What editing program should I get?

I get asked a lot from people “What editing program should I get?” and I always say the same thing.  If you are just starting, or have been doing photography for a while, get Adobe Photoshop Elements.  Why? Because it will do 90% of what most people will want to do with a picture, from colour and density corrections to removing a flaw to adding text Elements will do it.

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Battery Maintenance

Battery Maintenance - Paterson Photograohy

I decided to write about battery maintenance as much to be a reminder for me as anyone. This is something that if you forget you will end up paying the price when you can least afford to do so.

Batteries run our lives, or at least many things in our lives.  Whether it is the smoke detector, cell phone, calculator, camera, flash, flashlights, laptop or many other things they all have batteries and if the battery is not happy neither will you be!

I try to have a system to check, charge or change my batteries on a regular basis and believe me it sure helps – a lot!  The problem is that some batteries need more care than others.

– Phones, laptops, tablets are easy to charge – plug in leave a few minutes and they are done. If they stop holding a charge then all you can do is replace the battery as there is little else you can do to renew the battery.

– Other batteries like a smoke detector just need to be changed twice a year and they will be happy.

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A lens filter or no lens filter?

When teaching I am always telling my students that buying a lens filter for the sake of having a filter is not a good thing, the only thing that you are doing is adding to the stores profit margin.  Sure I have heard all the sales talk about how a lens filter will protect the lens glass and save the lens, but honestly in all my time taking pictures and teaching I have never seen a filter that has protected a lens, or for that matter a lens that had the front glass scratched.  It may happen but I have not seen it.

The other night when teaching Astro photography one of my students took a picture that I was shocked to see all the reflections on the image.  So I asked him to take the filter off and take another picture.  Sure enough the difference was amazing!!

Paterson Photography UV filter
With a UV filter

Paterson Photography No Filter

No filter used on the lens

Even the best filter can cause your lens to loose quality and the two pictures above show just one thing that can happen.  With the added glass you can get softer images, lens reflections, etc.

If you have a real use for a filter buy one, if you are just buying because the sales person has told you to, be careful.  I strongly suggest that if you are looking for a filter, or filters, look at Lee or Cokin filters.  They are not designed to be left on the lens but do a great job of “filtering” your image.