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#67 Embedding Instagram Images

Posted by Photographa on 02 December 2013 - 04:02 PM

Many of us use Instagram, so I'd like to show you all a way to share Instagram photos on our forum.


All you need to do is find the public share URL of a photo (you can do this from your phone or from Instagram.com) and embed it in media tags like below. 


The result is:


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#236 Graphics Tablet

Posted by fantanoice on 28 December 2013 - 11:07 PM

These great machines allows you to edit your photography on the computer using Adobe Photoshop. They allow editing whether it be taking out the background and adding a black n white themed effect.


Personally I find them a very useful tool and defiantly any photographer should have without a doubt, as they are becoming far more accessible as the price becomes lower.


Well, that's not exactly what they do. They basically replace your computer's mouse with something shaped like a pen and paper, making it simpler to do artist work on the computer for people who prefer traditional methods.


My parents gave me one in my early teenage years but I was an idiot at the time and it got broken somehow (don't remember how). What sucks is that I now want one so that I can do proper illustrations and stuff on the computer because I love drawing freehand (basically the only way I can draw).


As for editing photos, I probably wouldn't use one for that. I'm too used to using my mouse!



I wonder if the iPad will replace traditional graphics tablets in the future. There's already lots of iPad-made art out there, and just recently I remember reading about new styluses coming out that would make it even easier to draw on an iPad.


Not yet, the iPad screens aren't sensitive or precise enough to replace a Wacom / graphics tablet. However, the Samsung Galaxy Note phones and I *think* the Samsung Galaxy Tabs both use Wacom screens, so they are effectively graphics tablets themselves.

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#134 Light Painting Procedure

Posted by Photographa on 21 December 2013 - 03:52 PM

Painting with light basically describes the process of using a long shutter speed and controlled lighting to create artistic blur.


When the camera shutter is open, the sensor on your camera collects light. When it's dark, the shutter can stay open for longer so that it can collect more light from the environment and produce a brighter, more detailed photo.


If you're in a dark street, you can set the camera on something stable (a tripod works best) and take a photo of a subject with a light source using a slow shutter (the shutter will stay open for longer), and if the subject moves the light source (a flashlight or sparkler works well), the light source will appear to blur (it'll look like a line of light in the photo).


For creative light-painting photos, you'll want a shutter that can stay open at least 3-5 seconds (if you want a group to write or draw something). You can go above or below this as you wish. When you've found a good shutter speed that works for whatever you're trying to draw, you can adjust your aperture and ISO to allow your photo to be decently exposed.


I'd recommend an ISO of 200 - 400 for light painting photographs. This will reduce noise in the photo and can give you enough brightness.


Your aperture will vary based on how bright your scene is and how long you want to keep the shutter open. A constricted aperture will allow your shutter to be open for longer periods of time (and in brighter areas), but if you want a quick drawing with a faster shutter, or if you're in a darker area, you can open up the aperture a bit.


Anything that light shines on will show up in your photo. If you have something backlit in the background (such as city lights) and a person who isn't lit walks in front of the lights and then steps away the photo will seem as if the person never walked there. If you have a group of people with flashlights pointed in the direction of the camera, and if they're not lit up, they won't be visible in the photo, but the flashlight light will be.


If you'd like to have your light artists visible in your photo, but you don't want them blurred, you can keep them as dark as possible (and moving quickly if there's light in the background), and you can fire a quick flash at the end of your shot to expose them without blurring them. (Background lights will also be visible well if you do this.)


Play around with it and see what you can do!

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#12 Manual Photography Guide for Beginners

Posted by Photographa on 15 November 2013 - 03:42 PM

Fully manual photography opens up an exciting world of creativity. This concise guide will teach you the basics from which you can build on for remarkable photos in specific scenes.


The most critical concept to understand is how photos can be affected by light. There are three adjustments you can make to adjust how light enters and is processed by your camera-


ISO adjusts your camera’s light sensitivity.

A more sensitive sensor (or film) can capture more light faster (a bright picture can be taken in less time), but a more sensitive sensor also produces more unwanted grain. A less sensitive sensor produces clearer pictures but needs a bigger aperture or slower shutter to produce the same picture, since more light needs to hit the camera sensor for the same result. Light sensitivity increases as the ISO number increases.


Aperture adjusts the amount light entering camera.

The aperture is the opening on your lens which controls the amount of light entering the lens and hitting the sensor. A larger aperture opening allows more light to enter, allowing for a faster shutter speed and/or lower ISO. A smaller aperture opening allows for greater depth-of-field and slower shutter speeds to capture motion blur.


Shutter Speed adjusts exposure time

The shutter speed is the amount of time that light is allowed to strike the camera sensor for a certain photo. Fast shutter speeds can capture an instant in time, whereas slower shutter speeds can be used for creative motion blur.


So how does it all come together?


