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Friday, May 30, 2008

Lighting for Portrait Photography (Part 1): Behavior of Light

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


Light is the raw material of a photographer. Much as the painter works with paint and the sculptor works with stone, the photographer works with light. This analogy is not precise however, because as the painter and sculptor work with actual material substances, the photographer works with a form of energy. Understanding the behavior of this form of energy that we call light, is foundational to your success as a portrait photographer. A painter may not need to know the chemical and physical properties of each component of her paints, but she must completely understand how to blend the different colors, and how the paints behave as she applies them to the canvas. Just as a painter or sculptor must gain masterful insight into the behavior of the raw materials of their arts, so must the portrait photographer gain a keen understanding of the behavior of light.

The first prerequisite for photography is light being emitted from a source. Just think about it, without light, photography is impossible. Light may be emitted from a natural source, such as the sun, or from an artificial source, such as strobes or constant light sources. In 1931, the strobe was developed for use in still photography by Harold Edgerton, an electrical engineer from MIT. Today, the strobe is by far the most used light source in the portrait studio. Advantages of strobe lighting for portrait studio photography include: reasonably precise control of light intensity and light color temperature, low heat generation compared to a constant light source, and low power consumption for the amount of light output.

The most important property of light to the portrait photographer is the light's intensity or brightness. There are several ways of controlling the intensity of light striking the subject. In the studio, the power supply of modern strobes may be adjusted. The strobes may be positioned farther away from the subject. Outdoors, you may take advantage of cloud cover or the overhang of a tree or building, or even the time of day, to control the intensity of the incident light on the subject. These methods are effective for controlling the average (overall) light intensity of the composition. Many devices have been developed to control the relative intensities of light (specular highlights) of specific areas within a composition. Devices such as scrims, gobos, snoots, grid spots, and barn doors, are commonly used to partially block, direct, or otherwise control the relative light intensities within a composition.

Another property of light of great importance to the portrait photographer is the light's color temperature. Pure white light is the result of an equally balanced mixture of the three primary colors: red, green, and blue. In different lighting conditions (e.g. cloudy versus full sun), the proportions of the color mixture may vary. Normally, the human brain automatically compensates for this, and you do not notice the difference as you leave one lighting condition and enter another. Film can not make this same automatic compensation. Therefore, differences in color temperature must be manually adjusted for by the photographer. Color temperature of various light conditions is commonly stated in degrees Kelvin. There are three standard color temperature rated films commonly used by photographers. "Daylight" film is designed to be exposed by 5500K light, and "indoor" film is designed to be exposed by 3400K light, or 3200K light for professional "indoor" film. For a greater degree of control over the white balance when using film, color correction filters are used. Most if not all digital SLR cameras have a white balance adjustment to electronically compensate for changing color temperatures encountered in various light conditions. In digital photography, when shooting in RAW format, the color temperature can easily be corrected in Photoshop.

A third property of light that is very important to the portrait photographer is contrast. A light source has high contrast if its rays all strike the subject at approximately the same angle. A light source that is diffuse has low contrast, because its rays strike the subject from many different angles. High contrast light sources produce shadows with a hard edge, while low contrast light sources produce shadows with a soft edge. This is because with a high contrast light source, where the rays all approach the subject from approximately the same angle, no light enters the edge of the shadow and the shadow's edge remains distinct. A light source's relative contrast is generally determined by the size of the light source and its distance from the subject. The sun on a clear day is relatively small in our sky, and therefore it is a high contrast light source producing hard edged shadows. On a cloudy day, the light from the same sun is spread out and diffuse. Effectively the entire sky becomes a low contrast light source, producing very soft edged shadows. In the studio, we have many light modifiers available to us, to control the effective size of the light source and thereby control the level of contrast. For any given size of a light source, as it is positioned farther and farther away from the subject we see that it effectively becomes smaller and smaller, yielding higher and higher levels of contrast, albeit lower and lower intensity.

Light acts on any subject it may strike. This much may be obvious. But every subject also acts on any light that strikes it. A subject may act on light in three distinct ways: refraction, absorption, and reflection. Refraction is the bending of light waves as they pass through a transparent material such as glass. In fact, the refractive property of glass is what is manipulated within the photographic lens, to focus an image onto the film (or digital image sensor). Absorption is the process whereby certain materials convert light energy into some other form of energy (usually heat). The absorptive property of a black painted foam core board may be used by the photographer to selectively "subtract" light, so that it does not bounce around the studio in an undesirable way.

Of the three ways a subject may act on the light striking it, reflection is the most important to the photographer. Reflection is an abrupt change in the direction of propagation of light waves that strikes the surface of the subject. In direct reflection, the light rays bounce from a smooth surface at the same angle at which they hit it. The intensity of the direct reflection mirrors the intensity of the light source. Glare, such as observed on the surface of a body of water, is a polarized direct reflection. Unlike direct reflection however, glare reflection always has a lower intensity than the light source producing it. Glare reflection may be controlled or eliminated by using a polarizing filter. Diffuse reflections occur when light from a source is reflected equally in all directions by the surface it strikes. In theory, diffuse reflections are the same intensity no matter what angle they are viewed from. The intensity of a diffuse reflection increases as the light source is moved closer to the subject. The Inverse Square Law says that the intensity of the diffuse reflected light is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the light source and the subject. This implies, a light source at any given distance from the subject will light the subject with an intensity that is four times greater than the same light source moved to twice the distance from the subject.

An understanding of the behavior of light is a prerequisite to understanding how to control the light. We see that light can act on any subject it strikes. Intensity or brightness, color temperature, and contrast are the three properties that are of most concern to the portrait photographer. Any subject also acts on light that strikes it, either through refraction, reflection, absorption, or some combination of the three. In portrait photography, light is controlled to achieve optimum overall exposure of a composition, to develop of specular highlights, to reveal and enhance textures, forms and color saturation, and to build a three dimensional perspective. In Part 2 of this article, the fundamentals of controlling the overall exposure of a composition using the camera are discussed. Until then, good day and happy clicking.

Steve Barnes is a professional portrait photographer, free lance writer, and co-owner of Hayley Barnes Photography, in League City, Texas. Please visit his website at: Hayley Barnes Photography. Elegant portrait photographer. Children, Families, High School Seniors, and Quincea?eras. "Custom Designed, Uniquely You"

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

How To Use Colour Effectively To Enhance Your Digital Photography

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


Digital photography has a lot of fantastic opportunities. When I say ?opportunities? I mean artistic opportunities. You see succeeding in digital photography goes way beyond just knowing how to take a digital photograph in the technical sense. You see need artistic ability and knowledge too. Digital Photography, if applied artistically, can open up the doors of creativity for many, many years to come.

The first thing I recommend to start with if you are a serious digital photography enthusiast is to understand how colour works. When you understand how colour works in digital photography you can then use different colours to create very different feelings and emotions in the photo itself.

Colours such as blues, greens, mauves, etc are introverted colours and can often give your photo different feel to reds and yellows. For example think of a field of green with a tree that has purple flowers. It tends to represent, and even induce, feelings of tranquillity and calm. These, in digital photography, are regarded as introverted colours.

Colour such as yellows, red, oranges and pinks can often instil an energetic feeling. For example think of fruit such as red berries, oranges or cantaloupe. These are simple examples, but think of the feelings that these colours create in your digital photography.

This is another reason why not all things look as good in black and white, and why some things in fact do look better in black and white. (More about that another time. For now lets focus on creating colour that enhances your digital photography. )

In a very simple sense if you want to create a sense of stillness and calm in your digital photography then aim for subjects that have these colours. And the same goes the other way too. If you want to have a bright energetic feeling, then go for colours that are warm.

Contrasting colours in digital photography work very well too. Primary colours together such as blue and yellow seem to look great side by side, or one as a back ground and the other as a main subject. For example I took a photo on a beach with a bright yellow sign against a blue sky and a blue ocean. It gave the feeling of energy as well as having the calmness of the blue. Being a contrasting primary colour the yellow was not absorbed by the blue, it was the opposite. The yellow sat nicely against the blue as the focal subject.

When doing digital photography, think about the colours you are creating in your photo. Try to aim for digital photos that have colours that look good together, and do not clash like hot pink and bright red next to each other for example. If you want extrovert bold colour in your digital photo, don?t overcrowd the viewer with too many bold colours. In digital photography it works best if you have the main subject having the bold colour, rather than multiple points of bold colour in the background for example.

Choose good digital photography subjects with simple composition that have colours that work well to compliment each other. And remember digital photography is all about creating a feeling. And working your colours together well will enhance your digital photography images ten fold.

Best wishes,

Amy Renfrey

If you want to learn more about working with colour effective in digital photography, just go to www.digitalphotographysuccess.com


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Digital SLR Photography - How To Take Stunning, Lively And Ravishing Pictures

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


Photography is digital SLR photography, at least to any self-respecting photographer. Suggest otherwise, and he is sure to give you a piece of his mind and proceed to praise the virtues of digital SLR photography.

