Tag Archives: digital camera

How Do You Autofocus?

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on Understanding Autofocus, I’d like to run a poll to find out which methods are most commonly used. So refer back to the previous post if you need some definitions, and if your camera has something I didn’t mention, let us know in the comments.

Day 79 - f o c u s
Creative Commons License photo credit: margolove

I also realize that many of us use more than one setting, so choose the one that you most commonly use… or the one you couldn’t live without.


Also, take a peek at the results from last week’s poll asking “What’s Your Choice Brand for Digital Cameras?” Looks like Canon still has a 50% stronghold, while Nikon moved up to 35%, and Sony dropped to a measly 4%. Really? …4%? …yikes.

What’s Your Choice Brand for Digital Cameras?

It’s interesting to revisit some of the old polls after 6 to 12 months — we ran one very similar to this back in August. This time, however, we’ll limit our choices to digital cameras.

As photographers, we’re typically very brand loyal because of the incompatibilities between different brands of equipment. I’m curious to see the poll results after some time has gone by and Sony is more of an upcoming competitor. I’d also like to get some numbers based on more than 100 votes, so join in!

Nikons vs. Canons
Creative Commons License photo credit: penmachine

If you use multiple brands of cameras, choose the one that you’re most invested in or the one that you’re most likely to continue using. If you shoot only film… um… I suppose you can vote for the brand that you could envision yourself using.


I’ll post last week’s poll results tomorrow as a feature article — it should be good; we had some great written answers to my question. And don’t forget to check the poll results from a few weeks back when I asked “What’s Your Favorite Film?” It’s looking like Velvia, XP2 and Tri-X are the winners.

Social Photography Tips From Around the Web

Our (extended) group writing project has officially come to an end. Back in January, I posted the project requirements and guidelines. Over the course of the past two months, we’ve had 12 entries into the “Social Photography” portion of InspirationBit’s Social Media Mega Project.

Posted below are some excerpts from the 12 articles. Many of the entries were centered around Flickr, but there are a few that touch on other social sites and services. It’s always great to hear thoughts from other photographers on the websites that so many of us use. I’d encourage you to read through the articles linked below — the authors put quite a bit of effort into their writing and they’ve published some very useful and insightful information.

Social Media as I See It

Social Media as I See It

… The one that has had the biggest impact on me is http://www.strobist.blogspot.com or strobist.com. David Hobby has created a community with his site. He has selflessly shared his knowledge with all of us to improve our lighting. He unknowingly pushed me to challenge myself in areas I have always wanted to tread but didn’t know where to start…

Social Media In My Way

Social Media In My Way

… Flickr is not only a photo sharing tool. With the possibilities of commenting pictures, joining groups and participating in group discussions it is a lively scenery of photography related discussions… Jumpcut and Animoto are newcomers comparing to Flickr but it’s worth to keep an eye on them… photographyVoter.com- an other great social media example – is the Digg for photographers… I’m sure others leverage social media tools at a much higher level than I do. Some people are even making a life with and off them. And if you are one of those you can work location independently. But there is one thing to note: it is hard work and requires time…

Blog Writing Project

Blog Writing Project

… Flickr – it has caused me angst and confusion! I guess that’s not quite the opening you were expecting? Let me explain… The thing is, I didn’t “get” what Flickr was about. Being kinda new to the social web I’m not really “into” it, and nor it seems, are many of my friends and colleagues. My philosophy has tended to be that if I’ve got something that’s worth saying then I will, but otherwise I tend to look, not touch. Even on forums I tend to lurk. But that’s not what Flickr (and blogs) are all about…

Utilizing Flickr as a Photoblogging Tool

Utilizing Flickr as a Photoblogging Tool

… I happen to now host my images on Flickr… My favorite use of Flickr, however, is the ability to use it as a blogging tool. I have a photoblog for projects and I can dump my images onto Flickr then easily blog straight to my wordpress site… Using Flickr as a blogging tool has helped simplify my work-flow…

Help me flickr! I want to be a better photographer!

Help me flickr! I want to be a better photographer!

