1. Don't fight the light-think about new ways to make your compositions work. Maybe a silhouette is the perfect solution; it's often ideal when the day's last light is silhouetting a unique shape like a tree or a skyline or a body. Whatever the case, go with the sillo and you'll not only create an interesting shot but you'll get to hand-hold the camera because of the faster shutter speed it enables.
In the darkroom, solarization (or what is technically called the Sabattier effect) is achieved essentially by re-exposing the print or negative to light during processing. This made parts of the print reversed, turning dark areas light and light areas dark. The first time you create this effect in the darkroom it's very exciting. The first time you do it in the computer it makes you wonder how anyone ever accomplished anything in a darkroom.
Whenever I pick up a point-and-shoot camera, the first thing I do is change the mode to "Night Portrait." It's a simple little setting that makes great effects, thanks to a long shutter speed combined with a flash exposure. It always seems to deliver a well balanced flash/ambient mix.
This ambient/flash setting doesn't always work well in bright sun or other well-lit situations, but when you're indoors or when the subject is in front of an illuminated background the combination of a longer shutter speed and stop-action flash makes for great results-the kind of thing you create when you're a lighting genius.
Architectural photographers have long used view cameras with movements to adjust the plane of focus and control perspective in their photographs of tall buildings and tight interiors. In the digital era, though, those movements are unavailable on dSLRs. Unavailable, that is, unless you have a special lens.
I usually devote this column to fixing and enhancing pictures in Photoshop Elements or Photoshop CS3 and, more recently, Adobe Lightroom. For a change, I thought I'd share my digital start-to-finish process, covering what I do, and what you can do, in the quest to make a picture-perfect inkjet print.
Q) A lot has been written about the amazing things that can be done with plug-ins. PCPhoto has given me a lot of great tips as I've been learning more and more about using layers in order to fine-tune my digital images. I've become fascinated by what I can do with filters when editing my images. So now I'm wondering about whether I even need any filters when I take my digital photographs.