Clipped Bird Wing Repair in Photoshop Elememts 8 ____ 2011/07

A throw-away image rises to four-stars. I was in Eastern Washington last week at a Williamson’s Sapsucker nest site. They’re interesting birds, and unlike other woodpeckers, the male and female look completely different. The male is a black and white typical of woodpeckers, but the female is brown with spectacular white barring on the wings. […]

Lightroom 2 Spot Removal (on steroids) ___ 02/2010

Finished image after clone and cropping is much stronger than original.

The Spot Removal tool introduced in Lightroom 2 was a nice feature, part of set of tools that allowed manipulation of individual pixels on RAW files. Almost coincidently, though, manufacturers introduced dSLR cameras with self-cleaning sensors that worked so well Spot Removal was rarely needed for dust touch-up. I nonetheless use the tool frequently—for wildlife […]

Photo Tip: Backpacker Panorama Hardware __ 09/2009

A year ago I built a light-weight panorama tool out of wood. My hope was to make back-country panoramas. My dream was to rival the pixel count of high-end, medium-format digital backs, or scanned 4×5 film cameras without the weight, bulk or cost. Here in Washington State, I imagined Prusik Peak in the Enchantments, or […]

Photo Tip: A Matter of Numbers ___ 02/2009

If you work at composition—and what photographer doesn’t—you’re probably aware that number is a compositional element, and a powerful one. Consider that composition is a way of organizing a photograph. The best compositions paring down, simplifying, gett to the essence. It puts a stamp on who you are as a photographer.Number is one of many […]

Digital Thinking: A Vertical from a Horizontal __ 01/2009

For many of us, shooting verticals takes a conscious effort. The comfortable grip of most cameras—especially most dSLR’s—induces “landscape” shots. Only high-end dSLR’s have a built-in vertical grip that helps make “portrait” shooting routine. Still, rotating the camera 90° involves either a thought like “I should get this in a vertical for its cover potential”; […]

Tutorial: Adobe Elements 6 Panoramas ___ 08/2008

Edited 3/15/2013. Prior to Elements 6, on the rare occasion that I made panoramas, I stitched images manually. A big problem was that automated stitch programs produced banding in the sky, often accompanied by bizarrely-merged foregrounds. But when I saw a Mark Galer example (Adobe Photoshop Elements 6: Unleashing the hidden performance of Elements) demonstrating […]

Photo Tip: Digital Thinking __ 07/2008

Edited 3/15/2013. Photographing with today’s  digital SLR’s is the stuff of dreams: sub-$1000 cameras, instant feedback, cost-free shooting, on-the-spot ISO change, image quality superior to 35mm film. One consequence is we shoot way more, but taking advantage of digital isn’t just filling 32-GB cards in the hope of getting the shot.  As always, it still […]

Tutorial: Floral Portrait Conundrum ___ 07/2007

When shooting wildflower or floral portraits — pictures of single flowers or small groups of flowers — it’s often difficult to achieve both sharpness in the flower(s) and pleasing, poster-like, out-of-focus backgrounds. In the past I ususally went for the pleasing background, picking the most important floral part, like the stigma or edge of a […]

Doing the Splits: Digital vs Glass Graduated (Split) ND Filters _ 08/2006

After hiking to Spray Park at Mt. Rainier NP (August, 2006), I shot a few frames to compare a graduated (split) neutral-density filter with achieving similar results in Photoshop. If you’re not familiar with split filters, they have darkened glass on half of their surface, to hold back the light, with clear glass on the […]