t know what the post-processing possibilities are even though they may have a viable image. This is where they are missing a large part of the potential in their digital photography post-processing.

Here’s a great example. This image was taken in the Eastern Sierra in California.

Alabama Hills Before - Don't Fear Photo Post-Processing - Shooting is Only the First Part of the Image Creation Process

It is obvious that the shadows are way underexposed and it creates an interesting silhouette. But, if you look at the histogram, you can see there is space on the left side of the graph which represents the shadows. This means there is more information there, and a good possibility of bringing up the shadows to create a whole different image.

Here is the result after brightening shadows in Lightroom. This adjustment took just seconds and creates a whole new scene.

Alabama Hills After - Don't Fear Photo Post-Processing - Shooting is Only the First Part of the Image Creation Process

Start with Lightroom

Almost every image needs post-processing. Some people think that’s cheating. It’s not, it’s all part of the digital artistic process.

With post-processing, you can create the image you saw when you photographed the scene. Your eyes have the capability of seeing a wider range of light and color than your camera does, so the images need help in post-processing to duplicate the full range of light and shadows. The problem with a lot of beginners, is they tend to oversaturate or over-sharpen an image. So this talent comes with time and practice, practice, practice.

Once you have mastered the basics, there isa lot more you will be able to do with your digital post-processing that will add drama and interest to your photos.The above image of Bridal Veil Falls in Yosemite looks rather flat in the RAW version (left). Once you add saturation, sharpening, and a vignette to the whole picture it starts to pop. Then you can enhance the brightest areas by painting with light, and it now becomes a much more interesting image.

Start your post-processing journey with a full featured program like Adobe Lightroom. It is the standard in the industry for professionals, but it is also user-friendly for beginners and helps with both post-processing and image organization. Just be sure that your computer has enough memory and RAM to run these full featured programs. Check the requirements at

Check out our guide to LR: The dPS Ultimate Guide to Getting Started in Lightroom for Beginners

Nothing is more satisfying than when you have a catalog of 30,000 images and you’re able to find your favorites in literally seconds by entering a few keywords and star ratings. Take some time to set it up, add a class or two, and you’ll be up and running!


Photo editing or post-processing is an integral part of the digital photography puzzle. Don’t think that you can skip this part and come away with satisfying images. It’s just as important to learn photo editing as it is to learn the basic functions of your camera. Only then, will you be able to bring that intentional photographic vision into post-processing and create great images

How are you going to start your post-processing journey? Is shooting in RAW and learning Lightroom in your future? Please share your thoughts with me on this subject.

The post Don’t Fear Photo Post-Processing Shooting is Only the First Part of the Image Creation Process by Holly Higbee-Jansen appeared first on Digital Photography School.

15 Exhibitions, Panels, & Events You Shouldn’t Miss at Photoville 2017

Now in its sixth year, Photoville by United Photo Industries opens Wednesday, September 13th, at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The massive (and free) event will include more than 55 of the signature Photoville gallery exhibitions, all beautifully installed in recycled shipping containers.

As always, your favorite food vendors will return, along with a community book store by Red Hook Editions. Penumbra Foundation will once again be making tintype portraits. There is an abundance of exhibitions, workshops, and panels scheduled this year and many opportunities to discuss some of the world’s most pressing issues: climate change, immigration, poverty, incarceration.

Whether you’re looking to escape the world’s headlines or confront them headfirst, Photoville 2017 promises to deliver. Here are just a few of the exhibitions and panels we’re most excited to see. Be sure to check out the full line-up here.

Kristen Welles Bartley (The Print Swap)

EXHIBITION: The Print Swap, September 13-24, 2017.

Presented by The Print Swap by Feature Shoot, curated by Alison Zavos, Julia Sabot, and featuring various artists.

