Ask a Digital Photography Question

Ask a Digital Photography Question


Do you have a Digital Photography question that you’d like answered?

Over the last week I’ve begun the process of firming up a number of new writers for DPS to contribute regular articles for this blog. They have a range of experiences and expertise to offer the wider community but I’d love for them to base as much of what they write as possible on YOUR needs and questions as digital photographers.

As a result I want to open up the comments on this post to your questions.

  • What do you want to learn more about?
  • Do you have any specific questions that you’d like answered?
  • Are there any types or styles of photography that you’d like to see an article on?

Don’t be embarrassed to ask – this is a site for all levels of photography so even the most basic question is a valid one that I welcome. I can’t guarantee that we’ll get through every question but we’ll attempt to do as many as possible.

Read more from our category

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • Terry Deady March 4, 2013 01:16 am

    I am getting ready to shoot underwater in the Bahamas soon, so I took out my camera to practice around the house; It's a Nikon L22 compact in Ikelite housing w/AF35 strobe, & W-20 wide angle lens. My test photos have about 3 main bright semi-circular rings on them. Almost as if the light is reflecting back onto the lens ? Is there too much light ? Tried with and without flash diffuser, different settings on the strobe, same unusable result. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • Sarah February 27, 2013 02:45 pm

    I want to buy a "good" camera. I am tired of lousy pictures with my point and shoot but am afraid to go into the camera store and be talked into buying an expensive out of my league piece of equipment that I won't know how to use. I have decided to take some intro to photography classes at my local community college as well. I mainly want a new camera to take pictures of the kids and our lives. We have a toddler who is perpetual motion and two more who play multiple sports. So I need something that can snap em quickly before I miss the shot and that isn't all blur. And I want to take pictures on our vacations, scenary, and normal holiday gatherings, indoors low light. I don't want to spend too much money since this is only a hobby for me however. I was reading and was considering the Nikon d5100.....what do you think???

  • Dominik February 21, 2013 06:24 am

    I purchased a Nikon D3100 with the basic 18-55mm VR lens. I always used to have a bridge before with super-zoom. I wanna get a zoom lens for my new D3100 but don't know which one. I'm hesitating between the Nikkor 55-200mm VR to complement the 18-55mm VR or get an 18-200mm lens and sell the 18-55mm. For sure I'll buy the 35mm DX VR Nikkor lens for portraits and low light photos. For the 18-200mm, I'm looking at the Sigma 18-200mm OS HSM because it's less expensive than the Nikkor one. I'm only an amateur photographer but still like to have a good quality lens without paying so much. Could you tell me if the Sigma is worth buying and if the image quality of that lens is good?

    Thank you very much.

  • David Mapleton November 30, 2012 07:59 pm

    I currently use a Canon 40D and would like to hook it up to a tablet (either by cable or BlueTooth) in order to use the tablet as a viewing screen.

    On a recent shoot in ChinaTown at night, I found it very difficult to look at the results of each exposure on the viewing screen without removing the camera from the tripod. As I was also shooting multiple exposures, this was nearly impossible.

    I started to think how useful it would be to connect my camera to a tablet and view each exposure on the tablet (especially if I could turn the tablet sideways and get full view verticals).

    Is this possible?

  • Mike October 13, 2012 09:53 pm

    Determining image size?

    I’m new to photography and would like to know why some of my images contain more pixels than others.

    I have a 10 MB camera and when I look through my images they have various amounts of pixels in them.

    If I zoom out using my lens, will that add more pixels to an image? If not, how are does the camera determine the image size.

    Thank you

  • Grace Semeniuk February 8, 2012 01:36 pm

    Could you please give me some help in taking photos of the moon with a Canon T3i

    thank you

  • Phyl December 12, 2011 05:20 am

    I found a photo in one of those old "close one eye and look thru the container in the light and see the photo" from the 1980's. I'd like to make the photo into a 5x7 picture but don't have a negative. Is there any store/website that might be able to reproduce this into a larger picture for hanging???

  • Matt November 24, 2011 02:46 am

    I've been experiencing some strange results when using my Canon EOS 450 D/Rebel XSi and a Canon EFS 18-55mm lens.

    On some shots I have noticed that, what should be a perfectly straight horizontal line e.g. a horizon, will curl up at the edges.

    My question is; can I do anything about it or do I need to invest in a new lens?

    Many thanks. Matt.

  • Oscar August 28, 2011 04:40 am

    Digital Photography School : Gentlemen: I own a Canon EOS Rebel K2 35mm camera with a 28-90 zoom lens. About a 1 1/2 years back i bought it new, for $75.00 at W almart. At that time i thought that i made a great buy. Recently a professional photographer told me that i should use it because there is always time to use film photography. I had read that the lens that came with the camera is not so good. Also, i think that i could use this lens with some Canon digital cameras. For the moment i am not able to buy a $400.00 digital. Please let me know if possible how can i get a digital with good lens,good zoom between $125.00 and $175.00, that i can manage to get good to excellent 8X10 and 11X14 prints Please give your advice on these matters. Thank you very much.

