How to

Photograph Stained Glass Windows and Dark Interiors w/ a Digital Camera

For All:
- Use a solid tripod.
- Frame the subject as straight on as possible, leaving a reasonable amount of room around it for perspective adjustment and cropping.
- Use the cameras lowest ASA, highest resolution and minimum compression settings.
- Use Manual mode for exposure. Don’t be afraid of long exposures, I use up to 8 seconds.
- Set aperture to f/5.6 or f/8 for maximum sharpness.
adjust exposure time for best image, use histogram for a guide if the camera has one. Expose to bring out dark detail but still not overexpose the bright areas.
- Use 2 second Time Delay to eliminate vibration if the camera has one, otherwise what ever delay it has.

For Stained Glass Windows:
- Choose a heavy overcast or raining/snowing day for even outside illumination.
- For the windows, use the Auto White Balance setting.
- Turn off all interior lights.

For Dark Interiors:
- Turn on the normal room lighting, avoid using flash.
- If the camera has the option of a manual White Balance setting, set the White Balance using a white sheet of paper.

Using iPhoto to collect and manage images
- Consider using the iPhoto Library Manager if you have many photos for very different reasons. For instance, I have one library for 2007 Family Photos, one for Stained Glass photos, one for eBay auction photos, etc. It can be downloaded for a free trial and purchase for $19.95 at It allows keeping the catalog sizes small enough for easy backing up.

Use Photoshop Elements if needed

- iPhoto is great for editing and enhancing snapshots. But Photoshop Elements is excellent for heavier duty editing of the images. Right-click on an image and select “Edit in External Editor” and Photoshop Elements will start if it is setup in Preferences.

Most used Photoshop Elements functions:
- to crop and rotate: Crop Tool
- to eliminate wires, dirt, etc: Clone Stamp Tool
- to correct perspective : Image/Transform/Skew or Perspective
- to maximize dynamic range: Enhance/Adjust Brightness&Contrast/Levels
- to sharpen image: Filter/Sharpen/Unsharp Mask with Amount=50%, Radius=1.0 pixels, Threshold = 0 levels. Better to use this twice if needed than using a more powerful setting or Sharpen
- to reduce dust and speckles: Filter/Noise/Despeckle with Unsharp Mask both before and after Despeckle
- to touch up color: Enhance/Adjust Color/Hue-Saturation
- to eliminate overall color cast (make whites actually white): Enhance/Adjust Color/Color Cast

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A 30 page full color book, saddle stitched, costs $9.03 per copy, no minimum number of copies.

Format the book in Pages, print it as a PDF/X file, upload to the Lulu site using their uploader. Receive the book in less than a week. The PDF/X file is designed for use by professional printers.

Contributed by
Jerry L.

Hammondsport Mac Users Group - Hammondsport, NY 14840 -