Getting Into the World of Photography

Photography is an art that many people are into. These days, where prominent brands of digital cameras are offering myriads of notable features, more and more people are encouraged to go into photography. Aside from being fulfilled to see the beautiful shots for your own glory, photography also offers a lucrative source of income, especially to those who have an established portfolio.

Just like how any renowned photographer started, an aspiring professional camera shooter must first start from square one. Start with the basics of photography, and slowly, you will notice the improvement in your shooting skills.

To have an idea on what type of pictures you’d like to take, take time to scour some glossy magazines, as they usually have great pictures of specific subjects. The internet is also a major resource for great photos, you have the whole world to see in the worldwide web. If you now have an idea on what subject to focus on, or what photography style you’d like to imitate, you’ll somehow have a good direction as to what genre you’d like to focus on.

First of all, invest on a good digital camera. As a beginner, you don’t have to have the fancy and complicated one. Start with something that you’re comfortable with, something that’s easy to operate, something that will make you achieve your initial desired shots. The cost of the camera is a relative factor. Regardless of the cost, it is important that you are able to take advantage of all its features with ease.

A tripod is also a good tool to have whether for taking personal shots or taking complicated shots in line with your professional pursuits. Oftentimes, a steady click will give better results as compared to shots taken by a shaky hand.

Knowing your camera is like knowing a friend. The camera manufacturers these days are all in competition just to be able to claim that they have the best features, and the users are always at the winning end by being empowered by these camera attributes. Now, it’s the task of the users to maximize the ability of their cameras. It is important for you to know your camera settings. Read the manual for guidance. The manual will help you get acquainted with the settings of your camera, and in turn, will help you get great shots. The key is to practice and to experiment.

In photography, “trial and error” is inevitable. The good thing about digital cameras is that you’re not wasting film. You can always delete an ugly shot, then you can go experiment again. It would be best to always bring your camera with you wherever you go. The world offers a multitude of beautiful subjects. From the small ants to humungous buildings, great subjects are literally just around you. Being keen with your surroundings will ignite the creative juice in you, leading you to take shots of a subject in different angles applying diverse camera settings, which also leads you to learn “the good and the bad” from each shot. This way, you are practicing and experimenting, the fun way.

Getting wisdom from the pros is also not a bad idea. Like what they say. Experience is the best teacher, and there’s no better way to learn fast than by taking wisdom from the experienced photography experts themselves. If you can’t afford a photography class, you can always read photography books which are widely available. It’s really beneficial to learn different techniques in order to come up with pleasing shots. You can also turn to the internet for some quick tips.

Photography is a good area of art. It’s fun, it’s fulfilling, it’s rewarding. Be patient and be serious about learning the rudiments by constantly practicing and experimenting, and you will see great results in no time. Time will come, your awesome photos will deserve the appreciation of other people.

Learning the Basics of Getting the Most Out of Taking Pictures

Digital photography has officially become the primary way the world captures pictures.

With cameras being included in everything from cell phones, to laptops, from handheld game players to ‘spy’ watches people are now able to take pictures more easily than ever.

Of course, we still have the standard handheld digital photography camera, but the options of colors, features, size and shape seem to be unlimited. Whether you’re shopping in department stores or online stores, you always find a wide selection of digital cameras. For this reason, making a selection can be a difficult and confusing task. Each camera has its own special selling points so to make your search easier and quicker you need to decide how you want to use your camera.

For some, digital photography is simply a fun and easy hobby. Since most cameras allow people to view their pictures almost immediately, either on their digital camera’s display panel or by sending the pictures onto a computer, making a hobby of taking digital photos is one of the fastest growing past-times around.

For others who have mastered the art, digital photography has become a way to earn income by working for news organizations, private companies, websites and through selling their photographs freelance. Mastering this art gets accomplished mainly by how much time a person is willing to commit to learning how to use a camera to get the best possible picture.

