Lightnings taking a ride

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30
votes
8answers
27k views

Lightroom vs. Elements vs. Photoshop: Side-by-side comparison?

I'm a bit overwhelmed by the available options in regards to the three major photo editing apps from Adobe. Does anyone know of an article or site that lists the features of Lightroom, PS Elements, ...
30
votes
3answers
4k views

How does autofocus work?

How does auto focus work on modern cameras? How accurate is it?
30
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
29
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a trick to shooting large group portraits without blinkers?

When shooting large group portraits, is there a trick to getting everyone to not blink (other than taking many shots)?
29
votes
6answers
1k views

When is manual focus better than autofocus?

We all know that autofocus is very convenient for everyday shooting, especially on cameras with tiny viewfinders that make manual focus difficult (like my Nikon d3000). However, just like the ...
29
votes
6answers
17k views

How do I capture the milky way?

Can the milky way actually be photographed like this? I know the image is manipulated, and is probably a composite, but how do you capture such contrast in the milky way? Is an equitorially mounted ...
29
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 ...
29
votes
1answer
3k views

Why does every digital camera save photos in a directory called DCIM?

It seems like every digital camera that I have ever used creates a folder called DCIM on its removable storage to save photographs into. Can anyone tell me what this name (DCIM) stands for (if ...
29
votes
19answers
12k views

What options are there for a camera bag that does not look like one?

I need to carry around some camera equipment (lens, flash, cables, cards, accessories, etc) but don't want a flashy camera bag attracting attention. What suggestion do you have? Please only post one ...
29
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I test a new lens to make sure it is operating correctly?

How can I test a new lens to make sure it is operating correctly? I found two similar questions with answers specific to things such as sharpness and focus, but I want to cover any and all possible ...
29
votes
9answers
6k views

What are the best online photo classes? [closed]

I bought an entry-level DSLR at Christmas time (Nikon D3000 with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses) and have been figuring my way around the camera. I know the very basics, but want to take a class and ...
29
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?
28
votes
7answers
1k views

How should I pack equipment when travelling in countries with high crime rates?

I'm going to travel individually in Sub-Saharan Africa where the crime rate is high. Most of the time I will do landscape photography and only a few shots in urban areas. I've been there already, but ...
28
votes
14answers
4k views

Why store both JPEG and raw?

DSLRs often have the ability to store both a JPEG and a raw file. Given that the primary benefit of in-camera JPEG over raw is the smaller filesize, and that JPEG+raw is going to store even more data ...
28
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the best techniques for making great photographs of LEGO creations?

There are better and worse photos of LEGO creations out there. What techniques give better photos? It seems hard to photograph LEGO blocks because they are shiny.
28
votes
8answers
2k views

What do you learn in a BA in Photography that can't be self taught?

What do students learn in a photography degree that they can't learn by themselves? Most amateur photographers (and many, many pros) are self taught. A bit of reading, experimentation, practice, ...
28
votes
5answers
1k views

What's a concise “I'm not dangerous” phrase for a business card?

Not being a street photographer, I find myself intimidated by onlookers when shooting in public. Given that and an increasingly hostile government attitude toward photographers, I'm thinking a ...
28
votes
10answers
7k views

How much benefit can one expect from a monopod?

I'm thinking about getting a combined monopod/trekking pole, as I use a trekking pole already and I can't really be bothered to carry a heavy tripod into the hills during daylight. I'm wondering how ...
28
votes
9answers
1k views

How do I move my post-processing beyond Picasa?

Over time I've become fairly skilled in using Picasa to do post-processing starting with NEF files, but I'm thinking it's time to step it up a notch, and explore what I can do with a more ...
28
votes
2answers
2k 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.
28
votes
4answers
11k views

What are the differences between Picasa and Lightroom, other than price?

I've heard about Adobe Lightroom before, but never really understood what's so great about it, or why you'd pay for it when you can get Picasa for free. I know Lightroom probably has more ...
28
votes
4answers
1k views

Tips for photographing a wedding

I guess this comes up for most of us that are known by friends as "the photographer"... I've been asked to be the official photographer at a wedding. I think I have the equipment sorted. I have my ...
28
votes
2answers
2k 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+ ...
28
votes
6answers
3k views

Do sensors wear out?

