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57 votes
Accepted

What makes this interior photo look unrealistic?

Certainly the biggest factor is the dynamic range processing. The room is so bright, and shares the same color temperature as the outdoors daylight lighting. Yet the shadows in the balcony and near ...
scottbb's user avatar
  • 32.9k
43 votes
Accepted

How were pictures turned from film to a big picture in a picture frame before digital scanning?

Going from negative film to a printed image is a two-step process. First, the negative is developed — the latent image on the film brought out and then fixed in place. Now you have a piece of ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
43 votes

How to check if a photo is edited (even basic edits like exposure and white balance)?

Being slightly harsh, competition rules like that show that the organisers don't really understand how modern cameras work. A very high level and simplified view of how a camera makes a image (JPEG): ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
32 votes

Multiple copies of the same exposure, but randomizing the noise?

To achieve what you're thinking of you would have to know what the noise was. If you knew what the noise was then you could just remove that to get clean images.
James Snell's user avatar
  • 9,709
32 votes

Can I post-process this out of focus image?

Yes of course it can be post processed. It might make it “better.” But it will never make it the picture you wish it was. The good news is that there will be other snakes on other days. Plenty of ...
Bob Macaroni McStevens's user avatar
30 votes
Accepted

Why did my ND filter produce washed out exposures?

You've got the sun almost in the frame. This is causing huge amounts of veiling flare — light bouncing all around, reducing contrast. You'll get better results from a different angle, or at a ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
27 votes

What's the biggest difference between these two photos of large animals?

Short answer because there are many good explanations already: The brightest part of your picture is the background. The brightest part of the second picture is the subject.
Eric Duminil's user avatar
  • 2,273
25 votes

What makes this interior photo look unrealistic?

The thing that sets off the alarm is the perfectly bright and uniform lighting in the room, especially on its ceiling. The room should be quite dark, since the sun is on the other side of the building ...
xenoid's user avatar
  • 21.5k
25 votes
Accepted

What are ways to record who took the pictures if a camera is used by multiple people?

There isn't really any surefire way, other than meticulous bookkeeping, or following consistent habits. Some ideas: Use your mobile phone to take images of the rear LCD info page showing the file ...
scottbb's user avatar
  • 32.9k
24 votes
Accepted

What type of postprocessing gives the effect of people standing out against a flat-seeming background?

I'd guess it's as simple as selecting the subject in Photoshop - with a tad more care & attention than I've used below, then leeching out the saturation in the background & tonally balancing ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 23.4k
23 votes
Accepted

What type of editing is necessary to achieve this type of watch photo?

To me, it is just that you dial is over-exposed, easy to fix with the Curves tool of your editor: In other cases, just using the contrast tool could be easier, but here this would blow out the ...
xenoid's user avatar
  • 21.5k
22 votes

What makes this interior photo look unrealistic?

The focus seems too even to me.  I would expect a photo taken to have something blurrier, either in the foreground or background.
Erik Eidt's user avatar
  • 321
21 votes
Accepted

Could someone help me identify what this piece of film might be used for

There's one most likely choice for the origin and application of this transparency, and a second somewhat less likely one. The likeliest (because of the tape on the edges) is that this was a ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 7,140
20 votes

What's the biggest difference between these two photos of large animals?

There is an additional element not taken into account in other answers: Color grading. First, let us compare the two histograms. Here is the kitty one. And here is your photo's histogram. As you can ...
Rafael's user avatar
  • 25k
20 votes

How can I make the milky way more apparent in my photos?

Using the Curves tool in your favorite image editor:
xenoid's user avatar
  • 21.5k
19 votes

Multiple copies of the same exposure, but randomizing the noise?

Image stacking works to reduce noise because the noise is random — or at least, ideally so — while the stars are (famously) constant. That means that (once you've corrected for rotation) the stars ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
19 votes
Accepted

Solve unwanted white "waves" and "Pacman squares" in low-light picture - post using Google Photos

This is known as "banding". Dark parts in the picture have a small range of values (in a JPG, you only have 256 values per color), when you lighten them, you increase the gap between consecutive ...
xenoid's user avatar
  • 21.5k
18 votes

While shooting in RAW, do you have to post-process it to make the picture look good?

From what I understand of your question, you're asking whether a Straight Out Of Camera (SOOC) RAW file should be edited to look "good". The short answer is "Yes, it should go through post-processing"...
Hurst Gannon's user avatar
18 votes

How were pictures turned from film to a big picture in a picture frame before digital scanning?

I thought an illustration would be helpful. It's the same principle as an overhead projector, another mostly obsolete piece of technology: Where instead of textbook text on a transparency, the ...
user151841's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Hardware / post for crisp sunrise

[SAFETY WARNING: You should never image the sun with anything approaching a telephoto lens when it is more than about 10° above the horizon without a solar filter that not only protects against ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
17 votes

Are there standards for 5 star rating scales of photos?

There is no absolute standard, nor is there any standard that is generally applicable or generally accepted. There are certainly certain situations where specific systems are used — your example list ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
17 votes
Accepted

Are there standards for 5 star rating scales of photos?

There are no standards as much of it is subjective. Even though I consider myself to be very rigorous, I find that there is a drift over time. This the intention of my rating system: The 3-star ...
Itai's user avatar
  • 103k
17 votes

How to check if a photo is edited (even basic edits like exposure and white balance)?

Submissions for these types of contests, and even some news agencies, require photos to be submitted as straight-from-camera JPEG files, not as exports of RAW images. This is usually enough to satisfy ...
scottbb's user avatar
  • 32.9k
15 votes

Why did my ND filter produce washed out exposures?

Why did my ND filter produce washed out exposures? You're shooting straight into the sun with a dirty, unshaded, and flat surface on the front of your lens. The image demonstrates all three classic ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
15 votes

How can I make the milky way more apparent in my photos?

Amateur astronomer here. Most images of the Milky Way we see around are the results of multiple exposures combined in Photoshop or another image-editing software. However, it is indeed possible to get ...
Pierre Paquette's user avatar
14 votes

While shooting in RAW, do you have to post-process it to make the picture look good?

Raw data must always be converted in one way or another for it to be a viewable image at all. When you open a raw file using any image viewer application you are not viewing the raw image (because ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
14 votes

What are ways to record who took the pictures if a camera is used by multiple people?

Nikon D3400 (and, I assume, other models) lets you select the active folder to store files in. Just change folders when you change photographers. More generally, you can use two memory cards and ...
Pete Becker's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Why do people care about vignetting or distortion?

There are three major considerations that make lenses with less distortion, vignetting, or any other "correctable" aberrations more desirable for many photographers than correcting later in ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
13 votes

Why do people care about vignetting or distortion?

Those have completely different impact. Vignetting Vignetting is a darkening of the corners or edges which depends on aperture and focal-length. In order to correct this in software, pixels around ...
Itai's user avatar
  • 103k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible