Online Photo Sharing: Not Just for Family and Vacation Photos
You may have joined the photo-sharing craze to share your family vacation photos, but have you thought about other uses for photo sharing?
Here are just a few ideas:
Arts and Crafts Portfolio:
Rubber Stamping Designs:
Okay, you get the picture. Use your imagination and you'll find dozens of opportunities for sharing your photos.
PHOTO SHARING SITES AND SOFTWARE
The next step is how do you do it? That's easy too. With the digital camera craze comes a proliferation of photo sharing sites and software. The top sites include Ofoto, Shutterfly and Snapfish, which give you simple, free software so you can make basic edits such as adjust the contrast, crop and remove red-eye. You can quickly upload your images to their website and put photos in different albums, name the albums and add captions. Then you just email your friends the link to your album. The good news is it's free; the down side is that some sites limit the number of photos you can share. These sites, of course, will also print your photos for as little as 22 cents each and mail them to you; those who view your albums can also order prints.
There are some great services dedicated to photo sharing that offer unlimited photo storage space for a nominal fee. These include Pixagogo, which is a web-based service for sharing, organizing and storing your digital photos inside instant albums that can be viewed by anyone you want. It's an easy way to share photos with others, and an excellent means of backing up valuable photos or publishing illustrations on a web site or a market place. For a $5 monthly membership fee, you get unlimited secure storage of your original images of any size for as long as you want. Pixagogo's features include easy drag & drop photo uploading, the ability to create elegant online albums and full screen slide shows, share selected album links with family and friends via a simple email link, and a self-organizing photo timeline. You can also order prints on Fuji paper at competitive prices.
There are also several inexpensive software applications for photo sharing on the web, including FotoFinish and the SendPix sharing feature of ACDSee 6.0. With both programs you can email photos directly from the application at sizes you specify. FotoFinish also gives you 20MB of free personal web space to upload and share your albums or individual photos. ACDSee lets you share up to 50 photos in an unlimited number of albums on their server at no charge for up to 30 days. It also has an HTML photo album generator so you can create web page photo albums to upload to your own site.
Whatever method you choose, sharing your pics on the net is a great timesaver with lots of opportunity for creativity.
Valerie Goettsch publishes the digital photography website http://www.digitalphotos101.com featuring reviews of photo editing and album software and digital photo printing services.
Last month we bought the Canon Powershot A80 online for about $325 including shipping after looking at digital cameras for about a month. It had all the features we were looking for in our price range and the stylish gleaming metal case didn't hurt either. We looked at a few other cameras, notably the Fujifilm FinePix S7000, but settled on the Powershot and we are glad that we did.
The Well-Dressed Photographer - Summer
Outdoor photographers shoot year round. That includes the hot summer. You may be surprised to learn that the best way to tolerate the heat is not to strip down to your skivvies. Instead, using the right products and wearing clothing designed to face the challenges of summer will help you keep your cool.
Using a Camcorder to Record Family Events Quickly and Easily
Let's start there (but not spend too much time on it because you are probably already checked out on their use):
Who Had The Better Brushes Leonardo or Michelangelo?
Ordinary photos of dull subjects do actually sell, but the dramatic shots generally have an unusual element that makes them stand out from the crowd. They are well-composed and they carry no excess baggage.
Photography Courses Online
There are also some excellent online courses available and some of them are free, just type "Photography free online courses" into your search engine. Morguefile is an example they offer sound technical advice on a variety of subjects, as well as aspects of types of photography, it is a good point to start with, showing the resources Jodie Coston, a freelance photographer, has made available online, after a series of classes she gave. The New York Institute of Photography offers an online course over a period of about eight months, with a few hours work a day at your own pace, they offer courses in Photography and digital photography. Whilst they state they have been teaching photography for a hundred years, they do not quote their prices online, you have to contact them direct. They offer the information that most of their students are mature. Photo seminars offer a free workshop and a free lesson, so that you may you may evaluate the course before you buy. The enrolment cost is 39.00. U.S. dollars. They also offer links and resources. Better Photos, also offer a wide range of courses at different prices, with differing lengths, the subjects are either technical or cover "How to take more dramatic photographs". For these courses you need to transfer the photographic assignment you were given to a web page on their site, so you need access to a computer.
