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25
votes
7answers
5k views

What precautions should I take when taking a camera into humid conditions?

My camera's manual warns about sudden changes in temperature, but there are a few cases when I can't see how to avoid this. These include entering a reptile house in a zoo, or a trip to tropical ...
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 ...
25
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 ...
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 ...
30
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 in my case anyway I feel it's good to know many people's experiences. Kenrockwell is a website that I run into a ...
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 ...
7
votes
8answers
947 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 ...
39
votes
14answers
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 ...
82
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 ...
76
votes
6answers
3k 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, ...
49
votes
4answers
40k 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
3k 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
3k views

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

What filters are good and why?
29
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
35
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
27
votes
15answers
4k 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
16k 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 ...
22
votes
14answers
12k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
18
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
971 views

What is HDR photography?

What is HDR photography, and when might it be useful?
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 ...
15
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
2k 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
8k views

What does DPI mean?

What does DPI mean and how does it affect images displayed on screen versus printed?
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 ...
25
votes
3answers
959 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?
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. ...
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
786 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?
12
votes
3answers
445 views

What is Chromatic Aberration?

What is Chromatic Aberration? Is it a physical part of the lens, or just an optical illusion?
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
32answers
12k views

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

Which sites do you use for sharing photos with family and friends?
26
votes
9answers
7k views

How can I get a good HDR image from a single RAW file?

I've heard that it's possible to create an HDR image from a single RAW file. (Obviously, it won't be as good as using multiple bracketed RAW files; I know that much.) Every time I try — using ...
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?
59
votes
11answers
19k 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 ...
32
votes
8answers
5k views

Can I publish photos taken in public legally?

Who actually owns a photo that is taken in a public place?
16
votes
16answers
1k 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 ...
23
votes
5answers
1k views

What are the best practices for DOF stacking?

What are the best practices for DOF stacking? How do you get the frames with focus just right amount apart? How do you stack them in post processing?
21
votes
5answers
4k views

How to capture the scene exactly as my eyes can see?

What settings of my DSLR camera will emulate the scene exactly as I can see through my naked eyes? I think it's not possible to get the contrast and colors exactly as my eyes can see, and it may vary ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I use Graduated Neutral Density filters?

I want to improve my photos of landscapes with high contrast (sunset/sunrise). What are good selections for GND filters and what are some techniques for using them correctly?
14
votes
3answers
857 views

What do I need to know to get started with food photography?

I'd like to get started in food photography, and my first attempts are worlds apart from the examples we see all around us on food labels, in cookbooks, and in advertising. What are some tips to ...
26
votes
7answers
6k views

What are the major differences between these camera series by Canon?

Here is a shot of the different series of camras that Canon has to offer: There's several models of Rebel, then there's the 50D, the 5D, and the 1Ds. Broadly, which one is for whom broadly?
24
votes
4answers
578 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. ...
13
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...

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