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Slo-mo for the masses

By Glen Martin
February 22, 2014

The connectivity of everything isn’t just about objects talking to each other via the Internet. It’s also about the accelerating democratization of formerly elite technology. Yes, it’s about putting powerful devices in touch with each other — but it’s also …

Four short links: 25 June 2013

By Nat Torkington
June 25, 2013

Cliodynamics: History as Science — a systematic application of the scientific method to history: verbal theories should be translated into mathematical models, precise predictions derived, and then rigorously tested on empirical material. In short, history needs to become an analytical, …

Make 2011 A Lightroom Year!

By Gene McCullagh
January 20, 2011

The decorations are all put away. The fog of the New Year's Eve party has lifted. Life has returned to something resembling a normal schedule. 2011 is now with us and poised to be a great year for you. That is, if you choose to make it a great year. Rather than let the year slip away why not plan to learn more about Lightroom? Lightroom can appear to be a simple and straight-forward application. But don't be fooled. There are subtleties and nuances in every module. It is a rich program with a lot to offer. Let's explore it more in 2011. Don't call it a resolution to learn more about Lightroom (because we all know what happens to New Year's resolutions). Just work it into your regular routine. To assist you here are a few suggestions for things to explore further.

As Simple As It Gets!

By Gene McCullagh
October 6, 2010

There's a new kid on the photo-sharing block. Say hello to Yogile. (Luckily for me this isn't a podcast because I have no idea how to pronounce Yogile.) If you thought it was easy to share photos before... you won't believe how easy it is now! This is one of those ideas that is so sublimely simple you say to yourself, "Now why didn't I think of that!" With Yogile you can set up public or private photo albums. Each album gets a unique URL and email address. Share those with your friends and family and now any of them can easily view or add images. They don't even need to sign in or open an account of their own! Photos can be uploaded via the website or sent by email. It's super simple.

Four short links: 3 August 2010

By Nat Torkington
August 3, 2010

OpenStructs -- an education and distribution site dedicated to open source software for converting, managing, viewing and manipulating structured data. TinkerPop -- many (often open source) tools for graph data. Polaroid a Day -- a moving human story told in photographs. Prizes (PDF) -- White House memorandum to government agencies explaining how prizes are to be used. The first...

Import - Where It All Begins

By Gene McCullagh
July 5, 2010

It's been a long ride full of adventure and discovery from Lightroom 3 Beta through Lightroom 3 Beta 2 to Lightroom 3. Along the way we all made suggestions and requests. Adobe listened. If one of your suggestions didn't make it into this version don't worry. This won't be the last version of Lightroom. I am confident that we have a lot of new and exciting things in the future. For now, let's get comfortable with Lightroom 3! As with any version of Lightroom it all begins with Import. And this time around we have an entirely new and improved import feature. While this has been the source of some consternation and controversy, once you dig in and look at what's new here I think you'll be on board.

Going Against The Grain

By Gene McCullagh
July 3, 2010

There was a time when film grain was a problem for some photographers. That concern translated into a concern with digital noise. Many words have been written on the techniques in many applications to remove or lessen digital noise or grain in modern images. Some even seek to find ways to remove the grain from old film photographs. Despite all of this, grain has its place in modern digital photography. Grain now brings with it the charm and nostalgia of bygone film days. When compositing images, grain can be the unifying effect bringing different images from different times together for a great composite. Adding grain to a black and white or sepia image can add a pleasing artistic texture to the work. Whatever the reason, many photographers add grain to an image. Sometimes after working diligently to remove digital noise! But, then, grain isn't noise.

Four short links: 3 June 2010

By Nat Torkington
June 3, 2010

How to Get Customers Who Love You Even When You Screw Up -- a fantastic reminder of the power of Kathy Sierra's "I Rock" moments. In that moment I understood Tom's motivation: Tom was a hero. (via Hacker News) Yahoo! Mail is Open for Development -- you can write apps that sit in Yahoo! Mail, using and extending the...

Lightroom Gets The Red Out!