Digital SLR photography uses a digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera that uses a movable mirror placed between the lens and the film to project the image on to a focusing screen.

Digital SLR photography churns out the most amazingly realistic photographs, in fact much better than the ones turned out by the conventional fixed lens cameras. But its prime appeal to photographers, both amateur and professional, is in the fact that he can work out a large amount of control over how his pictures end up as.

Digital SLR photography is all about customized photographs that are stunning to look at, to say the least. This is because the cameras come with extremely good lenses. This is why the discerning photographers are not miserly about getting a lens, frightfully expensive they may be.

However, digital SLR photography enthusiasts should never think that a swanky Nikon or a Canon is the passport to great photography. The apparatus notwithstanding, good photography depends a lot on the skills of the person brandishing the camera. The basics of digital SLR photography are not hard to pick up.

The first and foremost tip about digital SLR photography is to equip yourself with the nitty-gritty of lighting. If you are shooting outdoors during the day it is best to have the sun directly behind you. It is also essential that your subject also does not have to face the sun so that he has to squint. You should know that the best time to film landscapes, buildings and outdoor portraits is either dawn or the twilight hours.

If you want to impart the warmth of the rising or setting sun to your midday photo shoot, then a skylight or a warm filter is your key.

Tips to great digital SLR photography insist on maintaining control over the camera's flash property. To be precise, don't have your camera have the last word about where the flash should come on. Take the reins yourself and ensure that your photograph subjects are not lost in a maze of bright light.

Good photography, digital or analog, SLR or otherwise, is all about being able to use the filters right. You never know when that polarizer or the gradual filter or the skylight/UV filter might come to your rescue at times when the light situations are tricky.

The Macro Mode atop the camera just happens to be the most underrated and under-used feature. But unknown to many, this mode is great for taking enchanting close-ups of tiny objects. Realistic and stunning digital photography is actually the norm with plethora of controls that come with modern day digital SLR cameras. And photography tips harp on tinkering with the controls to get a hang of the controls and the outcomes they produce.

Experimenting for instance, with really slow (30 seconds) extremely fast (1000th-8000th/second) shutter speeds can produce dramatic results. The ISO setting is another area for experimentation. In fact, high ISO values come in quite handy when you cannot use a flash in low light situations.

Get well up on your digital SLR photography tips and tricks and shoot at sight willingly.

Summary of Author: Connie Fillmore is a successful writer and publisher of photography related issues, for more informative articles go to http://www.digitalphotographyguy.com.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Digital Photography Tip - Which One To Follow

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


Itching to churn out photographic masterpieces? Then a digital camera is a handy and inexpensive aide to your photography cruises. Digital cameras combine a range of features to ensure that you capture the scenes and moments of life in all their stunning reality. But to expound a popular myth, a frightfully expensive digital camera is not a guarantee to skillful digital photography. Remember the phrase about the sloppy workman who always blamed his tools! Let the tips on digital photography come to your rescue.

Tempting Tips to Dazzling Digital Photography

Seasoned digital photographers are unanimous on one thing: they honed their photography skills mostly by tinkering with the camera and taking a whole lot of trash shots in the beginning. Thus after you have acquired your camera, fiddle with it to your heart's content and snap at anything and everything under the sun. Tips to increase your digital photography proficiency levels include the following:

- Flip through the instructor's manual and know your camera by heart. In particular, be aware of its potentials and limitations. For instance, most digital cameras come equipped with different scene modes to complement varying settings. A thorough knowledge about them will help you to come up with the optimum results.

- Pack in a sizeable memory card into your camera. This will enable you to shoot at the camera's highest resolution and come up with top-notch pictures. Also think of the logic, if you have paid through your nose to get a 8-megapixel camera why on earth should you be stingy about making it go all the way only for want of a voluminous memory card.

- Most tenderfoots with the digital camera have a hard time with keeping the camera still while shooting. The result is pictures where the Leaning Tower of Pisa looks upright while all other towers look inclined and about to topple over. This is especially true when these amateur photographers are using their LCD for composing the photos. The best way to counter this is to take multiple shots with varying angles of a single scene. One is bound to turn out right. Practice will make you perfect.

- For acquainting yourself with the basics of lightning, you do not need to attend workshops and seminars. Just remember that if the sun is behind the subject, the photograph will turn out to be a silhouette and if you intend to capture the shot with the subject facing the sun, be prepared for narrowed eyes and a little bit unnatural looking photograph. An interesting variation would be rim lighting, wherein you can have the sun light up the hair of the subject from a side.

- Let not your flash shots be only flashes in the pan! Make it a habit to take good and discernible photographs in the flash mode and for this you need to stand a bit close to your subject when using the fill flash outdoors (most in-built flashes have a range of 10-feet or less). This way you can ensure an even exposure all the elements in the scene.

- Explore the Macro Mode and add a new, exhilarating dimension to your photographs. But as you maneuver this mode, it is important to remember that you are dealing with very shallow field depths. So focus on the part of the object that you deem most significant and let the remaining parts go soft. Sit back and marvel at the result!

- Be an actual part of the picture you are taking. And for this you need to use the self-timer on the camera, which just happens to be the most slightly used feature of a digital camera. A self-timer is also a great way of ensuring that there is no jerking of the camera while you zero in on the correct exposure parameter.

- Don't always go by the settings that come with the camera. You will be missing out on a lot of exciting and visually appealing openings. For instance, the white balance setting is usually "auto", but try adjusting it to "cloudy" when taking shots out in the sun. You will be amazed by the results, more precisely, the warm tones of the image. This is because the "auto" white balance mode leans on the "cool" side.

The road to National Geographic status photography is not easy. But these tips on digital photography will just give the impression that you have arrived on the scene.

Summary of Author: Connie Fillmore is a successful writer and publisher of photography related issues, for more informative articles go to http://www.digitalphotographyguy.com.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How To Click It Right With The Best Digital Photography Camera

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


The digital photography camera has ushered in an absolute revolution in the world of photography. With its excess of futuristic features, the digital photography camera has also brought in considerable cost reduction of photography. No wonder, people are flocking to digital camera stores.

To elaborate, digital cameras make for easy storage and editing of pictures on the PC, you cut back on film costs with the reusable memory cards and innovative features like sound and video recording. Photography just had quite an interesting makeover.

Delving into the intricacies of the entire digital camera mechanism is worthwhile so that the salesman doesn't lead you up the garden path with tall claims. And being well up on the features of your digital camera will also give you food to brag.

The first thing to know about your digital camera is the kind of CCD (Charged Couple Device) you have. This fancy-sounding device is actually the be-all and end-all of your photography unit and the pixel count in them is what that determines how good your snap is going to be.

It is also vital to know what pixels count to opt for. Anything upwards of 3-Megapixels is good for prints of 8 x 10 inches or larger, of course, the more the merrier. But if your requirement is minute 3 x 5 or 4 x 6 photos for the Web, then 1 or 2-megapixel camera will suffice admirably. On the other hand, nothing less than 5-megapixels should be on your minds if you plan to have prints of your digital stuff.

The Zoom feature is closer to your digital camera than any other feature. Optical zoom refers to the camera's capacity to magnify a subject. This zooming in or zooming out takes place within the lens itself and it is visible from the lens advancing and retracting just like the conventional film camera. This is one feature, which is best when you have it in plenty.

There are many who would swoop on a digital camera lured by its pixel count and optical zoom capacities. But the power consumption of a camera is also worth taking a peek into, for there are cameras with voracious appetites for batteries and you could well end up spending a fortune on them. So when you are buying a digital camera, ensure that it works on rechargeable batteries. A charger included in the package is a great buying option.

Stacking up on the memory card is a good idea if you are the traveling kind. A CompactFlash memory card, offering a lot of storage sizes ranging from 16MB to 1GB and greater compatibility with a large number of makes, is definitely a popular choice.

LCD monitors come in a variety of sizes and resolutions, besides the captivating ones that bend and twist at impossible angles. What you will go for of course depends on the kind of work you will be doing with the camera. If you are involved in on-site architectural work and it is shooting around angles that you are aiming at, then a moveable LCD is the one to go for. But the primary thing to take care of is that you don't have to peer too hard to make out what is on the screen.

These are the basic things that you look out for when purchasing a digital photography camera. Things when gone awry will virtually render your camera quite inefficient. There are certain other features of a digital photography camera that when present in the right dosage, make for some excellent photography sessions.

Scene modes, for instance. Having a choice helps, especially when you have not yet familiarized yourself with the intricacies of exposure, focus and shutter speeds.

A Red-eye reduction feature is quite a handy mechanism to have around when you shoot a lot of portraits. If red-eye is much of a bother, then opt for a camera with a hot-shoe connection, that is one that facilitates the installation of an external flash. A flash that is away from the lens reduces the incidence of red-eyes.

