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Elements of a photograph that are generally undesirable or have a negative impact. Examples include noise, flare, dead or hot pixels, sensor "spots", reflections inside the camera/lens system, etc.

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44
votes
4answers
36k views

What is moiré? How can we avoid it?

What is the image defect called "moiré"? What causes it, and how can we avoid or reduce it? Is it related to "false color"?
29
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I stop my HDR shots looking so fake?

All my attempts at HDR come out looking remarkably fake, how can I reduce the halos effect?
27
votes
6answers
4k views

Why do photos of digital screens turn out the way they do? [duplicate]

When I take pictures of a screen at school or at my house, they turn out really weirdly. When blown up to 100%, they look fine, but when they get sized down, they look really weird, here is a ...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

What is noise in a digital photograph?

What kinds of effects are present in digital images that are referred to as "noise"? What are the different sources of noise? What causes each type of noise? What are the characteristics of the ...
17
votes
6answers
7k views

What are jpeg artifacts and what can be done about them?

I know JPEG is a "lossy" compression algorithm that discards information in order to save space. What is the visual impact of this? I've heard of "JPEG artifacts". What do these look like? Are there ...
17
votes
2answers
801 views

Why do I see this yellow color shift at high ISOs and fast shutter speeds? [duplicate]

I recently purchased a full-frame DSLR with a reported highest ISO of 204,800. I’m intrigued by the possibilities of the high ISO range and how far Lightroom and Aperture (I use each of them) can ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I avoid soft dull “spots” in my pictures?

Recently, I've been doing a lot more photography, particularly with my 100-400mm telephoto and 16-35mm wide. I am skilled enough that I can capture the shot mostly as I want with just the camera gear, ...
12
votes
7answers
5k views

Why does using flash sometimes create these white spots in the photo?

I have an Olympus FE-190. When I take a picture, with flash on Digital Image Stabilizer (DIS) mode, I get white spots in pictures. This doesn't happen always. There is only an option called Pixel ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

How to avoid jpeg compression artefacts when saving photos in web resolution?

When I save a web-resolution image (for example, 1920×1024px), flat areas tints often have damaged shades of color. I'm saving in Photoshop CS4 with quality 2 in standard mode, because I need the ...
12
votes
2answers
313 views

What causes faint circles in astrophotography images?

When processing an astro-images taken with a Canon 450D and prime focus, I often end up with a series of faint circles radiating outwards from an off centre point. What are they and how do I get rid ...
12
votes
2answers
453 views

What causes and how can I avoid this moiré pattern in a composite night sky photograph?

I'm new to taking star trails, and fairly new to photography in general. After my first attempt at taking a star trail, I composited them in Photoshop and when I merged the layers I got this pattern ...
11
votes
3answers
644 views

Why are red lights in night / city scenes coming out as big red blobs?

I've noticed that in a lot of my night shots of cityscapes, red lights (e.g. neon signs on buildings, etc.) tend to come out as big red blobs: The above was taken with my Canon 500D. What can I do ...
11
votes
2answers
340 views

What's the reason for this exceedingly blue reflection from buildings in this image?

I've noticed that lately my camera has some issues with blue neon lights. Here's an example shot. You can notice the effect in the reflection of the water in a building and in the blue dome of ...
10
votes
4answers
707 views

Where does this reflection come from in a long exposure shot?

Using a long (10 second) exposure I found I was getting an odd "reflection" in the picture, where the brightest object leaves a residue in the opposite part of the frame. You can see it here: I ...
9
votes
2answers
640 views

Why does the left windmill have too many blades?

Ok, check this shot out: These are the 3 windmills in Marshfield Massachusetts. It was shot from Provincetown, MA about 35 miles away. (I wasn't out to shoot them, I was shooting Right Whales... I ...
8
votes
4answers
895 views

How do I eliminate lens flare in my pictures?

I have taken a few pictures that show these circles, and I'm getting very annoyed at this problem. Seems most common on sunny days. This particular picture is not my own, but it is a good example of ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Why are those green spots on my photo?

