News Archives

Monitor Calibration

I have added to my Understanding series, a section on monitor calibration. This is not my take on how to calibrate your monitor but links to good information already available on the web.

I highly recommend calibrating your monitor before working on images you wish to post to the internet or print.

DoF Calculator 1.7.1 for Mac

There are a number of Dof widgets for Mac floating around but I like this one the best. It is available from VersionTracker, and it's free!932scree_pdc

Once installed onto your Dashboard this DoF calculator is very easy to use. Flip it over and select your camera from the make and models and you're set.
Enter in the focal length of your lens, the aperture you intend to use, and the distance to your subject.
The pictorials at the bottom of the screen will adjust and give you the Minimum and Maximum distances of acceptable focus.
Take note of the Hyper-focal measurement at the top right of the window. This gives you the distance to focus at to maximize depth of field based on the focal length and aperture you supply.
Simply adjust the aperture setting to increase/decrease your Dof, and don't forget to change the setting on your camera.

Photograph Lightning

I have added a new topic to my Understanding Stuff section. This one deals with how to photograph lightning. The storm season is upon us here in Queensland and so I thought it about time I put up some information on how to capture some of it on film/sensor. Have a read and try it out, but most of all be safe while doing so. Let me know how it goes.


I have just returned from a trip to Floriade. Floriade wasn't the only reason for the trip down south but I took the opportunity to have a look. I've never been to Floriade before but had heard a bit about it. Lots of flowers, tulips, daffodils and the like. You can check out some of the photos in my gallery under the new stuff here:

Metering using a Grey Card

I have added to my Understanding section about using a Grey Card for getting correct exposures. You can pick up a Kodak grey card pack from or your friendly local camera store.

Sharpening using the Unsharp Mask

I have added to my Understanding section how to sharpen using the Unsharp Mask. The Unsharp Mask in Photoshop is a very powerful tool for creating a crisp, visually sharper image. Hopefully, after reading it, you will have a better understanding of how it all works.

Where Jesus Walked

It's been just over 2 weeks since I last posted an update so I have added a recent purchase to my Inspiration section. This pictorial book is by Ken Duncan and traces the footsteps of Jesus Christ.

How to Boost your images with Unsharp Mask

I have finally added to my Understanding section a few steps on how to give your images a boost using the unsharp mask. This technique can be used on any image but remember, less is more. Although I don't shoot in JPEG too often, this is the method I use to remove a grey caste that occurs in JPEG images from the Canon 10D. This problem has not occurred very often and I think it may have been addressed in a firmware update for this camera. Either way, it's a great way to give your images a little pep. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

A few updates to the site

As you may have noticed, I have changed the colour scheme of the site. I thought, as spring was on its way, it was time for a refresh.
I have also added a new book, Australian Images ~ Rex Dupain, to my
inspiration section. Check it out.

Depth of Field chart

I have uploaded a DOF chart for anyone interested. Hopefully this should make your lives easier when trying to determine where to focus at a given focal length and aperture to maximize depth of field in your images. You can down load it here or drop by here and choose the link to Depth of Field Chart.

Understanding Depth of Field

I was long overdue to update my website and finally got around to it today. I have added a new section to my Understanding page called Understanding Depth of Field. For those budding photogs out there, check it out and have a play. To Michelle (last name not supplied) from the UK. Sorry for the delay in getting this information up. Please forgive.

Snappy update

I have just added a new feature that I read about on another site (thanks Paul). It's called Snap Shots and it's a clever little bit o' code that includes a snapshot image of the site you hyperlink to. It is customisable to your site colour scheme, and you can choose how you want it to display link information. You'll notice little speech bubbles attached to hyperlinks around my site. Click on a few and you'll see what Snap Shots can do.

Shutter speed and aperture

I have just added two new pages to my Understanding section. One is for Shutter speed and the other for Aperture. I cover some basic information about these and will include a page on using them together to get a correct exposure shortly.

Tips to improve your photos

I have added a new page to my understanding section that covers a few simple tips on how to improve your photos. Have a read and then get out and start snapping!

Creating Digital InfraRed images

I have added a new section to my understanding series that runs you through how to create infrared images with your digital camera. I have listed two methods, one using a Hoya R72 filter and one just using photoshop. Personally I prefer the filter method, but it requires an additional piece of kit. Try it out and let me know how it goes.

Photographic tips by Ken Duncan

Earlier, while I was flipping through Ken's Reflections book thinking of some words I could say in my review, that would somehow sum up the incredible work it represents, and while clicking through his website, I came across some photographic tips he has provided to the world (that's a long sentence, I may have to revise). They make for interesting reading, and if you have a spare 5mins you should check it out.

The section headed "Using what you have" is very true in my opinion.

Have a read of Ken's photographic tips

How to Sharpen only the edges in an image

I have added the first of my Understanding topics. Go have a look and give it a try. This process works very well for all sorts of images, but it's probably not worth the effort if you're only creating thumbnails for the web.

New Contact form

To make it easier to contact me I have added a contact form. Yes I'm like you, I have trouble remembering email addresses unless they're on a bit'o'paper in front of me at the time of writing them. Go ahead and try it out. I have a spam filter...any message with the word test will be unceremoniously thrown over the back fence, where it will be trampled on by the hooves of steers, and buried under numerous cow-pies. "Put to good use" I hear you say.

Transition almost complete

Those that know me, understand my position on Microsoft. I have been working toward removing MS from my home environment for a while now. I transitioned my main PC over to Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop a while ago and have been extremely happy with it.
However, Linux can't run Photoshop CS2, and this was a big stumbling block for me.
Also, the GIMP has proved too much of a mind shift so other options were called for.

Problem solved... move to MAC.

Yes, this did require the purchase of additional hardware, but I was looking for an easy way to store hundreds of photographs while traveling. Buying a MacBook has solved a number of problems in one hit. I got a black one. Once you go black you never go back... I think there's something in that for all of us... don't you?

New website now online

benjohnstonphotography now has its new site. Of course, you will have already noticed if you're here reading this entry. The site will be a work in progress as I fill in bits and pieces and get content organised. The site is built with RapidWeaver and you can check it out here
Rapid Weaver is a nice piece of kit. All "wizard" driven so you can get content up fast and like any good web publishing software it only update with delta copies so it's fast. It was recommended to my by a Mac nut, and I happily recommend it to you. Unless of course if you use Windoez, in which case... best of luck to you Happy