Maybe you already have a digital camera and you just want to know how to get the most out of it. Maybe you are a person who wants the most cutting edge equipment and are willing to pay top dollar for it. Either way the most important question to keep in mind is “What kind of pictures do I want to take most?”

When you’ve answered this question you’ll be prepared to direct your energies properly to learning the right things for make your digital photography successful. If you are totally new to taking digital photographs and don’t yet know what types of pictures you want to take then it’s always okay to experiment. Take some pictures of family & friends. Take pet pictures. Take pictures around the house or in your yard. Take pictures close up of flowers and small items that interest you. As you experiment like this and review your pictures you will begin to get a feel for what kind of pictures you’d like to get better at taking.

Don’t be surprised if after experimenting you discover that your current camera may need some ‘upgrades’ or that you may need a whole new camera to get the quality of digital photographs you want. Most people start with a digital camera that belongs to family or was given to them as a gift. Sometimes that equipment can do everything you need. But some people may require specific equipment that allows them, for example, to take night pictures, pictures from a far distance, underwater pictures or even super clear, high definition pictures.

When looking for the right digital camera be sure to take your time and review all the options of each camera you’re interested in. Just like buying a car, you have to consider every feature since you will want it to work well and you want to keep for a long time.

Here are 3 important tips to remember when looking for a digital camera.

1. Cost – How much are you going to pay?

Lets say, you just saw you friend with a Sony NEX-5 and it’s exactly the what you. But are you ready to pay hefty price tag to get it?

Obviously coast is a primary factor in considering what camera to buy. Just because you’ve found the camera with all the features you want doesn’t mean you’re ready to buy it. But don’t let that keep you from doing your research. Also consider that websites like Ebay.com and Amazon.com often have those high priced items at great discounts. Sometimes someone gets a camera as a gift or has an extra that they want to sell quickly. Many people find great deals on the exact camera they want at these sites. Just remember to read the item description thoroughly and check the seller’s feedback history to ensure a positive purchase transaction.

But don’t lose hope; it is possible to get a great, inexpensive digital camera that meets all your needs. As long as you as you have a good idea what kind of pictures you want to take, you’ll discover that finding a bargain is much easier.

2. Purpose – Is your photography for business or pleasure?

As I’ve mentioned above, you need to determine what kind of pictures you want to take with your digital camera. Maybe it’s just for fun, maybe it’s for your work, either way when you know for sure it makes finding the right camera so much easier and you’ll be much happier with the camera you decide to buy.

Researching features becomes a simpler task when you have a purpose in mind. If you intend to keep your camera handy for family gatherings, parties and photos of friends then features like automatic focus, and automatic flash may serve you best. If you are taking pictures at sporting events, high speed vehicles or action you may want a camera with adjustable shutter speed settings to capture crisp clear shots of things in motion.

Whatever your purpose make sure to keep it in focus when looking for features in a new digital camera.

3. Durability – Making sure you camera will last.

Although you can find some very inexpensive digital cameras your purchase is still a valuable investment. Therefore you want o make sure that you purchase a solid durable camera. Many camera’s have metal or plastic bodies. Plastic is lighter but can more easily crack if dropped.

After purchasing your digital camera you may want to buy some accessories, like a carrying case, to protect it from scratches and damage. It is best however to get one that is known to have a good quality and durability.

Reading reviews from current and previous owners of the camera you are going to buy is a great way to find out how reliable and durable your camera will be. Many websites offer reviews of cameras by owners. You can find good reviews through Google by typing in the model and make of the camera you’re interested in and then the word “review”. This often produces several sites with reviews by owners of the camera you’re researching.

Hopefully these tips will help you get started in your adventure into the world of digital photography. Remember to give some time to thinking about what kind of photography you want to do. Research the features you’ll need in a digital camera to get the best results and then use sites like Google to search and eBay and Amazon to find great deals on your camera and accessories.

