Digital Innovations

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Joe Farace Posted: Aug 01, 2008 0 comments

"Most modern calendars mar the sweet simplicity of our lives by reminding us that each day that passes is the anniversary of some perfectly uninteresting event."--Oscar Wilde

I once had the pleasure of staying in the Cadogan Hotel in London where in 1895 Victorian society was rocked by the arrest of playwright Oscar Wilde. The incident occurred in...

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Joe Farace Posted: Feb 07, 2013 Published: Jan 01, 2013 0 comments
Plug-In Of The Month
Want to add an arty touch to your photographs? Simplify 4 from Topaz Labs is the easiest as well as most fun way of creating digital artwork from your images. This latest version costs $39.99 and includes more than 100 presets collected into five categories—plus your own customized presets and favorites—to produce more or less instant artistic transformations. I say “more or less” because Simplify 4 offers sliders that you can use to tweak for adding depth and localized contrast, for example. There’s also a set of edge-aware and selective brushes that can be used to dodge, burn, smooth, or brush out effects.
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Joe Farace Posted: Jul 01, 2009 0 comments

“I’m not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.”—Bill Watterson

The first PMA show I attended in 1982 was also held in Las Vegas. A lot has changed since then, but photography has clearly changed the most. Here are some of the highlights for digital photographers I saw at this year’s edition:
The D-SLR announcements were few but...

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Joe Farace Posted: Oct 01, 2006 0 comments

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting."--Ernest Rutherford

There's nothing a photographer likes better than ripping the shrink wrap off a new software tool, image-editing program, or plug-in. The expression on their face reminds me of kids opening brightly-colored boxes during the holidays. While these kind of toy-like tools allow us to...

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Joe Farace Posted: Apr 01, 2007 0 comments

"Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use."--Charles M. Schultz

Retouching Tools
One of the biggest challenges facing aspiring portrait photographers is retouching. Few of us are perfect. In fact, Cindy Crawford once said, "Even I don't look like Cindy Crawford when I get up in the morning!"...

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Joe Farace Posted: Jan 01, 2011 0 comments

“It’s just another New Year’s Eve. Let’s make it the best.”—Barry Manilow

OK, I admit it. I like Barry Manilow’s music. Heck, I even like Ray Stevens’s song “I Need Your Help, Barry Manilow” and am amazed you can’t buy it on iTunes. So what’s your New Year’s resolution? Quit smoking? (I did that 30 years ago.)...

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Joe Farace Posted: Jan 01, 2009 0 comments

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”—Pablo Picasso

I’ve attended many photokina shows since my first in 1978 where I met two men whose work affects me to this very day. One was Norman Rothschild who wrote a popular magazine column called “Offbeat” and the other was Jean Coquin who had just invented a modular...

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Joe Farace Posted: Jun 22, 2011 Published: May 01, 2011 88 comments
This month I’ll celebrate one of those “milestone” birthdays that everyone talks about and here in the Pixel Palace things are definitely looking up. Digital MD’s (www.digitalmd.net) Kevin Elliott repaired all of the Windows-related problems on the Boot Camp partition on my iMac and by the time you read this I’ll have installed Windows 7. Then I’ll be ready to test all of those $29 just-as-good-as-Photoshop Windows-only products that I’ve passed on as of late. There’s no news from Yahoo! about getting my Flickr account fixed but I don’t expect any and I am just too lazy to create a new account and upload all those photos—again. You can see what’s there at www.flickr.com/photos/joefarace or better yet visit my SmugMug page (http://farace.smugmug.com/) to see how my photo-a-day project is progressing and lots more.
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Joe Farace Posted: May 01, 2007 0 comments

"There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis."--Malcolm Gladwell

The 2006 Ig Nobel Prize in mathematics (www.improb.com /ig/ig-pastwinners.html) was awarded to Dr. Piers Barnes and Ms. Nic Svenson of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific...

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Joe Farace Posted: Dec 04, 2013 Published: Oct 01, 2013 0 comments
On October 2, 1950, the first Peanuts comic strip appeared in a daily newspaper. As a lifelong Peanuts fan and Snoopy collector it’s fitting that this month’s column is my 2100th published magazine article and I’d like to thank the best editorial team I’ve ever worked with—Shutterbug’s Editorial Director George Schaub and Managing Editor Andrea Keister—without whom none of this would be possible. I would also like to thank all of those readers who have hung in there with me for all these years. You are the reason I do this.
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Joe Farace Posted: Sep 01, 2007 0 comments

"No problem is so formidable that you can't walk away from it." --Charles M. Schulz

After recently acquiring a Canon EOS Rebel XTi, I was able to retire (thanks, Gary) the EOS D60 I've been using for digital infrared photography and start using a camera with a 2.5" LCD screen that delivers 10.1-megapixel resolution. To convert the...

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Joe Farace Posted: Mar 01, 2011 10 comments

“Computers = Ticket to Hell.”—from an old Alien Skin Software T-shirt

I’ve always been an ambidextrous computer user, having a Windows system on my left and a Mac OS computer on my right. That Windows computer handles Internet surfing for Web Profiles and e-mail. It’s also where I test the $29 “just as good as Photoshop but Windows-only” imaging...

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Joe Farace Posted: Apr 24, 2012 Published: Mar 01, 2012 0 comments
During a portrait session and perhaps to a lesser extent when shooting a wedding, you can control the lighting, background, and subject. During a portrait session, I try to manage everything from the subject’s pose, clothing, and makeup and the resulting photographs tend to be as much a portrait of me as they are of my subject. What often emerges from that control is a style, which is not something I’m conscious about when photographing, but the truth is that over time we all develop a signature way of shooting. The danger is that we keep shooting that same way or different versions of the same shot for the rest of our lives. Any style you develop must grow and change as you learn. Otherwise, what’s the point? As we continue to shoot and learn from experience, and reading magazines like Shutterbug, we start to tweak and improve those results until what emerges is truly a personal style.
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Joe Farace Posted: Feb 01, 2008 0 comments

"There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don't."
--Robert Benchley

After asking what digital point-and-shoot camera I use people are often surprised when I tell them it's a Canon PowerShot S500 Digital ELPH. "Isn't that obsolete?" is usually...

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Joe Farace Posted: Jun 01, 2009 0 comments

“There are three key things for good photography: a camera, lighting, and Photoshop.”—Tyra Banks

Ever since the Pictorialist movement began in 1885 photographers have enjoyed applying what many would call “special effects” to their images. The Modernist movement that started in 1914 began a shift toward tack-sharp realism, but the emergence of the digital...

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