It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a Q&A Friday so today’s will be that day folks! But, before I start answering a few questions I just want to remind people that I really do enjoy answering questions so if you have any please feel free to drop by the blog or email me and I’ll do my best to add it to one of the future Q&A sessions.
Irene: I have spots in my photos. I clean my camera every time. And I can’t seem to get them to go away. And I can’t find where they are on my lens. How do I go about of removing them? HELP me with the spots, please………
John: It sound to me like you have dust on your sensor. Digital camera’s sensors are magnets for dust…think static. You can have your sensor professionally cleaned by a camera store (e.g. I know places like Calumet Photo charge around $55.00) or you can clean it yourself using Sensor Swabs. Now, to be totally honest I tend to be a little lazy on this front myself so if you use a program like Lightroom or Photoshop you can eliminate these dust spots simply by using the healing brush. One click and they’re gone!
Lauren: I’ve debated buying a long lens (500mm) for photographing wild life but it’s a big expense. I have a 70-200 but it just doesn’t give me the reach I need. Any recommendations?
John: I always recommend renting a lens if you’re on the fence. A 500mm is a big investment and if you’re not sure you’ll use it that often renting might be the way to go. Another good option is to consider investing in a 1.4x or 2x extender. You’ll lose a couple of stops of light using extenders, but the advantage is you’ve just increased your maximum range to 280mm ( 1.4 extender) or 400mm (2x extender) at a fraction of the cost of a 500mm. In Yellowstone, I typically use a 1.4x on my 70-200..;)
Ed: Just curious — what are the major differences between working with .jpg and raw format images? What are the pros/cons of each? I've worked only in .jpg so far, but my PhotoShop version allows me to work with RAW images. Any preferences?
John: I work strictly with raw files when I’m editing. The best way to understand the difference is to think of it in these terms: A RAW file is much like a negative. The photographer can change the white balance, colors, exposure, crop etc without effecting the negative. A JPEG is more like a print. The camera embeds the color, exposure, saturation, hue, etc right into the file. JPEG advantages are smaller sized files, require less processing, and write faster to a card. The downside to JPEG is lesser quality, less data to manipulate, and less control over the image. The advantage to a RAW file is the file contains all the information needed for future manipulation and typically the quality is much greater. The disadvantage of course is the file size is larger and it requires extra time for processing. Truthfully, I think most professional photographers are shooting in RAW these days, not that there’s anything wrong with JPEG, but it depends on how much control you want over the file.