Stories by Dave Johnson

Four handy photo rules

It's not expensive gear or fancy software that separates great photographers from ordinary ones. After all, even $200 pocket-sized digital cameras are more advanced than the contraptions that Ansel Adams used to take his famous photos 50 years ago.

Fix Your Exposure Before You Take the Photo

There's been something of a silent revolution in the world of digital photography in recent years. Digital cameras are amazing marvels of modern engineering not just because they dispense with film and capture their photos digitally, but also because...

Free Digital Photography Goodies

The holidays might have tapered off a few weeks ago, but I'm still paying for them. Indeed, my checkbook has an "out of order" sign on it, and my teenage daughter has offered me a short term, high interest loan to see us through the winter.

Digital Focus: Fixing torn, damaged photos

For the last couple of weeks, we've talked about scanning your old slides, negatives, and photos. There's more to it than just putting the images on a scanner; you should also think about scanning resolution and correcting colors that have faded with...

Digital focus: restoring faded photos

For 150 years, film reigned supreme. But today our photo archives are in danger of being lost forever as prints fade and the emulsion on slides and negatives dry out and deteriorate. If you want to be able to pass your photos (and your parent's photo...

Get rid of that ugly date stamp

One of my pet peeves is the ugly red date that sometimes gets stamped onto the lower right corner of a photo. (That, and people who talk in the movie theater.)

Take better portraits

Most of my family lives a cab ride, three connecting flights, and a rental car away, so I don't get to see them very often. But when I do make the trip, I hear this all the time: "David, take a picture of your sister." "David, take a picture of your ...

Turn real life into a miniature

There's something magical about macro photography. Getting up close to a tiny subject is one of the most exciting ways to use a digital camera. But why stop there? Almost any photo editing program lets you turn that idea on its head and make ordinary...

Shake hands with Elvis, part 1

A lot of folks have had brushes with fame. When I was in sixth grade, to celebrate the U.S. bicentennial, I was assigned the task of writing a letter to the mayor of Jersey City. I was amazed to get a reply, and I treasured that correspondence for ye...

Make your photos pop with color

Surely you've seen television commercials in which everything is rendered in black and white except for one item -- a person, perhaps, or the featured product -- that appears in full color. The trick is effective because your eyes are drawn to the sp...

Understanding file formats

I tend to change the file format of my photos frequently -- usually from JPEG to TIFF or JPEG to Adobe Photoshop's PSD format. Why would I do that? Usually, to preserve image quality.

Tag Your Photos by GPS

I remember showing photos of my trek through Grand Cayman to a friend a few years ago. "Where were these taken?" she asked me about a particular set of photos. "Hmm," I replied, "I don't remember. The East End, I think. I took so many photos, I can't...

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