Tools That Make Macro Photography Easier – Helicon Focus Pro and CamRanger

Spring has sprung.  New life all around us, providing a wealth of photographic subjects.  Perfect for macro photography.  Macro photography reveals the smallest of these subjects, from tiny lichens to the wing details of insects to the inner sculpture of a summer bloom.

Canon Macro LensMacro photography requires only one unique piece of equipment:  a lens that can focus within a tiny distance of the subject, resulting in an image that is the same size on the camera sensor as the subject is in real life.  But macro lenses have an amazingly small depth of field, almost guaranteeing that some part of the image will be out of focus.   What’s a photographer to do? Continue reading

To Print or Not to Print, That is the Question

We didn’t learn about printing photographs during my training in digital photography.  Some of you might say “What did you expect, it was a DIGITAL photography course?”

Good point.  But I always felt there was something missing in my training and I recently attended a two day course on printing photographs.  It opened my eyes to the value of a hardcopy print.  Here’s why. Continue reading

Tools That Make My Photography Easier – Luminar

For as long as I can remember, Adobe Photoshop has been the king of image editing software.  It is used by professionals in the photographic and graphic industries to work wonders with any form of image, even allowing you to create an image without using any camera at all.

But the consumer revolution left Adobe a bit behind, with savvy semi-pro and enthusiast photographers looking for image editing options that were reasonably priced and didn’t require a college degree.  To Adobe’s credit, they saw that demand and Adobe Lightroom was born.  But recent moves to subscription services and releases of updates users didn’t want have set them back a bit.  Room for others to step in?  Now we have a new player in this arena – MacPhun’s Luminar.
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Light Painting with Patrick Rochon

I had the pleasure yesterday of attending a presentation by Patrick Rochon, also known as Patrick the Light Painter.  There are many ways to express one’s creativity in photography and Patrick has chosen light as the medium for his expression.  You might wonder what’s unique about that, since every photographer uses light.  It’s how he uses it that sets him apart. Continue reading

Shedding Light on Adobe Lightroom

The most important tool in my kit is Adobe’s Lightroom CC.  It is the lifeline to my photographs, providing import, organization, editing and delivery for the thousands of images I’ve captured.

Lightroom is billed as a companion product to Adobe Photoshop.  It’s packaged with Photoshop in the Adobe Photography subscription plan.  Lightroom was designed from the ground up to be a standalone workhorse and many people use it as such.  But it is equally a great companion to Photoshop, allowing for many basic workflow tasks to be performed quickly in Lightroom before launching Photoshop for more complex edits.

Despite these positive features, I’ve spoken to people who describe Lightroom as frustrating and overly complex.  It seems this is because of 3 design decisions that Adobe made in terms of how Lightroom operates. Continue reading

The Real Meaning of “Shooting RAW”

I like to know how things work.  I ask “why” A LOT.  Recently, I took an online course offered by lynda.com, one of the premier online learning environments.  They cover many professions and subjects, including photography.  One of their elite photography instructors is Ben Long, who has worked with clients such as 20th Century Fox and Bluenote Records.  In this course, Learn Photography:  Shooting in RAW Mode (sorry for capitalizing RAW, Ben), he covers all the details any nerd like me could possibly want about shooting raw images.  It was so full of information, I went through it twice.

ben-long

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Tools That Make My Photography Easier – CamRanger

In the first of what I hope will be an ongoing series, I’m profiling one of the many tools that help to make my photography easier.  When I say easier, I’m thinking about this from several perspectives:

  • achieving an effect that would otherwise be time consuming or overly complicated,
  • getting a shot that, because of site or equipment limits, might be difficult or impossible,
  • automating tasks that would be time consuming, tedious or repetitive,
  • compensating for one or more of the personal challenges we might have as photographers (getting older, mobility issues, etc.)
  • alternatives to expensive, top of the line solutions for any of the above

These won’t be “reviews” in the traditional sense.  Instead, they’ll discuss how I use the tools and what advantages they provide to me.  Hopefully they’ll help you too.  This month: camranger-title

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