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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.

Trade Tricks: The Selective Focus Technique
A key photographic technique to distinguish your subject from its surroundings
Trade Tricks: The Selective Focus Technique

One of the challenges we face as photographers is making the subject stand out from its surroundings. An effective way to do this is to use the selective focus technique, which allows us to choose one part of the image to be sharp and in focus while making the rest out of focus. It's the opposite of getting a lot of depth of field. While this technique lets the viewer know what's important in the photo, it's also a way to make interesting compositions that can't be duplicated any other way.

Understanding Image Sensors
The sensor is the soul of your digital camera and knowing how it works will help you to compose better images
Understanding Image Sensors

Sophisticated technology goes into the design and manufacture of your digital camera. Understanding some of that technology can help you to predict how the camera will fare when you're shooting in a variety of situations. For our annual How-To issue, we're including this article on the anatomy of an image sensor.

The Magic Of Histograms
Learn to read your camera's histograms and get the best exposures possible for your subject
The Magic Of Histograms

Modern digital cameras do an impressive job in getting an acceptable exposure for most images. There's a difference between an acceptable exposure and an exceptional exposure, however. The best exposures make maximum use of the capabilities of the camera sensor and internal camera processing while causing only a few problems when printing or working on images in the computer.

Your Guide To Camera Modes
Get better images more easily with your digital camera’s pre-programmed settings
Your Guide To Camera Modes

Who needs all these modes?
You might ask yourself this question when you pick up a digital camera loaded with custom exposure settings.

November 2004 HelpLine

Digital Terms

    * A Quick Guide To Some Common Terms
      Associated With Gear That You Might Buy

December 2004 HelpLine

Cold Weather And Digital Cameras

    * Winter Wondering
    * Changing Backgrounds
    * Cropping Problems?
    * Resampling For Size

Trade Tricks: A Personal Photo Book
Display and store large prints in a way that’s both archival and convenient
Trade Tricks: A Personal Photo Book

Now that archival-quality, large-format prints cost only a few dollars and can be produced quickly, I find myself creating many more prints than I'm able to frame and display. The cost of framing prints hasn't declined, nor do I have much wall space left in my home to display my newly printed images.

January/February 2005 HelpLine

Image Organizing

    * Bringing Order To Your Images
    * Red-Eye Myth
    * Choose The Right Disc
    * CF Card Differences
    * Resolving Resolution 

Trade Tricks: Layer Masks
Gain more control over your photos with this key image-processing tool
Trade Tricks: Layer Masks

While they're not particularly intuitive and may discourage photographers who could benefit from using them, Layer Masks are an essential tool when working in an image-processing program. As you'll see, they're worth the effort required to learn them.

The Power Of JPEG
Capture outstanding photos from JPEG-saved images by following these shooting guidelines
The Power Of JPEG

The two primary shooting formats for digital cameras are JPEG and RAW. JPEG is a file compression format that offers superb image quality when used correctly, while RAW is an excellent format for photographers who either need it or like working with it, but it isn't for everyone.

March/April 2005 HelpLine

Memory Cards Vs. Film

    * When Digital Film Isn't Film
    * Caught In The RAW
    * Making It On Television
    * ƒ-Stop Exposé


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