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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:

Using HDR for texture

_djc9628hHigh dynamic range (HDR) images aren’t just for extreme lighting conditions and special effects. They can be used to provide more depth and texture to an image than is possible with a single shot. These statues of daemons lining the bridge approach to the South Gate of Angkor Thom in Cambodia show a good example. By the time they are lit (with side light from the southeast in the morning in this case) the light is a little hard and wouldn’t have shown detail in the rocks. Read more »

Finishing a photo with Photoshop CS6’s Adaptive Wide Angle filter

ev_firetrain_sm040812_0042htWhile not one of the marquee new features of Photoshop CS6, the Adaptive Wide Angle filter can help with one of the trickiest post-processing situations – correcting the distortion caused by using a wide angle lens. At the same time it can help reshape the image to draw attention to the subject in an image, which can be tricky if the subject isn’t the closest object to the camera…. Read more »