Serene Life

by garik

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47
votes
4answers
4k views

Why aren't all viewfinders 100%?

We often see that a manufacturer's high-end (D)SLR models offer a "100% viewfinder," which shows the entire exposed frame, and allows precise composition with regard to objects near the edge of the ...
46
votes
13answers
9k 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 ...
46
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 ...
46
votes
6answers
3k views

What are the key photography-related features from Photoshop that are missing in GIMP?

I am on a tight budget and chose to use GIMP for editing since it is free. What important photographic post-processing features am I missing from Photoshop?
46
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 ...
44
votes
23answers
5k views

What's a good strategy for choosing which photos to keep?

Since moving from a 6 megapixel DSLR to a 12.5 megapixel micro-four-thirds, the much bigger file sizes (especially shooting RAW) mean that I can't be so open about keeping everything I shoot. I only ...
44
votes
7answers
6k views

What is a “diffraction limit”?

I've seen the term used, but what is a "diffraction limit", when should I worry about it, and what undesirable effects are a result of it ?
44
votes
4answers
37k 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"?
43
votes
18answers
3k views

What are common beginner mistakes in photography?

What are common mistakes seen in images taken by beginning photographers? For example, a friend of mine pointed out that the horizon was not straight in one of my images, and now I see it ...
43
votes
12answers
2k views

How many photos should I keep?

When I started with digital photography, I used to keep a copy of ALL the photos I took on a backup drive, "just in case". As the years have gone by, I have become more ruthless, permanently deleting ...
43
votes
9answers
6k views

HDR then Panorama, or Panorama then HDR?

When creating a panorama for a scene of huge dynamic range, intuitively I always merge exposure brackets to HDR and tone-map them and then stitch the resulting images into a panorama. My intuition ...
42
votes
32answers
15k views

What are the best sites to share photo galleries with friends?

Which sites do you use for sharing photos with family and friends?
42
votes
6answers
22k views

Why do pro photographers use huge lenses to take portrait shots?

Every time I see a photoshoot video on youtube, the photographers have the biggest lenses I have ever seen in my life to shoot portraits or full-body shots. For example, the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 ...or ...
41
votes
24answers
3k views

What are good photography projects?

I am currently in the middle of a year long photo a day project, and am beginning to think about what I will do once this is done. What types of photography projects have you done? Please keep ...
41
votes
8answers
18k views

What does “expanded ISO” mean?

The ISO specification for the Canon EOS 7D reads as follows: High ISO For handheld shooting in low light, the EOS 7D offers ISO speeds of up to 6400. Expandable to ISO 12800, for low light ...
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, ...
41
votes
15answers
3k views

Can anyone suggest books/resources on the artistic side of photography?

I am a relatively new photographer. I have no problem understanding the technical side of photography (I am an engineer by trade), but I do struggle with the more 'artistic' side of photography ...
41
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
41
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the Rule of Odds?

In furthering my reading on photographic composition I came across a compositional technique called the "Rule of Odds." What is the "Rule of Odds"? Why is it important? How do I apply it to my ...
40
votes
9answers
3k views

What is the best way to clean lenses and filters?

After removing dust with an air pomp and a brush, what are you using to remove stains from the lens and filters? So far I'm using the liquid from a Giotto's CL 1002 cleaning kit for the lens, but I'm ...
40
votes
6answers
12k views

Why do light sources appear as stars sometimes?

See for example this photo: From my experience, the longer the exposure the stronger can this effect be observed. Is this correct? Are there any other factors that influence the creation of these ...
40
votes
1answer
8k views

Are “Windows Photo Viewer” rotations lossless?

Can I rotate lossily compressed photos that I view in Windows Photo Viewer without worrying about losing even more information to compression?
40
votes
11answers
4k views

Should I keep Image Stabilization (IS) off when I do not actually need it?

I own a Canon 7D and a EF-S 15-85 IS lens and I keep the image stabilization turned on all the time. Recently, an experienced photographer told me that this is a huge mistake because it reduces image ...
40
votes
6answers
3k views

How is ISO implemented in digital cameras?

If I change the ISO settings on my camera, obviously the gain of the system is increased, amplifying the signal from the sensor. What's not clear to me is where the amplification takes place. I see ...
39
votes
13answers
4k views

Why do it “in-camera” rather than in post-processing?

There's a very common attitude among photographers that the appearance of a photo (ex: exposure) should be created using the features of the camera (aperture, shutter, etc; does not include the ...
39
votes
6answers
3k views

What technique and camera settings should I use to capture lightning strikes?

I enjoy getting images of different types of weather and would really like to capture some good lightning shots. I have a feeling that I should be stopping down a bit and taking somewhat long ...
39
votes
22answers
22k 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" ...
39
votes
6answers
2k views

Is crop-factor a bad thing?

