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307 votes
16 answers
60k views

Good examples of RAW's advantages over JPEG?

I'm curious to see some real examples of where simply capturing the same photo in RAW (and being processed by someone who can do it justice) has significantly improved the photo at the end of the ...
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  • 9,582
196 votes
15 answers
132k views

What do all those cryptic number and letter codes in a lens name mean?

When looking at a lens name, there are a lot acronyms describing its features (often specific to the manufacturer). Examples, Nikon: Nikon AF-S DX 16-85mm VR f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED Nikon AF-I 600mm f/4D ...
169 votes
8 answers
36k views

What are the best techniques for photographing overweight people?

I'm not the most lean person on the planet, and many pictures seem to really point this out. While I wish I was simply in better shape, it is simply not the case for me or unfortunately, many people....
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  • 26k
155 votes
10 answers
59k views

What is the "exposure triangle"?

What is the exposure triangle? How do the "sides" affect my photographs?
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  • 12.2k
128 votes
7 answers
19k views

What is "ISO" on a digital camera?

What is "ISO" in general, and how is the scale defined? How does the ISO scale for film speed differ from ISO sensitivity as used in digital cameras? Is lower ISO always better?
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  • 140k
122 votes
9 answers
51k views

When do the differences between APS-C and full frame sensors matter, and why?

I'm trying to decide on a higher-end digital SLR, and I'm down to choosing between an APS-C model and a full-frame model. I understand that the sensors are of different sizes, and as such have an ...
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121 votes
7 answers
13k views

What is bokeh, exactly?

I understand that "bokeh" refers to out-of-focus areas of an image — but there is obviously more to it than that. What does the term mean exactly? How well is bokeh really understood? Is it purely ...
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  • 2,035
120 votes
7 answers
9k 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, ...
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117 votes
42 answers
12k views

What are your easiest photography beginner tips?

Over time, I've found there are a handful of really simple things that anyone can do to take better pictures. What are your favorites? Understand the basics of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Take ...
115 votes
1 answer
19k views

In portrait photography, what is 'broad' lighting? What is 'short' lighting?

What are 'broad' and 'short' lighting when it comes to studio portraiture, and when should I use each?
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113 votes
33 answers
12k views

What blogs should I be following if I am learning photography?

I am beginner and looking for sites/blogs.
112 votes
12 answers
8k 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 ...
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  • 2,991
111 votes
18 answers
8k 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 ...
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  • 15.7k
108 votes
5 answers
8k views

What is RAW, technically?

From a technical perspective, what exactly is RAW and how does it differ from JPG or bitmap images? I'm not asking about the pros/cons versus another format, but rather what constitutes RAW format, ...
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  • 1,183
105 votes
25 answers
28k views

What can I do to get models to take my small camera more seriously?

My main genre of photography is portraiture at geek, fantasy and historic events where many attendees dress up (cosplay and reenactment). The attendees are often very willing to pose for pictures (TFP ...
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  • 1,564
103 votes
23 answers
20k views

Why do breathtaking views turn into "boring" photos, and how can I do better?

I recently purchased a Canon 700D with a 18-135 IS lens to get into photography. I'm trying to improve, but my photos seem 'boring'. Let me give some examples: I took these today. The scenery looks ...
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  • 1,295
103 votes
22 answers
22k views

I know what a bad photo is, so why do I keep taking them?

9 out of 10 photos that I take are boring, and this is immediately apparent when I look at a new batch on my computer screen. Since I'm fully capable of identifying a bad photo, why can't I stop ...
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101 votes
13 answers
20k views

Why are lenses always round in shape?

Why are lenses round in shape although the image sensor is not? Why they can not be square or something matching the shape of image sensor?
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  • 1,706
97 votes
8 answers
138k views

Can the sun damage the camera sensor? Under what conditions?

I want to experiment taking photos in which the sun appears. I'm afraid of what might happen if I take one with a narrower angle (where sun would be bigger). Can the lens act as a magnifying glass and ...
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  • 3,141
95 votes
4 answers
16k views

What does an unprocessed RAW file look like?

I know people use fancy software like Lightroom or Darktable to post-process their RAW files. But what if I don't? What does the file look like, just, y'know, RAW?
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  • 140k
88 votes
10 answers
13k views

How do you photograph rain?

What are recommended settings for my Nikon Coolpix P1 to best portray rain? Here's what I got. No retouching was applied. The picture I took when the rain was heavy with the automatic settings: The ...
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  • 989
87 votes
6 answers
44k views

What is "angle of view" in photography?

I read on the Lens Buying Guide @ neocamera: Focal-length determines the angle-of-view seen through a lens for a given sensor-size. With a full-frame sensor a lens gives the same angle-of-view ...
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  • 7,746
86 votes
4 answers
15k views

What historic reasons are there for common aspect ratios?

The most common width to height ratio rates in the "old good" paper photography seems to be 3:2, which was adopted by today's DSLRs. Early (non-professional) digital cameras adopted 4:3 aspect ratio, ...
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84 votes
11 answers
7k views

How much do lens lineups vary across DSLR platforms?

I was reading this question and recalled how often I hear the advice "choose your lenses and then choose the body that matches" in the context of deciding on a camera platform (Nikon/Canon/Pentax/Sony,...
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  • 10.7k
84 votes
11 answers
26k views

How should I photograph falling snow?

