Trick Shots: Low Light
Discover how high ISOs can improve the quality of your photographs
While recently critiquing the work of one of my students, I noticed that several of his images lacked sharpness, which I immediately attributed to camera shake. We looked at the images' EXIF data to find out at what shutter speed he was shooting while using a 200mm lens. He had been shooting at 1⁄30 sec.—far too slow a shutter speed to use with a telephoto, particularly without the camera being mounted on a tripod. When I asked him why he didn't increase the camera's ISO for a more reasonable shutter speed, his response was an all too common one.
Essential Processing Techniques
Tools all photographers should know for adjusting exposure, color and sharpening
No matter what camera model you shoot with or file type you capture with, every image needs a little work before it's ready to show. Three key adjustments—exposure, color and sharpening—should be the foundation of your digital darkroom work. The approach to making these adjustments varies depending on the software you use, but the basic principles are the same. We'll look at different solutions for addressing these adjustments and techniques for getting them right.
Think color from capture to finish for stunning images
Good color in pictures is subjective. Some people like pictures that pop with saturated hues, while others prefer pictures more subdued. What's more, we see colors differently at different times of day—even our mood affects how we see colors. In this article, I'd like to touch on the basics of color in digital photography, with the focus on getting the best possible image at the time of capture. To illustrate the techniques, I'll use some pictures that I took on a recent trip to Panama, where my goal was to take color pictures of the three indigenous tribes: the Kuna, the Emberá and the Ngobe.
Must-Know Image Enhancements
How to change, improve and rescue exposures
Photoshop and most other digital-imaging programs offer you many options for image enhancements. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can change, improve and rescue (to a degree) your images. These programs also can help you create works of art. Here, I'll share with you the several basic Adobe Photoshop/Photoshop Elements image enhancements and adjustments that you can quickly and easily use to improve your images.
New Breed Photo Software
Breaking from the traditional menu-intensive approach to photo workflow, these apps are designed from the ground up for the needs of digital photographers
Apple and Adobe have developed new approaches to image processing that strip away deep menus and focus on the typical digital workflow, from importing to output, and placing the tools needed for common digital darkroom work in easy reach.
New and improved features make Photoshop faster, smarter, better looking, more fun and more inspiring. Who could ask for more?
That's right, Photoshop fans—and Elements users who are considering moving up to Photoshop—the latest version of the world's most powerful image-editing program has just gotten better, big time! Read on, and you'll see why it's indeed faster (great for RAW shooters), smarter (if you use filters), better looking (if workspace is important to you), more fun (how cool) and more inspiring (creatively speaking) than ever.
Photoshop CS3 and Adobe Camera Raw offer two powerful tools—HDR and Photomerge—for combining images into a sum greater than their parts
Adobe Photoshop CS3 offers many new features, including those found in the new Adobe Camera Raw, that help us enhance and save (to a point) our exposures. From an exposure standpoint, two of the most amazing features in the latest version of Photoshop are High Dynamic Range and Photomerge, both greatly improved from previous versions—so much so that I want to share with you some of their capabilities.
Using Photoshop Adjustment Layers
Get more flexibility and control when you use these specialized Photoshop layers to apply image enhancements
Of all the tips and techniques that I cover when presenting or teaching, I'm most adamant about the value of Adjustment Layers. Next to the invention of the layer itself, Adjustment Layers arguably represent Photoshop's best feature for retouching.
Optimize RAW files twice—once for highlights and once for shadows—for a better tonal range
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.
Trade Tricks: Black-And-White From Color
Shoot in color first for the best B&W image
Black-and-white photography still mostly comes from black-and-white film, and remains a viable, challenging way to photograph. For best results in the computer, scan from the black-and-white or color negative; then, depending on how your scanner works, remove the color in your image-processing program. You also can shoot black-and-white directly with many digital cameras.
Trade Tricks: Getting It Straight
Correcting distortion of architecture in the computer
Photographers know that wide-angle lenses sometimes cause distortion. Straight lines appear curved, especially if they're close to the edges of the frame. Sometimes, the effect is desirable, and other times, it's not.