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206
votes
11answers
34k views

Good examples of RAW's advantages over JPEG?

I'm curious to see some real examples of where simply capturing the same photo in RAW (and being processed by someone who can do it justice) has significantly improved the photo at the end of the ...
123
votes
3answers
44k views

What do all those cryptic number and letter codes in a lens name mean?

Then looking at a lens name there is a lot of acronyms in the name describing it's features (often specific to the manufacturer). Examples, Nikon: Nikon AF-S DX 16-85mm VR f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED Nikon ...
114
votes
7answers
20k views

What are the best techniques for photographing overweight people?

I'm not the most lean person on the planet, and many pictures seem to really point this out. While I wish I was simply in better shape, it is simply not the case for me or unfortunately, many ...
95
votes
7answers
8k views

What is bokeh, exactly?

I understand that "bokeh" refers to out-of-focus areas of an image — but there is obviously more to it than that. What does the term mean exactly? How well is bokeh really understood? Is it purely ...
94
votes
8answers
19k views

What is the “exposure triangle”?

What is the exposure triangle? How do the "sides" affect my photographs?
88
votes
5answers
6k views

What is “ISO” on a digital camera?

What is "ISO" in general, and how is the scale defined? How does the ISO scale for film speed differ from ISO sensitivity as used in digital cameras? Is lower ISO always better?
88
votes
11answers
4k views

How do I approach people for a natural look in street photography?

I am enjoying taking candid photos of people, but the subject is usually someone I know, or it is during some family/friend event, so after a while the people get used to the presence of the camera ...
86
votes
6answers
4k views

How and why do you use an image histogram?

I realize that an image histogram is a graphical display of an images tonal distribution (i.e. horizontal darks to lights, vertical pixel distribution), but how does one really use it and why? I mean, ...
83
votes
15answers
5k views

How can I better organise and file my photos?

At present I meticulously add metadata as EXIF tags to my photos using Microsoft Pro Photo Tools, which also lets me place them accurately on a map. The thing is I tend to leave photos in a folder ...
79
votes
7answers
35k views

When do the differences between APS-C and full frame sensors matter, and why?

I'm trying to decide on a higher-end digital SLR, and I'm down to choosing between an APS-C model and a full-frame model. I understand that the sensors are of different sizes, and as such have an ...
74
votes
1answer
9k views

In portrait photography, what is 'broad' lighting? What is 'short' lighting?

What are 'broad' and 'short' lighting when it comes to studio portraiture, and when should I use each?
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: ...
71
votes
20answers
12k views

Why do breathtaking views turn into “boring” photos, and how can I do better?

I recently purchased a Canon 700D with a 18-135 IS lens to get into photography. I'm trying to improve, but my photos seem 'boring'. Let me give some examples: I took these today. The scenery ...
70
votes
5answers
2k views

What is RAW, technically?

From a technical perspective, what exactly is RAW and how does it differ from JPG or bitmap images? I'm not asking about the pros/cons versus another format, but rather what constitutes RAW format, ...
69
votes
6answers
13k views

Do fluorescent lighting and shutter speed create a problem with color cast?

I took a bunch of photos at my son's martial arts club using a D90 with a 50mm F1.8. The club is lit with overhead fluorescent lighting, and I was getting some weird results where some shots are ...
67
votes
10answers
16k views

How should I photograph falling snow?

We don't get much snow in the UK, so I don't have much experience photographing it, and when I tried photographing falling snow last year I found it very hard to capture the snowflakes in the air — ...
66
votes
10answers
4k views

How much do lens lineups vary across DSLR platforms?

I was reading this question and recalled how often I hear the advice "choose your lenses and then choose the body that matches" in the context of deciding on a camera platform ...
66
votes
12answers
4k views

Why are lenses always round in shape?

Why are lenses round in shape although the image sensor is not? Why they can not be square or something matching the shape of image sensor?
62
votes
22answers
5k views

What kind of photography is still better done with film cameras?

Are there any kind of photography left today which digital cameras are still in the disadvantage to film cameras?
60
votes
11answers
24k views

Is there a noticeable difference between 1.8 and 1.4 prime lenses?

I have been shopping around for a prime lens for my Nikon D50. I noticed that the 1.8 is hundreds of dollars cheaper than the 1.4 AF-S. What will I gain for that cost difference? Is it really ...
59
votes
12answers
8k views

What advantages does manual mode have over aperture priority mode?

I'm wondering what are the most compelling reasons to switch to manual mode on my DSLR. I mostly just use aperture priority mode so I have good control over the depth of field combined with an ...
58
votes
4answers
46k views

What is Rembrandt lighting, and when do I use It?

I often hear studio photographers talk about 'Rembrandt Lighting' when they're setting up lights and doing studio portrait photography. What is Rembrandt Lighting, and when do I use it?
58
votes
6answers
12k views

How to make female chest look bigger?

When photographing women they often want the chest to appear as big as possible. I tried with light coming from different positions but was not satisfied with the results. Are there any tricks to ...
57
votes
10answers
4k views

How can I get my portrait subjects to look natural and drop the cheesy smile?

I am surprised by how many people automatically put on a cheesy smile when I point a camera in their direction. Please share any tips / techniques / links that might help me get better, more ...
57
votes
15answers
9k views

How does one focus for landscape photos in very dark conditions?

Tonight I tried my best to take some night landscapes in the darkest of dark conditions. Hoping for an epic composition of the Milky Way and a landmark. Of course, none of my glass could auto focus ...
57
votes
4answers
18k views

How do I generate high quality prints with an ink jet printer?

Creating high-quality photo prints using an ink jet printer is no trivial matter. Depending on the tonal range and color depth desired and the expected viewing platform, how you approach printing may ...
56
votes
27answers
2k views

What is something you learned recently about your gear that you wish you discovered earlier?

