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by Vian Esterhuizen

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27
votes
9answers
9k 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 ...
34
votes
3answers
3k views

Unsharp mask - what do the parameters do?

I'm interested in getting into post-processing stuff, and I'm wondering about the Unsharp Mask operation. Specifically, there are 3 parameters involved: amount radius threshold What do these do? ...
39
votes
13answers
10k 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 ...
36
votes
5answers
7k views

What should one look for when buying a used lens?

When buying a used lens, what should the buyer check? Other than looking for obvious physical damage on the outside of the lens, what else should be inspected to identify the condition or quality of ...
60
votes
10answers
4k views

How can I get my portrait subjects to look natural and drop the cheesy smile?

I am surprised by how many people automatically put on a cheesy smile when I point a camera in their direction. How can I encourage them to act more naturally, and what can I do to get better, more ...
50
votes
7answers
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?
61
votes
12answers
31k 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 ...
27
votes
8answers
13k 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?
23
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
14k views

How do I properly do shadowless product photos?

My friend asked me to create a photo like this. I noticed that its shadowless and my first question is whether it was setup to be shadowless, or was it made shadowless in post? How many lights are ...
14
votes
3answers
966 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
18k views

How to do the ghost mannequin effect?

I'm looking into taking some product photography and I would like to get the ghost mannequin effect, but I can't find any proper documentation. Something a bit like this: Can you please give a ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

What is ETTR (Expose To The Right)?

Picking up from this answer and this question, What exactly is ETTR? How it may reduce the image noise? And how is it difference from film to digital sensors? In the answer linked above, what are the ...
19
votes
5answers
14k views

What is dynamic range and how is it important in photography?

Wikipedia says that the dynamic range is the "ratio between the largest and smallest possible values of a changeable quantity". Ok, I get that. I suppose that's why HDR photos have a "high dynamic ...
9
votes
6answers
12k views

What is a good general purpose lens for Canon?

As an upgrade from kit lens 18-55mm, which would be a better general purpose lens? Obviously there is no "best" option, as everyone has a different budget and style, but what are the best options ...
24
votes
3answers
3k views

What makes a strong wide-angle composition?

A simple, effective way to improve most compositions is to crop (or zoom) more tightly. Cut out the "distractions", and boom, powerful composition. I usually shoot with a slightly-long lens in the ...
17
votes
2answers
9k views

What is T-number / T-stop?

Usually, when discussing aperture of a lens, F-stop and F-number are used for quantifying. But some photographers, and especially videographers, also mention T-stop. The concept and numbering used ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

What workflow or tools can be used for tagging of a large number of running race photos?

Let's say you attend a marathon where participants wear bibs with their race number. You take hundreds or (cough) thousands of pictures and would like to upload them to share them (for free) with ...
27
votes
6answers
14k views

What's the best way to scan in hundreds of pictures?

I have thousands of old pictures which were sitting in a photo album. Unfortunately, instead of the photo album protecting the pictures, the plastic coverings yellowed, and the pictures themselves had ...
26
votes
6answers
4k views

Why are some lens hoods petal shaped and others not?

I have one lens hood for a 28-105mm lens that is petal shaped. I have another lens hood for a 50mm lens that is fully round. If the purpose of the lens hood is to block stray light, then wouldn't ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

When is it OK to place the subject in the middle of a picture?

When is it OK to place the subject in the middle of a picture? I took this picture and feel very compelled to put the subject in the centre rather than on the sides.
13
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the differences between an entry-level DSLR and an advanced compact P&S camera?

A Canon Powershot series camera has shutter priority, aperture priority and complete manual mode that lets the user control the shutter speed and aperture Even though an Entry-level DSLR has more ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What is color temperature and how does it affect my photography?

I have seen color temperature mentioned with regard to white balance, mixing different sources of light, etc., but I haven't come across a clear explanation of what it means to talk about the ...
43
votes
8answers
24k 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 ...
32
votes
5answers
6k views

How do constant aperture 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Why use a small aperture when trying to see sensor dust?

Here and there I read of people who set their lens to a small aperture while testing their sensor cleanness, supposedly to get the best image of dust speckles. However, the image of the on-sensor dust ...
21
votes
3answers
5k views

What is 'freelensing'?

I've recently heard about a photographic technique called 'freelensing.' How do I go about 'freelensing,' and what can I do with the technique?
14
votes
3answers
7k views

What makes a camera 'weather sealed'?

What is the structural and mechanical differences between a weather sealed body and a non weather sealed body? Is weather sealing still effective if the lens isn't weather sealed?
13
votes
5answers
19k views

If I have a 18-55mm lens, is there a point in buying a 35mm prime lens?

I have the Nikon kit lens that came with a D5100 — the kit lens is 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom. I was thinking of getting a fast lens and I am looking to buy the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX. ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I easily remove an almost-white background?

