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Mastering the Basics of Digital Photography

Mastering the Basics of Digital Photography

digital photographer

Digital photography can be a great hobby or a lucrative profession. Some people take pictures mainly to capture memories of family and friends while others are avid shooters of sunsets and landscapes. Whatever your reasons for taking pictures, knowing a little about digital photography can make a huge difference in the quality of your photos.

Reading the Manual

For the most part, no one likes pouring over a long manual to learn what their electronics can do. People often just attempt to learn through practice and figure things out on their own. With your digital camera, you could be overlooking a lot of features that come with it and some of these settings will make quite a difference in how your pictures turn out. You don’t need to adjust every setting manually, but for times when you’re in extreme lighting conditions or unusual weather it can be handy to know which setting will correct the inconveniences of your environment.

Experiment and Play

A lot of new digital camera users are afraid to change any settings on their camera in fear that they won’t be able to change things back. Again, reading your manual can give you the knowledge to restore settings. When a photo doesn’t look exactly how you’d like it to, take the same picture over and over with every different setting you can think of. With time and practice, you’ll know what each setting can do and you’ll barely have to think when it comes to deciding which mode to use for every situation.

Using different lighting, angles, and composition can also have quite an effect on your photo’s outcome. Trying different things with backlighting, object placement, and subject centering could turn your plain old photo into something incredibly pleasing to the eye with highlighting and shadowing you wouldn’t have expected.

Editing Software

Your digital photography self education shouldn’t stop at your camera. Once you get your photos uploaded to your computer, use the software provided to fix any little flaws, colour issues, or unwanted noise. Experimenting with these settings will introduce you to new effects and editing techniques you may have never thought of trying before.

Digital photography has a unique advantage over film by allowing you to view your photo immediately and delete what you don’t like. This makes experimenting with settings and lighting much easier because you can see right away what kind of effect you’ll be getting. With time, practice, and familiarity with your camera, deciding which settings or angle to use will become more and more natural and you’re increasing skills will be reflected in your work.

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Printing Your Digital Photos: How to Choose Which Printer to Buy

When it comes to digital photography darkrooms and photo labs are a thing of the past. You can still get your digital shots printed professionally for you, but transferring to your PC, editing at home, and printing from your own printer has become common practice these days. Before purchasing a printer, decide what your printing needs will be and choose a printer within your price range that comes with the appropriate features.

Decent Quality

While you don’t need to spend a fortune to print your digital photos from home, choosing the lowest quality printer, ink, and paper will leave you with prints that look like a shabby photocopy. Spending a little extra for a device that can provide you with rich colours and textures will save you a lot of disappointment and hassle in the long run. Some features won’t be necessary for you, but check out product reviews before you buy and don’t hesitate to ask questions from your printer retailer.

Resolution

A higher resolution and DPI, or dots per inch, will allow you to print higher quality photos. Keep in mind that printers which give high resolution will take longer to print and use more ink, but if bright and beautiful looking photos are important to you, high resolution is completely necessary.

Ink and Paper

It won’t be the printer alone that determines how your photos turn out. Using high quality ink and paper that’s compatible with your printer model will play a huge part in your photo results. Before purchasing any specific printer model, look into the paper and ink brands that will work with that printer and determine how much it will cost to restock with the appropriate supplies.

Buying a printer with all the bells and whistles isn’t necessary if you’ll just be casually printing a few sets of pictures here and there. If you’ll be using your printer for professional digital photography reasons, a printer that has a few more of those features may be needed. Knowing in advance if you’ll be printing in large quantities or if you’ll require above average quality will help you figure the price range you should be looking in. Too many features could make the printer hard to use while too few features may not fulfill your needs. Read reviews and ask yourself what you’ll expect from your printer on a regular basis before choosing a printer.

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Which Digital Photography Software Is Right For You?

Choosing the right digital photography software can be almost as important as choosing the right camera. While your digital camera will play the largest role in capturing those stunning shots, your software will be the behind the scenes editor that cleans up any noise and corrects your colour when lighting conditions or white balance was less than perfect.

Editing to Perfection

So many photos we take are almost perfect but they have those one or two little flaws. Most photo editing software will allow you to touch up basic colour issues or red eye, but some can provide you with much more involved editing options to give you complete control over your final result. If digital photography is a casual hobby for you, anything more than the basic features may just make the program more complicated to use. Digital photography professionals will likely prefer software with all the bells and whistles to touch up even the most subtle flaws.

Photo Editing Fun

Photo editing software isn’t only for correcting colours and flaws. Many programs allow you to add or remove people and objects or insert borders and other images. Certain programs come with features which will allow you to create greeting cards, calendars, albums, or storybooks. You can scan and touch up older photos as well by enhancing the colour and luster that may have been lost with age or low quality equipment.

Sharing and Storing

With online communications being as they are, quite often we don’t even print our pictures out to share and enjoy anymore. Many digital photography software programs have features which give you a variety of online sharing and photo album options or will have user friendly settings that help you store your photos on your computer for easy access in the future.

Choosing the Right Software

Many cameras come with their own free software, so trying these programs out first will give you a better idea of the features you’re looking for. If you find that the included software just doesn’t fit your needs, more advanced software can be found and purchased easily online. Take advantage of any free trials you’re offered to see if that particular software is right for you before buying anything.

It’s important to fully research the software you intend to buy because the features included and ease of product use can differ drastically with every program. For some, a basic and easy to use program will fit all your needs. Others may require much more complicated software that might be a little more expensive. Starting with the software included with your camera and testing free trials can give you a much better idea of what you’re looking for should you decide to buy any new photo editing software.

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