Condensation

Condensation can be an inconvenience, but for photographers, it can be a real problem. A couple years ago I was on a cruise down the Yangtze River in China and one morning got up and stepped out on the balcony to photograph the sun rising over a bridge. My camera was quite cool after being in the air conditioned cabin all night and when I stepped out onto the balcony a heavy coating of condensation covered the camera and lens.

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Step It Up

Step-up rings are adapters that allow you to attach filters to a lens when the filter diameter and the lens diameter are different. They seem pretty simple and straightforward. A metal ring and no optics. Even so, there are so many choices that things can get quite confusing. So let’s clear a few things up.

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Flash Duration

For the typical compact camera flash, the flash duration is between 1/200 second at full power and 1/20,000 at the lowest output level. That sounds fast but when I add some diffusion to the flash - like a small softbox - I end up having to use the flash at, or very close to, full power. That just left some subjects still a little blurry.

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Cables Cables Everywhere

We all have that drawer full of old cables and connectors. I’ve thought many times about cleaning it out, but I know when I do, I’ll find something that needs a special plug that is buried in the drawer. I laugh too at my computer bag. I bought a MacBook Air because they are so lightweight yet still pack the punch. But, I also have a gadget bag full of adapters and cords that probably outweighs the computer itself.

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Resolution Isn't So Clear Anymore

Resolution has always been a tricky subject for new photographers to grasp. After all, there is not a single resolution that we talk about. The quality of the lens optics affects the resolution of the lens. The size and design of the sensor significantly influence the resolution of your camera. Even your image data file has variables that define the image data resolution. But display screens are changing and they are chinging the way we look at display resolution. 

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Traditional DSLR or Mirrorless - Confused?

It has now been a few years since the first mirrorless cameras made their appearance in earnest in still photography with professionals using them either full-time or at least as a significant part of their arsenal of equipment. The reasons seem quite varied. Of course, size is at the top of the list as well as features. But before looking closely at the advantages and disadvantages, I'd like to talk about my own findings and opinions.

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Perspective - A Distorted Tale

Put a wide angle lens up to your eye and things look farther away and some objects look distorted. Do the same with a telephoto lens and objects look closer. They seem magnified and objects appear compressed. This phenomenon is called perspective distortion and some folks would say that each lens provides a different perspective. But how’s this for shaking things up?

Perspective is not controlled by the lens.

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Types of Light Meters

When we talk about light, remember that there are three aspects of light that define the overall quality. Today we focus on only one facet of light and that is brightness. This is the first facet of light that any photographer learns to deal with. It is the brightness of the light that drives our exposure settings so let's look closer at how we measure the brightness of light. 

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Protect Your Gear

You don’t have to think about it very long before you realize that snuggled tightly inside your camera bag is quite an investment. And after one good trade show, you can add quite a bit of weight to that little plastic card in your wallet. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or an enthusiast, you need to take care of your equipment. 

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Calibrate Your Light Meter

In camera TTL meters are incredible tools that help provide very accurate exposure settings.  But as accurate as they may be, the camera can only measure light that has been reflected or produced by a subject of which it has no idea what it is.  For the most accurate metering, photographers use incident light meters to measure the light from the source before it strikes the subject.

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