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Have some fun with Digital Photography

Apr 2, 2008
Photography is not just about pointing and pressing a button; it's a decision-making process. One of the best reasons for working photography into your activities and projects is that it helps people better understand the media images they're bombarded with every day. Photography is also just plain fun, and it's a wonderful foundation for community-based projects. If you introduce photography properly, it helps you look much more carefully at the world around you.

One has to be very careful when handling a camera, otherwise you can leave fingerprints on the opics of it. The problem with fingerprints on the optics is that your pictures won't turn out as clear in some parts as they could. In order for peak performance, and clear pictures, make sure you clean your camera all over reguarly with the right cloth and solution. Not all cleaning products work on the optics, such as tissue paper, fingers, saliva, or household cleaning solutions. Only use what you can get at a camera store.

Most cameras with autofocus provide a two-step shutter release. Depressing the shutter lightly half-way locks the focus; depressing it fully takes the picture. This two-step shutter release allows you to select the part of the picture you want to be in focus (especially if it is not in the middle -- usually the focus zone -- of the screen), depress the shutter release half-way to lock the focus, and then reframe the picture. Your main subject, even if it is not now in the camera's focus zone, will still come out in focus in the final picture. When depressing the shutter, do it gently, not with a jerk. Do not hammer it down with your index finger. Place your index finger on the shutter, and let it rest gently there until you are ready to take the picture. Then depress it gently half-way to lock the focus. Reframe, hold your breath, and then depress it fully, but still gently, to take the picture. This helps you maintain your composition and keep your horizon level.

Depth of field is all the objects in the foreground and the background around the subject of your photo, and they will be in focus as well as your subject. The focusing distance and the size of the image, as well as the aperture you're using, can change the way depth of field is perceived. The larger the aperture, the smaller the depth of field. For example, if you move closer to your subject, the depth of field would decrease. If you move farther away, or use a smaller aperture, the depth of field would decrease.

Pictures don't just come out looking right. If you look at some of the pictures you especially like, you will notice that the way the picture was composed probably has a lot to do with it. What we mean by composition is how you place your subject(s) on the blank canvas that's your 4x6. If you mentally divide your screen into three horizontal and three vertical sections, where the lines intersect are focal points. Focal points are what the eyes naturally seek out when they look at a photograph. It therefore stands to reason that a focal point is a good place to position our main subject. It's not a hard and fast rule, so don't go bonkers trying to place your subject right at a focal point.

Landscape photos are very popular and can be very nice-looking. The whole photograph will need to be in focus, unlike some pictures where only a certain part is in focus. In order to have the picture completely focused, you'll need to have a short focal length. This will create a larger depth of field, and everything will be focused. In order to creating a pleasing balance between land and sky, or water and sky, you can use the rule of thirds. Furthermore, if you want a sense of three dimensions, you can have a subject in the foreground.

The panoramic picture is a new and exciting mode that is becoming more prevalent in digital cameras. Start by setting your camera on the tripod and ensure that it can only swivel left and right and not up and down. Take your first shot. Note the edges of the picture carefully and identify where you want to overlap the next picture. Choose an object where the overlap will be less apparent. Then, without moving the tripod to another spot, swivel the camera, say clockwise, and take your second shot making sure you have overlapped a part of your first shot. Continue to swivel and take shots until you have captured everything you wanted to. Then use the software provided with your camera to "stitch" the shots together to form your panoramic picture. If done properly, panoramic pictures (landscapes and group pictures) can be very impressive. Note that best alignment results are obtained from cameras with the tripod socket smack under the lens.
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