Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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31
votes
10answers
6k views

Are equipment reviews from websites like kenrockwell.com and bythom.com reliable?

I know that nothing helps more when buying a lens to actually test it out yourself, but getting more than one perspective is helpful. Kenrockwell.com is a website that I run into a lot when trying to ...
27
votes
3answers
1k 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?
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Does it give higher quality to shoot in low-res mode in-camera, or to downsize high-res photos later?

Suppose you want to store your photos at some lower resolution, let's say about ~1 MB large. You own a camera able to make photos at 5 MPix and more. And, you want to have the maximum quality at the ...
7
votes
8answers
1k views

What macro techniques offer an alternative to expensive optics?

I was wondering what are the alternative macro techniques people use instead of buying expensive macro optics. I know about single lens reverse macro technique; what other alternative techniques allow ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

How does taking lower-resolution pictures with a higher-resolution sensor affect image quality?

Does taking a picture with 8 megapixel resolution with my Canon IXUS with a 1/2.3" sensor and 12M max resolution provides the same or worse image quality (particular, noise) as if the picture was ...
13
votes
3answers
468 views

What is Chromatic Aberration?

What is Chromatic Aberration? Is it a physical part of the lens, or just an optical illusion?
49
votes
20answers
6k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

What tips and advice do you have for photographing the Aurora Borealis?

A friend has been kind enough to lend me a DSLR for a few months. It's my first foray into DSLR photography, or indeed any kind of photography beyond simply aiming my Canon IXUS at something and ...
26
votes
11answers
2k views

What is the best way to clean the sensor on a digital SLR?

I've got a couple of spots of dust on the sensor of my Canon 20D - a rocket blower isn't shifting them, and I'm ridiculously scared of some of the more direct methods for cleaning sensors -- what ...
29
votes
3answers
1k views

What should one consider when choosing a style of tripod head?

What should one consider when choosing a style of tripod head? There are ball heads, 3-way pan/tilt heads, geared heads, even gimbal heads. I'm not asking so much about brands, but styles... how ...
27
votes
8answers
3k views

What is the advantage to back-button autofocus?

I've heard some advanced photographers talk about using back-button autofocus. As I understand it, this involves changing one of the camera's custom setting to engage the AF when a button on the rear ...
26
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
10answers
2k views

What makes a DSLR better than a Point & Shoot?

Why should I put up with the inconvenience of lugging around a DSLR? They look cool, but is there more substance to it?
18
votes
3answers
1k views

Do smaller apertures provide more depth of field past the diffraction limit, even if peak sharpness suffers?

In Understanding Exposure (3rd edition, on page 48), Bryan Peterson has what might be called a rant against modern on-line conventional wisdom about diffraction limits. Answers on this web site are ...
36
votes
4answers
2k views

Should I get DX for my APS-C camera, or FX lenses in case I upgrade to full-frame in the future?

I recently bought a Nikon D90 camera body, which has a "DX" APS-C-sized sensor.. Within the same budget, should I go with DX lenses or should I get full frame lenses in case I upgrade to a full frame ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

Is high ISO useful for photography?

I started photography sometime back, and always wondered when is high ISO handy in photography? Also can it be used to get any special effect in pictures? My camera has Max ISO of 800 but I see some ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Does the dpi number reported by camera in JPG have any meaning?

I have two cameras, a 6mpix Panasonic FZ8, and 14mpix Canon A2200. When I compare shots from two cameras, one of differences I notice is dpi number that camera reports in JPG info: FZ8 reports ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

What are my best options for a tripod for up to $100?

I'm looking to buy a tripod + head (for my Canon 40D), but am not sure if I want to spend more than $100 on it. So can you suggest options for best tripods for $100 or less? Or, is it important to ...
41
votes
15answers
2k 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 ...
83
votes
15answers
4k 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 ...
54
votes
4answers
42k 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?
47
votes
4answers
4k views

What is Ansel Adams' “Zone System”?

I've heard much of Ansel Adams' Zone system, but I've never quite understood it. What is it, how and where is it used, and is it still useful with modern (digital) cameras? Thanks!
36
votes
13answers
4k views

What are the must-have filters for a new photographer?

What filters are good and why?
29
votes
4answers
6k views

What software can show my most frequently used focal length?

Many people recommend a focal length of 35mm, 50mm, and sometimes even 85mm and upwards for those interested in purchasing a prime lens. I, however, would like to figure out what focal length(s) I use ...
37
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
34
votes
10answers
1k views

What attributes should I look for when buying batteries for a flash?