… By following this advice you can create an online portfolio of your best work… Restrict your uploads to one or two a day, but don’t feel like you have to upload something everyday… Haven’t shot anything recently, but still want to share some work? Cruise through your archives… Groups are probably one of the most important facets in your development… Spend time in the pools that most interest you. Comment on the photos in the pool. Insightful comments… While fav’s may reflect your moods to a certain degree, on a wider scale they reflect your aspirations…



… So I will share with you here MY experience with social websites, the ones I use, the one I love and the ones you could really help me make a change with!… Flickr offers unlimited storage and bandwidth so I use it to host various images/icons/logos that I use here… PhotographerVoter is a digg like community specialized in photography links! Luckily the people are much nicer than at digg… the most important part of socializing is not the social websites but it is rather to meet and make friends from readers and other photography bloggers…

photophlow: A Social Experience for Flickr Photographers

photophlow: A Social Experience for Flickr Photographers

… Photography is becoming an ever increasing social event with the onset of digital cameras, widespread Internet access, and great new websites springing up every time you turn around. Flickr has been a pillar community for photographers across the globe, and it’s an amazing place to share your work, view the work of others, and communicate with other photographers. But social media and other social websites have given us a taste of what it really means to connect with people who share common interests, and Flickr just isn’t cutting it (socially) for some of us. This is where photophlow comes in to play — adding a whole new level of social interaction to Flickr… photophlow is a mixture of several concepts and existing services…

Twist & shout!

Twist & shout!

… I looked at several services before opting for Shutterchance and my blog ‘eclectic’. Flickr seemed too huge with the number of ‘photographers’ and in some cases they seemed far too pompous! Zooomr was finding its feet – and still is; I wasn’t keen on the layout of Aminus3 and Blogger was a non-starter… I certainly felt most at home on Shutterchance…

Virtual community becoming real

Virtual community becoming real

… “Web 2.0” is all about online community. But sometimes we want more. We want to meet the real people behind those avatars and icons. A small group of Ann Arbor photographers, first met on Flickr, has been meeting semi-regularly in person… We know each other online by our Flickr “handles”, such as Boston Wolverine and Capntoo. In person, we become Sam and Dave… our online community becomes a personal community, which in turn strengthens the online community…

Flickr is the key to my social photography experience

Flickr is the key to my social photography experience

… I joined Flickr in October 2006… I still kinda “lurked” around Flickr at first. I put a few photos up and spent hours viewing other people’s images… then I got a comment… then someone invited me to post a photo to a group… then someone added me as a contact… then someone asked to use one of my photos on their website… Before I knew it, I was an active member of the online photography community… My contribution back to the online photography community is to write posts on my own website; stumble photography posts and websites when I can; bookmark articles on del.icio.us and vote for articles on PhotographyVoter… Flickr is definitely the key to my social photography experience. In fact, if I had not discovered Flickr, I may still be “lurking” my way around the internet.

Things to Consider Before You Join a Flickr Pool

 Things to Consider Before You Join a Flickr Pool

… Photographers and Designers need a social media website that would help their artwork visually targeted. Flickr has the powerful tool to bring a visual masterpiece uncovered to the millions of viewers. If you’re a photographer or a designer who blog, why not starting out a Flickr pool?… Here are things to consider before you join a Flickr Pool… Create a nice screen name url… manage the usage rights… set the content type of your graphics… Watermark your photos with your blog URL… Tags your uploaded photos…

Social Media As A New Way Of Doing Business

Social Media As A New Way Of Doing Business

… It is easy to get overwhelmed by hundreds of various social networking sites… For some of us social media presented the ways to express ourselves, make friends, escape the troubles of the real world or simply feed our lifelong desire to learn. For others social media became the perfect tool in growing and conducting business…. I thought of interviewing Rastin Mehr, a successful entrepreneur, talented developer and an open source advocate… Flickr… My most favorite of all social networks that is. I’ve been using it for 2 years I think. I use it every hour as a way to reduce my stress, or trigger my imagination…

And remember to check back on InspirationBit in a few days if you want to see the results from ALL the different social networks and websites.

7 Reasons To Love Prime Lenses

A prime lens is one that has a single focal length. A zoom lens is one that has a range of focal lengths. The each have their proper place in the camera bag and on the camera. But the prime has always been, and will continue to be, a favorite among seasoned photographers using interchangeable-lens cameras.

