Photoshop Elements 15

Photoshop Elements 15

Last week Photoshop Elements 15 was released by Adobe. Every year like clock work we get a new version of Elements in October. With each new version we see new tools that we can use to make our photos jump off the paper or computer screen. I could not wait to get my hands on Elements 15, I downloaded the new version as soon as it hit the Adobe site. So what new features are packed into this version? Here are some of the new features. We can now create folders to group our layers. Under guided edit we have Adjust Facial Features, Painterly, Effects Collage, Frame Creator, Speed Pan, Photo Text and there is more. The Organizer also has a few new features. Is this a must have upgrade? This all depends on how you view these new tools, if you need them or not.  The truth is it is pricey to upgrade $79.00. I would wait until the holidays it always seems there is a price drop. To learn more about the new features please check out my You Tube video. Compare Elements 14 To Elements 15 Video

Flash Photography

Yongnuo Flash

I seem to get a lot of emails each week asking me about flash photography. Some of the questions concern what types of flash to buy? What kind of triggers should I get? Are all flashes created equal?

Let me first start by telling you that not all flashes are created equal. Some are brighter, some are hotter, some use batteries faster then others. But at the end of the day they all do one thing pretty well, they put light onto the subject that you are shooting.

Sometime ago I bought a Nikon flash for about $200.00. I knew I wanted a really good dependable flash for my wedding business. When I started taking senior pictures I knew I needed another flash. I didn’t have another $200.00 so I started looking for a flash that would be dependable. I turned to Yongnuo and picked up a YN560-II. This little guy cost me about $65.00 and is very dependable. I can use it as a slave from my Nikon flash or as a stand alone unit on a stand.

I also picked up a second light stand from E-Bay for about $20.00 and now have a great portable lighting kit. My kit now contains (1 Nikon SB600, 1 Yongnuo YN560-II, 2 Light Weight light stands with brackets and two large white umbrellas). I carry this kit to all of my photo shoots.

One last thing I would tell you to look at when buying any type of flash. Look into flash triggers. I picked up a set of Yongnuo YN-622N. These little guys will do TTL and manual triggering. Also very low cost.

One thing I can say about any lighting. Buy something. I think a photographer without some kind of lighting is like a painter without any brushes.

Photoshop Elements 12 Learning

Well it is completed. I now have what so many of you have been asking for! Photoshop Elements 12 Learning on DVD and also an online course. Now even if you don’t have high speed Internet and still want to learn Photoshop Elements 12 you can buy the DVD on the RIGHT.

If you would like to take the course online and have life time access to it you can sign up here: Learn Photoshop Elements 12 Online.

I hope to see your order or see you in the online course soon. Thanks for being a part of the Jacks Tech Corner Nation.

 

Point and Shoot Dead?

The point and shoot camera that many people carried and that many women had in their purse are becoming a technology of the past. I really liked the pocket compact cameras. They always took great pictures and you always seemed to have one. I use to keep mine in the glove box of the car.

But today it seems all of us have smart phones with great little cameras built right into them. Now we all have a camera in our pocket. Why worry about batteries or where that little pocket camera is located?

What’s nice about using a smart phone as your camera is you can set the phone to upload your pictures as soon as you snap them. When you used a point and shoot camera you had to transfer them to your computer and then upload them to the Internet.

At the end of the day I always teach that the best camera you can have is the one you have with you. But on the other hand there are times that I am driving that I wished I would have my DSLR camera in the car with me.

Point Shoot

 

What is a Podcast?

A Podcast is an online radio show. Most podcasts that you will find online are FREE. Podcasts are created and produced by people just like you. Someone sitting in front of a computer with an idea. We connect a microphone to the computer and use a free software program to record our thoughts and we begin recording.

Podcasts are the thoughts of someone with something to share. Most of the time it is some form of learning. If I have an expertise and want to share what I know with the world. I can create a podcast and share my thoughts. Sometimes people create podcasts about TV shows and share their thoughts with the world.

I have always enjoyed podcasts because I can pull them onto my smart phone and play them in the car as I travel to and from work. You can put in some ear buds and listen as you are working out or taking a afternoon walk.

So how do you find a podcast to listen to? The best way is to use ITunes. Open it and click on the Store button. Then click on Podcasts. You can then search for just about anything you can think of.

I produce 3 podcasts each week. I hope you can tune into the shows. Also please subscribe. Also I have just created a new You Tube channel for my newest show. The Tech Podcast. Please subscribe to my new You Tube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/thetechpodcastshow.

Also please visit my podcast sites.

The Tech Podcast

The Photography Guy

Tips From The Server Room

Podcasts

 

Photography

I was working with a new sports shooter the other day who was getting discouraged. I explained that photography is tough because with every change we make to our setting we effect something else with the picture.

As photographers we can not get discouraged. We need to learn from our mistakes. Use these simple steps each time you go to shoot and you should have a good starting point to get over your aggravations.

1. As soon as you take you camera out of the bag. Turn it on and check your settings. The ISO, good starting points for inside is 800, if you are shooting outside start with 100.

2. This is when you select what setting to use. Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority or Manual? Once you choose one stick with it throughout your shoot. Just don’t put the camera on automatic!

3. Try not to chimp! To CHIMP is to look at the display after each shot. When I shoot I concentrate on the subjects I am shooting. When I get into post I can edit out any issues.  They only thing we can’t correct is blown out shots. There is no detail to correct.

