Digital cameras come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Different brands of digital cameras also offer users an array of features designed to make each and every shot fantastic. Despite the numerous features offered by digital cameras, manufacturers still manage to create products that are simple enough for a child to use.
Day by day digital cameras are becoming a well-known fixture in most homes across the globe. In fact, most of the people around the world own one and use it on a regular basis.Digital cameras have also been incorporated into a variety of technical gadgets that have been integrated into the lifestyle of people everywhere.
PDA devices as well as cellular phones are just some of the technological devices that have a digital camera feature. Despite being an add-on feature, the digital camera device installed in these gadgets fair relatively well compared to detached models.
As a matter of fact the memory used for digital cameras, detached models or otherwise, can easily be upgraded using memory cards. The added memory will certainly come in handy because most digital cameras can also be used to take video clips.
There are numerous brands of digital cameras available on the market today. Mainstream electronic brands like Nikon, Kodak, Canon and Olympus are just some of the manufacturers of conventional 35mm cameras who have jumped on the bandwagon to create their own lines of digital cameras. Other famous brands that manufacture digital cameras include Panasonic, Casio and Sony.
Basic Features of Digital Cameras to Consider
Regardless of brand names, digital cameras have the same basic features that any consumer should know and consider before buying one. Even though digital cameras are generally a point and shoot device, certain features can often single out a particular brand or model. A good example of this is the term megapixel, which became known when digital cameras were introduced in the market.
Megapixels, which means millions of pixels, measure the quality and size of a digital camera. Pixels refer to the dots that make up a picture. Therefore a digital camera that has about a 5-megapixel resolution will produce better quality pictures compared to a 3-megapixel digital camera.
Moreover, photos taken with a digital camera that offers greater megapixels can be enlarged safely without sacrificing the quality of the picture. Average digital cameras with less than 3 megapixels often forfeit the clarity of the picture once it is enlarged. Unfortunately, there is a downside to using a digital camera with greater megapixels as they consume more of the camera’s memory.
The zoom function of a digital camera is another feature that most consumers should consider. There are generally two types of zoom features for many of the digital cameras on the market today. The optical zoom feature is common in devices without permanent lenses. The user can simply zoom and focus on the subject to be photographed.
A digital zoom feature is similar to using an editing software program for images. In most cases, a digital camera may offer both types of zoom features. Most digital camera users recommend concentrating on the optical zoom feature to validate the quality of the device.
What to Look for In a Digital Camera
A digital camera generally has an LCD screen. This wide screen replaces the small aperture in conventional cameras through which you look into before taking the shot. The LCD screen allows the photographer to view the picture while taking it to see how it would appear in reality.
Digital cameras have memory stick slots where memory sticks are inserted. Unfortunately, memory is another major consideration that many consumers often overlook. For the most part it is because digital cameras that require larger memory can be quite expensive.
On the whole, many of the digital cameras of today make use of rechargeable batteries. Consumers should check if the particular brand they wish to purchase comes with a charger. If not, then you need to purchase it separately.
Downloading pictures taken with the digital camera is another factor that need to be considered. In most cases, many digital cameras can easily be connected to a desktop computer using a USB port. Through this connection, a user may download the pictures taken with the camera into the computer’s hard drive for printing or editing.
Apr 21, 2008
Digital cameras come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Different brands of digital cameras also offer users an array of features designed to make each and every shot fantastic. Despite the numerous features offered by digital cameras, manufacturers still manage to create products that are simple enough for a child to use.
Apr 15, 2008
Whether you just have a simple point-and-shoot camera or the more expensive digital SLRs, you can definitely take quality pictures like the pros do. It’s not the type of camera that takes great shots, it’s the photographer. If you don't know how to correctly take a shot, you can take a really bad picture from an SLR camera.
As long as you know how to correctly take pictures and are willing to make some adjustments, taking great photos will be easy for you. Here are some tips to help you shoot like professionals even with your simple digital camera.
1. Would you like your shots to have a warmer feel? Most shots taken from a digital camera without any adjustments look cool and clammy. This is because the white balance setting is set to “auto” as default which is fine for snapshots.
If you want a warmer effect, though, with sharp colors, you may want to set the white balance to “cloudy” setting instead of auto. This is like adding a mild warming filter to the lens of your camera. Cloudy setting increases the yellow and red colors adding a richer and warmer effect to your shots.
