Over the days leading up to the 25th of December I’d like to give something to everyone who stops by my blog. These tips cover camera settings, flash, lighting, software and gear. I’ll be providing a pair of tips each day until 25th December.

#33 – Selective adjustments with Digital Photo Professional

dpp selective adjustment

Digital Photo Professional has gained a key new capability during 2018 with the addition of a selective adjustment tool. Up until DPP v4.8.3 you could only do global adjustments to your photos with DPP. If you haven’t yet updates, it’s time to do so with v4.9.x already available. Get the update from Canon’s support website. Selective adjustment is one of the tool palette tabs, the icon looks like a pair of circles.

dpp selective adjustment

Once you are in the selective adjustment panel, you need to choose a brush, and paint over the area you want to affect. For the photo above I it was clear to see that I needed to reduce the exposure of the grass in the lower part of the frame.

dpp selective adjustment

With a suitable brush I can paint in the adjustment, remember that once you have the area covered you can still adjust the brightness, contrast, hue and saturation sliders. I’ve often found it helpful to make a big change to the brightness slider so that I can easily see where I have used the brush.

dpp selective adjustment

Once the foreground brightness was reduced a little, I decided to use a second selective area to adjust the hue of the green hedge behind my model.

If you haven’t tried DPP recently, it’s well worth giving it a go, and if you already use it, then make sure you have the latest version.


#34 – Be faster with focus points, limit AF methods

limit af methods

Many of the advanced EOS cameras have an extensive choice of AF areas, but choice in itself is not always needed, and too much choice might slow down changing between the AF areas you actually want to use. I frequently limit the possible AF areas to exactly the ones I would use for the shoot I’m doing. For a portrait shoot with an EOS 5D Mark IV that would be spot AF and single point AF. For sports I tend to work with the expand AF – block of 9 – and zone AF. You can’t disable the single point, so that leaves me with three to choose from while shooting sports. It makes sure I don’t select an unexpected area, and reduces the number of presses of the AF area selection button to switch between the ones I do use.

The screenshot above is from the EOS R, which has seven AF areas to choose.



Here’s a few more festive fifty tips

ISO safety shift and Image Stabilizer
Festive fifty – day #9
Festive fifty – day #13
Festive fifty – day #21

About the author

Full-time photo tutor and photographer. I love to share my knowledge and skills to make photos, videos and teach others. I write books and articles for photo magazines and I always have at least one Speedlite flash in my camera bag