If you take a lot of digital photos but are frustrated with the strange yellow glow or green hue to your results, weblog Of Zen and Computing's guide to adjusting the white balance of digital photos is for you. Taking you step-by-step through adjusting the colour temperature in Photoshop, the guide makes it easy to understand how to fix these imbalances and give your pictures the more natural look they deserve. We've covered this territory once in the past, but this post's screenshots and detailed instructions are worth another look if you're new to correcting colour. How to Adjust the White Balance of a Digital Photo
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Whether trying to win bidders on eBay or attract eyeballs on a tutorial or craft site, the best way to stand out is with an attractive, detail-showing picture. Photography tutorial site Photojojo offers a wealth of tips for your camera, your staging, and other things to keep in mind while trying to represent your goods. Two bits of advice many commerce-minded shooters should heed:For small items such as jewelry, you can use more interesting backgrounds. Gemmafactrix uses vintage books and industrial surfaces to show off her jewelry on Etsy, and it works great. Wood, paper, cloth and metal can all add a little something to your images.For tutorials and larger items like clothing, you'll have to pull back to get everything in the shot. Make sure the rest of your studio/ apartment/ mobile command unit isn't visible in the shot. Set up by a blank wall and use it as a backdrop.
DIY photography site Photojojo offers up 10 helpful tips for photo-obsessed foodies or anyone trying to capture a really great meal for posterity. Along with some general suggestions on framing and colour balancing, they recommend making the most of your table setting to eliminate blurs and grainy shots:Hold still. In low-light situations like restaurants and kitchens, long exposures will register any camera movement as blur. Use a tripod whenever possible. If you don't have one, try resting your camera on a water glass or the back of a chair. Or make yourself a string tripod.Here's a how to guide for using that last suggestion. Photo by MR+G. The Ten Tastiest Food Photography Tips
The Digital Photography School blog has a great beginner's guide to capturing an effect familiar to fans of middle-brow films and photo exhibits—light trails. Any camera with a full-featured "manual" mode that grants exposure control can capture light movement, and the guide helps you plan good trail shots. For instance:
Timing/Light - One might think that the middle of the night is the best time for light trail photography (and it can be) - however one very effective time to do it is just as the sun is going down (just before and after). If you shoot at this time you'll not only capture light from cars, but ambient light in the sky which can add atmosphere to your shots.With a little practice (and a healthy dose of patience), your street and nightlife photos will stand out. Photo by Waka Jawaka.
How to Shoot Light Trails
Photo-project site Photojojo offers a simple guide to creating a cheap fisheye lens—the kind that give great skateboarding and sports shots their all-encompassing look—for a digital SLR camera. The only ingredients are a pair of far-sighted glasses (the thicker the lenses, the better) and black electrical tape. You won't have an easily swap-able attachment or a professional wide-angle lens, but you capture some pretty unique angles, as shown in the related Flickr set. Point-and-shoot enthusiasts can get similar results with an $11 wide angle lens.
The DIY Fisheye Lens -- Using Nothin' But a Pair of Old Glasses and Some Tape
After a recent two-hour sit at the DMV, I watched most people leaving bitter and complaining about the photo on their new driver's licence. This reaction to a bad photo isn't surprising, considering you have to live with it for years. These days, you've got to show your driver's license just about every time you use a credit card or fill a prescription. People have commented I always take a good driver's licence photo. There's a trick to it and today I will detail the steps I take to get a good pic.
Professional Photographer Magazine has a relatively easy to understand long but helpful guide to histograms, the graphs that show what levels of light were captured by a digital camera's sensor. Along with detailing the changes that happen when you export to JPEG files, the guide introduces a concept that, while debatable, has found favour with some professionals—"expose to the right," or shooting a photo strategically over-exposed to capture detail and then adjusting it later in editing software. If you've ever wondered how the strange graphs in Photoshop or your camera's screen relate to good and bad photos, this guide can help demystify the process.
How To Read and Understand a Histogram
Need to take a self portrait but you're just not able to get it right? Phototography weblog Photodoto suggests ways to overcome the obstacle and take perfectly focused shots. Place an object where you will be posing and focus using auto-focus. Then put the camera in manual mode with a remote shutter and shoot. If that doesn't work, measure the distance from the camera and use the markings on the lens to determine the focus in manual mode. You can also experiment with a different aperture to see if your photograph will come out sharply. If all else fails, get someone else to take your picture.
6 Methods for Perfectly Focused Self-Portraits
Having a strong source of natural light is a boost to most any picture—unless it's pointing right at the lens. The Digital Photography School blog offers a few tricks and tips to help non-professionals shooting at the beach, from a low angle or wherever the glare of the sun intrudes. Using a DIY lens hood, for example, can prevent the lens flare effect that only rarely works in a photo's favour. Have any of your own direct sunlight tips? Let's hear 'em in the comments. Photo by MoonSoleil.
As fall rolls into early winter (at least here in the Northeast), rain storms are becoming a more common occurrence. On the brighter side, that means more post-storm rainbows with picture-perfect color. The Digital Photography School blog rounds up the best advice for shooting those rare occurrences, including this not-so-obvious tip:The point where a rainbow hits the ground/horizon is an important point in any rainbow photograph. This is a natural point of interest so think about where you'll put it in the frame. You might want to zoom in on this spot or even quickly change your own position so that it lines up with some other object in the scene.Novices and seasoned shooters alike will find more tips on aperture, filters, focal length, and other adjustments in the post. Photo by absolutwade
Whether you're planning to take your minuature ghosts and goblins out on the town or dress up yourself, chances are you'll want to snag a few photos of the terrifying world around you this Halloween. And since a lot of Halloween festivities take place after dark, photography weblog Digital Photography School suggests adjusting your exposure for optimal night shots. For example:Increase your ISO - the larger your number the more sensitive your image sensor is to light and the darker conditions you can shoot in without having to slow down shutter speed. On the downside you'll get more grainy/noisey shots.The post also suggests slowing your shutter speed and increasing your aperture size—along with several other non-light-related Halloween picture taking tips. Photo by base10.
We've all heard about "magic hour"—those hours around sunrise and sunset that produce the best natural-light photography and filming conditions—but photography weblog Photojojo offers a simple tip for knowing when your outdoor pics will produce that soft magic hour look: "Photograph outdoors when your shadow is longer than you are." Doing so will ensure you don't end up with harshly lit, high-contrast photos that don't do justice to you and your loved ones' beautiful faces or the soft nuance of the fall colors. Lighting-wise, the post also suggests that overcast days can be terrific for fall photography. If you're looking for more ways to boost your fall photos, the author offers several other tips for great fall photos worth checking out.
12 Fantastic Fall Photo Tips -- Our Extra-Crunchy Guide to Leaf Peaping