  • Shankarappa August 27, 2011 01:59 am

    Dear DPS

    A great site indeed for the better vision of our eyes.DPS is really wonderful ..... really rate 5 stars. I am a plastic surgeon working at bowring hospital,bangalore,Karnataka,India. I photograph the patients with my canon powershot 110XS. Its better photographing with it. Newly i purchased the gold rated NIKON D700 and i am looking out for a best macro/micro lens for the photographing patients. Kindly guide me the best lens to opt in micro nikkor. and once again my hearty congratulations to DPS :) :) :) :) :)

  • RG July 15, 2011 11:39 pm

    I have two photos. The first one I can print upto 30x20 with 9 megapixel camera (Sony H-50B). The second one I can print upto only 10x12 with 14 megapixel camera (Sony H-55). Why there is difference in print sizes even though the 2nd camera have higher megapixel ?

  • esta June 11, 2011 06:32 am

    would love some info on the proper way to take pictures from a hot air balloon.

  • will May 27, 2011 10:05 am

    I recently had some photos printed professionally. I sent the photos to be printed after editing them in photoshop CS5. All of the prints came back super orange-y, as if there was way too much red present. I came back home and double checked the photos on my computer, they looked great still. So I burned a DVD and a data disc, viewed them on another computer, and they were overly red/orange-y there as well. Why does my computer show them as looking great, but they come up overly red/orange-y when viewed on other computers?

  • David White February 3, 2011 07:59 am

    With an end result being a fine art-quality B&W and Color prints up to 11 x17 . . . I'd like suggestions as to the best computer/monitor/printer combinations (w/brand names) for use with Photoshop CS4.

  • Oscar Diaz November 17, 2010 07:15 am

    Hello! Whwt are the good photograpy online courses for people on a low budget; let say abot $60.00? Can you name a few a few of these courses? Thank you, very much.

  • Rob November 15, 2010 02:12 pm

    @Mike. Sounds like you have a White Balance problem. Set your white balance to Auto or the type of lighting you are in at the time. e.g. light bulb = incandescant. Or, try setting your white balance in Custom. This is usually done by setting your camera in White balance to Custom set, aim at a piece of white paper (fill lense) under the lighting condition in question and press ok. You now have white balance correctly set for that lighting and it will be saved so you can use it again. Hope that helps. Cheers

  • Mike November 14, 2010 03:22 am

    It seems all the pictures i take indoors, weather it be in the house or at the gym taking photos of the kids at play come out yellowish i cant figure out why

  • Neil Creek November 5, 2010 01:52 pm

    Tony, you're probably seeing the effects of camera shake. If that's so, then getting a longer lens will only exacerbate the problem. Try increasing your ISO a few stops, and see if you get sharper (but slightly noiser) images. Also, if your lens has stabilisation turn it on. Finally, you may wish to try some tests with a tripod to see if you still see the same problem. Good luck!

  • Tony Walker November 3, 2010 07:53 am

    Using a Canon 70-200mm lens, I take a picture of a ground squirrel at 200mm. Everything appears to be very sharp. However, when I zoom in on the picture on my computer, the picture appears fuzzy and not sharp in any manner. Is this common?Can I assume that I need to resort to a much higher lens (500mm, 600mm, etc) in order to get these sharp closeup type images?

  • Rob August 23, 2010 01:12 pm

    @Rickey. You can bump up ISO to make the sensor more sensitive and that will give you shutter speed at the cost of image quality re noise. You can also use flash as that will get a sharp shot but at the cost of "flat" images. The last but not least is..use a tripod...the cost being it's not as versatile as hand holding.
    The SS compared to focal length rule is a guide only. You will notice there are lenses and bodies that now help out with stabilizing. If a lense or body is 2-3 stops faster that means you have a huge advantage over non stabilzed. 2 stops faster than 250 is 60..3 stops is 30..I hope this helps..cheers..R

  • Rickey Ponce August 19, 2010 01:18 am

    Let me see if I can make this question understanable
    The rules I understand is that the focal length of the lens dictates the shutter speed needed to have a sharp blur free picture like 200mm needs at least 1/250 shutter speep to have blur free hand held picture.
    When your in amperture mode and you want a greater depth of field and you set the camera to f22 or higher your shutter speed will drop below the 1/250 range causing blur.
    So how do Photographers handle the situation I mean if you go to shutter mode and keep the shutter speed in the right range youll loose control of depth of field.

  • Dan Masters August 6, 2010 08:06 am

    I frequently have to take pictures of cabinet doors to use in catalogs and websites. My problem is taking the picture so the door is "square" for masking out after photographing. Usually the top edge and bottom will be satisfactory, as well as one side, but I need all 4 edges to appear square upon completion. How can I align my camera, Nikon D300, to be in the correct spot to make the door appear square. I have fought this issue for years, would like a solution. Trial and error just takes to long. Thanks.

  • Torri Bell April 20, 2010 10:21 am

    I have been seeing alot of great photo effects software being used. Such as photo's that looks like they would be printed on water color paper. Also some great stuff with sepia. I use aperture and photo shop and neither of these have these effects. Could you suggest some good photo effect software.

  • daksh March 27, 2010 01:37 pm

    hi my name is shivam i have a question regarding a dslr camera..with dsrl camera we get a kit lense of 18-55 m with a aperture of 3.5-5.5 but in camera this aperture streches from 1.2 to 22 how come if lens is offring aperture of 3.5 -5.5 then ho come it goes from 1.2 -22.plz do ans wer me

  • Zenice March 19, 2010 08:03 am

    Hi in my line of work I have to trek long distances and take a lot of photograph of people fields and plants. I am currently using a Canon SX1 IS as I like the powerful zoom which allows me to get close to subjects without trekking close. But it is bulky and conspicuous and I work in an area where being conspicuous is not advisable. Would the Olympus Pen E-PL 1 be a suitable less conspicuous alternative while giving me the zooming power of the Canon?

