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How-To

Whether you're just learning photography basics or you need some advice on an advanced photo technique, our How-To section offers tips for shutterbugs at every level.



Secret To Maximizing The Magic Hour Light - 9/22/08
Using manual white balance for great sunset pictures
Way back when I first switched from shooting film to digital, I kept wondering why my magic-hour photos (the pictures you take when the sun is setting or rising and creating those beautiful warm oranges and cool pinks and bold blue hues in the sky) weren't as dramatic as they were with film. If you're shooting with a digital camera and you want great magic-hour color, there's a simple secret I learned that makes all the difference in the world.

Achieving The Most Unique Perspective - 9/15/08
For the best vantage point go above and beyond
Achieving The Most Unique Perspective - 9/15/08Perspective is one of those things in life that everyone's always searching for. The same is true for photography, particularly when it comes to exploring a new location. What better way to get a feel for a place than to take it all in at once? And what better way than to gain some perspective by getting to higher ground or going up in the air?

Create A Web Gallery
Get your photos online
Create A Web Gallery

It's pretty much expected these days that if you're a photographer, you'll have some kind of web gallery. The good news is that you don't have to know very much about how the web works to create a home on the web for your photos.


Print Smarter
Use ICC profiles to take the guesswork out of printing
Print SmarterPrinting is one of those areas of digital photography that lead to baldness. Seeing a photo on paper, and often expensive paper, that looks nothing like the image on screen will have you pulling your hair out—hence, the baldness problem. There are a few ways to keep your hair and ensure that you're getting the best possible print.

Making Photos Look Like Sketches - 9/8/08
Simple secrets to a dynamite drawing effect
There seem to be a million special effects filters in Photoshop, and they all do what they do very well, but sometimes they look a little too...generic. When it comes to making a photo look like a sketch, for example, readymade filters do a good job of offering a lot of options-filters like colored pencil, dry brush and smudge stick, all found under the Artistic section of the filters menu. To do a great job, no matter what effect you're after, there's nothing quite like a custom do-it-yourself approach.

Keep The Noise Down In Your Digital Images
It’s the grain of the digital age. Learn how to tame it.
Keep The Noise Down In Your Digital Images

Noise, the digital equivalent of film grain, can be a challenge to overcome. It appears as an irregular, sand-like texture that, if small, is essentially invisible; if large, it can be unsightly and a distraction from your image. Noise can have color to it (chromatic noise) or only vary in brightness (luminance noise). (As with grain, this fine-patterned look is sometimes desirable for certain creative effects.)


How To Get Great Shots In Stadiums And Arenas - 9/1/08
Say no to flash and yes to ambient light
How To Get Great Shots In Stadiums And Arenas - 9/1/08Whenever I watch a sporting event or a concert on TV-anything that shows an arena packed full of people-I'm constantly amazed at the incessant sparkle of camera flashes from all over the stadium. And all I can think of is one thing: those shots aren't going to turn out.

Build Your Own Web Gallery
A step-by-step guide with screenshots for building your first website
Build Your Own Web Gallery

If you're not familiar with computer code, learning HTML might sound overwhelming. While it's true that HTML is just the beginning of a vast world of programming languages for the web, for the typical photographer who wants a polished, professional website, HTML is sufficiently powerful and flexible to get the job done.


Make Perfect Exposures With Any Camera - 8/25/08
Stop shooting all-auto-all-the-time and you’ll quickly learn to make great pictures
Make Perfect Exposures With Any Camera - 8/25/08Some people say that the best way to learn the basics of photography is to rely on a camera's all-automatic functions until you're comfortable with the effects each control creates. I didn't learn this way so I can't verify how well this method works. I can say, however, that for decades and decades photography was taught on manual cameras with little or no automatic controls-even in the electronic and digital eras.

Photoshop Actions And Batch Processing
Skip to the good parts with photoshop actions and batch processing
Photoshop Actions And Batch ProcessingI frequently hear photographers talk about maximizing their time behind a camera and minimizing their time at the computer. It's not the creative postproduction that these photographers want to avoid—it's the digital drudgery that can consume so much of a one's time. Tasks like file management and basic processing aren't nearly as fun and interesting as creative retouching and image processing.

Shooting Indoor Events
Tips to make the most of low-light photography
Shooting Indoor Events

Photographing a stage show basically is an exercise in photographing in a low-light, nonflash situation. I took these photos of a stage performance of the Rising Sun musical and dance troupe in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. You can use the same tips and techniques for photographing any stage performance, even one in your neighborhood, because all of the same principles apply.




 
 

 
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