Making The Best Pictures With Digital Photography Cameras

A lot of people think that a good picture is all because of excellent equipment. Although we can never downplay the role of the most modern and up-to-date tools when it comes to photography, these gadgets do not solely determine how good a photo ends up. A more important factor in creating a great picture is the photographer himself. It is the photographer who guides the camera in the specific direction and the photographer who pushes the button for the camera to capture the scene. Hence, most of the job can be traced back to the photographer.

There is presently a growing affinity to Single Lens Reflex cameras. Even though they are generally more expensive than the simpler point and shoot models, people are vying for the SLR and all its add-ons because of the thinking that they are going to be able to make breathtaking shots with such equipment. The truth is there are actually some advantages that come with digital photography cameras that one cannot enjoy with the SLR. One of which is the ability to delete a photo should one consider it to be not presentable enough. This makes it easier to start anew with a scene and make use of better angles and other factors to maximize the full photographical potential of the scene.

In addition to that advantage, a point and shoot camera is really easy to handle. As the term itself says, all the user needs to do is to point and shoot. However, not all pictures are going to be good if one just points and shoots anywhere. This is where the photographer’s knowledge and talent photography into use.

First and foremost, there is the knowledge about the camera itself. One cannot just go out, buy a camera and miraculously create stunning digital photos out of any random scenes. There is a need to know the camera’s ins and outs, its tools and capacities, its good points and bad ones. This way, one can fully utilize what the camera is able to do and steer clear of the possible downfalls it might create in one’s photos.

Digital photography cameras come with a handful of features a user can use to heighten the overall quality of the photo as well as its appeal to its viewer. For one, there is the flash. Although there is always the automatic flash to safely go with, making use of the flash feature can actually create goodness for digital photos. The flash feature is best turned on when photos are taken outside for the subject’s illumination and off when the shots are done indoors.

Another asset of the common point and shoot camera is the macro mode feature, which is the perfect tool for close-up shots. It is, however, recommended to take time in focusing the camera properly before pressing the capture button. Some people have noticed the ISO settings of digital cameras but fail to utilize them. This tool is actually for light sensitivity control. Low settings are best for still object shots while settings of 400 and up are recommended for shots of moving objects.

These are just basic tips when working with digital photography cameras [http://kodakcentral.com]. These are highlighted to help individuals realize what they can do with their simple digital cameras. Aside from the easy riddance of bad shots, a point and shoot camera has its potential that make them a better option than the expensive models that abound in the market nowadays.

Camera Lens Types and Selection Tips

A lens is what your camera uses to focus on a scene. Lenses can be cheap or expensive and big or small. If you have been researching what kind of lens you will need for what you are going to use your camera for I’m sure you have already discovered that there is a huge variety of lenses available for just about any situation possible. There are wide-angle, midrange, zoom, telephoto, and fixed lenses. So what does it all mean?

The cost and quality of camera lenses is based on a wide variety of things. It is first of all based on the size and focal length capabilities of a lens. For example, a 28-128 mm. lens will be cheaper than a 100-400 mm. lens. But what can make a lens very expensive is its aperture capabilities. A lens that can achieve a wider aperture will be more expensive (all other things constant). There are also many other things that are taken into account with price but the zoom and aperture capabilities are the main things.

Types and Focal Lengths

Wide-Angle Lens – Wide angle lenses are most commonly defined as lenses with focal lengths that are less than 50 mm. A wide angle lens is most commonly used for landscape photography. Most photographers buy them because they can focus on a very wide range from side to side. Sometimes they are necessary for portraits as well though. I have found myself in many situations where the only way that I could fit everyone into the frame was with a wide-angle lens. When I use my wide-angle lens I almost always make the aperture very narrow so I have a very large depth of field. Wide-angle lenses are good at focusing on everything rather than one small part of a scene. I personally use my fixed 24mm. wide-angle lens almost more than my standard telephoto.

Standard Telephoto Lens – This is the typical short range zoom lens that usually is sold included with new digital slr cameras. They usually have a range of around 28-85 mm. and are compact in size. This is a very well-rounded lens and can be used for just about every situation possible which is the very reason it usually comes included with new cameras. It can be sufficient for landscapes and portrait photography as well as spur of the moment photos like sports or movements.