Camcorder Techniques: How To Make Home Movies Your Family And Friends Will Be Excited To Watch
Digital Camera Auto Exposure and Auto Focus
The digital camera being a fantastic and technologically advanced device contains many different applications of its own. Many users of this fabulous device are unaware of quite a few of these functions which can actually do wonders. And it is the duty and right of every person possessing the digital camera to intervene into the depths of knowledge to understand their prized possession and their varying qualities in order to foster the true respect that this device deserves. This article deals with providing information regarding one those qualities - Auto focus and auto exposure!
Digital Cameras & Resolution
While analyzing any camera, one of the most important qualities of a photograph that a person seeks, is resolution. This word itself needs a brief discussion before progressing onto its implication upon a digital camera. This is a word that seems to almost every new photographer as a nightmare. With all the myths and irrelevant information circulating all around, this is quite common. This however is an effort to clear those misty myths and provide good information for everyone. Without any complexity, generally a photograph, either viewed on the screen or printed, is composed of infinitesimal dots (called pixels). The greater amount of these dots that can fit per inch of space, the smaller the dots and the sharper the image. This is the basis of understanding ... resolution!
Proper Handling and Storage of Paper Photos
Youv'e taken that perfect photo in the perfect light at the perfect angle and it has turned out beautifully.
HP Digital Cameras - History and Beyond
HP has started making digital cameras only recently. However, the firm provides a one-stop-shop for all digital facilities. The company has made a large number of innovations over the years. Let us view the interesting history of this company.
How To Become A Digital Photography Pro
Being a professional digital photographer is a dream many people have but most lack the ambition to follow through. Still, you want to take the best digital pictures you can without forking over the cost of a photography degree. So, here are some tips to help you find the best digital photographer in you.
How To Avoid Or Reduce Red-Eye
Photography with the aid of a digital camera is beyond doubt very fascinating. However, it also has many a nooks that the users of the digital camera must be aware of and also must be well educated to deal with in order to produce good photographs worth the most prized digital camera. Such a concept is that of the red eye! In order to understand what this red eye actually is, a little detailed introspection is necessary. Basically speaking red-eye is a function of at least three things, they are firstly, ambient level of light because stumpy light level causes the retina of the person to be photographed to open wider to admit more light thereby divulging open the iris, which is the primary part that reflects the red light hence giving the appearance of red eyes for the subjects. Also secondly the younger the person being photographed the wider remains the retina and hence the greater the effect of red eye in the picture. Thirdly, the reflection angle of the flash plays a vital role, as the light is recoiled back to the digital camera and the closer the incident light beam is to this reflected light beam, the greater becomes the red eye effect. To prevent this instruments such as flash brackets are useful to make the flash a bit removed from the propinquity of the lens. Thus the red eye effect is somewhat revealed till this part of this discussion. Now is the time to look into a greater detail in order to analyze the various aspects of the red eye effect and also find out ways of reducing the problem as far as possible.
Guidelines for Printing Great Photos at Home
So you have this great digital camera and you've taken lots of great photos. Now what? Well you could go to a store and have them print your images for you, but isn't that what you did with film? The point of all this great digital technology is that you can print your own photos at home without having to pay someone else to do it. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Basics of Photography
Understanding light is one of the very basic principles of learning to be a photographer. When you have a group of people in front of you with smiling faces ready for you to say 'cheese' or if you are taking a shot of a scenic area, the most important consideration is the light factor. Light controls the type of exposure and therefore the quality of the photo is dependent on the quality of the light on your subject and the amount of light that impacts on the film or digital sensor when you click. Controlling the amount of light is a good pre-occupation in the mind of a photographer keen to get a good shot. It should be one of the key considerations. The word 'exposure' is a very important word in the lexicon of both amateur and professional photographers and is based on the understanding of light in creating good photographs. --If there is too much light, the photo will look overly bright and over exposed. --A happy group of people will not look as vibrant if there was inadequate light when you took the picture. --Bright sunlight can create shadows under the eyes. --Poor lighting may not bring out the colors in the scene to maximum effect There are a few basics that you can apply to circumvent poor picture quality due to unfavorable light conditions: --Change the position from which you take the shot --Change the light if clicking indoors --Use the flash The use of the flash can be a boon when you operate in different light conditions. If you have an overcast sky, the flash in your camera will serve the purpose of letting some light into the image that you are trying to capture and brightening it up. The flash also works to your advantage when your subject is not too close but slightly away from you. But you have to check the 'flash range' of your camera in your manual. The flash works best when your subject is within a recommended range that is usually at least 4 ft and generally not more than 10 