Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ultra-gloss photo paper and white Inkjet water-resistant Vinyl

So now you have a nice digital photograph. What do you want to do with it? Print it? If so Planet Labels. While Planet Labels specialises in labels, they also have Premium Ultra Gloss Photo Paper 4 x 6 and White Inkjet Water-Resistant Vinyl 2 x 8 Rectangle on offer. See Premium Ultra Gloss Photo Paper and White Inkjet Water-Resistant Vinyl.

Planet Labels says their Premium Ultra Gloss Photo Paper uses a 10 mil paper that is coated with a UV and water resistant gloss topcoat that instantly "locks" the ink in place, making a shiny, smear free photo which is acid free and PH neutral, ensuring that your photos will not yellow and which you can enjoy for years. They guarantee that their inkjet printable photo paper will match the quality of the branded companies products or you get your money back.

Planet Labels also claims that their White Inkjet Water-Resistant Vinyl inkjet water resistant vinyl rectangle uses a topcoating which causes the inkjet inks to dry instantly and permanently even when exposed to moisture, are made with an extra strength adhesive and can withstand temperatures in extreme heat and sub-zero conditions. They say their brilliant white face stock can be printed using the highest dpi setting, allowing you to create beautiful images. You can use them to stick on items like water bottles and other items which are exposed to water. How you put them up to use is completely up to your imagination and creativity.

Check them out for your digital photo printing needs.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

How to Take Big Suns in Photography

How to Take Big Suns in Photography
by: Jan Linden

Sure, these pictures may border on cliches, but they are cliches that never fail to grab us. We're all suckers for that frame-filling drama of Ol' Sol looming large on the horizon.

And we all know how to get those shots of big suns - just shoot the horizon with that fabulously expensive, super-speed, extralow-dispersion glass, apochromatic tele, right?

Wrong. You need a long lens, sure, but it needn't be a budget buster. Some very good 500mm mirror lenses come in under $200, store price. There are all-glass 400mm, 500mm, and 600mm designs from major independents that sell for $300-500. And you can make an existing tele longer by using a teleconverter. That fine 300mm f/4 you bought for nature work, for example, can be converted to a 600mm f/8 with a 2X converter. That's a pretty good focal length for big suns. Using a 3X converter will make a 900mm f/12, and so on.

Besides a tele, you need a sturdy tripod - flimsy travel models need not apply. For one thing, focusing and framing through a long tele is far easier if the rig is well supported. For another thing, even a little shake can blur a long-tele shot.

A spot or limited-area meter helps, although it is not essential. An overall meter reading with an SLR will generally be far too high, resulting in a shot that's too dark - even if the desired effect is a silhouette. Most big-sun shooters use the strategy of spotmetering an area of the sky near but not immediately adjacent to the sun - an area in which some sky tone appears. This will give you a silhouette reading that will still maintain a little shadow detail.

And how do you focus and compose with that big burning disk staring you right in the eye? First, if everything in your frame is a long distance from the camera, setting the lens to infinity is the easiest way to focus without being dazzled. Otherwise, you may prefocuse the camera with the sun just out of the frame. You can often recompose the scene by holding your eye a little away from the finder to avoid being temporarily blinded by the sun.

The best big-sun shots are the ones that don't rely solely on the sun; the big sun, in fact, is best used as a background. The landscape, the harbor scene, the city skyline - each picture should stand on its own for it to work with a big sun behind it.

There is a pitfall here, though. Even with objects at a far distance, they can still be out of the plane of focus of the sun, due to the effective shallow depth of long lenses. Generally, the sun can stand to be a little soft, so try focusing on the nearest large object in the composition. Also, use small apertures and check the depth-of-field preview.

Big-sun shots can, on occasion, be surprisingly colorless; the sky around the sun can range from blank white to dull gray. A filter is called for here, from the standard warming (81A and similar) for a warm sky tone, to amber for richer color, to full orange for an exaggerated effect.

About The Author
Jan Linden is a professional photographer and designer runs Photos 4 Interior

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Guide to Touching Up Your Digital Photos

A Guide to Touching Up Your Digital Photos
by: Gary Hendricks

One problem I faced when starting out with digital photography was how to touch up my raw digital images. Perhaps an image was slightly dark, perhaps it had to be rotated or cropped. Digital photos usually require some form of manipulation before final output. So here's a short guide which I've compiled to help you touch up your photos.

Step 1: Start Up Your Image Editor

The first step, of course, is to fire up your favorite image editing program. For beginners, it's best to get a program like Ulead PhotoImpact. It's a great tool that allows you to achieve professional photo effects using simple, easy-to-follow steps. You may also want to check out my scoop of the top 5 beginner photo editors for Windows. Open the picture you want to edit within the program and save a backup copy.

Step 2: Remove Red Eye

If you're taking photos of people, chances are you may have taken a photo with red-eye problems. This is easily removed with image editing software. In Paint Shop Pro, select the Red-Eye Removal tool in the menu and voila, the program does all the work for you. In Ulead PhotoImpact, there's an equivalent tool called Remove Red Eye in the Tool Panel.

Step 3: Rotate and Crop

If you've taken a photo in a wrong orientation, it's easily corrected with little loss in quality by using a rotate tool. You'll also want to do some cropping of your photo to remove cluttered surroundings that draw attention away from your subject. For example, I find cropping very useful if my subject is occupying only the middle portion of the photograph. Cut away the two sides of the picture and you have a much more professional look.

Step 4: Play with Color

Don't be afraid to experiment with colors. Image editing programs put a lot of power in your hands. You can make the leaves purple, change the entire photo to black and white, add a sepia effect - almost anything you want. A good photo editing program will have automatic color balance options to adjust color defects in your pictures.

Step 5: Blurring Effects

Sometimes I like to add a blurring effect to my photos. What you can do here is to select areas of the photo which are unimportant and blur them out. This will bring more attention to the main subject of your photo. For example, if I had a picture of a flower and I wanted to play down the details in the leaves in background, I might add a blurring effect to the background.

Step 6: Sharpen Up

Sharpening the image is the next step in the photo touch up process. Contrary to popular belief, you can't actually sharpen an out of focus image. What I typically do when sharpening an image is to selectively sharpen. That is, I select a part of the image, maybe a person's eyes and sharpen only that area. Leave unimportant areas unsharpened.

Step 7: Resize

Depending on your needs, you may want to resize your photo. If you're emailing a picture to a friend, you'll want to resize the picture down to a much smaller size. If you're printing the photo on a greeting card, you can scale down the image to the size of a 4x6 print.

Step 8: Save Your Work

Ok, you're pretty much done. Remember to save your work in the appropriate image format. Use the large TIFF image format if you want to retain all details for subsequent image editing. On the other hand, you can use the JPEG image format if you want to just send the picture via email or upload them to your website.


Alrighty then! Now you know the secret to touching up and preparing your raw digital photos for output. I'd say that not all the above steps are truly necessary in a given situation. Remember to use your discretion to see which is necessary. Don't be afraid to experiment and learn - practice makes perfect when it comes to touching up your photos.

About The Author

Gary Hendricks runs a hobby site on digital photography. Visit his website at Basic Digital Photography for tips and tricks on buying digital cameras, as well as shooting great photos.