  • Joy March 6, 2010 02:21 am

    hello- I'm a graphic designer who is looking to take photographs of invitations (hard copy) that I designed to add to my portfolio. I own a Nikon D3000. Can anyone help?

  • Pamela February 25, 2010 07:41 am

    Do you know if a 18-55mm SLR lens tranlates exactly to 18-55 mmDSLR? Are the ranges the same?

  • Arwen January 10, 2010 07:57 am

    For south/west facing house exteriors, given the choice between clear morning (post-sunrise) or cloudy afternoon (pre-sunset) shots, which yields better results for a novice?


  • Karen Stuebing January 7, 2010 08:47 pm

    I've had this explained to me by professional photographers but never quite understood it. It's rather technical and may be only of interest to me since I may be buying an Olympus Pen camera which uses a 4/3 micro sensor. However, I believe all digital cameras are going to go in this direction..

    Can someone explain the relationship between different sensor sizes and mps and quality of the photo and sizes it can be printed. Also how does it translate into WA and telephoto lengths?

    And on the same subject (kind of) what is the difference between mps, ppi and dpi re printing?

    One more. Will there come a time when more mps is just overkill and have no meaning given that sensor sizes are not increasing but getting smaller?

  • Angel August 8, 2009 04:38 am

    I just purchased CS4, the software I used to use was Picture It & Soap, the books I have read & the tutorials I have done on appear to be straight into CS4. where would I want to start as far as Adobe to learn how to do repair old pictures that are not digital that are faded out blurry & also need touch up where they have deterirated & fallen apart & still be able to get right into the CS4? would I go into Photshop 7 or would i be better starting in CS2?

  • Christian August 7, 2009 01:51 am

    I would like to know more about the little graph that is displayed on cameras and in processing softwares such as lightroom (top left in develop mode) that seems to give clues about the light intensity/contrast...

  • xtine July 31, 2009 05:07 am

    where online can i go for a tutorial, not a description, of apertures and shutter speeds. i'm finding a lot of descriptions, but not a lot of "hands on" or "try this setting in this situation" type of articles/tutorials. i'm still learning and would like to find something that would give me rule of thumb type info. i don't have it down yet what settings to use in certain situations and would love some help with this. (sorry if this is a elementary question, but it's one i need help with.)

  • aina June 23, 2009 10:11 pm

    hi darren,
    i love photography so much but only now i am really planning to be serious on learning it. I have a canon 500D with 18-55mm IS lens and recently bought a 70-300mm tamron macro lens. I want to learn how to take photos in monochrome and keeping the main subject in color? Is this done by camera or by photo editing. Also, which lens is better sigma or tamron? I have been taking photos of anything that looks interesting but still eager to learn to use the AV and the manual settings. I have taken several photos in monochrome and find it satisfying but when its in color i am really disappointed.

  • Syl June 14, 2009 11:42 pm

    I would like to see infromation on how to get a 3-5 quailty image.

  • Genna January 12, 2009 02:37 pm

    I have the same questions as Choco. Irrespective of the artistic quality of my compositions, I don't know what it is, but I feel my photos lack that professional edge. I use a Nikon D80, but still the x-factor alludes my photos.

    Choco wrote:
    I am perplexed as how some photos I see on the net are sharp, crisp and very vivid when I never have achieved this kind of quality despite the fact that I’m already using a 2.8f lens. Is this done through post-processing or is it the lighting technique or is it the lens?

  • LuAnn December 22, 2008 02:24 am

    I have a kodak easy share M1033 camera and I am not having good luck taking pictures inside like example the christmas tree all lite up it looks all burred any tips for me.

  • Ray October 23, 2008 04:16 am

    With so many things to be concerned with, such as image size, shutter speed, focal length, etc. to ensure a good shot, I inevitably forget something! Is there any type of planning sheet (checklist) available that runs through what should be considered before taking the picture so that beginners know what questions to ask and what settings to consider? Something like a photo info sheet would be helpful until enough experience made it second nature.

  • Colleen September 25, 2008 12:48 am

    I have a simple question that is driving me crazy! Could someone tell me if looking through the viewfinder or live view screen is more accurate???


  • mercedes, September 16, 2008 10:39 pm

    What was photography like before the Flash Bulb was invented?

  • Xairylle September 5, 2008 06:09 pm

    I'm a frustrated photographer and I am only equipped with a cellphone camera. There are several things I am interested about but right now, I'd like to know about photo editing. I'd like to ask about any techniques regarding blurs in relation to changing the focus and not movement. Also, I'd like to ask how to improve the quality of my shots such as the vividness by using Adobe Photoshop (or other software). I have read your posts here and they are indeed very helpful. I can't wait to try what I've learned!! Oh, and I only use Adobe Photoshop because I am not familiar with other software in the market. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

  • Susan August 6, 2008 12:54 am

    I would like to see a discussion of experiences with photo organizing and publishing software. I've been very happy using Picasa, but after a shift to a MACBook, I'm struggling with IPhoto. I want to do simple edits, organize, email photos and publish to a web-gallery. THANKS!

