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  • How to Read and Use a Histogram
    May 28, 2014

    How to Read and Use a Histogram

    Written by Daven Mathies   What is a histogram? When trying to teach myself about something new, I always like to look first at the word itself, as this usually helps clarify what I’m actually working with. So, right click “histogram,”...

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  • How to Clean a Lens
    May 21, 2014

    How to Clean a Lens

    Written by Daven Mathies Our customers come in all the time asking us to show them how to properly clean a lens.  That’s when we bunch up the bottom part of our shirtsleeve and… Just kidding! Getting that schmutz off...

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  • Macro Photography Tips
    April 21, 2014

    Macro Photography Tips

    Written by Daven Mathies This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we’re going to be down at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival for some macro photography workshops with Canon and Nikon. As such, we figured it would be a good idea to...

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  • April 21, 2014

    DIY Shotgun Mic Spacer

    Written by Daven Mathies In video production, there are lots of little parts and pieces required to capture video and sound properly. On their own, they don’t seem like much; but if you don’t have them, it can wreak havoc...

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  • March 17, 2014

    Color Management 201

    Written by Michael Wyman Color Calibration. Why do we need to do it? One would imagine that you could just buy a computer system and it would be perfectly accurate when it comes to color; this is not the case for...

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  • March 11, 2014

    Choosing an Umbrella

    They say you're not a true Portlander if you own an umbrella, but I'm pretty sure they weren't talking to photographers when they decided that. Umbrellas are some of the easiest to use and least expensive light modifiers available, a perfect option for photographers just getting into off-camera flash. They are portable, take just seconds to set up, and are very effective at diffusing light from a variety of sources—a speedlight, strobe head, or even a constant light. I have found, however, that people often get confused by the myriad options available. So here's a brief overview of the different types of lighting umbrellas.
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  • February 25, 2014

    Using external flash

    An external flash is a great way to improve the quality of your photographs, and not just those taken indoors or in low light. I think many people shy away from flash because they know how horrible a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera flash is. You know, that blinding point of light that washes out your subject and leaves your background completely black. Luckily, it doesn't have to be this way.
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  • February 18, 2014

    Profiling Your Monitor

    Back in the good ol' days of film, you could rest assured that your print would look the same no matter who you gave it to. Then digital photography came along and everybody started looking at photographs on their computer screens. The problem with this, is that any two monitors can vary in brightness, color, and contrast, meaning that the same image can look completely different from one monitor to the next. Professional photographers and videographers have known about monitor profiling and calibrating for years, but the importance of maintaining a properly profiled monitor has yet to be adequately explained to the average consumer. 

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  • February 9, 2014

    Raw vs. JPEG

    It's not uncommon for a camera shopper to ask what "raw" stands for. It's easy to assume it's an acronym, especially with all the others in the world of digital photography: HDR, CMOS, AVCHD, APS-C... the list goes on. I think it would be neat if "raw" stood for Really Awesome Way of photographing things but, in truth, it is simply a word. As in, raw eggs. A raw file is simply one that has not been processed into a specific image format, such as JPEG. (Oddly, very few people ever ask what JPEG stands for.) Raw offers photographers a level of control over their images that compressed file types do not, but there are times when shooting in JPEG, or raw + JPEG, may be beneficial.

     

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