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I have recently just got back into photography and i picked up a copy of this magazine from W H Smiths. At £4.99 it did seem a bit expensive at the time. I have now made this one of the regular photo mags i buy.
Each issue is crammed with ideas on how to improve your skills. The techniques that are highlighted each month are broken down into easy to understand steps. So each month you can experiment with a new technique.
Nearly every month there is tutorials on how to use software like photoshop to enhance and improve the final photograph you have taken. This is usually backed up with a cd disk containing the lessons you have learnt.
As well as having competitions where you have the chance to win fantastic prizes, there is always a section on readers own photographs that they have sent in, and usually one or two experts will advise them on how they could improve their technique.
Dont be put off by the talk of top of the range slr cameras, this is a magazine any one can learn from, and help to improve their photographic skills. Whether it is just photos of the kids or photos of family get togethers you want to take.
The magazine also has its own website that has loads of advice and forums where you can ask anything to do with photography. Like taking snaps with your camera? then take a look at a copy of this magazine.
The cost is a bit pricey but it is printed on quality glossy paper and is worth every penny. The mag is not crammed with pages of adverts, i would say it is crammed full of interesting ways to improve your photography.
If is is the latest camera that makes you drool there is usually a test of the latest equipment or camera within the pages.
I have been buying photography magazines for the last 18 months and there are 2 that I have taken a liking to the most,and one of them is Digital Photography.
It's £4.99 which is rather expensive, but there is a free CD rom with loads of How to exercises to use with Photoshop, and some of the techniques are fantastic. Pretty easy to follow the step by step guides which are accompanied by features in the magazine.
There are loads of technical features, readers pictures - where experts give their opinions on how to improve them, competitions and tried and tested to help you choose the right kit.
Some of the techical "how to" exercises can look daunting at first, but they are easy to follow and the results can be stunning, with ideas that you would never think of trying unless you have been doing photography for a very long time.
The magazine is eye catching and is suitable for all photography levels as there is something for everyone, and the CD roms are nice to build up into a collection as they come in a proper plastic dvd style case.
There is also a website which has loads of tips and ideas on too, and runs along side the magazine. There is also a forum where you can chat to other members and learn loads of stuff and make new friends.
BLACK & WHITE is always together. These colors bring varied meanings and have been used for several occasions. B&W is our popular motif to respect our loved ones who passed away showing our deepest sympathy and mourning. Black is the back draft of the dark night when creatures, monsters, aliens and corpses come alive and scare the living. With the white full moon glows in the night watching the terror of demons, and listening the cries of the wolves and the victims in the wilderness convey suspense, horror, shock and disbelief. Black represents the dark side, blindness, magic and spells, curses and witches, cults, evil and the unknown! But on the other hand, white shows the brighter side of darkness light. White represents purity, cleanliness, healthy living, simplicity and holiness. It is the motif of the angels from heaven, the friendly ghosts (like Casper), the beautiful lady in the balete tree, the bride-to-be waiting for the groom to take her hands in the altar, or even our hardworking doctors and nurses and the Wimbledon tennis players. These are some of the things that I could think why black and white are influential in our lives.
And being a photo hobbyist, B&W is something unique and it could graphically and effectively illustrate those different perceptions about the use of these colours. I could relate B&W in mono images which I would be happy to tell my readers by sharing my thoughts in the special edition of Digital Photo magazine published in June 2006 (Issue #79). Briefly, the mag is being published monthly at 4.99 pounds (little bit expensive) circulated in the UK region and abroad. It is an A4 size publication having 162 colourful pages and 3 major sections to read. With the special edition on B&W, these sections focused mainly on creating stunning digital mono images.
The first section of the mag covers the technique which provides the basic skills to make digital mono images in different ways: converting and combining RAWs; dodging and burning (digital diffusion); film grain and borders; and producing mono inkjet prints.
Specifically, I learned from this section that creating a great B&W shots requires five major points: strong texture; strong skies for landscapes; good balance in sky and subject; right contrast; and right presentation and effects.
These major points are fully represented using photos and the steps showing the stages in operating the software found in the free CD. Having this illustration, it is quite effective in guiding users to navigate with the software to start-up the required settings. For digital camera users, this section provides the ultimate way/technique to convert RAW files. By the way, taking photos in a RAW file is similar to TIFF or JPEG with fewer pixels but its advantages is to do their flexibility and the quality of the data they hold, not the size of the image. Unlike JPEG file where it is highly processed by the camera (exposure and colour has been fixed, sharpened and compressed to take up less space/bytes), the RAW file is better because you can do these adjustments by yourself.
The other important discussion covered in rescuing old, damaged and faded photos is by using Photoshop technique. Again, it shows how you can restore old pictures and bringing the memories back to life.
This is the second section of the magazine where the winners of the Digital Photographer of the Year 2006 are featured. With the special edition, Portraits is the theme of the round 4 of the competition and the major prize got a Canon EOS 350D digital SLR kit, including lens (worth 700 pounds). This is really an excellent opportunity for people who want their photos entered in the competition and earn from the hobby as well. The competition for B&W is also launched in this edition.
It contains the details about its subscription, letters/e-mails and the collection of photographs from the readers. It is a 10-page B&W special gallery showcasing truly stunning mono images from readers around the world. Brief description of the photographers is added, including the type of camera being used making this section an inspirational pages of the magazine.
**THE FREE CD-ROM
There is a sub-section in the magazine that explained the contents of the CD. The exclusive CD is a regular monthly offer and really a very good marketing strategy from the publisher where subscribers could have hands-on experience of the software, particularly the Photoshop software. Quickly, the CD has its own plastic compartment properly labeled and it runs easily with your PC/notebook. The minimum requirements are: Windows 95, 98, or greater and minimum screen resolution of 1024x768. The CD-ROM works just the same as a website, but no need to connect to the internet or hang around for downloads. It can be opened using the browser and clicking on the buttons on the left of the screen will take you where you want to go. Unluckily, if the CD found to be damaged or has incorrect contents, you can return it to the publisher. In this special edition, the CD contains the free complete version package of the Rawshooter essential 2006 for converting RAW files; 11 video lessons on digital mono imaging, including a full CD index in pdf format for future reference.
**IS IT WORTH A HALLOWEEN TREAT?
OVERALL, the magazine provides a comprehensive discussion on B&W or mono images utilizing the Photoshop and Elements software which I could not find with other leading photo publications in the market. The free CD is a valuable companion kit for people who would venture on RawShooter essentials 2006 software (www.pixmantec.com) in converting the RAW files of more than 70 popular cameras into stunning B&W images.
FINALLY, for people who love to take pictures, this is something to look forward to by having B&W in your next agenda either using a monochrome film or converting your coloured photos (scanned or digital) using available software. Something different, something you can share with your family and friends. So, if you like to have this issue part of your collection, you can place your orders by calling 0845 121 4000 and have it a special HALLOWEEN treat to yourself!