2. Polarizing filters can be one of the most important investments you can add to your digital camera. These filters reduce the glare and unwanted reflections on your shots. This is great when you frequently take landscape and outdoor shots. Pictures taken with a polarizer have richer and more saturated colors.
If your camera won't allow filters, like a simple point-and-shoot camera, don’t fret! You can still have a polarizing effect on your shots by placing a good quality pair of sunglasses in front of the lens. It gives an effect similar to a polarizer. Just make sure that you place it to the lens as close as possible and the rims are not seen.
3. For an outdoor shot with shine, use your camera’s “flash on” or “fill flash” feature. This lets you control when you want the flash to go off, instead of it deciding when it wants to. This mode exposes first the background then adding enough flash to illuminate your subject.
For great results, place your subject where the sun illuminates the hair from the side or back. Alternatively, to let your subject be comfortable and not be annoyed by the sun’s heat, place your model in the shade then use the flash to illuminate the subject.
However, built-in flashes only have a maximum range of 10 feet. Thus, it would be better not to go too far from your subject.
4. Taking detailed shots of objects like flowers or small insects is easy with your digital camera. Most digital cameras have a feature called “close up” or “macro mode” usually indicated by a flower sign. With this mode turned on, you can take shots of objects as close as possible. However, you only get a shallow field-depth when taking close up pictures so it is better to focus on the most important part of the subject then allow the other parts of the image go soft.
5. Leveling the image may be difficult for amateurs as well as some pros. One way to get a level or an even shot, especially of a nature shot, is to look for some horizontal lines as guide. If you have a view of the horizon, where the sky meets the ocean, you can use that as your leveling guide.
If it still is difficult for you, you can try to take several shots at different angles so you’ll know which one would give you the best shot. After some time it will become natural for you to take even shots.
These are just some of the tricks you can do to take wonderful shots on your digital camera, be it a simple point-and shoot kind or the more professional SLR type. Photography is really an enjoyable and fulfilling hobby, especially when a lot of people also appreciate your shots. And it is not that difficult to have shots that most people will like. Just explore, read different books, and take advice from pros and you’ll surely be one of them in a matter of time.
Apr 11, 2008
Photojournalism is a branch of journalism that tells a story through the form of images. The point of view of photography, is it different from its other branches in the sense that the stories from the images photojournalists offer are news related.
They are informative, and relevant to society, as well as informing us of what is happening around the world. These images also possess the quality of being objective. The context of the images, and its relevance are directly connected to the story it's telling.
Photojournalism is an essential part of the news media
To most people who watch the news or read newspapers, pictures are what give them a visual representation of what the printed words are summarizing. This makes reading the newspaper more effective because it gives the readers an idea of what it must be like to witness these events as they are unfolding. This is especially true of those who seldom watch the news, or read the newspaper. These images become their key to understanding the stories that are being reported in the news.
Photojournalists don't have an easy job. There are certain times when they risk their lives just to bring the news right into our living rooms, so we can be informed of what is happening around us.
Through the form of photographs they are able to let us in on the situations and events that are transpiring in other parts of the world. They offer us a glimpse of the people, their actions, places, things and scenes of daily life that are captured in their images. This way we become aware of the issues that are facing our society today.
Role of Technology in Photojournalism
The advent of technology has made the influence of photojournalism more pronounced. Nowadays, news can literally travel the globe within minutes. The usage of the internet, videophones, and excellent quality of printing technology has made the role of photojournalism a more visible presence.
This is why more than ever photojournalists have a much greater responsibility of ensuring that they present images that are objective. The downside to the progression of technology is that now individuals have the ability to manipulate images. This is where the question of ethics comes in. This is why there is a code of ethics that have been established to address these issues. Although, these tend to vary from country to country.
Photojournalism is a serious profession that merits respect and attention. After all, the images that accompany the stories in the news are truly what helps the public understand the meaning behind the words.
Apr 7, 2008
When is the best time to choose a wide angle lens, and how does one choose the appropriate wide angle lens for a particular shot?
First things first, the best time for a wide angle lens is to be used is when you are planning to take a beautiful shot of a landscape.
