Photoshop Elements

A lot of people don’t realize that when you use Photoshop Elements you also have a powerful organizer.

I have been using Elements since version 1. I have always been impressed about how easy it is to organize all of my photos. It is also really nice in that it allows you to build albums so you can keep your photos together. I also like that it imports based on events. A event is really the date that the pictures were taken.

Once you get all of your albums built and you have all of your photos imported; you can also builds tags. Tags allow you to really drill down to each person or even each place. They when you click on the tag no matter where the photo is it will be reviled.

I also like the faces feature. This allows the software to recognize faces if you marked them before as you are importing your pictures to the organizer. This is nice because if you are looking for all pictures of Aunt Sally you can click on her name and all of her pictures will be displayed.

How can you go wrong. If you do not have Photoshop Elements I would suggest to download the trail version and have a look. If you need more help after downloading it. Please pick up one of my DVD’s from:


HDR High Dynamic Range

We all love pictures, that is why many of you read this blog and watch my You Tube videos. But what do you or would you think of a picture with such detail and depth that is almost pulls you into the shot?

Step over to HDR, High Dynamic Range photography. It is so easy to take pictures in HDR that I don’t know why more people do not jump on this band wagon. So is every picture better in HDR? No be careful of portraits in HDR, I have met some people that can pull this off but not many. The main issue with people is if they move you will get an effect called ghosting.

To get a HDR shot the steps are simple. First see if you camera had a bracketing setting. If it does turn it on, you will be shooting three pictures. One normal exposure, one over exposure and one under exposure. The idea is that you will capture all of the ranges and tones in the scene.

There is great software to merge you pictures into HDR. I say this because once you put the pictures onto your computer you have to merge the three shots together to make one.

I will be teaching this LIVE on Sunday morning Feb. 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM EST. Please join me at: The Photography Guy.


Organize Your Photos

If you are like me and I know a lot of you who read this blog are. We love taking pictures and after a very short time you will have millions and millions of pictures. At one time I had them on three different computers.

One day I thought I need to get my digital pictures more organized and I wanted to move them all to one computer. I know you are thinking only one point of failure?

I first copied all of my images off the two computers I didn’t want to use to store them on. I moved all of the pictures to an external drive. NExt I had to find one program that I wanted to use to create all my albums and collections.

My choice is Lightroom. I started with version 3 and now using version 5. This is a great program and I would recommend it for everyone. It also allows you to correct a lot of mistakes that we make while taking pictures. I have enjoyed this program so much I even teach many new users how to use Lightroom.

Thanks for reading my daily blog, watching my videos and listening to the podcasts. I wanted to mention that I created a new Patron site This site allows you to become a part of my efforts by pledging your support. Have a look if you have a minute?



With the art of taking pictures comes the art of continued learning. We must be able to allow out brains to open up and allow it to see somethings really work in reverse order. We also need to allow our brains to begin to think of light in the forms of Aperture.

Aperture is the main apparatus of allowing a certain amount of light into the camera; then hitting the camera’s sensor.

But as I said we have to understand Aperture in the order of smallest is really largest. And in the reverse of things largest is really the smallest. So let’s dig into the workings of Aperture.

Most DSLR camera kits we get come with a new shinny kit lens with a F Stop or Aperture of 5.6 / 7.0. This lens will only allow a small amount of light to hit the sensor. Also the more you zoom your lens the smaller the aperture is. This means it closes down and allow less light to hit the sensor. This is the reason most people say their indoor pictures are blurry. Really what you are seeing is camera shake.

This brings me to the reason we buy those expensive lenses. You want a lens with at least an F/2.8. You can also pick up a prime or fixed 50mm lens with F/1.8 and a little more money will get you a F/1.4. With these Aperture settings or opening; you allow more light into the camera. This then allows to you use faster shutter speeds. Hence no camera shake and much better low light pictures. If you are shooting outdoors with the bright sunlight, you kit lens should work well. Study the chart below and you will understand that lower numbers of Aperture means a larger opening for light to travel to the sensor.


Editing Photos

I once met a man who said that a really great picture is one that is captured right out of the camera. I also met a man once that told me, don’t worry how you capture it you can fix it up in the editor. If I had to pick one of these two statements I would tend to choose the first one. This is my statement. If you capture really great shots in camera then you can make them really fantastic works or art by running them through an editor.

You can and I guess there are some people in the World who shot and then burn the pictures to a CD and hand them to a client. This is bad news. Why you ask? Because this client is going to take your pictures and maybe print them off at a local store somewhere and not even worry about something as little as cropping or adjusting exposure. When you take pictures either for yourself or for a paying client; it is your duty to put them onto the computer and have a look at them. You need to ditch the bad ones, you will have a few and save the good ones.

There are about as many photo editing software packages out there as there are brands of cameras. My choice is Photoshop Elements which I have been teaching for years. It is simple and I can do just about every edit that can be done using the full photoshop CS suite. It also has a really nice organizer that allows you to get a grip on those thousands of pictures that you will be sure to have one day. This post is not telling you what to buy or even what to use. I simply wanted you to be aware of and tell you that you need to always have a look at your pictures before then leave you and go on to where ever they may be going. Even before digital; photographers had a dark room and they all worked their photos, shouldn’t you?

Elements Editor