dPS: 10 Really Useful Flickr Greasemonkey Userscripts

All of these are excellent scripts, and many of them are available in the Better Flickr extension from Gina Trapani at Lifehacker, but my favorite by far is the Flickr Follow Comments plugin which makes that atrocity of a page into something sane and manageable.

Flickr, are you listening? The “Comments You’ve Made” page sucks hard. (Otherwise, I love Flickr to death, and everything else is somewhere in the range of pretty good to awesome.) 🙂

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This post on Useful Flickr Userscripts has been submitted by Martin Gommel. You can see his work at his is a Flickr account and his blog KWERFELDEIN.

Userscripts are add-ons for the Firefox web browser, which dynamically enhance the communication and visualization of certain websites.

To be able to use these scripts you need to have installed greasemonkey on Firefox – this enables and manages the userscripts. If you have greasemonkey in Firefox you can install and use these userscripts instantly.

(via 10 Really Useful Flickr Greasemonkey Userscripts)

dPS: How To Remove Dust Spots From Multiple Photos in 4 Steps

Another excellent article from digital Photography School, about how to remove dust spots from your photos. I’m going to need to try this out on my own photos, especially after that full day of shooting with a dirty sensor (see the before/after examples here: https://blog.wolffmyren.com/2008/07/07/before-cleaning/ and here: https://blog.wolffmyren.com/2008/07/07/after-cleaning/)

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Dust. The eternal enemy of a digital camera. When you shoot pictures with a digital SLR camera long enough, you will come to know the pain that dust can cause. For some it’s a minor annoyance. For others, it costs time and money attempting to salvage vital images.

In this post Peter Carey shares some tips on how to remove dust spots from multiple photos.

With advancements in DLSRs has also come advancements in Photoshop tools to remove dust. My favorite for dust removal, partially because of its price, is Photoshop Lightroom. While it is a scaled down version of the full blown Photoshop, it is perfectly suited to remove 90% of the dust I encounter.

Why is dust such a problem? Take a look at the picture on the left. Do you notice the small black spots in the sky and one big spot on the left side in the mountain? Those are not UFOs and that is not a mining tunnel. It was dust adhered to the sensor, casting a black shadow on the sensor when the shutter was activated. You can’t get back the data that is covered over by the shadow, but you can get creative and repair the damage depending on the dust location. When those dust spots are in the same location on each image, you’re in luck as there is a fairly easy method for multiple photo dust spot removal. (Note: the instructions are given using a PC version of Lightroom 1.4. Mac instructions vary only slightly if using a single button mouse)

(continue reading via: How To Remove Dust Spots From Multiple Photos in 4 Steps)

dPS: 5 Ways To Never Lose Your Photos

Another excellent article from the digital Photography School blog about how to properly archive your photos.

The biggest nightmare of every photographer is the thought of catastrophic loss of their photographs. In the days of film, options were limited and often serious photographers would keep their negatives and slides in fire proof safes or bank safe deposit boxes. Even still several great photographers have had their work taken from them due to fire, water damage and even sub-grade storage supplies. Digital photography provides an additional level of complexity to photographers as they look to keep their photographic work safe. Now in addition to fire and water damage there is the risk of file corruption, failed drives and file format obsolescence. With increased risk comes the responsibility to be diligent in heading off such catastrophes with a solid backup plan. Below are 5 steps you can take to minimize risk of losing your digital photos.

1. Immediately back-up your photos to DVD after off loading them to your computer from your compact flash cards

Here is where procrastination can get the better of you. I have known several people who have accidentally deleted files from their compact flash cards before backing their photos up or deleted files from their computer with out having a backup. These days it’s not too hard to find a deal on a 100 disc spool of DVDs. Have one on hand and take the extra 15 minutes to burn a disc.

(continue reading via 5 Ways To Never Lose Your Photos)

dPS: Prime vs. Zoom Lenses

Yet another excellent article from dPS, this time about lenses:

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What is a Prime Lens?

A prime lens is a lens that has one focal length only. They come in all focal lengths ranging from wide angle ones through to the longer telephoto ones.

What is a Zoom Lens?

