Digital Photography - What's So Great About It?
I admit it - I've been slow to embrace the digital photography phenomenon. As a hobbyist, I have two film cameras, an old manual focus Nikon and a newer autofocus Canon Rebel, and I resisted the temptation to indulge in a digital camera up until recently, even though each of my children had them for years now. But recently my father gave me his mid-priced Olympus (he didn't like the menus), and I've been giving it a try. And, to my surprise, I even like it.
My favorite thing about the camera is pretty obvious - no film. My father gave me two (bless him) substantial memory cards, and I just don't run out of film. I don't pay to develop photos that I don't really want now that I've seen them (I don't pay to develop photos period), and since I can actually see how they look on the spot, I can delete bad shots to save the space for more. Taking lots of shots helps me improve, and improves the chances of a better than average photograph as well, and now it's free. My camera has settings on it that allow me to pretend I have film - I can set film speed and worry about aperture/shutter speed combinations just like with my other cameras, so I can still use what I already know about photography, which I really like. And I love not having to wait to see how the pictures came out.
The other really cool thing about digital photography is photo editing. I haven't invested in Photoshop yet, but I have my eye on the Elements program for next year. I just use Google's free Picasa and sometimes my PhotoDeluxe editor (came free with my scanner), and even then I can do an incredible amount of really exciting things with my pictures. The best is being able to correct poor exposures (I admit, I often don't notice backlighting). With a couple of adjustments, what would have been a throwaway photo can become a keeper! I remove red-eye easily, sharpen focus, adjust contrast, warm up colors, and remove excessive unwanted tint (such as from lamplight). Cropping is my favorite - those lucky few who have their own darkroom crop their photos routinely, but us regular folks used to have to take what we got - no longer! We can pick and choose, and glory in removing unwanted background, excess sky - we can even remove most of the shot and make it a close-up. Resizing is a snap - want some wallets? No sweat. 8x10, 5x7, some oddball size - just a simple selection will do it. And don't forget special effects. Depending on the editor, you can turn your photo into a painting, add glow, filters, neon - your imagination can go wild!
When you have your masterpiece ready to go, you can print it on photo paper at home, or you can send it out for processing. Through Picasa, you can click and send it to a processor via the internet, and get your professionally printed photos in the mail - but only the ones you have decided you want. You can upload your photos to a web page, email them, use them in a blog or on MySpace - they are easy to share.
So, as you can see, I am a digital photography convert. There is so much fun in having this kind of control over your work that it has actually rejuvenated my love of photography. If you haven't already converted too, think about it. It really is a blast.
Interested in learning more about digital photography? Then try visiting DigitalPhotography4All.com where you can get real information for regular folks, and lots of ideas to improve your own digital photography.
Carol Miller is a long-time photography fan, and the owner of many websites, such as http://www.DigitalPhotography4All.com