January 27, 2010

100 Days in Glacier National Park

Mt. Reynolds, Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana
In honor of Glacier National Park's centennial in 2010, photographer Chris Peterson, who runs Glacier Park Magazine and works for the Hungry Horse News weekly paper, decided to spend 100 consecutive days photographing in the park. He published a blog of his photos and will produce a special edition of the magazine. You can see some of his photos, read the captions detailing his adventures and learn more about his project at the links below.

Some of you might consider a project similar to this in your own area. It doesn't have to be a national park nor does it have to be 100 straight days. But any dedicated time spent photographing one subject yields photographs you wouldn't have made otherwise. My colleague John Snell has spent years photographing in Kentucky's Red River Gorge. His efforts have culminated in a book, Red River Gorge---The Eloquent Landscape, and three full-color calendars. Enjoy the adventure!

January 18, 2010

Help for Animals in Haiti

All of us have been affected by the stories and pictures of devastation in Haiti from the earthquake. Many have donated money, goods and services generously to help bring succor to the citizens of the capital.

I'd like to make a personal request that you remember the animals, domestic and wild, affected by this tragedy as well. Consider making a donation to the Humane Society, the ASPCA or other animal service organizations by visiting their websites.


Rescue dogs in Spain awaiting air transport to Haiti

January 12, 2010

Essential Digital Camera Nominated for Award

If you've been reading my blog for a while, I hope you've found the content interesting and useful. Another group has. Essential Digital Camera has been nominated for a Golden Retrevo Award. 

Retrevo is a leading consumer electronics shopping and review site visited by close to 6 million visitors a month. 

These awards honor the best and brightest independent bloggers of the gadget blogosphere. Nominations come from gadget enthusiasts as well as Retrevo's own panel of gadget experts. Read more about the award at: http://www.retrevo.com/content/golden-retrevo-awards

Winners will be invited to participate with Retrevo to share their quality content with our users. 
To vote for Essential Digital Camera, click on this link:

Voting ends on Monday, January 25, 2010. Winners will be announced on February 1st.

Thanks for your support!

January 9, 2010

10 Easy Editing Steps to Enhance Your Photos

You have made that perfect picture and you want to share it with friends and family. Before you post it on Facebook, upload it to Flickr, email it to anyone or print it, take some time to bring out your photo's best qualities by doing some basic editing.

You do not need a fancy, expensive photo editing program to accomplish these steps. Picasa, a free editing program from Google for Windows and Mac computers, or iPhoto, often included free on Mac computers, has enough choices to enable you to accomplish these steps. Other programs may have come with your camera on a CD or DVD that you can install on your computer.

Most photo editing software has an "Auto Fix" button or menu choice. This is certainly worth trying. But sometimes this "one size fits all" kind of edit makes your picture look worse instead of better. In that case, knowing what choices to use in which order can help you make a good picture great!

Original photo from camera

These steps are the equivalent of what a photo lab does with your picture when you drop it off for printing. All digital camera photos, no matter how good they look on your computer, can be improved in 10 easy steps.

  1. Select
  2. Copy
  3. Rotate and/or straighten
  4. Crop
  5. Expose
  6. Color correct
  7. Size
  8. Sharpen
  9. Save
  10. Print or Email or Upload
If any of the changes makes your picture look worse instead of better, use the Undo feature of your editing software (or press Ctrl+Z on a Windows computer, Apple+Z on a Mac) to reverse the change. Then go on to the next step. 

Photo after editing with Picasa 

In future posts, I'll expand on these ten steps with more helpful tips and examples.

Remember, this is a very brief overview of editing your pictures. If you would like to learn more, check for classes or workshops offered in your area. Look up online videos for more advanced tips and techniques. Continue to practice improving your best photos. Just like using your digital camera, learning to enhance your pictures takes time! Enjoy the process!