Published on February 26, 2008
Your digital camera: Your digital camera Menus: Menus Digital camera controls are set via a menu system displayed on the LCD screen on the rear of the camera. Getting started: Getting started Basic settings: 1) SIZE: Set the image size to its maximum for the best quality. 2) QUALITY: Normal or Fine / Best This controls how much the photo is compressed when saved into the memory card. 3) AUTO or MANUAL: Automatic mode is when the camera takes care of focusing, exposure, flash, everything for you. Manual mode lets you take control of the situation. How to hold your camera! Terminology explained: Terminology explained Resolution / Pixels (Size of image) Enlarge a digital image and you will eventually see it is made up of tiny blocks of picture data which fool the eye into seeing a continuous image. All these tiny blocks of data are called pixels and the resolution of the image I.e the size, is determined by the amount of pixels in the image. More = better Files and Format (Quality of image) TIFF: Ideal for storing photo realistic pictures with high colour JPEG: most popular format for images taken with digital cameras GIF: Used for low resolution images intended for the web PNG: A web oriented format designed to retain picture integrity in small files Pixels & Resolution: Pixels & Resolution High resolution Low resolution A high resolution image is made with over a million pixels and is suitable for high-quality printout. High resolution images take up much more storage space and take longer to process. Show fine detail A low resolution image is made with less than a million pixels and is only suitable for onscreen or webpage use. A large number can be stored and they take no time to manipulate. Are not good at showing fine detail. Setting the scene: Setting the scene Landscapes: Give scenes deeper colours, especially the green tones Portrait: Portraits look best if the subject’s face is sharp and the background is thrown out of focus. Sport: Action shots require the movement to be frozen in time. This setting gives you a chance of achieving a great sports shot. Depth of field: Depth of field More of the picture is in focus, from the detail in the foreground to infinity (background). SHOOTING LANDSCAPES By Colin Prior Depth of field: Depth of field The subject’s face is sharp but the background is blurred so that there are no distractions from the main subject. SHOOTING PORTRAITS Fast shutter speed: Fast shutter speed Creative controls: Creative controls Self timer A remote control, handy for self portraits and to avoid jogging the camera when shooting night shots or close ups. Exposure Bright light can fool a camera into under exposing, the EV (Exposure value) compensation helps control these situations. E.g. A subject in front of a bright window. Avoid over exposure because you will lose detail in washed – out areas. EV compensation: EV compensation Snow can also require manual adjustment of the exposure value - check your result through the LCD screen – experiment! Creative controls: Creative controls White balance The camera should produce whites as neutral and greys as neutral greys. Different lighting conditions can sometimes produce a colour cast. E.g Shady conditions can produce a blue colour cast. Auto white balance is the default setting but some cameras also offer selectable options for making images with accurate white balance in specific lighting conditions. E.g. Sunlight, cloudy days, artificial lighting. Focusing Most of the time your camera will focus at the correct point automatically but to ensure the most important subject element is in focus you can lock focus by half-pressing the shutter release and then reframe. White balance: White balance Shot with the fluorescent white-balance setting, this image is correctly colour balanced Shot with the white balance set on daylight, the result has a green cast Shot with the tungsten white-balance setting, the result has a yellow and red cast Both natural and artificial light have very different colour values. Unlike the human eye, digital sensors are designed to respond to a narrow range of light – typically neutral, noon daylight. Digital cameras have a built-in white-balance control to take account of the many different sources of light. With the use of your LCD preview screen, you can easily check and refine your custom settings before starting the shoot. OR… Be creative and use the white balance controls to enhance a colour of a scene Focusing: Focusing Most cameras focus on whatever is in the centre of the frame. If your subject is off centre, the sensor may well miss them and focus on the background instead. The same thing can happen when you’re taking a shot of two people side by side: the sensor may be aiming at the space between your subjects. To avoid this use the focus lock feature.