The Digital Photo Guy

Monday Morning Tip – 11/23/09

by on Nov.22, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips

Monday Morning Tip

Another VMMT (Video Monday Morning Tip) has been uploaded to the MMT archives on the Tips & News page. This time, I mix it up bit and show how a Topaz Labs Adjust 3 preset can be used as a starting point but then segue into a demo of Dodge and Burn Tools.

The “take-away” from today’s VMMT is to use Presets and Effects as starting points, not as final results. These are just some engineer’s idea of what looks cool/cute/hot or whatever the flavor of the day happens to be. Don’t believe for a moment that an engineer sitting in his/her cube knows more about how to enhance your photo than you.

While I’m on this topic, don’t use effects as a means to cover up lousy photos. Work to get the photo as good as you can SOC (straight out of camera). Slathering on effects to hide bad photos is like slathering on icing to cover up a burned cake. It doesn’t work in either case.

Wild Animal Park Photoshoot

The next WAP photoshoot workshop is December 5 from 9AM until 1PM. We spend 3 hours inside the park covering all aspects Exposure, Focus and Composition. Then, we retire to my RV where we download the photos and demonstrate a basic Photoshop Elements workflow to make good photos into great photos by Cropping, adjusting Levels, Color Balance and Sharpening. Register HERE using PayPal.

Another 5 Minutes Out of Nearly 200 Minutes

After the jump, I’ve added another 5 minute clip from the Rob Sheppard webinar so, if you missed the webinar or want to see what it covered before ordering the DVD, follow the “more” link.

[swfobj src=”http://www.thedigitalphotoguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/PSE_webinar_5min_clip2.swf” align=”none”]

Buy the 4 hour DVD here:

 

Quick Tip

If you’re like me, your LCD screens are dusty. You may have thought, “The puppy is a dust magnet” and you’d be correct. LCDs have an electrostatic charge across the screen that attracts dust particles floating by. Some of you may have air cleaners that have an electrostatic filter that grabs dust as the air is sucked into the machine. LCDs work the same way.

I’ve tried commercial cleaners (expensive) and DIY solutions (ineffective and/or dangerous to the LCD) and have never found anything particularly effective until now. Like many people, I had a bulk 36 pack of microfiber auto detailing cloths in the garage. I noticed the package specifically said “TVs and computer screens” so I figured I’d give it a try.

WOW! It really works. One quick swipe across the LCD and all the dust is gone! The cloth now sits in a desk drawer in a plastic bag to keep it from collecting even more dust. I believe I paid about US$15 for the bulk pack at Costco but they don’t show it on their web site. The cloths are labeled 80% polyester and 20% polyamide. I don’t understand the Wikipedia entry (I flunked chemistry) but whatever it is, it works great for cleaning the dust off LCDs. Keep in mind, this only works for dust. If your cat sneezed on your LCD, you should try one of the commercial cleaners or a PecPad moistened with distilled water.

HOT Tip (or, why you should read to the bottom of each MMT)

Topaz Labs told me the the discount code digitalphotoguy subtracts another 15% from the bundle price of US$179. A reader got cute and tried it with an order for 2 plug-ins (Adjust and Simplify) and still got the 15% discount. I don’t know if this is a mistake or I misunderstood so, if you’re interested in buying their plug-ins, you should jump on this now before they change it.

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