Photography is an expensive hobby, especially if you want to get serious about it. A DSLR camera isn’t cheap but building up the accessaries can be a lot more expensive. One good example is the tripod and associated mounting hardwares.

A solid aluminum tripo can be found for around $100. A sturdy and light carbon fiber tripod is typically more expensive but $200 can buy you one. The next item you need is a tripod head. This makes adjusting composition a lot easier. The most polular choice is perhaps the ball head. A good ball head can easily cost more than the tripod it is attached to. Read More…

Posted in Accessories, Photography Gadgets on June 28th, 2011. No Comments.

Have you ever dreamed of the possibility that camera technology could one day be so advanced that it allows you to only worry about the moment of the capture and the composition, but not focus? Well, according to this New York Times article, it is definitely within reach. Read More…

Posted in Digital photography, News on June 22nd, 2011. No Comments.

For beginners or less tech savvy people, understanding all the terms on the Nikon’s nikkor lens feature description page may be a little daunting. Nikon is certainly aware of that so people at Nikon have made it easier with their web site.

The following is what you see when you visit Nikon USA camera lens page. I highlighted in red oval the Glossary check box. Once checked, the webpage should show all the glossary terms highlighted in yellow. You only have to check it once and all the pages on the camera lenses section you browse should have the terms highlighted.

The following is an example from the page of AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR showing the explanation of super integrated coating (SIC).

For the markings on the Nikkor lens barrels, you can click on the lens feature icons on individual lens page or read this article titled How to Read Your Lens Barrel where many examples are shown and terms explained.

Posted in Online Resources on June 21st, 2011. No Comments.

Most DSLR cameras come in black although colored ones have been available, for example the Pentax K-x. It seems only the second tier DSLR camera manufacturers needed to do this in order to grab a piece of the DSLR market dominated by Canon and Nikon. Not any more.

Canon today announced Canon Online Store exclusive EOS Rebel T3 in red, brown, and metallic gray, in addition to the ordinary black color. You can check them out here.

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras, News, Photography Gadgets on June 19th, 2011. No Comments.

Macro with

Reversed lens macro photography is probably the cheapest way of getting high magnification macro photos. We have discussed that here and here. It doesn’t need more than a proper lens and a reversed lens macro adaptor for your particular brand of camera and lens filter size.

If you don’t mind the inconvenience and inconsistency, you can even skip the adapter ring and just handhold the lens instead. The image above was taken using a Nikon D3000 and a Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5-4.8 reversed and handheld in front of the camera by Fajar Pangestu. It is not bad at all!

Here are a few recommendations if you’d like to try it yourself.

  • Be very careful not to scratch the front element of your lens. The metal lens mount on the camera can easily scratch the glass lens. For lenses with a deeply recessed front element this is not a problem but it could be a problem for many lenses.
  • Use a lens with an aperture ring, it will make it a little easier. For lens without the aperture ring, there should be a small lever on the lens you can push to open the aperture. Use one hand to hold the lens, open the aperture using one finger. Use the other hand to hold the camera and trigger the shutter. You need both hands to work together in order to align the camera and lens, and to properly focus on the subject.
  • Be careful not the bump the exposed rear lens element into the object you are trying to photograph.
Posted in Tips and Techniques on June 18th, 2011. No Comments.

I received the following question about Capture NX2 from one of my readers.

Goods Afternoon,

I hope you can help me!

I’m getting into real estate photography and am struggling with getting excellent interior and excellent exterior shots i.e. in the one photo through windows etc.

I know in Photoshop you can take two photos; one exposed for outside and one exposed for inside and somehow put the two together to make one awesome perfectly exposed image.

Do you know how this can be achieved in Capture NX2?

Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

Warm Regards,

Alice G.

Read More…

Posted in Q & A, Tips and Techniques on June 18th, 2011. No Comments.

No matter what level of photography expertise you have, you will unavoidably have questions. If you want immediate answers, search engines such as Google is a good place to go. You can find answers for almost anything you want to know, photography stuff included. Sometimes it can be very frustrating on the search sites though. It is common to see loads of useless sites come up on top of the returned results based on the words you enter.

There are many photography related forums on the internet. The major problem with most of those forums is the quality of the discussion. Many of them are full of gear fanatics and rudeness runs rampant. You may also have to go through the entire thread of find the information you need. Very often some people jump in and lead the discussion astray.

Is there a better place to ask photography related questions? Read More…

Posted in Online Resources on June 9th, 2011. No Comments.

Nik Software, the maker of the famous Nikon Capture NX and NX2 software for Nikon RAW image processing, has released a software called Snapseed developed exclusively for the iPAD.

With Snapseed, photo editing is as simple as tapping and swiping your fingers on the iPAD. You can easily adjust images for brightness, contrast, saturation, etc. It is also very easy to straighten leaning photos and crop them to the size you want. Nik didn’t forget to bring their excellent U Point selective local area adjustment to Snapseed either. People who are familiar with Nikon Capture NX or NX2 software will really appreciate this great feature for intuitive local adjustments without complicated layers and masks.

The software also provides some special effects such as black and white, grunge, vintage film, center focus, etc.

With built-in sharing function, it is easy for users to share edited photos by email or on social networking sites (Flickr and Facebook are supported).

Snapseed for iPAD is currently available from iTunes App Store for $4.99.

Coverages of Snapseed on the web

Posted in Digital photography, Photo Editing, Software on June 8th, 2011. No Comments.
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