B+H Photo Video

B&H Photo Video is my recommended vendor for any photography equipment. They are based in New York and have the best sales, selection, and customer service that I have experienced.

Photo Artifacts in Stock Photography Submissions

“Artifacts”

If you’ve ever submitted a photo to a stock photo site such as iStockphoto, Bigstockphoto, Fotolia, or any of the stock and microstock photo sites, then you may have heard from them that “your photo has artifacts.” But what are these “artifacts” they speak of? And, more importantly, how can you get rid of them?

Some Guidelines (from my experience)

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Expose to the Right? – NO! Go left!

Exposure

“Expose to the right” has been a popular saying and method of exposure for digital photographers for years, and it works in some cases. I’ll show you how to go the other way and make it work also. Maybe the time of “expose to the right” is almost over (in some cases). Here’s why… Continue reading

UV Filters

Does your camera have a lens on it?

Yes? You should protect it. Protect that lens by installing a UV filter (or a ‘skylight filter’ that has a slight pink cast to it).  They are not very expensive and will prevent your lens from getting scratched or, worse yet, broken. If you scratch or break the UV filter, you will be out a few dollars. But if you break your lens, it’s easily in the hundreds of dollars.

In addition to physical protection, the UV filter may help your photos by filtering UV light.  The UV filter filters – yes, you guessed it, UV light.  What is UV light?  It is the light from the sun at the upper part of the spectrum.  No, you can’t see it with your eyes.  But, yes, that camera of yours can see it just fine.  And what does nasty UV light do to your photos?  It makes them hazy if you are using a film-camera.  It increases “purple fringing” or chromatic aberration.  By using a UV filter, you will decrease haze (film cameras) and decrease “purple fringing” (chromatic aberration).

What type to use?

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Maximum Lens Sharpness – The “Sweet Spot”

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What is a lens’s “sweet spot?”

Everybody wants sharp and focused photos. You can get good sharpness near to far in a photo by hyperfocal focusing, but what are the limits of sharpness of your lens? At what aperture (f-stop value) will you get the sharpest photos? This is also known as the “sweet spot” of the lens. Here is a simple test you can do to find out where your lens is sharpest. But first, some basic rules…

General Rules for Lenses

The rules are about the same for every lens. Here are the general ones: Continue reading

How much camera do you need?

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How Much Camera Do I Really Need?

The question inevitably will come up: “How much camera do I really need?”

It’s not possible to know the answer to this unless you know what you will do with the camera.  But, here is a rough guide:

  • Pro: the most camera you can buy for the money, dSLR, of course.
  • Semi-pro: not more than a 15 Mp dSLR (Canon T1i/D500)
  • Amateur: a high-end point and shoot (Canon G-series)
  • Hobbyist: a compact point and shoot (Nikon L-series)
  • Novice: a low-end point and shoot (maybe even just a camera phone)

This is a proven list by the way.  I’ve lived it and I own those listed above.

What am I?

“But, what am I?”, you ask. Well here is another list for that: Continue reading

Copyright Your Photos

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Why Copyright? Why not?

With the software for image processing and the cameras available today, is there any reason why someone would not apply copyright information to their photos?  Why, yes, yes there is — it’s called “oversight” and “stupidity.”  For as easy as it is, there really is no excuse not to apply your copyright to your images.  Protect them.  They’re yours.

I use Lightroom software to import and touch up my photos, and there is a provision for applying copyright information to the metadata of your image right at the point of import.  I simply fill in the field that applies metadata and save it as my own preset.  When the photos are imported from my camera into Lightroom, the copyright notice is automatically applied.

In-Camera

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The Importance of Light in a Photo

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How Important is Light?

Light is everything. Everything. Light is everything to a photographer. Light is more important than the subject. A good subject but bad light = a bad photo. Good light wins every time. Continue reading

OnOne Perfect Photo Suite – Some Capabilities Shown in a Short Video

Improving a Photo

This is a short video that shows some of the capabilities of OnOne Perfect Photo Suite. In this video, I show how a photo of a pelican with a bunch of distracting stuff in the background can be improved.
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Storm Light

What is “Storm Light?”

“Storm light” is a special kind of outdoor lighting that occurs usually just after a storm has passed. The atmosphere is usually full of small particles of dust, rain, and ice, and this creates a unique coloration of the sky and land. It is one of the best, most difficult, most dangerous, and rarest of times to shoot landscape photos. Continue reading

The Sigma DP2 Merrill Camera

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The Strangest but Most Wonderful Camera

The Sigma DP2 Merrill is about the strangest camera I’ve ever used, but at the same time it is one of the very best also. The list of weird things about this camera: Continue reading

What topics would you like to see in a book about photography?

I value your opinion:  What topics would you like to see in a book about photography?

Please click your answers below. Choose multiple chapter titles from my list or type some of your own, then click the vote button. Thank you very much for your help!

How to Export a Video for Vimeo

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Why Vimeo?

Vimeo is a video hosting platform similar to YouTube, but with much better video quality. I have started putting my videos on Vimeo because the user experience is so much better. True, there are not as many hits as on YouTube because YouTube is much more popular, but as a photographer I want the best picture quality in my videos. That better video quality available on Vimeo means I need to render or export my videos with the settings that work for Vimeo.

Vimeo Video Settings

Here are the settings I’ve successfully used: Continue reading

Bit Depth and Why it Matters!

DxO TIFF ExportEver Heard of Bit Depth?

Many people have never even heard of “bit depth” so they don’t know what it means to them and their photography. Even if you have heard of it, maybe you don’t fully understand it. I didn’t, at first. Here’s what I have learned: Continue reading

Instruction Manuals

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Believe it or not, it is very important to keep those instruction manuals that came with your cameras.  With the complexity that is inherent in almost every high-end digital camera sold today, it is nearly impossible to master all features of your camera right out-of-the-box, or even years later (as in my case). Continue reading