Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Learning How to Use Your Digital Camera - Change Something

Hobby Photography, Capturing images with a digital camera is one of the joys in life for those who are fascinated by the wonderful artistic pictures we see displayed on walls or online. Our brains see an image and think, "I can do that." But when we try, we end up with something less than spectacular. So we simply set the camera back on "Auto" and accept whatever the camera has to offer. If you continue to shoot on Auto, you will continue to get the same kind of pictures you have always gotten.

While it is fairly simple to get some good camera equipment, for many of us it is more of a challenge to learn digital photography so that we can feel good about the pictures we take. Yes, there is a learning curve to conquer. Cameras are getting more sophisticated all the time, and understanding them can be a challenge.

Your first step, if you are going to learn digital photography, is to admit you need help. Getting your camera off the "program" button is going to take an act of courage. You will be getting some really bad photos. But the good news is, you are shooting digital! You don't have to print any of the bad ones. You don't have to upload them to Facebook for the world to see. Keep them a secret. Only let your friends see the successes.

Second step. Find the manual. You know, the little book that came with your camera? Read it! While it may not make you the next Ansel Adams, it will give you some valuable information about the features on that piece of technological equipment you hold in your hands. Find the buttons and knobs that control the camera and identify their use, even if this information means nothing to you. You will need it as you discover the meaning of the terms.

Third step. Experiment with your camera. Be assured that you can't break it by changing the settings. Take a few pictures and review the results on the LCD screen. Make mental notes of what you did that did or did not work. If you find something that works for you, keep the settings in mind or write them down so you can refer to them when you want to do that type of picture again.

Practice, practice, practice. Pretty soon (or maybe not so soon) you will start to understand what is happening when you move certain dials or wheels, or however your camera is set up to change settings.

Finally, get help when you need it. If you don't understand what is going on, ask a photographer or subscribe to a photography web site where friends help friends. We love to tell others what we know.

You may also want to get a quick fix by taking a photography course, either online or at your local photo store. There are even local clubs where you can meet with fellow photographers who know a bit more than you do. The resources are out there. Find them.

You should be able to learn digital photography by having fun and feeling the freedom to explore your creative side without the worry of pressing the wrong button or twist the wrong dial. Find a solution that fits your situation.
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