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What is White Balance and how it affects your DSLR photos

Ever took a photo that looked either too blue or too orange? This is a very common problem faced by DSLR photography folks when choosing a white balance setting.  Measured in degree kelvins, white balance helps to make a real-life white object look white in photos too.  In more layman terms, it makes the image colour temperature taken by the camera match closely and accurately with the real scene outside as seen by human eyes. White balance will not change your image exposure in any way, and varying the exposure settings will not impact the colour temperature of the image.  In order to get a realistic looking image which matches what we actually see, DSLR cameras allow us to adjust the white balance. Some of the commonly available preset white balance settings available in DSLR cameras are: -Tungsten -Fluorescent -Daylight -Flash -Shade -Cloudy These preset values work amazingly well only if you are sure of the lighting. If not, there is always automatic white balance mode which leav…

Photo taking modes in a DSLR and their differences.

Purchasing a DSLR is an exciting moment for every beginner, it opens a whole new world of learning opportunities. One thing that confuses us the most while taking photos with a DSLR is about understanding how different shooting modes work. Learning the mode control dials located on the top of a camera can be a daunting task. In this post, we will talk in depth about various photography modes in a DSLR and how they are different from each other.

Aperture priority: A mode or Av mode. For a shallow or deeper area in focus, aperture priority is the mode that could help. In this mode, we are guiding the camera to prioritize the value of aperture (F-stop ) over everything else. Let's say we want a sharp landscape image with good details. Assuming the aperture value to be set at F/7, the camera will take care of shutter speed and ISO (If in Auto). You can set threshold settings to let the camera know when to favour an increase in ISO instead of exposure time and vice-versa.  This mode do…

5 things to know before switching DSLR between Canon and Nikon

Photography is an expensive hobby or profession and everyone wants the best bang for every dollar they spend. This applies to any photography equipment starting with low-cost tripods to super expensive professional grade lenses. I am sure all of us must have heard of Nikon and Canon. The good old battle between these two DSLR brands will never end. Whether you are a beginner or a full time professional, there are a few quirks everyone should know before switching camera between these brands.
1) The used market for Canon gear is just enormous which makes a good plus point for investment and buying decent used gear. Go to craigslist for a given city and search used photography gear, the difference will be easily noticeable. I searched for 10 different cities in Canada and all had comparatively more listings for Canon.
2) Nikon has better dynamic range cameras. Dynamic range is the ability of the camera to sense the lightest and darkest scene in a given photo retaining as much detail as…

What is Shutter speed and its impact on photos.

Shutter speed is another magic word that beginners need in order to understand exposure triangle. It is as important as the value of ISO and Aperture. Basically, it is the duration for which your camera shutter lets the light in and hit the sensor. Your sensor is always covered with the shutter plates that move according to the shutter speed. Longer exposure time (lower shutter speed) will let in more light and shorter exposure time (higher shutter speed) will let in less light. I will simply start with a duck shot taken by me recently. The photograph below was taken at a shutter speed of 1/1250 seconds, ISO 200 and aperture of F7 during the daytime. The water dripping from nose appears to be frozen because of the high shutter speed value. This is called as pausing motion or action shots. You can apply the same strategy to fast moving objects. In this particular scenario, I did not have to bump up the ISO or decrease the aperture (for more light) as it was a sunny day.


Let's focu…

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,…