Skip to main content

Posts

What is Aperture (F-stop) and its impact on DSLR photos.

If you are planning to move out of auto mode DSLR shooting, this post will help you with one of the most basic aspects of taking photos in Manual mode. Aperture is the opening or hole in the lens through which light travels when taking photos. This opening is made up of individual blade elements and the value of aperture forms an important part of the exposure triangle for photography.  Lower f-stop value -> Wider is the aperture opening -> More light comes in. Higher f-stop value -> Smaller is the aperture opening -> Less light comes in.
Whenever the value of aperture is changed, amount of image sharpness and image exposure is affected. Also, changing the f-stop value is not as simple because the lens optics play a role here too. Coming to lenses, there are fixed f-stop zoom lenses and variable f-stop zoom lenses. As an example, Canon 70-200 F2.8 L IS USM is a fixed f-stop zoom lens and Canon 70-300 F4.5-F5.6 DO IS USM is a variable f-stop zoom lens. Why is this importan…

What is ISO and how it affects your DSLR photos.

If your low light photography pictures are coming out too dark or too blurry, ISO might be the solution for you. Back in the film days, ISO was known as the sensitivity of your film to light. Bigger the number, more sensitive it was and thus the photographer could take better photos in low light. In digital photography, it increases the sensitivity of your DSLR towards the light. Higher the ISO, the brighter and grainier images will look. Technically speaking, it increases the gain of the sensor which means amplifying the signal value.

Value of ISO forms an integral part of the exposure triangle, where other two factors include aperture and shutter speed. Below are a few example shots showing the impact of ISO on photos taken in low light conditions. All the other factors such as aperture, shutter speed, metering mode and focal length were kept constant while taking these photos.
DSLR settings:  Aperture: F/3.5 Shutter speed: 1/15 seconds DSLR: Pentax K5-II Focal length: 18 mm







From t…

Top 10 photography software for Ubuntu and Linux distributions

Windows has a huge user base but at the same time, Linux (specifically Ubuntu) has not lost its charm in this technical age. In fact, the number of people using an open source operating system such as Ubuntu, Fedora or Arch Linux has been growing rapidly. With this increase, the demand for open source software to carry out computer tasks such as photo editing is also on the rise. There are some very good options for editing photos on a Linux based system, I personally still use 3 of them for my DSLR photography needs. Coming to the list, I have divided all 10 options into further categories based on what they offer. Software suites that are very similar to that of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are placed into their respective categories. 
Lightroom equivalent:
1) Darktable: Darktable software user interface is extremely close to that of Adobe Lightroom Classic CC and it offers very similar editing tools such as overlay, white balance, exposure adjustment, curves, crop, etc. Initially,…

Affinity photo editor vs Photoshop CC

In the last post, we talked about an open source free photo editing software called Darktable and compared it with Lightroom Classic CC.  This post we will focus on another amazing software called Affinity photo editor, developed by Serif, a company based in the UK. Affinity photo editor is available for Windows and Apple Mac machines as a software to download. Affinity photo has the RAW processing features of Lightroom and image editing features of Photoshop. I first thought of doing a comparison between Lightroom Classic CC and Affinity photo but both of them have very different functionalities, and the comparison did not produce very meaningful results. One of them is known for its digital asset management capabilities and the other for its high-end tools.  Affinity photo is a really strong contender for Photoshop CC. Both have great RAW image support and tons of very similar tools. 
Here are some of the major differences between Photoshop and Affinity photo: 

-Lesser Affinity photo p…

Darktable vs Lightroom Classic CC

I first heard about Darktable software in 2016 and actually was quite fascinated with the name itself.  Within a few hours of hearing about it, I went to the official Darktable website and downloaded it on my Linux laptop. I have been using it for quite a while now alongside Adobe Lightroom Classic CC and hence decided to write this small review post. If you are looking for a free Adobe Lightroom alternative, this might be or might not be for you depending on what you need.  Darktable is a free open source post-processing software which can do non-destructive RAW photo editing and photo management. Non-destructive means it does not change the original RAW file, all the edits are written to a sidecar file. It is not a raster editor like GIMP or Adobe Photoshop. It has evolved through so many phases of bug fixing and operating system compatibility. The latest version is available for Linux, Ubuntu, MacOS and Windows. Being an open source software it doesn't surprise me that it is a…

Capture One Pro 11 vs Lightroom Classic CC

Capture One Pro, made by Phase One, is one of the competitor software for Adobe Lightroom Classic CC. I have been using Adobe Lightroom since I started my photography journey but I recently installed the trial of Capture One to use it alongside Lightroom. I decided to make this post as a simple comparison test talking about few of the good and bad sides. Currently, there are three versions of Capture One:
Capture One Pro 11. Works with all supported DSLR camera files with full functionality.
Capture One Pro Sony 11. Works with supported Sony DSLR camera files only with full functionality set. This Sony version is available at a huge discount because Sony made an agreement to subsidize part of the cost. If you are a Sony user, this could be the reason for you to try and see if you like it. 
Capture One Express Sony. Free version. Works with supported Sony DSLR camera files only but with less number of functionalities. Here is the link to PDF file from the official Phase One website talki…

In-camera DSLR body image stabilization vs optical lens stabilization

I recently went on a trip and took a lot of photos using a telephoto lens that has image stabilization built into it. As I was taking photos, I realized I should write a blog post explaining what image stabilization basically does and how the two techniques (lens vs in-camera body) are different from each other. If you have a Canon or Nikon lens, you must have heard terms like IS (Image Stabilization for Canon) and VR(Vibration Reduction for Nikon) while buying lenses. These naming terms indicate that the lens supports image stabilization.
Image stabilization, as the name itself suggests, is a technique for reducing the effect of shake or vibration on the final image. This vibration might be coming from shaky hands, tripod leg sliding at 1 mm per second or just natural body rhythms that get magnified at higher zoom values. While Nikon and Canon are still sticking with traditional lens-based image stabilization technique to reduce shake, manufacturers like Pentax, Sony and Olympus fol…