Add A Creative Touch To Your Pictures

We all strive for pictures that look unique, artistic and creative. That goes for when they’re framed and hung on a wall, when they’re posted on the web, and maybe even when they’re published in a book or magazine article. One creative idea is to add emphasis to the main or central subject in an image. Another is to dress up the image with a digital frame or border. In this column, we’ll cover a few easy techniques for accomplishing both goals—and more.

Original We all strive for pictures that look unique, artistic and creative. That goes for when they’re framed and hung on a wall, when they’re posted on the web, and maybe even when they’re published in a book or magazine article. One creative idea is to add emphasis to the main or central subject in an image. Another is to dress... Read more

Keep The Noise Down In Your Digital Images

Noise, the digital equivalent of film grain, can be a challenge to overcome.

After The same image after reducing noise with Nik Software Dfine 2.0. Plug-ins like Dfine can help reduce the appearance of noise without a critical loss of sharpness. Noise, the digital equivalent of film grain, can be a challenge to overcome. It appears as an irregular, sand-like texture that, if small, is essentially invisible; if large, it can... Read more

Photoshop Actions And Batch Processing

I frequently hear photographers talk about maximizing their time behind a camera and minimizing their time at the computer.

I frequently hear photographers talk about maximizing their time behind a camera and minimizing their time at the computer. It’s not the creative postproduction that these photographers want to avoid—it’s the digital drudgery that can consume so much of a one’s time. Tasks like file management and basic processing aren’t nearly... Read more

September 2008 HelpLine

While searching online for a mid-priced, 67mm circular polarizer for my Nikon D200, I came across this filter description that has me puzzled: “Used like and gives the same effect as [a] polarizer, but designed for cameras with beam-splitting metering.” Is this filter a polarizer? How do I know if my D200 has beam-splitting metering, and if I use this particular lens with my D70 or something new later on, will this filter no longer work? Is this a concern for all circular polarizers, or is this model by Tiffen something special?

This Article Features Photo Zoom HELIOPAN CIRCULAR POLARIZER Beam-Splitting Headache Q) While searching online for a mid-priced, 67mm circular polarizer for my Nikon D200, I came across this filter description that has me puzzled: “Used like and gives the same effect as [a] polarizer, but designed for cameras with beam-splitting... Read more

Adventures In Aperture

I made this image during my trip to Carnevale in Venice, Italy, this year. Sure, the model is terrific, and the location, an 800-year-old palace, is fantastic. From a technical standpoint, the image is super-sharp, the lighting is flattering and well balanced, the colors are vibrant, and the tight crop draws attention to the subject.

AFTER CROP 1 I made this image during my trip to Carnevale in Venice, Italy, this year. Sure, the model is terrific, and the location, an 800-year-old palace, is fantastic. From a technical standpoint, the image is super-sharp, the lighting is flattering and well balanced, the colors are vibrant, and the tight crop draws... Read more

Pro Tips: Black-And-White

Getting good black-and-white prints used to mean mixing batches of chemicals, being secluded in a darkened room, calculating exposure times, dodging and burning, then finally watching an image magically appear out of the developer soup onto a sheet of paper. While digital photography made it easier to get images without the effort or cost of processing film, it wasn’t until the last few years that software applications and, more importantly, inkjet printers were equipped to handle the ever-growing desire of photographers to create and print black-and-white images that rival—or sometimes exceed—what once was the domain of the traditional darkroom.

This Article Features Photo Zoom Getting good black-and-white prints used to mean mixing batches of chemicals, being secluded in a darkened room, calculating exposure times, dodging and burning, then finally watching an image magically appear out of the developer soup onto a sheet of paper. While digital photography made it easier to get... Read more

July 2008 Helpline

helpline

About a year ago, you helped me decide on an SLR camera, and I love it. I’ve taken a short camera class only to learn there’s so much more to learn. Now I want a versatile lens, so I can carry just one lens with me. I’ll need a zoom (150mm to 300mm?) as I’m sure to be far away when I want to take pictures of tennis players and capture action shots. I know from friends that the lens can’t be too long or you can’t take it into sporting events, and I need a lens with stabilization. Also, I teach first-grade speakers of other languages, and I enjoy taking their pictures, too.

This Article Features Photo Zoom It’s tempting for photographers who want to travel light (and economize) to seek out the “perfect” zoom lens that will tackle all of their favorite subjects. That’s a tall order, though, because desirable lens specs for sports photography are different than those for... Read more

Favorite Plug-Ins

quick fixPhotoshop and Photoshop Elements, in addition to other digital image-editing programs, offer photographers many filters and adjustments to expand their creative horizons. The creative process can be enhanced further by using plug-ins.

Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, in addition to other digital image-editing programs, offer photographers many filters and adjustments to expand their creative horizons. The creative process can be enhanced further by using plug-ins. In Photoshop, plug-ins usually show up at the bottom of the Filter menu. However, you may find the loaded plug-in in... Read more

June 2008 HelpLine

               
Capturing talent
Q) I want to start shooting photos of local bands and some other bigger acts that come through my area on a regular basis. I’m new to the D-SLR game and still learning all the things I can do with my camera. So I’m looking for some advice on what settings to use while in this type of situation. Of course, it’s low-light and fast-moving action, along with light changing all the time. I’m in the market to buy a new lens specifically for this task, but would love to also use it in the field for the nature photography I’m starting to enjoy. I’ll have access to the sides of the stage and the front of the stage on the calm side of the barrier, so I’d think that my shooting distances could range from about six to 25 feet.
 

This Article Features Photo Zoom Photographing indoor performances can be tricky, but you can get good results if you use a fast lens and take a few practice shots to get your exposure settings right. When photographing comedian Louie Anderson, the hardest part was trying to keep the camera steady while laughing. Capturing talent Q)... Read more

Make Your Subject Stand Out

quick fixOften, one of the main goals when composing a picture is to make the subject stand out from the background and surroundings. This is especially true in sports photography, where the photographer wants to isolate the subject from a distracting background, such as when a football player is running in front of a cheering crowd.

Often, one of the main goals when composing a picture is to make the subject stand out from the background and surroundings. This is especially true in sports photography, where the photographer wants to isolate the subject from a distracting background, such as when a football player is running in front of a cheering crowd. Portrait, wildlife and... Read more

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
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