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To Know You...r Digital Camera
Getting To Know You...r
so Santa was nice to you and brought you
that digital camera you wanted. Now what?
The one big advantage of owning a digital
camera over a film camera is you don't have
anymore film developing and printing expenses.
Yeah! You can now experiment to your heart's
content by taking hundreds of pictures (without
first talking to your bank manager).
tried that? If all you do is use Auto mode,
there's not much you'll learn. But if you
switch to Manual (or Aperture Priority,
or Shutter Priority, or Scene Mode) and
start using different settings for the same
picture, you might just start understanding
your digital camera, and, more importantly,
what it does best.
let us venture outside in this cold January
(for those of us living in the Northern
Hemisphere, brrr), and select a scene (such
as a branch covered with snow) as our subject.
We set our camera on a tripod because we
are going to take multiple shots of the
same scene, so we do not want the camera
to move. We first take a picture of our
scene using Auto mode. We note down the
settings, switch to Manual mode, and use
slightly different settings than the one
used in Auto mode.
For example, we might compensate the exposure
by +1/3 EV, and take a second picture. We
then take a third picture with exposure
compensation of -1/3 EV.
Next, we play with the White Balance, and
take a couple of pictures. We turn on fill-in
flash, and take another picture. We try
all the different settings our camera allows
us. This is going to take us some time,
but that's OK because we're having fun.
We stop when we have either filled up our
digital camera's storage media -- or our
face and fingers are too numb from the cold
to handle it anymore. We go inside, make
ourselves a hot cocoa, then settle down
and review all the pictures we've just taken.
While we do that, we plug in our battery
into the recharger for the next picture
Which picture is the best one? We note the
settings. Chances are it will not be the
one where we used the Auto mode setting.
In the case of the snow picture, it will
probably be the one we took with the extra
we delete all the pictures except the one(s)
we like, transfer them to our electronic
photo album (or personal web site), noting
down (in a special small notebook, if we
desire to carry it as a handy reference
with us) the settings for each picture.
There, next time we want to take a picture
of this particular scene (snow on branch),
we know the settings to use! The settings
that our digital camera needs to
be set at for the best quality image in
this particular situation.
We can repeat this exercise with other situations:
indoors, action pictures, macro photography,
sunny skies, cloudy skies, portrait, etc.
At the end of these photo exercises, we
will know what our camera is capable
of doing well -- and, perhaps more importantly,
what it does not do well. In so doing, we
will gain a better appreciation of -- and
respect for -- our digital camera.
Too many times. we think we need more lenses,
external flash, bigger storage media, even
a better digital camera so we can take those
fabulous pictures we see others take. Not
that extra equipment won't help make better
pictures, but if we're honest with ourselves,
we might just be suffering a bit from equipment
that probably what you really need
this Valentine from your significant other
is not a better digital camera and extra
equipment, but simply extra free time to
first get to know your digital camera a
little bit more intimately! Of course, your
signifiant other should come first.
Excuse me, it's snowing again, and I do
have some more pictures to take. Battery
in, touque on, mittens on, see you until
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