Tuesday, August 31, 2010

All The Secrets About Digital Steam Train Photos

True photographers and collectors will definitely know what the value of a digital steam train photo collection really is. Steam trains are part of the history of mankind, as our civilization wouldn't have gone this far without the discovery of the steam engine. But how many of us have got the chance to really see a true steam train? Too few actually. Now, I think it is a little clearer why digital steam train photos are highly appreciated by collectors, since they are a little more difficult to get than normal pictures. A digital camera may be within reach, but a steam train is not.

The earliest steam trains go back to the Industrial Revolution that changed the face of mankind for ever. Now the steam trains and engines are on display in special museums, or they are sleeping at the back of long forgotten deposit places. Digital steam train photos collections come from those of you who are determined enough to look back at history and record it with the help of modern technology. The great part about such digital photos is that the zoom in option allows you to get the very precise technical details of a steam train.

Many of the photos in the collections some people have, come from digital steam train photo albums that were downloaded from the Internet. However, for some passionate collectors that are interested in both steam trains and photography, there is an immense satisfaction to actually get to take detailed pictures of a classical steam engine. Some of the digital steam train photos may be so vivid you can almost imagine the wheel screeching. The advantage of using a good digital camera, with advanced features is that you will get a truly atmospheric classic image.

Even if you’re in motion when you take a picture, it should not affect the quality of the digital photos, since technology has already learned how to avoid blurring. There are thousands of digital steam train photos online, some technical, some artistic, your choice. Yet, mention should be made that there are sites providing more special photos, for which you’ll have to pay if you want to get the train photos for the collection. There are people who have even made a business out of selling digital steam train photos to industry and shops. Who knows? You may be one of them.

Monday, August 30, 2010

All About Photography

Photography is the art of reproducing pictures of people, objects or places in their exact likeness. These images can be transferred on any photosensitive material. Photography includes taking and printing pictures.

The backbone of photography is the camera, the instrument or device that works on the principle of optics. The camera and photographic techniques have undergone phenomenal changes since the time the first camera was made. The earlier model did not contain the film; instead, it had a small light-shield box with lens and translucent screen on either side. The image that traveled through the lens was stored on the screen. Known as 'camera obscura,' it was no more than a sketching device for artists.

Then the scientists discovered the quality of silver nitrate that changes its color when exposed to light. This was the beginning of photogram, a method of making permanent images.

They would place objects on the paper dipped in silver nitrate and expose it to the sunlight. After sometime the area covered under the object stayed white while the rest of the space turned black. However, the image formed was temporary, so the method did not last long.

Over the centuries, the principles, the method and the material used in photography went through many changes. After experimenting with various methods like Daguerre and calotype process, finally collodion, or the wet plate technique was universally accepted.

Modern photography has given a totally new meaning to the entire perception of life and privacy. Photography has made it possible to capture and preserve special moments, in private and in public life. History became more authentic with pictures, and photographs served as evidence in many cases. People made their family tree in their albums. Suddenly life was so much more fun and meaningful.

With the tremendous technological advances in the art of photography, it is no more just fun and frolic but has acquired the dimensions of a full-fledged profession. Photography has many branches and types, such as:

- Aerial photography is the art of taking photographs from the air.

- Art photography is devoted to beautiful pictures for the sake of beauty only.

- Studio or advertising photography is dedicated to promotion of products and institutions.

- Photojournalism takes pictures of events to support the news story and to create awareness among the people.

- Outdoor and travel photography is focused on taking pictures of landscapes and natural places.

- Sports photography records images of the sporting events and games that take place in the world.

- Some types of photography like the macro and scientific and macro or close up photography are restricted to specific fields and are not widely known.

The charm of photography lies as much in the end product as in the process of taking pictures. Looking at an album is like taking a trip down memory lane; it makes us feel highly nostalgic and emotional.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

All About Photo Mosaics

Photo Mosaics are actually a very new invention, believed to be first created in the 1990's. Photo mosaics have become widely popular around the world, though, for their unique appeal.

A Photo Mosaic is a photo made up of many smaller photos. To say it another way: A photo mosaic is a photo that has been divided up into small squares or rectangles. Each rectangle is the replaced by a separate photo that closely approximates the color the rectangle was.

A picture is worth a thousand words in explaining what a photo mosaic is like, though. Go to Google Image Search or Yahoo Image Search and search for “photomosaics”.

One of the first creators of photo mosaics, Robert Silvers, patented the production of and name photomosaic. However, Mr Silvers patent does not give him the exclusive rights to make photo mosaics. There are many companies around the world using various methods and technologies to legally create photo mosaics.

There are several ways to create or obtain photo mosaics.

The first method is tedious, to say the least. Using photoshop, or any other editor, you can manually cut and paste images together to create the larger image. This technique is very time consuming, though, and there is really no need to employ this method.

The second method is to use photographic mosaic software. There are many versions of free software that can help you much more easily create photo mosaics. Of course, there will be at least a short learning curve, but most are not too difficult to use.

The third and final method to obtain a custom photo mosaic is to pay a professional photo mosaic designer to create on for you. This is obviously the most expensive option, but it will probably also give you the highest quality finished product.

Really, it's all up to and what you need and want! Happy photo mosaic-ing!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Advertisement Photography.

Advertisement photography is by far one of the most competitive forms of photography. This is mainly due to the fact that you can earn far more money than in any other aspect of photographic industry.

Every day companies pay millions of dollars on advertisement; with one goal - to sell their product. Companies want to tell the reader that their product is best - so you must be able to match this.

The photographers work must be to the highest technical quality and he/she must have the ability to create a masterpiece from something simple. Close enough is just not good enough. Close enough will not sell a product.

To become an advertisement photographer one must first understand the market and understand what the client is looking for. The best way of understanding this is pick up a magazine and look at the ads. Study each image. Study the images you see on billboards or images that are used to advertise movies.

Most parts of advertisement photography can be classed as still life photography. So if you are interested in taking images for the advertisement market your first job is to set up your own home studio. This can be a great place to practice.

Every thing in your home can be photographed. Start off with a few glasses. But remember you are not trying to make the glasses look nice - you are trying to sell them.

The second thing you need is a large format camera. Buy a range of the best lenses. Slide film is your best choice for advertisement photography. The client may want to blow up the images to a billboard size.

The most important thing when starting off is creating a portfolio of your work. This can be sent to advertising agencies or can be shown directly to a company. Always have a few copies on standby. Also set up a web page. On-line advertising is growing at a spectacular rate. Your portfolio should also consist of a different range of images.

If you are thinking of using an advertisement agency, get their guidelines from them. These should be very helpful to you in understanding the market. Dealing with a well established agency should be very profitable for you if your photography is to par.

Advertisement can be seen everywhere - and about eighty percent of all ads use photography. Most advertisement these days consists of a few words and a stunning picture that should attract the viewer’s attention.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Adventurers Need Small Camcorder Bags

With warmer weather comes activities and adventure for many travelers. No adventure retreat is complete without a camcorder to capture the most amazing of events. For all travelers, a quality small camcorder bag is just as important as the camcorder inside. Whether your traveling to the Yellowstone to see the wildlife, of traveling aboard to visit foreign culture, travel with a quality small camcorder bag like those made by M-Rock to ensure your equipment is safe. M-Rock is becoming the leaded in camcorder bags. Continue reading to find out why.

For the adventurer, a small camcorder bag has many advantages. A quality camcorder bag like those made by M-Rock keeps camcorders protected from falling and breaking. M-Rock small camcorder bags have comfortable shoulder straps and belt loops so the bag can be kept at your hip, on your back , or across the chest for easy access and comfort.

M-Rock small camcorder bags are very protective. Small bags offer triple protection from the elements with a rain-flap, zipper, and front buckle. The equipment inside is protected by thick foam and durable water resistant material. And if that is still not enough, all M-Rock camera bags come with a weather jacket that acts as a dry bag when the weather acts up.

M-Rock offers several sizes and styles of small camcorder bags. The Biscayne Bay, The Mesa Verde, and The Yosemite, are all great small camcorder bags that hold several different models of camcorders. The Niagara is a vertical bag that holds camcorders with lenses up to seven inches and comes with rubber straps to hold water bottles. All camcorder bags come with two additional side pockets for storing accessories.

Whatever type of travel or adventure you take this season, don’t forget to take along a camcorder, and don’t forget the camcorder bag. Visit M-Rock.com today to see the products they have available and see why everyone is switching to M-Rock.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Adobe Toolbox Photoshop 7 Tutorials

You’ve probably been hanging out to get stuck into the very nifty Photoshop toolbox. In this article I’ll introduce some of the most frequently used tools found in the toolbox.

You’ll notice that some of the tool icons have small black triangles in their bottom right-hand corners. These icons contain hidden treasures! The triangle indicates that there are more related tools available; if you click on the tool icon and hold it down, a “flyout” menu will appear, displaying the additional tools.

Selection Tools:
You can use the selection tools to select certain areas of your document for editing. If you use a selection tool, only the area that’s selected will be affected by any changes you make. You can “feather” selections (specify a fuzzy radius for them) using the Feather field in the options bar.

