Favorite Photo Tips

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Derrick Story

Derrick Story
Nov. 20, 2003 11:45 PM

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I want to celebrate the release of the Digital Photography Pocket Guide, 2nd Ed -- now updated, redesigned, and in full living color (but at the same price as the first edition).

Since the whole idea of this project is to help folks get more out of their photography, I thought we could do a little of that in this blog by sharing some tips. Here's what I'm thinking.

I'm going to post a couple of my favorite tricks, then open it up to all of you so you can post yours too. We'll let this thing roll on until December 1st. At that time, I'll choose my five favorite reader tips, and send those folks a free signed copy of the Digital Photography Pocket Guide, 2nd Edition.

Keep These Things in Mind

To pull this off, we need to agree on a couple things:

  • You need to include your name with the tip. If you want, you can use an initial and a last name, or first name with a last initial, just something to identify you when I post the five favs.
  • Keep the tips short. Refer to my examples below for guidance.
  • If two people submit the same tip, the one with the earliest time stamp will be the one considered.
  • Your tip has to be time stamped before 5 pm PST on Monday, Dec. 1st. I'll post the favorites the following Friday, Dec. 5.
  • I'm the sole judge of the five favorites, so please don't argue about them. This is for fun!
  • Limit the scope of the tips to digital photography only. That's what this is all about :)

My Tips

Tip 1: Want to know an easy way to tell which shot in a series (of roughly the same composition) is the sharpest? View the images in "list mode" so you can see their file sizes. The image in the series with the largest file size is probably the sharpest picture.

Tip 2: You want to shoot an existing light shot in a dimly lit environment with the flash off, but you don't have a tripod or other suitable surface to steady the camera. What do you do? Try using the "camera strap tripod" trick. Sit on a chair or other place. Let the camera strap hang to the floor. Put your foot through the strap and pull the camera upward until you have tension. You'll be amazed at how steady you can hold the camera this way.

Now It's Your Turn

Those are my contributions to get the mind clicking. Let's hear one from you. And thanks for helping me celebrate the release of the new book.

Derrick Story is the author of The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers, The Digital Photography Companion, and Digital Photography Hacks, and coauthor of iPhoto: The Missing Manual, with David Pogue. You can follow him on Twitter or visit www.thedigitalstory.com.