Nikon conducted research by polling people and found out that consumers love to share photos (Is that really a surprise?). In the digital age, the smallest scale of sharing is perhaps crowding around the camera’s LCD screen. The 2nd scale is sharing photos on a TV screen or on any appropriate surface using the Nikon Coolpix S1000pj with a built-in projector. The largest scale of photo sharing is sharing online, which profoundly overcomes the limit of time and space for photo sharing on an unprecedented level. The proliferation of social networks and increasingly powerful search engines mean that once a photo is shared online, you may never have the complete control on where the photo may end up.

Due to the nature of online sharing, it potentially has more impact. They are really nothing more than common senses, but the five rules for sharing photos online (Photo Netiquette) published by Nikon are good reminders.

  • Don’t post embarrassing pictures of other people without their permission
  • Ensure that you are happy for the pictures you choose to be on the web for all to see
  • Remember that your boss, family and friends may look at your pictures, so don’t post any inappropriate images
  • Don’t endlessly post picture of yourself – you’ll come across as self-obsessed, rather than interesting
  • Think about the impact your photos will have on other people before you share or project them

[via Amateur Photographer]

Posted in Digital photography, Popular Photos on September 29th, 2009. No Comments.

Perhaps one of the first tips you learned about flash photography is to use bounce flash indoors. The reason is quite simple: direct on-camera flash produces unflattering photo and it also creates a hard shadow on a wall behind the subject. By bouncing the flash light off the ceiling or walls, you can create a natural-looking photo with soft shadow. Bouncing the flash effectively creates a much larger light source that can wrap the light around the subject. Bouncing also changes the direction of the light so the shadow is thrown down behind the subject instead of directly behind the subject. Read More…

Posted in Photography Lighting, Tips and Techniques on September 27th, 2009. 3 Comments.

Fall Colors

There is just a hint of Autumn here but we can expect to see the colors of the Fall at full display soon. It is a great time for photographers, not just for landscape but also for outdoor portrait.

Posted in Digital photography, Online Resources on September 25th, 2009. No Comments.

Google has released an updated version of the free photo editing software Picasa. Version 3.5 adds a great new feature called Name Tags that was originally only available in Picasa Web Albums. The new version has also improved tagging , import/export, and enhanced geo-tagging with integration of Google Maps. Check out the following video to find out what’s new in Picasa 3.5. Read More…

Posted in Software on September 23rd, 2009. No Comments.

Image Dust Off is a very useful feature supported by Nikon Capture NX and NX2 NEF raw converter/editor. You can take a reference photo (feature-less white wall) in supported cameras and used it to automatically retouch subsequently taken photos in Capture NX/NX2 to remove the spots in your photos caused by dust particles on the image sensor. Dust spots tend to show up more clearly if you shoot small apertures (high F numbers). Macro and landscape photographers probably find this more of a problem than portrait photographers. If you’d like to learn more about Image Dust Off, please check your Capture NX/NX2 user manual or the help file.

In order for this automatic process to work as expected, the photos you want to edit should have the same dust pattern as the reference photo. To make sure, you need to take a reference photo for each shooting session. For Nikon DSLR cameras that has sensor-shake dust removal function, it gets tricky. You cannot use the dust reference photo taken before sensor cleaning to retouch the photos taken after sensor cleaning. Nikon recommends you to take the dust reference photo after each sensor cleaning. If you have setup the camera to clean the sensor automatically at each startup/shutdown, you may not realize that the dust reference photo is rendered invalid each time you switch off/on the camera. This is clearly documented in the instruction manual of your camera but how many of you actually read the manual throughly?

Posted in Tips and Techniques on September 22nd, 2009. 1 Comment.

One of our readers, Desmond, is a curious person. He found out through his tests that some of the common understandings of the Nikon TTL/BL flash mode may not be accurate and some facts even appear to contradict the voice of an expert. For example, Russ said that “… TTL-BL does not work correctly when the background is darker than the subject.” However the tests from Desmond showed it worked just fine.

You can read the complete tests results and his conclusions at his blog or watch the following Youtube video for his demonstration.

At beginning, I was a little skeptical. However the test results are pretty hard to dispute. Perhaps the conclusions are wrong but there has to be a better explanation of the results.

We should all blame Nikon who never seems to have come out with a clear technical explanation of how the Creative Lighting System (CLS) including TTL-BL mode works. What Nikon tells us is the typical nebulous description such as “…Balanced Fill-Flash is performed. The flash output level is automatically adjusted for a well-balanced exposure of the main subject and background.” (SB-800 Instruction Manual).

What are your thoughts on this? We’d like to hear from you. Please use the comment box below or click on the contact link above.

Posted in Photography Lighting on September 21st, 2009. 1 Comment.

The standard way of carrying your camera is using the shoulder (neck) strap that comes with almost every camera. It has a lot to be desired. When I am out with my family, the camera would want to swing or roll wildly whenever I bend down to do something. Even during normal walking the camera bounces around and wants to slip off my shoulder. It requires one hand constantly on the camera to make sure it is secure and leaves another hand to do very limited things. For outdoor photographers, the shoulder strap just won’t work well for biking or hiking. I am sure many people have similar complaints. Recently, I have noticed a few products that can nicely solve the problems, for a price. Read More…

Posted in Accessories on September 20th, 2009. 2 Comments.

Nowadays, camera manufacturers want you to believe their cameras are very sophisticated precision digital instrument that can take great photos effortlessly. There is some truth in the marketing literatures, but they don’t typically tell you at the same time that their cameras can also produce garbages if the users fail to use them properly. I admit, this is really not necessary for them to do so in the marketing materials and most camera manuals do come with such warnings. The matter of the fact is that many people have some unrealistic expectations from their cameras that cost them hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Read More…

Posted in Beginner Tips, Tips and Techniques on September 19th, 2009. 2 Comments.
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