We don't get much snow in the UK, so I don't have much experience photographing it, and when I tried photographing falling snow last year I found it very hard to capture the snowflakes in the air — ...
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83 votes
4 answers
84k 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?
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83 votes
4 answers
9k views

Is it worth trying to process film shot in 1989? (Fall of the Berlin Wall)

The "Can I develop my b&w film a year after shooting it?" question got me to thinking... I have some film, both B&W and colo(u)r, which I shot the night the Berlin Wall fell at Checkpoint ...
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82 votes
8 answers
39k views

Do fluorescent lighting and shutter speed create a problem with color cast?

I took a bunch of photos at my son's martial arts club using a D90 with a 50mm F1.8. The club is lit with overhead fluorescent lighting, and I was getting some weird results where some shots are "...
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  • 5,035
81 votes
13 answers
7k 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 ...
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  • 11.6k
79 votes
16 answers
20k views

What advantages does manual mode have over aperture priority mode?

I'm wondering what are the most compelling reasons to switch to manual mode on my DSLR. I mostly just use aperture priority mode so I have good control over the depth of field combined with an ...
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78 votes
6 answers
60k views

How do I generate high quality prints with an ink jet printer?

Creating high-quality photo prints using an ink jet printer is no trivial matter. Depending on the tonal range and color depth desired and the expected viewing platform, how you approach printing may ...
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  • 69.1k
78 votes
7 answers
470k views

How do I convert lens focal length (mm) to x-times optical zoom?

What is the rule to convert the 'mm' notation to the 'optical zoom' notation? I searched a bit and found this one: optical zoom = maximum focal length / minimum focal length For example a 18-55mm ...
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  • 2,146
76 votes
16 answers
31k views

Is it lenses which make your photographs, not camera bodies?

I read somewhere on this site itself that you should spend more on your lenses and less on your camera bodies. Is it a myth or a fact that mostly it is the lenses which make your photographs not the ...
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76 votes
15 answers
18k views

How does one focus for landscape photos in very dark conditions?

Tonight I tried my best to take some night landscapes in the darkest of dark conditions. Hoping for an epic composition of the Milky Way and a landmark. Of course, none of my glass could auto focus ...
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75 votes
23 answers
8k views

What kind of photography is still better done with film cameras?

Are there any kind of photography left today which digital cameras are still in the disadvantage to film cameras?
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  • 2,889
75 votes
21 answers
145k views

How do I set the proper exposure for nighttime moon photos?

All my attempts to get a good shot of the full moon with my DSLR result in an overexposed circle on a black background. I've tried using a tripod, remote shutter release, low ISO, and long exposure, ...
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  • 853
72 votes
7 answers
9k views

What am I photographing INSIDE my camera?

I've been experimenting with low light photography. I've photographed something weird inside my camera and don't really know what it is. This is the image initially taken... Seems inoccuious enough....
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72 votes
7 answers
23k views

How is ISO implemented in digital cameras?

If I change the ISO settings on my camera, obviously the gain of the system is increased, amplifying the signal from the sensor. What's not clear to me is where the amplification takes place. I see ...
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  • 12.2k
70 votes
14 answers
14k views

Is there any significant difference between Nikon and Canon?

I'm considering purchasing a DSLR for the first time here in the next couple of months. The two "big boys" seem to be Canon and Nikon. I've looked at both companies, and I can't really see significant ...
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  • 3,310
70 votes
14 answers
5k views

When is black and white likely to enhance an image?

I recently had a play with converting some images to black and white to see how that changed the image. Some baby photos came out particularly well, while others I tried seemed less interesting when ...
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70 votes
12 answers
90k 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 ...
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  • 1,393
70 votes
11 answers
13k views

Are there any downsides to using a good-quality UV filter?

Are there any real downsides to using a UV filter? I know that a poor quality UV filter can effect image quality ... but, assuming I use a good quality UV filter, will that actually be an issue? Is ...
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  • 1,729
69 votes
9 answers
70k views

What is the 'Golden Ratio' and why is it better than the 'Rule of Thirds?'

Somebody recently told me that I will be able to compose more pleasing pictures if I use the Golden Ratio instead of the Rule of Thirds, and that the Rule of Thirds was an inferior way to compose ...
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69 votes
6 answers
14k 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 ...
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69 votes
5 answers
11k views

What exactly determines depth of field?

There are several questions here about the definition of depth of field, about focal length, and about subject distance. And of course there's the basic how does aperture affect my photographs. And ...
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  • 140k
69 votes
17 answers
9k views

Where can I find reviews of lenses?

I want to check reviews when deciding to buy a lens. There are so many factors beyond what is written in the name. Where can I find such reviews? What information does each site cover? Which reviews ...
68 votes
9 answers
8k views

Why do some lenses cost 10 times as much when the specs are very close?

For example, a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens is about US$110, while another Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens is about 14 times as expensive, at about $1450. Is the 1.8 or 1.2 the main reason for the price difference? ...
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68 votes
7 answers
23k views

What is a "diffraction limit"?

I've seen the term used, but what is a "diffraction limit", when should I worry about it, and what undesirable effects are a result of it ?
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  • 26k
68 votes
4 answers
153k views

What does f-stop mean?

What does f-stop mean? Is it the same thing when people say "2 stops" for example?
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  • 5,956
68 votes
6 answers
22k views

How to make female chest look bigger?

When photographing women they often want the chest to appear as big as possible. I tried with light coming from different positions but was not satisfied with the results. Are there any tricks to ...
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  • 1,120

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