By Gene McCullagh
March 6, 2010

Aside from Halloween shots those glowing red eyes in images don't belong. Of course, the best way to deal with red-eye is to avoid it altogether. So how does it happen? When the light from your flash enters your subject's eyes it bounces back from the retina. The retina is rich with blood vessels and colors the returning light red. If your flash is close to the lens (as are many on camera flashes) that light bounces right back into the lens and the eyes appear red. The farther away from the lens you move your flash the more you decrease the chance of red-eye. So the best way to fix red-eye is to get your flash off of your camera. I think more people are beginning to realize this.

Organizing Your Images

By Gene McCullagh
January 25, 2010

The start of a new year is always a time to think about change and improvement. One common resolution is to get more organized. In this age of digital media it is even more critical that we keep track of our digital assets. Lightroom has many features to help you organize your images. Organization can come in many forms and at many levels. You can organize your images at the drive level (by using a system of folders, subfolders, and file naming conventions) and/or at the metadata level in Lightroom. You must first decide what organizational workflow fits for you. There are many websites and books devoted to this topic. You should do a little research before embarking on this adventure. The best website I can recommend to you to delve deeply into industry standard organization practice is dpBestFlow.org from the American Society of Media Photographers and funded by the Library of Congress. The site is full of suggestions and videos. Get ready to spend some time there!

10 Suggestions for 2010

By Gene McCullagh
December 31, 2009

Can you believe it? 2009 is nearly over! Where does the time go? Are you satisfied with your photography this year? Do you have photographic plans for 2010? Lightroom is an excellent program but it still needs you to feed it images. If you find yourself in a creative slump or the shooting doldrums don't despair! Leave all that in 2009 and look to the new year with fresh eyes! Here are ten suggestions to help you rekindle that passion for photography! You may have seen some (or all) of these elsewhere but it never hurts to see them again.

BigShot Camera Educates with DIY

BigShot Camera Educates with DIY
By Kyle Dent
November 13, 2009

Shree Nayar, chair of Computer Science at the Columbia University has created BigShot, a digital camera kit for kids from eight years old and up to construct their own digital cameras. The purpose of the camera is primarily education, and testing indicates that it does a good job at that, but it also takes honest-to-goodness photos just like grown-up, pre-assembled adult versions.

Time-Lapse Movie with iPhone Soundtrack

Time-Lapse Movie with iPhone Soundtrack
By David Battino
August 24, 2009

Former O'Reilly web producer Justin Watt just made a surprisingly cool video by combining still photos with a soundtrack made in Looptastic, a $5 iPhone app. Here's how he did it.

Stealing Presets

By Gene McCullagh
June 27, 2009

Last week, Matt Kloskowski on his blog Lightroom Killer Tips (which, by the way, is an excellent Lightroom resource. If you haven't been there yet ... What are you waiting for?) posted an article Is it wrong to steal Lightroom presets? discussing the ethics/legality/morality of copying someone else's presets and applying that to your own work. With the exception of Matt's drug company argument (drug companies use patents to protect their drugs. It's only when the patents expire that others can produce generic copies) I have to agree with him. To equate the process with the final product is not something copyright law contemplates. It's ludicrous to think that Michaelangelo could sue because you happened to sculpt using marble because he used marble! You could give me all the marble you want and there's no way you'll get a David or a Pieta out of me! LOL

Time Lapse of Galactic Center of Milky Way rising over Texas Star Party

Time Lapse of Galactic Center of Milky Way rising over Texas Star Party
By Jesse Robbins
May 21, 2009

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman. According to William Castleman: The time-lapse sequence was taken with the simplest equipment that I brought to the star party. I put the Canon EOS-5D (AA screen modified to record hydrogen alpha at 656 nm) with an EF 15mm f/2.8 lens on a weighted tripod. Exposures were...

Space Shuttle Atlantis during Solar Transit

By Jesse Robbins
May 17, 2009

In this tightly cropped image, the NASA space shuttle Atlantis is seen in silhouette during solar transit, Tuesday, May 12, 2009, from Florida. This image was made before Atlantis and the crew of STS-125 had grappled the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: (NASA/Thierry Legault) Thierry made this image using a solar-filtered Takahashi 5-inch refracting telescope and a Canon 5D...

A Spate of Excellent Photo Apps for the iPhone

A Spate of Excellent Photo Apps for the iPhone
By Derrick Story
April 2, 2009

Photography on the iPhone can be more than just snapping 2-megapixel pictures. You can also process and transfer the images from the same device that you used to record. For this to work reasonable well, you need a basic...

