Lunch atop a (Springfield) skyscraper

Lunch atop a (Springfield) skyscraper
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23
votes
7answers
3k views

What are good resources for a beginning photographer?

What are good resources (tutorials/books/videos/etc) for a beginning photographer? Keep in mind that this is for a beginning photographer, who has recently moved from a point-and-shoot to an ...
59
votes
9answers
55k 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
13k views

How can I determine the minimum shutter speed to avoid blur from camera shake?

How can I determine the minimum shutter speed at which I can effectively avoid camera shake while hand-holding the camera?
19
votes
3answers
3k views

How are virtual tour photos taken?

I am currently working to design a flash virtual tour, but I know little about how the photographs are taken. Ideally I'd like to be able to take a set of 6 shots from a single focal point, and be ...
41
votes
19answers
55k views

Should I buy an original manufacturer battery, or is a generic brand OK?

I need another LP-E5 type battery for my Canon 450D. Should I buy an original Canon battery or one of the many generic brands available? There are loads of cheapos on eBay, for example. I should add ...
80
votes
5answers
3k 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, ...
42
votes
16answers
17k views

Which tools are good for creating panoramas/stitching multiple photos?

Can anyone recommend some good tools for creating panoramas from multiple photos. (Free and commercial) Personally I use either Windows and Ubuntu, but I'm not fussy, suggestions for other platforms ...
43
votes
22answers
34k views

How can I backup my RAW photos while travelling without Internet access?

This question seems similar to this one, but my needs are different : I shoot in RAW exclusively I'm looking for a 100% offline solution: while traveling, Internet won't be accessible the "laptop" ...
12
votes
6answers
8k views

Technically, why is the out of focus area blurred more when using a bigger aperture?

I'm wondering, technically, why and how does the out of focus areas blur more when using a bigger aperture. I think it'd help a lot if I presented a problem that's been driving me nuts for a long ...
30
votes
3answers
5k views

What does it really mean that telephoto lenses “flatten” scenes?

This is another perspective distortion question. I understand that perspective distortion is primarily a function of capture and viewing distance, but I am still working on fully understanding the ...
28
votes
4answers
16k views

What is a macro lens?

I've read a few threads on here that mention some elementary descriptions of macro lenses and found some marketing fluff in the box for my Canon about them as well, but being a complete novice I was ...
37
votes
5answers
12k views

What does it mean for a photograph to be “high key”?

As I learned the term, a high-key image is one where the shadows are effectively eliminated, and the mid-tone detail pushed into brighter zones. My question is simple: is this an accurate definition, ...
33
votes
7answers
3k views

What is “Hyperfocal Distance”?

I'd like a clear & easy-to-understand (especially for non-physics-types) explanation of what Hyperfocal Distance is, how it affects photographs, and what determines its value.
22
votes
4answers
11k views

When should you use a normal flash vs a second-curtain flash?

There have been many questions lately that focus on improving the quality of the image taken, where the answers circle around using a second-curtain flash to reduce blur and freeze motion. Why not ...
20
votes
9answers
3k views

Prime lens or flash: which upgrade will most improve baby photos?

I current own a Nikon D5000 with kit lens (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6) and am looking to take better indoor photos of my fast-moving 9-month-old, which sometimes come out blurred or not natural I use the ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What features should one look for when selecting a flash?

I have been thinking of getting a flash to improve my low light photography (particularly indoors). However, there seem to be a number of different models available at similar price points (budget of ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What is sync speed?

When referring to flash exposure, what does "max sync speed" mean?
57
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
61
votes
3answers
6k 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, ...
25
votes
14answers
19k views

What lenses would best comprise a travel photography kit?

On a crop sensor camera, e.g. Canon EOS 7D, what would be the best kit to travel with around Europe for a few weeks? My shooting style will focus on landscape, architecture, and general travel shots ...
28
votes
4answers
5k views

How do you find out the “sweet spot” of a lens?

I've tried googling this, but have never found a satisfactory answer. I've heard the term "sweet spot" thrown around by some photographers to mean the f-stop of a lens which results in the highest ...
35
votes
9answers
9k views

Why do people recommend 50mm or other prime lenses as starting lenses for learning photography?

I've seen quite a few people recommend the 50mm prime lenses, in particular the sub-$100 50mm/f1.8, as a starting lens for photographers (especially because they're likely to be using cameras with ...
59
votes
10answers
7k 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 ...
27
votes
5answers
4k views

What do Pentax, Sony, and Olympus DSLRs offer that differs from Canon and Nikon?

We have a question and answers outlining the significant differences between the "big two" DSLR brands. I'm interested in the other DSLR makers, and how the cameras they make compare in terms of ...
28
votes
6answers
16k views

Why does a bigger sensor lead to a shallower depth of field?

