Miscellaneous Tips & Tricks

Online Photo Book Publishers 
Web sites and phone numbers
Submitted by Chuck McKinney, April 10, 2010


Using reflections in photography can lead to some amazing effects and beautiful images. Using water, windows, mirrors or any sort of reflective surface can change an image into a work of art.  Using reflected light can vastly improve the quality of lighting available. Diffused light is generally better for taking photos and using reflected light, either as the main source of light or for highlighting, is an excellent way to capture diffused light.


The Click…
…is a continuous flow of links to cool stuff, including the best in photojournalism, photography, art and culture, as compiled by photojournalist Trent Nelson.



SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for Photography Websites: Free Toolkit – Photo Search Engine
International Print Exhibition Awards Winners  (wait till you see this!!)
– A step-by-step guide specifically for photographers to improve your search engine compatibility
– Increase your website traffic and grow your photography business through SEO
– Must-have information for all photographers serious about self promotion and online marketinghttp://pa.photoshelter.com/mkt/seo-kit-for-photographers THE PHOTOJOJO STORE

Only the Most AwesomePhoto Gifts and Gear for Photographers  (love the corner frame)We publish an insanely great newsletter on photography.More specifically, we scour the internet, rip pages out of magazines, ransack our friends’ closets, and go through dumpsters to find the very best Photo tips, DIY projects, and Gear at:

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Discover how to use your digital camera to its full potential with our Digital Photography Tips. We are a community of photographers of all experience levels who come together to learn, share and grow in our understanding of photography.


All sites above submitted by DPI-SIG club member, Pam Costa
Taken from
Tim Grey’s Digital Darkroom Questions
February 26, 2009

Submitted by Bill Coakley, March 2009

As a landscape photographer I have always used the shutter button for focusing and shutter release. I have been reading a lot about back-button auto focus. It seems as if this is a wonderful feature. How does this apply to landscape photographers?
Tim’s Answer:
I happen to be a huge fan of using “back-button focus”, as it allows me to designate a different area of the scene for focus as compared to exposure. The basic approach is to lock focus based on the most important subject within the frame, and then to set the exposure based on the most appropriate area of the image for an overall good exposure. Quite often you’ll find the best exposure involves setting focus on one area and exposure based on a different area of the scene. So, it affords much more control, and in my mind that is a very good thing.
The specifics of how to accomplish this vary from camera to camera. Some offer a specific focus lock button on the back of the camera, and others require configuring a special setting (such as the “custom functions” on Canon cameras) to enable this option. When it is established, you can point your camera at the most important subject within the frame and press the button to set focus, then point your camera at an optimal area for exposure and press the shutter release partially down, and finally recompose the scene and capture the image. The ability to set focus and exposure based on separate areas of the image is very powerful.
Where does digital camera noise come from ? – Sonny Saunders

January 2009


Sensor noise: All camera sensors have some noise. Sensor noise increases as the number of pixels increase in a given size sensor, though this is mitigated by noise-reduction technology.

High ISO noise:
The higher the ISO setting, the more noise that is generated by the sensor. Using a higher ISO setting is like turning up the volume control on a radio.

Since noise resides in the dark areas of photographs, underexposing makes noise more obvious. Use an exposure that just makes the highlight alert (blinkies) go away, or check the histogram and make sure you have some histogram graft in the right most box.
Heat: As sensors heat up they produce more noise. Long exposure time, beyond a second or two, will cause the sensor to heat up and produce more noise. Turn on noise reduction when making long exposures.  Keep your camera as cool as possible.

Digital Artifacts:
An artifact is anything that occurs in a photograph from technology and not from the scene itself. Digital cameras have a problem handling infinite gradations, such as found in the sky, as pixels are either on or off and this can cause noise in these areas.

JPEG Artifacts:
Artifacts are caused by image compression in the camera, and reconstruction in the computer. The higher the level of compression the more noise generated. Use the highest-quality, least compression, setting.
© Sonny Saunders, 2009
Memory Cards – Sonny Saunders

September 2008
1) Memory cards are critical to digital photography. Lose a card and you can lose hundreds of images.
2) Memory cards can fail.  Most cards that fail are those sold at big discounts or off-brands that you have never heard of.  If you have a disaster and accidentally delete your images or get a card error message, stop using the memory card at once. All is not always lost. The key is to stop using the card and not overwrite your other images. Data recovery services or tools are available to restore your images. There are recovery disks available from companies like Lexar, SanDisk and Symantec.
3) Most card failures are caused by power failure.
a.  Do not try and get that last drop of power from your camera battery.
b.  Do not shut your camera off when it is reading or writing to the memory card.
c.  Do not open the camera memory card door when the camera is reading or writing to the memory card.
d. Do not remove the memory card from a card reader while it is still transferring
images to your computer.
4) All brands can produce a bad card but most defective memory cards will fail right away so test all newly purchased cards before you take them on a long trip.
5) Format all new cards in your camera as soon as you get them.  If you have a card that will not format in your camera, return it at once.
6) Deleting images from your memory card is fine, but you should regularly format your memory cards in the camera to keep its file structure fresh.
7) Do not format memory cards with your computer.
8) Older cameras may need updating in order to use some of the newest high capacity, high speed memory cards. Check the camera manufacturer’s website for updates.
9) It is estimated that the useful life of memory cards is about 20 years, long after they have become obsolete for photography purposes.  Most memory card failures are due to contact failure, so be very careful when inserting cards into a camera or a card reader.
10) Avoid filling memory cards completely.  Always stop and leave a few unused spaces.
11) The Read/Write Speed of memory cards may be expressed as a “X” factor. To determine the speed multiply the “X” number by 150 kbs (150KB in one second).
1X = 150KB per second                  80X = 12MB per second
10X = 1.5MB per second                150X = 22.5MB per second
50X = 7.5MB per second                300X = 45MB per second
© Sonny Saunders, 2008

Review photos just taken, easily – Bill Coakley
Try Faststone Image Viewer.  Many club members use this product to review photos just shot because:
– it’s so easy to use
– you can step from one picture to the next in full-screen view
– you can then easily mark or copy pictures right there for further attention

Shooting the Moon – Sonny Saunders
If you want to try your photographic skills at capturing the full moon, with your digital camera, try the following:
1)  Put your camera on a tripod.
2)  Put the camera in Manual Mode.
3)  Set the ISO at 400.
4)  Set the aperture at f/11 (f/8 on point & shoot cameras).
5)  Set the shutter speed to 1/500 second.
Note: you may have to manually focus

Expose towards the right edge of an image histogram — but with caution – Bill Coakley & Sonny Saunders
Adjusting your exposure so that histogram data are close to the right edge will maximize the precision of image although you might have to darken it a bit in the final PC processing. However don’t go too far into the fifth segment or you may experience color fading. Try some settings in the fifth segment to determine where color intensity is lost. In any event don’t pass the right edge or you will have unrecoverable loss of image data. Also, if you have a camera like the Canon 30D try the histogram display with the three primary colors – you may find in some cases that one of the colors goes off the right (burn out) while the ordinary gray histogram seems OK.
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