The Digital Photo Guy

Monday Morning Tip – 6/15/09

by on Jun.14, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips

(Added Photoshoot info at the bottom)

Monday Morning Tip

OK, I know you’re probably sick and tired of ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) so this is the last one for a while. We’ve really only begun to scratch the surface but there’s a limit to how much time I can spend playing with and writing about ACR and I’m sure there’s a limit to how much you want to read.

Today, we cover the Histogram in ACR and, in passing, mention the Exif data and RGB values below the Histogram. BTW, per Japan Electronic Industry Development Association (JEIDA), the keeper of Exif standards, the proper terminology is Exif with a capital “E” and the rest in lower case and it is an ancronym for Exchangeable image file format.

As always, the full MMT is in the Tips & News section and requires a password that is e-mailed to you upon registeration. Registration is simply a means of preserving the value of the MMTs for readers. Without registration, there would bots slurping down all the MMTs and who knows where they would end up.

Quick Tip

When using an external flash, did you know that there is a modeling light feature? A modeling light puts out a low power, pulsed light so you see what the scene will look like when the flash fires. It’s great for detecting where the light and shadow will fall. In the old days, photographers often used Polaroids to get a sense of the lighting and pose but a modeling light is more convenient. Like a Polaroid, it won’t give you a completely accurate view of the final image but it gets you in the ballpark.

To activate the Canon modeling light, press the Depth of Field Preview button on your Canon camera. On current Nikon flashes, only the SB800 and SB900 have modeling lights. They are triggered by a separate Modeling Light button on the back of the flashhead. Check your manual for specific details.

A cool use for modeling lights on strobes is Light Painting. By pressing and holding the button, the flash can be moved around an object to “paint” it with light. This handy when you want a photo of a small object with absolutely no shadows. With Canon flashes, I use the High Speed Sync function to do the same thing but it’s a bit more effort to set up. You can do the same with a Nikon but the modeling light is quicker to set up.


On Sunday, June 21 (yeah, I know it’s Father’s Day), I’ll be at the Torrey Pines Glider Port with the San Diego Photography Meetup Group. The group is meeting at 10AM but I’ll be there in my RV by about 8AM. If there’s nothing happening that early, you can have a fresh cup of coffee from my RV. I’ve lived in San Diego for nearly half my life and have never been there so it’s about time. You don’t have to join the Group, just show up.

If you’re using Canon, you’re welcome to try my 300/2.8 or 100-400 to see if a long lens is in your future.

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