The Digital Photo Guy

Tag: Palomar College

New Year, New Look

by on Dec.29, 2009, under Articles, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photos, Photoshop CS2/4, Photoshop Elements, Schedule, Webcast, Website, WordPress, Workshops

The Digital Photo Guy Blog Gets a Facelift

This is the 6th year for this site. During the first 4 years, it was a static site that was rarely updated because making changes was excruciatingly slow, complex and costly. In 2008, I resolved to fix the problem and commissioned a web developer to develop a new site that I could easily and quickly update myself. He recommended WordPress and the initial implementation took just 6 weeks. As soon as he was done, I started making changes and quickly learned how to do just about everything by myself. I’m no rocket scientist but WordPress makes everything simple and straightforward.

Now, a year after the initial launch, a new static home page has replaced the previous dynamic home page. A dynamic home page was fine in the beginning but, now, with so many articles and posts, it was quickly becoming unwieldly. Readers couldn’t easily find the information they sought. A static home page can act as “street signs” to help point readers in the right direction. As you can see, some of the signs are still not working. That’s because all the MMTs, posts and articles weren’t always correctly or fully tagged.

Tagging the material at this time would be counter productive because each update would generate an e-mail notification of an update and readers wuld be innundated with e-mails.

Starting in 2010, I’ll be more careful about tagging each MMT, post and article so readers can quickly find all material pertaining to Cameras/Lenses/Gear, Photo Editing and Photography.

In the meantime, the existing tags (right side of main blog) can help you find specific articles or MMTs. You can also use the Seach box along the right side of the main blog.

A website is a never-ending process. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment here. Good light, good memories and good luck in 2010.

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Monday Morning Tip – 08/10/09

by on Aug.10, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips, Schedule, Workshops

Palomar College – Fall Schedule

Like the rest of the world, Palomar College is feeling the effects of the economy. This fall, they are offering the Digital SLR for New dSLR Owners webinar at a reduced price of just US$69 (Sep 15 & 17) (Nov 3 & 5). This is a live class that takes place on your PC/Mac. All you need is high-speed Internet. You can even include your whole family for the cost of one registration (limited to 1 camera model per registration).

Students DO NOT need to be in San Diego to attend webinars. I have taught students from around the world using webcast. The only requirement is that you have high-speed Internet and understand English.

The next Photoshop Elements Step-by-Step for Digital Photographers class starts Sep 9 and runs through Oct 14. It is 1 hour per week for 6 weeks. In that time, you will learn to use the most useful tools and techniques to enhance and edit your digital photos. Click here for more details and special Economic Stimulus pricing.

The next Wild Animal Park “Hands On” Photoshoot is Sep 19 from 9AM to 1PM. In this very popular workshop, you put into practice the basics you learned in the Digital SLR for New dSLR Owners webinar. In this workshop, I guide you along every step of the way and show you how to apply all the controls and adjustments on your dSLR. Click here for more details and special Economic Stimulus pricing.

Monday Morning Tip

Today’s MMT is a companion to the Developing Good dSLR Habits that I published several weeks ago. I wrote this because many people just don’t seem to “get it” when it comes to the process of creating a photograph. While I’m glad that over 500 people have downloaded the dSLR Cheat Sheet, it’s not a step-by-step recipe. A large dollop of intelligent thought needs to be added to the Cheat Sheet to make it work.

Back in the ’60s, low cost 35mm cameras were everywhere. The death of photography was predicted by many well known and highly respected writers. Well, we managed to survive that onslaught but we’re now in the midst of a second, even more pernicious technological advance, the digital SLR. Anyone with $500 can now call themselves a photographer. I see people who can barely spell “dSLR” proclaiming themselves ready for NatGeo.

There’s nothing wrong with ambition but it has to be backed up with a modicum of talent and skills. The very first skill is knowing how to control your camera. Have you ever known a skilled contractor who didn’t know how to use his/her tools? How about a skilled cook who can’t control the oven? Photography is no different. You must know how to control your camera before anything else. A close second is learning how to use your PC/Mac including PS/PSE.

Use today’s MMT as a guideline to making better photos, use it in conjuction with the dSLR Cheat Sheet. Photography is a thinking person’s pastime, if you simply want to press a button and record an event, stick with a P&S camera. (End of Rant! LOL)

Quick Tip

Many of you are going to roll your eyes and mutter, “What dummy doesn’t know this!” but, trust me, there are many new dSLR owners (my target audience) who don’t know the viewfinder (VF) can be focused with the diopter adjustment. The diopter adjustment is usually a tiny dial or lever next to the VF.

Canon Diopter Adjustment

Canon Diopter Adjustment

Simply turn the dial while peering through the VF to adjust it to your eyesight. Most dSLRs have a wide range of diopter adjustment to accommodate most people but, if you’re blind as a bat, you can also find extra adjustment lenses for most dSLRs. 

San Diego Zoo Photoshoot

On Sunday, August 16, I’m going back to the San Diego Zoo to photograph things that I noticed this past week. I hadn’t been to the zoo in several years and saw many new exhibits that I’d like to photograph now that I have an idea of the conditions. This WILL NOT be a walk through the zoo. I plan to spend 2-3 hours making specific images that I have in mind.

If you’d like to join me, send me an e-mail or leave a comment here. This is not a class but simply an opportunity to practice photography at the zoo.

I Need Victims Models

If you are interested in modeling for my Portrait portfolio, please contact me. I am looking for male and female models of all shapes, sizes, color and age except infants (less than 5 years old). You will receive your choice of 1 each 13×19 poster or a package of 1 each 8×10 plus 2 each 5×7 plus 4 each 4×6 prints. You will be needed for about 2 hours.

I also need some old photos in need of restoration for a new class I’m developing on Photoshop/PSE Restoration techniques.

For both models and restoration, you will need to sign a model release. Thanks.


For the past 5 years, I’ve resisted the urge to advertise on my site because I didn’t want readers to think my recommendations were influenced by advertisers.

It’s come to the point where this site needs to pay for itself. In the near future, you will probably start seeing Google adsense words on this site. I know it’s an annoyance to many people but there’s simply no getting around it. Please click on the ads (you don’t have to buy anything) to help me keep this site running. To avoid advertisments, sign up for a class or two.

A special thanks to the hundreds of people who have taken classes with me in the past.

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Monday Morning Tip – 7/27/09

by on Jul.26, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips, Workshops

This week’s MMT wraps up Exposure Basics. By now, you should know the three main components of exposure and how to adjust each. Today, the “when” and “why” of changing exposure instead of just accepting the camera’s metered exposure.

As always, the MMT is in the password protected Tips & News page. Register to the right where it says, “Yes! I want immediate access to FREE weekly Monday Morning Tips.” Registration is a 2-step process. After you fill out and send the form, you’ll receive an e-mail verifying that you’ve registered and it wasn’t a vindictive co-worker who’s soing around, signing you up for al sorts of thing you don’t want. After you confirm that you really want to register, you’ll receive a second e-mail with the password.

As to why I ask for registration, it keeps people from “scraping” all the MMTs off my site and reposting on some malicious site to make it seem legit. With registration, if that happens, I have some hope of catching the low-life. (I’m probably just kidding myself!)

Quick Tip

Today’s QT is about using this site. If you look on the right side, you’ll see an area titled, “Tags (Kinda like keywords to search)”. Each of the words and phrases are hot links to articles containing those tags. If you want to find all the articles and MMTs that address Photoshop Elements, you’ll see that it’s in a large font near the middle of the “cloud” of tags. The bigger the font, the more articles there are with that tag.

If you look further down on the right side, you’ll also see Catergories. I hope these are self-explanatory but it’s another way to sort the posts on my site.

Down at the very bottom of the page, you’ll find a Monthly Archive of all my posts.

San Diego Zoo Photoshoot

On Monday, July 26, I’ll be at the San Diego Zoo from about 5PM until about 9PM. If you’d like to join me, send an e-mail and I’ll send you my cell phone number. I’ll be in the main parking lot in my white 24′ Winnebago View RV but I imagine there will be lots of RVs there.

Palomar College – Fall Schedule

Like all businesses, Palomar College is feeling the effects of the economy. This fall, they will only offer my Digital SLR for New dSLR Owners webinar class. Fortunately, for those who want the “Hands-On” Photoshoot workshop orwebinar Photoshop Elements class, I’ll be offerring those through my own site.

Keep an eye out for Wild Animal Park Photoshoot workshops starting around October and Photoshop Elements webinars around September.

You can find a full schedule of my workshops on, are you ready for this, the Workshops page of this site. Former students are eligible for a discount on all future workshops.

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Monday Morning Tip – 5/11/09

by on May.11, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips, Schedule, Workshops

Photoshop Elements class with Award-winning Photographer/Author set for August 15, 2009

The instructor has photographed and written for numerous magazines including National Geographic. However, his main commitment has always been to teaching photography.

There will be 2 sessions. The first will be from 8AM-11AM with a second session from 1PM-4PM. These information packed, 3-hour sessions will get you up-to-speed with Photoshop Elements or Photoshop CSx. Everything will apply to both PSE and PS CSx.

