Here’s something you might want to read and bookmark for future reference. Photographer Robert Thomas has written up an in-depth article explaining what the different Photoshop blending modes are and how they actually work:
Working with blend modes is almost always an experimental process. Because it’s nearly impossible to predict the results, you always seem to end up experimenting with different modes and Fill Opacities until you get the results you’re looking for.
In this article I’m going to give you a high-level view of what the various blend modes do, and then I’ll dig deeper into the nuts and bolts of the blend modes by explaining some of the math involved, and their interrelationships with each other. I’m not going to “show” you how the blend modes work—I’m going to “explain” how they work. By the time you finish reading this article, you should have a better idea of how to use blend modes and where to begin your “experimentation,” which in turn should reduce the time it takes to achieve the results you’re looking for.
When it comes to figuring out our car’s life expectancy, we’ve come to expect a little bit of community involvement. Sure, the car company will tell you that your truck is supposed to last X-number of miles, but if the majority of real owners online disagree, we tend to side with them. But why stop at your car? Why not see what users are reporting about your camera’s life expectancy? Read more…
Looking for free lessons on how to get started with using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom to post-process your photographs? Look no further than the official YouTube channel of New York City camera shop B&H Photo Video. The store often invites well-known professional photographers to hold lectures on subjects they’re knowledgable in and passionate about. The collection of videos aren’t as shared as other shorter tutorial videos you’ll find online due to their great lengths — they run up to two hours each — but they’re fantastic resources for learning the ins and outs of photography.
In the video above, photographer Tim Grey offers an overview of using Photoshop CS6 for optimizing your photos. His topics include adjustment layers, image cleanup tools, cropping, rotating, correcting perspective, and applying local adjustments. Read more…
DEVELOP Tube is a video channel on YouTube and Vimeo that’s geared towards photographers and curated by NYC-based photographer Erica McDonald. Each channel features interviews, profiles, lectures, and films about photography that are carefully selected from each website.
Marc Levoy, the Stanford professor behind the “Frankencamera” project, teaches a course on digital photography called CS 178. The class website is a treasure trove for anyone looking for some great free education in photography:
An introduction to the scientific, artistic, and computing aspects of digital photography – how digital cameras work, how to take good pictures using them, and how to manipulate these pictures afterwards. Topics include lenses and optics, light and sensors, optical effects in nature, perspective and depth of field, sampling and noise, the camera as a computing platform, image processing and editing, history of photography, and computational photography. We’ll also survey the history of photography and look at the work of famous photographers.
Think you know all there is to know about digital photography? Try answering these 10 final exam review questions (answers can be found here). Leave a comment telling us how many you got right!
External hard drives are a convenient way to store your digital photographs, but they have finite lifetimes and eventually fail. Failing drives have a number of distinctive sounds that can warn you and give you some time to start a data-exodus to a healthier hard drive. Datacent, a data recovery company, has a useful page on which you can listen to some of the most common “bad drive sounds”. These are categorized by manufacturer, and include things like stuck spindles, disk heads crashing, accessing bad sectors, and bad bearings. If your drive makes any of these sounds while your photographs are still accessible, begin evasive maneuversimmediately!
Editor’s note: The checklist presented in this post is also available as a text file for you to print out and carry along for reference. This post was first published here.
Almost all of the camera equipment I have ever owned was purchased used. While this isn’t something to be proud of, I do like to think I know a thing or two about cameras and lenses. I have run into the occasional problems with lenses, but I made sure I had the option to return them if they had issues. I have also purchased a few lenses and cameras from people on Craigslist as well and as long as you know what you’re getting and tried it out when you made the purchase, you should be covered. There are a few things that I always check and I’m putting them up here in the hope that you might find some of it useful. Read more…
If you’re looking to set up a portfolio website for your photography, New York-based photographer Dalton Rooney has a nice WordPress template [Update: no longer available] you can download and install. We’re of the opinion that portfolios shouldn’t be flash-based, and this minimalistic design highlights your work in a simple and easy to use way. Of course, you can always use the template as a base and customize it to your liking.
Here’s a useful resource I found a while back that many of you might find helpful. SLRGear.com is a website that conducts comprehensive tests on camera lenses, and publishes them in the form of diagrams and illustrations.
One of the features my friends and I have found most useful is the blur index illustration that it provides. This interactive chart helps you find the “sweet spot” for your lens, showing you where the lens is sharpest as you choose a specific focal length and aperture.
From the screenshot above of the Canon 24-70mm blur index chart, you can see that there is a sizable “sweet spot” of sharpness in the center of the frame at 35mm f/2.8. As you move towards the outer edges of the frame, there is less sharpness and more blur. Most of the time you will find that lenses have the largest sweet spot at f/4.0 to f/5.6. If you increase the f-number beyond that, you start losing sharpness again.