Be well up on the internal mechanism of a digital photography camera and enjoy your tryst with it.

Summary of Author: Connie Fillmore is a successful writer and publisher of photography related issues, for more informative articles go to http://www.digitalphotographyguy.com.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Digital Wedding Photography - Archiving Your Memories

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


Have you ever imagined to capture all those treasured moments of your wedding ceremony in your own camera, I mean digital camera? Stop imagining, for digital cameras have made way to your wedding party to turn your world around. The quality of photos by digital cameras simply speaks for themselves. And beyond that, with digital wedding photography, couples can save their pockets by doing away with the wedding studio for the wedding proofs.

There was a time when the brides and grooms could do nothing but wait for weeks or even months following the wedding for the films to be developed. But things have changed now as digital wedding photography can bring pictures the very same day without much trouble.

The best part about digital wedding photography is that even amateurs can click photographs without having to compromise on the quality of photos. That reminds of the quality of digital pictures. The pictures are simply as good as it gets. You shouldn't be surprised, as many professional photographers have taken to digital operations too.

Interestingly, you will come across three types of wedding photography namely photojournalistic wedding photography, traditional wedding photography, and artistic wedding photography. Photojournalistic wedding photography or better known as candid wedding photography is all about documentary style wedding photos. Traditional wedding photography is poised to take only formal photos whereas artistic wedding photographers tend to add a bit of their artistry in their photo shoot.

If you are to venture into digital wedding photography then you must follow some of these winning tips. Always make sure that you hold the background into consideration before taking your photos. It is the most commonly made mistake you definitely want to avoid. What amateur photographers tend to do at times is focus on the subject leaving behind the negative space and the surroundings. The best you can do is finding a place where subjects are free from clutter and obstructive backgrounds.

Mind you, the glares from spectacles can bring about an intense spot in your photo hence ruin it. All you need is a bit of adjustment without having anyone remove his or her glasses.

You can snap some fabulous photos at the reception. This is where the cutting of the cake, the throwing of the wedding bouquet and many other real life moments come into picture. Make sure that all the colorful wedding accents fit into your photos. You should know that digital cameras fabricate colorful photos, so why not chance at the colorful d?cor of the wedding party. Now, if all of this is not enough then there are scores of good books out there that can teach you to film weddings as it should be.

Digital wedding photography with its manifold advantages is all that you need to take you over the edge on your wedding extravaganza.

Summary of Author: Connie Fillmore is a successful writer and publisher of photography related issues, for more informative articles go to http://www.digitalphotographyguy.com.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

How Helpful is a Digital Photography Book?

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


I wonder how many of you go through books to know more about photography. It's strange that a lot of us tend to believe that all information can be found only on the web world. If digital photography is your subject then make sure that you seek the help of a book. You can literally browse more information in a 300-page book than on a few web pages. Whether you wish to master the art of Photoshop, color management or just how best to use your camera, a right book at the right time is what you need.

All that is needed is a book that answers the exact questions you have in mind about digital photography. There is no dearth of digital photography books out there, which guarantees you the book you are actually looking for. You can either go in for the books that cater a detailed outline of the field or the more specialized ones.

But keep in mind that the best digital photography books can be puzzling with their array of titles. 'Digital night photography', 'digital infra-red photography', 'digital black and white photography', 'digital photography lighting', 'digital portrait photography' and even 'setting up digital cameras' are some of the specialized topics that you may come across.

If you are on the verge of buying a digital camera or willing to upgrade to a better model, you can invariably find a book that can be your best guide. How about the best digital photography books that can help an amateur to get a first-rate grip of the subject? Some of these books also put in plain words the technical aspects of digital photography. You can learn every bit from how the image is captured on the sensor to printing and not to mention presenting the final image.

Interestingly, some of the books may also come with CDs that help you complete the tutorials in the book together with scores of full-color images from the book. And if that doesn't quench your thirst then you might as well avail the book that offers a comprehensive course to cultivate your photographic skills.

There is hardly anything that you cannot find in a digital photography book. Be it how to give your prints an edge, shooting at night, buying photo printers, controlling digital camera image noise etc. all can be learnt from these books.

A professional photographer who is making the change from traditional to digital photography can use the digital photography book to his best advantage. These books provide answers to photographers as a whole in this digital world of today.

As they say you need to begin with one small step to reach the thousandth step? If that's the case then digital photography book must be your first small step towards being the next Steve McCurry.

Summary of Author: Connie Fillmore is a successful writer and publisher of photography related issues, for more informative articles go to http://www.digitalphotographyguy.com

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

How To Master Digital Photography Basics

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


With the advent of digital cameras, the cost of photography has plummeted considerably, with the result that there has been a surge of interest in the field. Greenhorns in this area however, need not fret. Sharpening up on your digital photography skills is easy, provided you have the basics at the tip of your tongues, or is it, at the tip of your lenses!

Mastering the basics of digital photography, first and foremost involves knowing all about pixels and resolutions. These are the parameters that have a direct bearing, and quite a lion's share on the quality of the images being generated. The more the pixel count, the better the resolution or clarity of the picture and the better it turns out when enlarged. So it is obvious that the fastidious photographers prefer robust pixel values. However, with the market flooded with digital cameras of various makes, you can hope for a good bargain. Let us discuss a few basics of digital photography.

Zoom And Tele Lenses

Going digital has also meant that you can click away merrily at anything and everything under the sun. This will only help you get well up on the nitty-gritty of the zoom modes. The Optical Zoom of a camera is worth tinkering with. The "Telephoto" mode makes your subject appear larger while the "Wide Angle" mode is all about cramming a lot of a scene into your picture and hence the elements of the picture appear smaller.


Toying with the controls of your digital camera is a good way of getting a hang about the different picture modes and hence be able to put them to good use. For instance, instead of relying on the instruction manual, see for yourself that the Portrait Mode actually sharpens your subject and de-focuses the background. For those who are not yet comfortable with the exposure, focus and flash parameters can take the help of the Auto Mode in the awkward initial stages.


There is no such thing as a photography gene. Good photographers weave magic with their cameras, but this magic is all about getting the lighting and flash issues straightened in their photographs. Shooting in the early morning light is advisable if you want to avoid the harsh glare of the midday sun and in case of night photography, filming during the twilight hours or just as the moon is rising gives you the best results. You should not shoot with the sun directly in front of the lens.

Using the Flash

The flash is quite a lure for the novice photographer but results are not always satisfactory. This is because improper use of the flash function leads to the marring of good photos. In fact, the flash really leads to underexposure, and thus ungainly shadows in night photography. While you are using this feature, inch closer to your subject and thus make sure that all the areas of the picture are equally lighted up.

Shutter Speed

The shutter speed is one area that many newcomers to digital photography is quite oblivious to. But you will be amazed at the dramatic results that mere varying the speeds can bring about. The rule of thumb: fast shutter speeds "freeze" the action, while slow values will result in a blur. Slow shutter speed also let more light enter into the camera, so this is an option worth considering when you need to shoot in low light conditions.

The basics of digital photography are not hard to master. And being well versed in them will help you capture reality in all its essence.

Summary of Author: Connie Fillmore is a successful writer and publisher of photography related issues, for more informative articles go to http://www.digitalphotographyguy.com.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Stock Photography - Who Wants To Know How To Sell Online? Learn The Business Of Stock Photography

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


In the past getting into Stock photography was a huge undertaking. You either had to set up your own mini Agency or sign on with one of the big agencies. If you set up your own agency you were required to do all the leg work of sorting, filing and marketing your images. If you signed on with a big agency you were required to have at least 1,000 images before they would even talk to you. With the advent of the Internet and the growth of high-speed broadband connections these barriers have been eliminated. Today anyone with a quality digital camera can enter the stock photography market place and make money selling their images online.

There are literally hundreds of agencies online offering photographers a place to sell their images. In addition photographers have the opportunity to set up their own online mini agency or add a Stock Page to their portfolio site.

The big agencies have also moved online, but their requirements for acceptance have also become more difficult. Getting your images in Gettys or Corbis is very difficult and for the most part the domain of well established professional photographers.

However you chose to sell your images online, one thing is for sure you will have to adhere to the three basic principles of the successful stock photographer ? Quality, Quality, Quality. Oh and lets not forget Quantity.

What photos will sell?

The first step in selling your images on-line is understanding what images sell, and which sit and collect cyber dust. Truth be told there is very little restriction on what sells and what does not sell. The key here is to understand which type of images sell the most and in the case of Licensed images the most often. As you sell your images on line you will need to understand that just about any image can sell as long as it meets the technical requirements of the agency and you can find a buyer.

A search for ?Stock Photography? on Google returns 15,400,000 sites. The biggest agencies like Corbis and Getty are of course listed first. These agencies are still the domain of professional photographers with huge libraries, and will not entertain enquires from amateur photographers. They have huge libraries of images from professional shooters and even hire their own photographers to shoot stock on assignment for the agency, which the agency then owns. All the regular photos that you would think are really great and will sell have been done and are sitting in these agencies files. These are what are generally know as commercial stock photos and your chance of selling these is not so good.

