Episode 39: Tripods with Mason Marsh

Many photo situations call for stability, and that means setting up a tripod. But the options when choosing one quickly become complicated: height, weight, materials, price, and don’t forget the head that holds the camera. To help sort it all, we welcome photographer, educator, and former photojournalist Mason Marsh to the show.

Episode 38: Levels and Curves with Nik Bhatt

We welcome back Nik Bhatt, of Gentlemen Coders and RAW Power fame, to pick his brain on editing photos using levels and curves: what the differences are between the two tonal adjustment tools, and how to use them. We also talk about understanding the histogram, and touch on editing white balance and why we may be using the eyedropper tool wrong.

Episode 37: Backups and 360-degree Cameras

We're tackling two topics in this episode. First up, all-important backups! We emphasize backups all the time, but what does a good backup system look like? Then, after the break, we turn a never-ending corner and look at 360-degree photography, an interesting and creative niche.

Episode 36: Photographing with Constraints

In this episode of PhotoActive, we have some specific ideas about photographing with constraints. Whether you’re looking to expand your knowledge of individual shooting features (such as aperture or shutter speed) or get out of a creative rut, imposing constraints on yourself can actually turn out to be a freeing exercise.

Episode 35: Martin Parr Shot My Portrait

For this week’s episode, we’re moving to the other side of the camera. Kirk had the opportunity to get his portrait done by world-renowned Magnum photographer Martin Parr. He shares what it was like to be the subject, not the photographer.

Episode 34: Ben Long and Complete Digital Photography

Author, educator, photographer, and all-around knowledgeable guy Ben Long joins us this week to talk about the 9th — yes, ninth — edition of his comprehensive book “Complete Digital Photography.” We cover how photography and people’s expectations about photography have changed since the early versions of the book.

Episode 33: The Language of Photo Editing

When we edit photos, we have a good idea of what the Exposure slider does—it makes everything brighter or darker throughout the image. But you’ll also find controls for Whites, Brightness, Brilliance, and others, depending on the software. What’s the difference? In this episode, Kirk and Jeff look at just what various editing controls do, so you have a better idea of which ones to use and how they affect your images.

Episode 32: New Year's Photo Ideas

What is 2019 going to look like? While we aren’t interested in making resolutions that are easily forgotten or ignored, we do have lots of ideas to spark our photographic creativity. Chief among those: Be less critical more often.

Episode 30: Jason Snell Takes Control of Apple Photos

If you want to learn all about something, write a book about it. Or, to avoid yourself a lot of work, read someone else’s book about it! Jason Snell has written several versions of his book Take Control of Photos, and he joins us to talk about what’s new in Apple’s photo software and ecosystem for the Mac and iOS devices. We also talk about making print books and calendars, features that were removed from Photos earlier this year, and how machine learning is going to play a more important role in photo software.

Episode #28 - Low-Light Photography

The winter months are dark for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, so how do you create good photos in dimly lit environments? Your camera wants to make the best exposure possible, but in low-light situations, that can lead to long shutter speeds and blurry camera motion. Kirk and Jeff cover the many options for dealing with dark scenes in this episode.

Episode #27 - Flying High with Ian Schray and Drones

In traditional photography, a great piece of advice is to “zoom with your feet,” or, move yourself closer to a subject. What happens when the subject is 400 feet high? Or you want a unique viewpoint that wouldn’t be possible without a crane? This week we talk to Ian Shray about flying drones: quadcopters outfitted with cameras.

Episode #26 - RAW Power 2.0

This week we’re joined by Nik Bhatt, former developer of Aperture and iPhoto at Apple and now a distinguished gentleman at Gentlemen Coders. Using his deep knowledge of how Apple’s raw photo editing engine works, Nik has just released RAW Power 2.0, an app for macOS and iOS. We talk about RAW Power’s unique features and learn some of the fascinating ins and outs of raw image processing.

Episode #25 - iCloud Photo Library

If you use Apple’s Photos app on your Mac or iOS device, are you also synchronizing your images via iCloud Photo Library? In this week’s episode, Jeff and Kirk talk about the pros and cons of Apple’s cloud service for photos. Why should you consider it? What are the downsides? And if your images are in the cloud, is that considered a backup? (No, it’s not. We explain why.)

Episode #24 - Manual vs Automatic Camera Settings

We (good-naturedly) wade back into the question of “What makes a REAL photographer?” In this case, we’re talking about shooting using entirely manual controls or using the auto or semi-automatic modes on your camera. (Spoiler: Anyone with a camera is a real photographer.) We discuss when each approach works, and the advantages of knowing how shutter speed, aperture, and ISO all work together.

Episode #23 - Printing Photos with Rick LePage

Do you print your photos? Although we know we should make prints, but getting from screen to paper isn’t always easy. It turns out, though, that printing is much easier today than it used to be. In this episode, we welcome photographer and publisher Rick LePage to talk about printing photos at home, from hardware to paper to inks.

Episode #22 - Editing Photos in iOS Apps

We’ve talked about using an iPhone as a camera, but what about as a photo editor? The iPhone and iPad have come a long way since the early models, and they’re now quite capable digital darkrooms. But can you do “real” editing on them? Jeff and Kirk reveal how they use their devices with their photos, and cover some of the top editing apps for iOS.

Episode #21 - HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography

“HDR” used to bring to mind surreal landscapes with garish colors and very few shadows. Fortunately, high-dynamic range photography has matured beyond those early days, and is a useful technique for getting more detail out of any scene. In fact, the latest iPhone and other smartphone cameras use HDR liberally to create good shots in all types of situations. We talk about making HDR photos using traditional cameras and techniques and also the new iPhone XS computational methods.