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Author Archive | Jim

Video: Getting Started Using Curves

Curves adjustment layers in Photoshop are super-powerful. When it comes to adjusting brightness, contrast, and color, there is no more powerful tool. But they can appear complicated and somewhat intimidating.  Let me walk you though a few ways to dip your toe into the waters of Curves through this video: If you’d rather read about […]

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The Color of the Sky

We all know the sky during the day is blue. We know that clouds are white (or grey). And we know that the sky can turn different shades of yellow and orange at night. But why? When you are photographing in the outdoors, the sky is such a huge part of your pictures that it […]

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A Little Cleanup Can Go a Long Way

About eight or nine months ago, I took this picture of a sheep in Ireland: I really liked the picture for a lot of reasons. First of all, it isn’t that often that you can catch a relatively close-up, frontal view of a sheep like that. It certainly isn’t unheard of, but I’ve been to […]

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How to Photograph the Moon

Almost everyone’s first attempt at photographing the moon results in disappointment. When you look at your pictures after that first try, the moon inevitably appears like a small white blob in the sky. The question quickly becomes how to avoid that and get a really sharp picture of the moon. Is there a trick to […]

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The Tools for Creating Sharp Images

Everyone wants a create tack sharp pictures. We spend a lot of money in the pursuit of sharp photos. We also spend a lot of time and effort in the field to make them sharp. We fuss over stabilization, exposure, and focus. If you aren’t familiar with the things you might do to make your […]

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Goal Setting in Photography

As I write this, we are in the final few days of 2016. As with the end of every year, we are all being bombarded with calls to set new goals for the coming year. Everybody talks about New Year’s resolutions, for example. If you follow any productivity or self-help resources, this is the time […]

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Banding: How to Avoid It, How to Get Rid of It.

When you have ugly bands of color in your picture, it is referred to as “banding.” It occurs where you have large portions of a single color in your picture, usually a dark color. For the outdoor photographer, that almost always means it occurs in the skies. Since we frequently have skies in our pictures, […]

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Do I Need to Learn Exposure?

You already know I’m going to say “yes”; but I think there is a little more to it than you might expect. I approach questions like this with a degree of caution. The reason is that I’ve seen answers from experts in other contexts go horribly wrong. For example, I’ve always been interested in sailing. […]

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Photoshop or Lightroom? Which To Start With

When you are starting out in photography, and want to get the best software to edit your photos, should you get Photoshop or Lightroom? This is a question a lot of people have, so I want to answer it directly. But before I do so, let me say that it is a false choice. There […]

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Florida Panhandle: Western Lake on 30A

How to capture this photogenic coastal dune lake near Seaside on the 30A. If you live in the midwest United States, you have probably seen stickers on cars from time to time that look something like this: 30A is a scenic coastal road in the Florida panhandle that stretches for 28.5 miles along the Gulf of […]

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Simple – But Powerful – Tips for Color Enhancement

An Introduction to Color Enhancement in Lightroom or Photoshop Working with color may seem like something for interior designers, who can discuss differences between different hues that you don’t even see. But it is actually pretty easy to make dramatic improvements to your photos – even if you have no eye for color. In this […]

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Nailing the Focus in Outdoor Photography

A guide to focusing properly – and boiling it all down to 3 simple rules to help you while you are shooting. Many photographers have it really easy when it comes to focus. Consider the portrait photographer. Do you know what the rule is for where to set your focus in portrait photography? On the […]

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