## A Simple Explanation of F-Stop Numbers

Even if you have a good command of using f-stop numbers and properly exposing photographs, you might not understand the math behind why f-stop numbers are what they are. Here’s a simple (albeit math-filled) explanation by Dylan Bennett of what f-stop is, including a simple trick you can use to memorize the f-stop scale.

## Why This Photograph is Worth \$578,500

Last week, a collection of 36 prints by William Eggleston was sold for \$5.9 million at auction.  The top ten list of most expensive photographs ever sold doesn’t contain a single work worth less than a cool million. Just a few months ago, Andreas Gursky’s ‘Rhine II’ became the world’s most expensive photograph, selling for \$4.3 million.

## Bizarre Taiwanese Animation Explaining the Instagram Craze

Next Media Animation is a Taiwanese company that regularly creates animations that report on news stories and current events (here’s one they made after the death of Steve Jobs). Earlier this week they released the animation above that explains the rise of Instagram and it’s impending arrival on Android. The style is very… unique.

(via NMA via Mashable)

## A Glimpse Into How the Art World Works

Here’s an interesting 12-minute video that offers one explanation into how the world of art works. Even if you don’t agree with the philosophy and worldview described in the video, it’s still an eye-opening tour of the different things that influence and power the mysterious world of art.

## Why Wedding Photographers’ Prices are “Wack”

Earlier today my friend and fellow photographer posted a link to a craigslist ad from a woman in Seattle looking for a wedding photographer. The woman was upset because she thought that \$3,000 for a wedding photographer was “wack” because all we do “is hang out at a wedding taking tons of photos and editing them” and that we are “making so much money its crazy.”

I first read this post earlier today while I was running errands and my head almost exploded. I immediately started drafting a horribly mean and punishing response in my head, but by the time I got home, I realized that this is probably a common misconception and that maybe I should try to explain why photographers charge what we do for our work.

## A Lesson on How Shutter Sync Works

Here’s an informative lesson on shutter sync by photographer Matthew Gore, who writes,

I made this video to provide a quick explanation of how focal-plane shutters work on SLR cameras, and why it’s important when using a flash.

We shared a similar tutorial back in February.

(via ISO 1200)

## An Introduction to Google’s Photovine

Confused about what Google’s new Photovine photo sharing app is all about? Here’s a short video published yesterday that explains the service without blinding us with hairy-chested dudes. “Instead of just posting a photo, you plant it and watch it grow.”

Aside from the fun-factor of “vines” planted for random topics, it seems like the service could be useful for spreading images of real-time news stories (e.g. protests, disasters, etc..), similar to what Twitter does with text and hashtags.

## Bruce Gilden Explaining Why He Shoots with a Leica

During a workshop in São Paulo, Brazil earlier this month, someone asked Magnum street photographer Bruce Gilden to explain why he shoots with a Leica. Here’s his response.

If you haven’t already, you should watch the behind-the-scenes videos we shared a while back of Gilden doing street photography in NYC and in Derby.

(via Leica Rumors)

## Lower ISO Doesn’t Always Lead to Higher Quality Images

When learning about ISO, you’ve probably heard that the lower the number, the lower the noise and the higher the image quality, but did you know that this isn’t always the case? The reason is something called the base (or native) ISO of a camera — the ISO achieved without amplifying the data from the sensor. This is usually somewhere between ISO 100 and ISO 200. Why does this matter? Bob Andersson of Camera Labs explains:

We all know that using high ISO numbers results in more sensor noise. More surprising, perhaps, is that using an ISO number below the native ISO number also degrades the image.

An interesting example is that when shooting on a Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, ISO 50 has roughly the same signal to noise ratio as shooting at ISO 800. This explains why the lowest possible ISO numbers can only be accessed through custom functions on some cameras.

Image credit: Photograph by Filya1

## HDR Photography Explained in a Diagram

Reddit user MacTuitui created this simple diagram (click to enlarge) explaining the idea behind HDR photography. The first low dynamic range (LDR) taken normally with a camera isn’t able to capture much of the detail found in the highlight and shadow areas of the scene. Two (or more) photographs are then taken at different exposure values to capture a wider range (the bracketing step) and subsequently combined into a single image with a high dynamic range (HDR). Since most displays aren’t capable of displaying this full range, the image needs to be tone mapped to have its appearance approximated on LDR screens.