The Digital Photo Guy

Monday Morning Tip – 6/1/09

by on Jun.01, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips

As promised, today’s MMT is a continuation of Adobe Camera Raw. I figure I can milk ACR for 3-4 more MMTs. Today, we’ll cover cropping in ACR. I’ll bet most of you never thought I could write a full MMT on cropping but it’s true. There’s more to cropping than mindlessly drawing a box around a subject and cutting off the extraneous stuff. We don’t have time to get into the aesthetics of cropping but we discuss the many ways the Crop Tool can be applied in ACR.

As always, the full MMT can be found HERE, on the Tips & News page. If you don’t have a password to get into the MMT area, register for this site and one will be e-mailed to you.

Quick Tips

When creating panoramas, be sure your camera is in Manual mode to prevent the exposure from changing from frame to frame. It will look really odd to have one frame lighter or darker than the ones next to it. Sure, it can be fixed in Photoshop but the goal is to always get as good an image as possible straight out of the camera.

A good thing to have when shooting panos is a bubble level so your camera is perfectly level. If it’s not level, it will be much more difficult to “stitch” the frames together. Again, it can be fixed in Photoshop but it’s always a lot easier to get it right “SOOC” (straight out of camera). Bubble levels are the easiest to use and there are many tripods that have them built into the tripod base but a cheap $0.99 level from Home Depot set atop your hot shoe can be just as effective. Just be sure it sits flat on the hot shoe rails.

Finally, I’m sure everyone knows this but, be sure to overlap each frame by, at least, 20% or more. Any less and the pano software will not be able to “guessimate” how the edges should be stitched. This will result in clearly visible “joints”.

More Flash Fun

If you’ve ever been fascinated by photographs of drops of water falling, hitting, splashing and otherwise creating those cool geometric patterns, go to David Hobby’s Strobist site. He has a great tutorial on making such photos. The photos in the slideshow were created by readers over the past week.

If you don’t have an external flash, you can buy a cheap SunPak Auto 144 PC Thyrister flash on  eBay(~US$20) with a Wein Peanut Slave (US$19.95) from B&H Photo Video. Just be sure the flash has a PC connector where the Wein Peanut can plug in. The best “cheap” flash is the LumoPro 120 from MidWest Photo Exchange. It’s still US$129.95 but that beats US$400-500 for a Canon or Nikon flash.

Palomar College classes

OK, now I’m begging and groveling. Tell your friends and family to register for classes at Palomar College. Registrations are way off and the school may have to drop all non-credit, community development classes unless we can fill them. Remember, my classes (except “Hands-On Photoshoots) are conducted via webcast so you don’t even have to be in San Diego County. Go HERE for more info.

It seems the classes that fill during an economic downturn are those that promise to teach you how to make money. I’ve been asked to think of ways students can use their cameras to make money but I keep coming back to my basic philosophy, “To make a small fortune in photography, start with a large fortune.” That said, is there any interest out there for a class on the business of photography? If I develop a class about building a photography business, would anyone attend?


Comments are closed.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!