Spring 2012

Spring 2012
by ani

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35
votes
13answers
2k views

What's the best number of shots to combine to produce an HDR photo?

What's the optimal number of shots to produce a high dynamic range Does it vary from scene to scene? Do the capabilities or limitations of my camera factor in? Are there different HDR techniques ...
35
votes
7answers
11k views

How can I get sharp manual focus despite poor eyesight?

I suffer from astigmatism. It's only mild, though I feel it's affecting what I'm seeing when looking through the viewfinder. Frequently, after shooting a photo with my Canon EOS 7D, I'll load it into ...
34
votes
10answers
2k 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 ...
34
votes
10answers
3k views

What are some tips for shooting in low light?

I own a Canon 450D with just the standard kit lens that comes with it (I don't plan buying a new lens for a while) and one thing I tend to struggle with is shooting in lower light conditions, indoors ...
34
votes
12answers
2k views

What are good gifts between $50 and $100 for photographers?

(inspired by AJ's question) It's that time of year: family and friends are starting to ask what we want for the holidays. I usually try to have several suggestions at various price ranges. AJ's ...
34
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
34
votes
7answers
5k views

If I swallowed my SD Card would it be readable when it emerged?

I am entirely serious. As I walked conspicuously down a narrow alley this morning with my camera hanging off my shoulder I began considering how I would/could respond to a bit of rough treatment by ...
34
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.
34
votes
5answers
4k views

Why are some big telephoto lenses so expensive compared to telescopes?

I'm looking at an ad for a used Canon 1200mm f/5.6L EF USM Autofocus Lens where they are asking $180,000. Yes, that's not a typo. I don't get it. I'm an amateur astronomer and I know I can buy a ...
34
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
34
votes
10answers
1k views

Help motivate me to use my SLR's manual mode

(Was: Help motivate me to go beyond being a point-and-shooter) I'm aware of the existing 'getting started with photography' questions, but what I'm asking here is slightly different: I've had SLR ...
34
votes
6answers
6k views

Why use a dedicated light meter instead of the one built into the camera?

I know a few people who carry around a dedicated light meter unit (such as this one by Sekonic) and use that to meter photos instead of using the meter built into their cameras (and these are ...
34
votes
5answers
11k 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
8answers
32k 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 ...
34
votes
4answers
24k views

What does the number of elements and groups in a lens mean?

All lens specifications include a statement of how many elements the lens contains, and in how many groups, for example: Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300 mm 1:4,5-5,6G: 17 elements in 12 groups (two ...
34
votes
5answers
7k views

How do constant aperture zoom lenses work?

Cheaper zoom lenses usually are faster at the wide end and slower at the long end (for example, the $150 Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6). More expensive constant-aperture zoom lenses have the same ...
33
votes
9answers
106k views

What is the difference between EF and EF-S lenses?

This is specific to Canon, but what is the difference between EF and EF-S lenses?
33
votes
2answers
6k views

What kind of camera do I need to capture deep space images?

By deep space image, I mean below kind. In the background it is space dust, I think. Is it dependent on camera or location? If on camera, what kind of cameras are capable to capture this kind of ...
33
votes
5answers
84k 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 ...
33
votes
4answers
9k views

Why am I unable to capture as many stars as I can see with my eyes with my new DSLR?

I have recently been given a Nikon D7000 as a gift. I have been trying to take pictures of stars on very clear nights. However, I am unable to make the camera capture many of the stars. My eyes seem ...
33
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I stop my HDR shots looking so fake?

All my attempts at HDR come out looking remarkably fake, how can I reduce the halos effect?
33
votes
6answers
12k views

How do I use spot metering?

What's the right way to use spot metering? Is it better to use in manual mode than one of the priority modes? There's a question about when to use spot metering, but none that serves as a tutorial to ...
33
votes
16answers
11k views

Do super-super-lightweight tripods exist?

Are there are any "ultra-portable" tripods out there? I'd like to find one for backpacking that weighs 500 grams or less, but none seem to exist... there are tabletop tripods that weigh considerably ...
33
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I give someone a critique of their photograph?

I often read about giving and getting critiques on a photograph or series of photographs. Specifically how do I go about giving a critique? What do I say, what points do I want to hit, etc.
33
votes
8answers
7k views

Can I publish photos taken in public legally?

Who actually owns a photo that is taken in a public place?
33
votes
5answers
4k views

Focus problem vs. motion blur vs. camera shake - how to tell the difference?

I'm not sure if the title of the question captures what I mean, but it's hard to be succint in the space allowed. Suppose you have a picture that is not as sharp as you think it should/could be. (...
33
votes
4answers
3k views

How does aperture work without “cropping” the image hitting the sensor?

I've been teaching myself the various settings in cameras and now have a much fuller understanding of how to use my camera effectively, but one thing is still bugging me. When the aperture size is ...
33
votes
7answers
2k views

Do good lenses really last a lifetime?

