ACD Systems Blog

Aperture, Speed & Sensitivity (Part 1)

2013-03-01 21:07:00 GMT

By ACDSee Guest Blogger & Professional Photographer Alexandra Pottier

In photography, three things matter: Aperture, speed and sensitivity. These three facts, when combined, make a good exposure.

About aperture in photography:

The diaphragm opening in a camera is composed of thin metal curtains that open or close in increasing sizes.

The aperture of the diaphragm corresponds at the size of the surface that will allow the light to come in and hit the sensor during the exposure. You can compare the diaphragm to a window, the bigger the size, the more light comes in and the room is more bright.

The size is expressed in f/stops where large numbers (f/22) are letting very little light in, which is useful when there is a lot of light, like a bright sunny day.

Whereas smaller numbers (f/2.8) allow a lot of light to come in when there isn’t much light around.


f/2.8                                                 f/8                                               f/22

The numbers are proportional, if you increase one f/stop (from f/11 to f/8 for example) you double the size of the hole from which the light comes through. It is the same proportion if you decrease from one f/stop, (from f/8 to f/11) you let half of the light to come through.

The most common f/stops are f/2.8, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16 , f/22.

Usually, the biggest or the smallest aperture given by a lens depends on its focal length. The average lens with a focal length of 50mm, has a maximum aperture around f/2.8. A bigger zoom lens usually offers a smaller aperture, around f/5.6.

The more a lens opens wide, the more complex it is to build. The zoom lenses with a big focal length (200mm) and a wide aperture are usually very expensive.

The aperture also affects the depth-of-field (DOF), the sharpness of the different levels of the picture. In other words, the depth of the depth of field.

With a large aperture (f/2.8) the depth-of-field is small and, on the contrary, a small aperture (f/22) gives a large depth-of-field.

In Portrait photography, it is recommended to use a small depth-of-field, so everything that is behind the subject will have a nice artistic blur. Where in landscape photography, it is better to use a large DOF, and so a small aperture to have every level in the picture sharp.


The image on the left has a big aperture (f/2,8) and has a small depth of field
The image on the right has a small aperture (f/22) and has a large depth of field.

You can change the aperture by using the manual mode of your camera, or you can use the A or Av mode. When you do so, your priority is to set the aperture first, the other settings will follow.

Some cameras have a depth of field measurement where it shows you what is invisible. When you change your aperture while using this tool, you can see the depth of field changing through the lens. Very handy to compose a nice picture.

Now get your camera and practice!


What ACDSee product is right for me?

2013-02-28 17:05:00 GMT

Thinking of using ACDSee for your photo management and editing needs? We can help you figure out which ACDSee product is right for you! Here is a list of the features in our top products:

ACDSee 15

Keep track of your ever-growing collection. Polish up even the messiest of photos. Add something magical to an already great shot that’s sure to impress. You can do it all, faster and easier than ever before, in ACDSee 15.

Photo Managing Features

  • Organize photos using a combination of folders, keywords, ratings, color labels, metadata, and categories.
  • Organize photos during import.
  • Find photos fast – build and store searches based on metadata, file properties, data, event, keyword, rating, location, and edited state.
  • Customize access to external editors.
  • Create hierarchical keyword trees.

Photo Viewing Features

  • View images with the fastest technology on the market.
  • Support for over 100 formats, including image, audio and video.
  • View photos at full screen.
  • Examine details with Zoom, Navigator, Magnifying Glass and Histogram tools.

Photo Editing Features

  • Rescue photos that are too light or too dark using patented LCE technology.
  • Instantly adjust exposure and remove color cast.
  • Erase flaws and unwanted objects with Heal and Clone.
  • Eliminate red eye with one click.
  • Choose from 45 creative effects.
  • Add text, custom borders, vignettes, drop shadows, matte and edge effects.
  • Restore original images at any time for worry-free editing.
  • Draw freehand on images, or add lines and shapes.
  • Quickly brush on any editing or special effect to selected areas of photos.
  • Target midtones with the Clarity tool for extra definition.
  • Smooth out grain and noise patterns between edges with the Smart Blur filter.

Photo Sharing & Publishing Features

  • Share and store photos on the ACDSee Online cloud space.
  • Easily print photos and contact sheets.
  • Create screensavers and slideshows of photos.
  • Optimize and upload photos to FTP-managed web spaces.
  • Email photos through a desktop client or webmail.
  • Upload photos to SmugMug, flickr, Facebook, and Twittter.
  • Automatically sync drives.
  • Burn to CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray.

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ACDSee Pro 6

ACDSee Pro 6 includes all the features in ACDSee 15 listed above as well as features requested by professional photographers and advanced amateurs. ACDSee Pro 6 has everything you need to perfect your images, fast. Carry out digital asset management and all the essential tasks of your photography workflow, from import to final presentation, in one complete solution.

Pro 6 Photo Managing Features

  • Selectively remove metadata to protect privacy and intellectual property.
  • Speed up workflow with native 64-bit support for Windows operating systems.
  • Improved color management with multi-monitor support.

Pro 6 Photo Viewing Feature

  • Quickly tag photos for further editing or review.
  • Perform high-quality decoding on RAW images.

