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Tag: post processing

The raw vs JPEG showdown : Which file format is better?

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The raw vs JPEG showdown : Which file format is better?

Since the dawn of digital photography, photographers have been fighting it out, trying to ascertain which photo file format is best. Some will swear by RAW files with their seemingly limitless options, while others claim JPEGs are smaller, quicker, and better. I’m here to help break down the differences, similarities, pitfalls, and perks of both RAW and JPEG to maybe even settle this age-old (or decade old) battle.
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Basics: What is RAW and how does it help Photographers?

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Basics: What is RAW and how does it help Photographers?

Does your camera have a RAW file format selection in its Image Quality option? Chances are it has one, but most of the time this gets ignored in favor of the JPEGs. After all, we are more familiar with the JPEG options, right? So in this article we are going to dive in and learn about this image file format and see how it can benefit us in our photography.
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Using the Levels Tool in Photoshop Elements

Using the Levels Tool in Photoshop Elements

Do you use the brightness and contrast sliders in Photoshop Elements to correct photos with poor contrast or flat tones? Stop that immediately! Those brightness and contrast sliders are really pretty limited compared to what you can do with the levels tool. The Levels tool is a hugely useful tool for all photographers, and today I’ll show you how to use it!
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The Benefits of a Raw File Format

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The Benefits of a Raw File Format

Intermediate Raw vs. jpeg is a debate that continues to exist in the digital photography world. But there are some distinct advantages to the raw format. If you have considered adjusting your camera’s image quality setting to raw, it is worth a try to see what all of the fuss is about. You will need to be prepared to spend more time post processing (at least initially), but therein lies the beauty of a raw file. There is so much you can do!

Raw files, or digital negatives, contain the complete data from your camera’s sensor. Just like raw food is uncooked, raw images are unprocessed. They are not compressed or modified in any way. It is truly untouched and “as is”. None of the typical adjustments your camera may make to an image in terms of sharpness, noise reduction, etc. have occurred. The file must be processed and exported as an image file for use. Raw opens up a whole new world of editing possibilities. Many of the common problems with images, like poor exposure or improper white balance, can be “fixed” in post processing of a raw image.
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6 advantages of shooting in RAW

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6 advantages of shooting in RAW

Yes, RAW. I know you’ve heard of it, even if you’re not using it. It’s that sort-of intimidating format you hear so many other photographers swear by. If you’re filtering out most of the white noise you hear about shooting in RAW, what you’re probably getting is this: RAW is better. But why? And is it for you?
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Help! My Prints look awful

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Help! My Prints look awful

Don’t box up that camera and send it back to the manufacturer just yet. There are lots of reasons why your camera may be producing images that look great on your computer and bad on paper. The good news is that most of these issues are easily correctable once you understand your camera’s settings and have a good idea about what you’re going to be doing with your photos. The key is in your camera’s resolution and your monitor’s calibration.
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Creating Better Black and White Photos

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Creating Better Black and White Photos

Back in the caveman days, you know, when we took photos on film, a formal education in photography often began with black and white. Black and white photography was a good format for beginning students because the film was easy to process and darkroom techniques were straightforward. Today we bypass that whole film-to-darkroom thing, so a lot of us are passing over the opportunity to learn about shooting in black and white. After all, why would we want to shoot in drab shades of gray? We live in a color world.

If this is your thinking, it’s time to re-examine the way you think about photography – and the way you see the world around you. Black and white photos have something that color photos do not: simplicity. When you strip away all the color from a scene, you immediately have something that is simpler than its original.
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Capturing the Heart and Soul of Your Subjects

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Capturing the Heart and Soul of Your Subjects

The difference between an acceptable photograph and an amazing one is often made not in camera or post-production but in your ability to connect with your subject. This becomes especially important that when those subjects are people. While cameras don’t steal souls like it was once believed in some cultures, they do give us the ability record and revisit people, places, and things as they once were. In order to capture the soul of your subject, you will need to think about how we interact with each other every day and pay attention to the small details that make us each unique.
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How to take a Perfect Panoramic Photograph

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How to take a Perfect Panoramic Photograph

Today’s point and shoot cameras have a ton of bells and whistles. If you own one of these little cameras, you may not even be aware of all of those fancy features. In fact you may be surprised to discover that your little point and shoot (or phone camera) is capable of some things that your DSLR isn’t. One of the most widely under-utilized bells (or maybe whistles) that point and shoot camera have is the panoramic mode. While you certainly can take panoramic images using a camera without this feature, it does make these shots infinitely simpler.

