I am a life-long photographer. I remember playing with a small camera as a child and learning photography from my father at an early age. I think that I have always had some sort of camera. When I was in graduate school I managed to incorporate photography into my Master’s Thesis. At that time I lived with a camera in my hands. I did everything related to photography. It was film photography then and I processed and printed my own photographs.
Today I shoot with Digital Cameras. They are expensive Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras that shoot pictures of better quality than the single Lens Reflex Film cameras of my past. Though my camera equipment would be classed as professional by most there is a wide variety of Digital Camera equipment available that is quite affordable.
These cameras are made by companies like Canon, Nikon, Kodak, Panasonic, Sony and Olympus. Yes some of those companies are best known for electronic devices, but Digital Cameras are electronic devices! All of the above companies and more make excellent products in all price ranges. If you are buying, look for a camera that shoots pictures of 10 mp (megapixels) or more. Also look for a camera with a lens of good quality. Many cameras today come with wide angle to telephoto lenses.
This whole article was inspired by another with some photographic tips. I include the tips below:
· Invest in a good quality, affordable digital camera. Most cameras are easy to use and allow you to share photos with a wide audience.
· Know your objective: before you shoot, decide what your focus will be. When you know, you can emphasize it.
· Keep it simple: good photos are simply composed, including only the subject and an interesting background.
· Crop behind the lens: don't be shy - get close to your subjects so the important elements fill your frame.
· Select a spot: in the room that has good lighting so the subjects are not in the shadows.
· Avoid placing people in front of a window: back-lit photos will throw off the light balance.
· Try placing subjects off-centre: be creative, no need to shoot a formal pose, relaxed subjects are better.
· Capture the context: photos need to tell a story. Don't get so close that the camera misses what subjects are reacting to or participating in.
· Wait for the moment: take your shot at the moment when your subjects look at ease or are reacting spontaneously to events around them, when the animal turns to look at you, or the bird flies across the horizon.
· Take lots of shots: These moments will never come again, so take many photos so you can take your pick.
· Go big: make sure you shoot photos at high resolution with your digital camera to achieve good quality results. This will ensure your photos can be printed in hard copy or reproduced in a newsletter and featured on your website.
· Don't forget the photo releases - get them signed if needed. “
These tips are great. I know that many people use their cameras to document family events and to shoot portraits of family and friends. Other people like to photograph scenery. Some additional things you might remember. Digital cameras don’t use film, but relatively inexpensive Digital Cards. Large capacity cards let you take many pictures even if you shoot at maximum quality. Remember bad pictures can easily be deleted so take lots and lots of pictures.
All of the cameras operate electrically from batteries. If the battery dies then you can’t shoot any more so take extra batteries along. If your camera uses rechargeable batteries make sure you recharge beforehand.
Use the rule of thirds when focusing. Imagine that your picture is overlaid by a tic-tac-toe grid. Instead of the subject being in the center square it would be better to align the subject in one of the other thirds of the grid (I know there are nine squares, but the nine squares let you visualize the scene in thirds.)
Lighting is critical as indicated in the tips. You can often assist front lighting by using the camera’s built-in flash.
Prints can be made by using one of the many high quality desk printers available today, but you can get digital prints from many drug store chains today. You can also get prints from online services like shutterfly, snapfish or from Kodak (there’s a classic name.)
The most important thing to remember when taking pictures -- Have Fun! For me taking pictures is a labor of love and enjoyment. Go out and have a good time. Photos let you remember those good times fondly.