The 2010 Earthbound Light Top Ten List
In this final week of 2010, it's time to reflect on the past year here at Earthbound Light. Our elves have spent the entire holiday weekend reviewing the web server logs to come up with your favorite PhotoTip articles. It's a great list. My thanks to all of you whose web browser clicking helped determine the winners.
#10: Camera Raw Tricks and Underused Features
Gone are the days when Adobe Camera Raw was just a raw file converter. Current versions are capable of doing far more than many people realize. This article pointed out some great Camera Raw features that I had noticed seemed to have been overlooked.
#9: Rummaging Around in the Lightroom Database
Adobe Lightroom is much more than just a great tool for streamlining your workflow and organizing your digital images. It's also database. Being one who is at heart somewhat of a geek, it's fun to poke around in the Lightroom database to see what it knows about what I've shot. Based on feedback from when this was published this past spring, at least some of you are geeks too. Or enough of you are to make this the ninth most popular article of the year.
#8: Photoshop CS5 Content-Aware Fill is Magic
Each new version of Adobe Photoshop introduces users to what the mad scientists at Adobe have been working on. And each time there's at least a few really cool new features that seem more like magic than computer programming. With the release of Photoshop CS5, the most awe inspiring sleight of hand was produced by the content-aware fill tool. People have been manipulating photographs even before Ansel Adams incorporated darkroom technology into the way he planned to shoot his famous works, but content-aware fill seems to make it almost too easy. Use it wisely folks.
#7: Moving Images in Adobe Lightroom
Since Adobe Lightroom is at its heart a database, it contains pointers to where all your images live on disk. If you move them around behind its back, you can confuse Lightroom no end. Either this has happened to some of you or else a lot of readers wanted to make sure it didn't happen to them. Either way, this article rated number seven for the year. By the way, not only can you prevent confusing Lightroom, there's an easy fix if you goof and do confuse it by moving things the wrong way.
#6: The Twilight Zone: Shooting After the Sun Goes Down
This article clocked in as the sixth most popular one published for 2010. No, it's not about the excellent Rod Serling television series. It's about shooting after dark. When your eyes can no longer make out much, your camera can see plenty if given enough time to record an exposure. Digital sensors can do an excellent job of shooting at very low light levels and the images you can end up with present a version of the world not normally seen.
#5: Getting Down With It: Bending Your Knees for the Best Shots
I try to seek out interesting vantage points in photography. This article was followed the next week by one of a more practical nature on knee pads, but the inspiration for even having knee pads is what there is to be found by shooting at ground level. Done right, landscape photography should be a contact sport.
#4: Lightroom versus Photoshop versus Camera Raw versus Bridge
Digital photography has all but completely replaced film. In order to provide photographers with the tools they need, there are countless software programs available in the marketplace. Interestingly, Adobe makes quite a few themselves, and at least some of these seem to overlap and compete with each other. If you've ever tried to make sense which one to use for what, this article is for you. It seems to have resonated with enough of you to make this the number four article of the year.
#3: Shooting Quickly versus Thinking More
Push a button and make a photograph. So long as you point it in the right direction, the camera can do most of the work for you. But should you let it? The images you end up with are a direct result of how you approach shooting them. Put more thought into making them and you are likely to get more out of them. This was one of my more philosophical articles but turned out to be quite popular with readers.
#2: Mushroom Photography Season
Mushrooms are great on pizza, but they also make great photography subjects. Perhaps this is a follow-up to bending your knees and shooting at ground level, but I wrote an article this fall as mushroom season in the northwest was in full swing that became the second most popular of the 2010. Just be careful which mushrooms you put on your pizza since not all of them are edible.
#1: Seeing What's in Front of You
And with a drum roll, the most popular article of the year was about what should perhaps be the most obvious subject of all but one that eludes all of us time and time again. If you've spent time planning to shoot a certain subject, you might miss a different opportunity even as it unfolds right in front of you. There are great shots to be had everywhere, but you have to see them. Preconceptions and habits can create barriers to actually seeing and experiencing. Creativity starts with seeing.
That wraps up another great year here at Earthbound Light. Here's wishing all of you and yours the very best in 2011.