We all know that shutters wear out and they have a limited number of actuation's. The question I have is, do sensors wear out too? Do they suffer any kind of damage after each shot? Should I be ...
28
votes
3answers
14k views

How can I calculate what the effect of an extension tube will be?

There must be a mathematical description of the difference that an extension tube makes to a lens -- is it something that can be easily described? (For example, with teleconverters you can say things ...
28
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
27
votes
8answers
43k 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) ...
27
votes
8answers
15k 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?
27
votes
11answers
2k views

Will a tilt-shift lens solve my 'leaning building' shots?

I shoot primarily with a Nikon D300, and that's not likely to change soon. The camera does everything I need it to do, but this. I also use a 17-55 lens, which I know that Thom castigates as being ...
27
votes
5answers
4k views

What do Pentax, Sony, and Olympus DSLRs offer that differs from Canon and Nikon?

We have a question and answers outlining the significant differences between the "big two" DSLR brands. I'm interested in the other DSLR makers, and how the cameras they make compare in terms of ...
27
votes
3answers
3k views

What does a hexagonal sun tell us about the camera lens/sensor?

In this picture, we see that the sun comes out as a hexagon. I am sure it is not arbitrary. What does the hexagon tell us about the instrument that captured the image?
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 ...
27
votes
9answers
107k 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 ...
27
votes
2answers
3k views

What characteristics make a lens good or bad?

When reading lens reviews on the Internet, I often find subjective statements about the image quality that a lens produces, such as "good contrast" or "sharp". The problem is that I don't think I am ...
27
votes
6answers
5k views

How do I keep the horizon straight when taking a photo (without a tripod)?

I use a DSLR and I very often find that when I shoot without a tripod, and with my eye to the viewfinder (as opposed to using LiveView), my photos end up slightly crooked: lines that should be ...
27
votes
6answers
14k views

Why does a bigger sensor lead to a shallower depth of field?

It has been mentioned at a few places that a larger sensor results in images with a shallower depth of field. Example image: APS-C Canon 30D left, FF Canon 5D right, same lens, same composition, ...
27
votes
7answers
5k views

When to use shutter priority instead of aperture priority?

Under what circumstances would you use aperture priority vs. shutter priority and vice-versa? I typically don’t use shutter priority (ever) and favor aperture priority to try to get a max aperture ...
27
votes
7answers
1k views

Is it ok to breathe on the front glass element of a lens to fog it and clean it?

Nikon specifically recommends not breathing on the glass elements to clean them as harmful acids in the breath can damage the coatings on the glass. However, I've read on many other websites that it ...
27
votes
4answers
9k views

What are the pros and cons of lab prints versus using a printer?

As newcomers to photography and printing we would like advice on the best way(s), regarding both quality and cost, of printing. In the main my wife is photographing birds and insects, so natural ...
27
votes
4answers
14k views

What is a macro lens?

I've read a few threads on here that mention some elementary descriptions of macro lenses and found some marketing fluff in the box for my Canon about them as well, but being a complete novice I was ...
27
votes
12answers
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 ...
27
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is the blue channel the noisiest?

It is widely observed that the blue channel in digital cameras is the noisiest. I've certainly noticed that with my camera. Why is this? Is it an artifact of some particular technology (e.g. Bayer ...
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 ...
27
votes
6answers
16k 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 ...
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?
27
votes
8answers
13k 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 ...
27
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a pancake lens?

I've read about a "pancake lens" but don't really understand what that means. What the pros and cons of having a pancake vs. another type of lens? I'm thinking of getting a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 ...
26
votes
8answers
2k views
26
votes
13answers
3k views

Are DSLRs a dying breed, making now the time to switch to a mirrorless camera system? [closed]

I came across this thought provoking article on Stuck in Customs today that makes a strong case to hold off too much investment in DSLR gear, and instead switch to mirror-less cameras like the Sony ...
26
votes
7answers
1k views

Is it possible to be color-blind and still be a good photographer?

Is it possible to be colour-blind (or color-blind, in the US) and still be a good photographer? Are there any steps one can take to mitigate the effects of colour-blindness? Can you point me to any ...

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