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New Feature: Ask An Expert

January 8, 2010

I’m starting a cool new interactive feature on my blog called “Ask An Expert”.  The concept is pretty simple: you send me a question related to photography and I round up an expert to answer it for you.  I’ll post your question on the blog along with the expert’s answer.  I’ll accept questions on just about any photography topic including technique, business & marketing, digital darkroom, equipment, etc.  Just try to keep it relevant to nature, landscape and/or adventure photography.

Questions we can’t answer:

  • Which is better, Canon or Nikon? (Everybody knows Canon is best.)
  • Is Photoshop cheating? (No.  I mean yes.  No, I mean no.)
  • Should I get up for sunrise if it’s cloudy outside? (No.  Stay in bed so those of us who do wake up for it don’t have to fight with so many photographers.)
  • Is it acceptable to yell at the Griswolds for standing under Delicate Arch for a family portrait just as the sky turns pink and the arch begins to glow? (Absolutely not!  While annoying, they have just as much right to be there as you do.)
  • And finally my favorite…If I had a nice camera and lens like yours I could take really good pictures, too. (Okay, so that’s not a question but seriously, do people really believe it’s all about the gear?  Ugh!)

Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s hear some great questions!  Please email your questions to me at bret (at) bretedge (dot) com.  If you’re wondering why I typed my email like that it’s because if I don’t, the spambots will launch a massive attack on my inbox.  I’d hate to miss any of your awesome questions.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2010 4:50 pm

    Hey Bret,

    Cool idea.

    You forgot ‘Who’s the best photographer?”.



    • January 8, 2010 4:54 pm

      Isn’t the best photographer the one you have with you? No wait, that’s the best camera. Hmmm…

  2. Jim Casteel permalink
    January 8, 2010 5:29 pm

    What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

    Sorry, I had to. On to a relevant question….

    When is the best time for Spring Cactus Flowers in Moab? (please say end of March first of April)

    • January 8, 2010 6:24 pm


      I have answers to both questions. I’ll answer question #1 with a link: 🙂 Awesome movie, by the way!

      For question #2 the answer is, unfortunately, not the end of March or early April. You may see a sparse few of the desert wildflowers just barely starting to bloom but the cactus flowers typically bloom later. I’ve seen them from early May all the way through late June. The prickly pear flowers seem to be the most tenacious. Sorry to be there bearer of bad news! On the bright side you may find some of the cottonwood trees beginning to leaf out and their spring leaves sure are a purdy green color.

  3. January 8, 2010 5:39 pm

    Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe! I’ll go and read some more! What do you see the future of this being?

    • January 8, 2010 6:58 pm

      Glad to have you as a subscriber, Me! I’m not sure what the future of this will turn out to be. I hope it’s a fun, engaging and informative way of helping people become better photographers.

  4. January 9, 2010 3:07 pm

    Hey Bret,

    I’ve got one for you! I have a 24-105mm Canon lens and a 70-200mm canon lens would you get the same amount of depth of field at all of the different apertures in the 70-105 focal range on both lenses?


    • January 9, 2010 4:14 pm

      Oh man Steve, that is an excellent question. Like you I think the DOF should be the same with both lenses if all other factors are equal. But I can’t be certain. I’ll see if anyone has the answer. If none of the experts knows I’ll see if someone from Canon might clue us in. Stay tuned…

  5. January 9, 2010 3:08 pm

    I would guess yes but never looked it up.

  6. January 10, 2010 8:54 am

    Steve & Bret,
    Yes, all other factors staying consistent, the DOF at the same focal lengths will not differ between lenses. DOF is a function of focal length, f-stop and something called the circle of confusion, which is generally related to format size (sensor or film size). Pretty good explanations at Wikipedia…

    • January 10, 2010 10:38 am

      Thanks for the explanation & the link, Scott! Experts in action, folks…experts in action.

  7. January 11, 2010 2:13 pm

    Steve and Bret,

    Scott beat me to it, but he is absolutely correct. The DOF is the nearest point in focus subtracted from the farthest point in focus. The near point is determined by the Hyperfocal distance times the distance focused on the lens divided by the Hyperfocal distance plus the distance focused on the lens. The Far point is the Hyperfocal distance times the distance focused on the lens divided by the Hyperfocal distance minus the distance focused on the lens. The hyperfocal distance is determined by the focal lenght of the lens times itself divided by the f-stop number times the acceptable circle of confusion (which depends on the imaging area)

    DOF = DF – DN

    DF = (H*U)/(H-U)

    DN = (H*U)/(H+U)

    H = (f*f)/(Fnumber*COC)

    so if you set the same aperature, same focal lenght, on two different lenses with the same COC for the same isze imaging area, and both lenses are focused to the exact same point U, then you should theoretically get the exact same DOF. Hope that helps.

  8. Bret Edge permalink
    January 11, 2010 2:59 pm

    Thank you for that very thorough explanation, Youssef!


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