March 14, 2009

Twitter Q&A #1

Copyright 2009 Scott Bourne - All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2009 Scott Bourne - All Rights Reserved

Today I’ll answer some of the questions my Twitter audience posed to me on Friday via Twitter. I received dozens and dozens of questions and can’t answer them all, but I picked some that were asked more than once figuring I’d help more people by using those questions as the basis of this post. Let me know what you think of this idea.

And if you’d like to follow me on Twitter go to
Question #1 From @NickNieto
What is the best way to upsample images for print?

You can do this natively in many post-processing applications like Aperture and Photoshop, but to get the best results, I suggest Genuine Fractals 6.0 from onOne.

Question #2 From @aschellenberg
When can a photographer get away with a monopod, and when should they really be using a tripod?

I think a tripod is always the best choice, but there are some situations when that isn’t possible. If you’re shooting on the move (sports or events) or if you go somewhere that doesn’t allow photographers to use tripods, a monopod is the best choice. One place that I do prefer monopods is in a situation where I’m actually just using the monopod to rest the camera and save my arm strength.

Question #3 From @DavidWheelerPhD
Is HDR photography really worth the trouble? I find the images to look fake.

David beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. The image at the top of this post is an HDR/Tonemap. It doesn’t look fake to me. If you work at it, HDR images can look quite realistic. If you overdo it – then yes they can look fake – and some people like that look.

Question #4 From @Emmerichtl
What is the best way to enhance flat looking photos taken at the beach on an overcast day. Camera Setting? Post Processing?

You can improve those photos by underexposing in the camera but there’s no reason to do that unless you’re shooting film. I’d consider a couple different approaches. a) You might try some HDR shots to increase overall dynamic range b) you might try long exposures that are cheated as far to the right of the histogram as possible without blowing out the highlights – this gives you more to work with in post. c) Adding a curves layer that increases contrast as well as some Vibrancy is another solution.

Question #5 From @ryantiffany
For a new photographer would you suggest a G9 or biting the bullet and going with a DSLR. Mostly shoot scenery.

I get this type of question daily. The answer depends on several things. If you are hoping to get serious about your photography and you have the budget, you’re always better off with a DSLR. The price difference at the low end is almost nothing. The DSLR has more flexibility with inter-changable lenses and other accessories. The new, low-end DSLRs will always offer better image quality. If you don’t have the money or you consider yourself just a casual snapshooter, the G9 or some of the other high-end compacts are probably more camera than you’ll ever need.

Thanks for the questions everyone. Sorry I don’t have time to answer them all. If you like this feature we’ll repeat it again soon.

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