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 ...
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  • 31k
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): ...
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42 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 ...
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  • 140k
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.
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  • 9,430
31 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 ...
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29 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 ...
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  • 140k
28 votes
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If I want to shoot darker shots, is it better to increase the lighting and then darken in post to retain clarity?

The look you are going for is known as low key lighting. It is not necessary for the room to be dark. You just need to put enough light on your subject that there is a large enough difference between ...
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  • 167k
25 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to change depth of field in RAW images?

No - the aperture is set by the physical blades in the lens when you take the photo; a RAW "image" contains the readings from the sensor when the photo was taken, so there's no way you can go back and ...
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  • 19.7k
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 ...
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  • 16.1k
25 votes

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 ...
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  • 31k
25 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.
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  • 2,064
24 votes
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How do I take flattering photos of people with acne (scarring)?

Usually, people are aware that they have it, but don't want it to be so pronounced. If you can use Gimp, there is a plugin called Wavelet decompose. In this site there is some information on how to ...
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24 votes
Accepted

Extract reflections from photo in Photoshop for use later?

Simply select and copy the screen/glare you want to overlay, and paste it to a new layer. Set the Blending Mode to Hard Light. Then paste in your product image in a new layer and place it underneath ...
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24 votes
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How could I have counteracted purple lighting?

You need to adjust for the color temperature of the light source. Additionally. when the light source is of such a limited spectrum as appears to be the case here, you need to add more light that ...
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  • 167k
24 votes
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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 ...
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  • 19.6k
21 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.
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  • 311
20 votes

How could I have counteracted purple lighting?

In case there are multiple crazy lights casting different tones from different directions; you only have JPEGs; or you just need a quick solution, an easy way to fix color cast is to go for black ...
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  • 31.1k
20 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 ...
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  • 5,805
19 votes

If I want to shoot darker shots, is it better to increase the lighting and then darken in post to retain clarity?

Just because the image is mostly black doesn't mean the scene is dark. With a flash positioned on the left pointing at the subject (he's facing the flash) and a black backdrop you could possibly even ...
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  • 8,334
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 ...
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  • 140k
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 ...
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  • 16.1k
18 votes

How could I have counteracted purple lighting?

I think I would have used flash to overpower the extreme purple. But sometimes you can't do that, which can mean a lot of work in post. Here is what I would do in lightroom or photoshop camera raw. ...
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  • 1,351
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 ...
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  • 167k
17 votes

How can I avoid circular banding artifacts in clear skies when de-noising?

I actually wouldn't describe what you're seeing as a halo artifact. It seems to me to be posterization — there just aren't enough tones to smoothly represent the gradient of the sky. It just happens ...
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  • 140k
17 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"...
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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 ...
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  • 140k
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 ...
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  • 101k
17 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 ...
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17 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, the color grading. First, let us compare the two histograms. Here is the kitty one. And here is your photo's As you can see, ...
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