Marquee tools (M) are used to create rectangular or elliptical selections, including selections that are “single row” (one pixel tall, stretching across the entire width of the document) and “single column” (one pixel wide, tretching through the entire height of the document).

To make single-row or single-column selections, click with the appropriate tool on the image area where you want to select a row or column. You can use the Lasso tools (L) to create freeform selections.

The Lasso Tool comes in three different forms:

Lasso Tool (L) Click and drag the Lasso Tool to draw a selection area. Releasing the mouse button will close the selection by joining the start and end points with a straight line.

Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) Click at different points to create vertices of a polygonal shape. Close the selection by moving your cursor to the beginning and clicking once, or pressing the Enter key.

Magnetic Lasso Tool (L) If you think you need help with making your selection, try the Magnetic Lasso Tool. Photoshop will attempt to make a “smart” selection by following the edges of contrast and color difference. Click once near the “edge” of an object and follow around it—Photoshop will automatically lay down a path.

You can also click as you follow the line to force points to be created on the path. Close the selection by pressing the Enter key or clicking at a point near the beginning of the selection. The Magnetic Lasso Tool is not available in ImageRead

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Adobe Photoshop Tutorials

A person who wants to establish a home business can take stock of the knowledge and skills he already has and then take inspiration from existing resources. If he has talent in computer-aided design and photo manipulation then he can establish a home based business using adobe photoshop.

If a person already has basic knowledge on lay outing and photo manipulation but needs to upgrade or improve his skills then he can choose from the many adobe photoshop tutorials that are available in the net. These tutorials are guaranteed to add to the skills already possessed by a person.

Adobe photoshop is a very good design and manipulation tool and it is being used by graphic designers all over the world. Looking at the software and the toolbox can be daunting because it looks so complicated but with practice and lots of tips any person interested in design can make money with Adobe photoshop tutorials.

A person who decides to establish a photography business has to learn adobe photoshop if he wants to be competitive in the market. Gone are the days when people are just content with plain photographs. Today the demand has been taken a notch higher by special effects as a result of the adobe photoshop program.

Photo studios do not just develop photos anymore but there is a value added service for a certain price. A person who wants to look photo perfect can now get perfect photos with adobe photoshop. He can even tweak his photos at home by availing of adobe photoshop tutorials.

Learning photoshop can be complicated at first but with patience, determination and lots of time spent in the computer a person can become an expert in photoshop in due time. A lot of benefits can come from learning adobe photoshop including self satisfaction, a new hobby and even a new home business.

A person can start learning photoshop by observing graphic designers at work. This can however be tricky because graphic designers are already experts in photoshop and they work fast. A budding designer will have a hard time catching up with the speed of an expert in adobe photoshop.

But once he gets a general idea of what to do with the program he can take a look at different adobe photoshop tutorials. Some tutorials can be downloaded for free. Just click on the program from your computer and try manipulating the program.

A person has to start with some photographs which he wants to enhance or manipulate using adobe photoshop. With Adobe photoshops photographs can be made to look older, look new or even printed with special effects.

A person who is really interested to learn adobe photoshop will be able to do some easy manipulation in a matter of minutes. Adobe photoshop tutorials are presented in such a way as to make any person with zero knowledge on photoshop learn from it.

Do not be so ambitious as to want to learn the more complex designs already because you will just be frustrated. Take it one step at a time and take the time to know and be familiar with the different Photoshop tools. Each tool has its own purpose and they will help a lot in creating good designs and photos.

A person can also read books about photoshop but reading books alone will be for naught. A person has to personally experience how it is to use the program and experiment with the tools of photoshop.

A video tutorial of adobe photoshop would be better for a beginner because he can actually see what he has to do and can immediately apply it to his design. Constant practice will enable a person to learn basic photoshop and then the more complex design tips later on.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Adobe Photoshop Tool Shapes

In this article you will how to use the 3 must used tools in Photoshop (Magic Tool, Move Tool and the Crop Tool) and once mastered you'll never be with out them.

Magic Wand:
The Magic Wand Tool (W) selects areas of similar color You can change the tolerance (how close the color values should be to the sampled color in order to be selected) of a Magic Wand selection, and choose whether you want the selection to be contiguous (pixels that are touching) or not (in which case, matching colors across the entire document will be selected)

Tips and Shortcuts for the Magic Wand:
Hold the Shift key to add another selection to the first.

Hold the Alt key (Option key on a Mac) to subtract your new selection from the first.

Hold Shift-Alt (Shift-Option) to select the intersection of your first and second selections.

Use the arrow keys to move the selection pixel by pixel If you feel that this doesn’t move your selection quickly enough, hold down Shift and use the arrow keys to move the selection ten pixels at a time.

Press Ctrl-J (Command-J on a Mac) to copy the selection into its own layer.

To cut the selection into its own layer, press Shift-Ctrl-J (Shift-Command-J)

If this seems familiar to you, it’s because I mentioned earlier how to copy a layer using the same keyboard shortcut Now that you know that not selecting anything sometimes means that everything is selected, it makes sense that simply by selecting a layer in the Layers palette, you can copy the entire layer by pressing Ctrl-J (Command-J)

To deselect a selected area, click outside of it with one of the Marquee tools, or press Ctrl-D (Command-D on a Mac)

To reactivate your last selection, press Shift-Ctrl-D (Shift-Command-D)

The Move Tool:
The Move Tool (V) moves a selected area or an entire layer .

You can invoke the Move Tool temporarily when using most other tools by holding down the Ctrl key (Command key on a Mac)

Tips and Shortcuts for the Move Tool:
For most tools, holding Ctrl-Alt (Command-Option on a Mac) and dragging a selected area will temporarily invoke the Move Tool, allowing you to move and duplicate the selected layer quickly

You can also duplicate a layer by holding down the Alt key (Option key on a Mac) while using the Move Tool,

The Crop Tool:
The Crop Tool (C) is used to trim images Create a selection using the Crop Tool, then double-click the center of the
selection, or press Enter, to crop the image to the size of the selection To cancel without cropping, select another
tool or press the Esc key

Tips and Shortcuts for the Crop Tool:
You can use the Crop Tool to resize your canvas Expand your document window so that it’s larger than the image area, and create a crop selection that includes the image and extends onto the gray areas “outside” the image Applying this crop will resize your canvas to include those extended boundaries, making your canvas larger.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Adobe Photoshop Image And Editing Power

Adobe Photoshop CS2 promises a lot of image editing power and in the right hands, it can transform any photo into virtually anything you want it to appear. Photoshop CS2 is Adobe's Photoshop v. 9.0, which was released in 2005. CS stands for Creative Suite and CS2 marks the 2nd version since the re-branding of Adobe's products. The software features a more intelligent transform tool, a better replacement tool and multiple layer selection. Some of the best tools in this version were only available as plug-ins in older versions.

If you want to learn Photoshop CS2, use the many resources that are available online. You'll find the best CS2 tutorials here, all for free. Here are some sites you can start with:


Start with the experts. After all, they did create Photoshop CS2 and you'll find a lot of background information on this version from this site. And they're giving it away for free. Go to the tutorials page and look for the link to CS2 (there are links to other Photoshop versions like 7.0 and CS3). There are thousands of tutorials on this site. Simply pick which ones you need to start you on CS2.

You can also check out http://Photoshop.Support.com, a technical support and advice site. Every free CS tutorial you'll find here is the work of CS2 experts. The tutorials page lists some of the most comprehensive tutorial sessions, enough to make any burgeoning CGI artist feel like a pro.

Access the index on Photoshop CS2 tips by Jennifer Apple to find how to work with layers and type. If you think everything you need to learn about these features are covered by v. 7.0, think again. There's plenty more and this page will show you.


Want to learn feathering, displace maps and pixelsmithing? Go to this site. The free CS2 tutorials are taught using no-nonsense approach and the instructions are easy to understand and follow. There are several specific tutorials on the homepage you can click to but if you want to learn step 1, go to the tutorials link. You'll find some very valuable lessons on CS2 from there.


This site is maintained by an award-winning artist and Photoshop user so you can be sure the free tutorials are well-written and taught. You can access the video tutorials featured on the site, although you'll need the latest version of QuickTime player to view them. Each video tutorial is 15 minutes long but it will cover everything you need to know about a particular CS2 lesson. Learn how to fake long exposures, create fake fog and real-looking rain, and many more. You can also access more of the author's video tutorials from the site.


Another site to access free CS2 video tutorials is this site. The friendly tone should set you at ease and as the amiable Dr. Brown will assure you, learning CS2 should be fun. Simply scroll down the page to find the specific CS2 tutorial you need. All video tutorials can be accessed using QuickTime, so make sure you have downloaded your own version.

The free Photoshop tutorials are worth your time so you will need some patience when you're trying to download them from the site, especially if you have slow connection. You might also want to switch a Firefox or Safari browser if you're short on patience. All tutorials are provided for free courtesy of Brown and Adobe Systems.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Adobe Photoshop Brushes Techniques

Brushes are the core component of many tools in the toolbox, and confident brush handling is essential for the effective application of these. You need to master brushes because this gives you many ways in which you can use and edit brushes will equip you with a whole new set of skills, and give you access to a wide range of powerful and creative time-saving techniques.

