Guide to Hand Coloring

“This is beautiful”, she praised, “What color lab to you use?”
I avoided her question, answering, “That’s medium oil, not natural color”. Well, if she had a magnifying glass, she would have used it.

There are several problems inherent in trying to turn a black and white photograph into color. The color added to a normal image will look too dark and will also diminish the clarity of the highlights. White and cool colors are easy to produce on a black and white image, but warm colors appear subdued. The former problem is solved by printing the image two tones lighter than normal, but retaining the full spectrum of tones. If the latter problem is a concern, partial toning is recommended. In this process, the areas that will be cool colors is masked off with a waterproof removable medium, allowing only the to-be-warm areas to tone brown (sepia). The same effect can be done digitally.

A lightly textured surface is preferred like Ektalure G or Canvas, however, any luster surfaced paper will do. If an inkjet paper is used, use a heavy weight (90 lb.) matte surfaced paper. A protective coat of matte lacquer will be

Taking Panoramic Landscapes

Panoramas have a reputation of being hard to take. There are dedicated panorama cameras available but unless you’ve got at least a thousand dollars to spare, you probably can’t afford one! But you can take panoramas with any kind of camera.

All a panorama is, is a sequence of images where you turn slightly for each different frame. In the old days, before PCs and the likes of Photoshop were around, you’d take your prints (there wasn’t much point in shooting panoramas on slide film, for obvious reasons), lay them out on a table and position them over each other where they overlapped. A bit of sticky tape held them together. [As a side note, this technique was used by NASA to build up mosaic pictures of the planets and satellites their spaceprobes visited, up till the late ’70s/early 80s when computers were introduced to make the process less laborious].

Now that PCs and image manipulation packages are easy to come by, high-quality panoramas can now be created by anyone. If you’re shooting slide or negative film, you will need to have your images scanned before you do anything else.

DIY Panoramas

The idea

Disposable Underwater Cameras

Many people often fear the risk of damaging their regular cameras. This is where disposable underwater cameras step in. It is fun and easy to take great pictures with them. The cameras can be used to capture the action underwater, in bright as well as dim light.

There are many types of disposable cameras. The purchase of disposable cameras is always affordable. An underwater disposable camera is also called an all-weather camera, since it is ready for a rough use. It is ideal for shooting outdoors in wet and even snowy conditions. It is waterproof, besides being weatherproof, enabling people to get great shots. It can be used in the rain, on slopes, in a boat or in the ocean. People like to use them while snorkeling, skiing, fishing, boarding and surfing.

The disposable underwater cameras are designed to be durable. They provide a good grip and enable people to take pictures, even with their gloves on. There are some cameras that fit into the pocket, beach bag and purse. Most of the cameras are pre-loaded with speed films. They include a shock resistant, heavy-duty housing that floats. Many retailers provide them at cheap rates when

Photo Editing Software

Manage and Edit Pictures

Our friends at Google have a handy free software program called Picasa(TM) that makes photo management a snap. It will quickly find, organize and label every picture on your computer. Basic edit tools clean up and enhance photos. Share photos, create movies and slideshows and more with this easy to use editing program.

Another popular photo editor is Preclick. It has many of the same features as Picasa with free and $20 upgrade versions. For photo file management and basic editing tools, these two software programs deserve a close look.

The Best Image Editing Software

The standard and industry leader in editing software is Adobe PhotoShop CS. It will do just about anything you could want or imagine. But for the average user there are two problems. The first is cost. At around $600 it ain’t cheap. The second is its complexity. Quite simply, learning how to use PhotoShop isn’t easy.

Many experts feel Jasc Paint Shop Pro has nearly the same functionality as PhotoShop and is easier to use. For about $130 they throw in Corel Photo Album to manage and share photos. For those who like

Baby Portrait Photography

Newborns

Babies at this age are not active (other than being a little squirmy), so it is a good idea to focus on close ups. Don’t limit yourself to just the face, but make sure to get shots of the feet, hands, ears, etc. These make a great collage and are beautiful as stand-alone pictures, too. Also, use the baby’s mom and/or dad as a prop! A newborn resting in the arms of a parent makes for a beautiful portrait, even if the face of the parent isn’t showing.

Older babies

Once babies get more active, you have the opportunity to capture some great expressions and smiles. Usually, mom or dad knows exactly what will make the baby smile. Let them stand behind you to make that special funny face or noise. Another idea is to let mom or dad be close enough to tickle baby, then quickly move their hand out of the frame for you to take the shot. You will have to be quick and ready at all times! For this reason I never use a tripod when photographing children. I get down on the floor with them and hand-hold my camera.