It has been mentioned at a few places that a larger sensor results in images with a shallower depth of field. Example image: APS-C Canon 30D left, FF Canon 5D right, same lens, same composition, ...
5
votes
4answers
532 views

What do I need to consider to choose between dSLR, mirrorless, or a compact as my first “serious” camera?

I am thinking of buying a camera to learn photography. Most of the time I'll be shooting portraits and landscapes. But I am not sure where I should start. Most of my friends tell me that I should get ...
56
votes
5answers
25k 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 ...
53
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 ...
39
votes
5answers
54k views

How do I combine multiple exposures for action shots?

I'd like to create one of those "stacked" action shot images where multiple exposures are combined to show the subject moving across a static background. Here's an example I found on Flickr (by ...
48
votes
5answers
2k views

What should I look for in a monitor for photo processing?

What aspects should one keep in mind when choosing monitor for photo processing? What about color gamut, panel types, input types, requirements for video card, different gammas, refresh rate, angle of ...
36
votes
5answers
6k views

How to get a miniature effect on pictures without special equipment?

I was browsing Behance and came upon these pictures: http://www.behance.net/gallery/The-Little-Things/402879 I was wondering how he got this miniature style effect? I'm guessing a Gaussian Blur on a ...
71
votes
6answers
20k 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 ...
34
votes
8answers
30k views

What should I consider when using DSLRs in cold weather?

What temperatures can consumer-level DSLRs and lenses typically handle? Are there any precautions one should take too minimize potential problems (e.g. condensating water)? What about moving in and ...
39
votes
11answers
4k views

How do I tell which point-and-shoot cameras take good low light photos?

I have a Canon Powershot A710 and I previously had a previous Powershot A-series model. I love them due to the high amount of control they offer. Sadly, they both suck in low light conditions, their ...
56
votes
12answers
6k 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 ...
24
votes
11answers
1k views

What are considerations when choosing a DSLR brand?

Realizing that: no single brand or camera model is perfect, most DSLRs are "good enough" for most situations there is no single right answer to which camera should be purchased ...what are some ...
45
votes
8answers
11k views

Are there reasons to use colour filters with digital cameras?

Digital photos can have colour filters applied after the fact by software, so are there any good reasons to use colour filters with a digital camera? As I understand it, the main reason for them ...
22
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is the depth-of-field preview in the optical viewfinder of my Canon 500D inaccurate?

I have noticed that in my Canon 500D, the depth-of-field preview in the optical viewfinder is inaccurate with large aperture settings. If I press the DoF preview button, there is very little ...
13
votes
7answers
5k views

What is a normal lens?

I've heard people call 50mm lenses "normal lenses". For a lens to be considered normal, does it have to be exactly 50mm or is there some leeway? Does the normal focal length depend on crop factor of ...
16
votes
3answers
647 views

What is Chromatic Aberration?

What is Chromatic Aberration? Is it a physical part of the lens, or just an optical illusion?
25
votes
2answers
4k views

How does exposure fusion work?

I understand that "exposure fusion" is a method for combining different exposures into a single image. How exactly does it work, and how is it related to HDR?
29
votes
3answers
5k views

How can I test a new lens to make sure it is operating correctly?

How can I test a new lens to make sure it is operating correctly? I found two similar questions with answers specific to things such as sharpness and focus, but I want to cover any and all possible ...
16
votes
5answers
8k views

What focal length gives a “normal” field-of-view on APS-C cameras?

I wish to purchase a "standard angle-of-view" prime lens for my Canon Rebel, which has an APS-C sized sensor. Various articles note that the popular "nifty 50mm" lenses are a little too much of a ...
18
votes
7answers
20k views

Why can't I get a decent white background with product photography?

I'm a new photographer, and I'm trying to take photos of a product with a pure white background (#ffffff). I'm using a light box (something like this one), so my lighting should be solid. But I ...
29
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between a linear and a circular polarizer?

When I bought my polarizer, a friend told me that I should get a circular one, because the linear ones can mess with the autofocus. Is this true? What should each be used for?
6
votes
6answers
6k views

Why do Canon EF and EF-S lenses exhibit the same crop factor?

I have a Canon 7D, which has a crop factor of 1.6x. When using a Canon EF-S lens I get the focal length stated on the lens, when using a Canon EF lens I get the focal length times 1.6 when used on ...
11
votes
3answers
22k views

Why prefer the 18-55mm and 55-250mm lenses vs 18-200mm?

There seems to be a preference for to have the 18 mm - 55 mm 55 mm - 250 mm lenses, but no mention of why they're better than a single 18-200mm. Could someone please explain why the two separate ...
61
votes
15answers
50k 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?
57
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the meaning of “white balance”?

I would like to understand the term white balance. My camera has settings for white balance with the following options: Auto white balance Daylight Cloudy Shade Flash Incandescent lights White set1 ...

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