The Brush Preset picker will help you to find the right brush fast so make the most of it

With some Photoshop tools, such as the Clone Stamp, the Brush Preset picker is used simply to edit the tool’s brush size, softness and opacity.

Because the Clone Stamp’s function is to subtly replace one area of pixels with another, you don’t need its brush tip to be shaped like a rubber duck, for example!

However you can use the Brush Preset picker to arm yourself with a variety of creatively-shaped brushes, should your project require them. Working smarter with the Brush Preset picker means maximising its potential. If you’re not already familiar with this interface.

The Brush Preset Picker

Click on the Brustic to open the Brush Preset picker, and scroll down to see the default set of brushes.

Towards the foot of the list of default brushes you’ll find a variety of unusually-shaped brush tips, including brushes shaped like stars and blobs.

Click on the picker’s menu icon to access other, specialised sets of brushes. You can use the picker’s menu to display a thumbnail of the brush stroke, or set it to show the brush tip and name.

The numerical value indicates the brush’s initial diameter in pixels. You can customise this to suit your requirements. When you select a new set of brushes, you can either replace the existing default set or append the new set to it so you can use both.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Adobe Photoshop: Changing The World

"To see is to believe" is what most people say. However, this old adage, like so many others, has been negated by technology. Today, with Adobe Photoshop, you can create any image you want and share it to other people. This way, Adobe Photoshop is changing the whole world's perspective on reality.

For those who do not know, Adobe Photoshop is a program designed to let people edit various images on their computers. Its primary purpose is to let people perform touch ups on pictures before printing them. Of course, each succeeding version of Adobe Photoshop included more and more tools which let people add effects and do various other things to their photographs. The Adobe Photoshop of today actually allows people to add sound and animation to their photographs for sharing on the internet.

In the past, people who took bad pictures were stuck with them. A lot of things can go wrong in a picture. There's the usual red-eye, skewed angles, shaky focus and others. Adobe Photoshop was the tool that made all of these things disappear. With Adobe Photoshop, people can take pictures like amateurs and still produce images like pros!

However, Adobe Photoshop today has gone beyond image editing. Today, the software is labeled as an image manipulation tool. This somehow gives people the impression that Adobe Photoshop actually gives them a greater degree of freedom than other image-editing programs available today. In fact, it actually does.

If sight is reality, then Adobe Photoshop can help you create any reality that you want. With Adobe Photoshop, you will be able to create images of other worlds. You will be able to capture the beauty of the universe inside a glass jar. Your creativity will be unleashed. That's how much Adobe Photoshop can change your life.

In the world today, one can easily observe the impact that Adobe Photoshop has wrought on culture. Just like Google, Adobe Photoshop is now being used by people as a verb. When a person is said to be photoshopping something, it is always assumed that the person is editing an image of come sort, whether he or she is actually using Adobe Photoshop or not.

Adobe Photoshop has also led to a whole new level of art and animation. Did you know that tablets were developed specifically with Adobe Photoshop in mind? Artists of today have gone beyond using paints and a canvas. Today's painters make use of tablet sensors and Adobe Photoshop to produce their masterpieces. With the technology of Adobe Photoshop, people are able to take the art of drawing, add a bit of computer technology, and come up with a whole new genre of animation.

In the past, images had to be saved as specific file types in order to be usable for Adobe Photoshop. However, because of the proliferation of digital cameras and camera phones today, Adobe Photoshop can actually import the photographs directly from the sources. This means that the gap between taking the picture and sharing it is reduced.

Adobe Photoshop might just be a tool for some people. However, you should know that tools, when used by enough people can change history. In this age where everything is defined by computers, Adobe Photoshop is just another tool which, in the right hands, can change the world.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Adobe Photo Shop Basics

Photoshop users may be used to using many of the tools that are part of the program but have you used the Gradient Editor as a way to customize Photoshop’s default gradients?

You need to have a good working knowledge of Photoshop’s Gradient Tool if you want to be able to make the most of the possibilities and this means you have to be able to master the editing options.

No need to be overwhelmed because this is a fairly easy thing to learn and master, it will just take a little practice.

Begin by selecting the Gradient Tool and then click on the gradient preview located in the options bar. This will open Gradient Editor and you are ready to get to work.

When you have opened Gradient Editor you will see several preset gradients. You can choose from the default Foreground, the Background gradient and even the more complex Chrome gradient.

With some practice you will be able to use the preset gradients to create new ones.

You can edit the preset gradients and design new gradients. Some of the gradients have more color stops than others.

The Foreground to Background gradient has two color stops while the Spectrum gradient has seven color stops.

If you want to modify a gradient you can do so by changing the color stops.

Click on one and choose a new color from the color picker, it’s that easy.

You can also click on an image and sample a color for your customized gradient. When you do this you can use the Eyedropper Tool to customize or you may want to add new color stops to a gradient that already exists.

You just click anywhere along the bottom edge of the preview bar and you will be able to add new color stops.

Maybe you want to add different opacity settings so that you can have an image fade from solid to transparent.

This can be done when you use the opacity stops that run along the top of the preview bar. The black opacity stop will be 100% solid while a white opacity stop will tell you that this part of the gradient is 100% transparent.

The gray stops show you the values in between.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Abstract Photography - Has photography come of age

“Never have I found the limits of the photographic potential. Every horizon, upon being reached, reveals another beckoning in the distance. Always, I am on the threshold.” -W. Eugene Smith

The invention of the camera liberated painting from its reportage role. Gone was the need to produce a likeness, detail the events of the story, painting was free to express emotions. True what had gone before contained an emotional content but now painting could experiment and through imaginative interpretation allow the emotional content to predominate. Freed from this constraint the painter was able to create a new language and explore the motivations of their art.

As the 19th century evolved and throughout the 20th century painters from the impressionists through the cubists and expressionists to the minimalists could to use colour, line and form to go straight to the emotional content of their work. The representational aspect of the work become coincidental and was pushed to the point that it became akin to lying on the grass making shapes out of clouds. Enjoyable as it may be it is secondary to the nature of clouds.

The introduction of the digital darkroom has given this freedom to photographers. The range of tools to fix and enhance the camera’s capture when pushed to its extremes produces a range of fascinating effects. When added to the filters built into the better software, images can be produced that any comparison to the original photograph is purely coincidental. As photographers explore these tools and incorporate them into their photographs so their visual language will grow. The revolution of the medium with the development from black and white into colour is taking its next step. Now with the digital darkroom’s ever growing range of tools the only limitation is the photographer’s imagination.

With the use of these tools, the skilled photographic artist can take the pop song and create, in visual terms, the lyric beauty of a baroque symphony or the down town jive of a jazz variation without a tree or a high rise in sight. Just the light captured by the camera and fine tuned into something completely different, something new that comes from the photographer.

The photographer has been liberated like the painter before them by technology. Now photographs can explore the full range of human experience including those they have no words to express. Large statements will be accessible by the photographer not only in physical terms. Although like their painter counterparts, through an additional feature of the technology, the large canvas is becoming the order of the day. That this canvas can express feelings rather than just illustrate them denotes that the photography has become an adult in the arts.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An Introduction to Pet Photography

Photographing your pet can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Done well, it will allow you to immortalize Fluffy or Spot - that significant member of your family - the pet that shared you food, chewed your shoes, and brought you the newspaper. In fact, the act of seriously photographing your pet will bring you both closer because the process opens you to noticing the small, wonderful things that you might have missed before - the way he wags his tail, etc. This is a grand adventure.

As with anything, it's best to proceed with a goal in mind so you know where to start. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to capture your pet's playful side? Are you trying to setup a funny photo using a prop such as a birthday hat? Is this an interactive portrait between your pet and your child? Sit down and put on paper this goal, because it will help you in preparing properly. Nothing is worse than spending an hour going to your favorite scene with equipment in hand and realizing your forgot a favorite toy - do your self a favor, do not skip this step.

Now that you have decided on your goal, it's now time to decide the proper setting. Indoors vs. outdoors. Near the fireplace with an open fire in the background, or in a studio. At the beach or in the woods. As you think about the proper setting, think about how your pet will respond to that setting. If you decide the public park is the perfect place, you must think about your pet's resistance to distractions. Is he/she able to resist running after another animal or person? The more you know your pet and look through his/her eyes, the better off you will be.

Now you are at the critical preparation stage. You've set your goal, you've decided on the appropriate setting - let's try to anticipate all that can (and will) go wrong. I use the word 'wrong' loosely - try not be too rigid and to have fun - we will talk more about that in a minute. Write out on paper every possible thing you can think of. Here are some suggestions:
· Exercise your pet - just enough so they are still alert, but not hyper
· Lighting - outdoor is best, but flash will work too - should be natural lighting
· Grooming - only if it doesn't adversely affect your pet's mood - then do it days beforehand
· Props/Toys - favorite of the pet
· Food - favorite of the pet
· Be prepared for sudden movement - shutter speed about 1/125th and use iso 400 or 800 film (if indoors)
· Watch the scene clutter
· Have pet at least 6 feet away from background to reduce shadows
· Bring an assistant to help manage your pet
· Zoom Lens
· Camera, Film, Tripod, Equipment, etc.
Etc., etc. Are you getting the idea? The first time you make out your list, the process will be a little tedious, but the beauty is that once the list is made, all you need to do is modify it slightly for the next sessions.

