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67
votes
8answers
5k 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?
67
votes
7answers
22k 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 ?
67
votes
5answers
30k views

How to get the best results for landscape and stars photographs?

I'm leaving for holidays tomorrow, and there's a good chance that I'll be able to be by night on a field with no artificial light around, and no moon in the sky. I'd love to take some picture of the ...
67
votes
5answers
4k views

How to compose flowering plants?

Consider the following image: Now this is a golden opportunity! A cherry tree in full bloom! And it has pink blooms, not those boring white ones. And today it's a bright, sunny day, the sky is a ...
66
votes
14answers
10k views

Why are SLR mechanisms still prevalent among high-end digital cameras?

I understand that back in the days when cameras captured images using photographic film instead of image sensors, the SLR design was a major innovation. It let you see through the viewfinder exactly ...
65
votes
11answers
26k views

Are there reasons to use colour filters with digital cameras?

Digital photos can have colour filters applied after the fact by software, so are there any good reasons to use colour filters with a digital camera? As I understand it, the main reason for them ...
64
votes
27answers
4k views

What is something you learned recently about your gear that you wish you discovered earlier?

I'm playing with my old XTi with a new travel lens, Tamron 18-270mm and I'm reading the instruction sheet for the Tamron and read a section about Manual focusing and got to the small print. Even in ...
64
votes
8answers
4k views

Is watermarking worth it?

I've recently become aware that one of my photos has been used by a national newspaper beyond its licensing terms (cc-by-sa-2.5, used without the required credit), and whilst I can pursue them for ...
64
votes
6answers
6k views

How do I get started in Astrophotography?

I have a Canon 20D. I'd love to take some photos of the moon and stars. How do I get started? I've search the web and the information is sparse and cryptic. I'd like to know what equipment is the ...
62
votes
15answers
25k views

Aren't all digital images ultimately just pixel values between 0 - 255?

I have a few incredibly basic (stupid?) questions about images; specifically, image formats and pixel values. Forgive me, I'm not a photographer. I'm just someone that works with images, and to me, ...
62
votes
15answers
92k views

What tools are available for RAW image processing in Linux?

I have been taking photographs with RAW format. What tools are available for working with RAW under Linux?
62
votes
3answers
4k views

What should I pay attention to when choosing a tripod?

I am a novice in photography and my current camera (Sony alpha 230 kit) which I recently have bought is the first DSLR of mine. Soon I'd like to buy a tripod for it. Please advise me what should I ...
61
votes
15answers
115k views

Is there a free program to (batch) change photo file's date to match EXIF?

I want to specify a directory and have the software find all the photos in the directory and its sub-directories, and if they contain EXIF date/time, it sets their filesystem timestamp to match the ...
61
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there development in the world of lenses?

Now, I'm not an expert, so if this post makes you laugh, you're welcome. Still, as far as I know there are basically two components that determine the potential quality of a camera's photos: Sensor ...
60
votes
22answers
15k views

What's a good strategy for choosing which photos to keep?

Each time I upgrade my camera, the bigger file sizes (especially shooting RAW), my bigger memory cards and happier trigger finger mean that my new photos are consuming way more space. I even have a ...
60
votes
7answers
22k views

Why don't most cameras support PNG format?

I prefer PNG format to JPG, because JPG uses lossy compression. When I capture a screen in my PC or scan a picture or document in my scanner, I always save them as PNG format. If a camera could ...
60
votes
6answers
12k views

What makes this interior photo look unrealistic?

I have a photo that was taken by a third-party photographer (i.e. I was not the one who postprocessed it). I've been told by a number of people that this photo looks unrealistic, more like a computer-...
60
votes
4answers
77k views

What is moiré? How can we avoid it?

What is the image defect called "moiré"? What causes it, and how can we avoid or reduce it? Is it related to "false color"?
59
votes
17answers
4k views

What are the first few photography books someone should read? [closed]

The books that helped me most initially were the Bryan Peterson books and more recently the Joe McNally books. Both of these working photographers give a lot of honest and helpful examples. These ...
59
votes
8answers
64k views

Why do pro photographers use huge lenses to take portrait shots?

Every time I see a photoshoot video on youtube, the photographers have the biggest lenses I have ever seen in my life to shoot portraits or full-body shots. For example, the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 ...or ...
59
votes
4answers
18k views

What's the difference between saturation and vibrance in Lightroom?

Both options affect colors in a similar way, but I can't figure out the difference.
59
votes
4answers
8k 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!
58
votes
1answer
19k views

Are "Windows Photo Viewer" rotations lossless?

Can I rotate lossily compressed photos that I view in Windows Photo Viewer without worrying about losing even more information to compression?
57
votes
9answers
143k views

What is aperture, and how does it affect my photographs?

How does aperture affect my photographs? Why should I care about the aperture with which a photo was taken?
57
votes
4answers
22k views

Who, or what, is an "Uncle Bob"?

I've heard people complaining about "Uncle Bob" taking pictures at events. From context, it sounds like Uncle Bob is an annoying guy with a camera? What is an "Uncle Bob"? What is the background of ...
57
votes
8answers
44k 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 ...
57
votes
8answers
38k 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 ...
56
votes
7answers
26k views

Why are Red, Green, and Blue the primary colors of light?

