Sunday, October 25, 2009

Curug Cilember (Cilember Waterfall)

I took these pics at Curug Cilember, Puncak, Bogor, West Java, Indonesia. Curug is Indonesian word for waterfall. There are 7 waterfalls in this location. Please enjoy these pics.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

20 (Not So) Stupid Questions You Were Afraid To Ask Part II

11. What's the difference between evaluative, centerweighted, and spotmetering?
All camera meters try to make some part of the frame appear as a midtone - right between very light and very dark. Evaluative metering divides the frame up into segments, compares the the readings in each sections, and decides on an approriate pattern for determining exposure. Centerweighted takes into account all the light, but puts a heavy emphasis on the middle of the frame. Spotmetering uses a small percentage of the frame - often less then 5 percent and typically in the center, though some cameras let you link it to the actove AF point. While evaluative is best for most situations, centerweighted works well for subjects such as group portraits. For the most control, use spotmetering to choose the midtone.
12. Why use a handheld when I have all those choices in the camera?
Because most handheld meters let you set your exposure based on the light falling on your subject, called "incident" light. They're great when your subject is unusually dark (nonreflective) or light (highly reflective), which camera meters (also called "reflective" meters tend to over- or underexpose. They also help get consistent exposures in scenes with a wide range of tones. For an incident reading, hold the meter at the point on your subject where exposure is most critical, such as the face, and point it at the camera position. Many handheld meters can be set to read reflected light and flash intensity, too.
13. How do I tell how far my flash will reach?
By it's Guide Number, assigned to almost all built-in and shoe-mount flashes and listed - in feet, meters, or both - in the back of your camera or flash manual. The GN tells you how far your flash will carry at a given aperture or what aperture to set for a given distance. Just divide the GN by either distance or f-number. For example, if a flash a GN of 80 in feet (at ISO 100), it can reach up to 20 feet with a lens set to f/4 (80:4=20). If you want toi shoot at 40 feet at the same ISO, you'd have to open your lens to f/2.
14. My flash TTL and Auto settings. What's the difference?
The TTL setting controls flash output by measuring how much flash reflects back through the lens (TTL) to the camera's built-in lightmeter. It's usually the most accurate means of determining flash exposure, and it let's you aim your flash in any direction to bounce the light. Auto Flash controls output by measuring how much flash reflects back to a sensor built into the flash itself. It's accurate enough for most scenes and usually will function on many different cameras, while flash units that offer just TTL control work only with compatible camera.
15. I love my old Vivitar 283 flash. Can I use it with my new Canon EOS 40D?
It depends on when your 283 was made. If it's one of the originals made in Japan from 1972 to 1987, it's not safe. Their trigger voltages vary up to a reported 600 volts - enough to fry your 40D's circuitry. More recent models (marked "Made in China" or "Made in Korea") generally use a 9-volt trigger charge, so they're safer on new cameras. Still, we'd attach a Wein Safe-Sync adapter ($50, street) to it's foot - or just buy a current TTL flash. It costs much less than replacing your DSLR, and you can still use the 283 as an off-camera background or fill light.  
16. Can my camera keep pace with the latest high speed memory cards?
The newest models can, and manufacturers are always working on improving image transfer speeds and reducing the time it takes for ever-larger image files to clear the camera's buffer, say Jeff Cable, director of marketing for memory-card maker Lexar. But another benefit of high-speed cards is their ability to transfer images to your computer quickly. To make them run at top velocity,  always use a compatible card reader.
17. Does it harm flash cards to reformat them frequently?
Nope. In fact, the experts encourage it. Reformatting scrubs images, file names and other image-related data from the card, freeing up memory so you can keep shooting. It's best to reformat the card in the camera, rather than on your computer, to ensure they work together properly.
18. Is it true that JPEGs lose detail each time they're opened? Should I work only with TIFFs or PSDs?
Not anymore. If you simply open your JPEG, do nothing but view it, and then close the file, you will not lose detail. If you use the Save As command in Photoshop and choose to save as a lower-quality JPEG, the extra compression is more likely to cause ugly artifacts that diminish detail. Frequently re-saving JPEGs at the same quality level may introduce some artifacts, but you won't see them unless you zoom way into the image.
19. Why would I need a monitor calibrator?
Every monitor is different, and if yours is, say very bright and high contrast, you'll be dissapointed when your prints come out dark and dull. So before you edit your pictures on youe computer, calibrate your monitor. Once it's set to the prescribed standard, you can count on your screen to display your pictures as they really are. Then you can tweak them with confidence and enjoy prints that match what you saw on the screen.
20. I love shooting sunsets, but when I expose for the sky, the foreground is too dark. What can I do?
Use a split neutral-density filter. The color, a neutral gray that won't affect the colors in your photo, goes from dark to clear either abruptly (hard-edge) or little-by-little (graduated filters). A split ND is the perfect solution for situations where the foreground and background are under vastly different light. The filter allows you to expose properly for the dark foreground without blowing out the highlights of the lighter sky.   

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