This was a great year for all things photography, with posts to help you behind the camera, in front of it, when you're shooting and when you're editing. Here's a look back at our most popular photography tips, tricks and hacks of 2011.
Want to learn how everything works in Photoshop? This Lifehacker Night School series can help you make your photos better, draw vector graphics, and design a web site.
If you're looking for a way to draw more attention to the crucial elements in your photographic composition, the Fibonacci Ratio offers a way to direct your viewers eye to the critical parts of your photo. Here's a look at how you can implement it to compose better images. More »
If you've got one of Canon's amazing video-capable DSLRs, you know you've got a powerful camera. What you may not know is that you can add some incredible features, for free, with an open-source firmware add-on called Magic Lantern. Here's how. More »
Want to learn the basics of photography? In this Lifehacker Night School course we cover everything from the way your camera works, to composing your photos, to editing them in post. Here's the complete guide, along with a PDF of all the lessons and some additional resources for learning more. More »
Your digital camera, whether it's built in to your mobile phone or it's a hefty DSLR, is an incredible creative tool. If you've only used it as it comes straight out of the box, however, you're only scratching the surface. Here are our top 10 photography hacks to supercharge your camera. More »
While it always helps to start by taking better photos with your smartphone, should you end up with a sub-par image you're not out of luck. Here's how to make it look like your photo came from a nicer camera. More »
Not all photo hacks take place behind the camera. Sometimes you have to get your picture taken, too. So take a minute and try to imagine what you look like. Chances are the amount of detail you're able to conjure up in your mind's eye is about as detailed and accurate as a self portrait you made in grade school. When you're in a photo, however, you try to look good by replicating a visual memory. You know what a smile looks like, so you make one. The problem is, this doesn't work. You need to remember what a smile feels like and not how it looks. More »
You can do just about anything to an image with Photoshop, but if you don't have the cash to shell out, free program the GIMP — available for Windows, Linux and OS X — can take you pretty far. Here are our favourite Photoshop how-tos that also work in the GIMP. More »
Painting with light — the process of illustrating or writing with light in a slow exposure photograph — is a pretty stunning effect that's surprisingly simple to accomplish. Here's how to do it. More »
Photoshop is an amazing tool that can take any photo and change it into anything you can imagine. While it can take years of practice to alter reality like a pro, there are a few simple tricks you can employ to reshape the world captured in your photos. Here are five of our favourite techniques and how to use them effectively. More »
StolenCameraFinder is a clever web app that can help locate your stolen camera by using a photo you've already taken with it. All you have to do is drag some photos on to the main page and it'll do its just in a matter of seconds. More »
2011's coming to a close and everyone's in a rush to get their picture taken for Christmas cards, albums, or even their brand-new Facebook profiles. Here's how to use any camera you've got and some DIY tricks to take awesome portraits. More »
We've mentioned a few tips for cleaning your camera lens before, but if you haven't done it before, the Nikon Help Hotline shows us — in step by step video form — how it's done. More »
Camera makers like to advertise that their camera has the most megapixels, but in reality the high numbers are pretty much irrelevant to the average consumer. When you're printing your images, chances are you need far fewer megapixels than you think. Here's how to figure out how large your images actually need to be so you can avoid overspending on a camera that takes unnecessarily high resolution photos. More »
Your camera probably takes pretty great photos in good lighting situations, but blurry and/or noisy photos when the light gets low. Here's how you can take better low-light photos without buying a bunch of money on a fancy camera or professional equipment. More »
Choosing a digital camera used to be a simple process that was heavily dictated by the amount of money in your pocket. Now the same money can buy you different benefits and compromises, making the decision much more complex. Here's a look at your camera-buying options, the pros and cons of each and some specific suggestions to help you pick the perfect camera for your needs. More »
Create an Instant "Green Screen" with Your Computer's Display for Quick and Dirty Background Removal
Removing backgrounds from photos can be a little tedious, but when you have a solid colour behind your subject the process becomes a lot easier. You may not think you have an evenly-lit solid colour background in your toolkit, but your computer's display can actually be a quick-and-dirty tool for "green screening" your photos. Here's how it works. More »
There you have it. It's been a great year for photography, with plenty of camera hacks and Photoshop tricks under our belt. Whether your favourite of the year made the list or not, we'd love to hear about the photo tip, trick or hack that helped you most in the comments. Happy 2011, photographers!