ft. Most simple cameras have an automatic flash. Slightly better models will have settings for fill-flash. The concept of fill flash revolves around filling light in areas of a picture that may turn out dark or shadowed. Fill-flash has the ability to balance the amount of light on different parts of a subject to ensure that the exposure is adequately bright. For instance, a portion of a person's face may appear shadowed and the fill-flash setting can help iron out this problem. The angle of light is another important consideration. You have to pay attention to the direction from which light falls on your subject and there are several approaches in manipulating the angle of light to improve the visual appeal of a picture. Sideways lighting: Light from the side is used to creates depth in the picture and is considered one of the best ways to use light if you are taking a portrait photograph. Light from the top: This is a method used to brighten up most of the scene but does not work as well when you take a photograph of a person. It tends to create shadows on the lower half of the face when the lighting is high. Light from behind your subject: This strategy is sometimes used by photographers to amplify the impact of the picture. It can create a halo like effect; it can add artistic shadows and can also create a striking contrast between the subject and the background if used effectively. When you use a 'back light' it is recommended that the fill-flash settings on your camera are also adjusted in order to avoid shadows in your photograph. The second issue in photography is the aesthetics of the picture. Aesthetics is the creativity and attention to detail that you bring to your photograph. It is the most interesting part of photography since it is almost like a visual equivalent of composing a poem or writing a story. Aesthetics requires the use of visual skills to compose and deliver a pleasing, eye-catching and captivating image. It is a type of vision that you have for your photograph in terms of look and appeal. Aesthetics requires a good eye for detail. The following factors have to borne in mind in creating an aesthetically appealing photograph: Background --Periphery --Distance from subject --Changing the direction of your camera based on picture dimensions --Objects impinging on the picture --Avoiding too many elements Each of these factors that go into aesthetics are described and explained below- -->Background The background in a photograph requires much consideration. It influences the manner in which your subject is portrayed in the photograph. Depending on your choice of background, your subject will be shown to effect or may be overshadowed. The background also makes the difference between a boring and an interesting photograph. The colors, the type of background and the context add to the vibrancy of the photo. -->Perphery A common problem among beginners in photography is not paying attention to whether the image is being captured fully. When you view your subject through the viewfinder, you may think you have clicked a person from head to shoulder or from head to toe in a full shot. But when the actual photograph is processed, the top of your subject's head or part of the hair may be missing! Or, if you did not center your subject when you composed the shot through your viewfinder, a part of the shoulder or hand may be lost into the edges of the photo. You need to concentrate when you view your subject through your camera before you click, in order to get the picture exactly the way you want it. -->Distance from Subject The distance from a subject is another critical aspect in getting a good picture. You want to see facial expression, not a mass of faces when you take a photograph. To do this, you have to be at a suitable close distance from your subject. On the other hand, when you click pictures of a campus, the distance that you click from can give you a wide view and take in a lot more of the scene. To take close up pictures of flowers or crystal or any decorative item, you have to move into close range and use suitable lenses to achieve the right magnification. -->Changing the Direction of Your Camera Based on the Picture Many a time you may not be able to capture the subject in it's entirety in the conventional horizontal position in which the camera is usually held. You can easily change the direction. Hold the camera vertically and then view your subject. You will be able to capture more of a longish subject like a tall monument, a full-length picture of a child, and so on. -->Objects Impinging on the Picture At times there are certain objects in a scene that seem to almost invade into the picture. For instance, if you take a picture of a group of your friends on a street, chances are that a street sign may gain prominence in the photograph unbidden and may seem to sprout out of the head of one of your friends in the photograph. Or the light fixtures in your living room may find a place in the picture and appear in the form an unseemly blob in your photo. And the tough part is, when you take the shot you may not be aware of this because the eye is focused on the people in the picture. -->Avoiding Too Many Elements A picture cluttered with too many objects may detract from the actual subject. For instance, a wide view of a room in which your subject is sitting may create a photo in which too many objects vie for attention. If the person in the picture is your main target then narrow down and concentrate mostly on clicking the subject. While a good background adds value to a picture, too much paraphernalia could take the attention away from the main subject. Your picture may be focused and the lighting may be good but there is so much going on in the picture that it becomes aesthetically lacking and maybe even a little jarring. Besides Light and Aesthetics, the third issue in photography basics refers to 'focusing' the picture. Getting the right focus is the difference between a blurred image and a sharp image. If you have an auto focus camera, the camera will do the job for you. This is available in most basic models. You can also achieve focus manually in other cameras using the mechanism to adjust the focus and to lock the focus on the subject before