Moving Your Images From iPhoto to Lightroom

By Gene McCullagh
March 5, 2009

Earlier versions of Apple's iPhoto stored its library information in a regular folder structure. Around version 7 Apple changed that approach and iPhoto began hiding its folder structure inside a package file. While this makes the applications presence on the drive neater and theoretically more portable, it does hide the images in iPhoto's library from Lightroom. If you want to migrate your iPhoto library to Lightroom I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that it is relatively easy to import the files. The bad news? Your edits will not migrate easily. Unlike Lightroom, files that you edit in iPhoto are saved as a separate file. You can import these edited files but you will have both an original and the edit without any connection between them. Essentially, you wind up with two separate images. If you're still game here is how you do it.

Lightroom Catalog Settings

By Gene McCullagh
February 7, 2009

As we've seen, there are many preferences that can be adjusted in Lightroom to make it work the way you like. But that's not all! Each catalog has its own settings to allow you to further customize your Lightroom experience! Let's take a look at Catalog Settings.

Lightroom Preferences - Part 2

By Gene McCullagh
February 7, 2009

In Part 1 we took a look at the options available on the first three tabs of the Preferences dialog. In Part 2 we'll tackle the remaining three tabs. So let's get started!

Lightroom Preferences - Part 1

By Gene McCullagh
February 6, 2009

Setting preferences in Lightroom.

Should You Choose to Accept

By Harold Davis
February 5, 2009

On Photo.net recently Hannah Thiem conducted an interview with me. I think it's the best exposition about my work to date. (Suprada Urval's excellent interview with me covered very different ground.) As part of the interview, Hannah and I proposed an assignment: Photograph a flower in a unique way—in a way that nobody’s seen before. The top three submissions are...

Cherry Blossoms

By Harold Davis
February 4, 2009

Every year the cherry trees flower in the cultivated areas of the hills of California's coastal range, and of course I am impelled to photograph the blossoms. This season the cherry trees are flowering a tad early, like everything else in California in 2009. My thought was to create a simple image of cherry blossoms against a white background. The...

Got Tablet?

By Rick Sammon
February 1, 2009

As a Photoshop instructor and author, I need to be skilled at using both Mac and Windows machines. And like most of my Photoshop instructor friends, I use a stylus and a tablet for maximum brush control. For my Mac, I use a Mac Book Pro, and I tote my WACOM table everywhere I go. For my Windows machine, I use the Lenovo W700 Think Pad. What's especially cool about this machine is that is has a built-in tablet and stylus. How cool is that.

Changes

By Harold Davis
January 31, 2009

Since the world is always changing, photography is largely about capturing states of things---scenes, objects, or people---in the process of change. A single image can intimate the before, and the after, and resonate with events to come. This sense of time is what gives many photographic images their power. My process of working on photos after they've been taken is...

From Architecture to Fantasy

By Harold Davis
January 21, 2009

Between committments at Macworld at the Moscone Center I wandered over and indulged my dome photography habit by photographing the dome in the Westfield shopping mall in downtown San Francisco. I believe the dome itself is antique, but it's placed in an entirely modern shopping mall. Cameo, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger. It's easy with most domes...

Pogue's Top Ten Tips, Continued

Pogue's Top Ten Tips, Continued
By Mary Rotman
January 21, 2009

You may have seen the first five of David Pogue's "Top Ten Tips of All Time" in last week's post--here are the remaining five tips from him. And remember, if you can think of any other tips to add, leave a comment and I'll send you a copy of his new book, David Pogue's Digital Photography: The Missing Manual.

Flickr, Blurb, and Multiple Sclerosis

By Harold Davis
January 18, 2009

What do Flickr, Blurb, and multiple sclerosis have in common? How can the combination contribute to the fight against MS, and maybe change the face of publishing at the same time? Several months ago I was contacted on Flickr by Sophie Addison, and asked to share my image Spirals in a book Sophie was creating titled It's a Beautiful World....