Another important aspect of landscape photography is the selection of the appropriate light as well as the perfect location of the landscape shot. As much as possible, and depending on what it is being shot, the selection of the appropriate day to catch that landscape picture perfect landscape view is everything.
Lights, location and action
When the location has finally been chosen for the wide angle lens shot, try to notice the light effects visible on the area that you plan to shoot in over a whole twenty four hour day. This ensures that you know how the lights play over the range of mountain, sand or seas. This also helps you plan just how it is you are to go about taking that shot, when and how.
When you finally know, it is therefore time to be a little bit creative. You may include elements in your picture’s foreground in order to have an additional scale and depth to your pictures. Also, feel free to look around from other points in the area where you think the shot could just as well be taken. This may add a little bit of interest to the final picture. Also consider taking a variety of levels and positions.
Time is always of the essence
Believe it or not, in order to avoid any shadows that may appear harsh on the picture, the best time to shoot is early during the morning as well as late in the golden afternoon.
During this time, take your camera out and set it up using a tripod. Then, take a reading of any area of the shot using a light-meter. Once the appropriate measurements have been taken, adjust the speed of the shutter and the aperture.
After all these, all you need to do is to press the release button and take a beautiful picture.
Make use of natural effects
If there are any natural creations occupying your shot, try to use a backlight or side lighting that provides the leaves, – for example – grass, water or smoke an appearance that these seem to be translucent, almost ethereal.
Pictures of a beautiful sunset are best taken just when the sun has gently touched the horizon and immediately a maximum of five – count them - five short minutes just after the sun has finally set.
It is best that you use or position yourself to a geographically high point.
A filtered polarizer may also be used in order to heighten the sky’s color or tone, thus delivering a picture befitting a postcard.
A wide angle lens helps a lot in increasing the picture’s scope.
Do not forget to relax. This prevents the camera from unnecessarily shaking and helping you focus on the subject more than anything else.
Supply yourself with much needed supplies
Since landscape photos are usually taken far from the city and well into the country, it is best that you pack up a host of equipments that enables you to take pictures even during temporary obstacles. A flashlight always comes in handy, bottled water is another (to keep the photographer replenished and not thirsty), as well as a lot of extra rolls of film. This is one equipment that photographers generally can't do without.
Basically, a wide angle lens has a focal length that measures less than forty millimeters. Be aware as well as be wary that the length of the lens changes how an image is seen.
All in all, determining the best lens to use for a particular shot requires a lot of patience, skill and practice. The art of mastering landscape photography doesn't have to be difficult. And the best lens to use for such kind of photography is a wide-angle lens. Getting that that shot right takes not only skill but the strength, stamina and endurance to get to where the location of the landscape is and the energy – upon reaching that location – to get the job done. And when that moment arrives, the job has only just begun.
Apr 2, 2008
A wedding is undoubtedly one of the most precious moments in a person's life. Capturing it on film to be stored forever is even more important. Today, brides and grooms have so any options to choose from when it comes to choosing the kind of photography that they want for the most important day of their lives.
Here is a guide in achieving the wedding photography of a couple's dreams:
1. Choosing the right photographer
In order to select a wedding photographer, a couple must first decide on the picture style that they want.
Portrait photographers are perfectly capable to take both formal and casual pictures, but he will most likely concentrate on the formal ones.
Photojournalists take shots that are candid and not planned. This kind of photographer usually has experience in journalism photography.
Hobbyist photographers are those who are often a friend or a relative of the couple, and would likely offer his services for free or a very low price. It is hard to tell the kind of pictures that they will produce, and there is a risk that the pictures may not be as good as a professional's.
2. Getting the perfect camera
Wedding photographers usually use two basic camera types: the 35mm and the medium format. The 35mm has the tendency to produce pictures that are a little grainy, but the only person who may notice the difference are the photographers themselves.
3. Color or black and white?
Color is usually used in wedding photos, but those who want a more artistic feel may go for the black and white film. Black and white photos lasts longer than color ones, though color films capture the details of the event more appropriately. One option would be to take the pictures in color first, then have copies made in black and white.
4. Personality of the photographer
Most couples want a photographer who can take great pictures but who is also friendly and sociable. Set an interview with the prospective photographer, and make sure to ask effective questions. Also, make sure to ask for references, and take a look at his previous work.