The session will be recorded so you can review the recordings for free as often as you want for 60 days. DVDs of the sessions will also be available. But wait, there’s more. If you preregister before July 1, 2009, you’ll be eligible for free e-mail support from The Digital Photo Guy for 60 days. So, if you still don’t get it after sitting through the webinar and reviewing the recording, you can send me an e-mail and I’ll explain it to you again.

To preregister, send me an e-mail at this time and I’ll notify you as soon as price is set. At this time, the price will definitely be less than $50. Stay tuned for more details.

Monday Morning Tip

Today’s MMT was inspired by a reader who wanted to batch convert Nikon NEF files to JPEG. She had borrowed a D90 and taken over 500 photos in NEF without knowing how the camera was set. Her friend then tried to read the NEF files with Photoshop Elements 7 but that didn’t work either. My regular readers would have immediately known how to fix the problem but she was totally lost.

Don’t be lost. Today’s MMT covers the advantages of camera raw regardless of whether you use a Canon or Nikon or Olympus or any other dSLR. Next week, we’ll cover the specific steps for converting raw files to JPEG or some other standard format. By the way, raw is not an acronym like JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) or TIFF (Tagged Image File Format or GIF (Graphics Interchange Format). Raw simply means it’s the raw data directly from the camera sensor without being mangled and manipulated inside the camera.

As always, the full MMT is in the MMT area under Tips and News. Register for this site to get the password for that area. You’ll have access to nearly 100 MMTs when you register.

Palomar Classes are now Online

You can register for my classes at Palomar College here. The 2 webinar classes are open to anyone, you don’t have to be in San Diego to take these classes. The “Hands-On” Photoshoot class is a good excuse for out-of-towners to take a vacation in San Diego.

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Palomar Annouces Summer 2009 Venture Classes

by on Mar.24, 2009, under Photo Editing, Schedule, Webcast

For the Summer 2009 session, Palomar is offering 3 classes taught by The Digital Photo Guy. On June 9th and 11th, you can register for Digital SLR for New dSLR Owners. This is a webcast class that runs from 7:30PM until 9:00PM each night. In those 3 hours, I will cover all the knobs, dials, switches and menus on your dSLR, explaing what, they do, how to adjust them and why you want to adjust them. All you need is a PC or Mac connected via high-speed Internet with a standard web browser (MS IE, FireFox, Safari) and speakers. The only thing you’ll miss are the drive to campus, parking challenges, ool white industrial restrooms and chairs designed for 19 year old butts. This class is a prerequisite for the next class.

On July 25th from 8AM until 11AM, we’ll put into action what we learned in the previous class with Digital SLR “Hands-On” Photoshoot. We’ll meet at a local park where we can photograph kids’ sports, critters, landscapes, statues and macros. This is where we practice using all the different knobs, dials, switches and menus so you can capture the correct exposure everytime. This is where we begin to understand composure. And, this is where we learn how to break the rules to make better photos.

We’ll wrap up the summer with Photo Editing for Digital Photographers on August 5th and 6th using Adobe Photoshop Elements to enhance and edit our photos. Half the fun, flexibility and power of digital photography is post-processing, using an editing program to improve photos. Webcast is particularly well suited to learning Photoshop Elements because you work on your own PC or Mac at home. You’re not using a strange computer at the school’s computer lab that’s set up differently from yours. This class runs from 7:30PM until 9:00PM each night and starts with basics that you can immediately apply to your photos and ends with more advanced techniques for photo repair and restoration. Photoshop Elements is the most widely used photo editing program for amateurs. At just $99 ($69 at Costco), it has about 80% of the capability of its big brother, Adobe Photoshop CS4 which retails for $650.

Palomar College is one of the premier community colleges in California. One characteristic that makes Palomar stand out is their willingness to be creative and innovative when other schools are still stuck in the 19th century. An example of this 21st century mindset is the webcast classes offered through Venture, a department of Palomar’s Workforce and Community Development program.

Palomar was the first San Diego county community college to offer The Digital Photo Guy webcasts as an alternative to 19th century classrooms. Using webcast technology, Lee Otsubo, The Digital Photo Guy, can teach literally anyone from anywhere a high-speed Internet connection is available. These are not your grandpa’s computer-based training sessions. These are live multimedia presentations with PowerPoint slides, video, audio and real-time interaction.

You do not have to live in or near San Diego County to register for a webcast class. All you need is a PC or Mac connected via high-speed Internet. Go to the Palomar Venture registration site today and sign up for a class with The Digital Photo Guy. (Summer 2009 classes not yet posted)

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