When you enter the world of manual photography, you open up your creativity by controlling the settings you want. Most cameras will let you shoot in four different manual [exposure] modes: P (Programmed Auto), A (Aperture Priority), S (Shutter Priority), and M (Full Manual).


Programmed Auto is a nearly-automatic mode to photograph with. The camera chooses your shutter speed and aperture for you (and shows you which settings it chose so you can learn from it), and allows you to set your ISO and exposure compensation. Exposure compensation can be set with (+/-) buttons on your camera and is used to make photos brighter or darker by changing the aperture and shutter speed – pay attention to how your camera changes aperture and shutter speed change to create brighter and dimmer photos and you’ll be on your way to learning full manual.


Aperture Priority is an exposure mode which allows you to choose your own aperture and ISO and allow the camera to select a shutter speed for you. This is a fantastic mode to use when trying to be creative with depth of field; a larger aperture opening creates a more shallow depth of field, and a smaller aperture opening creates a larger depth of field. Keep in mind that a smaller aperture will need a slower shutter to get the same amount of light to the sensor, and remember that lower numbers (f/2.8, f/4) are larger openings than higher fractions with higher denominators (f/16).


Shutter Priority is an exposure mode which allows you to choose your own shutter speed and ISO and allow the camera to select an aperture for you. This mode is great when switching between shots where you want to freeze time and shots where you need motion blur. Depth of field will vary in these photos since the aperture will be set dynamically depending on the shutter speed and light conditions.

ISO can be set manually or left up to the camera to set in a certain range in any of these modes. A higher ISO will increase the sensitivity of the sensor, which means that a photo can be taken faster, but will also include more grain. ISO varies greatly depending on the type of shot you’re trying to take, but a general starting point would be 100 on a sunny day, 200 on a cloudy day, 400 when indoors during the day, and 800 when indoors with lights on. Always experiment before choosing an ISO for a shoot, and remember that the lower you go, the clearer your pictures, but you risk getting dim or blurry shots if not enough light reaches the sensor.


In full manual mode, you choose your shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings.

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#91 Inspiration from Sadness ?

Posted by Ashish92 on 13 December 2013 - 09:53 AM

There are numerous times in our life when we feel really sad due to something and by being really sad I mean that situation where we are just sad and not angry at all. 

While I have seen that most people like to go in the brooding mode at such times or rather prefer sleeping or isolating themselves. I made an experiment on myself


Lately whenever I have been going through such a sad time be it due to some despairing news or anything I try putting myself to work and though initially it didn't work out but soon I started noticing that my work in such times goes a notch higher in terms of quality. which in turn helps in my own mood uplift. 


Has anyone else experienced the same thing before ?

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#72 Photography Christmas Gifts

Posted by Amy on 08 December 2013 - 09:32 AM

I think an Apple Time Capsule or AirPort Extreme with a USB hard drive would make an excellent gift. It basically creates a shared network drive that you can access from any computer on the network.


Solid state storage is still limited in capacity on newer laptops and it's an extra step to always plug in a drive to work on photos, and the Time Capsule / AirPort Express takes care of those problems.

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#45 Best way to print photo's

Posted by Shortie861 on 18 November 2013 - 06:39 AM

At the moment I currently go to a professional to print my photo's, however that can be quite expensive and I am looking at possibly doing it myself however I have been looking at printers and the paper and it is all quite confusing. Does anyone here know the best kind of printer and paper to use to get professional looking photographs that I would get from a professional place? Doing them with normal paper or just picture paper and a normal printer I have attempted however the photo's never turn out the same.

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#355 Favorite Photography Apps

Posted by Collin on 17 January 2014 - 10:00 PM

I've seen this one for Android, but I can't think of the name. It turns your camera into a professional DSLR camera by letting you set the exposure settings, lighting, focus points, and more. I don't have it installed any more, but hopefully I can find it. ;)


Let me know if you guys see any good camera apps out there; I know there are many.

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#338 First Software?

Posted by Daisy on 16 January 2014 - 12:57 PM

I started with GIMP about a year ago. I didn't see the point of spending money on Photoshop, although it looks a little better, when GIMP works just as well for what I need to do.

It runs pretty well on my computer. Usually, anyone I know with Photoshop says that it runs slowly on older computers. The portable version is also useful if you're using someone else's computer.


GIMP can do almost everything Photoshop can do - and for free. But I might buy Photoshop one day, it looks useful and I'd like to have a try with it now I'm used to photo editing on GIMP.

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#331 Site Load Speed

Posted by Phos on 15 January 2014 - 08:29 PM

Page speed is huge for websites -- especially those looking to grow and maintain a large following. According to Google Developer's, "High performance web sites lead to higher visitor engagement, retention and conversions." This statement is true in every way. Having a speedy website keeps your visitors happy and they'll want to return. I'm a big advocate of tailoring a website to its audience, and one good rule of thumb for any audience: ease of use. Page speed is also factored into ease of use, because having a slow website means frustration with browsing.