I want to buy some more rechargable batteries (AAs) for my flashes. I suppose I mainly care about: - Quick recycling of the flash - Hold their charge when not in use Although bonuses for: - Long ...
27
votes
15answers
5k views

What options do I have for GPS/Geotagging with a digital SLR?

I would like to track GPS points while I am photographing with my Canon EOS (5D) camera. What option do I have track them and what do you recommend?
37
votes
2answers
17k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
8k views

How do camera body motors compare to in-lens motors for focusing?

What is the difference between using a motor on the camera body and the motor built into lenses? Aside from how both compare in terms of speed, what differences would I notice if I use a body with a ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

What is focal length and how does it affect my photos?

What is focal-length? Are focal-length and zoom synonymous? How does the focal length of a photo affect it?
12
votes
12answers
2k views

Which DSLR brand should I pick as a beginning photographer?

I'm planning on starting photography as a hobby and I will be purchasing a DSLR very soon. Many of my friends have upgraded to DSLRs from P&Ss nowadays, but they all use different brands. Most ...
24
votes
10answers
4k 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 ...
22
votes
9answers
2k views

How do I choose a polarizer?

It was suggested that I should get myself a polarizer filter to get over my reflection problem. ( How to avoid reflection when taking a picture of a ceramic object with a shiny glaze? ) I found out ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I get started with RAW photography?

Having read about the benefits of shooting in RAW as opposed to JPEG (for example this question), I'd like to have a go with it myself. However, I'm not really sure how to go about it. I can turn RAW ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Why should my last post-processing step be sharpening?

I've seen a number of people recommend that you apply sharpening as the last step in post-processing, and some seem to imply you should always do that. Why? I tend to discard pictures that either are ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I simulate a long exposure photo using a set of shorter exposure photos?

I'm shooting towards the sky to capture the stars. The exposure time is 15 seconds, so I can see the stars still, without a trace. These photos are taken continuously one after the other, because I ...
21
votes
7answers
7k views

How to nail focus for DSLR astrophotography?

I've been doing a bit of astrophotography and the problem that I almost always have is nailing focus. I'll manually focus on a bright star or the moon (which hopefully isn't an option!) by magnifying ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

What makes a camera an “SLR”?

My question, specifically: why is the Fujifilm HS 10 not an SLR?
16
votes
13answers
3k views

What is a good two lens “starter kit”?

A friend of mine is buying his first DSLR. He's chosen an entry-level Canon model, and wants to know which lens he should go for. My advice is to go for a good 70mm prime and an 18-200mm. The former ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

What is a “fast” lens?

I've been reading lots of camera reviews lately and have ran across several references to "fast" lenses. What exactly is a fast lens and what are its advantages compared to other lenses?
19
votes
5answers
2k views

What is exposure compensation?

What does exposure compensation do? If I take a photo with a given shutter speed, aperature, and ISO, and then take the same shot with +1EV or -1EV, what is actually happening? Is this just a gain ...
14
votes
2answers
9k views

What does DPI mean?

What does DPI mean and how does it affect images displayed on screen versus printed?
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What software shows the most accurate version of a photograph for web viewing?

I have a photo (photo_A.jpg), taken on a post-sunset beach, for which I want to reduce some noise. I do so using the luminance noise reduction technique from Adobe Camera Raw, open the image in ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it worth it to have the 50mm f/1.8 Canon lens?

Is it really useful to have a fast prime lens for portrait photography, considering a low budget? If it is, what about the Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II? I have an entry level 18-55mm lens and a Canon 20D. ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What DPI should I resize my image to for best printing quality?

And my apologies if this sounds a bit too basic but I can't get my head around this. I have a digital image I took with my camera. 4000x3000 pixels, and GIMP claims that its resolution is 72x72 DPI. ...
6
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I visualize or simulate the effect of different focal lengths?

I have seen many camera review sites illustrate the effect of using different focal lengths on the same photograph using frames. There are also similar illustrations to compare different sensors (full ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

What exactly is flash sync speed, and should it be a factor in a buying decision?

What exactly is flash sync speed and should it be a factor in a buying decision?
2
votes
4answers
850 views

How do I make the water silky in water/beach photography?

I see beautiful photos of beaches or rivers/streams where the water looks like frosted glass... How is this effect achieved? Is it a longer exposure?
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Canon 75-300mm f4-5.6 USM or 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS lens?

I am getting a deal on a Canon T3 cam with 18-55mm kit lens and I have choice of one extra lens: 75-300mm f4-5.6 and 55-250mm f4-5.6. I generally like to shoot street, abstract and nature photos and ...
41
votes
32answers
14k views

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

Which sites do you use for sharing photos with family and friends?

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