Stories by Dave Johnson

Solve photo problems with image-editing tools

Sure, you probably know all the run-of-the-mill tools in your photo editor. You can erase blemishes with the clone tool and adjust exposure with the contrast slider. But have you ever tried adding fake clouds to a plain blue sky, turning a crowded room into a ghost town, or dramatically enlarging a small photo? It's easier than you think.

Take spectacular holiday photos

The holidays are coming, and you know what that means: It's overtime for your digital camera. Soon, kids will gleefully tear open presents; families will gather around fancy, festive dinner tables; and houses will be adorned with dazzling lights. It’s a time of fun, joy, and excitement--and as digital photographers, we inevitably try to capture it in pixels for all eternity.

Transform your photos into holiday cards and calendars

When we were kids, our friends and family exchanged holiday cards decorated with artwork and messages thoughtfully provided by Hallmark. It wasn't as though we lacked the creativity to make our own cards; we simply didn't own our own printing press. But these days, you can use your digital photo collection and a photo-editing program to create high-quality customized cards for everyone on your mailing list.

Shopping for a photo printer

The holidays are upon us, which means you'll be seeing more friends and family in the next few weeks than you usually do the rest of the year. You'll be taking a lot of photos and sharing them. Rather than sending your guests a digital file by e-mail (how festive!), consider printing some photos and sending them home with bright, sharp prints. Need a printer? No problem. I've got four tips to help you make a smart choice when you go to buy a photo printer. And after you get that shiny new printer, be sure to check out my five tips for getting great-looking prints with it.

Palm vs. Apple: Sizing up smartphone cameras

I'm something of a grumpy old man when it comes to camera phones--for years, I've resisted them, complaining that I just didn't see the point. "Using a camera phone dumbs down photography," I'd say, citing poor image quality and lack of control. When I wrote "Five Tips for Great Photos With Your Cell Phone," I did it reluctantly, mainly because my friends insisted that phones with cameras were incredibly popular.

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