Westminster fountain at sunset

by Jorge Córdoba

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The approach and skills for the actual capture of a photograph with a camera.

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73
votes
9answers
9k views

How do you photograph rain?

What are recommended settings for my Nikon Coolpix P1 to best portray rain? Here's what I got. No retouching was applied. The picture I took when the rain was heavy with the automatic settings: ...
41
votes
5answers
6k views

How can one learn to shoot with both eyes open, and what are the advantages?

Greg made an intriguing comment in this answer (emphasis mine): One of the things we're supposed to do when we're shooting is keep both eyes open; That helps avoid fatigue from shooting for hours, ...
34
votes
15answers
7k views

How can I maximize the “blurry background, sharp subject” (bokeh) effect?

I know that this effect occurs when there's a shallow depth of field. My question is, what are the various ways I can increase this effect in my photos when I'm taking them? Note that I'm not ...
29
votes
20answers
3k views

How can I hold my camera steady?

I've been an amateur photographer for some time, but have always had problems holding the camera steady. I've developed some tricks like using a flat surface and the self timer in low light, and of ...
29
votes
8answers
5k views

Should I shoot underexposed photos?

Someone more experienced than me said that he always shoots so that his photos are underexposed (darker) and I should too. The reasoning being that you can always increase the exposure in ...
26
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I keep the horizon straight when taking a photo (without a tripod)?

I use a DSLR and I very often find that when I shoot without a tripod, and with my eye to the viewfinder (as opposed to using LiveView), my photos end up slightly crooked: lines that should be ...
24
votes
10answers
5k views

What settings should I be using to photograph fireworks?

As it's heading into firework season (with Thanksgiving, Guy Fawkes, and New Years), I've never been particularly successful at photographing fireworks. In previous years I think I've always had too ...
23
votes
18answers
2k views

What are some techniques for hand-held image stabilization?

My zoom lens (75-300mm) is fairly slow: 5.6 at its farthest point. (I think it's 3.5-5.6, and it's not image stabilizing. I'm on a budget, sadly!) Unfortunately, my primary use for it is hand-held ...
23
votes
10answers
12k views

How can I make short people look taller in photographs?

I was browsing some great shots from Herb Ritts and came across this photo (NSFW). It seems like the legs of the woman appear longer in relation to her body. Is this an effect of the lens used? ...
23
votes
9answers
4k views

Is it acceptable in photography to never use flash?

I was hanging out with a friend of mine who is a professional photographer (for 15+ years), and has a solid portfolio, web-presence, and regional and national exposure. He never uses a flash. ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

How to shoot extreme macro shot of an image formed on a water droplet?

I recently came up with this macro shot and I was curious how to take photos like these where everything is blurred out and extreme macro is in focus. I am assuming there is a lot of post processing ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

When doing portraits, how to get serious insightful expressions?

Professional models know how to produce such expression at photographer command, normal people don't. Still good photographer are able to get it from famous actors/politicians/sportsmen. I've been ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

How to Avoid Red-Eye in Photos?

Although tools exist to remove red-eye in post-production, what's the best way to avoid it while creating the photograph in the field?
20
votes
4answers
999 views

What is ETTR (Expose To The Right)?

Picking up from this answer and this question, What exactly is ETTR? How it may reduce the image noise? And how is it difference from film to digital sensors? In the answer linked above, what are the ...
20
votes
5answers
921 views

How to capture the scale of a scene?

My framing in the following photo completely failed to capture the sheer height of the waterfall. If you don't know I was standing at the top of the waterfall, and the "splinters" at the bottom are ...
18
votes
6answers
890 views

How to photograph a partial solar eclipse?

There will be a partial solar eclipse tomorrow visible from Europe, Africa, Asia. I'm looking for photography tips. Looking for ideas for a typical amateur photographer but also for someone having a ...
16
votes
4answers
915 views

Why do people in the stands during events use flash?

I was watching the Olympics, and one thing I noticed was that flashes are going off in the spectators' stands. Why are people using flash? Is it because they are using automatic mode, or point and ...
16
votes
9answers
2k views

What are some of your pre-shoot checklist tips?

I'm always in a hurry and never really check my camera settings before a snapping a few photos using whatever setting the camera was left on. I'm thinking I should probably try to put a checklist into ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

How can you avoid/minimize lens flare when shooting into the sun?

When shooting outdoors in bright sunlight, and specially when shooting with the sun visible in the background, lens flare can affect the picture by reducing contrast and introducing artifacts. Are ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

How do I set the focus in long exposure night sky shots?

I want to catch a good long exposure (5 - 15 seconds) shot of the International Space Station in the night sky as it passes over my city. Setting the ISO higher (say, to 100) and the exposure time is ...
11
votes
4answers
399 views

What are ways of improving aerial photos?

When taking photos from a plane, what are ways of improving the quality of your photos? I've noticed two main issues: When photographing through the plane window, you'll often get reflection and ...
11
votes
8answers
4k views

Best camera settings for photographing text?

I am using my S95 to photograph text documents (both paper & microfilm) for OCR. I have already asked about the problems of how to best photograph a computer screen for microfilm, but I've been ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

What focal length lens do I need for photographing the moon?

I would like to know whether it is possible to photograph moon without any flaws with a canon EOS 550d.. Also to get an image of the moon as close as the following image, what kind of ...
10
votes
4answers
548 views

Tips on getting group shots for family

My grandfather is turning 80 this year in September. The most important thing to him is his family. Because of this, my entire family is getting together to celebrate. Since the family is spread out ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is the sky in photos always too white?

Why do I never seem to get a clear picture of the sky during the day, even with white puffy clouds in the sky? It always looks over exposed and whitened out? I am using a Nikon D3100, no lens hood, ...
10
votes
2answers
436 views

How do I keep my tripod mounted camera steady in strong winds?

