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A simple technique for creating eye-catching silhouettes

The silhouette is an old art form, said to have been named after �tienne de Silhouette, Louis XV’s finance minister. Apparently, he was so stingy that anything cheap, including portraits, were labelled “a la Silhouette.” Silhouettes became very popular in the 18th century but went out of fashion after the invention of the daguerreotype, an early form of photography. And now here we are, creating silhouettes with our digital cameras. Ain’t life grand?

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Learning composition: basic concepts and framing

There are many things that go into the concept of “composition.” Composition is a defining characteristic that separates a forgettable snapshot from a photo that has a strong impact on the viewer. It’s more important than mega-pixels, more important than what equipment you use. This will be the first in an ongoing series to try and demystify this pretentious-sounding subject and show you how thinking about composition, even a little, can help you improve your photos. We’ll start with a few basic concepts and some guidelines you can follow that will help you start creating images with impact and that draw the viewer in.

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Backing up your photos: why and how

I recently finished a task that turned out to be undeserving of my procrastination and left me with a welcome sense of relief. I made a backup of every digital photograph in my collection, over 15,000 images, spanning nearly 6 years from early 2000. It had been far too long since my last backup. It was easy, didn’t take a long time, and now I know that these treasured memories will be safe if something catastrophic ever happens to the hard drive they are stored on. Here’s how I did it.

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