All these tips can help couples in getting those perfect pictures on their special day. Make sure that these pictures can be shown proudly to families and friends, and can be passed down to future generations.
Apr 1, 2008
Traveling is one of life's greatest pleasures. Capturing those precious and exciting moments is even more pleasurable, especially if it's a once-in-a-lifetime trip. For the photo enthusiast, taking pictures of everything in sight is as important as going to these places.
So how can you exercise good travel photography? Here are some tips:
1. Choosing the right variety of camera
Purchasing the perfect camera can be as hard as deciding where to go on a vacation. A primary consideration for travel photography is whether to get a single lens reflex camera or a SLR, or a point-and-shoot type. They each has their own benefits and disadvantages.
In SLR, lenses can be interchanged. A photographer can view exactly what the lens is seeing because of its reflex viewing system. Point-and-shoot, meanwhile, have viewfinders that adjust the view of the image automatically. They are easier to use than the SLR, but its viewing range is a bit limited.
2. Selecting the right kind of film
The dilemma in choosing the right kind of film can be solved by determining the output desired and the traveling conditions in which the pictures will be taken. You need to choose between a color negative or a color side if you want to take colored pictures. The benefit of using a color negative is that it tends to be forgiving of corrections in color or errors of exposure. Professional photographers, however, go for slide films because almost all commercial reproducing is produced from transparencies.
3. Researching for the trip
Knowing the right information about the place your visiting is as important as shooting the pictures. Planning the trip in detail enables the photographer to improve on the quality and quantity of opportunities where he can take great pictures. It is essential to read before a trip. Browse through materials such as travel guides, magazines, maps and newspapers. Also, try to talk to someone who has actually been their. The information that they can give will be very valuable.
4. The right way in creating a travel journal
The pictures taken during a trip should tell a story, and should not be just a jumble of random pictures. It should chronicle the trip from start to finish. It is important to track the dates that the pictures were taken.
One should not turn down the experience of travel, just the same, as one should not forget to capture precious images from that trip. Perfect planning and having a keen eye for a good image can be the key to achieving everything.
There is a certain way that experienced photographers take such stunning pictures, portraits and photographs where the subject being shot is focused in a clear and perfect manner while the background is sort of a blur.
The following are the steps to take those amazing picture-perfect shots.
First things first, it is best that the camera being used has a plate for imaging that is large. Also, a lens that is considered fast should also be used. “Fast” in photography language means a lens that has an aperture that is larger than f2.8.
When the aperture of a camera is large, the image or picture that will be produced has a depth of field that is shallow. In photography language, this basically means that the area that is behind as well as front of the subject being taken is a blur.
As much as possible, the shoulder and the head of the subject should fill the whole frame. Also, if the subject is a person, don't forget to focus on the subject’s eyes.
Practice really does make perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect job done only once. It takes perseverance as well as patience. When shooting pictures, try to take a series of shots using a lens that has a wide opening and a stop on at least one or two.
Focus on various areas such as the ear, nose, hair using varying apertures for such. When the pictures come out, you then have many different options to choose from.
To be able to create a depth of field that is shallow, the best thing you should do is use a long lens – preferably a telephoto – and have it set on the zoom that at its maximum. Then, try to stand as close to the subject as possible.
However, for subjects that are in motion, for example a car. The camera must then be moved the same way the subject is moving. Or simply put, the subject must be followed. The best film to be used for such a shot are ISO 400 films. Also, don't forget to set the camera at an ISO setting that is similarly fast.
The body of the camera, especially when taking such moving picture shots, must be steady. Make sure to focus on the subject as you see it through the lens of the viewfinder. Using such a technique ensures that the subject being focused on is clear and crisp while the background is a beautiful blur. Such a picture helps highlight the movement being done by the subject therefore making it seemingly jump from the picture.
Believe it or not, there is also an easy and stress free way to create a similar photo effect without doing the techniques mentioned. This has become possible through the magic of software. Photoshop has a “blur” function, which blurs the picture’s background in a uniform manner independently as well as authentically the way an actual photograph may be done by a technically-savvy photographer. The software blur is and looks artificial while the real blur is more organic in feel.
