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

July 2, 2007 HelpLine


Q) I’m shooting RAW and my friends tell me to ignore white balance because I can fix it on the computer. Is that right?

Q) I’m shooting RAW and my friends tell me to ignore white balance because I can fix it on the computer. Is that right? Cindy Z., Via the Internet A) I hate to be blunt, but when someone tells me not to worry because I can “fix” it on the computer, my first response is, “Why do I have to fix anything?” How did I break... Read more

July/August 2007 HelpLine

Capturing Fireworks

Q) I thought I’d try to experiment with taking pictures during the 4th of July fireworks displays this year. A friend thought I should use film to do this. I’m thinking that I should be able to use my digital SLR. Who’s right? And what’s the best way of photographing the fireworks display?

• Capturing Fireworks  • Illuminating flash guide numbers   ————-  Capturing Fireworks Q) I thought I’d try to experiment with taking pictures during the 4th of July fireworks displays this year. A friend thought I should use film to do this. I’m thinking that I should be able to use my digital SLR. Who’s... Read more

The Details

One of the differences between a good photograph and a great one is how we handle the details. Check out this image of a beautiful Kuna woman who I photographed at the San Blas Hotel in the San Blas Islands, an archipelago of 365 islands that lies off the Atlantic coast of Panama. Compare it to the second and third photographs in this column, and you’ll see that it has stronger colors and more contrast. I’ll show you how to easily create a similar effect using Adobe Photoshop Elements. Of course, you can get to the same place using Adobe Photoshop. 

One of the differences between a good photograph and a great one is how we handle the details. Check out this image of a beautiful Kuna woman who I photographed at the San Blas Hotel in the San Blas Islands, an archipelago of 365 islands that lies off the Atlantic coast of Panama. Compare it to the second and third photographs in this column, and you’ll... Read more

June 18, 2007 HelpLine


Q) Since I’ve been using my digital SLR, I’m getting more and more worried about dust. I’ve noticed some of the newer cameras have some sort of dust-removal feature. I’m not able to get one of the newer cameras right now. What’s the best way to avoid getting dust in the camera?

Q) Since I’ve been using my digital SLR, I’m getting more and more worried about dust. I’ve noticed some of the newer cameras have some sort of dust-removal feature. I’m not able to get one of the newer cameras right now. What’s the best way to avoid getting dust in the camera? K.D., Via the Internet A) While there are... Read more

June 11, 2007 HelpLine


Q) I know this isn’t a highly technical question, but the situation drives me crazy. When I take the lens cap off my camera, I never can remember where I put it. Any suggestions you could make would be sooooo helpful.

Q) I know this isn’t a highly technical question, but the situation drives me crazy. When I take the lens cap off my camera, I never can remember where I put it. Any suggestions you could make would be sooooo helpful. Mark Johnson, Via the Internet A) Just put it in your right pocket, your right pocket, your right pocket, you’re getting... Read more

June 2007 HelpLine

Q) I’m going on the trip of a lifetime in a few months and I was looking to stock up on memory cards so I don’t have to bring my laptop with me. With prices coming down and card sizes going up, I thought I’d have an easy decision. When I got to the store, I became confused. There used to be just one flavor of SD; now there’s SDHC. Should I try out the new cards?

• Insecure About SDHC • A Reminder To Back Up ———– Insecure About SDHC Q) I’m going on the trip of a lifetime in a few months and I was looking to stock up on memory cards so I don’t have to bring my laptop with me. With prices coming down and card sizes going up, I thought I’d have an easy decision.... Read more

Fire In The Sky

We all love watching sunsets, looking at pictures of sunsets and, of course, photographing sunsets! The warm colors—deep shades of red, orange and yellow—evoke feelings of peace and tranquility and a sense of awe at nature’s wonders.

We all love watching sunsets, looking at pictures of sunsets and, of course, photographing sunsets! The warm colors—deep shades of red, orange and yellow—evoke feelings of peace and tranquility and a sense of awe at nature’s wonders. In this column, I’ll share with you a few Photoshop Elements techniques for improving on Mother Nature’s... Read more

May 29, 2007 HelpLine


Q) I see all of those neat shots of waterfalls, where the water looks so strange. How can I do that? 

Q) I see all of those neat shots of waterfalls, where the water looks so strange. How can I do that?  Scott D., Rochester, NY A) What you’re seeing is water captured with a slow shutter speed. If you want to do that yourself, first you need to use a tripod, as the slow shutter speed requires a firmly supported camera. Because you’re... Read more

May 14, 2007 HelpLine


Q) At what point during image editing should I be sharpening? I’ve experimented with doing it while processing in Adobe Camera Raw, but I’m just not sure.

Q) At what point during image editing should I be sharpening? I’ve experimented with doing it while processing in Adobe Camera Raw, but I’m just not sure. Mark T., Via the Internet A) Sharpening should be one of the last things you do. How much sharpening you do will depend on your final image output size. Since you might be outputting... Read more
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