Techniques Tutorials

A two-stage approach to sharpening

How do you sharpen your photos in post–production?

Bruce Fraser discusses his two-pass sharpening approach that can be summarized into:

  1. Detail/Capture sharpening combined with selective creative sharpening
  2. Output sharpening for the desired output medium

What makes the article very interesting is his use of edge sharpening to make his image marginally “snappier,” sharpening only the important edges of an image to improve local contrast. Just as interesting, he prefers to sharpen for output using the high pass method instead the usual unsharp mask. The article explains everything thoroughly, and one of his previous articles also discusses various sharpening techniques.

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Concert Photography


Just like most concert photographers would tell you, shooting concerts is hard. It’s one of the rare photo opps wherein you’re lucky if you get even just a few good photos, and you’re likely to throw away most of the shots you captured.

Many articles on this topic provide the same basic tips: avoid flash, use fast lenses, don’t be a distraction, enjoy the show. You may think that these things would come natural when you’re shooting, but you’d be surprised to find yourself breaking these rules once you’re actually there.



However, just like most photographic rules, there are some you just have to break, at the right time. The photo above was taken around four years ago with my point and shoot Fuji Finepix 2600 with an off-cam optical slave flash on my other hand. Yes, I used flash. Unlike most high profile events, many small–town or college concerts are shot in poorly–lit venues where you have no choice but to use flash. Luckily for me, I was part of the organizing committee allowing me to shoot exactly the way I wanted, and produce a few keepers. :)

For more on concert photography, read these good articles from Photocritic and

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Fake Model Photography

If you’re a flickr regular, you have probably noticed this very interesting photo style: fake model photography. It is a relatively new and unique way of altering photos that renders images like they’re from miniature scale model worlds.

This tutorial by Christopher Phin should get you producing the similar look in just a few steps. He has several contributions to the flickr ’tilt-shift miniature fakes’ group which now happens to have more than a thousand members!

Photoshop Tips Tutorials

Align with horizon

This is a common mistake many of us do: great landscape photos slightly tilted to one side. This simple tutorial should be very helpful in fixing such a problem.

But next time, always try to get your horizon horizontal! Using a tripod helps a lot, especially those with leveling mechanisms.