On Location
Whew, you've made to shooting location - congratulations. Hopefully, you've brought everything you are going to need, right? Right! Now, it's time for setup. Be organized; get everything laid out in a logical fashion. The last thing you want to be doing is fiddling around with equipment when you need to be shooting pictures - an animal has a zero attention span and you have got to be ready to snap that picture when the moment is there. How is you animal's demeanor? Is he/she super wound up? If yes, then perhaps some light exercise would be in order - nothing too heavy, but just enough to help him/her calm down. How are you? Are you stressed? Relax, and go with the flow - animals are super sensitive to your mood. Give your pet some last minute grooming - just touch-ups. If you are outdoors, how is the wind? Is it too strong? Is the sun too bright? Remember, overcast is much better for exposure. Make sure that your pet is far enough away from your background so as to not cast any shadows.

The Photographer's Mindset
Your mindset should be one of peace and serenity. I can't overstate that enough. Also, you need to climb into the mind of your pet as best you can. What are they thinking and feeling? Align your expectations properly. If you have never done this before, don't expect perfection the first time out - that will just raise your anxiety level and will stress out your pet.

One of the most important things to remember is to get down on your pet's level, physically, as much as possible. A shot from above doesn't portray intimacy. In addition, when you are at your pet's level, it's easier for you to empathize with it. If you've never crawled around on the ground before, you might feel a bit foolish, but trust me, it makes all the difference in the world. Make sure that you and your handler work with each other - you have got to be in charge, but also try to be flexible - you have a lot of variables that you are managing.

Be patient, and have a lot of fun!!!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

About Digital Cameras - Mastering A Most Helpful Gadget

It is best to know more about digital cameras if you are to take advantage of the advance technology they offer. Digital cameras are modern gadgets, no doubt. Thirty years ago, they were unheard of. Now, every family has one. Their appearance has changed forever the way we preserve memories and special moments of our loved ones.

About Digital Cameras - How They Function

Digital cameras have small computers in them to capture and record images digitally. Instead of film, digital cameras have sensors that convert images of light into electrical charges. Almost every one of them are user-friendly and any novice without any knowledge can take a picture or two the first time he holds one. They are all designed with convenience and high quality images in mind. New models are now so light and compact. They are operated with buttons and everything is just so easy to manipulate like the zoom and the power on. Some models also come with video capability. You just need an extra memory card to provide the extra space to store those videos.

While they are so convenient to use, users should also know a thing or two about digital cameras and terms used in relation to them like resolution or pixels. A digital camera's resolution refers to the sharpness of the images it captures. In other words, it is the amount of detail it can possibly record. Resolution is measured in pixels. The higher the resolution, the better the images it produces.

However, this also means heavier images in your camera's and computer's memory. Ideally, digital photos for e-mailing should have a resolution of not higher than 640 x 480. Resolution any higher than this would be very heavy already. For printing quality, digital photos should have at least a resolution of 1216 x 912.

About Digital Cameras - How to Care for Them

Make sure that your digital camera is free of dust and dirt. It should be kept in its case when not in use. Moisture and heat are also no-no's for digital cameras. Keep them away from the elements at all times. If you live in an environment with high humidity, be sure to get some silica gel to keep the moisture away.

Always handle digital cameras with care, whether they are the less expensive ones or those that cost a fortune. Protect them from knocks, magnetic fields and vibrations. When traveling with one, ensure that it is kept safe during the trip.

Before removing the memory card or disconnecting the power source, turn it off first. Although this is common sense, many people forget it.

Digital cameras are so important now in this age of advanced technology. They are used by friends and family to stay in touch, to preserve special memories and even used extensively in the workplace and businesses.

By knowing more about digital cameras, how to use and take care of them, you will be able to produce better quality images and thereby get your money's worth. Further, you will be able to enjoy them for a long time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Baby Photography.

Babies can be the most challenging and rewarding portraits to take, but can also be the most frustrating.

Babies tend to sleep, eat and cry a lot and won’t pose in front of the camera but don’t let that put you off photographing them. Creating the perfect baby portrait, when done right, will certainly be rewarding.

One of the most important factors in photographing babies is patience and the way you apply child psychology when relating to the baby. Babies over six months may be shy and won’t react well to a complete stranger. This is where child psychology comes in - you must try to play with the baby, or even become a child yourself while taking the photograph. The keys of your car can be very effective. But remember, your job is to take a baby portrait; you must be able to react quickly when the infant responds to your entertainment.

Shooting a portrait of a newborn baby can be difficult. At this age the baby will not be active, so it’s better to focus on close-up headshots. Try using natural light from a bedroom window to add mood to the portrait.

Babies over a few months of age will be more alert and will have a lot more movement in them. Shooting fast is a necessity, the infant will tire quickly.

Babies seven months or older can be very tricky to shoot. The baby will bore quickly and will not want to stay in the same position.

If you are serious about baby photography and you tend to shoot from your own studio make sure you have a lot of toys to amuse the infants. A light colour background will work best and shoot the portraits in colour and black and white.

Parents may be worried about the affect of studio lights on their baby. Point out that strobe lights have no effect on kids. Try to point this out before the parent asks.

Don’t ever handle a baby without the parents consent. Most parents will be very protective and won’t react well to a stranger lifting the infant.

Watch out for the fingers - fingers in the mouth can be attractive but on most occasions they will obscure the face.

If you plan to resell the baby photograph to an agency make sure you get a release form signed from the parents. There is a large market out there for baby pictures but agencies or magazines won’t touch them without the parents consent. For baby portraits to be sellable they must be technically perfect, but the picture must illustrate the baby being active or some form of child care.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Simple Adobe Photoshop 7.0 Tutorial

If you are aiming to secure a copy and use the Adobe Photoshop 7.0, you must be trying to find a tutorial module that would help you maximize the use of the software. Yes, it is true that the Adobe Photoshop has been around since 1990, but you should also take note that since then, different versions of the computer program have also been released to the market.

Because buying an Adobe Photoshop 7.0 is already a significant investment, it would be wiser if you would be truly knowledgeable about the avenues within using the software. It would help a lot if you are very much adept with the basic function of the preceding Adobe Photoshop releases, but still, knowledge and familiarity of the latest versions would be imperative.

There are so many amazing features of the Adobe Photoshop 7.0. Many of these features were not present or were in simpler forms in the older versions. The good thing is that you can be totally assured that this latest version has taken Adobe Photoshop to a new and more exciting level. The usefulness can simply be not underrated.

The Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The Adobe Photoshop 7.0 is an amazing incarnation of the Adobe Photoshop that you used to love. In this software version, limitations have already been addressed. For example, Adobe Photoshop 7.0 can make images that can be easily filed, can be more easily retouched and can be converted into a truly smart output.

The outstanding modified features include a painting capability. This would help you creatively manipulate the background and the overall hues of the surrounding. You can now simplify or make complicated the surroundings of the subject in a picture.

The brush palette enhancement would help you adjust hues and colors. It is like a tangible make up kit that would enable you to adjust the makeup and skin color of the subject. This feature is very much sought-after by magazine photographers and editors who are aiming to make images of their cover subjects become absolutely picture perfect.

The Adobe Photoshop 7.0 also comes with a handy file management system that is packaged in an explorer-similar browser, which would enable users to sort and even locate images easily and more accurately. The feature is too time-saving if you have thousands of image files in your drives. With this file management system, you can surely organize files by name, by resolution, by date or even by extra imaging parameters.

Tutorial module

For every purchase of the Adobe Photoshop 7.0, you will be provided with a tutorial module that would help you navigate within the software. You should pay attention and spend considerable amount of time reading by heart and learning what the modules could teach you.

You could surely figure out how to use the Adobe Photoshop 7.0 even without the module, but it would take you some time to learn about the exciting and helpful tasks you could do with the software. If you may have problems understanding several processes even with the modules, you can search the Internet for numerous sponsored forums where you could get many more pointers, guidelines and advices on using this computer program.

If you may be needing a formal or classroom setup tutorial, there are many computer centers that are conducting seminars to demonstrate and help you with the learning process. The Adobe Photoshop 7.0 is a modification of a new technology itself, so open your mind and your heart into learning its many functions.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Review Of Digital Camcorders

Digital camcorders that record directly to DVD discs are called DVD camcorders. Rather than recording to mini DV tapes, these models burn video to 8-centimeter DVD-RAM, DVD-R or DVD-RW discs. DVD-R and DVD-RW media can be read in most home DVD players, but DVD-RAMs are readable only in a few home players.

