Are You New to Your Camera?

Did you get a new camera for Christmas? Is it your first digital camera, or is this your second or even a third one? Even if your camera is not that new, are you making the most of its capabilities? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, you should consider taking a course devoted to how to use your camera.

The second section of my camera class at the South Bay Adult School, begins Wednesday, February 15th. To find out more about this class, CLICK HERE.  To register for the class, you can go to the South Bay Adult School’s website.

Due to the several holidays in January and February, I am teaching only one camera class at Torrance this term. This class starts in about a week, on Monday, January 23rd. To find out more about it, CLICK HERE, and scroll down. You can register for the class by going to the Torrance Adult School website. In fact, this is a good term to take the class. Normally the class is five, or on occasion six 2-1/2 hour sessions. However, this term there are seven sessions, which means more instruction time for the same price. If you plan to sign up for the class, you will need to do so the very first part of this week.

Remember, the classes at both schools cover the compact camera models, as well as more advanced models, including digital SLRs.

Finally, if you found this post helpful, please rate it accordingly using the star rating system above. Thank you.


I Learned a New Word–iPhoneography

Last week I watched parts of a two-day live webinar presented by and featuring photographer, Jack Hollingsworth. The webinar was presented free to promote their course, “iPhoneography Workshop”.

There is a whole world out there that is using the iPhone and other smart phones to create photographic art. I’ve had my iPhone 4 for a few months now, and frankly still know very little about using it, except to use it as a simple point and shoot camera. And I was not even doing that right.

After watching the webinar, I’m looking at the camera on my iPhone with increased respect. To be honest I’m still not that versed on the basic capabilities of even the native camera, let alone the thousands of iPhone apps that are available. Its features were expanded with the release of iOS 5. I have never read the manual, so I did not have a good grasp of even the basics. Here are six things I learned.

  1. The picture is not taken until you lift your finger from the camera button, not when you tap it. This means you can compose the shot, hold down the shutter release button and then remove your finger the instant you want to take the picture.
  2. To zoom in on a scene, pinch your fingers and then drag outward. You should see the slider bar open allowing you to adjust the zoom by dragging the slider.
  3. The iPhone has a AF/AE Lock capability. To turn it on, tap and hold on that part of the image you want to lock in on for a second or two. Remove your finger, and you will see the AF/AE Lock at the bottom of the screen. To turn it off, tap on the screen again.
  4. You can quickly bring access the camera from the Lock Screen mode. Double click on the Home button, and then tap on the camera icon on the right.
  5. You can also use the Volume Up button as the shutter release to take a picture.
  6. This really has nothing to do with the camera, but you can make a screen copy. First hold down the sleep button, and then quickly double tap the Home button. The captured screen is added to the Camera Roll. This also works on the iPad.

The above are what the native camera and its apps are capable of. My next step is to explore some of the cool apps available available for the camera. I suspect the camera in Android phones have similar capabilities and apps.

If your using an iPhone or iPad 2, and know of a good app or two to exploit their capabilities, leave a comment. Also, if you like this article and would like to see more like it here, please let me know by giving it a high star rating above. Thanks.

A Cold Winter is Coming

Winter term classes start at the South Bay Adult School, Torrance and PV NET next week. Torrance had to  cancel three of the classes already. South Bay Adult School will no doubt cancel both classes that were due to start next week unless there are some last minute registrations. All of the cancellations are due to low enrollment.

If you have any comments regarding how the current classes I teach can be improved, or ideas/suggestions for future classes, please leave a comment. I have to submit classes I would like to teach this spring in a week or two at the very latest. Totally new classes will not be possible until the Fall Term. However, changes in scope, focus, and approach to existing classes can often be accomplished rather quickly. So please let me knew your ideas.

Thank you.

Check Out My New Photoshop Elements: The Organizer eBook

As many of you know, I have been using Photoshop Elements from its beginning, which must be over ten years now. I began using its Organizer when it was first introduced in PSE 3. To manage my images before that, I used  Adobe’s Photoshop Album, which became the Organizer with PSE 3’s introduction.

Over the years my photo and video collection has grown to over 33,000 items. PSE’s Organizer is not perfect (no software program is), but it has served me well for a long time. Although there have been many excellent Photoshop Elements books over the past ten years, almost all of them devote most of their coverage to its editing capabilities. Michael Slater wrote what I feel to be the definitive book covering the Organizer (Organize Your Photos With Adobe Photoshop Elements 3), but it was written when PSE 3 was first introduced.

I decided last summer to write an eBook strictly devoted to the Organizer. I have been using and teaching it for the past ten years. Don’t get me wrong, my intent was not to replace Slater’s book. I do not cover every detail and feature within the program. Instead, I have tried to focus on those things that I have used over and over throughout the years, and which I feel are the most important.

That being said, my eBook ended up taking longer to complete and grew in size more than I had envisioned. It ended up containing eight chapters, consisting of over 160 pages and 200 illustrations. Please click on the following link to find out more about my eBook and how you can purchase it.

Photoshop Elements: The Organizer