I’ve heard people say “a good lens will last a lifetime” many times. Is this actually true of modern lenses? More specifically, will a good lens be usable for a lifetime? With an inexpensive adapter, ...
33
votes
2answers
3k views

Why no zoom lenses below f/2.8?

I can understand that a zoom below f/2.8 would be difficult and costly, but it seems like something pros would kill for. Surely it can't be more expensive (if its possible) than some of the $10k+ ...
33
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I know what speed card to get for my camera?

Cameras rarely specify exactly what speed cards you should be using in them - I just checked the manual for my DSLR, and all it says is to use an SDHD card, and a "high speed" card should be used for ...
33
votes
2answers
3k views

Does Auto White-Balance Really Work? How?

I don't understand how the camera can work out the white-balance to use in a given scene. I could see it working if there is an obvious colour-cast (for example: under fluorescent lights). Does it ...
32
votes
8answers
56k views

What is the best way to remove texture from a scanned textured photo paper?

I have a bunch of scanned old family photos where the photo paper has a texture. Unfortunately, the texture of the photo scans quite well. What is the best way to remove the texture? (Photoshop CS5)
32
votes
9answers
7k views

What's the difference between using black and white mode in-camera, and converting in post?

For black and white photography, will there be any quality difference between using the built-in black and white mode, or shooting in color initially and then removing the color later using Photoshop (...
32
votes
20answers
4k views

How can I hold my camera steady?

I've been an amateur photographer for some time, but have always had problems holding the camera steady. I've developed some tricks like using a flat surface and the self timer in low light, and of ...
32
votes
8answers
5k views

Do I really need a fast 50mm lens?

Everyone I speak to says that a 50mm lens is the best and beats them all as an all-rounder. I was wondering whether to get myself a decent, fast 50mm as well. However I'm still not 100% sure whether I ...
32
votes
9answers
9k views

Why do people like square photos?

Cameras used to make rectangle photos all the time, but now I see as a trend square photos. Is that because of mobile phone screens, or is it something else?
32
votes
8answers
8k views

Should I shoot underexposed photos?

Someone more experienced than me said that he always shoots so that his photos are underexposed (darker) and I should too. The reasoning being that you can always increase the exposure in ...
32
votes
12answers
14k views

Should I buy a camera with kit lens, or body plus lens separately?

I am planning to buy a DSLR soon. Before I zero in on the model, I want to know whether it is advisable to buy a kit (body + 18-55 lens) or not? OR should I go for the camera-body and the lens ...
32
votes
10answers
6k views

What makes a photo a good photo?

I don't know if this is a stupid question, this just came across my mind. Imagine a photo of a dog yawning. Someone could say that is a very good photo as it is taken just at the right moment, from ...
32
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 ...
32
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the best technique for long-exposure photography in good light?

Can anyone offer any tips on achieving long exposures (with the intention of blurring water, clouds etc)?
32
votes
5answers
2k views

(How) should I start with film photography?

I've been toying with the thought of starting analog (film) photography for a while. Buying a film SLR and the equipment to develop and print the photos doesn't seem to be too expensive. Now my ...
32
votes
4answers
2k views

Are stock photo sites a viable source of income?

I'm considering uploading some of my photos to a stock photo website as a way of getting a few $$$ back from what's essentially been a hobby for me. Is this a sensible step, or am I likely doomed to ...
32
votes
6answers
4k views

Why take diagonal photos?

In the "old days" I sometimes composed my photos diagonally, but I've not had success doing that in the "modern" era, because there's not really any nice way to present it digitally. Is there a ...
32
votes
6answers
7k views

Why is there an ISO setting when shooting raw?

Raw files are supposed to contain mostly unprocessed data from the sensor. What's the point of having an ISO setting if it doesn't affect the amount of photons counted, but only provides amplification?...
32
votes
6answers
15k views

How do I copyright my photographs?

What exactly, if anything, do I need to do in order to copyright my photographs? I have done some research into this topic and find a wide range of answers. Some articles on the web are stating that ...
32
votes
10answers
3k views

Is version control software used for photos?

I am a software developer at heart and by trade, and spend a lot of time in development tools... One of the more useful development tool types is version control, and for the uninitiated, it works ...
32
votes
8answers
13k views

What's the difference between Adobe RGB and sRGB and which should I set in my camera?

In my Canon 60D, there's a setting between Adobe RGB and sRGB. What's the difference and what should I prefer when shooting to RAW ?
32
votes
6answers
3k views

How can knowledge of human perception of color be used in photography?

How does the human vision system perceive color, and how can/should this be taken into account when taking and post-processing photographs (both in color and in black and white)? The bit above is ...
32
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I take advantage of fog in my photographs?

Ir's been quite foggy here for the last few days. The quality of light is different. Colour saturation is fairly low. Near the edge of the fog bank the sun looks great, as if there is a huge ND filter ...

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