4. After the shoot. Whip your camera down before placing it back into your bag. I also reset all of of my setting back to ISO 100 and Shutter Priority.

Picture Taking

Shooting Sports

This is my time of the year to shine with my camera. As my daughter is in track I get to stand on the side lines with my trusty camera in hand and eyeing up my every shot.

I wanted to give you some simple guide lines to help you shoot better outdoor sporting pictures of your kids.

Let’s begin with my favorite setting. I like to shoot sports in Aperture priority mode. This allow me to worry about what I want to focus on either a full focus shot or a soft focus background. And I allow the camera to decided on my shutter speed to capture the moment.

Next I use continues focus. This allow us to have the camera track our subject and lock focus on a moving subject. This is handy because when someone is throwing a javelin or running full speed the camera will track their focus. I have also used this at soccer games.

The main thing is to be ready. Have you camera up and always be looking for the action. Once I had a hot dog in my hand and missed my kid running right in front of me. Silly I know but it happens. And remember to learn is to shoot, shoot and yes shoot. Always try different settings and different angles.

Track Meet

Shutter Speed

Learning about your shutter speed can make or break a photo. One sure way to learn the effects of shutter speed is to shoot on shutter priority once in awhile and get the idea of how pictures look at different shutter speeds.

Our shutter speed control the amount of ambient light that is let into our sensors. With this said and having this one tool in your photography belt you are going to already begin to shoot better pictures. The reason I say this is because you can control the amount of light, the amount of movement and the amount of blur that you put into the picture when you shoot.

The faster you take you shutter speed the less amount of light will hit your sensor. This is simply because as the shutter is moving fast the sensor is expose a short amount of time, leaving in less light. If you slow the shutter down and use a tripod to steady the camera, you will allow the sensor to be exposed longer and allow more light into your sensor.

If you want to stop fast moving action it would make sense that you want to have a fast shutter speed. Keep in mind that as you speed the shutter you begin to effect the light into the camera. I get a lot of questions about dark pictures when shooting at higher shutter speeds. And this is why this happens.

If you want to make something have motion, you would use a slow shutter speed. Remember when we slow the shutter we make that camera very hard to hand hold. This is why you would need a tripod to keep the camera steady. Slow shutter speeds make moving water look like it is flowing.

Using shutter speeds means that you are controlling light. If you remember this you will be able to control your exposure. To learn the effects of shutter speed, again I would say to shoot on “Shutter Priority”.

Most of all to learn how to shoot your camera you need to shoot your camera. If it is in it’s bag until you need it, you will never get the hang of photography.

Slow Shutter

 

Lens Filters Changing The Shot

Have you ever been out shooting pictures and looking at your LCD thought, “I would like to make this look different.” Then lens filters are for you. Of course there are as many reasons for using lens filters as there are filters.

First to buy a filter for your lens you have to know what size to buy so that it fits your lens when you receive it. Take off your lens cap and look at the backside of the cap. You will see something like 72mm or 52mm. This is the size you will need to buy so that the filter will thread onto your lens.

WAIT! Don’t order that filter so fast. If you have a few lenses and you want to save some money and have a few sizes of filters needed I have a trick for you. Buy the largest filter and also order a step down ring. With a step down ring you can use the larger filter and reduce it to fit the smaller lens.

As I said there are more filters then I could write about this morning. But the few that I have and truly love are these.

UV Filter: I leave this attached to my lens all of the time. If you ever drop your lens and shatter the glass you would rather it be the filter then the lens glass.

Circle Polarizing: This filter is handy when shooting sky’s and water. I took this filter on a cruise to enhance the blue waters of the ocean. It spins around allowing you to either cool the sky or the ground?

Neutral Density: This filter comes in many different levels. The reason it does is it acts as sunglasses for your lens. This filter is great when shooting outside. If you can’t knock down enough sunlight with your shutter speed, you add this filter to your lens and it will knock it out for you.

There are of course many different types of filters on the market. I don’t spend a ton of cash on them. I do buy the middle of the road as far as pricing. Don’t buy the filters costing hundreds of dollars. It is better to put your money into other gear. But do buy a few filters and keep them in your bag. And remember place a UV filter on all of your lenses to keep them safe.

Filters

 

Print Or Send Out?

It’s funny even today with digital photography this questions is still as fresh as it was when I shot film years ago. Should you buy an expensive printer and print at home or should you send your prints out and have them down?

Years ago I would get into discussions with other photographers at out monthly photo club meeting. We would get into talks concerning should you buy all of your own chemicals and turn one room in your house into a dark room? “Mine was a closest in my parents house.” Or should you send the rolls of film out to have it developed?

I hardly ever print a picture at home. I don’t have a good printer. I just upload mine to Smug Mug or ShutterFly and let them do the work for me.

The reason I don’t like to print at home is the ink prices. I feel that even with shipping I can send my work out and have one of the above companies create my prints and mail them back to be for less than I would pay for printing at home. It is also nice to have Smug Mug mail prints directly to my clients. I never have to get involved in the process of mailing prints to my clients.

At the end of the day there really is no right or wrong answer to this question. What ever makes you happy and seems to make sense to you. I would like to hear about your picture printing. Do you Print of Send Out?

Shutter fly