Optimize, optimize, optimize. If your website is graphic-heavy and you don't want to ruin the aesthetics of it, optimize the images. Use Yahoo!'s smush.it tool, open up photoshop and downscale the resolution (but try to keep the integrity intact), and make use of CSS sprites. Don't have a site that looks fantastic but loads slowly. You'll end up losing those visitors after their first page load (or before).


There are plenty of free tools and plugins online that can help with page speed, so utilize them. If you can't yet afford to move away from shared hosting, opt for caching services such as Cloudflare's free program, or go for MaxCDN and spend an extra $5 a month having your images served across multiple servers world-wide.

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#312 Smartphones are killing camera companies

Posted by Matthew on 12 January 2014 - 06:10 PM

I agree that smart phones are beginning to dominate the camera industry. However, I don't feel it's such a terrible thing for the consumer. Unlike before, we have everything we need in one little device as opposed to carrying around an often times bulky camera. I acknowledge the fact it's ruining businesses but those businesses shouldn't have placed all their cards in only one market. Take a look at Sony, if there camera business failed, they'd have TV'a, games, software, and so much more to fall back on.
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#237 Reputation Ratings?

Posted by fantanoice on 28 December 2013 - 11:17 PM

Hey, I wasn't sure where to post this so hopefully this is the right spot. :P

I was looking at my profile and noticed my reputation rating was 'bad,' even though I am in the positive, and I got very confused. ("Oh no, did I do something wrong?") I'm guessing you need to reach a certain number before it becomes 'good', or something?

I'm wondering whether this should be reviewed. I figure if you get reputation, then you've probably done something good rather than bad, so maybe it should be changed to something more positive? Something like, 'Good start,' for instance, and then change it to something more positive the more reputation you get? Does that make sense? XD

What do you think?
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#204 Are smartphone cameras powerful?

Posted by Photographa on 28 December 2013 - 11:26 AM

Excellent question.


There's actually a lot more that goes into taking a good photo than megapixels. Megapixels only determine the resolution (size) of the photo, but there's no use to a large photo if it's blurry and noisy.


I'm assuming that your old camera is blurry and noisy. This is because it tries to cram 12 megapixels into a [probably] small sensor, so each individual pixel is tiny and can't get a lot of light. To compensate for that, the camera increases the ISO (the sensitivity to light), which increases brightness but it introduces noise.


The iPhone 5S introduced a larger sensor than the iPhone 5, but it kept the megapixels at 8. This means that each pixel can be larger, which means it'll collect more light. The sensitivity of the sensor doesn't have to be as high, so a lower ISO can be used, which reduces noise.


The iPhone 5S also uses an f/2.2 aperture. The aperture is the size of the opening between the lens and the sensor. A f/2.2 is very large, which means a lot of light can enter the camera and hit the sensor. This means that the shutter can open and close very fast and still collect all the light it needs. Older cameras will have smaller aperture openings, and they'll need to keep that shutter open for longer. The problem with holding the shutter open for a long time when you're hand-holding a camera is that even the slightest shake will introduce blur.


Getting a good photo is about a lot more than megapixels, and this is why you see photographers spending 3x more on their lenses than on their camera body. Megapixels relate to the size of an image, but almost nobody needs images the size of a billboard. We value photo clarity much more than size. Megapixels are just a good marketing term (which is why Samsung packed 12 of them into a tiny sensor on the Galaxy S4).

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#201 Are smartphone cameras powerful?

Posted by Mr.Panos on 28 December 2013 - 03:09 AM

I have been using my cell phone's camera for years, but I always have the same question. Actually, it's not a real question. Let me explain you. I own an iPhone 5S which has 8 Megapixels, and I have another professional camera which has 12 Megapixels. The problem is that my iPhone takes much better photos than the camera. I don't know why. Perhaps it is because of the age of the camera. I bought it 3 years ago. Could someone of you advise me? What should I do to "fix" the camera? Is this camera really powerful or not?
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#185 What does a bigger aperture do?

Posted by Photographa on 27 December 2013 - 01:00 AM

The iPhone 5S has a larger aperture on both the front and rear cameras.


The aperture is the opening between the lens and the camera sensor. It's a bit like a pupil in that it can constrict to have less high make it to the sensor, or it can enlarge to have more light hit the sensor.


The big deal about having a large aperture is that a large aperture will let more light hit the sensor, which is good for low-light photos. If you don't have enough light hitting the sensor, you need to either increase the sensitivity of the sensor to light (increasing the ISO - which introduces more noise into the photo) or you need to keep the shutter open for longer so more light is collected (which increases the probability that the photo will be blurred). With a large aperture, you can use a lower ISO / faster shutter to reduce the problems of those two elements in low-light situations.


