April AtoZ Challenge: PH – O: Overexposure

for Over-Exposure

By definition, Overexposure is a condition when the photo receives more light than it should have. Causes, slower shutter speed or wide open aperture or high ISO. Effects include excessive highlights and washed out details. Some bits of the photos are recoverable, given they have been shot in RAW format (for comparison with JPEG, check here), but often, complete recovery is not possible and some compromises are done. Exposure compensation is an in body technique to control exposure issues, else, we depend on the post processing to sort things out.

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This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. A to N can be found here.


April AtoZ Challenge: PH – N: Noise Reduction

for Noise Reduction

With improved sensors, came noise too. What is noise, in terms of photography, if you are curious, head over here.
Noise reduction is inbuilt in the camera bodies generally, and also applied during developing the final image. It takes care of the grains at a compromise with the sharpness. The changes are generally subtle and the results are actually better. I find, keeping sharpness and noise reduction sum up to 100 or max of 150 makes my low lights photos fine. I recommend, try out the different settings and softwares too. Trust me, you ll need this someday.




This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. The letters from A to M can be found here.


AtoZ Challenge: PH – M: Macro

for Macro

This is a pretty common term in the photography circuit. A photograph, where we take photos of small subjects, and the photos come out to be bigger than the subjects and in sharp details, that is a macro photograph. For achieving this, there are special lens available. Close up filters, extension tubes and lens reversal are also put to use. Each have their own pros and cons. Do note, while in Macro, the DOF offered is extremely shallow.
Check out a refreshing take on macro, here.




This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. Letters A to L can be found here.


AtoZ Challenge: PH – L: Lens Distortion

for Lens Distortion

The lens refract light and hence certain amount of distortion is introduced. It might be in terms of picture quality, or changes in shape. Common are, barrel distortion and vignetting.
Barrel Distortion is where the photos bulge near the mid of the frame. Its pretty common, but less noticeable in the fixed focus lens.
Vignetting, is when the edges of the photo become dark. In some cases, it adds a bit of drama but, it is still a lens issue.

Often, these are corrected by introducing appropriate lens information corrections during post processing.

Viewing full-screen helps 🙂

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This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. Letters from A to K are completed, view them here.


AtoZ Challenge: PH – K: Kelvin

for Kelvin(Colour Temperature)

Yes, photographs also have a temperature aspect to them. They are judged with respect to which part of the spectrum the light might correspond and at what temperature of emission. What it means to me, I got another setting to fiddle with and tweak to my whim. Generally, changing the temperature, makes the photo appear more cooler or warmer. Cooler, being a bluish shade and warmer being the orange-yellowish shade. I use it to calibrate the white balance in my photos mostly. And yeah, shooting in RAW, helps a lot.

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This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K are done. Check them out.


AtoZ Challenge: PH – J: JPEG vs RAW

for JPEG vs RAW

In terms of shooting format, RAW has advantages over JPEG as there is more data ready at your disposal if you want to tweak the photo, such as a better dynamic range, scope of sharpness, noise reductions etc. While in a JPEG photo, smaller size, faster write speeds are the positives. If you need immediate delivery of the photos, go JPEG. But, if you have time to post process and maybe change a few things around, RAW it is. JPEG is like the print photo, while RAW is still the negative. Personally, I shoot RAW.

The RAW photo


The finished Product

This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J are posted. Do check them.



AtoZ Challenge: PH – I: ISO

for ISO

ISO, in terms of the camera settings and use, is the measure of the sensitivity of the sensor. More the ISO number, more sensitive it is. More sensitive means more light gathering capacity with allows you more latitude while manipulating the other essential camera settings for the shot. But, there’s a trade off too. With increased sensitivity, there comes, increased noise. The camera software works upto a certain limit to suppress the noise, but then, it becomes a bargain between more light or more sharpness. Keeping a low ISO, is recommended for a crisp photo.
Details, here.




This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I are done. Rest soon.


AtoZ Challenge: PH – H: Hyperfocal Distance

for Hyperfocal Distance

Its basically, the focusing distance at which both the foreground and background are in focus. Generally, if we keep a fairly deep DOF, while focusing at infinity, almost everything stays in focus. But, if your photo has an object of interest in the foreground, that is comparatively closer to you, then Hyperfocal Distance comes into play. Two ways to do this. One, work out the actual point of focus and use it, else, focus almost one-third into the frame, and it should be fine. Else, go with focus stacking 🙂 Do bear in mind, this needs practice.




This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H are done. Rest of the letters are lined up too.




AtoZ Challenge: PH – G: Grain

for Grain

Grain, is the old age, film days term for what we know as Noise now. Since most of us, wont see grains in photos anymore, lets talk about the Noise. When we increase the sensitivity of the sensor, we make it responsive to stray signals too. Being increased over a certain limit, based on the cameras, the extra signals start to show and reduce the image quality. Often noise is evident in low light photos, and/or when highly tweaked. HDR gets around it often, but if it doesnt ruin the photo, leave it be.



This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. A, B, C, D, E, F, G are done. Rest to follow.


AtoZ Challenge: PH – F: Focus Stacking

for Focus Stacking

Situation: My usable DOF is less than what is needed to cover my entire subject. Increasing the DOF will rob the dreamy effect and I don’t want that. What to do?

Solution: Use focus stacking.

We shoot a series of photos with focusing on the nearest point of focus of the subject and keep shooting till we reach the end of it, changing the focus, bit by bit every time. Then, we combine them and have a composite photo, where the subject is sharp. The background doesn’t change because we don’t change any camera settings here.

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Stacked up and contrast boosted composite

This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. A, B, C, D, E, F are done. Rest on hot pursuit.

AtoZ Challenge: PH – E: Exposure Bracketing

for Exposure Bracketing

This is the raw material for the slightly advanced HDR (High Dynamic Ratio) photos. Suppose, in a landscape, if  we correctly expose the sky, the foreground is dark, and if we meter the foreground correctly, the sky is washed away. Instead, we take a series of photos exposing the various parts correctly, then we combine them in photo-editing software, and we have a composite photo, where everything is exposed correctly. Be careful though, aperture, focus and white balance must not change during the series. In some cameras, its an inbuilt function, others vary the shutter speed.

Optimum exposure minus 1 stop


Optimum exposure


Optimum exposure plus 1 stop



Resulting HDR photo

This is a part of the April AtoZ Challenge. A, B, C, D, E are done. Rest to follow. Follow me and have fun.



AtoZ Challenge: PH – D: Depth Of Field

for Depth of Field (DOF)

DOF is significant in deciding if a photo is amazing or little off! As the name suggests, DOF is the part of the photo, which is in sharp focus. Its not a single point, but rather a span, a vertical plane. The depth varies directly with aperture. Smaller F number, smaller DOF. If you want a portrait, a smaller DOF is suitable, and in a landscape, for having both foreground and background in focus, a large DOF i.e a large F number. Having a large DOF helps, if you miss pinpoint focus. More, here.





This is a part of the April AtoZ Challenge. Letters A, B, C, D done. Follow me, for rest of the series is coming up next.