/ photography

Photo tips 2

A cheat to get Sharp Picture

This is not actually a cheat, it is a tip.  However, some photo-purist prefer to say this trick is cheating.  To get a sharp picture, you can use the camera's macro mode to take a sharp picture.  Usually camera's macro mode (flower picture on the PASM dial) will give the sharpest picture compared to other modes.  Why?  Because the camera knows the lens's sharpest aperture that match the camera's sensor's resolving power.  Moreover it will use and set the sharpness on picture style correctly! 

By automatically choosing the best combination, this automatic macro mode is better than what most photographer can extract from the camera and lens combination.  As far as I know, only a few professional can beat the camera's computer!

Wide angles

What is wide angles for?

  1. For putting everything in an image
    • This is what less experienced photographer use, when used properly, this could result in a nicely composed image.  However not many items can be photographed this way, which will result in an ugly image.
  2. For exaggerating room size and distances between subject
    • Hotels often uses this trick to show that their room are big
  3. For distorting appearance
    • e.g. making a girl appears cuter than she really is
  4. For creating a special point of view
    • to make one point important point of an image look big, while the others are small while capturing the surrounding


The picture on the left was taken using normal lens (35mm), while the picture on the right was taken using wide lens (18mm).  It actually depends on your taste.  I like the picture on the right more than on the left.  Others might like the picture on the left.

Ultra wide lenses is even crazier, what a pity I have none of them!  Hopefully I can get one soon.

White balance

What is white balance for?

  1. for making white things looks white
    • This is the basic usage of white balance setting.  For example, when the automatic white balance is enabled in ski resort, the white balance setting on some camera will mistakenly register the snow as yellow, not white. 
    • Setting the white balance to snow's yellow colour will change the yellow snow to a cold super white snow.
  2. for making mood on the image
    • An artists uses white balance for creating mood on the image he or she took.  On tungsten light, sometimes an artists set the white balance to daylight to exaggerate the yellowish colour therefore adding warm effects.  However on daylight, he or she might set to the tungsten to get somewhat cool effect.


The image on the left is photographed with a normalised white balance, which means this image is has true to life colour.  However the image on the right uses shade white balance, which is not exactly the same with what I really see.  I like the image on the right better however.

Oh yes, I forgot to tell you, the tractor picture's white balance above is also set to shade, therefore the tractor's body colour become super warm.


Overexposure will cause the overexposed image to loose detail.  For me, some overexposure is fine, it will give an impression of a super bright part on an image which highlight something cool.  However too much of them is not good since your image will be unclear.

Less experienced photographer usually tries to avoid any overexposed part on the image he or she took, however this could result in underexposed image, which also ugly.  Sometimes it is better to just retain the overexposed parts and having balanced image. 

To fix overly diverse zone in an image, balancing the light using flash is a good solution.  However flash will not equally brighten the whole image.  The farther the item from the flash, the darker it will get.  Therefore several flashes are used.

HDR technique is also a good way to do this, however it requires heavy Photoshop edit.  Canon's digital learning centre had a good explanation on this subject.

Moreover, sometimes photographer deliberately overexpose an image to hide distracting details


This is the sample product from our office.  It was put on top of 4 pieces of white paper.  The image on the left had the normal exposure, the white paper piece is clearly visible on the image making a gray line behind the sample.  The sample is somewhat dark and needs illumination.  However when the image is overexposed, they gray line disappears due to loss of details and the sample become visible therefore saving me from editing the image in the computer.