Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

Using Color Control Points to Emphasize Subjects

Little Blue Heron, Shark Valley, FL. Nikon D300 and 600mm f/4 AFS VR Nikkor lens

Some people assume that the Control Point technology found in Capture NX2 and Nik Viveza is something you use to make radical image adjustments, like changing the color of a sky.  Not so.  In fact, some of the most powerful adjustments I make with Control Points are subtle ones, intended to accentuate a subject against its background.  The image above is an example of where I used Color Control Points (in this case, in Capture NX2) to enhance the subject.

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Going long: Shooting with the Nikkor 600/4 VR and TC-20EIII

Odell_20100212_5225.JPGI finally got a little time (and sunshine) to head out to the local nature center to fiddle around with my 600mm VR lens and try it with the TC-20E III.  When you are using long lenses, tripods are absolutely mandatory; hand-holding is not at all feasible (well, maybe if you pump iron like Ah-nold).

I started off with my normal combo for small birds: 600mm + TC-14E. This gives an effective 840mm focal length on my FX Nikon D3s. The TC-14E only costs one stop of light, so my lens behaves as though it were f/5.6 instead of f/4 when it is wide-open.  I’ve used this combination several times in the past, and it works really well.  I get sharp images and AF performance is still very fast and accurate.

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Doin’ it in the dark (aka, shooting cocktail hour)

Odell_20090808_5485.JPGI had the pleasure of going back home to Florida for one of those “you are getting old” rituals– my 20th high school reunion.  Unlike last time, when I brought my point and shoot film camera, this time I was ready, armed with a Nikon D3, 24-70mm lens, and SB-900.  I figured I’d do what I had always done at official high school events– shoot photos!  But I wanted to make sure that these photos would have a better quality than the standard snapshots we get with the point and click cameras that I knew everyone else would be using.

Find out more after the jump…

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Tip: Adding a signature to your images with Photo Mechanic

Photo Mechanic 4.6.1 (still in public beta at this time, but available for trial download from Camerabits) offers a new watermarking feature that allows you to put a watermark image on exported images.  I’ve adapted this technique to put my signature on images that I can export as JPEGs directly from my NEFs without having to go through Photoshop first.

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