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Shopping For Your First Digital Camera? Here Are A Few Tips!

Whether you are shopping for a better way to take family photos, or you are wanting to take your photography hobby to the next level, there are a few things you should know before making a purchase. It’s a little bit more complicated than saying you want to take pretty pictures and you have X amount of money to spend. A digital camera (or DSLR) is an investment, and making the right choice will bring you years of enjoyment and creative play. So, as you shop around, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

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Fun With Photoshop Smart Brush: Vintage Processing

Out of the hundred of fantastic tools available in Adobe Photoshop, there are a handful that are purely artistic; and while these may not make the cut for a professional’s gallery, they can be an exciting addition to your photo editing repertoire. Using certain filters and actions can make your photos look interestingly vintage in just one sweep of the brush. Whether you want to mimic the gorgeous characteristic blues of a cyanotype, or harness the faded yellows of an antique print, the Smart Brush tool can help you out.

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Are You Making These 3 ISO Mistakes?

When a photographer makes the courageous leap away from the “auto” setting on their camera, they have to keep a dozen things in mind every time they compose a shot. Shooting in manual mode allows for individual control of shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and focus point (among other things), and often takes a while to get the hang of. One must master the concepts and execution of all the technological aspects of digital photography, but once that happens the quality of work can improve exponentially.

Of the main pieces that go into making a digital image is the ISO, which represents your camera’s sensitivity to light. It has a direct correlation, meaning that a low ISO reflects a low sensitivity and a high ISO indicates a high sensitivity.

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Creative Photo Editing: Antiquing

Last time, we explored the steps needed to achieve the effect of the famous Holga camera of the 1980’s and, if you remember, it is quite a hefty tutorial! So this week, we’re going to learn a very simple and highly applicable technique that only takes three steps: the antiquing (or aging) process. Our slick and modern digital photography may excel in capturing sharpness, detail, and color balance, but there is a growing movement to revert back to some of the images of old. Everything vintage, antique, and rustic is making a serious comeback, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t add this technique to your photo-editing arsenal!

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Windows 8: Adobe Photoshop Express

Peeking in on Photoshop Express using Windows 8 The words “free” and “Photoshop” are rarely used together. But, Adobe Photoshop Express changed all that when it launched on Android, iOS tablets and smartphones. Photoshop Express offers one-touch controls for basic photo-editing tools and simple effects. If you are looking for a good way to get a taste for Adobe Photoshop or other Adobe CS software, Adobe Photoshop Express might be the perfect doorway. Recently, Adobe added Photoshop Express to the Microsoft Store, making the app available for Windows 8 devices. Its features can be put to use with as little as a single command on a touchscreen or with a mouse. The beauty of Express on Windows 8 is that you can use Photoshop on a Windows tablet or on a Windows 8 PC. Full-screen Photoshop for free?! Sounds good to me. Before you get too excited, keep in mind that Photoshop Express is a lite version of the full Adobe CS6 software. But, there’s nothing wrong with dipping a toe in before taking the leap. Here’s what you can expect while testing the waters: Quick Adjustments Fixing an image with a single click (or tap) has a certain appeal, doesn’t it? If you don’t have much experience or free time to manually adjust color levels, Photoshop Express offers the Auto Fix tool. Clicking on Auto Fix automatically adjusts the contrast, exposure and white balance levels of your image. If you want to roll up your sleeves and tweak anything Auto Fix did to your image, you can use the ‘Correct’ menu to find eight sliders that adjust any value Auto Fix changed. Another fast fix comes with the Red Eye tool. It’s pretty simple stuff–this tool makes red eye go bye-bye. However, I did have some trouble removing the green-eye effect you get when taking photos of animals, so the tool isn’t perfect. Effects The Looks panel includes 20 free photo effects. These filters can help juice up a photo or add a fast black and white effect. Adobe offers additional filters for purchase if you want to expand your palette of effects for Express. Also, you can purchase a Reduce Noise tool to alleviate graininess in your image. Editing Tools Within the Crop menu you’ll find other editing tools such as Rotate and Flip to complement the requisite crop tool. You can manually click-drag an area to crop, or you can use any one of the crop presets offered within the tool. The Rotate and Flip tools are pretty straightforward. If your image or photo needs to be straightened, you can use the Straighten slider to level your image. These tools are only a sliver of the deeper tools available in full blown Photoshop, but the ease of use can be advantageous for newcomers or offer sheer efficiency for anybody who needs a quick fix to an image. Finishing Up At any time, you can check your progress against the original image to get a glimpse of your hard work paying off. If you don’t like how things are shaping up, most of the tools offer a reset button or an undo button to step backwards. Within the Elements you can share your creations on Facebook or save them to your hard drive. If you feel like you’re neglecting any of your toys, you can use Adobe Revel to access your work across any device with Express loaded on...

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