Tip of the Month

April 2014

  • Lightroom Inspiration:  Check out sergerameli.com or find him on Youtube, he has hundreds of 5 to 10 minute videos that demonstrate beautiful before and after photos.  So scroll though his listings, pick the type of photo you are working on, i.e. nighttime, sunset etc. and see what can be done, you will probably find something interesting.

March 2014

  • Refill your own inkjet cartridges:  with new inkjet cartridges costing upwards of $20.00 each, my math to refill them yourself works out to something less than $1.00 each.  Calculations on the internet (Red River Papers) estimate ink consumption at retail for a 13x19 print to be about $2.25, do it yourself and I estimate the cost at something like $0.25.  Buy a kit from precisioncolors.com in Toronto; for an 8 color printer like the Canon Pro 9000, the kit costs $60.88 and includes 4 oz. each of the 8 colors plus all refill needles, plugs and a chip re-setter.  Quality of the ink seems really good; I have had poor results with other brands.  Ink costs now become almost negligible.  So using Canon paper as an example, to produce a 13x19 print at home will cost you something like $2.50.  Hard to beat.

February 2014

  • Ikea has some nice 16x20 frames "NYTTJA" for $6.99, plastic instead of glass so very lightweight, clean simple design, great if you want to be able to display at home or take to a showing of some sort.  Transport can be as easy as using a cardboard box leftover from a computer monitor, even has a handle, and interleaving a piece of bristol board from the Dollar Store $0.50 between each frame  means no scratching.  No need to matt, again cut a piece of bristol board to 16x20 and affix trimmed print to bristol board with two sided tape, slide into frame.

January 2014

  • Use a cold weather neck warmer as a camera shield;  slide your camera completely in and slip an elastic over the end of the warmer and lens leaving the lens viewable. Everything is functional from the rear and it keeps snow and light rain off, your hands can be inside and cozy, your camera is protected as well from abrasion on zippers and branches, etc. and if you slip or fall, I've done it, the camera survives very nicely.
  • Use colorful translucent file covers from the Dollar Store as color gels for your flash;  simply cut to shape, place over the front of your flash and attach with an elastic or whatever.  It is an inexpensive alternative to the professional $25.00 set from Lee or Rogue of which you only get one of each color and probably many you don't even want, and bonus, you can cut a dozen or more from this one sheet.
  • In Lightroom hit the shortcut "F" key alternately to toggle to complete full screen viewing;  this is handy when scrolling through a batch of photos and not wishing to view all the peripheral info and settings around the border.
  • Use off camera flash and remotely fire using a high shutter speed to eliminate background;  typically place flash off to the side of your subject and use normal aperture but a high shutter speed in manual mode, maybe 1/250, thus eliminating ambient light, to achieve a very dramatic stark lighting of your subject.