Dominique James, Photographer

It's all about the pictures …

Archive for the ‘How-to’ Category

Blank Slates

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Michael Lopp, Rands In Repose:

This New Year, I wish you more blank slates. May you have more blank white pages sitting in front you with your favorite pen nearby and at the ready. May you have blank screens in your code editor with your absolutely favorite color syntax highlighting. May your garage work table be empty save for a single large piece of reclaimed redwood and a saw.

Turn off those notifications, turn your phone over, turn on your favorite music, stare at your blank slate and consider what you might build. In that moment of consideration, you’re making an important decision: create or consume? The things we’re giving to the future are feeling increasingly unintentional and irrelevant. They are half-considered thoughts of others. When you choose to create, you’re bucking the trend because you’re choosing to take the time to build.

And that’s a great way to start the year.

Yes, indeed!

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Written by dominiquejames

January 3, 2014 at 8:54 AM

How to work through the Camera Raw dilemma

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Dave Johnson, TechHive:

All great debates are framed by at least two compelling, often contradictory choices: Mac vs. PC, Beatles vs. Stones, oatmeal raisin vs. chocolate chip. If you have a digital SLR or an advanced compact camera, you can make just such a choice when it comes to what format in which to save your photos. Most cameras default to the common JPEG format (and if you have a smartphone or very basic point and shoot, that’s probably your only choice). There’s a good chance your camera also offers a Raw option as well, though. You’ve probably heard that it is a higher quality option than JPEG, but comes with tradeoffs of its own. Should you take it? There’s no one right answer; it depends upon how you tend to edit and use your photos. It might be helpful to take a step back and discuss the differences between the two formats.

Written by dominiquejames

May 4, 2013 at 2:32 PM

How to minimize noise in digital photos

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Dave Johnson, TechHive:

In the days before digital photography, seemingly every corner store had rack upon rack of film on display. Each roll of film was marked with a speed—measured in ISO—such as 100, 200, or 400. Higher-speed film was handy for low-light photography, but it had a serious disadvantage: grain.

Film grain was every photographer’s nemesis. Instead of smooth, natural textures, grain put ugly blotches all over a photo. And though the days of grainy photos are far behind us, digital photos have a similar problem: digital noise.

You’ve undoubtedly seen noise in your own photos. On the plus side, noise tends to be very small; and when you view a many-megapixel photo on a computer screen, pixel-size noise is so small that it usually disappears into the background. You might look at a very noisy photo and not even know it. Noise becomes apparent, though, when you zoom in—if you crop it down to a small detail, for example, or if you attempt to make a large print. Let’s learn how to control noise.

Written by dominiquejames

April 23, 2013 at 6:00 PM

What are your rights as a photographer?

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Dave Johnson, TechHive:

You probably don’t think about the legality of taking photos very much, but it’s more important than ever to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a photographer—even if you aren’t shooting covers for Time magazine. It’s certainly true that the U.S. Constitution recognizes a formidable array of rights and freedoms; but when it comes to taking photos, in a lot of situations your rights aren’t so clear-cut.

Written by dominiquejames

April 14, 2013 at 12:35 AM

Master the camera app on IOS

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Serenity Caldwell, Macworld:

The simplest way to shoot photos and video with your iPhone is to use Apple’s built-in Camera app.

These past two years, the iPhone’ camera is the one that’s with me all the time, and which I use all the time. Nowadays, I cannot imagine going anywhere without it.

Written by dominiquejames

April 5, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Histograms help gauge your exposure as you shoot

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Dave Johnson, TechHive:

Getting the right exposure is a critical ingredient in taking a good photo. And while your camera’s Auto mode does a pretty good job most of the time, there’s often room for improvement. Thankfully, tweaking the exposure is not as complicated as it might seem—after you learn a few simple rules, you can ensure that your photos pop with color and energy.

A well-exposed photo is neither under- nor over-exposed. That might sound obvious, but in practical terms, what does it mean?

Written by dominiquejames

March 9, 2013 at 8:16 PM

Get the most from your smartphone camera

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Dave Johnson, TechHive:

If you own a smartphone, your digital SLR or compact digital camera probably collects a lot of dust these days; it’s just so much more convenient to snap photos with your phone. Sure, your smartphone isn’t as sophisticated as a DSLR, and it can’t capture nearly the same quality of images. But that’s not always important—what is important is that your phone is always in your pocket when you need it.

And even though your phone doesn’t have the same exposure and image-quality controls as your bigger, better camera, you can learn a few tricks to take photos that rival what you can get with a dedicated digital camera.

Written by dominiquejames

March 9, 2013 at 8:09 PM

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