ACD Systems Blog

International Food Photography Day 2013

2013-11-15 00:41:01 GMT

November 14th, 2013. That’s today! And… today is international food photography day! So, to celebrate such a day we have scoured the internet and found our top 5 favorite food photography blogs.

Click each of the links and be prepared to make your tastebuds jealous of your eyes!

First off, Can’t go wrong with these basics and tips and tricks. There’s even some for the advanced photographer.

This photographers photos make even the most exquisite meals look even more exquisite. Check out Michael Ray Photography on his blog has the most beautiful, colorful, and fresh food photos we could find! Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Last, but not least in the department of food blogs, Stories of food, travel, life, and photography (including recipes!).

Don’t fret! We did say top 5 favorite food photography blogs, but how could I leave out Pinterest! It’s a haven of beautiful food photography. Just search “Food Photography” and you’ll see for yourself.


Photography Terms You Might Not Know… But Should

2013-10-16 20:50:53 GMT

Sometimes as a photographer you stumble across some terminology that you feel like you might know, but then again… maybe you don’t. Here are some uncommon photography terminologies that won’t hurt to know.

Failing in the ability of a lens to produce a true image. There are many forms of aberration and the lens designer can often correct some only by allowing others to remain. Generally, the more expensive the lens, the less its aberrations (More attention to optical quality). While no single lens is called a ‘perfect lens’. The “ideal” lens would reproduce a subject in a faithful, clearly defined image on film. Aberrations, which can be divided in so six basic faults, affect the ideal performance in an optical systems.

a) Spherical aberration. Basically, a beam of light passing through a lens parallel to the optical axis converges to form 3 focused image on the film. Spherical aberration is the term for an optical fault caused by the spherical form of a lens that produces different focus points along the axis to focus on a curved surface rather than a plane.

b) Curvature of field. this optical defect causes points on an object plane perpendicular to the lens axis to focus points along the axis for central and marginal rays.

c) Astigmatism. Rays of light from a single point of an object which is not on the axis of a lens fail to meet in a single focus thus causing the image of a point to be drawn out into two sharp lines, one radial to the optical axis and another perpendicular to this line, in two different planes near the curvature of field.

d) Coma. This optical defect causes the image of an off-axis point of light to appear as a comet-shaped blur of light. Coma, as well as curvature of a field and astigmatism, degenerate the image forming ability of the lens at the rims of the picture.

e) Distortion. Even if the first four aberrations were totally eliminated, images could result that still have a distorted appearance. For example, a rectangle may appear as a barrel or pin cushion-shaped object.

f) Chromatic aberration. This aberration is caused by light rays of different wavelengths coming to focus at different distances from the lens. Blue will focus at the shortest distance and red at the greatest distance. Since the natural rays of light are a mixture of colors, each aberration will give a different value corresponding to each color thus producing blurred images.

Barrel Distortion.
Straight lines are bowed in at the edges of the picture frame resembling the sides of a barrel; present in small amounts in some wide-angle or wide-angle-zoom lenses, but uncorrected in fish-eye lenses.

Bayer Pattern.
The “Bayer” pattern is digital photography terminology to describe how photosites are arranged on an image sensor. A Bayer pattern has 50% green photosites, 25% red photosites and 25% blue photosites.

There are twice as many green photosites than red or blue because human eyes are most sensitive to green light.

Taking a series of photographs of the same subject at different exposures to insure “correct” exposure; useful when shooting in situations where a normal metering reading is difficult to obtain. Taking additional pictures of the subject through a range of exposures-both lighter and darker-when unsure of the correct exposure. Some top cameras have provision for automatic bracketing, while manually you can bracket by adjusting apertures or shutter speeds or both, manually influent the ASA setting or even adjust the flash output power etc..

Bokeh is a photography term that refers to the way a lens blurs and image.

Generally it is considered good practice, especially with portrait photography, to have the main subject in focus and the background blurred.

Bokeh refers to how evenly and pleasingly the out of focus (blurred) area looks.

An instrument used for measuring the optical density of an area in a negative or print.

Foveon Sensor.
A type of sensor where the color recording layers are stacked on top of each other. This means that every “pixel” can record the level of red, green, and blue light hitting it.

This differs from the Bayer sensor, where each pixel can record only one color of light.

A scale used to measure the color temperature. 5000 k refer to normal daylight.

Lossy/Lossless files.
When a digital camera takes a photo, the image data is stored on a memory card as a computer file. If the data is stored fully, the file is called a lossless file. These files are quite large in size. The most common type of lossless file in use are TIFFs.

To cut down on large file sizes, the camera can throw away parts of the data that the human eye probably won’t notice anyway. These files are called lossy. The most common type of lossy file are JPEGs. Caution should taken when using JPEGs if image quality is important.

A measurement of the light intensity. One lux in video means light level of a candle light.

Minute glass or plastic structure of multiple prisms set in a viewfinder screen to act as a focusing aid. Breaks up an out-of-focus subject into a shimmer but images a focused subject clearly. Will not work satisfactorily at lens apertures smaller than f5.6.

Purple Fringing.

In digital photography terminology, purple fringing is an undesirable purple “rim” that surrounds areas of high contrast in a digital image.

It’s very obvious when photographing people against a bright (but not deep blue) sky.

The reasons for purple fringing aren’t clear, although it is generally accepted that poor quality lenses and poor quality sensors make it worse.