you click. To achieve the right focus, it is important to decide on the artistic elements of the final picture. There are areas of a scene that you may want sharper and clearer. For instance, when you photograph a famous monument, you may want the building as well as the blue sky against which it is silhouetted to be crystal clear. If you are photographing a camel in a desert, you might want the camel to be clear and a slightly hazy/blurred effect of the surrounding sand. If you are taking a shot of a room containing a priceless vase, when you look through your viewfinder, you want the finer details of the intricate patterns on the vase to be clearer than other objects in its vicinity. So, it's also a question of the portion or key part of your picture your focus is really on. This area that you identify for your focus is referred to as the 'depth of field'. You can lock the focus on the depth of field that you choose. You can control the focus and depth of field depending on your objectives for different shots. The basics of photography are better applied when you put into perspective the capabilities of the camera model that you use or plan to purchase. Simple point and shoot cameras require minimal knowledge in operating them. They are easy to use and have the bare minimum controls. The user has to just compose and aim the shot on the subject and presses the shutter button. 'Click' and the job is done. The camera handles its functions automatically. For those of you who want to work with a slightly more sophisticated camera, you have the option of a Single Lens Reflex camera popularly called the SLR system. This type of camera is available in both 35mm film format as well as digital format. Digital cameras have no film but the image is captured on an image sensor and stored in photo memory. Digital cameras in general provide superior picture quality. The internal system of the SLR camera is made up of angled prisms and mirrors that actually work like a lens when you click. But you have a few things to learn about this camera system before you can achieve better light exposure, sharpness and good focus. While it is imperative that you study the instruction manual of your SLR camera system thoroughly to understand the features and functioning, given here are some of the features and a brief explanation on how these features can help you in achieving the right exposure. -->Additional Lenses for Close Up Shots An additional feature in an SLR camera that makes it far superior to a simple 'point and shoot' camera is the ability to use add-on lenses. When you attempt to take a close up shot of objects in nature like a flower or a butterfly, you might want a very high level of clarity. You can add power to your camera by attaching an additional lens onto your camera lens for greater magnification of your subject. These supplementary lenses are available at reasonable prices in different powers like +2, +3 and so on. You can also look for a model with an optical zoom lens that gives you the flexibility of variable focal length and a range of lens options within a single zoom lens. -->Shutter Speed The shutter in your camera lets light in during a shot and keeps light out at other times. When the shutter opens for an exposure, light is allowed to impact on the film or image sensor. If you set a slow shutter speed, more light impacts on the sensor and affects the type of exposure. When you use a faster shutter speeds your picture is sharper and clearer. There is a maximum shutter speed that is available to you in your camera system. The shutter speed is set at a fraction of a second- for instance, 1/1000th of a second. It could also be 1/2000th or even the much-preferred higher speed of 1/4000th of a second that is available in certain models. Professional use models boast of even higher shutter speed of 1/6000th or 1/8000th of a second. If you want to freeze action such as in sports, you require fast shutter speeds. There are many more features that when used effectively can add value to the impact of your photographs. Most 35mm SLR cameras have a TTL viewfinder. TTL stands for 'through the lens' metering system. This device has the ability to measure (on a scale) the amount of light impacting the film. Using this device is the key to control the exposure and get the right amount of light in order to capture a proper image. You can also use a tripod with your SLR camera. A tripod is your answer to achieving the right exposure in a close up shot and in low light conditions. It holds the camera steady, helps in focusing and ensures a sharper picture even when shutter speed is slow. The guidelines discussed here on the basics of photography and the additional features of the SLR system, will not only get you started but also help you avoid the common mistakes that many budding photographers make. Study your manual thoroughly for insights and ideas. Learning photography requires patience and the ability to constantly experiment and teach yourself through a process of trial and error.
Digital Cameras Demystified
Demystifying Digital Camera Jargon
Home Run Baseball Photography Tips
Strike one! Strike two! Strike three!
Traveling to Europe with Your Digital Camera?
The Vacation Season is fast approaching and naturally you will be taking your digital camera along for the journey. After all your vacations are far and few between and it is nice to look back on those memories as you slave away at your job. However, when you travel with a digital camera, it is a completely different experience from that of traveling with a film camera. This is a lesson that far too many travelers seem to be learning the hard way, especially if you're traveling to Europe. After a couples years of relying solely on digital camera for taking photos when I travel, there are things you should consider before you head off on your next trip.
A Guide to Underwater Cameras
There are two types of underwater camera systems: an ""amphibious"" camera, which is a self-contained waterproof system, and an SLR land camera with waterproof housing. Amphibious systems are small, compact, and easy to travel with, while SLRs offer more advanced features, such as auto-focus, advanced exposure control, and through-the-lens viewing.
