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Ask David

Ask David: How do you Focus to Infinity?

Ask David: How do you Focus to Infinity?

I read an article on infinity focus. I understand the concept but I don’t quite know how to find it. My lens does not have the symbol for infinity, as it is a kit lens. Is it true that if I can focus on the moon, I would be set to infinity? I have an 18mm – 55mm lens and a 50mm – 200mm lens. I want to practice with my cable release using bulb mode but I’d like to better understand this concept. Thank you in advance.”
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Ask David: Why Aren’t My Backgrounds Blurry?

Ask David: Why Aren’t My Backgrounds Blurry?

When I was a beginner photographer, I distinctly remember going out one weekend to shoot an outdoor event. I thought I had the whole aperture thing figured out. In order to get a sharp subject and a blurry background, all I needed to do was select the widest available aperture (smallest f-number), or use Portrait Mode. I selected Aperture Priority and I shot the whole event at f/4.

When I looked at my photographs after the event, I was really disappointed. Despite those large apertures, the images all featured backgrounds that were either just as sharp as the subject, or only very slightly blurred. I got the focus right, I got the exposure right, but for some reason I wasn’t able to get that background blur that I wanted. And it was actually sometime before I figured out why. Today I’m going to share that secret with you, so you don’t have to figure it out for yourself the way I did.
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Ask David: What camera settings should I use on a sunny day?

Ask David: What camera settings should I use on a sunny day?

When you are photographing during the sunniest part of the day you are combating two major issues: The first is overexposure and the second is harsh shadows.

First, let’s tackle overexposure. Overexposure occurs when too much light gets into your camera and washes out your photo. To combat overexposure, it’s best to shoot in full manual mode because it will give you the most control. As you adjust each setting, keep an eye on your light meter. It’s going to give you a ballpark as you change your settings and will be your first indication if your shot is going be overexposed.
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Ask David: What’s the best way to change my camera lens?

Ask David: What’s the best way to change my camera lens?

What’s the best way to change lenses? What happens if I get dust on my lens? What about on my sensor?

The best way to change your lens is as fast as you can without damaging your gear. Minimizing the amount of time the camera and back element of the lenses are exposed to the elements minimizes the potential for dirt and other particulates to get into your camera body. Don’t change your lenses in a rainstorm, while cleaning out a dusty attic, or on the sand at the beach if at all avoidable. Those environments can wreak havoc on the internal workings of your camera.

Here is my typical lens change procedure, step by step:
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Ask David: What are the red and silver lines on Canon lenses?

Ask David: What are the red and silver lines on Canon lenses?

“Why do some Canon lenses have a red line and others have a silver line? What’s the difference? What about the gold line and the green line?”

Canon uses the different colored rings to denote a lens’s features and distinguish the different lenses from each other. It should be noted that while the colored rings always mean the same thing when used; Canon has been a little wishy-washy about always using them. Just because a lens is lacking the colored ring, doesn’t mean it doesn’t fall into one of the established lens divisions, it just means you will have to look harder to get the information you seek. Let’s discuss what each of the lines mean.
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Take Interesting Photos In Boring Places

Take Interesting Photos In Boring Places

This week I received a letter from a reader who asks a very poignant question. Olivia Polerowicz wants to know:

“I was wondering how to take good pictures in not so interesting places. The thing is, I live in a not particularly interesting place and so my photos kinda show it. I have a problem with trying to find the right subject and how to make it interesting. I have the right camera and everything. I was wondering if you could help?”

Sure, I’m happy to help!
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Ask David: Reducing Blur In Pet Photos

Ask David: Reducing Blur In Pet Photos

No one can argue that camera lenses and cute dogs go together like peanut butter and jelly. After all, who doesn’t want to capture memories of their dog from puppy to adulthood? Our dogs’ photos go on the mantel, in photo albums, and on our walls just like the rest of the family’s photos do. But, photographing your pup can be a bit of a challenge, as one reader found out. After a few valiant attempts at it, Ramona Samoila e-mailed me her photos and asked for an analysis. Here’s my response, and the happy ending.
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Ask David: White Balance, RAW images, Slow shutter speeds and Lenses

Ask David: White Balance, RAW images, Slow shutter speeds and Lenses

In my Ask David column, I answer common questions from my readers. By answering them here, I hope to help everyone else who might have this problem, and not just the person who asked the question.

Today, we cover White Balance, RAW images, slow shutter speeds and a few questions on lenses.
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Ask David: Lenses, Shots Out Of Sequence, Cropping, Lenses to purchase, Megapixels

Ask David: Lenses, Shots Out Of Sequence, Cropping, Lenses to purchase, Megapixels

In my regular Ask David column, I answer common questions from my readers. By answering them here, I hope to help everyone else who might have this problem, and not just the person who asked the question.

Today, we have a bumper edition covering why you shouldn’t get a film camera; how shots get out of sequence; why images aren’t always cropped correctly; a good set of lenses to purchase; and how many images you can fit onto your memory card.
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Ask David: Why Do I still Get Red Eye in Night Shots?

Ask David: Why Do I still Get Red Eye in Night Shots?

This question comes from reader Rick Bergesio. He’s tried the red eye flash setting on his camera, and it hasn’t done much to reduce red eye in his night shots. If the system isn’t working as advertised, then what’s going on? Why do his photos still have problems with red eye?
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Ask David: Bridge Camera or Digital SLR?

Ask David: Bridge Camera or Digital SLR?

This week’s Ask David question comes from Ernie Everest. He’s an avid photographer looking to upgrade his point-and-shoot setup to something with a little more power. He wonders why people purchase digital SLRs when there are a lot of cheaper and lighter solutions.
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Ask David: Wedding Photography, Selective Color, Cheaper Photoshop purchases, and Photography Myths

Ask David: Wedding Photography, Selective Color, Cheaper Photoshop purchases, and Photography Myths

In my regular Ask David column, I answer common questions from my readers. By answering them here, I hope to help everyone else who might have this problem, and not just the person who asked the question.

Today, we cover wedding photography, selective color, cheaper Photoshop purchases, and quash a few common photography myths.
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Ask David: Aperture Changes, Focus Lock, Stealing Photos and Curtain Flashes

Ask David: Aperture Changes, Focus Lock, Stealing Photos and Curtain Flashes

In my regular Ask David column, I answer common questions from my readers. By answering them here, I hope to help everyone else who might have this problem, and not just the person who asked the question.

Today, we cover aperture changes, the focus lock button, stealing photos, and curtain flashes.
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Ask David: What print size should I use for photography exhibitions?

Ask David: What print size should I use for photography exhibitions?

This question comes from reader Sherry Quiban. She wants to start doing photography exhibitions, and she’d like to know what size images she should print for the occasion. While it’s certainly a question with a lot of different answers, there are a few accepted guidelines for exhibition prints. Here’s what I tend to do.
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Ask David: Memory Card Speed, RAW Images and Macro Lenses

Ask David: Memory Card Speed, RAW Images and Macro Lenses

I find that I get a lot of common questions from my Ask David page. By answering them here, I hope to help everyone else who might have this problem, and not just the person who asked the question.

Today, we’ll answer questions on memory card speed, RAW images, and macro and telephoto lenses.
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