To date, Feature Shoot’s Alison Zavos and Julia Sabot have considered more than 45,000 photographs submitted to our ongoing contest The Print Swap. So far, they have chosen 2,500 pictures to be part of the international project, and 65 of them will be on view at the first-ever Print Swap exhibition at Photoville. Featuring work from 20 countries around the world, this exhibition includes a little bit of everything: fine art, photojournalism, street photography, landscapes, and portraits. What connects them is their creators’ dedication to making meaningful, timely, and enduring work. You can read more about The Print Swap exhibition here.

Josh Haner (Carbon’s Casualties: How Climate Change is Upending Life Around the World)

EXHIBITION: Carbon’s Casualties: How Climate Change Is Upending Life Around the World, September 13-24, 2017.

Presented by The New York Times, curated by Meaghan Looram Mulcahy, and featuring Josh Haner.

Last year, The New York Times published a story by Eric Goode about polar bears and climate change, illustrated with pictures by staff photographer Josh Haner. It included this image of polar bears holding each other. The caption read, The continuing loss of ice bodes ill for them.

In this container exhibition, Haner sheds light on the current and impending traumas wrought by climate change. His more immediate, personal images are complemented by drone pictures, examining the landscape as a whole, our place within it, and our precarious future.

Jessica Posner for Geri – Sunset Over Water (Photo Requests from Solitary)

EXHIBITION: Photo Requests from Solitary, September 13-24, 2017.

Presented by New York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement and Solitary Watch, curated by Jean Casella, Jeanine Oleson, and Laurie Jo Reynolds, and featuring People held in long-term solitary confinement in New York State prisons, working in collaboration with photographers on the outside.

Photo Requests from Solitary pairs people living in solitary confinement with photographers living free in the outside world. The people inside request pictures from the people outside, making for an imaginative collaboration spanning space and time. Since 2009, more than one hundred incarcerated men and women have envisioned, requested, and received photographs as part of the project.

People in solitary give us their images, and we give them back as photographs, in an artistic partnership that acknowledges our shared creativity and humanity, the organizers write. The photographs on display at Photoville were taken for people in solitary confinement in New York who spend 22 to 24 hours a day in small cells without meaningful human contact, in conditions that the UN has defined as torture.

Janette Beckman – SLICK RICK CONTACT SHEET (Contact High: Hip-Hop’s Iconic Photographs and Visual Culture)

EXHIBITION: Contact High: Hip-Hop’s Iconic Photographs and Visual Culture, September 13-24, 2017.

Presented by Contact High with support from Mass Appeal and Invictus Black, curated by Vikki Tobak; Associate curator: Syreeta Gates, and featuring Adama Delphine Fawundu, Adger Cowans, Al Pereira, Alice Arnold, Angela Boatwright, Anthony Supreme, Barron Clairborne, Bill Bernstein, Brian B+ Cross, Cam Kirk, Carl Posey, Che Kothari, Danny Hastings, David Corio, Drew Carolan, Eddie Otchere, Ernie Paniccioli, Estevan Oriol, George DuBose, Hayley Louisa Brown, Ithaka Darin Pappas, Jamel Shabazz, Jamil GS, Janette Beckman, Jayson Keeling, Joe Conzo, Jorge Peniche, Lisa Leone, Lucian Perkins, Matt Gunther, Mark Humphrey, Mike Schreiber, Nabil Elderkin, Phil Knott, Ray Lego, Ricky Flores, Ricky Powell, Robert Adam Mayer, Shawn Mortensen, Sue Kwon, Trevor Traynor, Sha Ribeiro.

Contact High takes us behind-the-scenes and back in time by revealing the contact sheets of photographers who made hip hop history. By placing the emphasis back on film and analog photography, this exhibition asks us to step away from our daily sea images and take a closer look at what makes a picture iconic and everlasting.

There is individualism and eccentricity in every shot, like the dust and grooves of vinyl records, the curators write of film photographs. Photographers typically don’t show their contact sheets. It’s their visual diary. Not every shot worked, in fact, most didn’t. [Contact sheets allow] you to see the full range of images that would eventually develop into the ‘money shot.’

Julie Winokur – Hijabi World (Newest Americans)

OPENING NIGHT with Talking Eyes Media’s Newest Americans, September 13, 2017. Location: Beer Garden. 7PM.

