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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.



To The Rescue! - 3/3/08
What to do when your hard drive crashes and you think you’ve lost all your photos
To The Rescue! - 3/3/08Just last week, I had an experience that I knew was bound to happen eventually (even though I always secretly hoped it never would). My hard drive failed. I was searching for an archived photo on an external disk, and in midsearch, the computer locked up and I had to reboot. I don't know which came first-the crash or the drive failure-but it didn't really matter: my disk was no longer readable.

White Balance Creativity - 2/25/08
Use custom white balance settings to add a colorful twist to otherwise bland shots
White Balance Creativity - 2/25/08Some days I feel blue. Downtrodden and depressed, I can make myself feel a little better by making my photos blue, too. Or red if I'm angry. Or any other color to match any other mood I'm in. So many times we think about camera white-balance features just for making our photographs neutral or "correct"-appropriately matched to the color temperature of the light source we're shooting under.

Geared Tripod Heads - 2/18/08
When you’re choosing your next tripod, don’t overlook this insanely great feature
Geared Tripod Heads - 2/18/08If I ever had a three-legged dog, I would obviously name him "Tripod." But I don't. Instead I've named my tripod "Three-Legged Dog." TLD and I have been through a lot together, and I've always been able to count on him for a rock-solid foundation. But TLD's best attribute is in his head. Not your everyday tripod head; this one's got gears.

What's In A Name? - 2/11/08
Find and sort photos faster and easier when you're smart about your file names
What's In A Name? - 2/11/08Ah yes, my favorite photo I've ever taken? Certainly IMG_5264.jpg. Or was it IMG_6542? Well I'll just search for it here on my computer… Only several thousand matches of photo files with similar names. Hmm. Maybe I should name my files something that will make them easier to organize and find later.

Lightroom Hearts Photoshop
Together, these two powerful programs offer the ultimate in file management and image enhancement

quick fixCheck out the opening image for this installment of Quick Fix. It's the result of using both Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CS3 on enhancing a photograph that I took in Cappadocia, Turkey, during a 2007 family vacation.


March/April 2008 HelpLine
Pick your approach
March/April 2008 HelpLineIn Windows XP, I have many subfolders defined for basic photo organization; however, I like to rearrange thumbnails in the folders as one would in a photo album. But I find that Windows often rearranges the thumbnails after I've spent a lot of time organizing them. I've tried turning off auto arrange, but it seems to happen anyway.

Trade Tricks: Color Harmony
For the best prints, get your printer and monitor on the same page
Trade Tricks: Color Harmony

The path to getting a better print starts with a color-managed workflow. Calibrating your monitor is an important first step, but for the ultimate in control, you'll also want to create ICC profiles for your printer.


Seven Steps For A Better Image
Use these techniques to get the most out of even the trickiest exposures
Seven Steps For A Better Image

Constructed in a remote area of Peru in the 15th century, the lost city of Machu Picchu, the grandest of all Inca sites, is truly one of the photographic wonders of the world. Adobe Photoshop and its little sister, Adobe Photoshop Elements, can be considered wonders of the photographic world, too—wonders for creative photographers who want to get the most out of their images. In fact, much like Hiram Bingham, who discovered the famous lost city, photographers can discover and recover seemingly lost details in their images.


Photoshop Faster
Follow these tips to finish your image enhancements in less time
Photoshop Faster

I think most photographers have a somewhat love-hate relationship with Photoshop. It's a great program, to be sure, and it offers the most comprehensive and expandable set of tools for photographers. But on the other hand, it takes time to learn and use, and working on a computer isn't what most photographers wanted to do when they began photographing. There are ways to make your workflow in Photoshop go faster so that you can spend more time with photography and less time trying to work through software. Here's how you can accomplish that.


Fast Efex
Add dramatic effects and visual impact to your images without spending hours in photoshop
Fast Efex

The trouble with creativity in Photoshop—going beyond the basics to more imaginative, artistic changes—is knowing where to start. The possibilities are almost endless and therein lies the rub. That's where Photoshop plug-ins like Nik Color Efex Pro 3 provide a launchpad for experimenting with a variety of effects that can add drama and graphic punch to your images.


How To Shoot Silhouettes - 2/4/08
Add mystery and drama to your portfolio when you learn the art of the silhouette
How To Shoot Silhouettes - 2/4/08The explanation for making a silhouette is simple: put your subject in front of a light source and expose for the light source, making the subject underexposed and black, leaving only its graphic outline. But to do this effectively takes a little more practice.



 
 

 
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