  • Tony July 22, 2008 01:42 pm

    Shooting in Raw means basically shooting in unprocessed camera images-exactly whata camera takes without format compression. they are much larger in file size but contain way more info than a standard JPG file.
    Usually a DSLR will have this option under image quality, and some higher end or newer point and shoots will be able to shoot RAW. some have RAW+JPG modes that allow shooting both.
    You will need to use special software, purchased separately or provided by camera maker to view, edit, and export the RAW files as something more common like JPG once you are done messing with them.

  • Christian July 22, 2008 10:18 am

    I read the '100 Things I’ve Learned About Photography' and it says that you should always shoot in RAW. What does this mean?

  • yvette May 6, 2008 12:56 pm

    sometimes my flash creates this burst of light. i'll be shooting away and suddenly, the flash makes a noise and just lights up w/o my having discharged it. it seems to happen if i am working at the extreme ends of a lens focal capability. any insight?

  • Thomas Omectin April 1, 2008 10:13 am

    Layers. Layer Comps.(PS CS2) I am a self-taught hobbyist. Over the past 10 years or so, I have gone from nice P&S film cameras through a couple of Fuji's (bridging) cameras. Now I have an Xti and a 24-70mm f/2.8L. I take thousands of shots and am currently awaiting the arrival of a 135mm f/2.0L. I know that entire lives are spent working on the education of Layers and Layer Comps. I do a lot of reading, books and on-line. I have an extensive library of CD-ROM tutorials and classes and I just cannot wrap myself around Layers. Please help.

  • Susan March 26, 2008 02:42 am

    Am just starting out, so I am a beginner, and would like to know if there is any major difference between the Canon 40D and 450. Have also looked at the Nikon D80, would also appreciate comments re this camera versus the Canon. Primarily, one of my main objectives is to photograph Birds, Wildlife and Mountain ranges. Also in simple terms but type of lenses would I need, without having to spend a "huge" amount of money. Also is there a lens that one can use on a regular basis that would be good for flowers/insects/portraiture?

  • SH11 March 14, 2008 12:22 pm

    I am have great difficulty stopping action during my son's evening high school Lacrosse games. Some insight to getting enough light in with a fast shutter speed would be very helpful.

  • Eric Truesdale March 13, 2008 01:01 am

    Hello, I'm in afghanistan, and of course it's very dusty out here. I see dust or dirt when I look through the viewfinder, but I can't find it! I cleaned the glass, the glass in the body, the plastic above the mirror. I even locked the mirror and cleaned the sensor filter behind it. The dirt goes nowhere. Doesn't even more. Like I said I cannot find it! Do I need to wait until I get home to have my camera professionally cleaned? Please help.

  • Eduardo Saldarriaga March 9, 2008 03:05 pm

    I have a digital camera with a 28-135 mm lens. I'd like to purchase a new lens. What lens do you recommend to have?

  • TexasYellowRose March 6, 2008 06:46 am

    I have a Canon PowerShot S2 IS. For the most part, this camera takes beautiful photos. It has Image stabilization.

    However, one that I cannot seem to master is this: taking night shots of sports under artificial lighting. These are high school sporting events on the football field - don't know if lights are tungsten or fluorescent (sp?)
    It has a wonderful 12x optical zoom but often the action is blurry or dark.

    If someone can tell me how to set the P, or TV, or AV, or M, or C to take these shots, I will bake you a chocolate cake. Please help me! My reputation as the family photographer depends on you!

    Thanks so much in advance for any help.

  • Lou Ann February 24, 2008 10:32 am

    Another question: EXACTLY what is "bokeh"? I find lots of variations of definitions of it. But is that really the point? It's kind of vague and is looked at a bit differently by different people? Maybe someone in the "know" can write an article about it. :-)

  • Nikki February 17, 2008 01:42 am

    Give me in-depth details not generalities please -
    How to use an external flash 580 - I am looking for more in-depth detail (step by step instructions really) using just one portrait shot with an external flash on a DSLR. Using it as set to normal, and then how to set it so there is less flash in the person's face to stop that "deer caught in the headlights look", showing screen shots so I can follow along on my camera and flash unit(even if you are using a different DSLR, I can still look for the same kind of settings on my gear). By having just one thing covered in great detail I would be able to work out the rest hopefully. It is so hard to get in-depth details, most articles all talk in generalities and in the end I am more confused. Small chunks of in-depth detail on one subject I find more beneficial, and then I can practise and comprehend that one thing the rest comes much easier.

  • Lou Ann February 16, 2008 12:25 am

    Oooh - that's a good one. How about information regarding pro labs in different parts of the world ... as a data base for those of us wanting to find a lab while traveling?

  • rachael February 15, 2008 01:08 pm

    hey there so many things to choose from but how to shoot in raw would be great and perhaps a list of great pro labs in melbourne.. thanks

  • Jordan February 13, 2008 02:23 pm

    I would love to know how to take close up(not macro nessasrily) pics and have a perfectly black background but have the subject light nicely...

    eg is the standard new born baby lying in it mothers arm. all you can see is the arm and baby.. but the back groun is pure black.

  • jon old February 12, 2008 10:06 am

    I understand "pure photography", still some photos beg for a caption. Is this O.K. for qualty pics, and how does one best intergrate it into scene? OLDJON.

