Stories by Dave Johnson

  • The best iPhone lens kit: Put a little DSLR on the front of your iPhone

    Thanks to the ubiquity of our smartphone cameras, we're all taking more photos than ever. But those photos are largely confined to the iPhone's one-size-fits-all, somewhat wide angle lens; gone are the days when most of us were willing to schlep around an SLR with multiple lenses, or even a single bulky zoom lens. You can recapture some of your SLR's interchangeable lens flexibility, however, with a set of add-on lenses for your iPhone. We've rounded up 6 of the most popular options and put them to the test: Here are our recommendations.

  • Travelling with your camera: What to take with you

    You don't have to be a National Geographic photographer to take your digital camera on the road. Whether you're embarking on a week-long vacation, a weekend getaway, or even just a day trip, you might want to bring your digital camera with you for better photos than you can snap with your phone alone. But what accessories do you need to take the best photos and to keep them safe? I've rounded up a collection of gear designed for traveling photographers. You won't need to bring everything on this list unless you really are a Nat Geo pro, but you can use the list to find all the essentials that work for you.

  • USERS GUIDE: 11 tips to ensure great smartphone photos

    You probably don't carry your fancy-pants DSLR camera with you all the time, but your smartphone--along with its built-in camera--is in your pocket everywhere you go. That's why these days the most popular camera used to upload photos to Flickr isn't a camera at all, but the iPhone.

  • Shoot awesome holiday photos

    Welcome to the holiday season. Starting at Halloween and continuing through Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year's, this is the time of year when photo opportunities with your friends and family come thick and fast.

  • Solve photo problems with image-editing tools

    Sure, you probably know all the run-of-the-mill tools in your photo editor. You can erase blemishes with the clone tool and adjust exposure with the contrast slider. But have you ever tried adding fake clouds to a plain blue sky, turning a crowded room into a ghost town, or dramatically enlarging a small photo? It's easier than you think.

  • Take spectacular holiday photos

    The holidays are coming, and you know what that means: It's overtime for your digital camera. Soon, kids will gleefully tear open presents; families will gather around fancy, festive dinner tables; and houses will be adorned with dazzling lights. It’s a time of fun, joy, and excitement--and as digital photographers, we inevitably try to capture it in pixels for all eternity.

  • Transform your photos into holiday cards and calendars

    When we were kids, our friends and family exchanged holiday cards decorated with artwork and messages thoughtfully provided by Hallmark. It wasn't as though we lacked the creativity to make our own cards; we simply didn't own our own printing press. But these days, you can use your digital photo collection and a photo-editing program to create high-quality customized cards for everyone on your mailing list.

  • Shopping for a photo printer

    The holidays are upon us, which means you'll be seeing more friends and family in the next few weeks than you usually do the rest of the year. You'll be taking a lot of photos and sharing them. Rather than sending your guests a digital file by e-mail (how festive!), consider printing some photos and sending them home with bright, sharp prints. Need a printer? No problem. I've got four tips to help you make a smart choice when you go to buy a photo printer. And after you get that shiny new printer, be sure to check out my five tips for getting great-looking prints with it.

  • Palm vs. Apple: Sizing up smartphone cameras

    I'm something of a grumpy old man when it comes to camera phones--for years, I've resisted them, complaining that I just didn't see the point. "Using a camera phone dumbs down photography," I'd say, citing poor image quality and lack of control. When I wrote "Five Tips for Great Photos With Your Cell Phone," I did it reluctantly, mainly because my friends insisted that phones with cameras were incredibly popular.