It seems to me that there is a preference for full-frame sensors rather than cropped sensors, and I'm curious as to why. It seems to me, that the cropped sensor means that I get more bang for my buck ...
39
votes
5answers
4k views

When best to use Multi-Zone/Matrix, Spot, or Center-Weight?

What are Multi-Zone/Matrix metering, Center-Weighted metering, and Spot metering? What about Partial? Is there a good rule of thumb, or a few pointers, on when best to use each metering mode?
39
votes
7answers
6k views

What is the best way to synchronize Adobe Lightroom databases between two computers?

What is the best way to synchronize Adobe Lightroom databases between two computers (a desktop and a laptop)? I'd like to be able to edit photos on either machine, and preferably not copy the whole ...
38
votes
16answers
11k 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 ...
38
votes
19answers
31k 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 ...
38
votes
9answers
83k views

What can be done using a 18-55mm lens?

I have a Canon EOS 1000D with 18-55mm kit lens (entry level, as many say). Whenever I go out for a shoot, I always end up feeling handicapped because of the limited zoom range. Most of my friends ...
38
votes
2answers
18k views

What is tone mapping? How does it relate to HDR?

Whenever I read / hear about HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, someone usually says something along the lines of "Actually, you're talking about tone mapping, not HDR." Please can someone ...
38
votes
13answers
8k views

Any good tutorials for learning how to post-process images?

I don't really know where to start with post-processing my images. I normally just straighten, crop and sharpen. Do people know of any good resources on the internet for getting a grip with Photoshop ...
38
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 ...
38
votes
8answers
2k views

Is there any photography equipment designed to ease use for the disabled?

The back-story: My father-in-law, who was an active film SLR user earlier in his life, suffered a series of strokes several years ago. He lost most of his ability to speak, and cannot use his right ...
37
votes
17answers
4k views

What are alternatives to a tripod when I can't take one along?

Due to weight restrictions I cannot take my tripod on my next foreign trip. What are the alternatives?
37
votes
12answers
3k views

Is digital zoom really useful?

I've always wondered what is the use of digital zoom, apart from viewing the subject clearly on the LCD display. We can take a photo with the optical zoom and crop the photo to the desired region of ...
37
votes
16answers
6k views

How can I backup my photos while travelling?

I'm going travelling around the world for a year in September and am already panicking about how best to send my photos home while in various countries. Requirements: I only need to backup JPEG ...
37
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the best way for a hobbyist to start generating income from photos?

What is the best way for me to look into the feasibility of selling my shots (hopefully including some sort of feedback on my technique) and examples of places where I can have someone manage the ...
37
votes
8answers
6k views

Why is the 50mm prime lens the most standard?

Seems that most photographers choose the 50mm as their prime lens (at least from what I've read). I'm looking at getting a prime lens for my Nikon D3000 and the cost difference between the 35mm 1.8 ...
37
votes
3answers
4k views

How do you photograph a lunar eclipse?

Tonight is the night of a lunar eclipse, and I'm curious, what kinds of tips do you guys have for photographing one? I'd like solutions for both consumer-grade equipment, as well as DSLRs, so that ...
37
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I get photos showing the “shaft of light” effect?

I would like to be able to capture a photo which shows light shafts coming through the window. A famous example is this: I'm guessing this involves a tripod, a long exposure and strong sunlight, ...
37
votes
3answers
12k views

What apertures are required to enable autofocus, including cross-type or high-precision focusing, on Canon DSLR cameras?

This is a follow-up to Why does Canon and Nikon limit or disable autofocus beyond certain f-numbers? I'm doing this to separate the AF aperture requirements from the linked question above. My goal ...
37
votes
2answers
16k views

What is the difference between a pentaprism and a pentamirror?

Higher-end SLR cameras include a pentaprism to transmit the image from the lens to the viewfinder, whereas lower-end SLR cameras use a pentamirror to accomplish the same task. What are the ...
37
votes
7answers
910 views

Is switching to DNG worthwhile?

I'm aware of the difference between RAW and DNG file formats. The RAW format is proprietary to the camera manufacturer while DNG is an open standard. DNG files can be compressed without loss of ...
36
votes
11answers
3k views

Are there disadvantages to a prosumer camera for a beginner, aside from cost?

I basically decided on a whim (from reading this site, talking to some friends, and always admiring great photos) that I want to get into photography. Are there disadvantages to starting out with a ...
36
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the “Rule of Thirds”?

Please can someone explain the "Rule of Thirds"? What is it? What does it tell me? Why is it important? What can I do with it?
36
votes
5answers
36k 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 ...

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