May 2008 HelpLine

helplineQ) 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.

This Article Features Photo Zoom While software filters can do a remarkable job of emulating traditional filters, for some applications, there’s no digital  substitute. The soft waterfall effect seen here required a neutral-density (ND) filter to block enough light so that, shooting at my smallest aperture, I could... Read more

Digital Start To Finish

quick fixI 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.

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. To illustrate this article, I’ll use... Read more

March/April 2008 HelpLine

In Windows XP, I have many subfolders defined for basic photo organization; however, I like to rearrange thumbnails in the folders as one would in a photo album. But I find that Windows often rearranges the thumbnails after I’ve spent a lot of time organizing them. I’ve tried turning off auto arrange, but it seems to happen anyway.

This Article Features Photo Zoom Despite the powerful search features of operating systems, it’s best to organize your photos using photo software. While operating systems offer ways to browse all files, photo software is made specifically for searching and sorting images and fine-tuned to minimize the time spent... Read more

Lightroom Hearts Photoshop

Check out the opening image for this installment of Quick Fix. It’s the result of using both Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CS3 on enhancing a photograph that I took in Cappadocia, Turkey, during a 2007 family vacation.

Check out the opening image for this installment of Quick Fix. It’s the result of using both Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CS3 on enhancing a photograph that I took in Cappadocia, Turkey, during a 2007 family vacation. Lightroom is a powerful application that works hand in hand with Photoshop CS3 (and other image-editing applications).... Read more

January/February 2008 HelpLine

helplineQ) I’m trying to figure out how the exposure compensation works on my digital SLR. It doesn’t seem to affect the metering. Am I using it the right way, or is there a problem with my camera?

This Article Features Photo Zoom • Inadequate Compensation • Learning To Polarize • Is It Stabilized? ————- As I start this column, the first of the new year, I’d like to thank all of you who have submitted questions to HelpLine through the years—they have helped make this column a useful resource for... Read more

Simulating In-Camera Effects

With a digital SLR, and even with many compact cameras, you can manually select the shutter speed and ƒ-stop for powerful creative control. Fast shutter speeds (1?500 sec. and higher) freeze most action, and slow shutter speeds (1?30 sec. and slower) blur action. Wide apertures (ƒ/4.5 and wider) can be selected for shallow depth of field, and small apertures (ƒ/8 and smaller) can be used for greater depth of field.

With a digital SLR, and even with many compact cameras, you can manually select the shutter speed and ƒ-stop for powerful creative control. Fast shutter speeds (1?500 sec. and higher) freeze most action, and slow shutter speeds (1?30 sec. and slower) blur action. Wide apertures (ƒ/4.5 and wider) can be selected for shallow depth of field, and small... Read more

December 2007 HelpLine

December 2007 HelplineStep Up To A Larger Filter

Q) I’m about to purchase a 28-75mm lens for use with my digital SLR. It has a 67mm diameter lens; however, I have a 77mm circular polarizer that I would like to use with the new lens. I also plan to purchase a 67-77mm step-up adapter so that I can use these larger filters on the smaller lens. My question is, how will the quality of the image be affected by not using the exact size filter required, i.e., a 67mm polarizer on a 67mm lens?

This Article Features Photo Zoom • Step Up To A Larger Filter  • Switching To A D-SLR • Gray Area   ————- Step Up To A Larger Filter Q) I’m about to purchase a 28-75mm lens for use with my digital SLR. It has a 67mm diameter lens; however, I have a 77mm circular polarizer that I would like to use with... Read more

Saving A Backlit Shot

One of the most challenging situations for a photographer is getting a good exposure of a subject when shooting into the sun. That’s because the contrast range between the background and the backlit subject is usually too great for a good exposure of both the background and the subject.

One of the most challenging situations for a photographer is getting a good exposure of a subject when shooting into the sun. That’s because the contrast range between the background and the backlit subject is usually too great for a good exposure of both the background and the subject. Check out this picture of an eagle that I recently photographed... Read more

October 15, 2007 HelpLine


Q) On my camera, I have the option of erasing my images, formatting my memory card and doing a low-level format of my memory card. Which should I be doing?

Q) On my camera, I have the option of erasing my images, formatting my memory card and doing a low-level format of my memory card. Which should I be doing? Noah J. Via the Internet A) I never erase the images on my card. I always do at least a format, and if I have time and battery power, I do a low-level format. You’re storing an incredible... Read more

October 22, 2007 HelpLine

Q) I just bought my first digital SLR; actually, it’s my first SLR, too. I’ve been spending nights and weekends trying to learn all of the various features, but there’s one feature that I’m just not getting. Depth-of-field preview doesn’t seem to work-all it does is make the viewfinder darker.

Q) I just bought my first digital SLR; actually, it’s my first SLR, too. I’ve been spending nights and weekends trying to learn all of the various features, but there’s one feature that I’m just not getting. Depth-of-field preview doesn’t seem to work-all it does is make the viewfinder darker. H.D. Norcross Georgia ... Read more

October 8, 2007 HelpLine

Q) Red-eye has been a problem that I thought might go away with my new camera. I talked to someone and they were talking about red-eye reduction and red-eye correction. When I took a picture, they said that my camera didn’t have red-eye reduction because the flash only fired once, but my manual says it does. What’s going on?

Q) Red-eye has been a problem that I thought might go away with my new camera. I talked to someone and they were talking about red-eye reduction and red-eye correction. When I took a picture, they said that my camera didn’t have red-eye reduction because the flash only fired once, but my manual says it does. What’s going on? Frank Y. ... Read more

October 1, 2007 HelpLine


Q) I read your HelpLine column a few months back about photographing fireworks. Thanks for the tips. I really like the shots I got, but I’m wondering about overexposure. Also, the center of many of the fireworks seemed to be just plain white with no color. Was I exposing wrong?

Q) I read your HelpLine column a few months back about photographing fireworks. Thanks for the tips. I really like the shots I got, but I’m wondering about overexposure. Also, the center of many of the fireworks seemed to be just plain white with no color. Was I exposing wrong? Sandy D., Via the Internet A) I’m glad you were able to try... Read more
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