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Archive for the ‘Digital Photography’ Category

Buying Camera Equipment Online

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

Watch out!

Much as I hate to admit it, I very seldom buy any of my camera equipment from the local camera stores here in town. I’d really like to, but the deals I get online save me hundreds of dollars. In fact, on a recent purchase of a camcorder, we saved over $140 by purchasing the equipment online! And it really wasn’t anything fancy, just a middle of the… Continue reading

Make Your Own Wallpaper

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

Would you like to have one of your pictures as a desktop background? It’s easier than you think!

1. Figure out your screen resolution. Before you begin, you’ll need to figure out what size the final image needs to be. Fortunately, this is really easy. Just right-click a blank area on your desktop and select Properties from the resulting menu. Then, click the Settings tab on the resulting… Continue reading

Digital Image RAM

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

We all know that digital photos take up gobs of hard drive space, but how much RAM do you need in order to work on those images? 256MB? 512MB? 1 Gig? More??!

When it comes to RAM, more is always better. How much you need is going to depend on how large your photos are. For example, a Windows XP system with 512 MB of RAM is probably going to… Continue reading

Keepin’ it Proportional

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

Have you ever noticed when you resize a photo, there’s usually an option to “constrain proportions”? When you uncheck that option, you can plop in any height and width dimensions you please. With constrain proportions checked, changing one dimension changes the other. So what’s with all the proportion constraining? Read on.

Although the term Constrain Proportions sounds like something used in a medieval torture chamber, it’s actually pretty simple.

When… Continue reading

Download: Picasa 2

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

This week’s download has got to be one of the most impressive and useful programs I think I will offer all year. Picasa is a photo editing, sharing, slideshow program but it’s so much more—it’s part of the rising Google empire that continues to do things right.

Picasa is, in my opinion, more of a complete image manager, though it has some image editing tools there is nothing ground breaking… Continue reading

LCD Zoomin’

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

Has this ever happened to you? You take an amazing shot with your digicam, it looks great on the camera’s LCD monitor, and you think you have a real winner. However, when you get back home you’re disappointed when you discover that it wasn’t quite as sharp as it looked on the LCD screen. Is there a way to have averted this tragedy? You bet!

Most (not all, but most)… Continue reading

Storing Digital Photos

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

A reader writes…

Help! I’ve been taking all your digital photography advice, and now I have a TON of photos on my hard drive. I am running out of room and I’m thinking about putting all my images on CD and wiping them off the hard drive. Is this a good idea or is there a better way?

I’ve got one word for you – SCRATCH!

Personally, if I had… Continue reading

Calibrate Colors for Photo Prints

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

When you print digital photos do the colors look different than what you saw on the monitor?

Not way off, but just a little (and you have enough ink)?

If you print a lot of pictures then what you can do is print out a picture, let the ink dry over night, then adjust your screen to match.

By synchronizing your settings you should get what you see on the… Continue reading

X-Ray vs. Digital Camera

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

A reader asks…

I’m going on a trip and want to take my digital camera. Can the X-Ray machine at the airport damage the memory card? I know it can mess up the film in a regular camera.

That very same question has been asked enough times that there has been a study done on it by the Committee for Integrity in Transportation of Imaging Products. (really, that’s the name… Continue reading

Make Camera Batteries Last Longer

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

OK, if you’ve been shooting your digital camera for more than a few hours you’ve probably noticed your camera thinks of your battery inventory as an all-you-can-eat buffet. So, here is some advice that will, hopefully, save you some money and make your batteries last longer:

1. Use rechargeable batteries. Check your owner’s manual to see if you can use rechargeable batteries. If the answer is yes, then go out… Continue reading

The Rule of Thirds

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

There is a compositional rule known as the “Rule Of Thirds”. Basically, it says to mentally take your viewfinder and divide it up into thirds—both horizontal and vertical. Where the lines intersect are the “power spots” (say that with a deep booming voice and an echo for the full effect). Try to put your subjects as close as you can to the intersections. Continue reading

Different Formats

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

Wow, we’ve been getting a LOT of questions lately asking how to save an image in a different format. For example, you have a TIFF and want to save it as a JPEG, or maybe you have a BMP and you want to turn it into a GIF. Well, regardless, this is usually a very easy process.

First, open the original image in your favorite imaging program. Now, just hit… Continue reading

Download: PIXresizer

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005

I found something to make managing images for specific purposes easier that I know you’ll enjoy. How many times have you found the need to resize pictures? How about change a picture’s file extension (jpg, bmp, etc)? Whether it’s posting pictures on a website, emailing photos, creating avatars, or posting signatures on message boards there are many reasons to change the size or type of an image file.

This isn’t… Continue reading

Small, Sharp Pictures

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005

Here’s what happens: you’re working on a really great image you shot with your high-resolution digital camera. It looks great—so sharp you could cut yourself on it. Then, someone asks you to e-mail it to them so they can see it too.

