Digital Photography Tips

Taking control of the flash on your digital camera goes a long way in the quality of your photographs. Having the flash go off when you want it to instead of when the camera thinks it should makes a big difference in taking outdoor portraits.

By changing from the flash on to the fill flash mode (a little-known but wonderful feature), your camera exposes the background first, and then adds enough light to illuminate your subject. This results in a professional-quality print in which everything looks good in the picture.

This is a technique wedding photographers have used for a long time. Try placing the subject in the open shade of a tree and turn on the fill flash. The background is exposed properly and the portrait comes out beautifully. Keep in mind that most built-in digital camera flashes have a range of 10 feet or less, so don’t stand too far away for your pictures.

There are many variations you can use once you learn to use your flash outdoors; one is to position them so the sun shines on the side or back of their hair. Referred to as rim lighting, you can create spectacular shots with this lighting technique. Try placing your subject in the shade and use the flash to take the photo. This helps eliminate the squinty eye shot, and helps keep the person cool and comfortable, allowing for a more relaxed picture.

Another important but often overlooked part of the world is at your feet, there is an entire world down there that we pay little if any attention to. Try using the close up feature on your camera (instead of lying on your belly on the ground). There are photos just waiting to be taken that are quite beautiful.


Digital Photography

Digital cameras were first conceived by Eugene F. Lally as a means to record still images of the planets and stars during manned planetary missions. Working for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, he suggested an all-optical guidance system for these missions.

In 1961 Mr. Lally wrote a paper titled “Mosaic Guidance for Interplanetary Travel,” which was published at the American Rocket Society convention. His plan created a mosaic image plane made up of tiny sensors to record these still images. The sensors were identified as “mosaic detectors” and were eventually called “pixels” in today’s digital photography.

In the early 1970s this idea resurfaced in the form of digital cameras used for still photography. In addition to his original ideas, Mr. Lally envisioned a means of approaching automatic white balance that was accurate; this was originally used in Nikon cameras with 3D color matrix metering.

Video tape recorders were the forerunners of digital cameras, the first being developed in 1951; these captured the live images from television cameras and stored these images in digital form on tapes that were magnetic. Put into common use in television the VTR was pioneered by Bing Crosby Labs.

In 1972 Texas Instruments patented the first filmless cameras and were followed nine years later by Sony Corporation’s release of the Mavica still camera. Mini discs were used to record the information for the Mavica, and they in turn read the data into a television or color printer.

Kodak has done the true pioneering for digital cameras as we know them today. They created several solid-state sensors, which converted pictures and light directly to digital form. In 1986 they released the first megapixel digital camera; this camera was able to record 1.4 million pixels and had the ability to create a photo-quality print that was 5×7 inches.