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My new photography book, “Stunning Digital Photography”

I’ve published my first photography book: “Tony Northrup’s DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography.” It covers absolutely everything you need to know about photography, from basic composition and lighting to advanced topics like night photography, HDR, macro photography, image stacking, and underwater photography.

No other book provides as much detail–I spent two years writing this book, including travelling to nine countries to take the more than 375 pictures. If you get the ebook, you’ll also get access to more than an hour of video training that you can watch directly on your e-reader.

The print book is $20. Until this Friday, March 9, 2012, the Kindle eBook is completely free. You don’t need a Kindle device, because you can run the Kindle app on an iPhone, iPad, Android device, or your Windows or Mac computer. It’s free for now, so go and grab it, and tell everyone you know.

Software for Organizing, Tagging, and Captioning Photographs

Question from a reader:

Tony, I don’t have 10,000 photographs but sometimes it seems like it. I would appreciate your opinion for the best program for organizing my files on the computer. I can’t seem to find something that will permit captioning, date recording and tagging. I often wonder how the NGS organizes their collection which must numer in the millions. Thanks

My answer after the jump…


Quantity vs. Quality and Flash vs. Silverlight

I got a question from a reader today–a question similar to the one that originally prompted me to create the website:


I was reading your 70-536 MCTS training book, when I saw that that you were a photographer. I find that to be strange, considering the fact that I too am a programmer who is also a photographer. At first, I found what must be your old website ( Upon seeing that site, I said that this guy must be joking when he says that he is a photographer. However, fortunately there is a link to what must be your new website ( The pictures on that site are incredible. Not to mention the fact that the layout is very appealing to the eye. However, as a writer of many windows books, what are you doing with a PHP website? That’s like going over to the dark side. After I finish the 70-536, it is my plan to update my site in a manner like yours, however I will utilize Microsoft Silverlight. Well, thanks for the inspiration. Take care.

My (wordy) answer after the jump.


What is DPI?

I sell digital photos on my home page, and the most common question I get is, “Are these pictures 300 DPI?” Unfortunately, I usually can’t answer definitively, because they don’t tell me the size they’re going to print at.

DPI (dots-per-inch) depends on two factors: the resolution of the picture (“dots”) and the size of the image as you will print it (“per inch”). My website shows the resolution for every picture at the top of the page, as part of the pictures description.
For example, this picture has a resolution of 3072 x 2048:

If you wanted to print it at 3×5, it would be 614.4DPI (3072/5=614.4). Vertically, it would be 682.6DPI (2048/3), but you’d need to crop it vertically to get the 3×5 proportions, so the DPI will be the same once it’s cropped.

Photoshop CS5 Preview

Photoshop CS5 has some amazing new features. If you’re a painter, you’ll appreciate that Adobe has put a great deal of time into simulating paints. You can now pull paint from a pallet, and CS5 accurately simulates spreading paint with different types of brushes, blending paints, and even the drying of paint over time.

Any of us who need to change the shape of an object or correct a lens’ chromatic aberrations will appreciate the new warping capabilities. Simply specify points on an image that can and cant move, and CS5 will allow you to move objects around while maintaining their shape. The demo below shows repositioning a referee’s arms into different calls. I just wonder how it would work with a real background instead of solid white–certainly it would require more work.

The demo also shows how to warp a picture to correct distortion at the edges of a wide-angle lens.

20 Photoshop Tips

Photoshop is a vast and unconquerable software, even to someone like me who uses computers for a living. The best you can hope is to pick it up one tip at a time, becoming more and more efficient. I found these tips very useful, especially the keyboard shortcuts for adjusting brush size and hardness: use the square brackets–[]–to adjust size, and hold down the shift key when pressing the brackets to adjust the hardness.

Importing Pictures from your Camera


Tony I am a novice with a laptop on vista. I tried to put the software for photocam and it crashed my computer. Saying vista does not take this software, I am looking for a software to put in so I can put my pictures from my camera to it and size it to put in ebay.  Can you help and suggest something?