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Awesome Tips That Will Help You With Digital Photography

Feb 27, 2008
The camera consumer trend over the past five years has been to go digital. The development and use of Single Lens Reflex [SLR] digital cameras has grown dramatically. The marked drop in use of large format film cameras and enlarging lenses reflects the decreasing market demand for those historically traditional film cameras. While one reputable manufacturer is still producing their flagship film cameras, most have discontinued a large number of their film lenses. While many remain faithful to the advantages of film technology, it is obvious that digital photography is going to capture the mainstream market. The increased quality in digital capture and memory capacity has been one alluring factor. For the first generation digital cameras, there was the challenging question of whether to store the digital data files in RAW or in JPEG or TIFF. Now many companies provide instant storage of a RAW image at the same time a full-color JPEG is displayed for the photographer's immediate use.

What is "low-end?" There's no real reason to pay over $100, even shopping for a brand-name camera (and you should). It's easy to find great deals on low-end or older cameras from Fuji, HP, Canon and many more makers as low as $40 at discount stores or online. There are a number of very inexpensive cameras available, but low resolution, unreliability, fixed memory, and often poor or inconsistent image quality plague the bottom of this segment. Avoid anything that says "webcam" in its description or has an unlisted resolution or a rating less than 2.1 Megapixels. Almost all brand-name low-end cameras have certain features in common with more expensive variants, such as shutter-release, flash fill, and red-eye reduction. If you anticipate the need for close-up photography, choose a camera with a "macro mode" and be prepared to work with available light or your own lighting - many low-end cameras disable their flash in macro mode, and even if they don't you may find that the flash causes more harm than good.

It is commonly believed that cold weather can damage a camera - and it also happens to be true. Condensation can form inside a camera, as it grows cooler, and not just in the lens. Moisture can cause a number of intermittent or permanent problems with the camera's electronics. Condensation inside the camera can freeze and cause damage if it is in the cold for too long. Warm the camera up slowly after it's been out in the cold, but do your best to keep it from getting cold in the first place! Many cold-weather photographers carry their cameras inside their jacket to keep them from getting cold enough for condensation to form. Lastly, consider storing the camera in a plastic bag - the condensation will form first on the bag before it forms in the camera.

For most photographers the vastly increased depth of field in digital cameras is good news. Too many pictures taken with our 35 mm cameras are not quite sufficient where they quickly run out of the depth of field. Digital provides a sharp foreground while enjoying details in the distance. This is especially evident in landscape photography. Being able to work with wide apertures (small F-stops) allows us to use higher shutter speeds, thus eliminating another source of image distortion. The program mode, especially for wide-angle lens settings, clearly favors wide apertures and high shutter speeds. Actually, small apertures, i.e., large F-numbers, may lead to image degradation due to diffraction effects. These factors depend on the actual (as opposed to relative) diameter of the lens aperture, which makes F-stops critical when programming digital cameras. This is one reason digital camera maker's limit themselves to F/8 or F/11, but not greater values, although these would be still quite useful in the macro mode. The camera lens, shutter speed and aperture play important roles in the quality of the photographs you take. They will determine how well you use the mega pixels you have to most accurately document your subjects.

You will want to get familiar with a term called the "Focal Length". This term explains just how far out a shot can be taken, and still be in focus. There are a couple of different categories of focal lengths, including telephoto (perfect narrow sized photos) and wide-angle (best for wider shots). It is noted that most of the digital cameras are built with telephoto lenses, and not the wide-angle. If you are looking to take pictures of wide spaces, then you may need an additional lens.

Who doesn't love the night sky? Whether you are admiring the stars, or a really cool array of light, there are probably many night pictures that have been burned into your mind, right? Well, why not capture them on film? If you have been intimidated by night photography, or have failed at it in the past, there are a few simple tips that can help you take better nighttime photos. First of all, it is always a good idea to know when you should and shouldn't attempt to take a nighttime picture. That way you won't get so frustrated and waste your time! Some of the most beautiful photographs are taken at dusk. You will notice some really stunning natural lighting colors available at this time, as opposed to completely dark. You should take a little time to check out the weather and know ahead of time what you may encounter that evening. If there is a chance of rain and it is cloudy, you won't have much time to capture the stars, if any at all! Also, the location of your shoot is important. If it's possible to get out of the city, you will be able to capture better pictures. The most important aspect, aside from weather, when taking a night photo is the exposure. You need to use a longer exposure time for the night pictures. This will allow as much natural light through to the picture as possible.

Probably the easiest and most popular method of sharing a digital photo is to print it out. You can either print it out yourself, on your own printer and paper at home, or you can have a professional do it for you. In either case, you will need to store the images onto a CD or DVD and use that to print out your copies. (It's a little like when you have regular file processed, in the fact that the hard copy of your pictures will be used to pick out the photos you would like to print out.) You will then pick out the photo(s) you want to print and they will be printed out onto a glossy photo paper. It's easy as pie and very inexpensive, especially if you can do it at home! If you are comfortable with using your computer and the Internet, you can also send your pictures with an email. This is a quick and convenient alternative to the old "snail mail" way to send mail to another person. The recipients can also print them out; if they decide they would like to, or use them as a wallpaper background for their computer. You can learn to download the photo and send it right on the Internet, and your computer's user manual should also have a section explaining it. It is not hard to learn, so don't let the technology overwhelm and intimidate you.
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