Gel The Light

Early in my career, I assisted numerous studio photographers to learn more about lighting.

Early in my career, I assisted numerous studio photographers to learn more about lighting. I wanted to master the secrets of capturing those stunning portraits and technical location shots. I soon realized two important things were happening in creating these images. First, the flash was being modified by umbrellas, softboxes, grids, beauty dishes and... Read more

From Flat To Fab

This is a bad news/good news story—one with a happy ending. This past November, I had the opportunity to travel to the bottom of the world to photograph emperor penguins. It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. I planned this trip to Antarctica for a year, and couldn’t wait for the day that I’d be on the ice photographing these magnificent animals.

FINAL This is a bad news/good news story—one with a happy ending. This past November, I had the opportunity to travel to the bottom of the world to photograph emperor penguins. It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. I planned this trip to Antarctica for a year, and couldn’t wait for the day that I’d be on the ice photographing these... Read more

Pro Tips: Demystifying Image Resizing

Depending on how we want to use an image, we often need to create new copies at different resolutions.

Depending on how we want to use an image, we often need to create new copies at different resolutions. You might be making your image smaller for use on the web or increasing the resolution to make a larger print. The technical term for this is “resampling.” Resampling is an advanced mathematical equation (algorithm), applied when you’re upsampling... Read more

Quality Of Light

You may not believe it at first, but all the photographs in this issue of PCPhoto have something in common. That something in common is, of course, light.

ORIGINAL You may not believe it at first, but all the photographs in this issue of PCPhoto have something in common. That something in common is, of course, light. Before we take a picture, seeing the light—the contrast range in a scene, the color of light and the direction of light—and then making camera adjustments and/or using accessories... Read more

March/April 2009: Helpline

In my last column, I tackled a question about shutter lag. The reader was frustrated with his camera and how the shutter-release button caused problems. “When I take pictures, it seems I have to press pretty far on the shutter button to get the camera to take a picture. Because of this, I have noticed that my having to press the shutter down so far seems to add movement to the picture and this shows up as blur.”

This Article Features Photo Zoom Stabilization On Stabilization Off Image-stabilization technology is a wonderful advantage for photographers, but it’s not always appropriate. For example, you should disable stabilization when your camera is mounted on a tripod. The image at top was taken with the camera on a tripod and stabilization... Read more

Your Best Prints Ever

Nothing gives a photograph more impact than a high-quality print. Printing today is easier than ever, with a number of options available for lab-quality prints on a wide variety of media types, but selecting the right printer, paper and ink type for your needs is more complicated. The good news is that it’s hard to go wrong with any of the major printers as long as you choose the one that’s most suited for your type of work.

This Article Features Photo Zoom Nothing gives a photograph more impact than a high-quality print. Printing today is easier than ever, with a number of options available for lab-quality prints on a wide variety of media types, but selecting the right printer, paper and ink type for your needs is more complicated. The good news is that it’s... Read more

Thinking Ahead For Better Photos

Ansel Adams, one of the greatest photographers of all time, was big on thinking ahead, or as he put it, envisioning the end result. I’m also big on envisioning the end result, as illustrated by the picture of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco that I used to open this column. It’s one of my favorite images from a recent trip.

Ansel Adams, one of the greatest photographers of all time, was big on thinking ahead, or as he put it, envisioning the end result. I’m also big on envisioning the end result, as illustrated by the picture of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco that I used to open this column. It’s one of my favorite images from a recent trip. Original ... Read more

January/February 2009: Helpline

While you can use lenses designed for “full-frame” 35mm-sized sensors on smaller-format (APS-C) sensors (subject to the telephoto, or magnification effect), the converse isn’t true. For example, the Canon EFS 18-55mm IS, included in the EOS Rebel XS kit, is designed specifically for use with APS-C-sized image sensors, like those used in the Rebel series.

This Article Features Photo Zoom While you can use lenses designed for “full-frame” 35mm-sized sensors on smaller-format (APS-C) sensors (subject to the telephoto, or magnification effect), the converse isn’t true. For example, the Canon EFS 18-55mm IS, included in the EOS Rebel XS kit, is designed specifically for use with... Read more

December 2008: HelpLine

Photography is a hobby of mine and I recently began researching submitting photos to stock companies. However, I have some questions about releases. Model releases are self-evident, but property releases seem a bit more complicated.

This Article Features Photo Zoom Most photographers aren’t legal professionals. When it comes to topics like model releases, copyright protection and other legal matters that photographers often face, get information and advice from organizations like the Professional Photographers of America (www.ppa.com). Even if you don’t... Read more

Saving For The Web

When making fine-art prints, more resolution is better, but on the web, it’s more complicated.

When making fine-art prints, more resolution is better, but on the web, it’s more complicated. You want to strike a balance between image dimensions, typical screen resolution and file size. SIZING IMAGES Ideally, people will want to scan your photos in a gallery of thumbnails and view selected images larger. If you use online gallery services like... Read more

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photos

Check out my photograph of a young musician who was performing at a local park. My son thinks the photo rocks. He likes the spotlights shining on the subject, the blurred motion of the rocker’s hands and guitar, and the red-hot border that frames the image. He also likes the way I composed the picture, tilting my camera down to one side to create what’s called the disequilibrium effect. What’s more, he likes the way the young rocker is brighter than the background, which makes him stand out prominently in the scene.

Original 1. Check out my photograph of a young musician who was performing at a local park. My son thinks the photo rocks. He likes the spotlights shining on the subject, the blurred motion of the rocker’s hands and guitar, and the red-hot border that frames the image. He also likes the way I composed the picture, tilting my camera down to one... Read more

October 2008 HelpLine

I typically use my camera in automatic mode, but occasionally I step out of my comfort zone and move into some of the other modes. I really understand the full manual mode but, quite honestly, I don’t get the whole aperture priority and shutter priority. I know what they are supposed to do and I sort of get when you are supposed to use them, but when I take pictures, I often switch between the two and I really don’t see much difference. Is it me or the camera?

This Article Features Photo Zoom The image on the left is the result of choosing a small aperture in aperture-priority mode. There’s a lot of depth of field, but the camera compensated for the small aperture by selecting a slower shutter speed, which blurred the fountain water. The image on the right was shot in shutter-priority... Read more
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