What you will be able to sell are EDITORIAL stock. Editorial stock does not sell for as high a price as Commercial Stock, but you will sell more images more often than when trying to sell Commercial Stock.

The images you will be able to sell are the ones that no one else has or that no one else has access to such subject matter. What you need is a niche. Pictures of regular people doing regular things, shot in a professional and appealing manner are what you will be able to sell online. Photos that sell are the ones that tell a story or as stock photographers like to call them; photo illustrations. A photo illustration is a photo that has something going on in it. We have all heard the term ?A picture is worth a thousand words? well when you hear this, think Photo Illustration. These are the stock photos that sell well.

Also is is important to enjoy your photography so go out and shoot things that interest you; your trip to the fair, grandma doing her needle point, dad cooking burgers on a backyard BBQ & your brother mowing the lawn. If you work in a factory or mill and can get permission from your managers or boss to take pictures, these type of images have great potential. Industry, commerce and business are areas of high value in Stock Photography.

Always try to include a person doing something. A picture of a tractor in the field is good, but a picture of a tractor with the farmer sitting on it, is much better. (Image Farmer in the Field). If you insist on taking scenic pictures and expect to be able to sell them, if you include a person actively doing something, your chances of a sale are greatly increased. For instance, a shot of a beach sunset in great, but remember there are hundreds of just such images already in circulation, take the same shot and add a silhouette of a boy chasing a football and you have a much more saleable shot.

Also when you are taking pictures try to imagine a theme or mood. By this we mean try imagine a feeling you want to convey with your photos. Some are happy shiny people holding hands, while others will be more somber or moody. A photo that has a clear mood or theme will sell well. You can use colour, shapes and texture to illustrate different moods and themes. Images that convey feelings have high resale value. Images that are stereotypical have less. By stereotypical we mean the stuff we have all seen a thousand times in a thousand magazines and other places. While you may think that the silhouette of lovers kissing against a backdrop of a gorgeous sunset is a good marketable picture, it has been done to death and if we searched any of the major stock libraries we would find many examples of this exact picture. What might be better would be to show the couple doing something a little less typical, maybe one taking the picture of the other???

Also remember the rules of composition. The law of thirds works well and so do tightly cropped images. The old rule of ?keep it simple? applies. This is not a book about how to shoot good images, there are thousands of such references available, what we are teaching you here is how to sell them online. Just remember, the images that sell are the attractive appealing ones with good composition and good exposure.

One thing to remember though is that as most of the agencies websites display the images on thumbnail pages, having images that are attractive as thumbnails increases your chance of a sale, this follows from the rules of compostition and cropping already discussed.

Selling images online is the next big thing, something that every keen hobbyist is looking to get into. The principles of photography apply, but you must temper them with some business sense, knowing which photos sell is the best start.

Sean David Baylis is a photographer living and working in Hong Kong. Stock Photography - Who wants to know how to sell online? Learn the business of stock photography. Sign up now for the second lesson, also free...

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Marketing Your Photography Business Website

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


So you finally got your photography business website up and running. Congratulations! But how do you get visitors?

1. Include your website address on everything! Your business cards, brochures, outgoing email signature line, your signature line in all blog and message board postings, all mailings, and even your car (either a magnetic sign or bumper sticker)!

2. Of course you should tell all your friends and family about your site, but don?t forget past customers, too. You could announce your site launch by email or by sending out a nice postcard.

3. Use Google?s Adwords. This is easy and relatively inexpensive to do. Adwords are those little ads that show up on the right side of the screen when you do a Google search. Just do a google search for ?adwords? to find the registration page. Once there, you create your ad and choose the geographical area where your ad will show. When people click on your ad, you pay Google a small amount (you choose the amount). By limiting where the ads will show (only in your town or city, for example), the clicks you get will be in your target area. For your keywords, choose phrases like ?photographer in (your city)? or ?wedding photographers in (your city).?

4. Make sure to use keywords and phrases that will help people (and the search engines) find your site. For example, ?baby photographer in (your city)? or ?(your city) family photography.?

5. Get other sites to link to your site. You can do this by advertising on photographer?s listing sites, the yellow pages sites, city-search sites, etc. You should also contact other businesses in your area and ask to trade links with them. For example, you can have a ?links? page where you put up links to various businesses such as clothing stores, bakeries, florist shops, etc., and in return, they will put a link to your site up on their links page. This serves two purposes. One, people will see your link and click on it, and two, the search engines will give your page a better ranking depending on the number of sites that link to you.

By doing these things, you should be getting traffic to your website in no time!

Cindy Bracken is the founder of http://www.shuttermom.com, an online community for photographers of all levels of experience. Stop by to create a free blog, enter the photo contest, join in the discussion forum and more!

Start your photography business today

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Perfect Digital Photography Secrets: How To Use Your Camera's Flash

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


I hope you will like and benefit from these flash tips for the perfect digital photography!

You have to take full control of your digital camera's flash. Why? Because digital cameras and their build-in software are pre-programmed and make a few assumptions..

For example:

There are sensors inside your camera that measure the percentage of illumination in the scene at which your camera points. If the sensors measure low illumination then your flash will fire. That is because your camera is pre-programmed with the assumption that flash will improve the photograph in a low-illumination environment. On the other hand in a high-illumination environment the flash will not fire because the camera will assume it's not necessary. After all it's dark out there!

The issue with these assumptions is that there are certain situations when you want an opposite result..

For example there are times when you want to shoot the perfect digital photography in a low-illumination environemt without using the flash.. e.g. when you are in a dark room with a candle burning and no other light sources.. If that's the case you need to be really steady for the photograph to be sharp. You may want to use a tripod to achieve better results. If you do it right you will have a perfect digital photography with beautiful warm orange/red colours.

Remember that the straight light coming from the flash gives a cold commercial look to your photographs. That could be ok in some cases but not in all cases.. You should decide whether to use flash, not your camera.

But what happens when working in Bright Light, high-illumination environments?

Then, the flash will not fire! Of course that saves battery-power but what are the results of your perfect digital photography? You definitely don't want to lose in quality right?

Imagine when you want to take the perfect digital photography of a person wearing a hat and the sun is overhead in the sky shining.. Then you will notice that the person's face will be in dark shadow because of the hat! But even if there's no hat, you will usually see shadows under the chin or under the person's eyes.. So what you should do is fill those small shadows with light using your camera's flash!

Again, YOU should decide whether to use flash or not, and not your camera.. YOU should take control of your camera's flash..

Today's digital cameras have five basic flash settings:

- Setting #1:

Automatic Flash: This is where your camera is pre-programmed to make assumptions depending on the level of the environment illumination and use the flash accordingly.

- Setting#2:

Automatic Flash with Eye Reduction: Again, the camera uses its software to determine when the flash will fire but there's also some type of red eye filters to reduce the red eye effect.

You camera will probably automatically select, by default, one of the above two settings. I recommend to never use the above settings if you're aiming for the perfect digital photography.. And why is that you may ask..

As I said before YOU should be the one who decides whether to use flash or not.. And furthermore the eye reduction filters will not always do a good work and will confuse your subjects in most cases..

I recommend to make use of the following settings depending on the scene and the subject you're trying to shoot..

- Setting #3:

Flash Always: With this setting enabled your flash will fire in all cases. You may want to choose this setting when you want to fill small shadowed areas with light.

- Setting #4:

Flash Disabled: Your flash will not fire no matter how illuminated the environment or the scene is.. Make use of this setting when you want to shoot in a low-illuminated environment e.g. a dark room with a candle burning..

Just remember that in a low-illumination environment you have to be really steady in order to shoot the perfect digital photography..

- Setting #5:

Slow Shutter Flash: This is a very underestimated setting and the least used.. If you choose this setting your flash will fire ocassionally but the shutter will remain open for a longer time than usual. This will allow you to capture the subject illuminated by the flash, but it will also allow other lighting sources (like a candle's light) to record themselves.

This setting is perfect if there is high illumination on the background while infront of the subject there's certain darkness. For example when you want to shoot a person in front of a casino at night.

So.. If you're aiming for the perfect digital photography you should be able to switch between those five flash settings found in almost all digital cameras these days. Have a look at the camera's manual for more information on these settings. They are really importand.

How would you like to use your camera's flash like professional digital photographer? There are tons of information and digital photography secrets and guides out there. You may want to have a look at this Perfect Digital Photography Secrets Manual.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Photography and the Art of Speaking Our Peace

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

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Long before I started photographing, I was moved by images that captured my attention and enlightened my awareness of the world at large. On many a rainy afternoon, lost as a child in the photo essays of Life Magazine and National Geographic, I entered the lives of people around the world, pondering the contrasts between my life and theirs.

