Seth Shostak

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Seth Shostak  |  Sep 07, 2017  |  0 comments

Before you bought your last camera, did you weigh the pros and cons of the sensor’s aspect ratio? My guess is no—not in the face of more solemn considerations such as style, trim, and a boastful shoulder strap.

Seth Shostak  |  Aug 09, 2017  |  0 comments

It sounds like a reference to dull Halloween costumes, but I’ve always regarded unsharp masking as the Cadillac option for beefing up the acutance of my photos. Admittedly, this is probably just a reaction to the fact that unsharp masking has a complicated dialog box in Photoshop, and my reptilian brain is dazzled by lots of controls.

Seth Shostak  |  Jun 23, 2017  |  0 comments

If you use anything more capable than a smartphone for making photos, then you know all about sharpening. Well, at least you can find a menu item that, in a fraction of a second, turns “acceptable” photos into snappier snaps. It’s like flush toilets: you may not understand exactly how they work, but you know how to use them.

Seth Shostak  |  Jun 02, 2017  |  0 comments

It wasn’t so long ago when every camera came with what’s called a normal lens. This, of course, didn’t refer to its mental health, but to the fact that it was the default lens that every photographer would find useful or, in the days before interchangeable lenses, would be stuck with.

Seth Shostak  |  May 04, 2017  |  0 comments

Soon enough, your camera will join the ranks of the well connected. That’s not to say it will be invited to A-list parties, but only that it will become a participant in the highly touted Internet of Things, now coming ’round the mountain.

Seth Shostak  |  Mar 17, 2017  |  0 comments

The first time I came across a reference to bokeh in a lens review I found it a bit pretentious. Bokeh may sound like a Japanese dessert, but it’s actually the out-of-focus behavior of your lens. The term is said to come from the Japanese word “boke,” which translates as “blur” or, in some cases, “senility.” Confused? It’s understandable.

Seth Shostak  |  Feb 21, 2017  |  0 comments

Shooting color used to be simple: you just dialed in your white balance and fired away. Excepting the rare cases where the colors had to be spot on (such as in fashion photography), this straightforward approach was close enough for most types of photography.

Seth Shostak  |  Jan 31, 2017  |  0 comments

White balance sounds like one of those concerns that vaporized with the advent of digital photography. In the days when film was king, you had to think about the color quality of light at the drugstore photo counter, long before you made any pics. You could either plan on shooting in the Sun, using a so-called “daylight” emulsion, or snapping your photos indoors, with a “T” or “tungsten” film stock.

Seth Shostak  |  Dec 27, 2016  |  0 comments

Imagine a camera you could plunk down in front of the Taj Mahal or anywhere else and snap photos that were indistinguishable from reality. A camera producing images that, when properly displayed, would be pictorially the same as being there.

Seth Shostak  |  Dec 09, 2016  |  0 comments

Depending on your photographic interests, depth of field—the range of distances over which your lens will be sharp—can affect you in either propitious or problematic ways. If you’re trying to isolate one face in a group, a shallow depth of field is just what you need. If you’re hoping to capture the drama of a racehorse beating down the track in your direction, then shallow depth of field can turn much of the equine into a befuddling brown blur, no matter how high your shutter speed.

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