  • carlos echeverri February 9, 2008 11:42 am

    Somebody can help?: there are a workflow for management color with respect the congruence between screen display and print the pic?, please, the easy way.

  • Rob February 8, 2008 07:32 pm

    I've got a Fuji S5600 and have just bought Photoshop Elemenst 3. My camera is capable of RAW but I'm too wussy to use it. I have a photographer buddy who says I should be using it for the 16bit colour for a start. I have no idea what I'm doing with RAW. Can you help here? I'm sure alot of photographers could also use RAW and much improve their images..cheers..Rob

  • George Fragos February 8, 2008 11:23 am

    What is the difference in exposure lattitude between digital and films such as B&W, color negative and transparency?

  • Suzette February 7, 2008 05:03 pm

    Maternity photography!!!!!!!!! I haven't seen that on here and I love those photos and am dying for the opportunity to take some!!!

  • Prateek February 6, 2008 08:54 pm

    Hi, my question is, how many pictures can a digi- camera click considering it's sensor would have a life too.

  • Ruben February 6, 2008 01:59 pm

    I would be interested in learning more about manual modes and the techniques involved with adjusting aperture/shutter speed.

  • sandra February 6, 2008 01:13 pm

    these are all good questions I am interested in them all

  • Asma February 6, 2008 01:35 am

    Thanks for posting this! I'd like to learn more about how to choose lenses. It seems as though some lenses are higher quality, leading to crisper images and more beautiful colours, but how do we know which lenses are good (other than high prices)?

    Also, if anybody's interested in the physics of photography, I'm sure I can write up a bit of a blog with minimal research.

  • Nina February 5, 2008 09:25 pm

    My parents and I are going to a concert this March and I really have no idea what to photograph! I went to a mini-concert in my school this January and took photos of the band members and the whole stage and the feel of the crowd but I didn't really like any of my shots when I was viewing them cause nothing seemed significant enough to keep. Any tips on what I should take a picture of? How to make that night memorable? :D

    P.S. I only have the 18-55mm kit lens and 28-105mm standard zoom lens and I'm about to get the 50mm f/1.8 prime but I don't think I'll be needing that for the concert. :) How can I make the most out of my lenses on that night? :D

  • Dan February 5, 2008 02:20 pm

    Hi, I'm going on vacation to Alaska, March 1st, and will be trying to take some pictures of the Northern Lights (we hope).

    I have a new Nikon D80, need lens suggestion and technique. I'm a beginner so some basic (simple) suggestions would be great.


  • Derek February 5, 2008 01:29 pm

    This is kind of a basic question but I'm really curious how most people carry their camera around with them. In a bag? Just around the shoulder? In their pocket, etc. Especially for people who carry their camera with them everyday.

    I really want to get into this habit but I just can't find the right 'flow' if that makes sense.

  • Hannah Park February 5, 2008 01:28 pm

    I would like to learn about using the histogram to take better pictures

  • Morgan Brown February 5, 2008 12:56 pm

    I definitely would like help in taking pictures in low light situations such as a club. Also just like tips for beginners i need help setting my digital camera manually i know that i can do on automatic but anyone can!

  • synthesist February 5, 2008 12:18 pm

    I would like to know more about lighting. What are some common lighting techniques that i can use in a variety of situations and what equipment is needed?

  • Chlobo February 5, 2008 11:54 am

    Hullo. I would like to know information about white balance as I have no idea what it means.

    Also, I'd like some tips on shooting spiderwebs, especially in the dark..

    I only have a point and shoot - a Canon ixus 70.

  • Andreas Sugianto February 5, 2008 11:36 am

    Recently, I took a photos with Water Sprinkle Beamed with dancing laser lights as background, My friends in front of the pictures, ... the result is ..., part of my friend's head is blurred/shadowed with the lights background...on the pict!,
    Anyone know how this happened?. Or any great technic to overcome this situation..?

    Many thanks for your answer.

  • Michelle February 5, 2008 11:32 am

    Another beginner here...
    I recently starting playing around w/ the macro settings on my camera (I don't have a macro lens just the one that came w/ the kit)I kept running into a problem were the flash would just blow out the picture.

    My question would be tips on how to get rid of/ or minimize the flash in macro shots. When you should use it, if at all.. and if it's better to not use the flash then what iso/apeture/exposure settings are good for macro. I've found some tips on this mode in the forums but I couldn't find something that addressed that problem specifically.

    Thanks for the help. You guys have an awesome website.

  • vijay February 5, 2008 11:23 am

    1. I'm finding indoor and outdoor on-camera flash photography tricky. I understand the basic concepts of bouncing an external flash but sometimes some of my photos are ridiculously underexposed while sometimes theyre perfect or way overexposed. I've gotten a wide range of results in the same room but on different days and I'm not really sure why.

    2. And I know there was a recent post on metering modes, but more in depth info on that would be helpful.

    3. Sometimes in AI Servo or AI Focus mode (Canon 30D) to shoot a snowboarder or other movign subjects (esp toward me), I can't always get the subject in focus. Maybe it's because the camera needs more contrast on the subject to focus properly and predict movement, but even with that, I'm still having trouble.

    4. Is there any info out there on how shallow dof actually is at a certain f-stop at a certain distances from the camera?