David Pogue's "Top Ten Tips of All Time" for Digital Photography

David Pogue's
By Mary Rotman
January 16, 2009

If you're ready to jump into digital photography or would like to increase the skills you already have, David Pogue's Digital Photography: The Missing Manual is just what you need. In this brand new book, bestselling author David Pogue provides a no-nonsense guide to the entire process, including how to buy and use a digital camera, get the same photographic effects as the pros, manage the results on your Mac or PC, edit photos, and share the results with your adoring fans. Here are David's "Top Ten Tips of All Time" for digital photography.

Networked Printers and Speakers with AirPort WiFi

By Derrick Story
January 14, 2009

The current AirPort base station combined with iTunes, Apple TV, the iPhone, a handful of printers, and powered speakers have enabled me to configure an "upstairs/downstairs" network complete with printing and remote-controlled music streaming. Here's an overview.

Black and White for the Digital Era

By Harold Davis
January 8, 2009

What is the appeal of black and white photography? After all, we see the world in color, and a gray day is emotionally perceived as depressing and monotonous. Historically, black and white is easy to understand. Monochrome photographic processes were invented long before color. Even once color arrived on the scene, it was largely "yellow box": you snapped the photo,...

A Closer Look at iPhoto '09

By Derrick Story
January 7, 2009

The Macworld keynote today focused on three basic new products: iLife '09, iWork '09, and an updated MacBook Pro 17". Within the iLife suite resides the new iPhoto. It has some refreshing technologies, such as Faces and Places, and has added a new twist or two to the Adjust panel. Here's a closer look at those features. Adjust Panel Improvements...

Promising Glimpse of Thursday Night's Apple Store Panel

By Colleen Wheeler
January 6, 2009

The intelligent, engaged crowd at, a fabulous old-school bookstore Book Passage in Corte Madera (Marin County) got a preview Sunday of an upcoming Macworld event. Derrick Story moderated a panel of our digital imaging experts, Lisa Snider-King (Photoshop CS4 Missing Manual), Mikkel Aaland (Photoshop Lightroom 2 Adventure) and Deke McClelland (Adobe Photoshop One-on-One and Photoshop Channels & Masks One-on-One.) Hot...

O'Reilly Media Events at Macworld SF 09

By Derrick Story
January 3, 2009

We've put together a killer line-up of speakers for this year's Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Here's an overview of the things you can do with just an Expo pass. And don't forget that great library of O'Reilly books to browse.

Oakland of my mind

By Harold Davis
January 1, 2009

Pity poor Oakland. Playing Newark to San Francisco's New York across the water, Oakland definitely gets no respect. This is the city that gave the "no there" to there, a gritty and high crime urban wasteland. In real life, Oakland is a vibrant place of great variety, from beautiful hills to wildlife to sleek downtown skyscrapers to a controversial new...

Photographing Domes

By Harold Davis
December 22, 2008

It's a good observation that a difference between professional and very serious amateur photographers on the one hand, and snapshooters on the other, is that those in the pro group are always trying to create thematic links between their photos. This kind of grouping can imply a narrative, or revolve around a common technique, or involve the subject of the...

The O'Reilly 5-Step Plan for Evaluating Photoshop CS4... For Free

By Derrick Story
December 11, 2008

The number one question I get from photographers about Photoshop CS4 is, "Why should I bother to upgrade?" If you haven't seen the application, it's a totally reasonable query. So, we've put together an introductory package that will show you the highlights (for photographers) in CS4. It's a great plan, and here's how it rolls out.

Impossible Images

By Harold Davis
December 9, 2008

Variety is the spice of life, and it is certainly part of what I enjoy about photography. Having a camera is an excuse for being anywhere and examining anything. Those of you who follow my blog or my photostream on Flickr will know that my subjects range from kids and flowers through the night landscape. I'm also intrigued with the...

Blastoff

By Rick Sammon
December 9, 2008

I'm just back from one of the most incredible photographic experiences I've had - photographing the "blastoff" at Bosque del Apache in New Mexico with my friends from Naturescapes. I'm working on an article that will be posted on my site soon. It wiill also be posted on the Naturescapes site. Here is an expert - the prelude to the photo tech talk.

America at Home: Make Yourself a Cover Girl or Boy

By Derrick Story
December 3, 2008

AMERICA AT HOME is extraordinary book created by 100 of the worlds leading photographers and tens of thousands of amateurs over the course of one week. You can create your own custom cover for the book this holiday season.