But what if you don’t have one of these cameras? Let’s see how to take images appropriate for panoramas, and how to stitch them together.
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Infrared Photography

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Infrared Photography

If you’ve studied and practised photography for long enough, you know that a great photo is one that gives the viewer a unique perspective on the world. That can be done in many different ways–by choosing a unique subject, by taking the photo from an unusual vantage point, by carefully selecting depth of field or shutter speed, or by experimenting with camera equipment such as filters and special lenses.

One way to almost guarantee a photo will make people stop and take notice is to try your hand at infrared photography. Now, if you’ve ever spent time watching scary movies you’ve probably already seen infrared in action – apparently that’s one way to spot a ghost – but you may not be familiar with using infrared (IR) to capture less frightening scenes, such as landscapes. And you don’t have to go shopping at the Catch-A-Ghost Emporium either, nor do you have to spend a truckload of money on high tech equipment. You can start capturing great IR photos, in fact, for around 100 bucks – with the understanding of course that if you get hooked on it you might want to make further investments.
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Will Android cameras replace the point-and-shoot?

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Will Android cameras replace the point-and-shoot?

A little while ago I wrote about the Nikon Coolpix S800c, the Android-powered camera that is essentially a smart phone/point and shoot hybrid. The S800c is now part of a revolution – sort of. It might be more accurate to just call it a pioneer, like those first airplanes that weren’t particularly safe and really couldn’t cover much distance, but showed great potential for the future – if only designers could get past all those bumps in the road… err, sky.

The S800c isn’t the only bird in the sky: Samsung released its Galaxy Camera late last year, and Polaroid has just announced the iM1836, which has the distinction of being the world’s first Android-based camera with interchangeable lenses. So now that there is actually a smattering of choice in this marketplace, is it a good time to jump on the “smart camera” bandwagon?
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Take Interesting Photos In Boring Places

Take Interesting Photos In Boring Places

This week I received a letter from a reader who asks a very poignant question. Olivia Polerowicz wants to know:

“I was wondering how to take good pictures in not so interesting places. The thing is, I live in a not particularly interesting place and so my photos kinda show it. I have a problem with trying to find the right subject and how to make it interesting. I have the right camera and everything. I was wondering if you could help?”

Sure, I’m happy to help!
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Improve Your Photography with Unusual Photographs

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Improve Your Photography with Unusual Photographs

If I had to guess, I would say that 99 out of 100 hobby photographers never bend their legs. It’s not so hard to see why – human beings view the world mostly from one or two perspectives: standing up and sitting down. Occasionally we will also lie down in a place other than our beds or the sofa, but for the most part everything we see comes to us at a perspective of somewhere between five and six feet off the ground.

So most photographers don’t think about finding other angles, because the angle from which we view the world most of the time is so familiar and comfortable. But the sad truth is, it’s also boring. When you walk past that favorite city landmark and snap a photo of it, the chances are really good that your photo will look exactly like the last thousand photos that the last thousand photographers took of that same landmark–unless you spent some time thinking about your subject and how you could capture it in a unique way.
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Adobe Lightroom – The best photo organizing software available

Adobe Lightroom – The best photo organizing software available

For photo organization, nothing beats an old shoebox. Actually, everything beats an old shoebox, which is one of many reasons why modern photographers ought to be thankful for digital. Digital photos don’t have to be printed and filed away somewhere, and we no longer have to keep track of the physical location of our negatives, most of which are difficult to identify by sight and either have to be well-labelled or painstakingly held up to a window and squinted at.

But the blessing of easy-to-store digital photographs can also be a curse, because photographers tend to get a bit lazy about those thousands of images that need some sort of permanent home. Filing them manually can be tedious, and renaming them to something logical (vs. that cryptic IMG_, DSC_ or other variation thereof) is nothing short of a huge time suck. Feeling daunted? Enter Adobe Lightroom.
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How to Photograph Smoke

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How to Photograph Smoke

If you spend a lot of time on Flickr or just browsing through photography books in search of artsy, eye-popping images, chances are you’ve seen some really cool pictures of smoke – pictures that you aren’t quite sure how to duplicate. While it has its place in scenic photography, I don’t mean the smoke from a campfire or the stuff that comes out of a chimney. The photos I’m referring to are studio shots of smoke. You know the sort of thing I mean: those ethereal images of wispy, swirling smoke shot against a black backdrop–the ones that look like they were created by a computer or an artist rather than a photographer.
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