Took a pic with my 35mm Nikon lens last night, and got this light artifact. Is this something normal? Reflection? Is it dirt on my lens? How do I prevent this from happening? I think it only happened ...
8
votes
2answers
768 views

Why do my photos look like they're painted?

I'm not an expert, but all the photos I take look like they've been painted. It doesn't look like normal blur. I'm using a FinePix S2500HD and the following photo was taken at 1/2000 exposure. I ...
8
votes
2answers
489 views

Why do I get horizontal grey bar with flash at shutter speeds slower than max sync speed?

I'm a total newbie to flash photography, and I am just trying to do some test shooting with Canon Speedlite 580 EXII using my 7D. I saw on the user manual that the maximum sync speed is 1/250 sec. ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

is it normal to get significant lens flare with a 50mm f/1.8 Canon prime lens?

I've purchased a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. But I'm really disappointed in the results, especially when using it for night photography. :( In my night shots a lot of lens flare appears in my photos. ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

Why is my camera showing a lot of stuck red and white pixels?

After shooting for one hour with my Rebelt2i + Tamron 17-55 f2.8, I went back home and checked pictures on my computer. For every single picture, there are a lot of 'dead' pixels at the same ...
7
votes
2answers
224 views

What does it mean to excite aliases?

I recently came across the phrase 'excited aliases.' The phrase seems to be related to lens sharpness in some way. While a web search turns up the phrase a few times, I am unable to locate a decent ...
7
votes
5answers
691 views

Are these blotches of wrong color caused by a corrupt SD card?

My old camera was taking images that had blotches of the wrong colors when zoomed in, and I take a lot of macro pictures. I bought a new camera and put my old sd card into it and now it's doing the ...
7
votes
1answer
521 views

Dust-like speck visible every few pictures — is it dust, or worse?

I seem to have to dust-like speck on my Sony Cybershot S950's lens, but it appears randomly every few pictures. Could something be going bad internally?
7
votes
1answer
337 views

What causes the spots in my IR photos?

Below are images I've shot recently while experiminting with IR photography. The first is an IR image with +2 stops of exposure and a custom white balance based on the bright part of the tag on the ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to control “starbursts” around light sources?

How can you control the size of "starbursts" from light sources in photographs? For example, the lights on the shore in this photo have very sharp and long starbusts: ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do my photos show blocky gradients, even in RAW?

I am learning to use my new DSLR, a Sony a57 with 18-55mm kit lens. I was shooting last night at sundown, and after exporting the RAW images to Lightroom, was surprised to see the gradient as showing ...
6
votes
2answers
678 views

What causes these green dots in my image?

I just received a 35mm f/1.8 DX lens for my Nikon D50 for Christmas, and took some shots where the lights on the tree were the main source of illumination. Almost all of them exhibit very prominent ...
6
votes
3answers
536 views

How do I get rid of these different spots after sensor cleaning?

I've just cleaned sensor on my Nikon D40x for the first time using sensor swabs and Eclipse solution. Here is a picture taken before cleaning and after . Dark spots on the first photo do not appear ...
6
votes
2answers
241 views

Why does this satellite image of an airplane in motion show red, green, and blue bands with strange artifacts?

I stumbled upon this satellite image (http://goo.gl/Wv503u) capturing a plane in flight over a city. I'm having a little trouble explaining the color effects caused by the aircraft motion. What I ...
6
votes
2answers
304 views

What causes a band-like pattern in photos of a CFL?

CFL Image The image in the above link is that of a compact fluorescent light bulb. I couldn't figure out the reason for the formation of light and dark bands sort of thing in the image. The same ...
6
votes
1answer
336 views

Is camera damage causing these severe diagonal lines from concentrated light sources?

Since a week or so, I have severe diagonal stripes around light-sources in my night-time photographs on my Canon Powershot A650. In the past, I had some (I guess due to Fraunhofer diffraction, see ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are there white dots on my night time photo?

Could you please explain why I am getting white semi-transparent dots for night photography with flash on? Original image here.
5
votes
1answer
285 views

What is this pattern artifact in a Hasselblad H4D picture?