Photoshop CS4 is for the Birds!

By Rick Sammon
December 2, 2008

Gifts for Shooters - Suggestions for Your Holiday List

By Derrick Story
November 25, 2008

We all know that shooters are some of the most difficult people to impress with an affordable holiday gift. If they really need it, they already have it. If they don't have it, it's probably too expensive for them -- so that means you can afford it? I think photographers deserve good gifts just like everyone else, even if that...

Derrick Story's Recipes for Brightening a Smile and Blotting Out a Blemish

Derrick Story's Recipes for Brightening a Smile and Blotting Out a Blemish
By Sara Peyton
November 12, 2008

Beauty may be skin deep, but most of us hope to look our best in photos. And the following excerpt from Derrick Story's handy new book, The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers, offers a digital makeover of sorts--recipes for brightening a toothy grin and eliminating a skin blotch or two. "Even though you may not be the photographer to the stars, there will be times when you need to touch up a portrait," notes Derrick, whose new guidebook includes 18 easy-to-follow recipes for perfecting images. But remember, when it comes to digital enhancements Derrick offers this caution, "Regardless of which recipe you're working with at any given moment remember that less is more when retouching portraits." Read on to learn more.

Digital Means You Are Never Done

By Harold Davis
November 9, 2008

Winter morning in Yosemite dawned cold with flakes of snow and remnant fog, but the promise of a possible clear day with blue skies. Provided you carefully archive your files, digital means never having to say you're done. This image is a re-processed version of Golden Wonder with the saturation taken down a bit. Indomitable, photo by Harold Davis. View...

Photoshop CS4 from the Photographer's Perspective

Photoshop CS4 from the Photographer's Perspective
By Colleen Wheeler
November 3, 2008

Good friend of O'Reilly and Adobe Photoshop PM Bryan O'Neil Hughes has written a guest post today on John Nack's blog, featuring all the things that are new and interesting for Photographers in Photoshop CS4

Stacking Star Trails: Tips & Techniques

By Harold Davis
October 31, 2008

"Holy Stacking Star Trails, Batman!"...As many of you know, I've been shooting and then stacking star trails lately. The idea is to take numerous "shorter" exposures that include the night sky, rather than one longer exposure. The shorter exposures are then composited together (they are "stacked" one on top of other). A set of exposures that can be composited together...

Deciding to Upgrade (or not) to Photoshop CS4?

By Derrick Story
October 25, 2008

In my Photoshop class yesterday at PhotoPlus Expo in New York, many of the attendees were there to get information for a big decision: whether or not to upgrade to Photoshop CS4. I showed them the entire workflow with CS4 -- from downloading images to finishing off the best of them in Photoshop. As I suspected, many did not realize...

O'Reilly Has Landed at PhotoPlus Expo

By Derrick Story
October 23, 2008

The O'Reilly crew is in New York, and today is the first day of PhotoPlus Expo. There's lots going on here, both on the Expo floor and in the sessions. If you're in town, make sure you check out the O'Reilly Media Schedule of Events. As for the rest of you, I'll try to keep you updated here and via...

Boo! dekePod's Scary Halloween Episode

Boo! dekePod's Scary Halloween Episode
By Sara Peyton
October 22, 2008

A week ago Adobe began shipping Photoshop CS4 and already Deke McClelland's highly anticipated Adobe Photoshop CS4 One-on-One is climbing bestselling charts. Even better, dekePod's special Halloween episode sheds light on CS4's scariest feature, the Masks palette. "It's kind of cute, but it's got a big old knife," notes Deke. Watch dekePod now to find out how to transform the Masks palette from, in Deke's own words, "a devil doll to a responsible citizen."

Maine Media Workshops Rock

By Rick Sammon
October 18, 2008

Just back from teaching for my 4th time at the Maine Media Workshops. What blast! My students learned: painting with light, low light photography, shooting with reflectors and diffusers, Photoshop... and the big hit HDR. We used Photomatix Pro to craft our indoor and outdoor pictures - my HDR image of the Pemaquib is attached. More of my HDR images on the HDR page of my site.


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