Reviewers say there are some drawbacks to recording straight to DVDs. Because of frustrating incompatibilities between the various DVD formats and DVD editing software, reviews say you shouldn't plan to do much editing on your computer. In addition, although you can select different quality levels to maximize storage on a mini DVD disc, you'll only be able to record about twenty minutes of top-quality footage.

There's no question that digital camcorders will eventually be the only camcorders available. Still, reviewers express surprise at the resilience of analog models, which still fit the bill for those who don't own computers and just want a simple, inexpensive VHS-compatible camera.

This Sony digital camcorder records to miniature DVD discs, and once finalized, the discs are immediately playable in most home DVD players. Reviews say the Sony DVR-DVD403 is easily the best DVD camcorder, with image quality that competes with the best mini DV camcorders, such as the Panasonic PV-GS250 below.

While recording to mini DVDs is convenient, it's not as easy to edit footage on a computer, so the Sony is best for those who don't care much about editing their video. Since the Sony doesn't have many manual features, the Panasonic is better for those who like to fiddle with settings.

Reviews say image quality is comparable between this Panasonic mini DV camcorder and the Sony DVD camcorder above. Both get high scores in reviews, but the Panasonic records to inexpensive mini DV tapes, and the DV format is much easier to edit on a computer than the Sony's MPEG -2 format.

Plus, the Panasonic has a bunch of features missing on the Sony, like a remote control, manual focus ring, an accessory shoe for an external flash unit, optical image stabilization and a voice recorder for narration. The whole package is comfortable to hold, with well-placed controls.

Canon isn't known for making big innovations when it comes to camcorders; rather, reviews say Canon consistently and quietly offers sturdy, reliable, consistently good video cameras. The Canon Elura 90 gets high scores for image quality (though it falls a bit behind the Sony and Panasonic above), and has a bunch of useful, basic features, like a 20X optical zoom, digital image stabilization, responsive autofocus and intuitive menus. If you want something more than the very cheapest camcorder, but don't need something as cutting edge as the Sony or Panasonic above, the Canon Elura 90 is a great value.

This is one of the cheapest miniDV digital camcorders you can buy, and reviewers say the Panasonic outclasses similarly priced camcorders from Sony and JVC. It performs much better in low light than its budget competition. Included are a handful of manual controls. Although reviews say the Panasonic camcorder's menus can be a bit clunky, this is the best cheap digital camcorder you'll find, with better features and performance than its competitors.

The majority of digital camcorders are 'DV' camcorders, which record video to widely available DV tapes. Some new models, however, are looking to push tape into obsolescence. A small handful of digital video cameras can record to memory cards or an internal hard drive. Still others record to miniature DVD discs called mini DVD.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Picture Perfect Wedding

Weddings are definitely one of the happiest moments in a person’s life. But, this momentous occasion does not always come as blissful as the event itself. Days and even months before the big day, couples usually cram up with the littlest details.

The process of listing down and cutting down everything into specific details—the wedding date, the venue, the reception, the caterer, the designer of the gown and suit, all the way down to the wedding coverage—are the areas where stress usually ushers in.

Due to hectic schedules, most couples usually do not pay much attention to one of the crucial things in any wedding—the wedding coverage. Despite the overwhelming tension and excitement, couples do not have to be nonchalant when choosing their wedding photographers if they want their fun times and precious memories recorded very well.


To avoid making this slight neglect that usually leads disastrous results, couples have to decide first what kind of wedding photography they would want to have.

Most wedding photographers today categorize the types of wedding photography into two: the traditional or classic style and the wedding photojournalistic style.

The most common style used by wedding photographers today, the traditional or classic wedding photography is considered as a “timeless” and the “safest” style because you normally see in countless wedding albums. Characterized by classic poses of subjects aware of the camera, this style involves so much control from the photographer because he is in-charge in arranging individual and group shots before, during, and even after the wedding.

Having excellent portraiture skills, expect the photographer to focus more on the quality of the photograph by making the subject look great from the littlest details. Expect typical wedding photos like pre-ceremony pictures, formal shots of the bride and groom posing with brides maids and ushers, cake cutting, garter and bouquet toss, and the like when you choose a classic wedding photography. This style is ideal if the couple would want to keep portraits of family members for their wedding album.

If the couple is adventurous and unconventional, then you might want to consider the wedding photojournalistic style of photography on your big day. An increasingly popular style today, wedding photojournalism offers fresh and new style of taking photos in the occasion. Characterized by candid shots of the subjects unaware of the moving camera, the photojournalism style lets the attendees act freely to capture their pure and true emotion.

Sourcing style from his experience in journalism, the “photojournalist” pays more attention to minute details and candid shots rather than arranged ones. He’s more into eyeing interesting moments and capturing those in his lens to produce a narrative collection of images that tell a story.

Although some traditional poses will be present, expect photos that show actual emotions of the bride and groom and of other participants throughout the duration of the wedding when you choose the photojournalism style.

In order to avoid ruining the documentation of your wedding, here are some tips in making your wedding a picture perfect one:

1. Weddings are one of the most exciting chapters of one’s life. Make sure that you choose a wedding photographer that can meet all your standards. Meet with the photographer before hand the so you could discuss the details you want.

2. Inform the important participants about the schedule of photo sessions and make sure everyone attends the rehearsal to cut down the stress.

3. Have a reception area so guests can be informed about the itinerary. This will set the occasion in order.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Photo Pillow: A Great Gift for Grandparents

How many generations of your family are alive? It is likely that there are at least three generations in your family, but due to science and medicine that number could be higher. More generations in your family makes it possible for senior family members to meet and possibly get to know the newest family members.

It is important to remember that even though more seniors are living longer than they ever have in the past that does not necessarily mean that they will be in good health. There are many seniors who may have a difficult time traveling or are confined to a nursing home. This may make it difficult or virtually impossible for your grandparents to see and spend quality time with your children. There is nothing better then actually being able to see, talk to, and hold your grandchildren, but there is something that comes in a close second.

Photo pillows are a way that many grandparents are able to connect with a grandchild or great-grandchild. A photo pillow is created by taking a traditional black and white or color photograph and constructing it onto a pillow. Since it is not uncommon for many seniors to rest, read a book, or watch television it is likely that a photo pillow will come in handy. What can be better than offering a family connection and comfort all at once?

The easiest way to purchase a customized photo pillow is by finding an online photo pillow designer. Once you have found one or multiple designers to closely examine you will want to look at the photo pillow products that they have to offer. Many of the companies or individuals who make photo pillows have a selection of different pillow styles and designs. A small sofa-size pillow and a larger bed size pillow are common pillow sizes that can be transformed into a personalized photo pillow. It is likely that a grandparent would prefer any size photo pillow; however, the smaller sofa-size one tends to be the most popular.

Perhaps the best thing about photo pillows is that they can work in just about any room setting and they can be transported if need be. A photo pillow is a great gift idea for grandparents, but it is not the only photo gift idea available. There are many children or grandchildren who have purchased photo blankets or even both for their grandparents. Regardless of what photo items is purchased it is sure to be a hit with the grandparents them.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Photo Blanket: The Perfect Gift for Any Occasion

Have you ever sat in front of a computer, flipped through multiple store catalogs, or paced through the aisles at your local department store looking for the perfect gift for a friend or family member? If you have then you are not alone. Each day there are multiple individuals who need to purchase a special gift for a birthday, anniversary, or another special occasion.

If you end up purchasing a gift from a department store or a catalog it is likely that the gift you selected isn’t as personalized as you wished it would be. The problem with purchasing a personalized gift is that many individuals are looking in the wrong spot. A personalized photo blanket is a gift that would likely meet your needs; however, it is one that cannot be found in most department stores or store catalogs. Many times the only way to purchase a personalized photo blanket is to find a photo designer online.

Finding a personalized photo blanket designer is easy thanks to the internet. Many individuals who make a living developing personalized photo blankets only advertise their business online. This is why you may have never seen or heard of a personalized photo blanket before. Each photo blanket designer is likely to offer different product features and designs; therefore, you are encouraged to see what each individual has to offer before planning your blanket design.

Personalized photo blankets often come in a large number of different sizes and styles. To determine which size and style you would like to purchase you should first learn what is offered. It is not uncommon for small throw blankets to be offered; however, it is possible for smaller and larger photo blankets to be developed. When purchasing a personalized photo blanket you will also need to know if color blankets are available. Most individuals prefer a black and white blanket; however, both items are popular.

When a personalized photo blanket is purchased it is possible for the blanket to be used; however, many times they are just used as a memento. If you are purchasing a personalized photo blanket for someone that you know you should keep this in mind when making the purchase. There are many photo blanket designers who sell wall hanging kits. This is a great personalized photo blanket accessory for those who will want to preserve the blanket and keep it as clean as possible.

A personalized photo blanket is a great gift for friends and family members. Whether you are ordering a personalized photo blanket with a picture of you and your best friend or a picture of your family there is nothing as meaningful and as personalized as a photo blanket. Why purchase a generic gift when you can offer so much more to the person that you care about?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Guide To Purchase A Digital Camera

Photographic camera became a desired consumer item since it became handheld many years ago. As it became digital with no need for film processing, digital camera became even more popular and it is now considered one of the most wanted optical/electronic consumer products.