Pinhole Photography

At its simplest, a pinhole camera is just a light tight cardboard box with a piece of aluminium pie dish containing a pinhole to expose the film or photographic paper.

Of course you need to design a shutter, (your thumb will do), some way to hold the film in place and a system to seal up the opening where you put the film in the pinhole camera.

There is no viewfinder; you just point the pinhole camera in the right direction. You can draw some lines on top of the camera to indicate the field of view.

Exposure times for pinhole photography are usually measured in minutes.

Work out your exposure by the hit and miss method, also known as exposure determination by experimentation. This is where you say “Ooooh. I reckon about two minutes.” Then if it turns out ok, well and good. But if it’s not right, you either double it or halve it for the next exposure, depending on your assessment. Nothing wrong with that method for pinhole photography.

Let’s say you’re using 4″x5″ photographic paper. The diagonal of your paper is about 160mm. If you make the distance from

Retake Photo

You could retake the photo. Find the same location and similar subject and add something more to it – the particulars of what you add is up to your own inspirational abilities, of course. But, you might want to add a variation on the viewpoint. Or perhaps, compose the subject a bit differently. Or even use warm up filters, different lenses or different lighting.

You could change the background to reduce clutter or unsightly objects. Or maybe add something that wasn’t there previously – like another person or part of the landscape. The choices are endless.

Having taken the first photo, it can sometimes give you inspiration. When you look at your final image, you may feel disappointed that it didn’t turn out as you had intended. Returning to retake the image can pay dividends. And it’s a great learning experience as well. There is hardly nothing more satisfying in photography than producing the perfect image.

And this is where keeping all those poor images can reap rewards. If you don’t trash anything then you can return to the subject at a later date for an even better image.

So, if you are a

Enhancing Photos in Photoshop

Photoshop is the same photo editing software program being used by professionals in the entertainment industry to make movie stars look younger, slimmer and better. They have been doing it for years and now you can achieve the same results with a little training and practice using Photoshop for some of these same photo enhancements.

You can learn to make amazing enhancements to any photograph using the tools and functions available in Photoshop. The following are just a few of the improvements you can make to people pictures.

  • Whiten stained teeth
  • Remove unsightly scars
  • Smooth age wrinkles
  • Clear up acne
  • Remove blemishes
  • Double chin removal
  • Fill in bald spots by adding hair
  • Open closed eyes
  • Remove tattoos
  • Hide body piercings
  • Change eye color

With Photoshop you can easily make yourself or anyone look better. You can even change the colors of the clothing people are wearing. You will be amazed by the results you can achieve with Photoshop. You will not only be able to improve the appearance of people but you will be able to completely remove people from the photograph, add people from

Creating Portraits

A somber, serious mood is enhanced by dark background tones, contemplative expressions, loose low-toned clothing, and deep, but open shadows. A happy, carefree atmosphere is set more convincingly with light, airy background tones, piquant expressions, pastel casual clothing and soft, ubiquitous lighting.

Props should be kept to a minimum. Allowable is anything which will support the mood and which will not detract from the main subject. A high key portrait can be enhanced with a white wicker chair, a loose white flower arrangement out of focus in the background or a high-keyed landscape judiciously placed off center, blending with the other background tones. A large, dark sculptured bowl of red apples, a black poodle, or a dark-toned piece of furniture in the background would contrast too sharply with the generally light toned subject and background. Attention diverted to these items due to their strong intrusion in the composition is lost to the main subject and detracts from the ambiance.

Attention should be paid to the lines created by the subject and other components in the composition. Lines leading strongly out of the picture should be avoided. Rather use curves to bring the eye back to the

Digital Camera Basics

Howstuffworks.com contains an article by Gurevich, Karim, and Wilson that greatly simplifies an explanation of how digital cameras work. Very simply, they explain that CDs, mp3’s, and DVDs all share the same technology: they convert traditional analog “wave” data into digital data based upon “bits.” In so doing, this radical shift in technology has changed greatly – and forever – how we do things and what has become possible including digital “filmless” cameras. While film cameras depend upon chemical and mechanical processes, digital cameras contain a computer that records images electronically.

In 1994, Kodak and Apple developed and sold the first digital cameras. Today there are hundreds of models to choose from, depending upon the type of pictures you need, the complexity with which you’re comfortable, and what digital camera you can afford. For everyday use, most people prefer a “point and shoot” camera that isn’t complex, takes good quality pictures that can be loaded onto computers or printed for personal use and to send to friends, and is affordable. According to a number of consumer guides and customer reviews, the top ten digital cameras in the low, mid, and high price ranges are:

  • Nikon D300