45 Breathtaking Sunrise from All Over The World

Sunrise is the instant at which the upper edge of the Sun appears above the horizon in the east. Sunrise should not be confused with dawn, which is the (variously defined) point at which the sky begins to lighten, some time before the sun itself appears, ending twilight. Because atmospheric refraction causes the sun to be seen while it is still below the horizon, both sunrise and sunset are, from one point of view, optical illusions. The sun also exhibits an optical illusion at sunrise similar to the moon illusion.
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33 Interesting Concepts of Bottle Photography

A bottle is a rigid container with a neck that is narrower than the body and a “mouth”. By contrast, a jar has a relatively large mouth or opening. Bottles are often made of glass, clay, plastic, aluminum or other impervious materials, and typically used to store liquids such as water, milk, soft drinks, beer, wine, cooking oil, medicine, shampoo, ink and chemicals.
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Decrypting Horrible Camera and Lens Terminologies

Lately, we all get confused over the zillion *horrible* lens and camera terminologies present in the photography arena out there. Canon, Nikon, Sigma… all have their own lingo when it comes to naming their cameras and lenses. Frankly, when I was a newbie in this phenomenal world of photography, I really got mad over such huge types of cameras and lenses available in the market. How the hell was I supposed to know about all those cryptic lens and camera terminologies? How would I’ve known what does an EFS stand for and what does USM means? But then, I studied *a lot* about all this stuff and with the help of some great friends, I can now safely assume that I’ve attained a slightly better level in understanding of all these terminologies. So this post is all about that. Here we go:

Brand Lenses

Most major camera manufacturers offer their own line of lenses. Such lenses tend to follow the most stringent quality guidelines, and often come with a price premium.

Canon Lenses

Canon lenses use the following terms to indicate features of each lens:

  • Common
    • XYZmm: Focal length
    • f/x.y: Maximum aperture
  • Focus/Mount Type
    • EF: Electronic Focus
    • EF-S: Short-Back Electronic Focus
    • TS: Tilt-Shift
    • TS-E: Tilt-Shift Electronic focus
  • Features
    • IS: Image Stabilization
    • USM: Auto Focus Type: Ultrasonic Motor
    • (Mark) N: Version of lens (Mark II = v2, Mark III = v3, etc., word Mark may not be present)
    • DO: Diffractive Optics
    • L: Luxury series
    • Macro: 1:1 magnification


  • Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens
  • Canon TS-E 17mm f/4 L
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM
  • Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Nikon Lenses

Nikon lenses use the following terms to indicate features of each lens:

  • Common
    • XYZmm: Focal length
    • f/x.y: Maximum aperture
  • Lens System
    • DX: Digital, Short Back
    • FX: Full Frame (film or digital)
  • Lens Mount
    • AI: Automatic Indexing mount (includes metering sensor)
    • AI-S: Improved Automatic Indexing mount
  • Focusing System
    • AF: Auto Focus, built into camera
    • AF-S: Auto-Focus Silent (Silent Wave Motor, required for bodies without focus motor)
    • AF-I: Auto-Focus Internal
    • AF-N: Auto-Focus (improved version, rare)
  • Features
    • SWM: Silent Wave Motor
    • N: Nano-Crystal Coating
    • NIC: Nikon Integrated Coating (multicoated lenses)
    • SIC: Super Integrated Coating (multicoated lenses)
    • VR: Vibration Reduction
    • ED: Extra-low Dispersion Glass
    • ASP: Aspherical Lens Element
    • IF: Internal Focusing
    • RD: Rear Focusing
    • Micro: 1:1 magnification
    • G: No aperture ring (automatic aperture only)


  • Nikon AF-S DX 16-85mm VR f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED
  • Nikon AF-I 600mm f/4D IF-ED
  • Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

Olympus 4/3 lenses

  • Common
    • XYZmm: Focal length
    • 1:x.y: Maximum aperture
  • Features
    • ED: Extra-low dispersion glass elements
    • SWD: Auto Focus Type: Supersonic Wave Drive Motor
    • N: Version of lens (II = v2, III = v3, etc.)