  • TLCbull February 5, 2008 10:48 am

    Like some others here, I would like to learn how get the most out of my Pentax Optio m20. Just a little point and shoot that lives in my handbag and goes EVERYWHERE with me. The metering article was great, but I don't even know if my camera does that!

  • Tom Pickett February 5, 2008 09:36 am

    Dear Darron

    If you are looking for experienced photographers to write for you, I would like to submit my app.

    I have been doing photography for 28 years namely in fashion, National Geographic, sports, AP, Family, Portraits and HS Seniors.

    I would be happy to become part of your reply team. Is there any compensation? I have another site called ( I live in Honolulu)

    Tom Pickett

  • Stephen February 5, 2008 09:04 am

    More info about filters would be nice. What ones to use in certain situations. When to use them, why to use them, with/without comparisons, etc.

  • Mike Harrington February 5, 2008 09:00 am

    I'm interested in advanced topics with more complete point-and-shoots. For example, how can you work around the limited F-stop range in a camera like the Canon A540 when in AV? 3.2 to 8.0 - most books (example, Kelby) say to shoot around 11 to get a nice depth of field, IIRC.

    Also interested in legal/ethical/moral aspects of retouching - am I violating journalistic integrity if I P-shop out a seagull out of a beach scene? How about color and contrast enhancing?

  • Bernard Howe February 5, 2008 08:51 am

    What is the best area's to meter off of when taking different kinds of photo's. ( snow, white birds and dark background, etc.)

  • Tony February 5, 2008 06:52 am

    I'm a bit confused on color profiles- if you shoot in RAW format, can you change the color profiles?

  • nancy February 5, 2008 05:21 am

    I am teaching photo in high school for the first time. When I minored in photo in college, it was in the darkroom, 35mm & black & white.(boy I feel old!) I could really use suggestions on:photo books/magazines,websites, ideas to try with high school kids, printable info/worksheets, and of course the basics written in an interesting way.
    Photographers,photo history, what makes a good photograph are also good topics!

  • Dot Dion February 5, 2008 04:10 am

    Switching from point and shoot to Dslr, like several other people I am at lost getting the right settings. I know what everything represents on the camera but when its time to put it together I never seem to get it right, so my suggestion would be a beginner's class or course.

    So far everything I have received from DPS has been a tremendous help and my sincere thanks for having me as a member. I do believe that if I did learn more it would motivated me to start sending in some of my photos to be criticized.

  • Lou Ann February 5, 2008 03:50 am

    1) I want to learn about ... everything. I want to understand the science of photography better, for example, your article on metering was GREAT and got me thinking and learning in a new direction. (Thanks!) I also want to learn about approaches to composition, lighting, and so on.

    2) Lots and lots of specific questions that I want answered. But I won't get into them ... your posts usually help me discover that I might have had questions about things I didn't realize before. (Like the minimalism assignment - never thought about being a minimalist in my photography before. Led to some fun experiments!)

    3) I haven't yet explored all of your articles, so my answer may sound uninformed. I must say that I notice that a lot of the photos posted here, and many that get much attention, are indoor/studio type images. My favorite photography is outdoor/landscape/architecture photography. I like to drive the back roads and just stop the car if I see a view that I want to shoot. Or I take my camera for a walk in a town/village and shoot whatever I find that looks interesting.

    Thank you for asking for input!

  • Christina February 5, 2008 03:28 am

    I just ran into this yesterday. How can I get the sun in a photograph without making everything so dark. I was taking a pic of a barn with the sun in the top corner. It looked great on the screen but the sun washed everything out. I have a DSLR. Maybe a filter...I don't know. I'll have more questions as I make a point to go shoot for the sake of shooting. I appreciate what you all do to keep this website going. It's such a help for me.

  • Colin February 5, 2008 03:18 am

    I have been looking for the "perfect" camera/laptop bag.
    I have not found it. Best I have found is a bag by crumpler.
    I am looking for a bag that will hold a DSLR, Lens, Laptop, Laptop cables, and a few magazines.

  • Shawn February 5, 2008 02:51 am

    Macro photography tips please...

    Many thanks for the wonderful blog you maintain. It's truly helpful.


  • Todd Cary February 5, 2008 01:42 am

    Taking pictures in large rooms with high ceilings and often florescent lights is a challenge I have not conquered. No walls or ceilings to bounce light from! How do event photographers meet this challenge?


  • Angie February 5, 2008 01:38 am

    I'd like to see an entire forum or thread just for beginners. I enjoy the challenge of the "Weekly Assignments" forum, but am so intimidated by the incredible photos I see posted, that I rarely feel comfortable adding my amateur attempts. A "Weekly Assignment" forum for true beginners would be really helpful for those of us just getting started.

  • Christine February 5, 2008 01:34 am

    I think my biggest questions all still have to do with settings; ISO, aperture, and shutter speed especially. I keep reading and keep reading, but nothing has really kicked in to help me truly understand and REMEMBER while I am out shooting. It still all because one big jumble of information I know I need, but can't really get a handle on.

  • Mitch February 5, 2008 01:13 am

    How the aperture, shutter speed and lens zoom affect the use of an external or internal flash. Sometimes my photos are too dark even though I am close to the subject and using a good external flash.


  • Linda Silver February 5, 2008 01:08 am

    I would love to get some help with exposure settings for those scenes that you come apon and don't have time to think about settings other wise the moment is gone.

