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38 votes
12 answers
13k views

Are equipment reviews from websites like kenrockwell.com and bythom.com reliable?

I know that nothing helps more when buying a lens to test it out yourself, but getting more than one perspective is also helpful. In particular, I run into Kenrockwell.com a lot when trying to get ...
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38 votes
8 answers
11k views

Why do people recommend 50mm or other prime lenses as starting lenses for learning photography?

I've seen quite a few people recommend the 50mm prime lenses, in particular the sub-$100 50mm/f1.8, as a starting lens for photographers (especially because they're likely to be using cameras with ...
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  • 4,495
38 votes
3 answers
6k views

How to reproduce a photo with silhouette and bokeh?

I recently found a photo with a silhouette and bokeh at DSLR vs Mirrorless: Wedding Photographer's review. The subjects are as dark as the background, there is only a rim light shaping their heads. I ...
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  • 543
38 votes
7 answers
14k 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 ...
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  • 2,435
38 votes
6 answers
2k 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 ...
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  • 26.1k
38 votes
3 answers
6k views

How can I show a slope? Even mountain roads appear flat in my photos

During a bicycle trip, I wanted to take a pic to show how sharp the slope was (about 20%). The same applies downhill. See below, the viewer can't really tell whether it is downhill or flat or uphill: ...
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38 votes
9 answers
33k 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 ...
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  • 26.1k
37 votes
6 answers
10k views

Image rejected by Shutterstock because the main subject is out of focus and it contains noise

I am a student learning doing photography as a hobby, I came across shutterstock and heard it is a way of making money by contributing and selling your images. My first image was rejected with reasons ...
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  • 371
37 votes
11 answers
13k 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 ...
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  • 569
37 votes
6 answers
29k views

How to have colors in Milky-way?

Many photos of Milky-way show it in nice colors instead of just the black of sky and white of the stars. Is the key to having those colors in the capturing of the image or in the post processing, or ...
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  • 5,919
37 votes
13 answers
14k 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 ...
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  • 3,270
37 votes
5 answers
22k 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 ...
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  • 1,152
37 votes
3 answers
4k 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.
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37 votes
6 answers
8k 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 ...
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  • 4,894
37 votes
3 answers
10k views

Why is "The Steerage" hailed "one of the greatest photographs of all time"?

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Steerage: The Steerage is a photograph taken by Alfred Stieglitz in 1907. It has been hailed as one of the greatest photographs of all time because it captures ...
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  • 481
37 votes
3 answers
5k views

When you zoom in with a lens on an SLR why does the lens go in then out?

I guess this is more a question of optics than photography but I just got an SLR with a basic 18-55 lens. I noticed that when going from 18 to 55 or 55 to 18 the lens physically comes back in and ...
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  • 513
37 votes
12 answers
114k views

Is there a software to automatically crop a scan of multiple images?

I want to digitize my old family albums using a scanner and there are lots of photos in them. Thus far, my method has been to scan 4 images at a time and then manually cropping them in a simple editor ...
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  • 4,495
37 votes
3 answers
11k 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 ...
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  • 45.7k
37 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why do flashes make a whistling sound when recycling?

When recycling, some flashes make a whistling sound, going from low to high frequency for a few seconds. After a more intensive flash, the sound is more intense as well. What is the source of this ...
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37 votes
4 answers
97k views

What is back-focusing?

What is back-focusing? Is it something I need to be worried about, or can I just live with it? How can I tell if my camera/lens is sufferring from it?
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  • 2,987
37 votes
4 answers
4k views

How do I interpret an MTF Chart?

As part of how Canon (and other lens makers) give technical information about their lenses, they supply an MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) chart. How do I read and interpret what the chart is ...
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  • 18.4k
37 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
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  • 11.6k
36 votes
8 answers
28k views

Technically, why is the out of focus area blurred more when using a bigger aperture?

I'm wondering, technically, why and how does the out of focus areas blur more when using a bigger aperture. I think it'd help a lot if I presented a problem that's been driving me nuts for a long time:...
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  • 2,573
36 votes
10 answers
4k 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 ...
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  • 463
36 votes
9 answers
61k 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?
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  • 3,849
36 votes
8 answers
16k 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 ...
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  • 781
36 votes
13 answers
10k views

Should I be shooting in RAW even though I'm a beginner that doesn't know how to retouch photos yet?

