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Archive for the ‘Digital Photography’ Category

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

Clean Your Lens Right

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Lens Cleaning Techniques

Yeah, I know, this doesn’t really seem like an overly exciting topic today, but I think it’s well worth a mention. Seems like every time someone hands me his or her camera to take a photo, the lens looks like it’s been dipped into a shop vac.

First off, a clean lens is an essential ingredient to great photos. A lens that’s full of smudges, dirt, or… Continue reading

Flash Modes Made Easy

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Havin’ Fun Flashin’

Nope, this isn’t an article explaining how to go out on the street and flash unsuspecting victims, but I couldn’t resist the title :-)

OK, over the last three weeks or so, we’ve been poking around in some of the more intermediate and advanced areas of digital photography, so I thought we’d go with something easier this week—Flash Modes.

Most digital cameras have a variety of different… Continue reading

Histogram Basics

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Histogram Fun

A Hist-o-what?

A histogram is a graphical representation of the light values of the image. Yeah, I know, that really helps. Many newer digicams include a histogram display, and it’s actually one of the most useful features you can have on a digital camera.

First off, let’s look at a picture of one:

Wait, don’t stop reading! I know, I know, it looks confusing, but just hang… Continue reading

Exposure Compensation

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Exposure Compensation

Have you ever shot an outdoor scene and had it come out a little too light or a little too dark? Yup, it happens to all of us at one time or another. For whatever reason, the camera misreads the scene and your exposure is all wrong.

So, what do you do when you look at the LCD panel and the photo you just shot is too light… Continue reading

Great Fall Photos

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Fall Color Tricks And Tips

With autumn here already (where, exactly, did summer go?), we’ve been getting lots of requests for fall color tips. So, when you venture out this season to grab some brightly colored autumn imagery, keep this in mind:

1. Shoot during good light — we’ve been talking about his for the last couple weeks, so I’m not going to get too detailed. Suffice to say that… Continue reading

Great Light

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Great Light

I get questions all the time about my photos. People want to know why they look the way they do. They think it’s some big Photoshop secret I’ve yet to share. Nope :-)

One of the biggest tricks in my bag is to shoot during great light. If you can do that, you’ve won 80% of the battle—the rest is just compose and shoot.

What do I mean… Continue reading

Macro Mode

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Macro Mode

We had a reader ask:

“My camera is supposed to be able to focus down to 4 inches, but I can’t get anywhere close to that. Do you think the camera is defective?”

Your camera is probably fine. I’ve seen this happen to several friends, so I know you’re not alone.

In order to get in really close, you’ll need to switch your digicam to Macro mode (usually… Continue reading

Save Your Photos As You Edit

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Have you ever been working on an image and had the computer crash? Sucks, doesn’t it? All that hard work, down the proverbial tubes.

I remember a few years back working on an image in Photoshop. It was a restoration of an old photo I was doing for a family member (I was “volunteered” since I “knew about those darn computers”).

So, I scanned… Continue reading

Formatting Memory Card

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Formatting Cards

A reader asks, “What’s with card formatting? Do I really need to do it? I just popped my card into my camera and everything seems to work OK.”

Formatting a card basically insures that it is going to work right with your camera.

Just like computers, memory cards have files systems, folders, etc. When you use your camera to format a card, it sets the card up the… Continue reading

Pc Or Mac For Digital Imaging?

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

PC Or Mac For Digital Imaging?

I had the “Should I use a PC or Mac for digital imaging” question brought up to me recently. It seems like when people start to get more serious about digital imaging, this question always comes up. So, what’s the answer?

A long time ago, in a galaxy, far, far, away, if you were going to do any kind of digital imaging, you were… Continue reading

Flash Distance

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Flash Distance

A reader asks, “I was at an outdoor concert and tried to take some photos. It was at night so I tried to use my flash. All I got was the back of people’s heads! You could see a little of what was on stage, but it didn’t look very good. What went wrong?”

Ah, flash distance. You don’t have enough of it. Most people think that all… Continue reading

Avoid Noise In Digital Photos

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Noisy Photos

At one time or another, you’ll probably hear people talk about “noise” in digital photos. Nope, this doesn’t involve screaming kids, it actually involves tiny specks of random color that show up in an image. It’s basically the digital equivalent of film grain.

Noisy photo (no it doesn’t look noisy from here, but look at the close-up below):

Close-up (note the grainy look)

How do you… Continue reading

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