    Love this site very helpful


  • Photo Virgin February 5, 2008 01:03 am

    I have had a DSLR for over a year now and have been afraid to venture out of auto mode. I know, shame on me. I would be interested in learning step by step on how to actually USE my camera and not let the camera use me. :) Maybe start with mastering "AV" and working around the wheel.

  • Tom February 5, 2008 12:58 am

    More information on using a Hot shoe mounted flash? When to Stop down the flash, or use the high speed sync ...

  • Anna at Hank & Willie February 5, 2008 12:48 am

    What a great comment thread!
    I look forward to seeing articles on these and more, including

    external flash tutorials and reviews of flash diffusers

    Workflow, workflow, workflow, especially using iPhoto and photoshop.

    Thank you!

  • Amy February 5, 2008 12:40 am

    Basics would be wonderful. I tend to stick to "automatic" on my Nikon because I have no clue how to determine what settings to use (ISO, aperture, f-stop, etc...) I can't keep all that stuff straight, not to mention, if I want to capture my kids doing something, I can't stop to think about what to set my camera at. Tips on that would be very helpful, I think! Thanks!!

  • Joel February 5, 2008 12:39 am

    Been using my first canon dslr for several months now and I'm quite familiar with it already. Now I'd like to learn how to use it well with the Flash (i.e. getting initial exposure with the flash attached, doing flash sync, etc). Thanks for the great tips!

  • Jose February 5, 2008 12:36 am

    Im a cruiser. I can never get good photos of the shows because of stage lighting and no flash policy. Need suggestions other than sitting in the front row.

  • bac February 5, 2008 12:27 am

    I see several people have already mentioned lighting and using a flash. This is the area I would also like to see more articles on. Especially using the on camera flash with exposer settings.

  • cheryl February 5, 2008 12:08 am

    about lighting. in a "studio" setting and how do you get light on your subject when there is back lighting there.. i don''t see that option on my camera.. digital canon rebel... help :)
    also about cost for photo shoots.. reasonable rates if you are not doing it as a professional.. or only job but as a side line.
    how do you send photos to your web site as examples in reply to questions or assignments.. whew.. that's a lot
    :) Thank you ahead of time for your help in these areas

  • Marc Sy February 4, 2008 10:24 pm

    I would like to learn about lighting, how light would affect the effect in the photography and what lighting would be effective or proper in a given situation.

  • Farkled February 4, 2008 09:09 pm

    As an old timer emerging from the mists of the old times when there was no autofocus, I'd like someone to discuss ways and means of dealing with today's lenses that expect the camera to do it all.

    For example, I want to focus on that tree branch over there, spot meter on the flower on the other side of the frame and then recompose the entire frame. The only way I know how to do that now is to set the lens to manual focus and hope that the focusing screen works in the lighting

  • pablo February 4, 2008 08:45 pm

    I'd like to see bargain tips for SLR users. As a Pentax user, I know that I can use lenses from the 70's and they will be compatible with my K10D.

    How is that for other brands?

    What other "old accessories" can I use with my DSLR? A flash perhaps?

    What do I need to take into account to identify if my second-hand bargain is compatible with my camera?

  • Gayle February 4, 2008 08:30 pm

    I seem to have trouble with getting my landscape shots to look anygood. Recently I took some at North Straddie, but they all seem dark & dull even though I used aperture priority. Also where to focus. Anythng on landscape photograpy would be great.

  • Kunal Daswani February 4, 2008 07:18 pm

    More about lighting.

  • Graeme Smith February 4, 2008 04:53 pm

    How about a roundup/review/tutorial about sensor dust removal?

  • Craig C. February 4, 2008 04:41 pm

    I just got a Kodac Z-712, a sort of bridge I'm told between simple point and shoot cameras and DSLRs. Is it any good or is that entirely up to me? Any tips would be appreciated.

  • Amanda February 4, 2008 03:53 pm

    Anything about the technical photography terms helps. :o) I love my digital slr but know little about aperture, f-stops, iso, yada yada yada. It's a lot to know what to adjust to get just the right picture.

    And please - more about lighting indoors w/out having a professional set up. No everyone has tons of money to purchase professional lighting so it's good to know any tricks to getting lighting just right.

    It'd also be good to see some lightroom & photoshop tips for processing.

  • choco February 4, 2008 03:46 pm

    I am perplexed as how some photos I see on the net are sharp, crisp and very vivid when I never have achieved this kind of quality despite the fact that I'm already using a 2.8f lens. Is this done through post-processing or is it the lighting technique or is it the lens?

  • Bimf February 4, 2008 03:44 pm

    DSLR beginner here. I second Nadine's suggestion regarding landscape photography on an overcast day. In general I want to be able to get better colors and detail when there is a big contrast in the scene (e.g. really bright sky against a darker landscape), short of doing a full HDR image.

    Another issue which gets brought up a lot but I can't quite get is sharpness. No matter how fast the shutter speed, and how still the camera, I still can't quite get the sharpness and "crispness" of professional photos. Perhaps post processing is a must here?

    Finally any tips regarding printing photos would be great. From the few photos I've printed, I notice that they are darker and not as sharp as what I see on the screen (I go to a print shop to have these done, and don't own an appropriate printer myself).

