by: Deborah Kilgaron
Digital Photography 101
If you own a personal computer you are already
on the way to becoming an expert in digital photography.
(Actually, you can dabble in digital photography even if you
don't have a computer, but that would make it a bit harder.) You
will definitely need a digital camera, of course. Pick one that
suits your needs and sensibilities--they come in all shapes and
When buying, remember that the cheaper cameras
are usually like cheap traditional cameras - okay for snaps but
not much else. But you can get really good results with
reasonably priced cameras, particularly if you want to show them
on a screen or the Internet. In general you want a reasonably
high number of pixels in a new camera - 3 Megapixels should be
enough for beginners. More pixels is not always better, since
the quality of the lens and so on still matters.
Generally speaking the well known brands make
good digital cameras, but the market changes so fast you need to
look at a few online reviews.
There is no doubt that digital photography is
big. People who tried traditional photography and gave up are
finding digital photography really rewarding. There are a few
reasons for this, the main ones being cost, creativity and
1) Cost. In the long run, digital photography
is cheaper than the analog equivalent. Of course, you'll need to
consider the camera itself, as well as the price of ink and
paper if you wish to make prints. Also, you'll need to have a
computer, or at least access to a computer. But the cost of
getting prints professionally developed is so sky-high--and so
many snaps turn out badly--that digital is cheaper. And before
printing you can check on your monitor to see which pics are
good--and which should get deleted. No more paying for rubbish
snaps! Moreover, many digital camera users post their pics or
show them to friends via email without ever printing them out.
2) Digital cameras give us a great amount of
creativity. Traditional photography took away our own
control--we had to pay professionals to crop, enlarge or reduce.
But with digital camera software we can take care of all of
those things for ourselves. You can crop, change colors, and
much more. Software makes it easy to do all these things.
3) Digital photography frees us from the
constraints of traditional photography because we aren't using
up rolls of film. Instead of having to change the roll every 24
or 36 shots, we can shoot away with abandon, and without
worrying about the cost to develop all these shots. And we don't
have to wait until the film is developed to see if we got good
pictures. We can simply look at the screen!
Now that you know the above, consider the
Be willing to experiment a bit. Once you spend
money on a good digital camera you can stop worrying about all
the cash you're wasting on film--so give yourself the freedom to
experiment and just feel things out. Lay on the floor, take
pictures at crazy angles, shoot from far away, zoom in
incredibly close, and so on. Take pictures of anything and
everything that interests you, as this is the best way to
stumble across fantastic pictures.
It's not just the camera you'll need to
experiment with, however. Learn how to utilize the accompanying
software, too. Reading through the manual or taking the
computerized tutorial is well worth it--you'll see an
improvement in your pictures as well as an increase in your
ability to fix them after the fact. The people you show your
snaps to will certainly be impressed!