However buying a digital camera may be a bit difficult due to the many brands and models being offered. After all there are so many features, one has to be sure of his needs in picking the right digital camera. The following tips might of some help:

1 - Price range: It is recommended that you establish a price range you are willing to pay for your new digital camera. Prices can start from bellow a hundred up to thousands of dollars.

2 - Features: Within the price range previously established, check the features available in digital cameras. Make sure it will meet your requirements for your personal or professional goals. You may find features such as zoom, automatic functions, special effects, black & white images, video recording capability and others.

3 - Battery life: Depending upon the places you go, charging the camera`s battery may not be possible. So make sure the battery life will last long enough during your outdoor activities. Also it may be a good idea to have some extra rechargeable batteries, so that that you won`t have to stop using the camera, while the original batteries are being charged.

4 - Memory Storage: Digital photographs are stored in the camera`s memory. Most cameras have built in memory, but it will accept memory card as well, to increase its storage capability. Depending upon the picture resolution, a user can take hundreds of shots, before it exceeds the memory storage.

5 - Image Resolution: Also known as pixel resolution, this is one of the most talked about features in digital cameras. Although 2.0 mega pixels will deliver good photos for any personal and emailing purposes, nowadays digital cameras with 8.0 and above mega pixels (million of pixels) have become a standard feature. The higher the mega pixel resolution, the better it will look the pictures in larger prints. For those thinking about image enlargement, high mega pixel resolution is a must.

6 - Lens: Beware that the zoom feature may be of two kinds: optical and digital. Optical zoom relies on the lens magnification and delivers a good, sharp and clear image. On the other hand, digital zoom is the magnifying of the digital image and produces a less sharp, grainy image. So make sure that the digital camera offers some optical zoom capability. Also look for lens auto focus and image stabilization features.

7 - LCD: LCD screen is a standard feature in every digital camera, and it works for framing the shot beforehand and viewing it afterwards. Look for LCD screen size 2 inches and above for better clear images.

8 - Online Stores: Whenever looking for the best deals in digital cameras, take a look at some trusted internet stores. Since prices are posted in web sites, people may find very easy to compare them, and get the best deals. Also take a look at some auction sites, for new and used digital cameras.

Digital camera has definitely become a very popular consumer product. The easy of taking shots and emailing to friends have really made this item an absolute must-have kind of product. I guess one could say that people found in digital cameras the perfect tool to preserve special moments by sharing digital photos with loved ones, around this ever growing wide world web.

Roberto Sedycias
IT Consultant for PoloMercantil

This article is under GNU FDL license and can be distributed without any previous authorization from the author. However the author´s name and all the URL´s (links) mentioned in the article and biography must be kept.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Guide to Disposable Digital Cameras

Disposable Cameras (also called single-use cameras) first came on the market as film cameras. You would take the entire camera back where you bought it and they would crack it open, take out the film and process it, resulting in photos that were virtually indistinguishable from photos taken with a more conventional camera. Now, following the trends in conventional cameras, there is a choice between using film or digital disposable cameras.

Some people think digital cameras are too hard to use; the disposable digital cameras offer a solution. Disposable digital cameras still have all of the great features that attract people to digital cameras such viewing your pictures before printing and photo manipulation. With a disposable digital camera, you get a flash, a timer, and a viewing monitor (depending on the model you buy). This means that you can see whether you want to take the picture over or not, as you also have the ability to delete an unwanted photo, and retake it if you have the opportunity. Additionally, a free picture CD is usually included with your prints in a disposable digital camera package.

Does a disposable digital camera offer the same features as a regular digital camera? It does offer the most frequently used features, but you will not get zoom or night shots, or most of the other bells and whistles that come with a $400.00 camera. But disposable digital cameras do not cost anywhere near $400, and they do allow you to leave your valuable cameras safe at home and still have the technology that you may crave in a camera for between $10.00 and $20.00, and sometimes even cheaper.

However, you cannot connect your disposable digital camera to your PC or Mac. The photos must be developed at a retailer that provides the proper equipment for your particular brand of disposable digital camera. This may actually be a plus for the technologically challenged, though, since you don't have to hook up the wire, crop, fix the color -- no need to waste hours in front of a computer, as it's all done for you. Your time is valuable

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Few Helpful Tips For Choosing A Digital Camera

Digital cameras are different from regular cameras because they have a computer built into them. This means that you can later transfer the images to your pc and play around with size and definition. Digital cameras have been around for a while now and the prices are just about on a par with the prices of a good regular camera.

If you are looking for a digital camera, there is plenty to choose from – with prices that should suit most budgets. Some digital cameras are better than others but it is a good idea to do your homework before handing over the money. If you don’t, you could end up with a camera that does not suit your needs.

What advertisers call the perfect camera may not be perfect for you. In addition to this, advertisers are trying to sell a product and what they call perfect today may not be tomorrow. You, on the other hand, want a camera that does what you need it to do and that will last for some time. Advertisers are not really concerned with people’s particular needs, just with popularizing a product.

Before you set out to buy a camera, it’s a good idea to have some understanding of the terms you might come across. For example, you may hear the retailer mention pixels and not know what they are. Pixels are the dots that make up the picture. Thousands of these dots are known as megapixels, the more megapixels you get, the sharper the picture you end up with.

Megapixels can also determine the price of a camera, the more you have, the more expensive the camera will be. A lot depends on what you want the camera for. If all you want to do is take family photos and email them to friends and relatives, a normal four megapixel camera should be just fine. If you want to use it professionally, you may need something with more pixels.

You might also want to consider size when buying a digital camera. Now days, you don’t have to buy large cameras – some are so small they will fit into a shirt pocket. However, size is also affected by price. It takes greater technological know-how to make a small camera than it does to make a regular sized one. Most people who take family photos do quite well with a regular one.

The information above should give you some idea of the general things to look for in a digital camera. Now it is up to you to decide which camera you think is the best for your particular needs.

Once you have thought about those aspects, you should have an idea of the kind of camera you want and it should enable you to look at the lists of digital cameras online or in the stores and short-list any suitable models.

You should then try to look and, if possible, handle the actual cameras, either in store or, better yet, if people you know already own them, you are likely to get better answers to any questions you may have.

Then try to find examples of any pictures taken to see the quality and whether it meets your expectations.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Few Cool Photoshop Tips And Tricks, Part 1

When it comes to entering the graphic design world, creating interesting pieces for a job or sharing artwork with family and friends, there are plenty of cool Photoshop tips and tricks to consider. Whether you are just experimenting with the tools or already know how to layout a magazine spread, there will always be a new shortcut or trick to make life much easier. Below, you will find a few tips to add to your repertoire or share with others:

Easy Photoshop Tips and Tricks

Have you ever wanted to easily create the image of Earth and dread using the circle tool? There is an easy way to design the world in six steps, which should take less than a minute to complete. First, you should select File/New from the menu bar and create a file size that measures about 200 pixels by 200 pixels. The RGB mode should be selected for this trick. Next, choose a light blue shade for the foreground color and a darker blue for the background color.

Under the Filters tab, select Render, and then choose Clouds. The scene that will greet you should look a lot like the sky. It is the clouds filter that utilizes the foreground and background colors needed to construct this image in your file. If you desire a different look, you can press Ctrl + F on Windows or Command + F for a Mac to reapply the filter. Each time this key combination is pressed, you will receive a somewhat different outcome.

Now, return to the Filter menu and select Render, and then choose Lighting Effects. Once you enter the Light Effects menu, you are able to alter the shape of the ellipse to a circle that becomes centered on your file. Changing the Narrow setting to 39 next follows choosing the Default Spotlight setting.

Sometimes a Photoshop project calls for texture. There are thousands of backgrounds to create that range from a grainy composition to a multi-faceted mess (depending on the look you are going for). To create a paper texture in Photoshop, you should start a new file that measures 60 x 60 pixels. The color should be in RGB. Next, select the following commands in this same order: Filter, Noise, Add Noise. Once completed, choose Gaussian, which is set to 80%.

The next step to create a paper texture is to select Filter, then Stylize, followed by Emboss. The angle should be set to -50, the Height to 2 pixels, and the Amount to 70%. The background will now resemble a gray embossed selection. To change the color, choose Image, then Adjust, followed by Hue-Saturation-Brightness. Once you select the Colorize checkbox, you should set the Hue to a different setting. To gain your personal preference, you can adjust the contrast.

To create the appearance that objects are glowing without using any filters, choose an object to work with that will be duplicated as a layer. First, select the color you’d like your glow to be. After choosing the lower duplicate, click on Edit from the menu, then Stroke. When the Stroke Options appear, the pixel width should be set between 1 and 16. It is important to remember that the larger number you choose, the thicker the glow will appear.

