How-To

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10 things you should know about your camera (and your smartphone)!

ev_africamay2011_0221I get asked all the time to give advice about what camera someone should buy. Far less often I sometimes get asked a much more important question – “What do I need to learn how to do with my new camera before I take it on my vacation, or to some special event, and try to use it effectively?” Modern cameras (even many of those found in smartphones) have way too many features for anyone to master them all. But there are 10 basic skills you should learn. If you purchase your camera at a camera store with actual human salespeople (there are still a few), you can probably have them show you most or all of them before you walk out with your new kit:


Lightening up your photo kit: Lenses I no longer travel with…

The Sigma 300-800 is an excellent and unique telephoto zoom, but it is huge & heavy -- no fun to travel withI’m often asked what lenses I recommend for various photo subjects – typically right before a reader or client is about to head off on a trip. What often goes without saying is what lenses I don’t travel with. In many cases, these were my “go-to” lenses for many years, but a combination of industry trends has helped me lighten up my traveling kit substantially. The changes aren’t for everyone, but they are worth considering for anyone who has begun to dread traveling with all their gear. Before I plunge in, please remember that I’m not saying these lenses aren’t still some of my favorites, or that you shouldn’t rely on them anywhere and everywhere, just that it is always worth thinking about what you are traveling with and why…


Hands-on with Photoshop’s new Perspective Warp: For when you can’t fit a ladder in your pocket

_djc7336pw-croppedSometimes you just can’t be where you want to get the right angle on a shot. Or maybe you thought you were, but later you need to use the photo in a different way and want to move your perspective around. Photoshop has always offered some tools to do that, but today Adobe added a powerful new one – Perspective Warp. Using it you can shift the apparent point of view of an image around, even creating combinations of perspectives that could never have been captured in a single photo… Read more »

Solving tricky landscape lighting problems with a Polarizing Filter

pl_angoraridge_0356Polarizing filters are typically thought of as a shooting solution for capturing images containing glare, and perhaps for “darkening skies.” But there is another great use for them that is often neglected – making up for harsh light. Sometimes it is difficult to get to a location when the light is still soft, or sometimes – like with the pictured Aspen grove – the subject just isn’t lit until the Sun is high in the sky. A Polarizer can help… Read more »

Composition Tip: Don't frame so tightly that you forget where you are...

edl_baganherding_0034cWhen something unexpected happens on a photo shoot it is easy to get carried away in the moment and start firing away. If you've done some action photography your reflexes may take over and you'll instinctively start cropping to maximize the impact of the subject. Sometimes, though, it pays to take a deep breath and think things through first.... Read more »