Digital Photography: All Its Many Secrets

Digital Photography: All Its Many Secrets: Having a digital camera, whether you have a plan to make a career out of photography or you are simply a hobbyist, is obviously important. But before buying a digital camera, there will be a lot of things to take note of. Camera accessories are one but an important feature is photo software. Many are available in the market while you can also download some in the internet. Also, digital cameras cost more out of the box than regular cameras, but offer the convenience of immediate viewing, multiple image storage, computer connectivity – and there’s no film to develop. Compare additional features you might want: interchangeable lenses, steady-shot, burst mode, auto exposure, automatic white balance, voice memo, variable shutter speeds, manual focus and self-timer.

During photography’s entire history, the amateur and the professional have represented distinct and often contrary approaches to photography, each battling for supremacy. Has the digital revolution tilted the field of battle irrevocably in the amateur’s favour? Or has it swept this traditional rivalry into the dustbin? Can anyone say? For the 19th-century practitioner, photography was fraught with personal and technical adversity. The darkroom environment was equally challenging: space was constrained, and in smaller field tents the photographer had to kneel or lie down to work. Ventilation was poor or non-existent, and lightproofing faulty. Digital photography is starting to become accessible to the average consumer. Camera prices are falling and image quality is improving. Compared to conventional 35-mm photography, there is no film or processing costs, and results are immediately viewable so a re-shoot can be made quickly if needed. Plus there are more and more applications where digital images are more convenient and cost effective.

Normally our eyes compensate for lighting conditions with different color temperatures. A digital camera needs to find a reference point which represents white. It will then calculate all the other colors based on this white point. For instance, if a halogen light illuminates a white wall, the wall will have a yellow cast, while in fact it should be white. So if the camera knows the wall is supposed to be white, it will then compensate all the other colors in the scene accordingly. Most digital cameras feature automatic white balance whereby the camera looks at the overall color of the image and calculates the best-fit white balance. However these systems are often fooled especially if the scene is dominated by one color, say green, or if there is no natural white present in the scene. Most digital cameras also allow you to choose a white balance manually, typically sunlight, cloudy, fluorescent, incandescent etc. Prosumer and SLR digital cameras allow you to define your own white balance reference. Before making the actual shot, you can focus at an area in the scene which should be white or neutral gray, or at a white or gray target card. The camera will then use this reference when making the actual shot.

Quality sports shots are somewhat difficult to come by. Most people have limited access to events to photograph them. The further away you are from the event, the harder it becomes to capture the event in a pleasing manner. You may need a flash with a high output for photographing indoor events.The new modern flash systems produce great results. Some sporting events like gymnastics and others are no-flash events. It is best to talk to an event official before using your flash.

JPEG is a format that makes changes to your photograph, such as adding lighting specifications or white balance. This is usually the best thing to save your picture as, because the results are generally satisfactory and the computer is smart about interpreting the data. However, sometimes you may want to take the raw photograph, which is the picture that has nothing added to it such as light specifications, and edit it yourself. You should do this if you are unsatisfied with the picture taken by the camera, as it is easier than trying to edit a JPEG image. In general, JPEG images are not as detailed as raw images which makes editing them difficult.

If you use a flash in a dark environment, you often get a red eye effect. This is because the light of the flash is reflecting from the retina, which is covered with tiny blood vessels. The more open the pupils are, the more red eye effect you get in your photos. Red eye is more pronounced in people with light eye color. It is also more pronounced in people with blond or light-red hair and in children. Many cameras have a built-in red-eye reduction pre-flash that helps reduce the incidence of red eye. Red-eye reduction works by having the flash shine a light into the eyes of the subject prior to taking the picture. This causes the pupil to contract. However, you have to make sure the subject is looking at the camera. If not, this technique won’t work. Also be wary of using red-eye reduction feature when not necessary, because it may cause your subject to blink.

Good photos result from the following elements: always having your camera with you; being in the frame of mind that you THINK about taking pictures when a good opportunity presents itself; experience in knowing what the camera can do and can’t do, such as how to adjust your camera to compensate for poor lighting conditions or anything else that doesn’t happen to be just right;have patience; taking lots and lots and lots of photos– the average professional photographer takes around 120 shots for every ONE that he/she actually uses and gets paid for; and finally, luck.

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