Recently in Photography Category

There are little quirks I've never liked about iPhoto. It seems slow to respond, it makes extra copies of files. At one point you could put iPhoto on a diet, but you shouldn't need to download software to unbloat other software. For purely online photo storage and minor editing, the photo features built into Google+ are quite good. I continue to maintain a Flickr account for photo sharing. For true desktop photo management, there are a couple of great options.

In terms of replacing iPhoto, look no further than Lyn to provide multiple viewing options and a rich set of features. Lyn includes histogram adjustments for color correction along with a set of non-destructive editing tools. You can view photos on a map in the application, to see where you took them. A number of upload options are available, including Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox, and Picasa (aka Google+). Lyn is also compatible with existing iPhoto, Aperture, and Lightroom libraries. Most common image formats, including RAW and JPG are supported. [Mac OS X $20.00]

Lyn iPhoto alternative

Another interesting image manager is Pixa. It makes it easy to find and organize image files on your Mac, no matter where you choose to store them initially. An auto-tagging feature helps organize images by color and size, which is probably more useful for those of us who use images in a work context, but can also come in handy when you want to find specific images quickly. Pixa is integrated with Dropbox, so you can easily share images or simply make a backup that's stored in the cloud. [Mac OS X $30.00]

"I want to add a caption on a photo I'm uploading. I know it can be done because I see this on other people's pictures. Is there a way I can add text to a picture before I put it on the web?"

You are correct, you can add text to a picture before you upload it. For very basic text, you have all the tools you need already installed on your computer. To show you just how simple this is, I'll walk you through an example.

If you ever decide to print a book of photos to give to someone, the list of printing companies to choose from is a bit overwhelming. It would be easy to just pick a company and hope for the best, but you might end up with a below average product. Jason Dunn of Digital Home Thoughts attempts to take some of the guesswork out of choosing a photo book printing company in his review of 14 different book printers. The only one I think he's missing is the iPhoto book printing service, but it's highly possible that Apple outsources the book printing to one of these 14 companies. This is a truly epic undertaking in terms of photo book review efforts and something well worth reading before you trust your photography with just any printing company.

Each year I get several questions about photographing fireworks around the 4th of July and again around New Year's. I always intend to post an article on shooting fireworks photos, but the holiday seems to conspire against me and I never get it done. This year, I've managed to pull it off. While I can't promise you'll be the Ansel Adams of fireworks after reading these tips, I'm confident you'll take better photos than you did last year.

fireworks photograph by DenGuy via Use a Tripod If you get nothing else from this article, remember that it's almost impossible to do great fireworks photography without a tripod. One of the keys to photographing fireworks is the longer exposure time for your camera, which captures both the fireworks and any movements made by your camera as your shooting. A stable mounting makes all the difference and also allows you to adjust your camera at angles it might be unnatural to hold the camera. If you don't have a tripod, find an unmoving surface, like the roof of your car or a wall, but generally speaking even a cheap tripod will serve you better.

Remote Shutter Release If your camera came with any kind of remote control, now is the time to learn how to use it. You want that camera to be unmoving as you are taking pictures of fireworks. When you use a tripod, the single most common cause of camera shake is pressing the button to snap a photo. The tradeoff here is you also need to be able to anticipate shots, which can be tricky in any circumstances. Start practicing with the remote prior to the fireworks display so you are prepared for great photographs.

"I almost never need to scan documents, so I don't own a scanner. Today I need to scan in something I signed, can I just use my digital camera as a document scanner since a scan is a picture?"

There have been many occasions where someone needed me to sign a document and fax it back when I was no where near a fax machine or a scanner. In those cases, my solution has always been to take a picture, clean it up with photo editing software and upload it using an online fax service like MyFax. So the answer to your question is yes, but I'd also like to share something I found that makes it easier.

"I accidentally deleted photos from my digital camera memory card. Is there any way to get my deleted pictures back?"

I will warn you up front that there is no guaranteed method of recovering deleted files. When you delete anything, there's always a chance you won't get it back. There are solutions for recovering files and in many cases you can recover deleted pictures from your camera's memory card. You can pick from several choices in software for recovering deleted photos, but I happen to like Zero Assumption Image Recovery.

The first thing to do before attempting any photo recovery is to stop taking pictures on your memory card (until you've recovered the deleted photos). Every new photo you take increases the chance you will overwrite the portion of your memory card where that deleted picture was stored, making recovery almost impossible.