Before exiting, you should glance under Location to make sure that the Outside option is selected. The next step involves applying a Gaussian Blur to the layer, which can be found under the Blur option in Filters. This will soften the glow applied to the layer. Some individuals even repeat the process to create a double glow, which is some cases, can really make an image stand out.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Custom Photo Purse: A Great Gift for New Moms

When a woman becomes a mother, whether it be for the first time or not, life changes at that very moment in time. When a mother has a child there is pride that is associated with that child. The pride associated with having a healthy baby boy or girl is amazing, but it is hard to put into words. As much as a mother would love to spend every minute with their child there are many who are unable to. When life starts calling there are many parents who are required to place their infants into childcare. Leaving a child behind, even only for a little while, can be heartbreaking, but what if there was a way to reduce that heartbreak even just a little bit?

When a mother returns to work for the first time after having a child it is likely that she will take a number of photographs with her. Photographs are a great way for mothers to always keep their child in their thoughts, but there is a newer more modern way. A custom photo purse is one of the newest ways to bring photographs alive and they can literally be carried everywhere you go.

A custom photo purse is created by using a special purse that is able to have a photograph constructed on a portion of it. The purses used to create a custom photo purse often come in a wide variety of different styles and sizes. It is possible for color or black and white photos to be constructed on a purse. There are only a small number of limitations; therefore, creating a custom photo purse is great way to help brighten up any mother’s day.

If you are a new mother yourself or know a new mother you are encourage to consider purchasing them a custom photo purse. For a reasonable price it is possible to turn a baby photo or a family photo into a custom photo purse. There are a wide number of companies or individuals who specialize in making custom photo purses. This means that different individuals may have different purse styles or design options. While it may not always occur, it is often possible to select not only the style of the purse, but the interior and exterior border colors as well. This feature truly makes a photo purse a custom photo purse.

Going back to work after having a child is one of the hardest and most painful things for a mother to do. Almost always the child is being cared for and it is the mother that is suffering the most. With a custom photo purse you can help a friend or family member cope with their return to work.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Brief History Of Photography

For centuries images have been projected onto surfaces. The camera obscura and the camera lucida were used by artists to trace scenes as early as the 16th century. These early cameras did not fix an image in time; they only projected what passed through an opening in the wall of a darkened room onto a surface. In effect, the entire room was turned into a large pinhole camera. Indeed, the phrase camera obscura literally means "darkened room," and it is after these darkened rooms that all modern cameras have been named.

The first photograph is considered to be an image produced in 1826 by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce on a polished pewter plate covered with a petroleum derivative called bitumen of Judea. It was produced with a camera, and required an eight hour exposure in bright sunshine. However this process turned out to be a dead end and Niépce began experimenting with silver compounds based on a Johann Heinrich Schultz discovery in 1724 that a silver and chalk mixture darkens when exposed to light.

Niépce, in Chalon-sur-Saône, and the artist Louis Daguerre, in Paris, refined the existing silver process in a partnership. In 1833 Niépce died of a stroke, leaving his notes to Daguerre. While he had no scientific background, Daguerre made two pivotal contributions to the process.

He discovered that by exposing the silver first to iodine vapour, before exposure to light, and then to mercury fumes after the photograph was taken, a latent image could be formed and made visible. By then bathing the plate in a salt bath the image could be fixed.

In 1839 Daguerre announced that he had invented a process using silver on a copper plate called the Daguerreotype. A similar process is still used today for Polaroids. The French government bought the patent and immediately made it public domain.

Across the English Channel, William Fox Talbot had earlier discovered another means to fix a silver process image but had kept it secret. After reading about Daguerre's invention Talbot refined his process, so that it might be fast enough to take photographs of people as Daguerre had done and by 1840 he had invented the calotype process.

He coated paper sheets with silver chloride to create an intermediate negative image. Unlike a daguerreotype a calotype negative could be used to reproduce positive prints, like most chemical films do today. Talbot patented this process which greatly limited its adoption.

He spent the rest of his life in lawsuits defending the patent until he gave up on photography altogether. But later this process was refined by George Eastman and is today the basic technology used by chemical film cameras. Hippolyte Bayard also developed a method of photography but delayed announcing it, and so was not recognized as its inventor.

In the darkroomIn 1851 Frederick Scott Archer invented the collodion process. It was the process used by Lewis Carroll.

Slovene Janez Puhar invented the technical procedure for making photographs on glass in 1841. The invention was recognized on July 17th 1852 in Paris by the Académie Nationale Agricole, Manufacturière et Commerciale.

The Daguerreotype proved popular in responding to the demand for portraiture emerging from the middle classes during the Industrial Revolution. This demand, that could not be met in volume and in cost by oil painting, may well have been the push for the development of photography.

However daguerreotypes, while beautiful, were fragile and difficult to copy. A single photograph taken in a portrait studio could cost US$1000 in 2006 dollars. Photographers also encouraged chemists to refine the process of making many copies cheaply, which eventually led them back to Talbot's process. Ultimately, the modern photographic process came about from a series of refinements and improvements in the first 20 years.

In 1884 George Eastman, of Rochester, New York, developed dry gel on paper, or film, to replace the photographic plate so that a photographer no longer needed to carry boxes of plates and toxic chemicals around. In July of 1888 Eastman's Kodak camera went on the market with the slogan "You press the button, we do the rest". Now anyone could take a photograph and leave the complex parts of the process to others. Photography became available for the mass-market in 1901 with the introduction of Kodak Brownie.

Since then color film has become standard, as well as automatic focus and automatic exposure. Digital recording of images is becoming increasingly common, as digital cameras allow instant previews on LCD screens and the resolution of top of the range models has exceeded high quality 35mm film while lower resolution models have become affordable. For the enthusiast photographer processing black and white film, little has changed since the introduction of the 35mm film Leica camera in 1925.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Blank Canvas: A brief consideration of Modern Design

Modern Design was born at the turn of the 20th century. But as design does, this movement acquired from its predecessors, namely the Bauhaus and International styles. Bauhaus was an architectural school founded in 1918. The faculty and students of the school would develop a style of architecture that favored simplicity and the integration of technology. International Style became the term used once the ideas of the Bauhaus began to catch on around the world. Swiss architect, Le Corbusier and his idea of an open interior became the basis of International and eventually Modern design.

The philosophy of why the modern style was originated is open to a debate that will never be resolved. The advancements of the Industrial Revolution in mid 19th century brought about innovations in technology and new building materials. Sleek and clean lines were easily presented with the glass, steel, and concrete that became highly available through the mass production of the 20th century. Some insist on the direct correlation with the eclectic art movements of the time, Expressionism, Fauvism, and so on. The idea of progress and the socio-political revolutions of the early 20th century were surely making an impact as well. Whatever the foundation of this Modern movement, we know that it was a time of inspiration and change, remarkable enough to endure through to the present.

Let us examine Modern Design as it stands today in its most prevalent form--the interior. Open any home magazine or journal from the last five years and I feel quite confident in saying most articles center around the modernizing of the home. Whether it be color, accessories, lighting, etc., designers today are constantly enquired as to what looks chic, and today, modern is chic.

The open plan that Le Corbusier derived remains the source of Modern design. The floor plans of mod homes are sparsely furnished. Simplicity and lack of ornamentation compliment the look, as the progress of design has become 'less is more'. Consider computers, televisions, cell phones, and even the automobiles of today. Every few months, something smaller and more streamlined is released. This constant simplifying of technology is no coincidence, it is convenience. With the progress and technology of the 20th century came the consequence of a much faster paced life. The direct response to this and rightly so, was the need for convenience. In the interior, this convenience lies in the lack of disarray and congestion and more in modular furnishing--straight lined and simple. Hence, less is more.

Walls are treated as a background to your open plan. White, black, brown, gray, beige, and chrome are characteristic on the walls of a very modern home. Originally, primary colors (reds, yellows, blues) were used in accessories and artwork to add a splash of color here and there. More recently, natural themes have been incorporated--cool greens and blues. The great thing about modern style is that if you begin with a sparse background, any color can be incorporated in moderation.

Flooring consists of natural elements. Wood planking, bamboo for example, is most common. Brick, stone, and tile are used to again keep the surroundings somewhat of a blank canvas. Rugs are used to paint that canvas. They come in infinite sizes, shapes, colors and designs, and can be used to personalize and soften a stark space.

Industrial style lighting works very well with ultra modern homes. Track lighting, spot lighting, and recessed cans are probably the most popular forms. Floor and table lamps can add a personal touch as well. Lighting options are as immense as rugs. And by no means does lighting have to be the most expensive aspect of design.

Accents and furnishings are by far the most interesting aspect of the modern style. I believe this to be true because there is no sort of outline for them. These are things of your choice. Almost anything can be incorporated. Pull colors from your rug, your artwork, or simply add colors through these modern oil paintings. If there is any sort of rule at all in modern design, it is to use decorative items sparsely.