I am a beginner, should I still be shooting RAW?
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36 votes
12 answers
16k views

How can I take shallow depth of field photos with a point-and-shoot camera?

I have a compact digital camera, and in macro mode I can manage to achieve a blurred background, if the background is far enough away. Can this be done when taking non-macro pictures, and if not, is ...
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36 votes
6 answers
8k 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 ...
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  • 1,749
36 votes
7 answers
22k 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 ...
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  • 1,818
36 votes
8 answers
10k views

Why are there no dark yellows, or bright violets?

In his book The Photographer's Eye, photographer and author Michael Freeman says: Another consideration is relative brightness. Different hues are perceived as having different light values, with ...
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  • 140k
36 votes
4 answers
7k views

How can I use my dSLR or mirrorless camera as a webcam?

I'm primarily a stills photographer with some great interchangeable lens camera gear. But now in 2020, I find myself needing a webcam for video conferencing under lockdown. I'm frustrated by the lack ...
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  • 49.2k
36 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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  • 21k
36 votes
8 answers
4k views

How does one develop good photographic vision and style?

I am a relatively new photographer. I've only owned my Canon Rebel XSi for a year, however I was researching SLR/DSLR camera gear and photographic theory for over a year before I purchased a DSLR. I ...
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  • 69.2k
36 votes
11 answers
5k 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 ...
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  • 615
36 votes
13 answers
15k views

Better to buy an older high-level camera or newer entry-level camera?

What are the pros and cons of buying an older higher-level camera if the price is about the same as a new entry-level one?
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  • 361
36 votes
7 answers
269k views

Is GPU or CPU more important for Photoshop and Lightroom?

I'm looking to buy a laptop (for a spare) and I'm not ready to spend the amount I did on my first one. The machine will only be used for photo editing. Should I go for the dedicated graphics card or ...
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  • 1,021
36 votes
4 answers
8k views

How do you find out the "sweet spot" of a lens?

I've tried googling this, but have never found a satisfactory answer. I've heard the term "sweet spot" thrown around by some photographers to mean the f-stop of a lens which results in the highest ...
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  • 1,869
36 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is "bokeh panorama" (also called the "Brenizer method")?

Somewhere I don't remember, I heard about the Brenizer method. After reading a few sites, there is no consistent information about what it is exactly, or what the procedures are to apply it, so: ...
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  • 3,161
36 votes
7 answers
4k 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, ...
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  • 1,879
36 votes
4 answers
3k 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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  • 5,018
36 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why don't they make all DSLRs with an electronic shutter?

Why don't they make all DSLRs with an electronic shutter? Is it technically possible? Surely this would allow easier syncing with flashes (rather than the usual 1/200s or 1/250s max). I could even ...
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  • 5,956
35 votes
9 answers
13k 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 (...
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  • 351
35 votes
18 answers
3k views

What software is focused on reviewing and organizing images?

If I wanted to just view, sort, and organize (via tags or folders or both), what programs are geared toward doing this quickly? I know I could do this in most any photo editor, but it's not ideal for ...
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35 votes
15 answers
13k 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 ...
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  • 12.2k
35 votes
5 answers
2k 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)?
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35 votes
10 answers
26k views

Why is 18% grey considered to be in the middle for photography?

I heard someone (a photographer) say recently that 18% grey is half way between black and white, not 50%. This seemed a bit illogical to me, and when I asked her why, she said she didn't know. After ...
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35 votes
8 answers
28k views

Is there any practical difference between saving at 300ppi or 72ppi?

I often see statements in discussions about web displayed image quality that go something like this: "I only upload pictures at 72 dpi and 1200 pixels on the long edge, so if someone copies and prints ...
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  • 168k
35 votes
12 answers
5k views

What situations are best suited for spot metering?

I have found myself using spot metering on several occasions in order to get the right exposure, such as sunsets and on bright days with a subject in the shade. What other situations are well suited ...
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  • 23.2k
35 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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