Pro 6 includes Developing Features (not an available mode in ACDSee 15)

  • Non-destructively process RAW, JPEG, TIFF and more.
  • Adjust the brightness and contrast of different tone bands.
  • Achieve HDR results from a single image.
  • Fix barrel, pincushion and fish-eye lens distortions and perspective distortions.
  • Boost saturation without affecting skin tones with the Vibrance tool.
  • Preview the results of adjustments in real time.
  • Adjust individual or overall color with improved Advanced Color tools.
  • Brush on non-destructive adjustments in real time.
  • Apply hue-based brightness adjustments and saturation-based tinting in the dedicated Black and White mode.
  • Apply vignetting to any cropped image.
  • Use the Cross Process tool to add a surreal, retro effect.
  • Achieve a dreamy effect with Soft Focus.
  • Non-destructively reduce red eye.

Pro 6 Photo Editing Features

  • Batch edit groups of photos – rotate, crop, convert file type, add watermarks and more.

Pro 6 Photo Sharing & Publishing

  • Upload photos to Zenfolio.
  • Watermark photos to protect against copyright infringement.


Essentially ACDSee 15 is the standard version of ACDSee Pro 6, with Pro 6 aimed at professionals and offering more freedom. But, both are photo management programs that are built for photo adjustment.

ACDSee Photo Editor 6

ACDSee Photo Editor 6 makes it easy to create the photos you’ve always envisioned. Apply stunning effects and filters, work with object layers effortlessly, quickly correct common photo flaws, and make advanced edits like a pro. With ACDSee Photo Editor 6, you have the power to transform any shot into your most extraordinary one yet. ACDSee Photo Editor 6 is a great tool for creating cards, labels and other fun page layouts.

Object Layers

  • Accessible canvas-like work area for arranging photos, text, and other objects, like shapes and lines.
  • Layer or group objects, change their order, and experiment with opacity and blend modes to create amazing photo layouts.
  • Selectively adjust any object, or apply changes to the entire layout.

Layouts Made Easy

  • Comfortably select from among overlapping objects.
  • Choose the exact place where you want to paste your elements with the Paste and Place option.
  • Open, load and utilize brush files to enhance your layouts.
  • Resize, crop, rotate and correct your photos.
  • Easily work with drop shadows, transparencies and text.

Go Ahead and Play

  • Experiment with effects with peace of mind, knowing that your originals are always safely preserved.
  • Dynamic Adjustments allow you to quickly modify existing effects, switch their order, hide, or delete them at any time.

Correct Photo Flaws

  • Powerful fast-fix tools, including Red Eye, Dodge, Burn, Sharpen, and Smudge.
  • Erase imperfections, blemishes, and unwanted objects with the Repair Tool.
  • Auto-adjustment features include one-click Auto Color Balance, Auto Levels, Auto Sharpen, and Auto Contrast.
  • Auto Fix makes all the necessary adjustments for you at once.
  • Alternatively, take full control of each adjustment using sliders.

Stylize Photos

  • Apply vignetting to create polished portrait-style photos.
  • Create a sense of motion with the Blur tools.
  • Manipulate color and era with the sepia effect and with comprehensive Black and White mode.

Edit in Batches

  • Save time by using the Batch Processor to edit groups of photos.
  • Fix color, lighting and sharpness issues, or apply artistic effects, to everything all at once.

Shape Your Shots

  • Combine objects and photos.
  • Punch out photos using an array of pre-defined shapes, or design your own custom shapes.

Say More with Words

  • Add text to your photos, change up font and color, isolate a single word or phrase.
  • Wrap your text inside a shape, or along a custom or preset text path.

Fast Track to Results

  • The Adjustments Palette gives you quick access to all the alterations you can apply to photos, objects, and text.

Work with Metadata

  • Add and edit EXIF and IPTC information.



Safe & Secure Online Photo Storage

2013-02-20 17:32:00 GMT

Keep your images safe and organized in the cloud, or share with friends, family or the world with ACDSee Online!

Uploading is easy. Just drag images from your desktop directly to your ACDSee Online space. Organize your photos in your your account using hierarchical folders. You can even apply the same folder tree structure you have on your desktop; there are no constraints.


Control Access. By default, your photos on ACDSee Online are private and secure. Stay in control of your valuable images by keeping them private or create public albums to share with the world. You may also set passwords to give access to a select audience.


Store Safely Your images are safe and secure on ACDSee Online. The service is powered by Amazon Web Services, the same reliable and secure infrastructure that backs and its worldwide network of sites.

Photos display beautifully. The simple, clean, advertising-free interface focuses attention on your photos, with no distractions. You can even choose a silver or charcoal background theme to showcase your images.


Inspire the world From ACDSee Online, you can email selected photos or entire albums, upload to Facebook, or tweet about your album on Twitter. Create instant full-screen slide shows of your favorite photos. See your public images display on ACDSee Online’s front page “Top Shots”. ACDSee Online’s RSS feed even lets your fans know when you’ve posted new photos. Sharing your images has never been easier.


Register for your FREE ACDSee Online account with 2 GB of storage here