  • Pradip February 4, 2008 03:39 pm

    I want to know some things about how to process a photo after taking it . I see that most of the photos that are award winning or simply amazing to look at are processed in different softwares. So it would be great if you could teach some basics that usually make the photo look better. Or the things that i should do to increase its effectiveness.


  • Suzette February 4, 2008 03:12 pm

    Neil Creek says, "I’d like to know more about the market for photographic prints. This is something I am working towards developing for my own photos right now, and I’m completely new to the idea. What’s important to offer to buyers? Framed prints or the prints only? Signed and numbered limited editions or generic unsigned prints? Photographic process only, or high quality digital printing? Where to find the markets and how to approach them? How to price the prints?"

    I too am very interested selling prints. I also would like a few suggestions on what to look for or how to find good outdoor lighting for portraits. What metering mode to use for wedding photography always confuses me too. :>

  • Frances February 4, 2008 02:18 pm

    Although I'm sure there are thousands of articles out there, I'd like to learn more about Depth of Field and how to remember all of the bits and pieces (e.g. smaller "f" number means a wider open aperture but a ________ DOF) and how to really apply them. I get so overwhelmed so quickly with all of the numbers and settings. So focusing on the basics, would be great!

  • Rebecca February 4, 2008 01:36 pm

    I'd like to learn about filters!

  • XpLoiT February 4, 2008 01:34 pm

    id love to know more about metering modes. how to use those kinda unconventional (as i call them) functions. I shoot 90% in raw and 10% in AV but id like to know pretty much step by step to setup a shot

    set shutter / apeture / iso / white balance and anything else like metering
    focus and shoot

    Another area id like to learn is make the most out of low light situations without a flash and by reducing noise in your shots

    another thing id like to learn is shooting INTO light, ie, sitting inside and having a window shining light inside that you can combat but still properly light the subject

  • Digi February 4, 2008 01:12 pm

    I have a telephoto lens question. I enjoy nature photography and I want to purchase a fixed telephoto lens. So, let's say I have a subject 100 or 200 or 300 feet away and I want to use a telephoto lens so the subject fills the frame. How do I determine what millimeter telephoto lens I would need? In other words, how do I translate the millimeter measurement of a telephoto lens into feet or the actual distance it will magnify?

  • lizziebelle February 4, 2008 12:55 pm

    I'd like to see something about getting more out of my point-and-shoot camera. Any tricks or tips for getting better pictures?

  • sherry February 4, 2008 12:43 pm

    I like Chris' question a lot.

    Also, I'm getting my first DSLR camera this week (yay!) and I'm expecting to be a bit overwhelmed. I know I'll probably still take shots on auto to start, but is there a place to start with manual that's better than others? In other words, when you're learning in a classroom, would you be taught first about apertures, shutter speed, ISO settings, etc?

  • David Marriott February 4, 2008 12:27 pm

    I would love to see a guide for using the cheapest of cheap digital cameras. I have the budget Kodak digital camera, and while I love it, it is limited in terms of focus, exposure, etc. A guide to getting better photos with cheap/bad cameras would be GREAT (and serve a different group of readers).

    All the best,


  • Nadine February 4, 2008 11:40 am

    Landscape photography in overcast conditions- how to get the dramatic skies without the detail of the land etc going black, or conversely, clear detail on the ground leading to blown-out clouds. (i don't have Photoshop; just iPhoto.)

    Using 'Manual' - a series of tutorials going through each of all the different variables one at a time.

  • Lee February 4, 2008 11:35 am

    I am always struggling for ideas for what to photograph. I'm interested in street photography, but a little shy about approaching people. Is there a secret, or a formula for doing this?

  • Chris Homan February 4, 2008 11:29 am

    I'd like to get some tips on how to 'recognize' a good photo opportunity. I love making photo's of city scenes but when I look at other photographers, it seems they magically find scenes or objects that I will most likely just walk by.

  • Dan February 4, 2008 11:19 am

    I'd like to see a tutorial on using neutral density filters and methods to achieve proper exposure when using them.

  • Neil Creek February 4, 2008 11:03 am

    I'd like to know more about the market for photographic prints. This is something I am working towards developing for my own photos right now, and I'm completely new to the idea. What's important to offer to buyers? Framed prints or the prints only? Signed and numbered limited editions or generic unsigned prints? Photographic process only, or high quality digital printing? Where to find the markets and how to approach them? How to price the prints?

  • Gail Storrs February 4, 2008 10:49 am

    I'm a DSLR beginner, and I'm having trouble with correct exposure for indoor pictures, such as family groups, portraits, and candid shots. I usually have the camera set on AV, and I usually remember to adjust the white balance, but any advice for improvement? Also, are there some good, basic tutorials to move me from partial automatic use of the DSLR to manual? I have trouble remembering how to adjust all the variables!


  • Ed O'Keeffe February 4, 2008 10:43 am

    A weekly post processing advice / guide would be great, covering free software such as Gimp and Picasa or more advanced options such as lightroom or Photoshop and everything in between, advice on everything from the shutter to the wall or web gallery.

    How best to upload images to say Flickr or my own website without losing quality / colour detail or meta data?

    For example, I put photos on my daily photo blog at 800px wide but when I use photoshops save to web the exif data gets stripped and I lose colour saturation and sharpness. Any advice would be great. Thanks Darren and great idea doing this!