Presented by Talking Eyes Media, VII Photo, Rutgers University-Newark, curated by Julie Winokur, Ed Kashi, Tim Raphael, and featuring Mohamed Alsiadi, Ashley Gilbertson, Sara Grossman, Ed Kashi, Tim Raphael, Hamna Saleem, Dina Sayedahmed, Julie Winokur.

Photojournalists from VII Photo join Talking Eyes Media and the faculty and students at Rutgers University-Newark, the most diverse campus in the country, to weave together stories of immigration in the United States of America. The opening night presentation will include filmmakers, photographers, musicians, and more storytellers who have worked to bring the project together.

Nancy Borowick (The Family Imprint)

EXHIBITION: The Family Imprint, September 13-24, 2017.

Presented by United Photo Industries, featuring Nancy Borowick.

Photojournalist Nancy Borowick documented her parents as they battled stage four cancer side-by-side. She once called the critically acclaimed body of work ‘Cancer Family, Ongoing.’ For this exhibition, which includes love letters and other memories, she retitled it ‘The Family Imprint.’ The story is about life and love more than cancer and death, Borowick writes.

Lynsey Addario (Finding Home)

EXHIBITION: Finding Home, September 13-24, 2017.

Presented by Pulitzer Center & TIME, curated by Jordan Roth, and featuring Lynsey Addario, Aryn Baker, Francesca Trianni.

Photojournalists Lynsey Addario, Aryn Baker, Francesca Trianni follow three families, all raising children as refugees in a time of uncertainty and loss. Since September 2016, the TIME team has spent months documenting the overcrowded refugee camps in Thessaloniki, Greece, and is following the first year in the lives of several refugee babies and their mothers as they seek a new-and more permanent-home in Europe, the curators write.

Lia Clay (Body Talk)

EXHIBITION: Body Talk, September 13-24, 2017.

Presented by Refinery29, curated by Toby Kaufmann & Amanda Gorence, and featuring Alicia Vera, Helga Nina Aas, Lia Clay, Mayan Toledano, Olya Ivanova, Sunmin Lee, Yagazie Emezi.

As part of Refinery29’s body-positive initiative ‘Take Back the Beach,’ six female photographers from countries around the globe Israel, Liberia, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, and Iceland took pictures at the beach, a place where women’s bodies have historically been put under scrutiny. Both cis and transgender women are included in the narrative.

Pete Souza

TALK: Reading the Pictures: Pete Souza and Michael Shaw in Conversation, September 16, 2017. 4:30PM 6:00PM. Location: St. Ann’s Warehouse 45 Water St DUMBO Brooklyn

Presented in partnership with Reading The Pictures and United Photo Industries, featuring Michael Shaw, Pete Souza.

Former Chief Official White House Photographer (and current American Citizen/Instagram superstar) Pete Souza sits down with clinical psychologist Michael Shaw as part of this presentation of ‘the Reading the Pictures Salon.’ Together, they will delve deeper into eight to ten pictures that helped define Barack Obama’s time in office. They will discuss the pictures themselves, the specific elements that made them powerful, and the public response once they were published.

Mark Peterson (Charlottesville & Beyond)

EXHIBITION: Charlottesville & Beyond, September 13-24, 2017.

Produced and Presented by United Photo Industries for Photoville, curated by Laura Roumanos, Sam Barzilay & Dave Shelley, and featuring Evelyn Hockstein, Mark Peterson, Ruddy Roye, Hilary Swift, and Nina Berman.

This exhibition is about pictures we cannot and should not forget from the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville on August 11th, its lead-up, and its aftermath. With little time to spare, United Photo Industries immediately reached out to four photojournalists Evelyn Hockstein, Mark Peterson, Ruddy Roye, Hilary Swift, and Nina Berman and asked about their pictures and stories. Within a day, each one of them agreed to be part of this container exhibition.

