Blog Archives

Night Sky Focusing ____ 2015/09

Like many photographers, I’ve had some difficulty photographing the night sky with my dSLR. Focusing the lens is an omnipresent concern. It’s dark as pitch when the Milky Way is out in all its glory. Autofocus doesn’t work. Looking through

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Creating Starbursts ____ 2015/07

Starbursts are light rays emanating from point light sources — from the sun, moon, streetlights, sunlit waterdrops or reflective surfaces. They are creative photographic elements that can enhance an image — adding drama to a dull sky, a focal point

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Lightroom 6 Panoramas ____ 2015/06

I enjoy creating panoramas, but I wasn’t excited about the new Adobe Lightroom 6 (and CC) Merge Panorama feature. I get great results from Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor), which creates pans from TIFs or JPGs at a quality better

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Lightroom 6 HDR ____ 2015/05

I upgraded to Adobe Lightroom 6 with some trepidation, after reading about and not being impressed by the new features. Adobe touted HDR and Panorama Merge especially, and my thought was “so what?” I’m no HDR fan, and for panoramas

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A Most Important Thing ____ 2014/02

Early on, nature photographers are taught the necessity of using a tripod. The great teacher John Shaw calls the tripod a crucial, best single accessory. Pros use tripods. With a tripod you slow down, take control and become a better

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Lightroom 5 HSL Panel: More Pop and Mystery ____ 2013/12

Last year (2012/09 Photo Tip), I wrote about using Lightroom Development tools to create Pop and Mystery in a photo. The gist: darken skies, selectively increase color saturation and increase contrast. Ansel Adams famously said the negative is the score,

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Photo Tip: Microsoft ICE for panoramas ____ 2013/09

For Windows users—Vista, XP, Windows 7 or 8—Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor), version 1.4.4, generates single or multi-row panoramas with a speed and accuracy that leaves Photoshop eating dust. It’s a free, no-frills, stand-alone application. I downloaded it last month

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Photo Tip: Focus Stacking ____ 2011/06

Focus stacking is a relatively new digital imaging technique, especially useful for macro and scientific photography, and an occasional aid for landscapes and small portraits as well. It’s a clever digital answer to lens optic limits that conspire to demolish

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Got Histogram? Field Tool Extraordinaire ____ 04/2010

A camera’s histogram is a great field tool, among the best of tools in a digital photographer’s kit. It’s in the review mode built into almost every camera; some cameras even have it “live”. So take advantage of it. Learn

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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,

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