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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.

Double-Process RAW
Optimize RAW files twice—once for highlights and once for shadows—for a better tonal range
Double-Process RAW

One of the big challenges of photography has always been how to best capture the tonalities and brightness of the real world. Every film, every sensor (and its processor) will interpret it slightly differently.

June 18, 2007 HelpLine
Dirty Pictures

Q) Since I've been using my digital SLR, I'm getting more and more worried about dust. I've noticed some of the newer cameras have some sort of dust-removal feature. I'm not able to get one of the newer cameras right now. What's the best way to avoid getting dust in the camera?

June 11, 2007 HelpLine
Lens Cap Madness

Q) I know this isn't a highly technical question, but the situation drives me crazy. When I take the lens cap off my camera, I never can remember where I put it. Any suggestions you could make would be sooooo helpful.

May 29, 2007 HelpLine
Bridging Troubled Waters

Q) I see all of those neat shots of waterfalls, where the water looks so strange. How can I do that? 

May 14, 2007 HelpLine
When To Sharpen

Q) At what point during image editing should I be sharpening? I've experimented with doing it while processing in Adobe Camera Raw, but I'm just not sure.

Fire In The Sky
Turn good sunsets into great sunsets
Fire In The SkyWe all love watching sunsets, looking at pictures of sunsets and, of course, photographing sunsets! The warm colors—deep shades of red, orange and yellow—evoke feelings of peace and tranquility and a sense of awe at nature's wonders.

May 7, 2007 HelpLine
Around In Circles About Polarizers

Q) I know you've answered this in the past, I but can't seem to find my issue. I want to get a polarizer for my camera. Which type should I get?

June 2007 HelpLine
Next-Generation Memory

Q) I'm going on the trip of a lifetime in a few months and I was looking to stock up on memory cards so I don't have to bring my laptop with me. With prices coming down and card sizes going up, I thought I'd have an easy decision. When I got to the store, I became confused. There used to be just one flavor of SD; now there's SDHC. Should I try out the new cards?

April 30, 2007 HelpLine
Controlling Noise

Q) What's the best way to control noise when shooting? I recently took some photos of the Northern Lights and the results were very noisy.

April 23, 2007 HelpLine
Tamperproof Photography

Q) An interesting problem came up recently with regards to evidence of bylaw contraventions in Pretoria, City of Tshwane, South Africa. The City Councils officials have switched to digital cameras for much of their work. However, it turns out that in court proceedings, the magistrates/judges aren't prepared to accept digital photographs as evidence because of the possibility of "fabricating" evidence. This is a valid point, and they want photographic film evidence, either positives or negatives. The question then is whether there's any photographic processing done in-camera, which leaves a watermark (maybe we should call that a "digimark"), which will indicate when pixels in the original have been removed or added, as opposed to colour, gamma and highlight or shadow adjustment to improve the original photo WITHOUT altering any evidence that might be required in court. If not available yet, this is certainly worthwhile exploring.

April 16, 2007 HelpLine
Balancing White Balance

Q) I'm starting to pay more attention to white balance in my photography. I've read some of what you and others in PCPhoto have said about not forgetting white balance when shooting RAW. So now I've been trying some photography while keeping the dial off of AWB. For the most part, it has been working well. But there have been some situations where I haven't been satisfied. So I'm wondering about custom white balance and whether I should always be using that?


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