I picked up my first prime lens nearly a year ago (105mm f/2.8 macro), and over the course of the year I’ve grown to consider that lens as my favorite. In the last few months, I’ve hardly taken the lens off my camera body. But then I picked up another prime lens (50mm f/1.4) and I’m absolutely in love with these things. Here’s why:


For the same quality, prime lenses cost less than zoom lenses. They contain fewer elements, less moving parts, and their design is simpler. For the same cost, you can pick up a half-decent zoom lens or you can pick up an outstanding prime lens.


Zooms are designed to work well at most focal lengths in their range, but the all display some type of lens distortion at some point — usually at the extremes. Primes, on the other hand, are designed to work great at a single focal length. The distortions have been minimized by design.


Similar to the argument for lens distortions, primes have been optimized for sharpness and clarity while zooms must sacrifice these things in order to offer up the convenience of multiple focal lengths.


Again, for the same price point, prime lenses are capable of a wider array of f-numbers. They’re faster, and they offer more options at the low end of the f-number scale.


Generally, as you lower your f-number your bokeh becomes more apparent. Primes are notorious for producing crazy bokeh on specular highlights when shot wide open. Primes will also generally have better and/or more aperture blades, thus giving you a better bokeh.


If you’ve never shot with a f/1.4 (or faster) lens, you have no idea what you’re missing. Indoor shots — no flash, no problem. Concerts — fast lenses are a must.


I suppose my favorite thing about prime lenses is the fact that you have to use your head. Composition becomes a thinking game. You have to move your feet to get that shot you had in mind, so you really start to evaluate what’s important in the scene. Fast primes also make you think a little harder about your f-number. The DOF can be extremely shallow; sometimes too shallow to produce an effective shot. Not only that, but on bright sunny days, you actually can’t use the lens wide open without an ND filter because you’ll let in too much light and max out your shutter speed.

So if you don’t have a good prime lens, you’re really missing out. Zooms are fine, and they have their place, but a prime will open your eyes to a whole new level of photography.

WRITING PROJECT: Social Photography

Photography has become a very social pastime with the uprise of digital cameras, the Internet, and photo-sharing websites. Photographers from all around the world are sharing their work, viewing the work of others, and making connections with people they would have otherwise never met. It’s an amazing thing how social networking and photography have almost merged into one big culture: Social Photography.


  • Write a post on a blog and share your experience with social photography websites. See below for more details and examples.
  • Go to the form at the bottom of this page and send me your name, email (kept private), and link to your project entry. If you don’t have your own blog, you can always ask to write a guest post on one of the many photography blogs out there.
  • Once I collect the links from the participants I’ll publish them on my blog. You can then write another post and link to either all or only your favorite articles by other bloggers.
  • Limit one article per author for this particular project. You are more than welcome to visit other participating blogs hosting projects dedicated to other social media sites and take part in those projects (I’ll explain more below).


This project is actually part of a larger project being termed “The Social Media Mega Project“. InspirationBit is hosting the mega-project, and I’m hosting a small portion of this project on photography related websites. Several other bloggers are hosting similar mini-projects to fill the gaps in the mega-project. These projects span the following topics:

So if you can offer up your experience in any of those social sites listed above, feel free to visit the project pages and participate.


As photographers we have a lot of options when it comes to social-based websites. We have the photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Zooomr. We have social media sites like photographyVoter and PictPicture. Then we also have some interactive sites like photophlow. Simply pick your favorite social site and choose a topic to write about that you feel comfortable with.

This topic could be how you integrate this social media site into your blogging, photography, or daily life. You could tell us about your good or bad experiences, how would you compare this social networking site with others, what do you like or don’t like about it, how you benefit from becoming a frequent user of this site, what secrets have you learned about it, and/or what tips or warnings would you like to inform others about. It can really be anything related to that site — just share what you know.

As a couple of examples right here from the archives of Epic Edits, Martin has already written about his Top 10 Flickr Hacks, and I’ve written about Flickr Etiquette. I’ll actually be following up soon with a new article on photophlow, how to use it, what it can be used for, and the benefits of using it.

So start thinking about those social pholography sites that you use, and put together your thoughts on how you can share your experience with other photographers.


Sorry folks, the deadline for project submissions is over. Stay tuned for the project results on the 24th.