Frequently Asked Questions

Making Photos Last

Those photos you love will only last as long as you take care of them.

In the old days, photographers worried about keeping track of their pictures and how long they would last. Both film and prints deteriorate over time. With digital that’s no longer a worry – digital files can last forever, since they’re just numbers. The trick is keeping track of them and making new copies as storage technology changes.
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Cloud Storage Options, and a great offer

My 60GB of data stored on Dropbox.

As internet connections have gotten faster, I’ve started relying more and more on the cloud to store and synchronize data. Dropbox has been my main tool for that, but thanks to a great offer from Box, I’m starting to use it too.
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What Settings to Start With

I recently returned from leading a photo trip to Costa Rica for American and Popular Photography's Mentor Series ( As we were wrapping up the trip, driving back into San Jose, I was trying to answer questions on the bus and there was a good one I didn't have time to answer. I can rectify that now.
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Old Dog, New Tricks

Spot meter - no exposure compensation

I got my first 35mm SLR camera when I was fourteen. Forty years later I'm still learning, and that's one of the things I love about photography.
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Lenses and Sharpness

I've had a few conversations with photographers recently about lenses not performing up to expectations concerning sharpness of photos. In the past I've always looked to the age of a lens and the design (consumer-grade or pro?). Now, though, I'm starting to think about our definition of "sharp."
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Less Painful Family Photos

I'm as guilty as most people when it comes to shooting large group family pictures. I don't like to do it. The more people you've got in a photo the harder it is to make a nice photo. This year, though, I decided to fight my natural tendencies and try to make a nice group shot at Thanksgiving.
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Choice is Good

The more choices we have, the harder it can be. Shoot JPEG or RAW? Upgrade Photoshop now or wait? Spend more on a faster lens or save $$? My favorite choice right now is between full-frame or cropped-frame cameras, because that choice gives me more flexibility in my photography.
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AF Settings Confusion

This past week I received an email from someone looking for help in decoding the AF settings on their camera. This is perhaps the most common, hardest to figure out group of settings on today's digital SLRs.
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Fireworks Photography

Well, it's time for a topical subject. With the fourth of July a few days away, this is a great time to go through the ins and outs of fireworks photography. I've been doing these shots for about 35 years, the most involved being the 12-exposure shot shown here that I did with a Hasselblad. It's changed a bit since those days of film, but the basics remain the same.
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Masters of Workflow (?)

I've got a bone to pick, and this is about as good a time as any (and it gives me a good excuse to use this nice photo Ed Zurga shot of me!). Does it ever seem that most people preaching workflow want to teach you the most complicated version they can come up with?
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