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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.

Digital Camera Fundamentals
A useful glossary to help you decode some of digital's terminology
Digital Camera Fundamentals

As technology continues to expand, so does the vocabulary describing it. To help you stay on top of the field, we've decided to squeeze in an occasional glossary page of industry terms for a quick refresher or maybe even as a first-time explanation. For the first Fundamentals entry, we've zoomed in on digital camera terms.

Plane Fixes
Build your image corrections, step by step, using layers
Plane Fixes

Layers provide the best way of isolating and controlling an image in Photoshop or any other image-processing program. Using layers effectively requires some practice, as does any craft. With use, plus trial-and-error experimentation, you'll understand how to coax great work from an original image file through the use of layers.

Global Digital Explorer
Photographer Jeff Hall infuses his travel photography with context and story

The day had been a long and painful one for Jeff Hall. It had started with the amateur photographer full of anticipation because he and his traveling companions were going to have the opportunity to visit a Berber camp in Morocco. An ethnic group in northern Africa, the Berbers offered the promise of some exciting photographs. Hall likely had images of Lawrence of Arabia flashing in his mind as he mounted his mode of transportation, a camel.

May 2006 HelpLine
ƒ-Stops And Bad Crops

    * Digital Camera ƒ-Stops
    * Straight-Line Troubles
    * Cropping Casualty
    * PPI Canon Vs. Nikon
    * Out-Of-Shape Histogram?

How-To Fundamentals: Image-Stabilization Options
Once you try it, you can't go back
How-To Fundamentals: Image-Stabilization Options

I admit it: I'm an addict; I'm hooked on image-stabilized shooting. Once you try it, you can't go back. Fortunately, for me—and all photographers who shoot handheld—there now are a number of "fixes" available: Canon, Kodak, Konica Minolta, Nikon, Panasonic, Pentax, Sigma and Sony all offer stabilized gear, with more on the way.

Double-Process RAW For Better Tonality
Don't try to do it all in one step. Use the power of RAW to process two separate images optimized for different tonalities.
Double-Process RAW For Better Tonality

One problem photographers have always faced is the fact that no medium yet invented can capture the tonal range our eyes can see. Film can't get close to recording the brightness range of light that the human eye can perceive. This holds true for digital sensors as well. While some high-end sensors can record more tonal information than film, they still can't record all the tonal variations the eye can see.

March/April 2006 HelpLine
Getting The Most From A Photo Workshop

    * Making A Workshop Work
    * Affecting Depth Of Field
    * USB Effects
    * The EV Answer
    * What's In A Name?

10 Top Digital Camera Shooting Tips
Shoot it right from the start and get better images for use in the computer
10 Top Digital Camera Shooting Tips

While everyone knows Photoshop is a marvelous imaging tool for photographers, in some minds it has been transformed into a magic wand, with powers beyond imagination—you don't have to shoot the image perfectly initially because you can always fix it in the computer. As good as the digital darkroom is, the old acronym about computers is still important to remember: GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). Paying attention to the craft of taking the picture is also about using Photoshop and other image-processing software, because how you first capture your subject tremendously affects what you can do in the computer and how you do it.

Experts On Their Own Lives
Students use digital cameras to document their world
Experts On Their Own Lives

Kids are easily our most frequently photographed subjects. The shutter release button is depressed innumerable times as they take their first steps, perform at a recital, dress up for prom or fall asleep with their head resting on the family dog. Parents, relatives and friends eagerly capture these moments of their lives.

But what happens when these kids are given the opportunity to document their own lives?

June 2006 HelpLine
White Balance And RAW

    * Do You Need White Balance With RAW?
    * Protective Filters
    * Reboot For Performance

Fundamentals: Autofocus In Digital Cameras
All you wanted to know about using AF that fits on one page
Fundamentals: Autofocus In Digital Cameras

There are two basic types of AF systems in wide use in digital cameras today. All of the D-SLRs use passive phase-detection AF, while most consumer models use passive contrast-based AF. "Passive" means the camera doesn't send a ranging beam out to the subject as do the "active" infrared (or near-infrared) AF systems used in many compact film cameras.


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