Category Archives: Videos

The filters you really need for digital photography

How important are filters in the digital age?

Which filters should you use in digital photography?

Photographic filters modify the light coming into your camera, thereby creating effects during image capture. Filters are used to increase contrast, change color balance, and compress the dynamic range of a scene. In traditional film photography,the use of filters was commonplace, as film offered limited color choices and modest dynamic range. If you were shooting slide film (transparencies), what you captured on the film was pretty much what you’d get. Even the masters of black and white photography often used filters to improve contrast in a scene.

Ring-mount filters screw into the front of your lens. Clockwise, from top: Polarizer, UV/haze filter, solid neutral density filter.

Photographic filters can be made of glass or resin, and are attached to the front of your camera lens either by a screw-in (ring) mount, or via a filter holder (square/rectangular filters). No matter what kind of filter you use, when you put a filter in front of your lens, you’re adding another glass/air interface for light to pass through. Low-quality filters can potentially degrade image quality by reducing sharpness, creating unwanted color casts, or introducing reflections or other artifacts into your photos. Your camera lens is designed to precise optical specifications; don’t ruin an image by using a cheap filter!

Filters have long been a major photographic accessory, and one question I’m frequently asked is, “what filter should I buy?” A lot has changed in the last 20 years, and digital cameras are much more forgiving than their film ancestors. When you couple the extreme dynamic range of modern digital cameras with the ability to post-process RAW images, a lot of “go-to filters” are no longer needed for most digital photography. Let’s take a quick look at the primary kinds of filters you can get, and whether they should take up space in your bag.

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Pro Tip: Removing Dust Spots with Lightroom

Zap Dust Spots on Your Photos with Lightroom Classic CC

2019 is upon us, and so here’s my first tip of the new year: How to remove dust spots from photos using Adobe Lightroom. I’m using Lightroom Classic CC, and removing dust spots from photos is relatively easy. However, you may or may not know about some of the hidden features that Lightroom Classic CC has to make dust spot removal quick and easy.

In the video below, I’ll not only demonstrate how to remove dust spots using the healing brush tool in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, but I’ll also show you how to easily detect even faint dust specks with the spot visualizer tool. I’ll also show you a cool trick for methodically navigating your image when viewed at 100% so that you don’t miss any dust spots.

Learn how to remove dust spots from your photos with Lightroom Classic CC

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How to Post to Instagram from a Desktop Computer

Post to Instagram from a desktop computer!

Post to Instagram from a Desktop Computer
By making a quick tweak to your browser’s User Agent settings, you can post directly to Instagram on your desktop computer.

Instagram is a great social media platform for sharing photos, but it’s designed for mobile devices. In fact, there is no “upload” option when you view Instagram from your desktop browser. When you want to post a photo that you’ve edited on your desktop computer, it’s really annoying to have to transfer that photo to your phone simply to upload it to Instagram.

Fear not! With this easy trick, you can set your browser to fool Instagram into thinking your desktop web browser is really a mobile device. The trick involves a setting called “User Agent” which you’ll find hidden in the advanced Developer controls. Here’s how to do it:

As long as you’re at it, how about following me over on Instagram?

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The Long Exposure Technique That Doesn’t Require A Tripod

Create unique abstract images with a swipe

long exposure swipe image
Fireweed (camera swipe)

When I find myself overwhelmed or just need a burst of creativity, I look no further than using a deliberate pan blur, or “swipe” to create an abstract photograph. The idea behind a swipe is to use a relatively long exposure and move the camera either up/down or left/right while dragging the shutter. I find that with the right subjects, I can create some pretty fun images!

Swipes are just one of the many topics I cover in my complete guide to long exposure photography.

Video: How to perform a long exposure swipe

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Nikon D850 Unboxing & Initial Setup

Setting up the Nikon D850

Nikon D850 unboxing video
The new Nikon D850 is here!

Woot! My UPS guy just dropped off my brand-new Nikon D850 DSLR. With 45.7 megapixels and 7fps continuous shooting (9 fps with the optional MB-D18 battery grip), this is one killer DSLR. Let’s unbox this Nikon masterpiece and get it set up! Check out my Nikon D850 unboxing video after the jump… Continue reading Nikon D850 Unboxing & Initial Setup

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