Ben Long

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Ben Long is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. He has written extensively on products for creative types for Macworld magazine, among myriad other publications, and has authored several books related to photography.
  • Features: Written by Ben Long on January 30, 2008

    If you're more familiar with digital photography than film photography, you may not know about grain: visible clumps of silver halide crystals on a

  • Features: Written by Ben Long on December 19, 2007
    Pros: Excellent build quality and feature set; very good image quality; high-quality, stabilized lens with 6x zoom range; support for Canon external flash system. Cons: Terrible optical viewfinder; performance is a little sluggish when shooting Raw; ISOs above 400 are unacceptably noisy for professional shooterss. Rating: 90
  • Features: Written by Ben Long on November 28, 2007

    Today, many digital photographers start with a point-and-shoot camera and work their way up to an SLR. If that was your path, you may not be familiar with the more obscure lens types. Because you can choose what type of lens to put on an SLR, you can opt for different focal lengths, upgrade to a higher quality lens, and choose lenses based on weight and size. All of these options give you a tremendous level of flexibility.

    Let's look at five specialty lens types:

    • Fast
    • Wide
    • Fisheye
    • Lensbaby
    • Tilt and Shift

    Fast Lenses

  • Features: Written by Ben Long on October 31, 2007

    Down at the bottom of the File menu in Photoshop, there are two little submenus: Scripts and Automate. Buried in these submenus are a few easy-to-overlook features that are surprisingly handy. Here's how to take advantage of their powerful output capabilities and save a tremendous amount of time.

    Banish the Mundane with Image Processor
    While Photoshop has exceptional image-editing controls, it can also help you with more mundane work, such as resizing and converting images from one format to another.

  • Features: Written by Ben Long on September 17, 2007

    Planning for any photo shoot is a little tricky, as you struggle to find the right balance of weight and functionality. Which lenses to take? How much storage? How many batteries? But some shoots are trickier than others. When photographer Steve Simon invited me to help him shoot a project in South Africa, I had to figure out how to equip my bag for a three-week trip.

  • Features: Written by Ben Long on September 10, 2007

    Other than new-lens lust, one of the most common hardware challenges that digital SLR users face is sensor dust. Because the lens on an SLR is removable, it's possible for dust and debris to get inside the sensor chamber of the camera, resulting in visible spots and artifacts on your final images.

  • Features: Written by Ben Long on July 16, 2007

    Color accuracy is a big topic in digital photography.

  • Features: Written by Ben Long on June 4, 2007

    When I mention photographic workflow and the software quandaries that go with it to old-school photographers, I'm often met with a blank stare and then asked, "What's a workflow?"

    Workflow is not a traditional photography concept. The idea came into the photography world alongside Photoshop's rubber stamp tools, the Raw format, and the practice of shooting more pictures in an afternoon than film photographers used to shoot in a month.

  • Features: Written by Ben Long on May 11, 2007

    While we can all count on the inevitability of death and taxes, photographers have had a few other certainties to depend on: black cameras look mor

  • Features: Written by Ben Long on April 24, 2007

    Return to Review: Adobe Photoshop CS3.

    Bridge, a file browser and manager that Adobe introduced with Creative Suite 2, has also been updated. The new version sports a modified look, with a dark gray background (Figure 1). In Bridge's Preferences, you can now change the brightness of the interface and the color of certain elements, allowing you to build an environment that's comfortable for viewing.