Megapixel Cameras: How Many Megapixels Do You Need?
Knowing which megapixel camera to buy can be intimidating. There are literally hundreds of models of digital cameras out on the market today. How can you know how many megapixels you'll need?
Travel and Scenic Photography 101
When you're driving through the mountains somewhere, and you notice a car parked half off the road and some guy leaning to the left to avoid a branch with his Rebel 2000 camera in the act of focusing, you've met me. I do this because, to me, a trip isn't fulfilling unless I've preserved that beauty for posterity. I'd like to share some of the techniques that make scenic photography such a wonderful artform - simple, yet elegant. First off, equipment. As much as the cheapo disposable camera beckons, get real. These cameras have fisheye lenses which I call "spam" lenses. They cram everything in, with equal blurriness and boringness. Good photos are sharp, unless you use blur for artistic effect. Sharp comes from an adjustable lens. It can be a fixed lens or a zoom, but it must focus specially for each picture. Fixed lenses are limiting for scenic pictures, where to frame the shot you may need to move long distances. Imagine using a fixed lens on the Washington Monument, when you're half a block away! Zooms get my vote, even though they often don't have as wide an aperture, which limits their capabilities in low light situations. Practically speaking, an SLR is the absolute best. They are lightweight, and can be used with top quality lenses. Film SLRs tend to be less expensive, but have the limitations of film, meaning you have to get it developed and so forth. Digital SLRs are VERY expensive, so for the budget conscious either go with a film SLR or a high quality basic digital camera. With digital, resolution is also a critical factor, so look at the specs before you buy. OK, we've got the camera, emotions are running high, and that's great, but not too great! Sometimes I find a spot that is so wonderful, I start shooting like a madman, only to be disappointed by the pictures. What happened? Emotions. When you experience a place, there are sounds, aromas and breezes as well as the visuals of the spot. Needless to say, you can't photograph all of these elements, only the visual. When overwhelmed by the spectacle of a scenic hotspot, we are often overwhelmed by all of these elements. So what to do? Look through your camera. The viewfinder does not lie (usually). Try to see what you are looking at as the finished picture. Most people perfunctorily take pictures, hoping that somehow the shot will come out great. If you wonder how the pictures came out when you are on the way to the drug store to get them, you're doing something wrong. At the moment you click the pic, you should know exactly what you will get. (Of course with digital, that's not a trick!). Now, I was a tad dishonest in saying that you can't capture all of the elements of a scene. You can hint at them. For starters, motion. Yes, even in a still picture, there is motion. Something happened before, during and after your picture. In a mountain vista scene, you may find something that hints at motion, whether it be a branch of a tree that has been swaying in the breeze, or a river flowing through the valley below. These add a sense of motion. Then there's the "rule of thirds." When you place the main object of the picture smack-dab in the middle, it is static and boring. Place it one third of the way from either side, and you IMPLY motion. Put the horizon in a landscape photo a third of the way up or down, not across the middle. Remember, when a person looks at a picture, their eyes move. You want to frame your photo to help that movement. If you can find some lines in the scene, such as a skyline, cloud formation, path through the forest, etcetera, use it interestingly, and with the rule of thirds to draw your viewer's eyes into the picture. Avoid "summit syndrome." You get to the top of Mount Washington and shoot the majestic vista. Great. The pictures come out ... boring! How? No PERSPECTIVE. Big vistas will be flat unless you have an object in the foreground, such as a rock or a tree, to give them perspective. Then the eye really grasps how big this scene is. People enjoying the view is a real winner, because the viewer may identify with their emotions, giving the image real impact. Cheese! Yes, you do have to take the family photos. It's obligatory. But when you do, make sure that they show the LOCATION of the photo. Otherwise, you might as well do it on your driveway. Frame the scene in context, with landmarks as part of the picture. Find a way to tell as story in the picture, such as little Sara climbing up the rocks by the waterfall. Finally, any element in the picture that hints at more senses than just the visual will make it remarkable. Actor headshots for example, tell a story about the subject. You can almost hear them saying their next lines. If you photograph a garden, the viewer may experience the aroma of the flowers. A tourist street with an accordion player on the corner may have your amazed friends whistling "Dixie." In summation, picture taking on travel is recording the experience in a satisfying way. Use motion, perspective, sensory, storytelling and so forth, to bring your photos to life. Oh, and needless to say, make your job easy and go to great places! See you at the overlook!
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