My Top 10 DSLR Whine List

In Gear by Jim Harmer

DSLR cameras are remarkable tools and have improved at an astounding rate in the last few years.  Still, there are a few easy-to-implement features that I have never seen a DSLR include and it drives me nuts!  Read through my whine list and then include your own whines below.  Maybe, if we whine loud enough, …

The difference between Photoshop and Photoshop Elements: A photographer’s view

In Gear by Jim Harmer

Beginning photographers often ask what the difference is between Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop Elements.  I have never taught a beginner photography class without “the Photoshop question” popping up at least once.  So here is my (not so quick) answer to the oft-answered question: What is the difference between Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop Elements 9? Before …

Depth of field — it’s more than just aperture!

In Photo Basics by Jim Harmer

We all know that the aperture value controls the depth of field, but I am shocked how many intermediate photographers have never learned what other factors also impact depth of field (how much is sharp and how much of the photo is blurred).  In fact, these other factors have as much impact on depth of …

Plan the Light for Better Animal Photography

In Landscape/Nature by Jim Harmer

Unlike portraiture, there is no “Smile for the camera” when photographing wildlife.   No bringing animals into the studio or setting up fancy lighting gear.  For these reasons, many photographers mistakenly believe that the light “Is what it is” when shooting animals.  These photographers are missing out.  This post will explain how you can improve …

Six tips for using a polarizer

In Landscape/Nature by Jim Harmer

Yesterday, we discovered what circular polarizers are and what they accomplish.  Today you’ll learn six tips for using a polarizer. Polarizer Tip #1: Polarizers will have little or no effect when used to shoot a setting sun, because the angle is wrong.  The effect of a polarizers manifests itself at 90 degree angles to the …

Oh the beauties of a polarizer!

In Landscape/Nature by Jim Harmer

Today and tomorrow, my posts will discuss polarizers: what they are, when they are useful, and some lesser-known tips on how to use a polarizer.  These posts are in response to a misguided photographer who recently told a student in one of my classes that polarizers don’t work at sea level.  That’s a new one! …

Flash Sync Speeds… No Experience Necessary

In Portrait by Jim Harmer

First, a disclaimer.  This is a very complex and scientific subject, and I’m going to do my best to explain this topic in very simple terms because this is an oft-misunderstood subject.  So if you’re an advanced super-photographer, just feel free to tell me what I missed in the comments below, but know that I …

Review of Nik HDR Effex Pro and Photomatix 4

In Post-processing by Jim Harmer

What are the differences between Nik HDR Effex Pro and Photomatix 4?  Which one is better?  Which one is best?  Read this review and learn… First of all, the conclusion.  After fairly extensive testing of both Photomatix 4 and HDR Effects Pro, I have come to the conclusion that the best product for serious HDR …

Tips for photographing little babies

In Portrait by Jim Harmer

Taking pictures of kids is easy when compared to photographing babies.  Kids are always smiling and running around and doing cute things anyway, so photographers have only to stay out of the way and shoot in order to get fun shots.  Photographing babies is much tougher because they sleep most of the time and only …

Pre-focus the moment

In Sports Photography by Jim Harmer

Please comment below on how I could have improved the title of this post.  It’s an article about pre-focusing your DSLR to capture moments that otherwise couldn’t be captured, but I can’t think of a clever title.  I guess I should just write the article already… There have been several situations where I walked away …

10 Tips for light painting (night photography)

In Landscape/Nature by Jim Harmer

Light painting is an incredibly fun technique in which photographers use flashlights, camera flashes, and spotlights to literally paint light into a scene.  It’s one of the most fun night photography techniques.  Many photographers have attempted it, but only a few have mastered it (and I’m admittedly NOT one who has mastered it).  Nevertheless, I …