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Tom's Shutterbug Archive

This is an archive of Tom's articles from Shutterbug magazine. All articles include original photographs, figures, and tables. To view the photos correctly, you might want to calibrate your video monitor by checking the gray scale below. It has 21 steps from pure black to pure white. Adjust the brightness and contrast of your monitor until you can see all 21 steps, or as many as your monitor can display.

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How to Photograph Video Screens

This article shows how to minimize tube distortion and maximize sharpness when taking pictures of TV screens and video monitors. (Includes four original photos; March 1989)

Special Effects From Open Flash

You can create fascinating multiple exposures and other special effects by using a tripod-mounted camera, a manual flash unit, a flashlight, a locking cable release, and your camera's Bulb setting. (Includes three original photos; July 1989)

Leicas for Users

How to save money when buying Leica cameras and lenses -- a practical guide for Leica users, not collectors. (Includes original photo; November 1989)

Gearing Up for Airplane Trips

Protect your film and equipment from X-ray damage, theft, and other hazards during air travel. You can also avoid hassles and delays while passing through airport security checkpoints. (February 1990)

Customized Postcards

Make your own picture postcards with 5x7-inch prints and desktop-publishing software on a personal computer. (Includes original photos and figures; August 1990)

Back to the Future

If you found an exposed but undeveloped roll of film that had been lost in 1955, what would you do with it? I carefully developed the film in my home darkroom -- and discovered long-forgotten photographs, including a picture of my mom while she was pregnant with me! Here's how to salvage photographic treasures from expired film. (Includes four original photos; January 1991)

Leicas for Users Revisited

More money-saving hints and tips for buying user-grade Leica equipment, with lots of advice about specific models of cameras and lenses. (June 1991)

How to Make a Proper Proof Sheet

Many photographers skip the important step of making proof sheets (also known as contact sheets), but they're an invaluable guide to judging the quality of your work. Here's how to make proof sheets that accurately reflect the exposure of your black-and-white negatives.(October 1991)

Which Camera is Best for You?

There are many alternatives to the ubiquitous 35mm SLR, and choosing the right camera for your shooting style is a crucial part of the creative process. Here's a guide to other types of cameras, including 35mm rangefinders, medium-format SLRs, medium-format TLRs, medium-format rangefinders, and view cameras. (Includes one original photo; June 1992)

An Amazing Leica Collection

What is perhaps the largest collection of Leica equipment on public display outside of Germany is located in a camera store in Palo Alto, California (near San Francisco). Here are some examples of the rare cameras and lenses collected by the store's owner. (Includes 11 original photos; July 1992)

Bordering Your B&W Prints

Here are some techniques for making black borders on your black-and-white prints. One method is to file out the opening in your enlarger's negative carrier to make "natural" black borders, and another is to flash the borders after printing the image. (Includes seven original photos; July 1993)

Defeating Dust

What's the worst four-letter word you can utter to a photographer? Try "dust." It's a special hazard for darkroom workers. Here are some ways to minimize your dust problems. (Includes four original photos; October 1993)

Shooting With the Fed 5C

The collapse of the USSR suddenly opened Western markets to Soviet products that had never been available before -- including a wide range of cameras. The Fed 5C is a 35mm interchangeable-lens rangefinder camera that's an interesting throwback to the 1950s. (Includes four original photos; January 1994)

Personalizing Your Film Speed, Part 1

You can't get optimum quality in your black-and-white prints until you determine the actual speed of your film with your particular camera equipment and darkroom procedures. Here's how to run some exposure and development tests that will help you determine that speed. (Includes original photo and table; November 1994)

Personalizing Your Film Speed, Part 2

Part 2 of this series explains how to evaluate test strips and prints to verify the results of the exposure and development tests described in Part 1. (Includes two original photos; January 1995)

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