In my teenage years, there was an abundance of images that sank into my heart, cut short my innocence. Images from the March on Selma, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, from the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings, all showing a level of violence and intolerance I was not prepared for. I was impressionable then, as I am now?moved by what I see, changed by what I experience, led to action by what I believe.

Most of us, at some point, have a desire to make a difference in the world. We want our lives to matter, our words to be of use. And for those of us who traffic in images, we want them to speak eloquently of that which matters to us, to be the metaphor for who we are, what we believe in and stand for.

Dorothea Lange was invested in creating images that would alter the public?s attitude about migrant workers. Walker Evans was committed to making photographs of tenant farmers that would inform and inspire people to action. Lewis Hine, in his crusade against child labor, created images that did what dry statistics and lengthy speeches never could do. Robert Capa, who despised war, photographed five of them in an attempt to record its horror and monstrous stupidity, believing that ?the truth is the best picture, the best propaganda.?

Having seen their work and read of the national response and reforms their pictures generated, I understood the power that photographs could have on a level beyond the personal, saw how images could help shape a national consciousness, create an awareness that could lead to enlightenment, action, change.

Buoyed with this knowledge and faith, in the mid-80s, during the massive global buildup of nuclear weapons, I embarked on a peace pilgrimage around the world. Armed with 200 rolls of film and a slideshow of the U.S. peace movement, I was determined to use my photographs in the service of the people, to share with as many folks as I could these images of activism, of commitment to harmony and a safe home for all the world?s children.

In order to create a culture of peace, a culture that reflects our reverence for life, we need stories and symbols that heal and guide, that help us remember we are part of a whole. It?s hard, in a society bent on power and profit, to remember what life is really for. Harder still to connect with one another when most things serve to keep us separate. But stories help. Pictures help. And every contact with a lover of life brings us one step closer to loving our own. My journey was a search for those images and stories, an attempt to discover and reveal our oneness around the globe.

In Japan, I was invited to speak to a group of A-bomb survivors at the Nagasaki Association for the Promotion of Peace and to present my slideshow, Focus on Peace. Before that we would watch the premiere of a Japanese film, one which included recently released American military footage of the Nagasaki bombing.

I sat in the back of the room with Mr. Matsunaga, director of the organization, who served as my translator. The lights went out and the film began with a slow pan of the Nagasaki Peace Park. Paper cranes and colorful flowers filled the frame until a jump cut took us to the cockpit of a U.S. plane on August 9, 1945.

We watched the bomb drop. Watched the deadly cloud devour the city. And then from the ground we watched what followed. Mr. Matsunaga, his calm voice silenced, collapsed into tears by my side. The survivors in front of us sat still as sculptures. Frozen in time, they stared ahead, some gasping as they saw themselves on the silver screen, stumbling through the rubble of charred corpses. Dazed and burned, they were calling for families they would never find. Quiet sobs filled the room while we witnessed the re-run of a nuclear holocaust.

When it was over, no one moved. No one turned on a light. We sat there in the dark amidst sobs and tears, trying to recover. When the lights came on and I was introduced, I stood there before them and started to cry, and it was only at their urging I could carry on.

I spoke slowly about the slides we were going to see, with Mr. Matsunaga at my side translating my words and my hopes in whatever way he could. Then the lights went out again, the music started, and images of millions of people working for peace began to dissolve into each other.

There were no words being spoken. Just the pictures and voices from the International Children?s Choir singing Let There Be Peace on Earth. These images of colorful, festive, life-affirming demonstrations had more power that day than any I remember. Symbols of a solemn commitment to peace washed over and comforted us. They delivered us, if only momentarily, from the fear of such a holocaust happening again, for how could these millions not make a difference, their passion so clearly exposed and revealed?

After the slideshow, the survivors came to the microphone and one by one spoke of the profound impact these photographs had on them. ?I did not know so many people cared about what happened to us...we thought we were all alone in our struggle to prevent this from happening again...seeing all those Americans caring about peace encourages me in my struggle...how can we fail if there are so many of us??

I had been so immersed in the peace movement during those years of nuclear frenzy that, until that day, it had not occurred to me that others weren?t aware of it, had no idea of its magnitude. These survivors did not even know there was a U.S. peace movement doggedly resisting the production and proliferation of nuclear warfare. And it made a difference to them to find out, to see all those pictures, to witness others in solidarity with them, working as hard as they were for the same cause.

One photograph could not have done it, but those eighty images, one after another, blended with that music?it had an impact, told a story that bolstered their courage, honored their experience. What had happened to them did matter after all, and these photographs were evidence of how much.

Nothing in the world could heal their physical wounds, their irradiated organs, their burned and disfigured faces and limbs, but a healing occurred in their spirits that day, passed on through these portraits of comrades in action.

We can and do inspire each other in this life, and if a photograph does nothing more than inspire one person to feel that, somehow, his life mattered, her pain served a purpose, then that one photograph ought not go unseen. We can never know the reach of our work, never know when we share a photograph to whom and why it might make a difference, never know how our small images contribute to the global picture as a whole.

But what we do know, from our own experience and the experience of history, is that photographs can change the course of the things, turn one?s head, alter one?s thoughts, enlighten one?s darkness. To shoot with that awareness, to know our images, made of light, can contribute light?that is the true joy of photography. The End

Jan Phillips is an award-winning writer, speaker, and multi-media artist. She is the author of The Art of Original Thinking-The Making of a Thought Leader, Divining the Body, God Is at Eye Level - Photography as a Healing Art, Marry Your Muse, Making Peace and A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Mind. She has taught in over 23 countries and conducts workshops nationally in creativity, consciousness, and spirituality. You may subscribe to her free monthly Museletter at www.janphillips.com


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Friday, May 16, 2008

Improve Your Digital Photography Skills for Outstanding Pictures

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


Once you have a digital camera, you?re on the right track to taking much better photos. But perhaps you?re unsure of how to get the best out of your camera and feel that your skills are lacking. Improving the quality of your photos can be achieved with some fairly basic and simple steps.

Keep a level picture unless you are looking for a special angle: Try to hold the camera level by aligning it with natural horizontal lines, like the horizon. This will give you a classic picture. However part of the fun of photography is experimentation, so take a few snaps of different angles to get an interesting perspective on your picture.

Portrait photos: Avoid putting the subject in the center of the frame. This is a habit most people find hard to break. Remember to move close and put the subject slightly off center. Again take more than one photo with a portrait if possible. Zoom in for a close up of just your subject or make a complete picture a little further away by including a favorite pet or another person. Always experiment with different angles and poses to make your photo more interesting.

Be careful of lighting and exposure with your photos. If indoors, make sure you have a strong light on your subject. If outdoors, be careful of strong sunlight. The best time to take your photos outside is first thing in the morning.

Think about the focus of your picture, when you frame the shot. If you are trying to capture the expression on your child?s face, you can leave out the other children, the swing, the dog, etc. You can do this by zooming in and taking a close up or you can put the background out of focus so that only your subject is standing out. This can make quite an interesting picture.

Always be conscious of the background. Many good photos are ruined by clutter in the frame. Change your position to avoid a messy background.

A small tripod can give you a much better shot, by lending stability. Tripods are not meant only for professionals, as some people think. Using a self-timer can put you in a number of pictures, where you are usually not visible. This is great for a family or group photo.

Get a media card with plenty of memory, so you will not run out of space, at a crucial time. Shoot at the highest resolution allowed by your camera, to get the best results and sharper enlargements. Upload your photos to a picture gallery like Yahoo. You can just send the link to friends and family instead of sending large picture attachments. You can also select the photos you want printed and have them developed within 24 hours.

If you want to find out more about great digital photography, click over to Jackie's site at greatdigitalphotography.com Get more digital photography tips

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Black and White Photography

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


With today?s digital technology, transforming colour images into black and white photographic prints is pretty straightforward but don?t throw away your rolls of black and white film.

Black and white photography is still regarded as a favourite with many photographers - dull landscape scenes become more dramatic with black and white photography.

Most subjects that are shot in colour can be taken with black and white film. Portraits are still widely taken by professional photographers all over the world.

One of the most popular uses of black and white photography is with wedding photographs. More couples are now opting for a combined wedding album of black and white images that really capture the mood and emotions of the special moment.

Black and white landscape photography is becoming popular again and is more suitable for taking images when the day is dull or too bright. If a scene does not have an entire spectrum of different colours, consider viewing it as a black and white photograph.

Do we need to learn black and white photography tips in a world of colour? You must choose the answer to this yourself - but here are a few pointers that will help you to make your decision.

1 Black and white photography is becoming more popular with the general public, and for that reason alone? new opportunities will open up for you.

2. In some situations, black and white photography has the tendency to make photos look more like works of art - fine art images will sell better in galleries.

3. Landscape images often lack a multitude of colours, using black and white film when shooting daytime photos will add impact to your photography.

