Beginner tips for digital photography

Posted : 01/03/2010 02:56AM

Here are some rules that will help you through your first steps in digital photography.

Reserve Battery :
Digital cameras consume a lot of energy, so it is highly recommended to obtain an extra battery. I recommend a Nickel Metal Hydride with at least 2000 mAh.

Two tips to help you conserve energy -

1) A lot of that energy goes to the LCD display screen, so you should minimize the use of it, especially when you're shooting on site, and don't have a recharger handy.

2) Go to the menu screen and reduce its brightness level,it will help to prolong battery life.

Memory cards are the film the digital age. The memory card is a great storage media. With cards that can go as high as 8GB (for reasonable price), or even higher, you can take a lot of photos before you have to change. However, I always recommend an extra card, so you don't have to stop for extended period of time in the middle of session, and it's a great idea to have an external storage that you can transfer the photos from the card to (such as a laptop, or external hard drive, with reading capabilities).

Depending on your goals, and the end-media, you can also consider using a smaller file size.

Megapixels vs. Maximum Print Size Chart

Megapixels Pixel Resolution* Print Size @ 300ppi Print size @ 200ppi Print size @ 150ppi**


2048 x 1536 6.82" x 5.12" 10.24" x 7.68" 13.65" x 10.24"


2464 x 1632 8.21" x 5.44" 12.32" x 8.16" 16.42" x 10.88"


3008 x 2000 10.02" x 6.67" 15.04" x 10.00" 20.05" x 13.34"


3264 x 2448 10.88" x 8.16" 16.32" x 12.24" 21.76" x 16.32"


3872 x 2592 12.91" x 8.64" 19.36" x 12.96" 25.81" x 17.28"


4290 x 2800 14.30" x 9.34" 21.45" x 14.00" 28.60" x 18.67"


4920 x 3264 16.40" x 10.88" 24.60" x 16.32" 32.80" x 21.76"
35mm film, scanned 5380 x 3620 17.93" x 12.06" 26.90" x 18.10" 35.87" x 24.13"


*Typical Resolution. Actual pixel dimensions vary from camera to camera.

**At 150ppi, printed images will have visible pixels and details will look "fuzzy".
Note : For best results, it's recommended to print at 300ppi.

Adjust color profile photo subject:
Most cameras have an option to control the contrast and saturation. These should match the nature of the subject photographed. For example, landscape looks better with higher contrast, while I prefer low contrast for portraits.

The biggest problem of the era of analog photography, was that you couldn't really tell if the picture iss coming out sharp or blurry, or if the colors are vivid enough, and the white balance is correct for your lighting, or even if your subject is property situated.
The monitor of the digital camera is one of the most wonderful things in that new era. It lets you see the results real time and help you decide what adjustments to make to ensure the the best results possible at the end of the session.
You don't have to check the monitor after every photo, but you should check it after the first couple of photos, to make sure that everything is properly set.

Depth of field:
Depth of field is a term expressing the photographer's control of the image in focus. Digital camera depth of field is larger than an analog camera. For example, f/8 in digital camera, usually has the same depth of field as f/16 with analog camera. So use this fact, and play with the depth of field to receive more artistic photos, and mor accurate photos in other cases.

ISO (ASA), Film Sensitivity (or filmspeed): Basic sensitivity of the CCD or CMOS sensor. Higher sensitivities create electronic amplification of the electrical signal obtained from the sensor. As the signal increases, you can take better pictures in darker conditions but the same time, it increases the noise (small dots across the image).
In conclusion, while higher ISO has its place in certain condition, you should find the balance between the desired signal enhancement and the noise.

White balance:
By default, white balance is set automatic by the camera. But after you experiment with it, you learn the choosing the correct white balance for your light (florescent, ambient, etc...) can go long way with the quality of the colors in your photos.

Some Basics:
Remember that basically, working with a digital camera is the same as working with an analog one when it comes to the use of a tripod, aparture, lens speed , etc...
So remember - darker settings require higher ISO, and/or longer exposure, so use a tripod !
Shooting a moving objet, require shorter exposer, lower ISO, and you need to be quick to catch your subject at the right position. So be quick and take as many pictures as you can. to be continued...