A zoom lens is a lens that has a range of focal lengths available to the photographer in the one lens. These have become increasingly popular over the past few years as they are obviously a very convenient lens to have on your camera as they mean you can shoot at both wide and longer focal lengths without having to switch lenses mid shoot.

As you surf around different camera forums you’ll find people who argue strongly for both prime and zoom lenses. Each have their own fans and each will pull different arguments out about them. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons Zoom and Prime lenses:

(continued via: Prime vs Zoom Lenses – Which are Best?)

dPS: Moving Toward Manual Settings: Understanding Aperture

Excellent tutorial on a fundamental concept of photography from digital Photography School:

In this tutorial Natalie Norton explores the topic of Aperture.

A few months back I wrote an article here at DPS that created a bit of a stir:

4 Reasons Not to Write Off Shooting in Automatic.

I expected to get a lot of naysayers scolding me up and down and all around. I did get a few of those, but what I didn’t expect were the literally dozens of emails (not to mention comments on the post itself) from people sincerely thanking me for taking the pressure off, for helping them see that great photography is great no matter how it’s captured.

I stand by everything that I wrote in that post. I particularly maintain that photography should be FUN and rewarding and that focusing too much energy on the technical aspects of it shouldn’t detract from that.

HOWEVER one can’t argue with the fact that shooting in Manual does give you more control and greater creative freedom. Period. End of story.

So on we go to Manual settings: I know this topic has been discussed a ZILLION times over, and that it’s as boring as dry toast, but we’re going to go at it again. . . in layman’s terms.

(continue reading via: Moving Toward Manual Settings: Understanding Aperture)

dPS: How to Win Friends and Influence People – A Guide to Commenting on Other People’s Photos

Great post about how to effectively comment on Flickr photos. (I’ll admit, I’m guilty of the two-word-comment myself, so this is good advice for me, personally.)

One of the ten things I hate about Flickr is people who don’t know how to comment on photos. In a recent post to my blog, I lamented the number of comments I receive on my photos which consist of only one or two words: “Frankly, I don’t care if you think my photo’s “Awesome!”, I care even less if you think it’s a “Cool photo”. I’ve put a lot of work into it, I’d genuinely like to know what you think of it and why. If you’re going to comment, why not take the extra 30 seconds, engage your brain, and say something insightful.”

In the lively discussion that followed, it occurred to me that these commenters may not just be lazy. Some said they don’t feel confident enough, or have enough knowledge to feel worthy of making a comment. Others said they have a hard time expressing their feelings. And some simply don’t know what to say. I want to help fix that.

Even though a discussion about Flickr prompted this guide, and the examples I use are all from Flickr, it applies equally well to any online photography or art community, where people comment on the works uploaded by others.

(continued at digital Photography School)

dPS: 20 Photography Tips from Our Twitter Followers

Great list from digital Photography School’s blog:

Last week I asked some DPS readers who follow this blog via Twitter (our account is here) to share some of their photography tips with us.

The catch was that they had to do it in 140 characters or less (the limit that Twitter allows per message). Here’s a collection of 20 of their photography tips:

  1. “I would recommend any serious photographer a Tripod. It’s indispensable for any photography & most if your hands won’t stay still” – maniar
  2. “don’t spend your time looking at the lcd screen…you end up missing fantastic moments. The pictures will still be there later!” – burks
  3. “Shoot in RAW mode if your camera has it. Offers so many more opportunities for editing than shooting in JPEG” – PattyHankins
  4. “don’t just stand there. Instead of moving the camera, move yourself…” – XmasB
  5. “Always remove the lens cover.” – fireeducator
  6. “Get closer to the object.” – Celebtur
  7. “Expensive equipment don’t make great photos. Great photographers do.” – quicklunarcop
  8. “Fill the Frame” – ebradlee10
  9. “shoot the magic hours(!!); remember the exposure triangle; look for a new/unique angle on your subject. :-)” – laepelba
  10. “Keep taking photos, look at your photos, then take more photos. Learn from your mistakes and don’t be afraid to experiment.” – NeilCreek

(continued at digital Photography School)