Fortunately or unfortunately, the technology of software is advancing so that there is a CS2 version of Photoshop that enables anyone to create a blur that is considered as “smart.” This function takes into consideration the picture’s depth of field. This basically means that the function applies a lot of blurring effects to the pixels that appears more distant and applies a lot less blurring to the pixels that appear nearer. Believe it or not, such a function is adjustable that anyone could achieve any effect desired.
All in all, depth of field is a fairly easy concept to understand especially to those serious in learning the art and craft of photography. All it takes is a lot of patience, perseverance and a heart that is willing to learn as well as a mind that is open to making mistakes and gradually correcting them along the way towards creating a picture perfect shot.
Photography is one of the most popular hobbies and professions in the world. There is nothing like capturing fragments of reality and preserving it on film. There are many kinds of photography, but one of the most in-demand is portrait photography.
A good portrait is described as a picture with a quality image that captures both the physical features and character of the subject. Taking good portraits is very challenging because a photographer needs a subject with an upbeat personality that also reflects sensitivity and liveliness.
There are lots of factors that photography enthusiasts need to know in capturing the perfect portrait.
1. Revelation of the subject's character
For a portrait to be considered good, it must capture at least one element that shows the features and traits of the subject as well as one that captures his or her individuality. The image must reveal an important part of the subject's character that can be identifiable by those who know them. Therefore, it is quite challenging for a portrait to show the character of his subject if they have only met for the first time.
2. The right moment to take pictures
Definitely, the photo shoot should start when the subject is comfortable and at ease with his or her appearance and surroundings. Never shoot if the subject is tense or uneasy, because it will reflect in the pictures. There is no rule that says a conversation should stop when shooting starts, it can still continue especially if it makes the subject open up more to the photographer.
Remember that the subject does not need to smile to make the portrait look good. Oftentimes, a thoughtful or a serious expression is preferred since it reveals more of the subject's character.
3. Preparedness of the photographer
This is important since it is the photographer who takes control of a photo session. The subject must feel that the person behind the camera knows what he's doing and is experienced enough to tell the subject how to pose. The photographer himself must be prepared and relaxed throughout the session.
4. Right kind of lighting
Probably the best light that can be used for capturing the personality of the subject is natural daylight. The variety of lighting choices brought about by outdoor conditions gives more creative leeway for the photographer. Having the subject sit near the window can also produce great effects. The only disadvantage of natural light is that it's not always consistent. This is the reason all photographers must utilize artificial lighting. All photographers must have studio flashes. Also, the position of the photographer in relation to the subject can also be shifted in order to maximize the light available.
5. Appropriate background
Simply put, a bad background can destroy a picture. Always pay close attention on the scenery behind the subject when framing shots. There are many creative options that be used when shooting outdoors. The subject can be made to pose beside or in front of colorful flowers or leaves, the sea or the sky. To reduce the effect of a distracting background, a photographer can make use of long lenses or an expansive aperture. For indoors, one can use black or grey cloth for the background, then adding colored transparent plastics over the flashes to modify color.
6. Usage of costumes and props
Portraits usually are a rare photograph of a subject, and good costumes can make the portrait more interesting and valuable. You don't always need to use a full costume, sometimes a hint of it will make wonders, such as hats or scarves. Props should be used very carefully, and should not distract from the main subject of the photograph. A prop should establish the natural pose and mood of the one being photographed.
The kind of framing can already create the image desired by the photographer. It is recommended that photos be cropped before shooting. The image should be checked a few seconds before clicking the shutter. Images that are not needed should be excluded from the shot.
Producing the perfect portrait may seem hard at first but these tips can help novices so that they can shoot better pictures.
Viewing photographs which are taken from a good, unique point of view is one of the most fascinating things in the world of photography. This is what we refer to as aerial photography.
Aerial photography is formally defined as photograph taking from an overhead viewpoint by using cameras that are mounted on an airborne tool such as a balloon, an aircraft, a kite, a skydiver and other similar tools. The art of aerial photography was first developed by Nadar, a French airman back in 1858. During the Second World War, aerial photography found a niche in military operations. Aerial photographs were used in spying and in the assessment of the battle ground. These photographs provided updated and realistic impressions of the topography and current situation in a certain area.
