Friday, October 20, 2006

Q & A

Every once in a while I'll get a question in a comment or email or on Flickr that I don't get around to answering, because, as previously mentioned, I'm lazy/a procrastinator/bad at managing my time. Here are a few that have come my way semi-recently, which are also questions I've been asked before along the way. FAQs, if you will.

Q. What kind of camera do you use?

A. I use a Nikon D50, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I most frequently use my Nikkor 50mm 1.8 lens, because it is does amazingly well in low light and in close quarters, circumstances under which I often photograph Pearl. I also have a Nikkor 18-55mm that I use on occasion, and the Nikon SB600 flash. I made a diffuser for that flash using the bottom of a rubbing alcohol bottle! A similarly made diffuser is shown at the bottom of this page.

I also have a Sony PSC P200, which is a good point-and-shoot camera, but frustratingly slow as compared to my D50.

Q. Do you use Photoshop?

A. Usually, but not always. I mostly use it to boost the contrast or adjust the color, or to remove background clutter. I crop photos often, and need to rotate them often as well. I use it to convert pictures into black and white and sometimes I use it to try to save a shot that, had it been technically sound, would have been a good picture. And I do indeed use it for dramatic effect. I get lots of free actions, a preset run of steps to acheive an effect, from Action Central. There are tons of tutorials available for the Googling, but most what I know about Photoshop I learned from my husband or from mucking about on my own.

Q. How do you customize your blog template?

A. First, you marry a man who is very smart and knows and learns all the time about computers and programming. Then you whine and fuss until he helps you!

No, seriously, my husband is indeed an invaluable resource, but I utilize other resources as well. W3 Schools is wonderful place to learn about HTML and CSS. I use Photoshop to create my banners and headers, using brushes I find on the internet - again, lots of free nice free brushes out there free for the Googling.

Q. What effect did you use on the photo given as the example for dramatic effect?

A. The custom vignette action at Action Central. It does require a little input and customization but other than that it's pretty much automated!

If anyone would like to ask anything else now would be as good a time to do so as any! I will add new questions to this post. I hope these answers have been some help.



Anonymous Shasta said...

What effect did you use on the photo given as the example for dramatic effect? (I think I asked this in the original post you showed it in, but am not sure if I ever checked back for an answer, lol.) I am a Photoshop novice, and it's the kind of software where it's so powerful, and capable of doing so many things, I get a little overwhelmed just messing around on my own. So I have a pretty limited repertoire. But I really like that effect ... it's fairly subtle, but definitely makes the photo more dramatic. I want to try it out! One of these days I'll take a class, and won't have to beg for this kind of information ;).

1:20 PM  
Blogger lauranen said...

Oh excellent, someone else likes Nikon too! I'm just shopping around for my first digital SLR and all of my friends seem to have Canons. I've always liked Nikon more and it's good to hear that you recommend it!


12:27 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

Shasta, I've found the Total Training videos to be very helpful for learning PS. I would say that if you're willing to pay the enormous cost for photoshop, these videos are probably worth the extra cash.


2:17 PM  

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