Short Reports: Pentax K10D
Lots of great features in a weather-resistant, 10-megapixel D-SLR
You expect the costly pro D-SLRs to be weather- and dust-resistant, but it's rare to find that in a lower-priced model. Yet the rugged, 10.2-megapixel K10D from Pentax features a dust- and weather-resistant body (including 72 seals) and a price under $1,000. You can't actually submerge it, but our test camera got drizzled on for several hours (unforecasted phenomenon) during a hike with no ill effects.
Toolbox: Display Calibration
For accurate adjustments and consistent color, start with a properly calibrated monitor
It may not be as exciting a topic as the latest D-SLR technologies, but color calibration is a critical part of digital photography. With a properly calibrated monitor, you can be confident that the adjustments you make to your images are exactly what you intend. Don't underestimate the importance of this! Adjusting an image on an uncalibrated screen can be a waste of time at best, and at worst, can cause permanent degradation to an image. You may also experience big frustration when your prints don't match what you see on screen.
Creative Photo Projects
Fun ways to put your photography to good use, from classic to high tech
Taking, organizing and perfecting your images is a good start, but the best part of photography is getting the "Wow!" from friends and family when you share your shots. Online services and software are making it easier than ever for even casual photographers to create polished, pro-quality slideshows, greeting cards, web-based projects and more.
Part of the fun of photography is putting those finishing touches on an image and then putting it to good use. Here are a few of our favorite ways to be creative with photography.
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.
Letting Your Image Take Off
Ideas soar when you envision the end result
The opening image for this column was inspired by something that I try to do all the time in real life, with my photography and in the digital darkroom: have fun! The image looks as though my son and I are soaring at top speed high above beautiful blue water in a colorful biplane. It's one of my favorites, which I created after a family trip to the Florida Keys, and it captures the speed, fun, excitement and togetherness of our experience.
Master White Balance For Better Color
Auto white balance is an effective tool, but you often can do better with other, more controlled settings
White balance and the digital camera are like the engine in a car for many people. As long as it works, they don't worry about it, and for many users, automatic white balance works just fine. But if you want the optimum color and consistency from your images, plus more creative work from your camera, it helps to understand and use white balance beyond automatic.
October 2007 HelpLine
A Bridge Too Far
Q) I had to replace my C drive and, as a result, reload all my software. This meant resetting preferences in my programs, etc. I had spent considerable time in Adobe Bridge classifying my pictures in various categories. Now that I reloaded CS2 and Bridge from scratch, those categories are "lost." I have the old C drive set up so I can access some of the information on it. Is there a file I can copy from the old drive onto the new drive that would restore my categories in Bridge?
Point And Shoot Like A Pro
Why à la modes?
All digital SLR cameras offer the traditional exposure modes: program AE, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE and metered manual exposure control. These are the mainstays of "serious" photographers because they provide control over important aspects of each shot.
Trade Tricks: Selective Focus
Using depth of field creatively
Using selective focus is a powerful technique to help frame and present your subject. Playing with depth of field will help transform your image from one that looks like a quick snapshot to one that shows you've put some creative thought into how you want to present your subject.