Medium Telephoto Lens – This is most commonly defined as a lens that has a midrange telephoto capability. This is usually somewhere between 80 and 150 mm. This is the perfect type of lens for portrait photography. The focal length of this type of lens is kind to the face and makes the nose appear to be more flush with the rest of the face. Closer range lenses make the nose appear closer to the camera than the rest of the face therefore accentuating it and making it appear larger than it really is. Although this lens is perfect for portrait photography, it is also great for sports photos and other subject oriented pictures.

Long Range Telephoto Lens – This is most commonly defined as a lens that has a long range telephoto capability which is usually considered greater than 150 mm. This type of lens can be very powerful and very expensive. Photographers buy these lenses for many different reasons. If you watch sports events you can usually see photographers on the sidelines with huge telephoto lenses that are capable of zooming to the far side of a football field. These lenses can be used for nature photography in capturing dangerous animals without getting too close. The paparazzi also uses these types of lenses on occasion to get photos of celebrities from behind boundaries or fences. The long range zoom creates a whole new world of opportunities for photographers.

Prime or Fixed Lenses Compared to Zoom Lenses

Why would a photographer buy a fixed focal length lens when he could get 100 different focal lengths with a zoom lens? There are in fact many good reasons to choose fixed lenses over zoom lenses. The reason I bought a fixed wide-angle lens instead of a zoom wide angle is because fixed lens are faster and they show more depth. The differences between the two kinds are usually very subtle, but it does make quite a difference. Since the zoom lenses change focal lengths as they shift they tend to flatten the depth of field and change the perspective. With a fixed lens, there aren’t any moving parts and therefore better performance on their one focal length.

More Uncommon Specialized Lenses

Macro Lens – This type of lens is built specifically to be able to focus on something while being extremely close to it. This lens is commonly used to get very close to intricate objects such as flowers or bugs. I have used my macro lens to take photos of water drops, faces, eyes, and hair. The possibilities are endless and I have used mine to create some amazing close-up colorful photos.

Tilt Shift Lens – This type of lens is built for only a few types of situations where distortion occurs because the subject is very long or wide. Tilt movements of the lens allow you to obtain a wide depth of field even at a wide aperture and still keep the entire subject in focus. Shift movements of the lens correct the effect seen in pictures taken of tall objects such as buildings, so that the subject does not look distorted. Most people use this kind of lens for panoramic or architectural photography.

Conclusion

The type of lens you should get entirely depends on what kind of photos you are going to take. I like taking landscape photos so therefore I bought a fixed wide-angle lens so I could take the best possible landscape photos that I could. Just because you want to take good photos doesn’t mean you have to drop a couple thousand dollars on lenses. It is true that you tend to get what you pay for with lenses but I would recommend starting off with a few medium quality lenses and practice your basic skills before investing in a very expensive lens. And once you do get a lens that you care about make sure you get a UV filter for it so you can preserve its quality and prevent it doesn’t get scratched.

Richard Schneider is a digital photography enthusiast and founder of PictureCorrect which offers photography tips and news on all topics involving digital photography. You will also be interested in the photography network, one of the largest social networks designed exclusively for photographers.

Using Camera Flash At Night

A night-time photo shoot often presents a problem or two, especially when including an element of interest in the background such as architecture. In most cases a tripod or some other method of stabilizing the camera will be necessary due to the slow shutter speeds used with low-light photography. But even with a tripod, our subject needs to remain somewhat statuesque to prevent blurring. If you’ve ever tried portraits at night, you’ll know that getting clean sharp shots is almost impossible when there’s any kind of movement.

We often end up turning on our flash to get around this issue. But this leads us into another problem. Using frontal flash at night will certainly capture your subject, but everything that’s outside of your flash range, everything in the background will disappear into blackness. The resulting shot will be simply your bright subject, in a sea of blackness.

So in low light, how do we include the subject AND the background?

The answer is slow-sync flash.

