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by Vian Esterhuizen

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18
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the limitations of a typical kit lens as a general purpose lens?

I have a Canon EOS 550d with the 18-55mm IS kit lens. I have done quite a bit of shooting with it over the last few months (portraits, nature, night shots etc), and find the image quality to be pretty ...
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?
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?
12
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

When do you need a model release?

Revised Question: After a bit of a think I realised that this question can also be asked the other way round and much more simply: In what situation(s) have you required a model release? Original ...
27
votes
9answers
103k views

How do popular free RAW editor/converter compare to each other on Windows?

I'm looking for a free RAW editor/converter on Windows. Can you tell me some strong/weak points of them comparing with Capture NX and/or Adobe Photoshop Elements? RawTherapee PhotoFiltre Able RAWer ...
30
votes
15answers
4k views

What options are there for good, cheap online backup of photos?

What is a good and cheap solution for online backup of over 100Gb, probably growing to 200+ in about a year, and then no doubt more after that. I am looking for something that can work in the ...
34
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 ...
53
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 ...
33
votes
5answers
5k views

In which situations should I use my circular polarizing filter?

I received a circular polarizing filter as a gift, but I have a hard time determining when I should be using it. I've done river shots with some success, but other than that, it doesn't seem to do ...
10
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
26
votes
8answers
2k views
26
votes
11answers
3k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
34k views

How do I find the right size of filters for a lens?

I was looking to get a circular polarizing filter and an UV filter for my Canon 550D, 18-135mm lens. When I checked online I found these filters came in different sizes, like 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm. ...
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 ...
31
votes
14answers
25k views

How do Micro 4/3s cameras compare with DSLR cameras?

What are the major (and perhaps more subtle) differences between the newer Micro 4/3s format in comparison to the well-established DSLR cameras? What are the pros and cons of the Micro 4/3s format, ...
23
votes
16answers
2k views

What method is best to take backups of your digital photos?

What method do you recommend to take secure backups of your photos? I have used Carbonite.com for my family photos and videos - it is an online backup - just select folders to backup and the software ...
41
votes
8answers
7k 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 ...
15
votes
8answers
3k views

How to start learning photography?

How to start learning photography?
16
votes
6answers
3k views

How do I prepare best for my first wedding photography event?

I am going to shoot a wedding this weekend, and I want to do my best for my friend's big day. What can I do to prepare for the day in order to minimize failures and mistakes? How do I avoid missing ...
21
votes
10answers
5k views

What is the 18% gray tone, and how do I make a 18% gray card in Photoshop?

I have heard about 18% gray tone — what is it really, and why 18% (and not 20% or some other value), and how can I make it in Photoshop?
20
votes
4answers
4k 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?
22
votes
5answers
3k 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
3answers
1k views

What is HDR photography?

What is HDR photography, and when might it be useful?
16
votes
7answers
13k views

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

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 ...
13
votes
5answers
3k 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
7answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I calculate the effect of non-TTL flash on exposure?

I recently got an old Canon AE-1 film camera back in working order. I'd like to use my modern 430EXII Speedlight flash with it, however since there is no TTL metering, I have no idea how much the ...
90
votes
11answers
5k 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 ...
49
votes
20answers
8k 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 ...
84
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 ...
60
votes
4answers
53k 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?
35
votes
1answer
11k views

How does one create the Dave Hill effect for portraits/action shots?

Inspired by the question here by sebastian.b, and the response to the subsequent meta question. I would like to ask how to achieve a specific photo effect. There may be more photographers that pull ...
25
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
28
votes
17answers
8k 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?
32
votes
8answers
7k views

Can I publish photos taken in public legally?

Who actually owns a photo that is taken in a public place?
26
votes
4answers
831 views

What are Color Profiles and where would I find information on using them properly?

I see the term "Color Profile" a lot and I have this vague idea that it helps you adjust color values based on the unique differences of both cameras, displays and printers from some ideal device. ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

How does changing focal length affect depth of field?

I'm curious about how my "area of acceptable focus" changes when the focal length of the lens I'm using changes as I zoom (or switch lenses). In particular, I'd like to know how the front & back ...
30
votes
5answers
66k views

How many actuations are “too many actuations”?

When looking at used camera bodies, a question that comes up a lot, is "how many shutter actuations, or clicks, does it have?" What I am wondering is, how many is too many. In other words, is there ...
32
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 ...
18
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
7k views

How do you use a gray card?

There are already two questions on how to make a gray card, but unfortunately my ignorance goes deeper than that. How do you use a gray card?
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 ...
38
votes
5answers
9k views

What's the difference between CCD and CMOS image sensors?

I keep reading articles about CCD vs CMOS image sensors. What is the difference between these two types? What exactly do these sensors do in terms of photography? Is a CCD-based camera going to be ...
36
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
17k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

What is a rolling shutter? When do I have to be aware of it?

In answer to another question, Adam Davis writes: Your camera complicates this by using a rolling shutter above a given speed (usually around 1/200. This means that only a portion of the ...

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