How do I keep my tripod mounted camera steady in strong winds? My tripod is very stable and held in place by weights hooked to the center pole. There is some twisting movement in the tripod head (ball ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

What settings should I be using to shoot “Supermoon”?

This weekend is a "Supermoon" (the largest full moon of the year, in perigee, the closest to Earth). Would someone please advise how I could make the most out of my Canon PowerShot to photograph this ...
9
votes
7answers
3k views

Photographic techniques to avoid chromatic aberration?

I've read several informations here on Photo SE, as well as the wikipedia article on CA. I understand that it is inevitable that some amount of chromatic aberration shows up for a particular lens, ...
9
votes
5answers
14k views

How to avoid reflection when taking a picture of a ceramic object with a shiny glaze?

How can I avoid the reflection when I take a picture of a shiny object in bright light?
9
votes
8answers
1k views

What are the best resources to learn techniques for using a Nikon D90?

I am a beginner in photography and especially for a Nikon D90. Can you please point me to some resources about getting started with Nikon D90 (did some googling and found some resources, but none of ...
9
votes
2answers
599 views

How to photograph fireflies?

We have a lot of fireflies (lightning bugs) in our back yard right now. I would like to photograph them, but previous attempts have not turned out well. With different exposures, it ends up either ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the best auto-focus mode to use for bird photography?

Consider the image below: How would the shot be focused here? Using Auto-focus or manual? If there was a cluttered background, will auto focus detect the small bird and sharply focus on it?If manual ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How to avoid a halo around the edges?

I am just post-processing some pictures I took last spring. On lots of them, I notice a halo around the edges of objects which are slightly outside the focused depth. I shot without a tripod, with ...
8
votes
2answers
645 views

What and how to crop?

When I take a photo of something like a building, I tend to shoot the whole building, because later I want to get the feeling and impression I had when I took this photo. I want to transfer these ...
8
votes
1answer
191 views

What do I need to know before attempting to photograph Venus in transit?

This Tuesday will be the last chance to view Venus in transit for the next 100+ years, so I'm planning to make the most of it. I'd also like to capture what I see for posterity, but this type of event ...
7
votes
6answers
670 views

Is light the only difference? Or does the camera and lens make all the difference?

Look at this stunning portrait: Let's ignore everything but JUST the amount of detail the photograph succeeds to convey. Now look at one of the best portraits I have taken of my girlfriend, as a ...
7
votes
4answers
962 views

Which parameters to lock between images for a panorama?

I gather that common wisdom says that in addition to camera position you should keep as many variables as possible the same between different shots for a panorama. Variables that spring to mind are ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How do you trap focus on DSLRs without native support for it?

I came across the term trap focus on the autofocus page of wikipedia, and it seems to be a very handy feature that triggers the shutter release when a subject moves into the focal plane. This feature ...
6
votes
8answers
1k views

Why am I having trouble getting sharp results with my new DSLR, compared to a point and shoot?

I'm having issues with my new Nikon D3200. I am new at photography, but I've previously used my parents camera (a Canon) for my brother's senior photos, and those were crystal clear. I've got this ...
6
votes
2answers
678 views

How did film photographers overcome constant ISO/ASA values in low light situations?

Today in Digital SLR era, when I find myself in low light situation in a place that I can't use my tripod or I don't have it, and still don't want to get blurry images, I use the widest aperture which ...
6
votes
3answers
712 views

How can I achieve this effect, where the flower is sharp and everything else is blurry?

I was wondering how it is possible to take a picture like this. Please have a look here for some example pictures. The flower is sharp, and everything else looks like taken with a long shutter. Is ...
6
votes
4answers
546 views

How to achieve good scenic photos without HDR?

I've always had a problem getting exposure right with shots of the outdoors. I always seem to need to do manipulation which ends up in noisy photos. I know HDR would sort it out, but I'm using a ...
6
votes
3answers
497 views

Are consumer DSLR good enough for a billboard

I need to shoot for a billboard advertisement. The billboard size will be around 20-15 foot. Do you think a consumer level DSLR [550D, D5100, D90] is good enough for this or need to switch to pro ...
6
votes
3answers
672 views

How the splash is created in Cookie splash photography?

Cookie Splash photography, being a motion photography involving liquid splashing off the glass, seems a little tricky. Consider the photograph below: Source: ...
6
votes
6answers
316 views

What would be the right approach to take pictures of a long counter?

I am trying to take a picture of a long counter in a super market. It is about 15 yards long. I inched along (at about a distance of 3 yards) and took straight on 30-35 pictures with my 16-35mm at ...
6
votes
2answers
706 views

How is the water effect achieved in “Dali Atomicus”?

I've been thinking of doing a reinterpretation of the Dali Atomicus by Philippe Halsman, and this curved water effect got me puzzled, so I wonder how this is done? If I splash some water from a bucket ...
6
votes
1answer
199 views

Photo of an experiment

I have an experiment with the specimen 100m long and 3m wide. I would like to capture the the image of entire specimen (from top) for fixed time intervals to analyze the behavior with time using some ...
5
votes
4answers
727 views

How to capture a small red light?

I tried to capture the following small red light, but I failed. It's more white than red. How can I correctly capture the red light as seen through my eyes? f-stop: f/5 exposure time: 1/30 ...
5
votes
3answers
391 views

Taking sports and action shots with regular lenses

I do not shoot action or sports photos. I was asked to shoot a friend's soccer game. I am not looking for perfect magazine quality images; however, I'd like to maximize the quality of my shots with ...
5
votes
2answers
534 views

How to make a landscape photo like Stanislav Perov?

I am a beginner in photography. Could some one explain how to make this photo? There are some things that I would like to know: what camera, lens(es) (eg shall I do it on crop camera, wide ...