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More Photo & Video Opinion

  • Opinion: Google and Viacom settle YouTube suit long after it stopped mattering

    Google and Viacom have finally buried the hatchet over alleged YouTube copyright violations from nearly a decade ago.

  • Opinion: Traveling with your camera: What to take with you

    You don't have to be a National Geographic photographer to take your digital camera on the road. Whether you're embarking on a week-long vacation, a weekend getaway, or even just a day trip, you might want to bring your digital camera with you for better photos than you can snap with your phone alone. But what accessories do you need to take the best photos and to keep them safe? I've rounded up a collection of gear designed for traveling photographers. You won't need to bring everything on this list unless you really are a Nat Geo pro, but you can use the list to find all the essentials that work for you.

  • Opinion: 7 killer tips for editing photos in Android

    For many of us, our phones are now our primary piece of photography equipment. We use them to snap photos, record videos, and share our creations with the world. While most smartphone cameras do a decent job of capturing the moment, it never hurts to know your way around an image-editing app.

  • Opinion: How to keep your camera clean

    Everything gets dusty, dirty, and smudgy. You know that, for instance, because you have a phone. Most of the time, your phone's screen looks like it sunk with the Titanic. If you have a digital camera--either a compact camera or a digital SLR--it's even worse, because the optics are delicate and it doesn't take much gunk to adversely affect your photos.

  • Opinion: How to tweak settings on your webcam

    Here's the setup: You've purchased an HD webcam, either because your Mac doesn't have a camera or you're not satisfied with the camera built into your computer. You jack the thing into your Mac and, sure enough, images from your camera appear in the appropriate applications.

  • Opinion: Can you record a Netflix stream for offline viewing?

    Reader Thom wrote in with this question:

  • Opinion: How to manually lower Netflix's streaming bit rate

    True story. Last night, while on an Amtrak train from Chicago to Detroit, I was trying to pass the time by watching Netflix on my laptop. Just one problem: The connectivity wasn't great between cities, so there were a lot of pauses while the stream buffered.

  • Opinion: Make panoramas the easy way

    Some scenes are just too epic to fit into an ordinary picture frame. Consider this: Your usual field of vision is about 200 degrees, but a typical digital camera can only see about a quarter of that--which is why a photo of a breathtaking vista is a lot less impressive than the view you might remember.

  • Opinion: This lens will give your photos and DSLR that 19th century look

    Here's something for those who ever wanted to give photos that old timey look but like for real--without any of that Instagram digital post-processing shader mess. The minds at Lomography have brought back the nearly two-century old Petzval portrait lens that you can stick onto your digital-age SLR camera to create stylish photos like it's the 19th century all over again.

  • Opinion: 5 streaming TV shows full of badass, shady ladies

    A couple of weeks ago, seemingly everyone on my Twitter feed was linking to Laurie Penny's thoughtful essay in the New Statesman, "I was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl." It's a great piece worth reading, a hopeful lamentation on the idea that "Men grow up expecting to be the hero of their own story. Women grow up expecting to be the supporting actress in somebody else's." I think that's true sometimes, but luckily this week's crop of streaming TV shows is crammed with strong female characters--badass main characters at that. These women can't be packed into neat, boxed-shaped archetypes like MPDG or any other, unless there's a box for "Criminally intelligent, and sometimes just criminal, shady ladies who are up to no good."

  • Opinion: You too can make this 3D-printed film camera at home

    Film cameras may be obsolete as far as mainstream use goes, but that didn't stop Instructables user Bozardeux from designing and building an SLR camera. Oh, did we mention that it's 3D-printed?

  • Opinion: Strip away all of YouTube's clutter with Cleanr

    I don't know about you, but whenever I visit YouTube these days, I want to scold it like a child: "Clean up your room!" Because, seriously, what a mess.

  • Opinion: Tweak your browser to show YouTube song lyrics

    YouTube makes a great jukebox, whether you use it to stream an entire playlist of songs from your favorite artist or just listen to the occasional modern hit.

  • Opinion: Konstructor is a neat $35 film camera you can build yourself

    The lo-fi film lovers at Lomography have really outdone themselves this time with a 35-millimeter SLR camera called the Konstruktor that you have to assemble yourself. No, this isn't some kind of half-baked camera product. The idea here is to have fun building your own personal shooter while learning how the mechanical bits in a camera actually work.

  • Opinion: Total sharpness: Hyperfocal photography

    Conventional wisdom has it that you should keep the background in your photos out of focus to draw attention to the subject in the foreground. Generally that's good advice, but sometimes you might want everything to be in sharp focus, from the foreground elements all the way to the distant background. If you have a camera that lets you adjust the focus manually (think DSLRs and advanced compacts), you can accomplish this effect using a technique called hyperfocal photography.

  • Opinion: Getting the best bokeh in your background

    Blurry photos are generally a bad thing. But although it's true that--with rare exception--no one likes camera shake in their photos, sometimes blur is intentional, such as when you shoot a photo with shallow depth of field so that the subject is sharp and the background is out of focus.

  • Opinion: Graphene-based camera sensors could take pictures in virtual darkness

    A team of researchers at Nanyang Technological University is developing a graphene-based camera sensor that's 1000 times more sensitive to light than most commercial CMOS or CCD sensors. The NTU researchers say the new graphene-derived sensor can detect a broad spectrum of light--from the visible to mid-infrared--which could allow it to take photos in nearly-complete darkness.

  • Opinion: How to photograph the moon

    It's hard to believe today--especially since you can just look up at the sky and see our crater-covered moon with your naked eyes--but there was a time when people weren't intimately familiar with what the surface of our nearby neighbor looked like. Before the Renaissance-era invention of the telescope, the moon was generally thought to be a perfect, unblemished sphere. These days, with even a moderate telephoto lens, you can photograph the moon and see the surface details for yourself.

  • Opinion: Protect your camera with rain covers

    Portable electronics have the same Achilles' heel as the invading aliens in M. Night Shyamalan's movie s--Signs: water. It's not a good idea to get your digital SLR wet. Taking photos in a rainstorm can end the life of your camera. So how do you protect your camera while taking pictures in a spring shower or a summer deluge? Dress your camera in a rain cover--usually, waterproof fabric that keeps water away from the lens and body, while leaving both the business and control ends open for business.

  • Opinion: How to shoot macros of flowers and bugs

    This time of year tends to slow down my progress whenever I'm outdoors; my wife, it seems, can't pass a flower without taking a picture of it on her phone. Indeed, no matter what kind of camera you own--SLR, compact, or smartphone--spring is a great time to take photos of flowers, insects, and other small details of the natural world.



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