Pentax lenses

  • Common
    • XYZmm: Focal length
    • f/x.y: Maximum aperture
  • Focus/Mount Type
    • K, M: Manual Focus, Manual/Aperture priority metering
    • AF: Early AF system with AF motor and electronics in lens that works only with ME-F body.
    • A: Manual Focus, supports Shutter priority and Program exposure metering
    • F: Adds Auto Focus to capabilities of A lenses
    • FA: Adds ability to communicate MTF to body to capabilities of F lenses
    • FAJ: Removes aperture ring from capabilities of FA lenses
    • DA: Same capabilities as FAJ, but with reduced imaging circle for digital cameras with APS-C sized sensor
    • DA L: Same capabilities as DA lenses, Lighter construction
    • D FA: Same capabilities as FA lenses, usable on both film and digital cameras
  • Features
    • AL: Aspherical elements
    • ED: Extra-low dispersion glass elements
    • SMC: Super multi coating lens coating
    • PZ: Power Zoom
    • SDM: Auto Focus Type: Supersonic Drive Motor
    • IF: Internal focussing
    • WR: Weather Resistant (when matched with weather resistant
    • Limited: High quality (primes)

Sony/Minolta Lenses

Sony lenses, previously Minolta lenses, have similar features to Nikon and Canon. Their notation is as follows:

  • Common
    • XYZ/x.y: Focal length/Maximum Aperture
  • Lens Mount Type
    • Alpha: ? Type Mount
    • E: E Type Mount
  • Focusing System
    • SSM: In-Lens Super-sonic Motor
    • SAM: In-Lens Micro Motor
  • Features
    • G: Gold Series (highest quality)
    • (D): Distance Encoding (supports ADI feature of some Sony bodies)
    • DT: Digital Technology (optimized for digital cameras)
    • APO: Apochromatic correction using AD elements
    • HS-APO: High-Speed APO
    • AD: Anomalous Dispersion
    • OSS: Optical Steady Shot (E-mount only)
    • T: High-performance Coating


  • Sony Alpha 70-200/2.8 G
  • Sony Alpha 28-75/2.8 SAM
  • Sony Alpha DT 18-250/3.5-6.3
  • Sony E 18-200/3.5-6.3 OSS
  • Sony Alpha 100/2.8 Macro

Off-Brand Lenses

Many off-brand lens manufacturers make lenses that fit many types of bodies, including Canon, Nikon, etc.

Sigma Lenses

Sigma lenses use the following terms to indicate features of each lens. They differ slightly in how they denote aperture:

  • Common
    • XYZmm: Focal length
    • Fx.y: Maximum aperture
  • Compatible Body Brands
    • Sigma
    • Nikon
    • Canon
    • Minolta/Sony
    • Pentax
    • Kodak (extremely limited)
    • Fujifilm
    • Olympus (limited)
    • Panasonic (very limited)
    • Lecia (very limited)
  • Features
    • HSM: Hyper-Sonic Motor
    • ASP: Aspherical lens element
    • APO: Aphochromatic (low-dispersion) lens element
    • OS: Optical Stabilizer
    • RF: Rear focusing
    • IF: Inner focusing
    • CONV: Teleconverter compatible (APO Teleconverter EX)
    • EX: Professional lens body finishing
    • DG: Supports full-frame cameras
    • DC: Supports cropped-frame cameras (lightweight construction)
    • Macro: 1:1 magnification


  • Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM
  • Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM
  • Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
  • Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

Tamron Lenses

Tamron lenses use the following terms to indicate features of each lens. Tamron offers a considerable degree of functional features and lens types, particularly lens types that affect chromatic aberration:

  • Common
    • XYZmm: Focal length
    • F/x.y: Maximum aperture
    • AF: Auto-Focus
  • Compatible Body Brands
    • Nikon
    • Canon
    • Minolta/Sony
    • Pentax
  • Features
    • Lens Elements
      • XR: Extra Refractive Index Glass (lighter, smaller lenses)
      • LD: Low Dispersion (chromatic aberration reduction)
      • XLD: Extra Low Dispersion (advanced chromatic aberration reduction)
      • ASL: Aspherical (improved focal plane convergence)
      • LAH: LD + ASL hybrid lens element
      • AD: Anomalous Dispersion (improved control over chromatic aberration)
      • ADH: AD + ASL hybrid lens element
      • HID: High Index, High Dispersion Glass (minimizes lateral chromatic aberration)
    • Functional Features
      • VC: Vibration Compensation
      • USD: Ultrasonic Silent Drive
      • SP: Super Performance (professional line)
      • IF: Internal Focusing System
      • Di: Digitally Integrated (optimized for use with full-frame digital cameras)
      • Di-II: Digitally Integrated (optimized for use with APS-C digital cameras)
      • ZL: Zoom Lock (prevents undesired zoom lens barrel extension)
      • A/M: Auto-focus/Manual-focus Switch Mechanism
      • FEC: Filter Effect Control (controls filter direction when lens hood attached, i.e. for Polarizing filters)
      • 1:1 Macro: 1:1 Magnification


