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Applying Focus Techniques

In a prior article, I showed you the mechanics of focus and how to go about using it in your outdoor photography.  In this video, I walk through some pictures to show you how I put those techniques to work in my own photos. Hopefully this gives you some ideas on where to focus in your […]

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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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When It Comes to Subjects, Use What You’ve Got

If there is one type of photography I would most like to do, it is coastal photography.  I could take nothing but seascapes the rest of my life and be happy. However, I live in a suburb of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. I am 300 miles from the nearest ocean, which is not particularly attractive […]

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Simplify Your Camera

If you haven’t yet taken the plunge into mastering your camera, you might be surprised at how the process actually simplifies things for you. Doing so, actually makes certain controls irrelevant so you can completely disregard them. Others you will set once and forget about them. In addition, once you understand your camera a little […]

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An Introduction to Black and White Photography

Many photographers wax nostalgic about black and white photography. If you have been around photography for any length of time, then you have almost certainly heard some old photographer carry on about the “timeless look” of black and white pictures. They will also try to justify the lack of color in their image, saying it […]

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Using a Tilt-Shift Lens to Maximize Depth of Field

You want to maximize the depth of field of your images. You understand, however, that shooting at very small apertures can negatively affect image quality because of diffraction. You also know that the “sweet spot” for most lenses is somewhere in the range of f/5.6 – 8.0. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could use […]

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Review of the Nikon D5500

Today we’re going to talk about the Nikon D5500. It was released in early 2015 and billed by Nikon as “the world’s smallest, lightest, and slimmest digital SLR camera.” The key improvements in this camera are the addition of Wifi and a touchscreen LCD that swivels. After a brief introduction to the key features and specs, we’ll then see […]

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Raw vs. JPEG: The End of the Debate

If you have been around photography for longer than 20 minutes you have no doubt been exposed to “Raw vs. JPEG” discussions. The issue is which format to use for your digital photos. We’ll start with JPEG, which is a universal file format used by nearly all cameras and computers. Digital cameras adopted this format and […]

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Q&A: How to Get Sharper Photos

I received a question from a reader about how to make his photos sharper, which I think might apply to a lot of people. With his permission, here is his question and my response: Jim, I am enjoying your interesting and helpful articles on outdoor photography.  I am shooting a Canon 30D and enjoy using my […]

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A Simple and Cheap Backup Strategy

Your photos are likely quite precious to you. When you ask most people what thing they would save if their house was on fire, the answer, more often than not, is: “my pictures, since they cannot be replaced.” And yet, the drives on which these photos are saved are destined to failure. If and when they […]

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A Process for Working the Scene: Sketching

Some photographers never carry a tripod. It slows them down and gets in their way. Other photographers always shoot from a tripod. These photographers usually prefer being slowed down, and are very precise about the pictures they take. If you are one of these types of photographers, this article isn’t for you. Rather, this article […]

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Right-sizing Your Photos for the Web

Many of us post our photos to the web, and the question often arises as to what size photos should be used. If you post pictures with file sizes that are too large, you will bog down your website and make users (and search engines) unhappy. At the same time, you want your photos to […]

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In Defense of “Chimping”

If you are just starting out in photography, then what I’m about to tell you in this article will seem like the most obvious stuff in the world. In fact, it will appear banal and stupid. But if you’ve been shooting for a while, you might have been exposed to a philosophy that I think […]

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8-bit vs. 16-bit: What Does It Mean to Me?

You have perhaps heard that JPEGS are 8-bit files, while RAW files are up to 16-bit files.  That gets repeated a lot, and it one of the justifications for encouraging everyone to shoot Raw files. But you may wonder what impact this actually has on our pictures. What does bit-depth even mean? If you’re like […]

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