4. There is also the value of using your own darkroom - the thrill of developing your own film and processing your images.

The same principles for colour photography apply to black and white photography. If you have mastered the art of photography, taking images with a roll of black and white film should be easy.

Filters are just as important with black and white photography. There are fewer filters available for black and white photography, but one that you should use is the polarizing filter. This filter is very effective for both black and white photography and colour photography. The polarizing filter makes the sky stand out to give your landscape images serious impact. It also helps to reduce glare from the sun?s rays - which is very handy for urban or architectural photography.

Exposure with black and white photography is a small bit easier. Black and white film handles light more easily than colour film can - which gives you greater room for error. Most black and white film allows you to capture detail when you underexpose at two stops. With overexposure the range is greater - between five and seven stops are allowed. This is known as film latitude. With colour film you are limited to a latitude of one stop each way.

This does not mean that you can become lethargic when taking black and white images. It means that if you do make a mistake the results may be acceptable.

TJ Tierney is an award winning Irish Landscape photographer. For more tips you can visit his photography site. To view his images visit his on-line gallery of pictures of Ireland or see his travel site.

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Travel Photography For Beginners: Choosing A Camera And Getting Started

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


Travel photography can be as much fun for non-professionals as it can be for professionals. So what do you need to take up travel photography as a hobby and what else do you need to know? If you are a professional photographer this article will definitely be too basic for you. If you are a beginner then please read on.

Most of us travel these days anyway, so it is not a case of needing to travel anymore than what we already do, to start enjoying travel photography. Travel need not even be far, with the other side of your city still worthy of being called travel. The idea behind travel photography is that you are capturing images of culture, scenic views ie the essence of a place no matter what its location or size.

The more expensive the camera then generally you can of course expect better quality images, i.e. higher pixilation and more available optical zoom. Personally I find pocket cameras excellent because it is not realistic to carry a bulky camera everywhere, unless you are a real hard-core photographer (perhaps one who also carries a tripod everywhere, as though it were the car keys). I have found myself that I have some of my best photos from opportunistic moments and I have only managed to get these photos because I had a pocket camera ready on hand. If you are looking for a pocket camera so that you can begin snapping away wherever you are and whenever you want, then I personally think the Sony series of pocket camera's such as the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W70 Digital Camera (with 7.2 Million pixels & 3x Optical Zoom and affordable) is a worthy buy.

Hard-core photographers will say that using a manual camera is better. The fact is though, that unless you are a series paid photographer, then digital camera's are fast closing the gap on manual camera's and many digital camera's now also have add on manual lenses and also manual features.

Many beginners to photography get confused also about zoom and the meaning of optical zoom, when buying a camera. Optical zoom refers to the zoom that you get which does not affect the quality. You zoom in on an object for example and the quality is not affected. Normal zoom is when you zoom in closer but the closer you zoom is, the less focus you get. Optical zoom is the zoom that matters. Buying a camera with optical zoom of 3 or 6 is usually sufficient. If you really want to zoom in from a distance then you might possibly need a camera with 8-10 optical zoom.

Others may disagree with me but I think that the way best to start off is buying yourself a pocket camera and just to start snapping away. Get a feel for what works, what comes out well, what doesn't. Do not be afraid to experiment with the features on the camera. Try night shots for example, and try shots of different subjects i.e. sunsets, objects, landscapes and people. From experience and experimenting you can move out of the beginners level.

Travel photos - stock free images
home sauna and jacuzzi

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Digital Photography Gift Ideas

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

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You have been snapping digital pictures for years now. Your hard-drive is overflowing with gigabytes of images, pictures of pets, vacations, relatives, birthday parties, and embarrassing moments. Perhaps you should consider rummaging around all those pixels of color and preparing some unique and creative gifts for those around you.

You can always use the standard mug, tee shirt or mouse pad as a gift, but why not consider some of these more unusual digital photo gift ideas.

Cards and gift tags

Don’t send just the standard holiday greeting card. You can add a special photo and message. Christmas, Hanukkah and Valentine's Day are not the only time to send greeting cards. How about Easter, Thanksgiving and Independence Day? Or, a Just-thinking-of you card. Personalized gift tags and bookmarks make a delightful gift. For a child, consider preparing a simple picture book that is personalized with the childs picture and contains pictures of his favorite things or people.

Household items

An apron for your favorite chef is a great gift; digital photos can be placed on dishes, glasses, coasters and trays. Prepare a private label for home-baked, canned or preserved foods in a decorative container. A 12 or 13-month photo calendar with favorite pictures will be appreciated for the entire year.


Have you considered a private version of “Old Maid”? Picture cards can be prepared in many categories i.e. “My favorite people” “Where I spent my summer vacation?” etc. The nice thing about card games is being able to prepare up to four game sets at the same time since digital prints often are ordered online with four copies. Another card game tests memory. The object of the game is to recall placement of and match pairs of facedown shuffled cards.

Posters and magazine covers

Make stars of your recipients by putting their picture on a movie poster. Software lets you add screen credits, co-stars, and other text to create realism. Similarly, you can make a magazine cover featuring the recipient and appropriate “cover stories”. This could double as a book or magazine cover.

Photo Magnets

Photo magnets are great way for Grandma to display little Johnny’s picture on the refrigerator, and to post important information as well.

You can prepare a collage of favorite photos. Sometimes a grouping of these photos framed and displayed will have more impact than a single picture, and easier to hang one picture than a dozen. You can prepare a visual collage with a photo movie and even add music and sound effects.

Gag gifts

Ever considered giving a friend with political ambitions his very own campaign sign? Or how about helping a friend appears in a favorite product commercial?

Other gifts

Another gift related to digital photos might be to give a prepaid digital print plan. Perhaps a personalized photo album cover would be just the thing. A gift for that very special person is a simple digital camera of their very own, so you can receive photos from them as well. You could present another digital photography aficionado with software to edit, sort or display his online images.

Working as a content writer for GK VALE

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Starting a Photography Business - Home Based vs. Studio Space

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


When deciding on a place to run your successful photography business, there are a few options:

Home Based Photography Studio

Many photographers are deciding to run their photo businesses out of their homes. This has several advantages:

? Low overhead ? no rent
? No commuting time
? Your work space is tax deductible
? Great if you have kids at home
? Family oriented and relaxed

Disadvantages of a home studio include:

? Lack of sufficient space
? You have to keep a clean house at all times!
? Having strangers in your home
? Some people may view a home studio as not being a ?real? business

Buying / Renting a Photography Studio

If your business increases and you can no longer operate out of your home, then it is time to look into purchasing or renting a space for your photography business. Advantages of renting or buying a studio space include:

? More exposure for your business (window displays, foot traffic, drive by traffic)
? More adequate space for your equipment and props
? More adequate space for parking
? Some may view you as having a ?real? photography business
? Your work life and home life can be kept separate

Disadvantages include:

? Higher overhead (rent or mortgage) eats your profits
? Commute time
? High prices may keep you out of more desirable neighborhoods or shopping centers
? A less desirable location may mean that you have to lower your prices

Other options

Many photographers choose to shoot ?on location? only. This means that they either go to the client?s home or shoot mainly at outdoor locations. This can work nicely because it allows you to avoid renting a space and keeps clients out of your home.

Other photographers may choose to temporarily rent a studio space for a day or more. Some photo studios rent out their space on an hourly basis, but if this isn?t available in your town, consider renting a small conference room at a local hotel (this would be good for a portrait event where you will be photographing numerous families).

Cindy Bracken is the founder of http://www.shuttermom.com, an online community for photographers of all levels of experience. Stop by to create a free blog, enter the photo contest, join in the discussion forum and more!

Start your photography business today

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Art of Nude Photography

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

         >>  Digital Photography Secrets Revealed <<


Nude photography is the ultimate expression of you as an individual and your connection to the world. Nude photography simply gets to the essence of the person. There is little to hide but a lot can be said or represented about a person, their beliefs, beauty, individuality, togetherness and expressions. A professional photographer will help you express sensuality, sensitivity, compassion and excitement, desires, innocence, appreciation of skin and celebration of self.

These days, expert nude photographers can make the experience very rewarding, and in some cases, quite spiritual even. Nude photography sessions are exciting, sensitive, intimate, personal and totally individual and unique. Every person is treated individually to produce the type of imagery that they like or envisage for themselves. Images can be artistic, sensual, sexy, stylish, natural, highlighting your best features and downplaying any less flattering attributes. Photographs are normally taken in artistic black and white tones. The session should be enjoyable and fun. The idea is to have fun and express yourself and be surprised at the extraordinary results that can be achieved. In nude photography it is important to be made to feel at ease and relaxed. The session is not about the photographer, but about the individual or the individuals concerned.

It?s important that the studio of your choice is fully equipped with the latest technology. High quality digital equipment will ensure high definition images. Also, make sure the studio environments are fresh, clean and welcoming. There?s no reason you shouldn?t be made to feel welcome and be treated to a special experience by friendly staff.

