Knockout Color!

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.

This Article Features Photo Zoom 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... Read more

October 2007 HelpLine

 

Helpline October 2007Switching Hard Drives

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?

• Switching Hard Drives • A More Stable Lens • Staying Late  ————- Switching Hard Drives 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... Read more

Letting Your Image Take Off

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.

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... Read more

September 3, 2007 HelpLine


Q) I appreciate your recent advice on keeping files backed up (the June and September issues of PCPhoto). I’d add one more caution: If you’re using an automated backup program (i.e,. one running automatically on a schedule), be sure that the program is actually running and that there’s still room on the drive to which you’re backing up…

Q) I appreciate your recent advice on keeping files backed up (the June and September issues of PCPhoto). I’d add one more caution: If you’re using an automated backup program (i.e,. one running automatically on a schedule), be sure that the program is actually running and that there’s still room on the drive to which you’re... Read more

September 2007 HelpLine

Compatible Savings

Q) Often, I work with transparencies, making  a montage by cutting parts of a photo in Photoshop and mixing them with other shots. Sometimes, I can’t see them in other programs such as ACDSee or Bryce. Instead of the picture with the transparency, I see a black square in which it says: “This layered Photoshop file was not saved with a composite image!” I just can’t figure out what I did wrong and why it’s different from my other transparencies! How can I change these files into “composites”? I’d immensely appreciate your tips to resolve this problem!

 

• Compatible Savings • SDHC Printing Work-Around • Essential Accessories • Smart Use Of Scene Modes • Reader’s Surprise      ————–  Compatible Savings Q) Often, I work with transparencies, making  a montage by cutting parts of a photo in Photoshop and mixing them with other shots. Sometimes,... Read more

Hot Ice And Snow

This column is about how to use the digital darkroom to transform a straight-out-of-the-camera shot into the image you envisioned when you pressed the shutter-release button. First, I’ll share some techniques for working in a high-contrast situation—getting an image to appear how it actually looked to our eyes when we initially took the picture. That’s mainly my objective when working with image files in Photoshop. Then we’ll see how we can bring a fanciful idea to reality to create an out-of-this-world image!

This column is about how to use the digital darkroom to transform a straight-out-of-the-camera shot into the image you envisioned when you pressed the shutter-release button. First, I’ll share some techniques for working in a high-contrast situation—getting an image to appear how it actually looked to our eyes when we initially took the picture.... Read more

August 27, 2007 HelpLine


Q) You mention the importance of backing up files frequently.  I’d like to share my solution to this “problem.” The cost of external drives has been going down as the size of these drives has been going up. (I recently purchased a 500 GB drive for about $200.) I do an automatic backup of my critical files to this external drive every day…

Q) You mention the importance of backing up files frequently.  I’d like to share my solution to this “problem.” The cost of external drives has been going down as the size of these drives has been going up. (I recently purchased a 500 GB drive for about $200.) I do an automatic backup of my critical files to this external drive... Read more

August 20, 2007 HelpLine

Q) I’ve been playing around with the macro feature on my compact digital camera. I have some nice shots, but now I’m trying to work with a flash. All of the shots I have so far are pretty disappointing. The right edge of the scene always seems to miss the flash. What can I do?

Q) I’ve been playing around with the macro feature on my compact digital camera. I have some nice shots, but now I’m trying to work with a flash. All of the shots I have so far are pretty disappointing. The right edge of the scene always seems to miss the flash. What can I do? Steve B., Rapid City, South Dakota A) Some cameras have the... Read more

August 13, 2007 HelpLine

Q) My son will be playing varsity basketball this coming senior year. I started shooting his basketball games a year ago and have gotten some good images. I know they don’t want flashes going off under the basket during games. I’ve seen some photographers use strobes mounted high up, at least 15 or so feet in the air on special tripods. They usually have two set up, one on each corner of the basket and fired wirelessly. What do you call these contraptions? Where can you buy them? What’s the best setup for a Canon EOS 5D that I’m thinking of buying?

Q) My son will be playing varsity basketball this coming senior year. I started shooting his basketball games a year ago and have gotten some good images. I know they don’t want flashes going off under the basket during games. I’ve seen some photographers use strobes mounted high up, at least 15 or so feet in the air on special tripods.... Read more

July 23, 2007 HelpLine


Q) When I bump up the ISO setting in my camera, am I changing its sensitivity? If it does, couldn’t I just leave it there and adjust my aperture or shutter speed?

Q) When I bump up the ISO setting in my camera, am I changing its sensitivity? If it does, couldn’t I just leave it there and adjust my aperture or shutter speed? S.P., Via the Internet A) If it were only that easy… Adjusting your camera’s ISO amplifies the small voltages coming from the image sensor. When you amplify a signal,... Read more

July 16, 2007 HelpLine


Q) My new lens came with a weird-looking lens shade. When do I use it? I’m told I should use it to avoid flair with the sun. Is that the only time?

Q) My new lens came with a weird-looking lens shade. When do I use it? I’m told I should use it to avoid flair with the sun. Is that the only time? Devin S., Via the Internet A) If someone is watching you, you should always shoot with “flair”! What you want to avoid is flare. Many people think of flare as those reflections of the... Read more

July 9, 2007 HelpLine


Q) I feel kind of silly asking this question, so I thought I would send you an e-mail and plead that you keep my last name out of it. Someone recently talked to me about a video tripod. Isn’t a tripod a tripod? I suppose there’s something to do with weight with some of those bigger video cameras, but some are pretty lightweight, too. So my “stupid” question: Is there such a thing as a “video” tripod?

Q) I feel kind of silly asking this question, so I thought I would send you an e-mail and plead that you keep my last name out of it. Someone recently talked to me about a video tripod. Isn’t a tripod a tripod? I suppose there’s something to do with weight with some of those bigger video cameras, but some are pretty lightweight, too. So... Read more
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