We talked about how to tackle hate, and how we could possibly explain this to our children, the UPI team remembers of those days spent putting the show together. We’re still looking for the answers. Please join the conversation.

Sylvain Cherkaoui (Extraordinary Women in West Africa)

EXHIBITION: Extraordinary Women in West Africa, September 13-24, 2017.

Presented by Open Society Foundations/Open Society Initiative for West Africa, featuring Sylvain Cherkaoui.

Photographer Sylvain Cherkaoui and multimedia journalist Nick Loomis tell the tales of five West African women, all making a difference and working towards a brighter future. In following these individuals, they narrate a larger story about the role of women in the growth and prosperity of their communities.

Women are more than half of the African population and are more economically engaged than anywhere else in the world. African women are the key to releasing the continent’s productive potential, OSIWA writes. Eliminating barriers and empowering women could deliver a huge boost to productivity in Africa.

Cinthya Santos Briones (Abuelas: Portraits of The Invisible Grandmothers)

EXHIBITION: Abuelas: Portraits of The Invisible Grandmothers, September 13-24, 2017.

Presented by United Photo Industries, curated by James Estrin and David Gonzalez, Co-Editors of the New York Times Lens Blog, and featuring Cinthya Santos Briones.

Photographer Cinthya Santos Briones introduces us to women who are mothers, grandmothers, and pillars of their communities. They are also, she tells us, undocumented immigrants. Some of them still have relatives and loved ones on the other side of the border.

I ask the women, ‘How do you like to be seen or represented through photography?’ Briones writes. They choose how and where they want to be seen in their homes and what outfits they want to wear. The series seeks to offer them the opportunity to face the camera and be depicted in a way that reflects their own sense of identity.

Ed Kashi – Ghana (MVP: The Millennium Villages Project)

EXHIBITION: MVP: The Millennium Villages Project, September 13-24, 2017.

Presented by MVP, curated by Ron Haviv, and featuring Ron Haviv, Ed Kashi, Gary Knight, Danny Wilcox Frazier

In a time dominated by frightening headlines and discouraging news, this collection of photographs from VII Agency provide a glimmer of hope. Two years ago, the UN introduced the Sustainable Development Goals and took steps towards ending hunger, poverty, climate change, and insufficient access to healthcare and education.

Founded by Jeffrey Sachs, The Millennium Villages Project tackles extreme poverty by empowering local communities. The VII photographers visited Millennium Villages in Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, and Senegal. The goal is to show the progress that hundreds of thousands of people have made and to demonstrate to the world that ending extreme poverty is possible, the MVP team writes of the exhibition.

Evgenia Arbugaeva (Life on Arctic’s Edge)

EXHIBITION: Life on Arctic’s Edge, September 13-24, 2017.

Presented by National Geographic, curated by Kurt Mutchler, Senior Editor, Science, and featuring Evgenia Arbugaeva.

Photographer Evgenia Arbugaeva takes us to the Russian Arctic, where we meet the Nenet people, who have for generations lived with their reindeer in the Yamal Peninsula. According to author Gleb Raygorodetsky, the Nenets are now at a crossroads; having survived centuries of an inhospitable climate and political changes, the oil industry, coupled with climate change, is threatening their way of life.

Amy Toensing (Widowhood)

TALK: A Conversation on Widowhood, September 17, 2017. 12PM-1PM. Location: St. Ann’s Warehouse 45 Water St DUMBO Brooklyn

Presented in partnership with Pulitzer Center, featuring Amy Toensing, Whitney Johnson.

In conjunction with Amy Toensing’s outdoor exhibition Widowhood, National Geographic’s Whitney Johnson will sit down with the photojournalist to discuss the abuse and prejudice suffered by women after the death of their husbands. Together, they take a look at communities in which women (and by extension, their children) are defined by their marital status and later deprived of financial and social means once they become widows. Toensing’s project A Life After Loss introduces us to some of these women in India, Uganda, and Bosnia.

The post 15 Exhibitions, Panels, & Events You Shouldn’t Miss at Photoville 2017 appeared first on Feature Shoot.