A professional nude photographer will make you feel relaxed and comfortable with yourself and your session. Making you feel comfortable and relaxed is the most important element and is important in creating timeless imagery. They should focus all their attention on your experience so that they can create the right mood and atmosphere that promotes outstanding photography.

Nude photography can also be enhanced with special props and accessories; something that can represent your individuality and uniqueness. As nude photography can already be very flattering, props should only be added if they do something to enhance your body, attitude or style. Sometimes the minimalist approach offers the greatest opportunity for uniqueness.

Along the same lines as props, your photographer (or you) may choose to capture your unique features such as skin art, tattoos, piercings - all which accentuate and adorn a person?s skin. It?s important that your photographer understands and appreciates your preferences and use all your unique feature?s to create a most individual work of art.

Posing, placing and positioning for nude photography is very important as is image design and style. It?s essential that your choice of photographer is well trained to allow this type of posing to occur naturally and capture these important attributes in a spontaneous and uninhibited way. Nude photography should end in wonderful pieces of timeless art for your pleasure and enjoyment.

Framing and composing images is also very important. The choice of settings and backgrounds should benefit and highlight your personality and uniqueness. Many photographers have a range of studio backgrounds, however often the simple backgrounds such as basic black or white are most popular.

Lighting is also essential when it comes to nude photography. The correct lighting can emphasize features and bring out the best in you. Studio lighting is totally controllable to highlight or neutralize areas as required to ensure superb creative imagery.

Spontaneity, mood and feelings are what nude photography is all about. Make sure you find a photographer that creates the mood and brings out the feelings that will become timeless memories forever.

Vittorio Natoli is the owner of Viva! Life Photography located in Fremantle, Western Australia. Award-winning Perth photographer and businessman, Mr Natoli has spent the past four years refining the systems that have made Viva Life Photography one of the most successful portrait and female and male nude photography studios in Australia. Visit Viva's website www.vivaphotography.com for more information on Vittorio, Viva! photography franchise opportunities or Nude Photography

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Photography as a Fine Art

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

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Compared to most art forms, photography is a relative newcomer. Having been around for less than 200 years its place in the art world is still being established. Interestingly, there have been many arguments against photography being considered art, one of which is that the camera is a ?machine?. However, one must ask if a camera is any more a machine than a musician?s instrument, a sculptor?s chisel or a painter?s brush?

Another argument is that because of the nature of photography, endless prints can be made from the one negative. While true, it is for this reason that many photographers will produce their work as limited editions just as screen-printers, etchers and wood-block artists will. Some photographers have even been known to destroy their negatives after they have completed printing the edition. However, the ability to produce numerous prints is usually considered part of photography?s uniqueness.

Historically, many photographers themselves once considered photography a lesser art form. Called ?Pictorialists? these photographers produced work using soft focus, and often, poor quality, lenses hoping their work would look like Imressionist paintings. Although the Pictorialists won a small battle in having photography recognised and given wall space, they certainly didn?t help win the war of photography being recognised purely on its own artistic merits.

There is a great quote that states: ?There is no art, only artists.? Very true words, as there are many great artists who use photography as their chosen medium. It would be very hard for people to argue that the landscape and nature work of Ansel Adams; the natural world, nudes and still life?s of Edward Weston; the abstract forms and textures of Brett Weston and the compositions of Paul Strand are not art.

Because of the passion and extremely high quality work produced by these and other American photography pioneers, the American public and those within art circles could no longer deny that photography was a valuable and expressive art form. Oddly, Europe never seemed to have any trouble accepting photography as art. The work of Henri Cartier-Bressen, Brassai, Latrigue and others has always been held in the highest esteem.

The modern-day ease of photography has also led to a lot of very poor photographic work being passed off as art. Automated cameras have also lent considerable weight to the argument that it?s the camera doing the work, not the so-called artist. It is little wonder that many gallery owners are reluctant to give wall space to photographs. It must be remembered that the camera doesn?t make a good photographer any more than a piano makes a good pianist or a brush makes a good painter. An artist is an artist no matter what the medium.

Where Photography Becomes Art

What constitutes a fine art photograph would be quality: quality in composition, quality in the negative and quality in the print. Edward Weston once said that, ?composition is the best way of seeing.? Like other mediums, how the image is composed is of vital importance regarding how the print will be viewed. The photographer then needs to be able to put onto film what he or she is seeing and ?visualising? for the final print. Lens choice, film choice, aperture and shutter speed relationships, what to exposure for and which filters to use (especially for black and white film) all play a vital part in what the final print will look like. Finally, the photographer needs to bring that ?feeling? and expression out in the ?fine? print using a very demanding darkroom technique.

How a Fine Art Photographer Prints

Ansel Adams was fond of saying that the negative is like a musician?s score and the print is like their performance. Good photographers will know how to do both very well: photograph to produce good negatives and then make an expressive print that conveys what they saw and felt at the time of exposure.

A photographer will go through a few stages before arriving at the fine print. This begins with making a ?proof print? of the negative and evaluating it to determine how best to properly print from it. The photographer then moves through a series of ?work prints? as he or she fine-tunes the print exposure, cropping and contrast. More often than not, certain areas of a print will require more or less exposure than other areas. Giving more exposure to specific parts of the print, ?burning?, will darken those areas. Holding back exposure on specific areas or ?dodging? will lighten them. When the photographer believes that the print is as expressive as possible, they will make a ?fine print? using their (often) extensive notes regarding dodging, burning and contrast.

Most fine art black and white photographers will use fibre-based paper for their fine prints. Fibre-based paper tends to have the edge over its cheaper cousin resin-coated paper. Fibre-based paper also has more archival permanence, however, modern resin-coated papers claim to be the same. Fibre-based paper is harder to print on successfully, however, generally looks better, is preferred or demanded by museums and galleries and is also somewhat demanded by photographic tradition. Good photographers will have no qualms about this and would feel as though they were cheating if they produced their work on resin-coated paper.

There are myriad other variables in fine art photography that include: choice of film developer, choice of paper brand, choice of paper developer and whether to tone the print. All affect the look of the final print and it is the experience of the photographer to know how best to pull all these together to produce a print worthy of being called ?art?.

Matthew Smeal is a fine art black and white photographer and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. His work can be viewed on his website at http://www.matthewsmeal.com

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Best Digital Photography Wedding

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

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The wedding is one of the most memorable occasions between two lovers. The years may go by since that day but people will be able to remember as long as pictures were taken.

More people are investing in digital cameras. This is because the images can be stored in the computer or in a compact disc that will not be damaged through time when the pictures are placed in an album.

The images captured can be edited on the digital camera instead of wasting the paper used in developing a bad picture.

Another thing, which makes digital photographer better, is that the person can take a lot of shots without having to reload and change the roll of film. The time it takes to replace it may make the individual miss the right shot that can never be done again.

Here are some tips for those who want to use a digital camera during the wedding.

1. The individual should pay attention to the background before taking the shot. There is no question the couple will look good but this can all change if the area where it is taken is not.

Things that should be avoided when taking the lovers or any of the guests is a cluttered area. This will make it easier for the viewer to see who is the picture focused on when these are ready after the wedding.

2. Some of the guests may be wearing glasses. This might cause bright flashes to come out when the pictures come out so this can also be avoided by making some changes. The people in the photograph can tilt the head down or to the side so this will not happen.

3. The best way to get a great shot will be to know when it is appropriate to take. This doesn?t only happen when people are looking at the camera but also in those candid moments.

4. The person will probably shoot more than a hundred shots during the wedding. After each shot, it is best to review the image on the LCD screen so this can be edited if it isn?t good and another one can be taken.

Photography has come a long way from the conventional form that was done for so many years. It has given people the opportunity to become an amateur photographer that could be just as good as a professional one.

Those who want to save on getting an expert should invest then in a digital camera so that a family member or a relative will be able to get the best shot.

Low Jeremy maintains http://digital-photography.articlesforreprint.com. This content is provided by Low Jeremy. It may be used only in its entirety with all links included.

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Black and White Photography in the Digital Age

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The world is celebrating color in full spectrum, not just in the environment but also in the computer. In the 60's, people are happy to see their photographs in black and white copies and it extended for quite some time until technology can already reproduce and provide people with colored digital photography.

Why still use black and white? If you have watched the controversial movie "Schindler's List" (1993) by Steven Spielberg, it has been presented in the screens in black and white color. Critics were expressing dissatisfaction, and to some degree, one could think it is such a waste denying the audience of more than 1 million colors reduced to nothing but grayscale monochromatic theme.

Nowadays, black and white photography is directly proportional to vanity, because everyone desires colored output. In case of "Schindler's List," it was released on purpose as black and white, to give way to a dramatic impact for the setting of 1945 Nazi occupation. The effect of black and white reel, has added spice to the thematic goal of the director. The essence of using black and white is important for character shots.

