Author Archives: BPSOP

Stacking Layers in Photoshop

One of the amazing things about Photoshop is the ability to combine or composite multiple different exposures that result in a much more detailed photograph that cannot be captured in a single frame. In some cases, the images being composited need to be in perfect registration or alignment for this process to work, so you must keep your camera steady and do not move it while capturing all the frames needed for the final image. Once open in Photoshop, the layers need to be stacked in a manner that maintains that alignment and this video demonstrates a simple way to do that. While there are many ways to stack layers in Photoshop, this simple technique is one of several methods. -Charlie Borland

Charlie Teaches:

How to be a Professional Outdoor & Nature Photographer

Wireless Flash Techniques for Outdoor & Nature Photographers

The Ultimate Guide to Landscape & Nature Photography

Mastering Photography for Architecture & Real Estate

Commercial Photography

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If you are like most photographers, you can remember the photo that changed you forever a single moment captured in time that captivated you and spawned the inception of your photography journey. It’s where your desire to create images that might be just as powerful for those who lay their eyes on them began. That one photo became your inspiration and can act as a reminder of why you got started.

The moment you first looked at that photo may have been when you were a child, it may have been years ago, or it may have been just last week, but regardless of when it was, it had to have been followed by one thing to get you closer to your artistic goal.

What is that one thing? Education. I’m not saying you need a degree. Photography education can take many forms. It can be a mentor, guiding you through the secrets of capturing the best light; it could be listening to podcasts discussing aperture and shutter speed; or it could be a wide range of books, online video tutorials, or classes. These are all great means for obtaining information. There’s another way to acquire and/or continue your photography education, though, and thousands of photographers are racing to grab it up each year.

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Backlight & Silhouettes


There was a time on Inle Lake, Myanmar where the fishermen really did use cone-shaped nets you and where they did in fact move around their long narrow boats in a somewhat acrobatic fashion, but today that ‘old way’ of fishing has been exchanged for the much wider cast of the gill net.

Yet, a number of the ‘old guard’ anticipate the afternoon arrival of tourists like my students and myself, and as the sun starts to set, they put themselves in a position to ‘perform’ and near sunset the performance takes on a more hurried performance, and soon we are witness to a crescendo of movements that are mindful of a ballet performance.

While seated in our long boat, my students and myself, jockey for position, backs bent over and arms outstretched with cameras in hand near the waters edge. We are also afforded the opportunity to direct our subjects in so far as requesting them to row closer, or move left or right or lean back or forward.

Shooting them against the strong backlight of the sun results in countless silhouettes, due to the rapid fire of our cameras motor drive, (CH) and as they move about we are afforded numerous starbursts, as the sun peaks out from behind their dance, starbursts that are made possible because we are using F/22.

And finally, the sun still has 25 minutes before it sets behind the mountains, and there is minimal color in the sky, so how did I capture the GOLDEN SUNSET light, 25 minutes BEFORE the golden sunset light appears? I set my WB to 10,000K and voila, the GOLDEN SUNSET light magically appeared. You keep shooting!

NikonD500, Nikkor 18-300mm, F/[email protected]/320 sec. 200 ISO…(extra tip: DO NOT USE ANY FILTERS, NOT EVEN UV HAZE/SKYLIGHT FILTERS as this will risk lens flare when shooting into the sun.)

You Keep Shooting,

-BPSOP Founder – Bryan F Peterson

Bryan Teaches:

Understanding Exposure & Your DSLR

Understanding Color, Seeing Color & Composing Color

Understanding Close-Up Photography

Mastering Nikon Flash Photography

The Art of Seeing

Understanding Composition

Sometimes the Magic Works


Sometimes the magic works. On this dark, somber windy morning in Vik, Iceland, the weather and light opened the door to motion-filled opportunities i.e. slow shutter speeds such as 1/2 and 1/4 second were readily available, particularly with low ISO’s and small apertures. Of course, a tripod would be needed as this would allow me to record a razor sharp image of the rocks, while at the same time record the ‘dance’ taking place in front of the rocks.

But since you can’t control the ‘dance’, (waves or the wind) you resign yourself to the act of “pray and spray”, and out of 113 shots, over the course of a mere 10 minutes, I managed to record four images that I felt best expressed this morning’s inclement weather. I liked how the sky and wave appear to be in sync. (In order to elevate the mood of the weather on this cold morning, I set a custom WB between Tungsten/Incandescent and Fluorescent which accounts for the somewhat blue cast seen in this mono-chromatic image.
Nikon D500, Nikkor 18-300mm, at 300mm, (effective focal length 450mm)
[email protected]/2 sec. ISO 50.

You Keep Shooting,

-BPSOP Founder – Bryan F Peterson

Bryan Teaches:

Understanding Exposure & Your DSLR

Understanding Color, Seeing Color & Composing Color

Understanding Close-Up Photography

Mastering Nikon Flash Photography

The Art of Seeing

Understanding Composition

Choosing Your White Balance


Having the option to change/choose the WB, at ant given moment is probably my second most liked feature of shooting digitally. (Changing ISO, from one shot to the next if I desire, is my favorite feature; this coming of course from a guy who shot film for 30+ years.) It was around 2pm on this 93 degree July day in Lyon, France, and with my WB set to the Daylight setting, the image looked exactly as it should; a scene of kids playing in the fountains at mid-day. (See this image in comments section)

However, I wanted to create the warmth of the 93 degree day, and so I chose to manually set a ‘custom’ WB of almost 9,000 Kelvin and without question this resulted in a much ‘warmer’ golden image.


In so far as overall exposure, easy stuff; F/22 for front to back sharpness, and needing also a freezing action shutter speed of a 1/1000 sec, I chose 640 ISO, and as I metered for the strong backlight I adjusted my shutter speed until a 1/1250 sec indicated a -2/3rds exposure. With the camera in CH Motor Drive Mode, I just fired at will, at those times when I felt my overall composition was one of an active and filled frame. 

You Keep Shooting,

-BPSOP Founder – Bryan F Peterson

Bryan Teaches:

Understanding Exposure & Your DSLR

Understanding Color, Seeing Color & Composing Color

Understanding Close-Up Photography

Mastering Nikon Flash Photography

The Art of Seeing

Understanding Composition

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  • Excellent class materials and Monika is an outstanding instructor, one of the very best in the group. Her comments were very helpful. Monika, thanks so much for teaching this course. I love your teaching, you are doing an excellent job. Read More
    Skip Duemeland Creative Portrait
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