Knowledge Center

December 2010: What I Learned About Travel Photography

I do not pretend to be one of those professional travel photographers, always jetting off to some remote location. In reality, few of us fit that description. Instead, I am the "average Joe", a wife and mother who also likes to take photographs. Travel photography for such as I is a bit of a balancing act. On the one hand, I want to take excellent photographs, but on the other, my family is there (with myself included) to have a good time. [read more]

December 2010: Interview with Chris Buff, November 2010 Photo of the Month Winner

Originally a mid-western man, Chris Buff still walks his children to the bus in the mornings, even when the wind chill dips to a breathtaking 13 degrees outside.  Hitting his own personal mid-century mark, he has been "married for nearly 25 years to a wonderful and supportive wife and have 3 ch [read more]

December 2010: Best Cameras for Holiday Parties

Holidays not only bring cheer, they bring a great excuse to break out the camera and take pictures of the family and friends you haven't seen since the holidays last year.  Think of it as Forced Family and Friend Fun.  We've all been on both the [read more]

December 2010: Interview with Charles Lusby, October 2010 Photo of the Month Winner

There are some photographers who go out with a particular shot in mind.  There are some who have to follow the directions of the client.  And then there are some photographers who follow the wind, allowing nature to craft the shot, listening only to t [read more]

December 2010: Tips For Taking Holiday Photos

We've all done it, taken that endless stream of holiday photographs with the same people doing something, only we can't exactly tell what. Then there's the familiar, "Oh look at the tree!" only it's slightly blurry and the top is missing. Who doesn't have similar Thanksgiving or Christmas pictures somewhere? Believe it or not, there is such a thing as an enter [read more]

November 2010: 2010 Digital Camera Holiday Gift Guide - $600+ Cameras

2010 Holiday Gift Guide TOC Part 1: Sub $150 [read more]

November 2010: 2010 Digital Camera Holiday Gift Guide - $400 to $600 Cameras

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November 2010: 2010 Digital Camera Holiday Gift Guide - $250 to $400 Cameras

2009 Holiday Gift Guide TOC Part 1 [read more]

November 2010: 2010 Digital Camera Holiday Gift Guide - $150 to $250 Cameras

2010 Holiday Gift Guide TOC Part [read more]

November 2010: 2010 Digital Camera Holiday Gift Guide - Sub $150 Cameras

2010 Holiday Gift Guide TOC Part 1: S [read more]

October 2010: Know How To Make Sharp Images

Every photograph is the result of the unity of a number of key factors. Exposure (the proper amount of light), white balance (correct color tones), and composition (placement of objects) are three of these factors.  Another often neglected, but integral component of the formation of a photograph is sharpness. Sharpness in a photograph means that the stationary objects in the photograph have a clearly defined edge. However, sharpness also takes into account any movement in the scene.  Running water is a good example of this.  In a photograph containing running water, [read more]

October 2010: Best Cameras for New Parents

New parents have a lot to think about.  Which camera they are going to purchase is not necessarily one of them.  Do them a favor by doing the thinking for them.  Go a step further and buy that new camera they have no idea they really need. [read more]

October 2010: The Exposure Family: Aperture, Shutter Speed and Metering

Knowing how to affect the exposure on your photographs can make the difference between a great shot and a shot of some unrecognizable white blob with no borders or color.  And just like any other aspect of photography, there are many elements coming into play when dealing with exposure.  Aperture, shutter speeds, metering and light sources all have to be considered when adjusting exposure.  Once you figure out which combinations work best for different situations, you will be able to reference those combinations you have mentally preset instead of fiddling with your camera wasting precious tim [read more]

October 2010: Watermarking and Copyrighting Your Photographs

There is a danger factor in publishing your images online.  Whether you are being published professionally or just putting pictures up on your personal blog, there is always the chance of theft or copyright infringement.  Take it from me: it is a huge violation of privacy, trust and feels like a dirty prank is being pulled on you by the internet itself.  It's a great way to ruin the day.  But you are in luck, faithful Steve's Digicams reader.  There are ways to prevent copyright infringement and dissuade jerk [read more]

October 2010: Photo Retouching: Where Do We Draw the Line?

"That the camera cannot lie is true only in the sense that the images it captures must have existed in one form or another at some particular time. But it is not always clear if those images have been manipulated in some way to alter or to stage an event which never happened. We are familiar with historical photos that have been retouched to include or exclude political figures. We are less familiar with the potential of new technologies for falsifying images, particularly those that appear in newspapers and magazines." -Paul Martin Lester, 1988 [read more]

October 2010: Portrait Photography: How to Make It Work with Minimal Training

Portrait photography is not the easiest of techniques but certainly a patient person could eventually get the technique down.  Sometimes, what you lack in natural talent can be made up for with learned skill.  Portraiture takes skill and finesse, but it also takes an understanding of composition, light, the camera, the relationships and framing.  It is almost as if portraiture is the meeting place for all photographic techniques.  For a lot of photographers just starting out, portrait photography is the last kind of photography they tackle. [read more]

October 2010: Traveling with Your Digital Camera

The most important thing to bring on a vacation is your camera (in reality, it's probably money).  The most important accessory when traveling with your camera is the gear it is packed in.  The gear that it is packed in should be suitable to transport small bombs (for Mother Earth's sake, please do NOT pack bombs on an airplane).  Your camera is no good if it does not arrive safely.  On top of ensuring your camera arrives intact, you have to consider all the stuff tha [read more]

September 2010: Getting Started with Macro Photography

Before we begin on our journey into the study of macro photography, let's go over a few things:You are capable of macro photography.  This is one skill anyone can possess, from amateurs to professionals.Spare equipment is not necessary, but will certainly help.  Built in macro modes will do just fine for casual photography.Knowing what macro photography is and how it works will help you take a much better picture.  This applies to all techniques.It does not take a professional photographer to get a good macro shot (just to reiterate number one).Ok, good start.  Now, let's get cooking.Macro [read more]

September 2010: Easy Travel Photography

Photography is a fickle game.  Often times, we overstep and reach too far for a final shot that is literally right in front of our eyes.  This is especially true when taking pictures in foreign lands.  Pictures are the way we prove to our family and friends that we were actually there.  It is one thing to say you have been to Stonehenge but it is an entirely different thing to show a picture of Stonehenge straddled by a major English highway (who the hell knew that was the case?).  And while any one person on vacation in France can say they have been to the Eiffel Tower, it is your picture that will show that it was blue one year and not the standard gold (which by the way was the case in 2008; France was the h [read more]

September 2010: So You Want to Take Portraits?

I'm going to make a startling statement.  You are NOT a portrait photographer because you own a camera.  Being able to pick up a lens does not put you in business.  I see this mentality too often.  It seems portrait photographers are "a dime a dozen" nowadays.  Everyone is doing it, and anybody can get started. Yet of all the forms of photography out there - wildlife, landscape, travel, astrophotography, sports photography, etc. - taking portraits (and by extension, weddings) is the [read more]

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