I want a "product shot" style photo of several small objects without any background (pure white background). Knowing the hours of work involved in properly deep-etching, but not having nice lighting ...
9
votes
6answers
45k views

Is it possible to increase the pixel density of an image?

I have taken a picture whose resolution is less. I can resize the image easily (i.e I can scale to higher resolution) but the image quality goes for a toss, which is true because the image might not ...
27
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the definition of a “prime lens”?

There are many discussions of differences between prime, zoom and macro lenses. I have not heard about prime lenses until recently. Could someone explain what exactly a prime lens is? Is it ...
18
votes
1answer
522 views

What are Extension Tubes?

What are Extension Tubes?
15
votes
6answers
6k views

How does background blur (bokeh) relate to sensor size?

This is a somewhat theoretical question. Suppose I first take a photo of a subject using a full frame sensor DSLR, with a given lens (say 50mm prime lens at f/3.5). Now suppose I exchange the camera ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Where does the ¹/shutter speed = focal length rule for hand shake come from?

The generally accepted rule of thumb is that the shutter speed must be the same or larger than the inverse of the focal length. As is, it seems that it makes no sense as is: On a 24 Mpixels ...
13
votes
12answers
1k views

What noise removal tools work best, and why?

Can anyone recommend some good noise removal tools, free and commercial? Should support RAW and JPEG. Are certain tools better than others in particular situations? Do some integrate better with other ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What type of lens will auto-focus on Nikon bodies without a focus motor?

I know my D40 doesn't have a motor in it to auto-focus lenses. What type of lens has the motor in it? How can I know which lenses will and will not work?
10
votes
3answers
15k views

Are Canon EOS and Nikon DSLR lenses interchangeable?

Can we use the lenses from, say a Canon EOS 550D kit (Canon EF-S 18-55mm) with a Nikon DSLR D5000 for example) ? Also, is the reverse possible ? I'm looking at interchangeability between recent DSLR ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the quantative relation between flash guide number and ISO?

I found that formula on the Internet: Guide Number = (Shooting Distance * Aperture) ÷ ISO Sensitivity Is it correct? If it is could someone please explain why ISO is related to guide number in this ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the formula for percent of frame filled at a specific distance and focal length?

I am thinking about buying a new lens specifically to take photos of distant targets (birds, bears, etc). I currently own the Canon 70-300 IS USM, which is a nice lens, but I find that if I want to ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

What does 'how much zoom' mean?

I have Canon 18-135 and 70-300 zoom lenses. People ask me how much zoom my camera supports. What am I supposed to tell them? "135 ÷ 18 = 7.5" and "300 ÷ 70 = 4.2"?
17
votes
5answers
2k views

How can aperture be f/11 on a lens with an aperture range designation of 3.5-5.6?

I made a series of outdoor shots with Nikon D5000, with the 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR kit lens. On some shots, I see in the EXIF info f/11, and in another shot, f/9. How can that be, that the f-number ...
16
votes
4answers
6k views

When shooting in mRAW or sRAW, how does the camera generate smaller files?

Most mid- and high-end DLSRs offer two or three sizes for RAW capture. When the camera is generating the medium or small sized RAW files, how does it make them smaller? Does it capture less ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

What causes lens flare?

I heard a couple of years ago that only certain types of lens caused flare to appear, something related with the material and/or quality of the lens. Is this true? Which material/quality caused flare? ...
13
votes
2answers
894 views

What is the inverse-square law, and how does it apply to lighting for photography?

I hear photographers talk about the inverse-square law, particularly with reference to lighting. What is this law about, and most importantly, how is it applied to lighting for photography?
10
votes
6answers
85k views

Why does my Canon DSLR stop recording video automatically?

I have read a few posts related to video recording using a DSLR so I decided to try my 60D for the first time. I've had the camera for about a year and a half but never tried recording a video. ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

How to select lenses for sports photography?

I would like to get into sports photography, and would probably want a better telephoto lens so I can get better close up shots. What other factors should I keep in mind as I make my choice? Does IS ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I approximate 'soft focus' digitally?

In a previous question about soft lenses, it was suggested that much of the current practices regarding soft focus involve selectively soft focusing certain parts of the image and mattdm suggests its ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How do zoom, magnification, and focal length relate?

Zoom lenses and cameras with superzooms are often sold with a times ("×") zoom number — like a 12x zoom or 30x zoom. The question How do I convert lens focal length (mm) to x-times optical zoom? ...
20
votes
3answers
23k views

What is the difference between Canon “L” lenses and non-L lenses?

The Canon L lenses are much more expensive and presumably much better quality than non-L lenses. What makes an "L" lens? How much better are they over a similar length/speed "ordinary" canon lenses?

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