When to Sharpen Your Photos

Brooklyn Pier Skyline New York-3197RS                                                                                                                                         © 2013 JoAnne Kalish

When I photograph something important I shoot in Raw as well as making a small jpeg.  This is what I do but not necessarily the only way to go.  If I come up with something, I consider special, I convert the Raw file and make a tiff and save it. If I plan on printing from it I make sure it’s 16 bit tiff. I tweak the raw file slightly giving it a little saturation and a drop of contrast most of the time. From here, I open the tiff in photoshop and possibly do another minor correction or two depending on what is needed, or if I want to play a little to improve on it I may do a little more. The only time I sharpen this photo is when I make it a specific size.  Then and only then, do I sharpen.  What I do to sharpen is I use unsharp mask leaving the amount on 150, the radius depends on what size my photo is and I almost never go over 1 pixel.  I always set the threshold on either 0 or 1.  Lastly, I try to never over sharpen and tend to go a little less rather than a little more.  I find that a lot of my students and other photo enthusiasts over sharpen and don’t realize the proper way to do this.

The photo above was taken in Brooklyn where my partner Joe DiMaggio will be doing an upcoming Adorama Workshop which will be posted shortly. After visiting a very special friend and photographer Ann Raine we checked out this location and with thoughts of Ann in our hearts we made a series of photos.  Check out our workshop website as we update regularly – http://www.dimaggio-kalishworkshops.com    By the way my next workshop is March 23 Taking Your Photography to the Next Level

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Autumn Leaves in the Studio

©2012 JoAnne Kalish

After going to Fretta’s Italian store for some fresh mozzarella, I walked to our local Patisserie in town for some  freshly made bread (yes our Patisserie makes bread also.) Walking past The Fauchere, I saw many colorful beautiful Maple leaves that had just fallen to the ground. After picking up a couple baguettes and of course a little dessert,  I collected a handful of colorful leaves and brought them back to my studio. I set up the leaves using some back light and a little side light to bring out their color and texture. A representative that worked at my bank had these little clip-on stands on her desk with advertisements for the bank. I had asked her when they were finished with them, if I could have a few because they would work very well to hold small tabletop objects in the studio. Well, I was right! They worked great to hold these leaves. Normally I would choose either to work with one leaf or three (it’s better to compose with odd numbers) but I was surprised that some of the shots with two leaves worked really well also.

A Simple Little Trick

©2012 JoAnne Kalish

Late in the afternoon when you have the sun fairly low in the background you can create an interesting effect using f/22 and the sun. Remember to open up for your subject approximately a stop and a half.  You also may want to use  a little fill flash if you have one.

©2012 JoAnne Kalish

© 2012 Joe DiMaggio

Crazy Funny Ideas

All Photos ©JoAnne Kalish

I have the flu and I’m trying to clean up something as I feel too unproductive just resting. I came across some shots of a Pev, a model I’ve used and worked with on many occasions. I did some crazy cards with adopted animals that were trained to do tricks. I think funny always works.

Studio Portraits Using Strobes


Photos©JoAnne Kalish

The idea of using strobes is a little daunting at first but if you’re interested in learning how, here is a tip someone once gave me. When you thumb threw a magazine and find a studio portrait you really love, cut it out and study it. Do this with several photos not just one. Look into the models eyes. Do you see any catch lights? How many do you see? This is a good indication of where the lights were placed. It sometimes is even obvious if you look closely whether a soft box umbrella,beauty dish or what have you was used.

In the past students have asked me about sponsorship. Just for the record, yes Dyna-lite is a sponsor of the DiMaggio-Kalish Workshops but I’ve been using Dyna-lite prior their sponsorship for many years. The president of Dyna-lite, Peter Poremba, is absolutely dedicated to making the best possible electronic flash equipment for the least amount of money. More important than that, he is truly dedicated to photo education.

Strobes by Dyna-lite

Friends & Mixing Light



My friend Marie-Therese, is visiting for the Holidays with daughter Sophie who is 22. I have been friends with Marie-Therese for many years. I’ve not seen her, since I last went to visit her in the small town, of Crouy-sur-Ourcq which is just an hour outside of Paris. My friend runs a small Inn and restaurant in this town where she was born. MT as she calls herself, is staying with another close friend of ours.

My friend is one of those people who don’t like to be photographed. The first thing she does, when I pick up a camera, is she turns around or puts a hand up in front of her face. I don’t have one decent shot of her from my last trip! She is absolutely impossible! When I went to visit her & our friend Susan the other day, I decided to very quietly film everybody while we sat around toasting the holidays, with her family’s home-made Eau de Vie she brought for the occasion. I quietly let the camera run (I love the fact you can now film with a 35mm camera) Gotcha! Now I have something of my friend!

On Tuesday, Susan, Marie-Therese, and Sophie came to visit us. They brought a whole mess of clams – a treat for those of us, who now live in the country and not near the seashore anymore. We polished off many raw clams and sat around and talked. My friend Susan, a very natural person, was totally comfortable with me taking a photo of her, as she was talking & laughing. The light was so pretty as it lit up her hair from a side window at our dining room table. Now here’s a photo tip – when trying to capture the ambiance of a room, mix the light by shooting on M or A at a wide-open aperture. Depending on the available light, you might want to tweak down the strobe, a bit, so it looks more natural. Here is an example, not in any way a great shot, but it captures my friend Susan and you will get the idea. As for a photo of Marie-Therese it’s a good thing she was caught opening clams!

For anyone interested in visiting Marie-Therese Frogneux’s Restaurant & Inn in Crouy-sur-Ourcq here is the address and phone number –
1 Place du Marche
77840 Crouy sur Ourcq France
011-33-1-6435 6741