Awesome Tips That Will Help You With Digital Photography

By: Dan Feildman

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.

Almost all low-end cameras use center-weighted metering, so you can use the old trick of using the shutter-release feature while pointing at an object with the desired light level before taking the shot. There are a lot of different ways to store digital photos in cameras, but almost all low-end cameras worth considering use one of the many memory card formats. There are too many advantages to removable memory to even consider a camera that uses only its own fixed internal memory. You want to check before purchasing, either with the manufacturer or through an online search, to see if the particular camera you're looking at has limitations as to card speed or capacity (some cameras can't read or write to the newest high-capacity multi-gigabyte cards). Capacity limits are less of a concern for low-end cameras, however, as their lower-resolution pictures take up little space. It doesn't make sense to spend $200 on a memory card for a $50 camera unless you really need to take 2000 pictures.

Myths surround everything including digital cameras. One interesting one is that digital cameras, with fewer moving parts, are somehow more durable than their film cousins. This one is easy to dispel. Digital cameras have as many (if not more) sensitive parts as film cameras. They share their most sensitive assembles, such as lenses. Digital cameras are often of lighter construction than film cameras. In short, there's no reason to treat any device roughly. Take care of your tools, and they will take care of you.

The great debate about how many mega pixels a digital camera must have for quality photographs rages on. Of course the answers depends primarily on how large you want your print to be and what the characteristics of the camera's sensor is. Just like traditional silver-based analog prints digital photographs begin to pixilate as enlargements increase in size. To get the best use of your camera and investment, it is best to explore the many facets that affect the quality of digital photography. What is the sensor and how does it affect digital photo quality? No matter how many mega pixels the camera you are looking at may boast, a photograph can still lack field of depth and true colors due to other features you may have overlooked in digital cameras. What is even worse, you may have splurged on an 8 to 10 mega pixel camera, but not have it set up to optimize performance. On the other hand, if you went for a 4 or 5 mega pixel camera there are features that you may be unaware of that could dramatically affect the quality of your photographs. We want you to get the most out of the camera you choose.

You will see and hear about a term called the "ISO". This is an abbreviation for the International Standards Organization. This is the organization that sets the bar for photography. In terms of the ISO of your digital camera, it is talking about how sensitive your camera is to lighting. You need to know that the higher the ISO on a camera, the better for darker conditions. The lower the ISO, the better suited this camera will be in lighted conditions.

If you want to capture incredible details and use less flash for night photos, then using a longer exposure time is the only way to go. If you are going to use a long exposure, make sure that you use a tripod, as any movement at all during the picture will cause the picture to become blurred. Also, you can capture some pretty cool effects, like car lights, when using a longer exposure. You will want to make sure that you know how to use and when to use your flash when taking a night picture, too. Most of the time, you probably will not even want to use your flash when you are taking a night photo. If you are taking a picture of an object, like a person, though, you will want to use your flash. When taking pictures of the night skyline, though, it is best to use a long exposure and take advantage of the natural lighting conditions. If you decide to take pictures at night, you will want to be able to control the photo as much as possible. Basically, you would take a shot of the area you want in your picture. Then, you take a picture of that same shot, only with the lens cap on. The reason for this is that at night, some of the pixels in the picture will not be visually good. When you take the picture with the lenses cap on, you will be recording the pixels again, while they are hot in your camera's memory. You can then use those pixels to repair the bad ones in the photo, with a photo editor. (If you don't happen to have a photo editor, you can download one for free, just search for one on the Internet.)

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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