Refractive Index.
A technical term used to describe the effect of a lens in causing light rays to bend; important aspect in lens design.

** Definitions are from A Glossary of Photographic Terms: **

Don’t Make These Mistakes!

2013-10-08 18:49:16 GMT

When you’re new to photography and learning by experience, avoiding these mistakes will help you learn great photo composition.

Unknown Subject.
Have you ever looked at an image and not known exactly what you’re supposed to be looking at? Make sure your subject is clearly the main focus. Zoom in or ensure there isn’t a lot of clutter around the main point of the photo.

Bad Lighting.
Try to eliminate multiple light sources. For example, if you are taking a photo indoors, you could have light coming from multiple directions, the window, the ceiling light, the TV, etc. this leaves you with clashing light colors. Try using the flash or reflectors to remedy the unevenly lit scene.

Red Eye.
Red eye is caused by light from a flash that is close to the lens entering the subjects pupils and bouncing off the rear of the eye back into the lens. The best way to prevent this is to point the flash towards a wall or ceiling, this prevents direct flashback.

Too much photo editing.
Over-saturation is a big no-no. Yes, I am sure there was a time, when the fad was funky over-saturated photos, but you should be going for timeless. The only thing that should give away what year the photo was taken is the subjects clothing styles! Also, be careful when working with contrast, especially if you are shooting on a bright sunny day. Take a couple photos with slightly different settings to see what makes the difference.

One of the top complaints from new photographers is that some of their images come out blurry. This is usually because there isn’t enough light reaching the sensor, so the camera struggles to take a sharp image. Another cause for blurry photos is an unsteady hand. A couple good solutions include, choosing a higher ISO setting and using a tripod.


Show Off Your Photos With A Desktop Slideshow!

2013-09-12 22:14:37 GMT

Let’s say you’re crazy busy working away at your computer, and you feel like you need a little visual pick-me-up or a quick distraction. Why not set up a little slideshow to appear in the corner of your screen that doesn’t take you away from your work?

Here’s how with ACDSee 16:

  1. In Manage mode, navigate to a folder containing images that you want to add to the desktop slideshow.
  2. Do one of the following:

  • Click Tools | Create | ACDSee Showroom.
  • Click Start | Programs | ACD Systems | ACDSee Showroom.

The slideshow starts immediately and the ACDSee Showroom icon appears in the taskbar.

It’s almost as easy as that! Did you notice all the controls in the Showroom? There are a number of slideshow controls in the ACDSee Showroom window:

Using the ACDSee Showroom Slideshow Controls:

  • Click the Back or Forward buttons to display the previous or next photos in the slideshow.
  • Click the Pause button to pause the slideshow while a particular photo is displayed.

Note: If you cannot see these slideshow controls in the ACDSee Showroom window, click anywhere in the window. The controls disappear while the slideshow is playing so you can fully enjoy your photos.

Do you have a lot of photos and want to create multiple slideshows?

To Create More Than One ACDSee Showroom:

With ACDSee Showroom open, do one of the following:

  • Click Close in the ACDSee Showroom window.
  • Click the ACDSee Showroom icon in the taskbar and select Exit ACDSee Showroom.

Note: If you have configured ACDSee Showroom to open when you start your computer, it will automatically open the next time you start your computer.

Another cool thing about the ACDSee Showroom window, is that is goes transparent when the mouse is not hovering over it. Keeping your desktop icons or other windows still slightly visible underneath.


Photography Basics A-Z (Part 3)

2013-09-10 17:28:00 GMT

The third and final portion of the ABC’s of photography basics. Need a chance to catch up? Read part one and part two and you’ll be set!

Quick. Be quick with your camera! You don’t want to miss a thing. Learn the ins and outs of your specific camera so you aren’t wasting time changing settings.

Ring Light. Not every photographer uses a ring light, but there are a lot of unique ways to incorporate it into your work. For example, the right light can be used for framing, for a subtle fill, for macro, to catch interesting reflections, the options are limitless!

Shutter Speed. We have covered shutter speed numerous times on this blog. But it’s one thing that could never be talked about too much. Shutter speed is the time while the sensor is exposed to the light while the curtain is open. If we think of it as a window, it is the time while the window is open. Usually, we express the shutter’s speed in seconds or fractions of a second.

Tone can mean one of two things in colour photography: the overall lightness or darkness of an area ofa n image; or the colour of all or part of the image, usually in relation to its warmth.

Uploading your images with ACDSee has never been easier. You don’t even have to import them straight from you camera or storage device. ACDSee also makes sharing easy by uploading to social media sites such as Facebook, Flikr, and

Viewfinder. Often new photographers question if they should use the LCD screen or the viewfinder on their camera. Well, there are arguments for both: LCD - size, instant playback, easier for those who wear glasses. OR the Viewfinder - doesn’t kill the battery, less camera shake, and most DSLR’s don’t even give you the option to use the LCD as a viewfinder at all.

photo from

Workflow, another topic that we have covered a few times in this blog. There are a million ways for photographers to speed up their workflow and find a good routine. Just take your time and try them all to find out which works best for you.

X and Y… Well, those are really hard letters to think of photography terms for… check back later!

zoo. Let’s have some fun with this one. Go to the zoo! Get out there and find new things to take photos of. Test your skills and learn some new ones.