It’s a pretty simple concept that combines long exposure with flash photography. There are two types of slow-sync flash available to us, and they will each produce their own unique results. The two types are “front curtain” or “rear curtain”. Either method can be used in an environment where everything is still with little difference in the outcome, not forgetting that a tripod would still be necessary in most cases. However, if you’re trying to capture any kind of movement within the scene, it’s important to choose the technique that will provide you with the desired result.

Front-curtain: The flash is fired at the start of the shot – right when the shutter opens. The flash will illuminate the subject and foreground, and the shutter will remain open for the remainder of the shot – long enough to capture everything else in the background.

Rear-curtain: Basically the opposite of the above. The shutter is opened for as long as necessary – long enough to capture the background, and then at the very last minute, the flash will fire to illuminate the subject and foreground.

As an example, try to imagine a scene where there is a little bit of frontal lighting. There’s a building or a large sculpture in the background that has been up-lit, and we want to capture both our subject, who is close-by AND the background architecture. We decide to use the rear-curtain technique and an exposure of around 10 seconds. As we press the shutter button our subject begins to walk through the frame from the left-hand side – and we time it so that the flash fires just as they are about to exit to the right. The resulting shot will show our subject about to exit the frame, but with light trails behind them – perhaps giving the feeling of a speedy exit.

What results do you think the front curtain method would produce? If you were to have the flash fire as the subject enters the scene, then leave the shutter open as they walk through the frame. What effect do you think that would have on the resulting photo?

A Quick Way to Clean Camera Sensors

It has long been an unfortunate myth in photography that getting rid of dirt on camera image sensors is a job for professionals only. So, many an amateur has forked out $50 time and again, simply to have a few dust particles removed. It is not necessary. There is a host of fantastic equipment available to help you deal with this maddeningly frustrating part of digital photography. I want to let you know about the one, simple device that can quickly and easily deal with most cases of dirt on the sensor: squeeze-bulb blowers.

If you are on a mission to be rid of some horribly stubborn and sticky bit of dust that refuses to go away, then sensor brushes and cleaning swabs with the accompanying fluid will be needed. But I have found that simple squeeze bulb blowers eliminate dust most of the time, without any painstaking effort, without any expense, and often even during a shoot.

What is a squeeze-bulb blower?

It is a tool with a soft plastic, elliptical pocket of air that, when squeezed, draws in air through a filter at the top and pushes it out through a thin funnel at the bottom.

They are available from any camera store and fit easily into your camera bag.

All squeeze-bulb blowers come with a protective case of some kind, which is important for keeping them clean and dust-free.

How are they used?

1. Select the camera sensor cleaning mode in your camera’s menus so that the image sensor is revealed inside the camera body and you can get at it with the blower. This mode will reset to normal when the camera is turned off.

2. Simply take off the lens on your camera and tip the camera body downwards. It’s important to keep the camera pointing down to stop dust from falling into it, you want it to fall out.

3. Get your squeeze bulb blower and position the tip within range of the camera sensor. Blast away! Repeatedly squeeze the pocket of air for, say half a minute, until the sensor has been given a good clean. You will find this eliminates just about all loose particles of dust.

4. Before reattaching your lens to the camera body, give it a blast at both ends with the bulb blower to see off any stray specks of dirt on the glass.

5. Return the blower to its case.

This is a quick and easy routine that most photographers do on a weekly basis. It is crucial to take care when holding the blower not to knock it into any parts inside the camera body. It is the first step to take when dealing with a dirty sensor. Brushes and swabs can follow if it is not successful. Only pay for a professional job if each of these measures does not deal with the problem. In any case, Photoshop can always be used to delete specks of dirt after the shot has been taken.

Investing in a squeeze bulb blower is a good first move in at last saying goodbye to the plague of dirty camera sensors. Good luck!

Cleaning your sensor is one of those little jobs it’s worth getting in the habit of doing. For more top snippets of advice on improving your photography, both technical and creative, make use of these articles on taking better pictures