  • Tamron SP AF17-35MM F/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF)
  • Tamron AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF)
  • Tamron SP AF180mm F/3.5 Di LD (IF) 1:1 Macro

Tokina Lenses

Tokina lenses use the following terms to indicate features of each lens:

  • Common
    • VW~XYZmm: Focal length
    • f/x.y: Maximum aperture
    • AF: Auto-Focus
  • Compatible Body Brands
    • Nikon
    • Canon
    • Minolta/Sony
    • Pentax
  • Features
    • AS: Aspherical Optics
    • F&R: Advanced Aspherical Optics
    • SD: Super Low Dispersion
    • HLD: High-Refraction, Low Dispersion
    • MC: Multi-Coating
    • FE: Floating Element System
    • IF: Internal Focus System
    • IRF: Internal Rear Focus System
    • FC: Focus Clutch Mechanism (allows switching between auto & manual focus)
    • One Touch FC: One-Touch Focus Clutch Mechanism

Again, this is not a complete list. If you find something that should be here, please let me know by dropping in a comment and I’ll definitely add it to the list 🙂

5 Tips On How To Take Killer Macro Shots

Macro Photography is a whole new world to photographers. Macro shots portray life in such imaginative and beautiful ways that you’re left spell bound and speechless. Taking killer macro shots is not easy. It’s an art. And you can also master this amazing art by following tips and tricks. Here’s how you can induce that killer instinct and X-factor to your macro shots.



This is the most important thing when it comes to macro photography. First of all, always set your camera to the macro mode (every digital camera has a dedicated macro mode which is marked by a small flower symbol). After selecting the exclusive macro mode, make sure that you have the largest possible aperture size set for your shots. This helps in two ways:

  1. It helps to capture all the available light across your macro subject so that the photographs come out to be crystal clear.
  2. It helps in retaining a smaller area of field in your shots so that only the subject is in focus. That makes your macro shots even stronger when finished.



Obviously, one of the most important aspect of any photography technique Is perfect focus. Now a days, almost all the digital cameras offer automatic focus. However, I won’t recommend you using automatic focus for macro shots. Speaking from my personal experience, 9 out of 10 times I have used automatic focus in shooting macro objects, the camera has failed to focus correctly on the subject. The reason for that is, the camera sensor is not smart enough at the macro levels to differentiate between the focus of subject and the background. That’s why I’m recommending you to keep a manual focus and adjust the pin-point sharp focus at your subject manually.

Depth Of Field


The DoF (Depth Of Field) is another important aspect of macro photography. As explained earlier, it’s the aperture that controls the depth of field. However, the Depth Of Filed also depends largely on the combination of aperture and subject’s distance as well as the background distance from the subject being photographed. Having a correct combination of all these only will ensure that you have amazing macro shots every time you try to get them.

Say No Internal Flash


In macro photography, using the in-built camera flash is not recommended. The reason for this is, the built-in camera mount flash just ruins the macro shots to an irreversible level. Since the flash is neither placed correctly to be fired on macro subjects, nor does it have that soft touch, the use of internal flash is not recommended. However, you can use external soft flashes with one or more reflectors if you really want to shoot at low light conditions.

In a time when pretty much everyone has access to digital cameras and can take half decent photos, being able to take great macro shots is something that can separate you from your average photographer.

And once you’ve built up a nice collection of stunning macro shots, a great way you can share these photos is via services like www.lulu.com which give you the option to design and create your own photo books and send them directly to yourself, or to friends as a unique and creative gift.