The world is ironic and ridiculous at times, but we cannot simply take away black and white especially in the era of digital photography. We know all Graphic Arts editing applications, scanners, digital cameras, and other photography gadgets have grayscale options.

To start with your own black and white digital photography shots, you will not need extra effort and complications other than shooting as is. Take the shot in color then you can switch the setting of the digital image in an editor, using array of choices. If you are using Photoshop or Fireworks, you can change the whole image into black and white by editing "Hue and Saturation" or simply switching it to "grayscale" format.

Old photographs from developed films can be converted into digital images by scanning them. If you want a black and white portrait out of it, set your scanner into grayscale. The result is black and white photo.

Setting your digital camera into "evening shot" mode automatically converts the image as monochromatic. You can remove saturation to convert it to black and white. Digital camera works efficiently with a computer. You can do everything about it in full control---that is if you are adept with the manipulation of the technical side of it. It will be quite expensive but worth the effort.

Technology is getting better and better, if you choose conventional effects, as long as you have the 360-degree options to enhance possibilities, then black and white digital photography is very simple to produce.

Low Jeremy maintains http://digital-photography.articlesforreprint.com This content is provided by Low Jeremy. It may be used only in its entirety with all links included.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Digital Like Photography Techniques Just Like the Pros

Simple Step By Step Digital Photography Lessons. If You Cant Learn Photography From These Lessons Then You Cant Become Photographer Anymore

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Eric was finally able to buy a digital camera. Though the price of this was very affordable, the delay was caused by other priorities, which also needed to be dealt with.

The reason why Eric decided to get a digital camera was to see if it was possible to shoot the same images as those seen in the magazines or in the newspaper. This may just be a hobby and not full time but this person wanted to learn and be just as good as the experts.

The first thing that Eric did is being familiar with all of the functions of the digital camera. The individual can make the adjustments or let the machine do it in order to get a clear shot.

There are no limits to the number of practice shots that need to be taken. This is because a digital camera has a huge memory, which can hold up to 300 pictures in one session. When the individual is ready to take real shots, the old ones can be deleted.

Another technique to be just like the pros is to observe proper lighting when taking a shot. Some pictures will look better when a flash is used while others need to be adjusted to get a night shot. Digital cameras have this feature, which are not available in the old 35mm cameras made many years ago.

The individual should also know when to zoom in or out. There are two important factors such as the number of people and the type of background. The focus must be on the subject with the landmark or whatever is behind as the accent for the shot.

A lot of photographers both professional and amateur shoot with the model in the middle. Some have noticed better pictures when this is done with the subject on the side, which may work depending on the location.

The techniques in shooting just like the pros can be self-taught. There are also books and magazines available but it will be better if someone critiques the pictures by participating in a seminar or in a contest. The objective isn?t to win but to improve in the skills already learned by the individual.

The person can concentrate on taking great shots especially when there is no need to worry anymore about buying a roll of film or developing.

Low Jeremy maintains digital-photography.articlesforreprint.com. This content is provided by Low Jeremy. It may be used only in its entirety with all links included.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Architecture Photography

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As a photographer, architecture offers many different challenges, especially for the new photographer. Technically, buildings can be very demanding to photograph, but the key in solving this and attaining good images is understanding image distortion and finding the best time to capture the building at its most glamorous moment.

Image distortion: When we look at a standard building, we see lines running horizontal and vertical. These lines often appear distorted and will make your image look warped. Image distortion occurs when we choose the wrong point to take our picture or use the wrong equipment.

With most SLR cameras a certain amount of image distortion will occur. Shooting directly in front of the building will limit your options but will limit the amount of distortion in your image.

View cameras are ideal cameras for architectural photography. They minimise distortion and allow you to shoot from any angle. If you are serious about architectural photography, an investment in a View Camera is something to consider.

Your lens may also make your image look distorted. A wide-angle lens will make the front of the building look massive compared to the rear.

If you are photographing a tall building, don?t shoot too near to the base. This will make the base of the building look too large compared to the top. Find a high advantage point, if possible, to take your picture.

Different light brings out different moods in a building. Just as with all other types of photography, studio photography being the exception, the time of day can make a big difference to an image. A building that looks plain and uninteresting during the day can be transformed by lighting at night. Also look out for photos that tell a story such as an office block with a single light on.

Side lighting will create long shadows along the front of the building adding mood to your image. Back lit buildings are extremely difficult to photograph and are only effective as a photograph when captured as a silhouette.

Most buildings are best captured at night and if possible shoot when there is detail left in the sky. You don?t need the most costly camera gear on the market to get great building pictures at night - bring plenty of film and a good sturdy tripod.

Architectural photography doesn?t finish when the outside of the building is finished. Images of the interior of buildings are also in demand with many agencies. Great care should be taken when photographing the interior as elements within the interior may be distracting to the final image result. Remove any object that may interfere with your image.

Industrial photography is also as demanding and rewarding as any other type of photography. Take extra care when approaching large structures, use standard photography techniques and use the light creatively to add humour and mood.

Architecture photography is very demanding, but the rewards are great for any person that masters the technique. But like all types of photography - practice makes perfect.

TJ Tierney is an award winning Irish Landscape photographer. For more tips you can visit his photography site. To view his images visit his on-line gallery of pictures of Ireland or see his travel site.

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Top Ten Digital Camera And Photography Tips

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Digital cameras have definitely simplified the manual labor of the photographers who can now do their job at mere click of a button. But, that does not mean that you can have perfect shots with just the aid of your camera equipment. It's just that you can feel a bit more confident with a digital camera in your possession, but the job of ?clicking? has become specialized.

Here are some standing instructions, some important workable tips that need to be followed by the man holding a digital camera. Experience, combined with technical expertise is what makes you a perfect photographer.

1. Look your subject in the eye, don't spray your attention all over. Sometimes, you get a fraction of a second to click an important event. There are occasions, you have to vie with hundreds of other photographers. You need to develop the meditative concentration, to 'hunt' your object.

2. Use a plain background. If the background is a hotchpotch, it will have a direct bearing on the main photograph.

3. Use flash outdoors.

4. Move in close. Adjustments from the close range can be done easily. They will be more effective.

5. Move it from the middle. That is always the safest way. If you move from one side, there is every chance of missing the activity on the other side.

6. Lock the focus. That is very important as it is your main job.

7. Know your flash's range. This is a very important technical aspect, that is mastered by experience. A bad flash can spoil an important shot beyond repair.

8. Watch the light. It changes constantly.

9. Take some vertical pictures. This adds variety to the total number of pictures that you have shot.

10. Be a picture director. A sense of involvement is necessary. You need to be in a position to anticipate the results, just as a movie director directs his actors for getting a perfect shot.

Don't credit those magnetic eyes and bewitching smiles to the account of digital camera alone. It is the skill and the sense of timing of the photographer that matters the most. You need to know when to tell your photo-audience to ?say cheese?, and those fraction of seconds before their response to the cheese. Have an eye contact of a sharp shooter who is ready to make the prey fall flat.

To get detailed information on digital camera photography, digital camera equipments and more visit http://www.digitalclub4u.com/

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Digital Photography and Its Advantages

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Gone are the days when one has to buy films, put up with bad or exposed shots and waste money having them developed. The creation of digital cameras has changed the landscape of photography not only for enthusiasts but also for beginners.

In fact, with the features of digital cameras, beginners can already make professional-looking shots and even put effects that are only reserved before to those who have done photography for a long time or those who have actually studied the techniques. Below is a rundown of some of the advantages of digital camera.

Zooming in

One advantage that digital cameras present is its zooming lens, that provide clarity even when shooting far away objects. Point and shoot cameras that are often used by beginners do not have this feature. Additional lens will have to be placed on the camera. But now, digital cameras have special lens that can zoom up to 8 megapixels.

No mistakes

Digital cameras allow users to erase shots that they feel are not good enough. This is perhaps one of the greatest features of digital technology. Now, people are able to choose not only the shots that they will develop but also those that they will keep. This is a huge savings not only on the film but also with developing.

No more films

With digital technology, one does not need films anymore. Picture files may be stored in memory sticks and in the camera?s internal memory. What is more, one can store digital files of the pictures. And unlike films, which may easily be destroyed, digital files are not as easily lost when stored properly.


Digital technology in cameras allow for the use of several techniques in photography that one will not be able to do if one is using a standard camera with film. One can shoot in black and white and sepia with just a click of the mode buttons. There is no need to develop them in the dark room in a special way. Digital cameras also allow photographers to shoot in macro settings, something that ordinary cameras would not have done.

No more developing

With digital cameras, you don?t have to develop the pictures anymore or use a dark room. You can actually print the pictures at your own home with the use of a colored printer. No need to go to the developing center.

Low Jeremy maintains digital-photography.articlesforreprint.com .This content is provided by Low Jeremy. It may be used only in its entirety with all links included.

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