Colors don't have to be a mixture of red, green, and blue because visible light can be any wavelengths in the 390nm-700nm range. Do primary colors really exist in the real world? Or did we select red, ...
56
votes
9answers
18k views

Manual photography cheat sheet — where can I find one, or what should be on it?

I have been trying to shoot more in manual modes (both camera and flash). At this point, I understand all the concepts, but all the adjustments slow me down. I'd like to have a "cheat sheet" with ...
56
votes
5answers
24k views

What methods can be used to micro-adjust autofocus of a camera body to a particular lens?

I have a Canon 7D with a 50mm f/1.4 lens, and I think the auto-focus of the lens is off. How can I test and adjust this reliably? Will this approach work with all of my lenses? If I had a different ...
56
votes
3answers
51k views

What is the difference between a pentaprism and a pentamirror?

Higher-end SLR cameras include a pentaprism to transmit the image from the lens to the viewfinder, whereas lower-end SLR cameras use a pentamirror to accomplish the same task. What are the ...
56
votes
14answers
317k views

Is camera flash actually harmful to infants or newborns?

I just got a new off-camera flash, and the instruction manual says: Never fire the flash unit closer than 1 meter from infants. This was a little startling to me, since one of the main reasons I ...
56
votes
4answers
8k views

Why aren't all viewfinders 100%?

We often see that a manufacturer's high-end (D)SLR models offer a "100% viewfinder," which shows the entire exposed frame, and allows precise composition with regard to objects near the edge of the ...
55
votes
11answers
310k views

What can be done using a 18-55mm lens?

I have a Canon EOS 1000D with 18-55mm kit lens (entry level, as many say). Whenever I go out for a shoot, I always end up feeling handicapped because of the limited zoom range. Most of my friends ...
54
votes
10answers
108k 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)
54
votes
2answers
49k 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 ...
54
votes
4answers
13k views

Why is a dark-room safelight safe?

I'm no expert in darkroom photography, but it seems a little odd that there is a type of light that doesn't affect film or developing paper etc. The only way that I could think to explain it is: The ...
54
votes
23answers
40k views

How can I backup my RAW photos while travelling without Internet access?

This question seems similar to this one, but my needs are different : I shoot in RAW exclusively I'm looking for a 100% offline solution: while traveling, Internet won't be accessible the "laptop" ...
54
votes
20answers
13k views

Where to get community-based feedback on my photos online?

Where can I post my photos and get reviews, comments, and critiques from the community, in order to learn to become a better photographer? Here is a list of places to get feedback. Please use answer ...
54
votes
5answers
2k views

What should I look for in a monitor for photo processing?

What aspects should one keep in mind when choosing monitor for photo processing? What about color gamut, panel types, input types, requirements for video card, different gammas, refresh rate, angle of ...
52
votes
7answers
189k views

Is there a general formula for image size vs. print size?

What size images do I need for common print sizes, such as wallet size, 8x10, and 16x20? Is there a general formula? How could that size change if, for example, a 16x20 was printed on canvas rather ...
52
votes
15answers
131k views

Which software to assemble a time-lapse from images?

I own a Nikon D700, which has in-camera support for taking time-lapse photos, but I need advice on the easiest and best software solutions for processing the resulting heap of images. I accept that ...
52
votes
8answers
10k views

Do megapixels matter with modern sensor technology?

Are more megapixels good? Are more megapixels bad? Do more megapixels increase detail? Do they make my images sharper? On the other side, is there a point that is too much? Do megapixels cause ...
51
votes
8answers
14k views

Why is the 50mm prime lens the most standard?

Seems that most photographers choose the 50mm as their prime lens (at least from what I've read). I'm looking at getting a prime lens for my Nikon D3000 and the cost difference between the 35mm 1.8 ...
50
votes
16answers
23k views

Which tools are good for creating panoramas/stitching multiple photos?

Can anyone recommend some good tools for creating panoramas from multiple photos. (Free and commercial) Personally I use either Windows and Ubuntu, but I'm not fussy, suggestions for other platforms ...
50
votes
5answers
15k views

How can one learn to shoot with both eyes open, and what are the advantages?

Greg made an intriguing comment in this answer (emphasis mine): One of the things we're supposed to do when we're shooting is keep both eyes open; That helps avoid fatigue from shooting for hours, ...
50
votes
3answers
12k views

Why do photo cameras lose focus when you zoom, when movie or TV cameras keep it?

In photo cameras, i.e. (D)SLRs, digital cameras, etc., when you focus on an object and then you zoom (in or out), the object gets out of focus. On the other hand, in movie or TV cameras, the focus is ...
50
votes
5answers
11k views

What's the difference between CCD and CMOS image sensors?

I keep reading articles about CCD vs CMOS image sensors. What is the difference between these two types? What exactly do these sensors do in terms of photography? Is a CCD-based camera going to be ...
50
votes
8answers
8k views

What is the best way to synchronize Adobe Lightroom databases between two computers?

What is the best way to synchronize Adobe Lightroom databases between two computers (a desktop and a laptop)? I'd like to be able to edit photos on either machine, and preferably not copy the whole 3+...
49
votes
3answers
9k views

What image-quality 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 ...

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