Dark Side of the Lens

Camera Buying Guide
December 29th, 2009 by Natator | 8 Comments »

Buying your first, or a new, digital camera can be heaps of fun, but it can also be a bit of a nightmare if you don’t know the terminology or what features matter more than others.

Everyone wants a camera for their own reasons and, as with most things in life, there is no definitive answer for which camera best suits your needs. Β So, what I have tried to do in this video is give you an overview of some of the things you should probably consider when selecting your next camera.

At the end of the video I give you some useful links so that you can continue your research. Β Here they are again ….

Steve’s Digicams

DP Review


I can’t offer advice on a particular make or model of camera, unless it is one I have owned, but if you have any questions of a general nature then please ask away and I’ll help if I can.

Have a great New Year everyone, and here’s to a year of fantastic photos in 2010!



Out and about for a few weeks
January 18th, 2009 by Natator | 7 Comments »

Gone Walkabout

Well, it’s that time of year and I am going off for a break, returning mid February.

During this time I’ll not be updating the blog as I will only have sporadic access to the web.

Unfortunately comments, questions, requests etc may take a little while for me to get to, but I will get to them sooner or later I assure you. Comments will be delayed in appearing on the blog as due to spammers I have to set it so they need “approval” or else I getgreat offers for all sorts of odd things appearing as “comments” (Akismet does a good job with most though I admit).

So, have a great month and I’ll get back intro video production as soon as I return (or do I mean recover?).



Notification of New Tutorials
January 17th, 2009 by Natator | 2 Comments »

I have had several people ask me how best to be notified when I put up a new video, as I don’t email everyone to let them know (though I can do so if enough people request it).

Well, the best way is to to use the RSS links on the page and you’ll be notified via RSS whenever I do a new post.

However, some people do not use, or understand RSS, so I’ve put some though to how else I can let people know. I am a member of several social networks, so maybe that’s the way to go.

I would suggest Twitter is the best way to go here. Free account, if you don’t have one already, and easy to set up. I usually (and will do so always now) do a “Tweet” when I do a post. You can “Follow” me on Twitter via the following button:

Follow me on Twitter

Better still, if you are on Facebook, please come say hello there. I’ll even do my best to answer your questions. Don’t forget to “Like” the page while you are there!


Hopefully meet you there.




Your Prints on Canvas
January 16th, 2009 by Natator | 2 Comments »

For years now I have absolutely loved seeing my photos printed on canvas.

Canvas is a very forgiving medium, with the ability to hide a wealth of sins in many photos, though it is still the usual case of the better the photo the better the end result. However, due to the nature, especially the texture, of canvas you are able to get large high quality prints from even the most basic of cameras.

What many (most?) people do not realise though is the huge variation there is in the quality of the canvases you can get printed via the internet, or indeed by walking into a store.

A couple of years ago I put quite some time and effort in finding a great canvas printing company for my own prints, and in doing so taught myself what to look for in a good canvas.

Rather than simply passing this information on to you entirely myself I decided to go an interview a real expert. It was fun to record and something new for this site. The quality of the video came out better than I thought it would (especially on the member’s version) but the camera did not do such a great job of the sound, mostly due to the high level of background noise. However, you should be able to hear it clear enough, though you may need to play a little with your speaker volume.

So, here you go, my first venture into the world of film making!

If people enjoy this one then I have several other similar projects in mind, so please leave feedback on this post for me.



Levels Part 2
January 2nd, 2009 by Natator | 4 Comments »

Well, hopefully everyone has recovered from an excellent New Year by now. If not then good on you for having such a huge party!!!

As promised, here is the second video to complete our exploration of “levels” in Photoshop Elements

Questions, problems or comments please simply drop me a line.


P.S. There might be a small delay before the member’s version of this one appears. Don’t worry, it will be there shortly I assure you.


Levels Part 1
December 30th, 2008 by Natator | 3 Comments »

I remember when I was first learning digital photo editing and I stumbled across something called “levels”. Some of my photos had looked grey and dull, though I did not realize it at the time, and these suddenly sprang to life as I learned how to use the levels adjustments in Photoshop.

Although not quite as powerful as the “curves” adjustments in Photoshop (which also has the levels adjustments by the way) the levels adjustments in Elements are something you are going to find very powerful, in fact to me they are a “must check” on every photo I edit.

I have divided this tutorial into two parts simply due to the length. Some sites, such as YouTube prefer videos to be under 10 minutes. I’ll post the second half of this in the next day or so.

As always, I have supplied you a copy of the photos that I use in this tutorial, so you can follow step by step if you so desire, but do have a go with your own photos and let me know how you get on.

Oh, and have a really HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!:)



Tutorial images now available
November 16th, 2008 by Natator | 5 Comments »

The tutorial images for the earlier tutorials are now available in the free member’s area.

I apologise that these took me a while to get up but things here have been somewhat out of control, to put it mildly. I still intend toi recommence producing videoa within the next week as I have a heap already planned.

So, go download the images if you want to use these rather than your own images to practice the techniques in the tutorials.




Say hello to Robert
October 31st, 2008 by Natator | 4 Comments »

Yes, I have been slack over the last few weeks, sorry. But I do have a rather valid excuse πŸ™‚

Our baby, Robert, decided to arrive somewhat earlier than we expected, over 4 weeks early in fact. He spent some time in the special care unit, but has just come home and is doing very well indeed. What with constant hospital visits and looking after my 2 year old while my better half was in hospital with Robert, I have not had time to scratch myself recently, let alone post here.

Can I be forgiven? Have a look at these couple of pictures and well, I think he is cute enough to have me forgiven πŸ™‚

Hopefully I’ll get to produce some more videos starting next week, or the week after at the latest. So, hang in there please πŸ™‚



Slight change to the feedback system
October 13th, 2008 by Natator | 1 Comment »

I have been getting some great feedback, thank you all, as well as some excellent questions. However, the way I had the blog setup meant that they all came directly to me, when the questions will usually benefit others as well.

I have therefore slightly changed my feedback and questions system to more of a guestbook system, so your thoughts and questions may be shared by all.

I would also encourage people to leave comments/questions as comments on the individual posts/tutorials if they pertain specifically to one them.

If you still wish to contact me directly you are most welcome to do so via email. My email address is (split up sorry to avoid the spammers):

natator@ and then add this domain name (i.e. darksideofthelens.com)

I have taken the liberty of posting as few of the comments I have had already as if posted by their original owner. If you see a comment of your you wish to be removed please just let me know and I shall do so (but I doubt there will be any problems).

Thank you all once again for your comments and encouragement … it makes me feel like I am not just doing these for my own enjoyment.




Tutorials available as podcasts on iTunes
October 8th, 2008 by Natator | No Comments »

For those with iPhones (boy do I love mine!), iPod Touch’s or other similar devices that can view video podcasts, you can now download my video tutorials from iTunes (for free naturally). The videos have been specially formatted for mobile devices.

Simply go to the iTunes store and search for “Dark Side of the Lens”.

At present the first two tutorials are there and I’ll be adding the rest periodically until I catch up. From then on I’ll publish each tutorial on iTunes the same day as they appear on my blog.

Things here are a little hectic right now with my 2 year old and the fact that his little brother is due in a few weeks. Hopefully though I’ll find the time to get back into video production again shortly.