Reader's Questions 2
Presented by Glenn Springer, TIF, RHCC

More questions about gear
and some Xmas suggestions

It’s heartening to see that people actually do read these columns. I’ve had a number of comments and questions so I thought I’d take some time to answer a few more of them.

Readers keep asking me about specific cameras, where’s the best place to shop, what kind of bag should I use, etc. I’ll answer some questions, but unless I’ve had personal dealings or experience with a product or a vendor, I hesitate to comment. I’ll stay away from specific brand recommendations, if you don’t mind.

That said, the kind of questions I will answer are ones about how to do something, or to solve specific problems. By the way, if there are any questions you’d like answered or specific topics you’d like me to address, please click the “Contact” button at the bottom of the page. I will answer you directly, as quickly as humanly possible!

 

"Firebug". I shot it some years ago and decided to turn it into a painting. The firefighter was much further away, so I used some Photoshop tools to move him closer,
and I painted to add some neat textures. This has nothing to do with the article, but I thought you'd enjoy looking at it. Or buying it as a fine art print!

“What kind of camera bag do you recommend”?

There are a lot of variables. Are you big and strong and can you bench press your own weight? Are you planning to travel by air? Do you have a DSLR or a point-and-shoot? How many lenses? The questions are endless. I personally favour a backpack type bag which leaves my hands free for other stuff. I have one big enough to fit everything in but then I fill it up and it weighs too much. So the one I usually carry holds one body, three lenses, a flash, some filters, extra batteries and a cleaning kit. In winter it has a dry bag in it and a waterproof storm shield. I carry my tripod separately.

For walking around, I’m shopping for a smaller shoulder or sling bag that will hold maybe one spare lens. Oh, and I’ve been meaning to get one of those harness type camera straps so I don’t have to hold the camera in my hand all the time.

This is the bag and tripod you'll usually see me with. Inside is a camera body with three lenses, filters, batteries, remote release, etc. In the outer pocket is my flash
and modifier with extra batteries. There are two or three lens cleaning cloths and tools, a pair of gloves, a small first aid kit.

 

Remember this picture from last week? I added in the sun, changed the toning and colours, touched up the shadows to make them right. And I did all of that in Photoshop CC in a matter of 5 or 10 minutes.

Want to learn how? Contact me. Want to buy this image as a fine art print? Contact me.

“What photo editing software should I get? And can I learn it on my own?”


There are lots of programs out there. But the world revolves around only one: Adobe Photoshop™. It can be intimidating and everyone says “steep learning curve” but it depends how you approach it.

Three programs made by Adobe share the same basic processing engine: Lightroom, Photoshop, and Elements (they all belong to the Photoshop family). Lightroom is more about organizing your images, with a built-in editor; Photoshop CC has enough power to go to Hollywood and create the entire opening sequence for the next Star Wars movie; and Elements is a good compromise.

The question is, “what do you want to do with your pictures”?. To do basic photoediting with any one of them, a few hours watching tutorials on YouTube or reading some how-to books or (and this is my obvious suggestion) taking a short workshop – you know whom to call! – and you’ll be on the right path. The trick is to use them correctly right from the beginning. Otherwise you’ll be frustrated and find yourself back at square one in a few months.

Now if you took advantage of Adobe’s Black Friday special (sorry, it’s over by the time you’re reading this.* But if you read my blog or subscribed to my newsletter, you heard about it in plenty of time! Shameless plug…), you were able to get Photoshop and Lightroom for only $10/month, cheaper than Elements, actually! Now it’s $20/month, still not a bad deal. Elements 12 will cost you around $100, Here's a link (actually $65 as I write this, but that might change)

So the answer is, “yes, you can” as long as you’re willing to take it slowly and don’t try to do too much at the beginning. Warning: Photoshop is addictive. You’ll end up spending hours in front of the computer, “just fixing one more thing”!

 

* Newsflash: I just heard that Adobe has extended this deal for a few more days. Run, don't walk, to the adobe.com site and check it out. Best deal around.

 

Wouldn't this look great hanging on your wall? A lot of work went into getting rid of distracting things in this picture and into retoning it. Christmas is coming... contact me

“Should I get a Nikon or a Canon? A Mac or a PC?”

Uh-unh. I ain’t falling for that one. They’re all good.

 

“Didn’t you write an eBook about taking better winter pictures”?

I think I know who asked that question. Yeah, OK, it was me. Yes I did. It costs a whole $2 and you can get it by clicking here. It’s worth reading and if you don’t think so, I’ll give you your $2 back. And by the way, you could have had it for free if you subscribed to my newsletter…

“I want to buy a Christmas present for someone getting into photography. What should I get?”

Loaded question. A Hasselblad H5D with a couple of lenses won’t set you back more than $70 or 80 Grand… want my shipping address? Seriously, I don’t want to recommend specific products, but here's an idea: give a DSLR or a photoediting workshop to a photographer friend!

           

Here are some samples of fine art quality images available. Click any picture to see it larger. They make great Christmas gifts.
We ship them ready for framing in mailing tubes and there's a special price of only $44.25 each (plus taxes = $50.00) until the end of the year.

Not just birds (but they're the most popular!). Check out our other images by clicking the "Gallery" link below.
Everything's on sale until the year end and if we have it in inventory right now, you can do even better,
especially if you're willing to pick it up here in the Minden area!

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget about the new Haliburton Highlands Camera Club! Inaugural meeting in Minden on December 11th, go to www.highlandscameraclub.ca for details. See you there!

Write me an email if you have other questions, the easiest way is to click on the Contact button below. These are also the kinds of questions readily answered when you’re hanging out with other photographers at a camera club! The inaugural meeting for the Haliburton Highlands Camera Club is slated for December 11th in Minden. Go to www.highlandscameraclub.ca for more information. See you there!

PS: my workshop schedule is wide open for the fall/winter. I do small groups, so you choose the date! An inexpensive way to learn how to make better pictures! Check out the workshops here.


Links to FACzen Photography:
We teach you how to become a better photographer. And we sell fine art images. Please check us out at the links below.

           

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