Aperture also controls the depth-of-field of a photo. A large aperture has a more shallow depth-of-field, but in terms of smartphone photography this is largely irrelevant.

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#1678 Do I need a battery grip?

Posted by Photographa on 11 May 2014 - 10:52 AM

The battery grip makes is so you don't have to worry about swapping out batteries, this is very useful if you can't afford to miss a second of the action or if the situation makes it impossible to swap out batteries (when I photographed at a color-throwing festival, I had my entire camera wrapped in zip-lock bags with only the front of the lens exposed, and at an event like this with color dust flying everywhere it would be a horrible idea to swap batteries).


A grip also makes it a lot easier to shoot in portrait orientation with the dedicated shutter release and function keys.


If one is photographing a long event, it may make sense to have a charger that simultaneously charges two batteries, so two can be in the grip while two are on the charger, this makes it much more efficient to shoot at long events.


Lastly, battery grips will sometimes come with cartridges to use AA batteries in them instead of rechargeable camera batteries, which gives you more freedom with your power as you could swap a cartridge of camera batteries with a cartridge of AAs.

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#166 Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L vs. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L

Posted by Photographa on 26 December 2013 - 01:39 AM

Both lenses are of excellent quality. You can trust that Canon's L-series lenses will be top-of-the-line with respect to build quality and image quality.


Here are each lens' unique benefits:


Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L

  • You're getting an aperture that's a full F-stop larger than the f/4 on the 24-105mm. This is a huge advantage if you want to freeze motion, especially in low-light situations when you want to avoid a higher ISO. This also means that you can achieve a more shallow depth of field and create a smoother background blur.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L

  • Image Stabilization is a feature of this lens, but not on the 24-70mm. This will reduce blur from camera shake, but the 24-70mm can eliminate the blur from moving subjects in your photos (IS can't help with that) and the large aperture would allow you to shoot at a faster shutter speed, hopefully eliminating blur from camera shake.
  • 35mm more zoom.
  • 10 oz lighter, about .5" shorter.
  • Around $800 cheaper, depending on where you buy.

The choice really comes down to what you need in a lens. The 24-70mm will be superior for low-light photos and is fantastic to those who value very smooth bokeh, but the 24-105mm is a fantastic "walk-around lens." That is, it's a very versatile lens to have for many shooting situations, and it's perfect if you want a single lens on your camera that you don't switch out much. Image Stabilization is something that many photographers love because it allows them to take handheld photos at slower shutter speeds.


The choice would also heavily depend on your budget and the number of other lenses you have. There is an L-class 70-200mm F2.8 which would pair wonderfully with the 24-70mm f/2.8. If you carry both lenses and feel comfortable swapping them out when needed, you're all set for a very wide range of focal lengths and you have the benefit of a large aperture for fast shots. (The 70-200 also includes image stabilization.)


If you like the versatility of the 24-105mm f/4 L but need something for low-light situations and portraits, Canon's L-class lens lineup also includes a portrait prime lens with a large aperture for speedy shots and incredible bokeh - the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II.

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#141 What's HDR?

Posted by Photographa on 22 December 2013 - 05:42 PM

High Dynamic Range imaging is the process of increasing the range of brightness found in a scene.


When you take a photo, that photo is taken at a certain exposure level. If you were to take two photos, one after another, one with a higher ISO and one with a lower ISO, everything in the photo with the higher ISO would be brighter. The same is true if one photo were taken with a larger aperture, or if one photo were taken with a slower shutter - these photos would be brighter in every aspect.


However, what if there's a very bright spot and a very dark spot in our photo? Would we rather the bright spot turn out dimmer, or would we rather the dark spot turn out brighter?


HDR eliminates this compromise. When you capture an HDR photo, your camera captures multiple photos as fast as it can, each at different exposure levels (one brighter, one darker, etc.). Your camera's processor then merges these multiple images into one image, with the dark spots showing as a deep dark and the brightest areas remaining a vivid, bright color.


Simply put, an HRD photo is one where the range in brightness is high.

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#81 Where do you find your inspiration comes from?

Posted by Ashish92 on 10 December 2013 - 10:19 AM

Inspiration in my opinion comes when we come across something that clears our mind and soothes our feelings. 

Being a designer and having a hectic schedule I often find my mind too cluttered with ideas and it often happens that due to time constraints I need to find something that makes me feel good and inspires me in a short time. Fortunately I have a open roof in my house where we have a small garden planted by my mother and father. Whenever I feel short on inspiration or confused I just go out into the gardens, stay there quietly for half and hour or more watching the trees and just being there silently in nature's arms and soon I find myself getting inspired to get a move on. 


I believe our inspiration comes from something that makes us happy, when it comes to photography whenever I see something be it a nature related or any random thing that makes me happy I try to capture that very moment itself. 



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