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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.

If It's Boring, Backlight It! - 10/6/08
Simple steps to add depth to any photo
If It's Boring, Backlight It! - 10/6/08When I was 20 years old, I was fortunate enough to participate in a sports-photography workshop at the United States Olympic Festival. Sponsored by some of the biggest names in sports photography, it afforded participants the opportunity to work alongside some of the most respected names in the industry. And although I don't shoot sports any more, I'll never forget one lesson I learned that week. It was probably the simplest thing I learned, and it applies to all sorts of photographic situations. Though the Sports Illustrated photographer said it more eloquently than this, I think I can condense the lesson even further: If it's boring, backlight it.

Great Shots Through Windows And Glass - 9/29/08
Simple steps to eliminate reflections and improve your rate of success
Great Shots Through Windows And Glass - 9/29/08A newborn baby in the maternity ward. A wild animal display at the zoo. A beautiful sunset viewed from a high-rise office building. How many times are you faced with a perfect subject only to be challenged by a barrier of glass between you and it? It's usually a big bummer because it's tricky to shoot through glass without ending up with pictures full of weird splotches and highlights. Armed with these tips, though, you can maximize your chances to get great shots even when you're forced to shoot through a window.

Add A Creative Touch To Your Pictures
Artistic expressions are only a few clicks away
Add A Creative Touch To Your Pictures

We all strive for pictures that look unique, artistic and creative. That goes for when they're framed and hung on a wall, when they're posted on the web, and maybe even when they're published in a book or magazine article. One creative idea is to add emphasis to the main or central subject in an image. Another is to dress up the image with a digital frame or border. In this column, we'll cover a few easy techniques for accomplishing both goals—and more.

October 2008 HelpLine
What’s Your Priority?
October 2008 HelpLine

I typically use my camera in automatic mode, but occasionally I step out of my comfort zone and move into some of the other modes. I really understand the full manual mode but, quite honestly, I don't get the whole aperture priority and shutter priority. I know what they are supposed to do and I sort of get when you are supposed to use them, but when I take pictures, I often switch between the two and I really don't see much difference. Is it me or the camera?

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.


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