I'm playing with my old XTi with a new travel lens, Tamron 18-270mm and I'm reading the instruction sheet for the Tamron and read a section about Manual focusing and got to the small print. Even in ...
56
votes
10answers
5k views

Are there any downsides to using a good-quality UV filter?

Are there any real downsides to using a UV filter? I know that a poor quality UV filter can effect image quality ... but, assuming I use a good quality UV filter, will that actually be an issue? Is ...
55
votes
14answers
66k views

How do I set the proper exposure for nighttime moon photos?

All my attempts to get a good shot of the full moon with my DSLR result in an overexposed circle on a black background. I've used a tripod, remote shutter release, low ISO, and long exposure, but ...
54
votes
18answers
3k views

What are the first few photography books someone should read?

The books that helped me most initially were the Bryan Peterson books and more recently the Joe McNally books. Both of these working photographers give a lot of honest and helpful examples. These ...
54
votes
8answers
3k views

Is watermarking worth it?

I've recently become aware that one of my photos has been used by a national newspaper beyond its licensing terms (cc-by-sa-2.5, used without the required credit), and whilst I can pursue them for ...
53
votes
9answers
40k views

What is the 'Golden Ratio' and why is it better than the 'Rule of Thirds?'

Somebody recently told me that I will be able to compose more pleasing pictures if I use the Golden Ratio instead of the Rule of Thirds, and that the Rule of Thirds was an inferior way to compose ...
53
votes
8answers
3k views

Why do some lenses cost 10 times as much when the specs are very close?

For example, a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens is about US$110, while another Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens is about 14 times as expensive, at about $1450. Is the 1.8 or 1.2 the main reason for the price difference? ...
53
votes
7answers
37k views

Can the sun damage the camera sensor? Under what conditions?

I want to experiment taking photos where the sun appears. I'm afraid of what might happen if I take one with a narrower angle (where sun would be bigger). Can the lens act as a magnifying glass and ...
52
votes
6answers
8k views

Why are wide-angle lenses so much more expensive?

What is it about wide-angle lenses that makes them so much more expensive than an equivalent-quality tele or prime lens? Take the Canon EF-S 10-22mm USM, for example. RRP is nearly £1,000! Are they ...
52
votes
14answers
3k views

When is black and white likely to enhance an image?

I recently had a play with converting some images to black and white to see how that changed the image. Some baby photos came out particularly well, while others I tried seemed less interesting when ...
52
votes
6answers
3k views

How do I get started in Astrophotography?

I have a Canon 20D. I'd love to take some photos of the moon and stars. How do I get started? I've search the web and the information is sparse and cryptic. I'd like to know what equipment is the ...
51
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there development in the world of lenses?

Now, I'm not an expert, so if this post makes you laugh, you're welcome. Still, as far as I know there are basically two components that determine the potential quality of a camera's photos: Sensor ...
51
votes
4answers
38k views

What does f-stop mean?

What does f-stop mean? Is it the same thing when people say "2 stops" for example?
50
votes
3answers
3k views

What historic reasons are there for common aspect ratios?

The most common width to height ratio rates in the "old good" paper photography seems to be 3:2, which was adopted by today's DSLRs. Early (non-professional) digital cameras adopted 4:3 aspect ratio, ...
50
votes
13answers
31k views

What tools are available for RAW image processing in Linux?

I have been taking photographs with RAW format. What tools are available for working with RAW under Linux?
50
votes
4answers
2k views

What should I pay attention to when choosing a tripod?

I am a novice in photography and my current camera (Sony alpha 230 kit) which I recently have bought is the first DSLR of mine. Soon I'd like to buy a tripod for it. Please advise me what should I ...
49
votes
8answers
9k views

Manual photography cheat sheet — where can I find one, or what should be on it?

I have been trying to shoot more in manual modes (both camera and flash). At this point, I understand all the concepts, but all the adjustments slow me down. I'd like to have a "cheat sheet" with ...
49
votes
5answers
20k views

Tips for landscape+stars photography?

I'm leaving for holidays tomorrow, and there's a good chance that I'll be able to be by night on a field with no artificial light around, and no moon in the sky. I'd love to take some picture of the ...
49
votes
20answers
7k views

Where to get community-based feedback on my photos online?

Where can I post my photos and get reviews, comments, and critiques from the community, in order to learn to become a better photographer? Here is a list of places to get feedback. Please use answer ...
48
votes
7answers
7k views

Why don't most cameras support PNG format?

I prefer PNG format to JPG, because JPG uses lossy compression. When I capture a screen in my PC or scan a picture or document in my scanner, I always save them as PNG format. If a camera could ...
48
votes
5answers
11k views

What is “angle of view” in photography?

I read on the Lens Buying Guide @ neocamera: Focal-length determines the angle-of-view seen through a lens for a given sensor-size. With a full-frame sensor a lens gives the same angle-of-view ...
48
votes
4answers
15k views

What is the best way to micro-adjust a lens?

I have a Canon 7D with a 50mm f/1.4 lens, and I think the auto-focus of the lens is off. How can I test and adjust this reliably? Will this approach work with all of my lenses? If I had a different ...
47
votes
13answers
10k views

Is there any significant difference between Nikon and Canon?

I'm considering purchasing a DSLR for the first time here in the next couple of months. The two "big boys" seem to be Canon and Nikon. I've looked at both companies, and I can't really see significant ...
47
votes
10answers
3k views

Is it lenses which make your photographs, not camera bodies?

I read somewhere on this site itself that you should spend more on your lenses and less on your camera bodies. Is it a myth or a fact that mostly it is the lenses which make your photographs not the ...

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