Keep Your Computer Cool For Better Performance

Photographers who use desktop computers might not think much about the temperatures of their machines, but I guarantee that any photographer who has edited image files on a laptop computer knows exactly where I’m going with this. When your computer heats up, its performance lags. And that’s extra annoying when you’re working to process your images. Here are two solutions that you can consider to help keep things cool, whether you’re using a laptop or a desktop. The first one is a tool I’m already using—a piece of software called Fan Control. You can dial it in to kick up your computer’s fan speeds at various temperature marks, so you can keep the optimum operating temperature exactly where you want it. Another option is something I just read about on one of my favorite blogs, Cool Tools. It’s a USB-powered external fan from Thermaltake. You can position it to blow cool air over your laptop, or to cool an external hard drive, or really any electrical component that you’d like. (Now that I think about it, there’s no reason you couldn’t use it to keep yourself cool while working on the computer—which could be necessary if your hot laptop is running especially slow.) If you visit the Thermaltake site in search of the USB fan, be sure to check out some of the cooling pads that are especially designed for improving temperatures in high-performance laptop applications.

http://www.lobotomo.com/products/FanControl
http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/005824.php
DPMag
Photographers who use desktop computers might not think much about the temperatures of their machines, but I guarantee that any photographer who has edited image files on a laptop computer knows exactly where I’m going with this. When your computer heats up, its performance lags. And that’s extra annoying when…

The Magical World Of Maggie Taylor

The How To Be A Retronaut blog is always sending great imagery my way, and I encourage anyone interested in unique, quirky, historic imagery to add the blog to their reader. A recent post blew me away with the work of someone I was totally unfamiliar with—photographer (and illustrator, painter and practical magician) Maggie Taylor. She’s got a unique style and a whimsical approach that lends itself perfectly to projects such as the illustration of Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s story, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. See for yourself at the Retronaut blog, and then visit Ms. Taylor’s web site to experience even more of her fantastic work. You may want to consider investing in your own copy of Taylor’s take on Alice, or one of her other truly beautiful books.

http://www.howtobearetronaut.com/2011/07/almost-alice-the-illustrations-of-maggie-taylor
http://maggietaylor.com
DPMag
The How To Be A Retronaut blog is always sending great imagery my way, and I encourage anyone interested in unique, quirky, historic imagery to add the blog to their reader. A recent post blew me away with the work of someone I was totally unfamiliar with—photographer (and illustrator, painter…

An Alternative To Flickr

Looking for an alternative to Flickr, or perhaps just another place online for photographers to come together and share work? Then perhaps 500px might be right for you. This web site has actually been around for quite some time, but its recent revamping has re-energized its audience and grown the user base, prompting Will Burrard-Lucas at DPS to write a review and encourage more readers to sign up. Maybe you’ll appreciate the big, beautiful photos or the simple interface. Or maybe you just want another outlet to share your own photos and be inspired by others. Either way, Burrard-Lucas makes a great case to investigate the photo community at 500px and consider getting involved. He even offers his tips for seamlessly getting started, which is bound to make for a better initial experience and a sustained involvement with the site.

http://www.digital-photography-school.com/500px-review-giveaway
DPMag
Looking for an alternative to Flickr, or perhaps just another place online for photographers to come together and share work? Then perhaps 500px might be right for you. This web site has actually been around for quite some time, but its recent revamping has re-energized its audience and grown the…

Advice For Young Photographers

I recently stumbled across a treasure trove of photographic insight courtesy of the Canon Professional Network. Turns out Canon Europe has created interviews with talented, well-established professional photographers specifically designed to educate and inspire young photographers. We are familiar with a few of their names over here in the States, but Europeans may likely know all of these photographers and their work. Thanks to the Internet we can enjoy these interviews just as easily as folks over on the continent, and that means we can learn from them too. Ain’t the modern world great? An aperture is an aperture in any language, after all, and beautiful light is still beautiful light. Check out the videos and see if you learn anything new, or maybe you’ll just find some inspiration in the work of these talented world-class pros that will help you along the way.

http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/interviews/ambassadors_advice.do
DPMag
I recently stumbled across a treasure trove of photographic insight courtesy of the Canon Professional Network. Turns out Canon Europe has created interviews with talented, well-established professional photographers specifically designed to educate and inspire young photographers. We are familiar with a few of their names over here in the States,…

My Pictures Would Be Better If...

Chase Jarvis is a commercial photographer with a great blog and a great following. A while back he asked his readers to consider what might make their pictures better. That got me to thinking about what would make my own pictures better, and what sorts of things would probably make everyone’s pictures better? I then started making conscious changes to my work patterns in order to improve my photos based on the answers to this silly little exercise. It turns out it's not so silly after all. So I really recommend that you try this. Answer this question as many ways as you can, and then start doing the things those answers instruct: My pictures would be better if ____. For me, some of the answers were:

- If I made photographs more often.
- If I got out of my own way and let technique be secondary to content and composition.
- If I simplified everything more often, from lighting to equipment to backgrounds.
- If I made every photograph as if it might be the best picture I'd ever make.

One way I’ve done some of these things is when it comes to photographing my new baby daughter. Instead of constructing elaborate photo shoots, I concentrate on capturing the real moments of her life so that someday when I look back at these images I’ll remember not only the photo shoot, but what she was like as a six-month-old.

So what would you say to this question? Ask yourself what would make your photographs better, and then set about doing it. You might like what it does to your photography. I know I do.
DPMag
Chase Jarvis is a commercial photographer with a great blog and a great following. A while back he asked his readers to consider what might make their pictures better. That got me to thinking about what would make my own pictures better, and what sorts of things would probably make…

RAW-Style White Balance Adjustment Of JPEGs

Everybody's always saying that you've just gotta shoot RAW. I tend to agree with the sentiment, but I also understand there are lots of reasons not to. Let's say you want to work really fast, maybe you shoot sports or photojournalism and you want to rapid-fire frames and then process them quickly and efficiently, there aren't as many reasons to shoot RAW. But no matter what you shoot, one thing that you might miss about RAW files is the ability to make efficient post-production changes to exposure and white balance. Well JPEG shooters actually aren't completely out of luck. In this tutorial from DPS, Elizabeth Halford explains how she makes RAW-style white balance adjustments to the JPEGs she captures long after the exposures are made. These simple techniques offer JPEG shooters a great way to adjust white balance quickly and easily—just like RAW shooters do—in Photoshop, Elements and Lightroom. 

http://www.digital-photography-school.com/white-balance-on-a-jpeg-in-photoshop-elements-and-lightroom
DPMag
Everybody's always saying that you've just gotta shoot RAW. I tend to agree with the sentiment, but I also understand there are lots of reasons not to. Let's say you want to work really fast, maybe you shoot sports or photojournalism and you want to rapid-fire frames and then process…
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