Since it’s a high res shot, you decide that you should probably resize it first. You go into your imaging program, click the Image Size menu option, and… Continue reading

Scanning Glossy Paper

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005

Glossy paper can cause problems when scanning since it affects the light bouncing off the page.

Check your scanner interface to see if there is a setting for glossy paper or photos. This will give you better results.

For text that you will scan with OCR software you may want to photocopy onto plain paper first to have a “flat” finish to work with.… Continue reading

Camera Lock Ups

Thursday, March 3rd, 2005

Have you ever been out shooting and suddenly your camera stopped responding? It looks like it’s on, but nothing works—no dials, no buttons—it’s locked up. I know it’s happened to me a time or two and no amount of pounding it on the hood of my Jeep seems to make any difference.

So, when a friend called this weekend and told me he was shooting some pictures and the camera… Continue reading

Focal Length & Magnification Factors

Tuesday, February 15th, 2005

When people talk about lenses, they talk about focal length. This is basically a measurement that will help you determine how far your zoom can “reach” or how much of that great scenery your wide-angle lens will encompass.

For those who wonder how it’s figured out, it’s the distance from “optical center” of the lens to the point where it is focused when set to infinity. (No we’re not talking… Continue reading

Use that viewfinder

Saturday, February 12th, 2005

Our article on viewfinder diopter adjustment prompted the comment, “Who cares what the picture looks like through the viewfinder? I use the LCD screen anyway.” For the article, head to:

So why, with that fancy LCD screen on the back of your camera, would you even consider squinting into primitive viewfinder?

One word:


I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but most regular (non-… Continue reading

EZ Picture File Names

Saturday, February 12th, 2005

Make your image files easier to find by giving them names.

For instance, rather than “Image403.jpg” assign a name like “041225-too_much_eggnog.jpg”. Notice the 04 is the year, 12 is month, and 25 is day. By putting the year first it will sort pictures according to year—if you did it month first then all the 12’s for 04, 05, etc. would be lumped together.

It’s best to assign names when the… Continue reading

Diopter Adjustment

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005

A reader asks, “Help! I think I did something bad to my digital camera. When I look through my eyepiece viewfinder, everything is blurry. It looks fine on the LCD screen, but the viewfinder image is way out of focus. Is it repair time?”

Actually, sounds like you’re lucky!

Your camera probably has a small dial or slider right next to, above, or below the viewfinder. That’s a diopter adjustment… Continue reading

ISO Settings

Tuesday, January 25th, 2005

ISO Can Be Fun! Really!

Ever notice that little button on your digital camera labeled ISO? Ever lie awake at night wondering what it’s for? Time to rest easy…

The ISO setting controls your camera’s sensitivity to light. Most cameras have a variety of exciting choices for this, including:

  • Auto
  • 100
  • 200
  • 400
  • 800

Of course, the number of choices on your camera will probably vary from my… Continue reading

Want Better Colors?

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

Have you ever come upon a scene where the color was just magnificent? You know, it was like all the colors seemed to have been “turned up” a notch or two. The greens were vibrant, the blues were striking, the reds were intense—you get the picture.

If you’re like me, it’s almost impossible to keep your camera put away at a time like this, so out it… Continue reading

Clearing memory card with computer

Saturday, January 8th, 2005

A reader asks, “I have a memory card reader for my digital camera. I use it to move the photos on my card over to my computer—and that’s it. Someone told me I could delete the photos off the card right from the computer (once they are transferred). Is this safe?”

Let me give you a qualified “yes” to that question.

You should be able to delete the photos off… Continue reading


Thursday, December 30th, 2004

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about megapixels lately. Stuff like, “How many do I need?” and “Will my photos be sharper with more?” and “Will more megapixels improve the quality of my images?”

Well, here’s the scoop!

First, how they are determined –

So, you’ve found a camera that has 5.0 megapixels and you’re wondering exactly how they arrived at that number. Did they just grab it out… Continue reading

Winter Photography

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

If you’re like most photographers, you probably pack up your camera equipment once the snow starts flying. Sure, you’ll drag it out for the holidays, but for the most part it sits on shelf looking more like a knick-knack than a high tech piece of photographic equipment.

Well, no more!

Some of my best images are taken when there’s snow on the ground. There’s nothing like going out of… Continue reading

Focus Lock

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

A reader asks:

“I have a problem with my digital camera. When I shoot an off-center subject, the camera focuses on the wall behind them. How can I make the camera focus on what I want it to?”

Many digital cameras focus on whatever is in the very center of the viewfinder or LCD screen. So, if your subject isn’t there, the stuff behind (or in front) of them will… Continue reading

The Cloning Tool

Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

The Basics

Have you ever been out shooting and thought you snagged a capture worthy of the next Nobel Prize? Have you ever gone home, loaded that same photo, and noticed you missed an empty fast food cup that was sitting smack dab in the middle of your composition? You were so close to that perfect image, if only there was a way to remove that stinkin’ cup…

Ah, you’re… Continue reading

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