Uses of Aerial Photographs
There are many conceived and actual uses for pictures which are taken from above. Aerial photographs are actually used in the construction of topographic maps, in cartography, planning land use, archeology, production of movies, espionage, environmental studies, commercial advertising and in other fields.
The use of technology has also crawled into the field of aerial photography. Advances in radio technology has allowed for the use of aircraft models which are controlled by radio in the conduct of low-altitude photography. This is mainly used in advertising for the real estate business. This is because manned aircrafts are not allowed to fly low altitudes in populated locations. This task can be done by these radio-controlled aircraft models and they do the job very well.
Aerial photographs are considered public domain, because the pictures are taken from aerial views which are considered public places.
There are many ways to view aerial photographs on-line. One of the most popular ones is the Google Earth by Google. Google Earth provides satellite imagery as well as aerial photos of the planet. You can actually use the service to be able to search for different places in a certain area such as parks, restaurants, schools and hotels. It can also be used to be able to track down the best routes for reaching a certain location. You can also view the aerial photographs in different angles by tilting and rotating them.
These are some basic things about aerial photography. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, you can browse through some basic materials at the local library or use the Internet to get more information about it.
If you are a photographer or just someone that loves taking pictures using your camera, specifically the single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, you must know what zooms are for. Zoom lenses are added to your basic camera unit to be able to focus on a subject correctly. It is similar to filters that you also add on your camera for specific special effects.
During the past, you would see a photographer carrying his huge camera case which contained about half a dozen different lenses. Each of these lenses has a fixed focal length and can only be used for a certain type of focus shot. If the photographer wants to take a shot on something from a different angle, he would need to change lenses. That takes a lot of time and possible loss of the good view for the shot.
Having all these lenses and carrying them every time you have a shoot can be a big burden, not to mention, expensive. Thanks to our ever improving technology, zoom lenses were introduced. With zoom lenses, you can have a single lens that covers the same range that three or more fixed focal length lenses. This definitely lets the photographer change angle or focus instantaneously as compared to the old lenses.
Mid-range zoom lenses are versatile since they can cover normal, wide-angle and telephoto focal lengths with just a single lens. Telephoto zoom lenses are great for portraits, scenic, travel, candid and sports photos. Long zooms are useful for wildlife and sports photography.
Features of Zoom Lenses
Here are just some of the features of most zoom lenses available:
1. Macro focusing. This feature allows the lens to focus at a close range. To determine how close a lens is able to focus, a reproduction ratio is specified in the lens. A 1:4 reproduction ratio means that a lens can focus an object such that if the diameter of the object is 4 inches, it will measure just 1 inch in the picture itself.
2. One-touch zoom control. Most of the zoom lenses have just a single ring that controls the focus and zoom at the same time.
3. Lens aperture. There are zoom lenses that have only one maximum aperture, while others have two, for example f2.8-4.0. The f-number changes as the zoom changes.
Tips in buying zoom lenses
If you are planning to buy a zoom lens, the first thing you have to consider is the focal length range. For you to know what correct focal length range to buy, you must identify your purpose for the lens. If you think you will use it mostly for travel and vacations, a mid-range zoom would suffice. However, if you are planning to use it for sports and portraits, a telephoto zoom is a better choice.
The size and weight of the lens is also a consideration. In general, a bigger and heavier lens is usually faster. One that has wide zooming range can also be larger.
Lens speed is important if you are intending to use the lens for indoor photography. A faster lens allows more light which makes it easier to shoot in subdued lighting.
If you are using a lot of filters, it is best to consider the size of the zoom so it can accommodate as much filter. If you want close-up photos, you must also consider the specifications of the camera with regard to macro focusing. If you are after flexibility, it is best to have a zoom with continuous macro focusing than a limited one.
Of course, just like any other product, price is also a consideration. The better the features of the zoom lens, the more expensive they will be.
Zoom lenses are really a good investment if you are thinking of making photography a business. Even if you don’t, and you are just someone who loves taking pictures, having zoom lenses is still a good choice. You can take great shots at different angles and distances.
So if you are thinking of getting one, decide first on how you intend to use the lens so you can make the right choice. As you become more and more into this hobby or profession, then you can buy different types of zooms. Carrying just one or two zoom lenses is not a bad idea.