Ask a Photographer, Part 2

Today we’re running wild with the second round of the popular “Ask a Photographer” feature. If you have questions about photography, adventure, travel, or anything else, I’ve got answers. (But no promises on how good they’ll be). So fire away!

Please read Part 1 first to see if your question has already been asked.

The Q&A is now closed. Thanks to everyone who wrote in!

14 Responses

    1. Hey Sean,

      Yes. 🙂

      I have a desktop Epson R1900 which I used to makes prints up to 13×19 inches. But if I need a lot of prints turned around in a hurry I have my local photo lab (Bay Photo) pump them out for me, even though it’s more expensive to have them do it.

      For my canvas prints I use a canvas lab out in Colorado.


  1. Hey Josh,
    I just recently got some editing software. It’s what everyone seems to be using. Before that I relied on technique. For example, I understand that you should photograph flowers on a cloudy day. I, however, have a few satisfactory shots in the afternoon full sun with aperture priority at f/8-f/11 using exposure compensation with -2/3 being what I like the most.

    Those pictures were pretty good generally speaking. So……….I live in the Ozarks and the fall colors were great this year. But the sky and haze were pretty tough. Some of my shots are pretty good but I would grade my editing as medium heavy.

    I was wondering if you would be willing to grade your editing from original to finished? Light, light-medium, medium, etc. Thanks bud.

    A quick part 2. Do you think editing software makes photographers more lazy to try and get the shot knowing they can take care of it with lightroom or photoshop.

    1. Hey Dave,

      Oh no, welcome to the dark side! Once you start editing your photos in Photoshop you have gone down the rabbit hole. 🙂

      So if I understand the first part of your question correctly you’re asking how much post processing I put into a photo? That varies hugely from image to image. With some photos I crank it out in 10 minutes with simple sharpening, contrast, and color adjustments. Other photos take hours and hours of careful work depending on my vision for the photo. For example, this shot of a tree in New Zealand took me lots of painstaking color correction, dodging, and burning to get the colors and tones right, and I’m still not 100% happy with it so I’ll probably go back and edit it some more in the future:

      For part two of your question. Yes, it absolutely does! You don’t know how many times I’ve said, or have heard people say “Oh, I’ll just fix it in post.” It is easy to become a lazier photographer when you understand the power of Photoshop. But the great thing is that if you are still diligent and focusing on good technique in the field, then you’re not using Photoshop to fix your photos, but rather to make them spectacular.

  2. Hi Josh-

    Enjoy your “Ask a Photographer” feature. I’m going to be participating in the upcoming Death Valley Photo Workshop in a few weeks with you and Jim and wanted to know if I need to acquire any additional filters for the shoot. I currently have a polarizer, a split ND .06 and a ND 4X. Was wondering if I should get another ND filter like a .06 or .09. I will be bringing a D300 and 18-200 lens.
    Thanks and looking forward to the workshop.

    Tom Chiakulas

    1. Hey Tom,

      Wonderful! We’re looking forward to meeting you out in the desert. To answer your question, I would look into getting a .9 grad filter with a soft transition. That is my most commonly used filter. In fact, I don’t think I could live without it. What brand do you currently use? We really recommend the Lee filters because of their color neutrality. And the 4″x6″ rectangular filters are much better than any kind of screw in filter. So yeah, I’d check these out right here:

      See you in a few weeks!

      1. Hey Josh-

        I use the screw in filters. The grad filter is Tiffen and the other ND is a Nikon filter. So any other suggestions would be appreciated.


        1. Hey Tom,

          The solid ND filter is ok if it’s a screw in, but for the grad ND filters we highly recommend getting the large, rectangular filters. The reason is flexibility. With the screw-in split filter, you’re sort of stuck with where the gradation is. But with the rectangular filters you can move the filters up or down to accommodate your composition. You can also remove the filters quickly and easily if you want to try something else.

          So in addition to the 3-stop filter I recommended, you’ll probably also want a 2-stop soft grad:

          Or you can get a starter kit that has a 1-, 2-, and 3-stop filter in it for a better price:

          You can hand hold the filters in front of your lens, but it’s much easier to use a filter holder. For that there are two parts: the holder itself:

          And the wide-angle adapter ring which screws onto your lens, and to which the filter holder attaches:

          Unfortunately the filter holder is out of stock right now at B&H, but you could put your name on the wait list or try finding it elsewhere on the web. If you don’t get it in time for Death Valley, no worries. We can show you how to hand hold, as well as how the filter holder works.

  3. Hi Josh,

    It’s really awesome that we have the second part, after a really helpful and informative first one… 🙂

    My today’s questions are about polarizers…

    How does a polarizer help in photography?

    When do we use polarizers?

    Which one is preferable, circular or rectangular?

    Thanks a lot buddy…

    Happy Clickin’ …



    An Avid Fan of Josh Cripps Work

    1. Hey Nisarg,

      Back for more, eh? 🙂

      Ok, here’s the scoop on polarizers. Actually, I’m going to pass the buck on this one. My business partner wrote a great article about polarizers and posted it on our Workshop blog. He answers all the questions you ask and even a few more about the different kinds of polarizers out there, the costs, and lots more. He also has some great example images. So I would recommend you check that article out for a really great write up:

      Hope that helps, my friend.


      1. Always ready to learn more… 🙂

        Will check out that article for sure.

        Thanks a lot Josh. Keep it up! \m/

  4. Hi Josh,

    I really am a big fan of your works especially since you use the same camera body as mine and I really aspire to reach your level of greatness in your shot. Would you by any chance do your “Notes from the field” series? I find the tutorials and walkthroughs of your concept behind a shot and post processing very insightful and helpful, would love to see more of such.

    Cheers, Az

    1. Hey Az,

      Thanks a lot! Yes, that is in the pipeline to get more of those types of tutorials and walkthroughs out. Be on the lookout for those this winter.



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