Friday, February 24, 2006


Image Capture with Digital Camera

You have got your camera! You have studied the manual! You have also charged the battery pack and formatted the memory card! You are now ready to shoot! Before you start shooting, I shall give some tips (a few for the present) for you to bear in mind!
The camera has number of modes for operation. Each manufacturer gives a list of modes available with distinct names. Automatic, Landscape, Portrait and Night Scene may be common among them.
To start with it would be ideal to choose the Fully Automatic Mode .By what exact name it is called in your camera is to be identified. It maybe called Green Mode in one camera and Program mode in another.
An User Mode may also be there with default settings for functions such as flash, focus
mode, position of focus, recorded pixels, quality level, white balance, sharpness, saturation contrast, EV compensation, color mode etc; You can change these settings to suit your custom needs for a particular situation. Your settings will be kept in separate memory and when your need is over you can reset for default. You can shift to this mode later.
In the automatic mode, the camera chooses a preset shutter speed-aperture combination corresponding to a particular situation after the main sensor (which acts as the light meter also) measures the available light at the scene. In advanced camera versions, the focal length is also reckoned and a higher shutter speed is chosen to effect image stabilization.
But you have to keep in mind the fact that the choice made by the camera in automatic mode is all right for most of the situations but it may not be all right for each and every situation.
Anyway, for you as a learner getting into the groove, this mode should be the first step.
Learn about Lighting
You get the best outdoor lighting at twilight i.e. at dawn and dusk. Sony’s Cyber-Shot W-Series cameras have a twilight mode and a twilight portrait mode. A desirable warm glow effect is created in the shots taken in twilight. When you are taking photographs in an outdoor setting, you should ensure that the sun is always behind your back and also see that shadows are not affecting the captured images. Always try to capture images away from the sun. Sunlight over powers the colors.
In an indoor setting keep light sources at lower angles. Move the light sources around and compare images captured at different arrangements.
Study the Background and Compose the Image
Study the background around the subject. An electric cable dangling loose on the wall should not appear in your shot as climbing up from the ear of the subject or a window frame should not appear as resting over the shoulder of a subject. The background around the subject should be plain or
homogeneous. Compose the image in the LCD Monitor and ensure that the image you want to be the sharpest is getting into the focus area in the center of the monitor. Position your subjects in the way you want giving them clear directions in order that the shot gets well composed, Ensure that some interesting element fills up at the rear of the subject but not totally distracting.
Move Closer
Move closer to the subject as far as possible to get better results. The aim should be to fill 85 percent of the frame with the subject and only 15 percent of the frame with background content. You can adjust the optical zoom and arrive at a compromised position to capture whatever you have in mind.
If you take a picture beyond the flash range of the camera, the result will be very dark. In most of the digital cameras, the flash range is approximately 0.2m - 3.5m in wide mode and 0.2m - 2.0m in tele mode. So it will be always better to position yourself at a distance of less than 10 feet from the subjects.
Now you keep the camera in automatic mode and hold it at the subject’s eye level. See that the subject or subjects do not stare or squint. Everything is to be candid.
Study and compose the image in the LCD monitor.
Press the shutter release button halfway down to enable the camera to set focus, exposure and white balance.
Press the shutter release button fully. The image appears in the LCD monitor for a second and then gets recorded in the memory card.
Take as many shots as you need of that scene itself at different angles and at different zoom settings.
Turn your camera sideways and take some vertical shots. If the results of any one shot were not all right you can just erase it after analyzing a bit as to what would have gone wrong. Possibility to erase the captured images is a great advantage in digital cameras. Exploit that provision to the fullest extent.
Now, let me share with you a ‘Quote’ that I had read somewhere.
Q: What makes a good photograph - or makes a photograph good?
A: A good photographer.

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