Shot some shoots with Hasselblad H4D-50 and in (at least) one of them the following artifact(s) appeared: Of course some questions arise: What is this? (moire?) Why it happened? (aside of lack ...
5
votes
3answers
326 views

What are the cross patterns in this image?

On the bottom left area of this image, we can see a very prominent pattern of straight lines in two directions crossing each other Full version of the pic is available at ...
5
votes
4answers
325 views

What is the cause for this diffused artifact around the sun?

Last weekend, I tried shooting a wide-angle shot of a sunrise on the beach: You'll notice that there is a haze/artifact around the sun in an otherwise cloudless sky. What causes this? How can I ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does darkening skies in Photoshop cause banding, and how can I avoid it?

I am pretty new to Photoshop (I have Elements 10). When I darken highlights I find that the sky ends up in bands. I have read advice that says to reduce the effect of this by using either blur or ...
5
votes
3answers
389 views

What creates this strange flare and how to prevent it?

I shot at a concert for the first time. The pictures were pretty good for the capability of my equipment, but on some shots, the light has a very strange flare. It isn't the usual rays, but some soft, ...
5
votes
3answers
856 views

White spots on some photos

I'm fairly new here and fairly new to photography too. So I'm hoping someone can help me out here. You see, there is this white spot that appears in my photos and I don't know what causes it. It ...
4
votes
2answers
338 views

Small, faint circle in corner of image. What is it?

I've started to notice a faint darkened circle in my photos. I tried to clean the lenses and I still see it. What's causing these circles? Link to imgur album since I don't have enough rep to post ...
4
votes
1answer
337 views

What is causing strange horizontal “flare” on all my photos regardless of lens and/or POV?

Suddenly on (almost) all photos I have a strange light band in the middle, regardless of lens and or angle on which I shoot the photos. The camera is an old Canon 1Ds Mk II and AFIAS the line of light ...
4
votes
1answer
428 views

How to prevent weird spots and stripes on photos of window glass?

A few days ago I took photos of a nice curvy business center in another city. Later I discovered that many frames had weird artifacts on the glass, shown below as 100% crops. An almost normal shot: ...
4
votes
2answers
369 views

How do I avoid white color in the sky near my subject with HDR photos?

I have created a HDR image from a single raw file. The way I have created it was Open the RAW file in Photoshop camera raw. Do some adjustments like enhancing the color, cropping etc. Exporting the ...
4
votes
2answers
349 views

What is causing the cyan outline in the building in the background of this image?

I took this picture the other day. It's a JPEG from the Fujifilm X-Pro1. The sky is overexposed as was necessary to light Anya brightly — and because I was playing with shooting wide open, and that ...
4
votes
2answers
305 views

What causes the dark halo around the copper part of the object in this photo?

I'm completely new to photography, and was attempting to shoot on a reflective surface (using a tablet for experimentation). I get some good results (to my untrained eye) but on my latest attempt, I ...
4
votes
4answers
854 views

What is causing increased noise in my recent photos?

In the last two shoots I've taken I have noticed much more noise in the resulting photos. In the first instance, I put this down to my fault, as I was shooting at high ISO levels, but in the second ...
4
votes
2answers
217 views

How to avoid fringes? [duplicate]

What can I do avoid fringes around a subject in my pictures? My camera is a bridge camera (namely a fujifilm hsr20).
4
votes
2answers
393 views

Is it normal for the Canon kit lens to exhibit lens flare even without a UV filter?

I recently bought a Canon 550D and have been experimenting with this for a week. I have been pretty satisfied with the quality, until I faced this lens flare problem. Notice the unwanted blue light ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What causes longitudinal chromatic aberration on Nikon 50mm f/1.4D?

I have looked on my new 50mm lens photo (I have Nikon D90) and I see "purple fringing" around the unfocused objects (longitudinal chromatic aberration). What's is going on? Is it common for this lens ...
3
votes
4answers
421 views

Where does the strange purple/blue glow around the headlight wearing subject's front come from?

I've found that a few of my recent trip photos have this odd artifact/ghosting resulting in a blue/purple glow around the helmet(see below pic): I've found this question which i think relates to ...