Ask David: Wedding Photography, Selective Color, Cheaper Photoshop purchases, and Photography Myths :: Digital Photo Secrets

Ask David: Wedding Photography, Selective Color, Cheaper Photoshop purchases, and Photography Myths

by David Peterson 4 comments

In my regular Ask David column, I answer common questions from my readers. By answering them here, I hope to help everyone else who might have this problem, and not just the person who asked the question.

Today, we cover wedding photography, selective color, cheaper Photoshop purchases, and quash a few common photography myths.

The first question today comes from Diane Cronin, from Kent

hello david i have been asked by a family member to to some wedding photos i wonder if you could give me some tips on how to do this i would be very grateful.

I did an interview with a wedding photographer a while back. Gary gives lots and lots of useful information for taking photos at weddings. Listen to the interview here.

Dale Murphy, from Laurel, USA asks a common question:

How can I choose one item in a picture to be colored and the rest of the shot, black and white. Can I just shoot in black and white with my rebel xsi. Thanks for your help.

While you can shoot in black and white, you're making way too much work for yourself.

Shoot the whole image in color, and then use a paint program to select the bits of your photo to convert to blank and white. It's called Selective Coloring.

I wrote an article on how to create a selective color shot a while ago, as well as gave some great examples of using selective color.

Tim Smith of Wetaskiwin, Canada (great town name, Tim!) writes:

Do you know if Corel Paintshop or Adobe Photoshop has a free download for starters. I know I can't afford the top of the line download

Neither company have a free download, but they both have a 30 day free trial. With the trial version, you can use the full features for a month but you'll need to pay if you want to continue using the software after that.

Here are the links to the free trial versions:
Photoshop 30 day trial
Paintshop free trial

I also have a few other options for you:

Adobe also sells Photoshop Elements which is a cut down version of Photoshop CS. It's much cheaper and it still includes the most common tasks that most photographers want to do. You can purchase from here.

Finally. Adobe have a subscription licence for their CS software in certain countries. With this, you can rent the software and pay for it only when you need to use it. So, if you only need to use CS for a few months a year, it's much cheaper to purchase a 2 month subscription than to purchase the full product. See the Adobe subscription page for more details.

Finally, I want to quash to common photography myths. The first is from Gavin Rothman from Uitenhage, South Africa.

This is to quash a myth: I have been told that when photos are deleted from the memory card still installed in the camera, this will damage the memory card. Is this true?

Definitely a myth, Gavin. Deleting photos from your memory card uses the same process as when you delete them on your computer. It will never damage your card. Note that you CAN damage your card if you take it out of the camera (or your computer) while the camera is writing a photo to the car. So make sure your camera is off when removing the memory card.

And Pax asked in a comment on my Is Digital Camera Image Stabilization Important post:

Is it true that if you use your IS while using a tripod that the IS can be damaged using long exposures.

That's also a myth. Way back in 2005 when the first consumer level Image Stabilization was released, Canon recommended to turn off IS when using a tripod (for long exposures) as with the camera perfectly still it could mess with the IS circuitry and produce a more blurry image with IS enabled.

However it won't damage your lens, just take a more blurry image. And it's no longer necessary (other than to conserve a bit of battery life) because newer models fixed the problem with the early IS lenses.

I hope that helps.

If YOU have a question, please feel free to send in your question on my Ask David page. Because of the amount of questions I receive, I can't always answer your specific question, but I do try!


  1. Tim M. says:

    I teach at photography and digital media Maranatha Baptist Bible College. In our courses we still teach a class in Digital Imaging using Adobe Photoshop. For some of the class assignments I know student's use GIMP on their own computers. I allow them to use the program but tell them I don't know the intricate details like I do Photoshop.

  2. Susan van der Walt says:

    Hi David,

    I've recently acquired Photoshop Elments 9 and d just love it. It have more than enough functionality for amateur photographers. I have dowloaded it from the Adobe website (nearly 2GB and took nearly 16 hours) and then just bought the license directly from Adobe. MUCH cheaper than buying it in a store!!!

    Love your newsletter!

  3. David Peterson says:

    Hi James,

    The problem with the Gimp is it's still too hard to use. I've been watching it for at least 8 years and while the features are as good as Photoshop, it's still too hard to learn for the layperson. That's why I don't recommend it.

    But if you love it, keep using it!


  4. James L. says:

    There is a paint program that you can download FREE and use it FREE!
    Called "GIMP.COM" it is the same as photoshop if not better!

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