There have been several occasions where I wanted to upload some photos and images to post online, but I didn't have immediate access to my computer with Photoshop Elements installed on it. I've used Adobe's Photoshop Express a few times, but it feels far to cumbersome for minor edits and it doesn't support common image types like GIF. More recently, I'm finding Picnik to be a great alternative for editing images from any computer. There's nothing to install, so you don't need to worry about having administrator permissions. Picnik supports JPEG, GIF, and PNG, which are the primary formats I'd work with in a pinch. Features include resize, crop, sharpen, minor color correction, exposure and contrast, and the ability to save out more than one file format when you're done. If you upload images to Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, PhotoBucket, Picasa, Webshots, or FreeWebs, you can edit those images using Picnik. I also have a plug-in for editing images uploaded to Movable Type, which further extends the usefulness of Picnik. There is a $25 version, which is useful if you need to upload many files at a time, but for quick edits on the go, the free version of Picnik will likely be all you ever need. In addition to bailing me out in a pinch, I'm looking at Picnik as a handy way to edit files on a netbook without needing to use precious disk space for a bulky application.

Free Photo Editing Software - Picnik

Windows Pro Photo Tools makes an interesting companion to Windows Live Photo Gallery. If you travel, this is a handy way to add location data to images without necessarily needing a GPS. Browsing images with Pro Photo Tools, you can add a location, automatically look up GPS coordinates for the image, store them in the file, but have the image display a human readable location entry. If you already have GPS data, the app will help you look up the location name fairly quickly. Additional EXIF and metadata include description, details about the photographer, usage rights, and a bunch of additional information. Location data of images can be used to plot your photos on a map to either create a route map, or to simply get a birds eye view of where you took photos during a trip or event. If you work with RAW images, an additional photo codec may be required for your digital camera. [Windows XP/Vista $0.00]

Windows Pro Photo Tools

Back in April I recommended Windows Live Photo Gallery as an essential upgrade to the built-in photo browsing of Windows XP. It also enhances Vista, but the difference isn't nearly as dramatic. Since my initial recommendation, the Windows Live team made additional enhancements and exposed some features to allow other people to make Windows Live Photo Gallery even better. In addition to better tagging of images, basic photo cropping and red-eye removal, there are vastly improved online sharing features. At the time I first wrote about the app, Windows Live Spaces was the only place you could upload photos. Now Windows Live Photo Gallery supports uploading to Flickr, Picasa Web, SmugMug, and any Drupal installation via a set of handy plugins. In theory someone could write a plugin to upload almost anywhere. The nice thing about the way its done is you only install the upload tools you need. [Windows XP/Vista $0.00]

Download Windows Live Photo Gallery

I tend to only use a fisheye lens when I want to distort an image, but there are times when you might use a fisheye lens for other purposes. For instance, say you want to capture everyone in a room in the same photo, but your lens doesn't have a wide enough angle or you simply can't move far enough away from your subject. The fisheye effectively shoots to the corners in those scenarios, with the downside being you get a warped image. Fisheye-Hemi plug-in to the rescue! Shoot with your fisheye lens to get everything in the shot, then use the software to 'fix' the image and make everyone look normal. In most cases you can get the image to appear as if you started with the correct camera lens in the first place. This is made by the same people who do ShineOff and PearlyWhites. [Windows XP/Vista $29.95]

Download Fisheye-Hemi Plug-in

Before Fisheye-Hemi

Fisheye Hemispheric Distortion Correction

After Fisheye-Hemi

Fisheye Hemispheric Distortion Correction

Fixing Underwater Photos Part 3
Fixing Underwater Photos Part 2
Fixing Underwater Photos Part 1
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Canon Powershot S3 IS Video Recording
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Batch Crop Digital Photos and Images
Fixing Haze in Digital Photos
HP Helps You Lose 10 Pounds - No Diet Required
Roxio MediaTicker
Water Ripples Plugin
WildBit Viewer
Continuous Mode and Burst Mode Photography
Free RAW Viewer
StudioLine Photo Basic
DIY Greenscreen
Mounting a Camera to your bike
Flickr Advanced User Guide
Unique Filer
Delete Your Duplicate Photos
How Digital Photography Works
DIY Bicycle Camera Mount
Online Photo Printing Services
Print flickr Photos
Norman Koren Photography
ADG Panorama Tools
PRINT Image Matching
GIF Optimizer
Tripod Basics Tutorial
Glamor Photography Tutorial
Color Blender
Easy JPEG Printer
Canon PowerShot SD400 Review
Sony DSC H1 vs. Canon S2 IS
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T33 Digital Camera
Nikon D50 Review
Photography Lessons on Video
Buying a Compact Digital Camera
Dealing With Digital Camera Lag
Shooting Digital Photos And Video In The Cold
PHOTORECOVERY for Digital Media

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