- COLOR SPACE: If you check your camera you will probably see two options for color space: Adobe RGB and sRGB. You might wonder what this is, so here is a simple explanation. All devices that display or output graphics (photos and illustrations), such as cameras, printers, monitors, etc. have a color space associated with them. Essentially each color space is a box of crayons, and like the larger boxes of crayons, larger color spaces encompass and can create more colors. Adobe RGB is to sRGB what a box of 128 crayons is to a box of 64 crayons, so it would make sense, on the surface, to set your camera to Adobe RGB as it contains and can display more colors. However, most labs, for professional photographers or amateurs, meaning 99% of them, print in sRGB. To prevent the lab from converting colors in the large space to “fit” in the small space, it is better to set your camera to sRGB – unless your lab prints in Adobe RGB.
- INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: When dealing with foreign cultures it is best to understand their customs before photographing anything and anyone like you are still at home. This is especially true when dealing with religious buildings and ceremonies. For example, in Orthodox churches, women must cover their heads before entering. When entering a mosque you must take your shoes off first. If you happen to be invited to a Coptic wedding ceremony, there are certain times when photography is not allowed.
- The BLUE HOUR: Everyone has pretty much heard of the Golden Hour for getting great photos, but there is another time that is ideal for capturing dramatic skies in landscapes and cityscapes without the use of graduated neutral density filters or HDR software. The 30 minutes after sunset, or the 30 minutes before sunrise, when the sky is clear of clouds, are the best times to capture rich, naturally saturated images of the sky and properly exposed man-made lighting.
- UNDO HISTORY: In Photoshop you can use the History panel to step back and temporarily or permanently remove most changes. However, to make maximum use of this tool, you need to open the flyout menu in the upper right corner of the History panel and set non-linear history to on. Also set it to affect visibility changes and create new snapshots when saving.These settings will give you maximum power, especially the non-linear setting which allows you to delete a step in the middle of the stack without automatically losing all the steps that follow. This is great when you realize that one step is just not working like you expected.
- MINI FLASHLIGHT: One of the invaluable tools that I have stashed in all my camera bags is a small LED flashlight. It allows me to see the camera controls in dark settings, without being distracting or overpowering. It has saved me at wedding receptions, in nightclubs, at aquariums, and when shooting nighttime cityscapes. Just don’t shine it in the viewfinder when taking a shot, or you will overexpose at least or wash out the image.