But then, are there any rules in design, really? There are frameworks, yes. But they have always been debated and never decided. Modern designers and architects have continuously argued the philosophy of design. The most intriguing part of modern style is first personal opinion, and second, personal philosophy. Mine is to use these frameworks for what they are, a blank canvas--paint as you will. Be eclectic, be interesting, be colorful, but most of all, be unique. Isn't that the modern way?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Few Cool Photoshop Tips And Tricks, Part 1

When it comes to entering the graphic design world, creating interesting pieces for a job or sharing artwork with family and friends, there are plenty of cool Photoshop tips and tricks to consider. Whether you are just experimenting with the tools or already know how to layout a magazine spread, there will always be a new shortcut or trick to make life much easier. Below, you will find a few tips to add to your repertoire or share with others:

Easy Photoshop Tips and Tricks

Have you ever wanted to easily create the image of Earth and dread using the circle tool? There is an easy way to design the world in six steps, which should take less than a minute to complete. First, you should select File/New from the menu bar and create a file size that measures about 200 pixels by 200 pixels. The RGB mode should be selected for this trick. Next, choose a light blue shade for the foreground color and a darker blue for the background color.

Under the Filters tab, select Render, and then choose Clouds. The scene that will greet you should look a lot like the sky. It is the clouds filter that utilizes the foreground and background colors needed to construct this image in your file. If you desire a different look, you can press Ctrl + F on Windows or Command + F for a Mac to reapply the filter. Each time this key combination is pressed, you will receive a somewhat different outcome.

Now, return to the Filter menu and select Render, and then choose Lighting Effects. Once you enter the Light Effects menu, you are able to alter the shape of the ellipse to a circle that becomes centered on your file. Changing the Narrow setting to 39 next follows choosing the Default Spotlight setting.

Sometimes a Photoshop project calls for texture. There are thousands of backgrounds to create that range from a grainy composition to a multi-faceted mess (depending on the look you are going for). To create a paper texture in Photoshop, you should start a new file that measures 60 x 60 pixels. The color should be in RGB. Next, select the following commands in this same order: Filter, Noise, Add Noise. Once completed, choose Gaussian, which is set to 80%.

The next step to create a paper texture is to select Filter, then Stylize, followed by Emboss. The angle should be set to -50, the Height to 2 pixels, and the Amount to 70%. The background will now resemble a gray embossed selection. To change the color, choose Image, then Adjust, followed by Hue-Saturation-Brightness. Once you select the Colorize checkbox, you should set the Hue to a different setting. To gain your personal preference, you can adjust the contrast.

To create the appearance that objects are glowing without using any filters, choose an object to work with that will be duplicated as a layer. First, select the color you’d like your glow to be. After choosing the lower duplicate, click on Edit from the menu, then Stroke. When the Stroke Options appear, the pixel width should be set between 1 and 16. It is important to remember that the larger number you choose, the thicker the glow will appear.

Before exiting, you should glance under Location to make sure that the Outside option is selected. The next step involves applying a Gaussian Blur to the layer, which can be found under the Blur option in Filters. This will soften the glow applied to the layer. Some individuals even repeat the process to create a double glow, which is some cases, can really make an image stand out.

Monday, August 2, 2010

75 percent of people buy the wrong digital camera

When I teach a new class learning digital photography, over 75% of the students turn up with the camera the salesman suggested.

Guess what? They soon find out that it’s the wrong one for them. This can be a very expensive mistake. So the big questions are what is the right one for me and how do I know which is best for me.

One of the first things that you want to know about the camera that the salesman is trying to sell you is as follows -
How long does the camera take to turn on and be ready to take the shot? In the consumer market this can range between 1 to 5 seconds most being towards the 3 seconds mark. 
How long does the camera take to focus on the subject? (Not to take the picture) most cameras take between 1 to 3 seconds most at around the 1-second mark. How long does the camera take to actually take the photo after you have pushed the shutter button completely? Again, most cameras take between 1to 3 seconds this is called shutter lag time. Now you can see to take a photo can take up to 5 seconds just to turn on and up to another 3 seconds to focus in and the up to another 3 seconds just to actually take the photo.

In a cheaper camera, but not necessarily cheaper it can be up to 9 seconds to take a photo from the camera turned off. You may say “yes but I will leave my camera on” ok that’s fine, but you may still have a lag time of up to 3 seconds just to take a photo. Just imagine how annoying it will be now that you have purchased your new digital camera costing you around $400 - $500 to find that you just can’t catch your child blowing out the candles because your new camera at the critical time of blowing the candles out took 1 second to focus and a further 2 seconds to take the photo. What was the result? A child sitting in front of a cake with black smoldering candles.

Can you set the white balance on your camera? Just what is the white balance?

About 60% of digital cameras don’t have this adjustment, you must buy one that can be set manually, not just one that has an “auto white balance” as they are not as good as they advertise.

Does your camera have different exposure modes?

Exposure modes are simply where does the camera take a light reading? The cheaper cameras just do an all over reading which can be very limiting to say the least. A good camera will have a “spot”, “centre weighted” and “matrix” metering system, which allows you to take great photos in any light situation.

When buying a digital camera, buy it for the fact that it’s a camera not a video camera as well. One student showed me all the features her camera had and that’s why it was more expensive – the only thing that it didn’t do well was take still pictures!

You can get so much out of your new digital camera! you just have to put some time in for learning how to use it properly and how to take better pictures – remember no one will ever want to look at a poor quality photo twice!

If you want to take really great pictures that will be in your family for years put in a little effort with your new digital camera.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

10 Ways To Make Sure Your Image's Bright Red Is Bright And Red

Graphic designers, photographers, publishers and computer users at large: they all rely on their digital equipment being capable of rendering colours right. But the sad truth is your colours will differ depending on the output device. A monitor's red is not the same as an inkjet printer's red. Besides, what is "red"?

Here are 10 things you can do to make sure red is red, no matter which device has to render it.

1. Buy a good monitor. OK, this is an open door, but by "good" i mean a monitor that you can calibrate. That rules out all the office monitors, the Apple Cinemas and leaves you with LaCie 300 range and Eizo ColorEdge products.

2. Buy a good calibration and profiling application. Even if you can't afford an Eizo ColorEdge, buy Color Solutions' basICColor Display. This software comes with a high-quality GretagMacbeth Display 2 colorimeter (called the "Squid 2" by Color Solutions), and has a feature called "software calibration". The latter calibrates any monitor by storing the calibration data (the Tone Response Curve) in the video card's lookup tables. The only requirement: your video card should support it. ATI's Radeon range supports this.

3. Calibrate and create a colour profile for your monitor once a month. Calibration is different from profiling. Calibration means the colour lookup tables in the monitor are put into a known state, while a profile merely describes the monitor's perception of colours. With calibration you tell the monitor that it must render "pure red" by setting its colour channels in a certain manner. The profile you create will tell your image editing software, or graphic design application that pure red for this monitor means a specific mixture of its colour channels.

4. Buy an inkjet printer which has non-clogging printheads. Ideally, printheads should never clog. If they do, you can rest assured your colours will come out awful. If they don't, you can still have bad colours, but now at least you can something about it. Good printers are a bit more expensive than the bottom-price inkjet printers you can buy these days. Think of paying something like 200 USD at a minimum. For top-notch printers like the HP Photosmart Pro B9180, expect to pay 700 USD.

5. Drive your inkjet through a Raster Image Processor. Many high-end printers support a RIP, but not all RIPs are created equal. EFI makes good RIPs, as do the vendors that develop more expensive RIPs for large format printers. EFI has a decent RIP, with support for ink limiting, black start setting, etc, for a very decent price. It's the EFI Designer Edition.

6. Profile your printer and use that profile with your RIP to get accurate colours, and save money on ink consumption. Through the profile settings, you can actually determine how much ink gets sprayed onto the page. For some paper types, you can save a lot of money by setting ink limiting optimally for your printer.

7. Use established equipment such as X-Rite/GretagMacbeth or Barbieri to generate your CMYK printer profile. You should create a profile for every paper not supported by your printer manufacturer. If you must use your printer in RGB mode, you can do with less expensive profiling systems. The best way to ensure a good quality profile is made when you don't have the budget to buy a system that costs a few thousand dollars, is to appeal to a remote service such as Thinck.com's.

8. Use an image editing application such as Photoshop, which has a "softproof" feature. To softproof means that you'll be able to visually determine an image's colours on-screen with enough accuracy to be confident the colours will match the printed output. Softproofing is never one-on-one, but can come very close, and is another way of saving money by saving on both wasted paper and ink.

8. When editing your image, set the grey balance first. Select a neutral grey area in your image (if you took a photo, you'll remember what was grey, and if you don't, there are almost always objects that must be grey) and set this area as your neutral grey tone. In Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, you do this by selecting the Levels or Curves tool, selecting the grey eyedropper in the dialogue window, and clicking with this tool in the neutral area of your image.

9. If your image has a warm tone to it, e.g. because it was shot at dusk or with tungsten light and no flash, you can neutralize colour casts somewhat by choosing an area that is not exactly neutral but more towards the warm tone of the image. As long as the area is greyish by nature, the image will adjust accordingly.

10. Be careful with setting Saturation levels too high. If you boost saturation, you're also bossting colour inaccuracies. You can boost the saturation of your image when you're sure it is colour-accurate.

These and many more tips, tricks, and tutorials, but also product reviews and in-depth technology and methodology background information is available on IT-Enquirer.com. IT-Enquirer is an online magazine aimed at creative professionals. It contains articles for beginners all the way up to experts in the field.